View Full Version : OBOB3.0 a Success! Dutís UK Nationals 2015 report

11-04-2015, 11:38 AM
This yearís UK Nationals event was unforgettable for me, largely because it was the first year it was run with a Jasco staff on site, one who also happens to be a gracious host and good friend - Joe Hill. I want to point out it certainly isnít a case of the previous UK events being run poorly, on the contrary - Baz and Patriot Games also did a wonderful job, instead I wanted to acknowledge how exciting it is to know Joe is with the Company, passionate about the growth of the game of UFS and all of their upcoming products, and ready to showcase that passion by running a great event. Thank you Joe, Oliver, of course Adam for amazing judging, Ace for letting us use their venue, and everyone else who helped out in any and all capacity Ė your efforts did not go unnoticed.

My first trip to the UK back in 2013 was a frightening one, the reason it was frightening should be obvious - there is a lot of pressure you put on yourself to do well when you spend a lot of time and money to Ďgo to play UFSí. I quickly realized after that UK experience that there was no need to feel pressure, after all - travelling to the UK became to me, like many of my UFS travels, not about doing well but about seeing the friends I have there and making new ones, meeting new people who love a game I love, and generally hanging out and having a good time.

That said I did want to have fun playing UFS, and fun UFS for me is when I challenge myself to play my best and come through by rising to that challenge. I decided to play Skull Man for the singles event, for the hokey reason that I wanted to continue to Birch on Brits, commencing Operation 3.0Ö

- Singles deck choice

Every year Iíve travelled to the UK Iíve essentially taken the last time Birch has beaten me and in turn beat the Brits with it. In 2013 I lost to Birch playing a Good symbol version of himself in Michigan weeks before going to the UK. In 2014 I didnít lose to Birch the player, but I did lose to a Birch deck, an All symbol version played again at the Michigan PTC. In 2015 I didnít have the pleasure of losing to any sort of Birch in Michigan, so I had to reach back to earlier in the year when I last lost to a Birch incarnation, that being when he beat me in the finals of New Orleans playing Water Skull Man. Okay, some of you may think Iím reaching, but my superstitious pattern is holding so I must be doing something right ^^

There was obviously a significant problem with going so far back for inspiration from a Birch beating. Namely, three major events happened between then and now Ė 1. Mourning the Lost finally was banned. 2. Champ cards rotated, and 3. Darkstalkers was released. I had to carefully apply each of these issues to my Water Skull Man build. A fourth issue existed, namely there was a glaring dichotomy in the competitive landscape, on one hand you had Snake Man and decks that just play low attacks and you lose if you canít block fully/low and on the other you had Air/All/Good/Void decks and Water/Kim decks that had attack lineups that were predominantly high zone. Iím talking Rain Flush, Segaki Offering, RobertKicks, and so on and so forth. Believe it or not, I ended up putting in many more solid high blocks into my build (at times cutting back at low zones) because of this.

My singles deck was posted by Joe in the deckbuilding section of the forums here http://forums.jascogames.com/forums/showthread.php?11565-UK-Nationals-2015-Top-Decks and Iíd like to talk about it before going into my description of the day.

The general strategy going into games with this deck was, a) aim for an Improved Design and a Curiosity (or more) then resolve a No Mai, b) survive to a). The decks worst matchups defensively were going to be against speed-heavy decks or ones that had potent reversals, worst matchups offensively were ones that could protect Templar resolutions or had a lot of breaker/Hanya, because my kill relied on playing a lot of attacks. My best matchups were going to be against decks that liked to attack early and often or that couldnít punish me at all for poking.


1x Designed for Combat? Ė yes, actually I was very close to going down to 0 of this and having a third Short Fuse or a second Second Chance. Skull Man has enough filter, and with 4 Wing Slash (see the need for nice high blocks) my testing indicated I didnít need 4x Designed to get to hands I wanted. Instead Iíd protect Skull Man in the main board, hence the 3 Celestials.

1x No Other Purpose and 3x Improved Design. Believe it or not this was the most difficult part of the deck, arriving at a place where I felt I could attack and kill an opponent in as many desired places as possible. With the departure of Mourning from the format Water has struggled with damage, Lilith makes it up with making more attacks hit and Merry, but Skull Man struggles. I saw that a lot when last playing against a Water Skull Man, Trips playing it in Michigan. I tested various Skull Mans with 4x Improved Design, and with up to 4x No Other Purpose. In the end I decided I could kill just as well without relying on massive copies of these cards and ultimately that is why I was able to play Skull Man with confidence.

