Objective Hex Open I - Picks, Counterpicks, and a Champion
First, let’s acknowledge the top table. We had an epic bout here. I'll. refer to them by their Discord names so that you can applaud them on the channels. @AngusJoe vs. @SundayTaco were the finalists. These are two of my favorite opponents. Solid dudes.
This matchup is best understood through the frame of the legendary film Blades of Glory. It’s very much a Chazz Michael Michaels vs. Jimmy McElroy situation.
AngusJoe has been around the online Godtear scene for awhile now, and is a force to be reckoned with. So far as Iknow, he is the only American player to have the Rampage badge (10 wins in a row) on BattleLadder. This guy had a 12-game winning streak at one point. He is also notably the bad boy of Godtear (in a good way).
SundayTaco is newer to the scene, but he has quickly built a tiny internet legend. You’ll see him on Discord dropping knowledge and sweet pics of his models. Where AngusJoe is brash, SundayTaco is modest. He’s about as sweet and funny an opponent as you would hope to find in Godtear. I saw some of his first games, and I am amazed by how quickly he has put a fierce game together.
I sadly did not get to spectate this match, but I heard it was epic.
Your champion is: ANGUSJOE!!!!
In the finals, AngusJoe took Mourneblade, Finvarr, and the Soggy Dragon. SundayTaco took Lorsann, Halftusk, and Titus. These picks make a lot of sense to me. Mourneblade is a very nice choice for quest. He does not really need to accomplish the quest of crossing the table, he just cackles and plants his banner from his own territory. Lorsann is a logical counter pick to Mourneblade as she can reliably auto-wound him at range. Finvarr is another good scenario-driven pick from AngusJoe because his ultimate allows him to place a banner on his own half and move it to his opponent’s half so that it scores in the end phase. Nice. Raith makes sense because getting across the board is no problem for him. Titus makes sense because all of AngusJoe's choices have fairly tough followers to kill.
These are two very skilled players, for sure. If I had to choose between their squads for Quest, I’d choose AngusJoe's. This is easy for me to say after knowing who won, but I admire how well-suited these champs are to the scenario. This was a solid job of using the freedom to create and improvise that a draft format offers.
Congratulations to these fellas!
There were other games in this tournament, though, and they mattered as well. A few players were kind enough to share their picks and counter picks with me, and I thought it would be cool to share them with you also.
While the tournament rules stipulated no mirrors, it is clear upon reviewing the data that some folks did not follow this rule. Note to self: communicate this more clearly for the next OHO (and there will be another- I swear it).
With that proviso, let’s consider a sample of each of the three rounds:
Round 1 - Death
Player 1 - 1st pick - Blackjaw
Player 2 - 1st pick - Keera
Player 1 - 2nd pick - Titus
Player 2 - 2nd pick - Blackjaw
Player 1 - 3rd pick - Shayle
Player 2 - 3rd pick - Nia
Player 1: Blackjaw, Titus, Shayle
Player 2: Keera, Blackjaw, Nia
These picks fascinate me. Blackjaw as a first choice for a death scenario has a logic to it. BJ is certainly able to get from one scoring area to another as the well dries up. He can also get you big turns when flag-planting chances are scarce. He is also a somewhat risky first pick because there are some good counter picks. In this case, player 2 makes one of those good counter picks in Keera, whose dragons may not be that impressed with Blackjaw’s ability to target three followers in a hex. Titus, in turn, is a logical counter to Keera since his more high-value attacks as a maelstrom seem like the thing you’d want for dragon murder. I’m not sure why Blackjaw was the reply to Titus here, but maybe the pick was driven by the need for speed in the Death Scenario. Shayle as a counter pick to Blackjaw does make sense, though, for the same reason that Keera does. Nia is nice into Shayle because she has high dodge and can build new hexes if Shayle moves them where she does not want them.
Player 1 won this matchup.
Round 2 - Chaos
Player 1 - 1st pick - Sneaky Peet
Player 2 - 1st pick - Lorsann
Player 1 - 2nd pick - Rodhri
Player 2 - 2nd pick - Wet Lizard
Player 1 - 3rd pick - Blackjaw
Player 2 - 3rd pick - Nia
Player 1: Sneaky Peet, Rodhri, Blackjaw
Player 2: Lorsann, Damp Gecko, Nia
Here we see some more scenario-driven picking as well as counter picking. Peet is a fascinating first overall pick because he, like Blackjaw, has some amazing upside, but also some good counters. I suppose every champion does, but Peet skews so far towards dodging attacks, that it’s clear who will be good into him and who will not. Lorsann, the next choice here, is a logical counter pick since she can roll eight dice to hit Peet, which makes him... less sneaky. Rodhri makes sense as a scenario-driven pick since the Chaos deployment allows him to get to a good place early on. The Rainy Reptile is just solid, I suppose. Blackjaw makes sense as a companion to Rodhri since he can speed him up. Nia is a strong answer to Blackjaw because the orc hates armor 4 followers.
Player 2 won this matchup.
Round 3 - Quest
Player 1 - 1st pick - Shayle
Player 2 - 1st pick - Shayle
Player 1 - 2nd pick - Mourneblade
Player 2 - 2nd pick - Blackjaw
Player 1 - 3rd pick - Sneaky Peet
Player 2 - 3rd pick - Lorsann
Player 1: Shayle, Mourneblade, Sneaky Peet
Player 2: Shayle, Blackjaw, Lorsann
Shayle intrigues me as a first pick. Yes, there are counters, but the squishy wizard and his stoner buddy strike me as very versatile and thus a good choice for the opener. In this case, the second player seemed to agree by opting to neutralize this through a mirror. This might also have been scenario driven, as throwing followers out of the way when questing seems good. Mourneblade just makes sense in this scenario. The winner of this matchup left a comment which read, “Mourneblade OP on Quest.” I am inclined to agree. I find the Blackjaw pick a tad puzzling into Shayle and Mourneblade since Landslide and the Knightshades are not the easiest followers for BJ to kill. Sneaky Peet makes lots of sense into Shayle, though, as he and the stabbers do not get hit by earthquake about 80% of the time. Lorsann is good in this scenario and good into Mourneblade. Makes sense.
Player 2 won this matchup. Maybe the Blackjaw pick was good after all?
Here’s hoping this has given you something to think about. I hope it also gets you interested in joining or even hosting a draft tournament in the future. I know it’s not the official SFG format, but it is super-interesting and fun, in my opinion. Try it in a casual game and see what you think!
One last thing - I notice that there were no British players in the OHO. I wonder why this is? Are they scared to try a new format? Were they concerned that an American-run tournament would cause them to start driving on the right side of the road and/or seasoning their food? C'mon, you soccer-loving former imperialists, we want to play with you! I love British people and British things, so please take this in the spirit which it is intended: