Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Back from the EC report 2/4 - Day 1

So after my not realy good performance at the nations cup, I went for something solid and tested by many before me, so I had chosen deck that I ripped off. I usualy do not like copying decks that much, but this time, I wanted to go for day 2 and this deck offered pretty good chances.

Deck Name: Edward Vignes Rip-off
Author: Silmegil

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=3 max=7 avg=5)
 1x  Boss Callihan                     5  dom for pro PRE  Ventrue:3
 1x  Catherine du Bois                 5  for obf pre DOM  Ventrue:3
 1x  Diana Vick                        3  dom pre          Ventrue:3
 3x  Edward Vignes                     6  for DOM PRE      Ventrue:3
 1x  Elena Gutierrez                   4  aus dom pre      Ventrue:3
 1x  Gracis Nostinus                   7  aus for DOM PRE  Ventrue:3
 1x  Ingrid Russo                      4  for DOM          !Ventrue:2
 1x  Pieter van Dorn                   4  dom pre tha      Tremere:3
 2x  Ranjan Rishi, Camarilla Scholar   5  for DOM PRE      Ventrue:2

Library (73 cards)
Master (12)
 2x Anarch Troublemaker
 4x Blood Doll
 1x Coven, The
 1x Giant's Blood
 1x Life in the City
 1x Lilith's Blessing
 1x Misdirection
 1x Pentex(TM) Subversion

Action (20)
 4x Entrancement
11x Govern the Unaligned
 5x Mind Numb

Action Modifier (20)
 4x Bonding
 7x Conditioning
 3x Daring the Dawn
 2x Foreshadowing Destruction
 4x Seduction

Reaction (13)
 7x Deflection
 3x Delaying Tactics
 2x On the Qui Vive
 1x Wake with Evening's Freshness

Combat (8)
 8x Majesty

Created with Secret Library v0.9.4a. (Oct 31, 2012 00:46:52)

First game:

Me - Stanislava - Arika and friends - Jaroslav Pascek and friends - Ira Rivers block

Well this game started with me hating random again, since there were three players from Czech republic on this table - my predator and grandprey. Ira rivers did not show, so my predator tried to fish for him almost entire game with only two au weenies. I slowed down my prey with mind numb on Stanislava and second one on Illiana, but he stil had a great start and I had to be slow to get rid of his deflection and not damaging my prey too much. I tried to kill my prey, because my grandprey was dying, but I just did not have correct cards and this failed attempt made me slow. Stanislava was able to kill two players, before I was ready again, but before I could act, she had ousted third player with two Daring the dawn. I had to use two deflections to survive those misdirected bleeds for 6, so I stayed in the game. In the end, I was able to oust my prey, but it was too late and GW was already his. But it was not a bad start, so 2 VPs for me.

Second game:

Eurobrujah - Lutz anarch revolt - Me - Weenie Warghouls - Lutz and Unmada vote

Ok, another czech player on this table and it was my grandpredator. If you are asking why so little Czech players got to Day 2 - here is your answer - we kept meeting in our games and demolishing each other. My prey got a great start with first turn horatio, second turn jake washington, warghoul and unmasking. After that, he ran out of luck, drawing six more warghoul and no jakes. I ended up stealing his warghoul after he blocked my hunt. My predator brought out 3 anarch revolts, but ended up loosing 10 pool, when he discovered, that it is not lutz, who he influenced out, but another Anarch Convert. And this ended game for both of them. Both I and My predator managed to score VP and after a while I managed to oust my grandprey even. And after that I have made like the most stupid thing during entire tournament. I got total tunnel vision that I had to stop my predator from ruhing my minions as a priority. I had managed to torporize his Theo Bell with stolen Warghoul and he was left on one pool. I had two minions out, warghoul and there was no way, that he could do anything against me, but I was so focused on having spare minions, that I influenced out another one, leaving myself on 4 pool. You can imagine, what happened. Govern with seduction and foreshadowing. I was totaly mad at myself after this game. It was certain, that it will be 1GW and 4VPs for me, but I screwed it sooooo much. But what can you do. Two vps still left me in the game and I was putting all my hopes and efforts to third game.

