"Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Player"

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"Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Player"

Post by Hutch »

I'll make my OP a disclaimer. This is extremely long. But please, please, please, if you read nothing else, please read the first section where I give thanks to people. And if you just skim, I'm also particularly found of Day 3, Game 3 <3


3rd place 2016 Virginia States; 3rd place 2017 Virginia States; Top 8 Euro MPC 2018; 5th place 2018 German Nationals; 5th Place 2018 Kashyyyk Regionals; 3rd place 2018 Massachusetts States; 2019 Massachusetts League Champion; 3rd place 2019 Nal Hutta Regionals
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by Hutch »

Before I get into anything else from the weekend, I absolutely must give shout outs and thanks to some particular people.

-Rob was incredible from even before we got there on Thursday! He let me (a complete stranger) borrow two Emperor’s so I could play a deck I wanted to. On top of that, he gave Vince and I several of his own prize support packs, a Threepio w/ Parts Showing, and (on behalf of the Committee) a foil Qui-Gon w/ Stick to both of us! You offered if we ever need anything or if we ever make it to Texas to let you know. Rob, the same goes on this end! You’re a real class act!
-Justin Desai. I was told Saturday night that he was looking for me and at first I was trying to think of how I may have offended the two time defending champ. Sunday morning, minutes before Day 3 started, he found me to introduce himself, welcome us back to the community, and asked if there were any cards he could help us get that we needed. This made the biggest impression on me because, by all rights, he should’ve been getting in the zone and ready to repeat as champ, but instead, took the opportunity to be an ambassador for our community. He gave us 3x Obis w/ stick, 3x Vaders w/ stick, a foil DLOTS, and a Darth Maul (two of those were autographed by him and Johnny Chu!) I like having some autographed cards, but I don’t seek out just any autographs like some (to each his own, no criticism intended here), but these are going in a small binder I have with Kenny Baker’s, Clint Hayes’, and two of my best friend’s autographed cards. Justin, you made a huge impression on me and I hope we can take the opportunity to talk more and maybe play a game next time we cross paths!
-Scott, the Advocate. Scott was one of the first people I met at the event on Thursday. He was immediately welcoming and friendly. He also offered if there were cards we needed to be able to play to let him know. I’ve only known him for three days, but I can see how much he puts into this community. Thank you for all your hard work and generosity!
-Emil, another great guy. Extremely friendly and a pleasure meet. He gave Vince and I two of his foil art cards which are off the hook! You are truly a talented person, not just a card player! My goal is to make it to the European Championships in 2017, so I look forward to seeing you again.
-The Curio Flight Crew (World Champion Tom, Barry and Lenny), you guys have been awesome since I moved to the DC area and returned to the game. Everything from letting me borrow anything I’ve ever asked to borrow, giving me lots and lots of advice, and ass whippings in games! I’m glad these forums exist so we can stay in touch after my short time in DC is over.
-The community as a whole that came to World’s this weekend. I can’t even remember all the people that gave Vince and I cards and packs from their prize support. So many players were helpful with Vince (a brand new player playing at World’s) during games. You gave my son one of the best weekends ever. He thought he was in a room full of rock stars, running around getting autographs from everyone! In such a large group, I can honestly say I didn’t meet one person that came across as jerk.

Since I spent so many words on that, I’ll try to keep the rest of this brief. I’m not a top player (proud of my 55th place finish!) so people probably aren’t interested in my ‘insights’ into the meta. But perhaps it’s useful to see things from brand new eyes. So here we go…

Day 0, Thursday

We arrived in time to make the very first event, the Cube event. We had never played Cube draft before, but I had read about it and was totally stoked for it! Drafting was hella fun. However, we both went 0-4. No bye for us.

Next was the sealed deck event. Secret squirrel rules were foreign to me, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. My first game was against Chu, and I’m honored to say, I’ve been beaten by one of, if not the, G.O.A.T. Trivial note, the last major I went to was Tennessee States in 2000 and Chu was there. I’m glad we crossed paths again and look forward to it again in the future. By the end of the sealed deck, we’re both 0-4 again :/ Still no needed bye.

End of the day, I’m feeling pretty deflated after going 0-8. But if not emotionally, at least intellectually, I understand it’s going to take time to become a better player. Looking forward to the next day to build on my understanding of Cube and get a chance to play constructed decks.