2x Short Fuse. The deck has 4x Caught Red handed and momentum hate in Reactive Style and mainboard Houou Hiten, seeing that the main block abilities are Templar and Skull Barrier, my testing concluded I didnít need more than 2 Short Fuse its function overlapped with other more important pieces.

3x Ever Hopeful and 2x Champion of Justice. Generally speaking, the decks overall size is meant to support these numbers, I was looking for seeing them early but not exactly often.

The attack lineup:

Again, mostly setup around making sure I have a lot of strong block mods, thereby offsetting the relative lack of speed reduction and allowing me to block well enough to get from b) to a)Ö Head Crush (1), Splendour Love (1), and Shiranui (3) were the only cards that werenít also great blocks so we had 18/23 attacks all things I wanted to block with.

Above and beyond the defensive nature of the lineup we see one that attacks high a lot and that wants to be full blocked high earlier on. Cat Spike first was basically the idea, then if they wasted a high block on it Shiranui would end up getting through or only being half blocked.

Then we have the tool box aspect, reusing face downs with Cossack, another way to pool clear with Splendour, momentum removal with Houou, and a way to grab most of these with Head Crush. Finally, and I stole this from Slam/Markeyís build, the Super Drop Kick is Waterís way of making a large attack count deck work, passing the many attack checks required. It also has a great block mod that works with the defensive goals of the deck.

The sideboard:

Most of the sideboard is setup to combat specific decks that I was afraid of. Multiple based decks Ė Haoh, mirror matches - Ceratanium/Majigen, monsters that were better off Committed Ė Kuuga, and long games Ė Sober Enough.

A notable absence is asset hate, the reason I didnít pack this was I felt most of the assets I disliked were defensive in nature, meaning I could long game into them and commit them with Champion of Justice if necessary, or Kuuga from the side. I wasnít at all prepared for the amount of love the UK has for Hanya and I felt it badly in my semi-finals match and would have felt it in round 2 if my opponent had gotten it out early like he tried to.

- The singles event!

Round 1 vs. Jack playing as Chaos Hsien-Ko

I played against Jack for the first time back in 2013 when he was more or less new to the game and playing a very aggressive Nehtali. He has come an incredibly long way and has, aside from choosing to play Snake Man in teams, gone a long way to earning my respect as an opponent.

He didnít let me down and game 1 was a very strategy heavy / long game. Lucky for me I know to beat Hsien-Ko, or more specifically I know how to not get killed by her and even that that meant going to a longer game it ended up working. I pretty much made sure he never gained momentum, I targeted his momentum gaining cards with Every Hopeful and others and blocked everything fully. Sadly I checked all 3 Shiranuiís early so I had to chip away for a long time until I finally defeated him.

In game 2 I pretty much played it the same, defending and stifling his momentum, I ended up drawing into Shiranui and did kill him in a decent amount of time.


Round 2 vs. Jon playing as All Shen

Jon is the fellow I played in the finals of UK nationals last year and easily one of the best UK players, of which there are many and with oddly diverse stylesÖ In any case, Jon had horrible luck in game 1, after winning the die roll he failed a first turn 3 diff card and then drew into a hand of attacks on turn 2. I ended up taking some damage but all in all I was so far ahead in build that the gameís result was only a matter of time.

In game 2 Jon had a better build, the problem was I had arrived at a fairly sound strategy for the matchup and was able to execute it. Specifically, I would limit his draw, and simply defend over and over (again I had a lot of nice high blocks) until I could kill him from critical mass after he overextended. Jon always gives me good games and this certainly was one of them, I had a feeling that if he figured out his deck issues I might see him again.


Round 3 vs. Dan (little) playing as Air Felicia

This was the player and deck that won their last PTC so I knew I was in for a challenge. However, Dan is young, and his deck is very aggressive. In game 1, even though he went first, I used this against him by defending first and foremost and again simply paying mind of the momentum he had. Then he made the mistake of Robert Kicking when on even footing, this is a Devon play and I knew how to leverage it. I ended up getting ahead and killing him.

In game 2 I got way behind, Dan had a really strong turn 1 build and I checked poorly on his pokes. Lucky for me I finally caught a break and hard checked a needed 5 to block a powerful 5 (17 damage) uppercut on turn 3 from him. I thought this would be enough of a turning point allowing me to survive until time and win 1-0 but later on I checked poorly, a 3 when needing a 4, on a lethal Nivose after time was called. And so things turned to a tie. I was still incredibly happy with this result, I had played what I felt Ė after Gemini Man Ė would be my deckís worst matchup and gone tie with it going second both games.


