It's been a long time since I posted a tournament report, but I like doing one post worlds, and with the game so drastically shifting, it will be nice to get a little retrospect later on down the road.
I made the trip with Myself(of course!), Andrew Olexa, Tanner Lang, and Al C Rocker, on wednesday we stopped at UFS house, crashed the night there, played some games, and headed to Gencon Thursday morning.
First we will talk about Wandering Master. I was REALLY looking forward to the event and having enjoyed mini-block for the past few weeks, wanted to put a serious effort into winning it. I don't really have any chars that I love in the block(until tekken comes along) so I went with Zhao Daiyu to utilize our team asset as best possible. The Decklist.
1 - Zhao Daiyu 2 dot
Actions - 5
3 - Soul Wave
2 - Stone Skin(for the low block mostly)
Assets - 8
3 - Wonderworld Warriors
3 - Path of the Msster
2 - Scroll of the Abyss
Attacks - 14
4 - Leg Slash
4 - Two deadly Rings
4 - Twilight Embrace
2 - Hades Axe
Foundations - 36
4 - Shadowar
4 - Hungry for battle
4 - The Twilight Witch
4 - Seeking Treasure
4 - No Longer Controllable
4 - All Life is Prey
4 - Body Transformed(mostly for the block)
4 - Dread Pirate(ONLY for the block)
4 - Chasing after the Power
The deck ended up serving me extremely well, I amassed 26 tokens with only 2 losses to people outside of my team One to Dani Carpenter(Whose deck was the bane of my existence all weekend), and one to Tripsex(Nick) who I could not for the life of me get a attack against. On sunday the turn in was at exactly noon, which I barely made it in time for, and lo and behold my 26 was enough to be this years Wandering Master, kind of cool, and I got a box of Shadowar and some new promos for my trouble. I actually think Dani's deck was probably the best deck out there, but fortunately I was ducking her like crazy and she basically didnt play at all one day because she wasn't feeling too well. Just doin Work(steven I believe) actually amassed 31 Tokens I guess(tho I took one of his tokens on the first day) but missed the turn-in because he was playing street fighter 4.
Anyways, onto Teams.
As Defending world champs we wanted to bring our A Game, and we thought we had it pretty well set out. Andrew would play himself off Air, I was going to play Hilde, and Tanner was going to play victor, in the few days before Gencon me and tanner did a lot of testing, and felt the victor was losing too many games to deck we felt were going to be very popular in the team format, so I switched to my singles Deck All/Void Sakura and Tanner took over the Hilde.
The cut to 4 teams with ONLY 4 rounds announcement we knew right away was trouble, you needed to get three wins and you were in, you could only afford to have one loss or one draw, two of either would likely bump up(tho two draws might get you in if there was some Clever Intentional drawing)
I was up against Nagase I held off pretty well, and worked hard from keeping anything fro mgoing into my momentum. I know Tanner played Garret(raph) and drew, Andrew won against felicia I think, and I also drew, giving us the win barely, I also remember deciding to put more Flying Power Bombs into the deck because my opponent stop building about mid game and never really got low enough for me to get the mill I wanted through.
Round 2, the Brits(ViewtifulJoe) and a American
This round was difficult to pair, They had a Gen Deck, a Donovan deck and a Sakura deck. We decided that since Andrew and Tanner were both pretty Aggro-ish decks to pair me off with the other Sakura first, since my Sakura was built to chew up other wall decks. I ended up winning 1-0 in a long game. His kill condition was Sardine Beach, and he could never get himself into a position to put me away with it. Alas, Andrew and Tanner both ended up losing their matchups(Olexa vs Gen , Hilde vs Joes Donovan)which literally shocked me, but it happens, we had to win out from there tho.
Round 3, Gravelords team I think Gen, Guy, Kula
I played guy and wore him down with all my defensive tricks, Andrew played a gen again, this time pulling out the W to give us the win for the round.
