But the third round, the third round my deck really shone. My Predator and Grand-Predator were fighting over a minion, my Prey was doing a good job bleeding, and I was pushing all the damaging votes and bleed I could on him. I ousted two preys in one turn and then set about tearing apart the remaining foe. I bloated with one or two minions (so as to gain more), and bled with the rest to counter his bloating. This resulted in my first table sweep (I think ever), and getting me into the final.
But, for those of you that aren't into the game, if you're still reading this, while my deck was performing just as it should and getting the job done, I was really freaking out. I was queasy and shaking and terrified that I'd screw up my strategem or get countered or hurl all over the table.
It's very probable that no one has noticed the performance anxiety I have much of the time, especially if you remember that I'm in a chorus, am playing a Storyteller in a LARP, and am, in general, a boisterous and outgoing person. But then comes a competitive situation like a Jyhad game, where doing too well can get you ousted before you get a chance to react. It has to do with preparedness and rote. Each song in a concert is something I've practiced a dozen or a hundred times, but things like playing my deck according to the circumstances, or graduating and trying to build a career, are wholly individual experiences and can be quite frightening.
By the time the final came around, the ginger ale I had drunk and free time I had spent had calmed my nerves. I was coming into the Tournament in third place, and came out quite happy that third is how I placed in the final. I managed to oust my prey, and was confident that I could survive against my predator, who was the same deck I faced as my predator in the third round, but, sadly, at that point, the two remaining players ganged up on me and split the table.
I know there's not a lot of depth to this entry (and you think there would be), but there you go.