Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Locals Report 2-28-2012; T&M Cards ("Traditional")

This also marks my 100th post! Yay. And my Acid Golem finally came in today. Double yay!

At first I hesitated if I wanted to go to Brandon's tourney or not, but in the end decided to cuz I should still be OK on my homework that's due today. I also color-coordinated and alphabetized Brandon's list for him because his was originally hand-written and all kinds of unorganized. I grab the print-out, deck, my other stuff, and leave around 4:30 with his tourney usually starting at 5:30.

I get there and like no one is there, so I just bust out my homework to work on. Eventually Brandon gets there so I show him the list I had typed up for him and he tells me that he changed it and it'd go into effect today, I was like alright well I can update what I got and post a link of it on the blog. Unfortunately they can't get a printout of the new list since the printer is broke and the guy that knows how to fix it is out for dinner or something. We wait till like 6:15, it gets printed out, and the tourney gets started at 6:30.

Note: game write-ups will most likely be short since it's Traditional after all lol.
Attendance was 9, almost half of what it was last week.

Round 1 vs Mike H (Watts?)
Game 1 - I win the die roll and my deck goes FTK. He just stares and is visibly upset (lol sorry bro).
Game 2 - He does some tricks to bring out a turn 1 Vanity's Fiend. I'm just like "...huh. I don't think my deck has a way around that." I play a few draw cards, think about the scenario, pass my turn, think about it some more as he plays some cards, and just scoop it up. I got no way to deal with the Fiend.
Game 3 - I draw into what I need to FTK. He Veilers my Shadowpriestess but I just remove it and Cyber Valley to draw 2, bring it back with Dimension Fusion, and continue with the loop.
Record: 1-0
He goes into the back room and I can hear him complaining about my deck. I go back and agree with him, saying "yea my deck is BS." Don't hate the player, hate the game :) At this point Danny gets there and he looks over the list Brandon made up but doesn't agree with a lot of the stuff that's on/not on there.

I get down-paired since I was the only one that went 2-1.

Round 2 vs Brandon (Disaster Dragon/Dragunity)
Game 1 - I win the die roll but draw into absolute garbage and can't keep the momentum going with my deck. I leave a Cyber Valley on the field and hope I get another turn. He Mind Controls it and goes nutty with big dragons, and OTKs me with REDMD and Trident Dragion or something attacking me twice.
Game 2 - Again I can't FTK but he doesn't OTK me. I draw, nothing helpful, so I have to make a desperate Disc Commander play to draw into something useful, unfortunately I don't so I scoop it up.
Record: 1-1

Losing in the down-pair is pretty much the worst case scenario lol.

Round 3 vs Didn'tCatchYourName (Water?)
Game 1 - I win the die roll and don't have much so I just loop 2 Cyber Valley, a Broww, and Dimension Fusion with a Spell Economics up to stack the Fusion, draw 2, and keep drawing 1 card with each loop iteration to draw into something more useful. I make a crucial misplay in stacking the Fusion, Machine Dup'ing a Cyber Valley to draw faster, and realized I screwed up since I wouldn't have my Dimension Fusion. I try to just dig for it but don't get it, so end my turn with a Dark Voltanis on field. I just hoped that he wouldn't be able to OTK me. All he literally does is set 1 monster, I'm just like sweet and play some more draw cards to draw back into the Dimension Fusion, and correctly loop to finish him off.
Game 2 - He sets a monster and a backrow which ends up being a 7 Tools (absolutely useless since I don't run traps lol). I get the first turn loop off and that's that.
Record: 2-1

At this point they just cut off to top 4 and I don't make it in cuz my down-pair absolutely screwed me. Don't know what everyone played but didn't care too much as I just talked to Danny, did some more homework , and trades.

This kid asks me if I could play him, I'm just like sure, and I FTK each game we play except in the ones where he was like "aw come on, give me just one turn" lol. I oblige, leaving him at like 600 or 800 life, he doesn't do anything to prevent the last bit of damage the next turn lol.

Decklist: 40
Monsters: 12
3 Cyber Valley
3 Broww
2 Darklord Zerato
1 Dark Voltanis
1 DMoC
1 Shadowpriestess of Ohm
1 D-Hero Disc Commander

Spells: 28
3 Upstart Goblin
3 Into the Void
3 Trade-In
3 Hand Destruction
3 Dark World Dealings
3 Machine Duplication
2 Spell Economics
1 Card Destruction
1 Dimension Fusion
1 Graceful Charity
1 Painful Choice
1 Monster Reborn
1 Premature Burial
1 Giant Trunade
1 Allure of Darkness

Brandon has Pot of Greed banned so I couldn't run that, and stuff like Raigeki and Feather Duster as well. I didn't play with a side or extra as I felt that I didn't really need them or know what the hell to have in there anyway. Into the Void is a pretty risky card if you don't got much action in your hand otherwise. I absolutely hate Hand Destruction as well, but I understand its importance since it digs for 2 cards and theoretically you should have plenty of ditch-able candidates. However this isn't always the case; I think I should've played some One Day of Peace, as even though it does give my opponent an extra card, the comfort of knowing you'll at least have an extra turn is pretty good. May have to sacrifice some speed for survivability.

I think Shadowpriestess FTK is the best FTK that Brandon hadn't touched, most likely cuz he didn't know about the deck. I didn't play the deck to piss people off, more like just to blatantly show that he left a viable FTK option open in his list. Since I didn't beat Brandon though, he probably won't hit it, as I don't want him to hit it anyway since I forked out like $70 to build the deck lol. If it became problematic to the point that I won like every tourney, sure, but it's not 100% in its FTK-ability.

This was probably the most "not-fun" fun I've had in quite a while! The deck reminded me of when I made Ian cry at one of the sneak peeks way back in the day when I ran Explosion OTK lol. I'll probably stick with this tourney and have my schedule be Sunday Haven, Tuesday T&M, and probably FNM Haven. This is the best configuration for me in terms of the number of miles I have to drive, I'll probably alternate between FNM and Saturday YGO @ Lightning. I'll probably also forgo FNM again this week as I have a test on Friday coupled with an assignment due on Monday (God I can't wait for this quarter to be over!).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Into the New Format

I didn't go to the Northtown tourney yesterday since I woke up feeling really sick and groggy. My wife started to get sick the other day and tends to never cover her mouth when she coughs, so naturally it was gonna happen :/ Later in the day I started to feel better so I make the trip to my post office to pick up my third Maxx C that I ordered, as well as all my Traditional stuff for Brandon's tourney. I forgot to order a Painful Choice and a Premature Burial though, ordered them later, but need to see if I can borrow them from someone if I play today. I built up the deck, tried out like 15 hands/playthroughs, and it can FTK fairly consistently. I'd rather play an Exchange of the Spirit deck, but Brandon has that card banned.

I think YCS Germany will be a good indication for how the rest of our format may look like, at least until GAOV comes out. Lots of Dino, and the rest being Inzektors and Wind-Ups. I'm actually really curious to see how our locals shifts, as there were quite a few people playing Tengus and Plants even til the very end. They'll probably switch to Gadgets, GBs, Heroes, or something. The threat of Dark World and Samurai is still something to take into consideration as well. If I ever get Tour Guides before the release of Battle Pack I'll probably switch to Wind-Ups, but I'm enjoying Inzektors at the moment. As more time passes the less inclined I feel to order Guides. I'm looking forward to the Veiler reprint so I can run BLS in my build. I ordered 5 boxes of ORCS SE so if someone wants cheap Veilers and doesn't want to buy the actual SEs, I'm your hookup :)

I've looked at the new-list tourney results over on Shriek, and it's pretty apparent that Card Car D will be the money Secret for GAOV. Rare in Japan, it's a draw card, so Secret over here. Sounds about right. Inzektor Gulf (or Gruf, whatever) is seeing quite a bit of play as a 2-of, even though I'm not sure why.

For reference:
Card Car D
Level 2
Cannot be Special Summoned. During the Main Phase 1 when this card is Normal Summoned: You can Tribute this card; draw 2 cards, and skip to the End Phase. You cannot Special Summon the turn you activated this effect.

Inzektor Gruf
Level 2

Overall I think Rank 3 is better than Rank 5, so not sure why all this manipulation for 2 more levels is being ran. Speaking of Rank 3, still waiting on my freaking mag with Acid Golem in it. I'll probably end up picking up a copy at Walmart or some grocery store or something. I think it's the first magazine promo (as opposed to subscription promo) in a while that's actually playable! (Souza is OK/meh.)

If you may not have known, there's some petition thing going on at Pojo, basically people upset at the ban list and expensive cards and trying to get Konami to change. The whole expensive card/rarity bump thing has been going on since Phantom freakin' Darkness. Obviously it's doing something right for them, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. I remember way back when PTDN came out, and some guy on Pojo was ranting and raving about how the game was going to end and all this crap. Clearly he was wrong. Pretty much the same stories when Duality became a $100+ card, and Tour Guide became $180. I do agree this ban list didn't do anything to help with the latter problems of the previous format, and the top decks weren't hit so ORCS would still be a relevant set. The old-school players and those that have been around for a few years in general know and are used to all this, and there's never been a point to whining and moaning about it simply because Konami doesn't listen. Those that love the game will still play it, and those that are fed up will quit for a period of time but most likely come back into it somewhere along the line. To play Yugioh in the upper-tier level of competitiveness has always been a relatively expensive endeavor, but there are always cheaper and viable options out there if you can persevere. This is the way the game has been for a while, and probably always will be til it runs its course.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Locals Report 2-25-2012; Lightning Comics

Warning: long ass post, as a lot of stuff happened today.

So I ended up not playing FNM last night after I had an hour and a half conversation with Danny about team dynamics and stuff that had gone down the previous day (Thursday) while everyone was hanging out in Idaho. I'm not gonna air out our dirty laundry for everyone to read, but some of the things I heard were rather surprising; some great, and some disappointing. Danny asked me to write up a "meeting topics/minutes" thing, so I at least did up a rough draft version of it and let him alter it. I was in a weird juggling situation between playing FNM last night, doing my homework, and whether or not I was actually going to play Yugz today. Adrian and Ryan wanted to go and just take 1 car out, so I agreed to drive their car. I wasn't the most enthused since Lightning is still playing old/current format, but figured what the hell, if I'm gonna be there the whole time I might as well play. I also needed to promote the box tourney that's coming up in like 2 weeks. Here's hoping the wife doesn't get naggy and expect me to be home at her whim.

