Updated: Dec 5, 2018
One of the many fine gaming establishments in Kansas City.
Land Say Go is a Kansas City based operation. We are smack-dab in the middle of the nation, and frankly, it's a fine place to be. I was gearing up for a field test of a competitive list last Friday at #FNM, and needed a few cards to fill out my list of 75. I decided to make my customary call to my LGS to see if the product was in stock, and of course, it was. So, I dropped by on a break and visited with Scott and Kevin.
Located off of Holmes Rd. here in Kansas City, Spanky's Card Shop has a reputation for housing some of the most hard-nosed Magic players in the city. Seldom are there times at pre-release events, RPTQ's, or even weekly Standard and Modern tournaments where you will find the competition lacking. The store is owned and operated by Scott Lipp, a long time #MTG pro whose most recent big win was taking down Grand Prix Sydney in July of 2016. His skill and ability to ascend to the highest echelons of the game has also built a culture and a following of other players who align themselves with Team Spanky.
Our conversations this past Friday were not unlike most of our dialogue when I drop into the shop. I ask what new and exciting decks Spanky has been brewing, get no answers because he guards his deck techs from prying eyes, and then I start gabbing with Kevin and exchanging laughs. What remains so refreshing to me about taking my money and patronage to Spanky's is that this shop legitimately cares about the availability of product to the customers who stop by. Scott and Kevin have taken a position to slow down on online sales in an effort to be able to supply you - the customer - with what you are looking for when you are there to buy. Awesome.
Spanky's Card Shop has really grown over the course of the last 3 years. 100+ people will show up for midnight pre-release events. You can find games here in a variety of formats 5 nights a week, and the people you will play are generally knowledgable Magic players with a desire to win. This local game store is dedicated to Magic: The Gathering and Cardfight!! Vanguard. This is a real rarity when you are searching for hobby driven brick and mortars in KC, and a true testament to the commitment ownership at Spanky's has to being that expert level spot to get the cardboard you are looking for.
I value the exchanges I've had with Scott and Kevin, they have a 20 year history with the game, and are damn fine Magic players. It's refreshing to have a place to spend my time and money that embodies the level of commitment and interest I exhibit for the game. Just being there during special weekends gives you an idea of the camaraderie that KC Magic players have, in some ways we all know each other, have seen each other at FNM, events or tourneys, or have played and have a healthy rivalry with one another.
DBoe and I both won our first (of many) Game Day events at Spanky's, in pools of 30+ players, and that's really where it all begins...powering your way to the head of the pack, taking down the trophy and developing a tangible hunger for deeper levels of competitive Magic. By the time this MagicFest in KC rolls around in 2019, it will have been nearly 6 years since a major Grand Prix style event will have been held in this metropolis. To any of you who read this article and decide to mosey our way next May, you would be doing yourself a real disservice by not visiting Spanky's while you are here.
Magic: The Gathering Arena is taking the community by storm right now. It's a free-to-play open beta platform for the game rooted in Standard! Scott and Kevin were sharing their opinions of the software with me during my last visit, and I was pleased to hear that their impressions are overwhelmingly positive. Which, considering the damage that could potentially be done to brick and mortar stores from an online leaning preference to the game of Magic, renews my faith in the plan savvy store owners have to remain a community anchor. The paper game is where the core of the community will remain for the time being. But, as the world and our interactions with one another become more digitized, there is nothing stopping #WOTC from organizing large scale events through the Arena platform.
I feel like these old staple shops in our community will figure out a way to adapt. I feel like the player base and customers at Spanky's will keep the shop alive in the eventuality that online play becomes the preferred medium. I feel like Spanky's Card Shop has become one of the premiere locations for Magic: The Gathering, and that Kevin and Scott (Spanky) have a lot to be proud of given the advancements the shop has made based solely off of an economy powered by buying, selling, and trading #MTG cards. It's remarkable, and I take my hat to both of them.
Scott and Kevin, if you have a chance to read this, see you soon, and thanks for what you do for the KC MTG community. Your shop represents the best of what the game has to offer from a social perspective, and I hope you know that Spanky's is my LGS.
Until next time - this is J.B. saying play a Land, and Say Go...to Spanky's Card Shop.