Demonic Tutor

Magic: the Gathering in the UK

Nats and Nats Qualifiers - explanation, dates... and organisation? (!)

I sort-of explained (not very well i might add!) what the deal is with Nationals and Nationals qualifiers to a couple of people (Louis, Alex), and said i would do a better job of it here on DT. Well, here's to trying...


What is "Nats"?

Nats = Great British National Championship, an annual event in which 200-odd of the country's best players are invited to battle it out over 12-14 rounds of standard constructed and draft Magic, in order to determine a champion for that year, and the 4-player team which will go on to represent our fine country at Worlds. It also is a breeding ground for many shenanigans and fun times, such as sleeping on a beach and losing all your belongings in the sea...

This year Nationals will be held here in London, at the Royal National Hotel, August 19 to 22. I believe the format this year will be 4 rounds standard, 3 rounds draft on day 1, same again day 2, then cut to a top 8 single-elim on day 3.

An important thing to note is that Nats is not just for players who have qualified! There are a billion (possible overestimate...) side-events, which i am sure Jason will announce shortly, which likely include GPTs, PTQs, old set draft/sealed, discount drafts, etc...

So how to i get to play at Nats?

To earn an invite/qualify for Nats, you need to either be in one of the country's top 75 based on your rating (very unlikely to most reading this, you need to be around 1900 to autoqualify), or, win a place via one of many National Qualifiers...

And what exactly are those?

Each Nats Qualifier is a standard constructed tournament, at which there is 1 place at Nationals for every 8 players who participate.So if 72 players turn up, the top 9 qualify, etc. These are held all over the country on weekends between March and April. Plus, there are likely to be last chance qualifiers (LCQs) on the night before Nationals, which may include limited formats as well as standard.

So when are these?

The following list is taken from the Wizards UK group, and may be likely to change - contact individual TO's for details. In bold are the ones within an hour and a half travel time, and thus most likely to be attended by London players.

13/03/2010     Southampton
14/03/2010     Newcastle
21/03/2010     Glasgow
21/03/2010     Reading
28/03/2010     Plymouth
03/04/2010     Manchester
04/04/2010     Bury St Edmunds
04/04/2010     Dundee
10/04/2010     Nottingham
11/04/2010     Oxford
02/05/2010     Gravesend
08/05/2010     London
09/05/2010     Downend
15/05/2010     Birmingham
16/05/2010     Portsmouth
16/05/2010     Altrincham
15/05/2010     Cambridge
23/05/2010     Milton Keynes
23/05/2010     Cardiff
29/05/2010     Sheffield
29/05/2010     Coventry
30/05/2010     Brighton

Will post some more on testing, and organisation, in a bit...

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Testing:

It's definitely a good idea to test for these events as much as possible, as knowing your deck inside out, having a good idea of the cards your opponents may be playing in theirs, and how to sideboard/play a given match-up is very useful.

As such i suggest we start trying to organise this starting soon.

Organisation:

In tandem with the above point about testing, i'm keen to organise who is going to which qualifiers as early as possible, so we can share rides/travel together. I am sure numerous threads will pop up a couple of weeks before each qualififying date, but in the interests of stalking you all and being anally retentive i can always make a spreadsheet of who is going to which events if you all give a list? :D


Additional notes:

A great reason to try and qualify for Nationals, and to keep going at it after several failed attempts, is the great camaraderie that develops through the season between the group of players you'll end up travelling with. I know i had a great time last year travelling to various events, which was how i got to know many of you in the first place having just moved down to London. It's for this reason that arranging to travel together is such a good idea, IMO.

Reading - Venue is right opposite the train station, so exceptionally easy to get to (a half hour journey from Paddington.

Oxford - If same venue as last year, a 15-20 min walk or bus/taxi from train station, and parking very limited. Kevin Horsley is a good TO, and by April will be a new father, so don't forget to congratulate him.

