A Fistful of Dice EC
Stronghold: Kyūden Isawa
Date: 03/17/19 thru 03/17/19
Location: Portsmouth UK
Occasion: Elemental Championship
Edited: 4 weeks ago
I had gone into this tournament, my first in just under a year, hoping to scrape into the top 16 and win some sleeves. I did a lot better than I had hoped and ended up 7th overall, crashing out hard to a top Crane player in the quarters. It's really got my appetitie for tournaments back, and I feel like I have made a marked improvement in my play over the length of time the game has been out.

Round 1 v Guy (Unicorn) - Now I don't remember an awful lot about this game as the adrenali [continue reading]ne was pumping and I was so determined to win a game that I was concentrating really hard I think. If I remember rightly, there was a Master of Gisei Toshi out on my second attack on the stronghold (Rally to the Cause), possibly in combo with Atsuko attacking void and obviously using that ring to nullify his events. This meant that capticve audience, and thus cavalry reserves could not be played and it clinched me the game with 3 province breaks each. Guy has designed an excellent swarm deck and it is intense to play against so I was happy to resist the stampede, and also happy to win against him as he went on to win every remaining game and won the tournament.

Round 2 v Darren (Crane) - I had never met Darren before but knew him as a top Crane player and this matchup showed the gulf in class. I was quite nervous about playing a world class player if truth be told. Toshimoko and a Magistrate Station I could not break combined to create a lot of problems, and when the Guest showed up I was left with no options and conceded. Picked up some good tips in the aftermath though, particularly that it is usually a good idea to not attack Crane on round 1 to eliminate the risk of revealing the Magistrate, meaning the burn some resources while you build a board state that can control the game. One great tip I saw here was Above Question being used on my Phoenix cards to prevent me from using events on them!

Round 3 v Lloyd (Phoenix) - I felt like I was settling into the tournament by this stage and was fairly relaxed and focused in this game. Lloyd was playing a very interesting homebrew Phoenix ring manipulation deck and some of the tricks he was pulling off were really sweet. On turn one I got a Shiba Yojimbo out and she eventually became quite tooled up with a wanderer for covert and honour. She then did her job later in the game by protecting the other Shugenja from events and relaly proved her worth in this matchup. Looking back, perhaps more than 1 copy would have been a great idea! I remember in this game that Kanjo came out at the right time, and I managed to bow both an honoured Kaede and an honoured Azunami just when they were posing a huge threat from clarity being used on them. Meanwhile I also managed to five fires (unfortunately without an embrace attached). And I managed to defend a province at just the right time to make it 3-2 in my favour with the first player coming to me.

Round 4 v Liam (Phoenix) - This was an intense game. Liam has obviously played in a lot of tournaments as is a very fast player. He also plays with an intensity that can put you on the back foot. But he was also a good sport and recognised my lack of experience and allowed me to take back some ridiculous moves. It turned out to be an absolutely fantastic battle and was probably my favourite of the day. 3 province breaks each and I had a Tadaka out which was causing damage. Unfortunately for me, a Secluded Shrine was included in Liams final flop, allowing him to claim the Earth ring meaning he could play events again and that was it for me. It went to the wire, but in the end I succumbed.

Quarter Final v Darren (Crane) - Yep, was playing Darren again and although I felt more relaxed, I think this was more of a pasting than the last game. I again hit magistrate on turn one and Toshimoko ended up honoured and causing all kinds of problems again and it was no contest.

I really had a great day and was very happy to come away with all the swag that I did. I think I played well in 3 of my 5 games with both of those games being against a top Crane player and my not really understanding the match up that well. I will definitely be looking to attend or organise more competitions in the near future.
Elemental Championship
Stronghold: Kyūden Isawa
Date: 01/26/19 thru 01/26/19
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Occasion: Elemental Championship
Round 1 vs HMT Unicorn KoF

I lost 3 provinces early, letting them burn some essential cards. I found Tadaka and censured Captive Audience when it came to Kuroi Mori to shut down HMT. With Unicorn stalled out on my stronghold, I built up my side and won by conquest.

Round 2 vs Dragon SoV

Limited early buys and aggression to stockpile fate. I mulled for and played attachments and characters to prevent Restoration of Balance from hurting too badly. Tadaka [continue reading]showed up and prevented them from playing cards. Won by conquest.

Round 3 vs HMT Unicorn HMT KoF

Limited early buys to stockpile fate, offered token defense to keep them from breaking too much too quickly. I lost multiple defenses, but saved breaks by 1 force. I built up fated, honored characters including Master of Gisei Toshi and went on the attack and won by conquest.

Round 4 vs Crane KoA

I made some play mistakes here, namely forgetting what Cautious Scout did. Boneheaded. I face planted into Magistrate Station and later Shameful Display. Winnable game, but I got too far behind and couldn't come back in the face of honored Yoshi and Guest of Honor. I should have committed to more defense to keep the Crane from getting too far ahead. Loss by conquest.

Round 5 vs Dragon SoV

Limited early buys to conserve fate. I played attachments and characters to lessen the impact of Restoration of Balance. I bilt up fated characters to make a nice board. Consumed by Five Fires wiped out 4 fate and cleared his side. I found Tadaka to turn off all his events and found Kanjo District to break his stronghold even with Sacred Sanctuary. Won by conquest.

Top 8 vs KI Phoenix SoA

Charge and Lion splash Phoenix, so no Tadaka. I had a godawful flop and starting hand so focused on defending and getting the favor, which was managed with unbowing a shugenja at home and winning 1 ring with a Shrine Maiden. Turn 2 I found Tadaka and had the favor, so I was able to shut down pretty much anything he could try. Won by conquest since he couldn't play any cards.

