Worlds 2019 Lille Tournament Report

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Worlds 2019 Lille Tournament Report

Post by Patric »

Here is my long tournament report...have fun - Patric

I started my journey to Lille at 5:15 in the morning – when I realized that the bus would not come at 5:45, I was heading to my scooter to reach the train to Mainz. It was a very good way to wake up completely and so I was reading my book The Wheel of Time (probably some of you guys know it). In Mainz I met my friend Sebastian Knollmann…the last tournament he played was the World Championships 2003 in Austria. It has been 16 years since he became third and me second. It is a very good player and we played LOTR on championships, too. But as I said it was long ago and he refused my invitations to Lure since years. I met him in the last two years in Mainz because I had an Obstacle Run next to Mainz and so we talked about the good old MECCG times and that I still play it, even if I made a small brake, too.
We already talked a lot in advance and he wanted to know the top decks at the moment, additionally he did some decent internet research about the actual decks. He is really competitive and even if he knew that it would be hard to get into the finals for him (also because he plays a Fallen Radagast deck similar to mine and probably most of the people know how to deal with this deck by now), he still was hoping to get in.
On our 5 hours drive to Lille we talked all the time about MECCG strategies, decks and the finals. And he was very enthusiastic even about the one deck and made so many thoughts about his deck, that he won the Hero One Deck tournament on Friday. ;-) Well done!

On Friday Evening we got a sightseeing tour though Lille and the nice bars. We talked also about the decks which would probably be played the next day. And when we came home at 1:30 we started to adjust our deck a little bit. Because we also discussed together for example the best hazards against One Ring etc. I was adjusting until 3:00 and Sebastian until 4:00.

I played with my well-known Fallen Radagast, which scored more than 30 points in every game without doubling anything.

Round 1 Mark (Sauron – Dragon-country) 2:4

I knew the deck from many games with him, so even if I added some hazards like Many Sorrows befall against concealments of The Great Eye it was clear, I won’t really touch his companies… He plays also Morgul Night for Elf-lord protection so the only hope was to get my Majas through. I was able to do that one time with the help of Daelomin against a Great Eye and a canceler, but he survived them without any problems. On the other hand he played not so many useful hazards against me but my final move with Farmer Maggot to Old Forrest (for Tom and Mitschief) was not possible because he had two Heard Grown Cold, where I only had one Marvel’s Told. But that and a little bit my bad luck in card-drawing cost me the game (the next card out of the 5 remaining ones was The Warg-king. Therefore he managed to win the game by only one point. Of course he achieved the victory because he played very well, as always. Before that game, I had nevertheless hoped for an easier first round opponent ;-) Final Score: 33:34.

Round 2 Roland (Sauron - Mordor Squatter) 4:2

I also knew Roland’s Deck very well, so it was clear that this cannot become more than a 4:2 victory. Not very good grounds to start from, when you have already lost the first game. I had hoped for getting an easier opponent now, for a 6:0 to catch up again. The problem was that I couldn’t touch his companies with my hazards…I have on Stench of Mordor in the deck and one in the Sideboard. This card was my only hope and thankfully it came quite early. But he discarded it in the same turn with a Twillight. We were both fighting for the Stench and I won the fight but he slowed it only a little bit down, because he was playing with two characters on every site and one Underdeep company. I know that it would have been much easier to play against this Deck type with an Undead hazard strategy like Heiner, but I wanted to use the Maja’s and Elf-lords as protection for my company, too. Roland was in the Lead but I got a last round and managed to win by only two points. And I had to push my Sideboard really hard to get so many points… Final Score: 36:34.

Round 3 Pawel (Lidless Eye) 4:2

It was really a shock when I realized that Pawel was going to be my next opponent, especially having only managed 6 points after two rounds…anyway, complaining is no strategy for winning a game. But we both agreed that only the winner of this game will have a chance to reach the finals…we both where wrong ;-)
Honestly, I can’t remember very much of this game but it was always very close and with Pawel as opponent everything can happen; but luckily, at the end, I was in a good position to win the game and was able to beat him at least 4:2.
Final MP Score 33:25

