My teammates, Dane Young, Eric Buckendorf, and Niles Rowland, were excited that there was going to be a West Coast Darkmoon Faire that we could attend. The DMF was going to be a sealed event so we went to and placed an order for 3 boxes of Drums of War. I always use this site for World of Warcraft TCG orders, and if you haven’t been there I recommend you check it out. Their customer service is amazing and they have the quickest turn around time out of all the sites I’ve ordered from.


After the Drums of War sneak preview, I was getting even more excited for the DMF, since the new set seemed amazing for limited. We received our boxes on Tuesday, and we went to work on playing sealed deck. My first impressions weere that Priest and Warlock were the two weakest classes, and Hunter, Paladin and Rouge were the strongest classes. We came to the same conclusion as what was being posted on all the message boards, that Twin Spire Ruins is the best location in the set. I also learned that I love the Berserking ability, and that Rensarth Shadowsun is the best two drop in the set. Most of the Berserking guys have big butts so usually they can attack down on a lower cost ally and trade up for a bigger drop.


We played a bunch of sealed decks and then moved on to draft. With a couple drafts under our belts,  Niles showed us that Priest wasn’t as miserable as it looked on paper.  Niles is still new to the game, so when he revealed his hero, I thought I was just going to crush him.  Boy was I wrong.  While I was still able to pull out a victory versus him, I saw the potential that Priest had. He was able to trade little guys early, kill my big guys with Shadow Word: Anguish, and empty my hand and heal with Vampiric Tendrils. Niles was gaining a ton of tempo with his Shadow Word: Anguish. I liked the idea of this deck, but I would need to draft it myself to see if really had any potential.


After going through the 5 boxes of Drums of War that we had from tournaments and the ones we bought online we felt like we had a good grasp of the set. We left Las Vegas on Thursday night and headed for Anaheim. On Friday I decided to get in the Gadgetzan tournament, but was disappointed with a weak pool with 0 early game and only late game fatties. I lost first round to Sean Wang (who ended up winning the tournament) and decided I had enough with this deck and entered in the loot tourney, which worked out since in the end I got Kiting loot. After all my teammates were done with their Gadgetzans, we went up to the room where I did a draft with Sean and Dan from Cali, Karl, Tony and Big Dog (the “Other Kevin Lambert”) from AZ, Dane and Eric. I decided it was time to try the Priest deck and it ended up being pretty nutty. I had 3 Tinker Burnfizzles, 2 Dawn’s Grace, 3 Catrina Clark, 2 Shadow Word: Anguish, and 1 Vampiric Tendrils. It was getting late and I never had the chance to play Sean in the finals so I don’t know who would have won this tourney.


Day 1 DMF: Anaheim Championship



Tim Rivera


Hero: Boarguts the Impaler



1 Centurion Addisyn

1 Darbun Steppeheart

3 Horkin Figluster

2 Jee’zee

1 Johnny Rotten

2 Logor Blackfist

1 Nok’tal the Savage

2 Rensarth Shadowsun

1 Sanva

1 Sepirion

1 Zari’zari



2 Behead

1 Enduring Shout

2 Spell Ricochet



2 Netherbane



2 Twin Spire Ruins



2 Bolstering Our Defenses

1 Enemies, Old and New

1 A Rare Bean

1 Revenge Is Tasty


I messed up building this deck and it became apparent after the first round. I included the 2 Logor Blackfist because if you look at my curve it’s a rather cheap deck. After playing I quickly realized that I never really emptied my hand. A lot of my resources were spent on attacking with Netherbane, Twinspiring or using Rensarth. After playing with this deck I started siding out the 2 Logor Blackfists for the 3rd Twin Spire Ruins and 4th Horkin Figluster. This deck was built for Rensarth and with the 3 Twin Spires, he was in play all day long.


I didn’t take notes during the matches but my opponents were:

  1. Phil Edge

  2. Jan Palys

  3. Eric Buckendorf

  4. Kyle McGinty

  5. Gareth Hughes

  6. Matt Markoff

  7. David Fujimura


The closest matches were between Jan and Matt. Both games were nail-bitters and I was able to barely squeak them out.


I had made my first top 8 at a DMF event and was pretty excited. We went to dinner at Cheesecake Factory and Big Dog provided some good entertainment with his impersonation of Davey Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean when he got some Carbonara sauce in his beard. I even have a picture:




Top 8


We sat down for the draft and I was sandwiched between the two other Las Vegas players. I decided with Dane on my left that I was going to go for it and draft the priest deck. I figured Dane would be the only other person in the draft that would go Priest and that if I cut off all the priest cards in pack 1, that I would get every single priest card in the draft. This strategy ended up working out well as I was able to get a 4th or 5th pick Misery in the 2nd pack and I ended up with all the priest cards besides the lose controls which Kyle took. My Top 8 draft deck list was:

