PasCon 2015

Last weekend it was Lauri’s and Sarianna’s (Lauri’s wife) fifth anniversary. For the Guild, that’s just another excuse to play games. (Hopefully Sarianna was aware of this plan.) Since this was pretty close to our usual annual event, PasCon, this sort of became it. (And hopefully, the guests outside of the Guild weren’t too bothered about what they had to witness.)

Since quite a few of the writers on this were there as well (well, everyone except Ville), we decided to join forces and make a common report. So, this might be a bit long. Hang on, there’s bound to be some good parts in there somewhere.

— Aki

Aki’s PasCon

I arrived late Friday night, right after finishing up judging the Modern FNM at the LGS. I played the event myself (as I always do) and went 1-3 with monoblue budget Faeries. (Its a fun deck, but not for the Spikes out there.) Games were over for the night, so I just went to the sauna, took a dip in the cold lake water, ate and socialized. I go to bed around 3AM.

… and I got up around half past eight. To play Magic, of course. We played a couple of games of EDH with Lauri, Mikko (not the Mikko writing on this blog) and later Risto in the morning. I brought out my Balthor the Defiled deck, which I hadn’t played before. The basic idea is that I try to do a lot of things with creatures, so that I can get plenty of triggers by activating Balthor. I also try to sacrifice my creatures, because I know I’ll get them back anyhow.

First game didn’t go very well and I lost having done pretty much nothing in the whole game. I did make the game a bit harder for my opponents with Necroplasm that just wouldn’t go away.

The second game was more about our tiredness then anything else. When there were just two of us at the table, I had a Bile Blight in hand, when my opponent had 10 goblin tokens and a Skullclamp in play. I just didn’t think to use my Blight. On the other hand, my opponent failed to attack with the goblins when my lifetotal was only 7. I won that one in the end, but barely.

The third game was again quite different. Although I got Magister Sphinxed (twice, actually) I managed to get enough defenses into the air to grind out the game. I managed to keep my self alive with Gray Merchant of Asphodel and eventually forced my opponent to sacrifice all relevant creatures with Butcher of Malakir by killing my own Withered Wretch, Gravecrawler and Nether Traitor with Pestilence. It seemed pretty close, but actually I held all the tools I needed to win for a very long time. Just needed the right opportunity to use them.

From there I jumped into a game of Carcassonne. There was plenty of expansions available, but we decided to go with the basic game (well, we did have the River expansion, but in the Finnish version its pretty much default as it comes with the basic game), but with all the pieces from the expansions in use). My usual strategy of relying on farming subsidies backfired when the first farm I took over didn’t produce that many cities, and while my other farmer did much better, it wasn’t nearly enough to win.

Although there was some talk of which cities look most like male genitalia, surprisingly enough, it wasn’t the guild members at the table who were most interested in this topic.

Viljami arrived around the time we were through with the game and wanted to test out his Standard deck. He lives in a city with not that much activity Standard-wise, so he was eager to get some games in. I played the Abzan Aggro I’ve been playing lately in major tournaments, and a monogreen concoction. Neither was really in my favored state, because I had loaned out my Thoughtseizes and the decks shared a set of Den Protectors I didn’t want to move between decks, so I put in a couple of Evolutionary Leaps and Nissa, Vastwood Seers.

For this matchup, the Abzan Aggro was better off with the Warden of the First Trees against a fast deck, while the monogreen could’ve really used the low drop. (Meaning, the Abzan Aggro crushed, while the Monogreen matchup was pretty close.)

Meanwhile, some of the guys were thinking about putting together an EDH game, but I intervened with a box of boosters from the Theros block and proposed we do a draft. We got six people together for it. I began my draft with a couple of Bloodcrazed Hoplites and Bladetusk Boars, which were both great. I could see early on that white was very open, but I was also getting what I wanted in these two colors (even though there was a red player on immediate right and a black player on his right), so I made a black-red deck. It did seem for a very long time like I wasn’t getting creatures, but eventually that changed and I could even cut a couple from my deck. I had a nice, low curve, a decent amount of removal and a few great tricks. I ended up winning the draft 4-1 (we played round-robin), winning over Lauri on tie-breakers (first of which was the result of our match).

