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Found 14 results

  1. Hey DGz, my name is Vincent Bellafiore and I just placed 1st at ARG Richmond 2016. If you haven't heard of me before, I don't blame you at all; I haven't accomplished anything in this game before this moment. Even though I've been playing this game casually on and off since Magic Ruler format and entered my first tournament in Crimson Crisis format, I haven't played in many premier events at all so I haven't really had the opportunity to prove myself yet, and the few that I did enter, I didn't do well and grew discouraged. Despite relatively poor tournament performance, I genuinely had and still have a love of this game, either driven by pure nostalgia or I am still one of the few people that have fun in it. Because of this, I registered to become a Konami judge as soon as I turned 16 in 2011, judging my first regional tournament about two years later. After getting my feet wet in the judging experience, I decided to apply for YCS Charleston 2015 and gradually became a more relevant member of the judge community, with the most recent event being NA WCQ 2016 (I was also accepted to judge at WC 2016, but unfortunately was not able to make the travel at the last minute). In addition to all of these events, I was contacted by Jim McMahan who asked me if I could judge this ARG Richmond, as I have judged for ARG events in the past as well. I told him that I would likely have to work that weekend and that unfortunately he shouldn't expect me to be available. Little did I expect that about a week before the event my manager would surprise me with a weekend off, as he knew that I wanted to go to an event and decided that the shifts could be covered. Because it was such late notice, however, I decided not to tell Jim that I would be able to judge so that I didn't mess up any hotel or event budget and decided to just have a relaxing weekend by playing the event and seeing friends to get my mind off of regular responsibilities. In the days building up to the tournament, I had decided to play a Burning Abyss deck that I have been regularly updating and testing with that I also felt very confident in. However, I had noticed that there weren’t any Burning Abyss decks that have topped the past two or three major tournaments and I grew concerned about my deck choice. After consulting with numerous friends, I received the same answer from the majority of them: Burning Abyss sucks against the current meta. Feeling discouraged as I grew to agree with that answer as I continued testing online, I decided that my next best option was ABC so I looked up the YCS Anaheim lists to get a good start on a basic build for the tournament. After finding Elvis Vu’s list, and seeing that his friends/teammates used essentially the same deck, I figured I’d start out with a list that has proven itself in such high numbers for a YCS. To be completely honest, as soon as I first saw Elvis’ list, I hated it. 44 cards couldn’t possibly be correct, I thought to myself as I wondered how a deck with 44 cards could’ve performed so well over such a long tournament. As someone who cares considerably about deck building theory, I tried my hardest to bring it down to 40 cards, but after a day or two of testing different versions of the deck I concluded that I wanted every card in the list and honestly did not know how I could reduce it to 40 and still have access to the cards I wanted. After reaching this realization, I simply gave up; I couldn’t figure out which cards to take out so I decided to simply hope that 44 was somehow a good number to work with in the deck. The main deck was the same apart from cutting one Instant Fusion for a third Twin Twisters. The extra deck was the same and the side deck was fairly different, but as far as my thought process went I just figured that I would copy Elvis and hope for the best. I tested the new version I decided on for a very short amount of time, and decided that I would just “wing the event,” not stress myself out about it, not test too much, and just have fun. Funnily enough, my friend that I traveled with, Nic Colella (congratulations on your 3rd place finish in the same tournament!) nearly convinced me to not go the day before because he’d rather go to the gym and not spend money for the weekend. If he decided to stay home, I wasn’t going to go because I didn’t want to drive two and a half hours on my own. Luckily, I managed to convince him to go at the last minute, mostly because our friend Nishaad Lorengo offered his VCU apartment/dorm for us to stay in. Fast-forward to the morning of the event, and I’m signing up and give Jim my debit card to pay for entry with. All was good until he said “Yeah I don’t know, you’re card isn’t working.” Strange, but it’s fine; I’ll just go withdraw from an ATM. After going through the regular withdrawal process I see a screen that nearly gave me a heart attack: Insufficient Funds. I call PNC thinking that someone might have used my debit card without my permission, only to have the last five transactions being four $0.50 fees and the fifth being the coffee and sandwich I bought that same morning. Here I am freaking out and calling my dad immediately for help, as I had no idea why my balance on that card was about $150 only days before. With no PNC ATM anywhere nearby me to use to withdraw from my savings, I ask the first friend I see for help, Brandon Rainey. After explaining my situation to him, he extremely generously let me borrow the entry fee for the event. Still very concerned about how I’d handle the rest of the weekend with about $30 to my name, I grab my entry sleeves and prepare for the start of the event. Now after that long wall of text, it’s time for the tournament part of the report. Unfortunately, most of the actual games were a blur so I am not able to offer as much info as you all may expect from these but I will do my best. Round 1: Yang Zing Metalfoes Game 1: This was a pretty straightforward game. I go first and open as well as ABCs can, and set up my board with considerable disruption in the form of ABC-Buster Dragon and Dimensional Barrier. He cannot make a board while facing this and I continue to banish his cards and attack for game. Game 2: I go second but he either bricked or just misplayed and made a suboptimal play that was an easy board to break the following turn, letting me win. 1-0 Round 2: Paleozoics Game 1: I sit down and realize that I’m playing against Jose, a guy from one of the locals I attend. I definitely needed this friendly atmosphere to calm my nerves. I wish I could remember this game, but all I know is that I won after he reduced my life points considerably, so it was a strong back and forth of resources. Game 2: I go second but if I recall correctly, he bricked and I take the game there. 2-0 Round 3: Metalfoes Game 1: Right after playing a friend, I get to play another one. Except this time, it’s Brandon Rainey, the same guy from locals that paid for my entry. I don’t recall if I went first and bricked or if he went first this game, but I definitely lost. Game 2: I open well after going first and he cannot break the board I make. Game 3: He goes first as I look at my opening hand. Gameciel, 3 Typhoon, and A-Assault Core. Nice. I Typhoon his plays, leaving him with almost nothing as he passes. I draw Maxx “C” for turn. SICK. Summon A and attack for 1900, setting my last Typhoon and hoping for the best. He draws the missing piece required for a play, I activate Maxx “C”, but it wasn’t enough as he kills me that turn. I’m not gonna lie, this loss really tilted me for a while but I’d rather lose to a friend that someone I don’t know. 2-1 Round 4: Yang Zing Game 1: I go first and open an unbreakable board and swiftly win after seeing some Yang Zing cards. Game 2: Assuming that this was Yang Zing Metalfoes, I side for them but quickly realized that it was pure Yang Zings. He makes a suboptimal board and I push through it next turn. 3-1 Round 5: Metalfoes Game 1: Easily one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of playing against throughout the weekend. I think I went first on this one, but it was solid back and forth of resources resulting in my win. Game 2: Despite my game with Brandon earlier, this was actually the closest game of the weekend. With him going first and setting up well, I worry that I cannot break the board but I just keep using more resources and eventually whittle him down. This was a very long back and forth of resources that lasted for many turns, and honestly either one of us could win at any point. In the end, he misplays in my eyes as he fuses with three of his monsters for the 3000 ATK Metalfoe, which I saw no point in doing. This allowed me to gain more resources than him as he didn’t use that extra Metalfoe monster that he fused with to give him another card like a Fullmetalfoes Fusion. I end up taking the game from there. He goes on to say it was the best game he’s had in a long time and cannot be mad about losing to me, leaving me feeling very happy and relaxed after such a nice opponent. 4-1 Round 6: HEROes Game 1: I go first and open very well; he tries to compete but ultimately cannot beat my board. Game 2: He goes first but I break his board and we end up in another classic back and forth resulting in me leaving him at 200 LP but he comes back and beats me. Game 3: Another straightforward game with me opening up well with ABC and Dimensional Barrier. He summons Goblindbergh, summoning Summoner Monk. He asks repeatedly if I have a response, which was odd, and I say no. He then activates Twin Twisters discarding Shadow Mist and destroying my Union Hangar and Dimensional Barrier, which I chain and call Xyz. He didn’t take kindly to this and got angry with me saying that it didn’t make sense that I held the Barrier for so long, but realistically there was no reason to preemptively activate it at all so his anger was unfounded. He scoops at that point. 5-1 Round 7: Paleozoics Game 1: I sit down and recognize his face, so I ask, “I’ve played against you before haven’t I?” He says no, but that I’ve played everyone on his team before at regionals and he’s always watching the games nearby. He’s a friendly guy that I’m sure to see again, but I go first and open better than he can. Game 2: I don’t recall if he said he bricked or if I just powered through everything, but I win this game. 6-1 Round 8: Frog Metalfoes Game 1: Right before the pairings go up, I use the bathroom where I see a guy from a VA local that I sometimes visit who goes by the interesting nickname of Froggy. He asked if I won and I said yes, to which he responded “nice, we are probably playing next.” Once I leave the bathroom, Nic who was with me at the time asked if I knew what he was playing and to my surprise he says it was Frog Metalfoes. Froggy seems to be known lately for his melding of two seemingly unrelated decks, with the previous one being Burning Abyss Trains, so although I’m surprised he did this well with the deck, it didn’t shock me much that he tried it. As I check the pairings, it turns out that I do play him. Game 1 begins with him bricking very badly, where I swiftly win. Game 2: He surprises me by opening with an amazing board of what I think may have been Toadally Awesome, Kirin and a potential Alkahest. There is no way for me to break that board so I lose. Game 3: I open well and he cannot break my board. 7-1 At this point I am extremely proud of myself for having topped my first relevant tournament, finishing in 5th place after swiss. At this point I remember that I still have no money and ask my friend to drive me to a PNC ATM to withdraw from my savings, but it was a 20 minute drive. Learning of my problem, my friend Robbie Stargel does an extremely generous deed and lends me $100 for the weekend, telling me to pay him back on Monday. Very grateful and relieved, I am excited for day 2 to begin. Top 16: Patrick James, Blue-Eyes Game 1: I’ve played against Patrick once before at YCS Origins, defeating his Burning Abyss deck with my Pendulums after a very close game. He mentions how he’s looking forward to a rematch with me and after some friendly chatter we begin. I go first and immediately feel like my top cut experience is at an end as I open a hand that I didn’t think could compete with Blue-Eyes. I manage to end with a Union Hangar, Abyss Dweller with Norden as a material, ABC-Buster Dragon with no cards in hand, and a Solemn Strike. Patrick activates Cards of Consonance discarding White Stone of Legend, and I chain Dweller. He comments that all he needed was a Blue-Eyes but he bricks and scoops. Game 2: Instead of going first like I thought he would, he tells me to go second, saying that I have too much Blue-Eyes hate going second in my side deck. Again, I feel that it is over for me. I activate Hangar, summon C, equip B, and pass with just that. I activate Maxx “C” at the draw phase. He makes a board of Dragon Spirit of White and Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon after clearing my board and giving me a good amount of cards, and during my standby phase he activates Spirit Dragon and summons Azure Eyes. I summon ABC and a Gear Gigant with Rhapsody of Berserk equipped to it, attack, set a backrow, and pass. He scoops and says that he unfortunately drew too many of the stones this match. Top 8: Matthew Zegilla, Metalfoes Game 1, 2 and 3: Matt is a nice guy and we have a relaxed top cut game. I wish I could remember this match better but I unfortunately didn’t take any notes on it and it’s kind of a blur so I don’t remember how it went. He does go first, and we go to game 3, but it ends with my win. Top 4: Dan Cunningham, Metalfoes Game 1, 2, and 3: I’m happy to see that a good friend of mine made it to top 4 as well and we agree that we will both play our best and have no hard feelings against each other. It was definitely a blessing to have my first streamed game ever being one with a relaxing atmosphere and casual chatter. I don’t have anything to add to this match, but everything can be seen on the stream or videos that were taken of the stream on YouTube. Finals: Joel Brito, Metalfoes Games 1-5: Disappointed that the one to get up from the feature match table was my friend Nic, who a lot of people were hoping would play me in the finals, I sat down to play against a player I had a friendly conversation with earlier to pass the time. Everything in this match could be seen on stream or on YouTube. The only things that I would like to mention are the misplays conducted by me and the rule issues. At one point I accidently use Diamond Dire Wolf on itself instead of my already used Castel, but I quickly comment that I already committed to it and I win anyway. Another time I activate Brilliant Fusion and he chains Dimensional Barrier calling Fusions. I take that moment to look at my hand and I see a convoluted play that allows me to win that turn. Unfortunately, once I already committed to it, I stupidly realized that I forgot that he called Fusions and that I needed my Instant Fusion to win. If I didn’t win both of those games I’d be very frustrated with myself. I don’t remember any other misplays but there were some that I was accused of making that I still do not believe were misplays. The primary example of this was in Game 5 when I preemptively activated ABC to summon and also activated Dimensional Barrier calling Pendulums. Joel played 2 Kaijus, 1 Lava Golem, and a Winged Dragon of Ra – Sphere Mode, along with 3 System Downs and a Dark Hole. I didn’t want to risk either of those against me in the final game so I take the necessary precautions. Now, in hindsight, the Dimensional Barrier was incorrect. However, a previous Metalfoes opponent had Denko Sekka written in the side deck and I erroneously thought that it was Joel’s list that I looked at so I activated it so that I didn’t get locked down and just auto lose to a tribute monster and Denko. Now for the rules issues. The first one that was caught was that my opponent summoned a Metalfoes off of Rescue Rabbit but forgot to destroy it, and then he activated a Metalfoes effect twice in the same turn. I honestly didn't notice. With the room absolutely FREEZING and getting colder as the match went on, and feeling nervous as well despite looking (supposedly) composed, I just wanted to speed the game along as quickly as possible and just assumed my opponent would know his deck. On a similar note, at one point I was approached by Trevor, who was in charge of the stream, who asked me if I had banished 10 off of desires after a portion of the turn had passed. I nearly had a heart attack as I said I was pretty sure I did. "Can you prove it to me?" I counted off the banished cards one by one, with my heart rate increasing as each card passes. Thank god, there were 10. If I had lost out on like $800 because I just forgot to move one extra card to the side I'd have been pissed. Of course, this still results in my win. Conclusion If you made it this far, I’m genuinely impressed. This is my first tournament report so I apologize if it was a little long, but I wanted to include as much info as I could while still making it a relatively interesting read. I am extremely happy to have not only won the ARG, but also having won the first relevant event that I have ever topped, an accomplishment not many in this game can say. I won a great trophy, a fantastic gold champion ring, the play mat, an invitation to the event in Orlando with a 2 round bye, and of course the $1500. It was an extremely surreal ending to a fantastic weekend. I have to shoutout Tournament City Games in Frederick, MD as well. Without their support, I wouldn't have won. Pros: Winning! Great friends who lent me both money and cards A good number of my friends performing well Cons: My debit card problem Not being able to have the fabled Frederick, MD final match
  2. Thought I'd let you guys know about an upcoming ARG event: https://madmimi.com/...4e0111d420f82a5 Admission/Entry $20 Location CIRCUIT SERIES LOCATION MassMutual Center 1277 Main St, Springfield, MA 01103 http://www.massmutualcenter.com/ MassMutual Center is a multi-purpose arena and convention center located in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, in the city's Metro Center across from Court Square. The facility opened in 1972 and was at that time the largest arena in the region. Saturday Saturday-October 1st Admission/Entry: $35 Entry and $5,000 Cash Prize Pool $25 Entry and $5,000 Prize Credit Pool $20 Entry & 5 Booster Packs and half the 5k prize pool On-site Registration 8:30-9:45am & Tournament Starts 10AM FORMAT: ADVANCED FORMAT $5,000 PRIZE PURSE 1st Place: $1,500 - Invitaional Invites + Top 16 Playmat + Gold ARG Champion Ring + Champion Trophy 2nd Place: $800 - Invitaional Invites + Top 16 Playmat + Silver ARG Finalist Ring + 2nd Place Trophy 3rd-4th Place: $350 - Invitaional Invites + Top 16 Playmat + Silver ARG Finalist Ring + 3rd Place Trophy 5th-8th Place: $150 - Invitaional Invites + Top 16 Playmat + Silver ARG Finalist Ring 9th-16th Place: $75 - + Invitaional Invites + Top 16 Game Mat 17th-32nd Place: $50 Facebook Page Pre-Register Springfield, MA Page SUNDAY 1k On-site Registration 9:00am - 9:45am Tournament Starts 10:30am Format: Advanced Format $1,000 Guarantee Prize Pool 1st Place: $400 ARG Credit + Invitational Invite & Free Circuit Series Entry Token Card 2nd Place: $200 ARG Credit + Invitational Invite 3rd-4th Place: $100 ARG Credit + Invitational Invite 5th-8th Place: $50 ARG Credit + Invitational Invite 9th-16th Place: Invitational Invite FaceBook Page Pre-Register Springfield, MA Page
  3. ARGCS Oklahoma City

    ARGCS Oklahoma City Final Standings after Swiss(Note this was a 142 player event but only the top 70 after Swiss are listed below): Top 16 decklists: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw7SUeVuf8uhT1lzc1J0NkZZb1U/view
  4. https://www.facebook.com/events/211051702581057/
  5. Nig Spoof here from TheCardChaps

    Hey guys it's Nig Spoof here with TheCardChaps and I just wanted everyone to know I'm starting my own YouTube channel where we will be providing only the best of the best yugioh player top cut deck profiles, matches, and player interviews. Please like and subscribe for more fresh content. You already know who it is! Nig Spoof with TheCardChaps  
  6. 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  
