Tournament Magic: The Gathering Winter 2024

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Class Details

Magic: the Gathering is a collectible card game that has been in continuous development since 1993 and has featured high-level professional events since Pro Tour New York in 1996. In these competitive events, players construct their own sixty-card decks that must conform to the deckbuilding restrictions established by the agreed upon tournament format. Premodern is a tournament format that celebrates what many believe is the “golden era” of competitive Magic by restricting decks to contain only cards from sets released between 1995 and 2003. Despite its fixed card pool, the format’s metagame is varied and complex, featuring classic competitive strategies from across Magic’s 30-year history. In this class, we’ll study, prepare, and play in as many Premodern Magic: The Gathering tournaments as possible, both in-person and online. We will couple this competitive play with analysis, reading, and writing; we will learn from others and also critically evaluate our own strategic choices–deck construction, gameplay, and sideboarding. Written reflections following tournament play is an essential part of competitive Magic. We will treat the “game” as an intense intellectual and academic activity. Tournament time (including days, nights, and weekends) will average about 12 hours per week, other class time about 6 hours per week, homework 4 hours per week. Students will author detailed tournament reports, as is common practice among the game’s top players.
The Class: Format: lecture; In addition to regular on-campus meetings, we will travel to regional tournaments, and participate in online competitive events.
Limit: 8
Expected: 8
Class#: 1124
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: participation in competition and write-ups (totaling more than 10 pages)
Prerequisites: knowing how to play Magic: The Gathering
Enrollment Preferences: Magic: The Gathering playing knowledge and experience
Materials/Lab Fee: $200

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