Today’s post is brought to you by none other than Warbull. If you’ve been reading QQ for a while, you know we he is a good friend of mine and we have done a lot of stuff in-game together. Be it Karazhan back during Burning Crusade or 2v2 with my Death Knight and his Paladin. As a preface, he was one of the highest rated Magic players in Utah (actually he was the highest) for quite some time. He is no stranger to competitive card games and had the opportunity to attend the WoW TCG World Championships at GenCon this year. So I will stop blabbering and just let you read his post. Forewarning, the following article makes a lot of card references and discussion about popular WoW TCG deck types.
WoW TCG Worlds was a blast. And even though I didn’t walk away with the top prize, I definitely got plenty of stuff along with some cash, and one very cool prize. Before I get to the event itself however, I’ll preface it with preparing for the biggest event of the year. The format for the constructed portion of the main event was Classic as opposed to the Core format from NACC(North American Continental Championships). The first difference between the formats is that in Classic every single set is legal to play while in Core the Heroes of Azeroth block is not. The second difference is that Classic uses the standard best of 3 games in 60 minutes compared to Core’s best of 1 in 30 minutes. Since Core only has one game in a match, there are also no sideboards. Fortunately for me, I was a bit more familiar with the Classic format than Core, as the last time I had played the game in a tournament was Worlds from last year, where I was woefully unprepared and unable to advance to day 2. I was determined not to make a repeat performance, and thus a mad amount of playtesting was about to begin.
The first thing to determine were the best decks that were mostly likely to be played.
We started talking about what to play, and I suggested we put together an Orgrimmar deck to try versus the gauntlet, as I figured the resilient Kazamon Steelskin and disrupting power of the Blackfist brothers Munkin and Cromarius might fare better. I also figured that Hunter might have a better framework than the older Lionar warrior decks, so we threw in some Dundees, Envoy of Mortality, Buzzes and Snipes and away we went with the hero Koth, Caller of the Hunt.
The deck performed very well, indeed, much better than I had expected. Envoy of Mortality is absolutely insane. It hits so hard for its cost, and its drawback is not much of one at all. Against the control decks, you simply shoot yourself most of the time since they cannot take advantage of you taking a ton of damage. Against aggressive decks you can simply shoot your weaker allies such as Bloodsoul to hit something for 4 or more damage (with Brodericks in the graveyard). And of course, you can always live the dream and just shoot your Kazamon and just have a 4 power long range weapon. The deck performs very well against both the Varanis and Death Wish decks, but is admittedly a little weaker versus the aggressive decks. Most of the time the aggressive match-up comes down to a coin flip, which is always annoying. Overall, I liked the deck a lot, and I also liked that I would be playing something that might throw a bit of curveball in terms of what people were expecting.
5 minutes before two o’clock I decided my sealed wasn’t good enough to get me three wins, so I dropped and quickly jumped into the Classic grinder.
The first opponent I sat down across was Plague Demonsoul, which worried me a bit as warlock was definitely one of our weakest matchups, mostly due to Hesriana doing all sorts of bad things to Dundees and Kazamons. I quickly discovered however my opponent was playing some sort of dot deck, and so I won fairly handily. My next opponent played an alliance rogue, and so had some weapons, Adam Eternum and Weldon Barov (another problem for the deck). Fortunately, I had two timely snipes, the first one in game 1 for his turn 5 Weldon and the second for his turn 6 Evasion. My final opponent looked to be somewhat difficult as he was playing a pretty standard Black Ice deck. Game 1 was looking somewhat mediocre for me, mostly because I did not have an Envoy and my hand on turn 3 had three equipment removal cards in it. While I was debating about a turn three play, a judge walked over to our table waving a Defias Brotherhood in the exact same sleeves as my opponent’s deck. The judge gave my opponent a game loss, and so we were off to game 2 with sideboards.
I swapped out all of the equipment removal and put in the third Rehgar, three Spoils of the Hunt and three Vexmaster Nar’Jo. Game 2 was a little scary at one point as my opponent had a Weldon in play for several turns and was able to complete two Defias Brotherhoods giving him a full grip of cards. He even Owned! my Kazamon Steelskin, but two Spoils of the Hunts killed the Weldon as well as a Dimzer the Prestigidator, and a combination of efficient Orcs and Envoy finished him off. I had done it! Qualifying for the main event was pretty sweet, but my weekend was just beginning, as now I had eight rounds of Classic to play tomorrow.
