Nerd Fun Abounds in Central Square

Ever want to drink beer and play Magic: The Gathering at the same time? Pandemonium Books and Games hosts a Tavern draft every Thursday.

It was a cold winter’s night and I found myself in Central Square looking for warmth, a drink, and something to eat, so I turned into the Tavern in the Square, located on 730 Massachusetts Avenue, got myself settled with a frozen pear cocktail and a burger, opened up a pack of the newest Magic: The Gathering set Fate Reforged, and started thinking about what colors I was going to play that night. (Magic: The Gathering is a popular trading card game).


This is no random night at the bar: this is a weekly event. Thursdays at 7:00PM, gaming newcomers and veterans alike can go to Pandemonium Books and Games, located on 4 Pleasant St., buy entry into their Tavern Draft, and then walk over to The Tavern in the Square for a relaxed night of Magic: The Gathering.


Drafting in Magic is when players open a new pack each, taking one card from it of their choosing before passing it along to the next player in their drafting group. This is repeated until all the cards in the pack have been chosen, and then is repeated with two more packs of cards. The players then build a deck with the cards they chose, and after that they play in a tournament with those decks to determine prizes.


Drafts are a format of Magic that doesn’t require any extra money besides the cost of the draft itself because a deck made beforehand is not required to play, and this draft only costs 20$ and includes the chance to win prizes in the tournament after drafting and a 5$ gift card to the Tavern in the Square.


The atmosphere at the Tavern Draft was welcoming, and even though people were playing to win, the atmosphere was relaxed and loose. Everyone had paid for the experience and fun of drafting, not just to compete for a prize.


I lost my first round, and after the match my opponent was incredibly helpful, offering up some advice on what I could do better next time, both in the drafting process and in the match itself.


That general vibe of helping each other out and friendly, low-key competition carried throughout the night, and whenever people got bored with the deck they built, they just dropped out of the tournament and started playing casual games with decks they brought from home while enjoying cold drinks and warm food.


Whether they were a full on nerd like me, or someone just looking to play some games in the bar on Thursday night, a good time was had by all.