Xanth's Worlds TR

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Xanth
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Joined: June 8th, 2011, 8:36 pm

Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by Xanth »

Sorry in advance if I misremember some details. My memory can get pretty messy at times. Also, sorry if I ramble. I hope I don't digress too much, but I would like to give you as much as I can, after having read so many great TRs in the past.

Prelude

First, mad props, thanks, and hearts to my local playtest team: Lenny Rubin, Barry Alperstein, Matt Schmaltz, and sometimes Steve Skilton! These are the guys who help me bring my ideas to fruition, inspire me with their own ideas, and are smart enough to tell me when I should drop a bad idea like a hot potato (but Hunchback has one ability greater than Greedo's forfeit!).

In the months leading up to Worlds, I am thinking that I better find two decks I am certain of and playtest those again and again until they and I are truly one. I have notoriously and repeatedly made new decks right before major events because the gears just keep turning and popping out new ideas into the part of my brain that is a city of lights with a giant neon sign above it all reading "STAR WARS CCG". I know without a doubt that I am playing QMSizzle for Light Side. QMSizzle is my take on QMC with some unique inclusions, particularly the ability to pull off game-ending Nabrun beatdowns. As confident as I am at the time in knowing I'm going to play it for LS, the actual decklist for it has been a continually changing organic mess. I am often thinking about it randomly in the back of my mind, wondering how certain different cards would work in it and what neat interactions I could pull off. But I put it aside to focus on a very different problem: DARK SIDE.

Dark Side is failing me. I deckbuild and test probably over ten different weird decks, from SYCFA Bow Big Ships to SYCFA Bow Trooper Beats to SYCFA Tractor Beams to SYCFA Sienar Fleet Systems to CCT Spice Mines to Dark Deal Bow to Invasion Combat Response to a unique DS Senate to... you get the picture. On top of that I test a deck I know well has has done moderately well for me in the past: CCT (mains, tricks, free Exec, etc). I would prefer to play CCT; it suits my playstyle, which is essentially reactive and abusing Force pile pulls to set up interesting interactions, but I find that again and again, CCT just can't quite make happen what I need to happen in games. Also, unfortunately I really dislike playing Dooku. Entirely because of his card art; I'm weird like that (in hindsight I should have picked one of the sweet foil Dooku AIs from Emil... shucks). But yeah, CCT feels like it is way too vulnerable to TRM, which we all collectively think is probably going to see an up-tick in play thanks to new and sweet supporting characters available to it: Rey, Chewie with Bowcaster, maybe even some other new cards. CCT has often tested too slow and vulnerable to handle TRM for me, and unlike with what I love about QMC, I end up only really having one game plan I can explore every time in that sort of match: clear their guys.

A month goes by of testing and failing with new ideas. Lenny and I work hard on SYCFA Bow Big Ships, or as Lenny likes to call it, Bow to your Sensei. It sets up free Executor and Finalizer usually on turn 2 or 3, and it also pulls Death Star Assault Squadron; the idea is to just completely dominate space with overwhelming power. We play it in some locals, and unfortunately it doesn't do well enough for us. We find some glaring weaknesses. It has to play multiple systems and if they can manage to spread in space and run from you (and they can even go to the Death Star), they can just drain race you pretty easily. Also, QMC is a really rough matchup that races you just by playing Pucumir and spreading at their sites, even if they pay to drain all game. It's unfortunate; I find a decent counter for that match in Bright Center of the Universe but then you have to protect the Death Star and QMC's pulled space will probably be enough to contest you at the one system you're weakest at, at which point, even with Bright Center online, they're still doing about as much damage as you would be doing and they play more damage mitigation than you do; such is the nature of Light Side.

From there I enter into a sort of frenzy of deck ideas and deck testing. I talk with Brian Fred a lot about different ideas, and BFred, my man, is going to hook me up with the beautiful foil slip Captain Phasma he won from Seattle- the only one in existence, too, and I am so hoping I can make Bow to the First Order work for me so that I can play her in my deck. I ask Brian to write all over the card, and at first he checks to see if I'm joking, and I'm absolutely not, because 1. Brian Fred has quickly become one of my favorite people in my life, and 2. I want to own Phasma forever and would absolutely love to have a memory attached directly to it. Unfortunately, I just can't get Bow to work for me. I feel this strong sense of knowing there's something out there that will work for it, but it's just beyond my reach. Phasma calls to me through the Force, but alas I must be patient.

I end up finding some confidence in this weird version of Invasion I come up with about two to three weeks before Worlds. It starts Fighters Straight Ahead, Combat Response(v), and Kuat Drive Yards(v). The idea is that you pull Kashyyyk and Endor and versus LS decks that don't play much space or can only go to one system, you spread to both of those, and versus LS decks that do play a decent amount of space, you make them over commit and just stack a system their weakest at (even if it's your non-battleground Naboo) and just Tey How all their space drains. Meanwhile, it never flips, and plays some droids to the Swamp for a drain 2, and it floats a Battle Plains it can pull but only pulls it in matches where LS doesn't play much ground to give you another drain 2 site (or to get a zero out of your deck if TRM already has Battle Plains out sometimes). I love how flexible it is. It has a game plan versus decks with little space, it has a game plan versus decks with lots of space, and I get a sense that it should do well against WHAP by just electing to not put out a system until it stacks Naboo (which they can't deploy to) and then moves all its ships over to Endor or Kashyyyk in one turn, so they can only contest if they managed to draw up into all their space. I feel pretty confident in it, and test it some against WHAP. Aaaand it does not test well. It just can't do enough on ground; the droids simply aren't good enough. I think about the deck a lot more and decide to change some things around; I swap Fighters Straight Ahead for Imperial Arrest Order combo + Docking Bay activation to stop LS from Nabruning, and I play Hallway over Battle Plains, which versus WHAP will convert their Hallway and pull the Battle Droid that completely prevents them from moving from his location, and the goal is to just stack the Hallway with everything you got on ground except for one random guy at the Throne Room, eventually establishing dominance in space too. At least, that's the goal. I set it aside as a deck I know I'm going to at least consider for Worlds, and then get to finding yet another Dark Side deck, because I tell myself that I want to bring at least two decks I feel pretty good about for Dark Side so that I have a fallback option in case one of them doesn't test well enough.

It's now the week of Worlds, I think Monday or Tuesday. I'm talking to Schmaltz one evening about Court, and how Court will probably be a good meta call. Schmaltz gets me to seriously consider Combat Response in Court. I like it. Schmaltz also suggests TTO as being still a great deck, and I shoot it down, referring to the Old Allies objective AND We're Doomed combo. He makes an important counterpoint and I realize I am being obtuse and naive. I reconsider TTO, and I realize that yes, Schmaltz is dead on; it is still very much an excellent deck; Black Sun Fleet can easily allow you to stop TTO from shutting off your ping with their objective by landing a ship in your control phase (they need to control two Jakku battlegrounds), and with We're Doomed combo you can always grab/Sense it. So I get to thinking more about TTO, for which I have some SICK matching miscuts: a miscut Operational as Planned, a miscut Combat Response, and each of the DSII Sectors are miscut. You can see the name or part of the name of the card below/above from the print sheet on these cards; they're that badly miscut, and they are beautiful. But I don't want to just play regular TTO. I see some parts of it I don't like. I look at Seattle's TTO decklists; there's several and some differences in each. Chu's plays 3 Senses, and that's pretty sweet. I spend all night thinking about it, with a worry fading in and out of the back of my mind of how miserable it would be if those pesky Rebel pilots (:P) went and blew my deck up. Then inspiration hits me. Ominous Rumors. YES, it gets suspended by the third sector, BUT it gives you an option for a DIFFERENT game plan, or simply a different early game plan. My thoughts are like this: against a LS deck that gives you a system and probably won't go hard to space on turn 1, you pull Ominous Rumors turn 1, pull Ozzzel and put him at the Bunker, don't deploy the Moff yet, pay 2 for Ominous Rumors, and flash Saber 1 or Vader's Shuttle or Black 2 to their system. If they can't contest it, you have a drain FOUR coming in immediately, and ideally you can back it up; if not, you run to Endor and put down Moff and start building the Death Star II. Then you can flexibly decide whether to play the 3rd Sector or hold it in hand. It grants you the option to put on extreme pressure early and then still allows you to establish a dominating damage engine with That Thing's Operational a turn or two later than usual. I feel it's worth it, but I want find some extra gain out of playing Ominous Rumors, and in comes one of my FAVORITE Dark Side cards: EPP 4-lom(v). I love the idea of being able to upload both Ominous Rumors and Superlaser Mark II on my turn, 4lom one of them back on my turn, 4lom the other back on their turn, rinse & repeat. I like this so much that I add two 4-Loms. The deck also plays some abusable Used interrupts, so it will be nice to be able to loop those. It's starting to look really good on paper to me, so I build it, and settle on Invasion & TTO as my two options for DS for Worlds 2016.

