Irish Fortune Tour Finals Report | The Irish Duelist

Irish Fortune Tour Finals Report

After The Irish Open a fortnight ago, there was a lot of work to be done before the Irish Fortune Tour Finals. What event revealed was that the standard of the game, and the format that we were in, made it difficult for any player to do really well in an event of that scale. Even though I played well that time, I didn't have the good fortune to top the event. The Fortune Tour Finals would be a smaller event, but the quality would be more concentrated.

In the week leading up to the event, Yu-Gi-Oh! was one of the last things on my mind. I had assessments for art college on the Friday, and I had caught the flu bug that was going around on the Monday. The flu stopped me from doing anything for 3 days, and when I recovered I had to cram in as much work as I could for the assessments. Come Friday evening, everything was (thankfully) out of the way and i could start working on my deck for the Fortune Tour.

First port of call were the top 16 decklists from The Irish Open, where every single piece of tech and style of deck that I was expecting to face was available. After that came the top 16 decklists from Shonen Jump San Francisco. Like everybody else, I was intrigued by Johny Nagel's Gravekeeper side, Jae Kim's Oppressions and various other pieces of tech designed to take down TeleDaD. Around this time, Jae Kim and Matt Peddle were posting 'Well of Information' topics on Pojo, where they would answer anybody's questions on the game and other things. I took advantage of this and read up on everything to get as much information as I could. So, with all the above taken into consideration, I built the deck that I would work on over the weekend.

I head into Limerick at about 9.30 for locals. I had missed the first week of the Hobby League due to The Irish Open, but made up for it with a 5-0 sweep the week after. Even though I wasn't going to be staying for the entirety of the event, I felt that I needed to at least get some wins under my belt, both for decktesting purposes and to (hopefully) take the lead in the Hobby League. I ended up going 3-0 before dropping as I had to head away and get my train to Dublin and even though my meta isn't exactly the most challenging (it's a casual local, where very few people bother to build TeleDaD or Gladiator Beasts or anything) I had a lot of fun (as usual, I love playing in Limerick) and got some much needed confidence and decktesting under my belt.

The train journey up to Dublin was quite smooth, but it was also pretty damn expensive at €58 for a return trip. I arrive in Dublin at about 3.15 and Dave Duggan, who I would be staying at the hostel with, got off his train 10 minutes later. We decided to head to Forbidden Planet first, as I needed to get some sleeves, but it was lashing with rain outside the station. We try (along with 20 other people) to get tickets for the Luas, but the machines were all broken/short-circuted due to the stormy weather. The tram lines up and we risk it, jumping in without a ticket. 5 minutes later we're off before anybody notices and head to the store, only to find that there aren't enough packs for the both of us. With that we head around Temple Bar, getting soaked in the process, looking in every comic and gaming store for some sleeves. All sold out. Great. Eventually we head back to Forbidden Planet and pick up the last 2 packs (not enough, since Ultra Pro only do packs of 50) before checking into Isaac's Hostel at about 4. I stayed here twice before, once for The Irish Open with all the Brits, and for 2008 Nationals before that. It's a great little place to be for a Yu-Gi-Oh! weekend: right in the city centre, with instant access to food, internet and public transport. The 'bomb shelter' is also a really handy place to play cards, and after we went online for a few hours at a nearby café, we tested on the pool table for about 6 hours, up till 12am. Alex Hayes, one of our local players, had given us a decklist that himself and Galy de Obaldia were working on while we were at the café and we tested it out, along with everything we had planned ourselves. After going through everything in that session, I decided to side Alex's/Galy's idea, while Duggan mained it. The decks were ready, the sides were ready, we were ready, and with that we called it a night.

We get up at about 9 and head downstairs to write up our decklists. After sleeping on it I freshly analysed all the deck choices I had made and felt confident enough that it would do well. Duggan did the same and we left the hostel at about 10.30 to get some food and head to Wynn's, the tournament venue. Once there, we meet up with Stephen Harrison-Daly and Anthony Toner, and get a few games in before heading up to register. The room was small, but more than capable of holding everybody. After some chit-chat with various players we get paired up and take out seats as Head Judge Duncan Tang briefed the players. With that done, things kicked off.

