Monday, June 27, 2011

Random: "YuGiOh Bonds Beyond Time" movie critique!

Hey readers. The Bonds Beyond Time movie was recently fansubbed and released on-line, so I finally got to see it. In brief, it was a tremendous waste of time, and made little to no sense lol. Sooooo many plot holes, I-don't-get-it moments, and garbage cards.

Some things I had an issue with:

  • "Hello Judai, my name is Yusei and I am from the future. We duel on motorcycles!"

Judai said OK KEWL and did not ask how exactly did Yusei arrive from the future, nor did he question the practicality, not to mention danger, of focusing on other activities, such as card games, while driving a motorcycle at high speeds.

  • "Hello Yugi, my name is Judai. And my name is Yusei! We come from the future! This villianous fagmuffin called Paradox is coming to kill Pegasus and destroy our future!"

Yugi said OK KEWL and didn't ask why that fagmuffin isn't traveling back to Ancient Egypt and destroying the Duel Monsters stone tablets to prevent the game from starting up in the 1st place. He, like Judai, seems perfectly fine with people from the future just warping in out of nowhere. 

  • The grandpa died in Paradox's 1st attack, prior to the time warp caused by Yusei. Instead of looking for him immediately afterwards to confirm his well-being, Yugi plays a card game. The grandpa is never seen again for the rest of the film.
  • Yusei seems perfectly fine with playing a card that forces him to discard 2 cards in order to add a monster from his deck to his hand 2 turns later. He could just have played Gold Sarcophagus and not have blown half his hand. Minus much?
  • Yugi, unlike in the original series, finally has to play Ancient Rules in order to summon Black Magician from his hand without tributes. Hurray for rule updates from like 10 years ago!
  • Conveniently, nobody draws into any spell/trap destruction lol. Destroy Sin World and it's OVERRRR.
  • After Paradox is defeated, you don't find out what happens to him. It's not a shadow game so I don't think he's dead lol... or banished to the shadow realm (lol 4kids). Yugi continues his life. Yusei returns to his time using the power of the Crimson Dragon. How does Judai get back?
  • Yusei returns, and still has yet to get with Akiza. =/

LFN gives this movie a 2/10. Cookie points for Kuriboh and the Engrish spoken by Pegasus.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Deck Trends #4: The effect of Reborn Tengu

Hey readers. Upon the release of Reborn Tengu a month ago, players have been introduced to the ultimate floater. No matter how it leaves the field (unless flipped to the top of the deck or removed face down), Tengu will automatically fetch another copy of itself from the deck. As such, adjustments to one's deck must be made, to reduce inefficient card choices caused by Tengu, and to include card choices that are able to aggressively take advantage of Tengu's replacement ability.

1) To Solemn Warning, or not?
One of the best outs to Reborn Tengu is to negate its summon with Solemn Warning, thus exterminating the problem at its root. This is the right play. After all, who would WANT their opponent to start plussing off Tengu? Logically, it makes sense.
However, sometimes, the opponent may open with a crap hand containing 2, or even 3 Tengus at once. You, of course, have no way of knowing if this is the case (unless you flipped Trap Dustshoot or Mind Crush, played Royal Tribute, or you're cheating). As such, your opponent could treat one of their Tengus as a decoy, and intimidate you into burning your Solemn Warning on it, even though the other 2 copies in fact are in-hand and not in the deck. With Solemn Warning then out of the way (and the odds of opening both copies are slim) , they could then safely follow up on the next turn with a strong push, like Lonefire into Lonefire into Tytannial etc.

2) Defensive Traps & Aggression
If the summon of Reborn Tengu was successful, you could potentially be facing some hard choices here. Should you not have a monster strong enough to destroy it in battle, would it be wise to burn defensive traps on them to save your lifepoints? You would stay alive, yes, but you'd also be losing out in card advantage and field presence, so you may end up losing regardless...
As far as choosing which trap to use, Dimensional Prison seems to be a good choice. Other conventional traps like Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute will destroy Tengu and send it to the graveyard, where it can be recycled by Pot of Avarice, so if you must burn a card, at least remove one of 3 copies of this problem card from play aka Banish one of 3 copies, to prevent your opponent from using it again later in the game.
It's because that Tengu just doesn't care about staring down a plethora of traps, that players can afford to be more aggressive with their plays. After all, the most common main-decked answer is Solemn Warning, a card that each duelist is limited to only 2 of. Most decks have made subtle changes to their spell/trap lineup to reflect this change. Plant builds, for example, have in fact reduced their number of defensive spells/traps, like say Dimensional Prison, in favor of tech cards that they might not have been able to main before due to a lack of space, such as Scapegoat, or traps that allow for aggression, such as Dust Tornado and Limit Reverse.

3) Monster lineup
This relates mostly to plant decks, where milling was key to speeding things up. Playing Tengu optimally means that you should have the other copies in deck, hence it would be unwise to blindly mill through your deck, potentially hitting Tengus. This is evident in Tengu Plant decks, which have dropped the 3rd Ryko, the lone Charge of the Light Brigade, and the Card Troopers present in more traditional plant-based decks, in favor of the playset of Tengus and assorted tech cards, such as Genex Ally Birdman, for the instant Black-Rose Dragon nuke.
In Water-Synchro decks, having Tengu somewhat eliminates the need for defensive cards like Battle Fader, as Tengu in itself is a recyclable chump blocker (Fader isn't recyclable) that is also capable of dealing damage (Fader can atk... for 0).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With Nationals / North American World Championship Qualifier fast approaching, it's almost guaranteed that decks that can abuse either Hyper Librarian or Reborn Tengu, or both, will be massively played, due to the overwhelming advantage that they can generate. Six Samurai, being weak against decks that revolve around their monster effects, in theory shouldn't pose as much of a threat as they used to, nor should Gravekeepers, which have kept at the same pace while other decks have increased in speed. The meta at Nationals should be Tengu Plant / Junk Doppel heavy, so prepare accordingly. Either practice enough that you become confident in the mirror match, or go rogue and play a 'wild card' meta-killer deck to catch people off guard.

