Hey guys! I’m Joe Ramirez from Lubbock TX and I just wanted to share a few things about our Classic event from last week. First and foremost I'd like to thank the #1 Christian Kurze who originally piloted this deck in the largest Darkmoon Faire ever: DMF Antwerp, Belgium 2010! Christian had an amazing run where he went undefeated after many grueling rounds due to the high attendance. I used the core build of his deck thinking to myself, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” But of course I did add some of my own tech for this event since there have been some meta shifts, bans for this circuit, and a developed local metagame since his amazing DMF run. I ended up making minimal changes, just cutting out a copy of He-Man (Adam Eternum) and a single Crusade Engineer Spitzpatrick to make room for some varied effects. I also dropped Iravar completely as I felt like Crusade Commander Entari was a stronger pick and paired up with Archbishop Benedictus from March of the Legion could become a win condition. I also added the The Abominable Greench as a bomb against the control matchups where Varian doesn’t shine as brightly. Here’s what I ended up registering:
1st - Joe Ramirez
Master Heroes (2):
2 Highlord Tirion Fordring
4 Mikael the Blunt
3 Adam Eternum
3 Crusade Engineer Spitzpatrick
2 “Scrapper” Ironbane
2 King Varian Wrynn
1 Archbishop Benedictus
1 Weldon Barov
1 Pappy Ironbane
1 Crusade Commander Entani
1 Collidus the Warp-Watcher
1 The Abominable Greench
4 Wind Shear
4 Ancestral Awakening
3 Chain Purge
3 Tuskarr Kite
3 Squall Totem
3 Wavestorm Totem
3 Voice of Reason
4 A Question of Gluttony
4 Darkness Calling
4 Eye of the Storm
4 Band of the Inevitable
2 Magnetic Totem
1 Leeroy Jenkins
1 Wavestorm Totem
1 Squall Totem
1 Voice of Reason
So, like I said, not many changes from Christian’s DMF build. Now onto how my rounds went.
I played Mitchell who was playing a Frost Talent Horde Mage with Scryer Reputation control deck. He told me he was hoping to play against anyone but me first round. Game one saw me win the die roll, play a quest, and pass. He plays his first of 3 Retainer Marcus’s calling “Wavestorm Totem” then “Squall Totem” and then I think the third named “Wind Shear” or another ally in my hand - I’m fuzzy on the third one. On turn three he plays Magistrix Valthin which did all his damage that game before I played Weldon "The Great" Barov as my son nicknamed him. At that point I took control of the match by clearing out his board and then dropping a Highlord Tirion Fordring and followed it up with "The King in the North" King Varian Wrynn which he couldn’t counter due to Tirion’s effect. He then scooped to conserve time.
Game two he comes out of the gates with a similar curve involving Marcus into Magistrix taking me to 8 damage once again before I hit a Voice of Reason and eventually went from 8 damage back up to full health. After some trading he ends up with a single card in hand. I play Highlord again and exhaust for his reanimation effect to bring out a Greench from my graveyard that I threw there earlier off a Darkness Calling. With only a Counterspell in hand he scoops.
I played against Hunter (name, not class) - a new guy to the group who was in very good spirits as it was his first ever WoW TCG tournament and only his second game ever PvP-wise (he normally raids). He was playing a very scary Night Elf themed Traitor Warlock deck with a Nightbane/Fel Trade combo. I’m not a fan of night elves especially my “most hated” card Archdruid Fandral Staghelm. Luckily the only damage I took this game was from Darnassus Warrior but turn 4 he was able to drop a very scary Belthira the Black Thorn. I was able to respond by playing Archbishop Benedictus which he seemed to have no outs for. After a few turns of Wavestorm and Squall Totems slowing him down further, I was able to assemble the Crusade Commander Entari and Benedictus combo to seal the deal.
Game two he comes out more aggressive with a turn one Darnassus Warrior moving me to 1, then the following turn take 2 more, and on following turns put me at 5 damage and then he played a Lord Kur'talos Ravencrest on turn four. With nothing early I eat that damage moving me to 14 with another Darnassus warrior hitting the table and the first one swinging in I go to 17 before I'm able to control the state of the game with Squall and Wavestorm Totems once again. Going into turn 6 he completes a quest The Opening of the Dark Portal revealing double Nightbane, Belthira, and a Fel Trade. He picks up another Belthira the Black Thorn and drops his hand of night elves thanks to Ashenvale. On his following turn I stop his attack so he then attempts to play Fel Trade which I promptly Wind Shear which I might have let go through if I hadn’t seen the Nightbane on the previous turn. I then play King Varian Wrynn on my following turn which seals the deal.
This round I have to play against my son Joey in a near mirror match snooze fest. A lot of nothing happen for many turns this game. I knew in this game it was a race to Highlord and the King to have control of the game. He knew that my build was a bit better as his changes of adding a few Magnetic Totem in the main and Archbishop in the side didn’t help in this matchup. He puts a mere 2 damage on me before he drops his Highlord and King first. I respond by dropping a King of my own but my King’s effect was -6/-6 while his was only -4/-4. So I ran mine into his whille keeping mine on table. He then exhausts Highlord targeting his King to come back. With the effect on the chain, I complete Everfrost to lock up the game.
Game two we both skipped the first couple of turns but ended up trading some damage as we both dropped Adam Eternum but then both found Voice of Reason to heal. At one point I go to 17 damage and he made it to 13. More of the same lines of play from the first game go on except this time I got King Varian online first and then Highlord he while he finds Collidus the Warp-Watcher to return my board to hand. He runs out of gas and can’t go off with Tirion as I shuffle back his graveyard with Everfrost. Game two goes to time which gives me the win.