The next few days I try to set up some playtesting with mah amigos but we're all to busy; our plan is to leave for New Jersey on Thursday morning though, so that should give me two solid days of playtesting if I need it. Meanwhile Lenny is pretty set on Court, which I feel is a pretty good call and he is pretty great with the deck, and he's definitely set on Old Allies for light, which has been testing decently for him. Barry isn't as sure for his decks; Matt isn't sure yet if he'll be able to make it- he recently opened a new game store in Maryland called The Game Haven (check it out! It's awesome and has a ton of play space, store copies of games you can open up and play (even with Matt!), and Matt is one of the coolest people on this planet that I have ever met), and he's pretty busy with that, understandably so.

It's Thursday morning and I am exciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiteeeeeeeeeeeeed! I pack almost ALL my SWCCG cards in a giant suitcase I bought specifically for this purpose the night before. I weigh it on my scale; it weighs over 115lbs. It is pretty hard to actually lift into my car, but this is what I've been going to the gym ~five days a week for the past 1.5 years for. I also pack my Rebel Flight Suit. I know it's going to be hot this weekend in New Jersey, but I'll only be wearing it indoors in a probably too-much-AC hotel ballroom so it's fine (HOW WRONG I WAS).

We arrive at the hotel and get to our room. It is apparent pretty soon that this hotel has a bit of a problem with air conditioning and air circulation. Ruh roh. I shove this concern to the back of my mind though and my thoughts are thus: FOOD and PLAYTEST. Thankfully there is literally a shopping center adjacent to us with a Whole Foods (not that I am endorsing Whole Foods, ever, for anything ever, but at least it has decent food, even though you pay like 1.5x as much for it as you would at any other grocery store), so we eat from the hot bar there and the get back to the room for some playtesting. Oh, by the way: I packed us a folding 2x4 foot table, in case we would need it in our hotel room. Really glad I did!

I test Invasion with the new changes against WHAP. And you know what? Even with all my awesome characters stacked at the Hallway- OWO-1 with Backup, B2s, a few of the unique battle droids, Jango, and some other droids, and Droid Shutdowns to protect them, it's just not good enough. WHAP's characters are much better. I am disheartened and set the deck aside. I decide the only way that I would get this deck to work against WHAP is to play Dooku & Maul on ground, probably with their sticks. Yuck.

So I have TTO. I test it, and it tests okay. I play it against WHAP as well and understand that it's a game of finding my system because they're just not going to deploy theirs until after I deploy mine, if at all. When I do find my system early, it goes decently. I feel good about it. I feel extremely good when I get 4-lom online early. I think I like it enough to go with it. I write out my decklists, and am confident in TTO's, but am still thinking about some last minute changes to QMSizzle. I know Court is sometimes a tough match so I decide I'm going to play A Gift for it. I don't like adding cards that are so narrow in use, but I expect enough Court to warrant the inclusion. I'm playing Treva Horme in there, who I've decided I'm going to break as much as I can, and he really helps with setting up a Nabrun & Draw Their Fire game-ending beatdown, BUT while browsing through random LS characters in one of the dozens of boxes of cards I've brought in that suit case that weighs as much as a person (thank gosh the hotel had those push carts), I stumble upon... Deneb Both. I read and reread this card. She is PERFECT. I love everything about her. Easy swap for Treva. I make a few other changes: I swap Anakin for Captain Hera Syndulla(v) (Matt, I *really* want you to sign her and write something on her), and I swap Leesub for Captain Yutani with Blaster Cannon. Those two changes took a great deal of thought. Anakin has been really good for me, but I wanted to improve my average destinies and I wanted to find a way to add more battle destinies. Hera does both, and she's destiny 3. Also she's a force cheaper, and isn't a Skywalker to get shut off by Hunt Down. It's a tough change and I have a beautiful foil slip Anakin that's written all over and signed by Raith. And, speaking of Raith (missed you at Worlds amigo, hope you make the next one!), cutting Anakin reminds me of another sweet foil slip I have from Raith that's written all over: Luke Skywalker, Rebel Scout(v). I've been playing Luke Skywalker(v) instead in QMSizzle because I want the retrieval badly, but it dawns on me how excellent of a change Luke Skywalker, Rebel Scout(v) would be. He gives me another jedi to flip Hunt Down, another ability 6 to Sense or Alter off of, and his text is GOLDEN in a use-up-their-force-and-beat-down scenario, stopping them from swinging sticks or shooting Dengar back at me. Now there's only one more change I'm really considering, and it's which Chewie to play. I'm currently on Chewie Protector; I like his text, especially against Dr. E and EPP Dengar, and the conditional deploy 2 is pretty sweet. But then there's Chewie with Bowcaster(v), and that version is super sweet too. Steve Skilton suggests Chewie Enraged, and we realize that that version is pretty insane too, and I especially like the floating 3 versus a floating 1. But we collectively decide that his maintenance is just too much to afford in QMC, and settle on Chewie with Bowcaster(v). Pretty cool that my QMSizzle is playing three Resistance characters. So with that, QMSizzle has evolved once more and I'm ready for Saturday.


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Xanth
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by Xanth »

WORLDS DAY 2

Round 1: TTO versus Charlie Arlandson's Hoth CPv

I sit down in my Rebel Flight Suit and shake Charlie's hand. I'm feeling a bit nervous; this is the first tournament I have played this Dark Side deck in, and probably eighth or ninth game I have played with it. Charlie starts A New Secret Base, Maneuver Flaps, and Launching the Assault. Okay, Home One. Got a Superlaser for that. I set up Moff and get the sectors pretty quick and space stacked pretty quickly too. Charlie gets Luke in speeder to the Battle Plains with Echo Base Garrison online. I go hard to Hoth system and get a character to the 4th Marker (I think it was Maul). Charlie baits me with Rebel Leadership and I bite, grabbing it. That was a bad play on my part, and an excellent play on Charlie's part. He then proceeds to We're Doomed combo me. He sets up Home One at Endor, and I track around some good destinies, then bring down General Grievous on Luke in Rogue 1, battle, Imperial Command for 2 battle destinies; Luke and Grievous perish. Meanwhile I'm draining. He isn't quite activating enough to loop back to his tracked We're Doomed combo yet, so I'm able to get in a ping for 4 on my next turn, and I've got Sense and Voyeur ready to go to stop We're Doomed combo. I don't remember well how the rest of our game went, but I close it out with a win by outracing him with too much damage.

