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Long Winter Tournament Recap

sean johnson
United States
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I wanted to write this several days ago, but I have been a little busy. This is a follow up to my last post considering the deck I wanted to play. I will try to include as much details as possible, but I played a lot of games that day, and they kind of run together.

The Tournament
The Long Winter/Loot Blowout tournament will be one of the last big tournaments in the US. Loot Blowout was an appropriate title for the tournament. They had a TON of stuff to give away. They had three league kits of materials plus Fantasy Flight Games send a lot of stuff to give away. Twenty plus people had made plans to be there, but some bad weather kept people away. There were thirteen who participated from four different states. This meant that everyone walked away with lots of promo cards, play mats, and card boxes. Since the game has been declared complete, the Polish community has decided to step up and continue providing support for the game. Interestingly, it was decided that we would use the Polish FAQ, and I think this is the first time it has been used outside of Poland. I believe there were 3 orc decks, 3 dwarf decks, 2 Empire, 2 Lizardmen, 1 Chaos, 1 High Elf and 1 Skaven. For the tournament we played four rounds of swiss and then cut to the top four.

My Deck
I went with a Skaven deck. The goal of the deck is to go fast. My goal was to create a deck that would very reliably burn a zone on turn two. The deck has multiple ways to do this. The deck can be seen here One of the strengths to this deck is that the skaven draw 2 cards by default but only have two starting resources. My hope was to always start with Warpstone Excavation (to overcome my resource deficiency) or Chittering Horde (giving me up to five extra cards on turn 1). If i did not get one of those two cards in my starting hand, I would usually mulligan. I had decent luck this day. I ended up going second quite a bit and on several occasions I started with one of those two cards and then drew the other on my starting two card draw. My favorite combo which I think I pulled off twice was attacking with Clanrat Claw Leader. This card allows another Skaven to be put into play for free (as long as it has cost 2 or less), but that card goes away at the end of the turn. I used that card to bring the Night Runner into play, and then I would play one or (ideally) two Warpstone experiments on the Nightrunner. This allowed me to attack for a good deal of damage. Then after damage was assigned but before it was applied, I would use the nightrunner action and corrupt to deal indirect damage.

Round 1: versus Orcs
In my first match up I played against an odd/even Orc Rush deck. I got off to a slow start the first round, and my opponent got off to a very fast start. A "Get out of My Way" slowed me down and he took match one. In the second match I started off with several Rat swarms and chittering horde gave me more. I also played the quest We Hates them All which works great with Rat Swarm. A failed Night Goblin Fanatic attack really helped me, and I won on turn three. The third match was really close as we both got good starts. I did burn a zone on turn 2, but the Night Goblin Fanatic cleared out my battlefield. I attacked in round three with new units including a Swarm of Bats. I needed two of my draws with that to be units, but only got one. This meant that I only had seven damage, and he won the next turn. So I started off 0-1.

Round 2: versus Dwarves
I was feeling a little disheartened after that loss to the point that if I lost again, I was going to drop out of the tournament and play in a Star Trek: Attack Wing event instead. My second match up was against a Dwarf slayer deck. I was able to surprise my opponent the first round with speed and won quickly. In the second round he got out a Serpent Slayer in round 2, and Dance of Loecs put several developments in play. This was combined with a bad start on my end, and the dwarves out rushed the Skaven. In round 3, I once again was able to use We Hates them All. I was able to use Death in the Shadows to knock out a troubling unit and I hit big for the win, dealing 20+ damage. This restored my confidence and put me at 1-1.

Round 3: versus Dwarves
My next match up was against another Dwarf deck. This one was built around a neat combo that got King Kazador into play for free. It was also a deck that took advantage of the Dwarven theme of getting stronger when a zone burnt. My rush worked and I won round 1 in three turns. In the second round, I made a mistake and attacked the kingdom instead of the battlefield. The next turn, my opponent was able to drop a lot into the battefield because he had a zone burning. He followed this up by using Master Rune of Valaya to cancel my attacks. I lost the second round, but I was able to come back and win the third round. This put me at 2-1 going in the the final round.

Round 4: versus High Elves
The High Elves deck was built around indirect damage, and it focused on pumping up the Lothern Sea master. I made sure to put Clan Moulder Elites into play to soak up the indirect damage. My opponent could not draw the Ilithmar Arrows he needed to eliminate all of my little units, and my deck just moved to fast for him. For the first time in the day I won two matches ina row, and got to a 3-1 record.

Semi-Finals: versus Dwarves
The way it all worked out after four rounds of play, one person was undefeated and then there were four people with a 3-1 record. Going into round four there were two players with a 3-0 record, so the person who lost to the undefeated player in round four was guaranteed in. This meant three people were up for two spots. I ended up making it in, because one of the other players had played someone with a bye. I got in as the four seed, so I had to start off by playing the undefeated player. This was another dwarf slayer deck that had a lot of synergy. The first round he got surprised by how fast my deck was, and I won quickly. In the second round, he tried to slow me down on turn two by blowing up my warpstone excavation. However, due to the Skaven bonus that makes the first unit cost less allowed me to play a Clanrat Claw Leader and a Warpstone experiment. I got enough power to burn a zone. It turned out he made a mistake because to destroy my support card he spent the resources instead of save them to cancel damage. I won two rounds in a row and this advanced me to the finals.

Finals: Versus Lizardmen
In the final match I found myself going up against a lizardmen deck that used 50 lizardmen cards. He focused on drawing cards and using a big hand to swing with the lizardmen legend to do big damage. In the first round I was able to pull off the Night runner combo and do 15 damage (8 direct and 7 indirect) on turn two. I did win round one in three turns. In round two, he used the lizardmen tactic (do not remember name) to kill my initial units. This did slow me down, but I was able to us paranoia on one of his battlefield units to slow down his attack as well. I did burn a zone, but I was left with very few units in the battlefield due to the lizardmen damage ability. I did manage to draw a second Warpstone experiments which I combined with the one that I had been holding. I played bot of these on a Clan Moulder Elite to deal 8 damage to his unprotected and un-developed Kingdom for the win.After losing the first round, I was able to win the tournament.
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