Spreading the Love – MagicFest Vegas!

(Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger| Art by Karl Kopinski)

“Man, I really like Vegas”

Hey everyone! Kya here once again! Welcome back to Spreading the Love, the series where we show EDH is more then just about the deck or the game itself. Here we focus on how to use EDH to expand our communities for even more spellslinging action!

I’m happy to present yet another special article this month! Today we are going to look at the results of the adventures of not only myself, but many EDH players from around the world. That’s right, today we’re going to look at MagicFest Vegas and why this year was one of greatest successes for the continued growth of EDH! MagicFests have always been huge for Magic: the Gathering players; people fly in from everywhere you can think of to play with others that would normally be too far away. No matter if you’re looking for competitive or casual, you’ll never want for playing with a new person every game, if desired.

What made this particular gathering even more special was that there was a whole space called the Command Zone dedicated to just EDH players! The tables were bright orange as opposed to the normal blue tablecloths, and they prepared so much space for us. Not only that, the turnout was huge! I’ve been to a few MagicFests now and have never seen anything like it. Even if you’re more into collecting Magic cards than playing them, these events are great because you have a chance of meeting your Magic: the Gathering heroes as well, be they players, artists, developers, or cosplayers! Here’s one very special person I was fortunate enough to play with:

That’s right! The hero of the EDH world, Gavin Verhey! He’s created some of the most amazing EDH products, and here we are playing with him! Despite how busy he was, he took the time to play with myself and DM Cross, a fellow EDHREC writer. He even signed my Aeon Engine! Of course, this didn’t stop me from representing my playstyle and throwing down the following:

That’s right! A Timesifter immediately dropped as soon as I was able. To no one’s surprise, however, even my shenanigans couldn’t catch Gavin off-guard, and he made short work of the table with someone else’s deck. Being a developer in Magic: the Gathering is no joke, and we learned that the hard way!


EDHREC Coming to a Convention Near You

It’s hard to beat meeting some Magic: the Gathering celebrities; however, I have to say that the absolute best part of this trip was meeting my fellow writers (and my boss) for the first time face-to-face! I don’t think there has been an event where more EDHREC writers all showed up in one place! Now I know what you’re thinking: with so many EDH experts in one place, clearly there must have been sophisticated talks about current metas and the overall health of the format itself. You know, dedicated discussions on how to spread awareness of one of the best formats we all know and love.

Well, that almost happened. Then our boss turned his back for half a second. Here is an example of one of our killer marketing plans when left alone:

Thank you, Nate Burgess. Now you now know the reason why we all are only allowed to meet up once a year…

Aside from avoiding potential PR disaster, there was one particularly awesome thing we did: we had a Commander Sealed event with various writers and programmers of EDHREC and several other content creators, including the fellas from CMDR Central and even the epic deckbuilding website Archidekt! It was amazing to see so many names in one event!

The event was created by Dean Gootee, one of EDHREC’s finest, and it caught on quickly as more and more people started hearing more about it. Each player was given fifteen random packs and a random list of fifteen possible commanders. From those, they had to build a deck out of the cards they opened, and could use one proxy version of one of the commanders in their randomized list (or, if they were lucky, use one of the legendary creatures in the packs they opened)!

The prize worthy of such an event, you ask? One of our very own Sensei’s Divining Top Life Counters! I’m sure you’ve seen them around in previous articles. After a long struggle, Henry Stukenborg became victorious and claimed the prize for his own.


Spreading the Love

Although there was tons of fun to be had, your favorite chaotic girl traveled across the country for a purpose: to spread the worship of chaos goodwill to both established and new players alike of the EDH community. To do so, we came bringing a lot of gifts! We had lots of these little treasures, and we gave out a lot of Bolas Statues. Why? Because anyone who took the time to show the EDH community some love was a winner in our books. Here are some pictures of a few figures you might recognize:

That’s right! Our very own community treasures, Maria Bartholdi and Rachel Agnes! If these articles didn’t have a limit, I would post countless images of amazing people we interacted with and whom we gave our 3D-printed treasures to. Was it the best marketing idea for a crazy girl to run around a convention handing out sharp Bolas-horned objects to people? Maybe not. But was it fun? You’re darn right it was.

For those starting to worry Kya is getting too sentimental here, don’t worry! I still had plenty of time to showcase the wild side of chaos!

Some amazing board states and hands that amazed the crowds! And can you guess what’s even better than my board states creating mayhem across the Grand Prix? Other like-minded individuals doing the same! I met plenty of other chaos players who were excited to show off their own decks. Nothing warmed my heart (and struck fear in the hearts of others) more than hearing on more than one occasion that my decks created inspiration for their own crafts and chaotic nonsense.

Of course, at the end of the day, though, there can only be one queen of chaos, so we had to show those who were approaching the throne a little to hastily how true madness is done! Jhoira of the Ghitu came out a few times near the end to level the battlefield and show what happens when the Eldrazi Titans are unleashed to protect the crown.

Then I played against the Lab Maniacs and Spike Feeders. It was at that point that I realized that I wasn’t the biggest fish in the pond. Look at my Zur the Enchanter above, getting the stink eye from the table, even though everyone else’s board state is so much bigger! Unfair, I say!

