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By Algahra
4 months ago  (1 month ago)
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Hello Internet,

As promised for people, here is my Decklist and tournament report for the 2019 Canadian Grand Championship.

Things of note:

Why Seeker of Void over Keeper of Air chargebird hotness? Simple answer: I don't like Keeper of Air chargebird deck. I think its way overblown (it’s not even the best phoenix deck in the history of the game, and I honestly don't think it’s any significant degree better then SoV) and the meta will be steering hard to counter it (and boy did they).

Provinces: Midnight Revels over Meditations. Both provinces are swingy, Revels just happens to swings higher (stopping a conflict, especially early game). I'll give credit to Evan Gibbs giving me the idea to actually try it when I was panicking a bit deciding on my decklist. Ended up making the change the morning of the event.

Dynasty: 2 Prodigy of the waves. Popular option is replace them with Imperial Storehouses but 14 holdings proved too rich for my blood. Even with 12 holdings, I had 3(?) 4 holding flops during the tournament. Prodigy is perfectly serviceable body, just doesn't help in the harder match ups (expect unicorn). But running her did let me use those lovely new promos.

I did consider running dynasty Isawa Tadaka to make my chargebird matchup better. But I got talked out of it (thanks Evan). EtV and Conflict Isawa Tadaka are really good cards.

Conflict: No Banzais. Most of my playtesting is with the Gozoku clans (shoutout O5R - Crane/Phoenix/Scorpion for new people). Tower crane putting ornate fans on honored bodies makes me real sad. Scorpion just has stats on board. A Fan often means they need 2 bodies to win. Downside was unicorn matchup (which was a concern) or bully dueling (which was much less a concern).

3 Katanas -> I like to buy 2/4's katanas are a bit more important than fans. Other options would be a 3rd DoP(which really is an amazing luxury) or add 1 Banzai but I decided to go with reliable value overtime. Also prodigies are much better with extra attachments.

Only 2 shrine maidens -> Average game probably ends with my deck having ~5-8 cards left. Certain cards are way too important to risk losing (Let Go and Conflict Tadaka). I understand the idea of milling fallacy but when you do see the bottom of the deck, you want those cards.

On the the report (note this is all out of memory, so I apologize for any mistakes):

Round 1: Erick Leong - Crane - Kyuden Kakita - Seeker of Void

I like the idea of Crane round 1. I am confidant with the Crane matchup. I see opening flops, I see guest of honor as restricted card. I have a dreamer and solemn scholar. I attacked into magistrate station and its all downhill from there. I proceed to get wrecked. No haymaker shugenja, flood the board with bodies. But can't win a conflict, can’t win favor. Erick takes no risks. 3 Voice and 2 turns under Gossip lock for Supernatural Storm. My one shot at Consume by Five Fires gets censured. Even has double Political rival to covert my meager defense. Loss.

I do want to give acknowledge to Erick meticulous naming of the phases and action windows and being just a general pleasure to play against.

Round 2: Max Williams - Crab - Keeper of Water

I get to play up. I get to play Max again in a pseudo rematch from Toronto Kotei Finals. I get to play Meido. I am not feeling good. I go first, Solemn Scholar and Ethereal Dreamer. Each 1 fate. Staring down Hida Kisada. Attack earth into meditations, solemn is assassinated. I clarity into a Kisada trigger and I feel like my tournament is over. I take a breath and refocus. I win ring but don't remember what I hit. Passes conflict, I attack meditations again win void ring. He attacks and hits revels (that change has earned its keep). Next turn buy a miya mystic. Kisada smashes shameful. I attack meditations and he defends with rest of his board. I play conflict Isawa Tadaka and manage to break Gateway to Meido. His board is cleared and I have conflict Tadaka as first player next turn. I draw 4 holdings and Tadaka gets Way of the Crabbed. I am super sad. He gets a break on Gardens but isn't able to build a board either (his tower is a Hiruma Signalcaller). Next turn I can make a board with small shugenja and Shiba Yojimbo. Yojimbo stops an In Defense of Rokugan, play my second Conflict Tadaka who pulls another. I have board control to win. Win.

Break for food (got bad chinese food from the food court across the street.) Fresh air helps though.

