The following article is more of a tournament report than an article itself. I want to start discussing strategies in my articles in more detail, but I feel as a player and a writer that I want you, as a reader, to understand where I'm coming from to further your understanding of my playstyle and strategy ideas. If you're a fan of tournament reports I hope you find the following insiteful and an entertaining read, if you're looking for a highly indepth strategy article, you'll have to wait for the next one.
After taking second place at the qualifier in Sedalia, Missouri, I knew there was only one thing left to do. I had to be prepared going into the World Championship tournament. Beginning my playtesting in June was a large pay off. I believe the biggest advantage I had going into the Championship was I knew what decks I was going to play three weeks before leaving town. We didn't hold many local tournaments leading up to Gen Con because of scheduling conflicts. I was in a position where I knew that I could do well at a large tournament and my decks were working so well for me and yet everyone in the internet community seemed so excited and ready to dominate the championship. I was definatly intimidated.
We left Thursday morning and drove eight hours to Indianapolis, Indiana. After arriving around 6:00pm, and going to a spectacular dinner with amazing friends from #SWTCG, I was ready to get to bed early for a full day of playtesting. On Friday we woke up early and headed to the convention center. After walking in the doors I realized that I have never been to anything like this and I had no idea what was in store for me. I was so overwhelmed with everything around me. I could tell it was definatly going to be an exceptional experience. After watching a few matches going on during the Open tournament, I knew that I needed to go back to the hotel and do nothing but playtest. We stayed in for the rest of the night and playtested for countless hours. I was feeling really confident because I stuck with the original decks that I had been wanting to play, Rebels for light side and Tuskens for the dark side. I was ready.
Saturday came way to fast. We arrived at the convention center a few hours before the Championships were to begin. This just allowed my nerves to build up. Waiting for everyone to show up I was really feeling the intimidation. I was noticing that there were not going to be many other females, if any. I expected I would have to hold my own against the men but it was disappointing that no other females were willing to compete at that level.
They posted the first round pairings and I knew that a tournament with this much testosterone that this tournament was my chance to prove to everyone that I was ready to be a dominating factor in the community. In round one I didn't know my opponent which made me a little nervous. He was a very friendly man from Californina. It was a lot of fun to play against him. I wound up playing the Rebel deck once and the Tusken deck once. I won both games with no need to go to a third game. We were finished with 20 minutes to spare so I had plenty of time to let my nerves cool down. Going into round two I was confident but weary because once again I wasn't sure who my opponent would be. My second opponent was also a lot of fun to play against. He was so laid back and just ready to relax and have fun. It was so easy to just go in to the match to have fun and do my best. I came out on top, playing the Tusken deck twice and winning both games.
Rounds three through five were a whole other story. I have never played any card games before this year and drafting was a very new concept for me. I know the cards in each set extremely well, yet I was naive in the fact that units you normally would not use in a constructed deck became key in each draft deck.. I had mixed feelings about the draft idea being such a large part of the Championship and determining the top player. It threw me off even more that the rounds we played draft were in the middle of the tournament. Overall though, I think that I was more curious to see what it was all about and excited to challenge myself and try something new. At the beginning of round three I was undefeated at two wins and zero losses. I was placed into pod number two for the draft rounds. These people in my pod were all tremendous players. While drafting I thought I was doing pretty well, and my deck really didn't look too bad. Round three finally came along and I felt that I was really ready to play the draft deck I had made. Everyone in my pod was very nice and put me at ease going in to the round. During that round, I lost the first game, won the second and lost the last game. I now had 2 match wins and 1 match loss. I was content in at least winning one game in each match.
Round four (second draft round) was another blow to the ego. I knew being in this pod against these players was going to be difficult since I had never drafted before. During that round I won the first game and lost the last two games of the match. I started to think that it was going to take a lot more to try to prove myself in the gaming community. I was having a blast though, it was amazing just competing against this high calibur of players. I was releaved that it was finally round five and the last round of draft play. I wasn't as tense going into this match. I thankfully won the match while losing only one game. I now had a record of 3 wins and 2 losses.
I knew going into round five I could try to redeem myself after my performance in the draft. In round six my opponent was Matt Davey, (known as Matt the Hutt online) and he was a great player and I had heard of him before this match. He had very solid decks. During the first game of the match I played Tuskens. I lost that game very quickly due to an all space unit draw. I played the Rebel deck next and won. In the last game of the match I was nervous because I knew the match could go either way. I decided to once again play the Tuskens deck. This time the deck did well and I pulled out the win.
Finally around 10:30pm it was time to play the seventh and final round. I had had such an exciting day, I was very ready to play the last round. I knew that I could just go into the game to have fun. I played the Tusken deck first and they won. Next I played the Rebel deck and they surprisingly lost a very tough game. I played the Tuskens once again for a final time and it luckily went my way.
I ended my championship journey with 5 wins and 2 losses. The placement in the tournament didn't really matter to me after finishing the seven rounds. I was actually more proud of myself and my record of 5/2 than of the placement. Out of around 98 people, I finished fifteenth! I was just happly that I was undefeated in the constructed play of the tournament. It's an amazing feeling when something you work so hard at for so long has finally paid off. I think many poeple doubted that a female could get this far, getting second at a qualifier and ending with 5 wins and 2 losses at the championship with her only losses in draft play and wind up finishing fifteenth. I feel like I have actually started to prove myself. The intimidation factor is no longer there.
This year has been an incredible experience and journey that I will never forget. Being one of the few females in a competitive game, it has been very intimidating. I feel like I have needed to prove myself at each and every tournament. Its been refreshing how accepting and encouraging the whole community has been.
The experience of the qualifiers and the championships is something I will look forward to each and every year. I look forward to the challenge of doing better at each event, teaching new people the game and learning so much more in the process.
There is more to come....please look forward to future articles with stategy ideas and discussions of a game I enjoy and have passion for.
Championship deck lists