Conventions · Events

Commandfest Bellevue 2022

Tom and I have never been to a Magic convention before and we are screaming inside as we walk in the door. The Meydenbauer Center is extremely large and spacious with ample room to move around and practice social distancing. Vendor booths fill the outside walls with the middle being occupied by tables and a modest stage.

Near the front door are tickets, judges, and prizes. I immediately fix my eye on a Neera playmat featuring the Commandfest logo. It will go perfectly with my janky as heck Neera deck and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Spoiler alert: Totally got that mat!

I have to hike my mask up to the bridge of my glasses so I don’t fog myself in with my heavy breathing. 

Tom leads us over to the first vendor booth and we delve into singles, packs, and merchandise. I can see Joey Schultz from EDHRECast sitting with someone who appears to be dressed as the new Tasha card. However, my glasses are soon too foggy to see if I got the cosplay correct. I want to go over and say something, but it feels inappropriate to interrupt. Besides, I can’t think of any good dad jokes that he’ll appreciate.

It’s worse when I spot Melissa DeTora. I recently saw her on the Enter the Battlefield Pro Tour documentary and decided that she’s my new hero. She’s at a table with a bunch of other girls and they definitely have a cool-girl-vibe going on and I don’t feel like I should go over. Tom suggests I ask her to sign something for me. I briefly consider it before realizing that I’ll probably get so awkward that I’ll overshare and tell Melissa everything about my childhood cat and what his favourite brand of potato chips were (Old Dutch Ripple) while her cool-girl-pals are forced to witness the entire exchange. She doesn’t even know the bullet that she dodged that day. Be thankful, Melissa.

Gavin Verhey is wearing the brightest pink pants that I’ve ever laid eyes on. He’s in a deep exchange with someone near the Rhystic Studies and Nicol Bolas shirts. I try to purchase a shirt but I’m told that they’re out of my size and I’ll have to order online. I assure them that I will. (I’m a liar. I don’t.)

However, Justine Jones is signing cards and she gives us an in-depth description of the inspiration behind one of her prints. It’s an intricately lined snail that’s rising from the sea in a myriad of psychedelic purple, pink, and turquoise waves. We pick up two snail prints and I get my Ganax signed for my Miirym deck – deciding that Justine has my heart forever. (Move over, Melissa. My list of MTG heroes is growing.) Absolute sweetheart of a human being.

My first signed card!

Soon, it’s time for our scheduled Two Headed Giant tournament. Tom and I sit down with our Willowdusk, Essence Seer and Liesa, Forgotten Archangel decks. Our first match goes well. We all agree to split the prize tickets before we even play. Tom and I narrowly win after he’s forced to use a Bojuka Bog on my graveyard because our opponents milled my deck so badly. (One of them had a Consuming Aberration out or something similar.)

Our next game is over within seconds after our opponents pretend to be on the same page as us in regards to power level, but then simultaneously do a collaborative grand reveal of their commanders. It is truly villainous and I can’t believe it’s real life. Tergrid and Tiny Bones have us scooping by turn three. Oh well, you can’t win them all. I’m still not over their Team Rocket style hand gestures as they unveiled their evil plot. The audacity.

A truly meme worthy experience

Luckily, I’m able to snag my Neera mat and we go for lunch with a good friend who’s signed up to run one of the vendor stands. At the very least, we’re able to laugh about our Tergrid experience over drinks while sharing our loot with one another.

Maybe next time I’ll finally be able to approach Melissa and she’ll tell me her cat’s favourite type of chip. (I bet it’s barbecue.) Maybe Gavin will tell me where he buys his pants and Joey will share his best dad joke.

For now, I’m thoroughly satisfied with our first experience at a Magic convention and can’t wait for the next one!

Trying to take a selfie in front of the MTG backdrops. Note to self: Next time, bring more friends!

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