So yeah, before they made that huge announcement about the new Championship Series tournaments for next year, they told us Continental participants first and went into more detail about it than the website says. I'm pretty hyped about it, but hoping the 2 day event thing doesn't conflict with my work schedule.
Though, considering what an amazing experience Continentals was, I'm a bit sad that there won't be any more Continentals after this year. So I'm happy I got to go to the last one.
For those wondering, no, I did not qualify for Worlds. But I came DAMN close to top 4. While I've been tight lipped about what I was playing, I'm sure most could figure out that I was sticking with the deck that got me to Continentals in the first place, which is Kagero Overlords. I made some changes to the deck though which made it stronger. I was the only person playing Kagero that day.
So, here's how my matches went down. It was 5 rounds of swiss, best of 3, then cut to top 4.
Round 1 vs. Nubatama Shiranui: LOSE 2-1. My opponent was the Atlanta Champion who topped with Megacolony but he switched to Nubatama because he knew people would not expect it. He was right. My eyes widened in shock when he flipped over that Nubatama starting VG. I was not prepared for Nubatama and had never faced Shiranui. Game 1, while I had some chances, including a no guard at 3 that only got me one crit instead of two, and my double crit came later when he could guard it, but he made good use of the Afterimage abilities and he finished me off with Atagolord after he used the Stride skill and some RG skills to get rid of a lot of cards in my hand. Atago's ability then left me with one card left in hand which wasn't enough to block his 2 crit VG. Game 2, I won with The Ace after checking two crits and a heal. He blocked my VG, but died to my 31K RG with 3 crit. Game 3, I probably should have stalled for a turn but he G-Assisted after I rode to Grade 3 and got Shiranui and had me on the ropes after that. Atagolord did me in again. I'll talk more about this guy below.
Round 2 vs. Royal Paladin Thing Saver Blaster: WIN 2-1. My opponent this time was a runner up from B Block California I think. He rode Majesty Lord twice in the match and Thing Saver the other time. I can't remember too many details about this match other than I won game 1, he won game 2 and I won game 3. My Denials came in handy in stopping his Blaster Blade plays. After losing to me, my opponent decided to drop out of the tournament, which I was afraid would hurt my tie breaks. Not sure if it did or not though.
Round 3 vs. Nova Grappler Victor: WIN 2-0. My opponent was from the California Region, though I'm not sure what place he came in. Game 1, I kept using Denial to shut down his plays and kind of steam rolled him. Game 2, he couldn't get many triggers to hand and I swung with Nouvelle with him at 4 and he dropped a ton of G2's from hand to guard it, and managed to barely survive but had nothing left after that and I won next turn. Admittedly I also hit a lot more triggers than he did.
Round 4 vs. Nova Grappler Victor: LOSE 2-1. My opponent was the other Canadian Champion from Toronto, and he was GOOD. I felt he had a better handle on his deck than the guy I faced in round 3. Game 1, I hit him with a double crit at 3 damage but he hit heal (healed), crit, heal (healed) in damage, surviving and allowing him to easily block my RG. I didn't get a single heal trigger all game, and wasn't able to G Guard as a result as well. Ultimately lost to Victoplasma. Game 2, I beat him with The Ace. He no guarded my 26K swing, and I checked blanks which put him to 5. He then one to passed my 36K swing and I checked a crit to win. Game 3, he was at 4 damage and I strode Nouvelle. He wasn't able to guard it, so I needed a crit to win. Checked two G1's and a G2 and got killed by Victoplasma the following turn.