I didn’t jot down the exact list, but it looked something like this:

We paused our gaming to go to the sauna again. After that we played some Saboteur. Its a pretty simple game where you just build a tunnel to get the gold. However, there are problems. First, you don’t know where the gold is exactly. Second, you don’t always get the tools you need. Third, there are saboteurs. Someone in the group is trying to stop the others from achieving their goal.

The saboteurs were pretty unlucky, because out of the three rounds, only one game had more than one saboteur. If the saboteur is alone, he or she is going to be at a very big disadvantage, because he can’t really chance getting caught as he could easily be taken out of the game.

After that, things were beginning to wind down, but we did get one more EDH game in with Viljami and Risto. This time I played my Meloku the Clouded Mirror deck, which is supposed to produce a bunch of tokens and then make them count for something with cards like Day of the Dragons, Djinn of Infinite Deceits and Mass Polymorph (all of which made an appearance in this game). The deck also has a limited number of big creatures I can cheat out by Polymorphing and of course plenty of card draw and control elements.

(I did notice I should have taken out the Ixidron as it tends to do more harm than good in this deck.)

For some reason everything just fell into place. I did take plenty of early damage, but I also did have a clear goal in mind. I was able to get out Omniscience early through Walking Atlas and Recurring Insight (which let me draw the lands I needed), and following that up with all the bomb creatures I had drawn, and then making them into dragons with the aforementioned Day. (I was happy to hide my Blightsteel Colossus under the enchantment, because I needed fliers against Viljami’s demons.) Having access to Capsize was pretty awesome, because I was able to play all sorts of tricks by returning the Day to my hand while being able to replay it.

In the end I won through some tutoring and hijacking of my resources pretty easily.

After that we got into a discussion about Games Workshop with Viljami and Harri, and later on after Harri went to bed, little bit about Viljami’s comic projects before finally going to bed around 4AM.

Lauri’s PasCon

As the host of this whole shenanigan naturally was a bit different from Aki’s. I did have big plans of roleplaying games, tournaments and our annual panel discussion. I really did. But when most of your group consists of people who enjoy drinking and you like to join them I kind of went sideways.

Aki said he arrived after the games had already ended at Friday but that’s not true. At least to my knowledge we didn’t play anything at all then. Friday was our anniversary date and thus it was just for partying. But since the location I had rented for the event extended for the whole weekend and PasCon just had to happen then I had informed all participants (even my wife) that Saturday would be for games.

Anyone with any knowledge about these kind of weekends knows from the beginning that it is doomed to fail but so what?

My gaming day started (as Aki said) with EDH. I got to play my Alesha, Who Smiles At Death and managed to win the first round. Then it was time for my Elder Leviathan Highlander deck that got beaten. And lastly I played my very favourite deck (at the moment) Collateral Damage and that ended even more quickly. It usually does though so it wasn’t that bad.

After EDH I played a game of Caribbean that is simply put one of the best beer & pretzels game I know. It isn’t that famous but if you are into bidding games (or games that you can play while having rum) I definitely can recommend it.

Lastly I took part in the draft Aki started. I drew Temple of Epiphany from the first booster and since I have always wanted that card I decided to go with UR. I got really lucky and chose the heroic scheme from early on and managed to draft good cards for it. Stormbreath Dragon did not hurt (at least against Viljami’s mono-white deck) either but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

I ended up winning most of the matches and according to Aki’s booking would have won in a differently named tournament since I had more wins than Aki or something but ended up loosing to him since he won the match against me. I might blame it on different things but I still pretty excited that I managed to even score that high with all the drinking I had been doing.

After the draft ended I just socialised and drank and sang till I just had to go to sleep. Aki was still playing (EDH if I recall correctly) but I was just too exhausted to participate.

While I think we missed the opportunity for an actually good gaming con here we all still had a pretty good time. Next year I’m considering of organising the event at a more sober environment. It will after all be the fifth time this convention takes place!

(I’ll publish this post now but Viljami might still have something to add here. I know I’ll try to remember to add photos.)

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