Hero: Martiana the Mind Wrench
1 Hellfire Citadel
2 Revenge is Tasty
2 Outland Sucks!
1 Scouring the Desert
1 The Last Barov
2 Tonks the Tenacious
1 Rayne Savageborn
1 Cymbre Shadowdrifter
1 Envoy Samantha Dillon
1 Keward Rocksalt
1 Al’lanora
1 Woodsie Leafsong
2 Mollie Brightheart
1 Virkaltor
1 Catrina Clark
1 Tinker Burnfizzle
1 Sphere of Divinity
1 Misery
3 Vampiric Tendrils
3 Shadow Word: Anguish
2 Dawn’s Grace




The way you draft this deck depends on what faction you are. If you go Alliance you will want to pick up all the Tinker allies, as they combo really well Dawn’s Grace and Catrina Clark. If you go Horde I typically try to get as many aggressive drops as possible, as you will try to out tempo them cheap removal and try to take any game they have left with the discard.


Quarterfinals – Matt Markoff


1st game: I go for the Misery win, casting it on turn 2 and planning to mill him every turn. He lays down the Scouring the Desert that he had the whole game and after activating it I was far behind and conceded. I misplayed I should have just played my deck out like a normal deck and default to the Misery plan as a back up win condition, but since I didn’t I couldn’t kill any of his allies.


2nd game: This game goes long but I am able to resolve a Misery and live long enough to survive through his Scouring the Desert.


3rd game: The nice thing about the Priest deck is that sometimes you just draw the nuts and you gain a lot of tempo. An example would be the third game vs Markoff. Turn three he cast a 3/2 which I killed with SW:A, turn 4 I killed his 4/4 with SW:A, and turn 5 I emptied his hand with Vampiric Tendrils and my flip. Leaving him with 0 cards in hands to my 4 cards in hand. Surprisingly he had the Bloody Ritual in hand and later said he made a mistake and should have just cast that on turn 4 instead of the 4/4. After these sequences of turns the game was rather anticlimactic with me casting a Tinker Burnfizzle with Dawn’s Grace in hand to heal the damage off it, and I was off to the semis.


Semifinals – Kyle Mcginty


1st game: I stabilize his early rush and am able to gain board position. With him not having much going on I decide to cast Misery and mill him. After one activation he counts his deck and decides its time for game 2.


2nd game: Kyle’s deck does what its supposed to do. He gets Hala on turn 1 and is always able to have more allies out then I do. I really never have a chance as his thuds stop me from ever mounting counterattacks to kill his allies. This game ends rather quickly as he smashed my face in.


3rd game: Once again I starve off his early game, and we get to a point were we both are going off the top of our decks looking for some game. Its rather late in the game and he has the Lanthus of the Forest, Braeden Nightblade, Woodsie Leafsong and Treewarden Trolven in play and all I have is a Virkaltor. I drew Misery when he has 13 cards in his deck and I have 8 resources, and 0 damage on my hero. I play Misery leaving Shadow Word: Anguish and Dawn’s Grace in han, with him having no cards in hand. He drew attacked my hero with Woodsie Leafsong and I Shadow Word: Anguish it.  He lays Immobilization on my Misery and at first I’m thinking damn what a top deck, then I realize that I have Virkaltor in play. I mill him for 4 in response and sac the 5/4, which ends up giving me the game. My next draw would have given me a Tinker Burnfizzle, so the game would have ended up with me winning in a different fashion, because all he had next was another ally that would die to the Burnfizzle once I healed him back to full. 


Finals– Jan Palys


This match was covered on UDE website and can be found here:


The third game I didn’t win with Misery I won with Tinker Burnfizzle, but at that point it didn’t matter, since my double Shadow Word: Anguish and double Vampiric Tendrials draw just cleared his hand and board.


I won, everyone came up and congratulated which was nice. I still haven’t decided on what prize I’m going to take and times running out. I think I’m going with the entertainment center, but I need to check on a few more things (my wife).


We ate lunch and came back just in time to see Mike Basa win the leveling tournament making that 3 in a row for him. Congrats Mike. Overall it was a good weekend, 3 of the 4 of us that came down from Las Vegas made Top 8, I was able to make a bunch of new friends, and I won the tourney. Thanks for taking the time to read this and if you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear them.



Tim Rivera


Empire State University: Deck Theory 101, Mega-Weekend Experience Part 2

by Patrick Yapjoco

For those who missed it part one can be found here:

After the conclusion of the Top 8 in the Silver Age tournament, we headed over to the world famous Giordano’s restaurant down the street.  Tim, Niles, Mickey, and I went ahead and the TAWC guys (John Hall, Shane Wiggins, and Michael Barnes) soon followed.  We were excited to try the Chicago-style deep dish pizza.  Since we were all so hungry, we were contemplating ordering two large pizzas (!).  It’s a good thing we didn’t.  After two heavenly slices, we were stuffed (pun intended), everyone except for Niles.  Even after eating all of the fried appetizers (mostly mushrooms), he was still talking about he can eat two more slices.  Between both parties, we had more than enough for Niles to chow down.  He ate a whole two more slices.  Wow.  That man could eat!  The TAWC guys had a lot of decks (over 15) built for the Little Deck Format (or, as they like to call it, Halfsies) that Tommy Ashton wrote about.  We played a bit after we ate.  That format is the most fun I’ve had playing in a while.


