A Blindingly Good Start, KMC Report *Top 4*

I hadn’t been to Gamer’s Gauntlet for about four months, but when I opened the door…

“Who the hell is this guy?!” #feelsgoodtobeback

I had dropped Magic entirely after the TCG 5k in Livonia back in May of 2013. I wasn’t enjoying the game as much as I used to, and found myself complaining about the game more than anything. However, I was looking for a reason to get back into into the gaming. I talked with Cato, CRandolph, and Chase for a while about Kaijudo, a game they seemed to enjoy. I cracked open one of the Light/Fire Duel Day decks. Crandolph added some cards to it and there I was, learning how to play Kaijudo.

After getting stomped by CRandolph for a few games, something clicked in my head. I started to understand the game more fully, and quickly felt the urge to build a competitive deck of my own. Chase suggested that I build the Light/Water Corrupted deck that Jon Johnson had piloted to some success lately.

During the next few days I tested with CRandolph, Cato, Chase, and Caitlin to familiarize myself with the deck. I also did a ton of research to help myself understand the game further, and to understand what the top decks were. Chase asked if I wanted to go to a KMC in Lindenhurst, Illinois. Although I did not feel ready to participate in a larger event, I said screw it and decided that I would go.

I met up with Chase and Caitlin at Gamer’s Gauntlet after work on Friday and we set out. Nothing eventful happened during the car ride besides getting trolled by Panda Express and KFC, who closed minutes before we arrived. We arrived at the hotel without Chinese or chicken and went to bed.

After waking up, showering and grabbing some breakfast at IHOP (#sogood), we set out to our destination, Xtreme Games, where 44 players were ready to play. I had chosen Light/Water Corrupted, while Chase and Caitlin were running StormSpark Pile. We split up our civilizations so we weren’t competing for prizes.

LW Corrupted

Creatures (29)
3 Aqua Trickster
2 Chasm Entangler
3 Cyber Scamp
3 Fallen Keeper
3 General Finbarr
3 Magris the Magnetizer
3 Rain-Cloud Kraken
3 Rusalka, Aqua Chaser
3 Seneschal, Choten’s Lieutenant
3 Skyvolt Mech

Evolution Creatures (6)
3 Blinder Beetle Prime
3 Luminar Unleashed

Spells (5)
2 Piercing Judgment
3 Stormspark Blast

 

Round 1 – Alexis Zepeda – LN Enforcers/Beast Kin

Surprise, you dead.

Surprise, you dead.

I wasn’t sure what Alexis was playing at first because I had never seen a deck like it. I quickly learned in game one that Shaman of the Vigil was a real house. Game two went fairly long. I hit a very un-timely Oathsworn Call while trying to swing for the game which allowed Alexis to swing back for the match win.

I took some time to collect my thoughts as I knew I hadn’t played my best. I talked to Chase and Caitlin about the matchup; they gave me some very helpful advice and made sure that I didn’t get down on myself. I was looking forward to round two.

Matches: 0-1

Games: 0-2

 

Round 2 – Alston Schoal – LWN Brew

In game one against Alston, I curved out very well against him and swung for game on turn five with a Blinder Beetle Prime tapping down his freshly played Aqua Strider.

I was very confused during game two because I had put Alston on a tempo deck, and he played a turn one Magris the Magnetizer and a turn four Crystal Memory. However, I had drawn a very aggressive hand and was able to close the game out once again with a Blinder Beetle Prime by turn six.

Matches: 1-1

Games: 2-2

 

Round 3 – Alex Stencil – LN Beast Kin

After learning from my mistakes in round one, I wasn’t about to make them again when I faced off against Alex’s LN Beast Kin deck. I quickly won this match, with the double highlight being drawing six cards in one turn from both General Finbarr and Seneschal, Choten’s Lieutenant. #itwastheabsolutenuts

Matches: 2-1

Games: 4-2

 

Round 4 – Jarah Dexator – Huda Pile

My opponent sat down and pulled out a Magic: the Gathering fat pack box and set it on the table along with his play mat. I was confused for a second until he opened up the fat pack and I realized his entire deck was both sleeved and in top loaders. {EDITOR’S NOTE: How do you shuffle something like that?}

Game one went by very quickly. I was able to end it with a Luminar Unleashed aside two other corrupted creatures, tapping down both his Full Metal Lemon and Aqua Strider.