Round 4 Oscar (Hero – Aragorn-Fatty/Bilbo) 5:1

My first Opponent against whom I could use my Hero hazard deck…but against Oscar it was not very effective, because he played a Stealth on his company in every turn and I was holding an Assassin from Round 1. I played a corruption card on his Aragorn, but Bilbo removed them all. So, my corruption hazards deck was pretty useless against him – therefore, I rather concentrated on creatures. And when Alatar showed up I could also play a little more hazards, which was really nice. Alatar took care of the Assassin from my First round and got wounded by the third strike. Oscar made a big mistake, because he forgot to use his Risky blow for the third strike. Had he used that, he would also have defeated the Assassin. But I failed my body checks as the other body check for the other two Assassins on him. In fact Alatar was not useful for Oscar. On the other hand I couldn’t do anything against the original company, therefore they played the White Tree and Return to the King.
Final MP Score 33:22

Now there were 5 remaining players with 15 points, and one with 16, not to forget Heiner with 21. There were two more Fallen Radagast players – Karsten with 16 and Sebastian with 15 points. I knew when I would face them it could become difficult, but getting a Mordor Squatter again was also nothing I hoped for, because this would have meant that I didn’t have any chance left for a 5:1 or 6:0.

The pairings were like this:
Heiner 21 vs Karsten 16
Patric 15 vs Vincent 15
Pawel 15 vs. Christian 15 (Fallen Alatar Fighting against every company)
Sebastian 15 vs. Mark 13

I hoped that Heiner would win against Karsten, so I would have been in for sure even with a 4:2. But Karsten showed us all that he can always reach the Finals and won the game against Heiner 4:2. Now I needed assistance from the game Sebastian vs. Mark. If Mark had won against Sebastian – except for a 6:0 – both players would not have reached the 19 points and would have been out. It was also a little bit sad, because my room-mate didn’t make it to the Finals (he had played for the first time for 15 years again and wasn’t aware of Mark’s “I discard Arkenstone and you your dwarf with all your allies which would otherwise be doubled” –turn. He could easily avoid that he just had to go to the Underdeep from Rhosgobel…that lost him the game and probably the chance of making it to the finals. I as well had the option to reach the finals, but at that point we were 3 players with 19 and it was clear that only 2 would reach the finals.

Round 5 Vincent (Sauron - Mordor Squatter) 4:2

With all that in my mind I just focused on the game again and hoped for my Stench of Mordor. This time it was more necessary to have it in the game, because he played it in a more classic manner, with only one character per site and an Underdeep company with three people. Again, I was doing everything to cycle it as often as possible and play Mouth of Sauron etc. I guess I played Stench five times, because he was also Twillighting like hell. But I managed to always take the lead in this fight and so the surface guys hadn’t played anything besides the Factions at the havens.
Still, he was playing everything with the Underdeep company, so I couldn’t really stop him there. Vincent was a very nice opponent whom I faced for the first time. I finally managed to get 36 points because he forgot about the Farmer Maggot beam and didn’t play Heard Grown Cold. I had a Marvel’s told, too, but he could cancel it with Blind to the eye. Very tough game again and I was really exhausted but happy to reach the finals. Final Score: 36:29.

My experience was that at this tournament there was a very strong and high-level competition, and each game was a really big fight even if I scored so many points, I was not able to hit my opponents hard; only that much that I could gain a small lead at the end, or also not, like in Mark’s case. ;-)
Final Ranking after 5 Rounds

Heiner 23 TP
Karsten 20 TP
Patric 19 TP
Pawel 19 TP

Five people tied with 17 points for 5th place.