            Afterwards, we all decided to have a Cake Draft.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s just a draft pitting one team against another, and the losing team buys the winning team a cake.  It was a great idea, but we didn’t really figure out how to get to our hotel, which was about 7 miles or so away.  The other guys had a small rent-a-car sedan, which could barely fit 5 people, let alone 7 plus-sized players (to say the least).  Fortunately for us, Mickey decided to just call it a night and took a cab back to his hotel.  Unfortunately for me, I had to ride in the trunk of the car back to the hotel.  I think it was because I was the smallest of the 6 (if that is possible), but I figure lying down comfortably was better than being sardined in the back seat with 3 other “gamey” guys (not many people can smell like roses after 10 hours of gaming).  Maybe I’m just justifying it, I don’t know.  Anyway, I got in and it wasn’t bad at all, and I even made a phone call to Erick to talk to him about the day’s events so he could post it (I’m not sure he knew I was in a trunk, though), until Shane (who was driving) forgot to use the breaks on a U-turn, which threw me around a bit.  If that’s for beating you in round 8, then I guess we’re even.


            We finally got back to the hotel, and we decide to draft Marvel Team-Up.  The teams were split with TAWC on one side, and the West-Coasters on the other.  The rules were simple:  it was a 6-man draft, with each team alternating seating.  The first team to 5 wins was declared the winner.  I drafted a pretty good Underworld/Defenders deck with Hellstorm and an array of recovery/exhausting effects, as well as Blackheart.  I went 2-1, narrowly losing to John Hall and his Moon Knight deck on turn 7.  We ended up winning the draft with Tim barely beating Mike in the 0-2 table to decide the outcome.  Afterwards, we look at our Modern decks, and Niles is set on playing the IG Concealed deck since it’s easy to build and easy to play (just point and shoot).  Tim and I decide to play my Fantastic Four Equipment deck.


After the first MW, the main decks that were played were IG Concealed as well as World’s Finest.  However, in the Top 8, the top decks were Fantastic Four, IG Concealed, Revenge Squad, and Spider-Friends, with no World’s Finest to be found.  So, that was our gauntlet and we just tested against those decks, but mainly focused on the IG Concealed and WF variants.  I also thought that JLA decks would make an impact, with recent success at the City Championships.


            Michael Bean and Daisuke Hanaoka, both teammates, were talking about how large (stat-wise) that the Fantastic Four characters had from turn 4 onwards.  I really wanted to use the New Baxter Building engine in a deck, and suggested teaming them up with Gotham Knights so you can use Barbara Gordon as well as have an 11/14 6-drop in the form of Black Canary.  Add in the Unstable Molecular Suits and it should be really tough to get over that defense.  After much deliberating, I knew Force Field Projection would be huge as well as Family of Four, so I decided to make it a mono team, play a lot of defensive cards like Against All Odds and Reset and just add the equipment.  My theory was that decks have to expend so much effort in just hitting one of my characters, let alone 2 or 3, that eventually, they would run out of gas, in which case I would have the advantage.  I also wanted to be able to recruit one of the main 4 characters at every drop and maximize my board presence.  I wish I could have played 4 B.P.R.D. Signal Devices, but I only had 2, so I had to compromise.  After some tweaking, here is the deck list I played in the 67-man tournament:


4 Luke Cage – Steel Hard-Skin

3 Human Torch 2-drop

4 Invisible Woman 3-drop

1 Thing 3-drop

4 Mr. Fantastic 4-drop

2 Thing 5-drop

1 Invisible Woman 5-drop

1 Human Torch 6-drop (MVL)

1 She-Hulk 6-drop

1 Thing 7-drop

1 Invisible Woman 7-drop

1 Silver Surfer 8-drop


4 Family of Four

3 It’s Clobberin’ Time

3 Reset

3 Force Field Projection

3 Mobilize

3 Signal Flare

2 Against All Odds

2 Omnipotence


4 New Baxter Building


4 Unstable Molecular Suit

2 B.P.R.D. Signal Device

2 Demonic Embryo

1 Ego Gem


Rd. 1 – Angel Luna (JLA/GK)