That's all for today, thanks for reading ~

Thursday, June 23, 2011

YCS Providence: Decklists are up!

Find them here

I must admit, the Infernity deck is a bit wtf. Running an unusually high monster count (18, compared to the traditional approximate 14 monsters), and only 1 Infernity Inferno for set up, makes me think that it's either so bad it's good, or that the guy really is a legitimate stacker.

I also question the inclusion of Destiny Hero Malicious in Blackwings... only because the only viable tuner to go with that is Plaguespreader. The guy also mained 2 Bottomless Trap Holes, which I find to be interesting, considering Bottomless is very mediocre at the moment.

Other than that, I have no qualms with the rest of the decklists. Nothing terrible, which is a good thing. I approve.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MYSTERIOUS tech card

Oh my .... he is MYSTERIOUS! Who is he? :(


I think I really should invest in a tripod lol.
Also I'm still kind of sick so my voice is like wut.

That's all for today, thanks for reading / watching :D

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Recent decline in YCS attendance: Why is this?

Hello again readers. Michael Bonacini (of Death Aspect) made an interesting comment in my YCS Providence Analysis post.
In response to my observation that YCS player attendance has been in gradual decline over the course of the past couple events, he was like " Summer = Traveling. If players aren't traveling, Konami must be doing something wrong". While not necessarily entirely Konami's fault, what could be going wrong?

With more and more sacky, autopilot, and overpowered themes and support being created by Konami, it's becoming easier and easier for Mr. Randy Savage to top an event. This should serve as incentive for more players, even casual ones, to participate in YCS events, and deter pros from going, yet attendance at recent events does not appear to reflect that.

Here are multiple "what if" scenarios to mull over...

- Family vacation overlaps with YCS event -
* free vacation vs self-funded yugioh vacation *
- Free Vacation wins! Fatality! -

- Looks forward to playing in YCS after the Vancouver Canucks win the Stanley Cup -
* Canucks choke big time and loses game 7 to the Boston Bruins *
- Riot time! =( -

- Sold Kristyas ages ago & wait to buy 3x Agent structure for YCS Providence -
* Kristya not in deck! KONAMI used TROLLFACE! It's super-effective! *
- Can't play deck. Choose sub-par alternative. Scrub a dub dub -

- Tested for days & ran top-tier deck @ previous YCS -
* side-deck not big enough; lose decisively to Harpie Ladies *
- demoralized, go on hiatus -

- Become a sack-o-lantern with cookiecutter.dek , beat other sack-o-lanterns,  make Top 32 cut -
* A bunch of randoms always make Top 32 nowadays. Their first and last top. *
- 2 weeks later, nobody remembers who you are -

- Keeping up with this game is costly! Only way to expand ygo networks is by playing in premier events! -
* wild Dueling Network appeared! *
- problem solved lol -

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As for the true reason(s), your guess is as good as mine lol.
Hopefully attendance picks up again sometime in the future. Depending on the quality of the September banlist,  if I'm able to accumulate enough money for travel and any required cards I lack at that time (XYZs most likely), and if I get a couple friends to travel to the event with, I may consider attending YCS Toronto. It would be my 1st ever YCS though, so I'll probably end up scrubbing if I go.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Gold Series 4: Some commons revealed... and they aren't good lol

A video up on youtube shows 2 Europeans opening 2 packs of Gold Series 4 (they get the set before North America does). The commons appear to be comprised of reprints of retro cards like fusion substitute materials, sage's stone, soul exchange, etc, and some reprints of secret rares from the GLAS / FOTB era, like Mormolith, Radiant Jeral & Prometheus. A couple of Jump magazine reprints also made it in. I could make out Genesis Dragon and Orichalcos Shuneros.

Sadface lol. Gold Series has always been advertised as a pack for competitive players, but few of the commons in this set are actually playable nowadays. Soul Exchange sees play in Frog Monarchs... and Genesis Dragon in dragon decks, but that's pretty much it. I think even the Gold Series 3 commons, despite having stuff like Amazoness support, and some shitty Ice Barrier cards (Reese the Ice Mistress is decent though), may be better than the commons of this set. Blackwing reprints, Reese, Destiny Draw + Malicious from Gold 3 vs Soul Exchange, Trade-in, and Genesis Dragon from Gold 4. No contest. Lolkonami.

Terrible set. The gold rares already didn't justify the $30 price tag, the commons are the final nail in the coffin.

UPDATE: singles up on german ebay.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

YCS Providence: Aftermath & Analysis

Hello again readers. Yugioh Championship Series - Providence, Rhode Island, has just concluded this past weekend. It must be noted that this is the last YCS event to occur before the North American Nats / World Qualifiers takes place in early July. As such, it is the only top-level premier event where the new Agents from the Fairy structure deck are legal, but TG Hyper Librarian is not (it will be legal in early July). Because of this, YCS Providence had its own little mini-meta, if you will, which will spill over the next two weeks.

