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CardShark Content - Robert Balsamel (1/9/2006)

This was an interesting weekend. I was trying some new things with soul control and trying to better my performance at swiss round tournaments. For the weekend I tried 2 Jujitsu masters and 2 brain controls instead of the trains and the soul exchanges. For the first tourney on Saturday I did well, going 4-1 and making top 4, but going 3-2 on Sunday, placing 12 out of 35, barely missing a top 8. These tourneys are good practice because you can’t get more than one loss to make a top 8 or top 4. So they’re good practice and good competition.

So here’s the first tournament, which was at Cedar Grove Newark, NJ…

Round 1
I had a bye so I got to watch the other duelist and a team member play. I saw some interesting decks, but still saw some knock offs of the Pharaoh tour winner’s deck.
So 1-0 by luck of the draw

Round 2
I played against speed warrior, which made for an easy win with all the high defense my deck had to offer. This was the life point count
Game 1
Me: 8000 – 6000 – 5200
Opp: 8000 – 7600 – 6600 – 5400 – 3000 – 2100 – 0
Game 2
Me: 8000 – 6700 – 5900 – 2000 – 1200
Opp: 8000 – 7700 – 5500 – 4700 – 4300 – 1900 – 0
The second game was a little bit harder because of the early hand control but I managed to top deck out of it.
Overall: 2-0

Round 3
Was a nice sweep for me, I mean the guy played well but a deck of randomness cannot win against a deck that has a central strategy.
Game 1
Me: 8000 – 7000 – 6000 – 4200 – 3800
Opp: 8000 – 7200 – 3600 – 0
Game 2
Me: 8000 – 6900
Opp: 8000 – 7000 – 5500 – 3100 – 700 – 0
When soul control gets momentum, it’s hard not to win with monarchs hitting the field with little resistance.
Overall: 3-0
Round 4
I was up against a dark world deck and I had played against quite a few at the Maryland regional about 2 weeks ago so I haven’t seen one with potential. And generally soul control can handle it with the lack of hand control of the opponent.
Game 1
Me: 8000
Opp: 8000 – 7700 – 5700 – 3700 – 0
Game 2
Me: 8000 – 7200 – 5600 – 6600
Opp: 8000 – 5600 – 3200 – 0
Overall: 4-0

Round 5
I was up against a fellow team member and he was running a new age hand control deck that was modeled after the top 8 of the Pharaoh tour.
Game 1
Me: 8000 – 7700 – 5700 – 2800 – 1100 – 0
Opp: 8000 – 7900
Game 2
Me: 8000 – 5900 – 5500 – 5200 – 3500 – 2100 – 0
Opp: 8000 – 7000
They were good games and they helped me to see some major flaws in the deck and my play style.
Overall: 4-1

It was a good tournament. I made top 4 and placed second overall, there was no single elimination for the top 4. And my team member went 5-0 and won the tourney. The down side was that only 2 of us from the team could go to the tourney.

The Sunday tournament was in Bluebell, PA.

I didn’t make any changes to the deck, but I did have some idea about how to improve that deck against hand control and tomato control. Plus the whole team was there so we would see which cards performed well.

Round 1
I faced a speed warrior deck and was against a decent player. Once I knew what he was running it wasn’t too hard to win.
Game 1
Me: 8000 – 7500 – 6700 – 6400 – 4600
Opp: 8000 – 7800 – 6300 – 3900 – 3100 – 1500 – 900 – 0
Game 2
Me: 8000 – 7200 – 5100 – 2700 – 1300 – 550 – 0
Opp: 8000 – 7700 – 7000 – 6600 – 5800 – 5100 – 4300
He sided in some more power attackers and crushed my defense. He also out drew me so I lost.
Game 3
Me: 8000 – 6600 – 5800 – 4100 – 3200 – 2500
Opp: 8000 – 3600 – 0
The last game was just luck of the draw for me. I had a good hand going into the game and top decked well so that was that.
Overall 1-0

