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237th place - KC Cup - Tournament Report + Decklists!

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Going into this tournament, I was convinced Dino was the best deck: Every other deck seemed way too inconsistent, and Dino's basically have higher attack than other monsters, which means you will force your opponent to use battle S/T's to keep up, but they'll eventually run out of them when you won't. Water going Daedalus clear the entire field is problematic, but this was solved by playing De-Spell to kill Umi, and playing Order to Charge, so you can - worst case scenario - still blow up their Daedalus. I wasn't afraid of GK, burn, or any other deck at the moment: so I wanted the build to be as straightforward and consistent as possible.

The first time I decided to play only 9 monsters was when I realized that the odds of opening at least one copy would still be 95%, which was plenty. I thought opening 1 Dino 3 S/T was better than opening 3 Dino 1 S/T, because S/T's are more flexible and can deal with a wide range of threats: for example, you can have De-Spell to  counter their Harpies' Hunting Ground, get rid of their Relinquished equip, or to deal with Mask of the Accursed in burn match-ups. You could also just fire it at face-down backrow, and hit a Enemy Controller or Order to Charge every now and then. You can use Mirror Wall to block attacks, while Order to Charge deals with threats such as Daedalus/Relinquished. At the same time, all my Dino's were just high attack monsters, and having 1 on the field would be enough: you'd have 50% chance of drawing a 2nd copy anyway, and most of the time you'd still open 2 Dino's 2 S/T, or 2-3 Dino 2-3 S/T anyway.

My deck was far from complete. I had spend almost all my gems to get 2 copies of Mirror Wall from Neo-Impact, so I missed the staples from The Ultimate Rising. I initially planned on digging for a 3rd Mirror Wall before buying any packs from The Ultimate Rising at all, but when people on discord reminded me of the fact that The Ultimate Rising will be rotated out march 30th, I decided I had to buy them so I wouldn't miss out later on. I started off my  Tournament with 0 Order to Charge, 0 Enemy Controller, 0 Twister, 0 Reinforcements and 0 Sphere Kuriboh. To make up for this, I had to get creative: I was playing cards I wouldn't have played otherwise, but would do the job for now, such as: Skull Dice, Riryoku, De-Spell, and Gravirty Axe - Grarl. I was quite confident in my deck at the time: after all, I had 2 copies of Mirror Wall, which was the most powerful card in the game, right?

Getting through the early ranks was easy. I lost every now and than due to my deck being bad, or being faced with a problem I hadn't considered before, such as parasite burn. While playing, we got a lot of free gems, which I used to buy as much The Ultimate Rising as possible. Within my first 30 packs or so I literally didn't a SR or UR at all, but after that they kept coming: I included 1 copy of each: Twister, Mask of the Accursed, and Reinforcements into my deck. I decided to play 2 De-Spell 1 Twister, because they were good against Harpies Hunting Ground, Relinquished, and Burn: which were the 2 most common match-ups I faced. After losing so much to burn that it almost made me want to quit, I raged so hard after getting Whistle'd for Parasite for - what felt like - the 10th time in a row, I literally went through my Insects LV5/6's and played the first copy I could find: the reasoning being, that if they would Whistle me, I now have 3 benefits:

- Not having to draw the Parasite, since I get my own Insect
- Being able to clear a field-space, by tributing a Parasite
- Having a way to clear Mask of the Accursed, especially if they equiped it to the Parasite. (Which they tend to do sometimes, because if they equip it to your normal Dino, you may get rid of it with Order to Charge: little did they know at the time, that I was the proud owner of literally 0 copies at all).

The Insect I played was 'Hunter Spider', a card that won me at least 3 games since I included it. I quickly realized this strategy was legit, but Hunter Spider sucked: I went through all LV5/6 Insects in the game, and found Grasshopper to be the best one. It had high attack, enough to deal with almost any monster, but especially useful because it trumps Cocoon, Gravekeeper's Chief/Oracle, and all Dino monsters. I spend my next few days grinding Weevil to get my copy of Grasshopper, but with no results. I think at least 3 people were playing Grasshopper after I mentioned it, but I wasn't able to try out my own idea, because I owned 3 copies of every SR/UR Weevil can throw at you: except the one it needed.
To make matters worse, I've probably converted it somewhere in the past, when I didn't think I'd need it again. Oh well, shit happens.

