SoCal Crystal Cup Report: Vince Angeles

Yo! Vince Angeles here. Mono earth enthusiast. You may know me from my sharing of drake memes and the zoomed in picture of cockatrice all over facebook comments. I've always told Matt how I wanted to write an article for Meta Potion, but never felt I had the credibility or notoriety. But I figured why not! I am a resident of San Diego, and regularly participate in the amazing SoCal scene, predominantly events organized by Meta Potion. Needless to say, we are all very lucky to have the most active community in arguably the world.

So let's talk about SoCal Crystal Cup. The timing of this event was as if it was the season finale of opus V. I am known to always play earth, even when I tried other decks I always gravitated (or should I say, graviton'd?) back to earth. I was tackling between wind/earth Dadaluma & Cactuar and mono earth, but eventually decided that I'm much more practiced and experienced with mono earth.

As far as decklist, with the new set on the horizon, I don't think it's necessary to share. I did make the top cut to advance to day 3, so my decklist is floating around somewhere. The main spice cards I included were WRO Members, 3 of each of the backup and forward. I felt like they are currently good in the "meta", with 7k/8k brave for only 2cp. It came in handy in almost all of my matchups, just early forwards swinging at my opponent. The rest of my deck is pretty standard, with 2 Bangaa Thief and 2 Psicom Enforcer to play against the monster decks I was afraid of. I felt like this deck had an answer/play for each matchup, so it was generally strong, just had to draw well and play well. It had 10 earth summons in total so I had 2 copies of Graviton.

The first day I played local San Diegans in all of my first FOUR matches. I was livid. Out of 70+ players I had to play all my local buddies. What are the odds? I mean, San Diego showed up big with I think 15 players, so it isn't that farfetched. I started the day off against Jeremiah Kehler's Lightning Fire Aggro with haste and unblockable. We went to time and turns, in which I took the win. We talked about it after and said we wouldn't have played the last few turns the way we did if it wasn't timed, so it balances out. The play that saved me was when he played new legend Light Vaan and used Belias on him to haste, he would have won that turn by dulling my forward and making another not block. Luckily, I had my trusty COCKATRICE in hand and used it real quick, to which Jeremiah said "Clutch Cockatrice, my friend!" PRAISE BE TO COCKATRICE.

Anyway, the rest of the day went pretty standard. I played on stream twice. The first match on stream was against Jason Wivart, another San Diegan. Playing in locals, I knew his deck was a problem for mine. His deck was a sweet strategy with simply bouncing your forwards and jabbing you for damage with haste cards Adelle and light Onion Knight. Playing mono earth, I hate bounce effects with a passion. Funny enough, the drive up with my crew BTH (more on that later), I kept saying how I just want to dodge Jason. So it just so happened that we were the feature match! Going into the match, I was 0-5 against him, but the experience paid off as I went wide as possible and put out my cheap WRO members for him to famfrit early on. You have to just eat his removals and bounces early and hope to stabilize. I got a clutch Gaia's Wrath to break three of his forwards, and played an Emperor just before so he couldn't use Adamantoise to save his Adele. Two forwards went to damage and with him running only 10, it was tough sledding for him and he couldn't put down any blockers.

So my group/team call ourselves BTH (Boy's Tree House). We are all friends since high school and we've called ourselves that ever since, so to show up in style I decided to make hats for us to rock. When I was on stream I made sure to expose it, leaning in to read cards when I didn't need to. It also has San Diego on the back so I was glad to rep BTH and San Diego on stream!

My second feature match came against the 44 EX Deck Nicholas Borsari ran. It was a fun match and he was a cool dude, I was joking around with him when I attacked with Wol and called no EX on attack and he hit a Porom off the top, and he started to look at the top 3 cards of his deck. I yelled "I said no EX!" and he was startled and said "oh you did!" and started to put the cards back. I explained I was joking and Porom still works and we were laughing. I like to keep it loose in my matches and keep it friendly, we're all here to have fun! I ended up having to play Wol five times in total throughout the match since he knew Wol was his kryptonite. I get him to 6 damage when I was at 6 for a long time, swinging my 9k brave WRO members over his Kam, but unfortunately he hit a 7cp odin on his sixth damage, disrupting my attacks. He then drew the nuts, a leviathan to bounce my Guy and cait sith to dull my last blocker to win the game. One of the most fun matches I've had!

We ended the day with me being the only BTH member to make it to day 3 sadly. But we did manage to get 5 San Diegans in the Top Cut, which is awesome! My group was late to show up to Korean BBQ, but it was amazing to see the large group of people together having dinner and just having fun. My group stayed at the same hotel as Matt Okimoto, where a group of people had gathered to meet after KBBQ to play some crystal hunt. Fun times!

For day 3 I was matched up against David Cox, another San Diegan (of course!). I knew the matchup, but game 1 I didn't anticipate a third earth summon for him to get a third graviton pump off of on the stack, so I end up losing to that ultimately. I was ready for two, but not three! When you have it, you have it! I then lose game 2 by a really crappy draw, even after a mulligan. I didn't draw any backups, then I drew an Enna Kros, so I overpaid for it. Then I drew a miner, so I played a miner with no backup to pull back. I just pretty much lost at that point, so sadly my run for the top 4 ended abruptly.

Overall, the event was well organized and went smoothly. Shout out to Henry Do and his shop Card Game Coliseum! It was great seeing everyone as always. My main goal was to qualify of course, but making day 3 I felt pretty proud of. Shout outs to my team, BTH! Josh, Mike, Azul, Phill, Kevin, Jojo, Mikki, and the rest of the San Diego group! Can't wait for Opus VI!

P.S. Sorry to Sam Prime, I let the Cinnnamon Delights down!

Also, don't Gaia's Wrath into Urianger/Yda/Papalymo. You will only kill Urianger. LOL whoops!

- Vince Angeles

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