Hang-on, didn’t we already had a blogpost on this site about N00bcon? Yes you we have but I also wanted to write some stuff and a weekend like this deserves all the content it can get.
“Henk, how many friends have you’ve made after your 30th outside of magic?”
This was what Evert asked me on our way back from the only live tournament of 2020 I attended. We just came back from Düsseldorf and we’re discussing what a great tournament Mitja and Reindeer had organised. It was a well needed tournament during the small break when things where allowed again.
Evert was right, I’ve made more friends since the 3 years of playing magic than between my 30th and 37th before that. The atmosphere on these international tournaments is just great, bro hugs all over and even if you see each other only a couple of times a year it feels like meeting old friends, everyone is genuinely interested and it’s what makes me want to visit as many international tournaments I can.
So 2 weeks ago was no different, finally after receiving my invite from Erwin in 2020 I finally get to go to N00bcon and see so many “old” and make new friends, this is my report about it.
February 19th, Richard and me are going to play magic with Evert, Dyan and Erwin at Wilfred’s place in 4K. We are having a good time and Erwin has a surprise for us, we all are handed a dwarven warrior NC invite. Finally after getting one in 2020 I get to go to N00bcon for the first time and best thing, my best buddy who I’ve known since my 14th (through paying magic) Richard was joining as well!
Let’s see if I can go for a playset 😉
Fast forward a couple of months, me and Richard spent weeks talking about what to play, shall I get UW skies, play Robogeddon (https://www.wak-wak.se/monster/2021-11-12/episode-22-robo-geddon)again, a deck I’ve been putting quite good results with or shall we built something new. I decided to test an aggressive blue white build at the Northern Paladin cup in Groningen but the deck just doesn’t feel good. The weekend before N00bcon Richard and I are having a get together with the wives and we agree to brew something together on Monday evening.
On Monday I tell my wife that I will be on a zoom meeting with Rich for about an hour just to tune our deck for Noobcon and I will see her in a bit. It turned out to become a 3,5 hour session and I didn’t even try to explain why we needed so much time.
We started with the Robogeddon list but we both agree that there will be a strong 12-bolt meta so the Juggernauts need to go. I also think Armageddon is less effective as it was because most of the experienced players are prepared for it now. So we remove the Armageddons. Since we are removing the armageddons, why still play white? And what if we could make a list without any City’s of brass because we don’t want to lose life against this aggressive decks. And what not fight fire with fire and add some bolts ourselves? I propose to replace white with red and add bolts and blasts. We managed to make the mana base work without any cities we can now play bottle main and you know what, we even don’t care about blood moon so why not play 2 of them in the sideboard?
After 2,5 hours we had a list we we’re quite happy with (only discussion between me and Rich is 3 or 4 main deck copies, I’m in camp 4). So what do you do when you think you have brewed a solid list? Exactly you sent a message to brew master Anne! Anne actually promised his wife some family time so he won’t join the call but he will join via whatsapp, some final tweaks were made and we have our final list. I go to bed still thinking about all the options but decide to settle on this list. Since the deck had 8 robots and 8 bolts we call it BB-8.
BB-8, a brew of Richard, Henk and tuned by Anne
The day after we I pack the cards and decide to have URb Counterburn as a backup deck in case the deck sucks big time. I have a lot of work to finish and pack my bag. KLM has decided to cancel our flights one week before the trip so the whole Dutch crew (13 in total) needs to rebook and we are divided over 2 flights, Ron, Nick, Dyan and me on the Wednesday, the rest on Thursday morning 07:00.
Wednesday, the big day, we fly out and land somewhere after 23:00 at Gothenburg, we grab a taxi to the hotel and let everyone know we are sitting in the hotel lobby, all of a sudden we have people from all over joining, Mitja and Reindeer walked in, Alex and Wander and Dyan all came in to the way to small lobby. We find a sportbar and play there till somewhere around 02:00. We stand outside talking and Reindeer tries to do his card guessing trick and around 03:00 we arrive at the hotel. Dyan is still up for a game so we grab 2 pints and go to my room to play test a bit more, the room is really tiny and playing on the bed is not that easy but we managed to play till 04:00 and after Dyan tells me the deck has some improvement points we call it a night and go for sleep.
Using a bed as playground is challenging 😉
6 hours later we go for breakfast and the others are about to arrive, once they get to the hotel we need to wait for their rooms to be ready so we go back to the sportsbar and order jugs of beer, 10:30 and we are already on beer, and loads of it. 1 pm we can get into the room and put the stuff in the room and walk towards the Siab00rg festival Christian is hosting in a beautiful location. He asks me to get some cigarettes for him so we get them on the way.