Round 3: Drew Horgan - Phoenix - Kyuden Isawa - Keeper of Air

Well I knew I would face it eventually. I feel ok about this matchup but popular stance is KoA is favored. T1 Asako Tsuki with 2 fate (not fearing assassination). Plan is poke water safely and honor and stand for favor. Goes as plan. We did trade Against the Waves. Next turn we trade Upholding Authorities. I get 2 censures after agonizing between that or 2 My Ancestor's Strength. He gets 2 Ancient Masters. We proceed to trade provinces, me bullying Pol with Honor Ujina with a Fan and him with MAS Mil and the threat of echoes / charge. I really get lucky because he doesn’t get Fushicho or Miya Satoshi till late. He gets Satoshi first but mills barely anything except a Dynasty Isawa Tadaka and a facedown Satoshi. Now I have to be careful to play around Dynasty Tadaka. Cloud and Ujina solves him though. There is an exchange of echoes/ censure/ echoes / satoshi cloud. Game ends with my Kuroi Mori stalling him a enough for me to win due to Isawa Atsuko Pol Void on Box letting my use her for an 8 force change. Win.

Round 4: Yanik Richard - Crane - Kyuden Kakita - Seeker of Void

A friend from my local playgroup. Who I am sharing an Airbnb with and drove up with. Who I know regardless of the outcome will talk about this match for the rest of the weekend. (To his credit, he did talk about it a lot but not as much as I feared). This game is unfortunate for him. It’s a blowout. I am first player. I get Solemn and Dreamer and he just passes. I hit pilgrimage. Win ring but no effect. I attack again try to break but get assassinated. He plays a Young Harrier and hits Revels so I win favor. I flop Kanjo District and he flops Guest of Honor. I expect an 8 fate GoH but he doesn't (fears Kanjo I think which is fair). His harrier pokes to no real effect, I attack for fire ring, he plays a rival with 3 fate. No honored bodies though. I wait that conflict out double embrace 5 fires. Then play Conflict Tadaka to break pilgrimate and start shrinking his hand. Isawa Ujina shows up and he is no longer allowed to have board. Win.

Round 5: Matthew Swinburne - Scorpion - City of the Open Hand - Keeper of Air

The other person who I drove down with and I am sharing an Airbnb with. The other member of the Gozoku. Fighting each other to make the cut. Normally I would be happy about this cause it isn’t another chargebird matchup but we just know this game will lead to feelsbad. Sadly I don’t remember much about this game. I open with Isawa Ujina to force fate expenditure. I get lucky on some earth rings ( I pulled a Cunning Magistrate and Noble Sac). My Shiba Yojimbo got the other Noble Sacrifice. Conflict Tadaka just does work. I am able to see entire hand minus a single card letting me do an air ring/Ancestral Shrine/Air Ring to put the game out of reach. Win.

We do get lucky and we both still make the cut. Poor Yan though was 9th. Proceed to go out with the Sudbury/North Bay crown for food, drink and a lot of card puns. It was a good night.

Day 2:

Top 8 – Alexandre Tessier – Dragon – Keeper of Water

3 of the Top 8 are from Montreal. (Go MTL!). So I know Alex and I know his deck. Game is on stream so you will be able to see how sloppy the first turn is (a very late earth ring trigger, Alex playing a Finger of Jade on me). But it goes according to my plan. I break both Restoration of Balance and Upholding Authority and 2 talismans of the sun are used. Next turn is building back up, he gets greedy building a Togashi Initiate into a tower. I essentially just had to survive an extra turn to win. Lucky for me, my draws were strong enough to just win right there. Win.

Top 4 - Erick Leong - Crane - Kyuden Kakita - Seeker of Void

Luckily this game was not streamed. I played pretty bad all things considered but I drew better and sometimes that is how cardgames go. But having played Erick twice, I can say he is good people and a pleasure to play against.

