My experience in KFPL 5 Qualifier 1 – 75 sascap triad bo1
On Saturday the 20th of August 2022 I participated in the first KFPL qualifier ran by Karen. We had 24 players register and 22 play the event. We played 5 rounds of swiss into a top cut of 4, meaning you needed X-1 or better to make top cut. I have not done well in an online event since the time I won the TCO Worlds Collide tournament. Here is a short recap of the day.
Picking Natural Philosopher Bazi Biz-Toth in my lineup is a no-brainer. I won the Belgium Grand Championship in 2019 with it. I have opened roughly 500 decks since techslut opened this deck, and none even felt close to the same power level. And sas generously ranks it as a 73 making it a natural choice for 75 sascap events.
Bazi is a potent tempo deck with an added Library Access Time Traveler combo that fuels the deck. It has an amazing Sanctum lineup with both Glorious Few and Cleansing Wave to capitalize on both having a big board and not having a big board. The Shadow suite is not the most amazing I’ve seen, but it has some tools that synergize well with the rest of the deck. The two Dodgers work well with the two Sergeant Zakiel. The Master Plan is a great way to activate some off-house combos. The Poison Wave combos with Cleansing Wave. I could write a whole article on what makes this deck tick, but that’s not today’s topic, and I’m not quite ready to spill all its secrets.
Next up we have Baal “Tiranno”, Boss della Galleria. This is a Sting deck with double Too Much to Protect, a solid Brobnar board, and some good utility. It’s not the best Brobnar, Shadows, Untamed CotA deck out there (very good rush deck house combo) by any stretch of the imagination, but I enjoy playing it, which is a definite plus.
In a perfect world I can forge a key, play down the String to get 14 or more Æmber, then Chota + Nature’s Call + Chota again to win the game. This rarely happens, especially in highly competitive tournaments. More likely is that I will either forge once key with Chota after Sting, or I get a little Hunting Witch + Nature’s Call + Chota combo to forge my third key. This deck is good. my friend scrowner piloted it in some intense competition in Sanctumonius draft tournament with quite a bit of success. I haven’t taken it myself to any big tournaments, but it fit in the sascap, so I decided to take it. It proved instrumental in my lineup… As ban bait.
The first time I submitted my decks, I had P. Silvan, Barone di Festaumida in my lineup. It’s another LA+TT combo deck that has a lot going for it, but is not nearly as good as Bazi. The major appeal is the EMP Blast, allowing me to deal with heavy artifact lineups. I don’t know if I made the correct decision to swap it out, but after a few test games on TCO, I wasn’t feeling it.
In comes Ortan, the Recluse of Vilealley. People reviewing this deck will immediately be drawn to the Punctuated Equilibrium, “Borrow”, and Master of the Grey, three powerful cards you really don’t want to see on the other side of the table. This deck is deceptively powerful even with the lack of Logos. The real power comes from the double Resurgence bringing back my Fandangles and Pismire when I need them. Plus a very solid Sanctum lineup (I like Sanctum!). This deck performs very well in open Archon on TCO, and it was about time it got it’s time in the sun. I only got to play it once, but it was a great game.
Opponent: hydrophilic attack
That’s a lot of Infurnace. Two in one deck and three in the other. I debated which deck to ban and decided on Gunel. I was mostly scared of the two copies of Information Officer Grey setting up huge turns. After playing against Lowcruve, I feel like I may have banned the bait. It is a very potent archive and self-purge deck. My opponent chose to ban Bazi. Ortan was unproven in my head, so I automatically chose to play Baal. I drew rather poorly with my Sting and Chota both coming in early. At some point I played Mimicry to copy Not Finished with You shuffling in Teliga, Chota, and Bumpsy, hoping to redraw Chota again later in a more fitting time. I immediately drew Chota at my end of turn.
I don’t know how the game would have gone with a better draw, or if I had picked Ortan, but I decided to give Ortan a chance in future games.
Round 1 loss.
Unfortunate to be matched against a friend in round 2. One of us was not going to make it into top cut. She brought her signature deck Recktor, which is an amazing deck she has piloted to many victories. I joked in chat asking if I should look at the rest of her lineup or just ban Recktor? Well, I did look at her lineup and the triple Mark of Dis in Wymiatacz Rodziewicz had me worried. All my decks rely on board, and being locked into a house for several turns in a row could be deadly. I decided to ban that deck and face Recktor.
Recktor is fast, but it needs some board to go off. I decided my better pick would be Ortan. It has a lot of damage pips that I can use to protect my creatures from Coward’s End while I setup a Cleansing Wave. I also have two Ardent Heros that could stop a gangernaut combo dead in its tracks. The game was tough with a lot of back and forth and a tense ending. I was ready to concede, when I spotted the out. Unfortunately, I forgot to start my own recording for this game, so I don’t have a screen capture for you.
not2night goes to 6 Æmber to check for her last key, exhausting my Untamed with Persistence Hunting. My board consists of 2 Stunned Ardent Heros, 1 Stunned General Xalvador, 2 exhausted Fandangles, and an exhausted Keyfrog. There are 3 creatures with damage on them, and I have 2 Æmber in my pool. I play a Radiant Truth for the Aember, a Cleansing Wave brings me to 6, and then a Dino-Knight with an exalt to kill off my Keyfrog to forge my last key!
