Interview w/ Team Kingslayer Cards Triple A | Spring Fest 2023 Premium Top 3 Team | #BushiroadSpringFest2023

Hi amigos, today I have the opportunity to interview one of the Top 3 teams for the Bushiroad Spring Fest 2023 Premium event in Duluth, Georgia! They are Antonio, Andrew, and Alex! Let’s dive into it!


Team Name: Kingslayer Cards Triple A
Teammate 1’s name: Antonio (Crow) Tutt – PDWX
Teammate 2’s name: Andrew Kondrick – The Tutor – MLZZ
Teammate 3’s name: Alex Perera – The Alchemist – B31Z

Jaime: First off, congratulations to team Kingslayer Cards Triple A for achieving Top 3 at the Bushiroad Spring Fest 2023 Premium event in Duluth, Georgia! Today I wanted to do an interview with you amigos about your overall experience and even get to know you a little bit for the readers.

Tell us a little about yourselves. Where are you from? Are you from any specific Vanguard teams/communities? Any other events that you and/or team have done well? Etc.

Antonio: I’m born and raised from Atlanta, GA. I was formerly a part of team TripleSleeve back in 2021 and am now currently with KingSlayer cards (KSC). I currently have 8 Bushiroad tops. 4 team tops and 4 singles top. My biggest achievement is getting 3rd at worlds in V-premium.

Andrew: I’m from Tampa, FL. A member of Kingslayer Cards and a previous TripleSleeve member along with Crow. I have 7 Bushiroad tops and am the 10th place player at worlds for Premium with Luard Gyze.

Alex: Born and raised in Miami, Fl. Obviously, I’m with team KSC with the Florida crew! This is my first event top, and I’m grateful it was the most busted trio I could’ve asked for!

Jaime: It’s awesome how you guys have great tops in your name already with Alex being super excited on his very first one! During your preparation, what are some things that you mainly focused on? Certain matchups, deck builds, strategies, etc.

Antonio: I’ve been practicing Steam Maiden for quite some time. Most times I theory craft on my own since my locals don’t play much Premium. I often practice with my girlfriend and some of the other local members occasionally when I have an opportunity to do so. Most times I shadow play myself to see how my hands and game flow could potentially go trying to play out the worst/best-case scenario. Oftentimes I also review footage from worlds looking at matchups and how everyone played their respective builds.

Andrew: I had done a lot of playtesting and tweaking my DI list over the past few months and did extremely well with it at the last KSC No OT Premium event. So I felt confident with the list for Springfest. The week before I was truly torn on whether to play my baby Luard Gyze or something more meta. I had debated Highlander, Nightmare Dolls, and of course my DI brew. The night before I decided to play DI over Luard since Crow and Alex were relying on me to pull through rounds and I felt it would be the safest option.

Alex: I spent quite a lot of time working with Andrew and others from locals about what worked and didn’t work within Deletor-Messiah. Eventually, I had to accept that my ego was wrong about utilizing Messiah as it was, since it’s all cycle and no real draw power. After taking it apart, and deciding that the Messiahs were a crutch to my old playstyle, a new one had to be made and accepted Freezeray to stall against all the decks that had gross aggro and force them into misplaying. The real spice of it was Doberman who I’m glad I had the foresight to utilize as it’s a CC and +1.

Deck Lists

Antonio (Crow) Tutt – PDWX
Andrew Kondrick – The Tutor – MLZZ
Alex Perera – The Alchemist – B31Z

Jaime: Awesome, let’s dive into your deck lists. With these builds, what were your Winning Images for most of your games? Like did you have a setup, game state, or strategy that you focused on?

Antonio: The game plan for me was to farm for cards in hand while also trying to get my opponent to at least 3 damage before my stride turn to limit the amount of damage triggers that could be taken. It’s a very simple but effective game plan.

Andrew: Gameplan? I push my soul to as high of a number by my turn 3 and ideally kill them or ride back down. Never letting my opponent stride. Most decks in the format are choosing aggression over defensive options and hand size so it’s extremely easy to kill with an NLK Baro turn. Even more effective if I can hope on damp to guard restrict the turn.

