Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking ahead to 2012

I apologize for not posting much this past week, I've been busy with work, among other things, and subsequently missed the boat on topics like White Dragon Ninja and Tour Bus from the Underworld, which everyone, their grandma, and their dog have already discussed to death (it was probably mostly the dog, but yea). I've also been unable to participate in any locals tournaments as of late, again due to other commitments.

Deck-wise, I've completed my Shooting Quasar Dragon deck, based on the build created by my friend RADRyan5D's, though I've made quite a few modifications, like dropping a Quickdraw Synchron, a Level Eater, and the 2 Card Troopers for example. It pulls it off quite consistently, and usually within the 1st 3-4 turns, but the deck as a whole obviously dies to Effect Veiler, D.D. Crow, King Tiger Wanghu, Dimensional Fissure, etc. As for Maxx "C", it isn't too much of a threat if I can pump out a potentially game-ending boss monster. Ideally they would have to spend a ton of cards to get rid of it, after which it would bring out a Shooting Star Dragon with it's effect.

With 2012 right around the corner, I would like to wish everyone a happy new year, and take a look at what we'll be exposed to in the early going.
Strangely, Order of Chaos will be released in January, only 2 months after the release of Photon Shockwave. Sets are typically released 4 months apart though, so it raises the question of why Konami has chosen to do this. Are they looking to gradually close the gap between the TCG and the OCG? Or would they like to get the set mass released worldwide because they would like to include certain cards in the set on the banlist?
On an unrelated note, Turbo Pack 7 was supposed to be released between the past Thursday, December 29th, and today, December 31st, but no spoilers nor leaks have been released at this point in time, not even on eBay. The T.O. at my locals (The Connection Games and Comics) said that we would definitely be getting them as prize support at the upcoming Thursday's tournament though, so I'm definitely excited for that.

As for premier level tournaments, there's a whole slew of YCS events in the 1st few months, which is pretty kewl. Personally, I would like to perform decently at YCS Long Beach, which I'm 90% sure I'm attending, and hopefully I'll be able to make it to the 2012 North American Nationals / WCQ as well. Regardless, I continually seek to improve as a player, and I expect that this year will be no different.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


As requested in the previous post, here is the breakdown of my crappy Alien deck, as well as a video that showcases some of the kewl plays the deck has.
This was an extremely casual deck that I believe I've tried to make as competitive as possible, but unfortunately it still fell short. I had intended to bring this to this week's locals, but after some testing with friends on Dueling Network, I had to reconsider. It could just be that I'm somewhat unfamiliar with the theme, but in general, the builds I saw on Pojo (no threads for terrible themes on DGZ ;) ) were extremely underwhelming, and I didn't really learn much from them, if at all, beyond what I already had down (no offence, but it's seriously how I feel).
There were some pure Alien decks that played a lot of bad monsters, that almost felt like they were played solely because they were Alien monsters, and there were also some trap-heavy control builds with a low monster count, dedicated towards abusing Gol'Gar's effect, which I feel will flop if the player is unable to bring out Gol'Gar or use it's effect.
Most of the Alien monsters and support cards in general are mediocre or just flat out bad, so I cut it down to the ones that I felt were most essential to the theme, weeding out the rest, and came up with the following build. As I've never encountered a mirror match, it's difficult to say whether or not this is better than the builds I saw, but based on card choices, I'd certainly like to believe so.

Monsters: (22)
3x Alien Ammonite
3x Alien Warrior
3x Alien Dog
1x Honest
2x Thunder King Rai-Oh
2x Little Girl Tour Guide from the Underworld
1x Sangan
1x Black Luster Soldier - EoTB
1x Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
2x Maxx "C"
1x Effect Veiler
2x Meklord Emperor Wisel

Spells: (8)
1x Heavy Storm
1x Dark Hole
1x Monster Reborn
1x Mind Control
2x Pot of Duality
2x Code A Ancient Ruins

Traps: (10)
1x Solemn Judgment
2x Solemn Warning
1x Trap Dustshoot
1x Torrential Tribute
2x Dimensional Prison
2x Offering to the Snake Deity
1x Fiendish Chain

I really wanted to fit in a 2nd Fiendish Chain, but there weren't any other cards I was interested in cutting. If I were to though, it would probably be a Wisel.
Overall, the deck tested decently against Karakuri. The builds I played against had some difficulty dealing with Wisel, and didn't have much defense against Offering to the Snake Deity either, as they had to commit multiple cards to the field in order to pull off their combos.
However, the deck was absolutely atrocious against Plants. The deck was easily able to play around Offering, as often, they either didn't have enough cards committed to the field for me to target, or if they did, they were either chainable spells/traps, floaters like Sangan / Dandylion,or tokens. Wisel isn't really a problem either when one has Black Luster Soldier lol.
While it's great that Ammonite can retrieve monsters for easy synchro summons, much like Debris Dragon, one must also consider that Debris Dragon is one of the weakest cards in the plant mirror match due to the prevalence of Maxx "C", and this situation with Ammonite is no different, with one exception. This exception is that Debris Dragon is typically easily sided out (alongside One for One), being 1 card that isn't essential to the overall strategy of the Plant Synchro deck; in contrast, Ammonite is VERY essential to the Alien deck. As such, the deck gets hurt by the 'big 3' hand traps, consisting of Maxx "C"Effect Veiler, and D.D. Crow.

That being said, there are a bunch of nifty combos that can be performed with this Alien deck. How consistently they're able to be performed is a different story, but thankfully most I run most of the required cards in 2's or 3's. The varying combos I've come up with are detailed in the video. They all revolve around having Warrior in grave, and then summoning Ammonite (and in most cases Dog), unfortunately, which is why I said that Maxx "C" really hurts.

Oh well.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Random Update: Back to the drawing board

Well, this is demoralizing. The deck idea I had been testing worked great against Karakuri, but got completely destroyed by Plants. Maxx "C" wasn't that big of a problem, but BLS was lol.

