• WKO Review/Recap: Lacey, WA

    So yesterday was the WKO in Lacey, WA that I was fortunate enough to be able to attend. I want to start off by saying that it was absolutely amazingly run, organized, and played by everyone. The event was hosted by Gabi's Olympic Cards & Comics, and Gabi herself was 100% in support of everything. I've played at a few different places, but this one was 100% behind the event and the players, and the store itself provided a lot of assistance with the logistics. I cannot say enough about how nice Gabi was and how much we appreciated the event because of her.

    I left Portland at around 8:00am for the 2 hour drive up to Lacey, WA. My wife Melissa (who just joined TRP today - hi @melissathespud!) came with me for support. She hasn't really been a big fan of the game, mostly just following along because I like it. We got to the store right around 10 when the doors opened. The store itself is huge - it's a giant game store combined with a giant comic book store, with an upper balcony-esque level with tables set up for events. This is where the WKO was held - ten 8-person tables with neoprene mats over the entire table surface. The tables were pre-set up with name lists of people who had pre-registered, so it was quick and easy for them to see who all was there and who hadn't shown up. Also super-cool: while making announcements, they called out the name of the guy sitting across from me and asked if he was present. He thought he had done something wrong or was in trouble - turned out he had won the pre-registration giveaway of everything. He didn't even know it existed!



    There ended up being about 56 people playing in the main event (61 pre-reg + day-of, but a few no-shows), plus an additional 5-10 people there who only played in the Side Events - from shortly after the tournament started there were Rainbow Drafts firing off constantly. At the end of the day, they had done 16 complete Rainbow Draft Side Events. Once everyone had gotten set up and registered, the store (and when I say "the store", I mean that Gabi herself along with 1-2 of her staff were supporting the event all day logistically) provided team sheets for everyone to fill out and started creating initial pairings. Because of the number of players, we were going to do 6 rounds of Swiss - one match, 30 minutes, with ties for unfinished matches at time. After Swiss would be a cut to Top 8, with 50 minute best-of-three single elimination matches.

    @Indy Mon was the TO/Judge for the Main Event, and @raincityjenna was the TO/Judge for the Side Events. Both of them were excellent people, excellent organizers, and completely fair and personable. I can 100% agree that Jenna deserves the Dice Masters Fellowship prize she got a while ago Indy Mon asked at the start, while team sheets were being filled out, for anyone who had any rules questions they wanted clarified beforehand to come up and talk to him, and I heard no arguments about anything. After several Dwarf Wizard questions, he made a general announcement about how he would rule it to work.

    Once all the logistical stuff was done, we got down to business. A pairings list was posted on the wall with seat assignments for all the matchups, and everyone went and got set up. My team was never intended to be highly competitive, basically Gobby + Parallax and hoping for opponent to bring PXG. Ironically neither of my first 2 opponents did, which was actually kinda fun. I won my first match against a Beholder + BEWD + 1K Dragon + Delayed Blast Fireball combo that he couldn't quite get to fire off successfully in our game, but ended up working out well for him later on. During the match, the store printed off slips with each pairing on them for us to record and both sign the match results on. After each round, they collected these slips to set up the next pairings.

    Second round, I lost to the eventual #5 seed, who had a similar team to mine but used his Prismatic Spray much more effectively. After losing my 3rd match to a Poly/Jinzo team, it was time for an hour lunch break and I dropped from the main event to switch over to the Rainbow Draft side events.

    The Side Events were wonderfully run by Jenna, and there were nearly constantly 2-3 pods going, especially once people started dropping out of the Main Event. Almost everyone drafted Faerūn Under Siege, which (thankfully) the store had a TON of in stock. At least one group chose to draft War of Light though; the store had all sets aside from AvX in stock. The drafts were a single 30-minute match with highest life after turns being the winner. Of the 8 people in the pod, 4 got Iron Fist and 4 got Batmobiles, drawn completely randomly. Then each of the 4 winners drew from a random stack of RDW promo cards. Completely fair, and tons of fun for everyone.

    The best part of my day? Since there wasn't a huge amount of pressure for the drafts (since everyone got one of the promos), my wife decided she'd join in drafting with me, just for fun. She had a great time, had great matches (which she didn't quite win but played well), and we both ended up doing 3 drafts each. She drew Iron Fist all 3 times, and I got 2 IF and a Batmobile (plus Robin and Storm). Neither of us lucked into drafting a SR, but the people sitting beside/across from us did each time And the best part? She had so much fun that she wants to start coming to events with me.