After a long sweaty climb up the hill we arrive at the venue and damn, he wasn’t exaggerating when he said he had arranged a really cool location. We are in a tower with cannons in the room, there is enough space for everyone to play and the bro hugging starts. I see a lot of known faces like Jason, Florian, MG, Slanfan, Aland, the brothers of fire, etc.. people I haven’t seen in two years but it’s great to see them again. Then there are a lot of people I know only from on-line, a couple of people who join my ODOL monthly or I’ve interacted with because of podcasts we’ve recorded. It’s great to finally meet face to face with people like Ole, Gordon, Thomas and of course Seb, I’m probably forgetting a couple names here, sorry for that.
The tournament starts, and we’re off, let’s see how the deck performs. I don’t remember a lot of plays so I will just write what I know about the rounds
Round 1 – Anders Ekman
First round against Anders, a local guy who is really friendly (I will write this a lot probably), I win the first game and saw some white removal with counters, so I guess he’s on a blue white skies, control list. Game 2 all of a sudden I see a phantom monster and a Millstone, he mills away my threats and I lose to 2 phantom monsters. I’m still a bit stunned by what I’ve seen, what is he on. I mange to win game 3 so first round is mine. I still would love to see a deck picture because this was a great game and I still have no clue what his deck was like.
Round 2 – Aland
Aland was in Groningen two week before NC and we tried our best to welcome him in the Dutch community, he has written a great blog about it which you can find here: https://blog.aginamist.net/2022/04/friday-im-in-love-with-groningen.html
Aland is a great guy, good player and he was smashing it in Groningen so I’m in for a heavy battle. I’m not sure how the games went but I believe game 1 was mine on a turn 2 sushi with copy artifact and g2 I manage to mind twist him or he was mana screwed, quick 2-0 for me. Not the magic I would like to play but I’m sure we will get a rematch some day.
Round 3 – Evert Visser
Traveling 1500KM to play against one of your own play group is not what we came for and besides that Evert is one of the toughest opponents you can get in the Netherlands. He has won multiple tournaments and is a consistent top 8-er (in the Netherlands we tend to call it top Evert). Evert told me up front that the 4 glooms in my sideboard won’t do much, I agreed at the end of the day but in this match-up they helped me. I manage to win game 1 probably with some broken stuff. I take in all 4 glooms because he’s on a 4 color good stuff and I need to keep his removal away. I believe he has to mule and keep a hand light on mana, I had a gloom and a su-chi so I keep. I land the gloom and in this case it was effective to keep the disenchant away long enough to go for the kill. 2-0 for me.
Round 4 – Svante Landgraf
I guess it was inevitable, I was 3-0 with 7 others and Svante was one of them. He was on the exact same record as me. Svante is a very good players and on his blog you can read he was leaning a lot to the 12 bolt aggro strategy lately. I knew this was going to be a tough one. Game 1 goes back and fourth I mange to get him on 1 and then he casts 2 bolts and a Psionic blast straight to my face, 10 damage while I’m at 10. Game 2 I get my ass served.
Round 5 – Martin Jordö
Gordon already said that Martin is a really friendly guy and we sit down, I need to win this one, I’m on the draw and Martin opens with a land, Mox into howling mine. I love to draw extra cards but as an old combo player I also know you only play mines if you really need to, I was thinking Twiddle vault or Dreams. I deploy some cards and pas turn. Then he plays a sylvan so he’s on twiddle vault. I need to draw 1 of my 2 shatters because I need to get rid of that mine, unfortunately not so I deploy my robots and try to rush. 2 turns later he goes off and kills me. Next game I manage to shatter his time vault and win. Game 3 he has an insane start where he goes off in turn 2 (technically turn 3 because of a time walk) and I’ve lost.
Round 6 – Hannes Löfgren
Hannes is also a local and plays reanimator, I manage to win game 1 with my fast robots and copies and sideboard in the blood moons, the moon sticks in game 2 and he’s basically unable to do anything, his bazars and duals are worthless and I get an easy win.
In the meantime I get more beers because I won’t make top 8, I ask Richard about my changes (he always calculates those things and I’m too lazy) he thinks there might be a 4-2 going in top 8 depending on draws etc. Luckily for me Svante is 6-0 and I’m Evert’s only loss so my tiebreakers are good.
Reindeer calls everybody together and there is a raffle for charity and after that top 8 get’s announced, Svante, Evert, Morgan, Jason, Øvind, Seb, Alex and me…. I managed to get into top8 just above the Spanish Force Juan. I feel bad for Juan, he’s spent some time in our country and he’s a regular on our tournaments and such a great guy, the only downside is that he always bring purple with him…. 🙂 (Kidding Purple we all love you!!).
