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The Road to Worlds 2013, Week 4

by James Hoskin, Director of Organized Play

25th April 2013

This is a weekly series that aims to preview upcoming Regional tournaments, review Regional tournaments that have just taken place, highlight winning decks, interview players, and more. Last week's article was The Road to Worlds 2013, Week 3.

How can you contribute to this series? First and foremost, I am relying on results and deck lists being promptly entered into this site. I can't write about them otherwise. Other ways you can help include: taking photos, interviewing players, writing previews, and providing background information. Any other way to help the community be a part of your Regional tournament would be appreciated, too. Contact details are at the end of this article.


Week 3 Review

Saturday 20th AprilSunday 21st April
First Edition (Sealed OTF)
Good Games Brisbane
74 Little Edward Street
Spring Hill, QLD 4000
Australia
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Loyalitetsbureuaet
Jens Baggesens Vej 47
8200 Aarhus N
Denmark
[Results]
Tribbles (Standard)
Good Games Brisbane
74 Little Edward Street
Spring Hill, QLD 4000
Australia
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
Good Games Brisbane
74 Little Edward Street
Spring Hill, QLD 4000
Australia
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
CodCon
College of DuPage
Student Resource Center
425 Fawell Boulevard
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
United States
[Results]
Tribbles (Standard)
CodCon
College of DuPage
Student Resource Center
425 Fawell Boulevard
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
United States
[Results]
First Edition (Sealed Warp Speed)
CodCon
College of DuPage
Student Resource Center
425 Fawell Boulevard
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
United States
[Results]
Second Edition (Standard)
KFC Restaurant
9300 Midlothian Turnpike
Richmond, VA 23235
United States
[Results]

Good Games Brisbane (First Edition): Eight players participated in this Briar Patch Regional, the first tournament of a triple header weekend in Brisbane, Australia. This tournament was a sealed event with each player receiving an OTSD and a random TNG-Block starter deck. That saw four [Fed] Federation, two [Kli] Klingon, one [Rom] Romulan and one [Kli] [Rom] Klingon/Romulan deck being played. As predicted, Ben Dillon (Broshak) and Greg Dillon (Latok) challenged for the title. They didn't have it all their own way though, with visiting player Matthew Ting (Wedge772) getting himself in contention. Greg, playing a Federation deck titled "2013 Briar Patch Regional", defeated his brother Ben, playing Klingon, in the first round. Greg then won his next two games and only had to beat Matthew, playing a Klingon/Romulan deck titled "Romulan Brisbane Sealed Regional", in the fourth round to secure the title. As it was, Matthew won that match. He had lost his first round game though; so Ben, Greg and Matthew all finished the tournament on 13 victory points. The tiebreakers gave the victory to Greg, with Ben in second place and Matthew in third place. Five deck lists and four tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Good Games Brisbane:

Total achievements awarded30
Most achievements wonGreg Dillon (Latok) with 7
Average achievements per player3.0
Biggest ratings gainGarry Dillon (AdmiralG), up 34 points to 1455
Average rating of all 8 players1531

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionMatt's Prediction
Greg DillonBen DillonBen DillonMatthew Ting

Loyalitetsbueauet: Eight players turned out for this Second Edition Omarion Nebula Regional. Four players were local, two were from the United Kingdom and two were from Germany. It was a day of games going to time, as only eleven games out of the 20 played resulted in full wins. After four rounds, Peter H. Moller (Peukon), playing a [TNG] Next Generation deck titled "Know anything about Farpoint Station, sir?" was leading; Soren Ramme Nielsen (s_ramme), playing a [Bor] Borg deck titled "The Clutch" was second; and Morten Sandberg (LessQQ), playing a [Bor] Borg deck titled "Borg decks need to be big" was third. All three players were in contention for the title going into the final round. Morten defeated Peter, which gave Soren the opportunity to take the title if he could win his final game. He did just that to defend the title he won last year. Other affiliations played include [Bor] Borg, [Maq] Maquis, [TOS] Original Series, [TNG] Next Generation and [SF] Starfleet. All eight deck lists and two tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page, and an interview with Soren Ramme Nielsen is below.

