Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Shot in the Dark


I'm Canadian Doolist LFN

Let's talk about Night Beam
Currently, based on what I've been seeing, however limited a scope that may be, this card doesn't see any play at all, outside of OTK-happy decks like Alive HERO (is this even a deck anymore? =/ ). That being said, I feel it has potential, and is worth considering when filling in slots in conventional side decks.
Mystical Space Typhoon is without a doubt the absolute best piece of one-for-one spell/trap removal there is, so the full playset of permitted copies should be mained/sided for most conventional decks, but for those decks that want some more 'oomph' in the sideboard, where Dust Tornado isn't very effective or is too slow, why not Night Beam?
It is true that unlike Dust Tornado and Mystical Space Typhoon, Night Beam can only target face-down spells/traps, and it can be played around by chaining the targeted card to yet another card that's first chained to the Night Beam itself, but let's consider the decks in the current TCG meta:

Mermails: Here, you can safely snipe away pretty much any backrow with Night Beam, without having to worry about the opponent chaining that dreaded Abyssphere like they could have and probably would have done had you used MST instead. Apart from Abyssphere, the other commonly played backrows, such as Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute, aren't chainable either. There are a few tech-ed out builds floating out there that use either Phoenix Wind Wing Blast or Raigeki Break, both being chainable of course (though whether the opponent will want to chain it or not depends on the game state), to watch out for though.
Granted, you can still force out Abysspheres using MST in conjunction with Maxx "C", where the opponent will likely refrain from grabbing Abysslinde, and from there, Abysspike, off the Sphere if he or she doesn't want you drawing 2 cards off the "C", but it's not like you'll always have those 2 together in hand.
Don't want to MST? Why not Night Beam!

Agents: The Simon He version uses 1 trap card, Treacherous Trap Hole, but can also set cards like Enemy Controller and Mystical Space Typhoon. The opponent's sideboard will vary from player to player, but there generally isn't a very heavy backrow count.
On the flip side, the Card Trooper + Call of the Haunted version employs a higher trap count, but outside of Call, none of them are chainable. Hitting Call in itself can be invaluable too, especially if the Agent player had a Card Trooper or Sangan waiting in the grave. [this is also relevant for the Inzektor matchup]
Don't want to MST? Why not Night Beam!

Wind-Ups: This deck employs a very heavy backrow lineup, usually having around 10-12 traps in addition to a set of Wind-Up Factories and possibly flexible spell cards like Book of Moon and Forbidden Lance as well. Night Beam isn't as good in this matchup; it doesn't do what MST and Dust already do and do better.
... MST!

Dino Rabbit: Much like the Wind-Up matchup, Night Beam isn't as good in the Dino Rabbit matchup for the same reasons. Much like how Night Beam won't be hitting the Wind-Up Factories in the Wind-Up Matchup, it also won't be hitting those Macro Cosmos that Dino Rabbit decks either main or side, given that it's generally flipped up as soon as possible. Again, it doesn't do what MST and Dust already do and do better. It's not BAD, but I don't think it's great either.
... MST!

>You need to clear a mystery backrow to make sure your play goes through
>You do NOT want to trigger that Call of the Haunted, Abyssphere, or other problematic s/t
>Night Beam is the spell for you!

This message has been brought to you by the General Association of Night Beams, and is in no way associated with Konami or its subsidiaries
New members welcome
Night Beams only

Monday, December 17, 2012


well well
well well well

long time no see
it's good to see you again
how's it going?
oh it's going.

What's that?
Well, I mean, I guess
It's okay
Not really

I mean, generally speaking, every relevant deck is more or less the same. They just deviate in how they kill you.
They feature a ridic amount of searching and tutoring: Flip Geargiarmor get Geargiaccelerator, activate Wind Up Factory, activate Magician, trigger Inzektor Centipede, summon Undine dump Dragoons, tutor Abysspike off Abysslinde,  activate Spellbook of Secrets....
They feature 2 card combos (and stand-alone cards)  that produce unproportionate amounts of output:
Magician Shark, Diva Abyssphere, Rescue Rabbit, Dragonfly Hornet, Master Hyperion ....

Looking at the upcoming cards from Cosmo Blazer, have you read the Fire Fists?
More searching.
Thanks Konami

The common denominator is that they're all pre-fabricated archetypes built by Konami, who dictate whether each respective theme will be good or not right from the beginning.
Hey, went the sheeple
There's a lot of deck diversity right now!
But they're ALL pretty much built for you by Konami, sans staple cards etc.

Who even plays draw cards anymore? Why draw 2 random cards when you can search exactly what you need?
I mean sure you'd play Allure or Darkness to mitigate having to play Genex Controller, which by the way is a majestic and powerful ygo card and not garbage like everyone says it is, but even then, Allure isn't amazing in the Water deck.
I mean sure you'd play Solar Recharge in Chaos Dragons, but they're sided out at times, and Chaos Dragons have been dropping in top cut representation at tournaments anyway.

but hey, on the bright side
the situation is probably better than the Pokemon TCG
Pokemon is pretty much all about evolving, but with how cards are designed nowadays,
What is the point of playing evolutions when they're outclassed by basics?
Eg a random Stage 1 has say 110 HP and generally can hit for 60 damage or so, but certain basic pokemon have like 180 HP and generally can hit for over 100 edit: 120! lol
By basics I mean EX's, but the point still stands.

I don't know where I'm going with this

Sunday, December 2, 2012

YCS Barcelona: Aftermath & Analysis

Only 2 weeks after the conclusion of YCS Seattle, YCS Barcelona took place across the ocean aka Mermail territory in Europe (Spain, to be more precise), being the last YCS of the year, as well as the first YCS of the September 2012 format for Europe, since September's YCS Sheffield instead followed the Sealed battle pack format.
Similar to how several European doolists made the trek to YCS Seattle, North America returned the favor, with well-known players such as Paul Clarke, Frazier Smith, Jonathan Weigle, Sean McCabe, and Austin Kulman, among others, representing the US in this European event.

Konami's European Coverage team continued to provide up-to-date and detailed event coverage for those unable to make the trip, as they have done for countless European YCS events in the past. Well done.
Day 1 Coverage
Day 2 Coverage

The the Top 32 breakdown was as follows:
13x Wind Up
6x Mermail Atlanteans
5x Dino Rabbit
4x Agents
3x Inzektors
1x Chain Burn

This was a much more streamlined Top Cut, largely filled with established high-tier strategies, as compared to those of YCS Seattle, YCS Providence, and YCS Indianapolis, which featured a greater spread of rogue strategies. Here, the only rogue deck present was Chain Burn, seeing as all the other decks represented in the Top Cut had already seen moderate to heavy amounts of success this format.

Following in the footsteps of Billy Brake's Top 8 finish at YCS Indianapolis and Michael Stibbin's victory at YCS Seattle, it would appear that Inzektors are steadily gaining more momentum, this time accumulating 3 spots in the Top 32.
Not that it's a direct result of the rise of the dastardly bugs, but personally, I'm starting to really like maining/siding Fiendish Chain again, as it's becoming increasingly useful against the current meta. Beyond the Inzektors matchup, it can, for example, turn off Kristya's special-summon prevention effect, stop Deep Sea Diva and chained when targeted by Atlantean Marksman, be chained to stop Laggia's negation effect when Macro Cosmos is face up, prevent Wind-Up Rabbit from running away, reduce Tragoedia's stats to 0/0, and so forth.
Fiendish Chain has LFN's coveted Stamp of Approval, Vote of Confidence, Gold Star Award , etc

Judging by the European Coverage, several savvy European Doolists have already caught onto this trend, and as such, are a step (or more!) ahead of us North American Doolers

Notably absent from the Top 32 were Geargia and Chaos Dragons, both of which have gradually fallen into decline with the rise of the Mermails and Agents respectively, though a number of them did make Day 2.
The passive set Armor + set backrow setup of Geargia decks can get blown out by Atlantean Marksman and friends, while Chaos Dragons, which conventionally don't play a whole lot of spells and absolutely no traps at all, can struggle to deal with Hyperion and Kristya (yea there's Ryko, but it isn't a permanent answer).

As such, aside from the presence of Agents and Mermails, and a lack of Chaos Dragons, this Top Cut looks quite similar to those of last format, with a large number of Wind-Up and Dino Rabbit decks taking up spots.

As we reached the finals, Jack Bruun was able to win it all with Dino Rabbit, or to be more precise, Macro Rabbit. Rescue Rabbit into Laggia + set multiple backrows too stronk. This is his 2nd Top 2 finish at a YCS, the first being last format at YCS Toulouse when he was defeated in the Finals by Peter Gross (Gross would notably go on to win YCS Sheffield as well, making him a back to back YCS winner).

