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Topics - Queensryche

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Last week I was at the Lightning Crystal Cup in Midlothian, VA for the Final Fantasy TCG. The Crystal Cups are the game's major events: the winner qualifies for the World Championship, while 2nd through 4th qualify for the North American National Championship. During the event there was an incident which caused a lot of controversy and is still being talked about and causing a lot of controversy among the community.

The incident was as follows: in the sixth round of Swiss (out of seven rounds), a player called a judge to inform them that his deck was illegal. The deck had five copies of a particular card in it, and only three copies of any card are allowed. The player's decklist had listed a legal deck. After some discussion and consultation with Hobby Japan (the publishers of FFTCG and the ones responsible for events), the decision was made to give the player a game loss for an illegal deck and allow them to correct the deck so that it matched the deck list. Because Swiss is best-of-one, this was essentially a match loss. After the player corrected his deck, he was permitted to continue playing in the tournament.

This is causing controversy because many in the community thought that it should've been a tournament disqualification and also speculated that the player in question was actively cheating. It caused an uproar which is still continuing, and I felt like this would be a good place to ask you guys about it.

The arguments for ruling the player cheated and thus a DQ are as follows:

-The player was 5-0 when he reported his illegal deck, and thus guaranteed to make the Top 32 cut
-Having four of the same card in a deck is an easy mistake to make. Five of the same card, not so much
-It'd be hard to not notice you're running more than three copies of a card that late
-The card in question allows someone to search for a Scion of the Seventh Dawn Forward, which is very helpful for the deck he was playing
-The card in question is also a starter-exclusive card, and the majority of players who play the game don't own more than three of any starter-exclusive card

On the other side, the arguments that a game loss was appropriate and that there wasn't any cheating are as follows:

-The player called the judge on himself
-The player's reaction was of embarrassment. Witnesses say the guy was mortified when he discovered the error and on the verge of tears when he called the judge.
-Per several witnesses, prior to the tournament, the player had been playing some friendly games and had been swapping cards between two decks. One of the decks was his tournament deck.
-Given how the player's deck is built to win fast, it's entirely plausible that he could've gone that long without noticing the error
-On the flipside of the card he had being useful, the player had omitted two copies of a card which were also useful and thus unknowingly handicapped himself

I later learned from one of the judges that this was contentious even among the officials there. Richie Brady, the game's North American manager, wanted to immediately disqualify the player, but the judges argued that their investigation gave them no reason to believe that the error was intentional and that per tournament guidelines, a DQ is only to be handed out for cheating, which requires intent. This led to both parties agreeing to contact Hobby Japan, who made the ruling to give the player a game loss but allow him to correct his deck and continue. After the tournament, Hobby Japan and Kageyama-san (the game's creator) issued a statement, saying that they will be revising the tournament rules. They intend to come up with new guidelines and also rethink what penalties are issued, with the statement saying that new penalties may be formulated as well.

Me personally, I'm on the side of the argument that a game loss was the correct call. Based on what we know, there's no indication the player intentionally made that error. The player's reaction also tells me it was a mistake on his part and not an attempt to deceive. In my own personal experience, I've made a similar mistake. I once played a deck with four copies of a card and didn't realize it until near the end of the weekly tournament I was playing in, when I realized my error in the middle of a game. I reported that myself and conceded to my opponent. The arguments of the pro-DQ side are based on speculation and hearsay, and you can't base a DQ off of that. You don't need irrefutable proof to issue a DQ, but you do need reasonable suspicion that a player knowingly performed an illegal act. Since the investigation did not turn up anything which would lead to a reasonable suspicion, then you can't assume it was intentional and thus DQ them.

What are your guys' thoughts on this?

General Chat / Level 37 Achieved!
« on: July 09, 2019, 12:34:58 PM »
Yep, it's happened again. 365 more EXP means another level of experience!

+1's are to be had!

Supershow / SRG spotted at MLW Fury Road!
« on: June 01, 2019, 06:50:37 PM »
I am watching MLW Fury Road live on beIN Sports right now, and I saw something that caught my eye: an attendee wearing an SRG hoodie! I wasn’t sure that was what the logo was, but a second look confirmed it.

SRG folks: do any of you know who that was, and are they on TCO? And most importantly: does this mean anything for Supershow?

General Chat / A simple request
« on: March 15, 2019, 10:42:12 AM »

Fantasy Cards / MLW Fighters
« on: March 11, 2019, 06:56:52 PM »
"Filthy" Tom Lawlor
HS: 7
SSV: 2
MLW Fighter Ability: Whenever you successfully play a Strike Maneuver, draw one card. Whenever you successfully play a Grapple Maneuver, you may search your Arsenal for one Submission Maneuver, reveal it to your opponent, add it to your hand, and shuffle your Arsenal. Whenever you successfully play a Submission Maneuver, you may shuffle one card in your Ringside into your Arsenal. When you have a Strike, Grapple, and Submission in your Ring, draw an additional card during your Draw Step.