Round 2 win
Roberts looked formidable, but slow, so I didn’t consider it a threat. I considered banning Zargon as it looked like the better deck, but I really didn’t want to deal with the triple Vandalize in Emmanuelle as all three of my decks have some key cards they really want to see, so I banned deck 3. Although if I played that game and recorded it I could say Emmanuelle don’t do it! every time my opponent cast a Vandalize.
My opponent did not ban Bazi. I don’t remember what they banned, but most of my opponents that didn’t ban Bazi banned Baal. I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. When people let me play Bazi, they get buzzed.
I did not record this game either, and it wasn’t on stream, so I can’t review my game. I do recall starting off with a fairly poor Library Access turn, but that just goes to show you that Bazi doesn’t need to combo to win. I kept the Malisons off the board with my Sanctum and Cleansing Wave to capitalize on all the fighting. They tried to hang on with Edais, but it was too late, I have taken the game with a Sanctum board.
Round 3 win
Dizelman looks like a good deck, but nothing I’d hate to deal with. The Dysania is likely there to force archive heavy players to ban it, a good strategy. Armand is the obvious ban bait. Nobody wants to face Genka, but this Genka doesn’t look good enough for high level play. No Nepenthe Seed, no Mars First + Proliferator combo to keep the Martian Generosity coming. I decided to ban Freewheeler, a deck I had played against before. When I did, I was lucky to have Dysania and Knowdrone on my side, but I could see the potential. My opponent noted I am the first to ban the deck.
The game was a fairly standard Bazi game. I set up some Sanctum, fought, capitalized off Cleansing Wave. I did miss their Knowdrone, which they used to purge my Help from Future Self I tucked away for my LA turn. My last turn was tense, they went to check for their third key with Po’s Pixies on the board. Maybe I underestimated the deck? I probably did. My only out was going on an LA turn, fishing for an out. I have three cards left in my deck, one of which is a Miasma. I play Library Access into Wild Wormhole and hit the Miasma. If I missed it, I’d have to hope to draw into a phase shift to cast the Miasma. As it turns out, I did both. I later got my Phase Shift and drew another Miasma. In fact, I hit another Miasma when I cast my second Wild Wormhole. Did I get lucky? I suppose. More likely, I didn’t get unlucky. I had several outs into that Miasma.
Round 4 win
Zephyr looks beatable with Bazi, but I have to assume Bazi gets banned, and I was not sure Ortan or Baal could take Zephyr, so I banned it. I looked at Fixer and it looks potent, but I figured Ortan can take it. The double Fangs of Gizelhart could deal with Deusillus. But they banned Baal, which meant I could just play Bazi, so I buzzed once more.
The game was very one sided due to an early highroll on my side. I started an LA turn with Time Traveler, Wild Wormhole, and Twin Bolt Emission in my starting hand. Played TT to draw HFFS, Twin Bolt my TT, ending my turn 3 with 8 Æmber and a Titan Mechanic on the flank, but more importantly, 11 cards in my hand. With that much early advantage it is hard not to win. It took a while to close out the game, but they did not get to forge a single key.
Round 5 win, and into top cut!
- “Bono” Rhistel Dzhurov’s Evil Twin
- Underpity, the Passive Graveyard Loner
- “Brandy” Glor’ya, Theater Chemist
I am quite familiar with Karen’s lineup, seeing as we’re friends and talk on a daily basis. Brandy is a deck I gifted her because I am not as good as she is with it. Underpity is a deck I have not played much against, but Karen knows it well, and I know she can hurt me with it. That said, Bono is an absolute nightmare to play against, and I definitely do not want to deal with playing around Whirlpool after 5 rounds of swiss. Banned.
Karen decided to have an anime style showdown, doesn’t ban Bazi and brings Brandy to the table. On a different day, I am sure this matchup could be very interesting, but I highroll harder than round 5 and she concedes.
kveld was undefeated after round 3, and only dropped a game to Karen. I was sure I was up against a formidable opponent, and I was right. Looking at the lineup I decided Margrabina was not a threat. It looks like it can rush, but I don’t think it can with the low efficiency and no steal. Bura did not jump out to me. Kaja on the other hand, I did not want to deal with double Mælstrom. All three of my decks like developing boards and I’d have to make significant changes to my play to win that matchup and I was not sure I had the capacity after a long day. To my surprise, Ortan was banned for the first time. I think maybe kveld expected a Bura ban, and wanted to play Margrabina but not into the mutants I have in the deck. Well, I play Bazi, naturally (philosophically).
I implore you to watch the video. kveld did some amazing things that I can hardly summarize here. Pulling a key stop after a key stop for several turns as I try to close out the game. Bazi buzzed, it’s what Bazi does, but kveld put on a fantastic show. I don’t think I was ever in a risk of losing, but without kveld’s amazing control game, they would not have gotten that second key.
The recent news about the future of KeyForge rekindled my excitement, and when I am excited I perform better. I am still not the best in online play. I need to feeling of a tournament to really focus into the game. This tournament was an exception. With a relatively small but elite player pool it was smoothly run and a blast to play. I hope to be playing live KeyForge next year, but for now, online will do.
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