During the week I was in "limbo" as my boss hadn't e-mailed me back in regards to me being able to take the weekend off, but either way I played in every tourney I could this week to just prepare as much as I could for regionals in the chance that I could go. I had my invite from Portland, but it's always been my goal to top 8. Since this was the last regional for the season for our area, I was really hoping Danny and Link would be able to top this one so the team's overall invite percentage would be 100% for the people that actually went to regionals (so basically the team minus Dwight, Alan, and "injured reserve" Rob). I even said if I had to play Link or Danny at any point in the tourney, I would give them the win to achieve that. I found out Wednesday that I could get the weekend off, so I book the hotel for us on Thursday. I was lending out 3 of my Cardcars to Danny for his deck, but luckily Zach pulled one so I could run 2 in my deck.
On Friday I go over to Danny's but we don't test since Zach was getting off work early. We then go to Zach and Link's, and I think we're on our way around 2 or so. We stop at the Zip's in Ritzville as it's basically a tradition now. I don't remember too much of the ride, we just listen to music and talk a little about side-decking and whatnot. We get to our hotel around 7, check in, and we get keycards with the Avengers on them. At first I just ask for 2 but after noticing they had the Avengers on them, we all get a copy so we'd be the team lol. Danny got Hulk, Zach Captain America, Link Iron Man, and I got Thor. From there we do deck stuff like writing out our decklists and tweaks to our Extra decks, and it was good thing that I printed out 2 extra copies beforehand. We also didn't want to get screwed over by deck checks, so we make it a point to check each other's lists. We order some amazing Chinese food, the Sesame Chicken was so bomb. After eating I tell Danny "you know, with you and me being like the last of the old generation, I feel we're like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, trying to keep up with the younger generation but still being able to whoop some ass", after that we come up with what wrestler people from our locals would be most similar to - my favorite is Steve "Lord Regal" Schroash lol. Apparently Danny and I are Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco lol.
We get continental breakfast and walk over to the tourney, get there around 8:30 and there's basically no line and they open up early so we get in right away. I don't think anyone pulled anything good from our packs. Zach cracks jokes with like everyone that walks by, it was too funny. Right before the tourney Jo Lancaster comes over and tells Danny that he's going to have a reserved table, where he'd get to play at all day and not have to worry about moving. It was funny how sincere he was trying to be without being offensive, he was like "well I know you can get winded from moving around too much so we're just gonna have you play at this table". It was pretty sweet to be honest, at least we didn't have to look all over the room to try and find where Danny was lol. We see Chris Hentz walking around and Danny asks him how he felt DD Crow was against Chaos Dragon, we all agreed that removing 1 target didn't to do much against the deck.
The player meeting/decklist-pickup didn't take long, and I think the tourney gets started at around 10:30. Attendance is around 240. I go to sit down, and I see Danny sitting at his spot unpacking his things. I get back up and walk over to Danny, my opponent is just wtf, and I tell him that he should sit on the other side of the table so he can see the clock throughout the day. I figured it was just a tiny advantage, but an advantage nonetheless. Turns out being able to easily see the clock made a big impact.
Round 1 vs Darith (Samurai)
I lose the die roll.
Game 1 - He goes into turn 1 Beast after drawing 2 from United. I summon Centipede, he doesn't know what it does and reads it along with the Hornet I equip to it. He tries to negate Hornet with Beast but I tell him it doesn't work like that, we call the judge anyway, and he's basically like "we're not in Mexico". I dominate the game after that.
Game 2 - Similar to game 1 except he goes into a Shi En instead of Beast, and the same judge tells him that Shi En won't stop Hornet either lol. He tries to Magatama but I just special a Centipede anyway from Dragonfly and take the game.
I go over to watch Danny's match against this little kid with Heroes but he's pretty good. The kid is locked under Level Limit, each fusion he brings out just gets turned to defense lol. Danny wins that game. The game count is now 1-1 and time was basically running out, and the kid draws his cards just a little before time is called. The judge comes over and tells them they have 5 turns. The defining moment in this match was when the kid Solemn Warning'd something, at that point I knew Danny would have the game since he again had Level Limit. The kid gets rid of it somehow and gets in 1900 from TKing. I think he has another Level Limit though and the kid's not able to make up the difference in life.
Round 2 vs Manar (Mist Valley Ninja?)
I win the die roll.
Game 1 - I just set Warning and pass, he summons Hanzo so I Warning it. At this point I figured I was just playing Ninja, but he ran these Mist Valley dudes along with the field-spell. I have an awkward Ladybug+Giga-Mantis hand, which I have to use throughout almost the entire game, but he never gets over it. Eventually I draw Hornet so I can start popping stuff with my beefed up Ladybug lol. I'm down to 2000 while he's at 52 but I ride out the rest of the game this way.
Game 2 - Most of the game I just have Dragonfly+Mantis with no hornet. I have to Solemn his Storm for 3500 life, but I'm able to lock his field with Level Limit while I eventually just pop stuff and take game.
It's announced that since the tourney was moving rather quickly we'd get lunch after round 3.
