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The PDC Regional Championship Events: What have we learned?

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This past weekend, the PDC 2016 season culminated with the final Regional Championship event held in Texas. We thank all those who participated and extend our congratulations to the following PDC Regional Champions and runners-up:

Southwest/Southern California Area: Champion Michael Le, Runner-Up: Andy Merrill
Midwest/Ohio Area: Champion Drew Lee, Runner-Up: Robert Droste
Midwest/Texas Area: Champion Andrew Krouse, Runner-Up: Jeff Yost

We have compiled the data from the Top 8 team-builds from each event, which comprised a total of 192 character/action cards and 48 Basic Action Cards (referred to as instances). Of this population, there were 59 different or unique character/action cards and 20 different BACs. (Note: character/action cards that had the same global ability were combined).
The specific team-builds of the top two players from each event and a list of all the 79 character/BAC cards used can be viewed at this link: http://prodicecircuit.com/2016-pdc-regional-recap/


The Top 10 Character/Action cards used (note: those cards with the same Global Ability were combined in this count):
Rank (Instances)
1 (15) Professor X RYM / Trainer
2 (12) Half-Elf Bard Master Lords’ Alliance
3T (10 ea)
Elf Thief - Lesser Harper
Oracle - Master Investigator
5T (8 ea)
Blue-Eyes White Dragon - Monstrous Dragon
Captain America - The First Avenger
Constantine - Hellblazer
Dwarf Wizard - Paragon Zhentarim
Red Dragon - Lesser/Greater/Epic Dragon
10T (7 ea)
Parallax - Fear/Source of Terror
Silver Surfer - Sky Rider/Sentinel/Silverado

The top 2 Basic Action Cards used were Resurrection (8) and Vicious Struggle (5).


Observations

The common construct was Control with Bard or Vicious Struggle (VS) being the win condition. This should not come as any surprise. Of the 11 most frequently used cards, four (DWiz, Oracle, Elf Thief and Constantine) were control cards. These two most frequent win condition cards were the common option on a path to victory. Of the six teams that were 1st & 2nd place, while only two had Bard and one had VS, all three 1st place teams had one or the other of these cards. However, 5 of the 24 Top 8 teams had neither of these cards, and three of these five teams reached 2nd place.
Team Building Note: The 5 teams using VS had Luke Cage and/or Silver Surfer and 3 of these teams also had Human Torch – Flame On.

Ramp cards are king/queen. Both the #1 character/action and basic action cards had ramp effects. Only 5 of the 24 Top-8 teams did not have Professor X and/or Resurrection (however, one of these five teams did have the Rally! BAC and another had White Tiger – Mystical Amulet to use for fielding additional SKs).

Cards with a purchase cost (PC) > 4 were scare. Omitting those cards with a PC > 4 that were used for their global ability (e.g. Professor X, Red Dragon, Silver Surfer), there were only 4 viable cards to purchase dice from with a PC > 4: Hulk – Green Goliath (PC 6), Venom – Angelo Fortunato (PC 6), Batman – Natural Leader (PC 5) and Millennium Puzzle (PC 5). Clay Golem (PC 5) was most likely fabricated into play rather than purchased.
Team Building Note: 5 of the 9 teams using a viable PC 5 or 6 card (besides Clay Golem) also used Red Dragon or Blue-Eyes White Dragon.

Big Debut 1: Silver Surfer. This card combines nicely with Vicious Struggle, as noted above. Proof that the older sets still can yield a few gems when paired with newer card effects.

Big Debut 2: Captain America. This is becoming the counter to VS. Two of the three 1st place teams used this card.
The *hot* set-type is still D&D. Out of the 192 character/action card instances, 63 (33%) came from the Battle For Faerun (40) or Faerun Under Siege (23) sets. Of the 48 BAC instances, 25 (52%) came from these sets (16 and 9 instances respectfully). Resurrection was the #1 BAC. The top 5 cards (by number of instances) from these sets were Bard (12), Elf Thief (10), DWiz (8), Red Dragon (8) and Prismatic Spray (6) – anyone surprised?

AvX, while being the oldest active set, still had the most unique cards used. While the D&D sets were tops in total number of instances, the AvX set had the most number of unique character/action cards used – 10 different cards in total. Silver Surfer was the most frequently used, followed by Venom – Angelo Fortunato (with 4). Tsarina and Gobby still showed their stuff, with 3 instances apiece. Hulk appeared only once.

There was a lot of variety in the team builds. While a hand-full of cards were the most frequently played, almost two-thirds (63%) of the cards used were unique: 27 unique cards used once (1-ofs) and 11 unique cards used twice (2-ofs).

The Amazing Spider-Man (ASM) and Age of Ultron (AoU) sets are still getting no significant play-time. The ASM set had a paltry 3 instances from 2 cards (White Tiger – Mystical Amulet and Mary Jane – MJ). If not for the resurgence of Captain America – The First Avenger, the AoU set would have been worse. The TMNT is still too new to gauge in popularity at this point.

The promo card of choice is…Scarecrow – Legion of Doom. The only character card promo used. So long Iron Fist.

We again thank all of those players who participated in a PDC Event. We hope you enjoyed participating and appreciate your continued support and hope you’ll join us in 2017 for the next round of events.
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