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PDC Regional Championship, my first GAF draft, and 'why the heck did you run that?'

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I might call my team one day "Poor Man's Rush" ('Midrange Trash' is more likely though) but if I had to sum up my feelings on the tournament? It went well and for the first time in quite a long time: I had fun playing Dice Masters.

And let me just start off with saying: Stuart did a great job, and the venue was well run. 'Doc' was a nice guy to say the least, and it was happening place for gaming which I always love to see.

Got to the tournament and was getting out dice and such. Other than losing a Silver Surfer die randomly (between writing down my team and walking to the table..) I found everything... except for my thousand dragon die and card..

So instead of running my version of The Front Line - which I had built and rebuilt a twice (first three months ago when Civil War came out.. people swore it wouldn't do crap lol -- I wondered about unblockable sidekicks then, but decided against it); I got to cobble together some amalgamation of working mess that I like to call what I ran today :-P

To give you an idea - I didn't have enough dice for most of the characters I was using.

Basic Actions:
Big Entrance * - change from The Front Line
Blessing - You kids in Ohio and such aren't the only ones who saw this combo :-P

Everything Else:
Elf Thief - Lesser ... the common you know which one - x4
Green Goblin - Gobby - x2 (..I wanted a third die, but I only found two in my box)
Professor X - Trainer - x1
Red Dragon - Greater Dragon - x2
Blue Eyes White Dragon - Monstrous Dragon - x1
Silver Surfer - Silverado - x1
Parallax - Fear - x1
Ring - Epic Gear - x1

Some people will ask a few questions at first : No I didn't directly copy someone's Front Line team as I had my own ideas about why you would use characters and had built my original one many months before people came up with it for the PDC a few weeks back. They didn't really influence other than I realized I should go ahead and try it. I was on the idea of going the 'Struggle Bus' but decided against it because I was not happy with the mid game of the team overall and its requirement basically to go first.

So I made a team and when I got to the event I realized I misplaced a card (Thousand Dragon rare in case you aren't keeping up with the average Front Line team) or two (there was a moment where I couldn't find Front Line).. and well.. that means you gotta make changes. I decided at the last second instead of leaving a 5 cost action that I couldn't easily use there that I would change to running Big E. This gave me a much better boost early game as I could ramp, buy thief and if lucky still buy a blessing second turn.

Now I want to tell you that I thought I was settling for a minute, but then I started running stats in my head.. I realized I could beat the power curve if need be and probably unless an amazing draw happened (and I could get around this if I needed to with Silver Surfer...) I could be ready for third turn rush with this team. Thief is too good for a 2 purchase cost attacker/defender/allaroundomg piece as most people know. With Blessing? It becomes the backbone of a mid game rush team or becomes a constant harasser by dealing 3-5 damage a turn that cripples your opponent's ability to respond easily (lack of energy) -- And that is when it really hit me --

Without Constantine to consistently stop Thief, It is literally the only control piece you ever need on a team.

People are too obsessed with ramp, and the clear thinking in the game right now is that if you can't ramp it up ridiculously fast / consistently without PXG / Res / other abilities like this you cannot win. I put you on tilt with the -threat- of taking your energy and people flip out and don't have any clue what to do and literally play on tilt thinking they must use their energy every turn -- they gum up their bags -for me-.

And this team works amazingly well... until you cannot roll what you need :-P.


Game 1 - Karl Fulmer (Running a wonderful Mask Ring team) - Went second and Won.

So obviously I hadn't gotten my team's concept down cold before starting this game (...I filled out my sheets.. and made the tournament start late.. I'm sorry I'm slow everyone... other than being that jerk you hate that admins the Dicemasters Unlimited facebook group I also have to drive a pretty good distance to pretty much any tournament) and so this one started a bit rough. Karl had a rough start to his rolls, and couldn't get as much going as I had -- which we joked was the end of his first turn advantage. He got his ring, and his own elf thieves bought but couldn't roll them out. I started hitting for anywhere between 4 and 8 damage in turn four and five (having hit him with red dragon twice this brought him to 6).. and then I made a misplay which hey whatever that he could then bring me down to 2. He took that as much as he could and since I had him down to 6 and he had no energy left, I ring globaled twice (thanks to his ring) to give me a total of four attackers, he had 2 defenders. he blocked the biggest ones after I had red dragon'd him down to 4 and popped the blessing for a win. It was a close one, but I felt like the entire game I wasn't as worried.

What did I learn in this game though? Gobby was gonna be a bigger useful piece than I realized. I had actually put Gobby on the team because I needed a secondary attacker, and my whole attack strategy was with Sidekicks so .. might as well get splash damage and have a beefier attacker on the field. In this game he attacked once for 6 damage after being used with Blessing and had a sidekick with him for a big turn 5. It also made most people have a conscious thought of having to think about him for constantine over the energy thieves.

I took the W, and was actually kinda sweating it as that last turn just happened to work out and I found lethal.

Round 2 - Carter Krouse (Running FRONT LINE.. but with the twist I like probably the most I've seen so far: Foot Ninja) - Went second and won.

