I just got back from the Winter Championship in Texas. It was so much fun. I was a little skeptical going in because the Summer Championship was so great, I was not quite sure how WotC could top it, but they certainly did. Once again they had it set up in a way that you would have an amazing experience that you almost forgot about the high level tournament that would take place on Sunday. I am going to do this in two parts, one talking about Saturday and the other talking about Sunday. I know it may be a pain to wait but so much went out this weekend that is too much to fit into 1 article.
Saturday began early in the morning with a panel with Drew Nolosco, Design Manager, Andrea Cole, Community Manager, and Kierin Chase, Senior Brand Manager. In the panel they discussed the future of Kaijudo and what to expect. I am going to go over a few of the main points. They said they have plans for the next two years of KMC’s. So we are guaranteed at least 4 more Championship tournaments. I am really glad they pointed this out because some people are afraid the game is going to die off but this shows it has at least 2 years left. I do not like saying it that way but as long as its players stay dedicated and try to draw in more players, they game will last much longer than that. Also with the new KMC’s they are going to distribute the prizes more evenly instead of them being so top heavy. At the next season for KMC’s everyone who enters will receive and promo and a play mat. The top 3 people ranked in their civilization will receive a prize, not just the highest ranked one. That means at least 15 people in the tournament will receive an additional prize on top of their participation prize. The rankings for the civilization will be determined and given out after the swiss rounds are finished and before top 8 begins. The top 8 will then be played out just for the invite and flight and whatever additional prizes the store may or may not give out.
They also went over something unique to the Winter Championship, and that is the prize wall. The prize wall was similar to something you see at an arcade, instead of trading in tickets for prizes you trade in points. You get points by winning packs from events during the weekend. Each pack earned you 1000 points. They had awesome prizes like packs, including Dragonstrike Infernus, DVD’s, Giant Cards, Artworks of a lot of cards, T Shirts, Play Mats, pretty much everything you could possibly imagine and then some. My favorite prize there was an uncut sheet of Invasion Earth that had the Vicious Squillace Scourge and the new promo Snow Fort on it as well. The uncut sheet was worth the most being 55000 points.
Snow Fort was also previewed for us. It is the new Holiday Promo WotC is giving out. Last year they did Old Man Winter and those were only given to a select few, this time Snow Fort would be given out to everyone who played in the Championship tournament and the Community tournament on Sunday. I really like Snow Fort, unlike Old Man Winter, this one is actually competitive playable. It is also really funny because he can melt with his Im Melting! ability that has him banished whenever an Armored Dragon or Melt Warrior attack. I love this card and it has really awesome artwork.
The other big thing they talked about was Booster Brawl. It is an exciting new product coming out in February of 2014 and is a whole new way to play Kaijudo. It comes with a variety of 8 packs and 3 new cards. It is meant to be played with two people and you use all the cards you get in the packs as well as the new cards as a shared deck. You and your opponent put out your shields from the shared deck at the start of the game. Next you take the top 5 cards of the deck and lay them out face up on the side. You and your opponent start the game with zero cards in either player’s hand. At the start of each players turn they pick from one of the 5 face up cards to go to their hand and then draw a card from the shared deck, if you go first though, you do not draw from the shared deck on your first turn. So both players are pretty much drawing 2 cards a turn. It extremely fun and something I really look forward to coming out.
After the panel they let all the people who had invites to the Championship play Booster Brawl. We had a 3 round free for all with it. Each round we find someone to play and they would give us 8 packs to play with. After the match was over the cards would then be drafted between the two players with the winner getting to choose first. If you won 1 round you received 6 packs, 2 rounds 18 packs, and 3 rounds, you got a whole box on Invasion Earth. I was 2-0 and in the last round we pulled an Andromeda out of one of the packs and I luckily was able to win and get the Andromeda. On top of that since I won all 3 rounds I got a box of Invasion Earth. The day had hardly started and I was having a blast.
Members from the R&D department were also spell slinging all weekend. What that meant was they sat down and kept playing people all day long. This time when you played them you received a random pack and a random card from them, signed by a member of the R&D department. I had some down time so I played them a few times. I played against Steve Warner a couple times and just could not beat him. I loved all his decks though. They were these crazy decks with Nature in almost all of them and he used cards I never thought of. One game he beat me with what seemed like a corrupted deck with Victory Gunner and Galsaur. I never dreamed I would ever lose to Galsaur, let alone even play against it, but Steve taught me a lesson that day. They all had really great decks and it is nice to see how other people are using the new Invasion Earth cards in their deck. I was lucky enough to get a signed Cassiopeia and Andromeda as random cards from playing them!
Side events were going on throughout the day and I felt like getting a few more points for the prize wall so I played in an 8 person constructed tournament. Round 1 I had to play against Ricky Gross, who made top 8 at the Summer Championship last season. I was able to pull out the victory. Next I played against Carl Miciotto, This was turning out to be the hardest 8 person constructed tournament I have ever played in. I was able to defeat him. Next I had to play against another member of team P.E.A.C.H., Spencer Swan. He was using a Haven Ramp deck I believe and we took in to a game 3 and I was able to use double Cassiopeia to win. I was able to win the side event and got a Tricky Turnip from my packs!
The prize wall opened up at 5:00 later that day and I was able to get close to the start of the line. I built up 28000 points that day. They only had 5 giant cards and everyone wanted them so the people who had enough points for them were put into a raffle and they randomly picked the winner of each one. Sadly I was not able to get one, but I got a bunch of other stuff instead. I walked away with artwork of Infernus the Immolator, a T-Shirt, the Dracothane and Infernus the Awakened play mat, and a water civ patch. It was only the first day and I had already won so much I was happy and didn’t even care how I did in the tournament tomorrow.
Day 1 was amazing and WotC did a great job accomplishing their goal, which was to show that being at the Championship was the real prize. Being with the community and having fun is what Kaijudo is all about. It is not about winning and prizes, it is about enjoying the experience and making new memories.