Rousing Regalement at Regionals

by Goblinboy

It's official: Europe doesn't care.
Yes, yes. It's another Regionals article. I'd like to start out by issuing a formal apology to all European Magic players on behalf of the US. Sorry, dudes! I know that Regionals has been over for a week or three now for you guys, yet we keep prattling on, wondering, "what should I play on the 25th?" and asking, "what effect will Pithing Needle have on the format?" You don't care. And you're tired of hearing about it.

Well, don't worry. This is the last one. Or, at least, the last one on this site until next year. Just keep steady with us here.

Okay, I lied. There are going to be Regionals tourney reports. You know there will be. You can keep grinning and bearing it, I hope?

Of course, this isn't your run-of-the-mill Regionals article. I'm not going to give you new deck tech (it wouldn't be very nice of me to recommend you switch decks the day before the tournament!). I'm not going to tell you to get a good night's sleep, shower, and bring snacks (but seriously, do.) ([/hypocrite]). I'm not even going to tell you to be on the lookout for cheats and thieves.

This article is about something a little different. An oxymoron, if you will, is the topic.

Having Fun At Regionals

Haha, Goblinboy is a n00b!
Here would normally be the part where the people who profess themselves as "hardcore" players would start laughing in my face.

"Listen to this guy! Tournament Magic is all about showing up and winning. Then you go home with your prizes and an invite to Nationals! What's 'fun,' anyway?"

"That reminds me of last year. I totally caught this guy trying to draw before saccing to Molder Slug. Oh man, I remember calling the judge over."

"Do I hear a 'free win' handshake comin' up, ol' buddy?"

"I think I do!"

*Intense handshaking pause*

"Good times, bud!"

"Yeah, white power. I mean... good times."

Now don't take me wrong. I don't hate winning, and I don't think I'm too good for people who go to win. Hell, I wouldn't go if I thought I was going to end up 0-9. I'm playing Tooth for chrissakes. You don't accuse a guy playing Tooth of not caring about winning (GUARANTEE: This sentence will come back to haunt me).

People tend to have this hang-up about tournaments and fun. They think that one (tournaments) completely overrules the other (fun). In one sense they're right. You're going to feel horribly underdressed - ah - out of place if you walk in the door of the Governor's Inn (see you in Sacramento :)) with a 250-card Beacon of Immortality deck... with one Beacon. You're going to be mercilessly crushed in each round, and either leave early disappointed (if you're the type to drop) or stick it out and leave intensely frustrated after 8-9 hours of Magic (if you're not the type to drop).

Some people just enjoy the rush that winning the game gives them. Hey, I feel you. Winning is awesome. Let's hop to it. There's just... one little request that I make:

Please, be nice.

There it is. Everyone follows this one, simple rule, and at the end of the day everyone goes home happy, or at least not angry.

Magic is a social game for social creatures (well... primitively social anyway, I mean we are Magic players ;)). As such, what's going to make your Regionals experience more enjoyable:

(A) Your opponents all get manascrewed. You win and then laugh in their faces.
(B) Having a good time with people, playing a game in the finest way it can possibly be played: with a high level of skill on both sides of the table.

Go on, pick one. You have ten minutes.


No rushing ahead!

Oooh... Sexy.
Time's up! Now which did you pick? I truly hope it was the second choice. Free wins are great, as long as you're the type to be entertained by writing the letter "W." I'm sure one of them. The first part goes like "\" and it's so awesome. Then comes the upswing, and it's smaller! Then you do the downswing, and... get this... it's the same as the upswing, but backwards!! I figured that out myself. Then a majestic, almost chillingly beautiful "/" and you're done!

But seriously, folks, we're here because we enjoy playing Magic. You're not in it for the profit (if that's your goal, let me introduce you to a real gravy train). You have played Magic long enough to be good enough to go to Regionals because you enjoy the game. So why throw that away by doing everything in your power not to play the game? It seems like an odd question, but I see it happening all the time.

How to Play Magic at a Magic Tournament
(As Opposed to Doing Something Else)

Don't be a Rules Lawyer
Sure, if your opponent starts an argument saying that his Blessed Breath set to blue saves his creature from Vedalken Shackles, call over the judge. But if you try to get a cheap advantage over your opponent by saying that Gifts Ungiven doesn't do anything if they put it in the grave before they search, then you have stopped playing Magic and started to play "anal retentive jerk." Even if you win the match, what have you proven of yourself? That you can punish people for playing the game slightly different than the rulebook says, but still within reasonable limits? Yeah, grow up.

