PAX Unplugged Debrief

It was a long and arduous weekend for Wreck n Rule; we played a ton of matches, met even more people, and shared in a ton of laughs, smiles, and overall good times. This will be a short, written recap of Joe and RJ’s matches from Saturday. Look for a longer, all-encompassing debrief in video form early next week. It is something we will echo continuously over the next couple of days/weeks/months/years, but we are truly grateful for each and every one of yours support and we cannot begin to thank you all enough. Without you all, none of this is possible.

Joe

This is just going to be a recap of my PaxU 2019 Energon Invitational matches and what I could recall about them that matters.

First, the list I used for constructed.  I took my Anticipation Cars list and removed the tricks and cuteness for more direct aggression.

Bumblebee – Trusted Lieutenant // 10 stars
Prowl – Military Strategist // 6 stars
Cliffjumper – Renegade Warrior // 8 stars

Actions
3x All-Out Attack
3x Confidence
3x Incoming Transmission
3x Peace Through Tyranny
3x Roll Out!
3x Start Your Engines
3x Supercharge
2x Zap

Armor
1x Bashing Shield
3x Improvised Shield

Utility
3x Turbo Boosters

Weapons
3x Erratic Lightning
3x Grenade Launcher
1x Mounted Missiles
3x Sturdy Javelin

Sideboard

Private Turbo Board – Air Command – Evac // 7 stars (swap out Prowl and Mounted Missiles)
1x Crushing Size
1x Debilitating Crystal
1x Disarm
1x Enforcement Batons
2x Fight for Position
1x Fog of War
2x Hijack
1x Work Overtime

Round 1 – Constructed – Ray C – 2-0

Raider Kickback / Raider Chop Shop / Kickback / Skrapnel

Heavy blue/tough/repair deck

I managed to SYE+AOA (Start Your Engines then All-Out Attack) in game 1 which left him unable to catch up. It helps to read cards too because I attacked into his alt mode Raider Kickback when I didn’t need to wasting an attack, doh. His deck couldn’t defend and repair faster than I could dish out the damage.

Round 2 – Constructed – Danny T – 2-0

Optimus Prime BFL/Lionizer/Razorclaw

Sitting across from this was terrifying at first glance because I knew I was going to get hit…hard. Luckily I managed key SYE+AOA plays in both games and was able to dish out more oranges faster than he could.

Sealed Team

Ion Storm / Sergeant Mirage / Raider Detour

Having pulled Ion Storm, Reprocess, and Dismantle, I felt very confident going in.  I hopefully learned from our mock sealed video we did in November.

Round 3 – Sealed – Skyler T – 2-0

Captain Astrotrain/Turbo Board/Raider Blackjack

Seeing Astrotrain worried me a little, but the odds of him having a way to keep 3 upgrades on him while I had Ion Storm was impossibly low.  Turbo Board was a non-issue on both sides. I managed to pull off a lucky defend when he sent a huge attack into my Mirage for a KO, but I flipped over a Heroic Resolve.

Round 4 – Sealed – Matt M. – 1-2

Ultra Magnus/Thundercracker

Won game 1 easily and then the downward spiral began.

Game 2 I was thinking too many turns ahead and flipped the wrong character.  I sent alt mode Ion Storm into his Magnus with an increased HP upgrade. My opponent started to clear Magnus off  the board and I had to quickly stop him.  I knew Magnus would still have a HP left post attack.  Had I flipped him correctly, he would have been KO’ed and it would have been a 2-0 situation.  That was not the case.  My game 2 loss was nobody’s fault but my own and I blame that one play for the rest of my day which put me in a negative mentality.  Matt won game 3 easily as nothing went my way.

Round 5 – Sealed – Navarre D. – 0 -2

Lord Megatron/Private Greenlight/Raider Laserbeak

Navarre was my only 0-2.  Aside from drawing cards I was unwilling to play, (my hand at one point was 2x Hidden Fortification and Urban Camo)  Navarre did a great job of directing my attacks, keeping an eye on my deck, and flipping Megs at the correct times.  Having a terrible hand plus being outplayed was an easy 2-0 for him.

Back to constructed, can I regain my footing?

Round 6 – Constructed – David B. – 1-2

Skrapnel/Kickback/Barrage/Chop Shop – Orange Bugs

4 wide orange should beat 3 wide orange.  I believe I SYE+AOAed every single game to swing the game in my favor and I’m 100% sure after every single time I did that, he managed to have an ISF in hand to match my team and out orange me to death.