At some point I started face-ing more mirrors, and decided to optimize my build for it. I played 1 Flash Assailant, which is the strongest monster if you get rid of one of the field spells, which I did with 2 De-Spell 1 Twister. I liked Flash Assailant enough that I decided to play a 2nd copy as well: the rational was 'if I draw Flash Assailant + another monster, I can just summon the other monster first, and then Assailant will be live when I summon it next turn', so it would 'theoretically' never brick. In reality it did brick, and sometimes you just can't get rid of all your spells and traps from your hand either, but the pros made up for the cons. I think I was running 2 Flash Assailant 1 Twin-Barrel 6 Normal Dino's, but when I got my Order to Charges I had cut the Twin-Barrel for a Jerry Beans Man.

I added Embodiment of Apophis. It had crazy synergy with Flash Assailant and with Order to Charge, and if I left open fields because I had just walked into a Mirror Wall, it would make sure that I didn't die the next turn. It also added some aggression and it was a pretty great card overall.

I thought Mirror Wall was the most powerful card in the game, so playing Trap Jammer felt like playing Solemn Judgment: either you negate their Mirror Wall, or you negate their Trap Jammer to protect your own Mirror Wall.

Metalmorph was really the nuts, and it could single-handedly win you the game. It's basically a Reinforcements, that turns into an Equip spell, with a Riryoku - effect when it attacks as well. The fact that it 'stays' on the field after you used it, combined with the fact that it can be used both defensively (use Metalmorph in the damage step when they attack you) and offensively (attack a monster they control with a weaker monster of yourself, this either makes them waste a Sphere Kuriboh or an Enemy Controller, but if they don't, you use Metalmorph in the damage step).

I was playing 2 Metalmorph 2 Trap Jammer 1 Apophis, but I was considering adding more of each: these 3 were the best traps, and this was when I first started doubting Mirror Wall, although I still played 2 as well. I didn't have any Enemy Controllers, so space wasn't an issue for me at the time: besides, I wanted to play 21 cards anyway, so I wouldn't be the first to deck-out if it ever came to that, and because mill deck strategies were real as well: although I didn't face too much of them during the entire tournament. I reached 11 star with Dino. I was kind of glad, because everyone told me the deck was dead, and I proved them otherwise by building it in a different way. My build at the moment was:




Still don't have E-Cons but I think I'd include 2-3:

1 4-Starred / Grasshoper
2 Flash Assailant
3 Crawling 
3 Two-Headed

2 De-Spell
1 Twister (will go 2 Twister 1 De-Spell once I got it)

3 Trap Jammer (Will probably go to 2 again once I get E-Cons)
2 Metalmorph
2 Mirror Wall
1 Windstorm
1 Apophis

21-card to put the deckout pressure on them (never occurs, but I feel like the person who has fewer cards in deck will be forced to press which is relevant, also not wanting to draw the Insect is relevant as well). 

May run 1 Order to Charge for Oracle/Relinquished after all.. but it really backfires. If you have 2 monsters vs their 1, they can chain Order to Charge or E-Con to blow up the entire field :/ Once I got 2-3 E-Con I don't think Order to Charge is needed at all. I think Xing will be played more than Straight Flush, and this build can play around Xing quite well (and around Straight Flush depending on hand - you can set 2 at a time which is still huge). If you have Xing that may be better than Trap Jammer, but I don't have them.



And I got a few other people such as Grimey, Inti and Conspire, to play it as well. They were all very positive about it, and did well with it the entire tournament: most of them finished around 10 star, 
although some didn't have the time to keep playing, or didn't have all cards needed either, or they would've finished higher. Apophis counts as a monster so I was technically still playing 9 monsters, since the Grasshopper didn't count. At the time, I found  Grasshopper to be better than 4-Starred for what it's worth.
At higher levels everyone played 2-3 copies of 4-Starred, so at that point I decided to go -1 Mirror Wall -2 Flash Assailant + 3 Element Saurus, which was a real good counter to it. Element Saurus also man-handles Gravekeeper's Recruit as well, I probably underestimated the card beforehand by not including it in my deck at all. This was also the time where I legit cut the card that I though was the #1 most broken card when I went into the tournament: Mirror Wall. Kind of funny when you think about it, how much can change in a week. I just realized that it's only good when you have a monster on the field + when your opponent is attacking, while Windstorm doesn't require you to have a monster on the field in order to be good, and Metalmorph doesn't require your opponent to attack you either: at higher levels, opponent's would often not attack to play around Mirror Wall, so it became strictly worse. I remember going to 0 copies even.