If enough people want to see the concept and decklist, I'll post it up and make a video for the combos, but otherwise I probably won't bother. It's such a shame too, I was hoping to make this bad archetype competitive enough to decently compete in the current meta, as quite frankly, the few lists I was able to find online were terrible, but having fallen short of that intention, I don't know lol. Back to the drawing board? Yes I think so too. Or not. It's probably not a good sign when the generic good cards thrown into the deck in hopes of supporting it ended up carrying it instead.

What I wanted:

What ended up happening against Karakuri

What ended up happening against Plants

Sunday, December 18, 2011

YCS Brighton: Aftermath and Analysis

There isn't a whole lot for me to talk about here, as Konami's European Coverage team has done a masterful job yet again, in terms of details and timely updates. Well done.

YCS Brighton UK took place this past weekend of December 17th and 18th, the last YCS of the year. Hidden Arsenal 5 was legal for the event, but since it's more of a set-up booster pack, in preparation for HA 6 / 7, I highly doubt that it would be making any sort of impact at this event lol.

Konami was gracious enough to provide the complete breakdown of the various deck choices of the participants of YCS Brighton. By summing it up, we can see that there was a total of 723 duelists in attendance (though Konami reported 725), which is pretty solid, considering that this time of year is typically Final Exam season, which could inhibit players from participating, not to mention how travel costs are raised come Chrismas holiday time.
Given how different the European Meta can be compared to the North American Meta, seeing as each country has its own mini-meta, leading to a greater diversity of favored decks, the topping decks for this YCS were sure to cover a wider spread. However, this IS the 1st YCS that Europe has had in a while, not to mention that it's the 1st one this format they've had, so it's difficult to predict the impact that released products have had, not to mention the North American YCS results, ever since the last one.

The Top Cut

The Top 32 Cut
After the completion of the rounds of swiss play, the Top 32 cut was announced, and from what I can see, there were a few notable European players who made it, such as Claudio Kirchmair (the lone United Gosus member), Merlin Schumacher, Long Dao, Stephan Sluis, Vincent Ralambomiadana, Luke Lennard, and Jake Quinsee, among others.
I have yet to find sources that reveal completely the decks that placed in the Top 32, unfortunately. Half of them are known, being the ones that were able to advance to the Top 16. In addition, based on the feature match, there was at least one Dark World deck in contention at this point, as well as one XYZ gadget deck, and at least 1 Chain Burn deck in total (Beckouche for sure, possibly Medaj, based on what I heard. However, despite winning in the Top 32, Medaj's name wasn't present in the Top 16 decklists =/).

Top 32 - Claudio Kirchmair w/ Dark World
Top 32 - Luke Quinsee w/ Rabbit
Top 32 - Stefan Faust w/ ???
Top 32 - Stephane Chenard w/ Rabbit
Top 32 - Floris van Asch w/ T.G. Agents
Top 32 - Ricky Wu w/ Rabbit
Top 32 - Lee Brook w/ Karakuri
Top 32 - Andrea Caruso w/ Frog Monarch
Top 32 - Jack Bruun w/ Rabbit
Top 32 - Federico Zoppini w/ Darl World
Top 32 - Long Dao w/ Dark World
Top 32 - Jordan Ruff - Gadget
Top 32 - Ollie Hickey w/ ???
Top 32 - Aleksis Iliadis w/ Rabbit
Top 32 - Rhys Evans w/ Agent
Top 32 - Lormier Josse w/ Disaster Dragon

The Top 16 Cut
Statistics for the Top 16 cut were provided by Konami of Europe, revealing that the Dino Rabbit / Rabbit Laggia deck managed to take up half the spots, with Plant Synchro taking up the next highest amount of seats with 3. This is pretty much the opposite of how things turned out in the North American Top Cuts, where Plant Synchro was the most dominant deck. Also worth noting is that there were only 70 Dino Rabbit decks in the entire event, so for 8 of the 70 to make it (about 11%), that's pretty solid.
I find it pretty interesting that Water Synchro made it, I had dismissed it as a dead deck after the banning of Fishborg Blaster. The Top 16 decklists have revealed it to be essentially Frog Monarchs with the inclusion of the Plant + Tengu engine to compensate for the loss of Fishborg.

The Top 8
This consisted of:
4x Dino Rabbit
2x Plant Synchro
1x Agent
1x Water Synchro
The 2 Plant Synchro decks, 1 of the Dino Rabbit decks, and the Agent deck were eliminated as play progressed to the Top 4.

The Top 4
The deck breakdown narrowed even further, so that the 4 remaining decks were:
3x Dino Rabbit
1x Water Synchro

The Finals
Lol Rabbit Mirror Match. Congratulations to Ping Xiao on his victory, where he defeated fellow UK player Nathan Pang. The match was another typical backrow grind, with both players whittling down each others traps before conducting Rabbit and Tour Guide plays to gain advantage.

Other Thoughts
Unfortunately, none of the American duelists in attendance (Robert Boyajian, Alistar Albans, Barrett Keys, and Billy Brake) were able to break through into the Top Cut. Keys, Brake and Boyajian were able to make Day 2 though. Still, that's a pretty good ratio, that is, 3 of the 4-5 Americans made Day 2, amongst 700+ entrants.

For those interested (I am), the Decklists for the Top 16 were already posted (again showing the European Coverage Team's superiority over their North American counterparts). Good stuff. Most of the builds appeared to be pretty standard, though I'm intrigued and amused at how the Stun deck, piloted by Merlin Schumacher, main decked 2 copies of Shard of Greed. Not a bad idea, considering how at worst it's a 1 for 1 if it gets destroyed, and a +1 if it lives.