1-0

Round 2: QMSizzle versus Chu's TTO

I sit down knowing Chu is a true pro, but for some reason I'm not nervous. I don't know why. I'm just super excited, and happy to interact with Chu again. I love his play style, he's a true gentleman, and I really look forward to seeing if I can outplay him with my baby (QMSizzle). I want to become friends with Chu; he seems like a really cool person, but for some reason I struggle with crossing the barrier in my mind of wanting to maintain a level of respect and professionalism for him. Chu, if I came across as serious or calculating our match rather than warm and friendly, please know that it's partly me respecting you, and that next time we interact, I would love to just talk about cool deck ideas with ya and get to know each other more. So Chu gets TTO online pretty quickly, I think a turn early. I set up on Cloud City and I think I have Pucumir going. My memory here is a bit fuzzy but I get Chu to both grab my We're Doomed Combo and to commit a guy to Cloud City; I think it was Dooku. Then I pull off a Nabrun beatdown on him. I can't remember if it caused overflow or a Ghhhk. We go back and forth doing some damage to each other, and I get Home One online at Endor. He gets his AO online and moves in front of Home One, I think, and I believe I replaced his AO and then moved Home One back to Bespin. We start running out of time in the round and he is slightly ahead. He moves his ships in front of me at Bespin, and moves Ozzel and Moff to his docking bay. Time gets called on my turn. I have only seven cards in my life force, Chu has nine. I pull out my Nabrun, and Nabrun what I have left to his Docking Bay with a tracked 1 (yay Lobot!). I play Draw Their Fire from my hand, battle, retrieve with Draw Their Fire, and he loses a force with Draw Their Fire (He had no cards left in hand after I drained him). So we're at 8 to 8. I'm hoping I can overflow him here, but I don't; I can't recall if their combined forfeit covered exactly enough or if it was above, but I'm pretty sure he drew a decent destiny for battle. So now my only option left is to end the game there on a tie, which would go to a lost pile count and I am pretty sure he has less lost than I, or I can battle with Home One and Ackbar versus all his space at Bespin, triggering Draw Their Fire again, and hope to not be overflowed. So I do that, and it was foolish of me; he draws a bunch of high destinies and easily overflows me. I concede, and then ask him how much he has in his lost pile out of curiosity if I had instead ended on 8-8. He had something like 4-5 less cards than I did, so he would have still won on lost pile count. Ah well. Extremely close and fun game, though in hindsight I'm kicking myself for not planning that turn a little better, discerning all the numbers, and asking for a lost pile count before making out decisions. If I had battled with Home One first instead, I still only would have had the one destiny draw left and taken overflow still, so I don't think I had an out to pull off a win by 1 on that turn.

1-1

Round 3: QMSizzle versus Mike Richard's HD 12card

Mike Richards is a very enjoyable person to play against. Mike, I love your casualness and sense of humor, and it really makes me feel at ease. HOWEVER, what you did to me turn 1 made me feel under extreme pressure... Mike leads with DVDLOTS to my West Gallery turn 1, using all six of his force. Then he tries a Weapon Levitation and finds Vader's stick. Yikes. He puts Vader's stick down, and then he puts Presence of the Force on the West Gallery. UGH. Drain 3 incoming. AND his Objective flips. He recirculates without finding any activation (at least that went well for me), and I peel to Visage. My turn I activate, pull a site, and thank goodness Harc and Overseer are in my deck; I'm holding It's a Hit in hand. I Beldon's Eye the Overseer to Bespin, and hope to draw into a Barrier in case he comes down with some token space; I don't find it and I lose to Visage. His turn he pays 3 to drain for 3, and I It's a Hit it. He decides not to grab it, I think. He draws up. I pull a site, think for a bit, and decide on the drain canceling site. I set up and flip my objective, stacking the drain canceling site with Obi (flipping him back) and two other characters, one of which I think was KFC. On his turn he comes at me with EPP Maul, I use Overseer to pull Guest Quarters, he battles, and I play Keep Your Eyes Open(v). Maul dies, I lose a guy. We both peel to Visage. I like that I can Obi back the KYEO(v) here in case that happens again. I go, drain him, pull Barrier, put another guy at my site, recirculate, we peel to Visage, and then I pull Alter(v) with KTEOF, ready for that Blast Door Controls if it comes. His turn he sets up Dooku at another site with another Presence of the Force and his stick as well. Yikes. I use Overseer's text to pull the Docking Bay (I didn't want to put it out earlier with my objective because I was out activating him). My turn I find Leia, Rebel Princess and drain him again, and I think I set up Pucumir. I also make sure to find Quite A Mercenary in case Vader tries to Elis. I almost have Home One ready to go but I'm not going to waste my resources on it until I need to. His turn he comes at my site with Maul again. I barrier. He plays EPP Mara too. The next few turns are a bit fuzzy in my memory but I believe it involved finding Lando, battling off Maul, losing a character to Mara, and I'm able to set up Celebration and keep the drain canceling site stacked and start outracing him pretty well. He had a really hard time finding his activation that game. Going hard with Vader turn 1 was a good play but it was tricky, and thankfully I was able to figure out how to answer it.

2-1

Round 4: TTO versus Bryan Mischke's Endor TRM

Uh oh, this is going to be a rough match. I haven't played it enough, either. He puts out a 2/1 Endor site and draws up. I draw up for Slave 1 or Vader's Shuttle to put Moff on. He gets Qui-gon with stick to the Back Door. I Set up at Endor and start getting some sectors. He drains me for 3. I have a hard time finding my second system. He puts down Mace too, and is now at two sites and threatening 5 damage a turn. I still can't find my system; I may have drawn up and gotten Grimtaashed here; I'm not sure. He continues to drain. I peel carefully but intentionally; I have No Escape in hand and I know the system is in my deck along with Force Push, and I'm hoping to peel one of those, No Escape it back and be good. I peel the system. My turn I set up TTO at Naboo. He We're Doomed combos it; I think there was a Sense war over that, which he won. I put EPP Mara in front of his drain 3, and then Elis her to the JCC in his deploy phase. I think I manage to get him to grab Elis here, so I can start looping Tarkin's Orders on that same drain. He battles Mara off the JCC. At this point I can't find enough to race him though, even with potentially looping a Tarkin's Orders; he's got Luke with stick at the Landing Platform now and can still drain me for 4 a turn. I scoop. Really well played, Bryan.

2-2

Oof. 2-2, I'm feeling down. Down, but not out. I go back to our hotel room to cool down. It started getting pretty hot in my Rebel Flight Suit, and I change out of it.

Round 5: TTO versus Adam Schellberg's Space WHAP

Alright, let's do this, I think. I get Moff down and draw up. I have 4Lom in hand and am feeling golden. He gets Amidala and another character to the Hallway. My memory is pretty fuzzy on details for a big portion of this match, but in summary I do some looping of Ominous Rumors and later with Superlaser too with 4lom to find my stuff, set up space pretty hard, set up TTO at my Naboo system, the extra ping effect, and Decree. I put some guys at the Courtyard, and am able to race him moderately well, but he is managing to do some good damage back to me. I have Black 2 out so he hasn't been able to play All Wings all game; I Voyeur him naming All Wings and find 2, and of course choose the Used mode and ping him for 2, then I loop it a few times with 4lom as he starts to establish space. I'm able to do enough damage to win the race pretty well. Adam was a real gentleman of an opponent; at one point I forgot to drain and entered my deploy phase, then realized it, and he was very cool about it and let me go back and do the drain. Adam also played the match right in not putting out Naboo and drawing for his space, but unfortunately I think his draws to find it just didn't go well enough.