Third game:

Unnamed bleed - !Toreador palla grande bleed - Me - Weenie nosferatu obf bleed/politics - Ventrue princes

And there was, surprise surprise, another czech player on this table. This time my grandprey. My prey was clever and left two or more of his minions untapped each turn, so it was not easy for me to go forward. I tried to go forward, but I got even bounced once - one of his minions had inferior dominate. This ended like a failed attempt because i did not draw into any bleed cards and managed to send anarch troublemaker to my grandprey. That was basicaly endgame for him. I had stabilized my hand with two deflections, two seductions, delaying tactics, pentex subversion and I continued to bleed for one with most of my minions and just waited for opportunity. My grandprey died, but I knew that there is nothing to do for him from my side and I was waiting for opportunity. It happened few turns after when I delayed con boon, deflected two bleeds at stealth, played pentex (only to cycle) - but was washed by my predator and then I have made two bleeds for three at 1 stealth and second with daring and I made sure that dominate weenie did not have blood to flick. Turn after I was able to oust girl who played Unnamed deck (her unnamed did not show for entire time), because she was already prety low on pool. In the heads up I was able to finish my predator and get 1 GW and 4 VP.

So that was enough for me to get to 12th place after the day 1 and thus qualifying for the Day 2. Sad thing was, that if I did not screw up second game, I would have been sitting in finals and even been top seed. After I had realized that, I got pretty mad on myself once again. Only thing that realy got my hopes up was that I had qualified for the second day. Unfortunately I was only one from czech republic. Seeing that I have faced (and have been stealing VPs) five players from Czech republic, this was really not fun for me - since to some point I have lowered their chances. I was pretty beaten up after this, so I went to sleep pretty soon and hoped for the best in Day 2. That is enough for the day 1 and I will be continuing in next part.

See you next time....

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Back from the EC report 1/4 - Nations cup

So I just got back from a great EC event and same as last year I would like to leave some notes and impressions. Since my posts are often legthy, I will separate report to four parts - one for each day and last one for the final impressions, thanks and shout outs.

So the first day, I was one of our Nations cup team and since I did not want to let down other teammates, I have chosen my probably most stable deck - Tremere politics 0.79. Here is the decklist:

Deck Name: Tremere politics 0.79
Author: Silmegil

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=7 max=9 avg=8.25)
 2x  Anastasz di Zagreb          8  ani cel dom AUS THA  Tremere:3
 1x  Carna, The Princess Witch   7  AUS DOM THA          Tremere:3
 1x  Dr. John Dee                9  chi ANI AUS DOM THA  Tremere:4
 2x  Ladislas Toth, The Torch    7  for AUS DOM THA      !Tremere:3
 3x  Malgorzata                  9  pre AUS DOM THA VIC  !Tremere:4
 2x  Orlando Oriundus            9  obf AUS DOM THA      !Tremere:4
 1x  Polly Kay Fisher            8  for pot AUS DOM THA  !Ventrue:4

Library (90 cards)
Master (15)
 6x Blood Doll
 3x Dreams of the Sphinx
 1x Erciyes Fragments, The
 4x Information Highway
 1x Sudden Reversal

Political Action (16)
 1x Ancient Influence
 1x Ancilla Empowerment
 1x Domain Challenge
10x Kine Resources Contested
 2x Neonate Breach
 1x Political Stranglehold

Action Modifier (4)
 4x Mirror Walk

Reaction (28)
 1x Eluding the Arms of Morpheus
 2x Enhanced Senses
 2x Eyes of Argus
 2x Forced Awakening
 4x On the Qui Vive
 3x Precognition
 5x Spirit's Touch
 9x Telepathic Misdirection

Combat (27)
10x Apportation
 4x Aura Reading
10x Theft of Vitae
 3x Walk of Flame

Created with Secret Library v0.9.4a. (Oct 30, 2012 23:50:48)

I am not sure if it was a smart choice, but I did not want to let anyone down and this is one of my most reliable decks. I want to apologize in advance, that I did not write down names of other players and my memory is not as it used to be, so there maybe some mistakes, but I will try to keep it as real as possible.