Angel one of the Team Wis-Cago guys, so I knew he was a good player.  He drops Alfred, Batman, Founding Member, Wonder Woman, Superman, and Aquaman through 6 turns.  I play Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic through 4 turns, and I lose my 3-drop after he plays Skreeeeeee on her.  I have to play the 5-drop Invisible Woman to catch up.  I am able to stabilize somewhat, but I am down on endurance quite a bit.  He has to expend a lot of attack pumps (3 Savage Beatdowns) to be able to stun my equipped guys.  After he plays 3 From the Darkness, we eventually get to turn 8.  My board is Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch-6, Invisible Woman-7, and Silver Surfer-8.  They all have equipment on them, and after a flurry of pumps, I am able to stun his visible board.  He attacks back with Martian Manhunter-8 and a recovered Superman-7, but Invisible Woman’s ability added to the fact that he played all of his pumps on turn 6 means a narrow win for me. -7 to -15; Turn 8 win. 1-0


Rd. 2 – John Helt (IG Concealed)


John is playing the aforementioned concealed beatdown deck.  Through 5 turns he has Penguin (who draws us 3 cards), Johnny Quick, Owlman, Jemm, and Ultraman.  He also has a Hunte Castle.  I have a pretty good opening with Luke Cage + Ego Gem (he drew me a lot of cards as well), Invisible Woman-3, Mr. Fantastic, and Thing-5.  I lose Luke after he plays Skreeeeeee on Invisible Woman.  With so many cards in my hand, I am able to play a couple of Force Field Projections to push the game to turn 6.  John misses turn 6, under-drops with Superwoman and Catwoman, while my board is starting to stabilize.  With the Signal Device on Invisible Woman, she was safe from harm.  I also have the Suits on my 4, 5, and 6-drops.  After a flurry of pumps, I am able to brickwall an attack to send it to turn 7.  I play Thing-7, bounce his board and I pull out the win.  Turn 7 win. 2-0


Rd. 3 – Bilal Murphy (GK/Spider-Friends Stall)


This was one of the most interesting games I played all day.  He has the super engine going with Aflred, Barbara, Aunt May/Ego Gem, Spider-Man-4, Cassandra Cain, along with Empire State University and The Hook-up,  Meanwhile, I mulligan into an opening hand of 4 Molecular Suits, and missed my 2-drop and 3-drop (Mobilize is useless on turn 3 if you don’t have a 2-drop!).  The good thing is, he elects to just draw cards instead of attack me, and I have Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, and Human Torch through 6 turns.  I think at this point that he is playing a Cassandra Cain deck since he has so many cards, so I flip Omnipotence, foolishly naming Cassandra Cain.  We eventually get to turn 9 and he drops his bomb: Onslaught.  My board has grown to add Thing-7, Silver Surfer, as well as She-Hulk, and my whole board is equipped.  The good news is I have Silver Surfer to prevent Onslaught from decimating my board.  The problem is he has Spider-Man-7 and Sentry to stifle my attacks.  After some safe attacks, I pull out a turn 10 win, 28-8. 3-0


Rd. 4 – Javier Perez (World’s Finest)


Javier is playing a very different World’s Finest deck.  He has Alfred, Krypto, and Barbara through 3 turns.  I have Luke Cage and Human Torch through 3 turns.  After some attacks, I lose Luke Cage.  On turn 4, he plays Power Girl ◊ Nightwing, while I play Mr. Fantastic.  He has Superman-5 (the good one) and along with Power Girl’s ability and my equipment, we go to turn 6 with our board intact.  The key comes in turn 6 as I am able to force a Bat Got Your Tongue from Javier, exhausting his Batman during his attack step.  I am able to swing back and make him lose Power Girl.  Turn 7, he has Superman, Deterrent Force while I have Thing-7.  At this point, I am able to do some damage, and stun his Superman to make him lose his cosmic counter.  On turn 8, he has Kara Zor-El while I have Silver Surfer.  I steal the initiative and get him to the negatives.  His swing back is not enough as my defensive plays were too much.  1 to -8, Turn 8 win.  4-0


Rd. 5 – Charles Huggins (Spider-Friends/Wolverine)


Also known as cchug2001, Charles was playing the Spider-Friends deck with Wolverine + Berserker Rage as the finisher.  He has Black Cat, Darkhawk, and Spider-Man through 4 turns.  He also has the Empire State University going for him, but he misses his 5-drop completely.  I have Luke Cage, Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman-5 through 5 turns.  I have the Suit on Mr. Fantastic, which stopped some attacks.  However, we get to turn 6 and out comes Wolverine-6.  I have Human Torch-6, and after I flip Omnipotence, naming Berserker Rage, I could see that it hurt his plans.  I was able to take minimal damage and not have Wolverine clear my board.  We eventually get to turn 8, and I play another Omnipotence, this time naming Gift Wrapped.  After combat, the score was 26-7 in my favor.  We go to turn 9, but he scoops after we draw.  Turn 9 win.  5-0


Rd. 6 – Niles Rowland (Injustice Gang Concealed)


So, I have to play Niles again, but this time the situation is different.  We are both at the top of the standings at this point.  He drops Catwoman, Black Manta, Jemm, and White Martian through 5 turns.  I have Luke Cage, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, and Thing through 5 turns.  I don’t have the equipment engine going on in this game, but I have some good defensive cards.  However, he has Hunte Castle and Stryker’s Island to offset any defense I have as he can re-use them every turn.  Even after a Reset, he still has enough to clear my board.  We go to turn 6 and I have She-Hulk.  He drops Superwoman and Owlman and he is able to have enough to get me into the negatives.  Turn 6 loss. 5-1


