Saturday, 12:15 p.m.

Posted in NEWS on February 8, 2014

By Marc Calderaro

Saturday, 12:15 p.m. – It’s the Community, Stupid

by Marc Calderaro

This inaugural Super Sunday Series is amazing for many reasons. Sure, it's the first release event of Born of the Gods—for both constructed and limited; sure, it's at the fabled Wizards of the Coast headquarters with R&D members just hanging around; sure, there are some huge names like No. 12 Owen Turtenwald, No. 13 Makihito Mihara, and No. 3 Reid Duke. But for me, my favorite part of this event is the personalities outside the top names we're used to hearing about. Many players here are competitive players who are lurching towards their big break; some are defiantly casual players who played in the Sunday Super Series Qualifier because they drove their friends to the Grand Prix; some just like the $20,000 prize pool for roughly 40 players; and some are strong players with amazing stories that we haven't heard enough.

Covering a few of those categories is Andrew Robdrup—hailing from Kingston, Ontario. He's a grinder who's only played the game for a few years and has already amassed nice finishes. Some will be aware of his name. You might know him as a member of the Canadian World Magic Cup team in 2013 (alongside National Champion, No. 20 Jon Stern). But you might know him from the Spirit Award received at the event. The Spirit Award was given out at the World Magic Cup because last summer, something amazing happened to Andrew Robdrup.

2013 Canadian World Magic Cup team

In July, Andrew's house burned down. Though no one was injured, there was a ton of lost property, and many pieces to be picked up. The Canadian Magic community banded together, thanks to the efforts of Level 3 Judge, Jason Wong, and held a fundraiser tournament to help Robdrup's family get back on their feet. The event drew many players, and was a huge success.

People came from all over, many of whom were barely connected to Andrew. He even told me, "a local player, who didn't even know me that well, donated a box full of dual lands." He said the feeling was incredible. Although there are many irreplaceable things that are lost with the trauma, the community used the tragedy to show what Magic does best—bring people together.

Andrew said "Pat Chapin once said, and I'll never forget it: 'It's not about Magic, it's about the gathering,' and that's so important to me. That's why I play." And with such a dramatic showing of support, it's hard to disagree. Magic allows competitive players, like Robdrup, to win money and travel all over, but what fun is seeing the world without amazing people to share the experience with. The Spirit Award at the 2013 World Magic Cup was the embodiment of that most important aspect of the game, and it made Robdrup extremely proud.

Andrew Robdrup

But don't think Robdrup's charitable love extends to inside the game itself. The Canadian easily cruised through his first round opponent with an aggressive heroic deck with white and blue. He used some new Born of the Gods standouts like Eidolon of Countless Battles and Elite Skirmisher to buttress Phalanx Leader, Battlewise Hoplite, and Fabled Hero from Theros. He paired that with sixteen land and he was off to the races. He's drafted about a dozen times preparing for the event, and that preparation showed in the first round.

And because the tournament is only nine rounds, every win matters. Though in a Grand Prix setting, you can take two, sometimes three losses and still finish in the Top 8, that's not really true here. It's like a win in the football regular season versus a win in the baseball regular season.

There are great stories like Andrew Robdrup's all over this Sunday Super Series tournament. I'll be bringing you more, along with the great new Born of the Gods–infused Standard decklists soon. By the way, I've seen all the list, and there are some exciting decks represented here. More to come soon!