- Subject: Regionals for Dummies
Against my better judgment... I allowed myself to get roped into
constructed Magic once again. (not sure if I should put a smiley or frowny
face after this sentence)
The main reason why I have stayed away from constructed for the past few
years is really because I haven't had much of a choice. I'm married
(happily, this week anyway) and my job as an investment banker requires I
work on Saturday mornings. As a result I could never attend tournaments
let alone do any real playtesting except for the occasional game on
The other reason why I stopped playing constructed was the cost involved.
Not that I personally can't afford the cards, more the fact that I was
spending all the money for the cards and never got a chance to actually USE
them! When Invasion Block came to its close I had the best collection of
Magic cards I'd ever had... and I didn't get a chance to play in a single
Invasion Block tourney!! Frustrated about my situation I promptly sold all
my rares to a dealer and vowed to only play limited events from then on.
In the months following this decision I've played in several sealed events
and had a great deal of success. I actually raised my limited rating quite
a deal as a result. Suddenly I noticed how low my constructed rating was
and wished I could do something about it.
At the same time I have been keeping up with the constructed scene thru my
deck fixes and COTD here at the PoJo. I must say that I'm very pleased
with the current Standard (I still think of it as Type 2) field. There are
a TON of deck types out there that are all very playable and have a chance
at being Tier 1 in the coming weeks of Regionals. Honestly I can't
remember such a wide open field. Here's just a short list of decks that
are currently contenders:
frog in a blender (r/g speed)
R/G goods (not as fast but more stable)
Psychatog (several variants)
Classic U/W control
U/G tempo/threshold/madness/flashback abuse (about 100 variants)
B/x Braids (talk about multiple variants! All 4 other colors can be
splashed into a Braids style deck!)
I attribute this wide open field to mainly 1 thing.... games currently last
longer than 3 turns. For the longest time constructed magic was dominated
by decks that win by either "going off" with some killer combo or jamming a
ton of undercosted creatures and burn down the opponents throat. While
both Sligh and Combo still exist they aren't near the wrecking balls they
used to be.
Seems to me games lasting longer than 2 minutes is a good thing for the
game of Magic. An environment of multiple decktypes certainly seems more
fun to play in than the "Rock, Paper, Scissors" meta-games from the past.
I personally really like the direction constructed magic is headed...
which brings me full circle to playing constructed magic once again. I'll
be playing at Pastimes this Saturday in their afternoon tourney here in
I don't plan on doing well since admittedly I've had very little practice playing constructed in the past few years. Because of this I think the
right deck choice for me is an easy to build, easy to play deck. Red/Green
beats seems to fit this bill to a tee.
Here's what I plan on running this weekend...
4 Basking Rootwalla
4 Grim Lavamancer
4 Kavu Titan
4 Wild Mongrel
4 Call of the Herd
4 Flametongue Kavu
4 Urza's Rage
4 r/g pain lands
3 r/g tap lands
3 Barbarian Ring
3 Druid Lyrist
2 Hull Breach
4 Blurred Mongoose
2 Shivan Wurm
While not as fast as some other r/g beats, this deck has a much greater
mid-game presence. In the early game I'll have plenty of cheap removal as
well as cheap creatures which should keep me in the game long enough so
that my elephant tokens, Flametongues, and kicked Titans can take over.
Unlike Frog in a blender this deck RARELY runs out of gas after the first
few turns due to all the Flashback. With the combination of 12 burn
spells, FTK, Lavamancer and Barbarian Rings this deck has a TON of
removal!! I'm thinking I shouldn't need to side much versus a Frog deck
but if I run into a r/g build similar to mine I'll prolly side in the
Mongeese and Shivan Wurms. The opponent will have a tough time using their
burn on the Mongoose and they make an excellent gate for the Shivan Wurm.
In a control matchup this deck takes to the aggressor role quite nicely.
Not as fast as other decks out there however there's still a ton of cheap
creatures to deal with... and when they do that's when I'll start throwing
burn to the dome! Fortunately I've seen very little pro red or green used
recently so I'm gonna keep my fingers crossed that I don't see any this
weekend either. Enchantments like COP's and Worship could make games more
interesting after sideboarding so I expect I'll be bringing in enchantment
removal quite frequently. Mongeese may be sided in against creatureless
opponents to replace FTK.
Versus Braids I'm hoping that all my removal plus lots of creatures of my
own will help minimize the probability of a "Braids Lock". All that
removal will look even better after I side in Compost!
My plan is to go aggressive and throw burn early at the Pyschatog
matchup. I'm pretty sure I can deal 20 to the opponent before they can make a super
Psychatog or use any Upheaval tricks. Keeping them on their heels will
reduce the effectiveness of Standstill, and after sideboard I plan on
siding in the Lyrist as they can "get under" this card drawing powerhouse!
Wish me luck, I still have a few days for testing/tweaking before Saturday.
I'll be happy as long as I don't scrub out... but like I said my
constructed rating could sure use the help! =)