He is first player this time. Opens with Doji Challenger and Doji Whisperer. I just pass but he Gossip’s my Conflict Tadaka. I am sad. He breaks Upholding Authority Political Water and I see his hands with no honor tech besides a court games so I pitch two Political Rivals and poke with a Shrine Maiden mil right into Magistrate Station. He defends wins. Passes conflict. I poke with Ancient Master into Magistrate thinking I have a court games in my hand (I don’t, I am dumb) so I feel like an idiot and clarity just to tie favor. Next turns a Guest of Honor and Imperial Palace and I put a Master of Gisei Toshi into play. I try to break Magistrate Station, fail. He attacks water into my Midnight Revels. No effect pulls in my Miya Mystic and I have to think. Do I want to sac the Miya Mystic to Display of Power. I know his hand minus 4 cards, he drew a Way of the crane + 4. He had no voices originally. I decide I don’t want to risk it blind and play conflict Tadaka with Disguise on my MoGT. Look at his hand pull 2 voices and a Banzai. Pitch the banzai and pass on the DoP plan. He lets me break Magistrate station on the counter (he couldn’t stop Tadaka) and earth ring pulls a voice. Then I have to trade 3 AtW for 2 other voices to stop the 3rd break. Next turn he gets another guest. Gossip’s clarity of purpose to slow my board. I win an earth ring and resolve conflict Tadaka don’t see a censure. But he is up 3 breaks to 2. I try for the Five Fires but forgot to Embrace the Void his board first. Luckily he doesn’t have censure. Next turn I get 2 Ethereal Dreamers and he gets Takamori and Yoshi. He chooses to Takamori my Kudaka. I have probably my biggest brainfart ever and Against the waves his Takamori using my box thinking he is 3 skill instead of 0 to try and break pilgrimage (I didn’t need box and had a storm for +4 in bin). This makes his counter attack with Yoshi vs my Box really really scary. I am lucky he didn’t have a let go or anything. I win the conflict and proceed to break box using 2 ancient masters for +2 stats. Win.

I take the time I have to decompress and prepare myself for chargebird or dishonor Scorpion. I feel dirty but again I am hoping for the Scorpion matchup.

Finals – Brandon Smith - Scorpion - City of the Open Hand - Keeper of Air

Having spent last night having food and drinks with Brandon, I knew Brandon was a cool dude. When I saw his decklist, I knew my decision to not play chargebird was 100% correct. 3 Forged Edict, 3 Censure, 2 Yogo Kikuyo, 2 Peasant’s Advice. But no force pumps, no I Can Swim. He has Cloud the Mind so my Let Go’s are actually useful. Phoenix splash for only Display of Power. His dynasty deck is mostly Shugenja. I feel pretty good and he admits to being worried about my deck. I get T1 Imperial Palace and keep a censure as I don’t feel a need to fish out Display of Powers (they aren’t really useful in this matchup). Open with Shiba Yojimbo win favor and only lose an honor. He has a large fate and card advantage though. Game is on stream so there isn’t much to add. Game went according to plan. He walked into a five fires that helped a lot. Wasn’t concerned about over extending the last turn cause even if I didn’t break was going to gain 3 honor that turn if not 5 thanks to Kudaka, Air Ring and Ancestral shrine. What the stream might have missed his opening 9 cards had 3 Censures and 2 Kikuyo so he didn’t have much to work with and I had a T1 Palace (the x1 cards are all bad for this game, change my mind). Win.

Overall it was a fun weekend with some very close matches and some blowouts. A shout out to the organizers, the judges and the team at VTTV for streaming. Hope to see a lot of familiar faces at worlds. If anyone has any questions, will do my best to answer them.

Cheers,
Matthew Beck / Isawa Algahra

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Role
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Keeper of Air
Organized Play Role
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win an conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Air
Organized Play Role
You may replace 1 province of any element with an additional province while deck building.
After an province you control is revealed - gain 1 fate.
Keeper of Earth
Organized Play Role
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win an conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Earth
Organized Play Role
You may replace 1 province of any element with an additional province while deck building.
After an province you control is revealed - gain 1 fate.
Keeper of Fire
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win a conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Fire
You may replace 1 province of any element with an additional province while deck building.
After an province you control is revealed - gain 1 fate.
Keeper of Void
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win a conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Void
Organized Play Role
You may replace 1 province of any element with an additional province while deck building.
After an province you control is revealed - gain 1 fate.
Keeper of Water
Organized Play Role
Increase your deck building influence value by 3.
After you win a conflict as the defending player - gain 1 fate.
Seeker of Water
You may replace 1 province of any element with an additional province while deck building.
After an province you control is revealed - gain 1 fate.
Support of the Crab
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on clan cards.
Support of the Crane
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend Influence on clan cards.
Support of the Dragon
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on clan cards.
Support of the Lion
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on clan cards.
Support of the Phoenix
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on cards.
Support of the Scorpion
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on clan cards.
Support of the Unicorn
Increase your deckbuilding influence value by 8.
You may only spend influence on clan cards.
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Conflict Initial Draw Probability + Bid by Card
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Conflict Initial Draw Probability & Mulligan by Trait
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Conflict Initial Draw + Bid Probability by Trait
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