Statistics from Loyalitetsbueauet:

Total achievements awarded28
Most achievements wonMorten Sandberg (LessQQ) with 7
Average achievements per player3.5
Biggest ratings gainMorten Sandberg (LessQQ), up 44 points to 1637
Average rating of all 8 players1668

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionMatt's Prediction
Soren Ramme NielsenJames HoskinTobias RausmannNicholas Yankovec

College of DuPage (Second Edition): This Deep Space 9 Regional saw a record attendance of 15 players this year. There was not that much variety in the decks though, with only seven of the 17 affiliations on show. After four of the five rounds, Michael Van Breemen (The Ninja Scot), playing a [Maq] Maquis deck titled "Duct Tape is the Goal" was the only undefeated player. A combination of other results and Michael defeating Kris Sonsteby (LORE), playing a [TOS] Original Series deck titled "Forget About the Curve Ball, Ricky... Give 'Em the Heater!", in the third round meant that the title was his no matter what happened in the final round. This is the third time Michael has won this Regional, and the fifth Second Edition Regional he has won in the Continuing Committee-era. Other affiliations played include [Kli] Klingon, [Maq] Maquis, Relativity (twice), [SF] Starfleet (three times), [TNG] Next Generation (four times), [TOS] Original Series and [Voy] Voyager. All 15 deck lists and seven tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from College of DuPage:

Total achievements awarded40
Most achievements wonDerrick Marsh (HoodieDM) with 8
Average achievements per player2.7
Biggest ratings gainMichael Van Breemen (The Ninja Scot), up 80 points to 1728
Average rating of all 15 players1568

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionMatt's Prediction
Michael Van BreemenKris SonstebyKris SonstebyMichael Van Breemen

College of DuPage (Tribbles): 15 participants saw this Regional become the largest Tribbles Regional of the year so far. For the preliminary heats, the players were split into two pods. Pod one was very low scoring, with an average of just 145,228 Tribbles each scored by the eight players. Eric Bieche (biecheer), playing a Go deck titled "Around the Horn" went out several times, but only scored 233,443 Tribbles in total. That was enough for him to win the table though. Other players at the table report that they had trouble scoring points consistently. Kris Sonsteby (LORE) qualified thanks to two 50,000 Tally splits and Utilizing for 100,000 points in the first round. In contrast, Al Schaefer (ltkettch17) played ten points scoring cards (Utilize, Toxin and Poison), but only earned 32,311 points for his efforts. Pod two was similarly low-scoring with the seven players averaging just 165,649 Tribbles each. The pod was dominated by Jeremy Huth (9of24), playing a Discard/Poison deck titled "The tribble and the egg". Jeremy scored almost half of the points in the pod, and had more than twice the score of second place finisher Edward Pigman (jindrak). The top table seemed to be heavy with Discard and its counter: Toxin. Consequently, it was much higher scoring than either of the preliminary heats. Edward Pigman took the lead after a long third round saw him go out with over 600,000 Tribbles in his play pile. He never looked back, and took the title. 14 deck lists and one tournament report can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from College of DuPage:

Total achievements awarded21
Most achievements wonJeremy Huth (9of24) with 6
Average achievements per player1.4
Total Tribbles scored3,636,159
Average Tribbles scored by all 15 players242,411

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionMatt's Prediction
Edward PigmanMichael MoskopSteve NelsonCorbin Johnson