First game:

Ravnos deck - Me - Nana Buruku animalism rush - (First memory gap) - Antonio d'Erlette Nephandus deck

This was really bad game overall. I drew like 5 apportations in the beginning and after that replaced them with five thefts of vitae. No dreams of the sphinx, no aura readings. Early political cards blocked, since animalism deck played quite a few intercept cards, which surprised me a little. I was pretty threatened, because it looked like both my predator will die soon and there were like 5-6 mages on the table already. I chickened out, kept the thefts, applied minimal pressure to my prey and he ousted my grandprey. I was cycling everything like crazy and tried to stack on political cards, even discarded some of those thefts in the end, but was unable to go for oust and killed with a lot of bleeds for one. I killed few mages, cycled aura readings, thefts but no wakes, no anarch uprisings, neonates or anything else. I had a really bad draw, discarded every turn and tried to get ready, but I should have tried to go forward more and maybe more cycle, but that could easily mean some backrushes for me and end game. But seeing how it ended and that my prey got 3VP and GW, it was bad play on my side.

Second game:

Flurry of action IC bleed - Queen Anne with Mind rapes - Jack Drake anarch rush deck - !Toreador undue influence - Me

Another game I am not so proud of. IC bleed had a great start with Rafael Corazon bleeding for 6 and then getting Enkil cog. I made a mistake by taking out Carna before Malgorzata, which slowed down my votes and my prey got an early votelock. Queen Anne did a great job with defending herself - mind raping Yazid Tamari backwards and after I have suddened villein on him, all blood was taken by hedleberg and he was banished with our joint votes. But after that, my prey got a second IC and ousted Queen Anne. With blood gained, he got out Yazid again and even with my Orlando Oriundus out, he still got votelock and managed to kill even Jack Drake player. After that deal was made, that he will let !Toreador player to oust me before he will go for him. Here is when I started to feel good finaly - I had a lot of defensive cards in my hand, knew that if I have time, I will get vote lock with Malgorzata and may have a shot at GW. I had my 3rd minion out, finaly drew some Blood Dolls and getting into a strong position. I managed to stop some votes with intercept, blocked some bleeds and my prey was asking each turn if he can bleed and if the !Toreador player has some misdirection cards. I already played 4 misdirections and after one turn I brought out fourth minion, got the votelock, but was again low on pool. IC player asked about misdirection, bleed for four at 1 stealth and after me declining to block, bleed got up to 7 and I have sent it backwards, unfortunatelly ousting my predator. After that if was quick. At 1 hour and 50 minute marker I have passed my first vote and i have blocked every single action going my way. At 1:57 I have ended my turn with three Kine Resources Contested and Anarchist Uprising, finally killing my prey and getting two VPs. Again I had problems with card cycling, and was really slow so I couldnt go forward from the start and almost did not make it in time.

Third game:

Me - Pander legacy deck - Nosferatu royalty - AAA - Ventrue princes
Third game ended in complete disaster for me. With only one influence, no Malgorzata, I decided to take Dr. John Dee out, followed by Anastazs di Zagreb, because there were two of them in my starting crypt. There were votes all over this table, so it did not look good for me, but I was hoping to build more stable position in time. This was ruined by my prey, which had placed Fear of Mekhet on Anastasz, jumping then to my grandpreys Angus the Unruled and returned to me, finaly burning Anastasz. I replaced him with Ladislas Toth the Torch, but got pretty low on pool with dominate heavy deck on my back. My vampires got tapped with anarch troublemaker and I died because of bleeds with two misdirections on my hand but no wake cards.

So total of 2 VP for entire three games is not much. Especialy when my seating was not so bad. I am pretty clear where my mistakes were.

One of the most interesting things for me was that I got actually pretty intimidated by facing such a great players and great names and actually played more passively than I had to. On the other hand my last game I maybe got too reckless and ended up dying. Anyway this was great experience for me and my deck definitely caused some surprises like when I bring Carna out first and everyone expected tremere block deck, after that I discarded few mirror walks, everyone expected heavy bleed. Delaying tactics were often piling up in discard piles and probably my favourite was dialog with my deceased predator in first game after like 1 hour and 30 minutes:

Predator: You realy do not play any dominate cards there, right?
Me: Nope, there are none in my deck.

