[04/29/23] Vancouver Burst Limited Report: Whirl Cup

Tournament thread: https://worldbeyblade.org/Thread-Whirl-Cup--107372
Full comprehensive report here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oDoG...itiAW_Wck/

The below is a condensed version of the full tournament report.

On April 29, 2023, Vancouver’s WBO regulars came together for our bi-monthly (every 2 months) Burst Limited (BSL) format ranked tournament. The Whirl Cup was our fifth BSL tournament since I began hosting them in August 2022.

Context & Prelude
Prior to our December 2022 BSL tournament, Hasbro’s QuadDrive and QuadStrike Layers made little impact in our area. Layers such as Salvage and Cyclone made a few appearances in our winning combinations, but they did not cause any drastic shifts in the metagame.

However, each of our last 3 tournaments has seen the debut of at least 1 powerful Hasbro part.
  • Katana Muramasa Birthday Cope (December 2022): Gambit debuts.
  • King’s Gambit (February 2023): Bearing is unbanned. Fierce and Xiphoid debut.
  • Whirl Cup (April 2023): Whirl debuts.

The Whirl Cup was our first tournament to have the titular Whirl QS Blade widely available for players. This tournament also marked our last BSL tournament where new parts shook up the metagame. With Takara Tomy ceasing releases, and Hasbro only having a few frankly worthless unreleased parts (Bolt, Destined, Ruin, D Gear-Q, and a bunch of useless QuadStrike Armor Tips), all metagame relevant parts are now available and the top competitive combos will be unlikely to change, barring changes to the banlist. The Whirl Cup is the culmination of 6 months of Hasbro parts “power creeping” the local metagame, and everyone in Vancouver was eyeing Whirl as a potential game changer.

Tournament Preparation
Consequently, there was a general anticipation by all that players would run either anti-Whirl combos, or Whirl itself, during the first stage. Ultimately, I settled on the decision to use Whirl Evo Belfyre B8 Tapered-Q Bearing as my primary Beyblade in the first stage. It had (what I believed at the time) to be a mix of good Same-Spin and Opposite-Spin, and I did not anticipate players risking using a right-spin Same-Spin Stamina combo in the first stage. I was anticipating Whirl mirror matches as well. After comparing Hasbro Bearings at previous tournaments, my Bearing spun the most freely - thus I was relatively confident I could pull off a win in a mirror match.

I was also aware that most of my regulars did not historically run Attack in the first stage. Even if I was to run into Attack, I was willing to risk using Whirl as I did not believe most of the players there were skilled enough in Attack to KO Whirl. This is not a jab at my lads by the way, just my strategic thinking at the time.

First Stage
To preface this section, of the 11 players at the tournament, 5 players used the Whirl Tapered-Q Bearing combo. As previously mentioned, Whirl was my safe option. All points were Spin Finishes (OS) unless otherwise specified.

Final Stage
The top 4 finalists were:
  1. KIO (9-1)
  2. AUTOSEBB (8-2)
  3. ivanmania (7-3)
  4. LoneBagelfafnir (7-3)

Semi-finals - KIO vs LoneBagelfafnir
Winner: KIO (5-4)

KIO’s Deck:
  1. Whirl Evo Belfyre B8 Over-Q Bearing-3
  2. Gambit Dragon Tapered-Q Assault-Q+Kick-10
  3. Arc Bahamut (MGC) 00Cross Atomic'

LoneBagelfafnir’s Deck:
  1. Xiphoid Xcalius X8 Quacchu-Q Xtreme-Greatest Armor
  2. Slash Valkyrie Shot Gen
  3. Flame Sagittario Wheel-SP High Eternal

I had anticipated this to be a rough matchup. Going into this semi-final, I was predicting anti-Whirl measures, an Attacker of some sort, and perhaps a left-spin combo. My deck was an all rounder, with my “safe” Whirl combo, and two Same-Spin Stamina combos. I opened with Whirl, but it was immediately KO’d by Slash Valkyrie Shot Gen. I realized that Whirl would feasibly lose to all 3 of LoneBagelfafnir’s deck combos, and thus I swapped to my Same-Spin Gambit combo, after LoneBagelfafnir chose to swap to his Flame Sagittario combo. Although I managed to score some points against it with Gambit, he eventually switched to Xiphoid, which managed to KO me once - although this resulted in 2 points, I was able to win the next few rounds with Gambit OSing Xiphoid. I got lucky in my Gambit vs Xiphoid rounds.

Finals - KIO vs ivanmania
Winner: KIO (5-1)

KIO’s Deck:
  1. Whirl Evo Belfyre B8 Over-Q Bearing-3
  2. Gambit Dragon Tapered-Q Assault-Q+Kick-10
  3. Arc Bahamut (MGC) 00Cross Atomic'

ivanmania’s Deck:
  1. Bloody Longinus Shot
  2. Geist Fafnir Wheel-SP Drift
  3. Nightmare Longinus Turn Xtreme'

From watching ivanmania’s semi-final match, I had expected to see mostly left-spin combos. However, I also expected him to use at least 1 right-spin combo, but he ultimately did not. Thus my Gambit combo was mostly useless. I opened with Whirl, expecting to win in Opposite-Spin against his deck. He opened with Nightmare Longinus Turn Xtreme’, but failed to KO Whirl. He then swapped to Geist Fafnir Wheel-SP Drift, which proceeded to OS my Whirl combo. Ultimately I switched to my Arc Bahamut combo, which ended up getting the last 3 points, although it was on the halfway to Bursting in all 3 rounds against nL/bL. It was a very stressful final match, as I was relying on Arc Bahamut, the Layer known for having weak teeth, to not Burst against Nightmare Longinus and Bloody Longinus. By some miracle it actually managed to barely hold on, securing me the victory.

Evaluation of Whirl
Whirl Tapered-Q Bearing seems to be a strong pick for 1on1 Match Type. This situation overall was highly reminiscent of the Wind Bearing Drift combos we had seen in prior Burst Standard tournaments in our area. Mirror matches and LAD matches were common then, and were common at this tournament with Whirl.

Using Whirl in the First Stage was fairly easy to do. The optimal Whirl Tapered-Q Bearing combo was used by all 5 players, and all were in the top half of the tournament. Whirl has good Same and Opposite-Spin performance, and high Burst Resistance, and even bad Chips are usable on it. It is a relatively safe First Stage combo, and requires no strategic planning other than switching to High Mode against lefts - a “turn off your brain and autopilot” combo.

Final Stage is where things begin to fall apart for Whirl however. Unlike the Wind BDr metagame of BST or the Driger V2 BDr metagame of 2022 BSL, nobody used Whirl Bearing in their Decks, except for me, who scored 0 points with it in Final Stage. Unlike the Wind and Driger V2, which could probably hold their own in a Deck and have no 100% guaranteed counters, Whirl has several reliable counters. Ultimately, this is why Whirl saw no usefulness in the Final Stage.