Preparing For Regionals

We’re full swing into regional season and if you’re like me you’re trying to find my ways to beat the meta. However, if you want to perform well at regionals, you need to be doing everything you can to get better until then. We’re going to explore the ways you can get better prepared for regionals and squeak out those last few percentage points.

There is no substitute for playing games. You need to have experience against popular deck varieties and know what to do in weird situations. Otherwise, the first time you’ll get caught in a situation will be in the event itself, which is not when you want to start experimenting. At this point, we know the top contenders for decks. Blue/Red Hirudegarn, Blue + Something SS3 Goku, and aggressive Blue leaders. With the release of BCC Goten, yellow is (and will be) all over the place. There are a few other decks that have had solid performances such as U7 Frieza.

For the above decks, you’ll need to think about how many you expect to see, and what you need to be able to beat them. For Hirudegarn, can you handle them drawing a million cards? For SS3 control variants, can you handle the taunts(Bergamo/SSB Vegito)? Do you have any way to fight back against Chain/Zeno? What is your deck going to do if you get taxed to 3 energy? You’ll need answers in at least your sideboard for all of the above situations if you hope to do well.

To get the practice in, you’ll want to build each one and playtest it against the decks you’re considering. As you play, make sure to try out different play-lines and learn what works and what doesn’t. When you get more games in, you’ll notice cards that perform poorly in certain matchups and get a good feel for what you want to main board and what you want to sideboard. You’ll also want to make sure you have experience playing the enemy decks. Knowing what your opponent is thinking on certain turns will drastically increase your understanding of the matchup

However, if you’re like me and can’t find time to get games in (stupid job), there are still things you can do in your spare time to get better.

There are a lot of great content creators out there, and they are doing a great job of putting out top decklists. These are lists that people have performed well at certain events and you can bet your bottom dollar that people will be using variants of those lists at Regionals. You can use these lists to inform your own deckbuilding, both for inspiration on what to play and what to counter. The nice part about this is that you don’t actually need another person to do this.

Another way to be sure that you are flexing your TCG brain is just to build decks. Take some card interactions that seem powerful and just try building a deck. Oftentimes, just looking at a list can help you see whether a card/combo will work. Ask yourself questions like, “What does a perfect curve look like?”, “How does this lineup with good curves I expect to see in the meta?”, and “Can I draw enough cards to do what I need to do?”.

It can be a pain in the butt to pull out your cards and keep making piles, so don’t! Use a deckbuilding website to just spam deck lists and see what you can do. I can’t tell you how many decks I’ve got in my deckbuilder trying to make the Union-Absorb Mira work.

This is a great way to get help and help others! From playing in your locals and going to events, you’ll encounter plenty of people that love to talk about the game. During your preparations, make sure to reach out. Share decklists with each other and comment on ways to improve. You’ll be surprised at the insights that others have come up with.

Doing all of the above will make sure that you will be maximizing the amount of information you have going into the regional. With the most information, you’ll make the best decisions and with a little luck, take the whole thing!

- Ashir Amer

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