• WKO Review/Recap: Detroit

    I hope everyone enjoyed @theconductr's take on events yesterday, because this will probably not be as useful, though it was a blast to reconsider everything from Sunday as I wrote this up. My analysis is not as detailed as his with regard to the top 8 (I only have info on the 3 teams I played plus mine, though the staff intend on posting to the store's Facebook page - maybe @basementcuts can confirm?). Plus, I'm sure they'll have the videos on YouTube this week.

    What. A. Day. Sunday was spectacular. Eternal Games was incredible. The guy running the event, John, was on point all day long. While I canít speak for the entirety of the weekend event, I have only heard good things about Friday and Saturday and if Sunday was remotely representative of how the rest of the weekend went, it was a resounding success through and through. The location was spacious, the staff was excellent (and sufficient, not running ragged and stretched too thin), and the community was everything I expected it to be.

    Certainly some of this article will be rehashed in the podcast Thursday. If youíre interested in what a punch-drunk version of me sounds like, just tune in to the final half hour or so. Note to TRP team, maybe recording a podcast after an event with a B-teamer like me doesnít produce the highest quality content. Or maybe Randyís editing skills will work some magic. Come back in a couple days and find out I guess!

    The story is similar to some of my other stories about Dice Masters. Get up early, pick up some friends, drive a good ways, play in a tournament, have a lot of fun, drive home. For CanNats it was a solo trip, about 350 more miles each way. That tournament was also about 1/3 the size of this one in terms of participants. And please donít mistake this next comment for anything other than what it is Ė praise for the level of play at Sundayís WKO Ė but CanNats last year was about 1/3 as competitive as Sundayís WKO in Detroit. There were some GREAT pilots at CanNats, and some INCREDIBLE teams. But as the meta has become more robust, so the level of play has necessarily increased. Do not misconstrue what I am trying to say. Sundayís event was incredible, and the level of play was higher across the board than I had, honestly, expected. Once again, not a knock on anyone or anything from Canadian Nationals last year or anything in between then and now Ė just an observation about what this Regional Championship was like.

    My team was Polymorph, Magic Missile, Hulk Ė Green Goliath, Jinzo, Iron Fist, Constantine Ė Antihero, Nova, Human Paladin, Mera, and Professor X Ė Trainer. It's what I've been playing for a few months now, but with Nova for additional aggression and source of direct damage, and Antihero for action hate.

    Game one versus Brian Ė he ran a shield control team, a la Shadowmeld, even referencing the nefarious geneticist during our game, and Umber Hulked me something fierce. I had lots of trouble ramping into my preferred purchases, and was behind from the start. He won handily and there wasnít much I could do or say about it.

    Round 2 was against Damian. Neither one of us could roll masks this game and, despite both of us having PXG, it was kind of a slow match. He was running a couple avengers, including Tsarina, as well as Hellblazer and Iron Fist. His win condition was Spiderman Ė The Amazing, and could never get him in the field. I finally got to full ramp on the last turn of the game. I rolled it all, stared at it and made my plan and paused for a moment. I passed priority and Damian used all his energy on the Professor X global. After that, I bought Hulk and polyíd him in. I had to ping him three times to clear Damianís field thanks to Iron Fist, but I swung for lethal since he had no masks left for Meraís global.

    Round 3 was against Chance. Chance was running Tsarina, Hulk Ė Green Goliath, Rare Wasp, Iceman, Slifer ping, and polymorph. I got Jinzo in on my third turn and he paid the life to ramp. From there, I felt like I was in control. We chatted a little after the game about a couple different options when facing Jinzo and I think he was maybe just not used to facing him. For any team that wants to use globals, Jinzo is a pain in the you know what.

    After 3 rounds of swiss, the Akron and Toledo groups were virtually all sitting at 2-1. Time for lunch. We brought the fixings for PB&J and some fruit, and stayed on site, while others raced around to grab some fast food. I feel like this was an excellent choice for us. Kicking around some ideas and thoughts for the day, how to refocus and get dialed in for the next three rounds while mindlessly making a sandwich feels (to me) less stressful than waiting in line somewhere and hoping I get back in time. The structure was great from Eternal Games Ė 45 minutes should be plenty of time Ė but when they announced 10 minutes left in the break, I felt like it had just started. Personally, I needed the break, since the day started so early (hit the road around 6am).

