World Magic Cup 2015 Team Scotland Top 8 Report by Grant Hislop

World Magic Cup 2015 Team Scotland Report by Grant Hislop 5

World Magic Cup 2015 Team Scotland Top 8 Tournament Report by Grant Hislop

So here’s the thing. I’ve been back from the World Magic Cup for a few weeks now. It’s been obvious to me since before Team Scotland left for Barcelona that the interest in the tournament was high enough that I’d be writing about how we got on, regardless of how we did. Then, we only went and surpassed our wildest expectations by Top 8’ing the event, which heaps a bunch of extra pressure on the writing to actually be good. See, realistically, this is most likely going to be the top finish of my Magical ‘career’, so I’m backed into a corner to try and write something that’s clever, funny, informative and pleasant to read. You might recognise this as being pretty much the opposite of what I usually churn out, which makes this even more of a challenge.

I’m commencing writing this on the Monday after Christmas festivities have ended. My hangover has subsided, and my family have been re-compartmentalised, and I’m unlikely to see a number of them until next year. I’ve not gone back to work though. I have a week to get my thoughts on the tournament together, and try and put digital ink to digital paper, before I return fully to normalcy, and the asininity of my job erodes any memories of the event worth keeping. Clearly then, it behoves me to do this, so I have something of a record to look back on.

The nature of the event is such that my recollection is likely to be far from perfect, due to having to keep track of three matches per round rather than the typical one, so for the most part, I won’t try, unless I can remember anything interesting and/or worth recounting.

Last time I wrote, it was a tournament report from the WMCQ I won, so that gives us a reasonable jumping off point.

World Magic Cup 2015 Team Scotland Report by Grant Hislop Team Scotland

Having won the Spellbound Games WMCQ, I found myself in the enviable position of being a member of Team Scotland for the World Magic Cup in Barcelona. At this point, being the second WMCQ of the season, I knew who two of my teammates were; Stephen Murray as Captain, and Ray Doyle as a fellow WMCQ teammate. A month after this, Martin Clement, affectionately known as Mush won the Edinburgh qualifier, and rounded out the team. Some would say that as the largest member of the team, it was myself who rounded the team out, but those people are needlessly cruel, so will be ignored.

Fairly soon after Mush joined the team, a Facebook group was set up for us to talk in. We used this to post speculative decklists, possible deck configurations, discuss travel plans and for general banter. See, the thing with the World Magic Cup is that it brings groups of people together who may very well have little knowledge of each other, or in common beyond enjoyment of Magic and relative geographical proximity. While I knew each member of the team, at this stage, they were people I knew well enough to talk to at Magic tournaments, but not what I’d consider friends.

For me, this meant that I was on my best behaviour. The last thing you want to do at an event such as this is to piss off a teammate. I tried my best to say smart things in the discussions, and was the one that sourced our accommodation, in an effort to demonstrate my value to the team. I think I was probably a little too conservative in my approach to this. These are a bunch of smart guys that are good at Magic, but they’re also friendly guys who weren’t going out of their way to make the others feel dumb. Even though I was of the (probably correct) opinion that I was the worst member of the team in Magical ability, my reluctance to get involved more probably made me even more of a weak link than I should have been, and almost certainly handicapped the team. Lesson learned for next time – Don’t be afraid to say stupid things in front of smart people.

The majority of our discussion centred around the unique Team Unified Standard portion of the event. Spellbound Games runs a store championship, where many game stores around the country send representatives to play in a Unified Standard event. While the event is largely for bragging rights, there is a standing invitation to the current national team, to serve as valuable live practice, and a chance to work as a team. This was my first experience of a team event, and it was drastically different to how I usually play Magic. In game, I’m very reserved. I don’t talk a lot, and I don’t really have any interest in what’s going on outside of the game. The team format necessitates interaction with the other members, but it was still difficult for me to get used to asking the person sitting next to me what they thought I should do at a critical part of the game. I don’t playtest in person at all, being primarily an Online player, so this was very much outside my comfort zone. In the end, we picked up a couple of unintentional draws, and missed the cut off, but we were pretty happy with the decks we played; a Rakdos Dragons deck, Jeskai and Abzan. We felt like we’d had a fairly good read on the field.

