KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

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World Champion
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Joined: April 1st, 2007, 2:15 pm

KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by allstarz97 »

Waking up as the world champion is a pretty surreal feeling. When you play a game for 15 years, have met your two best friends in the world playing it, it does have a certain emotional connection to you--I'm going to come back to this point at the end of this report, for now I'm going to start the TR where we started, testing.

We didn't really test for this event. Aside from the fact that Steve was focusing mainly on Poker, and Mike and I were moving “all in” on magic and starting to see it pay off (mike built a deck that was copied and played in the finals of a pro tour, I qualified for two pro tours, lots of near misses for both of us in other events, and every week I'd head down to mike's capehouse for wine drinking, bbq'ing, and of course modo 8-4 crushing [at one point me and mike had one 21 straight matches in 8-4s!!!]--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jScYW74clNI), there just wasn’t much motivation to test for Star Wars. Steve moved to las vegas, mike couldn't play because of a wedding and jonny chu lives in three different cities. We wanted to do well, but knew we couldn’t put in the type of prep we had in the past. In 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 we'd spend 2-3 weekends where we just tested non-stop, but this year we couldn't do that, instead most of our preparation was emails. "How about this idea?", what if we play hoth and don't flip?", "the spice ties decks seem good but everyones builds suck--can we make it better", "slavers is broken?" "ls sucks" etc. About two weeks ago I was looking on polar haven and discovered a cool card for spice ties: the saber sqd commander and tie. Check them out, they are really cool. So me jonny and steve came up with a really good spice ties deck that we were all really high on. The dark decks kept coming, the hoth deck was sick--I took out all the crappy imperials and added good cards and the deck felt awesome, chu acquired a CCT list he really liked and the slavers deck was strong although none of us really wanted to play it. For ls we had nothing, profit was the old dog with no new tricks. Playing a ls deck where your opponent knows all of your cards sucks. We went through the gauntlet but nothing really worked. Everyone said communing couldn't beat slavers so we were pretty stuck. Both me and steve said we wanted to go first for ls, so we looked at different sonn(v) mains lists. Steve focused on mwyhl, and I worked on getting a deck that started a twix and just played mains.

So that is where we were going into this past week. Steve was flying in on Tuesday and Jonny was coming up late Thursday. I picked up Steve and we headed down to Mike's capehouse. Having mike involved in testing was awesome as he offered a different perspective. Mike has always been the best at looking at an idea we had and picking it apart, dissecting it, and making it better. Steve's mwyhl deck was pretty strong, after you played vs it like five times you could usually beat it but the first time playing against it was rough. He locked in to playing it, I was a little more wary of it, but I didn't have anything else. For dark the hoth just didn't lose and I decided to play it and save the ties for day 3. I thought the ties was awesome but it was somewhat one sided. You either won or lost and couldn't leverage skill quite as much as a more traditional deck. After two awesome days at the cape that consisted of a lot of games, a lot of MTG drafts (we finally lost a draft :(), and three 1 pound steaks being eaten by us, I headed back up to Boston. Jonny came up after one of his concerts and didn't get in until 1am. When he got here we had the following interaction:

jc: "long drive man, glad to finally get here"

jd: "yeah, you must be tired..."

jc: "not that tired...you must be tired though..."

jd: "not that tired..."

jc: "wanna game?"

jd: "YES"

We went to bed at 4am and neither of could sleep would dreams of swccg cards dancing through our heads.

And then all of a sudden it was Friday. Mike and Steve came up and we got ready for the team event. I wasn't super sold on the mwyhl, and wanted to give profit one last try. Mike and I were playing in the team event and he was playing his super sweet asm droids decks, partially because he built it and knew it, and partially to test for steve for the next day as he didn't have a dark deck he liked (1 out of 60 players who liked ls more than ds). We drove to the hotel which happened to be a 5 minute drive from my house, and walked into the 2013 swccg world championship venue. We saw a lot of old friends, Matt Sokal and the Albany guys, Kim and the other event organizers, Greg Shaw and the Jersey crew, Scott, Sokal, Wirfs, vikram, Cole and MHT, Angelo and the rest of the euro guys, and a whole bunch of other people. The team event was fun, me and mike played against jonny and matt sokal round one and got completely dominated. We split our last two games, mike was out of practice but still had fun. I 2-1’d with profit but the deck felt super weak and I was happy that the team event sort of proved to me that the deck couldn’t be played in the next day. We went out to dinner, got back to my house at 11 pm. Steve had to build his HDv deck, I still hadn’t picked a ls deck and thought about communing or mwyhl, jonny was also uncertain on what he was playing for ls. We went to bed without having decks built for day 3. Not where we wanted to be….Woke up at 7am, I put mwyhl together and decided to play that. I was locked in on hoth. Jonny was playing the ties and communing(that he built that morning), steve was playing the HDv and the mwyhl. 5 different decks which was cool. In 2003, when me and mike first teamed with jonny and clint hays, we played 8 different decks and all made day 3, we always like to play different stuff and take pride in doing well with it.