After five really challenging and exhausting rounds and only one Baguette we all were hungry. Heiner, Mark, Roland, Sebastian and me went to the city next to the location and were looking for a nice French restaurant, but everything was full or reserved. It was 21:00 on Saturday and we were not the only, but probably the most hungry ones looking for a place to eat.
After half an hour of searching we found a very nice pan cake restaurant. It was really delicious!!!
Heiner told us that he had won all of the recent tournaments against Mark…after some discussions it turned out that it was only one game…probably he wanted to frighten me with his impressive games from the past. We also talked about who would be the next number 1 in the Most successful Player-ranking on We all agreed, that Mark should be ranked in third place but he missed playing for some national titles; which for him is even more difficult while he lives in the Netherlands or Australia ;-)
Later we went directly to the hotel (I was staying with Sebastian in the Ibis) because I had to adjust my decks. I thought that Heiner would play his Balrog from the qualifier again – of course with a different hazard deck…but no Elf-lords / Majas and Pawel Balrog, either. Most likely Karsten would play his Fallen Radagast from the qualifier again (he wanted to do so in former Finals, but he thought I would play Fallen Radagast, too). Still, I was 99% sure that he would play Fallen in general or to 1% Ring-dunk.
Since Heiner would have destroyed me had I played Fallen Radagast again, I decided to surprise everyone and play Balrog. I was playing Makers Map/High Helm and Burning Rick cot and Tree in Eriador in addition with The Warg-king, a few recruits and Regiment in Weathertop. I just played it once against my Fallen Radagast with a decent hazard deck and won 6:0 against the Fallen Radagast. As I said, I had last played Balrog 15 year ago…the classic Wolfrog deck. Last Worlds I tried a Hero Short rest deck for the first time and I got third because of the lack of experience with this kind of deck. I hoped that Balrog is a little bit easier to play than the Short rest deck. Luckily I always got the Balrog first, and the opponent hazards didn’t harm me very much.
I had the resource part already put together and only had to adjust the hazard decks. I expected Heiner to be the toughest opponent, so I had prepared my hazard deck mostly against him. Together with Sebastian we created the hazard decks. Majas and Elf-lords together with three Nameless Thing. I thought that this hazard deck would work well against Pawel, too. Against Karsten I played three added Ambushers and everything playable against a moving company between Rohan. Because I had one complete hazard deck against only one opponent I thought this would be the easiest matchup for me. At 1 o’clock I finished my deck and went to bed.

Round 1 Karsten (Fallen Radagast – Tiger – Rohan regions) 1:5

I knew his deck a little bit from Sebastian’s report, who had faced him earlier in the qualifier. Because I thought that he will play this deck or another Fallen in the Finals I put a lot of Anti Fallen cards in my vs. Hero hazard deck. I my opinion I thought this will be the easiest matchup for me because I don’t have to fight for the Balrog and I had some decent hazards.
I started the game and we both were joking about attacking in the first turn…but I really planned to attack him, because he was not set up and was still standing in Ettenmoors. I played two Hill Trolls to Buthrakaur and Bolg and moved there. Sadly I had no Bold Thrust and no I’ll Report you. But my guessing was a Pon Opar is for him more worth than my Hill Troll. I played Whctk and another Hill troll for vs. 5. I attacked him but of course he could say against whom he will fight. So he choose Buthrakaur to Annalena and Bolg to Gulla. I wounded both but couldn’t kill them. The other roll was nearly 50:50 or a small lead for me, but he rolled really high and we tied with one roll and two hill trolls lost their fight and where killed by Karsten. Because I played no resource I didn’t draw a lot of useful hazards to finish Annalena etc on their way to Rhosgobel.
In my second turn I moved to a site where no information was playable and couldn’t play anything. I was a little bit nervous because of the bad start and I played so bad that I can’t even remember when I made so many mistakes. In the third turn I wanted to stay untapped with the Hill troll against a Sellsword with a Bold Thrust, but I missed the roll and he got killed, too. I could only play one Maker’s Map. And now the trouble really began. In all my future turn I got a Waiting Shadow on my two big Leaders and a river and I was easily tapped out and couldn’t do much in my turns. One other mistake was to sideboard a Great Shadow instead a third Whctk (of course it was before the fight). So I had only one Whctk in my deck left and with my Balrog company I was able to play the Axe but I missed to play it together with Aiglos. When I played my Ambusher on him I forgot to assign the strikes on my own and let him assign the strikes…I played my Assassin against him in my third turn even if I knew he would turn it into an ally…and of course he did. He also set up his Radagast Tiger with Leaflock really fast and now he was unstoppable because he could cancel any hazard against him and the Radagast Black Bird could cancel a strike against him, too. My last mistake was to play my second Assassin against his company, which also turned into an ally but I preferred to play a river instead of my third Assassin. I wanted to save him for his last round but I forgot about the Mischief which I play so often in my Radagast deck, too. And so it was a haven and I couldn’t play my Assassin anymore. In total, this was a very bad game from my side with a lot of mistakes and therefore Karsten totally earned his win.
Final Score: 22:42

