With GenCon championships less than a week away, I felt that some completely baseless predictions were in order. With this being the first GenCon tournament since the game has been widely available, this tourney will set the standard for all future championships. So without further ado…
Jessa Will Not Win GenCon
This ain’t going to happen on Friday.
Out of all of my predictions, this one is the boldest, and probably dumb. But I’ve watched enough CCG world championships to realize this: The top deck rarely wins (when it does win, still doesn’t have as good of a showing across the board as it should). It’s always the second or third best deck that wins. Why? Because every builds their deck expecting the top. And seeing as Jessa is definitely the top, expect to see lots of anti-Jessa tech around, as well as people trained in anti-Jessa tactics.
Leo and Victoria Will Be Popular
There’s going to be a lot of abs…
There’s nothing like a card being fresh off the presses and in your hands right before a tourney to create undue hype. As with any game, the most hyped cards are the newest, and it takes a few weeks in the meta to cool down on the cards. But the tourney happens the day after their release, and both Phoenixborn are quite playable. So not really a bold prediction.
Brennan Will Be Well Represented, but have a tough day.
Maybe if enough people play Brennan, Isaac will tell us his/her gender.
Just like Codenames (winner of the spiel des jahres 2016), there is a lot of buzz surrounding Brennan. Unlike Codenames, some of that buzz is actually deserved. Brennan is the ideal Phoenixborn for the current meta, as he has a high life value, but he also is fairly strong throughout the rest of the spectrum. Well, except that horrible signature card. But Brennan being obviously strong will be his/her undoing, for all the lower-tier players at the tournament will be drawn to him/her. So it is safe to assume that Brennan will be very popular (top-two in popularity is my guess), but for the most part will be found at the bottom of the pile, next to the Leo combo decks.
Noah Will Make Top 4
Maybe everyone can play the tourney in costume…
Woah, what? Noah’s good, but really? Top 4? I’m not basing this on strength, but rather I am basing it on meta. Noah’s got the tools to win this thing. And by tools I mean him having a Bear when you don’t.
Leo will not make Top 16
Sorry Leo, abs just aren’t enough.
The same goes for Coal, Dimona, Saria, and Orrick. Leo may be popular, but he is difficult to pilot, and really should only be piloted by top players. You know, the top players who mostly are sticking to what they know. Notice I’ve left Maeoni out of this. That is because I think she will have only one deck at GenCon (that’s right, one), and that deck will place between 13th and 20th place (I know, specific, right?). Maeoni may be weak, but some people feel comfortable with her, and are able to succeed where others generally don’t.
Expect a Diverse Meta
Let us celebrate the death of the great evil.
This is something rare when it comes to CCGs, but I feel like it is safe to say that this tourney will be the pinnacle of diverse metas. Why? Well first, the Enchanted Violinist Errata smashed the meta into pieces, leaving three slots open in every deck to fill with more balanced blockers. Second, out of the 10 Phoenixborn out right now (so not counting the new ones), six of them (Rin, Brennan, Jessa, Lulu, Aradel, Noah) are quite viable, and each brings a very different deck to the table. Add in Leo and Victoria being popular, and it is safe to say that eight Phoenixborn= diverse meta. Third, there is no super strong card or strat that can’t be efficiently countered, unlike the dreaded Faust in Netrunner, etc. No ubiquitous deck means diversity. Finally, the game is new. There hasn’t been time for local metas to be filled up with everybody playing the same deck because “it is the correct deck”, despite said deck only being marginally better than the other ones. But yeah, no “correct deck” yet means lots of experimentation.
Fun Will Be Had
This is Ashes after all! Expect a great experience all around.