This a tourney report, if you want to read about my escapades go to the general discussion forum section, if you want to read about the deck(s) I used go to the deck building forum section. The latter you should definitely do, because I will be making references to my decks all over the place in this report…
Thursday – Team Worlds Event:
My team consisted of myself, Mark LeBlanc, and Nick A. We decided to call our team ‘little anime girls’ on Nick’s suggestion, not to mention he had some matching mats and sleeves so it all made sense. (Aside: anyone who knows me knows this is a first for me…) Mark was sporting his Felicia deck that won a regionals and came 4th in another, I decided to utilize my Raphael that looped Spinta and carried big sticks (Dark Force and Darkness Blade), and Nick went with Nagase. We had some problems splitting Tag Along and Undercover Agent amongst us but in the end figured it out.
Round 1 – vs. Voltron Kitten Force (Jeremy Ray, Andrew Olexa, and Tanner Lang)
I had a premonition I’d face Jeremy Ray this weekend, and this first round teams pairing didn’t surprise me. After some thinking I was paired against Tanner (Hilde), Mark was paired against Andrew (himself), and Nick got to face Jeremy (Sakura).
Tanner was using the bathroom and I got to watch Mark’s game against Olexa… Mark killed him turn 2 with a giant Feline Spike – things were looking up ^^
Tanner arrived and we had our first game. I got behind in the build, namely Tanner got a lot of cursed blood out! And my deck (namely the changes I made) turned it lame duck against cursed blood… I lost this game after Tanner Heel Sniped turn 5+ or so.
Game 2 I played smarter, and again didn’t draw into either of the devastating attacks. What I did do was get the healers and fight or flights out and copied key pieces in his area. (I also got out 2 antisocial). I won the game when he decked out trying to kill me.
We speedily played a game 3 but nothing happened. I tied, Mark found a way to lose 2 in a row to Olexa, and the Nagase and Sakura were still on game 1, also a tie. Therefore we lost.
Round 2 – vs. Foxhound (Mike, Danny, Keith)
Great, Canada vs. Canada – at least one of us would have a win. I can’t remember who decided on the pairings but I got to play Mike Lowe (damnit, this guy is my curse!!! Running Olexa), Mark got to play Keith (Zi Mei, kind of similar to Paul’s), and Nick got to play Danny (Hilde).
My matches were stereotypically bad, i.e. they always are against Mike. I think I checked some more 1’s (it wasn’t ‘as’ bad as usual). I couldn’t grab an early attack to save myself and got decimated by spinta, a new low, etc. etc.
Game two I had a bit better chance, I checked bad again though and let him have an opening with a fully multiplied Menuett. I blocked with Mark of the Beast and survived – yay! I tried to kill him next turn, but with his hack it wasn’t happening. I couldn’t get to my destiny, and I was playing too little of it anyways…
I watched Mark beat Keith in a really tight game 3. Mark’s Felecia had a lot of counter control, and ate up Death like dinner so I wasn’t surprised.
Nick scrambled back and won game 2, but managed to lose game 3 to a quick hitting Hilde – we were stupid with this, Nick’s deck was the one without Tag Along lol…
Obviously we were out of things. Nonetheless we decided to play on for practice, Mark was going to us Felicia again, and Nick Frogase, so it made sense. We got a by!
Round 4 – vs. ??? (Aslum, girl, and guy – really sorry I can’t recall the names, you guys were from the University of something or other… Virginia? Damn, really sorry).
I got paired against Aslum (Misturugi), Nick got to play the girl (Elena), and Mark got to play the guy (Siegfried).
It wasn’t a fair match me vs. Aslum. He had a really cool deck that could toss damage, but didn’t have enough answers to spinta. I also drew into the Darkness Blade… wow, first time all day. I won both games fairly quickly, but they were both really fun and Aslum is a really swell guy ^^
Nick beat the girl (Erin? Laura? Damn it, name is still floating out there). We were guaranteed a 2-0 record.
Mark lost in game 3 to the Seigfried which turn 2’d him… yeah, craziness!!!
It could have been worse, but it could have been much better, in either case we were dead to the world and had that as an excuse for playing like sh1t.