According to the yugioh events website for YCS Providence, there were over 700 players in attendance. It appears that there is a gradual decline in attendance over the past few YCS events... personally I thought that the numbers would be higher, since summer break should have started for many players. Then again, I don't think that Rhode Island is one of America's premier vacation hotspots, like say, Las Vegas would be, so perhaps that played a hand in this lower turnout? I'm Canadian and not a frequent traveler to the States, so what do I know lol. Also, this is completely irrelevant, but there weren't any pictures in the coverage this time around. I am displeased.

The Top 32 breakdown, like it has been for the last few YCS events, is pretty diverse. The decks played by the Top 32 cut are as follows:

6x Tengu synchro
5x Six Samurai
3x X-Sabers
3x Gravekeepers
3x Fairy variants
2x Debris Synchro (Doppel Plants? Debris Hime? Quickdraw?)
2x Frog-engine variants (including the "water tengu synchro" deck)
1x Scraps
1x Machina Gadget
1x Fabled
1x Macro Cosmos
1x Tech Genus variant
1x Infernities
1x Vayu Turbo
1x Anti-meta / Stun (or Anti Monster, as Konami likes to call it)

Tengu variants were the most numerous amongst the Top 32, with a total of 6 (7 if you include water tengu synchro) players running them. If you also include the 2 Debris synchro decks and the Tech Genus deck, that's a total of 10 decks that incorporated the plant engine of Spore / Dandylion / Glow Up Bulb / Lonefire Blossom.

On a side note, quite a few relatively well-known players, either past YCS winners or at least Top 32 cut finishers, (Sorosh Saberian, Nicky Lacaille, Josh Graham, Paul Clarke, Anthony Alvarado, Nizar Sarhan, Frazier Smith, Wilson Tsang, Guillermo Morales, and Carl Waite(?) ) were able to make the top cut this time around. According to DGZ, the Bellido brothers and Billy Brake were also in attendance, but failed to top. Patrick Hoban lost on the bubble... again =/. James Neumann placed 34th, Justin Wong placed 35th, and Paul Levitin, playing the same deck as Anthony Alvarado, placed 37th. Very close.

The Top 16 was then:
3x Six Samurai
2x Tengu synchro variants
2x Frog-engine variant (Frog Monarchs & Water tengu Synchro)
1x Gravekeepers
1x X-sabers
1x Infernity
1x Fairy variant
1x Scraps
1x Anti-Meta
1x Macros Cosmos
1x Machina Gadget
1x Debris Synchro

The Top 4 was:
1x Tengu Synchro
1x Six Samurai
1x Frog Monarchs
1x Infernity

Tengu Synchro, piloted by Tyree Tinsley, was able to best Infernities, piloted by Reinaldo Jose Lainez Diaz, to win YCS Providence. Currently, I have no information on who won 3rd place between the Frog Monarch deck ran by Peter Nguyen and the Six Samurai deck, played by Nathaniel Jadotte. All the same, I'm glad that a Tier 1 deck won this time around.

This is a bit pre-emptive of me, seeing as decklists aren't out yet, but I'm kinda glad I don't see bad decks like Gravekeeper Skill Drain Malefics (without Pot of Dualities AND Solemn Warnings... no idea how he topped the last YCS, to be honest) and sacky inconsistent garbage like Empty Jar (lol Paul Cooper) in the top tables. Ok I lied, Macros Cosmos IS pretty random, but considering that it matches up well against Plant variants, it appears to have been a great meta call.

Hero variants, Dragunities, Gladiator Beasts, and Zombie variants were nowhere to be seen. Dragunities for obvious reasons (it's a bad deck), but I would have thought that some people would have herp-derp hopped onto the Zombie bandwagon lol. Being a fan of E-Heroes, I'm disappointed that Hero decks didn't top, but hopefully that will change upon release of more support in Generation Force. Super Polymerization using an opposing player's Gladiator Beast Heraklinos, Black Rose Dragon, etc etc for Elemental Hero Nova is excellent.

It appears that Agent / Fairy based decks have instantly solidified their place in the TCG meta. Structure deck themes are getting better and better lol. Moving forward, they should be here to stay, as a solid pick for any tournament.
As can be seen from the Top 32 placings, Six Samurai managed to retain a decent number of top seats, but Gravekeepers have suffered a setback. Clearly, plant decks are evolving to the point where the matchup is no longer favorable for Gravekeepers. Considering that they don't benefit whatsoever from TG Hyper Librarian, I foresee that their standing as a solid Tier 1 deck will gradually slip away more and more as we head towards the end of the format, though they may see a resurgence thanks to Gravekeeper's Spy once XYZ monsters become legal. Making Rank 4's will be soooo easy in Gravekeepers.

Fabled should be a deck to look out for. Only one, played by Sorosh Saberian, made the Top 32 cut, but the deck gets better upon the legalization of TG Hyper Librarian. The plusses... they are overwhelming..!

Plant variants, imo, are now the definitive best deck of the format from this point onwards. Being able to abuse Reborn Tengu and recycle the playset with Pot of Avarice is sooo goood, nevermind the crazy shit the plant engine can do, and the release of Hyper Librarian. Hopefully Konami finally recognizes that they screwed up with Tengu's creation, and semi-limits that TCG-exclusive bastard child on the upcoming banlist. While this may appear to be unlikely seeing as it's a TCG exclusive, if I recall correctly, Allure of Darkness was semi-limited before the OCG got it... so it's certainly within the realm of possibility.

Overall, I am more pleased with this YCS result than the previous one, pending wtf T32 decklists. Having more 'pro' / established players making the cut (and a few just barely missing the cut) means that there hopefully will be less feature matches rife with misplays and cases of "read the damn card". There were still a few though, like the Macro Cosmos player siding in Puppet Plants (which must be discarded to the graveyard.... o__o) against Six Samurai, and some guy who tried to Solemn Warning an Infernity Launcher (You can't, because Konami said so). Derp.

