Opportunity to compete in tournaments, meet artists, and buy goods
By Lauren Kelly, Editor-in-Chief
Magic: The Gathering, the competitive trading-card game that has been around since 1993, is still incredibly popular. There are over 15 stores that sell cards and host tournaments in the Lower Mainland alone.
However, next month’s Grand Prix will celebrate the game on a much grander scale. Taking place from February 17 to 19, the event’s main tournament is capped out at 1,500 entrants, with an entry fee of $100. This time, the main event will be in the Modern format, meaning that cards going back to 2003’s Mirrodin set are legal to play barring a short ban-list. Because of the large number of cards at an entrant’s disposal, the format is incredibly competitive and quite expensive compared to Standard, which only allows cards from the last three blocks.
Every few months, a new set is released. Most recently, it was January 20’s Aether Revolt, an expansion in the Kaladesh block. Both of these sets are heavily based around artifacts and the names and culture within them are influenced by South-Asian countries. A few cards in it are expected to make their way into consistent Modern play, so it will be interesting to see how the tournament is affected by the new release.
Magic is well known for the beautiful art that adorns every card, and it goes as far as crediting the artist on the bottom of each one, something other card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh! haven’t done. With the Grand Prix, fans will have the opportunity to meet the artists who drew the art for their favourite cards, and even have them signed. So far, the confirmed artists are Joseph Meehan, rk post, Jason Felix, Johannes Voss, and Craig Spearing. Although it’s free, unlike many autograph sessions, it is recommended that you tip the artists for their time.
For those interested in getting some souvenirs from the Grand Prix without competing, there is a $50 souvenir package with a Vancouver Grand Prix exclusive playmat, a Grand Prix Progenitus promo card, as well as two draft sets. A draft set is three boosters, and these allow you to compete in side tournaments called drafts, where you make a deck on the spot by rotating the packs with those you are playing with and selecting cards from them.
Since attending as a spectator is free, there is something for every Magic fan at this event. If you’re feeling particularly strong about your Modern deck, throw your hat in the ring for that $15,000 grand prize, or one of the many smaller ones. Otherwise, meet and mingle with your community, and have a great time playing in side tournaments and perusing the goods sold by local vendors.