2012 Magic Online Community Cup

The Wizards of the Coast team has done it, winning the 2012 Magic Online Community Cup by a score of 268-228! It took four years and three close losses, but the home team finally came out on top!

The Magic Online Community Cup stands alone as one of the most unique, interactive and fun events of every year. Eight of the most influential members of the Magic community are flown to Seattle to do glorious battle against members of the Wizards staff, the very people who take many of their cues from these pillars of the community. There are tours, interview sessions, karaoke nights, and lots and lots of gaming. Even the events are skewed towards creating an unparalleled, memorable experience, such as the Wacky Cube Rules Draft that took places this year.

The 2012 team of Walter Kolcynski, Conley Woods, Jackie Lee, James Turner, Jon Loucks, Jesse Smith, Heath Newton, and Neale Talbot started off well, staying fairly even through the first event, Cube Draft, But the Wizards team broke things open with a dominating showing in the RGDR Unified Constructed, ending those rounds with more than double the score of the Community Team. Gavin Verhey, a victorious member of the Community Team from two years ago, brought his deck building expertise to bear for the Wizards Team this year, having recently been hired by the home team. This makes him the only person to have ever won the Erik "Hamtastic" Friborg Memorial trophy twice, and he's done it from both sides!

Facing a massive deficit, the Community Team rallied, coming back and bringing everything down to the final round. The Community Team needed a 6-2 victory in the final round, but bad matchups and some excellent play from the Wizards team cost them three of the matches they needed.

With the Wizards team's victory, everyone who logged in to Magic Online during the Community Cup gets an incredibly impassive Sorrow's Path, updated with a Modern land card frame. How chic! This sleek new addition to your collection will be the envy of everyone who sees it, clearly jealous that they didn't log onto Magic Online to root on the Community Team. You can blame them for the loss if you want, too.

If you didn't enjoy watching wrongwaygoback's Fashion Runway Cube experience or Dan Emmons going off with Doubling Season and Jace, Architect of Thought, see a doctor. If you did, and you'd like to have a chance to get in on the action and meet the people behind the game you love, get active in the community! You control your own destiny! Maybe one day we'll be watching your match in a four-of in a Magic Online Community Cup in the future. Maybe you can take the trophy back, putting it where it belongs: in the hands of the Community!





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Team Points
Community Team 228
Wizards Team 268
  • Cube Draft
  • Unified RGD-R Constructed
  • Multiball Wacky Draft
  • Return to Ravnica Sealed

Wednesday: Cube Draft Recap

by Nate Price

For the eight players fortunate enough to have been selected to represent the Community at this year's Community Cup, the day started off at a low point: the Seattle Underground! While it appeared that this early-morning tour was simply a ploy by Mike Robles to keep the Community Team nice and tired for the first day of play, it actually brought them closer together and paved the way for an exceptional first day of play here at the 2012 Community Cup.

The first event of the weekend was Cube Draft, and the Community Cup participants were the first to get a crack at the Magic Online Cube updated with Return to Ravnica! The first round gave a good idea of what we were in store for as Billy Moreno lost a tight Feature Match against Conley Woods on the last possible second after the absolute perfect draw in the final game. His stolen Arbor Elf proved a bit too unwieldy as he timed out while attempting to pay for a Pact of Negation on the turn he would have been attacking for lethal damage. The entire room erupted in cheers and jeers, causing employees as much as three floors above us to wonder what had happened! At the end of the round, the score stood tied.

The Wizards of the Coast Team felt that they had the superior lineup in place for the opening round, looking to use their stable of experienced Cube drafters and ex-professional players to take a massive early lead that they could simply protect through the rest of the event, but that wasn't to be. The second round provided just as much gut-wrenching suspense, as Moreno once again found himself in a match revolving around the clock, this time coming out ahead. Still, at the end of the round, things remained tied.

