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GenCon 2013 Photo Diary


Sunday, The End

Gen Con Indy 2013 is over.


But it went out not with a whimper, but a bang.

The last day is always bittersweet. Friends say farewell, the venue gets stripped down, and the world that is Gen Con comes to a close. And it's always an exciting stretch.

The 20th anniversary event for Magic was a combination of drafting some of the earliest sets, then Rochester drafting the rest.

Just about everything, from Beta through Modern Masters and Magic 2014 was on hand.

The packs, set side by side, covered about half the eight foot table.

This is what a Top 8 filled with Beta drafters looks like.

Beta, Unlimited, Revised, Arabian Nights, Antiquities, Legends, Portal: Three Kingdoms, and Zendikar.

You might think Zendikar was the booby prize of the first half of the draft. You would be wrong.

Rochester drafting the rest of Magic's expansions is hard.


It wasn't 20 years, but a wacky draft courtesy of Sam Black was a nice way to round out the gaming.

That's a 4/6, flying, first strike, shadow. Not mine. I still won that game. Somehow.

Sam's deck was ludicrous, as one might expect from his set of skills.

But thanks to the hard work of Adam Jansen and R&D's own Shawn Main, our team pulled through.

As the hall was closing there were deals to be had. I took the liberty to get in on the action.

It might have been the end of Gen Con Indy 2014, but there's one thing I'll never forget: the St. Elmo's shrimp cocktail.

hope you can make it to Gen Con Indy in 2014. See you there!

Saturday, The Rush

Day 3 of Gen Con 2013 is all about the people. Everyone comes into town for Saturday. One day badges make the Saturday rush a thing to be feared.

But I was unafraid.

I was planning to meet more friends, jump into games, and finally unleash the inner Magic I had pent up. This is how I did it.


It was time for a new Commander deck. Kaervek the Merciless was long overdue.

Cheap spells help smooth out the early turns in Commander.

Mana fixing and ramping is needed to make red-black shine. So are a few advantage engines.

Clearing away creatures is a good business to be in.

A few Demons and kill spells never hurt anybody...

...but burn spells and life draining has killed plenty of players.

It took an hour but the monstrosity was complete.



Andrew Magrini was my first victim of mayhem.

Brian was my second.

My opening hand was full of promise...

...and it delivered an early Olivia Voldaren as desired.

Kaervek the Merciless was quick to meet his demise...

...but Anowon, the Ruin Sage and a Drain Life made up for it.

With Horobi, Death's Wail out, Oblivion Stone's fate counter ability did the opposite job.

Andrew's Yawgmoth's Will was comically small...

...but his Buried Alive was dangerously devilish.

Brian's Aura Shards was doing some serious work against artifacts.

With a Fault Line to drop life totals low...

...and a Consume Sprit to even it to three each for Andrew and Brian...

...Exsanguinate was more than enough to finish the job.


But Commander wasn't the only game I came to play. Kaijudo is a game that I finally decided to try.


Lauren Lee is talented enough to win an uncut foil sheet...

...but was kind enough to humor me through my games.


Saturday is also the cosplay parade, where hundreds of attendees join in a procession of pageantry, celebrating their inner characters come to life.

Avacyn, Angel of Hope was intimidating...

...and Chandra promised a world of pain...

...but facing four planeswalker superpowers is a challenge no one is up to.

It was a day filled with Magic and friends, a typical Saturday for Gen Con Indy.

Friday, the Rise of Cardhalla

Day 2 of Gen Con 2013 is in the books, and the halls are already overfilled with gamers. It'd be easy to queue continuously for events and live the dream of gaming for days straight.

But that's not what brings me back to Gen Con Indy every year.

One of the ways I really enjoy Magic is by looking at the art: Flavor, style, and beauty are just three of the ways art will leap out to me. It's personal, like every creative endeavor, but the passion and skill required to create art for the gaming industry is easy to underestimate.

