August 13, 2022

The GigaBall

Bug infestation.

Music City Old School has grown. We’ve long been spread out across the Southeast, but now, about half of our regular members inhabit a sleepy little town in the hills of Tennessee called Chattanooga. Monthly get togethers at a taproom in Nashville were perfect for the hometown crowd, but sometimes proved too much for the Chatt folks to scrounge together the time to road trip 4 hours round trip. A few years ago, the Chatt crew began regular meetups to sling Middle School and soon dubbed themselves Gig City Middle School (Gig City is Chattanooga’s nickname, based on the gigabit speed public internet utility there). They chose a fitting mascot: the Gigapede.

An idea that we’ve kicked around for a while has been renting a cabin or house somewhere and doing a long weekend of Magic. And so we found a place in Gig City and booked a house for everyone to relax for a weekend. Unfortunately it was infested with over a hundred Gigapedes… It was a lot of card signing.

The weekend featured three scheduled events for the participants: Middle School, Alpha to Alliances, and straight up EC Old School, each with its own special prize pool. A total of 12 players slung cardboard around, with a few more spectating and reveling in the rager. Below is an assortment of action shots through the weekend.

A full(ish) presentation of deck lists for each event will follow in its own blog post.

Middle School

Friday night began with Middle School. Elves, squirrels, pox, and madness proliferated. Burn made a very good showing. There was even a preconstructed deck from Urza’s Saga in the mix. It was a very fast meta.

Pox v. Elves
Madness vs. Stiflenought
Mind: Blown
POV: Josh is getting balled.
Surveying the scene
Another round
“See this guy here? Fuck him.”
Final round

Alpha to Alliances

A2A is our homebrew format we’ve grown to really love. There’s a lot of powerful things that can be done in the combo space. We all know how busted Necro is and the things it can enable. Reanimator is an absolute house. A2A has a ton of new things that can grind too.

But that’s not what happened. Despite Land Tax and Necro being a force, the majority of the room had defaulted to anti-Necro strategies. Burn spells and fast creatures were plentiful.

To illustrate what this did to the meta, consider this: We played four 50-minute rounds. Normally, that’s roundabout a 4 hour event. Not that day. We finished our four rounds in 3 hours. We thawed some glaciers that day.

Going deep into the Ice Age
This is what we in the business call “a grip.”
More carnage
Double Ernie putting in work against greyscale Thought Lash.
Stasis vs. Thought Lash

Old School

We finished out the organized events of the weekend with good ol’ 93/94 with four Strip Mines. The Old School event saw the most creative presentation of a deck I’ve seen in a long time. Our comrade Pratt brewed up a UWRB stew in the theme of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, complete with hand drawn proxies of the killer rabbit, Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, King Arthur himself, and featuring Nicol Bolas as the Black Beast of Arrggghhhhh (which was not only hard cast, but also attacked in for a game win).

Overall, the 93/94 event served as a nice, simple little dessert after the multiple play lines and complicated interactions of Middle School and A2A…

Wait, no, I’m getting an update… Someone played a deck with Chains of Mephistopheles…

What happens when you cast Winds of Change with a Chains on the board? You get balled by two Racks.
Picnic table games
It’s not a summer hangout without a tray of bacon. And it isn’t a hangout with a bunch of people nearing middle age without a tray of vegetables…
This is a hint for when I post deck lists. But this is a Monty Python themed alter deck. It was amazing.


Between/Before/After events, we had some downtime to do whatever we wanted. Brewmeister Finney had gone on a quest to find Urza’s Chalice. But the true reward was not the object that prompted the quest. No! What Finney returned with was a weird pile of artifacts from The Brothers’ War that had been infested with bees and insects.

Type 4 was born. The stack of green and brown cards contained vast amounts of synergy and mana acceleration. Deadly Insects, Killer Bees, Radjan Spirits, and Ifh Biff Efreets were rushed out by Wild Growth, Helm of Awakening, Basalt Monolith, and Candelabra of Tawnos. There were precious few business spells like Desert Twister. But when Titania sang her song, the table full of mana rocks turned into an army of warriors.

There are only a scant few images of the battles fought late into the night. As a 4-man pod playing from a single deck, the fun levels were off the charts. Mad props to Finney for procuring this and sharing it. It contained some of the most fun pound-for-pound of the weekend.

Late night Type 4 mono green multiplayer. Maybe the best format on the planet. Definitely a sleeper.
More absolute chaos in the Type 4 Green Pile. There are some insane board states going on.

Food and Drink…

Through the weekend we were fed vast amounts through catering, takeout, and grillin’. Thanks to Josh Burgoa, Jeremy and Joy Pratt, and Alan Finney for keeping us fed.

RIP to the last day’s breakfast casserole that never got made.

Pratt and Alan were all-stars on the grill and kept us fed.
Group outing to a restaurant. Our group decided to go out in public and weird out the normies.
Pratt and Joy lit things on fire for breakfast. I highly recommend putting Gentleman Jack in your maple syrup.
Post-event breakfast and coffee on one of the most beautiful days of the summer.

A Trip to the Museum…

One of the hidden gems of Chattanooga is the Hunter Museum of American Art. This auspicious weekend coincided with the Hunter featuring an exhibit called Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration.

Almost 100 works of fantasy art from the late 1600s to modern day were displayed in this exhibit. Iconic subjects like Beauty and the Beast, Arthurian legends, and fantasy staples like The Lord of the Rings and A Wizard of Earthsea were present. Many Magic artists made appearances too.


Into the Howling Mine…
Fantasy art of The Horned King from The Chronicles of Prydian.
Amazing woodcut art from the 1600s.
Guay is the best artist.
Stuff like this is the best. A single panel says so much with just the picture, but the caption adds even more dimension to the character, scene, and the rest of the world. This could be a Magic card and flavor text all in one.
Smaug destroys Lake Town, by Greg Hildebrandt.
More fantasy art. This time, A Wizard of Earthsea.
You know Frazetta was going to show up.
Kindred spirits.

And finally, prior to having everyone show up at the event, we required everyone take a Covid test. It isn’t fool-proof, but it was a reasonable precaution. Everyone tested negative prior to the event. Throughout the weekend, we had a blast. When in public we either ate outside in well-ventilated spaces, or wore masks when inside the bakery and museum. On the back end, I decided to take a test a few days after getting back home… Our caution paid off. Big money, no whammies.

The best result this weekend was 1-0.


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