Before the event started Scott announced the Hall of Fame. It was super amazing and well done by them. Having a friend introduce each of us was a great idea and really touching. Steve gave me a great intro and talked about how we first met (http://www.decktech.net/starwarsccg/tre ... 032&view=2) Major props to the PC for this and to Scott especially. Part of what makes this game great is the family type feel it has. Thanks for including me in the Hall of Fame guys!

Ok, enough with the boring stuff, onto the games:

1. DS vs Par Birgander:

Par was really cool. He was playing communing vs my hoth and I knew that was a good matchup especially when he didn’t start nick of time. I had a good hand which contained a trample, so I felt confident when I peeked at his hand and saw chewie protector. I did my usual turn 1 setup and he did not atk me turn 1. I failed to blow but he lost a houjix off the top to my ping, so I put extra guys at the 2-1 site so if he did come down he’d take damage in the battle. He came down with luke and chewie and I trampled chewie, he battled anyway to kill my jingo fett but had to houjix the battle. I finally blew the generators and the 2nd time chewie came down he missed the swings getting very unlucky on his draws. I set up in space, was in control of the game and eventually drew into garidan + jango (retrieved with my objective) and dr e and beat down shimi for the handshake. FW.

2. LS vs Ross Littuer

Ross was a little kid the last time I saw him. 12 years ago he was a local at the Massachusetts events…turns out now he is a third year medical student. Wow. Anyway he was playing HD v. Early on I got to verify his deck and saw that it looked exactly like steve’s from the mpc/tmw so I had a pretty good idea of what was in it, namely only one ghhhk. I missed a few tests early and he stacked the 2-1 site and I couldn’t find POAS. He also stacked pretty hard at endor and I was not in good shape. I went to the battle plains and he fought, I clashed vader in a battle and he grabbed that, I was pretty happy he did that given I played four let the wookiee wins and icbw. He had to ghhhk a battle at the battle plains at one point and I had corran + mace to beatdown nevar at the 1-0 site. I looped icbw with test 4, drained for three at the battle plains and was able to squeak out a win. FW.

3. DS vs Jonny Chu

Me and jonny have a history of having incredibly close games. I think we’re pretty even all time in terms of wins and losses and 90% of the games could have gone either way. My opening hand contained the 3rd marker, veers, never, and the gun…. Not exactly a great hand. I did my thing and peeked and saw chewie protector. Jonny set up turn 1 and dropped luke to hoth system in artoo in red 5. Pretty good start. I missed the blow and the following turns were pretty bad for me. He came down and sliced a walker, killed all my guys but nevar and I had to go back with another walker which didn’t get chopped but everyone on board did. At one point I dropped thrawn+jango and victory on luke and battle killing luke. He had control for alert my sd however and eventually killed me out of space and dropped the home one. So about halfway through the game I had a stacked 3rd marker, and he had a stacked hoth system and tatooine system. I eventually blew the generators but it was looking really bad for me as he had flash of insight an luke going(he retrieved luke at some point). I drew a flasghsip executor and I think I moved thrawn to the ground at some point and shuttle everyone up to the executor. And by everyone I mean three walkers too. He fought me and limited me to a destiny and drew two on his own so I lost some guys and an executor. The next turn I deployed a walker, the isb commander, who got back veers, played a walker, who got back alert, played tarkin, and moved everyone up to the system and played alert with tarkin. What I just wrote might have been over two turns, the details of this game are somewhat murky just because so much happened. The key mistake jonny made was attking me at hoth and chosing to use leadership to add a destiny. I had thrawn and tarkin out and drew three really high destiny cards. He had to lose a bunch in space and could no longer whittle me down. I was able to move vehicles back down to two different sites and get in a bunch of damage one turn with pings, drains of 1, and Ao pings. He finally dropped down chewie and yoda to the cantina, and I know I have to do something so I drop maul, battle, hit both of his guys and play force push to exclude maul and chewie. Time is called and jonny has 16 cards and I have 15… he goes to end his turn and during his move phase I retrieve with wipe and have less cards in lost pile. Timed win. Even cards, win by less cards in lost pile. We talk about it afterwards, if we had unlimited time he wins the game, if the game that was played continues I win it, so it was really weird. Really weird game, the move phase on each of my turns took forever as I knew I had to not lose space. Add it to the list of crazy close games me and jonny have had over the years.

4. LS vs Aaron Nelson

Nelson was playing spice mains. I was pretty slow with my tests, not completing test 1 until like turn 5. He dropped sidious to the ground and I was able to kill him with two jedi and take over one of his sites. He put out another site on the other side of the 2-0 and stacked with a bunch of mains and the administrator. He also went to kessel with boba in ship but no jango. So I was in a pretty rough spot. He had spice every turn, I was slow with the tests and I was losing two force each turn to drains. I eventually took space with luke and lando and also went to the battle plains with one of the new vehicles. He fought it with galen but he made the mistake of forgetting test 2 so when he added a destiny to attrition he essentially drew 0. I drew a 1 though and had to drop a jedi to the plains to kill galen. He dropped maul and much anger in him on luke which was rough. I had to lose 4 and forgot about honor. I was trying to loop icbw but with very few cards in my life force it was really hard. Eventually I completed test 5 and landed luke. We had a big battle where luke and qui gonn died and not many of his jedi died. I had 7 cards left in my life force, and he had 14. The last few turns though he was doing no damage at all other than his drain of 2 which I was icbw-ingand I was draining at the battle plains and kessel and he was cloaking maul. I deployed test 6 and vader was dead so that was two more damage. I put back leia to hand to get an extra card In life force and going into the last turn of the game had icbw to even up our life force. He could have spiced back a used interrupt but didn’t have one in his lost pile that didn’t use the word “search” so he couldn’t and I got the win. After the game we realized he should have saved 1 in reserve and I realiezed that yoda should have gone to used as well cuz he was “riding” leia. Anyway, 2nd TW in a row where we were tied on differential.

5. LS vs Steve Baroni.

This game was super weird. I got off to a great start with mace kill his early vader and blizzard 4. I was able to retrieve with test 2 and had no lost pile and was completing my tests on time. Then all of a sudden steve made a crazy comeback. He stacked hard in space with victory, jango and thrawn. He was also running the back door so he could move guys up and down from the site (he also ran it cuz he played lord vader). At the same time he stacked the back door hard too. All of a sudden I was losing a bunch of cards and really had no way to do anything about it. I decided the drain of 2 at endor was what I had to take out so I dropped luke + ship and drew two 6’s to kill off thrawn and jango. He drew high also and luke + ship died. The next turn he moved some people up but also played black leader + galen and moved to dagobah to stop me attempting test 5. This was probably a mistake I think, cuz if he just sits at endor with all of them I don’t really know what I can do to win the game. I have hcf + lando in ship at endor and am able to kill a lot of his stuff in space, the problem is it’s all vaders and emperors he keeps putting up there for forfeit fodder. Eventually he moves galen, black leader back over and I am able to attempt test 5. We fight in space again and I lose some stuff (I think lando and ship) and he looses a lot of his remaining stuff. I am able to strikeforce a ship and in the last battle we have everything pretty much dies but a lone victory. I redeploy hcf and fight and because of test 2 he’s know out of space completely. I had a qui gon at the battle plains this whole time, sometimes forgetting to drain. But at this point I have pretty good control. He still has about 15-20 cards left and I have 8 but he has no more guys to fight with. He came down late with a galen but test three made his not effective against qui gonn and he offers the handshake with 15 cards still in his deck… all red cards. FW.

6. DS vs. Matt Harrison Tranor

Matt was playing wys v and I figured walkers would be a somewhat 50/50 matchup. However, once again I underestimated how good wys v really is. I blew relatively quickly and also killed one of his guys he put out early, but it just didn’t matter. He stacked two sites pretty hard, had the reduction -2 going and BDs +2 or 3 going and was able to draw a 5 or 6 for most of his destinies. My walkers died to luke and yoda atks, and rather than me challenge him at the correlia system, he challenged me at the hoth system backed by dash+wedge. He played super tight the whole match, I was pretty impressed by his play. Nothing all that interesting happened this game, it seemed he had a gameplan and executed it well while I was somewhat unsure of what to do to actually get damage in while at the same time not leaving myself open to atk. He won pretty substantially. FL.

7. LS vs Matt Harrison Tranor

This was a blood bath. He was playing walkers and while down on the cape we realized that if hoth knows what they are doing they will beat mwyhl even if mwyhl completes test 5 because they will stack one site so hard, stack the system and just do three damage a turn which mwyhl can’t handle. Matt did this while at the same time I didn’t flip quick and didn’t really do anything to be honest. I went for an early mech failure beatdown and he had yet to play the 6th marker so I put mech failure on the generators and atked him with luke sitf. Unfortunalty I drew a 0 and either a 2 or 4 where he drew a 4 and subsequently blew up the generators (and mech failure!). If I am able to draw well there and he draws <4 maybe I have a chance, but that did not happen and I got crushed. If we were still using diff it would have been high 20s. Full loss.

8. DS vs Nick Tobin

Tobin was playing rebel senate. I was able to get out a pretty solid start on the ground and played around a potential jedi presense beatdown. I was also lucky to find decree v as early he had luke at the coruscant 2-2 and a landing claw’d ship at my system with mas ammeada. I mentally checked to see if he announced landing claw each turn. I had a really solid setup on the ground with the ping ao and walkers at different sites. It was pretty close but I was slightly ahead when he dropped lando + wedge + corran in front of my walker, that turn I noticed he did not announce his landing claw, anyway we fought and I lost a walker and a guy but took not damage and he didn't lose anyone. Anyway on my turn I was able to get nice damage in with multiple pings and drains. During my control phase he again didn't announce claw. He only had one card in hand and i figured it was time to make a move so I dropped vader + dr e to the coruscant site and atked. I hit and operated on luke. At this point the game was pretty much over as his major source of damage was gone and replaced with a drain of two for me that he probably couldn't contend with (he had 1 card in hand and maybe 12-15 cards left in deck where I had 4-5 cards in hand and about 20 left in deck). I declared an attack in space and there was a discrepancy on if he announced claw or not. They ultimately had to flip a coin which I won and beat him down in space expediting my win. Tobin was pretty upset but after the game we had a nice talk about the game, and how well he played in his first worlds and just the importance of understanding situations like that. He is a really cool guy and I am happy that we had that talk and he didn't leave the game feeling like he got screwed.

