Copenhagen Regionals 2019 - Tournament Report'ish


1. GENERAL COMMENTS:


Copenhagen Regionals 2019 on January 27 was going to be the first regionals of the season in snowy Denmark! There was an amazing turnout of 40 players, which made it the biggest Destiny event in Denmark ever ... NICE! Well ... we were also aided by the 10+ Swedish players showing up for the event, but heck Sweden is just a short 1 hour drive away from the venue! I know, Denmark is tiny.cph regionalsjpg
I was happy to see a wide selection of character teams across the field and truly believe that the meta is as diversified at the moment as anyone could have hoped for.

There were 28 different character pairings, while the most represented were:
[5] eVader/Greedo
[3] eHan3/eQi'Ra
[3] eYoda/Hired/Gungan
[2] eDooku/eTalzin
[2] eYoda/eLeia2
[2] eYoda/eLeia3

Most played character was:
[10] Yoda (in all decks elite)
[6] Vader (in all decks elite)
[6] Han Solo3 (in all decks elite)
[5] Snoke (in all decks elite)
[4] Qi'Ra (in all decks elite)

2. PREPARING ...

Preparing for the event has been the most difficult part. First of all, finding time, in between writing articles for the website, recording podcasts and recording videos for the YouTube Channel, has been really difficult. Add to this a general fatigue from my daytime job and a slight waning in my engagement for Destiny in general, hitting the right stride and mood was always going to be difficult. BUT ... luckily, I have a great team around me that can push me a bit as well as a super competitive gene that kicks in whenever an event is around the corner.workingjpg
First order of business was to go through all the deck analyses I've written over the last months to narrow down the options for a deck list for the event. As the meta has developed and matured throughout the Regionals season, I've followed the ups and downs of decks with great interest. While people were moaning and groaning over the dominance of Darth Vader - Terror to Behold, Snoke partnered up with Tarkin for an interesting and powerful character team, and mill found a new way into the upper echelons of top tier decks.best cards in the game2jpg
North American Champion Andrew Cox from the Hyperloops yet again took the eYoda/Cassian/Anakin 3wide mill to the top of the chart, while Menion Kroll really popularised the eYoda/eLeia2 mill deck, which has been here, there and everywhere, and taking down quite a wealth of Regionals in the process.

I considered all the above decks, while also dabbling a bit with eKylo2/eAnakin and eHan/eQi'Ra, but was leaning towards eTarkin/eSnoke. Not because it's the best, but because it looks fun to play - and man, do I love Tarkin!

Getting more games under the belt, I finally opted for the FAT Shadow Caster deck, eYoda/Hired/Gungan. It has very favorable match-ups against most decks, simply destroys most, while still doing pretty well against mill if you can get your board state in order before the EMP Grenades start detonating.

3. BEST CARDS IN THE GAME ...

Playing the FAT Shadow Caster deck also allows you to play 3 cards, that are probably amongst the best 5 cards in the game at the moment:best cards in the gamejpg
We've already written extensively about all three cards, and while mill traditionally does well against vehicle decks, I still believe(d) that the ability to consistently dish out extravagant amounts of damage from a decked out Shadow Caster made the match-up less of a foregone conclusion, while the FAT Vehicle decks have more favorable match ups against decks that might make a showing to counter mill decks, like fast aggro and midrange decks. I'd even say, that both deck archetypes needs to perform on all parameters, including being on the right side of variance, to beat a FAT Shadow Caster.

There's no doubt though, if you ever were in doubt, that you'll need to train against the mill match-up for any Regional event you will be going to! People will be bringing it ... Mads Utzon wrote this article on "How To Defeat Mill Decks" a while ago, but it is still as relevant as ever. Read it! It's going to be worth your time! I did.

4. THE LIST:
regionals 2019 listjpg
I chose to stick with the list that Dustin Wilson won a Regional with and also did an excellent deck analysis of for the website. The few changes I made were meta calls, and are in no way set in stone, while it's also difficult to say whether or not they actually make the list better or worse.

