So, if you followed my thread started in the general discussion forum you will know that I was mired with indecision leading into this event. Part of me wanted to win (part of me always does) and part of me wanted to see our playgroup grow, and that would mean playing a deck that didn’t necessarily provide a negative play experience or one that was ‘controlling’. I settled on Raphael after some last minute mishap that prevented me from constructing a tri-symbol Nagase. I should mention now that I had played Raphael once before (the weekend leading up to the regional, and had won our local weekly event without many problems, and facing the same opponent in the final 2 – namely the Felicia deck that I also built).
On the topic of said Felicia, she won the Regional in a very epic 3 game match (skip down for details), and deservedly so. The pilot has been running her for over a full year now, starting last July, and this iteration is my 7th build of her for him, and the 8th build altogether (the first build was by our Scout and was block 2 of course and with Military Rank, a now banned card, but this should allow you to id just how long our player has been playing with Felicia ^^). Earlier in the week I posted a response to Shaneth’s question re: control vs. agro, noting that this Felicia is as agro as you need. In fact, out of the last 9 games I have played against Felicia (all with Raphael) 3 of it’s 4 wins were turn 2. Again, you can read about one of them below…
Ok, back to my deck, I like to include it here instead of the decklist forum, because it is a tourney report and reading over it before reading my report is desirable and why should I make you jump around the boards to piece two like things together?
Raphael **** Air – Good – Life
4 X Tag Along
4 X Flurry of Thrusts
4 X Seal of Cessation
2 X Lynette’s Shop
3 X Ira Spinta (air only)
2 X Heel Snipe
2 X Dark Force Mirage Body
2 X Naruto
2 X Mark of the Beast
1 X Darkness Blade
1 X Annu Matsube
3 X Abelia’s Friendship (air and life)
3 X Inhuman Perception (air only)
4 X From the Mouse, Humility
4 X Fight or Flight
4 X Antisocial
4 X Cursed Blood
4 X Amy’s Assistance
3 X Mentally Unstable
3 X Healer
3 X The Red Lotus of the Sun
3 X Deadly Ground
3 X Torn Hero
3 X Destiny
3 X Hwang’s Protection
2 X Undercover Agent
2 X Regretful Existence
Total Cards = 78
3 X Crippling Strike
1 X The Red Lotus of the Sun
1 X Bringing the Master to His Knees
1 X Willful
1 X Soul Wave
1 X Destiny
Ok. The Concept of the Rafael deck is very simple. If I draw spinta I loop spinta, if I don’t I defend until I grab a Dark Force make it 16 for 16, possibly draw 16 with Deadly Ground and finish the game. Naruto was there to continue the Dark Force combo with a draw of 10 more cards. These numbers assume I have fight or flight pumping damage. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t need it to win the majority of the games, but when I got it, it was pretty much over. If I get Darkness Blade I could kill a 20 life or less character in a hit… Looping spinta is easy with Raph… in fact I wanted to call him Sung Mina wearing men’s clothing at more than one point… Spinta – mouse – raph’s second e: or his action = 2 spintas. Spinta – mentally unstable – spinta. Spinta without any recursion, next turn tag along spinta and loop. I didn’t draw a single spinta in my finals match and I firmly believe I lost the match because of it. And that is my fault, I chose to mulligan (or rather keep defensive cards) rather than hunt for 1 of 3 spintas. Ftr I wanted the 4th spinta but I only own 5, and 4 were in the Felecia, and I had to borrow 2 just to manage the 3 o/w Raph wouldn’t have even been an option.
On to the games!!!
Ok, we got 18 players out, and all from Calgary, which is good for our playgroup. All said though, probably 6 of them were new players within the last month-6 weeks and so the caliber of the lower percentile in this regional is questionable.
First game against Chris – Starter Zei Mi – Fire/Chaos
Ok, we had two Zei Mi’s in the tourney, promo and starter. The starter was being run by a new/older player. Chris used to play when the game first came out and he knows what things do, but has only been playing again for a little over a month. He had a really good deck, one put together by our scout, but it didn’t have enough to muster strong games against Raphael. I got incredibly lucky with draws, starting off with antisocial and then a 4 foundation play turn. On the second turn I played the 1 darkness blade in my deck, fight or flighted it and won the game T2. Second game went a bit longer, he got negation (skulls) plus more and I had to play smart. On his turn 3 stacked the promo Mi… I knew it was time to kill and I had like 8 foundations, I started with Heel Snipe and committed out one of his 3 skulls. Then darkness blade and I beat him out in a response war again hitting him for 20 with a fight or flighted darkness blade. Chris went on to have a pretty good tourney, finishing 10th or something after sos, almost making top 8.
Second game against Rob – Promo Zei Mi - Death
Umm… Yeah, so I get to start with back to back Mi’s, this one was much more dangerous of course and fielded by one of our regulars and better players. I won the dice roll and went first. Going first I was able to get foundations out… I can’t remember what I killed with, and I think it was after some spint’ing. Game two he went first and mustered a nice offense on turn 3, I could only block some of the Menuett Dance, and he was able to pass a Mega Spike on a 7 to kill me. Final game I went first again and again after some spinta’ing I killed him. They were tight games, and they always are with Rob. Rob went on to finish 3rd place, after losing to Mark in the semi-final.
