View Full Version : Garett’s, aka dutpotd’s, 2016 World Title Defense – Mission Success!

01-19-2016, 04:32 PM
"The battle to remain on top is tougher than the battle to climb up": Starting off with a quote from the modern day philosopher Constance Chuks Friday, you just know this will be a thoughtful tournament report. But let’s start it out sentimental.

“When do I cry - This breakin' heart - Just hurts me more - When we're apart - And there are two of us - With our secret love”

Since the first time I played UFS competitively, at Gencon 2008, the game has held a special place in my heart. From the moment I sat down across from Ryan Craft in my first grinder game (he was Yoshimitsu, me Vega), I have adored the experience that is competitive UFS. Don’t get me wrong, I had a feeling it’d turn out that way after Alex, Scott, and Simon showed me the ropes, but the competition really showed me that the people were the true soul of the game because, even when something was on the line, they just wanted to have fun.

As the numbers grow again, over 110 in singles this year, that feeling isn’t replaced by anonymity, instead it’s just replaced with more memories, more friendships, and more great games of UFS. The community, the old and the new, the experienced, and the ones just learning the secrets of the game – they all keep me travelling, keep me playing, and keep me driven to give them good games and good times.

It’s often hard to explain this experience to my friends that don’t play UFS, to reconcile a ‘gamers paradise (the only fitting description of such oft used words - is the UFS community)’ to that of daily life without UFS in it. And sometimes, as I’m sure some players and playgroups slide in and out of things on a regular basis, and often for very real and good reasons, there is doubt that comes to mind. Why do I keep playing this game? Why spend the time and money? The answer to that is both selfish and selfless, and I find it when I spend time with my group back home over practice games, and again when I spend time with my long distance friends either in or out of games at these foreign locales.

Marquis de Sade sums up the selfish aspect best "All, all is theft, all is unceasing and rigorous competition in nature; the desire to make off with the substance of others is the foremost - the most legitimate - passion nature has bred into us and, without doubt, the most agreeable one."

Whereas the selfless reason is summed up by "If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative."

What I’m trying to get across is that UFS, in particular and more so than any other game or sport, has been and continues to be a perfect catalyst for me to enjoy the evolution of a natural passion to that of something more, and only because of the cooperation, the sharing of ideas and experience, with friends close and far away from me. I’ve tried to give some thought to why this is, why UFS?, and I think it’s because of the completely variable degree of difficulty matched with an ability to attract a generally more mature gamer, whether the latter comes from the licenses or the fact the fighting game community itself is more intimate I am not sure. The deckbuilding aspect also must lend to this formula, the ability to be creative and share that with others exists in UFS way more than any other gaming medium I have experienced.

In any case, I still love UFS. Danielle (Omaha, if spelling, sorry) asked me how it felt to win my 6th character card while walking with me to her car after the finals. And my reply was, it feels as exciting or more exciting than when I won my first. I stand by that comment today, and in retrospection I only want to add to it – namely that it still feels like a relief, it is always a great relief when hard work bears results and anyone that knows me will know working hard, staying active (and always) is a large part of my personal mantra.

On the note of the results of hard work, the one question I can’t seem to answer is what means more to me, winning worlds two years in a row or having one of my creations in the final match for the fifth straight year in the row? And honestly I don’t know what means more to me. I am quite sure I am not one of the best UFS players, and yet when I'm honest with myself about my skill at creating decks I can't help but believe that I am one of the best builders. That would lead me to be more enamored with the recent victories, as I know it’s an area I need to continue to improve in. It doesn’t really matter I guess, all I know is I will try to hold the worlds title hostage for a third year, the same length I've held the UK championship, and I will continue to create and lend and share decks and try to get a sixth creation into the finals of the most prestigious event of the year.

After a number of lighter digressions we come to my report, and perhaps my disclaimer can also be a quote, one I hold dear and from F. Scott Fitzgerald. "If you spend your life sparing people’s feelings and feeding their vanity, you get so you can’t distinguish what should be respected in them." The following are my thoughts, they are what they are so I beg you consider patience if you find any of them wearing the clothes of a bad attitude.

Teams – Team Donkey Punch, with AJ – Void Lilith, and Marcus – Fire Mai:

As per usual, if possible it is necessary for me to team with my Californian brethren when playing in Vegas. I made that vow after they graciously gave me one of my own best UFS memories when Kirk, Matt, and I took them on throughout the first Vegas tourney in 2010. Since then, AJ and Marcus and all of the related parties have been extremely dear to me – it saddens me whenever one of them isn’t at an event and the only thing that restores me is the annual Vegas team-up. From Sam, Iari, to Nick, Helio and others I have been blessed with the opportunity to share team events with this group through the last years.

