View Full Version : Way Late Rochester PTC Report (8th place Takuma)

06-18-2016, 07:09 PM
Someone (I think it was Kevin Broberg) told me I should do a tournament report or at least some sort of write up about the deck I played at the Rochester PTC the other weekend. Apparently at least one person outside of my own playgroup thought the deck I played was different/interesting so here is where we find ourselves albeit a week later than expected because I'm lazy, forgetful, and kind of busy at work. I did take the time to mostly finish writing this all up this evening though so even though this is almost certainly poorly written and probably a boring read as I only go so in depth in the matches because I couldn't remember every little detail I'm still posting it up here god damn it :p

Let's just jump right into things with the decklist copied over here from the PTC results thread and then we can go from there...
The Deck:

1 Takuma1

4 Team Art of Fighting
2 Templar
1 Hannya

4 Hien Shippu Kyaku
4 Poison Dart
4 Stinging Upper
2 Biruto Appar
2 Ko-ou Ken
2 Segaki Offering
1 Haoh Shikou Ken

4 A Girl like Any Other
4 Artifice Avarice
4 Childhood Sweethearts
4 Ophidiophobia
4 Perfect Accuracy
4 Soba Freak
4 Summer Heat
3 Champion of Muay Thai
2 Ever Hopeful
2 Developmental Years
2 Iron Will
1 Juggle
1 Playboy
1 Second Chance
1 Secret History
1 Unfinished Business

2 Dust in the Wind
2 Scorned Beauty
1 Hannya
1 Haoh Shikou Ken
1 Playboy
1 Self-Proclaimed Legend

How the deck plays:
Takuma is a bit of an oddity on the Air symbol in that most Air characters do not come with abilities that pump damage and certainly not to the heights that Takuma can achieve so easily. Air is much more a symbol of speed additions or other tricks and while other characters (aside from Runika) do offer some level of damage bonus it is usually a small amount and often in tandem with a speed bonus and/or requiring additional setup beyond simply playing an attack. With this in mind Takuma can on some level do something that most other Air characters cannot do and that is generate massive amounts of damage out of thin air all the while still having available the great defensive pieces Air has and all the other silly things like Summer Heat. While other characters may need to set up a specific game state Takuma (at least this build) has little need for momentum or the "right" attack in hand, just have attacks and go. Sure, just like other characters he of course comes with restrictions on his ability but those restrictions are only constraining to a point given the cardpool currently available to him.

Ideally the plan with this deck is to get Team Art of Fighting on the board with some number of Poison Darts in the discard pile to pull out so you can make your opponents life extra miserable by throwing giant attacks that have "speed" and possibly "damage" bonuses they can't really interact with. Thanks to Takuma though with or without Team Art out essentially every attack you throw can be large enough that it needs to be respected so you can on some level force your opponent to "waste" blocks on your early attacks in a string and then hit them extra hard with an attack thrown later in the string when they've run out of cards or blocks for that zone. This is extra true for reversals on early game poke turns; often times a good way to throw a wrench in your opponent’s plans is to send a moderately fast 8+ damage attack back at them. Beyond this you have access to all of the Air Wall support to help keep yourself alive along with the off-symboled Hannya which you can use both offensively and defensively of course. Soba Freak to help keep your opponent off momentum is especially helpful and readily usable given the attack lineup. One of the things I do enjoy most about this deck is the fact that it gets great usage out of the Team Art of Fighting foundations much more so than many other decks that might look to run them. As mentioned getting mileage out of Soba Freak is simple given the attacks being run but in addition to this the Form ability on Childhood Sweethearts can actually be used.

I could of course go into more detail here and ramble on about more things but if you're interested in my opinion or have a question about something it would probably be easier to just answer specific questions so feel free to ask.

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The History:
Our deck building tale begins a long time ago (~6 months) in a distant land known as Nashville Tennessee. -OMB- and I had travelled all the way down there from Baltimore to participate in their PTC last December. While he was climbing his way up to the top tables with Guts Man I was busy toiling away in the middle of the pack with Mature. In the final round of the day I ended up paired against Ben Shoemaker who happened to be playing Void Satoshi**; I took a few things away from that round which were quite memorable; (1) Ben Shoemaker is a pretty cool dude (2) A super-salty loss to a triple Revoke defensive turn (3) A healthy interest in the card Poison Dart (especially when combined with Segaki Offering).