As far as the impact on the meta goes, it's hard to say whether or not the results at YCS Brighton, being the dominance of Rabbit, will affect the playerbase in North America, given how the opposite didn't really happen, that is to say, unlike in Europe, Plants were the dominant deck in the Top Cut here. Even then, there won't be any YCS events until after the release of Order of Chaos in January, so any minor meta shifts that have occurred may just end up getting blanketed by the impact of the new cards in ORCS. As such, we'll have to wait some more before we can confirm whether or not Plant Synchro's position as the best deck of the format has been usurped.
I'm a bit surprised at how many Dino Rabbit decks topped. Certainly, it's a good deck (essentially Six Samurai 2.0: bring out a beatstick with negation, set backrow, your turn), but I really don't like how the deck has to play Kabazauls, probably the one card you'd never want in hand, and you have to play 3 copies of it too. As such, there can be some awkward hands at times, but despite that, for such a high number of Rabbit decks to top, it's surely a gauge of how strong the deck is. Whether or not the deck gets hit on the upcoming banlist is up in the air, I have long since given up on trying to deduce Konami's thought processes when it comes to such matters.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Decklist: Electric Zoo

Monsters (19)
3x Wattgiraffe
3x Wattcobra
3x Wattdragonfly
3x Watthopper
2x Thunder King Rai-Oh
1x Honest
2x Effect Veiler
2x Maxx "C"

Spells (9)
3x Pot of Duality
1x Dark Hole
1x Monster Reborn
1x Book of Moon
1x Mystical Space Typhoon
2x Recycling Batteries

Traps (12)
1x Solemn Judgment
2x Solemn Warning
1x Trap Dustshoot
1x Mirror Force
3x Dimensional Prison
1x Safe Zone
1x Bottomless Trap Hole
1x Call of the Haunted
1x Fake Trap

Extra (15)
Assorted staple Extra deck monsters

Full explanations are in the video. If there's something you'd like for me to clarify or rationalize, leave a comment either here or on the video page, thanks

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

YCS Brighton predictions & other random thoughts

With my final exam schedule partially completed, I'd like to take some time to address some thoughts.

YCS Brighton will be taking place this upcoming weekend (December 17th and 18th). At this point in time, I don't foresee there being any noticeable changes in the TCG meta. Hidden Arsenal 5, while I personally don't feel that it's all that bad of a set, really offered nothing for the current meta decks, hence the only 'new' product we can fall back on dates back to November's release of Photon Shockwave.
That being said, Europe's meta does differ from ours here in North America, partially due to a difference in cardpool, since Jump magazine and manga promos aren't legal until they've been reprinted, but also because each individual country has their own respective mini-metas. For example, I don't recall Stun being an overly popular deck in North America last year, but I do recall seeing a greater number of them in the European YCS coverage. As such, reflecting that, I expect that a greater number of rogue strategies will do well at Brighton. This is a good thing in my books, as it allows for creative tech and/or decks to potentially have a share of the spotlight.
I can foresee the Top 32 breakdown looking something like:

14x Synchrocentric / Plant Synchro / Synchro Summon / Tour Guide Tengu Plants
3x Rabbit Laggia
3x Karakuri
2x Dark World
2x Agents
2x Dragons
6x Other
This is just a guesstimate of course, I could be way off the mark lol

For those who aren't really caught up with Yugioh on Youtube, I do recommend you check out Jarel Winston's "Pro-files" segment, where he interviews a mix of current good players, old-school good players, and up-and-coming players. A couple of the questions are kind of stupid IMO, in that it's a complete waste and the answer is pretty obvious, when better questions could have been asked, but overall it's really good stuff.

I'm also considering doing a rant video to voice my displeasure with some of the things that go with the whole "Yugi-Tube" thing, but I'm not sure if it'll be well received. I don't know, my opinions and thoughts may end up being seen as contradictory to what many others may think, and I'm not in the mood to take a lot of flak lol :S

On a more personal note, I've been messing around with a few rogue strategies lately, one being Watts, and the other one being something completely off-the-wall that's been doing better than I expected. I'm pretty sure that there's a discussion thread for this particular strategy on lolPojo, but I haven't frequented that site in a long time so I'm quite pleased that results so far have been based entirely on my own build.
While my testing so far has been limited to DuelingNetwork, as I don't own all the cards for the deck in real life, through my minimal testing (about 7 games) so far, my only loss has been to Dark World, when the guy played Card Destruction and pitched GraphaSilvvaBroww, and Snoww. Derp. Granted, I did have the surprise factor on my side, as nobody really knew what to expect lol, much less play against it. Should the cards I'm missing arrive in the mail by next week, when my exams will have all been finished, I will more than likely take the deck to locals for some trolling action. It's pretty fun to play.
I've revealed the strategy and a few of the combos to a couple of my friends, but for those who care, a hint is that it's an archetype that started up in the GX era....

Also, I just got this in the mail today, thanks to Baha (of DuelingDays) for hooking me up with it, I really appreciate it. :)
For those who don't know what it is, it's the "Blaster Keroro" Cardfight Vanguard promo card, created as a crossover between the CF series and the Keroro Gunsou series, and available only in a magazine that none of the Japanese bookstores in my area carry. There is a single listing for card itself over on ebay... though for more than I'm willing to pay, so it's great that Baha (and Mike Ting indirectly) was able to help me out.

Monday, December 12, 2011

OCG Gold Series 2012

Well damn.
source pic from DGZ

The OCG looks to be getting yet another amazing Gold Series set; from the cards revealed so far in this advertisement, the only card that's questionable in playability here is Jowgen, the rest are highly desirable, and commonly played in various main decks and side decks.

The exception, of course, is Wind Up Zenmaines. The OCG normally gets our TCG exclusives in collective packs called Extra Packs, annually around September, so for them to receive one in here is quite the surprise. Since this is the case, perhaps Reborn Tengu and/or Tour Guide from the Underworld could potentially also be in here? That would certainly be one step closer to getting them semi-limited (or limited in Tour Guides case?), as it's a fact that TCG exclusives have never been hit by the banlist until Japan got them, with the one exception being the temporary emergency semi-limit of Allure of Darkness a while back, before it got hit officially on a subsequent list.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Locals Report: 12/08/2011

I'm actually in the midst of studying for final exams, but seeing as the morning's study session was fairly productive, I decided to reward myself by going to locals one last time, until the conclusion of the final exams period. I didn't make any changes to the main deck from last locals, save for updating it to reflect the list I posted up last Friday (slotting in my 2 Little Girls) and a couple minor tweaks to the side deck.
With exactly 16 participants this week, we would be participating in 4 rounds of swiss, with store credit being paid out to the Top 4.

