Hey guys and gals! Sorry for the hiatus last week, but I was on the road for work in Singapore, and just couldn’t find time to get an article up. I was there for the F1 race, which also happened to be over the Khans of Tarkir prerelease weekend.

Initially I was bummed that I was going to miss my first prerelease in probably four years or so, but then when I got the schedule of events for the weekend, I saw that I had a small window of free time on Saturday morning—aka about 12 hours after having arrived on 21 total hours of flights from New York—and so I looked into local game stores near my hotel.

Sure enough, I found one—the awesome Games Haven, run by a real international ambassador of the game, Jeff Gan—and corresponded with Jeff before my arrival, asking about details. Would the cards be in English? Could I preregister without paying ahead of time in person?

Jeff kindly answered all my questions (yes and yes), and so on Saturday morning I found my jet-lagged self navigating the subway from City Hall station to Paya Lebar station, and Games Haven. What follows is my photo essay about my excellent prerelease experience in Singapore.

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Just five stops away!

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Here’s what I saw across the street when I found the address for Games Haven.

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Bam! Just upstairs, just like NYC’s old Neutral Ground.

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When I got inside, the scene was like any other on prerelease weekend: crowds of eager, jostling Magic players waiting to select their clans.

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I hadn’t really considered which clan to play, and when I asked for Temur, Jeff said it was sold out. I asked for Abzan, too, but that also was sold out. So I audibled to Sultai.

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My first opponent was Marcus. He was on Abzan, and we had three of the grindiest games in my recent memory. I had some great delve synergies in my deck, with Necropolis Fiend, Treasure Cruise, and two copies of Scout the Borders, but Marcus’s outlasting hordes won out, basically in turns. GGs!

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My next-round opponent was notable pro player Kelvin Chew! In one game I actually decked myself before I was able to kill Kelvin, and in another he absolutely blew me out by adding +1/+1 counters to two of his creatures (via Abzan Charm) while he had out Aniok Bond-Kin, which grants first strike to all creatures with counters on them. What a blowout.

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Players at Games Haven.

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One of the Games Haven workers, who was kind enough to let me take his picture.

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Our round two pairings. Revenge of the Tans! I guess this is what Smiths in America feel like.

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And this is me and Games Haven owner Jeff Gan after the event! Unfortunately my time ran out and I had to drop after going 0-2—but, nevertheless, I had a fantastic time playing and was really touched by the hospitality of Jeff, Kelvin (who also works at the store), and everyone else I interacted with. Thanks again, fellas! I hope I can play with y’all again sometime in the future.

That’s all I’ve got for this week, kids. Today I’m headed down to Florida for GP Orlando, and my first real crack at the format. Hopefully my two byes and general Magic skillz will help carry me to Day 2 alongside Brendan “BMac” McNamara and Brandon “General” Patton, because I sure as shit haven’t prepped enough yet.

Oh well—Khans will be with us for a while, and StarCityGames always puts on an amazing event, so I’ll count it all joy. Speaking of, that reminds me of this gem, from SCG’s recent GP Orlando FAQ:

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Ceci n’est pas une chaise.

23/17 is a Hipsters of the Coast column focused on Limited play—primarily draft and sealed, but also cubing, 2HG, and anything else we can come up with. The name refers to the “Golden Ratio” of a Limited deck: 23 spells and 17 lands. Follow Hunter at @hrslaton.

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