Round 5 vs. Bermuda Triangle PRISMS: WIN 2-1. I can't remember where my opponent was from, but he might have been from Toronto since I know a Prism deck came in 2nd there. Game 1, he kept foiling my plays using Emilia and drew so many cards that I couldn't do anything. Lost to his second Olyvia Stride. Game 2, he wasn't able to generate as much advantage so I was able to wipe out his field. He "bluffed" with the Vert Stride, but didn't get the G3 he needed to use the skill and then I killed him with Taiten the next turn. Game 3... I felt really bad for the guy. He was grade stuck at 1 and apparently this was his first G Assist of the tournament. He whiffed. I rush him a bit and he takes two damage, with the second damage being a Grade 2. He G Assists again and whiffs again. I push him to 5, which included two more G2's in the damage zone. He G Assists again and whiffs for a 3rd time in a row. I then killed him next turn. For fun, he checked to see if he would have failed the G Assist a 4th time had he healed out. He would have.
So while they are figuring out top 4, I check in with the Nubatama player. He was 4-1, his only loss being to a Seven Seas player. He was pretty confident that he was going to be in the top 4, and only one person was still undefeated going into the last round, and I think he lost that 5th round. The Nova player I lost to was also 4-1. There were a total of six 4-1's. Top 4 get announced, and they state there is a tie for 4th. Nubatama player was the bubble player and didn't get in. He theorized it might have been due to his last name starting with a W, but I can't confirm that. Could just be that his tie breakers weren't good enough. I felt really bad for him, he really deserved to be in that top 4 and it would have been a lot more interesting than what it ended up being, and I was looking forward to people losing their minds that Nubatama made top 4 at Continentals. I finished right below the Nubatama player in the standings, which was "sixth" but technically 7th as there were two 4th place finishers.
So, to break the tie, Bushiroad decided to have the two play a best of 1 game to determine who gets in to the top 4. One of them was the Nova player I lost to. Everyone else were Gears players. If Nova lost the game, top 4 would have been all Gears.
That best of 1 game was the most intense game I've ever seen. The Nova player got his opponent down to 0 cards in hand, but he was still able to get a decent attack formation and had Chronojet's GB2. Nova player guarded it 1 to pass as that's all he could do and he was at 5 damage. Gears player checks a draw trigger to break through. Nova checks a heal to stay in the game, and fends off the last attack as a result. Nova player then has a field of a boosted Cool Hank, and an unboosted Victor RG and an unboosted Victor VG. Opponent was at 3 damage. He got him to 4 damage with the first 3 attacks with Victor, Cool Hank, Victor, and then swung with VG for 16K while standing his RG Victor again with the GB2. Gears player has to no guard. Nova checks a crit. Gears player checked a 5th damage heal, but it didn't go off and he loses the game.
Nova player went on to finish 3rd place and qualified for the World Finals. It's possible that if I hadn't won my last match, he wouldn't have tied for 4th on tie breakers.
While I didn't get into the top 4, I came really really close to beating the guy that game 3rd and if I had, and I won my last round, I might have been in top 4 myself. But I'm still happy with how I did and had it been a cut to top 8 I would have been in it.
The runner up from Vancouver, who is from Washington, I actually became friends with and we hung out a lot at the event and played a ton of games against each other. He switched to Genesis Wiseman loop because he wanted to see if he could top with it and get Bushiroad to pay attention to how broken it is. However, he went 1-4, having to face Freezeray Messiah in two of those rounds, one of his losses his opponent just sacked like crazy, and I can't remember what happened in the last loss. His only win was in round 5 against Gears. I don't know if anyone else was playing Genesis there.
After Round 3 during the event, Redryuranger and his friend dropped by to say hi to me. I managed to play a game with them both in between rounds and it was cool to finally get to meet Red after we've been talking on this wiki for years. Red actually beat me in that game because I couldn't seem to check any triggers and I think I may have even G-Assisted there, can't remember though. Might be getting my games mixed up.
All in all, it was an amazing experience and while I didn't make top 4, I still feel like I proved myself and made my clan proud and got at least a top 8 finish which was my goal. And my only losses were to other Champions, so yeah :P.
It was probably the most fun I've ever had at a tournament, getting to play against the best of the best, and who knows if I'll be able to win another Regional to compete in the World Finals in the new format, but I'm certainly going to try.