Some artists have been coming to Gen Con for more than a decade, and have no plans to stop. Some artists are rebuilding the history of the games they'd done work for. Some are just here for the fans and chance to sell their art even further.

They all shared with a little bit of what they've done in the Magic world.

Jason Engle cuts a serene figure in his booth...

...but his Blessing is well worth the wait.

Of course I had cards for Jason to sign, like all of the artists here at Gen Con.

Mark Poole might be known for Magic's beginnings...

...but his cards are still just as interesting today.

Artist Guest of Honor Brom had some treasures in my Pauper cube and Commander Box.

Drew Baker, too, had gems that I regularly use.

It might be a lonely one, but Monte Moore's Darkwater Catacombs is still a handy card for Commander.

Wayne Reynolds had not just a pile of cards in my Pauper Cube...

...but a pile for my Commander box as well.

Noah Bradley was hard at work signed cards and sharing his time for an Inside the Deck interview./em>

"They asked for a tuning fork in an island." was all Noah needed to share.

Ralph Horsley took his sketch of Veinfire Border pretty seriously.

Jeff Menges has some older card art too...

...but his efforts to get The Gathering art book off the ground are just as admirable.

The talented April Lee rounded out the oldest cards I have to be signed.

Charles Urbach shared his alternate sketches for Darkslick Shores on his proofs of them.

Of course, Cardhalla is where every attendee can help create something beautiful too...

...and it seems as though everyone takes up the chance.

This is just scratching the surface of art at Gen Con: Whether you want to find the artists of other games, new artists looking to break into the industry, or just have a chance to create yourself you'll find what you're looking for every year at Gen Con.

Will you be planning a trip for something beyond gaming?


Thursday, So it Begins

Day 1 of Gen Con 2013 is wrapped up, and it's been a whirlwind of adventure already. Gen Con is unlike nearly any other gaming event. Every game you can imagine is here, and hundreds more you haven't seen. As big as Magic is, it's just a slice of the life in Indy right now. For many of us, the first day is just a sample - from every corner of the convention center we can find the tastes and treasures we'll return for day after day.

These are the tastes I found the best.


The press room banner isn't easy to miss...

...and neither are some games.

We queue as a horde, waiting to be unleashed into the trade hall...

...though many more find they don't need to step inside.

Treasures of every type imaginable can be found...

...but you can't always take one home with you.

Enemies can be strikingly near...

...but old friends are there to show you the way.




Some things are bound for friends back home...

...and others are just things we've been looking for.

Be sure to follow along even more adventures this weekend on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. There's

plenty more that didn't make the cut here for you to check out.

And if you like cube drafts, cosplayers, and upcoming games, you're in for a treat as Gen Con presses on!


Wednesday, The Gathering Magic Party

It's the night before GenCon, but the party's already started. Adam organized a Gathering Magic party at Kilroy's Bar and Grill; food was had, Magic was played, custom tokens were given out, and good times were had by all. Check out just a few of the awesome goings-on at the Gathering Magic party at Gencon:

We gathered at Kilroy's Bar and Grill for food, drink, Magic, and fun

Custom Gathering Magic tokens make awesome party favors. These were done by Eric Klug

Andre came to draw tokens as well, but playmats are his specialty.

It wasn't long before the first batch ran out, so Klug got to work on more.

Good parties need great food. Stuffed breadsticks are the specialty at Kilroy's.

When you get a bunch of Magic players together, Commander is bound to happen sooner than later.

Cube aficionado Adam Prosak made an appearance and packs were cracked shortly thereafter

The Fragdolls made an appearance, including Magic Online Community Cup competitor, Sunie

They came from France to go to GenCon, but they decided to party with Gathering Magic first.

Familiar faces: Andrew Magrini(middle), Erin Campbell (left), Drew Sitte (right), and Brendan Weiskotten (Top)

Elspeth appears where there was nothing before

It's nearing midnight, but the party is just getting started.

My favorite was Andre's Mighty Morphin' Soldier token.


Check back every day for a new update from the previous day of Gencon and be sure to keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for updates throughout the day.

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