To Conquer Stahleck
A tournament report by the 2011 European Warhammer: Invasion Champion
Congratulations to Jakub Serafin, the new Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game European Champion! Jakub went to Stahleck, ready to face the best decks in the current metagame, and emerged victorious with a Dwarf deck that gave him tremendous card advantage and made excellent use of it.
Today, Jakub provides us the champion’s perspective on the 2011 European Championships.
2011 Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game European Champion, Jakub Serafin:
Hi. Two weeks after the Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game European Championships concluded at Stahleck, I finally found some free time in which I could write an article about my games and some hints for players interested to play my deck. I hope that you will find it helpful both as a report and as a small guide to playing combo decks in the current metagame.
First and foremost, here’s the Dwarf deck I played:
Quest: 3x Ancient Debts Repaid Total: 3
Support: 3x Contested Village 3x Ancestral Tomb 3x Derricksburg Forge 3x Mountain Barracks Total: 12
Total Cards: 50
Comments, cards, and synergies
From the player’s perspective, your game should be split into two parts. Early on, you should put everything possible into your quest zone (except the Slayers of Karak Kardin that should go to your battle zone to stop rushes or protect you against Van Klumpf's), and develop. You want to draw until you have all the tools in your hand you need to make the “doom turn.” This is your finisher. You gain a pile of resources via Burying the Grudge (Core Set, 19) and Ancient Debts Repaid (Bleeding Sun, 5), and then you use Reclaiming the Fallen (The Silent Forge, 2) and Dwarf Ranger (Core Set, 10) to shoot your opponent down.
Additionally, players should remember a number of things:
- This deck has almost no control capabilities, so in 99% cases your opponent will have board control.
- Rushes are not that scary due to Slayers of Karak Kadrin (Assault on Ulthuan, 43), Beleaguered Scout (Signs in the Stars, 61), Dwarf Ranger, and My Life For The Hold! (The Fourth Waystone, 82).
- It is possible to have five to seven power in your quest zone on turn one, and there are many ways to do this, using a combination of Ancestral Tomb (The Fall of Karak Grimaz, 3), Ancient Debts Repaid, Burying the Grudge, Tunnel Fighter (The Eclipse of Hope, 82) and Stand Your Ground (The Skavenblight Threat, 2).
- In environments with more Dark Elves and decks with Offering to Hekarti (The Fourth Waystone, 97) and Mannfred von Carstein (The Inevitable City, 18), you can add more copies of Pilgrimage (Core Set, 117) to your deck.
- Even if you think that you have lost, don’t panic! You’re going to draw a lot of cards, and there might still be a chance that you may win in some very strange way.
- Patience is key–you can always let one of your zones burn.
Editor's Note: In this article, Jakub references players by their Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game community forum user names.
On to the games!
Game One vs Dwarfs, 2:0
This was a fast 2:0 for me as his Dwarfs put the majority of their units and supports into the kingdom zone, so he didn’t have enough cards to stop me. Later, I saw that he had Reclaiming the Fallen in his deck, but he was unable to draw it.
Game Two vs Trouble, playing Empire, 1:1
Trouble is a great guy from Italy. This was my first contact with fabled Italian Empire build, and I found it very hard to beat. Our first game was very typical. He had stronger board presence and was controlling the game when suddenly I won. In the second game, Trouble knew what he had to do to stop me and played his game very well. Unfortunately, our two first games took us too much time, so we didn’t have enough time to finish the third one, which ended in a situation where either of us could win.
Game Three vs Empire, 2:1
This was a Frenchman who ended in fourth place. His deck had some sneaky things added to it that were very problematic for my deck: Infiltrate (The Skavenblight Threat, 4) and Van Klumpf’s Buccaneers (The Inevitable City, 3). The first game was quite easy apart from the fact that I was delayed twice by Infiltrate. Our second game was the worst in the history of this deck. For three turns, the only thing I did was play developments, so I lost easily. The third game was typical for this deck against Empire–a slow build up in my quest zone eventually allowed me to win in one turn.
Game Four vs Darker, playing Orc Rush/Control, 2:0
Darker is almost my neighbor. I knew that these games would be easier than my normal games against Darker because he swapped out some cards before the tournament that are strong against me for some cards that are great against Empire.
Game Five vs Fortep, playing Empire, 1:2
In games one and three, Fortep had great starts, and I was unable to find Ancestral Tomb, while he had Priest of Verena (Legends, 19) and used Judgement of Verena (Core Set, 49) twice. However, in our second game, I was able to finish quite fast.
Game Six vs Kami, playing Empire, 2:1
Kami is another Italian player, driving their Empire build. We played these games in a light manner as both of us were sure to place in the top 16. I was stopped and destroyed by Judgement of Verena in the second game, but managed to win the two other games.
Round of 16 vs Darker, 2:1
Darker again. Game one, Darker managed to burn my zone and inflicted six to seven damage on the second before I was able to run my combo. In our second game, I was demolished by the Blood Dragon Knight (Legends, 53). In the third game, my deck was once more on its track, and I managed to win.
Round of 8 vs Eblis, 2:0
Eblis was another Italian Empire player. I knew that I would have to face some of the Italian players on the road to the final as seven of them made the top 16. Eblis was a great player, but my luck shone in our games. I even managed to play three Dwarf Rangers in one turn at a time when he was ready to stop only one of them with Call for Reserves for his Osterknacht Elite.
Semifinal vs Kami, 2:0
It was a replay from our Swiss round, with the exception that Kami didn’t stop me in the second game; I knew that I won it when after one of his turns he had only one resource.
Finals vs Mamut, playing Dwarf
Mamut is also from Poland, and this was the first time that I played a mirror match with his deck. I won the die roll and thought that I would end up with better economy, but it was Mamut who had better start. He even managed to discard two copies of Reclaiming the Fallen from my hand due to attacks with his Dwarf Rangers. After the first game, I needed to fight back. In game two, I thought that I was about to lose, but Mamut had big problems finding My Life For The Hold! so I succeeded in burning his zones, which surprised me. The final game started badly for me–on turn three, Mamut had 13 power worth of units and supports in his quest zone while I had only three or four. The thing that saved me were the three copies of My Life for The Hold! that I had in my hand. He drew almost all of his deck, and it was obvious that he had limited chances to win–his own turn, mine, and the beginning of his last turn–before quest phase. If he didn’t burn my zones, he would draw out his deck and lose. I showed him my three copies of My Life for The Hold!, and so I won the game.
Words of thanks
I would like to thank all of the players for the great and challenging games that I had during my time at Stahleck. I hope that we will meet more frequently in the future. Great thanks to our tournament organizer, Johny, and to Wolfgang, who coordinated all of the Stahleck tournaments. I hope to see you next year!
Best regards, Jakub Serafin
in our forums!