Top 16 WCQ: European Championship Berlin 2016 Report - Joshua Schmidt (Pendulum)

Top 16 WCQ: European Championship Berlin 2016 Report – Joshua Schmidt (Pendulum)

Hello everyone,

 

Welcome to my tournament report for my top 16 finish at the recent European Championship in Berlin.

 

As far as travelling goes, theres not much to tell for this event since it was held in my home country, couple of hours by car and that was it. I was staying at my team mates Ali`s house together with Alex, Eddy and Eugen, was all pretty chill.

 

So coming up to the event, I had decided that Pendulum would be the best deck over a month ago already and was just working on finishing the build. Im not gonna go in detail with the choices I made in this article because I made an in-depth deck profile which you can find on our main YouTube channel as well as the GlasgowYGO and Lithium`s channel.

 

Here is a link for you if you want to check out my deck profile:

So without further ado, lets get into my matches

 

Round 1 – Extra Deck Monarch – 2:1

 

First round I got paired against a fairly standard Extra Deck Monarch deck, lost the dice roll and went second. He opened with Edea and I had the Veiler for it, he had to pass after that. Normally I would pretty much always be able to win the game right there, but after drawing for turn my hand was 3 copies of Sky Iris/Terraforming, MST and Eccentrick, so all I could do was pop Eccentrick with Iris and grab an Odd Eyes to search out Monkeyboard. He ended up having really good turn afterwards to take over the game. Next turn I drew into Upstart and I would have actually been able to win on that turn with a combination of Papilloperative and Odd-Eyes with some pushes over his defense position Prime, but because I had to activate the Upstart I was 800 damage short of OTKing and lost the first game on the following turn. Game 2 I opened Kirin, Village and some other stuff on board so there was nothing he could do. Game 3 I won due to a very crucial Kycoo locking down his Stormforth and Ehther, followed up by Village again.

 

Round 2 – Burning Abyss – 2:0

 

I win the dice roll and go first with a really strong opening including a Veiler search from Abductor, Apex, Kirin and I think a Dweller too, so there was nothing he could do. Game 2 he started with Dante, Vanities Fiend and 2 facedowns which turned out to be Strike and Warning. I opened with Abductor Terraforming, grabbed a Joker from my deck which he used the Warning on. Afterwards I used Eccentrick on his last facedown which was the Strike. I used Odd Eyes to search another Eccentrick to out the Vanities Fiend on the next turn. Because of his own Fiend he could not do enough damage to win and I simply popped the Vanities Fiend with Eccentrick and won on the next turn.

 

Round 3 – Extra Deck Monarch – 2:0

 

I end up losing the dice roll again to Monarchs which kinda sucks, but his first turn turns out to be not that scary. It was not a complete brick, but he also was not able to summon Ehther or Erebus. I think he ended with like a Kuraz and a Durendal on the field, which he used to reshuffle the hands on my turn, shuffling away both copies of MST which I had dead in my hand haha. My hand is pretty good afterwards so I take control of the game and win on the next turn. Game 2 he goes first and actually bricks for real this time, making it a pretty swift 2:0 for me.

 

Round 4 – Dracopal – 2:1

 

I lose the dice roll (again). He goes first with absolutely everything you can ask for, including Face-Off, which is the only good card in the whole like 6-7 Dracopal engine. He also has access to Sorcerer etc and ends up with a field of Majester, Number 38 and some random Pendulum. My hand would have been very good going first, but because his 38 was able to negate my Monkeyboard I could not play. Game 2 I went first, I dont remember exactly what board I ended up making, but it was enough to take him down during the next few turns. Game 3 he goes first and just sets 3 or 4 backrow and ends, so it was clear that he was maining or siding the Ariadne package. My hand was 3 Bunbuku, Kirin and some other 2 cards I dont remember exactly, so I probably wouldve lost if he didnt open that many traps. But since his hand was even slower than mine, I was able to grind through it. He used Strike and Warning on two of the Kirins and ended up taking like 3600 damage from Raccoons before he scooped, pretty weird Pendulum game.

