I don't have a Gavin Verhey-esque allegory to describe how I feel about Magic right now. (On a side note, if you haven't check out some of Gavin's allegories on Star City Games, you should do so right now.) In fact, I'm likely just on game tilt after my *stellar* performance at Nationals:

  • Lost the U/W Control mirror
  • Lost the U/W Control mirror again
  • Lost to Valakut
  • Lost to Valakut
  • Dropped to get draft sets
  • Was only given one draft set, even though there is no day 2 cut
  • Asked to speak to the TO about this situation, was refused
  • Refused my draft set and left the main TCG hall, never to return that weekend

Pretty sweet, huh? Of the 372 people that registered for Nationals, I finished...

364 Dykes, James 0 47.9167%

I'm not even bad enough to be worst! So I was done with Magic for the weekend (and probably for a while, until Innistrad sealed PTQs at the very earliest). Instead, I went over to hand with my roommate Dan Hanson over at the World of Warcraft TCG room. I had played the WoWTCG once before, at PAX last year, and I enjoyed the game. And GenCon weekend, they had one of their bigger open tournaments, Darkmoon Faire Indianapolis. Being sealed deck, I figured I'd give it a shot. It actually couldn't go any worse than Nationals, could it?

Reality check - I had never played a sealed deck event of WoWTCG before. I had drafted twice. I didn't have high expectations. I told Dan if I finished above .500, I'd feel like I was successful.

Building a WoW Sealed Pool

There are a lot of differences between Magic and WoWTCG when it comes to limited deck construction. Instead of 5 colors, there are 2 factions and 10 classes. And once you commit to a hero (a card separate from your deck that represents you in the game, with a specific faction and class), you're stuck with that hero for the tournament, no matter how much better a different build of your pool may be. Let's take a look at my sealed pool from the DMF as an example of what sorts of different challenges you have in building a WoW sealed deck.

Abilities

DEATHKNIGHT
Blood Chill
Frozen Blight
Frozen Core
2x Horn of Winter
Path of Frost
Strangulate
Twisted Death Pact

DRUID
Living Roots
Moonshard

HUNTER
Cinder
Donatello
Immolation Trap

MAGE
Arcane Missiles
Blazing Debris
Extinguish
Ripple

PALADIN
Blessing of Might
Censure
Hand of Protection
Inquisition
Stasis

PRIEST
Psychic Melt
Power Word: Endurance

ROGUE
Aggressive Exploitation
Daze
Excessive Force
Favor of Mischief
Gouge
Sap
Tormenting Gouge

SHAMAN
Ancestral Purge
Elemental Vision

WARLOCK
Demonic Corruption
Everlasting Affliction
Favor of the Nether
Fel Immolation
Maazhum

WARRIOR
Executioner's Mark
Shattering Throw
Twisted Rampage

EQUIPMENT
Axe of Grounded Flame
Claws of Torment
Crusher of Bonds
Etched Dragonbone Girdle
Grim Campfire
Wand of Ruby Claret

QUESTS
Aessina's Miracle
Counting Out Time
The Crucible of Carnage: The Twilight Terror
2x Crystals of Power
Devoured
End of the Supply Line
2x Entrenched
Fire the Cannon
The Grimtotem Weapon
Leader of the Pack
Mercy for the Bound

Allies

ALLIANCE
Abbie Whizzleblade
Alador Stonebrew
Andrew Ulric
Arvos Jadestone
Bayner Cogbertson
Chandra Marlight
2x Dagin Bootzap
Frizzle Stumbleshade
Gardos Gravefang
Jerrak Krandle
Kalek Deepearth
Marcus Dominar
Patricia Potter
Pixia Darkmist
Shadowseer Calista
Shaytha Lumenira

HORDE
2x Azizi Daggerflick
Caera Sunforge
Gavin Haverston
Gerwixicks
Gordash Firetooth
Grazzle Grubhook
Guardian Steelhoof
Kizzli Grinderstub
Korlix Grimvik
Kerzok Plixboom
Kyroth Steelspite
Lena Naville
Telor Sunsurge
Tharuk Foulblade
Vala Carville
Zeni'vun

UNALIGNED
Azure Captain
Azure Skyrazor
Bound Rumbler
Bronze Guardian
Bronze Skyrazor
2x Emerald Lifewarden
Emerald Wanderer
Obsidian Drakonid
Obsidian Skyterror
Ruby Enforcer
Sinestra
Twilight Emissary
Twilight Shadowdrake

I know the mouseover tools aren't as robust for WoWTCG as they are for Magic, but you get the idea. You choose an alignment and class, and then immediately disqualify about half of your card pool. It's very different, and it took me the entire deckbuilding period to get my pool together. I chose Alliance Rogue in the end as I felt the blue allies were better and I wanted access to the Axe and Leader of the Pack.

So how did this neophyte do? Well, I got a feature match in the last round of Swiss playing for the Top 8 against Rob Victory. As you can tell from the coverage, it didn't go well for our hero, but I was live going into the last round, and that's really all I can ask for.

I've been bitten by the WoW bug, and I expect to play a lot of events at PAX, a lot more than Magic, especially with no Magic Online Live Series this year.