In case you don't know -- Andrew Krouse won the tournament this day, but I got the pleasure of playing his son in the second round. And before I get into the actual match I wanna let you know -- that kid is freaking hilarious. I hope my kids are half as cool as this kid later in life. His pop culture from the 90s is down cold. He is quite literally one of the single funniest kids I've ever played. And before you think 'oh you just beat him because he didn't know his game'; Lemme stop you right there -- The kid did not make a single play mistake. LET ME REPEAT: He did not make a single play mistake. The only thing that happened to him was bad dice rolls. I had a fully functional team minus his blockers who were keeping me from attacking. So I bought Red Dragon and roasted them while hitting him with everything I could each turn. In the end he was a fun opponent who took the loss hard, but as I said -- he never made a play mistake. This is gonna be one heck of a person to face in the coming years.

He can only get luckier and even better with his team / move choices. But in the end this time he lost. He played several drafts that day though and I know he pulled pretty well.. so he probably still came out ahead. Only Andrew would really know the answer to that one .

Round 3 - The match that has been two years in the making -- Kelly (with his Bard control) vs me -- went second, and won

This is gonna be on video; we both made a few minor mistakes in energy but otherwise we were both locked and loaded trying to figure out how to beat the other. I ended up needing Red Dragon again for the win. The last turn where I had lethal and just didn't see it.. I was sitting there sweating bad because I didn't know if I could win. Thankfully it was a marvelous game both ways. Can't wait for you to watch the video. It will be epic.


Rounds 4 / 5 I was already at the top of the seed.. so playing was kinda not a good idea so I took draws. It put me in second seed overall for the top 8 --

In Top 8 I lost the first round to better dice rolls (and a few other things, but if you ask me about them I will not talk to you about them). The guy ended up second which hey good for him. He hadn't ever placed that high before at a tournament. His team was quite decent, but the piloting could have been better. His biggest strength against me was having the Venom rare from AvX - Same as Kelly and actually I think I saw it on one other team. The amazing things that I never thought would have a resurgence that worked so well. Kelly kept my thieves off the field with it, but this guy never rolled it until last turn... of the second game which was the first time I had gone first all day. Oh well whatever I am happy with the day for multitudes of reasons -- I realized that piloting well means being adaptable -- adaptability is something that I will stress time and time again comes from LIMITED PLAY -- if you can become an amazing limited player you can win in Unlimited with 'lesser' teams.

They will be hard fought victories that will make you feel like you gotta try too hard for but they will make you a better pilot and player overall. I cannot wait for the day to win another major tournament with a team that no one really sees coming (my victory in Oklahoma without a loss comes to mind with this.. 22 players, and I swept it that day with a concoction between my friend Eric and I).

Won my draft game Saturday too. That was a lot of fun. Pulled a rare foil from it as someone went for win Con.. and I got another SR Green Arrow. All in all an amazing day. I even got to watch of my Tennessee Vols win their game in the Battle for Bristol.

That is enough for this tournament write up. Maybe I will do another one of these again but keep playing and keep playing LIMITED any chance you get. It among anything else will make you a much better player.

Until then, don't be a jerk on DM:U :-P (leave that to me ;D)
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  1. andkrous's Avatar
    I really do appreciate the patience and encouragement you provided Carter. He is still working on taking bad luck, and losing in general, in stride. Even after he had a rough showing at the event he said that was one of the funnest times he has had playing dice masters. He is a good kid and you are right... he knows what he is doing when it comes to DM.

    On a side note it was nice finally meeting and talking with you. Hopefully we will run into each other at some more events.
  2. rystalquinn's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by andkrous
    I really do appreciate the patience and encouragement you provided Carter. He is still working on taking bad luck, and losing in general, in stride. Even after he had a rough showing at the event he said that was one of the funnest times he has had playing dice masters. He is a good kid and you are right... he knows what he is doing when it comes to DM.

    On a side note it was nice finally meeting and talking with you. Hopefully we will run into each other at some more events.

    Hey man it's great to hear from you. Congrats on your win.

    And I remember being his age and know especially if he was anything like me competitive spirit is alive and well. It can be a huge hit to be good at something and still lose. I'm glad he's learning. It is a great lesson to know later in life to pick yourself back up and play again. I'm sure he will do even better in the future. I'm really the most glad that he had fun. That's the part that is the best.

    And likewise. I'm sorry we hadn't really talked before the event. I will look forward to other events in the future. Hopefully you make it out to the WKO at Sci fi factory that I am helping judge at. Will be good to see your new works then.

  3. Zephernaut's Avatar
    Carter is a good player and should only get better. The shop Carter and Andy came from had myself (a strange deck making fiend), Drew Lee (the Toledo PDC Winner), Tom (WKO2 Detroit runner up), and Gary Kondek (who continues to hit top 8 in pretty much every event he goes to). He's gotten to play and match up against a REALLY high skill cap and holds his own. We are proud to see him playing hard out there. Also, Grats Andy!