Round 2 Pawel (Balrog – Eriador) 6:0

I knew I have to win 6:0 vs. Pawel if I want to have a chance to become World Champion. And luckily I got first and I had two Balrogs in my starting hand. Very essential for my game was the character draft. I started with Umagaur and my second character was Doeth, so I had the only sages in Balrog in my company which was essential because I want to have my Chill them remain in play. Pawel drafted as I thought Buthrakaur and Azog. I played a Makers Map in Dimril Dale in my first round and Pawel did not move with his company in his first turn. (Even at this time I had Chill them with Fear and Elf-lords in my hand). When he started moving through two wilderness I played my Elf-lord combo for 3 strikes at 16 because Swarm of Bats. I killed the Hill Troll and discarded Bolg with a body check of 9. Buthrakaur was not wounded. For me it was all going really well without facing too dangerous hazards but I hit him always hard with my Elf-lords/Maja’s even when he recovered surprisingly fast every time. He used a lot his Weight all things and cycled his character in his deck. You also can never underestimate Pawel, because he tried once to steal my Buthrakaur with a Threats so we both had a 50% chance to win or lose Buthrakaur. I won this really important roll. But my Buthrakaur was not safe, once he played Viels Flung Away on my company and made a body check of exactly 10 and therefore my Buthrakaur and his ally where discarded. And even when I played a Chilled Elf-lords three times against Pawel he rolled really good and sometimes survived it with minor injuries. But on my last turn I played two Majas against him (he wanted to make company vs. company combat against my company with all the allies and Maker’s Maps etc.) and he tried to enter untapped which was too much, even for his very high rolls. I grew desperate and tried to change the result but as you can see, he never gave up. Final Score (there was no need to count finally)

Standing after two rounds:

1. Heiner 8 TP
2. Karsten 7 TP
3. Patric 7 TP
4. Pawel 2 TP

Three people had had the chance to become World Champion, but sadly I had no control of the title. All I could do is win as high as possible against Heiner. ;-)

Round 3 Heiner (Balrog - Underdeep) 5:1

When Heiner showed up he told me that someone had taken his resource Deck from yesterday. This was really hard, but luckily he had one other Balrog deck ready to play…so, it did not trun into a complete disaster. Still, he did not believe in his hazard deck and worked on changing it until 3 o’clock. He better kept it, because it was Snowstorm which would hurt me hard. I didn’t know how my hazard deck would work against an Underdeep Balrog, but it turned out to be working very well. I was first to start, but did not have The Balrog in my starting hand. Unluckily, compared to Pawel’s deck I didn’t need to have the Chill them with Fear on the table, so I could allow Heiner to get a sage if he wanted (the Way is Shut was in the SB) to. Heiner got Umagaur and Azog, because Umagaur can control Azog and Buthrakaur not. Therefore I started with Buthrakaur, Bolg and Doeth. I avoided letting Heiner draw a lot of cards, played one I’ll report you and played a Maker’s Map and a Burning Rick cot and Tree while Doeth just stayed. So he drew one card, but played some permanents to draw the Balrog. In my end of turn phase I played Dark Tryst and drew the Balrog…now I was just hoping that Heiner wouldn’t have him yet. And I was lucky. Heiner had bad luck with his first move, because he missed the movement roll. He realized that The Balrog is really necessary in this kind of Deck. He struggled with my Nameless Things, too, and then, surprisingly, he also moved to Ruin and Lairs Underdeep sites where I could play the Dwarven Travelers and the Majas. This was really nice, because in that case only my three Elf-lords were dead cards and nothing more. I was also able to kill one character with his only ally while I nearly could play everything without fear against his Undead Hazard deck. Of course Heiner had some surprises like one Threats against my Stinker in Moria (at that moment it was my only ally) and we were equal because I didn’t draw my Great Shadow in the entire game. But I was again lucky and won the roll with 9 vs 7. Because of Great Shadow I couldn’t avoid to get rivered in my last turn with the Balrog because there was not enough GI to play some ranger for support. But instead of Orcs of Moria I played a Few Recruits, otherwhise Heiner’s factions would have doubled. At no stage of the game did I feel like losing the game; I was always in the lead of course with the help of the Balrog. And when I asked Sebastian for scouting the other game I heard that probably Pawel would win against Karsten…then I started playing in a more relaxed way. If I had known that I had to go for the 6:0 win, I would have been playing differently in my last three turns (SB for Tempest of Fire to get rid of Heiner’s factions or just playing a little bit more risky strategy). On the other hand with a 6:0, I would have been at the top of the World wide ranking list again, together with Heiner…now it will have to wait until the next World Championships ;-)
It is always a pleasure to play against such a well-experienced player like Heiner and a good rematch for last year  Final Score 30:16

Final Result:

1. Patric 12 TP
2. Heiner 9 TP
3. Karsten 9 TP
4. Pawel 6 TP

At the end, I want to thank Hervé for the organization, Sebastian for the driving and helping with the deck adjustments! It was a nice location and a great city and of course very nice people!

