KMC Poughkeepsie Tournament Report: Greed Dragons

zack hineI collapsed on my bed at 2:00 AM Sunday morning after a nearly 4 hour drive through the rain, but I couldn't fall asleep. I fell short of my ultimate goal, but I couldn't wipe the smile off my face.

I had just returned home from the Kaijudo Master Challenge in Poughkeepsie, New York, graciously hosted by the fine folks at Dragon's Den. And I had a blast.

Expectations

As soon as the dates and locations of the KMCs were announced, I circled this one on my calendar; this was the last weekend before the release of Clash of the Duel Masters. and I've felt very confident in my deck for a few months now. I knew this would be the only chance I had to prove myself before the metagame shifted yet again.

I will never claim to be the most naturally talented player in the room, but I'm lucky enough to have a great group of local players to test with. A subset of us (myself not included) made the long trek from Philadelphia to Madisonville, Kentucky two weeks ago and mopped up the competition with our deck, which Brian Durkin affectionately dubbed "Greed Dragons." The deck is inherently greedy -- it attempts to play all the best cards regardless of civilization, and it tries to play for the long game, and then just go over the top of the slower control decks with its Fire section / [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd]. We were surprised to see how many players were non-believers when it came to Bottle, so we knew we could get the drop on the competition if our metagame prediction panned out.

Of course, by waiting until New York to play the deck personally, I knew I would have a rougher time. The cat was out of the proverbial bag, and I was certain that other players would adopt Greed Dragons after they saw its power. I just had to hope that my experience with the deck would guide me through. Saturday finally arrived, I picked up my friends Sean McCabe and Carolyn Colajezzi, and we set out to make some waves.

The Deck

Here's the list I piloted:

3 [ccProd]Infernus the Awakened[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Bolt-Tail Dragon[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Twin-Cannon Maelstrom[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Herald of Infernus[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Andromeda of the Citadel[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Lyra, the Blazing Sun[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Stormspark Blast[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Crystal Memory[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Spy Mission[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Terror Pit[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Bone Blades[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Root Trap[/ccProd]

43 cards
12 Fire  |  12 Light  |  10 Water  |  6 Darkness  |  3 Nature

I've always had an inclination to max out the [ccProd]Crystal Memory[/ccProd], which the other members of my playgroup tend to waver on. There were also debates on what the tenth blue card should be, how many [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd]s should be included, and whether [ccProd]Moorna, Gatling Dragon[/ccProd] was necessary or not. I decided to go with this build because I felt it was very streamlined. While others opted for variety in the Fire lineup, I was pretty certain that [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] was the stone nuts against WDL Control if they don't deal with your [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd]. I usually find myself either dropping [ccProd]Crystal Memory[/ccProd] in mana to unlock blue for [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd], or hardcasting it on 4 if there's nothing better to do, and grabbing a Lyra or [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] depending on what my turn 5 progression is. You can also grab a 9-drop if your hand is stacked. But as far as Fire diversity is concerned, I was fairly certain that while [ccProd]Tatsurion the Unchained[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Moorna, Gatling Dragon[/ccProd] are very solid cards in their own right, [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] is such a bruiser against the more deliberate control decks that I wanted to hedge my bets. I never lost a game over the course of the entire tournament when I was able to fast attack with the Spellbane, so I feel like I made the right call.

If you've never sleeved up Greed Dragons, you may be surprised by my list. No blockers? Zero ability to attack before turn 6 or 7? You may think it just looks like a pile of disparate "good stuff" slapped together. Well, therein lies the absurd power of [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd]. The mere existence of Bottle elevates this deck from being an opportunistic shot in the dark to a consistent monster. The "snowball effect" is on prime display here. All your creatures are either (a) legitimate threats, or (b) acceleration for said threats. Your shield blasts keep you alive against the aggressive decks until you can stabilize, give you the maximum number of answers to opposing 9-drops, and are almost all quality hits off the Bottle.