The understanding seemed to be that the mana was the most difficult thing for this format. Getting two decks would be fairly simple, but the third one was going to be a challenge. Standard is defined by fetch + dual mana bases, as they’re just so much better than tri + painlands. It seemed to us as though level one was going to be Red deck + Esper + deck that didn’t need fetchlands. I think that where we fell down was that we didn’t realise just how good Esper and Red were. While I can’t speak for the rest of the guys, I have to imagine that we would have had a slightly easier time playing those decks, plus our Rakdos dragons deck than basically running back the decks we used at the aforementioned store championships.

Kolaghan, the Storm's Fury

Before we left for Barcelona, we were toying with the idea of running Orzhov warriors, a Red deck and the Rakdos dragons deck. Early on, we’d essentially locked in on the dragons deck being excellent. While you could struggle against Esper, the tools were there to beat it, and its matchups vs the field were positive. While you didn’t actively want to face the Red deck, you also weren’t auto-losing to it, and the sideboard that we had was enough to take probably a 45/55 preboard to a 60/40 post board, or thereabouts. You also got to cast Kolaghan, the Storm’s Fury a lot, and that is a card that just wrecks the traditional ramp configurations, which we expected to be very popular as the third deck, due to not taking any cards from basically anyone else.

While I liked the idea of getting aggressive across the board, this particular configuration left a lot to be desired, leaving a lot of extremely powerful cards and decks on the cutting room floor, and opting to play Bloodsoaked Champions and Blood Chin Ragers instead of Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy and Siege Rhino and friends just seemed wrong.

Our limited preparations were largely down to the individual. Personally, I drafted at least once a day for the two weeks in the run up to the event, using the 8-4 queues on Magic Online. I made it to the second round maybe three times out of twenty or so drafts. Battle for Zendikar limited and I clearly don’t get on. I don’t know what it is, but it just seems like there’s something fundamental that I just don’t understand. For this reason, I offered to opt out of the limited portion of the event, and would take on the role of coach. I felt like this played to my strengths, as actually playing games with 40 cards is something I’m actually quite good at. Once the decks were constructed, I’d be able to work with what we had, and help our players navigate the matches in front of them, and take notes for the two tables I’d be able to sit next to on what had been played etc. The other three were happy with their understanding of the format, and happy that there was a volunteer for what could easily have been quite an awkward conversation.

Conversely, Ray felt similarly about Constructed, having won the first Pre-TQ of BFZ Standard in Scotland, and having not had much time to keep up with it due to work constraints, and his local store favouring limited as their format of choice. This meant we had two players who were not only open about their perceived shortcomings, but the lack of overlap made the decision about who to bench all the easier. Martin and Stephen were confident enough in both, or at least didn’t express any doubts, so we were good to go.

World Magic Cup Qualifier (WMCQ) Scotland – Modern Zoo Winners Report by Grant Hislop

Pretty much as soon as I won the event back in September, I started encouraging my teammates to wear kilts to the event. Having been part of the #fansathome in previous years, I knew how disappointed I was to see prior Scottish teams not fully embrace the positive national pride that comes out in an event like this. The event is just as much for the people back at home watching as it is for those participating, and we figured that as something of an underdog story, wearing kilts would be something that would endear us to the coverage team, which in turn would make a feature match on camera all the more likely. It’s long been a goal of mine to play a match on camera, and this seemed like the easiest way for that to happen.

Scots are lucky in that our national dress can range from practically casual to fully formal, so it wasn’t like we were going to be sitting in tops and tails all weekend. We took shirts, and the usual accoutrements in sporrans, pins, belts etc for one day, where we’d get team photos taken, and went quite a bit more laid back on the other days. We were talking to some guys from the coverage team about what the various tartans mean, and now that I’m removed from the event, I’ll confess to telling a little, white lie. We said at the time that our particular tartans were connected to our family names, and while this could have been true, it certainly wasn’t in my case. I went to one of those horrendous tourist traps, and picked up the cheapest one they had in my size. Sorry coverage team, hope you forgive us!