Anyway, I was still at 11 star, I felt like I had the Dino deck completely solved at this point and I really wanted to reach 12 star. I've put in a lot of hours but I was playing a losing battle: not having Enemy Controller's hurt me too much, and I had trouble winning versus Relinquished. Note that I started playing 2 copies of Order to Charge as well at some point, but I do not exactly recall when:
basically the moment I pulled them, I instantly included them into my deck.

The new pack got announced somewhere in the middle of the tournament, and we looked over it, decided the cards were good, but there weren't any cards I could quickly throw into my Dino deck anyway, so I decided to keep going with the 'Only buy The Ultimate Rising' strategy. I probably got my copies of Order to Charge off of the free gems we got to celebrate the release of this new pack. It's a smart strategy to release a pack in the middle of the tournament: people want to finish high, so they're more likely to buy them when they see it includes powerful cards. I had to resist the temptation, for the time being.  

I was brainstorming with Gojira about how a deck that focuses around Flash Assailant and Embodiment of Apophis wouldn't be bad, he was playing Burn at the time but he didn't have all the cards, so we only talked about it so that he had something he could play. However, when I realized I had all cards to play it as well, I tried it out and didn't look back.



Gojira and I came up with a deck and it's really solid so far:

3 Flash Assailant
3 Jerry Beans
1 4-Starred or 1 Grasshopper (Grasshopper auto-wins Parasite and can be redrawn with Switcheroo so it's perfect, 4-Starred is also good because you can redraw it with Switcheroo to block 2 Whistle's, either one beats Parasite and either one is playable) (Edit: nvm just realized Switcheroo dodges parasite already so no need for an Insect at all) (2nd Edit: Nvm I'm stupid, Insect is needed, Switcheroo doesn't counter Whistle). 

X E-Con/Order to Charge/Twister/De-Spell

3 Trap Jammer
3 Apophis
1 Windstorm (optional)

Flash Assailant is the best card in the format, obviously. Jerry Beans to dodge 4-Starred, fuel Order to Charge, and because you play a high amount of De-Spell/Twisters, so once you kill their field it's the 2nd strongest card in the format basically - Dunames aside (Yes Possesed Darksoul is a counter I realize that). Flash Assailant inherently outs all 'put to DEF stuff', plus requires a low monster count so 3 Trap Jammer is an easy call even if I don't except a shitton of traps. Jerry is weak to to put to DEF, but Windstorm/E-Con/Order to Charge somewhat mitigate this. This deck is basicaly Dino without being reliant on the Field spell, and being more consistent due to Switcheroo, and that wins versus Dino if you draw Flash Assailant or De-Spell/Twister. Therefore we cut the traps although Metalmorph is still solid. You want to make their De-Spell/Twister dead but Apophis is the exception since it has just so much synergy with the entire deck.

Current record 5-0 in 11 star vs Dino, Clown, 2x Harpies and BEWD. (I play 2 Metalmorph though due to lack of E-Cons/only got 1 Apophis atm, it puts in work).





Overall I do think that the Flash Apophis build is better, but Dino has a few niche uses as well, such as their DEF being better than Jerry Beans' DEF (in case you want to protect it from an attack with Metalmorph, which is a very strong play), and Element Saurus being a very good card. Jerry Beans Man does play around 4-Starred, but it loses to Possesed Dark Soul, so in the end it ends up being more of an Order to Charge target anyway. I would probably not go 3 Trap Jammer 3 Apophis 1-2 Metalmorph for what it's worth, because your field will clogg and you won't be able to dump your entire hand for Flash Assailant etc. which will come up. Apophis is probably the most flexible out of these, since you can at least Order to Charge it away if needed, but in the end I played 2 copies of Riryoku, simply for the reason that it didn't clogg your S/T space as you could fire it at any moment, and it also provided some cheap OTK shots which was cool to tilt people as well. Oh and by the way, Windstorm is definitely a staple, I don't know how I could ever think it is only 'optional', because the card is in fact, broken as hell. 

After being close to hitting 12 star, I got into an insane downswing and basically lost so much that my DP almost hit under 10000 again. I kept grinding and it took me the entire weekend to recover, my goal was to reach top 100 (with a little hope of reaching top 10), but I failed. I did manage to get back to around 11,5 star again, kept playing till the very end, and ended up 237th with 11236 DP. I'm glad with my performance overal, but I had hoped to hit 12 star or top 100. I really enjoyed the entire set-up of this tournament and I hope it keeps coming back in the future as well..... although not too frequently, because it's exhausting as hell ;)

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