Overall, the merry go round of winning decks continued:
YCS Toronto: Wind-Ups
YCS Sheffield: Not Available (Battle Pack Sealed Event)
YCS Guatemala: HEROes
YCS Indianapolis: Six Samurai
YCS Providence: Karakuri Geargia
YCS Seattle: Inzektors
YCS Barcelona: Dino Rabbit

The coverage team has already provided a wealth of information on the Top 32 and beyond, so I will refrain from saying too much and being redundant as a result.
Given their track record, I'd expect the European coverage team to release the Top Cut decklists soon, which can then be analyzed to procure a better grasp on the continually developing meta, as well as provide proven lists for netdeckers to prey upon.

Until next time, doolists.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

YCS SeaTac: Aftermath & Analysis

This is extremely late, tardy, life happens, suuuuuuper busy etc
like YCS Barcelona is this upcoming weekend :c
Late is an understatement.

The first YCS event to feature the new cards from Abyss Rising, YCS Seattle/Tacoma, took place on the weekend of November 16-18th, not even within a week after the booster sets release. Expectations were that the Mermails would make an immediate splash (hehehe), with Prophecy and Madolche having the chance at doing so as well after receiving a bunch of relevant support cards.

How well would these watery upstarts fare against the big-bad incumbent meta decks?
Would they Rise from the Abyss (tehehe) and meet expectations? Or would they flop (huehue) against the massive amount of hate that would be sure to be sided in anticipation of this matchup?

The Top Cut
Copy Pasta'd via Sixxy because extremely late, etc

1st Place - Michael Stibbins w/ INZEKTOR
2nd Place - Norberto Leon w/ MERMAIL
3rd Place - Adrian Shakir w/ WIND-UP
4th Place - Sorosh Saberian w/ MERMAIL
Top 8 - Julian Wong w/ AGENT
Top 8 - Dominique Eskridge w/ RABBIT
Top 8 - Michael Klasel w/ MERMAIL
Top 8 - Simon He w/ AGENT
Top 16 - Jerry Williams w/ MERMAIL
Top 16 - Adam Belohrahsky w/ AGENT
Top 16 - Jose Cornejo w/ RABBIT
Top 16 - Jonathan Gonzalez w/ GEARGIA
Top 16 - Cody Muniz w/ WIND-UP
Top 16 - Kevin Hubbard w/ DARK WORLD
Top 16 - Wilsong Tsang w/ WIND-UP
Top 16 - Chancy Wigglestove SQUIDDY w/ MERMAIL
Top 32 - Lukas Prinz w/ WIND-UP
Top 32 - Trenton Wright w/ MERMAIL
Top 32 - Timothy Williams w/ AGENT
Top 32 - Joesph Giorlando w/ RABBIT
Top 32 - Matthew Skewes w/ GEARGIA
Top 32 - Christopher Mastenbrook w/ CHAIN BURN
Top 32 - Gabriel Gonzalez w/ WIND-UP
Top 32 - Matt Bishop w/ WIND-UP
Top 32 - Justin Delhon w/ DRAGON
Top 32 - Robert Baca w/ AGENT
Top 32 - Desmond Boyd w/ RABBIT
Top 32 - Sergio Rodriguez w/ WIND-UP
Top 32 - Kyle Palsson w/ MERMAIL
Top 32 - Manav Dawar w/ RABBIT
Top 32 - Andrew Conklin w/ DARK WORLD
Top 32 - Robert Strohl w/ AGENT

7 MERMAIL (!!!)

Upon release, we can clearly see that Mermails have lived up to their hype, carrying over from the OCG as one of the better decks this format.
This was not their day!
As the event concluded, Michael Stibbins emerged victorious with Inzektors, finally giving this evil evil deck a YCS victory.
The dastardly bugs were able to demolish their quasi-successor, Mermails, with the water deck's boss monster, Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord, shown up by the big bad of the Inzektor deck, Dark Armed Dragon the Original Elemental Lord.

Other Thoughts

Continuing the trend, each YCS this format has been won by a different deck: Wind-Ups at Toronto, HEROes at Guadalajara, Six Samurai at Indianapolis, Karakuri Geargia at Providence, and Inzektors at Seattle. Assuming this pattern is to continue, I'd expect Mermails (or maybe Agents!) to win it all at the upcoming European YCS in Barcelona, Spain.
Side-decking is evidently harder than ever, given the X amount of meta decks that all do something different, never mind the possibility of encountering various degenerate strategies over the course of the tournament.
You can't be prepared for everything :c

Last format, with both Dragonfly and Hornet at 3: Deck does not win. (Granted, Dino Rabbit was very prevalent at the time.)
This format, with both Dragonfly and Hornet at 1: Deck wins!!
El Oh El how does that even work

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Decklist: Toy Story [YCS Seattle ver.]

This is the build I ran at YCS Seattle.
It's probably about 95% similar to the build I played at my regional way back in September
The deck itself seemed fine to me. Hence, I can attribute my mediocre performance at the YCS to unfortunate circumstances and the fact that I am a mere Ygo doolist rather than a Ygo master.
Sucks to suck, etc

Monstars (19)
3x Wind Up Rabbit
3x Wind Up Shark
3x Wind Up Rat
2x Wind Up Magician
2x Little Girl
1x Sangan
2x Effect Veiler
2x Thunder King Raioh
1x Spirit Reaper

Spells (11)
3x Wind Up Factory
1x Heavy Storm
1x Dark Hole
1x Monster Reborn
1x Pot of Avarice
2x Soul Taker
2x Mystical Space Typhoon

Traps (10)
1x Solemn Judgment
2x Solemn Warning
2x Torrential Tribute
2x Bottomless Trap Hole
2x Dimensional Prison
1x Compulsory Evacuation Device

Extra (15)
1x Wind Up Zenmaity
1x Wind Up Zenmaines
1x Leviair the sea dragon
1x Leviathan Dragon
1x Gigabrilliant
1x Temtempo the Champion
1x Acid Golem
1x Soul of Awesomemountain
1x Abyss Dweller
1x Maestroke the stronk djinn
1x Photon Butterfly
1x Shock Locker
1x Tiras
1x Adreus
1x Zenmaioh

Side (15)
2x Maxx "C"
1x Tsukuyomi
2x D.D. Warrior Lady
1x Messenger of Peace
1x Mystical Space Typhoon
1x Nobleman of Crossout
3x Dimensional Fissure
1x Dimensional Prison
1x Fiendish Chain
2x Dust Tornado


The 2 Soul Takers were main-decked in anticipation of encountering a good number of Agents / Dragons / Dino Rabbit / anything with multiple Raioh, and also go well with the lone Spirit Reaper.

D.D. Warrior Lady was used as an alternative to Snowman Eater. It's able to pretty much permanently deal with big threats like Grapha / The Shining / Lightpulsar / Machina Fortress / Archlord Kristya / High Priestess of Prophecy, or shut off the graveyard-dependent effects of cards like Card Trooper / Sangan / Mermail Abysslinde, and it isn't seeing much play nowadays so in theory it would catch a lot of people off guard.
Sure, unlike Snowman Eater, it isn't a level 3 nor can I choose which monster to hit, but I felt that the benefits outweighed the negatives. Wind Ups can make Leviair really easily for re-use as well.

Tsukuyomi was leaked a while back on a certain forum, and is intended to be used as a reuseable out to Venus / Raioh, and also combos well with Wind-Up Rat and in some situations, with Bottomless Trap Hole.

Everything else is fairly standard

Monday, November 19, 2012

YCS Report: YCS Seattle-Tacoma 2012


I woke up early Friday morning, showered for amazingly fresh hygiene, and headed out to pick up Doolist Friend nigleong. Blasting wondrous Jpop/ Kpop remixes at unhealthy volumes, we got down to the Canada / USA border ezpz and when questioned about our plans for the weekend by the customs officer, being Honest Doolist LFN, I told him that we wanted to go shopping before heading out to participate in a grandiose trading card game convention. He sensed the aura of yugioh-infused energy emanating from our vehicle and allowed us to pass. Great success!

Not long after, I was going slightly above the speed limit (but following the flow of traffic) and suddenly whizzed right past a cop car moving steadily along in the right lane. Knowing that American speeding tickets can be quite hefty, I immediately started shitting bricks, and reduced speed slightly. About a minute later, not wanting to have to drive with the pressure of having a cop car behind me the whole time, I glanced back and noticed that there were now about 2-3 cars situated between the cop car and my own. I became Douchebag Driver LFN and changed lanes hoping that the cars behind me would speed up, thus drawing the cop's attention. It worked better than expected, as one of the 2-3 cars was immediately pulled over. Wow! LOL!

