The absolute hardest part of this was determining whether or not I wanted to write this as a report where i recounted each match I played thoroughly, or speak about how my deck was built and why I built it the way I did. I decided to go with the latter.
For those who know me, you're aware this year of Yugioh just was not my year. I had 6 bubble loses, leaving me questioning myself after every event as to where I went wrong. When Patrick had mentioned before that he went through a similar streak a long time ago, it made me a bit more at ease, but still anxious more than anything for this event. Last year at this time, I had lost to Patrick in top 4, leaving me without a prize card. I was not about to let that happen this year.
After the 25k i spent a lot of my time testing Shaddolls for this event because I truly hated the Nekroz mirror. Losing the die roll, not seeing a Ju, your opponent having Valk at times when you need them not too, not to mention all the other decks that had infinite floodgates preventing you from playing. As the days progressed, I realized that Shaddolls still have the same problems they have always had, and I just did not have the time to solve all of them. Around this time my friend Jack Ran, started playing frequently, so we started testing a lot. He was convinced Burning Abyss was the deck to use for the event, and we spent hours testing Nekroz vs BA, and I would continually get destroyed. But i knew I would not be able to use Burning Abyss for this event either.
"But if you keep losing to Burning Abyss with Nekroz, why wouldnt you just use Burning Abyss" some may ask. Having to grind out every single game, of every single game for 10 rounds, and then top cut is too much. And then there is having to play around Denko Sekka and Royal Decree, which makes things 10 times harder, and forces you to side cards which have no business being in your deck versus Nekroz.
I looked back to my last event using Nekroz, which was NAWCQ, and realized that leaving Valkyrus on board was the best strategy in the mirror match. So I built my deck in a way that I was allowed to leave my Valkyrus on the field at the end of my turn. I incorporated a set of Shared Rides as well as a pair of Breakthrough Skills. I wanted to avoid grinding through resources in the mirror match, Valking my opponents attacks, then doing the same thing they did, and having an endless loop until one player runs out of resources. Here is the list i used:
You can build your deck 1 or 2 ways. The first is to build it to Top 32 at x-1, the other way is to win at x-2. I went with the latter. I hoped that if I made it to Top 32, I would play a lot of mirrors and everything would come together, and thats kind of what happened. I played vs Barrett Keys in Top 32, and then Johnathan Gomez in Top 8, both using Nekroz. If you look at my side deck for the mirror match, its 5 cards allow me to auto-win, again without having to grind. Summoner Monk into Thunder King on the first turn gives them a couple turns to get a play together, while playing around their standard side deck cards such as Shared Ride, Mind Crush, Maxx C's and Lanceas. Mirror of the Ice Barrier complemented my strategy of leaving Valkyrus on the field in the mirror. They are forced to Trishula it in order to get over it, and then you hit them with the blowout card. Twice during this event, I actually resolved 2 Ice Barrier on a Trishula effect, banishing 4 from hand, grave and field.
After dedicating 5 slots for the mirror match in the side, i realized that were only 3 more cards I really wanted in the my side, which were 3 Royal Decree. Prisma and Cyber Dragon was a searchable out to Towers, as well as Kozmos monsters, which i was not really scared of, but figured since I had the space I could play them.
I actually had started this event 1-2, losing to Kozmos as well as Burning Abyss. Both of which made it to game 3, and then both of which had me lose a 50/50 which determined who won and lost. The first involved a Trishula with 2 cards in hand, and me missing the honest, and the second involved a Kaleido for 12, and a chained Mystical Space Typhoon hitting a Arrest and not the Torrential that was set. I really thought about dropped out and doing the giant card, because I know the importance of 50/50's. Its your day when you hit them, and it is not your day when you miss them. Luckily for me, I made up for these missed 50/50's when I played Chase Cunningham in Top 4, and after summoning both a Unicore and a Great Sorcerer, I Typhoon'd his set Solemn Warning, leaving the Fiend Greiving, and having the in-hand Trishula for the Farfa.
I want to give another congratulations to Gabe for winning the event. When i shook his hand he told me how badly he thought he played versus me. It was the finals, and I can't expect him not to have been a little nervous !
I want to give a huge shout out to everyone that helped me, you all know who you are !
(Sorry i didnt have time to spellcheck this, wrote it while I was on the train going home, and we are about to get off !)