Filthy Tom's Mouthguard
Backstage Area
Your opponent's Strike Maneuvers are -2D. If you play a Reversal to a Multi Strike, replace the word "Reverse" with the words "Completely reverse".
During your opponent's turn, after he successfully plays a Maneuver with the word "punch" in the title, you may hide this card. If it has the Restricted Modification Symbol, ignore it. Blank its text and Damage and end your opponent's turn.

The Ace of Major League Wrestling
Pre-Match Event
Cannot be blanked.
At the end of the Pre-Match Phase, you may reveal up to one non-Multi Strike Maneuver, one non-Multi Grapple Maneuver, and one non-Multi Submission Maneuver from your hand and place them on the bottom of your Arsenal. Search your Arsenal for one of each Maneuver type revealed, show them to your opponent, put them into your hand, and shuffle your Arsenal. If you revealed three cards with this card's effect, you may also search for one Reversal and one Action, reveal them, and put them into your hand.

No-Ropes No Holds Barred Match
Pre-Match Stipulation
Cannot be blanked and does not take up a Pre-Match Slot in your Ring
All players' Starting Hand Sizes are +1
All Submission Maneuvers are +1D, do not have the Heel trait, and cannot be reversed from Arsenal
No player may play the cards titled "Irish Whip" or "Throw Into The Corner Turnbuckle"
Replace the "Can only be played after" text on all non-Multi High Risk Maneuvers with "Can only be played after a successfully played Maneuver". Reduce the Damage of all non-Multi High Risk Maneuvers by #, where # is equal to half that Maneuver's Damage, rounded up.
Universally Unique

Filthy Ankle Lock
Submission/Reversal: Special
As a Maneuver, -6F, and when successfully played, your opponent discards two cards.
As a Reversal, reverse any Maneuver with the word "Kick" in the title.

Filthy Flurry
Strike + Strike
If this card is the first non-Pre-Match, non-reversal card of the game you play, can only be reversed from Arsenal.

Standing On The Shoulders of Giants
Mid-Match Action/Reversal: Special
As an Action, can only be played after a successfully played Maneuver. Shuffle # cards from your Ringside into your Ring, where # is equal to the number of Maneuvers in your Ring. If you have a Strike, Grapple, and Submission in your Ring, shuffle an additional 10 cards from your Ringside into your Ring.
As a Reversal, completely reverse any non-Superstar Specific Maneuver.

Filthy Counter
Reversal: Special
Reverse any non-Unique Maneuver of 10D or less. Overturn three cards.

Filthy Rear-Naked Choke
Trademark Finisher/Reversal: Special
As a Maneuver, -1F for each Maneuver in your Ring. If you have a Strike, Grapple, and Submission in your Ring, this card is an additional -5F. The card titled Maintain Hold may be played after this card as if it were a Submission Maneuver.
As a Reversal, reverse any Submission or any Maneuver with the words "Maintain Hold" in the text.

Coming soon: Ace Austin

Hand Size: 9
Superstar Value: 1
Superstar Ability: When you play a Maneuver with the words "clothesline" or "lariat" in the title, you may discard three cards. If you do, if it is not Multi, it is considered to be Multi and High Risk. You may pack the card titled No-Sell Maneuver.

Hammerspace Ring Ropes
Backstage Area
Your cards titled "Back Body Drop" "Classic Back Body Drop", or with "clothesline" or "lariat" in the title, when played from hand, are all considered to have been played after the card titled "Irish Whip".
Whenever a maneuver titled "Back Body Drop", "Classic Back Body Drop", or with "clothesline" or "lariat" in the title is unsuccessful, you may place that maneuver under this card. During your Draw Segment, instead of drawing a card, you may place one card under this card into your hand.

Fiery Revenge
Reversal: Special
Can only be played after a successfully played Maneuver. Blank that Maneuver's text and damage, overturn 5 cards, and end your opponent's turn. During your next turn, if your first card played is an Incineroar-specific non-Trademark Finisher Maneuver, it is +5D, Multi, and considered to be a Trademark Finisher.

Burning Wizard Kick
Can only be played after a successfully played Maneuver or as a Counter. If played as a Counter, if you ended your opponent's previous turn by reversing their Maneuver with the card titled "No Sell Maneuver", can only be reversed by cards of D:6 or greater.

