A History of Competitive Play: April-Oct. 2005

Welcome back everyone! This week I’m going to be bringing you the next installment in the series I like to call “A History of Competitive Play.” This time I will be covering the Shonen Jumps and Nationals that happened between April 2005 and October 2005 or simply, Goat format. I got my first competitive experience of the format only a few short weeks ago at YCS Philadelphia when my friend Paul Clarke controlled my goats. Since then, I have fallen in love with the format and scrambled together two Goat Control decks of my own. The format is extremely skillful and it is not uncommon for a single game to last upwards of twenty minutes.

Here is the ban list under which the format was played.

The Decks

Let me start out by explaining the top decks of the time.

Cookie Cutter Chaos

Max Suffridge  - 2005 National Champion

Monsters: 16

1 Sinister Serpent

2 Magician of Faith

2 Gravekeeper’s Spy

1 Sangan

1 Tribe-Infecting Virus

1 D. D. Warrior Lady

1 Tsukuyomi

1 Jinzo

1 Airknight Parshath

1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning

1 Gravekeeper’s Guard

1 Blade Knight

1 Morphing Jar

1 Breaker the Magical Warrior

Spells: 17

1 Swords of Revealing Light

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Heavy Storm

1 Graceful Charity

1 Pot of Greed

1 Snatch Steal

1 Premature Burial

1 Delinquent Duo

3 Scapegoat

2 Metamorphosis

2 Book of Moon

2 Nobleman of Crossout

Traps: 8

1 Ring of Destruction

1 Mirror Force

2 Sakuretsu Armor

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Call of the Haunted

1 Ceasefire

1 Dust Tornado

This was the most standard deck of the time. The deck was played by gaining advantage through cards like Pot of Greed, Delinquent Duo, and Graceful Charity and locking down the game by using Metamorphosis to turn a Scapegoat token into Thousand-Eyes Restrict. You could then use Tsukuyomi to put the Thousand-Eyes face down and flip it up to take control of another one of your opponent’s monsters. Gravekeeper’s Spy was played because of its huge defense and how difficult it was to attack over. You could create a lock with Gravekeeper’s Guard and Tsukuyomi to keep bouncing your opponent’s monsters and attacking for 2100 damage each turn, quite the chunk in this format. Airknight was incredible in this format. Its 1900 body was a huge threat and it being able to trample over Goats and draw cards whenever it did so was very powerful. Leaving it on the field for more than a turn could almost certainly seal the game. Blade Knight was powerful in its own right as cutting your opponent off from their flip effect Monsters like Morphing Jar and Magician of Faith was very important. Such is the reason that Nobleman of Crossout was essentially a staple at 2. And speaking of Morphing Jar, it was the ultimate equalizer in this format. You could be down because your opponent opened Delinquent Duo and Pot of Greed, but be put back right into the game because of Jar. Imagine the following scenario. Your opponent has not used their Morphing Jar and only one of their Magician of Faiths is gone. Your opponent has Heavy Storm in the Graveyard. Do you set your hand to play around Jar and risk it being Faith and them grabbing back the Storm for the blowout? Or do keep the spells in your hand and attack and get blown out by the Jar? These were the format defining questions.

