On August 26th fanZ hosted the first ever tournament of power! The 16th most successful players from OP season 2 gathered and faced off in a brutal single elimination online championship. After all of the battles when the dust cleared there stood only Tommy Mains and his Supreme Kai Black Conflict deck !! We have added Tommy and his deck to the Deadzone’s Hall of fame. Also, look forward to posts this week containing the Tournament of Power deck lists. Tommy was kind enough to do a write up on his tournament season and on his tournament of power experience as well. We hope everyone enjoys the read and once again congratulations Tommy!
Qualifying for the Tournament of Power
By the end of FanZ OP1 I had finally found my deck: Namekian Restored Nail. I had it fine-tuned to hang with all of the big boys, and I had truly never loved playing a deck more. When Restored was frozen, I questioned whether I would want to keep playing this game. I peaked at the dates for OP2 and told myself that I would try to make it to one event for old time’s sake if I could get the old crew together.
Eventually, I found my next deck: Mischievous (Golden) Frieza. I submitted an early version of it to the Octgn League Tournament, which had Power Level on the line. I went on to test this deck more than I had tested a deck in months. I was a full believer in that deck for the current environment. My wife was pregnant, and I knew that the closer to the due date we got, the less likely I would be able to go to events. So, I looked back at the schedule and found an event I could go to: the Kenosha, Wisconsin Qualifier.
As I stated in the report for that tournament, I had never entered a tournament with more confidence than Kenosha. Losing to Steve A’s Mischievous Dabura in round 1 crushed me. I had truly planned on going undefeated that day. I battled back in Swiss and made top cut. Top 8 was a rematch against Steve’s Dabura deck, Top 4 against Joshua Gregory’s Adept 17 (undefeated on the day up to that point). Finally, Mike Tiegs and Retribution Trunks were all that stood in the way of my invite. Mike is a great opponent, and I may have just gotten that invite had a Mischievous random discard landed on Time is a Warrior’s Tool twice, but that’s another story.
I had secured 1000 PL, and I had no amount of confidence that 1000 would be enough to get into the Tournament of Power.
In the OLT, I was winning, mostly. I misplayed against Amplified Roshi (possibly Mason Knox). I also finally defeated Dakid in tournament play (still want that Nail rematch). Into top cut I went. Top 4 would secure some Power Level, but not much. I lost to Dan Dagron’s eventual OLT winning Tag Team Freegeta in the semi-finals. I knew it was a bad match up, and Dan snagged victory for the taking. With 1050, I would surely be on the outside looking in. I did the math, there was little to no chance.
Enter Trevor Cox. The Nebraska knockout just kept topping events, gobbling up Power. Scouters were shattering as he piled up the air miles. Kevin Dennis would also go on to prove to be a force in OP2 showing the world Protective Future Gohan and, later, Blue Cell Mill. With these two, and others, gaining Power Level from multiple events, my 1050 became increasingly viable.
The Michigan Qualifier was the final event of the season. I couldn’t make it, but I was glued to the coverage. As top cut was announced, I sketched out who would have to win to guarantee my spot in the ToP. Of course, disaster struck. It was Eric NG v Frank DeLuca in the finals. If Frank wins, they’re both in the ToP, and I would be out. Both slinging surprise decks, Eric was able to come out on top in the best of three match.
So that was that. I was in the Tournament of Power. I may have snuck in, but I was incredibly excited to play with the other top players of the season.
The Tournament of Power:
Conflict Supreme Kai vs the World
Round 1: Mike Tiegs—Black Mischievous Trunks
I didn’t know what to expect from Mike going into our match. I was surprised to see black, less surprised to see Trunks. We were the only two black decks to enter, which saddened me as a fan of black overall.
I knew that I was prepared for anger, but Trunks didn’t need much time to threaten mppv. His level 2 was able capture some dragon balls, but the low crit threshold of Conflict coupled with unpreventable Trick Shots kept the balls mostly under my control.
Supreme Kai’s slow attrition was enough to pressure Mike into entering with suboptimal hands. He was able to keep my board relatively under control with Trunks’ Knee Bash, but I eventually prevailed by survival with my 7th dragon ball in hand and Trunks at Level 4 with 2 anger. GG Mike!
MVP: Black Trick Shot, Energized Strike
Round 2: Jeff Sosa—Namekian Knowledge Future Gohan
I felt great about my matchup against Namekian going into the ToP. I was hopeful of advancing to the top 4, but I knew any game against Future Gohan could go downhill quickly.
While he was stuck on level 1, I was able to maintain at least a feeling of advantage. As he began to bounce around his levels 2-4, he began getting a lot more value from his personality powers. Unfortunately, I do not remember a lot of the details from this match. I know that we each had some dragon balls banished, but I recall bouncing Kami a lot in order to limit the dragon balls that he could play against me.
MVP: Black Searching Technique and Black Swipe–used to remove Gohan’s energy blocks ensuring that I could push damage through.