I'm running a huge mitigation suite, 15 cards in total (including Force Illusion), adding both Force Illusion, Beguile, Caution and Pacify to the deck, all of which felt really good in the deck. My plan was to stack mitigation in order to extend the game into round 4, 5 or 6 against non-mill decks, while being able to trade a card in my hand for a 2 Discard from hand or deck against mill decks. That plan worked out pretty well. I never felt low on mitigation barring one game, while I never had problems finding the mod upgrades to make the Shadow Caster a menacing endgame piece.

The choice to go 1:1 on the Shadow Caster and N-1 Starfighter was due to the fear of Flames of the Past, which in turn meant that I was freeing up spaces in my deck, allowing me to bring a Friends in Low Places, which maybe in hindsight could have been a Scruffy-Looking Nerf Herder.

5. VADER'S FIST:
I was considering teching in Deflect just to be able to combat Vader's Fist, while also being decent against eVader/Greedo, but at the end of the day felt that I would be sitting around with it in too many games with nothing to do, but pitching it to reroll.regional6jpg
I wasn't entirely wrong, although I had at least 2 games (out of 12 on the day) where it would have come in pretty handy. I still believe Vader's Fist to be an outrageously broken card.

6. MY MATCHES
:
My match ups of the day were:

Swiss Rounds:
ROUND 1: eYoda/eLeia3
ROUND 2: eDooku/eTalzin
ROUND 3: eTarkin/eSnoke
ROUND 4: eVader/Greedo
ROUND 5: eTalzin/Mandalorian/Super Battle Droid
ROUND 6: eYoda/eLeia2

TOP 8:
(Best of 3): eTarkin/eSnoke

TOP 4:
(Best of 3): ePlo Koon/Padawans

ROUND 1: (Loss, 0-1)
I took an early loss in round 1, from some CRAZY Special Chaining! With "nothing", but 2 Force Speeds, a Cunning, Salvage Stand and Backup Muscle, my opponent was able to keep me from resources and deny me the possibility of using all of my mitigation.regional bert-olofjpg
There were several beautiful moments in the game, including a  T R I P L E  Leia Special (including a Cunning) to deal 6 damage to all of my characters, which hurts (a lot)  against a 3wide team! And then the finishing touch in the last round with 2 Force Speed Specials for 4 actions, into Focuses, into Leia Specials, into Backup Muscle, into a kill on Yoda! Beautiful! My opponent, Bert-Olof, a regular in ASK Gaming Cafe, deservedly took the win and eventually a place in top8!

ROUND 2: (Win, 1-1)
Patrick Campolin, a local player, playing eDooku/eTalzin just couldn't hit the damage sides, and when he did, usually after rerolls, I would have mitigation in hand to take care of it. regionals Claus match2jpgeDooku/eTalzin is obviously good against mill and Darth Vader decks, while it definitely struggles against a fully decked out Shadow Caster firing on all cylinders! Playing Rift Valley is normally a good counter against a number of decks, but does little good against a die as bonkers as the caster and even less when it's protected by a Triple Laser Turret.

I was gunning for Talzin first to negate her ability and hoped to take her out by round 2, but just wanted to go slow and steady, ended up hard casting the Shadow Caster from hand, and bringing in the N-1 Starfighter with Armored Reinforcement. The combo immediately paid off with Yoda all but ensuring a double activation from the Shadow Caster every round.

After that there wasn't much to do for Count Dooku, who saw at least one of his dice mitigated every round.

ROUND 3: (Win, 2-1)
Paired up against local ASK Gaming Cafe resident Jacob Westh, who's also a good friend of mine, I just knew - even before the tournament - that he'd bring eTarkin/eSnoke. Jacob is a great player though, and I was very wary of him bringing in an early Vader's Fist which could definitely swing the game his way.regional Jacob Westhjpg
I wasn't too worried about this match-up though with my extremely dense mitigation suite. Tarkin/Snoke relies on a lot of combo dice, i.e. two Blanks or two Resources, and breaking apart the combos is relatively easy. It ended up being a close game, and I realised that some of my mitigation was pretty useless against his character team.