Goat Control

Kris Perovic – Top 4 SJC Boston

Monsters: 16

2 Airknight Parshath

1 Asura Priest

1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning

1 Breaker the Magical Warrior

1 D. D. Warrior Lady

1 Exarion Universe

2 Magician of Faith

1 Morphing Jar

1 Sangan

1 Sinister Serpent

1 Spirit Reaper

1 Tribe-Infecting Virus

2 Tsukuyomi

Spells: 17

2 Book of Moon

1 Delinquent Duo

1 Graceful Charity

1 Heavy Storm

3 Metamorphosis

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

2 Nobleman of Crossout

1 Pot of Greed

1 Premature Burial

3 Scapegoat

1 Snatch Steal

Traps: 7

1 Call of the Haunted

2 Dust Tornado

1 Mirror Force

1 Ring of Destruction

1 Sakuretsu Armor

1 Torrential Tribute

This is my favorite list from Goat format. It is essentially the same as Max Suffridge’s Cookie Cutter Chaos, but it places a bit more focus on abusing the fusions by completely maxing out on both Scapegoat and Metamorphosis. The deck also plays two Tsukuyomi to completely lock down the opponent once Thousand-Eyes hits the field. Asura Priest was a great tech choice in this format as it could attack all of your opponent’s Goats. The fact that it returned to the hand at the end phase of the turn it was summoned made it very hard to kill. Exarion Universe was also a great addition to this deck as it could trample over Goat tokens and it could wall with Airknight Parshath using its huge 1900 defense. This card was only legal for the last couple of weeks of the format. Another abuse able fusion was Dark Balter the Terrible. You could make him by using Metamorphosis on Airknight Parshath. Dark Balter’s 2000 attack could get over just about anything this format. It also had the ability to negate the effects of any monsters it kills by battle. It was essentially a stronger Blade Knight that didn’t have the restriction of only killing flip effect monsters that it killed by battle. This means that it could also kill monsters like Sangan and D.D. Warrior Lady and negate their effects as well. It also could negate any normal spell at the cost of 1000 life points. This was huge as it could protect you from Heavy Storm and opposing Metamorphosis.

Zombies

Eric Wu – SJC Los Angeles Champion 2005

Monsters: 17

1 Breaker, the Magical Warrior

2 Magician of Faith

1 Blade Knight

3 Pyramid Turtle

2 Vampire Lord

1 D. D. Warrior Lady

1 Sangan

1 Kycoo, the Ghost Destroyer

2 Spirit Reaper

1 Tribe-Infecting Virus

1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning

1 Sinister Serpent

Spells: 17

1 Pot of Greed

2 Nobleman of Crossout

1 Delinquent Duo

2 Creature Swap

2 Scapegoat

1 Snatch Steal

1 Lightning Vortex

1 Graceful Charity

1 Book of Life

1 Enemy Controller

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Smashing Ground

1 Premature Burial

1 Heavy Storm

Spells: 7

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Call of the Haunted

1 Ring of Destruction

2 Bottomless Trap Hole

1 Dust Tornado

1 Mirror Force

The last major deck of the format was Zombies which captured the first SJC of the format and continued to top throughout. This deck’s power came mainly from Vampire Lord and his ability to continuously come back. He also had 2000 attack which seemed to be the magic number for this format as it could get over just about anything. Whenever you did damage to your opponent’s life points you always wanted to call Spell as they were the most powerful cards in your opponent’s deck. This deck also had powerful Creature Swap plays like giving your opponent a Pyramid Turtle and attacking over it and pulling a Spirit Reaper from your deck and hitting them directly and netting a card from their hand.

There were also other decks that topped during this time period. Burn was another powerful strategy during this format as most games would last upwards of 20 minutes. This means that it was not uncommon to go to time and playing a burn deck in time is quite the advantage.

How to Play the Format

Opening a piece of the trinity (Pot, Delinquent, and Graceful) would certainly seem to give you an advantage over your opponent. However, more often than not, it was better to hold onto the pieces of the trinity. Pot of Greed was the only one that you slammed on the table as soon as you drew it. The other two were a little bit more complicated. You didn’t want to play Delinquent Duo as soon as you drew it because your opponent might have Sinister Serpent and then they would be able to turn your power card that is supposed to be a 2 for 1 into a 1 for 1. Because of this you wanted to hold Delinquent Duo until your opponent has Sinister Serpent in the grave and they won’t be able to get it back until their next standby phase. You can also play Delinquent Duo if you have a Faith set and can hit four cards in their hand. At the point, them having Sinister won’t do much of anything. You also want to hold your Graceful Charity until you have your Sinister Serpent in hand. By doing so, Graceful Charity will net you a plus 1 since you can discard Sinister and add it back to your hand the next turn. The only other time that you really want to play your Graceful is when you need to dig for a Nobleman of Crossout so that you won’t get blown out by either a set Faith or a set Morphing Jar.

