Pat Wester did an outstanding job of hosting this year’s North Central Regional tournament. The facilities are amazing. If you attended the 2014 National Tournament you know what I’m talking about. Pat made sure everyone was accommodated and ran things smoothly despite some computer issues.
The fellowship of old friends and new ones was great. When we weren’t busy playing Redemption some people kept battling one another for rights to the Poké-gym at the church or helped one another find the rare Pokémon that kept popping up around the facilities. Even the legendary Chris Bany stopped by to say hi and take over the Poké-gym for a moment.
My Least Favorite Flavor of Ice Cream
Friday night I chose T2-MP over sealed deck. Those are probably my two least favorite categories. While I find the I&J starter decks to be an amazing tool for teaching the game and getting players started, I’ve played so many games with them already.
Any multi-player category involves a certain amount of politics and “picking on” players that makes multi-player less appealing to me. Both categories are still Redemption and I still love them. It’s like saying vanilla is my least favorite flavor of ice cream – it’s still ice cream and it’s still delicious!
Since there’s so much politics involved in multi-player, when I play it I do it with full intentions of messing with everyone, not winning. Unlike two-player, there are too many factors outside of my control to expect to win.
At States I attempted to troll the tables with a Genesis/Egyptians – Creation of the World deck. To my surprise it ended up winning. I wanted to try something new at Regionals so I built a “Hur–pocrisy/A New Beginning (ANB) deck. That seems like it would be pretty annoying to play against, right?
In the first round I was paired with last year’s T2-MP National Champion – Justin Alstad – and two other fine gentlemen. We had a long, grueling game where I was able to use Hypocrisy and Hur to clear people’s Heroes, walk in for free souls with Miriam against a gold defense, and play ANB once.
The ANB play was my favorite of the game. Justin had the “Crowds” Lost Soul out meaning that if I played ANB he would not have to shuffle his hand but he’d still get to draw 8. I really didn’t want to give him that kind of advantage so I made a rescue with Hur. Since his hand was protected he didn’t shuffle but still had to draw 7, meaning “Crowds” no longer protects his hand!
Justin knew I was up to something, despite trying to convince him I was generously attempting to trade a +7 draw for a redeemed soul. Since all of his defenders had a defense above 4 I was hoping he would block, and he took the bait! When I got initiative I played ANB shuffling his massive hand of unprotected cards among other things.
That game went to time and ended in a 5/5/5/5 tie. The other table also timed out.
The same gentleman playing the gold defense was on my right, but we had two new players at the table as well. Across from me was a Genesis/Egyptian deck that literally drew almost all of his Lost Souls to start the game. Between those two sat Jayden Alstad, slightly younger than his brother Justin but just as lethal.
I went last this game and had to struggle to keep up with Jayden’s fast offense and easy access to souls. He had a commanding lead on us until I was able to pull off an ANB to reset the board. My deck took off like crazy after that. A couple rescues with Hur and Gifts of the Magi combined with opponents who kept triggering my “Dull” Lost Soul allowing my defense to set up caused me to hit max hand size a few times.
The game eventually hit the time limit as most T2-MP games do. Everyone at the table had 4 or 5 redeemed souls and I was sitting at 6 for the final round of play. None of the other players got above 5 but everyone had a way to stop me from getting to 7. One player had an active Writ and the other two were both holding Christian Martyr. Time to reset the board!
A New Beginning was good to me. I drew a fat FBTN Hero and my opponents drew Lost Souls. The “Open Hand” Lost Soul I drew revealed the player to my right, who apparently was going to get a block against me. I decided my chances were better going in blind against the guy to my left. He wasn’t able to stop my Hero and the other players didn’t draw a Dominant block which gave me the win!
As expected, the final round would be the hardest. To my left I had the pleasure of playing again with Justin Alstad. To my right sat the legendary Wild “Everytribe” Bill. Between them was Jayden Alstad. There was no doubt that this was going to be a good game!
I had a very good opening. My Benaiah with Angel of the Lord backup got me to a quick 3-1-1-1 lead. Obviously at this point I was going to be the guy getting picked on with Dominants. That’s to be expected.
But a few rounds later when the score was 4-4-4-3, with me being the player at 3, I attempted to join the rest of the guys at 4 and Justin used a Dominant block on me. If you’re familiar with multi-player etiquette he just tossed it out the window. That was actually a brilliant plan on his part though. He and I were tied at 4 points for the tournament. If our table were to time out, keeping himself 1 redeemed soul ahead of me, even if he didn’t win, still probably gives him 1st place for the event.
I pretended to be extremely bothered by Justin’s “unfair” play and started a “war” with him where we kept using all of our powerful plays against one other. Really I was just catching on to what Justin had already figured out, I needed to keep him from gaining a lead on me! Bill and Jayden were totally fine with us picking on one another because that meant we weren’t going after them.
Bill kept killing all of Jayden’s defense which allowed all of us to walk in for a free Lost Soul when Jayden drew a flood of them. Justin and I had used our Son of God to get a block against one another putting the score at 6-6-4-5, with Justin and I in the lead, followed by Bill and Jayden trailing behind. We went another round of play and Jayden broke through Justin’s defense to get to 5, but the rest of us didn’t rescue a Lost Soul. Justin had used Christian Martyr to stop my Strong Angel.
Bill was without a Hero so he passed the turn to me with about 2 minutes left in the round. I had gone first so this would be my last turn. Since Strong Angel was such a threat the round before, I decided to give Captain of the Host a try against Justin this time to see if FBTN was still going to be a problem. Apparently it was because he surrendered the Lost Soul to me giving me the win and 1st place in the category!
But Wait, There’s More!
Please be sure to check back tomorrow for part 2, including a report on T1-2P and Teams!
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