How to Win a Regionals — Bochum and the Future

Hello! As you may have either heard, or gathered from the title of this article, I won the Bochum Regional Championship last weekend! This is my first Regional win in the Modern era, which started in September 2016. (Before the 2016-17 season, Regionals in Europe were small, one-day events, with the prize for first place being a single booster box (and no cash). They were more similar to today’s League Cups than to Regionals, and many European players that were active at the time, including myself, won a bunch of them, but we all silently agree that they “don’t count” as Regionals wins.) Despite having got wins at Internationals and Special Events, my success at Regionals was always more limited, so it’s nice to get a big win there!

I consider myself a consistent player: I make Day 2 at almost all major events I attend (I’ve actually been on an unbroken streak since the OCIC last February, except for the Bolzano SPE which didn’t have a Day 2). However, there’s a big leap between getting to Day 2 and reaching the Top 8 of an event, let alone winning. So I started wondering: how did I manage to win this one? What was the difference with Cologne, Sheffield, or Paris, to only mention this season’s major events?
I’ve managed to identify three factors that seem to be the key to success: intensive training, a good understanding of the metagame, and luck. In this article, I will delve a bit deeper into these factors and their importance, but it’s not going to be a theoretical lecture. On the contrary, I want to use these three elements as starting points to explain practical stuff: the changes I made (and didn’t make) to my decklist, my analysis of the Bochum metagame, and what it means for the format in the future, especially Sao Paulo Regionals.

Before we start, I should mention that I won’t explain the Blacephalon / Green's Exploration deck I won Bochum with in detail in this article. This is because I’ve already written a guide to the deck. I recommend you give it a read if you want to learn more about the deck, its strengths and weaknesses compared to Blacephalon / Pidgeotto, and more!

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