Third game against Drew – Promo Rock Howard – Order
Ok… This would have been a hard match but good has order’s number. I got lotus’ out fast and torn hero matching his combatants and programs. A well timed block with Mark of the Beast on one of his two strong multiple attacks. I won two straight games, neither of them were within the first 4 turns, and therefore I can’t really remember them, except for me stopping him at every turn and managing to get the destiny’s out.
Fourth game against Will – Booster Tira – Death
This deck was very well built, and Will ended up finishing 4th/5th in the grand scheme of things and losing to the Felicia in the top 8. In the first game I blocked and reversaled with Heel Snipe, knocking down one of his negation pieces, after he started attacking with the evil lineup (he also had 4 minuet dances, so 16 attacks) on the 2nd turn. I survived the rest and with him fully committed I darkness bladed for 20 on my turn. In game 2 I couldn’t draw an attack, and on turn 3 all he had was 5 attacks and 2 foundations. He opted to play foundations granted I played tricky and kept 4 cards, 3 were high blocks. After a few more turns of him afraid I had reversals in hand and shying away from attacking, (well he did, but not all out, and I blocked, etc.). I finally drew a Dark Force and killed him with 2 X 16 for 16.
Fifth game against Ben – Booster E. Honda – Earth
First game neither of us drew a worthwhile attack for 4 turns or so. Finally I drew something that I could pump for speed, namely Naruto, and deadly grounded with it at 14 speed (2 Hwang’s used). It was a big risk letting him draw 12, but I thought I had enough defense out to sustain an attack. He built on his turn… I guess I let him draw nice stuff. I drew nicer of course and attacked with Dark Force 3 by looping it with Raph and From the House to kill him. Game 2 I locked him down, playing spinta 12 times, 2 times a turn after turn 3… whittling him down until I drew a bigger attack, game.
Top 8 game against Tanner – Dan – Void
Tanner won the SOS battle for 8th and got to play me. I spinta’d him once or twice first game and then killed him with a 16 for 16 Darkness Blade. After being manhandled in game one Tanner realized he needed to do something different. He sided into Jivatma… I looped spinta 10 times and killed him once I got a bigger attack and fight or flight out.
At this time I had to go home. I had double booked myself with holding a party at my house for my soccer team. Anyways, the players decided to play a top 4 to determine who could play me in a final, granted I had already beat ¾ of the top 4, and no one wanted to accept the first place without beating the undefeated player. From what I hear Tanner played Rob (Mi) and lost and Mark beat Will. Then Mark beat Rob in the semi-final.
The finals – on Sunday – Mark – Felicia – Air/Good
I had played Mark a zillion times, as stated I am his deck builder and we share cards. In play testing and in prior tournaments I had usually found a way to beat the Felicia 60% of the time. Needless to say, I knew I could win if checks worked out. I also knew he wanted to win badly, seeing as how I had already won a regional.
I won the dice roll and went first, I also got a really nice turn going. Playing 2 red lotus and 2 cursed blood. I hit foundations with both my cursed blood and had 6 in the staging area, things were looking up. Turn 2 I played out 3 cards of my hand, keeping a destiny, antisocial, regretful existence and heel snipe in hand. Going in to turn 2, Mark only had 3 foundations. Of course this means nothing, granted he can go card – card – form – spike. So… I was scared. So yeah, I thought I was safe with a skull out… I wasn’t he played a card that forced me to use the skull, literally. So I did, he played heel snipe and checked a 6 committing 1, killing my healer... I thought, this was it, I could hold onto the high block and mid, and if I blocked 2 of the spikes I would take 8+4+5. Alternatively I could block with the mid and reversal with my own Heel Snipe taking out Felicia meaning he couldn’t gain momentum or clear the pool and therefore couldn’t spike. With 7 foundations still ready and Raphael I thought the latter a safe option granted I could deal damage and force him to play foundations on +2 difficulty, meaning on my next turn I would have 8 foundations and him committed with few foundations… I blocked with the regretful existence, checking a 3 (stupid naruto) and committing 4 to do so. Here it was, I had 16 life, so if I didn’t reverse with heel… and he formed and spiked, I would still take 16 and die blocking 1 with the +0 on heel. I had to try to play a reversal on a 7 with 3 foundations ready and Raphael, I knew if I checked another 3 I could still pass by committing out… I checked spinta a 2. Failed the reversal. He formed and passed his spike checking a 5 and committing 2 of his 3 ready cards, game 1 on turn 2 to Mark.
I was kind of aghast, such a good start turned around by 2 poor checks and Mark drawing a) card to kill skull, b) card to kill multiple hate (heel), and c) spike.
After siding in 4 cards… guess which ones. I went first and built, I stopped his form with tag along turn 2, and then turn 3 with a sided card, on turn 4 I attacked with 2 X Dark Force and that was game.