Round 4 vs. Kev playing as Air Gemini Man

I knew this was going to be bad, I had helped look over Kevís deck with him the weeks leading up to the event since he was teaming with me and I knew he had a good chance of beating me. The big issue here is I have a lot of attacks and need to poke with them to Skull Man e at times to better my hand, if he blocked with character blocks and reversalíd even Iíd be in big trouble. That is exactly what he ended up doing in game 1, namely I drew into a hand of orange on turn 2 and he blocked with Gemini Man. I hadnít seen any speed reduction either and Iím pretty sure I just died turn 3-4 to Air Slams followed by Segakis and ultimately a 3 Gemini Stacker Pharoah Salv.

Game 2 I knew I needed some luck, and I got it in the form of 2 of my Balanced Fighter by turn 2. Sadly he had again blocked with Gemini Man though, and I wasnít exactly in a good position to survive if he drew strong attack hands and checked well. I decided the best thing to do was not attack, and slowly but surely I built enough to reach a turn where I could possibly kill him if things went my way. I luckily got a Reactive Style out and on the following turn drew a Shiranui, I knew this was my last turn of the game and attacked him. I drew into a second Shiranui and had to hard check it after the first string but it was enough to kill him on half block and that is all he had. Another tie, but again I was happy with it Ė this time it was come from behind after all.


Round 5 vs. Allan playing as Death Duo

Well I wasnít really prepared for this. I didnít think anyone would be playing Death, and if they were I wasnít expecting them to be at table 3 in the final round with it. I was overconfident here and was quickly brought back to reality when he built 4 turn 1 and then drew into an attack hand turn 2, checking well for everything. I took damage but thought itíd be possible to do some backswing damage. Wrong, his turn 2 hand wasnít just an attack turn hand, it was ALL attacks, and the last two were Skull Barriers. I ended up getting nowhere (due to Duo zone changes) lost a ton of foundations and was more committed than I wanted to be going into his turn 3. Speaking of his turn 3, he drew more attacks and brought me all the way to 1 vitality. I knew I should have pretty much conceded but finally his deck dried and he didnít attack me on turn 4. The problem was I wasnít getting anywhere either. Eventually I drew into what I thought would be enough to hurt/kill him, and I checked HORRIBLY, multiple 2 checks on the string. I was overextended and he did drew 2 attacks and was able to deal the final point.

I was upset with myself at this point. I should have given up when I got way behind early. And now I was in a place where even if I won game 2 itíd be a third consecutive tie and Iíd be up in the air over top cuts. I know as a younger UFS player I wouldnít have been able to be as calm during this situation, and so I was really happy with the way I played game 2. Just like my game 2 win against Kev I played safe and smart and went for a kill when it was safest to do so. Again I won a game 2 as time was called.


Somehow, I am lucky in the UK, I squeaked into top cuts at 7th place, one of two 9 point records to make it. I found out a few things, 1) Kev lost his last match to Lilith meaning Gemini Man wasnít in top cuts, I was sad for my teammate but felt that was better for me since I knew I couldnít beat his deck if things went average, 2) Bo had finished 4-1 and was third with the Ryu deck I leant him, an updated Slam creation, and 3) I was paired against Snake Man round 1Ö I was suddenly re-invigorated! I knew there was no way I was going to lose to a Snake Man so I felt my luck had turned around and I was eager to attempt to ride it to another UK victory.

Top 8 vs. Alex and his Chaos Snake Man

I felt Alex played amazingly well, and his build is actually one that allows for flexibility and decision based success but, well its Snake Man Ė him and I have a history. Game 1 he was also bad luck Snake Man, I won the die roll and then proceeded to block low for a few turns. He also didnít draw more than 2 attacks on his turn 2-4 so he actually out built me but that didnít matter because I was poking him and he was poking himself. The turn he put himself in desperation, even though I kept him off momentum, I went in and finished it so as to avoid any miracle double-triple multiple attack plays.

In game 2 he had a lot more going on. He managed to get a hit through, me without a second low block, on his turn 2, and he reacted with Give Up Yet! which he picked out of momentum with Snake Man and did again. So he had 4 momentum gain for one attack hit. I got super lucky and drew into my Houou and cleared it all the next turn. Turn 3 he still had a lot of attacks and he brought me to a pretty low total, I had to play really carefully because if he had a second 6 diff attack and had the guts to play it on a 9 (and hard checked 5) I would have died or would have been very near death. He had more attacks, but not the big one and I took more damage. I had no way to deal with his growing momentum pile but I did have my own momentum and drew into a Shiranui, I decided to try to kill his mostly committed board and managed to draw into a second Shiranui with Skull Man and that was the match.