A few stops were made on the drive down, where Doolist Friend Nigleong and I picked up clothes and such at an outlet and Alderwood Mall, various American-exclusive snacks at a Wal-Mart, and finally arriving at the glorious Pokemon Centre in Northgate Mall (I previously visited this shrine of all things good and beautiful back when I went to YCS Long Beach).

My intuition told me that the remainder of my journey would be long and dangerous, so I elected to bring along some companions to assist me in wading through the dangers of the dooling world: Flareon, Jolteon, and Obese-achu.

Obese-achu, Jolteon, Flareon

We finally arrived at the Hotel and parked in the convention centre parking lot, meeting up with Doolist Friends CQiao, Hikarusaii, JC, and TYu, before dropping off our clothes / snacks and heading to the venue. I wanted the YCS token that was being given out for submitting one's decklist during pre-registration, so I went all-in, wrote out my decklist, and handed it in. Doolist Friend TYu has quite the amazing packluck and pulled me a Mermail Abyssmegalo. Being the great friend that I am, I sold it to him for a sick price.
I also saw and chatted with other brave doolists from my area that had made the trek: Chris S, Kevin H, Brad the Gold Ranger, Julian W, Nich Y, Mike C, Boid H, Avi G, Russell Y, Keith W, Neil B the 13th Sayris, Sean H, etc etc

Heading over to the vending booths, one of the vendors had some foreign cards for decent prices, so I gladly snapped up a German CP Spirit Reaper, a German CP Threatening Roar, and a French CP Nimble Momonga. Apart from those and a few lower-end cards, I barely spent any money on Yugioh cards this weekend (the DT machine excluded because there are no DT machines where I live and they are awesome).

It was at this point that I encountered Duelistgroundz members CellarDoor and Gagaga Magician. I already was acquainted with Owen (CellarDoor), and ended up lending a helping hand. He was short some cards for Chaos Dragons, so being Helpful Doolist LFN, I promptly took him back to my hotel room and lent him 200% of what he needed.

Nothing really notable happened for the rest of the day, and we eventually ended up eating at some half-empty ghetto Swiss Pub because a lot of the other places had 1/2 hr waits. The food wasn't very good.

Back at the hotel, Seattle Doolist Kyle Palsson and his Doolist Friend Ray came over to play Marvel vs Capcom (one of us brought an XBox) and ygo, and he smashed me with his Mermail deck lol.

Minimal sleep? Yup. Lack of confidence? Yup. Time to play in a YCS


There was a total of 756 players in attendance
During the player meeting, the Head Judge repeatedly pronounced Mermail Abyssmegalo as Mermail Abyss-Meh-Gahh-Lo. Several of us have adapted and conformed to this pronunciation since then.

Round 1: Canadian Doolist LFN vs Zombie Doolist Cody Rivas
I lose the dice roll
G1: He's playing Zombies. ezpz
G2: He's playing Zombies. ezpz
Result: OO

Round 2: Canadian Doolist LFN vs Wind-Up Doolist Pedro Alvarado
I lose the dice roll
G1: We grind it out and he wins the damage game
G2: I started off with Factory, summoned Shark, and activated Shark's effect. He Veiler's, and looked kind of confused when I still searched off Factory. He later attempted to negate my Rat for Rabbit play with Thunder King. Oh...
G3: He started off with the dreaded Magician + Shark. He goes Magician, special Shark, Magician eff get another Magician. Activate Shark's effect to change levels, 2nd Magician gets a 2nd Shark. At this point I thought he was going to overlay for Tiras and Maestroke, which would be fine if he didn't have protection to back up a Shock Lock. But no! He decided to become an amazing doolist, overlaying Magician, Magician, and the 2nd Shark for Shock Master, leaving the 1st Shark in face up attack, and called spells. He set 2 backrows and ends turn.
I look at my hand and see Rabbit, Rabbit, Rat, Warning, Warning, and drew something irrelevant as my 6th card. He obviously has the Warning down and I get bodied.
Result: XOX

x-1 already. :c

Round 3: Canadian Doolist LFN vs Spellbook Doolist Han Pollard
I lose the dice roll
G1: He drew passive so I just OTK'd him
G2: He drew passive again I guess, I managed to get in with 4 consecutive shots with Spirit Reaper, the latter 3 backed by Thunder King with Warning set, before he finally conceded.
Result: OO

Round 4: Canadian Doolist LFN vs Evol Doolist Ross Rehnberg
I lose the dice roll
G1: He didn't draw any monsters except for shitty ones like Vulcano and Cerato that don't do anything, which were of no help against the mighty Leviathan Dragon. He ate up 5000 damage before he used Duality to grab Dark Hole to nuke Leviathan with no follow up. By then, I was so far ahead that it wasn't hard to finish him off
G2: He drew better this game and was able to resolve the summon of an Evolzar Dolkka, but it promptly died to Soul Taker. Later in the game, he got greedy and killed my Magician with a Veiler'd Westlo, before setting what I presumed to be a Najasho, and activated Prohibition declaring Wind Up Rat. I instead had Magician Shark and made Tiras + Butterfly, the latter of which flipped his set monster to reveal Najasho. His monsters were incredibly weak so I just bashed them for huge damage and plusses
Result: OO

Round 5: Canadian Doolist LFN vs Chaos Dragon Doolist Hector Gomez
I lose the dice roll
G1: I take a bunch of early hits to drop to 1450 LP, but wipe his field out and establish field presence with Tiras, Maestroke, and a Factory. I also had several cards in hand so I was feeling pretty safe. He drew to 2-3 cards in hand, summoned Wyvern, attacked, and dropped Honest for game
G2: I win ezpz
G3: He has enough MST's and Lyla's to deal with all my backrow, and milled well enough to drop Darkflare, REDMD, and Lightpulsar, dealing a ton of damage and ending with 1 card in hand. My only play was to summon Rat to retrieve the Rabbit that I let die (no other wind ups in grave), but that last card he had in hand was Veiler.
Result: XOX
He told me post-match that he hadn't played in a large tournament for a while, and he was still main-decking 3 copies of Eclipse Wyvern, when the norm nowadays, given REDMD's limitation, is 1 copy, if at all. He's a nice guy, but man, really.


Round 6: Canadian Doolist LFN vs Dino Rabbit Doolist Souvanthong Invathong Her
I FINALLY win the dice roll
G1: I bait out a couple of his backrows (Mirror Force and Compulsory), which he ends up replacing. I then freeze 2 more over the course of 2 turns with Soul of Silvermountain, and Heavy Storm for 5 (1 of the frozen s/t was indeed Starlight Road). I win ez. All I saw this game was his set Snowman and the infinite backrow so I sided as if I were facing Dino Rabbit
G2: He gets the Laggia + backrow set up and I lose a grind game
G3: I make a misplay at one point after he tops into a Rabbit and summons it to complement what I assume was a set Snowman (it was), where I then flipped Torrential right away since my set monster was Sangan (the correct play would be to flip TT after he Rabbits into 2 vanillas but I clearly wasn't thinking properly), and he did have the Forbidden Lance, but by that point I was up significantly in card advantage so Laggia was ez to deal with.
Result: OXO


Round 7: Canadian Doolist LFN vs Karakuri Geargia Doolist Tyler Sondhi
I win the dice roll
G1: I open with Reaper and a backrow. He sets a couple backrows. I force out 1 backrow, DPrison I think, with Reaper, and MST the other in main phase 2, where I commit to the Shock Lock, calling spells. He sets 1 monster (Armor) and a bunch of backrow. I sack into Heavy Storm off the top, Shock traps, and Storm for infinite plusses. I had no idea if he was using the Machina or the Karakuri variant though.
G2: He absolutely demolishes me with the Karakuri combo. No joke.
G3: I net a lot of advantage and damage, but he soon slows me down completely with Gozen Match. I rip MST after a bajillion turns and nuke it, but he flips up a 2nd copy of Gozen. We soon go into time, where I'm ahead 7000 to his 2800. I made Acid Golem (I later realized I misplayed by putting it in atk not defense, but it would have only saved me 600 LP) and set Solemn on my 2nd last turn, hoping to hold the fort. He read my set as being Solemn, but made a sequence of good plays, playing around it, to drop me down to 700 LP, then attempted to XYZ into Gagaga Cowboy for 800 burn damage for game. I was then forced to Solemn to drop to 350 LP, and needed something amazing to wipe his board and push to equalize but I drew a blank while still under Gozen and that was that.
No hard feelings though, he was easily the most decent player I faced the entire day.
Result: OXX
I dropped

I forget when exactly, but at some point Ygo Doolist Corey Dang asked for me to sign his mat and Ygo Doolist Sunny Truong asked me to sign a Zenmaines. Ask and ye shall receive!
I met Ygo Doolist Mike Mendoza of Team Overload blog too. He, like myself, also died :c

grilled sweet potato / 12oz steak / some lentil shit idk
I felt bad about scrubbing so I went whatever and ate a $40 steak for dinner. I could not have asked for a better consolation meal ;__;
The imaginary tears flowed down my face as I chewed on my expensive dinner.
Lots of them.

