Over the weekend, I attended the StarCityGames Standard Open in Birmingham, Alabama. I did very badly, going 0-2-2 drop, and as such I’m not going to bother with a complete tournament report. I did learn some lessons at the tournament; some of them were lessons that I intellectually knew but hadn’t personally experienced yet, so I guess it was good to get them out of the way!
So I’m not going to bother writing a full tournament report for SCGAL because none of the play-by-play is particularly interesting. For you guys, a few highlights and what I learned there:
- Play the game. I hadn’t played in a couple weeks before this tournament, and even though my deck had barely changed since the last time I played, I felt sluggish with it and made stupid mistakes; tapping mana wrong and making non-optimal plays.
- If your matchup against Control is not awesome, and you are playing Control in the first round and don’t win — just concede, don’t draw. If you draw in the first round you are almost guaranteed to play Control in the second round, too. I would have had more fun (and possibly more success) had I lost in the first round instead of drawing. I knew this as soon as I walked away from the table. After drawing in the first round, I lost the second, drew the third, and lost in the fourth before dropping. All four matches against control or control-like decks.
- Side drafts fire much more quickly than side Standard side events! I probably could have played two full side events if I had drafted instead of played Standard. I lost to another Esper Control deck in the second round of a win-a-box, and that was the end of my day.
Overall, the experience was not a waste. Watching how a large tournament with many side tournaments was simply interesting from a logistical POV (I love to see how stuff works), and I gave Joey Pasco and Mike Flores some of the MTG tokens I’ve been making, and Joey liked them enough to tweet about them. SCG’s “buy cards online and pick them up at the event” service also works very nicely. In the first five minutes of walking through the door I had registered for the tournament, picked my cards up, and made the necessary changes to my deck—very smooth organization!
Geographically I am rarely close to a SCG tournament, but I would attend another one without question.