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So two weeks before the event my bro Josh tells me that he found some arg points online for me to buy. Considering I wanted to do one last event before I quit for good, and nats was not an option with my job, this seemed to be the best bet for me. I bought me 20 points and began testing with the deck I thought I was going to run all the way up to the Thursday before the event, Madolche. I tried every version possible, Traptrix, Hands, spell striker, tg, pure, and none of them had a good enough matchup against both hat and sylvan for me to feel comfortable taking them into the event. So I decided to do what I normally do before events, I decided to just read theory articles the entire week before the event. I started with the two great articles posted by johnny and sam on here, but then I decided to google magic theory articles and I came across midrange deck theory and was extremely intrigued. As I was creating parallels I noticed how the artifact engine came across as the best midrange engine in the game, my only question was what deck to put them in. Also, I wanted to find a deck that didn’t lose to itself and also could play the beatdown or the control game depending on the situation. I first tried out gears (which I guess is now plus 1 geargia) and learned that it was still a good deck, but just absolutely got blown out by any player that was smart enough to go extremely aggro against them, which I was afraid most people would do, even though I was gravely mistaken. Then I tried out madolche artifact traptrix and honestly had some good results with it, but just could not beat a single hat player with it so I scraped that idea. So in theory I had an idea of the style I wanted to run but no results to show for it. Thursday night before the event, I decided to test sylvan and water and realize they just lose to themselves to much and I didn’t have the time to truly test them to my full ability. So that night I read Steinman’s article about KAT and was absolutely blown away. I knew there were a few things I would change for the event but overall the theory was really good. I wanted to run hands because the mirror would be real, and they just make the mirror playable. I also didn’t like dionaea because it always got stuck in my hand, so I decided to cut a dionaea and a kuribandit, as well as a fiendish chain and a wiretap for the hands and basically finished the main board. The extra was staple, except I don’t own any cards and just borrow everything so I didn’t have a Lavalval Chain or a second Plaedes which would have been nice. The side was basically just the same as Steinman’s except I wanted to run my favorite card Xing Zhen Hu, no matter if it was only useful against the hat and gear match up. Friday we leave out and I don’t even have the physical deck made yet so I can’t even test the deck. We get in Cleveland around 1 in the morning and I build my deck there, without even playing a game before the event. Obviously I didn’t think I would do that well, and honestly I probably played the worst Yugioh in my life, as evident from my feature match and my top 4 match, but damn this deck was stupid good. I get some breakfast, watch some nigga turtles with my bros and proceed to start the tournament. Round 1 – Alek Clark – Win Die Roll - Hat G1: Since this was my first game with the deck I just followed what Mike said about soul charge and waited to use mine until my opponent used his and just blew him out with constellar and volca. G2: I draw absolutely nothing playable and get killed really fast. I also main the wrong read on a hand and cost myself the game. G3: I put such early pressure on him with artifacts and lock him out with xing zhen hu and he can’t even touch my life. 1-0 Round 2 – Alyx Lisgathe – LDR - Kat So I go into this round and I knew Alyx just won the day before with prophecy and knew Kat extremely well. Our match was the written feature and honestly I played the worst yugioh in my life but just drew the stones both games. I even apologized to him multiple times because I absolutely deserved to lose this round. I am so glad I got to play Alyx though because he is literally the coolest guy I have ever met at this game and continually gave me advice and the confidence boosts I needed throughout the day to do as well as I did. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for him, I would have scrubbed this event. If you want to read the match it is on ARGs website (because I can’t link it haha). 2-0 Round 3 – Luke Mattingly – LDR - Hat G1: I get blown out this game by him having hands and me not having a real answer. G2: I get him off of a late game exciton and plades push. G3: We go into time and I lose because I don’t see a monster or a sanctum…. 2-1 Round 4 – Uy Tu – LDR – Infernity G1: When shuffling I see him drop a archfiend and then I lose the dice roll so I am on tilt. But he sets a few and passes, and I summon myrm and set infinite backrow and he can never make a true push. G2: He opens a small combo but cant go off fully because he drew one to many monsters. I bait out the barrier and breaks and the xing zhen the rest of his backrow and just artifact and hand his field for days. 3-1 At this point I may mix the round numbers up for a few because I wrote in random spots on my paper. Round 5 – Alex – LDR – I don’t even remember what he was playing honestly I remember I got in there with soul charge for a quick 2-1 match. 4-1 Round 6 – Stephen (top 32’d) – LDR – Water G1: This game doesn’t even deserve to be written out. I get savagely outplayed and just lose. G2: I forgot that exciton was a card for not playing in forever and get blown out really really hard. 4-2 Round 7 – Rick – LDR – LSRuler G1: I just go as aggro as possible on him and never let him get out of the early game. He tries to dragon ruler me for a bit but it doesn’t really do anything against soul charge into volca and constellar. G2: I open really slow and he eventually gets a grind fest by using dragosack to clear all of my backrow. G3: I make the mistake of allowing him to go first and he absolutely draws the stones. The only redeeming quality is he has no hand left outside of 1 jd, because the rest were accidentally milled. He also only has 7 cards left in deck. I dark hole his field summon an abyss dweller and set my hand of three artifacts and a tthn. He summons jd after I dweller him and doesn’t activate so I think I am going to lose. I draw soul release to turn off all of his dragons. His go, I tell him he did a good job not misplaying into my tthn and I discretely say that I don’t have any real traps back row, to lead him on to blow them up. He does and I summon my three artifacts and just win from there. I sat beside hoban this round and saw him crack a smile when this happened. 