My journey to the Nationals 2012 – Part 1 with Sadie Stark

My journey to the Nationals 2012 – Part 1 with Sadie Stark

My ultimate dream is to be so good at Magic I get paid to play, but I’m a long way off of that at the moment; so we’ll start with a smaller target, GB Nationals 2012. I won my first release and pre-release, I came 2nd in the Two Headed Giant National Championships, what more could a girl ask for? There’s not many women who make it into the Nationals, there were very girls this year, so I NEED to be there next year. I started playing MTG in 2001, I mostly played with pre-con decks and my very own Elf deck, as I love elves, I adored my deck that had Chatter of the Squirrel which helped produce an army of squirrels to go with my Elves. I stopped playing in 2005 and didn’t even think about MTG again until 2009 when I bought some cards and got told about weekly FNM tournaments, my journey started again!

This year I did the grind playing in the Standard LCQ, I got pretty cocky after winning my first two rounds, then I lost to this deck which used Timely Reinforcements, Stonehorn Dignitary and Venser the Sojourner. A combo is, you just flicker Stonehorn Dignitary with Venser and I can never attack again when it comes back in. I was literally just about to win the match and he top decked Timely Reinforcements, I could have died, and ultimately I did. Then after the match, the lovely Lian tells me how I could have won. A proper head in hands moment! It really seemed to knock my confidence as after that I lost and lost and dropped. I think the fourth match was Valakut, a deck that I hate with a passion. I could sulk about it or I could think of all my other achievements.

The LCQ went on till very late so I didn’t get any games in on the Thursday, then on the Friday I played a standard eight-man. I played this guy who bragged about being 1 point off qualifying with rating, he tried to convince me that the ability of Kalastria Highborn could only be triggered once, I was out for the win so screamed for a judge and he was put right. That was against a Caw Blade deck and it was quite funny to see the look of disappointment that a wee girl had beat him up with Vampires.

My second match was against Red Deck Wins, it was so close, but he got mana screwed and I won. Match 3 I played Andy Leader and had a really good game, with us both winning 1 game each, he was playing Splinter Twin… I was so close to winning and he pulled the card to be able to play his winning combo. We’d decided to split the prizes which was epic, the guy was with me before the grind and he was looking at my deck, I was about to take out Viscera Seer before he told me of the awesome combo with Kalastria, how could I have been so thick not to see that.

Later than night I played in the Super FNM, I built a pretty awesome red / green deck, lots of removal like Incinerate / Fireball / Combust / Stingerfling Spider etc. The first round, I was doing really quite well, but the guy was taking ages on his turn, I could have nipped outside and had a ciggie everytime it was his turn he was taking that long. In the end I got a draw for that game which was annoying as drawing gets you nothing in Super FNM.

My second round was a bit of an easy one, I won quite quickly which was groovy. My third round was similar and I won in a short time. The last round I played someone that had won all 3 matches, his deck was really good, I nearly won the second game which would have taken us to game 3, I just need 1 more mana to Fireball him, for 5 turns I was sat there waiting for this rogue land to turn up, but it never did and I was annihilated. After that I went back to the hotel to have this gorgeous apple and toffee crumble and retired for the night. By the time I shifted out of bed on the Saturday it was time for 2HG, so that was it for the 3 days I was at the GB Nationals, 4 events in total, in which I did quite well overall.

Since the Nationals I’ve not been to any FNM’s, my local shop doesn’t have enough players for Standard and I’m not increasing my ability playing there as its not that much of a challenge. I’ve played quite a lot online, both Standard and Limited games. The most memorable game was when I was due to win a draft event, I had an Incinerate in my hand, I needed to deal this guy 3 damage to win… then I went and Incinerated his creature. It’s another occasion where I realise what I’ve done and have been astounded in my stupidity.

There’s another FNM near where I live and they’re holding FNM’s that are actually sanctioned, in a few weeks I’ll be playing there for the pre-release and release to see how I do. I’m quite excited about Innistrad, but also worried as my Standard deck is more or less obsolete come the end of September, so I really hope they release some good Vampires. To be fair it does look like they’re making it so more people play red/black vampires. It should be noted that Vampires did do quite well at GB Nats, so there is hope for me.

I have put the word out there that I’m looking to do a lot of play testing, most of my MTG buddies come from Lincolnshire way so it’s a proper trek to get there to play test. I hope all of us can work together to help one another to get a good enough deck as well as a good enough player to be able to qualify before having to grind again next year. It would be interesting to play more side events, and try to win the 2HG next time. My ultimate dream is to play in the Nationals and build my player ability so I can achieve fantastic things. I commented on someones status that I would love the opportunity to have some coaching to be able to improve my game play, this person quite rightly noted it’s like saying to someone, can you train me to steal the top prize from you. If anyone is interested just drop me a line. I’m going to have to learn how to play a new deck,and really improve my drafting ability .

I hope to be able to update you on my journey, writing this time next year about my experience of playing in the Nationals for the first time!


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