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Subject: The Derek vs. Jow show (hey, that sorta rhymes) rss

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Joe Stude
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Another wonderful Vulca vs. Hoax game, brought to you by Jow (Vulca) and Derek (Hoax).

I'm determined now, damn it. Two consecutive wipeout losses to this guy. I'm going for the jugular, being risky, and taking it to him all the way.

Fight 1: Nice opening hand, with Cinder and Cast Cataclysm. Means I can deal with anything support-related for a while. I opened with Spark for 4 fire. Not being shy here. The response: Vetraskadas the Skeptic with the Trebuchet of Fear for 5 fire. Support card, be gone, said I, as I threw down Cinder plus Flickering Fires (trying to prevent an early Muster and get my hand moving) for 3 fire. For my trouble, I got Zedemrikas the Brain and Brain Drain for 4 fire. Not cool at all. D still only had 4 cards out and without the ability to play support, I felt like pushing it, playing Shimmer to feel him out, 4 fire. D matched me for 4 fire with Ledinemras the Monk. Now that he was at 5 cards, I didn't have enough confidence to risk it and retreated. I got rid of two of his higher ranked characters, plus Brain Drain, while I only used minor stuff, so I didn't feel too badly.

Hoax 1-0.

Fight 2: The battle of all battles. I sensed victory early and pushed and pushed at great expense, and... you'll see.

I realized I hadn't yet seen Wall of Fire, as in the last two games, so I threw down Flare to push through my deck a little and sent 2 fire D's way. No Wall of Fire. I wish I could get that card in my hand at a timely moment for a change. The response: Penemikanas the Paranoid and his bloody bagpipes, marching and piping in my face for 2 fire. With a strong hand (including Flamebreath), I decided to draw on some of that fiery Vulca goodness. First, I played Charm Holy Dragon, discarding Lightning Bolts and Lavar the Powerful (two cards I'd normally not part with easily, but I still had plenty in my hand to work with and wanted to keep moving through the deck). With all dragons neutralized again, I played Flamebreath with Pandemonium for 7 fire. (I'd only seen one support card so far so thought this might be a good opportunity to get those cards stackin' up in D's hand. Following this battle, then, logic would indicate that he'd start throwing support cards like nobody's business, and I had a Cataclysm waiting for such an opportunity). Out came Sarogakanas the Ancient with Inscrutable Armor, which he used to discard my mutant and Ignite (2/4), sending 1 fire back at me. Bah, whatever. I cast Summon Sorcerer, pulling Flamebreath back into hand, and played him again. I was still at only 2 cards at this point, but I wasn't backing down. D's response to Flamebreath the second time: Var-Dis-Nar, his freaking mutant. BLARGH. Not even 1/3 of the way into his deck and he already pulled Inscrutable AND his mutant. Still fairly well-stocked and feeling pretty confident despite the element change, I played Furnace for 4 earth. Catusan for 5 earth, back to me. (Without support or a booster, this was the only card in the deck he could have gotten to respond here - what is this shit?) Already starting to drain Vulca's admittedly weak Earth reserves, but I'd come to far to consider backing out, so I threw Heroine of the Great Plains for 5 earth back at D. Out came Genathones the Blind with the Potion of Prodigious Passion. Man, I should have had this battle won 5 cards ago. Needing to reset, I played Torch with Infernal Armor for 4 earth. He can't keep coming up with responses, can he? Sure he can - Henry Highflyer Hawk came next. Annoyed I was, yes, but excited at the same time, for with Henry went Hoax's last real option for blocking my strongest attacks. Needing to throw a character away, I threw Blaze, the lowest character I had to sacrifice. Needing to beat 0 earth, D played Muster Reinforcements, followed by Benithetana the Storyteller (which he'd just drawn). I wanted to throw my hands into the air and scream to the heavens, as I could predict what was about to unfold. After all that work, no matter what I threw on the next turn, D was going to retreat, completely voiding the battle. And once I played Aaralia-Aqua Secunda reluctantly (not wanting to give up more power in earth but trying to tempt D into continuing), he did just that, somehow magically being able to survive the entire battle without being able to play a single support card. Extremely confident until now, I think this is when I started feeling the game slip from my fingers as I'd drained myself significantly in earth.