KFC Restaurant: This Second Edition Sector 001 Regional attracted eleven players. Among them were all three former winners of this Regional: Charlie Beam (Gooch), Ben Hosp (bhosp) and Neil Timmons (ntimmons). Neil, playing a [Kli] Klingon deck unimaginatively titled "4/20 Regional", was the only one of the three not to suffer an early loss. That left him being challenged for the title by Phil Schrader (pschrader), playing a Relativity deck titled "No one likes it when Chuckles works with Kirk"; and Brian Sykes (Armus), playing a [Kli] Klingon deck titled "Blitzkrieg". Phil and Bryan faced each other in round three, with Phil coming out on top. However, Neil saw him off in round four. When the dust settled, Phil and Bryan both had one loss from five games, and finished in second and third, respectively. Neil was undefeated and won this Regional for the third year. He also brought order to the universe by winning with a Klingon deck, the fifth time in six years a Klingon deck has won this Regional. Not that its getting predictable or anything! Other affiliations played include [Dom] Dominion, Relativity (three times including Phil's deck), [SF] Starfleet, [TN] Terok Nor and [TNG] Next Generation. Six deck lists and one tournament report can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from KFC Restaurant:

Total achievements awarded27
Most achievements wonPhil Schrader (pschrader) with 5
Average achievements per player2.5
Biggest ratings gainBrian Sykes (Armus), up 40 points to 1734
Average rating of all 11 players1630

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionMatt's Prediction
Neil TimmonsNeil TimmonsNeil TimmonsNeil Timmons

Good Games Brisbane (Tribbles): The second of three Regional tournaments in Brisbane, Australia attracted ten players. The players were split into two pods of five for the preliminary round. Pod one saw Steve Hartmann (chompers), playing a Go deck titled "GoGo", use his Poison's and target a player with lots of 100,000 Tribbles in his deck, to take the lead and keep himself there. Steve won the pod with a score of 554,522 Tribbles. Last week's Tribbles Regional winner in Sydney, Kieren Otten (Honest) took second place with a respectable score of 331,464 Tribbles. Pod two was dominated by three players: Greg Dillon (Latok), Mike Garvey (Mike2E) and Matthew Ting (Wedge772). They scored 93% of the Tribbles in the pod. Greg won the pod with a Utilize deck titled "Utilizing Utilize for Worlds" and a score of 691,234 Tribbles. Tournament director Mike took second place with his Go/Masaka deck titled "Regionals MSG". The top table was contested by these four players, and featured a lot of Poison (or Copy's of Poison). Mike was the early target based on an unfounded rumor that he had lots of 100,000 Tribbles in his deck. Attention then switched to other players looking for the elusive "Big Money". In his own words, Steve tried to "con his way to victory" and managed to persuade Kieren to not go out once. His con didn't last long though, as Kieren went out the next time he had the opportunity, and he had just enough in his score pile to take the victory. This was Kieren's second Regional victory in as many weeks. Six deck lists and two tournament report can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Good Games Brisbane:

Total achievements awarded10
Most achievements wonBen Doyle (Draconarius) with 5
Average achievements per player1.0
Total Tribbles scored2,521,422
Average Tribbles scored by all 10 players252,142

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionMatt's Prediction
Kieren OttenGreg DillonSteve HartmannKieren Otten

Good Games Brisbane (Second Edition): Ten players fought for the title of Second Edition Briar Patch Regional Champion. Anti-download tech was the order of the day, as three [Bor] Borg decks and a [Kli] Klingon High Council deck were amongst the decks used. The deciding game happened in round four, where Craig Giblett (Ensign Gibbers), playing a Borg deck titled "The Borg Institute v2.2"; and Ben Dillon (Broshak), playing a Klingon deck titled "Klingon Regional"; faced each other. They were both undefeated at the time. Craig got the modified win and won his final game to take the title home with him. This was Craig's first Regional win in the Continuing Committee-era. He says it may be the last time he takes his Borg deck interstate with him though, after he was "randomly checked for bombs at the airport" ... "again". Other decks played include [Baj] Bajoran, Earth Space 9, Relativity, [TN] Terok Nor and [TOS] Original Series (twice). All ten deck lists and four tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from Good Games Brisbane:

Total achievements awarded15
Most achievements wonBen Dillon (Broshak) and Craig Giblett (Ensign Gibbers), with 3 each
Average achievements per player1.5
Biggest ratings gainCraig Giblett (Ensign Gibbers), up 73 points to 1729
Average rating of all 10 players1532

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionMatt's Prediction
Craig GiblettSteve HartmannShane BrierleyLee Clarke

