TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Philadelphia, PA
mryellow
World Champion
World Champion
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Joined: February 17th, 2005, 11:20 am

TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by mryellow »

Gotta do this now while the kids are down and before my memory fades. WARNING this thing is really long.

My kids.. my kids. Love 'em but they've definitely limited the maximum capacity my brain has for anything not immediately relevant, which unfortunately includes Star Wars. Justin joined the club relatively recently and hadn't played since winning Worlds two years ago, pre-reset. I went to the MPC to shake the rust off and catch up with the current meta. Needless to say, it felt like we were on the outside looking in, and far from tip-top shape.

However, when we both decided to go Worlds this spring, the texts started to flow after the MPC. Knowing Justin, if he was going to play he was going to go all-in. Me too - I can't half-ass walking my kid across the street. We had a lot of work to do.

We started to look at all the decks people were playing to win their various states/regionals/MPCs and try to pin down common themes. Quickly it emerged (to us) that light side is just atrocious, for lots of reasons. The Naboo CRv deck that emerged at the MPC seemed absolutely dominant, but not only that, the dark deck options that were viable stretched to the double digits while for light side the fab four seemed limited to TIGIH, Combat, WHAP and QMC. So we knew we had to beat those 4 to have a dark deck.

Justin downloaded Holotable (yay!!) and we got playtest games in for the first time since... 2003? 2007? I literally can't remember the last time we played before showing up at Worlds. For LS we settled on Throne Room as our #1 option pretty early - going first seemed like a huge advantage. The evolving Luke effect got traction and we basically found our deck early, and discarded it about two weeks ago because it couldn't beat anything. The deck had Gungans to thwart Decree, set up a tank Jedi Luke with Bionic Hands, Nar Shaddah Wind Chimes for Baragwins to retrieve sabers, bulked up at the Battle Plains... problem was, one EPP Maul would come down, hit a few guys, draw a few destinies, and then the whole deck would fold like a house of cards. Also, late game you had all these great high destiny blank cards. It felt bad.

For dark we settled pretty quickly on Naboo CRv. I was sold on the TIE package as being ridiculously dominant while Justin tinkered a lot with a Bespin CRv using the free Executor package. He played it really well but I couldn't get his deck to work for me. I messed around with Walkers and Tanks but Justin was very in favor of the Naboo mains package so we tried to import it into different platforms. We had lists for Bespin CRv, Endor Ops and Naboo but really only had time to PT the Bespin and Naboo.

In the meantime, there was real life. I spent 3 weeks in Europe working in May/June, moved out/closed on a place in St Louis, found out we're expecting our 3rd. Went to Colorado for 3 weeks for work. With the kids in tow it was hard to find time to PT but we got a lot of work done the last three weeks before Worlds. The week and a half before Worlds, my family flew from CO to Albany for work/summer and I got to playtest with Aaron Kingery for four nights where we playtested the HB Quads deck the Albany crew was really high on. We switched it from Corvettes to Medium Bulk Freighters and tweaked it a lot. He crushed the Bespin CRv deck but I was able to beat it consistently with Naboo CRv. He was also sporting a very solid EBO deck with infinite slots that seemed to beat everything I had but Naboo CRv. The KtoD TRM got smacked around. Justin reported similar results testing with Greg Shaw so we effectively abandoned the deck about a week before Worlds.

The weekend before Worlds, I had work in NYC and stayed with my good friend Matt Sokol who is now living in northern NJ. We got a few games in for about four nights. He smacked the TRM around and basically handed it to me for the first two days with Hunt Down and LS Combat but we tested a variety of stuff. The last night I converted Naboo into Endor Ops and it seemed to work pretty well - a much worse first turn but a very strong drain of 5 in space, great against decks like WHAP, Combat, auto-win vs TIGIH. The TIE package seemed to beat QMC. I liked it and settled on that deck for Day 2 of Worlds.