Round 1 vs. David Wilson [Lightsworn]
I'll let it be known now, I don't like playing against Lightsworn. There's so many different things they can do and they can explode at any given moment. That power, backed up by Honest (one of the best designed cards in the game I might add) make this a very tricky matchup that can go either way. Things are tight for the first few turns as we both set ourselves up for the eventual flurry of cards that would end the game. He manages to bring out a Celestia, which I am forced to Solemn. He then gets another out and hits me for 2,300 before I peg him with Colossal Fighter. Eventually he drops Judgment Dragon and seals game 1. I side in Thunderkings and either Oppressions, Bottomlesses or Light-Mirrors (I forget which) and after hitting Thunderking in my opening hand I prevent him from doing anything and gradually knock him down. Game 3 was interesting. I take the lead in the early game with Thunderking again, and soon after get out Dark Armed to dish out some damage but soon enough, he finds a way to get out Judgment Dragon and forces me to start over. To make matters worse he plays Monster Reborn so that I can't make a comeback with a top-decked Synchro or Dark Armed. I top Allure, and draw into Light-Imprisoning Mirror and Dark Armed Dragon with exactly 3 Darks in my grave again. Unfortunately, if I held on to the Dark Armed I was going to lose next turn as I had no way to set up the Light-Mirror in time so I end up removing it and setting my Grepher. Judgment attempts to nuke, and I flip the mirror, but the combination of his Judgment and my Thunderking means he has enough power to run over me regardless. It was a good game, very exhausting as we pushed each other to our very limits and further confirmation (as if it was needed) that this event wasn't going to be easy, despite the attendance of just under 40 players.

Games: 1-2
Matches: 0-1

Round 2 vs. Paul Sweeney [Gladiator Beasts] {Feature Match}
This was going to be interesting. 'Peps' is quite a good player, and it was his Feckin'Gadget deck that I used to almost top the finals in Manchester last year. I haven't played against him in almost a year (I beat him with Magical Explosion last February) but with the Irish dueling community being so tightly-knit we knew each other well enough to make this a good battle, or at least I hoped. First game I play Destiny Draw on my Diamond Dude and he hits me with Solemn Judgment, leaving me with no live plays. I'm stuck with Solemns and Krebons and don't draw anything worthwhile for the rest of the game. For game 2 I side in Oppressions and Thunderkings in an attempt to lock him down. In theory they should work well against Gladiators, even if I have to play it smart and adjust my TeleDaD playstyle. I get things set up fairly early with a set Oppression and flip it when he tries to tag out. Unfortunately I couldn't draw anything of note and when I try to make a push he Bribes my Giant Trunade, stopping me from going into a 'Synchro Rush'. I summon Breaker and pop his backrow before attacking into his face-down monster. I was expecting it to be a Gladiator Beast Hoplomus or something like a Morphing Jar as he set it after I played Oppression but it turned out to be Legendary Jujitsu Master which threw a massive spanner in the works. A few things happen after that which end up with me pitching Thunder King Rai-Oh into the grave for Phoenix Wing Wind Blast after I had normal summoned Breaker again. I try and Reborn it and forget that he could use my Oppression aswell. It was a glaring misplay, but by that stage I had no other outs and he would surely have topped something to get rid of me anyways.

Games: 1-4
Matches: 0-2

Round 3 vs. Rick Mackey [Lightsworn]
This was not a good position to be in. At 0-2 down I needed to go 4-0 for the remainder of the event to prevent any future embarassment. Peps was telling me after the feature match that, considering the small attendance, everybody that finished 4-2 'should' top so I wasn't going to give up. I was on the lowest table at the tournament, right beside the main Judges table, where one of the Judges, Gareth Shaw and we have a quick chit-chat and a laugh about him being my 'good luck charm' for the rest of the day. Regardless, I needed a win here or else I was going to drop. Game 1 was surprisingly easy given that I was playing against Lightsworn. he goes Lumina, Lumina, Lyla on his first turn and mills 9. Next turn he runs over my monster with Honest and gets 2 attacks in before milling another nine. I didn't have much going on but I had topped a Spirit Reaper and had a feeling that he wasn't getting anything good (his Judgment Dragons, Honests and Celestias were all milled, and he milled 2 Wulf which locked his field up with 5 monsters). As long as I turtled up and didn't get killed, he would deck out in 2 turns. I set the Reaper and end, he does nothing and mills 9 again, now left with only 1 card in deck. I top Necro Gardna and set it, and he scoops next turn with no outs. Game 2 I open with 5 monsters and Allure, but his opening isn't all that impressive. I think he recharges and sets a bluff to end. I need a Grepher and I can OTK him, or at the very least, bring him down to a scoopable LP count. I top Sangan and play Allure drawing into Caius and (YES!) Grepher. Away went the Sangan and I do Malicious into Grepher, pitch Plague to pitch Gardna, Drop 2 Dark Armeds and 'PlagueStack' for Colossal Fighter. I lay into him and he has a Gardna, finishing up on 700. he scoops next turn as he tops nothing. I was off the mark, now to fight my way back into this thing.

