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Getting Lucky

    Anyone worth anything knows that you can always use a little luck when it
comes to the game of Magic.  Of course being able to play the game well,
knowing the timing, and bringing a good deck to the table are important. 
However, I feel that Magic is about 17-20% luck.  If you want to see how I
came up with that figure, catch another time.  Besides, the percentage is
totally debatable. 

    Everyone is already set on the fact that it is going to take more than
just skill to win Regionals.  With the Southern Regionals expecting well over
300 participants I can see the arguments.  We will have to wading through
players for nine rounds.  Several of those might require you getting some
good draws to win, whereas some others will just be good matchups for you.

    First and foremost, figure out your metagame.  The metagame isn't going
to just come to you form sitting on your butt.  You have to playtest with
large groups and try to figure out what people like.  Try difference versions
of the same decks.  Find some cards that work better than others.  Also, be
aware of new "secret tech" that the general public may not have.  Don't be
afraid to copy decks from the net to test against.  Give yourself better odds
by testing against winning decks.  This is not a creativity contest.  You are
not being judged on creativity.  You are being judged on winning, plain and
simple.  Just for the record, I am not telling you to just copy a deck and be
uncreative.  I am also not promoting a "win at all cost" attitude.

    Anyway, once you have accessed the metagame, try putting some main deck
card sin the deck that can swing a tough match for you.  I am not telling you
to put in sets of four of cards dedicated to a singular matchup, but try one
or two of something.  For instance, a counter-rebel player that is going into
Regionals with the idea of playing against a lot of counter-rebels might want
one or two main deck Rebel Informer.  Rebel Informer is not a terrible card
to have anyway.  In that particular deck, it is a bit difficult to get into
play, but the deck has some tricks to get it into play.  At the very least,
the card is a 2/2 creature, so it's not going to be completely worthless in
any matchup.

    The objective here is not to fill the deck with random cards.  Just put
in a few that might make a change for tough matchups.  Try to make sure that
the cards are not going to be useless if you are playing against a deck the
card was not intended for. Just don't go overboard.  Another good example
would be having one main deck Perish in a deck that can support a decent
amount of black mana.  Several black decks have already tried this theory in
the past.  Some have had a decent amount of success.  Others have not.  The
idea here though is to increase your luck.  Another deck, like Fires for
instance, may want to try playing with one or two Simoon main deck.  The same
theory applies to the mirror match set up for the Counter-Rebel deck.

    Many times the cards to try this with make themselves obvious.  What
cards are you sideboarding in most of the day?  If those cards are being
brought in more than 60% of the time, then why aren't they main deck?  You
might be afraid of drawing them when they are useless or something.  OK, fear
of getting caught with them is an acceptable argument.  As a matter of fact,
I will even say that is a REAL good argument.  However, what if just being
able to draw into one, or search out that one copy of the card would swing
those tough matches for you?  When you think about it that way, it starts to
sound a little more appealing.  I am not saying that this strategy is totally
sound.  I am not guaranteeing a win because of it.  I am just trying to give
you some options to help yourself out on the big day.

    You may also want to try a different variety of sideboard cards.  If
people are playtesting and have learned to play around certain sideboard
cards, your sideboard options are already less effective.  Sometimes, you are
already playing the best sideboard cards so that is just something you have
to deal with.  Try to play around with some different sideboard options.  Try
to find some other cards that are good in various matchups that people
haven't tried yet.  Sometimes people are playing them in certain areas, but
no one has played them at big tournaments and popularized them.

    All I am doing here is trying to give you some options.  What people
aren't pointing out in their arguments about luck is the most important
factor.  You have to put luck in to your deck.  Of course there is always the
chance that you just might "get lucky."  If you only are backed against the
wall at three life and your opponent is at one, how good are your odds going
to be at topdecking a card that isn't in the deck?  You need increase your
odds of getting lucky.  Many times people say their opponent got lucky, when
their opponent had honestly been setting up that draw with very good plays on
the two previous turns. Between good plays and having game swinging cards in
their deck, it is going to appear as though they got lucky.  Regardless, the
lucky player won the match.  So, wouldn't you like to be lucky?

    I believe that is the most important rule: You have to put luck in your
deck!  It's pretty hard to get lucky with bad cards.  Low synergy between
cards makes it hard to get lucky.  Some people just have a really hard time
getting lucky in any way when it comes to this game we love.  However,
increasing your odds never hurts. 

    I hope this got some of you thinking.  Maybe we will see some innovative
technology as the big day gets closer.  Maybe we will see more interesting
sideboards.  Regardless, have fun trying to get lucky! :)

DeQuan Watson
a.k.a. PowrDragn

PS went over real well last week, and I would
suggest that players keep their eyes on it.  We are going to have some hard
to find foils going up on the site in the next few days.