Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deck Trends #1: Staples

Hey readers, welcome to the 1st entry of Deck Trends. Today I'm going to be discussing current staples in the format, inclusive of why I feel certain cards have either attained or fallen from staple status.

First of all, we can define a "staple" to be a card that is played in, and benefits, the grand majority of existing decks in the current metagame.

These choices are all of my own opinion, you are free to agree or disagree at your discretion =)

Carryover Staples from before September 1st:

  • Cold Wave: Locks down spells and traps for two whole turns. "Cold Wave + Black Rose Dragon" and "Cold Wave + X-Saber push for game" are common destructive plays. Only backrow dependant decks can't take advantage of this great card.
  • Giant Trunade: A generic OTK enabler. What more needs to be said?
  • Pot of Duality: This card is so good. I can't say it's good enough to justify the price tag on the secondary market, but it's still really damn good. It raises the consistency factor of inconsistent decks, like anti-meta based strategies, for example. Being able to see 3 cards off the top of your deck, and from there pick the one that best helps your current board setup is amazing. This card was widely sought after and played upon release so I'm lumping it in the pre-September 1st category.
  • Solemn Judgment: God says No! Royal Decree is rising in popularity, but fact of the matter is, this is the best trap card in the game.
  • Book of Moon: Arguably one of the best, if not THE best, -1 in the game.
  • Gorz the Emissary of Darkness: Amazing card, it has the power to turn games around.
  • Stardust Dragon: The best synchro monster in the game. If you were to invest in only one synchro monster, this would be it.
New Staples as of September 1st:
  • Monster Reborn: Newly limited, there's a reason this card was banned for so many formats. The only deck that's unable to take advantage of this card is Gravekeepers.
  • Dark Hole: Also newly limited, another card that was rightly banned for many formats. No matter what deck you run, you play Dark Hole, it's as simple as that.
Cards I no longer deem to be staples this format:
  • Heavy Storm: Banned.....  =(
  • Brain Control: Banned!!!!  =)
  • Mystical Space Typhoon: With everyone setting backrows like crazy, singular backrow destruction has become far less effective.

Cards I consider to be semi staples this format:

  • Bottomless Trap Hole/Mirror Force/Torrential Tribute : These traps do what they've always done, destroy stuff you don't want to see. Though as mentioned, Royal Decree is rising in popularity, not very many decks can take advantage of it; those that cannot stick to the generic trap lineup.
  • Solemn Warning: Unless you're playing Royal Decrees, you're going to want to play Solemn Warning. If played right, this card is amazing. This card, unlike Pot of Duality, needed a bit of time after its release before it gained widespread popularity.
  • Cyber Dragon: Baits out Solemn Warnings and Bottomless Trap Holes without eating up your normal summon for the turn. Gladiator Beasts and Machina Gadgets hate this card.
  • Effect Veiler: I'm listing this as a semi staple instead of a staple because currently it's sided more than mained, and even then it isn't maxed out. The one card that can save you from a Cold Wave + Black Rose Dragon play, and wrecks decks that are heavily dependant on their monster effects.
  • Certain generic synchro monsters (Brionac Dragon of the Ice Barrier, Ally of Justice Catastor, Black Rose Dragon, Scrap Dragon, Goyo Guardian) : Not 100% essential like Stardust Dragon is, yet amazing enough that I cannot leave them unmentioned. Brionac and Black Rose are borderline staples IMO.
  • Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter: If your deck can take advantage of milling, and you want something that can target and destroy ANY card on the field, than this ferocious yet adorable canine is for you! Just watch out for attacking XX-Saber Darksouls! (or Sangan)
  • Seven Tools of the Bandit: An increase in trap usage due to the banning of Heavy Storm means Seven Tools of the Bandit can put in work. It's better than Trap Stun in my opinion since it's a counter trap. Side/main at least one copy, depending on your deck and personal preference. Disregard this last statement if you're playing Formula Monarchs / Shooting Star Fish or if you main Royal Decrees.
  • Sangan: Declining in popularity due to the increased popularity of Thunder King Raioh, BW- Shura, Flamvell Firedog, and XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. It's tough to be a small monster this format. Nonetheless the ability to search your deck for any one of a variety of monsters, without discrimination towards attribute or type, cannot be underestimated. Sangan can still find a home in Absolute Zero, Quickdraw Plants, and some X-Saber builds.
  • Glow Up Bulb: A pseudo-Plaguespreader Zombie. A self-reviving tuner with no significant downside. Excellent balanced card. Because it's currently really new, it's difficult to gauge exactly how popular this card will be, hence I chose to list it as a semi-staple for now. It's restriction effect prevents you from running more than one copy though.
That's all for today, thanks for reading. Leave any comments you may have below ~

Monday, November 29, 2010

Rulings and Plays that you need to be aware of

Hey readers, today I’m going to go over a few card rulings and plays that in my opinion aren’t as commonly known to all players as we may think they are. These should all be more or less obvious to seasoned veterans.

  • Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress: Turn player has priority to activate Lyla’s effect to attempt to shift her to defense position in order to destroy a targeted backrow card. If the opponent chains something like Bottomless Trap Hole, Lyla is destroyed and removed from play, hence she is unable to switch to defense position, and is thus unable to destroy the targeted spell or trap card.
  • Dimensional Alchemist: If you summon it and declare priority, only for your opponent to chain Torrential Tribute, the chain resolves backwards, and Torrential Tribute destroys Alchemist, which then removes the top card of your deck from play. The last thing to happen on the chain was the removal of the top card of your deck, not the destruction effect, so Alchemist misses the timing, and thus cannot retrieve a card that was removed from play. Don't declare priority with Dimensional Alchemist.
  • Skill Drain: If skill drain is active and you summon a monster, its effect still activates if mandatory, and you can still declare activation of its optional ignition effect. Normally, because the monster is still face up on the field, its effect would be negated by Skill Drain. However you can chain a card so that the monster is no longer face up on the field (ex: flip it face down with Book of Moon), and as a result its effect will not be negated.
  • Elemental Hero Absolute Zero: its nuke effect will not activate while face down. I was asked at my most recent regional whether or not this was the case after I played Miracle Fusion and brought out an Absolute Zero.
  • Honest: A lot of people drop this at the beginning of the damage step, and expect their monster to run over an opposing monster that you suspect will also be backed by an Honest. The correct play is to enter the beginning of the damage step, and pass priority. If your opponent is unaware of how the damage step works, he or she will take the bait and drop his or her Honest. Now, before damage calculation, you declare priority as turn player and drop your own Honest. This way, you are guaranteed to be chain link 1 right before damage calculation, and from there win the Honest vs Honest exchange.
That's all for today, leave comments and feedback below in the comments section :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Upcoming Product

Hey readers, just doing a quick post on upcoming announced TCG and OCG product. Sorry for the lack of content lately, there hasn't been anything particularly interesting to write about lol. Nothing really post-worthy  to be more specific. Perhaps one of you guys out there could let me know what'd you'd like to read about? A deck idea? Card rulings for beginners?

Anyway here's a general rundown of what to expect from these future releases, based on current public knowledge.

  • Starter Deck 201115 new cards! Wow.
  • Premium Pack 13; What's known so far is that the set will be devoted to 5D's and GX Manga. I suppose this is an opportunity to release 5 more of the Planet Series cards, though based on their manga effects, the majority of them are pretty underwhelming.
  • Structure Deck 20Master Hyperion! Fairy/Agent support! Common Archlord Krystia! Fairy builds that abuse Master Hyperion alongside existing fairy support like Dimensional AlchemistHonestKrystia, and the other usual suspects are sure to start popping up at OCG locals events.The new "Divine" trap card is pretty cool too. I wonder what the TCG rename will be? Certainly "Divine" will be changed to "Solemn".
  • Extreme Victory: So far we know of the existence of "Junk Berserker"... will it see play like Junk Destroyer? or will it fail like Junk Warrior?
  • Gold Series 2011Trishula. What more needs to be said? OCG Gold series sets are pretty amazing.
  • Hidden Arsenal 3: Chiefly everyone will be out to acquire Gungnir and Naturia Balkion, for obvious reasons, but a few other cards like Ally of Justice Decisive Armor, and Naturia Cliff are pretty cool too. I really don't think that they'll be making noise in the meta just yet, but the soon-to-be introduced Dragunities are quite an interesting archetype. 
  • Storm of Ragnarok: Assuming Konami will do something about Six Sams, they have about a month to  make their mark before the March Banlist comes into effect. Unless I missed something, at this time no future YCS events for 2011 have been announced just yet, so their impact may be restricted to no further than the Regionals level. I wouldn't recommend that you go and start hoarding Six Samurai stuff though. By all means, go get the stuff if you want to play the deck, but don't go apeshit and grab like 500 Gateways unless you're sure that you won't be incurring a loss.
  • Duelist Pack Yusei 03: Ok lets be honest here, we're here for the Effect Veiler lolz. Justice Bringer is pretty cool too, Stun decks get a new toy. An optional DCK/Koaki Meiru Guardian that doesn't have to tribute itself (YAY!), it's a pity it only has 1700 atk, and can only negate special summoned monsters (..blehh..). If it also was a 1900 beatstick, it'd be pretty imbalanced IMO.
  • Yugioh GX Manga volume 6: I'm mentioning this because of my personal bias towards E-heroes; Elemental Hero the Shining is amazing. Can't wait to get a set of these guys :) :)
Thanks for reading

