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Bronson's Awesome Gencon Experience!

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#1 Bronson



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Posted 22 August 2012 - 05:08 PM

My trip to gencon was AWESOME! For the brief summary, I was 4-0 in the warmup tourney, 14th in melee, and 18th in Joust. My big highlights were having drinks with multiple thrones metas and Ram making it to the joust final! And now, the daily breakdown:

Thursday - Warmup Tourney

I viewed this first event as a great opportunity to meet different players and see some cool new stuff. Clu taught me a thing or two in the event last year (bummer he couldn’t make it this time!) with a sweet Targ hopper deck and I wondered what else I might encounter. For this tourney I called on my trusty Stark Maester deck from regionals and it responded, taking me 4-0. My matches against Dobbler and Billy Jack were highlights for sure. I think Tiny and Darknoj were also undefeated and I kinda regret not playing this one out, but drinks and (chicken) breasts at HQQTERS sounded more appetizing at the time. It was probably the right choice because as it turns out, there was a bar right nearby that had $1 Bud Lights. Instead of getting a bottle of liquor and building drunken melee decks as originally planned (the SoCal folks play melee maybe 3 times a year), I ended up staying out reeaally late. Big ups to the HQQTER girls (no pun intended) for coming out to join us! Crevic, RyanSD and I eventually found our way home, BS’d until about 4am, then hit the sack.

Friday – Melee

Apparently I had more cherrybomb shots than I remembered (wtf is a cherrybomb shot anyway?), because I was pretty damn hungover from Thursday night’s adventures. I woke up to a headache less than an hour before the melee was scheduled to start. Since I never got around to building a deck, I semi-drunkenly swapped some cards into my bara rush: Mutual Cause, Take them by Surprise, I Fight to Win, Condemned by the Realm, and SerCha0s’ (not so) super secret tech of 2x Horn of Dragons with The Songs of Baell the Bard. I think that was it.

As I mentioned, SoCal folks don’t really play much melee, but when we do… a good portion of the field is hammered. Needless to say I’m not a real melee veteran. However, I learned a lot early and after a 2nd place finish in the first game I won the next two tables. I blew my wad too soon in the cut to 16 (hey, it happens to the best of us sometimes!), but was pleased to have made it that far. All in all, it was awesome meeting 3 new Thrones players each round and I’m glad I participated. I wish I took better notes in this event, but some highlights were stealing dragons, feeling super guilty about killing Cersei controlled by Cristobal (an awesome Chilean), and watching Twn2Dn’s deck have fun with Scourge and Brimstone. Great to finally put a face to his name, too.

After the event I went back to the hotel to decide which deck to play in the joust. Special thanks to RyanSD, Imrahil and Tiny for being my last minute sounding board. I settled on GJ maesters and made a few more tweaks to get it dialed in. Got to bed pretty late again, but no dance floor or alcohol this time. Maybe that was the missing ingredient to my championship? Haha!

Saturday – Joust

Round 1 – Todd “Plebeian Maw” from Cinci – Stark Wildlings

I had a strong flop and played Wendy with ATG first turn, which would be valuable claim soak AND a Maester for chains. Gotta love Wendy! I also played a scouting vessel early, which he and I later agreed was huge because he wasn’t able to defend with the big army on my offense. Standing the vessel again with Steel link helped me continue to force challenges through. Todd tried to get rid of some links with Nightmares, but I cancelled them twice. When I had enough saves, I waited an extra round in case he tried to outwit me (I saw you sitting there innocently, Luwin, with your dirty little learned crest) and then revealed Valar. With a limited hand, Todd was not able to make a comeback.

We continued to chat and I learned that he runs the meta in Cinci. Since DJ26 and I run the SD thrones crew, we were able to share some good war stories about building and maintaining a meta. Todd was all class and an absolute pleasure to play against. I really hope to make it out to Cinci one day!

1 – 0

Round 2 – Corey from DC – Targ KotHH

Well, this matchup was definitely not what I wanted. Greyjoy—and particularly Greyjoy Maesters—are vulnerable to burn… and so am I! I can never beat this dang deck! It owned me in our league play (thanks Gwanum and RyanSD), owned me at regionals (thanks Mathlete), and this time was no different (thanks Corey). He played First Snow, and I brought out Oldtown Advisor with At the Gates. 2 influence and a Flame-Kissed later my advisor died (Tiny, I could hear you saying “I told ya so!”). Next round came RBD and I was in trouble. I tried a comeback, but Valar and Rhaenys Hill made sure that didn’t happen. It was a bummer that Corey ended up dropping later from the tourney at 3-0, but I understand that life can get in the way sometimes. Props to him for playing flawlessly and for the win. Slops to stupid Targ KotHH, the bane of my existence!

1 - 1

Round 3 – Wade Freeman from TN – Martell Maesters

Last year I had the real pleasure of meeting Longclaw and I knew that Wade was part of his playgroup. They’re both awesome players and people. I ended up getting a really strong setup and had early board position, which I knew would be crucial in this matchup. Maester of War allowed Aemon and Murenmure to have fun in military challenges, so the icon extra spread from his knelt character was helpful for me too. Wade made a very strong effort to remove the copper link from Murenmure with nightmares and later confessed that he thought I was playing a Horn of Dragons deck. I thought that card was meant for melee?!? Anyway, Fortified Position made sure he didn’t win the game with renown and I worked my way to the win a turn or two later. Wade was a great opponent!

