Hello everyone out there ready to be #inittofennec (couldn't help myself)!! My name is Dylan Rawson and I play for Fennec gaming and just gonna give my experience, as a whole, over both events that happened in Orlando over the weekend.
First and for most, always plan for the unexpected on trips. Or you can be like me on this trip and be upside down going into this event due to things that happen on the road that you can not control. Leading into the event I was going to play Pan, which I had been play testing for the last month with friends and on Untap.in (snowflake251). I even tested at work, when I'm clearly not suppose to. That all changed when I left four hours past my original start time and now have zero sleep under me for a large scale event. Due to this, I decided to fall back on my old reliable Hiru Swap. I have played this deck off and on since I saw my friend, Matthew Coombs, posted it. I personally recommend you go follow his Youtube channel at 3xG. He posts amazing stuff and breakdowns of his experiences as well. I played the same list, card for card, Saturday and Sunday. So with that being said, lets break down Saturday for y'all, yes I'm from the south so I will say y'all lol.
First thing about Saturday, I would like to thank Pro-Play Games on another amazing event ran by them and the other 300+ players for making this event so great and the largest event on the east coast to date. Sean Ackerman did an awesome job for his first time being the head judge at a PPG regional event, and was nice seeing Gabe play for once. The list I played was sub-optimal as it had to be thrown together last second with what I had on me due to time issues from my ride over. Here is the list that I played. The side was real bad and probably why I loss most my games throughout the weekend.
Hirudegarn//Awakened Perfection Hirudegarn
4 Bardock, the Progenitor
4 Scrambling Assault Son Goten
4 Dependable Dynasty Son Goku
2 Caring Mother Videl
2 Adoptive Father Son Gohan
4 Unyielding Spirit Trunks
2 Unbreakable Super Saiyan Son Goku
2 Mira, Creator Absorbed
1 Masked Saiyan, The Mysterious Warrior
4 Hoi, Emissary of Flame
2 Hidden Darkness Minotia
2 Hirudegarn, the Wanderer
3 Hidden Power East Supreme Kai
3 Successor of Hope
2 Planet Vegeta
4 Senzu Bean
2 Flying Nimbus
2 Bad Ring Laser
1 The Legendary Flute
4 Phantom Flame Cannon
2 Flying Nimbus
1 Bad Ring Laser
1 Masked Saiyan, the Mysterious Warrior
2 Time Control Chronoa
Notes Regarding the Side Deck
I don't recommend Phantom Flame Cannon. I just added it to fill the 15 side deck cards. I sided Mafuba for decks that run Awe-Inspiring Intimidating SSB Vegito. Flying Nimbus was mainly for the mirror and Bad Ring Laser was for control decks and for the Hercule match-up. Masked Saiyan, the Mysterious Warrior was for decks that go wider and for the mirror match. Time Control Chronoa was included for any decks running Shugesh and I can't actually remember the three other cards that I used.
Lets get into my round play. The first round I played a U7 Frieza w/ Victory Strike deck and was unaware how easily the deck could just go under this deck. Fun note, haven't played Hiru since WMAT came out so was very unaware of to how to handle a few of the decks that were meta, but was confident in my player ability to adapt. I won this match rather quickly 2-0. Game 1, I was able to catch him tapped out and killed him on turn 2 thanks to a BRL (Bad Ring Laser) on a Flying Nimbus after he awakened. Game 2 I played more fair but still had lethal on turn 3 with Mira, Creator Absorbed and Hidden Power East Supreme Kai. The match was just one sided the entire round, plain and simple.
Round 2, I experienced my first loss of the day. At first, I blamed this game on lack of sleep, but I honestly think that the Uub decks just answers Hiru real well. Having 6+ combo cards that draw you a card and gain 10k power plus access to Zeno Button is a real thing. I just didn't have the card power to push over all of that and loss both times in real similar fashion getting him down to 2 life and losing to just pure card power. I talked to this guy after the game and throughout the event to try and figure out what I needed to do to beat those kind of decks. It was really helpful going into a future match-ups as I faced a Hercule and another Uub deck later on in this event.
