• Salt Lake Gaming Con Regional Tournament

    Salt Lake City has had a wonderful yearly event that Wizkids has gifted us with called the Salt Lake Regional Tournament. It was started before the first WKO's were announced and this year marked it's third anniversary. Since I live only a 4 hour drive away, I have had the privilege of attending all 3 of these events and have enjoyed every one of them.

    This year we had the best prize support I have ever seen for a non-national or world event and I wanted to put a shout out to Wizkids for really stepping up their prize support game. I think that if we can see this type of prize support at more events then the attendance will skyrocket. I know I started to drool as soon as I saw that a factory set of batman as well as all of the foil OP cards would be presented to the winner of the tournament.

    Unfortunately the Event itself was not up to par with Wizkids stepping up their game. I won't get into specifics, because I really enjoyed the people that I played with and had a good time. I think though that Wizkids should consider going back to Salt Lake Comic Con, because Salt Lake Gaming Con was a joke on a lot of levels.

    Onto the Event: 11 Players. 4 Rounds of Swiss and a Cut to Top 8. I used a variation of the World's Team to cover up some of the weaknesses I saw that team encounter at Worlds.

    The Team:
    Retro Box Link: http://dm.retrobox.eu/?view&cards=1x...x56hhs;3x54hhs
    Giant Spider: Greater Beast: 4 Dice
    Namorita: Aquatic Beauty: 4 Dice
    Half-Elf Bard: Apprentice Order of the Gauntlet: 3 Dice
    Lantern Ring - Limited Only By Imagination: 2 Dice
    Dwarf Wizard: Paragon Zhentarim: 2 Dice
    Cyborg™: Technis Imperative: 3 Dice
    Rip Hunter's Chalkboard - WHEN AM I?: 1 Die
    Kal-L: From Another Earth: 1 Dice
    Splinter's Teachings: Basic Action Card
    Nefarious Broadcast: Basic Action Card

    Invidivual Breakdown of Cards:
    Giant Spider: Greater Beast: 4 Dice
    This card is just amazing on a shield ring team. First, you have a 2 cost with great stats for flipping with Kal-L. Second, it counters Darkseid, Guy Gardner, and sidekicks teams by allowing you to eliminate all of your opponents sidekicks simply by attacking. Third, it's global allows you to counter your opponents taunts and forces them to block when your own Namorita needs to eliminate something on your opponents team. Last it can suck up your opponents sidekick blockers when you need to get a body through to hit your opponent in the face. A 2 cost that can do 4 things for you, I will take it.

    Namorita: Aquatic Beauty: 4 Dice
    That this card has been overlooked for so long is amazing to me. Namorita is your goto buy and your beatstick on this team. In multiple games I managed to hit my opponent for 6 damage on turn 2. Guy Gardner needs some support to hit that hard turn 2, Namorita just smiles while doing it. As if having a potential 2/6 on your team with a Kal-L Global was not enough, her ability is your key piece of removal in the game. By flipping Namorita with Kal-L or using Splinter's Teaching to steal your opponents attack you can easily remove almost any threat in the game and put it in your opponents used pile. Simply put, I sent Darksied to used over and over, I put guy gardner in the used over and over, dwarf wizard was not a threat. Nothing that had to stay in the field was a threat. Even teams with Raven have issues with this card, because if they don't block your die, they are going to take another 4-6 damage to the face and that just hurts. Even if they have a Ronin and they redirect that combat damage to him, well Ronin is in their used pile now as well.

    Half-Elf Bard: Apprentice Order of the Gauntlet: 3 Dice
    The hidden gem of this team. When I watched this team play at Worlds I noticed it struggled against cards like Scarecrow Legion of Doom, Rare Batman from the new Batman Set, and Casey Jones. It also has issues with teams that can remove your characters or stop your characters from attacking. This baby stops all of that, while still being a shield for your ring damage. Half-Elf Bard is the reason I won this tournament plain and simple. He saved me during at least 2 hard match-ups that would have cost me the event.

    Lantern Ring - Limited Only By Imagination
    This card doesn't really need an explanation, the goal is to do some early damage. Buy the ring and win. That being said, this deck is mean enough that I won several games without needing to buy the ring.