You are also aiming to actively punish your opponent for not dealing with your creatures. If you set the tone with your Fire Birds and 5-drops, and force a response from your opponent in turn ([ccProd]Death Smoke[/ccProd], [ccProd]Bone Blades[/ccProd], etc.), then you are progressing the turn count while stopping your opponent from amassing a board themselves. This is fine. This will always benefit the Greed Dragon player because your late game is so much better. Alternatively, if your opponent tries to develop their board while ignoring yours, they get punished by each successive creature drop. If you are able to ever get to 9 mana, every single card you topdeck is going to be live, with the possible exception of [ccProd]Stormspark Blast[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Bone Blades[/ccProd]. If you have one of your boss creatures in play, though, you're rarely unhappy to see any card off the top (besides maybe [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd]). Also, hardcasted Bottles in the late game when you already have Double Breakers on board can be just as devastating as a Bottle in shields, because you're virtually guaranteed to hit something beneficial.

[ccProd]Infernus the Awakened[/ccProd] is just too good not to play right now. If you are able to get around WDL's discard suite, they'll have to stop everything they're doing and deal with your Infernus immediately. If they don't banish him on their turn, during your next turn you can pair him with a Lyra for a guaranteed kill, a [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd] so that he can triple break without fear of [ccProd]Terror Pit[/ccProd], or a [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] to make shield blasting off the triple break and absolute nightmare for your opponent. You give your opponent very small windows to thwart your plans, and if they don't, the handshake will be soon to follow.

Arrival

En route to the venue, Sean received a text message from Paul Clarke with this picture:

Awesome. I was ready to play some Kaijudi. At least if I scrubbed out, I could check out the Jr. Prom.

We pulled into the Mercury Grand Hotel at around 10:30. We met up with our friends Rob Wolinsky, Mike Zeits, Ryan Valentino, and Bryan Starner out front and then made our way into the designated room. There were around 10 people there, so we figured we'd get a 30-40 person turnout. We saw our friends Steve Silverman, Pat Coyle, and Summer Newett arrive a little later, and Paul Clarke and his friend Connor Bazil soon followed. I was fidgeting around with my decklist and my sleeves, so I didn't really notice the steady stream of people coming into the room. A group of 5 would enter. Then another group of 3. Then 10 more. I saw Aiden Thorne and his friends arrive, and finally, my brother Tyler rolled in from New York with a third copy of [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] for Carolyn to borrow. When all was said and done, the grand total was 71 participants! Wow! 7 rounds of Swiss and the largest KMC to date awaited us.

(Apologies to my opponents if I didn't remember to write down your name!)

Round 1: WDL Control

I won the die roll and elected to go first. I remember I had a [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] in my opening hand, but no other blue mana in sight. My opponent played a [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd] on turn 2, and [ccProd]Logos Scan[/ccProd] on turn 3, and a [ccProd]Keeper of Clouds[/ccProd] on 4. I'm not able to rip another blue source, and with none of my red cards in sight, [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] ends up getting rowed. A Lyra on my end looked promising, but it was met with an opposing [ccProd]Razorkinder Puppet[/ccProd], ripping away my [ccProd]Infernus the Awakened[/ccProd]. I whiff on 7 and it's starting to look grim. My opponent calmly amassed a board, and even when I was able to get to 9 mana and summon a 2nd Infernus, he answered with [ccProd]Dracothane of the Abyss[/ccProd], reviving two [ccProd]Keeper of Clouds[/ccProd]. I had to outrace him now, but the [ccProd]Keeper of Clouds[/ccProd] were able to hold me off, and then Dracothane went in for the triple break, hitting three [ccProd]Stormspark Blasts[/ccProd]. Help. If they were a little more spread out I might've had a chance. Infernus revenged over the Dracothane now that the 2nd Keeper was tapped, but his Lyras just went in for the kill and got there.

I refused to let myself be on tilt after losing the first game, so I buckled down. I hit [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd] on turn 3 and [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] on turn 4. My opponent played his own [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] and a [ccProd]Logos Scan[/ccProd] in that timeframe. I ripped a [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd] on turn 5, and knew it was time to pop. Of course, [ccProd]Infernus the Awakened[/ccProd] came off the top, much to my opponent's dismay. It was pretty much over from that point on.

Game three was very back and forth in the early stages. I hit [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] on 3 and had my ideal progression, but [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] was met with a [ccProd]Bone Blades[/ccProd]. I cast [ccProd]Bone Blades[/ccProd] on his [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd] right back. I get hit with Puppet again this game, revealing my hand of [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd]. My opponent chooses [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd], and I end up having to yet again hardcast the Bottle. A 2nd Spellbane comes off the top, and he held it down for the next three turns or so. My opponent cast a [ccProd]Logos Scan[/ccProd] looking for an answer, which allowed me to break another shield. I start ripping hot fire off the top of the deck (as Greed Dragons is wont to do), and match his Andromeda with my own. He's able to [ccProd]Terror Pit[/ccProd] my Andromeda, but I draw two copies of [ccProd]Infernus the Awakened[/ccProd] in a row to put the game out of reach for him. It takes a little while to finish it off, but I just kept turning the Infernuses sideways until the dust settled.

