APC Championship – A Canadian Experience

After qualifying for the Championship, I was trying to find any other player that would travel with me, nothing but bad news.  An expired passport, one can’t change schedule, and I was then on board with a solo drive.  Good news propped up a few days before the Championship, a message from Yannick and quick planning to carpool and there were going to be 2 Canadians representatives.  The trip would take about 4.5 hours from my starting point so I was on the road at 6am.  Quick pick up and back on the highway, chatting about the great game we were going to play for the day.

We arrived at Eternal Games around noon and went in and began the meet and greet phase of the day.  A quick bite to eat and a little decision making on my part. Take a not so tested Leo deck or take my Victoria that I know the ins and outs, the knowledge is power decision came through and the Canadians were the only 2 Victoria’s on the field of battle.  Let the games begin.

I will not be giving a complete play by play, but some key points and comments about the games.

Game 1:

I was paired up against Austin and his Coal deck.  This was a great match up in my favour and a terribly bad one for him.  I had hounds on the field and the abundance on both sides was magical for my deck.  Overall I took a bit of damage but an end round attack followed by a start next attack ended the game.

I was so excited to actually win a game, as the tournament was a double knock out and I was now guaranteed 3 games on the day.

Game 2:

This was against Alex and his pure Charm Saria.  My deck did not expect any use of Seaside Ravens, and my deck had 3 ways to deal with them.  A hard game of trading damage back and forth was getting closer to the end when the unfortunate happened.  A health miscalculation left me on one health after a sympathy pain and Hypnotized Seaside Raven attack, I had to finish this now.  The next thing Alex was a complete gentleman about and that was placing a damage on a Three-eyed owl then changing the decision quickly to place it on my own rose fire dancer.  After killing my own unit, I could then summon more board presence to attack for lethal.

After the game we discussed the board state and came to the conclusion that the damage placement would not have truly changed the state of the game, just the path to victory.  (Attack with owl or lose it next summon hound summon anyway, I block with a unit or the unit it attacked goes away and I get to kill my rose fire dancer anyway as well as get another hound).  Thanks again for being a great sportsman.

Game 3:

2-0, I felt amazing, and getting a chance to play Bob, unfortunately he was using an Aradel which is a tough match up for me.  When he got his summons going, I could not keep them under control and the inevitable lethal attack happened where I could only block 2 of the 2 Hammer Knights and 2 Bears.

Great game played, and after it, I completely saw my mistakes.  I left the board semi full and attacked for a bit of damage when 2 turns later the heavily exhausted stuff would be back in action.  If I did not attack Aradel and cleared board space where I could it may have made a slight difference.

Game 4:

Made it to top 8.  3 Aradel, 2 Jessa, 2 Victoria (Go Canada), 1 Maeoni.  Please match me up to Maeoni, I like that match up… nope you get Erik and his… Jessa… my worst Phoenixborn match up.  Time to put my all my playtesting against Jessa to the test.  Take the nature dice and keep pressuring.  I have never seen a player meditate so aggressively, the man was a card discarding machine.  In the end He was on 10 health, 6 cards in hand and no deck left and a good spread of dice.  I had 5 health, a healthy hand and deck but the worst had happened 3 class illusion and the rest basics…. 7 basics, that’s what I get for having 4 power symbols in each of the previous 2 rounds.  I had a path to victory, abundance 2 times for 4 damage, clear or subdue the last fire archer and monk on his board and go for the kill.  He just had a quicker one (reminds me how the finals went down).  My mistake happened when I shifting mist 2 dice instead of went all in and meditated all my dice to power sides and turn on all my cards in hand.  I killed his last blockers with a double focused hound summon and that’s when I was chanted and final cried for 4 damage.  His turn, illusion power got rid of my only defense and Stormwind Sniper to the face.

Learning point:  If you see the end in sight, your deck does not matter if your win condition is visible.  MEDITATE EVERYTHING and have the dice to ‘scare’ your opponent into poor decisions.  The, “I can’t do that just in case you have Vanish or choke”, may lead you to your victory.

Knocked out by the eventual champion, doesn’t actually feel that bad.  Some great conversations about the game with the remaining players happened until the inevitable time of departure for a 4.5 hour drive back home to Canada.  All along the road home we were always checking in on the Facebook messages to find the results about the top 5 all the way to the Finals.  Congrats to the Top 4, and to Erik for winning it all.

Final Thoughts

I cannot be happier with my, well both of our, Mine and Yannick’s performances finishing top 8 at the invitational Championship against all the amazing qualifying players that made the trip out.  The intensity of each game was amazing, and some of them came down to a mistake or misplay for the opponent to achieve a victory. It was amazing to finally be able to put faces to names and voices as well as meet all of the other players.  Thanks goes out to all the players for making the trip out to the Championship and a special thanks to Austin and Nick for putting all of this together, I can’t wait for the next one.

Until the next event, may your dice roll ever in your favour (ugh 7 basics….)

Cam Cusick

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