College of DuPage (First Edition): Ten players took part in this Voyager Warp Speed Regional. It was the largest turnout for any First Edition tournament in the Deep Space 9 Region. Each player received a 40-card Voyager starter deck, four Voyager boosters and two The Borg boosters, with which to build their decks. Jason Beyer (sevencrdspud) received everything he needed for a free Vidiian report each turn, and that gave him a huge advantage (three cards plays each turn to his opponent's two). :::cue Rocky theme::: Jason was undefeated over four games, to take the title. His first Regional title ever. Jeremy Huth (9of24) was also packing The Vidiian Sodality and took second place having lost to Jason in the final round. All ten deck lists and five tournament reports can be found on the tournament results page.

Statistics from College of DuPage:

Total achievements awarded16
Most achievements wonCorbin Johnson (Corbinq27), Brian Leonard (MrVorlon) and Matt Pniewski (Newski), with 3 each
Average achievements per player1.5
Biggest ratings gainJason Beyer (sevencrdspud), up 66 points to 1545
Average rating of all 10 players1494

WinnerJames' PredictionKris' PredictionMatt's Prediction
Jason BeyerMichael Van BreemenJeremy HuthJeremy Huth


Interview

This week, Soren Ramme Nielsen (s_ramme), winner of the Omarion Nebula Regional, looks down on us all from his great height to talk about this weekend's Regional/National double header in Denmark.

James: Congratulations on your win Soren. Matter of Time had lots of meta-changing cards. How did its release affect your choice of decks for the Regional?
Soren: Not a lot, really. In my opinion it's mostly dual hq decks that take a hit from Matter of Time, and I wasn't going to play one anyway.

James: Which decks were you considering playing?
Soren: I was considering lots of different decks. Relativity, Event heavy Voyager, Original Series speed solver, Next Generation Loaded for Bear, Romulan Donatra/Stooges, Klingon High Council, Deep Space 9 Vastly Outnumbered, and Starfleet with Samuels. In the end, I went with my trusted Borg deck instead. Mostly, because I knew that it would stand a chance against Maquis and Klingons, as I was expecting Tobias to play one of the two. I really wanted to play Loaded for Bear, but never really "nailed" the build.

James: European Style (80 card draw deck, 40 dilemmas) doesn't come close to describing the size of your deck. Why is it so big?
Soren: Because I've put too many cards in it. Seriously, it's way too big. Especially the dilemma pile is ridiculous. The dilemma pile was really just a generic pile that I had (and that was too big as it was) and I then added the standard selection of dilemmas that work well with Borg: Back to Basics, Gorgan, Tactical Disadvantage, Inferiority, and the 8-cost dilemmas. If I hadn't just made up my mind about what to play as I was leaving home, I would've cut it down to 40-45 cards. The draw deck is also too big. I'm too "greedy" when I build decks, so they tend to get more and more bloated over time. I usually get around to cut them down in size before tournaments, which I didn't get around to this time. That being said, a Borg deck can be quite large without playing sluggishly or inefficiently. There is so much downloading and so many draw-engines that you can usually get what you want anyway. I did, however, have problems getting my stuff out in the game against Peter (Peukon), which was why I (narrowly) lost, and should trim the deck somewhat, but I'll keep it around 90-95 cards.

James: What decks did you expect to face?
Soren: As I mentioned before, I thought that Tobias would be playing either Maquis or Klingon High-Council. He's had a lot of success playing those decks in the past, and I figured he would bring his A game. I was also expecting Nick to rock his new signature commodity deck. Other than that, I really didn't know.

James: So I didn't factor in your decisions? Never mind. Can you give a brief description of how your deck works?
Soren: It's a fairly standard Euro Borg build. You get your copies of Quintessence out and start downloading people. You use Annexation Drone and At What Cost? along with Surprise Party, Energize (using Fifth for unlimited discount) and Unimatrix Zero for extra counters. When you've got enough guys and an arsenal of dilemma cheating interrupts in hand (and preferably Unyielding in your core), you go attempt missions.

