Sorry about neglecting this place for months, been busy with work and real life again. To try and kick things off again, and hopefully stick with it for a bit longer, I’m going to be covering the Paris WGP from my perspective. Hopefully namimo will be able to provide one from her perspective as well.
After a very early start, and little sleep, namimo and myself made our way to St. Pancras to catch the earliest Eurostar of the day over to Paris. On the train we had a little table between us so we got in one last practice game. We tried Evangelion vs Angel Beats, as had been usual recently, and Evangelion kept up its winning streak. We decide to go with these decks for the event. After a quiet train journey we arrived at Paris Gare du Nord and made our way towards the Metro. The trains were fairly crowded by this point, but after about a 30 min journey we were in Porte d’Italy for the event.
Upon arrival I sent us the wrong direction at first, but after realising this we made it to EPITA with plenty of time to spare. Unfortunately we had no idea where at EPITA the event was and ended up wandering around for ages trying to ask the people who worked there where it was. Eventually we found a group of German players also over for the event, and the searching continued… We were also surprised to bump into another English player who’d come over from Oxford. After exploring the basement of the venue and waiting a bit more someone finally came to lead us to the actual room the event was being held in. It turned out to be somewhere we’d checked earlier in the day, but now there was a Fate wall scroll hanging near the door, so it was now pretty obvious where it was.
Soon we were registered for the event and waiting for things to start. As entry we got a little bag with Bushiroad promotional materials and a Rewrite promo card. There were about 30 players over for the event, the majority of which were French or German. Some were still busy writing their deck lists, whilst others were trading (unfortunately we didn’t bring any because we weren’t really looking for anything), or playing games in their group. namimo and I decided to have an Evangelion vs Maniwani game whilst we were waiting. Afterwards we managed to get a few games in before the event started. Many people were only using their fun decks at this point, so they didn’t give away their main deck.
After a bit more waiting and playing it was finally time to start the first round, and with that came an unusual announcement of the tournament format. Rather than Swiss, that I’d been expecting, the event was going to be split into Winners and Loser brackets. If you kept on winning you stayed in the Winners bracket, whereas if you lost one game you dropped to the Losers bracket. Once you lost two you were out. The eventual final would have seen the winner of the Winners bracket facing off against the winner of the Losers bracket. In addition I’d been expecting us to only play single games, but instead we did best of 3 with a 75 minute time limit, which led to some very long rounds, but meant bad luck in a single game wouldn’t be your complete undoing. The timing of the tournament would later cause problems for us.
Round 1 vs Bakemonogatari
My first round game was against a player with a Bakemonogatari deck who I’d played a friendly against pre-tournament. He’d been using the same series before, but had now switched to his proper deck. Unfortunately due to the nature of how this card game works it’s very difficult for me to recall the exact details of all the games, and can only provide vague details about most of my games.
I think in Game 1 I was eventually overpowered by the level 3 Hitagi card and made a mistake which probably cost me the game. I forgot about her ability to kill characters if she reverses someone, which meant I lost the character which would have made the direct attack to win the game. This wouldn’t be the only time in the tournament I made a mistake in attack order and it cost me the game.
In game 2 I got incredibly lucky and hung in there by the skin of my teeth. The opening turn had been horrendous, going through 4 Climaxes before my opponent even had their first turn. After this there wasn’t an awful lot of cancelling until the very end of the game. Eventually I’m on level 3 with a Clock of 6, and I think it’s all over for me, because he’s still got a little bit to go before losing, however I have a lucky streak of cancels. I think first of all he hits for a large amout of damage (4-ish) and I survive to another turn. On the following turn I can’t finish him off, so I think it’s all over for me. However I then survive 3 hits of 2 damage in a row and manage to take the game on the next turn.
We have to play our 3rd game knowing time will run out soon, and our play gets faster and more reckless. I think I eventually manage to win on my last turn of end of match procedures.
Round 2 vs Fairy Tail
In round 2 I face a very friendly Fairy Tail player who seems to be fairly new to things, since he has lots of vanilla cards in the deck. The deck does however have lots of Soul, which would bite me later in the tournament.
