US Grand Championship 2019 (NOVA) - Top16


INTRODUCTION:
Written by CLAUS STAAL

As per agreements, the Top4 deck lists from Drew Warren and Kyle Warren, both Arrow Brook Gaming as well as the winning deck list from Joe Colon from The Hyperloops will be added as soon as their respective articles hit the interwebz. Yeah, let's not entertain that discussion again!

I recommend that you go and check out the various content creators and their articles as they start dropping! I've already seen Entourage Gaming releasing their article on the ePalpatine/eWatto deck that Daniel Sanmiguel took to Top 16!

Joe Colon's article is also out on his road to the US Grand Championship 2019!

1. THE META HAS SETTLED!
While there were a few surprise inclusions amongst the Top 16 deck lists, the biggest probably seeing ReyLo make it into the finals, it definitely look like the meta is stabilising. When you go through the lists in this article there are very few variations, leaving space for just one or two tech cards, and many of the lists are as close to a stock list as you'll ever get. It's fair to say at the moment that The Gauntlet is not going to change much, we'll probably have to add a Palpatine deck, until either a new Holocron is dropped or Covert Missions is being released (whenever that will be ...).
gauntlet link THUMBNAILjpg

One interesting consequence of the dominance of various Droid decks and Jabba 3wide Supports in the format, and these are still leaders of the pack, is that quite a few decks have gone much more defensive than you'd expect, i.e. ePalpatine/eMotti not including neither Force Storm nor Force Wave, but rather going all in on defensive measures such as Soresu Training and Soresu Mastery. We live in a fickle world of tin cans and slugs - and you better get used to it!

2. EWOKS:
After the Ewok slaughter at the European Championship 2019 it was going to be interesting to see whether or not they'd manage to make a stronger showing at the US Grand Championship. One Ewok Swarm, piloted by Chris Kirkpatrick, managed to slip through to Day 2 and only had its run ended by Joe Colon, the eventual winner of the tournament.

The main problem is simply that the Ewok deck that was originally designed by Mike Gemme and The Hyperloops and took down the North American Championship 2019 leaves very little room for improvement. It's as good as it gets. Sure, there was a nifty little tech by Chris Kirkpatrick by going 1:1 on Across the Galaxy and Shortcut to avoid the Separatist Embargo, but other than that it is pretty cookie-cutter.NOVA 1jpg
You should still expect Ewok Swarms to show up at major tournaments and throughout the Prime Championship season, so get your games in against it, but if you decide to bring it yourself rest assured that the advantage is no longer yours! Your opponent, if he's any good, will know how to play against you!
3. REYLO:


Quite a few players have compared the rising stars, Rey and Kylo - Bound By The Force, with Raayla, Rey/Aayla/Profitable Connections, that dominated the competitive game a year ago. That comparison though is pretty far off the mark. Kylo Rey gen conjpgRaayla was a deck gifted by loads of powerful events and upgrades, i.e. Force Speed, Destiny, Guard, Close Quarters Assault, etc., while ReyLo is a FAIR DECK that has very few tricks up its sleeve, but is grinding it out cowering behind a wall of shields! There's a world of difference between these decks. I think it's a testimony to the skill of Matthew Ranks that he climbed the ladder and made it into the Finals at NOVA 2019 rather than the inherent power of the character pairing and deck.

4. PLANNING YOUR TRIP:
If you plan on playing at a major event anywhere in the world you should probably book your ticket home so you can actually play the entire tournament - unless you can walk, bike or drive in your own car. You might not expect to make it all the way to the finals, but hey ... you never know!
american airllines nocajpg
I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, and I'm old enough to know that life usually gets in the way of all the fun, but I also understand the frustrations from players who are forced to sit and watch their top cut opponent from the previous round concede a game to catch a ride home. They could of course just have won the game, but everything has two sides to it.

EDIT: Let me immediately state that NOBODY ever needs to justify themselves ... you can leave an event at any time without having to explain yourself to anyone!

5. THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD:
I don't think a lot of viewers were surprised when Joe Colon finally took home the US Grand Championship Trophy, I've told him in person and reiterated the statement on our Discord channel yesterday, Joe is - and probably by a wide margin at the moment - the best Destiny player in the world!
Joe Colon photojpg
Joe just has a way of playing Destiny that makes it a pleasure to watch and nerve wrecking to play against! Drew Warren said on the stream as he was commenting the finals that was streamed by The Chance Cube: "He's just doing Joe stuff". CONGRATS Mr. Colon for taking down your second US major trophy, North American Champion 2017 and now US Grand Champion 2019!!!

6. STATS DAY 2:
I made a mistake in my original chart for Day 2 at NOVA 2019. I had read Anthony Montone's deck as a standard Jabba 3wide Support deck, but it in fact turned out to be something as exciting as Jabba/Aphra/Wat instead. That makes the chart for Day 2 (Top 16) look a bit different:

NOVA DAY 2 top16 ver2jpg
DAY 2 BRACKET:
NOVA BRACKETjpg

TOP16 DECKS:

Chase Campbelljpg

Daniel Sanmigueljpg
Chris terwilligerjpg

OLIVER DE RIDDERjpg
Nick cuencajpg
JONATHAN MAGNUSON REAKjpg
JUSTIN ANDERSONjpg
ANTHONY MONTONEjpg
TOP8 DECKS:
CHRIS KIRKPATRICKjpg
SAM DERRICKjpg
DREW WARRENjpg
KYLE WARREjpg
TOP4 DECKS:


JONATHON RULANDjpg
RUNNER-UP DECK:
MATTHEW RANKSjpg
US GRAND CHAMPION:
joe colonjpg
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