  7. Hey guys, this is Collin Reardon. Some of you know me, some of you don’t. Regardless, I am considered to be one of the best deck builders in the Northern Virginia area by many of the good players. Now, I don’t mean this to come off as cocky, as I am not nearly as good as others in terms of skill during physical gameplay. However, in terms of deck construction, I feel like I have strong theory and have really improved on my deck building skill in the past couple years. Anyways, I won’t spend too much more time on that. This article is about the deck my team had prepared for ARG Richmond, the reasons we chose every single card, and the journey surrounding it. One team member got 3rd with the deck (Nic Colella, aka Ginger), and another almost topped as well (Nishaad Lorengo, aka “SQUIDS~” on DN).   The story of Team Islands (sponsored by The Island Games, theislandg.com) begins when me and my friend Nishaad started working on the Shaddoll deck. We both liked the deck a lot, and knew it would be the best or second best deck. What I really liked about it was it’s flexibility in match-ups, while also being able to play hate for Nekroz. Nekroz isn’t the best deck by a big enough margin right now like best decks have been in the past. If you build your deck to beat Nekroz, you can beat Nekroz. However, Shaddolls are also really good against everything else, while also being able to make plays that are also good against Nekroz. In other words, you can primarily focus on beating the Nekroz match-up while also being able to beat the rest of the field.   Anyways, there were several people asking me for a Shaddoll build and a Nekroz build. People in my local area are always asking me for builds as I am one of the most respected deck builders in the area. So one night, I made a Facebook group called “Collin’s Deck Building”. I only added 6 of my closest friends to the group, who respected me as a deck builder and who also I could trust for help. These 6 people are: -Nicky Reardon (My brother, and probably one of the best players I know) -Nishaad Lorengo (My newest friend out of the members, but became one of my closest. He’s very new to competitive play, but is probably the second best player on the team behind Nicky. Both he and Nicky just have a natural gift for strategic thinking that not many people have. He also made the biggest contributions to the deck compared to any other members by far. His ideas also surprised me, and I learned to respect his ideas very quickly.) -Dilan Solanki (Again, another great player who I respect as a player and he respects me as a deck builder, and keeps improving so much every week) -Ryan Levine (Another friend who came up with good ideas and also has an interesting view on things that not many people have) -Ginger (Also someone who I was also discussing the deck with, and who respects me greatly as both a deck builder and player. He top 4’d the ARG with the deck, and helped build it a little, but only a little. Also the best person I know at Goat format, and PS - I know people who topped SJC’s during the actual Goat format and have won Goat 1ks) -Tristan (Probably my oldest friend in the Yugioh community. He doesn’t play anymore, but frequently comes back randomly every couple formats, so definitely someone who I was going to include in this Facebook group.)   This group, originally just for deck lists, eventually formed into a team. We quickly realized that we have one of the strongest group of people and different skills in our area, and everyone was putting a lot of effort and an equal amount of good ideas, so the formation of a team almost sort of naturally occurred. So, originally in “Collin’s Deck Building”, I posted decklists of Shaddolls and Nekroz. This early version of Nekroz is VERY similar to the final decklist Ryan Levine and Nicky ended up playing at the ARG, Ryan also topping with the deck. However, the Shaddoll deck needed a lot of work. After a LOT (and I mean a LOT) of discussion within our team, we came to this list: Monsters: 21 3 Star Seraph Scepter 3 Star Seraph Sovereignty 3 Effect Veiler 3 Shaddoll Beast 3 Shaddoll Falco 2 Shaddoll Squamata 2 Shaddoll Hedgehog 1 Shaddoll Dragon 1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning   Spells: 14 3 Upstart Goblin 3 El Shaddoll Fusion 3 Shaddoll Fusion 2 Dark Hole 1 Raigeki 1 Foolish Burial 1 Soul Charge   Traps: 5 2 Call of the Haunted 2 Solemn Scolding 1 Vanity’s Emptiness   Extra Deck: 15 3 El Shaddoll Construct 2 El Shaddoll Winda 1 El Shaddoll Shekhinaga 1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer 1 Number 10: Illumiknight 1 Evilswarm Ouroboros 1 Stellarknight Delteros 1 Stellarknight Constellar Diamond 1 Goyo Guardian 1 Arcanite Magician 1 Black Rose Dragon 1 Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree   Sideboard: 15 3 Artifact Lancea 1 Thunder King Rai-Oh 1 Vanity’s Fiend 3 Mystical Space Typhoon 1 Mind Control 3 Mistake 3 Royal Decree   We knew immediately that we were going to play the Star Seraphs, as we felt it was the best light engine the deck could play. It is very crucial that this deck has a good light engine as making Construct is essentially the entire deck. I know the Star Seraphs are inherently inconsistent as their OWN engine, but fusing for Construct is their primary goal in the deck. It’s just the fact that if you DO open one of each Seraph, Scepter + Call, or Scepter + Soul Charge, you have a near auto-win. If you think about it, that’s actually insane. Just for having lights in the deck (which is necessary for the deck to be functional), you are given a near auto win against ANY match-up, if you draw just any of many two card combos. That itself just concludes why Seraphs are the best light engine for the deck to run.   After we decided we would be running Shaddolls with Star Seraphs, I knew I had to find a good turn 1 play. If you open the Star Seraphs, you want to be able to do something broken on your first turn. I looked at OCG lists, and they ran Summoner Monk and Shock Master. Now, Shock Master is exactly what the deck needed, a busted turn 1 play to go into with the Star Seraphs. So since Shock Master is banned in the TCG, I went on DN and searched rank 4 XYZ monsters, to find a good turn 1 play for the deck. If I didn’t find a good one, our dream of Shaddoll Star Seraphs was dead. However, I came across this card called Number 10: Illumiknight. This was exactly the card we needed. Turn 1, if you open Sovereignty and Summoner Monk, you can do the Star Seraph combo, draw 2 cards, then summon Illumiknight. Scepter’s effect allows you to pop the random summoner monk on your field, and then draw a third card. Then, you can use it’s effect to discard a Shaddoll and draw a card, then use the Shaddoll monster’s effect. Even if you don’t discard a Shaddoll, this combo seemed insane. You draw 4 cards and use Falco or Hedgehog, or you can draw 4 cards while fixing your awkward hand, or just draw 5 cards. All these options seemed insane, and I knew I had found exactly what I needed.   Now, Summoner Monk ended up being cut for Call of the Haunted, as Summoner Monk was a huge liability with everyone starting to main 3-5 hand traps in literally every deck. Monk was good, as it let you open the nut draw more often, or you could just go Monk into Scepter, add Sovereignty, then overlay for Lavalval Chain to stack another Scepter; however, Call just ended up being better, as it didn’t fall to hand traps, and it allowed you to get back Construct and then use it’s effect, which is just amazing against Nekroz.   The early copies of the deck had 2 Mathematician in it. It seems like a great card, making your engine more consistent, being able to use any Shaddoll effect, a floater, making Shekhinaga, etc. However, the more and more I played the deck, the more and more I noticed how terrible the card actually was. The best turn one play in the deck that CONSISTENTLY happens (and by consistently, I mean the majority of games you play) is going into Construct with either a Squamata, Hedgehog, or Falco, then setting Falco and adding Beast, then tributing the Construct for the Beast. This allowed you to be able to have a set Beast and Falco (which are great against literally any match-up you face) while also being able to bring back Construct with Falco. Construct from grave is one of the best cards in the mirror and against Nekroz, because as many of you know, it doesn’t count as being from the extra deck. A Construct they can’t use Shaddoll Fusion from deck, Unicore, or Brionac is hard for either deck to deal with. Along with this play, it was ideal to also have the option to set your hand so they can’t Trishula you. With Mathematician in your deck, it was very hard to accomplish this play, especially the part where you set your hand. The deck itself is already pumping out Constructs and using Shaddoll effects. While your doing this, you have plenty of normal summons in the deck. The deck is constantly going into Construct, then using Hedgehog to search Squamata, do damage, then El Shaddoll into another Construct and get two more effects. Scepter, tribute set Beast, Falco, Hedgehog, are all great normal summons in the deck. Now, I understand Mathematician can sometimes be a better normal summon than those cards, but it’s better to normal summon the slightly less optimal one and have you be able to use all the cards in your hand than having to choose between two normal summons.   Also, the main reason we didn’t include Mathematician is just that it was overall underwhelming. We quickly realized that you are losing against Nekroz if you aren’t fusing, and Mathematician doesn’t help with that side of the deck. If you were going to play all mirrors and Satellars all day, Mathematician would be great in helping with the overall consistency of the deck. However, against Nekroz, Mathematician did absolutely nothing unless you were already fusing, and once you get to the point where you’re fusing, you never are going to not normal summon. The normal summon is just overall too important part of the deck when you’re fusing, and Mathematician just becomes cloggy and underwhelming. I hope that clears it up for all those that were doubting that specific choice.   Now, time to get into the deck. First, we’ll start off with the Shaddoll line-up. I think 3 Beast is necessary. Drawing a card is the only effect that is good in all stages of the game. You use Beast almost every turn, and go through them pretty quickly. In the mirror, tribute setting Beast is very important, and having others to use is extremely vital.   The next Shaddoll monster is Falco. Falco is great against all the top decks, and is good in majority of scenarios. It’s one you want early game (unless you brick of course), mid game, and late game. Because of that, we chose to run 3. This was sort of a last minute change (the Thursday before), because we just wanted to be able to access it as much as possible against Nekroz. I’m not sure if 3 is correct, but it wasn’t necessarily bad (by the way, this is really the only not completely thought out choice, the rest of the deck was really calculated).   Squamata is an automatic two of in this deck. Squamata isn’t actually a great Shaddoll, as it doesn’t do anything itself. It’s always just another Shaddoll. There’s no reason to run three Squamata and aggressively send it to grave. Most of the time, you just don’t send Squamata to grave unless you absolutely need it there. It’s only in the deck so you can search it for it’s 1800 body, it’s flip effect, or to use with El Shaddoll on your opponent’s turn, so you have the option of sending any Shaddoll monster. Other than that, it’s not very useful as it doesn’t actually do anything itself.   Hedgehog is very underrated. I want to stress how important two Hedgehog is. In this deck, Hedgehog is utilized to it’s full potential as we don’t run Mathematician. A lot of times you use Hedgehog to get Squamata or Dragon to fuse with. Since we use six fusions, it’s also important to have a Shaddoll that adds another Shaddoll, so you can fuse again on the same turn. Hedgehog is also the best Shaddoll monster to open with, as it unbricks your hand, allows you to search and tribute set Beast when you open a fusion, and then for the other reasons I listed above. I almost wanted to run three Hedgehog, but decided two was just the correct number as like Squamata, it adds another Shaddoll and doesn’t have it’s own effect like Beast, Falco, and Dragon do.   Dragon is by far the worst Shaddoll. It doesn’t accomplish anything on it’s own. Let me explain it this way, Shaddolls, by Yugioh deck building definition, is a combo deck. Now, it actually isn’t a combo deck, but by deck building parameters it is. What I mean by this, is that Shaddolls thrive when it has access to multiple cards. It doesn’t want to simplify the gamestate, as Shaddolls want to constantly fuse and gain advantage through their own cards. If you gain advantage just by minusing the opponent, you aren’t going to be able to accomplish much as your plays require you to have multiple cards. This is why Dragon is by far the worst Shaddoll. During the early turns, it doesn’t accomplish anything. Even if they have backrow, you would rather save Dragon for when they have a problem card or only have one backrow. You almost never want to fuse using Dragon. The only reason it’s there is to pop problem cards, as another Shaddoll effect, out problem monsters (which Squamata can also do), and for it’s 1900 body. It’s definitely necessary to the deck, but you never want to draw it. It’s n the deck strictly for utility. All these reasons are why Shaddoll Dragon is definitely a one of.   Next, for Effect Veiler. Veiler is just by far the best hand trap for this deck. Like the Star Seraphs, it’s used a lot of the time for a light monster. Construct is literally the deck, so being a light alone is a reason to max out on this card. In addition, it’s also single handedly one of the best protection cards against Nekroz, Satellarknights, and Star Seraphs. Being able to stop Beast and Falco in the miror is also extremely relevant. Stopping Trish and Brionac is a priority for this deck, and also stopping a Manju or Senju can be detrimental. This card does all of that. I see absolutely no reason why this card shouldn’t be a three of.   BLS should be obvious, every time you draw that card you win. The fact it’s a light is also just nuts.   Upstart is also not a card that I should need to explain. It literally is the same thing as having a 37 card deck, if you don’t take into account life points It’s simple, having the minimum amount of cards in your deck is more important than life points. It’s just that simple. Anyone who doesn’t understand this just doesn’t understand other basic principles of Yugioh or card game theory, I can promise you that.   Now, at first we weren’t maxing out on the fusion cards. We started with 3 El and 2 regular, the we went to 2 and 2, then back to 3 and 2, but eventually came to the conclusion that 3 and 3 is correct. After playing the other options, I would never play any less than six fusions. Like I said before, if you’re not fusing by turn two against Nekroz, you’re usually just dead. You need to get to one ASAP. I know drawing two or more fusions sucks, but it’s better to draw multiple than zero. There’s more monsters in the deck than fusions, so it’s more likely that you brick with too many monsters and not too many fusions. It’s just too important that you are able to play Yugioh against Nekroz to not max out on these cards.   The three board wipes, two Dark Hole and one Raigeki, was a concession to many things. First off, they’re our only answers to the Djinn lock if they are smart and search Trish. They are also outs to the detrimental monster floodgates Diamond, Dark Law, Majesty’s Fiend, and Vanity’s Fiend. In addition to that, they are some of the best cards in the deck against both Nekroz and the mirror match. Against Nekroz, once they find out you’re not playing Nekroz, they have absolutely no reason not to leave monsters on the field. Unicore is great against us, and being able to wipe the board against Nekroz can be great. A good strategy against Nekroz is outgrind them with Constructs and Falcos. Normally they will either be able to have a bunch of ritual spells but no monsters in hand, or they will run out of all their ritual spells. Dark Hole and Raigeki help accomplish both strategies extremely well. Against the mirror match, the board wipes are the best cards. Normally, the best field in the mirror will be a set Falco, a set Beast, and a Construct (usually from grave). Now, I understand if you were to Dark Hole them here, they would get to draw a card, get a fusion spell, and reset the Falco. However, none of these are really relevant. The last turn, they set it up to tribute set Beast. Drawing two cards and discarding one is so different from just drawing one card that I can’t even explain it. Also, they won’t have a 2200 body. Even just Dark Holing just a set Beast can be really detrimental to the opponent. In addition, getting back a fusion spell is completely irrelevant. In the mirror, you never want to leave an extra deck monster on the board. Constantly making fusions and having to tribute them off leads to a build up in fusion spells and not enough monsters to use them. The loser of the Shaddoll mirror usually ends up having 3-5 ritual spells that are just useless. This is another reason why the draw two discard one from Beast is extremely important, because you can turn a dead fusion spell into a real card. Lastly, a set Falco that has already used it’s effect is completely useless, as when you use a board wipe in the mirror, you always follow it up with killing their Falco they brought back. Any board wipe in the Shaddoll mirror is game breaking and usually game winning as well.   Foolish Burial is a card a lot of people are iffy about in their Shaddoll decks. However, I think the card is absolutely insane. Most of the time, it’s our fourth Upstart Goblin that doesn’t have the opponent gain 1000 life. Other times, it can be a ROTA, Falco, or MST. The card just has too much utility and is one of my favorite cards to see early or mid game.   Soul Charge is just an insane card. Have you read the card? I don’t think I’ve ever resolves a Soul Charge in this deck and not won the game. In addition to just bringing back Construct(s) (which is usually just game winning on its own) and other random guys, making Arcanite Magician, or making Castel, it also has great utility with the Star Seraphs (obviously lol). If you ever don’t play this card in Shaddolls you’re just insane.   Call of the Haunted is great. It has great synergy with the Star Seraph engine, and getting back Construct against Nekroz or the mirror can be really problematic for the opponent. It’s one of the best cards in the deck once you start making Constructs (which you want to do ASAP every game). It also has great utility with the three Artifact Lancea and one Thunder King Rai-Oh in the sideboard, but that’s just bonus upside the card offers. I have to give Nishaad credit for coming up with this (he also came up with the idea before it started becoming an actually thing some Shaddoll decks started running).   Solemn Scolding is something I was really against at the beginning. Nishaad is also the one to credit for this idea. Most of the time, it’s used as a Diving Wrath against the top three decks. However, it also stops Dark Hole and Raigeki, fusion spells, etc. Every time I drew it where I didn’t brick, I straight up won the game. The card is literally insane. It goes extremely well with the rest of the deck, as Call of the Haunted and Vanity’s Emptienss are continuous, so it doesn’t conflict. If you need to use El Shaddoll Fusion, you can set both and then activate it during the opponent’s draw phase, immediately turning on Scolding. If you don’t want to use it then you can just set both cards and wait until you use El Shaddoll, then you have Scolding live. Also, after you sideboard, a floodgate plus Scolding is the most insane thing ever. The card is so good I can’t even put it into words. It’s also not expected, which actually makes it near impossible to lose when you draw it.   Vanity’s Emptiness is obvious. The card should get banned. You just have to use it more conservatively now. All you do is wait until you have board control, then you set it. Once you start doing this, you won’t lose a game you draw this card (assuming you didn’t completely brick).   I want to bring up why we didn’t run the card Shaddoll Core. We went back and forth on this card for quite some time, but ended up opting not to run it. Against Satellar, it’s great obviously being able to add Shaddoll Fusion back and keeping pressure. Against the mirror it can be good by allowing you to not run out of fusion materials. However, the one problem is drawing it. I know that sounds like a bad reason, but literally every single time you draw it against Nekroz, you lose. The deck already has problems about drawing a fusion but not enough monsters or monsters without a fusion. The -1 this card brings to your hand when you draw it is almost ALWAYS enough to lose you the game on the spot to Nekroz. We decided that the very slight upside it gave you against the other match-ups was just not worth it compared to the downside of what happens when it’s bad.   