    Dwarf Wizard: Paragon Zhentarim: 2 Dice
    I have this card on the team, but honestly never bought it. Namorita is my main removal. Dwarf Wizard is just a backup in case I can't use Namorita. I can see how it might win me the game, but it is almost always the wrong buy.

    Cyborg™: Technis Imperative: 3 Dice
    This card means I have a 50% chance for every die to roll a shield. It also allows me to do all sorts of shenanigans in the combat phase. I have 3 dice, because I might purchase him if I am against an overcrush team.

    Rip Hunter's Chalkboard - WHEN AM I?
    This is required on a shield team. You can use it more effectively than your opponent, more often, in most cases.

    Kal-L: From Another Earth: 1 Dice
    This is why your team is mean. All of your characters have huge defense when compared to most of your opponents. Being able to your your 2/6 into a 6/2 for the cost of a shield is amazing. Turning your opponents 16/2 guy gardner into a 2/16 is just as funny.

    Splinter's Teachings: Basic Action Card
    This card has always been good, but with Namorita this card is just mean. Scenario 1: I attack with Namorita and use giant spider's global to force your Darkseid to block. Using one shield allows me to turn my Namorita into a 4/57 attack character and your Darkseid into a 1 or 2 attack character. So Darkseid goes to used and my Namorita lives. Scenario 2: Lets say they have a 7/7 Darkseid on the field and I attack with 2 sidekicks. You decide to just let the sidekicks hit you. So first I use Splinter's Teachings to turn my first sidekick into 7/1, then I use Kal-L to flip Darkseid and use Splitner's Teachings to turn my other sidekick into a 7/1. My opponent just took 14 damage.

    Nefarious Broadcast: Basic Action Card
    One of the issues with this team is that people use energy defensively against it. While using my own splinter's teaching or Kal-L against me is usually not that bad, because I tend to always have many more shields then my opponent. In some matchups where my opponent can get a ramp engine going to out energy me it can become a problem. This card get rids of all those problems. So you saved 5 mask's for blink, well, I don't care.

    So onto the matches.

    Round 1 vs. Zack G. (1-0)

    I have a lot of respect for Zack. I have played him a number of times at various events and he always gives me a run for my money. I have joked that we are about 50/50 when it comes to beating one another at these types of events. Our matchup was pretty good for me though. His team does not have a lot to counter my Namorita's and I simply could remove his threats from the board as quickly as he could get them out. I purchased a giant spider, a couple of namorita's, and went straight for the ring. He ripped a dwiz to try to get that Darkseid quickly, but never could get the energy to roll right to get it out. Soon I had enough threat on the board that he had to start saving energy to try to counter me. Since my team is so cheap, I was able to keep buying my win condition while Zack had to save 2-3 energy a turn just to try to stop me. Soon I had lethal on the board with ring, and it was over.

    Round 2 vs. Diego C. (2-0)

    I played against Diego in the finals of my very first PDC Championship, and I have looked forward to playing him again ever since. When I first saw his team I sweated a little because it was a Guy Gardner team that had knocked me out of placing very high at Worlds. But I remembered my team was setup to counter Guy and I went to work. Namorita is just mean to a Guy Team. I can hit with her almost as hard as Guy can hit me in the early game, and if I save my Namorita's to block then its pretty easy to just keep sending those Guy's to Used. I went first and managed to hit him hard really early with Namorita to get him into the ring damage zone. He swung back with a few Guy hits, but by then I was able to build my field up and slow him down enough that when my Ring came out it was over.