This was the most talked about match of the whole tournament! I play against Nate in Elite Mob vs Elite Mob action with the battle of the X-0 players going at it. Nate is playing a Blue Rogue Midrange list that Woodrow built. I had not scouted the deck at all and had no idea what I was playing against. My first hand wasn’t great and we both mulligan. I get another sub-par hand and he comes out the gates with Poach and Junkboxes starving my hand and then follows up with Adam and Fandral. Things were not looking good for our hero this game, folks. With a bit of delay I ask him to speed up the pace - not trying to be an asshole but with him not knowing his deck let alone mine he was taking some longer turns. He took the time to read most of the cards and ask questions. I understood well that if I lost game 1 and the pace of play stayed like this there was no way I would have enough time to win the match.
After our chat we then both play at a more reasonable pace. That might have got into his head a bit, since he later on made some play mistakes. Eventually I'm able to get control of the board at 20 damage and drop a King Varian clearing his board of allies. And since none of his guys have more than 3HP except Fandral that I have seen at this point I feel like I’m in a good spot. He plays a Fleshwerk Throwing Glaive and swings into my 1HP King Varian but no damage is exchanged because his hero had Long Range and was at -5/-5. He scoops to conserve time.
Nate comes out explosive again in game two with Poach and then Ashnaar, Frost Herald followed by Adam Eternum and Fandral making quick work of my hero’s health. We go next game and I suffer my first game loss of the day.
In game three we end up in the most epic of games. Time gets called. There’s been no damage dealt at this point and Nate shared about how he lost in a DMF to time in this exact same situation. He spent time putting damage on the opposing hero who later healed it on the final turn to get the win. Game three tiebreakers are a “sudden death” style if the hero damage totals are the same after turns. Seeing the power of Zaritha’s flip he wasn't making that mistake again. So here we were, playing the game out in turns with the whole tournament watching our match. On his turn four he plays Edwin Vancleef but I had an early turn Squall Totem that had hit the table in response to a Poach. My turn five was my last turn before going into sudden death. My only option at this point was to play my Weldon or keep everything open for my hero flip and exhaust his board with a full Eye of the Storm. The rest of my hand was irrelevant and just there to bluff a Squall Totem. My hand was actually double King Virian and a Highlord, which he sees the next turn when he completes Junkboxes Needed. I play my Weldon to give him a target to hit other then my hero. This is my last turn in turns and he has his final turn next and has lethal on board by just swinging with Edwin since he has Stealth and I can't Protect with my peasants. All he has to do is attack my hero to win the game. Looking back I should have just left my resources open since I have my hero heal and we would go to sudden death. On his turn he completes Junkboxes Needed and rips the two kings from my hand leaving me with a top deck and a dream and then swings into my Weldon. I respond with EOTS to exhaust his hero and two Defias Thugs and Weldon and Edwin die. He passes turn which officially moves us into sudden death.
Hearts racing and everyone watching I knew I dodged a bullet and was going to steal this game somehow. I slowly rip off the top card off my deck and it’s a Mikael the Blunt to win the game! Everyone goes nuts and we cut to Top 4. My following card was a Ancestral Awakening so if I did leave my resources open I could have won with the other line of flipping to heal the Edwin damage as well.
Mitchell, my opponent, wanted to see the Tech game and knowing that he didn't have a chance to win with his Control Mage forfeits.
My son Joey plays Nate in their Top 4 match as I look on and am able to see more of Nate's deck and how it functions and he plays it. In game one my son Joey's deck takes a fat poop on him in both draw and mulligan. He gets face rolled. In game two Joey got blasted to 26 damage and then healed back down to 4 damage off the power of the Voice of Reason. Joey had a chance to steal this game but makes a play mistake by dropping Archbishop a second time after Nate dealt with it the first time. Instead he should have dropped King Varian which could have pushed things to a game three.
In the finals it’s a much different game than the last as I draw a good opening hand and win the dice roll choosing to play first. I kept a hand of EOTS and Adam which I didn't see much of all day but knew that it would help me early on. Turn three I play the Adam and the following turn he plays his. Then I drop Crusade Engineer Spitzpatrick and swing for 5. He then passes turn not wanting to trade the Engineer for Adam. The following turn I draw a Squall Totem and swing in with both allies. Disappointed with his hand he then says if the next card doesn't help him stabilize he will scoop. He mentioned after that game that he had seen a Fandral in every game except that one.
I'm on the draw for game two and my opening hand is nearly all quests: 3 A Question of Gluttony, 2 Darkness Calling, and a Crusade Engineer Spitzpatrick and Squall Totem. Since in the early game the rogue deck goes discard I naturally keep this hand knowing I’ll nullify the discard and my line didn't disappoint. He played turn 1 Poach into turn 2 Poach and a Junkboxes. I'm able to complete quests giving me multiples of Wavestorm and Squall Totem. He comments, "Ill let you control me for a while its fine." I knew it was game over at this point if he is going to let it get to later turns as my guys are just bigger than his. He only hits me for 3 damage all game as I was able to play Voice of Reason. Eventually I drop King Varian and hit him to 20 damage before he GG’s. Despite many turns he didn't see a Fandral that game either.
I want to say thank you to Woodrow and the Reborn Circuit crew for putting on the event and all of the Lubbock WoW TCG group! It was a great time had by all! I haven't had a great time flipping cards like that in a long time. Classic was a long day with the best of three format but it was tons of fun. And I’m sure many of you are wondering why I played a Leeroy Jenkings. Honestly it was a bit of a troll and a bit of nostalgia. I sided it in almost every game but never once used it. I had it in hand in the final game but it would have only taken Nate to 1 off lethal so I didn't play it. One day I’ll tell you the story behind my history with Leeroy Jenkins. Thanks for the read and hope you enjoyed it! See ya'll at origins or Gencon!