2022 Digimon Store Championship Pre-Game Interview w/ Chrissie Kerr & Tim Reek!

Digimon Store Championships banner featuring winners card Guilmon.

With the 2022 Digimon Store Championships at Imperial Comics & Games approaching this coming August 14th, today we’re going to take a look back at last year's event and get some insider knowledge from players who represented the store at Nationals. Chrissie Kerr and Tim Reek both earned the coveted Nationals Invitation and put on a strong showing in the event itself, while neither made it to the top their insights are sure to be a help to those of you hoping to take the top spot in the Store Championships and earn that invite themselves this year. Without further ado let’s get things underway, I hope you enjoy the interview.

Chrissie, Tim, it’s good to speak with you today. To start things off, how was your Digimon Nationals experience last year and are you hoping to return this year?

C - My nationals experience last year was phenomenal! Just before the event began I made a few friends while getting some practice in. Pretty much everyone I played against was lovely. It was my first time playing a webcam event, and everyone was very patient with me finding my footing. It was comforting to know the Digimon community as a whole is just as welcoming and encouraging as our friendly local game store. I would love to go again!

T - I had fun even though nationals turned out to be online and not in person. That was kind of a let down. I personally don’t enjoy webcam play as much as others. I definitely hope to return for this year’s event.

In regards to the Store Championships themselves the BT9 meta is very different from the one you competed under. How do you see X Antibody and heavy OTK decks affecting the tournament and do you think these are necessarily the strategies that are going to see heavy success?

C - Last year, I played Green OTK to secure my nationals invite--and no one else was really  playing that kind of deck so it's interesting to me that this time around the meta is full of OTK! I suppose since going against the grain with a "rogue" deck is what helped me last time, I think those who go that route may see some success this go round as well.

T - OTK decks are very dependent on having their pieces to do their super combo so the match becomes how long can I keep playing searchers before my opponent can kill me with or without their perfect combo. You really have to weigh, “Can I afford to keep searching or do I just go for swings?” Still, OTK decks are popular in this format so I believe they will have the most representation.

And without giving too much away are there any match ups in particular that you’re currently worried about or are specifically preparing for? 

C - I am definitely worried about decks that heavily play option cards. It can completely throw off my game plan! It has me trying to find room for A Delicate Plan to help improve my chances of surviving security.

T - The big two, Grandis and Ouryuken, are the decks I see as the most worrying. Both of those decks have the ability to come from zero security to outright winning in a single turn for very little memory as long as they have just the right cards.

When you’re faced with something across the table that perhaps was unexpected or operates in a way that you might not have much experience with, what do you suggest for players to keep their head in the game? Do you have any coping strategies when taken by surprise by an opponent?

C - You know your deck and what it is supposed to do, so do your best to make that possible. Focus on what you know about your own deck and do not be afraid to ask your opponent questions especially with cards they are playing that you aren't super familiar with! I hope this year Nationals will be an in person tournament which makes it easier to read cards, but if it isn't it makes it that much more important to clarify effects with your opponent and if anything doesn't sound right don't be afraid to call a judge! It's what they're here for and can really help with clarification.

T - All you can really do is prepare beforehand. That is probably my greatest disadvantage. I don't get to playtest nearly as much as I would like to for these important tournaments. If for some reason you are caught off guard during a match, do your best to control your frustrations until afterwards because those feelings can lead to critical mistakes at the time.

More on that topic in general, do you have any rituals going into these events that you feel bring you luck or preparation techniques that you’d like to share that you feel gives you a mental edge going into an event like this?

C - I wouldn't say I have a specific ritual, but I always try to get my opponent to laugh as I feel it breaks the ice and makes everyone a little less nervous. I'm quite a silly person at heart but I definitely feed on the energy of others, so if they're super serious I'll also be more reserved and quite nervous. I do try to get a table shuffle in before starting as well to truly feel my deck is randomized.

T - Just preparation, get in your practice and then leading into the event give your body what it needs: Good food, rest and water. All of those things equate to a sharp mind and that’s what you need.

So, what’s one piece of advice you would have given yourself at this point last year? Whether that’s in regards to competing in the Store Championship or Nationals themselves?

C - Don't worry so much! I love playing this game and that's what I need to focus on, not winning but having fun. That doesn't mean I'm not going to practice and prepare, but when it's go time it always goes better for me if I don't worry about trying to top!

T - For nationals I would have said practice for decks you don’t think will be at the tournament. At nationals I ended up playing against security control for about 75% of my matches and I did little to no practice taking security control into account because I was under the mistaken assumption that that deck was dead in that format. Most of my practice was for Bond of Friendship and I didn’t encounter that deck once.

Finally, the Digimon community at Imperial Comics & Games has a real family feel and has forged some long lasting friendships. What would you say to anyone new looking to come along and take part in these events?

C - We are always excited to meet new Digimon peeps! Be that new to the game or just new to our store. I love meeting others who are excited about this game I love so much and the more the merrier! It's always great to see how others pilot their decks, as well. There's so many different ways to play and variety is the spice of life! Please come join in our fun!

T - I would say come on out and have fun everyone is friendly and willing to help out.

There we have it folks, I hope this interview with Chrissie and Tim gave you a good insight into what the Store Championships and beyond that, the Digimon Nationals experience is all about. If you plan on competing and making a run for the top we wish you luck and hope to see you at our Store Championship event this coming August 14th here at Imperial Comics & Games!