    Round 4, I faced Ben. Vicious Struggle. Crap. I feel like VS games are more like coin flips than other matchups. I really need to win out to make the cut! I brought Constantine Ė Antihero, which normally can help, but Ben brought Parallax, which can completely nullify the Common Constantine. In my mind, I immediately decided it was time to play the VS mini game (which is simply who can buy 2 first). I got to go first, and bought one (with Red Dragon Global), fielded a sidekick and ramped. Turn two, RDG for VS, fielded 2 SK, PXGx2. Full ramp. Rolled both VS, bought a Magic Missile using RD, then used Surferís global to deal 4 damage to Ben (and 2 to me). VS is kind of like chess. Make as many even trades while youíre ahead as you can. If you can make a trade in your benefit, all the better. In the end, I had to double check how all the energy would work out and how many of my 6 or 7 sidekicks Ben could ping off, but I was able to secure a lethal attack. 3-1. I only purchased two VS and two MM the entire game.

    Round 5 was against Benís wife, Amanda. Both classy and fun to play against. Amanda brought this incredible playmat to the event. My daughters are 3, 5, and 7. I can appreciate a good MLP mat. This was spectacular, and my daughters would have flipped. Amanda was running a bolt-ring team. My team is built to stop a ring team. But she brought spray too. Thankfully, Constantine did some excellent work vs both spray and lantern ring and I was able to ramp pretty well, hold serve, and wait until I had a lethal swing in the field to attack.

    So itís down to the final round of swiss. Win and make the cut. Whatís that? Iím on the Twitch feed? Why not the two 5-0 guys? Well, ok, letís do it! I played against Jason, who was using Big E, Guy Gardner, Half-Elf Bard (Master Lordís Alliance), Giant Spider, Red Dragon and Millenium Puzzle. I was sweating this because it gets out of hand easily. At another point in the event, someone else running the same or very similar team attacked for over 65 damage. You read that right. The layered pumping is just silly. Itís not uncommon for an attacking Bard to give each other attacker +4/+4, so 3 Bards who attack would triple that effect. Sheís really powerful. It doesnít matter what I try to mitigate it, when I know the match is on a feed, I have a tendency to get nervous and anxious. If I recall, this is when Nova began to make his push for Team MVP. Every game I played from this one through the finals was on the feed, so they run together. Since the videos are not yet posted, Iím having a little trouble separating them in my cobwebbed cranium. I was able to get the win with maybe 12 or 13 life, but because of how this team works, it truly is not uncommon to have to spend a mask for Mera on a SIDEKICK. Lethal can pop up from anywhere, so add that to the nerves from being on the feed, and I felt like I was teetering on the brink of defeat the entire time. Getting the win secured a top 8 spot, though, so I knew I had qualified for Nationals and landed in the prize support.

    Top 8 was against Russell. He ran Gobby, Elf Thief (I hate this card even more than I hate Jinzo Ė if I hate Jinzo why do I run it? Because itís crazy effective, thatís why, and so is Elf Thief), Human Torch, Dwarf Wizard, Constantine, BEWD/Grundy, and Human Paladin with Tranfer Power and Blink Transmutation. This best of 3 was oppressive. With Elf Thief in the rotation, I learned too slowly to just spend all my energy. I think I got the win game one. Game 2 went to turns on time before Russell hit me for lethal. Begin the 3 turn game. Going first, I bought Iron Fist and he bought Gobby. I donít remember what I bought turn 2, but I think it was Magic Missile, he bought another Gobby. Turn 3, I had 4 sk, a level 3 Iron Fist, and 2 masks and a shield in reserve. I swung with everything and instead of distracting anything, Russell made what I thought was the right call and let it all go through his empty field to maintain full ramp. Rolling 8 sk and 2 Gobbyís with an open field to attack, I thought for sure he had the game sealed. On his first roll he hit 4 SK and Gobby. Ok, 50/50 now. He missed the second Gobby, but did pick up another SK, so I used Paladin to reduce that Gobby damage to 1, and when he attacked with 6 characters, I used his Blink Transmutation to return Gobby and a SK to the field. 15-13 for the win. There was an interesting ruling regarding the Dwarf Wizard in one of the first full games. The TOís were completely up front and consistent about it the entire day, and Russell wasnít surprised by how it happened (at that time anyway, I suppose earlier in the day it maybe took him by surprise), despite it falling in my favor. The ruling was that if the targeted die OR the Dwarf Wizard left the field the effect ended. So I was able to use his BEWD global to KO Nova and get his ability back when I got him back in the field.

