Shadowfist Tournament Report: Origins 2003

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Home > Tournaments > Reports > Origins 2003
[posted 15 Jul 2003; updated 6 Feb 2007]

Z-Man ran several tournaments at Origins 2003. The winners were announced (more or less, needing a couple of corrections and additions :) by Julian Lighton in the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups on 29 Jun 2003. Read the original in the archive if you're a member.

Final Brawl #1 (multiplayer, constructed): Troy Duffy [decklist]
"National Championships" Final Brawl #2
(multiplayer, constructed):
Braz King [decklist]
Who's the Big Man Now? (dueling, constructed): robin parmar
Whirlpool of Blood (sealed): Steve Wampler
Comrades in Arms (multiplayer, constructed, theme): Rick Garman
Both Guns Blazing (speed dueling, constructed): Andrew Sackett
Who Wants Some? (sealed, convention-long): Benjamin Barnett
Faction Wars (constructed, convention-long): Jeff "Cavebear" Stroud

Origins 2003 featured a new type of tournament cooked up by the Origins organizers—the "Faction War". This was a convention-long event in which players represented different factions (and were encouraged to dress the part). The event culminated in a four-player final game with one player from each of the top four factions. Cavebear Stroud won that game for the Dragons.

A bunch of reports and such for you:

Origins 2003 summary by Braz King,originally posted to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups.

Origins 2003 pictorial by Troy Duffy (perhaps better known to the community as The Lord High Troy, Winner of the Friday Final Brawl at Origins :)

Origins 2003 National Championship game summary created by several players, originally posted by Braz King to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups. Read about the incredible 9-hour game!

Originally posted to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups on 30 Jun 2003 by Braz King. Republished with permission. If you're a member, read the original in the archives.

Thanks for a very memorable Origins!

Wow. What a ride that was.

I want to thank everyone that participated in Shadowfist at Origins. It was my first major con and a crazy and memorable experience.

I made it to the final round in the draft event and hope to never again have Andrew Sackett Inauspiciously Rebury me (twice in the second last round and once in the final!!!). LOL! That final game finished at 5:00 am Saturday morning. Congrats to Steve "Puffing Billy" Wampler for a great win (I hope I'm remembering names correctly).

I got to sleep around 6:15 but had to be up and back for the Final Brawl 2 the next day, so got about 3 hours sleep. That tournament lasted 13 hours with the final game going nine frickin' hours long. Three Canadians made it to this final game along with the previous year's champion, John, who's last name I don't think I ever heard (sorry!).

John played a fairly trim Four Monarchs deck, robin parmar played an Ascended/Hand deck with lots of Wind, Mentors+Shaolin Surprise madness and other tricks (apparantly he forgot to put some critical cards in the deck which was unfortunate), Cavebear played his Concourse Godard/Kar Fai's Crib (Evil Twin, CHAR, etc) deck, and I played my Heroes of the Twilight deck which is a Dragon/Lotus magic cop deck that focuses on designator manipulation for multiple purposes.

I don't know how to summarize a nine hour game other than to say each player did their best to win, played conservatively as to not give the game away, fought hard, pulled of great tricks and combos and never let a single player get too far ahead. John spent almost three hours in the late game unable to do anything but generate power and pass because he had a single card left in his deck. robin, Cavebear and I pounded on each other until eventually, on my third push for victory (also in a round that both robin and Cavebear made their push) I won. I would have decked out next turn. The game became a battle against fatigue and a mental endurance challenge for each player and anyone would have deserved to win after such a great game. Thanks to my awesome opponent's, with a special acknowledgement to John for staying to the bitter end and playing to win until the final card was drawn. And also to Cavebear for playing through painful back spasms but not bowing out!!!

I do have a question about this game. Some people referred to that specific game as the "national championship". Is that true?

A few other observations on the people I met:

Benjamin Barnett - Struck me as a font of human kindness and a tremendously fun and entertaining player.

Ben Stein - Made me laugh endless with his low-key deadpan humour (his end of turn declaration is a mournful drawn-out "Gooooooo..." (that's go, not goo :^), he makes matter of fact statements like "I turn the Friends of Dargon, the Student of Dargon, and the Consumer on the Brink of Forever to attack...". Having been reburied twice in that game (a draft game!) his humour made it bearable. :^)

Andrew Davidson - Though he felt I attacked him unfairly in the Final Brawl game we had some great chats and he turned me on to Doomtown in a big way as well as making HeroClix sound pretty amazing. Cool decks and an amazing source of gaming knowledge.

