I used to share a similar view about the quality of players doing well at U.S. nationals. I was disgusted when one of my best friends lost to a scrub in top 32 who was lucky to make cut, and lost the round after( he even had bianca in his deck! humiliating for my friend). I felt that a lot of this format did not involve skill, and to a degree i still think that to be true. I attributed it to the fact that conservative players, starting with myself and going all the way to the top like pooka, were getting hosed by the fact junk arm existed, and players could make huge gambles with large amounts of outs and constantly get away with it, even when sometimes they shouldn't. I was happy when harrison made his silly play and lost, because someone finally got what they had coming for trying it over the smart play once again. I am still glad I didn't go to worlds to try my luck at the grinder. As for the quality of players, I think it's safe to say that there are enough good players out there to be able to say that no matter which ones don't attend each year, the majority will be very good players. I think that this year, the ones who did best were the ones who adapted the quickest to the way the format worked : burn and set up fast, take the first ex kill ect ect. After playing a game and losing to kevin nance, I truly got the feeling that there was a way to understand the format and do well accordingly. Some players just "got it" this year. Next year, it will most likely be very different, with conservation somewhat more encouraged. I wish I wasn't going to college, otherwise I'd be down to play all year. Can't say I agree with the CP thing yet either. I hate the concept of having to appear at so many tournaments when you should be good enough to qualify just through winning the big ones. ELO's only true flaw was that when the format became flippy or luck based in any way, it became a problem for consistent players. CP was still probably better this year overall.