Round 3 vs Joseph (Hero)
I lose the die roll.
Game 1 - I open garbgarb and literally get nothing going as he beats me down with 1900s and finishes off for exactly 3200 with Shining.
Game 2 - Jo comes in and tells him that he will get a game loss since he wrote "Bottomless" in his decklist rather than the whole name of the card. I also got to choose who went first for game 3, so naturally I went with that option lol.
Game 3 - He gets me down fairly low but I'm able to establish control with Dragonfly, he scoops after he shows that he only has monsters in his hand.
Zach and Link get done fairly quickly and for the 3rd time we're waiting for Danny's game since it's going into time. It really wasn't his fault, his opponent for this match running Sams was going really slow, he was locked under Level Limit and Messenger I think, he clearly doesn't have a viable play but just sits there. Even the judge is about ready to tell him to make a move. Unfortunately Danny can't make up the life difference and loses this one. We scramble over to the food court and wolf down a burger since the line was long to begin with and we didn't have much time left.
Round 4 vs Felix (Chaos Dragon)
I win the die roll.
Game 1 - He pretty much dominates me after I have another garbage hand.
Game 2 - I win this one since I open decent.
Game 3 - He turn 1 Future Fusions, and I'm just like fffffff. I get a Messenger up but he plays Heavy, Reborn, and BLS's me for OTK. Get YGO'd :/
At this point Link and Zach were 4-0 while Danny and I were 3-1. I was still feeling good, I only had to win all my matches for the rest of the day lol.
Round 5 vs John (Inzektor)
I win the die roll.
The kid literally gets nothing going either game. What ever Inzektor he's able to summon I just Veiler and then pop. No damage from me either game.
Round 6 vs Tyler (Inzektor)
I win the die roll.
Game 1 - He goes to equip Hornet to Centipede and then I Veiler, in which he doesn't know that it falls off. Judge comes over and confirms that it does. Then he's like "ok since it falls off I'll get Centipede's effect", I'm just like "...but I Veiler'd it, it has no effect." And he's like oh ya, derp. We're both kind of down to topdecking and I Solemn his Dragonfly for 2700. This ends up winning me the game though and I go wombo-combo with Fly and Mantis.
Game 2 - I get Fly-Sword OTK'd rather quickly.
Game 3 - Very grindy, and at one point I thought I was done for after he was able to attack me with his Kycoo to remove Centipede and Hornet. I Dark Hole his field of Leviathan and Kycoo. From there I draw better than him and I have Veilers to stop his plays.
Link is 6-0, while the rest of us are 5-1. I figured one of us would have to play each other at this point, turns out Zach and Danny were paired the next round.
Round 7 vs Andrew (Dark World)
I lose the die roll.
Game 1 - He is like +6 on me very early via Reckless and Card Destruction and regular DW plays. I just hold on for dear life though, and surprisingly I'm able to take control of the match by just playing conservatively. He goes to try and draw but I remind him he's under Reckless, which is why he lost in my opinion.
Game 2 - This was very back and forth, I don't remember the specifics but I lose.
Game 3 - I know we're going to go into time since we only have about 2 minutes left, so I side out my Warnings and Judgment and add in any stall I can via my Messengers and Level Limits. I pretty much have a yolo hand, so I push for 7000 damage and then sit back with Zenmaines and backrow. He plays way too defensively and has 2 Grapha on the field for the longest time but doesn't attack for fear of getting his backrow popped I guess. He eventually does decide to attack the Zenmaines to remove both of its materials and I do pop a backrow since I have Dark Hole and Transmigration in my hand. I make the play and Transmigration during his draw phase to put the 2 Graphas back in the deck. He brings out 2 Beige to attack me down to 4200, but can't do any more damage so I win.
Link is 7-0 so he's guaranteed top, and Danny beat Zach so it was looking unlikely for Zach to top unfortunately. With only 1 more round to go, we were so close to topping. I was just praying I didn't have to play against random/sacky shit or against Danny in general.
Round 8 vs Hai aka Charlie (Inzektor)
When I saw who I was playing against, I just saw a long very asian-sounding name and was like "crap, I'm screwed." I assumed he was playing Inzektor, which I was right lol.
I win the die roll. (Happy about winning the most crucial one!)
Game 1 - We played the "draw-go" game for like 8 turns since neither of us were drawing the Inzektor piece we needed. He Foolish's for Hornet though so I knew I was on a clock. I set Dragonfly so I can set up myself up for next turn. He passes yet again and at this stage we both have 4 backrow while I have my set Fly as well. My turn I flip summon, go to equip, and he Veilers. I normal summon another Fly, which he Solemns. I activate Call, which he Warnings. I just attack to bring him down to 1000 and I feel good since I have Veiler and backrow to stop whatever he tries to do. I think I do just that and pop and attack for game. At this point I'm like "fuck yea, I know I got this."
Game 2 - This is more back and forth but he pops my Safe Zone which turns the tide more toward my favor. I outgrind him and I get off the Mantis combo.
