This tournament report and decklist by Bryan Reese was extracted from Dr. Zen Faulkes website Steel and Iron:
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 21:58:26 -0700
Subject: [L5R-CCG] Gen Con Report
Well, I have been back in Sacramento for a day now and figure it is time for me to get this done. I do not think people would appreciate it if I just choose not to write a report. So here we go.
My Gen Con starts out about a month ago when the Dynasty as a whole decided to pull our efforts together and try to get as many votes for emperor as possible. We pulled together all of our resources plus a few out of teamers. Since Phoenix is my second favorite clan next to Unicorn, I immediately jump on the chance to play them. Plus, Jared Devlin had asked me to play a Phoenix deck as a favor to him at the previous Koteis and I had a lot of fun with it. Since then we have been collectively working on it a lot.
The Monday before Gen Con I fly out to stay with Jared, Ryan Carter, Mike Colson, Conrad Jackson, Craig Edwards, Kyle Wolfson, and a few others to play and test and play before Gen Con. I am sure that most do not care about this time frame so I will fast forward.
We drive down to Indy that night and spent over an hour trying to find our hotel. After we find our hotel, we meet up with some people and the good times roll.
I have to qualify so I start getting ready for the upcoming tournament. I see Art Reid who tells me how to show this new guy how to play Chuda Rat. I note that it is really hard to play and might not be a good choice for a beginner but I show him anyway. Come to find out that this is Nik Vincent, a fellow Dynasty member who I had never personally met before and had just been out of the game for a while. After watching a few of his games I can see why I was the only one doubting him (see: the rest of the con apologizing to Nik for being an idiot).
Thursday was a long time ago and a lot of alcohol ago for me so I don’t remember many of my games as I should, I apologize in advance.
I can’t remember who or what I play against but I do remember I play against 1 Nezumi player and I get off the Kanashimi/Stolen Records combo off once. I also play against a Lion player who was playing only meta. He played multiple Island Sanctuary (2-3), Jade Pikemen, Twisted Forrest, Another Time, One Life One Action, Corruption’s Price, and more. That is all I saw. He wins but obviously does not do well in the tournament. Ijiasu isn’t that good second turn when all you can tactician for is 2. I end up 4-1 at the end of all of this.
I play against another Warrens player who school me pretty badly. He gets white rat screwed, which is his saving grace, because I use up my personality kill too early. By the time his white rats show up I am out of PK. He beats me on this one.
I have to win both of my next games to qualify so I am getting a little nervous. This round I get paired against another Warrens player, that’s three in all. This game I completely own. I have the upper hand on provinces and force on board and decide I need to get some of my honor back in case he pulls anything tricky, since my honor is the last element of my deck that was still vulnerable. So one turn I choose to bring out two guys for full rather than three for cheap. I use Kanashimi/Stolen Records to annihilate his hand and start sending more force than he has to defend to take provinces. Next turn he flips A Matter of Pride. I am at -1 honor and have six Shadowlands cards on the board, bringing me down to -19. Wow, that was close. With this he says he has nothing left to do to me and concedes.
I play against Charlotte Ashley (sorry if I misspelled) and she is playing Crab Walls. This deck is usually good against Crab Walls so I am feeling confident. Well she starts out with honor very fast, much faster than most walls decks I have seen. My bring thing is keeping Taeruko off the board, which I did. She has almost complete control of the game when I used Kanashimi/Stolen Records. Where I was having problems taking one province before now I come over and take three, finishing her last one on the next turn. So I make it in at 6-2.
I finish the tournament and notice something. 6 of the 8 opponents I played against ran Corruption’s Price. The reason I say 6 of 8 do is because I did not ask the last two if they ran it, which I am sure they probably did. So I tweak the deck and take out Corrupt Silver Mines for Small Farms.
I get to kick it this day as I don’t have anything pressing to do. I hang out with some friends and watch some of my fellow Dynasty members qualify or not qualify (You’re washed up Walsh! You’re only on the team because of stereotypes.);-) As I am studying my deck and watching the field I notice that the Small Farms are not doing the trick and that I am seeing a lot of other meta. Jade Pikemen, Jade Yari, Jade Katana, Sand Garden, among others. I did not have enough time to come up with a new deck and some of my other Phoenix decks would not work on a large environment like this.