My wife wakes me up really early to kill this little tiny spider, at first I couldn't even see the damn thing. I'm like "what, that spec on the wall?" We're both afraid of spiders but this thing was seriously as small as the write-end of a pen. She hands me a tissue and I perform a Fatality on it lol.

Afterwards I print out a few more box tourney fliers and also write a "letter to the players" to print on the back of the flier. I feel awkward promoting a tourney held by a different store in a different store, if you know what I mean. I felt that I should help explain the reason for why I'm getting the tourney started in the first place and show people I'm not trying to get them to switch to playing at the Haven. A lot of it is stuff I've already mentioned on the blog, but the letter is as follows:

Dear Players,

I have done a fair amount of planning and coordination with Bob (one of the owners) from Gamer’s Haven for this event. This is my first gift to the YuGiOh community, as we hardly ever have these kinds of “larger-scale” tournaments. I would say the prize support is good, but there is a strong possibility of there being more if a lot more people show up. In Magic, Bob has the tendency to throw a box worth of prize support for every 10 players. He is very fair in his prize support system. However whether he decides to put more in prize support is his call, not mine. He ordered 7 boxes of ORCS SE, so he will have plenty of product!

As exciting as a box tournament may be, my intention and goal does not stop there. My “big picture” goal is to provide our area with a consistent Regionals. We deserve to have Regionals on “this side of the mountains” and shouldn’t have to drive all the way to Seattle or Portland to play in one. The last Seattle regional had about 270 players. I love Lightning Comics and all, but it can’t hold even half that. I don’t know if you have been to the new Gamer’s Haven, but there is 4000 square feet in gaming area. I’d say it’s the first store I’ve seen in the Spokane area that could realistically hold a Regional. We have already spoken with some of the Seattle-based players, and they said they would come out to a Spokane Regional in a heartbeat. By having a Spokane-based Regional, it also provides an opportunity for guys further out in areas like Boise or even Montana to play in one. We have a lot of great players in our area, so I’d say we deserve a Regional. It’s our time to shine.

I know some of you may not be interested in playing in a Regional even if it was next door to your house, but please understand this is something the player-base as a whole has wanted for more than 6 years. Even if you aren’t interested in playing in the box tournament, it would be a great sign of support to simply come and hang out, trade, or whatnot. I’m not trying to “recruit” or get people to switch to playing at Gamer’s Haven or anything like that. I’m simply asking for the support of the community, for one afternoon, to help me eventually give something great to you all (Regionals) and help “Spokane/Idaho YuGiOh” overall. Bob needs to see that there is a decent amount of local support to start the process of doing a Regional. If the local players aren’t interested/supportive, then what reason does he have that outsiders will?

Our judge for the event will be Joe Lancaster from Yakima Washington, who has judged several Regionals in our area over the years and is also judging for the upcoming YCS Long Beach. He has the experience and knowledge to help make this event fair and fun!
Please help spread the word! Getting a Regionals over here depends on it.

Hopefully that sounds sincere, as I am genuinely a pretty sincere guy.

My wife texts me and tells me that she's feeling dizzy at work all of a sudden and is like "you may need to take a taxi to come pick me up." I'm just like hell nah, she was perfectly fine this morning and I wasn't gonna take no damn taxi. I text Danny about this since it was gonna be hard for me if I was supposed to drive Ryan's car over. I'm willing to alter our plan so that I just drive my car, and if she ends up needing to get picked up I'd just leave the tourney, pick her up and take her home, then come back out to get everyone. Turns out they bailed out though cuz it was snowing beyond crazy today. I have to go to an ATM since I owe Danny and Kim money, also to cash a check, so I head out around 11:30. The plan was to meet at Danny's at 12:30 since that's when he got off work. When I get outside to my car, I end up knocking off one of my wipers since I'm trying to scrape the snow off. I've never actually put on a wiper blade before, so I'm standing there in the wind and snow, trying to figure out how the hell to put this back on. At one point I get frustrated, throw it against my front window, and say "fuck all this shit!" I regain my composure, mess around with it some more, and finally figure out how to get the damn thing back on lol.

Driving is beyond terrible, as everyone's a shitty driver in the snow. I can't find the Valley location of my bank (STCU), and basically end up wasting half an hour. I ask Danny if the Walgreens has an ATM, he doesn't respond, so I just go in. Turns out they had one so I was able to withdraw money. I get a text from Danny saying they do have one, right as I get back in the car lol. I stop by the Starbucks next door to get a Java Chip as I'm just really tired and frustrated with everything. I get to Danny's around 12:20, tell him I'd just chill in his parking lot, and he gets there around 12:45. We promptly leave to go pick up Zach. Go get him, and we're off to Lightning.

We get there right around 1:30, and thankfully Larson waited for us before starting the tourney. We all pay and register, I go greet some people, but my #1 priority going into the store was to talk to Larson about the box tourney. I ask him if he had heard about it, and he said no, so I took one of the fliers with the letter on the back of it to show him. He's cool with it all, and other people notice the flier and are like "hey what's that?" I have Larson's blessing to distribute information, so I do so, and it seems like people are pretty interested in it. The rest of the team helps spread the word and I'm pretty much out of fliers.

First round pairings get posted, and attendance is 15.

Round 1 vs Ty (Samurai)
Game 1 - All he really does is summon a Kizan with no Uniteds, Gateways or anything, and runs over my Arma Knight. I'm pretty much able to combo off from there and I control his plays.
Game 2 - Same thing as first game. He can't draw United, Gateway, or Dojo to do a damn thing. Tough beats.
Record: 1-0

I don't remember what I do before now and when round 2 pairings go up, but Larson gets my attention and asks me to come into the back/office room. I pretty much know what's about to go down, but at the same time I just thought maybe Larson had some questions. Turns out my first instinct was right, as the owner/manager is sitting in his chair and gives me the stink eye, holding one of my fliers. Pretty sure someone ratted me out, and pretty sure I know who it was, but I'm willing to let bygones be bygones. I'll always forgive, but I never forget. So the manager chews me out and tells me that I'm promoting another store and a few other things, it was pretty clear that he hadn't read the letter in its entirety as he has to go back to it after I bring up some points from it. I can feel my face be beat red, primarily because the store was hot as hell, but I'm also upset that he's going down this path with me about it when I felt that I was quite clear regarding my intentions via the letter. He tries to intimidate me by ending with "I. AM. PISSED." and I have to admit I was, but at the same time I am more than willing to defend my intentions and stand up for what I'm trying to accomplish. If he kicks me out of the store, then so be it, but there is no ill-will or malice in what I'm trying to do to bring to our area. After he gets done with his initial statement, it was my turn. I don't remember the order of what I said as I'm not a good "on the spot" talker, but here were the major points:

- A regionals is what we've all wanted, but never had, for the past 8 years. If we want to play in one, we gotta drive all the way to the west side. I'm trying to change that.
- I do not represent Gamer's Haven, as I am more than willing to help any other store in the area to set things up. He brings up the point that I'm bringing a flier with their logo on it, yes, but it's beyond just that. It is a means to an end, and quite simply, the Haven is the only place that has the space (or so I thought).
- He brings up the fact that he has the ability to rent out a room or building across the way to hold something like a regionals. That's cool, as I honestly didn't know that. I bring up the fact that they had 55 people at their Magic Sneak and the Yugioh players got kicked out. How was I to think that they'd manage to fit 150+, when this experience tells me otherwise?
- I mention that I promote all the other stores around here on the blog, and state that I get roughly 1000 views a week (depends on how much I post). It's not a whole lot, but it's still a pretty decent amount, realistically.
- I state that the Spokane-based players come out here week after week, driving through a damn blizzard today, and that I was even choosing to come out here today rather than go to the Haven's tourney tomorrow (which I do feel bad about).
- I basically say, "this is about more than just me, more than just the team, more than you, him (Larson), the store. It's about the betterment of Spokane Yugioh because it's honestly going down hill. Our problem is everyone is spread out, and I'm trying to unite everyone for the health of the game."
- I tell him that "I got this event into place in only about a week's worth of work; imagine what I can do in a month. Two months. And I'm willing to work with Lightning, Larson, whoever. I'm a free agent and I'm more than willing to put in the work to help anyone set up anything."
- I bring up the fact that the only reason why I put the box tourney on Sunday is because of respect for Larson and the store. "I could've easily scheduled it for Saturday, but I respect Lightning and you guys too much to do that. All I'm literally asking for is one Sunday afternoon, not for myself, because I'm not getting anything out of this. I just want to help Spokane Yugioh and give back to the community."
- I apologized and admit that I messed up by not coming to him directly, but at this point I can't go back and re-do anything. However I was adamant that I still stand for what I believe in and what I'm trying to do. No one's going to stop me to do my best and deliver, even if it means I'm banned from the store. I'm willing to be a martyr, as long as I can follow through with helping the community.
- Of which, I remind him that me and my team represent half the tournament attendance out there. Without us, they would've had what, 8?

We exchange a few other clarifications and whatnot, but in the end he realized my passion, work ethic, genuineness, and appreciated that. I just should've come to him, and I agree 100%. He shakes my hand as a sign of respect, and I'm grateful that he sees what I'm trying to do and won't hold the game's health back. To be honest I was afraid that he would simply say no to me promoting it; what would be my option then? We need the Idaho players just as much the Spokane ones, as we're all tied into one community.

Larson tells me to not worry about the round, I find my opponent and shuffle up quickly so we can play.

Round 2 vs SorryDunnoYourName (Miracle Heroes)
Game 1 - He goes absolutely nutty with various Miracle Fusion, Parallel World Fusion, Yourmom Fusion, any kind of fusion to continuously bring out Great Tornado and Shining. I try to come back with Inzektor plays but it's just too much for me.
Game 2 - I'm able to play around his Special Summon spams with more removal, Snowman Eater, and timely Warnings. I Giga-Mantis OTK him.
Game 3 - Similar to previous game but I think DAD plays a part too.
Record: 2-0

Round 3 vs Jeff (Dark World)
Game 1 - I don't get much of a hand and he has Card Destruction. I Maxx C, knowing he's gonna go crazy with Goldd and Sillvas, unfortunately I can't draw into Gorz and I have like a 10-card hand. He OTKs me with Gate-pumped 2 Grapha and a Goldd I believe.
Game 2 - He doesn't draw Card Destruction, so I win. Timely MSTs on his Gates and I get Giga-Mantis OTK (so glad I learned how to actually do this shit! lol).
Game 3 - He's in a losing position and makes an "all-in" gamble by flipping Morphing Jar, hoping to draw into some Goldds and Sillvas to go with his 2 Ceruli. He doesn't draw into anything helpful though and I'm able to take it with 1500 lp remaining.
Record: 3-0

Round 4 vs Nate (Inzektor)
The Inzektor mirror is actually quite fun and our games were very back-and-forthy. We talk about how we both make top so it doesn't matter too much, find out there's gonna be a top 8 playoff, confirm with Larson that 1st will play against 8th, so we figure at least the winner between us will have an easier match going into top 8.