Round 4, New York Omar, Fred, and Macek
We knew this was a elimination game, they won the dice roll and defer'ed the first pick to us. They had (macek)Gill,(fred) Akuma, (omar)Zangief. I wanted to play against a wall deck, and I figured both the Gill and the Zangief would be walls, so if we paired whatever deck gave us the best chance against Akuma I should take a win in another game and tanner has a good chance of getting a win too. We put Andrew against Fred's Akuma, they stuck me with Gill and Tanner with Zangief.
Game 1 The gill seemed to be build off of both order and death. I could not, for the life of me, figure out how he killed. I was watching his checks for any sort of tell tale cards like flashy leg work or Darkness Blade and they were just not coming. Eventually he dropped down a Defender and I figured he would try to loop something, but I hadnt seen a single attack yet so I had no idea what. I felt pretty comfortable with my board position when he dropped the Kyoshiro action that gained him a momentum everytime a attack hit and then megaspike'd me to death. Oh, that is how it works, I probably shouldn't of discarded those kungfu trainings...
Game 2 I sided in a extra Flying powerbomb that I wish I had in the mainboard, I setup quick and established a solid board advantage, but I was running out of time. He started to build very little and convserve his deck size and I knew I had to go on the offensive soon, but I also knew I didnt have it yet. He played 2 cards, and started to pull them back as time was called, he kindly allowed me to take my turn without a fuss, so I went for the kill, he had copied a saikyo ryu earlier and also had two pyshco styles out which I knew were going to doom me. I play my Heel Snipe, commit the Saiyko Ryu so he can't drop my flying power bombs, and playing bomb number 1, which mills him for like 20, he commits half his board and half my board with pyscho syle number 1, I play flying bomb two which mills him for like 7? he goes pyscho style for another 4, leaving me with almost nothing left, I play my last flying power bomb and pass it with only 1 card left ready, he mills 3 andddddddddddddddddddd has exactly 1 card left in his and 3 in discard. If I could pass and force him to draw I would win the game but since time was called passing ends the game and I lose.
Tanner somehow drew with Omar and Andrew had beaten fred, leaving us with a draw, a ugly, unhappy draw, that eliminated BOTH teams from top cuts, not fun.
That night I took what I had learned from teams and updated the Sakura deck significantly into the build I would use for singles. Backtracking a little, the Sakura deck was the product of my desire to play off the All Symbol at worlds again for the 3rd straight year. It started off as a alex deck(that never won) that became a sakura deck(that I couldn't kill anyone with) which became a mill deck designed to kill the most successfull deckstlye of the current Era, Wall up and one shot. The deck did this extreeemmeelly well in many matchups, but did struggle with wall decks that built etremely fast(Gill for example). I could hold my own against most aggro also, but the best aggro decks could give me fits.
1 - Sakura 4 dot
Actions - 9
4 - Tagalong
3 - Kung Fu Training
2 - Divination
Assets - 10
4 - Seal of Cessation
4 - Lynettes Shop
2 - Wonderworld Warriors
Attacks - 4
1 - Heel Snipe
3 - Flying Power Bomb
Foundations - 53
4 - BRT All
4 - Abelias Friendhsip All/Void
4 - Make a Difference All
4 - Saikyo-Ryu All/Void
4 - No memories Void
3 - Psycho Style All/void
4 - Controller of souls All/void
3 - Hulking Brute All
4 - MAC void
4 - Unorthodox Training All/void
4 - Ancient Fighting Style All/Void
3 - American Made All
3 - Altered Mind and Body All
1 - Street Baller All
4 - Antisocial All
1 - Zangief 5 dot
2 - Siberian Training
3 - The Hero King
1 - American Made
1- Flying Power Bomb
The deck's main kill condition was a Heel Snipe Enhanced with many many Flying power bomb Action sides, I would use antisocial to speed up the mill and Abelias/BRT to keep their hand filled to the brim if I could and make them build more and more. If Neccessary(which it was twice) I could go infinte mill by using Abelia's/BRT + Street Baller to keep them drawing and me basically standing still.