DAY 2: ._.
I thought I would be able to sleep in and just show up for side events (little did I know that the only side event I was interested in, Attack of the Giant Card, was to be cancelled since the Giant Cards didn't actually arrive), but sadly that wasn't the case. One of the Doolists I was rooming with slept over in another hotel with other doolists the previous night and wanted to check out early in the morning, so he of course ended up returning to get his stuff, waking the rest of us up. Aghghgghghghgh

I just ended up returning to the venue and meeting/talking with various kewl doolists, and ate another steak (this time $17) for lunch lol. The rest of the day/night was otherwise uneventful, played some ygo, munched on salty cup noodles while watching some Avengers cartoon on the TV at like midnight, etc.

Anddddd now I'm back.

[x] Acquired Pokemon to keep me company
[x] Acquired delicious ygo cards for decent prices
[x] Cracked decent pulls from my packs
[x] Played on the Duel Terminal machine
[  ] Pulled decently from the Duel Terminal machine
[x] Met CellarDoor
[x] Met Wumbologist the king of Duelistgroundz
[x] Met other quality DGz members (Gagaga Magician, Hymnortal, Itswhatever, williamstm1)
[x] Met Team Overload blog's Mike Mendoza
[x] Abyss-Meh-Gahh-Lo
[  ] Made Day 2
[  ] Made Top 32
[x] People from my area made Day 2
[x] People from my area made Top 32
[x] Made it home alive and breathing

Monday, November 12, 2012

Looking ahead to YCS Seattle

In less than a week, YCS Seattle will take place, with the notable distinction of being the first YCS event where the newest booster set Abyss Rising will be legal. The introduction of the Mermails, complementing the Atlanteans from the latest structure deck, will be sure to create a splash (lol) in the meta, given how easily the deck churns out advantage and power plays.
To combat this new threat, however, is the new TCG exclusive XYZ monster Abyss Dweller. Thankfully, it doesn't require any specific XYZ material monsters, but does provide a 500 atk boost to all water XYZ monsters you control should at least one of its xyz materials be a water type monster (notably: wind up shahhhk, kaboozles, E-Hero boobleman). Similar to Steelswarm Roach for the Chaos Dragon matchup last format, Abyss Dweller provides a potentially game-breaking presence for the Mermail matchup.

I don't care about Madolche, IMO they don't have a lot of decent monsters outside of Magileine.
I don't care about Prophecy, their Grand Tower field spell and High Priestess are good but the deck plays like no traps el oh el

inb4 I lose to Madolche and Prophecy @ Seattle

Another thing worth noting is that with the release of the Wave 2 Tins, everyone should in theory have easy access to copies of Maxx "C", with which to deter Wind-Up players from performing their most devastating combos.
I can see Agents being a really decent pick for this event. The deck is finally receiving more awareness/recognition after multiple stellar performances at the previous YCS, and it certainly helps that there aren't a whole lot of effective side deck options to counter it (Dfissure helps, etc)

As for the event coverage, this is also the first YCS event to take place after Kristopher Perovic's articles on the state of the game were released. It's unlikely that staff at Konami wouldn't have read it by now, so this will be a golden opportunity for the North American coverage team to either show improvement as acknowledgement of concerns from the playerbase, or ignore them and do as they have always done (not much).

On a closing note, feel free to come up and say hi
This is the bag I use
Happy hunting

EDIT: Also, I'm staying at the Courtyard Marriott beside the venue, if that helps

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Hello again.

I don't really have an excuse for my absence.

It seems that following in the footsteps of so many other bloggers, I too have kind of hit a low point with Yugioh.
My interest is dwindling, which is weird, given how this format has turned out. Aside from dumb stuff like Magician Shark, etc, the format is quite balanced, allowing various decks and strategies the opportunities to shine. While diversity is a wonderful thing, it too has a downside, being that you can't possibly prepare for an infinite amount of matchups. Your main deck and side deck can only accommodate so many cards, after all.

I don't feel like innovating, I don't feel like building decks, I at times don't even feel like playing, and I can't even really pinpoint it on any specific factor.
Is it bad that upon the impending release of a potentially meta-changing set like Abyss Rising, the ONLY cards I'm even remotely interested in from the set are Abyss Dweller (so guud) and Gagaga Cowboy?


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Discussing instant gratification and why players should avoid it

Hi, I'm Canadian doolist LFN

Recently, there have been a series of arguments and complaints plaguing various discussion threads on a certain competitive online forum. Rather than being exclusive incidents, it can easily be inferred that this is part of a larger problem, affecting a significant portion of the current player base.

The main issues revolved around ygo doolists feeling that reputable players have the obligation to help them and / or tell them things. This may sound like a compelling argument to some, their point being that if one is in possession of an ample amount of a particular asset (eg ygo knowledge), and has the ability to share it, then why would they be so hesitant to do so when asked?

Given that each YCS event's meta can differ from the next based on product releases, meta shifts, and innovation, information can easily become outdated, where conclusions based on data that is suddenly not as relevant anymore will understandably be less effective and can lead to an underwhelming performance.
Hence it isn't particularly hard to understand why certain players, who perhaps may lack the experience or patience to acquire things for themselves, may desire more potent information from those who hold it; like who wouldn't want to easily gain an edge at an upcoming event?

Specifically though, the better players, often those with a decently successful dueling career, tend to withhold decklists and certain tech choices. Note that if these lists or techs are believed to be crucial to one's success at an upcoming event, then it would make complete sense that this information be kept in the dark, lest they lose the advantage of surprise.
However in instances where they DO leak this info early, whether it be intentional or inadvertently, it invites situations where the receiving players miss out on the process: how were such conclusions reached? Why were certain builds built the way they were?

That's not to say that the approaches that these better players take were necessarily correct either, in that by revealing that there exists a potential edge that one can gain over others, whether it be a tech or a drastic modification to the structure of a deck(s), several varying results can be reached at that point.
Some may take it as encouragement, and strive on their own to reach a similar concept. Some may act indifferent, possibly treating it as a bluff or inferior to the established norm. However, there can be negative responses as well, where players demand that the answer be revealed, not bothering to instead ask for hints and guidance towards said answer.

Essentially, the amount you can benefit from this is in fact quite limited. It's akin to copying answers when doing assignments. You'll net the short term benefits in the form of high marks on said assignments, but will potentially, and probably, miss out on the bulk of the marks when it comes to a similar series of questions on an exam.

Relating back to yugioh, visualize a situation where you're provided the inside scoop on a hot tech or concept when asked. Having not done the work yourself, you may not necessarily be able to capitalize and subsequently max out on the value this information could have provided, had you put forth the effort to understand the strengths, weakness, and nuances to a given deck in order to understand the reasoning and intents behind said tech or concept.

Too often, whether it be on forums, youtube, facebook, and so forth, I see many people attempting to take the easy way out. They ask, or in some rare instances, demand, certain information, such as deck fixes for hastily assembled and obviously untested lists, advice on untested techs, and so forth, without providing concrete reasons behind their ideas.
These are examples of people wanting to be 'spoon-fed', as the saying goes. The desire for instant gratification, for favorable results, right here right now, with minimal input of effort (or none at all!).
How is it a good idea to ask others for advice on how an untested tech will perform if you yourself haven't even tried it yet? Their conclusions could very well differ from your own, after all.
Why are people suddenly obligated to aid you if you won't even help yourself?
Where did this sense of entitlement come from? This complacency?

Even on Dueling Network, where I put in admin work from time to time, there are users that PM me demanding (sighh) that I answer their questions, many of which can be instantly answered via a simple search on google, or even by just reading the card.
For example (true story):
I had a player ask me a simple question about X card.
I answered: Have you read X card? (note that reading the card text would instantly answer their question)
They then replied: Hurry and tell me I'm in the middle of a duel
Come on, doolist.

That being said, I'm certainly not here to preach from a high horse here either. I am by no means the be all end all of all things yugioh, far from it, actually.
I am but a mere ygo doolist as well, also setting forth on a journey from Pallet Town on the quest to become a ygo master and catch all the duel monsters (ok maybe not the latter. At some point I'm going to encounter way too many Skull Servants and Basic Insects :L ). I too make mistakes, and (hopefully) learn from them along the way.

