(Metagame Archive) Who Wins in a Fight?

By Brian-David Marshall

In light of Jeff Donais’s recent announcement regarding the Constructed portions of upcoming Pro Circuit events, there has been some debate over which of the Big Two publishers has made the most significant contribution to Constructed play. It would seem at this point in Vs. history that the clear winner between the Marvel and DC factions is the company that publishes the adventures of Superman, Batman, and—most importantly—the Teen Titans.

It seems like every time you turn around, someone else has KO’d half of his or her resource row on the way to winning another high level tournament. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking Pro Circuits, $10K events, or even a Pro Circuit Qualifier. I ran a PCQ this past weekend at Neutral Ground in New York City, and not only did Teen Titans win the event, it also dominated the Top 8 with four players. There were also two players running the hybridized Brave and the Bold. To round things out, the remaining two players stayed in the same neighborhood with Gotham Knights team-up decks.

There were 36 players in the Constructed portion of the event, and here is the breakdown of what they played.

Deck Type  Total       Top 8       Top 4      Finals
Teen Titans  6   4 3 2
Brave and Bold  4   2 1  
Curve Sentinels  4        
X-Men Beats  3        
New Knights  2   1    
Phantom Phone Booth  2        
Cosmic Cops  2        
X-Stall  2        
Common Enemy  2        
FF  2        
ClockShot  1   1    
New Gods  1        
Doom/New Gods  1        
Revenge/LOA  1        
Doom  1        
Wild Vomit  1        
LOA  1        

 

The Teen Titans affiliation was featured in better than 25 percent of the decks in the field, and Roy Harper and company occupied 100 percent of the seats in the tournament by the time the Top 4 rolled around. It is interesting to note that all of the Top 8 decks had at least half of their cards rooted in one, if not both, of the two good-guy squads from DC Origins.

It was very interesting to watch the Top 8 play out, as eventual winner Jason Hoang had to play three straight Titans mirror matches before he could go home ten PC points and $250 richer. His understanding of the deck and all the hoops that he could make it leap through benefited him in matches against players with less experience.

In the finals with Jacob Perlman, the match went three long games. Jacob, an experienced Titans player from the local PCQ scene, had defeated Jason in a mirror match at a previous tournament with his addition of Roy Harper ◊ Speedy. Jason had added the 1-drop Roy to his build, as well, and the when the two players squared off in the finals, they matched each other card for card. The game threatened to come down to the player who made the fewest mistakes. The long day seemed to take its toll on Perlman, who had a long night of papers for school awaiting him after a long mirror match, and he missed one or two opportunities to net some card advantage with his Atlantean sorcerer.

Top 8 Decks

Jason Hoang
Winner – 2/13/05
Neutral Ground PCQ
Teen Titans

1 Raven
1 Connor Kent ◊ Superboy
1 Koriand’r ◊ Starfire
1 Cassie Sandmark ◊ Wondergirl
4 Garth ◊ Tempest
4 Terra
2 Red Star
3 Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal
4 Tim Drake ◊ Robin, Young Detective
3 Hank Hall ◊ Hawk
3 Dawn Granger ◊ Dove
1 Roy Harper ◊ Speedy
3 Tamaran
3 Titans Tower
4 USS Argus
3 Optitron
4 Overload
2 Finishing Move
2 Heroic Sacrifice
3 Press the Attack
4 Savage Beatdown
4 Teen Titans Go!

Jacob Perlman
Finalist – 2/13/05
Neutral Ground PCQ
Teen Titans

1 Raven
1 Koriand’r ◊ Starfire
4 Garth ◊ Tempest
4 Terra
3 Red Star
4 Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal
2 Beast Boy
4 Tim Drake ◊ Robin, Young Detective
2 Hank Hall ◊ Hawk
2 Dawn Granger ◊ Dove
3 Pantha
1 Roy Harper ◊ Speedy
4 Tamaran
3 Titans Tower
4 USS Argus
2 Optitron
2 Overload
3 Ka-Boom!
3 Heroic Sacrifice
4 Press the Attack
4 Teen Titans Go!

Anthony Rodriguez
Semifinalist – 2/13/05
Neutral Ground PCQ
Teen Titans

1 Connor Kent ◊ Superboy
1 Koriand’r ◊ Starfire
1 Cassie Sandmark ◊ Wondergirl
4 Garth ◊ Tempest
4 Terra
3 Red Star
4 Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal
4 Tim Drake ◊ Robin, Young Detective
3 Hank Hall ◊ Hawk
3 Dawn Granger ◊ Dove
1 Roy Harper ◊ Speedy
3 Tamaran
3 Titans Tower
3 USS Argus
2 Optitron
3 Overload
2 Finishing Move
2 Heroic Sacrifice
3 Press the Attack
3 Savage Beatdown
4 Teen Titans Go!
2 Betrayal
2 Foiled

