There are two types of players at a Grand Prix, the ones who come for the experience and the ones who come to win. Noah, Sammy and Freddy Michael have made the trek from St. Louis not only to experience a Grand Prix for the first time, but also to further a family bond that has grown immensely because of Magic and its community.
It all started back in Zendikar Block when Noah played his first game of Magic. He liked it so much he used birthday money to buy a few packs of cards and teach his younger brother Sammy to play. As Noah and Sammy delightfully talked about the unbeatable Hedron Crab deck that milled opponents into oblivion at their kitchen table, it was obvious that Magic had brought these two brothers closer together. Fast forward to the days leading up to the M13 prerelease; Freddy, Noah and Sammy's father who was going through a divorce wanted to find a way to spend more time with his children that would be fun for everyone. The boys hastily suggested Magic and so began Team Brodanosa (BROthers-DAd-NOah-SAmmy). If mana, spells, combat and the stack weren't difficult enough for a beginner, Noah and Sammy decided to make their dad's first deck werewolf tribal beats, building the deck to revolve around double sided werewolves like Huntmaster of the Fells.
Eventually, Team Brodanosa played in their first competitive event and "Got Wrecked". Freddy realized that in order to do well they needed to collect all of the top tier cards. They succeeded in doing so as Freddy, Noah and Sammy now have a complete set of every card in standard including at least three sets of all the standard playable lands, but they didn't stop there. They have branched out into new formats and have built Modern, Legacy and Vintage decks while also acquiring two sets of Power. Team Brodanosa also has a secret headquarters in the basement of dad's house where they invite new and experienced Magicians to learn and play limited with their Modern Masters and Conspiracy cubes.
Recently, the Michael family has started to play in higher level tournaments like Pro Tour Qualifiers but this weekend marks the first time Team Brodanosa has traveled as a family to a Grand Prix. Freddy grinded out enough Planeswalker points to get a first round bye so he could watch Noah and Sammy play and give encouragement to the admittedly nervous youngsters. Noah brought a WU Ephara, God of the Polis deck to the tournament while Sammy preferred to battle with the large untargetable creatures in Naya Hexproof. Freddy narrowly missed out on day two with Craig Wescoe's version of WG aggro but was elated to even be in contention. For Noah and Sammy the highlight of the weekend was meeting a number of Magic icons including: Brad Nelson, Sam Black, Marshall Sutcliffe and Brian-David Marshall. For dad, it was being able to enjoy a weekend vacation with his boys. Noah knows it's not just about playing the game he loves, Magic is a way to socialize and a sense of community he couldn't find anywhere else.
Team Brodanosa has some advice for future Grand Prix goers: don't be intimidated, come early on Friday, get comfortable, play in the Mini Masters and meet everyone you can. Magic is more than a game, it's an opportunity for families to bond and people to make friends highlighted by the Michael clan who have a much stronger family relationship and many more friends because of the game.