Local Magic Gaming Community Spotlight: MTG in Grimsby with Mark Pinder

£20 PTQs & Dinosaurs by Magic by Mark Pinder

The Grimsby Magic Club

Recently it was suggested that we cover the communities in the UK and feature their players.  Well I’ve decided that actually it would be nice to feature my friends who regularly play Magic in Grimsby.

The Grimsby Club started in November 2006 but didn’t start running events until Easter 2008, since then we’ve progressed to be able to run Pre-releases and FNM achieving Core status though Advanced Status may not be a practical goal. We are allied with our local store D Hewins Models and Hobbies having a successful partnership.

Grimsby is not without history within the greater UK Magic scene with Nicolas Moss-Allison going to Worlds many years ago, today we are a more modest bunch but several members have played in GB Nationals and travelled to Europe on the GP circuit.

Over the past year we’ve had a traumatic time, numbers dropped at the start of 2011 to the point we were struggling to regularly get eight players every week. M12 brought in a wave of new players and everything looked rosy, then post Innistrad and the Standard rotation we lost several players making things look bleak again. Fortunately though we had a core of younger players who all attended a local school together, they’ve been teaching their siblings and friends to play.

Magic is quite healthy in the town now, we play midweek on a Wednesday like we have always done since the start of the club, though we know share the venue with other card games as we diversified to ensure we could cover the room rental. The good thing is some of the Yu-Gi-Oh players now play both games and help support our numbers.

We do run FNM on Fridays, we usually run at least twice per month if not more often, sometimes Fridays are just casual testing nights if we cannot get enough people to attend. Wednesday tends to be our biggest night and frequented by the older players, Fridays tend to have the younger players as it is no longer a school night.

The club demographic does sway towards the younger players now, this has created an environment of co-operation and pragmatism on deck design. Very few players can just go out and buy the deck they want, players work together to try and build something different so the card pool is not drained with everyone trying to run Zombies.

Our model is £2.00 per event, £1.00 for the venue and £1.00 into the prize pool which we use to buy boosters for every three players who attend with the winner getting one and door prizes, when we hit twelve players second place is guaranteed a booster and alternates between door and the next highest finisher.

Many of the players as mentioned have very little disposable income and winning a booster can be a big thing, however, when you are only on average adding half a dozen boosters per week to the clubs card pool it can make trading a bit difficult. Luckily, we have the odd player who travel to Grimsby on occasion and some of us head out to bigger events to freshen the card pool.

I have been known to sweep up discarded commons and uncommon cards at bigger events to help the clubs members. The final thing we do is that we use our spare common and uncommon cards on occasion to build decks for new players with the rules inserts from theme decks and the like to get players started.


So Who Are We?

Sam Engledow, Sam also runs the Magic on a Wednesday night and has improved as a player, Sam also likes to collect Magic cards so is in a good position to look at building any deck he wants. Sam does travel to events on a bigger stage in the U.K. playing in PTQ’s and Grand Prix’s.  Sam has recently migrated from Esper Spirits to GW Elves. At least it isn’t Warp World.

Josh Howell, Josh is one of our most skilled players and has played in European Grand Prix’s and Nationals. Josh plays online a lot more recently as limited play in Grimsby is now limited to just pre releases which is a shame. Josh always looks for a deck that is competitive and puts him in a position to win, Josh is between decks after a flirtation with RG aggro.

Dan Preston, Dan works at a well known supermarket with Josh, the pair are fiercely competitive with each other but also test together. Dan only picked up his cards in 2012 starting with Zombies and now running Delver. Dan has already won two FNM events becoming a solid player.

Ken Smith, Ken is one of our longer serving members but has yet to win an event though this is mainly due to lack of time to play consistently at the club. Ken has always had decks based around green but will play a support colour. Ken currently has a fierce Naya deck after running Eldrazi Elves until rotation.

David Hanner, David would like you to know he is a new player so will make mistakes. David is our most senior player, well age wise anyway and has brought his skills from Yu-Gi-oh to Magic. Don’t let David fool you though as he is a savvy player winning a few WNM’s competing at PTQ’s and Grand Prix’s entering with the latest net deck technology.

Cecile Sutherst, Cecile is my partner who everyone likes to face as the match is usually friendly. However, the same warmth for Cecile is not held for her mono white humans deck that is usually in and around at the sharp end. Cecile has already won her first event and this is a good achievement as she doesn’t take the game as seriously as most of us.

Jo Gascoyne, Jo is new to the club this year and is a tricky opponent who you never know what kooky card he has added to his deck in the past week. Jo has yet to win an event which looked entirely possible with his synergistic white humans deck but is developing into a strong player all the same.

And now to our younger members, the vast majority of our club comes from the same school with most finishing their GCSE’s this year and moving up to college.

Jake Stephens, Jake is also one of our younger players and also quite skilled winning four events in Grimsby including the M13 Game Day. Jake used to play a Soul Sisters variant and switched into Zombies with Innistrad. Jake is one of the most knowledgeable players rules wise but also has a pet hate for anything he loses too, Mirran Crusader, Miracles and Poison to name but three are all broken.

Seth Wilkin, Seth with Jake were the pair of new players that started to come to the club to play Magic club. Seth currently runs Red – White Humans splashing Slumbering Dragons. Seth has been performing much better of late and has been closing in on an event victory with some consistent winning 3-1 performances.

Daniel Clark, Danny loves to play vampires and has even played them through the times when they weren’t so good. Danny has struggled since the Zendikar vampires rotated out of the format when he was challenging for event wins and won FNM once. Danny is once again beginning to shimmer again in his white shoes with Vampire Nocturnus at his side.

Josh Stephens, the younger brother of Jake and has now won three FNMs at the tender age of eleven, Josh has a maturity for Magic beyond his years picking up that his Mono Green deck wasn’t consistent enough and switched to GW Township.  JB is the friendliest of our players and probably one of the most enthusiastic traders as he tries to acquire cards for his deck.

Ethan Wilkin, Ethan is Seth’s younger brother and might even be the most talented brother. Ethan has made the top four on more than occasion with his mono green miracles deck. Ethan spotted the potential of a green miracles deck really early acquiring cards for his deck at the pre release and combined them with Predator Ooze for a devastating mono green deck.

Luke Ward, Luke is an enthusiastic new player and regular at FNM. Luke has an uncanny knack of cracking good boosters and being able to trade off these cards for better ones in his deck. Luke is currently running a consistent mono black vampires deck and adjusting to the more  competitive club scene.

Tristan Fisher, Tristan has been for a long time not considered to be the hardest opponent you’ll face and not the most confident. However, Tristan’s red green aggro deck is much more competitive and Tristan was an unlucky fifth at the recent Game Day missing the cut. 

That is a summary of the Grimsby regulars, we have several other players who have attended several events over the past year. The club does have more casual formats running in the back ground but overall we are a community that is more tournament focused.

Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing.



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Mark Pinder
I have competed twice at GB nationals in 2010/2008, was Runner Up at Senior Nationals 2010, Won a Grand Prix Trial which took me to Paris 2009. My love of the game was such that I did previously win a writing competition on MTG Twincast which led to me being a Feature Writer for around a year until the Sponsor sold up but still did the occasional article. There is also a verb "To Pinder"colloquially used in northern magic communities which means "to gain life", I was a solid fan of Martyr of Sands/Proclamation of Rebirth combo and many players have heard those fateful words, Sacrifice Martyr of Sands, gain 21 life against me to see the game go out of their reach with lethal damage available to them next turn.