Top 4 vs. Dan (big) and his Void Lilith

I didnít know exactly what to expect out of this match, but from my experience with Lilith I knew I could lose very quickly or I could get up speed reduction and block everything so nothing would loop. In game 1 it didnít matter, I went first and for the first time all tournament I played a Reactive Style -> Shiranui turn 2 and would have killed him if he didnít have a Revoke for the Shiranui. I still left him at 2 vitality and on turn 3 I drew into 2 high attacks and decided I had a good chance one would hit, it did and that was game.

Game 2 was fairly epic, but it concluded with me committing to much. I knew I couldnít kill him without taking some risks given he had Hanya out and I had no way of dealing with it. I had more or less figured he couldnít kill me because it looked like he had checked all of his Rain Flush. Well, he attacked after my greedy turn (committing too much after Hanya activations) and I did something even more greedy, I wasted resources so that I could look at his hand with Purpose on his turn, hoping that I could take advantage of that info and kill him on my next. Well, what I saw quickly told me I wasnít going to get a next turn, he had 3 Rolling Cutters and 3 Revokes (enough to deal with a Dobok and Giant reset) and I was not in a position to block more than 1 of the Cutters and the other two hits with damage from Merry was easily game.

Game 3 I knew I had to deal with Hanya, so I made it a priority to get out Champion, sided in some Kuuga, and went ahead and added Sober Enough because it was possible Iíd be looking at another grind. He did get Hanya out but I did eventually get out Champion. I felt I could kill him after some serious building (about 16 foundations) and a turn where I opened into a second No Mai. I Championed his Hanya but he was still able to use it twice. To make matters worse it appeared he had drawn more high blocks after my Shiranui. I was at a hard decision point and past the point of no return, almost certainly the only way Iíd survive his next turn was if he didnít draw attacks. I had another Shiranui but no momentum, I had the choice of playing it, or I could play Skull Barrier or I could play Cat Spike, I could potentially play Skull Barrier and then Cat Spike if I checked well. I had to do a bunch of math, and eventually I ended up going the Cat Spike route and it paid off, turns out I check well once in a while Ė finally hit a 5 Ė and he didnít have a high block, I barely took this through nasty levels of added progressive!

I've played a lot of UFS since my start in 2009 and my game 3 with Big Dan will go down as one of the most memorable and close call games of my career. Thank you for this Dan.

Finals vs. Matt and his Good Leona

I didn't know much about what to expect going into this, I knew he had beaten the Ryu lendout to Bo in top 8, and Bo told me he barely beat him in the final round of swiss right before. I did find out he wasn't playing Trinity Geyser and instead opted for additional 2 checks in the form of Rain Flush. This meant he would be more explosive than I was used to, comparing to the US versions played by Marco for the last year. However it meant my high block inclusions would probably pay off, so I was confident if I got some stun hate out and weathered a storm I could win.

In game 1 I more or less dominated the play, he attacked into me on his turn 3 and I blocked pretty much everything. He was partially committed and with 3 cards in hand. I had Shiranui and momentum from an earlier poke/reverse so I decided to go for it. What I wasn't expecting was what was in his hand, he Dodged my first attack, Cat Spike, then dodged my second attack, the double Dodge had me wondering if I had the damage/area to pass enough attacks and win, if he drew into blocks with the No Mai I might fail the kill. I got lucky and found a second No Mai on the firsts resolution or through Skull Man and from there the added damage found me the game.

I sided in HRK for the Rain Flush and Cerat/Majigen to mess with his combo/strings. Game 2 I wasn't expecting a low attack from him and got hit on turn 2, he followed up with some very strong build. Eventually we got to a point where he had a larger staging area and Clark's Sunglasses, which, believe it or not is another card that hurts my death by many cut kill condition. I waited for him to attack me and since I had all of the right blocks he couldn't kill me, the next turn I went in and finished him.

The games with Matt weren't easy per se, but my playstyle and deck design choices were a natural counter to his aggressive, attack early and often strategy, and I was able to pull through.

My thanks to everyone for the great games!

- Teams deck choice

This was difficult, I hate playing the same thing twice and I wasn't really prepared. I started by thinking I'd play my Calgary teammates' Quick Man but the more I thought about it the more I didn't feel it was especially strong vs. what a lot of the UK players were playing. I decided to audible into Devon's deck, Death Saiki, largely to represent him in his absence (since he, Kev and I won last year) and from 8 to 9 in the morning had Bo construct it with me. He posted the list here http://forums.jascogames.com/forums/showthread.php?11559-Frieza-s-Third-Form-Saiki-v3-0

I updated it for my own playstyle choice, changing about 5-7 cards. The biggest change was I put in a few more 1 ofs, got Balanced Fighter to 4 with side, put in more Designed for Combat, and got Kyo's Jacket in there.