Having just jumped into the game last year right after the initial Red Horizon rotation I had not really bothered to look at most of the cards out of either Red Horizon set as they were supposed to be dead and buried so this one was a new one to me and it caught my eye when he played it against me.

Fast forward a few months and I was musing with -OMB- about how it would be fun to make a deck to abuse the interaction between Team Art of Fighting and Poison Dart. I did not bother to make a deck around it at the time mostly out of sheer laziness and forgetfulness.

Fast forward another couple months to the end of April a week before we were set to leave for the Omaha PTC and I threw together an Elec Man Air Weapons deck to mess around with at locals. I was playing 4x Poison Dart mostly out of necessity because there are only so many attacks which are Air Weapons let alone mid zoned to help fulfill the requirement of Elec Mans enhance to draw cards. After I pieced together my attack lineup I found about half of it was Air+Order thanks to Stinging Upper so I thought here was my chance to just throw in 1x Team Art of Fighting into this deck and finally make use of this janky interaction. Well needless to say the one time I managed to get it online that week at locals I loved every minute of it. A couple days later I began brainstorming how I could make the best use of this and there was Takuma hanging out in the UFSUltra search results in all his damage pumping glory. The next week I had something resembling a deck list just in time to get like two rounds of play in with it at locals before we left for Omaha the morning after. I didn't love any of the other decks I had been considering playing for the event so I decided I might as well run with this pile of cards I enjoyed.

Some of you who were at the Omaha PTC back at the beginning of May got to see the first iteration of this if you were unlucky enough to be dithering around the middle tables throughout the tournament. I ended up 3-3. That list compared to this one was a bit rougher, that is not to say this one is super polished either but I've at least played a few more games with it by now and had learned some things and made some tweaks.

After Omaha I had not necessarily intended to keep playing this deck competitively but everything I fumbled around with building in the last month didn't quite make the cut and this thing just kept winning me games. By the time Indines got fully spoiled and sneak-peeked I immediately saw some cards that would slide right into this thing so I figured why not run this again with some new toys and see how it goes. The most impressive new toy here being Artifice Avarice; everything about this card is awesome and it is perfect for this deck. Speed Pump for Order attacks? I have tons of those things! A card draw ability that triggers off of it being checked? I love drawing cards and I make at least 2 checks per attack I throw!

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The Tournament:

Round 1 vs. Protoman* Air (Tyler McCartin)
It had to happen Round 1; I traveled hundreds of miles to play a match I could have if I stayed home. While Tyler isn't technically a "local player" of mine according to player of the year stuff I would certainly consider the Hanover and Baltimore play groups linked as I make the hour drive up there to play with Tyler most weekends. In particular iterations of my deck had been terrorizing Tyler in the weeks leading up to the tournament so it seemed somehow fitting that he got to be my first victim of the day. Today was not going to be any different from how our recent local meetings had gone either in which Takuma manages to out aggro Protomans defenses. The big thing I have found in this matchup or at the very least against Tyler and how he plays this deck is to simply keep him off momentum (Soba Freak), punish for pokes that try to net Protoman momentum with giant Reversals, and make the hits count. If he can't repeatedly omni-block 10+ damage attacks using Protomans enhance getting 5+ chip damage out of a partially blocked attack is going to end the match fairly quickly. Also when you've only got 20 health and you're staring down an 8 damage reversal your poke turn isn't going as you had hoped. Takuma takes this round 2-0.

