The Champ Chumps Out
Well at the last minute I was able to go to Kenosha once again for their Qualifier. I only had two decks built completely, and I decided I would just go with one of those: Mischievous/Conflict Supreme Kai and Enlightened Lord Slug. Without much time to test, I set my sights on getting some riding companions. With my brother Brandon set to come we decided to update his Adaptive Android 20 build for the tournament. Chris Lambkin was also able to make it at last minute bringing the Surprise Attack Special. I updated my Slug list for the ensuing battle, and we set out at 5:00 AM for a nice drive north to the land of Culver’s, potholes, and that weekend rain and incredible wind.
Arriving at Mindsight Games I still had not made up my mind about which deck to play. I was scattered from a long work week, but it was time to decide. We sliced out some fresh proxies for Android 20, and finally I opted to represent the reigning championship deck in what would be the final tournament of the Set 11 meta.
The Tournament: Swiss
With 18 players we were set for 5 rounds before a cut to top 8. Three to Four X-2 players would make the cut. The odds were good to reach top cut, get some sweet promos, and enjoy the company of some of the best people in Z.
Round 1, Chris Lambkin–Loss: 0-1
Red Ruthless Villain Vegeta (Surprise Attack)
Going into the match I felt like I had a pretty good chance. I needed to see Ball 2, Halt, Puzzler, and Time. Unfortunately, I never saw Ball 2. Chris saw Surprise Attack early and often removing my Time and Supreme Kai’s Ki Blasts. The turn that I did see Puzzler, Chris has 2 Relaxations and a Prideful Challenge. I opted to cancel the second Relaxation to avoid Chris accessing my Ball 3 prior to combat. Regardless, Supreme Kai fell flat. My last hope was DBV, but I couldn’t get my Dragon Balls back fast enough.
Round 2, Joshua Gregory–Loss: 0-2
Saiyan Dynamic Hero Vegeta (Hop & Pop)
After losing Round 1, I was a little disheartened. I decided not to take things too seriously and try to have a good time. I hate versing Freegeta decks–they have far too many high-value cards to remove them all. I knew Josh would be trying level hop and push big-damage attacks before ending combat.
This game was beyond weird. By the end of the game I was on Level 3. Still, it wasn’t enough. Josh was able to sphere both of my Black Scout Maneuvers as I named Sinister Choke. I was able to BST away some of his tools, but ultimately SK fell once again.
Round 3, Johnathon Slupik (James)–Tie: 0-2-1
Red Ascension Kid Trunks (Bang, RETREAT!)
I knew going into this round that I’d have to win out to have any kind of chance of making top cut. I knew Josh had lost Round 1, but Chris was continuing to do well. I felt great about my anger match-up, this was going to be my road to the top.
I was scattered during this whole match, disoriented from the traveling to lose phenomenon. I was missing triggers and combos left and right. One combat after he used all of his WEC’s I just straight drew three cards. No Kibito. No SK. Nothing. Of course, I drew 3 dead cards.
Ultimately we ended up going to time. A fact I knew, but quickly forgot. Turn zero took quite some time. My turn became turn one and I had a two-turn strategy in place for winning by DBV. I set up my hand to do this and passed turn. That’s when we realized we were on the final turn. Johnathon stared at his hand for sometime and got a life deck count. I scoured my discard pile for attacks to shuffle in to try to win by survival if he entered. I knew what was in my deck from doing a failed search with SK level 1 in turn zero. OK, I thought, I have just enough gas to try to pull this out, the day is not wasted. However, Johnathon did not feel the same. He didn’t have the damage in hand to win, so he passed turn for the draw.
I was bummed, but ultimately I don’t blame him. For all I knew he was playing down, perhaps he intended to go 3-1-1 and top that way. It’s on me for having lost the first two Rounds and for not fully realizing the game state.
Round 4, Ryan Lambdin–Win: 1-2-1
Namekian Knowledge Cell (Kai Killer Special)
By the time you get to this table, you’re just looking for a good time. I knew Ryan had brought this deck to take down Blue and Black Supreme Kai, and I was up for the challenge. I had to get Deflection Drill out and try to get him to banish some of his own balls.
Luckily, I drew Deflection Drill on turn 1, so besides deciding which mill effect to use it on, things were looking up. Ultimately, I take the W, and I’m glad to have at least 1 win…
Round 5, Benjamin McNutt–Loss: 1-3-1
Red Ruthless Villain Vegeta (Time to Die!)
Ben was paired down, and while I didn’t want to spoil his chances at top cut, I also wanted to try to get out of there with another win. I wasn’t going to power game him too hard, but I also wasn’t going to make mistakes on purpose.
First combat he lays out Suppressive Strike, nullifying my in-hand Telepathy. This was the theme of our game. MV answering SK. Similarly to my Round 1 match I got some of my cancel’s off. I used Halt on combat against a Relaxation and Puzzler once against his Ruthless Mastery (saved me at least 12 stages of damage, maybe more). Again, it wasn’t quite enough. The draws weren’t in my favor, and Ben played a flawless game. If not for the combats I did manage to end and my cancels that went through, I would have died much earlier than I did.
I was pumped to have my brother Brandon and my stl fellow z-warrior Chris Lambkin both qualify for top 8. I was itching to get some games in with my Slug deck and maybe even start building some set 12 decks since the Octgn patch was already available. As most players flew the coop after top cut was announced, I decided to enjoy watching some of the matches and chat with some of you Retro people about the tournament and new set.
Going back to Kenosha was great. Everyone at the tournament was very welcoming.
After the finals we talked about how things went down. We praised Eric and Frank for their efforts and skill. Then, it was on to Mike’s house for pizza, cider, and some fireball.
I can’t thank Mike enough for his hospitality. We could not have made this trip without him accommodating us. Games were played, laughs were had, and the grammatical absurdity of our favorite game was discussed–how can you reveal something that is already revealed? I still think my example holds up, but I guess you had to be there.
Until next time, DBZ fam,