North Shore Friday Night Magic – Modern: new structure

October 3, 2019

Good evening, my fellow Modern players. We have some changes coming to the Friday Night Magic – Modern event at our North Shore location. These changes are limited to this event at this location.

Starting Friday, 11 October 2019, Modern FNM will increase its prizes to 2-packs per match win, and players who are winless after 4 rounds will also get a pack. Prize packs are your choice, and our regular pack conversions are always available – i.e. 2 packs = 1 Modern Horizons pack, so you can win a Modern Horizons pack every round.

As is typical with our pack-per-win events, the price for this event is based on the prizes distributed as if we were selling those prize packs individually. With the extra pack for winless records, this is 4.5 packs per player, or $20.25. Because that is a strange number and tournament math is a bit inexact (draws and drops distribute fewer packs, byes distribute more), we’re pricing this event at $20.

North Shore Modern FNM – effective 11 October 2019

$20 entry
4 Swiss rounds
2-packs per match win
players with no match wins after 4 rounds get 1 pack


This is a bit nuanced, so stay with me.

Our jobs at the Board Game Barrister (and, in my belief, in our lives generally) is to deliver value for others. We want to deliver the most value to the most people. In the realm of games, the single most valuable thing we can do is to introduce people to a new game, and through that game, new experience with their friends and family. For Magic: the Gathering, this means that the single most valuable thing we can do is to introduce a new person to this amazing game, and then guide them through those early steps to becoming a real part of the community. Because once you understand both the game of Magic and the community that exists around it, you can join that community most anywhere in the world. And I believe that this is something of real value.

The most important vehicle we have for bringing new players into Magic is its signature event, Friday Night Magic (FNM). This also means that Friday nights is the time when we can deliver the most value – and if we are not delivering the most value during those Friday nights, then we aren’t doing our job.

To get back to the question of “what are you thinking, Gordon”: my premise is that Modern players, by and large, don’t need much from us – that there simply is not much value we can deliver to them. Compared to the process of creating a new Magic player – the single most-important thing we can do – it seems clear that trading a new-player-focused event for a longtime-player-focused event is a poor use of the flagship Friday Night Magic time slot. And, at our new North Shore store, it is more clearly a trade because of the physical limitations of the smaller event space. However, if you know me, you know that I alwyas try to challenge my premises – and that’s how we come to the new Modern FNM structure: I’m trying to see if my premise is wrong.

If it turns out that my premise is correct and there is limited value we can provide, then the players who have made up our Modern community will move to other locations, other days, other formats, or other pursuits that better match the value they desire. Fantastic! Really, truly. This is the way life is supposed to work. I want everyone to spend their time doing the things they value .

However, if my premise is incorrect and we discover that there is indeed more value we can deliver to Modern players, that’s also fantastic. Let’s deliver that value. That’s what we want: to deliver the most value to the most people.

To my longtime Modern-playing brethren: whatever you choose to play, whenever and wherever you choose to play it, I wish you all the best, and…

May the Cards be With You,


Gordon L.

Gordon, a.k.a. "the" Barrister, or simply "G", opened the first Board Game Barrister store in 2005 in a fit of delusion: that he could both finish up law school and start a retail business - one has worked out, the other less so. Gordon loves working in the toy industry, which is filled with wonderful people who love what they do; he loves working with his fellow Barristers; and he loves the community of people that has grown around the playing of games together at the Board Game Barrister stores. If Gordon were a Dungeons & Dragons character, he would be a lawful goody-two-shoes silicon wizard with a skills in perl and complex compound sentences. Gordon loves many games, but when forced to choose he went with China, Power Grid, Lost Cities, and Empire Builder.

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