Alex: Absolutely, the gameplan was ride Freezeray and force the opponent to misplay or play around it, minimizing their attack plan to little as possible. While I sit cooking with damage and hitting pieces (and deck thinning), I get to set myself up into my Delete turn and hit spammy restands between Given & Awaking Messiah. Ideally, I’d go first, since ride-down decks are obnoxious.

Jaime: Great, can you elaborate more on why you came to those choices/ratios for your lists? Feel free to break it down by Grades or groups of cards, whichever makes more sense for your decks.

Antonio: The Maiden list is pretty cut and dry for the most part. You want to run 4 of all the good Maiden cards and 2 copies of the rest of the Maiden cards. The tech slots in the deck are the most difficult part, especially considering the among of space in the deck. I almost forgot to mention I ran 1 Steam Maiden Arlim D-series version. Not only is it a Maiden (that being it can be searched with the cat), but it also came in clutch during semi finals I only had 2 cards left in hand that being a g3 and the pg. The fact the OD pgs have a skill if you only have 1 card in hand you essentially PG for free without having to ditch a card, which helped me be able to save a card to ditch for stride cost. Lastly if you need to damage deny it’s a 6k body so you’re able to swing under your opponent’s 7-8k body.

Andrew: The card choices are self-explanatory. The ratios came from constant testing and tweaking to optimize my chances of seeing enough soul by turn 3. The biggest change I made was cutting Edge of Darkness to 1 in order to fit 2 G3 searchers. The only losing condition for this deck is missing NLK. If you see him the deck is almost auto-win. I never had to stride and most games ended before needing my g guards as well.

Alex: Dunamis & Alter Ego had to come out because they were the original crutches of the deck, but I wanted to win, and to do that, they had to come out and swap the ratios to better assist Freezeray and Doberman (G1). Doberman was an extender for Delete turns as it CC and draws 1, so I was able to support Given’s price of 6 cards total (minus the frog-Jaluel, that boy was chilling at 3 of in the deck list). Doberman also allowed me to build a board with Counterkill and refund the counterblast it takes up, while getting out an early +1 to hand. As a tech spot, I included 2 Awaking Messiah to support Given turns (and no more cause space is tight). Originally I playtested it with only 1 Awaking Messiah but found I always drew into it before it would ever be seen or never see it. It certainly came in clutch several times throughout our Krump to 3rd. I didn’t really play with my Gzone too much, and left all the Messiah strides because I was being lazy and didn’t have other cards to substitute at the time, otherwise 3 Cosmic Dawn was all I really need. Moving forward, I dropped Volkswagen (Volkogede) to 3 instead of 4, because seeing Freezeray first matters more than hitting it onto the board asap.

Jaime: Thanks for going more in-depth! During your games, which decks/clans did you face? How were your personal records?

Antonio: During Swiss I went X-1 losing to a team TripleSleeve, a local of mine playing Aqua Force. I drop a game during Top 8 to D.I. (a runback from Swiss which I won at the time.) My egoist Teammates clutched up and won their games. During the semi-finals I lost the mirror because of deck out. My opponent 6th damaged OTed (Bushiroad please ban OT lol). Fighting for 3rd I played against NMD and won that game and so did my Teammates (a team sweep to end the day). Breakdown of decks fought:

Round 1: DP🪶
Round 2: Megacolony🪶
Round 3: Aqua❌️
Round 4: Maidens🪶
Round 5: NLK/Baro🪶
Round 6: Jewel Knight🪶
Round 7: Messiah🪶
Top 8: NLK/Baro❌️
Top 4: Maidens❌️(6th damage OT)
For 3rd: NMD🪶

Andrew: I don’t actually remember a lot of my matchups. My Swiss record was X-3 with 2 losses coming in round 1 and 2 after having not seen my G3 ride and failing g assist. Round 1 was Aqua Force and round 2 was Highlander. Later I ended up fighting the owner of Kingslayer Cards himself Richard Garcia and his meta-defining Majesty Lord Blaster deck which managed to take me out. Shout out to Jonathon Owens and his nuns with guns eating the OT turn 1. It was a very lackluster game but he still managed to fight back. Next time will be the real deal.

Coming into top 8 I actually took all my games. Had a rematch against an Aqua force player from swiss. Fought the DP player on the first place team but unfortunately the team couldn’t clutch out. In the fight for 3rd I had a mirror match that I won pretty decisively.

