Monday, 20 July 2015

Shopping updates

Red Dice is a store that I have never been to but is popular with the Seoul EDH crew.

It was brought to my attention that they now have an online store http://redmtg.com/
It doesn't look like it has anything the other online stores in Korea don't have but it's nice to have options and gives a good example of what to expect when you visit there.

Playfirst have rebranded their website and look much more foreigner friendly. They ship overseas and the English components on their website actually work so this will probably become the website I recommend by default to people overseas.
http://k-mtg.com/

The coolest thing I found on their site was a Korean Black Bordered Shivan Dragon from 4th edition for $37.


Monday, 13 July 2015

Busan is Back!

The old Busan MTG Facebook group looked dead so I was wondering what was happening down south.

Well looks like they are doing ok and have a new Facebook group with a more regional name.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GyeongnamMTG/

If you live in the south east of the country then you should definitely join. 

Monday, 18 May 2015

Welcome

When I first arrived in Korea I found information about where to play in Korea really hard to find. Hence the creation of this blog, pretty much.

Since then things have got a lot better. If you are new to Korea there are a bunch of resources you can check out.



The first one is the Wizards Locator located on Wizards own site (magic.wizards.com). When I first arrived this just returned a garbled mess of inaccurate results. These days it works and if you have location services turned on, it can be very helpful.

If you are in Seoul, Suwon or Daegu there are healthy Facebook groups to join. This might have been the case back in 2011 but I was not a huge Facebook user at the time. Unfortunately the Busan facebook group looks pretty small and possibly dead.



If you speak Korean then the go to site to visit is the Daum cafe site (http://cafe.daum.net/magin). That's where I got a lot of the information for this blog.

The official site is (http://www.mtg-kr.com/) which is cleaner but has much less information than the Daum Cafe in my experience.

On this blog I have tried to compile a list of shops in Korea that sell Magic the Gathering but most of them I haven't visited and was relying on online information only. 

I have also tried to compile a list of online retailers in Korea but again I haven't personally used most of them so can't vouch for their service.

My experience: 
Once you have found a place to play or shop I thought I would share my experience of what you can expect. Most of the Korean players are quite solid with a very tight technical routine. Before drawing their starting hand it is very common to fan out the 7 cards on the table so the opponent can see they only have 7.
When it comes to trading, Card Kingdom prices (www.cardkingdom.com) seems to be what everyone uses for standard legal values. If something is harder to find or out of stock then Starcity or TCG player may be used. If it's a legacy playable Korean foil then people just tend to guess, and it often goes to committee (bunch of guys standing in the shop sipping on soda suggest a value). 

Casual play doesn't seem to be very popular in my experience and it seems mainly draft and standard are the formats played. There is some Modern in Seoul, not a huge amount but it seems to be doing ok. There is near zero Legacy.
I have heard that there is more casual places in some of the major centres outside of Seoul such as Daegu and Daejeon.
The big exception to all the above are the US Military bases. Due to a lot of personnel movement the experience is likely to change but there is usually a decent amount of Magic going on.
Osan air base has it's own facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/240677409285730/) as does Yongson in Seoul (https://www.facebook.com/MagictheGatheringYongsanKorea). 


Monday, 11 May 2015

Fun Board Game in Changwon/Masan

I could not find an English name for this store so the translation to "Fun" board game is pretty loose and random.

They are located in Masan which is a little west of Changwon which is a little west of Busan.

They are a board game cafe which is serious enough about Magic to host PPTQ's. They are closed on Mondays apparently.

Their contact phone numbers are
Land line: 055-223-1980
Mobile: 
010-6551-1110

Apparently while they don't speak any English but are better at writing/texting. 

Friday, 1 May 2015

Places to Play - Master list

This is my attempt at a master list of Magic Shops in Korea. Those that aren't hyper linked are unconfirmed so I (or you) will have to check out if they actually host magic tournaments.

