A lot can change in a year. Today there were four in my car alone, and ten others bringing the total count to 14 - which was a great sight.
I rolled out the Koo'zar list I played at the Zapped Giants Open as I've decided that I like winning prize packs and that it would be good practice for those who were going to realms to test against. Mostly due to the fact I like winning stuff though.
Round 1: Dan Knight playing lack-of-win-condition Shaman (0-1)
Before the tournament Dan asked to borrow some cards. Cards I didn't really want to see - notably Squall Totem. I've always maintained that slower Shaman decks are a nightmare for Koo'zar but was lucky in Manchester not to face any; today I was out of luck. An average mulligan didn't help matters and I was quickly in topdeck mode facing a Squall Totem and a Wavestorm Totem.
Victory was within reach but I could never quite squeeze the last few damage through. Soon a Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver hit the board and I was subjected to a slow, painful death of "Squall Totem, draw some cards, four you, go".
Round 2: vs Andy's Rogue Deck (1-1)
Andy's deck revolves around ripping the opponent's hand apart, though featured a couple of cards that have since been superceded - Stab in the Dark over Poach, though Slash and Dash did the business on a Babagahnoosh despite Annihilate offering more versatility.
Thankfully a couple of dodgy choices of ally to discard (Bloodsoul and Broderick over Shadowfiend and Babagahnoosh) helped me continue to push damage through - I guess when you're not used to him, reading Babagahnoosh's text for the first time can make him look a bit shit!
Round 3: vs Simon playing cards I forgot to read (2-1)
Huntress Xenia makes target ally a Protector. This caused me to lose my Shadowfiend when I was planning a massive turn 3, which meant I had to go all-in and hope. Thankfully there weren't enough answers for the swarm, but this is Trading Card Games 101 - RTFC.
Elsewhere in the room Dan could be heard in something of a disgruntled mood. "I'm facing the Jonny Roberts Gauntlet, every single opponent is playing one of your decks!"
I'd brought a few along for people - Alex had given all his cards away last week and then surprisingly found himself deckless; Tom had a suspect Mage Orcs deck foisted upon him based on the fact he said 'I like Mages'; and Maz had managed to make it on time so got the wooden spoon of an Aspect of the Wild Hunter deck that lacks card draw (surprise!) which she still rode to a 3-2 finish.
Round 4: vs Alex playing Martiana
This isn't a deck I've tested against, but the beauty of Koo'zar is that you generally know of the single card that's going to give you headaches. In this match, it's Dispersion; everything else is pretty much gloss. I kept a hand with Dispel Magic and some dudes, went for a big turn on turn 3 or 4, Dispersion hit the board in response to a Uruka combat proposal, I dispelled it, and then did the usual Koo'zar stuff.
Despite this, we weren't the first game to finish - Dan had finally managed to avoid playing one of my decks, only to face someone playing Vuz'din, which is apparently an auto-scoop for him. Earth Shock/Edge of Oblivion for you, young man.
Round 5: vs Amy playing Katianna the Shrouded
After a little mixup where the Top 4 cut was announced a round too early, I contemplated my options. There were four of us on 3-1 or greater - Felix playing Zaritha (argh, Squall Totems), Julian playing Triton (argh, Extracts), and Amy playing Katianna (argh, I tested Emek against Koo'zar and Emek destroyed it). None of the matchups were really in my favour, but I was most relieved to face Amy as at least I'm not blanked by something on turn 1 in this match.
Amy lost the roll, I set off with a reasonable start and soon her hand was empty, having Tasted most of my allies and binned Searing Lights on the rest. Flipping on turn four and filling Eye of the Storm up for a turn five activation bought a few turns, and just when I was looking good to untap and swing for fatal, Gathering of Wits hit the board, stealing a Babagahnoosh and two three-drops. Lucky for me I'd ripped another Baba off the top of my deck and was prepared for this - eventually pushing through the last few damage via dead Brodericks after the Babagahnooshes killed each other.
So - after a terrible start I'd made the top 4 cut. After Swiss, the standings were:
- Amy C (4-1)
- Felix T (4-1)
- Tom R (4-1)
- Jonny R (4-1)
Two things strike me about this list - the first is that I'd be playing Amy again, and the second is that a certain Tom R is sat there with a mere one loss to his name. That's Tom who is playing my shoddy Mage Orcs deck. Perhaps it wasn't so bad after all... or perhaps he is a miracle worker!
Quarter Final: vs Amy playing HEAL SPELLS
Over the course of this game I dealt 52 damage to Amy, and still lost. I forget many of the details due to the frustration of having inferior topdecks to any deck that isn't playing free 5/5s, but twice I had Amy at 23 damage with fatal on board before Desperate Plea hit the table - notably, the exact same copy of it, after a Wand of Ruby Claret was pulled off the top of her deck, putting the heal back on top of it, ready for use next turn.
When your hero has Assault 2 and is accompanied only by a weedy Tauren, you are limited in scope. It doesn't help that when you play the lucky Babagahnoosh that came off the top of your deck, it is either stolen with Wub's Cursed Hexblade, or killed with Divine Fury!
Eventually I succumbed to Devouring Plague despite Amy finally running out of answers for the slowly-growing horde on my side of the table, one more turn and I'd have had it. Alas. My first win of the year eludes me still!
Third place playoff: vs Tom playing Mage Orcs
So it turns out that Orcs can still cut it, to a certain extent. Tom had played a grand total of about ten games of WoWTCG before today and so coming this far was very impressive, but unfortunately I ended up providing him a deck that I pretty much automatically crush.
And crush I did. When Tom's turn two play was Mana Agate I was pretty sure I'd got it in the bag, and when Babagahnoosh hit the table on turn three I got the Mage deck handed back to me in despair. Even the Engulfing Blaze in hand wouldn't have done it - Assault 2 from my hero and a Baba with a bloody nose would easily have finished the game off between them.
Third place then - six packs containing largely shit, though a second Grim Campfire did make up for that. Amy healed her way to two Sava'gins which I am not bitter about in the slightest!
Anyone want a Priest deckbox?
Tom's Mage Orcs List
"So, Kazamon... does he prevent the first 20 damage per turn?"
"No, he prevents the first 20 damage per packet"
Couple of quick notes -
- Yes, I know Mana Sapphire is technically a 'better' card but I felt paying eight resources to refill your hand is quite excessive in a deck like this
- Broderick isn't in there because I was using him
- Given the choice I would have played three Thrall over the two Rehgar, but by all accounts he seemed to do the business all the same
- Freeze turned out to be a completely dead card in the deck; have asked Tom for feedback on whether he'd have preferred Everlasting Cold or The Taste of Arcana instead
- Ceraka turned out to be quite a potent finisher - it's a nice way of getting around cards like Weldon