James: Are there any special tricks or combos in the deck?
Soren: Well, they're not my tricks, but using Seven of Nine to draw four cards by placing Fourth on the bottom of your deck, ready to download again on your next turn is money. Also, the combination of Unyielding, The First of Many and Bridge Officer's Test makes lots of dilemma piles struggle against you. Late game I like to use Defragmentation Drone to blow up my copies of Unimatrix Zero to get cheaters in my hand.

James: How did the tournament play out, from your perspective?
Soren: I won, so I really can't complain. It was a tough field of opponents. I was surprised to beat Tobias. He is a much better player than I am, so I'm happy about that. I felt that I could've done better against Peter, but he is a very good player and that Next Generation deck of his is lightning fast, so I feel no shame in losing.

James: Who was your toughest opponent?
Soren: It has to be a toss-up between Tobias and Peter. I feel that both games could have gone either way.

James: I'm slightly disappointed that you didn't say me, but I'll move on... Now the tournament is over, how would you improve the deck?
Soren: As I said, it needs to be slightly smaller, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with the build. I had added Lineage before the tournament, which is a great cycling card.

James: If you could create an achievement, what would it be?
Soren: I really like the achievement system. It makes playing tournaments even more fun, when you get to collect an achievement afterwards. I don't have a good idea for one though.

James: Do you have anything else to add?
Soren: I'd like to thank everybody who attended the Danish Regional and National Championships making it an awesome weekend in Aarhus.

Thanks to Soren for taking the time to answer my questions. Even if he did overlook the chance to name me as his toughest opponent.


Byes

This week, two players won a Day One, Round One bye into their local First Edition Continental Championships:

And, six players won a Day One, Round One bye into their local Second Edition Continental Championships:

And, three players won a 100,000 Tribble Headstart into their local Tribbles Continental Championships:

These bye winners have been added to the list of current bye winners for the Continental Championships and the World Championships here. For everyone who didn't win a bye, there are still 57 Regionals where you can earn one.


Deck Statistics

There were 18 players at two First Edition tournaments this week, taking the total players at First Edition Regional Championships to 33 - an average of 8.3 players per tournament. Both events this week were sealed, so the statistics are skewed in favor of certain affiliations at the moment. This will even itself out as more Regionals are played.

The best performing First Edition affiliations to date are [Baj] Bajoran, averaging 12.0 victory points per tournament; followed by [Fer] Ferengi and [Kli] Klingon, both averaging 11.0 victory points. The worst performing affiliations to date are [Dom] Dominion, averaging 9.0 victory points per tournament; followed by [Fed] Federation, averaging 8.6 victory points; and then Hirogen averaging 7.0 victory points.

The most popular First Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[Fed] FederationUsed by 10 (30%) players1 Regional win
2.VidiianUsed by 6 (18%) players1 Regional win
3.[Bor] BorgUsed by 3 (9%) players
3.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 3 (9%) players
3.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 3 (9%) players
6.[Fer] FerengiUsed by 2 (6%) players1 Regional win
6.Dual AffiliationsUsed by 2 (6%) players
8.[Baj] BajoranUsed by 1 (3%) player1 Regional win
8.[Dom] DominionUsed by 1 (3%) player
8.HirogenUsed by 1 (3%) player
8.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 1 (3%) player

There were 44 players at four Second Edition tournaments this week, taking the total players at Second Edition Regional Championships to 103 - an average of 10.3 players per tournament. Every affiliation was played this week, except for [DS9] Deep Space 9 - the affiliation with the best played/win ratio.

The best performing Second Edition affiliations to date are [DS9] Deep Space 9, averaging 16.5 victory points per tournament; followed by [Maq] Maquis, averaging 14.8 victory points; and then Relativity, averaging 13.5 victory points. The worst performing affiliations are [Dom] Dominion and [Rom] Romulan, both averaging 10.7 victory points per tournament; followed by [Car] Cardassian, averaging 10.3 victory points, and then [Voy] Voyager / Equinox, averaging 10.0 victory points.