    Top 4 was vs Mac, who, to my knowledge, hadnít lost a game all day (6-0 in Swiss and I think 2-0 in top 8). He was running a mask-ring team with Blink Transmutation, Web Blast, PXG, Lantern Ring, Rare Mr. Fantastic, Raven Ė AMZ, Beast Ė Kreature, Morphing Jar Ė Canopic Jar, Storm Ė Godess of the Plains, and Elf Thief Ė Lesser Harper. More Elf Thief oppression. Listen, there are easy answers to Elf Thief. Theyíre Super Rares, but Zombie Magneto and Constantine shut that thing down hard. Well I didnít have either, because I brought Nova in the spot I considered Zombie Magneto and Antihero instead of Hellblazer. But, I did bring Nova. And I did bring Antihero. And Iíve played more games against mask-ring teams than anyone else I know. Itís Randyís current preferred build, and heís my primary playing partner. Iíd be surprised if I have anything less than 50 full games against various iterations of his team (and Iím not counting the testing games where you fall behind and scrap it to make a substitution and start over). So I used Antihero to reroll his ring and Nova to win the game. Both games, actually. Admittedly, running a mask-ring team, Macís first rolls both games were garbage (one mask only each time). I was prepared to handle his team, despite the little thiefís ridiculous shenanigans. Blink Transmutation (as an action, not a global) helped me get lethal damage in one of the games (I think game 1). Moral of the story: Always look for what your opponent brings that can help you.

    By the time the finals came around, I was exhausted. Realizing I got all the prizes I needed or wanted at that point gave me a shot in the arm, and Travis and I got down to business. More Elf Thief! Travisís team included Polymorph, Distraction, Jinzo, PXG, ZMagneto, Human Torch, Hellblazer, Tsarina, Storm Ė African Priestess, and Elf Thief. I think he won game 1, somehow I won game 2, and we started game 3 with just 5 minutes left. I think we finished before turn 5, because Travis absolutely trucked me (maybe 20-0, I donít know, it was ridiculous). By the time I was playing my 9th game in a row on the Twitch feed and my 8th game in a row vs the thief, I was spending all my energy every turn whether or not my opponent had a thief to roll the next turn. Huge error. I basically gave up PXG entirely on my opponentís turn despite not really needing to. Travis didnít make those kinds of errors, and that is why Travis won. If I hadnít made those errors, I might have had a chance to win, but when you make errors and your opponent doesnít, you should expect to lose. Congratulations, Travis, you played lights out and deserved the win completely!

    Great day, great event, great location, but what I want to close with is to highlight the community. There are several local stores who supported the event by showing up in droves, rather than resort to some sort of rivalry boycott. Iím sure hosting the event is pretty financially beneficial for the business. And other local businesses (owners, managers, employees, and playgroups alike) supported that. In addition, there was loads of evidence that the greater Detroit community of DM is building and growing in the right ways. And then on the day of the event they represented each other remarkably.