Justin and I had decided to forgo the team tournament months early to actually get real games in before Day 2, so we did that. We started getting games in the afternoon Friday and resurrected the TRM - we basically took out all the cards that would hit the lost pile when Luke died and put in a ton of anti-main cards (A Jedi's Concentration, Out Of Commission/Trans Term for Phantom Menace, stuff like that) in anticipation for lots of Naboo CRv which we still had trouble beating. Speaking of which, Justin stumbled upon what seemed like the answer to Naboo CRv in a test game when he didn't draw any pullers or twixes and just ended up stacking the 2/2 Naboo TP Generator with Jedi and out-generating DS who couldn't get anything extra without help from the LS player playing sites and who was unable to deploy Emperor Palpatine anywhere for his icon. We played it a few more times and it seemed full-proof. So armed with a strategy and a new faith in going first as the answer for LS's woes, plus a lack of any other viable alternative, we had our light deck. (Justin opted to play Naboo CRv for dark and Endor Ops was basically the same thing.)

That late afternoon/night, Greg Shaw, Taco Bill and Andy Klema came over to test. We got some Chinese food and watched Shaw beat everything we had with his Hunt Down. But the games got better as the night went on and we decided to stick with the TRM with some tweaks.

So, onto Day 2.



The room was full of people and the count came in at 61 - really great. Long live SW:CCG. The atmosphere was amazing. If you haven't gone to one of these events, it's totally worth the time and expense. People are friendly, there is the right amount of anticipation and excitement and nervousness in the air. It's Worlds! You can't beat it.

I made the rounds and said hi to all the people I hadn't seen either since the MPC or in two years. I met some people I had only seen on Holotable like Bryan-Irish who showed me an awesome Lone Pilot v deck years ago. Also lots of old faces. It was cool to catch up with people's lives, see how everyone was doing. I visited the Albany guys and said hi to the Twiggs and Joe Giannetti who was playing his EV-9D9 deck that I desperately didn't want to face. I was very happy to see him paired with somebody else.

The pairings were made, and before the first game Chris Menzel passed out these awesome foils the Euro folks had made up to give to everyone at the event. Definitely cool. Onto the games!


Game 1: DS vs Jeremy DiPaolo's QMC.

I remember playing Ross Littauer at the MPC, playing Baron to his Bespin without thinking before narrowly escaping Dash Rendar dropped on me with Beldon's Eye when he drew one of the two 0's in his deck for battle destiny. I was going to be more careful this time! I set up kind of slowly this time. Emperor Palpatine came down early to Bespin and a random ship to Endor. He played first turn Dash to Bespin and flipped fairly quickly. Lando/KFC went to a site but got chased away by EPP Maul. There were quite a few battles over Bespin but slowly I was able to kill his guys with multiple destinies and immunity from All Power and by the end of the game Emperor, Maul and Count Dooku were unchallenged on the ground. It felt like the sheer efficiency of the dark side characters/ships won this game.

FW +2.

Game 2: LS vs Taco Bill's Naboo CRv.

We got to play as the featured match for this game even though apparently everyone thought I was Reid since I was playing TRM? Funny. The game plan worked great this game. I loaded up on the site and denied him force via Imperial Decree v. He stacked the system, I stacked the site, I was outdraining him because of sabers and Lightsaber Proficiency even though he had Image out. The game was entirely uneventful and he scooped after about 15-20 minutes. He took a nap and I went to get dumplings across the street.

FW +2.

Game 3: LS vs Mike D'amboise's This Deal Is Getting Worse... Walkers.

Before the game they announced that Emil and Chris Menzel were inducted into the Hall of Fame, entirely worthy for both. Everyone applauded. Kudos to both of them!

D'amboise is a good friend and it was cool to see him 2-0. I played Don't Do That Again from my shields to slow him down but he Force Pushed during his turn and got out the Executor first turn regardless. There went that advantage. I went early with a Leia RP with Anakin's Saber to his CC: Downtown Plaza and she got a few drains in before getting killed. I set up another drain at the Battle Plains with some guy (Anakin?) and started setting up big Jedi on Cloud City. I was lucky to see Blizzard Scout 1 go in one of Leia's drains so my guys had some staying power. I did forget to pay +1 for Master Quigon which was a stain on the game but basically the rest of the game was trying to outlast his free drains with my big power and immunity slowly killing off his guys. I wish I had played Under Attack instead of a second site. Oh well. The drain at the Battle Plains did its job and I was really happy to see Admiral Motti instead of Admiral Chiraneau.

FW +2.

Game 4: DS vs Mark Walseth's LS Combat with Space.

