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  1. Seven. The number of days in a week. Seven. The amount of colours in a rainbow. Seven. The number of continents on this world. Seven. The amount of other planets in our solar system. Seven. The average cost of a Chipotle burrito. Seven. Two hours and two minutes before the most important time of the day. Seven. The number of premiere event tops now held by the esteemed Calvin Tahan.   My name is Sir Craigery I. Rochester, and it is both my duty and pleasure to fully research and convey the events that occurred on the weekend of July 18th, 2015, in Charlotte, North Carolina regarding the self-proclaimed "Best In The World", the aforementioned Calvin Tahan. I swear on my good name that all I share here today is true and correct to the best of my knowledge; I have been the leading investigator in cases like these for over half of a decade, and I promise to solemnly uphold the truth with integrity and grace. I am and have always been a reporter of the people, by the people, and for the people.   It was 10:24pm on Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the duelist formally known Calvin Tahan had once again found himself in the spotlight. As I stood across the room and marveled at the spectacle that was his celebratory jig as his name was being announced, I knew I owed it to the great people of this community to hear firsthand from this incredible man. I assembled my news team and we managed to arrange a shoot interview. When asked of the likely unprecedented amount of enthusiasm he was surely feeling at this time, Mr. Tahan had this to share: "I feel an unprecedented amount of enthusiasm right now," he began, before being summoned by the tournament officials for a highly important meeting. We were not able to reach Mr. Tahan again for further comment.   In truth, the dawn of this day was unlike any other I had witnessed in the vast entirety of my life, let alone my career. The fountain aside the convention center glistened with the hope of a brighter tomorrow, and yet I felt it in the very essence of my being that there would be no day brighter than the current. As my research team and I entered the event hall, it was truly a sight to hold in reverie. There, at the first table by the door, sat the legend himself - his face meticulous and focused, his eyes warm and true, and his sideburns blazing with glory. It was no surprise to me that Calvin Tahan was amongst the very first entrants into the tournament; I have followed this man's career for nearly as long as I have held my own, and if there was one consistent thing that Calvin Tahan always was without fail, it was prepared. The man always came with a plan and always knew exactly what he was doing. We approached his table, which was decorated with an assortment of cards such as Card Trooper, Black Luster Soldier, Outstanding Dog Maron, and multiple copies of Peropero. When asked of his expectations for himself and his performance in the upcoming tournament, Calvin had this brief sentiment to offer "yeah I'm not prepared for this at all; I have no plan whatsoever and don't really know what I'm doing in the slightest". His humility nearly brought me to tears.   I decided to respect Mr. Tahan's personal space and spectate him from afar; I could tell the gears of his mind were turning as he kept eying a loosely assembled group of Shaddoll cards, continuously moving his lot of 90 or so cards between two piles, presumably ones containing cards he didn't wish to run, and ones containing cards he did. Once he had properly designated which cards he had wished to run in the right-most pile, he counted them up, uttered "fifty" and shrugged, did a quick shuffle, drew a test hand, looked at the clock which read 9:37am, and began scribing his decklist.   Round 1 began about an hour later, and Calvin Tahan was found sampling a Blueberry Bagel with Strawberry Cream Cheese from the nearby bagel kiosk. At the start of round 2, Calvin was seen taking selfies by the Bojangles. Through my many years of reporting, I have never seen any metaphor so powerful in my entire life. This man was so very confident in his creation that he did not even consider partaking in the first two rounds of play. We approached Calvin to get the inside scoop. The deck, dubbed by him as "Suicide Squad", is a literary masterpiece and can be found after the jump:   --- Monsters: 25 3 Graff 3 Scarm 3 1 Cir 1 Farfa 1 Tour Guide 3 Mathematician 3 Kuribandit 2 Shaddoll Beast 2 Shaddoll Squamata 2 Shaddoll Hedgehog 2 Shaddoll Falco 1 Shaddoll Dragon 1 Effect Veiler   Spells: 11 1 Raigeki 1 Foolish Burial 1 Allure of Darkness 1 Beginning Of The End 1 El Shaddoll Fusion 3 Shaddoll Fusion 3 Supply Squad   Traps: 14 3 Phoenix Wing Blast 2 Karma Cut 1 Solemn Warning 1 Breakthrough Skill 1 Mistake 2 Torrential Tribute 3 Mind Crush 1 Crush Card Virus   Side: 15 3 Maxx C 3 Mystical Space Typhoon 2 Galaxy Cyclone 2 Typhoon 3 Spell Canceller 1 Vanity's Fiend 1 Skill Drain   Extra: 15 2 Dante, Traveler of Burning Abyss 1 Virgil, Rock Star God 1 Downerd Magician 1 Ghostrick Alucard 1 Mechaquipped Angineer 1 Acid Golem 1 Nightmare Shark 2 El Shaddoll Winda 1 El Shaddoll Construct 1 El Shaddoll Shekinagga 1 Arcanite Magician 1 Armades, Keeper of Dreams 1 Leo, Keeper of Nightmares ----   It became very clear to me that this was a newer, much more refined version of Calvin Tahan than I had encountered in my private research throughout years prior. We were clearly dealing with a strategic mind far more sophisticated than our own. Before we knew it, round 3 was underway, and we wished Mr. Tahan the best of luck, to which he bantered back "consistent luck is sometimes referred to as 'skill'," a statement that would later come to define his legacy.   As a highly trained professional, I, Sir Craigery I. Rochester, consider myself to be a virtuoso at play-by-play recountment. As with all of my writings, I swear on my honor that the entire account to follow is both true and correct.   Round 3 saw Calvin Tahan pitted against an undefeated Qliiphort duelist utilizing the card "Wavering Eyes" in a trapless fashion. Though Calvin lost the roll and was forced to go second in the first duel, the Qliphort duelist lead out with Pot of Duality and added Scout, which searched a generic. The Qliphort duelist played Wavering Eyes, searching out another Scout, which searched out Towers. Upon attempting to pendulum, Calvin reached into his opponent's graveyard and read the text of Pot of Duality aloud in a very slow and ordained fashion order to help kindly and politely correct his opponent's misunderstanding. Calvin destroyed him on the following turn. Game 2 saw the Qliphort player once again attempting to go first and open the FTK. However, upon the activation of Wavering Eyes, Calvin chained Typhoon from his hand and that was match.   