To expand on the section above, it is not only the trinity that you want to hold. It is very important to hold all of your power cards in this format. You almost never want to drop your Black Luster Soldier simply to do 3000 damage. Instead you want to hold that for when you’re going for game or when you’re going to put yourself in a position that they cannot possibly come back from. Just dropping it to attack for a few life points is not going to work against a five card hand in this format. More often than not, they’re going to bring out a Thousand-Eyes Restrict and suck it up or use Snatch Steal to make it their own.

As in any format, you don’t want to waste cards for no reason. Perhaps your opponent has Tribe Infecting Virus on the field and they are attacking you for 1600. You could play Sakuretsu Armor and not take the damage, or you could take it and summon your in hand Tsukuyomi and simply attack over it and keep your Sakuretsu Armor. It is very important to do the latter in this format as card advantage means everything here.

You can also play around your opponent’s Nobleman of Crossouts by setting monsters that you do not care about first. Let’s say you start the game off with Pot of Greed and you have Magician of Faith in hand and want to reuse the Pot of Greed. Instead of setting the Faith immediately and risk it being Noblemaned, why not set something like Exarion Universe or Asura Priest. Then if your opponent has the Nobleman they will almost surely play it on that which will allow you to set your Faith the following turn and almost guarantee you a second Pot of Greed.

There is a lot of room in this format for making good plays. Let’s say that your opponent’s Heavy Storm is gone, but you have yours in hand. Maybe you set your Exarion Universe, your Heavy Storm, a Nobleman, and a Scapegoat. From your opponent’s perspective, you just set a monster and 3 backrow. This should telegraph to them to set their whole hand to play around the Morphing Jar that they are probably reading. Well when they set a monster and set three of their own and you end phase the Goats, Nobleman after you draw and flip Heavy you have completely blown them out by giving them a false read.

Another example of this would be your opponent starting the game with Breaker the Magical Warrior and a backrow and ending. Let’s say here you set one backrow and end. To them, they are going to be thinking he would only set something here that he could chain like Scapegoat or Dust Tornado so why not attack for an extra 300 damage before using the effect in Main Phase 2? The proceed to their battle phase and run directly into a Sakuretsu Armor.

Shonen Jump Overview

The last thing we’re going to take a look at when looking back on this format is the Shonen Jumps that took place during this time. The first of which took place in Los Angeles, California. This top 8 featured 3 Zombie decks, 2 Cookie Cutter decks, a Beastdown deck, Flip Flop Control, and Soul Control.  This is where Emon Ghaneian got his first Shonen Jump top and managed to do so by going undefeated in the swiss rounds. For those of you who don’t know of him, remember his name as he will continue to make waves in the upcoming formats and will go on to win 3 Shonen Jump Championships. The top 8 also featured two Comic Odyssey superstars; Wilson Luc and Eric Wu. For those of you that read my last History of Competitive Play article, you will remember that Odyssey was by far the most successful team of the time. Unfortunately Luc and Wu had to play each other in Top 8 which resulted in Wu winning the match. Wu continued on to beat the controversial Evan Vargas in Top 4 before facing Keanson Ye in a Zombie mirror match in the finals. Wu managed to beat out Ye and claimed the sixth Cyber Stein for Comic Odyssey. That’s over half of the Cyber Steins that had been given out so far.

The next Shonen Jump Championship took place in Houston, Texas. Nine rounds of swiss and two rounds of top cut later, only two duelists remained; Theeresak Poonsombat and Ryan Hayakawa remained. Both of whom were members of Comic Odyssey. Ryan Hayakawa managed to take the match and the Shonen with his Cookie Cutter Chaos deck.