5-2 Round 8 – Nate Forte – Madolche – LDR G1: So after losing what seems to be the 100th dice in a row, nate opens and sets a monster and a single backrow. I watched nate on the stream the day before and knew he didn’t play hands so I summon ice hand and kill a warwolf. Set four backrow and stop every combo he tries to make this game. G2: He opens anjelly into hootcake into anjelly making me realize he has the messagelatos all in hand. I go super aggro on him and just stop every push he tries. 6-2 Round 9 – Zach Leverett – Sylvan – LDR G1: He goes first and both of us have mediocre hands. At one point I successfully go off with all of my hands and get some advantage. He makes a play with soul charge which I stop mostly, but he still ends with a felgrand a Sylvania and an emptiness. I attempt to soul charge and he emptinesses but I have the wiretap and I summon volca which he tries to negate but I have the fiendish chain for the game. G2: He opens much better this game and we end up grinding out because neither of us draw a soul charge. I finally get the advantage and summon an exciton. The only problem was I had 4 more cards then him…. I took the helmet back off though and ended up going into a soul charged volca for game. 7-2 It is super late when we get done and me and my crew go to Denny’s next to our hotel and we see Alyx and Mike there who were drunk out of their minds, but still the coolest guys in the world haha. Alyx comes over and congratulates me for playing better after him and wishes me luck on the next day. Round 10 – Larry Musgrove – LDR – Geargia Karakuri I knew Larry from when I went to Purdue and hit up some regionals there. I accidentally cheated him at a ycs a few years ago (thank god it ultimately didn’t matter), but ever since then we have been pretty chill with each other, and I honestly consider him to be one of my best friends from that area of the country. And I am so glad I lost to him in the top over any other person. G1: I open with all the backrow and stop his trap stun with a compulse on his armor and just blow him out. G2: Repeat of the first game. 8-2 Round 11 – Pedro – Madolche – LDR G1 and G3 I get absolutely blown out because I have no ability to be aggro which I have to be to even have a chance in this matchup. 8-3 So I finish the day before top cut at 19th place and honestly don’t believe I can win another match for the rest of the day. Alyx comes up to me and really gives me a confidence boost and just honestly made me want to win. Top 32 – Assammu William – Dragon Rulers – LDR G1: I have no idea what he is playing but he sets a monster and three back row so I assume I am playing a mirror, and really think that when I destroy an ice hand after 5 turns of set and pass. He finally starts going off and I think I am going to lose because I let dragons build up advantage but pull it out with constellar volca and infinitely real backrow. G2: Another grind fest. We had a miscommunication on Exciton and I almost accidentally sharked him. I really do apologize for not understanding the situation, but it ultimately didn’t matter as he grinded out the game with a dracco that went the distance. G3: I open artifacts and deep darks and myrm. I win relatively fast after I dd crow and maxx c him into oblivion as well. So before top 16 alyx gives me some advice about how to play against Joe and Dalton and it really just gave me some confidence. Top 16 – Joe G. – Sylvan – LDR G1: He opens and he bricks and I just take advantage of it with an aggressive hand. G2: He finally gets to a point to where he can make some plays and I misplay with my tthn and allow him to go into a felgrand. But I have the dionaea and the breakthrough in the grave to turn the game back around and eventually win when he can’t draw anything but msts. I have to admit, Joe was probably the best player I played on the day, but his deck just hated on him. He was also one of the nicest and most considerate players as well. Top 8 – Dalton Bousman – Gears – LDR… again…. I am super confident going into this round because +1 gears was one of the decks I actually tested for the event and I knew exactly how I had to play in order to win. G1: He misplays and uses his dark hole way to early and I just play super aggressively. I’m not even going to lie when I say I drew extremely well this game. G2: Dalton opens up mediocre and I open up and keep top decking extremely well to just keep the pressure on. I at one point breakthrough his card car d and then on my turn soul charge for one to go into a volca to kill it. Everybody around me thought I had played incorrectly but I knew Dalton at the time didn’t have a wire tap, and I had the solemn warning. I also wanted to save my pladeis because I had the second soul charge and I knew it would be better used to close out the game. I even let him morraltach me without using my breakthrough because I knew the only way I lost was if he had another sanctum when I soul charged again. Dalton was a super awesome guy and I wish I could actually play more with him. He continually talked to me throughout the day not even knowing who I was and just made me feel like an actual friend, even though he didn’t know me. I am really glad that he has had the year or so that he has. Top 4 – Larry – WDR So I learn I have to play Larry in the top and honestly couldn’t be any more excited. If you want to watch the match just google mine or his name. I drew extremely awful, which put me on tilt, which made me play the absolute worst match of yugioh in my career. After I rewatched the video, I made 6 misplays game 1 and 3 in game two. I ignitioned the d fissure because I had the ice hand and didn’t remember seeing tt on his decklist when I checked, but sure enough he had it and I just got blown out. Overall it was an awesome event, and there is no better way to officially quit the game than by going out with a grand in my hand and getting my first (and last) premier event top. Arg is super awesome and I am really glad what they have brought to the competitive scene. Props: Alyx being a freaking champ Steinman for having the best deck ever My luck being amazing on the day Larry being the one who beat me Denny’s Nigga Turtles All the people I played being really good and awesome people in general Xing Zhen Hu being actually useful instead of a joke Winning a grand and a pretty nice trophy Good theory being the most important aspect of the game Only winning two dice rolls because me going second most of the time actually helped more than I would have thought. Having some of the best friends I could ever ask for. Dgz for actually challenging me to be better Vinsant (user on here) for theorying soul charge with me a bit Slops: I suck at this game Call of the haunted and double cyclone being awful