The last thing I want to talk about the main deck is opting to not main deck Mistake. Now, I understand Nekroz is the best deck and we would play a lot of it. However, the deck needs to be as streamline as possible. I felt the deck is overall good enough to win game one against Nekroz without main decking Mistake. The inconsistencies the cards brought to the other match-ups was just too high of a cost to main deck this card. I wanted to make the deck as streamlined and consistent game one as possible against all the decks of the field, rather than the deck just be Mistake or bust against Nekroz and praying you don’t draw Mistake against the other match-ups. Now, I know some people will say that it’s not terrible because it’s good against Satellars too. Now, first off I expected to play a lot more mirrors than Satellars, and about equal amount of rogue as Satellars, which was all true. The way this deck loses to Satellars is just drawing an awkward hand and losing to their beaters. Mistake doesn’t help with that problem at all. Cutting a Deneb search or two won’t make or break the game. It is far more important to be able to use Hedgehog to search another Shaddoll against them, so when you have a Winda, if they do something to it you can chain El Shaddoll and make another Winda. That play is extremely vital to beating Satellars and even with Mistake on the board, sometimes they can just cut your resources if you aren’t able to make that specific play.   I won’t dive too much into the extra deck, just a couple things. I’m going to bullet it so it’s faster:   -Three Constructs is necessary, you make three almost every game. -You can run two or three Windas. You only make three when you don’t have access to a light, but I found by the time you would make a third, most of the time you’ve found a light. -The only earths for Shekhinaga in the deck are Leo and Goyo, but I found you make it a lot when you make Leo and then add back El Shaddoll to do a lot of damage or go for game. -Castel is mainly for Soul Charge, but sometimes comes up with flip summon + normal summon or call + normal summon. -Illuminknight I already explained. -Ouroboros is great when they have a fusion you want to return to the extra, only one mirror in grave, or are low on hand resources, but isn’t made much outside of that. -Delteros is obvious, shouldn’t have to say much about that. -I feel Diamond is essential. The extra deck isn’t tight enough to not warrant one spot for an auto-win in the mirror match. It’s literally a free win just by sacrificing one extra deck spot. -Goyo is just there for a level 6 (obviously lol). It doesn’t come up much, but when it does it’s crucial to have one. -Arcanite is obvious. It’s made very often after you do the turn one set Beast and Falco play and when you Soul Charge. -Black Rose isn’t actually that obvious. You barely make it against any of the match-ups, it just doesn’t come up as often as you would think. I was running Daigusto Emeral over it for quite some time for the long mirror match games or games where it was good to put back Seraphs so you can Seraph combo again, but in the end just decided I’d rather put in Black Rose so I don’t lose one random game to rogue or Satellar just because I don’t have it. I would get so mad at myself if that happened. -Leo is made very often as a 3100 beater that allows you to get back El Shaddoll Fusion to usually push for game, and if not, definitely a lot of damage. It can also just randomly win the game sometimes in certain match-ups, but that doesn’t happen very often.   I hope that explains everything I need to for the extra deck. Anyways, now on to the sideboard. I’m going to start off each section by explaining how I sideboard for each match-up, then explain why we sideboard that way and why the cards I chose are there.   Against the mirror: -1 Effect Veiler -1 Shaddoll Fusion +1 Vanity’s Fiend +1 Mind Control   We only sided two card in for the mirror. I know it doesn’t seem like many, but we actually don’t have that many bad cards against the mirror. Effect Veiler is pretty bad, but I feel like it’s necessary to keep in at least two just as a concession to the Star Seraphs. It also can sometimes come in clutch against an important Falco or a Beast, but it’s generally a very situational card in the match-up you never really want to see more than one of.   In regards to Shadoll Fusion, like I said before, the mirror often ends up going kind of late, and the way you lose is having too many fusions. You have a lot more turns to find a fusion card, so it’s better to sacrifice the small percentage early game of opening a fusion to get the late game advantage of not getting too fusion flooded. It’s a lot better to draw two El Shaddolls than it is to draw two regular Shaddolls, so this is why I side out the regular one.   Mind Control has always been known to be one of the best cards in the Shaddoll mirror. Often times if you steal a Falco, Beast, or even a Hedgehog (in certain scenarios), which denies the opponent the effect they thought they were going to get and give you for free, usually wins the game on the spot.   For the second card in the mirror, I wanted to side a card that would be a free win if it stuck on the board. The only two cards I could think of are Vanity’s Fiend or Majesty’s Fiend. To solve this, I posted a debate in the Facebook group of Vanity’s Fiend vs. Majesty’s Fiend. In the end, we decided that Vanity’s Fiend was overall better as BLS, Soul Charge, three level fours, and the fusions all out Majesty’s Fiend. Also, Mind Controlling Majesty’s Fiend and fusing just seemed like an auto-lose we didn’t need, even if it’s not very likely. The only downside to Vanity’s Fiend was if people ran Mathematician into Peropero. However, it’s very likely that Mathematician would be summoned before Vanity’s Fiend came down, so it was unlikely they had one once it did. Also, people think Majesty’s is better because Squamata and Dragon are searchable. The thing is, they are very rarely going to be able to be searched out if the opponent can’t fusion summon, and also they would’ve probably also been used for other purposes before Vanity’s Fiend came down, so it’s unlikely they saved one in hand.   Against Satellars: -1 Shaddoll Beast -1 El Shaddoll Fusion -2 Call of the Haunted -2 Solemn Scolding -1 Vanity’s Emptiness +1 Thunder King Rai-Oh +3 Mystical Space Typhoon +3 Royal Decree   You don’t really need three Beast against Satellars, as you almost never tribute set it. You only use it to make Winda most of the time, and sending it off Construct doesn’t happen as often because it’s often better to send Falco, and even then Construct doesn’t come up as much since Winda is so good in this match-up. The traps obviously come out because we transitional side into Decree, and we don’t want any card conflictions. MST is to out floodgates, which is the most common way they beat us, and Thunder King is just another light that can occasionally give us a free win. El Shaddoll comes out because like the mirror, we aren’t as stressed to fuse early, we can give ourselves a little more leeway. I’m siding out a Shaddoll so I want to keep the count somewhat even. However, unlike the mirror, regular Shaddoll Fusion is a lot better than El in this match-up since Satellars use the extra deck a lot more.   The main plan against Satellars is to set-up Winda + Decree as fast as possible, and Veiler their power play if they get over it. If you draw Decree in this match-up or can spam Windas, it’s pretty hard to lose this match-up.   Against Nekroz: -3 Star Seraph Scepter -3 Star Seraph Sovereignty -1 Shaddoll Beast -1 Shaddoll Dragon +3 Artifact Lancea +1 Thunder King Rai-Oh +1 Vanity’s Fiend +3 Mistake   Now, this is where the sideboard plan starts getting weird. Against Nekroz, the easiest way to beat them is with cards that shut them down. This means that post-board, we get to side into an anti-Nekroz deck. Now, the Star Seraphs are still great in this match-up, don’t get me wrong, but what’s even better than the Star Seraphs are just a bunch of cards that say Nekroz can’t play. The only way we can side in all these cards that beat Nekroz is if we side out the Star Seraphs. If you were to not side out the Star Seraphs, you would either have to side out a lot of consistency cards, or side a lot less for Nekroz. Both of these options just seem a lot worse than boarding out a good light engine for an even better one, then siding into all anti-Nekroz cards. This way, you don’t lose the consistency of the deck while also being able to sideboard into literally an entire anti-Nekroz deck. Now, some might think that it could be bad since we are siding out six light monsters for four light monsters, but the deck already had more light monsters than it needed to begin with. Also, if you don’t open a light but open a card like Mistake, it kind of makes up for it. But mainly the light count isn’t a factor since we already get to run so many.   Now, I know a lot of you guys are going to respond asking why I didn't just main the cards I'm siding in instead of the Seraphs. Again, it's not the the Seraphs are bad against Nekroz, it's just that I'd rather have an anti-Nekroz deck than a Star Seraph deck with couple floodgates post-board. I wanted to keep the deck as streamlined and consistent as possible against any deck game 1. The Star Seraphs are still the best light engine, allowing you to get free wins against any deck if you happen to open one of a couple two card combos. It's just that since I'm siding into literally an anti-Nekroz deck, I have to side out my light engine into another light engine that's slightly better so I don't ruin the consistency of the deck.   That’s it for the deck explanation. I hope you guys found it helpful. Now, Ginger got 3rd at ARG Richmond with the deck, but his was three cards different in the main, and one in the sideboard. These were his changes: -1 Shaddoll Beast +1 Allure of Darkness -2 Solemn Scolding +2 Fiendish Chain Sideboard: -1 Mind Control +1 Secret Village   Now, I can explain why he did these things, but I’m not going to say I 100% agree with them.   He wanted to run Allure of Darkness because he wanted to maximize the chances of drawing a fusion card. I can agree with this logic, I’m just not sure if a Beast is the card I would cut for it.   He ran Fiendish over Scolding for two simple reasons. First, if you draw if with the most common turn one play of setting Beast and Falco, you can set your whole hand and still activate Fiendish. I can get behind this reasoning, it makes sense. I’m actually just not sure yet if it’s worth all the upside that Scolding gives you. Also, it’s a good draw against an established field. If they have a monster, sometimes Fiendishing it later can come in clutch (thus why it’s better than Breakthrough Skill). Again, I think it’s a great card, I’m not not quite sure yet if these reasons outweigh the upside and versatility Scolding gives you.   For the sideboard, he cut Mind Control for Secret Village. Now, Secret Village is an unreal card, and probably one I should’ve included 1-2 copies of in my deck myself, but I definitely don’t think Mind Control is the card I would cut for it. I would probably cut a Lancea for one, then play Majesty’s over Vanity’s Fiend to keep the light count the same. Thanks for reading everyone, hope you liked it! Please comment any questions or constructive criticism you have. Thanks again!
  8. Top 16 ARG Seattle

    Ok so I'll start by saying i didn't really intend to go to this event. The new world of warcraft expansion has just come out and because of the ridiculous log in ques i haven't gotten to play all that much and i was wanting to use my saturday to play. However my friends wanted to go and i had said before that i would drive so i ended up going.  I'll also say that this was one of the most competitive events i have ever been to despite the low turnout. I saw very few "bad" players or bad decks and most players there were people i recognized as good players from regionals or other event tops. I went in with the mind set of not really caring and expecting to go home around 3 cause me and my friends scrubbed out. That wasn't the case though. I apologize if i get the rounds mixed up and that this isn't very detailed. I 2-0'd most of my matches but i don't remember exactly which ones so some of these might be guesses. I was a little tired going into it and i got a bit drunk after it Round 1: Burning Abyss. this was one of the good players i recognized from OR so i figured this wouldn't last that long. Game 1: I win dice roll and make him go first. He opens dante+ backrow. My turn i summon denko, play shaddoll fusion and otk with BLS+construct Game 2: i open all dudes and no spells while he opens virgil, dante and backrow. i concede this game relatively quick. Game 3: i get decree and setup turn one. Activate decree and turn 2 send wyvern and banish for dark armed, BLS and construct  1-0 Round 2: Burning Abyss Game 1: i open dark armed, bls, fusion. i send for math and wait till i have denko and then otk him Game 2: Turn 2 i have Vanity's Fiend and Royal Decree on board and he has nothing 2-0 Round 3: Burning Abyss. At this point i'm like, really?  Game 1: he goes first, puts dante+ backrow on board. I open denko and double fusion and win Game 2: he mst's the first decree but i had the second and i put yazi on board. When he tried to summon tour guide i chain el shaddoll fusion to send 2 from hand and put winda on board so he can't make acid golem.  3-0 Round 4: Satellarknights. Was not expecting this but the guy ended the tournament 6-0-2 Game 1: Denko+ double fusion is an otk  Game 2: back and forth, he slowly out advantages me with shadow mirror and he crashes into denko and soul charges into a board i cant recover. Game lasts a long time Game 3: we go into time. I'm ahead but attack into honest so i lose by 200 life points.  3-1 Round 5: Evilswarm. guy from one of my locals. Good player, wasn't expecting this deck choice though Game 1: he sets a hand and a backrow and passes. I attack into Fire Hand with dragon and pop his backrow. I don't really play backrow in my deck so icehand is useless and i never let him set up and eventually drop bls dark armed Game 2: he gets ophion + backrow and has both chalices to negate my dragons Game 3: i open nuts and he doesnt. i win by turn 3 4-1 Round 6: Chaos Shaddolls Game 1: he opens set guy and backrow. I figure shaddolls. i otk him turn 2 with fusion, denko and envoy Game 2: He bricks. Summons lyla and passes with one backrow. Got a draw from beast but i put a ton of damage on board turn 1 with serpents and i have the core + el shaddoll fusion in case he tries to do anything.  5-1 at this point the realization hits me that i can probably top this event. I still look at it from a relaxed point of view cause i have lost on the bubble before and it isn't a big deal if i lose again and i am expecting to only play qliphorts at this point. Round 7: Qliphorts. Yeah i expected this Game 1 he opens broke, i go back and forth a bit but he disk combo's me and i otk's me Game 2: he has scales, shadow mirror and Skill Drain. I stall with serpents and am able to recover with Fairy Wind after he didn't otk me and gave me life points with upstart to play it. i out bls+ construct on board and crash his disc and he can't do anything after i break his board Game 3: i get Fairy Wind and mst and a little setup but he still manages to get a tool on board through my backrow and he otk's me 5-2 Figured as much. I was at table 5 before this round though so i could still pull off a top if i won the last round.  Round 8: Shaddoll burning Abyss. Game 1: He turn one dante+ backrow. I get Denko Construct but cant put enough damage on board to win that turn. His turn he plays shaddoll fusion and reality hits me that i'm in trouble. I grind out for awhile but he plays a beginning of the end and i end up scooping with 15 minutes left on the clock.  Game 2: Really grindy. He gets beginning of the end to resolve again but i sack out of it by top decking envoy when i had denko and shaddoll fusion. This game ends with 30 seconds on the clock so i rush to side in ceasefires and i present my deck when time is called.  Game 3: He ops to go second so he can get turn 5 for damage. I open with foolish to send lizard and hedgehog. Search falco to set and set shadow games and Royal Decree before passing. He summons dragon, attacks and i chain shadow games sending beast. I end phase decree him and draw for turn. After i draw i show him my hand of White dragon, BLS, Shaddoll Fusion and shaddoll beast and he scoops. i end 14th place on day one so i gotta drag my ass back to seattle for day 2. In the player meeting i look at the other 15 players and decide there is only one person i do not want to play against in top 16. Of course i get paired against him right away. So i go home with my friends, we get donuts and i pick up some rum. I go to bed thinking i did great that i got the top 16 and i don't really care all that much about the outcome of my game tomorrow. I figure if i open denko i will win the match but if i don't i will probably lose. I don't prepare for it, just go into it treating it like a casual game since i'm playing against one of my friends and i feel it would be a bit better if he won since he could go further than me into the tournament because of his deck choice and what he would play against in top 8.  The next day i wake kinda sick to my stomach and a little hung over. I go to pick up my friends and i start running late. One of them wont answer his phone or the door cause he sleeps like a brick and over slept so he wastes my time and gas and then the other doesnt want to go. So i'm running late and speeding to get back into seattle (normally a 40-50 minute drive, i do it in 25) I have to stop cause my stomach hates me for some reason and we get taken off of the live stream because i might have to get up mid match.  Top 16 VS Chris Hentz I'm not looking at this game as a super serious game. I go in looking at it like i got top 16. If i lose i lose if i win i win. The outcome doesn't mean to much to me and there is no shame in losing to him.  Game 1: i brick. I draw all monsters, set dragon and pass. He goes dante virgil and 2 back row and knocks out 5k of my life points. Next turn i have the fusion, math and the set up to drop dark armed+ collapse and otk him. I send dragon and hit his mst. I drop my field and his backrow is wingblast so i'm 1500 points short of winning cause of it and next turn he makes nightmare shark and acid golem.  Game 2: there isn't much to say about this game besides i got outskilled and out side decked. I didn't open to good but i didn't open that bad but he outplayed me the entire game. After the game he told me he was testing against my deck all night and realized he was in trouble cause my deck beats his if i get denko or decree. He decided it was best to side out all of his traps and leave me with dead cards and win off of the monsters summoning themselves and storm forth. It works, i have dead cards and he reads the denko in my hand and standby phase emptiness's me where as if he didnt i had denko, fusion and envoy and was going to break his board. I accept my defeat and wish him luck on top 8 while i go and collect my prize support. I talk to jarrod who had been test playing against Chris with my deck and he tells me about how worried they were about the matchup and talks to me about a few different deck choices to make sure i get the otk more often.  After i talk to him i get my prize support, talk to a few more friends who congratulate me and go home happy that i was able top another event. Deck list: 1 Dark Armed Dragon 1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning 2 White Dragon Wyverburster 1 Black Dragon collpaseserpent 1 Eclipse Wyvern 1 Glow-Up Bulb 3 Mathematician 3 Denko Sekka - Card is nuts. I've been testing it for months in ocg lists and it's one of my favorite cards 3 Shaddoll Beast 2 Shaddoll Falco 2 Shaddoll Squamata 2 Shaddoll Dragon 2 Shaddoll Hedgehog 2 Mystical Space Typhoon 3 El Shaddoll Fusion 3 Shaddoll Fusion 1 Allure 1 foolish 1 Raigeki 1 Super Poly 3 Sinister Shadow Games 1 Shaddoll Core 1 Star Eater 1 Leo, Keeper of the Sacred Tree 1 Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing 1 Goyo Guardian 1 Armades Keeper of Boundaries 1 Armory Arm 2 El Shaddoll winda 2 El Shaddoll Construct 2 El Shaddoll Shekhinaga 1 Lavalval Chain 1 Caringorgon 1 Exciton Knight - Card was completely useless. Never summoned it or had a position where it would help me Side: 2 Vanity's Fiend 2 De-Fusion 3 Royal Decree 3 Fairy Wind 2 Trap Eater 1 Mystical Space Typhoon 2 Ceasefire
  9. ARGCS Des Moines, IA

    Didn't know this was a thing until I saw Dalton post about it on Facebook.     October 18th/19th   http://articles.alterealitygames.com/event/circuit-series-des-moines-iowa-october-18-19-2014/   Seems like a weird place to host one but since I'm only 2 hours away in Cedar Falls I'll definitely be there.  Anyone else planning on going, kind of worried about the potential turnout for this?   Also I was in a hurry making this and forgot to put the date in the title so if a mod could do so that'd be cool.