After Houston, there was a six week break from competitive Yu-Gi-Oh.  The next event took place in New Jersey. A couple of rule changes took place at this event and those rules are still in effect today. Prior to this Jump, you could activate cards like Torrential Tribute or Bottomless Trap Hole during the damage step. Also prior to this Jump you could not change a monster’s position the same turn that it was switched by a card effect like Book of Moon or Enemy Controller. Both of these rules changed at this Jump. The top 8 of this Jump featured 3 Comic Odyssey players and 2 members of the newly formed Overdose. Again, remember the name Overdose as they will be huge in the upcoming formats. The Top 4 of this Jump was supposed to be Bryan Coronel against Rhymus Lizo and Wilson Luc against Ryan Hayakawa, Overdose against Overdose and Odyssey against Odyssey; however, UDE repaired the Top 4 of this Shonen Jump to make it Overdose against Odyssey on both sides of the bracket! That is something that you would never hear of happening today. Staying true to form, Odyssey swept and the finals was Wilson Luc against Ryan Hayakawa. Regardless of who won, the game was about to have their first ever two time champion. Ryan Hayakawa ended up beating out his teammate and becoming not only the first two time champion, but the first back-to-back champion as well! Something that has only been replicated one other time in the game’s history by ARG’s own, Billy Brake!

Three weeks later the Shonen Jump Circuit made its way to Charlotte. This time the finals pitted Team Savage’s Jae Kim and Team Overdose’s Anthony Alvarado against one another in the finals. This was Overdose’s first of many trips to the finals and Alvarado managed to take a decisive victory over Kim to cement Overdose as one of the top teams of the era.

The next event was the most important, the United States National Championship. After starting 8-0 and losing the last two, Ryan Hayakawa placed 9th leaving 0 members of Comic Odyssey in the Top 8. Overdose did not have the same problem and placed 3 members into Top 8 of that year’s Nationals. Two of the members from Overdose had to face off in Top 8. This resulted in Jerry Wang securing a spot at the World Championship over Rhymus Lizo. Bryan Coronel of Overdose also earned a spot as well. Then there was Miguel Garcia from Florida’s team Nexus. Finally there was Max Suffridge from the online team, Alpha Omega. While Comic Odyssey and Overdose had been tearing up the Shonen Jump Circuit, Alpha Omega was by far the most accomplished online team with greats such as Wangpirate and Suffridge. Both members of Overdose lost in Top 4 which left a final match between Suffridge and Garcia. Suffridge managed to take the match and become the 2005 National Champion in the process. He won using the Cookie Cutter Chaos list posted above that utilized two tech copies of Gravekeeper’s Spy and a copy of Gravekeeper’s Guard.

The next event of the format took place in Seattle. It once again resulted in another victory for Comic Odyssey. This time the Cookie Cutter Chaos list featured two tech copies of Guardian Kay’est and was piloted by Osman Ortiz. Ortiz took down Robert Lim in the finals.

The next event was SJC Indianapolis. It was the first event where Des Volstgalph was the prize card. The eventual winner of the tournament was the then newcomer, Nareg Torossian. First he had to overcome Matt Peddle before he faced Odyssey player Juan Cardenas. In the finals he was paired against another Odyssey player, Michael Fukuyama. He overcame all of them to win the first ever copy of Des Volstgalph.

The last event of the format was SJC Boston. Between SJC Indianapolis and SJC Boston, Cybernetic Revolution and the tins containing Exarion Universe were released. Both of these releases made waves at this Jump. Cyber Dragon effectively made Vampire Lord outdated as one could simply attack over it. Cybernetic Revolution also made Cyber Twin Dragon an extra deck staple and gave a new option for level 8 fusions. Now one could drop Black Luster Soldier, remove a monster, and play Metamorphosis to bring out Cyber Twin Dragon and attack for 5600. That amount of damage in this format was unheard of prior to this release. Couple that with Ring of Destruction and games could end rather fast. Exarion Universe also gave players more utility. As I mentioned earlier, it has 1900 defense which allows it to wall with Airknight. 1800 attack is also nothing to laugh about during this format and it could easily trample over goats for 1400 points of damage. The Top 8 of this Jump was Paul Levitin, Brent Yetter, Brian Long, Carlos Santiago, Kris Perovic, Jerry Wang, Bryan Coronel, and Justin Gillison. Kris Perovic’s list from this Jump was the example Goat Control list I gave above. The final four of this format pitted Hunger Force against Hunger Force and Overdose against Overdose. This time UDE did not repair which left the finals to be Brian against Brian. Brian Long won out over Coronel using a Cookie Cutter Chaos deck that maxed on Sakuretsu Armor and played Different Dimension Capsule!