It was cool to play Walseth again. The last time we had played, I think it was game 6 at Day 2 of the Worlds in Boston and we were the featured match. He was playing the deck that his protege Bryan-Irish had showed me on Holotable - Lone Pilot v start with Walkers, vs Communing. Since I was familiar with the deck I had the upper hand and I prevented him from flipping and it was kind of a disaster. This game was much different. I couldn't find Endor Shield first turn and then subsequently forgot to deploy it in my eagerness to do something else the next two turns in a row. He put Luke Skywalker v at Nar Shaddah and had a steady drain of 2 for a large part of the game while I couldn't get much going in space. Quigon came down to Naboo but I was able to win a combat and kill him (2 off the top woo) and maintain a semi-steady drain on the ground. But, he kept getting into the game and won a few combats. The game was close. One turn late-game he played HCF to Endor and I think I had a Turn It Off! Turn It Off! I moved my ship to Fondor and he didn't chase me forgetting Ominous Rumors so I had a turn with a big drain. It ended up being a win by around 10.

FW +2. Now 4-0.

Game 5: DS vs Casey Anis's WYS Raiders.

He must have gotten a putrid draw because he drew up basically his first two turns. I got a very meh draw too with few guys and ships but hit my Monnok and played it lost when he had a hand of maybe 18 cards? It was a large hand. I was expecting to get a ton of cards but it was only 2 I'll Take The Leader and 2 Patrol Crafts. Maybe I should have played it used... eh. I put some Vader/Shuttle and DS-61-2/Black 2 at Tatooine but he killed Vader off with a Captain Han in Falcon with Talon Karrde and kept recurring guys with Bacta Tank. It was super annoying all game - cheap dudes with huge forfeit. He had 3 DBs out and flipped around turn 4-5 solid so I basically couldn't do anything. Emperor Palpatine was parked at one DB with 4-Lom so that was my site, but he had a Portal for P-59 and I just wasn't doing much damage. Luke Skywalker v kept dying and returning to the Bacta Tank but at least I was able to minimize the retrieval - I also knocked Tat Cel off the first time with a Masterful Move. Still, it was a poor showing and I was able to win by killing Luke/ship/gun in space with a well-timed Maul/Infiltrator and added destinies. Dark Maneuvers were really big in this game. It was a timed win by very little, and had we played it out it would have been very close.

TW +2.

Game 6: LS vs Brian Fred's SYCFA Mains.

I had Brian Fred's number for what felt like the longest time but he knocked me out of the MPC this year winning both games and it felt like he won them handily. I beat him at Boston Worlds but only because I got lucky toward the end of the game finding my SFS Laser Cannons vs his palace raiders and also because he was nice and let me make the move I wanted to make and not the one that came out of my mouth. (Hard to explain.) Anyways, always cool to play Fred, a fellow Bills fan.

My draw is meh, no 3/0 (didn't play it all day) but I got Boss Nass' chamber and Threepio. However, I couldn't find the Battle Plains or a Wesa to save my life (the one time I did Wesa, it was one of two cards active..). Fred got out pretty quickly as the deck does, setting up a drain of 2 and 2 in space while I set up Mace with saber and proficiency at the DS: Docking Bay. He came down with Blizzard 4 and Mara, who I killed with attrition, and then Thrawn, who I killed with attrition, and then DS-61-2 with Black 2, which I killed... but who killed Mace back with a 6. So that really set me back. Meanwhile, I played my lone ship, Han Chewie Falcon to one of his systems but got promptly Turned Off. I paid to keep it alive forever but it basically did nothing as Tat Maul shut him down really well. I had set up the Battle Plains with Anakin I think but couldn't compete with Fred's drains of 2 and 2. The only thing I wish I had done differently was I Grimtaash'ed Lost after verifying about 2/3 of his deck around turn 3 and not finding any Mauls. He had a huge hand and in retrospect I wish I had played it Used. But at the MPC he played 2-3 EPP Maul so I was hoping to catch him red-handed. Instead, I don't think I got anything.

FL -2, probably around 15-16 diff.

Game 7: LS vs Matt Harrison-Trainor's Imperial Entanglements.

