View Full Version : Vegas PTC Top 8 (Water Zoey, includes deck overview!)

02-13-2017, 02:19 AM
Heading into this tournament I was faced with two choices

1) Run out Demitri again.
2) Play something else.

Shane Duckworth told me to play something else, because everyone knows that I'm a good Demitri player. I typically hate this mindset as I feel you don't have to demonstrate that you're capable of playing multiple decks to be considered a good player, just that you're capable of winning with what you choose to play. But whatever, I'll play something else.
I have a pretty sweet Mega Man1 list that I've been sitting on since Blood Omen came out, and leading up to the PTC it was what I was leaning towards in testing. The only problem was that the margins of error in piloting the deck were essentially non-existent. You mess up once during the course of the game and things can be hard to get back on track. I didn't want to expend that much mental energy, so I shelved my boy blue.
That left me with Zoey, who I consider to be the best character to come out of Blood Omen. Recycling attacks has proven to be a ludicrous ability in the past (look at Seong Mina), and Zoey actually has a very good spread of options across all three symbols. This makes her highly customizable to suit your specific play preference. Air plays the best overall defense with access to the what is going to be the eventual meta defining defense package of Templar(splash STOP!) and you eventually kill them with the accrued looping value of Kannonade or Ragni Cosmic Destroyer. I lean towards Ragni for that delicious high block. Good gets the best overall Ragni Cosmic Destroyer unblockable set ups (reference Trent's list from the Midwest Championship Series for what the core of that list looks like), but I feel like the foundation spread in that symbol is a bit lacking, and Air/Good are both soft to early STOPS!
That leaves Water, my all time favorite symbol. I wanted to build the derpiest possible Zoey list possible as a sort of “level zero” list. I didn't have a lot of time for tuning so I wanted to just bare bones approach the concept of what Zoey does in order to see if it would be worth pursuing further.

1 Zoey

4 Flying Yamato Spear
4 Cowboy Battery
4 Delta Kick
4 Cossack Buster
2 Crash Bomber

3 High Seas Adventure
2 Ever Hopeful
4 Ophidiphobia
4 Balanced Fighter
4 Answers to No One
4 Caught Red Handed
2 Balanced Fighter
2 Way of Four Fists
2 Strength of Tail
1 Damnation

4 Short Fuse
4 Balanced Fighter
4 Second Chance
4 Heart of the Mountain


3 Journey West
2 Out of Your League

The basic concept of the deck is this:

Flying Yamato Spear+Zoey=Dumb
Flying Yamato Spear+Delta Kick+Zoey=Dead Opponent.

You are a 5 difficulty, 12 damage, poke deck. You want to find a Second Chance as quickly as possible, and then just start sending a Spear every turn. Once you find a Delta Kick you produce 29 damage on a 5 check, 5 check, 6 check. That's one of the most compact packages you can find in standard. Delta Kick also rebuys all your awesome flip foundations.

What Works in this deck:

4 Second Chance: You play 4, and no you cannot question me on that.

The Short Fuse/Caught Red Handed Package: Running into a STOP is crappy, running into Templar is crappy. You have this 8 pack to approach those match ups confidently which is a big part of why I was drawn to this symbol for this character.

The overall feel of the deck. While I will be the first to tell you this list is bad, it FELT really good to play. Your “pokes” are relatively hard to punish and you can combo someone on turn 2 or grind out long games just sending Spears every turn. The forward velocity in the deck is also something I haven't seen out of Water in a while. Balanced Fighter/Designed for Combat is always a great package, but the addition of Answers to No One really let me chew through my deck digging for what I wanted to assemble.

What I didn't like about the deck

The 6 additional momentum generators: I couldn't figure out which between Reactive Style/Way of Four Fists/Strength of Tail were the best so I decided to try them all. Way of Four Fists turned out to be the actual “best” at doing its job, but they all felt unnecessary because Second Chance+Delta Kick turned out to be enough.

Cowboy Battery: You would think that 4 additional copies of a ranged Multiple would be great, but I was actually unimpressed with the card all weekend. I'm going to start by trimming back to 2 copies, but I would not be surprised if the card is eventually cut completely.

My list SUCKED at blocking! I was lucky as hell to only run into 1 Tengu Dive deck all day, and even luckier that he didn't draw Dives. I knew going into the event that my defense was questionable, but wanted to see how bad it could actually get/if the overall power of the deck could just power through it. The overall poor defense is what led to my exit in top 8, as Bass was able to just put a bazillion damage on the table while I was stuck with irrelevant block zones in hand. Ophidiphobia can't save you if you can't even partial.

The tournament

vs Vincent Grey (2-0)
vs Terry 1 (2-0)
vs Ring Man (2-1)
vs Demitri (0-2)
vs Reese (2-1)
vs Rikuo (2-1)

Any deck that was capable of pressuring Zoey's poor defense managed to take a game off her, and the only reason I didn't lose to Ring Man was that STOP clutched a turn in game 3 and I combo'd him the turn afterwards.

