Grand Cities Games in Grand Forks, ND, held a local qualifier on August 25, 2019. I have participated in a few LQs this year with mixed results, but I thought that it’d be fun to share my experience with a little blurb on each round.
I decided on an Earth/Wind hybrid as the deck to play. I made this deck the night before because the Golbez variant I was intending to play got wrecked at locals. I personally have issues with Rikku and 3-Drop Wind Zidane – I believe they are absolutely game breaking and I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night having played with them in a deck. As it turns out, though, this stance was a mistake.
Round one I faced a player from our local in Fargo, ND. Our game was a stale one to watch – we both would play forwards and have answers in hand. We stifled each others try at aggression. He did get a great chance at going wide and it would’ve won him the game, if not for a beast of a card named Shantotto. It ended up going to time (a literal first for me in a tournament) and we were both on four points of damage. We had everyone watching and both of us made terrible play mistakes. Neither of us were able to win. My opponent was nice enough to concede; though I didn’t ask him to.
Side note: There is a way to handle losing. Getting mad and belligerent isn’t helpful to anyone. I would have been the one to concede if not for how my opponent acted. I wont be bullied or intimated into a loss. Acting this way is unacceptable in any facet of life and deters the game from growing. I was really happy when this match was done.
We all know how this turns out. I put a forward out, he Famfrits, I put another forward out, he Famfrits, I put yet another forward out, he Famfrits, I finally get to attack…he Valefors into Rikku mill. I lost 7-0. Honestly I lost interest half way through the game and phoned it in. In my opinion some of the interactions in this deck are game breaking. I am bitter and I won’t deny it!
Now, this is a deck I don’t have much experience against. He won the dice roll and was able to start with the five drop Ace. I was getting backup starved and had to overpay for some forwards to try and match his aggression. He was a very good player. He had a great play using Seven’s special “Snakebite” to cancel Fina’s auto ability. This made sure I didn’t make a comeback. He took the game 7-3.
Well, hello mono-fire, my old friend! I haven’t played against fire for what feels like years. We both had similar starts getting a few backups out. We both were at 3 points of damage and he plays Eald’narche. His next move genuinely scared me: “Paradise”. We both had 3 forwards out. I did not know what to expect next. He enters combat, attacks, and then he passes. It turns out his goal was to “Paradise” every game. It was actually pretty hilarious. I won 3-3.
At this point I am on the bubble. The tournament was set to be five rounds so win and I’m in. I was a bit nervous because my opponent was a great player. I don’t remember who went first but the game pace was slow. She was getting starved on backups and getting color screwed. I was able to play big dumb forwards efficiently. At one point she had four Rains in her hand, 3 light and 1 fire. She only had one backup so she couldn’t take advantage. I took the game 7-2.
I ended up being ranked #6 with a record of 3-2. We had a small break to write up deck lists. Unfortunately, if there was one thing I lacked going into this Top Cut, it was confidence. I played awful all day and really regretted the decisions I made in my deck. Practice makes perfect, I guess!
I was matched up with a great player. I have experienced this against him first hand several times before, which dropped my already low confidence. Our first match ended up being a huge grind. We kept having answers for each other’s forwards and somehow I squeaked out the first win. This made me think – maybe I could do this!
Regrettably, the next two matches did not go my way. I had awful draws and could not match all the free forwards Wind has. I lost the next two; this was the end to my day.
Overall, I was pretty happy with my finish. I honestly did not think I would do that well. I am not able to practice on a day-to-day basis, having to drive over an hour to meet up with my team. The point I’m making is this: you get what you put in. With more testing and deck brewing I might be able to do better at my the next LQ I’m attending, which will be my last of the year. Despite my performance, though, my team member managed to take the win, which makes two of our crew to qualify for Nationals!
Another piece of sage wisdom: making an audible the night before might not be the best idea. Make a deck, practice with it, and don’t give up. Good luck to everyone that still has a chance at getting to Nationals. I hope I will see you there!