Day 1, Friday

We get an early start and go up to help set up the Cube. Small crowd, 6 players, 4 need byes, 2 will get them. I’m feeling a boost of confidence at my odds! I completely screwed my draft because I didn’t pay attention. My light deck had only 6 characters! But the force was with me and somehow got three of them out within the first 5 turns or so. I actually got a win against Hayes! If we played those same decks 100 times, he would’ve won 99. But the force was with me in that game. But he got his revenge big time and crushed me with his light side. I finished 1-3, Vince 0-4. Still no byes.

The constructed event is where we finally got our byes. I played Diplo Speeders and a SYCFA I built that is kinda like Coruscant CRv on the ground with Finalyzer and Executor in the skies while I cycled Death Star gunners on Strategic reserves for damage control. Vince was 1-5 (his 1 was from a bye round) and I was 2-4 (got a bye also). We had to continue to the end of the constructed in order to get byes, so unfortunately we missed out on the team event. Chris Kelly and Rob both offered to partner with me, but the timing just didn’t work. Maybe next time.

We concluded the day with a sealed deck. We already had byes, but we came to play, dang it! I busted a Yoda and a Blizzard Walker in my R3 packed and that helped me get wins on my first games. Finished 2-2. Vince had the luck of the Irish all week starting with this event. He pulled a foil AI Master Qui-Gon, and later in the weekend pulled a regular Master QG from a Coruscant pack, a Gen Veers from a Hoth pack, a Screaming Lando, and a Threepio w/ Parts Showing. I need to take him to pick lottery numbers with me this week!

Day 2, Saturday

I still feel good about my Diplo deck, but decide to go with Iggy CCT for dark. I was struggling picking dark leading up to this. I think BFred is right about light being dominate. Here’s the 30 second version on my match ups:

Game 1, Light vs. Jake Nelson’s EOps with shooting/retrieving TIEs. I felt like I played about as well as I could have this game. The Tantive stayed alive for about half of the game, I took over ground with my speeders, eventually he shot down Home 1 with a TIE, and it just fell apart from there. Really neat deck. My favorite thing about large tournaments like these are all the new things I’ve never seen.

Game 2, Dark vs. Vince’s Profit deck. So we drove all the way to NJ to play each other in the second round. Kinda funny though. Not really fair since I knew everything in his deck and I have way more experience than him. Though he got lots of mains on the ground against me and I never got to pull from force pile with Iggy. I actually pulled 4-LOM with AMN at the beginning of the game. Sorry buddy, but this is worlds!

Game 3, Light vs Kristian Smukke’s TTO. Kristian beat me pretty easily without winning hardly any battles. I got out chessed by a much better player. I’ve played TTO before and did my best, but couldn’t keep up. I really liked his use of After Her! and Black Sun Fleet.

Game 4, Dark vs Tony Garcia’s TRM. This was Tony’s last tournament. I can really appreciate that he went out playing TRM. What a great deck to end your ‘career’ with. Turn 2 for him, he brings Tatooine Jar Jar down on Iggy with Anakin and kills him. So if you’re keeping score at home, in two games, I made exactly one force pile pull playing CCT. WTH?! It turned out to be a closer game than expected though as he had his own bad luck. With 4x LSJK’s, Threepio and Rey going, he never saw one, not even for destiny draws. We did verify after the game; they were in there. Good luck in your future with your new wife Tony!

Game 5, Light vs Barry Alperstein’s Iggy CCT. I must start this off with: Barry, I’m still sorry. I won this game, but only because I (inadvertently) cheated twice. I don’t play the Prize as one of my shields because Solo isn’t that important in my deck. He knows I got speeders so he sets up a 2 drain in the chamber with Iggy and Palpatine. Next turn, I play TK-422 practically on top of Jabba’s Prize and neither of us bat an eye. About 3-4 turns later, I bring Obi, Kanan and Leia to try to take over the chamber (cheat #2 is I didn’t pay extra for any of them for Despair). As he is forfeiting everyone from the chamber, he realizes what I’ve done. It was a swing of at least 8 force and who knows what that would have done. I offer to forfeit to him, but he says he should’ve seen it before. After the game he has me autograph Jabba’s Prize for him, lol. I apologize a hundred times, but he says we’re good. Gotta apologize again; I want to beat better players than me like Barry, but not like that.

