Mt Gilead, Ohio. 60 people in a room set for 20. Caitlin, Crandolph, Gillis, Bill, Vince, and I experienced our first KMC. Mono-Darkness Midrange. 3-2, drop, not winning a Civ prize, and not making Top 8.
Bay City, Michigan. 30 people. LWN Megabugs. 3-2, miss out on a Civ prize by one person. Jake, despite being very new to the game, makes it to the semis. I make a promise to myself that I will queue for the Summer Championship.
Fast forward to Feb. 22nd. Klepto, Cato, Caitlin and I are sitting in Pastimes with 32 other people waiting for the tournament to start. I’m not sure if I’m playing the correct deck, but it’s the deck that I feel most comfortable with, LWD Tempo. End up 2-4. Cato splits the finals, and I meet a bunch of great people. Bittersweet.
After a long drive home, I wake up four hours later and head to Pandemonium. I decide to put together a Megabugs list with Blinder Beetle Prime. Tournament ends for me at 1-2. Crandolph wins. I feel like I’m the furthest from keeping the promise I made to myself I have ever been.
March 1st, Bay City, MI. Caitlin, Jake, Klepto, Crandolph, Karsyn and I head to The Stadium. I’m playing Stormspark Pile. It had queued two other members back-to-back, why wouldn’t it work for me? 19, no wait, 22 people for this event. I manage to 3-0 through WLN Tempo, LW Corrupted, and LD Kalima. A double-draw puts Jake and I at 1 and 2 going into the Top 8. I win my Civ. Quarterfinals, I meet LWD Kalima. Game three I do not see a Darkness card, lost to Skull Shatter after I Reverberate. Jake makes it to semis, loses to eventual winner. Almost there.
After Bay City and the taste of a Top 8, I was trying to find people to go with Caitlin and I to Lindenhurst, IL for a KMC this past weekend. I needed someone to help with the hotel and gas bills but no one was able to. Jake was out of commission, Cato had too much stuff going on at Gamer’s Gauntlet, and Klepto, well, I’m not sure why he couldn’t go.
Out of nowhere, a light shined in the darkness as Kyle Ellingham said he was interested. I was flabbergasted. He had learned to play the game the Friday before and he wants to go to a KMC? Kyle had put together Jon Johnson’s LW Corrupted from Bay City, and was looking to get competitive.
Kyle worked until 4 pm Friday evening, and met Caitlin and I at Gamer’s Gauntlet. It was an uneventful trip aside from the Panda Express and KFC at the Illinois Oasis both closing minutes before we got there. We arrived in our hotel room, watched some TV and passed out.
After waking up, showering, and checking out of the hotel, we decided to hit up IHOP for breakfast. As we are seated, a Wild Heeter appeared and told us that unfortunately Reese was unable to make it, but he brought 2 other guys. We wished him luck and proceeded to chow down.
44 people showed up for the second largest KMC I have ever attended. I chose Water for my Civ (need another beanie!), Caitlin chose Fire, and Kyle chose Nature. As we sat down for our first match, the entry support is handed out, four packs of Invasion Earth, Promo Full-Metal Lemon and a playmat.
Now for the obligatory tournament recap. Sorry if I get your name wrong and/or don’t remember it:
3 Andromeda of the Citadel
3 Aqua Strider
1 Cassiopeia Starborn
1 Crimson Wyvern
2 Cyber Walker Kaylee
3 Eternal Haven
3 Fullmetal Lemon
2 General Skycrusher
2 Kivu, Ingenious Shaman
2 Lyra, the Blazing Sun
3 Major Ao
1 Squillace Scourge
3 Bone Blades
3 Crystal Memory
3 Drill Storm
3 Mana Storm
1 Root Trap
2 Skull Shatter
2 Stormspark Blast
3 Tendril Grasp
3 Terror Pit
Round 1 – Osbaldo? – DF Slayers
Game one he had a bevy of one and two drops, including Blaze Belcher and Lizard-Skin Puppet. I managed to stabilize with Tendril Grasp, Full-Metal Lemons, and Aqua Striders. Andromeda came down and sealed game one.
Game two started out much the same way, and ended with a Shapeshifter Scaradorable beating my face in. BAD SQUEAKY!
Game three I had an early blocker and managed to get Major Ao online and used some maneuvering to keep myself alive until Andromeda came out to play.
Meanwhile, Caitlin was playing one of the many other females in the game, Meghan from Team Apex. Some mistakes were made and Caitlin was able to take home a victory. Kyle lost his first match of competitive Kaijudo to LN Enforcers/Beast-kin.
Round 2 – Sam Rowe – LWD Tempo
Game one he had the dreaded curve of Cyber Scamp into Lost Patrol into Rusulka, Aqua Chaser. In this game, I believe I made a mistake when he attacked and broke a Sprout I chose not to cast for fear of facing lethal the next turn with a second Scamp in play. However, in playtesting against Tempo decks, I have found it best to get all the Scamps out if possible, and set up a mass removal spell like Drill Storm or Tendril Grasp. Sure enough, Drill Storm was the next shield break. I was unable to get up and running fast enough without sprouting and was down a game.
Game two he curved Cyber Scamp into Keeper of Laws and started drawing all the cards. I fell behind quickly and lost.
Kyle won his match and Caitlin lost hers, putting us all in the 1-1 bracket.