For example, when I first acquired the cards for Wind-Ups back when Order of Chaos was released, my knowledge regarding the deck and its plays were based entirely off of what I had read online. How to play the deck, that is, how it runs, how to perform the devastating and obviously unfair hand loop, and what a 'standard' list should look like.
When it came down to actually playing the deck at a locals event though, not having practiced with the deck beforehand on Dueling Network, the theories that I was fed did not translate well over to actual practice, and I had no idea what to do when it came down to less than ideal hands and gamestates, as well as how to play out of them. I did win some games due to being a sack and having Tour Guide + Shark or Magician + Shark, or any of the other broken hands the deck had last format, but I was still very much clueless, and this didn't change for some time, until I had gained more experience. Even today, I'm still far from being a Toy master, as I'm pretty sure that I can't always envision and then execute the most optimal play given a large amount of variables (time, my resources, my opponents resources, etc), each of which must be taken into account, especially when constrained by pressure.

The age old saying "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" applies to life, and can easily apply to yugioh as well, assuming that the player is willing to put forth the time and effort to first listen, then do the work and progressively learn. They could very well end up inadvertently allowing the 'teacher', so to speak, to learn something in return as well, through thought-provoking discussions.

Seeking instant gratification doesn't help either player grow: neither the one asking, nor the one answering.
Through putting in solid effort, players can garner experience and the know-how they desire on their own, which can be applied in the future as well.
HMM what can I do to better combat this deck (or decks)? What cards or different approaches can I try to do so? Let's try them out against a decent sample size and find out!
Even should a player still not be able to find their way, I would imagine that those that do possess the means and information would at the very least be impressed by the effort invested and provide hints and encouragement, if not the answers desired, to get better at the game.
I don't think anybody likes to voluntarily invest time and effort into helping people that just won't listen nor learn, or are unwilling to work and reap the benefits in the long run from doing so.

Change in one's performance when it comes to yugioh won't come just by listening, it comes by doing. As such, I would encourage those that rely on instant gratification to play yugioh not to, as it probably won't help you get any better in the long run.

I'm pretty tired so I probably missed a couple points and didn't come off as being as concise and eloquent in expressing my opinions as I would have liked (Key word: "OPINION"), but hopefully the gist of what I wanted to say is clear.
Also I don't know if this sort of thing is prevalent in the OCG either. I hope not, but the common denominator is that we're all human, so the possibility does exist.

If you've managed to survive this huge wall of text (whether you agree with me or not), congratulations, you've earned some well-deserved duelist points. I think this has been the most I've typed up in a long time. Certainly not 3000-years-ago-in-ancient-Egypt long, but yea.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

YCS Providence 2012: Aftermath & Analysis

Hot on the heels of the release of the Atlantean structure deck was yet another YCS event, this time taking place in Providence, Rhode Island.1154 doolists were in attendance, many of which were no doubt seeking to transcend from being a mere yugioh doolist to becoming a yugioh master. Dreams would be realized, and in tandem, dreams would be crushed, as only 32 doolists can remain (and eventually 1).

The Top Cut
Just who would survive 5 rounds of single elimination to reach that (figurative) Pot of Gold Greed at the end of the rainbow?
[sources: DGz, Konami, etc]

As one can easily see, this was a fairly diverse Top 32, with the deck spread encompassing both established Tier 1 decks in Wind-Ups and Geargia variants, as well as less prominent but still lethal decks like Chaos Dragons, Dino Rabbit and Agents, and a good number of rogue decks like Zombie Monarchs, Sea Lancer Frogs, Fish, GB, and that random Machine Mash deck.
Wind-Ups were still the most numerous, having accumulated 10 of the Top 32 spots, but the playing field had been further leveled in comparison to past events this format, given the varied T32 deck spread.

European duelist (and member of the global team United Gosus) Simon He continued his streak of excellence, this time with Agents. He essentially went undefeated during Swiss Rounds, finishing with a 10-1 record, with his 1 loss attributed to deliberately forfeiting the 2nd last round a few seconds into the match. Allegedly, this was done so that the congregating spectators wouldn't know the exact contents of his deck prior to the conclusion of the event.

Zombie Monarchs making it comes as a big surprise, given how prevalent Raioh is this format, but piloted by former SJC champion Narog Torossian, it was able to eke out win after win to make it into the Top 32 cut.

That Monster Mash / Machine deck was also a big surprise. I'm pretty sure it was based off of the various ideas that DGz's Victor (also the creator of V-HEROes, the deck from last format that combined Dino Rabbit with Fusion Gates and E-HERO Sparkmen) had thrown together, where Cyber Eltanin acted as the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th copies of Dark Hole in the deck. I really liked the concept if only from a "fun deck" standpoint, but I had no idea that someone had taken it seriously and put forth the effort to make it a competitive, YCS-topping deck. It probably helped that it had the random factor going for it, in that most opponents probably had no inkling of what was to happen next.

Noticeably absent from the Top Cut were Grapha and his Forces of Darkness, the new kid on the block in Atlanteans, Inzektors (not everyone can be Billy Brake!), and the winning deck from the recent YCS Indianapolis, Six Samurais.

Following that, the Top 16 breakdown, as provided by Konami, was as follows:
5 Agents
2 Karakuri Geargia
1 Machina Geargia
1 Machina Gadgets
1 Sea Lancer Frogs
1 Dino Rabbit
1 Zombie Monarchs
1 Gravekeepers
1 Chaos Dragons
1 Wind Ups
1 Gladiator Beasts

All but one of the many Wind-Up decks were taken out, leaving Agents as the most numerous deck type in the Top 16 matchups, followed by Geargia variants. Many of the rogue picks were still in it as well.

However, in those very same Top 16 matchups, the last Wind-Up player, Garon Williams, was finally eliminated from contention, leading to the first Top 8 lineup in a long time that didn't feature a single Wind-Up deck. As revealed by Konami, the Top 8 breakdown was as follows:
2 Agents
2 Karakuri Geargia
1 Chaos Dragons
1 Zombie Monarchs
1 Dino Rabbit
1 Gravekeepers

After the Top 4 cut, it all came down to a final Yugioh match between LeBlanc's Karakuri Geargias, and Tuttobene's Chaos Dragons. LeBlanc was able to emerge victorious, securing a YCS win for the Geargia archetype.

Other Thoughts

The first YCS event post-release of the Atlanteans had them barely register as a blip on the radar, as lacking support, they were unable to achieve much. Wind-Ups were also dealt a huge blow, as a gradually decreasing number of them were able to top, and only 1 managed to survive to move on to the Top 16. It is clear that the deck, as explosive and full of options as it may be, needed to adapt in order to continue producing favorable results, and results here at YCS Providence made that glaringly obvious.
The various techs (main-decked Tragoedias, Card Car D's, and Messenger of Peace's) kept on the down low but leaked prior to the YCS were perhaps a step in the right direction, but failed to allow reputable duelists in Steinman and Weigle to further advance (whether or not they were lucksacked is currently unknown).
That said, despite the lack of results from the Top 8 onwards, Wind-Ups shouldn't be disregarded and thought of as being a second-rate deck; it just needs to adapt is all, to prevent itself from being overly predictable in its plays.

I'm not sure if this is going to be a growing trend or not, but the skill level of many of the current generation's doolists, relative to those of the past, can be brought into question, seeing as how 2 previous greats of the game in Levitin and Togorossian, both SJC winners back when the Top Cut cutoff was only to the Top 8 (though Levitin continued to play on, later achieving success with Gladiator Beasts in 2008-2009), were able to pick up decks, essentially enter on a whim, and Top after lengthy absences from the game of Yugioh.
The game seems to be a lot more lenient now, with Top Cuts extending to the Top 32 players (and 64 even, given an exorbitant participation rate), and the cardpool allowing for decks to churn out unproportional amounts of output for minimal input.
This relates to an excellent article that former Yugioh great Kris Perovic wrote of his own volition (no $ incentives!), which can be found here. It's a really good read and I suggest that everyone check it out.
I don't necessarily agree with all the points addressed, but it's a fine read nonetheless.

Finally, IMO the hands-down most amazing play/sequence of events of the YCS was as follows:

[from this feature match]
"Simon drew Mystical Space Typhoon. He activated it to destroy My Body as a Shield, then Normal Summoned Earth. Earth added Venus to his hand. He tuned Earth to Shine Ball to Synchro Summon Armory Arm, then Special Summoned Master Hyperion by banishing Earth. He equipped Armory Arm to Hyperion, and it attacked Obelisk! Thanks to Armory Arm and Gachi Gachi, Obelisk went down and William took 100 Battle Damage, then 4000 more damage from Armory Arm!"

(!!!) Europeans too guud

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Looking ahead to YCS Providence

Hello again.

