Conveniently enough, today is the final match of Round One of Iron Waifu 2018, so, we figured for today we’d look forward to round two, and post some insights about the previous round. Okay? Okay!
May 17th- Princess Quinta vs Yeon Ewona
NoMoshing: For most of the previous Iron Waifus, there have been a few truisms that emerged- Characters with completed love quests tended to perform poorly, characters who represented a niche taste did even worse, and most especially, unless your name started with “A” or ended in “Gandine”, harem girl trumped non-harem girls and party members trumped non-party harem girls. But this year isn’t like those previous years, and whoever is represented by these new voting blocs, all previous wisdom is rapidly getting chucked out the window.
Case in point, Princess Quinta, who lost so badly in her first appearance that we passed over her for IW 2017 in favour of her mother, managing a stunning turnaround on Violet. Now, Quinta will eventually make it to the harem, but she isn’t there yet, and that is usually a negative mark.
Will she be able to keep it up against a full-on party member though? While Evanie tends to perform well, Yeon winning out against her isn’t an upset, and I know Yeon has her haters. But the potential rewards might also weigh in Yeon’s favour- Quinta is only getting a single sex scene out of the crown, while Yeon is getting quite a bit more. It’s going to be a tossup for me, but an interestingly asymmetrical tossup.
Conash: Quinta’s match was a REAL head-turner to start off the tournament for me. I expected Quinta to do better since “Circle of Strife” and “Dude where’s my Sword” left people hungry for more storyline quests, but I was blown away not just by how Quinta won but how she won by a pretty healthy lead (7 votes). Violet hasn’t exactly given us incredible preformances in the past, but she hasn’t exactly been a push-over so this match took me by surprise and had me making a brand new bracket even because storyline quests might be able to even take on party members with this… And then Yeon managed to win out over Evanie who also offered progression on the Kellos storyline in one way or another as did Quinta. The matches that lead to this defied my expectations, new and old.
Nekochan: Hmmm legit princess vs wannabe princess…I’ve been a bit surprised by the Yeon-dislike given the fanbase around her fellow dungeon-mates, and it seems like players tend to be happy for a chance to coerce the girls to accept the hero. I was happy to see her win since that may indicate the tide is turning for her (or are people just tired of be teased with Evanie?). If Quinta wins, I suppose it’s not so much that she has her fans but the Yeon-dislike remains stronger than the first round indicated.
May 18th- Ser Brigandine De Mont-Fleur vs Eulania
NoMoshing: Brigadine’s popularity has always been a sore tooth with me. I mean, I’m glad that people love a character from my game so much, but look at it from my perspective- a skill trainer whose design I had no hand in routinely turns out to be more popular than characters I created and actively tried to make attractive, and has only lost to the event Iron Waifu herself the previous two years. On top of that, this year she won out over Chimei, whose redesign and love quest I’m actually really looking forward to. But this contest isn’t about what I want, it’s about what you all want, and I’m willing to roll with it no matter the outcome. Interestingly enough, she is not the top-voted non-harem girl this year… a possible crack in her support base?
I am pleased with Eulania making it to the second round, though. As a character routinely underserved with regard to content, I’m glad she’s managed to wrangle a few fans who want to see more of her. Will it be enough to stop the freight train that is Brigandine? Maybe there’s a slim chance. We’ll see what everyone thinks in a couple days.
Conash: Brigandine is my waifu, I’ve made this clear even back in 2016 before I was on the team. While I do feel sorry for NoMoshing that it might be a bit of a sore thumb for him, I’m sorry but just how some of the minor dailogues that come up with her paint a character that’s pretty open to what Hero’s doing and seems so unphased by it and then seems to look to have an implied, “Take me, if you can” feeling to her just lights a fire in me. Eulania’s win is nice to see as well, while I’m not exactly her biggest fan (call me a heretic if you must but I don’t particularly care for glasses >.>) it’s very nice to see people wanting to see more of her because hey, I want to see more of her and learn about her! Though with the few scenes that she’ll be getting added to the game with the 0.34 release hopefully people who votes for her will get a nice taste of her soon! Still rooting for Brig personally but I’ll make sure to keep my write-up on point.
Nekochan: Why do ghosts need glasses? Yes that is seriously all I have to say about this matchup. The outcome has already been decided.
May 19th- Kyrie the Burning Blizzard vs Jonagold Apple (Apple Kid)
NoMoshing: I really like writing for Kyrie. She’s smart, she’s flirty, she has more adventuring experience than the Hero, and she likes getting under his skin sometimes. I understand why she has her haters, though. It was something of a disappointment to see Serade get the boot so early, but I feel she had a strong showing and the improvements to her characterization are winning her a few fans. No regrets from this match in round one.
Even though I like Renfeld (And she’s one of the few characters who I have a pretty good idea of what I want for her LQ), it’s really nice to see Apple Kid get a victory. I think it’s pretty well deserved after washing out the previous two contests. It’ll be interesting to see what happens- Kyrie may be controversial, but she got to the semifinals last year, but this year Jonagold has the power of ShadowCluster’s lobbying behind her… I’m interested to see what happens here.
