First, a brief introduction: my name is Jonathan Pechon. I started playing Magic in 1994, and have been hammering away at the qualifier circuit off and on since around ’96 or ’97. I’ve been to several pro-tours, and finally made a second day in the most recent Los Angeles event. I’ve made the second day in numerous grand prix, finishing in the top 8 in Austin in ’98, and tenth in Dallas just past. Presently living outside of the Houston area, I’ve spent a lot of time in the Dallas and Austin areas, playtesting with groups there. I feel like I’ve made a lot of friends, not just locally, but around the country, and in some cases around the world; I’ve enjoyed my time playing, even if it results in a little more stress sometimes. I won’t try to tell you everything about me; I hope that what I write will give you an idea of who I am, though the occasional image you might get is of some nut wielding a chainsaw and standing on top of an office cubicle screaming, “I HAVE HAD IT! @#(%^& OFF, I’M TAKING YOU ALL WITH ME!” It’s okay; I’ve been there. Just remember this: I’ve worked the helpdesk. I know what horror can be.
Okay, that’s over. Let’s get this on the road, shall we?
Regionals are coming up. It is not one of those events I look forward to. Frankly, I’ve come to a point that, no matter how prepared I am, no matter what good ideas I come up with, I’m probably going to be heading home by round 5, my hopes firmly crushed. However, I have persisted, playtesting extensively and working with a group of friends on decks, and trying to brainstorm what else may show up there. Though the future may already be ordained for me, I figure giving the good ol’ college try can’t hurt.
I’ve had a few examples of frustration associated with regionals. Over the last three years, I have contemplated physically destroying every card in my deck, been witness to a fire at the tournament site, seriously considered causing another human being physical harm, and informed my opponent that I would urinate on a Tradewind Rider if he chose to put it into play. And for each one, I sweated and worked on my deck for weeks, practicing with people, finding what would work. And, each afternoon, I was done well before the round of eight was chosen.
My simple advice for you all this regionals: stay frosty. Enjoy yourselves. Have a refreshing beverage available for between rounds. Keep food handy: if you’re playing past round six, you’ll be thankful. And most of all: have a sense of humor. You’d be amazed at what you can laugh at about yourself, and what you might actually enjoy about this game.
I’ll go a little more in-depth on what I think about standard later. I’ll take a closer look at what decks may do well, and what I think of them. More to come soon!