I'm Canadian Doolist LFN

Yet another YCS is soon upon us, this time taking place in Providence, Rhode Island.
 The only real change to the game since the last event is the recent introduction of the Realm of the Sea Emperor structure, which brings the Atlanteans to the TCG. With their counterparts the Mermails to be released next month though, it remains to be seen what kind of impact, if any, the Atlanteans will have on their own. The cardpool of decent water monsters used to trigger their effects is quite limited at the moment, after all. I think the deck as it stands now can dominate slow and/or passive decks, but shouldn't be a  huge threat towards the more tried and true strategies.

Naturally, as per usual, the incumbent decks all have their own things to deal with or improve upon, in order to get a leg up on the opposition.
Wind Up decks, while still widely believed to be the 'best' deck, can probably expect that big fat target on their backs to be enhanced by laser sights or something, as they continue to plow through the hate thrown towards them. Their strength in numbers helps to alleviate that, given how cheaply the deck's parts can be acquired for nowadays, though it's not something that just anyone can pick up and immediately master.
There's some interesting tech choices for this deck that have been floating around lately, which were kept (relatively) on the down low among some of the more reputable players for some time, but now that they've been leaked (spoonfeeding the masses, etc), it'll be interesting to see how well they catch on, if at all.

Though I'm not quite sure why, the prices of the Geargia money cards have dipped slightly in value. I can theorize possible reasons, eg an increase in supply due to the release of the REDU special edition, their susceptibility to decks that can pop face downs with ease like Inzektors and Atlanteans, or people getting frustrated with the deck's inability to access Geargiarmor at times, but I can't say for sure. I still think the deck is very good, given how easily it can accumulate advantage, and Machina Fortress remains nothing short of great.

Speaking of Inzektors, I don't really expect the deck to do anything at Rhode Island, though it has apparently been securing top cut spots at Regional events here and there. Basically, not everyone can be a Billy Brake , and after its surprising finish at the previous YCS Indianapolis, I can see people bringing an increased amount of hate back into their side decks in case they run into those dastardly bugs, eg Shadow Imprisoning Mirror, which would also help against Dark Worlds, or upping the number of Effect Veilers between the main/side.
Similarly, I'm not expecting a repeat triumph by Six Samurai. (honorable duelists are welcome to prove me wrong!)

Moving towards dark horse picks, after accumulating 4 spots in the Top Cut of YCS Indy, I feel that most people are still underprepared for Chaos Dragons. Personally I still feel 'naked' when playing a deck without traps in a format such as this one, but there's no doubting that this is a very lethal deck that can overwhelm and OTK an opponent out of nowhere..... given that the pilot either accumulates good mills due to above average fortune, or has the ability to play out of bad ones.
I'm also still really liking Frog Monarchs. The deck excels in a slow-paced control game rather than a rush and OTK game, and doesn't do anything exceptional when compared to Wind Ups and such, but nobody really sides anything for this deck (I guess Chaos Dragons have got the mained Darkflares, and Dark Worlds have Dark Smog) beyond Veilers / Gozen Match, so it can potentially catch some unprepared doolists off guard.
Agents, HEROes, and Dark World could go either way, like they could do well, or they could flop, it's hard to say.

Later, duelists.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Doomcaliber Knight

I originally hadn't intended to make a post on this guy, thinking that I was the only one who thought that Doomcal is pretty legit right now, but I was wrong, as there are certain others that feel the same way.

He's a 1 for 1 at the very worst, and given that hand traps aren't in every duelist's deck right now, he can really get in there. It's true that duelists can sacrifice their worst effect monster available to deal with him, but that opportunity doesn't always present itself.

Against Wind Ups:
You'll be negating both the activation and the effect of the Wind Up monster, meaning that Magician and Factory won't be able to tutor a dude or search a dude respectively. This can be huge, but note that Wind Up players can play around him by sacrificing a Wind Up Rabbit or Wind Up Shark to trigger his effect, then retrieve that fallen Rabbit / Shark next turn with Rat.
It's also got a pretty big body, which may not necessarily be the easiest thing to deal with given how small Wind Up monsters are

Against Geargia:
Both Doomcal and Thunder King are decent against Geargia. Thunder King can instigate a waiting game of sorts, where its controller just lets it sit there, while the opposing Geargia player can't make a move either, as neither flip summoned Geargiarmors nor summoned Gearframes can search out cards. Conversely, Doomcal will make a beeline for the problem, ramming into and destroying Geargiarmor (assuming the attack went through), also being able to block off Geargiaccelerators from retrieving fallen comrades

Against Dark World:
Hurray! Doomcaliber also nets the 300 atk boost from the Gates field spell!
Conveniently, he will also trade off with a Dark World monster's effect, which isn't bad at all, as it means that they will have wasted a discard outlet

Against HEROes:
Probably one of the weaker matchups, I wouldn't side in Doomcal against HEROes for obvious reasons, but at the very worst, having a 1900 body is nice.

Doomcal isn't a fit for every deck, but in the decks that he does work well enough in, he can be very potent.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Return of the Doolist (not the booster set)

Hello again.

I'm Canadian Doolist LFN

Now that I've cleared up some things from my day-to-day schedule (more is on the way unfortunately :L ), I believe I will be able to re-integrate myself into ygo and blogging on a more frequent basis (relative to my week and a bit in the Shadow Realm of absence anyway).

I didn't miss much, from the looks of things.

More of the upcoming Wave 2 Tin promos were revealed, and it's cool that my predictions were spot on thus far (anyone with half a brain could have put 2 and 2 together tbh), though the hint for the remaining unknown promo (something about an invincible army, which can point towards Meklord Skiel / Granel / Wisel) isn't very obvious.

The new Legendary Collection 03 was also officially released in North America this week. My pulls were legit awful. I heard that vanilla monsters were supposedly harder to pull, but I ended up getting 5 of them through 2 boxes (none of which were Mystical Shine Balls), and I didn't get a single holo staple card. Not one.
sad duelist LFN
the saddest of duelists

I've also been toying around with various deck concepts and strategies, but none of them have proven to be capable of consistently going head to head against wind ups / geargia / etc, sadly

Sunday, September 23, 2012

YCS Indianapolis 2012: Aftermath & Analysis

A grand total of 837 aspiring doolists bravely made the trek to partake in September 22/23's YCS Indianapolis, seeking fame and fortune (ok maybe not the latter, given the level of prize support).
With the meta having taken shape after 2 YCS events thus far, won by Wind Ups and HEROes respectively [I am ignoring YCS Sheffield because it has absolutely zero (lol) relevance to the meta] , most of the trends and theoretical deck 'tiers' had more or less already been set, that is, until the release of the potent Atlanteans / Mermails over the course of the next month and a bit.

The Top Cut
Konami was finally gracious enough to provide a complete breakdown of the Top 32, revealing what each of the Top 32 duelists was playing. As such, there was no need for me to provide another award-winning chart.

10 Wind Ups
5 Geargia variants
4 Chaos Dragons
2 Dark World
2 Machina Gadgets
2 Dino Rabbit
1 Psychics
1 Trooper Agents
1 HEROes
1 Hieratics
1 Six Samurai
1 Inzektors
1 Machina Geartown

Wind Ups were still the most numerous deck in the Top Cut, but that was to be expected, given the deck's popularity heading into the event and designation as 'the deck to beat'. Aside from that, the Top 32 deck spread was actually fairly diverse. HEROes failed to make much of an impact even with Angel Flores' record-breaking 3rd YCS victory (all done with HERO decks) at the recent YCS Guatemala, but did secure  1 spot. A plethora of rogue decks did manage to squeak in, increasing the notion of viability of decks like Inzektors, Agents (a decent deck imo), Psychics (it was not Jeff Jones), Six Samurai, and Hieratics.

The biggest story here is of course Billy Brake's phenomenal performance with Inzektors, which was supposed to be a 'dead' deck with both Dragonfly and Hornet whittled down to 1 copy each.
Not taking anything away from those who made it this far with other rogue picks, but yea.
It was probably a very good meta call in that many duelists had forgone the use of hand traps in their main deck and throwing them in the side instead, or if they didn't, odds are they were going with Maxx "C" over Effect Veiler in favor of the Wind Up matchup. Furthermore, Dimensional Prison, Mirror Force, and Thunder King Raioh had all seen a tremendous upswing in play, and all of those aren't very good against those pesky bugs.

Notably, Robbie Kohl of youtube fame was also able to make it to the Top Cut, doing so with (obviously) Gadgets. While I don't think his video content is particularly good most of the time nor does it seem like he invests a lot of effort in them (though a lot of others out there obviously do think so), it's worth mentioning I suppose, given that to my knowledge, it has been quite a long time since he had last topped an event.

Other notable or recognizable players who were able to survive all 10 rounds of swiss play, as well as the typical tiebreaker conundrum, were Winston, Albans, Pedigo, Bizzell, Scurry, and Reed. A good number of other players who had previously experienced success at the premier event level unfortunately missed the cut due to bad tiebreaks, including Steinman, Page, Aguero, Bogli, Tinsley, and Tsang.