Hearing that Marcus was good to go, and AJ back in the saddle, it didn’t take me long to quit what would almost certainly be a winning prospect I had setup with Broberg and Piglet, i.e. what was to be team extended champions. It all worked out though, I got my wish, and I didn’t let the ones I dropped down by matching them up with Devon – one of the best up and coming players and certainly the one with the blue-est hair.

I decided to play Life Demitri. It is no secret that I’ve told people Demitri is the best character out of Darkstalkers, I said it on Piglet’s porch and I’ll say it again. I had been posturing with the Life symbol for a while now, poking around with Pharaoh Man for a long while, evolving to Yuri to establish an understanding of the vitality gain aspect of the symbol, and after the banning of two of the other obvious bests in the format (Skull and Gemini Man) it was the clear choice to bring to teams. We didn’t top, but I firmly believe I have the best Demitri build, I had one loss to Broberg, actually a judge damage loss inspired by a total dominance, and a tie, and ultimately ended up with a 4-1-1 on the day.

Round 1 vs. Team with Willie (Athena), meanie Sean Canaday (Andy), and Punk (Mai)

They won the die roll, I was horrible with rolls all weekend. They more or less immediately paired me into Punk. This was just mean, send me the new guy, send me a Mai. Those who follow my exploits will know my last match loss, and one bearing most on my mind, in singles national/world competition to this point was actually twenty matches ago in Vegas for 2015 US nationals and it was vs. Mai. Punk turned out to live up to my (dreaded) expectations and had four Haioh Raio Kens in his deck and saw three plus of them each game of our two+ game set. In game 1 I didn’t see a single Templar OR a single Caught Red Handed, he turn 3’d up a Shiranui and although I superman’d that turn I didn’t draw back swing. He continued to draw attacks and on zones my deck decided it didn’t want to block… Game 2 I knew what I absolutely had to see, at least a Caught Red Handed to use vs. Shiranui. I saw one opening hand and that pretty much meant I knew I’d win. I did, but it was a lot harder than I thought it’d be, and I had to draw into a kill with some nifty top deck tricks. I ended at a tie, Marcus lost to Athena, and AJ beat Sean. Overall result was a tie.


Round 2 vs. Omar’s Team (V Grey), with Chris Ferguson’s buddies (Lilith and… I can’t recall – sorry, was focused on Omar)

They won the die roll. I was paired into Omar, I was upset with being targeted twice but happy this time the result wasn’t mean, it was a blessing. It is always a pleasure facing Omar, whether he has a full understanding of the game or not, he is one of the best players I know and you can’t lose that. Sadly for him I have an incredible track record against the fake US prez. I am like ten to zero for matches against him, played by good bad and ugly players. I’ve always been very strong against control check hax decks because I am a builder, I create a staging area that can wear through some minor disruption, then I end the game. Such was the case with game 1, I built and turned face down all of his damage pump. He ended up drawing a hand of attacks and more or less had to attack or get left in the dust, of course I was ready for the attacks and what followed was a backswing for game 1. Game 2 he was a lot more threatening, and he ended up removing two of my three Darkside Masters in a single kill string for +10 damage. I survived though, and with some back to back Spinng Necro turns fueled by 8000 degrees damage took the game. AJ and Marcus both won to my knowledge as well or one/both didn’t finish.


Round 3 vs. West Coast Team One, Preston (Bishimon), Nick (Cut Man), and Will (Mega Man**) (or guy who makes me check poorly #99)

They won the die roll <see a theme here>. They paired Bishimon into Mai because apparently Marcus can’t beat Preston playing the ghost armor, I mean Mai isn’t very attractive (despite popular belief) but you’d think she could at least get Bishimon to remember what it was like to be distracted by feminine wile, nope – no go. Marcus lost but the problem is, our team should be winning every match if we pair for AJ’s win. That’s what we did, and AJ went into Cut Man, I took on the Ryu. I had a personal desire to take Will down a notch anyways after he beat me in California when Tim Keefe took off his jacket, slipped on a banana, and didn’t bring his smoke. I’m pretty sure I took game 1, or its possible I didn’t. All I know is I ended up getting one win on a last minute/turn lucksack draw/manipulation into Spinning Necro for game – and I believe that was game 3. Will continued to impress me with his skills, which were quite up there for a new player, but also made a few rookie mistakes that I squeezed for the upper hand in at least the first of my two game wins. Next time we meet is the rubber, and that one I always win! Then you can try/possibly beat me again ^^


Round 4 vs. West Coast Team Two, Iari (Terry), Jayce, and Sal (BB Hood)

I can’t remember if we finally won the dice roll or not, but the end result was I was put by their decision against Iari. Similar to V Grey I am probably ten or plus more straight matches against a plethora of Terry players. I hadn’t had the luxury of playing against Iari’s, so I was excited to see if his was markedly better. It was very similar to ones I’d seen, so it was pretty good but nothing unusual about it. What was unusual was my deck decided to absolutely bottom out, I think I was bottoming out so hard that Demitri needed to re-equip a new cape by the end of it. I checked two turn 1 building 2, after his first turn 5. Then he built like another 4-5 and yeah, from there I did this thing called the ‘can you kill me dance’, it’s the one I do when I actually just want my opponent to let me trade vitality for an opportunity back into the game. Iari gave that to me, and I was able to Fool me Twice my way to drawing two Darkside Masters while I had the third safely in hand. That’s a lot of damage and Iari couldn’t handle it. That took a long time, and game 2 we weren’t able to finish. I think he had three turns but as of the third’s finish he didn’t have near enough to beat me, so I just shook hands when it came back to me. AJ had also won so we were golden.