The deck played out pretty much how I expected it to, namely it also struggled with speedy decks or ones that could build well through the Death disruption. The loss I had with it was more or less vs. its counter, Air Gemini with Soul Beats.

- The teams event! 9 teams, 3 rounds and a top 4.

Round 1 vs. Nathan playing as Fire BB Hood

I suffered heavily from this being my first time playing as my deck, and even though I played it well to keep him low on foundations I had back luck and couldn't access a single Nivose to get lethal damage in. Eventually, I knew the game was over for me, so I ended up committing suicide by playing a committed ability vs. S Class.

Game 2 I played more strategically making sure I held onto the kill card for turns just in case I didn't draw it later on. Still had a ton of rough luck getting attacks when I needed to, probably a result of going from Skull Man (sees plenty of cards) to a deck with very little draw. I did kill him though to pull out the tie and my teammates had won and lost their matches respectively so it was an overall tie.


Round 2 vs. Phil playing as Air Gemini

Well, yeah, I apparently can't beat Gemini Men anymore. I got absolutely run over game 1 after he went first, outbuilt and then attacked turn 3 while stacked with triple segaki and whatever else was thrown in there for good measure. I didn't have any speed reduction so it was a beating.

Game 2 I was in it more, I hit him hard with Robert Kick Combo leaving him at 8. I also got out some speed reduction thereby buying me some time to setup something. Again I didn't draw attacks... And just had a Moon Tracer in hand for turn after turn. He attacked into me hard and I survived and knew I had to kill him the next turn. Unfortunately, I couldn't draw into 2 more damage to add to my throw to get it to 16 for a kill, instead I had to try to bump speed to a worthy number, commit his Air Tiki to get rid of the reset and hope he failed a block check. Well, he had Gemini Man in hand and with the juicy mod had the block easily. He won the next turn with a triple stack into my semi committed board.

My teammates won though, I was the sacrifice.


Round 3 vs. Dan (big) playing as Void Lilith

Well this would have been a rematch of the singles event if I wasn't crazy and playing different decks and symbols all of the time! In any case, I knew what Dan's deck did having intimate experience with it from the night before.

In game 1 I simply out built but had a little trouble hiding behind a single Balanced Fighter. He went in and I survived, the next turn I killed him with some Robert Kick combos.

In game 2 he went first and I'm pretty sure I just got dominated, not seeing any speed hate and getting hit hard by Triple Merry turn 2. Had he not failed a 4th/5th attack check I would have died there on turn 2. Didn't matter, even after surviving at 2 vit I was in trouble since I couldn't use my character...

In game 3 I performed the lockdown strategy as perfectly as I could vs. a 7hs. I Hyper Bombed turn 2 and 3, and kept him off more than 3 foundations for his first few turns of the game. Having outbuilt him it was only about making sure I got some speed reduction out and could block high 2+ times a turn. I went in thinking I could kill him through a single Revoke but not 2, he didn't have any Revoke and I killed him.

Sadly, both my team members lost... So we lost.

1-1-1 not enough to make top 4

It was a great time teaming with Kevin and Bo again, they played really well but sadly met their matches in the third round against Geyser-Devil and Snake Man.

I can't wait to team with either or both again in the future!!!

- The rest

I spent the rest of the teams event watching the top 4 playout and I wasn't disappointed. I love to watch good UFS!

Then we all did dinner again, a large group - pretty much all ~25 of us were going to do dinner but the Sheffield bus timing didn't work for the wait time for the table so we went to a pub near their pickup point until they left. Then the remaining 12ish of us went to a restaurant and ate. It was such a great time to talk and share food with all of the UK crowd, the food was great but the company was better :)

Any questions about anything please ask away, I have a pretty good memory (despite the alcohol - and no, despite the alcohol there was no Jarett sighted).

Hope you enjoyed my report!

11-04-2015, 01:26 PM
Well done on a third year of being our Canadian overlord. As you know from talking outside the games I'm absolutely gutted we didn't get a chance to play, but there is always next year

Blurd Visionary
11-04-2015, 02:15 PM
Still a little gutted that we didn't get paired but it was great to have such a good time with you and Bo this year, hope you come back next year

11-04-2015, 05:13 PM
Glad to hear you had a good time, Garrett, it's always nice to see you :D