Welcome back friends to another exciting tournament report involving my favorite leader. In fact, the only leader I run. Pan! This time however, I took her to the North American National Championship just like I did last year. And just like last year, I made top cut with her except this time was a top cut to 16 instead of last years 32. The competition was fierce, and the difficulty to top was significantly harder. We had 450 people at this event and to be in the running for top 16, you had to finish with an X-1-1 record or better. Not an easy feat to say the least! I had been practicing for months in preparation for this event however, and I knew from the day the event was announced that I would be running Pan, and it paid off.
My Deck List:
4 x Intensifying Power Trunks
4 x Trunks, Surge of Energy
4 x Chain Attack Trunks
4 x Digging Deep Vegeta
4 x Fearless Pan
4 x Toppo, Righteous Aid
4 x Support Attack Son Goten
2 x SS Vegeta, Exploiting Weakness
2 x Son Gohan, The Avenger
2 x Bardock, Awakened Instincts
3 x Zen-Oh, The Plain God
3 x Four-Star Ball
2 x Is That All You’ve Got?
2 x Denial of Hope
2 x Afterimage Technique
4 x Familial Bonds
2 x Galick Cannon
2 x Transcendent Strike
2 x Dark Power Black Masked Saiyan
3 x Haru Haru, Attacker Majin
2 x Trunks, Dimension Sniper
3 x Vegeta, Making An Entrance
Almost every member of our team was able to meet up and play test Thursday inside our own private conference room that we rented in our hotel. It was actually quite amazing. We had Shenrons Lair, with Bearded, and the man Allek himself, all mingled together inside one large room. I’ve never seen so many of the best brains in the game gathered in one place at the same time. We had so many theories and testing games going on, it was actually insane. We feasted on deep dish pizza, borrowed all kinds of cards from each other, and revised almost every single side deck. We talked about Panini Z, and our past events. This was very close to the highlight of the weekend and I was almost 100% confident that the winner of this year’s nationals was inside this very room.
Round 1: Amani Edwards Porunga Ramp Lose 1-2
This wasn’t exactly the way I thought this would go with 450 people in the main event. Amani was one of the people privileged with being inside the conference room the days leading up to the event and he was certainly not one of the people I would have liked to of faced in the first round. We had a lot of team kills in this first round, which was unfortunate. Markus faced off against Bryan Samuel, Frisco Played our newest member, Russel Stelzer, and I faced Amani.
Game 1: I win the dice roll and opened absolutely bonkers. Intensifying Trunks, Bonds, Double Digging Deep, Chain Attack, and 2 Drop trunks. I charge the 2 drop trunks and summon Intensifying. Pass Turn. He does Shenron t1 plays except he’s not playing the one-star ball. He passes turn. I charge another red and swing with intensifying. He doesn’t negate so I take a life and combo 2 digging deep. The life I grabbed was a 3rd digging deep. I combo’d 2 because if he had a kai to bounce it back to my hand, that would be terrible. He didn’t. I activate bonds, get 2 Four Star balls, summon digging, swing digging. Take 2 life, and awaken. Evolve Chain attack out and put another digging deep. I swing with leader and combo 2 balls. I swing with the new digging and take a life, restand. I over realmed into bardock, and just kept the pressure on. This game was over before he even awakened his leader.
Game 2: This game was a lot tougher with him going first. He was able to awaken, stop my bonds play by using the kai to bounce it back to my hand and was able to defend his life long enough to get out a kaio-ken with him being at 5 life and used the effect to seal the game. Nothing I could really do.
Game 3: I went first this game and drew everything I needed to have another blow out game. I charged red and summoned intensifying, passing turn. My turn 2 draw was what set me up for failure. I had Chain attack, Bonds, Digging deep, and black masked Saiyan in hand. I drew a bardock over realm for turn. I had the choice of charging black and going for bonds, keeping chain attack in hand, or charging bonds and evolving into chain into digging. I chose to charge the black masked Saiyan. Big mistake. I swung with intensifying trunks and he negated. I then swung with my leader and combo’d digging deep, but he bounced it back to my hand with kai and I was forced to pass my turn. After that, he was able to start drawing a lot of cards and ramping with his objections. I was able to play digging t3 but I wasn’t able to force enough damage through fast enough and he was able to get to his kaio-ken turn and just finished the game. Just because of me charging a black energy turn 2, I lost the game and the match. I was extremely irritated with myself to lose r1, but I had to keep going.