3-2

Round 6: QMSizzle versus Chris Twigg's Coruscant CRv

Memory is a bit fuzzy here too. I think he started Something Special over Security Precautions, but drew it turn 1 anyway. He put out some jedi early, I know I got out Harc at one point but I can't remember if it was early or not, and I'm pretty sure I set up Home One and stacked a site. There was some battling and it went similarly to my match against Richards' Hunt Down, with Keep Your Eyes Open(v). At one point I Alter(v) his Sense; he grabs my Alter(v) and No Escapes back his Sense. This opens the door for me to abuse some interrupts even though he has Something Special. I believe I pull off a Nabrun battle with 2 destinies left in my deck, a 2 and a 3 (I'm activating like 18 force). He has 1 force in his Force Pile, and I know he has that Sense in hand still that he No Escaped back. He goes to play an important interrupt in the battle; I think it was Force Lightning but I'm not certain. I think for a bit and I Sense it, and grab my Sense, that way he can't play his Sense with his 1 force left, and it's a pretty critical play. He Close Calls Used on the Sense draw, so I redraw it into the last destiny left in my deck; good play on his part, but I have Shmi and 3POWHPS at the site we're battling at, so I use 3PO's text to put the destiny back on my Reserve deck. I'm able to establish a dominating board presence; at one point soon later he tries to use his Sense on an important interrupt I play and draws a 7 for it; unfortunate. I'm able to pull out the win; I think it was a timed win.

4-2

Round 7: QMSizzle versus Matt Harrison-Trainor's Court

Okay, here we go. I open hand A Gift, so I don't even need to get it with Harc Seff(v). He goes turn 1 Jabba, Scum, draw. I pull a site, have another in hand I think, pull Overseer, flip, consolidate at the 1/0, draw some. He battles Overseer with ZiMH + EPP 4-Lom non-v. I lose it. I get 3PO WHPS out and A Gift online. He drains me at the system, for 2 (I thought it would be -1 from A Gift but then he points out that no alien is there yet; whoops). I stack my 1/0 I think, and get Home 1 War Room out and a good hand size. He reinforces Bespin with Stinger for 1, then plays Daroe(v) to ZiMH and uses his text to pull Guri to Stinger from deck for free. Hot tech, I like that. Thankfully, it means he's now drain -1 at the system from A Gift. I set up Home One, but make a huge play error and forget to move Ackbar from the War Room onto the ship. He comes down at it with Elis, Ponda Baba(v) and another smuggler, and I lose Home One. He forfeits the other Smuggler I think. I'm actually not too upset now about Ackbar being at the War Room because I can Obi Home One back and redeploy it for 7 and then move Ackbar aboard again. But, he gives me a verification of his deck by playing WMAOP and I see both Ghhhk combos in there, so my game plan changes. That turn after (I think) he comes down with Probot(v) (shoot! Was hoping he wasn't playing him) and pops A Gift. But I'm actually pretty happy about this, because on my turn I Nabrun everyone over to the AC and pull off a Blast the Door, Kid! beat down on Probot with EPP Chewie and 3 other ability < 3 characters. Unfortunately, Probot is power +2 versus Chewie, but I blow some bowcaster bolts through it's metal head and overflow him for something pretty relevant, I think it was 8 or 9, knowing he wasn't able to draw much and probably didnt draw into his Ghhhk combos, but my goal was this: if he has a Ghhhk combo, I was hoping to get him to use it on my Nabrun, then I play Obi, get back the Nabrun, and Nabrun in again. I'm able to use Obi instead on A Gift and I get that back online. He flies Elis to Bespin, adding a LS icon there and 1 to his drain, and we're racing each other a bit but I'm winning the race, and am able to mitigate some of his damage. I pull out the win on time.

5-2

Round 8: TTO versus Angelo's WHAP

I have a real shot now of making Top 8 if I win, and I'm excited but nervous. Angelo is an incredible player and World Champion. I start out with the Moff and draw some, learning that my Ominous Rumors is in the 3 force I used to play Moff, which is good because it gives me a guaranteed pull and deck verification on my turn without giving him a verification of my deck. He goes Amidala and 3POWHPS and moves them to the Hallway. My turn I think for a bit and decide I'll use the Moff pull after I activate so I can see what's in my deck; it will be important if I want to flash any ships. I activate, pull Ominous Rumors, and I have no available options for space, AND I activated both my remaining sectors. Interesting. I decide to draw up, knowing I'll draw into some excellent space options and access to Naboo with a Force Push the following turn for either a Naboo or a KDY or a Surface Defense. I draw everything, with the last card being the third sector, of course. I like my options a lot now, and I have a decent strike force to throw at him if he takes the Throne Room with not enough guys. His turn he takes some time thinking about how to handle it. He decides to move Amidala and 3PO into the Throne Room, flip, and draw up, and I'm thinking he's probably looking for Grimtaash or maybe he's low on characters and hoping to draw into those and Barriers. He finds his Grimtaash, or perhaps he had it already in hand, but after I finish activating, he Grimtaashes me Used. Excellent play, Angelo. That hits me good. However, it does allow me the luxury of knowing I can perform a confident Moff pull after I activate again on my next turn without giving up verification (Grimtaash sent one sector Used), which also lets me know exactly which ship I can Combat Response for. But that's next turn, and this turn I have another option still at my disposal. I play EPP 4LOM and EPP Maul to the Throne Room. There may have been a Barrier and a Sense here, I'm not sure. I then battle, hit both characters, and we each draw a 1 for battle destiny, and overflow him for 6 or 7. I forfeit 4lom and keep Maul there. His turn I think he set up some more guys. I set up TTO and get some decent space going, and draw back up (to 12). He walks to the Throne Room with Amidala, Panaka and Qui-gon, and I run to the Hallway with Maul, holding Tarkin's Orders for Nabrun. I can't remember if he plays Naboo or if I do, but he manages to get out like three ships to there, including Anakin, and flies them all to the Death Star. I put a ship at Endor, put Grievous with Maul at the Hallway, and fly Slave 1 with Moff & Ozzel to Naboo. He activates down to 2 cards, and pings me for 2 with his objective. He verifies his reserve deck and it's a 2 and a 5. He decides to put Bravo 1 and Bravo fighter to Naboo versus Slave 1 (sheesh, he drew all his space!) and battles. He draws the 2 and the 5 and I'm holding 2 Dark Times in hand. I decide to subtract 1 so I'll only have to forfeit Moff and I can keep my ship there, knowing he'll grab the Dark Time. He does. I draw 2 1s for Battle destiny, one of which is EPP Mara. I take a little overflow, and peel to EPP Mara. He then moves all his ships to the first sector and walks EPP Qui-Gon and Panaka in front of Maul and Grievous, saving 3 force. My turn I activate, ping him for 4, drain him for 2 at Endor, and verify my Reserve deck with my objective. 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 3. Sweet, except not quite versus a flipped WHAP. I think about my turn for a bit and decide to No Escape back Mara, which is why I had lost down to her, then deploy her in front of Amidala. My goal is to bait whatever trick he has, whether it's Rebel Barrier or It's a Trap, here because I have Jango in hand. It works; he barriers Mara. He has only 2 more cards in hand and the coast is clear! I throw Jango to the Hallway, and battle Qui-Gon & Panaka. I swing with Maul and easily hit both. I pay 2 and play my 2nd copy of Dark Time to stop him from canceling my battle destinies. I draw a 5 and a 3 for my BDs (was really hoping I would have drawn that 3 earlier), he draws a 5 and a 1, the 1 being his Houjix (and as soon as I saw that, I was like YESSS!). I'm power 25 to his 16, and overflow him for 9, which is enough to cause him to extend his hand and say Good Game. That was a very respectable and gentlemanly thing of him to do; he could have stretched it out and tried going for the sector blow, but he wouldn't have much life force at all after that overflow, I'd fly Slave 1 back to Endor that turn (or my ship at Endor to Naboo), on his turn he would fly to the 2nd sector, and on my turn I would Black Sun Fleet Slave 1 to Naboo in my control phase and ping him for 5 then drain him for 2 at Endor and 1 at the Hallway, which would have probably been enough then, if not the following turn. Unfortunately for Angelo, one of the other two cards in his hand: It's a Trap. Excellent game, Angelo, you are an excellent opponent.

