The League of Scrying Gentlemen

For the past 2 years, the Sisters of the Flame have been holding an offsite Old School event alongside Magic Fest New Jersey (1,2) and when the date was finally announced this year, I started to get messages asking if we were reprising the role. Unfortunately, the date was announced pretty late and GloryCon, the Old Order’s first major OS event, was already in the books for that weekend. Having two events on the same day in near proximity would certainly lead to some cannibalizing of attendees. I hit up Mike Frantz and we decided to turn a scheduling conflict into a scheduling windfall. He would keep GloryCon on Saturday, I would move our event to Sunday, and we’d give a prize to whoever came out of both tournaments with the highest combined record! Mike commissioned a friend to alter a card for this purpose and once it was done and shared to the community, people were suddenly registering for both events left and right, excited to run this Old School marathon.

After our last event, which incorporated the oft forgotten Vanguard card set, I wanted this event to be similarly wackadoo. Luckily, Magnus, progenitor of Old School Magic as we know it, had just released his newest experiment: Scryings. With attention to balance and expounding upon ideas started in the OS sets, Scryings adds a selection of hand chosen cards ranging from Fallen Empires to Weatherlight, acting as an optional expansion set for Old School. I decided to make our event Swedish rules + Scryings, but maintain the American reprint policy. Additionally, because GloryCon would follow the Gentlemen’s rules (Library of Alexandria & Mind Twist are banned), I decided to maintain congruity and follow suit. If we want to see what it’s like to play with these new cards, a turn 1 Mind Twists for 7 sure isn’t the way to do it.

Thus, The League of Scrying Gentlemen was created.

I called the venue that’s hosted us the past two years, everybody’s favorite Jimmy Buffett themed restaurant, ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’, and they were happy to host us once more. Seeing as our past events have been around 25 to 30 people (and I figured Scryings might not be everybody’s cup of tea), I set the cap at 32 players and lit the beacon. That cap was very quickly reached and I suddenly had another 6 people on the waiting list. I spoke to the venue and got approval to lift the cap and the registrations kept flowing.

In our desire to be the best Sisters we can be, 100% of the entry fees for our events are donated to various women’s charities. Our first raised $500 for Women in Need, our second raised $600 for Madre, and I’m proud to report that with the total combined entry fees of this event (and some additional generous donations by Chris “Cubbs” McCubbin and Nate Gates), we were able to rase $1,300 for Girls Who Code!!

+$100 donated independently by Chris McCubbins

I’m absolutely blown away when the community can come together to do something like this. If you don’t read any further, this tournament report is already a success.

[wipes tears] Moving on.

Mike Frantz and I had decided early that if we’re going to make this a collaborative weekend, we should definitely attend one another’s events. Sister Jelani and I made the trip to GloryCon and it was one of the most well run events I’ve ever attended.

Chandeliers and portraiture!? I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

Everything was on schedule, the catering was unreal, and the space was perfectly sized for the 55 players that showed up (in stark contrast to our chaotic event, haha). I won’t cover GloryCon because Mike has already written a fantastic tournament report but I will say that when the next Old Order event comes around, I will be there!

Ok, on to Scryings! In the weeks leading up to this event, I knew it was going to be an interesting meta because everybody would message me saying “Dude, I think I’ve built a totally unbeatable Scryings deck.” And when everybody thinks they have it all figured out, you know you’re in for a good time. I think this is a testament to Magnus’ card selection. They allow so many new strategies that the possibilities are overwhelming at first. As you’ll see, this tournament provides an interesting look into the meta, but I’m sure you’ll see new decks emerge the more Scryings is played.

When the morning of the tournament finally arrived and the last stragglers were registered, we ended up with and even 50 Mages!! While this would normally necessitate going from 5 rounds to 6, we actually came out of round 5 with only one person at 5–0 and decided to cut it off there. I’m not going to go too much into the minutiae of the rounds themselves (because I didn’t personally play in the event), but I can say that I was asked to answer plenty of questions that I didn’t completely know the answer to.