Round 5 vs. the Team Devon stole from me, haha, that I gave him

We finally won a die roll! Woot. We paired AJ into Piglet thinking AJ could win for sure, albeit it’d be a long game because of his ability to recur through hate. Somehow Piglet won game 1 though and I don’t think AJ had time to take it back to a tie, or maybe he did it didn’t matter. I goaded and taunted knowing if they paired Devon into me it was a free win, I don’t lose to his Saiki often, especially not when on a serious deck. Devon dodged me like a little (expletive) and proceeded to have a hard fight with Marcus that he came out on top of. Kevin just did Athena things and my deck didn’t want to pass block checks, not to mention build enough to get blocks in past his stun. Game 1 going first was easily taken by Kevin. In game two I again struggled to get any build going, and Kevin kept getting double assets and Tame Yose. Actually he got 4 assets game 2 and even though I double Spinning’d them away he had enough for double Tame Yose into Deforester drop on his turn 2. Speaking of turn 2 game 2 I thought it was a good idea to reversal after Templar block drew me a Kersplat. I was already a bit exit stage left so I didn’t notice I was doing this vs. his Safe attack. Neither did he, and when we did realize it as the attack resolved we also realized it was near impossible to fix (multiple deforester plays later). I was issued a game loss, nothing to see here, I got to reversal with Kersplat – was worth. With me and Marcus with losses it was over – we had our first loss…


Round 6 vs. Danger Zone, Brian (Ring Man), Church (Kim), and Rodney (Bomb Man)

I knew we needed to win this to get in, and we wouldn’t just get in, we’d be top 6 with the 4-1-1 record.

Again we won the die roll and again I paired what I thought was a sure win for AJ, AJ being the deck with the 7hs blocks and disruption vs. Bomb Man. Really I probably should have paired AJ into Ring Man but a) I didn’t know if it was Evil or not, and b) I thought Bomb Man was a free win. Cue ‘Garett you are wrong about Bomb Man sentiments from the backseat drivers’ here, AJ fought valiantly but walked into Showdown (double apparently) and lost a game he shouldn’t have, he went to three but got blown up – he should have flown away (Lilith can fly right) but I guess Bomb Man was fighting in his stage and those are locked tight iirc. After our pairing they got to decide who was best at beating me, I can only assume they realized Bomb Man was free. They sent the Ring Man to me which was the right choice, I actually have a good matchup against both Ring Man All and any version of Kim, it was All Ring Man and despite him going first and Geysering, Dragon Cannoning, and more survived his mess for a very long time. When I figured it was a good time to stop playing with my food I won, truth is as soon as he lost access to his third and final Superior Technique and all Geysers pre-cycle, he should have conceded for the sake of winning game 2. As is he had no chance at winning game 1 and no chance at 2 either. I took it down. Marcus had won game 1 against Kim and was having a fun match with Church, they were in three and Church had what looked like the Overkill 1 check nightmare turn. Sadly we lost two game threes here and ended up losing this match and being ousted from a top cut opportunity.


It goes without saying I had a blast teaming with AJ and Marcus and would trade almost anything for another attempt with them. So close to top cuts. Thank you AJ and especially Marcus, I wish we could have spent even more time together this weekend.

To be continued... in the next post :)

01-19-2016, 04:32 PM
Singles – My Character from my favorite License, Jiffany Jamber (Air)

I’m sure my list will be posted officially soon so I won’t go into it or post it myself. Unless someone really wants/needs me to. If you have questions about it please just reply to whatever/wherever the official list is once posted.

It was a running joke during the day that I had chosen my favorite character to play and from my favorite license, I had made a small stink when she was first released – after all, having dominated extended with 8hs gill and before that with pseudo 8hs Alex and Talbain I am the authority on knowing what a fair 8hs needed and I didn’t quite agree with infinity or 20 vitality. The truth, once I realized it, was also funny and quite touching, Jiffany was a character from my favorite license, that license being Jasco Games.