The Demitri game was just a complete dumpster fire. Theoretically Zoey SHOULD be a contender in the match up, provided she draws enough pressure in the early game, but game 1 I didn't draw attacks for 4 turns and got walled out. Game 2 I drew the pressure but literally every time I swung I checked a 3. Didn't really matter because Demitri established 8000 Degrees+Survivalist early (multiples now worthless) and Mathematician is also difficult for Zoey to play around. 0/10 hopefully I don't have to play that matchup again #justBanDemitri #getitoverwith.

I knew my deck was spicy when one of my opponents started complaining about me beating him, while I was beating him. Note to future opponents, that's not really sportsmanlike. We're all here to play, we're all here to win. Don't make it awkward, don't try and diminish your opponent's victory TO your opponent. Everyone has bad beats, but that's what friends are for, not opponents.

I felt really bad for my Terry opponent. Hard to Guardian Slasher me Flying Yamato Spear has Safe.

I was pleasantly surprised by how good the Reese 2 deck looked. Turns out drawing 2 extra cards a turn and being able to produce a bucket of damage at very little actual effort makes for a good character.

Chris Pratt was my Rikuo opponent. I'm sorry our games had to play out like that Star Lord. Everything was just a mess wasn't it? Not good times.

Vegas PTC top 8

1st Kevin Broberg (Saiki)
2nd Brett Hillmann (Zoey)
3rd Greg Brown (Rikuo)
4th Brandon Jones (Demitri)
5th Michael Doyle (Gabrek)
6th Scott Sundman (Shen)
7th Chris Goldsmith (Bass)
8th Iari Melchor (Turbo Man)
My games against Chris Goldsmith were awesome, but ultimately defined by me being off by 1 twice. Evil Imposter keeping a Cossack Buster from being lethal by 1, and me missing a STOP by 1. Both of these things leading to my death next turn. I was super impressed by both the deck and the play from Chris. I didn't make things easy for him, but he did a really convincing job of putting Zoey in the ground. Turns out, when your deck sucks at defense, and your opponent can produce buckets of damage for almost no effort, that buckets of damage wins!

I had a blast at the tournament. 42 players rolled in and Kevin Broberg made them all look like idiots from the top of Fort Kickass. I laid ground work on what is probably my new go-to deck. Brandon Jones took the Demitri mantle from me and continued my legacy of scrubbing out in the finals against Kevin Broberg. I've already made a couple tweaks in my head to Zoey that I may/may not post in the next couple of days. Gotta make you beg for it.

If anyone wants any advice on how to prep for Zoey, who IS going to be a consistent presence in the meta, just ask.


02-13-2017, 04:17 AM
So it was pointed out on facebook that I have 10 copies of balanced fighters listed, and editing posts is impossible.

2 of those should be reactive style
4 should be designed for combat.

Nubian God
02-13-2017, 06:31 AM
Great read (as always), and congrats on your solid run!

So it was pointed out on facebook that I have 10 copies of balanced fighters listed, and editing posts is impossible.

It's not impossible as much as a pain in the ass sometimes. If the "Edit Post" button doesn't redirect you to another page entirely, you have to click on the "Edit Post" button again. Dunno why it works, but there it is.

02-13-2017, 12:28 PM
I've had high hopes for Zoey since I saw how her character reads. A lot of people underestimate it, but she's an aggressive powerhouse when she wants to be (I think its because both of her abilities are "once per go around" effects while everyone else is just shotgunning their enhances and reactions for days). Were it not for the fact that Vincent looked like, and is an entertaining spitfire built off of fire, I would've built her first, but I also didnt just want to build "Felicia with ranged attacks!" as water and wind suggested I do. And im surprised no ones cared to try this yet (from what Ive seen) but shes also got all of Vincent's niche cards that she can make use of, along with Shopaholic.

Also Im really glad Gabrek is proving himself in a formal sense. First time I saw that guy's symbol matchup, I had one of the cheapest competative decks Ive ever made, only really "needing" Revokes as the most expensive card. Rest of it? All of his and Demitri's commons and uncommons. What might end up happening is they'll ban Dimitri and the Gabrek will pop up to take his place.

Also also, I totally get Second Chance being a 4 of. There's someone in my LPG who plays Zoey as a main, and getting momentum is one of the most frustrating things for her. Easiest thing to play around. "Tank your ranged attack with slight damage mitigation, full block it the 2nd time around." Lily's ranged throw was her only reliable source...because throw.

02-13-2017, 01:42 PM
Love the look of this deck. I think I'm gonna have to give it a shot. I look forward to seeing how you progress it.

Star Lord
02-14-2017, 05:53 PM
I'm sorry for our games Brett that was 100% on me.