Round 2: Mattew Bovarnick Mono black Demigra Win 2-0
Game 1: I had very little testing experience from the night before in our conference room regarding this deck, but from what I did know, red just smashes the match up so I wasn’t worried. He won the dice roll and I discovered he was playing the kidku engine with 4-star balls in the deck. He was using them as combo power to defend his life early and used his leader to send them back to drop from his warp and used the kidku to add them back to his hand. It was a genius idea for very efficient combo power. His hand size was constantly big. It just wasn’t enough though as he ran into my toppo’s and gohans for negates and couldn’t deal with my board. Eventually he ran out of steam and 30 minutes later I won game 1.
Game 2: This game was a bit quicker than the first. He was able to be a bit more agro against me and it took me a minute to get ahead on card advantage. Once I did though, I just kept gaining a further margin for how many cards I had verse my opponent. He did an interesting play though. We both sided in black masked saiyans, and we both had summoned one. Things took an unexpected turn though. He ended up summoning double Mercenary Tao to counter my Toppo play. He then used my own black masked Saiyan against me by activating his demigra to summon putine and gravy. He had to discard 2 cards for my black masked Saiyan, but then I had to warp 6 cards for his double Tao. I had 9 cards in hand before this happened. I discarded down to 3 and left myself with a super combo, bonds, and Gohan negate. He swung and I used gohan. He passed turn after and I was able to play bonds into a fearless pan and close out the game that turn.
Round 3: Jayson Scott Kidku Red / Blue Win 2-0
Game 1: I lost the die roll and saw that he was playing a red version. He summoned 1 drop trunks and passed turn. I wasn’t able to deal with it so he was able to take one of his life when he swung on his next turn. This game ended up being very grindy and I was able to keep my life high for a good while and then Zen-oh to reset the board when he got his 30k’s out that I could no longer deal with. After the reset though, he went into a 1 drop kidku, followed by a krillin, into a 20k vanilla and on the second window of krillin, I responded with a vegeta play and wiped his board. He was shocked, surprised, impressed, and all kinds of other emotions about it when I played it. It caught him completely off guard and swung the tempo of the game so heavily in my favor that he couldn’t recover. This first game took a solid 30 minutes.
Game 2: This game was quite a bit more entertaining. I defended my life high again, and toppo was a big factor in sealing the game for me. There was one fantastic play though that was more hilarious that beneficial. I solely did it just to be funny. My opponent swung with a battle card he summoned and I negated it with gohan, which I proceeded to give his awakened leader and -10k buff. So, he was a 5k base. He swung with another battle card and I negated this attack yet again with another gohan. And you can already guess where I put the debuff. Right onto his leader for another -10k for the turn, making his leader and whopping powerful -5k base. He was able to get his tech card that he was playing for a final push, which was A Crack in Spacetime, but it wasn’t enough to help him secure a win. I was able to push for game the following turn and close it out.
Round 4: Bernabe Garcia Yellow Broly HoM Victory Strike Win 2-1
Game 1: I ended up losing the dice roll and there isn’t too much to say about this game. I didn’t get to awaken and he was able to bring all his pieces together before I could build a big enough hand to defend myself. He did the whole victory strike thing on his turn 4 and that was it.
Game 2: I sided in my Haru’s and opened pretty well. Got my bonds and my digging deep and was able to apply enough pressure to force an awaken. I was able to use Zen-oh this game and set him back. A couple Haru’s and toppos later, I was able to secure a win.
Game 3: This game was absolutely rough. He got to go first and I wasn’t able to see my zen-oh pieces. I did however, apply enough pressure to force his awaken before he was ready to. He was still able to put path on board and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. On his fourth turn, he went onto Height of mastery and tapped all my energy and battle cards. I was at 4 life though and I stayed on my unawakened side for my turn so that I could awaken on his. He did something I wasn’t expecting though. He swung with his leader into mine after he went into height. He didn’t combo any and just drew a card, so I believe he was digging for combo power or for his victory strike. I was able to awaken and reset 2 energy to get ready for his height swing. Then he restood an energy with his leader ability and went into victory strike. He swung with VS and I was able to activate a sparking afterimage to make his attack a 35k base to my 55k leader. He could only combo up to 60k so an easy super combo from my hand put me to 65k and I was able to close out the game next turn.
