Shadowfist Tournament Report: GenCon 2001

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Home > Tournaments > Reports > GenCon 2001
[posted 18 Jul 2003; updated 1 Jan 2007]

2001 looks like another year for slackers, including me. I was only there for two days, and played in only one Shadowfist event, so I'm not the best person for this report, but here's what I remember.

Steve Valladolid's report appeared in Kiii-Yaaah!! issue #2; you used to be able to download it from but that link is dead after Shadowfist Games reworked the site in 2006. Jim Sensenbrenner sent me some notes about the Whirlpool of Blood, and Jan Malina added more - thanks! Please chime in with more if you can :)


Z-Man ran a number of tournaments at GenCon 2001. Unfortunately, I don't know what they all were, let alone who won...

"World Championship" Final Brawl (multiplayer, constructed): Steve Valladolid [decklist]
Who's the Big Man Now? (dueling, constructed): Jan Malina [decklist]

Whirlpool of Blood (sealed, multiplayer):

Jim Sensenbrenner

Team Whirlpool of Blood (sealed, multiplayer): Jan Malina & Steve Valladolid
Both Guns Blazing (speed dueling, constructed): ?
Who Wants Some? (sealed, convention-long): Jan Malina, ~28 wins

Recollections from me, about the team Whirlpool of Blood tournament and other stuff.

Recollections from Jim Sensenbrenner, about the individual Whirlpool of Blood tournament. (Jan Malina's comments added here)

Recollections from Jan Malina, about the Team Whirlpool of Blood tournament.

GenCon 2001 Team Whirlpool of Blood Report by Stefan Vincent

Posted 18 Jul 2003.

At this convention we discovered that a 1 1/2 year old isn't suitable for the dealers' room. The same boy who slept soundly in the backpack as I judged tournaments last year, was completely wired this year. Our hotel wasn't within walking distance, so we didn't have a good place for naps either. We ended up cutting the trip short, after two frustrating days :(

On Friday we did get to play in an interesting event, Team Shadowfist. It was asking for trouble, since neither Lissa nor I had played since the previous GenCon, but it was sealed deck, so how bad could it be? (oops). Each team of two people got two standard starters plus some boosters (I forget how many now, it all blurs...) and had to make two decks as best they could. The games were then set up among three teams—six player games sound bad for sealed deck, but it was ok because the two team members are working together, in theory. Cards that affected "opponents" could not be used on your teammate, nor could you attack them, but otherwise that was it. First person to five FSS wins as usual.

We (ok, I :) made several mistakes from the start. Our two decks were tuned so that both were tolerable, but that turns out to be a poor way to play this format: you really want one person going all-out for the win, and the other just backing them up as they can. One deck should be tuned as tightly as possible, with all the good stuff in it, and the other deck should be busy speed-bumping, limping along as best as it can.

Play style was also a mistake. I fell into just playing sealed deck, and trying to win, and not paying attention too much to the position of my teammate, figuring that the best strategy was just for both of us to be playing flat-out to win. When I should have been setting up to help her launch a winning attack, I was busy going for my 4th site. Duh. Absolutely obvious in hindsight, but the thrill of the attack had me :) So the first game went out the window that way.

The second game is where I learned how we should have tuned our decks. Mike Jackson had set up an Architect deck that had enough denial in it to punch through my stuff (I had a Confucian and Iron and Silk in my deck, I thought I was large and in charge :), his teammate basically provided chaff to screen his attacks and to clear out pesky utility characters. It worked very well, the two of them kept the other four of us on the ropes. One of the funniest moments I've ever seen in a game came after Mike had grabbed his fourth site with a $10,000 Man. Ron Wheelhouse was next, but his only character was Helix Chewed into 0-damage. I had nothing, Mark Wheelhouse had nothing, and Lissa had nothing. It looked pretty bleak. Ron couldn't damage anything, but launched an attack at me anyway—on my Cave Network! He hoped that I could spring forth some Character that could slow down Mike's $10,000 Man. Unfortunately, all I had was a Noodle Lady. Mark managed to get a character out on his turn, so when Mike went for the win on his next turn, he led with Nerve Gas. I stopped that with a Confucian, but Mike followed up with Cellular Reinvigoration so he had enough damage to take the site for the win. Another learning experience :)

The last game was the longest. I was finally getting the hang of the team idea, and my deck started out pretty strong, getting to four sites fairly quickly, so Lissa dropped into the support role. The table dealt harshly with my Shaolin Master, so I had to wait for another character. I could see Lissa holding back so she could support my winning attack—that never came. I couldn't draw a character for multiple turns. Not even a foundation. Sigh. By the time Lissa gave up waiting and tried to build her own position, the other players had ramped up too and we were all in defensive positions with waxy character build up. After a bunch of back-and-forth, Tim Wong managed to punch through for the win, and it was the Probability Manipulator that allowed him to just squeak in enough damage to win! (yes, he had both the resources and the power to play it, in sealed deck. Phew.)

I don't know who won the tournament, but after that last game, it didn't matter. Freakin' Probability Manipulator, no less.

In other news, Steve Valladolid went on to repeat his multiplayer championship victory. For his prize, he designed a card for the next set (which became Esteban Vicente in Dark Future). Jan Malina repeated his win on the dueling side of the house, using a deck that exploited the Eastern King in the newly released Shaolin Showdown set (that premiered at this convention).

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GenCon 2001 Whirlpool of Blood Report by Jim Sensenbrenner

Jim sent this to me on 4 Nov 2003, and Jan Malina added more info on 9 Nov 2003. Thanks!

I "won" the individual Whirlpool of Blood (draft) event at GenCon 2001. I qualify the statement because the event went so long that the final was going to start at 3 am. Based on mutual agreement of the finalists, we decided to roll dice for prizes rather than play the final. I rolled highest. Jan Malina and Tim Wong were the other finalists. I played a Mon/Dra deck. Jan played a Lotus deck (Jan described it as getting really lucky in the draft, with 7 Unique Lotus guys and strong backup).

First round was an unmemorable win.
Second round I beat Ron and Mark Wheelhouse.
Third round Jan beat Max Hufnagel and me.
Fourth round I ended up in a four player game and lost to Tim Wong?
Final round: Jan, Tim Wong and I rolled 1d12 for prizes. I won with a 12.

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GenCon 2001 Team Whirlpool of Blood Report by Jan Malina

Jan sent this info to me on 9 Nov 2003. Thanks! I've paraphrased it here.

The Team Whirlpool of Blood event was won by Team Bay Fisters: Jan Malina and Steve Valladolid. Jan played the attacking deck (Dragons) and Steve played the support deck (Arch/Hand). According to Jan, they did very well in the draft, and ended up with a lot of strong cards to work with, like a pair (!) of Neutron Bombs.

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