It’s been a rough week . . .

It’s been a rough weekend of MTG for me.

I started out at Amenity Dream on Thursday with my U/R titan deck, and only 5 people showed up. I went 0-2 and got a bye win. Very sad. On Friday at Card Brunch I played my W/G Token deck, and won a game before losing the next two. About 6 people showed up for that. On Saturday, I went to Phase near Chikusa station and the turn out was pretty good. About 18 people showed up, including my friends, and we played 4 rounds. I played my U/R deck again and went 0-3 with another bye win. At this point I was getting pretty frustrated. Today at Big Magic 20 people showed up and I used my W/G after much debate about what kind of decks I thought the people were using. I went 0-3 YET AGAIN and got another bye win. This week I went 1-11 (+2 bye wins) and I feel miserable about it. I have great cards, but I think they may be lacking synergy with each other.  What is my problem? Are my decks unbalanced? Are they not addressing the weaknesses of other decks out there and taking advantage of them? I also think I’m trying too hard to prepare for what people are going to throw at me instead of what I’m going to throw at them.

Let me take a look at the Nagoya metagame for a moment from the past few months and see if there is a pattern developing. Let’s go back to the Innistrad release in October of 2011. Back at the release, the big hitters were a W/B/U Liliana deck (Solar Flare I believe), as well as a W/G Birthing Pod Bladehold deck. There were a few poison/proliferate decks as well, but only a few people ran with those. In November, the usage of Liliana seemed to drop off a bit and the use of W/G token creature decks flooded the meta game here. I also saw an increase of people running Artifact Tezzeret decks. Come December, I saw a lot more Delver decks, as well as the beginning of Kessig Wolf Run. Now we hit January, and it looks like up until the end of the month with Dark Ascension comes out, RUG Kessig Wolf run is going to dominate the meta game here in Nagoya. Illusion decks have also made a comeback and I believe they will see an increase before the end of the month as well.

Well, that’s a look back at the last few month of Magic here in Nagoya. What can I get from this? Well, for starters, I can tell that MTG players are fickle. Nobody stays with the same deck forever. It’s constantly changing from week to week, and you have to stay on top of the current meta game people are playing in order to BE on top at these tournaments. It takes some luck and some analyzing in order to choose which deck to play. It would probably be a good idea to make a few decks just in case your current one is suddenly at a disadvantage with the current metagame. It’s also a good idea to make your opponent play to your cards, instead of you playing to theirs. Keep them on their toes and hit them fast.

I have one last chance to redeem myself tomorrow at Monday Night Magic at Card Brunch. I’ve taken my own advice and I’ve redone my U/R deck since it’s losses on Thursday and Saturday. It’s leaner (less heavy cards), has more red damage spells, an extra Chandra’s Phoenix and one less Delver, and more reliable life gain this time. After testing it against 2 people at the match today after my losses, I destroyed both people quickly and efficiently. I think I’ve solved my problems and will do very well on Monday. And speaking of Monday, the visual spoilers for the next expansion set “Dark Ascension” are due to start at Wizards of the Coast’s website on Monday at sometime. With only 19 days left until the pre-release, that means there will be roughly 10 cards a day being revealed in order to show all 184 cards before the release date.

A few cards have already been leaked via Star City Games’s Facebook Page:

They are just creatures (a Demon, an Angel, a Mage, a Vampire, and a Zombie Treefolk) but offer you a little more insight as to what will be in store in the new set. Keep in mind that while you are looking at the new cards coming out, don’t just think about what the card does and how you will use it when you draft it on January 28th/29th, think about HOW this card will change the current style of gaming. How can you use it to exploit the cards that are currently being used? How fast you discover how to use these new cards and integrate them into your deck (OR how to make a new deck type out of them) will give you a huge advantage over the other players in the first tournaments following the release party for Dark Ascension on February 4th and 5th.

Well, wish me luck. I just pulled an Olivia and a Batterskull from two packs I bought, and I’m going to see how to use them the best in my decks. Hopefully I can improve my record from 1-11 to 4-11 on Monday, and continue doing well after that until the new cards are released! Thanks again for reading.