    We tried to stream as much as possible on TheReservePool's channel on Twitch, but we weren't able to have someone dedicated to run it the whole time, so it ended up mostly being used just for some of the Top 8 matches and a few random other ones. The winner ended up being Michael Plumb (from Utah - he had driven 18 hours to be there!); most of the Top 8 consisted of control-based teams. I don't have all of the top 8 team lists right now, but I'm working on compiling them.


    Gabi and Michael

    Overall it was an amazing event. We stayed until about 10pm (12 hours!) and loved it the entire time. I can't speak highly enough about the efforts put in by Gabi, the store staff, Indy Mon, and Jenna for making it a smooth, well-run event, and every single person I've heard talking about it had only positive stuff to say. Thanks to them, and thanks for all the people I got to see and meet and play against. In addition to the winner from Utah, we had people flying in from as far away as Atlanta and South Carolina. I love getting to meet the faces behind the usernames, and I can't wait until I get to go to a big event like this again (speaking of which, Oregon's State PDC event is this Sunday, March 6 for anyone else in the area!). Reminded me of why I love Dice Masters so much and even got my wife more interested, so that's the biggest win of all.
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. zacgree's Avatar
      zacgree -
      Congrats Michael! Way to represent Utah! Hope to see you in the Utah Dice Masters Facebook group. We'd love to hear from the local dice masters celebrities
    1. whisperni's Avatar
      whisperni -
      Quote Originally Posted by zacgree View Post
      Congrats Michael! Way to represent Utah! Hope to see you in the Utah Dice Masters Facebook group. We'd love to hear from the local dice masters celebrities
      Thanks for the invite. I will check it out when I get back from Seattle.
    1. whisperni's Avatar
      whisperni -
      I had a couple of people ask so I will give a quick outline of my winning team.

      Action die
      Polymorph
      Magic missle

      Characters
      Mera queen of Atlantis
      Human paladin
      Constantine hell blazer
      Elf thief
      Jinzo
      Hulk green Goliath
      Nova
      Professor x

      I played a total of 12 games during the day and it was a total blast. The store was amazing and the staff made the event very smooth.

      Swiss rounds was a lot of fun. I went a total of 6 wins and 0 losses through Swiss and all the decks I played against were super well piloted.

      Round 1 I played against a millennial puzzle control deck that managed to slow me down so much I thought I would lose my first match. Every time I fielded jinzo or hulk my opponent would take them out of the field. Eventually I was able to field more threats then he could send to used and I was able to finish him off with hulk clearing his field and going in for the kill.

      Round 2 was against Sadat and his crazy Guy Gardner, prismatic spray, cloudkill deck. He would cloudkill my front line and prismatic spray them then murder me with Guy Gardner, something I could absolutely not counter. I managed to win with only 2 life left because he could not land prismatic spray consistently. If he had it would have been a much different game.

      Round 3 was against a sidekick deck. I was a little worried by his turn 3 rush, he was running the sidekick pumping green goblin and phil coulson and ramming me full speed. It was rough at first but after I got hulk out he never threatened me again, and once I was able to field enough damage it was a hulk to clear the field and a quick win.

      Round 4
      Another sidekick deck, this one was another turn 3 rush. He was running joker and was hoping to get him out super fast to counter my hulk. I managed to field Constantine before him and it was game over, my constantine just named joker everytime he was about to come out and he could never prevent me from fielding anything the whole game. He never was able to recover from joker not landing and it was just a couple of rounds until I had nova, hulk and jinzo ready for the kill.

      Round 5
      Going to be honest I can't quite remember my turn 5 opponents deck too well except he could not counter my rush for hulk/nova with jinzo doing his thing. It was over quick and I had played 3 games in a row where I felt my deck was dominant rather then playing from behind.

      Round 6, at this point I had made top 8 and was just playing a relaxed game because I was not worried if I lost. My opponent was playing a crazy gobby and parallax team I had never seen before. He would get wasp in the field to slow down my ramp and then field gobby multiple times a turn, re-rolling him with parallax's global and fielding him a second time for damage. Fortunately nova went to work this game. I would attack with nova and use parallax to roll enough bolts to just ping him 2-3 times every attack. I won because I was able to parallax slightly better then my opponent and suddenly I was six wins and 0 losses and heading into the finals at seat 1.

