Online Tournament Report – Gemini

I’ve been struggling to coherently form my ideas into articles lately, while I battle with the new challenges of worlds collide. Tournament reports are much easier though, so here is one.

This is a tournament run on Keyforge Community Tournaments which is organized by AllforOne, who is UK based. So if you’re from Europe and the US dead of night tournaments are a tough sell for you, come join us and play at a reasonable hour.

You can watch AllforOne’s perspective on their twitch channel.

The Format

This is my first time playing this format. A local player mentioned it and I wanted to try it out. I won last week’s tournament, which was archon solo, but had to include both Mars and Sanctum. I happen to own Countess U. Cesera, which is a deck I love and used a lot in the past, and is much stronger than SAS implies. I won, which allowed me to pick a format, and coincidentally I had to name it, Gemini!

In Gemini, each player brings two decks.
Randomly determine a player to start the bidding (online we used top player on Challonge).
The first player opens the bidding with 0.
Players bid chains until a player passes.
Both players use the decks brought by the player that won the bidding.
The player that lost the bid gets to pick which of the two decks the winning player brought they wish to play.
The player that won the bidding plays the other deck with the amount of chains they bid.

The philosophy of the format is players need to bring two decks that are fairly evenly matched, and know well. Extra points if the stronger looking deck is actually weak against the other. Though that is a risky gambit if your opponent catches wind of it.

Tournament

We had 4 players so we decided to have a round robin. We also decided that we’ll do the bidding publicly and one at a time so everyone can see it happening.

You can see the brackets and results on Challonge.

I’ll repost the pictures of the decks every round for easier access, but the same players have the same two decks throughout the tournament.

If you’re curious how those deck images were generated, they are made my SkyJedi‘s Dsicord bot, Archon Matrix.

Round 1

Aurore (me)

eeyor_the_scammer_of_nighttime_vs_restuvac_malikov_the_languid_and_listless

Sprocket314

ledam_the_identically_neutral_vs_egor_jeweler_of_the_alloy_circuit

I look over Sprocket314’s decks, and I’m fairly comfortable playing Egor, so I don’t mind playing their decks.

Bidding goes:
Sprocket314: 0 (mandatory)
Aurore: 1
Sprocket314: 2
Aurore: 3
Sprocket314: 4
Aurore: 5
Sprocket314: 6
Aurore: Pass and pick Egor.

jfilipeg

fighter_hrolaf_dwarfgon_vs_zargon_shaman_of_the_enlightened_hall

AllforOne

nukerunner_the_forester_of_giraffes_vs_sharply_agile_ritha

jfilipeg: 0
AllforOne: 1
jfilipeg: 2
AllforOne: 4
jfilipeg: 5
AllforOne: 6
jfilipeg: Pass and play Ritha

Sprocket314 vs Aurore

Game log

Chains really slowed them down, and I was able to burst aember before they established a dangerous board.
A well timed Hysteria netted me 5 aember from exalted saurians.
The game finished off with me playing Arise! on Shadows, getting the sweet Maverick Hunting Witch along with 5 other Shadow creatures for a big burst the following turn.

Aurore wins

jfilipeg vs AllforOne

Game log

jfilipeg won, and they played their opponent’s deck.

Round 2

AllforOne

nukerunner_the_forester_of_giraffes_vs_sharply_agile_ritha

Sprocket314

ledam_the_identically_neutral_vs_egor_jeweler_of_the_alloy_circuit

AllforOne: 0
Sprocket314: 1
AllforOne: 3
Sprocket314: Pass and play Nukerunner

Aurore (me)

eeyor_the_scammer_of_nighttime_vs_restuvac_malikov_the_languid_and_listless

jfilipeg

fighter_hrolaf_dwarfgon_vs_zargon_shaman_of_the_enlightened_hall

Aurore: 0
jfilipeg: 3
Aurore: 4
jfilipeg: 6
Aurore: Pass play Zargon

I saw the Restringuntus and was going to pick it, but then noticed Zargon has a lot of ways to deal with it in both Shadows and Brobnar.

AllforOne vs Sprocket314

No game log

AllforOne first to win with their own deck on 3 chains.

Aurore vs jfilipeg

Game log

My opening hand had two Mothers. Against a chained slow deck probably spelled the end right there. But my luck continued with a Wild Wormhole into a Burn the Stockpile right at the end.

Round 3

jfilipeg

fighter_hrolaf_dwarfgon_vs_zargon_shaman_of_the_enlightened_hall

Sprocket314

ledam_the_identically_neutral_vs_egor_jeweler_of_the_alloy_circuit

jfilipeg: 0
Sprocket314: 1
jfilipeg: 3
Sprocket314: 4
jfilipeg: Pass and play Le’dam

Aurore (me)

eeyor_the_scammer_of_nighttime_vs_restuvac_malikov_the_languid_and_listless

AllforOne

nukerunner_the_forester_of_giraffes_vs_sharply_agile_ritha

Aurore: 0
AllforOne: 3
Aurore: 4
AllforOne: 6
Aurore: Pass and pick Ritha

I felt like the Untamed burst with Key Charge could outpace Nukerunner. I also liked the option of Arise! with double Shooler. And lastly I found the Sanctum uninspiring.

I wanted to play my decks once in this tournament, but going to 7 was too much.

jfilipeg vs Sprocket314

Game log

Here Sprocket314 with only 4 chains, rather than the 6 they had against me, and jfilipeg picked the other deck than me, which is interesting. I can’t draw any conclusions from this, but it may suggest that the power level between them is close and possibly the chains are a bigger factor in those close games than we’ve given them credit in our bidding.

Aurore vs AllforOne

Game log

I discard an early Dust Pixie knowing it is only going to enable the steal from the other deck. I wait until I can establish a bit of a board before generating aember. The steal is still quite oppressive as I try to forge my first key.
I play a Soul Snatcher because I have the bigger board and I think it may have won me the game as I set up an Untamed board. AllforOne could not kill my stuff as it would generate too much aember, and I use my Untamed board to reap and my Witch of the Eye to get back my Key Charge for the win. A really close game.

Thoughts about Gemini

I really enjoyed this format. It is known I don’t like Adaptive, but I feel Gemini does a much better job of eliminating the issue of deck power level disparity than Adaptive. The quick deck evaluation and learning a deck on the fly are still very relevant skills. And rather than trying to balance deck power disparity with chains, this format uses chains for balancing player’s knowledge of the decks. I told the players I don’t expect the chains to go very high, and they actually went higher than I expected, to the detriment of the bidder.

I ran a small study of Adaptive format that unfortunately was cut short (I intend to run another before I publish anything). But even with my small amount of data, it seems to me that player skill is a much higher factor than the power disparity between decks. In one matchup between decks, a deck won every game with many chains, while another pair of players playing with the same decks actually bid on the other deck, and it won.

I’m looking forward to playing this format a lot more. And who knows, maybe one day it can be introduced as an official format.

Contact and afterward

I hope you enjoyed this exploration of a new format, and I hope to be able to write a format topic on it soon.

Regarding strategy for worlds collide, it will have to wait a bit longer for me to gain experience. I try not to write before I have a solid grasp of a concept.

As the winner of this week’s event, I chose to play Archon WC only next week, in an effort to gain said experience. Join us on discord and play!

As always, you can follow me on twitter for updates. And join us at the Sanctumonious discord server if you’d like to chat with me, or join an awesome community of keyforge players.

 

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