That's all for today, thanks for reading ~

Friday, June 17, 2011

How to Beat: ??? Agents

Hello again readers. In regards to what I'm going to cover today, I don't think it has been discussed by any other blogs I read, so if it has already been talked about by a blogger whose work I have yet to discover, my apologies in advance.

With YCS Providence taking place tomorrow (saturday) and the day after (sunday), right on the heels of the release of the Lost Sanctuary structure deck this past Tuesday, it wouldn't surprise me if there were several different builds of the Agent deck floating around, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, with no clear-cut defined "best" build for the TCG yet. The results of YCS Providence should provide a benchmark and a guideline for future Agent decks.
It is because of this fact, that no "best" TCG build has popped up yet, that I cannot say for sure how effective the tips I am about to outline below are.

I have not picked the deck up myself, as I don't want to spend a wad of cash on a pair of Archlord Kristyas. I feel it's unwise to invest so heavily in a deck that I'm not sure about playing, but, at my Thursday locals, I was priveleged enough to talk with a couple of my friends who WERE playing the deck.
One of them, Hikarusaii, was playing a build which maxed out on the draw cards available, as per the OCG style, and the other, run by tyfyu, incorporated Herald of Perfection, which was something different. 

Just from watching the Agent deck piloted by Hikarusaii (standard, without Herald) in games against my friend CQiao playing plants, it became apparent that while heralded (seewutididthar) as a deck similar in style to Tele-Dad, the deck was nowhere near as fast and explosive. Hence, some weaknesses can be exploited.

  1. The deck is graveyard-reliant. Both builds (standard and Herald) require fairies to be sent to the grave, either for Hyperion fodder, the fairy count for free Kristya drops, Honest, and for Herald. The deck could be devastated if this requirement was unable to be met.
  2. The deck is obstructed by Thunder King Rai-Oh. Rai-Oh prevents the deck from accessing its triple Pot of Dualities, and for it's Stratos-like agent monster from searching other monsters. Furthermore, it can tribute itself to negate the special summon of Hyperion and Archlord Kristya. In the latter's case, because it never hit the field in the 1st place, it will not return to the top of the deck.
  3. The deck is "slow". While the deck is able to access a good portion of its cards quickly, thanks to triple Pot of Duality, triple The Agent of Mystery - Earth, and triple Cards from the Sky, there are some setbacks. Duality prevents the player from special summoning, Cards from the Sky prevents special summoning AND entering the battle phase, and The Agent of Mystery - Earth eats up the one normal summon permitted per turn. This means that while the Agent player can accumulate resources and see more cards, in exchange, they are unable to kill their opponent that turn. Seeing as the Agent player has blown through a chunk of their deck in a few turns, the opposing player can probably already tell which cards the opponent is likely to have left in hand, on the field, and in his/her deck. 
  4. The deck is tight on space. The standard build appears to devote a lot of space to its draw engine and the Agent of Creation - Venus + 3x Mystical Shine Balls setup, meaning there is less room for defensive cards and tech cards. Based on what I saw, my friend Hikarusaii would draw into his defensive traps, ie Solemn Warning and Dimensional Prison at times, but at other times he would draw or Duality into an assortment of dead cards (ie Mystical Shine Balls without Cards from the Sky in hand, more copies of Valhalla, etc) CQiao was able to exploit that weakness and push through Hikarusaii's set bluffs. Not having the space for a lot of tech cards also means that, again, an opposing player is able to extrapolate the identities of the remainder of the Agent player's cards in play and cards to be played.
Cards you can side against (generic) Agent decks
  • Banisher of the Radiance / Dimensional Fissure / Macro Cosmos : Remove fairies from play to limit the opponent's plays! Wait, I meant "Banish" fairies. Yea, "Banish" them. All of them. I guess you could also play Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer (lol). Obstructing Hyperion plays is good ygos, and you can "banish" fairies when you deal damage. Also, Banisher of the Radiance is a true Banisher now. /lamejoke
  • Thunder King Rai-Oh: Restrict plays! Negate Hyperion! Negate Kristya! Win games!
  • Light Imprisoning Mirror. Loloooool. This hits most of their monsters, and it doesn't seem like the deck packs a lot of spell/trap hate. I guess you could play Skill Drain as an alternative... but it doesn't stop as much as LIM does.
  • Mind Crush: Agent of Mystery - Earth! Search! Miiiiinnnd Crush!! I play Dawn of the Herald or Advanced Ritual Art! Miiiiind Crush!!
  • Royal Oppression: The deck's non-special summonable monsters are pretty weak, with the exception of the 1800 beatstick Mars. Flipping up the Oppression with a strong monster on your side of the field could prove troublesome for the fairy player. I'm sure it doesn't help that they could draw into a Mystical Shine Ball at any time...
  • Dust Tornado: Should your opponent be playing the build using Valhallas, you could chain Dust Tornado to its activation to prevent your opponent from easily special summoning Hyperion or Kristya, slowing him/her down. If you feel Mystical Space Typhoon isn't enough, do try siding in Dust Tornado. It is, after all, also helpful against Gravekeepers and Six Samurai.
It remains to be seen (for now) how well this deck will perform at YCS Providence and at Nationals, but it seems to be solid enough to top, in the right hands.