Round 7 – Michael P – 1-2

Captain Jetfire/Raider Aimless

Heavy blue, heavy tough.  My key cards in this match-up were Zaps, Bashing Shield, Sturdy Javelin, and after sideboarding, Enforcement Batons and Disarm.  My deck relies on base numbers and lack’s a suitable piercing victory.  Unlike the heavy blue bug decks from round 1, Jetfire’s constant ability to draw is incredibly beneficial to manipulate defends against a deck that lacks pierce.

—Drop—

The competitive side of me had it and I was too disgusted to continue. There was nothing at X-4 so I was done.

Overall, not a single opponent of mine was rude/nasty/sighing heavily or anything of that nature.  I observed no negativity or gloating during any of my matches and I commend all of my opponents for good sportsmanship.

I do not recall if I was, but if any of my opponents noted anything negative from me, I apologize here and now.  Please message me so we can discuss that if necessary. I WILL apologize to you personally if there was any type of negativity on my end.

That is the end of my write-up regarding my EI experience.  Take from it what you can/want and let’s look forward to TFTCG 2020.

RJ

As I told Skyler in Round 2 after he whooped me (more on that shortly): I am going to try and be much better about posting my decks online – consider it my New Year’s Resolution. With that being said, for better or for worse, here is the deck I ran at the Energon Invitational this past weekend at PAX Unplugged. If not on our videos, I will be posting my decks on fortressmaximus.io under WreckNRuleRJ.

First a bit about the deck itself. The deck is a play on what I qualified with in the EIQ as I ran a heavily modified version of Carl’s Secret Sentinels deck. The Wave 4 version swaps out Ironhide for Impactor as it gives you access to some other tools – mainly the ranged package, should you choose to go that route. The general thinking is you always send Impactor out first in Bot Mode, as he is unlikely to be KO’d on their first swing with his 12 health and 1 defense, plus Tough 1 from Prime. Then on your second attack, you flip Impactor to Alt Mode, giving Prowl Bold 3 (Bold 1 from Impactor, Bold 1 from Optimus, and inherent Bold 1), and depending on the board state you can either suit Prowl up to blow something away, or if you can get there without a weapon, you can begin suiting Optimus up for late game. As I mentioned a bunch of times, sideboarding is not my strong suit. I was worried about wide teams and so I thought Photon Bomb would be a good help, and I was worried about Galaxy Prime so the Disarm and Debilitating Crystal was for him. The System Reboot was for Shockwave, and the Sabotage Armaments was for more removal and probably, definitely should have been main boarded, as should have the Disarms and more removal in general.

With that being said, let’s get to the match-ups.

Round 1 – Hot Wheels with Legendary Bee – 2-1

I was fortunate enough to win the die roll and go first. Having played a ton of Hot Wheels myself I was comfortable in knowing what to do against the deck. Knowing that the deck had a ton of untaps, and him being able to protect Wheeljack at all costs, I swung first into Bee and put a ton of early damage on him. My next turn I was able to wipe Prowl off the board in one shot and it was pretty much game over from there. He was able to suit Wheeljack up with a Forcefield late game which I had no answer for but I was still able to pull out the game 1 victory. I believe he sideboarded some cards, though I chose not to. I don’t exactly remember what happened in the next two games, but he was able to take game 2 with him seeing a lot more of his untaps, and I turned it back around and won game 3. From what I remember, all three games were fairly close.

Round 2 – OA Shockwave – 0-2 Loss

I kept telling everyone all weekend how I was steamrolled by Skyler in round 2, and his deck left a pretty sizable impression on me. He ran Major Shockwave with Drag Strip and Raider Ratbat. As it is, my deck is very light on removal and card draw so I knew as soon as I sat down I was going to have a pretty bad time. What I was not prepared for was an OA Shockwave, so when he plopped down a Decepticon Crown on Shockwave I knew it was going to get ugly quick. I was able to draw some early removal in game 1 to try and slow him down, and I think I did as I was able to get rid of both Drag Strip and Ratbat fairly easily, though he didn’t seem too bothered by it. Not being able to play things from hand really hurt as I oftentimes drew into a PTT or IS and had dead plays. I had Impactor and Prime left to his Shockwave when he was able to OA Prime and poke Impactor the same turn to end game one. All I will say about game 2 is that I got Brainstormed into a double OA and it wasn’t really close. Skyler was a stand up guy and I had a great time playing against him. He did his part in keeping my strength of schedule high all evening.