  10. Hello everyone. My name is Mike Albanese and I got 2nd place at ARGCS Providence this past weekend.  Watch out guys, this is going to be pretty long.   After topping YCS Philly in May, I have attended ARG DC, ARG Philly, Nationals, the ARG 20K In Cleveland, and have done absolutely awful at all 4 of them. They all were huge disappointments, but I believe that the 20K brought the worst disappointment of all. I played Infernity, a deck I believe I am very skilled with, and had what was quite possibly the worst luck possible. Round 1 I played an Infernity mirror match against a very good friend of mine named Joey Chou, who I worked with the deck on. Round 2 I played another Infernity mirror match against a guy named Pierce, who I just met the day previous; I bricked both games and he opened combo both games. Round 3 I played yet another Infernity mirror match against my friend Zach, and the sob story continued when I play my friend Naveen Shankar round 4, and later my friend Brandon Ball round 8. Round 9 I played a guy that told me to kill myself after I beat him, I realize my 6-3 tiebreakers don’t hold up and don’t make day 2 (Not that I ever expect to top X-3, but it was just annoying some people did). A bunch of my friends ended up topping this event, but the whole weekend I was just thinking how I didn’t, and naturally got really down on myself and questioned whether I even wanted to continue playing. Over the next 2 weeks I really questioned if I wanted to even go to ARG Providence, but I figure it will be fun just to see the people I rarely get to see. Chumlee Doublestack fixes me up the new Infernity list a few days before, and this is the main deck we ended up with.   It was very different than our Cleveland build because we chose to add more combo cards like the 2nd Armageddon Knight, and 3rd Stygian, and remove traps like Torrential, Bottomless, and Compulsory. We did this because we didn’t want to play fair Yugioh; we wanted to open combo, and never give our opponents a chance to play Yugioh. That is why the only non- Infernity traps we chose to play were Warning – because that card is insane, and Trap Stun – because that card is extremely ignorant.   I drove up to Providence with a few of my friends, one of which was Rizwan Khan who also topped this event with the exact same list as I did. On the ride up he had a crazy idea, instead of spiritualism, we would side Fire and Ice hand in the mirror match. At first it made no sense, but after thinking more about it I realized, when going 2nd in the mirror and against Artifact Variants, we would rarely ever combo out, and the hands can slowly gain us advantage which would allow us to combo. And just like that, I was on board. We would side Fire and Ice hand in our Infernity deck. We told Chumlee the idea, and he reminded me, Jose Jones had this idea a few weeks ago and we laughed at him, but now we were giving it some thought and realized, it was definitely correct.   We arrived in Providence Friday afternoon, and spent the whole day just chilling at the hotel and playtesting, and figuring out our side deck. We decided to cut the spiritualisms entirely, and just play Debunk over Prison because they both stop hands, but debunk has more merit against Mermail.   This is the list we registered.   Monsters (16): 3 Infernity Archfiend 3 Infernity Necromancer 2 Armageddon Knight 2 Dark Grepher 2 Summoner Monk 3 Stygian Street Patrol 1 Archfiend Heiress   Spells(16): 1 Foolish Burial 3 Skill Charge 1 Infernity Launcher 1 Book of Moon 1 Dark Hole 2 Reinforcement of the Army 3 Upstart Goblin 1 Archfiend Palabyrinth 3 Instant Fusion     Traps (8): 3 Trap Stun 3 Infernity Break 1 Infernity Barrier 1 Solemn Warning   Side Deck: 2 Fire Hand 2 Ice Hand 3 Mystical Space Typhoon 2 Debunk 3 Vanity's Emptiness 3 Needle Ceiling   Extra Deck: 1 Fusionist 1 Kamionwizard 1 Barox 2 Lavalval Chain 2 Diamond Dire Wolf 2 Leviair the Sea Dragon 1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight 1 Number 66: Master Key Beetle 1 Abyss Dweller 1 Number 101: Silent Honor Ark 1 Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk 1 Gagaga Cowboy   Day 1:   We get to the convention center mad early and after a long time I am finally able to get Rizzi a Barox to use for the tournament (Thanks a lot again, Mike). We talk to a few of our friends, and realize this tournament is literally a Toywiz local. After a few hours, the pairings go up.   Before I go into the tournament I would like to say as many misplays as the commentators think I made, I had a reason to make every single move I made. I made a few hindsight misplays that were definitely correct at the time. I made a few minor errors such as game 1 of the finals searching barrier over necro or launcher (Even though neither were optimal) when James had lakeside lady in the graveyard, and trying to instant game 5 of the finals when I should have just attacked. Fortunately, none of those affected the outcome of the games. If you have any questions about ANY play I made over the course of the tournament, feel free to ask.   Round 1 vs Mermail   Game 1:   My opponent wins the roll and opts for me to go first, but the first game of the tournament my hand is insane, including launcher, book of moon, field spell, trap stun, but of course my 5th card is Heiress and I can’t combo. I set heiress and pass with a few backs, and he summons Undine, sends dragoons to search controller and megalo, and refuses to attack my set monster. On my turn I draw Instant fusion, but with my defensive board I decide to merely set all my backrows and monsters and pass, making my possible auto win top decks archfiend, necro, Arma Grepher, Rota, and foolish. On his turn he summons pike and discards marksman to pop my set stygian and passes without attacking. Me like the sack I am draw archfiend, and am able to kill him that turn thanks to trap stun on his only backrow. I ended up banishing heiress for the field spell, which ended up winning me the game.   Game 2:     He opts to go first and summons undine sending dragoons, and searching marksman and controller, and sets 2 backrow. I brick again, setting necro and all my backrow. On his turn he summons teus, and destroys my set field spell with marksman to search Pike, and summons controller to make Leo. On my turn I draw Armageddon knight to send Archfiend, and I am able to combo off thanks to an opening hand instant fusion. I beat over Leo with Key Beetle+Rhapsody, after banishing 2 cards in the graveyard, and I end with barrier and 2 break. He discards 2 marksman for megalo, and I barrier the megalo, and break 2 other cards with the breaks that he targeted. At this point he is left with no cards and just scoops it up.   Round 2 vs Dick Face (Artifact, Hand, and maybe some other awful card deck)   Game 1:     He wins the roll and opts to go first with 3 set backrow. I draw a pretty solid opening hand with 2 grepher, stygian, soul charge, trap stun. I summon Grepher and he immediately sanctums, and on his turn he attacks for 21 with Moralltach and sets another backrow. I flip trap stun and he has wiretap, and I summon my newly draw grepher straight into another Artifact Sanctum. I try to soul charge but his last backrow is obviously solemn warning.   Game 2:   The asshole that was hiding on the other side of the table really comes out during this game. I open what is a pretty mediocre combo because I have heiress but I have trap stun and the ability to kill him on my following turn. I end up not being able to kill him because he has a set fire hand and a Sanctum, but I still manage to full combo with field spell and infernity archfiend. But this is where things turn sour. When I use Launcher he says that he doesn’t believe me that it does what I claim and says that he requires a translation. I happily (Read, sarcasm) pull it out and show it to him. During the combo the same thing happens when I summon another monster and he also requires a translation. At this point I realize this guy is just a plain piece of shit that should kill himself but I gladly hand it to him. At the end of my combo I activate my field spell, and banish necro to special archfiend from my deck but apparently this is far too complicated of a play because my opponent does not believe that Infernity Archfiend is both an Infernity monster, as well as an Archfiend Monster, and calls me a liar. I for some reason cannot find my Archfiend translation and he immediately calls a judge. I sarcastically ask if this is both an Infernity and an Archfiend Monster and the judge verifies that it is. My opponent asks to see the complete translation and I get a warning for not having one. The nice guy next to me hands my opponent one and he reads it, and scoops.   Game 3:   I open fire hand this game and he opens passively just setting a hand and a few backrow. I choose to set a fire hand of my own and a backrow or 2. On his turn he simply adds an additional backrow. On my turn I summon dark grepher and he chooses to artifact sanctum for Beagulltach into Moralltach to destroy my dark grepher. He puts Moralltach in attack mode and I flip fire hand, and he tries to switch Moralltach to defense mode…nice try. Fire and Ice hand absolutely devastate his field and make his set hand miss timing and I end with a hand in defense mode. While this is happening Tahmid walks up behind me and says “There is no way that is a fire hand on his field etc). On his turn he attacks over my monster and passes. I draw trap stun holding soul charge and use it on all 4 hands, leaving one of each in defense mode and the other making a lavalval chain which he traptrix nightmares. He has 0 cards to his name at this point and he draws and passes. I have a set barrier, one of each hand, and I draw Necromancer. I make Lavalval chain with the hands, and send Archfiend to the graveyard. I normal summon necromancer, tell him I am using the effect to switch to defense mode, and he D.D. Crows my Archfiend, which I promptly barrier. He immediately calls a judge because he thinks Necromancer is in defense but I explain to the judge that he DD crows on summon (Which he did for some reason) and I am allowed to barrier. I brick back archfiend to search break, swing in for 3600, and end my turn with Necro Arch Chain Break and trap stun set. He tops tenki, and I break it and immediately hand him the match slip.   I run into this duelist day 2, and this is the exact conversation that went on.   Asshole: Hey man sorry about the whole thing yesterday Me: No problem man, it’s whatever Asshole: I knew exactly what your cards did I just hate losing to Infernity Me: Oh in that case, go fuck yourself He has since sent me a friend request on facebook.   Round 3 vs Mermail (Nice guy)   Game 1:   He wins the dice roll and I basically mind game him into letting me go first, so he graciously lets me go first, and I finally open combo with the all-powerful solemn warning. I believe my 5 cards were Monk, Arch, irrelevant spell, Warning, Infernity Break. My ending field is 2 Chains, 2 Arch, field Spell, with 5 Backrow. He summons Undine which I promptly Warning, and he sets 2 backrow which I break. I draw and am like, uh, attack for game? And he is like is it game and I’m just like…..and he inputs it into his calculator and agrees that it is game. He later comments how he should have gone first.   Game 2:   He summons Undine and sends dragoons to search Marksman and Controller and sets 2 backrow. I open extremely optimal for going 2nd vs mermail and summon grepher and discard stygian to send archfiend I believe. I banish stygian for stygian, and make Exciton which he breakthrough skills. At this point I tell my opponent that I will not be attacking until I destroy his backrow because I know that it is a Mal Cat. I soul charge for everything and am able to combo out because I can banish Exciton for the field spell. I end up searching 4 traps and end with a full field. I barrier his Megalo reveal and chain the targeted break on his backrow, and it was Mal Cat. I am a god. He scoops it up after I use my last 2 breaks on his backrows on end phase. This guy was incredibly nice, and explained how infernity was his worst matchup and he always feared it after testing. Apparently he sided triple flying C, but I am really glad that I didn’t see it.   Round 4 vs Infernity (Nice guy from round 2 that let me use a translation)   Game 1:   He asked if I wanted to purposely draw, but I declined, because I would rather just win.  He wins the roll and looks like he bricked because he has to monk into grepher to discard Armageddon knight and has to stygian to special another stygian, but his last card is obviously soul charge, his combo wasn’t optimal, but he still ends with like 3 searched traps, and my hand was awful so he wins this one.   Game 2:   I jokingly ask if he wants to draw still, he says sure, and I laugh and say absolutely not. I open Grepher Arch Necro Soul Charge Instant Fusion and end my board with 2 Chains, 2 Archfiends, and Leviair, with 2 Breaks and Barrier set, and instant fusion and soul charge unused. He plays correctly and uses MST on both of my breaks, and sets a monster and 1 backrow which I know is needle ceiling. It is needle ceiling, and he flips it in my standby phase and I am astounded that he is playing correctly. My draw for turn is irrelevant as I soul charge my opponent into the next dimension and end with Archfiend, Key Beetle, Dweller, and Rhapsody which I banish his stygian with after I dire wolf his set monster and search my last trap. I break on his end phase and he scoops.   Game 3:   I look at my opening hand and feel victory coming to me, and even more so when my opponent simply sets a monster and passes. My 6 card has is Dark Hole, Soul Charge, Summoner Monk, Instant Fusion, Needle Ceiling, and Mystical Space Typhoon. I slam the dark hole and immediately combo into Monk + 2 spell and explain to my opponent that I will not be fucking up this combo. I go through all the motions, searching my traps and end the game shortly with 2 Laval Chain and 2 Archfiends with the help of my field spell. Very well played match dude, I wish you got to play game 3. You were very skilled with the deck and a really cool guy.   Round 5 vs Jeremy Macwan - Mermail (Not Live streamed feature match)   We are at table 5 or something and we are escorted to the feature match area   Game 1:     I finally win the die roll and open 100% brick with 2 Necro, Instant, Book, and trap stun. I set Necro and set book trap stun and pass, and on his turn he summons Pike and discards linde to search marksman, attacks my set necro, and sets 1 backrow which I assume is sphere because he searched marksman. On my turn I draw Infernity break and decide that I have to make a push even if it’s a small one; I instant fusion for a level 3, and make Leviair with fusionist and a flipped up necromancer just to attack over Pike. I set Necromancer and in MP2 my opponent activates abyss-sphere, which I promptly trap stun to prevent him from using spells for the rest of the game. I set my field spell and break and end my turn. On his turn he draws Abyssteus and discards marksman to pop my set necromancer and search pike. He attacks with Abyssteus and I break it, banishing the Necromancer that he just destroyed. He sets another backrow and passes. On my turn I draw Armageddon knight, use it to send archfiend, and then use leviair to bring back Necromancer, which in turn brings back archfiend and starts the combo. I search another necro after using laval chain to send stygian, enter battle phase a few minutes later, and he scoops it up.   Game 2:   He opens another slow hand with Pike discarding Linde to add undine and passes turn. I Maxx C check with instant fusion and he chains the Maxx C, I summons stygian and make dweller, attacking over Pike and setting a few backrow. On his turn he summons Teus by discarding Infantry, and I chain dweller, and he searches gunde, then summons Undine to send Tidal to add controller, and uses Teus to trade with Dweller. On my turn I do another small combo but it doesn’t really yield another trap so I just set necro and the rest of my cards and pass, and he tries to sphere but once again I have the trap stun to prevent him from using spells for the rest of the game. On his next turn he just passes and on my turn I just summon archfiend and attack. On his next turn he summons tidal and attacks then MP2 summons controller to make leo. I draw necromancer, activate my set dark hole to clear leo and summon necro to bring back arch and search a trap and attack for 1800. He scoops later revealing his cards, 2 freshly drawn mystical space typhoons and a dead gunde.   Round 6 vs ??   The pairing go up and I am paired against Carl Manigat, who is playing dragons whose whole side deck is literally for infernity (Flying C, Maxx C, Hands, etc). He wins the roll and the judges tell us that there will be a repair.   Round 6 vs Frank McNamara – HAT   Game 1:   I win the die roll and my 5 card hand is 3 Necromancer and 2 Trap Stun. I just keep setting everything and he just keeps setting hands until like turn 6 when I finally have 2 level 4s and soul charge. I trap stun which is met with wiretap but the 2nd trap stun resolves. I exciton and soul charge and end with Leviair, Dweller, Archfiend, and the 4 infernity traps. He summons Dionaea and I have to barrier, and he soul charges for everything and the myrmeleo targets my break, I have no choice but to just chain all three breaks so I can’t get excitoned, but I accidently chain the incorrect break and resolve it which means I lose the break he targeted because I am a retard. I could have definitely put the graveyard infernity card back in the grave and redone the chain and the judges would have told us to replay the scenario, (Ned made me realize this later) but I am not a savage and realize that I messed up and allow it to resolve. I top soul charge later to make a board but he has dark hole and monsters to kill me.   Game 2:   I open Armageddon Knight, ROTA, and soul charge and end with a board with 3 traps and an abyss dweller with 4 searched infernity traps (I opened Barrier). He sets a monster and 2 backrow, and I just break everything and kill him next turn.   Game 3:   His opening hand is Maxx C, Sanctum, Myrmeleo, DD Crow, and another card. I grind through all the backrow but because I opened Heiress I can’t use foolish burial to tutor an archfiend to my hand. When I finally draw one he uses his DD Crow on my Stygian and I lose.   I honestly have never been more mad about a lose than this one, HAT sucks and I should have just won the match outright but because I suck I have to win 2 more rounds.   Round 7 vs Synchro Infernity   Game 1:   My opponent is talking to his friend and basically tells him that he is playing infernity so thanks for the free information. He wins the roll with 2 backrow and a set monster and I open Trap Stun, 3 instant fusion, and Dark Grepher I immediately just shotgun Exciton for a free plus. He complains that I suck and waste Exciton and I just smile at him happily knowing he is pretty awful and questioning how he is 5-1. I finally draw a monster and am able to do a mini combo and just keep attacking and his hand is just terrible, but for some reason he reveals what he is playing. Thanks!   Game 2:   My opponent goes first with a small combo and passes with a few backrow and I set fire hand and set needle ceiling and a few backrow and pass back. This is where the power of the hands come in; in my opponent’s standby phase, I flip needle ceiling which my opponent promptly trap stuns. He attacks my set monster and it is fire hand, it targets his lavalval chain, and this is where it gets hilarious, he attempts to use Solemn Warning. At first he actually says that he can’t believe that I play hands in Infernity, then complains how he has to waste solemn warning on a hand, and finally he starts whining and says how I am a shark and will not let him take back his Solemn Warning.  I absolutely blow him out, and next turn I summon archfiend, make Exciton, and follow it up with a devastating soul charge. My opponent is furious. He keeps going on about how I am playing the bad version and how I suck.   As much as I hate ignorant retards, I sure love collecting free wins.   Round 8 vs Herald of Perfection? Feature Match on Live Stream   My friend Rizwan Khan tells me how he just lost to Herald of Perfection, and his name, and this turns out to be my next round opponent.  We sit down and are told we have the Live Stream feature match, which is pretty exciting but also makes me worry about losing to Herald on Live Stream   Game 1:   I open Armageddon Knight, 2 Copies of Soul Charge, Infernity Break, and Trap Stun. I decide that instead of going full combo by sending Summoner Monk and getting blown out by Maxx C, I would hold onto the 2nd soul charge and just do a small combo that guarantees game on the following turn and saves the 2nd soul charge. I end the field with Necro, Arch, Chain and 4 backrow. My opponent draws and summons Manju and I promptly Barrier it, and then my opponent tries to tell me that he wasn’t using the effect. I automatically assume he is a complete savage cheater at this point and make it by job to embarrass him on live stream. He then attacks my lavalval chain with Manju and uses honest. I determine he doesn’t have a way to summon Herald so I simply barrier the honest, and at this point I consider the fact that he isn’t a cheater, and he could just be terrible. So he ends his turn and I go through the motions and he doesn’t scoop until I start declaring an attack for like 10,000 damage.   