ROUND 4: (Win, 3-1)
The match-up against Swedish visitor Aron Björk that I had been waiting for! eVader/Greedo, although waning in power, has been the deck to defeat for some time now and I was eager to battle it out against it! I was cursing myself for not bringing two Friends in Low Places as I was itching to remove those Friends in High Places. He would eventually trigger one to find ... well ... you guessed it: Vader's Fist!regionals aron Bjork listjpg
He had some pretty bad initial rolls, although he naturally won the Battlefield for some delicious Theeding around, which ended up being super annoying, and had to pitch to reroll several times in the first couple of rounds. I definitely felt I had the upper hand and was confident in having time to set up some big rounds hogging resources and getting ready to hit big time with the Shadow Caster from round 3.

THEN, in round 2, came the Dark Saber, which looked super menacing. I was particularly worried about the Discard side and knew I needed to keep mitigation for it. A lot of my mitigation was pretty worthless against it though, i.e. Caution, Pacify, Force Illusion, and I was constantly forced into rationing my mitigation ... and the Fear and Dead Men hit for 15 damage across my characters (F I F T H E E N!!) was pretty outrageous, and kinda made me shiver a bit.

In the end though, the constant pressure from the Shadow Caster made life hard for a lonely Darth Vader, and with both Rise Again milled courtesy of Force Illusions a war of attrition was always going to be to my advantage. He actually ended up being milled out of cards in deck and hand, but it would have ended regardless. Great game!

ROUND 5: (Win, 4-1)
regionals Claus match1jpgCarl-Johan, who sometimes visits us in ASK Gaming Cafe, but mostly for tournaments, brought a super-funky take on the old TaCos deck, going rainbow by adding a Super Battle Droid. I was pretty confident that it wasn't going to be a close game, but it actually ended up that way.

I made a few misplays during the game, and f*cked up the game to make it much closer than it ought to be, including resolving a 2 Indirect Damage on a Gungan die rather than using the die to Caution shields on Yoda, which meant that Yoda suddenly was perilously close to dying at the end of the game.

BIGGEST turn of the game was a beautiful play from Carl-Johan with his Mother Talzin armed with a Rocket Launcher, who threw herself into the fray on the back of Tactical Mastery, turned the Rocket Launcher die into a Special and blew the Shadow Caster with 3 mod upgrades to oblivion. OUCH! I had stacked mitigation in my hand to take of the Rocket Launcher until I could kill Talzin and was totally taken by surprise by the Tactical Mastery. Rookie mistake by me and beautifully played by Carl-Johan.

Losing the Shadow Caster meant a lot of work for the Gungan and the Hired Gun. I needed to dig deep for my N-1 Starfighter, and with just a single BB-8 and R2 Aastromech mod upgrade left, everything else had been discarded, it was a super intense fight. The Starfighter did pull it's weight though and coupled with Yoda Specials managed to ensure the win!

ROUND 6: (Win, 5-1)
Facing the only undefeated player left in the tournament, Mathias Melgaard, who was playing eYoda/eLeia2, I knew this was going to be a big test.regional mathias melgaardjpg
So, as I mentioned earlier, I didn't believe this match-up to be as unfavorable as suggested on paper. I had removed the additional copies of both the Shadow Caster and the N-1 Starfighter to negate the effects of Flames of the Past, while also adding the Friends in Low Places to fish for the Commando Raids, Hit and Runs, etc. Now, I had to put my money where my mouth was.