Round 4 saw Calvin pitted against a mirror match! Could the greatest Burning Abyss player the world has ever seen overcome the odds and defeat his opponent in a 2-0 fashion? Though his Scarm milled off Kuribandit took a hit early on with Fiend Grieving, Squamata and Falco were still able to resolve their effects, and Beginning of The End would still be added to hand. The answer to our previous question, of course, is yes.   Round 5 vs Jordan Bermudez saw Calvin's deck pitted against its first Budget Nekroz matchup, and I am sad to say it didn't go very well for him. Though his opponent seemed to have no actual understanding of how to pilot his deck ( game 1 lasted 4 turns yet took about 31 minutes, over 25 of which were not on Calvin's turn), The Best In The World still suffered a decisive defeat, reminding us all that even Gods can bleed. On the bright side, Calvin had managed to sneak in multiple micronaps throughout his opponent's lengthy turns, and was now fully rejuvenated for the rounds to follow.   Round 6 vs Desmond Johnson (Budget Nekroz) saw Calvin Tahan return with a vengeance. Throughout my studies, I have noticed that Calvin had never previously defeated Desmond in tournament play, most recently losing to him in a round 7 feature match at ARG Raleigh held 7 months ago in the same state. This time around, it would be Calvin named the victor, in a 2-0 fashion nonetheless.   Round 7 vs Casey Barbee (Budget Nekroz) saw Calvin pitted in yet another revenge matchup which he had never won. Casey Barbee is single handedly responsible for knocking Calvin out of placing into the top cut on the bubble of one tourney, as well as eliminating him in the top 16 of another. This time around, in a feature match streaming for all the world to see, Calvin Tahan would return the favor. In an interview after the match, we asked Calvin what had happened in the final game. His answer might shock you:   Sounds to me like Casey Barbee was heavily outplayed.   Round 8 saw Calvin Tahan pitted against yet another Budget Nekroz competitor. Calvin answered the challenge with a timely 2-0 and quickly headed to the stage to deliver the match slip. The countdown timer read 31:22, and Calvin Tahan took the moment to announce himself as the first official guaranteed entrant into the top 16.   I once again caught up with Calvin and asked for his thoughts on his standings. "Hopefully I don't play against some idiot who doesn't want to ID because they are scared or have literally no understanding of how tiebreakers work or want to try to get their shitter x-2 friend in". Surely enough, round 9 was announced and would you believe it! Calvin's opponent did not wish to draw. "I'm X-0-1 and we are at table 2. I really want to get first place." Frustrated but unbroken, Calvin explained very clearly to his opponent "The person at table 1 is also X-0-1, as you drew each other last round. He is going to ID his opponent. You being at Table 2 does not mean you have worse tiebreakers than him. The only reason you aren't at table 1 is because you cannot play him, because you already did. It's literally arbitrary. If you draw with me here, there is still a 50% chance that you will get first. However, if you do not, I will make sure you get last." Before the DGZ Cairo Champion could make good on his promise, his opponent was spared through means of a repair. This time, Calvin would be matched against his local friend and travel companion, Nicky Reardon (Budget Nekroz), who after hearing that Calvin had 2-0'd 3 of 4 of his Budget Nekroz matchups, as well as the rest of his opponents altogether, wisely agreed to Draw. Calvin and Nicky shook hands, shared an intimate moment of selfies and smiles, and proceeded to the scorekeeper's stage to confirm their standings. It is said that they drove down together from Northern Virginia. Though it happens from time to time, it is still quite rare to see 100% of a person's car make the top cut, and despite all my years reporting and subsequent Knighthood, I could not write a better ending to this story if I tried. ~ Thus ends this final chapter in the much larger story of Calvin Tahan's climb to the top. I could not be there to witness the events that occurred on Day 2, but my sources are telling me that Calvin Tahan did not go on to win this event. While I can't say this shocks me, I can say that it saddens me. As a reporter, I have seen many faces of the world and have seen many great men held back by a series of unfortunate events. While it's clear that The DGZ 2014 Player Of The Year was met with some misfortune on Day 2, it is even more clear that he will continue to rise above all expectations and shatter the glass ceiling that's been looming over him for so long. All things considered, when your deck is this big, there simply are no ceilings.   My name is Sir Craigery I. Rochester. It is my sworn duty to actively detail the endeavors of Calvin Tahan and his climb to the top, and I will not rest a day until my duty is done.   Regards,   Sir Craigery I. Rochester   Leading Factual Authority on The Best In The World Now Available For Private Bookings   Contact: Sir.Cir@aol.com  
  2. [size=12]       Hey guys. For those who don't know me, my name is Collin. I'm 17 years old and live in Northern Virginia. Anyways, this past weekend, at the Frederick, MD regionals, I went 9-0. In fact, I only lost 3 games in total over the corse of the entire day. I was the only undefeated after swiss, making me 1st place. I'm going to show you my decklist, explain the important card choices, then get into the actual tournament.[/size]   [size=12]---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/size]   [size=12]DECK EXPLANATION:[/size]   [size=12]       First off, I want to explain why I decided on this version of Shaddolls. Last format, I played Lightsworn Shaddolls. This was because Soul Charge was at 3, and I wanted to play the deck that abused Soul Charge the best. The Lightsworn version did that more than any other deck. When Soul Charge became limited, this completely changed what would define what the best deck is.[/size]   [size=12]       At first, I thought that Burning Abyss would be the best deck. However, I quickly found out that I was wrong. The major problem about the deck was that it had literally zero auto wins. The best deck isn't going to have literally zero hands where you can look at your opening hand and say "I win". If you look at the best decks ever since Plant format, they all have opening hands where they just automatically win.