So I was in, my SOS was absurdly high. Steve and Jonny both finished 6-2 as well. Chu lost to MHT with ties vs wys v and told me the matchup didn't feel good. That didn't make me feel super excited for the next day given Shannon and MHT were both in and I figured they would both play WYS v (I figured wrong). They announced the top 8 and MHT went 8-0 and got the top seed which is pretty impressive. The rest of the breakdown of the top 8 was:

1. MHT

2. Vikram

3. Emil

4. Me

5. Shannon

6. Chu

7. Reid

8. Steve

Steve, Jonny and I discussed our pairing and talked about how all three of our opponents were really strong, but if we all won our round one matches we would have a really good shot of taking the whole thing down. We talked about MHT's 8-0 performance and how he seemed invincible on day 2, but we talked about the "big lights of day 3" and hoped he would get a little nervous. Having to play Shannon round one didn't give me all that much confidence, the guy just has my number plain and simple. I figured he would play wys v and some type of ds mains deck, MHT had told me his gameplan for hoth on how to beat wys v and it seemed really solid, and given jonny telling me how bad the ties wys v matchup felt, I decided to play hoth again with a few changes. I was pretty sad not to play the ties deck a deck I had worked on pretty hard and really liked, but oh well. For ls I decided to pick a deck in the morning. It was already close to 11pm and it made sense just to get one deck done, and save the other for the am. Steve decided to play the two decks that he has beaten MHT with in the past. We liked that steve was matched up vs him since me and Jonny lost to him four times in the past two days and Steve seems to have his number. Jonny decided to play the baragwins communing, it was awesome since he played communing the day before, so it would appear to be the same deck then just not be. He had pretty sweet tech for Emil's entanglements including two (!!) copies of endor celebration! Jonny decided to keep his dark the same and ran ties again.

When I went to bed I had pretty much zero confidence for the next day. No light deck made, playing a guy who I've literally never beat, bunch of players in the top 8 who just seemed more on top of their game than I, fell asleep not so much excited for the next day as dejected.

I woke up around 6, built a communing deck and just hated the way it looked. After about an hour I threw out the communing idea and just decided to make a sonn deck with a bunch of grabbers in it. Jonny and Steve were a little surprised/wary of me literally building a deck from scratch at 8 am but they were supportive and helped me build it. I decided to start Shimi's hut and not play 3po and shimi. The idea behind that is if shannon was playing the emperor start interrupt he would not start it since he would just think I was a communing deck. I didn't really have room for 3po shimi anyway, and didn't want to play shimi in a deck with only 1 houjix. I built the deck and after looking at it, I really liked it. Here it is:


Shimi's hutt

SOnn (v)

battle plan/dtf

wise advice/do or do not

quick draw (v)

afa (v)


jcc (v)

Home one war room

yavin war room (v)

boss nass chambers

naboo battle plains


Mace windu (v) 2x

new mace

Master qui 2x

luke sitf, 2x

jedi luke 2x

leia rp

corran horn

new lando

admiral ackbar v


home one

artoo in red 5 2x

hcf v

lady luck


imperial attrocity (v) 2x

sai torr (v)

seeking an audience (v)

what are you strying to push on us

strike force (v)

mech failure


weesa 3x

rebel leadership (v) 3x

speak 2x

weapon lev

blaster deflection



wookiee win 3x

jedi levitation

ajr 2x

escape pod (v) 2x



jedi saber (v)

qui's saber 5

luke's saber

I was pretty happy with the list. (going forward if anyone copies this, cut the 3 destiny grabber for a hear me baby hold together, and find room for a 2nd hcf--other than that it's pretty solid). The hoth I changed marginally, adding in a 2nd victory and cutting the profit hate.

Anyway we get to the site and chit-chat a bit with people. Emil and Par continue to be awesome and me and Cole share a few laughs which happened frequently throughout the weekend. A bunch of stuff I can't remember happens and then they tell us to start so we do.

Quarterfinals vs Kevin Shannon.

I choose to play ds first. I reveal my stuff and he reveals communing speeders. Not exactly what I want to see, I do my early setup and he does his twix pulls and pulls threepio. He gunrunners and puts power harpon on it and at this point my stomach starts to sink. I ask a few questions about the crashed rules and it seems that the power harpon just completely dominates walkers. I miss my one chance to blow and have to retreat to the 5th marker. He stacks the 3rd marker with zev and corran...aka +5 manuver, aka auto trip my walkers. jeeze.... I go to space and at this point I'm pretty sure he's going to win by more than 30. He keeps throwing speeders and guys to hoth, and even though this further cements my fate, I am pretty happy he is deploying so many cards. Eventually he comes and fights me in space, and nothing really special happens there. We sort of scamper over to tatooine and a few fights happen there but the whole time he's doing four damage at my three marker sites (I did have propeganda to reduce the drains at the 5th and 6th). I do next to no damage to him and eventually he just drains me out. Fl by 22...

