Captain's Log, Vol. 1

by Martin Dang on 04 January 2019, Friday

Martin Dang

This is your Captain speaking! 

Stardate 09-11.11.2018

Welcome to the Captain's Log, an ongoing article series where I will share with you my assessment of Team Snapcardster x MTG Mint Card after each Pro Tour or Mythic Championship. I would like to invite you behind the scenes with the team. What’s our current situation and our future prospects? We’ll take a look at our training course, deck choices, expectations prior to the Pro Tour and evaluate how we did, as well as how we can improve.

Since it was the first Pro Tour of the season, we had lots of hope and excitement for Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica in Atlanta. Getting off to a good start is always nice for confidence and team spirit throughout the season. It gives you the feeling that there’s hope and purpose to keep fighting.

Teaming up for testing: forming a strong alliance

For this Pro Tour, we teamed up with Hareruya Latin for the first time. We didn’t meet at a location to physically test together but we created a Facebook group a month before to the PT. There, all the good ideas regarding Constructed and Limited were shared with everyone.

An Unsolved Standard

As per usual, we couldn’t agree which was the best deck and after weeks of Standard grinding, we ended up with four completely different ones.  That is not all bad news though, for two reasons. Firstly, as long as we cannot prove one or two decks to be superior, I believe choosing the deck you’re most familiar with and which suits your playstyle the most is the way to go. It’s nice if you can play a deck which you genuinely like, instead of mindlessly piloting the same as everyone else. Second of all, it makes sense that the majority shows up with a deck they believe in, one that they have a certain level of familiarity with. As long as someone in our group felt a deck was good and willing to pilot it, we all got more valid info on the matchups with it. If we had all settled on a specific deck to start with, someone had to halfheartedly play different ones to practice other matchups.

Limited Practice: good team results thanks to Magic Online

Guilds of Ravnica had been available for more than a month prior to the Pro Tour, so we agreed to have the Limited preparation done by the time the team got together in Atlanta. In conclusion, our Limited preparation was good. Grinding it online on MTGO along with a few draft challenges when we met and some discussions which card and archetypes we liked was sufficient. Only one member of the team ended up with a negative score in limited, and I believe his results suffered because he did not have much time for testing this time around.

Our team has very good Limited results in general and since we were comfortable with our Standard decks, we showed up at the Pro Tour full of hope and confidence.

Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica: Conclusion and Lessons Learned

 

On the positive side, we all made Day Two and had an overall win percentage above 50%. Our win percentage on Day One was exactly 50% which isn’t great. On Day Two we managed to get to 63% which is okay considering that Day Two usually has stronger opponents. As per usual, we talked with each other about what went wrong and how we could improve for upcoming events. Our results suffered in Standard and could barely push our win percentage above 50%. Luckily Limited became our savior, with 61% overall, which makes an average result of almost 4-2. This is a good score at the Pro Tour.

Constructed is where we can improve the most; Thomas, Michael and myself played control decks, Müller and Christoffer chose midrange decks, and Simon ended up with aggro.

Control is a poor choice: The Pro Tour metagame is hard to predict

We felt like all the decks we had chosen for Pro Tour Guilds of Ravnica should be roughly at the same level prior to the tournament. In retrospect we agreed that control is not a good choice at any Pro Tour unless it is proven to be way overpowered. It is just too hard to predict what people will show up with and therefore you want to be proactive instead of reactive. The results you get from playing control in the testing house can be somewhat deceiving. You know what your opponent is playing and therefore the win rate of the deck and how you tune it is affected.

We ended up making 27 Pro Points for the Team Series race, placing 15th out of the 39 teams. This is not a seat we’re satisfied with and there is plenty of room for improvement. However this Pro Tour wasn’t a total catastrophe for the team and it gives us something to build on.

Looking ahead: Team Snapcardster x MTG Mint Card will return

We are all qualified for the next Pro Tour, and we are determined to make it to one of the top spots in the end.

Since this was the first Pro Tour of the season, we have quite a road ahead of us and I really enjoyed our testing process and communication. I firmly believe that our results will be better going forward and I hope you’ll follow us along the road. The testing with the Hareruya Latin team was also enjoyable. The Facebook group was organized and the people were very nice. Hopefully we can continue this cooperation in the future.

I am looking forward to giving you a new update after Mythic Championship Cleveland with another chapter of my Captain's Log.

This article was written by Martin Dang in a media collaboration with Snapcardster.com.







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