There are a lot of FNM players that have been hearing about the Mile High Melee tournament series run by our store; located in Denver, CO. Well, I thought I’d throw a little of my experience out there for you all because there is a few things that you may not have thought of before attending your first competitive level event.
First things is first, you may be used to allowing your opponent to take back stuff and let them change how they are going to play. This is absolutely great at an FNM, promotes a friendly atmosphere, and allows for an all around fun time. This is something you are going to drop at the MHM. You will find quickly that your opponents will not allow you to do this. Cash money means people expect you to play at a high level of play. Its hard not to be the nice guy, but you should hold you opponents to the same standard that they will be holding you. You must think before you play and if you don’t, well, you get punished.
Don’t hesitate to call a judge. There are a lot of times you and your opponent can figure it out at a casual level, or at least you think you do. The judges are there to help you figure out complicated interactions. When you are unsure or something seems out of place it takes a hand in the air to figure it out. It is also super important that if you catch yourself making a mistake that you call a judge too. Judges often consider who called the judge into the equation. Announce your triggers! [mtg_card]Geist of saint traft[/mtg_card] attacking? You must visually and vocally represent the token! There’s little room for error. They will block you geist, take no damage, and you may have punted the game.
Keep a life pad! Phones apps are okay IF they have a life history. Have dice, just not for life. If a judge is called, the judge almost always will rule in favor of a life pad!
There’s a couple of things I find when I attend a tournament will give me quite an edge. They may seem really obvious, but trust me, they make a huge difference. Firstly, get a good night’s sleep. If you loose one game to a play mistake because you are tired you may have lost the tournament. One game can make all the difference. You’d hate to be out of prize because you HAD to play one more game of LoL. Eat a decent breakfast. I always wake up at least an hour early for a shower and to cook myself some eggs and potatoes. There is plenty of information out there that says we think clearer on a full stomach. Greasy fast food is not going to cut it. Grease and high fat foods make you sleepy and out of it. I never rely on caffeine for a tournament either, energy drinks and sodas are a terrible idea for focused thinking. The sugar rush, caffeine spike and subsequent crash will cloud your mind in the middle of the later rounds where the tournament gets harder and harder. Stick to water or Gatoraide if you need something with a flavor. Water is the best choice and keeping hydrated will keep you thinking straight. It will also keep you awake like caffeine and sugar never could. There’s is no better way when you are stressed out to take a moment, unscrew your water cap, take a sip, set it back, make a decision. This helps you set a rhythm and take control of the game when you may be in a panic situation. Not to mention this may draw your opponents attention from the game. There’s nothing wrong with unintentionally breaking your opponents concentration for a second. Who knows? Maybe this costs them the game when you interrupt their train of thought. (I am certainly not suggesting to intentionally distracting your opponent by the way.) Bringing me to another important part of food. Have your lunch planned! No fast food! A good sandwich at the hotel lounge or bring one in your car and step out during the lunch round to have it outside. Snacks are great but again avoid high sugar or high fat. Granola and fruit are what I always pack. I usually eat one per round just to keep my mind off of food. The importance of food is simple. Sugar and caffeine give you a rush. That’s fine for four rounds. But at a large tournament you’ll be playing nine rounds. You need to sustain yourself and not just be riding one peak to another.
If you find yourself getting angry or upset call a judge and ask to step away for a moment. A judge will be more than happy to give you a moment to vent for a minute or two rather than have you say, or worse, do something you will later regret. The biggest piece of advice I find myself using when I feel myself getting overly excited or upset is to STOP. Sit back in your chair, close your eyes, take one deep, slow breath. It’s not going to fix all your problems but you are going to break your thought loop and it will slow you down just for second and bring you up just a notch.
These are just a few things and I know some of them may seem obvious but I know these are all things that I have learned from playing in large tournaments that I thought I’d share to help you in your next tournament. Remember its an endurance test not just playing one game really well. Take it one game at a time, don’t think about the end result. Most importantly, enjoy the game. If you aren’t having fun then you are not going to do well. Be happy, be excited. When these things are lost in your tournament then you should head home. Post a comment and let me know what some of your tricks are!
by Andrew Pomponio
It’s been a grand length of absence prior to me getting back into the world of Pokémon TCG and over the past month or two I’ve been rediscovering the world of collecting, competitive play and casual league nights. The various elements that have changed over the years give the game more depth and strategy requirements. Pokémon now have more HP, we have the EX Pokémon available that bring next level ferocity to a deck, and trainers also now include things such as tools and stadiums.
When I started playing again my main desire was to attend some tournaments. Pokémon League nights offer a great environment to play casually and trade but they lack the sheer volume of opponents and the thrill of attaining a prize. Upon researching decks and cards that were tournament legal I had noticed the cost of singles are far higher than in my youthful days of the early millennium. Some Pokémon EX cards can go for as high as $40.00 and even the uncommon card Pokémon Catcher, a staple in almost every deck, can fetch $15 apiece. Recently though, a new build of deck has emerged in the competitive world and it can be put together for a fairly modest price.
Sigilyph is a basic psychic Pokémon from the set Dragons Exalted with 90hp, 1 attack, 1 ability and a retreat of 1 colorless with weakness to psychic. It’s the ability of this Pokémon that makes it formidable against heavy hitters like Darkrai and Landerous. Safeguard reads, “Prevent all effects of attacks, including damage, done to this Pokémon by Pokémon-EX”. This simple ability can completely disable some of the decks currently in competitive play which focus on using EX’s to win the game and has placed 1st in various tournaments around the world. The deck focuses on 4 Sigilyph and several Mewtwo EX as the versatile counter to your opponent’s non-EX Pokémon.