Round 2 vs. Shen All (Robert Snyder)
It had to happen again in Round 2 apparently. Robert is a Baltimore player who I've been friends with for years. Why did I bother driving up here this weekend again? After dawdling for weeks on deciding what he was going to run Robert didn't come into this weekend with much of a proper plan deck wise and we actually built this Shen deck in the trunk of the car outside the venue so it wasn't exactly tested. We have another local player who had been running a Shen deck fairly regularly so while the attack lineup wasn't exactly the same I did have a general idea of what to look out for in this matchup and when to let through damage rather than give Shen his attacks back. A bit of good fortune happened in Game 2 of this round in that I happened to have Haoh Shikou Ken already in hand when he dropped a Self Destruct! on me. I had managed to get 1 momentum through a poke earlier in the game and he Self Destructed after I had a Team Art out on the field (usually a pretty good thing to do against Air decks and especially a good idea to sweep Team Art off the board in this deck). A turn later I had built plenty and Team Art of Fighting was back online and ready to do work thanks to the help from Haoh Shikou Ken. Takuma takes this round 2-0.

Round 3 vs. Robert Air (Brett Blaze)
Student vs Master round at Table 1; it was cool to see Robert getting some more love and doing well. I really liked what I saw out of this general build when I travelled to Omaha and met Chris Smith who was running a generally similar deck. Brett's version seems more aggressive to me (we'll get into that in a second) but I'm not entirely sure if that's because of the build itself mostly with regards to counts, luck of the draw in the games we played, or just general play style differences between the pilots. Either way this round did not go according to plan and ended fairly quickly due to my own over aggressiveness. In both games he went in fairly early on with only a handful of foundations and I was a little reversal happy. I don't remember all of the specifics but from my perspective at least in the second game it went something like... he played a big but generally slow Nivose I'd full block it and after examining that he only had like 2 ready foundations I'd decide to reversal an 11 damage Biruto Appar at him. The hope was to either (A) generally end his turn because he didn't feel like losing ~1/3 of his vitality and would have to spend effort to block it or (B) he'd take the damage and not be able to put together lethal out of what else he had in his hand. Both games Brett chose option (C) take the damage to the face and then murder opponent with 2-3 more attacks by checking running 5s; apparently I should have known this was an option :P. I know in at least one of the games it played out in this general fashion and I just couldn't check well enough to block the ensuing attacks; Templar and Stinging Upper have some pretty good block modifiers on them but they went to waste here along with an ophidiophobia activation. Oh well learn something for next time. Robert kicks Takuma in the face 2-0.

Round 4 vs. Kyo* Chaos (Andrew Force)
Alright time to regroup and get back on track. I didn't really know what to expect going into these matches as I didn't know what his game plan was but I went in with the idea of doing what I can to entirely keep him off momentum. That isn't easy with Kyo* of course as he makes his own just by being himself and through various other means on Chaos but I was going to do my part to try to keep things under control through the blocking power of the Air symbol and activating Soba Freak any chance I got. Thanks to a sub-par build turn or two on his side Game 1 went my way. He checked some attacks at inopportune times early and left himself open. Game 2 went a little differently, he built better this game and eventually managed to assemble all of the pieces so his deck could "go off" in the manner it was intended to which meant I ended up staring down a Murakumo full multiple + Graven Castle Ruins that I could not do much about; I had sided in the copies of Scorned Beauty but didn't draw any of them. Game 3 was a more even contest which saw me do a decent job keeping him off momentum and also drawing both copies of Scorned Beauty, at that point I don't know what his Plan B necessarily was but it seemed like at that point the game was fairly under control. Eventually I assembled an attack string and went in, with a little fortune in my favor he checked poorly on a Dodge to keep him alive and that was the end of it. Takuma downs Kyo* 2-1

