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Allisdair Bowman

Daniel Jackson Top 8 UK Nationals Deck Analysis

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Initially, its important that you know that this report is an account from my friend, Daniel Jackson's, journey and tournament, and he is just using my account as a vessel to post it on these forums.

This is my (Daniel Jackson's) report of UK Nationals and the period leading up to the event.
I believe it was Sam Pedigo who said that events are won in the build up to a tournament. This concept is something that my group of friends and I strongly believe.
At this point I would like to thank: Allisdair Bowman, Darren Stephenson, Saul Agis and Tom Watabiki for helping me come as far as I did.
Our preparation for Nationals began when Nekroz was first released. It is important to note that this was a whole format before Nationals, however it taught my group and I the dos and the donts of the Nekroz deck. When the banlist was eventually released, it was clear that Nekroz was the best deck, and we knew that we had a lot of work to do.
First of all, here is the decklist that I used to top 8 the event.
For those who cant watch the video which also contains explanations, here is the typed list.

Main Deck:
3 Nekroz of Unicore
2 Nekroz of Brionac
2 Nekroz of Valkyrus
1 Nekroz of Trishula
1 Nekroz of Clausolas
1 Nekroz of Decisive Armor
2 Shurit, Strategist of Nekroz
1 Dance Princess of Nekroz
3 Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands
3 Senju of the Thousand Hands
2 Denko Sekka
1 D.D. Warrior Lady
1 Djinn The Releaser of Rituals
2 Effect Veiler
3 Upstart Goblin
2 Nekroz Cycle
2 Nekroz Mirror
2 Nekroz Kaleidoscope
1 Preparation of Rites
3 Reinforcements of The Army
2 Book of Eclipse

Extra Deck:
2 Herald of The Ark Light
1 Red Nova Dragon (the ultimate is sexy)
1 Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Daigusto Emeral
2 Lavalval Chain
1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Cairngorgon the Antiluminescent Knight
1 Constellarknight Satellar Diamond
1 Satellarknight Ptolemaeus

Side Deck:
2 Fire Hand
3 Ice Hand
3 Shared Ride
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Raigeki
2 Royal Decree
1 Vanitys Emptiness

The first aspect that we had to establish was the exact core of the deck. The ratios of cards like Clausolas, Trishula and Valkyrus were up for debate amongst the general yugioh community. In my opinion, cards like Trishula and Clausolas were not necessary in multiples. Playing two of each of these cards has been a trend across the world.

Regarding Clausolas: I feel that every time you see your first copy or Ritual spell card, the second copy becomes a dead draw, as it is something that you will never summon or use to get a ritual spell. Whenever a situation arises where you can search the second copy of Clausolas (via Shurit) you can always grab a Brionac. If you do not have a Brionac you would be forced to search the second Clausolas which in many situations is just fake advantage.
The majority of people playing the second copy do so for its value in situations where you have a Clausolas already summoned with the Djinn in order to summon extra monsters. The problem with this is that you are already winning the game in this scenario until your opponent can break your djinn lock. This means that all the second Clausolas does is speed up your inevitable victory. In both scenarios weather you play one Clausolas or two and you have a Djinn locked Clausolas, you would lose to a Djinn out regardless. This means that the second Clausolas is just irrelevant as you only ever use it when you are winning.

With regards to the second copy of Trishula: This is only relevant in the mirror match. For 1 Trishula to be good, your opponent first has to leave a board. Without a board, one Trishula is dead, and playing two magnifies this. Generally, for your opponent to actually leave a board on the field, your opponent has to have been hit by Effect Veiler. In regards to the second Trishula your opponent first has to have been Effect Veilered, you have to be able to have a good enough hand to Trishula them whilst also adding another Trishula to hand, and then your opponent has to have their own Effect Veiler. Too much has to go your way to even consider playing the second copy of this card.

