A 3rd Place Finish and the Road to the Top with Billy Brake

Hello Yugioh Community! I am back this week from YCS Chicago and I want to give a big congratulations to Aaron Noel for being able to take the 1st place trophy home! As some of you know I fell just short losing in Top 4, but was at least able to capture 3rd place. Since I finished so well I decided to do a tournament report for all of the ARG article readers out there! I had a really great weekend and want to give a big thank you to everyone who congratulated me on my 12th premier event top and 6th time to make it to the top 4 or better!

Question of the article: Were you surprised that Dino-Rabbit was able to take the first place spot at YCS Chicago even after the priority rule went away?

Don’t forget to answer the question of the article in the comments down below!



During the two week time that separated YCS Dallas and YCS Chicago I spent almost all of my testing time using Chaos Dragons. I was really happy with the deck and felt like it might be the best pick going into YCS Chicago. I had tried Inzektors, but I felt there game 1 Dino-Rabbit match-up was just too hard if you were to lose the dice roll.
I took my Chaos Dragon deck to a local on Tuesday that consisted of 8 people and proceeded to go 0-2. I lost both rounds because I drew practically unplayable hands with the deck and there was nothing I could do. Despite doing so poorly at such a small tournament I was still semi-confident with my choice, but my nerve was beginning to weaken and the thought of switching to another deck crept in my head.

Luckily, the next day Konami announced that there were rule changes and the TCG had finally done away with priority! It felt like Christmas for me, I had been waiting for so long for this rule change and it had finally happened. I felt like a lot more players were going to main or at least side copies of Bottomless Traphole and with Chaos Sorcerer not being able to activate his effect when he was summoned I felt like the deck had become a lot less powerful. It was time to change decks just a mere 3 days before the event.

I had one last Business Law class that I had to attend in the morning, but to be honest I would have been better off just staying home. I spent the whole class thinking up ideas for how I wanted to run my Inzektor deck and what cards I would need to side. I wrote a couple of different deck list out on my Ipad along with some side deck choices and decided to go home and build it up.

My first build I used was very similar to the deck that fellow ARG Writer Alistar Albans used and had success with at YCS Dallas. I was using Card Troopers, a couple copies of Fiendish Chain. It was a pretty standard Inzektor deck and I felt it might be the way to go.

I then began searching my room for my side deck cards and that is when fate intervened! One of my extra binder was full of a bunch of lower end holos that are still semi-useful and I was searching them for a Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer that I could side vs. Chaos Dragons. I turned one of the pages and I saw about 5 copies of Messenger of Peace. A few days earlier fellow ARG Writer Joe Giorlando and I were texting back and forth about his idea to side Level Limit Area B against HERO and Chaos Dragon decks and this thought must have stayed in my head. When I saw the Messengers I immediately thought about how much better this card could be than Level Limit. Against Dino-Rabbit there only outs would be 3 copies of Mystical Space Typhoon and Heavy Storm, HERO decks would have Gemini Sparks they would have to waste, and Chaos Dragons would deal with it a little bit easier than the other two, but it would still be effective. I decided at that point I was going to use 3 copies of Messenger of Peace in my side deck for YCS Chicago.

Later on that night I had a local tournament that I decided to participate in. This was the first tournament I had ever used Inzektors in and was excited to have the opportunity. I had a lot of fun with them and ended up OTKing almost all of my opponent’s and was able to split for 1st place with my brother! I did get a chance to play against a HERO deck in the tourney and I was able to win through his Skill Drain plus three backrows because I had Messenger of Peace up and he couldn’t deal until I drew into all of the right cards to take him down. My deck had performed pretty well at this tournament and it helped boost my confidence going into this weekend!

My flight to Chicago left at 8am and I landed around 10 30 am just in time to catch some lunch with my friends and the owners of Alter Reality Games Jim and Brad! Throughout the day at pre-registration I got a chance to meet up with a lot of my friends and we all got to discuss our last minute ideas and tech choices. I spent a lot of time going over a game plan with my friend Jeff Jones in particular. We were talking about siding Blast with Chain for the mirror match, but we realized that Safe Zone was almost the same kind of thing, but could be better against all of the decks of the format.