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Decklist: Destiny Frog Monarchs

Hey readers, today I'm going to be discussing an interesting deck variant.
Having read over the feature matches from YCS Atlanta, one of the decks that sparked my interest was a Frog Monarch deck that also incorporated Destiny Heroes to facilitate Elemental Hero Absolute Zero plays. (Feature Match here) While the deck failed to top, my interest remained undiminished. As such, I've pieced together a decklist to test hands with and/or solitaire, as I haven't had the time to play at locals lately due to school and work.

Destiny Frog Monarchs

Monsters: 24
1x Light and Darkness Dragon
1x Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness
3x Caius the Shadow Monarch
3x Raiza the Storm Monarch
2x Mobius the Frost Monarch
1x Dark Dust Spirit
1x Elemental Hero Stratos
2x Destiny Hero Malicious
1x Destiny Hero Dasher
2x Treeborn Frog
2x Fishborg Blaster
3x Swap Frog
2x Battle Fader

Spells: (16)
2x Soul Exchange
3x Enemy Controller
2x Pot of Avarice
1x One for One
1x Destiny Draw
1x Foolish Burial
1x Mystical Space Typhoon
1x Cold Wave
1x Monster Reborn
1x Dark Hole
2x Miracle Fusion

The deck on paper should be less consistent than pure Formula Frog Monarchs, but offers an alternate win-condition in the form of Zero should you be locked down by Mask of Restrict. This is not to say that it doesn't have its own set of spicy plays... for one, you could easily pitch a dead-in-hand Destiny Hero Malicious with One for One or Fishborg Blaster, then remove it from play to special summon your 2nd copy of Destiny Hero Malicious from your deck.

As always, thanks for reading

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Underappreciated STBL Cards

Hey readers, I would like to provoke thoughts and initiate ideas revolving around some of the under the radar or interesting cards from Starstrike Blast. For obvious reasons, I am going to stray from discussing established meta-impacting cards such as Formula Synchron and Shooting Star Dragon for Fish/Frogs/Monarchs, Gravekeeper's Recruiter for the recent YCS winning Gravekeepers, Glow Up Bulb and Tuning for Debris Hime and Quickdraw Plants respectively, and Scrap Twin Dragon for Scraps.