...and he only had 7 cards in lost pile....

...which means he deployed 31 cards...

...it could be worse that's for sure.

We take a break and I am pretty dejected. The two things that keep flashing across my mind are "here we go again..." and "man, the ties would have wrecked his deck, why didn't I play them..." During the break when Kevin comes back he seems pretty jovial, I over hear him talking to Pistone about the game and the power harpoon lockout and for whatever reason that just makes me mad, maybe it's the old athlete in me that needs bulletin board material but for whatever reason at that moment I said to myself: "lock it in".

We reveal our starting stuff and he is sycfa, I'd imagine that most people think that's as good a matchup as you can get against sonn mains, especially when you need to lose by less than 22, but I knew my space was good, and I knew that I could out activate him by a large margin. I get a good opening hand with multiple twixs and all my twixes out by turn 2. He does his move to alderan stuff and plays a few systems. At some point he gets an early 4 lom. I drop mace to the 1-1 site to lock out sidious and try to put some damage out. I put ackbar to the home one war room and he barriers so I don't pull the ship. I know it's in my reserve deck so my next turn I know I have to spend a lot of force so the turn after that I can pull it. He still hasn't deployed a ship yet so I drop luke + artoo in red 5 and lando + ship to two different systems. This allowed me to spend the force to get the home one from my force pile back to my reserve deck and also forces him to do something(arica was out at some point and got corran'd--not exactly sure when this happened but she blocked only one turns worth of damage). He comes down with two star destroyers on luke and lateral damages me. He attks, close calls my destiny, cancels my attrition destiny and looses no ships while I houjix the battle. This is where I realize that his economy is actually pretty bad. He doesn't get the -2 anywhere but the deathstar, I have him locked out of two battle grounds, and dtf makes all his interupts cost more during my turn. He's activating 12ish each turn but that doesn't allow him to do all that much, I can also see in his demeanor that he is not super happy about how the game is going...he decisions are not very decisive and I feel like I almost have a tell on him ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1vlHXzF9ZM ) My next turn I deploy the home one and realize that I can fight the two sds just to kill one, I deploy hcf too and we fight... he doesn't draw a 5 so hcf lives and one of his ships dies. I move away and he gravity shadows...so instead I move lando over. He drops ships to my system and shoots my home one down. I am able to leadership to add a destiny though and kill two of his three star destroyers. My next turn I drain for 2 and two and drop jedi luke and artoo in front of his star destroyer that moved away. I fight it and he plays the dark power pivot to make me lose the ship but the important part is he looses his ship (this might have been two turns btw...unsure). Each of the battles in space I draw the same wookiee win that I drew in the fight with mara... I told myself I was going to lock in and I knew I needed to draw high each battle to kill a star destroyer each time. I have exactly 22 cards in life force, but I have a weesa in hand. He is doing no damage at all and I have ground and space. We have a few more fights in space but each time he plays the interrupts to add 4 to a weapon he still fails. He kills my lando but hcf stays...and again, the biggest thing is each time we fight he looses a ship. I got super late qui + battle plains to speed up his clock. He has ten cards left and deploys two star destroyers to the death star for -2 and moves them over for free but I inform him that the victory he deployed for four costs five because victory class are only -1. We have one more fight and he power pivots my falcon but draws low enough that I can just lose the falcon, and you guess'd it, I draw high so he looses his ship. I drain him for 2 and 2 paying this time. He spends his last five force to deploy the victory. I drain him for 2 and 2 again. he pings me for 1, I lose a card from hand and weesa to look for something that's not there. I have 23 cards to his 22. I get up from the table, not even picking up my cards, and just keep saying "holy f***, holy f***, holy f***..." over and over. That game was incredibly intense. As I'm walking around I hear a few people say, "you won?" with disbelief on their faces. Tom Hollingworth is like, "how on earth did you win that?" Andy Klema is fist pumping like he is on Jersey Shore and Angelo and Par congratulate me on a "masterfully played game"

Steve beat MHT, and Chu beat Emil, while everyone else in the room seemed to understand how intense my final game with shannon was, they don't because they were involved in their own tense situations, we sort of stare at each other and realize that all three of us are in the top four.... another KToD domination at worlds. I have to play steve next and Chu has to play Reid. Both me and Steve think it's impossible for Chu to lose to Reid given the matchups. I sit down to play my game with Steve he shakes my hand says "good game--let's get a beer" I say "what...?" He says, "I always said I would, I want you to win more than me anyway, you win". Wow... I am pretty speechless. But thankful none the less. It's pretty nice to have a few hours off before playing the finals, like I said, I assumed Chu would win, I started thinking about the matchups and realized I had like a .2% chance to beat him. My mains would do no damage to his ties, and my hoth might be able to beat the communing but not by enough to offset the 20+ loss to the ties. I hear that Chu made a major mistake in game 1 vs reid though, and you'd think I would be happy, this is my chance, but I wasn't. I walk over to Chu's game and am rooting for him, the last game is super intence and when it looks like he's going to pull it off I say to a few people "chu is so f***** good with a smile on my face" Ultimately he couldn't pull it out, he had some bad breaks and couldn't offset his big mistake in game 1 and Reid advances.