This game was very good and interesting. Entanglements was one of only a couple mainstream decks I hadn't tested against - the closest thing I had played one game against was Emil's Tat CRv from one of the European tournaments recently. MHT's deck ran like a well-oiled machine. He played Mos Espa, DB, Desert Heart, DB by early-mid game and I had Yoda draining steadily at the Battle Plains by I think turn 2. Luke and saber was on Tatooine for most of the game trying to keep him on the 0 side (rather successfully for the vast majority of the game) helped by Corran, followed by Mace Windu/Saber/Proficiency and later on Master Quigon. Luke was being chased around by Veers and a guy in Blizzard 1 and a host of weenie Imperials, mostly biker scouts but also Commander Desanne who was a huge pain in the neck. A pivotal moment was a battle between Mace and 4 little dudes: Barich, Irol, Dresolyn and Commander Desanne. I had a Mess combo in hand and I elected to use it on Irol to prevent him from drawing two destinies. (I think I even forgot to swing twice? Maybe.) But he drew a 6 and killed Mace and that set me back in a really big way. Even though he was on the 0 side, he had free drains of 1 and a ping of 1, and sometimes 1 1 and 2. So it was catching up. I couldn't find my 3/0 and got my non-Yoda Jedi really late so I was kind of Force choked since all my guys cost a lot and DB transit on Tatooine was costing me 2 force. Late game he did some overflow vs Yoda with Blizzard 4 and then beat down Master Quigon to seal the deal. This was a super game, felt really close and was definitely memorable.

FL -2.

So now I'm 5-2 and there felt like a whole party of 5-2s knocking the door down to get into Day 3. I had been paired down at least twice to this point so I was not confident about my SOS to say the least. The last game, I randomly got paired up against Matt Sokol who was one of only 5 6-1s to this point.

Game 8: DS vs Matt Sokol's TIGIH.

Of course I tested a ton with Matty so it was fun to play him at this point. The Endor Ops was severely advantaged in this matchup but he got started off strong. After playing Vader/Shuttle to the DB first turn, picking up Luke and subsequently flying up to Endor, he hit me with a HCF and killed Vader, stacked a card and freed Luke. Not the start I wanted. Luckily knowing he had no other space (HCF was placed out of play) I was able to drain for 3 and 2 with Ominous Rumors out with impunity. He stacked the DB and later went to the Battle Plains but by then the drains of 5 had caught up and I had enough guys to hold onto the ground for the end.

FW +2.

After a lot of drama and people nervously rooting for their former opponents to win their remaining game, the SOS's were added up and three 6-2s didn't make it in: Greg Shaw (who had tied Matt for the 8th spot in SOS and lost out on the first tiebreaker), Tom Haid and Angelo Consoli. I got 5th, Justin got 3rd and Matt got 8th. A good showing from my playtesting buddies! The top 8 was pretty insane.

Justin and I went to the dumpling place to talk about decks for Day 3. I was high on the TRM because the two losses weren't blowouts. He was feeling the opposite but we lacked any real alternative. We were struck by how few dark mains we faced that day. Lots of TTO, finesse decks like Entanglements or Walkers of some kind. So we switched about 15-18 cards, decided to make it more balanced (put in ships with Squadron Assignments), and an extra site and system (he choose Nar Shaddah, I chose Kiffex to get away from Bespin or Tatooine). We took out any ground tricks. I played the Gungans for Decree v and he stuck with the 3/0 with pullers. We built it to be better against TTO which we had very little experience against.

For dark, we both went with Naboo CRv because it just seemed so dominant. I put in a Presence of the Force and switched out Mara EPP for Arica, both for QMC so I could beat down at the 1/0 site. Otherwise, it seemed like standard Naboo CRv. We were both super pumped about 2x 4-Lom and a Trooper Sabacc until Justin read the card an hour before the tourney started and realized it only targets Gamblers and troopers, not thieves. So Janus went in for one 4-lom.

We got some sleep and did our decklists. I was playing Jan Westergard, while Justin faced Walseth. Onto the games.


Day 3! Jan chose LS first.

Match 1
Game 1: DS vs Jan Westergard's WYS with Luke effect.

My opening hand was complete *! 7 red and a green. One of the red was Short Range Fighters so I grabbed Black 2 to at least deny him All Wings, but my deck laughed at me and had DS-61-2 in Force pile. So Jan took a nice long look at my deck to boot. I drew for guys and found none.

Meanwhile, he opening-handed Mos Eisley and also fairly quickly got out Boss Nass Chambers. So he was out activating me by about a billion. My turn, I drew some more and found an Emperor. Yay. He put Luke with saber down to the Cantina and I put Emperor at Mos Eisley with I Have You Now in hand (and a Ghhhk for good measure). He drained, shuffled over, added Obiwan and fought. He hit, I had the IHYN but drew 6 1 1 so only Obi died. Doh. Not a great start. I had to burn my Ghhhk too.