Game 1 - Don't remember if it was this game or the next, but he goes turn 1 Centipede with Hornet equipped. I Book it and attack over with Tomato. I think I Fiendish Chain the next Centipede, and I do more Inzektor shenanigans than him.
Game 2 - At the end I make a crucial misplay because I didn't keep track of life correctly. I could've finished it with a Giga-Mantis equip boost, but I left him with 50 lp and he was able to take it.
Game 3 - I think I'm able to get off the Giga-Mantis OTK, now Nate knows why the deck runs Giga-Mantis lol. I honestly didn't know why either till I learned that Dragonfly gets to Special for each equip sent off it.
Record: 4-0

Top 8 vs Colin (Plants)
I wasn't too excited to play against Plants, as I'm just not interested in anything that has to do with the current format.
Game 1 - I set Reaper, Warning, Dustshoot, and turn 1 Dustshoot him and take away his Trooper (the other monster being Ryko), and everything he has does nothing to stop Inzektor pops. He sets Ryko, Call, and Starlight Road. I Inzektor pop his field, go in with Reaper, he tries to Call the Ryko to avoid the discard, so I Warning. In retrospect, I should've just let him do it and let replay occur to get the eventual discard anyway. Pretty much downhill for him from there and he's visibly not happy about playing against Inzektors. Salty.
Game 2 - He keeps bringing out Stardust, which annoys the hell out of me. I have to make Leviathans to ram into it, really wishing I had Acid Golems. In fact all day I was like "damn I want Acid Golem so bad." Woulda been so helpful. He wins this one due to Plant shenanigans and me having a dead DAD and Giga-Mantis in my hand almost the entire game. This game reminds me how happy I am to see Bulb banned lol.
Game 3 - Thunder King and Snowman Eater put work in, and I'm seriously +5 on him with help from Inzektors. He tries to mount a comeback but I'm too up on advantage. 
Record: 5-0

Top 4 is me (Inzektor), Zach (DW), Link (Janky Dino Rabbit), and Jeff (DW). Link and Jeff are already playing.

Top 4 vs Zach (NDMDW - I think that's what he called it)
Funny story, on the car ride over Zach goes thru Danny's bag and pulls out the Darkworld deck that's built for Danny's wife. No extra deck, no side deck, but he's top 4 lol. Awesome.
Game 1 - I have pretty good control until he Deck Devs me, which absolutely cripples me. I think I have a dead DAD or Giga-Mantis in my hand, nothin I can do. Skill Drain also put in work.
Game 2 - He goes through 2 Gates rather quickly and I end up MST'ing the last one after he activates it. Don't remember the rest, Giga-Mantis combo?
Game 3 - The game state is weird, where he ends has a Trance Archfiend on field with a Torrential set. I don't remember what my field is, but he summons another Trance, Torrentials and ends with 1 in hand. I have the ability to summon Reaper and attack, but I sit there for like 5 minutes, thinking what the hell his in-hand card could be. I figure if it was a Darkworld, he would've just pitched it with Trance to attack over whatever I had on the field. In the end I just summon TKing and poke for like 3 turns as he draws into more Goldds and stuff he can't use. I drop a DAD to finish it off.
Record: 6-0

Link beats Jeff, so Link and I agree to split because we still had to have our team meeting. Jeff and Zach end up splitting too. I save my $16 credit and Link buys some PHSW packs because apparently the Secret hasn't been pulled yet. He pulls Galaxy Queen and more jank. We all go to a table for our meeting and wait for Zach who's buying sleeves for Donut or something.

The meeting went very well, and we all got to talk about other members of the team, our standpoints and personal motivations, what we do for the team, expectations for each other, and all that kinda stuff. Danny and I agreed that an outline helped a lot so we weren't just making shit up to talk about as we went along. Danny and I make a good pair as he likes to talk but isn't good with the paperwork end of things, while I'm the exact opposite way. However when I do talk, I think I always tend to bring up very valid points which make a hell of a lot of sense. I'm probably too logical for my own good sometimes lol.

All in all it was a good day, even if I had that scuffle with Lightning's owner. Glad he was able to see it from my perspective, and conversely I was able to see it from his.

Decklist: 40
Monsters: 21
10 Bugs
1 Gorz
1 Tomato
1 Arma Knight
1 Sangan
2 Reaper
2 TKing
2 Maxx C

Spells: 12
3 Duality
1 Reborn
1 Hole
1 Heavy
1 Book
1 Allure
1 Foolish

Traps: 7
1 Dustshoot
1 Torr
3 Solemn
2 Fiendish

1 Chimera
2 Zenmaines
2 Leviathan
1 Leviair
1 Gigabrilliant
1 Utopia
1 Utopia Ray
1 Catastor
1 Brio
1 Black Rose
1 Stardust
1 Scrap

2 Cydra
2 Ryko
2 Snowman
2 Crow
1 Mind Control
1 Mirror Force
1 Compulse
2 Bottomless
2 Decree

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Prepping for FNM #1 + Magic Reflections, and the Importance of Goals

Well I think I'm finally content with my Magic maindeck, at least it's something I can play in a tournament with. I think my build should be running a few copies of Liliana of the Veil, but I'm not gonna drop $20 each on a card that saw 0 play in the top 8 decks at the latest Pro Tour. I'm pretty much pot-committed to this deck at the moment though until I can pick up Snapcasters and switch over to Finkel.dek. Same colors, which is nice, just don't feel like dropping another $80-100. I'll see how the FNM goes before buying any more cards. I'm also not sure which store I'll be playing at, either T&M or Gamer's Haven. Probably T&M to score some free pizza, and I think there are more scrubby puppies there.

I've always thought it was kinda strange in regards to my willingness of spending money (or not) on Magic singles vs Yugioh. What I mean is, for the longest time, Yugioh singles have been expensive, as we all know. Magic singles however have always been cheap, at least in respect to Yugioh (and we're only talking Standard here). When I was playing heavily, the most expensive cards were lands which at the time ranged anywhere from $15-20 (Ravnica shock-lands). This is why it's weird to me when I come across an instance of buying a $15+ Magic card that isn't a land, but I have no problem with dropping $50+ on a single Yugioh card. It's like "$130 on a Tour Guide? Sure, I'll take 3! $20 on a Snapcaster? Nah too expensive for me." On the outside it doesn't look like it makes sense right? lol. At the same time, there is always the lingering and inevitable set rotation, which always makes me hesitant in buying Magic cards at all. Even now, just getting back into it, I think about set rotation and which cards I need to get rid of and when to do it. However, as we all know Yugioh has its own set of built-in fears via reprints, the ban list, and meta shifts in general. Yugioh basically has a form of set rotation as well, whether we realize it or not. I'll talk more on that in a later post.

So this will mark the 3rd "actual" time for me coming back into Magic. My previous run was down in Texas where I ran Black-Red Vampires for a short stint (like a month). I wasn't going to drop big bucks on running blue (ie Jace) so I felt that Vampires was a decent budget-y option, even though I knew it was kinda janky on the competitive scale of things. I did OK with it, making top a couple times at the Den. I decided to drop Magic though because it was hard for me to explain to the wife why I was out so late on Fridays; their tourneys always started so freaking late and wouldn't get done til like midnight. Yea, it's Friday Night Magic, but it don't need to go all the way to the next day lol.

My initial expectations for my performance are rather low, simply to give me something to strive for again. During my first big run (leading up to winning regs), I set very small goals for myself. At the time, Magic's point system worked like this: everyone starts out at a base 1600 rating, then for every match they won they could gain up to 8 points, and conversely lose that many points. How many points you earned/lost were based on what your opponent's rating was. This is why players with really high ratings basically never played in FNMs, because a win resulted in like 0 (yes, 0) or 1 point, while a loss could take away 6-8. For reference, ~2000 was considered pro status. At first I didn't care or honestly know about rating, until my old Magic friends Brian, Danny (not team O), and Adam showed me. I think they were all in the 1650's or so, so my first goal was to simply have the highest rating among my friends. My rating dipped up and down a lot as I was learning the game, figuring out my playstyle, finding what colors and decks I liked and didn't like, but eventually I got the hang of things. I set my next goal to simply be at 1700 points in Constructed.

When Kamigawa block came around my friend Randy decided to pick up Magic as well, and I'd say at this time was when I was making bigger strides in achieving my goals. I think I was about tied with my friends, with all of us around the 1700-1725 mark. Some couldn't get over the 1730 "hump" because they'd like do good at one tourney and poorly the next. It's like getting a strike in bowling, then guttering the next two shots. We were ahead of a lot of the local people but not close to the better players like Butters, Jeff Elvigan, and Sung. More time passed, and I started playing Black-Green on a weekly basis. Turn 2 Hypnotic Specter (basically a Spirit Reaper w/ flying) was my "early win condition", with late game Kokushos and Kodama of the North Trees finishing it off later. As time went on Randy's favorite deck was Greater Good control and he was starting to catch up with the rest of us in rating, as that deck was pretty damn good. I had a period of time where I won like a month's worth of FNMs in some month which helped a lot in my rating. Eventually this helped me get to the first page of the Spokane listing of the top players (I think there were like 20 or 25 players per page) and I was catching up to the better players. I never thought I'd make it to the coveted "first page", but by making incremented and realistic small goals for myself, I could achieve them with just a bit of work. Had I just said "oh I want to make first page" at the very beginning, well that's a daunting task and I probably would've given up somewhere along the line. Once making it on the first page, my next goal was to be higher than my friend Sung, who got most of his points by top 4'ing States/Champs in 2004. I think he was ranked 4th or 5th, somewhere around there.

