Here’s my tournament report!
1 Ray Celotto
He was playing a really fast and nice Throne offense. Had all of the new cards and was packing Shipwreck and The Second Coming. He was giving me a run for my money all the way up to 4 souls but I was also able to sneak past his defense for 3. I drew Son of God and had The Second Coming and decided the game was too close for differential so I pushed with Philemon to draw 3 and found Falling Away to drop for a 5-3 finish.
2 Ezekiel Blodgett
Ezekiel is a great player and we had played together last year at my first tournament ever which was at Crosspointe! He drew one soul for most of the game and kept saying how lucky he was because the drought was real! He packs great cards offense and defense using Judges/Canaanites. I know his deck is good but the drought was tough times. Luckily Barnabas got me souls out of his deck so I knew they existed, and I was really close to decked holding The Second Coming with 3 souls. All I needed to draw was Son of God near the end. He had about 20 cards left in his deck but sure enough managed to drop Son of God/New Jerusalem after his draw and I immediately threw down The Second Coming to flip my top card, Son of God.
3 Zach Gilbaugh
I didn’t know this going in but this is my friend Sam’s little brother! He was playing Kings/Pharisees. Early on I drew Angel and used it on his Entrapping Pharisee after he captured my Philemon so my draw engine was somewhat gone. I still got the rescue with Epaphras. After that I was able to block pretty consistently and wound up using Crown of Thorns to take out his Sanhedrin. Not sure he had many blocking options after that. Seemed like he didn’t get into drawing which is what wound up in this game being so one sided. Eternal Inheritance/Angel/Sog/TSC recipe for victory.
4 Noah Wagenknecht
Noah is an incredible player and I knew this from many games online and playing at the T2 only early this year! He was playing Throne/Phillies and this game kind of started going one way fast in my favor as I was able to consistently get through his blocking options and lock up Outpost with HSR. I typically run EC light with this kind of defense so HSR is a big threat. Without ECs to block and with Barnabas to keep fishing for souls I was able to draw my deck out for the 5-1 win.
5 Luke Marshall
This game seemed to kind of go awkwardly strange for Luke. I think he was drawing into a lot of good hero options but not many of his battle winners. I was able to block surprisingly well a number of times simply because he didn’t have a follow up option where I was practically certain he had something in his deck to answer my block with. It looked like he was setting up for a Confusion so I kept cutting in low with little guys and Jude. Crown of Thorns did some work and so did HSR.
6 Brian Jones
Brian and I have had kind of a funny history of games where I will literally win by the skin of my teeth. This had happened 3 or 4 consective times since 2015 TN State, 2015 East Central Regionals, 2016 TN State, and 2016 East Central Regionals. Nearly every one of our games he has been either a turn away or a card away from winning. I totally deserved to lose 0-5 in this game and his revenge was sweet haha. First turn I went in with Philemon and no negate and he got Scattered. After that Brian was basically drawing up to hand limit every turn with exactly what he needed to stop me or get through when he needed it. I was honestly scared this loss would knock me out of top cut, so I knew I would have to stay strong and pull through to make it!!
7 Jay Chambers
Jay and I play multiple times per week on Lackey for the past 2 years. We both know a game between us is going one way fast. I got an early game HSR and Angel of the Winds which helped me get my speed going, but slow his down. He wound up using Jephthah and discarding his HSR which didn’t help him. He didn’t have an answer to HSR so I kept going in strong and eventually pulled SoG/TSC/Angel etc and played Falling Away on his 4th after he played Son of God/New Jerusalem to pull the 5-3 for differential to try to make it to top cut!
Whew I made it to top cut!! I was so happy since there was a lot of people with 5-2 it came down to differential. I guess all of those Falling Aways did pay off..
8 Chris Egley
This game was really good. We had played a lot together before T1-2p online and for fun + Iron Man. I knew what he was running and even gave him some tips to increase the speed. It was working. He was blazing fast and HSR did nothing to stop his New Jerusalem played with Son of God. I honestly feel this game was so close that the entire thing only came down to him having one misplay. He didn’t know that a rule had changed from last season where Foreign Wives is no longer a dynamic check. He blocked one turn and played Mayhem thinking she would be protected and she wasn’t, then he had nothing to follow up with for the block. I honestly feel like this one misplay cost him the game since it was so close at the end.
9 Gabe Isbell
I imagined all along, the entire season, I would make it to top cut and get to play Gabe Isbell. He is one of my favorite people in the Redemption community not only for his contributions to the game, but also for his fellowship and mentorship. Gabe is a phenomenal Redemption player who is truly the model of a pro player. He had all full artwork cards which looked stellar!! He played an early game Coliseum and I really started hunting for Mercy of James. I thought that I would be able to outlast his defense if I could get my Thorns soul out and my 2 solid CBN blocks in, as I already had Onesimus and Moses was no where to be found. I intentionally kept Disagreement Over Mark in my deck for The Strong Angel and sure enough when he was rescuing with The Strong Angel I was holding it, but he had up Coliseum!! Haha.