  1. Wattsquirrel: LOLWTF right? I feel this is a very underappreciated rare card. It has the ability to negate the effect of whatever it battled, regardless of whether the monster died or if it remains on the field. A double-attacker that can kill off Dandylion, XX-Saber Darksoul, and Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter without triggering their effects? Yes please! You could also ram it into a Gravekeeper's Spy for lolz and giggles.
  2. Wattdragonfly: The theme's recruiter. While the theme as a whole is pretty bad, it doesn't mean that all of the cards within the theme are horrific as well. Good theme-specific support for a Bad archetype.
  3. Genex Ally Duradark: Another severely under-appreciated card IMO, it serves as a Blackwing, Gravekeeper, and Infernity killer. Just summon, and declare priority. Sure you won't get to attack, but it's a beatstick with a thankfully balanced effect (Imagine if this wasn't once per turn... or if you could kill multiple monsters...especially since the Genex Ally archetype revolves around changing attributes..) It's also an alternative to Consecrated Light, not to mention a more aggressive one... this thing can kill Dark Armed Dragon LOLOL. I think it's worth siding one copy of, should your sideboard have the space. I also like this card because it resembles Rockman (Megaman). Yay!
  4. Naturia Pumpkin + Naturia Cherries: Instant Naturia Beast. Cherries, like Cherry Inmato before it, is able to replace itself, Special Summoning up to 2 copies (and thinning out your deck!) when your opponent sends it to the graveyard.
  5. Heat Wave: A HUGE boost to Vanilla decks, assuming people actually play those. Additionally you are allowed 3 copies. You can still set effect monsters however.
  6. White Elephant's Gift: Another boost for Vanilla decks, they can now send a monster to the grave to draw 2, and then revive it with Swing of Memories or Birthright etc.
  7. Swift Scarecrow: Final Countdown, and other stall decks get a new toy. I hate facing these Suicide Bomber decks, and they've just added a pseudo Battle Fader to their arsenal....
  8. Skull Meister: The recent ruling change that permits Skull Meister to be used during the damage step will certainly increase its playability. I suppose you could play this alongside Doomcaliber Knight and from there mesh them with the playable Koaki Meiru rock monsters for some sort of Evil Hero Dark Gaia Stun deck.
  9. Koa'ki Meiru Wall: Speaking of Koa'ki Meirus, The KKM Rock Stun trio is complete! Guardian stops monster effects, Sandman stops traps, and Wall stops spells! Definitely a must-play in Rock Stun decks. With Pot of Duality at 3... I don't think that it would of the question for Rock Stun to present itself as one of the foremost Anti-Meta strategies.
  10. Chain Dog: The Lock-Key-Chain trio is also complete. This helps facilitate easy access to the Unicorn/Bicorn/Tricorn synchros alongside its cohorts Key Mouse and Lock Cat. I wouldn't mind piecing together a casual Beast Synchro deck centred around these guys....
That's all for now, thanks for reading, and as always leave any comments you may have in the comments section below :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Decklist: Robots in Disguise

I found myself re-watching the Transformers Movie recently (the classic cartoon one where most of the generation one Autobots get killed within 5 seconds LOLOL), and became motivated to come up with a decklist featuring a certain neglected machine archetype...

Vehicroids! Yay....?

Admittedly, the Roids on their own are a pretty fail decktype in my opinion, having to minus themselves considerably in hand or field presence in order to break out their fusion boss monsters, as they don't have a method of fusion summoning from the graveyard. You could Future Fusion them I suppose... and I can't say that I'm a big fan of Vehicroid Connection Zone. The anti-destruction effect is nice but the opponent can just whip out a Chimeratech Fortress Dragon...or play bounce/remove from play cards. Vehicroid Conection Zone is also a horrible topdeck lol. If only it were more like Miracle Fusion...
Furthermore the majority of their combos require a lot of effort and resources, but yield few benefits.

Most of the Roids are pretty bad, but I found a couple of them to be decently playable: Drillroid, and Steamroid. The rest of them are playable only within their own theme, if at all, though I suppose you could combo Stealthroid with Black Salvo....
Autobots! Roll out!!

  • Drillroid can be fairly handy, having the ability to destroy defense position monsters by effect rather than by battle (correct me if I'm wrong). Notable problem monsters that it wrecks are XX-Saber Emmersblade and Gravekeeper's Spy. (though Spy unfortunately still gets the flip effect)
  • Steamroid is the beatstick of the theme. It's pretty much a pseudo Jain, though it suffers from the unfortunate drawback of losing 500 ATK when attacked.

I then decided to combine the playable Roids with another Machine archetype in order to take advantage of Solidarity, hence creating a beatdown styled deck... and that archetype would be Machina!

*DISCLAIMER: This is meant to be a fun deck, I can't guarantee success for those bold enough to take a deck like this to a regional or YCS*


Monsters: (18)
3x Drillroid
3x Steamroid
3x Cyber Dragon
3x Machina Fortress
2x Machina Gearframe
1x Card Trooper
3x Karakuri Ninja MDL 339 Sazank

Spells: (12)
3x Book of Moon
1x Dark Hole
1x Monster Reborn
1x Giant Trunade
1x Limiter Removal
1x Enemy Controller
1x Pot of Avarice
1x Overload Fusion
2x Solidarity

Traps: (10)
1x Torrential Tribute
1x Mirror Force
2x Bottomless Trap Hole
2x Dimensional Prison
1x Solemn Judgment
1x Supercharge
2x Magic Drain

