Diaries of a Mad Burning Pumpkin Part 1
"The Burning Pumpkin Brawl is only half a year away." Even just saying that still seems unreal to me. After all I remember thinking this idea up in the middle of a french class I was not paying attention too. (And I still got a B Who-Ha!)
Back then in spring 2012, I was really upset with standard. I was playing tokens, and Bonfire of the I hate my life was printed. I really was upset with the whole Mircle mechanic to begin with. Sure its cool to win games out of no where, but it sucks to not even have a fighting chance against someone already a ahead because they drew a card.
Now I had Legacy and Modern Zoo built, but no one played it in Savannah GA. I was sick of playing standard and getting trolled because I didn't want to play a certain archetype, or just saddened by how quickly meta games devolved to 1 or 2 decks.
I longed for the days that I could go to an event and have heavy skilled games where I killed a dredge player by bolting my own dude. Or I manage to out think a Ensnaring Bridge
by attacking with a Steppe Lynx
with 0 power, then pumping it with knight and wolf run.
So that means legacy right? Well not really. I also wanted to play with my friends. But the mana base alone costs more then us college kids make in 2 months of work. And I also kinda...hate... blue. (Cue the hate, but simply put, its just not my play style.)
Modern seemed to fit the bill. Cheap to get in, standard cards still make impacts, Your deck isnt a "Playing blue or not playing blue" deck. But I was still tentative because of the bannings. But I checked it out anyways.
Jund, zoo, storm, twin, tron. Aggro and combo. Just like I thought. Then I looked deeper at the showings (Blippy the Slug, here's the part where I thank you) RDW, tokens, Delver decks, and even Death and Taxes. All of these decks just starting to rise. Still more aggro and combo... but some rumblings of a cawblade deck also, so maybe not?
So I came up with the idea of the tournaments, not the IQ's mind you, just a online tournament. I wanted to do it because no one I knew was playing Modern, and everyone else said the same thing. More than that, I wanted to see these "Underground decks" up close.
Later someone would suggest to make it IQ's because that would be fun. After that it took off like a Wildfire
piloted by Kai Budde.
It was really just a case of perfect timing and luck, with just a lick of charisma. the big factors were the sheer amount of people who felt bored with standard, no one was playing legacy, wanted to test the waters for modern, or just didnt have shops to support it. The other half was turns out the bannings did exactly what they were suppose to. Modern's Meta opened up like no others. Restoration Control is perfect proof of this. A control deck now exists in modern, as well as a tempo, ramp, aggro, midrange, and combo. All the pillars are there.
The Tan Star:
So there you go, the first IQ started. 28 people if I recall correctly. It was rough, had about 5 rules, 2 judges including me, and had 1 brew. It went over the month limit as it wasn't organized well, and the matches and brackets were hand organized by me. There was arrangement's about the rules and policies too.
But even with all of those flaws people loved it. Originally I only meant the first to be a fun idea. I never really expected more than that. But I got messages of people saying they were already prepping for the next one.
Next one? It really hit me hard, I never really set out for another, but sure. There were still the flaws, still arguments, but 32 people this time. It was growing. Again it ran over a month, and again people were prepping for the next one.
This time with other MTGsalvation users.
This was going to be big. The fact it didnt fizzle out and die was proof of that. 3 months later, people still want to play, and more then just a core group.
So we had to amp it up. Tom and The_Cardfather and I had tons of messages to each other. How should it be formatted? New thread a month? One stickied? The rules? How will I keep track? Double or Single Elem?
With the Introduction of the 3rd IQ we had it down. Still needed tweaks, but the core was there. I'd like to think of the first two as Alpha and Beta, and IQ 3 as the stream lined end product.
But I wanted it to have a reason to exist, not just for playing, something more. So I wrote the goals, a policy for it to exist by:
Community Goals And Lantern's Note
I started this monthly tournament, at first, as a way to play more modern, since my store didn't offer it. Since then, its evolved into something more. It Brought a few people from MTGSal closer together. People now plan, joke, even team up to test for these games. I feel that these games transcend what they used to be, and are now doing the impossible. So remember when you sign up, these are our goals for the games:
1. To further the Mtg Sal community and bring people together.
2. To further Modern format as a whole. Brewing/ tweaking archetypes/ Refining playing skills.
3. To have fun and be friendly yet still competitive and professional.
And of course, thank you guys, the players for everything.
Those where the principles I wanted it to stick by no matter what. We had something great here, people were becoming test partners, competition, and friends. I wanted to keep that going.
Flash forward to Fall 2012. IQ 6 is well underway, and now our games get up to 47 people, we have 7 or so judges, 8 brews a month and our top 8's are rarely the same decks.
We have joke rules like: say, "You could have one if that was a mana tithe", gaka is always playing Warpworld dinosaurs, Akaiser views every game because he is Big Brother, ect." Because the Modern community is alive and well. The IQ's didn't do that, but it did give them a place to chat.
Something I've noticed is that Standard and Legacy is even doing our IQ's now. I'm really exited to see our success spread over there as well.
Burning Pumpkin Brawl is only 6 months away guys, and its going to be a whole weekend packed with modern goodness. Were going to be streaming the event live with a commentator team!
For more about the Lantern IQs, how to join and past events, visit here