Seoul/Gyeonggido

Battle City - Yatap
M&A - Imun Dong
Total TCG - Gwangmyeong
Saboten - Sadang
Dalmuti - Suwon
Kindle - Seongsu

The Rak - Naksungdae
Michaels - Gangbyeon 
Rolling Dice - Hongkik University
Red Dice - Hyehwa
About TCG - Sinpung
Duel Shop - Maebong
Duel Zone - Nowon
Battle City - Mokdong
Playfirst - Goyang City
Dalmuti - Gyeodae 

Duel Zone - Gangdong
Michaels - Sincheon
Duel Stage- Ilsan
HalliGalli - Ilsan
Isu Duel Park Cafe - Sadang
Cafe de BonBon - Bucheon
Battle City - Geumjeong
Board Game Cafe Pann - Bundang
Cafe Able - Jeongwang

RIP- OZ - Gangnam
RIP- Tic Toc
RIP- Dive Dice - Hyehwa
RIP- Kindle - Konguk

Incheon
Dual Land - Nam Gu
Taken Board Game Cafe - Nam Gu
Witches Brew - Gyeongin
TPZ Shop

Cheongju
Monopoly - Cheongju

Jeonju
Jeonju Board Game Box

Ulsan

Dual Champ

RIP- Elder Dragon

Gwangju

Alice

Daegu
Michaels

Busan

The Rak
The DARAC
Dual Zone
TCG Korea
Fortune Factory

Daejeon

Board Game Cafe Meca

Changwon/Gyeongnam
Card Castle
PAPA Board 
Fun Board Game



Places to Shop

Nonno21 - Nambu / Seoul
Hobby First - Nambu / Seoul

If you are looking for an English Language draft then Dalmuti - Suwon hosts one every Sunday at 1:00 pm.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The New Kindle in Seongsu

This is the new and current location for Kindle. It is located near Seongsu Station and will be hosting a lot of tournaments. They also have a fantastic singles collection that includes Power.

It's located very close to the station and easy enough to find. Go out exit one and then follow the map. Key landmarks along the way are Paris Baguette, Pizza School, Dunkin Donuts and Lotteria. From Loteria you can see the store while you sip on your coke.

The store is a decent size and fits about 50 players. They actually display their singles in a case in addition to the binders so that is a definite plus.

I attended the grand opening tournament and had a good time. The event started half an hour late and the prizes weren't as good as advertised in English (looks a translation issue rather than anything mischievous) so I felt a little burnt. It's much to far of a trip for me but I do plan to go back sometime.

If I lived close to the store I would be pretty excited because they run a lot of events and have some creative prizes (old packs, foreign foils, unhinged lands etc).






Tuesday, 23 December 2014

New Dalmuti location, a closer look

Last weekend was the first chance to play at the new Dalmuti's location in Suwon.
It's smaller and the security guard on the bottom floor seemed to enjoy sending people away and telling them the store was located in another building. After getting out of the elevator on the fourth floor it requires traversing a dimly lit maze until you find the front door.

It doesn't take many Magic players until the place feels pretty comfortable with a nice vibe, especially since the store is now 100% Magic. The store is now only running on the weekends except for special events.

Last weekend we had a full pod of 8 but there was a lack of English boosters (something which will be remedied by this Sunday) for Khans of Tarkir. They did have Conspiracy though and we jumped into playing that. Before the draft started I probably would have preferred Korean Khans of Tarkir as I love the format and know the cards fairly well. About 3 picks into Conspiracy I remembered that I loved it (enough to build a cube around it) and had assembled a combo of World Knit and Cogwork Grinder. I had perfect mana and an 18/18 six drop in my deck. 




Sealed Conspiracy is a lot cheaper than regular sets but has quite decent value inside. I think a decent amount of players enjoy it but others want nothing to do with it. So while semi popular I think play groups and stores have a hard time finding the critical mass of players to draft it. We are lucky in Suwon to have a lot of regular drafters who like to have fun rather than dream of winning the pro tour.
There was a lot of value opened, including Eunjae getting a Dack Fayden.
Being an old man,  I get a thrill from opening sealed packs with Brainstorm and Swords to Plowshares in them but my favourite take away from the draft was a foil Squirrel Nest.

That draft was followed up by drafting Dan Leonard's cube and the store provided free prizes. It was a lot of fun and I got to play Stoneforge Mystic fetching Batterskull on turn 2 as well as flickering my creature with the Planeswalker Venser before casting Wrath of God. Good times, even when losing to a brutal five colour control deck in round two.

To try and top those shenanigans the cube will be back for a 6:00 pm draft this week, but the main event will be backdraft. That is where you try and draft the worst deck you can and then it is given to someone else. You then get passed a pool that someone else has drafted and try but usually fail to build something resembling a deck. You score points based on your wins and when whoever got the pool you drafted loses. As well as the usual boosters and pride on the line the store is also giving away Garruk's Nerf Axe and some wall sized posters.