Shadowfist Tournament Report: GenCon 2010
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[posted 23 Sep 2010; updated 2 Jan 2011]
Shadowfist Games ran a bunch of tournaments at GenCon 2010 in Indianapolis, August 5-8, 2010. The winners were announced in the Inner Kingdom Update, Vol.1, Issue 3 (but, surprisingly, not on Shadowfist.com or in the forum)
|"World Championship" Final Brawl (multiplayer, constructed):||Tim Linden [decklist]|
Exclusive Invitational (multiplayer, constructed)
|Who's the Big Man Now? (dueling, constructed):||
Julian Lighton [decklist]
Whirlpool of Blood (sealed, drafting):
Comrades in Arms (multiplayer, constructed, theme deck):
Peter "Red" Trudell [decklist]
The New Heroes (multiplayer, constructed, only Shadowfist Games cards allowed):
John Merrill [decklist]
Ritual of the Unnameable (multiplayer, constructed, cards start with 1 of 3 letters):
Joshua Kronengold [decklist]
Two reports and one pictorial for you:
from Willow Palecek (sorry, I am facebookless so I can't grab copies of these
photos to mirror)
multiple reports from Jim Sensenbrenner
Report from Daniel Griego
Originally appeared in Inner Kingdom Update Vol.1, Issue 3. Republished with permission.
GenCon 2010 continued the new tradition of a precon dinner at the Ram, with attendees from the San Antonio crew and Greg and John from Jacktown. Friendly play (read as: Who Wants Some?) followed at the hotel, with Willow joining in on the fun.
The first event of the convention was a modestly attended demo and instruction session with new faces interested in the game and old faces there to help out. Many thanks to Jim Pai for all his help throughout the weekend as both a demoer and an occassional guard for the Shadowfist supplies.
Now relegated to second-tier status, the Dueling tournament kicked off competitive play for the convention, with top honors going to Julian Lighton of New York, whose deck lost exactly once out of the eight total rounds.
Thursday wrapped up with the Exclusive Invitational, featuring nine of the most seasoned and hard-core players on the block. Proving once more her might and prowess, Willow Palecek of Wisconsin walked away victor, having defended both her title and her fu.
Friday morning brought out a record number of GenCon drafters with 18 total players throwing down against each other's best built decks on the spot. After four rounds and almost six hours of construction and play time, Tim Linden emerged from the rubble with the first of two titles he'd earn throughout the weekend.
Friday evening featured the World Championship New Heroes tournament, with decks featuring cards only from the three most recent expansion sets. Ten players competed, with John Merrill coming out ahead with his National Championship New Heroes deck, fresh off his victory at Origins in June. Johns double-winning, straight Syndicate deck verifies what weve suspected ever since the release of Empire of Evil: the new kids on the block can not only hold their own, theyre kicking some major butt.
The World Championship Final Brawl event the next morning brought another outstanding turnout, with 18 total players. The monster showdown included four rounds with a final featuring the top players: Michael Lasinski, Jim Sensenbrenner, Julian Lighton and Tim Linden. It was here that Tim took away his second title and another World Championship in the hands of the Canadians.
The post-championship tournament brought together the nine players with enough gaming fortitude and endurance to engage the six-hour world championship and come back for another four hours of Comrades in Arms fun, including the newly crowned champion, Tim Linden. This years Comrades champion was Peter Red Trudell, of Texas, with his formidable Fire deck.
The convention concluded with Sundays Ritual of the Unnameable tournament. A full report of this event can be found on the next page, courtesy of Jim "The Beast" Sensenbrenner.
Other GenCon highlights include Willow winning the epic "Who Wants Some?" event and Inner Kingdom Games making it through the entire convention without getting anything thrown out by the maintenance crew.
Many thanks to everyone who made it out this year and for really raising the bar with Shadowfist attendance! Were looking forward to another great GenCon turnout next year!