The most popular Second Edition affiliations are currently:
1.[TNG] Next GenerationUsed by 16 (14%) players1 Regional win
2.[Kli] KlingonUsed by 13 (12%) players3 Regional wins
2.[SF] StarfleetUsed by 13 (12%) players1 Regional win
4.[Bor] BorgUsed by 10 (9%) players2 Regional wins
5.RelativityUsed by 9 (8%) players
6.[Dom] DominionUsed by 7 (6%) players1 Regional win
6.[TOS] Original SeriesUsed by 7 (6%) players
8.Earth Space 9Used by 6 (5%) players
9.[Maq] MaquisUsed by 5 (5%) players1 Regional win
9.[TN] Terok NorUsed by 5 (5%) players
11.[Baj] BajoranUsed by 4 (4%) players
11.[Voy] Voyager/EquinoxUsed by 4 (4%) players
13.[Car] CardassianUsed by 3 (3%) players
13.[Rom] RomulanUsed by 3 (3%) players
15.[DS9] Deep Space 9Used by 2 (2%) players2 Regional wins
15.[Fer] FerengiUsed by 2 (2%) players1 Regional win
15.Unknown?Used by 2 (2%) players
18.[NA] Non-AlignedUsed by 1 (1%) player

There were 25 players at two Tribbles tournaments this week, bringing the total players at Tribbles Regional Championships to 62 - an average of 8.9 players per tournament. Excluding preliminary heats, a total of 19,110,909 Tribbles have been scored to date, an average of 308,240 Tribbles per player. Yet again, winning decks have not been entered. That we only have two winning decks from the seven Regionals completed to date is very disappointing.

The most popular Tribbles powers in each deck are:
1.Unknown?Used by 14 (23%) players5 Regional wins
2.GoUsed by 12 (19%) players
3.IDICUsed by 5 (8%) players
4.BattleUsed by 4 (7%) players
4.CloneUsed by 4 (7%) players
6.PoisonUsed by 3 (5%) players
6.RescueUsed by 3 (5%) players
6.UtilizeUsed by 3 (5%) players
9.BonusUsed by 2 (3%) players
9.DiscardUsed by 2 (3%) players
11.FreezeUsed by 1 (2%) player
11.RecycleUsed by 1 (2%) player
11.ReplicateUsed by 1 (2%) player
11.Battle/GoUsed by 1 (2%) player
11.Battle/ScoreUsed by 1 (2%) player
11.Clone/GoUsed by 1 (2%) player1 Regional win
11.Clone/ReplayUsed by 1 (2%) player
11.Go/MasakaUsed by 1 (2%) player
11.Go/ScanUsed by 1 (2%) player
11.Poison/RescueUsed by 1 (2%) player1 Regional win

Predictions

JamesKrisInterviewees
7/24 (29.2%)8/24 (33.3%)10/24 (41.7%)
2013 Prediction Accuracy

It is with great shame that I report that Kris and I only managed one correct prediction last week. Interviewee Matt Kirk (CaptMDKirk) scored a respectable three from eight correct predictions. That may be worse than the previous interviewees, but Matt outperformed Kris and me by some margin. Thanks to Matt's predictions, the interviewees have now pulled out a lead in this year's prediction race. Soren Ramme Nielsen (s_ramme) has a lot to live up to with his five predictions this week.

Past Interviewee Prediction Accuracy
Week 2Nat Kirton (Nate Jeezy)3/6 (50.0%)
Week 1Sean O'Reilly (Jono)4/9 (44.4%)
Week 3Matt Kirk (CaptMDKirk)3/8 (37.5%)


Week 4 Preview

The complete schedule can be found in the article 2013 Regional Championships Schedule. There are five Regional tournaments this week:

Saturday 27th AprilSunday 28th April
First Edition (OTF)
Oliver's Sickbay
Kurt-Weill-Str. 41
06844 Dessau
Germany
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Restaurant Zypresse
Westbahnstrasse 35A
1070 Vienna
Austria
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Standard)
Restaurant Zypresse
Westbahnstrasse 35A
1070 Vienna
Austria
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Second Edition (Standard)
Donatos Pizza
1730 Hilliard Rome Road
Hilliard, OH 43026
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]
Tribbles (Standard)
Donatos Pizza
1730 Hilliard Rome Road
Hilliard, OH 43026
United States
[Discuss] [Pre-register]

Oliver's Sickbay: Saturday's only tournament will be the second year that this First Edition Vandros IV Regional will be held in Dessau, Germany. There were five players last year, and four have pre-registered this time. As with last year, Sebastian Kirstein (Caretaker's Guest) stands out as the player to watch. He is the #2 ranked player in the world, and has won almost half of the 23 tournaments he has played in. In contrast, his pre-registered opponents have only played nine tournaments between them and they have no wins to their collective names. In previewing this Regional last year, I used the phrase "one-sided". With every respect to Sebastian's opponents, I think that still applies this year. Sebastian to win.

Kris: Sebastian Kirstein to win. Why? The Caretaker is a former Continental Champion and reigning Regional Champion, having collected gold in that very arena last year. But in this business, championships are just like Jell-O, Gorilla... there's always room for more!

Soren: I don't know much about First Edition and have never played it, but Sebastian Kirstein seems the obvious choice. He's got an 88% winning record and won the European Continental Championship in 2011, so he is my pick.

Past First Edition Regional results at Oliver's Sickbay:
2012, won by Sebastian Kirstein (Caretaker's Guest) playing [Rom] Romulan.
2011, not played.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Restaurant Zypresse (Second Edition): This "Borg Region" Regional has changed venues for the first time in five years. The fact that no players have pre-registered so far shouldn't dissuade you from attending though. The local playgroup have a number of dedicated players and sanction tournaments frequently. Four time winner of this Regional, Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg) stands out as the one to watch. He is ranked #5 in the world, and has won 54% of the 112 tournaments he has entered. Since the European Continental Championships last year, Stefan has played in 13 tournaments. He has nine wins, three runner-up spots and one third place to his name. If that isn't form, then I don't know what is. Stefan's competition looks to come from Jeronimo Mitaroff (Kangaxx), Michael Albrecht (Ein Gast...) and Julius Melhardt (Clerasil ToB). Julius has the best winning record against Stefan, with 25 wins from 66 games (38%), and he also has the most tournament wins of the three players. That's not enough to make me change my pick from Stefan though.

Kris: Stefan Slaby to win. Why? The man hasn't finished lower than second in any pay per view he's participated in this year, and carries an 81% win percentage into this bout. If that weren't enough of a reason to pick him, conveniently he's also the head referee for this melee, and we both know that the refs hold all the power inside the squared circle.

Soren: At this time nobody has pre-registered, but Stefan Slaby is the tournament director and will probably play, so I'll pick him. He's the European Continental Champion from 2011 and won both the Regional and the Austrian National Championship last year. And, he's rated 5 in the world. He must be the safe choice.

Past Second Edition Regional results at Restaurant Zypresse:
2012 (alternate venue), won by Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg) playing [Voy] Voyager.
2011 (alternate venue), won by Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg) playing [Voy] Voyager.
2010 (alternate venue, sealed), won by Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg) playing [Fer] Ferengi.
2009 (alternate venue, sealed), won by Peter Machovits (Pille1701) playing [DS9] Deep Space 9.
2008 (alternate venue), won by Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg) playing [Bor] Borg.

Restaurant Zypresse (Tribbles): The second half of the double header sees a Tribbles Regional follow the Second Edition Regional. The contenders for this tournament are much more varied than those for the earlier tournament. The Austrian rankings show the top three players within 221,651 Tribbles of each other. Michael Albrecht (Ein Gast...) leads the way, followed by Stefan Slaby (Winner of Borg) and then Julius Melhardt (Clerasil ToB). While all have won tournaments, the telling statistic is the number of tournaments each have played. Julius has played 25, Michael 23 and Stefan just 16. Stefan also seems able to consistently score a significant number of points in each tournament he plays in, so he is my pick to win this one too.