Darkness Lariat
Strike + Strike
Cannot be modified with Incineroar's Superstar Ability. Cannot be reversed by cards with "completely reverse" in the text. After damage has been applied, if this card has not been reversed, you may choose to discard any number of cards in your hand. For each card discarded, your opponent overturns two cards.

The Pokemon You Love To Hate
Pre-Match Event
Can be played during any Pre-Match Phase. This card's text may not be blanked and does not take a slot in your Pre-Match capacity. Once during each of your turns, you may discard one card to search your Arsenal for one Heel or Fan Favorite Action, reveal it to your opponent, put it in your hand, and shuffle your Arsenal. Whenever you successfully play a Heel or Fan Favorite Action, you may shuffle one card from your Ringside into your Ring, draw one card, and you are considered to have played no cards this turn for your opponent's cards and effects.

Flying Cross Chop
Strike + High Risk/Reversal: Special
As a Maneuver, can only be played as a Counter or after the card titled From The Top Rope. As a Reversal, completely reverse any High Risk Maneuver.

Burning Pro Wrestling Spirit
Mid-Match Action
Shuffle nine cards from your Ringside into your Ring, and then draw # cards, where # is equal to the number of cards in your Ring titled "Back Body Drop" or "Classic Back Body Drop". If the card titled "Fiery Revenge" is in your Ring or Ringside, you may put it into your hand.

Max Malicious Moonsault
Trademark Finisher + High Risk/Action
As a Maneuver, can only be played as a Counter or after a successfully played maneuver. Can only be reversed from hand. As an Action -35F and -30D. Shuffle this card and one card in your Ringside into your Ring, then draw 1 card. If you have more Fortitude than your opponent, draw three cards.

Sports Discussion / 2019 Baseball HOF Inductees Announced
« on: January 22, 2019, 08:29:33 PM »
History has been made and a strong class for the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame has been announced. Our inductees are:

Edgar Martinez - The first full-time DH to make the Hall. His election has set a precedent, because now full-time DHs will be seen as warranting election. He put up some amazing numbers, and the award given to the best DH each year bears his name.

Mike Mussina - Put up excellent numbers and overall excelled at pitching. He was initially hurt by the fact that he didn't win a Cy Young, along with the fact that he got lost in the shuffle due to pitching the same time as guys like Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. But after some time, voters realized he was worthy.

Roy Halladay - Won two Cy Youngs, one in the AL and one in the NL, pitched the 20th perfect game in baseball history, became only the second pitcher to spin a postseason no-hitter, and overall was outstanding. The years he had with the Phillies will always be in my memories.

Mariano Rivera - The greatest closer of all-time, no doubts about it. Not much needs to be said. Also made history by being the first unanimously elected player. I compare that to something like a 16-seed beating a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament: I thought it would never happen. Now both have in one year.

Anyone else have thoughts about this year's class?

Professional Wrestling Discussion / Major League Wrestling (MLW)
« on: January 12, 2019, 12:26:22 PM »
Many months ago, I was flipping through some channels looking for something to watch when I stumbled upon something I was unaware was on BeIN Sports. It was pro wrestling. I was shocked. Then I heard Tony Schiavone's voice, and I was even more shocked. Then I found out it was Major League Wrestling. I thought "Wait, didn't that promotion run for a couple of years and then shut down?" A quick Google search confirmed that yes, it had, but that Court Bauer not only decided to revive the promotion, but also got a TV deal on BeIN Sports for every Friday at 8 PM.

I'd been watching it on and off, and kept on getting more and more impressed. And then I recently found out that MLW actually puts up their TV shows on YouTube after they air, but presents them as a YouTube Premiere for those people that don't have BeIN Sports. I've been binge watching it since and am now a huge fan, to the point that when MLW comes to Philadelphia on February 2nd, Dilbert and I will be going to the show.

What I've found since I've been watching MLW:

-Tony Schiavone's REALLY repairing his reputation as a wrestling commentator quickly. In an interview, he admitted his faults and attributed it partially to knowing that what WCW was putting out was crap and as a result, not being all that invested. Here? He's completely invested, and he's also showing off a great sense of humor and chemistry with both Matt Striker and Rich Bocchini. As a result, his commentary has been great.

-There's a couple of ring oldies that can STILL go. LA Park (aka La Parka) is in his early fifties and isn't exactly in the best shape, but MAN can he still go. For that matter, Carl Ouellet (aka Quebecer Pierre) reinventing himself as "The French Frankenstein" PCO and doing split-legged moonsaults and suicide dives at age 50 has caught me completely off guard.

