8-1 (Almost Undefeated!) First Place Des Moines Regional Report

mike steinmanIf you know me I'm more of an online guy. I don't have locals around me and I don't usually go to regionals anymore. It's actually quite funny because growing up I tried to go to every regional I could and I even tried to travel 2 hours to the nearest local as often as possible but now that I actually can do all those things I feel like there are better things to do with my time. Between all the commitments I have at home I barely have any real free time and when I do I want to take full advantage of that. I feel like the online community is for the most part more competitive, especially since you can choose who you're spending your time testing with, but Des Moines is a special place to me. It's where I used to go for all my regionals growing up and where I got my first Top 8 when I was 12 years old. It's also where I met my "mentors" Mitch Noggle, Jesse Twohig, and Ryan Newburn who all taught me about card advantage and tempo when I started traveling to these things. I've known most of these people for about half of my life so Des Moines regionals are really just like a huge family reunions. But I did have an alternative reason to compete at regionals last weekend and of course that reason was to test against the newly released Hidden Arsenal cards! Anyways I ended up only dropping 3 games the entire tournament, and here's the deck I accomplished that with:

fire fist - bearMonsters: 13
3 [ccProd]Gene-Warped Warwolf[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Reborn Tengu[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Rescue Rabbit[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Tour Guide From the Underworld[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Gorilla[/ccProd]

Spells: 14
3 [ccProd]Fire Formation – Tenki[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Forbidden Lance[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Pot of Duality[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Monster Reborn[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Fire Formation – Tensu[/ccProd]

Traps: 14
3 [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Dimensional Prison[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Mirror Force[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Torrential Tribute[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Bottomless Trap Hole[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Solemn Warning[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Solemn Judgment[/ccProd]

Extra Deck: 15
2 [ccProd]Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Gem-Knight Pearl[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Number 16: Shock Master[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Gagaga Cowboy[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Number 50: Blackship of Corn[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Number 39: Utopia[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Maestroke the Symphony Djinn[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Temtempo the Percussion Djinn[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Wind-Up Zenmaines[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Leviair the Sea Dragon[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Number 17: Leviathan Dragon[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Number 20: Giga-Brilliant[/ccProd]

forbidden lanceI decided to run the same Fire Fist list I played in San Diego with minor changes. I added a 3rd [ccProd]Forbidden Lance[/ccProd] to help the mirror and to help against Evilswarm, both to secure my Bear's effect going through and to help get over opposing Thunderbirds. I also threw a bunch of new cards into my side to see how effective they would be against the new decks (Evilswarm, Gadget, Infernity). This regional was effectively going to be my testing ground for Jersey. One card I was really excited to try was [ccProd]Compulsory Evacuation Device[/ccProd]. Being able to bounce a freshly summoned Ophion or [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] in addition to fizzling an Archfiend effect or bouncing a card in the end phase to turn their Infernity traps off was very appealing to me. I was also pretty happy to be siding double [ccProd]Thunder King Rai-Oh[/ccProd] as I could see it almost single-handedly winning me Gadget and Infernity matchups. I decided to experiment and cut [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] but I really regret that decision. It would've made a lot of situations easier and looking back it's too good against GGX with materials, coming back from an Infernity field, pushing Bear attacks through, and the like. [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] is [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] and I learned the hard way you really just can't cut it.

Round 1 - Mermails

Game 1 I'm living the sick life and open [ccProd]Rescue Rabbit[/ccProd] into Tiger King and set Bottomless and Typhoon. He sets a monster and I Tensu into [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd], pray it's not a [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd] and it's indeed an Abysslinde! Of course he can't come back from an opening like that and game 2 starts with him seeing Dragoons early on with a ton of set cards. He discards Teus and Dragoons and tries to search for Line and Gunde but of course that can't happen. I'm finally able to setup a field of Banisher, [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd], Bottomless, and D. Prison before he flips up an [ccProd]Imperial Iron Wall[/ccProd]. He doesn't kill me and I'm able to draw [ccProd]Rescue Rabbit[/ccProd] and I kick myself for taking [ccProd]Diamond Dire Wolf[/ccProd] out of my extra. I end up making a Tiger King and pushing as hard as I can with Bears and eventually I draw the Typhoon for [ccProd]Imperial Iron Wall[/ccProd] and flip [ccProd]Solemn Judgment[/ccProd] on his second one, letting me seal the deal.


shi enRound 2 - Six Samurai

He wins the die roll but opens poorly with [ccProd]Hand of the Six Samurai[/ccProd] and 2 backrows. I summon Warwolf but it gets Bottomless'd and I set Prison and Torrential. He tops Smoke Signal and has the Kageki to go into Shi En and also has the Magatama to stop my Torrential. He Ascetacisms as well to get Enishi on his board. I Reborn Warwolf and try to swing over Enishi and he bounces. In Main Phase 2 I summon [ccProd]Rescue Rabbit[/ccProd] and make a Tiger King before detatching to stun his Shi En, Enishi, and Hand then flip the Tenki I searched to grab Bear. He doesn't attack and I summon Bear and negate effects, pop Tenki to destroy Shi En and he tries to save it, which can't happen, and I win from there. Game 2 starts the exact same way - Hand set 2, I Bear into Bottomless, he topdecks a way to make Shi En. I don't remember how I clear it this time but it involved Torrential and he had 1 card left and it was Reborn for Shi En. I have a face-up Tenki and face-down [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd] so I actually have a good amount of tops.. Bears, Dynas, any trap, etc. I end up getting lucky and top the best one, Bear, and win the game right there.


