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PhoenixInferno

Top 4 Sacramento Fall 2015

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Made the trip up from SoCal with 3 other people. Arrived for the pre-kotei party at Bryan Reese's house, and crashed at Tan's house.

 

Decklist here

 

R1 - Scorpion Shibata Sensei (unknown name)

I hate this sensei. I shuffle for a bit, hemming and hawing. I make some small talk while I decide which ring to put into play. He mentions that he's only really been playing since Thunderous Acclaim. That gives me a clue that he may not know about the military deck that runs the same sensei. I start Ring of Earth. That is the correct choice. His T2 gold was atrocious, and he's a pretty new player. I see Aranai's Armors and Spirited Disputes to help me stay upright while I send an armed & armored Hitomi to sack Scorpion provinces.

 

R2 - Phoenix Hira Sensei (Davey Chacon - spelling?)

I start Ring of Earth and get good enough gold to buy a Reiji and a Higaru XP and give them 1 weapon each on T4 and swing at one. I swing at one with both and he defends. He (incorrectly) sends Reiji home straightened which I allow, and then Price of Shame his defender. He attempts to send me home twice but fails. He drops a Bridging the Gap, but I counter with Ruby Ascendance. He plays his Sinister Deception which I have no answer for, but I'm still killing his dishonorable personality, and then I Cav in to a 2nd battlefield. I begin to flood the board and he can't stop me.

 

R3 - Lion Kagako Sensei (Sean Bailey - the guy who drove!)

This game is the 6th Ring Twitch stream. I saw his deck list on Thursday night when he was putting it together, so I know he's playing a good amount of open bow and Control. Sneaky! No one (except Dragon) is running Open straighten, so I put Ring of Air into play. There's still a good amount of send home, but getting hit with Control would be back breaking. I get good gold, he gets good gold. I bring out a Takanori first. I resolve a The New Order successfully. As I equip an Aranai's Armor and an Awakened Naginata to Takanori, mischevious Zokujin steal the naginata with Obsidian Ascendance. I COULD bow to take it back, but I knew he was running Control, and he had 3G available. I let it go. Fortunately it was his turn so I didn't really lose tempo. I strap on a replacement sword and swing. He lets me through, hoping he could snag me with Official Sanction, but I use CBQ to gain Conqueror. I buy a Hitomi + Obsidian Hand. On my next turn he's spent most of his gold so I take back the Naginata and give it to Lady Moon. I also give Takanori a 2nd sword. I swing in for 2 - a very aggressive play, but he's pretty far in honor, so I had to make a move. He decides to defend against Takanori. He sends me home with the favor, but I respond with Swifter than Sight. I dishonor one of his guys. He attempts to Usurpation me, but I point out Takanori's exceptional 3PH. I dishonor a 2nd spud. He plays Bridging the Gap. I respond with Rewards of Experience. He offers the handshake. I reveal Accessible Terrain and we declare that I am a huge jerk for rubbing it in.

 

R4 - Dragon Enlightenment (Bryan Reese)

I heard this guy knows stuff about the game. He starts Ring of Earth, I start Ring of Air. He gets good T1 gold and I get OK gold T1. On his T2, he fetches a Ring of Void with Mahatsu sensei and puts it into play. I see a lot of gold and a Togashi Yokuni that I have to pitch. He draws a bunch and plays a bunch of stuff to put Ring of Air into play. I didn't even get my T3 yet and he's 60% of the way to victory. My T3 is wretched as I see more gold and a Hida Kozan. Depriving him of the favor is no longer as relevant as it could have been, so I buy a ton more gold. He fiddles with his deck and hand with In Stillness, Hidden Machinations and Ring of Void. T4, I flip up an Abbot and a Togashi Korimi. I buy them all - but very suboptimal as neither are Samurai. He probably didn't have one at the time, so he doesn't immediately try to Ambush with Futoro and fiddles with his deck. I give Korimi an Ensorcelled Longsword. Now he Ambushes her with Futoro. I pass because I have 7F. He hits me with Show Me Your Stance to which I negate with Earth and strike. I straighten on my turn, and he passes as he realizes he can't win the battle. Still gets Fire out. At this point, his deck is getting dangerously thin. on my T5, I flip up a Yoritomo. My hand has two weapons and an Aranai's waiting for this moment. I buy him. On his T6, he fiddles with his deck some more. I make Yoritomo scary with items. He attempts to ambush my Korimi again with Show Me Your Stance, to which I focus a Spirited Dispute (I exclaim "I knew I ran this card for a reason!"). Once again, he saw that he was going to lose that fight, so he tries to save his guy with Valiant Defense, a terrain he could have used to put Ring of Water into play. He then swings at me with a bunch of dudes, threatening 3. I defend the easiest one to defend, he resolves a different one and Cavs in. Without having played a terrain and destroyed a terrain I don't care if he takes, so I pass. He plays Open Ground. I was holding Walking with the Water and Accessible Terrain, so I was not in immediate danger yet, but I played Walking with the Water. He exclaims "Why do you have these cards!?!" and Earths the move-in. He plays another Open Ground and looks smug. I play my Accessible, move in my Yoritomo and Standing Fast his guys. That's game.

 

R5 - Phoenix Brotherhood Sensei (Jared Ro Bear)

This game is also on the 6th Ring stream. I see Brotherhood Sensei and I have to consider the possibility of military. Unfortunately I chose wrong, so this game goes south for me very quickly. Brotherhood sensei letting him hold on to all those Destined/Expendable cards is pretty clever.

 

R6 - Unicorn Aranai Sensei (John Seals)

His gold is good, his guys are huge and only need 1 attachment to take a province from me. I see no attachments. This game also goes south for me very quickly.

 

They're taking everyone X-2, so I made the cut!

 

Top 16, Best of 1 - Scorpion Shibata Sensei (unknown name)

**** it, not this sensei again. Different player, so I have no knowledge. I start Ring of Earth because it worked last time. But I was wrong. Fortunately, my start is fast and I snipe a province if Reiji. He swings and I let him through, but he eventually puts out Nitoshi XP2, and is naming Rewards and Standing Fast every turn now, shutting off my main offense. Eventually, he tires of me trying (badly) to honor out on him and swings into me and I defend. We play a bunch of actions, but eventually he decides he doesn't have enough force on the board and concedes.

 

Top 8, Best of 3 - Lion Kagako Sensei (Robert <lastname>)

Game 1 is a brutal beating as I get Higaru XP, the Ancestral Armor of the Dragon XP and a sword out for the T4 attack and he has no way to send a guy home 4 times.

 

Game 2 is a little better for him, even though I get the same start - he plowed 3 Virtuous Victories into his spud while I didn't have much in my hand. Still, I make him spend the cards. Eventually though, I get more dudes out there and he can't send them all home.

 

Top 4, Best of 3 - Lion Seijuro Sensei (Brandon Snyder, eventual winner)

I've had a pretty good track record against Lion all arc, defeating 3 of them at Gen Con and 2 today, and I'm familiar with the broad strokes of this deck. I feel positive, but not confident about the match up. Unfortunately, the particulars of his deck (4C dudes with +2C weapons) made the game much harder than my match with Tim Wells at GenCon (who was mostly packing +1C weapons). I can get to 5C pretty easily, 6C is a bit of a stretch, outside of my power uniques. Both games follow a similar game plan - he attacks first, we trade provinces, we both build up until he gets close to honoring out and I have to swing in. Both times, I just didn't have enough actions.

 

The rest of the car did pretty well, too: Brandon Bryant T16, Andrew Narzynski T8, Sean Bailey 3-3.

Edited by PhoenixInferno

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