The Top 16 was narrowed down to the following:
4 Wind Ups
3 Geargia variants
2 Machina Gadgets
2 Chaos Dragons
1 HEROes
1 Psychics
1 Hieratics
1 Inzektors
1 Six Samurai

The absence of Dino Rabbit and Dark World decks is plainly evident, as all of them were eliminated from contention in the Top 32 playoff round. A large portion of the rogue decks remained though.

And as for the Top 8 ...
2 Wind Ups
1 Geargia
1 Machina Gadgets
1 Hieratics
1 Inzektors
1 Six Samurai
1 Chaos Dragons

... and the Top 4
1 Wind Up
1 Six Samurai
1 Hieratic
1 Machina Gadgets

It was at the Top 4 that Robbie Kohl with Machina Gadgets fell to Kris Valters with Wind Ups. The lone Six Samurai deck was also able to persevere over Parker Robinson's Hieratics, leading Junior Dorcin to take on Valters in the finals.
Dorcin then emerged victorious with his Six Samurai deck to become the champion of 2012's YCS Indianapolis. Rounding out the Top 3 was Kohl, who defeated Robinson's Hieratics.

Other Thoughts

I more or less consider the win by Samurai's to be the exception to the trend, in that I don't expect its victory at YCS Indy to redefine the meta in any way. Gateway is still broken of course, but it's not like the deck gained some new and overpowered addition, and the basic strategy of the deck remains fairly linear, in that the goal is to pump out a beefy monster or 2 (preferably one with a negation effect) backed by some protection, and from there negate problem cards and whittle down an opponent's resources and life points.
In comparison, Wind Ups are still the better deck by far, given how explosive and versatile it is, and I don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Much like Wind Ups, Geargia continued to solidify its place in the meta, taking up a good number of Top Cut seats. I still don't understand why whoever designed Geargiarmor felt that it would be a good idea to give it 1900 def and the ability to flip itself face down, given that neither Evoltile Westlo nor Gravekeeper's Spy, both somewhat similar to Geargiarmor in that they tutor/search a dude when flipped, have the ability to do so (answer: because Konami). Regardless, combined with a quasi-T.G. Warwolf in Geargiaccelerator and a lonefire blossom in Geargiarsenal, good deck is good.

With the decklists of the Top 32 cut mostly unknown at this point in time (there are several lists floating around Youtube and on various websites, but that's about it), it will be difficult to gauge the popularity and effectiveness of various tech cards used, especially ones that were relatively kept on the down-low in anticipation of this event (eg Different Dimension Ground for the Dark World matchup).

Next up is YCS Providence, Rhode Island, in mid October, where the new Atlantean structure deck will have been released just days prior to the event. I severely doubt that Six Samurais will be able to repeat their performance, but who really knows, stranger things have happened, and this is yugioh after all.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Product News: Astral Pack 01

Recently posted up on Konami's strategy site was the announcement that the Turbo Pack lineup of promotional booster packs was to be discontinued in the near future, with the newest pack, Turbo Pack 8, being the last of its kind.
Similar to how Turbo Packs replaced Champion Packs, which in turn replaced Tournament Packs, the newest iteration of tournament prize support, Astral packs, are set to replace Turbo Packs.

=/ I kind of wish that they had decided to call them Kattobingu packs, but oh well.

Full details can be found here, but I'll provide a brief summary of what to expect from this set:

  • a super rare (or better) in every pack. People probably got sick of pulling rares all the damn time
  • the number of super rares per pack has been bumped up. This means that the process through which we get holo versions of popular commons/rares will be sped up! GEMINI SPARK PLZ
  • ultra rares are to be discontinued. I am ok with this.
  • the number of ultimate rares was bumped to 3. This is cool too, given that ultimate rare is my favorite rarity

And for the record, I'm evidently still alive. I was simply bogged down with school work for the past week, leaving insufficient time to dedicate towards ygo-related activities. Things seem to be taking a turn for the better though.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012 Wave 2 Tins: lol konami

Just a short post for today, in regards to the product pages for the Wave 2 Tins that were recently uploaded onto Konami's product page.

Let's play fill in the blanks

Do you have the strength and skill of a master Ninja? Of course you don’t! But that’s okay, because Hanzo will train you to battle with the cunning and experience of a Ninja Grandmaster:
To have maximum power! > MAXX C (or Maximum Six lol)
To guide you to victory! > TOUR GUIDE
To shock your opponents! > SHOCK MASTER
To rescue you from the jaws of defeat! > RESCUE RABBIT
To be sneaky and devious! > HANZO
All the things that make true Ninjas the deadliest fighters in the world.

The Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo Collectible Tin includes:
1 Photon Shockwave booster pack, plus 2 packs of Order of Chaos and 2 packs of Galactic Overlord
1 Secret Rare Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo
1 Super Rare Number 16: Shock Master
1 Super Rare Rescue Rabbit
2 more Super Rare cards, to be revealed soon!

Only a master Duelist can properly harness the strength of these monsters, and win control of the greatest champions of history’s mightiest Decks, including the heavenly Hieratics and the malevolent Malefics!

The Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis is the supreme ruler of his pantheon, and stands ready to give some of that power to you – if you deserve it.

Are you prepared? Find out, and wield the powers of creation:
Rain fire from the skies! > HELIOPOLIS
Use the seas to flood your enemies! > LEVIAIR
March forth with an invincible army! > MEKLORD EMPEROR WISEL/GRANEL
Unleash an endless stream of vermin to plague your foes! > RESCUE RABBIT (or Endless Decay lol)
Or simply trample them beneath one of the largest dragons that has ever lived! > MALEFIC TRUTH DRAGON

The Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis Collectible Tin includes:
1 Photon Shockwave booster pack, plus 2 packs of Order of Chaos and 2 packs of Galactic Overlord
1 Secret Rare Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis
1 Super Rare Malefic Truth Dragon
1 Super Rare Rescue Rabbit
2 more Super Rare cards, to be revealed soon!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Decklist: Toy Story

Hi, I'm Canadian doolist LFN
how are you today

This is the list that I used at the September 08 Vancouver BC regional, where I managed to get into the top 8
It contains a lot of toys and two little girls, among other things.

I'm pretty sure I forgot to talk about a ton of stuff but I can't remember what ;_;

[the actual regional report is below, or can alternatively be found by clicking here]

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Regionals Report: 09/08 Top 8

Hi, I'm Canadian Doolist LFN

DISCLAIMER: I have never top 8'd a regional before (just getting an invite doesn't count obv), either because I was/am a scrub, I misplayed, or I opted to play a deck that countered the meta instead of playing the actual best deck(s) at the time. I also haven't actually played in a regional in over a year, and my last large event was YCS Long Beach where I bubbled out


I came back from Hong Kong on Monday night so I was still pretty jetlagged
Friday night I went to NEXUS-CQiao's place and did some DN Admin 'work' on his laptop while concurrently teaching Shark Hat (he's about 13 years old and wears a Shark Hat) how to play Wind Ups and sipping an iced coffee. We also ended up building the deck almost entirely out of borrowed cards for Shark Hat. By the time I left, I had drank like 2/3 of the iced coffee.
I went to bed at 2am, but woke up at 3am. Worst.
I didn't go back to sleep and instead started discussing ideas and theory with yfjake and Nigleong, and it wasn't until 730am that I organized my binder (mostly crap), showered for excellent hygiene, and left, demolishing a large breakfast at some Asian diner before heading to the venue.

obligatory sell cards and anime deckboxes, etc

At one point a guy who may or may not have been that Michael Boyd guy (I really can't be sure) who topped YCS Toronto just last week flipped through the crap in my binder and saw a French super rare Rekindling that I had in there, while I saw a CP Magician of Faith that I was mildly interested in (I say mildly because it was not perfectly mint imo). The deal did not work out and he looked mad. If that was you I'm sorry I'm not trying to be a douchebag, I can be a fairly picky person

Some time later I watched the guy sitting diagonally across from me frantically fill out his decklist, and it had stuff like Nimble Momonga, Spear Dragon, and United We Stand. Oh.

