The next UK Regional WKO took place last weekend at Athena Games in Norwich and friend of the blog Ben Said Scott, current UK National Champ (I’m gonna have to stop labelling them “Special Guest” posts soon, he’s now to be upgraded to “Regular Contributor”) has continued his WKO tour and has written up his experience at the event.
A number of the games were being broadcast throughout the day by Athena Games over their Twitch stream & over Facebook live so I was able to keep half an eye on the event as it unfolded between taxi-ing children to dance classes and building Lego on the living room floor.
I enjoyed checking in with the stream a great deal, and must give an enormous BIG UP to Elliot & Jonny for expertly commentating the day (and thank them for the cheeky plug of this blog). They have now posted them on their YouTube page; I’ve embedded Ben’s games at the relevant point of the post, but if you’re interested to check out the other, non-Ben games, find them on the Athena Games channel HERE.
On with Ben’s re-cap…
Having already qualified for Nationals the aim of the WKO for me was to play a fun team. I wanted to build a team that could be competitive, but wouldn’t get bogged down in the intricacies of something like a Beholder/ Ultraman deck. I recently listened to one of the DiceMasters podcasts and they mentioned that Nova Human Rocket was still a great card. I hadn’t played with that card too much so decided to give it a go.
The great thing about Nova is he takes very little, in the way of card slots, as a win condition. The combo is mainly Nova and Magic Missile. After that, the other 8 slots in your team are pretty much up for grabs.
I wanted a way to get lots of Bolts and on request, and I decided to go with Superwoman for her global ability. I chose the rare for her ability to act as a board clear (even if it is limited), but really, I only bought her once, in order to KO a level 2 Lyssa Drak. You could also swap out Superwoman for Iceman: Too Cool For Words, but being able to make any energy into Bolts, rather than Sidekicks worked better for my form of ramp.
Instead of PXG, I have been working on using Rip Hunter’s Chalkboard global, and Blue Eyes White Dragon’s global. I much prefer this form of ramp to the more traditional Professor X global as it is much less susceptible to being messed with by your opponent.
This is particularly viable when you use Prismatic Spray, in order to blank an Oracle, or Jinzo. Everything is done on your turn so your opponent only has their global window to mess with your energy, by which time you will have done everything you needed to. The BEWD global also gives you a lot of flexibility, in terms of re-fielding your own characters, or avoiding an Imprisoned.
To make this whole thing go quicker, I included Beholder Lesser Aberration from Faerun Under Siege. Being able to trigger both RHCB and BEWD is an excellent way or ramping. I also included my go to Constantine Hellblazer and Elf Thief in order to get a bit of control if I needed it.
Finally, I slipped into my last action slot The Oppression Begins. this was going to be used to stop the Beholder from Battle for Faerun. I had no intention of ever using it, but as an action it turned out to be pretty useful.
The event was held at Athena Games in Norwich. It was a lower turn out of only 8 people, which was a little disappointing, but nevertheless it was run excellently, with some of the games going out on a live stream. 8 participants meant that it was a round of 3 and then cut to top 4.
My first match was against Phil Hanley. Phil was running an old-school Poly Hulk build, with Tsarina giving him a bit of early pressure. In the first game Phil managed to get out his Hulk after I had already hit him with one Nova swing. This slowed me down a bit, but I managed to Prismatic Spray his Hulk and bolt it off. Then on his next step he failed to roll it. The second game, Phil’s bad luck came back again. Having started off with a Tsarina rush, he missed rolling her and instead went for a Hulk, which he also proceeded to miss a couple of times.
Match two was against Dan and was featured on the live stream over Facebook & Twitch.
Dan was running a Mask team, and surprisingly it was also the only Oracle I faced that day. The Oracle, Elf Thief combo killed any chance of getting a Nova successfully on the field and I spent most of the first game thinking of ways to get Dan’s impressive board empty. I bought an Oppression Begins but missed rolling it several times. I then decided to swing with as many Beholder’s as I could. It didn’t work and once Dan got his Ring out I lost easily. The second game went much better for me. Before Dan could get out his Raven, I forced Oracle to attack and let it through. This took her out of the game for several turns, with Dan holding back masks use Blink Transmutation global to protect himself from my swinging Beholders and Nova, instead of using PXG. This meant that I could establish my field and Dan just couldn’t keep up. That meant that it was 1-1 and time was up.
