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What We've Learned from Regionals

So, it's Thursday and some of us are just now feeling recovered from the weekend.  Regionals is one helluva day.  Out local South Regionals here went until 2AM.  That's crazy.  Everyone seemed to have a good time though.  Our region had some firsts this time around that were pretty interesting.
We had dealer tables for the first time ever.  I know this comes as a shock to most of you, but our region had never had dealer tables prior to this year.  The presence of the dealer tables made many players happy.  I think it also added to the value of regionals as a whole.  If you don't have dealer tables at regionals, talk to your local tournament organizer and ask for them.  If you do...well, you know how good it is.
Also, there was a separate game area for side events and trading and such.  This is also where the put the dealer tables.  This was great.  It gave players a place to go that was separate from the main tournament area.  It was nice and cool.  It was reasonably quiet.  It was neat and different.  Most players seemed to like it.
And on a generally different note, our regional brought in a whopping 589 players.  That was probably in the top three regionals based on attendance I would imagine.  The funny thing is, most people were predicting only 500 players for our region.  Even with the attendance being nearly 100 more players than expected, the staff handled the event really well.  I give them props for that, because its not an easy job.
I did get a few fans that wanted me to autograph stuff.  It was fun and neat.  I had a couple of father son tandems come over to get cards signed.  One tandem from San Marcos, the other from San Angelo.  It was neat overall.  I wish I remembered names though.  I got so busy with my day that I didn't take the time to familiarize myself with the players better.  But to be honest, even if I did, I probably would have forgotten by the end of the day.  We left by 10:15 and still got home at about 12:30 after stopping to eat.
But what else have we learned other than how to run a good event.  Well, after reviewing the results, things look rough.  The decks you expected to do well, did do well.  But the problem is that some of them may have done TOO well.
First of all, unless Fifth Dawn (that's the next Magic set for those of you not in the know) has something to get Ravager/Affinity under control, that deck is going to continue to cause players fits.  More importantly though, we might have seen the last major tournament with Skullclamp legal.  My reasoning is as follows.
Wizards of the Coast doesn't want to ban cards unnecessarily.  They work hard to try and balance things.  However, they have been getting a lot of e-mail and letters about the current environment with Skullclamp.  They also haven't had any large standard tournament to gauge results with.
Well, now we have it.  Those Skullclamps were everywhere.  I have heard a rumor that someone has already done the math and something like 72%+ of the winning decks were playing a full set of FOUR Skullclamps.  That's correct.  Nearly three-fourths of the field was playing a full compliment of Skullclamps.  That's crazy.  Those results are probably good enough for WotC to do something about it.  So, I would keep an eye on this situation pretty closely.  Nationals and then Worlds are coming up.  Some other interesting news will probably follow shortly.
How much trading was going on at regionals across the country?  My goodness.  I say more big names cards change hands this year than ever before.  I should have expected that though.  Obviously.  We had a record number of players.  That means more cards.  The dealers bought a lot of cards.  It might even stand to reason that in some places, players made more than the dealers.  Use the excess product you traded for to finish out your collections.  Trade your stuff with locals. 
From a trading standpoint, that's what regionals should be used for.  Trade away your excess stuff to people who may need it.  So many cards are needed in one area that aren't needed in another.  Regionals brings players from so many different areas around your region.  Those of you that took advantage of it, should be able to enjoy it the next few days with good trades.
For those of you that haven't been, you should go and frequent the Pojo message boards.  They are active and easy to navigate.  Give them a go and check them out.  There's some good information floating around there.  There's also some interesting people.  They are absolutely free.  It only takes a minute to sign up.
Also, Fifth Dawn prereleases are coming.  Take a look around and make sure that you are aware of the location of your local event.  I know for a fact that there will be a lot of cards in that set worth checking out.
::pardon me for a second while I weep at another Lakers loss::
OK.  I'm back.
Also, players seem to be a bit discouraged that there are no major standard (type 2) tournaments available for the next few months.  Well, check your local areas.  There are a lot of good regional events going on around the US.  Most of them are offering anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 top prizes.
I know that we have a local tournament series in San Antonio happening that I was unaware of until a few weeks ago.  We also have the Texas Magic League $5K Challenge happening through the summer months.  If you are interested, go to www.texasmagicleague.com to find out more information.  I know there is something in the midwest and something in the northeast.  I'm not sure about elsewhere.  But if there's nothing in your area, look at getting some help and starting something up.  Players will be looking for something to do in the summer.
Also, why not use the summer rot bring more players into the fold.  You'll have so many people with free time on their hands.  Go to your local store and teach some people how to play Magic.  I'm sure you have some extra commons and uncommons you need to get rid of.  Give some to the new guys that you show the game to.  This will them some new cards to tart playing with and it makes you look like a hero.  We've been doing this for years at our store and out playerbase keeps growing exponentially.  It also keeps our personal collections fromg etting out of hand.
That reminds me.  Go pay your local card store a visit.  It's easy to forget about them in the middle of exams, finals, graduations, etc.  It's good to stop in, say hello, and get a few games in.  It helps you relieve stress and have some fun.  Also, I'm sure your local store owner will be glad to see you.  It's also good to talk with your local store owner and stake your claim to event times.  Get some evnts scheduled.  You might even consider getting a small tournament series or a league going.  Everyone is going to be free and space could potentially be limited.
Looking at the results from regionals, the game of Magic has obviously grown a ton.  With a new set coming out and the whole summer ahead of us, it could very well be another time for growth.  Now is a good time to bring new players into the fold and make things happen.
I was almost ready to leave you guys, and then I remembered that I have to cover the bad play of the week.  I know how much you guys love that and who am I to deny my adoring public.
Anyway, this first one is from TJ:
I don't know if this is a bad play as much as it is a stupid mistake. I had a 1/3 Ornithopter out (my arcbound worker died) and my opponent has 2 goblin warchiefs in play.  Besides my land I had two Skullclamp (unequipped) out. My opponent has 3 life and I have 5 life. I look at my field at in a desperation. I attack with my Ornithopter realizing that I had no chance of winning. I end my turn and my opponent says to me "thanks for letting me win." I looked at him in an awkward way as he played a Raging Goblin and brought me down to 0. I then asked him what he meant and he then said that I could have beaten him if I put the two Skullclamps on my Ornithopter. I was very annoyed for the rest of the day thanks to my stupidity. Again I don't know if this is a bad play as much as it is a stupid mistake, but thanks for looking at it.
Guess what, bad play or not...you're the winner.
Sometimes, it's the little things that count.  Gotta look at everything as a whole each turn.  It seems to be more often than not that the details are what win games.
On that note, I'm out.
Until next time,
DeQuan Watson
PowrDragon on practically every message board known to man.







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