Don't talk condescendingly
The first tournament I ever went to in a big city, someone took a look through my Spike deck. Granted, it wasn't good by any stretch of the imagination (gimme a break; I was like ten). But the fact that a grown man was willing to say to this little ten-year-old Goblin "this deck sucks, and all of these cards suck; why did you bother coming down here? You're just gonna lose." That's not quite verbatim, but almost. I've experienced this while sitting at the Regionals table, and moreso at other tables near me. People can say some nasty things. Look, it's not the internet; it's real life. Supposably people should be used to it by now. Act with a little civility. You can pull an "oh, look, I'm an angsty teenager who is superior to all the piddling idiots around me. I don't need to suffer their inferiority. Perhaps I shall inform them of their misguidedness in sarcastic tones," or you can choose to act like a courteous human being and play the game.

And if you're doing it for "strategic advantages," you just want to "get in their face," and screw up their game then stop. Just stop. Because by that point you've stopped playing the game of Magic. Congratulations on your boxes won, now go sever yourself from society. We're talking to interesting people.

Don't cut in line. Don't shove past people. Don't interrupt. Don't lean over someone's shoulder. Don't steal, for chrissakes. Don't avoid eye contact. Don't take up too much room, etc., etc.,
This stuff should be obvious, but every year I am baffled by immaturity. Don't make me give up on mankind, people. I had some really high hopes for the species. Sock it to me. Come on... social skills? Pull 'em out that place you stored 'em in your brain after you stopped listening to your parents. They're in there somewhere. Right next to the Algebra synapses. Actually, might as well pull those out too. Never know when you might need to find the value of X.

Look, the point is: you're going so you can play a game of Magic. You're not going so you can do what is basically loophole cheating. Sure, you may win a few games. Sure, you may win a box or two this way. But does it show you to be a good Magic player? No. Does it show you to be a good person? Not a bit. So basically you're up $200 in product and you're down being a worthwhile person. All because you didn't want to play Magic at a Magic tournament. Kinda harsh, isn't it? So get out there, and have some fun playing Tournament Magic, one of the most complex brainteasers that ever was.

I'd go more into specifics, but by now I think you've either got the gist or you're not going to. Besides, that would leave less room for superfluous crap!

The Superfluous Crap Section (The SCS)

This year's Regionals marks another important event: the last time Mirrodin will be in Standard. Well, not exactly. It has a few more months coming to it, but for the most part you can kiss your sweet artifacts goodbye, as the relevant Standard play with the block legal is all over except for Nationals. All that's left beyond that is FNM.

Ironically, both Mirrodin's core and
Mirrodin's Core sucked.
And do you know what I say about it? Hurrah! Good riddance. Mirrodin block was one of the worst-designed blocks in recent memory for tournament play. Ravager Affinity shouldn't have lasted ten minutes in the FFL, but somehow it saw it all the way to print. Skullclamp? PUH-LEEZE. We've all heard the sob story from R&D of last minute changes, but that doesn't make it right. The block had a lot of fun cards, I admit. It was powerful enough to have plenty of Extended, Legacy, and Vintage showings (though one might argue it affected those formats a bit much...) But it was inherently flawed for tournament play in that the worse artifacts became worse by existing in a format where maindeck artifact kill is necessary. Is it any surprise that the only tournament playable artifacts nowadays are either ridiculously powerful (the current playable Equipment, Pithing Needle, Vedalken Shackles) or aren't subject to artifact hate? The design of the block makes the mediocre into the unplayable, making for narrower formats. Compare this to Odyssey block, where not only were there intensely powerful cards and a high power level in general, but the mediocre cards could be played in decks and not suck. The Filterlands, as complained-about as they were, still got played in Standard along with the superior Painlands and even Fetchlands. The result of this was a format where anything could happen. What we have now is a format where green can happen. And occasionally red. The Odyssey block was my favorite since Tempest because it got a high power level right. Mirrodin got it all wrong, and Kamigawa, while rather underpowered, I think will make the base of a good format come Ravnica.


My Tooth deck for being so very nice to me so far. Who's a good Tooth deck? That's right! That's right! You are, cootchiekins! Come here, my little... um... ahem.

Nice People.


Mean People, for sucking.

Compromising proper writing style by inserting thousands of parenthetical remarks into your MTGS article for humorous effect (and then nobody gets the joke).

Props/Slops lists No



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