Julian and Paul - Many thanks for the long, long, long hours of judging and for puzzling through our Shadowy Mentor/Shaolin Surprise/Shifting Loyalties nightmare!!! (I took a 20 minute nap during the final game while this was worked out if you can believe that!!!)

John Merrill - The 2002 Origins multi champ who passed me the torch in a most gentlemanly way and showed phenomenal sportsmanship in a game where he was down and out but never lost his composure and played it out with class. And thanks for the beer too!!!

robin parmar, Troy Duffy, Jeff "Cavebear" Stroud - My fellow Canadians for a classic guys' road trip that I will never forget.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Cheers for a great Origins 2003!


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Originally posted to the Shadowfist Forum on Yahoogroups on 17 July 2003 by Braz King. Republished with permission. If you're a member, read the original in the archives.

National Championship Game Summary

Okay, a few people have asked for this. During the game Cavebear took notes, assisted often by our sole "audience member" for most of the game, Tim Linden. Robin also took notes. I wrote a single comment: "Shadowy Mentor/Shaolin Surprise madness ensues" before I took my nap. :^) [editor's note: Troy Duffy wrote the notes after Braz took his nap :) ]

The notes were taken in an episodic manner and I inserted a series of dashes between 'episodes' to help it make a bit more sense. Much is missing of course, but you can get a flavour of the game from these notes. Where I couldn't read the writing I inserted '???'.

Players and Decks:

John Merrill - "Hot & Cold" (Monarch Fire and Ice)
robin parmar - (Hand /w Ascended Splash)
Jeff "Cavebear" Stroud - (Dragon featuring Concourse Godard, Kar Fai's Crib, Evil Twin, CHAR, etc)
Braz King - Heroes of the Twilight (Dragon/Lotus Cops with designator manipulation)

Seating Diagram:

John Merrill robin parmar
Braz King Jeff "Cavebear" Stroud


Early Game

Braz - 2, Police Stations
John - 2, Fire Acolytes
Robin - 2, Golden Candle Society, Shield of Pure Soul, Chinese Connection, Family Estate
Cavebear - 2, Nine Dragon Temple


First burn to Robin - Nine Dragon Temple, power

First Golden Comeback - Lusignan (Mojo cancelled by Robin's Confucian Stability first time)

First seize - Kar Fai's Crib to John


Braz: Plays Magnum Justice. Attacks John's Puzzle Garden with Rookies and Karate Cop. Much calculation and discussion ensued. Attack not enough.

John - Passes.

Robin attacks wounded Puzzle Garden w/ Blue Monk (immune to Netherworld). John's pleas for help fall on deaf ears, esp. Cavebear's. Braz redirects to hi Karate Cop (6) w/ new Fox Pass. Splat goes the monk. Robin plays new Blue Monk (Netherworld), attacks again! Success, BfV. Robin plays Iron Monkey - attacks Cavebear's 5 body Nine Dragon Temple -Final Brawl! Final Brawl Confucianed. John plays Mark of Fire saving NDT. Attack hits, IM steals 1 power. Done.

Cavebear - more gambling. Steven Wu. Pass.

Braz - Earth Poisoner. Gambles. Karate Cop heals. Poisoner attacks Iron Monkey, calls for allies - John sends two Fire Acolytes to join. Dead Iron Monkey (and their stuff too of course). Done.

John - New site (all still at 2 FSS but robin has 1 BfV). Weenies hit Cavebear's NDT. Fire Acolyte killed by Steven Wu, other Op Killdeered by robin. Done.

Robin - draws 5! (Temple of Celestial Mercy). Waffles a lot. Shadowy Mentor's Karate Cop. Done.

Cavebear - Gambles. New Heroes. Plays FSS. Steven Wu attacks Kar Fai's Crib w/ Dirk Wiseley's Gambit. Robin blocks with Blue Monk (dies). Done.

Braz - Shifting Loyalties - gets Karate Cop back, attacks Temple of Celestial Mercy - seizes it. Done. (Robin's trick to use Shield of Pure Soul works!).

John - Plays Feeding the Fires. Attacks Cavebear's NDT with 2 Darkness Priestesses - Wu kills one. Success. BfV. Cavebear reacts to burn with City Park. Robin wastes Iron and Silk on Wu. Done.

Robin - Plays Temple of Celestial Mercy, auction, Hostile Takeover to win auction and get 2 power. Yen Fan (forgot to Family Estate). Done.

Cavebear. Gambles. Steven Wu attacks Kar Fai's Crib, gets Fox Passed to Karate Cop by Braz. Steven retreats with Kinoshita House. Redeemed Gunman. Done.