The only other guy I had in hand at this point to fight with was EPP Maul but I was not about to throw down with Luke with a ton of 1s in my deck (my hand had amazing destiny!). I set up Maul at the 2/2 Naboo site. He put out Pulsar/Wedge v/someone to Naboo and played It's a Hit on my drain. I had Baron/Saber 1/gun at Tatooine at this point so I moved over to Naboo with Saber 4/Tarkin in hand in case he fought. I had also put down Presence on his Boss Nass Chambers with Dr E combo there so I was at least threatening a decent ground drain at this point, although I felt far behind. He was shuffling with Melas/Jedi Luke draining for 2 and 2 on the ground with basically full space control and he also had complete control of the tempo of the game.

The next turn was pivotal. He played Obiwan v in front of Dr E combo and Captain Han to Naboo in space. I had 1 saved. He fought in space first and I reacted with Saber 4 and Grand Moff Tarkin (no response) and All Power To Weapons. I targeted Pulsar with Baron and.. drew a blind 7. Luck. So it was shot even if A Few Maneuvers was in hand and the battle went from 3 destinies vs Saber 1 to 3 destinies vs a lone Captain Han. After the game, he realized he could have redrawn the destiny with Captain Han but he also had a Rebel Barrier in hand for Moff which would've changed the complexion of the fight too. Anyways, he didn't have to take any overflow after A Few Maneuvers/All Wings Report In but he did lose Han and the tempo of the game.

The remainder of the game, I played Dooku/Saber in front of Obi and chased him around with First Strike/Firepower doing damage while draining in space. He had to pay for a drain or two before re-establishing with Outrider at Tatooine but I had a Masterful for his Tat Cel and my free drains were bleeding him. Eventually Obi died and I won a game I had no business being in.

FW +14

Game 2: LS vs Jan's TTO

I got the Coruscant Night Club in opening hand along with 2x Wesa so my game plan was to establish hard and fast on the ground, Luke/saber at Endor (he deploys -3 there) and whoever else with saber everywhere else and just make him pay to peel cards and hopefully have him miss a pull by having him activate a decent amount of force. It didn't work. He set up TTO on turn 2 and came down and actually held sites for a large part of the game. I couldn't satisfy Honor and was taking a ton of damage. I got kind of lucky early because I had Boss Nass in chambers and Rep Been at the Battle Plains (I couldn't find my Jedi and pair them up with their sabers besides Luke almost all game) and he came down with Space Vader but Rep Been drew destiny because of Boss Nass and I blind drew a 5. Epic. I reinforced the BP with Jar Jar but then Tat Maul came down and he got a full turn of free drains (8 damage) before I could find Quigon and Saber to clear Maul. In the meantime he spread with a bunch of small dudes to the Night Club and it was all I could do to kill them and keep paying for drains. Luckily he deployed a lot and I managed to squeak out a loss by less than 14, probably around 8 or 9 to advance.

I hadn't played Jan in at least 5 years and probably more like 12. The games were intense and also chill in the best way possible. What a crazy way to start the day.

I found out Matt Sokol had beaten Emil by the time my first game with Jan was finished so I got to hear the gory details (there weren't many) in between games with Jan and got to savor the moment with him a bit. Joe Olson also beat MHT. Justin and I talked a bit before the next round and we were both relieved the two best players currently (in my opinion, maybe his too) had been eliminated.

On to the next games, with Matt. I didn't want to choose the side so we flipped a coin and I got DS.

Match 2
Game 1: DS vs Matt Sokol's LS Combat.

