It's That Time Again!
Well, it looks like we've hit that time of year again. The regionals countdown is on in full force. Almost every website seems to have their Regionals preparation stuff up. I would also like to point out that several of you made your way to our Texas Magic League site, which is a good thing. It's awesome to see that a lot of people that aren't even from Texas are using the forums. It lets us know that it is a good resource. The site is www.texasmagicleague.com .
I's funny to listen to people try to pick the "best deck" in any given format. I think it is silly. Especially right now, in Standard (Type 2). I think that R&D at Wizards of the Coast has done a great of keeping things varied. The format seems wide open for the taking right now. It would be really great if this year turns out to be the "year of the deckbuilder." There are still lots of unexplored cards and decks right now in the format.
There are several decks that many consider to be tier two and three decks right now, that could shine and be superstars if the field goes right. The one to remember, is that at Regionals, anything can happen. It wouldn't even be that unlikely to see a poor player with an interesting deck break into the top eight.
There have been some interesting developments over the past few months within the format. Cards such as Compost are in everyone's sideboards. This mainly do to the high amount of green cards in the field. This creatures and interesting dilemma for players come game day. Do you not play black knowing that 80% of the field is going to have Compost waiting for you? The thing is, those players might decide not to include compost in the board, because most players are staying away from black. This would give them extra sideboard slots to use on other decks. If they drop the Compost, then the door opens up a bit for the black decks. However, if they keep the compost they run the odds of having dead sideboard slots. Man oh man, how you have to love Regionals.
Another interesting point about regionals is that it's probably the largest event in both K-value and attendance that most of the players will participate in all year. A lot of players ratings have been made and broken because of Regionals. The field is too diverse to truly prepare for. There are a lot of last minute changes made. It's also mentally demanding. It's one long rough day. Places like the Southern Region and the Ohio Valley Region definitely need to be broken up. The newest argument is simple. If you are going to let someone win a slot to Nationals via Magic Online, then you might as give a couple more slots away to people that make the trip and play through the rigorous tournaments all day.
The best description that I've heard about Regionals is that it is "like a watering hole for scrubs." Now, this isn't to say that a lot of high caliber players don't show up to Regionals. We all know that several of them do. All t means is that you get a lot of players that don't play any other sanctioned tournaments all year. There are always people that register their name to a DCI number for the first time on that day. This sways the field so much. There are several warning and losses passed out for various things throughout the day, just because players don't know what's going on.
Don't get the wrong idea here. I'm not dogging Regionals. As an event, it's fun. Because so many people show up, you can always run into old buddies. There is always plenty to do. There is lots of time for trading, drafting, and there are plenty of side tournaments. As long as you go in with the right mindset, you can have a good time.
You can't go into Regionals with the same mindset as a Grad Prix for instance. The main thing that makes events like Grand Prix events so good is that they happen over the course of a couple of days. This means that you can eventually get down to the best players with the best decks. That doesn't always happen with Regionals.
Truthfully, as it is now, it's almost time to pack it up and go home if you get your first loss before the third round. With at least four regions beating or nearing the 500 player mark, things are getting ridiculous. However, it's a good sign that the game isn't going anywhere anytime soon. If even more regions break the 500 player more this year, which is very likely, I would expect to see some changes to next year.
** SIDE NOTE: I just had remembered that Magic is doing their big tenth anniversary thing this year. I wonder if that will bring any freebies to players this year at Regionals. **
I just hate seeing players get disappointed at Regionals. Yes, it is a competitive day. Some people just might be too competitive. I think you just have to lighten up and take it with a grain of salt. Ease your mind a bit, relax, and have some fun. It only comes once ever year.
In other news, word on the street is that there will be another Pojo one-shot magazine/book in the work. Stay tuned for more details.
Emmitt Smith going to play in Arizona is a sad, sad situation. It's OK though. He's already announced that he's not moving from Dallas. My guess is that he goes to finish his career in Arizona, then comes back as a member of the Cowboys coaching staff.
NBA, the playoffs are quickly approaching. If you are a bettin' man, the good money is on the Lakers, Kings, or Spurs. Right now, those teams are nuts. They are multidimensional and are going to be hard to beat.
In more Magic related news, WotC announced a big release day event for Eighth Edition. More details should be around in the coming days.
Don't be upset if your local store if out of DragonShield or UltraPro products. Apparently, the Dragon Shields manufacturer as some kind of policy to take a couple of weeks off after the holidays. This means of course they are behind in producing stuff. Not only that, but that means they weren't getting any orders. So needless to say, they are behind. Because of this, Ultra-Pro had a burst in sales. This puts them at a higher sell through than expected. However, from what I understand that should be taken care of in the next 10-14 days.
I think this summer hen you have free time when would be a great time to show more people how to play Magic. With the new look and whatnot, timing should be perfect. Besides, it never hurts to introduce new players to the game.
For those of you in the area, my store is going to start doing Sunday booster drafts. If you ask for it, we answer! We will most likely run a several of them if need be to please everyone. Players wanted more Magic on Sundays, so we are going to deliver.
My random game pick this time around was tough. For those of you that just want a fun, fast paced game, try Froop! It's a simple fast paced family card game that takes about 10-20 minutes per game. For those of you that are into RPG's, check out the entire line of Munchkin games. They are a good mix being part card game AND part RPG. They are all great products.
I'll leave you today with a good practice tip. When you are playing games to learn a deck or get better, don't play against someone making a lot of mistakes. If you have to, talk them through it. Otherwise, neither of you are getting practice that counts for anything. You are both just learning how to play poorly. While we are on the subject, try to cut your mistakes to a minimum as is. If you have to have other players watch you will practicing and point out mistakes. If you make three mistakes, then just pack it up and start over. The reason, is that against a good player, you will be lucky to even get to your third mistake in a single game. Two usually kills you. I would even say to start over if you made a one minor mistake and one major mistake. Anyway these are just ideas if you want to give yourself some better practice.
I guess that's it for now. It probably won't be long before you hear more from me. In the mean time, have fun...and remember to checkout: www.texasmagicleague.com
If you have any question or comments feel free to drop me an e-mail, I try to respond to every e-mail that I get.
Until next time,
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