-Teddy Hart has resurrected his career. As it turns out, there's a reason for past incidents and bad behavior by him: he's bipolar but wasn't diagnosed until a couple of years ago. Now he's getting treatment for it, and he's not only calmed down but also been putting on some great matches.

-Teddy's stablemate Brian Pillman Jr has so far in his young career impressed. He has echoes of his father, but is absolutely not trying to be his dad. Gonna keep an eye on him.

-Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr and Fenix) are amazing performers. Twice they've been involved in matches defending their tag titles where the fans in attendance have thrown money into the ring at the end. For the uninitiated: in Mexico, if a match is particularly impressive, the crowd shows its appreciation by throwing money into the ring.

-There's all sorts of styles being demonstrated, and the workers have also shown an impressive ability to adapt their preferred styles so there isn't a lack of chemistry.

-Konnan in LAX was kinda embarrassing, seeing as how he was acting like a middle-aged gangbanger. Konnan as the mentor and veteran presence for Lucha Bros and other wrestlers is much better.

-"Filthy" Tom Lawlor is great. That's all that needs to be said.

Overall, I'm hooked. Friday nights at 8 PM have become can't miss TV for me.

I encourage you to check out MLW by binge-watching their shows. Check 'em out on YouTube here.

At this past year’s GenCon, I met a guy at the FFTCG Sealed Crystal Cup named Irving Diaz. Irv and I hit it off immediately and we became friends. In particular, I recommended a place I’d been to on Wednesday called BRU Burger Bar. There was a miscommunication somewhere because he wanted me to come along with him and his buddies. We’re planning on meeting up at GenCon this year for that purpose.

The main reason I’m posting this though is because Irv has been developing a game called “Bunny Stasis”. It’s a game about being the last bunny standing and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Irv introduced me to it and I tried it out, and I like it. Today he texted me a link. It’s for a Kickstarter for the game. Details can be found on the page for it. I highly recommend pledging to have the game made and getting it yourselves.

Read up about Bunny Stasis and pledge here.

I will obviously be pledging. I hope some of you guys decide to as well.

Fantasy Cards / Aleister Black, presented by Dilbert (with input from me)
« on: December 05, 2018, 04:04:47 PM »
Aleister Black
SHS: 6
SSV: 1
NXT SSA: Your opponent's non-F:0 reversals to your Superstar Specific cards are +6F. You may pack Face, Heel, Cheater, and Fan Favorite cards in your Alignment Deck, but you cannot pack Face, Heel, Cheater, or Fan Favorite cards in any other Area.

No Man is Ever Truly Good... No Man is Ever Truly Evil...
Alignment Deck
This deck may contain up to 6 Arsenal Face cards, up to 6 Arsenal Heel cards, up to 6 Arsenal Fan Favorite cards, and up to 6 Arsenal Cheater cards. When you reveal your Superstar card, reveal either all Face and Cheater or all Heel and Fan Favorite cards in this deck and shuffle them into your Arsenal.

During your turn, you may reveal all cards under this card. Search your hand, Ringside, removed from game, and Arsenal for all Face, Heel, Fan Favorite, and Cheater cards, and place them into your Backstage area. Then shuffle the revealed cards into your Arsenal and turn this card face down.

I Do the Things You Never Could... And We Will Never Be Equal
Pre-Match Event
When you have less Fortitude than your opponent, your non-Superstar Specific maneuvers are -#F, where # is equal to the number of cards in your opponent's hand. When you have greater Fortitude, your non-Superstar Specific maneuvers are +#D, where # is equal to the number of cards in your opponent's hand.

Before your Draw Segment, if you and your opponent have the same number of cards in hand, draw 1 card and he discards 1 card.
F:0 D:0

Silent Contemplation
Mid-Match Action
This card is also considered to be titled "From The Top Rope".
When this card is your first non-Pre Match, non-Reversal card played of the game, you may discard up to six cards. For every two cards discarded, search your Arsenal for one non-Superstar specific card, reveal it to your opponent, put it into your hand, and shuffle your Arsenal.
When you overturn any number of cards for your card effects, you may shuffle up to one card from your Ringside into your Arsenal.
F:0 D:0

Release The Pressure
Reversal: Special
Reverse any non-Trademark Finisher maneuver and end your opponent's turn. If the reversed card was a Submission, and you have fewer cards in hand than your opponent, choose one: your opponent discards cards until he has the same number of cards in hand as you, or you draw cards until you have the same number of cards in hand as him.
F:8 D:0

Black Mass
Trademark Finisher/Reversal: Action
Can only be reversed by a Reversal card.
When played, you may remove up to six cards in your Ring from the game. Your opponent's Reversals are +2F for each removed card.
As a Reversal, discard this card and reverse any Action. You may play the reversed action as the first card of your turn as if you had your opponent's Fortitude. If it is reversed, put Black Mass into your hand.
F:25 D:20 SV:3

