Last weekend I played in a KIPTournaments Quick Adaptive tournament. It was awesome! I’m now convinced that it is the best format! You should play it, we should all be playing it, it should be an official sanctionable event!
In our local community (when people were still going out in public, meeting up and playing games, weird huh) a few of us had independently come up with the Quick Adaptive format as well and have played a few tournaments using the format rules. I’m glad other players have also thought of it and it’s catching on! The Quick Adaptive ‘chainbound’ nights are some of the funnest weekly events I’ve played. And I’ll tell you why.
But first! If you’re not familiar with the rules of Quick Adaptive here they are. It’s simply regular Adaptive but chop the first two games and go right to chain bidding. Quick Adaptive is only one game (instead of three in regular Adaptive) which means it’s quick and time friendly to get through on a weeknight. Essentially, at the start of your one game both you and your opponent look at both decklists. You both secretly find a method to pick which deck you want to play (I like assigning one deck the red key and one deck the blue key. Each player holds their pick, red or blue, in their hand and reveal at the same time). If each player picks their own deck, you play your own deck. If each player picks each other’s deck you essentially play reversal. But, if each player chooses the same deck the deck goes to chain auction! Both players bid chains on the deck until one player chooses not to bid any longer and the player who bid the most chains gets to play the deck!
So now to the beauty of Quick Adaptive! It’s 100% Keyforge how it is meant to be played. The first reason I like Quick Adaptive is because you can go to your collection and choose any deck to play. That's right! Any deck! You don’t have to stress about meta-game, deck power, SAS rating, or even how to play the deck (though that does help, more on that later). You can roll into a Quick Adaptive tournament with your worst deck and come out the other end in first place! I like the idea that Quick Adaptive makes all my decks playable as I like playing new decks and I like that the decks I’ve purchased don’t sit on a shelf and never get used. In the tournament I played there was a range of decks from low 50s SAS to over 80! I brought my SAS 57 Ganger Chieftain
Secondly, Because any player can use any of their own decks, Quick Adaptive is new player friendly. New players are unlikely to have a large collection of decks that contain many high power decks that veteran players are likely to have. This puts them at an immediate disadvantage in other formats like Archon Solo and Reversal. Although Quick Adaptive requires some understanding of the card base to evaluate a deck, a new player can at least understand the power of their own deck and whether or not they want to keep it or try out their opponent’s deck. The new player feels like they have a chance instead of feeling hopeless in other formats.
Thirdly, Quick Adaptive rewards skill. You must be able to identify if your opponent’s deck is better or worse than yours. Once you decide who’s deck is better you must evaluate how many chains can be applied to that deck so that it’s still good enough to win. You also have to be able to play with a completely new deck without any experience with it! From my experience, it’s truly tough to excel at all three of these categories. It also helps if you’ve played your deck a significant number of times. If you know your deck’s weaknesses and your opponent has that weakness in their deck then you know you should choose to play theirs.
Lastly, my favourite part, Quick Adaptive packs all of this fun and skill reward into one 35 minute game. We’ve tried regular Adaptive at our local store but it simply takes too long. A simple 3 round tournament goes from under two hours to over four hours! Those long tournaments are not family friendly.
There’s all sorts of strategies to Quick Adaptive. Some players bring their worst deck and always bid on their opponent’s deck. Some players bring their best and most familiar deck and always pick their own. I like bringing a deck that requires a lot of reps to figure out. I brought my Ganger Chieftain combo deck because I love playing it and I feel that many players may not have great experience with the combo to play it to all its effectiveness.
On a final note, watching someone else pilot my deck allowed me to discover new lines of play that I didn’t think of already which helps me play the deck better in the future! Although I went W1-L3 in the tournament I played in, ‘She Who Seemingly Pleads with the Dark’ went W3-L1 with the help of other players playing it. I’m so proud of her!