Cool so I’m in top 8 and will always be on the draw as everyone is higher ranked, my first matchup? Svante again.
QF – Svante
Well at least I’ve made top 8, Svante is a better player on a better deck, this will probably be over soon. We sit down and the Dutch crew gathers around our table. Game 1 goes quite fast and he wins again with double bolt and Psi blast, damn those hurt. Game 2 he keeps a mana light library hand which is a certain keep. Unfortunately for him is have a strip in my hand and an explosive start. I manage to win this game and we wish each other luck in game 3. Not sure how but I manage to out rush him and win game 3. Wow! I know he’s a real competitive player but he’s a real good sport about it and wishes me luck in the remaining top 8.
My hearth rate is about 180 at the moment and I tell Richard I need a non-stop delivery of beer to put me back into focus, as best friends do, he made sure I never was without. Meanwhile Florian walks up to me to tell it’s really weird that such a bad player with such a bad deck made it into the semi’s. This is running joke he always tells me or maybe he’s serious, you never know with Florian. 🙂
Evert has won his match and Alex has lost So only me and Evert left from the Dutchies.
Semi finals – Jason Schwartz
Jason needs no introduction, it’s great to see him again and I couldn’t have wished for a better opponent in the Semi’s. We play great games dank a beer and I don’t know much of the play’s anymore. I managed to win 2-0 I walk over to Evert and see him lose to Morgan, no Dutch Final. I get beers for me and Richard and prepare for the final, it’s about 01:00 by now.
Me against probably one of the most loved OS players
Finals – Morgan Karlsson
What a great guy, apparently he has been rocking quite some Swedish tournaments lately but I didn’t knew the name. The first game I managed to get a Su-chi and copy out in turn 2 and 3, I beat him and we go to game 2, I believe he had a LoA start but again I top deck a strip mine quite fast and I manage to race him out before he could draw into something good. He congratulates me and I hope I get to play again, he made top 8 again the next day.
Christian congratulates me and hands out the wooden award he always have made for his tournaments, this is the 3rd one going to the Netherlands (Evert has the other two) and It’s standing in my office as a reminder to a great weekend.
Richard, Erwin, Wilfred and me decide to go to the bar close by the hotel to celebrate where we meet the Swedish Mick Jagger (he really looked like him) we drink and dance with him till 03:00 and go to the hotel where Richard and I take a couple of beers and go to Erwin and Wilfred’s room (they left 10 minutes before us) were we listen to music and drink the beers till 04:00, what a great day.
The day after is N00bcon, I wake up somewhere around 10, I get breakfast while Richard is trying to get back to life, at 12, I animate dead him and we go out to get him a sandwich. We change a couple of things to our deck (4th copy, as I told him in the beginning 😉 and exchange the Glooms in the SB (thanks Evert).
I’m well over 2500 words and Richard has described most about the day of N00bcon in his blogpost: https://ragingbullseries.com/index.php/2022/04/20/n00bcon-13-my-little-fantasy/ so I’m actually surprised you’ve made it this far and write another 2500 about NC so just keep it short.
We arrive at the Rotary pub by Taxi and go straight for beers, it really is magical to be there, it’s a lot smaller than it looks in the stream and pictures but what a great group of people. Timmy is already there preparing for the stream, whenever Richard can’t make it he’s my roommate so it’s good to have them both there on this experience.
I have great fun drinking beers with so many people, I’ve played great games against some great opponents! Probably my most fun was against Malroth, wat a wonderful guy that is, not sure he can remember our match J
I ended 4-3 so a positive record, this day was Richards turn who now with the same 75 made semifinals where he was kicked out by Joel, apparently quite an established name in the pro-tour world but as I found out the next day more important a really nice guy to hang around and play cards with. Timmy and I stayed till the end and we took a taxi home with a pitstop at the kebab shop at 03:00.
Nothing beats a “turkse Pizza” after so many beers
The next day was Wizards tournament but as I don’t own any Alpha and didn’t wanted to loan a deck Richard, Seb and me decided to host something in a rooftop bar, we had 10 people showing up playing some cube and a mini-tournament where the finals was between Alex and Aland. Most importantly Aland kicked my ass with DFB green (he wouldn’t forgive me if I wouldn’t mention it so here’s to you Aland! We stayed in the bar and eventually Erwin, Chef and me went out to a club to close of the night and a great weekend!
Thanks everybody for the laughs and contributing to this great community, thanks Christian for hosting a great tournament and MG, thanks for the great N00bcon experience and the reminder below. 🙂
And another highlight is my first win ever against my friendly Nemesis:
Next on the agenda for me:
-Knights of thorn
Hopefully I will see some of you there!