2003 World Championship Report - Jesse Zeller
††††††††††† The 2003 World Championship tournament was a roller coaster of an event.† With its ups and its downs, all in all, it was a pretty good event.† Only making out with a Top 32 placement, I still think I did pretty nice.
††††††††††† I arrived at Indianapolis with two of my friends on Wednesday.† We got to our hotel, met up with the person who we were going to stay with that night, and just wasted the day away with random card games and other stuff.† Thursday and Friday were nothing special either, the group of people I was staying with hit up the convention those days and played in a few side events but all of us were waiting for Saturday, the day of the World Championships!
††††††††††† The week before I was brain dead on what decks I could play.† It was still Friday night and I still had not come up with a deck I could play.† I finally decided on what I was going to play.† For Tuff Enuff, I decided Master Roshi Backlash would work well.† Without having to worry about Dragon Ball and Anger Victories, I could set up for a perfect backlash easier than I would have to in standard.† However, for standard, I decided to play the cookie-cutter Ďblingí Piccolo Namekian deck.† Cheap?† Thatís for you all to decide.† It is an effective deck.† It was late, 3:30 AM, before I finished building the two decks.† And I was supposed to get up at 6:00 AM.
††††††††††† Saturday came, and our group arrived at the convention at around 9:30 AM.† I didnít even have time to put the set or the number of the card on my deck lists.† Luckily I would not receive a game loss of any sort for not putting those two things.† I was number 425, and the tournament got under way.
Round 1:† Master Roshi Backlash vs. Piccolo Red CS
††††††††††† I sat down and saw who the main personality was, Piccolo.† I knew that this match was going to be easy because all I would have to do is Stunned + Backlash for the win.† I started drawing into my hand Cosmic Backlash, Krillinís Concentration and a defense.† I was seriously thinking about entering first turn, getting Stunned with Krillinís Concentration and winning.† I didnít take the chance, and passed.† He passed his next turn and I drew my three.† I drew a Heroic Drill, Trunks Energy Sphere and something else.† I knew it was time to win that turn.† I put Heroic Drill into play and declared, grabbing a Confrontation with Heroic Drill.† I used Confrontation and saw total junk.† I grabbed a Stunned with Krillinís Concentration and proceeded to Stunned + Backlash him.† GG.† I found out later that we were the second game done.† The first game was another case of Stunned + Backlash.
Round 2:† Master Roshi Backlash vs. Cell Saiyan ďLockdownĒ
††††††††††† I knew the person I was facing.† I hate facing people I know.† But luckily for me, I consider Cell Saiyan to be an easy deck to beat.† We traded blows, he got out City in Turmoil, I would replace it with Kamiís Floating Island, and vice versa.† Finally I got a great hand and declared.† I used Confrontation and killed his defense; used a Krillinís Solar Flare and also used a Piccoloís Fist Block to boot.† And Backlashed for the win.
Round 3:† Master Roshi Backlash vs. Master Roshi Backlash
††††††††††† At the time, I didnít know who I was facing.† But I would soon meet up with him in a couple of weeks in Texas.† I lost the coin flip and he started.† I had a feeling he was going to just try and random backlash.† And he did.† I drew a Pikkonís Leg Catch with my power and blocked it.† I was going to get revenge.† I used Gohanís Kick and went for the Backlash, and won.† We were the first game done.
I knew I had at least an hour and a half before Round 4 was to began, so I wandered in the Pokemon area and met the Pojo.† We talked about random stuff, like how he was getting his ass kicked in the Pokemon event and what not.† He gave me a copy of the book that I submitted a few articles for (go buy it now).† I also thanked him for saving me about 3 hours of not having to wait in that horrible, horrible line to get my badge.† I got into Gencon, Pojo style ;)† Thanks again!
Round 4:† Master Roshi Backlash vs. Cell Black Cell Jr. Ally Beatdown
††††††††††† The deck I didnít want to face at this time was a Black deck.† They have access to Black Searching Techniques and Black Scout Maneuvers.† Those two cards can bring hell to any Dragonís Victory or Cosmic Backlash deck.† Needless to say, he got rid of two of my Cosmic Backlashes earlier in the game.† I was left to fend with one Cosmic Backlash.† He managed to get the Cell Jr set up pretty early in the game and I could not stop the onslaught.† Didnít get the draws I needed, and couldnít end combat as soon as I thought I could.
††††††††††† Tuff Enuff rounds were over!† We switched over to our Standard decks and the carnage began again.
Round 5:† Piccolo Namekian vs. Piccolo Namekian
††††††††††† My opponent, as it turned out, would be someone who I was staying at the same hotel with.† I knew him from Fanatics and had just met him at Indianapolis.† Our decks were pretty much the same exact copy.† As I was running Master Roshi Sensei, he ran North Kai Sensei, which would be very pivotal to his victory.† This match was blurry, but there was one combat in which I drew no defense and he used Piccolo and Heroes Gather for two Namekian Strikes, and the two Namekian Strikes for two Piccoloís Power Ball, which in turned, dealt about 25 life cards of damage to me that Combat.† That gave him the upper hand to his victory.
