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The Dragon's Den
And the Day is Here...
By DeQuan Watson -
Well, the day
is actually Saturday, but you get the
Everyone seems to be looking for some
surprise deck to give themselves and
want that one thing that will wow the
crowd and make the day memorable for
them as they plow their way tot he
winner's circle. It may be out there.
But honestly, if it is, I don't have it
at this very moment. That doesn't
bother me though. And realistically, it
shouldn't bother you. If you are
worrying about a special deck at this
stage of your preparation you are
doomed. And honestly, I know of maybe
eight players, personally, that can
handle a new deck with very little
practice and win a tournament. And much
as I love you guys, most of you aren't
on that list. Hell, I'm not even sure if
I'd put myself on that list. I can tell
you though that there is one strong word
to describe the thing you need to win
It's easy to get wrapped up in the
excitement of the day. There will
likely be a lot of players. Many of you
will have driven tot he venue with your
friends or family. You'll be wanting to
trade. You'll be wanting to share
stories. That's all fine and good. But
be sure to keep your head on straight.
Stay focused. Some players don't
realize that regionals is a large
tournament. It's very long. You will
get tired or wear down if you aren't
careful. Keep your eye on the prized and
don't exert yourself too much.
Mind the rules. If you have too, slow
yourself down. Take your time. I've
had to handle a ton of judge calls just
because players were rushing or skipping
past a particular point of the game.
This generally leads to one player
getting and advantage because something
had to be backed up. This should never
happen though. Both sides should be
aware of the game state at all times. I
know this sounds obvious, but it is an
issue. With the large number of "big
event" first timers, you get multiple
players that play incorrectly,
unknowingly. It works in MTG online.
It work s against my friends. However,
when practiced in real life, those
results don't come out the way you want
them. So take your time. Don't screw
up the rules and cost yourself a game.
Expect people to be tough on the rules.
You can call them rules lawyers if you
so choose, but I wouldn't. I think
these people are just fine. As long as
they aren't being jerks about it and
they are just fine. The rules are in
place for a reason. Make sure you know
Another good word of advice is to be
prepared. I mean in little ways. Make
sure you have a few ways to keep of life
and such. To save yourself time in
line, most tournament organizers will
accept pre-typed decklists. This can
save you a lot of wasted time in line.
There's no need to start your day off
on a negative note. You want as much
positive energy from start to finish.
In addition to the genera stuff, there
are a few things to keep your eyes on.
Urzatron. This is the name players use
to identify the trio of Urza's Mine,
Urza's Tower, and Urza's' Power Plant.
Tooth and Nail used to be the only big
deck taking advantage of these. Well,
that was until recent past. There are
MonoBlue, Blue/Black, and even MonoBlack
decks floating around. These decks
don't have a lot of ways to search for
then. However, that doesn't seem to
slow them down. With other card drawing
and decent tutor effects they are make
use of these high powered lands. Expect
to see some of these around.
Multicolor decks will be everywhere.
There are Birds of Paradise,
Sakura-Tribe Elder, Kodama's Reach,
etc.etc...that you can get lands with.
This allows people to play everything.
This includes big awkward monstrosities
like the Bringers. The Bringers are so
scary. I remember way back when we had
Harrow, Rampant Growth, Birds of
Paradise, and Llanowar Elves. When that
much mana fixing existed, we made lots
of multicolored decks. As a matter of
fact, 5 Color Green (5CG) was actually
debuted at Regionals of 1997. I'd
expect there to be quite a few of them
floating around each regional.
And just for the record, artifacts
aren't deck. You will need somewhere
between four and six cards to deal with
artifacts. If you think they are
dead...well...let's just say that
stories of their demise were largely
mistaken. There are cards like Sword of
Light and Shadow, Sword of Fire and Ice,
and Umezawa's Jitte that you want to
deal with as soon as possible. There
are others that are good utility for a
deck, but can be just problematic enough
for the opposition, like Solemn
Simulacrum. Then of course there are
the other powerful artifacts that can
swing games all by themselves like
Oblivion Stone and Mindslaver. And you
can definitely expect to see these
around. They have been selling decently
from all the different dealers that I've
spoken too lately.
I think the last bit of thought you
should put your mind to is something
that many players don't think about.
You should ask yourself why you're
event going. I don't mean that in a
demeaning tone or anything. I'm just
saying that you should take a step back,
look at yourself, and ask, "What are
your goals for the day?"
Keep them realistic. If this is your
first big event, don't set your goal at
winning the whole thing. Something more
realistic would be to finish in the top
32 and hope to get a prize or some such.
Maybe you don't care how you finish and
you just want to experience. There's
nothing wrong with that. If nothing
else, you will have some great stories
on the day. Maybe your goal is to meet
as many new players as possible and
trade with them. Cool. You can do
Just get your mind right to meet your
purposes. And keep your goals in mind
throughout the day. If you end up in a
funky ruling situation that might upset
someone, if it doesn't matter to you,
just let it go. If it does matter, just
call a judge and be done with it. Don't
sweat over it. If you are about tog et
a time limit draw in the second round,
be nice and give your opponent the win.
If it doesn't matter to you, but it
does to them, you'll be making someone
happy and likely making a new friend.
First and foremost, just remember to
keep the your day enjoyable. Big events
like regionals don't come around very
often. It'll be another 12 months
before we do this again. Give yourself
some good memories and good stories to
And for those of you that are
interesting, I will be at the regional
in Arlington, TX this weekend. Feel
free to walk by and stop and chat.
Maybe bring a neat creature card and
I'll sign it. And come trade me your
Rathi Dragons...I love those things :)
Until next time,
PowrDragn at Pojo dot com