Round 5 vs. Nehtali** (Marc Wisniewski)
Woo back at Table 1 this time to face Slam and Nehtalis super rude turn 2 Dragonflares. So apparently the plan is to hold mid and high blocks, build well early, and hope to have Champ of Muay Thai and/or A Girl Like Any Other on the field so we can deal with a turn 2 8 speed attack in the event he draws it. Game 1 did not go according to the plan and Nehtali had her way with things. I don't recall what I got out but the real issue against her in some capacity is sometimes there isn't much that can be done in the early game to stop the damage she puts out even with the right build turn or cards in hand. When you get hit with a Chasm Buster/MM Copy followed by a Dragonflare that Dragonflare is almost guaranteed to connect unless you're running some serious Stun hate which is something my build is entirely lacking. Game 2 I did end up winning, Nehtali is not always guaranteed to draw the right attacks at the right times or together so if she doesn't rush you down early or have the right things in hand after resetting the game with a Self Destruct she certainly looks to be open to being blown out of the water herself. I don't recall the specifics of what happened but I recall this one ending fairly early on as well with him not having a whole lot of foundations on the board I drew an attack string and he just didn't have the ability to block them. Game 3 may not have entirely hinged on my choice to not mulligan my opening hand but I didn't do myself any favors with getting greedy, "Bad UFS players gonna bad UFS". I was going second and kept a hand with 3 attacks, 2 foundations and 1 Team Art of Fighting with the hope that I would review an attack into a foundation. I was not lucky enough to pull that off and so my small turn 1 build dug me a hole against Nehtali that I could not afford to be in. Marc got the upper hand there whether he needed it or not and threw out some big attacks that I could not handle. Nehtali** roasts Takuma 2-1

Top 8 vs. Terry* (Myles Tyler)
So I finish up the swiss rounds 3-2 with a little bit of concern over tiebreakers that was apparently unfounded as all 3-2 and better made the top cut. 6th overall but 5th after diversity earned me a match with Myles Tyler playing Terry* which I was not looking forward to. Knowing generally how Myles has his deck built this was not a recipe for success. Most of the attacks Takuma throws are not especially fast but often you will look to out attack your opponent’s blocks. With Terry* getting to move the foundations or assets he blocks with down to his staging area and then draw a card on top of it he is saving himself progressive difficulty, getting a fresh card to potentially block with, and also eliminating the ability for Segaki Offering to be pumped. In addition to this Myles deck is making use of a sizable amount of reversals which he can use to mess up my attack turns with potentially large damage reversals of his own. He can wait until I have clogged my cardpool with cards and it is harder to block or he can throw it earlier on and lessen my damage pump and "speed" pump if he gets rid of Poison Dart or he can remove a card that I might want to pick back up with Team Art of Fighting’s form. All of that said I did not have a proper game plan going into this round because I couldn't think up a way to really crack his defenses without leaving myself open or really stringing together attacks like I thought I would need to.

We got down to business and in Game 1 things were playing out as I generally thought they would. He kept both of our card pools pretty clean and had the reversals he needed. Eventually I just ran out of high blocks and ophidiophobias and started having to face 9 damage Shoryu Dans head on. Game 1 went to Terry*; I don't even remember what I sided in for Game 2 but it really didn't matter. Things developed a little slower in Game 2 with me looking to be a little less aggressive and build more; at some point in the game he dropped a Self Destruct which further dragged things along. Eventually though I had a pretty decently sized staging area and a fistful of attacks along with Team Art out so it was time to try and land some blows. My deck however had other ideas. To say this turn was spent "tripping over 3s" would be an understatement of just how bad it was, after a certain point I couldn't even be mad it was just comical. Even with all of that I got a hit or two in but I left myself fairly wide open in the process as I tapped down a good portion of my staging area. Pass the turn and I playfully invite Myles to kill me. He however just draws a handful of foundations. I don't remember exactly how this game ended after that but I do remember cycling my deck on the turn that followed and then running face first into another string of 3 checks. He eventually put together some attacks a turn or two later to put me out of my misery with the aid of Terry’s Cap tapping down some of my defensive pieces if I recall correctly. Terry* send Takuma to the mat 2-0.

Unbridled Instinct
06-19-2016, 07:02 AM
I thoroughly enjoyed the write-up Scott and to answer your question on the Robert deck, I play a more aggressive playstyle.

06-19-2016, 08:20 AM
Good read! The deck and strategy make perfect sense when you lay them out like that. I was just really happy to see a low tier character, the card Team Art of Fighting, and multisymbol nonsense all together in one package.

06-19-2016, 01:00 PM
Good read! The deck and strategy make perfect sense when you lay them out like that. I was just really happy to see a low tier character, the card Team Art of Fighting, and multisymbol nonsense all together in one package.

Dude I pushed so hard for more off symbol cards.

'Caz Simon
06-20-2016, 04:43 AM
4x Team Art of Fighting in a deck makes me inappropriately excited.