The Carnival of a Lifetime

Posted in GRAND PRIX CHIBA 2015 on May 30, 2015

By Chapman Sim

"Grand Prix are the ultimate Magic experience. These three-day events, held all around the globe, feature a wide array of side events, card dealers, artists, and a two-day main event with thousands of dollars on the line. It’s a festival of Magic unlike anything else."

The phrase "unlike anything else" is especially true this weekend for so many reasons. As previously mentioned, it is the first time we're having three Grands Prix occurring on the same weekend. In addition, they will also most likely be the largest events to ever take place in their respective continents.

This is unlike the Pro Tour, where only a select three to four hundred people are invited. It is the pinnacle of professional Magic after all, and invitations need to be kept exclusive. Also, the atmosphere is slightly different. It's mostly serious business as the Pros try to claim the lion's share of the Pro Points and prize money.

The truth is, the Grand Prix is designed for EVERYONE. Winning the main event is a big deal too (of course), but aside from the main event, there are so many things other things you can do!

Guest Artists

Despite not having as many guest artists as Grand Prix Las Vegas or Grand Prix Utrecht, the fans here are certainly not feeling shortchanged. The queues may be long but it certainly did not dampen the spirits of all the fans here in Chiba.

The illustrator of the "biggest" and "most-badass" creature is here with us. Incidentally, it's also one of the most important reprints of Modern Masters 2015. Mark Tedin has autographed so many Emrakuls he has most definitely lost count. His other most popular cards also included Lava Spike, Mana Drain, and Sol Ring!

A happy fan shows off his new memorabilia while Mark Tedin gets busy in the background!

Peter Mohrbacher has also put his name on his fair share of Ghost Quarter, Gavony Township, and Swan Song, while Johaness Voss was busy doing the same for Restoration Angel and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, all of which have seen play in Modern.

From left to right: The exclusive playmats for Grand Prix Chiba as illustrated by Johaness Voss, Peter Mohrbacher and Mark Tedin.

All three artists have also contributed artwork for these playmats exclusive to Chiba. Word on the street is that, the hardcore collectors have begun to queue up for them as early as 5 in the morning in order to lay their hands on one!

Aside from getting your cards and playmats autographed, feel free to purchase some signed prints and exclusive tokens and interact with the ever-so-friendly artists!

Public Events

With an minimum of one scheduled public event firing every hour, in addition to on-demand 4-man, 8-man and 32-man tournaments, there is certainly no time to be bored. According to the tournament organizers, they have made efforts to accommodate as many formats as they possibly could!

If you're in for some light-hearted fun, perhaps you can go for a quick battle of Mini Masters. The events spiral in exoticism and it was also possible to register for Commander or 3-man Modern tournaments!

Possibly the most special event was the "Banless Legacy", a casual Legacy tournament that promises to be as brutal as it is fun. And the winner gets to take home a prize unlike any other, a Foil Mythic Rare Uncut Sheet of Modern Masters 2015!

"Banless" is a misnomer though, because some cards are actually still banned. For example, all the ante cards such as Jeweled Bird are disallowed. We're certainly not promoting gambling of any form. Also, all Conspiracy cards such as Worldknit are off the tables, as are the full set of the "Power 9". Lastly, any cards involving manual dexterity are also banned, so keep your Chaos Orb, Falling Star, and Shahrazad at home.

After you get Mark Tedin to sign those, maybe you can put four of them in your Legacy deck to play in the "Banless Legacy" tournament.

There was also a Vintage Open, awarding the winner and the runner-up the original canvas art of Griselbrand and Emrakul, the Aeons Torn. And of course, the Super Sunday Series will take place as per normal awarding the winner a fully-paid trip to Seattle!


Being at a Grand Prix is the perfect way to complete your shopping list. If you are missing some fetchlands for your Standard deck, the dealers most definitely have those in stock. Modern cards are also well-stocked this Modern Masters weekend. It's even a good place to find rarities such as Guru Lands or the Power Nine!

Looking for obscure foils to complete your Commander deck or your Cube? No problem! Try rummaging through the clearance binders and baskets and you might find a good deal or two.

Perhaps what is more amazing about shopping at a Japanese Grand Prix is the fact that you will be able to find a little more than that.

Aside from binders, dice, deckboxes of all shapes and designs, you'll also be able to purchase exclusive tokens and playmats unavailable elsewhere to complement your gaming experience. The range of accessories on sale are also rather exciting, and none took my breath away more than this super "kawaii" Kitty playmat / mousepad!


Fun & Games

Which carnival is complete without a fair share of carnival games?

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

For a small fee, engage in little games of luck and dexterity where everyone goes home a winner. The worst case scenario is that you walk away with a booster or a pack of sleeves, so nobody leaves empty-handed!

Try your luck and you might go home with a Modern Masters Booster Box in this raffle!


The Japanese have culturally been big fans of cosplay and Grands Prix are a great avenue to express one's creativity. For instance, meet this lovely lady over here!

Restoration Angel comes to life!

"I was first introduced to cosplay a couple of years ago by some friends of mine. I started playing Magic about six months ago and was happy to find characters that I really wanted to cosplay, especially the angel characters. The highlight of my weekend so far has been meeting Johannes Voss, who illustrated Restoration Angel, which is what I’m cosplaying this weekend!"

As we speak, that is also a super awesome "Invite-Only" event taking place where "Little Miss Restoration Angel" is taking part in. A Modern Masters booster draft for eight of the best-dressed Cosplayers on the room! Do check out our updates later if you're interested to catch of glimpse of this really unique spectacle!