We had played this matchup a few times at his place and Combat always seemed to win so he chose the right deck for the meta given that 3 out of the final four dark decks were Naboo CRv (and his own was just a variant). He got out to a very fast start piling up Qui-gon, Luke, Yoda, Obi and Lando by turn 4 at the 3/2. I had two random ships in space to at least do some damage but I couldn't find EPP Maul or Count Dooku. I did, however, have a Force Push so I activated and paid to drain for a few turns while building up a massive Force pile. By this point he had Boss Nass' Chambers out with Threepio there. My plan was to Force Push for my Presence, set up shop there with Emperor and Janus (both in hand), fry Threepio, and watch him make the long walk over while I was flipped and setting up Maul and eventually Dooku to beat him down whenever he got there. I Force Pushed when I had about 70% of my deck active but unfortunately the Presence was still in Reserve. I was running out of time so I played Emperor and Janus to the 2/2 and moved over to Boss Nass' Chambers to fry 3p0 and at least do something. I tracked the cards I knew were not Presence and eventually Janus'ed/drew into Presence. By now he had spread to two sites and was draining for 4 so I really had no time to do that plan anymore. Down came Maul who stayed alive long enough for me to catch up in drains. Janus was helping the cause mightily because I could activate to the bottom and ensure that I drew high enough to keep Maul alive, him flipped and me having enough battlegrounds to satisfy Simple Tricks and drain at Boss Nass chambers. I played Presence on the system and increased the drain there, too.

The game went from a sure win for him by about 20 to what felt like a sure win for me by the low teens. It was intense! I won a few combats tracking a 7 and 6 and was able to fortify Maul with Dooku and Saber. I used Maul Strikes to kill Quigon with saber but screwed up trying to Force Lightning Luke because I forgot about Yoda's anti-FL text. Really stupid - that cost me the game. I also had a second Maul Strikes but we drew equal so that went nowhere. He found Quigon again and won a combat or two (one of them was smart, he was tracking my 7 and got to use a combat card for a combat because I couldn't afford to topdeck to kill it with Ability^3v) but I was able to kill him with Dr E and a hit.

It was really getting down to the wire now. He cleared space with a very well-timed Han Chewie Falcon and we were both looking around 6 cards in active life force, 1-2 cards in hand. He was flipped, with a Baragwin, Threepio, Obi EPP and Luke with saber and journal. I had Janus and Maul at the battlegrounds and Emperor at Boss Nass chambers. First Strike was out which was interesting but I didn't have force to retrieve with it and didn't have enough force to fight and draw weapon destinies and a battle destiny and also move the Emperor so he wasn't stranded at a non-battleground. He started to use the Baragwin text to exchange for Luke's Bionic Hand and between that and Threepio/Luke effect put-back text, it was just a matter of time. There was one last combat where he drew a 6 and 3 and I drew a 5 and 3 (my other remaining destinies were 7 6 6) and that cost me the game. I drew up before he could get any more force back from flipping/good use of Threepio. An epic game.

FL -3.

Game 2: LS vs Matt's Endor Ops mains.

I built this deck at Matt's so I figured at least 95% of the cards were the same. My game plan was the same as vs Naboo CRv - don't deploy my sites, starve him of force and stack his docking bay. I started SquadAss over Luke effect and deployed a couple of Jedi early to the ground to drain for 3. He set up with Vader/Shuttle and DS-61-2/Black 2 at Endor but I was clearly winning the activation/damage race. Emperor came down to the Bunker to increase his space drain at Fondor because of Ominous Rumors but I had Jar Jar and Corran both in hand so he fried Jar Jar but lost Emperor to Lando/Corran in the Bunker (and I was able to suspend Endor Shield for a large part of the game). Maul came down vs the Jedi and eventually cleared them off, but by then I had Wedge/ship to Fondor and later Qui-gon with saber to the Battle Plains. Wedge brought out Baron/ship to Fondor but I had the barrier and once Baron hit the table, I felt pretty safe so I played Kiffex from hand (too far for his guys to fly to) and set up shop there with Farmboy Luke and Wedge. I was also able to set up on the ground without fear because a couple times he searched and all his remaining Dookus and at least one Maul were still in his last 9 cards. That retrieval/steady drain was too much in the long run and all my tricks were clicking in this game.

FW +teens.

I was incredibly happy to have played my good friend in the semis but sad to knock him out of the tournament. Sokol is one of the best players I have played over the years consistently, and equally consistently doesn't get the recognition for being a top player. I can count on two hands the number of people I know if I face won't make more mistakes than me and he is firmly one of them. The first game we played gave me a splitting headache so props to you Matty for that.