6-2

At this point I'm ecstatic. I have come close to making Day 3 of Worlds twice, and I hear from the hubbub around the room that all 6-2s are getting in. I do, and it's a dream come true for me. My teammates are all congratulating me, Brian Fred gives me a big hug, and we're all starving. I am told I am playing Tom Kelly in the first round of Top 8 the following day, and that we need to show up at 9:30am for pictures in front of the banner. A decent size group of us decide to go to the local diner nearby and talk about what I should do to prepare for Day 3. We run into Grady and Vince at the diner and invite them to join us at our big table- Grady and Vince are newly returning to the game and new members of the SWCCG community, and also temporary locals to me. Grady tells me about how amazingly kind people were that day, hooking Grady and Vince up with extra cards and signed cards and welcoming them to the community, and I'm heart-warmed. The diner food is actually pretty good, and I salivate as Grady is eating a big slice of pie that was only 3 bucks in front of me. I talk with Brian Fred, Barry Alperstein and a few others about ideas for Dark; I'm set on staying with QMSizzle for Light, but I do want to make a few changes to it. We talk about Watto, and I can tell both Brian and Barry would be secretly gleeful if I played Watto in Top 8 because that deck is, as they say, "a pile". Heh. We brainstorm about different ways to build Watto; I have never liked the deck but then I think about how it would be cool to incorporate Janus and R'Tic H'Whee in Watto; almost ensuring they get pinged 2 on your turn, and cycling Watto's Chance Cube with THEIR force (thanks to R'Tic) on their turn and cycling it on your turn too. We decide it's too gimmicky. I'm also talking with Matt Schmaltz over text message, who unfortunately couldn't make it out. Overall, no real good choice is arrived at, but I am pretty sure I don't want to play TTO again. I wasn't much a fan of it Day 2, and it definitely didn't feel like my play style.

We get back to the hotel and Barry and I decide to hang out with Brian Fred and work on a list for something, but we're not sure what. At some point I think Barry suggests one of his favorite decks, BHBM, and I think it was BFred that suggests doing it with Combat Response(v). We expect Tom Kelly will be playing QMC or WYS for LS, so a deck that can go hard to space sounds pretty favorable, and against WYS you deny them Luke so that's pretty awesome too. I have not played BHBM in FOREVER, I hardly remember how the objective works, but at this point I need to decide on something so we work on a decklist. It looks pretty cool, and we narrow it down to 60. I really want to play a 2nd Palpatine even though it's conceivable cuttable, and I really want to play a 2nd Dark Maneuvers. We toy with whether Something Special is necessary. The idea is to start IAO combo for 2 1/0 DBs (including the Death Star II DB) and a Spaceport DB, Establish Control(v) for Fondor, and Combat Response(v), mostly for TIEs. We also put Guri in Stinger in there. It's got 3 Accelerates and a Bridge too, so setting up activation should be pretty smooth. I suggest we cut Stinger for Bossk(v) & Hound's Tooth(v) because it straight adds a BD, which works better with Emperor's Power and the overall goal of winning battles, but I have never played Hound's Tooth(v) before and am not sure if the max ITA <4 is good enough; I like that it can hold passengers though. In hindsight, Stinger would have probably been better because it's findable with Short Range Fighters and it's ITA is boosted by Fighters Coming In. Also, her limiting text always works. We decide on 4 Short Range Fighter combos, though I only own 3 so I borrow a sweet one from Fred signed by someone infamous.

Barry and I head back to our room and I think Lenny shows up soon after; I pull out cards to start building the deck (thank goodness I brought all those cards), and we collectively piece it together. We finish piecing it together around 1am, and I play 2 games with it against Barry, who is playing WHAP. We were all so tired at that point; in hindsight I should have just asked Barry to play my QMC, that would have been more relevant hehe. Anyway it tested okay and it at least felt better to me than TTO for some reason. I end up trying to sleep around 3am, thinking about what changes I want to make to QMSizzle. I know I want to fit Landing Claw; I've been wanting to fit it for a while and I think now is the time to do it. We collectively decide A Gift is the right cut for it. Unlikely I'll run into Court in the Top 8.

I wake up the next morning and Barry had written my decklists out for me already. Really freakin' cool of you, Barry. I truly appreciate that; I hate writing out decklists. Lenny and Barry looked over the decklists for any mistakes or unchecked v-boxes while I got in the shower thinking about what else I wanted to change about QMSizzle. I decided that I wanted an Imperial Barrier canceler for Turn 1 when I sometimes need to play risky and play Overseer to Bespin with the goal of landing it that same turn at the DB and walking Harc over to the 1/0. A Barrier there on Overseer could be really rough, especially if Devastator is already there, assuming Tom Kelly plays IE. Then we realize how useful Inconsequential Barriers would additionally be against Control & Set For Stun, which is pretty decent against me for multiple reasons: I play Alter, Sense, and important characters with low ability. So it's a good add, and I decide the only card I'm comfortable cutting for it is the 2nd Rebel Barrier. I suit up once more in my Rebel Flight Suit (how can I NOT wear that for the Top 8 of WORLDS?), and am ready to go.

WORLDS TOP 8

Round 1, Game 1: QMSizzle versus Tom Kelly's IE

Here weeee gooooooooooo! I'm both excited and nervous, and my tummy is fuuuull of butterflies; I can barely eat anything. At this point I'm just trying to drink water and stay hydrated; I know soon it will get hotter, especially in the suit. So, Tom Kelly, his awesome, badass self, starts his turn with activating and pulling Executor Docking Bay, then thinking for a solid few minutes. I'm expecting him come hard to the Bespin system, maybe get DS-61-5(v) on Devastator with I Can't Shake Him(v) and get off a Force Pile pull or two, or just try to drain me early. Instead, he goes Piett for 2 to the Executor DB, pulls a 2/1 site with his objective, Piett pulls Battle Deployment, Battle Deployment pulls the 2-cost Tempest Scout that reacts for free, he plays Mos Espa DB from hand (or may have played the 2/1 from hand and pulled Mos Espa DB with the objective), pays 1 for a biker scout to the Desert Heart, pays 2 for DS-61-5(v) to the 2/1, flip, Ozzel to Devastator for free, Tatooine Occupation, transit Piett to Mos Espa DB for free and get inside Tempest Scout, pass. Holy Guacamole. So, uh... on my turn I pull a 2/1 site, Harc & Overseer to Bespin, two guys to ground, flip, pull the DB with my objective (huge mistake), Keeping pull for Yoxgit and put him at the DB, and draw a few, saving force for Barrier. My goal is to race him as best as I can at this point and find a Free Ride combo ASAP. He goes, deals a total of 7 damage to me, thankfully I don't peel Free Ride, then he deploys Thrawn to my DB. I think for a while about Barriering Thrawn, but I think to myself, "if he has a high power AT-AT that he can pull with Battle Deployment, I should probably barrier that instead, and now I'm realizing how risky it was of me to play Yoxgit to the DB like that. So I pass, and he pulls a Tempest Scout there, and I go to Barrier that but he reminds me you can't barrier vehicles and I'm suddenly very mad at myself for forgetting that. Second mistake! I try hard not to let it get to me; the pressure is intense and this match is already really intense. So he battles, and ends up overflowing me for 6 I think. Ouch, down by a lot already. I activate, and I think I find Free Ride combo here and cancel Occupation, then drain him. He didn't have force saved to grab it. I play a guy or two and have to draw some to get back in the game. His turn he drains me for 1, 1, 1, 1, 1; I think I had the drain canceling site and stopped the Docking Bay drain. I think he plays Executor to Tatooine here, wary of a potential Home One counterbeat. My turn I activate and get out some more guys and I think I get Celebration going and Pucumir too. I find It's A Hit and ICBW. I really want him to grab the ICBW so I can loop We're Doomed non-combo. I intentionally give him a deck verification at some point so he can see I'm playing We're Doomed Combo(v) but doesn't see that I'm playing the non-combo too. He plays Fanfare(v) and uploads... Tentacle. That's pretty clutch. He does some more damage to me, I ICBW one of them, he Tentacles it I think, and he moves to Bespin. I retrieve a few, I think I landing Claw the Overseer here but I'm not certain, and I get Leia Rebel Princess and Hera to one of his Tatooine sites to stop some damage for a turn. A turn or two later he comes down at Pucumir's site with EPP Mara and I Barrier her. He grabs my Barrier, and I think to myself, "YES!". I had peeled 3POWHPS to some drains earlier and I Jedi Lev Lost him back, put him out, and get We're Doomed online. From there, I just keep deploying in front of him and looping We're Doomed, causing him to commit cards to fight me, and then he overflows me for like 12 and 14 and We're Doomed halves it and Solo or Leia or whoever's forfeit covers it. I'm getting in tiny bits of damage here and there and making him lose a character here and there, but he's also getting in some trooper retrieval with his objective and is whittling me away. I got a deck verification of his earlier and saw he also plays Something Special. I understand that if he finds that soon for We're Doomed, I don't stand a chance anymore. We're almost out of time in the match and he does find it. I give him the match and he wins by 14. I'm pretty bummed that I lost, and I'm rather frustrated that I made those two mistakes, but I'm really impressed by Tom Kelly and am actually pleased I was able to eek out only losing by 14 to such a severe early beating. Now to see how this weird DS deck works...