In all seriousness, it was really fun playing cEDH with those I looked up to when trying to learn the competitive side of Commander. It’s definitely a whole other beast and it quickly becomes exciting knowing that any one of us could win at any second. (For those who’ve never played in the competitive side of the format, imagine the thrill of having only one Counterspell in your hand and staring at three people you’ll have to stop from winning at any second, all while trying to win yourself and knowing you’ll need to hold up some type of protection to make sure your plans all work out. It’s stressful!) Even if cEDH isn’t your thing, I would still recommend having a competitive deck of your very own set aside to play on rare occasion. You’ll learn a lot, even from only a few games!


Hungry for Cosplay!

I’ve mentioned a few favorite parts of this trip already, but I have one more for you: we got to see some amazing cosplays while we were in Vegas! I’ve been known to throw on a cosplay or two in my article series before, but these cosplayers were on a whole other level. Everyone who came out did a fantastic job, and there was one particular group of cosplayers that blew me away with their creativity. In fact, this group was so spectacular that we’re going to dedicate today’s decklist to them! What sort of deck is it? Well, here’s a hint:

That’s right, the Praetors made an appearance at this year’s GP Vegas! All of them were extremely well done. Depicted above is Olivia Gobert-Hicks as Sheoldred, Whispering One on the left and Nissa Cosplay as Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger on the right.

Even better than their outfits was the fact that they were very friendly and approachable. I especially clicked with Nissa Cosplay, so we had no choice but to present a deck specifically for Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger! How do we make a powerful deck with just a single color? Well, I’ve enlisted some help from a local friend of mine who has spent many years fine-tuning his mono-green deck for various EDH Leagues around Florida.

George was one of my mentors when I began my forays into the wild world of EDH. I never spoke about him before, but after the constant bragging of getting to hang out with Nissa Cosplay as Vorinclex, I feel like now owe it to him. What’s hard to tell, though, is that I can’t determine if he’s jealous that I got to meet Nissa or that I got to meet Vorinclex. Anyhow, the one thing he constantly pushed was that in EDH, you need three things to stay ahead: ramp, draw and the deceitful illusion that you’re not a threat due to a lack of board presence. Vorinclex, in his mind, embodies all of these aspects of playing a successful EDH game.

Furthermore, this deck has a very large advantage in the vast majority of EDH Leagues, many of which are run by a points system. In a points system, certain powerful cards are given a point value, and each deck is only allowed a maximum number of points within the deck. If you have a point cap of 10, for example, you can’t run a card that costs 7 points in the same deck as one that costs 4 points. This is used to help limit how powerful each players’ deck can be, and helps even the playing field during the duration of the EDH League, which occurs over several weeks.

Why does Vorinclex get an advantage in this type of system? Because most Leagues put high point values on cards that create infinite combos, which are often prevalent in colors like blue and black. This leaves green in general a step ahead, as fewer of their cards are pointed, so they’re free to beat down life totals. Also, these same point Leagues often give small rewards for achieving the craziest board states, such as having more than 30 creatures or having more than 20 lands on the battlefield – you know, the things that can only happen in EDH. Those crazy board states are exactly what this Vorinclex is all about. If you’re involved in an EDH League, I would give this kind of deck a serious look.

The deck is really quite simple: you innocently ramp and keep yourself fairly quiet. You should have little more then a few mana dorks and rocks out at any given time. Then, out of nowhere, you play your big giant commander, which doubles your mana, and then you play more spells like Zendikar Resurgent and Nissa, Who Shakes the World, which get you even more mana, and you pseudo-Storm off in a way that only Vorinclex can. To give you a clue as to how nasty this deck can truly be, when George resolves his Genesis Wave, he famously flips his deck upside down.

Quite interesting, isn’t it? Without further ado, we dedicate this deck to the wonderful cosplay we saw this last weekend:

Buy this decklist from Card Kingdom
Buy this decklist from TCGplayer

Closing Thoughts

I hope everyone enjoyed today’s article. I was especially happy writing this, as we got to add in pictures of a lot of members of the EDH community. This is something we don’t do enough, and we should work on adding more of these types of events. It’s great to see EDH growing and I can personally confirm the joy of seeing your heroes getting more involved with your favorite formats. I can only imagine that many of you feel the same way. EDH has been growing rapidly over the years, but I never thought it would grow to the extent that we saw at the Vegas MagicFest. Who knows, EDH may become the most popular format in Magic: the Gathering, assuming it’s not the most popular already!

Finally, a shout out to the many people I met in Vegas. I never thought of myself as any more then an EDH player, and it boggled my mind and warmed my heart to see so many fans of my articles. I’m so happy to have found so many others who enjoy my chaos and love to join me as we peer into the depths of insanity.

Until next time,

Kya

Never fear! Kya's here! Kya has been a long time EDH player and hobbyist. With an extended history of blacksmithing and 3d printing various MTG related items for fun, she has turned her attention to sharing her mad scientist brews to the public. Although a competitive player by nature, her aim is to provide fun and silly deck ideas to those looking to spice up their play groups. Kya is here to scratch that demented individual's itch for pure chaos and show everyone that a Warp World can be a fun experience! Except when you have a Hive Mind and Eye of the Storm out...