Blood Moon Stomp
High Risk + High Risk
Can only be played as a Counter or after the card title "From The Top Rope".
When played after the card "From The Top Rope", your opponent's Reversals with "Multi" in the text are blank.
F:15 D:20 SV:2

Arise From The Shadows
Pre-Match Event
This card can be played can be played during any Pre-Match phase and does not take up a slot in your Ring.
When you successfully play a Heel or Cheater card, put one card from your Ringside into your hand.
When you successfully play a Face or Fan Favorite card, look at your opponent's hand, choose one card, he discards the chosen card, and draws one card.

Perpetrate Your Propaganda
Your actions are Multi, and if completely reversed, put them back into your hand.
F:0 D:0

This card is considered blank for your card effects.
When this card is in your Ring, during your turn, you may overturn 2 cards to play this card.
When this card is in your Ringside, you may overturn 6 cards to put this card into your hand.
F:10 D:10

And Now I'm Calling You Out
Discard 3 cards and shuffle 8 cards from your Ringside into your Arsenal.
When the card titled "Calling You Out" is in your Ring, double all numbers on this card.
F:0 D:3

Good evening everyone!

I'm posting this up because I will be on-stream during the event. Saturday, from 6 PM to 8 PM to be specific. I will be playing Blade Strangers, a fun little fighting game, giving an overview of the game as well as having random folks come on to play with me. And if you are able, donations to benefit Extra Life would be appreciated! Gamers Heaven has a Twitch channel where the event will be streamed.

Event info can be found here. GH's Twitch is located here.

For the first time, cards have been banned from Final Fantasy TCG.

As of December 1st, Gesper [5-034C] and Thaumaturge [5-040C] are now banned from Constructed format.

To explain the cards:

Gesper is an Ice Monster which costs 2 CP. While he's in play, on your turn, you can dull him to make each player discard one card. Thaumaturge is an Ice Forward for 2 CP which, when he comes into play, makes the opponent discard a card. He also gains +4000 Power if the opponent has two or less cards in their hand.

Turbo Ice Discard is something that has been prevalent throughout the last two sets. Considering you can have multiple Gesper and Thaumaturge out, and their cheap cost, it's fairly easy to nuke the opponent's hand and make them go into topdeck mode for the rest of the game. Now in playing, I will say that Turbo Ice, while annoying, is not an unbeatable monster. In fact, speaking personally, I've faced the deck multiple times and have won as much as I've lost against it. If anything, to borrow a Raw Deal term, this seems to be based on Turbo Ice Discard being an NPE for players, and SquareEnix making the move is not only to tone down the deck, but also remove the Turbo Ice NPE.

We'll have to wait to see if Turbo Ice Discard weakens significantly to open the meta, but this is exciting news.

General Chat / The only video you need to watch for Halloween
« on: October 22, 2018, 05:08:40 PM »
Found this randomly and loved it.

Slashstreet Boys - I'll Kill You That Way

Gaming Discussion (Everything Else) / Stardew Valley
« on: October 04, 2018, 07:40:47 PM »
Just randomly throwing this out there. I have some questions, specifically about the marriage candidates. If anyone here plays, I would appreciate your answers.

1. Who did you marry?

2. If you married Penny, please explain why she is best girl.

3. If you didn't marry Penny, why are you so heartless as to keep her trapped in that trailer with her alcoholic and emotionally abusive mother?

4. If you married Shane, please explain why he is best boy.

5. If you didn't marry Shane, why are you so heartless as to not be the support he needs to help him deal with his depression and suicidal thoughts?

Gaming Discussion (Everything Else) / Smash Ultimate
« on: August 09, 2018, 04:17:30 PM »
Super Smash Bros Ultimate seems to be at this point Masahiro Sakurai giving fans whatever they ask for. Ridley being the first new character introduced was something long anticipated but never thought a reality. But now thanks to the Nintendo Direct yesterday, it seems "Give the fans whatever they want" is the primary factor for new additions. Proof:

There's tears flowing. But they're not bloody, that I can assure you.

Finally got his lazy ass off the Gangplank Galleon.

With that in mind, I have only one thing to say:


Hey everyone! Just wanted to link you guys to something I did.

At the June 30th Zodiac Trial, I proposed to John Schreiner and Dan Cousillas, two of the top FFTCG players in New Jersey, and the owners of EXP+, an online FFTCG site, a series of articles about netdecking. John had said he was working on one, but welcomed me to submit it to him.

I did so, and John was so impressed by it, both the tone and formatting of it, that he decided to scrap his article on netdecking and gave me the go-ahead to write my series.

