Throughout July, and into August, Vector Sigma were hosting the 2nd in their four-part Alpha Trion Energon Invitational Qualifiers. The first tournament was a Wave 5 Sealed tournament, so this second tournament was the first unrestricted Constructed event. Thirty-two players were involved, competing over five rounds to qualify for a Top 8 elimination final round.
As games were being streamed, the tournament took the unusual approach of playing with open decks after round two was complete. Once you knew who you were playing against, you also knew what you would be playing against. It also allowed someone (myself) to write some automated scripts to crunch a bunch of numbers from the tournament.
Currently the tournament has one match remaining, the Final! This will be streamed live on Twitch tonight (Aug 11) at 7pm US/Central, and hopefully you will be able to find the time to come watch. An unbeaten Fortress Maximus deck has conquered all before it, but it's meeting its most aggro opponent yet in the final match, a Horri-Bull/Sky Shadow deck.
In the meantime, let's talk some numbers. I've published a Google Spreadsheet containing all of the decks and some information about the decks. There are links to each deck, though bear in mind that over time the content of those links may be tweaked as players update them. You can see that spreadsheet here:
There are multiple tabs of data, and I hope that the column names are fairly self-evident. If not, please feel free to ask and I will add Q&A items to this article. I'd like to highlight some, in my opinion, interesting pieces of data.
Limited Choices of Characters
There were only 36 different characters used in the 32 decks, and none of them were from Wave 1 and Wave 2. With 6 from Wave 4, and 7 from Wave 3, the general focus was on Wave 5, with 23 characters chosen. While part of this will be due to the newness of Wave 5, it is quite the indictment of Wave 1 and 2.
Sideboards Not Much Better
This continued into the Sideboards, with only one Wave 1 character, and three Wave 2 characters.
Health Heads are a Meta
Half of the decks included Grax, the most powerful of the Health Heads, and with a third including Brisko, and a quarter the diminuitive Kreb, Health Heads were some of the most popular characters in the tournament. In fact, the Bold Heads of Parsec and Clobber were the only other heads to really show up, with decks with Parsec doing especially poorly with a 27% win rate. Brisko on the other hand won 65% of their matches when not playing against Brisko. From anecdotal data, I expect that Brisko decks generally also had Grax, meaning +8 Head health, but that would be a good additional piece of data to determine.
Battle Cards are Forever
While Wave 1 and 2 characters were barely to be seen, battle cards from the earlier waves remain very popular. Half of the top ten battle cards were from Wave 1 and 2, though the cards most likely to win when the opponent didn't have them were Wave 5's Fusion Borer, Camien Cras, and Enhanced Power Cell; with Wave 4's Fight for Position also getting a look in. Wave 3 battle cards on the other hand were scarce, with only Take Cover making the top 30 (Brainstorm being a repeat of a Wave 1 card).
Chromedome is the Sideboard Hero
Chromedome appeared in a fifth of the sideboards, and those decks won their matches more often than not. Whether Chromedome had any part to play is not something I have the data for, but it does look like his Action disruption is attracting folk.
Looking at the most popular cards is also a very useful thing to do. You can definitely see some of the most powerful, and game changing, cards on display. The common story is guaranteed damage vs health. A lot of those top cards are all about putting on damage, be it direct damage or pierce; and the best reaction to that is simply to have more health.
A Mixed Meta
Finally, it's pleasing to see that the top eight decks contained three Blue decks, in addition to the more expected four Orange/Pierce decks. It's also pleasing to see the wildcard Fortress Maximus Mixed deck doing well at upsetting the apple cart. It's a shame there were so few characters, but at least we have more going on than 32 players attacking each other with their orange and black battle icons.
I hope all of that piqued your interest for playing in a competition. With the Vector Sigma Alpha Trions, Jason Crutchfield's tournaments on OCTGN, and the recent Team PTSD's Eye of the Matrix tournament, there are lots of options for online play opening up.