[/size]   [size=12]       Another problem I had with the deck was that it had to run way too many cards that conflict with each other. Yes, the Burning Abyss monsters can special summon themselves you don't have backrow. Other than that though, the decks had monarchs, Tour Guides, Maths, etc. In order to make Mathematician good, they had to add Shaddoll Dragon, making the deck even worse. You can start to see the problem[/size]   [size=12]       The last huge issue I had with the deck is what Patrick Hoban wrote his second latest article about. If you haven't read it, I suggest you do. It's called "The Problem With Burning Abyss". Anyways, he talks about the deck having a "low ceiling". This means that if the deck's initial play got stopped, it couldn't continue. Shaddolls have a very high ceiling, meaning that if the opponent stops the initial play, they can keep going that turn. This is very important to a deck as you can bait out backrow while still being able to further your play, letting you purposefully lose "fights" to traps cards that you actually wanted to lose, so you can save your more relevant plays for after. I didn't actually know what to call it when I was testing Burning Abyss, but I knew something was off when I was losing to trap cards because I could only do one thing per turn.[/size]          Anyways, this lead me to continue to play Shaddolls. After testing the Mathematician Dark Armed version, I felt that the Lightsworn version was just worse than it. If you didn't open good, Burst Rebirth is just an awful card. Also, I didn't like how it didn't have nearly as a control over the outcome of the game as the Mathematician version did. Being able to immediately turn on the White and Black Dragons turn 1 is really important, and this version could do that. It could best use Shadow Games, and would always have the most options available. In addition, Dark Armed made for literally an infinite amount of games that I would just automatically win because of that card, a lot I probably shouldn't have won otherwise. Lastly, this version overall had near zero brick hands, whereas the Lightsworn version had quite a few. Those factors lead me to run this version over the Lightsworn version; however, I still think the Lightsworn version is the second best.[/size]   [size=12]       Also, Artifacts were never an option, as they were just subpar against everything. It created more brick hands, and the cards themselves didn't do nearly as much as Eclipse, the Dragons, or the Lightsworns. I definitely think that the Artifact version is the worst by far, and would never consider playing them. Anyways, on to the deck now.[/size]   [size=12]This is the list I ended up playing:[/size]   [size=12]Monsters: 23[/size] [size=12]3 Mathematician[/size] [size=12]3 Shaddoll Beast[/size] [size=12]2 Shaddoll Hedgehog[/size] [size=12]2 Shaddoll Squamata[/size] [size=12]2 Shaddoll Dragon[/size] [size=12]2 Shaddoll Falco[/size] [size=12]2 White Dragon Wyverburster[/size] [size=12]2 Black Dragon Collapserpent[/size] [size=12]2 Effect Veiler[/size] [size=12]1 Eclipse Wyvern[/size] [size=12]1 Dark Armed Dragon[/size] [size=12]1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning[/size]   [size=12]Spells: 10[/size] [size=12]3 Upstart Goblin[/size] [size=12]3 Shaddoll Fusion[/size] [size=12]1 Super Polymerization[/size] [size=12]1 Soul Charge[/size] [size=12]1 Foolish Burial[/size] [size=12]1 Allure of Darkness[/size]   [size=12]Traps: 7[/size] [size=12]3 Sinister Shadow Games[/size] [size=12]3 Vanity's Emptiness[/size] [size=12]1 Solemn Warning[/size]   [size=12]Extra Deck: 15[/size] [size=12]2 El Shaddoll Construct[/size] [size=12]2 El Shaddoll Winda[/size] [size=12]1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer[/size] [size=12]1 Lavalval Chan[/size] [size=12]1 Daigusto Emeral[/size] [size=12]1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight[/size] [size=12]1 Abyss Dweller[/size] [size=12]1 Armades, Keeper of Boundaries[/size] [size=12]1 Goyo Guardian[/size] [size=12]1 HTS Psyhemuth[/size] [size=12]1 Black Rose Dragon[/size] [size=12]1 Arcanite Magician[/size] [size=12]1 Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree[/size]   [size=12]Sideboard: 15[/size] [size=12]2 Puppet Plant[/size] [size=12]1 Caius the Shadow Monarch[/size] [size=12]1 Effect Veiler[/size] [size=12]3 Mystical Space Typhoon[/size] [size=12]2 Forbidden Lance[/size] [size=12]1 Mind Control[/size] [size=12]3 Royal Decree[/size] [size=12]2 Pulling the Rug[/size]   [size=12]       First off, I'm going to explain 2 Hedgehog. In the Lightsworn version, I think that 1 Hedgehog is correct. The 3 Raiden take the spot of the 3 Math, but they still run 2 Lyla and 1 Charge. That's 3 more normal summons. Also, the Lightsworn version relies less on Shaddoll Fusion and more on chaos monsters and Burst Rebirth. However, this version relies more on Shaddoll Fusion. Hedgehog is usually the second best normal summon in the deck behind Math. Sometimes, Hedgehog can actually be better for the monster heavy hands.[/size]   [size=12]       In addition to Hedgehog being one of the two best monsters to open with, it's also essential in your deck. You want to be able to send Hedgehog off Squamata to search Beast in the mirror match when you Shaddoll Fusion. Also, when you open with Shaddoll Fusion, you have to open a Squamata, a Hedgehog, or a light monster so you can tribute set Beast. I understand you can do all this with 1 Hedgehog; however, if you use the first Hedgehog to search Fusion, then having the second is essential.[/size]   [size=12]       In addition to searching Beast for the mirror or for going first against an unknown deck, the ROTA effect of Hedgehog is still extremely important. I send Hedgehog to add Squamata or Dragon at LEAST once per match to have a beater or a level 4. Also, if you have Allure in hand, using Math, Foolish, or Shadow Games to send Hedgehog and add an irrelevant Shaddoll monster that you don't want to draw. This turns Allure into essentially Pot of Greed. Also, when you open Fusion against non-Shaddoll match-ups, using Math or Foolish to send Hedgehog allows you to make a turn 1 Construct or Winda consistently. I know all these uses seem kind of self-explanatory, but with so many uses for Hedgehog, you can see why 2 is essential in this version. If anything, I would add a third before I'd ever cut 1.[/size]   [size=12]       With this, I think running 1 Armageddon Knight as a "fourth Mathematician" is terrible. Armageddon is 1400 attack making it awful for battling Deneb and Falco. As said above, the second Hedgehog is way more essential than Armageddon Knight. This deck runs a total of 11 good turn 1 normal summons, which is where this deck wants to be. These include: 3 Mathematician, 2 Hedgehog, 2 Squamata, 2 Dragon, 1 Falco, and 1 Foolish. The reason I only put down 1 Falco is because Falco is only a good turn 1 normal summon if you have a Foolish or a Shadow Games. That will be about 50% of the time. So 50% of 2 Falcos is 1 Falco. So for statistics stake that's how I'm going to write it. Adding Armageddon is just bad and unnecessary, as you don't always even summon Mathematician turn 1 anyways, and it's the 12th turn 1 normal summon.