n00bcon 11 in Analogue Motion

Paul DeSilva
4 min readJun 15, 2019

In April of 2019, I was one of the few lucky owners of something intangible but coveted, an invite to n00bcon, the World Championship of Old School Magic. The event consists of the main tournament and the Wizard’s Tournament (as well as the main main event, and a ton of other player run events throughout the weekend).

The Wizard’s Tournament is a bit of a goofy one-off (now two-off) tournament that tries to recreate what Magic could have looked like in August of 1993, just after Alpha was released but before Beta. That means it’s a wild west of cards being played as written, no 4x limits on cards, and no banned or restricted list. In the spirit of maintaining this illusion of time travel, cell phones and digital photography were highly discouraged, which meant this was the perfect time to try out my new Nishika N8000 3D camera, a plastic self-contained film camera with 4 slightly offset lenses.

At the base of that tower in the distance sits the Rotary Pub, where travelers from around the world vie for fame and glory. A few of us had rented a huge house together that was only a 15 minute walk away which meant we at least got an hour of fresh air over the duration of the 2 day marathon tournament.

The commencement speech for WTII is delivered by Mg, beer in hand, cloaked in his 6-player Khalsa Brain playmat.

Brother Stebbo is pictured here in an early round of WTII, adorned in intimidating threads. But is a Shivan on the chest better than a Dragon Whelp on the board? I suppose we’ll find out.

Mg and Svante sit down to sling some Alpha on one of the first (or perhaps the first?) playmat made for more than 2 players. Looks like a Twiddle is about to end in 9 damage to some unseen asshole’s poor face.

Brother Stebbo faces down Brian Weissman in the semi-finals in a match that requires 2 metres of table space due to a handful of Chaos Orbs being active throughout the match. Stebbo beats Weissman and proceeds to the finals going on to be crowned The People’s Champion!

Winners are announced from atop the same high perch along with Lanigra, winner of WTI and judge of today’s ridiculousness.

A collection in an Ice Cream container, a deck of hero cards, and a half finished beer. Here’s a cheers to the end of day 1.

Day 2 begins and Will Magrann is prepared for battle. They say demons run when a good man goes to war. Luckily there are no good men here, only demons.

Coverage of the tournament is live! Easter eggs are being gifted! The full coverage is available somewhere online but I wouldn’t recommend anyone subject themselves to the full 12 hours of drunken screeching.

“Mano, how are you?” “Not great, Bob.” Little does Bob know that Mano got all the way to the semi-finals, then lost, disgracing his friends, family, and America in front of a global audience.

This is the last image I was able to take before the camera jammed around midnight. This isn’t even long into the tournament which ended at 7am in broad daylight.

I hope you enjoy this brief recap of n00bcon 11, now in full analogue motion.

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Paul DeSilva

Old School Magic player and head of Sisters of the Flame.