any turn based strategy games and plenty of other card and board games like Ascension, Race for the Galaxy, Agricola, Battlestar Galactica, Uskoci, and Dominion. There are others but I’d be here all night if I tried to list them.
Q: So, what about the Magic community in Croatia? Is it very close? Are there, or were there, any rivalries between the cities? Will Zagreb share deck tech with Split for instance? Or does each group try and eke out any advantage over the others? Back during the days of the National Championships there was certainly a concerted effort to keep secret tech hidden from players in other cities, even if this was difficult due the fact that everyone was always loaning cards out to everyone else. From that alone a player could figure out what sort of decks were being played in Split, or Osijek, or Dubrovnik. The community here is great and is incredibly helpful in two ways - we have Legacy tournaments in Bjelovar on a semi regular basis, and we have quite a few players who qualify for the Pro Tour; all the players rally round and make sure any player travelling for a major event has the cards they need to build the deck they want. Some of our senior players (Tomislav, David and Valent) have done so much to keep the scene going here but they also lend us an insane amount of cards. There are so many decks in the format that you can’t just travel with one deck. You need as many as possible, and the cards to build them.
Q: Having loaned Conor Harding the bones
of a foiled, Chinese, Enchantress deck for PT New Orleans I know how that feels. Yet Croatia didn’t exactly take ALL the decks in the format to the World Cup, you took a number of rogue decks. How closely did you look at the metagame or was it simply a matter of finding a deck which suited? I know I played Battle of Wits in Standard for a season, but that was only because it was so much fun, regardless of the outcome. We picked up a decklist from a clan-mate of Stjepan, on Magic Online and while it seemed a bit sketchy on paper we decided to build it and see how it played. It wasn’t long before we realised that it performed really well against all the Tier 1 decks in the format and didn’t seem to have any auto-loss match-ups. The deck itself could be built for around $50 and we figured it was worth it, especially since we were so confident in it. I like to think our faith was repaid.
Q: What of the team itself? Who are they, where are they from, how experienced are they, did you know each other prior to the team being selected, and did anyone bring some unusual ideas with them? Well, I’m a Zagreb man myself. I’ve played in about 15 pro tours and had pretty good finishes. Toni is from Split and he’d be a better player than I, if only because I tend to dawdle when it comes to practise and research. Stjepan is from Sisak and I think I only recently realised that he is much better than I had
previously thought! The three of us have performed well on the pro tour, and we’ve all been Croatian National Champion in the past. Goran is also from Zagreb and would have been the least accomplished player on our team and once we progressed to Day Two he was our voice of reason. He tried to make sure that we didn’t lose our heads, or make foolish decisions. Such help cannot be underestimated. Everyone knows everyone – that’s normal in a community of this size, and all of us have played on the National team in the past, in some combination: Stjepan and Toni; Goran and Stjepan; Toni and I.”
Q: It’s WotC policy to reward countries who excel in such events with Grand Prix, and Pro Tours. If they made an announcement in the morning that GP Zagreb was being pencilled in for 2013 would it be possible? Is there the infrastructure here for something like this, and what of numbers? I only see 20 players or so at the drafts and constructed events I attend… Zagreb could definitely host a GP, probably at the Velesajam Pavilions (south of the River Sava and, thankfully, on a well serviced bus and tram line). Attendance would be really good. We would see a few hundred players from Croatia as everyone would come to support the event. Then we would see a lot of players from Hungary, Austria, Italy, Serbia, southern Germany, and from further away no doubt. The city has an International Airport which is connected to all the main airports in Europe. We’re on
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