I decided to main deck three copies of this card for many reasons. In the mirror match most of the time when your opponent starts to try popping cards on your side of the field they will aim for your back row first. If they target your Safe Zone you can simply chain it to their monster and it will be destroyed before their effect can be triggered. Against Dino-Rabbit you can protect your Inzektors and then put them in defense mode and even if they have a face-up Dolkka on their field, you can just keep activating the inzektor’s effect every turn until it runs out of material. If you chain Safe Zone to a monster that was targeted to be destroyed by Gemini Spark you can chain Safe Zone to that monster and since Safe Zone prevents him from being destroyed your opponent won’t even be able to draw their card from Spark! Chaos Dragons losing the power of priority means when they special summon Chaos Sorcerer you can flip up Safe Zone targeting your monster and your opponent won’t be able to target your guy with Sorcerer’s effect! These were just some of the reasons I had decided to main deck three copies of this card and I felt like it was a really good pick going into this YCS.

I have my deck list filled out with the troopers and everything in it and I am thinking about going to turn it in so it will be final, but not before having one last conversation with some friends. I was not able to test with this deck very much so I did not know if there were better builds out there or if mine was the best one to run. A fair amount of my friends all insisted that I run Inzektor Hopper. I had not been too impressed with the performance of Card Trooper and I understood that most of the time I summoned him and milled I was just trying to get to an Inzektor Hornet so why not use a guy that did just that! Literally in the last minute before I turned my decklist in I cut the Troopers for the Hoppers and I was ready to go!

Here is my Inzektor deck list that I took to 3rd place at YCS Chicago.
Monsters: 20
3 Inzektor Dragonfly
3 Inzektor Centipede
3 Inzektor Hornet
3 Tour Guide From the Underworld
3 Effect Veiler
2 Inzektor Hopper
1 Inzektor Giga-Mantis
1 Sangan
1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning

Spells: 10
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Inzektor Sword – Zektkaliber
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Heavy Strom
1 Foolish Burial
1 Book of Moon

Traps : 10
3 Safe Zone
2 Call of the Haunted
2 Solemn Warning
2 Torrential Tribute
1 Solemn Judgment

Side Deck: 15
3 Messenger of Peace
3 Dimensional Fissure
3 D.D. Crow
2 Spirit Reaper
2 Trap Stun
1 Maxx “C”
1 Smashing Ground

Extra Deck: 15
2 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
2 Wind-Up Zenmaines
2 Leviair The Sea Dragon
1 Temtempo The Percussion Djinn
1 Muzurhythm The String Djinn
1 Melomelody the Bass Djinn
1 Number 30: Acid Golem
1 Number 20: Giga-Brilliant
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Grenosuarus
1 Armory Arm
1 Black Rose Dragon


I am going to give you all a brief overview of a couple of the most often match-ups and how I sided against them during YCS Chicago

VS. Inzektor Mirror Match
IN: 3 D.D. Crow, 1 Maxx “C”
OUT: 2 Call of the Haunted, 1 Foolish Burial, 1 Safe Zone ( or Inzektor Hopper depending on if I am going second)

VS. Chaos Dragons
IN: 2 Messenger of Peace, 2 Dimensional Fissure, 2 Spirit Reaper, 1 Smashing Ground
OUT: 3 Effect Veiler, 2 Call of the Haunted, 1 Foolish Burial, 1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy

VS. Dino-Rabbit
IN: 3 Messenger of Peace, 2 Trap Stun, 2 Spirit Reaper, 1 Smashing Ground
OUT: 3 Effect Veiler, 2 Call of the Huanted, 1 Foolish Burial, 1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy, 1 Safe Zone( or Inzektor Hopper if I was going second)

IN: 3 Messenger of Peace, 2 Trap Stun, 1 Smashing Ground
OUT: 3 Effect Veiler, 1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy , 1 Inzektor Hopper, 1 Foolish Burial (Call of the Haunted if I am going first)


I started off YCS Chicago with an early loss in the first round to a Gravekeeper deck. I had my 5 card hand sent to the grave yard thanks to Royal Tribute, but still managed to pull that game out. The other two games I didn’t really see any monster and he was able to beat me down with a flurry of Gravekeeper’s Recruiters and Descendants. Starting off the day 0-1 is not the way I wanted to begin, but I held my chin up and just kept playing throughout the day.