That's all I have for today, thanks for reading ~

UPDATE: it seems I have forgotten about Ally of Justice Core Destroyer. Light monster killaaa

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Regionals decklist: 14-14-14 Gladiators

Not much to say; as it is now, I really like the build (it's fairly standard to be honest) and wouldn't have changed anything about it. Because I'm playing GB, most people expect that whenever I set a monster, that it would be Hoplomus. The thing is, I don't run Hoplomus, so it's pretty amusing when they ram their monster into a set Fossil Dyna or Kinetic Soldier after I side them in game2 / game3. I doubt GB will be able to keep up with the meta once Hyper Librarian becomes legal, but it's whatever.

Monsters: 14
2x Gladiator Beast Laquari
2x Gladiator Beast Darius
2x Gladiator Beast Equeste
1x Gladiator Beast Bestiari
1x Gladiator Beast Retiari
1x Gladiator Beast Murmillo
2x Thunder King Rai-Oh
1x Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
1x Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind
1x Gorz the Emissary of Darkness

Spells: 14
3x Gladiator Proving Ground
2x Mystical Space Typhoon
2x Forbidden Lance
2x Forbidden Chalice
2x Smashing Ground
1x Dark Hole
1x Monster Reborn
1x Book of Moon

Traps: 14
3x Gladiator Beast War Chariot
2x Dimensional Prison
2x Solemn Warning
1x Solemn Judgment
1x Mirror Force
1x Torrential Tribute
1x Safe Zone
1x Seven Tools of the Bandit
1x Dust Tornado
1x Compulsory Evacuation Device

Extra
3x Gladiator Beast Gyzarus
2x Gladiator Beast Heraklinos
2x Gladiator Beast Essedarii
2x Chimeratech Fortress Dragon
1x Stardust Dragon
1x Black Rose Dragon
1x Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1x Scrap Dragon
1x Thought Ruler Archfiend
1x Ally of Justice Catastor

Sideboard:
1x D.D. Crow
1x Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
2x Cyber Dragon
2x Kinetic Soldier
2x Chain Disappearance
2x Debunk
2x Bottomless Trap Hole
2x Shadow Imprisoning Mirror
1x Light Imprisoning Mirror

Everything in my sideboard was used at least once, except for the Shadow Imprisoning Mirrors, as I never once faced a Gravekeeper deck. I was supposed to, but the round was re-paired. Overall I feel that the sideboard was pretty solid, though I was originally debating whether or not to cut a copy of Debunk for either a Nobleman of Crossout or a second copy of D.D. Crow.

That's all for today, thanks for reading ~

EDIT: Decklist is up on youtube. 1st video ever, so excuse the newbness :P

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gold Series 4: Final 6 Revealed!!

Hello again readers, I lied, the Regional Report is NOT all for today. the final 6 gold rares have been revealed to be:

  • Darklord Zerato
  • Summoner Monk
  • Spirit Reaper
  • Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
  • Gladiator Beast Gyzarus
  • Pot of Avarice
I lol @ all those predictions that said that there'd be Solemn Warning and/or Pot of Duality in here. 
I honestly thought that Lonefire Blossom, Black Rose Dragon, and Fossil Dyna would be reprinted here; the same goes for Archlord Kristya ever since it was revealed that it wasn't in the Lost Sanctuary structure deck. Oddly enough, there isn't a single synchro monster in the whole set, yet we got 2 fusion monsters lol.

I'm kind of disappointed about these last 6 Gold Rares, to be honest. Reaper and Ryko are good reprints, the CP super Reaper is, after all, a fairly pricey card that goes for upwards of $50 right now. As for Ryko, the turbo pack commons and LODT supers are in demand, due to the popularity of plant decks, so a reprint is welcome as well. Furthermore you could splash Ryko in a great variety of decks. Summoner Monk is barely acceptable I guess. It sees no play nowadays, yet it's only available as a common. The rest of them, being Darklord Zerato, Gyzarus, and Pot of Avarice, I'm very very very disappointed with. Zerato, a $10-$15 secret, sees no play at all, Gyzarus is an easy-to-acquire super rare that's worth like $5, and Pot of Avarice, while sought after in its ultimate rare form, is easily available as a common to those who don't have the money to blow on the bling version.

I feel that Europe really got the shaft, since Elemental Zero Absolute Zero, a card they need for Hero decks, has been out for over a year, yet hasn't seen a reprint. Instead, Obelisk was legalized, even though it's a far inferior choice. It's understandable that Elemental Hero The Shining wouldn't be reprinted here, as it's been out for only a couple months, but I strongly think that Zero is a legit reprint candidate. Who knows, perhaps it'll be in Turbo Pack 6 instead?

As a whole, my opinion is that this set is definitely not worth the $30 price tag. To break even, based on my estimated prices, you'd pretty much HAVE to pull Doomcaliber Knight right off the bat. Spirit Reaper wouldn't be bad either, but I think it'll be around $10 once the prices settle. Thus I recommend that you purchase only singles from this set, unless the commons turn out to be amazing, or unless you won a large sum of store credit, so that it won't cost you actual money. It would be a total crapshoot to blindly snipe out the pack(s) containing cards you want.

** Disclaimer: I'm not one of those people who are like "Oh noez, reprint this card because I can't afford it" or "Oh noez, DON'T reprint this card or it'll lose value". I analyze these choices based on the impact they have on the meta, the demand they have, and how frequently they have been reprinted, if at all.

That's all for today (this time I mean it), thanks for reading ~


TROLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Regionals Report 06/12/2011

Pre-Regionals wall of text

I'm expecting that Plant variants will be making a large showing, so I decide to play Gladiator Beasts and say fck the meta. This is despite my belief that GB are obviously nowhere near the best deck of the format.
The Thursday night / early Friday morning before Sunday's regionals, I hear from my friend CQiao that apparently there would be a decent number of Worm and Fabled decks, so he told me that he would be siding a copy of Light Imprisoning Mirror, and recommended I do the same. CQiao is CQiao so I said lol ok and sided a copy. Random Lightsworn player beware! My new mat came in the mail which was kewl too.