Round 3, I played U7 Frieza again and this dude made me work for it in 3 games. Game 1 was 100% lopsided and I just beat him down quickly. Game 2, he brought in like 10 cards to beat me and did it well. He used Flying Nimbus three turns in a row, then had found the Senzu Beans to force me to grind my hand away as I was fighting a clock knowing Victory Strike was a thing. This was my first mistake in that game. I saw him combo the Victory Strike and began to play way more careful when I should have just kept pushing. This cost me game 2 as he played an At All Cost Vegeta and I didn't have a negate in hand. Game 3 I was pretty sure that I knew how to handle it and went all in only if no bean was played as I wasn't comboing to get Scrambling Assualt Son Gotens to just match. The Dependable Dynasty Son Gokus shined against him. I forced him to use triple Senzu Bean after I played Mira, Creator Absorbed early to force his hand down and then just unloaded Scrambling Assault Son Gotens at him the next turn, pinging one at a time. Then, I found a Mira, Creator Absorbed, comboed high on the last Goten and found the Hidden Power East Supreme Kai off of a super combo. I swung with leader, which he Flying Nimbused and tapped him out, and just did the Mira thing everyone hates to see happen.
Round 4, it finally happened. I was playing against Hercule. i dreaded this match-up the most as most friends told me this match-up is almost impossible for me to win. However, then I remembered what I was told from my round 2 loss. BRL destroys those decks. Game 1 I did my normal thing and he went to four life quickly, then started comboing the little 5ks against my 10ks so I just kept at it for 3 turns, only comboing on defence to keep battle cards on board. Eventually, he started using 10ks against my Scrambling Assault Son Goten and got him to tap out. Then I swung, he went to Zen-Oh Button and, bam, BRL! He took the 1 as I comboed my whole hand, leaving 3 cards in deck and all of it in drop. I swung and comboed, he had the follow up Zen-Oh Button but it wasn't enough to save him. Game 2 I did the same strategy but sided in my additional Bad Ring Laser, Mafubas, and Masked Saiyan, the Mysterious Warrior to make my life easier. Biggest difference from game 1 to 2 was he tapped down to one to play an At All Costs Vegeta which got Mafubad and he went to one life off of At All Cost Vegeta's ability and mira was just to big. I some how conquered the Hercule nemesis 2-0 and had no real testing against it. This was probably the highlight of day 1 for me.
Round 5 I just, plain and simple, loss to the mirror. It still feels like watching paint dry in the mirror.
Round 6 I played against a Pan player and I guess he just drew really bad because I never saw a single Unending Awakening or Senzu Bean against me. I won this match swiftly and went to grab lunch and about died paying 7 dollars for soda and a hotdog.
Round 7 I got to play against a bounty. I was hyped because I had a chance to win some extra swag, but then I saw the Uub leader and all of the hype kind of died but the flame of determination to beat the deck was lit. I tried everything I had learned from the other Uub player I loss to in round 2. It felt like I was gaining ground and then just couldn't beat the combo power that deck has and Zen-Oh Button. I still feel its just a match I wasn't ready for and that's my own fault for not learning it.
Round 8, all I can say is don't let things get to your head. I should have won this game but I just misplayed everywhere and ruined all chances I had of making top cut. I was against U7 Frieza and he had all 4 Senzu Beans and Flying Nimbuses so I lost to myself trying to go over beans and nimbus.
Round 9 was a no show.
So now I'm left thinking well lets see how far things get passed down being hopeful but I knew in my head it was a fairy tail. I came in 77th place out of over 300 players. After the event, it was almost 12 so me and my friends decided we were going to eat and catch some sleep as we all needed it to do well during the 2k on Sunday. When I woke up, I was fully rested and ready to just win this money and prove I knew what I was doing. For this reason, I didn't switch decks and I knew I had to start out 2-0 to really even have a chance due to top 8 from the regional on Saturday getting a 2 round bye. I was ready to go, got my Wawa breakfast and headed to the event center to get the day started.