The article recently went up (The date it went up was actually July 25th, not July 5th.). You can find it here.

General Discussion: Raw Deal / Quick opinion poll
« on: July 19, 2018, 08:25:45 PM »
I've just got a quick question for everyone: Would you agree or disagree that the TK support for Raw Deal back when it was officially running was a negative from a gameplay aspect, to the point of it being a major issue?

I'm asking because I got into a debate with some fellow Final Fantasy TCG players about the promo support for the game. The first three promos made were unique cards not found in any set, but after that, it was changed to alternate art versions of pre-existing cards. Some FFTCG players want unique cards that aren't printed in any set as promos/prize support, but I stated my opposition to this, because in my experience as a Raw Deal player, some of the cards in TKs became absolute necessities for decks, and not having them put you at a disadvantage. This created scenarios of players who won and had those cards, and players who didn't and fell behind as a result unless they shelled out cash for them on eBay or elsewhere. To me, this was a major problem, and it's because of that experience in Raw Deal I am against any sort of unique prize cards.

What are your thoughts?

General Chat / Level 36 Achieved!
« on: July 09, 2018, 06:30:05 AM »
Today marks another day of leveling up. Another 365 EXP achieved. And I’m celebrating it with a couple of days away from work at the shore.

+1s to all!

Yesterday, me and two FFTCG players from Gamers Heaven, Gabe Cavaliere and Kevin Witherow, traveled up to All-In-One Collectibles in Randolph, NJ for a tournament series they have called the Zodiac Trials. It's a different Zodiac sign each month, and after they've held 12, all prior champions will be invited for a Tournament of Champions. For me, my purpose in going up was threefold:

1. To playtest and begin thinking of how to refine the deck I plan on playing at GenCon for the Crystal Cup.
2. To visit friends, among them our own BigPimpin.
3. To place in the Top 4 and get one of the Zodiac Trial playmats handed out to those who finish Top 4. Since this month's Zodiac sign is Cancer, and that's my sign, I REALLY wanted one.

There's going to be several events held which will give me ample opportunity to playtest and hone the deck. Yesterday was the first one, and much like the Royal Rumble begins the Road To WrestleMania, I consider yesterday's Zodiac Trial to begin the Road To GenCon for me personally.

The deck I'm playing is a modified version of this deck. To explain: the deck is an EX Burst deck. EX Burst is an FFTCG mechanic where when you take damage, you flip a card over from the top of your deck, and if it has the EX Burst logo, you get the card's EX Burst effect without paying any cost. When I first saw that decklist, I was baffled as to how it would work. It didn't even look coherent, much less a tournament-winning deck. I threw it together and then quickly figured it out. I then modified the deck to streamline it and began playing the archetype in earnest. I call my variant "Press Your Luck" because in casual play, whenever I would flip over an EX Burst which would adversely affect the opponent, I'd say "Stop, on a Whammy!" as a joke. Today was the first time I'd be playing the deck in a big tournament with players from outside my local area, and I ended up being very happy with the results. Here's how the tournament went down:

Round 1 Swiss: vs. Dan Cousillas

Dan is one of All-In-One's top players. He won the FFTCG NYC Petit Cup late last year and was the champion of the first Zodiac Trial. He was playing a Wind/Lightning deck revolving around Leyak, a Monster that activates the opponent's characters when you attack. As it was, he got off to a quick start, helped by the fact that I didn't draw an ideal hand. I stabilized however and we traded damage. We both got to six damage, each of us needing one more to win the game. And then I made a HUGE mistake. He played Illua, a Forward that has Haste and has an ability that cancels the first Summon or Ability that targets her. I had no Forwards that could block, so I told Dan he had it. However, right as I was scooping, I immediately realized I had an answer: I had Mateus, the Corrupt from Opus 2 in my hand. It makes the opponent put one attacking Forward in the Break Zone. That gets around Illua's shield because it doesn't target the Forward, but the opponent. However, I'd already said it was over, and that ended the match. Dan gave me a little pep talk after the match, saying that he made a similar mistake in prior games, and that I just need to shake it off. After taking a couple minutes, I took a deep breath and got ready for the rest of the tournament.

Round 2 Swiss: vs. Bernardo Rodriguez

Bernardo, along with two other guys, came up from Delaware to play in the tournament. They come infrequently to GH events, so we're familiar with each other. He was playing a Mono-Earth deck. Of all my games, this was the only easy one I had. I got Kam'lanaut out early, which is a Dark Forward whose element you can change, and he can't be targeted by Summons or Abilities of his element. He got rid of the first one with a global effect, but I immediately played a second and picked apart his defenses to take the match.