And now, to explain some card choices, some of which even I myself find questionable.
  1. Enemy Controller: Stops monsters like Shura from running over your weaker monsters, and helps set things up for Drillroid.
  2. Karakuri Ninja MDL 339 Sazank: Wrecks Stardust Dragon, Scrap Dragon etc. Lovely.
  3. Magic Drain: Stops pesky spells like Monster Reborn, Dark Hole, Book of Moon, Pot of Duality (lol), Gemini Spark, and System Down. If they choose to discard a card to let their spell go through congrats, they've suffered a -1. I'm testing this over Seven Tools of the Bandit and/or Solemn Warning.
  4. I don't have enough Pot of Duality hence its exclusion. Konami, reprint in Gold Series 4 please.
  5. Supercharge: A situational draw card as I'm only running 6 Roids. More for amusement rather than playability, this can easily be dropped for a Pot of Duality, a second Enemy Controller, or something else. Damn... Pot of Duality makes a lot of decks better and/or more consistent.
  6. Overload Fusion: An alternate win condition should my beatdown fail for whatever reason. This drags out a bigger beatstick in Chimeratech Overdragon for bigger beatdown.

I also notice I'm not actually playing any car-type vehicroids... I can't say that I'm being authentic to either the Autobots OR the Decepticons. Oh well.
That's all for now, leave comments and criticism (this I'm expecting, it's a fail archetype after all lol ) in the comments section below.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

YCS Doubleheader Aftermath!

As a dreary Sunday draws to a close, I am here, dear readers, to analyze the results of the two YCS events that took place over the course of this weekend, and the implications they may have on the TCG meta.

YCS Milan:

In Milan, Mat Collins of the United Kingdom was able to best Noel Garde of France in a battle between Debris Hime (Plant Synchro) and Anti-Meta/Stun. The Top 4 was rounded out by a Gladiator Beast deck piloted by Michael Ciplak, and a Volcanic Quickdraw deck piloted by Sebastian Soika.

Blackwings were able to take up 3 seats in the Top 16, but failed to win it all. Surprisingly, Gladiator Beasts were able to resurface to the forefront of competitive Yugioh with Ciplak's Top 4 finish, after failing to achieve some degree of success since the beginning of the format, at which point they started to steadily decline in achievement and popularity. Perhaps this will offer a glimmer of hope to the Gladiator Beast enthusiasts out there.

Scrap decks were able to account for 2 spots in the Top 16 as well.

Why Debris Hime won:
The deck is able to explode with an alarming number of special and/or synchro summons in a single turn.

YCS Atlanta:

Frazier Smith, Sean McCabe, Ronald Mack, all piloting Gravekeepers, and Brandon Wigley, the lone remaining X-saber duelist, composed the Top 4 of YCS Atlanta. Smith eventually came out with the 1st place finish, with his fellow Gravekeeper-wielding colleagues rounding out the top 3.

While it is surprising that such an off-the-radar underdog deck such as Gravekeepers were able to win the event, especially seeing as Gravekeeper duelists failed to advance to the Top 16 of YCS Milan, it's not unfathomable that this was the case.
These duelists were able to skillfully, effectively and efficiently pilot a deck that could effectively disrupt a significant number of the decks ran at this YCS. There was a minor hiccup in one of the feature matches involving special summoning the same turn a Pot of Duality was activated, but by no means should this detract from the proven potential of Gravekeepers.

Why Gravekeepers won:
Necrovalley makes it difficult for duelists playing meta decks, the majority of which are  reliant to some degree on the graveyard. Furthermore, my assumption is that the grand majority of duelists were completely unprepared towards dealing with this deck. I conclude that it was a combination of excellent meta insight, and good timing, that allowed Gravekeepers to sweep this YCS.


A list of some competitive decks that Gravekeepers and Necrovalley make life difficult for:

  • Debris Hime / Plant Synchro / Quickdraw : Necrovalley shuts down Debris Dragon plays.
  • Monster Mash : Royal Tribute. That is all.
  • Scraps : The grand majority of a typical Scrap deck's combos involve summoning monsters from the graveyard. Necrovalley says NO.
  • Gladiator Beasts : No more Darius plays. Retiari is pretty useless as well; nevermind being unable to remove targets from the grave, there aren't really any cards worth removing in the first place. However Gladiator Beasts traditionally could care less about the graveyard, so the hindrance is minor at best.
  • X-Sabers : Necrovalley shuts down XX-Saber Fautroll revivals and Gottoms Emergeny Call.
  • Formula Monarchs: Necrovalley denies Pot of Avarice, and Royal Tribute nukes monster heavy hands
  • Absolute Zero : Necrovalley shuts down Miracle Fusion plays.
Now what are some decks that remain relatively unhindered by Gravekeepers?
  • Hero Beat/Stun/Anti-Meta : Anti-meta decks play a lower monster count, lessening the chance of being devastated by a Royal Tribute. Mained Thunder King Rai-Ohs and Banishers of the Radiance laugh at Gravekeeper's Recruiters and Gravekeeper's Commandants.
  • Final Countdown and Burn decks : Though they play virtually no monsters and don't care about graveyard control, I can't say that I'd recommend taking these decks to a YCS. My personal view is that they are Suicide Bomber decks, able to win during the first couple of rounds before scrubbing the rest of the way. As such, all they really do is piss people off.
  • Blackwings : Unhindered aside from the loss of Blackwing - Blizzard The Far North and Blackwing - Vayu The Emblem of Honor plays. Icarus Attack and Delta Crow - Anti Reverse can be troublesome for the spell/trap reliant Gravekeepers. Both Frazier Smith and Sean McCabe took mass-destruction into consideration, as it became evident during their feature match that they both mained a copy of Starlight Road (Starlight Road does work in Game 1).