ACTUAL TOURNAMENT (127 players so cut to Top 8, Top 16 gets invites)

Round 1: LFN (Toy Story) vs Ambot (Agents)
I win the dice roll
G1: I do silly things and win
G2: I start losing cards in uneven tradeoffs with Master Hyperion, and he eventually OTK's me with Raioh, Leviair, and Daigusto Phoenix
G3: I start off with a Shock Master and other silly things, and he can't deal with everything
Result: OXO

Round 2: LFN (Toy Story) vs Avi (Geargia)
I win the dice roll
G1: I start with a set Sangan and a backrow. He feared Snowman Eater or Reaper idk, and Dark Hole'd the Sangan, enabling me a search. I went off next turn
G2: I was unable to prevent him from conducting the Karakuri + Geargia combo and I died once he flipped Trap Stun to negate my traps
G3: We went into time right as we drew our hands, and I was fortuitous enough to open with Magician Shark. I made the Boat, Butterfly, and Shock Master, declaring spells. All he could do was set a monster and some backrow, one of which was Gozen Match which he flipped in my draw phase, forcing me to send my Boat to the grave.
Shock Master called traps, and I summoned Raioh because it conveniently is a Light. Shock Master killed his set Geargiarmor, and Raioh and the Butterfly connected for 4000
Result: OXO

I went to a Japanese place and got a seaweed salad and an avocado roll. I really wasn't feeling that well, which I can probably attribute to having only had 1 hour of sleep


Round 3: LFN (Toy Story) vs Harjun (heroes)
I win the dice roll
I pile shuffle his deck and counted 43. It worked apparently.
G1: He felt compelled to super poly my reaper just to get rid of it lol. The game eventually simplified itself, where all he had was The Shining, which I flipped with Maestroke before setting Bottomless. He walked right into it
G2: He went full aggro like traps don't exist and was rewarded with a win
G3: We went into time right as we drew our hands. My hand was pretty bad with a Raioh, 2 Rats, a Reaper, a MST, and something irrelevant (Magician? 2nd Reaper?). I summoned Raioh, set MST, and passed. He Dark Hole'd the Raioh, summoned Alius, and connected for 1900. I topped TT and set it.
He summoned Grand Mole and walked into the 2 for 1 TT, but had Miracle Fusion (of course) and summoned Gaia to hit for 2200. I could not recover from the deficit and died
Result: OXX
This kid was a true Jaden Yuki, he draws and topdecks really really well. It was crazy
obligatory 'outplayed imo'

At this point I was on the bubble already. OH WELL.

Round 4: LFN (Toy Story) vs Jay (chain burn)
I lose the dice roll
G1: He started off with some set cards. I made Zenmaioh to start forcing things out, concurrently revealing that he was using chain burn and connecting for 2600 damage to drop him to 5400. He set more cards, including a Marshmallon, which I ran into. I eventually resolved a huge Heavy Storm, leaving him with said Marshmallon and 1 card in hand, which I feared was Swift Scarecrow (it wasn't). I remembered that Photon Butterfly is a good card, and subsequently summoned a bunch of dudes including said Butterfly, used it's eff to turn Marshmallon to atk and drop it's atk to 0, and repeatedly bashed it for game
G2: We both started off with a bunch of sets before I committed to Zenmaioh again to force things out. A ton of cards were chained, and when we reached around chain link 8 or 9, I finished it off with Royal Decree to render all his traps useless. To add insult to injury, I then made Shock Master
Result: OO

Round 5: LFN (Toy Story) vs Oscar (some spellcaster deck)
I win the dice roll
G1: I had Magician Shark so I made a 1st turn Boat, Butterfly, and Shock Master, calling spells. He looked sad, and I soon found out why, as he was using some sort of spellcaster deck with Magical Exemplars, that Citadel field spell, and some spellbooks.
G2: I accumulated a ton of advantage off of reaper and Hunter, compelling him to replenish his resources through searching Morphing Jar off of Sangan and setting it. I jumped at this chance, summoning Little Girl to get Little Girl and setting the rest of my hand, 2 s/t's, before attacking his Jar for plusses
Result: OO

Round 6: LFN (Toy Story) vs Power Ranger Will (Six Samurai)
He was dressed as the blue ranger, and since most of the other rangers were using Six Samurai, I assumed he was as well
I win the dice roll
G1: I don't remember what happened but I won with full LP. I may or may not have hit him with a 'pro storm'.
G2: I Solemn'ed his Barkion play, but he kept summoning beater after beater, including a LSS ShiEn, and made a nifty play to special Kizan, then ram ShiEn into my Leviathan Dragon to kill it, and subsequently sacrificing the Kizan to keep his ShiEn alive. Eventually all I had face down was Heavy Storm and 2 MSTs lol
G3: We continuously traded resources until I was able to luck out and draw into Monster Reborn, which I used to take his Barkion that I had Dark Hole'd earlier. He could not get rid of it given that the gamestate was extremely simplified and Samurai don't really have any stand alone cards
Result: OXO

Final Round: LFN (Toy Story) vs Nishant (Wind Ups)
finally a mirror match
I lose the dice roll
G1: he made some plays but my plays made more of an impact
G2: A back and forth game that he eventually blew open with a Magician Shark combo
G3: I opened with triple Rabbit and thought I had lost given that he opened with Thunder King. He told me post match that his hand had 2 Raiohs, a Rabbit or 2, and some irrelevant things. I grinded through both his Raiohs and eventually won when I had Monster Reborn to revive a Rat that he Warning'ed
Result: OXO
Final Result: 6-1, 6th after swiss
I'm fully aware that it doesn't mean as much as it used to given the level of power creep and such, but it was nice to finally get that Top 8 out of the way
I got congratulations from friends, etc

Top 8 was
2 heroes
2 wind ups
1 samurai
1 evol
1 dino rabbit
1 dino rabbit that sided Skill Drains

In the Top 8 (play did not extend past Top 4 due to time constraints), I was rematched against the Real Jaden Yuki. He had apparently gone on a huge winning streak, demolishing all his opponents. I heard that he sided stuff like Cyber Dragon (which I knew of first hand) and System Down against Wind Ups. Crazy.

I win the dice roll
G1: He tries to E-Call with Raioh out lol. I manage to accumulate some early advantage but he kept drawing really well and I eventually couldn't overcome a huge Miracle Fusion
G2: I get taken down to 100 LP while I had a Wind Up Rabbit on the field, and a 2nd copy, a Bottomless Trap Hole, and a Spirit Reaper that had just been bounced by Grand Mole in my hand. All he had was the Mole in hand, with Wildheart and The Shining on the field. I drew Wind Up Shark, summoned Rabbit, specialed Shark, and went into Zenmaines to crash and kill the Wildheart, before setting the Bottomless and nuking The Shining in the end phase. On his turn he summoned one of the heroes he got back from the Shining and walked into Bottomless. He conceded, as he only had 2000 LP left
G3: This was one of the most disgusting games I have ever played. I seriously felt like the random enemy of the week facing off against Jaden Yuki on yugioh GX
The game had simplified itself to the point where all I had on the field was a defense position Zenmaity and a Leviathan Dragon with a Rat in hand, while all he had was an in-hand Cyber Dragon that he had previously got off of Duality. He drew for turn (2 cards in hand), summoned Cydra (1 card in hand), and attacked Leviathan Dragon, dropping HONEST. WOW.
He then contacted for Chimeratech Fortess Dragon in main phase 2 before ending.
I drew Warning, dropped Rat to make Gigabrilliant to kill CFD, and set the Warning.
He drew Duality and used it to get MST to hit the Warning
I drew Magician and connected for 2400 with Brilliant
He then topped into Grand Mole to bounce Gigabrilliant
I drew Bottomless, and set it and the Magician
He drew to 2 cards in hand (1 being Mole), summoned Mole, and bounced Magician
I topped Hunter, and feeling safe since I had Bottomless set, summoned Hunter and attacked
The judges watching and I were dumbfounded. All I could do was bluff my set BTH as Mirror Force which it obviously wasn't since I would have used it on his Mole earlier. I don't even play Mirror Force to begin with, but hoped that he would fall for it
He drew for turn and flopped HEAVY STORM. REAL JADEN YUKI
Result: XOX
obligatory 'outplayed imo'

I collected my 12 packs which were obviously bad. (Spirit Converter, Prophecy Destroyer, Soul of Silvermountain, Sword Breaker, and TWO blue dragon ninja)
My streak of bad luck continued as I was the only driver to hit 3 red lights on the way to dinner lol. I overshot the place too and had to loop back.

Nigleong for telling me that minimal sleep is necessary to top a regional
Nigleong and yfjake for trading ideas / theory
The DGz community for warring and providing a wealth of information from which I could draw upon
TYu for lending me Shock Master, the only card that I needed and didn't own, as well as selling me 2 Illusory Snatcher for $5
Shock Master
Photon Butterfly
Shark Hat for starting 4-0 with a deck made from cards that were completely borrowed save for 2, and having been taught how to play the deck the night before

Bad luck
Bad packs (CQiao got Geargigant X in his entry packs and then got a 2nd copy in his packs from winning in the Top 8. Too good)
Real Jaden Yuki's ridic draws and topdecks

[Decklist to come soon, but if you know where to look you can find it already]