That was the last Jump of perhaps the greatest format we have had so far. I hope you enjoyed my recap of my favorite format. I’ll report back with the next installment of this series in a few short weeks. As always, I appreciate your feedback so don’t hesitate to leave comments down below. Until next time everyone, play hard or go home!

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

Latest posts by Patrick Hoban (see all)

Discussion

comments

  • Drew M.

    I miss the old formats, they did involve more skill and, while I consider the current format to be extremely interesting and fun, there’s nothing like those old decks. Awesome cards like Nephythys, GK spy, Bazoo the soul eater, Vampire Lord, Breaker and metamorphosis (which I would like to see unbanned in the next banlist) were just so exciting. Nowadays these cards are just too slow and the game is now decided by who pulls off their combo first.

    • Bob Rakole

      that’s nostalgia. they didn’t involve more skill. it was a format where you could win by drawing graceful charity or pot of greed first. or topdecking a metamorphosis or snatch steal.

      • Lyrical Carnage

        You obviously didn’t play much in the format, because a +1 didn’t guarantee victory, it took an incredibly large amount of skill, bluffing, strategy and mind games to compete. Okay, so you draw Graceful, so what? Your sinister is still in the deck, now what? There’s more to Yu-Gi-Oh than pluses, it’s about wits and setting up minuses or exchanges to gain pluses later, and making reads. How good is that Snatch Steal w/o Tsukiyomi or Book? Whats the Meta gonna do w/o Scapegoat or other things worth using Meta on? Take notes, because you’re probably the same person that’s saying “Oh, if Qliphorts open Scout, it’s GG man”, brush up on your knowledge.

        • Bob Rakole

          I did play the format, though. It wasn’t total hell like the Dragon Ruler format, but it still had plenty of bad design choices. It was a slow format with really powerful cards sprinkled in.

  • Anonymous

    When is the next Article?

  • Danz from Italy

    It has been a very exciting jump in the past. what beatiful memories! thank you so much

  • Zachary

    I think it would be great to have a tourney format were you can play old decks. I want to see say rabbit vs tele dad. Or lightsworn vs inzectors. Just an idea

  • LW

    Another great read. Great format.
    Thanks for the read.

  • MJ

    Than you for these.

  • Well Done! But…

    …That thing about re-pairing Overdose and CO never happened. If there was some player perception that it did, the players were mistaken.

  • Johnny Li

    You all need to play WC2006. It is one of the very best Yugioh video games, maybe the best period. Also it allows you to play Goat Control format, among others.

  • Josh Graham

    Great article Pat!
    Keep up the good work!
    Especially love your articles since you are the man.
    I never comment on here, but this one’s for you.

  • Guti

    I really like this article because this was one of my favourites formats and I still have my old extra deck with TER, balter, ryu senshi, reaper on a nightmare, etc… hoping that someday I’ll be able to use them again 😀

  • The Juggernaut

    the controversial Evan Vargas, why was he controversial at the time?

    • GUti

      He was a really really good player with an attitude problem.

      I didnt know him because I dont live in the US but I remember his decklist and articles posted in Pojo..

  • Daniel

    The F/L on the Wikia is NOT accurate. They have cards such as Magician of Faith listed
    as being limited when it’s clear she was at 2. Their are other inconsistencies as well.

  • brian

    Learning about the game is great because I wasn’t part of it back then and with current format I could see alot of banned cards coming off and Konami pushing for a new type of gameplay

  • Gabriel Payen

    A non official tournament where all the players would play in the same old format (Goat Control , Teledad etc…) would be amazing imo. I’m lookin for that since 1 year but never find it.

    • Thibault G

      There are some of this tournaments in France 😉

      The first will be with goat control.

  • ihumpedsue

    I have been playing since magic ruler (oops I mean spell ruler) and its great to rehash the past. Thanks,great article.

  • Great article.
    As a player who only got into the game since the last few years, I find it interesting to read what used to be the top decks and how they worked.
    Please continue with this series of articles.

