Pennsylvania Beyblade Tournament Report: Jimmy Zeutron 2: Blast from the Past

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Tournament Report: Jimmy Zeutron 2: Blast from the Past
Saturday, March 16, 2019 | Philadelphia, PA, USA | Burst Classic format

Reception of Burst Classic
This was the PA community's first Burst Classic tournament, and as it happened before the end of the 10 tournament trial period for the new format, it was an unranked tournament. Despite being unranked, we still had 36 players show up, making for an about average-sized tournament nowadays. I do know that a few players were a bit skeptical of the new format, and showed up to the tournament a bit reluctantly. As was expected with the new format, I had a lot of younger and newer players constantly asking whether their combo was legal to use or not (I actually had a parent question why their child wasn't allowed to use 12G as their Disk, for which I couldn't really come up with a good answer besides "it's in the rules"), and the metagame of the tournament itself was a bit stale, but despite this the feedback for the format seemed to be overwhelmingly positive, with some of the people who weren't completely sold on Classic being convinced that it was a fun format to play.

As previously stated, we had 36 players, and I opted to run a 6-round Swiss format instead of double elimination. I used basically the same setup as I had in the past, running 4 stadiums at once, with one judge assigned to each stadium and myself announcing matches, and entering the results of the match into Challonge when the judges reported back to me. Aside from the 4 people I assigned to the stadiums, I also had myself and 2 others who became the de-facto backup judges in the event that a judge had to play a match. All in all, the tournament went off without a hitch, and we were able to get through all 6 rounds of Swiss in only about 3-3½ hours. The weather was a definite obstacle to the tournament however - while there was pretty much no chance of precipitation all day, there were pretty strong winds throughout the day, which not only made it seem a lot colder than it actually was, but also blew the stadiums around quite a bit. As no one had thought to bring tape or something else to help secure the stadiums to the park benches, I had to improvise and have the judge hold the stadium still during the match. While technically, players aren't supposed to touch the stadium during matches, I figured it would be fine given the circumstances and the fact that the judges are supposed to be impartial anyways.

The Tournament
Round 1
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Round 1 was pretty uneventful in my opinion, it was very much a placement round for most of the participants - in fact, all of the top 18 seeded players won their first round matches. After testing out a bunch of things at home, I personally settles on Guardian Kerbeus Down Orbit as my first-round combo: gK has enough Stamina to outspin most anything in Burst Classic, and between Down and Orbit I was able to lower gK's risk of bursting to a manageable level. The only things this combo would be really vulnerable to would be mobile Attack types, and left spin, neither of which I thought I had a good chance of running into in the first round. I didn't really pay attention to too many of the other first round matches, but I was able to win my first match against Mystery-blader8's Quetziko Q2 Yell Loop 3-1 with gK.D.O.

Round 2
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This was when the tournament started to get a bit crowded - a lot of the better players got matched up against each other starting this round,w which affected their standings in the long run. The most notable matches of the second round that I was aware of were bladekid (Roktavor Heavy Survive (or maybe it was Octa)) vs RandomBlader64 (Wolborg Heavy Eternal), which bladekid surprisingly lost via self-burst, and LazerBeamz (Driger F Heavy Revolve) vs Brad0707 (Unicrest Knuckle Orbit), where Brad0707 was able to win either 3-0 or 3-1 by destabilizing Driger. For my second match, I used Roktavor Heavy Cycle (only because my Cycle fit especially tightly on my Roktavor) against YamiPoyoChan's Guardian Kerbeus Knuckle Orbit, and very narrowly won 3-2.

Round 3
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One of the most prominent combos at the tournament, as many others have already mentioned, was Wolborg on Eternal, and this was the round where it first started to show its impact. At least 4 players (phantom blade, NatedogPhilly, AndyHG, and RandomBlader64) made heavy use of this combo either with Yell or Heavy as the Disk during the first stage, and 3 of them made it to the top 8. Knowing that my 3rd round opponent, RandomBlader64, had used Wb.H.Et for their previous battles, and generally how Eternal performs in matchups, I decided to try Yegdrion Heavy Yard-S against it, and was able to win 3-1. Ardmore Bladers also won a very similar matchup with gK.S.O.