Round 1: LFN (Absolute Zero) vs Hikarusaii (Tour Guide Tengu Plants / Synchro Summon / Synchrocentric)
I lose the dice roll
I jokingly state: whoever goes 1st wins right? Little did I know...
G1: In terms of cards, this game was fairly even to start, but things started to stack up in his favor after a Pot of Avarice, and after he hit me with Trap Dustshoot, he was able to play around whatever I had left to win.
G2: A more fast-paced game that I win with Brionac, pitching to bounce his monster and attacking through a bluff backrow
G3: I open with double Solemn Warning, but not much else could be done, as I drew into the 2nd Malicious. He Solemn's the 2nd Warning to force through a Trishula play with Debris Dragon, which I nuke with Dark Hole. He's left with 2 cards in hand IIRC, and only 2700 LP, so desperate to force damage through, I drop Diamond Dude, whiff on its effect, and punch for 1400, running into Gorz. That wasn't enough for game of course, that is, until he drew and summoned Reborn Tengu right after.
Result: XOX

Round 2: LFN (Absolute Zero) vs Aki (Machina Gadgets)
I win the dice roll
G1: This was a hilarious game. He had 2 set monsters and a Gadget, and I had just dropped Gorz. I dustshoot him to reveal a Creature Swap and Machina Peacekeeper , among other things =/. Obviously I don't want him to swap it to me in exchange for my Gorz, so I had to keep the Gorz and the token alive. I attack the Gadget, set Solemn Warning, and pass. He flips a face down... and it was MAN EATER BUG. LOL. Sadly, I didn't have Veiler, and was forced to pay 2000 LP to negate it Q_Q. He does swap for the Gorz eventually, and starts to amass advantage. With the help of Tragoedia, I'm able to turn the game around and OTK, wiping out his remaining 6700 LP.
G2: He vomits a bunch of monsters onto the field, w/ no Stardust, but 1 lone backrow, so I go lol ok and drop Dark Hole, expecting his face down to be Solemn. It was Starlight Road. Get wrecked.
G3: I open Little Girl Tour Guide into Sangan, and set Warning. He summons a Gadget, and I let it go. He attacks over Guide, sets backrow, and passes. I ram Sangan into the Gadget to search a Malicious to go with the Destiny Draw I had in hand, and a few turns later, as he was down to 6200 LP, I OTK'ed with Librarian, Stardust, and a Monster Reborn'ed Machina Fortress
Result: OXO

Round 3: LFN (Absolute Zero) vs Shark Hat (HERO plants)
I win the dice roll
G1: A close game. After attacking into Gorz with Leviair to drop him to 4000 LP, I Dustshoot him when he drew for turn to reveal a broken hand of LonefireGlow Up BulbStratosMonster Reborn, and Black Luster Soldier. Seeing that he didn't have a light monster in the graveyard, I put back the Lonefire (I think he had Spore in grave...?). He summons the Bulb, reborns Sangan, synchros for Armory Arm, mills for Bulb, and synchros with the token to make Stardust, finally equipping the Armory Arm onto Gorz. After all that, I get taken down to 3400 LP. Thankfully, he doesn't set any backrows. Knowing I had to go for game on my turn, since Armory Arm would provide the light needed for his BLS, I went for it. Bring back Malicious to drop my dark count to 3, special Dark Armed Dragon, summon Diva for Diva, synch for Dark End Dragon to send Stardust to the graveyard, pop Gorz with Dark Armed, then Miracle Fusion for Absolute Zero GG?
G2: Another hilarious game. My Sangan got hit by his Caius, and he later Soul Release'd all my in-grave monsters!!!!! At this point I had 10 banished monsters lol. I'm able to beat him down with Utopia though, and he failed to draw relevant cards
Result: OO
It's always fun to play against Shark Hat, but despite him laughing throughout the match etc etc he says he doesn't like playing against me :(

Round 4: LFN (Absolute Zero) vs Nicholas (Diva Miracle Gemini)
I win the dice roll
G1: As the game state slowly simplified, I try to force out his Raioh negation by synchroing for Dark End Dragon, but he elects to use Solemn Warning instead, dropping him to 200 LP. I go lol ok, and Miracle Fusion for Absolute Zero to beat over Raioh for game.
G2: A back and forth game, he eventually has to -2 himself to get rid of Absolute Zero, though IMO he could have just stalled for a couple turns with his on-field monsters to see if he could draw an out. I just beat him down with Diamond Dude as he fails to draw relevant cards :S
Result: OO
Final result: 3-1
Thanks to my tiebreaks, despite losing in Round 1, I'm able to sneak in at 3rd place and collect $5 store credit. Better than nothing I suppose.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gorz: Playing it and Playing around it

I suppose this post is geared more towards less-experienced players, but I wanted to get it out there, as it was appalling how some players on Dueling Network just walk into an obvious Gorz and then QQ and minus themselves to get rid of it =/
For everyone else, I'm sorry lol (no I'm not lol)

Gorz can only be played from a player's hand when he/she doesn't control any cards, so the most tell-tale sign that they (or I) likely have it in hand is when they (or I) pass with an open field. This is especially apparent when they have multiple cards in hand. The thing is, you don't HAVE to attack.
Granted, Gorz is restricted to 1 copy per deck maximum, so it's not a given that your opponent will have it. But what if they do? Can you get rid of it? If you currently don't have outs to Gorz in hand, then you may simply just summon and pass, and/or set up for the following turn.
This can set up some mind games, as a player with a garbage hand can simply pass to make it look like they have Gorz, hopefully intimidating the opponent enough to make him/her refrain from attacking.
IF you are going to attack, it makes no sense to attack with the monster with the highest attack 1st. Gorz brings out a token that has atk/def stats equal to the amount of damage you just took, so should you attack with a stronger monster 1st, your remaining weaker monsters that have yet to attack will be unable to kill the token. Attacking strongest to weakest and attacking weakest to strongest still yields the same amount of total damage, so one should obviously make the safe play (again, lol DN).
A player could also take the initiative when facing an open field and force out the Gorz, so that they can later go for game without fear of this nuisance. It feels great to deliberately attack into a Gorz, then synchro for Trishula in main phase 2, to banish Gorz AND an additional card from their hand (and also 1 from grave, if applicable), where conversely, making Trishula before directly attacking only allows you to hit 1 card from their hand, which may or may not be the Gorz. By Trish-ing in main phase 2, you can hit it with certainty.

