Exclusive Interview with Dorian Ha – 2nd Place Winner LA Regionals

By: Chris “Chibi” Michaelis FOW Team USA
What is your name and how long have you been playing TCG’s? What games were they? Did you have any accomplishments in previous TCG’s?
My name is Dorian Ha and I have been playing TCG’s since I was 11. I started off playing Pokémon in the Senior Division and took 2nd and 3rd at two consecutive Regionals event and took a long break from competitive play afterwards.

What are your preferred style of decks to play and why?
I prefer an aggressive play style in Force of Will as it forces my opponent to react to my plays. It may seem ironic, but I think that by playing an aggro deck, I control what my opponent plays during their first 3-5 turns. Due to the low cost nature of an aggro deck, I can play most of my cards to pressure my opponent early, and by utilizing that, my opponent must react by either killing them off or countering them which leaves me to play my higher costing resonator cards later without fear of a Xeex or Exceed.

How long have you been playing FOW? What interested you about the game or what do you like about FOW particularly?
I started playing Force of Will during the initial release of the Grimm Cluster. The most interesting part of Force of Will is creating the sideboard for decks that I play. It may sound odd, but I have never made a sideboard deck before.

What’s was the name of the event(s) you topped or won? where/when was it and how many people attended?
I got 2nd at the Force of Will Regionals held at Anime Expo. I believe there was a total of 271 players at the event.\

Prior to the event how did you prepare for the event and what was your expectations on what you types of decks you were going to face? How is you meta compared to other areas
Prior to the event, I played with my group of friends to fix my sideboard. I play tested against the general decks such as Abdul/Charizard/Grimm. I expected a bunch of control decks to be played at the event and mainly focused on gaining the advantage against those types of decks.

What deck(s) did you decide to enter with and why (each event if more then 1)?
I decided to go with Bahamut Burn for the event as I had the most win rate against Control decks using that deck. The deck is very consistent in

Ruler: Falltgold, the Dragoon/Bahamut, the Dragon King
Main Deck
3 Wolf-Haunted in Black Forest
2 Forced Growth
1 Blazer, the Eater of Dimensions
4 Rapid Decay
3 Spawn of Blazer
3 Dragon King’s Flame
4 Thunder
3 Loup-Garou, the New Moon
3 Purifying Fire
4 Hunter in Black Forest
1 Little Dread, the Fake Red Moon
3 Split Heaven and Earth
2 Apostle of Cain
4 Seven Dwarfs
Stone Deck
9 Magic Stone of Flame
1 Little Red, the Pure Stone
Side Board
1 Apostle of Cain
1 Spawn of Blazer
1 Split Heaven and Earth
2 Forced Growth
3 Duel of Truth
3 Eden, the Crimson Garden
1 Gilles de Rais, the Golden Dragon
1 Blazer, the Eater of Dimensions
2 Crime and Punishment

Any tips for other players on how to play the deck(s)?
If you are playing against control, bait out the Counter spells! Always kill Elvish Priest, that floating “1” green will/400 blocker will make it much harder to win.

Would you like to clarify on any particular card choices in the deck(s) you chose?
I believe that Forced Growth is something that people don’t use regularly due to the fact that almost everyone I faced had to read the card. I think that Forced Growth is a great card to have due to its versatility towards the meta. By using Forced Growth in the deck, I have more spells in my opening hand to counteract Elvish Priest as well as a 400 damage kill/buff spell. Forced Growth allows me to keep Thunder for the burn needed later or even to target J-Rulers. Along with that, it can be coupled with Bahamut/Seven Dwarfs to dish out 1100 damage (3 will!) to kill off blazer, which forces my opponent to use 5 will the turn after to summon him.

What was your match line up for the event(s) you can put in as much detail as you like. But pls give as a minimum the decks you faced at event(s)
Van Helsing: 1, Charizard: 2, Abdul: 2, Grimmia:1, Grimm: 2, Dracula: 1, Pandora of Dark: 1

Im sure throughout the event there was one particular match that tested your skills, care to share it with us?
Round 7: Bahamut vs Scheherazade
The round started off with my opponent winning the dice roll thus going first. At the start of the round, he started off with Elvish Priest. After using rapid decay to destroy the Elvish Priest, my opponent got off a Gretel into another Elvish Priest. During his turn 3, I believe he had a total of 5 dual magic stones (2 untapped) along with 2 Gretel, 2 Elvish Priest all untapped. At this point, all I had on the field was a Spawn of Blazer. Once I started my turn, I tried for a Loup-Garou play to relieve some pressure, but was quickly countered by a Xeex. At this point, he had one card left in hand against my 5 cards and 3 fire stones on board. He started his turn and J-activated Scheherazade which allowed him to search for any card in his deck. By doing this, he had a total of three cards in hand. After ending his turn, he had a total of 4 untapped will, which is a very bad sign for me. As we continued the match, my opponent had full board control, with Carmella and his J-Ruler active, I had no choice but to scoop.