Conash: While I enjoy Kyrie myself, was sad to see Serade lose especially after all that Awiiabu stuff as it makes her the first competitor to ever go 0 and 3 in Iron Waifu. Maybe next year she’ll manage to break out against someone but yeah. As for Kyrie, I never really got all the hate she tends to get, I mean sure she played a part in our capture but I’ve always figured that she didn’t exactly have room to refuse, the Queen isn’t going to just use the carrot and stick method on the Hero, EVERYONE is under her thumb, something that Shally even confirms, so if Kyrie threw her life away for some guy she mildly flirted with to rot in a dungeon the Queen would have just found some other pretty woman to flirt with us, but hey never nice to feel betrayed I just don’t think Kyrie had a lot of room to not betray us personally. Apple Kid’s win was a bit of a shock for me, Renfeld tends to do the best ouf of all of the maids as she’s never lost a round 1 before, even making a turn-around and defeating Meline in 2017 after losing to her in 2016, but this was Apple Kid’s first time ever making it past round 1. I’m not Renfeld’s biggest fan but I get some of the appeal, still I like that Apple Kid scored her first win.
Nekochan: It’ll be okay Apple Kid. Your rival is just hotter. Just be a good sport about it ok?
May 20th- Elaiya the Relentless vs Lady Doralice
NoMoshing: Elaiya has has the disadvantage of being up against fan favourite characters like Raina and Larelle her previous two matches, and that combined with an already-completed love quest, I was not expecting Elaiya to go far this year. But for her to claim the narrowest victory from Gargan shows that she does have her fans, and it certainly was a deserved victory for the game’s second implemented harem girl.
Meanwhile, Doralice beating Randi gives me some hope that people are actually really engaged with the story this year and are interested in seeing where everything goes. Although, Randi has a bad habit of unlucky matchups against big time characters, so it was actually pretty hard to gauge fan interest in her, so I guess this isn’t 100% just yet. Elaiya vs Doralice is really going to be a test of story progress vs waifu-ism, and I’m looking forward to seeing it!
Conash: I’m personally more of a fan of Gargan than Elaiya, but it’s good to see both of them getting support and all! Elaiya’s win gives her first win of Iron Waifu, but it also marks Gargan as the only other person to go 0 and 3 which is sad to see. I was really torn up about Elaiya vs Gargan as I wanted them both to get to round 2. Doralice’s victory seemed pretty clear to me by the time we got there, the maids had been doing uncharacteristically bad the tournament, while story quests were doing pretty well. While we haven’t exactly gotten a super thrilling edition to the Harem Drama arc, it’s generally speaking been a fan favorite most of the time, the fact that it gives us Therese in the first quest (and only quest for many years) probably helped solidify it as offering one of the nicest rewards. I’m really looking forward to seeing how well Doralice does, as she could easily become an unexpected powerhouse here.
Nekochan: I consider Elaiya to be one of my cinnamon rolls. I have a lot but they all need love and hugs and to be told it’ll be ok. She’s the only one I have left in the competition since my other cinnamon rolls have already been eliminated *sniffle*
May 21st- Bronwyn vs Nerys Rainbreeze
NoMoshing: Holy cow, is the pro-elf voting bloc ever out in force this year! But this specific matchup is pretty exciting to me for two reasons- one, Nerys had a really strong debut last year, being one of the few non-party girls who have beaten out a fully-fledged party member (The only other girls who can claim that achievement are Alina, Ino and Renfeld) and Nerys managed it literally on the first try! However, this year, Nerys is the one character who I had to reach to come up with something for- which is why none of her rewards for being crowned the victor have anything to do with her. Bronwyn has a lot more to personally gain, but people seem to really want that elf orgy that was alluded to at the end of “Elf Half-Empty”. Look forward to this match, because with the pro-elf bloc split, it’s going to be a dramatic one.
Conash: Here we’re truly going to be putting the elf orgy to the test in probably one of the most fair shakes it will get. With all the talk of #savetheelves I imagine that the elves might be benefitting a bit from a more general positive attitude that they’re cultivating around the idea of being elves, though maybe I’m just overthinking things. Either way we’ve got a strong elf party member with a lot of personal rewards to offer, and a fair amount of support behind her (heck, I personally dislike Bronwyn currently as she is, but I tend to vote for her as I know that I won’t dislike her by the end) against Nerys who’s prize package is far from lacking if you ask me. This match will be deciding a lot of my round 3 and up predictions.
Nekochan: Bronwyn you bitch! Give me back my other cinnamon roll! Her hair is nice and swirly like one and all she wants is her fairy tale romance but the hero is a butt. #fucktheelves #yesImawareofthedoubleentendre #vengenceforRaina
May 22nd- Shally vs Clementine D’Orange (Orange Kid)
NoMoshing: It’s nice to see Shally get a victory in- I know a lot of players really like her, and are looking forward to her sex scene getting art soon. Up until this time she’s been a pretty consistent round one punching bag, but she finally managed to earn a win for herself and I think that’s pretty great. But she’s up against Orange Kid, a solid mid-tier waifu who is no stranger to the second round. That said Orange Kid is up next in terms of getting art redone, so her listed rewards are almost like a second entry for Apple Kid.