Top 4 vs Crab KoW

2 clutch Displays of Power prevented the Crab from making any headway in controlling my side of the table and kept me free to go on the offensive. I passed early to deny fate and built up a pretty big fate disparity. Once I got a card advantage too, honored Tadaka/Adept of the Waves were able to smash through provinces and eventually break the stronghold.

Finals vs HMT Unicorn KoF

Rematch of the century! Unicorn came out guns blazing, but conserved many of their high impact events as much as possible to limit the impact of Tadaka when/if he arrived. I offered token defense and tried to keep pace, but gave up provinces too easily. Captive Audience is a neat way to get around Clarity of Purpose. When Tadaka and Censure didn't show up, I was unable to stop the bleeding and they were on my stronghold quickly. I didn't have enough characters or control pieces and just got run over.
York - Travelling Man Elemental Championship
Stronghold: Kyūden Isawa
Date: 01/26/19 thru 01/26/19
Location: Travelling Man, York
Occasion: Elemental Championship
13 player tournament.

1st round vs crane koair - managed to keep par with honoured characters to keep voice off, broke magistrates first turn, eventually outvalued
2nd round vs dragon - managed to hit provinces in right order and avoid resto, broke box
3rd round vs phoenix/lion splash - running charge as RL, I saw atw, he didn't
4th vs scorpion kyuden bayushi - lost, couldn't get a good board state going enough to capitalise on his dropping honour ad lost to box br [continue reading]eak

top cut
semi-final vs unicorn - he broke early and aggresive, was on box at start of turn 3 but tadaka and kuroi mori shut him down
final vs phoenix - rematch of third round - got card advantage and managed to see right cards at right time, tadaka in final turn and 50/50 to avoid manicured meant got the win
Winter Court World Championship 2018 Proving Grounds
Stronghold: Shizuka Toshi
Date: 11/04/18 thru 11/04/18
Location: Fantasy Flight Games Center
Occasion: Winter Court World Championship 2018
1 win 1 loss.
Winter Court World Championship 2018 Day 1A
Stronghold: Shizuka Toshi
Date: 11/02/18 thru 11/02/18
Location: Fantasy Flight Games Center
Occasion: Winter Court World Championship 2018
Edited: 6 months ago
Winter Court World Championship 2018 Day 2
Stronghold: Shizuka Toshi
Date: 11/04/18 thru 11/04/18
Location: Fantasy Flight Games Center
Occasion: Winter Court World Championship 2018
Jigoku Test Games
Stronghold: Isawa Mori Seidō
Date: 11/05/18 thru 11/05/18
Location: Jigoku
Occasion: Testing
Edited: 6 months ago
Paired up against Keeper of Water Crab and Keeper of Air Phoenix.

Notable happenings this game were my opponents bidding 1 either turn 1 or turn 2 in anticipation of me hitting the brakes to drain honor when I just wanted cards to create advantage. I got pretty low on honor in both games while my opponents floated on double digits, but I used my card advantage to win conflicts and just break provinces with a bigger and better board. If I have 10+ cards in hand and my opponent does [continue reading] not, I can aggressively use policy debate to attack their hand and see what awaits me to better navigate the conflict phase. I won both games on conquest.

Probably the most interesting moment was against the other Phoenix. I got to poke water then dump 2 Ningyo and Seeker of Knowledge to break the last row province and fire off an air ring to get me back to a safe honor total.
Woodforsheep Stronghold Conflict #3
Stronghold: Shizuka Toshi
Date: 10/20/18 thru 10/20/18
Location: Woodforsheep
Occasion: Season 1 Stronghold Conflict #3
Edited: 6 months ago
2 games played.
Shogun Challenge @ The Sword & Board
Stronghold: Shizuka Toshi
Date: 10/22/18 thru 10/22/18
Location: The Sword & Board
Occasion: Shogun Challenge
3 matches played.
Heroes World Stronghold Conflict #4
Stronghold: Shizuka Toshi
Date: 10/13/18 thru 10/13/18
Location: Heroes World
Occasion: Season 2 Stronghold Conflict #4
Edited: 7 months ago
3 games played.
401 Games Stronghold Conflict
Stronghold: Shizuka Toshi
Date: 10/14/18 thru 10/14/18
Location: 401 Games
Occasion: Season 2 Stronghold Conflict #4
Edited: 7 months ago
3 games played
Grand Kotei
Stronghold: Golden Plains Outpost
Date: 08/02/18 thru 08/04/18
Location: GenCon
I had a great time at GenCon. However, first round was against Nick Soto (Phoenix fish boi for days) who was at the top of Swiss on Day 1A. I defeated a lion player round 2 on HMT. Then round 3 I was up against Trevor Cuba, which is an excellent Crane player. Round 4 I needed a win to make the cut, but had a mirror match. The other unicorn player had the encampment turn 1...I didn't so it was pretty easy for him break my provinces and SH.

I did go to the skirmish event on day 1A and [continue reading] defeated a Dragon and another lion player on HMT. My loss was against a Core set SH lion player. Finally, I played one round of the skirmish event on Saturday to get another KoF vote and played a Dragon player and won with TW being the MVP. I dropped to play in A:NR where I proceeded to go 50/50 Wins and Losses in 7 rounds of swiss.

So overall record with this deck at GenCon was 50% 4 wins and 4 losses:
Wins - 2 Dragon, 2 Lion (HMT)
Loses - 1 Phoenix, 1 Crane, 1 Lion (Core Set), and 1 Unicorn
L5R Tourney - Prep for GenCon
Stronghold: Golden Plains Outpost
Date: 07/22/18 thru 07/22/18
Location: TEG - Broomfield, CO