Making Top Cut
I know by the point of being at a tournament, you want to win, right? A lot goes into winning, first deck selection, then testing, then reworking the deck, more testing and then the final list. Now you have your deck, hopefully made the right call on the Meta-game, and are ready to go for First place. Let’s take a look at what is needed to make the top cut. Did you think of what it actually takes to make it to the top cut? Of course if you go undefeated, the odds are you made it, but it doesn’t always work that way. Maybe you’ve been to a local tournament and heard that someone playing had ID’d. ID’d???
Intentional Draw is when both players in a match agree to a tie before the match begins. Why do they do it? It improves your chances of making the cut, as a loss, will make it harder for either player to make it, but a tie guarantees they make it. Isn’t that cheating? Unfortunately, it is not, and it provides players short of making the top cut, very little chance of making it. As long as both players agree and no one was coerced into it, it is perfectly legal to do. Intentional Draws are risky, especially if you are on the low end of the Bubble(the spots for top cut)
Calculating your Resistance
Ok, so you went 4-2-0 and are on the verge of making it, there are 3 other players with the same record, what ensures that you make it over another player. Resistance, an odd term that compares the win percentage of your opponents and calculates your percentage over the other players in the tournament. Winning is not the only thing that matters making the top cut, you have to factor who you won against and who your opponent has won against. I bet you wished you paid attention in math class now, as you have to factor in multiple scenarios of what your opponent has done and what they have to do in order to make it in. If your opponents lose every match or have a very low winning record, it hurts your chances of getting in. If by chance your opponents do really well and you won against them, it boosts your resistance. So a person with a 4-2-0 record and their opponents have a combined win/loss record of 4-12-0 is less likely to make it than a person with a record of 4-2-0 and their opponents win/loss record is 11-5-0.
There is more to tournaments for the competitive player than a casual player looking for experience. Deck choices, Meta Game, Resistance, and good plays, can make a good player into a great player. A lot of times, I see bad deck choices, or I make bad deck choices going into a tournament and it’s not that the deck was bad or I played it wrong, it just wasn’t the right call for the day. Consistency and deck experience go further for a player than any other factors. If you plan on making it to the top, practice and deck consistency are 2 major factors that will help you in the long run. Deck choices and Meta-Game are factors that can help but sometimes you go into a new area and don’t know what the call is. Hopefully it’s something to think about for the next time you are preparing for a tournament.