Monday, September 16, 2013

The End

I suppose this could have been seen a mile away, but nonetheless, this is it.

This format is significantly better than the previous one, that much is certain, but my interest in the game as it stands today is still dwindling day by day, and due to other commitments in life, I no longer have as much free time to invest in ygo as I have had in the past.
Subsequently, with no time to play, investing in cards for Dragon Rulers isn't exactly feasible, as I would barely be able to get any mileage out of them before WHOOOOSH!!! Before you know it, the format's over.

I mean ok I did brew together what I believe to be a solid Zombie deck (as solid as a Tier 2 / 3 deck can get anyway. It's certainly not a Dragon Ruler deck),  yet I still don't feel that drive to play.
Even when nothing is on the line aka store credit and packs whoop dee doo, more often then not, I decline to play.
"Hey do you want to play for fun"
The spark just isn't there.

1-2 years back (or more), I could spend hours on end playing on The Network of Dueling or at a friends house, building decks and mock decklists, reading ygo articles and forums, watching ygo-related strategy videos, etc.
Now, not so much.

Time goes on
Ygo now is fairly different from the ygo of years past
The game changes
I change
And it's probably time to move on, or take an indefinite hiatus at the very least

Ok I lied.

I don't think that I'll be completely cut off from the game.
I intend to sell the bulk of my cards, yes.
However, I expect that I'll still play some Goat Control games every so often, and I do still visit a certain competitive ygo forum on the daily, if only to keep up with various threads that more or less don't have anything to do with ygo.
It also goes without saying that I'm still going to keep in touch w/ the friends I've made through this game. Whether it be meeting people at locals, regionals, the two YCS events I've been to, etc (so long as you aren't a complete douchebag with no apparent redeemable qualities), it's been fun.
That aside, ygo is pretty much dead to me.

In all honesty, my initial expectations for this blog were pretty low.
I started it up to serve as a medium through which I could write and have fun, with no interest towards gaining any financial returns from doing so (I have never enabled advertisements, asked for donations, or held gimmicky contests, etc)
I'm pretty sure that my initial estimate was that this would last for about a year at most (my first 10? 20? year's worth? of posts are actually literally horrendous), before I would treat it with apathy and fade back into obscurity.
I mean it's a one-duelist project, and I don't have the reach and influence that a pro player would have, nor do I have the credentials to fill an informing / teaching sort of niche.

I'm no PJ Tierney (the Irish Duelist)
I'm no bahamut or DSummon (DuelingDays)
I'm no Michael Bonacini (Death Aspect)
I'm no Ting Tingy (Dueling Legacy)
I'm no Neuxcharge (Neuxcharge)
I'm just me.
Basically, it would be just another blog.
I also happen to suck with graphic design, photoshop, essentially anything computer related, so the appearance of the site leaves a lot to be desired.
I'm a genius with MS Paint though
Kind of

Obviously, things don't always turn out as expected though, as this blog is nearing it's 3rd anniversary, and has already eclipsed 500,000 pageviews.
That's 2 years and 490,000 more views in surplus of my initial guess. Along the way, I learned that it can actually be quite the struggle to pump out content on the regular, and am 200% guilty of using shit like locals reports as filler, though I do try to make them at least mildly entertaining so that they won't have been a waste of a couple minutes of your life. No refunds, sorry.

I have both dedicated readers and casual passerby's to thank for all this, like this blog would not be what it is and where it is today without the support of others, and I do apologize for having things tail off like this.
So thank you, and sorry, respectively.

I don't think I ever got around to explaining where "LFN" came from
Well I guess that's too bad

Monday, September 2, 2013

YCS Toronto 2013: Aftermath & Analysis

Well. YCS Toronto. The 1st YCS of a new format.
Though the new TCG banlist brought about a great number of radical changes in an effort to shake up the metagame, things don't always work out in practice as they do in theory.

756 aspiring doolers entered the event, piloting anything from the incumbent meta decks (still very strong of course) of the previous format, to their pet decks from formats past.
Given the results from testing after the list leaked, as well as the results from YCS Toronto itself, it is pretty clear that Dragon Ruler variants (Plants, Dragunities, etc), and Water, were the most numerous decks in the Top 32 Cut aka the best decks. Prophecy did not perform up to my expectations though, I feel that it is still a very strong deck that should have secured more spots than it did.
Obv a bunch of decent rogue decks made the Cut as well, as per usual, like Constellars, Geargia, and Madolche for instance, but I digress.

Source: A certain competitive forum, Youtube, etc

12 dragons/dragunity
4 mermail
3 4 prophecy
3 evilswarm
1 geargia
1 madolche
2 fire fist
1 infernity
1 herald agent
1 blackwing
2 constellar
1 ???