Alex: I went against: S. Maidens (2x), Megacolony, Jewel Knights, Aquaforce, Dimension Police (2x), Genesis, and Bermuda-Highlander. My losses were Megacolony, J. Knights (OT to pass and OT then rear guard following up with a crit will do that to ya), the game wrapped up against Genesis really quickly, so I threw that to wrap it up quicker (so technically that’s a loss, but it didn’t matter to me, I saw the line to win and didn’t need to extend as I did for the fun of it.), and last loss was against Bermuda (OT defensive to stop the game).

Jaime: Definitely a lot of variety! Was there a game you would like to highlight? Like your toughest matchup, best game, break or deal moments, etc.

Antonio: The match I would like to highlight would definitely have to be against Team Eclipse’s very own Narusamurai. I lost to him during the KSC 1k tournament earlier this year so of course I was thrilled to get my run back especially at a Bushiroad event of all things. I managed to get the W. Also my semi-final match again 6th damage OT (Bushi please help a brother out and ban that card 😅)

Andrew: My toughest match of the day (Outside of Bricking for my NLK and sitting there til I died) had to be Richard Garcia and his MLB deck I mentioned earlier. He has refined his list to a point of being able to beat any and all meta decks in the format. 

Alex: The best game was unfortunately against our own team, with Richard Garcia, Ryan Garcia, and William Garcia. I had played against Ryan and his Aquas and that game went down to the wire, and I clutched us up to get us into Top 8. It was tight cause I was on Freezeray for an extended period of time as I lost most of my Ydoga Deletor into damage, and had to use my entire hand to guard & survive a turn when my power was capped at 11k. Lost 2 of my Givens that turn guarding, and then topped deck stride fodder for the delete turn and was fortunate enough to hit a Jaluel and Volko of the top 7 with Cosmic Dawn. Then of course, Awaking Messiah to restand my Given, and ultimately made Aquas deck out, because their OT was still in deck at like 5 cards left in deck, which forced them into deck out.

Jaime: Wow, you guys had to face your own friends in the tournament! During your games, what is something that you appreciate about your decks from the preparation you’ve done? The strategy of it, consistency, power, plays, etc.

Antonio: I definitely appreciate the consistency of my deck. Being able to farm cards, fight for first stride, and compress my deck while being able to search out important pieces were the reasons I opted to play this deck.

Andrew: As long as I don’t miss ride for g3 the deck is hyper-consistent. I’m extremely proud of the deck brew and felt that the games I lost were to myself and my own draws rather than any of my opponents. There’s only so much you can do when you can’t ride to 3.

Alex: I was STACKED for any ride down deck, and bodied every Steam Maiden I went against. I would’ve had an easy time against Pales and anything else that has good aggro. It felt better playing my deck to counter the meta at the highest ceiling. I just wish I had more experience against Bermuda-Highlander with the deck that I would’ve had a more appropriate counterplay. That and Megacolony, but that isn’t as scary as it once was, I just hate Brillan Buster. 

Jaime: After the tournament, did y’all take some time to reflect? Anything that you learned from your experiences?

Antonio: Most of the matchups I already knew thanks to the 1k KSC tournament. Most decks that I fought I was very familiar with on top of me also playing and practicing against all the meta-relevant decks out there. Against theory crafting, testing with locals, and testing on CFA has helped tremendously in helping me to remain consistent with being able to top big events. 

Andrew: Honestly I wouldn’t make any changes to the list itself. I feel it’s been optimized with the current card pool. I’m just glad I had such goated Teammates that made the weekend so much more fun than it would have been otherwise.

Alex: There was a lot of self-reflection on the games that I did take L’s on. Specifically against Megacolony and Bermuda. Overextending against Megas meant that they can tutor cards they need to further counter me while playing for a longer turn. However, on my turn, I realized if I had a full board, I would’ve been able to counter that obnoxious G2 that gives a 5K defensive power for the turn. Additionally, hitting triggers would’ve been more effective for me, but alas I was not given that luck. Bermuda, was a game in Top 8 that I could’ve played to stall with, but they hit critical triggers early and that stuffed my damage down pretty early. So I felt stalling on Freezeray was going to be a death sentence, so I opted for my delete turn and allowed myself to go to 5 damage. Ultimately that wasn’t the best play since my Opp hit the OT defensively, but that also isn’t something that you can’t write off entirely on your turn for the game. I felt as though I learned a lot, and for the first time I felt that I can compete with my deck at the highest skill ceiling and still turn out on top. 