Friday - Singles Worlds Event:
On Monday the week leading up I had finally rested on what deck I was going to use Dark Force with – the matching character – J Talbain. Thank you to Nintendoman and Grizzlegrom, two of the greatest guys I know for helping me with my decisions and more or less insisting I do Dark Force (since it was my tech all year). I also really ‘enjoy’ using Dark Force and the speed tech, so it didn’t take much convincing. Grizzle helped me narrow down characters, and in all seriousness I should have probably taken 8hs Gill instead, or at least tossed him in the sideboard… But yeah, Talbain it was and it worked just as well in 90% of the cases. Anything else deck wise, please see the deck building section.
Round 1 – vs. Garrison (Felicia – Air)
I was happy to have this matchup, namely I have a lot of practice against Felecia in all that I did with Mark. I also have built Felecia religiously for the last year and for Mark so I knew everything it could possibly throw at me. I did NOT expect Garrison to throw everything at me, which is exactly what this Felicia did, I’m talking a plethora of different attacks (Spike, Menuett, Spinta, Clean Freak, Snipe, etc.). I also was happy to give a hand up to Mark in the diversity battle by winning it.
The game started and he won the dice roll, not surprising. Going first he dropped some nice stuff, and I followed with some nice stuff. After some turns of posturing he decided to ‘End it all’ and attack. Didn’t really hurt my board because I don’t have any responses on my stuff except for BRT. Did hurt my hand because I run reversals myself and I know sniping the Felicia is the key to winning it. In any case, I enhanced with Blind Loyalty and had Hata come over to decide if I could still reversal because of it (even though end it all was played). I did and this ended Garrison’s game, next turn I killed him.
Game 2 I got manhandled, he got out Chinese Boxing and 2X clean freak. By the time his spinta and next attack was done I had lost 6 pieces to my momentum… 6!!! I couldn’t come back, although he left me with 1 life later in the game, I just couldn’t draw my attacks thereafter and when I did he was ready to deal with them.
Game 3 I got to go first which basically says no to most of his mass spinta nastiness. I played it perfectly hitting with the Dark Force and killing him with the combo.
Garrison is a great player, and I knew he would bounce back after the round 1 loss. He went on to have a 5-2-0 record, and just miss top 8 because of SoS. Grats to him for a great day of cards, I was lucky to start off by beating him.
Round 2 – vs. Sage (Raphael – Good)
Darkness Blade is disgusting. Especially after the new ruling… I was more afraid about this match because a) Raphael is strong, I ran him the day before, and b) Sage (Ethinis) is an amazingly solid player.
I lost the dice roll and I knew I had to be careful. I wasn’t lucky though, and I didn’t get out any of my own fight or flights (if you look at my deck list you will know that I don’t have healer, holding ground, etc. and FoF is my only reduction answer short of Amy’s). He looped the Darkness Blade with his reversal recovering items and I took 10 and then 20 = game.
Game 2 I got to go first, outbuilt him and had FoF in play and many of them. I won this one easily.
Game 3 he went first again, I mulliganed to grab some sort of answers, Tag Along being the one I got. When he attacked I Tag Alonged, when he attacked again I reduced his 20 damage Darkness Blade to 0… and Reversed with Snipe to lock out his board… Next turn I killed.
How do you drop 20 damage to 0? You enhance with Blind Loyalty and then Irresistible…
Great games Sage, I was happy to get to play/meet you and I knew you would have a good day regardless of our matches outcome.
Round 3 – vs. Andrew Olexa (himself – Air)
Well then, after the announcement was made I got to play against one of my long distance mentors, a man I looked up to in every way, and my superior. I was looking forward to this matchup, mainly because I never had the chance to play Olexa before, and because I knew we would have fun, and because I knew it would be a challenge, I like challenges! Paul and Mistress were to our left and I noticed he still had the Apple, she still had the wings! We were bound to have a good time in this round with so many great people nearby.