Rd. 7 – Ernie (mono-X-Men)


Ernie is Todd Carlson’s friend and testing partner, so I knew he was good.  At first, I thought he was playing a Jean Grey deck, but it turns out it is a mono X-Men deck.  He has Wolverine-3, Emma Frost, Jean Grey-5 (who is 10/10), and Mimic through 6 turns.  He also has Xavier’s Institute for Higher Learning and Cerebro working for him.  I have Human Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing, and She-Hulk through 6 turns.  I don’t have my equipment engine going on again in this game as well.  He plays a full 3 Turnabout so he can clear my board.  After brickwall an attack later on, I think I am able to clear board, but he has a Children of the Atom to recover his Emma Frost.  On turn 6, he drops Mimic and after a flurry of pumps, which he plays 2 more Savage Beatdowns, I am at a lowly 16 endurance.  Turn 7 rolls around, and I have Invisible Woman-7 to his Professor X-7.  I chain to the recruit, flipping Omnipotence.  I name Professor X so I don’t lose right away.  After Mimic pays the 2 endurance to burn me for 11 via Thing, I have free reign on my attacks.  After some pumps, which also sees a Telepathic Suppression, he is at -2 and I am at 5.  He has one attack back with Professor X, but he has no pumps to push the damage or to get over Invisible Woman’s ability, and after I show him the Against All Odds, I earn the victory.  5 to -2, Turn 7 win.  6-1


Rd. 8 – Abacu Miranda (Fantastic Four)


Abacu is another Team Wis-Cago member.  He is playing a Fantastic Four deck.  This match tests my theory as we are playing a mirror match, but I am hoping that my equipment will be too much for him to overcome, turn after turn.  He has a good curve with Namorita, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing, Human Torch, Thing-7, and Silver Surfer.  My curve is similar, except that I miss my 2-drop and I decide to drop She-Hulk instead of Human Torch.  I am able to get all 4 of Unstable Molecular Suit online and I have my draw engine going.  I knew he runs Finishing Move, so I name that with Omnipotence, to keep things honest.  He has a lot of pumps in the form of Savage Beatdown, It’s Clobberin’ Time, Family of Four, and Torch and Thing.  I am able to stay in the game with a full 3 Force Field Projection.  Since my characters are just naturally bigger, he has to expend a lot of effort stunning my characters.  It all came to a head on turns 9 and 10.  He has no more pumps while I still have Family of Four.  In the end, I pull out a very close victory, 7-5.  Turn 10 win.  7-1


Rd. 9 – Ben Brozene (IG Concealed)


 For the final round of Swiss, I play another IG Concealed deck.  I have found that taking the odd initiative gives me the best shot at winning, so I take the odds initiative.  He has Catwoman, Superwoman, misses his 3-drop (!), Jemm, and White Martian through 5 turns.  I have Torch, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, and Thing through 5 turns myself.  I am desperate to hit drops, so I discard my Human Torch-6 and Invisible Woman-7 to New Baxter Building, hoping to find drops.  I have my equipment engine online again, and the flurry of combat on turn 5 was the turning point.  If he stuns my Thing, then he can swing directly to win.  After 2 Blinding Rage and 1 Crime Syndicate of Amerika pump to try to get over Thing’s defense, I play Reset, which stops the attack and pushes it to turn 6.  He has Prometheus and I have She-Hulk.  Since he has no bonuses for being his initiative, he only stuns 1 character and we move to turn 7.  I drop Thing-7, bouncing some of his board, which he re-plays.  After a direct swing from me he is at -9.  His counter attack leaves me at -8.  Turn 7 win.  8-1


Top 8 (Qtrs) – Javier Perez (World’s Finest)

            Javier and I are matched up again, and I figure that I have a good chance and winning, since I already beat him.  What I didn’t know was the full extent of his deck’s power.  He plays a full 4 copies of Early Edition as well as Bat Got Your Tongue to negate anything and everything.  The first game was really close, and I had a sub-par draw.  He has a stellar draw, but since the WF deck is naturally slow, we get to turn 8.  By then I have stabilized and his mis-attack with his Kar Zor-El gave me the game I should have lost.  Game two was also a horrendous game for me.  My first play was on turn 4 while he has a great opening again.  I think I am able to get back into in the mid game, but he negated 4 of my plot twists to win on turn 7.  Game 3 was really close.  I plan for the negation by looking for Omnipotence with Mr. Fantastic.  By turn 6, I have both copies, naming Early Edition and Bat Got Your Tongue to make sure I can get my plot twists through.  I make a mistake on turn 5 by not running Luke Cage into a character, and he proved to be the liability pm turn 6.  Time is called and turn 7 is the last turn.  I think I can win, but I didn’t see the substitution of Cassandra Cain with a fist full of cards.  I burn a Reset to turn off Power Girl’s effect and I send Thing into Cassandra Cain.  He has 4 cards to force me to use Mr. Fantastic to dig for a pump, which I find.  I achieve the stun, but now I have to send Torch into Power Girl because Batman will stun back.  If he reinforces, I lose by 1 endurance.  I know he will, so I take a gamble.  He has 2 cards left.  I attempt to use Human Torch’s ability, but he has For the Man Who Has Everything to negate it with Batman, and give him the win.  2-1 Loss.