Round 5: Henry Do Demigra Black Blue Win 2-1
Game 1: Sitting down against this deck, I was extremely confident in my ability to win, up until I saw he wasn’t playing mono black. He was playing blue with it. He had desperate measures, beans, and whis Coercions in his deck. Can’t remember if I saw any west kais to bounce though. He won the dice roll and put a lot of pressure on game one with restanding energy and swinging with multiple attacks. I thought I for sure had this game, until he bounced my toppo and was able to close it out on t5 or 6.
Game 2: I started to feel the pressure on this game knowing that my whole tournament experience relied on me winning the next 2 games. After seeing how powerful his deck was game 1, I was no longer as confident as I was when I sat down. This game came down to the wire. He was doing his demigra things with sending it to drop for 2 energy, milling 2, taking 2 life, and summoning a putine and gravy, plus getting the demigra back. He was using the over realm mira card to be a 30k double strike, draw a card, and restand an energy. I was able to stick a toppo or 2, and gohan negates put in work. The match was a grind, and when it was over, I barely squeaked out a win.
Game 3: Probably the most stressful game of my entire tournament. We only had like 9 minutes left to play the third game, but that’s all that was needed. In fact, we finished before time was called. I tried defending and keeping my life high, figuring that was probably the way to beat his deck. He got to his 2nd energy turn while I was at 1 and he started his plays. I didn’t swing at him, but he payed 2 energy to send his demigra to the drop, milled 2, took 2 life, grabbed a putine and gravy, grabbed a demigra back to hand, and swung at me. I was able to finish his turn with me at 7 life. Cool. Not so bad. I go into my t2 play, and I bonds out 2 drop trunks so I can get some hand advantage. I swing at gravy, he defends, and I pass. He charged his 3rd energy and went off.
Starting his turn, he sent another demigra to the drop for 2 energy, did the thing, and got a 2nd gravy / putine on board. With him being at 4 life, he now awakened. He swung with his leader and didn’t combo. Next, he activated another Demigra play from his hand, this time taking 1 life instead of 2, going down to 3, and did the thing. His next swing he activated a senzu bean to reset an energy, and after that he over-realmed into the Draft box Mira that has 30k double strike and restands an energy on your opponents turn. He swung with everything on board, including another over-realm kai he summoned with his double over-realm effect. After all of these things: Leader, triple putine, triple gravy, Mira, and Kai, and me starting at 7 life unawakened, he ended his turn with me at 2 life, awakened, and tapped out. He was at 3 life, 1-2 energy open, and about 5 cards in hand. I was seeing my tournament flash before my eyes.
Going into my 3rd energy turn, already awakened, and having to kill him or else I die, was not a great feeling. After my charge, I was able to go into a Bardock over-realm, and stuck a fearless pan on board. Which with just this alone, I was able to pull out a win. I just combod tall on the attacks that went through and made sure to put him from 3 to 2 to 0. I couldn’t believe how powerful that deck actually was.
Round 6: Dakota Romans Mono Red Pan Mirror Win 2-0
Game 1: This game I figured I had in the bag. There’s not a whole lot of people that can beat me with my own deck, and so I won the dice roll and just played the control game, waiting for him to make mistakes. A couple of turns he tapped out to advance his plays and I capitalized on those turns since I knew he couldn’t counter. For my turns, I would leave 2 energy open for a denial, or a toppo, or gohan, and they always paid off. I was able to close the game out without stressing too much.
Game 2: I sided in Gallick Cannons and sided out my zen-ohs, along with sided n my trunks over-realm. Those cards pretty much single-handedly won me the game. He tried to push early, but my cannon stopped him and trunks helped clear the board later. Toppos were annoying to get around, but I had a denial for his and I was able to establish a board when he wasn’t. Which is pretty much what this mirror match comes down to. Whoever can control the board, wins the match, and instead of swinging at his face the whole time, I just swung at battle cards until I was ready for game. He did try to use after image on his trunks though when I attacked him, and attempted to draw a card, however I quickly cleared that up since trunks effect says during your turn only.