Justin and I went to regroup before playing the finals. I can safely say neither of us thought we would be playing in the finals this year, nor did we give any thought to playing each other in the finals. Not even the night before, building decks. Still, here we were, a rematch of the 2007 Worlds finals and 2008 MPC finals. I think my record lifetime against Justin is like 8-7 or 7-8 but definitely since he emerged from the 90s, we have had some epic games, he has been beating me more than I've been beating him and we seem to play each other every Worlds. In Boston, we played on Day 2 and actually tied but he won on Lost Piles. We could have played in the finals had I not scrubbed out against Reid in the semis. Back in the early-mid 2000s, before families and kids we were really on top of our games. At least to me, playing him now in the finals seemed out of place - was I, like Chris Christie, washed up? - and kind of surreal but anyways here we were.

He was higher-seeded so he chose Dark Side first.


Match 3, Finals
Game 1: LS vs Justin Desai Naboo CRv.

I think we both thought LS was advantaged in this matchup. He knew the gameplan, I knew the gameplan, we both knew each other knew the other person's gameplan. Even better, the next game was going to be the mirror match. What he didn't know, though, is that I had a Barrier in my hand AND the counter beats. So I baited him first turn with Yoda instead of Quigon and saber to the 2/2 hoping he had something to bite with and that he would. He thought momentarily, muttered to himself whether I had it or not and proceeded to play Mara with Saber. I barriered. He didn't really miss a beat but he was also obviously nervous. I came down turn 2 with Jedi Luke and saber, initiated battle, swung at Mara and drew a 4... and a 0. Whiff. he drew a 5 7, hit Luke, and drew a 3 for destiny (I drew a 2). So what went from a possible 8+ card overflow turned to losing Luke, and more importantly, his saber, and 0 cards. Awful way to start a game.

The next like 7 turns, he set up two ships in space, I played Quigon and Mace with sabers at the 2/2, he paid to drain for 2, I paid to drain for 3. Fast forward to the next event.

Justin played EPP Maul to fight Yoda, Quigon with saber and Mace with saber. He hit Quigon. I miss. He hit Mace. I miss. He played Maul Strikes. I miss. I had a SATM combo in hand so if I had hit with the first, I would have played it lost to preserve my remaining saber. But it was not meant to be. So instead he kills my sabers and guys and my drain is reduced to a pitiful 1.

Now his drains are starting to bite and I am feeling a little bit desperate. I play Kiffex and establish a minimal space presence there, I think Farmboy in Wedge's ship and Anakin in his but I don't really remember. He plays Dooku and finishes off Yoda to clear the 2/2 site. I play the Nightclub and get Mace with saber there (I had retrieved the saber with Wokling). Justin searched with Combat Response to look at destinies, saw mostly 5s 6s and a 7. He fought, missed the shot, I killed Dr E with the mess combo but then he drew a 6 to kill Mace. So I had really nothing left and rather than try to re-establish on the ground and have him retrieve with Firepower, I just drew up and took the loss by 21.

FL -21

Game 2: DS vs Justin Desai's TRM.

At this point I was really hoping to just re-establish a sense of pride. The matchup was not in my favor and I figured I would be scooping within 15 minutes.

However, by turn 3 I was piecing together a strategy, a longshot, but something resembling an actual strategy that might yield a win. I had Emperor and Janus in my hand. That morning I had put in Presence of the Force which Justin knew about but probably forgot - it was one of two or three different cards between our decks. My hope was to get Arica to block the 2/2 drain and then Presence his Throne Room and drain out for 6. The trick was to do it while leaving 22 cards in my life force.

He got Yoda and Jedi Luke with saber to the 2/2 pretty quickly. I put Baron down in space, not feeling terribly good about it but not having the luxury to fortify. We traded drains a few turns but one turn I noticed I had activated Presence so I dug for it and got it. The next 4-5 turns, I tried to bluff a beat squad at the 2/2. Justin knows me and I know him so I had to get him to overdeploy to the 2/2 without raising suspicions (he had stopped fortifying after Jedi Luke). So I thought a bunch, paid to drain and said go. Qui-gon came down with the destiny 5 saber (yesss). I did the same thing. (Arica was lost in a drain, along with Ghhhk, which lowered my odds of winning.) Mace came down with his saber. I would have loved to see Anakin too but didn't have time to wait so dumped Presence, Emperor, Janus and Maul EPP to the Throne Room, frying 3p0 in the process. What was a rout became a game. I had a free drain of 6, access to Firepower and, more importantly, a way to get useless cards out of my hand and back in my life force and maybe get good cards into my hand with Janus. Justin started to sweat a little bit. He came down vs Baron in space with Wedge and Anakin in their ships but I had an All Power (which he canceled) and I drew a blind 6 and he drew badly. Baron lived, Anakin died. My turn, I cleared Wedge/ship with a blind 7. I could feel the tide turning a little bit, but it was also smelling of too little too late.