At the end of the day, Don Perrien came out as the undefeated champion! Funny enough, his deck is also EC/ATL legal, built on the big butt of Derelor (one of the Scryings approved FE cards). I’ll leave it to you to speculate upon what that means for the meta as you peruse the deck lists, listed in order of placement. There are a few recurring themes here: Reanimator, Twiddle Vault, Mask-nought, Eureka, Goblins, and Mono Green among others. Some went heavy on Scryings cards — some chose to play none — but no two decks came exactly the same. Enjoy!

1st Place: Don Perrien

2nd Place: Levi Baumgardner

3rd Place: Rubens Campana

4th Place: Philip Dituri

5th Place: Charles Klein

6th Place: Sammy Haghour

7th Place: Will Parshall

8th Place: Jason Beaupre

9th Place: Mike Harris

10th Place: Tom Simons

11th Place: Christian Aguanno

12th Place: Brian Knepper

13th Place: Mark Evaldi

14th Place: Dominic Dotterrer

15th Place: Jeffrey Anand

16th Place: Jesse Switzer

17th Place: Jimmy Cooney

18th Place: Chris Guerrette

19th Place: Blake Burkholder

20th Place: Chris ‘Cubbs’ McCubbin

21th Place: Seth Roncoroni

22nd Place: Jelani Johnson

23rd Place: Jason Komninos

24th Place: Justin Iskra

25th Place: Jeff Folinus

26th Place: Nate Gates

27th Place: Andrew Walker

28th Place: Jason Morawski

29th Place: Marc flore

30th Place: Andrew Mattus

31st Place: John Gehling

32nd Place: Andy Baquero

33rd Place: Brian Popkin

34th Place: Jason caron

35th Place: Nick Catania

36th Place: Michael Scheffenacker

37th Place: Ben Katz

38th Place: Daniel Kelly

39th Place: Melody Catania

40th Place: Patrick Doughtery

41st Place: Douglas Miles

42nd Place: Brett Attmore

43rd Place: Steven Smith — Pic Unavailable

44th Place: Mike Frantz

45th Place: Tom Martin

46th Place: Matthew Stapleton

47th Place: Paul Kovalov

48th Place: Zac Clark

49th Place: Noah Hayden

50th Place: Jason Dorman

I had decided not to go with a spice award, as this being the first time for anybody brewing in this space, all the decks would be spicy to some extent. Instead, we gave an award for most Scryings cards played. That being said, I have to call out two decks. First, Will Parshall proved that Scryings provides us plenty of interesting tools to make raise Lich Combo up a tier or two. Taking an already rarely-seen deck in Old School and figuring out the perfect new suite of cards to take it to a 7th place finish deserves a nod: Zuran Orb, City of Solitude, and Infernal Contract all worked together to put combo in the top 8. Second, Nate Gates utilized Chronatog and Political Trickery along with Mana Vortex to create a mono blue burn deck with some surprises that took him to a 26th place win. Killer decks, boys!

We also had a very generous donation by Petr Bocak who threw a CE Choas Orb into the prize pool. We decided to figure out who didn’t own a Chaos Orb and award it to whoever finished highest out of that pool. Chris Guerrette, who has apparently been circling Old School for a while but had never dived in, was convinced to come to the event by his friend Marc Flore and ended up taking home the Orb. His joy in winning it has me convinced that we just recruited the newest member of our community. So it goes.

Don Perrien took down the tournament undefeated and Rubens Campana took down the weekend, losing only 1 match over the course of both tournaments combined! Congrats to both of you!

Don & Rubens
Zac & Blake arguing over who is more BK
The coveted comfortable booth situation
Rubens deep in thought
“Um, what does it do again?”
Jeff is dressed for Paradise in January
Cooney and Andrew doing battle math
Economy of space
Graveyard matters
Guess I have to mull to 6
Wait, turn 2, attack for 24?
The mono green mirror looks more like a fun-house
There’s no medication for this number of wurms
Chris Guerrette, winner of his first Chaos Orb!

And there you have it. I want to thank everyone that came out to our tournament to try this crazy new experiment for the first time. Just like at our Vanguard event, I overheard the words “That was the best game of Magic I’ve ever played!” uttered on more than one occasion. And I hope the bests get bested next time.

-Paul DeSilva

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

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