Round 3: Cody S.—Saiyan Dynamic Broly
I was not looking forward to this match up. Establishing a board was going to be challenging, let alone surviving at all. Cody always seemed to have a Saiyan Crouch in hand to block one of my attacks each combat. However, I did luck into Namek Dragon Ball 6 very early, which was incredibly helpful.
Cody was off to an early lead. I hit a turning point when I got Ox King onto the board, lessening the power of the Saiyan monster’s attacks. Later, after Ox King had hit the discard pile, I used a Supreme Kai’s Ki Blast to get Kibito from the Banished Zone. Immediately after declaring my target, and placing Kibito into play, I knew I had made a mistake. I needed Ox King on the board to limit damage.
Late game, I had 14 cards left, he had 7. He drew for turn, entered and threw a physical. I was able to take almost all of the damage on an ally. I then used Corruption with Black Conflict Mastery to banish two cards. He threw another physical, I blocked. The. I attempt to end combat with Supreme Kai’s Telepathy. With only 2 spheres accounted for, I was worried. Another attack would probably kill me, or at least do enough damage to cause me to draw out on turn. However, he had no sphere. Combat ends. I draw and enter: Broly dies reaching into his bag for one more trick. R.I.P., big man.This one was really close, and I knew Kevin would be thrilled not to have to take on Broly for the title match.
MVP: Black Conflict Mastery for stage gain and Namek Dragon Ball 6 (possibly for every combat that game).
The Finals: Kevin Dennis—Blue Tag Team Vegeta (hero)
Having lost to Dan’s version of this deck in the OLT with a Black ball deck, I had a strong feeling that this was not going to end well for me. Roshi Ally, Assisted Kamehameha, Sinister Choke, Galic Gun, Final Flash, and Blue betrayals all drastically affect my deck and chances of victory. I had Searching Techniques, but no Scouting Maneuvers: trying to avoid or remove all of those threats just wasn’t going to happen.
Early on, I had some great draws—namely Kibito. I was also able to pull out my full suite of allies, at the cost of burning 2 SK Ki Blasts on non-god allies (Ox King and Korin).
Final Flash was a true detriment to my board and action economy, but I was able manage his allies quite well with Black Halt and Black Declaration. By using those cards on his allies, I was not able to abuse Kami to get my dragon balls to board— which with Vegeta’s high crit count, was not my first inclination anyways. Keeping the dragon balls in deck would be very relevant to the last two turns.
Kevin is a fantastic player. He took every opportunity to learn my deck and make the best decisions he could. I played conservatively, as noted on the stream. I continued to recycle cards into my deck—mostly energy blocks. Through a combination of Black Captures, Black Swipes, and Black Searching Techniques I was able to banish many of the above mentioned threats; others, unfortunately, I had to take, keeping life deck counts in Kevin’s favor for much of the game.
At two different times, I was able to land a Capture on Vegeta, enabling me to sit back and relax. Neither would last too long, Kevin rushed into combat hurling powerful attacks and trying desperately to keep any of his allies on the board.
The end: after a big attack, I end up with 3 balls on bottom, 5 total cards in deck. I have Namek Ball 5 in hand, Black Recollection Drill and 2 Power Ups on board. I draw my 3 for turn. With Ball 5, I draw into ball 7, I Place Black Swipe, Black Halt, and Crushing Beam on top of my deck. Finally, I Kami and rejuve, reflecting on what could be left in his deck to cause any surprises to the finale’s script I see playing out in my mind.
Kevin enters. Unless I’m missing something, I’m in the clear. Surely, though, there’s something I’ve missed. I’m a scrub, a bubbler, a misplay maker, I’m no world champion. Kevin throws an energy attack. I’m relieved that I didn’t shuffle my deck with SK. I use Black Swipe and look down at my Power Up. Oh no. Surely he knows my plan, he has Implication. He’s going to cancel my setup and swing with his power for the game… I have no other choice, I tap Power Up ask for any cancels—there are none. Combat ends. With two balls in deck, I activate Recollection Drill, milling 5 from me, and Kevin’s final 5 cards.
I made a few misplays throughout the day, but things worked out for old Supreme Kai. I am so glad that I went with my gut on one of my secret, original builds. We could rerun this tournament countless times with me losing in any round, but on that Sunday, coming off a 6 day work week and going into another one, it felt damn good to be the World Champion of an amazing fan extension of a game I’ve been playing since middle school.
I have the utmost respect for my opponents from the ToP, and I cannot wait to compete for a chance to defend my title.
Thanks for reading,
Tommy Andre Mains
2018 Tournament of Power Champion
My wife: we had hardly seen each other all week, but she supported me taking nearly entire day off from being an adult.
My Locals: Chris Lambkins for sharing costs on the Kenosha trip and for supporting SK! Brandon Mains, Albert Hendrickson, Chris Williams, and John Benoist for continuing to play this game with me when we can, and for helping me to be confident in my deck choice!
Devs: we all know you’re doing this on your own time. I speak for many others when I say, thank you for keeping this game alive!