I start thinking and remember talking to Leon Phillips a lot online about his deck. I scour the field for Leon and find him. I ask him if it would be OK if I played his deck as I feel it was the best deck in the environment, especially since it slipped under the meta that was saturating Gen Con. He has no problem and we both look the deck over. I make a few suggestions (Lost Souls and Sand Garden) which we go with and that night I make the deck.
Since I had never played a rat deck before (this is much different than Chuda Rat) out of any clan but Ratling, I need to test a lot with it tonight. So I am up until wee hours of the morning testing my deck and getting it ready. I forget one card that Leon ran (Return for Training) and so I played Superior Tactics.
This day I remember much better than Thursday.
Though I do remember this day better, I can’t seem to recall what I played against in the first round. I win however and go on to the next round.
Shadowlands Spawner – Eduardo
I play against a very nice guy who god draws me. He takes the initiative, first turn Shadowlands Bastion/Corrupt gold. Second turn Corrupt gold/Festering pit/2x Goblin Wizard. Third turn he attaches two Goblin sneaks and attacks, then brings out Goblin Warmonger exp. By the end of his next turn he had 2 Goblin Wizards, Warmonger exp, 2x Voitagi and Kyoso. I had a white rat, yoe’trr, and an ik’krt. Needless to say he won but he was a very nice guy.
This deck just naturally rolls over Kaiu Walls due to its cheap, fast force. He gets out an early Price of War but I shortly Alliance, effectively canceling each other. I take one province early on a sneak deadly. I Carpenter Wall Falls and take two a few turns later and finish up without much trouble. He thinks he might drop and I ask him not to because of strength of schedule.
Citadel of Hiruma/NC Kotei winner
Before the game begins I ask why he runs Citadel and he explains his logic. He says he does not runs followers so why Kyuden Hida. While I don’t agree with this, followers are great for any blitz deck, it is his own logic. We get into a long drawn out game, which goes to time. Feeling I have enough in my hand to finish him, I attack. He defends and we battle it out for a while. After all battle actions are done I kill his whole army, though I don’t know if I took the province. All he had left was an Ogre Bushi and I had a Sand Garden so I win this one. He reveals the top card of his deck and it was In Search of the Future. Good thing I went when I did.
Kosaten Shiro – Sam Chen
I have known Sam for a long time and he is a long time Crane player. I believe I go first and get an average start where his is short on gold but he gets Asahina Sekawa. I take him out province by province and kill when he gets to the high 20s in honor. It is pretty impressive that his honor got so high because it was a short game.
Matsu – Hendrick
Lion is a decent match up for me so I am not too afraid. He out-cuts me and I do not pull a take so he goes first. He gets great gold and second turn he gets Tadenori plus gambling house for 4. Next turn he attaches Lions Pride and box attacks. Fearful of losing two early provinces I chump block and shoot his Lions Pride. He passes which I find odd, so we tie. He plays A Wish Granted and brings Matsu Nimuro into play. He attacks and takes a province and this ends the game.
City of Lightning – Matthew McGee
Matt is a great guy who did a great thing on Friday for my friend Scott Hadsall who winds up getting in the top 8. Unfortunately for Matt, he gets a really slow start and my rats are too fast for him. I even out range attack him.
Towers of the Yogo
He is playing a Scorpion/Rat Hybrid with Yudoka, Kwanchai, Paneki, and Oni no Tsuburu. He gets out white rats much faster than me and attacks with two white rats plus friends. I block and shoot a white rat. He could have shot me but choose to pass. I Arrows form the Woods his other white rat. While he takes the province, I win due to his lack of rats and my great cycling with Kaneka.