Game 1 I got out to a great start! I had two red lotus and destiny out after turn 1. Turn 2 the most horrible reversal of fate happened to me. I checked a 1 on my 4 foundation needing a 5. If I committed out to pass I would lose the lotus and if Olexa had a spinta in hand or drew into one I would be a sitting duck, on the other hand, if I let it fail he could respond with a new low and play something. Either way I was kind of hooped… I let it fail, I had stuff ready… He played spinta – great, committed me out with Chinese, etc. Next turn he started with me partially committed because of his attack on my turn. He drew into another spinta and it was game then and there, I lost the majority of my board, he gained momentum and I had no hack protection (Destiny in my momentum).
Game 2 I knew I had to play much much smarter and at least I got to go first again. I got out lotus but not destiny, he didn’t have a whole lot to gain momentum with, duh his character and kof 2006 was out, but no white magic, yay! On my third turn after I snuck in destiny I decided to attack him because he had 1 card in hand and I knew it wasn’t a low block, and if it was I had a second attack. He played Tira’s contract to try to block, we knew one card in there was Minuet because it dealt damage to me… We didn’t know the other, it was White Magic’d that turn or whatever. He missed with Tira’s and hit the Menuett. Neither of us where entirely sure of the timing on using a second Tira’s but James ruled and he could, again Olexa hit the Minuet. I dealt damage and the rest is pretty much history.
Game 3 he went first and I got him where it hurt. (hehe I antisocialed X 2 on his opening turn). We built but neither of us could kill, he had his last turn as his 3rd turn of the game and that was that = tie.
Thank you for the great games Olexa!!! I can’t wait until we play again. I’m sorry you didn’t get a renewed character card, but I’d be seriously surprised if you don’t romp anyways in the new block. All the best and we are both waiting for Street Fighter, a set that will surely have a new Vega ^^
Round 4 – vs. Antigoth (Brian, running Sagat – Earth)
No surprises here. Every event I’m in this year I seem to play Brian and Mike. So yeah, I have Brian’s # the way Mike has mine, or at least we thought so…
Brian had the advantage in my mind going into these games, why? He was running something entirely new, and I was running Dark Force, he is smart and he searched and held onto the low blocks (Holding Ground in this case).
Game 1 was long, Brian was being out built heavily by my handsize until he got the asset out that let him draw for what I committed. He took like 10 vitality loss to draw that many cards or more against me and when I finally said enough is enough, i.e. I hate losing or being caught up in the build, he had 18 life. My Fight or Flighted Dark Force was coming at him for 16. He was commited out except for a few foundations, 2 of which were American Made – so much for pumping past his block. He had a LOT of cards in hand, I committed a lot to pass the Dark Force (sh1tty checks, what can I say). I had 3 foundations ready, 2X BRT and 1X Deadly Ground. So it was coming at him as 4 low for 16. I thought, this is bad, if he is running Willful (shares 2 symbols with the Gat) then I am hella pressed to push this through to finish with the combo. What I decided I’d do was respond with 1 BRT on the block making it for whatever, and leave the 2 other foundations ready so that I could use the kungfu training I had in hand to negate the willful… Or hack the willful with 2nd BRT. Whatever. BRT is my bane (I hate Nako!!!) and he got minus 4 or whatever so he needed an 8 with low +0. I knew he had mostly low +2s in the deck, and very few if any low +1s. So I’m thinking he’s going to need to commit out for a 10. With his 4 foundations and character that is needing to check a 5. I was thinking he has lots of 4s (battle, holding, 8 attacks, whatever) so I decided the risk was worth it not to try to BRT again (after all, 1 of 10 cards in hand being willful would be worse than hoping for a 4 check on a block).
He checked a 5 and he didn’t run Willful… Had I BRT’d X 2 it would have been 99% game, unless I hit 2 consecutive 1s after starting the combo (which wasn’t really possible, considering 1 was in my hand and I checked one during said turn…)
Game 2 we didn’t have a boatload of time and I was forced into attacking prematurely, I didn’t have enough oomph, I was again blocked by a damn Holding Ground (the one card in his hand) and he turned around and killed me with Fury and Plasma.
Great games Brian, I knew after beating me you’d top 8. I also knew I had to win the rest to get there with you.
Round 5 – vs. Charlie Potter (Anakaris – Earth)
Yay for back to back Earth decks! I didn’t care what I faced really, my deck was designed to kill turn 2, 4, or 6 at latest and deal infinite damage on said turn. All I needed to do was get damage through (any damage) and key enhances through. Because of that any deck that had enhance negation or MAC was my toughest matchups. Decks that had both, some fire or any death deck was my big weakness.