Our flight itinerary had us all flying from Edinburgh to Heathrow to Barcelona and reversed on the way back, as apparently a direct flight didn’t exist. We had about an hour and a half between landing in Heathrow and taking off for Barcelona, so it wouldn’t be the worst, but as soon as we got to Edinburgh, we saw that there was going to be an hour delay on the flight to Heathrow. I was basically of the opinion that we were likely going to make it, and there wasn’t really any point about stressing out over something that we couldn’t control. Plus, both flights were British Airways, and there was a second flight into Barcelona later that day, so even if we did miss it, we’d likely just get put on the later flight.

As it happened, when we got into Heathrow, we had to get a bus to take us from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3, which was supposed to take five minutes, when we had fifteen to spare. We got on, and at the second stop – presumably Terminal 4, there was a foreign gentleman in a wheelchair with about thirty family members who piled on, blocking the exit of the porter with the wheelchair, which had to remain at the Terminal for future passengers use. In the group of thirty odd, noone spoke enough English to understand the porters pleas for either patience in entering the vehicle, or space to exit, and we took pretty much all of the time we had to give just sitting watching this farce.

Ray and I made it through security without problems, but Stephen and Martin were flagged for additional checks. We went on ahead, and told the desk agents that passengers Murray and Clement were en route, and had been delayed by security. Just as the tail end of the queue to board the plane moved through the gate, our teammates ran up and joined it. I’ve cut it fine with connecting flights before, but this was pretty much as close as it could get.

We got to our apartment in Barcelona without any hassle. I’d been scouting based on proximity to the venue, and had found a reasonable looking place a five minute walk away. As sad as it is, my primary concern with accommodation at Magic tournaments is distance to the venue. It could be the nicest place in the city and be free, but if I have to take a taxi or bus to the venue, it’s no use to me. The apartment itself was nothing fancy, but had enough space for the four of us, and full kitchen facilities, which is also important. Having somewhere to prepare sandwiches for the day, and dinner if you’re too exhausted to go out is a big deal for me.

For our first evening in Barcelona, we took a walk down to the nearest supermarket, and stocked up on essentials. Sandwich stuff, snacks, water. And lots of wine. Lots and lots of wine. Spain is pretty cheap on the alcoholic beverage front, and we figured that we’d likely be hosting a fair bit, and having wine to offer was only polite. We’ve got a reputation to uphold here as a hard-drinking country, and what is the World Magic Cup about if not proving that all national stereotypes are accurate. Once we had stocked the fridge, and alerted our most significant #fansathome of our safe arrival, we cooked dinner, had a few glasses of wine and built a team sealed pool. I honestly can’t remember much about the pool, but getting to talk with the guys, and learn a little bit about what they were looking for was invaluable.

World Magic Cup 2015 Team Scotland Report by Grant Hislop

My personal understanding of the format was that White and Blue were the base colours you were working with, with Blue lending itself to being paired with either Red, Black or going mono. Blue is the deepest colour by far, and pairing with Black or Red would shore up some of its few weaknesses, and would generally be the best deck of the pool. Using the Red or Black that you didn’t pair with Blue would then be your third base colour. With green being pretty close to unplayable, this Team Sealed was presumably one of the mopey-er affairs to watch, with the decks being even more underpowered as usual. Pretty much every match I saw, a team was trying to cobble together wins with Snapping Gnarlids and friends. Of course you could get the nuts Green decks with multiple Tajuru Warcallers and Beastmasters, but because the average power level was so low, most teams just made the best of a bad situation, and hoped to sit their third deck against the best deck on the opposite side of the table.

