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Sixxy

Costa Mesa 2

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»Derezzed    1026
Extacy, hit me up when you get the chance, cus Shawn putting me in over Cocaine.

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JFT    0

get at me when ever ya are online

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Dgz Punk    929

Vic I'll get at you monday or so. bday weekend so ima be busy as fuck this weekend =p

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The Random!    17

Deck Profile: Joshua Graham "Gladiator Beasts"

As you all know this is my first time doing a deck feature so please bare with me.

Joshua Graham approached me early asking for a deck feature. I must admit I thought he would be running an innovative FTK here this week. Possibly something along the lines of Spell Striker and Cyber Valleys to really abuse the draw power — I myself have been piloting it to great success, it is quite the powerful strategy.

However, much to my surprise I was mistaken. Joshua informed me that he had infact opted against running an FTK, he had decided upon a Gladiator Beast build that he had been working on that he expected to make quite the impact here. Though surprised upon hearing this I must admit I was quite relieved and rather refreshed to see someone was attempting to pilot Gladiator Beasts to the top tables this week.

Graham quickly stated "this is not a bad version like Jake McNeely's, just so you know." Bold word for the Mexican/Canadian native. Bold words indeed. So how different is Graham's Gladiator Beast build? How could he be so confident as to slam the groundbreaking build of Jake McNeely? Well once I seen the build I must admit I was quite surprised and I'm sure you all will be as well. Take a look...

If you are reading this coverage live then you won't be able to see the decklist until the end of the swiss rounds.

Allow me to breakdown some of the bigger twists Graham has put on McNeely's "permission-style" theme.

While McNeely depend on 3 copies of Rescue Cat to deploy multiple copies of Test Tiger reliably, Graham is not using a single copy of the adorable kitten. Thus, this move has freed up deck space for more meta-oriented tech to give him the edge over top decks being played here today. He has opted to run Sangan, and a third copy of D.D. Crow, the result is a deck that may not go off quite as quickly in some cases, but is one that can not only defend itself better, but is also one that can control the graveyard of his opponents locking out key cards, such as Dark Armed Dragon.

Graham has also included a pair of Gladiator Beast Hoplomus. While McNeely, Evan Vargas, and Alex Cheruvelil made pioneering appearances with heavily focused Gladiator Beast builds, Graham's gift to the archetype might be his metagame-oriented tech calls. Ojama Trio, Swords of Revealing Light, Defensive Tactics? Not here! I'm not really sure how Graham intends on keeping his monsters on the field per say. He's running a grand total of THREE cards that prevent battle damage to his monsters, instead choosing to main deck three copies of Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror. Quite the effective choice if you ask me. Keeping cards like Darklord Zerato, Dark Magician of Chaos, and of course the the dreaded powerhouse of a card Dark Armed Dragon offline is a huge undertaking as they are all over the place this week. Graham looks poised to destroy the number one deck here today by punishing its attribute and graveyard dependence. If he can keep his cards on the field long enough that is.

One thing Graham's build does share with McNeely's is the Texan duelist lack of Gladiator Beast's Battle Manica, a card that arguably took Vargas and Cheruvelil to greater success than McNeely achieved. The extra card slot gave Graham the wiggle room for his own version of central theme support: a long copy of (wait for it), CRUSH CARD VIRUS!

"The deck can have problems facing a single big monster, let alone an entire field of massive monster poised for an OTK," explained Graham when I asked him about his use of the newly-limited trap card. "If someone had just one thing out, like Dark Magician of Chaos, then I can flip Crush Card Virus and clear their entire board. Then I can bring out Secutor and bring out the monster Heraklinos, leaving them with virtually no outs with Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror mained in the format." Crush Card Virus will be making a big difference in the weeks matches, and in the future.

He also interestingly is employing the help of cards such as Book of Moon and Trap Dustshoot. "Book of Moon also makes it easier to attack, while Trap Dustshoot keeps big threats out of the way and sets up optimal game positioning." It's important to note that for all his innovative choices, Graham has made one more big gamble: he's NOT playing Cold Wave. While you struggle to overcome the shock and awe over how it will leave his Gladiator Beasts weak to defensive removal and might cause him problems if the removal card make a huge wave of return here this week. Graham simply explains "With so much emphasis on speedy wins, I shouldn't have to deal with many defensive cards, as they slow a deck down." If he's right, he'll do well. If the metagame here bucks that trend though, well, Joshua will find himself in a whole heap of trouble and will probably be joining me as a spectator on the sideline in the very near future.

It's quite clear that Joshua Graham is packing a deck here today that will either be a great success or a huge flop. His opting to play it over faster decks is a risk that could also turn to reward. However, with so many metagame calls made in a single deck it'll be interesting to see how things just pan out for him. A lot of players are running Dark Armed Dragon strictly because it's fast and consistent. While others sought the riskier strategies (Exodia among others) Graham saw the opportunity to innovate. He's made a huge, educated, well thought out gamble, and it may earn him the title of the first ever Online Shonen Jump Champion.

Only time will tell, should make for an interesting turn of events.

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Dgz Punk    929

i liked it shawn. it's not like it was horrible. if i actually read it then yea... i dont think I ever read a metagame deck feature rofl

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Dro    25

Man your hyping this up nicely its like you took the words outta JGM mouth.

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JFT    0
i liked it shawn

GJ bro.

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LoKo    5

.............ON4gs.................

Bless Up

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The Random!    17
My opponent is never online!

Aj I am so sorry about him not being on bro but imma work it out so you two do play hit me up on aim ok bro

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Fierce    491

Hahah good shit gotta build a deck rofl :P

ofgz in like 10 minutes haha

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Sixxy    1197

30 ppl tournament cuts to 16? Well at least people will clearly know their tie breaks.

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»Derezzed    1026
so vic u n me gotta make this feature match epic

=D

Alright, I can play you right now if you are available. Happy Bday btw.

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»Blake`    31

Lmk when you can be on to play JJ and I'll do what I can to be on then. ;]

I'm on pretty much every day starting in the evening and going through the night central USA.

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