Round 1 - Somebody playing Night Terror
This was a slightly terrible and VERY unexpected matchup, I basically never got to use my ability, and he just kept throwing attacks and wrecking both our boards. I used Wonderworld warriors/Divination combo to replace my ability as best I could, looping divinations(by removing one for the cost of wonderworld) and cards I had mulliganed/wonderworlded. I ended up wearing him down with anti socials and then abelia'sing him out, Game two I sided out my attacks because they were useless and brought in Gief because Sakura was useless. Ended up winning 1-0
Round 2 - Jason from Texas playing Felicia
This went badlyyy game 1, he won the dice roll, and absolutely ROLLED me on turn 2, with Snipe/Spinta Felciia ability(god I wish I had a tag along) Spike.
Game 2 I controlled the board, but he didnt build much, so it took me a long time to get into the mill, by the time I got him there was only 5 minutes left in the round and I knew I was playing for a draw, so I switched into Gief and tanked up until time hit, not how I wanted my second round to go.
Round 3 Joshua Begian playing Kula
This is a player from michigan who we kind of adopted over the weekend and he actually made this deck the night before in the hotel room, it was a kula deck with lots of tricks, but I hit a lot of anti socials early and maintained a lot of board control with 4 no memories, eventually I wore him down and walked away with the 1-0
Round 4 Magnus from New york playing Werewolf Face JT
He was playing a good wall, which can be problematic at times for me, but not too bad depending on how fast he setup, eventually I wore his deck size down and he couldn't find the opening he needed for the win, he ate lethal mill with probably 15 minutes on the clock, plenty of time for him to get a kill.
Game 2 he sided into Gill, and built like CRAZY, playing 6 cards on his first turn, and then all 8 cards on his second. I knew I was in trouble because Iwas so far behind but I tried to get enough answers out to see it through, he ended up killing me with no time left on the clock to get himself the draw.
Round 5 - Tanner Lang playing Victor
This sucked bad, teams and comrade in arms, and we both knew how bad my deck was for his deck. We talked about a draw but I was afraid my deck wasnt consistant enough to get me through to top 8 with another draw here. we played it out and Sakura abosolutely wrecked victor, which is unforuntately the common outcome for this matchup. I took the win unhappily.
Round 6 - Chubbs playing Raphe-Ultimate Warrior
I figured the obvious about this deck, A Darkness Blade Fight or Flight Rapefest. In the first game, Chubbs built like crazy, but struggled to find a fight or flight, by the time he was setup enough for the win, he didnt have enough deck to even survive a single flying power bomb, so I put him away. Game 2, he had the exact same problem, he needed fight or flights and spent 4 or 5 turns trying to get one, eventually having to tag along one back up, after he got it down, he needed two blades to win, digging through his deck he searched and searched for one, forgetting that earlier he had use raph's rarely used second ability to put his last one in his momentum earlier, so he scooped it up and said GG
Round 7 - Jon Herr playing himself
Me and Jon were at the second table, and I dont think either of us really wanted to play, we talked about it and played and eventually settled on a draw, I was feeling confident we would both get in unless some wacky tiebreaker stuff happened.
1. Paul Bittner - Zi Mei (Death into fire kill)
2. Andrew Olexa - Himself (Air)
3. Viewtiful Joe - Donovan (Order)
4. Fred(Protoaddict) - Akuma (Fire)
5. Garrett(Dutpotd) - J.T. I never saw the man in action, but I believe it was a good deck.
6. Magnus - J.T.(diversity cut)(good)
new 6. Brian Mitchell(Antigoth) - Sagat(Earth)
7. Jeremy Ray(me) - Sakura(all/void)
8, Danny Fung - Hilde(fire)
First off, if you'll notice the stroke of good luck I have today, facing off against close friend,teamate, and former world champ Olexa in the first round, who also knows my deck nearly as well as I do, and happens to be a terrible matchup for me.
Second, JON GOT CUT!?! I felt terrible about this, some crazy tiebreaker crap happened, and Danny Fung bounced Jon Herr, Herr finished 9th, I still feel bad about this, despite Jon not seeming upset at all.
Third, you'll notice the symbol Spread and deckstyle is pretty varied, and much better then people want to give credit for.
