I’ve mentioned my first Friday Night Magic before. It’s what sparked my insatiable desire for all things Magic, and I loved it.
But it’s a really good thing I didn’t do any googling before Astro and I ventured out that night. There are so many intense looking posts about prepping for FNM, draft and everything I would have felt totally out of my league, unprepared and out of place before I even got there. I definitely would have wussed out.
But I didn’t google it. And the first Friday both of us had off (months after we bought those fun pre-constructed decks) we decided to just go for it. Astro called one of her guy friends in an effort to find out more and, after laughing at us a bit, he said we should only do it if there was a draft tournament. Otherwise we’d get judged hardcore if we entered our pre-constructed decks in the standard tournament.
Looking back, he was right. Especially considering I didn’t even know what standard meant.
But we didn’t let his laughing deter us. We headed over to our local gameshop and asked if they had a draft tournament. Luckily, they did.
For those of you who don’t know, at a draft tournament you start with three unopened booster packs of cards. Then you sit around a table in your assigned spot and open the packs one at a time. For each pack, everyone opens it, picks one card (hopefully the best one) and passes it to the person next to you. Then you pick your next card (hopefully the second best card) from the pile of cards passed to you by your neighbor . And you continue until the cards are gone, and repeat for the next two packs.
I didn’t know that when we walked through the door. We were also told it was also ‘pick a pack’ week. I didn’t know what that meant either (it means the packs can be from any set you want). Obviously I had a lot of learning to do, very fast.
Throughout the night we heard over and over it was probably the worst night to come for the first time, but I think it was the best night. Since we didn’t know anything about the current set (Return to Ravnica) it didn’t matter. We’d be dealing with mostly unfamiliar cards anyway, and I like to think it evened the playing field a tinsy bit.
Well anyway, I walked into the game room with only a vague understanding of what was going to happen. And as more and more people showed up I also became very aware that the only other two girls at this particular FNM were two girls that worked for our LGS. We’d expected the female faction would be small, but I didn’t expect it to be almost non-existant! I got more and more intimidated the longer we waited, and when I found out I wouldn’t be sitting next to Astro during the draft portion, I almost paniked. I was NOT prepared for that.
It all turned out better than expected though, thanks to the guy who sat next to me.
I think I must have passed him a good card the first time, because he figured out pretty quickly I had never drafted, and didn’t even know how to tell commons, uncommons, rares and mythics apart. Thankfully, he shared that information with me. Plus, after the draft was over he helped me build my deck. I don’t think I could have gotten through the night without him.
Then, finally, the actual Magic started. I lost nearly every game I played, but I loved every minute of it. I learned more about how the game works than I probably remember now (keeping notes probably wouldn’t have been a bad idea), and I was meeting so many people! It was a blast. And when I did finally win a game it was an incredible feeling.
Astro won a few games and a match as well, and we stayed through all six rounds. It was too much fun to leave! I even won my last match (best two of three). I felt so accomplished; it was a great way to end the night! (Plus, I’m fairly certain the guy I played didn’t just give me the win… that’s what I’m telling myself at least.)
And at the very end of the night Astro and I both got the promo foil cards for being new, and for being good sports all night. It’s so shiny and pretty.
I’m so glad I went. I met some wonderful people, and realized that there was a whole community of guys willing to help me figure the game out. And not because I’m a girl, but because I’m a new player. And by helping new players, the community grows, and eventually the new players might (hopefully) become worthy opponents. Then it’s more fun for everyone.
Ok, ok. It might be a little bit because I’m a girl, but I’m not complaining.
All for now,