Our idea was to give Stephen our third deck, and hope that a) he could cobble together some wins, and/or b) other teams would put their best deck in the middle, and we could try and either get lucky, or just take the loss, and have our best and second decks face off against worse opposition. Sadly, it seemed like pretty much everyone we played against had the same idea, so crappy green creatures bounced into crappy green creatures all morning.

We had the Irish team round on the Thursday afternoon, as they were waiting for their apartment to be ready, and killing time with some Sealed practice seemed as good a way to do it as anything else. We opened a below average pool with 4-5 rare lands, built our UB Devoid deck, our WG tokens deck, and a mopey RB deck, and got crushed by their rares with casting costs and actual decks. One glimmer of an idea was Stephen’s sideboarded triple Goblin Warpaint on a bunch of Lavastep Raiders, which seemed better than we’d initially thought it would be. We figured it was something to look for in the tournament.

Later on on Thursday, we went round to the Welsh apartment to practice Standard. We’d been sent a Jund Landfall deck that looked interesting. Swapping out the combo elements for Murderous Cuts and actual removal was something that we were interested in testing out. I played against Tan-Tai Ellul-Nguyen playing a more traditional Atarka Red deck, and was promptly demolished. The games just didn’t play out like we were expecting, so that was shelved. We had been drinking a little bit, and when Pip Griffiths realised we were out of beers, he went out to the pub next door, and came back with a selection of pints in plastic cups. This was the first time I’ve met Pip. He made an excellent first impression.

We left the Welsh hospitality behind, and traipsed through the urine stink of downtown Barcelona somewhat demoralised. We were happy with Jeskai and the Dragons deck, but finding a third deck was proving more difficult than we’d imagined. I was quite happy to just play stock Atarka Red, which is perfectly fine, and probably what we should have done, but then Stephen said ‘What does it look like if we just give Abzan everything it wants?’ I didn’t need much encouragement here. Abzan is most definitely my jam, and I’ve played a lot of it. While my testing during the run up had mostly been BW Warriors, I was confident I could play Abzan close to optimally, and threw the deck together. This was a bad decision. Abzan is fairly well positioned in regular Standard, but in the expected field of lots of Esper, Ramp and Red decks, it’s a fairly honking choice. I learned a lot about team event dynamics over the course of the weekend, so I’m hopeful for another chance to put these lessons into practice.

World Magic Cup 2015 Team Scotland Report by Grant Hislop 3

Tournament morning came around, so we put on our most formal version of our kilt uniform, and headed down to the venue. We got yelled at from cars, and a couple of teenage girls stopped us to take a photo. Everyone loves a kilt.

Start of the day, and the first event is the first Team Sealed, for three rounds, followed by four rounds of Standard with a cut to Top 32. Our first Sealed pool provided a strong UB deck, piloted by Martin, and mediocre BW deck, piloted by Ray, and a spicy, transformative RG deck, piloted by Stephen. Our RG deck started by going as aggressive as possible, with, I believe, six one drops and four Goblin War Paints, then, vs the anti-aggressive cards people were likely to bring in, we could side into a slower ramp deck with Omnath, Locus of Rage at the top end. Our medium BW deck got paired against the best deck of our opponents each time, and got 0-3 rolled fairly easily. Our UB deck did fine, I believe it went 2-1, and the RG deck went 2-1 as well, I think. Sadly, the losses aligned in such a way that we exited the pod at 1-2, with our opponents being:-

Round 1 vs Israel (L)
Round 2 vs Malaysia (W)
Round 3 vs Austria (L)

We got a feature match in round 3, which was exciting. We lost, which was less exciting, and I didn’t get to play at all, which was even worse. Right before this round, the Team Spirit awards were announced. These are a WMC exclusive, and award a $500 bonus to each team member that Wizards feel have gone the extra mile. We were significantly more confident in our chances of placing in this competition than the main event, as according the grizzled World Magic Cup veteran, Stephen Murray, Wizards have wanted Scotland in kilts since the first year. Shockingly, we were the first group that had gone for the team uniform. Easiest $500 I’ve ever made. Next years team will probably have to go full on Braveheart warpaint to win, but it’s good to keep pushing yourself. The event had heaps of excellent costumes. Massive shout outs to the Panamian demon masks, the Mexican Sombrero/Poncho/fake moustache combo and the Guatemalan team jackets, which are apparently passed down from team to team each year. This kind of team unity really makes the World Magic Cup one of the best events of the year.