[/size]   [size=12]       The next thing I'm going to talk about is 2 Falco. I think that 2 is definitely not necessary. However, when I was testing certain match-ups, especially the mirror, when the kill the first one, this deck often wants a second one. It came in useful several times, and I would not cut it. Like I said, I started with 1 Falco and put it to 2 for a reason.[/size]   [size=12]       The baby dragons are what make this deck good. They allow for a constant supply of pressure, with also making insane synchro and XYZ plays. The deck just flows so smoothly and better when you draw these cards. I started with 3 white and 2 black, but I soon found that 3 white would get cloggy and bad, so I cut 1. I played 2 and 2 for a while, but at first I often found myself siding 1 black out a lot in testing. Everytime I would do this, I would kick myself. I found out quickly that 2 and 2 is the perfect number, and I never side any out.[/size]   [size=12]       The next thing I'm going to talk about is probably the most important thing in the deck: the Eclipse and Dark Armed. These cards literally finished every single match for me. The entire deck searches Dark Armed, and can make it live. These 2 cards allow you to brick less, as it allows you to use the Black Dragon in your hand early on by sending Eclipse to the grave. Then, the baby dragons return the favor by complementing the Dark Armed. They remove and add lights and darks to the grave, while most importantly, being able to make Lavalval Chain and Daigusto Emeral. You can also make Lavalval Chain to send Eclipse to search Dark Armed if you have a BLS (which I didn't draw very much at all) or Black Dragon. Literally, the entire deck searches and sets up Dark Armed. The engine adds consistency and auto-wins, it's literally the best of everything.[/size]   [size=12]       Effect Veilers overperformed all day. I felt that the only protection card better than Veiler this format that this deck can run are Vanity's Emptiness, Solemn Warning, Super Poly, and Breakthrough Skill. I felt that Veiler and Breakthrough are significantly worse than the other 3, but unfortunately 2 of those 3 are limited. This only leaves 5 protection cards in the deck. Based on tons of statistics I've done (which I won't go into cause this report is already way too long), a deck should have at least 7 protection cards. This means that I need at least 2 more in the deck. Although Breakthrough is slightly better than Veiler, as it can hit Vanity's Fiend, Artifacts, Winda, Construct, and Dweller, I never actually used Breakthrough's second effect. I played against infinite amounts of those cards, but it just never came up. I needed room in my side deck, so I cut 2 breakthroughs from the main and replaced them with 2 veilers from the side. I'm so glad I played Veiler, as it's a lot harder to make reads on. Most importantly though, the card is a light, making Shaddoll Fusion, Black Dragon, and BLS a lot better. This came up so many times throughout the tournament I can't count. Like I said before, this card over preformed for me and I'm glad I played this over Breakthrough Skill.[/size]   [size=12]       Something you might have noticed is that I decided not to include Compulsory Evacuation Device anywhere in the 55. I felt this card was only good in the mirror. Against Burning Abyss and Satellars, it never really did anything. It just delayed the inevitable and never progressed the game. I was siding it for just the mirror for a while, but I also found that it didn't do anything here. Players don't keep an extra deck monster on board in the mirror, making this card completely useless. This is why I think this card is extremely bad this format.[/size]   [size=12]       I most literally wrote a 7 page paper to why 3 Upstart should be played in every deck. I'm not going to go into specifics. The idea is that most literally the deck becomes 37 cards if you don't take into account life points. If you're playing a 40 card deck, why not play 37? Also, if you say life points matter more than your deck being the minimum size, here's what I have to say:[/size]   [size=12]Is Soul Charge a bad card?[/size] [size=12]Is Solemn Warning a bad card?[/size] [size=12]Why isn't your deck 60 cards and filled with burn cards, if you think life points are more important than running the minimum, right?[/size]          Anyways, you get the point. There's no logical reason to not be playing 3. Also, with this, never side any out. If you side 1 out, your deck becomes 38 cards. This completely goes against the point of running any to begin with. Remember, there's obviously no bad cards in your deck, or else you wouldn't run them; however, there is always a worst card in your deck until your deck is 1 card.[/size]   [size=12]       If your not running Soul Charge, your insane. That's all I have to say. I mean, have you read the card?[/size]   [size=12]       Solemn Warning. I can see the theory behind not playing it. I didn't really like having to run it myself. However, it's the only card that stops all the relevant threats in all match-ups. After this tournament, this card is the literal MVP (besides Dark Armed of course). It was so amazing, I can't even explain. It won me an uncountable number of games. Anyone who doesn't like this card is format is just wrong. I understand that the card is bad against established boards; but, unless emptiness is on board, this entire deck is built to deal with established boards. This format, you need protection cards that stop your opponent from doing something rather than dealing with established boards because once a player has an established board, they have already gotten value and done it's job.[/size]   [size=12]       In the extra deck, the most made card was actually Lavalval Chain. I made it infinite amounts of times to send Dragon then drop Dark Armed, or send Eclipse to search Dark Armed. I didn't make Daigusto Emeral much that day, but I've actually made it more than Lavalval Chain in the past.[/size]   [size=12]       One card I ran that I don't see many lists running is HTS Psyhemuth. It's extremely important for different reasons in all match-ups. Against Satellars, it can banish Deneb so they can't Altair. Against Burning Abyss, it removes Dante and the BA monsters. Against the mirror, it removes the fusions so they can't add back Shaddoll Fusion. Also, in the mirror, this card creates a good out to any threat presented without having to leave an extra deck monster on the field. I think Goyo is still better than this card, but it's still very important to have for the situations it can swing the game heavily in your favor.