Record: 1-0
2-1 in games

Round 2: Charlie Noyce playing WFL Dragons with Kindrix the Psionic

I lose the die roll in this one and he takes the play. I thought I was playing the mirror at first, but there were enough differences that I feel like it is a separate deck. I see [ccProd]Star Lantern[/ccProd]s and [ccProd]Spark Cage[/ccProd]s in his mana zone, and very little Nature or Darkness. We trade birds and Lyras in game one, and we have your typical 9-drop cold war, but I'm unable to deal when he hardcasts a [ccProd]Stormspark Blast[/ccProd] and banishes my whole team. He rode his Infernus to victory while I was searching for answers.

At this point I'm mad at myself for losing two game ones already. I'm certainly not making things easy. Game two is much smoother -- I go first and I'm able to hit a [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] on both 3 and 4, while he missed his [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] drop. I have the early [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd], and I draw into a Lyra and an Andromeda over the next couple turns / bird draws. I'm able to grind this one out with the help of [ccProd]Root Trap[/ccProd] in shields, which I don't believe Charlie played. I remember [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] going in for game.

Game three is a complete blur to me. It took ages, and it felt like neither one of us ever really had control of the board. He slams down a surprise [ccProd]Kindrix the Psionic[/ccProd] on me, which I hadn't seen in the first two games, but it gets snared by a [ccProd]Root Trap[/ccProd] in shields, averting the card draw. I'm able to hold on long enough to position myself for game next turn with an [ccProd]Infernus the Awakened[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Herald of Infernus[/ccProd], but Charlie has an exorbitant amount of mana at this point and slams down a [ccProd]Bolt-Tail Dragon[/ccProd] and a [ccProd]Gilaflame the Assaulter[/ccProd]! I hadn't seen Gilaflame in the first two games either. I had two shields left and no Andromeda, so I needed a shield blast on the Bolt-Tail attack to survive. I flip over a [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] and a [ccProd]Twin-Cannon Maelstrom[/ccProd] and scoop up my cards.

Record: 1-1
3-3 in games

Round 3: Connor Bazil playing Greed Dragons

I was heartbroken by that last loss, but I was resolute. I had to win out. It's never fun losing in the first three rounds or so, because you have no idea how your tiebreakers are going to turn out. Charlie ended up top 8'ing, though, so at this point in the tournament I was still alive.

I had talked to Connor briefly before the tournament started, so I knew he was also running Greed Dragons. He was a really cool opponent, but I made sure not to get too comfortable. I had to win this one.

I win the roll and go first in game 1. I whiff on birds, but Connor only hits a [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd] and I have the [ccProd]Bone Blades[/ccProd], so I luckily avoid the blowout. [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] comes down on 5, and he's met with an opposing [ccProd]Herald of Infernus[/ccProd]. I curve into Lyra, he curves into Lyra, and we end up bumping creatures and clearing the board. I hit [ccProd]Infernus the Awakened[/ccProd] on 9, while he hits Andromeda, but I've got the follow-up [ccProd]Root Trap[/ccProd] to allow me to triple break first. I avoid a kill spell in shields and then slam down a [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] on the following turn to set me on the road to victory.

Connor gives me a taste of my own medicine in game 2 by Bottling into an Andromeda. I don't remember too much about this game. I just know I couldn't get around his [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd], and the waterfall effect started by the early [ccProd]Andromeda of the Citadel[/ccProd] was too much to overcome.

My opening hand in game three is a thing of beauty: the lone [ccProd]Root Trap[/ccProd] to turn on Nature, [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] and a Bottle to ensure my turn 3 [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] on the play, and [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd]. My sixth card is a [ccProd]Lyra, the Blazing Sun[/ccProd]. My [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] is unanswered for two turns, allowing [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] to come down in a very threatening manner. I don't go in for shields just yet; if Connor has the Lyra for my Spellbane, I have the ability to tap his Lyra right back and then swing over it the following turn. I also have a [ccProd]Root Trap[/ccProd] in hand, so I'm unafraid of any of his 9-drops. This plays out exactly as anticipated. Afterwards, [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] goes in and Connor reels as he's forced to pop a [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd] in shields, which hits a useless spell. The 4 breaks from [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] were too much and I wrap it up on the following turn. These were some fun games, and it was encouraging to see my deck draw so well in game three.