Game 6, Dark vs. Mike Richards WYS. I can honestly say this was the best I played all weekend. I still lost, but I feel like I made very few mistakes, and was even tracking destinies (mine and his) fairly well this game. Regardless of losing, this was my favorite game of the day. It ended on time, he had 7 cards and I had 5. I think he was in position to win even without time, but a very close and well-played game by both of us!

Game 7, Light vs. Dan Tartaglione AoTBS. I took over Coruscant without a lot of difficulty, but could never hold anything on the ground. He killed Luke twice (once off the speeder because I was out of options). Before I knew, he had whittled me down to nothing. I don’t have any experience against Black Sun, so this was a good learning experience if nothing else. Thanks for the lesson Dan!

Game 8, Dark vs. Tim Culver’s HB Quads. I’ve heard a lot about this deck, but again, had no experience against it. He shot the Executor out of the sky very early. I had uncontested drains of 2 and 1 on the ground, but they didn’t cut it. The best thing I can say is I probed his HB on my first try. I made it as close as I could, but still lost. Another lesson learned.

End of day 2, I’m 2-6 and Vince is 1-7 (another bye round). Far off from my personal goal of 4-4, but there’s always next year… However, I end the day knowing Tom Haid has made the top 8 and we’re all super stoked for our friend!

Day 3, Sunday

I decide since it’s only for fun today, I’m playing two different decks for each side just to get more practice. I play LS Combat with some space and for dark I play BHBM Mains.

Game 1, Dark vs. Matt Harrison-Trainor’s Old Allies. How is this even fair?! I’m out-skilled and he has a very superior matchup against my BHBM. I did what I could, but even drawing multiple 7s with P59, never took out any speeders on Jakku. Matt was very friendly and took time to go over some game points with me afterwards.

Game 2, Light vs. Ryan Jellison’s ISB. MHT and Jellison in the first two rounds?!?!!? FML…
Ryan took me out easily. I made one huge mistake because I didn’t understand how Dodging with one character to where another of my characters would work. Didn’t matter, I wasn’t winning that anyway. Ryan, if you by chance read this, thanks for showing me your deck afterwards, I really want to try ISB out. If you can do it easily, can you send me the deck list? And for those who offered to give me lesser valued rares and C/UCs if I needed them…ISB and cards to go with it may be on my wish list! :D

Game 3, Light vs Vince’s Court Scum. This is going to be the feel good, heartwarming moment of the entire weekend. I’m 0-2. Reality has sunk in that I’m not a top tier (or even 5th tier) player. Vince hasn’t won a game all weekend. Time to change things. I never could find that dang Home One, if only there were an effect I could pull with Wokling to get it out… ;) and he took out Luke and Wedge in space with all his bounty hunter ships. Then all his characters beat down lone Obi, lone Rey, and/or lone Anakin. He beat me by 29. I’m so happy he could experience winning a game in a tournament. :epic:

Game 4, Dark vs Vince’s Profit. Because my differential is under the floor at this point, we’re matched up again. Sorry little buddy, but you’re not getting 2 on me. Hey, I can’t make it THAT obvious! I killed Han every time he was on the table and took Luke from him. I ended with a 29 win so we were even against each other on the day.

Game 5, Light vs PMJ’s Court Scum. Pat’s a very good player. I’ve played him a few times at locals and he’s always got creative spins on good decks. He won handily, but I really appreciate the deck advice he gave me afterwards.

Game 6, Dark vs Jim Li’s TRM. Jim, I know you don’t think so, but I think this was the most fun game of the weekend. There were Jedi and Dark Jedi EVERYWHERE! My dark jedi trickery prevailed over his jedi trickery (sometimes by mere luck) and after taking Luke from him and placing Mace out of play thanks to Sidious, it was too much to overcome. Jim, it was great meeting; I’m really glad that was the last game of the weekend in order to end on a fun note.