Inner Kingdom Games
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by Jim Sensenbrenner
Originally posted to Jim's blog. Republished with permission.
Jim posted one report for each event he played in:
Ritual of the Unnameable
Sunday's only event was a Ritual of the Unnameable. I had two RotU decks made before GenCon, a BAD Architect deck and a BAT Monarch deck. I got an idea for an Ascended OMG deck, but did not have time to pull it together before the event. I ended up playing the BAT deck, which I have fun playing.
Nine people showed up for the tournament, so there were four rounds of 3 3-player games scheduled. My first game was against Red and his CDCA deck and someone else's Monarch BAD deck (I think. It's amazing how much I forget in two weeks.) I was able to win this game with the Thunder Bird in Butterfly Armor leading the winning attack against Red's Devil Mountain.
In the next round, I faced Josh's Monkeys In Black deck, and I think another BAD deck. If memory serves (which I would not bet on at this point), Josh won this game.
The third round I faced Willow's PMS Jammer deck and Daniel's CAD Architect deck. Willow won the game, but I had one of my favorite in game moments here. On Daniel's turn, he played an Abomination Serum on my Butterfly Knight. In response, I played Bear vs. Fox to start a Faceoff with Dr. Klaus Herrbruck. Daniel tried to save the good Dr. with a Cellular Reinvigoration, which I Brain Fired onto the Butterfly Knight. The Knight won the Faceoff and played Daniel's Arcanovirus to smoke Willow's Professional Killer. I love being able to mess with other peoples plans in unexpected ways. It is one of the best parts of the game. Later in the game, Daniel attack me to the right. I told him was going to use everything to stop him and leave the board open for Willow. He continued with the attack. I stopped him. Willow won. (Willow, I have one of your Safety Third cards from this event.)
After this Willow left thinking the tournament was only three rounds. So for the final round, I ended up in a four player game with Braz, playing a DIE Lotus deck; Joey, playing a PIS Monarch deck, and Red again. I'll give Braz credit for playing the most interesting deck in the tournament. I started fast, but could not maintain the momentum. Red cleared the board with an Arcanovirus, and I couldn't come back. We went to time. It was a fun game, but I don't remember who won. Josh, I believe, won the tournament.
I apologize for the inaccuracies that I am sure are this report. By this time all events were blurring together along with who I was playing and what decks were being played. Any corrections people have are more than welcome.
Blood And Thunder
Thunder Gladiator x5
Thunder Knight x7
Thunder Squire x4
Butterfly Knight x4
Bonebreaker Jun x2
Thunder Bird x2
Blood and Thunder x5
Bear vs. Fox x2
Tiger vs. Crane
Brain Fire x3
Blood Lust x3
Bandolier of Throwing Knives
The Book of Wrath
Blanket of Darkness
Thunder Pagoda vPAP
The Thunder Dome
Ancient Stone Arch
Temple of the Angry Spirits
Temple of the Monkey King
The Blue Moon Club
Thousand Sword Mountain
Turtle Island x2
Turtle Beach x2
A simple straight forward attack deck. Build an army and attack using Blood and Thunder to pump it up and avoid a lot of redirection / damage reduction denial. In this tournament, I avoided redirection from Devil's Mountain, and damage reduction from Diamond Beach and Puzzle Garden. About half the games I have won with this deck have been with the Thunder Bird with Butterfly Armor. I really like that this deck lends itself to the out of faction Faceoff events.
Comrades in Arms
Saturday night was the Comrades in Arms tournament. To me this was a fun, relaxed event. I am interested in the deck designs and designator choices. I choose an old standby Monkey deck. I wanted to try Beast but the card pool is too small (Alpha Beast, Beta Beast, Gamma Beast, Paradox Beast, Jigsaw Beast, Roar of the Beast, and Tomb of the Beast) with some marginal cards. Nine people showed up for the tournament, which had four rounds. So everyone played everyone once.