      My first opponent in top 8 was against Sadat again. I was super worried because his deck was by far better then mine and I did not think I could beat him again. In game one against him he just rolled very poorly and nova took him apart fairly quickly. In game 2 he rolled poorly again but came back to dominate me in the later game. I lost to him in time, my first and only loss of the day. Game 3 went to sudden death with 3 turns for each of us to do as much damage as possible to one another. I was behind all the way til the last turn were I rolled and attacked with enough side kicks and a magic missile to get ahead. I had 3 ?'s in my reserve to kill sidekicks and it went to the last turn of the game with him pulling 2 magic mistakes and rolling them to energy on his roll and again on his rerolling. I won simply because he had poor rolls in every game I played against him.

      Semifinals was almost a mirror match and we played one long 50 minute math war. He had hulk and jinzo countering my hulk and jinzo. My only advantage was that I had nova to his magnetic magneto. After 50 minutes of calculating I out hulked him and one shot him the next turn.

      The finals was against an anti-targeting deck using wonder girl and ring of magnetism to stop hulk. This was a long match but in the end it was nova who won it for me. Jinzo slowed him down and I just attacked with nova every chance I got. If he distracted me then he took 2 damage. If he blocked nova he took 2 damage. I stayed at full life or near full in both games we played and just whiddled him down since I could not bolt or prof x with his jinzo in the field as well. In the end I just outlasted him for a first game win and a second game draw and the tournament win was mine.

      Of all the characters on my team I will have to name nova as my mvp. He won half my games and anytime I was stuck he rescued me. I had put him in my deck the night before on a whim, because I thought that with hulk in my deck magnetic magneto was just overkill. Elf thief was also devastating, since I was running prof x people were always saving energy which I was happy to steal. Constantine hellblazer was definately the better choice over con artist. I had thought about using constantine con artist to counter ring teams, but I think that in the end hellblazer counters them better. I can knock out all the guy gardners and 2 cost characters with hulk and use hell blazer to prevent them from attacking the next turn they are fielded. This strategy made the ring useless most of the time and I think I took 0 damage from a lantern ring the whole tournament even though I faced 2 or 3 active in the field. Con artist also saved me from joker, elf thief, and dwarf wizard. I bought constantine turn 1 or 2 every game I played and just planned on him being out turn 3 with my nova/hulk/jinzo purchase and protect me. I used Jinzo in about 4 of the games I played. He won me the finals, countered the mirror match deck I played against and slowed a couple of decks down. I put hulk in the field almost every game I played but only used him to finish people off. Nova is how I got people to low enough health for hulk to do his thing and finish people off. Mera saved me versus sadat, but otherwise I did not use her at all. Human paladin prevented a couple of decks from buying gobby's, but didn't see much play. I used every card in my deck more then once and together they just worked as a team to cause my opponents to make mistakes and punish them for doing so.

      It was a great day and a fun tournament.
    1. pk2317's Avatar
      pk2317 -
      @whisperni - GREAT write up! Thanks so much!
    1. varthanna's Avatar
      varthanna -
      Quote Originally Posted by whisperni View Post
      Round 6, at this point I had made top 8 and was just playing a relaxed game because I was not worried if I lost. My opponent was playing a crazy goby by parralax team I had never seen before. He would get wasp in the field to slow down my ramp and then field hobby multiple times a turn, rerolling him with parallax's global and fielding him a second time for damage. Fortunately nova went to work this game. I would attack with nova and use parralax to roll enough bolts to just ping him 2-3 times every attack. I won because I was able to parallax slightly better then my opponent and suddenly I was six wins and 0 losses and heading into the finals at seat 1.
      Was that me? I got 4th place with a similar-sounding team, and my one was loss to a Nova before I had to drop before the semis but thought it was round 5 instead of 6... though it was all a blur to me.

      My team was this
    1. whisperni's Avatar
      whisperni -
      Quote Originally Posted by varthanna View Post
      Was that me? I got 4th place with a similar-sounding team, and my one was loss to a Nova before I had to drop before the semis but thought it was round 5 instead of 6... though it was all a blur to me.