[/size]   [size=12]       The last thing in the extra deck I would like to talk about is no Volcasaurus. I had this in my extra deck for a while, but it never came up. The only time it does is with Soul Charge for 2 Beasts. I usually only have 1 Beast in grave because of White Dragon or DAD, there has literally been 0 times when I Soul Charge for 2 Beasts. The only time i can see this bing relevant is when you Soul Charge for 2 Beasts, and making Volcasaurus is game. This almost never comes up, as you USUALLY do a lot of damage in 1 turn, rather than a lot of small damage that adds up. So obviously, the situation for Volcasaurus never came up, and will continue to never come up. If I ever need to get over a monster, I can just make Castel or Arcanite Magician, both of which you can make without having to Soul Charge. The only things I'd ever consider cutting for it are Exciton or Dweller, both of which are a lot more vital than Volcasaurus.[/size]   [size=12]       The last thing I need to discuss is the side deck. I just focused on making my side deck for the 3 best decks, as anything else would be a free win for this deck. So, this is how I side for each match-up and why:[/size]   [size=12]Shaddolls:[/size] [size=12]+2 Puppet Plant[/size] [size=12]+1 Caius[/size] [size=12]-2 Effect Veiler[/size] [size=12]-1 Soul Charge[/size]   [size=12]       In the mirror, I always ask to keep out Mind Control. The card is degenerate and unfair in the mirror. There is literally 0 logical reasons to keep it in. Puppet Plant is obviously amazing. I decided to side Caius over Vanity's Fiend for many reasons. First off, the mirror relies heavily on tempo. Both players are trading off back and forth swings of set Falcos and Beasts. Caius allows you to completely change the game in your favor by getting rid of Beast or Falco, then doing a lot of damage. Also, there are a lot of outs to Vanity's Fiend. If they play smart, they can out Fiend and then still play their cards. The 1 turn tempo swing is usually good enough and actually better than trying to sit on Vanity's Fiend. In addition, it's an out to Emptiness or additional Vanity's fiends.[/size]   [size=12]       I think siding out Veiler is obvious in the mirror, as it does literal nothing. Veilering a flip effect is never where you want to be, and can be a losing strategy. Caius just does the same thing, but a million times better, as well as more things. I also side out Soul Charge in the mirror. Since you can't use the extra deck, Soul Charge can never be used to its fullest potential. You just bring back a bunch of guys, usually which your opponent can just capitalize on next turn. For example, during the last round of swiss, my opponent Soul Charged in the mirror. I didn't even care of feel pressured. Next turn I just set up Dark Armed and killed him. The card just doesn't apply the pressure it does in other match-ups, unless of course you draw Emptiness. If you have Emptiness in the mirror, you should already have a way to win though. Soul Charge just becomes a win more card at that point.[/size]   [size=12]Burning Abyss:[/size] [size=12]+2 Forbidden Lance[/size] [size=12]+2 Pulling the Rug[/size] [size=12]-1 Shaddoll Beast[/size] [size=12]-1 Shaddoll Falco[/size] [size=12]-1 Allure of Darkness[/size] [size=12]-1 Sinister Shadow Games[/size]   [size=12]       Forbidden Lance is probably the best card for this deck to see against Burning Abyss. The deck heavily relies on its discard traps to remove threats like Winda, Construct, Dark Armed, BLS, etc. When your playing against Burning Abyss, Lance can just completely turn the game around In your favor in an instant. If you have Lance, you can just be hyperly aggressive against them, and overwhelm them really fast. They can deal with everything your throwing at them and just lose. Also, you literally can't lose when you're setting up Dark Armed and have Lance.[/size]   [size=12]       Pulling the Rug is like a worse Solemn Warning against them; however, Solemn Warning is just amazing against them. Like Hoban said in his article, Burning Abyss have a "low ceiling". They can only do one thing per turn. Once you stop their normal summon, they can't do anything else. When you Pulling the Rug a monarch, TGU, or Math, you almost literally win because you stopped their entire turn.[/size]   [size=12]       Against non-mirror matches, I side out 1 Beast and 1 Shadow Games. Shadow Games is only gold early game. So, against decks where you're not trading back and forth flip effects (aka, non-mirrors), you never want to see Shadow Games past mid-game. You'd rather have the Shaddoll monsters in your deck for the long game and for Fusions. As for Shaddoll Beast, against non-mirrors, you rarely tribute set Beast. You mainly want to use him for Fusion and to send to grave. So, the third isn't necessary.[/size]   [size=12]       I side out 1 Falco because the card is more situational against Burning Abyss. They often out it with Phoenix Wing, Raiza, or Alucard, so setting Falco isn't always good. By having 2 Falcos in your deck, you're only setting yourself up to get blown out by one of the cards I listed above.[/size]   [size=12]       The last card I side out is Allure. I'm siding out 2 dark monsters, so the card obviously becomes worse. Since I'm siding down to 9 Shaddolls, removing 1 isn't always where you want to be. Keeping it in isn't bad, and if I was only siding 3 in I would. I just think it is next worst card, and there's nothing better to side out.[/size]   [size=12]Satellars:[/size] [size=12]+1 Effect Veiler[/size] [size=12]+3 Mystical Space Typhoon[/size] [size=12]+3 Royal Decree[/size] [size=12]-3 Sinister Shadow Games[/size] [size=12]-3 Vanity's Emptiness[/size] [size=12]-1 Solemn Warning[/size]   [size=12]       Against Satellars, they best you with trap cards. That's literally the only way they win. If you have Veiler + Decree or Winda + Decree, you can't lose. They aren't expecting it, so they just board normally for Shaddolls, siding in all their floodgates, and get even more blown out by Decree. This sideboard plan worked really well against this deck, and I'd suggest testing it (though test multiple games, as if you do a really small sample size, it doesn't really mean anything).[/size]   [size=12]       Lastly, I just want to say I don't side the third Veiler against Burning Abyss because I don't want too many protection cards. I feel like 2 Veilers is fine, but 3 is overkill. Pulling the Rug is strictly better as it gets rid of Mathematician or Monarchs, as a 1500 floater or a 2400 body is still very useful. I also don't side in Decree because Veiler + Decree or Winda + Decree isn't just game against them like it is Satellars or rogue decks. Monarchs are a real thing, and you often need Emptiness, Pulling the Rug, or Solemn Warning to fully stop the deck. Thus why siding into Lances and Rugs are better than the Decree side against Burning Abyss.