Game 2:   I open Double Necro, ROTA, fire hand, and soul charge, and he just sets 2 (Which are both Royal Decrees) and passes. On my turn I draw MST, and I ROTA for Grepher to discard Necro to send Archfiend and attack for 1700. His 6th card is Manju which searches ARA and allows him to summon Herald. I draw, discard another necro to send Stygian, which I believe was incorrect because it gave me less herald negation, but he allows it. I instant fusion to make Exciton which he negates with herald, then I set fire hand and soul charge but his last card is another fairy to negate with herald. Next turn he tops soul charge for krystia and passes. I flip fire hand and use it to pop Krystia and get ice hand, trade ice hand with manj to pop the set backrow, and bring out fire hand in defense and set my new backrow he draws and attacks fire hand and I use MST to kill decree, and it resolve then fire hand kills herald. Herald and I get ice hand, and he summons krystia MP2 and gets back manju. Next turn I draw brick and he draws soul charge, and I just can’t handle his power and scoop it up. At one point in this game I recall that I had Monk and a spell, and he negates the monk’s effect to turn to defense mode, and then negates the foolish burial, essentially going -1 for no apparent reason.   Game 3:   I pray for super combo and my hand is Grepher, Stygian, Upstart, Instant Fusion, and Launcher. I pray for a combo piece and upstart gets me Necromancer. Swag. I Grepher Necro Stygian to end my field with 4 searched traps (I was able to search 4 because I opened Launcher) 2 Chain, 2 Arch, Leviair, and a set Instant Fusion. I decide I will not negate anything but Krystia on End phase, then I would just kill him next turn, and that’s exactly what I do. He activates 2 preparation of rites, and manju (He even used the effect this time!) but he ends with Manju, Herald, and a set. I break the backrow, break the herald then barrier it, then break the manju, and he offers the handshake.   I realize that unless I get paired up against an X-1-1, I can just draw into top, and all goes well and I get paired up against my friend who is also X-1.   Round 9 vs Jarred Randolph (Spellbook)   I jokingly tell him let’s play it out but we sign the slip as a draw and congratulate each other on another top.    They announce the standings after swiss and my friend Rizwan sneaks in at 16th place, in addition, the majority of the top is friends from my area, and I determine I have to play one of them in top 16 the following day.   Me, John Pecoraro, and Rizwan Khan go to Fire and Ice and see everyone there, enjoy a nice meal, and get back to the room early to get a great night sleep.   Day 2:   We wake up and pack our stuff and bring it to the car, and head to the convention center. I knew I was playing Jordano, and after seeing his decklist I would have honestly been shocked if I lost to him. Less than 3 Maxx C, 0 needle ceilings, 0 soul charges, 0 Dionaea, when I see it I just comment how incredibly fair his deck seems, and how the hands will absolutely destroy him post board. He is also main decking 2 Prisons, an essentially dead card game 1. The general rule of thumb against artifacts, is that if he isn’t playing hands than you literally can’t lose.   Top 16 vs Jordano Ibrahim (FAT) – Live Stream   Game 1:   I win the die roll and open Necro, Soul Charge, Launcher, Instant Fusion, and Upstart. I think of all the auto wins I have off the upstart, and I get one of them, Dark Grepher. I use Grepher to discard Necro and send archfiend and ask Jordano if I should use soul charge or Launcher first, and he scoops.   Game 2:   He opens Tenki into Bear, set 1 backrow, activate Necrovalley, and summon Cardcar D. He draws with Cardcar D and passes turn. I summon Armageddon Knight to send archfiend, the rest of my hand being ROTA, trap stun, Necromancer, MST, and solemn warning. I set 3 and pass after attacking for 1400. Jordano summons bear and I warning, only to bait the wiretap, and he has it. He pops Knight, and swings for 1600, retrieving another bear, then activates double cyclone targeting tenki and my MST, and I chain it to destroy Necrovalley. On my turn I draw Infernity Break and use ROTA to get Grepher (I could have combo’d out with Armageddon, but I sided out my second copy when I sided in the hands). I use Grepher just to attack over Bear, and trap stun his bottomless because his only card in and is another bear. On his turn he sets a 3rd backrow, and on my turn I draw Ice hand and swing in with it and Grepher for 3100. On his turn he summons bear, swings into Ice hand, Ice hand pops a set traptrix trap hole nightmare, and he realizes he sided out a 3rd copy of tenki. On my turn I draw typhoon, swing in with grepher and Ice hand and MST the fiendish just to apply pressure. On his turn he draws and scoops up his cards.   I watch the rest of top 16 (Which was for a long time because there was still 45 minutes left in the round). I see my good friends Giovanni and Rizwan advance to top 8, and I start studying my top 8 opponent’s deck, Frazier Smith, in the meantime. Side decked Necrovalley, hands, and needle ceilings seemed like they would cause problems, but with no hands in the main deck I basically need to win game 1 and take one of the latter 2.   Top 8 vs some random playing KAT (Frazier Smith) – Live Stream   Game 1:   I open Armageddon Knight to send archfiend, and set a few backrow. He summons myrmeleo to add bottomless, then dualities into wiretap after attacking over my Kight. On my turn I summon my other Armageddon Knight to send Stygian, set the rest of my hand, then use Stygian to summon Necro from my hand and here is where the controversy started. I use the Necromancer to brick back Archfiend, using its effect and Frazier chains bottomless trap hole, which I promptly barrier which he retaliates with wiretap. In the chain link, I forgot to search for Infernity Archfiend. I will explain why this is an issue after the match, but in this given situation it was both incorrect to search break or barrier, as they would both be dead and just extra cards that would be destroyed by Myrmeleo or Exciton, the possible correct play was to search launcher but I won’t get into it. On Frazier’s next turn he summons Dionaea and attacks over both of my monsters, and pass. Next turn I set a monster and a backrow and he makes dire wolf which I break, and then warning his soul charge, but he has another soul charge to make Laval chain to stack another Dionaea, and after I draw trap stun for turn the game is essentially over.     Game 2:   I go first and look at my hand, and realize that the dream might not be real today. Necromancer, trap stun, Instant Fusion, Infernity Break, and debunk. On his turn he sets 1 monster and 2 backrow, and on my turn I top another dead card and pass. He passes right back, and I top the Archfiend of a lifetime. In response to Archfiend, I chain my own trap stun, he chains his Sanctum, I don’t respond, and he chains his own Maxx C and I end the chain with Debunk. He takes a while to decide if he wants to pop with moralltach, and he decides to, and I search another archfiend, I normal summon it, flip necro, and combo off to the ending field of Leviair, Dweller, Archfiend, Lavalval Chain, searching Barrier and Break (My other 2 sets being 2 Breaks I drew).  Sometime during this combo I didn’t set the break I searched before using Necro to bring back Archfiend, and I swore he started to say that I couldn’t search which is simply ridiculous because you wouldn’t even be able to use it in the first place, but it wasn’t an issue.  On his next turn he summons Myrmeleo to search bottomless, and sets the 4 cards in his hand. I activate dweller to avoid being destroyed by Sanctum, and I channel my inner Dirk Wagner to pick out what I believe is the bottomless that he has set, and I break the other three cards, which end up being Needle Ceiling, Fiendish Chain, and Mystical Space typhoon (I believe), and he scoops. In Frazier’s article, he claims he set 2 Needle Ceilings, but I don’t think that was true, I am pretty sure they were the 3 cards that I mentioned previously, and the bottomless. Also it completely boggles me as to why he didn’t set the additional backrow that he had, but I guess he was afraid of trap stun + Exciton. I would have definitely set at least one of the needle ceilings, that is another main reason I believe that there was only 1 needle ceiling set, but to each his own.   Game 3:   Frazier goes first with a set monster and 2 backrow, and my hand is very powerful, with Armageddon Knight, Archfiend, Soul Charge, Trap Stun, Debunk, and ROTA. I summon Armageddon Knight to send Stygian, then set my whole hand and use stygian to summon archfiend, then use archfiend to search barrier. On his turn he summons ice hand, and flips fire hand. He uses ice hand to attack Armageddon Knight and targets barrier, and I barrier the ice hand. He chooses not to attack with fire hand, and instead mind controls my archfiend in main phase 2, which is a very risky play because if I have a break to chain to destroy fire hand, it is a hard neg. Unfortunately, I do not have the break to punish him and he makes Lavalval chain with fire hand and Archfiend to send Myrmeleo to the grave. At this point it becomes obvious that his hand isn’t just bad, its god awful, but also that he has either soul charge or Dionaea. He ends his turn with what I believe is 1 or 2 cards in hand, 1 backrow that didn’t stop me last turn, and a Lavalval chain with my archfiend under it. I draw Necromancer for turn, and flip my set ROTA and use it to search Dark Grepher, which discards Necromancer to send Archfiend to the graveyard. I then use my set Soul Charge to bring back Armageddon Knight, Archfiend, and Necromancer. I combo off, making 101 to take his 101 and freeing my Archfiend, make Rhapsody to banish his Fire hand and Myrmeleo, and I end my turn with Key Beetle on my set Debunk (Just to play around dark hole), a 101 with his laval chain under it, 2 Necromancers in defense mode, and 2 breaks searched. He sets a monster and an additional backrow, which I break (Soul Charge) and his old backrow (Beagulltach, which I assumed). On my turn I set my draw (Upstart I believe) and use 1 necro to get back Archfiend which gets another archfiend. I then use both Necromancers to make Leviair, to bring back Stygian. Archfiend And Stygian make Dweller, I use dweller to detach Stygian, banish it for Archfiend and he offers the handshake.   We roll to see which top 4 match is going first, and me and Frank Elect to go 2nd so I can study his decklist. This is where the issue arose with Frazier. I have written and rewritten this section multiple times, and I am choosing to include it because I honestly feel that I need to say what happened. I will say the facts as they happened, I will give no insight, and I will make no accusations. When I played Frazier game 1, I activated the effect of Infernity Archfiend. I forgot about the search and Frazier remembered, but chose not to tell me, and this can be verified because he posted a Facebook status about it. After the match, my good friend asked the judge what he thought of the situation, and he said that it was blatant cheating and said he should probably talk to Jim about it. I told him not to, as I like Frazier and in no way thought that his intention was to cheat me. Also after the match, Frazier walked up to several people explaining how he “Lost to a random infernity retard in top 8 that forgot to search for Archfiend.”  On my way to the bathroom, I was talking with another judge and explained what happened and how I told the judge not to tell Jim about what happened. He explained to me that even if the judge told Jim, that nothing would happen to remedy the situation. Now, I really don’t care about what happened, I realize that I messed up and forgot about something, but at the same time, I wasn’t winning that game anyway. Also the fact that I won the match anyway makes me feel a lot better about the situation. So it’s up to everyone’s perception; was it Frazier’s intention to purposely deceive me? I hope not, but this is exactly what happened.   Top 4 vs Frank McNamara – HAT – Live Stream   I finally get my rematch from Swiss   Game 1:   This match is a 34 minute Youtube video, but the not a lot really happened in the match.  He wins the die roll and begins with a set monster and 2 set backrow. My hand is god awful, including 2 Summoner Monk, 2 Infernity Breaks, Stygian, and Necromancer. I wall with both monks because his deck just can’t beat over it without Sanctum, and eventually he uses 2 Ice hands to XYZ into Laval chain to put myrmeleo on top, which pleases me because that means his hand is awful as well. After the makes Chain and attacks over one of my monks, I flip the other one and use it to get Grepher, and I discard Stygian to send Archfiend. I am about to ASAP Exciton but he says he has a response to the resolution of the effect of Grepher, which is compulsory on my Monk. He telegraphs he has no out to Exciton so I instant fusion into Kamion and make 101 to take Laval chain and swing in for 2100. He draws the myrmeleo, and searches bottomless (Another card that doesn’t stop Exciton). On my following turn I summon the Monk back, and discard my freshly drawn book of moon to special Armageddon knight from my deck to send another archfiend to the graveyard, and he then sanctums to out my Monk. I then set my 2 breaks and use stygian to summon Necro, and in turn use it to bring back Archfiend which I try to get him not to bottomless by sending the earlier archfiend with Knight (I will reiterate, the only reason I even sent Archfiend to the grave was so he didn’t use bottomless on Archfiend), and it worked, he doesn’t bottomless and I search barrier. I attack over his monsters and end my field with 101 with 0 materials, Necro, Arch, Arma, with 2 Breaks and a Barrier set. He uses typhoon on my end phase, draws duality and uses it to get Sanctum over Needle Ceiling, and just casually uses dark hole to clear my field. He ends his turn with 1 unknown backrow, bottomless, and sanctum to my 2 Breaks. He sets Sanctum, and I decide to simplify the gamestate by EP breaking Sanctum, then using the other break to pop the bottomless, which he allows. His one backrow to my zero cards, and you know I TOP THE SHIT OUT OF MY LAST ARCHFIEND (The only reason it was in the deck was because he didn’t bottomless the 2nd one). I combo out and never play into needle ceiling, and am attacking for game shortly with Archfiend, Archfiend, and Laval Chain.   Game 2:   I smokescreen side into the hands to try and keep him on his toes but he pretty much assumes I side them in and he is correct. He opens with 2 backrow and a set monster, and I answer back with a T set of trap stun and fire hand. He sets another backrow and passes back and I just set Archfiend and pass. On his turn he sets 1 additional backrow and 1 more monster and passes back to me. I draw, flip trap stun (Which resolves), and Exciton him into Oblivion. I set all my cards which include 2 soul charge, MST, and Break and summon necro, soul charge and end with a powerful board with 5 backrow and full monsters. On his turn he sets a 2nd monster, and on his end phase I use MST to target my break as CL1, that break as CL2 targetting ice hand, and another Break as CL3 on his set monster, and he extends the handshake.   Finals vs James Chow (Soul Charge + Sanctum deck)   As the finals go, I think I have the least to say about those games. I looked over James’s decklist, and I pretty much knew what all the cards did, so I feel pretty good to go. He rolls a 12, and I roll an 11. He asked me what the effect of Barox was, and I explained that it was a level 5 vanilla monster that had no effect, and he was extremely confused. I explained to him that my friends bet me that I wouldn’t put it in my extra deck and he believed me.   Game 1:   I open pretty well but he goes first with the best hand in the history of Yugioh: Soul Charge, Kuribandit, Sanctum, Breakthrough, and Conduction Field. He dumps his whole grave to deck turn 1, bandits into Dustflame Blast (Basically Rageki + Duster in trap form). I summon grepher and he promptly Sanctums. On his turn he soul charges into Pleadies + Stardust, which luckily I clear with Book + Dark Hole. I follow up with a grepher that gets breakthrough’d, and I have to make dire wolf to pop the set Dustflame Blast, I cannot make a big push, and he kils me utterly on his next turn.   Game 2:   I open 3 of the worst combination of monsters and end with Chain, Arch and 3 backrow. He sets 4 backrow and double Ignitions me in my standby phase, makes Tiras on his turn, then destroys my life with it, and kills me shortly after. After being down 2-0 I announce that if I get 3-0’d in the finals by lavals I would kill myself, which apparently nobody realized was a joke but it was lol.   Game 3:     I go first and brick again (Noticing a pattern?) and I see my tournament coming to a close. I summon Armageddon Knight and send archfiend, and pass after setting emptiness, for my turn I draw another monster and summon grepher to send stygian to the grave, and attack for 3100. On my main phase 2 I make key beetle on the emptiness, and his turn he just sets a backrow and passes. I swing in for 2500 with key beetle, and he scoops next turn after seeing 3 bricks off duality. Not getting 3-0’d today.   Game 4:     He starts with 3 backrow and passes, I open decent and summon archfiend and attack into sanctum for Moralltach. He draws and just attacks for 2100 and passes. On my turn I use monk to discard instant and he chains Emptiness. On his turn he attacks over Monk and passes. On my turn I set trap stun and pass, and James attacks for another 2100 putting me at 3800. On my turn I summon Archfiend, trap stun, and soul charge for 2 and James chains Maxx C, I figure If I get barrier and 101 his Moralltach he really can’t beat his own emptiness so I give him an extra card to make 101 but he uses ignition on moral to steal a material from 101 and I main phase 2 dark hole and pass, feeling completely defeated. I top archfiend with emptiness face up, reveal it but realize I can’t use its effect, so I just normal summon it and attack (I think if I should have used MST on his end phase, but he seem locked under emptiness and I wanted to keep it that way), which turns my barrier back online. He uses duality to take soul charge over 2 Maxx C’s, and passes. During my standby phase he uses Dustflame blast to destroy my archfiend, 101, barrier, and his set needle ceiling just to wall with Beagulltach.  I choose to use my MST on his last backrow which is Emptiness, and then use soul charge for archfiend to put myself at 800 life points. I use archfiend to search launcher, and just wall up, making a board of 2 Laval Chain is defense, Leviair in defense, and Key Beetle on a bluffed backrow to play around dark hole after searching 2 infernity breaks. He soul charges for 2 level 5s while already controlling a moralltach, and I break 2 of them and he scoops.   Game 5:   Heiress came to play this game unfortunately, as he goes first and sets 2 backrow. I figure the only way to win this game is to go in for damage and I do so with archfiend but it is met with Sanctum for Moralltach. Several people said that I should have attacked with Heiress and just searched the field spell to combo next turn, but he had both Vanity’s and Maxx C to make that play sub optimal. On his turn he just attacks for 2100 and sets a 2nd backrow, and I summon archfiend and instant fusion and have to give him an extra card under Maxx C to make 101 for his moralltach. I could have sworn I saw a Mal Cat in his hand while shuffling, and decide it is the best play to typhoon both of his backrow before attacking (It’s funny, Joe Bogli mentioned this on live stream right as it crossed my mind) and I hit torrential but unfortunately also his ignition which he snipes my warning with. I skip that battle phase and next turn he just sets a monster and passes, and I draw Grepher and attack for 2100 directly. He soul charges back Maxx C and lakeside lady, tributes Maxx C for Beagultach, and I have to break the lady. On my turn I can draw any monster in my deck for lethal, and unfortunately do not and just swing in to put him at 1500. He draws conduction field, sends the maidens and lady, pops my backrow, summons cannon to make 101 to take mine, and I realize it’s over and he sets the rest of his hand. I draw an irrelevant foolish burial, set it, and when he uses ignition on beagulltach on my end phase, it is I who extend my hand.   I have watched these games at least 20 times each, evaluating every nuance of every play that I made. The way I see it, I honestly should not have won a SINGLE game out of 5. My hands were not combo at all, and his hands seemed powerful every game. The fact that I pulled out games 3 and 4 were astounding, game 4 especially when I made that play that put me down to 800. So it all comes down to game 5; the game I have dissected the most. Was I incorrect to play around a mal cat that would have ended the game when I honestly thought that I saw it in my hand? I highly doubt it. Was I incorrect in giving him an extra card off Maxx C when he was clearly drawing dead every time? Possibly. Unfortunately every way I look at it, there was simply no way that I was winning any three of these games, but I digress.  I think I’ll get a win someday, but this time, it just wasn’t in the cards.   Props   -       Going deep into top cut for the first time -       The top cut being essentially a toywiz local -       Gio getting 3rd -       Rizzi making top 8 with the same 70 card deck -       4th top -       Alter Reality Games being the almost sole reason I have no quit this game yet   Slops   -       Bricking in finals -       Yugioh players just being fake scumbags in general -       Laval Artifacts -       Having to play a bunch of friends in top cut -       Not going undefeated in swiss -       Another event, another failure   I want to give a big shoutout to Chumlee Doublestack for making another perfect decklist for me to play and top another event with. I really couldn’t have done it without you bro.