Games: 3-4
Matches: 1-2

Round 4 vs. Johnny McShane [TeleDaD]
That game was surprisingly fast so I had about 20 minutes before the start of Round 4. Seamus Allen had just won the Dragon Duel and got his Shonen Jump Crush Card Virus as a result. Myself and a few others start making bids for it and I end up making 2 offers to him for it: My full Lightsworn deck or my Gold series Crush Card, 3 Thunderking, 3 Plaguespreader, 3 Solemns, 3 Bribes and 3 Allure (or something like that, I know I offered a lot anyways). Despite these 2 offers I get outbidded and lose out. Nothing I could do about it, and I'm not too disappointed as I still have my own crush Card. Eventually the pairings go up and I'm against a familiar opponent. I played against him at both 2007 and 2008 Nationals at around Round 4 or 5 in 2 fairly good games and this was going to be no different. The first game went over and back a bit until I hit him with Crush Card Virus and play around what I saw off the hit. Second game I have Crush Card and Mirror Force ready and try to bait him into getting any Synchro other than Stardust, which he picks anyway. I can't do much afterwards and lose that game. Luckily, he didn't see any of my side-deck in that game so I still had a bit of an edge. Game 3 and I hit him with Crush Card again (I think) aswell as Royal Oppression. I force him to waste almost his entire hand on getting rid of my Spirit Reaper before topping a Heavy Storm. I play it, he chains Teleport, I chain Oppression, then I chain Teleport and he chains with my Oppression, which I was expecting. Either way, 800 'burn' each. I awkwardly get out Colossal Fighter by going Teleport, tribute for Malicious, Teleport again or something and run over his Diamond Dude. He's under Crush Card and doesn't top much that can get rid of the Colossal and I take it. Good game, very tactical, and I was still alive in this tournament.

Games: 5-5
Matches: 2-2

Round 5 vs. Gerard Losty [Lightsworn]
Another Lightsworn deck, I'm getting sick of these. Give me some TeleDaD mirrors! Regardless, Losty is a good player, and his performance at The Irish Open, where he topped, proved it. In the first game he didn't get much, had to go Lumina into Ryko instead of Garoth as he milled 'crap' basically. I get out Colossal Fighter, which does what it has to do. Game 2 it was my turn to draw crap and a combination of Honests and milled Wulfs take it for him. In the final game things go each way for a little while, but I top into Crush Card and strip him of pretty much his entire hand. From there there's nothing he could really do and I take the win, now within touching distance of a Top 8 finish despite all the odds stacked against me an hour ago.

Games: 7-6
Matches: 3-2

Round 6 vs. Salem Teko [TeleDaD]
I'd write about this match but there's no point in reading about games 1 and 2 when all the drama came in game 3. The game was going fine for both of us, we were chatting away having fun and all that when he plays Allure of Darkness. He draws 2 and removes Krebons. After that he plays Destiny Draw and draws 2 and things start to go downhill. I ask him "Where's the card you discarded?" and it turns out he drew 2 without discarding. He showed me the Diamond Dude and I asked him if it was okay to call a Judge and see what he says. He told me it was fine and that he had made an honest mistake. At this point there were a few people watching all this as it folded out and the judge came over. Salem explained the situation and the judge gave him a Game Loss. Not good, as soon as he said that I knew I was going to get lynched for this by everybody for the next couple of months. I honestly thought he was going to get a warning, or that he'd have to re-play the situation or something. The fact that he got a gameloss makes it look like I was trying to 'cheat' him out of a win and there's no doubt that that's what everybody is going to think. Going into this round I was assuming that 4-2 would equal me topping, I didn't know how good/bad my tiebreakers were or how many other people were going to be on 4-2. Had I known all this I wouldn't have called the Judge, but my competitive edge took over and I instantly regretted it. Salem's a good player, the nicest guy you'd ever meet and for all this to happen is not good. He may have topped had it not happened. All I know is, I'm Public Enemy #1 at the moment amongst the rest of Irish players, and they're never going to let me forget it.

