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Doll-Tellar-Abyss Format (September 2014) -- Introduction and Guide

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2014 was a year of many different archetypes and changes.  Unlike Goat Format in 2005, when May was not that much different than August, 2014 is a year that needs to be taken bit by bit.


Card Pool


The most recent set at the time was Duelist Alliance (the set with the 3 major archetypes of the format.

Prior 3 sets were Dragons of Legend, Primal Origin and Legacy of the Valiant to give you some sense of the landscape of that format.  The two promos released in early September were Hot Red Dragon Archfiend and Ascension Sky Dragon; we can allow them but also consider that the cutoff point.

For more information about the card pool, you can look into:
* Special/Reprint Sets: Star Pack 2014, Astral Pack 5, Battle Pack 3, 2014 Mega-Tins.

* The Weekly Shonen Jump membership promos pre-October.

* Structure Decks: Cyber Dragon Revolution, Realm of Light, Space-Time Showdown, 


Ban List


The prior two ban lists of the year were more impactful.  This one makes minor revisions but it was the most recent at the time.





Some consider this the beginning of the end of the "good old days", however it's not among the worst formats either.  It definitely was a good format compared to Nekroz.  After the ignominious late 2013 Dragon Ruler autopilot era, there was a lull in 2014 when diversity thrived.  In the late part of the summer, to everyone's surprise, the format was actually slow, incorporated a lot of stun, used a lot of trap cards and was not unlike a classic beatdown format.  However, the release of Duelist Alliance changed everything.  The format got much faster, power creep occurred and prices wen't up.  


People thought, at first, that Shaddolls would be a tier 0 broken deck and the game was doomed due to their ability to get quick plusses.  However, many didn't expect that Satellarknights and Burning Abyss, also in the set, would rise up.  At first, people played Burning Abyss incorrectly as some sort of stall/floater/recruiter deck.  But then people realized that they could trigger effects such as Phoenix Wing Wind Blast for free, and the rest was history.  Satellarknights were kind of seen as linear because they relied on just a few monsters and rank-plays; they also had 3 copies of a mini Solemn Judgment.  Shaddolls were the biggest of the three, but it was a triangle no less.


Top Decks


Three YCS's occurred in September:

* Toronto/Ontario

* Chicago

* Madrid


There were other big tournaments at the time for sure, but these three results should triangulate an image on what the atmosphere was like.   Of the 3 Top 16 lists, just over half of them were Shaddoll.  Burning Abyss and Satellarknights were more-or-less even.  


One upside of the format was the ability to combine decks.  Some decks used an Artifact sub-engine.  It was possible to do Burning Abyss with Monarchs, Lightsworns (for Chaos) and even add Shaddoll into the mix as well.


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mark    3105

The link to chicago directs to toronto instead


May be worth including if these YCS's were draft or not (so people know if deck won the event, or that every deck just topped and it doesn't matter who won etc)

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mark    3105

it may be interesting to do a dragon ruler one, I think that format was loved more than any other format of the last few years 


what specifically attracts you to this format? 

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Burning Abyss


Staple Monsters


* 3x Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss (800 ATK / 2000 DEF) -- Deck to hand

* 3x Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss (1000 ATK / 1500 DEF) -- Deck to field

* 3x Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss (1600 ATK / 1200 DEF) -- Graveyard to field


The three Malebranche monsters are similar.  They're all LV3 DARK fiends.All 3 can special summon themselves from the hand if you have no traps/spells out (making Rank-3 XYZ plays easier), however they self-destruct if you control a non Burning Abyss monster, so be careful with what you splash in the deck.  They are all floaters which net you a card whenever they're sent to the graveyard: battle, card effect, discard, mill, doesn't matter.  


* 3x Tour Guide of the Underworld 


I mentioned they're all LV3 Fiends, right? :)


* 3x Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss


XYZ Monster for the Extra Deck.  Your goal was to play him as soon as possible.  Unlike the Malebranches, he is a LIGHT monster, so the deck is able to run BLS and maybe a Chaos Sorcerer too.  He milled 3 cards from the top of the deck (like Card Trooper), possibly triggering Burning Abyss effects.  He had 2500 DEF and could reach 2500 ATK upon milling, making him really strong for a Rank-3.  When he's destroyed, he replaces himself by letting you add one of the Malebranches from the graveyard to hand.  One powerful combo loop was that you could use Cir to revive Dante, and then Dante to recover Cir.  