After Time Spiral block came in and Kamigawa rotated out, I picked up a deck that Frank Karsten (now in the Hall of Fame) wrote an article about, Red-White-Blue mid-range control. This was the eventual deck, that I called "Superman", that I went undefeated with at regionals, 2-0'ing each opponent except the last round of swiss. Leading up to regionals, I ran this deck for about 2-3 months and did extremely well on the FNM scene. I probably got 1st in about 80% of the tourneys, and getting 2nd or 3rd in the rest. I think my rating was 1850 or so at this point and was rated 3rd for all Spokane players and I finally surpassed Sung. At this point, the only thing I could hope to achieve was to be ranked 1st in Spokane, but I was behind by a good 80-90 points to (I think) Dan Hansen, who's a big-name player in the northwest. Being rated this high, it was also very hard to accrue points at FNMs. Some nights I could go X-1 and only gain like 1 point since that loss would take so many.

Regionals, being a 32K event (so instead of 8 points like in FNMs, you could gain/lose a max of 32 points), was going to be the deal-maker or breaker for me in terms of points. We (Randy, BK, and I) drove to Portland, slept in my car in the parking lot of the event, and got like a whole 3 hours of sleep. I envisioned myself losing a lot of points, but I was gonna do the best I could with a few Monster energy drinks to help me. I won't delve into my regional matches, as I really don't remember them anymore, but winning regionals put me at about a 1960 Constructed rating, and I finally was ranked 1st in Spokane, and 4th in the entire state.

After this, I basically achieved everything I had ever wanted in Magic. I had no aspirations of trying to play in the pro circuit or anything like that, and I didn't even go to Nationals (they didn't actually mail me my invite anyway). Honestly I went above and beyond my wildest expectations, so I pretty much quit the game. My points were so high that I was in that "gain 0 or 1 point" state so it wasn't worth it to play in FNMs. I know rating isn't really something to be so worried about, but for some reason my friends and I all obsessed over it lol. I guess since we were all competitive in nature, we wanted to compare ourselves to see who was the best. Ravnica and Time Spiral were also going to rotate out, basically killing off my entire deck. I competed in another regional in Seattle in a completely different block (Lorwyn) but didn't do so hot early on, dropped, was completely done with the game, and full-time Yugz once again.

So for my first FNM back, my goal is simply to break even in terms of my win/loss ratio. If there are 4 rounds, I'd be satisfied with a 2-2 record, even if it means losing the first two and winning the last. If I can finish above 50%, well that's great. My residual skills should be good enough to at least get me this, but then again I have no idea what the playerbase is like. If it's a lot of kids with unsleeved decks I should do fine. If it's all Pro Tour top 8 netdecks ran by people who know what they're doing, probably not so much. Either way I'm excited to play in FNMs again, and with them getting rid of the old rating systems, I don't even need to think about it lol. Hell I have to sign up for a new #/card anyway since I don't have my old one anymore.

To relate this back to Yugioh, I want to stress to all the "not-as-skilled" players why it's important to set small realistic goals for yourself to help you improve. A lot of players around here don't play Advanced because of how good a lot of players are, especially Team O. [If this is not the case, then why are y'all not playing in Advanced tourneys, but are in Brandon's?] Set a small goal for yourself, like say, "OK my goal for now is to beat 1 Team O member." "My goal is to just make top 8 in the tournament." As you get better and achieve these goals, go for more and try to win the whole thing, taking out all of us in the process. Another important factor in this is to playtest with people that are better than you. I'd get my ass stomped in Magic week in and week out against the better players at FNMs, but this was a lot more helpful in making me a better player than just playing against people on my same level. Sure you can improve by doing this, but not as fast as playing someone that's much better than you.

I know it may seem difficult because you may not have the money to play "the best deck", or even want to spend the money if you had it, but my "Superman" deck wasn't considered the best or most expensive deck when I played it at the regional either. In fact Butters told me I should run the best deck, Dragonstorm, cuz I was gonna get blown up otherwise. I thought about it, but I had virtually no experience with that deck, and I was so comfortable with my deck after playing it and winning with it for months. I 2-0'd three Dragonstorms that day and the 2-1 was to a Dragonstorm. Play something that you're comfortable with, know its capabilities, side-decking strategy(!!), buy the good stuff that you can afford, playtest a bunch against relevant decks and good players. That's about all you can do.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Traditional?! + Upcoming Format

Yesterday I went to go hang out at T&M's with Danny, I was hoping Shiggs would be there since I wanted to play him at Magic but he never showed. I guess he's going to let Danny hold on to his deck so that we can play since I think Danny wants to get into it too. Brandon looks through my binder and pulls out a bunch of stuff that he wants, primarily for his "Mayhem" format. I guess he's going to keep Trish at 1 and Tengu at 3 but keep Bulb and Spore banned. I don't see much of anything I want from him, so we decide that he'll start a tab with me and pay me over time. I'm pretty patient when it comes to payments. Danny and I also work out a partial trade for the 2 Rescue Rabbits he wants from me. I've had a case of the hiccups for literally the past 3 and a half hours at this point so I decide to get something to drink from the store. Didn't help any but they finally went away later that evening. We grab our stuff and move to one of the back rooms, which we have dubbed to be "The O Lounge" lol, it's kinda awesome really. Brandon grabs his duffel bag full of binders and everything else and goes back with us. Danny and I playtest a little, his DW vs my (still) proxied Inzektors. Skill Drain is a bitch and I think it can make quite an impact on the coming format.

Trevor and Corey come a little later and Danny goes out in the middle of our game to trade with some random I think. I go out and ask about Trevor judging the box tournament since he has experience from hosting/judging for Northtown's. We bring him to the O Lounge and talk with him, unfortunately we come to the general consensus that realistically no one from any particular team can judge the event due to a potential conflict of interest. If he judged and someone felt that they got a bad ruling, they could potentially be like "oh you're just trying to help your team" and it goes the same way if I judged it or anyone from Team O did. Danny is working on bringing this guy from Yakima, Joe Lancaster, to judge it for us; apparently he judges a lot of the big events around here and is also going to judge at YCS Long Beach. He should be perfect! lol.

Anyways there is actually a pretty good turnout for Brandon's tourney, at 16 people. It's crazy to think he gets as many people for his "pseudo-Traditional" format as the other tourneys do for Advanced. Since he doesn't have his list online anywhere, I actually went in to T&M one day and sat there for about 10 minutes writing down his entire list. Basically it's not as "nilly willy" as regular Traditional, but isn't as restrictive as Advanced. The majority of the players there are those that don't quite measure up in the skill department, at least enough that is necessary to do well in the Advanced tourneys around here. I don't think these people actually "play Traditional" though, they just run their Advanced deck but include some of the broke cards that have been banned or limited forever. I don't know much about Traditional but I'm sure that ain't the way to do it lol. I actually did a little research into what's considered good in that format, and I found a deck I liked so I ordered the stuff for it from Troll. Oh, what have I gotten myself into, lol.

As for the coming format, it's basically this format minus Plants and Agents. Locally, I imagine it to be the assortment of random stuff that we've always had. I'm pretty sure the more competitive players will be playing the big 3 of Wind-Up, Dino Rabbit, and Inzektor. I imagine Inzektor to be the most popular option simply because it doesn't necessarily run Tour Guide by default. Once the SE hits, there'll be more Hornets in the market and will thus be cheaper, causing more players to play it. I also think any deck that can run 3 Skill Drain in the main will be a good option as well. Whether that be in some new altered form of TG, Dark World, or something else, who knows. A lot of people online are dismissing the E-Tele engine as making an impact, which is what I was slightly afraid of when I first saw the list and saw people hyping it up. Maxx C is a card after all, which is primarily why stuff like Instant Fusion wasn't ran. Maxx C is still a very scarce card in my area though, and with its increased price, it's not gonna become any more available. Tele engine may be good in my area, but probably not if everyone had 3 Maxx C. God, that's gonna be the perfect card for them to put in Gold Series, right? Basically they've made the game to the point where it's a mandatory 3-of, expensive on the secondary market, announce it as one of the first reveals causing everyone and their mother to pre-order boxes of it, and then short-print it? Profits!! I'm selling mine around June or so just because it's pretty much guaranteed that something like that's gonna happen. Since they've used up the Tour Guide and Fiendish Chain options for Battle Pack, they're gonna need something really good to help Gold Series. Or they'll just make it shitty like they did with Gold 4 and just make really good tins again.

Monday, February 20, 2012

And We're On!

Well I finally got a chance to catch up with Bob at Gamer's Haven today, and he said everything looks good for the box tournament. I'm really expecting every competitive player in the area who's not obligated by work or some other obligation to show up - not simply for the box tournament itself, nor even as a sign of respect towards me or anything like that, but for the "big picture" goal of finally having a regionals here. I was thinking about it, and a regionals is something we've all wanted to have here for like the past 6 years, but it's never happened for multiple different reasons.

Realistically, Spokane is a much more centrally-located place, even though it may not have the sheer population as compared to Seattle or Portland. Think about the players further out in Idaho and even Montana that could realistically make the drive to Spokane, but can't go further out all the way to the west side. We've already got players in Seattle that said they would be willing to come out here for our regional, whenever we get one. And why wouldn't they, when it simply means another opportunity at an invite? We have a lot of great players in our area, but not everyone can make the trip out to Seattle and Portland and thus they never get the chance to prove themselves on that "higher level". By having a regional here, I'm trying to provide that opportunity for them. This is why it's crucial that at least the locals show up to this box tournament, even if they don't want to play or can't stay long. Come for trades, buys, sells, chill, whatever, but the bottom line is support.

I'm just gonna put this out there and say this (and not directed at anyone in particular) - if I hear/find out that particular people don't come simply because of laziness or lack of overall effort, there's no way in hell I'm going to "hook you up" by buying cards for you online, selling cards for you, or just favors in general. It may sound kinda harsh, but if you can't even come out to help the betterment of Spokane-area Yugioh, I'm not interested in helping you in whatever it may be.

To those that happen to run other tourneys in the area: I'm not trying to "take away" your players. The Haven might be interested, as a business, of course; but I'm not the Haven. I'm simply asking for one weekend day where I can get 100% support from Spokane-area Yugioh to help us get a reg. That's not to say that I wouldn't recommend playing at the Haven though - Bob tends to throw a box worth of prize support for every 10 additional people that show up, at least that's what he's been doing for Magic. You ain't gonna get that at any other local in the entire area. I know I for one am tired of grueling it out for 4+ hours for 3 or 4 packs worth of store credit. I know there are a lot of TO's that would like to have a regional on our side but their stores can't hold the potential amount of players, so at the very least, please don't restrict me from promoting this internally. I know people have their "loyalty" to their store and whatnot, and I get that, but for this, please pick the selfless path of the "greater good". A regionals isn't gonna happen the very next day or anything, but all this will do is help "plant the seeds" of having one in the foreseeable future.