We moved on to Standard, and I would actually get to play in these events. Our results were as follows:-

Round 4 vs Argentina (L)
Round 5 vs Luxembourg (W)
Round 6 vs Ireland (W)
Round 7 vs Slovenia (W)

We went from almost as weak a start as is possible to rattling off a bunch of wins. There’s a cut to top 32 at the end of the first day, which meant that we were sweating, waiting to see if we’d make it in on tiebreakers. It was impossible to tell with the information we had to hand on site, but the #fansathome seemed to think that we’d get there. If anything, that made me more nervous, and I suggested that we just head back to our apartment, and have a look online. My thinking was that we couldn’t affect anything anyway, and this way, if we missed, people wouldn’t see how disappointed we were. I was the lone proponent of this though, so we headed through to the back room to watch the reveal on the big screen.

We found out that we’d scraped through in 31st place at the same time as everyone watching at home, and collectively let out a thunderous roar, and distributed and received high fives, hand shakes and pats on the back to and from each other, and the other nations that we’d played and were sweating too. We breathed a sigh of relief, and headed back to the apartment to get some food, and some rest. As buoyed as we were by making day 2, there’s still a lot of Magic to be played on the second day, and unlike Grand Prix, every player that made the cut was still in with a chance to make Top 8. We got back, had dinner, and built another Sealed pool, as an attempt to shake our previously dire efforts in live play.

World Magic Cup 2015 Team Scotland Report by Grant Hislop 1

Day 2 is where Pod play comes into the competition. Each country is separated into a pod based on standings. Our featured Macedonia as second seeds, Iceland at fifteenth, at this point current World Magic Cup holders Denmark in eighteenth, and ourselves, Scotland limping in at thirty-first. Each team plays round robin in the pool, and the top 2 teams advance to the last stage, with the only tiebreak being seeding going into the pool. As bottom seed, we would need to 3-0 the pod to move through.

Our second Sealed pool was much better than the first. Like heaps better. Our Blue paired with Red this time, due to the presence of three Herald of Kozilek and a Brutal Expulsion. There was even a Gruesome Slaughter and an Ulamog’s Reclaimer in the deck, for full on wombo-combo shenanigans. Our BW deck was actually quite good this time, and our mopey Green deck was this time matched with Black’s leavings, but was fortunate enough to have a Tajuru Beastmaster and a pair of Warcallers, so was capable of nut-drawing people, at the very least. Again, Martin took the Blue deck, Ray the BW deck, and Stephen the Green deck, with the same plan as day one. This one went quite a bit better:-

Round 8 vs Denmark (W)
Round 9 vs Iceland (W)
Round 10 vs Macedonia (W)

We needed to 3-0, and we did. How lucky! This was good enough to put us into the Top 16, and into a pool with Italy, Greece and the Philippines, with ourselves now as the second seed, behind Italy.

Round 11 vs Italy (L)
Round 12 vs Philippines (L)

At this point, I thought we were dead. As it turned out, I didn’t fully grasp the nuances of the group system, nor the advantages of a high seeding. As it turned out, Italy were at 2-0, with us at 0-2 and the others were at 1-1. Assuming we defeat Greece, and Italy beat the Philippines for us, we’d be in a pool with Italy at 3-0, and all other nations on 1-2. As the second seed, behind Italy, we’d make it through to Top 8. We checked with Italy, and made sure that they’d be playing for position in the last round, and they confirmed that they would. We knew that there was a lot to play for against Greece, but that if we won, and Italy lost, we’d be needlessly dreamcrushing Greece.