Things only shifted during the final round. After commanding 3-0 performances from Shay Hall on the home team and the Community's Jon Loucks, the Wizards of the Coast team narrowly edged out the Community five matches to three, taking a slight 63-55 lead at the end of the day. While they certainly held a lead, this clearly wasn't the massive lead that the Wizards team hoped they would hold as Day One ended. Day Two is up next, with Unified RGDR Constructed providing a wonderful exhibition of deckbuilding skill as former Community member and Conley Woods "protégé" Gavin Verhey takes the reins for the Wizards team and squares off in a deckbuilding competition against Woods. Following that, it's time for the Multiball round, complete with special rules, scoring modifiers, and what is sure to be a whole lot of points changing hands!

A lot is at stake on Day Two, from deckbuilding crowns to Multiball multipliers. Can Wizards hold on to or extend its lead, or will the Community Team overcome the gap to take the lead going into the final day of play? These questions and more will be answered as coverage continues here at the 2012 Community Cup!

Thursday: Unified RGD-R Constructed and Multiball Wacky Draft Recap

by Nate Price

Thursday saw the longest day of play for the Community Team, not able to cycle though players like the Wizards team was able to do. Things started out with optimistic outlooks on the parts of both teams. Both the Community deck building squad, with Conley Woods at the helm, and their Wizards counterparts, headed by former Community representative and Community Cup winner Gavin Verhey, felt very confident with their deck choices for the RGDR Unified Constructed.

After three rounds of play, those feelings of optimism quickly soured for the Community Team. After a series of bad matchups and unfortunate events, the Community Team found themselves down by over 80 points, a seemingly insurmountable hole, even with the upcoming Multiball rounds. The Community players were surprised by their predicament, especially because of the similarities between the Wizards decks and the original versions of their own decks. Did their changes cost them wins, or were they simply victims of circumstance? Regardless of the answer, they needed help, and the Wacky Cube draft would provide it.

Designed by the guys at LoadingReadyRun (except James) and secretly developed in-house at Wizards by Ryan Spain, the Wacky Cube draft was clearly the most popular format of the event for the players, coverage staff, and viewers at home. There were twenty draft restrictions each placed on a whiteboard, and the teams would alternate drafting these restrictions until each member of both teams had a draft rule they had to follow. Examples of these rules were wrongwaygoback's hilarious Look Sharpe draft, where he and Wizards Concept Artist Richard Whitters had to draft the most well-dressed card from each pack, and Lee Sharpe's flurry of notes while drafting Un-Bear-Able, where he had to draft the card that shared the most attributes with Grizzly Bears.

Despite being down immensely, the Community Team rallied, ending up with significantly stronger decks than their Wizards of the Coast counterparts. There were strong performances from Smi77y's 60-card "Constructed" Cube deck and it's massive Genesis Waves and bubba0077's Quick Draw! deck, which had to draft any card that said "draw a card." Who knew card drawing was good?! When the dust settled after the first day, the Community had shaved the point lead all the way down to a manageable 40 points, down 210-170.

Friday: Sealed Recap

by Nate Price

One more event and three more rounds: that's all the Wizards team had between themselves and their first victory in the history of the Magic Online Community Cup! The final event was RTR Sealed Deck, and things looked good for the Community during the build. They had multiple extremely good decks, including Jackie Lee's Armada Wurm/Supreme Verdict/double Vitu-Ghazi Guildmage deck. Needless to say, she cruised to an easy 2-1 performance. The rest of the team stepped up to the plate and delivered a strong performance, but the evil plague of the format, Pack Rats, reared it's ugly head to steal a couple of matches, leaving the Community at 4-4 instead of the advantage they were looking for. Things looked a little better after a 5-3 second round, and the Community pulled within 30 points by virtue of four 2-0 players.

It all came down to the final round. The Community Team needed to go 6-2 to creep back ahead of the Wizards team and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Things started out well, with a quick Conley Woods victory putting them down the path to upset. Things got sketchy when Shawn Main, the man behind the Wacky draft, took out Jon Loucks and his powerful Bant deck. That left only one win to spare. Things continued to go well, with wrongwaygoback and Heath Newton winning their matches. When Jackie's insane deck lost in the final round, it looked like the end was nigh. Within thirty seconds, Dave Humphreys and his triple Azorius Arrester deck we nicknamed "Copland" defeated Smi77y, and the event was over. Despite a serious effort to comeback, the Community Team fell, giving the Wizards the first their first Community Cup victory!