I started with the Shadow Caster in my hand, which wasn't bad, but Mathias who had won the Battlefield roll-off courtesy of Taking Ground, blew my plans up with a Hit and Run into a 2 Discard turned into a 4 Discard with Commando Raid. Man ... luckily I was left with the Shadow Caster in hand, which meant that I could save the Armored Reinforcement to bring in the N-1 Starfighter. I did exactly that, and had a pretty strong board state in the beginning of round 2, although losing 3 mod upgrades (including an R2 Astromech, Targeting Astromech and a Triple Laser Turret in the first round).

Now, it might have been my luck that Mathias didn't manage to find his EMP Grenades, but I also kept mitigation in hand to take care of it, and the constant reset from the Shadow Caster ended up putting loads of pressure on Mathias' mitigation, which in turn meant that Mathias was constantly facing some hard choices for which dice to mitigate.

The game, as expected, was very close, but I eventually managed to edge out a win, which meant that there would be no undefeated players in the Swiss Rounds (five 5-1, three 4-2's to make the cut).

TOP 8: (See video link)
I took fourth place in Swiss and would be facing  5th seed Andreas Lestreus, one of our awesome Patrons, whom I've been testing against a lot on TTS.

Andreas has been all in on the #MakeSnokeGreatAgain and brought what is probably the strongest Snoke deck in the current format. See the entire Top 8 game here or by clicking the deck list below:regional andreas lestreusjpg
I can honestly say, that all the test games Andreas has been doing have paid off big time! He's a very accomplished player and has improved tremendously. Although I wasn't too nervous about the match up, one should never feel too complacent when facing great players ... We ended up playing all three games, and they were all as different as day and night! What a showing.

TOP 4: (Scoop)
I almost never scoop games, it's just not in my competitive nature to do so, but facing my friend and team mate Marcel Jørgensen, who is still looking for a Worlds 2019 invite, I really felt that this was the right time to do so!regional marceljpgMarcel hasn't played competitive Destiny, or any games of Destiny really, since Worlds 2018, but had done exceedingly well with his ePloKoon/Padawans during the tournament, going 5-1 in Swiss and defeating eYoda/eLeia3 in his top8 match. I felt that Marcel had a good shot at taking down the Regional win and didn't want to take that opportunity away from him.

Having already secured my Worlds invite from Nordics 2018, we decided to leave it at that!

7. YOUTUBE RECORDINGS:

We decided to not livestream the event, but instead record all of the games. They are now available on our YouTube Channel and here are the deck lists for all the players in the recorded games.

You can go straight to the recorded games by clicking any of the deck lists or see the entire play list from the event right here!

ROUND 1 (eYoda/Hired/Gungan vs. eHan/eLando)

regional mads utzonjpg
regionalthornkvistjpg

ROUND 2 (eVader/Greedo vs. eTarkin/eSnoke):
regionals aron Bjork listjpgregional andreas lestreusjpg
ROUND 3 (eHan3/eQi'Ra vs. eTarkin/eSnoke):
regional Martin Nybergjpgregional andreas lestreusjpg
ROUND 4 (eSnoke/eVersio vs. eHan3/eQi'Ra):
regional iden versiojpgregionals angelo listjpg

ROUND 5 (ePlo Koon/Padawans vs. eYoda/eLeia2):
regional marceljpgregional mathias melgaardjpg

ROUND 6 (eTalzin/Commando/Super Droid vs. eYoda/eLeia3):
regionals Claus match1jpgregional lars misimjpg

TOP8 (eYoda/Hired/Gungan vs. eTarkin/eSnoke):
regionals 2019 listjpgregional andreas lestreusjpg


TOP 4 (eYoda/Hired/Gungan vs. eYoda/eLeia2):
regional mads utzonjpgregional mathias melgaardjpg

FINALS (ePlo Koon/Padawans vs. eYoda/eLeia2):
regional marceljpg

regional mathias melgaardjpg

CONGRATULATIONS:


IMG_7374JPG
This gorgeous fella won the whole damn thing ... congrats to Mathias Melgaard for taking down the Copenhagen Regional 2019! Well deserved!

Written by
CLAUS STAAL


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