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Magic players love value and search for the best. It’s why we “metagame” — it’s why we test. Yet, the second a better deck is found, a new “best deck” can rise up to attack that deck. We’re at the end of the M14 draft format, and I’m prepared to make a bold statement…
GP Oakland promised to be a blast simply because it was close to home, and I knew I’d have a fantastic time no matter the circumstances or outcome of the event. Of course, the outcome didn’t hurt, and it’s now time to explain how I got to the finish line and bring you along for the journey.
Hi there! I’m Neal Oliver. Some of you may know me from Eudemonia in Berkeley, or other Magic events around the Bay Area, while others may only know me as the guy who won GP Vegas. Either way here’s my story of how the event played out. Join me for some fun stories and all the action!
My trip started off heading out to Vegas the Monday before, simply to explore the town, see some shows, and eat some incredible food. I got a great weekday special at the Aria with a free buffet, and I can confidently say that the high end Vegas buffets are the real deal. I also ate at the Main Street Station buffet downtown, and it was quite the opposite, so avoid the cheap buffets if possible. Mystere by Cirque du Solei was also quite good, and I heard from many other MtGers throughout the weekend that Ka is worth seeing.
After getting the non-magical events out of the way (with a few online Modern Masters drafts during that time) I met up with fellow Bay Area locals Le Lin and Sam Sherman on Thursday, followed by Teng Chi Lim on Friday night. He regretted not getting the VIP special, since the guaranteed playmat would have paid for the VIP itself. I played several VIP opponents in Day 1 and they both said it was a fantastic decision. Just something to think about in the future at popular GPs.