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My history with Palp prior to this tournament was limited at best. Tried both yellow and red versions back when he was released while force storm was still a busted card. He isn't my style of play, whatsoever. Over the past month, I was hard on Snoke/Mando/mud but couldn't deal with the power of Palp. The window to kill Palp quickly seemed extra small with SMM. The day before the prime, I took a similar build to my local to test it out. It went so-so, but felt I also made some critical sequencing errors that would of altered those outcomes. I was all in here bc I felt SMM just couldn't close the deal
42 players -- 1st after Swiss (7-0) and winner overall (11-2 in single games for the day)
Nothing really too fancy here, as most of this list is a combination of previous Palp winning lists. I decided not to run any hate cards for specific matchups, but settled on a single protective suit...you know...to avoid instant death.
Some random musings:. I hated Dangerous Maneuvers all day, but I'm pretty sure it's a result of what I played against. I did have a nifty play to take Palp off a potential target acquired at the start of a game. I wish I had 2 force waves, bc that card saved my ass a few times (plus I felt I was one damage card too short). Never got mind extracted as I either got them out with a random discard or I had the protective suit attached -- people are WAY too greedy with ME, everyone wanted to do the knock out punch with this card, holding it for too long. I had a pulse cannon and an entangle initially over wave and doubt; I'm very happy I made the swap. I'm a bit conflicted on forsaken, but still think it's an auto-include esp if ewoks are a thing.
R1 = ePalp/eWatto (win, 1-0) -- a Michigan traveler, I believe. The game was very unexciting. I managed to get a head of the damage race somewhat early and kept it until time was called. This validated my last minute swerve to Palp as I would of likely lost with SMM. Never played a mirror before, so I learn quickly that a Palp mirror will go to time, almost everytime.
R2 = eChirpa/Hoth/Ewoksx3 (win, 2-0) -- Chris, another Michigan guy with a super rare Mr. Bones mat, was on an interesting build that used salt flats to get at least one of chirpas special. Probably should of lost here, but my opponent made 2 terrible moves. Luckily for him, he learned his errors quickly bc he ended up getting in the top 8.
R3 = eIden/eBeckett (win, 3-0) -- James, from LWP/Fair Games, played what tends to my personal kryptonite (I keep getting randomly owned by this deck). He made a questionable removal call instead of jamming damage which resulted in a fatal blow Beckett kill from full health. This was a streamed game if you want to check it out (via Loth Wolf Pack). Please be kind, as I foolishly used forbidden lore incorrectly (makes me wonder how many times I screw this up before; reading is hard). Definitely a sign of not being familiar with the deck yet. Great finish to this one regardless, worth a watch.
R4 = Chirpa/Hoth/Ewoksx3/PS (win, 4-0) -- Ryan, from LWP/Fair Games is another very solid player whom I've faced a few times before with mixed results. Ewoks should be a bad match up for me so I'm not sure if I did something right or things just went horrifically bad for Ryan. Basically, I protected Palp as much I could to avoid an early TA. I had to let Watto die early as I managed to get a force storm on Palp and just go to town.
R5 = ePalp/eWatto (win 5-0) -- Mark, from Fair Games, has been really upping his game lately. This was just your causal ~50min Palp mirror (15 min post time call round). As crummy as it sounds, this had to be one of the more spectacular tiebreaker endings I've ever been apart of. The last round had ALL the fireworks with a large crowd watching... Trading fatal blows, a bacta heal, and protective suit action for a final reroll. It was fitting that we ended up back in the finals.
R6 = eGrievous/Aphra/SM (win, 6-0) -- John, another Fair Games player (guessing I'm running through a gauntlet of that store's players) is a younger guy who's got sharp skills in this game. His major downfall vs me was trying to get max value on his stuff when sometimes you just got to take what you can. Aphra unfortunately doesn't have a great matchup into Palp anyhow, even with some of the hate cards. He finished 3rd in Swiss, so he was doing something right.
R7 = eMaul/Mando (win, 7-0) -- Gabriel, from Michigan (maybe? Don't remember) was my final opponent. Given that most of previous opponents were local competitors that I decided to play out the game to improve their breakers as oppose to just scooping and rest prior to top cut. This was the closest my Palp was to dying during Swiss. 2 health left vs 2 dx-disrupters but my opponent whiffed (although he needed both dice to hit). Highlight of the game was Palp saber placed on a ready Watto (he hit the 2 damage -- E-Z game when everything just goes your way)
TOP 8 MATCH-UP
eChirpa/Hoth/Ewoksx3 (win, 2-1) -- Rematch vs my Rd 2 opponent. Game 1 showcased the power of force wave. Wave completely destroyed the Ewoks -- it didn't even matter that I got blasted by Our Situation is Desperate. Game 2 was completely opposite. My opening hand only had one upgrade, Palp saber, while playing on my BF -- I scooped game 2 quickly once I realized I was doomed. Game 3 started with a wave which was convergenced later in the Rd. I eventually got there on the back of shields and both Bactas
TOP 4 MATCHUP
Plowoks BR (win, 2-0) -- This one was piloted by a good friend, whom I share a collection with. I built the deck for him, which was essentially a close copy of the HyperLoops budget plowok deck. Oddly enough, this was a pretty easy match as I was expecting it to be much more difficult. But then again, I knew all 30 cards in the deck, so that definitely helped.
ePalp/eWatto mirror match (win, 0-1) -- As expected from our preview matchup in Swiss, this will likely go to time (2+ hrs, for sure). Game 1 ended after a brief 60-mins. Mark played fantastically with what was available to him. My board started out quickly but only found defensive abilities meanwhile my opponent found his money abilities. Eventually I got into a situation where I could fatal blow Watto for 9 (no shields) or hit Palp to push 6 damage in, which would surely be almost wiped clean from a Bacta. I choose to kill Watto as I was thinking the discards and the PA maybe relevant later in the game. It wasn't. As the following round (4th or 5th, thinned out decks), he finds both his Force Storms and I find a Niman Training (rip). At this point of the game we were both swimming in money and it was essentially who can dig through their deck the fastest. My draws failed me. I kept trying to discard every so often in hopes that he drew his Fatal/Bacta early, but he never found them until he needed them. In hindsight, I probably should of just gone for Palp and force him to use his Bacta -- I was hoping to just pick it out of his hand before him using it. The Palp mirror is just not fun, but it's kind of an interesting puzzle to breakthrough. So given, that this would of likely continued for at least another hour, Mark conceded the match, officially making me back to back Chicago (pastimes) regional/prime champ. I did like my chances had we played a 2nd game (and potentially a 2-rounder 3rd game), but than again, in the mirror it really is all about when you draw your key cards.
Minus a few hiccups and some misplays, I felt pretty on point the whole day. Both game losses on day felt really draw dependent, though the final game I likely could of done things different, but likely wouldn't matter given how the game played out. Happy to see a few guys from pastimes/fair games that put in the time to get good at this game do well in a larger competitive field.