[/size]   [size=12]---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/size]   [size=12]THE TOURNAMENT:[/size]          The day started off with the usual suspects: Desmond, the Leveretts, and myself. We all got into the card, where we drove an unusual amount of hours just for a yugioh tournament, when I’m pretty sure other people would just fly or stay at home. On the way there, Mrs. Leverett got pulled over for speeding. When the cop looked inside the car, he had the most confused face when trying to figure out why our group of people would be traveling in the same car. In a short time, Mrs. Leverett ended up getting out of the ticket. I’m not quite sure how, but it sounded like it involved a lot of clapping. Anyways, after we got back on the road, we continued to talk about how strangely and hilariously related Desmond’s life is to the blind side.[/size]          Oh wait, ummmmmm……….I’m pretty sure that is the wrong tournament report………..[/size]   [size=12]       Okay, sorry. I just had to do that. For real though, the real tournament report. First off, I want to say that the regionals wasn't the first tournament I went to this past weekend. On Saturday, I went to a local tournament in Maryland, where the winner got a real millennium puzzle. It was in a nice Plexiglas case, with a display placard and everything. Apparently it’s worth about $100. Anyways, that morning, my brother and I went to Calvin Tahan’s house, where we met him and departed for the tournament. An hour later, we found ourselves at Thanks for Playing in Ijamsville, MD. I entered the tournament with the same deck I would eventually win the regionals with. I went 4-0 during swiss, then won out top 4 and top 2, to become the winner of the millennium puzzle.[/size]   [size=12]       Funny story about this tournament was when I faced Calvin during swiss. He was playing the 60 card Billy Brake shit deck. I win game 1. Then, I’m about to kill him game 2, but he sharks me for the win. What happened was that I flipped summon Beast, drew 2 and discard a Squamata. I used its effect to send Dragon and pop Calvin’s backrow. Then, I normalled Mathematician. This was literally game on board. I got so caught up in excitement knowing I had the 2-0 that when I sent Squamata off Mathematician, I had forgotten I had used its effect so I sent Beast and drew a card. Calvin didn’t say anything about it until I declared an attack with Beast, and he realized it was game. He then called judge where a big dispute happened. I laid the cards in my hand on the table, as it was literally completely irrelevant. I had game, and he was blatantly sharking me cause otherwise I’d win the match. The judge obviously didn’t have a choice but to side with him, since I shuffled my hand and we couldn’t prove anything. It was my fault, but it was still kind of gay how a friend would shark me for something I obviously won that turn. Anyways, we proceeded to game 3, where I won regardless. This 3-0 is the reason Calvin didn’t play the 60 card shit deck at regionals the next day.[/size]   [size=12]       Anyways, we all went out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings that night where I got the second hottest wings on the menu, and it was delicious. At dinner, I told everyone that I might not even go to regionals, as I just wanted to stay home, relax, sleep in, and watch the season premiere of the Walking Dead. Everyone convinced me to go to the regional though, and I’m glad they did.[/size]   [size=12]       Waking up Sunday morning was a struggle, as I got less than 5 hours of sleep. This seems like a lot for some people, but I always try to get a good night’s sleep before an event.  Anyways, I wake up with just enough time to shower, get dressed, and leave. However, what I didn’t plan for was the side effects of the extremely spicy wings of last night to kick in. After being 15 minutes off schedule, I was worried I had kept Dilan waiting, so I didn’t get any breakfast. I was all ready to go, when I look outside and Dilan wasn’t there waiting. I was so excited that I could eat breakfast when Dilan calls me and says he’ll be there in less than a minute. I get sad again. I look to see if there’s anything good to take with me, aaaaaaaaannnnddd there wasn’t. So I go without food all day.[/size]   [size=12]       When Based Dilan picks me up, we start talking about basic shit. I forget to bring the broken modeling picture of Dilan that I was supposed to give to Calvin at home, so Dilan and I just hope Calvin forgets (which he does, and probably never did until he reads this). Anyways, the drive continues with Dilan complaining about his eyes way too many times. The normal Escape the Fate and Falling in Reverse don’t get played immediately because Dilan is too tired for that, so we listen to some softer stuff on the way to the dreaded and awful place of Springfield, VA.[/size]   [size=12]       Once we get to Calvin’s, we have to wait for Daniel D to get there, which takes several minutes. Finally, we all get in the car on our way towards Arlington to pick up the legendary Jessy Samek. Since I’m sitting in the back, it’s very uncomfortable once Jessy gets in between me and Double D. We get used to it, and we’re off to regionals.[/size]   [size=12]       On the way there, Jessy is the most hilarious person on Tinder. Calvin and Dilan are having their own conversation while Double D and I are witnessing the brokenness of Jessy on Tinder. Somehow, word that Calvin has a sister comes up, and we are all wondering if she is attractive. To our surprise, she looks nothing like Calvin, meaning that she’s actually pretty hot. We’re all freaking out, and we notify Alfonso Yamakawa via text right away. If you want to judge for yourself, look at Facebook if you’re friends with Calvin Tahan.[/size]   [size=12]       We continue to listen to Escape the Fate, when Jessy says “Hey, can you put on some nigger music? Like straight nigger. You all can put your screamo back on afterwards.” Dilan and Calvin jump on it. At this point, Dilan says “On a scale from 1 to 10, with Kanye West being a 5, how nigger do you want it?” Jessy responds with telling us that a 8 or 9 will suffice. Dilan plays something that’s a 7 or 8, but me and Calvin are freaking out because we have the perfect song. If Kanye West is a 5, this is at least a 12. The song is called Dreams and Nightmares by Meek Mill. The song is literally insane. Just listen to it, and read the lyrics while you’re listening. It’s not the same unless you read the lyrics. Also, listen to the entire thing, it gets better. I hate rap music myself, but this song is just straight up fucking broken man. If you aren’t inclined to listen to it yet, I’m going to quote two lines from the song. If this doesn’t give you the incentive to listen to it, I don’t know what does: “When I bought the Rolls Royce they thought it was leased[/size] [size=12]Then I bought that new Ferrari, hater rest in peace[/size] [size=12]Hater rest in peace, rest in peace to the parking lot[/size] [size=12]Phantom so big, it can't even fit in the parking spot”[/size]   [size=12]“If you ain't about that murder game then pussy nigga shut up”[/size]          Anyways, after the broken ass drive there finally came to an end, we got to the regionals. Apparently we got there like five minutes too late, because the vendor had Pulling the Rug for $1, but I was too late. So, I had to take the really big neg and buy one for $5. Doesn’t matter though, I didn’t care. I entered the tournament and resleeved my deck, ready for round 1. Now, to the actual tournament. I didn’t keep record of the tournament, so I’m going based on my memory. There’s very little details of the actual tournament I remember, so bear with me.[/size]       [size=12]ROUND 1: Burning Abyss (2-0)[/size]   [size=12]Game 1: He doesn’t open enough protection cards, so I bait out what he does have and drop Dark Armed very early for game.[/size]   [size=12]Game 2: I don’t remember much of this game. I just remember at one point I was going for game, so I drop Dark Armed. He Book of Moons it. I couldn’t game him, so I attack with Construct and Black Dragon, then set Super Poly. He adds Tour Guide at the end phase with Scarm. He then activates Raigeki, in which I’m really surprised. I decide to chain Super Poly to my face down Beast and Construct to make Winda. I decided to do this so he couldn’t kill me, and so I could add back Fusion for next turn due to Construct being sent to grave. He didn’t have an out for Winda, so he just sets a trap and passes. I end up beating him down with Winda, Shaddoll Dragon, and White Dragon. When he activates a Wind Blast on Winda, I Lance it to seal the game.[/size]       [size=12]ROUND 2: SATELLARKNIGHTS (2-1)[/size]   [size=12]Game 1: I remember this entire match very vividly. Game 1, I opened very poorly. He wasn't the greatest player in the world, be he did know how to open the foolish burial guy + call of the haunted + sanctum + 2 other traps. I lost this game essentially from the gate. One turn though, I had a White Dragon in defense. I was at really low life points. His board is the foolish burial guy and a Moralltach. He asks me the defense of the white dragon, and I say "1800". He sits there, and thinks for a while. Finally, he declares an attack with the foolish burial guy. I say okay. He looks at me confused to why I'm not sending my white dragon to grave. I thought he might have purposefully done it so he can Chalice or something in damage step because he specifically asked and then thought for a while. He then shakes his head and says sorry, attack with Moralltach. My dragon dies, and I search for the black one. He then says he's going to do Moralltach first then the other guy. I tell him "sorry, you already attacked with that one first". He then shakes his head, very pissed off, and says "Wow, it's way too early for this shit." Normally, I wouldn't have sharked him for something like this, but he took a while to think after he specifically asked the defense of white dragon. Next turn, I flip Falco to get a Squamata set, summon Black Dragon, then synchro for goyo and add another white dragon. I summon White Dragon and then Shaddoll Fusion into another Winda so my board is Goyo, Winda, and White Dragon. I kill both monsters, taking the Moralltach, to seal the game.[/size]   [size=12]Game 2: I open Dragon, both Falcos, BLS, and 2 decree. He opens Deneb set 2. Although I resolve a decree, he's able to make a Delteros to just pop my Shaddoll Dragon and kill me the following turn after.[/size]   [size=12]Game 3: I open a monster heavy hand again. I set Hedgehog and pass. He double ROTAs for Vega and Deneb and makes turn 1 Dweller (like I said, not the best player in the world). He then kills my Hedgehog, letting me add Shaddoll Fusion. He sets 1. On my turn, I activate Shaddoll Fusion. He activates Emptiness, I then chain MST. I ask him for a response after that. He specifically says no. Then I most literally ask him "Are you sure?" He thinks for a while, then still says no, and then sends Emptiness to the graveyard. I send Eclipse and Squamata and summon Construct. He then says that he would like to activate Dweller as chain link 4 in response to MST. I'm like "no, you can't activate Dweller after you send Emptiness to the graveyard AND saw what I was sending to grave." He then agrees, and Construct is summoned. I say Eclipse CL1, Squamata CL2, Construct CL3. He activates Dweller as CL4. I say okay, then go to resolve all their effects. He thinks that the Eclipse and Squamata would be negated, so I have to call over a judge to explain. Once everything resolves, I have Eclipse and 3 darks in grave, and DAD banished. I have a Black Dragon, so I just kill him that turn. He was really salty, but literally everything was his fault for not knowing rulings nor paying attention. I apologize for how the match went, and he says in a very salty and mad tone "It's a card game dude, you don't have to say sorry." I sign the match slip and move on with my life.[/size]       [size=12]ROUND 3: Burning Abyss (2-0)[/size]   [size=12]Game 1: This guy is someone from my locals. He wins the die roll, but he knows what I'm playing. He isn't sure whether to go first or second. After a good 30 seconds of thinking, he decides to go second. I open Mathematician and Shadow Games, punishing him for making the wrong choice about the die roll. I grind out of all his backrow. Then, I Soul Charge for a bunch of guys guys and drop Dark Armed to literally kill his entire field leaving him 1 card in hand. Although he's searching Tour Guide, he still can't get over everything and concedes.[/size]   [size=12]Game 2: He learns from the mistake game 1 and takes first. He makes first turn Dante + Scarm and sets some backrow. This game I again grind out of his backrow, but this time a lot slower than the first game because he has the Dante loop going. I eventually stop the loop with a Winda. I have a Lance to protect Winda. I Pulling the Rug his Raiza on his turn. He sets a trap or 2, and passes. I summon Falco to make Arcanite Magician, then do something (can’t remember exactly what it was) to make Dark Armed live. I drop Dark Armed and just kill him.[/size]       [size=12]ROUND 4: SATELLARS (2-0)[/size]   [size=12]Game 1: I don’t remember much of this game, but I remember that it was very grindy. I eventually stuck a Winda that he didn’t have an out to. I made a read that one of his 3 backrow was a D Prison based on the very specific way he was playing the game, so there was many turns of attacking with either a baby chaos dragon (can’t remember which one) and Squamata, without attacking with Winda. After many turns went by of grinding without attacking with the Winda, he had 1 backrow left. At this point, I was like now 99% sure it was a D Prison, but this turn I could afford to attack into it. He Prisons my Winda. Then, main phase 2 I do some stuff so I can drop Dark Armed. I then pop his foolish burial guy on board and set Emptiness to take over the game.[/size]   [size=12]Game 2: He opens with the foolish burial guy and sets backrow. I summon Dragon and kill his guy. On his turn, I Veiler his Altair and chain Decree to Call of the Haunted for the complete blowout. I kill him on one of the following turns.