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

PRE TOURNAMENT

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

LUNCH BREAK
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

BACK TO DOOLING

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
He dropped GORZ. WOW. REAL JADEN YUKI
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
Nope!
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.

Props
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

Slops
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]

Friday, September 7, 2012

Hong Kong Locals: A brief overview

Hi, I'm Canadian Duelist LFN

During my brief stay in Hong Kong, I had the opportunity to visit various Ygo locals, and here are my thoughts on them. During the whole time I had no idea what the Cantonese names for cards were, nor the terminology for various things (normal summon, special summon, etc), so I had to rely on the pictures on cards and such to understand what was going on. I quickly picked up on some of the terminology but I'm still clueless on most of the card names lol

Disclaimer: I am absolutely certain that there are many many more locals / stores than the few I am listing below; I simply did not have the time to visit all of them, nor did I know where they all were.


人氣王 // Popular King (??)
Location: 新都城 // Metro City III
寶琳 // Po Lam (MTR Tseung Kwan O line)
NO PHOTO BUT HERE'S MY EXQUISITE DRAWING

2/3 of this store is dedicated to video game consoles/games/supplies. As for the 1/3 that was dedicated to card games, there was a huge display of (probably overpriced) single cards and sleeves mounted on a wall display, and an assortment of packs in a glass counter.
That's it.
No tables for people to play on. Nothing.
Needless to say I just left. Goodbye!

???
Location: 新時代廣場 // New Era Plaza
炮台山 // Fortress Hill (MTR Island line)
The store sandwiched between 2 other stores. It's that small.

This store is tiny. There was space for the cashier station + a small shelf for the store binders / packs / other product, a fridge with some refreshments, and 2 separate 2-man tables. That's it.
I did sit down and play some games with a couple people though.
This was also the store closest to where I stayed.

J2TM
Location: Cathay 88
灣仔 // Wan Chai (MTR Island line)
No photo but instead you get another Award-Winning drawing

Located in a cramped mall, I don't think you could really call this a 'store' in terms of how it was organized. Basically 2 separate enclosed booths were opened up to display various products, and the corridor in-between accommodated several small 2-man tables for people to play on
That being said this place was pretty packed (and by that i mean like 10 people), and they even had a Konami representative for the store present lol. She made me fill out a questionnaire thing which was pretty funny because I was asked a bunch of questions pertaining to OCG products and tournaments and I had no idea what to tell her.
Oddly enough everyone here, with the exception of 1 who was using some bad Fortune Lady deck, was using a deck based around Skill Drain. I got some games in and was destroyed by infinite Skill Drains

天悅廣場 // Smiling Plaza
長沙灣 // Cheung Sha Wan (MTR Tsuen Wan line)


NO PHOTO THE ENTIRE MALL HAS LIKE 10 CARD SHOPS
DELICIOUS CARD SHOPS
I CAN'T DRAW THEM ALL

I'm going to amalgamate the ~10 card shops present under the mall's name because there were just that many. Some specialized in yugioh, others in Cardfight Vanguard, Weiss Schwarz, or card supplies.
I managed to snag some anime deck boxes (should have gotten more; MISPLAY) and played some games against some people there
I wanted to make a return trip here (get more anime deckboxes), but the remaining space in my suitcase and bag would not permit that.

Konami Card Game Center
Location: 西九龍中心 // Dragon Center
深水埗 // Sham Shui Po (MTR Tsuen Wan line)
THE STORE. IT'S A PHOTO!
NO BEAUTIFUL DRAWING FOR YOU!

COMPLETE SET OF ABYSS RISING

BRAVE INTERNATIONAL DOOLISTS

THE official Yugioh store, operated by Konami themselves. It was well lit with ample space and tables for duelists to duel or trade on. Notably absent was a Duel Terminal machine though.
There was also a large wall-spanning display case that highlighted all the past and present products that Konami had produced, as well as a smaller segment dedicated towards showing off several awards that accomplished duelists had accumulated over the years and agreed to display here.
Several duelists here were nuts for TCG cards even though they weren't to be used in official tournaments, so I had no problem offloading some common staples, among other things (should have brought more but who knew).
This was the only store that I visited more than once. Recommended!