  • Ben

    Ive been playing yugioh a long time now.. i started in the yata-CED lock format… i went to one event when i was 10 (in 2004)
    Got yata-locked 3 times in a row and never played competitively since last september when i started again… anything is better than that format.

    but imagine this the goat control deck being available now… how would it fare against current meta decks?

    • Johnny Li

      It would obviously lose against current meta decks. Just because Goat Control is a skillful deck doesn’t mean it can beat one-card power plays from the future.

  • ricky

    It’s nice to hear about old formats, since I didn’t play yugioh competitively at that time. Great article.

  • Nick

    This article made me bring up metagame.com (using some special website to bring up its old pages) and read these matches. it was some great stuff.
    if you are interested, click below. this is not spam lol buycrystalmeth is the site that allows me to view metagame even though metagame was taken down

    http://buycrystalmeth.org/metagame/yugiohc36a.html?tabid=56

  • truth hurts

    The tense in which this article is presented changes multiple times; and it seems oddly familiar. I swear I’ve seen something very similar to this on the older Metagame website.

    • jim

      Did you get your money and time back too?

    • Dominique Roberts

      I don’t think you grasp the importance of the history of the game as it presents itself in this article series. As it relates to live, history is an important subject, hence it being in the core curriculum of each and every school ANYWHERE. We need the knowledge of yesterday to be prepared for the unexpected trials of tomorrow. I apologize if this flies slightly over your height clearence, but you couldn’t be more wrong in your opinion. I could explain how this format heavily relates to the game now, but I wouldn’t want to waste your time. Thanks for taking time out of your day to read the quality articles on ARG, you make this all possible.

      Dominique “Fresh Prince of Yugioh” Roberts

  • Truth Hurts.

    What a waste of an article. This relates in no way to the current game, and I want the 10 minutes I spent reading this back.

    Why would you dredge up the game from 7 years ago? 1/3 of the cards are banned. If you want to reminisce, do it on your own time; this is a site for competitive play.

    • jim

      Truth Hurts, you couldn’t be more wrong on what this article site is for. Its entertainment take that for what you paid for it. Jim

      • truth hurts

        I learned nothing that will improve the state of my game in this format. I dont read these articles to practice reading in Morgan Freeman’s voice; I do it to improve my game and talking about a format from 7 years ago is stupid, and of no use.

        • jim

          Like I said before it has never been advertised as a site where I’m going to compensate a writer for your one frame mind. History is an amazing thing, maybe when your mind matures you would respect who and what came before you.

        • Jamal

          Reading the title, and clearly seeing what the article is about, why would you then proceed to read the entire thing anyways? >__>

        • Johnny Li

          Don’t be an idiot (I know this may be hard for you). You could have easily read the title and skipped the article, or even if you accidentally started reading the article, stopped at any time.

    • If you learn about the past, it’ll teach you some valuable lessons that can be applied to the card game today. Holding on to your power cards is a huge change now. Today, you can just slam a bunch of power cards and you’ll be able to draw more later. Back then, you only had so many power cards. Using a certain card at the wrong time could cost you the game. That’s what I believe at least.

    • top 32 player at dallas

      do you not notice the difference between that format and this one??? we have strong plays like the ones they had but in one card (rescue rabbit, dragonfly, etc.). thats the problem with most duelist right now they dont look at the big plays they just go through the motions and say tier 1 decks are autopilot, because like everyone else they just (dragonfly pop centipede pop overlay zenmaines search dragonfly) this format was clearly one of the ones that required the most skill because you needed to learn to maximize on your cards and make the right plays. if we could use this knowledge and transfer it to today we wouldnt need to open rescue rabbit to win or dragonfly and hornet to win. we could open vanillas and still win because we would be able to outplay the opponents. you should give me my 1 min that i wasted reading ur comment back scrub.

  • Quiglo

    Amazing read, I remeber being a kid in these formats and wondering why on earth exarion universe got its own tin, and this explains so much. Keep up the good work!

  • muggy8

    I started in the format where Air Blade Turbo was the big deck so i never really had the opportunity to play in such a slow pace so reading about slower formats like these are really exciting for me. These decks sound like so much fun to play unlike today’s auto polite decks.

    was a good read will read again 🙂