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Griping About Regionals

     I gripe every year after Regionals, and the next year I go back, as does every one of the rest of us.  It's the money event for T.O.'s, and we pay out the nose for the opportunity to qualify for Nationals.  Looked at one way, every one of us has paid for an opportunity to play in the most difficult tournament in the world.  Looked at another way, we all paid to play in the most uncomfortable events in the world.  If the latter of these is true, you are one of the lucky ones; you need only to read about the troubles at Neutral Ground to understand the difficulties that arise each year.

     Of course, I also have to give the T.O.'s some credit: for the most part, they do a fantastic job of accomodating, even in the most unlikely circumstances.  This year's regionals in Texas produced a record-breaking 410+ people.  Unfortunately, seating had only been arranged for 400; the first few rounds were a bit of a squeeze, but they thinned out quickly enough (including me, unfortunately).

     To sum up the atmosphere of regionals, think of the stuffiest environment you can.  A pressure cooker/steamer is the best that I can come up with, as with the full complement of people in the room the temperature and humidity can rise to unbearable levels.  However, we endure, every year, in order to get our shot at what may be an impossible dream.  Having attempted to grind into U.S. Nationals, and observed the level of play there, I can say for certain just how difficult it can be.  Is it worth attempting?  Sure.  Anything can happen.

     Now, a quick report on Regionals.  The playtest group I have been working with tested out a metagame deck that, throughout testing, beat Fires and other aggressive decks that we expected to see at this event.  While Nether-Go was a bad matchup, and Probe-Go was worse, we were fairly certain that, between our four representatives, we could manage a respectable record.


U/W TurboCoP

4 Counterspell
|4 Absorb
4 Wrath of God
4 Brainstorm
2 Fact or Fiction
4 Enlightened Tutor
3 Shifting Sky
2 Millstone
2 Circle of Protection:  Red
1 Light of Day
1 Teferi's Moat
1 Ivory Mask
1 Seal of Cleansing
1 Cursed Totem
1 Tsabo's Web

10 Islands
8 Plains
4 Adarkar Wastes
3 Coastal Tower



4 Meddling Mage
3 Ramosian Seargant
2 Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero
2 Defiant Falcon
1 Defiant Vanguard
1 Ramosian Sky Marshall
1 Jhovall Queen
1 Rebel Informer


    Funny lookin', ain't it?  It tested well against just about anything that wanted to attack to win, but had a bad time with Nether-Go and Probe-Go.  It was a month's worth of testing that we took to the bank last weekend, and I think that all of us were out of the tournament by the sixth round.  Personally, I started the day drawing against a funny version of Nether-Go with Warped Devotion in it, and then lost to a player with Counter-Rebel who mis-sideboarded and ended up having it pay off.  I sided in my creatures, after showing him the Millstone and no creatures in the first game; he, for some reason, decided to bring in Dominate.  I thought I was okay having Meddle'd Wrath of God, but he nabbed my Informer with a Dominate at one point.  The result of the match was pretty much decided then.

     The next round resulted in a loss against G/W stuff as the guy managed to resolve an Armageddon in his only window of opportunity.  My final match was a win against an Acolyte deck, but by that point I had ceased having any fun playing in the tournament.

     Right now, I'm preparing some observations about 7th Edition; I see some drastic, wonderful changes about to take place in standard.  Personally, I think that Duress makes a huge difference in the viability of black in this environment.  There are some notable losses, but the gains looks to make the game a lot of fun.  I'll talk to you again soon!


-Jonathan Pechon