Dec 20, 2018289 views

See the World, Play the Game

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I recently found myself in Hong Kong on a short vacation with my parents. They are both well into their 70s and needed some help getting around and navigating the city. Like the good son that I am, I met them there and was able to spend time with them and visit one of my favorite cities in the world! While I was in Hong Kong I wanted to check out the local Magic scene. Wherever I travel, I often try to scout out the popular local game stores (LGSs) to get a sense of what other Magic communities look like. I remember visiting a few LGSs when I was in Europe for various Pro Tours (Brussels and Madrid) as well as when I was in Kyoto and Osaka last year for the GP and PT there. I’ve been lucky enough to meet many players from around the world, so when I realized that I would have some time in Hong Kong to play in a LGS event I got in touch my friend and Pro Tour top 8 competitor Yam Wing Chun to ask him about the Hong Kong Magic scene. I was hoping to play in a Modern event to help me prepare for the upcoming RPTQ for Pro Tour Ravnica Allegiance, but alas my schedule only lined up with the weekly Wednesday night Standard tournament at League Castle Company.
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League Castle is located in the Mong Kok neighborhood of Hong Kong, which is an extremely lively and bustling part of the city with lots of entertainment and night markets. Getting out of the subway station I was immediately lost in a sea of neon and pedestrians. Luckily Yam sent me this great picture of the building entrance that I needed to look for along with the description “There are usually 2 or 3 women holding human-tall signboards for an eyeglass store in front of the entrance to the building”
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Once I found my way into the lobby, I headed up to the 15th floor to League Castle. I brought with me Benjamin Weitz’s Big Red Machine deck. The deck is pretty great, but my one complaint is the number of tokens you need to lug around – Treasure, Constructs, Goblins, City’s Blessing, Elemental – not conducive to packing light! The Big Red Machine 4 Dire Fleet Daredevil 4 Goblin Chainwhirler 1 Goblin Cratermaker 3 Legion Warboss 4 Rekindling Phoenix 4 Siege-Gang Commander 4 Treasure Map 2 Shivan Fire 2 Shock 3 Banefire 4 Lava Coil 24 Mountain 1 Arch of Orazca Sideboard: 2 Sorcerous Spyglass 2 Fiery Cannonade 1 Shivan Fire 2 Karn, Scion of Urza 1 Banefire 3 Fight with Fire 3 Star of Extinction 1 Arch of Orazca
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The tournament itself went pretty well. I got to play against three great opponents: Jack who beat me in 3 games with 5 color Lich’s Mastery, T.C. on Jeskai Control who I was able to overcome in 2 games, and Tony whose Golgari graveyard deck gave me a run for my money, but I was able to eek out the win in 3 close games. My barely above average 2-1 performance put me in the prize pool, but most importantly I beat Yam in the standings!
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Easily the best part of the night was after the tournament when Yam and several of the Hong Kong local players invited me out to eat. We ended up in a part of the city that I would never have found on my own and had a late dinner at a snack food style restaurant, eating on foldable tables and stools on the sidewalk. I got the opportunity to try new foods (like popcorn chicken cartilage!) and new beers while getting to know a little more about Magic in Hong Kong!
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Hope you enjoyed reading about my trip. Stay tuned for more updates and content from me and the rest of the Massdrop MTG Team!
(Edited)
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Darkgentleman, ltopper, and 3 others
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