Round 3 Swiss: vs. John Soto

John is a friend I made when I went to All-In-One's Opus IV prerelease. He was playing an Earth/Wind deck, featuring big and fast Forwards. Of all the matches I had, this one was the most stressful. At one point he'd dealt six damage to my one. But then I finally got going and managed to begin coming back. I steadily dealt him damage and broke his Forwards, hard-casting Summons as I needed them. I managed a complete comeback to win the match and improve to 2-1. This was big, because if I won the next match, I would make the Top 8 cut.

Round 4 Swiss: vs. Eugene Bowie

Gene is another one of the Delaware crew. And our matches always seem to be closely-fought epics. This one was no different. He was playing Lightning/Earth Scions, which involves getting cards with the Job (think creature type like in Magic) "Scion of the Seventh Dawn" in play, since they give each other bonuses. As it was, we both got off to ideal starts and traded damage throughout. Then on the penultimate turn, he attacked and I chose to take the damage. I got an EX Burst which let me break his biggest Forward, and then the next turn I forced through the final point of damage and won. I'd done it! I was now 3-1 and guaranteed Top 8.

Top 8 Match: vs. Mike Hunsicker

Mike is a GH local, playing Mono-Lightning. We both knew each other's decks and knew it would be close. Both our games in the Best of Three were the same: damage trading, breaking Forwards, and trying to outmaneuver each other. Both games I also came up short, with each of us having dealt the other six damage and needing one last point. The first game, I thought he was setting up some sort of trap when really he was drawing dead for a couple turns. As a result, I left him in the game too long and he managed to get that last point. The second, he saved his biggest nuke after I cleared out his defenses and then managed to hold on to deal that final point. So close, but alas.

My final placement was 5th. For my efforts, I got $40 in store credit at All-In-One, which I used on Opus I packs. I also earned a foil promo of my choice. And it doesn't stop there. A raffle was held, and I was lucky enough to get my name called out. I got a chibi Lightning plushie as a result. Because I was also the guy who played the deck with the most elements (six), Steve Molnar, one of the organizers for All-In-One's scene, gave me a set of FF-themed six-sided dice as a door prize. And lastly, because I finished Top 8, my deck will be listed on as one of those who placed. Unfortunately I came up just short of winning a custom playmat. Maybe next time.

Overall, to quote Ice Cube, it was a good day. I got affirmation that my modified deck works and that it's something I can run with. Me, Gabe, and Kevin had a good time driving up and going back. Plus, we got to stop at a White Castle for dinner. I visited my friends at All-In-One, Pimpin and John Soto among them, and got a pleasant surprise when I saw the Delaware crew had made the trip up. And the best part was that Gamers Heaven represented quite well: we made up half of the Top 8, 3 of the Top 4, and it was Kevin who won the tournament and took the trophy home. Plus, All-In-One sprang for pizza for all of us.

Now the real prep begins. Opus VI is coming out in two weeks, and I'll need to see what I can add to Press Your Luck to strengthen it from that set. There's also going to be locals with the new meta, and at least one more major tournament: the North American Nationals Qualifier on July 28th, which will be the final stop before GenCon. There may however be another big tournament before then. But things are looking good as I begin my Road To GenCon.

Sports Discussion / 2018 World Cup
« on: June 05, 2018, 07:56:22 PM »
The World Cup is quickly approaching, beginning one week from Thursday. It's gonna be a bitter pill to swallow not seeing the US in the World Cup, but then again, The Netherlands and Italy didn't make it either, so at least we weren't the only ones that embarrassed themselves in qualifying.

So considering the US is not in, and given that the majority of users here are American, my question for you is this: who are you supporting? Me, I'm backing England. Yes, I know it's an exercise in futility, but there's five Tottenham Hotspur players on the England squad, and backing England means I back Spurs in a sense. I can also look past the fact that Danny Welbeck, Gary Cahill, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are on the squad, unlike some folks in England apparently.

If you don't have a team to support but want to back someone, post here and I will draw a random team for you to back in the World Cup.

Rants Forum / SquareEnix's Tournament Rules Are Stupid
« on: May 28, 2018, 08:34:12 AM »
I'll acknowledge that this rant is kinda dumb, but after some information I found out last night, I need to just say how dumb SquareEnix is in regards to their major tournaments.

SquareEnix is intent on having Swiss rounds go as quickly as possible with their tournaments for the Final Fantasy TCG and is willing to disregard any other concerns there might be. It's an admirable goal, but the rules and regulations in place are instead screwing over other players.