Gravesend - The only qualifier on a Monday (bank holiday) this will likely be day 3 of TO Glen White's legendary Gravesend Weekender event, which comes highly recommended. Camping outside a Magic venue and 3am drafts make for an interesting weekend...

Milton Keynes - Kev + FInbarr run their events from a Toby Carvery about 5 mins taxi from the train station, which does a KILLER sunday lunch. If you're not feeling it that day and aren't doing so well in the main event, i definitely recommend dropping to get a roast and a draft in! :P
Thanks for this, clarifies quite a bit. I had assumed that it was only based on rating or Pro Points. I should be able to go to a few it seems, assuming no clashes with schoolwork :S.
Welldone Dan, your details were just right. Just a quick question, I take it 09/05/2010 Downend refers to Bristol?
Google maps would suggest so, yea.

Raymond Wat said:
Welldone Dan, your details were just right. Just a quick question, I take it 09/05/2010 Downend refers to Bristol?
Good post.

Also very keen to be testing after i'm done winning an extended ptq (not London obv).

Dan Barrett said:
Testing: It's definitely a good idea to test for these events as much as possible, as knowing your deck inside out, having a good idea of the cards your opponents may be playing in theirs, and how to sideboard/play a given match-up is very useful.

As such i suggest we start trying to organise this starting soon.

Organisation:

In tandem with the above point about testing, i'm keen to organise who is going to which qualifiers as early as possible, so we can share rides/travel together. I am sure numerous threads will pop up a couple of weeks before each qualififying date, but in the interests of stalking you all and being anally retentive i can always make a spreadsheet of who is going to which events if you all give a list? :D


Additional notes:

A great reason to try and qualify for Nationals, and to keep going at it after several failed attempts, is the great camaraderie that develops through the season between the group of players you'll end up travelling with. I know i had a great time last year travelling to various events, which was how i got to know many of you in the first place having just moved down to London. It's for this reason that arranging to travel together is such a good idea, IMO.

Reading - Venue is right opposite the train station, so exceptionally easy to get to (a half hour journey from Paddington.

Oxford - If same venue as last year, a 15-20 min walk or bus/taxi from train station, and parking very limited. Kevin Horsley is a good TO, and by April will be a new father, so don't forget to congratulate him.

Gravesend - The only qualifier on a Monday (bank holiday) this will likely be day 3 of TO Glen White's legendary Gravesend Weekender event, which comes highly recommended. Camping outside a Magic venue and 3am drafts make for an interesting weekend...

Milton Keynes - Kev + FInbarr run their events from a Toby Carvery about 5 mins taxi from the train station, which does a KILLER sunday lunch. If you're not feeling it that day and aren't doing so well in the main event, i definitely recommend dropping to get a roast and a draft in! :P
I'll be up for all this starting with Oxford (or Nottingham?) in April. I also own a car. I drove to San Jose Superstars (home of Channel Fireball) without killing anyone today, so I could be persuaded to ferry folks around. PS I beat near-celebrity Eric Levine in the first round.

Format for Nats is probably 6 rounds Standard and 2 Rise of the Eldrazi drafts. Someone correct me if they know better.

I strongly recommend playing Grixis Control.
You have a car in London Tom? Cool - i'd definitely be interested in paying my share of petrol/parking over train fare on some occasions, and will navigate if necessary.

Doesn't grixis control fold to any form of LD though as it has to hit cruel mana to win?
Dan - do you know if there will there be LCQ's this year? Usual format for those is 2 drafts with top 8 Q'ing.



Some of us at Nats last year, look how much fun we are having! You could have this much fun too!
And there isn't even a danger of falling asleep on the beach!

Dan Barrett said:



Some of us at Nats last year, look how much fun we are having! You could have this much fun too!
Re: Grixis Control. I went 1-5 with it last year at Nats. I was being sarcastic :)
A quick note on deck choice for Nationals - don't play the same deck as me. It's likely a deck that folds to the ENTIRE FORMAT.

Thomas David Baker said:
Re: Grixis Control. I went 1-5 with it last year at Nats. I was being sarcastic :)

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