So here it is, the matchup the fanboys want. It was pretty cool, Reid and I sat down at the final table before anyone else came over and we talked a bit. I mentioned the matchup and how Agnos was probably losing his mind back home to which Reid laughed. We talked about our past worlds finals and the MPC that had the same top four as this worlds.

Finals. Game 1. My Sonn mains vs Reid Smith's Slavers

I chose to play light first because I had two different gameplans for the next game (hoth vs tigh). If I won this game I could play the walkers conservatively and just grind out damage, if I lost big I could try to cut off his activation and stack the 1-1 endor site and hopefully draw a vader. Anyway my opening was really good in this game. I had a turn 1 twix and when I checked my reserve deck I saw that speak, wookiee win, weesa were all in my force pile. I drew for them and wookiee win'd into a leadership which also revealed the boss nass chambers, that was perfect cuz I weesa'd in my next deploy phase and was able to see if the jcc and home one war room were there, they both were and all of a sudden I had all of my sites out on turn 2. He was slow, and he had no nal hutta in his deck. He activated 7 a turn for the first several turns and missed his passenger deck pull. On my turn three I wednt mace to the ground and hcf v to space. From testing I knew this was the best way to beat slavers, if you just stacked a site eventually they would flip and you'd be toast, if you just stacked the system, eventuality they'd flip and knock you outta space, but if you went to space AND ground they'd have a hard time flipping. He used fanfare to pull protocol failure which was a huge mistake as he activated the passenger deck again. I had a big hand and he lost monnok'd getting nothing... but more importantly, he used four force, he used his last three on the sail barge and passed. My turn I drained for two and three (he lost two, the coverage just missed it). I then reinforced with home one + corran to space and leia rp to the ground. He now had to find a droid too...making it even harder on him. His next turn he finally got out some sites and deployed a bunch of aliens in front of leia and mace, leia sort of game him a staging area for his guys which I didn't take into account. I think I made a mistake this turn and deployed qui + luke to the other site and left mace + leia in front of his guys (had a houjix). I think I should have stacked the one site. Anyway he dropped his guys and killed mace and leia. I killed a few of his guys (including his droid) and next turn I seeking'd leia and played a 2nd mace to the other site. He eventually went to space and we had more fights but what it really came down to is I had cards like mace Windu and Jedi Luke and pilots like admiral ackbar and he had cards like Gardula the Hutt and pilots like outer rim scouts. After I had the site stacked we had another big fight on the ground, He killed leia and luke but I was able to get jabba off the table as well as his merc pilot and a few other guys. So his ground was decimated. That same turn I fought in space and killed all his pilots....Reid chose to lose 6 force rather than forfeit the space crusier, not totally sure why he did this(I out-powered him quite substantially). The last turn he played a few more guys but they really weren't doing anything and he told me he was going to draw up, I strike forced before he could and ended with a FW by 29.

As soon as the game was over Jonny said to me, "that's why you're in the Hall of fame"

29 is a big number.... but when you've lost two worlds finals before you don't take anything for granted. I wasn't going to fall into the Brian Hunter trap of 2008 when he said to mike, "i'd be really disapointed if I didn't advance after I just won by 36 in game 1" an hour later he lost game two by 37. I got up, talked to a few people and told them not congratulate me.

Reid and I didn't take much of a break, he said something that amounted to lets get this over with.

Finals. Game 2. My Hoth objective Walkers Vs Reid Smith's 12 card tigh.