I chose Jiffany for a few reasons. First, the best way to beat some of the best characters in the format were with Air cards, Perfect Accuracy and Hatred of Autumn for killing Deforester and a strong reliance on momentum in a world where two of the better symbols, Life and Void, have little to no way to remove it (the latter does but apparently no one plays much of it mainboard). The other reason I liked Jiffany was that I could reasonably pay homage to my worlds 2015 deck and defend with a similar theme, I could also side into Felicia, a character that gave a lot of characters fits and, besides Saiki, the one character that actually shouldn’t ever lose a game going first. Worst case I knew I could tie if I wanted to. Air does have its weaknesses, the most prominent being no counter to excessive draw from the opponent – see Geyser decks, see Ultimate Undead. I was confident, having a vast experience from worlds 2015 playing a similar deck that I could withstand these things based on blocking skill. I was more or less correct.

Round 1 vs. Richard Mitchell and his Evil Ring Man

I don’t lose to Evil decks. I know that isn’t enough for a report, but that is what it boils down to. I am the king of the Good symbol, it just doesn’t happen. He went first but didn’t get a great build. I got a 5 card build and kept Templar in hand, despite an aggressive turn 2 I had complete control of the match with a Templar into Dodge draw/play. I went on to build more and by about turn 4 I had 15+ foundations to his 5ish (due to my dodge and other disruption tech). I was struggling to get damage though, and I knew this would be a problem with my deck sometimes, I also had to play around Revoke. I got him to Revoke some stuff, evenutally got enough enhances on board, and then played Nivose and won. Game two can only be described as scary. He had a good build, almost as many foundations out after turn 1 as his past game turn 4… He then went in with the Kula UR and I didn’t have nearly enough ready to block. I ended up taking 12 from it. I did all I could to hover around 8 vitality. At some point I had a chance to reversal kill him and that is what I did.


Round 2 vs. Jess and his Air Raptor

I was a little worried here since Raptor can just kill people and I had yet to play an ability-less character into him. I also noticed he was maining off symbol Revoke so my whole Nivose play was not exactly a sure thing. Lucky for me he super botched game 1 drawing 9 cards. He called judge and I picked two cards to get rid of. From there it was just a matter of me biding time until I had lethal locked. Game 2 was much more scary but I did get three champ of the Muay Thai out early. I wasn’t able to get enough going to kill him and couldn’t seem to draw into Nivose. I had to block a huge string, one where all of his attacks had +4, +4 going onto them. After surviving that I knew I could take most mid-range agro decks if I had the right pieces on board and in hand. I finally drew into attacks and killed him.


Round 3 vs. Marc LeBlanc and our Air Felicia

I built his deck, he had made a few changes but I was aware of all of them. I was scared. I knew I was just a weaker version of him, one that sided into his deck more or less if needed during game two. I didn’t win the die roll and I was even more worried, but I was able to make some key blocks. Game one was incredibly tight but after weathering the storm I was ahead build wise. I went in after he whiffed another aggressive turn and won game 1. Game 2 he had bad luck on an attack check and I still knew how and what to block. From there I established another small lead in staging area and killed him. I felt bad that I had to beat him because he had diversity issues, albeit not huge ones. He did what I knew he could and he bounced back to make top cuts from there.


Round 4 vs. Chris Gordon and Evil Dr. Wily

Again, I just don’t lose to Evil. Seriously though, I have a LOT of experience vs. Wily, because Devon played him tri-symbol for long periods. I knew how to beat this one and I executed it properly for the most part. This was similar to my Ring Man match, I outbuilt and got ahead game 1, locked it down even, then Nivosed. Then, similar to the Ring Man game, got hit hard by a large attack (the 7 diff low one). I stabilized, and took game 2 as well.


Round 5 vs. Preston Brockway and his All Bishimon

We had come back from break/lunch and I was paired into another hard hitting characters. Where were the control characters damnit! In game 1 I just made sure to block everything. I wanted Preston to know it was me who decided when and if he ever got to hit me. One of the better parts of this match is that by about turn 4 he had all four Kersplats in his discard pile so I wasn’t afraid of any reversal/Quick-and-Precise nonsense. What was bad about this matchup was he had Saw Blades and I hate that thing. Air has no answer for assets, that’s just how it is and for that reason outbuilding him was essential. I got 12th Pharaoh online and just kept building, the 80 card deck allowed for it just fine. Finally after all but milling him I killed him. He didn’t have enough time to do more than a few damage to me game 2 and time was called – first one on the day I didn’t just 2-0.


Round 6 vs. Kevin Broberg and Life Athena

I decided at this point I was in a comfortable place, having not dropped a game yet I could probably win at least one more match of 8 and still get into top 16. For that reason I started to figure out whether it would be smart to have Broberg beat me, some considerations were – other Athena’s, which one was the scariest top 16 opponent. No disrespect to Broberg, but Willy was the scariest having beat me with Mai at last Vegas’ event. – the other consideration was the fact Broberg already beat me with his Athena deck, in teams. Another loss would likely push him to a place of high degree of confidence if/when we faced in top 16. Those reasons combined to me knowing I would be better off losing the match vs. just being a bit higher after swiss, and I wanted to lose the match. Lucky for me Broberg continued to run super hot with his build and drawing into Tame and Deforester so it was very easy to take a beating game 1. In game 2 I checked poorly, of course I didn’t side to my always win going first deck either, and after I built 3 he built 5. I pretended it wasn’t a good time to attack into his 2 card hand and just built 4 more. He again had the right pieces and poked away leaving me near death. Again I managed not to have a backswing and on his turn 3 he killed me.


