Welcome, Kaijudo duelists, to my first ever article here on Alter Reality Games. For those who don't know me, my name is Corey Gaudreau. I'm a former Magic player turned Kaijudo player from the Boston area. Back in October, I qualified for the Kaijudo Winter Championships in Texas, and let me tell you, it was a weekend that I won't soon forget.
Leading up to Texas, I tested locally with Team PEACH member Dave Pendergrass who was also qualified. The two of us got our invites to Texas with LWD Tempo variants, however we felt that we wanted to explore the rest of the meta game, and see if there were any other decks we were interested in playing. One large difference between Winter Champs and Summer Champs back in Seattle is the introduction of an entirely new set added to the format just a few weeks before the tournament itself.
Also, just a small other detail, [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd] would not be legal for the tournament or any other sanctioned play in the future. Alright, so maybe that is a pretty big detail, as [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd] was among the most played cards in successful KMC decks this season.
A quick side note, I cannot begin to explain the importance of play testing in preparation for an event. With how much the game is growing, and the rate at which players are improving their skills, the best way to gain an edge against the best players in the game is to be more prepared. That means playing the deck you plan on playing against multiple match ups, as well as understanding the ins and outs of your deck against the predicted field.
After a few weeks of trying out a couple different decks, Dave and I decided that the Kalima deck we developed was the strongest in testing against the majority of the decks we played against it. The deck itself was sort of a culmination of a number of different ideas that lead to the success of Kalima decks towards the end of season 2 of KMCs. Below is the list that both Dave and I played in Texas.
My first round was actually a camera feature match against Vu Nguyen, which can be found at http://www.twitch.tv/wizards_kaijudo/b/482611892 at around 9:00. This is pretty typical how the deck plays out against decks similar to what Vu was playing, and made me feel pretty good going into the next few rounds.
I also played against a number of other great players on the day, including Preston Brimage who top 8'd the event, Phillip Rose, JD Bower, Mark Woodin who got 9th in the event, and Ryan Bishop (whom I played terribly against. Ryan if you read this, I'm sorry for the sloppy play!). I did end up going 3-3 in the event, losing to Preston's very grindy LDN deck that was basically an un-winnable match up, a Kalima mirror to Mark Woodin who was playing [ccProd]Reverberate[/ccProd], and Ryan Bishop's control deck as well. However, Dave Pendergrass top 8'd the event with the same exact deck, losing to the eventual champion Bobby Brake.
[ccProd]Megaria the Deceiver[/ccProd] did a lot of very powerful things on the weekend, including one round for Dave against Richard Zapp in which Dave played Megaria, got another Megaria into play, and the 2nd Megaria got a Queen Kalima into play! Not even the retired Bottle of Wishes was capable of such a powerful turn! I definitely believe that Megaria will continue to see play in Kalima decks in the future, as she does a great job and dictating the mid game due to her being a 7000 power creature, and either netting you a spell into your hand or getting another creature into play.
Going forward with Kalima decks, I believe that Mark Woodin or CVH's builds were very good, including [ccProd]Reverberate[/ccProd] in their decks, but I believe the deck Dave and I played with only darkness and light are still very good. I'm sure one of both of those two will be writing about the decks they played (and lucky for you, they both write for ARG as well!).
My favorite part of the entire weekend, though, came after the finals in which Bobby Brake beat Carl Miciotto to become the repeat Kaijudo Champion. Team PEACH was about to walk over with Carl Reddish to do a team interview when I was called over to help them with "a very important team announcement". I had such a great time with Dave, CVH, both of the Carls, Gorby, and Spencer over the weekend. We had a lot in common, and really just meshed well. It turns out that the members of Team PEACH wanted to bring me on to their team! To have a group of such incredible players and really fun guys to take you in and want you to be a part of their already established, very successful team is such an honor. All I could say was "yes", and after much rejoicing and welcoming, we walked over for a post-championship interview.
The future is very bright for Kaijudo, not just for myself and my new-found friends and team, but for everyone involved. Wizards is doing a number of great things for us players to make this game as great as it can be, as well as Alter Reality Games with their Circuit Series and content from amazing players right on this very website.
One very fun thing in honor of my first article on ARG is we are going to be giving away a FREE [ccProd]Andromeda of the Citadel[/ccProd]! In order to enter this raffle, all you have to do is comment below here on the website itself. Silly one-word comments won't count! Your comment either needs to be either what you thought about my article, some feedback about the Kalima deck Dave and I ran, letting me know what you would like to see out of articles on ARG in the future, or something along those lines! The winner will be chosen one week from when this article goes live, and the Andromeda will be shipped for free to the winner!
Props: Team PEACH in its entirety for bringing me onto their team and being the coolest group of guys, ARG for supporting this game we all love, and Wizards for continuing to do everything they can for us players.
Slops: Texas for being colder than Boston this weekend, and Denny's... self-explanatory.
Until next time guys - PEACH!
Corey Gaudreau is a Kaijudo player and member of Team PEACH, with notable finishes such as 2nd place at KMC RI in season 2, top 4 at the ARG Circuit Series in Worcester, MA, as well as 3rd place at the first sanctioned Kaijudo tournament at Pax East in 2012.