The China Regional Championship was held in the city of Tianjin over the weekend, seeing 215 of the best players from across China assemble playing Pioneer for fame and glory - not to mention invitations to the Pro Tour and World Championship! After a hard-fought Swiss tournament and a cutthroat Top 8, it was Rakdos Sacrifice player Fu Yu who carried the day, crowned as the champion of this cycle's China Open.
The final was an all-Rakdos affair, with Fu's sacrifice deck triumphing over the more traditional midrange build that is so popular in Pioneer. Fu's opponent, Xu Yucheng, squeaked into the Top 8 on breakers, but after making it to the final was finally defeated by Fu Yu and his
Despite the finals being Rakdos on both sides, the Top 8 was actually made up of some quite diverse decks, reflecting the fact that Pioneer is a reasonably open format at the moment. There were the two Rakdos decks, two Izzet Phoenix decks, and then four other lists: Abzan Greasefang, Boros Convoke, Rona Lukka Combo, and even a spicy mono-black Waste Not deckin the hands of Yu Yin!
Backing up the trend seen at the ANZ Regional Championship held the same weekend, Mono-Green devotion had a terrible weekend, despite being one of the more popular decks. Instead, the best-performing popular decks included Boros Heroic and Azorius Control, although neither made it as far as the Top 8. For decklists and a breakdown of the various archetypes and their win rates - and to get your hands on the Waste Not deck that did so well - check out the tournament's Melee.gg page.
Pioneer continued to develop as China's best players explored the format, ultimately sending a cohort of players to the Pro Tour and Fu Yu to the next World Championship. Competitive paper Magic is well and truly back, and your pathway to greatness begins with local qualifiers that might send you to your next Regional Championship. Find a qualifier happening near you, and you could be heading to the Pro Tour yourself!