Overall, a most excellent weekend. Met so many great people. Played so many games! Learned tons and despite my W-L record, I feel I’m a better player than I was on Wednesday. Vince will remember this weekend the rest of his life and so will I.
3rd place 2016 Virginia States; 3rd place 2017 Virginia States; Top 8 Euro MPC 2018; 5th place 2018 German Nationals; 5th Place 2018 Kashyyyk Regionals; 3rd place 2018 Massachusetts States; 2019 Massachusetts League Champion; 3rd place 2019 Nal Hutta Regionals
Honorary member of Team Wales & Pretty much the best player in East Africa.
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by jimli »

dx_37 wrote: Game 6, Dark vs Jim Li’s TRM. Jim, I know you don’t think so, but I think this was the most fun game of the weekend ... Jim, it was great meeting; I’m really glad that was the last game of the weekend in order to end on a fun note.
I imagine I looked pretty downcast and frustrated by the end of the weekend. But I wanted to make sure you know that it was nothing against you. It was a pleasure to play against you and your son, and I hope to watch you guys move up the leaderboards at future tournaments.

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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by spideyguy0 »

Great TR! Was great meeting both you and Vince this weekend and I hope to see you both at many events in the future! I didn't think of it, because I didn't know what your situation was with cards, but if there are cards you guys need, feel free to drop me a line and I'll see what I can do.

Also, Tony's retiring??? What???
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by quickdraw3457 »

It was great to meet you and Vince! Keep playing, looking forward to talking with you guys about another Penguins' stanley cup in the near future :-D
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by mrfahrenheit7 »

Sounds like an awesome time! From your report, I had a very similar experience at my first major in Seattle this year. This is a great game and an even better community.

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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by gogolen »

Great report Vince, sorry to hear you are being reassigned elsewhere since we just got you back in the community.
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by kryptofis »

Great TR! See you in Europe next year!
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by rhendon »

Grady - I'm really glad you and Vince had a good time. I was hoping I'd have gotten to play some more and maybe matched up against you. Don't worry about the losses. We all lose at first. The thing to do is not get frustrated. Look at what happened, ask questions and learn. I saw little frustration from either of you, even in the conditions. I suspect you'll both be fierce competition in no time.

It really makes my day when new players show up, are welcomed and help continue to grow our community. Its really crazy to think that Vince wasn't even born when Decipher had the license. Yet, there he was playing at worlds in 2016. Its really cool.

Thank you for the kind words. I'm always happy to help awesome people.

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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by lsrubin »

Thanks for writing this up, Grady. It's been a pleasure having you and Vince as part of the Curio crew, and I hope you guys keep playing SWCCG no matter what part of the globe life sends you to.
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by marines28 »

Awesome stuff, man!

Thanks for writing!
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by gossuii »

Cool TR, thanks for writing! And see you next year at Europeans then :)
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by Cam Solusar »

These are the best TRs. :)
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by Steve Buscemi »

Excellent report! Awesome to read you are planning to visit the EC next year, you will be most welcome.

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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by mryellow »

Nice TR and good playing you in the sealed tournament Friday night. Tennessee States 2000... you have a good memory. I don't remember much from that event except Steven Turner stalled me out one game because he felt like he should have won. Good times.
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

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lsrubin wrote:Thanks for writing this up, Grady. It's been a pleasure having you and Vince as part of the Curio crew, and I hope you guys keep playing SWCCG no matter what part of the globe life sends you to.
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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by stevetotheizz0 »

I'm glad that Vince beat you. By a lot. It wasn't even close.

It was really great to meet you guys and I hope to see you at another event sometime soon. Hopefully you'll end up somewhere with another great swccg community.

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Re: "Grady The NARP's TR" or "How I became the 55th Best Pla

Post by Hutch »

Thank you so much for all the warm welcomes from everyone! It's great to be back. Also, I forgot to thank one other person. A special thanks to Chris Kelly who awarded Vince and I a set of shields on both sides. Our first tournament back Vince had no shields because we share cards (I know, mean dad...) But now we can both play with 15 GOOD shields when we play! Thanks for everything Indiana!
3rd place 2016 Virginia States; 3rd place 2017 Virginia States; Top 8 Euro MPC 2018; 5th place 2018 German Nationals; 5th Place 2018 Kashyyyk Regionals; 3rd place 2018 Massachusetts States; 2019 Massachusetts League Champion; 3rd place 2019 Nal Hutta Regionals
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