This past weekend (Sat March 29th) our venue was holding an early surprise event for the Dark Phoenix Cyclops Colossal – separate from our official AvX Month 4 Storyline Event Tournament. It was a sealed tournament, pick any two Modern Age Boosters build a 300pt team and best of three rounds was winning the Dark Cyclops. We knew beforehand that we weren’t expecting a large turn out, most of our regular players were otherwise engaged and wouldn’t be able to attend. Personally I felt this was actually good, not for our venue but for me. I have been getting much better, especially with the amount of games I’ve been playing lately and with actually paying attention to strategy, but most of my tournaments still end up 2-1 or 1-2 with the loses being early on so I never quite make it into the finals. With our regular players out of the running I felt I might just have a chance of winning.
The tournament started at 2:00pm, I had gotten there early as I got a ride in with our Judge and the owner of our Venue (Jason stayed home with the kids as we couldn’t get a sitter). The closer we got to the start time the less likely it seemed that we were going to have a big turn out. By 1:30pm we only had 3 players confirmed then everyone started to come out of the wood works. When the tournament started we actually ended up with 10 players, a much better turn out than we originally anticipated (actually there were only 9 players that showed up but our Judge didn’t want to have to give someone a bye on a tournament of this caliber so he stepped in as a player himself)
I chose 2 Superman and the Legion of Superheroes Boosters to build my team from and I got my absolute dream pulls. The set itself is incredibly strong for sealed, there are a lot of good figures at decently low points that don’t really need for you to build a team around (like you would in constructed) and instead can stand well on their own with others (that also stand well on their own). I got lucky and pulled the Rare Bizarro (who is currently wrecking house in high level competitions all over) and the Super Rare Validus. I put Validus on his lower starting line (175pts) to start with Running Shot and Penetrating Psychic Blast and put 5 Orrazib tokens on Bizarro to fill in the other 125pts of my build. Now I had a very strong tent pole type team that was also a Theme Team under the new rules (unfortunately also under the new 2014 rules I wasn’t able to get Theme Team Probability Control but it did help me with winning map choice) Validus is also a wildcard and able to copy Bizarro’s Superman Enemy Team Ability which granted him outwit.
- Timberwolf 97pts
- Dawnstar 81pts
- Polar Boy 78pts
- Science Police Officer 45pt
Total = 301
In the first round I went up against our Venue’s Judge, Max. Thankfully he decided to buy into the tournament otherwise I would have been stuck with a bye (which is a win with 0pts) and been out of the running for first place. He didn’t get the best pulls with his boosters but wanted to build a fun team, throwing the Science Police Officer on at the last minute to fill in points (which unfortunately killed his Theme team) he ended up being 1 point over but being Judge he just decided to wing it and left off the 1pt if his team got wiped.
For me this was a great match up, not so much for him. With Validus’ free pulse wave he was able to wreck house without taking an action. I think I got his Pulse Wave (which is a 50/50 chance of going off) every turn with him and crippled Max’ team by turn three. His figures were having a tough time damaging mine as Validus starts with Invulnerable and Bizarro kept rolling onto his Impervious clicks. Dawnstar and Timber Wolf got taken out right away and it was soon down to Polar Boy and the Science Police Officer, whom I kept outwitting the special power of, and he was only doing 2 damage, trying to roll a Critical Hit to damage me. Needless to say I wiped out his team without even taking damage and the game was finished with 30 mins still left in the 50 min round. This gave me a win with full 300pts.
- Validus 249pts
- Dreadnought 50pts
Total = 299
In the second round I went up against one of our few regulars that actually managed to come out. Jamie and I seem to face each other every tournament and I usually cream him (last AvX was the first time he actually beat me) but I’m always nervous going up against him because he has a habit of running some really strong teams, this time around was no exception. He had pulled from a mix of SLOSH and Invincible Ironman and ended up fielding the higher point Validus (who starts with Charge and Quake) and a Dreadnought.