Braz - Gambles. Cavebear predicts Robin's victory on next turn. Sinister Accuses Yen Fan - assassin. Assassins in Love take Yen Fan. Yen Fan attacks Cavebear's Gambling House. "Discussion" over timing - oh well. Robin Shaolin Surprises Shadowy Mentor onto Yen Fan and takes him for the turn. Attack fails. John reveals Fox Pass and wins auction from Braz. Done.

John - Plays new FSS.


Shaolin Surprise/Shadowy Mentor madness ensues.


Cavebear - Concourse Godard and Steven Wu take Puzzle Garden from John. John plays Avenging Fire.


Approaching the 3 1/2 hour mark.

Robin has Iron Monkey and Kinoshita House

Cavebear finally twins Concourse Godard and takes one of Braz' Police Stations.


At 8:00 pm Braz is sitting with 2 Underworld Trackers, 1 Karate Cop, 1 Rookies, and Yen Fan, the Assassin in Love. He attacks left and is hit by a four-point discerning fire.

John Feeds the Flames and builds to 4.

Robin Shadowy mentors the Evil Twin of Concourse Godard. Swats Jade Valley for 9. He attacks Dr. John for 3 with Iron Monkey.

Cavebear - Lusignan is played. Lusignan and Concourse Godard attack John's Puzzle Garden. Lusignan snowblind. CG hits for 3.

Braz's Yen fan goes superleaping to Cavebear's Jade Valley but robin Killdeers him.

Robin's Fist of Shadow smokes Feeding the Flames.

Blood is discovered on Lusignan (for real).


At 9:00 ( 4 1/2 hours)

John's first Monarch, old Fire King, hits the table. Kills 9 damage Jade Valley with Palm of Darkness.

Robin and Cavebear make nuisance attacks.

Braz: Evil Twin of the King of the Fire Pagoda.

Braz helps John take robin's Temple of Celestial Mercy. John doesn't want to seize: he has only 5 cards left. He burns for Victory and robin bites him.


Cavebear - Dr. John and Concourse Godard attack John's Desolate Ridge. Concourse is Snowblind and Dr. John is blanked by the Eye of Darkness but Claw of the Dragon lets him kill King of the Fire and almost take site - Ice Sorceress saves site, then Wu Ming Yi seizes it.

Braz - Wu Ming Yi graduates from the Braz School of Medicine to gain the designator Dr., and celebrates by gambling at Casino Brazorama. Two Underworld Trackers attack Concourse's Evil Twin. Shaolin Showdown caused the Evil Twin of King of the Fire Pagoda to join robin.


* Dr. John killed by joint work of all others.

* Braz twins the White Ninja of Cavebear.

* Team up kills White Ninja

* Retaliation kills Concourse's Evil Twin


Braz: Maverick Cop, Taggert and Earth Poisoner attack robin's Kinoshita House for the win. Cavebear Fox Passes Taggert. Braz Discerning Fires ??? Robin confucian, Cavebear Mojo Working on Evil Twin of Concourse Godard, Desolate Ridge does two to attacking Earth Poisoner. Attack doesn't take the Khouse.


Cavebear sends all his guys at Orange Senshi Chamber


Mondo shadowy Mentor and 4 Shaolin Surprise stop Braz' massive victory push.


John still holding with one card left


Robin goes for victory. Xioyang Yun is killed. Mentored Jack Donovan is pulled back with his own Kinoshita House. Stopped from taking the site but still hits. Plays Yen Fan and Yen and Jack attack again. Braz plays Final Brawl so that Cavebear can unturn a character with Mojo and block yen Fan but robin confucian stabilities it. Cavebear blocks with a wounded Wu Ming Yi but heals with Sacred Heart Hospital so smokes Jack Donovan but nobody can block a superleaping Yen Fan SO JOHN PLAYS HIS FIRST CARD IN ABOUT 4 HOURS TO STOP ROBIN W/ EARTH, WIND, AND FIRE TO HEAL THE KING AND KILL YEN FAN!!!!


Cavebear pushes for the win - John plays Mark of Fire and does the 4th point of damage to robin's Kinoshita House, denying Cavebear the site and the win.


Braz pushes for victory - Cavebear's Lusignan with a Claw of the Dragon intercepts Braz's newly played Wu Ming Yi. Braz deputizes Wu Ming Yi and kills the Fool. Robin's Fox Pass pulls the Evil Twin of the King of the Thunder Pagoda to his mentored 30-fighting Taggert!!! But Braz gets through with his two Underworld Trackers.


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