Score 0-0 (tied). Oh yeah, and no freakin' Wall of Fire.

Fight 3: D led off with Thirkomedas the Serene for 2 earth. The only way I could have matched was with Elemental Enchantment, which I couldn't play. Retreat.

Hoax 1-0.

Battle 4: Still holding some high power in my hand, I knew I had to both keep things in fire as much as possible, along with nuking as many support cards as I could if I wanted to have a chance. I opened with Scorch, 6 fire, hoping for a quick retreat like I was forced into the previous round. It might have made more sense to start lower, knowing he was probably swimming in support cards. D followed with Trigger Brainstorm, followed by Athradysas the Seeker with the Ballista of Confusion and Homing Missiles for 7 fire. Not ready to throw Cataclysm yet, I followed with Volca and the Volcanic Gauntlets for 10 fire. Out came Wogarathoras the Gloomy + Tome of Wisdom for a combined 10 fire. Unable to proceed further without retreating, I finally threw Cast Cataclysm to remove the three support cards, then followed with Sear and Elemental Enchantment for 6 fire. (Sear's a 4-1 and while I had Glimmer (who would have benefited more from Elemental Enchantment) in my hand at 2/3, I figured I'd need the earth power more this late in the game, so saved Glimmer). To my wondrous surprise, D retreated. It's worth noting that sometime during this battle three things happened: 1. I ran out of cards in my draw pile. 2. I drew Wall of Fire. 3. I drew Fearsome Spirits. Figures. At this point I'm thinking "game over" - he still had his retrievable 3/3, plus Duplicator of Strength, PLUS Battling Boomerang, while I was stuck with a handful of wonderful but now useless cards in my hand.

Score 0-0 (tied).

Fight 5: D leads with Nirwadas the Traveler for 2 earth, as expected. Aware of the contents of his hand, knowing whatever I followed with would likely be nuked and with only 2 character cards left in-hand, I retreated instantly.

Hoax 1-0.

Fight 6: I led with Ember for 1 fire, thinking that his trump card, Ciklarethas, would now be unplayable due to the power text restriction, but again D had a response, Demegodas the Odd with Battling Boomerang for 6 fire. With one character remaining out of four cards (Fearsome Spirits, Wall of Fire, Fireblast, and another character that wouldn't give me enough power to match), I retreated again.

Hoax 2-0.

For giggles, a summary:

Summary:

Fight 1:

V: Spark (4F)
H: Vetraskadas the Skeptic + Trebuchet of Fear (5F)
V: Cinder + Flickering Fires (discarding Trebuchet of Fear) (3F)
H: Zedemrikas the Brain + Brain Drain (4F)
V: Shimmer (4F)
H: Ledinemras the Monk (4F)
V: Retreat (Hoax 1-0)

Fight 2

V: Flare (Drew 2 cards) (2F)
H: Penemikanas the Paranoid (2F)
V: Charm Holy Dragon (discarding Lavar and Lightning Bolts)
Flamebreath the Dazzling + Pandemonium (7F)
H: Sarogakanas the Ancient + Inscrutable Armor (1F)
(V discards Ignite (2/4) and Zig-Nur-Don (4/4 mutant))
V: Summon Sorcerer (retrieved Flamebreath the Dazzling)
Flamebreath the Dazzling (7F)
H: Var-Dis-Nar (4E)
V: Furnace (4E)
H: Catusan (5E)
V: Heroine of the Great Plains (5E)
H: Genathones the Blind + Potion of Prodigious Passion (5E)
V: Torch + Infernal Armor (4E)
H: Henry Highflyer Hawk (0E)
V: Blaze (3E)

Big play error here. He should have had to match 3 earth here, and the play he DID make wasn't sufficient, but due to not understanding how to play HHH at the time I thought it was correct. It could definitely have changed the game.

