Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Final

So, final table went better than I expected - I wasn't ousted, and got 1 VP.

Table setup was Mike bleeding Verolin bleeding Val bleeding me bleeding Dan, with Mike starting.

It was definitely a table of people's decks not working as designed - Val got off to a fast start, with enough stealth to avoid his fee stakes being blocked, and dropping an early Reckless to hit me for 5. I brought out Rodolfo, who fairly quickly lost his title due to 2 No Confidences being played, and Korah, while Dan brought out Joe 'Boot" Hill and Basir. Mike got an early Information Highway again, and was off and running quite fast. Both Dan & I were reluctant to bring out a 3rd minion, because we knew Mike would be playing recalled to the founder, but early on, I was able to generate enough stealth to successfully bleed Dan a few times. Verolin's deck never got going, as he ever drew a bleed modifier, and Val was quite happy to take bleeds for one.

So, by about an hour in, I had two minions out, and the powerbase Madrid, but only 8 pool, Dan had two minions, and a lot of pool, Mike had 4 minions, but was struggling a bit for pool, while Verolin was also starting to feel the pressure from Mike, with Val sitting quite pretty, largely tooled up, and quite a bit of pool. at this point, though, Val stated trying to balance the table, being worried that Mike would oust Verolin too quickly - this resulted in two Reckless's (called over a couple of turns), which, combined with a couple of bleeds by Rodolfo, left Dan within lunge range for me. I was struggling for stealth cards though, which delayed me somewhat - Verolin was duly ousted, and then I drew the stealth I needed to oust Dan - I played a Kine to which Val allowed to pass which reduced him to 1 pool, but I would have had enough bleed modifiers to oust him with the next bleed even without the Kine, but I did need the extra stealth card I drew to replace the Kine to be sure of getting past his Abbot.

At this point, I ran into a run of cards without any stealth, which meant I was unable to pressurise Mike, and Val run out of S:CE, so was unable to survive Mike's rushes, which left Val in trouble. I eventually drew stealth, and attempted to lunge, but was deflected onto Val, which ousted him (even without the determine, Mike could probably have untapped his Champion, but I was hoping to get lucky) - at that stage, the game timed out, but, since I would have been unable to survive Mike's rush actions, he would have been able to bleed me out fairly quickly had play continued.

Still, the deck worked pretty well - In this tournament, I could have used some Confusion of the Eye's or Poison Pills for additional vote defence, but it's probably not general enough in the Cape Town play environment to be worth adding. I usually had enough stealth in my hand (except for a funny run in the final), but the deck almost certainly doesn't generate enough stealth to beat a full-on wall deck. The combat defence is the major weakness, and, against imbued, the ineffectiveness of Coma is a major issue. More Mental Mazes is probably the way to go, but that does require successful blocks, can be hard to pull off, but, considering how badly the deck crashed and burnt last time I tried it in a tournament environment, 1.5 VP from the final table is a fair result.

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