Day two started off rather dim for me, as I quickly put up two losses, the first to a mid-range rogue deck playing Dagger of Betrayal, which I had never seen before that match. Let’s just say if I had been more aware about what my opponent had been up to, I would have had a much better chance. My second match was versus a Kungen the Thunderer strikeout deck (a strikeout deck is where the player plays several abilities and allies to deal lethal damage to the opponent in a single turn with a weapon). Game three came down to a turn 5 Buzz where his board consisted of Guardian Plate Bracers and an Edge of Oblivion with 4 counters on it. I had only six damage on my hero, so I chose to blow up the bracers to apply more pressure. This was a mistake, as next turn he did 17 damage to me, putting me with 5 health left, and exactly 5 attack on his hero for next turn. I finally managed to pull out 4 more wins before the final match of the day, so I was sitting at a precarious 4-3.
My last opponent was playing a Death Knight deck. Game 1 I won due to a combination of a good curve from my deck and my opponent having a mediocre draw with no quests. Game 2 was a blowout now in his favor with a turn 2 Deathcharger and a million quests killing every guy I played. Game 3 was a much closer game as he had no Deathcharger, so my turn 4 Kazamon went unanswered, munching two Dethvirs along with huge chunks of my opponent’s life total. However, the real clincher was the final turn where I represented lethal with my Kazamon and Dundee the next turn. He had used his Eye of the Storm already, and so it had no counters on it with three cards in his hand, so I knew he couldn’t charge it up.
I had been holding a Silencing Shot for the last few turns in fear of a blowout Army of the Dead. My opponent on his very last turn proceeded to put me to 24 damage with attacks, and then played a Corpse Explosion. I promptly answered with the Silencing Shot. After the match, I told him I had been holding the shot for Army and he said he had it in his hand the entire time, but his plan was to double corpse explosion me that turn. Way to go the last part of text on Silencing Shot not letting my opponent play his second Corpse Explosion! So with that, it was on to day 2 along with Skyler and Aaron, both also making it to the next day with Koth, Caller of the Hunt.
Day 2 was actually fairly uneventful for me as I bombed hard, only going 1-5 in limited. I did still finish in the money, however, so I can’t complain too much. The final day at Gen Con was actually probably the coolest for me.
The last event I played in was a Core constructed tournament for a chance to get a card in a future set named after one of your characters in the MMO.
It was draw go from there, as I always made sure after the seventh turn to always have two interrupts available. Several key abilities got countered, including a Ripped through the Portal for his 50/50 Azaloth, and on about turn 12 I Jin’rohked him out of the game.
My second round opponent was playing some sort of Alliance priest deck. I remember my turn 2 Death Wish getting dispelled, and a “Scrapper” Ironbane that blew up two Jin’rohks due to the hero’s flip being able to get the first one back a second time, but multiple reconstructs and Girdle of Razuvious meant that I still locked him out of the game. Match three was against a Bloody Mary Death Wish deck, a much more aggressive version of the deck I was playing as he had Brodericks and Bloodsouls. He managed to get me to 22 damage, but Jin’rohk still locked him down and out of the game.
My round four opponent was playing an Orgrimmar warlock deck, which I was somewhat worried about, but I kept my opening hand with zero quests, as I figured my curve was virtually unbeatable versus an aggro deck. Turn one plate bracers, turn 2 Bonefist Gauntlets, turn 3 Vindicator’s Brand. A lot of his small creatures died. A lot. And then I punctured his Kazamon.
The other thing I remember about this game was that even though I misplayed horribly several times, I still won pretty handily. Like not using Girdle of Razuvious on turn seven with Bonefist Gauntlets to start Jin’rohk up. Or playing relevant cards as face down resources when I was going to quest that turn anyways and then drawing quests. After this round, I was the only undefeated player. My final round opponent was playing an Alliance Renewal of Life Paladin deck. In other words, he fills up his graveyard with lots of gigantic guys and reanimates them. He played Hammer of Justice three times this game, but one of them got pummeled, so I still managed to kill his Weldon one crucial turn with an attack and my hero flip. His turn eight consisted of playing a protector and a Renewal of Life. My turn eight was play my Girdle of Razuvious for a Jin’rohk, blow up my own Vindicator’s Brand for his Renewal, kill his protector with a Death Wished hero attack, readying my hero with Greaves of Ancient Evil, then hitting him with Jin’rohk for six attack. Let me just say one thing. Jin’rohk is absolutely idiotic, especially when it hits for more than 3.
And with that, I get a card named after one of my characters!