Games: 9-7
Matches: 4-2

Playoffs and After-Event
I didn't deserve to top after the way I played out that final round and karma being what it is, I ended up in 14th place, as there were 12 players on 4-2 and my tiebreakers were abysmal. For the record it was 6 TeleDaD, 1 Lightsworn and 1 Gladiator Beast in the Top 8. I hung around for a few games with people before the Top 8 playoffs started. Once they did, I joined a few King of Games side events, winning the first one and losing out in the second. I didn't pull anything worthwhile either. Duggan tells me that he's getting the train home now instead of staying a second night in Dublin and I wish him luck. After that I had a few games with people and then took on the Judges in a few games for fun. Andy Cummings comes up to me for a game with one of Duncan's decks and wins the die-roll. He opens with Delinquent Duo (!) and I realise that I'm playing against a 'proper' Chaos deck, one far better than the one that was used in the Chaos v TeleDaD match that I took part in a few months back. I get rightly trounced in a highly enjoyable fashion before swapping decks and Yata-Locking my own TeleDaD on the first turn. Chaos is definitely better than TeleDaD, nobody can question that. After watching the finals for a brief moment (Barry Moran won, congrats to him) I watched Duncan take on Stephen Lynam with the Chaos deck in one of the funniest and most enjoyable games I've ever seen. I then take the deck and misplay the hell out of it in a hilarious match against one of my local opponents who was running Yusei Synchro.

After all that I join the Judges and a few others as we headed off to Burger King. Eventually, the group split into 2 and I headed back to the Judges apartment with Duncan, Gareth and Andy. We play a bunch of games and make plenty of 'Level 1 Judge' jokes at Gareth's expense (I got my fair share of 'turty-tree' jokes again seeing as these guys are all British) before I talk to them all about the Round 6 incident. They said that I did nothing wrong in calling a Judge (Andy) over and that Salem could have appealed the decision, Duncan thought he would aswell. Eventually we finish up at about midnight and I crash at their place, not risking walking alone in Dublin in the middle of the night. We get up at about 10, have a few more games, and head our seperate ways as I get the train home, with that match on my mind every second of the way.

Props and Slops
+ The high standard of competition
+ Jeff for showing up
+ Isaac's Hostel for being so cheap and handy
+ Duggan for joining me on Saturday
+ Alex Hayes for the deck help and ideas online
+ Seamus and Barry for winning Crush Cards while not owning any of their own beforehand (a nice touch)
+ Duncan, Gareth and Andy for letting me hang out and stay at their place
+ Coming back from 0-2 to finish 4-2

- Round 6 and everything that's going to happen on the Irish forum in the coming weeks
- Starting off 0-2
- Losing the feature match
- Not getting much trading done
- €58 for the damn train

Total: 42

Monsters: 18
3 Destiny Hero - Malicious
3 Krebons
2 Dark Armed Dragon
1 Elemental Hero Stratos
1 Destiny Hero - Doom Lord
1 Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude
1 Dark Grepher
1 Necro Gardna
1 Plaguespreader Zombie
1 Caius the Shadow Monarch
1 Breaker the Magical Warrior
1 Sangan
1 Spirit Reaper

Spells: 15
3 Destiny Draw
3 Emergency Teleport
3 Allure of Darkness
2 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Heavy Storm
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Brain Control
1 Monster Reborn

Traps: 9
3 Solemn Judgment
2 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
1 Crush Card Virus
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Mirror Force
1 Trap Dustshoot

Side Deck: 15
2 Thunder King Rai-Oh
2 Royal Oppression
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Dust Tornado
2 Light-Imprisoning Mirror
1 D.D. Warrior Lady
1 Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
1 Giant Trunade
1 Lightning Vortex
1 Scapegoat

What Next?
First off I'm probably going to stay away from the Irish forum for a while, anything I say can and will be taken the wrong way and they'll just lay the hate on me. As for the game itself, there are no events bigger than my local tournaments between now and the introduction of the new banlist on the 1st of March. I think I'll drop TeleDaD now, it's served its purpose for me and I want to mess around with Zombies and Lightsworn for the rest of the format. Other than that there's not much else to say, thanks for reading.


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