First round was Braz and John Wengler. Braz was playing his Paradox deck from Origins, and John was playing a Darkness deck, which he had played earlier in the World Championship. At one point, John attacked me to the right to try to get a vulnerable site. Braz then Discerning Fired and had a wide open board. John and I couldn't muster a defense. Braz won.
Second round, I played John Monnett and Josh Kronengold. John had a gun deck, and Josh had a Pawn deck, which I think was the most unique designator in the event. I came out hard and fast and was able to overwhelm them. When Josh got his Stand Together in play, it became more difficult, but I still pulled it off. Two Buffalo Soldiers helped keep the Monkey horde safe in this game.
Third round, I played Tim Lindon and Jeremy Dale. Tim's deck I think was a Rebel deck and Jeremy had a Student Deck. Again, the Monkey horde was able to overwhelm the opposition and claim victory. I am foggy on the specifics of the the game, however.
Final round, I faced off against Red and Daniel. It turned out that Red was the only other player with two wins going into this round. So in a way, this game was a true final unless Daniel won. Red was playing a Fire deck, and Daniel had a Secret Deck. This was a long game with lots of sites (mostly mine) being burned. In the end, time was called just after I played Potlatch to get enough power to launch an attack against Daniel. When the points were tabulated, Red came in first for the tournament, Josh sneaked into second, and I was third by a single game point. If I hadn't played Potlatch, I would have been second. Oh well, it was still a fun tournament.
Deck Eunuch Monkeys
Big Macaque Attack x5
Rebel Without a Cause
Brass Monkey x2
Funkey Monkey x2
Furious George vPAP
Gorilla Fighter x2
Buffalo Soldier x2
"There's Always One More" x4
The Ape is Loose! x2
Who's the Monkey Now? x3
IKTV Special Report
Single Action Devolver
Mo' Monkeys, Mo' Problems
Eagle Mountain x4
Monkey House x3
Proving Ground x5
Whirlpool of Blood
This deck is simple play monkeys and attack. Use Proving Grounds to pump out the two cost Monkeys. Generate power through Monkey House, Scrounging, and non-FSS sites. Recycle Monkeys with There's Always One More. Worst case is you get a Marmojet or a Buffalo Soldier, either of which will help the Macaques. For the CiA tournament I subbed in 2 extra Who's the Monkey Now? for Close Calls. Discerning Fires can wreak this deck by taking out monkeys or Proving Grounds.
Final Brawl (World Championships)
Saturday was the Final Brawl World Championship. I felt woefully under prepared for this event. Leading up to Gen Con, most of my decks had been greatly modified to try out Empire of Evil cards, and none of them were well tuned. I was working on Lotus recycling deck ideas (Hopping Vampire with or without Mysterious Return, or Unholy Legionaries with Dragon Throne) but nothing seemed like a solid build. I finally decided to go back to an old standby - Yakuza Enforcers and Final Brawls with a few updates. Again, the deck is not well tuned, but the basic concept is simple and simple to play.
First round was against Robert Stetler and Greg Zimmerman. I got off to a good start and wrapped this up quickly. Robert was quite upset when he found out that Sword of the Master cancelled the fighting bonuses his Twelve Thousand Skulls put on Feng Kan. Then when it cancelled the Escalation bonus, it added insult to injury. I ended up with a 10-Fighting Hacker going for the win.
Second round was against Willow and Braz. Willow was playing her Ballad of Jade Willow deck. I warned Braz not to burn any of her sites or a free Jade Willow would come flying out of her hand. We were able to make her pay full price for Jade Willow, but we couldn't quite stop Jade Willow from dominating the rest of the game. Willow won the round.
The third and fourth round games I was able to win to lock a seat in the final. The other finalists were Julian Lighton playing Eating Brains in the Service of the Lotus deck, Tim Linden playing a Morse Code Poet deck, and Mike Lasinski playing a Monarch deck.