    Itís funny, you get a little lucky and win something and then start writing stuff that is mostly incoherent and then when you show up some place and someone hears your name they want you to know they feel honored to meet you or play against you. Trust me. I can definitely speak for the other TRP staff members who attended when I say to everyone who was there, participated, promoted, supported, and ran the eventÖthe honor was all ours. Thank you, Detroit. Thank you, Eternal Games. Thank you, TOís John and Tony. I hope we get the chance to come back and do it again!
    Comments 18 Comments
    1. Scum's Avatar
      Scum -
      No I can't?
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Scum View Post
      No I can't?
      Shhhh, you will be able tomorrow at 6am. secret post that I screwed up!!! don't tell anyone and maybe they'll let me stick around.
    1. grundalow's Avatar
      grundalow -
      Nice write up JT. My wife and I both enjoyed playing you. After the cut, we went home and we were rooting for you on Twitch!
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by grundalow View Post
      Nice write up JT. My wife and I both enjoyed playing you. After the cut, we went home and we we're rooting for you on Twitch!
      Thanks a ton! It was a pleasure to play you both. Did I see right that Amanda has only been playing the game for 2 months and finished 10th?! 4-2 and barely missing the cut is no small feat! Please pass on my congratulations.
    1. IsaacBV's Avatar
      IsaacBV -
      Great write-up @Jthomash2
      Tune in Friday to see my full weekend report from Saturday and Sunday in the D: my favorites, triumphs, mistakes and memories from the WKO side events and main event. Preview: It was the best time I have had playing Dice Masters in quite some time!
    1. grundalow's Avatar
      grundalow -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jthomash2 View Post
      Thanks a ton! It was a pleasure to play you both. Did I see right that Amanda has only been playing the game for 2 months and finished 10th?! 4-2 and barely missing the cut is no small feat! Please pass on my congratulations.
      We started playing together early December and our first OP event was the last week of December. We've really enjoyed the friendliness of the community and had a lot of fun with the game itself. We've had our bumps along the way - the Detroit scene has a high level of play - but we've learned A LOT from some of those mistakes. I made top 20, but Amanda stole the show with how well she was able to pilot her team, her only loses came against players in the top 4 at the end of the Swiss rounds.
    1. Mac Halvorsen's Avatar
      Mac Halvorsen -
      Great summary! It was a pleasure to play against you in the Semi-finals. Great encouragement after the fact, as well. Best of luck on your future matches, and keep up the great writing!
    1. Basementcuts's Avatar
      Basementcuts -
      Great write up, thanks for the kind words, glad you enjoyed the event And hopefully we can do it all again next year and keep improving it.
    1. gkpon66's Avatar
      gkpon66 -
      JT, a great write up and a great performance. It was a fun weekend, congratulations to Tony and the rest of the crew at Eternal for doing such a great job.
    1. zeon20's Avatar
      zeon20 -
      Funny you would mention jinzo and elf thief as your most hated. Them together while may seem counter intuitive since you want your opponent to spend energy to lose 2 life, they are actually a very deadly duo by covering some holes on a third turn jinzo poly team.
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by zeon20 View Post
      Funny you would mention jinzo and elf thief as your most hated. Them together while may seem counter intuitive since you want your opponent to spend energy to lose 2 life, they are actually a very deadly duo by covering some holes on a third turn jinzo poly team.
      100% agree. Increase the pinch, increase the oppression.
    1. zeon20's Avatar
      zeon20 -
      @Jthomash2 Indeed. Also consistency on that turn 3. Elf thief provides a 50/50 chance for a free body that also give you free energy and slows your opponents ramp down. She is good in a mask ring team but I honestly think the third turn poly control teams get the most value out of this little elf that it is disgusting for me to play against and dirty for me to play with lol.
    1. pizzarony's Avatar
      pizzarony -
      Love the write up! Great work, on both the tournament, and the article!
    1. hath's Avatar
      hath -
      Nice write up! Sounds like it was a good time.
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      I appreciate all of the positive feedback about this one. But the day was truly made by the folks who were there competing hard and the folks who were working to make the event run without hiccups. I'm happy just to get to share my part of what that day was. Best of luck to all who are taking next weekend's WKO's by storm!
    1. gminor7's Avatar
      gminor7 -
      I've started to edit through the weekends footage, you can watch the semi finals and the final round of the WKO in Detroit on the Eternal Games Twitch page. Thanks for the kind words. Great meeting you JT!
    1. jseid's Avatar
      jseid -
      Great write up!Question though. I was curious about vs Russel. Since he was not playing jinzo, why would he run gobby with human paladin? Am i missing something? Also about the dwarf wizard ruling. I just don't understand how that makes any sense. I understand you're calling a character die, but it does say all copies of the die. It sounds as if the die can leave, but the dwarf is still active and says while active copies of that die in the field have no text...so even if it were to leave, dwarf is still active
    1. Jthomash2's Avatar
      Jthomash2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jseid View Post
      Great write up!Question though. I was curious about vs Russel. Since he was not playing jinzo, why would he run gobby with human paladin? Am i missing something? Also about the dwarf wizard ruling. I just don't understand how that makes any sense. I understand you're calling a character die, but it does say all copies of the die. It sounds as if the die can leave, but the dwarf is still active and says while active copies of that die in the field have no text...so even if it were to leave, dwarf is still active
      Elf thief to steal shields can prevent your opponent from having any to spend on Paladin's global. Of note, gobby wasn't his focus until that 3 turn each game 3...

      As for the ruling, I'm not sure. I just know they had announced it earlier, and I called a judge to confirm prior to taking action. I think it happened game 2, which I lost, but I'm not sure.