It was the best of times. Pro Circuit Indianapolis 2004. My day in the sun, including the utter domination of the legend who had his face immortalized on the Avalanche Riders card in Magic the Gathering.
After I archive the match report, you can re-live the Pro Circuit with some behind-the-scenes inside dope and listen to the single greatest Vs. System podcast of all time: Paul Sung interviewing Hyrum Savage.
Glory Days. Forever remembered.
Darwin Kastle is an old-school TCG veteran, who has earned six figures over his career. He’s a classic example of a tournament powerhouse, who has the experience and finishes to back up his reputation. On the other side of the coin, Rian Fike might be considered your “casual” prototype at first glance. He has been an active member in the online community since the game first started, and frequently posts as “stubarnes” on VsRealms.com. In fact, he got his invitation to this event via fan voting on the website, as an acknowledgement for his writing and positive contributions to the game community. His contests have been especially popular, challenging players to come up with solutions to Vs. puzzles.
Fike is playing his old standby, Sentinels. Kastle’s deck is centered around an interesting strategy, using Cosmic Radiation, Mr. Fantastic, Stretch, Alfred Pennyworth, and World’s Finest to abuse Advanced Hardware.
Kastle opened with Alfred Pennyworth and Fike played Longshot. It was activated on the usual Wild Sentinel and Sentinel Mark IV and Fike got two Wilds and one Mark IV. Longshot missed on turn two and Fike played a pair of Wild Sentinels. Kastle played GCPD Officer, and activated Alfred to get World’s Finest. Alfred was replayed, and Wild Sentinel attacked him for a stun, taking a power-up to survive. The other Sentinel attacked the GCPD Officer, who was KO’d during recovery. Kastle played Mr. Fantastic, Reed Richards and then flipped over World’s Finest to team up Fantastic Four and Gotham Knights. Alfred searched out Bat Signal and Longshot hit on turn three, giving Fike two Wild Sentinels and a Mark IV. He then played two Sentinels, along with Senator Kelly, who was activated to cause four points of endurance loss. A team attack stunned Mr. Fantastic and Alfred was stunned by a Sentinel attack as well. He survived, while Mr. Fantastic was KO’d during recovery.
Longshot gave Fike two Mark IV’s and a Wild Sentinel and on turn four he opted to play more Wild Sentinels, then used Reconstruction Program to bring back Senator Kelly. Kastle played GCPD Officer and Fike targeted it with Search and Destroy. In response, Kastle activated Alfred to get Signal Flare, which was added to the chain. This searched out Invisible Woman, The Invisible Girl, and Bat Signal got Mr. Fantastic, Reed Richards. He then played both of them and Search and Destroy resolved. Kastle flipped over A Child Named Valeria, holding some of the aggression back. Kastle played Human Torch, and Fike’s Longshot missed, so he played a second one right after that. It activated, but hit four Wild Sentinels. Fike played a Mark IV from his hand and flipped over Underground Sentinel Base to bring out another one from his resource row.
Kastle flipped over another copy of A Child Named Valeria, and sent his team after the Sentinels to KO as many as possible. Human Torch, Hotshot went after a Mark IV, but was stunned during the attack thanks to Fike’s power-up. During the recovery, Fike lost two Wild Sentinels. He took his turn, and this time Longshot delivered, providing three Wild Sentinels and a Mark IV. Senator Kelly caused seven endurance loss, and was followed by a second, causing Kastle to concede.
Darwin Kastle 0, Rian Fike 1
Kastle had a first turn Invisible Woman, The Invisible Girl and, by turn 2, all Fike had was two Wild Sentinels. Two GCPD Officers and Mr. Fantastic, Reed Richards came out soon after, while Fike found Longshot. The first activation missed and Fike had no other plays on turn three. Needless to say, when Sentinels stalls this much, the rest is going to be an uphill battle. Longshot found two Wild Sentinels and a Mark IV and played the Mark IV as the lone Sentinel on the table (the others had been KO’d due to Kastle’s attacks and the need to recover Longshot). Advanced Hardware went on Invisible Woman and she got to work with her special ability.
At this moment, Fike started to mount a comeback, thanks in large part to Longshot. An army of Sentinels hit play, along with the Senator and a pair of Mark IVs. Kastle played Mr. Fantastic, Stretch, and Fike sent a Mark IV after him, powering up three times for a stun. The other Mark IV attacked Invisible Woman and her counter was removed to nullify the attack. A turn later, thanks to Underground Sentinel Base, the board was filled with Wild Sentinels and their Mark IV counterparts, and Fike was able to win the match.
Darwin Kastle 0, Rian Fike 2
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