Round 4
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Wolborg's dominance continued during this round, as people who had seen it do well in the last round gave it a try. Others tried to counter it, with mixed success. KJ in particular saw my match last round and decide to use Yegdrion Knuckle Yard-S against AndyHG's Wolborg Heavy Eternal, but unfortunately got oofed. LazerBeamz also tried using Driger F on Eternal, but couldn't replicate the success Wolborg was having against DeceasedCrab's Orpheus O2 Spread Eternal-S. I personally was matched up against Thug testing, who was one of the players who wasn't too enthusiastic about Classic to begin with, and had a pretty limited collection. I figured he would use some sort of gK combo and chose Spryzen S2 Gravity Zephyr, and he ended up using gK.K.R. My sliding shoot with Zephyr is still not very good, but I was still able to win 3-2 thanks to some late game bursts.

Round 5
By this point, most knowledgeable players had a pretty good idea of whether they would qualify for the finals or not, and because of this, began playing a bit more aggressively, again with mixed success. AndyHG used God Valkyrie Yell Xtreme' against DeceasedCrab's Orpheus combo and lost pretty convincingly, but KJ was able to use S2.G.Ir and 3-0 the same U.K.O combo that Brad0707 had used to defeat LazerBeamz earlier. Myself and Ardmore Bladers were the only players left undefeated at this point, so we had to battle. I knew he had been using gK on Revolve and Orbit throughout the event, and almost went with Odin Heavy Defense as that could safely outspin both of those, but also remembered that he had commented on 1234beyblade's gV.Y.X' combo, and considered using G2.G.U to hard counter that. I needed to come up with a combo that had coverage against both of those possible combos, so I made the strange choice of using Quad Quetzalcatl Yell Xtreme' - an Anti-Attack combo that I had developed back in 2016 but never got a chance to use before L2 and dF made it obsolete. Ardmore Bladers ended up using gK.S.R against me, and while I knew it was a matchup Q2 was capable of winning, I probably didn't launch as confidently as I should have and ended up losing 1-3, with my only point being due to accidentally breaking his Revolve during a double burst.

Round 6
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In this round, I was matched up against phantom blade, who I knew had also been using a lot of Wolborg. As I was 4-1 going up against another 4-1 and with my only loss being to 5-0, I probably should have played Attack during this match, but bladekid's loss to Wolborg with Roktavor made me a bit wary about it, and I had also seen Wolborg Eternal defeat gK Revolve by bursting it, so I didn't necessarily feel safe using that either. Instead I decided to find out how it stacked up to Neptune, which I figured was burst resistant enough that it could withstand attacks from Wolborg. Aside from one self-KO where I launched too hard, I was able to defeat it pretty soundly. I really didn't see much of the other matches.

Deck Format Finals
After the Swiss stage was over, the players who advanced to the finals were Ardmore Bladers, myself, NatedogPhilly, Sebas2000, phantom blade, JaseemJack, DeceasedCrab, and Thug testing. However, Sebas2000 ended up dropping out of the tournament before the final stage could begin, so AndyHG was promoted in his place.

3 of the 4 quarterfinal matches were pretty much one-sided beatdowns by Stamina combos, unfortunately. Thug testing's deck of S2.G.Z, gK.K.O, and DGF.P.Xt-S was unable to do anything to Ardmore Bladers' Dragoon F Yell Eternal-S, I used primarily gK.D.O to defeat DeceasedCrab's deck of O2.S.Et-S, K2.K.O, and T2.H.Hn, and phantom blade used Acid Anubis Knuckle Revolve to beat AndyHG's Wb.H.Et (I didn't see if either of them used any other combos). NatedogPhilly surprisingly found himself backed into a corner by JaseemJack's stock Dranzer F, which was able to defeat both his Wb.H.Et and kS.Y.R, but was able to pull out a close win with God Valkyrie Triple Destroy.

In the top 4, I was matched up against NatedogPhilly, who was borrowing parts from Ardmore Bladers. Because of this, I expected him to have some Dragoon combo in his deck and put Neptune Yell Eternal in mine accordingly. I also included Odin Heavy Defense as a raw Stamina type just in case Neptune Eternal couldn't outspin the Wolborg Eternal combo he had been using, and Spryzen S2 Gravity Zephyr as kind of a catch-all should he happen to have something Odin and Neptune couldn't handle. He ended up going with Dragoon F Gravity Ωcta, Valtyrek V2 Knuckle Xtreme, and Wolborg Heavy Eternal, and thanks to the sliding shoot and some lucky wall saves, I was able to win using only Neptune, though I forget the exact score. Meanwhile, phantom blade's deck of Wb.Y.Et, A2.K.R, and Valtyrek Heavy Iron lost to Ardmore Bladers' gK.S.R, though a few of the A2 vs gK matches were pretty close, and if he had sliding shot Valtyrek rather than trying to stall out gK he probably would have had a better chance of winning.