Round 7: Anthony Creatura Yellow Broly U6 Win 2-0
Game 1: I felt really bad this round. I sat down against broly and really didn’t want to play against zapes or another victory strike deck. I lost the dice roll and quickly learned my opponent was playing U6. So now I didn’t feel bad for my game, but I felt bad for what I was about to do to my opponent. For his first couple turns, he summoned 3 cauliflas, the 1 drop. For my first 3 turns, I cleared 3 cauliflas off his board by giving them negative power. I never game him the chance to evolve with all my gohan negates, after images, denials, and vegetas. He didn’t get to see his blood lust, and this game turned into a grind fest. I never reset the game with zen-oh because I didn’t have to. I eventually just whittled his hand away until he had nothing left and I won right around the 28 min mark.
Game 2: This game was even more in my favor than the first. I was able to side in cannons and just went to town on keeping his board clear. Gohans and after images did a lot of work and my opponent wasn’t having a good day. It got so bad that at one point he even tried to hard cast a kale for 4 since he had no other play, and I just activated denial and he just tapped 4 to put it in the drop. This game was over quickly and I felt bad because I could basically see that I crushed his soul.
Round 8: Pat O’Neill Janemba RUY Draw 1-1-1
Game 1: Going into this round, I knew that both Pat and I needed a win here to be guaranteed into top 16. We both knew the other was going for blood and there would be no holding punches. I win the dice roll and I opened the absolute nuts. 1 drop trunks, bonds, digging deep, chain attack, a second digging deep, and 2 drop trunks. I charged the 2 drop, played the 1 drop and passed. He charged dual color, swung at me and passed. I charged, swung with my 1 drop, took a life, combod digging, activated bonds, got my balls and draw, swung with digging and took 2 life, awakened, evolved into chain attack, brought out another digging, swung and took 1 life, went into an over realm bardock, and swung with leader. Passed my 2nd turn with him being at 2 life and awakened. The rest of the game took some time to finish but I eventually got through his massive hand and closed it out after about 25 minutes.
Game 2: I wasn’t so lucky this game. I didn’t see all my gas pieces, and I saw my counters at the wrong times. He was able to keep his life high and have enough energy for a lot of counters to my plays. I tried putting cards back in my deck but it wasn’t enough and he eventually just milled me out with about 9 minutes left in the round.
Game 3: This game was critical. I had to win to be guaranteed in so I tried to take advantage of me going first. I applied a lot of pressure and was able to do a lot of damage early but it wasn’t able to reset the board state with zen-oh which probably hurt me. We ended up running out of time before I could kill him and we went into time procedures. It’s not the first time I’ve done this with pat. We naturally go to time almost every time we play, including our top cut match at Orlando. Time was called on my turn so Pat would get the benefit of last turn. Our last couple turns however didn’t use up the full 10 minutes extension. It actually ended by our last 3 turns just being toppo plays back and forth and so we couldn’t physically kill each other because of that card. The game ended in a toppo war to a draw and we were the last game going so everyone was watching us.
After the last round, and standings were announced, I was declared 13th with a 6-1-1 record. I’m extremely happy with my performance. I found out that I would be facing Dae Han though in top cut against his GUY Janemba list and he would have the benefit of going first for a higher seed.
Top 16: Dae Han Hardesty Janemba GUY Lose 0-2
There’s nothing I can say about this match up after the fact except that these two games against Dae Han were absolutely fantastic and I don’t think I would have chosen to end my tournament any other way if I were to of gotten knocked out no matter what. I had the Bandai dev’s watching our game almost from start to finish and I could tell by their expressions that they were extremely excited and surprised at how I was playing.
Game 1: Going second against janemba is rough but I made the best of it. I attacked with my leader every turn, and I was started the game with 1 drop trunks summon. I didn’t swing with it though. I made him swing at my leader to give me a life. I was able to awaken around t3 and applied significant pressure up until this point but he defended his life high and wasn’t taking easy damage. On turn 4, I went for the chain attack into Zen-oh play. He didn’t have frosts poison. On turn 5, I went for the play again. He didn’t have a response except for champa. On turn 6, I went for the play. Again, no poison, except he did gohan counter me. We kind of messed up here as well. He bounced my zen-oh back to hand and I later found out that he can’t do that because zen-oh is a 7 drop and not a 4 or less drop. However, on turn 7, I went into chain attack zen-oh a fourth time. Yup, I punished him for it and I reset the game 4 times in a single game. I’ve never actually done that before. He would still be attacking me and I would negate with gohan and toppo after for about two turns and on my 9th turn I decided to go for game.