I will keep this weekend in fond memory and am looking forward to see everyone at the Lure!!!

Best regards,


P.S. I will post a Decklist of the final latest tomorrow on, just remember the hazards are made specific for the finalists. ;-)

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Re: Worlds 2019 Lille Tournament Report

Post by Smaug »


nice tournament report from Patric. If I will find the time I will write as well one.

Nevertheless some short remarks:
Until Saturday night it was a normal tournament for me like many of others before, but than all of the sudden after realizing that someone had stolen my championship deck (that proofed in semi finals again that it is a really strong and balanced deck) it became a very special and stressing one ;-).
I needed a new deck for the finals "in the middle of the night" and the only source were the cards in my backpack, the majority of my cards I left in the car.
So what remained as source was a Balrog underdeeps deck against Heros that I prepared as backup deck on Wednesday but never played before and that was not suitable at all against normal minion decks!
I still wonder how (and why) it was possible a pickpocket took my cards from the pub table while Marc and me (and later Oscar and Kodi) were sitting there (e.g. I was at the table all the time!).
However in the end I am very happy with the second place under that tricky conditions winning two out of three games against very strong opponents, not too bad ;-).
The deck proved to be pretty good especially with the Balrog on the table (without him the underdeeps rows could be a bit tricky/easily fail, what happened two times against Patric).

Normally I planned - in case I would reach the finals - to play the deck as a backup deck (depending on how strongly my opponents tag their hazards aganist my deck in the semi final).
The resource part I wanted to combine with heavy roadblack against Heros/FW and strong killing creature hazards against minion (sun shown fiercely, chilled them, travelling dwarves, elflords, mayas, arthedain rangers ...).
But after the somehow "easy" qualification I decided I need not to playthe backup deck and therefore left the maya hazards deck in the car which was parked near the playing location but far from the hostel.
So after the theft I unfortunately had neither enough time nor I had access to all cards needed to design the backup deck as planned. At least if I wanted at to have a few hours sleep (when we realized the deck was stolen it was already nearly 1 a.m.).
Instead I took my existing hazard decks from semifinals and adjusted them as good as I could with the remaining cards so that they would not backfire on my resource strategy (e.g replacing the moon is dead) and of course as well according my exceptions what the opponents would play in the finals. Another thing that took time was to redesign the sideboard.
In the end the result was ok but not more than ok because I did not make usage of one of the main advantages of a pure underdeeps strategy.
This advantage is, that you never have to move on the surface of middle earth and so you can turn the middle earth surface in a very unfriendly place (heavy roadblock against Heros and against heavy creatures against Minions (with cards like the sun shown fiercely, chill them with fear, this turns even the Maya door opener card "traveling draws" into little monsters for most of the minion companies, not speaking from Maya, elf lords and e.g arthedain rangers ;-).

On the other hand the forces change made me play a new untested deck directly under championship conditions, which was really a lot of fun!!!

Congrats to Patric for winning his forth title, he is the earned new WC especially because he showed really great recovering skills in semi finals and even more in the finals after suffering bad defeats!
Congrats as well to Karsten and Pavel, they were both a bit unlucky in their games against me. Against Pavel I got the Balrog out and my hazard meta game was working 100%. Against Karsten - with one turn more - the result could have been possibly the other way round at least it would have been much more close!

Last but not least many thanks to Herve for organizing this really great event, chapeau!!!

P.S.: I would have liked more if Patric and me did share the WC titles of the last 4 world championships differently, not 3 to 1 but 2 to 2 ;-)



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Re: Worlds 2019 Lille Tournament Report

Post by Shapeshifter »

Thanks for the reports / comments, guys.

Very much is said already, also concerning my games. Maybe I'll add some details later on.

For the moment I'll just want to make a small correction, Patric: I never moved in Rohan for the whole tournament. What you probably ment was Anduin Vales, instead :wink: For those interested, I published my finals deck at today.

I want to express my biggest thanks to Hervé and Denis for organizing this great tournament, venue, hostel and also baguettes and drinks. I loved La Goudale (the "good ale")! Special thanks to Denis for letting us visit your place after we left the pub Bellerose on Friday night. I really enjoyed the Genepi and the other french specialities :D

@Patric, Pawel, Heiner: I would much appreciate if you would mail me your decks for my webpage (finals, and maybe qualifiers as well).

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