  11. I'm pleased to announce the ARG Circuit Series Championship! It will be an invite only event held sometime during the summer of 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio with $20,000 in prize support!   All the details are not yet worked out, but I will update this thread with more details as they become available. Check out Cordero's video for more information.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uIvPx-D5U8
  12. Before I get started I have to thank my best friend Jared Minderman for driving, James Frazier and Parker Roberson for their invaluable help in testing, and the staff of Alter Reality Games for hosting a fantastic tournament. Without these people my success in the event would not have been possible so thank you everyone!   After placing top 4 in the ARG 1k at indy the week prior to this event (losing only to James who piloted an almost mirror copy of the deck), I decided to spend the last week before nasheville testing like crazy on DN. These were my results.       I was so frustrated in testing that it actually got to the point where I literally left a match against someone just because he opened the 3 axis combo on me. for the third time in a row. Anyways, come Saturday I ended up back where I started with 3/4 fists and made a few changes to trade power for consistency.         3/4 axis Fair fists   Main Deck 40:   3 bear, 2 wolfbark, 1 gorilla - standard 1 dragon- At the last minute I felt like I needed more monsters, so even though drawing into dragon sucks I decided to put him in to give myself easy cardinal plays. 1 spirit, 3 leopard - standard 2 rooster- drawing rooster usually sucks unless its with a tensu or a tenki, I dont think this should be run at 3. 1 veiler- This is a great card but I hate drawing multiple copies of it so I like to keep it as a 1 of in the majority of my decks. Sometimes traps that you can set are just better for the fear factor.   3 duality- this is a card that might seem bad in this type of deck but is actually amazing. In a combo deck you need to get certain pieces of the puzzle and upstart just isn't the same. Looking back, I can honestly say that this card was probably the MVP of the deck. 3 MST- so good I play 7 3 tenki- without this going to 3 this deck would not be half as good 2 tensu-  generally makes bad hands worse, consistency over power 2 gyokkou- I made fun of James for the longest time for only playing 2 copies of this card, but in the end the card clogs your own backrow and isnt needed at 3 2 rekindling- This card is the nuts. but consistency over power 1 BoM 1 forbidden lance- I found myself losing a lot on dn to hands traps and counter traps which lance is useless against. Amazing card, but I rarely want 2 copies in my hand at any given moment.   2 Dust- I was siding this in against borderline everything so I decided to save myself a step and just put them in the main 1 tt, 1 bth, 1mf, 1 warning- standard trap line up. fiendish can clog backrow and isnt great against hieratics or geargias so I decided not to main it. 2 black horn - really good card against the meta right now. 1 tensen- another card that you hate drawing but need for the utility of it. Genuinely cannot believe that people actually play 2 of this though.   Side deck is reflective of the pool of cards that was available to me an hour before the tournament.   side: 3 dyna, 2 barrier statue- wasn't losing to heiratics. wish it had been the dark statue but I couldn't get a hold of them in time 1 veiler- prophecies and other random crap. 1 dark hole- geargia, druler hieratics, mermails, some variants of fire fist 1 soul drain 1 horn- sup geargia. I see you hieratics 2 fiendish- had a nightmare about losing to inzektors. also good in a few random other match ups, this was a last minute addition. 2 mistake 2 rivalry     Extra deck is pretty standard, worth mentioning that I completely forgot to put cowboy in, so you could say I was really prepared for this tournament.     After some last minute scrambling for cards I eventually sat down across my round 1 opponent at around 10:30 and wished him luck.   Round 1: 0-0, Chain burn Die roll lost (rolled snake eyes)   Game 1- He dualities into a morphing jar and then plays heat wave. I read the card, realize that he could set morphing jar and flip it without me being able to bear it, and decide its worth my time to call a judge over to explain to him that he cant play heat wave after playing duality. The game drags on for a few more turns because of cardcar d's but I take this one really easily. Worth mentioning that I tried to cowboy him for game at one point, so that was awkward.   Game 2- He sided in macro cosmos and mst's for my tenkis.    All of my friends played meta and verbally abused me for getting the round 1 bye. I assured them that my next opponent would be more of a challenge      Round 2: 1-0, Black wings Die Roll won   Game 1- I open tensen and no monsters and set 3 pass. He summons the 700 attack guy, attacks and sets 3. I set a 4th card and get endphase'd harpies feather duster'd. I think for a moment and dust one of his cards and then he attacks and passes... Im pretty sure he didnt conduct his draw phase but I wasnt positive so I didnt say anything. Anyways a few good tenki topdecks make me take this game relatively easily from there.   Game 2- I open 5 or 6 spells and he flips curse of darkness on me. Sweet. He doesnt really have any cards to stop my plays though so after taking 5k damage I'm eventually able to clear the curse with gorilla and take the game easily.   By this point all of my friends hate me.     Round 3: 2-0, Evilswarms Die Roll lost   This opponent was really nice and we kept up with each other's record throughout the day afterwards.    Game 1- His hand is subpar and I topdeck 2 blackhorns back to back to win this one relatively easily. Game 2- first turn thunder king set 3. at one point I'm forced to play tenki without searching and try to pop the tking with bear but I get breakthrough'd for game. Game 3- I dont remember this one very well but I believe it was an easy win     round 4: 3-0, Harpies Die Roll lost   Another pleasant opponent to play. i dont remember these games very clearly.   Game 1- after pushing back and forth for awhile I'm pretty sure I have the game and he goes on to make a dweller, misreading it thinking it would somehow stop my wolfbark/spirit combo in hand. I topdeck rekindling to make matters worse. Game 2- I don't remember this one at all to be honest. I won though.   When I retell what happened game 1 to my friends there is talk of leaving me behind in Nashville.     Round 5: 4-0, Fire fist (Dalton Bouseman) Deck Check Die Roll lost   Going into this game I had mixed feelings about Dalton, but by the end of it I had learned a lot about what I need to improve on as a player and I had a new respect for him.   Game 1- he tenkis sets 2, I double mst, tenki for bear and bear to set another tenki. he double msts my backrow and gets his bear search, a few turns later the game is simplified to his 1 in hand, bear/tiger king on field, with a face up tenki and a face down tenki. I have a face down tensu that he had read as a bluff and a face up tenki. I topdeck the only card in my deck to save me which was a tenki, and after a lot of thinking search dragon. Summon dragon flip tensu set tensen, dragon eff send off 2 tenki for bear, bear effect over tiger king, dragon and bear poke to set gyo and lock his last tenki face down. I end up passing here but in retrospect I think the correct play would have been to make the bujin xyz. he wolfbarks into a maestroke to clear my dragon, which gets cleared by my bear and eventually I stab at his LP for awhile and get this one.   Game 2- I dont open great and he has a veiler for my horse prince. He topdecks tenki to seal the game and i scoop as we are about to enter time.   Game 3- I open 5 S/t, and for my 6th card draw duality, which gets me tenki. I rooster cycle the tenki and by my 2nd turn its my 7 cards in hand to his 4. This game is won shortly after as there wasnt really anything he could do.     Round 6: 5-0, Hieratic Rulers (Long Dao) Die Roll lost   There should be a feature match of this somewhere.   Game 1- After a reckless and my cardinal he is locked out of resources and even though i topdecked 2 dead mst's in a row I was confident that this game was over. On his last turn before i had game he draws to 2 in hand, plays dragon shrine to dump tempest, special tefnuit, summon tidal by banishing tempest, search debris, debris grab laboradite, lab and tef make atum, atum bring out blaster, blaster tidal for draco, draco token and debris for black rose, summon back blaster to poker for 5400 and pass. I draw a tensu or something and scoop.   Game 2- I open up the combo followed by a dyna and he scoops   Game 3- He opens Atum bring out blaster set 2 and I'm able to clear his board with gorilla and bear. a few turns later I have the MST for his skill drain which seals the deal.     Round 7-8, Tie   At the end of the day I finish first in swiss with the same record as Carl manigat (prophecy) and Alex Keeler (mermail). After watching the JJ vs KS charity match, Jared, James and I all head to Fridays for dinner. After that we spend something like an hour trying to find a motel to sleep in for the night and I end up falling asleep at 2ish.   The next day we arrive back at the venue and talk with everyone for awhile and a few hours later I'm sitting across from Billy Brake at the live feed table waiting to start.     Top 16- Harpies (Billy Brake) Die Roll Lost   Game 1- I open up Dragon, gyokou, gyokou, mirror force and duality. He opens dracossack set 4. I topdeck effect veiler for turn, decide that this cant get any worse, and then promptly get mistake flipped on my duality. This is where I would usually just scoop to avoid revealing what deck I'm playing, but since it was the ARGCS Nasheville top 16 and there were probably hundreds of people watching me on the live stream, I decided to stick it out. I pass without doing anything, and he summons 2 more tokens with draco before poking for 2600. I draw gorilla, gyo one of his sets, summon dragon and then gyo another. I try to trigger dragons effect to set tensen and he chains fiendish chain. I set mirror force and pass, he tries to pop my dragon but I use the effect veiler. On my turn i summon gorilla, run over one of dracos tokens, overlay for cardinal, and return his draco and mistake. I run over some more tokens for a turn or two until he uses hysteric party to make a chidori on me, returning my set mirror force and one of my face up gyos to deck. He cant run over cardinal because he is at 19 due to the other gyo, so on my turn i topdeck the gyo, lock the same back row, summon gorilla and lance over it to put me in a strong position. He draws for turn, shuffles and sets 2 new back row, and I endphase MST one of them to destroy a mirror force. "50-50 shot :/" he says. At this point im almost positive that the other card is also a mirror force, but because if I attacked with my cardinal, gorilla, and bear it would be exact game, coupled with the fact that I saw Jeff jones playing DP's and tons of fiendish chains, making me doubt that he even played 2 mirror force, further coupled with the fact that I'd still be in a winning positon even if it was mirror force, lead me to making the decision to get wrecked by his set mirror force. I end with warning set and rooster, he topdecks an out to my warning and summons cyber harpie lady to run over my rooster and i topdeck spirit for game.   Game 2- He opens draco, pop hysteric sign, set 2. I summon leopard to search gyokou to lock one of his backrow, tenki for spirit, tensu into divine vulcan to bounce my tenki and his draco. At this point I debate on whether or not I should play the rekindling in my hand and completely go off, but because I have dust tornado and bottomless, and a 2100 wall, I think that its actually impossible for me to lose on the next turn and that it would be better not to over extend into a dark hole or something. wrong. He topdecks an mst and with that and the field card is able to clear my backrow, make the ice winged beast whatever, and then hysteric party for 4 for game.    Game 3- I open up the duality, rooster, +4 s/t combo. duality into tenki into bear, rooster into another tenki set 4. He searches the field card, plays it and I warning his dancer. On my turn I flip tenki to which he chains mistake, i chain mst, he chains another mistake, I chain dust tornado, and he finally chains mst on my tenki. I summon bear and search wolfbark with tenki. On his turn he hysteric party's me and my book of moon keeps him from doing anything. Wolfbark wins the game from there.     Top 8- Fire Fist (Brandon Ball) Die Roll won (yessss)   Turns out we are the only match to not get a feature, and they actually just sit us at an empty table without a judge and say play. We joke around about how unofficial it is and then some kids walk up and ask us if we have trades (LOL).    Game 1- I open something like dragon, spirit, and back row and set 3 pass. He mirrors me and we grind for a bit. I have the BoM/torrent to stop his cardcar plays and eventually the ball gets rolling on my side and he cant keep up. I drop him to 800 Lp, and he drops dark hole tking on me. I topdeck duality, obviously, and pass, and eventually topdeck an out to tking to deal lethal.   Game 2- He tenkis into bear and summons it, and then sets 4. I open leopard, rekindling, bear, mst, dust tornado, and something else. i decide not to blind mst, because I thought that he would let my bear summon go through so that i could minus by sending tensu to grave for effect and he would fiendish. So, I summon leopard which gets warning'd, bring it back with rekindling, search tensu and summon bear, use effect and mst the chain'd fiendish. This is one of those rare games where everything goes perfect. I get my search and pass, he summons gorilla, sends tenki to destroy my set dust which snipes the TT that he has set. He reveals the other set to be lance which he uses to run over my bear and search out his own tenki. By this point im up on advantage and have control of the game from here. I think I eventually topdeck rekindling for game.   Sucks having to play a friend but I had to get him back for beating me in the side event at Columbus!    Top 4- Fire Fist (Dalton Bousman) Die Roll Lost   I was reluctant to play Dalton again because of his ability to easily read me and the mind games but I was at least happy knowing that if he beat me he would almost surely go on to win it.   Game 1- I feel like this loss can almost completely be attributed to the die roll but unfortunately thats often how this mirror match works. My fate is sealed when I 50/50 blind Gyo the wrong card and he has the mst for tenki. Game 2- I open 5 monsters and bottomless, including double rooster. Undoubtedly the worst hand I'd had all weekend. He has the mst for my bottomless and sets 3 before getting his +1 with cardcar. I summon bear and it goes through to search tenki. I realize at this point that at least one of his sets has to be overworked, but my hand is so terrible that I basically give up and ran into it anyways.   In hindsight I suppose that the correct play would have been to hope that against all odds he would not draw a monster for many turns and that I would somehow be able to chip away at his LP for game. Regardless, I wished him luck in the finals and prepared myself for the 3/4 place match.    3/4 Match- Fire fist (Jacob) Die roll lost (snake eyes...)   This guy made a point to say several times that he didnt care about the trophy, which was kind of annoying. He seemed nice enough but his 4 axis list was pretty bad and I was confident that I couldn't lose this one.   Game 1- He forgot to unside from his last match, so the judge rules that I would get to go first instead. I open up the combo to his set 5 and eventually slowly grind through everything for game. On the turn before game has has 2 set with 0 in hand, and so i gyo one of them, knowing that there was not a 2 card combination that could turn the game around for him.   Game 2- sets boar and 4 backrow and passes. I duality revealing bear, wolfbark, and leopard, and decide to take the leopard to couple the other one in my hand, in case he had the mst for the first tenki I set. He then mind crushes leopard and gets the free +1. Oops, guess I should have looked at his side deck. He also sees the torrent in my hand and chooses not to summon another monster and instead tries to poke me with boar to death. Fortunately for me he draws pretty much all monsters from that point on, and eventually I topdeck rekindling, clear his back row, bring back double leopard, tribute for tenki, spirit to bring back leopard, horse prince into rooster into bear, swap tenki for tensu, summon bear and pop boar, and leopard and rooster into lion emperor to return spirit to hand. I deal a lot of damage and pass with fiendish chain, torrent, and warning set and he draws for turn and scoops.     At the end of the day I walked away from the event with 300 credit, a trophy, and my third top under my belt. I also managed to meet a few new people and learn a lot about what I can do to improve as a player (thanks again Dalton!). It was great seeing everyone and I hope that we can do it all over again in Atlanta! Thanks for reading everyone!
