• Store/TO Profile No. 3 - Jenna Marion and Magic Stronghold

    Welcome back Dice Fans! Here is the third installment of our store/TO profile series. This time we have gone North of the border to our friends in Canada to visit Jenna Marion and the store she TO's at, Magic Stronghold in Vancouver, BC. As always, if you know of a store that should be highlighted, please send me a DM and we will work on getting them into the mix!

    What got you into dice masters? It was my friend Adam. They had been playing Dice Masters for just over a month and a half and were trying to get me to play. But knowing how addictive collectible games are to me, I resisted at first. But it didnít take long to sucker me in, and now Iím here, in all the Dice Masters gloryÖ A little less wealthy, but happy.

    How often do you hold events? I run events every Monday. There are some times where I will offer to run another event on an off day if I happen to have the day off from work.

    Do your run ďseasonsĒ or just alternate formats? I run both. I have a league that I operate every 3 months. We typically only hold unlimited constructed events for major events such as the PDC or WKOs. Otherwise, we run alternate formats, or rainbow drafts.

    How do you determine the type of event? I usually just wrack my brain and think of fun interactions that we donít see unless people are forced into it. Itís always different.

    What are some unique events that you have run? One of my favorite draft formats is a chaos draft. Each player is allowed to choose 15 packs of their liking, and then we draft from those selected. Another event that Iím excited to try that is coming up soon is an alternate universe event where the purchase cost of characters is different than displayed. Iím hoping this will allow us to bring out some of our big cards that are never played because of the huge costs associated with them. Some of them are that cost for a reason, and so those wonít be allowed.

    How long have you/the store been hosting events? I have been hosting events since the JL set was released. I started at one store, and then moved to another store due to the restrictive nature of the previous store. They would only allow events once per month, which wasnít enough to sustain interest in the game.

    What have you/store done to attract new players and keep long standing players interested in the game? For our long-standing players, we really enjoy alternate formats, leagues where not just the top players are rewarded, special custom prizes, etc. People have to have fun, but also feel like they are getting value for their time/money spent. I poll my players and ask them what they might want to see in events, what they want for prizes, etc.

    As for new players, we have held learn-to-play events to try to attract new blood; Iíve also continuously made posts on reddit, boardgamegeek and facebook promoting the events. I also have ready common sets to give to new players as well as older promos so they donít feel so behind. I also try to invite anyone stopping by to watch and sit and learn to play the game, or to come back another time. But to be honest, itís really word of mouth that brings in new players. Your players have to be excited about the game, and that starts with the TO. If your players arenít having a good time, they likely wonít try to get their friends to come along.

    What does your current meta look like? Guy rush is fairly popular in our area, as well as a certain amount of control and Gobby always makes an appearance. Iíve played online with friends around the country, and there are noticeable differences in the meta, hard to peg what they are exactly, but itís just different everywhere you play.

    Do you have a wide range of age groups playing? How do you cater to them if you do? Our youngest player that comes weekly is now 13, our oldest players are in their 40ís. So Iíd say the range is pretty large. Other than our 13 year old, the rest of our player base is in their 20ís to 30ís so we donít really treat him any differently.

    Do you hold demo nights? Every few months I try to host a demo day for new players, however they havenít been that successful, as I said, with most games, itís word of mouth that draws new players. Itís rare that you will have new players just show up to a game to play.

    How has your local scene evolved/changed since the start of the game? Lots of players have come and gone, itís constantly changing, people change jobs, lose interest, move to another game. But there are a few core group members that have been there from the start and help keep everything together.

    What are you and your players using the most from the D&D2 set? Half-Elf Bard, Dwarf Wizard, Elf Thief, Beholder.. pretty standard I think. We did have a couple D&D constructed tournaments, and Iíve noticed out of every IP that we have to work with, D&D is the most versatile. Our of 10 players, almost everyone had a different win condition, and at least half the cards were different.

    What are you looking forward to using from Worldís Finest? I suppose it would depend on the format. In a limited format, Iíd like to work on a Batman family team, using babs. I donít know that there is anything in the set that I would use on my unlimited team. Iíd have to play test a bit before making that choice.

    Is your store planning on supporting/sponsoring any players for WKO Regionals or National/World events? Not that I am aware of, I didnít even realize that that was a thing. Sign me up!

    How have you balanced competitive and casual play types? Itís hard when youíre a competitive player to not want to build the best team, something that will win and also to take a loss without having it bother you. It was hard for me for a long time to lose. But as more and more sets have come out, trying new things and spending time with my players has been more enjoyable than winning.

    Favorite card and/or character? I am a huge fan of Spider-Woman, Scarlet Witch and 90ís Jean Grey. I wish that we had some really great female characters to work with in competitive play. Spider-Woman: Pheromones has worked well for me in a lot of events, Iíd pair her up with Black Widow: Killer Instinct for maximum effect. Scarlet Witch hasnít seen much play from me unfortunately; Iím hoping to get a card more aligned with her actual powers.

    Card you worry the most about seeing on the other side? Spray, Taunt, and a Hulk VS Hulk

    Most memorable Dice Masters moment? Aside from winning the WKO, which was a great moment, and I imagine would be great for any player, itís all the great people I get to meet and talk with all the time. Iíve made some great friends playing dice masters, friendships that I feel like extend beyond the gaming environment, people I wouldnít have otherwise spent time with. Itís the honestly the thing I love the most about this game; itís community.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      Can confirm: @RainCityJenna is an awesome person
    1. galathonredd's Avatar
      galathonredd -
      Damn straight she is. The Retro-Matic Gamer approves this message!