On Saturday night, after typing and printing out my decklist, I engaged in a texting convo with my friend nigleong, who told me that I should ditch my choice of deck and jump ship to play X-Sabers (I had on me everything but Emmersblades, which he advised me to borrow). We got into a back-and-forth debate about the expected meta and what would be decent meta calls, and I started doubting my list. Now that I became aware that he's playing X-Sabers cold turkey, and after further review, I noticed that my deck could be devastated by a  Trap Stun --> Black Rose / Hyunlei play, as it played like 16 traps and 0 Effect Veiler. While this situation never once arose during playtesting or on Dueling Network, the worrisome feeling persists, so I go with my gut and swapped out the pair of teched (and proxied) Fiendish Chains I was trying out, for a pair of Forbidden Chalices instead. I kept the Light Imprisoning Mirror in the sideboard though. 

I'm too jittery / nervous to prep & study in advance for Monday's class so I pop open some jpop, msn chat w/ nigleong & kos.3vil and vegetate till 2am. Apparently sleep is for the weak, but I'm weak, so I go to sleep.

I drive to the venue the next day, and arrive early, so I chill & catch up with Squiddy and Jstreberg from out of town, and my friends from locals, and lend my Pot of Dualities to nigleong for his X-sabers. Several of my friends ask me if I'm playing GB, and i'm all like "What makes you think I'm playing GB? Don't make assumptions man". They then assume I'm playing Tengu Plants. Good trolling is good.
I end up pulling Psychic Shockwave, Life Stream Dragon, and Shien's Dojo out of my entry packs. This is pretty much the 1st regionals where I didn't pull absolutely garbage. Squirle12 hands me the pair of Fiendish Chains I wanted to borrow from him, but I'm like lol it's ok I'm not using them anymore. It was announced that there were a mere 74 players in attendance (probably because it was a Sunday), so it would be 7 rounds, with a cut to Top 8. 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Soul Stealing Time! The Shadow Games begin!

Round 1: LFN (Gladiator Beasts) vs Brad (Worms)
I lose the dice roll
G1: He sets a monster and 5 backrow. I can't overcome the uphill battle and lose.
G2: I summon a GB and set 4 backrow. He can't overcome the uphill battle and loses.
G3: Apparently he opens terrible (he tells me afterwards his hand was Seven Tools, MST, 2x Evil Dragon Ananta, and Worm King), and I beat face with Equeste.
Result: XOO
1-0

Round 2: LFN (Gladiator Beasts) vs Nishant (Tengu Synchro)
I win the dice roll
G1: People don't main Bottomless Trap Hole anymore so Bestiari goes to town.
G2: He stalls for a bit with Jujitsu Master, which I manage to play around with Forbidden Chalice. Eventually I Gyzarus into Heraklinos, and after I negate his Pot of Avarice, he scoops.
Result: OO
2-0

Round 3: LFN (Gladiator Beasts) vs Kos.3vil (Blackwings)
I lose the dice roll
G1: I apply Thunder King beatdown, removing his monsters with Dimensional Prison, Mirror Force, Torrential tribute, and Compulsory Evacuation Device, in order to punch his LP.
G2: After he hits my 1st Thunder King with Mirror Force, I summon a 2nd one, which he negates with Solemn Warning. Sensing weakness, I Monster Reborn the Raioh, and he is forced to use his Torrential, which I guess he wanted to save for later. Essedarii beatdown seals the deal
Result: OO
3-0

It feels kinda bad to beat my friend. On a side note, I'm pretty happy that I'm 3-0 so far, but I'm also aware that during every single regional where I've started 3-0, I've ALWAYS. ALWAYS.  lost round 4. Will the trend continue?

Round 4: LFN (Gladiator Beasts) vs Squiddy (Six Samurai)
I win the dice roll.
G1: I draw no monsters after my initial Thunder King Raioh dies, and I lose.
G2: He seems genuinely surprised that I play Grand Mole lol, but it gets eaten up by his Solemn Warning. I bait him into attacking directly, at which piont I drop Gorz, and I slow-roll his monsters while locked under Rivalry of Warlords and I take it.
G3: He opens pretty nutty, ending his turn with ShiEn, Hand, Kizan, and a mystery backrow. I need time to set up, so I set 4 backrow (Chalice, Chariot, Dimensional Prison, and Chain Disappearance) and pass. He flips his mystery backrow, Xing Zhen Hu, in the end phase, and snipes Chalice and Prison. I had intended to bait his ShiEn's negation with Dprison and negate its effect with Chalice :(. I need to top into 1 of my 2 Darius, or 1 of my 2 Laquari, or even one of my 3 Proving Grounds (assuming it won't be negated) in order to run over Hand of the Six in battle and pop the Xing Zhen Hu, making all my backrow live. However, I top into my 2nd Equeste, with the other already in hand, and I lose.
Result: XOX
3-1

As expected, I lose Round 4. It was unfortunate, I don't think there was any instance that I can think of where I could have made a better play. X-1's will still Top 8 obviously, so it's ok.

