The test is the most important skill when it comes to winning in Magic. You could be the most talented player in the world, but if you have not read the spoilers, you will not win your Draft pod, and if you have not played a single game with your Constructed deck, you're not going to win a big event. You have to understand how to test correctly and how much time you dedicate to each deck and format.
Last weekend, I attended the Magic: The Gathering World Championship in Las Vegas, an event I was proud to play because I worked hard last season to get one of the 24 spots. The formats were Standard and Dominaria Draft, and although they are now a bit old, there was still a lot of work to do.
I also had citizens coming. I've never played in the Old Nationals and I wanted to be a true national champion. I fell a little, losing in the Top 8 for the eventual winner Tian Fa Mun, who will join me and Mattia Basilico at the World Magic Cup, an event I can not wait to play.
It's always important to keep in mind how much time you spend on Magic. I am a lucky person who can live outside of Magic, but not everyone can eat and breathe the game. Whenever you need to prepare for a tournament with a limited part (either PT, GP or Nationals) you need Draft A lot!
Draft is the most difficult format to master and you will get the biggest advantage on your opponents. Be sure to make at least one draft a day and focus on your pickup order and how it evolves during Drafts. Which cards differed from your deck and your opponent? What combination of colors or synergies is it worth to play on others? There's always a lot to learn in every Draft, and you need to be ready to get the most out of what you can.
Testing Constructed also requires dedication, but it does not always mean that you have to tighten 20 MTGO Leagues with each deck to figure out if you like it and you have to explore it.
Take for example my experience with the U / W Gift tests for these upcoming events. While joining Leagues with R / B Aggro, I played against U / W Gift twice in a row, losing both times. Therefore, I realized that the deck had potential and that I needed to try it before rejecting it. I played with a MTGO League and I immediately went 5-0. I told myself this could be the deck to break the format!
I built it in real life and I stuck 20 games 1 against R / B, and the deck did not deliver. I stumbled a lot more often when I was not reviving Angel of Invention in turn 4, and I decided that while the deck had potential, it was not the bunch to beat with R / B. You could argue that 20 games are not a big size sample, but it was enough for me to know that I did not want to spend more time trying it out.
I also considered other decks, but none of them passed the "good versus R / B" test, so I moved to level 1 once again and tried to tune it to the best of my ability. I came to the conclusion that Doomfall was better than Unilensed Disintegration, as The Scarab God was growing in popularity and was the U / B mode Midrange beat our deck and Karn, Scion of Urza was the best card to win the game of the mirror.
I flew to Valencia a few days before the meeting in Las Vegas and Javier Dominguez and I played Magic for about 12 hours a day. We played around 200 matches of mirrors and tried all the possible sideboard configurations to find what we liked best.
When we were trying Heart of Kiran, Javier had drawn six + Heart cards each time, so that we could see how much his winning percentage increased.
This was the list we ended up playing, and I think it was the best 75 we could have had. Now this is history, since the format is running next week and we have more exciting challenges ahead of us.
Javier Dominguez, 1st place at the 2018 World Cup
Together with the Standard game, we continued to write and share our limited ideas. It is important to never let one format prepare another. Always try to play and read on both formats every day. Never lose concentration.
Worlds has been a great experience for me. Although I finished in 17th place, I was able to enjoy Las Vegas with my father, do a lot of visits to casinos and even take a trip to the Grand Canyon (which unfortunately was Sunday, which meant I could not follow the victory of Javier live or on Twitch).
But this weekend, I will meet him to celebrate his victory. He is no longer just a World Cup finalist, but a world champion!
Pro Tour Atlanta is my next big event, and I'm looking forward to joining the Atlanta team to try and continue my good PT series so I can start the new Pro season.