Tournament Follow-up

We ran the tournament last night that pretty much caps off the class. It was 4 rounds of swiss to form a top 8 that will play in about 2 weeks. All in all, it went pretty well.

Having never run a tournament before, I was somewhat worried that things would go to crap. Problems I foresaw included:

  • downtime between rounds. No one likes to stand around waiting for their next match
  • issues with time. Since I wanted to get 4 rounds roughly in the 2 hour timeslot for the class, I told them that there would be 30 minute rounds. I’m sure that it rushed some of the students, but whatever. I foolishly got lenient to get some games to end, but it was pointed out to me that that’s not exactly fair
  • bad pairings. I was doing it mostly manually with a spreadsheet and a program to shuffle the order of names, so I had to group people by points by hand and hope that there weren’t any repeat matchups. It only happened once in the last round, and a single switcheroo (not sure if that was fair) fixed it

Overall, I think it went smoothly. 4 rounds in about 2 hours 45 minutes, so no major hiccups. Tom and I were playing a lot of Magic during rounds (for perspective, we, knowing our decks, got in 5 games in about 20 minutes, which was how long it took some people to play 1 game), and we only got maybe 5 judge calls the entire tournament.

As far as the winners go, we had 1 person go 4-0, 3 go 3-1, 2 go 2-0-2, and 4 go 2-1-1. On tiebreakers, we got that sorted out for the top 8, with decklists posted here. A majority of the rest of the rest of the decklists are here. Some observations about how decks did:

  • Mono-black decks were strong. We had 3 in the top 8, and 3 just outside, either at 2-1-1 or 2-2. I believe Reuben actually got into the top 8 over a mono-black control deck using aladdin’s ring when his opponent brought in cop:black and plains as his anti-black hate
  • Mono-blue decks did not do well. Generally, decks running blue didn’t do well, which we could’ve expected given the lack of good strong control pieces. At the beginning of the quarter, the U fliers deck looked pretty good, but once the power level and aggro went up with Zendikar, horned turtle wasn’t able to hold back the tide so well
  • Red was not popular and therefore wasn’t well-represented. Leland has R as part of Boros Bushwhacker, but across the board, the only red I really saw was splashed for some burn in green decks.
  • Soldiers went down in popularity, but the two decks that were doing pure soldiers both ended up in the top 8. There are a lot of common elements (full armor/swordsmiths, vanguards, brave the elements), but the differences are more interesting. Yi has an equipment sub-theme going on in there, but Steve has slighly more staying power with the serra angel and team pump
  • Kotaro was the one who went 4-0 with his domain deck. Suprisingly consistent for 5 colors and not the best fixing around. It isn’t a “all the best stuff in the format” as much as it’s just playing off of domain. But who’s to complain for a 3/3 for 3 that can become a 5/5 in 2 turns?

I won’t go as far as to predict who’s going to win at this point to avoid biasing what happens here or showing favoritism, but I know that these are going to be good matchups. They have to keep the exact same decklists, sideboard and all, going into the top 8, so at this point, it’ll mostly be playtesting. Tom and I agreed that we would make similar decks to all of these so that people can practice. We are going into Thanksgiving break and then exams, so hopefully people don’t have TOO much time to be playtesting, but it would be good.

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