The 3rd place match between NatedogPhilly and phantom blade ended up basically the same way as the semifinal match between phantom blade and Ardmore Bladers - after losing the Wolborg mirror match, phantom blade switched to gK.H.R and was able to outspin  Wb.H.Et and A2.S.Ir. Natedog switched to his gV combo, but ended up losing because of a self-KO that happened after a small contact.

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The final match between me and Ardmore Bladers was disappointingly conservative, but exciting nonetheless. I thought for sure, this time around, he would include gV.Y.X' or some other Xtreme' attacker in his deck, so I felt safer using both my KO Defense type, Gigant Gaia Gravity Unite, and OHD to counter his gK Revolve/Orbit in mine. I would have put an attacker of my own in the third slot, but felt obligated to use N.Y.Et instead because I figured he was also going to use Dragoon on Et-S. However, instead of an Attack type, he used both gK.S.O and A2.K.R... as you can probably guess, KO Defense saw zero use as I had to rely on Neptune to beat Dragoon and Odin to beat gK/A2. What made the match exciting was that I was somehow able to burst his gK with Neptune, and he was somehow able to burst my Odin with gK. In the end, Odin was able to avoid the matchup against Dragoon and pull through against gK and A2 to win me the match 5-3 or 5-4.

Combos and The Metagame
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As I previously stated, the metagame was relatively stale compared to what Burst Classic has the potential to be. Stamina combos like gK, A2, Yegdrion, and Neptune on Drivers like Revolve, Orbit, and Yard-S were staples throughout the day, but the combo that really stole the show was Wolborg Heavy/Yell Eternal. This combo has decent Stamina and all around defense, which made it a good, safe combo to use in the early rounds where you're more likely to face players without specialized combos. As I didn't own Wolborg myself, I played around it a bit cautiously, especially after seeing it resist Roktavor and burst gK, choosing to exploit Eternal's weaknesses to defeat it instead. Some people resorted to fighting Wolborg with Wolborg, while others used combos with more Stamina like gK/A2/Neptune Revolve/Orbit and Yegdrion on Yard-S to outlast it. After the tournament was over, I wanted to see if I could replicate bladekid's experience of self bursting against Wolborg with Roktavor - I had already packed my stuff into my car, so I borrowed KJ's Roktavor (which was considerably looser than mine) and was able to burst AndyHG's Wb.H.Et without much trouble, but we only had time for that one round. Overall, I'd say its performance was very comparable to the single layer Wyvern.

Guardian Kerbeus was also a big player in the tournament as well, everyone in the top 3 used it at some point during the tournament (though it's probably worth noting that phantom blade was borrowing it from me when he used it, the only combo of his own that he used was Wb.Y.Et and the Hasbro Iron). While it's still quite vulnerable to Attack - I was able to defeat it with Attack on 2 occasions - in a meta that was full of  Defense/Stamina hybrids like Wolborg it naturally rose to the top. Acid Anubis was also quite successful in the same role, and I imagine Deathscyther would also be, but I don't think any of the people who owned it had the guts to use it in an unranked tournament (though I do know YamiPoyoChan use Valkyrie Heavy Revolve in at least 1 round of Swiss).

However, I think that gK and Wolborg's popularity was more because of several external factors rather than the parts being overpowered in and of themselves:
  1. Most of the players at this tournament did not get into Burst until later on in the series, when most Classic-legal stuff had been discontinued. For quite a few of them (phantom blade is the best example), the gK and Wolborg from those 3-packs were the only legal Layers they owned.
  2. Wolborg personally was riding off quite a bit of hype after Instaburst (who was until recently one of the players described in the previous point) popularized it at the LA tournament, and JoJo's footage of the event was probably also instrumental in this.
  3. This was the first Burst Classic tournament in the region, and most people were accustomed to Burst Standard where Stamina/Defense hybrids are dominant and Attack is difficult to win with due to all of the opposite spin going around. I think because of this a lot of players (myself included!) adopted more conservative playstyles.
So while gK and Wolborg are good parts, I wouldn't say that they're overpowered and definitely wouldn't say that they should be banned. I just think that once Burst Classic catches on a bit more, and people expand their collections and realize that Attack is actually good that their usage will tank.