Anyways, here is the official poster/flier for the event. These will start to be distributed to players among the locals. If turnout is good I'd imagine that the prize pool would be increased, but this isn't my call.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Locals Recap 2-18-2012

For not actually playing in a tourney, I had a lot of fun today. Basically Danny and my plan for the day was to simply drive to the various locals and try to plus off the ban list as much as we could. Zach had wanted to play in an actual tourney but it simply wasn't going to work out today since I had to drive all the way to the northside to pick up cards I ordered for Ryan and meet him at downtown Uncle's by 1. So I get delayed due to having to drop off keys for my wife (Ace hardware messed up the copies I had made) and I get to Danny's around 11:15. He's organizing cards and we talk about the ban list a little, the potentials of 2 E-Tele in the format, and how Konami has clearly used the ban list for marketing this time around. We also kill time as Zach gets ready to be picked up. I think we leave around 11:30, get Zach, then drive to the post office. I grab some packages from my PO box and we go to Jack in the Box to pick up some brunch.

We get to Uncle's right at 1 and the parking situation is ridiculous but we finally find a place to park. I don't have any change on me and Danny had like a quarter so the plan was to go in, exchange a dollar for some change and feed the meter. Ryan meets us outside, we go in and I give Ryan the Laggia and Dolkka. I completely forget about the meter thing until Danny reminds me, he has a little more change and then Ryan gives me 50 cents and this random kid gives me like 20 cents, lol awesome. I don't make much effort to do trades and I want to eat my food, and Shiggs remembered to bring his Magic uncommons and I pick out a few things I wanted and I end up trading a Gold Sarc for them.

As I'm sitting there beside Danny, he looks at "Blood Mefist guy"'s binder and notice he has 3 Maxx C chilling in his binder. [I call him Blood Mefist guy because I don't remember his name and he ordered a Blood Mefist for $500 just for the hell of it.] At first he values them at $60 each, I whisper to Danny that it's a good deal and I'd do it if I had the money, but Danny is able to get him to sell all 3 for $150 since he's a "family man" lol. Danny only had like $130 on him so I lend him $20 to help seal the deal. Awesome plusses in that one since I really feel it'll be at minimum a $90 card by the time next format gets going. After like 10 minutes or so it kinda dies down and I get antsy to leave because I really feel like I'm "on the short bus" with the people all around me if you know what I mean lol. I'm also almost out of parking meter time so we gotta go. Zach's finishing up some purchase or something so I tell them I'll wait in the car. The person parked behind me is literally like 3 inches behind me and the person right in front of me is very close too. I'm like well how the hell am I gonna get out. I notice the people behind me are in their car so I have Danny and Zach ask them if they could reverse a little. Turns out they're pretty much stuck as well due to the people behind them, so Danny goes to them, gets them to reverse, person behind me to reverse, so I have enough space to get out. I hate when that shit happens.

Our next stop was Gamer's Haven since Bob needed to talk to me about something. Guess he's not an e-mail guy lol. They've been incredibly busy though since their opening, I drove by one night to go to Subway and they were jam-packed with people. I'm hoping they don't get burnt out with just the 2 of them working there! I can tell the gaming community really wants to keep this place around for a long time so they are in there buying product, playing games, and whatnot. We get there and Bob is out to lunch with his family, so we chill for a little bit since he's supposed to be back any minute, use the bathroom, look at Magic singles, but we couldn't afford the time to wait there any longer so we decide to make our final stop to Lightning.

On the ride over, Danny calls Epler and asks him if he's at the tourney and he says yes. They talk a little and then Danny asks him if he had my sunglasses since Zach had left the ones I lent him for regionals in his car. For some reason they were at Danny's so I got them when I went there at first. Danny was like "Mike's a really good guy but you really don't want to upset him. I've never told anyone this, but he hit me one time because I upset him but I never told anyone because he's such a good guy." We're all busting up laughing as Danny continues the story and apparently Epler's all freaked out lol.

So we get to Lightning and I walk in with the sunglasses on my head and I spill the beans that I had them the whole time. I go over to Kim and chat a little, we play a few games with my proxied Inzektors vs his proxied Sams and I think I win them all. Zach somehow picks up an Ulti E-Tele from the store's display of singles for like $3.99 I was like wow, awesome pick-up. Surprised that Big Mike had let that one slip. I might've done one trade or so, but wasn't too motivated as I really don't have much in trades anymore.

This random kid sees that I have a page of Magic cards in my binder (1 page worth on the last page) and asks me if I'm playing in the Magic tourney tonight, I'm just like no I didn't come out here for Magic. I tell him that I'm just starting Magic back up again and he all talks to me as if I had never played it in my life. I ask him if he had a deck and he's like yea so I ask him if he wanted to play. I figured this would at least give me some much needed practice as it'd be the first game in like a year and a half. I needed 9 basic land to finish my deck so I grab some that were lying around randomly on the table. The kid switches out his black/red deck to red/green and asks me if I could help him unsleeve. I'm just like lol alright? First time I've been asked that by someone I had never met before. After he spends an eternity to figure out his mana base and sleeve up we get started.

He "lets me" decide if I want to go first, so I take the liberty of doing so lol. Basically the games went exactly how I figured they'd go, he'd aggro out and get me down to like 12 life or so until I wiped his board and stabilized with Batterskull and/or Sun Titan. After I beat him game 1 he's like "OK we need to do 2 out of 3 cuz I drew a bad hand." Sure why not lol. Pretty much the same thing happens in game 2 as game 1. He wants to play a third game, which I agree to since it's giving me pretty decent practice with the deck. I think by this point he's realized that I'm not some random scrub lol. Well maybe I am at the moment but just not as scrubby as him, haha. We both draw crappy so we agree to a friendly mulligan. I think he takes me down to 8 this game before I stabilize, gain like 20 life from a Batterskull'd Sun Titan attacking twice, and he scoops as he's down to topdecking mode. Sometime in between our game Kim comes up to me and is like "oh you're gonna play Magic?" I explain to him that the turnout for almost every tourney for Magic is ridiculous, to the point where the prize for 1st is like always a whole box, and T&M's gives out free pizza and drinks every FNM. Nothin' like that in Yugz at the moment. Get a measly 3 or 4 packs worth for winning a Yugz tourney :/ That's just too good of an opportunity to plus, and get free food on top of it? Too good. Even though I beat this kid, the deck felt very clunky and I probably wouldn't have stabilized quick enough against a faster aggro deck. I dunno, I think I need to play a few more matches to see if the main is how I want it. Theoretically I'll stick with this Flare deck until I pick up the cards to play Wolf-Run Ramp or Finkel.dek. Sun Titan is a very underwhelming card in my opinion, at least with the build I'm running.

Anyways I pack up and watch Donut and Colin in their semi-final game since we all want to go to Top of China together. Donut pushes Colin's poop in game 3 and Tyler and Donut split for top 2. We leave real quick and do our usual Top of China shenanigans. Of course we get the guy who I can never understand wtf he's trying to say. At the end of our meal I ask him if he knew who Steve Schroash was and he just mumbles something I can't understand at all lol. We pay and say our goodbyes, drop Zach and Danny off , and that's a wrap.

I can't really speak for myself on this since I didn't bother too much trading/buying/selling today, but I know for Danny that he plus'd a lot more just going to the different locals and trading. Why bother being stuck at one place and playing for $10-15 in credit, when you can travel and make more off trade/buy/sell? We won't do this like every weekend as it's quite a bit of gas and downtown Uncle's really isn't worth going to, but maybe on like Sneak peek days and whatnot, who knows. I think everyone was aware of the ban list even though some people were still skeptical. Wow, lol, if you don't think it's real can you buy my Trish that I pulled the other night from the Duality tins I picked up?

Oh yea, Donut is back on the team for like the 3rd time now lol. Welcome back buddy, please just stay on this time around!

OCG Ban List Confirmed

As now Shriek has re-confirmed the list. Every time I looked at the above picture (the unedited one), that's what I imagined that guy with his belly showing out to be saying to everyone. It's like "yea, we're Konami, we're gonna hit the old shit and make you buy new. Synchros, gtfo. Buy ORCS SE so you can build Wind-Ups, Inzektors, and have Veilers to deal with it."

I think this has been the biggest fiasco we've ever had when it comes to banlist stuff. The past 2 days DGz's Banlist discussion threads have had over 200 users in them, and every thread you went to on Pojo, seems like a new page worth of discussion was created every 5 minutes. I figured, like a few others, that as more time passed, the more realistic this list was looking. My logic was, what reason does anyone in Japan have in providing additional scans of something that has already been scanned and been circulated around? I know I sure as hell wouldn't bother. We're still hoping for a pic with the actual promo alongside it, but like I said previously, come on.

I know a lot of players are pretty disappointed in this list, as am I. Some are simply like

But, what can we do besides quit, take a break, or simply endeavor? I know I'll be playing and just trying to make the most of it. The majority of the players that are like "*RAGE* I'm quitting to play Vanguard!" will be back in a matter of time. Nationals format is gonna be insane though! Oh boy, lol.

Oh, I guess there's "still hope" in that we get our own list, uh yea, fat chance bro. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mah Birfday! + Ban List !?

Yup, I got a new ban list for my birthday - too bad it kinda sucks, can I exchange it at Walmart and get my money back?? lol.

Here are the pics floating around on the internetz:

Glow-Up Bulb

TG Striker
Agent Earth

Smoke Signal
Level Limit B
Ultimate Offering
Tengu (!!)

Call of the Haunted

People are still keeping their fingers crossed that this isn't the list, but come on, we get doubters every year that wait til the 1st, and it's the same exact list. I think the scans of this are too convoluted and intricate for it to be fake.

If this turns out to be fake I'll take this post down, but it's the most-legit one that has come out, and it's the 16th.
Reasoning for why I think it came out today instead of tomorrow: if it came out tomorrow, that would be Friday for us but Saturday for Japan. I don't quite remember 100% from the 8 years I've lived there, but I don't think they get mail on Saturdays. I could be wrong though. If they didn't get mail on Saturdays, they'd have to get it on Monday the 20th, only a day before the newsstand release of the magazine. Surely subscribers would get their shit more than a day early.

