During the Seattle Regionals I had every intention of making a full tourney report, wrote down my opponent's names and deck-types and everything, but as the event was 2 weekends ago and it sort of feels irrelevant at this point, I'll just be re-capping the event and how it went!
Quite a few people from the Spokane and Idaho area showed up for the event which was great to see. It was nice to have that feeling that we were all rooting for each other and wishing each of us luck before our matches; we came together and truly felt like a family which is why I love this game to the extent that I do. The event itself was slightly over 400 people, which is the largest Regional we've had in Seattle. Nine rounds of Swiss. At first I heard mention that registration would be cut off and people simply wouldn't get to play, but they made a few extra set-ups in the side room where the vendors were and the registration was. I think those late people got round 1 losses or something like that.
As for my matches, I played: 1 Scrap, 3 Mermail, 1 Blackwing, 1 Dragon, 1 3-Axis Fire Fist, 1 Spellbook, and something else I can't remember. It may have been another Mermail or Dragon match-up. The night before, I racked my brain if I wanted to play the "Standard Dragon" Rulers or the Blue Eyes build. The Blue Eyes build I did not have much experience with but I fell in love with it after trying it at the Tuesday tournament before the weekend. I knew the pros and cons of each build and it was getting late so I just said screw it and settled for the Blue Eyes build. If I drew bad all day then I knew from that point I'd just play the Standard build for the rest of the format.
I started the day 4-0, beating Scraps, Dragons, Blackwing, and 3-Axis. Then I lost to 2 Mermail match-ups in a row. Now this is not a match-up I consider difficult, but my losses came from either getting Blader'd followed up with an OTK and no Scarecrow in hand, or they opened Imperial Iron Wall and I had no way of getting rid of it in conjunction with a weak hand that needed my in-hand Sacred Sword to get moving. After the 2nd loss I was fairly disappointed since I knew my chances of topping pretty much went out the window. In the last round I was 6-2 and saw I was paired up against Kyle, one of our local Spellbook players. This is the match-up I hate the most because let's face it it's still a nasty deck. He opened up god against me game 1 but game 2 and 3 I could tell he opened pretty poopy so I won the match. I was glad to at least finish 7-2 and finished in 24th place, fairly low among the 7-2's, so of course due to tie-breakers. I saw that the two Mermail players I lost to also finished 7-2, one of them actually finishing in 25th or 26th place. Again I felt frustrated because while I would say they were OK with the deck, the deck itself just seems sub-par outside of the wombo Steus+Spirit+Ocea combo and random OTK ability. Like Mike Bonacini said, draw MST for the sided-in hate cards, or lose. I didn't draw MST so I lost. I think if I hadn't lost against either Mermail player I would've ended up topping, I can't really say for sure since who knows I might've played against all Evilswarm the rest of the day, but I dunno I just had that gut feeling. Everyone else finished 6-3 or lower, I think that Zach (Blackwing) and Corey (Spellbook) could've ended up topping as well but there's always those "rando" situations where you lose not because your opponent is good, but because there's some game-state (whether it be hand/draws, they dropped 3 JD, etc) that prevented you from winning.
Not a lot of ruling issues came up, but it was astonishing that all of the Mermail players I played against didn't know that Abysspike missed timing if I destroyed a Linde with Crimson Blader. Each time a judge was called to confirm. I even had to tell one of the dudes 3 times in our match that it missed timing since he kept summoning it off a Blader'd Linde. The biggest ruling issue I had was in my match against the Blackwing guy I think in round 3, in which I had a set Return and summoned Dracosack. He activated Icarus targeting my Draco and Return. I chained Return paying half my life and summoned 4 Dragons. Then he activated Torrential Tribute and I told him you couldn't do that. Two judges came over and I explained the situation, but all 3 of them (the player and the 2 judges) told me there was an "activation window" so that he could Torrential after the monsters were summoned. "The game-state is open" and some other fluffy-worded bullshit to make it sound like they knew what they were talking about. I explained that was wrong because Icarus had yet to resolve and he couldn't activate something during the resolution of a chain and I also said "then how come back in the day (DAD Return) people played Heavy then chained Return to play around the Torr/Bottomless?" They stuck to their ruling though and I should have appealed it, but just said whatever and still proceeded to win the match. Later on in the day that Blackwing player came up to me and was like "yea you were right about that ruling one of the judges found out and explained it to me." I knew I was right but it was reassuring that they knew I was right lol.
I think one the highlights of my weekend was meeting the infamous Squiddy, who I got my Garunix signed. I flipped through my binder trying to figure out what I should have him sign and remembered that I saw him playing Fire King quite a bit on DN so I chose the Garunix. Kyle and I were visibly excited to meet and talk with him while the other guys were just like "wtf is Squiddy?" Come on everyone that's spent any time on Pojo knows Squiddy lol. Squiddy was playing Blue Eyes Dragons as well and ended up in 4th place I believe. Chris Hentz won the event with Standard Dragons. I think top 8 was something like 7 Dragons and 1 Inzektor. After the event I checked out the ARG Open coverage and saw that Frazier and Billy were also playing the Blue Eyes build so it was reassuring to me that I didn't make a completely terrible deck choice and in retrospect I'm glad I played it. I was playing 3 BEWD and 3 Stone though so if there was anything I would've changed for the event it would be the 2-2 build. I noticed that playing the 3-3 build made it very difficult to side because theoretically (as Pat Hoban would say) you don't want to side out combo cards for non-combo cards.
As for the rest of the format, I am pretty sure we won't be having any Regionals in our area unless the events list gets randomly updated. I won't be going to San Mateo so it already feels like the end of the format for me, which we had a conversation about on the ride back home the next day. Three weeks in and it already felt like end of format lol. I'll be sticking with Dragons because there's honestly no reason for me to pick anything else up at this stage. I'll just keep trying to max-rarity my deck. Whatever I'd pick up would be in anticipation for next format, but with the whole separate lists thing and predictions always being so off it's really hard to tell what to do. So rather than stress out about it, I'm just going to ride out the format with the best deck for me and rake in as much prizing I can. I would assume that come Dec 31/Jan 1 they would nerf Dragons to being unplayable (I'm thinking each Dragon to 2 and maybe Sword to 1?) since all the holiday sales off the Redox and Tempest tin would be over with by that point. TCG-side, Dragons have a very strong presence, too strong in comparison to everything else.
Here was my decklist for the event, for reference:
3 White Stone
2 Maxx C
1 Raigeki Break
1 Big Eye
1 Gaia Dragon (never went into)
1 Master of Blades (never went into)
1 Heliopolis (never went into)
1 Armory (never went into)
1 Black Rose
1 Red Dragon (just for EEV)
1 Azure-Eyes (never went into)
2 Crimson Blader (always went into)