Left spin did not even make a splash until the finals, which was surprising since it proved to be a bit more annoying to deal with than I had expected. After seeing Thug testing's Spryzen S2 combo fail to KO Ardmore Bladers' Dragoon and even self burst once, I didn't feel very confident using Attack against it, especially the Hasbro Dragoon F which is supposedly harder to burst than the Takara Tomy one. The presence of Dragoon in Classic feels very much like Meteo or Flame 230 in MFB Limited, where it's easy enough to beat with a reasonable amount of effort, but can completely wreck you if you aren't prepared for it. It also made for a pretty interesting sub-meta between the Stamina Drivers - Revolve is probably the best Driver for raw Stamina, but gets outprecessed by opposite spin Eternal/Eternal-S and destabilized by same spin Orbit. Orbit cannot destabilize Yard-S or Defense quite as well, so it will generally lose to those, and all three of those ball tips will lose to opposite spin Eternal. Eternal vs Eternal matchups are always a bit dicey, but using a layer with more Stamina (gK, Neptune, A2) or Yell will generally give you the edge. Finally, as it always has, Eternal loses to same spin Revolve.

In terms of Hasbro vs Takara Tomy parts, I'd say that there was a pretty even mix of both used throughout the day, because they seemed to be on even footing. From what I could observe, the most successful players in the tournament used combos from both brands, and I think the key to doing well in Classic is understanding how one brand's version of a part performs in relation not only to the other brand's, but to combos from both brands, generally speaking. Quite a few Hasbro combos that had been swept under the radar due to Hasbro's delayed release schedule emerged as well, the most notable being Deceased Crab's Orpheus O2 Spread Eternal-S and JaseemJack's Cognite C3 on Trans.

Top 4 and Winning Combos
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1st Place: Wombat
Guardian Kerbeus Down Orbit
Roktavor Heavy Cycle
Yegdrion Heavy Yard-S
Spryzen S2 Gravity Zephyr
Quad Quetzalcatl Yell Xtreme'
Neptune Gravity Revolve
Neptune Yell Eternal (Deck Format Finals Only) <- I hate that I had to use this combo but yall wanted to play burst standard in burst classic
Odin Heavy Defense (Deck Format Finals Only)

2nd Place: Ardmore Bladers
Guardian Kerbeus Spread Revolve
Guardian Kerbeus Spread Orbit
Acid Anubis Knuckle Revolve (Deck Format Finals Only)
Dragoon F Yell Eternal-S (Deck Format Finals Only)

3rd Place: phantom blade
Wolborg Yell Eternal
Acid Anubis Knuckle Revolve (Deck Format Finals Only)
Valtyrek Heavy Iron (Deck Format Finals Only)
Guardian Kerbeus Heavy Revolve (Deck Format Finals Only)

4th Place: NatedogPhilly
Wolborg Heavy Eternal
Dragoon F Yell Eternal-S (Deck Format Finals Only)
Dragoon F Gravity Octa (Deck Format Finals Only)
God Valkyrie Triple Destroy (Deck Format Finals Only)
Valtryek V2 Knuckle Xtreme (Deck Format Finals Only)
Anubion A2 Spread Iron (Deck Format Finals Only)
Kreis Satan Yell Revolve (Deck Format Finals Only)

Other Deck photos
Credit to AndyHG for all of the photographs in this report.
Guardian Kerbeus Dominating ? Pretty sure it's easily Countered, just people prefer sticking with them.
Great report Wombat
This was a fun tournament
That's my Orpheus O2 in the round 4 and 6 pictures! Winning against Driger S in 4, and losing against Wolborg in 6. My deck is also the earthtone and yellow mess under the spoilers.

Next time I probably won't rely entirely on O2.S.E-S, I'm starting to think I can get attack working better, and may need to after Wolborg City. But I'm glad I was able to make it to the finals and prove it's a halfway decent combo.
Such a thorough report. More than a tournament report, it’s like a primer to burst classic.
Thanks for writing up such an in-depth Classic report @[Wombat] because I didn't. I can see your justification for leaving dominant layers like Wolborg in the game for the time being. It's also great to see such a wide variety of combos - I'm pretty impressed that you were able to get so much information about matchups in addition to hosting the tournament!