My opening hand was awesome. Guys and ships. I did my usual start and on his turn 1 he nabrun'd luke over to veers for capture. I had no blizzard 4 or access to vader so that was a little worrisome, but at the same time, I had a decent number of cards I could lose from hand. I did a really good job of not top decking because I knew top decking my epic event was a way to lose. I missed the blow(missed it every single game on my first try all weekend) and deployed thrawn to the vehicle. I had alert + ship but wanted to draw some cards first before I dropped the ship. He drew a bunch of cards, he whiffed on any twixes early so I bet he drew for them. I finally blew and shuttled thrawn up with a freshly played conquest. I was still losing two a turn though. I drew up my force pile and found one of my two force push's (thanks mht!). His turn he deployed leia rp and moved away to cancel my drains. I pinged him and drained for 1 in space and then force pushed for blizzard 4 which found vader. He nabrun'd away but I was able to move over vader and stop the bleeding. On his next turn he deployed home one, ackbar, and shuttled leia up. I took my turn, did some damage including playing the after her shield to prevent the cancel on the 3rd marker, and dropped tarkin (barriered) and jango fett to space and battled. I played command to add a destiny and drew a 6, a 5, a 6 and 4. The poeple watching gasped,at that moment something really strange happened...all my memories of star wars ccg sort of collided in my head. I had an incredibly vivid memory of building fire extiguisher combat in a convention stairwell with mike the night before he won origins in 2002( http://www.decktech.net/starwarsccg/tre ... 838&view=2 ,http://www.decktech.net/starwarsccg/tre ... 839&view=2) I had memories of Andy Klema and our trip to Montreal to play in the dpc( http://www.decktech.net/starwarsccg/tre ... 885&view=2), of a late night at Hayes Hunters house with Mike and Bastien where mike was "in the zone" (http://www.decktech.net/starwarsccg/tre ... 461&view=2), more than anything I had memories of incredible friends I have made playing this game. As soon as the battle ended Reid extended his hand and said congratulations. I shook his hand and them covered my face with my hands. I sat there for 30 seconds as people cheered, surprised how much this meant to me. I was finally a World Champion.

After the initial emotional reaction the jubilation set in. Another KToD Crown. High fives and hugs with Steve and Jonny, congratulations from past rivals, from friends, from Reid minions, from Kim, from people I didn't know, it was awesome. We stayed probably ten more minutes then went our separate ways. It had been a long weekend, so people were anxious to go. Now that I think about it, I bet a lot of people stayed just to congratulate me in person and for that I want to say thank you.

Now for my favorite part of any TR: Props and slops!

Supremest, Bestest, Greatest props:

To Mike Gemme and Steve Baroni: We have this awesome friendship where we are each each others best friend. Going on 14 years of awesome memories. There might be more successful teams than us (haha...just kidding, there aren't), but I don't think there is a team in the world that is closer friendship wise. Great intro by steve for my HOF, mike my one regret for this weekend is you weren't there to see me win it. And to that I say, WE won it. #KToD.

Jonny Chu: No one could have guessed how successful our partnership would be way back in 2003 when Mike and I joined forces with you and clint. But three world championships, three MPCs, countless other top 8s since then... it really is quite remarkable. The even $$ split is always great, the openness, the not teching for each other, the rooting for each other. Great Teamup. Enjoyed our games this weekened too, the game in the team tournament was like the 3rd game we've ever played that was a blowout, the close game waslike our 100th close game... wouldn't have it any other way.

To the KToD: The greatest swccg team of all time. Here's an astounding stat for you: since we came back to the game in 2007, Jonny, Mike, Steve and I have played in 20 worlds day 2s, and of those, we have 17 top 8s... that is pretty impressive.


To Scott, Kim, Lee and all the other event organizers. Very well done. Rulings were great, venue was sweet. Scott great job keeping the game running. Thanks again for the HOF induction.

To the old Kashyyyk locals: Ross, Cellcuci, Steve Brentson, Tom, Michael Hawley (who came over and wished me luck right before the finals), pistone, and steve wall (who is the reason me and steve became friends--read my 2000 kashyyyk regionals tr). Great seeing you guys again.

To Andy Klema: A. We need to hang out more. No reason we don't. Both of us just need to cut the BS and decide to hang out. B. For those of you know don't know, Andy and I are the original members of the KToD. In 2002 we were at pino's pizza in Brighton and made the original KToD senate list. We wrote it on a napkin, I came in 2nd at my regionals the next day (http://www.decktech.net/starwarsccg/tre ... 627&view=2), gave it to mike that Monday expanding the KToD to three members, he came in 2nd at his regionals a few weeks later(http://www.decktech.net/starwarsccg/tre ... 697&view=2) (#jamiewhitehotelsex,##hayeshunterfudruckers) and the rest as Brian Hunter would say, is History.

To the Top8 of this event: There was a lot of hub-bub about some up and coming players before this event. Look at the fantasy worlds thread and see the # of picks some people got. But when it comes down to it the cream rises to the top. Well done, excellent top 8.

To the Euros: I knew Chris and Angelo were awesome, turns out Emil and Par are great too. Emil had some amazing quotes over the weekend. Very good player too, the euro worlds win was certainly not a fluke and you proved that by 7-1ing day 2 which is very impressive. You lost less games that I did this weekend...

To Cole and MHT: Always a pleasure. Matt, very nice job this weekend, you play super well. I was quite impressed and I think you are certainly the best new player.

To The Albany Crew: Always fun guys. Thanks for the support as I was playing my top 8.

To Socal: Good to have rivals. You guys tied it up at 2 to 2, Now it's 3 to 2.

To Reid: Good to have rivals.

To the players who are always there: Tom, Richards, Herold, Barry, Wirfs(thanks for the shields), Gogolen, random minions, Fred, everyone else I forgot. Always nice to see familiar faces.

To the people who posted stuff on facebook and were rooting me on: Kessling, Dom (got a congrats message from him!), Lush, Clint, French, Taco Bill and of course the photos from Cody.

To God: I've always given Props to God and that's not about to stop now.