[/size]       [size=12]ROUND 5: BURNING ABYSS (2-0)[/size]   [size=12]Game 1: This game was extremely grindy in the beginning. He’s beating me down with Shaddoll Dragon while I’m trying to stabilize. I set a Hedgehog, and he attacks it with the Dragon. I add Fusion. In my draw phase, he Mind Crushes it. He gets to see my hand of 2 white dragons, 1 black dragon, and some other cards. I don’t remember exactly what happened in between the Mind Crush and the next thing I’m going to tell you. What I do know though is that during this time, I activated all 3 of my Upstart Goblins, so I felt very behind. However, I got him down to 1 backrow. I make Lavalval Chain with White Dragon and a Squamata to send Eclipse. I drop Black Dragon to add DAD. At this point I’m like 99% sure that his backrow is something irrelevant, like a Trap Stun, MST, or bluff. I drop Dark Armed and pop his backrow. It is a Trap Stun. I don’t remember what my exact board was, but I remember I had some way to make a Construct (it was either a Fusion or Super Poly) to do exactly 11,000 damage in one turn for exact game.[/size]   [size=12]Game 2: He bricks this game. He draws trap cards, but no way to get an engine going. I don’t remember any other details from this game, just that I win from drawing a playable hand and later killing him. If they aren’t getting value from their trap cards, then they aren’t really that good.[/size]       [size=12]ROUND 6: MADOLCHE (2-0)[/size]   [size=12]Game 1: I wonder how my opponent got 5-0 with Madolches. He laughs and responds “I’ve been getting very lucky”. This is where my opponent proceeds to summon Anjelly, and I literally thank God that I opened with Effect Veiler. So ya, I mean it’s Madolches. Game 2: I literally opened the most broken hand in the history of Yugioh. I open BLS and a way to make DAD live and just kill him on turn 2. Wish I could’ve used it against a non-Madolche opponent, but whatever.[/size]       [size=12]ROUND 7: MERMAILS (2-1)[/size]   [size=12]Game 1: We both know what each other is playing, so he lets me go first. I open Falco + Shadow Games, so I start off with a huge lead. After I bait out some of his backrow, I Soul Charge for a complete blowout.[/size]   [size=12]Game 2: I don’t remember much of this game, but just that my hand was very subpar. I mean, it’s not like I bricked this game. It’s just that he opened Linde into Pike, so I was under constant pressure. I had no way to stop his special summoning since I never drew Fusion. I later drew a Fusion, making a Construct. I attack over his Leed, but he has Compulse. I’m not dead yet, but I’m at 3800. I literally lucksack the top deck Soul Charge. I attempt to make Castel, but he has Breakthrough Skill. Next turn he summons Undine to send Tidal for game.[/size]   [size=12]Game 3: I open Shadow Games + Mathematician again, so I mean ya… I end up being able to drop DAD and kill him sometime during the early game and he gets very upset at the loss. I’ve played him in multiple events before and he’s never won, so that’s why he got even more upset. He still made Top 8 with Mermails though, so congrats to him.[/size]       [size=12]ROUND 8: LIGHTSWORN SHADDOLLS (Tom Mak, 2-0)[/size]   [size=12]Game 1: I know what he’s playing since we’ve been sitting next to each other all day, so I go set Squamata + Shadow Games. Like I predicted, he summons Raiden and gets blown out by Squamata’s effect off the Shadow Game flip. I drop DAD early game to kill him.[/size]   [size=12]Game 2: He opens with set 2 pass. This game I literally open DAD again, so it’s really easy. On my first turn of the game, I foolish burial to send Squamata and Hedgehog to add Dragon. I summon Dragon, then summon White Dragon. I make Lavalval Chain, detaching Dragon to send Beast and draw a card. I have exactly 3 darks, so I drop DAD. I then pop one of his two sets. He chains Shadow Games, sending Squamata and the Falco (I’m guessing he did this so he didn’t get OTK’d that turn). I then activate DAD again to pop his other face down, he chains Burst Rebirth to bring back Squamata. He’s already activated both effects, so I attack both with Lavalval Chain and Dark Armed. Main Phase 2 I then use Dark Armed to pop my own Lavalval Chain, then set Vanity’s Emptiness (Ya, this game and game 2 against Madolches I opened the complete nuts). He Compulses my Dark Armed, but I have Veiler for his Lyla. I have beaters to just to keep beating him down for game. Since he already used Lyla and Shadow Games, he has very limited outs to Emptiness left to draw and obviously doesn’t draw them.[/size]       [size=12]ROUND 9: SHADDOLL MIRROR (2-1)[/size]   [size=12]Game 1:  I was playing around the entire time since I had already locked up top 8. I just know that he Soul Charged, but I don’t care. I drop Dark Armed and just kill him.[/size]   [size=12]Game 2: My opponent dropped Dark Armed on turn 3 and gamed me, literally the same thing I’ve been doing to people all day.[/size] [size=12]Game 3: I don’t remember how I got to this point, but I know I thought I had lost since I drew all monsters. Some point in the game, he ends with Winda + Vanity’s Fiend. He thought he was so fly and won the game. This next turn was the most legendary way to win regionals. I Puppet Plant his Winda. Then, I tribute it for Caius, removing Vanity’s Fiend. I then do something so I can drop Dark Armed and kill him that turn.[/size]     [size=12]And that’s the story of how I won regionals everybody, thanks for reading![/size]       [size=12]Pros: -Dreams and Nightmares[/size] [size=12]-Jessy being broken[/size] [size=12]-being able to check the 1 top 8 club of Ryan, my brother, and Jorge -not falling off the mountain[/size] [size=12]-Dark Armed Dragon[/size] [size=12]-only losing 3 games all day[/size] [size=12]-the Red Robin waitress saying the most broken thing ever[/size] [size=12]-me topping so Calvin couldn’t make fun of me for bubbling my 8th regionals[/size] [size=12]-Dilan and Calvin being awesome by driving me everywhere like always[/size] [size=12]-Dilan letting me borrow dinner money[/size]   [size=12]Cons:[/size] [size=12]-David Benjamin[/size] [size=12]-less than 5 hours of sleep[/size] [size=12]-my backpack breaking[/size] [size=12]-awful judge staff (not Ryan and Sunny though)[/size] [size=12]-not being on Mrs. Leverett’s McChicken list[/size] [size=12]-not being able to watch the Pro Tour live[/size] [size=12]-not being able to get a Monster[/size] [size=12]-my Phantom being so big that it can't even fit in the parking spot[/size] [size=12]-not being about that murder game[/size]   [size=12]PS - I posted a deck profile of the deck, but it's literally just a worse and less thorough version of what I said in the top section, so there's not much point in watching it unless you want to: [/size]http://youtu.be/IvhD95Lt18o
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