On to the games. I quickly figured out attacking Anakaris without knowing that I could kill him that turn would be stupid. With his reductions he would get it to deal 1 damage to him and then it would just get worse with his growing hs. Therefore after some really nice setup, big time outbuild, I decided to attack. Kohls was beside me playing Noel and both of their jaws dropped when they heard my calculate how many cards I needed to draw for the 3X Deadly Ground on a 9 speed attack = 27. That was game…
Game 2 he built a bit faster but I again waited until I could kill him or throw attacks that would stay at 2+ damage. I killed Charlie on turn 4 I think with some fight or flight shenanigans.
Charlie is a really cool guy, and I was honored to play against him. I was also really happy that he was doing so well (2-1-1 coming to me) with a little known character. Hope I see you again!
Round 6 – vs. Matt Kohls (himself – Evil foundations, Fire attacks)
Well, I knew I needed Destiny, I had witnessed Matt get 3 BRT’s out against Noel followed by decimation. I also knew Tag Along would be helpful… I didn’t draw Tag Along once in 3 games lol.
Matt got to go first after some crazy rolling, he rolled a 1, I rolled a 1… Anything Matt can do I can do… the same? Nah, it was bizarre.
Anyways he started with this control pumping foundations, Realm X 2, Whatever, Whatever. I knew I needed to hold blocks, because I knew his character ability + realm means 5+ attacks coming at me. Matt was running combo attacks, Spinta, and filler. I ate a bunch of filler and blocked the combo attacks. After surviving I ‘royally’ messed up my combo. Namely I Tag Alonged the wrong thing and then was stupid enough to play it (the kung fu) without mentally out… major mistake… making my combo impossible (a lot of good foundations). I walled up instead but not good enough and I ran out of blocks = death.
Mad at myself for messing up my kill, Game 2 I played first and got a decent start, Matt also played out a lot. I didn’t draw into my kill condition on turn 2 so I had to play smart. I kept the most blocks I could play, some snipe, and as many mid/high as possible. I figured it was impossible for Matt to turn any of his zones low, and I was right. I survived two turns of it, the first sniping it short. I would have lost game 2 as well if it wasn’t for a nice string of blocks on his second barrage – where the hell was my tag along damn it!!! I turned around and killed him next turn, no messing up, I kept it simple – fight or flight, speed, and that was that. (Matt still was left asking later that night, what does your deck do exactly?)
Game 3 we didn’t get far enough in, I reversed with some snipe (he hated it when I committed him) and blocked more attacks. Dice roll time!
We had talked and we knew we both needed a win, 3-1-2 was not good enough. Noel came by at this point and gave Matt a 20 sider, Matt rolled a 20!!!!!!! I start talking about how Matt will go on to do well and thanked him for the game, more or less accepting my defeat .While I was talking I rolled for rolling sake, I rolled a 20!!!!!!! Ok, I thought, what the ‘bleep’ is going on here? He rolled a 4 (I swear I thought he’d hit 20 again) and I got a 17…
Matt is my favorite UFS character card (sorry Olexa I don’t like hack as much as I do recursion), tied with many other for my favorite UFS friend, my favorite fellow UFS accountant, and is the nicest guy ever. Needless to say if I ran into him in a dark alley and he had a gun I’d laugh because there is no way he’d shoot me!
Round 7 – vs. John Macek (Gill – Order/Death/Good)
Here we go, I can control my destiny here but I need to beat another amazing player. We don’t start for a while, there is some drama going on…
John wins the roll and proceeds to make my 6hs look like junk… He gets nasty old combatant and malfunctions out. I get one red lotus which dies a miserable death to bison’s response negation.
After drawing into his 2 Mega Spike and getting Defender down John is ready to kill, he locks the wrong stuff though and has to action side bison’s baby to get rid of my 3rd amy’s. With one extra card in the pool after playing his Kyoshiro action and forming with realm I wonder if I can survive 20+ mega spikes before he taps out…
He soon realizes he ‘really’ locked the wrong stuff because I was able to enhance with Blind Loyalty (hehe bison stuff) and play the Heel Snipe, can’t r: negate that (sorry Inhumans) locking his defender. Next turn I pull off the most nasty combo ever, also the flukiest, to kill him.