Game 1 I think Evangelion did what it was meant to do and just got out powerful characters he couldn’t defeat, whilst taking away his resources. This was a fairly quick win.
Game 2 was more of the same, but I came very close to losing due to taking lots of soul damage during the game. I never really had much trouble controlling the flow of the game though.
At this point I was starting to become worried that we wouldn’t be finished before our train left and had to begin contemplating the idea of staying in the tournament and getting stuck in France, or head home and drop out. In the end though my luck faltered and this choice never had to be made.
Round 3 vs Angel Beats!
From this point on my tournament started to go downhill. My opponent for this round was Steven, one of the German players we’d met earlier, and who had previously defeated namimo in Round 1. He was using a Yellow focused Angel Beats! deck which was completely different to what I’m used to playing against with namimo.
Game 1 was surprisingly easy. I think he didn’t get all the support cards he would have liked, and he just eventually ran out of cards partly due to his own searching cards. This had given me some hope for Game 2.
Game 2 started out horribly for me, soon being forced to level 3, whilst Steven was still on level 1. In addition I failed to get any Blue characters in my level slot, and I was unable to get a level 3 in there either. However thanks to my healing level 3 cards I managed to stick around for long enough to nearly win the game. Eventually I had 4 level 3s on stage, and was replacing things just to heal more. Unfortuantely again I made a mistake with attack order. If I’d made a direct attack I could have hit for 2 and won the game, instead I attacked a character allowing him to use the Shiina counter, refresh his deck and survive my attacks.
Game 3 was running close to time, so I started to rush. Throughout the game I kept on drawing too many Climaxes and losing too many cards, so in the end just couldn’t keep up with him and had to send bad cards to the front stage. He finally won through clever use of the 1/1 7500 Kanade card and side attacking to guarantee he’d cause the 1 damage he’d need to win.
This dropped me down to the loser’s bracket where I hoped I’d have easier games. At this point I knew I could go 1 more round, and maybe start the next before having to leave part way through.
Round 4 vs Fairy Tail
Having dropped to the Losers bracket I faced the same opponent from Round 2 again, and expected to end things on an easy win, but it wasn’t to be.
Game 1 went just like my Round 2 games pulling out an easy win where I controlled most of the game.
Game 2 I stuggled to get things set up and ended up trailing behind in terms of cards, which eventually led to me losing.
Game 3 I had complete control of the game, with a powerful field set up, my opponent close to defeat, and a couple of level 3s ready for when I hit level 3. Unfortunately he triggered 3 +2 Soul cards in a row and hit me for 10 damage which I couldn’t cancel wiping me out in a single turn. I was a bit annoyed at this point, but at least it meant we could get home now.
After watching some more of the Round 4 games, namimo and I left to travel back to the station.
It seemed likely that Angel Beats! would take the event when we left. Steven was still undefeated having taken down a Milky Holmes deck, and another Angel Beats! deck was facing off against Melty Blood. The other UK player was still in the even with his Angel Beats! deck as well. We have no idea who won though, or when they finished, since we were probably back in England before the tournament was finished. The spread of decks in the tournament was fairly varied, but Angel Beats! seemed to be a clear favourite. I spotted a few Alien decks, but they seemed to be pure Blue and didn’t perform too well.
The event was a fun experience and I’m glad that we went. My deck generally performed as it was meant to, with most losses either being due to mistakes on my part or horrendous luck. I do admit I only won one of my games due to incredible luck though. One dissapointment throughout the tournament was my level 0 Rei card, who twice sent 2 Climax cards to my Waiting Room, which was a bit of a pain. I’m disappointed in my final results, but I know we’d have had to leave then anyway. A better organised event next time would have been nice.
I’ve learnt that I need to pay a bit more attention to my attacking order in the future, and probably need to think a bit more carefully about causing damage. We also need to be better prepared in terms of food and drink, since we were both exhausted by the end.
One thing that did annoy be a bit was the fact that many of the players didn’t follow the correct order of play. They reversed their characters as soon as they attacked, or paid costs before playing a character to the stage for example. However this generally wasn’t too much of a pain.
Good luck in Japan to the winner, and hopefully we’ll have a chance to meet up with people again in the future.