Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Back from the NAC

I have just returned from Czech National Championship. Draft tournament was actualy huge disapoitment for me. I have drafted terribly, ended up with very fragile deck and even 5 VPs, which I got in the end were miraculous. I have ended up on 7th place out of 15 players, which is acceptable, but overall I was not very happy, so I will not write about it more. I will go for more detailed report on constructed tournament.

There were 25 attending players. This number was once again smaller than last year. I knew about some of the decks that would be present since I was bringing a lot of cards for different players and I knew, that there would be pretty nasty decks and despite being tempted even on the last minute, I went for my first decision - !Gangrel anarchs.

Game 1:
Khazar Diary - Ventrue high caps - Tzimisce wall - !Gangrel anarchs - Brujah swarm politics

This was pretty tricky table for me. I knew that my deck is slow and I probably won't be able to stop my prey from quick ousting. My predator on the other hand was pretty dangerous for me, since most of my actions are on 0 or 1 stealth. Khazar deck had pretty bad start. I had actualy figured out what deck it is only turn before the player was ousted. As predicted, I was able only to slow my prey down a little before the first oust. Only after that the game started to realy tak a left turn. My prey told the tzimisce wall, that he will be ousted in the same round when the ventrue, since he cannot afford blocking and after that tzimisce started  eagle sight blocking right away, followed by govern+conditioning bleed at one stealth sent directly to Brujah swarm. Ventrue game pretty much ended in one turn full villein and Golconda. I was able to oust my prey after that and proceeded with some more anarch revolts, which prevented Ventrue player from getting other minion out and waited with rotshreck in my hand. My prey got ousted after that and i have rotschrecked tzimisces only anarch. 4 VPs and GW for me.

Game 2:
Sebastian Goulet and allies - AAA - Giovanni hordes and conditionings - Ahrimane wall - !Gangrel anarchs

With a turn one unmasking and howler behind me, I was feeling pretty hopeless. To be honest, only hope I saw from the start was three zillah valley in three turns and pretty fast start from AAA. Hordes put up a good fight, but were overwhelmed in the end because of fast start. In that time I got pretty beaten up by ahrimanes and only thing that saved me was, that I was able to archon investigate howler. Sebastian deck was on seven minions because almost all of my actions were defensive (D) actions on ahrimanes. AAA started to worry about him (especialy after anneke lost 5 blood and alexandra burned by fear of mekhet from ahrimanes) , so I was offered a VP for two rouds of peace from my side and only defensive actions against ahrimanes. I was hanging by a thread so I agreed and my prey was ousted and ahrimanes were hit as well. I have started to prepare and played defensively. I knew ahrimanes won't be able to oust me and AAA did not have almost any cards left in library, so I saw oportunity there, but I know ahrimanes would eventualy finish me. I could see them surviving, so on second turn of defense and peace with AAA I dropped second anarch revolt in play and thanks to that, they were ousted. I knew I had very little time, so first turn there were some bleads from me, leaving two of my minions on 0 blood and aksinya on 1, with life in the city in my hand and coven on the way. AAA pentexed aksinya then rescued his minion from torpor and he retrieved kine resources contested from his ash heap and it was my last turn. I played life in the city and it got suddened. I was afraid, that it is my end and i started counting. After a while I knew i will not go without a fight. Celeste received two bloods from coven and my other minion hunted, aksinya reminded pentexed and I have bled for three instead of four. Two more bloods for anarch revolts and AAA was left on 1 pool. KRC ousted us both and I have milked the most I could. 2 VP for me.

Game 3:
!Gangrel anarchs - Eurobrujah - !toreador palla grande bleed - Ariadne with garous - Rachel Brandywine madness

I knew, that this game will be very dangerous for me. If there was good master flow, I could survive Rachel for some time. But if my hand got jammed, it would go pretty bad. Fifteen cards with only three masters pretty much left me at mercy of others. I am ashamed, but I was pretty much almost crying there. Ariadne was dying really quickly. !Toreadors were embracing like crazy. I did not have enough actions and Aksinya had to remain untapped and my prey did not think that Madness network is so strong at the begining. So in between my turns I have lost eight pool and rachel got enkil cog. It looked like I am heading for a quick death. Ariadne got ousted by then and my prey had already Donal, Constanza and Anvil out. I got a little better cardflow by then and I was able to drew into more master cards. Rachel was under the pressure from !toreadors, so she had to go for quick oust. I was able to redirect every bleed from Rachel and my prey got ousted by those bleeds. Rachel died right after, but in the heads up, I was not able to overcome superior numbers. So only 1 VP for me.

