|Prepare for Regionals - Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game
Find Hints from the Game's Top Players in Our 'Prepare for Regionals' Series
|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 05 April 2013|
“Much of the Great Ones might be learnt in such regions, and those with their blood might inherit little memories very useful to a seeker.”
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
What foul works currently occupy the minds of Cthulhu’s cultists? What dread secrets will investigators uncover during the 2013 Regional Championship tournament season for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game?
Every game in FFG’s Organized Play program has enjoyed growth in 2013, and Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game is no exception. This year, there have been a record number of orders for our Call of Cthulhu Game Night Kits, venues around the world are hosting a record number of Call of Cthulhu Regional Championships, and there are record number of opportunities for you to become a part of the Call of Cthulhu player community!
Regional Championship tournaments are exciting, high-quality events where you’ll find top-level players experimenting with dark and mysterious deck builds. They’re also great opportunities for new players to meet some of their region’s most enthusiastic and creative players.
Today, if you’re curious about what you might witness at these exciting Regional Championship tournaments, we offer you a trio of educated guesses made by three of the game’s top players.
Three-time European Champion Graham Hill in action at the 2012 World Championship Weekend.
Graham Hill, Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game Three-Time European Champion
As last year’s Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game World Championship runner-up and the game’s only three-time European Champion, Graham Hill has certainly proven himself one of its greatest players. Because he resides in Japan, removed from an active local player base and far from the European venues where he most often competes, Graham’s continuing success is built upon his ability to analyze the growing card pool and accurately predict the evolving metagame.
“Like most years, I expect a distinct difference between the decks that win the early Regionals and the decks that shine in the main events at the end of year. Last year, things started off with the sentiment that Cthulhu’s Khopesh decks were unbeatable, but by Worlds, Khopesh of the Abyss (The Shifting Sands, 16), along with the Cthulhu faction, itself, had all but disappeared from the tournament finals. This is a pattern that tends to repeat itself a lot in Call of Cthulhu. This year, I expect an early Ancient One burnout coming off the back of their prominence over the last two years; Gen Con 2011 featured a lot of Ancient Ones, and, of course, last year’s World Championship. These “big characters” decks straddle a few different player types, so I think they will have more appeal than technical decks – which is to say I expect them to heavily saturate the early scene. In the later events, I wouldn’t be surprised to see very few Ancient One decks, but to see the metagame slanted toward something else, most likely something stemming from the newer expansions.
“We haven’t yet seen The Key and the Gate, so right now I can really only consider the Miskatonic box, Seekers of Knowledge. For Worlds last year, I only had a couple hours to make and test my deck from scratch, and after a quick mental evaluation of the metagame, I decided to try a Miskatonic deck. Even without the new cards, which weren’t then available, it came very close. Now that Seekers of Knowledge is available, I have to think that Miskatonic will win at least one big event this year, which would mark a polar shift in the distribution of power among the factions.”
You can learn more about Graham Hill at his place of honor in FFG’s Hall of Heroes.
Damien Cauzzo, Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game European Champion, 2012
A recent inductee to FFG’s Hall of Heroes, Damien Cauzzo conquered time and space, as well as strong field of competitors, to claim the 2012 Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game European Championship.
2012 European Champion Damien Cauzzo.*
“In my opinion, the biggest change to the current metagame came with the last FAQ. Some powerful combo decks were killed. The stall deck built around Glimpse of the Void (Spawn of Madness, 14) was completely banned, and the errata to Shub-Niggurath’s The Necronomicon (Touched by the Abyss, 112) really nerfed powerful combo deck that paired the Tome with James Logan (Whispers in the Dark, 1). Just by existing, those decks forbade competitive players from going to tournaments with factions with no real denial cards. I still don’t expect to see any Syndicate decks; I’m still pragmatic. We’ll probably just see more destruction-oriented decks probably and decks with lots of recursion, like in 2011. At the same time, the Yog expansion will be released soon. That means some cards, like The Festival (The Key and the Gate, 51), will find their way into some decks, and some new combos will probably be revealed.
“We’ll also see, as usual, a lot of “jumping” characters like Master of the Myths (Into Tartarus, 101), Dreamlands Fanatic (In the Dread of Night, 47), Descendant of Eibon (The Terror of the Tides, 75), and Black Dog (Words of Power, 29). We’ll see a lot of Shub, too; it is still the best faction to deal against supports. We might see some more of Nyarlathotep (Journey to Unknown Kadath, 117) since we saw it streamed during Tom Capor’s World Championship victory against Graham Hill. A turn one or two Nyarlathotep is just a free win, and cards that counter neutral cards are a waste of space in a fifty-card deck if they’re meant just to counter this one Ancient One. The choice to metagame against it or not will be difficult.”
You can learn more about Damien Cauzzo at his place of honor in FFG’s Hall of Heroes.
David Juan Moreno Riera
David Juan Moreno Riera represented the best of Spain during the Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game World Championships at last year’s World Championship Weekend.
“The last cycle of Asylum Packs and the Seekers of Knowledge deluxe expansion gave a great boost to Shub-Niggurath and Miskatonic University. Both received powerful cards with great quality-to-cost ratios. This Regionals season, then, I’m looking forward to some strategies based as much in speed as in board control – rush decks with Ancient Ones or using the new conspiracies and some of these new high-quality, low-cost characters. Some decks may even be able to combine speed with character and support destruction.
“In general, though, the metagame didn’t change a lot. I think the game’s factions will be played in roughly the same proportion, and the most dangerous cards didn’t really change. At most, one or two cards were added to that list. I also think that in the European setting, we’ll see decks that win with combos or that take advantage of some useful combos, even if the combos don’t present wins in themselves.”
Conduct Your Own Investigation
While each of these three experienced players has noted that they expect the game’s most recent expansions, Seekers of Knowledge and The Key and the Gate, to impact and shape the Regional Championship tournament season, it seems there’s no consensus as to which single strategy may prevail. The game and its mysteries are wide open for exploration!
Join the ongoing investigation. Become a part of the larger Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game player community. You can find a Regional Championship near you by consulting our lists of North American and international venues.
You can also visit FFG’s Hall of Heroes for more insights into the game and more information about new inductees, Graham Hill, Damien Cauzzo, and Chris Long, the 2006 Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game World Champion.
Based on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and his literary circle, Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game takes two players deep into the Cthulhu Mythos where investigators clash with the Ancient Ones and Elder Gods for the fate of the world. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Asylum Pack expansions to the core game.