Round 7 vs. Bryce Gross and Void Athena

Well, this wasn’t a surprise, Bryce is one of the best up and coming players from Vegas. After our match I now call him ‘not-just-Shane’s-protégé’. I’d have loved for him to be the Athena to get into top cuts, only because he wasn’t doing that crazy Tame Yose stuff and he would offer me a long fun game. Also he had less experience than Broberg and Willy. For that reason I was pretty interested in the match beside me on table one, between Willy and Broberg. If Willy won, then played Bryce, then Bryce won… Bryce could have been the one to get in.

I got way ahead in the control match, namely I went first and saw relevant pieces, he mulligan’d 2 Rain Flush, and I took advantage by poking him constantly. He was scared and ended up holding onto too many blocks too often. I then just outbuilt him more. At this point he should have quit and gone to game 2. He had lost, he just didn’t want to admit it to himself. After gaining the understanding that Broberg had game 3 under control (going first in the asset-action shootout) I decided I should win and pulled the trigger. Game 2 he had time to kill me but didn’t draw enough firepower to do it by turn 5-6 or whatever, also I poked and he blocked with some attacks.


Round 8 vs. Devon and Order Kim

Devon is lucky, when it comes to this back-door diversity battle thing he’s been doing in Vegas he seems to always have me there to back him up. Last year I bopped Broberg and Birch for the Birch-off and this year I controlled the fate of the Kim entrant through this pairing.

I played the best I could, but really I was just wanting to see if Devon had a chance of actually killing me. I knew my Air wall was a math nightmare for Kim, especially the Order version without Caught Red Handed. Turned out he didn’t have enough to actually kill me but I stupidly ran some Bridging the Races into S Class and ended up being killed with a bad block check.

This was a perfect chance to test out my Felicia side because she not only auto-wins going first, she auto-wins vs. Kim. So I did that, I auto-won game 2. Game 3 he got a quick stranglehold and Team Kim – I poked him, knowing that if he didn’t block the first attack my Happy Feet (Robert UR) would kill him exactly and after destroying his foundations he wouldn’t be able to block. Unfortunately for me he drew into more Kim kicks and he blocked the first attack, so when I didn’t have the blocks to survive and time was about to be called going back to his final turn I shook his hand and scooped.


I knew that final round loss would put we down below top 4, but I didn’t know it’d mean I have to face a throw loop deck in round 1. One of Air’s other issues is a lack of trick throw hate so if the Ophidiophobia’s can be dealt with damage would be dealt. Add to that Death Valley Face Plant looping and I was very scared going into Basilio, knowing I had to setup enough damage for a win before he just chipped me to death.

Round of 16 vs. James and Life Basilio

I won a dice roll for once which was nice. I then proceeded to get a few Ophidophobia’s and a few Dodge’s from there I was able to keep him on a low build and with no answer to Nivose eventually I counted to 30+ and just killed him. Game 2 was another beast, going first he definitely had the clock advantage on killing me slowly. Eventually I got to enough damage on board to make a lethal attempt but I didn’t have attacks. He went in for everything and I pulled some tricks from my sleeve to survive at 1 vitality. I luckily drew into enough orange to kill him on the next turn.

Round of 8 vs. Ben Shoemaker and Fire Pharaoh Man

I said on the forums one of us had to take this tourney because one of us 'Good Old Boys' (a Matt Kohls term) needed to defend a title. In a way this event was his US nats defense after winning with Huey last year in Vegas, and in a way it was my Worlds defense after winning at gencon. I knew it’d come down to us at some point, I had hoped it’d be in the finals because even though we’ve always been enemies of sorts (playstyles, playgroups, etc.) we have a pretty good rivals/friendship going on and we always share great games. Being two of the older players still playing, both pretty good with alcohol… etc, we just have fun playing one another.

We had just come back from lunch when we were told about our pairing post round of 16 results.

I knew if I lost the dice roll I’d have to ‘steal’ a win, either with a trick play or with him making a bad check. At the same time I knew that if he ever went in for the kill and failed the game was instantly mine.

I lost the dice roll. The plan was to mulligan for Dodge because of its strength vs. stun decks, i.e. can’t block but I can still Dodge. I drew into a Dodge anyways and kept. I only built 4 though and was in a precarious position after his turn one 4 or 5 card build. He started his turn 2 with Chasm I dodged that to get one of his damage pump cards back to his hand, knowing if he had more stun I’d have to hard check a block or two to survive. I ended up being stupid and miscalculating a block check, but I did accomplish what I wanted, for him to keep going in, knowing that if he truly overcommitted I would have the game. He went for a final attack and failed the check. I killed him on my turn 2 after drawing enough orange into a commited one card hand board.