Valkyrus: We decided for this event that we would build to have a happy medium between rogue and the mirror match. Against rogue, the third copy of Valkyrus would never be summoned and would simply be used to block an attack, and as good as this is, it doesnt warrant playing three copies and your usual win conditions are Unicore and Trishula. Had we been building totally for the mirror match, we would have considered playing three. It is important to realise that every card you put in your deck has to be the perfect card. For every event we strongly believe that there is a combination of 40 cards that will give you the highest chance of winning the event, (generally 37 cards) and in this case, we didnt want to devote an entire deck space to the third Valkyrus.

Decisive Armor and Dance Princess: We originally thought that these card were not correct to play as they contributed to brick hands. Since we are playing the maximum amount of engine cards (only 1 Clausolas as discussed) there are no other yugioh cards we could play in our deck that would increase consistency. The utility both of these cards add to the deck gives it another dimension; such cards allow you to out Djinn locked boards, whilst also beating more specific fields of the fiends(Vanity and Majesty). On its own, Dance Princess allows you to play around Effect Veiler and is a searchable level 4 to extend your plays. Resources play a big part in the mirror match and Dance Princess being able to retrieve a resource can be imperative to victory. Decisive Armor facilitates many OTKs, plays around Trishula, applies pressure and is a hard obstacle to get around in any match up because of its attack. Its on field effect is also relevant against rogue. As we are not solely building to beat the mirror match we want to have as much of an edge as possible and having more utility than your opponent is a perfect place to start.

Reinforcements of The Army: Its a combo card while also being able to search an out to the Djinn (D.D. Warrior Lady).

Upstart Goblin: With every deck that we make we agree that there is a certain amount of cards that a deck should play. If that number is less than 40 then we will make up those numbers with Upstart Goblin. The correct number of cards we felt should be in our deck was 35. Upstart allowed us to play a number closer to the correct amount and the last 2 cards in our deck were Dance Princess and Decisive Armor.

Manju and Senju: We have noticed that some people have cut down on the number of Manjus and Senjus in their decks because they didnt want to play too many normal summons. These cards are the most important cards in the deck. You want to see them in your opening hands, turn after turn and most importantly when your are going first. If we draw multiple copies of these cards in our hand, it is not a bad thing as over the course of the game we will get uses out of each card and have a higher ceiling per turn.

Denko Sekka: As we said before it was important to find a happy medium between rogue decks and the mirror match. Denko Sekka provides a blowout against rogue decks and can be a win condition in the mirror match. In comparison to a card like Mystical Space Typhoon, Denko Sekka can outright win games whereas the only purpose of Mystical Space Typhoon is to out floodgates. For this event we expected that the majority of players would NOT preemptively flip floodgates in the Standby Phase. If they did we would accept we would probably lose that game. You cannot win every game of yugioh that you play :(. Compared to a card like Psi-Blocker, it simply blows out rogue. Psi-Blocker does not deal with a floodgate that is not already flipped or an established backrow.
A potential issue with Denko Sekka is the fact that it adds two more normal summons to the deck. While we realise that a high number of normal summons is not ideal, the positives outweigh the negatives. Other decklists play two Trishula, two Clausolas and various other brick cards. We view these cards as blanks in most situations. In a hand with multiple normal summons, the excess normal summons will also be viewed as blanks for a turn. The difference between the two is that as a game goes by, having multiple normal summons will increase your ceiling each turn. You actually want to be normal summoning a monster every single turn. Compared to other brick cards, an excess normal summon will never remain as a brick, as every single turn you're using up one of the normal summons you drew multiples of.