Jaime: Awesome! Would you like to do any shout-outs to people that you know and/or have helped you along your journeys?

Antonio: Special shoutout to team TripleSleeve they are forever my OG home and family. Their undying support has definitely kept me up to par. Of course I have to shout out my current sponsor KSC for all the love and support they’ve been nothing but a blessing to me and reminding me that I’m one of the best players in the world without them I’m not sure how well I would be doing at these events. A HUGE shoutout to my EGOIST Teammates during the event not only are they some of the funniest people to be around but they are also very strong players too! I wouldn’t want to top a BSF without them they made the entire event a thrill! I’m also glad I could help my teammate Alex Perera get his first-ever Bushiroad top and we took it all the way to 3rd! I want to say it was a 120+ for this event I can’t remember the numbers but man did the boys make me proud.

Andrew: Obviously shout out to Kingslayer Cards and all of our teammates. Devlin Cassidy aka the Scholar for being the boy and giving me some card choice inspiration. Biggest shout out to the Egoists that were on my team for the event. You’re all goated. Here’s to the world’s greatest Krumpfight Vanguard 3 stack 🔥🔥🔥

Alex: Shoutout to Wilbur back in Fl for being a day 1 and always helping me push myself with VG, shoutout to Richard, Ryan, James, and the KSC crew for being S-tier playtesting partners, shoutout to Heart Ali for the way of the Krump and for being a great homie to talk to about LJ deck theory. Shoutout to Frankie and Team Eclipse for being great at playtesting and deck theory/building, of course, shoutout to my family who has supported me playing this game and being happy with the accomplishments in the game. Lastly shoutout to the Egoists I played with, whenever I took L’s they clutched up, and when they did I did. We really had each other’s back in this event, and our chemical reactions are INSANE.

Jaime: That’s all great stuff! I’m sure your friends are happy and excited for your accomplishment! Just one more question and we’ll be done amigos.

While preparing for your decks, did you use/see any social media to help you solidify your build? Such as blogs, YouTube videos/channels, Facebook, Reddit, etc. 

Antonio:  I would have to say Dave Vecht was my inspiration after talking to him. I used his list as a base and tweaked it to fit my style of play. I’m very happy with all my decisions and personal preparation. I mostly look into the JP meta when it comes to social media, because they don’t have many premium events I’m left to craft on my own which has helped me to become the player I am today. Of course I have all my homies that I can speak/craft with too so not everything is entirely on my own but my specific list is what I had to go through trial and error with. That’s how you build and find your own optimal list to suit you always keep that in mind when building, everyone’s style is unique to them.

Andrew: Devlin Cassidy and his YouTube channel. Check him out. He’s always been someone I can bounce ideas off and his DI list using Killertail and Creeper over the average lists today helped me come to the final list I had brewed up and refined.

Alex: No. I’ve seen lists and ideas, then I think about them for a minute and I think most aren’t that great. Mine wasn’t perfect for the event, but it was built to be as strong as it can be for the meta we’re in. The most I’ve had was a good conversation with Heart, Andrew, Crow, Rob, Marshal, and Ty about LJ lists and the options available. But my deck list is my deck list. I was on that Doberman wavelength before the tides started picking up. 

Jaime: Awesome! Thank you for sharing that as well, very much appreciated. Thanks again for joining me in this interview! I wish you the best and hope to see more from y’all in the metagame! Till next time amigos!

Key Takeaway

Play Testing With Constraints

Antonio had mentioned he was only able to test so much for Premium One of the ways to get some great insight/practice is shadow play testing. Doing that and getting some games in, will still help in creating a solid deck and game plan.

Remember what you can do when you’re under constraints. Still getting intentional practice or theory crafting can help yield success.

Getting Over Your Own Ego

Alex had mentioned that his deck was being held back in his own old ways. He realized that he had to get over his ego and make the best changes for his deck in the current metagame. As you read through the interview, you can tell he was glad and appreciative that he made the changes.

What I noticed with some players, what holds them back from getting their first ever top, is their own stubbornness or unhealthy ego. They have everything that it takes to get their first top, but when they finally accept to be more open-minded they make a breakthrough.

You got what it takes!

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