Leviair the Sea DragonRound 3 - Macro Rabbit

Game 1 he starts with 4 backrows with one being [ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd]. I end up drawing out 2 Bottomless and 1 Torrent and feel like it's finally safe to summon Tour Guide and go into Leviair. I have a ton of protection so I get to use the effect twice and make a Blackship to get over his Zenmaines. I slowly grind him down to 0 after getting rid of his one means of stalling the game out. I see [ccProd]Return From the Different Dimension[/ccProd] and 2 [ccProd]Starlight Road[/ccProd] this game so I have to be careful the rest of the match. Game 2 I sit on Tengu and traps with [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd] in hand, I start to talk him into attacking me and I get to use up all my traps before using Heavy + Warning on his 4 backrows. I drew Rabbit that turn and just end the game right there.


Round 4 - Mermail

These next 3 rounds are a blur of blue to me. I don't remember this match at all but I'm pretty sure a huge [ccProd]Torrential Tribute[/ccProd] let me come back from a double Dragoons Megalo play. There's also a game where I open [ccProd]Solemn Judgment[/ccProd] so I'm able to convey a [ccProd]Starlight Road [/ccProd] by setting and using MST so when he had Infantry-Diva-Marksman he decides to go into Gachi instead of Black Rose.


Mermail AbysslindeRound 5 - Mermail

This guy really abuses Gunde. He uses 3 effects by turn 4 to keep reviving Lindes to play around my Torrential and [ccProd]Mirror Force[/ccProd]. He makes a crucial misstep by trying to Sphere for a Linde on the same turn he used a Linde effect. That's enough to let me overcome him by Mirror Forcing his board and attacking with Bear. I see him siding in a ton of cards game 2 and after getting demolished by [ccProd]Imperial Iron Wall[/ccProd] earlier I decided to keep [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd] in, praying to not draw it earlier and just have it in my deck to draw to if I needed it. He opens by setting 2 and I [ccProd]Pot of Duality[/ccProd] and see Heavy. I take it and decide to take the risk of him not having Torrential since I didn't see it last game; I summon Banisher, Storm his set Dust and Sphere and set the rest of my hand (including Judgment) and take the game.


Round 6 - Mermail

I don't remember this game at all, sorry to whoever I played. I got the match 2-0 so that usually means [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd] or any crazy Dragoon combos weren't involved.


miracle fusionRound 7 - Bubble Beat

Game 1 I push through 3 [ccProd]Miracle Fusion[/ccProd]s to win. He doesn't see [ccProd]Elemental Hero Stratos[/ccProd] the entire game which weakened the effectiveness of his plays and it's really hard to do anything in that deck without Stratos and he had unfortunate luck this game. Game 2 is a long one. I open 2 Rabbit 2 Tour Guide but after a [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd] I have a huge advantage on him until he rips his own on my 5 cards and we're both down to topdecking. I still have not seen a Stratos the entire match so that's a huge scare but I rip my 2nd Tengu and swing. He rips Alius then I draw Bottomless and Torrential. We start Game 3 right before time is called and I win in time by making Maestroke and using Torrential when he sets his hand and tries to go for Blackship with Stratos and Bubbleman.


Round 8 - Fire Fist ([ccProd]Winged Rhynos[/ccProd] and [ccProd]XX-Saber Boggart Knight[/ccProd])

To be truthful I barely draw any traps this match and the one time I do I waste both on a [ccProd]Winged Rhynos[/ccProd] (Fiendish on summon, chain Bottomless). Guess I should read cards before I make a play huh? But I get beat down by those high ATK monsters. At the end of game 1 I looked at the remaining 26 cards in my deck and see 3 monsters! But that stuff happens.


Abyss DwellerRound 9 - Mermail

Game 1 I get in early with Bear and make [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd]. Later on in the game I make a 2nd and I draw pretty much all the traps in my deck so there was no way for him to win. Game 2 I actually have all 3 of my Banishers and D. Fissures by around turn 3 but he stays in the game with a random [ccProd]Safe Zone[/ccProd] on his Marksman! He summons Diva and instead of Black Rosing all my cards away he makes [ccProd]Armory Arm[/ccProd] and starts swinging with Marksman. I stop summoning monsters and eventually he has to start doing things like setting Infantry to tribute for Teus to swing just to get at my life points. After about 10 turns of this I run out of traps and still haven't draw an out to [ccProd]Safe Zone[/ccProd] so I lose. Game 3 is close to time and he has Linde and 2 sets so I make Tour Guide to swing into it and he gets Megalo. In the end phase I pop his set Squall and pass with 2 [ccProd]Mirror Force[/ccProd], Torrential, and [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd] down. He rams his other Linde into my Zenmaines to detatch its last material and gets Teus. He contemplates going to Main Phase 2 and making a Big Eye but just swings into [ccProd]Mirror Force[/ccProd]. I top Rabbit and that's game.


So that was my tournament experience with Fire! I ended up getting 1st after swiss and left because I was starving! Definitely one of my top picks for Jersey as of right now but there's still time to test other decks. What do you think will be the best deck to play at the event? Let me know! Until next time guys.