View Full Version : Nationals 2015: a first-timer's perspective

02-09-2015, 10:59 PM
I played UFS in the Sabertooth days, and the largest tournaments I competed in were some AOP and FOP in Northern California, as well as some other tournament that I don't remember in a creepy warehouse in the bay area. I was never competitive and didn't try to be, I just played for fun (as I still do).

I gave the game up when we lost our playgroup shortly after the very first rotation, and picked it back up this previous July on a whim. Turns out I still love it. Unfortunately I have no playgroups nearby (the two I try to attend are about 90 minutes away, in opposite directions, and neither has a large base). Despite that I still have a great time making decks on UFS ultra and spending way too much money on cards for a game I rarely get to play (thank god for OCTGN).

Not a lot to say here. I was able to join a team that morning with two locals and had fun playing with them. I ran a modified version of my own Huitzil deck, which I hadn't playtested. This ended up being a bad idea because my lack of familiarity with my own deck caused several misplays. Also, my Huitzil deck is not nearly as consistent as my singles deck (which I will discuss next), but for some reason I thought that if I played my singles deck during teams then I would "give away my secret" for the next day. In retrospect the practice I would've gained in those five matches would've DRAMATICALLY improved my skills for singles the next day. At any rate, the other reason I chose Huitzil is because it was one of the very first decks I made upon my return, and because I love throws.

Overall we went 3-2, not good enough to make the top 8. It took me two rounds to figure out how to use my own deck, which was a major factor in those two losses (sorry guys), but after I got the hang of it I was able to win my last 3 rounds. Match of note is probably me misplaying against Mai, leaving her at 2 HP with two Killing Dinosaurs on the field. Classic Jeff. I didn't tell my teammates about the Mai thing, because I didn't want them to force me into ritual seppuku.

PS- Hopefully they don't read this.

I ran my best deck: .Ash. on evil. I had been wanting to run the character for a while, but all of my attempts were very marginal. Scott offered to lend me some champ cards and helped me give the deck a few tricks that a noob like me wasn't smart enough to figure out (Good & Evil, Sweet Nothings, Hakkesshu of Death, Robot Masters). The final product deviated from several of his recommendations, but it was a great deck.

The basic premise of the deck is to run two attacks, and use Ash's form into Ice Slasher. It is a truly beautiful thing, and almost guarantees turn-two wins against 7HS characters. Not normally a one-turn killer against a 6HS, but in a typical game I drop 3-4 foundations turn one and then safely throw out 5 attacks turn two, and it hurts. I found out later in the tournament that for the deck to truly be magical I needed a Robot Masters on the field turn one. The stun on every attack was crucial to landing my attacks against higher-tier characters, which often blocked my high-speed attacks (Moon Tracer, Death Row, Chasm Buster) with the use of their 97,000 ready foundations.

I started out strong at 3-0 after facing Reese, Lilith, and Huitzil respectively (the Huitzil win earned me a set of Ben Shoemakers! Yay!). I was doing fairly well, but I consistently misplayed Hakkesshu (which can be a crucial card when I'm drawing grey) by forgetting to use it first.

After these matches (or maybe before I played Huitzil, I don't really remember) I played the only match that was not fun the entire weekend, against .Terry. It wasn't my opponent or his deck, but the fact that throughout the entire first game I drew into less than 3 attacks (it was a 30 minute game), and on the second game NEITHER OF US DREW MORE THAN ONE ATTACKS FOR MORE THAN 9 TURNS). I want you to really think about how much fun that game would be. The answer is: not at all. Misplaying on Hakkesshu in this game made me want to kill something, because it just kept the game going. At the end of game two (again, 30 minutes) I happened into 2 attacks finally, and was able to end the match at a tie.

This was the start of my downfall, my 3-0-1 record was about to go downhill. My next two matches were against Jack Lambourne and Phil Birch (the characters, not the people) and I lost both matches. I ended up winning one game in each match, which is better than nothing, but I was outclassed by both the characters and the players. Still had a lot of fun, though! The constant attack-draw was completely different than anything I had played before and really had me scratching my head for answers (WHY DOES GOOD & EVIL SAY NON-CHARACTER CARD DAMMIT!!?!?!?). Before entering the final match I was 3-2-1.