Record: 2-1
5-4 in games

Round 4: Thomas Rogers playing Red/Yellow Shame

I had been bouncing all over the place in the first three rounds, but now I found myself at the top table. Thomas was a very friendly guy, but his joking demeanor betrayed his true intention. Yes, he was harboring a dark secret. Thomas was playing the most hateful of decks: Red/Yellow Shame.

I won the die roll, but when I saw him drop a [ccProd]Draglide the Swiftest[/ccProd] in mana on turn one and tap it, my heart sank.

You see, whether or not to include [ccProd]Barrage[/ccProd] in Greed Dragons has been an ongoing debate. The card has some upside in the Greed Dragons mirror. If they have two birds out and they're on the play, a hardcasted [ccProd]Barrage[/ccProd] on your turn 6 isn't the worst thing you can do. Most of the time, though, the momentum they've already built up is too much to overcome. It hits a large number of creatures in the aggro matchup...but you need it to be in your shields for it to matter. Even then, you end up losing to the double breakers, which [ccProd]Barrage[/ccProd] doesn't hit. So not only does [ccProd]Barrage[/ccProd] need to be in your shields -- it needs to be like the 2nd shield they break. In the WDL Control matchup it's the absolute worst. I was a huge proponent of ditching [ccProd]Barrage[/ccProd] entirely and just hoping to avoid rush, while others in my group were hesitant. I guess it's fitting that I was the only one that had to play against it all day (my brother played Carlos Alburquerque's Blurple deck and ended up getting run over by [ccProd]Cyber Trader[/ccProd]s, but that deck isn't a true rush deck).

So anyway, he hits [ccProd]Blaze Belcher[/ccProd] on turn 1 and another dude on turn 2. Game over.

Game 2, the cheapest card in my opening hand is a [ccProd]Lyra, the Blazing Sun[/ccProd]. I'm resigned to taking a beating at this point. I see he's playing cards like [ccProd]Shaw K'Naw[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Stormspark Blast[/ccProd], and this game he summons [ccProd]Magris the Magnetizer[/ccProd] on turn 1, and follows it up with a [ccProd]Cloudwalker Drone[/ccProd]. Great. Just great. Well, at least [ccProd]Barrage[/ccProd] wouldn't have been any help. I really needed to hit [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd] here so that I could revenge his 1 drop, but he's nowhere in sight. Thomas proceeds to mow me down, but runs into [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd] on the fourth shield. Yes! Could justice be served? I flip an [ccProd]Andromeda of the Citadel[/ccProd] off the top and it's too much for him to overcome since he presumably has no way to kill it. I keep swinging over his tapped team, he gets me down to one shield again, and then I summon a 2nd Andromeda to end it.

I pray to see 3+ shield blasts in shields, including at least one [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd], and to hit [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] on turns 2 and 3. I need to perfect draw to make it out alive. Of course, I see nothing of the sort. I have a [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] into Armored Dragons progression that would be perfectly acceptable against any other deck, but he hits [ccProd]Blaze Belcher[/ccProd] again and my only shield blasts this game were [ccProd]Stormspark Blast[/ccProd] (which did nothing) and a lone [ccProd]Terror Pit[/ccProd]. I got smashed, plain and simple.

Record: 2-2
6-6 in games

Round 5: WDL Control

I couldn't be too mad at myself. I made a metagame call and knowingly played a deck that would lose to the super aggressive decks. I had thought that by round 4 they would've been weeded out, but I got unlucky. Oh well. With 71 people, and the likelihood of players intentionally drawing in the final round, I knew it'd be a longshot for an x-2 to make it. Still, I wanted to win out to get top 16 prize packs, so I stayed positive.