After the first round, I sided in my fourth copy of Split Heaven and Earth along with 2x Forced Growth and Apostle of Cain. I sided out 3x Purifying Flames and 1x wolf Haunted. My opponent on the other hand, sided in Abdul as his J-ruler which caught me off guard. I started off drawing 2x Hunter, 1x Rapid Decay, 1x Seven Dwarfs, and 1x Loup-Garou. Keeping everything, I started off with Hunter in the Black Forest and swung for 300. After that, my opponent responded with the occasional Elvish Priest. Using Rapid Decay and another Hunter, I totaled my damage to 900 on turn 2 while my opponent had nothing on board. During his turn, he opted for Gretel and an Elvish Priest. At this point, I attacked with my Hunter which he blocked with Gretel (Probably due to Bahamut’s J-Activate being able to kill it off later) as well as blocking the other hunter with his Priest. At this point, I gained another will and summoned Loup-Garou to swing for 800 Damage. At this point, I had drawn into a Thunder and Split Heaven and Earth so if my opponent had no will the next turn, then he would lose. My next draw was a wolf Haunted which secured my win against my opponent. By summoning her, I was able to attack with swiftness as well as j-activate Bahamut to kill off another resonator. After this, Split Heaven and Earth finished off my opponent.

At the final round, I sided in 1x Spawn of Blazer, 1x Gilles De Rais, 1x Blazer, Eater of Dimensions in exchange for 3x Wolf Haunted. My reasoning behind siding out my wolves are that I needed bait for my opponent’s Exceed counter spell. The match was a very long and tedious match as we calculated each other’s will pool to find out how much damage can be done during that turn. The match was a stalemate for the majority of the match. I ended up pulling out all 10 of my stones from my magic stone deck and my opponent had 11 special magic stones. During the turn that I had 10 magic stones, my opponent had 4 cards in hand and I opted to summon Little Dread with Awakening to steal my opponent’s Carmella. He respond with an Exceed to counter her, which left me with 5 will to summon Blazer from my hand. Attempting to summon Blazer, my opponent responded once again with Exceed. At this point, my opponent has played 2 Exceed and 1 Absolute Cake zone with ~ 18 cards left in his deck. I had in hand 2 Split Heaven and Earth and nothing else. I had a total of 2400 hit points and he had 1200. During his turn he hit face with everything but 1 Elvish Priest leading me to believing that he had at least 1 Xeex/Exceed in hand as well as 2 unknown cards. I started my turn and drew into my third copy of Split Heaven and Earth. I casted one and was countered by an absolute cake zone. Having my opponent draw another card due to having Gretal on the field, he had a slight grin on his face. I casted another Split Heaven and Earth, and got countered again by the card he just drew. Drawing another card and having 3 will open, I checked my options, and had to just pray that he did not just draw into another Absolute Cake Zone. Casting the Split Heaven and Earth, the whole crowd watching the match goes “Holy Shit” and my opponent took out his hand to offer me a handshake for a great game.

This ended my longest match in the whole event and also my most enjoyable match. The match was without a doubt, the most nerve wrecking match as I had no idea what is happening as both players were just waiting for the other to pull the trigger.

Reflecting back on the event as there any choices that you thought you should’ve made but didn’t?
Before the event, I should have gone with my gut instinct and thrown away all the Eden, the Crimson Garden from my side deck. After 11 rounds of play, I did not touch them once…
Do you forsee any changes in the format with the release of Millenia/ Engage Knights later in July?
I have not researched enough about the new sets to see any major changes. The cards adds an interesting aspect to the game, but without playing any of the cards, I can’t tell if there will be any changes in the format with the coming of the new sets.

What do you expect or hope will happen in the future with FOW?
I am expecting a huge growth in the Force of Will scene. The community is great to discuss deck ideas and socialize with and there are so many helpful people in the community.

Will you be attending any future event?
I will be attending Worlds in Tokyo.

Do you have any comments you would like to add? Any tips for new Players? How would you compare this to the current popular trading card games?
I would like to thank Patrick Vu, Travis McPherson, John Pham, and Ryan Graves for doubting me. This motivated me to invest more time in refining my deck for the tournament which helped me tremendously during this event.

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