Lock and Load, PP’s convention out in Seattle each year, is my chance each year to step away from running events, judging, and general overseeing in order to play the game I enjoy and get more than a few games in at a time. Last year I managed to pick off 18 Iron Arena games while also judging masters and playing in the team tournament. This year, though, I’ve managed to get into some awesome tournaments.
When I first went to lock and load back in oh-twelve, I just went and had fun, played games and met a number of awesome people who I still look forward to seeing each year. The next year I’d decided I would take it a step up and try and get in some tournaments. I ran afoul of Craig Conroy and Billy Robins and was denied any semblance of glory in that masters tournament but the experience was great. I’d not been able to secure entry into any other tournaments, so I played more Iron Arena, but the bug was there. I wanted to play in tournaments at lock and load. ’14 was a disaster, with my ear drum bursting and causing my whole weekend to implode, so I had a redo in ’15 which I very much enjoyed. This year, though, its finally, after back to back casual events, to try and do awesome things.
All the stars have aligned! I’m playing Cryx, which is both an awesome faction and the faction I’ve played the longest. I’m also currently playing an ADR pair of casters in Deneghra 3 and Goreshade 3, so I’ll be well prepared for a masters event . I’m also getting fairly regular practice with the casters both at the shop and in competitive events by playing in Store Wars (another event this weekend!) with the pair, using some pretty solid lists.
All of this has combined to make me fairly comfortable getting in the mix in masters at Lock and Load. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to get into the tournament, too! There is always a mad dash to get signed up and registered for events. I’ve taken on a pretty large tournament schedule, and I am amped to just get game after game in over the course of the weekend:
Wednesay: Get to Mox, maybe play a game or two.
Thursday: Casual Thursday with the Invitational
Friday: Morning Masters. Evening Team tournament.
Saturday: Morning Spelldraft, Evening Scrambles/Iron Arena
Sunday: Scrambles/Iron Arena.
I’m clearly sticking with Denny 3 and Goreshade 3. Familiarity is likely to give me the highest chance of winning, especially with ADR giving me the flexibility to pull out conditional pieces for a stronger overall list while still having that condition be a possibility.
I’ll also be pulling for Denny 3 in Spelldraft. If I can just get a single, powerful, 3 cost nuke, I can likely cast 9(ish) at the same target. Only have to hit a couple times! Hex blast would be my absolute favorite. I could easily, with the soul trappers in the right spot, just infinite spiral my way into the doom of an enemy army. It has the potential to be as busted as the coven, which was saying something. The list will likely be a paired down version of my Masters Denny list.
The team tournament will be two lists as well but, like spelldraft, will be 35 points. I’ll be using a paired down version of both Goreshade and Denny 3 here as well, to the surprise of everyone.
Scrambles I am going to try and get 50 points in. Three rounds, just fun, awesome stuff. I expect that I’ll be using the standard (non-ADR) version of the two lists, trying out what I can and just having fun playing games.
Masters offers the biggest upset to my standard list, as I want to make each list more streamlined and build to sub in solutions to extremely bad matchups. Thankfully, Goreshade has his list down to a no frills, all sinew and muscle list that I feel can break many a back. Denny, though, has a few pieces that are really in there on the offchance that I run into a particular caster or model that I need to have a solution for. Orin Midwinter, Rag Man, and the Ogrun Bokur all fit the bill, and can go in the sideboard. I can also remove the second arc node, seeing as it is insurance, along with the scarlock, who is only really needed to cast Grave Wind every turn, if needed, or ghost walk. If the terrain is favorable, and the army full of melee I can easily leave him at home. This leaves me with about 12 points.
Whats that? Deathjack is 12 points? Interesting!
Goreshade is amazingly simple, as I just swap out the Kraken for what I used to have in the list before I put the Kraken in: Helldivers, Aiakos, an arc node and a splash of something else.
This is where it gets tricky for me, as I don’t generally play or like 35.
Denny is fairly simple, as I pull out Deathjack (12 points!) and make the Bloodwitches Min. I might need to work on it with a reduced timer, but I think it has legs. Those hordes of Mechanithralls in 50 points are hard enough to get rid of. at 35, it just might be overwhelming.
Goreshade is the caster I worry the most about at 35. The solution could be as simple as removing the Soul Hunters, Darragh Wrathe, and the Soul Trappers. 15 points, and some massive flexibility removed, but its still got assassination and a Kraken. I think I’ll have to bat it around a few times and see what sticks.