I got a quick burn with two Redeemed Gunmen taking Mike's front row turned site. I burned for victory, which was a mistake. I really should have burned for power, which I needed over the next couple turns. Julian built up a formidable army of undead and vampires. He was taking Tim's battleground sites to fund his army. Tim played a long site structure of big FSS (The Great Wall), Hall of Portals, and battleground sites. In front, he had up to three Morse Code Poets. Mike was having a hard time getting started. I don't think he ever quite got back from my taking his site.
During one of Tim's attacks, which I believe was an early attempt for the win, Julian asked for help stopping it. I foolishly mentioned that I had Final Brawls available. Julian then Tortured Memories the Poet to stop the attack. I believe Julian then spent part of the rest of the game trying to draw out the Brawls. Because most of his characters were four fighting or lower, the Brawls potentially could devastate his position. On his last turn he attacked me to the right. I had seized his Death Ring earlier and he claimed he was coming back for it. No one intercepted. At the last minute, he revealed and turned an Endless Corridor to switch my back row unrevealed FSS with the Death Ring which now made this a winning attack. I still sat on the Brawls. He hit for 7 and left the Disco with 1 body left. Tim went next. He took my damaged Disco and then launched the winning attack. When I tried to Brawl (twice), he had two Delay the Inevitables to save his attackers and win the game.
Looking back I
made several mistakes that I remember (I'm sure there are more that I don't)
1) Burning for victory rather than power when I took the early site. This would have funded at least one hitter and given me some sustainable forward momentum.
2) Revealing that I had Final Brawls in my hand. Unfortunately between when I spoke up and the final turn of the game, I did not draw any additional ones or Equal-Opportunity Butt-Kicking.
3) Not playing the Brawls earlier. There were a couple opportunities (When Julian started a Face-Off with Lin when I played her, when Julian played Sword of the Master on a Hopping Vampire before attacking the Death Ring, when Julian attacked the Death Ring) that could have been more advantageous.
Ah well, live and learn.
Deck - Last Man Standing (57):
Brave Villagers x5
Redeemed Gunman x3
Yakuza Enforcer x5
Big Bruiser x2
The Spirit of Kongxiangsi
Final Brawl x5
Equal Opportunity Butt-Kicking x4
Dirk Wiseley's Gambit x3
Ashes of the Fallen
Is That All You Got x2
Sword of the Master
Pony Express x2
Sacred Heart Hospital x2
Whirlpool of Blood
Temple of the Angry Spirits
Festival Circle x2
Ancient Stone Arch
Cave Network x3
A somewhat updated version of an old deck. The basic core is play Yakuza Enforcers and Brawl/Kick-Butt as much as possible to keep other characters off the board. One new combo that I like in particular is Escalation with Sword of the Master. My character's fighting is doubled until the end of the attack and you get nothing.
Friday night was New Heroes. I was here to defend my victory from last year. I fell into the alluring trap of trying to play a Syndicate deck as they look like they have even footing with all the other factions in this format. I, however, think the Ascended with all of the additional power generation available and Shadowy Mentor are the faction to beat. Mars Program Executive looks to be the key to ramp up the power with the Syndicate at this point.
Games were three-player games (Daniel is particularly fond of 3-player for conventions as fewer games go to time). My first round was against two other Syndicate decks. John Merrill ended up building an unassailable fortress of Great Walls backed by The Steam Laundry Company. From there he was able to fight to victory.
I don't remember the other rounds well. John Wengler was playing Ascended. Daniel was playing Hand. Greg Zimmerman was playing Ascended/Jammers. A few people were playing Monarchs or Monarch / Lotus. Overall though Syndicate was the most popular faction. Purists and Dragons were absent from the tournament as best as I can recall. I believe John Merrill went on to win the event, but I'm not sure.