Other Possible Monsters


* BLS 

* Effect Veiler -- LIGHT for Chaos, Tuner, negates effects.

* Mathematician -- Foolish Burial and a Cyber Phoenix draw effect built in.

* Caius the Shadow Monarch and/or Raiza the Storm Monarch -- either splashed in to remove tough threats, or in some cases, as a Monarch sub-engine

* Vanity's Fiend  -- strong lockdown capabiities

* 2x Fire Hand & 2x Ice Hand (sub-engine)

* 2x Artifact Moralltach & 3x Artifact Sanctum (sub-engine)




Light line-up.  Foolish Burial was a staple, as were 2-3x Mystical Space Typhoon.


For draw power, 3x Upstart Goblin and/or an Allure of Darkness were both options.  Some players used (2-3x) Supply Squad to keep gaining card advantage, but some also found it to be slow.


A number of people Rank-Up Magic Astral Force because it gave the deck LIGHT Rank-5 XYZ options, and it was easy to send to the graveyard via milling.  Book of Moon and Soul Charge were used too.  Some even teched Creature Swap and The Beginning of the End.




This is the most important line-up of the deck, and the one with the most room for customization.


Classics such as Torrential Tribute, Mirror Force, Dimensional Prison and Bottomless Trap Hole were available, though many people didn't use them, either because they were too slow or because destroying floaters is a bad idea.


Every orthodox BA deck used 3 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast since it was the best discard-trap.  Karma Cut (2-3x) followed it, but some people saw potential in the versatility of Raigeki Break (0-2x usually).


Other staples include:

* 1x Solemn Warning -- Staple.

* 2-3x Vanity's Emptiness -- Negates Special Summons.  This card was ignored for the longest, but people realized that they could use it when the don't need to summon and them trigger it off when they need to summon.

* 2-3x Breakthrough Skill -- Monster effect negation was often more important than destroying the monster itself.

* 1x Compulsory Evacuation Device -- Was very good in this format because it bypassed effects which wouldn't let monsters be destroyed by effects or plussed the opponent if it was destroyed.


There are many other possibilities, such as Wiretap for mirror matches and so on.


Extra Deck


To keep this part simple, we have:

3x Dante

Rank-5 LIGHT's for Astral -- Constellar Omega and Pleiades

Downerd Magician -- For situations where Dante could be turned into a piercer or become a monster that is not Dante for whatever reason.

Ghostrick Alucard was a great rank 3 for removal.

Acid Golem (for raw power), Nightmare Shark, Fortune Rune, Zenmaines (stall/removal), Grenosaurus, Mechquipped Angineer, Tiras

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25 minutes ago, mark said:


what specifically attracts you to this format? 


2014 was a great year for Yugioh.  I had a lot of fun trying lots of decks and strategies.  It felt like the game was starting to develop.  At first, XYZ's were just turning into Gemini Elf style beatdown with Tour Guides, but eventually we amassed a sizable toolbox of Extra Deck options.  The release of DUEA is sort of near the tail end of this era, much like Goat Format was approaching the end of the Chaos era.

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31 minutes ago, mark said:

The link to chicago directs to toronto instead


May be worth including if these YCS's were draft or not (so people know if deck won the event, or that every deck just topped and it doesn't matter who won etc)




On your second question, these decks were all constructed from an open card pool.  They're every bit as legit as any other major tourney I presume.

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»ACP    33421

YCS Toronto was the first draft top cut YCS, and every YCS in the format after Toronto was draft for top cut. Mark's point is that whoever got 1st only won out in top cut because of their drafting skills, not their constructed skills, since constructed was only played for top32, not top16, top8, etc. Every decklist in the top16 should be treated as equally good, because they all won an equal amount.

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+scuzzlebutt    23495

busted ynus's shit in this format + NECH 5-1 with tellars vs his qli


[9:01 PM] Ynusgridorh: Tellar sucks balls.
[9:01 PM] MMF: tellar literally won the highest EV event of all time
[9:02 PM] MMF: to this day
[9:02 PM] Ynusgridorh: One hit wonder.

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