By: Chris “ Chibi “ Michaelis
Chibi: Well I Believe this is my 2nd time writing on you isn’t it Kai?
Kai: (laughing) yes actually it is, you wrote an article when I placed 2nd place at the Force of Will State Championship 2015 Bracket Victoria.
Chibi: Just for our readers, could you please reintroduce yourself buddy…
Kai: I have been playing TCG since I was 14-15 years old, so around when I was in year 8 or 9, so around 2007 or 2008. The first TCG game I have ever played was YuGiOh, started playing during DaD return format, I did play a bit of Cardfight Vanguard just for casual because my friends got me into it, and some WoWTCG as well. Cardfight Vanguard and WoWTCG didn’t accomplish anything because I only played those games casually. As for Yugioh, I got many tops in regionals, first regional top was in 2010 got top 16 I believed in Melbourne Regional, 2011 top 8 in another Melbourne Regional, 2012 top 4 in Adelaide Regional, and got 40th -50th place for Australia’s first YCS held in Sydney in 2014. I really prefer control style of any deck, if you tell me to use a combo deck I will guarantee you that I will screw up the combo up and processed on losing from there because of that single screw up, that’s why I prefer control style, is very simple and rewards you by punishing opponent for over extending for no reason
I heard about FOW around 2012, when it was release in Australia in Japanese, also I was seeking a new game to play other than Yugioh and etc, just something new and fresh. However it was in Japanese so pretty much I said I will wait for it to come in English. So in 2014 the game was release in English, obviously it was Valhalla cluster with the life break and so on, but I like the whole life break mechanic. Not because is “luck sack” is because if forces your opponent not to over commit and taking everything into consideration, showing that you have a backup plan even though its random, if they lose due to life break is because they didn’t took it into consideration.
Chibi: I know your last event was the State Championship 2015 Bracket Victoria, how many players attended your Grand Prix?
Kai: It was located in Melbourne and it was approximately 40 people who attended with 5 rounds of Swiss.
Chibi: Prior to this event how did you prepare? Was it any different from last event’s preparations?
Kai: Practice is one of the factors how I prepare for the event; the second factor is use whatever deck I was comfortable with. I can play standard Abdul, turbo Pandora control and etc, I can play all of those but I feel I am not comfortable with it, it wasn’t worth the risk, just because someone do well with that deck doesn’t mean I will. Lastly my final factor is making the deck into my style, on how it suits me and how it creates every card I draw is playable in every single way as possible.
Chibi: So you decided on Abdul once again it seems.
Kai: I entered black Abdul control, using green as support and not the focus of the deck. The reason why I choose this build is because I did very well in the Force of Will Qualifier around June. I just made some minor changes to it. Lots of people asked me why I don’t play so many green? Is because I told this to so many people, you can mana ramp all you want but if you don’t have a big follow up play after ramping, a very smart player will know that you’re just ramping for no reason and you’re over extending you resources. Not only that you reviewed what your hand is, what I mean by that is by ramping you drop cards such as gretel, elf’s and etc to start the ramping going, but also leaves your hand wide open saying that I have very few cards left and if they killed it or cancel that play, you have no back up play for that, and you will be top decking for an answer. While using black, I don’t ramp a lot but I gain control on the field and hand a lot better than green can do. Such as turn 2 and 3 double spiral despair or you have a big resonator on the field? Allow me to stun it by using bind of gravity. You have a dude that is protected from spells? Let me drop a Carmilla onto you. This version has stronger plays than standard green control Abdul deck has in my opinion.
Just because green is good, doesn’t mean it can’t be stopped. And I already proved that by going to the finals without focusing green as my main.
Chibi: looking at your deck list, I noticed almost immediately that your line up is not like the standard Abdul control deck……….