My Syndicate Deck:
Mars Colonist x5
Triad Punks x5
Street Racers x3
Mars Program Executive x4
Tattooed Man x2
Song, the Little Dragon
Xu Mei, the Dragon
Smoke and Mirrors
The Price of Progress
Synchronic Beam Emitter
Hyper Alloy Blade
Ancient Stone Arch
The Iron Palace
Bamboo Forest x3
The deck really needs a 5th Mars Program Exec. and another Martyr's Tomb. If you can continually recycle the execs, the power can keep on flowing. I also really like the Reprogramming in this format because almost every character has some special ability that is worth canceling. The best cancel I had in the tournament was Shao the Killer, which allowed my winning attack through. Platinum Upgrades also paid the bills in this tournament. Some people were questioning if this state is overpowered. For me it often made a Mars Exec into an impromptu hitter. Cost 5 for 6 fighting with toughness 3 is not over the curve. (But I suppose if you discount the Exec by the 3 power he paid back, it was cost 2 for 6F with Toughness 3. I think this points more to the power of the Exec than the Upgrade.)
Draft (Whirlpool of Blood)
Friday morning was the draft event. Eighteen players showed up to draft from Six Guns & Shurikens, Critical Shift, and Empire of Evil. Seven boosters were drafted with two foundation pods and one Feng Shui pod being provided after the draft. The structure of the draft was somewhat disappointing. We drafted in groups of three, which meant you were sure to get stuck with lots of cards out of the main factions you were drafting. You would also see a much smaller card pool from which to draft. I would have preferred to draft in groups of six. The second problem was that the tournament rounds were set up as two separate groups of nine players. So the nine players of group A never played against the nine players of group B. It gave the feeling that even though we could not play all other players, you could not control your destiny. At least there were enough players within each group so that you never played against the same opponent more than once. A more personal annoyance was that the first round of games was with the same three people with whom you drafted. You pretty much knew what you were in for the first round. In draft I expect a greater element of surprise.
I drafted Jammer / Hand and when I was done found that I had good amount of Architect as well.
Edge Warrior x2
Mad Scientist x2 (I am fuzzy on this foundation, It's listed to be in Pods but I don't remember)
Rebel without a Cause
Dump Warrior x2
Dr. Quentin Higginsbotham
Isothermal Zodiac x2
Out of the Barrel x3
Ape Shall Kill Ape
The Willow Bends... x2
Simple Paper Fan
Ancient Stone Arch
Grove of Willows
I only won one of the four round I played in. The first round Josh Shadowy Mentored my Turing Machine (which I should have seen coming). After that he was able to push ahead to win. The second round, I got SEVEN power from an attack on my Grove of Willows. Somehow, I squandered that advantage, and failed to win. The third round Shihong attacked as time was called and just took the last site needed for the win. I am drawing a complete blank on the fourth and final round.
This year I was invited to the exclusive invitational event at Gen Con. I was selected for ranking in the top 10 for most points scored in the Secret War Society for the previous year. All of these point had been earned the previous year at Gen Con.
I wasn't given much notice for this. The final list was published the week of Gen Con. I had not been keeping track of the points year to date, so I did not know if I would make it. I had thought about harassing Daniel about getting an invite for winning New Heroes at last year's Gen Con, but I didn't want to pressure him into extending an 'unearned' invite.
As an aside I think the method for earning an invitation should be somewhat different. Anyone who won a world championship or won the invitational should get a lifetime invite. I find it hard to believe someone like Jan Malina (among other previous champions) would not be considered a worthy opponent at this type of event.
Back to the topic at hand. I did not have time to try to develop a new deck with which I would be comfortable. I decided to update my Lotus Stealth deck that I played in the world championship last year. As it turned out, I could have made a brand new deck and not done any worse. I lost all my games and ended as the Gimp. Well it was an honor to just be invited and throwdown with the best of the best. I'd like to take this time to thank my coaches, my parents, and my creator.