My final matchup was against an Angels deck (the winner of Worlds I think he said). It was actually a good matchup for Ash, because the constant use of his Es allowed me to use my enhance for some speed/damage boost. It also helped that he was never able to find an Animate Fusion. At any rate, we played our first game for about 45 minutes, and although it was close I pulled out the win. This is where everything went downhill. We started our second game with about 15 minutes left, and I felt rushed from jump. It is crucial for me to emphasize that this was NOT HIS FAULT. He did not rush me in any way, shape, or form. I know the rules about stalling, and I'm a very slow player (it's what allows me to make good decisions, I have to think about everything), so I was nervous to get a game loss. Also, to be honest, I wanted to give him a game he deserved. In retrospect it was actually really stupid. I should've just played to stay alive, but instead I played out my hands/attacks in the way I normally would which left me vulnerable to his attacks. At any rate, the clock was ticking down on my final turn, and even though I knew I could stall out the turn to pass the clock, I decided to end my turn JUST BEFORE time was called to allow him his turn to kill me (I had gone second). I had 3HP, and I knew it was a bad move, but I felt he deserved a real game.

After time was called I became VERY NERVOUS. People started to watch us play, my heart started to race, and I became very anxious. Think of when you were in 8th grade and asking a girl out- that is exactly how I felt. To make a long story short I misplayed the very last move of the very last game (I Sweet Nothings-ed a Spinning Necro driver), which went right back into his hand (whoops). He replayed the attack (his ONLY attack) and I was unable to block the multiple.

I was actually really upset at the time, because I wanted to prove that Ash was a viable character (most people I played scoffed at shim). That win (which my deck actually won, and I made myself lose) would've put me in the top 16, and would've made Ash proud. I genuinely don't mind losing, I had a great time playing both decks that beat me, but I do have a problem with misplaying something that literally costs me the game. Practice makes perfect though, and overall I had a great time.

Unfortunately this was a sort of "first last stand" with Ash, because most of that deck is rotating out, and I don't expect to be able to keep shim in tournament-worth condition. However, I ended the tournament with 3-2-2, and since my goal was 4-3 I am claiming accomplishment by rounding my two ties up to one win :).

To sum up the weekend I had a great time with great people. The prize support was unbelievable and I will DEFINITELY be going next year (if I can drive there). Also this has me contemplating a flight to Worlds if I can scrape the money together, which I would've laughed at a month ago. I had a really really great time! The only thing I wish I would've done is go to Buca and meet everyone in a less competitive setting, but I traveled to Vegas with my girlfriend and two other friends who I literally didn't see the entire time we were there, so I promised to meet them for dinner and drinks on that night (the last night we were in town). Next time I can hopefully meet everyone and have lots and lots of drinks.

Now I'm gonna go make some post-rotation pre-rise of the masters decks!

PS - big ups to Scott and Shane for lending me the cards to make my deck viable. You guys rule!

02-10-2015, 12:45 AM
If anyone cares about the decklist (http://ufsultra.com/deck.php?deck=XWMmwKljbOSBmMDkkGTumBSvaIQWXj)

In retrospect I would've had 3 Sweet Nothings in deck, and 3 Power Struggles in Sideboard, but my personal playtesting didn't lend to that necessity.

'Caz Simon
02-10-2015, 04:06 AM
I smiled pretty big when you dropped Ash in front of me in the 6th (?) round. You played it pretty similarly to me when I had it rolling in locals (in style and decklist (http://ufsultra.com/deck.php?deck=jyMtFfuPNdItYurqGGxMAWyyVZdpjj)), it's a totally underrated deck. It's honestly kind of too bad that I had a good idea of how to play into you before the game started, if I didn't play it frequently myself it would have caught me off guard.

The rush of playing in high stress games is one of the greatest feelings in the world, and all the great people make the experience that much better. It's too bad you didn't make it to Buca, but it'd be great if you came out to another major and have some more time to hang out. But in the meantime, it would be nice to have some games on octgn sometime.