Round of 32
So I make it to the elimination rounds and am happy with my results. First round I am paired against Hendrick again with Lion. He cuts to go first again and gets another second turn Tadenori. I get out a defender and he flips over Satomi and Kenshi. He box attacks with an empty Tadenori and tells me that he can bring in both guys off one of his guys death. This tells me he does not have the card in hand, he would not warn me if he did. But I could not afford to take the risk and let him through thinking he is using the box for double tactician. He instead tacticians/tactics/tact, take the province, then normal attacks with a Tireless and takes two province third turn. But, he now has nothing left in hand and no production. He attempts to keep attacking me but my battle actions are too much for him and I win game one by using my cavalry to attack his army and kill it.
Well, I was pretty confident since I won a game where he took two third turn. He cuts to go first again (I run good focus values and Take the Initiative but can not pull either) but I start out with two white rats turn two and a third white rat turn three. Normally this game would be locked up at this point but I cannot pull any Rallying Cries nor cav rats so I cannot attack the entire game. He finally gets to 35 honor when I announce my first attack. I take two and on my next turn I come over for two more. We play a lot of battle actions back and forth and I wind up with 6 force more than him and he was at 40 honor exactly. I had a military advisor in play but had already bowed all of my gold to it. 2 gold short of victory, drat. Time for game 3.
I finally go first and at the end of turn 2 have 2 cav rats, a white rat, and an ik’krt in play. He concedes before he ever takes his second turn.
So I am onto Sunday and head off to the Diamond Seminar.
I have to say that this is the highlight of my weekend. In the beginning Ray announces all of us from the BBD (Bigger, Better Diamond) a group of players who created Diamond edition. It was great to get some recognition for all of the hard work we put into it. The seminar itself was great and the feeling in the room was awesome. I got chills as I heard and saw everyone’s reactions to the cards, especially Iuchiban, hell, I am getting chills now thinking about it. On several occasions the players spontaneously started our own rounds of bonzais. I log it in as one of my favorite Gen Con experiences of all-time. At the end we get a promo called Taking Credit which many of us in the BBD find “interesting.”
That night I test the deck some more but mainly drink and have fun.
I am already pleased with my performance but when I hear the prizes I want to keep going.
Round of 16
Ancient Halls – Robin Low
Another Lion player which is a pretty good match for me.
Both games he goes first and attacks early but after one province he cannot beat me in battle and I destroy his army every time he attacks. One game his own Occult Murders kills his Matsu Nimuro the turn after he plays him. Thought it was odd that he played that card.
This is basically a duplicate of game one. I stop him every time after he takes one province or two. He tried to honor run but with no effect.
Round of 8
Yogo Towers – Sacco
Corrupt Scorpion blitz is one of my best match ups because they cannot handle my battle actions.
I go first and get some gold. He brings out Yudoka. In 4 provinces I get only one rat, and it is the only rat in the deck which costs more than 6. I can’t buy a guy and he takes a province but I soon turn the momentum around and take out his army pretty fast.
I go first again and get a slightly fast draw. I attack with enough force to beat him by one and sneak deadly his army. This ends the game but we keep playing it out. He later gets a Kwanchai and out of spite attaches two Hideo Spawn and takes a province, uses rallying cry. I attack with Ikiryo and he defends. I sneak and rather than shooting Kwanchai (that’s not fun enough), I use an Arrows from the Woods to kill a Hideo Spawn and watch the land mines go off. It was great.
Round of 4
Some Phoenix guy, can’t remember his name.
I play against some Phoenix guy and smoke him 2 straight.
Brandon “lapdance” Flores – Kosaten Shiro
Brandon is a fellow teammate and a good friend so there is no pressure on either of us. Neither of us cares who wins, though we have playtested this out a lot, and even with his Interesting Sticks, I usually win. I just simply have too many battle actions for him to handle plus Flee the Darkness. Honor decks can’t handle attrition very well. Before the game I stand up and make a short speech about killing Tsudao and we play with a ripped Toturi Tsudao on the table.
I cut for second but Take (first time I used that card this tournament). I get a good draw and Brandon gets a decent one himself with two Interesting Sticks. It doesn’t make a huge difference though as I flow out too good for him to stop. I win game 1.