Effect Veiler: In my opinion, this is the best defensive card in the mirror match because of its potential to catch a Valkyrus and the ability to protect your board from Trishula. It is important to realise that leaving boards up in the mirror match is correct sometimes and Effect Veiler allows you to do this safely. We think this card is better than Maxx "C" because it is more of a blow out. While Maxx "C" is a good yugioh card, it is easy to play around, unlike Veiler. It doesn't win the game upon activation. Compared to Effect Veiler, the momentum swing that comes with catching a Valkyrus or a Trishula is almost enough to win the game outright. Outside of the mirror, Maxx "C" is slightly more useful than Veiler. This isn't enough however, because Maxx "C" isn't that good against rogue either. We believe that having a card that is much more powerful in the mirror outweighs something that is slightly better against rogue.
Compared to Artefact Lancea, we feel like Effect Veiler is superior in almost every way. The ability to catch cards like Valkyrus, Lavalval Chain etc pushes Effect Veiler's utility higher than Lancea's. We believe the correct amount of hand traps to be two. This is because you do not want to draw multiples of them. We would play three Veiler before playing a single copy of Lancea, and since the correct number of hand traps to play is two, we did not play Lancea.

Book of Eclipse: We played Book of Eclipse as our Djinn out because it is the most reliable card to do this job whilst also punishing your opponent the most with a follow up since it allows you to Trishula them afterwards. Book of Eclipse also allows you to play around Effect Veiler, which can provide major momentum swings in your favour.

The Slag: We chose to play D.D. Warrior lady over the other warrior targets that out the Djinn as it deals with 101 and Vanitys Emptiness.

Djinn Releaser of Rituals: The Djinn is a card that we didnt really want to play as it gives your opponent a way to beat you. When you Djinn lock, the game does not favour the better player, which I do not want as losing the game would come down to luck rather than ability. However, the Djinn is good when going first as in standard play you are regularly at a disadvantage. The Djinn gives you an alternative win condition that allows you to win the games you would more likely have lost when going first. When we decide to go second we side out the Djinn because we have the advantage in standard play and would not want to draw it and lose our advantage.

The rest of the main deck is totally standard.
With these 40 cards, we felt like we would have the highest possible chance of winning the tournament.

Moving onto the side deck, we decided to play 3 Ice Hand and 2 Fire Hand, which was initially for Qliphort but they have important applications against most rogue decks. We played 3 Ice Hand and only 2 Fire Hand as Ice Hand is the best of the two, as it deals with the floodgates directly. In my opinion these cards are the best cards in the side deck as unlike most other cards they are good standalone cards and therefore do not need a good hand to function properly.

We opted to side 3 Shared Ride as after Effect Veiler is the second best defensive card in the mirror match as it is a deterrent that replaces itself, which in a combo deck is very important. Shared Ride excels when going first which is why we decided to play 3 over a third Effect Veiler. Shared Ride is also a better mirror match specific defensive card than a card like Mind Crush because it is much harder to play around. We only side a limited amount of cards for the mirror match because you play so many engine cards that you simply cannot side out.

We decided to use Vanitys Emptiness in the side deck to be able to offer the side out when going second but when going first we sided it in because as I previously mentioned, you have a disadvantage when going first and Emptiness gives you an alternate win condition.

3 Mystical Space Typhoon is sided strictly for floodgates as most rogue decks win condition is through a floodgate.

2 Royal Decrees were used as they are a blowout against trap heavy decks however we did not play 3 as they do not win the game on their own. It is a card that requires other cards to be good.

Finally we used Raigeki as our last slot for Ritual Beast and Hero. This card would also go in near time and can be sided against the Scolding version of the mirror match.

Thats all I have to say regarding the deck and my card choices.
The actual tournament itself and what precisely happened I feel is unimportant. Explaining the logic behind my deck is more important than giving an arbitrary account of what happened game by game. My swiss record was 7-2 losing to a mirror match and Infernoid. The tournament cut to a top 32 in which I played 2 mirror matches. I was eventually knocked out in the top 8 by a Shaddoll player. The card I eventually lost to was Mistake, in both games. This was nothing unexpected. I felt like the only way I could be knocked out of the tournament would be down to a floodgate. Unfortunately you cannot win every game of yugioh and have to accept your losses.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts.
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