While South Kai slowly fades into fond memories for those that were involved and we gear up for the last two events in the OP season this year, I wanted to take a quick look at the journey that Tao faced down in Slidell, LA last weekend.
Unlike other Tournament reports, since I didn’t make it passed Swiss, I’m going to try and keep my match reports short and sweet. Also because some of the specifics are starting to give way even in my own memory at this point some 6 days later :p
I want to give a quick shout out to Showcase Comics & Collectibles. They ran a very smooth event, and I really enjoyed myself at their shop. If you are in the area, I would definitely check them out.
Alright, so without further adieu, let’s jump into what went down for DBZ’s #1 hired gun – Black Devious Mercenary Tao.
So turns out there was a bit of an error in entries. Instead of the event being 28 people, we find out that it is only 27, as someone was entered in twice , but with a small misspelling in their name. This leaves me with the Round One bye.
I go talk with Joey DiCarlo, and he mentions that he has a deck with him, but that he wasn’t intending to enter as the Dev Team try not to play in sanctioned events since they have more testing and higher knowledge of what decks are likely to do well. I inform Joey that I didn’t drive 8 1/2 hours to try and get a free win. I came to play the game that we all know and love, regardless of the outcome. We take a quick poll of the room, and the verdict is pretty clear – We Want Joey In!
So needless to say, Joey and I end up being paired together. And also needless to say, my good nature is the death of me, as Joey’s Black Perceptive Tien puts the hurt on pretty badly and pretty quickly.
Our match has a very interesting pace. The self-mill from Tien starts to catch up to him as he misses every opportunity short of a Black Gut Crusher with no legal target remaining. Joey hits two big combats that really turn the tide in his favor however. Both involving Black Swirl naming Mercenary Tao’s Puzzles, both of which end up rotting in my hand as the only combat-ender/block for those particular combats. At the end of the match, Tien stands tall as the better of the two Crane Masters.
My Record: 0-1.
Round Two I’m paired against Chris Clotfelter sporting his Namekian Knowledge Piccolo, so I know right away this game is going to be a grindy one.
He jumps to level 3 fairly quickly in the game, but I eventually start to find my anti-anger cards and am able to stop his chances of MPPV-ing for a while. However I start to realize the same issue I had against Joey Round One; the random mill is starting to kill me. With no real way to rejuv cards outside of having my attacks blocked, the damage from Knowledge is starting to pile up. And since Namekian’s best rejuv effects are on their blocks, I’m trying desperately not to attack unless I absolutely need to.
Eventually he does make his way to Level 4, but at that point I’m nearly dead. He winds up getting DBV and Survival on me in the same action, an overkill if ever there was one haha.
My Record: 0-2.
At this point I’m starting to second guess what I was going to play for the rest of the event. I came in expecting MPPV, stage lock and physical beats, but have so far played against two energy heavy mill plans, something my deck has a glaring weakness too! Things are not looking great.
My opponent this round is Stoney Hogan, playing Saiyan Rampaging Gohan. The sight of this picks my spirits up a bit. This is likely a physical beats deck and likely an MPPV deck. Time to see just how prepared I am for this.
Turns out, very. Unfortunately, our match is fairly one-sided as I clamp down on his anger hard and begin to end combat left and right, with MT’s Super Dodon Wave already in place to papercut my way to a very slow, painful victory.
My Record: 1-2.
After the match, Stoney and I play another game where he tests out the deck he had considered playing instead – Saiyan Dynamic Drawku. That game goes much better in his favor, and while not the official game, it goes to show that sometimes you should trust your instinct on what the better deck choice is.
Unfortunately, my Round Four opponent’s name escapes me, although he was a very fun opponent to play against. He was sporting a Red Ruthless Drawku build, and again the gears start spinning in my head.
While not an MPPV list, combat is vitally important to this deck. I’m able to get him to burn an early Visiting the Past into a Puzzles as my first action, completely killing his momentum and shifting the game in my favor. From that point on, his discard pile, hand and deck became incredibly difficult to protect from Tao’s pokes and prods. Any real push for momentum is met with one of the 8 ways for me to end combat or from tricks like Black Strength Display or Black Memories shredding his hand apart, stopping him dead in his tracks. He is left as another victim to the papercuts.
My Record: 2-2.
The final Round finds me paired against Daniel Behee, a player I have tested with numerous times on OCTGN (though not with this particular build). He is running Orange Retribution Frieza with the Premiere Level One. Is that anger you plan on gaining… I think we can see where this is going.
The control is real this game with a first combat, first action Wall Breaker from my side of the table. From that point forward its a tug of war game to keep Wall Breaker and Dodon Wave off thanks to his tech card of Afterimage Technique.
Luckily, since Tao is able to shuffle a card from hand into his deck to draw, neither one of those cards is left on top to be taken as damage and they find their way to my hand over and over again until I’m finally able to Black Searching Technique the Afterimage out of his deck (along with his Sagacious Strikes eventually), basically sealing off his chances at getting to Level 2 until it is far too late.
The cuts run deep in this match as well.
Final Record: 3-2.
As I mentioned in my previous write-up: Mill, DBV and Energy Beats are a surprisingly hard match for Black Tao to handle, at least with the build I was playing. I commented on a few changes I think I would have made on some straggler cards in the list, and I think turning those into tech slots for those harder match-ups might have made it more plausible to walk into Top 8 with my Rogue Brewer head held high.
That being the case, I was happy with the results I put up, taking home the Best in Black Playmat, and look forward to taking yet another unknown MP to a winning record at the next event I attend, though that likely won’t be until next season, as Fargo is a bit far away and Gencon is sold out at this point.
I hope you enjoyed this quick write up. If you haven’t already checked out my previous article about the deck itself, its strategies and the changes I think should be made, I highly recommend checking it out. Tao is an MP I have a deep love for in the game, and nothing would make me happier than to see him played more regularly in the competitive meta.
As always, please don’t forget to go check out this week’s TC101 article and vote on the poll for which deck you’d like to see published next! The only votes that don’t count are the ones never cast in the first place!
Until next time, FanZ Warriors!