The deck I face in round five is very similar to the one I played in round one, so I try to approach it the same way. I have a decent hand, but no [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] and no turn 5 Armored Dragon. My [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd] is banished at some point, and I get [ccProd]Skull Shatter[/ccProd]ed on turn 8, forcing me to drop my two cards in hand -- Andromeda and Infernus. I rip a Bottle and pop it into a Lyra, but my opponent summons Saracon, Storm Dynamo on the next turn to shut him out. He has around 5 cards in hand and has complete control of the board, but he decides to be far too passive. His board is Saracon, two Lyras, and another blocker at one point, and he ends his turn without breaking any of my shields. He lets me build my hand back up to 3 cards and get back in the game. At one point I make a dumb move swinging into his tapped guy with Lyra; his Saracon blocked it. The idea was to then go over the top with [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd], but he had another blocker, so it was actually just an awful play on my part. [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd]'s 8000 Power stands up, though, and for some reason, he goes in for shields with one Lyra and ends his turn after he breaks a [ccProd]Root Trap[/ccProd] (targeting his Saracon). I had to take advantage -- I summon a [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] and go in with both Spellbane and the Hyperspeed. He casts a [ccProd]Spy Mission[/ccProd] and I break another shield. Now he's down to one shield to my three shields. He swings his Lyra over my [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] and ends. I summon another [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] and bombard him for game. Don't know how I won that one, but I'll take it.

Game 2 I look at my opening hand: 3 [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd]s, a [ccProd]Twin-Cannon Maelstrom[/ccProd], and a [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd]. [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] is my sixth card. My opponent looks annoyed at his hand, and does nothing on the first three turns. I'm able to secure another blue source and drop [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] on 3. He [ccProd]Logos Scan[/ccProd]s on 4, and I summon [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] and draw a card. My opponent casts another draw card on 5. I summon my 2nd [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] on 5 and attack with all 3 creatures successfully. [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] follows on the next turn, and I earn myself my first 2-0 of the day.

Record: 3-2
8-6 in games

Round 6: Greed Dragons

My opponent this round was pretty stoic. There wasn't much small talk. I could tell we both wanted this one badly. He was a very solid player, and I'm pretty sure he was playing Durkin's Greed Dragons build card for card.

I win the die roll and go first game one. His hand is pretty awful. He isn't able to deal with [ccProd]Nix[/ccProd] the entire game, so it's easy to outlast him. He stayed in the game with Lyras and Andromedas, but couldn't find an Infernus to save his life. I remember hardcasting a Bottle and hitting a useless [ccProd]Bone Blades[/ccProd], which prolonged the game, but didn't affect the outcome.

Game two I have another great hand, but he does as well. He's on the play, which is dangerous. I go with my assumption that he's playing Durkin's list, so I know my additional copies of [ccProd]Hyperspeed Dragon[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] can help mitigate the fact that I went 2nd. I have pretty definitive control of the board, but after I go in with Infernus and break his last shields, he's able to kill my untapped Lyra and bounce my Infernus with [ccProd]Veil Vortex[/ccProd]. He then summons his own Andromeda, I re-summon Infernus, and he [ccProd]Root Trap[/ccProd]s it, completely stealing back the momentum. I remember having 7 shields and no creatures when he first decides to attack, and he cracks my [ccProd]Crystal Memory[/ccProd]. I look through my deck and see 2 more Andromedas, and realize I have a copy of [ccProd]Stormspark Blast[/ccProd] in shields. Thank God. He's going to try to alpha strike me, so my game plan is to just sit on Andromeda for as long as I can and try to draw more guys than he draws removal. It buys me a turn, but he soon has a [ccProd]Terror Pit[/ccProd]. I draw and summon the 3rd Andromeda, but again, he banishes it. He summons [ccProd]Tatsurion the Unchained[/ccProd] and goes in with his other creatures, leaving me with 4 shields. One of my shields was [ccProd]Herald of Infernus[/ccProd]. I draw a [ccProd]Lux[/ccProd] for my turn. I summon both, hoping that he doesn't have two pieces of removal. He had 11 mana, so a [ccProd]Bone Blades[/ccProd] and a Pit would've been brutal. He doesn't, so he's forced to go for game. I'm immediately relieved, because I know there's a Stormspark in there. I tap down his team and then win on the next turn. Close one!

Record: 4-2
10-6 in games

Round 7: Paul Clarke playing Greed Dragons

I am of course aware of Paul Clarke from his Yu-Gi-Oh! endeavors, but I had never had the opportunity to play him before. It's a pretty relaxed game; he knows I drove Sean McCabe there, and we both realize we aren't going to be able to top because of all the IDs happening above us. Game one, [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd] is an MVP as usual. Paul has a solid curve, but his [ccProd]Moorna, Gatling Dragon[/ccProd] is outclassed and eventually I get out too many Andromedas.