Dario Zarzuela
Semifinalist – 2/13/05
Neutral Ground PCQ
Brave and the Bold

4 Alfred Pennyworth
4 Mirage
1 Dawn Granger ◊ Dove
1 Tim Drake ◊ Robin, Young Detective
1 Hank Hall ◊ Hawk
1 Barbara Gordon ◊ Oracle
3 Beast Boy
2 Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal
2 Terra
1 Dick Grayson ◊ Nightwing
1 Cassandra Cain ◊ Batgirl
4 Garth
1 Batman, The Dark Knight
1 Connor Kent ◊ Superboy
1 Raven
2 Optitron
3 USS Argus
1 Metropolis
1 Foiled
1 Ka-Boom!
3 Bat-Signal
4 Fizzle
4 The Brave and the Bold
4 Teen Titans Go!
3 Dynamic Duo
2 Heroic Sacrifice
2 Press the Attack
2 Utility Belt

Perickles Vasilaropoulos
Quarterfinalist – 2/13/05
Neutral Ground PCQ
Teen Titans

1 Raven
1 Connor Kent ◊ Superboy
1 Koriand’r ◊ Starfire
1 Cassie Sandmark ◊ Wondergirl
4 Garth ◊ Tempest
4 Terra
3 Red Star
4 Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal
4 Tim Drake ◊ Robin, Young Detective
3 Hank Hall ◊ Hawk
3 Dawn Granger ◊ Dove
3 Tamaran
2 Titans Tower
4 USS Argus
2 Optitron
3 Overload
2 Finishing Move
2 Heroic Sacrifice
3 Press the Attack
3 Savage Beatdown
3 Teen Titans Go!
2 Foiled
2 Ka-Boom!
2 Betrayal

Shane Scurry
Quarterfinalist – 2/13/05
Neutral Ground PCQ
Brave and the Bold

1 Commissioner Gordon
3 Terra
2 Beast Boy
2 Roy Harper ◊ Arsenal
3 Garth ◊ Tempest
1 Dick Grayson ◊ Nightwing
4 Mirage
4 Alfred Pennyworth
2 Tim Drake ◊ Robin
4 Barbara Gordon ◊ Oracle
2 GCPD Headquarters
2 Optitron
4 USS Argus
4 Teen Titans Go!
4 Fizzle
4 The Brave and the Bold
3 Bat-Signal
3 Dynamic Duo
1 Ka-Boom!
1 Foiled
1 Press the Attack
1 Flame Trap
4 Utility Belt
2 Flamethrower

Luis Sanabria
Quarterfinalist – 2/13/05
Neutral Ground PCQ
ClockShot

21 GCPD Officer
4 Longshot
2 Batman, The Dark Knight
2 Beast
2 Harvey Bullock
1 Onslaught
1 Apocalypse
4 Clocktower
3 Avalon Space Station
3 Xavier’s School
4 Gone but Not Forgotten
1 Gamma Bomb
3 Fizzle
4 Burn Rubber
4 Press the Attack
2 Utility Belt

Jason Scudder
Quarterfinalist – 2/13/05
Neutral Ground PCQ
New Knights

4 Alfred Pennyworth
3 Spoiler ◊ Robin
1 Barbara Gordon ◊ Oracle
1 Vykin
2 Jason Todd
2 Himon
1 Huntress
3 Izaya Highfather
1 Dick Grayson, High Flying Acrobat
1 Cassandra Cain ◊ Batgirl
3 Batman, Caped Crusader
1 Metron
1 Dick Grayson ◊ Nightwing
1 Azrael
1 Big Barda
2 Superman, False Son
1 Orion, Dog of War
1 Apocalypse
4 The Source
4 Fizzle
4 Bat-Signal
4 Savage Beatdown
2 The Exchange
2 Betrayal
2 Detective Work
4 Royal Decree
1 Flame Trap
1 Political Pressure
2 Utility Belt

Everyone seemed to have a good time, with the possible exception of Jason Hoang’s Top 8 opponents. Thirty players opted to try their hand at Sealed Pack play, and there were two lucky winners when the dust from that bracket settled. Robert Paasch and Albert Wu both advanced to the finals with at least five Pro Circuit Points notched into their belts. With a minimum of five points awarded for second place, the ten points needed to attend a Pro Circuit event were locked in.

I have to say that I find this aspect of the Pro Circuit Qualifiers tremendously exciting. A string of ten tenth place finishes in PCQs will actually qualify you. Of course, you could also run back-to-back Top 2s, or even just make the Top 4 five times. As any veteran of this type of qualifier scene will tell you, there is nothing harder to swallow than a string of high finishes that yield no invite to play on a bigger stage. If you have any aspiration to play in Amsterdam, or to visit the greatest city on Earth (sorry Sheldon, but it is!) for Pro Circuit New York, get out there and hit the qualifier scene.

In the first installment of my new Essential Constructed column next week, I’ll start looking at the current state of the purple robot army and how they went from Vomit to Pimped out.

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