GenCon was PANtastic

Let me start off by saying that overall, I had a marvelous time at Gencon. There were tons of people, things to do, places to go eat, and the weekend went by all too fast. I will definitely be going back next year, and next year I will not be taking a rogue deck.

The competition was fierce and stacked. Knowing this, I still decided to take the underdog of all decks. The deck that no one really plays against nor imagines could compete with all these Flute storm decks. I decided to take Mono Red Pan.

On the surface, this is a terrible decision, but as I was extremely comfortable with it, and seasoned through the months of playing it during ToP format with U7 Frieza, and Ginyu Veggies, the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to be the right decision.

I arrived at Gencon at 10:30 am and had to figure out how to do everything, since it was my first time attending. I stood in line for 70 minutes to get my badges and once I figured out how it all worked, I made my way to the event hall. I entered the 4 pm Pre-regional and played UR Hirudigarn. I didn’t do too well since there was multiple factors involved (lack of sleep, using the event as a scouting event, and just having fun for the most part). My record was nothing to even brag about and so I decided that I was going to play Pan at Fridays main event to avoid mirror matches all day.

We wake up, shower, get prepped for the tournament and make our way to the event. I was fully pumped to show off my pan deck and get some hype for it. I knew if I played against SS3 pretty much all day and avoided any Hiru storm decks, I would be golden.

This was the exact match I wanted to avoid, but it couldn’t be helped. Luckily, my opponent didn’t fully understand how to play against the Pan match-up and I was hoping that the surprise factor would give me an edge all day long. He kept passing his turns instead of swinging at me and rushing me down. I got to about 8 energy each game, which hugely played into my favor, in which I was even able to double Zen-oh game 1. Game 2 played very similar in that he asked me what he could’ve done differently after G1 and how he could beat my deck. I told him id tell him after the match (which I did) and so he decided this game to play very passive, defensive against me, which was a huge mistake on his part.

I think I had a little bit of luck on my side this round, in that he didn’t ever get to resolve his triple flash engine. He played very defensively with lots of Topos, and freehans, which made it very difficult to get through. But, luckily, I was playing red and I had my good friend Zen-oh reset both of our games, which led me to victory.

I knew this round would be tough, since we played each other in a mecha veggie mirror match round 3 of san Jose and so I believe we both sat down with a mutual respect towards each other as a skilled player each. Game 1 took us a while and it was a hard-fought battle, but in the end, I won the game by resolving 2 zen-ohs. He had a huge board that I couldn’t deal with, including multiple hits, keflas, topos, gohans, everything. I just happened to get lucky with a Chain Zenoh play at the exact right moment that I needed it at the end. Game 2 I played a hit when I was at 2 life right after a zen-oh play. He showed me his hand, and it was stacked. 3 hits and 2 keflas…… He was at 4 life. There was literally nothing I could do about this and he knew it. We both had a good chuckle at how stacked his hand was and he proceeded to win game 2. For game 3, we didn’t have much time, and we both tried to rush out as many turns as possible but we just couldn’t finish and so we drew.

Yet another respectful opponent was sitting opposite me, but I was feeling confident in my decks abilities. That quickly changed however when both games 1 and 2, I didn’t get to resolve a zen-oh until it didn’t matter anymore, and I learned the error of my ways when I overlooked how good of a card Kefla is in SS3. Both Ryan and Richard were doing it right. Kefla is absolutely busted and it made me wish I played a different deck for the day.

This match kind of threw me off my game a little bit. I had played Game 1 almost perfectly and I had calculated every move. All the way down to my last swing, in which I summoned a chain-attack trunks when he was at 3 life. I had intended on summoning my quick rush trunks with it so I can have crit and go for game, since I had just summoned a hit as well. I knew he didn’t have much in hand to combo with. Just at that particular moment, my 2 opponents next to me started arguing over something as stupid as who gets final cut of a deck when the game starts. They were arguing fairly loudly, calling over judges, and even the head judge that this threw me off my game. And so, I summoned my cabba instead. I had lost my train of though. I swung at my opponent, combed a little bit, and he took the 1 life. That 1 single mistake, thanks to my distraction, ended up giving my opponent an unbreakable super combo when I swung with my double striker for game, which then turned into a piccolo super combo, which then turned into enough combo to win my opponent the game. I was extremely annoyed.