Match three was against one of my good friends, Joseph. He was also running a mask ring (spoilers – Phil was the only person I played not running mask ring). His ring team was a little less controlling, instead it used Lyssa Drak/ the five cost AvX Storm/ GAF Zatanna in order to do some chip damage, before swinging with ring. The first game went pretty well for me, and I easily outpaced Joseph, I was so far ahead that I was even able to buy Superwoman to clear his Lyssa Drak out of the field and hit him with some Beholders. The next game was opposite, with Joseph getting out his ring fast, Storm made me roll out all my field, and he swung through with Ring damage and a good amount of characters. The final game was a lot slower. Joseph brought a lot of Elf Thieves, and combined with him saving masks for Blink-Transmutation he managed to stall me out, but a cost to his own ramp. He still managed to get his ring out, but it wasn’t enough, the game went to turns, and I had another draw under my belt.
A record of 1 win and 2 draws was enough to see me into the top 4 as the 4th ranked player. This meant that I would again be playing Dan. The first game went terribly for me, again Oracle and Elf Thief basically kill your ramp, badly enough so that Nova was not a viable purchase, and I lost badly. However, the second game went much better. Again I tried to buy The Oppression Begins, and this time it rolled perfectly. Every time Dan rolled his Raven he rolled it on its’ 0 fielding cost side, therefore every single time I rolled the Oppression Begins I could send both his Raven and Oracle into his used pile. With both of those gone I could get along with my Nova plan pretty easily. Going into game 3 we knew we were running out of time, so Dan asked for some clarification on how the last game would be ruled after time. When the judge came back and said it would be decided on life total after the 5 turns, Dan became pretty discouraged as my team was better prepared to whittle his life total down. We played it out anyway and Dan set up his Oracle/ Thief combo. I brought The Oppression Begins which again hampered him, and he changed strategy by buying my Magic Missile. It didn’t work and I was able to do enough damage to force Dan into conceding on turn 4 of the 5, knowing that I had enough to win on the final turn.
The final, again, was on the live stream. This time it was against another one of my friends, Gareth.
Gareth was, unsurprisingly, playing a mask ring team. His team was the most aggressive of all the ones I faced on the day, he ran three 2 cost mask characters (Thief, Multiple-Man and Elektra), he was also running a Constantine Hellblazer. He wanted to get characters out fast, get Lantern Ring on the field and then swing. However, Gareth could never really get his characters to stay in the field. This was because as soon as he would get either Multiple Man or Constantine in the field I would force him to attack with them, and be willing to take the damage. In reply, Gareth couldn’t force my characters to attack, because I either had Beholder’s and Nova’s in the field, or would KO my characters before they could be forced to attack through. This coupled with some bad rolls meant that I eventually had a relatively clear field with which to swing through and win.
Well, Mask Ring is definitely a thing that is strong. The amount of damage a ring can do can really be devastating. The great thing about it is how much variety in the Mask characters you can choose. You can go for a lot of smaller weenie characters, heavy control, or somewhere in between, with added ‘chip’ damage. It’s something that also has very few counters, but it is pretty susceptible to aggro teams. My Beholder and Nova gave most of the Mask teams lots of problems, simply because they had high stats.
The Oppression Begins was definitely a star of my semi-final and final. It’s great for the exact reason that Imprisoned is great. The meta is so focused on low fielding cost dice, so if you prepare your team to either KO your characters with 0 fielding cost, or just not have low fielding costs, then you really can gain a huge advantage by playing this Basic Action Card, particularly on the burst face. It’s definitely going to be in contention for every team I build from now on, and not just as a counter to Beholder.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for the Norwich WKO, I have another one in the UK that I will be attending and I will be doing a write up for that as well. So any suggestions on how to improve this team, or what your thoughts on the general meta would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks once again to Ben for another great contribution to the blog and congratulations on the win.
Also – another ‘thank you’ goes out to Athena for the top notch video content and well done, once again, for the great job.
The next UK WKO event is in the diary for a March 5th at Fanboy 3 in Manchester. Word is this one is going to see a strong turn out, with some of the topper-most UK players heading out. And, well… me, I’ll be there too. We’ll get event re-caps out the following week (I suspect you’ll see one from both me & Ben on this one)
If you’d like to hear about the day as it unfolds then why not follow me on Instagram & Twitter where I’ll be putting out pics, vids (there might even be singing), and updates throughout the day.
See ya later…