Season 2 - WInners Cup Week 1 recap

So week one of the winners cup is (almost - bar three to four games) over so it is now time for a recap.

Unlike the first season the stronger (or more favoured/seeded) player has won almost every match. There have been a couple of exceptions with action_johnny (1591) taking out qkieu (1899) and Wydwen (1541) repeating the feat with Shiba Inu (1777) but most of the others have either been close in strength or the dominant player won. The last two losing players will get quite a bang to their ratings (if what happened to Kingsley when he played bill.jr in season one is anything to go by).  Due to their high ratings this is less likely to be mitigated by bitch-slapping the rest of their pod either.

Anyway...currently the players through to the cup are as follows

Crab:    four
Crane:  five (2 byes)
Dragon: four
Lion: three (1 bye)
Phoenix: two (1 drop bye)
Scorpion: seven (bleeeuurggghhh and 1 bye)
Unicorn: Sad face though with 3-4 in the competition this is still a close percentage to entrants

So from the casted games I have come up with a list of three that I recommend for various reasons! All involve Crane so that might be unconscious bias on what I 'like' watching or could just be random. We'll see what gets recommended top 32....

Sruman vs ltmechanicus

A very long quality game. Lion had the god draw from the start but Luke managed to hold on brilliantly and even eke out an advantage. The key (to me) was when Lion won the fire ring, got several keepers out and started to generate an enormous board advantage whilst pushing Luke down to 2 honor meaning the Crane player was starved of cards.   If anything this was more like a top 8 game and it was only Luke's loss to Chutereve in the pod stage that forced him into the 2nd place in that pod and made him face a stronger opponent first round. Lion showed all its cheese though and I think the game also showed how even the best Crane players are 'perhaps' getting hurt by deck strength versus the top tier decks.  To me it’s a lot like Lion generating a huge board advantage and Crane defends cleverly and slowly reduces the Lion board until finally the Crane would have a stronger position and just when it occurs Lion vomits out a huge board advantage again from nothing and the process repeats until the Crane runs out of cards.

As opposed to a lot of pod games both players were in no hurry to gamble their chances of winning so it was an extremely strategic, defensive match especially early on. This was perhaps the most enjoyable in terms of skillful play though others who enjoy comedy involving people getting kicked in the balls might like to watch Kingsleys game against Yaba where he appears to do exactly that repeatedly.

In this match the Crane should be heavily favoured over the Scorpion.  Micah is running what could be described as the 3 core Crane with Dragons splash upgraded (though psk what do I know)  which served Crane so well  last season.  It seems the commonest current Crane deck for the best players in Clan. The Scorp was playing with Crab splash which usually means a more province taking deck than a direct honour muncher 

The reason this is a recommended game though is the casters who are currently the top 1st and 2nd players in the entire league and their commentary focused heavily on the ideal possible plays and their initial bemusement about some of the decisions made grew into almost a feeding frenzy that moved into freaking out over both players choices nearer the end of the game.

We have all seen this before, 'they will certainly do A, which is optimal, or B if they have this. C is possible but weaker….'
' what. They played Z? where did Z come from, why would you do that. ' sort of thing

No doubt if they were king for the day public whippings would be ordered. My favourite line being 'who can throw, harder'. Which is right up the with 'assCrab' as my new favourite game phrase.

Adam could have been having an off day but equally he is a relatively new player from Season two who played four actual games (2 wins 2 losses) with one of the wins being against me (so should probably count as half a win as even my neighbours dead cat could probably eke out a hard fought if I was lucky). He is possibly a good example of the Scorpion player who dominates Swiss/pods versus players who cannot cope so well with Scorpion decks but is less able to survive in the more aggressive waters of the top cuts. Either way he is currently back taking names from his pod so perhaps he will return next cup stronger and eager for revenge.

Togashi Komhl vs Anji (Daidoji Celgane)

From the same casting team comes this foray. I recommend this as it contains the mother of all swings and the subtlety of the play if reflected in the commentary.  On paper Komhl should dominate the match up but Anji does a masterful job at going for the win. I wont comment more as this was one of the more surprising casts though as one point you do almost picture the boxer going for the winning punch and tripping over his own feet, knocking his own wife out and getting knocked out.

It has been great to get the regular streams back and some new faces doing a great job of making an entertaining stream.


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