Willow won the tournament for the second year in a row. Her deck was a Monarch fire deck with maybe a Dragon splash.
Here is the deck list (notice that the Stealth was removed):
Knife (As in I
took a Knife to a Gun fight)
Sinister Priest x5
Wailing Apparition x5
Shamanistic Punk x2
Eater of Fortune
Reverend Adam Wither x2
Xin Ji Yang (F7)
The Alabaster King
Flying Sleeves x3
Evil Whispers x2
Tortured Memories x3
Amulet of the Turtle x2
Mark of Evil
Throne of Skulls
Twelve Thousand Skulls
The Library of Souls
Ancient Stone Arch
Temple of the Angry Spirits
The Alabaster Palace
Dueling (Who's The Big Man Now?)
This year I was again playing The Politician with a few minor updates. My main concerns going into this event were two-fold. One, I still felt that a Project Apocalypse deck and a 7 Masters deck with its event protection (Li Mao) and ubiquitous healing would be difficult. I had really thought that a good control Ascended deck would be the way to go, but I didn't have time to put one together. The main tools I was looking at for Ascended were Lodge Machinations for Project Apocalypse and discard and Shadowy Mentor to deal with the 7 Masters.
The field was only six players. The event was supposed to be a full round robin with each player playing each other twice with each person getting to go first once. No time limits were set because dueling is supposed to be fast enough to not require them. This did not quite work out, but the final standings were not affected.
The first deck I played against was Project Apocalypse run by David Kempe. Shit! I lost both games. I don't think it was so much because my deck can't beat it as my strategy to beat it. I was focusing on taking down the PA site. If I had tried to go into a fast attack mode and play sites quickly, I could have won through conventional victory conditions before PA would have timed out. I was saving my resources to try to take down PA and lost sight of how to win the game. Next year.
Second match was against John Merrill and his deck that tied for first at Origins. It was a Hand deck with Sword Saints and Spear of Destiny that did not stand up. He had at least one bad draw also.
Third match was against Julian Lighton. He was playing a slightly updated SWAHT deck, which he had won the Gen Con dueling event with a few years ago. First game, he won as he was able to field threats faster than I could remove them. The second game his first two sites in play were Whirlpools of Blood. I was able to take advantage of their low bodies and win the second game.
Fourth match was against Jeremy Dale, who was playing a Big Red Button deck. I beat him in our first game. Unfortunately, he had to leave for a miniatures painting contest, and we did not get to play the second game. When he played Greg Zimmerman in the previous round, he got off a janky combo that was amusing. Jeremy had no cards in play. He played a Desire Manipulator on Greg's Battlechimp. He then played a Newest Model on the Manipulator. This netted him 2 power per turn along with 1 counter on his We Have the Technology each turn while his Supercomputer was filling his hand. Finally, he had enough power and cards to bust out with a Big Red Button and destroy everything Greg had in play.
Due to time constraints, I did not get to play Greg. The final standings were Julian in first and me in second. I had the distinction of being the only player to beat Julian even one game. So I had that going for me.
Deck: The Politician v 1.1
Test Subjects x5
Combat Engineer x5
Napalm Belcher x5
Rocket Team x3
Dr. Curtis Boatman vPAP
Nerve Gas x3
Artillery Strike x2
Aerial Bombardment x2
War of Attrition x2
Orbital Laser Strike x3
Smart Missile x3
Rise of the NeoBuro x2
Evil Brain in a Jar
Reinvigoration Process x2
Dangerous Experiment x4
Creche of the New Flesh x2
Dragon Graveyard x3
Moon Base x3
Temple of Celestial Mercy
Temple of the Angry Spirits
Ancient Stone Arch
Strategy is to build resources to get the Napalm Belchers out and blow away opponents cards. Always keep one power on hand to get rid of any big threat that comes out. Never attack unrevealed sites. Once you're ahead in power and fighting, just deny anything that hits the board and maintain your advantage.
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