Wednesday, June 18, 2008

“Of Luck, Foam, and Secrets…” The Regionals Experience Part Two

Here's part two of my article “The Regionals Experience”. If you've missed reading part one, check it out here.

May 18 – The Day of Judgement

I woke up at around 9am, too early for the tournament as I remembered it will be at 12:30pm. I better check my deck for some finalizations on the list. I made some adjustments and got my Magi of the Moon maindecked and swapped some of the cards for a set of Flame Javelins. Here's my last minute list:

RDW Last Minute Version by Mark Ian Alloso

3 Greater Gargadon
4 Keldon Marauders
3 Magus of the Moon
4 Mogg Fanatic
4 Mogg War Marshall

4 Flame Javelin
4 Incinerate
4 Rift Bolt
3 Shard Volley
2 Sulfurous Blast
2 Threaten

4 Mutavault
19 Mountain


3 Cryoclasm
3 Everlasting Torment
3 Faerie Macabre
3 Magus of the Scroll
3 Smash to Smithereens

We went at JY Square at around 12 noon and registered. We had our brunch at Chowking (better to eat Chinese food rather than an instant one. Lol) and made some final preparations and good lucks to each other. The Regionals tournament started with 38 participating players. Six rounds of Swiss were very tiring as there seemed to be no break in between rounds. Here are my matchups as I remembered. I wasn’t able to take down any specific notes so some accounts here were somewhat inaccurate.

Round 1

My first round opponent was piloting Treefolks with a splash of black for Profane Command. This was a very unexpected match up for me and I got pummeled by a fat and trampling Dauntless Dourbark in both games. Sigh, not a good start. Record: 0-1-0

Round 2

The next match up is B/G Elves. I started slow on Game 1 and got killed by a large Tarmogoyf. I won Games 2 and 3 by controlling his board with burn spells and big Gargadon bashing him. The highlight of this match was Threatening his 5/6 Tarmo and sacrificing it on the suspended Gargadon. A relief from a loss last round. Current record: one win and one loss.

Round 3

My opponent was a familiar face. It was Samir, the one I played against in Round 6 on last year's Regionals, and he was piloting the same color like last year which was R/G Aggro. He got me early on Game 1 with burn and beatdown. While on Game 2, I was able to control his board and got my Magus of the Scroll online. The downside was I didn't draw my Gargadon. His Keldon Megaliths also went online and started the killing spree of my 1/1 “taktak gurl” tokens and magus. I got him down to one life but ran out of gas as he was able to recover with the Tattermunge Maniac and Mutavault beats. The top-decked Incinerate finished me off. As expected, my next draw was a burn spell. Oh well, this is Magic. If it’s not your day, even though how hard you try to make it better, it’s still not your day. Even though I lost this one, I still got a good laugh with Samir as I was giving him a hard time when he tried to kill my tokens. I gave him one taktak gurl token as a souvenir. Record: 1-2-0

Round 4

W/G Ramp? Oh my God... now I am doomed in this tournament. I lost Game 1 to an early large Tarmo, life gain and an upcoming Oversoul fetched with Primal Command. Game two started quite favorable to my side as my opponent went to four cards via mulligan. I won this game. Game three, he started with 3 non basic lands without any land search or any spells at all. I dropped Magus of the Moon at turn three and took the game from there. Based on this, I must say luck plays a great factor in Magic. Record: 2-2-0

Round 5

My hopes of getting a win ended here as I was paired against a Lark deck, the worst matchup of my deck due to life gain and tempo disruption creatures. Not to mention the recurring ability of Reveillark and combo with Body Double. I lost game 1, no explanation needed. My sideboard was prepared for this one and took in anti life gain, land and graveyard disruption. Game two was in my favor as I draw most of my sideboards. I was hoping the same scenario in game three but unluckily I wasn't. I draw anti life gain but he got answers for it. The match was very long but finally I was succumbed with flying beaters. My match record was now 2 wins and 3 losses.

Round 6

I was quite upset at this moment but still I gotta play for points. My last round opponent, Clint, was playing a similar deck, with Countryside Crushers as the only difference. He got ahead of me on Game 1 and I died quickly to burn. I sided in Smash to Smithereens as I was expecting him to use Dragon's Claw which is very good against mirror matches. Luckily, he didn't draw one on Game 2 and I beat him to death with my Goblin tokens and fanatic. His browbeats were quite irritating though as I took 10 damage from it. I got a good starting hand on Game 3. His turn three claw was smashed to smithereens and dealing him two damage (he gained one life via the claw). He was quite mana-flooded and tried to browbeat for answers but I chose to take the five damage. Several turns later, I took the game and the win. He also received a taktak gurl token for souvenir.

The result? After 6 rounds of hardship, I got a record of 3 wins and 3 losses, the same record with the Regionals last year. The rankings were announced and I was 20th. Not my day but still I'm happy because two of my teammates, Rei and Patrick, got into the top eight. Here's some of the pics I got the chance to take in between rounds and while waiting for the top 8 match to start.

Kenny and Basil with a rematch from last year. Basil won this one.

Oliver playing Faeries against Clint playing RDW. Oliver won this matchup.

The top eight players. Rei is 2nd from left and Patrick (3rd from left) beside him.

The non-qualifiers of Team Iloilo, doing the “loser” pose.

Rei is celebrating his 5-1 record with a “winner” pose.