Granted, it's kind of hard to tell if a player has Gorz in instances where a player sets 1 backrow and passes. At this point, you'll likely have to think about the deck they're playing, and whether or not it's a 'normal' play to do that (Gadgets play a lot more traps than Agents do, for example).
The most common spell/trap that one would set when they have Gorz is a Mystical Space Typhoon, as it can be flipped up upon attack declaration to pop an opposing backrow (bonus if it's a Solemn Warning!), subsequently clearing the way for a Gorz drop. If your opponent controls only a face down spell/trap, with a card(s) in hand, and you MST it to reveal a MST, beware!
Depending on the situation (cards in opponents hand, etc), I personally have also set Trap Dustshoot on some occasions, with Gorz in hand of course, before passing to my opponent. If they MST the Dustshoot, it's a +1 for me, as I can immediately chain it and use it's effect, and my opponent may not necessarily suspect that it was the bait for a Gorz play. If they don't MST it and just attack, I can immediately flip it up and send a card back anyway for an even exchange, before dropping the Gorz.
Alternatively, if you see that your opponent has 2 monsters on the field, which are likely to attack you on your opponents next turn, you can set a piece of 1 for 1 removal like Dimensional Prison. This can also force mind games, as your opponent could potentially think that you had set Mirror Force. They could then switch one of their monsters to defense, and attack with the other. That's fine too, as you would then trade DPrison for their remaining attacking monster for the 1 for 1. If they don't do so, then simply banish 1 monster with Dprison, and drop Gorz after the other one attacks.

Tragoedia is an entirely different beast to tackle, as it can be summoned when taking ANY battle damage, not necessarily from a direct attack, and it can be summoned even if you control other cards, making it a whole lot harder to read, as such, I'd rather not discuss Trag at the moment, other than to say that it's a great card in the right deck(s).

For those who get frustrated by getting Gorz'ed on a frequent basis (especially some DN players) , this post is dedicated to you.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Decklist: Absolute Zero Ver. 2.0

This is the updated version of the build from earlier this format, created upon request by "emberthephoenix".

Monsters (22)
1x Black Luster Soldier - EotB
1x Dark Armed Dragon
1x Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
2x Tragoedia
2x Thunder King Rai-Oh
1x Elemental Hero Stratos
2x Destiny Hero Malicious
1x Destiny Hero Diamond Dude
1x Destiny Hero Doom Lord
2x Little Girl Tour Guide from the Underworld
1x Sangan
1x Plaguespreader Zombie
2x Maxx "C"
1x Effect Veiler
2x Deep Sea Diva
1x Snowman Eater

Spells (13)
2x Pot of Duality
2x Miracle Fusion
2x Destiny Draw
1x Allure of Darkness
1x Reinforcement of the Army
1x Heavy Storm
1x Dark Hole
1x Mind Control
1x Monster Reborn
1x Mystical Space Typhoon

Traps (5)
1x Solemn Judgment
2x Solemn Warning
1x Trap Dustshoot
1x Torrential Tribute

Extra Deck (15)
1x Ally of Justice Catastor
1x T.G. Hyper Librarian
1x Brionac
1x Gaia Knight
1x Stardust Dragon
1x Scrap Dragon
1x Dark End Dragon
1x Trishula
1x Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
1x Leviair the Sea Dragon
1x Leviathan Dragon
1x Utopia
2x Elemental Hero Absolute Zero
1x Elemental Hero The Shining

Full explanations, including reasonings for changes from the last build, are in the video.

My thanks to the following for helping me with testing:
- awesomehazelnuts                           - Karakuri              
- Mike Jeezy (TeamOverload Blog)     - Karakuri
- Clockworking / BannanaVoid            - Karakuri , Dragons
- yfjake                                                  - Karakuri
- Cameron (TeamCrimsonRaiders)   - X-Sabers

Lol Karakuri is so popular on DN.

On a side note, I've been made an Admin on the "Yugioh Elite" facebook group. It was kind of unexpected to be honest. I guess DrakoDMD, one of the group's founders, believes in me?
Check it out if you'd like; like any yugioh discussion group (forums included), there are good members and bad members, and good content and bad content.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Product News: TCG Order of Chaos official page is up!

The official TCG Konami page for the upcoming set Order of Chaos is now up, focusing mostly on the Inzector and Armor Ninja archetypes.

The most interesting featured cards, of course, are the TCG exclusives. Unlike the product page for PHSW, Konami was smart enough this time around to censor out the card effects, and name all the images on the site in such a fashion that their rarity would not be prematurely disclosed. As such, it is difficult to ascertain if a particular card is a rare or a secret rare, or if it's a common or a super. One can make an educated guess based on the card's playability of course, but an educated guess is still a guess nonetheless.

The 1st TCG Exclusive is revealed to be "White Dragon Ninja"
It's a "Ninja" card, and a Dragon type, so it is compatible with the Ninjitsu / Ninja line of support cards. Whether it sees any play will depend on its effect.
As a light attributed monster, perhaps a chaos variant could be developed, as Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo is a dark monster.

The next TCG Exclusive card is "Ninjitsu Art of Duplication"

In theory, this card would either create a token that mirror's a targeted ninja monsters stats, or alternatively special summon another copy of the same ninja from your hand/deck. It's purely speculation on my part, but I can see it being as such due to the name.