Round 5: LFN (Gladiator Beasts) vs David (Vayu Turbo)
I win the dice roll
G1: I see only Card Trooper, Plague, and Caius in the early game, so I have no idea what he's playing. I eventually figure it out, drop my Gorz on him, and take the game. He was really thrown off by Gorz, I tell him that I try to play Gorz in as many of my decks as I can.
G2: He has double Solemn Warnings for my monsters, and by the time I start to get things going, he has amassed too much advantage and I can't play out of it and I lose.
G3: Safe Zone does work, protecting my Gyzarus, and I beat him down for the win.
Result: OXO
4-1

Round 6: LFN (Gladiator Beasts) vs Jeff (Gravekeepers)
-RE-PAIR-
Round 6: LFN (Gladiator Beasts) vs Markus (Fabled Tengu)
I win the dice roll
G1: I control with my traps, and beat him down with Gale and Grand Mole.
G2: He goes nuts and OTK's me lol
G3: I make a HUGE HUGE HUGE embarassing misplay. I summon Darius and set 3 backrow. He passes for a turn or 2, setting a lone backrow and not using it for anything, leading me to believe it's a bluff. I have Bestiari in hand, but worry that it's a Solemn Warning so I don't go for the Gyzarus play. After I tag into Laquari, he summons Snipe Hunter. For whatever reason, I don't Solemn Warning it, thinking that I will save it for later while I negate Snipe Hunter with War Chariot. ERROR! ERROR! Duelist Points deducted! It turns out that his face down, which he didn't activate for like 2 turns, was a Seven Tools. He does his shit, I lose advantage, and lose the game.
Result: OXX
Nooooooooooooo!!! Because of that one blunder, all I've done up to this point, such as unfortunately having to beat my friends, was all for naught, as the odds aren't particularly good towards an X-2 making the Top 8 cut. If only I had Warning'd the Snipe Hunter.... I would have been able to continue controlling the field and perhaps won. FFFFF.... I really really wanted to top and it turns out my own worst enemy is myself.
4-2

Round 7: LFN (Gladiator Beasts) vs JC (Tengu Plants)
I win the dice roll
G1: I summon a Glad Beast, and set backrows. None of my backrows can save me from Giant Trunade. He does combos, and I lose.
G2: See game one.
Result: XX
4-3

Blearghhhh. I ask him afterwards if he felt that I made any misplays, and he says no, and confirms that it was coz of Giant Trunade that he was able to make big plays and win the game.
Before this match started, we both discuss how as X-2's, it's most probable that neither of us would top, so it was whatever. As it turns out, JC managed to sneak into the Top 8, placing 7th. URGHHH so it means that him and I were playing for one of the last spots in the Top 8. Scrubbbbbbbbbbbbbbbed. Very very disappointing.

I witness Wai Chung Lai in the finale of his match with CQiao. They were both X-1, and in Game 3. CQiao playing Tengu Plants, had a face up Tengu, a f/d monster (Ryko?) and a f/d spell or trap. Wai had several backrow, and a grave loaded with an Archfiend and Beetles, amongst other things. Wai launched Infernity Launcher to fetch Archfiend and Beetle, activated Archfiend's effect, and chained the Transmigration Prophecy, putting Mirage and Launcher back into his deck, before retrieving the Launcher and launching again. Epic!!! CQiao scooped.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I head out to some Mongolian Grill restaurant with nigleong, [TeamDango] wilboy, and tyler, and we eat/chat there for like almost 2 1/2 hours lol. We lament about how we scrubbed, and entertain each other with  stories about yugioh hilarity, stackers, banned cards, and other local players. Eventually we get tired and call it a day, so I drive home. Kewl.

Props:
  • CQiao for telling me that Worms and Fabled would be played
  • Nigleong for discussing stuff with me. If this didn't happen, I wouldn't have switched out Fiendish Chains, which were amazing when testing on Dueling Network, for Forbidden Chalices.
  • Wai Chung Lai for lending me a Forbidden Lance
  • Decent packs
  • The deck. The build I played was real solid imo, and didn't cause me to lose, I made myself lose. However, I don't think that Glads will be able to keep up once Librarian is legal, so I may retire this deck once again.
  • Kewl dinner w/ nigleong, [TeamDango] wilboy, and Tyler
  • Sideboarded Debunks and Bottomless Trap Holes. They were amazing.
  • Gorz is a good card
  • Grand Mole is a good card
  • Wai Chung Lai for making Top 8 with super teched Infernities. It may look weird on paper due to his tech choices, but it evidently works. I'm happy for him.
Slops:
  • Horrible misplay. I'm mad at myself for making such a huge blunder.
  • CQiao, Nigleong, Kos.3vil, [TeamDango] wilboy, Tyler etc all scrubbed.
  • Giant Trunade. Twice.
Supposedly the next regionals in the area will be in either August or September... lol.

That's all for today, thanks for reading ~

Friday, June 10, 2011

Locals Report 06/09/2011: It's Trolling Time!

Hello again readers. At the request of my friend, I built up a vanilla beatdown deck, which featured Alpha, Beta, and Gamma the Magnet Warriors (no Valkyrion though), and decided to play it in my weekly Thursday locals to see how it would do. Since it is a bad deck with no way to really net advantage, I decided that I would be content with winning 1 out of 4 rounds. I would derive the bulk of my amusement from trolling all the other players..

R1: LFN (Vanilla Beatdown) vs Ryan (Junk Doppel)
G1: I get him down to 500 LP, but don't have an out to brionac, and lose.
G2: I don't draw monsters and lose

Result: XX

R2: LFN (Vanilla Beatdown) vs Kai (Exodia stall)
G1: He Exodia's me.
G2: With Gladiator Beast Andal on my field, I Proving Ground for Bestiari, and Gyzarus nuke his Swords of Revealing Light and Gravity Bind. His Shining Angels were dealt with by Debunk.
G3: I lock him down with Skill Drain to negate his monster effects and apply swift beatdown.

