• The More You Know - Vol. 7 (PDC Special)

    Attachment 4158The Master Doctor Count Von Homash mailbag, despite having some actual mail, needs to take a back seat this week to a quick write-up of The PDC event at Frogtown Hobbies in Toledo, Ohio from Saturday. Don't worry, all of the Mailbag questions will get answered when it returns! No two events are the same, this one and the one 3 weeks ago had a lot of the same players, but (for me) very different outcomes. Let's take a look:

    Frogtown is a very comfortable space with really friendly staff. Fast food options are available across the street, and the store welcomes you to bring in take-out food. The lighting was great, and with more tables than I thought they possibly could have filled with 3 events running at the same time (boy was I wrong), the space is inviting without being expansive. @Pizzarony set up a Twitch stream for this event, which I thought was an amazing idea. We had 14 players, so we played 4 rounds of Swiss and a top 4 cut (PDC standard).

    For this event, I went back to the control team with which I'd previously made a PDC top 4 and won a small PDC. I made one substitution - I dropped BEWD's global for the uncommon Aunt May. I really like the protection she can offer against a Jade Giant team. Too bad I didn't face one the whole day. The team can be found here. Despite the fact that aggro is stronger than it's ever been, I still think the game favors control right now. To me, the best cards in the game are control elements. This is a team I'm comfortable with more than any other I've tested.

    My first match was on the stream, and it was a rematch with Gary from 3 weeks ago. A player asked me Saturday if I gave Gary the win with the mistake I made in the other event. I couldn't help but laugh. It's a fair question, but doing such a thing would never have occurred to me. I was playing for the win, and playing a turn ahead. I looked in my bag and saw that I had everything I needed to win, if I just rolled a character face and saved Rod and Puzzle for that turn instead of this turn. So I declared blockers and ignored the fact that Gary distracted a character. I rushed my next turn - got the character face I needed, used Rod on one character, Puzzle on another, passed priority and attacked without verifying I had the lethal attack I expected based on my evaluation the previous turn. I just rushed through steps that I should have taken more time with. I got locked in on what I planned to do and it cost me the game. That's a mistake I almost repeated in this game.

    Gary brought a Big Entrance Guy Gardner team and went first. I responded with trying to ramp to, and poly in, a Hulk. I weathered the storm and used life as a resource later in the game to put more dice in his used pile than in his prep area. On the turn I had lethal, Gary was sitting on 3 or 4 energy that would have given me fits if I hadn't double checked that all my ducks were in a row. I got the win, (and avenged my previous loss) but not without a good bit of anxiety and tension. Lots of fun, but not easy.

    Game two was my second ever face to face match with TRP's very own @IsaacBV. The first was our 90 minute sealed match from the AoU release party at my house last summer. We've had some fun matches on Vassal, but there's something different about playing face to face. Isaac and I brought 8 of the same cards in our teams. This was a veritable mirror match. I went first, poly'd in my Jinzo turn 3, and held serve the whole game. If I had gone second, there's a pretty good chance that he would have poly'd in his Jinzo turn 3 and rolled me rather easily. That one die roll, action or energy - to go first - probably would have kept me out of making the top 4 if it went the other way. Who knows? My next matchups would have been different and that could have made things harder or easier, or changed my tie-breaker status in the end.

    Game Three was against @Pizzarony who steamrolled me. He was rocking a Guy team and went first, so I went for Hulk turn 3. I was able to keep his field pretty clear before the attack step, but that meant he was keeping his characters in the prep area. I couldn't swing until I had lethal, because if I did, he would just crush me on the next turn with all 4 guys. Eventually, he rolled 4 Guys and (I think) 3 Miris. He pinged off my Hulk before fielding anything, used Relentless on my sidekicks, and swung for way more than lethal despite my ability to use the Mera Global. He went through Swiss undefeated as the 1 seed, so I won't feel too bad about this loss.

    Game Four, to decide if I would make the cut or not, was against Chloe. Chloe ran a Gobby team. Who knew Gobby's best friend is the Rare Wonder Girl? I love this interaction. I think it is far too often overlooked. But I brought Iron Fist. Iron Fist is a great counter to Wonder Girl in this situation. Iron Fist plus Paladin Global is a great anti-Gobby combo, so I felt like I was ahead from the start. I took some early damage, but waited until I had guaranteed lethal to swing. Afterwards, we talked a little bit about what she might have been able to do to combat my strategy and what she could do when she sees some of those same cards again.

    So I was sitting 3-1 and feeling good about making the cut, with my only loss to the only undefeated player. Then I found out there were 4 of us sitting at 3-1. I'm not sure there's a better solution than looking at opponent's winning percentage, but I'm sure it was a bit of a bummer for Hank who was the odd man out.