Recap Analysis: An established meta deck won YCS Milan, an unexpected one won YCS Atlanta. People should now be aware of the potential of Gravekeepers, and should start siding accordingly. I don't foresee the upcoming banlist affecting Gravekeepers; they don't really have any overly-broken cards, and are heavily reliant on their field spell. (Hint Hint: Destroy Necrovalley) More than anything, they're a solid control deck, but not Tier 1 worthy at the moment.

Thats all for now, thanks for reading! BTW let me know in the comments section if there are any topics that you, the reader, would like me to discuss, or any deck that you would like me to come up with a decklist for. ;)

Day 1 of YCS Atlanta, YCS Milan, and Elemental Heroes

Hey readers, today I'm going to be commenting on decks and interesting facts about YCS Atlanta and YCS Milan, which are currently taking place this weekend. I came up with these random thoughts during and after reading through all the feature matches for both events:

YCS Milan:

  • Wow. I had no idea STBL would have this much of an impact. Clearly, Quickdraw and Plant Synchro/Debris Hime decks proved to be most popular (As seen here), being able to abuse Glow Up Bulb, Shooting Star Dragon, and Formula Synchron. However, as witnessed in Feature Matches 2 (Here) and 7 (Here), Gravekeepers, another deck that received support from STBL in the form of Gravekeeper's Recruiter, were able to use a favorable matchup to their advantage. The build incorporating Magical Dimension and Royal Decree, in particular, interests me. (Haha, maybe I should go and get a couple more turbo pack super Magical Dimensions before it starts rising in demand =PP)
  • YCS Bochum Champion Michel Gruner is doing alright.
  • Gruner's fellow United Gosus teammate Claudio Kirchmair dropped.
  • This is the 2nd time that  European YCS coverage proved to be better than the North American YCS coverage. They even have a Day 1 Recap! (Clicky!)
YCS Atlanta:

  • The Destiny Hero Frog Monarch deck featured here (D-Hero Frognarchs!) interests me. I may try to build something similar in the future. I'm not sure how consistent it is but it looks really fun!
  • Rumor has it on Pojo that Chris Pittao was disqualified. Another well-known Yugioh player being accused of/caught cheating? Sighhh... =(
  • Jake Mattern isn't playing his signature deck Gladiator Beasts lol.

I later went onto Youtube and watched Underworld 6667's newest video (So he calls it R.A.P.E. Sunday...) , in which he requests his viewers to create an Elemental Hero deck. He hinted to focus on the LIGHT and WATER attributes. Here's my spin on it:

Monsters: (18)
1x Elemental Hero Stratos
3x Elemental Hero Neos Alius
2x Elemental Hero Ocean
2x Elemental Hero Prisma
1x Elemental Hero Woodsman
1x Elemental Hero Sparkman
1x Elemental Hero Voltic
2x Honest
1x King of the Swamp
1x Neo Spacian Grand Mole
1x Debris Dragon
2x Snowman Eater

Spells: (18)
1x Reinforcements of the Army
3x E-Emergency Call
3x Gemini Spark
1x Monster Reborn
1x Dark Hole
2x Book of Moon
1x Polymerization
3x Miracle Fusion
1x Future Fusion
2x Nobleman of Extermination

Traps: (4)
2x Royal Decree
2x Hero Blast

This decklist is pure Theory-Oh, I'm pretty busy with school, work, etc so I likely won't have the time to test this at locals in the near future. This deck should be even better once Gungnir, E-Hero Great Tornado, and E- Hero the Shining are released. Snowman Eater fuels Gungnir and  Debris Dragon fuels Great Tornado.