Kris: Stefan Slaby to win. Why? Mr. Unbreakable has put at least 10k on the board in every Battle Royale he's entered, and has picked up over 400k in his last five fights. The man moves more furniture than the Mayflower, Gorilla, and my sources tell me we can expect more of the same come Sunday.

Soren: I don't know much about Tibbles either, and nobody has pre-registered yet so I'll pick Julius Melhardt to win.

Past Tribbles Regional results at Restaurant Zypresse:
2012 (alternate venue), won by Julius Melhardt (Clerasil ToB) playing a Copy/Go/Replay deck.
2011, not played.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.

Donatos Pizza (Second Edition): This Qo'noS Regional has also changed venues for the first time in five years. Seven players have pre-registered so far, including one who will be making his or her debut. Based on the ratings, there look to be two contenders for this title: Jared Hoffman (Mugato) and Joel Skon (RedAlucard). Jared has won 23% of the tournaments he has entered, compared to Joel's 16%. However, Jared has not won any of his last ten tournaments. In that time, Joel has played 15 tournaments and won four of them. Neither record is stellar, but both players are consistently able to finish in the top few places of a tournament. The only real differentiator I can find is their head-to-head record. Jared has won 67% of his games against Joel. With that win percentage in mind, I'll pick Jared to take this one.

Kris: Joel Skon to win. Why? The n.W.o.'s inner turmoil takes center stage this week, as Hollywood Hoffman and Syxx set aside their friendship and black and white express tee-shirts to battle for Regional supremacy. Despite the fact that Hollywood has won 2 outta every 3 matches against him, Syxx came away victorious in their most recent encounter and my big brain says the time is ripe for the pupil to become the professor.

Soren: I'm going to go with Joel Skon to win. He and Jared Hoffman are the highest rated players pre-registered. They haven't played much this year, but Joel won the tournament that they both attended in March, so I think he's the man in form.

Past Second Edition Regional results at Donatos Pizza:
2012 (alternate venue), won by Joel Skon (RedAlucard) playing [Voy] Voyager.
2011 (alternate venue), won by Jared Hoffman (Mugato) playing [Kli] Klingon.
2010 (alternate venue), won by Jared Hoffman (Mugato) playing [Voy] Equinox.
2009 (alternate venue), won by Sandy Barnabas (sandy).
2008 (alternate venue), won by Jared Hoffman (Mugato) playing [SF] Starfleet.

Donatos Pizza (Tribbles): The final Regional of the weekend forms the second half of the Hilliard, Ohio double-header. Only one player has pre-registered so far, but we can assume that most of the players taking part in the Second Edition Regional earlier in the day will stick around for this tournament too. Joshua Sheets (prylardurden) leads the charge for this title, with a record of winning 37% of the tournaments he enters. This is far superior to that of any of his potential opponents. In fact, most don't come close to having the Tribbles-breeding experience that Joshua has. Jared Hoffman (Mugato) comes closest, with the most tournaments played (14) and the most wins (three), but I'd be stupid to look past Joshua to win.

Kris: Josh Sheets to win. Why? Having finally found a place to call home in the Land of 10,000 Champions, The Nomad has been refining his technique under the watchful eyes of The Old Pro and The Original Champion. Provided he remembers his training and hits someone with a chair while the ref's back is turned, I gotta believe he'll claim Regional gold once again.

Soren: Joshua Sheets is the only one pre-registered and my pick to win. He's the 28th highest breeding Tribbles player in the world, so I predict that he'll clean the table.

Past Tribbles Regional results at Donatos Pizza:
2012 (alternate venue), won by Neal Lawson (Onomy) playing a Bonus deck.
2011, not played.
2010, not played.
2009, not played.
2008, not played.


Next Week

Week 5 of the Road to Worlds sees this weekend's five Regionals reviewed, an interview with a winning player, more statistics, and a preview of next weekend's five Regionals. With a bit of luck, next week's Road to Worlds will only require a single article too. My typing finger really hopes that is the case.

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