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Top 8 Madison Regional

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knives1990    262

Hey guys, its been a long ass time since ive done a tournament report, too long in fact. Ive been a really mediocre player for a long time with a few regional top 8s under my belt as my only credentials, but even in that department I've been struggling. I tend to use anti meta decks, or decks that are just bad in general so that could be part of why I never really do well in tournaments. The last time I got a top 8 at a regional was with the baby Dragon Rulers to give you an idea of how long it has been for me. I spent all of Ravine Ruler format playing Fire Fist, and bubbled away top 8's in 3 or 4 regionals and my only ARGCS' ive been to. The next few formats I played really bad decks like LS, Fire Fists again, Satellarknights choosing to go 2nd in every game I had the choice when the draw rule changed, etc. And my latest terrible deck choice was HEROs. I got 23rd at a Louisville regional last format with HEROs, mainining triple Mind Crush and Vanitys as my only traps to get my invite to Nats. The last regional I went to was earlier this format using HEROs and got fucking annihilated. I'm glad it worked out the way it did, because I legitimately had my mind set on playing the deck for the WCQ. 


After scrubbing out of that last regional really early, I was super down in the dumps about YGO in general, and my friend was able to convince me that I needed to start playing meta again. My options were pretty limited, and in my state of mind I was just not into the game at all. He's a really good friend, and was like dude I'll help you pick up a new deck if you can just pay me back, you just need to decide what you want to get. The decks he had in mind were BA, Tellars, Qli, or Dolls. I was just so depressed with the game and my performances over the past couple years that nothing sounded good to me at all. After walking around, seeing a lot of people playing Dolls, my friend started to think that would be a good deck for me to use. After hearing about the water fusion and clear wing, we were starting to think Dolls might have a good chance at nats. Then we talked to a few people about it and they seemed to be in agreement. Keep in mind this was before WSUP was even out, so we were going on a hunch really. Anyways, he ended up trading his full BA for full Dolls, and gave me the deck with the promise to pay him back on my next paycheck which I obviously did.


I was still a ways away from having everything I needed, but when I saw the Star Seraphs I was pretty hyped about having a legitimate light engine in the deck, because I had experimented with the deck in the past when our light options were fucking god awful and was always wondering if the deck could get any better. Anyways I bought what I needed online, and began testing the deck at locals. I went through a lot of terrible ideas, back and forth between Seraphs and pure, and just different builds in general. Getting closer to this regional, I was using this deck at locals and doing well with it, but something still didnt seem right. Id been using Defusion over Call for awhile because of reasons I posted about in the TCG deck garage, but I finally started seeing how terrible of a card that is compared to Call. However, I was still not sure on how I wanted the main deck to actually look.


As we got closer to this regional, my friend who got the deck for me had ended up getting it himself and with him needing his invite, we were working on a list together. YGO is a lot different for us where I live compared to a lot of other places. There is no competitive play, our store does not give out prizes so competitive players here are actually just casuals who go to a few regionals here and there. A friend that sometimes goes to our locals but doesnt live here got top 8 at the St Louis regional last sunday, so we wanted to see his list so my buddy could try something that might give him a good shot at an invite. We saw it, and it kinda looked all over the place, so I decided to take a shot in the dark and ask someone who I previously only talked to a bit online from Louisville and ask him for his insights, as he's been top 8'ing regionals lately with Seraphs.


This persons name was Clifton Land, and I wont go much further into who he is to keep him somewhat anonymous as Im not really sure if he wants people knowing what he uses, so I will respect that even though he may not care. Anyways, he was gracious enough to share his list as well as his insights on the deck, and in my mind has changed from a virtual stranger to an actual friend over the course of a week. He helped me out in more ways than one, because I sprained my ankle playing basketball and missed a few days of work so he was even nice enough to even buy some cards from me at near retail. Like that helped me out so much and I am eternally grateful for everything that he did for me this past week so a special shoutout to him for being so kind.


Ok, so I know all of that was pretty meaningless for most if not all of who would even read this report, but its a backstory that I felt needed to be shared before I got into the tournament details. After sharing this list with the friend I was riding with to the regional, we changed two cards, and from there he changed another card (he played a dark hole over the 2nd dragon, and the 2nd dragon was really fucking clutch all day).

This was the list I entered with


3 stick

3 chair

3 beast

3 falco

2 veiler

2 squamata

2 dragon

2 mathematician

1 hedgehog



3 shaddoll fusion

3 el shaddoll fusion

1 soul charge

1 book of moon

1 foolish burial

1 raigeki


3 call

3 mistake

1 core

1 vanitys


3 construct

2 winda

2 shekhinaga

1 anoyatyllis

1 clear wing

1 arcanite

1 leo

1 goyo

1 delteros

1 diamond

1 illimiknight


3 royal decree

3 mst

3 lancea

2 puppet plant

1 tking

1 mind control

1 dark hole

1 vanitys fiend


Now onto the tournament, there was like 250 ish people.


Round 1: Nekroz


Before the game, I saw who I was playing and didnt recognize the name as it was Broderick, but when we sat down I realized it was someone who I knew as Bo. I was already starting to get nervous.



I go 2nd, end up flipping Mistake and he couldnt out it



I have Mistake again, but not fusion spells to start playing and he flips Decree and styles on me pretty quickly.



This is actually a game. I dont draw Mistake this game, but after a few turns of us grinding back and forth I'm able to top deck Mind Control to steal his Unicore to go into Anoy. It stays up for awhile, with him stalling with Valks and sifting through his deck. I feel like im in a pretty good spot with a set Shaddoll Fusion and Call with Anoy on field, until he blind MST's my Call. He realizes he needs to go for it so he searches Cameraclops but I have the Veiler. He's able to set a monster and I realize what hes about to try and do. I set El Shaddoll and Raigeki on my turn with a Beast in hand to try playing around Trish, because I was only using 1 Anoy and he Valked again to save his facedown monster. I think at this point we enter time. His turn he flips a Ju and searches Trish or a ritual, cant remember. He summons another one and starts searching his deck but at this point all resources are gone so he cant get anything. He summons Castel, tries to bounce my Anoy so im forced to El into Winda. I guess my best option would have been to not activate Beast and keep my hand empty, but I play it wrong and activate it to draw a card. He then Trishes me, hitting the Anoy, my CIH (cant even remember what it was), and my facedown Raigeki. At this point I thought the game was over as all I had was Shaddoll Fusion facedown at that point. He kills the Winda and hits with Castel. I drew El Shaddoll, Played Shaddoll Fusion sending Falco and I think Tking, killed his Trish. at this point things start to get fuzzy, all I remember is I was able to top deck into a Foolish to bury Falco with my already on board Construct to keep him from being able to do the 6-7000 ish damage he needed to win in time.


Round 2: Dolls



I win the roll and choose 2nd, he sets 3 backrow and a monster and passes. I had a feeling it was Dolls, and I had opened stick chair, but felt like I should go for it anyways even though I had a decent hand without it so I could draw a card with the chair if he flipped Mistake. He does, and I end up fusing for a Construct sending Beast from hand and Dragon from deck to start picking away backrow now that he had less options under Mistake. I had control for the rest of the game pretty much.



I go first, went for Construct with El sending chair and Falco from hand, and Hedge from deck adding Beast, Tribute set Beast and set El. He bricked really bad and just set 2 backrow. He Veilered Beast on my turn, and I didnt feel like flipping Falco for a Hedge was the right play so I just kept Falco facedown and swung with Beast.

His turn he's obviously frustrated with his draw. He Dark Hole's and feels like he has to Shaddoll Fusion away two Beast for a Winda to kill Falco. I deal with it easily on my turn and take the game.


Round 3: Nekroz



He goes 2nd and I have a really subpar hand. He ends up being able to Trish me twice because I literally had zero plays, drawing triple Call with nothing else.



I go 2nd and open decent but no Lancea or Veiler. He djinn locks me from hand with Claus turn one, and sets one. I dont draw a djinn out all game, and his facedown was Decree.


After this game, I felt like there was absolutely nothing I could have done about that loss so I tried to not let it bother me. Plus it was lunch break.


Round 4: Qliphort



He goes first, Scouts for Saqlifice, summons Carrier equips and sets 3. My turn I summon Math for Hedge, adding Dragon. I attack his monster chaining Book because I have Mistake and El in hand and I knew he would search Scout with Saq. Set Mistake and El. He Scouts and I chain Mistake. He doesnt want to swing over Math so he sets a backrow and passes. I draw into the other half of the seraph combo at this point. I go into a Construct and bait out the L1T. I decide to Dragon a random backrow here because I was playing for damage since I was just flooding him out at that point, and hit a Mind Crush. His next turn hes able to pendulum summon and tribute sets over Carrier to bounce my Construct, and decide that chaining El would be bad since he had the L1T. I make Goyo and attack his facedown Scout which was awkward. I ended up using the stick chair combo on my next turn under the L1T and Soul Charge for Dragon, making Delteros. He drew and pendulum summoned for Carrier again. My turn I blew up Scout and swung with Delteros into Carrier and Goyo for 28. He lost shortly after.



He goes first and summons a Carrier equipped with Saqlifice, and sets one. My hand I think was Shaddoll Fusion, El Shaddoll, MST, a chair and a Dragon. I draw another Shaddoll Fusion for turn. From the way it looked, he opened with a monster heavy hand so I felt like my best play would be to pop the facedown with Dragon and set up a Falco play from deck. I play Shaddoll Fusion, he Dark Bribes it. Well that was unexpected. I draw a Book of Moon off it, and play the other Shaddoll Fusion. At this point, I say that im going ahead and trying to play it, and call for a judge to see if its legal. He says that it is, so I proceed and pop his Saqlifice with Dragon and send Hedge to the grave, searching another Dragon. He of course searches Scout. Then I summon Dragon and swing over Carrier with Construct, and hit with Dragon for 29, set El and Book. His turn he plays Trampolynx, then plays Scout. When he puts the Scout in the zone, I El the Dragon and Construct for another one, popping his Scout and sending a Falco. His only play left is to summon a monster and hit Falco, I Book it on attack and win on my turn.


Round 5: Dolls



He wins the roll and takes second. My hand is kind of meh, something like double Mistake, Book, Hedge, and Squamata. I just set the Mistakes and end. He sets 3 backrow and a monster. We start passing back and forth, and eventually he goes "dude I'm going to come clean, I forgot to unside after last round" and proceeds to show me a Mirror Force and a Fairy Wind. He was playing to get his invite, so I said it was cool because they were suboptimal against my deck and I would feel like an asshole if I got him penalized. He put them back in his side (not replacing them with the right cards but w/e) so he put himself down 2 cards anyways. Whats kind of fucked up is even without those two cards, I was playing from behind for quite awhile this game from the opening I had. I was able to get value by flipping Mistake when he sent Hedgehog with Construct, and eventually I punished him with a Shaddoll Fusion from deck to clear his field and end with a Math, Construct, and Falco on board with El set. I forgot to mention, his facedowns kept stopping my plays because he was running generic traps like BTS and BTH, but at this point they had all been cleared except for one. His turn he flips his facedown Core, but I chain el and make Winda, sealing the game.



I go first and open stick chair, but have an all monster hand except for Raigeki. If I had drawn Hedge in this hand, I would have opted to save the stick chair combo to be honest and just set the Hedge. With this in mind, I'm not sure why I made the next play. I go for the combo, and he does not have a hand trap. I end up drawing a Shaddoll Fusion and another monster. To continue, I must either blow up the Shaddoll Fusion or the Raigeki, and for some reason I chose the Shaddoll Fusion. That misplay cost me the game, as I ended up drawing a Dark Hole and another monster off of the stick effect and the Illumiknight effect afterwards. He punishes me with Shaddoll Fusion, and suddenly we are at the same card advantage, but with him obviously having the upper hand because he tribute sets for Beast with Falco also facedown as well as a couple backrow. I try to start fighting back, but Im playing basically from a turn behind at this point with no fusion spells, and I scoop in a few turns.



He goes first, and this game was a real grind game, probably my favorite game of the day because of it. We go back and forth making pushes, neither of us making much headway on the other. He was able to swing with a Squamata for 18 close to time, and the following turn I made a Construct and summoned Squamata to deal 28. On his next turn, time was called. He Shaddoll Fusions from deck, making Shekhinaga, and sending Hedge to add Dragon. He sets a monster and a backrow and passes. I El Shaddoll in his EP my Construct and Squamata to make another one, sending Dragon and Falco while adding back El. I popped a BTS. My turn I draw a Beast and think for a second. I flip the Falco and he Veilers it. I then Shaddoll Fusion from deck for Construct, and when he activates Shek sending Falco, I chain El and end up sending Core, Beast, and a Hedgehog to add Falco. Then I synchro for Leo, and debate on whether or not I should kill the Shek. I decide to just leave it and kill the Falco and the facedown dragon, which he bounces my Construct. I set Falco and end. His turn he just sets another monster and backrow and passes. My turn I play it safe, sending Falco with the Foolish that I drew, and summon Math for Squamata into Beast, then end my turn. His turn, he must deal at least 1000. He summons BLS, and I chain El to the summon, sending Math and my in hand Beast for a Shek of my own. He activates BLS, I Shek him, he Sheks me back and I Veiler it. He extends the handshake.


Round 6: Qli


I had to face a friend that goes to a local thats about an hour away I go to sometimes. Good guy, but he was on the receiving end of the yugioh luck this match.



He goes first with a monster with Saq, and one facedown. I have stick chair, and summon stick which gets Veilered. I set Call and Book and pass turn. He swings over stick and sets one. On his EP I call back the stick to combo him, he Fiendish Chain's it to which I chain Book and proceed to get the two chairs on board. I draw for turn and xyz into Delteros and just win.



He goes first and summons a Stealth with a couple backrow and passes. I open with a stick, which gets met with a Reqliate. I attack Stealth, chaining Book to kill it and the Reqliate. His next turn he Dualitys for a Shadow Mirror and sets one while summoning another Stealth. I summon a Dragon and attempt to attack over the Stealth. To the attack, he activates Fiendish Chain on his Stealth to which I chain MST. I then swing with stick. He summons a Carrier and equips it with Saqlifice. My turn I summon my other stick and add Chair. I then XYZ summon for Delteros, popping his Carrier and detaching to blow up his facedown Shadow Mirror. I set Mistake and MST and passed. His turn he plays the Scout he added off Saqlifice, I chain Mistake to its effect to which he chains MST, so I chain my own on it. He ends his turn. I draw a Decree, and just detach with Delteros to blow up his fresh facedown which was another Shadow Mirror. I ended it that turn by summoning Dragon and Shaddoll Fusion'ing away a Falco and Beast for Winda, attacking with them all and then activating El for game.


Round 7: Nekroz



He wins the roll and chooses 2nd. I opened Mistake, Dragon, Shaddoll Fusion, Book and a Falco. I just set the Mistake and passed. He plays rota and I Mistake. He's really salty. It stays up the whole game and I basically just beat him down with the Dragon and later am able to make a Construct to pair with it when I draw a chair to take the game.



He goes 2nd again, and this time my hand is not as hot, but I do have a Lancea in hand and Vanity's. I just set it and pass. He summons a Ju and searches, and when he plays scope I chain Vanitys. He has the MST for it, and continues his play. But when he Lavalval Chains for djinn and goes for the lock, I chain Lancea from hand. I'm able to then Shaddoll Fusion from deck to run over the Chain and set an El with Call while having Falco set with Construct on board. His turn he banishes to add Trish, Raigeki's me, and summons Denko. He hits me for 17 and passes. My turn I summon Squamata and run it over. His turn he banishes for a mirror and summons another Denko. He summons Trish and banishes my in hand Falco, Call, and something in grave. He swings and puts me low. My turn I top deck a Mistake to pair with my in hand Beast and Squamata, summon Squamata and kill Denko, set Mistake and pass. He discards Brio and I chain Mistake. He kills Squamata with Trish and ends with 1 set backrow. I top deck a Shaddoll Fusion and on my EP he activates Decree. I start sensing the end. He draws and just swings again putting me down to 400. My turn I topdeck Veiler. He has a Valk in hand from a previous search, so I feel like my best bet is to just set the Veiler and hope to live and see another draw since I had Beast in hand with El still set. He just kills it on his turn and ends. My turn I topdeck Mind Control and take his Trish. I use Shaddoll Fusion with it and Beast, drawing Dragon. I summon it as well and swing with both. He asks what Dragons effect is (the flip effect) and I realize he probably has Eclipse. He sets two and passes. My turn I summon Math sending Falco to special it. I attack for game and he has to Eclipse, and on my EP I draw 4 cards to just win.


Round 8: BA


This round I was playing against someone from one of the FB groups im in and a person I consider a friend. We knew what eachother was playing going into the round.



I win the roll and choose 2nd. He just sets 3 and passes. I look at my hand of Dragon, Shaddoll Fusion, El Shaddoll, double stick, and a Book. I summon stick and it gets BTS. I swing for 18, set El and Book and end. He sets another backrow and a monster. My turn I summon Dragon and swing over the facedown with it, and it turns out to be a Pero. Hit for 18 and end. His turn he sets another monster and passes. 

My turn I run over the facedown Cir and swing for another 18. Then I summon scepter and he BTS that one as well. His next turn he drew a blank for the situation and we went to game 2.



I go first, and open stick chair. He had nothing for it, and I blew up one of the two El Shaddolls I opened with, and ended up drawing into a Decree. I go into Illumiknight and send Falco, drawing into Squamata. I end with Decree and El facedown. His turn he goes for TGU, and I chain El sending my facedown Falco and the Squamata I drew for Winda, sending Beast and drawing a Shaddoll Fusion off it. He brings out Graff and TGU attacks my facedown Falco that got special'd back. My turn I draw Vanity's Fiend. I use Illumiknight sending a stick or something, drawing into the last one. Then I synchro Falco with Winda and make Arcanite to blow up both backrow while I can. They were both BTS. I play Shaddoll Fusion to make Winda again, and kill his field and hit for 24. I set El and ended. He uses BTS on Vanitys and the other one on Winda. He specials Rubic and summons Scarm, making Dante. He mills 3, hitting 2 Libic and a Graff. Graff specials Cir from deck, and he then specials another BA from hand with Libic (cant remember which one). He makes a second Dante and mills blanks, and specials Graff back with Cir. He kills Fiend with the first one, and when he tries to swing over the Illumiknight, I El it and my in hand Falco away for Construct. He kills the Winda and passes turn. My turn I top BLS. I kill a Dante and he adds back Cir, BLS banish Graff, and Falco summon back the Winda. His turn he cannot clear Construct or BLS and I win on my next turn.






So after this round I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and smoked a couple cigs back to back outside. I felt like I played really well on the day except for a few misplays that fortunately didnt end up costing me too much, (well one cost me a game so that sucked) and going forward I know that I need to eliminate the few misplays I still make sometimes if I want any hope of doing well at nats. Clifton also got top 8 with his build which was awesome, and after mutual congradulations from eachother and other friends and acquantances, we collected the playmats and got some grub.



Clifton for being a huge help to me in building the deck, giving me advice, and helping me out when I was in a rough spot. 

My locals while not great, being there for me to be able to get the little playtesting I could

Seraph Dolls



A couple misplays on the day, one of which cost me a game

The weather being insane, and the inside of the card shop being even hotter than outside.

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+Silver    1008

i fapped to this


but good job knives. its always feels good to come back from adversity. im kinda going through what you were experiencing with the meta stuff and yea, this report gave me some hope for what to run. 

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brighteyes    2150
Glad you top 8'd man. I played you round 1.

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knives1990    262
Thanks Bo! It was a long time comin and I'm sorry about what happened to ya the next round man.

Thanks Silver, believe me when I say I've been bouncing around and trying to figure out something I could stay somewhat competitive with while being able to stay out of the super high price range that most meta decks bring with it.

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ralfiano    43

I've always liked your posts so it's great to see you topping

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