Season one for the Star City Games tour is officially over. I could talk about the Invitational itself—spoiler: it did not go well—but I decided to change it up a bit. This week I opened my social media for reader mailbag times: Ask Me Anything. I asked for questions about SCG Season one, Magic for me going forward, and just about anything else that people would like to know. So let’s get to it.

Q: What were some of the problems you faced with when you were traveling to compete every week?

Mondays. Yes Monday is the worst day overall. But at Magic events I don’t sleep well to begin with, so it is always harder for me to rebound and get ready for real life the following week.

Q: What’s the most disastrous Magic trip you’ve been on? Alternatively, what Magic trip will stick with you forever?

The disastrous trip has to be the Cincinnati Team Open this March. The tournament itself was great as we launched Team Tempest, but I was sick and had to do the thrirteen-hour drive back and forth. I hated it.

As for the best trip? I have a tie. Grand Prix Richmond 2014 stands out as one. It was a drive with all my college buddies, and we went down in two cars. We left pretty early in the morning Friday. I remember texting the other car, “Oh My God pray for potholes,” and the responses we got from the other car formed an inside joke that persists to this day with my friends.  And then there was Grand Prix Orlando 2018. That was my first event in some time, a trip truly about friends, and one of the most enjoyable tournament weekends I can recall.

Q: Just a recap of season one. What you like about the tour vs. grand prix structure. Why is the Invitational is something to strive for?

Season One overall was kind of rough Magic-wise. I had some cash finishes in both Opens and Classics, but I wasn’t thrilled by my results. The SCG tour for me is overall better for my goals, compared to grand prix tournaments. Most of my friends are there, and financially it is easier to get to these events than GPs. The Invitational in my opinion is one of the hardest and most fun events to play in. The tour does a good job with promoting it and all the side events. It is just a great weekend down in Roanoke, and I recommend trying to qualify if you get the chance.

Q: How does a season full of medium results feel? Do you have doubts of “is it worth it?”

I can’t lie and say the medium results feel great. It definitely is a learning experience for me, as this is probably the most Magic I’ve played in a six-month span. Thankfully this season was beneficial because it opened my eyes to how and where I need to improve.

Was it worth it? I kind of answered that already, but this season I made a ton of new friends so overall I would say it was worth it.

Q: What part of you playing/testing did you do well during the first season and what did you do poorly? How would you improve it for the second season?

Collecting data and tracking information in spreadsheets worked well for me during testing. I also had success reaching out to groups outside my team. I became friends with the Shadow Cabal, and that really helped improve my game. My actual testing procedures could use improvement, however. With work there are times I am too busy to actually test for events, but I do want to find more time throughout the week for serious testing to be better prepared.

Q: What are your thoughts about how your team has performed? How your team members look to increase their success and what kind of plans or changes will be incorporated for season two.

I think Team Tempest performed well during the two months we were around. We had many decent finishes in all events. I feel like we created a good community that people wanted to be a part of. As for changes, we added two phenomenal players that will ultimately help us with more ideas. We also as a team incorporated more ways to test and share information.

Q: What was your favorite Open that you went to?

It has to be Columbus, where I teamed with my two good friends Becky Adlman and Robert Meadows. At the event I also met good online friends, Harrison Rollins and Adam Wasburn-Moses. This is where the talks began that led to the formation of of Team Tempest. Columbus will be one of my favorite Opens for awhile.

Q: What were your favorite and least favorite decks you registered this season?

My favorite deck was Legacy RUG delver at the Cincy Open. Anyone who knows me knows my deep (and probably unhealthy) love for Delver, and specifically for RUG. A close second would be my Grixis Bolas deck from War of the Spark Standard. It was a fun deck that I made for week one that had some decent legs attached to it.

The least favorite deck I registered was probably Infect. I played the deck one time, and throughout I felt under the mercy of whatever my opponents were doing. Luckily my teammates were awesome and made the event great nonetheless.

Thank you for submitting questions!

Zack is a SCG grinder with one ultimate goal: getting to the Players Championship. Based out of NYC, you can find him in other cities every weekend trying to hit that goal. When he isn’t traveling he streams. Follow his journey on Twitter!

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