aka “Airquotes Writes His First Tournament Report Ever”
The GenCon 2015 MLP CCG tournament was a fluke. I am so angry right now.
I was all excited about Continental Champs this year. I was ready to hear stories of players taking intense, un-interactive 30-minute turns, grueling Maud Pie mirror matches, and fair, honorable duels in a stale and stagnant format. I was looking forward to watching another year of Rock n’ Rave manes dominating the competition.
I was literally on the edge of my seat when I heard some familiar names—Nation, Chash, Cheese, Bugle—announced into the top 16. This was going to be the most exhilarating series of games, and any one of these four heroes could be crowned pony champ of North America.
So imagine my surprise when some newbie luck-sacked his way into first place running an inferior version of mono-orange Maud Pie. I mean, he had a one-of Let’s Play “Camouflage” instead of a third Iron Will—How much scrubbier can you get?! And where were the Nightmare Stars?!
Who the hell was this guy? By all rights, he should not have even been in top 16, never mind first place. This guy went 5-0 in the first half of the Swiss rounds because he went against such format-breaking decks as Blue-White Pegasus Aggro, an un-updated Pile of Presents combo build, some Friend to Animals garbage, and other assorted pet decks. Of course he was undefeated: He was paired against D-tier trash!
Well, he did defeat Bugle’s EoM combo in one of those rounds, but that was also a fluke—He drew three Nightmare Moon, Deep Darkness and two Nightmare Moon villains against Bugle over the course of the game. That’s some hit-by-lightning-level probability right there.
The second half of Swiss showed what an awful, terrible player he is. The hapless eventual-champ finished ten rounds with only 6 wins, and picked up 3 losses and a draw—All handed to him by superior, gifted veterans of the game who spend hours and hours brewing, testing, and breathing the MLP CCG. He ended up in 14th place, barely squeezing his scrubby ass into Day 2.
OK, surely his luck would run out after 10 rounds, and his first-round opponent of Day 2, Bugle, would knock him out? Nope! This idiot just goes on complete auto-pilot, doing all the Maud things, and that was somehow enough to win. Bugle, for his part, made some critical errors and missed some draws that would’ve won him the game. But instead, the scrub moved to quarterfinals.
In top 8, he faced a better-crafted, well-funded, actually completed version of mono-orange Maud Pie. He was up against a deck that was objectively better than his in every possible way. His opponent certainly wasn’t replacing Iron Will with “Camouflage” because he couldn’t find a third copy of a UR in a set that’s been out for months. But the scrub won anyway, because of Carbo-Loader. Winning the mirror apparently doesn’t take skill or guile—just Carbo-Loader.
So there he is in semi-finals, sitting across last year’s champ. I thought this had to be the end. Although Nation’s Maud pink build was better against combo and mono-orange Maud was supposedly better against other Mauds, remember that the scrub was running a hamstrung, budget version of the deck. He should not have stood a chance!
Yet, fortune struck again. Nation made two mistakes that cost him one game each—First, inexplicably initiating a double confront where he was down by 6 power, and second, not leaving AT up for Popping Corn during a crucial turn. And just like that, Crappy Orange Maud deck made it to the finals.
There was no way he’d win in the finals: He was paired against the best deck in the world. Yes, a variation of a deck I dreamed up in a drunken rant made it to the finals, and there was no way Orange Maud Crap Pile would win.
But then the Pile of Presents player proposed doing a prize split instead of fighting it out. And the scrub not only agreed, but also somehow negotiated a split such that he’d take the Championship title—while Pile of Presents barely took home more than half of the prize pool!
In conclusion, despite being a clear winner who had to deal with uncooperative airlines, endure ten rounds of Swiss and four un-timed rounds of Finals, and pilot a sub-optimal build of an unfavored deck, I still feel like this year’s Continental Championships winner is a total loser.
If I see this luck-sacking chump next year, I’m totally going to wreck him with my Cutie Mark Crusaders deck.
Airquotes is a snarky, sarcastic source of useful opinions that are never wrong. His author is some sort of published journalist or whatever.