Justin had a small hand and maybe in the low 20s in life force now while I had around 28 cards and 4 in hand. He played Nar Shaddah and Obiwan in Radiant 7 there. I had a Force Push and got Vader's shuttle with Grand Moff Tarkin in to Nar Shaddah. Unfortunately Vader had been topdecked so Moff died. Before Obi died, he retrieved his top card - a 7- with Wokling, tracked it around, redeployed Anakin to his empty ship and cleared Baron. I killed Anakin too but at that point even though I had the game, I didn't have enough for the match clearly so it was over. I was happy to have made it interesting at the end to salvage some pride.

This is a long ass TR so here are the Props.

PROPS (in no particular order)

Justin Desai for winning his 2nd, joining a small group.
Matt Sokol for defeating one of the best players, if not the best current player, and also for playing a flawless game 1
Matt Moseley for Holotable
Rep Been for killing Darth Vader
The PC for maintaining such a great game
Kim, Scott, Chris, Greg for running things smoothly and the rules advocates for being on call
Joe Giannetti for the granola bar and taking my * all the time
Team Albany for support in every regard
Chris Wirfs for chess!
Harpster for not killing anybody
Brian Fred for beating me and not making Day 3 losing the last 2 games just sucks.
The dumpling place for like 6 meals of dumplings
Jan for not letting a random 7 get to him and playing an excellent match
Awesome wives for understanding
All the people who travel to Worlds, especially the West Coasters always coming to the East Coast and the Euro guys who make it out every year.

It was fun, as always. See you guys next year hopefully.
Last edited by mryellow on August 11th, 2015, 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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retwin316
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by retwin316 »

Your destiny after the 7 was 4-1-1 in your game with Jan :P Jan also had moving to attack position, so he could have saved han from dying there.

Was a great showing and great to play against you sir, see you at the MPC!

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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by Hayes »

Love it.

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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by spideyguy0 »

Great TR, congrats on the finish!
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by red71 »

Nice TR, thanks.
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by kryptofis »

Amazing TR! Great tournament only sealing your legendary position in this game.
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by laetfut »

Thank you so much for taking the time for posting this. Great showing. Congrats.

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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by gossuii »

With big events coming up, I'm always looking forward to the TRs and this one didn't let me down! Thanks for writing and congrats on making the finals!
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by aermet69 »

Great read Chu.
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by Xanth »

Thanks for writing this up! A very enjoyable read. Congratulations on 2nd Place Worlds 2015!
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by arebelspy »

Loved it. Well done.

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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by veez »

5 Stars

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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by mryellow »

retwin316 wrote:Your destiny after the 7 was 4-1-1 in your game with Jan :P Jan also had moving to attack position, so he could have saved han from dying there.

Was a great showing and great to play against you sir, see you at the MPC!
Whoops, you are right, I was remembering the I Have You Now draws earlier in the game vs Obi and Luke. I'll edit it for correctness
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by MrPurple »

Had a ton of fun this year, Jonny. We're going to have to test together again next year, and then meet in the top 4!

See you at SPAC this week :)
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by retwin316 »

mryellow wrote:
retwin316 wrote:Your destiny after the 7 was 4-1-1 in your game with Jan :P Jan also had moving to attack position, so he could have saved han from dying there.

Was a great showing and great to play against you sir, see you at the MPC!
Whoops, you are right, I was remembering the I Have You Now draws earlier in the game vs Obi and Luke. I'll edit it for correctness
Poor Jan...

Great TR and great showing man... it is always a pleasure to see you Mr Chu!

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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by Remaker »

10/10 would read again
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by rhendon »

Congrats on the finish. Great read. Thanks for posting.

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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by WiseMarsellus »

great report and a fantastic showing
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by gogolen »

great report sir. Glad you could make it to a couple of events this year, and hope you manage to find some time next year too
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Re: TR - Jonny Chu 2nd place

Post by Jeeps »

Excellent report. So great to see you back in action. Good luck with kiddo #3!
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