The biggest error I made in this game was drawing like a race horse with Philemon while I had only the Crowds Soul out and no HSR up. I knew in this match up I needed to cut low with Jude and Onesimus like I did at regionals to win those games against similar defenses, but instead I wanted to draw to get up Guardian of Your Souls and find Mercy of James. It sure cost me! Confusion the Son of God, I got the soul which was fell away before Guardian came out. Oh no!! After that I still wasn’t worried because I had won a lot of games without Son of God before. I wound up getting a 5 turn paralyze on Gideon with The Serpent when he came in with Auto to Joshua/Captain. I had out the Punisher soul and he had turned up You Will Remain. It was my initiative and I played Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride. He said it was prevented and I pointed out that he had 5 brigades with You Will Remain! Between paralyzing Gideon and setting aside a phenomenal rescuing band for 4 turns I knew I had a window of opportunity to pull the win with a tapped liner in his territory if I could get to Eternal Inheritance since he had already played Falling Away early.
I came in for a rescue with Philemon and I think he was Martyred then I used You Will Remain to come in with Barnabas and search his deck for a soul. What a view!! I felt like I was looking over a mountain checking out all of his awesome full art cards. I didn’t see much that worried me until I didn’t see Son of God or The Second Coming. At that point I knew that if I had not pulled off The Serpent block it may have been over sooner than expected. He blocked and played DoU to shuffle his souls because Philemon was no longer in the battle to protect them with Onesimus, plus I had no Thorns out! Nooo!! I was also holding Mayhem and should have played it right there but I think I instinctively wanted to save it for Hypocrisy since I was already drawing a lot. I bought myself some time but I didn’t do enough with it. He was able to walk in a few times with TSA and I wound up rescuing again to which he blocked with Lions to discard his own Gideon (which was brilliant!!) and play Son of God/The Second Coming. Great game.
10 Noah Wagenknecht
Noah! Really?! We meet again so soon?! I was honestly glad I played Noah again after already having played Brian haha. It was kind of weird because I knew what he was playing at this point from earlier and maybe it’s just a good idea to check more than one deck for this reason. I do like the idea of playing one deck consistently but also it could be good to change it up for this purpose. Basically I just started with an absurdly good hand this game. I remember having my draw engine out Angel of the Lord/Son of God/The Second Coming/Barnabas. It was looking great for me.. He wasn’t drawing much, couldn’t search because of HSR. It was going one way fast. I think I turned down HSR for You Will Remain and got a tap.
I had searched his deck earlier with Barnabas and didn’t see Falling Away so I didn’t know if he was playing the old one or the new one. I was worried about playing Son of God/The Second Coming without Guardian up so I held on to them even with 1 soul and a tap. I had a Dull soul out and he came in with Samuel to David. It was funny because we had been talking earlier how sick it is to Son of God the Dull soul after they find an Evil Character and block. I even said out loud I think I know what you’re going to do as I searched for The Serpent and Scattered. Sure enough before I blocked he play Son of God on the Dull soul. But then he did something I didn’t expect, Mayhem!!!
It was a huge play and very gutsy. Not to mention I lost my Son of God/TSC and uber hand which was sure to win me the game next turn. I drew into Punisher lost soul, Deluders, and Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride. I withdrew David with Deluders then played Nebbuchadnezzar’s Pride. He played Deborah’s Directive to band in to his Jephthah from hand and tried to dc his top card to dc Deluders but I pointed at Punisher to show him Jeph was negated and they all got set aside. He didn’t have another hero to add to the battle with You Will Remain and after that play I was able to come back and win.
After this game Noah told me about how Roy had signed his play mat a year before with something along the lines of “Put all of the Redemption players into the Ark!” This year Noah’s Ark was the National promo and he said he wanted some of his favorite Redemption players to sign his Flood Survivor cards so he could put them into the Ark! What an honor!! So I signed Ham!! CunningHam!! Yeahh!!! Haha
Overall it was an incredible day of Redemption!! Nationals was an awesome time filled with laughter and joy. The competition is a great driving factor of the game, but the heart and soul is our time together in Christ.
Lost Soul II Samuel 23:6 (Thorns)
Lost Soul Jeremiah 17:9 (Punisher)
Lost Soul (Protector) Luke 5:15
Lost Soul (Lawless)
Lost Soul (Dull)
Lost Soul Luke 15:15-16 (Pigs)
Lost Soul (Awake)
Lost Soul II Chronicles 28:13 (Hopper)
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