I haven’t done a Friday PAX before, but luckily it’s mostly the same for all of the days. With my cousin in tow, who was enjoying PAX for the first time, we waged war against lines, and more lines, and even more lines for our only day at PAX.
Now the actual PAX party is tomorrow night where we’re going to get a huge amount of previews but I thought I would share some photos and a few of my thoughts.
The MTGO Community Cup is at PAX for the first time this year, but it’s blocked off and put into a corner. I get why (You need better audio for streaming), however I feel like this is an opportunity missed to display what awesome things Magic has going. Every other streaming sport has a ton of people around it and were actively engaging the crowd. Twitch.TV had a huge booth next to the WotC booth, and there was the huge League of Legends that had whole section devoted to it. None of them had people who made them game playing against fans and pros of the same game.
But the MTGOCC was in the lowest level in a back room hidden away from everybody. I know it’s not a full spectator sport but there’s gotta be something that WotC can do to get it out to more people (There was one TV with the stream in the Magic area, but not one in the WotC booth). When I went in the room, I was told I couldn’t really enter the room too far as to not disrupt the Cup. I love the idea of bringing in people for PAX, but show off this cool thing that WotC does.
Gavin Verhey as Jace the Mind Sculptor was pretty epic. I’m sorry I didn’t get a pic of it. I’m sure someone out there did. Go check it out.
WotC has done something different this year for previews. Every day at 1:00 pm PST, they have few puzzles for the crowd to solve and when they do, two preview cards will be shown. Today it was Reverent Hunter and Gift of Immortality. Apparently, two people also get the giant cards to take home which is even cooler. So there will be three more sets of cards previewed this weekend sometime after 1:00 pm PST.
Magic was on the swag back this year and one random 30 card decks was inside. This, of course, allowed players to play in line with their friends which you saw all over the place. The goal, obviously is to get more people interested in the card game. Will it work? Well, the line for the fireball game at the WotC booth was about an hour long to get a promo Chandra’s Fury and to get your picture taken to get Chandra’s goggles. The line to play the DotP 14 Expansion was about 45 minutes when I was there. Of course, I got an exclusive Elspeth pin when I was done which is pretty cool.
About exclusive swag, it looks like there’s several things at this year’s PAX. Fblgthp has a plushie (pretty cute) but that may or may not be available online later. There’s a Green Elspeth shirt that’s awesome. And finally there’s an exclusive Elspeth shirt for the PAX party. Yeah, no Black on Black Planeswalkers here, so you should be okay unless you love Elspeth or love shirts. Oh, and FYI, the metal Guild Pins from last year’s PAX are going for $10 a piece; WotC’s selling them at their booth.
I’ll cover the PAX party on Saturday night so follow along on my Twitter feed (which should be working better than it was today). Come find me at the party and say hi, I’ll be the one wearing the Theros jersey. We’ll get our first real impression about the plane of Theros, and I can’t wait. Until then, feel free to enjoy some of the pictures from today.
Any other Magic sites, if you want to use my photos please go ahead and do so. But an attribution would be nice.