Game two was a role reversal. It started off promisingly enough, but I eventually get steamrolled by Infernus. My shield blasts were absolute garbage this game.

Game three saw Sean McCabe sit down next to Paul and heckle him, which I can only hope contributed to my victory. In all honesty, the game was already over at that point, with Bottle popping into Infernus and then a summoned Infernus to follow. Paul went into the tank, and then unleashed his ultimate combo wherein all his cards cost 1 mana and had fast attack. He went in with all his creatures, but hit a [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd], which allowed me to summon every creature in my deck, and cast every [ccProd]Stormspark Blast[/ccProd]. After our farce concluded, he shook my hand and signed the slip. He also told me that he voted for me in the Kaijudo Article Contest. Thanks Paul!

Record: 5-2
12-7 in games

The Top 8

The top 8 is announced, and I find myself in 13th place. Everyone claps for all the prize winners, and I receive some prize packs. I was disappointed that I didn't top, but I feel like I played strong Kaijudo over the course of the day and just ran into the rush buzzsaw. It happens.

My brother, Tyler, finished in 4th place after Swiss, though, so I was ecstatic for him. I made sure to watch all his top 8 games.

In top 8, he got a rematch against Carlos Alburquerque's Blurple deck. In Swiss, Tyler drew unworkable hands and got beat down by [ccProd]Cyber Trader[/ccProd]s. In top 8, though, it was a swift 2-0 creaming. The games played out exactly as they're supposed to: Trader attacked into a [ccProd]Bottle of Wishes[/ccProd] and got punished, Tyler hit the birds and accelerated into Infernus, and the Blurple deck could only try to get there with [ccProd]Dark Scaradorable[/ccProd] , but it's a losing battle.

I was surprised to see that Aiden Thorne had defeated my friend Rob Wolinksy's "Greed 53" in their top 8 rematch. I didn't see much of the game, but Rob must have drawn poorly. He was undefeated all day. Aiden is also a very good player, and with the surprise factor gone the 2nd time, he probably knew how to maneuver a little better.

Tyler faced off against Aiden Thorne in the top 4. Game one was definitively in Aiden's favor, buoyed by Lyras and timely [ccProd]Razorkinder Puppet[/ccProd]s. Tyler had two dominating victories in games two and three, though, thanks to [ccProd]Herald of Infernus[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Moorna, Gatling Dragon[/ccProd]! After Aiden cast a last ditch [ccProd]Crystal Memory[/ccProd] and realized all his [ccProd]Stormspark Blast[/ccProd]s were in the deck, he extended the handshake.

Now Tyler was qualified for Seattle, and his opponent in the finals was Rafael Taveras, also playing WDL Control. Ty hadn't lost to the deck all day, so I was feeling pretty confident. A flurry of [ccProd]Spellbane Dragon[/ccProd]s led Tyler to victory after Rafael Bottled into a [ccProd]Logos Scan[/ccProd]!

Check out Tyler's deck profile on Paul Clarke's channel here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4SBiCs1XeE

Conclusion

I had a fantastic time even though I wasn't able to top. It's clear that Kaijudo is alive and growing when you can get 71 players for an inaugural OP event! If I couldn't win the whole thing, at least my brother was able to take it down! Ty played out of his mind all day, and considering he doesn't live near a card shop and can only play against me occasionally through Skype, I think he did exceptionally well.

We also made a pretty strong statement at this event. Team SBK members attended two KMCs so far, and both times we put at least 3 players in the top 8. One of us won the whole thing both times too!

Clash of the Duel Masters is sure to shake things up, but I think it's safe to say that Greed Dragons will go down as the deck to beat in the DragonStrike Infernus metagame.

Until next time, Play Hard or Go Home!

Discussion

comments

  • ChaoticReaper

    The #1 ranked Duel Masters TCG player ended your day. GG

    • Zach Hine

      He definitely salted me up. That’s how it goes sometimes.

  • Carolyn Colajezzi

    Great article
    Better luck in the next one, congrats to Tyler.

  • Paul Clarke

    Great article, Zach! Nice meeting you =D