Round 6:† Piccolo Namekian vs. Goku Colorless Dragon Ball
††††††††††† After losing my last round, I was pretty down.† I knew I had to win my next three to have a chance at Top 64, and even then, my tie breakers had to be really good.† This match would prove to be very very tough.† The first assumption I made was that he ran ďRandom BacklashĒ as a second victory condition.† I had to play the entire game defensively.† Playing defensively almost lost me the game.† At the end of the match, it would come down to a Where Thereís Life Thereís Hope, Dragon Ball Steal victory.† What does that mean?† Well it means that I had to use Where Thereís Life Thereís Hope and he had to steal his last Dragon Ball for me to secure victory.† That gave me two vital turns to secure the Survival victory.† Afterwards, I found out he didnít run Cosmic Backlash
Round 7:† Piccolo Namekian vs. Broly Red Anger
††††††††††† South Kai for Paragus.† I hate this deck.† I didnít sensei anything in because I knew I would lose that precious Cellís Threatening Position.† We both passed combat about 50 times before he finally used South Kai for Paragus and declared combat against me.† All I could do was hit him with attacks until I drew some ally removal.† He was at level 3 when I finally drew Namekian Shield Destruction.† The funny thing was that I didnít even know that Shield Destruction lowered their anger 2 until I read the card!† I discarded Paragus but never drew Cellís Threatening Position.†
He got to level 4, with 2 anger.† He declares combat on me and I drew Cellís Threatening Position and Trunks Energy Sphere.† I wanted to scream with joy, but I have a serious poker face and didnít show any emotion.† I threatened him back to level 1 and he soon drew out after that.
Round 8:† Piccolo Namekian vs. Goku Saiyan
††††††††††† I sat down and was overjoyed.† Goku Saiyan is an incredibly easy match up for me.† Like I said, it was a long and drawn out match but he just couldnít handle the onslaught of energy attacks.
††††††††††† I was praying that my tiebreakers were good.† I knew that about ten 6-2ís would not make the final cut, and I knew that if I didnít make it, I would be devastated.† Who wouldnít be devastated about that?† Chippy and the rest of the crew were finally done doing the tiebreakers.† Chippy announced, one by one, each number that would make it.† Number, after number, the tension grew.† My nerves grew.† Where was my number.† And then, ďnumber 425.Ē!† I shouted with joy.† I made it into a very tough Day 2.† I wished I could have just done a repeat of last year where I went 7-1, but that didnít happen.† My 6-2 record was good enough for me to make Top 64.† We went back to the hotel and got a well deserved night of sleep.
Next Day, Top 64:† Master Roshi Backlash vs. Cell Namekian Physical Beatdown
††††††††††† The person who I was facing was the same person who I beat in Top 16 at Pennsylvania regionals.† Was a repeat about to happen?† Only time could tell.† This match was just long and drawn out.† I knew he ran many types of defense so the only true way I could beat him was with a perfect Backlash.† Time was soon to be called on our game so I knew I had to get it perfectly.† After using a late-game Straining Rebirth Move, I filled my life deck with perfect backlash cards and drew the best possible hand I could draw:† Cosmic Backlash, Krillinís Solar Flare, Trunks Energy Sphere.† Expectant Trunks was in play and I had Heroic Drill in play as well.† I declared Combat grabbing Confrontation with Heroic Drill and Piccoloís Fist Block with Expectant Trunks.† I used Fist Block first, and it worked.† From there on, I used Confrontation, followed by Krillinís Solar Flare, followed by a Fatherly Advice for Red Shielded Strike.† Then I Backlashed for the win.
Top 32:† Master Roshi Backlash vs. Master Roshi Orange
††††††††††† Master Roshi Orange was probably my worst pairing I could have.† The speed the deck can get out Drills is what made it so good.† Simply put, he got Caught off Guard Drill on my Showdowns and Cosmic Backlash.† I knew I was doomed, so I was left with one result.† I held Cosmic Backlash for a while, and drew Showdown, Caught off Guard Drill and Confrontation into my hand.† I knew he was holding a Sphere.† Placed COGD into play naming Caught off Guard Drill, entered using Showdown and Expectant Trunks for a Sphere.† I start off using Confrontation killing his Pikkonís Leg Catch.† He uses Fatherly Advice for Leg Catch again.† I use Krillinís Concentration for Confrontation again.† My last hope was to Backlash him randomly.† He drew a Leg Catch, blocked the attack and proceeded to win.
††††††††††† All in all, it was a pretty good tournament.† I, of course, would have like to have done better but the pairings came down and I lost.† And thatís all there is to tell.
-Jesse Zeller (Cds)† Cds456@triad.rr.com