Two Fire Decks that do distinctly different things but both aggro, 1 All Mill Deck, 1 good deck(tricksy kill), 1 death deck(wall-1shot), Air aggroish Olexa, Order Aggroish Joe,and 1 Earth deck(Wall-Oneshot). 4 aggro off of 4 different symbols and 4 different kill conditions, 2 wall-1shots, 1 comboish wall-oneshot deck, and 1 mill deck. That is a pretty good variety hoenstly. 7 reperesented symbols and 8 different ways to win. The one thing that is commmon with all 8 of these chars, is absolutely exceptional abilities.
Friday night was craziness, Saturday morning was reckoning time.
Top 8, vs Andrew Olexa as himself.
Game 1, he went first, and pretty much rolled me, I didn't build many good cards, got hit by a nasty new low ira spinta, and ate death thenext turn. I wish I could say I put up a hell of a fight, but I got trashed.
Game 2, I went first, played 2 cards and flipped a 2, he built a ton, passed, I went to build again, but I had a really awkward hand(lots of actions, and foundations without matching symbols) I went for my ability and he had a huge tagalong which screwed my whole turn, I ended up only being able to build two cards and having to pass. He built a bunch more and passed, I finally built a great turn, went to him, and he then played 3 ira spintas and 2 heel snipes and completely trashed my board, I tried to recover by I was at nearly no life and very little board left to speak of, the next turn he put me away and ended my top cuts.
All in all I had a good run, and im glad to see the rotation come. On Saturday night I obtained enough copies of the Jin Promo(4 to be exact) to actually build a fully function jin deck off death and beat some people up with on sunday which was fun.
The wandering master was a total blast and I met some new people through it. Prize support through the rounds was nice and in singles getting 2 promo packs for just not dropping was pretty awesome. The top 8 prizes were honestly a little disappointing but okay, they chose not to go with electronics this years(Every year before it offered electronic devices as top 8 prizes) this year they attempted to compensate by giving more cards/promos within the prizes.I think everyone liked the electronics prizes so everyone was a bit unhappy about this decision, Compensating with more cards now this is a solid plan, but I feel like the execution could of been better. They gave each person in top 8 a binder with 1 copy of every card from Sc4 and Shadowar, this was awesome and a great prize but, they also gave us 8 of the new promos, also very cool and a solid little prize we also each recieved 1 pack of the new tekken set, extremely neat little gift. But those prizes were complimented with a binder of the entire set 10 release and more foil league promos/abelias, this part sucked, since no more then 4 hours earlier theyh announced none of these cards would be legal by the end of the month AND that legacy was not going to be a format supported with a card prize, effectively making the value of the binder just given to us as a prize and the majority of the promos just given to us nothing. I would of much rather recieved more tekken cards/Boxes of legal product/art prints. IT wasn't that bad, but the set 10 binder felt kind of silly right after announcing the set wouldnt be legal any longer.
All in all I had a great time and It was good to see familiar faces and good friends again, and it was really great to make some new friends in the community (Viewitful Joe and Jason from Texas come to mind)
I want to SUPER congrats my brothers from UFS for absolutely dominating the weekend and more importantly for not only FINALLY getting Paul Bittner on a card, but Getting his handsome mug all over the place next year. Paul WAS the best player in the world without a card and that monkey is finally off his back in a big way.
I want to thank Omar/Gaines/Ben and Ivey/Tapout/Them Loudass new yorkers/Archimedes and the brits for making the weekend excellent and exciting.
Special thanks to Garrett for being awesome, top cutting all over the place this year in what was a coming onto the tourney scene party for him and having a top level player year and for feeding my face.
Super special Extra thanks to dem canadians in Foxhoud and for being our boys to the max and following us home to michigan for delicious burgers before heading home, extending our gencon ufs experience for a few hours and reminding us that CANNNAAAADAAAA is awesome.
Also super big thanks to Dani for helping me out like 15 times over the weekend and not stealing all my tokens despite the fact that her deck kicked the CRAP out of mine pretty consistantly. I owe you one maam and cannot thank you enough.
anddd I am Spent.