Round 3 – Unknown Opponent – LWD Stuff
To be honest, I don’t really remember this match. I’m not even sure if it was two or three games. I know in the last game I triggered his Cyber Scamp and when he searched he couldn’t find any. He held his deck in his hands while I attacked, looked at his shields and said “I guess it may matter, I better shuffle this,” and quickly shuffled his deck and Grip of Despaired one of my many giant monsters. To whomever I played, if you’re reading this I apologize for the lack of description and remembrance on my part.
Caitlin lost to a little girl, and Kyle won.
Round 4 – Edward Z. – LF Rush
Game one I was attacked by small dudes and Gilaflame the Assaulter. Major Ao and a timely Mesmerize stabilized the board and I played out an Andromeda and Haven for the win.
Game two He gets in early and finishes me off with a Tornado Flame off the top for my Major Ao.
Game three was much more like the first. I managed to stabilize by trading off Major Aos and eventually locked it up with 2 Andromedas and 2 Eternal Havens.
Throughout the games, Edward noted that Eternal Haven was a “fair card.” I agreed with him, saying that the hexproof wasn’t necessary, and if they were worried about Comet Missile they could have just given hexproof from spells level four or less, similar to Seneschal, Choten’s Lieutenant. I also said that the fact that Eternal Haven is so powerful is why I was playing it.
Caitlin beat Rot Worms, and Kyle also won.
Round 5 – Kristi H. – LD Kalima Enforcers
Game one she didn’t do much aside from casting some Stingwings and suiting up a Blinder Beetle Prime. I cast Andromeda into Eternal Haven, and she sighed and looked defeated. After ensuring nothing could happen to my board, I swung for the win.
Game two started pretty similarly with a Stingwing on two, followed up by a Serpens, Spirit Shifter and a Blinder Beetle Prime. I stabilized with Andromeda and followed it with a Cassiopeia Starborn to start revenging her dudes. Eternal Haven came out to play and seal the deal.
Caitlin lost to Heeter playing a deck designed to beat Pile, while Kyle beat Huda Pile piloted by Jerah Dexator.
Round 6 – Ben Rowe – Pile
The top 8 was a solid cut so we all drew in. Kyle’s opponent took convincing as he wasn’t sold on the math.
Caitlin won her last round against Team Top Deck’s Cullen.
After the round I quickly asked around for everyone’s Civ choice. I lost the Water beanie to the first seed. It also turned out there were four Nature Civ players in the Top 8, so one person didn’t even get a Civ prize. Kyle was lucky enough to get his art, patch, and deck box but missed out on the beanie.
Quarterfinals – Sam Rowe – LWD Tempo
Game one he had no early game aside from a Lost Patrol that was doing work on my shields. I stabilized with a Lyra, the Blazing Sun and eventually cast Andromeda to lock up the game.
Game two he had early pressure while I was making mana drops and doing little else. I lost before getting anything online.
Not really sure what happened in the third game, but I know things went according to plan because I ended up with Andromeda and Eternal Haven in play at the end.
Kyle won vs. Pile and we both advanced to the Top 4 on opposite sides of the bracket, right where we wanted to be.
Semifinals – Philip N. – LWD Tempo
Phil had an interesting tempo deck, with Blinder Beetle Prime, Canyon Skimmer, and Megaria the Deciever.
Game one he had an early Lost Patrol. I had an early blocker he tapped with Canyon Skimmer and then merced with his Lost Patrol. I stabilized with Lyra, the Blazing Sun along with some timely shield blasts. The game ended the way Pile ends most games, with Havens and Andros.
Game two was played out in a similar fashion, except I got to see the Megaria a bit later on. He had a full board state but wasn’t able to attack through my blocker wall. I drew a Stormspark Blast and it was over.
Kyle lost quickly to LWN Tempo, but was ecstatic he made it that far and happily accepted his prize packs.
Finals – Mike Swartz – LWN Tempo
Game one he played Cyber Scamp into Sword Horned. I played Cyber Walker Kaylee into a blasted Bone Blades. He can’t recover quickly enough and I took over the game.
Game two he had fast beats followed by lots of bounce on my blockers and won quickly.
Game three I made a critical play error on my ninth turn. I didn’t realize I am going up to nine mana and able to play the Andromeda in my hand on curve. Instead, I played Squillace Scourge in my mana zone and didn’t do anything. I was unable to recover as he broke my last two shields, bounced my Andromeda the next turn and swung for the win.
If I had played Eternal Haven into my mana row on turn nine, played Andromeda to go up to 4 shields, and then next turn played Cassiopeia to merc some guys, I more than likely would have won the match. Hindsight is 20/20.
I did it! made it to the finals of a KMC and earned my invite to Summer Champs in June in sunny (read:wet) Seattle, WA! Many thanks go out to my team, my girlfriend and everyone else that has supported my efforts in Kaijudo. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the hours of testing, miles of driving, and moral support I was given.
Team Stormspark (Caitlin, Crandolph, Jake, Cato, Klepto, Kyle, Baller) you all rock in different ways
Xtreme Games, very well run event and went super fast
Team Top Deck, you guys are awesome to hang out with and talk to, hope you guys make it to Seattle
Caitlin, you are my rock
Panda Express for closing minutes before we arrive in the Oasis
Top loaders, I mean really guys?