Android 18, Battle Angel
Gastonia Dragon Prix, 2nd Place report by Cheyne Runnells, 17 players
Another OP season, another Android 18 tournament run! With money running tight this year and the Set 11 meta being perhaps the worst of the Fan Z era, I elected to skip several events and allocate my resources elsewhere. But there was no way I was going to miss an event in my own state of North Carolina! The Gastonia crew is a great group of guys and I had been looking forward to getting to play with them again ever since I first came to their neck of the woods in 2016.
But what to play? I agonized over it for quite some time. I had Misch SK on OCTGN, which I used frequently to help my friends test (usually defeating them). But despite pretty much guaranteeing a strong performance, playing Supreme Kai would require more or less printing an entire Black deck. The decks I had ready were Knowledge Piccolo, Radiant Future Gohan, and Orange Hero 18 (Adaptive or Combative). Knowledge Piccolo had failed me at two events now, so I crossed it off the list immediately. This left me with Android 18 and FG. I could swap 4-6 cards and have Combative or Adaptive 18 ready to go. Combative has a stronger physical beatdown matchup, at the cost of being vulnerable to losing drills through leveling.
I truly didn’t decide until I arrived at Gamer’s Ally, and just like at East Kai last year I chose Adaptive 18 because it was the most fun deck I had. Anthony Tardino, Kevin Dennis and I had an agreement to play our most fun decks since it would be our only time competing together. Kevin wussed out and chose Protective FG over Tag Broku, but Anthony and I persevered. Adaptive 18 it was!
Vs. Josh Wells, Amplified Trunks
I expected this would be one of my tougher matches, and I was correct. Trunks being able to tutor Knee Bash is pretty difficult for a board deck to deal with. Josh won the roll, entered turn 1 to search Aggressive Sword Drill and passed. I actually drew solidly, but I suspected it was a trap and just passed as well. Sure enough, Josh discarded two energy blocks. I wouldn’t have hit with anything! I dropped board but in the next combat, Josh searched Amphibious Exploration Drill. WHAT? I’m used to seeing Amplified decks run tons of drills, too many to run that card! But Josh is smarter than that, and realized Amplified mastery only protects ONE drill when you change levels. Therefore, he was running a small planning package and Amphibious Drill predominantly hurt ME! I banished it with Orange Stare Down but he immediately used Red Freezing Beam to bring it back.
The game was hard-fought, as I ate at least four Knee Bashes and several times was prevented from setting up by Amphibious Exploration Drill. I almost unleashed a killer combat on him, throwing a Fierce Attack with 18’s Toss in-hand, but he Brace’d into Trunks’ Slam to put an end to that dream.
I’d say I was behind most of the game, but somehow despite Amphibious Exploration Drill I was able to reach 18’s level 3, one of THE most powerful levels in the game. Despite Josh hitting me hard, I was able to sling enough big energies to bring him to 3 cards after he entered on me. I entered and he drew out. What a great game to begin the tournament!
Vs. Joran Ray, Adept Cell Jr.
Jordan is the super homie, and I felt bad about having to play him round two. I felt even worse when I opened Orange Energy Phasing Drill and Orange Attraction Drill, which I knew was about as close to a turn 1 kill as I could get against another drill deck. I obliterated his drills every turn and constantly absorbed damage with my blocks and with Krillin. Although I ate a Dig combat, his inability to set up prevented me from taking too much damage and I actually leveled with a Fierce Attack to get 10 more stages! It was a quick game, and a shame that I opened so strong. Always good to see you Jordan!
Vs. Chris, Misch. SK
Sadly, not much to say about this game. I didn’t want to play Misch. SK, but I knew I could win with smart play. He drew Time turn 2 (Which seems to be SK’s birthright), and generally drew a much, MUCH stronger board than me. We passed, made boring plays, and nothing of note happened. I got to level 3, but he drew ball 2 before either of us ever had a hand worth entering combat with. Our plays were so standard and boring that we didn’t even declare what we were doing, pretty much just saying “I’ll do the thing.” or “You know what’s coming.” The only interesting maneuver was when he Sinister Choke’d me for 5, and I opted to Orange Leisure on it because I was just so thirsty for the Phasing Drill. He Halt’d me. What a fair card, Dev Team! Truly amazing design, making a more powerful Sphere restricted to the best MP in the game that is always reusable, no matter what, because it shuffles in as a parenthetical!
Failures of the design team aside, this game was extremely dull and uninteresting. That Choke banished my Empowered Drill, which was a card I really wanted to see. In the last turn, I entered and he shuffled Time into his deck. So of course he immediately drew it. He had a slight lead, but rather than try to make the comeback I decided playing SK wasn’t worth the time. I shuffled my discard pile to get a game loss and hopefully have time left in the round to actually enjoy myself by doing literally anything else.