Kai: Why did I build it this way? Well because it is simply suited my style. Not only that I say this version is a lot better than green control Abdul, since the fact is that I don’t have to wait for 2 black/green stone to in order to do judgment to pressure my opponent. Also green has a lot of ramping, which means you show your opponent
What your hand is. Since you will be dropping resources on the field such as priest and Gretel, reveals the naked hand you have with low amount, and they will just play around the cards in your hand, after they played around your hand, there isn’t much you can do after your resource is gone. And green control Abdul is a lot more in the late game all action, but my version has a lot early game action such as binding, spiral of despair, turn 2 Lora search power. The deck has plays after plays and so on. Rather than green control, Gretel and Elvish in my opinion doesn’t do a lot of threat beside speeding the deck up. Obviously the speed of the deck isn’t as fast as ramp green, but I rather have consistence with my plays than speed. Also the deck has the best top deck ever, you top deck into any of those cards except cancel spell, is very strong. Top deck a Lora, search for our 4 drop power, top deck into Cinderella; you can nuke the field, top deck into bind; stun their resonator, and so on. Plus this has a better match up against Aggro/odd Grimm because the fact the 1 drops and spiral is very devastating. Also is element of surprise, that you can catch people off guard expecting the standard Abdul, but in realty is black control Abdul, which is a lot more painful than green control Abdul. Also this deck can play very well without siding.
Chibi: What’s was your MVP card during the event?
Kai: I would say bind of gravity, just a simple 1 drop that can take down a lot of cards, such as big resonators example is Mephistopheles, if I don’t have a stoning or Carmilla, bind can just shut it down very easily. Also against ramping deck as well such as players uses priest and Feisthsing, which relies on tapping to ramp very fast, so by tapping it its just a useless elf on the field, also very effectively against rush deck, because if they rush sometimes I don’t have a kill spell in my hand I can simply drop binding and just stun their resonators for a while, and lastly it allows me to go for the kill, by giving it to my own Mephistopheles, to give it double attack. And I do believe bind is the card for this format with everyone ramping, putting big resonators and rushing. Is like countering all 3 things with 1 card, nothing can go wrong with it.
Chibi: Which card underperformed in your deck that you felt should not have?
Kai: I felt that every card in my deck did very well. So there wasn’t any underperform in the main deck, however in the side deck law of silence; I didn’t find I even side it at all even against burn aggro deck because the deck can already do well against what they can push back at me, especially bind of gravity that can easily shut down rush/aggro deck
Chibi: Did you have any unique tech added to your deck since your last event?
Kai: Spiral despair, bind gravity, and Lora. Well most people use Abdul as part of ramping and getting enough magic stone. So meaning they couldn’t use very early game power cards to give you the extra advantages. If you remember most Abdul deck only runs at most 5 black stones which is 4 black/green and 1 true stone (some uses it, some don’t). So what does this mean? Like I said they are just ramping, so when I was versing a control mirror match he was only ramping very fast, but I turn 2 and 3 spiral despair him and all those ramping was worthless because he has nothing left to play with after all that effort of ramping (laughing). Bind, enough said about that card, is the MVP card of this format which almost does a lot of things you need! Shut down rushing, show down tapping ability, shut down big resonators and gives you the chance to OTK with your own big resonators, what more can you ask for a single card and it’s a cheap 1 drop as well! Lastly Lora, a lot of people don’t use Lora but just go main 2 or 3 Carmilla in deck, Lora is very good turn 2 play, able to drop it to search for your 4 drop without worrying not drawing into it? Yes please! Also it can search itself for deck thin purposes very good card that just give you a free plus one each time you play.
Chibi: Do you have any particular strategies or combos you strive for?
Kai: Well this is a control deck, so there isn’t much combo at all… (Laughing), other than the Meph + bind OTK that is basically it.
What would be considered an optimal hand for you post mulligan?
Usually how I play this deck I will return all my high drops and cancel spells back to the deck, now a lot of people asked me why return your cancel spell? Well simply because is only good in the late game, not in the early game, especially this deck doesn’t ramp like the typical Abdul green control. You don’t want to be in a situation that you have 2 or 3 dead cards in hand you cant use until the late game. So the best hand would be to have any 2 drop plays such as Lora, Cinderella or spiral despair, and some stun or kill spells, such as bind, thunder, stoning, outer and etc. If I were to keep any cancel spell in hand as my opening hand I would only keep the cake zone, simply it has a high chance that card being live than a dead card like Xeex which requires 2 green instead of you 1 green. And it is not always guarantee that you will get double green/black on your first to three turns later.