    In the top 4, I faced Ari. Ari came to a PDC near Cleveland in December, made the cut, and (I think) lost on turns after time in a 3 turn game 3. He made his Gobby team better for this event. I took him 2-0, but they were good games with plenty of timing interactions that I had to be aware of. Like once when he had some sidekicks out and fielded the first of 2 Gobby's in his reserve pool, the right play was to use the Paladin Global and then Iron fist to reduce the damage to zero. Then when the second Gobby was fielded, I could do it in the reverse order (Iron Fist then Paladin), take one damage to trigger Hulk, and clear the field for free. Ari brought Puzzle to deal with Hulk, and was able to use it once or twice, but I had Jinzo, so ramping with PXG wasn't his best option. He tried to ramp with Kobolds, but I KO'd the one in his field more often than not so his bag was cluttered and getting Puzzle to come back around just didn't happen.

    In the finals, I played Isaac again. What a slugfest this match was. I somehow won game 1 going second. I'm still not entirely sure how. I do know that Isaac missed poly on an action face turn 3, but he bought a Hulk and maintained good ramp, even if it wasn't full ramp. Game 2 was a battle of Jinzo's. We would poly each other's Jinzo's out every chance we had. The burn led to a chance for Isaac to swing for lethal and he took it. Game 3 I went first and was able to get Jinzo out and eventually Hulk too. In a slugfest, the first person to get out the muscle has the advantage.

    If you told me that I would have to take 3 of 4 from Isaac to win the event, I never would have thought that would happen. First off, in mirror matches, I expect the more balanced team to win, and Isaac brought Tsarina as an aggro option. Secondly, I know he's a top notch pilot and he's been far more consistent with his team in practicing than I have been with mine. I got together with Randy Thursday to playtest and didn't play this team a single time. I was testing something totally different. I just came back to how comfortable this felt on Friday after sleeping on it and decided this would be what I would run. Finally, to pull back the curtain a little, Isaac really has had my number in a lot of our games. The only exception to that is when I busted out my CanNats team on him one night on Vassal after he rolled me about 4 games in a row. To be blunt, getting the win against him was pretty satisfying - I hope I don't have to play him in best of 3 again for a long while.

    As of this writing, all of the PDC store championships are completed. Who's gearing up for State Championships? WKOs? PDC Regionals? What are you seeing in your local meta that is different from this?
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. zeon20's Avatar
      zeon20 -
      Rings, third turn poly hulks/jinzo/Doomcal/venom, storm/ gobby paralax, tsarina rush, nova bolt, flying sidekicks, dragons n of course guy rush. My meta is pretty diverse, but then again I'm only playing by myself hahaha.

      But yeah, definitely looking forward to competing n all these tournaments as much as I can anyways.
    1. TheConductr's Avatar
      TheConductr -
      The popular stuff here in TX is Gobby-Parallax, rush of some sort, ring-rush, and of course, Hulk. I haven't encountered many dragon or SK teams lately, or at all, so we'll see if any of them spring up in the near future. Excited to see how D&D2 shakes up the meta moving into our WKO here on the 21st!
    1. hwetzel's Avatar
      hwetzel -
      JT, missing the cut was a bit of a bummer but I got over it quick. My goal for the first PDC was to win one game and I did. This PDC was to win two games and I won 3. I was pretty happy with how things played out. We had some awesome door prizes with the store giving out a ASM collector's box, AoU play mat, and three people won 30 ASM packs. The top 1/2 then walked away with some store credit as well. The way this PDC went has me looking forward to States and WKOs. Now I just have to decide if/how I will change my team based on D&D 2.
    1. zeon20's Avatar
      zeon20 -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheConductr View Post
      The popular stuff here in TX is Gobby-Parallax, rush of some sort, ring-rush, and of course, Hulk. I haven't encountered many dragon or SK teams lately, or at all, so we'll see if any of them spring up in the near future. Excited to see how D&D2 shakes up the meta moving into our WKO here on the 21st!
      I'm strongly excited about demons. I c a lot of potential in them as I did with dragons when I first saw them. Depending on what other demon pieces r n this set I may try my hand at playing demons at the california wkos.
    1. GrahamA's Avatar
      GrahamA -
      In the third game, against a Guy team, you report "He pinged off my Hulk before fielding anything". What did he ping with? You mention Relentless as one BAC, wasn't Big Entrance the other?

      Thanks for any information.
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by GrahamA View Post
      In the third game, against a Guy team, you report "He pinged off my Hulk before fielding anything". What did he ping with? You mention Relentless as one BAC, wasn't Big Entrance the other?

      Thanks for any information.
      Yep, but I brought magic missile, so he spent 5 bolts (mostly from energy on Miri dice). It's expensive but effective.
    1. GrahamA's Avatar
      GrahamA -
      Thanks for pointing out the Magic Missile BAC. Important lesson to be learnt there; I was playing my Guy team in a casual and was so pleased to see that I got the correct combination of dice on turn 1 to get Big Entrance and a die in my Prep Area, using Thousand Dragon Global and Silver Surfer Global, that I completely ignored that my opponent had brought Red Dragon Global and Resurrection BAC - 1 life loss for him instead of 2 life loss for me.

      BTW I'm having difficulty deciding what to fill the last 2 slots of my Guy team with, do you happen to remember what your opponent brought? I've tried Constantine for cheap control and a variety of Storm / Black Cat for reroll.

      I'm sure focused on FUS now, we'll be drafting next Wednesday!