Update: Shriek OCG has listed these changes onto their site as well. At this point that should be enough evidence for y'all. If not, jus' bein' stubborn lol.  
The plot thickens! Shriek has just taken down ban list info, currently they can neither confirm nor deny what's been going around. I still stick to my stance that the job looks too good to be fake, and subscribers pretty much have to have their magazine today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Coming into Fruition, Giving Back, and Crazy Times

Yesterday I had a chance to go to the new Gamer's Haven shop, and I must say, it is incredible in terms of sheer space. The upstairs playing area itself can fit 50-60 without having to move any tables. If the tables were closer and another row of tables were brought in, that'd be like another 20 people. There's also a huge downstairs playing area as well, which I have no idea how many would fit in there, but it's bigger than the upstairs. The tables would have to be reconfigured since they're tables set up for Warhammer or one of those games. This is the first store in the Spokane area that I can confidently say could hold a regional.

After buying some Valentine's day gifts for my wife, I went to the shop and waited a bit for Danny and Shiggs to show up. I worked on my deck a little (which is kinda pointless) and met the owner real quick. Once Danny came I showed him the flier that I made up as a template for the box tourney that I'd like the store to hold. He liked it a lot so he called the owner, Bob, to come up and take a look. He liked it as well and appreciated my efforts in creating hype to hold a large-r event like this. I texted the guys last night to see if Saturday or Sunday would work better, and the majority said Sunday. Once it's finalized I'll post a picture of it and we'll also be handing them out to players at the various tourneys in the area. After seeing the poster I made up, Bob ordered 7 boxes of ORCS SE on-the-spot. I'm glad to see he is as excited about it as I am!

So why is it that I'm going through all the trouble to start up a box tourney? Well, as cool as a box tourney is, the "bigger picture" in my opinion is having a regional on this side of the state, consistently. Spokane is the 2nd biggest city in the state, and I've always found it baffling as to why we could never have a regional. Also, after 8+ years in this game, I took a moment to look back on my contributions. I asked myself, "If I were to all of a sudden quit today, could I say I was happy with the contributions that I've made for the betterment of the game?" Although I've helped the entire Corpus Christi meta become more competitive and pump in a more competitive card pool for them, made thousands of dollars for my teammates in helping them sell cards, taking Mikey and Elton directly under my wing and helping them become better players, I'd still say "no, I don't think I gave back enough." There comes a time where you have to do the selfless thing and give back to the Community, at least in some way, no matter how big or small that may be. Look at the ARG writers, and all the Youtube videos that have been made by so many users. Those people don't have to spend their time to put out content to help us become more competitive or to simply put out information, but they do, to give back. Whether it be helping a friend, writing articles or blogs, making Youtube videos to try and help people get better, etc, it's important so the game can not only simply continue, but thrive. If I was able to help in the process of successfully getting a regional over here and were to quit the following day, well, I would have no regrets in terms of my contribution to the Spokane area. There's a lot that has to be thought about in terms of logistics, but I have no doubt that it would be a good event, whenever we are able to do it.

I swear it seems like every ban list season gets worse and worse; there was a lot of commotion last night on the forums after someone (been hearing Jeff Jones' name tossed around) posted on their facebook with banlist info/scans. Now today there are even more alleged scans/info from various Japanese sites, who the hell knows if they're real or not lol. Currently Shriek still doesn't have it up, so realistically all these lists are still rumors/speculation/fakes. I think Shriek learned their lesson the last time they posted a fake list, I think it was a few years ago, and subsequently took it down. There was a good amount of backlash/hate and I think people still haven't forgotten about that incident completely, which is why there tends to still be negative assumptions when it comes to info that gets posted there. I hate falling for fake lists, so I'm strictly sticking with Shriek for the next few days. It doesn't matter too much though since I've gotten rid of all my high-risk/expensive cards. I'm primarily keeping up with list stuff so I can go on a shopping spree :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Store for Spokane Area

Sorry this isn't too relevant for all the non-local readers out there, but I just wanted to get out the word for the local folk that Gamer's Haven opened up their Valley store at 2114 N Pines St. It's basically down the street from Danny's lol. We tried to run tourneys out at their Idaho store a while back but couldn't get anything going since Lightning just had a larger following for Saturday tourneys. I haven't been to the store yet but looking at their Facebook page, the place looks huge. Looks like they are getting a good range of product, hopefully it's not too heavily focused on Magic. I'd like to see a store that has a good display of Yugioh singles. Danny stopped by yesterday and said they could probably hold a regional there, which would be a very good thing for us on the east side of the state. It's about time we had a regional that wasn't in Seattle/Portland. It's right behind the 7-11, so it's fairly easy to pick up food/drinks as well (not sure if the store has their own vending machine etc).

The word at the moment is that they'd like to hold tourneys on Thursdays, but not sure how that would mesh with everyone's schedules. Theoretically it'd be nice to have it on a day where the Idaho players would be willing to come out, so that basically rules out Saturdays, but if at least the majority of the Spokane players went, that'd be nice. They're doing a Magic box tourney for their grand opening, there's no reason why we couldn't generate enough people to have a Yugioh one sometime in the near future as well. I think the best way to do it is plan to have one for the release of ORCS SE since that gives a few weeks notice and to generate buzz. An SE box is essentially the same price as a regular booster box but contains more packs (plus promos), and it'd be a great way to kick off the new format.

I think we're kinda getting saturated again in terms of places to play. The closing of BGN basically brought rise to T&M's and this new Gamer's Haven. I'll provide a breakdown of what's available in the area, since I've gotten texts from people asking about it. Please correct me if I don't have times right:
Northtown Comic Book Shop 1PM [Haven't been to this myself, not sure on attendance]
Lightning Comics 1PM [As far as I know no one actually shows up to this one]

Northtown Comic Book Shop 5PM [~16 players regularly]
Uncle's Games (Valley) 5PM [Declining attendance - may be cancelling to switch to Thursday]

T&M's (Brandon's Mayhem format) 5PM [Haven't played in this, but there are enough people]
Uncle's Games (Valley) 5PM [Not sure if they still run them anymore, my guess is no]

T&M's 5PM [Still trying to generate enough players/interest]

None at the moment, but Uncle's and Gamer's Haven are interested in starting

None at the moment, and it ain't gonna happen since every store has an FNM

Lightning Comics 1PM [Anywhere from ~10 to ~16]
Uncle's Games (Downtown) 11AM(?) [~8 players?]

I personally think weekends are the best days to run tourneys, unfortunately it's fairly competitive in relation to how many people around here play at all. If there were you know, like 60+ people, it probably wouldn't be too bad, but realistically it's like around 40, so you can't have 3 stores running tourneys all on the same day and expect to get a good turnout. Andrew texted me last night saying Uncle's is planning on switching to Thursdays, I told him Thursday is actually one of my better days, but Gamer's Haven is gunning for that day as well, and I'd prefer going to Haven as I think most other players should as well, if only to instill confidence in the owner to run a regional. There's no way they can do a regional at Uncle's, so we should be putting our best efforts and interest to Gamer's Haven, as that's pretty much the only store in the area that would most likely be physically able to hold enough people. If the Haven can't even get the local people to show up, what notion will the owner have in thinking outsiders will?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Post-Regional Interview w/ Epler

This is a little late since the regional was like 2 weeks ago, but I blame homework!
Out of our guys that went, Epler did the best, so I thought I'd get an interview/tourney recap with him.

1. What deck did you play for the event and why did you decide to run it?

I ran T.G Wind-Ups!

2. Do you mind providing your decklist?
Main deck
Monster *20
2 T.G Striker
3 T.G Warwolf
3 Marauding Captain
3 Wind-up Hunter
3 Wind-up Shark
3 Wind-up Rat
2 Wind-up Magician
1 Wind-up Kitten

Spells *12
3 Wind-up Factory
2 Smashing Ground
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Monster reborn
1 Mind Control
1 Dark hole
1 Heavy Storm

Traps *8
3 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Judgement
1 Trap Dustshoot
1 Mirror Force

1 Gachi Gachi
3 Wind-up Carrier Zenmaity
1 Leviathan
2 Utopia
1 Utopia Ray
1 Wind-up Arsenal Zenmaioh
1 Catastor
1 T.G Wonder Magician
1 Brionac
1 Stardust
1 Trishula
1 Chimeratech Fortress

2 Cyber dragon
2 d.d Crow
2 Zombie World
1 Dust Tornado
2 Shadow imprisoning mirror
2 Bottomless
1 Starlight road
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Chain Disappearance
1 Fiendish chain

3. Besides variations of the loop, could you go over some other cool combos you've found?
Well I really didn't do many combos besides the loop, but 2 things that really helped a lot were how easy it is to trish with the sharks and t.g mix in the deck and Wind-up kitten being able to get pulled out of the deck whenever I need it was the bomb.

4. If you were able to re-do the event and you could change any aspect of your deck, what changes would you make?
Well if I could re do it I would most definitely take out the mirror force that was a dead draw and put in fiendish chain that I sided. I think that would have helped a lot in some of the game ones I played.

5. What would you say are your deck's best and worst match-ups?
The best match match-ups would have to be Agents, Chaos, and Dragons.
The worst match-ups were Dark World, E-hero, and Dino Rabbit

The reason this deck is so good against agents is because it hits the hand and destroys there outs like krystia, Envoy, or Hyperion. Same thing with Chaos I was always hitting Envoy or Sorcerer before they could use them. Dragons are easy to beat because of hitting the things they rely on in the hand too.

The reason the deck is so bad against decks like Dark World is because of Deck Devy and how dumping Grapha to the graveyard can benefit them more than hurt the deck. The reason its bad against E-hero I feel is because of cards like Miracle fusion and all the anti meta they can mix in there hurts too. Dino Rabbit it struggles against if they go first. Other than that if you can go first you will be ok.

6. What decks did you play against at the regional?

1st round, 1-0
My first match up at regional was against agents. This match up I was not very scared about, because I knew that my deck gets rid of the hand which is a big hit on agents and there outs. I took this match pretty easy and won both games.

2nd round, 2-0
Going into my second round I was playing a chaos deck. This game I also won both rounds on. This one came pretty close, but thanks to the T.G. mix in my wind-ups Trishula was able to come out and end things.

3rd round, 3-0
The 3rd round was against a guy who had already beat one of my teammates earlier. He ran disaster dragon. I took game one by just getting rid of the hand quick before he could get anything out. I lost game 2 because he went first and opened up with future fusion which I had nothing I could do about. Game 3 I was able to go first. He opened with future fusion again, but I played solemn warning and beat him.