 

Round 5 – Dracopal – 2:1

 

This time I win the dice roll but I dont remember exactly how game 1 went. A lot of the games where I went first went the same way though, the deck is so good going first. I just get some kind of set up with Sorcerer, Kirin, Apex and/or Odd Eyes Pendulum Dragon search and win on the next turn. Game 2 he opens the Dracopal nuts again with Face-Off (of course) and ends with a pretty insane board once again, but this time it didnt really matter because my hand was garbage anyways. Game 3 was also pretty grindy this time because he left in the Solemns when going second, so after I take a first turn Odd Eyes search I suddenly stare down 2 facedown Solemns. But because of that, he also doesnt have much offense going on and he cant pressure me with Odd Eyes searches cause he doesnt play it. I end up running into one Strike, but just using Odd Eyes in the end phase to grab Eccentrick for the second Strike and game him next turn.

 

Round 6 – Odd Eyes Pendulum – 2:1

 

Round 6 I was paired up against former European Champion Ido Marcus. I knew he was playing Pendulums because he had a Feature Match earlier already. His build was a lot better than the standard Dracopal builds everyone was running though, it was a lot more like my build, with some differences here and there though. I won the dice roll and with that also game 1, he told me after that he forgot to discard Maxx C on my first turn, but I only conducted one special summon and I dont whink it would have changed a whole lot. Game 2 he starts with a pretty good field, resolving Sorcerer and setting 2. I see myself confronted with a situation where I can either overcomit completely into Strike or Warning or try and grind through the backrow. Because he already has such a well set-up extra deck though I didnt think I would have the time to grind, so I just went all in on my Pendulum summon but of course, he did have the Warning for it so I scooped. Game 3 I go first and I am able to pendulum summon Sorcerer and Kirin, making me feel pretty confident, but he does have the Veiler for the Sorc so that kinda ruined my plans. I passed with 2 scales, Iris, Sorcerer, Kirin and a Ghost Ogre in hand, which is still a pretty respectable start. So he draws to 5 and activates Abductor, followed up by Pendulum Storm destroying his own Abductor and my scales +Iris. That obviously telegraphes Odd Eyes Fusion, which is the only reason why he would want that Abductor in his extra. So he uses it, gets the free Vortex out and wants to attack over Kirin, I activate Kirin, he tries to negate and I destroy the Vortex with Ghost Ogre, leaving him with 3 cards in hand and no setup whatsoever. I have no cards in hand myself either, but I can beat him down with Sorc, Kirin and some monster I drew over the next few turns, where he drew into a copy of Ghost Ogre too, which was like 2 turns later to my Iris.

 

Round 7 – Domain Monarch – 2:0

 

I ask him for extra deck, he says no, I lose the dice roll so im like fuck, but this match turned out to be a 5 minute easy win because he bricked two times haha. Thats what you get for playing Domain Monarchs, at some point your luck has to stop.

 

Round 8 – Extra Deck Monarch – 2:1

 

Since I was playing vs Monarchs, I obviously lost the dice roll and this time he started really really well with like Brilliant Fusion, Ehther etc, but my opening hand was really good too and I was able to shut him down because I had Apex. I actually would have been able to OTK him if he made the wrong choice on when to use Ehther, but he did do it correctly so he survived, but he was not able to get rid of my field while also making sure he doesnt die on the next turn, because my Kirin and Apex obviously were able to return. Game 2 he actually let me go first which I think was a huge mistake but whatever, I have a really good start and Pendulum summon Abductor, Sorcerer and Kirin. My initial plan was to just go for the Veiler search with Abductor, resolve Joker, Monkeyboard and Lizardraw, and then also place Odd Eyes Pendulum Dragon for ep search together with Kirin and Dweller. However, I drew Apex with Lizard and because I had not normaled yet I decided to tribute Sorc and Abducotr for the Apex, which I think was a big mistake. Dweller, Kirin and Veiler with an Odd Eyes search and an Apex in hand for next turn would have been way better than just Apex, Kirin and Veiler (I missed the Odd Eyes search cause I could not normal Joker). I should have just sticked with my original plan which was way better, but when I drew the Apex I just kinda snap-summoned it because I could. He ended up having an insane hand to actually break my board and Twin Twister my scales away so I lost. He also resolved Prime, Pantheism and Edea in grave so Dweller would have done a lot more than the freaking Apex. I shouldve won that game, but my mistake made it so we would go to game 3, where I end with Sorcerer, Joker, Apex and Village and he just scoops xD.

 

So I finished Day 1 8:0, making Top 64 almost guaranteed already. It finished very late though, something like 1 o`clock, so there was not much time to rest, had to return at 9 in the morning to the venue and continue. I was very focused and confident for Day 2 after how well Day 1 went.