I had 6 energy, 4 cards left in deck, a gohan on board, a toppo on board, three life, and two bonds with 3 super combos in hand. I had to get really creative here to use everything to the fullest. I thought for a moment and made my play. Tap 2, summon super combo Goten. Give it +5k with leader ability, making it 15k, no draw. Tap 2 for bonds, summon digging deep. Tap last 2 for bonds, summon fearless pan. Swing with digging deep at leader, negated, take 2 life, go down to 1. Swing with gohan, countered. Swing with toppo, 25k double strike. He was at 1 life or so. No counter. No leader auto. So, I decided to go all in. Combo super combo from field, draw, super combo from hand, draw, Super combo from hand, Draw, combo digging, fearless, and the rest of my hand. 1 card in life, 1 card in deck, toppo swinging for game @ 80k. Dae Han has 5 total cards in hand. He combos: Pseudo combo, Pseudo combo, bean, super combo, 1+10k, bean, Super combo, Pseudo combo, 5k and goes to 90k with about 3 cards left in hand……. The Bandai Dev’s went absolutely nuts. And there wasn’t anything I could do about this lol
Game 2: I sided in my Vegetas, and got to go first this game. I opened absolutely broke. Just like against Pat in round 8. I summoned one drop trunks and passed. He swung at me. I did my t2 play with a swing + Combo digging + Bonds Digging + Awaken + Evolve into chain attack and slam fearless + Swing with everything double strike. I put him down to 2 life unawakened. On his turn, he cleared my chain attack so I couldn’t evolve into it on my following turn for a zen-oh play. He cleared it with over-realm bardock. Now I had to kill him with a massive hand and it wasn’t easy. He played hyper defensive, and he played very well. Countered all my plays and I wasn’t able to actually resolve zen-oh that game. I got to use a couple vegetas to put cards back in my deck and when the turns came down to the end of the game, I tried to make a push for game. He had 3 5k bodies on board with 1 card in hand. He already used his leader auto, and he was at 1 life. I had 2 things on board to swing with, already swung with my leader, and I had about 6 cards in deck. I might survive another turn but he’d have too many cards in hand for me to do anything. So, I went for it. I attacked with a vegeta, and he didn’t negate. I combo’d my whole hand, and board, up to 35k. The only thing in hand that could save him would be a 10k card, anything else and id win. It ended up being a pseudo combo and so he killed me by life his following turn.
I had a fantastic time at the event. I saw a lot of my friends and may as well be family from the team. Tons of people came up to me to say hi. I got to talk to Eric Sellitto before the event started on Friday and showed him the document that I’m about to share with all of you. I got to eat some deep-dish Chicago pizza for the first time, which I can say is great but I’m not sure if its as good as I expected for all the hype over it. Allek is 100% the best sponsor on the planet. He is the man. Shenron’s Lair has an amazing amount of talent on the team and I’m extremely pleased to be teamed up with every single one of our members. I’m happy that TAK ran the event. They are a great organization that put together a wonderful tournament. The rounds were up consistently 15 min after the official end of the normal regulated time, which would make it the smoothest and fastest ran tournament I’ve ever competed in. Id like to thank Core as well for partnering with TAK. They kept the venue running well after the main event was done so that the draft tournament could be completed. The draft tournament was a lot of fun and I’m happy to have played in our first ever major draft tournament. My only gripe is I wish the LCQ’s would have been run a little smoother and faster on Friday. It wasn’t fair to a lot of competitors and some people got screwed because of how it was run.
To Bandai if they read this:
I greatly enjoy our game and the tournaments you put up. I had an amazing time at your event just like I did last year. I spoke with you last year and I spoke with you this year. The tournament structure for the over-all year could have been better, but I understand its only the second year of the game. Your prizing structure this year was fantastic for nationals. The entry support was amazing. The top cut prizing was also amazing. I would personally like to see top 32 cut at every big event that has close to 500 players like we did this year, but that’s only a minor gripe. I will continue to compete no matter what.
My Youtube Deck Profile:
Trey Faircloth Video
Joey Paladino AKA Cross World TCG