1 Shehabi Kheireddine (Blackwings)
2 Loukas Peterson (prophecy)
3 James Guerrero (mermail)
4 Yuhang Li (evilswarm)
5 John Valade (dragon rulers)
6 Patrick Hoban (Dragunity dragons)
7 Harrison Perinpanayagam(fire fist)
8 Galo Orbea ( dragon ruler plants)
9 Dale Bellido (dragunity)
10 Sorosh Saberian (mermail)
11 Frazier Smith (Prophecy)
12 Jordan Winters (dragon ruler plants)
13 Thomas Mak (dragon ruler plants)
14 David Wu (Madolche)
15 Jack Ran (mermail)
16 Evan Waxman (herald agents)
17 Roger Simpson (infernity)
18 Bobby Barrone (mermail)
19 James Frazier (dragon ruler plants)
20 sean McCabe (constellar)
21 Chris LeBlanc (geargia)
22 Michael Chung-Salamone (evilswarm)
23 Bo Tang (skill drain dragons)
24 Umar Haq (dragunity)
25 james Kim (dragon ruler)
26 Jeffrey Cho (skill drain dragons)
27. Leo Chan (constellar)
28 peter Martino (??? prophecy)
29 edward kuang (dragon ruler)
30 Sean Coovert (evilswarm)
31 Kareem O'Brein (prophecy)
32 Igor Bijelic (fire fist)

A ton of support for older decks were bumped up on the list from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3, like Mezuki, Plaguespreader, D Hero Malicious, Agent of Mystery Earth, TG Striker, and so forth, but this is 2013 and they are, for the most part, deemed irrelevant by virtue of power creep. Hence, they were nowhere to be found in the Top 32 Cut, and basically accomplished nothing.

(personally I really want zombies to be good again but the days where going "set Goblin Zombie, pass" was considered an acceptable turn are long past. Additionally, Brionac was a key part of the deck and there's no way that's getting unbanned lol. Oh wellll)

I am going to write off the Blackwing deck that died in the Top 4 after having went x-0-1 in swiss as an anomaly, like it secured only 1 spot in the entire Top 32, and it seems more indicative of a guy having an incredibly fantastic run more than Blackwings actually being a great deck right now. Yes, the deck can certainly win games with timely Icarus Attacks, Kalut drops for extra damage, and so forth, but I can't lump it together with the aforementioned decks (Books / Water / Dragon variants).
From the games I've played with/against Blackwings, if you don't access Black Whirlwind early, you likely lose, as Shura / Kalut / Gale aside, I don't think your monsters are all that great. Sirocco is a pseudo Cyber Dragon, while Bora is basically a Kizan / Enraged Battle Ox hybrid, certainly nothing game-breaking with its paltry 1700 atk.

What really caught me by surprise though (I am not really in the know and have not encountered this deck on DN thus far) was the breakout performance of the Dragunity variant of Dragon Rulers. There were a couple instances in the feature match posted by Konami with the Real Dale Bellido vs Blackwing Guy where the deck bricked some draws, but overall it just seems to me like a very fast deck, able to outpace the Plant version of the deck.

A lot of people were also hyping Infernity for the event, given that it lost absolutely nothing to the list, while gaining new toys like Transmodify and a couple of the new Archfiend support cards. That said, with such a heavy Dragon Ruler infested meta, hand traps were bound to be everywhere. Infernities can certainly play around Effect Veiler, but they would be hard pressed to do the same against a Maxx "C". Complete information on the Top 32 deck spread isn't available at this time, but thus far, it appears that only 1 Infernity deck managed to make it in.

Off the top of my head, everything else, I think, performed as expected. Bujins are slow and didn't do anything, Evilswarm is still Evilswarm, etc

Moving forward though, with the meta clearly defined as revolving around water / dragons, though not so much the former as opposed to the latter, I'm not really expecting the results from the next YCS at San Diego to vary a whole lot.
Side deck cards like D.D. Crow, Debunk, Chain Whirlwind, etc have been leaked now, and Maxx "C"s will likely transition from the side to the main for a number of the players who haven't done so already.

On an entirely different topic, across the pond, YCS Brussels, a sealed YCS, also took place the same weekend. I'm not sure if a 3/4 United Gosus Top 4 Cut (Gruner, Gross, and Gungor) is supposed to be indicative of anything, like absurdly good card pools or whatnot, given how statistically unlikely it would be for several of their members to all make the top cut, but I guess that there's a lot of people that just aren't really good with sealed play?