Round 12 vs Greece (W)

This round provided one of the best games of Magic I’ve ever seen, with Stephen Manifesting Mantis Riders with Mastery of the Unseen against a BW Warriors opponent, and locking up our win on turn 5 of extra turns. What came next was, in my opinion, truly one of the greatest World Magic Cup moments, as right after the handshakes, Martin turned round and asked the crowd whether Italy had won. When they answered in the affirmative, we all cheered with joy, Martin and Stephen ran off to hug people, I burst into tears, because I am a man who cannot control his emotions, and Ray signed the match slip and looked like this was the sort of thing that happened to him all the time. Someone described Ray as ‘Walk away from an explosion cool’, and honestly, that’s not that far off.

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So, an hour after I thought we were dead, we’re standing taking Top 8 photographs, and being given consent forms and all sorts of other things. It’s something of a blur, as I really hadn’t been feeling great all day, and had been taking several trips to the toilet to vomit during the tournament. Now, with it over for the day, all I wanted to do was go home and go to bed. We’re eventually let out, with express instructions to be back at the venue for 7.15, even though we’re the last quarter-final to play, so most likely won’t be on til lunchtime. It’s fair enough, as this way noone gets any extra sleep or anything like that, and they put on breakfast for us, so that was one less thing to worry about.

The Welsh and Irish teams were kind enough to test our Top 8 matches for us, but having played Italy already in Constructed, we knew roughly how bad it was going to be. My personal match against Esper was horrific, so was under no illusions as to my chances. Stephen seemed slightly unfavoured against the Italian/Canadian/American/Brazilian Temur deck, and Martin was facing Red, which could go either way.

World Magic Cup 2015 Team Scotland Report by Grant Hislop 1
The “Hagrid vs Harry Potter” match up

Quarterfinals vs Italy (L)

Martin beat Marco Camiluzzi’s Red deck when he failed to do much of anything. I lost to Andrea Mengucci’s Esper fairly handily after mulliganning to five in game one and getting stuck on Black mana with a hand full of Anafenza and Siege Rhinos, and (finally) getting on camera in game two, where I played the wrong spell on turn three, and attempted to not lose rather than win, casting Infinite Obliteration over Painful Truths, then drawing 8-9 lands in a row and dying to a Jace emblem. On one hand, I’m grateful that the sole top level footage of me playing doesn’t include me messing up in any colossal fashion, but it’d have been nice to get a win. Stephen mulligans to six in game three, and we keep a speculative hand that I say ‘I’d bet my tournament on that six rather than a random five’ about. Everyone agrees, but we end up getting crushed, anti-climatically.

At this stage, we’re gutted. As I’ve said, this tournament is just as much for the guys watching at home as it is for the team themselves. I feel like I’ve let down Scotland, and by extension, given that we’re doing well in an event, all of the home nations. We have a somewhat sombre lunch on site, and I check in online. I’m relieved to see people congratulating us on how well we’ve done, which alleviates my guilt at losing. We all obviously wanted to do as well as we could, not only for ourselves, but for those back home too. If anyone had offered us a Top 8 at the start of the tournament, we’d certainly have snap-taken it, so it’s obviously pretty daft to be so concerned about what people would think about losing in the quarters.

We were delighted to see Italy win the World Magic Cup in the end, as the games we’d played against them had been competitive, but friendly, and there’d been plenty of banter back and forth throughout. They seemed like a great bunch of guys that were having a lot of fun, so it was nice to see them lift the trophy at the end of the day. Not just so we can say we lost to the Champions either. Not at all.