I'm very hyped at this point, Link lost his match but it didn't matter and I walk over to him, just smile and say "get fuckin hype!" and we hug it out. We go over to Danny's match and he has this Dino Rabbit player completely shut down. His field is like 3 Boat, Giga-Brilliant, and a Level Limit to the dude's no cards in hand. He topdecks Rabbit and slams it down, but Danny has the Veiler. The guy is in like absolute shock and he scoops it up. Danny is incredibly hyped and we all hug it out. We just hope that none of us gets screwed over somehow but I was confident that we all had topped. We watch Zach's match and he wins as well. The chance of him topping was slim but we just hoped for the best. Turns out no X-2 made it into the top 8, but the three of us made it in so we were all hyped!
1st - 12 year old Windup kid who got caught for cheating via stacking and marked sleeves, but pulled an Adam Corn and turned on the waterworks so he only got a gameloss instead of a DQ for one of his matches. Apparently he opened Magician, Shark, Avarice, Reborn or something ridic in most of his games.
2nd - Long-haired Asian guy (Dino Rabbit)
3rd - "Sharon" (Dino Rabbit)
4th - Link (Chaos Dragon)
5th - me (Inzektor)
6th - White guy (Chaos Dragon)
7th - Danny (Wind-Up)
8th - Asian guy with blue power ranger shirt (Inzektor)
So we all get the new Heliopolis mat, sit down and wait around forever for some reason, while Zach is doing his usual thing and being like "oh my god is that team overload?? what? 3 people from team overload topped?" all loud like lol. I don't think anyone pulls much from their packs and Link and Danny got a shiny black deckbox. We didn't play out any of the top 8, I think the judges just wanted the event to be over at this point. We bullshit around for a little while but I wanted to get started on the road since it was about 8 and I still had a 5 hour drive to deal with. We were excited for the whole drive down, and just kinda dumbfounded that we all managed to top. Who would've thought that out of the whole 4 people that went from Spokane, 3 of them would top 8? We agreed that our slogan was no longer "we takin' over", but "we took over" lol.
10 Staple bugs
2 Cardcar D
2 Safe Zone
1 Acid Golem
1 Crimson Shadow Ninja
1 Photon Strike Bounzer
1 Gaia Dragon the Thunder Charger
2 Messenger of Peace
2 Soul Taker
1 Trap Stun
1 Fiendish Chain
1 DD Crow
1 Transmigration Prophecy
All in all I was very satisfied with my build.
Monsters - at times I felt that 2 Ladybug was too much, since a double Ladybug hand is just awful. It seems crazy but I liked Veiler at 2 since I seem to clump with 3. If you Veiler, you have to be able to get rid of that monster or it was for nothing. When I ran 3 sometimes it felt like I had a problem in doing that. Gorz was good for a varied field such as regionals. 2 Cardcar also felt like the right number, I only opened with it a few times, but it was good in getting me more advantage. I've noticed running 3 can be clumpy. You want to open with it, but not draw right into a 2nd one in most circumstances. In some though it's OK.
Spells - basically the line-up I've ran for a few weeks but decided to main Mind Control as I was making a meta-call that there'd be a lot of Inzektors. I can Mind the Inzektors themselves, or what ever rank 5's they brought out and go into Gaia Dragon. I can also Mind Control a Pulsar or Sorcerer and go into a Bounzer fairly easily in theory, even though I never had the opportunity to do so.
Traps - again what I've ran for a while but decided to finally cut the Chain.
Extra - fairly standard for me, but I think Utopia can get the boot for something else.
Side - LLAB and Messenger are MVP. Level Limit especially can completely shut decks down. I never got to use Soul Taker on a Shining or Pulsar, but hey I at least had them for the match-ups. Transmigration was pretty awesome as well. Every card from my side was brought in at least some point throughout the day.
- To my team, friends, and everyone else that I've played against online or in real life - every game, win or lose, plays a part in my understanding of match-ups, my own deck, what plays to make, how to counter, etc.
- Chinese food, online delivery
- Avengers hotel keycards
- Seattle people having a better sense of humor than Portland
- Team O taking almost 40% of the top 8. It was crazy enough that one of us topped, but 3?
- Jo Lancaster for hooking Danny up with an all-day table and just being cool
- Chris Hentz for talking to us and not being a d-bag pro
- Finally topping and breaking the X-2 curse, holy shit too many years in the making. I've always felt like I was at "that level", but would always play against some BS deck, go X-2 and get crap tie-breakers, and miss top.
- Michael Ting from Dueling Legacy for enlightening me that Inzektors don't need to play Sword.
- Josh Graham for providing the basis for Danny's Wind-Up deck. It all started with a single DGz post from Josh in which I copied and pasted into the team's facebook group, but with the whole team's input into the deck, resulted in a top for Danny.
- 5 hour drive. It wasn't too bad, but it's still annoying as hell that we have a 5 or 6 hour drive for every regional we want to play in.
- "Sandy Vag", aka the female judge. All day she would make it a point that we were in the way while we were watching Danny's matches, even when there was like 5 feet between us and the table.