H: Muster Reinforcements (drew 5 cards)
Bethenitana the Storyteller (2E)
V: Aaralia-Aqua Secunda (4E)
H: Retreat (0-0)

Fight 3

H: Thirkomedas the Serene (2E)
V: Retreat (Hoax 1-0)

Fight 4

V: Scorch the Inflammable (6F)
H: Trigger Brainstorm
Athradysas the Seeker + Ballista of Confusion + Homing Missiles (7F)
V: Volca + Volcanic Gauntlets (10F)
H: Wogarathoras the Gloomy + Tome of Wisdom + BOC + HM (10F)
V: Cast Cataclysm (removing Tome of Wisdom, Ballista of Confusion, and
Homing Missiles)
Sear + Elemental Enchantment (6F)
H: Retreat (0-0)

Fight 5

H: Nirwadas the Traveler (2E)
V: Retreat (Hoax 1-0)

Fight 6

V: Ember (1F)
H: Demegodas the Odd + Battling Boomerang (6F)
V: Retreat (Hoax 2-0)

(Endgame)

Knowing I wouldn't be able to play a thing besides my final character before I had to retreat again, I conceded. Final score would have been Hoax 3-0, which is just pathetic considering how well I felt I played this game.

Obviously y'all can't see what was in my hand when I played each card, but I'm curious - does it look to you like I made any major tactical blunders? Is it just me, or did this guy get immensely lucky again this game? Thanks for any input.
 
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Joe Stude
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I've been thinking about this one since I posted it about a week ago. In this game and the one before it (the last report I posted), I dumped Lightning Bolts out to fuel Charm Holy Dragon. I'm thinking in hindsight that probably wasn't a good idea, considering LB is the strongest of only four cards in the entire Vulca deck that provide some sort of offensive boost (unless you consolidate and count Titanic Gauntlets).
 
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Joe Gola
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Jowjow wrote:
I played Torch with Infernal Armor for 4 earth. He can't keep coming up with responses, can he? Sure he can - Henry Highflyer Hawk came next. Annoyed I was, yes, but excited at the same time, for with Henry went Hoax's last real option for blocking my strongest attacks. Needing to throw a character away, I threw Blaze, the lowest character I had to sacrifice. Needing to beat 0 earth, D played Muster Reinforcements, followed by Benithetana the Storyteller (which he'd just drawn).

No! He needed to beat four! The instant you cover up Henry Highflyer Hawk, the card is no longer active, his special text no longer applies, and your power goes back to what it was. He couldn't have played Benithetana in response. See the FAQ under "Values and Total Power: General"; the applicable rule from the rulebook is "The total power you announce on your turn must at least equal that of your opponent at this time. This is usually the power announced previously by your opponent, but it may have been altered as a consequence of your card play."
 
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Joe Stude
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Yep, if you'll notice in the rules section I just posted recently on the HHH thread, learning how to correctly play this guy *again* (since I played the game in this report). And you're right, he wouldn't have been able to play Bethenitana, but he would have needed 3 earth, not 4 earth (Blaze is a 4/3).
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Jowjow wrote:
Score 0-0 (tied).


The score may be zero dragons, but it's not a tie - someone (last person with cards in hand) won (and scored 1 crystal).
 
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Joe Stude
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That was my way of saying the game at that point was technically dead even... obviously if it was at the end of the game it wouldn't be a tie, as you said.
 
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Christopher Dearlove
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Jowjow wrote:
That was my way of saying the game at that point was technically dead even... obviously if it was at the end of the game it wouldn't be a tie, as you said.


My apologies, I skimmed it heading for the new post and failed to notice this was fight by fight. I will say in my defence that if you'd used fight, as in the rules, rather than battle I doubt I'd have made the error, but I shouldn't have made it anyway.
 
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Joe Stude
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I edited the language a bit just to make it consistent, fixed a couple errors I found while doing it, and wrote up a summary of the game so it's easier to see what happened. Whee!
 
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