-14

Round 1, Game 2: BHBM versus Tom Kelly's QMC

Ooh, QMC. Interesting. I decide to start Something Special over Establish Control. I know how important a second grabber is in this match and I really don't want to give him a system to run to. I want to own Bespin all game. I set up Palp, Emperor's Power, 1/0 DB, may have had Bridge too, and draw up. I draw into some good space interrupts including Dark Maneuvers and All Power, and 2 Short Range Fighters, which I decide I don't want to play because I'll need them to spin under Rebel Leadership. He goes turn 1 Harc, land, move over to the 1/0. I go Turn 2 Saber 1 with gun (not sure if the gun this early was the right call but I didn't want to get smashed by a random HCF) to Bespin, draw up. Find 2nd Dark Maneuvers. He goes Turn 2 more sites, EPP Luke from deck with his objective, and another character to join Harc at the 1/0. He plays Rebel Leadership for Ackbar. I decide not to grab it. My hope is that with what I have in hand, I can just kick Home One out of space and then those Leaderships won't matter as much as It Could Be Worse and potentially other abusive interrupts. I drain him at the system and back it up with Black 2. His turn he sets up Home One for full price, moves Harc over to the DB, flips, flies up to Home one, and docks Harc and the Overseer. My turn I search my deck and don't have Bossk in there to flash Hound's Tooth in hand for, so I deploy it with Grand Moff Tarkin(v) as a pilot to Bespin; he barriers it. I battle Home One with Saber 1 and Black 2. I play All Power. I think he grabs it but I'm not sure. He limits me with Rebel Leadership. I Dark Maneuvers Saber 1 to an 8, then Watch Your back an 8 and draw a 5 for BD, adding 1 to total with Fel. I win the battle, he stacks a card, and forfeits everything but Home 1. On his turn, during his deploy phase, I realize something- Hound's Tooth(v) can only add 1 ALIEN pilot. Ugh. I point it out and call the judge over; not sure what to do about it. Thankfully it was Barriered and didn't come into play the previous battle, but I feel really bad about it. The judge decides that Tarkin must move to the passenger slot and the ship is just there without a pilot. I'm fine with the ruling and apologize to Tom; he's cool about it. He pulls something and thinks a bit then plays Theron Nett and Yoda, Keeper of the Peace(v) on Home One, then battles me at Bespin. I don't have an All Power this time but I do the same nasty combo, Dark Maneuvers Fel and Watch You Back for an 8 under Yoda's limit, then draw a 5 I think, for enough to make him stack another card and give me the system. He offers a handshake right there. WHEW that was intense. We talked about the match after that, and while he definitely could have tried to play it out, I had a drain of 2 incoming next turn and every turn after and ways to battle him on ground all game; that was the entirety of his space package that he lost at the system so he wasn't getting back to space, and it's likely he wouldn't have been able to lose by less than 14. Tom Kelly, it was a pleasure to play against you, I think for my first time, and again I am really sorry about missing the Hound's Tooth thing. Don't think I'll be playing that ship in a deck again for a while, heh.

Semifinals Game 1: BHBM versus Emil's Space WHAP

Good thing Barry played WHAP the night before when I playtested this deck! Orrrr not. I'm on the feature match table now, and somehow there are even more butterflies in my stomach. I'm feeling some intense presssure. Emil's literally undefeated all the way up until this point for Worlds. Also, Emil is a really cool guy; I like him a lot. I don't get enough chances to talk with him; Emil, we should talk about deck ideas more :-)

So this game starts with me forgetting ALL about pulling Emperor's power because I'm so nervous. I pull Palp to the Throne Room and draw up. He plays Harc Seff to the Courtyard and then Amidala there for 1 (thanks to Harc) and that's so cool. He moves them over to the Hallway. I deploy Dooku to his Throne Room and continue to forget about Emperor's Power, then draw up I think, saving 2 for Force Push I have in hand. He Ascension Guns in, plays EPP Qui-Gon and someone else too I think, battles, swings at Dooku, and misses. Whew! I try to Force Push someone. He Senses it. Ouch! I go to add a BD with Emperor's Power, but then realize it's not there, and am like uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh craaaaaaaaaaap. Can't believe I missed that, but I deserve it for building the deck the night before and having never played with BHBM in a tournament before. In hindsight, if I did have Emperor's Power online, it probably would have been wiser to save the Force Push, add a BD, and hope to cause him to forfeit a few guys while Dooku stays with full immunity even if he causes me some overflow. So I decide to try and Force Lightning Amidala and I miss, and then he smashes me and I forfeit Dooku and take some overflow I think. He flips and he's in a super good position. I try to set up elsewhere and my goal now is to get in as much damage as I can and maybe crush him in space. Alas, Emil soon finds a lot of space and sets it up pretty well with Anakin in ship and his AO. I can't get my AO online to get his off the table, but at some point I move Saber 1 and Black 2 in front of his space with the hope that I can best him on his AO draw, but I mistakenly think it targets my Maneuver rather than my Power, and I'm thinking that I can respond to it with my Dark Maneuvers in hand to hopefully win the contest. It's more of a last-ditch effort thing anyway, but yeah it obviously backfires and I feel so foolish and embarrassed about this whole match. I punted it pretty hard and lose by 20. :(

-20

Semifinals Game 2: QMSizzle versus Emil's TTO:

Oh boy... how am I going to win this by more than 20? But I'm not giving up! I love this deck so much and I'm going to give folks the best show I can, especially after making a fool of myself the previous game. Emil starts the usual way. I can't quite remember how my opening few turns went; I am pretty sure I got out Home 1 War Room early, and I think I either got Overseer turn 1 or turn 2, and a drew a good amount of cards. I am pretty sure that by turn 2 I was flipped with Overseer at the system, some guys at 2 sites, and Celebration at the system, though it may have been Turn 3. I normally would wait to put Celebration out, but I wanted to bait him hard based on what was in my hand. Hint: it has the word "unlimited" in gametext. Anyway, Emil had deployed ZiMH the turn prior to Endor DB and put Moff & Ozzel on it, choosing to have Moff pilot and Ozzel be a passenger, which I think was a play mistake; Ozzel adds 2 to power while Moff does not, and I can't see a worthwhile reason to not have Ozzel pilot. He flies up to Endor that turn to. Fast forward to his next turn after I set up Celebration, he has enough force to put out Saber 1, I think he spent force on something else too, plays Black Sun Fleet, and brings ZiMH to Bespin with Saber 1 versus the lone Overseer, but I don't believe he had enough force left to move the Death Star over as well. My turn I activate, drain, pull with KTEOF and take Captain Yutani because I needed a cheap Rebel to deploy to Home One War Room so Ackbar could go on the ship. I may have also retrieved with Celebration but I don't recall. Anyway I deploy Yutani to the War Room for 3, Home One to Bespin for 7, Capital Support to replace his AO, Solo for 3, Rey for 3, use Rey's pull to grab Rebel Leadership(v), Ackbar(v) for free, battle, schedule a Power destiny with Overseer, he passes action (thank goodness no Imperial Command!), add with Rebel Leadership, and draw 4 BDs and a destiny to power for a total of 43 power to his 17 I believe. He forfeits Fel, Saber 1, Ozzel and the Moff, and peels the rest, keeping ZiMH alive to give him some sort of space presence left in the game. I lose Rey. He runs away with ZiMH, and I decline to Celebration retrieve on my turn so I can Ounee Ta Rey back into hand, get out another site I think, and set up Rey and some more dudes on ground. He deploys Tatooine Maul in ship to Bespin, and because Rey's gone from space, he shuts off my ability and cancels Celebration. I Wokling it back, he cloaks, I go, activating all my force down to 2 cards (Celebration and the force to retrieve it). I pull Deneb Both, pay to drain, deploy her to Cloud City, use her text to draw Celebration back, put Leia RP or Obi (can't remember which) on Home One to get around Maul's text, and put Celebration back online. From there I pretty quickly outrace him and he activates everything then asks how much life force I have. Exactly 20. I have about five cards in hand, two of which I can put back in my deck and I think I had Off The Edge too, but I wait on them because he might try to get in more damage. He asks for a lost pile count. If I have no way to put any cards back, and he draws up right here, he will win and advance to the Finals on Lost Pile counts. He starts drawing up and I wait until he's down to only 4-5 cards in his Force Pile then start playing my Used interrupts. I win by something like 22 or 24, and advance to the Finals.

Finals Game 1: QMSizzle versus Reid's IE:

Welp, this game didn't go so well for me versus Tom Kelly, and I am sure hoping Reid doesn't get a god hand. Thankfully, he doesn't, and starts pretty cautiously with Piett on Devastator. My hand isn't too great either; I pull a site, and decide to draw everything. I make a judgement call and don't put Reid on Monnok in IE. Reid's curious about my strategy and possibly worried about a counterbeat in space, like my last game with Emil. He loads up the Devastator, and even uses Battle Deployment to pull an AT-ST aboard it; he gets Chiraneau on there too. At this point, I'm actually hoping he goes down to the sites and tries to spread and flip with a reacting AT-ST, because I have Obi, Sense for the react, and Chewie with Bowcaster(v) in hand to potentially win the game right there. But because he doesn't, and instead flies to Bespin. I activate a bunch and think more about what to do. I decide to continue drawing up to get both the Overseer and Landing Claw in hand; I end up drawing to a hand of ~22+ cards, saving some force. I know everyone's watching me wondering what I'm doing, but I am confident in my strategy. I want Reid to either continue committing to space and come to my system where I can mitigate that entire effort with Landing Claw, or to try and flip so that I can then go for a Sense-on-the-React beatdown, and now I have Solo too in case he has Alter for my Sense, so that I can replay it from lost pile. I'm pretty sure Reid gets in a drain for 3 at Bespin with Chiraneau, and then decides to put down Executor too, and draws some cards. I proceed to set up a bunch of guys at sites, including Deneb Both, and the Overseer with Landing Claw at Bespin. I have Yoxgit out too in case he cancels Landing Claw, and I play Capital Support to send his Battle Deployment used so he can't find his vehicles. I think I had Pucumir out at this point too, but I'm not certain. From there Reid decides to go for flipping his objective, then consolidates his guys at the Jundland Wastes (a spicy add to IE). I detach the Overseer, drain him for a bunch, and then put Luke Skywalker, Rebel Scout(v) at one of his sites and Solo(v) at the 2/1 drain -1 site, which is drain -1 unless a smuggler is there ;). This flips him back. Now I'm trying to bait him a bit to spread out again at Tatooine but he plays pretty carefully and always has two reacting AT-STs so I can't go for the Sense beatdown. I also get a chance to verify his deck at some point and see 2 copies of Control & SFS so I make sure to get Inconsequential Barriers into hand. Reid's able to get in a drain at Tatooine once or twice and a drain at the Jundland Wastes, but other than that, I'm winning the damage race pretty easily and close the game out with some attempted retrieval to a point where I have almost no cards in lost pile and 29 cards in life force. I would say it was absolutely the best game of QMSizzle I have ever played, and I felt pretty good the whole time. Knowing my deck in and out really meant a lot for giving me the confidence to pull off different strategic approaches.

+29

Finals Game 2: BHBM versus Reid's Crazy Diplo Spaceport Speeders deck:

Okay, I'm feeling good. Really good. But I'm bad with this BHBM deck and I know that I could still lose a game badly. Reid and I had talked briefly toward the beginning of Day 3 about his crazy deck, and I'm aware it's 12 card How Did We Get Into This Mess strategy; I've tried HDWGITM strategies many times in the past in a plethora of different ways, but never even remotely to the kind of success it was having for Reid. I theorize a strategy in my head of, "if I open hand Dark Maneuvers, Short Range Fighters combo, and access to Saber 1, I think I can win this game", with the strategy being to fight Tantive turn 1 with Saber 1 instead of pulling Emperor, then playing Dark Maneuvers and Watch Your back for a total of 9 BD, causing 3PO to forfeit to the Dune Sea and Tantive to go lost, then on my next turn, use my objective to pull Palpatine to the Dune Sea (or to the Throne Room and play Dooku to the Dune Sea) and Force Lightning 3PO, shutting off a big part of Reid's engine. Alas, I opened every piece but the Dark Maneuvers. So I played pretty safely, and started Something Special over Establish Control because you always want two grabbers versus a deck that plays HDWGITM. Reid's turn 1 he plays Eopie (lol) and Spaceport Speeders (Reid, you rock dude), and I grab it on Allegations. He draws low and activates only 4 force from it I think. He plays HDWGITM and I grab that on Something Special. Boom, both grabbers already used up, but I'm fine with this; I figure these two cards are both very critical to Reid's engine and I want as many cards removed from his deck as possible to get it below 29. Unfortunately, the game starts going very south for me. I stack his Cantina with Dooku, Arica(v) and EPP IG-88; he comes at me with ~5 characters: Obi, Lando, Anakin I think, Rey, and another. IG-88 misses or gets stopped some how, and I can't quite remember what happened to Force Lightning- it may have been Sensed. He ends up beating me pretty hard in that battle. I try to establish a foothold elsewhere and get some damage in that way; I put Spaceport DB to Tatooine and get out Blizzard 4 and DVDLOTS. He gets Home One set up and Chandrilla, but he couldn't find Launching the Assault so he's draining for 0 at Tatooine (his deck doesn't flip) and 1 at Chandrilla. However, he's Cantina shuffling and draining me for 2 and 2 that way, thanks to Obi's Lightsaber. I get a verification of his deck at some point and see an On the Edge in there... uh oh. That could be incredibly good for him if he finds it. I put out the Code Clearance shield. He pretty quickly gets a lot of dudes out and I'm staring down a pretty bad drain race. I'm in space but I'm running from him because he's moving his massively stacked Home One + Tantive in front of me. At least I'm draining for free. I Force Push for Fondor, and I think this is the right call. It lets me run my two ships (Saber 1 and Hound's Tooth) to Chandrilla and Fondor, meaning he'll have to split his forces if he wants to stop me from getting in another drain of 1 a turn. I'm holding in hand Saber 2 and pilot ready to go, and if he takes the bait and spreads to me, I can counterbeat and make him stack a card on Insignificant Rebellion, and hopefully do enough damage to make what's left of his weaker system not strong enough to defend it. It works just like that, but unfortunately I'm unable to fully clear Tantive, and he's able to get guys back onto it, fights me back, but I win the battle again and make him stack a second card. Meanwhile he keeps draining me for 4 with the Cantina Shuffle. Earlier he gave me Luke as well, so I'm losing 1 to my objective but at least I get to try dueling him, which most of my hopes are riding on. I lose the first duel, d'oh... win the second duel, and win the third duel. We're near the end of the game and I'm down to 6 or 7 life force. His Leia RP is in front of my Blizzard 4 and I'm thinking I can battle her and stack another card on Insignificant Rebellion, but first I drain at the Dune Sea with Maul, and of course I forget Leia had another use of her ability left so he does just that. At least it puts a low destiny on top of his deck so I can better guarantee Blizzard 4 overpowers Leia. I go to battle Reid points out Leia shuts off Blizzard 4's ability. Ah crap. I then duel Luke, win the duel easily, and Reid loses another 3 force. I run in space, pass, and lose 1 to my objective. What I should have done there was just end the game on the spot by battling Home One and taking enough overflow to kill me, because Reid was already a handful of cards under 29 in life force, which I knew by keeping track of how many LS cards were on table and the small amount of them in his lost pile, but I alas I did not have that strategic foresight. Fortunately, Reid was unable to find anything on his turn to get him back enough cards, so I drew up on my turn to become the 2016 World Champion.