            The deck performed better than I had hoped.  I wanted to see if my theory of the deck would work out, and it did.  I did not expect to see turn 8 or later very much, but as you saw, I got to the late game almost every time.  That means there could be a better win condition in the late game.  Also, I wish I had 2 more Signal Device because that is a huge buffer against Skreeeeeee and exhausting effects like Spider-Man or Gift Wrapped.  Lastly, I would probably play 4 Signal Flare and 2 Mobilize because you don’t always hit your 2-drop, and if you have a Mobilize in-hand on turn 3, you’ll have no play as well.  Overall, the metagame was as expected, although I was expecting more Revenge Squad decks.  A potentially devastating deck is Dan Clark’s IG hand-flood deck.  It took the tournament by surprise and is a deck worth taking a look at. 


            In conclusion, the Mega-Weekend was a great experience.  The atmosphere is great and the tournaments themselves were run with great efficiency.  I got to meet some of the realmers as well as old Pro Circuit friends.  With the announcement that Worlds will be Modern Age, this could be a peek into what we might see at the event.


Mega-Weekend Chicago – Part 3

Sunday morning we get ripped off by the cab driver again.  After we finally arrived at Pastimes, we collected our cake draft prize(Twinkies don’t count next time we play :)).  I haven’t played Modern Age since PC Indy, so I had no idea what to play.  Patrick Yapjoco is the man and hooked me up with his list for the Modern Tourney.  I didn’t have all the cards, so I had to make some changes, which made the deck awful.

3 Human Torch, Matchstick

4 Luke Cage, Steel-Hard Skin

1 Thing, Idol O’Millions

4 Invisible Woman, First Lady of the Fantastic Four

4 Mr. Fantastic, Critical Thinker

1 Invisible Woman,  Sight Unseen

2 Thing, Heavy Hitter

1 Human Torch, Flame On!

1 She-Hulk, Single Green Lawyer

1 Thing, The Ever Lovin’ Blue Eyed Thing

1 Invisible Woman, Shield of the Four

1 Silver Surfer, Norrin Radd

3 It’s Clobberin’ Time

2 Against All Odds

4 Family of Four

3 Mobilize

3 Signal Flare

3 Reset

3 Force Field Projection

2 Omnipotence



4 New Baxter Building



Ego Gem

Demonic Embryo

4 Unstable Molecular Suit


I really enjoyed this format.  The reason I like the FF deck is because it based around legend cards and it has a lot of tricks for combat.  This deck plays well on both offense and defense and was one of the most popular decks of the tourney.  I like the inclusion of Unstable Molecular Suit in the deck just for the mirror match.  You can make all your characters slightly better then theirs, and by doing so you win the war of attrition as they have to use pumps to stun you back. 


In this tourney I was able to play against a wide variety of decks.  Below are the decks I played against:

  • Round 1: Cal Clearly playing Marvel Defenders/Doom Patrol(Win)
  • Round 2: Amanda Hevley playing IG concealed(Loss)
  • Round 3: Steven Boss playing ???
  • Round 4: Shane Wiggins playing Endgame(Loss)
  • Round 5: Angel Luna playing JLA
  • Round 6: Ralph Edwards playing Torch Abuse
  • Round 7: Mike Jiles – didn’t show up
  • Round 8: Dan Clark playing Big Hand(loss)
  • Round 9: Javier playing Worlds Finest(conceded)

It’s always easier to remember your losses compared to your wins.  In round two Amanda just demolished me.  I should have mulliganed to hit my 2 drop, as my main 3 drop is Invisible woman and is concealed.  One problem that the FF deck has is that you want the odd initative, and when you face off against the IG concealed deck, you really want them to have the odd initative.  Against Shane I didn’t flip my 2 Omnipotence(naming Endgame on both) in response to his, so I lost on tun 8 to his Darkseid.  Dan Clark just bashed me, the FF deck strives off its powerful plot twists, so when I couldn’t play any I just got destroyed.  In the last round I had no chance of making Top 8, thanks to my tiebreakers, so I played and won the match vs Javier.  I decided to concede to him since he would make Top 8.  Boy that was a mistake in hindsight as he beat both my teammates in Top 8.  Congratulations Javier!   



