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A New Writer and a Cool Story

Alyssa September 17, 2021 16


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I’d like to start off by introducing myself to Nerd Entertainment Hub’s following. My name is Alyssa L. (‘aka’ Phantomess), an avid gamer and nerd culture enthusiast, excited to join the NEH team. In the past, I have written for several gaming blogs, including NerdyButFlirty and FemHype. Additionally, I have also created and maintained several personal blogs in the past; however, the blogs and their content have since been archived and I am no longer creating new posts for them.

A picture of me, wearing my headset

During the day, I am a high school English teacher, who is looking for her next great opportunity. However, in the meantime, it has been a goal of mine to not only enjoy playing video games, but to resume writing and talking critically about games and nerd culture.

As I’m sure you can imagine, It’s also pretty fun to analyze games from the same place as literature and vice versa (recycled themes, much?). More on that, eventually…

So, let’s get into it:

My love for nerd culture stretches everywhere from card games to indie games and everything in between. In this sentence, I was originally going to write a list of the games and media I enjoy and that you’ll see me cover, but the list is honestly way too long. And of course, I couldn’t decide which items to actually include on the list, if I were to only list a few. 

If I had to write it all down, the list of nerd hobbies and games I enjoy would be this long

So, let’s just say that for today, we’ll be talking about Magic: the Gathering, its upcoming set (Innistrad: Midnight Hunt) and something really cool that happened to me recently, while playing Magic at my local game store.

Something Really Cool:

I’ve spent a lot of time playing Magic: the Gathering, and have explored many of its formats over the years. Right now, I would say my favorite format is limited (drafting) and I am very excited to play in the upcoming prerelease for the newest set, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt.

Innistrad, a gothic horror themed plane made its multiverse debut in 2011, returned in 2016, and is returning again in just one week! Cleverly timed to coincide with Halloween, Innistrad features werewolves, spirits, warlocks, zombies and vampires.

Once Upon a Time, I reached Mythic in constructed on Magic the Gathering: Arena.

So, at the prerelease for the latest set, Dungeons and Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms (a Dungeons and Dragons crossover set), I drafted a blue, black, and green colored deck. I’m typically hesitant to use three colors in any draft deck; however, I thought my mana base was good and I had a lot of good cards in each of these colors.

To my surprise, my three-colored deck won the first and second rounds, without any losses (typically, at a competitive Magic event, each round is best two of three). Round three came around and I was seated at table one because of my good record. Across from me (my opponent) was an older man, who seemed somewhat surprised that his opponent was a young female. He wanted to know what my record was and how and when I started playing Magic, until eventually we started playing.

The games were very close. I won the first game by the skin of my teeth and he won the second. Several blunders throughout the game caused us to consult a judge multiple times. For some reason this made me very nervous. During game three, the time for the round expired and there was no winner, which meant the whole round ended in a draw.

It wasn’t until after the games were over that my opponent introduced himself as Michael Locanto, the 1996 Magic: The Gathering pro-tour winner. I had no idea who he was, until he pulled out a copy of his 1996, gold bordered deck*, pro-tour deck to show me and other spectators. It was evident that other people at the shop knew who he was from the moment he stepped in the door. 

As a special gift for beating him (even thought it was only one win), I was given a copy of a gold bordered Blinking Spirit (a pro-tour worthy deck addition in 1996), autographed by Locanto, with the text: “To Alyssa: You Beat Me :(“ He then went on to tell me that I was the only person to beat him in a game all night!

After this success, I am very excited to go back and play in the prerelease of the new set this upcoming weekend. Are you planning on going to the prerelease for Innistrad: Midnight Hunt? If so, what are you most excited for?

Michael Locanto signed card, which says “To Alyssa: You Beat Me :(“

*Gold bordered cards in Magic “were first seen in the Pro Tour Collector Set, released in 1996, with a print run of just 20,000 that put it on par with the original Collector’s Edition. This box set contained copies of the eight most successful decks at the very first Pro Tour, which was held in New York City earlier that year” (TCGPlayer).

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