On August 17TH, I played the biggest Magic: The Gathering Constructed tournament of my life and it was only a measly 280 players. However, these were the best players Canada had to offer. The likes of Alexander Hayne, Jacob Wilson, Pascal Maynard and Lucas Siow were in attendance. I was outmatched from the get-go, but this was the first Canadian World Magic Cup Qualifier of the year and everyone wanted a chance to win a spot on Team Canada 2014.
I decided to play an aggressive Boros deck, splashing white only for Boros Charm and Chained to the Rocks, two of the best spells in Standard right now (in my uneducated opinion). I was not able to get a lot of testing done, but in the last three tournaments that I played it in, I had a record of 11 wins and 3 losses. I’m not an ’11-3’ level of player. I’m the guy who goes 1-1-1 most of the time. I felt like my recent record meant that the deck was viable. The deck was probably more viable than I was which is exactly what I needed.
Having played in my first WMCQ, I’ve learned a couple of things that I’d like to share with you now.
- Competitive Constructed tournaments take a LOT LESS time than Limited ones. I was blown-away by how fast the tournament got underway. I filled out my deck registration sheet long before the tournament started, while enjoying a coffee. If I had to register a Sealed deck I would be WAAAAY too stressed out to enjoy a coffee while doing so. The judges picked up our decklists and handed out our goodies for playing in a WMCQ (participant Sunblade Elf playmat as well as a promo Geist of Saint Traft). Then we played our first round. Done. Super easy.
- Even though we were playing at a relatively important tournament, the tone of the day was very casual. All of my opponents were full of smiles and made small talk with me. I wasn’t the only person who was just excited to be part of something so cool. There were all sorts of people who were equally jazzed. I was never uncomfortable, I never felt like I didn’t belong there.
- Mistakes were made. I made a bunch of in-game play-mistakes on the day of the tournament. I was nervous and I didn’t test like I should have. It made me feel a little bit better though when I noticed some of my opponents also making mistakes. One in particular was when an opponent casted a Selesnya Charm and made a 2/2 soldier to chump my 7/2 Goblin Rabblemaster. Instead of, you know, exiling my Goblin Rabblemaster. I was able to cast Boros Charm making all of my dudes Indestructible after blocks and it won me the game. Post-match he confessed that he never played Standard, but qualified for this tournament through playing Modern. He was unfamiliar with Standard cards, but he qualified so he thought he would play. In a way, the competition at a WMCQ might even play a little looser than a regular Standard tournament since there are players who would never normally touch Standard. They just happened to qualify for this Standard tournament.
- Bring a sandwich. Nothing new here, just wanted to mention that sandwiches are delicious. Bring water too, it goes great with sandwiches.
- Record your experience! If you’re anything like me you get extremely excited about things like this and love watching Vlogs from events you’re interested in. If I had any regrets, it wouldn’t be my lack of testing; it would be my lack of documentation on the day of the event. I should have recorded a lot more, but I was too focused on playing and I lost track of what matters – sharing my love of the game with others. Here’s the Vlog that I managed to piece together with the limited footage I did get:
Thanks for reading!