Oh man an update after more than a year, I always start with great motivation to do these things and then promptly forget. Hence the huge not post that was 2015. I just remembered that I played Zaelar's KOF (If you are from NYC you know this bearded hat dude) first round after dodging him for half a year at my house sessions because I hate playing him, ate 2 soul two turns in a row and proceeded to go on tilt for the entire rest of LCQ before coming out at like 18th place. Not expecting to play the next day I showed up without showering and learned that like 10 people had dropped out and that with Julian/Angelofsol dropping out of the tourney to do homework I had actually qualified as the last person in Nationals. What a circus. I did reasonably well (4-1?) until my last match where I disqualified myself out of disgust. Played compass on last 3 cards of deck, forgot it was a brainstorm and put the cards into waiting room (no climaxes), opponent let it pass since I was about to die...until I triple cancelled after refresh. At that point I was just like fuck it and resigned.
Anyway, 2016. This year I used Idolmaster Cinderella Girls Minami/Uzuki/Anya/Anzu. Why not TP? Well it's objectively better, and Rin's cool, but I basically played R/B CG since last year (it was the deck I used in free fight after I lost in Nats last year.) Back then I used Minami/Miku cause I didn't like Ranko's climax, and switching to Duki didn't feel too much different. I made TP for setrajonas instead.
Once again cockblocked in Boston (it was on the same day as the NYC quals and since we have friends and jiro ramen in Boston we went there) by pair down and Carl's mafia I get to go through LCQ again. I wasn't planning writeups so I forgot names and turn orders.
Game 1: vs Idolmaster Cinderella Girls Krone
The CG variant I knew the least of, so I had to look at some of the cards. Friendly chap with a distinct hat and fashion sense. He didn't get Mishiro until level 3. I don't remember much about this game except the triple Fumika (my main Derestage SSR) full field combo at the end threatening a potential 15 damage back into my deck. However, the timing was off and I had a waiting room of 4 climaxes and 6 other cards, so I only added 6 cards back in before I cancelled and killed him. All in all, the finisher feels way too dependent on things that are beyond the player's control.
Game 2: vs Titan zipline, Danielle
I'm somewhat aware of what Titan does, however the player looked familiar and I thought I had met her at Nats two years ago playing Phantom, as she was from the Indiana/Illinois crew. I was wrong however, as she wasn't present two years ago. Either way, not a good game for her. Ramming supports at 0 left weak bodies at 1 and generally hemorrhaging field everywhere as well as triggering up a storm, I believe I was L2-3 when she was at L3-5 or 6. She does finally get some hits in at the end with Mikasa and a 5 hit from zipline Levi's 2nd attack while I'm at 3-1 with 5 cards left in my deck scares the shit out of me since I miscounted my climaxes and thought I was out, but I do cancel and end the game.
Game 3: vs Osomatsu R/G, from Seattle
What a fun set. That's all I felt playing against this nonsense. The first card he played was the P4 protag which threw me off. "Who the hell is that?" Anyway, he knew what my deck did while I wasn't sure what his did, but initial discard of Karamatsu gave an idea. Level 1 was one of the funniest experiences I have had, as he played a single copy of anti-Cost 0 and level 0s that would always die/trade. As I actually had Everyone's Leader and 3 Minami in hand I kept trying to bait him by playing level 0s and yet he somehow kept managing to clear them and his own field at the same time, leaving the Jyushimatsu as the only card on his field. This went on for like three turns until I had to give up on comboing and just played for damage. I remember getting an early play Rin for level 3 and he didn't have anti-level stuff ready, which was lucky for me, but I was pretty scared about his level 3. Choromatsu and Karamatsu came down but he didn't have Hedgehog's Dilemma for the combo so Choro just kicked -4500 Rin into my clock. On my turn I believe I had a scrub/Anzu/Uzuki vs empty/Choro/Kara, I almost ran Uzuki into Choro before asking the opponent if the clock kick was persistent (it was) thank god for that or I'm pretty sure I would have lost. Anyway I actually win off Uzuki's final restand, I think he still had quite a few climaxes left so it was pretty lucky for me.
Game 4: vs Milky Holmes
At this point my friend Ken running Abyssal is also 3-0, and given our group's penchant for team-killing I'm sort of expecting to run into him. One thing about our playgroup is that while we all meet at my house, it's only because I am in the "middle" of everyone else distance-wise. If regional seeding is ever implemented (I feel sorry for the two Londoners who had to play each other first round) it will help us not a bit, the people I drove up with this time came from Delaware, NJ, NY, PA, and we stayed with a bunch of MA. Chalk it up to FGC ties. Anyway, I don't draw Ken, but Milky Holmes. I'm actually somewhat aware of what modern Milky does (clock swap 3k counters everywhere), as I ran into Milky last year in NYC, so I know to mentally add 3000 to everything starting at level 1. However I am totally NOT aware that Milky has gotten even more cards to help their nonsense, specifically a whole shitload of Elly. Anyway this game is like a combo video for Milky Holmes. I triple Minami and climax and then realize that even with the +2K from reversing the level 0 on the right the middle alternate art Elly is 10500 and the left one is 10000 and I can't get over either of them with the other Minamis. Akatsuki Elly is some stupid nonsense where every counter he gets cards, and then he taps two chars and swaps and gets more cards on his turn. Tri-Ascend gives him one bazillion clean stock. Despite all this and bad cancels (no chance to early play just get hit to 3) I still manage to make it a game with a bazillion level 3 healers vs 18 or so clean stock. My field is actually too high for him to get over at level 3 but he has so many resources that he drops two restand Ellys and a third red level 3 that I don't remember, suicides the Ellys in (I cancel) and then they all restand and I explode to more attacks. Sure wish I had a stockbomb right around now... Although it didn't come up I like his single bounce tech for certain matchups.