The deck uses your standard trainers to search out cards; Professor Juniper, N, Skyla, Ultra Ball, Computer Search and Level Ball. It also uses the Skyarrow Bridge to reduce Sigilyph’s retreat cost to nothing so that you can retreat without sacrificing energy. The most expensive card in this deck is Pokémon Catcher, a card that allows you to switch your opponent’s active Pokémon with one of their benched Pokémon of your choosing. This will help keep their EX Pokémon active when battling Sigilyph, and can bring out their non-EX Pokémon when you have Mewtwo EX active. The deck also makes use of Crushing hammer and Enhanced Hammer to discard your opponent’s energy, slowing them down further. You can substitute in other various trainers in varying quantities such as Tool Scrapper, Eviolite to protect your Sigilphs, Energy Switch to move your energy around on both attackers as well as Pluspower to help you with killing blows. I would also recommend Super Scoop Up to provide potential healing for your damaged Pokémon.
In the end, this deck can be built for less than or close to $100.00 and utilizes the creative use of non-EX Pokémon in a powerful and clever way.
4 Sigilyph (Dragons Exhaulted) 52/124
2 Mewtwo EX (Next Destinies) 54/99
8 Psychic Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
4 Professor Juniper
4 Pokemon Catcher
4 Energy Switch
4 Crushing Hammer
2 Enhanced Hammer
3 Ultra ball
2 Level Ball
2 Tool Scrapper
2 Skyarrow Bridge
1 Super Rod
1 Computer Search
Gatecrash Prerelease Events only $30 per person!
(Additional events only $25.00)
2 pack rounds for every event!!
Saturday 1/26 Timbers Hotel
Sealed Midnight PreRelease
Registration begins at 9pm.
Event caps at 140 players.
Sealed Noon PreRelease
Registration begins at 9am.
Event caps at 140 players.
Sealed Noon 2HG PreRelease
Registration begins at 9am.
Event caps at 16 teams.
Hotel Features Include:
$79 rooms sleeps 4 : $89 rooms sleeps 6
Free Breakfast for all guests staying at the hotel
Restaurant/Bar in the hotel
Sunday 1/27 @ Troll Country Games
Sealed Midnight PreRelease
Registration begins at 9pm.
Event caps at 48 players.
Sealed Noon PreRelease
Registration begins at 10am.
Event caps at 24 players.
Sealed Noon 2HG Prerelease
Registration begins at 9am
Event Caps at 12 teams.
Release: February 1st, 2013
Tensions build on the city-world of Ravnica, where each guild plies its own agenda to outsmart and outmaneuver the others. Uncover the remaining five guilds with the Gatecrash set so that your guild can be the first to unravel Ravnica’s deep-rooted secrets.
Pre-release Events: January 26-27, 2013
Release Date: February 1, 2013
Launch Weekend: February 1-4, 2013
Magic Online Release: February 11, 2013
Pro Tour Gatecrash: February 15-17, 2013
Game Day: February 23-24, 2013
October, 1 2012 at midnight Return to Ravnica becomes legal in standard,
Order booster boxes now: $100 online special
The Magic 2013 Core Set features 249 black-bordered cards, including randomly inserted premium versions of all cards in the set. The Magic 2013 Core Set is available in booster packs, intro packs, and fat packs
[mtg_card]Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker[/mtg_card]
Type: Legendary Creature – Goblin Shaman
Utility: Creature, Token Producer
Commander Usage: If your using Kiki-Jiki as a general a great theme would be to take advantage of the plethora of control spells such as,Act of Treason,Mark of Mutiny,Traitorous Instinct, etc. The point is to be able to say, take your opponents biggest baddie and make a second copy of it, then swing with both. If your’ not using Mr. 7 years bad luck himself as a general he is best suited for combos with Blue and White.
Commander Decks: Any deck that wants to win. There is really no downside to this creature. Although, control based decks would benefit the most from the almost villainous ability.
Combos: So here we are…this really can go on for a long time, and is quite painful to write-up. I will do my best for you though. The biggest and most abused combo is withIntruder Alarm. It’s fairly simple, make a token, untap, make a token, untap, repeat forever, swing and win or use something likeAvalanche Riders to destroy and opp’s land-base.. Ok so with that card we can make infinite anything, wonderful. One can use [mtg_card]Sundial of the Infinite[/mtg_card] to circumvent the “end of the turn” trigger from Kiki, and keep your tokens for a little longer. Some more combo’s (I won’t start explaining how to use the combo because this section can go on forever).
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Minamo, School at Water’s Edge[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Palinchron[/mtg_card] or[mtg_card]Peregrine Drake[/mtg_card]. (infinite tokens)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Palinchron[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Peregrine Drake[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Emrakul’s Hatcher[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Umbral Mantle[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Sword of the Paruns [/mtg_card](infinite tokens)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Sword of the Paruns[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Umbral Mantle[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Composite Golem[/mtg_card] (Infinite colored mana)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Breath of Fury[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Phantom Warrior[/mtg_card] or other Unblockables (infinite combat rounds and thus damage)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Freed from the Real[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Morselhoarder[/mtg_card] (infinite tokens + mana)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Faces of the Past[/mtg_card] or [mtg_card]Thornbite Staff[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Mogg Fanatic[/mtg_card] (infinite damage)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Thornbite Staff[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Wild Cantor[/mtg_card] (infinite mana)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Sky Hussar[/mtg_card] (infinite tokens)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Pestermite[/mtg_card] (infinite tokens)
Kiki-Jiki + [mtg_card]Aura of Dominion[/mtg_card] + [mtg_card]Ashnod’s Altar[/mtg_card] + any creature (infinite colorless mana)
That should be enough to keep you busy, there are more but I’ll leave it to you to find them.