I survived the TCG Player State Championship Magic the Gathering Tournament last Saturday in Charleston. While I didn't win the whole thing, I put up a decent finish coming in at 19th place out of 101 players. This finish is better than the last two years.
There was a total of five of us from the Elkins area who went down to compete. My friend, Zach Harris, did exceptionally well and finished fourth. Zach went undeafeated all the way to his top eight appearance. I won five out of the seven matches I played and could have possibly made the top eight if I would have won one of the matches I lost.
I sat down against my first opponent of the day kicking off about seven hours of card playing. I got off to a bad start, losing both games in the first match. I was instantly nervous ,wondering if the control deck I was piloting was going to be good enough to win. I feel that if I wouldn't have had to mulligan my opening hands and start with less than the normal seven cards, I could have won.
In Magic, if your opening seven cards are not what you are looking for, you can reshuffle and draw one less card. You can do this as much as you like. Both games in my first match I had to drop to five cards; my opponent kept his openers and made short work of me.
After the disappointing first round I rattled off three straight wins in the following rounds. I again faced the mulligan problem in the fourth round and promptly dropped two games to a deck that was very similar to the two I beat in previous rounds. I was down because I knew it was nearly impossible to make the top eight with two losses, but I kept playing and won the sixth and seventh rounds.
The sixth round was probably the highlight of my playing. I was facing a deck that was built around a combo that completely shut me out from playing my cards. He got the combo going on the first game, but I had enough cards on the board and was able to squeak out the win. The game drew a lot of attention from players around the room and there was a ton of people watching the game develop. One player was completely surprised that I pulled out both games.
The match taught me an important lesson, don't give up, because you can always pull out a game win if the cards fall right.
Magic players are usually a friendly crowd; I talked to a lot of players and they were all nice and friendly. We shared our stories from matches, and I always see players that I have met in previous tournaments.
My last opponent of the day was an anomaly. He was not a nice person and was not friendly at all while we played. I dropped him both games in the match fairly quickly for the win. I make it a point to always tell my opponent "good game" if I win or lose. My opponent scooped up his cards, and was very rude when I told him "good game." He said, "No it wasn't" and stormed off.
In a game like Magic, it is important to build relationships. There is a small community of gamers in the Mountain State and we see each other at all the large tournaments in the area. Most of the people I have played are awesome and friendly, but there are people like my last opponent who are sore losers and can bring the day down.
Since states is over, I want to turn my focus back to video games a bit more. Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One this week. I plan on taking some time in the next week to do some research about the console and plan on writing more about it in the near future.