"Interplanetarypurplythorny Dragon" 's effect has been summarized to state that it can be special summoned when one of your monsters is destroyed (whether by battle or by effect is unclear). Backing generic stats of 2200 atk and level 5, is it's name, which is far from generic. Interplanetarypurplythorny. Seriously? Despite it's evil looking artwork, I really don't know if I should be taking this card seriously.

Surprise! I guess Konami finally read through the Top Cut decklists from previous YCS events and realized that Tour Guide is an overpowered card that spearheads competitive yugioh as we currently know it.
So what did they do? Emergency semi-limit it? No, nothing of the sort. Suddenly announce that it will be reprinted in a months time in some new product? No, not that either.
This is purely conjecture on my part, but I could see a bunch of high-up Konami staff sitting down in the meeting room one day, twirling their thumbs and sipping green tea, while thinking about what they could come up with for the next set of TCG exclusives.
"So uh hey, that Tour Guide card, it seems kind of good"
"Oh kewl is that a bus in the background?"
"Hey, you're right!"
"Let's make it into a card"
"Should it be overpowered?"
"Probably. Also preferably a secret rare."
"Meeting adjourned?"
"Yes I think so too"
:) :) $$$

It's too bad the card art is too small, but I would lol if Sangan was one of the passengers on the bus.
Also, look for the next card in this series, to be created some time in the future, to be "Tour Bus Driver from the Underworld". Yea I said it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Decklist: Blackwings

Monsters: (20)
3x BW - Shura
2x BW - Bora
2x BW - Blizzard
1x BW - Sirocco
1x BW - Vayu
1x BW - Kalut
1x BW - Gale
1x BW - Zephyrus
2x Thunder King Rai-Oh
2x Maxx "C"
1x Effect Veiler
1x Black Luster Soldier - EotB
1x Dark Armed Dragon
1x Gorz the Emissary of Darkness

Spells (11)
3x Pot of Duality
1x Heavy Storm
1x Dark Hole
1x Monster Reborn
1x Book of Moon
1x Allure of Darkness
1x Black Whirlwind
2x Forbidden Lance

Traps (9)
1x Solemn Judgment
2x Solemn Warning
1x Torrential Tribute
1x Trap Dustshoot
2x Dimensional Prison
2x Icarus Attack

This is the list I've been using recently, though I initially had 1 Compulsory Evacuation Device in place of the 2nd Dimensional Prison. I also feel that Icarus clogged too much at 3, so I play only 2 copies.
Forbidden Lance acts as a semi-Kalut applicable to all my monsters, while also being able to protect my monsters from spells and traps.
I'm actually kind of iffy on Effect Veiler. At times it's really good, as asides from the negation effect, I can summon it to use as a tuner, tuning with Gorz, the Gorz Token, or Dark Armed to make a level 8, or my blackwings / Raiohs to make a level 5. At other times, there are instances where I greatly wished that it was Maxx "C" instead, seeing as my opponent needed to conduct special summons to bring out monsters strong enough to kill my monsters and/or break through my setup.
I'm also not maxing out on Blizzard, because of Maxx C's popularity. By activating its effect, bringing back a monster, and synchroing, my opponent will have drawn 2 cards for a +1. It was fine at 2 for me, since it's searchable through Black Whirlwind anyway.

That being said, I've actually never played the deck until recently, even though the theme has been out for a couple years now, so if I'm 'doing it wrong', well, that's why lol.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Locals Report 11/24/2011

<_< >_>

Things have been pretty hectic lately, and it certainly didn't help that I had decided to pick up the Pokemon TCG again lol...
The format locally is kind of random right now, since barely anyone has the resources needed to play The Best Deck (and if they do, they'd rather play something else), so there's a shit ton of rogue decks circulating through my locals, including stuff like Hopeless Dragon, Chain Burn, Six Samurai, and Light Beat.
As per usual, I had no idea what to play the night before, but while daydreaming in class, I had a sudden urge to pick up a deck that I had NEVER EVER played in real life before, despite how the theme was released several years back...

Pre-tournament, I managed to scrape together the remaining cards needed for the Reshiphlosion deck, built my YGO deck from scratch, and continued the process of selling off Ultra rare German "Formelsynchron"s to my friends.
I pack my 2nd Ultra Sangan out of my entry pack, which is kewl I guess.

Round 1: LFN (Blackwings) vs "Shark Hat" (Zombie Plants)
I lose the dice roll
G1: I drop a Maxx "C" on him, but he keeps going, netting me a +1. I nuke his stuff with Black Rose Dragon for more plusses, and eventually finish him off with Brionac, which he no longer had any outs to.
G2: I had 5-6 cards in hand, 1 of which was Gorz, while sitting at 6000 LP to his 4500 LP. He plays One for One, to which I chain Maxx "C", and he gambles, summoning Tengu, believing I don't have Gorz. He continues his flurry of special summons, and by the end of it all, I have around 13 cards in hand LOL. Though I already had more than enough resources to kill him, I joked to my friend that as I had a light and dark in grave, it would be pretty kewl to draw into BLS. I draw for turn and it's BLS! Win moar.
Result: OO

Round 2: LFN (Blackwings) vs Edward (Tour Guide Tengu Diva Zombie "Good Stuff")
I lose the dice roll
G1: I open a really passive hand, with Blizzard and Kalut as my only monsters, and hold off on summoning them, allowing him to rush me with floaters. I eventually start pushing back, but end up dying to Dark Armed Dragon
G2: I apply beatdown with my beefier monsters, and take this game
G3: I'm unable to fight through 2 Solemn Warnings AND a BLS, so I lose. My friend who observed both players hands said that there was nothing I could have done better to change the outcome of the game, so it's Yugioh I guess.
Result: XOX

Round 3: LFN (Blackwings) vs Sebastian (Dark World)
I lose the dice roll
G1: He unfortunately had the Solemn for my Dimensional Prison, so Grapha kept beating face. Eventually he had the Starlight Road for my Icarus Attack, and though I had Solemn Warning face down to negate it, my life points were only at 1700...
G2: Blackwing beatdown mode, activate!
G3: This game should have been over really quickly, as BOTH his Card Destruction and Morphing Jar resolved successfully, but I was still in it for whatever reason. I meet my demise though, when with my Sirocco (with Schwarzflugel - Kalut der Mondschatten in hand!) staring down his Utopia, he normal summons Doomcaliber Knight. I'm forced to Icarus Attack, but he has Starlight Road again so I lose.
Result: XOX
Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this is disappointing.