Shout outs:

You, who just read all of this: thanks for reading!
Lenny Rubin: Thanks for always putting up with my silly SWCCG ideas and helping me theory craft and playtest! You are an excellent teammate and an amazing friend. I am truly grateful for your friendship and support this weekend.
Barry Alperstein: Ditto!!! and I love how you and Lenny often offer different dynamic viewpoints. It keeps me thinking about different angles!
Matt Schmaltz: You were here in spirit! I felt excited that you were watching the results from back in Maryland and I really appreciate you cheering me on. I really hope you can make it to the next big event and that we go together! You are my favorite person to talk about SWCCG with, and also one of my favorite people ever. <3
Steve Skilton: Dude, you are awesome. Well done making it despite the ridiculous car trouble, and I really appreciate your advice and insight as well.
Brian Fred: <3 you dude. We need to talk SWCCG, and life, all the time now. I really, really look forward to the next time we get to hang out.
Emil: You're a master at this game, and very kind. You gave me some absolutely beautiful AI Foils, and I am very grateful for that. It means a great deal to me, probably more than you think :)
Reid: Reid, ever since I first played you 4 or 5 years ago, I've looked up to you. I think you're an amazing person, would love to talk swccg and life with you, and to get to know you more. I really appreciate your chill attitude about everything, yet true professionalism when playing the game. Looking forward to playing you again.
Tom Kelly: You know that really wonderful, heartfelt compliment you gave me after the games on Sunday? 1. It really, really meant a lot to me. Thank you. 2. Right back at you, amigo. You're a true gentleman and I really look forward to next time we meet.
Rob: Dude, yeah I know the tournament ran a bit slow on Day 2 with stragglers, but you did a remarkable job of running it. I would prefer you run every major SWCCG event. You're also an awesome person. Looking forward to playing SWCCG with you.
Okay, my brain is starting to fail, so Everyone else: Thanks to all who congratulated me and shook my hand; I've never shaken so many peoples' hands in one day. I really love this community and hope I am forever part of it!
Now taking orders for your SWCCG and Hobby needs!
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by marines28 »

8>
Steviegets112 wrote:The same 5 people are going to win consistently and there really isn't much any of you can do about it.
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by Steve Buscemi »

Epic TR! Nice insight in some of those tech choices. As a player who has returned to this community after nearly 15 years I am also still baffled at how cool this community is.

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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by mryellow »

Nice TR, and of course, congrats on the big win! Our game was very close and could have gone either way a number of times. I'm looking forward to playing you again in the future. The PC should give you an extra $25 for the baggage fees that trophy must have triggered.
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by kryptofis »

Amazing TR and great showing. Humble you are, sir!
Kryptofis

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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by Aglets »

Great TR, congrats on the amazing showing! It was nice to chat a bit with you again, hope to see you around again soon!
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by spideyguy0 »

Really good read, great TR! Learned a lot from this.
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by Jonalan34 »

Great TR! congratulations!
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by BrenDerlin »

Awesome TR by a genuinely great guy. Glad to have you as our world champion, and hope to see you at an event this next year!


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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by gossuii »

Brilliant, 5 stars! And great job on all the details on your tech, much appreciated. Guess we'll see a lot more Deneb Both :)
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by darkjediknight11 »

great read, thanks!

fwiw, r2/3po is immune to interrupts (force lightning)

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Xanth
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by Xanth »

darkjediknight11 wrote:great read, thanks!

fwiw, r2/3po is immune to interrupts (force lightning)
Oh geez, I completely forgot that. Good thing I didn't waste my effort on that, though clearing Tantive would have probably still been good.
Now taking orders for your SWCCG and Hobby needs!
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by Xanth »

Thanks guys for the wonderful compliments!
Now taking orders for your SWCCG and Hobby needs!
Shadow 14 wrote:I officially love you now, Tom!
Advocate wrote: Tom Haid will make us all regret this probably.
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by SolaGratia »

awesome TR, inspirational! Great job and solid play, you sound like a class act. Hope to play vs you some time!

Congratulations!!!

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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by DutchVader »

Thanks for writing this great tournament report with a lot of details! Nice to read the reasoning behind some cards and plays made. Cool to see a creative deck builder winning Worlds!

Stefan / DutchVader

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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by stevetotheizz0 »

Dude, I'm so happy you won worlds. I know how much you love this game, and it couldn't have happened to a better, or more deserving person. When it came down to the line, you played flawlessly and made the types of decisions that champs do. To be a player that picked up the game long after it was out of print, and win with some rogue deck choices and such a high level of play is an amazing accomplishment.

This is an awesome TR. It has everything. Details, game and deck insights, but most importantly it shows how classy you are as a player and a person. You managed to remember something nice about every player you interacted with in the community over the weekend and made them a part of the story. Its very clear how much you respect and value the people you come in contact with.

You, Barry, Lenny and Matt have got to be the best player group in the whole community. I mean having a partner write up your decklists, and another texting you deck choices throughout the weekend while opening his own business is amazing. Meanwhile Lenny has always been your right hand man in listening to your hair brained deck options and hunchbacked card choices throughout the year. You guys have always gone out of your way to make myself and others feel welcome and valued and I might not have stuck with the game early on if I didn't have a group like you guys nearby.

Congrats on the win!

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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by JarJarDrinks »

nice report and grats
dx_37 wrote:
October 2nd, 2019, 12:12 pm
I would be all for a reset if I get to be on the reset team
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by lsrubin »

Xanth wrote:Shout outs:

You ...
Lenny Rubin ...
Bro, you thanked me twice!

I think we've hit on a good "yin and yang" balance where you come up with zany ideas like Hunchback and Redemption, Barry and I shoot you down, and the best tech rises to the top (like Deneb Both). It can be a frustrating process sometimes, but I think it makes all three of us better players (especially you).

Since I returned to the game ~2 years ago, I've gotten more enjoyment out of this game than I ever thought I would, and that's all because of you, Barry, Matt, Steve, and this amazing community. I love playing cards with you, but I love our bromance most of all. You're amazing, don't ever change, and I'm so proud of you. :<3:

Also, for what it's worth, the last two major event champions (Tom and BFred) have shared a bed with me the weekend they won. I will be auctioning off "sleeping with Lenny" rights to the highest bidder at the MPC.

Bonus pic: Tom and me at Curio before the TFA premiere:
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☮ ♥ ⑦
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Re: Xanth's Worlds TR

Post by darkjediknight11 »

raise your hand if you had to look up deneb both

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