I'm quite excited for the epic conclusions to YCS Milan and YCS Atlanta, and the inevitable resulting shift in the TCG metagame. Based PURELY on Day 1 results alone, I foresee Gravekeepers and Frognarch variants to experience an exponential increase in popularity. Time to dust off those Mask of Restricts?

Please leave questions, critiques, and thoughts in the comments section below;
That's all for now guys, until next time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Fall of a Perennial Favorite

Hey readers, today I'm going to discuss the gradual decline in meta dominance of a deck that for the past couple of years has established itself as a tier 1-2, legitimate SJC contender... this time maybe for good, pending a drastic banlist change for March 2011.

That's right, it's Gladiator Beasts!

Known to be extremely competitive and viable at the start of every format, Gladiators have been a mainstay of a competitive player's deck gauntlet for quite some time, rotating in and out depending on their matchup against established top tier decks. Being extremely cheap to build relative to other meta decks, it is no wonder that they make up a significant percentage of YCS entrants' deck of choice. As a YCS progresses however, it can be seen from recent results that they tend to decline in number, suffering defeat after defeat. Subsequently their number of seats in the Top 32 have steadily fallen as well.

Currently, as they are now, Gladiator Beasts get mauled by a significant number of decks. This is due in part to the heavy play of the now unlimited Cyber Dragon, the massive upswing in popularity that Royal Decree is seeing, as well as the fact that nearly all decks main Book of Moon in triplicate***, and main or side at least 1 Effect Veiler. While these cards are played with the intention to counter current top tier decks, it can be noted that they all hurt Gladiator Beast decks in some way as well.

*** A facedown Gladiator Beast is a dead Gladiator Beast  (Unless its Hoplomus the Hungry Hippo! =D )

The current meta is quite unkind towards our beloved testosterone-fueled zoo critters:

Blackwings: A tough matchup for GB's to begin with due to their beefy monsters, book of moon, and icarus attack, the ability to maindeck Pot of Duality cannot be overlooked. With heavy storm gone, blackwing players have sided (or mained) delta crows, yet another problem card for the backrow dependant Gladiator Beasts.
X-Sabers: Also able to abuse cold wave, once X-sabers set up and get the ball rolling, it's tough for any deck to stop them. Already consistent and explosive, it doesn't help that they are able to seamlessly side in cards like effect veiler, a card that screws over test tiger and E-hero prisma plays.
Debris Hime / Quickdraw plants: Essentially the same deck, the key card for GB's in this matchup is War Chariot. Probably the least difficult matchup between the Tier 1 trinity of X-Sabers, Blackwings, and Quickdraw. Some QD variants run triple Royal Decree as well, which poses a problem.
Hero Beat aka Light Gemini : Another difficult matchup for Gladiator Beasts. A constant stream of beatsticks supplemented by gemini spark and hero blast (a trap which no gladiator beast is immune to), makes for a tough hurdle to overcome. Of course it doesn't help that all but one monster in a typical Hero Beat deck could care less about War Chariot, a card Gladiator Beast decks run in 3's. I myself played Hero Beat in my most recent regionals, and won both my matches against gladiator beast players easily.

For Gladiator Beast players, it's time to innovate with tech cards, or to pack it in for now in the hopes of the next banlist being more favorable. As they are now, the standard GB build just isn't cutting it.

If you would like to do so, leave a comment below! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Decklist: Scrapkeepers

Hey guys, today I'm posting my ScrapKeeper decklist that I've been playing around with recently. The lineup is pretty standard IMO.

Quick notes:

  1. I only have 2 royal decrees at the moment so I won't be testing out Bellidoscraps™ just yet.
  2. I'm only playing 2 scrap chimera... it's alright i guess, I dropped the 3rd copy for a Gorz, but may reverse that decision in the future; I will see.
  3. I haven't picked up a scrap mind reader yet, I'm unsure of its potential to be honest. On paper it doesn't seem to be all that great.
  4. With plenty of darks but barely any graveyard control (... level eater revival? loool), I decided not to play Dark Armed Dragon. Honestly I think it's terrible in this deck but whatever.
Monsters: (17)
2x Scrap Chimera
3x Scrap Beast
2x Scrap Goblin
1x Scrap Golem
3x Gravekeeper's Spy
1x Gravekeeper's Descendant
1x Summoner Monk
1x Caius the Shadow Monarch
1x Morphing Jar
1x Level Eater
1x Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness

Spells: (15)
3x Scrapstorm
2x Scrapyard
2x Book of Moon
1x MST
1x Cold Wave
1x Giant Trunade
1x Dark Hole
1x Monster Reborn
1x Allure of Darkness
1x Pot of Duality
1x Foolish Burial

Traps: (8)
2x Bottomless Trap Hole
1x Torrential Tribute
1x Mirror Force
1x Solemn Judgment
1x Seven Tools of the Bandit
1x Solemn Warning
1x Dimensional Prison

I took this to locals last week and went 2-2... lost to Light Beat and X-Saber shenanigans. Sighhhh..

Comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated, I really can't say I've mastered this deck.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Side-deck choices

Hey readers, today I'd like to discuss cards that currently are good choices when constructing your sidedeck to cover your weaker matchups.
DISCLAIMER: These choices are of my own opinion, you are free to disagree!

I realize some of these are really obvious, I'll go into detail for the relatively obscure choices, and for those that are just recently seeing some play. Also, in no way are these ranked according to importance, functionality, or popularity.
It goes without saying that not all these cards are in my own side deck, though odds are the ones I've went into detail about are included. ;)

1) Breaker the Magical Warrior
A favorite of mine, this card is at worst at 1 for 1, and at best a plus 2. Running over a monster and popping a backrow for the plus is good ygoz
2) Effect Veiler
3) DD Crow
4) Mind Crush
5) Chain Disappearance
This card wrecks weak monsters run in multiples, notably debris dragon, dandylion, treeborn frog, xx-saber darksoul, and deep sea diva.
6) Thunder King Rai-oh
7) My Body as a Shield
This card gets under Royal Decree, a card run in triplicate which is seeing an upswing in popularity.
8) Twister
For when MST is not enough. It rids you of pesky face-up S/T's like the aforementioned Royal Decrees.
9) Seven Tools of the Bandit
The re-emergence of seven tools may or may not be relevant to the decline in usage of Trap Stun, as people have figured out that Trap Stun isn't as useful as once thought. Trap stun can be chained to, and sometimes is a bit of a gamble, as it cannot stop counter traps, resulting in the need for preemptive flips. Seven tools solves all of these problems for a 1000 LP cost.
10) Trap Hole
11) Consecrated Light
12) Royal Oppression
13) Nobleman of Crossout
14) Starlight Road
No longer as widely played as it used to be, what with cold wave and royal decree running around, this card is still good in the blackwing and lightsworn matchups. Hence I feel it's worth siding one copy, depending on your local meta of course.

and lastly.... the apparent United Gosus favorite:

15) Emergency Provisions
When going into time, this quick-play spell is an MVP card. Depending on your deck of choice, going into time may be rare, but it happens, so be prepared.

That's all for now, comments, opinions, and thoughts can be left in the comments section :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Entry: How to counter the STOR Six Samurai

Hey this is LFN!, I'm new to the yugiblog scene, so excuse the temporary noobness ;)

As many of you have seen, upon release in Storm of Ragnarok, six sams took an OCG tournament by storm (cwutididthar?), with the top 3 all piloting some iteration of the deck.


You can see the winner's decklist here.

I would like to address several ways to counter this potential top tier deck. With access to their own theme specific reinforcement of the army's, black whirlwinds, draw card, and pseudo infernity barrier, it's without a doubt that the new six samurai support is collectively a force to be reckoned with.

Now what cards can be mained or sided, and what strategies can be implemented to defeat this new powerhouse?
1) Destroy Six Samurai United and Gateway of the Six before they can herpderp spam counters.

  • SPELL SHATTERING ARROW is my personal candidate
  • Twister
  • Fairy Wind
  • MST
2) Stop the initial normal summon, upon which all advantage is generated.
  • Book of Moon flips the samurai F/D, preventing subsequent grandmaster drops (or other Six Sam)
  • Trap Hole/Bottomless Trap Hole destroys the samurai, also preventing grandmaster drops.
  • Solemn Warning negates the summon.
3) Remove, not destroy, the samurai in order to avoid triggering their effects, as well as their pseudo infernity barrier.
  • Remove from play via dimensional prison
  • Bounce via phoenix wing wind blast or compulsory evacuation device.
4) Spam warrior elimination, and use 7 tools of the bandit to negate any pesky traps that may hinder you

Leave comments, thoughts, and opinions below