Round 4: LFN (Blackwings) vs Tim (TG Offering Gadget)
I win the dice roll
I have never seen this guy before lol. Must be new to my locals.
G1: I don't open any monsters lol. Apparently he didn't either, so we both set a ton of backrow. As I top a Shura and attempt to attack, he flips Scapegoats (in Gadgets?!). A few turns later, when he was brought down to 1 token, I normal summon Bora. He attempts to kill it with something, but I chain Icarus Attack. He gives the OK, so I was about to successfully resolve it, he checks his backrow again at the last second and discovers he had Starlight Road set. I let it slide, and he immediately goes nuts with Offering Gadget shenanigans on his turn, to the point where he had 6 monsters on the field including the token, and I'm like whoah there you haz a token. He realizes his mistake, stops summoning, and attempts to attack me with a Green Gadget, the Stardust from the SLR, and 2 Utopias. I Book the Stardust, and Dark Hole his field the following turn.
G2: At one point, I kill a T.G. Warwolf, and he IMMEDIATELY searches his deck for T.G. Striker. I tell him that he can't do that, as unlike Sangan, the T.G. cards CLEARLY state that they activate in the end phase. Also, what if I had D.D. Crow to banish it? What if I had brought out a Thunder King Rai-Oh in main phase 2? ( I didn't have either to neuter his seach, but what if lol) He takes offense to this and gets mad. For the next several turns, he would continually ask me "IS THIS OK???" after every move. There's a difference between rule sharking and telling an opponent to play his cards properly, asshole.
I rush him with Blackwings, but he summons Brionac and attempts to fight back, but bounces my Gale and Shura for some unknown reason, and chooses to attack Vayu instead, leaving Bora on the field. I'm like lol ok, special Gale, halve Brionac, and initially hesitate to attack, fearing Mirror Force. I attack anyway, and it was indeed Mirror Force. In Main Phase 2, I summon Blizzard targeting Shura, and he's all like "You summoned already!!" so I was like "Read Gale, I can SS it", so I make Orient and banish his Brio. He drops a Cyber Dragon in attack mode the following turn, perhaps attempting to bluff an Honest?. I attack it and drop Forbidden Lance in the damage step to wipe out his remaining 600 LP.
Result: OO

Round 5: LFN (Blackwings) vs Julian S. (Hopeless Dragons)
I win the dice roll
G1: I'm forced to Solemn his Future Fusion on his 1st turn, but fall to his big beatsticks.
G2: He walks into an obvious Gorz, and I take it from there.
G3: I open with a really awkward hand, with D.D. Crow, BLS, Dark Armed Dragon, and some spells/traps. I pray he doesn't go all aggro on me, and thankfully he doesn't, and T-sets. I top a Thunder King, which made things a lot better, and kill his face down Totem Dragon. He attempts to use its effect on his following turn but I crow it, providing the dark for my BLS. I negate an inherent REDMD summmon with Tking, but he has the Monster Reborn. He brings out some 3000 atk Dragon thing and I get taken down to 2200 LP. I play my Dark Hole and Monster Reborn, bringing back his 3000 atk Dragon to drop him to 5000 LP. He Dark Holes and summons Wyvern, with no other cards in hand, dropping me to 400 LP. I summon my topdecked Shura and finally drop BLS, and go for game.
Result: XOO
Final Result : 3-2 :(

Despite the mediocre finish, I was quite satisfied with the deck as a whole. The build was pretty standard, with a couple tech choices. I intend to post it up soon, probably tomorrow.

I managed to get in some Pokemon games at Cqiao's place afterwards, against both Yanmega/Magnezone and ZPS, and I discovered that I'm rustier than I thought (I haven't played since HGSS came out), savagely misplaying from time to time.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

YCS Kansas City: Aftermath & Analysis

YCS Kansas City, Missouri, took place this past weekend (Nov 19th/20th), with a total of 630 participants, which was certainly a drop from the higher turnouts at the previous 2 YCS events at Columbus and Toronto.

This was the 1st event whereby Photon Shockwave was deemed legal for play, and the most anticipated deck to emerge from this set, Rabbit Laggia (or Dino Rabbits, as Konami likes to call it) was going to face its 1st real test.
Dark World, after failing to make the Top Cut at YCS Columbus, also had something to prove; Topping would no doubt get rid of the 'underwhelming and severely over-hyped' stigma, while failing to do so would only reinforce it.

The Top Cut:
The full list of the 32 players who topped is here.
The list of players and the decks they used is here, as provided by Konami.

From this, we can see that the Top 32 deck spread was as follows:

16x "Synchro Heavy" / "Synchro Summon" / Tour Guide Tengu Plants / Good Stuff deck
5x "Master Hyperion" / Agents
4x "Dino Rabbits" / Rabbit Laggia
3x Dark World
2x Karakuri
1x Chaos
1x X-Sabers

Again, TGU Plants was the dominant deck, which was pretty much expected, given that it was still the deck of choice for many reputable players. Agents and Karakuri retained more or less their current share of the Top seats. 4 Rabbit Laggia decks managed to make it in, doubling the # that I predicted, while 3 Dark Worlds managed to top this time around. This could have been a result of the release of Dark Smog, and/or the fact that people would have wanted to dedicate some sideboard space towards countering the Rabbit deck, which took away space that could have been used to dedicate towards Dark World hate.

I'm surprised that an X-Saber deck managed to make it in, given the number of Thunder King Raiohs and Maxx "C"s running around. However, the deck does benefit from the format, that is, a format where there aren't a terribly high number of trap cards running around (mainly only in Rabbit Laggia, Tech Genus, and HEROes).