During Day 1’s 9 rounds of Swiss after losing to Gravekeepers I faced 2 mirror matches, 1 Dark World, 1 Lightsworn, 1 Psychic Deck ( probably my hardest match of the day), and 3 HERO decks. I was able to defeat all of them, some with ease, and others came pretty down to the wire. Either way I had started the day off with a loss and was able to win the next 8 rounds straight and finished Day 1 with an 8-1 record coming in 20th place.


Going into the morning I knew I just needed to win at least one of the two rounds and I would more than likely be able to make the Top 32 cut and get to the single elimination portion of the tournament. In Round 10, the first round of the day, I faced off against Chaos Dragons. It was a tough battle, but in Game 3 I drew my first completely unplayable hand and was attacked by a Tour Guide and Sangan four times in a row and I lost. I now needed to win my bubble match in the last round in order to top. At YCS Dallas a only a couple of weeks ago I was in the same position, but I lost the last match and ended up not being able to talk so to say I was a little nervous would be an understatement.

For the last round I had to play a duelist who I had previously played on the bubble of YCS North Carolina last year, Marc Hahn, where I had came out victorious. He was the first Dino-Rabbit match-up I had the whole tournament and I was ready to go. I won a pretty long game 1 and in game 2 he had the Mystical Space Typhoon for my Messenger of Peace and was able to push it to a game 3. In the final duel he wasn’t able to really get anything going. I won my last round and had topped my 12th event!


In the top 32 I was in an Inzektor mirror match. He drew pretty awful game 1 and I was able to resolve the Dragonfly, Sword, Hornet combo to win the game rather quickly. In game 2 with both opened with Double Inzektor Hopper, but I was able to draw into Hornet a little faster and by the time he drew a foolish burial for his Hornet I had the D.D. Crow to cut him off and move into top 16.

In the Top 16 I faced off against another Dino-Rabbit Duelist. I captured a quick game 1 and in game 2 my side decked Messenger of Peace put in work like I knew it would and I found myself on the way to top 8 !
Sadly I had to face off against a friend of mine Hector Heras in an Inzektor mirror match. We both knew what the other was playing and it was a pretty friendly, but competitive duel. He made a huge push trying to kill me by using Monster Reborn on my Inzektor Dragonfly, but since he didn’t have a Dragonfly of his own in his grave he was able to deal 8000 points of damage to me. I was able to drop Black Luster Soldier on my next turn and by the help of Dragonfly and Leviair I was able to make a game shot that turn and take game 1.

Game 2 Hector opened up with triple Centipede and I had the D.D. Crow for his Inzektor Hornet. He had no hand traps in sight so I was able to take game 2 and advance to the top 4.

I was playing against another Dino-Rabbit Duelist and I felt pretty confident going in. We had a pretty long and back and forth game 1, but due to a timely drawn Effect Veiler, followed up by a Jurrac Guiba he was able to take game 1. In Game 2 I had completel control and after a couple of crucial mistakes on his part, such as forgetting to activate Forbidden Lance in the Damage step I was able to take a fairly quick victory. In game 3 however, he went first opened up with Rescue Rabbit and a Tour guide for the following turn to my hand of all monsters. I was able to stall out for awhile behind a Spirit Reaper, but to no avail. He flipped up a Macro Cosmos and I proceeded to draw into 3 copies of Inzektor Hornets which were useless. There was really nothing I could do the whole game and I was eliminated.

After losing in top 4 I had to playoff for who would get 3rd and the super copy of the Blood Mefist, luckily I was able to defeat Chaos Dragons in two games and at least walk away with another copy of the prize card.

Conclusion: With the priority rule change there was a lot of uncertainty out there in the dueling world. I decided to pick up inzektors and felt like they would give me the best chance for success at YCS Chicago. Thanks to good friends and little bit of a lucky find I was able to achieve this success. The next YCS in Philadelphia is only three weeks away and with the new set Galactic Overlord going to be legal you can bet there will be some new crazy decks out there to watch out for! I am going to try and prepare and make sure I am ready to have another repeat performance in Philly and hopefully capture my 3rd YCS Win!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or suggestions for future articles feel free to leave them in the comments down below! Don’t forget to answer the question of the article located at the top of the page! Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!

-Billy Brake
-YCS Toronto and Columbus Champion