Vs. Trent, Perceptive Godku
I had watched Trent defeat a Knowledge Piccolo for his round 1 win, so I was very curious to see what his deck could do. I was annoyed at having to face a Perceptive deck that would likely clear away much of my board, but I also felt confident because I believed my deck to be much stronger than his. And the game pretty much displayed that. Yes he cleared a lot of my board, and I actually ate 10 life to the face turn 1 from Black Gut Crushes, but my attacks hit harder and did more things. He actually had Black Absorption Drill, Black Smoothness Drill and Black Rupture Drill out at one point, but I banished Absorption Drill before it could do anything and soon afterward took care of Smoothness Drill. I got to level 3 (Again) and at that point knew I was going to win. I unleashed a pretty massive kill hand in the final turn, topping it off with a Disk for game. Which he On the Move’d! But with only two cards left in his deck, and only one after OTM resolved, it wasn’t enough.
Vs. Tyler Steinmeijer, Ruthless Majin Vegeta
This was a matchup I was nervous about, but not unduly so. I would say Ruthless Majin Vegeta has a favorable matchup against Adaptive 18, but most builds don’t have too much of an advantage. On average, I’d say it’s 60-40 Majin Vegeta’s favor.
Onto the actual game. I believe I won the die roll and managed to open solidly. I got to level 2 and he had a little bit of difficulty getting off of level 1 despite using Prideful Challenge. My Energy Dan Drill removed a second one, so he only had one left in-deck. Of course he drew it! Luckily, I had Shopping Drill to protect my discard pile. I ended up passing and rejuvenating Time is a Warrior’s Tool in order to hold the precious Orange Meditation. Sure enough, he entered and tried to level. I SLAMMED Meditation down. I could see the pain on his face, but also a begrudging nod of respect as he realized Meditation was the card I held over Time. “Good one.” He said.
During the second Prideful combat, I had Earth Dragon Ball 7 in my hand as well as only one block. He entered with some Red attack, and I had this insane, extrasensory feeling. “He’s going to Dig me.” I used my one block on his attack, and fired off a shot of my own. Then the Dig came down. I let it knock me to 0 and do a few life before dropping Ball 7 to end combat, thanks to Dig being on top. The next turn featured him opening with a Final Flash, or perhaps his power. Either way, Dig was still on top and I BEM’d to safety. I felt really good, having a full board and successfully mitigating scary combats, but he entered again with RED OBSERVATION. Now things were tough. I counted my discard pile and banished zone after receiving a beating and realized I had about three drills left in my life deck. I decided to hold Devouring Drill over a block, and by the grace of God I drew Checkup Drill and another drill to get me from 2 to 3, refreshing my stages and giving me access to my most powerful level.
I had a pretty solid hand and considered entering to avoid him coming at me with a Stare Down should I draw my Time next turn, but ultimately decided to pass. He did indeed enter with Stare Down, but my hand was so insane that Stare Down couldn’t save him. I had Confrontation, Power Point, Fierce Attack, Disk and a block if I recall correctly. He removed Confrontation, and I killed him with Fierce Attack and Disk. He turned out to have had Red Escape, but Escape on Fierce Attack just would mean that he died to Power Point and Disk anyway. And had he Stare Down’d an attack, Confro would kill his block and he would still die. There was no easy way out. Good game, Tyler.
Vs. Anthony Tardino, Knowledge Cell
BRO I FREAKING DESTROYED YOU!!!! GET REKT!
vs. Dan Dagron, Ruthless MV
Unfortunately, this was the game where my luck ran out. There’s not a lot of analysis you can do on an opening hand of two Double Strikes and a Red Escape. I never drew a good hand and Dan never drew a bad one. Such is life! Despite Dan’s Surprise Attack build not running any of the scariest cards for my deck to see (Unleashed, Suppressive Strike, Stare Down), he resolved all the Ruthless wombo combos and saw all three Pridefuls. At one point he entered with Red Relaxation, Prideful Challenge and a Red Stylish Entrance for a 7-card hand! Fun trivia: This is only the second game that day that I didn’t get to level 3, and I finished the game on level 2.
And so concludes my Gastonia tournament report. While I was sad that I couldn’t defend my home turf, I was glad to have gotten to play some fun games and hang out with all my BroZ. I love this community, even if Set 11 is a hot pile of garbage. See you guys in Set 12!
-All my East Coast homies (Kevin, Anthony, Dan) making top cut!
-The amazing North Carolina crew
-The Starbucks barista who seemed to be having a tough day
-Josh realizing the right way to play Amplified
-Five Guys coffee milkshake
-My awesome cousins for housing me
-All my opponents for being cool dudes
-Me, for picking the busiest places to try and get dinner
-Me, for shuffling my discard pile
-Me, for not winning the tournament
-Five Guys’ actual food