3rd game… He got to go first. I made a mistake and with sided card + tag along in hand didn’t want to mulligan even though I had 2 foundations only (the rest was Mark of the Beast, Flurry) I antisocialed ( a good foundation to have T1) and dropped an amy’s, the other foundation. He got out 4 cards to my 1. On my first turn I discarded flurry and drew flurry, skull, and a foundation. Well, I wasn’t about to play ‘just’ skull and a fight or flight, having 2 foundations after turn 2 vs. Mark’s 4 would be suicide. So I tag alonged another foundation, fight or flight, and played the skull and 2 fight or flights. Mark started his second turn with a spinta… I took away his inhuman perception and skulled. Then I amy’d. He played a second spinta… He took away both fight or flights. After dealing 2 damage to me, I blocked with the stupid flurry… I was back to Amy’s and him with 2 foundations. He formed I stopped with sided card, and still he played 2 more foundations checking too well for my likeing. Great, 5 to my Amy’s. I drew some good cards, played Lynette’s and 3 foundations copying another pretty good card. He started his second turn with a 3rd spinta… I took the card I copied, it was that good of a card I recall, and he took 2 more of my stuff, again I stopped his form and he played a few more foundations. Next turn I gained life with Abelia’s and played more foundations after checking a 1 and having to commit heavily to pass my second foundation which was on a 4. He couldn’t draw into a spike so another turn of build followed. I couldn’t draw a damn attack (I wanted a spinta damnit) and 2 of my fight or flights were stuck in momentum. I tag alonged a 2nd skull, there were no spintas in my discard either… Now, this is where I made a big mistake, I should have tag alonged amy’s, healer, or fight or flight, but skull seemed safe. He had 8 foundations to my 7 (4 ready after a bad check on a build turn) on his 5+ turn, and was almost about to mill first time but couldn’t find 1 of 4 spikes. He started his turn knocking out all responses, I skulled, he skulled, I skulled, he inhuman’d… Great responses gone. He played a card to draw a lot and did draw a spike. He played a heel on a 7 and passed it after committing a few foundations. He had 3 foundations left and Feclia, I was beginning to think he wouldn’t be able to play the spike he obviously drew with the lots of draw. He too was thinking he might not be able to. I blocked the snipe with a low block (I had 15 life left), but now found myself with 4 cards ready, none of them worthwhile (lotus, can’t respond, undercover, can’t respond, etc. etc.). He formed… Needless to say I couldn’t stop it (no responses). He had 4 cards left in his deck; we quickly found out that at least 2 of them were spike (50%)… If he checked one of them he would fail. He checked a 5… Spike coming at me I was stunned and with 1 foundation + Raphael and needing to block 2 of them. I blocked the first with a high block of +0, I needed a 5 to do so and checked a 3 … At this point I could commit out to block and need to block one more of 2, or I could fail and leave myself with a +1 high and +0 high in hand, meaning the first would be at a 6 and the second at a 6, and the +1 high would be Darkness Blade, which I wanted to try to keep.... With 2 cards ready I would need to check a combined 10 (5 and 5), I probably should have tried to do this. BECAUSE the alternate was a situation where I had a +0 high and needed to block 1, i.e. check a 6. So yeah, I made a huge mistake; part of me did just not want to back to back need 5s after checking a 3 – a lot of bad checks this game for me… If you look at my decklist you would know there is only 2 6s in the deck and one was in play, so there was one 6 left in a deck of 15 cards or so. Umm, I checked a 2 (there was the FING spinta, well, 1 of 3!!!).
It was a great game 3, in hindsight I made a few mistakes. Blocking mistakes are some of my usual mistakes, mostly because I check badly. It is what I’m known for…
Mark played great, and deserved to win. His Felicia is now immortalized in that regional’s plaque.
Hope you enjoyed the read and see you all at worlds!
ps. edit here. I must have forgot late last night when posting but here is props and slops!!!
- everyone that replied to my thread in general, esp. ROTBI and Nintendoman who were one second apart on responding! (I will have to build the Nagase and work with her - - - maybe a worlds entry with her is in order?)
- my friend Mark (and his Felicia) for winning the thing. This is Mark's first non-weekly event win, and he was able to achieve it with his favorite character and with some great playing on the day (and the day after)
- Sebastien, my Scout, for putting all of the effort into organizing a Calgary regionals and to the store - Trilogy Games - for hosting it, great atmosphere and well organized!!!
- All of the new faces that have started playing in the last couple months, I can see a lot of you grasping the concepts and getting better everytime you play
- Ben, for taking E Honda to a top 8 - this was scary business and Earth is a force to be reckoned with
- Tanner, for sticking with King Dan and squeaking into top 8 - you've played hard and it's nice to see you make a top cut with the character you like to use
- me, for winning the second day's draft tourney, with SF01 only, with cards I'd never seen before lol
- doublebooking myself...
- not being able to put together Nagase in time
- my bad checks... as per usual
- the fact that it is now Monday and no longer the weekend