So the plan last weekend was to get up early on Saturday and draft all day long. Normally weekend drafts don't start until noon at the earliest but getting an early jump just meant more drafts could happen. I was looking forward to getting at least four eight-man drafts in with a table that included multiple players seriously preparing for Kuala Lumpur. It would be valuable research for this weekend's Pro Tour – at least that is what I told my wife.
The confirmation e-mails circulated throughout the list to make sure that we would achieve the critical mass eight players. I had been sick in the days leading up to the weekend with a fever hovering around 100 and sent a message to the list saying I was going to have to pass. The reply from Josh Ravitz suggested a novel way to break the fever...
"Your fever is clearly gaming related... Don't know what kind of crack team of doctors you've got working for you but anyone could have told you that. It is the fever, after all."
I was tempted but as it turned out I was in the throes of pneumonia, and as of this writing have not even left the house in what is closing in on eight days. No drafting and no Pro Tour for me this time out...just movies, books, and a cycle of antibiotics. I am heading back to the doctor today and hopefully he will prescribe several cycles of Lorwyn, Lorwyn, Morningtide for this weekend.
Remember that you can follow all the coverage – it may even have started going up by the time this goes live – in the Tournament Center. It is the first time in nearly six years that I will be able to sit home and follow the coverage as a fan. I am looking forward to cheering on local Pro Tour winners Jon Finkel, Zvi Mowshowitz, Chris Lachman, and Jacob Van Lunen. I can barely wait for the chance to see some of the game's top players drafts put under the microscope of the Draft Viewer. In the meanwhile, here are some sights from Kuala Lumpur as seen through the lens of crack Pro Tour photog Craig Gibson.
Coverage coordinator Greg Collins begins pondering a PT without BDM.
The thought drives him to drinking, namely this concoction called a 'crazy fruit surprise.'
Perhaps this elaborate lion ceremony in front of the hotel Thursday afternoon will bless the Pro Tour.
The two-person beasts do their best Cirque du Soleil impressions.
Nearly 140 local players entered the Last-Chance Qualifier with hopes of playing with the Pros come Friday.
The Batu Caves, a popular sightseeing location just outside of Kuala Lumpur, is both a Hindu shrine and an amazing network of natural caves.
Rich Hagon goes out of his way to pamper a very special podcast guest.
When it's 93 degrees with lots of humidity, even the locals get thirsty.
Left to right, Brandon Scheel, Matt 'Cheeks' Hansen, and Zac Hill braved the heat to visit the caves.
Video producer Deb Slater attracts a crowd. Much like Magic players, monkeys flock to free food.
Did we mention that it's 272 steps to the top of the shrine?
But if you can make it that far, the view is amazing.
Would you be more scared drafting against these three monkeys?...
…or these three monkeys?
Climbing all those stairs calls for a drink out of a giant fruit husk!
Back in town, players gathered their goodie bags at registration, which included a slick tropical shirt.
Free food, draft sets AND round tables that seat 8 people? This might be Magic heaven.
Jelger Wiegersma, left, and Quentin Martin get down to business.
The unmistakable landmark of Kuala Lumpur, the immense Petronas Towers dwarf everything around them.
Firestarter: Rank the Tribes
Before the release of Morningtide, Merfolk, Faeries, and blue cards in general were at the top of everyone's pick orders. With the addition of the new set, Warriors and Kithkin have shot up in value. What will be the most fought-over color in this new format? Head to the forums and share your take on the new format.