Last Saturday the Arena was flooded with people anxiously getting ready for the first Modern Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier in Ingolstadt. Not that they would actually care that the PPTQ was in Ingolstadt, but it actually meant a lot to me.
For the very first time I had to ask for 2 more tables to be able to deal with the amount of people pre-registered for this tournament. I was excited at the prospect of having so many people in my shop. But at the same time I was dreading the fact that I might not have enough space for everyone. In the end, there were just enough seats to fit in everyone. When one chair broke (how shocking, right?) I was thinking “damn it. Not now. Is there space? Is there space?”. It was. But if there were 2 more people, it wouldn’t have been possible. I would have had to give the guy an empty case from the sodas to sit on it. I had nothing else. Luckily there was no need for that. I wanted to have a big tournament in my shop. It gave me this sense of pride in what I do and it felt good. I am by no means out of the bushes yet, but I do think I put Ingolstadt on the MtG map of Bayern. People know the Arena now. This is the place where you don’t get prizes after Swiss rounds end. This is the freaking Arena: only one will survive, so go big or go home son 😀 Bring your A-game and you will definitely be rewarded. Make one mistake (or more, eh Delver player? 😉 ) and you will fall just like the rest. 2nd place is as good as last place: you didn’t win. I personally know that feeling. Coming close, but the misplays are real and I had my fair share of them at the most terrible moments. But I used that frustration into getting ready for the next tournament, which I won. I couldn’t lose anymore. I played it right.
One particular thing that got me eliminated at the National Qualifiers I want to mention here since it’s very similar to what happened in the Final on Saturday:
I was playing Reanimator (when the Innistrad and Return to Ravnica blocks were in Standard) and my opponent played a Boros Reckoner on the field taping out (he was playing UWR Reckoner Combo). I am thinking to myself: “I need to draw Abrupt Decay“. I drew it. Then, because I wanted to play fancy, I pass the turn. He drops land, attacks and I play my Decay. He blinks the Reckoner with a Restoration Angel and my face drops. I then get 6 damage per turn till my unexciting defeat. After that specific tournament I recall thinking that I would never ever hesitate with these kind of things. This isn’t a game of how cool you play, it’s not figure skating: it’s a strategic card game. And obviously my strategy of being fancy didn’t quite work out. I have made and still make misplays all the time, but misplaying in an important tournament is such a terrible feeling. But what doesn’t kill you, has to make you stronger.
We do have a winner though and congratulations to him:
Dominic Fulle – first place with his Affinity Deck. Best of luck to the Regional PTQ!
In other news, the Modern Masters hype is close to over. While there are some people still stuck in the Foil Tarmogoyf mentality, others have moved on. The spoilers of the new set are pretty cool. I like the flip card concept. Have liked it since Innistrad. The only bothersome part in Innistrad was drafting it: peopel could always see what flip card you would take, therefor giving an idea of what colors you’re into. Maybe they Wizards will surprise us all and have a solution for that. Or maybe not.
While most flip Planeswalkers will not see competitive play, I have my eye on Jace. He is quite ok for my Mirko Vosk, Mind Drinker commander. I am also seeing a reason to go into Standard much more now. I will definitely play more Standard once Battle for Zendikar is released anyway, but that’s mostly because the Theros Block will rotate out (and good riddance!), which I did not play and did not particularly like. Going back to Eldrazi gives me one more reason to start playing Standard again. I liked the mechanics, if there will be the same ones this time around. I do hope they will create something even cooler and also for the Pre-Release events. Wizards have been doing a fine job getting people back in the store for these kinds of events. Not long ago, one could just buy displays and do private pre-releases or releases. Nowadays official shops can get their hands on these specific pre-release products only if they are brick and mortar shops, not just on paper. This in turn gets people out of the private “tournaments” mentality, thus challenging them to making new acquaintances and helping them earn far more experience by playing versus unknown opponents. A small note for the next pre-release though: there will be no drawing for first and second place. If I sense anything like that I will disqualify the players immediately. If you plan on getting rich from Magic and just want to earn one or two more boosters at the local pre-release, then you got this game all wrong. I already discussed about this subject in a previous entry, but I feel with the upcoming pre-release that I need to mention it again. In the end you’re participating to have fun, right? Right?…
See you in the Arena! 🙂