Once again my little theme team got me map choice and I had picked Madripoor Lowtown. The map itself is pretty open which is good when one of your main guys is a walking Pulse Wave bomb. Going first I had moved up and placed Validus between two bits of blocking which made him harder to shoot at unless you had a direct angle to him (good advantage to have when playing a giant) which forced Jamie to come in close. At the time Bizarro had Charge and Validus being a Giant ignores knockback so he wasn’t able to Quake me but put a good hit in on my own Validus.
Neither of us seemed able to get our free pulse waves off but our big purple monsters were trading blow for blow which ended in my own Validus being KO’d, his being heavily wounded, his Dreanought a little weakened and a couple tokens knocked off Bizarro. At this point I was really nervous, my Validus was gone and a few more hits on Bizarro and I’d be toast. I had to take him out since he currently had me on points. I got really lucky with Bizarro’s dial turning rolls and the fact that he ignores characters for movement. I was able to Hypersonic all over and Charge after being based to go grab a heavy object. I had one final attack on Validus landing on a Hypersonic click with 10 attack Super Strength and 3 damage and finished him off with a heavy object. Then it was just a matter of taking out his Dreadnought the following turn. This now gave me 2 wins with 599 pts.
- Darkseid 200pts
- Glorith 83pts
Total = 283pts
At this point I couldn’t believe I had actually made it into the finals. I’ve been playing this game since it’s inception nearly 12 years ago and a lot of that time has been spent going to weekly local tournaments, I could not remember ever doing this well especially in sealed (not my strongest area of play) With my 2 wins I was tied points with Nuno, so whichever one of us won was walking home with the Phoenix. There were two other players with 2 wins but neither had as many points as us so no matter which one of them won they wouldn’t be able to beat the amount of points we would get from our match. Nuno is also one of our regulars who wasn’t going to come out but entered because, as a birthday present, our Judge had paid his entry.
This was the team I really didn’t want to go up against. I didn’t think I could get around his Darkseid even if he wasn’t at full points. Once again I got map choice but there wasn’t much I could do with regards to his team since Darkseid can see through pretty much anything. I could have gone with Wundagore Mountain since he can’t see through Elevated but that would have hindered me more than it would have him. So instead I went with whatever map was already there, a nice open outdoor one to ensure a swift and bloody battle.
By turn two Validus was dead. He used Glorith to perplex up his damage and was staying back out of my 8 range, using his own 10 range to wipe me out before I could Pulse Wave the crap out of him. This left me with Bizarro who didn’t care how much damage Darkseid was doing, just how many times he got hit. I had gotten a really good opportunity. I Charged in with a high attack, holding a heavy object with Exploit Weakness (which we discovered afterwards doesn’t work on Darkseid because he can’t be penetrated) but I placed Bizarro in front of Darkseid instead of off to his right which left him in line of sight for Glorith’s Probability Control, and of course that would be the time that I would get a Critical Hit! Glorith probbed, I missed and it all went down hill from there. Had I gotten that hit in, I could have taken Darkseid out, even if it hadn’t penetrated I was still doing 6 damage which would have put Darkseid on his second to last click and left him open for Bizarro to finish him off. Unfortunately for me the game ended without me scoring anything and ending the Tournament with a 2-1 record and landing in Third Place.
I was really proud of myself on this one even if I had lost. It was the first time I had ever gotten to the finals, I had made a really solid team (which had a lot to do with how awesome my sealed pulls were) and I played well. I made one fatal mistake in my final game, forgetting that if I had moved by just one square I would have made it impossible to Prob my Critical Hit. In the end though, I was super happy with how I did.
There was also one small thing I didn’t mention, before the tournament started Nuno and I had gone in as a team, striking up a pact that if he won we would work out a deal for me to get the Phoenix (since I really wanted it and he couldn’t care less about it, being a DC guy). So even though I lost the actual tournament I still came out a winner on this one.
Pictured from left to right: Giant Sized X-men Phoenix, Jean Grey Phoenix Colossal, Marvel 10th Anniversary Dark Phoenix, Dark Phoenix Cyclops Colossal, AvX White Phoenix Hope, Dark Phoenix Colossal (won during 2006 CanGames) Wolverine and the X-men Phoenix (Rachel Summers)