  13. Eaton Guo here AKA PirateWeasel AKA Ciggy the Piggy better known as the guy sitting to the right of Klaus     Took Evilswarms down to the ARG circuit series with 4 other buddies. Considered playing Evols for fun but decided there was a high enough stake to take something semi-competitive. (or complete shit if that's your view, sue me for not wanting to play dragons) Can't remember much anymore had a long weekend, will explain the rounds as much as I can remember.   [Round 1] [Evilswarm vs Fire Fist] Was pretty afraid of this matchup, which is why I felt it necessary to side 2 overworked to begin with. Lost the die roll. Dude slow-played the shit out of me I wanted to punch him in the face. I would chain mst to his tenki, and he would just pick up tenki and start reading it for 30 seconds, though he obviously knew he wouldn't get a search. Game 1: Lost He opened tenki, and I probably got my shit pushed in by bear and more tenkis and the addition of yet more bears. I saw he played 3-axis cards but he did not go for any of the synchro combos. Accepted I would probably lose this match because winning 2 games in a row in this matchup would be a miracle. Game 2: Won It was a long grind, I won somehow.   Game 3: Won He opened by setting 4 backrow and calling Castor with prohibition. Was relieved at this point, and I always silently laugh when anyone sides prohibition. (It is horrible) He kept in maxx C's for some reason which he obviously deaddrew because he kept setting them, and I won in a few turns.   Current record: 1-0   [Round 2] [Evilswarm vs Dragon Ruler] Was glad to get a matchup I was familiar and confident against. It was a pretty standard build and I 2-0'ed him.   Current record: 2-0   [Round 3] [Evilswarm vs Dragon Ruler] I'm not sure if it was this round or the next, but I played against PuffTheMagicDragon.   Game 1: Won I won the die roll and started shaking my head and shuffling my hand when I saw how bad I opened. I summoned rabbit and went into Ophion to search infection, and set 5 backrow cards.    I think he won game 2 and I got game 3, can't remember much but he opened only 2 Dragon Rulers with no draw power one of those games and couldn't really do anything.   Current record: 3-0   [Round 4] [Evilswarm vs Dragunity Ruler] My opponent was nice and didn't get mad. I won 2-0 can't remember much that happened.   Current record: 4-0   [Round 5] [Evilswarm vs Zombies] An interesting match, and I was surprised to see zombies 4-0.    Game 1: Lost Dueled right next to dinokid04 this round. At one point he activates vanity, so I summon ketos off castor and pop another backrow along with vanity. I then recycle ketos back to my hand with kerykion and go into ophion. I lost to a bad misplay I was annoyed with for the rest of the day. After I lost he told me Evilswarms were one of his best matchups, which struck me as interesting but he later told me he lied.    Game 2: Won I got out the Master Key Beetle lock and most of the game was me on the defense while he tried to find answers. His grave was pretty well set up and I was worried he might summon ouroboros, but he later told me he was just trying to figure out how to bring out Mist Wurm. I eventually draw into Ophion and win. He sided several copies of wild tornado, which was interesting, though since he dualitied them I never ended up blind spacing him.   Game 3: Won I pretty much control with Ophion and soul drain.   Current record: 5-0   [Round 6] [Evilswarm vs Dragunity Ruler] I'm at table 1 and get a feature match vs Mark Velez, which you can read about here:  http://articles.alterealitygames.com/round-6-eaton-guo-evilswarm-vs-mark-velez-dragon-ruler/   Game 1: Lost I started off with "the strong play of Evilswarm Heliotrope backed by 4 backrow.." Things happen and he blasters my ophion and I scoop.   Game 2: Won I don't open ophion but pretty much control the game with fissure. He electric viruses my ophion and searches terminus at one point, but I just attack for game the next turn.   Game 3: Lost I open pretty much all monsters and he locks me with skill drain. At one point I try to go for a bahamut play and take control of stardust for game, but a slight rulings issue came up and the judge kind of inadvertently helped him with his play. The issue was when I was going for game I used bahamut's effect to target stardust and chained pandemic, and he asked me if stardust had to remain face up on the field for me to take control of it. I kind of misinterpreted his question because I expected him to remove stardust from the field somehow, so I said yes. Well he chains book of moon to target his stardust, and I tell him I actually would still take control of it if it was face down. He calls a judge over and asks if that was true. The judge, who thought that the effect was already resolving, told him yes and so he chained mst and chained stardust to remove it from the field. Even though he's not supposed to ask judges about rulings before he makes a play, it was kind of my fault for misinforming him so I didn't mind too much.   Current record: 5-1   [Round 7] [Evilswarm vs Dragon Ruler] Played against someone I used to go to locals with in Chicago, though I wasn't too familiar with him. I asked him what he lost to and he said the mirror match, and that he was expecting the same thing this round. I told him it probably would be, even though I knew it probably wouldn't be. Even though he was really upset about the matchup, he was a really nice guy and laughed it off.   Game 1: Won I win the die roll and make first turn Ophion, and he laughs and calls me an ass. Late game I resolve my 1 maindecked refpanel on him, and he is pretty upset about that but he was also chill so yeah.   Game 2: Won He opens with a defense mode ancient fairy dragon with a backrow. I read emptiness and go for a castor + helio play instead of summoning rabbit, and he flips the emptiness. I eventually make ophion and win from there.   Current record: 6-1   [Round 8] [Evilswarm vs Dragon Ruler] Completely forgot who I played against, or what happened at all. Anyway I was pretty glad at this point because I knew I would probably top 16 even if I lost the next round.   Current record: 7-1   [Round 9] [Evilswarm vs Dragunity Ruler (Steve Klaus)] So the first thing this guy does when he gets to my table is ask me to scoop to him. As he put it, "It obviously makes sense for you to scoop to me because we will both top." Most players at this point would just agree to tie, but since he was 7-1-1 he couldn't afford to. Well, a judge overheard him and gave him a warning, saying he let him off easy and was technically supposed to disqualify him for bribing. I obviously did not want to scoop to him, and was happy when a judge came over and told us we were going to have a feature match.   You can read about the details here: http://articles.alterealitygames.com/round-9-feature-match-eaton-guo-evilswarm-vs-steve-klaus-dragunity-rulers/ I needed to top an evilswarm to win game 1 but top safe zone instead, so I go for a key beetle lock but he summons psy behemoth. In short I get game 2 and lose game 3. I automatically assumed he was from DGZ because he ranted about how Evilswarms are unfair and how I had all the answers, but I guess it's more of a universal dragon ruler thing.   Ironically, I get paired with him again in top 4 with another feature match.   Day 1 record: 7-2   I ate some pizza that night and waited for top 16 decklists to be posted but they never were. The next day Jim the owner of ARG tells me he wants to do a live interview, because I was one of two decks in the top 16 that weren't dragons and I kind of knew him since I go to ARG locals every week. So I say my piece and then play a livestreamed match against Frazier Smith in the first round. At this point the decklists were already online, so I had a pretty good idea of his mainboard and side already.   [Round 1 Top 16] [Evilswarm vs Dragon Ruler (Frazier Smith)]   Probably one of my favorite matches all day, and also the first time I ever dueled against someone yugioh famous in real life. I don't feel that he really misplayed at all, and I will admit I got pretty lucky at times even though he opened broke on me turn 1. Livestream is still up here http://www.twitch.tv/arglive/b/469877442   Game 1: Won My favorite game all day. I lose the die roll and he opens a strong formula synchron with dracosack, 2 draco tokens, and 1 dandylion token. I open something like castor, reinforcements, allure, upstart, mst, and refpanel. I really had to dig for a way to make ophion and find an out to dracosack, so I use upstart and allure but don't really draw into anything. I just summon 2 castors and when I try to enter battle, he uses formula to sync into scrap dragon. If you watch the video, he actually uses his dandylion token and a dracosack token to sync, which I point out to him but he just tells me he used two dracosack tokens. I probably could have sharked him, but let it go because I wasn't entirely sure in that situation. I go into ophion and attack over scrap dragon with book of moon and pass. On his turn he attacks over ophion and specials blaster, searching corseca. At this point I only have 2 cards total, a facedown infection and refpanel. He goes cards of consanence, and I chain refpanel and draw into kerykion and castor. On my turn I rip dark hole and attack his tokens, make ophion, and blow up his field. Frazier is basically livid at this point, and loses in two turns with no outs to ophion.   Game 2: Lost We both open up subpar, but I rip a d fissure which limits his options. He flips skill drain to keep his dragons on board, but I decide to save my mst because I have no monsters anyway. He normals both his electric viruses throughout the game and attacks me for game with one of them. I later realize I misplayed when he had blaster and electric virus on board, and I used gozen when he attacked instead of compulsing his blaster and then activating gozen. At one point when I reach out to look at his banished pile he reaches up to shake my hand, which was kind of awk. My friends tell me his hands were shaking the whole game, but I didn't really notice.   Game 3: Won I open helio with 3 backrow, he sets a monster and somebackrow and passes back. I rip a fissure off my draw and banish his dandylion with helio. I have answers to his skill drain and eventually win with my field presence and fissure.   [Round 2 Top 8] [Evilswarm vs Dragunity Ruler (Desmond Johnson)] I had another feature match this time vs Desmond Johnson, who I never heard of previously but is apparently well-known. On a whim I ask him for low roll and win. Edit: match on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iouJWEx-n4I&list=UUtmVZCrLVTcnsz4qtCS3vmQ   Game 1: Won I open first turn ophion with some backrow, and he scoops within two turns without answers.   Can't remember much from games 2 and 3, but I think I hit a crucial 7star sword with refpanel game 3 that sealed the deal.   [Round 3 Semifinals] [Evilswarm vs Dragunity Ruler (Steve Klaus)] I had the pleasure of a sweet rematch vs Klaus, I felt like it was something straight out of a manga. It was livestreamed here: http://www.twitch.tv/arglive/b/469877442 You can also read about it here: http://articles.alterealitygames.com/top-4-feature-match-eaton-guo-evilswarm-vs-steve-klaus-dragunity-rulers/ The first thing he did when we sat down was put the match slip in between our two mats, with his name and the checkbox showing between the gap. I told him fuck that it is giving me bad vibes, we keep the match slip to the side.   Game 1: Won He wins the die roll and sets 3 and passes. On my turn I make ophion but get it wing blasted. Wasn't really worried because I had kerk in hand already, and compulse his dux play on his turn. On my turn I make ophion again and basically win from there. At one point he attempts to cheat(?) and draws under reckless, and it is revealed to be a dux. So instead of using his terraforming first, he activates 7starsword first to draw into the dux. Well, whatever.   Game 2: Lost He opens stardust and sets 3, I go to make ophion on my turn but get it encored. I lose.   Game 3: Won I open a strong first turn ophion and search out an infection. It gets encored on his second turn, but I have kerk to back me up. At one point he tries to cheat and say that reckless is done, but I walk him through our game play by play in front of the judges and tell him he has one turn left without a draw. When he summons phalanx and Vajrayana I flip gozen match, forcing him to go into stardust. That was when he raged and threw his graveyard on the table, and later claims it was because he thought he misplayed. Anyway I make Ophion and king of the feral imps the next turn and win from there.   [Round 4 Finals] [Evilswarm vs Constellar (Sean McCabe)] As you can probably imagine, I basically accepted my defeat when I heard that constellars also made it into the finals. I had basically nothing in the side for constellars besides thunder king, and knew McCabe was at least good enough to not lose his best matchup. Feature Match article here: http://articles.alterealitygames.com/circuit-series-finals-eaton-guo-evilswarm-vs-sean-mccabe-constellars/ Livestream:http://www.twitch.tv/arglive/b/469939381   Game 1: Won He wins the die roll and opens with omega and 4 backrow. On my turn I set azzathoth, and bounce omega on my next turn. I make Ophion and beat him down within a few turns. At one point the judge was called because I activated allure, and he wanted to know what would happen if he chained iron wall. I complained that he shouldn't be allowed to ask questions before he actually made the play, but the judge said something like it was basic game mechanics and he was allowed to ask. (???) I'd have been more annoyed with it, but I won the game anyway so it didn't amount to much.   I lose to pleides game two and three, and open basically all monsters both games and I think he opened warning both games. Wasn't upset, because I didn't expect to win the matchup even though it is pretty disappointing to lose in the finals.     Final Thoughts:   So overall I was pretty happy to do so well with Evilswarms. I'd been playtesting basically the same build since the format began. I had a lot of practice against dragon rulers on DN, and was lucky enough to get mostly dragon ruler matchups all day. I was pretty much tired of maindecking cards for dragons like I did last format, so I built my main to do well against most decks in general, with the exception of the one maindecked refpanel. (Which put in an insane amount of work) I did not see dark armed all day,(sided out vs all dragon matchups) or iron wall which I sided vs all standard dragon builds.   Side deck cards ordered by amount of times sided: Gozen Match, Maxx "C", Dimensional Fissure, Soul Drain, Imperial Iron Wall, Mystical Refpanel, Evilswarm O'Lantern, Overworked, Thunder King Rai-oh, deck devestation virus.