In game 2 I again wanted Dodge and I got one. However, his turn 2 was a bit more deadly than the last, featuring not one but two Chasm Busters… He made a mistake and didn’t Out of Your League the Dodge though claiming he had it afterward – missed the timing. Had he hard checked to get a fourth attack off he’d have committed Pharaoh Man and therefore only got the attack to 8 damage, I was still at 9. He failed the check anyways. I didn’t draw backswing this time and instead just built. He didn’t draw enough to pressure a turn 3 attempt at kill and on my turn 3 I killed him. I was overjoyed having stolen two from him going second, but knew that with the luck in this match I was going to have to expect some bad beats coming up. I had already promised Ben if I won I’d go the distance, and I’m glad I got to keep my promise.

Round of 4 vs. Chris and Air Lord Raptor

More Raptor! I had asked AJ before moving venues for this game if I should win worlds or let someone else. It is a joke, I did it last US nats when going into the team finals with Helio and Nick (and he said ‘no’, meanie) and I did it again here. He told me, after seeing what 5 were left, that I should win and if I face Chris that I should make him feel like he’s going to win then steal it from him because he was new and needed to learn that. AJ is a mean person sometimes haha.

I got this pairing and remembered what AJ said, but I twisted it when playing Chris, I told him AJ said I should plan B him to teach him that lesson. I lost the die roll, but whatever, it worked. I could have planned B him game 1, at least that was the case until he god drew into 7 orange with like 13 cards left in deck. I still had everything under control so I just reversal’d him during that turn and killed him.

Game 2 I sided my one copy of Air Tiki out knowing it was Raptor’s best card and that I would never play it for him. He sided his Air Tiki in, at least two copies. He saw it turn 2 or 3 and from there I was in a very rough place. Eventually het got to the point where all his attacks had +3 damage and +6 speed and it was over for me.

Game 3 I still didn’t want to side Felicia because I felt having that up my sleeve for finals vs. Bomb Man would be funny, or Demitri at which point it’d actually be super necessary. I also was confident that if I went first, even if he got Air Tiki, I’d be okay to kill him. I also sided my Tiki back in, I mean if its going to be out it might as well be mine and one more speed reset. I got the upper hand and kept peeling back his good cards with pokes. His vitality was also dropping and from 12 I killed him with Nivose when the opportunity presented itself.

Finals vs. Korey and Life Demitri

Having played as Demitri for teams I knew what this did. I also knew he was running really hot, as he had knocked out some really good/experienced players. Starting with a character with no ability, meaning having no leverage on Demitri, I was a little more than worried. I won the die roll, and the game was on twitch so I won’t go into detail. The long and the short of it is I had lethal on board and was well ahead of him by about turn 5. I had a Nivose in hand but decided to block his Darkside Master with it to be super safe, take the least amount of damage possible, and very ‘likely’ draw into the final of two Nivose before cycling, hopefully on the next turn to win the game. Ummm… Not only did I not draw Nivose, I didn’t draw an attack for 4ish turns. So even though I had postured him to 14 vitality for an in range kill, I couldn’t actually kill him without an attack. Then, the turn before I finally drew an attack, after cycle and more hands of no attack, he gained 2 vit and was to 16. Of course, the rules are that is when you draw an attack, and I drew the base Hien which I could get to 14 only. Sigh. I wasn’t exactly upset because I knew this was the result of my decision, I decided to play to not lose and had I decided to play to win I’d have won.

With that said I sided to Felicia, it was time to play to win. Game 2 I continued to stay ahead, and eventually I just killed him with Nivose, sooner than I had expected because he didn’t flip Prototype – I gave him more juicy targets and he was playing to win.

Game 3 was when there were some ruling issues, we had been playing for 3 days, and on that day were into the midnight hours. We weren’t making play mistakes but we were making procedural oversights. After taking a time out to get back on track we both gave what was a great final few turns. Finally I hit a board that had lethal, which in this case was 23 damage. Again it involved having to get a second momentum and Prototype online. I attacked with a Nivose to get this online, having a second one and a Happy Feet in hand, if he didn’t full block the first Nivose I could have just won with the other two attacks sans prototype. He did full block the attack, I was pretty sure he would. So I built the Prototype and as many threats as I could, namely Perfect Accuracy. He drew into a potential kill turn (on Arach activation) and worried I would stop it with play from Perfect Accuracy took that down, I don’t know if he had done the math on my side but I had been doing it all game and I could, after readying committed Bridgings and reducing the speed of my own attack twice with my own Muay Thais, get to 24 damage. He ended up passing on an enhance and I actually got to 25. I knew I had the speed at +3 in pool, so as soon as he got there I reversal’d knowing even if he had a zero mid-block he’d have to check a six to block. His other out was Revoke but with two in the discard pile and one rfg’d I knew it was do or die, well I didn’t have a choice but I was confident it wouldn’t be Revoked. He did have the zero block, or the equivalent, but my math was right and he couldn’t check six so he lost.