Niles – What can I say about him.  Playing with him definetly took my game to the next level.  Niles is a true master, he is always the funniest guy in the group, and a great friend.  He is also my pick to win Worlds unless he registers his deck wrong and has to play me in Top 8. 


Patrick – I have never had the pleasure of hanging out with him before this weekend, but I think we have always had respect for each others game.  After this weekend, I’m hoping that we can work together for future events and I’m thanks for all the good times this past weekend. 


TAWC – Anyone who is man enough to play us in Cake Drafts, automatically becomes awesome in my book.  Thanks again for the ride back to our Hotel, and I look forward to another dinner at Worlds if you guys are down.  I still want that picture of Pat in the trunk if you still have it. 


Todd/Javier – Congrats on winning the tourneys.


The Judges – I have to say that this weekend was one of the best ran events I have been to.  I was surprised/impressed on how quickly the transition was between the rounds and I think you judges should be applauded for your effort.


Mickey Hatcher – I meet Mickey in Chicago and he is one of the nicests guys I’ve met.  Mickey lent me some cards for the Modern Age event, and I can’t thank him enough for doing so.  Mickey I hope to see you at worlds and congrats on your Top 4. 



All opponents I played:  One of the main reason I love playing VS is because the people that play are among the nicest people in competitive card games. 



Pastime bathrooms – If you saw them you would understand.


Taxi Cab Drivers – All of them besides one decided it would be fun to rip us off, so screw them.


People who say that the Pros(Niles, Pat and myself I suppose) at Chicago aren’t in it for the fun of the game.  I don’t think that we would travel if we didn’t love this game, because the prizes themselves really don’t justify the trip.  I’d love to see the game grow again, and we are trying to do our part to make the Mega-Weekends a success. 

Mega-Weekend Chicago – Part Two


I told Niles before the tournament that I would play whatever deck he decided to play.  He really liked the Checkmate/Marvel Knights deck that I had built so that is what we decided to play.  The decklist looks like:

4 Connie Web
1 Jacob Lee
4 Black Thorn
4 Ahmed
3 Punisher, Guns Blazing
1 Elimintation Protocol
1 Captain America(5)
1 Annihilation Protocol
1 Huntress(6)
1 Punisher, Angel of Death

1 New Baxtar Building
1 The Alley
4 Brother I Satellite
3 Dr. Fate’s Tower
2 Checkmate Safehouse
1 Brother Eye
1 Sewer System

4 Threat Nuetralized
4 Cannibal Tech
4 Enemy of My Enemy
4 Defensive Formation
3 Knightmare Scenarios

4 Laser Watch
1 Amulet of Nabu
1 Cloak of Nabu
1 Helm of Nabu

     One thing that you might find interesting is the low character count in this deck.  It may seem that this is a mistake in deckbuilding given the loyalty requirements on your early drops, but Checkmate is very good at hitting it characters in the early game.  With this deck you really need to aggressively mulligan for Connie Web or Black Thorn.  Black Thorn is part of the the card drawing engine,  so she may be the most important character in the deck.  On turn 3 the main play is Amhed searching for The New Baxtar building  and recruiting the Laser Watch enabling you to draw 3 cards.  The deck want to hit Punisher on turn 4 and equip him with the Fate set and a laser watch.  Punisher seems a little overpowered to me, ang along with the Fate set he just gets insane.  The deck looks to control their board on 4 by Ko’ing their 4 drop with Punsiher, then it goes for the Brickwall on turn 5 with Defensive formations and Captain America. 

     We arrived at Pastimes and sign up.  First round pairings go up, and they tell us its going to be nine rouds of swiss, with a cut to Top 8.  This day was filled with me playing against many different decks, and a bunch of people that I’ve seen from around the PC scene.  Surprisingly in this tournament I played against 9 different decks in the swiss.  I played against: 1 Villians/Spider-Friends deck, 1 Darkseid/Gotham Knights, 1 Mirror Match, 1 Shadowpact/JLA deck, 1 JLA Terminal Velocity Deck, 1 Secret Society/Deadshot Deck, 1 IG/ Concealed Deck, 1 Checkmate/Heralds of Galactus, and 1 deck that escapes my mind right now.  My deck really came to play, as I went 9-0 in the Swiss rounds. 

     After the swiss the worst possible outcome occured as I was paired up against Niles in the first round.  The judges checked our decklists, and Niles had made a small mistake and was given a game loss because he wrote down 4 Knightmare Scenario and 3 Defensive Formations.  I won the die roll vs Niles, and with the correct initative, I was able to beat Niles in the one game we played.

     In the Semis I was paired against Todd Carlson.  My plan going into the match was to play Ahmed visible and get the Fate set onto him as quickly as possible to soak up damage.  I knew the longer the game went the more the match was tilted into my favor.  First game I missed Ahmed, and Todd just bashed me.  The second game was interesting as I didn’t recruit anything on turn 5 or 6, but Todd did not have much going on either, and Punisher, Angel of Death sealed the game for me.  The third game started off great with me hitting Black Thorn and Ahmed.  I searched up Baxtar Building, and started the card drawing engine.  By turn 4, I had drawn a bunch of extra cards, but I missed on my MK Character and was forced to recruit Elimination Protocol.   Turn 5, I drew some more cards, but missed on Captain America again, and I died on this turn with 3 Defensive Formations in hand. 