4th round, 4-0
Honestly my 4th round was a case of murder. I was not able to even tell what this guy was running. Both games he set one monster and a back row and I discarded his hand which were cards like tour guide and sangan so those could have been in any deck. Well I did that and bounced his set card with Kitten and had control from there.

5th round, 5-0
This one was crazy. I got selected for a deck check and my opponent forgot to write Trishula down so he had a game one loss. The next game he won with getting tengu out and spamming the field fast with synchros and setting a warning down which prevented me from shooting off next turn. Then going into game 3 I started with Marauding captain, hunter, 2 sharks, and compulsory, monster reborn. I looped him and had a big field ready. The next turn he just set and ended. I used compulsory on his down card and he scooped.

6th round, 5-1
This match up was against E-heroes. I was quick at discarding the hand first game and I stomped him. Going into game two he had rivalry of warriors and took control. I could not draw one MST or the dust tornado I sided in or heavy. I lost that one from not being able to get passed his control. 3rd round I shot off quick again and discarded his hand and set 2 back row. Warning and Compulsory. He has 3 cards in hand. He plays heavy and gets rid of my back row. Then he plays Miracle fusion. I was screwed once this happened. He also followed up with thunder king. He attacks over my Zenmaity and takes out Leviathan with shining. I wish I had a Zenmaines in this case. That’s how I lost my first game.

7th round, 6-1
My luck in this tournament was crazy. Again I was chose for a random deck check. This time my opponent forgot to unside so that gave him a game one loss. Next he chooses to go first. Plays a tour guide and gets sangan, then passes turn. I opened up good and looped him and took this game easy as well. He was playing Rabbit Glads, but I didn’t really get a chance to see much of it.

8th round 6-2
This game I had to play Dark world. I was pretty nervous about this match up, because they can be a big threat. I take him out quick game one though getting rid of his hand and winning. Then game 2 I side in shadow imprisoning and d.d crows. I open up good, but he goes first. Plays dragged down and gets rid of shadow imprisoning then. Just goes crazy with drawing and playing his set up. Before I know it it is my turn and he tributes grapha on my stand by phase for deck devy. I drop 4 of the 5 cards in my hand and only have a wind up factory left. Last game I was not happy with my opening 2 rat, one hunter, 1 magician, Fiendish chain, and 1 dark hole. I set fiendish chain and set magician. He plays dark world dealings and discards grapha. Then targets my set monster and destroys it. After that he plays a dark world returns it to his hand and specials grapha. Then he sets two and passes turn. I go to take my turn and of course he plays deck devy again and there goes my hand, Left with a dark hole and then the d.d crow I topped was useless. Moved on to scoop phase.

9th round 7-2
The last round was another one that didn’t last long so I really didn’t get a good chance to see what I was playing. I looped him two games in a row and he had no way of coming back.

7. I read a tournament report by the Darkworld player that beat you near the last round. He talked about a Mind Crush-Pot of Avarice incident. Could you elaborate on what happened?
Yeah well not much to elaborate on that I made a scrub mistake and when I was shuffling the two cards I had in hand I put the wrong one down. It was Pot of avarice and once he saw that and that I had 5 cards in the grave he mind crushed pot of avarice and sent me straight to scoop phase.

8. Will you be attending Nationals/WCQ? (It's at the end of June in Ohio.)

I plan on it. I want another teammate to get the invite first though before I know for sure. I know that they will so there's a good chance I will be there.

9. If there was anything about the regionals that you could re-do, what would it be?

Well it would be not to drop the pot of avarice for sure and I have been running Inzektors in my wind-ups lately and it is running really good. I just went undefeated at my last local with it so if I could go back I probably would have thrown them in there instead of the t.g mix.

10. If someone wanted to netdeck your deck and play it, what advice would you give them to improve their chances on doing well with it?
Well the best advice I could give is watch out for Maxx C and its not worth it to shoot off when they play that. The T.G engine is a great stall engine for a next turn set up so take advantage of that as much as you can.

11. Any cool/funny/weird stories that went down you'd like to share?
The only funny story I can share is how lucky I was at this Regional in some cases lol I had two deck checks happen to me throughout the tourney and each time that I had it happen my opponent didn't do something right. First one didn't write down Trish and the second one forgot to unside. You can't afford mistakes like that at a regional.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Clean Slate

On Friday Danny texted me and told me Ryan was at his place to buy cards and told me I should come over. Ryan and Adrian are two fellow old-school players who took an extended break between the start of the format and now. Looks like they'd like to play more regularly again and were wanting to buy stuff. Before I got this text, I was packaging up some stuff that I'm selling to Troll (I seriously sell to them like every week lol), and thought about some cards that I had that I originally wasn't planning on selling. I thought about how I couldn't play until the ban list was revealed, so I thought "I should just sell my Hornets". The nice thing is that Troll is paying $30 each for them, and I picked them up on eBay/trades for less.

My rationale for doing so was:
- If Hornet goes to 2, they'll probably go down to $15 each.
- On top of this, ORCS SE will put more Hornets into the market, further reducing its price. Maybe to $10.
- Even if Hornet stayed at 3, ORCS SE itself will reduce its value, probably to like $12-15. Basically the "Kizan" effect.

I also realized I had amassed 12 Pot of Dualities. I had unknowingly hoarded Dualities and figured those had to go as well, as I'm a firm believer that hoarding going into a new list only leads to profit loss. If for some random reason they went to 2 or 1, I'd take a huge hit. If they stay at 3, well the tins are still relatively easy to find or I'd simply re-buy a set. They haven't gone up in value like many expected them to, and I've been sitting on them for quite a while. Between the 3 Hornets and 12 Duality, that's an extra $200 I'd have available for post-list reveal shopping.

So I packaged all the stuff up, went to the post office (which again took an unbelievably long time) and got things shipped. Went to Danny's and Adrian and Ryan were there. We chat a bit and I do a trade with Ryan, getting rid of my extra set of Tengus, Doomcals, and some other random things. I was glad since it was all stuff that Troll wouldn't buy. Ryan wants to buy another box of ORCS because he's trying to build Ninjas and not many people around here have the stuff for trade, so we go to T&M's. The only ORCS box they had had 15 packs left, but the owner offers him a discount so he buys them all and a pack of sleeves. He pulls the Secret Synchro Daredevil guy, a Hanzo, a Hornet, and the rest was whatever. 8 holos, so pretty much got a whole box worth. He decides on the spot that he wants to build/incorporate Inzektors into something, and he actually makes a pretty neat TG/Inzektor deck with 2 Hornet proxies. I show him what I was running, and he wants to buy my 2 Maxx C's. I was like "uhhhh", a little hesitant, thought about it for a while, and figured "OK, I'm not gonna take any risks whatsoever with this list, so why not" so I sell the 2 for $120. I figured if Royal Oppression came back, their value may go down, and naturally if they went to 2 or 1, for again, some reason.

At this point I literally don't have a deck built nor do I think I can build anything. I can't even build something as budget-y as stun since I don't have Dualities, lol. It's all good though since that basically puts me in a "clean slate" state and I'll simply do a lot of shopping/predicting when the list gets revealed. Admittedly I am already getting antsy for it, frequently checking Shriek and various banned/restricted threads. I'll be going pretty hard on purchases depending on what the list looks like, and I may be pre-ordering a case of Battle Pack for myself, more if teammates are interested.

I'll probably go to Northtown tomorrow anyway to hang out and maybe do a few trades/buys.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Not Much Longer

Unfortunately I guess they didn't have a tourney last night at T&M's. Earlier in the day I went over to Danny's to pick up some more money from Shiggs, and Nate and Donut were there as well. We do a few trades and I pick up some Six Sam stuff cuz I kinda want to build the deck now lol. I'm not pursuing it too strongly, but I've gotten to the point where I don't have really anything I'm trying to trade for, so might as well try and build up the deck I suppose. It's not like Sams are going to get hit on the list or anything and it'd be nice just to have another deck built since I've been getting rid of some of my spare decks over the past few weeks.

I was supposed to get a text from Corey if they were going to do a tourney, and I never got a text, so naturally that should mean there was no tourney lol. Nate and Donut went over, and I tried texting them for the longest time to no response, but later Donut replied and said there wasn't a tourney. It's frustrating since the owner had told me they get 12-16+ people, and turns out they haven't actually ran a Wednesday tourney before. When I was there on Tuesday, I asked this random guy and Corey if they actually get this kind of turnout, and they simply shook their head no. I think I asked like 3 times what time I should show up to the tourney, and no one knew. I found that rather odd, but it makes sense now if they haven't actually ran one on Wednesday. I guess I'll have to keep on going to Lightning until more people learn about T&M's.

Last night I picked up 2 packs of Magic-sized sleeves since I ordered a good majority of the cards I needed from Troll to build Gabriel Nieves' UWB build from GP Orlando (is this still called Solar Flare? dunno). I'm not really sure how the game has changed since the new set's release, or if the deck is still relevant, but it was the colors I was originally going for when I first purchased cards, so I figured it'd be the cheapest way for me to get back into the game. At this point I just need to order like 8 lands and I should be good to go. I thought about going UW, but didn't want to buy Snapcasters, Sword of War and Peace, and Geist of Saint Traft; shit's expensive! I wanted to buy some Unhinged lands as well, but those have gone up quite a bit since I last played. Too much for basic land. Maybe I'll pick up the UW stuff at a later point when I get used to the game again and learn more about the new set. I may be able to play as early as the FNM on the 17th.

Now that I think about it, I don't think I'm going to get to play Yugz until the list gets released in Japan. I have work this weekend, Monday evening I have to go get my taxes done, and then the following Saturday is when my wife wanted to celebrate my birthday with me (it's on the 16th, but Thursdays are never convenient). Monday the 20th is a holiday as well, so I'll probably be on lock-down with the wife. By then the list should be known, so yea, no Yugz til the list lol. I've pretty much sold everything that I had ban-list fears about or know that will be in the Extra Pack, so at this point it's a "sit and wait" kinda thing. I wonder how many more fake scans we'll get between now and then?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Locals Report 2-6-12; Northtown Comic Book Shop

So after class I have to stop by the bank to deposit a check and also go to the post office to pick up the Hornet that I ordered a while back. I pick up some Taco Time on the way to the post office since it's Crisp Meat Mondays, but the lady ends up giving me Crisp Beans instead. I didn't notice till after I drove off, and by the time I realized it wasn't worth the time to drive back. Crisp Beans are pretty good but Crisp Meats are so much better, lol. Sorry for the Taco Time tangent there.