Sealed Team

Captain Astrotrain

Private Pteraxadon

Raider Needler

I thought I pulled a pretty good sealed team and was able to get value out of a lot of my battle cards. A fully suited Astrotrain with both battlemaster on him would yield an ungodly 12 atk/6 def character in a format that was hurting for consistent removal… or so I thought.

Round 3 – Ionstorm/Sideswipe/Laserbeak – 0-2

I don’t remember if it was an 0-2 loss or 1-2 loss, but I am leaning on thinking it was 0-2. I knew the round was over before it even started as there was absolutely nothing I could do about Ionstorm bouncing my battlemasters off of me and going back down to base 1 defense. I suppose I could have played a long, grindy game and kept Astrotrain in other modes to try and up my livability but I don’t think I would have hit hard enough to keep it close. There’s really nothing remarkable about this match up.

Round 4 – Lockdown/Novastorm/Flak – 2-1

This was one of the most fun matches I had all tournament as it was a very tightly contested affair. We will both admit that throughout the round we made multiple play mistakes, and if you are reading this forgive me as I’ve forgotten your name but I know you are from Toronto! It was back and forth the entire time and he was an absolute joy to play against. Honestly, what sticks out the most are the mistakes so I won’t go into them, but know I won on sheer luck at that point.

Round 5 – Ionstorm/Greenlight/??? – 1-2

Darren, I don’t remember your third character but I’m sure you will let me know who it was. Another closely contested match where I was somehow able to steal game two but knew I didn’t stand a chance in game three with him having Ionstorm. Nothing really remarkable happened in this match-up as we both just kept piercing each other to death. Again, and a common theme of the weekend, Darren was awesome and just a pleasure to be around all weekend.

From here, we go back to constructed in an attempt to claw my way back to relevance…

Round 6 – OPBL/Nightbird/Fireflight – 2-1

My opponent and I were both very openly tired at this point but still had a ton of fun. He had a really fun deck where he was running Swap Missions to tap down Fireflight and Nightbird to get extra attacks out of OPBL. Highlight of the tournament for me was PTT’ing Impactor in game 3 to be able to wipe his OPBL off the board before he got to attack with him again, leaving him unable to recover with the other two characters. I forget where Gunnar said he was from, but I remember him saying he won his invitation through a small coffee shop maybe and he hadn’t been playing the game for too long. He had a firm understanding of the rules, knew what he was doing, and was a blast to play against.

Round 7 – Impactor and the Off Road Patrol – 1-2

At this point, Owen hadn’t lost a single game in constructed yet but went 0-3 in sealed. Game 1 he wiped the floor with me and it wasn’t particularly close. This was the first time since round 2 where I sideboarded anything in as I pulled in the Photon Bombs to deal with his wide team. I was able to see the Photon Bomb and play it correctly and won game 2. He was going first game 3, and knowing that, I sided into OPBL for the only time all evening to prevent him from being able to suit too many of the Off Road Patrol up and one shot most of my guys. It didn’t matter as he, like I did the round before, managed to PTT (to which he mentioned he had never done before and have always wanted to) Impactor and get the wheel turn back. It was still a lot closer than I thought it would have been after that, but he still pulled out the win. Owen was awesome and we hung out most of the day on Sunday! It was also a pleasant surprise learning that he was the infamous “Pteraxadon Kid’s” older brother, who Joe and I met at GenCon. Owen also top 32’d GenCon with a General Optimus/Ultra Magnus deck!

I dropped after that as I knew 5-4 wouldn’t win me any prizes. I have one main regret aside from maybe some poor deck construction, and that was not playing out the rest of the Invitational. I dropped from the tournament every single round at GenCon because I was looking to qualify and wasn’t able to do so. I finally qualified, made it to the Big Show, and should have continued to play to see where I stood amongst my peers, and for that I apologize as I robbed some people of some good matches. If I didn’t mention it enough above, as Joe stated before me, not a single person was the slightest bit rude and everyone that I came in contact with was a blast to be around. That being said, I look forward to doing better next time.


As always, keep your eyes on the Wreck ‘n Rule YouTube channel for our usual shenanigans. Also consider supporting us on Patreon, since the proceeds go toward helping us upgrade our recording set-up AND toward throwing some sweet custom swag your way! Plus, we now have merch available too!

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