Grand Prix Events are for everyone, no matter how it may seem to be. There is certain focus on strategy and the Pro lifestyle, but also a huge emphasis on an enjoyable gaming experience!
It's Serious Business, But Also Serious Fun!
The winner of an individual Grand Prix is now slated to take home $10,000, a potentially life-changing amount. Players who achieve X-2 records or better are all awarded airfare and invites to compete in the upcoming Pro Tour, where they will try to claim the lion's share of the $250,000 prize purse. Despite there being a lot at stake, the Grand Prix is all about having fun and enjoying a great weekend amongst great company.
"They're my opponents, but everyone who plays Magic are also my friends!"
For example, these players are simply happy to make the Day 2 of Grand Prix Nagoya. Considering that there are over 2600 players, making the cut simply means you've already placed in the thirtieth percentile, an achievement in itself. Also, if it is a Limited Grand Prix, you really can't complain when you get two additional Booster Drafts, and in the case of Battle for Zendikar Limited, additional chances to rip open a shiny Zendikar Expedition!
Just like finding a Golden Ticket in a chocolate bar!
Naturally, if you make the Top 8, make a cash prize or pick up some Pro Points, that's simply icing on the cake! Sweet!
Get In The Water!
Yuuki Ichikawa takes an Oath. Translation?
"I promise I will practice more."
Try to win as much as you can, and hone your skills as you go along. But never feel too disheartened if you didn't perform as well as you like. The ancient adage of "practice makes perfect" is never too far from the truth, and only by playing more can you improve.
Aside from putting in regular time on Magic Online like many established players do, one can improve simply by playing. Nobody ever learnt to swim by simply thinking about it. You gotta get in the water!
For that reason, a plethora of side events are usually created for the Grand Prix goer. If you wish to get better at Standard, Limited or Modern, there are never-ending queues firing all weekend.
Every Sealed Deck is a different puzzle, a different surprise!
Fun Ways to Play and Enjoy Your Day
The beauty of Magic is that you'll never really get bored. With so many ways to play the game, there is always fun to be had. For instance, Big Magic and various vendors have designed several interesting tournaments that suit a wide range of players.
Take for instance the "Tribal Modern" tournament. The rules are simple, really. You build a Modern deck, except that at least 20 cards need to share a common creature type. Sorry, Mistform Ultimus, Changelings don't count towards your total, but there are still many possibilities! Capped at 128 players and costing only around $15 to enter, the winner receives a Japanese Booster Box of Modern Masters 2015, and just for flavor's sake, a "Premium Deck Series: Slivers" deck as well!
Do you like cats? Come on. Everybody loves cats!
If you're a Spike, feel free to bring along Elves, Merfolk or the fashionable Eldrazis. With some amendment, you could also bring along your Affinity deck since you can always modify it to contain at least 20 Constructs. It won't be as good as the usual version, but will still be pretty competitive.
For others, it's simply a way to put their creativity to the test. Goblins, Vampires and Zombies were popular choices, and we've also sighted a deck with 20 Gods! Word on the street is that someone built a deck with 20 Leviathans. How that is actually competitive remains a mystery, but that's really not the point. I believe that he is having a supremely awesome afternoon.
It's time to drop the Moxen and make some brokenly fun plays!
Alternatively, if you simply wanna lay the smackdown, they could also be Vintage tournaments going on at select locations. I can tell you, the feeling of casting Ancestral Recall and dropping a Black Lotus is pretty awesome!
A hundred-man tournament might not be surprising, but what if I told you that all the competitors were seated a just one single table?
Well, a really, REALLY large table.
In this unique event called "The Grand Melee", you build a Sealed Deck as per normal, except that you'll all be seated around a complete circle. You can attack only the person to your right, and you'll need to defend yourself from the player on your left. The last man standing is crowned the winner, and takes home this hand-sketched playmat from our guest artist, Tyler Jacobson, in addition to $200 worth of prizes.
A one-of-a-kind Tyler Jacobson masterpiece!
What this really means that you'll need to build your deck to outlast 99 other opponents! I think I see a potential winner, as evidenced by this player with a pair of Munda's Vanguards! However it ends, I'm sure it will be a memorable experience or I'll eat my dice.
"Taadaa! Does anyone have more dice?"
Commander (also known as EDH or Elder Dragon Highlander) is also one of the most popular formats. Since Commander allows majority of cards to be used and never rotates, many players enjoy the prospect of playing with their favorite cards through the ages. In fact, our youngest contestant of the weekend is an 8-year-old schoolboy, who is here with his dad for a stress-free, low-stakes and highly-interactive event.
Good-natured family fun!
What's your idea of fun? Sorry for the long post, here's some Octopus (since we're in Japan).