      My team was this
      Yes, looks like I was playing you. I am pretty sure it was round 6 though because I would have been panicking against your deck in a round 5 scenario and I remember being pretty relaxed.
    1. varthanna's Avatar
      varthanna -
      Quote Originally Posted by whisperni View Post
      Yes, looks like I was playing you. I am pretty sure it was round 6 though because I would have been panicking against your deck in a round 5 scenario and I remember being pretty relaxed.
      Finally got a chance to look at the wizkids event system, and we played in round 5.

      Also, I typed up a batrep but never got around to posting it, so I'll just dump it here for any interested.

      Round
      vs James

      I will be honest, I dont remember much of this game. I was super nervous and jittery and a bit overwhelmed with the whole experience. I cant even tell you what build it was, but I know it wasnt Guy Gardner. Just got Zmag out and some MJs then Parallax'd Gobby for the KO.
      Result: 1-0

      Round 2
      vs Carlo

      Ring team, but almost everything was under 4 cost. Zmags completely shut him down and I got him out early. With a bunch of energy and not a whole lot of anything worthwhile to buy, he bought his red dragon and fielded it. He did a great job maneuvering around all the globals and interactions to keep me feeling pressured. He got off the breath weapon and wrecked my field except for my Zmag. Pushed his dragon back with Blink's global, and then was able to re-field some sidekicks and attacked. Used Mystic Box to make a sidekick's attack 8 for the win after I got some solid Gobby damage on him from before.

      Result: 2-0

      Round 3
      vs Jason

      Similar control elements to me, his win condition however was Miri and Shield Agent with rings.With both of us putting out Zmags, it was quite a stalemate. Fortunately, Jason brought Card Crush Virus as spot removal. I bought two and he bought one. It ended up being the deciding factor. Parallax'd Gobby for the KO after sacrificing MJs on a few different turns with Card Crush, keeping him short energy as he kept having to pay Zmag's fielding cost.

      Result: 3-0

      Round 4
      vs Thomas

      I would meet Thomas again in the top 8 cut. He was running a Nova with Miri, Iceman, Dwarf Wizard, Hulk, Mera, and Hellblazer for some control. He bought Hellblazer turn 1 and Nova turn 2. I bought Wasp and then prismatic spray, which I think spooked him. He also played aggressive even with wasp in the field, and whittled his life down to 12 before I was able to magic missile his hellblazer and then Parallax Gobby for the KO.

      Result: 4-0

      Round 5
      vs Mike

      My one loss on the day and it could have been a win. So close! Mike went on to win the whole thing, and he beat me with my own action die (Blink - Transmutation). He attacked me with Hellblazer, Elf Thief, and four sidekicks while I was at four life with Blink ready to fire. I had mask, wild, and an unused prismatic spray on generic. I knew I could use Blink's global to push two back but I'd still take four damage from the sidekicks one way or another, so I conceded on the spot. Only after we shook hands and I stood up did I realize I could have used my Wasp's global to KO one of the sidekicks, end the turn with 1 health, and likely obliterate him next turn. Lesson learned!

      Result: 4-1


      Round 6
      vs Richard

      I was fading and my memory was hazy. He was playing a standard fist kobold swarm lantern team. My opponent made a big mistake and built up a huge pool of fists (seven dice, I think 10 fists total) for a Lantern Ring KO but didn't realize Zmags wiped the text from Kobolds and turns off the lantern ring for them. He never was able to recover from that and the clog it put in his dice bag.

      Result: 5-1


      Quarter Finals
      vs Thomas
      Best of three.

      The first game my dice hosed me utterly. MJ refused to roll masks and I was rolling oodles of sidekicks. It was over before it began and he made quick work of me with Nova. I bought Zmags, but it was poorly timed and I didnt get enough momentum for it to matter. He did a great job keeping up pressure.

      Second game was a grind. I bought prismatic spray second buy. His Constantine kept me at a crawl while my Wasp chipped him down. Final turn, after I named Nova with my Hellblazer he spent all his energy, and then I swarmed him over with sidekicks. His Nova and Constantine were both at level 3 so I Mystic Box'd both and KO'd him.

      Third game was a lot more like the one in our original pairing, though this one he got a few Miris to combo out and had a solid wall ready to Iceman his Nova machine. Deciding factor was with Gobby in the field, he named MJ who was in my bag. I hypothesize he was worried about me giving Zmag over crush, but I just used the opportunity to parallax Gobby a few times until he was KO'd. He would have won next round.

      Result: 6-1

      Guaranteed in the Top 4 and a pregnant wife needing me at home, I dropped from the semis.