Arguably one of the most anticipated sets in quite a while is coming out this weekend, via the Photon Shockwave Sneak Peek. There are a lot of things riding on this Sneak for me. Most importantly, this will be a very good litmus to see exactly how much interest there still is in this game. Over the past few weeks I've tried to come up with justification for low locals attendance, but most people don't miss a Sneak. I wouldn't even care if only half of the attendees played in the tournament. At least I'd know that they were still in to the game, even on a casual level. The worst case scenario is that hardly anyone shows up. I'd rather that people still be interested in the game and not play, than to have only a few people interested at all.
As for the Sneak itself, I will be coming with $200-300 and as much of my stuff that I can fit in my backpack as possible. Sneaks are the best days in terms of trading, selling, and buying. The casual people don't have any idea on values of the new stuff, and more often than not if you throw out a good sounding number for a particular card they will take it. It's also the ideal time to trade the jank that you pull, since everything has hype value and the casuals don't know if something is playable or not. People also come out of the woodwork in hopes of selling their entire binder/collection off, and I believe that buying collections and re-selling is one of the best ways of making money in card games. I want to bring enough money and trades to pick up on these deals, rather than not bring enough and kick myself for it later. I have had that happen to me in the past - if I had brought my 'jank rares and commons' binder that had Morphotronic Accelerator in it, I woulda picked up a T-King at the TSHD Sneak in Texas, straight across. If I had an extra $20, woulda got a Judgment Dragon for $40 at the LODT one. I'm sure we all have personal "shoulda-woulda-coulda" examples like this. Remember it's better to bring more than you need, than to not bring enough. Do I envision myself spending all of the $200-300 I bring? Most likely not, but we get Sneaks only 4 times a year; be prepared, and utilize them!
As for the tournament, I am sticking with my Agents but changed my trap line-up to incorporate 2 Solemn Warning and a Solemn Judgment. I don't know how this will play out for me, hopefully I don't regret it in our aggro-heavy/balls-to-the-wall locals. I may side into D-Prison/Bottomless against certain players that I know are very aggressive. I am mentally toying around with the idea of running 1 Vanity's Fiend but in the end I don't think I'll have enough space for it. My logic is that since more often than not I'm double-sac'ing to bring out Kristya, why not run a 1-sac version in Vanity's? I guess the problem is if they already have a big guy out there, 2800 runs over a lot more than 2400, and with Kristya you at least have the possibility of special'ing her, rather than have to tribute like you do in Vanity's case. Again I will bring all my relevant sidedeck stuff and make my side based on what I see people running.
This is also an important event for me since it'll probably be the last time I play at Lightning Comics until I hear that attendance has gone back up. It is time for the Idaho Team O players to play at their own turf and represent the team and continue the weekly domination I have achieved the past 5 weeks. I will take downtown Spokane. I hate the thought of contributing to Uncle's, but we also need to get Corey off his high horse. If we want to achieve dominance at every locals possible, well we have to have at least 1 person attending each of them if there are multiple on the same day/time. Using the Google Maps directions thing, from my house it is 33.8 miles to Lightning. There and back, that's basically 67 miles I put on my car. I get roughly 30 mpg, so 2 gallons at $3.69 comes out to about $7.40. To downtown Uncle's, it is only 3.1 miles so gas is negligible. Looking at the parking meter map for Spokane, if I can manage to get a 3-hour spot, it'd only cost me $2 to park for 4 hours, which should be plenty. $2.50 if I wanted 5 hours. Either way I'd have to go out in between a round to fill the meter but that shouldn't be too big of a deal. Clearly it is better for me to go to Uncle's, especially if the prize support ends up being basically the same.
After the Sneak, I anticipate basically emptying out my binder by selling off everything that I can besides my primary and secondary deck and a few key cards I think may rise in value over time. Then I will re-build until the next Sneak 3 months later. This way nothing remains too stagnant and I'm not trying to get rid of the same crap Sneak after Sneak, when I know that no one's ever gonna want it. I go through a pretty good amount of product and I have limited space to keep my stuff, so I need to be dumping off proportionally to how much I accumulate.
I hope everyone has an enjoyable and profitable experience at the Sneak!