Author Topic: The Road To GenCon Has Begun (FFTCG Zodiac Trials)  (Read 178 times)

Offline Queensryche

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The Road To GenCon Has Begun (FFTCG Zodiac Trials)
« on: July 01, 2018, 05:44:53 AM »
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 FFDecks.com 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.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 04:01:09 AM by Queensryche »
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Offline Queensryche

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Re: The Road To GenCon Has Begun (FFTCG Zodiac Trials)
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 04:22:14 PM »
The Top 8 is now up on FF Decks! For those of you here on TCO who play FFTCG, feel free to check out the decks (including mine!). Also, if you want, I'll answer questions about Press Your Luck.
Ceterum censeo Chelsea delendam esse.

Don't let this signature distract you from the fact that Dele Alli has 29 more PL goals than Jack Wilshere.

BREAKING NEWS: Arsenal to move to Los Angeles "to be closer to their fanbase" according to Stan Kroenke.