Result: XOO
DESIRED MATCH WIN ACHIEVED

R3: LFN (Vanilla Beatdown) vs Mike Chu (Water Synchro)
G1: I open terrible, get outplussed, and lose swiftly
G2: This was a close one, as he was locked under Skill Drain for some time, but he tops a Reborn Tengu, and synchs for beatsticks. I Faustian Bargain his Stardust, but am unable to surpass his Tengu spam, seeing as the special summoned Beta the Magnet Warrior is too weak. I thus lose.

Result: XX

R4: LFN (Vanilla Beatdown) vs Ian (BW)
G1: Sirocco kills all mai guyz and I can't rip a Gene warped Warwolf to crash until it was too late.
G2: I get hit by Icarus Attack and lose advantage and lose the game

Result: XX

lol the wtf looks on people's faces (Alpha the Magnet Warrior wut) brought me great joy, despite the expected terrible record lol. At least, I fulfilled my expectations and eked out a match win lawl lawl.
Regionals on Sundayyyyy....! I'm expecting the meta to be predominantly Plant variants and Gravekeepers, with some Six Samurai. Everything else should be pretty random.

That's all for today, thanks for reading ~

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Collectible Tins Wave 1 update & the death of Colossal Armory Arm OTK

Hello again readers. My apologies for the lack of updates; school, work, Vancouver Canucks games (both losses, sadly), and illness have been keeping me occupied.
The page on Shriek regarding the August wave of Collectible Tins has been updated to include pictures, but the included super rare promo cards remain unknown. Likely, they will again be reprints of Shonen Jump magazine promos.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Apparently, it has been ruled by Kevin Tewart [ for those that don't know, he's an enigmatic Konami employee who has some degree of influence on our product contents and releases, (eg. he is responsible for Turbo Packs) ..... though his reputation amongst players appears to be mixed.] that the Colossal Armory Arm OTK can no longer happen. The entire post is quoted below, and the link to the actual post itself can be found here.

"Originally Posted by Kevin
This combo does not work. But not because of the reason you stated.

The new text for Armory Arm makes this clear. The key text is in the last sentence:

Once per turn, you can either: Target 1 monster on the field; equip this card to that target, OR: Unequip this card and Special Summon it in face-up Attack Position. While equipped by this effect, that target gains 1000 ATK. When that target destroys a monster by battle and sends it to the Graveyard: Inflict damage to your opponent equal to the ATK of the destroyed monster in the Graveyard.

You do not target the destroyed monster. The only thing that Armory Arm targets is the monster it equips to, and the effect itself does not target anything.
Instead, the key is that Armory Arm references the ATK of the monster "the destroyed monster in the Graveyard".

If your Colossal Fighter were to be destroyed by a monster equipped with your Armory Arm, and you chose to activate the effect of Colossal Fighter, the chain forms like this:
Chain Link 1: Armory Arm's damage-inflicting effect
Chain Link 2: Colossal Fighter's summoning effect
If Colossal Fighter revives himself, he's not there for Armory Arm to reference when Chain Link 1 resolves. So no damage.
"

Hopefully Armory Arm's price will drop a little now lol. The era of Fish OTK has truly come to an end, and it's successor, Mike Bonacini's Trishula FTK, will likely rear it's ugly head (or beautiful, depending on your personal opinion. Who am I to judge?) upon the mass release of Hyper Librarian.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The next Regionals in my area is to take place on this coming Sunday, and tomorrow will be the last locals I'll be able to attend prior to the event. Hopefully all goes well lol.

That's all for today, thanks for reading ~

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Archlord Kristya NOT in TCG Lost Sanctuary??

Apparently, Archlord Kristya is to be excluded in the TCG version of Lost Sanctuary. She/he/it will be replaced by Athena. Goddammit Konami. Why so trololololol?
This is in accordance with a leaked picture of the back of a French box.
Kristya would likely be reprinted in Gold Series 4, Turbo Pack 6... or some other far-off upcoming release. As such, since secret rare versions aren't all that expensive right now (relative to it's original price), you may as well acquire a couple copies if you plan to play the fairy deck at YCS Rhode Island.

As far as affecting your decision to purchase the deck, consider that the deck WILL still come with a copy of Solemn Judgment. I can now surround my foil copies with commons! hurrah!

Just a short post for today, I'm pretty beat from work lol. Watching X-Men First Class tonight ~

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

OCG Photon Shockwave spoilers Pt. 2

Goddammit Konami.... (Source from Shriek.)

Evolkaiser Ragia (rank 4 dinosaur-type, with 2400 atk)
"Activate by removing 2 of this card's XYZ material monsters. Negate the activation of a spell or trap card, OR the normal summon or special summon of a monster, and destroy it."
Granted, it doesn't scream Tier 0 material. It appears to be a one-time use, since Ragia will only have 2 XYZ material monsters. Furthermore, it requires 2 dinosaur type monsters as material. Unless you're going second, it's unlikely you'll be able to bring it out on your 1st turn, unlike LSS ShiEn. But dammit, what's with this effect? Negate spells/traps, or normal summons and special summons? This thing is like a Steelswarm Roach on steroids.

Ruler's Penetrating Gaze (COUNTER trap)
"Activate only if you control a level 7 or higher normal monster. Negate the activation of a spell or trap card, or the normal summon, flip summon, or special summon if a monster and destroy it"
Moar moar Blue Eyes White Dragon support. SOL Dragon builds will get a massive power boost. Being able to negate ANYTHING (except for the effects of monsters already on the field) is worrisome.

These cards aren't gamebreaking, but I feel that we're headed in that direction...

That's all for today, thanks for reading ~