Chibi: Do you feel other players play this deck incorrectly?
Kai: It really depends, because if the player uses this as a greedy way it will mostly backfire onto them. What this deck does is to slow gain advantages, and win from there. In order to use this deck very effective, don’t play it very greedy, it will cost you the game. But again, everyone has different play style so its all depends on them, I build this version of Abdul which suited my style and it goes with the flow with me.
Chibi: Any suggestions for other players on how to play the deck or to be more specific how to play your version of the deck?
Kai: Change the deck to your style so it will suit you, you can copy the deck all you want, but you won’t be able to play it as the same style as I can because the deck I build was simply to suit me. So make changes and test it on how it works:D
Chibi: Would you like to clarify on any particular card choices?
Kai: Bind of gravity is a very key card in this current format, because lots of people loves to play big resonators and resonators with tap ability such as feithsing for example, I rested that type of resonator, you can’t attack with it, can’t block or can’t even use tap ability. Not only that is a good 1 drop that can stop rush, such as big tinker bell and etc.
Spiral despair, is a very solid turn 2 play. If you have 2 in opening hand is pretty much you just win on the dot. Because like I said green likes to ramp which means they have less cards in hand, while they are ramping discard their hand so they have no follow up plays, same with aggro deck, once you get rid of their hand, their field is pretty wide open for massive destruction. >=D
Chibi: What was your match line up this time?
Kai: I versed 2 little reds, Odd Grimm, Dark Pandora turbo, and Charizard in swiss. I went X-1, the build I used had so much control to the point that my opponent was running out of options. Not much I can say on this part, they were all very good players just wasn’t prepared for this type of build I was using I believe. >=P
Chibi: Reflecting back on the event – was their any choices that you thought you should’ve made but didn’t?
Kai: I believe the main deck was completely fine, but I might considering taking out law of silence from the side board, it was mainly to prevent split heaven and earth for resolving since its a chant, so I can delay a turn, but I never find it that helpful when I verse other decks that doesn’t use heaven and earth. Won’t be so sure what I will replace it with, but overall I am happy with the choices I made.
Chibi: on 24th of July Millennium of Ages will be released, is there anything from the spoilers that have been revealed that you possibly feel might be worth testing in Abdul?
Kai: Book of Eibon, simply because the deck I build has a way to get a card off the field. If your opponent plays a big resonator such as Meph for example. If you cancel it or kill it with stoning to death, and able to revive it on your turn, would be very devastating. Not only that this card is searchable, not the new searcher, but the old searcher from return set, and it’s called speaker of creation. Able to search for any field addition and added it to your hand? Yes please, I would love to search for the Eibon or Necro (laughing – we both did this a lot while writing the article).
Chibi: What do you expect or hope will happen in the future with FOW?
Kai: Hope for a lot of good artwork, and also some kind of indication to tell the whole world what is the main format, because a lot of people is confused which format is the main, since some countries plays origin as main, some plays Grimm cluster as main and etc. So hopefully the company itself will let us know what the main is format that everyone so focus on. Also hope restriction list comes soon for any format we have at the moment, some of the cards are just too good to be a 4.
Chibi: Will you be attending any future events?
Kai: I have an invitation to play at worlds, but I don’t have the finance to go because going to worlds isn’t cheap down here in Australia. Maybe if I get sponsor by FOW itself then maybe 😉 (Laughing). But at this time I won’t be traveling to attend to any events.
Chibi: well that sucks, you wont be there this year. I don’t get to hang out with my Skype buddy this year it seems.
Chibi: Do you have any comments you would like to add? Any tips for new Players?
Kai: Come out and share as many idea as you can when comes to deck building, you never know, you might run into an idea that no one thought about And as always to have fun regardless you lose or win!