It was an epic finals, 3 games, lots of attacks thrown, him winging throws every turn, and me attacking to gain momentum with Felicia and try to keep some of the nastier life pieces off line with Ever Hopeful. I hope that everyone watching the match enjoyed it!

I would normally do shout-outs, but at this point I don’t have that much time and I’d surely miss someone. So, let me thank the people that helped me for this event, starting with my R and D team and playgroup, thank you, especially for Tanner keeping me headache free heading into Sunday and Sebastien back home for the lends! From there I want to thank the event organizers, judges, all Jasco staff, etc. I know its not easy managing all of us, especially the more rowdy of us, and I thank you very much for losing the sleep to do just that. Special thanks to Joe, any time you are somewhere it is worth being there to say hello! Finally, to the people that offered me rides to and from the new venue, thank you!

Finally, I do have one shout-out, for that one Vegas sucker that still thinks Snake Man is good. Thank you very much for the signed cards! I will cherish them, I honestly didn’t dispose of them the first time.

01-19-2016, 04:57 PM
Congratulations old bean. You've done your adopted (conquered) nation proud :)

Looking forward to seeing the deck lists and wondering if I manage to stack all your character cards in one game will the universe explode or the table simply collapse under the weight of all that cardboard?

01-19-2016, 05:01 PM
Congratulations old bean. You've done your adopted (conquered) nation proud :)

Yeah, I got a lot of messages from the UK group, and I'm glad I lived up to the pressure Mike and you put on me via the Facebooks lol.

Wish you were there, but I'll see you again I'm sure!

Star Lord
01-19-2016, 06:31 PM
Grats on your win Garett. It was a great learning experience playing you. The only other thing I have to add is that I didn't god draw our game one. I spent many turns holding 5+ attacks, building 1, and reviewing with cross hall. I was trying to pull UU knowing it was my only chance to punch through a wall that big. I had 2 in the bottom 3 of my deck. I had to lead with hell dunk to pull one.

That said thanks for a great set. The air tikki shenanigans were pretty funny to me.

Blurd Visionary
01-19-2016, 08:00 PM
Congrats on your win man.

I can't wait until you come back to the UK even if I can't make up my mind as to whether I really want to be paired against your or not lol :D

01-19-2016, 08:04 PM
I'm looking forward to playing you again whenever I see you next :) I loved our match that we had and it was a very close one too.
(this is the guy who makes you check real bad)

01-19-2016, 08:08 PM
Yea really upset with that misplay against you Garett. But I chalk that up to hardly playing the game. Best comment in our match though "You play this deck way better than Devon."

01-19-2016, 09:56 PM
damn man what's a guy gotta do win cardboard to get his name spelled right?

01-20-2016, 12:25 AM
damn man what's a guy gotta do win cardboard to get his name spelled right?

Well, I mean it has never worked that way for "Gerratt" soooo-

01-20-2016, 02:07 AM
Congrats Garett on another win! I'm glad that you enjoy the cards I gave you. I hope you keep them safe, you never know when I snake will come and strike you. I'm looking forward to our next meeting!

01-20-2016, 09:29 AM
damn man what's a guy gotta do win cardboard to get his name spelled right?

As Jav has correctly pointed out the more you win the worse it gets, if its not Garrett then its Garret or Jarett... fml

Seriously though, my apologies I have fixed it!

01-20-2016, 09:46 AM
excellent write up as always Garett, I always love reading your analysis of a particular moment in the game and your thought process when it comes to each match.

01-20-2016, 09:49 AM
excellent write up as always Garett, I always love reading your analysis of a particular moment in the game and your thought process when it comes to each match.

Thanks Mike! It is the subtle things like the 'whys' that make UFS so interesting, we all approach different scenarios from different angles and I always find no one way is strictly right or wrong.

As much as I play UFS, I always leave any tournament I travel to wishing I played it even more.

Deck Dont Matter
01-20-2016, 10:28 AM
Garett, great report as always. I have a few questions for you. What could be on the chopping block during the next state of the game? Specifically do you think it is time for Nivose to be put out to pasture? Or is there other cards that should be removed from standard? Also do you feel the have finals being streamed live effected viewer perspective of UFS?

01-20-2016, 10:37 AM
What could be on the chopping block during the next state of the game? Specifically do you think it is time for Nivose to be put out to pasture? Or is there other cards that should be removed from standard?

Well, here is how it works. If I say something should be banned it won't be banned for at least another 6 months... hehe.

Seriously though, Nivose isn't a problem. There are 1 million speed and damage resets, there are 1 million enhance negators.