02-10-2015, 05:57 AM
Ash rep! Favorite deck. But you really made a mistake not running powerful assassin or brash and aggressive. Brash is his best offensive card besides robot masters.

02-10-2015, 09:50 AM
Yeah I was going to build an ash deck as well. Just wondering, how come you did not run nivose?

02-10-2015, 10:30 AM
I smiled pretty big when you dropped Ash in front of me in the 6th (?) round. You played it pretty similarly to me when I had it rolling in locals (in style and decklist (http://ufsultra.com/deck.php?deck=jyMtFfuPNdItYurqGGxMAWyyVZdpjj)), it's a totally underrated deck. It's honestly kind of too bad that I had a good idea of how to play into you before the game started, if I didn't play it frequently myself it would have caught me off guard.

What Devon fails to mention is that it is an Evil deck, so even though its underrated it never beats me. Ever. I don't lose to Evil decks. I am too Good for that (har har har).

TLDR the reason Mr. 'Caz Simon (not sure what that is a reference to) is smart enough not to play Evil Ash outside of locals is that he keeps this thing called Hope in his heart, he truly thinks one day he will beat me when it matters :)

Don't play the Evil symbol, be a good UFS player.

I suppose I should add something constructive. Amazing report! Beating the Angels is not a feat to be taken lightly - not sure if you lost to Tanner playing Jack Lambourne or Slam, but if you did lose to the former. My apologies.

02-10-2015, 12:23 PM
Rep dat ash!

02-10-2015, 03:09 PM
@Pandasauce Brash is just too expensive for the benefit. I rarely use that enhance, and otherwise the only time it would help is for my initial multiple copy of Ice Slasher. In order to keep my consistency up I had to keep my foundation cost low.

@Jaycee I don't have any Nivose :(

02-10-2015, 03:11 PM
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@dutpotd I'm pretty sure I lost to Tanner who opened our match with "Wait... people play Ash without it being a joke?"

02-10-2015, 03:14 PM
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@dutpotd I'm pretty sure I lost to Tanner who opened our match with "Wait... people play Ash without it being a joke?"

Did you at least answer "No, you are right, this is a joke. I like to make my opponent laugh before I beat their face in :) " If you didn't you have my permission to use that one next time.

02-10-2015, 03:20 PM
Can you explain what you mean by too expensive? You mean not enough momentum to burn to trigger it? Just confused because I can typically use ash e twice AND mult 2 ice slasher. Assuming at least 2 brash in play, its +2/+2 on two attacks plus any additional from playing ash's e. Just makes attacks stick more, and usually go unblocked which means full damage. Just friendly Ash discussion, because (s)he's much boy...(girl) ;)

02-10-2015, 03:26 PM
Meant muh boy* lol auto correct. Phone wow, such smart

02-10-2015, 03:35 PM
@Pandasauce The 2 diff is a bit too expensive for the benefit. I usually start attacking full force on turn two, which means I don't have extra momentum (normally). Also, I literally used Ash's enhance I think 4 times in the entire tournament, because NO ONE enhanced on my attacks (smart bastards). The odds of me having more than one on the field are pretty low. I'd run it in a heartbeat at a 1 difficulty though.

@dutpotd I'm writing that in my diary for Nats 2016

02-10-2015, 03:49 PM
You know you can still play ash E for +0/+0 and r: with brash right? Also, forgot your list lacks flash lightning and nivose. With flash lightning and living with determination it shouldn't be too hard to pull off. My ash also goes in turn 2/3 for the win 90% of games. Preference in style then I suppose. Still think you should try it. And nivose is just such a good string ender at desperation 3

02-10-2015, 03:51 PM
I absolutely agree that it would've been stronger with Nivose. Multiple times I left my opponent at low life and a reversal would've slapped them on the ass. I just don't have card access. As it is I borrowed... I think almost 12 cards for this to work :P

02-11-2015, 06:25 AM
Sorry about the terrible game man. :P Terry just wasn't feeling it that match I guess. Long game was long @.@