Game 5: vs Triad Primus
Ken's 4-0 at this point so no more teamkills, everyone else is in the shadow realm. I notice his name on the bottom of my opponent's slip, and so I know with certainty that I am fighting Triad Primus, a deck I made for someone else. Ironically enough, the guy I'm playing is actually just borrowing the deck from a friend, he wanted to play Puyo but his blobs got held up in the middle of no where on the way to Vancouver. He has these really cool Granblue Fantasy Rin sleeves though. Anyway, I know exactly what is coming, this matchup sort of sucks because their early plays will always be bigger, their level 1 will always be bigger, their level 3 is always easier, etc. etc. Going into this game I actually keep a Mayu and two level 0s because I'm pretty sure he has Anzu as well for more stable early play. At first I felt I had a rough time climax wise but I noticed he didn't have Nao at level 0 so it wasn't as bad as I thought. While his deck did normal Triad Primus-y things...I felt that he was milling without really needing to a lot of the time. There were a lot of Rins into Rins into Arisu, that type of thing. As a Minami player maybe I'm the last person to say this but I really felt that he got himself into really bad cancel/climax situations with all the milling he was doing. He early plays Rin first and knows to attack with it first before I counter it away on his second attack, I get Anzu into Rin shortly after and get to chill at 2 a little longer while he goes into 3 with quite a few climaxes out. His level 3 lacks double attack climax combos and he doesn't cancel.
Game 6: vs Symphogear
Probably the closest to a "bad game" I had for LCQ. I had cards to play and all and don't quite remember the early game and all besides Shibiki, but it was in no way terrible until I think mid level 1. With 3 or so climaxes left in 10-12 cards or so I expected to cancel around mid level 2 and then be able to Anzu it up. Instead a large chunk stuck and I found myself at 2-6 with definite two climaxes left in like a 3-4 card deck. Not willing to clock into climaxes and level 3 I'm more or less forced to play Anzu then brainstorm into refresh. Maybe not the right decision in hindsight but I couldn't really think of a better path forward. I never really recover and just eat straight damage at level 3 from Maria.
Ken's at 5-1 but not top 8 apparently until 3 people fail deck check (lol) so he gets in at 7th. As for me, I lost to 1st place and someone 5-1 who lost to 1st place so I'm 9th by strength of schedule (after all the deck check failures get sorted out, this includes the Symphogear player I just lost to RIP) Zaelar (KOF beard hat man) is also 4-2 but is quite far down strength of schedule wise and is told to show up to Nats without high hopes.
Usually regardless of LCQ shenanigans (after the first year Boston regional I've always had to qualify through LCQ) I do the best among our group in Nationals. That totally didn't happen this year. The games will be short. Zaelar actually gets into Nationals with his strength of schedule but is totally not feeling it and declines the position even though he is present at the store.
Game 1: vs Blue Snake Cat thing Monogatari, Tim?
I'm somewhat familiar with meta Monogatari (fat face Mayoi) but am totally unfamiliar with what blue does. It actually doesn't matter though. Rin whiffs (no blue characters) and Minami manages to mill 3 climaxes and a character. I emphasize the 3 climaxes to my opponent because I'm pretty sure what is about to happen, having played Zaelar enough times. Sure enough I am 2-souled into oblivion next turn. The rest of the game is trying to equalize damage but it never happens, he quad cancels the last turn as well.
Game 2: vs Triad Primus
A NYC face that was unfamiliar to me, he said he was a relatively new player. Either way this was a Triad Primus combo movie and shows why Minami/good stuff has a hard ass time against them. He basically gets everything he needs, his cheap level 1 field is hard to consistently climb over without comboing, his Anzu is fatter cause of the global level support, as is his Rin, he doesn't even need to level counter my early plays just kill them with the +2500, I find it really hard to maintain any field whatsoever. The only saving grace is he doesn't have the climax to hit me 5 times but I have an empty field and less than 3 climaxes anyway on the final turn at 3-6. It's here where he does a potentially DQable misplay, as after brainstorming once, he plays another Karen and Nao in front and brainstorms again without the stock to do so. He flips over the last 3 cards of his library and reveals two climaxes before he realizes what he's done. I think the rules state here that because he gained information that could affect his play (trigger order) it would have been a game loss. To his credit he offers to immediately scoop but I feel this would be akin to taking a game from someone who paused during the super animation of a kill combo. I let him turn his library back over and lose as expected.
Shortest Nat run I've had in the four years I've been there, oh well. Ken gets into top cut with a 4-1 record and proceeds to misplay level 1 and not put green in his clock to play Hoppous, what a clown. At least he did really well this time, I always said he should use better decks than Miku. Alex gets into top cut with 3-2 because of some wack ass rule where your strength of schedule is determined by how well-represented your set is in top cut, as Alex is playing Shiyoko which is represented by a whopping zero other players he slides in and keeps the meme alive. Hyeon returned from Korea (forced army?) and qualified in LCQ with 5-1 before making top cut as well for Nationals. However, his first game apparently was the worst game of Weiss ever played, lasting 6 minutes. (9 level 3s and 8 climaxes pass through his hand, clock pass until lose) He reminds me to pick up European fleet though, as I had sort of chilled on the Kancolle after Abyssal. All in all, a pretty good year, I played against a lot of different sets that I wanted to, didn't misplay to the point of DQing myself, and got to actually eat on time on the day of Nationals in exchange for 0-2.
Next post is on what really made the weekend for me though, mafia lol.