 

Round 9 – Burning Abyss – 1:2

 

I got my best matchup and I actually lost it. Game 1 he goes first because I lose the dice roll, but im able to break his board with Kirin easily since he did not open Fragrance. Game 2 he goes first with Beatrice and Vanities Fiend which is a lot harder to out than Dante + Fiend because he can Farfa my Eccentrick away so I end up losing pretty quickly. Game 3 I go first and sadly dont open any Kirin or Bunbuku. It comes down to a crucial turn where he uses Beatrice for Tackle Crusaider, which bounces a Spell Trap that you cant use for the turn, and he hits my low scale with is and I somehow dont have another one in 4 or 5 cards. I end up setting my freshly drawn Maxx C (after he specialed like 100 times last turn) just for defense, he topdecks Dark Hole to clear my three defense position monsters and goes for game. (He also messed up the chain links with his stuff, which would have actually caused him to lose the game, but the Head Judge did not know Early Triggers existed lol, full story in my deck profile) It didnt matter much because I was pretty safe to top anyways, but if that would have been a Bubble or Top Cut match, that Head judge could have definetely ruined the event for me.

 

Round 10 – Dracopals – 2:1

 

Fourth lost dice roll in a row and again, it decided the game completely. My hand going first would have been really strong but he opened Number 38 again, which seems to be like 100% chance when  Dracopal goes first against me. Game 2 I go first, I win. Game 3 he goes Abductor, Unexptec Dai to special Trumpeteer, activates Master and pops itself to get a counter. Then he plays some scale and when he tries to use Abductor I Ghost Ogre him into oblivion, leaving him with a Trumpeteer, a scale and a card in hand which he just sets. I have Eccentrick for the backrow and some other shenanigans so he scoops it up.

 

Round 11 – Demise Kozmo – 0:2

 

Guaranteed to top at this point with 9:1 so this match did not really matter, he was german and friendly so it was all good. He ended op opening Demise two times after my starts were kinda meh. He also discarded Dark Destroyer both times and had Call/Oasis + Mojo, so it was pretty impossible for me to grind through the backrow. I wouldve won Game 2 at one point if I just hit the right facedown with Eccentrick, but I hit another copy of Card of Demise and ran right into the Strike which was his last remaining set.

 

So finished Swiss with a 9:2 record, dont remember which lace exactly I came in but it did not really matter much to me anyways, tops was where the real tournament began for me.

 

Top 64 – Domain Monarch – 2:0

 

I finally win a dice roll vs Monarch and because he has no Extra Deck, I know hes playing it and I make Dweller, Kirin and Vortex turn one which is like impossible for him to deal with especially in Domain Monarchs where there are no Brilliant Fusions or anything like it. He showed me afterwards he had a really good hand too so if I had lost that dice roll I probably would have lost that game 1. Game 2 his hand was pretty terrible and I was super happy after he just passed with one set. I won pretty easily, it was unfortunate that he had the really good hand in game 1 where I went first and the bad hand in game 2 where he went first, but thats how it goes sometimes.

 

Top 32 – Burning Abyss Phantom Knight- 2:0

 

Got paired against Italy´s Daniele Stella here, which was a Feature Match, you can watch it here:

 

Top 16 – Dracopals – 0:2

 

So, you have all read the title of the article, so you know this is where it ends. It was super sad, the whole match lasted two turns, I went first both times and got killed immediately on my opponents first turn. Its especially sad because I think his Pendulum build was pretty weak compared to mine, but when you draw the way he did there was really nothing to lose for him. He did not make any mistakes though so cant really fault him for it, it was just his day and he ended up being the European Champion too, so congrats to him.

 

Sucked for me, in the end I could not do it, Top 16 is still a great achievement but at euros its always like Top 4 or nothing for me, so yeah. Atleast I have a Minerva now, which is alright.

 

We had a pretty good time during the event and also after the event on Sunday, going to some nice restaurant, driving around Berlin to pick up Garys phone which he lost while partying, hanging out at Alis house with some people. It was all cool, Berlin was a great experience as always, sadly could not make it back to Worlds but oh well, gotta try again next year. Hope you enjoyed my tournament report and like my deck, would definetely recommend you try it out for yourself, its pretty good, eventhough the banlist should be hitting soon so probably wont be relevant for much longer.

 

That sums up this tournament report, have a great day and see you guys at MTS London/YCS Rimini!

 

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