I never lose to Nivose decks, Devon killed me with it a few times, I collected its data and I always block it now.

The problem cards in our game are subtle, aside from the character tanks that can't be killed and for that reason should have been laid to pasture a long time ago (I'm looking at you Clark and Goro, and now Demitri) and from characters still a little too free (Felicia, Athena, etc), the cards that are just 'too good' are:

Summer Heat
Ever Hopeful
Deforester (was not playtested well enough, should have added the card committed or should have needed to destroy a ready foundation)

Also, I kind of told everyone when Jiffany was printed she would lend herself to really good long game decks only. That is fine with me of course, I am the 8hs king, and it is fine with the game where it is at now - it is really aggressive! - but if the game slows a bit she will actually become problematic, i.e. well built decks will be too consistent and many top table games will turn into chess match Jiffany affairs.

So she should still be watched (assuming you don't revoke her due to 'should have never been printed').

01-20-2016, 10:45 AM
Also do you feel the have finals being streamed live effected viewer perspective of UFS?

To address this I will remind you I have been in a lot of finals, they are already nerve wracking, so the added pressure of knowing many are watching and commenting from ignorance is an added element of chaos and I love it!

Yeah, I skirted your question, but it isn't a question - OF COURSE it effected the viewer perspective, before they'd have to be quiet ass around the table and now they can shout their lungs out in the chat. Seems like it would be fun.

01-20-2016, 11:41 AM
No disrespect to Broberg, but Willy was the scariest having beat me with Mai at last Vegas’ event. – the other consideration was the fact Broberg already beat me with his Athena deck, in teams. Another loss would likely push him to a place of high degree of confidence if/when we faced in top 16. Those reasons combined to me knowing I would be better off losing the match vs. just being a bit higher after swiss, and I wanted to lose the match. Lucky for me Broberg continued to run super hot with his build and drawing into Tame and Deforester so it was very easy to take a beating game 1. In game 2 I checked poorly, of course I didn’t side to my always win going first deck either, and after I built 3 he built 5. I pretended it wasn’t a good time to attack into his 2 card hand and just built 4 more. He again had the right pieces and poked away leaving me near death. Again I managed not to have a backswing and on his turn 3 he killed me. That you may have thrown that match deliberately did occur to me, but only a bit later (I picked up that you reviewed Delta Kicks at every opportunity and that aggro Felicia probably wouldn't do that). In other words, definitely could've worked :)

Great read as always, thanks for the games! Maybe I'll bug you for a deck for some event this season so I can experience some "interactive" UFS, that I always try so hard to avoid when I build my own decks :)

01-20-2016, 11:44 AM
That you may have thrown that match deliberately did occur to me, but only a bit later (I picked up that you reviewed Delta Kicks at every opportunity and that aggro Felicia probably wouldn't do that). In other words, definitely could've worked :)

Great read as always, thanks for the games! Maybe I'll bug you for a deck for some event this season so I can experience some "interactive" UFS, that I always try so hard to avoid when I build my own decks :)

I didn't throw it, I just didn't want to win it and maybe didn't make all of the best decisions because of that... I play very differently when I want to win vs. when I just want to collect information.

I thought your deck was interactive, I was mostly expecting to have to interact with it again sometime but you got beat up by batty. At least I was able to avenge you and take back my castle from the demon!

'Caz Simon
01-20-2016, 07:18 PM
Seriously though, Nivose isn't a problem. There are 1 million speed and damage resets, there are 1 million enhance negators.

I never lose to Nivose decks, Devon killed me with it a few times, I collected its data and I always block it now.

As the resident Nivose addict, I'd like to think that I've had a lot of input over how this deck shaped into what it is, since I've been playing a version of air kicks on and off since 2014. I'm gonna chime in and say that I do not rely on this card as a kill condition. Against a weaker player you can stack a bunch of numbers on it after you take out their resets for freelo. But against an adept defensive player who has played any number of games against it, it takes a lot of pieces and events falling into the right place at the right time in order to straight up one-shot people with it like was done a couple of times with this deck.

(He'll swear up and down it's not true, but I still get him with it once in a blue moon. :P)

Nivose is a punishing card if you are in a position to be punished, whether due to deckbuilding, poor resource management, overcommittal, or whatever. If you are not in a position to be punished, this card is more than manageable. It gains significant power from throwing secondary effects onto it (discard effects, Team Yagami/Powers Split stuns on reversal), which is something the air builds do not actually do a whole lot of with this card right now, it just makes it big and then you block it.

Ryuujin Kyaku has long been superior to this card in almost every way, and has won me far more games than cocky Nivose plays since the day I started building with these attacks. The strongest part of Nivose is often the most overlooked part of it: +1 high block on a significantly relevant offensive card.

But no one remembers the 9 damage kick that destroyed your best 2 defensive pieces and probably even still got blocked almost every time you lost, over the 30 damage kick that killed you from full life that one time.