  14. [url="http://articles.alterealitygames.com/?p=11118"]http://articles.alterealitygames.com/?p=11118[/url] [quote][color=#3D4B51]I am quite often forced, whether kicking and screaming by a brazen assailant, or by my own impulsive reaction to some vulgar, ignorant comment, into a tactical defence of the Traditional Format. While these two instances may appear somewhat disparate on the surface, upon a further inspection one would discover that both share a common attitude from the offending party, that being generally analogous with the following statement: “Traditional takes no skill!”––or some variation thereof. In truth, I am only too happy to protect this amazing format from the torrent of abuse it so unjustly attracts, and, although I find myself responding to the aforementioned crudity with much less frequency, I delight in academically minded, intelligent discussion on this subject. After all, it is by far the format I most enjoy competing in.[/color][color=#3D4B51] Laying all personal preferences aside, however, I have, through my many years of studying the Traditional Format, arrived at the inevitable conclusion (that is, inevitable from my point of view) that this facet of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game is far from being unskilled, and is anything but the luck-dependant, lowly idiosyncrasy that the majority of the player base would so readily believe. The Traditional Format is, I will declare, right now, quite plainly, merely an intensified version of the Advanced Format––an aspect of the game taken to extremes, stretched to its very limits, in terms of both deck architecture and gameplay. But, alas, it is most often brought to light that, due to this amplified, acute phase of Yu-Gi-Oh!, within which many cards long since Forbidden from the current professional game are playable once again, the overwhelming majority of players will and do decry that there is very little skill, if any at all, involved in a match. I should like, if I may, to put forth the notion that this is, in effect and in fact, an erroneous conclusion. It is the purpose of this essay, therefore, to attempt an altering of the perceptions concerning the Traditional Format––which have been long held hitherto––into something of a more appreciable nature. I shall do so by introducing the concept that the modern Traditional Format, with that already noted increase in faculties, requires a proportionately suitable increase in skill in order to successfully participate in––and that, furthermore, such augmentation in skill is, to be sure, an invaluable and respectable asset in its own right.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] With the intention of appreciating how much exertion––and, therefore, how much skill––is required to partake with a triumphant record in the Traditional Format, as well as the relevance of such to the professionalism necessary to uphold the values of the game, one must first be able to appreciate the format in general. When I meditate to myself upon the many factors here present which, consequently, guide decision making during deck construction and in-game analyses, I most often rest upon two that are the most comprehensive of all: the first is the level of power present, that of both individual cards and, when combined, of overall tactical possibilities; and the second is the speed of the game––the generally brief period of time wherewith one has the opportunity to claim victory. Both of these, through the aforesaid enlargement in the available card pool, have been together substantially amplified beyond anything resembling those similar components in the Advanced Format, and each perfectly reflects, as has been previously stated, the vastly modified tournament landscape within the subject mode of competition; thus, understanding them is indispensable during the voyage to a better grasp of this individual format.[/color] [color=#3D4B51]With these two dynamics––that is, to reiterate, power and speed––firmly rooted in anything and everything that occurs within the Traditional Format, there exists very little margin for error––and, furthermore, when sitting across the table from an equally or more skilled opponent, quite simply none at all. Unlike its counterpart, in which one would have many turns to not only claim victory in a match, but also to transform a losing situation into the opposite, no such luxury can be discovered, here. A single misplay, whether it be in setting up one’s own offensive manoeuvres, or in counteracting those initiated by an opponent, will certainly result in effects disastrous to the critical degree. To state the fact specifically, cards are exchanged at such an alarmingly high rate that a vicious, inexorable tempo is produced from the very beginning of a game which is almost––nay, unquestionably––impossible to regain control of once broken. For this reason, precision is of the utmost importance, equally within the initial deck construction stage and the final tournament performance. This precision, in short, becomes the foundation––the supporting groundwork, if you will, hence essential––from which skilful contention is built.[/color][/quote] [quote][color=#3D4B51]Now, while there is, and always has been, an impassioned debate regarding the level of skill necessary during the gameplay of Yu-Gi-Oh! (and, indeed, any card game in general), I find forays into this argument from a universal perspective to be vague and ineffective at best. Furthermore, any specified discussion would require, at the least, a modest set of match examples which could be annotated to clearly demonstrate correct decision making, and that collection of a sophisticated nature; unfortunately, no such models exist in any degree of the term. Taking these into account, I shall find it necessary to allow the previous statements to suffice on this topic, and steer this essay henceforth in the direction of deck architectural theory in especial, restraining myself from presenting delicate and incomplete details in order to deal, instead, with that information at my direct disposal.[/color][color=#3D4B51] So let me continue, then, upon this route.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] It is possible, in terms of deck construction, to further systematize my hypothesis into a single element: we may call this the accuracy, or the exactitude––the meticulousness with which a strategy is converted from its simple paper and ink beginnings into a fully functioning, faultless and physical machine. Quite simply, there is nought more important than accuracy when considering which forty cards one will utilize in a given tournament, for little point is there in having the most powerful strategy possible, yet at the same time failing to construct such with the precision necessary to fashion the proper working of the deck as a complete entity. This sentiment is, of course, very true, and something which, while clearly very basic (and, therefore, a concept that everybody, methinks, should already be aware of), is essential to mention in any treatise discussing the theory of deck architecture. In direct relation to this, there is the opportunity to maintain such a line of thought with particulars alike to determining the amount of cards a deck should contain, for I feel the need to pronounce my belief that no reason––no reason whatsoever––exists that justifies the inclusion of a number of cards over the forty base minimum; such induces too low a probability of finding key cards when needed, consequently decreasing efficiency and the intended performance of the deck. We can then, naturally, also talk of the importance of selecting the entirety of those forty card slots with the utmost care, ensuring that each and every option is considered to the fullest extent possible, and the most logical conclusions drawn from these deliberations.[/color] [color=#3D4B51]In order to further illustrate these points, I shall raid my personal library of decklists to present a number of examples necessary to better facilitate the readers’ understanding. The first of such shall be that of a control-oriented strategy, one which perfectly combines the reflections previously discussed into a single, synergistic mechanism––one which does so with the goal of commanding and responding to an opponent’s plays. While I would never feign to declare that such a strategy, comparable with the proceeding Chaos Monarch deck, could triumph in a large, professional-level tournament (and I would, of course, never attempt to hide the fact that, to speak with complete honesty, one most likely would not), I find it acceptable to present this example as merely a diagram of the hypothesis herein, for it functions as such to so great a result. [/color][/quote] [quote][color=#3D4B51]The decklist reads as follows:[/color][color=#3D4B51] Monster: 19[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Caius the Shadow Monarch[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Zaborg the Thunder Monarch[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Apprentice Magician[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Magician of Faith[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Crystal Seer[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Old Vindictive Magician[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Black Luster Soldier––Envoy of the Beginning[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Chaos Emperor Dragon––Envoy of the End[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Dark Magician of Chaos[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Witch if the Black Forest[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Treeborn Frog[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Yata-Garasu[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Spell: 14[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Pot of Greed[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Graceful Charity[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Allure of Darkness[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Painful Choice[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Monster Reborn[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Premature Burial[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Raigeki[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Harpie’s Feather Duster[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Change of Heart[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Brain Control[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Snatch Steal[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 The Forceful Sentry[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Delinquent Duo[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Confiscation[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Trap: 7[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Mind Crush[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Trap Dustshoot[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Time Seal[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Crush Card Virus[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Imperial Order[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Ring of Destruction[/color] [color=#3D4B51] We can see here that, while the strategy has been tilted in favour of the strength of individual options, the single aim of hand control––an extremely potent ability, as evidenced by many of such cards occupying everlasting positions on either the Forbidden or Limited List––is clearly a dominant feature, with eleven cards total, just over a full quarter of the deck, accomplishing that desired result. Through the use of a plethora of effects to remove cards from the opponent’s hand, backed up then by still further effects which prevent the opponent from drawing new options once deficient in card presence, the strategy is quite capable of taking control of a game very quickly. Thence, a contingent of field control options has also been included, in terms of additional Monster, Spell and Trap Cards, balancing the deck by affording the removal of any threats an opponent is able to produce. With that said, however, there have been no inclusions of cards not pertaining distinctively to either line of attack, with, furthermore, nothing unsupportable, either in terms of strategy-specific cards or tech choices, finding its way there, either. To be brief, anything inflexible––that is, which does not fall into the category of simple, multipurpose, universally functional selections––has been omitted, or not even considered at all. We find, therefore, sitting before us, a highly consistent deck which suffers few unplayable hands, due purely to the absence of narrow, possibly useless cards.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Next, I should like to exhibit a model of what one might call the precise opposite of the previous––an immensely fast, One-Turn-Knockout deck (or, to use the common abbreviation, OTK), which attempts to create victories as early as the pilot’s first or second turn, depending upon whether said person takes the opening turn of the game. It will be possible to observe, in this case, a vastly dissimilar style of play in the modern Traditional Format, although one which certainly still comprises the precision––or, to employ another previous term, the accuracy––of deck architecture necessary to compete with anything resembling a successful record in the subject mode of competition. The below list is said example:[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Monster: 14[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Kuraz the Light Monarch[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Wulf, Lightsworn Beast[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Garoth, Lightsworn Warrior[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Card Trooper[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Black Luster Soldier––Envoy of the Beginning[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Destiny HERO––Disk Commander[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Dark Magician of Chaos[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Spell: 26[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Hidden Armory[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Solar Recharge[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 D.D.R.––Different Dimension Reincarnation[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Divine Sword––Phoenix Blade[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Magical Stone Excavation[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Pot of Greed[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Graceful Charity[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Card Destruction[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Painful Choice[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Charge of the Light Brigade[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Reinforcement of the Army[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Dimension Fusion[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Monster Reborn[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Premature Burial[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Reasoning[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Monster Gate[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Harpie’s Feather Duster[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Snatch Steal[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Raigeki[/color] [color=#3D4B51] I should hazard a guess that the vast majority of players reading this––or, at the least, quite a few of them––have never seen a perfectly constructed build of the deck known simply as Kuraz-Blade Turbo, although I should further my presumption that most of said people have, in fact, heard the name before now, and know of how it should function. It is, indeed, one of those strategies that finds itself principally handed down from player to player through nought but its title only, with few, as a result, acquiring the information crucial to assemble it. Indeed, I myself was consumed by months of research and testing before finalising the above list, and, as I shall anon describe, the end product is a veritable exercise in precision.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Upon studying the decklist, one would discover, quite quickly, that there has been no space whatsoever spent on options outside of the principal objective––that is, not a single card slot has been wasted on something which is unnecessary to achieve the desired end goal. Verification is as follows: the Lightsworn engine, which facilitates the basic movement of the strategy, comprises eleven cards total––the selections needed to generate the Kuraz the Light Monarch-based combinations encompass a further eleven slots––additional support, in the form of options which, in some way, shape or form, sift through the deck, then cover ten cards––further auxiliary support, this time pertaining to extra Special Summoning capabilities, takes only four spots––the chief win condition is, obviously, included at its single allowed copy––and, to round out the list, the final three cards, each of which we might rightfully term ‘staples’, have been included here to eliminate an opposing board for one’s game-winning attacks. Everything within the Main Deck has been chosen after careful, rigorous deliberation of their merits as concerning the strategy as a whole unit, and anything even remotely conflicting has been rejected––including, as even a swift glance at the above decklist will verify, any and all Trap Cards. For this reason, and this reason alone, a level of efficiency is produced that would prove otherwise impossible to obtain.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] It is, of course, then possible to go above and beyond simply the One-Turn-Knockout deck, once again increasing the use of power and speed––that pair of primary features––in order to produce a strategy capable of claiming victory, for the simple reason of never requiring to declare a single attack, on the very first turn of a game. This, the First-Turn-Knockout deck (or, rather, the FTK), by its very nature of containing within its own boundaries of play patterns only a single win condition, expresses faultlessly that notion of meticulous attention during deck construction which is the central premise of the theory explained here. An example of such will now be given:[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Monster: 7[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Armageddon Knight[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Broww, Huntsman of Dark World[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Makyura the Destructor[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Spell: 23[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Dark World Dealings[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Hand Destruction[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Into the Void[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Upstart Goblin[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 One Day of Peace[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Pot of Greed[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Graceful Charity[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Pot of Duality[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Card Destruction[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Painful Choice[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Reinforcement of the Army[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Foolish Burial[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Soul Release[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Trap: 10[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Reckless Greed[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Jar of Greed[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Good Goblin Housekeeping[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Exchange of the Spirit[/color] [color=#3D4B51] I should like, if I may, to take a brief moment, before I go any further, to clear the possibly forming proverbial clouds surrounding the inclusion of a First-Turn-Knockout deck in a discourse on skill. It would certainly be imprudent of me to proclaim that the above build of Exchange of the Spirit, as it stands, would take, by any means, a high degree of skill to pilot to a successful record––in fact, there is no doubt that it would not. The deck simply requires a very basic knowledge of what each individual card accomplishes, which should be followed then by a fully functioning motor ability to place the cards onto the table. While I am certain that less experienced players can and do struggle, in at least some way, to comprehend the minuscule nuances unique to such a strategy (as I myself have, indeed, seen many times while observing at tournaments), little point is there in promoting this small amount of essential skill during gameplay within this, a more scholarly essay. My discourse at this point is, to reiterate, instead regarding the accuracy utilized during its construction as an example of architectural skill, and this skill alone.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] With the First-Turn-Knockout deck, as I have previously mentioned, fabricated for the sole purpose of achieving its single win condition as promptly as the very first turn of a game, it stands to reason, then, that any decklist founded on such a strategy would contain no form of incompatible card whatsoever. Whereas, in the previous example, there was, according to necessity, the inclusion of certain cards which interact outside of the strategy (that is, namely, the copies of Harpie’s Feather Duster, Snatch Steal and Raigeki, in that they offer no specific merit to the deck in and of itself), there is no such requirement here. The above strategy is designed for the exclusive purpose of using the eponymous card, Exchange of the Spirit, to deplete the opponent’s deck count to zero prior to their first Draw Phase, thereby winning the duel through deck-out; everything unnecessary to this––and the term ‘everything’ is to be taken quite literally––is omitted in favour of accomplishing this goal as consistently and as easily as possible. As case in point, well over half of the deck (twenty-eight cards in total, to be exact) is solely intended to sift through itself in order to locate the win condition, with the remaining twelve slots being filled either by options which facilitate some of the more complicated of said draw cards, or, quite clearly, that stated win condition. Again, nothing superfluous to this mode of victory has been included, allowing the most accuracy possible––the absolute highest amount of precision attainable––within forty cards, thus creating an efficiency as near to total as is realistically accessible in a randomised game.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] It is all well and good, I must admit, to annotate the decklists presented previously, dissecting the approach used during their construction in relation to the primary hypothesis, herein, of precision in the Traditional Format, for all of them have fallen into a distinct category of style and technique. They have been, therefore, disregarding any ostentatious form of material contents, rather straightforward, axiomatic examples. I have, for this reason, but one final model which I wish to briefly elucidate upon, one which is, essentially, a corpus of the theory discussed heretofore––one which amalgamates deck-types into a single, synergistic, flexible strategy––one which, taking into account all of the ideas presented up until this point, demonstrates in a more practical, realistic fashion the concept of skill (that is, of precision, of accuracy in deck architecture, and the resulting efficiency) that I have attempted, in this essay, to introduce into the minds of the duelling public when reflecting upon the Traditional Format.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] The following DARK Synchro deck has been, as is most common to this archetype, moulded around a Destiny HERO backbone, thus creating the opportunity for the inclusion of the relatively large suite of draw cards necessary to power the strategy through its game-plan. With this engine set in place, the deck becomes capable of drawing through itself with the speed and reliability of the One-Turn-Knockout and First-Turn-Knockout strategies listed beforehand, and can, by the nature of the tactical inclusions, accomplish either of those end goals. However, the pilot is also able, depending upon either the contents of his or her opening hand, or, alternately, certain offensive or defensive manoeuvres executed by an opponent that would have a detrimental effect upon these play patterns, to implement a somewhat slower, more control-oriented line of attack through the use of a retinue of hand and field removal options, in so doing offering a course of action under either of the aforementioned circumstances. We discover, then, that versatility which comes from an integrated approach to deck construction––that method which one, upon an expedition through the history of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, would discover has proven to be the most successful to date.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] One will see, by and by, that each section of the strategy, on its own as well as with regards to the complete unit, has been designed through the described notion of meticulous decision making during the assembly and testing phase. The deck has been considered as precisely as is absolutely achievable, carefully balancing the three aspects of the strategy with consideration to one another (that is, ensuring that each and every card accomplishes its intended purpose without interfering with the deck as a whole entity), while, at the same time, guaranteeing that the threefold plan of attack is complete in all features. Any and all possibly errant cards, it should go without saying at this stage of the essay, have been excluded in favour of other, more appropriate options. The decklist appears thus:[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Monster: 14[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Destiny HERO––Plasma[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Destiny HERO––Dogma[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Destiny HERO––Malicious[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Destiny HERO––Disk Commander[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Elemental HERO Stratos[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Dark Armed Dragon[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Magical Scientist[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Dark Magician of Chaos[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Plaguespreader Zombie[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Dark Grepher[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Spell: 24[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Trade-in[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Upstart Goblin[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Destiny Draw[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Allure of Darkness[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Card Destruction[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Pot of Greed[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Graceful Charity[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Painful Choice[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Reinforcement of the Army[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 One for One[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Monster Reborn[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Premature Burial[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Dimension Fusion[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 The Forceful Sentry[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Delinquent Duo[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Confiscation[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Harpie’s Feather Duster[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Snatch Steal[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Raigeki[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Trap: 2[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Crush Card Virus[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Imperial Order[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Extra: 15[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Dark Blade the Dragon Knight[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Dark Flare Knight[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Ryu Senshi[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Dark Balter the Terrible[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Thousand Eyes Restrict[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Steelswarm Roach[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Stardust Dragon[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Scrap Dragon[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Dark Strike Fighter[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Goyo Guardian[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Side: 15[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Effect Veiler[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 3 Droll and Lock Bird[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Mystical Space Typhoon[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Heavy Storm[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 2 Dimensional Prison[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Solemn Judgment[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Mirror Force[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Torrential Tribute[/color] [color=#3D4B51] 1 Ring of Destruction[/color] [color=#3D4B51] For this final example (which was to be, as aforesaid, one of a higher comprehensiveness than those presented previously), I have also shown both those Decks of the Extra and Side, in addition to merely the Main. Although this study was, quite clearly, written with a heavy propensity towards the latter, I feel the argument would be grossly incomplete without demonstrating, at least to some degree, the idea of precision as pertaining to these two supplementary aspects of deck architecture. While the inclusion of the Extra Deck was, to be sure, rather an obvious decision (being that the strategy in question boasts an intense abuse of these fifteen cards), the addition of a Side Deck to the above list requires a few more words: not only does doing so exhibit a diagram of a precisely built side-board (that is, every card has, of course, been chosen after careful thought regarding its effectiveness against an undesirable match-up), it also shows that specified tech cards––explicitly, options which, while undoubtedly essential against certain opposing strategies, have a relatively narrow effect range, and, therefore, the distinct likelihood of displaying a definite uselessness against other decks––have not been entirely forgotten from my thought process. With the requirement for efficiency so great here, and little to no allowance for cards with even the remotest potential for being dead, one must ensure that the most reliable Main Deck possible is achieved for Game 1. I find it is better, therefore, when competing within the Traditional Format, that such tech cards instead be shifted to the Side Deck, to be rotated in when the need arises.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] Having thus now given my full discourse, I find myself in need of integrating the argument presented above into some semblance of a comprehensive, fluent conclusion. In order to do so, I shall first remind the reader of the central proposition that I endeavoured, through the arrangement of this essay, to expound upon: this was to bring about a change of opinions within the Yu-Gi-Oh! player base when contemplating the Traditional Format, by showing, with the highest complexity and rationality ever attempted hitherto, the amount of skill necessary for involvement with a triumphant record in this mode of competition. It was my distinct intention, through accomplishing this, to infuse, at the least, some degree of respect into discussions pertaining to this amazing format––which is something, indeed, that has long been lacking from such, and that, without a doubt, I would be hard pressed to restore. I went about my research, however, backed up by a concrete belief in the issue at hand, and we find here the resulting report.[/color] [color=#3D4B51] With the aforementioned purpose firmly rooted in my mind, I set about the task by introducing, first and foremost, the notion that the Traditional Format, with its exclusive opportunity to use cards, effects and combinations Forbidden from the current professional game, in no way, shape or form justifies that absence of skill which is most often attributed to it. This was, no doubt, a bold statement, but I then presented the further idea that competing in the subject format requires a supplementation, as opposed to the generally accepted reduction, in a player’s skill sets when a journey there is intended. Through establishing the concept of precision, as pertaining to both deck architecture and in-game decision making, I embarked on a debate to verify this sentiment, forgoing any inaccurate talk about the latter (although still making, at the least, some relevant points on this topic) in favour of a more detailed explanation of the hypothesis with specific regards to deck architectural theory. After carefully studying, through the employment of a distinctive set of example decklists, the concentration of accuracy necessary to construct a strategy that functions with the consistency and efficiency required in such an fast, powerful, unforgiving format, one is able to observe that the Traditional Format does, indeed, involve a high level of precision, and it is this precision––this notion of meticulous attention during deck construction––this act of contemplating, to the utmost level of exactness possible, the suitability of every single card, from the viewpoint of both its own merits and the possible interactions (or, for that matter, counteractions) that it would be capable of achieving––it this accuracy, to be brief, by amalgamation of the ideas presented herein, that denotes the high level of skill required to partake with the certainly desired success in today’s modern Traditional Format.[/color] [color=#3D4B51]There was, finally, one other assertion to this treatise which, while not necessarily revealed to any great extent, has nevertheless been a regular undercurrent throughout its duration. I am talking now of the idea that the Traditional Format is not only a definite part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, but also one of worth. This is an essential parallel, I am confident, that must needs be drawn from my closing statement just prior to this paragraph, for that skill which has here been alighted upon most definitely displays this format as a valuable, significant mode of competition.[/color][/quote] inB4tldr