First is the fact that in Swiss, if a match goes to time, there aren't any tiebreakers and the match isn't a draw. If a match goes to time, the players have five turns to determine a winner. If there is no winner, it's a double loss. Just for emphasis, I'm going to repeat that and put it in bold and all caps: IF THERE IS NO WINNER AFTER TIME AND TURNS, BOTH PLAYERS LOSE.

This is already a horrendous rule, because instead of giving an incentive to win, it instead gives an incentive for a player who isn't going to win to screw over his opponent. Mike H, one of the local players here got screwed out of making the Day 2 cut at the FFTCG North American Nationals last year because he would've made it with a win in the last round of Swiss, as well as his opponent. The match goes to time, and his opponent is behind and has no chance, while Mike has a chance to win and make the cut. His opponent decides that he's going to take Mike down with him, and stalls out enough to force the double loss and eliminate them both. This has occurred in other SquareEnix FFTCG tournaments, and it's screwing players more than helping them. Even worse is that there's an easy tiebreaker: whoever has taken less damage wins. Baring that, whoever has more cards in their deck wins. Baring THAT, then either do sudden death (next damage wins) or, if you really want to move things on, flip a coin.

I had decided that I wasn't going to be like that. My plan for the Crystal Cups at GenCon was that if I was in a situation where a match went to time and turns, if my opponent was ahead, I'd concede to give my opponent the win and give them the credit for a good game. I am not one to screw an opponent over, and if I'd been in such a situation, I'd rather someone come out ahead, even if it's at my expense.

Well, I told Mike H my plan and he quickly told me not to do it. I asked why, and he then stated that according to the official tournament rules, conceding a match is considered cheating, and is grounds for an automatic tournament disqualification AND a competitive ban for a length of time at SquareEnix's discretion. Yes, that's right (again, emphasis): I COULD GET BANNED FOR CONCEDING A MATCH, NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OR SITUATION. Conceding a match is considered collusion by SquareEnix, and they do not want collusion of any kind. I also could be in trouble if I was in an unwinnable situation and played through to let my opponent win. That also would be considered collusion and would get me and the other player disqualified.

Not being able to concede a match is some of the biggest bulls**t I have ever heard. Their assumption that conceding is an act of collusion is very flawed and leads to uncomfortable situations. I didn't want to screw an opponent over. Now I find out the rules give me no choice and I HAVE to screw someone over if it comes down to this.

I, along with other players, have voiced my concerns about these rules, feeling them to be counterproductive and a tool for tournament griefers to screw over people determined to compete and win. I don't know if SquareEnix will listen, considering the fact that other suggestions by players have been ignored. But either way, these rules are really, really dumb, and inevitably, players have been and will continue to be screwed.

General Chat / Promotion Celebration Postwhore-a-thon!
« on: May 22, 2018, 03:25:57 PM »
I recently celebrated two years of employment at Vanguard. Now I've got something else to celebrate regarding them.

For the past year, I've been in the Retirement Center, dealing with complex retirement accounts and the issues associated with them. My year of service came on April 9th, and I applied for a position in Flagship. Flagship is the division that handles high net worth clients, and is considered to be the best department to be in if you want to advance to management or to a specialist expertise role. Three weeks ago, I had my interview. It went well, and my team lead got very good feedback from them. This made me hopeful, but they said it'd be a while before I heard back.

I got word today. The recruiting manager called me and informed me that I had been chosen for the role in Flagship. She formally offered me the position, and I accepted. My training for the new role begins on June 4th.

For the purposes of Vanguard's organization, this is a promotion, which means I'll be going up a pay grade. My training will take two weeks, after which I will be ready to perform.

Because of that, I'm posting this up to celebrate. +1s to everybody!

General Chat / For those who watch Game of Thrones.........
« on: May 19, 2018, 06:55:30 PM »
For those who watch the HBO series, there's some cool news regarding one of the actors in the series.

Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, who plays Gregor "The Mountain" Cleagne, is a professional strongman. Two weeks ago he won the World's Strongest Man competition organized by IMG, which is the oldest and most prestigious strongman competition in the world.

But that's not all. Earlier in March, he won the Arnold Strongman Classic. Yes, the event Mark Henry won in its first iteration. It's now behind only World's Strongest Man in prestige, because while WSM requires a blend of strength and athleticism, the Arnold Strongman Classic is all about raw power. And then Bjornsson also won the Europe's Strongest Man competition. He's not the first to win all three, but he is the first to win all three in a single year.

So there you go. The Mountain is now officially the World's Strongest Man. He joins Jon Pall Sigmardsson and the awesomely-named Magnus Ver Magnusson (You can translate that as "Greatness, Son of Greatness" or "Big Man, Son of Big Man". Awesome either way) as winners hailing from Iceland.

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