Game two I ran into a Toxic Fog on his third shield blast, wiping my Cyber Scamp and Magris the Magnetiser off the field. I searched my deck for another Cyber Scamp, but found none. #thenutlow The game went super late. I had Jarah down to one shield but I wasn’t able to close it out.

Game three I curved out very well, bouncing a Full Metal Lemon twice with Rusalka, Aqua Chaser on four and Piercing Judgment on five to swing for game. #nasty

Matches: 3-1

Games: 6-3

 

Round 5 – Andrew Stencil – LWF Aggro

BBP, winning games since forever.

BBP, winning games since forever.

I assumed by the massive amount of enforcers Andrew had he was on the Blinder Beetle Prime plan. Both games one and two were determined by who was able to first play a Blinder Beetle Prime, or in my case either a Blinder Beetle Prime or Luminar Unleashed. Fortunately I saw at least one by turn five both games while Andrew did not.

Matches: 4-1

Games: 8-3

 

At this point I realized that Chase and I both had the same record, and there was a high chance that we could intentionally draw in round six to secure a top 8 slot. I crossed my fingers and waited for the final round to be posted.

 

Round 6 – Philips Nguyen – LWD Tempo

 

It was a clean cut to top 8. He took some convincing, but Philip and I eventually agreed to draw so we could both make it in.

Chase and I took a walk outside to get some fresh air and talk about the decks we would be seeing in top 8.

Matches: 5-1-1

Games: 8-3

 

Quarter Finals – Benjamin Rowe – 5 Civ Control

Game one I curved out very well against Benjamin, but on his last shield blast a Drill Storm stopped my offense. He bounced back and finished off the game after casting an Andromeda of the Citadel.

Game two I curved out once again, but this time hit zero shield blasts. A Blinder Beetle Prime tapped down his two blockers and finished off the game.

Game three was very long and grindy. It eventually led to me not having a board presence, having only a Chasm Entangler in hand, while Benjamin started building up his board presence while having no shields. I was lucky enough to draw a Luminar next turn. However, I was only at five mana. I elected to not play the Chasm Entangler and hoped that I didn’t draw a multi-civilization card next turn. Benjamin played a blocker, so it was now or never. Things went my way, and Luminar closed out the match!

Matches: 6-1-1

Games: 10-4

 

Semifinals – Mike Swartz – LWN Tempo

This matchup was all about who won the die roll. Mike rolled a solid 19, while I rolled a two.

Although I was on the draw, I had a very good hand. I had two Magris and an Aqua Trickster by turn three, but my very aggressive start was halted when I hit an Oathsworn Call in his shield row. He played a Lyra, the Blazing Sun from his call, and once that happened, I could not recover.

Game two I was on the play and led with Magris into Aqua Trickster. Mike’s only reply was a turn three Sword Horned, which I was able to bounce with a Rusalka. Next turn he played the Sword Horned again, but I tapped it down with a Blinder Beetle Prime and swung for game.

Game three I was on the draw again but I felt like I was in control of the match. I hit a Blinder Beetle Prime on turn five and killed one of the two Sword Horns Mike had. My dominance was short-lived because he played a Humonculon the Blaster, giving his other Sword Horned enough power to kill my Blinder Beetle Prime. I had no gas left after that, and quickly died.

Matches: 6-2-1

Games: 11-5

 

Although I didn’t win the tournament, I was ecstatic that I made it to Top 4. I watched Chase play his games in the finals which he very nearly won. He did not win a free flight, but he secured an invitation to Seattle.

I had a blast while attending my first KMC. The community was great and I genuinely enjoyed myself. I look forward to testing more in the future and gaining more knowledge of the game. Now that I have a taste of the Top 4, I plan on winning an invitation to Seattle to accompany Chase, CRandolph, and Cato (hopefully more members of Team Stormspark get invites also.)

Kyle Ellingham

Props

Team Stormspark (Chase, Jake, CRandolph, Cato, Caitlin and Tony) for not only play testing but for getting me into Kaijudo!

Xtreme Games, you guys ran the KMC very well!

Caitlin and Chase for inviting me to go with them on the trip.

Baseball as always!

 

Slops

Top loaders. If you are going to use them, don’t complain that your hands hurt from holding them in your hand or shuffling them.

Panda Express for the ultimate troll of closing five minutes before we got there.

Myself for not finishing this article earlier.