Game 2 had all of 5 minutes dedicated to it and Macek again made a play mistake, trying to pass defender on a 5 instead of a 4, he failed and I knew I could defend or win again. I managed to keep up with the build much better than in game 1, got some cursed’s out and time was called.
This was my first time playing Macek, it was great fun but I consider myself extremely lucky. Macek is the better player and his Order play was disgustingly powerful. Had he beat me there I have no doubts he would have either beat Paul or provided him with the toughest game in the tourney.
My record was good enough to see me finish 4th. I was tied for points with the Akuma but my SoS was a bit better, in either case I found out Akuma was 5th and I would get to face Fred (protoaddict) first thing on Saturday and I was excited!!!
Saturday – Top 8 Singles Worlds Event:
Round 8 – 4th vs. 5th against Fred (Akuma – Fire)
Fred’s deck is more aggressive than mine, which is the only deck I could say that about all toruney. Where mine would try to kill you turn 2 on my 9hs his would attack your foundations turn 1, on your turn 1, and then kill you on turn 2… Needless to say I was worried when I lost the dice roll. But half-surprised when he decided to go first.
Fred played out some nice stuff, including some momentum gen, damage pump and more!
I tried to keep up in the build but didn’t do a great job at it; I drew too many attacks turn 3 with a 6hs and attacked with kuz doing some damage to him. He came at me but left me with danger-life (under 5). I responded with fight or flighted attack and speed pump, = game.
Game 2 Fred was determined to beat me, I could see it in his eyes. He went first again (again surprised he didn’t try something different) and played 2 foundations, holding 5 cards in hand…
I got double yoga adepted, saw it coming though, and still managed to play 3 foundations, alas 1 card in hand.
He attacked on turn 2 and with his foundation, intimidating presence, was able to smack me for 8 damage and kill 2 of my foundations… He then played 3 foundations. He had 5 to my 1, and me with damage.
His momentum proved to be too much (namely Seclusion followed) and I ate game 2 on turn 4 or something.
Game 3 I finally got to go first and out built (he finally started to hit his 10+ 2s). I built heavily and on turn 4 tried to kill with Dark Force, but caught myself short realizing I messed up again with the symbols. So instead of being stupid and trying to do 10 more damage to leave him vital I played defensive foundations. Note here I was Akuma E’d and saved 1 of 2 Deadly Ground with Torn Hero so that I could draw into those defensive foundations… He had his turn with Dark Force’s ability and went all out, but couldn’t do 25 damage no matter what way he looked at it. I killed him the next turn.
Fred is an exceptionally solid player who is not afraid to take risks. It was an honor to play him in top 8 and I hope to see him again at the next big tourney I attend.
Round 9 – 4th vs. 1st against Paul (Zi Mei – Death)
I knew Paul’s was the best deck in the tourney, having seen it on Thursday and Friday, and talking about it a lot I knew exactly what it did. It goes without saying that Paul was also one of the best players in the tourney. Add one plus one together and I was in for some fun times!!!
First game I didn’t check poorly, I even got to go first, but I did get ‘jacked’ on my draws. I had 8+ useless foundations out when he decided to attack turn 5+. Useless as in 3X Budhist Devotion, 3X Deadly Ground, absolutely no Lotus, etc. etc. The only thing I had going for me this game was me trying to stop him from getting his damage card out, the one that +x for destroyed foundations… I could only stop this from happening so long, he had an 11 hs after he got his asset out, and drawing into it was inevitable. I lost a response war during his attack turn, I don’t think I even had a snowball’s chance in hell to tell you the truth and I took killer damage by way of super multiple! The biggest thing that hurt was me not being able to pull into 1 of 3 snipes which would have allowed me to go on the offensive or try to reversal (bait his r negation) and lock zi mei to limit the damage coming my way. Didn’t happen.