The Play-Offs

After 15 minutes of break and chit-chat, the pairings for the top 8 were made and the matches started. Rei was facing a mirror B/G Elves while Patrick was paired with W/G Elves. Rei took a quick kill of his opponent with two Shriekmaw, taking Game 1. We even shouted “first blood”, like that voice on Dota, when his opponent took lethal damage. Lol. In Game 2, his opponent got stuck with three lands and a bad hand. That gave him an edge on the match and took the game and the win from there. Meanwhile, Patrick also won his Game 1 and survived Game 2 with a turn three Oversoul from his opponent. Wow! We couldn't even believe that he survived that one.

We were very happy that these two will be going to the Nationals. Their next goal, getting into the top 2 or become this year's Regional champion. Luckily, they weren't paired with each other on the top 4 so that increased the chances of getting the top spot. Rei was paired with Cebu's resident champ, Mark Yap. The match resulted in favor of Rei, 2 to 1. Patrick was paired with Ray Nava, the merfolk player with a 5-0 record on yesterday's FNM. His winning streak ended here as he got swept by Ray.

The faeries (Patrick) versus the merrows (Ray) in the semis.

Rei (B/G Elves) against Mark (U/B Faeries) on the top 4.

The two finalist, Ray and Rei, then faced off for the championship, a match between the elves and the merfolks. Ray took game 1 with a swarm of two lords and islandwalk via Aquitect's will. Game two got a quite similar scenario with Ray having two bannerets and a Reejery. A Damnation attempt to clear the board was met with a Sage's Dousing and that was game. The winner and champion of this year's Cebu Regionals, Ray Nava II.

Fish and Elves on the finals

The champ took a prize of a box of Shadowmoor while the second placer got a half of the box. Time again for some picture taking.

Rei savoring the moment of getting the second place.

Patrick showing off his prize as the 3rd placer.

Team Iloilo at the Cebu Regionals 2008

I was very exhausted but feeling great that my teammates got qualified. Now, its time for a celebration. We quickly went back to our staying place to get ready for the night out. No more tournaments to worry now, woohoo! We ate dinner at Chowking near Casino Filipino and headed to the same party place, Mango Square. We went to Autoshop Bar and hang out there with Patrick and his cousin.

Athan, Ramon and Master Rei enjoying the night

After one bottle of Red Horse and a few chit chat, we entered the disco bar. This is where the alcohol kicked in and the fun begins. We were just savoring the moment there drinking, dancing, watching the ladies and the “ledgewalkers” do their stuff and having a great time. I was very surprised as two of my teammates (the names weren't mentioned for protection from their gf's) lead off in dancing with the ladies. I guess they're really enjoying the night. I also joined in with the dancing and we went partying till 3 in the morning. I was the last one to go due to a situation which I chose to keep secret. Hehehe...

May 19

Oh crap, its time to go home. I didn't get enough sleep that time. Woke up at around 9 am I guess. No hang over, just lack of sleep. Grrrr... Oh well. We still got a lot of time to pack up things. We decided to take our lunch at KFC because of their commercial ads during the NBA live telecast that we were watching on the pension house and it keeps on bugging on our heads. Lol…

I'm sorry break na tayo... Wooooooohhhh!!!

We had our last stop at Ayala Center Cebu and bought our pasalubong before going to the airport. Carlo and Samir accompanied us in touring the mall. That was my last glimpse of the beautiful Cebuanas. Must savor the moment… Lol... After buying our stuffs, we bade farewell to Carlo and Sam and headed for the airport. The flight was at 4pm and we arrived just in time to check in our luggage and wait for the boarding of the plane.

Waiting for…

Goofing around in the plane. Hehe…

Doritos and Snickers combo... Thanks for the influence Sam.. Lol..

The plane left at around 4:10pm and arrived at Iloilo Airport at around 5pm. We weren’t able to land immediately because there was another plane leaving. That delayed the landing for another 15 minutes. Swirling around for 15 minutes... Grrrr… that left me a headache… Finally the plane landed and we left the airport 10 minutes later. Thanks for the service ton. Hehe… We’re back to good ol' life guys. Home sweet home…

The Conclusion

To summarize, here’s what I’ve learned about the trip, or should I say my “observations” on the trip.

On the Cebu MTG community:

  • The decrease of Mtg players in Cebu. We were about 40+ last year and this year the player count was just 38.

  • No DCI judge during the Regionals. That resulted to a few miscalls and a lot of arguments.

  • I enjoyed the company with these players. They were humorous and their English speaking was very influencing. I get to learn a few cebuano words though. Lol…

On the Cebu social life and the Cebuanas:

  • Their social culture is more modern, especially when it comes to fashion. Eighty percent or at least eighty percent of the beautiful Cebuanas that I’ve seen either wears a sleeveless shirt and skinny jeans or short shorts. More skin is involved. Lol…

  • Most of these beautiful cebuanas are moms. Hmmmm....

  • The cebu nightlife was also more modern and liberated. They like hip-hop and Rnb sounds more than House music. Their party places are cool and they have nice crowd gatherer strategies (see the pics from my first article for reference).

To sum it up, my MTG Regionals experience this year was fun, entertaining, educational and hilarious. Although the travel was quite exhausting, I still enjoyed it. I hope in our next year's trip we could get to explore more of Cebu and I hope this time my main objective will be a success. Hehe... Congratulations again to Master Rei and Patrick for qualifying to the Nationals. Team Iloilo's next stop this year will be in GP Manila on August so prepare those Lorwyn block decks guys. I'm not sure if I can join due to lack of budget but who knows, a miracle may happen and someone might give me cards and cash to join the Grand Prix.

Thanks for reading guys. A compliment to my friend JR for correcting some of the terms.

Till next time y'all...

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