Apparently the the lone Chaos deck is in fact a legit Chaos deck, not just some random Plant deck teching in Chaos Sorcerers that Konami decided to label as "Chaos". Seeing a Chaos deck with stuff like Dimensional Alchemist thrown in making it this far is pretty kewl, I must say.

Like all the recent YCS events, there was a solid number of established/reputable/well known players in the Top Cut, such as Maurice Brantley, Samuel Pedigo, Patrick Hoban, Camden Keener, Michael Boyd, Steffon Bizzell, Chris Biswell, Frazier Smith, Stephen Silverman, Robert Boyajian, Jonny Nagel, Courtney Waller, and Barrett Keys. Noticeably absent were names like Jeff Jones and Billy Brake, the latter of which unfortunately was unable to win his 3rd YCS in a row, though his twin brother, Bobby Brake, managed to top with "Dino Rabbits".

The Top 16
After this round, the last several Agent decks and the last remaining Dark World deck were eliminated.
The Top 8
At this point, the remaining 3 Rabbit Laggia decks were all knocked out of contention as well, as play headed to the Top 4 Cut.

The Top 4 consisted of:
2x "Synchro Heavy" / Tour Guide Tengu Plants
1x Karakuri
1x Chaos

Eventually, in a Chaos vs "Synchro Heavy" matchup, Courtney Waller was able to best Chris Biswell to win YCS Kansas City. I've seen Waller's name pop up sporadically in Top Cut listings, so for him to finally break through and win it all, and with a rogue deck no less, is kewl. I approve.

Looking Ahead
The results of this YCS has several implications:
1. Rabbit Laggia, having earned several seats in the Top Cut, has managed to prove to some degree that its hype was well warranted. Despite this, and the fact that the deck boasts several ridiculously overpowered monsters in Rabbit, Laggia, and Dolkka, the deck is not without flaws, seeing as it needs to play 6 normal monsters, and isn't consistently capable of dealing with stronger monsters.
Due to the price of the deck, I still can't see it being played in large numbers, though its success at this event will no doubt spur some people to become sheep and follow suit in playing it. Rich bastards (loljk ;) )

2. Dark Worlds, with their new toy in Dark Smog, has broken through into the Top Cut this time. I presume that a lot of players drifted away from the deck after seeing its dismal results at the previous YCS. As such, with an even lower number of players repping DW, the odds of encountering a mirror match were also reduced. Those running the deck were able to get away with playing cards like Card Destruction and Morphing Jar, which can devastate other matchups, but are liabilities in the mirror.
It's difficult to say if Dark World will be able to repeat their performance at YCS Kansas City at the next event, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility.

3. Tour Guide Tengu Plants is still the best deck of the format, seeing as no upset occurred. However, their stranglehold on the meta has loosened a little, as their number of seats in the Top 32 was reduced to 16, from 20+ at YCS Columbus.

Misplay Gallery

Konami's coverage team managed to catch a lot of misplays this time around, so listed here are the really dumb ones (Read the Card, etc), and one that they missed completely, which will be highlighted in yellow.

I'm pretty sure there's a bunch more that I missed ( I read each feature match once and only once)

From the Round 5 Review
"In Duel 1, Bequette’s miscalculated math (!!!!!) cost him the Duel. He didn’t realize that SummoningT.G. Striker and adding it to his group of monsters already on the field would give him enough ATK to finish Keener off. So Bequette gave Keener an extra turn to retaliate. Keener took advantage of this miscalculation, and defeated Bequette on that additional turn. It’s always important to know your opponent’s Life Points, and carefully calculate if you can defeat him. A miscalculation can be the different between victory and defeat, just as it was for Bequette’s in Duel 1."

From the Round 8 Review
"In Duel 3, both Duelists used Trap Dustshoot against one another to see each other’s hands. Chon attacked with Thunder King Rai-Oh and Kramer Special Summoned Tragoedia. Chon thought his Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror would reduce its ATK to 0, so he didn’t activate his face-down Debunk to negate Tragoedia’s Summon. But Tragoedia’s effect is Continuous, and Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror is powerless against it. Tragoedia proved to be instrumental in Kramer’s victory, and Chon thinks that he most likely would’ve won if he had used Debunk against the Tragoedia." 

From the Top 16 Feature Match
"Jones drew Torrential Tribute and Set it. He attacked Komachi and it switched to Defense Position. Jones lost 200 Life Points in the battle.
[Jones didn’t realize that Karakuri Komachi mdl 224 “Ninishi” would switch into Defense Position when it was attacked.]" [Read the card!!!!!]

From the Top 8 Feature Match
"Rouse drew Genex Neutron next turn! He activated Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy Gonzales’s face-down Mirror Force and then Normal Summoned Genex Neutron. Rouse Tuned his Komachi with Genex Neutron to Summon Naturia Landoise, and then attacked directly to deal 2350 points of damage to Gonzalez." [Landoise needs an Earth Tuner AND an Earth non-Tuner; Neutron is a LIGHT]

"Rouse Normal Summoned Karakuri Merchant mdl 177 “Inashichi” next turn, and used its effect to add Karakuri Komachi mdl 224 “Ninishi” from his Deck to his hand. Then he was forced to attack Gonzalez’s Token with the Merchant, and lost 1400 Life Points as a result." [Main Phase 2. It exists. =/]

From the Top 4 Feature Match
"Rouse activated Dark Hole to clear the field, costing him his own Stardust Dragon and Bureido, and Waller grabbed Battle Fader with Sangan. Rouse Summoned Karakuri Soldier mdl 236 “Nisamu” and attacked, but Waller blocked with Battle Fader. Rouse Set Solemn Warning, but lost it to Waller’s Mystical Space Typhoon in the End Phase.
[After the Match, I asked Rouse why he used Dark Hole while he had Stardust Dragon and Bureido on the field. “I needed to get rid of his Reaper,” he replied.]" [Stardust could have protected that Solemn Warning; why heavily minus yourself to get rid of a Reaper? Rouse could have just waited until he drew into an answer]

That's all for today, thanks for reading~