This past weekend I attended the annual Eternal Festival in Tokyo. The Eternal Festival is Japan’s largest legacy tournament held every October in Itabashi, Tokyo. This year’s event of almost 300 players was so large the main hall on the second floor went beyond capacity and forced tournament operates to create a second room on the first floor of the venue.
My preparation for the tournament went as it usually does, prepare my trade binder in the evening and show up at the break of dawn to pass out cards to complete friends’ decks. I brought legacy elves with me, but I decided not to play in the tournament for a few reasons. I hadn’t play tested with elves recently, my sideboard was incomplete, I wasn’t prepared for the Legacy metagame, and the entry fee of 3000yen was a little out of my budet. Honestly though, I wasn’t very much interested in playing anyway, I came to trade!
My tournament day began in the usual fashion; I arrived at the event, and immediately began distributing cards, including the Show and Tell from my cube. After a quick “re-distribution of wealth” to my friends, we began the ritual of pre-tournament banter about deck choice, followed by tournament registration, and eventual deck registration. Everything went well until we sat down for deck registration. The moment arose when a pristine Japanese Show and Tell mysteriously vanished from my friend’s box. Obviously, it was the one I had given him. How could it be? Within fifteen minutes the card just disappeared. My friend seemed sick to his stomach and for good reason. Not only did he lose a $70 magic card, he spent 2.5 hours on the train to Tokyo and spent months testing decks only to attain disaster five minutes before round one.
There was really nothing we could do at that point, but we found a way to make up for it. Trading! I spent the rest of my day doing what I do best, trading my bulk rares for impossibly hard-to-find cards.
A quick cautionary tale to anyone visiting Japan: Don’t bring your trade binders with you on vacation to Japan. I’ve been here almost a year without a single trade at any card shop in Tokyo, and it’s not because I’m forgetful. The card shops here have banned trading. Yap, that’s right – they have banned trading. Lucky for me, this tournament was organized at a local venue, so trading was back on the menu, and I made sure to get my fill for the day.
There were six guys huddled in a corner of the hall outside the tournament room, and they
were obviously the ones to talk to. I made my way over and began hustling for cards I desperately needed. I was lucky the first guy I met was infatuated with Korean cards. I liquidated much of my Korean collection and got retail for each one. I made out like a bandit trading some two Tempest Dark Rituals and a Diabolic Edict for a Windswept Heath.
The next fellow I came across traded me many of the rares you see in the pictures below. After all was said and done, the only two cards of note I was unhappy to part with were Intuition and Scalding Tarn. Other than that, The cards I traded were Archetype playables like Iona, Shield of Emeria, Primeval Titan, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Garruk, Primal Hunter and others. I don’t believe any of the cards I traded will have lasting monetary value, so it wasn’t very difficult to say goodbye. And besides, 2 of the 4 I listed have already been banned in Commander. Again, I had a blast. Just having the chance to dig through the swag these guys brought was an experience itself.
It’s funny, Japanese who have interests greater than the social norm are often called “Otaku” for their unrelenting pursuit of a hobby, and I can understand why. You would never see anything like this in America – players usually don’t carry 800-count boxes full of Japanese foils and chase cards from eternal formats. At the end of the day, I got my hands on some sweet gems, and my buddy traded a stack of rares and a playset of Sensei’s Divining Tops for 4 Japanese Wastelands. He felt much better after losing his Show and Tell.
My Tournament Swag
From Top Left: Cabal Coffers, Serra’s Sanctum, Windswept Heath, Wooded Foothills, Command Tower,
Steam Vents, Gilded Drake, Pact of Negation, Replenish, Vindicate, Knight of the Reliquary,
Earth Craft, Goblin Lackey, Goblin Sharpshooter, Blood Moon, Phyrexian Dreadnought,
Kokusho, the Evening Star, Cruel Tutor, Vampiric Tutor
As for the tournament, it just ended yesterday, and I’m still waiting for final results to be posted online. When they’re up, I will for sure update TheCommandZone.com with news of the Top 8 and winners. If you want to “read” more about the Eternal Festival, visit their website here. Sorry, it’s in Japanese, but you can always put it through some translation service if you’d like.
I hope you everyone had a great weekend. I know I did.