Afterwards I head to Danny's to retrieve my stuff that I lent out to everyone for the regional, give Danny back his Wind-Up stuff, and trade off my extra Hornet. Shiggs is there and gives me a part of what he owes me and also picks up my spare Darkworld deck and 2 Dark Smogs. One of the Maxx C's I lent out didn't make it back but Nate offered to pay for a replacement. Not exactly sure what happened to it, but it is regionals - gotta watch everything like a hawk even if you're in a corner all by yourself lol. The Tour Guides I got back were pretty scratched up as well so I swap one out with Danny. Normally I wouldn't have a problem with it, but since I sold my set, it would be problematic if all I had were damaged ones to send. Danny and I get a match in, his Wind Ups vs my Inzektors after I tweaked my build to more of what I wanted to run for today's tourney. He wins 2-1 without siding. I head out after that since I still have homework to work on that's due today and needed to figure out what my build was going to be exactly. After being frustrated with how mine have been running, I just decide to go with an OCG list that did the best in the most recent, biggest tourney (one I saw was 300 people) with minor tweaks.

I leave about 4pm and get there around 4:25 I think. The store's alarm goes off as I walk in and I'm like "I don't think I stole anything going IN to the store lol". Only like Roy, Dwight, and Brandon are there and I ask them if anyone had a Giga-Mantis they'd trade, but unfortunately no one had any. Dwight is building X-Sabers and needed a Fulhelmknight so I just gave it to him and I trade a little with Brandon. I also get a match in vs Brandon, he was running old-school Zombies and actually beats me 2-1. At this point I'm like -_-' I have no faith in this deck lol. More people show, as well as Danny, Zach, Shiggs, and Alan, and I do a few trades here and there. Link shows up as well but didn't play Yugz for some reason. Sign-ups are about to end and I'm still scrambling to find a Giga-Mantis, but the judge/TO guy (forget his name) has one and trades it to me. Attendance is 16, but again it feels like there are a shitload of people there, I swear if they'd just sign up to play, ...!

Round 1 vs Aaron (Wind-Up)
Game 1 He never gets much going between MST'ing his Factories and Fiendish Chains and whatnot. Just control with Inzektors little by little and he's out of resources.
Game 2 At one point he specials Shark so I Maxx. I think he figured he had lost this one, so decides to go off with the combo and lets me draw a whole mess of cards. Surprisingly I can't do much with my massive hand but make sure he's basically down to topdecking and I discard Gardna and a Zephyros at end phase. He scoops next turn.
Record: 1-0

Round 2 vs Paul (Dino Rabbit)
Never seen this guy before but he has a particular "noob" aura about him. I dunno I guess that's just me being judgmental. I traded 2 Kabazauls to him earlier but I guess I just didn't put 2 and 2 together since I had no idea what he was running at first.
Game 1 He turn 1 Rabbits into Dolkka which I end up Fiendish Chaining. I try to Torrential when he has 1 Zenmaines and I have 2 out, but he Dark Bribes it. Late in the game, the gamestate was his 2 Zenmaines and like 3 backrow to my 2 Zenmaines, Hornet with a Giga-Mantis equipped, with my whole backrow pretty much locked up between used Chains and Calls, and a dead Warning. My life is 750 after his early aggro and getting burned by Magic Cylinder (yea wtf). Turn after turn he sets a monster and I attack it with my pumped Hornet. He sets a Marshmallon of all things, I attack it, and get burned for the last 1000. I'm just like :S really?
Game 2 My side proved useful as he put in stuff like Shadow-Mirrors. I really don't remember this game too much but I win.
Game 3 Pretty sure he opened kinda bad, as most of my Inzektor plays go off without too much of a hitch. Last turn of the game I end-phase Compulse his lone monster to attack ftw and I think it was this game that I bring out DAD who puts in work as well.
Record: 2-0

Round 3 vs Corey (Scraps)
I'm glad Corey has been able to re-build his Scrap deck minus the blinged out stuff.
Game 1 I take a lot of damage early on, I'm down to like 1000 but I'm able to stabilize via Inzektors as he's basically topdecking. Fiendish Chains get played aplenty between the both of us. I think DAD seals the deal in the end.
As we're siding in he talks about how he has so much stuff for the Inzektor match-up, I'm just like alright. 
Game 2 I bring out Gorz and I end up Bottomless'ing a 2nd Scrap Dragon but he saves it with Scrapstorm or one of those cards. Inzektors pop his cards and I win.
Record: 3-0

Round 4 vs Nate (Inzektor)
We weren't exactly sure what was going to happen in regards to having a top 4 play-off or not but we just go into our match. I honestly thought I was going to lose since he's had more experience with the deck since he just came back from regionals with it.
Game 1 He opens D-Fissure, Dustshoot, Tour Guide into Leviar for an Allure'd Centipede, who's equipped with Hornet and ready to pop my shit. Pretty much the nuts. I open pretty bad with Gardna, MST, Torrential, basically stuff that's just gonna get popped. I set Gardna and MST. He pops my MST which I use to destroy D-Fissure. He combos out too strongly though and pretty much pushes my poop in.
Game 2 I forget what he sided in, but I'm able to conveniently bring out DAD which wins the game. My sided-in Mind Control also proved to be useful.
Game 3 Fairly similar to Game 2 I believe. DAD was MVP for the day for me.
Record: 4-0

They decide to do Top 4 and I get paired against Roy.
Top 4 is me (Inzektor), Corey (Scrap), Roy (Dino Rabbit), and Nate (Inzektor).

Top 4 vs Roy (Dino Rabbit)
Game 1 He opens very strong and I literally open with Gardna and Zephyros. Figured I pretty much lost this, which I did. I rant a little about how I always draw the shit I want to mill.
Game 2 Pretty back and forth until the late game where we have absolutely nothing. I set a Maxx C since I'm very low on life. He doesn't draw any monsters and is at around 1300. He has 3 backrow, and I decide to just push and tribute summon for Giga-Mantis. He has no response to the summon or my attack so I surprisingly take it lol.
Game 3 Snowman Eater turned the tide of the game for me when he runs his Sabersaurus into it. Main 2 he Smashing Grounds it but I Book it since it was the only monster I had drawn into. I make a Zenmaines with it later. Late game Inzektor pops win the game.
Record: 5-0

Corey wins his match, and we sit down and shuffle up, he talks about how he'd like to just gtfo and I just look at him and am like "do you just want to split? I just wanna get the hell out of here too" so we agree to split lol. I get about $22 in credit since they don't have any packs worth getting.

Do a few trades with the people that are still there, and we get booted at 9 since that's when the mall closes.

Decklist: 41
Monsters: 20
3 Hornet
3 Centipede
3 Dragonfly
1 Giga-Mantis
2 Armageddon Knight
2 Card Trooper
1 Sangan
2 Maxx C
1 Zephyros
1 Gardna

Spells: 11
1 Hole
1 Reborn
1 Heavy
1 Allure
1 Foolish
1 Book
2 Duality
1 Avarice

Traps: 10
1 Dustshoot
1 Torr
1 Solemn
2 Warning
2 Chain
2 Call
1 Limit Reverse

2 Zenmaines
2 Leviar
1 Giga-Brilliant
1 Leviathan
1 Utopia
1 Utopia Ray
1 Armory
1 Catastor
1 Brionac
1 Black Rose
1 Scrap
1 Trish
1 Chimera

2 Cydra
2 TKing
2 Snowman
1 Reaper
1 Dust
1 Compulse
2 Bottomless
1 Mirror Force
1 Mind Control
1 Smashing

As for the deck, to be perfectly honest, I felt like it ran like crap. A lot of my wins were sacky with DAD, who was pretty beast all night. It felt nice dropping him since no one expects it, I think the last time I dropped DAD was in the Blackwing era. Since I read that Lazaro went with an OCG-style build at Toronto regionals, I decided to do the best I could to make a similar one to the OCG since his list is nowhere to be found. I drew into Gardna and Zephyros way too often and never milled much of anything I wanted to with Trooper. It's like I'd mill a Dragonfly and Centipede, and draw into Hornet. I had to go Hornet for Hornet quite often, and I just don't like that play at all. Basically my assessment of "random mill" was on point, at least for me. Guess I just need to learn how to mill better lol.

Opening with Gardna I don't mind as much since I can Rank 3 with it, but Zephyros was completely useless. Maybe it'd be better when we get Lavalval Chain and the other Rank 4 guys. I think I went into Utopia only once though with an Arma Knight and a Chain'd TKing, so dunno if having more Rank 4s would prove Zephyros any more useful. I dunno, maybe I'm missing some kinda combo with it, and that's probably why they run Raigeki Break in their builds to be honest. Ah, the age-old Raigeki Break vs PWWB debate, lol. In a game where Zenmaines is a card, surely PWWB is better, right? Dunno. I never got to use Limit Reverse since it got MST'd the one time I drew it. Call was fairly handy, but with my shitty Trooper mills, it was never like "OMG I'm so glad I have Call down".

Giga-Mantis was OK and I never got to do this "loop" with it and Hornet. The extra ATK boost was alright, but it was just like whatever to me. Again, maybe I'm just not seeing the plays with it. Avarice was OK as well, and surprisingly it didn't conflict with DAD and the recursion traps and whatnot. It's fairly easy to get 5 monsters in there between Trooper, Inzektors, and XYZ'ing with them in general.

Not sure on what direction I should go with the deck, Zephyros is probably my first cut though until I find something online that tells me why it's good, unless I go with PWWB's. I really wish Lazaro's build or the top 4 ones from YCS Mexico would surface. I'm guessing Lazaro's won't surface til after Atlanta, if ever.

All in all it was a good tourney. Danny got rid of his Rabbits and picked up Dark World after seeing how well it did at the Seattle regional. He actually got Shiggs to just trade the deck I initially traded/sold to him lol. His Wind-Up is pretty much complete as well, and basically everyone is in agreeance that Wind-Up is the best deck for the remainder of the format. I'm gonna hold off until the ban list to make any purchases from this point forward, including the 3rd Maxx C. I get to mail off my Tour Guides tomorrow, which I will use the money to buy Magic stuff and finish out what I started with that. There are just so many people that play it around here now, and I figure if I can do well in Magic, I can always use what ever store credit I amass to simply buy Yugz product if I wanted to. It's time to dust off the Magic skills and put nubs in there place lol :)