Chibi: Bryan What were your expectations prior to attending WGB Houston?
Bryan: I expected a ton of Bahamut at WGP Houston, and for Houston to be one of the most competitive events to date. I also expected a lot of decks that were geared to beat Bahamut, but still failing to do so.
Chibi: With the trends of the previous events prior to WGB Houston, what did you decide to enter with? What was your preperation routine like prior to Houston?
Bryan: I decided to enter with Granny OTK, which basically smashed Baha Blast and Banzai Grimm together to make a deck that was really good against Bahamut.
Ruler: Falltgold, the Dragoon / Bahamut, the Dragon King
4x Hunter in Black Forest
4x Ruhk Egg
4x Guinevere, the Jealous Queen
4x Little Red, the Hope of Millennia
4x Cthugha, the Living Flame
3x Granny by the Fireplace
3x Gwiber, the White Dragon
1x Susanowo, the Ten-Fist Sword
1x Duel of Truth
4x Laevateinn, the Demon Sword
4x Poison Apple
1x Wolf Haunted in Black Forest
Magic Stone Deck:
4x Magic Stone of Heat Ray
5x Fire Magic Stone
1x Little Red, the Pure Stone
1x Snow White
1x Apostle of Creation
1x Susanowo, the Ten-Fist Sword
1x Duel of Truth
3x Bullet of Envy
2x Crime and Punishment
3x Split Heaven and Earth
1x Clockwork Apple Bomb
2x Basket of Little Red
Leading up to the event, our team was trying to decide on which deck to bring to Houston. We quickly figured out that Baha Blast was the deck to beat, so we threw everything at it to see if it had a favorable matchup. Nothing worked, but the closest we got was Banzai Grimm. We ended up putting the Little Red + Gwiber engine in Bahamut, tuned it up, and got the deck we got today.
After deciding on the deck, I goldfished with the deck a ton, and played it against Baha Blast alot. I always put Baha Blast on the play, so we’d be testing worst-case scenarios and I’d get used to being in an unfavorable position.
Chibi: Bryan what would you consider your optimal hand post mulligan for each type of deck – Banahmut, Melgis, Caine, etc?
Bryan: Against Bahamut, I want to open a hand of Ruhk Egg, Laevateinn, Little Red, Apple, Cthuga. It’s a hand that gives you a ton of options, and good on the play or the draw, and allows you to cut off a lot of their plays. Against Melgis and Cain, the best hand would be something along the lines of Ruhk Egg, double Cthuga, and double Laevateinn. It’s basically the nut draw, and Cain and Melgis have little counterplay against it.
Bryan: MVP card is definitely Ruhk Egg. It’s a card that gives the deck so much flexibility and consistency. It’s also the hardest card to play with in the deck, and incredibly punishing if you search the wrong card off of it. Without it, this deck wouldn’t be nearly as strong.
Bryan: Practice,practice, practice. You will die more to your own mistakes than to whatever your opponent is doing. Plan ahead whenever you search, shift between plans whenever the situation calls for it, and goldfish with it a lot. Always be aware whenever you have lethal, or can set up for lethal, and there is almost always a better line that you can take.
Chibi: What was your matches throughout the event? Where there any key matches that really tested your skill as a competative duelist?
Bryan: I played a couple of R/B/W Vlads that side boarded in to other rulers, and a G/W/R Grimm list that tried to OTK with Rapunzel. Besides that, only played against Bahamut and Melgis.
There was one match, round 9,that I felt that showed how much I’ve grown as a player. Game 1 was a game that took a lot of calculating, so both my opponent and I used up a lot of time. There was a decision where I had to choose between killing his Bahamut with my Susanowo, or hitting face. After playing out a whole bunch of different scenarios in my head, I calculated that attacking the face was better, and it worked out. Before Game 2, a judge warns my opponent for slow playing, since he was slow playing in previous rounds as well. We start Game 2 with 21 minutes left on the clock, and I open bricks. We play out a couple of turns, then I realize that this wasn’t going to end soon, but I wasn’t going to win as well. So, I scooped up my cards and went to game 3, because I thought I had a better chance of winning being on the play. If I played out game 2, I probably wouldn’t have time for game 3. I ended up winning game 3 with very little time to spare, so it ended up being really strong decision.
Chibi: Reflecting back on WGB HOuston – was their any choices that you thought you should’ve made but didn’t prior to entering?
Bryan: I really should have had a Melgis in the board, against opposing Melgis on the draw. I didn’t respect how good Melgis was, and really should have. Other than that, not much besides not having a Duel of Truth in the main. I was pretty happy with my deck choice and preparation.
Chibi: Bryan, Do you have any comments you would like to add? Any tips for new players looking to play Force of Will on a more competative level?
Bryan: I’d also like to thank my playtesting team Elex and Chris, as well as my support team of Kyle, Ben, and Gerard.
For players who want to get better, the best advice I could give is practice constructively. Grinding a thousand games does nothing if you don’t learn from it. Try and analyze your mistakes, find better lines, and learn throughout the whole process.