2 – 1

Round 4 – Rob “Raaaghb” from Cinci – Martell Summer

First turn he played Time for Ravens and I revealed RBD. It was a gamble that didn’t pay off for me last year, but worked this time around! That first turn he played as much as he could, and by the end of the round he had no cards to activate Maester of the Sun’s ability. I valar’d turn 2 and played that round cautiously. Turn 3 I brought out Wendy with At the Gates and determined he had no Valar. The Knight went to town and after Turn 4 Retaliation I had the win. Despite being in control most of the time, Rob and I had a lot of fun this game. He’s another credit to the Cinci meta and is friends with Skowza, who has grown to be my gencon mid-round hangout bud since we met last year. Did I mention I need to get out to Cinci some time? Great folks!

3 – 1

Round 5 – Rob “Orclrob” from TN – Bara Summer

If I recall correctly, he flopped street of steel, a narrow sea, altar of fire and a character (maybe Holy crest?) on turn 1. I knew I could force challenges through as long as he didn’t get an overwhelming board presence, so I ATG to Murenmure. He played Manning the City walls and brought in the core set Asshai army, but was stuck with one gold. I cancelled Street of Silk during Marshalling so that limited his character base. He won a 2 claim intrigue and tried to activate Altar of Fire, but I canceled it. He then tried to play confession, but I had another cancel. That made 3 critical cancels early on which were probably the difference. Next turn I believe we had the same number of cards in hand so I tried the RBD trick in hopes he’d go get a birdy. It worked and he had to discard a few more. Next turn he caught me with my pants down and cleared my board with a Valar. I thought he’d be playing Wildfire for some crazy reason! I managed to recover and on the last turn, he finally played his Red Queen’s faithful with a High Ground and core set Mel. That was some hot tech, but luckily I had a Newly Made Lord to help and came away with a victory. Rob was very skilled and polite and yet again I was impressed by the TN meta!

At this point, I had exceeded my wins from last year’s gencon so I was a happy camper! Plus, each of my opponents were great to play against and I was really having fun. My deck was competing and giving me options to overcome different deck types, which was awesome.

4 – 1

Round 6 – Mallesh from MI – Lanni CoS

This was a weird match for me. I jumped out to an early power lead, but he played Valar 2nd round and took out Maester Murenmure when I had no saves! I couldn’t draw a maester after that and eventually his card draw (GTM+King’s Landing) swung the match in his favor. He played masterfully and it’s no surprise he made only had one loss in the Swiss. I did manage to get off a Ghost of High Heart to look at his hand, but I never really play against Lanni CoS and didn’t recognize how strong Tunnels of the Red Keep could be. I think that card was his MVP in retrospect. This match almost went to time (10 or 11 plots?), but he finally got the lock and took the win.

4 – 2

I thought I’d have a pretty good SoS since Todd from Round 1 had won at least his next 4 games, Wade was a strong player with a competitive deck, Corey was a defending world champ, Mallesh was 5-1, and the Robs had several wins each. Unfortunately I didn’t have any modified losses which give the losing player a point so I didn’t make the cut. Ktom later told me that I was #18 and my buddy RyanSD was #17, so it was pretty awesome to see 7 of the top 18 come from the West! I’d also like to extend yet another pat on the back to my good friend Ram, who finished 2nd in the joust. He represented our SoCal crew like a champ, even though he didn’t come away with the W.

All that said, it was time to party! That night was pretty epic (you’ve already seen some pretty tame paparazzi pics from Mallesh) and Ryan and I made it back somehow at around 5am. Special thanks to Mathlete, Deathjester, Crevic, RyanSD, Imrahil and Tiny for shacking up with me and again convincing me to go. Thanks to Ktom for running the events and everything he does here on the boards. And an even bigger thanks to the American thrones community—from Sactown to MO, Chicago to TN, NY to Chile—for another amazing GenCon!

#2 RyanSD



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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:25 PM

Great recap, James. What a shame that we missed the cut by 1 and 2 . Im still very proud of our SoCal guys for racking up the W's. Thank you again for being my spirit guide on saturday night/ sunday morning. I'm 100% sure I wouldn't have made it back to our room without you. You're a rock-solid friend who can party with the best of them (me).

#3 Shenanigans



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Posted 24 August 2012 - 03:51 AM

 James, it's always a pleasure to see you at GenCon and I enjoyed meeting more of the SoCal crew. I look forward to seeing you next year!

#4 Stormwalker



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Posted 24 August 2012 - 05:17 PM

Where's the like button for RyanSD's reply. Always a blast hanging with SoCal, we'll have a Vegas tournament soon. I hope.

#5 rings



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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:53 AM

Great to see you James - had a great time as always!  Congrats on getting almost there…fun to be on the doorstep :)

Oh, King eh? Very nice...

#6 Twn2dn



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Posted 28 August 2012 - 06:08 AM

That top 16 of melee was brutal. Had you not played first, you might have won with that Horn of Dragons. I had to use 4 of my 7 control effects to hold you back, then 2 of 7 to hold down Dan (ultimate world champ). That left Brian, who played fourth and who we all thought was least likely to win, to sweep in for the victory with only one character minus a power icon (I think).

Nice to meet you, and fun to play a game together!

#7 HoyaLawya



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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:08 PM

Twn2dn said:

That top 16 of melee was brutal. Had you not played first, you might have won with that Horn of Dragons. I had to use 4 of my 7 control effects to hold you back, then 2 of 7 to hold down Dan (ultimate world champ). That left Brian, who played fourth and who we all thought was least likely to win, to sweep in for the victory with only one character minus a power icon (I think).

Nice to meet you, and fun to play a game together!

I thought for sure it wasn't going to get around to me. But your control to keep him down, my use of Shireen on your tricon renown for To the Spears, and then using a cancel against Kid left me with the nice surprise of getting a challenges phase. A mix of kneeling and non-kneeling renown plus superior claim ended up being enough for the win.

#8 thedaffodilfish



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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:10 AM

Great report! Entertaining and informative :)

Thanks for sharing

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