Game 2, I played much better with less of a distraction and won. We didn’t have time enough for a game 3, so we got a draw.

There’s not much I can say about this. I was starting to lose focus, desperately trying just to make top 32 at this point, and our games took a very long time. He tried to rush me down and I steadied once my life got low. However, I couldn’t pull out a win and he was ripping cards from my hand with Hits left and right.

This match took me by surprise. I was expecting a lot of blue cards to support his deck, but they never came. Instead, I was met with chain attacks, and fearless Pans, Topos, Hits, all the good red cards only. He was super agro with it as well, and he got me game 1. I learned his strategy though from the first game and so I adjusted mine, added a few blockers, and was able to pull out a win for game 2. We were running short on time and started our game 3, in which it was back and forth for a moment, however, I quickly got the upper hand. So much so, that I had multiple double strikers on board, and very high attack bodies that were going to finish off the game. I had 2 chain attacks on board, a hit, a fearless pan and I believe a Fu as well. My opponent was at 2 life. 1 card in hand. That one card was a miraculous comeback Gohan. I had 6 cards in hand. I swung at my opponent with a 25k Hit double strike. He didn’t negate. I combed to 60k. Time was called. We both received a draw because my opponent was not allowed to finish comboing. I found this to be a load of BS as I was the clear victor in this match. But that’s the crap we have to deal with on a competitive level atm.

I placed around 65th this day with a record of 3-2-3. A lot of it was my fault in choosing a deck that was very defensive for the format, but it didn’t swing back very fast, and so a lot of my games went to draws, which is not a smart way to go about entering a tournament.

This day is almost not worth talking about, in the fact that most of my match ups were the same, so id like to summarize very quickly

  • R1 – Mono yellow goku Lineage (Guys first tournament) 2-0
  • R2 – SS3 UR – 2-0
  • R3 – UR Trunks – 2-1
  • R4 – UR Hiru storm 1-2
  • R5 - UR Hiru storm 1-1-1
  • R6 – Vegies Hiru 0-2
  • R7 – UR Hiru storm 2-1
  • R8 UR Hiru storm 1-1-1

Saturdays record I was 4-2-2 and I placed 45th. It wasn’t quite enough to get there though because invites went down to right about 40th. I will just have to try again in LA and in Portland.

After playing the weekend as a rogue strategy and competing with these top tier decks and players, I am very happy with how the deck performed. Triple flash was working amazing and catching games on day 2, and all the games where I received a draw, I felt like those were winnable games. Nothing was out of reach except time. Moving forward, I am going to set Pan on the top shelf as a deck that I pride myself in building and perfecting. The triple flash engine was suggested, built, and tested by my good friend Andy and it worked marvelously. The deck itself is very defensive and reactive for the early game, and can be very aggressive for the late game. It can compete with the tier one decks that everyone is playing right now and it can adapt to any situation.

However, I need to focus on getting my invite to nationals and not just style points, so I will be playing all future events as a Tier one. It was great meeting everyone that I met up with at Gencon, seeing a lot of familiar friendly faces, and chatting it up with some new friends that I made along the way. I hope you all enjoyed this read. You can check out my recorded deck profile on my fellow teammates YouTube channel. His name is Trey Faircloth. He’s an amazing player and content creator. He made top 8 at Gencon on Saturday.

If you have any questions regarding the Pan deck, as far as what id change, interactions, match ups, etc., feel free to look me up on Facebook under Timothy Palacios. I’d be happy to answer anything

Id also like to thank my teammates for testing with me and giving me some great feedback on the deck, as far as the gohan in the main list and side decking blue, which turned out to be really clutch most of the day. Shenron’s Lair has some of the best deck builders in the game and have engineered some of the most popular decks around. A big name in that is Chris Welch in creating the Babidi Black deck that took the meta by storm during set 2. The website and team are formed and maintained by Markus Kantarci, whom also made top 8 at gencon this weekend. If you’re wanting to be a pro, Shenron’s Lair has some of the best talent in the game to learn from.

As always though, its been a blast and I look forward to the next step of competition in both LA and Portland for me. If you see me, stop by and say hi. Just remember to always Play Hard or Go Home.

- Tim Palacios

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