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Tournament Report: Comic Hero University, Southern California WKO

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The event was held on Saturday, 11Nov. There were 17 players, playing 5 rounds of Swiss with a cut to Top 8, single elimination.

General Observations:
1. Shriek - Sonic Beam was in 14 team builds (most common card), followed by Scarlet Witch, being on 10 teams. The character card Boom Boom was on 12 teams, divided by variation as 8 Meltdown, 3 Time Bomb and 1 Mutate 35. The other popular control cards in frequency were:
Bishop - Butterfly Effect: 5
Dwarf Wizard - 4
Blob - Appetite for Destruction: 4
Kryptonite - Green Death: 3
Captain Cold's Cold Gun - Frozen Firearm: 1
Wonder Woman - Reflections: 1

2. Other than the control cards listed above, there was not one commonly used team build. This is the first WKO I've played in/judged where there was such a diversity of teams.

3. Many of the teams had sound tactical builds. The difference between a win or a loss was the timing of dice rolls. While that may sound obvious, if the losing player had rolled the dice face they needed in the early turns that player would most likely have been the winner in the match. There were very few fatal mistakes by players that resulted in a loss.

4. The play was fast. Very few matches when to time, even in the single-elimination rounds.

Top 4 Matches

(1) Andy Merrill (jigsawhc) vs Russell O'Neill (WeaponO)
Andy's Team Build:
Boom Boom - Mutate 35
Scarlet Witch - Careful What You Wish For
Shriek - Sonic Beam
Lantern Ring - Limited Only By Imagination
Merlyn - League of Assassins
Rip Hunter's Chalkboard - WHEN AM I?
Ronin - Between Employers
Dwarf Wizard - Paragon Zhentarim
Speedy Delivery

Russell's Team Build:
Boom Boom - Time Bomb
Shriek - Sonic Beam
Kryptonite - Green Death
Ultraman - Kryptonite Powered
Rip Hunter's Chalkboard - WHEN AM I?
STAR Labs - Advanced Research
Merlyn - League of Assassins
Parallax - Fear
Superhero Registration Act
One Against Many

Andy's win condition was a bolt-Ring team, which used Boom Boom's ability to whittle-down opponent's to get to a lethal kill with a Ring attack (note: Andy's team was the only one using this version of Boom Boom). This was the only Ring-team in the tournament. In the Swiss rounds, it went 3-2, one loss to Russell's team and the other to a Collector/Bishop control team (that team had DWiz, Shriek and Blob).

Russell's win condition was Krypto/Ultraman and generally went like this: once Ultraman was fielded, use Parallax's global to roll Kryptonite's to their action face (note: Scarlet Witch does not counter this roll since it is done in the Main Step); fire off Kryptonite, blanking Shriek or DWiz if they are blanking Ultraman; then run the gamete with the Basic Actions, with Boom Boom dealing 2 damage for each one used. If you draw another Kryptonite with SHA, repeat. In the Swiss Rounds, it went 5-0.

The match between Andy and Russell came down to who could establish their win con first. Since Russell also had Merlyn, this enabled Andy to 'double-up' on his global, getting 2 Sidekicks to bolt face for Ring ammo. Andy was able to shut-down Ultraman at key points to set-up a Ring attack on the next turn. Both of these teams were strong, and like I stated above, it just came down to hitting what you needed on the die roll.

(2) Patrick Kellenberger (pkellenb) vs Paul Bupte (Mobilesuit101)
Patrick's Team Build:
Dwarf Wizard - Paragon Zhentarim
Storm - Extra Lightning
Shriek - Sonic Beam
Scarlet Witch - Careful What You Wish For
The Collector - Taneleer Tivan
Cosmic Cube - Energy of the Beyonders
Ricochet - Slinger
Angela - Hunter of Demons

Paul's Team Build:
Boom Boom - Meltdown
Shriek - Sonic Beam
Kryptonite - Green Death
Ultraman - Kryptonite Powered
Scarlet Witch - Careful What You Wish For
Bishop - Butterfly Effect
Colossus - Xavier's School
Blob - Appetite for Destruction
One Against Many

I did not watch this match (I was watching Andy and Russell's match). Patrick's win condition was an Infiltrate team of Angela and Ricochet and using multiple Cosmic Cubes to stack the damage. Patrick's team went 4-1 in the Swiss rounds (only loss was to Andy's Ring Team). In the Top 8, this team won against an almost identical Ultraman team ran by Russell's son Lucan. Patrick won by "double-blanking" Ultraman with both Shriek and DWiz before the Kryptonite engine started turning.
Paul's team went 4-0 with a bye in round 1 of the Swiss matches. It had some different control tech than Lucan/Russell's teams, but the tactical deployment was very similar. In one match, Colossus' ability enabled a couple of level 3 Boom Booms and Bishop to hit for several points of Overcrush damage.
Patrick was able to get his "double-blanking" defense in place to shut down Paul's Ultraman and Blink back any attacks to with this match.

Top 2 match Andy vs Patrick

Both players used their control dice to good effect to gain an earlier advantage. In the first two games, the player who went first ultimate won. Ripping Boom Boom on turn 1 and fielding her in turn 2 was the go-to opening move. Several times, Andy's Boom Boom rolled on her level 3 face, which has a Fielding Cost of 2. This sapped energy for Andy to set-up other parts of his team and led to Patrick wining the first game.

In game 2, it was Andy that got has control pieces in place first and Patrick's Cosmic Cube's missed their rolls. Andy was able to shut down Angela early and before Patrick could set-up Storm (his second win-con), Andy had the Ring in place and feeding it with his Merlyn global. Game 2 to Andy.

Game 3 had Patrick choosing to go first. Of note, there was still 20 minutes remaining in this match at this point. In this game, both players were missing their early rolls. The placement of control pieces was crucial. Patrick was able to get his Scarlet Witch in cycle quickly, but she failed to roll a character face. This allowed Andy to set up his Ring easier. Andy was also using the Boom Boom/global use tactic (mostly using the global on Patrick's Resurrection BAC) to ping Patrick for damage each turn. When Andy got Patrick to 13 life, he hit for lethal with the Ring - having the Merlyn global to get another bolt was very effective. Game and tournament to Andy!!

Special thanks to Comic Hero U and its owner, Enrique Munoz, for hosting the event, to Michael Li (zeon20) for judging, which allowed me to play for once, and to all the players who participated. Their sportsmanship was outstanding. We had a few players travelling from the west side (and as those familiar with SoCal, you can't get anywhere fast on our freeways) that were going to be 1/2 hour late. I asked the group if they wanted to start or wait for those players to arrive. The group unanimously voted to wait. It is things like this that set the Dice Masters community apart from others.
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  1. jigsawhc's Avatar
    @archivist Thanks for writing this up. It has a lot of details I'd have forgotten to note.

    @zeon20 Thanks for being TO. I know those first couple rounds gave you plenty of things to confirm and sort out. I did not hear anyone complain about the rulings and all of them were clear.
  2. cnhiggins's Avatar
    Thanks for this! I have been out of the game for awhile and was eager to see what some new meta pieces were. Blanking is the name of the game it seems!