    Round 3 vs. Jared Quist(3-0)

    This matchup was pretty crazy. When I sat down across from Jared, I thought his team looked interesting but discounted it as being a fairly easy win. Boy was I wrong. This team is super oppressive. Since I was confident I went for my normal buy order. Bought an early Namorita and hit Jared hard for 6 damage. That was the last damage I would see against him for the next 30 minutes. He used Killer Frost and force block to send my dice back to my bag, similar to how I used Namorita. He then used Lyssa Drak to force me to pay life to re-field my characters. He would also use Lockjaw to do damage to my team every turn and use Kal-L against me to KO my team. Eventually he managed to get Oracle out to cost me extra energy to field my team. It took me so much energy just to re-field my team every turn that I couldn't make any headway. Anytime I could attack he would just counter my ring damage with Long Live the Resistance and KO my attackers. Fortunately for me, it took Jared so much energy to stop my team that he couldn't progress as well. Eventually I was able to buy Half-Elf Bard and I started to be able to keep some of my characters alive. Once that happened I was able to build up my field and kill him with Ring Damage in turns.

    Round 4 vs. Kevin T. (3-1)

    This was a close matchup. Kevin was running the Bolt Ring Team that the US Nats Champion ran with a notable exception. He was running Half-Elf Bard as well. He bought that Half-Elf Bard really early and man did that throw a wrench in my plans. Suddenly I couldn't get rid of his sidekicks with my giant spider, and KO'ing his characters with Namorita just put the dice into Prep. His team was fast enough that he had lethal on the board pretty quickly and with my removal nerfed and missing the ring roll at a very critical time I was out of luck. Looking back at this game I realized that I had been playing control with my team a little too much, if I had just rushed aggro then I think I would have had a much better shot at winning.

    Top 8 vs. Jared Quist. (5-1)

    After Playing Jared earlier in swiss I had learned how to counter his team and I purchased my Half-Elf Bard early in both games against him. Even with Bard his team is very oppressive, but thankfully it bought me the advantage I needed to turn out the win in both games. We did have a ruling dispute in the second game which easily could have gone either way for us. The question was the Oracle that made characters fielding costs increase and whether Half-Elf Bard countered that effect. It was ruled that the characters were protected from the cost. It did make one of my turns much easier, but I don't think it changed the match-up much. While I have heard both sides to the argument of whether the ruling was correct, until we hear from the Wizkids Rules Forum, I don't we will really know.

    Top 4 vs. Diego C. (7-1)

    The Guy Team reared its ugly head again and Diego and I had quite the slug-out. In game 1 we both were so starved for energy that neither of us could buy ring to finish the other off. That game just started off bad with me rolling 3 fists on my turn 1 and being unable to buy anything productive. I was able to beat him simply with more characters and using Splinter's Teachings and Kal-L to do enough damage for Lethal. Game 2 was much more normal with me being able to use my standard buy order to do early damage and moving into Ring for lethal. It was fun to see that I could stop the Guy Rush with my Namorita team even with poor rolls, in either case it was a very good matchup.

    Top 2 vs. Zack G. (9-1)

    Now to the Finals. Zack had knocked out Kevin in the other top 4 match and I breathed a sigh of relief. I knew another match with Kevin's team would have been very rough. Not that Zack's team wasn't good, but I knew that he would have a much harder time countering me. Sure enough Game 1 was very quick. In our first game I had not had to do very much shenanigans to win and so he had not seen all of my tricks with Splinters Teachings and Kal-L. I attacked with a number of characters while he had a level 1 Darkseid out. He chose to block my 1/3 Namorita with his 4/4 Darkseid. Leaving a number of my sidekicks unblocked. I Splinter's Teaching'd his Darkseid to an unblocked sidekick, used Kal-L on Darkseid and used Splinter's Teachings again to give my other unblocked sidekick another 4 attack. His Darkseid suddenly was going to used and he ended up taking 15 damage on a turn that he felt was pretty safe. The next turn I had enough for lethal and we went onto game 2.

    In game 2 I was able to kill his sidekicks with Giant Spider, or force his Darkseid to block and use Splinter's Teachings to KO his Darkseid with Namorita to used over and over. He wasn't able to really get going and eventually I had lethal and ring on the table and I had won the Tournament.

    In the end I want to thank Wizkids for the awesome prize support, and the other guys for making the event a lot of fun. I wish that the Con had gotten their act together so we would have had the turnout we should have, but other then that it was a great day of Dice Masters.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      nice writeup and great job playing @whisperni !
    1. WeaponO's Avatar
      WeaponO -
      Tremendous write up Mike!