I cut to go first and get a very bad draw. That combined with the fact that he used two interesting sticks to stop my gold production, he is at about 30 honor with four provinces and I scoop. I made some bad plays this game and there is simply nothing I can do.
I again go first and get gold. He gets gold while I get a guy second turn. Since I don’t have the force for a province he gets gold next turn. On my turn I flip Lost Souls. This is where the game truly ends. His third turn all he can do is buy a single holding. I come over one at a time and destroy his provinces. While he does play very well and uses attrition to keep my numbers down. With two cards left in my Dynasty deck I flip Peasant Revolt and he scoops. There was simply nothing he could do to me that game.
So I win Gen Con and get a ton of prizes. $300 (players bounty split four ways), a set of very nice armor, a complete set of WoC, a foil set of Woc, two foil sets of FOU, two foil sets of H&E, a set of KYD, a set of both Clan Rivals, a nice top of Clan Phoenix plaque, a flower, and a note from the Crane. Plus I get the storyline prizes.
I want to take a second to thank AEG. They have come leaps and bounds in the prize support. It is simply incredible the amount of prizes given this year and I hope it continues to grow. Even 17-32 got a foil set of cards. Here is applauding AEG and their devotion to pull through for their players when they needed to.
So we go out that night and eat, drink, and are merry. We get to see Dave Williams give a very, very good lapdance, and then receive a few, one by Mr. Brandon Flores. We had a great time and I look forward to seeing everyone at Vegas or So Cal Gen Con.
A few side notes and thank yous follow:
1. I was only kidding about not knowing who I played in T4. I played Leon Phillips, the creator of the deck, which I used to win Gen Con. My only additions were Lost Souls and Sand Gardens. Leon is a great guy and did an awesome job this tournament going 24-3 this tournament, losing two of those 3 to me in what was nothing more than pure luck on my side and fate kicking him square in the nuts. Leon always makes any convention fun and I can’t wait until I get to see him at the next one. And just to prevent rumors (don’t even know if they were going around), I allowed Leon the story prizes from my win because I felt he deserved them (though his wants coincided with my own). He in no way bribed me or even asked me for them. Leon got to choose the cool story for the Phoenix that you now have before you. I think it worked perfectly since Phoenix in Diamond is supposed to be using Samurai and Shugenja together to help their path to a military victory. How perfect is it that Kaneka and Sezaru both joined. Here’s to you Leon. UTZ!
2. I met up with Marc Thompson (the ETG 3 winner) and talked with him a bit. I asked him how he was doing and he said after the ETG posts he realized that his deck would be better with followers out of Kyuden Hida so he could cycle better to his Sneak/Deadly and Night Battle. I saw his deck and it was leaps and bounds over the previous version off of Yasuki Palaces. I am very happy for him that he made T16 and that he was able to take the criticisms and learn from them and create a better deck. Good for him.
3. Thank you to all the AEG guys and girls who ran this event and made this possible. You guys and girls did a great job.
4. Congratulations to Brandon Flores for an amazing tournament and taking Crane to a position that they hadn’t seen since the Day of Thunder. That was an incredible accomplishment from an incredible player.
5. Finally I want to congratulate me and my team, The Dynasty. We are a group of players who love the story and were able to organize together to affect the story in a way that no one has ever done before. We set goals, worked long and hard, and saw them through to fruition. Also congratulations from owning five of the top 16 slots and three of the top eight. And to finish it up with an all Dynasty finals.
Eternal Halls of the Shiba
Dynasty deck (40 cards)
Fate deck (40 cards)
3 Arrows from the Woods
3 Bane of the Bastard
3 Deadly Ground
3 Rallying Cry
3 Sneak Attack
3 Superior Tactics (should be Return for Training)
3 Take the Initiative
3 Tsuruchi Technique
Commentary on the deck: As you can see it is quite different form your average Ratling deck. No Ratling followers, just good, solid battle actions. Enjoy the deck.
The Dynasty Cell Phone Distributor
The Kolat Courier http://kolat.navistudios.net/