I still enjoyed playing this deck, but I have some ideas for changing it again, but nothing big. It is still very stable although suffering from beeing little toolboxy. I am not saying, that this deck is something realy special, but I would like to play it ocasionaly in the future.

I am little sad, that I hadn't managed to score more VPs for our team, I guess I have to improve my skills even more for next time. I guess, that this is enough about nations cup and I will come back with report  from Day 1 soon.

See you next time....

Monday, October 15, 2012

200 preregistered players at EC

I am looking forward to this event, it looks like this year is going to be huge. Well nothing more to say at this point, I just wanted to celebrate this great number. Vtes is clearly nod dead yet.

See you next time... or at the EC :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Draft tournament at the Czech ECQ

I am back after some time with tournament report. I have been swamped with other things, (work, personal life, organizing tournaments, etc.) so there was not a lot of time left for blogging. Czech ECQ was a lot of trouble for me, there were some organizational problems, combined with some loose ends and in the end, there were only 17 players even when I expected a lot more. In the end I ended up playing a lot worse than I intended, so I will not write about main even and instead I will focus on followup draft tournament.

With resources of diffent boosters thinning and some conversations, we ended up drafting two boosters of BH edition, three LotN and three 3rd edition boosters. Not totaly sure if this is ideal, but it was not totaly bad either.

I for myself made some pretty stupid choices in the beggining and it costed me a lot in the end. I must say I was hoping for Blackhorse Tanner or Owain Evans. Chances were pretty slim, but what the hell. Our entire drafting table of five did not open any of them so I was at least happy with that, but I ended up with unbalanced crypt with good supporting vampires bud bad "star" vampires. Idealy I would like to bring out Sebastian Gouled with DOM and Dominique (ADV) with AUS for their defensive capabilities, but this proved unreal in the end. In most games I ended up with one of them and 2-3 supporting ones. I had some stealth and some dominate punch which in the end worked out well and I got to finals as the second seed, but then my luck ran out.

I was a little tired before finals and not done enough scouting as I should, but in the end, I would probably made the same mistake. I sat as prey for deck I knew had limited ousting potentian and could give me a lot of space. I should of course realized, that first seed will see the same chance and he ended up as my predator. He had quick hogh cap assamite bleed with lot stealth and lot of + bleed cards. I had only two misdirections and very limited intercept, so I knew it will be bad for me. In addition, my grand predator did bring out Malgorzata, Owain and he had even Blackhorse Tanner and I was like What the hell? Who let him to have those three in one deck? It ended up bad for me as I expected. I was under a lot of pressure early and even if I was lucky to draw both of my telepathic misdirections, it wasnt enough. I was forced to go forward fast and even ousted my prey, but my minions got torporized and I have exhausted most of my resources and was killed in the end.

The three player game was very surprising, because My predator (exhausted from ousting me) and even grand predator (playing litlle recklessly) were ousted in the end and the game was won by my grand prey. There were a lot of mistakes during this game and I do not want to go into specifics, but even when I lost, I confirmed that draft is still my favourite format.

I screwed up a big time, when drafting a crypt. It was first mistake of this kind which I have ever made, because usualy I have  more problems with library decisions. Once again I have new eperience and I will learn from it - actualy I think that this is my best skill - capacity for learning from my mistakes, since there was always a lot to learn from:) Next time we will probably try to use a little different combination of boosters to provide a little different experience.

There will be probably no posts from me for some time, since the main focus now is on organizin Czech party and preparing for EC. It looks like there will be minimum of 15 participant from Czech Republic, so I have huge hopes for this EC. I would be much more happy if I had all of my decks in order, but at this point I am not satisfied with any of them entirely and I have before me a lot of testing, optimizing and preparing for different metagame, there is a lot of work before me and not a lot of time, so after publishing this article, I am going back to deck optimizing. I hope I will see as many of you as possible at EC and I am totaly looking forward to it.

So see you at the EC...