World Magic Cup 2015 Team Scotland Report by Grant Hislop 4

We go back to the apartment, and have a debrief. It kind of starts sinking in just how well we’ve done, and how proud everyone back home is. Scotland loves punching above its weight. I’m not a football guy, but we can hold World Cup winners Germany to a draw, but we’ll lose 1-0 to San Marino and the Faroe Islands. That sort of underdog story is what Scots love, and this was certainly an underdog story. The Top 8 comes with an invitation for the four of us for the next Pro Tour, which is in Atlanta. We’ll be running back the house-share for accommodation, and will be testing together where possible. Another good thing is that as a solo event, I’m not going to have three other guys tournaments resting on my shoulders, so that will alleviate some of the pressure that I felt through this event. I’m just not used to my peers relying on me that much, and kept beating myself up, as every mis-play didn’t hurt only me, but three other people. Nothing like that extra pressure on yourself to make you think plays through as thoroughly as you can.

Massive thanks to everyone involved in the production of the World Magic Cup. It’s a great tournament, and everyone was so invested in it, and interested in talking to us. The support on site, as well as that back home was just incredible. Hyperbole aside, in spite of spending much of day 2 with my head in the toilet, this was the most fun I’ve ever had at a Magic event, and it’s not particularly close. If I were offered a Pro Tour or a World Magic Cup, even if my teammates were the three people I like the least, our decks were forced to mulligan to four every game, and we were given a gun which can only backfire, and told we had to shoot it at least once a round, I’d still pick the World Magic Cup.

Sunday night was really the first opportunity that we got to do any drinking in Barcelona. I’ve written before about my desire not to self-sabotage my events any more, and not having a hangover is the easiest way to do that, I’ve found. We meet up with Team Northern Ireland at the venue, but are given Pro Tour exclusive Nicol Bolas figures, which everyone else wants to take back home before we start drinking properly. We head back up the road for the last time, and have a crack at finishing off all the wine and beer that we expected we’d have ample time to get through.

We end up in a little roadside pub while we’re waiting on Neil Rigby to let us know where he, and a lot of the rest of the coverage team and other Wizards employees are going to be. I’m in a great mood, and am a huge fan of buying the first round, so I get drinks for the 9-10 of us. I have €40 out, expecting it to cost around that, but I’m given change from a twenty. I internalise this as being the price of booze in Barcelona, and am very happy. One thing about not having any time in Barcelona is that I’ve still got pretty much all the money I’ve brought with me. I didn’t know how expensive the city was, so I just brought out all I had.

We end up in another pub while walking in the direction of our end destination, and I buy more drinks. Change from €20 again. Magic. We eventually meet up with a whole bunch of other people, including Team Denmark, Helene Bergeot, Gavin Verhey and the aforementioned Sir Neil of Rigglesby. I end up buying a third, larger round of drinks for pretty much everyone in sight, and the barman doesn’t even verbalise the amount. Just sets a bill on a saucer and slides it over. My eyes bulge. €100. Shit. I’ve enough to cover it, but that’s pretty much me tapped out beyond food tomorrow. I’ve bought three rounds though, so I’m fairly happy at declaring myself done buying drinks at this point.

Things get blurry. I remember going on a selfie-rampage with basically anyone that would get in a photo with me. I remember getting a taxi home, I think. I remember vomiting. I don’t remember where. I remember having a shower, but forgetting my towel. I remember that I strolled naked through the apartment to get it, then forgot I was wet, and just got into bed soaking. I remember waking up in the morning with stringy bits of vomit in my beard. I remember being confused about why my bed was wet. I remember thinking I might have gotten so drunk that I’d pissed myself. I remembered that I’d had a shower, so it was probably that. I remember not knowing where my clothes were. I remember walking through to the toilet and finding my clothes in the bath. I remember surreptitiously trying to find out if I’d vomited in a toilet or anywhere more embarrassing. I remember noone really knowing.

I think that’s as good a summary of my World Magic Cup as I can muster. Things happened, but noone could really explain why they did. Also some sick and nudity. It was a great weekend.

Stay classy, mtgUK

Grant Hislop

[schema type=”review” url=”” name=”World Magic Cup 2015 Team Scotland Top 8 Tournament Report by Grant Hislop” description=”I think that’s as good a summary of my World Magic Cup as I can muster. Things happened, but noone could really explain why they did. Also some sick and nudity. It was a great weekend.” ]

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