In the end 1 GW and 7 VPs were enough for fifth place, so I was going for finals. And lucky lucky  going first.

Finals:
!Gangrel anarchs - Giovanni Hordes - !toreador palla grande bleed - AAA - Ahrimane wall

I knew this game will suck right after ahrimanes decided to sit as my predator. One look down to my uncontrolled region and no Aksinya. It can happen, but three times out of four games. I was ready to start banging my head against wall, but first turn Effective Management just returned me to the game. I thought I had a chance, but no such luck. After third game where I was having trouble with master cards, I made sure to spread cards as much as possible, but when shuffling it all went to hell. My hand was full of master cards and bleed modifiers and I was barely able to do anything. I was trying to slow down ahrimanes, but it cost me a lot of blood and trying to destroy army of rats cost me even more. All my actions were of course blocked. At one point, I played fame on one of my preys vampires and torporized him with Shattering, but it cost me another minion because of shambling horde. And after that it all went to hell. AAA ousted both his predator and prey with a single ancilla empowerment. I was hit pretty bad and even with back shattering, I was ousted by Reins of Power a turn later. In heads up, ability to steal allies sealed the deal and AAA won the tournament.

Of course I was sad, that I did not win but in the end getting as far with a very toolboxy deck was very satisfying. I am little sad, that it underperformed in every single game and card draws were really bad. On the other hand even when all this, I was still able to get to finals. My spirits are up thanks to this. Here is the decklist:

Deck Name: Aksinyas Shattering
Author: Silmegil

Crypt (12 cards; Capacity min=1 max=9 avg=4.42)
===============================================
 3x  Aksinya Daclau       9  cel tha ANI FOR PRE PRO  !Gangrel:4
 4x  Anarch Convert       1                           Caitiff:ANY
 1x  Bill Butler          3  pot pro                  !Gangrel:4
 1x  Célèste Lamontagne   5  for ANI PRO              !Gangrel:4
 1x  Janey Pickman        6  for ANI PRO              !Gangrel:4
 1x  Lula Burch           3  for pro                  !Gangrel:4
 1x  Mowgli               5  ani cel FOR PRO          !Gangrel:4

Library (74 cards)
==================
Master (24)
 1x Anarch Free Press, The
 5x Anarch Revolt
 1x Archon Investigation
 5x Bay and Howl
 1x Blood Turnip
 3x Effective Management
 1x Fame
 1x Giant's Blood
 2x Life in the City
 2x Rötschreck
 1x Twilight Camp
 1x Two Wrongs

Action (19)
 2x Bum's Rush
 6x Loki's Gift
 8x Shattering
 3x Skullduggery

Action Modifier (12)
 4x CrimethInc.
 2x Leverage
 6x Monkey Wrench

Reaction (5)
 3x Friend of Mine
 2x Guard Dogs

Combat (14)
 6x Claws of the Dead
 3x Diversion
 2x Form of Mist
 3x Leathery Hide

This deck is very toolboxy and it relies on little bit of everything. One or two revolts are enough. Not to realy threaten other people pool, but to put some small pressure. If those revolts do only some damage, that is ok. Voting them off table wastes oponent actions. Leaving them be costs pool and going for anarch is costing blood, actions and leaving vulnerability to shatterings. Lokis gifts are tooling up actions. Gaining blood on one minion, getting one from another can seem like minor deal. In the end one stealth or two votes can do great things. I have seen political actions fail simply because people keep forgetting about them. I do not use stealth most of the time and I usually go for aggropoke instead. I only go for kill if I am sure that I can pull it off. And of course it always helps to not be the biggest threat on table, which this deck hardly is. Once again this was much longer than intended, so I am going to end it here.

See you next time...

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