     It was a let down to go undefeated in the Swiss and not to win it all, but there is always another VS tournament around the corner.  Congratulation to Todd on winning it all and to Michael Barnes for making it to the finals. Todd you ended my undefeated record, I look forward to a rematch at worlds(hopefully we will both be at the top of the swiss again).

     After my loss in top 4, we decided to leave and get some Deep Dish Pizza.  Shortly after we arrived at the Pizza restaurant, the TAWC guys also arrived and joined us for dinner.  I have never had the pleasure of hanging out with the TAWC crew before this event(except for the great Tim Batow, who we teamed up with for Sydney), but let me tell you it was a great experience.

     After we devour our Pizza, and learned a thing or two about the little deck format, the TAWC crew were nice enough to give us a ride back to our hotel and to play a cake draft against us. The best part about the ride back to our hotel was that there were 6 of us and only 5 seats. Patrick really bit the bullet and jumped in the trunk, and rode the entire way back to the hotel this way.  After turning the wrong way a couple times, and a couple U-turns without the brakes being applied(sorry for all the laughter Pat!), we finally arrived at our hotel.  I’ll have to ask around, but I know there are pictures of Pat in the trunk floating around.

     We decided to draft Marvel Team-Up, since those were given out as prizes the night before.  I forced the off-curve Sinister Syndicate deck, and boy what a failure.  I had a bunch of 1 and 2 drops, but besides that I had very little in the way of pumps, and cards that would help my strategy of underdropping.  The teams for the drafts were: Niles Rowland, Patrick Yapjoco, and myself vs. Michael Barnes, John Hall, and Shane Wiggins.  After 8 intense matches the records were:

  • John Hall 3-0 (sick draft skills my friend)
  • Niles Rowland 2-1
  • Patrick Yapjoco 2-1
  • Shane  Wiggins 1-1
  • Michael Barnes 0-2
  • Tim Rivera 0-2

     The last match came down to me against Michael.  For some reason after 14 hours of Vs System I can’t raelly remember what happened in our match, but  my crappy deck was able to pull out a victory in a very close match.  Niles and I remained undefeated in Cake Drafts, and can’t wait for the next Cake Draft at worlds. 

     After the match was over it was about 2 a.m. and the TAWC guys decided it was time to sleep, so they left.  Patrick and I finished up our decks for the Modern Age tourney on Sunday, and were ready for the tournament tomorrow. 

Mega-Weekend Chicago – Part One


     Since Mega-Weekend LA I have been fiending to play some more VS System.  Niles was nice enough to want to help me feed my addiction and decided to come with me to Chicago.  Niles and I left on the Red Eye flight from Las Vegas and arrived in Chicago at 6:00 a.m.  Luckily for us, we were able to check in at that time and we decided to crash for a couple of hours.

     Once we both were awake, we playtested a couple of games with the gauntlet of decks we had.  After a couple games, Patrick Yapjoco landed and called to meet up.  Patrick arrived at the room and we got our stuff ready and headed down to Pastime Games.

     We arrived at Pastime Games and entered the tourament.  There seemed to be quite a few people there and it was announced that it was going to be seven rounds of Swiss with a straight cut to determine prizes.  Niles and I decided to play some decks that we had built already.  Niles choose the Quicksilver/Syndicate deck that John Hammond played at PC Indy to a 9-1 record, and I was stuck with Moloids. 

Here is my decklist for the Friday Night DS Tournament:

14 Moloids

4 Mole Man

4 Dr. Doom, Richards Rival

4 Mr. Fantastic

1 Divinity

2 Ultron

1 Dr, Doom, Sorcerorous Servant

4 Birthing Chamber

4 Doomed Earth

4 Justice Is Served

3 Flying Kick

2 Big Leagues

1 Call in a Favor

4 Unthinkable

4 Mobilize

4 Savage Beatdown

    I really like the Moloids deck.  The deck breaks on of the most basic, yet important, aspect of the game, resource points.   This deck is able to play like a curve deck, but it also has the ability to fill the board out with a ton of Moloids.   

     I started off the tournament by going 6-0, only to lose in the last round.  Throughtout the rounds I played against: 2 Skrulls decks, 1 Shadowpact deck with Fate Artifacts, 1 TAWC Above and Below, 1 Moloids, 1 Yoshi Special(Gorilla Grodd control), and 1 Checkmate/Villians United deck.  In the last round I won the roll and took the wrong initative, which ended up costing me the match, thanks to his Fatality.  I ended up in first place after the Swiss rounds due to good tiebreakers,  and then became the proud owner of a DS Lite.