Round 2
I was facing a hand control deck and I knew I was going to have a hard time with this match.
Game 1
Me: 8000 – 7700 – 5300 – 4850 – 2950 – 1350 – 0
Opp: 8000 – 7600
Game 2
Me: 8000 – 7600 – 6200
Opp: 8000 – 5600 – 4700 – 3500 – 2700 – 0
I drew well and got the right cards at the right times. Plus I put him into top deck mode while I still had 5 cards in hand and a bunch on the field.
Game 3
Me: 8000 – 7000 – 4750 – 3950 – 2050 – 1350 – 0
Opp: 8000 – 7500 – 6350 – 5950
I would have had him if time hadn’t been called because he stalled like no tomorrow.
Overall: 1-1

Round 3
I was up against a gravity bind deck with Des Wombats so I had him from the start.
Game 1
Me: 8000 – 6400 – 5700
Opp: 8000 – 7000 – 6000 – 3700 – 1400 – 1100 – 0
Game 2
Me: 8000
Opp: 8000 – 7700 – 6400 – 4000 – 1600 – 700 – 0
Overall: 2-1

Round 4
I faced another speed warrior deck but this guy had a chaos twist to it. He got real lucky on game 2 but I managed to out play him in game 1 and game 3.
Game 1
Me: 8000 – 6800
Opp: 8000 – 7600 – 6800 – 2000 – 1700 – 1300 – 0
Game 2
Me: 8000 – 2300 – 3300 – 0
Opp: 8000 – 7900
Game 3
Me: 8000
Opp: 8000 – 7900 – 4900 – 3900 – 2900 – 0
Overall: 3-1 with a chance to make top 8.

Round 5
This was against a tomato control deck that was really good, and on top of that he was a good player. I got swept with no problem for him.
Game 1
Me: 8000 – 7000 – 4600 – 3200 – 2400 – 0
Opp: 8000 – 6600
Game 2
Me: 8000 – 7700 – 6000 – 5700 – 5400 – 5100 – 4300 – 2900 – 2600 – 2200 – 0
Opp: 8000 – 6400 – 5800
At least I did better against this style deck than the day before, but I was still crushed.
Overall: 3-2 and placed 12th out of 35 people. Not bad, but it could have been better.

Positive things: 2 team members placed in the top 8 and one in the top 4, another placed 11th. I learned a lot about how to improve my deck and play style. And, as always, there was good competition. Good trades.
Downside: A few team members dropped to go play some Vs System. Not making a top 8 at least.

Here’s the deck I ran for the weekend.
Monsters - 19
2: Mobius the frost monarch
2: Zaborg the thunder monarch
1: Breaker the Magical warrior
1: DD warrior lady
1: DD assailant
3: Gravekeeper’s spy
2: Legendary Jujitsu Master
1: Dechachi train
1: Sangan
1: mystic lvl 2 swordsmen
2: spirit reaper
1: Magician of Faith
1: Exiled force
Spells – 15
2: Smashing ground
2: Brain control
1: Scapegoat
1: Snatch steal
1: Swords of Revealing light
1: Reinforcement of the army
1: enemy controller
1: Nobleman of Crossout
1: Dark hole
1: Premature Burial
1: Mystical Space typhoon
1: Heavy Storm
1: Book of Moon
Traps – 6
1: Royal decree
1: Torrential Tribute
1: Call of the Haunted
3: Sakuretsu armor
Total – 40
Sidedeck – 15
2: Emergency Provisions
1: Creature Swap
1: Jinzo
1: Des Wombat
2: Thestalos the firestorm monarch
2: Kinetic Soldier
2: Goblin attack force
1: Ceasefire
1: Bottomless trap hole
2: Dust tornado

The deck could still use some improvement and my play style could still get much better before I can get better overall.

Thanks for reading, sorry I haven’t been writing for a while. Send any comments about the article to the email address below.


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