Retirement. F*ck that, I have returned. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll9s7twDbbQ

KToD Out.

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by The Franchise »

well done.

i am always taken aback when i see big blowouts on day 3, i mean, it makes sense with the somewhat warped matchups and guessing for day 3, but on the other hand day 3 is always top players so you think the games would be close... though i guess in most games there are a few crucial turns or plays that determine if its a blowout or a nailbiter
V set 6 and 7 release rountable analysis with Reid, Carulli and myself:

https://forum.starwarsccg.org/viewt ... =2&t=64906

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by stephengascrub »

Awesome report!
Top Finishes:
-2018 Endor Grand Prix Team Tournament 2nd Place
-2012 SC States 2nd Place
-2011 Malastare Regionals 2nd Place
-2010 Malastare Regionals 3rd Place

Decipher ELO Ratings:
Highest: 1696
Final: 1656

OCS Records:
2020: 10-38
2019: 6-18

Scrabble: 1738 (354-207)

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by kcaton »

Good to know you're not going to pull a Dan Kim :). Congrats on the win man, it's truly deserved.

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by Rogue4 »

May the game never die...and may you always let the wookiee win.

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by Steviegets112 »

.....speechless and you all know I have a HUGE mouth

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by Hayes »

Wondrous. I've never won a big mtg tournament but I have to imagine, based on your description, winning this 60 player tournament for a game that's been out of print for more than a decade has to feel a helluva lot more rewarding. You really have worked towards this win for 15 years and should be proud as *. I am so happy for you.

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by DVD ROTS »

Don't know what else to say but congratulations, really. You deserved the win, and you played (and deckbuilt, just as importantly) really well. It was also clear after the last game that this was a pretty big deal to you - and to see that Baroni was easily the happiest-looking dude in the room as you won it. Very happy to see the Retirement - F*** that at the end.

Two Force Pushes, though? What Canadian voodoo is this...
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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by allstarz97 »

DVD ROTS wrote:Don't know what else to say but congratulations, really. You deserved the win, and you played (and deckbuilt, just as importantly) really well. It was also clear after the last game that this was a pretty big deal to you - and to see that Baroni was easily the happiest-looking dude in the room as you won it. Very happy to see the Retirement - F*** that at the end.

Two Force Pushes, though? What Canadian voodoo is this...
When we were on the cape mike played a game with the hoth, drew the 2nd force push and promptly gave me a sour quinty eyed look that only mike gemme can pull off.

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by Steviegets112 »

I dont think you can respond to your opponent trying to nar shada with sim aloo

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by allstarz97 »

Steviegets112 wrote:I dont think you can respond to your opponent trying to nar shada with sim aloo
omg I read that tonight too and I was like A. Good lord I was an awful writer (I mean I was like 19, not 7...), and B. I responded with SIm Aloo LOL

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by spideyguy0 »

5 stars, great TR and great win. Bonus points for all the links, kept me busy for an extra half hour reading all of those old DeckTech articles from when I was 12.
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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by mikefrench »

haha dom gaudreault. what a guy.

congrats, this was pretty fun to read.
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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by RexBanner7 »

I spent this entire weekend thinking "this is amazing. Why don't I do this all the time?" and that goes double for you because you're right, we have pretty much no excuse not to hang out. We should, we need to, let's do this. Thanks for the props and as always, you're the man.

Oh, I also was telling the story of how we originally put the space package into that Combat deck instead like five times this weekend, how we started off one step away from the amazingness that that deck became. Such a crazy time. Bonus points for making me read like seven old Decktech TRs too.
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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by mryellow »

Dude, awesome job and TR. Back in 2007 out of retirement and in Day 3, I don't have a light deck and you give me your LS Senate which you know beats your own dark deck, should we play in the finals.. and we do. That pretty much sums up the team. That meant a lot, teaming has meant a lot, and nobody was happier than me (except maybe Steve and Mike) to see you win it all. Now you have a title to defend. We'll brush the dust off our cards in June and do it all over again.

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by rayc »

Great report, Justin. I'm glad you won it.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by retwin316 »

You are the man, I can't really say anything else. You have always had my number, and it is always in my head when we play. Reading this just makes me want to be a better player than I have been the past years, makes me want to be the player I once was... gives me inspiration to succeed and see what I have left in me at this point. I can only imagine how amazing it felt when you won, even after you describe it in such detail... I want that feeling.

Huge props again man. Look forward to seeing you again... look forward to our next game!

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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by Jeeps »

Baroni's Top 4 "Ole!" move was actually pretty classy... when I heard about it at first, I felt bad for the other people who busted their balls for the event, but reading this report put the whole thing in a much clearer perspective (histories, friendships, yadda yadda...). Way to go and great job!
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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by TacoBill »

More than anything I've seen in the past month or so, this makes me want to play more Star Wars cards.
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Re: KToD AT worlds: 1st Place

Post by DutchVader »

Congratulations on winning Worlds!
And thanks for a great TR! Reading it was the best way to spend this morning's commute to work by train..! :-D


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