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Join John Early and I as we play out a game between two new decks featuring Persecuted Church. We explain our decks and walk you through some of our thinking as the game progresses.
I rarely play Teams. Most tournaments I attend run Teams at the same time as my favorite category other than T2-2P, Booster Draft, so I rarely have the chance. In the last 3 years after 2012 Nationals, when the esteemed Matt Brinkman and I ran a pair of 154-card monstrosities to capture 3rd place, I believe I played the category twice in tournaments: 2013 MW Regionals and 2014 Nationals, with little success in either. I was also not originally planning to play this year, but when my brother Justin decided that his success in the previous two days would suffice and he could step in as judge, I ended up teaming up with his planned partner, Martin Miller. Which is something like the Redemption equivalent of Venus Williams coming to you and saying that she will not be participating in a doubles tournament, so you can go ahead and team up with Serena.
EDITORS NOTE: If you haven’t already read it, be sure to check out Return of the Widow: Part 1.
Round 1 vs Marcus Parker
The last time I played Marcus was at my very first Nationals in 2004. We played in the final round of T2-2P and he beat me pretty good (7-2). This game started a bit slow as neither of us had much going right away. Despite us both using Judges, the first couple of turns were uneventful.
When fully armored with the Armor of God a Hero can become nearly unstoppable. A fully armored Hero is protected from all evil brigades, capture abilities and Dominants, negates Evil Characters from 6 evil brigades, prevents Enhancements with a toughness less than 6, protects 6 souls from opponent’s cards, possibly plays an Enhancement after your opponent blocks, generates Lost Souls, has Site access, increases 6/6, and adds a card to hand each battle. How can you possibly stop a Hero like that from rescuing souls?
In “Ruthless Stuff”: Part 1 I explained how the deck came to be and shared a summary of the performance at Nationals. I’d like to take some time to explain some of the fun interactions you get from the deck, then talk about which cards from Persecuted Church might be good to include.
After using the same deck for Type 2 2-player at Nationals 2013 (1st place) and 2014 (2nd place) I figured I would find something new for the 2014-2015 season.
I had a chance to sit down and talk with Friday’s Type A winner from Nationals, Forest Isbell. I’ll share his comments below and then follow with his deck list.
Undoubtably, one of the most influential people in history is Moses. He is also very Christ-like in certain aspects of his life and character. Let’s delve in and see how he compares to Jesus!
Having spent most of the past tournament season play testing Persecuted Church cards, when the Iowa State tournament started drawing near I didn’t have a finely tuned deck I wanted to play.
My favorite deck to play was something I call “Ruthless”. It’s an updated version of a deck I was play testing during the development of the I&J starter decks. The offense isn’t really tournament quality though. Despite the name, it actually uses the 4 Ruth Heroes from the starter deck, paired with some judges.
Nationals record: 3-0 (1 timeout win)
Record in other tournaments: 8-0. Won T2 Only (6-0, 1 timeount) and 1 district (2-0)
Inspiration and Analysis
The inspiration for this deck came about by observing the meta in T2. Many decks that I had seen had at least 3-4 brigades on offense. For example, the ever-popular Judges offenses (including mine!) had Gold, Silver, Green, and often a Teal splash. Disciples always have purple (obviously) and sometimes Red (with Simon the Zealot or perhaps a red Peter and a few centurions) or Green (with Simeon able to band to Peter and John). With the addition of the new set, Clay and Silver made an appearance as well. Then there were Prophets decks with Isaiah, angels and Daniel, and Genesis decks with Captain and Joseph adding colors to the standard blue.
Everywhere I looked, I saw colors aplenty. Which is why when I was looking through my collection, and stumbled upon Broken Cisterns, I thought that it would make a nice counter to the wide-open meta.
Nationals 2015 was awesome for many reasons. Most importantly, I got to see many friends whom I had not seen in quite a while as well as meeting a few friends in person for the first time. Another thing that made it awesome was that Chris was an excellent host, and the only complaint I had about the facilities was that I kept losing my sense of direction in the hallways that all looked exactly the same—I think I finally figured them out, but then we left 15 minutes later…
During Day 2 of Nationals 2015, I judged both the T1-2P and T2-2P categories. As the ‘main event’ each year, I decided to interview those who made the Top Cut and get their thoughts on the state of the meta in this game. Top Cut was determined after 7 rounds of Swiss-style gaming, with the top 8 players moving on to a single-elimination bracket (with a third place game added) to determine an overall winner.
After their matches, I asked them each the same questions, and here were their responses.
2015 Tournaments won:
- MN State T2 MP
- Iowa State T2 MP
- North Central Regionals T2 MP
- Nationals T2 MP
At 2015 Nationals, I ended up winning the Sealed Deck category with a slightly unconventional deck (relied on defense and lasting to end-game for a close win). I ended up with a 6-0 record, but only a +8 Lost Soul differential (won 2 games 5-3 and 4 games 5-4). As such, I could not afford to make a single mistake, and I was going to have to do so against the top player left in each round, who I could not rely upon to make mistakes either. After a lot of thought, I put together a list of things that I would say to players wondering how to avoid mistakes in Sealed, though a lot of this applies to constructed categories as well.
First off I want to say thanks to Chris and the TN group for hosting another awesome National tournament. The T1-2P was a total blast this year and finishing second feels like a great accomplishment. The field was stacked with great players from all over the country. I will post a deck list on the forum soon but will tell you I ran an angels and demons deck that I named “Spirit Thing”. The only human in the deck was Foreign Wives.