Round 1, Vegeta Baby. All I can say is, for an event knowing I had to go 2-0 to start it out, this wasn't what I wanted to play against. Revenge Death Ball is a does real work and makes my Scrambling Assault Son Goten swings awkward. I felt the best answer I had for this was to just swap into 2 drops immediately to check for death balls and just keep applying pressure until he was within lethal range. Eventually, he caught on to what I was doing and used the death ball he had in hand after I comboed up to 25 on a Goten, making it just a pure plus for him. So then I just kept going, caught him tapped out, and played Mira, Creator Absorbed for lethal. Both games were really similar on how this happened. After we got done, he told me he forgot to put super combos in and I was like sorry to hear bro while in my head I was like "well his tiebreaker is more than likely a drop".
Round 2 was against a Pan player and the game was honestly not that fun or interesting. Sorry, dude was real chill and had an awesome time talking and playing, but the interactions were nothing special. Game 1 I blew him out on turn 2. Game 3 he had Unending Awakenings and a Chain Attack into Fearless Pan with a Burst Attack Son Gohan and Bodyguard Ledgic on board to my 5 cards and 3 life. I wasn't gonna survive that swing at all so just scooped up and said lets go. Game 3 I legit drew the perfect hand against him and swung around 20 times, but he tapped out playing two Double Shot Super Saiyan 2 Vegeta that turn of defense, so it was pretty free.
Round 3 I had done what I wanted and gotten to the same record as the players I was more concerned about. I sat down against one of the other guys that had played all day with me and he was playing a mono-blue SSGSS Son Goku, the Soul Striker list, which honestly was rather cool and I'd love to adapt to a set 5 list with Quick Thinkin' Gotenks. Game 1 I beat him rather quickly, but that's not what we are going to talk about here. Game 2 is where we are gonna talk. He played highly defensive and I made it through 2 blockers and 2 Awe-Inspiring Intimidator Vegito and loss because I accidentally went to fast in motions and forgot to negate a Beerus swing that was lethal after he tapped out to play this card while I had Mira, Creator Absorbed and Hidden Power East Supreme Kai in hand, plus a Mafuba with my energy left open for it. Just call me punter on that game. I always remember to resolve negates first people. Like, I say it all day at events, it's negates, auto, blockers. Beerus, Universe 7 Divine Vanquisher is a real card coming into set 5 so learn your interactions now before you punt like I did. Game 3 I legit had to Mafuba a Awe-Inspiring Intimidator Vegito that was attacking to have a chance to win the game and lost to a Boost Attack Piccolo swing. It was my own fault.
Round 4 was against Trunks Swap. It was a very odd mirror in a sort as we do the same thing he just draws more consistently and has free blockers. Like I said before, mirrors with this deck comes down to drawing better and who goes first. I think the Trunks list is highly favored as the free blockers help amazingly. I ended up losing this one and, for the most part, knew I was done and had no chance but I was gonna keep on keeping on.
Round 5 I played a really young kid and I felt awful but it was cool to see a kid so young playing in big events like these. I talked with his dad telling him that I was super impressed and told the kid keep at it. I know many people that started card games early and are top TCG players now. Legit, if you or someone you know has a kid wanting to learn the game, please let them at least experience the idea of learning and playing in big events and getting the experience and knowledge of strategy.
Round 6 I played die roll, I mean Androids. Legit, had to roll 5 times and 2 sets of dice to finally figure out who went first. Game 1 I had the turn 2 kill and there was nothing he could do as I had the second Bardock to check for full power energy. Game 2 I had to do the check a little riskier and he had it but I already had two Gotens on board before I swung a Bardock. He just had to many blockers in this game that I couldn't get over and beat me with a Masked Saiyan wiping my board. The last game, I don't know what happened. My opening hand was pure garbage and somehow managed to dig myself into a situation where I had a chance at lethal and went for it while clearing his board with Masked Saiyan and comboed to 55k and sealed the win.
I thought I may have a chance at top cut but then found out by looking at the sheets I just had to many people with more points then me going into the last round and I'd still be out of the running unless everyone just drew. Overall though, the weekend was awesome and I'll hopefully see everyone at Nationals! But remember, stay focused and play tight.