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Listed below are some of the duelists who I met and played against (I forgot to ask in some instances)

Today Kam
John Choi
K
Ah Fu
Isaac Ho
Kyle Yuen
Lok Chi Hong (apparently he is/was the Hong Kong Champion)
David Tang

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

YCS Toronto 2012: Aftermath & Analysis

DISCLAIMER: LATE

Hi, I'm Canadian Duelist LFN

WHILE I WAS AWAY, a YCS took place over in Toronto, Canada, on the very first day of the new September 2012 Forbidden & Limited List's legality. Unsurprisingly, the better deckbuilders and doolists were sure to have the advantage at the event, making good use of their talents to define the meta and run circles around the sheep that would be sure to follow.

Online discussions and articles posted prior to the event had already reached a consensus as to what the better decks to play at the event would be, though it would be up to a competent player to use it / them effectively.
There were a total of 799 doolists in attendance, but there could only be one champion! Who would get their game on and become a Yugioh Master?
ONE BOAT'S ALL I NEED BUDDY


The Top 32 Cut
Courtesy of Konami's official coverage (however lacking it may be), online forums, and youtube (Underworld 6667), listed below is the STILL INCOMPLETE breakdown of the Top 32 players and their decks.

Please help fill in the blanks!

.... and from there....


Well-deserved congratulations go out to both Josh Graham for winning with the best deck and Jeff Jones for making it so far with a rogue pick from out of nowhere yet again. While Jones has already accumulated a couple wins on his Yugioh Resume (probably of no help when it comes to employment), this was Graham's first ever SJC / YCS win, and it was in his home country of Canada no less.

Other Thoughts
Wind Ups were heralded to be the best deck for the event despite losing 2 Zenmaity (no big deal), as it transitioned from an XYZ-focused deck that could conduct an unfair hand loop to an all-out XYZ-focused deck that could churn out control aspects.
Despite the prevalance of Maxx "C"s, Thunder Kings, and other various hate cards (Gozen Match, Rivalry of Warlords, etc), the deck still managed to conduct an impressive showing. Best deck.

As for Geargias, the deck made its presence known upon its first event after its release, taking up (at least) 4 spots in the Top 32. They are still missing some support cards though, due for release in the next set. Still, it was not a bad showing, as the other new themes in Return of the Duelist, being Madolche and Prophecy, did absolutely nothing.
Other talented doolists who represented the deck but failed to Top were Billy Brake, Lazaro Bellido, and Samuel Pedigo.

I'm a bit surprised that Plants managed to make it in. I certainly like Plant Synchro, but I didn't think that it was powerful enough to carry through 8 rounds of play to head into the Top Cut. Other rogue picks like Chaos Dragons and Frog Monarchs bubbled out, which is somewhat disappointing, but does happen.

Overall, the meta remained relatively constant carrying over from last format, with the notable absences of Inzektors and Chaos Dragons. Given that Chaos Dragons bubbled out though, it can still be perceived as a threat, and shouldn't be ridiculed and written off as garbage after it lost Future Fusion (a win more card anyway), 2 Chaos Sorcerers, and 1 REDMD.
As such, I'm not so sure if this format will be as great as some people are making it out to be. The game is still pretty fast paced, but at the very least, unfair hand discard loops have more or less been eliminated, and one will no longer be punished by Inzektors just because he or she committed a card to the field and didn't have Effect Veiler.

Next up is YCS Sheffield (I think), but it has long been confirmed to be a Sealed Event with Battle Packs, so while it will certainly test and reward the deckbuilding abilities of those present, it will obviously have absolutely no impact whatsoever on the development of the format.