I don’t think either of these characters are getting to the finals based on their rewards alone, but this year has been nothing if not chock full of upsets and odd victories. I have great expectations for whoever wins this match!
Conash: Funny story, Shally scooted into victory at the absolute last minute. I had confirmed with NoMoshing how our tie-breaker was going to vote in advance and we were watching the clock very closely. If I recall the final vote that pushed Shally from losing a tie to winning her match came in the last 5 minutes. I had to redo both of my bracket images as I had assumed it would end in a tie as a result. Orange Kid’s wide margin for victory did surprise me a bit as I figured there would have been a bit more prize apathy holding her back against Ino, but I understand her winning as it’s not ALL about prizes afterall. I know who I think will win, but my gut tells me to not count this match over quite so soon so I’ll be watching this match for another potential upset.
Nekochan: Shally is grumpy and nevers like anything I do. Or laughs at me. Give me back my new cinnamon roll! I want sassy revenge orange. #vengenceforNatya
May 23rd- Meiriona vs Florine
NoMoshing: Talk about an explosive debut! In a powerful victory that *nobody* saw coming, newcomer elven MILF Meiriona scores the biggest wins of the year against perennial fan favourite Yamamaya! For everyone’s favourite berserker catgirl to go from semi- and quarterfinal finishes to lose to an absolute newb is probably the biggest upset of the year. While a lot of people are saying “ELF ORGY! ELF ORGY!” I’m honestly thinking that character fatigue might have more to do with Yamamaya’s loss. We’ve been doing Yamamaya’s art redesign for a long time now, people are just kind of tired of the catgirl. We’ll see if I’m right next year, I suppose, because if I am Yama should bounce back.
As for Florine, her victory is a bit of a surprise as Doll made it all the way to the semifinals last year, but I’m happy to see Florine end up doing so well. I’m looking forward to doing more content for her, so I hope she goes far! Will she be able to beat the pro-elf bloc, though? I wonder….
Conash: Meiriona, the girl who would turn fans into a parliament of owls, won over Yamamaya who’s been the exception to the typical prize apathy rules (making it to the semi-finals in 2016 and into round 3 in 2017). After that powerful of a victory round 1, I’d say that the elf orgy itself has a good chance of taking this entire contest. Florine winning against Doll was a bit surprising, though after the great commentary we got by orifalcon where it was pointed out that Florine has never lost a match by more than 1 vote in the past two years, I certainly wasn’t willing to count her out. Doll’s popularity however has become even more difficult to grasp though as last year she made it to the semi-finals… I will certainly say though, these two girls completely ruined my predictions of Q3 as a whole, I had Doll pegged as making it to the Semi-finals with Yamamaya being her biggest competition, turns out both my #1 and #2 pick for this quarter lost in the first round.
Nekochan: Florine takes away everything I love. Like cinnamon rolls. #savetheelves #yesIknowImcontradictingmyselfshutup #vengenceforDoll
May 24th- Diadira vs Larelle/Penelope
NoMoshing: I was going to do a writeup for both Larelle and Penelope, but at this point Larelle is leading by 21 votes, so I’m just going to go ahead and talk about it like Larelle has already won. Though that may change and this will look hilarious in hindsight. This is actually going to be a pretty exciting matchup from my perspective. These two characters represent the only girls getting into round two where a) they don’t have their LQ yet and b) I have a very strong idea fo what I want to do for them. Literally every other character I know what I want their LQ to be- Chimei, Gargan, Renfeld, Doll- are all gone. I’m really surprised that Meline and Penelope are both eliminated so decisively, though. Meline is a longtime fan favourite and Penelope did quite well for herself in Iron Waifu 2016. But so it goes, I guess. Either way, looking forward to this matchup, I have no complaints if either of these girls make it to the crown.
Conash: Before the tournament, I fully expected the finals of Iron Waifu to come down to Brigandine vs Larelle, given that Penelope also has her first love quest done I fully expected this match to be the biggest landslide of round 1, though Nerys vs Bell definately set a high bar so who knows if that prediction would come true. I certainly have my criticisms about Larelle but I recognize that she’s got her audience and I’m glad you all enjoy her. Diadira’s victory over Meline makes sense to me as well. While Meline is one of my personal favorites prize apathy tends to hit girls other than Yama pretty hard, meanwhile some of the reasons people have trouble getting invested in Diadira would be solved if she wins, which helps undercut some of the potential anti-voters out there.
Nekochan: Larelle is the harem girl I get the most requests to draw so I have a soft spot for her since I find drawing a character gives me more of a sense of the character (you wouldn’t believe how much I think about what kind of underwear each girl wears and what that says about them…). Rescue Me is also catchy. Good matchup and I won’t be bitter. #liesyesIwill