I did some thinking on this the night before. I knew the only way to beat Paul would be to blitz him and get lucky with him not having low block, or for me to mill him and play extremely defensive, there were other ways, but they involved my sideboard… In any case, the reason my matchup was so bad was because a) I didn’t have answer for draw and he did draw and had answers, b) I didn’t have answers for Oral Dead (hell, I wasn’t even using Skull), and c) I didn’t have draw myself, everything was dedicated to killing on a 9hs turn so as soon as the opponent out hs’d me, i.e. more than 7.5 cards a turn I was fighting a losing battle. I also took out Master to Knees because a) I was blitizing so fast it wasn’t needed, b) I was doing All and Good and it messed up my combo, it messed it up bad, and c) I had other first forms, see Buddhist, see I use to also use TOS. That leads me to I also took out TOS, it messed with my kill and was a first form when I had many others. My revised deck was at a disadvantage to Paul.
Game 2 I tell Paul he earned my entire sideboard. Before this I had only sided in 2 cards from it in two games (2 torn hero against Gill and 2 torn hero against Akuma). Now Paul was going to see all 8 cards!!! 3 Collecting Data, 1 Begin Anew, 2 Torn Hero, and 2 Lesser of Many Evils. Mwahahaha! He must have felt at least a bit nervous when I sided 8.
I started out good and got to play foundations that had use! Even got out some lotus and cursed blood. Sadly he got out Hulking Brute turn 1, it was turn 2 the first game followed by turn 3 Giant of a Man. I knew I had to do stuff fast and quick once he got his draw. On the second moon (my turn 4) I drew into 2X Collecting Data and a sh1tload of foundations. I looked in Paul’s discard pile and saw now Fury of the Ancients… Did he have 1 is his hand? I thought he might have 1, and 1 is all he needs… Anyways, I thought I’d play some foundations so that (just in case) I’d have some stuff if he tried to attack after a failed collecting. I then played Collecting Data on a 9, he rightfully skulled it, but his reaction to it being played told me I was on the right track. I played the second Data Collection on a 10, checked a 1… and committed out to pass it (had 2 cards left). We searched and I got ALL FOUR OF HIS ATTACKS.
We briefly debated why or why not he should scoop and go to game 3. He decided not to and I proceeded to kill him. Namely, he saikyo’d for 3rd Collecting and Begin Anew which would have just been funny, and I was able to push through a lesser of many evils for game.
Game 3 Paul got to go first, and I was pretty sure he’d mulligan to try to find an attack, if only 1 of 4… He must have had 1 because he kept quite happily, I drew 6 cards of which 2 were collecting data and 1 was Kung-fu, I knew that with him playing 4X Cursed Blood if he got that out and I was limited to 1 foundation or even 2 vs. his 4+ I would be hooped. I mulligan for foundations and kept up with his build turn 1.
Turn 2 I decided to try to kill, after pumps, negation etc. I dealt 5 damage to him with Dark Force but did not get off the enhance, silly Valued but not Trusted. Turn 3 I tried again hoping to push through damage on the enhance I protected it and speeded the attack to 7 speed. He only needed a 4 to block fully (Oral Dead and 4 foundations to pass)… He fully blocked and that was that, I was completely committed out trying to push the enhanced hit through. He cam back at me on his turn 3, he drew into a second Fury and I died a very nasty death.
The games against Paul were super crazy. I had never hit Collecting Data with such accuracy, with such power, and influence. I was giddy. I was also really happy that Paul beat me, I wanted him to get a character card and I think he knew that. I couldn’t have lost to a better person, player, or guy. Classy play all around, smart as an Elephant with his negation decisions, I was lucky and proud to play and lose to Paul Bittner.
I want to give my thanks to everyone that supported me, from my team members – Nick and Mark, to my friends back home – Evans, Tanner, Rob, Drew, Ben, Sebastien, everyone, to my friends at the tourney – Antigoth for the drinks ^^, everyone for their well wishes – Magnus et. al., and last but not least people I chat with online from far and wide about techs and play –in particular Grant and Kirk – thank you.
Special thanks to Magnus for the diversity fight on Friday, so much pressure!!! You are a great player.
Well that ends my tourney report! Unless you all want to here about my Kingdom Hearts draft win ^^ Just kidding.
Thank you to anyone who read any of my three reports, and I hope to meet and see a lot of you again playing the new block.