Hello everyone! My name is Jordan Winters and I am excited to bring you guys my first article as an official member of ARG! I have a lot of topics that I look forward to discussing with everyone, but first I want to share my experience at the latest ARG event in Charlotte this past weekend in which I placed 3rd. For this event I chose to run a somewhat unique build of 4 axis fire fists that I collaborated on with my friend James Frazier. Check out the list below and I hope you enjoy my report!
G1 – My opponent wins the die roll and starts out the first match of the day by setting 2 cards to his back row and a monster before passing. I open a decent hand of tenki, wolfbark, gorilla, and a few traps. I play tenki and he allows it to go through (meaning he almost certainly does not have an MST set), and I search Bear. On summon my bear get’s booked. His fear of bear’s destruction effect telegraphs that he is not playing mermail, so at this point I’m assuming Geargia. I set a few back row and on his turn he summons a hydrogeddon (looks like I’m playing against dino rabbit). Hydrogeddon declares an attack on my bear and is met with a dimensional prison. He passes without setting anymore back row, and I summon gorilla from my hand and pop his set mirror force. Gorilla runs over the set card which turns out to be a fossil dyna, and bear is also able to trigger his effect by attacking directly. My opponent can’t recover and I take this one shortly afterwards.
G2- This game my opponent starts off by summoning fossil dyna and setting 3 backrow. I open a standard hand and summon a bear which gets stopped. I set a few backrow and pass and he attacks directly with fossil dyna. Instead of using my facedown DP I choose to take the attack, assuming that I would be able to deal with the dyna with one of my own monsters. The next turn I get a gorilla attack to go through but he flips up safe zone on me to protect his dyna. The effect veilers in his hand stop me from resolving gorilla’s effect on his safe zone, but eventually I draw an MST to clear dyna and he has no real traps to stop my monsters from there.
G1- I win the die roll and start out by summoning bear with a few traps. He plays a duality, revealing that he is playing noble knights, and summons a drystan. I have the traps to stop his monster, and the next few, and I take this game fairly easily.
G2- This time my opponent gets to go first, and he opens up the Medraut combo, ending with their rank 5 xyz, equipped with destiny, excaliburn, and caliburn, and a face down card. I open up Bear, MST, forbidden lance, cardcar, and some traps. Now, at this point I make the mistake of MST’ing his 1 set card. Unfortunately I don’t have much experience playing against noble knights, and I should have seen that if I didn’t deal with the excaliburn (doesn’t let knights be targeted), I was going to lose. The correct play would have been to hope that his set card was a bluff, and to instead use my mst on his excaliburn and try to lance over the xyz. I don’t do this and end up losing the game, unable to ever break his lock.
G3- This game went much like game 1, and he was never able to get anything going with his monsters as I always had the answer to his summons.
G1: This game was a feature match which you can read in the above link. My opponent makes a misplay turn 1 by not searching the crescent off of magician when he already had secrets and masters in hand. This would have allowed him to have 3 books for fate turn 1, which likely would have had a drastic affect on the game.
G2: In the fourth paragraph the writer of this article made a mistake and didn’t notice that when I declare an attack with my cardinal, Aaron chained spellbook of wisdom to keep exciton from meeting the requirement for his effect. Unable to trigger his effect I’m forced to concede on my next turn. In retrospect, I should have played it safe and stolen the Priestess with Honors Ark Knight, instead of trying to go for the blow out win with Exciton.
G3: My opponent doesn’t open great this game and I am able to resolve multiple bear/gorilla effects to take this game decisively.
G1- I win the die roll and end up resolving a bear effect at one point, putting me slightly ahead. We end up in a wolfbark war and I eventually come out on top.
G2- He goes first with a bear and a few backrow. I summon traptrix myrmeleo and follow up with a few of my own backrow. I resolve a memory of an adversary, putting me ahead in advantage, and slowly am able to work through his backrow and secure the game. I apologize for the vagueness of this, and every mirror match that follows, but the repetitiveness of this match up causes them to be less than memorable.
G1- My opponent wins the die roll and sets 2 back row, making me think that he is probably playing mermails. I open up subpar, and choose to summon a gorilla and attack directly. He drops a tragodeia , and I breathe a sigh of relief as fire fists have a good match up against pretty much any deck that plays trag. At one point he steals my monster with trag’s effect to make a Daigusto Emeral, and we have a ruling dispute as to whether or not he can activate Emeral’s effect with only 2 monsters in grave. Eventually the judge rules that he cannot, and I’m able to bear over the emerald and easily take the game from here.
G2- This time my opponent summons lyla, sets 2, and passes with a few good mills. My hand is less than great, with a bear, wolfbark, trap hole, dust tornado, and 2 irrelevant cards I can’t remember. Even though I can’t out his lyla, I choose to summon the bear in hopes of baiting a warning or something. Even if my bear gets run over on the next turn it’s okay because I have wolfbark to back it up. He has no response, so I set trap hole and dust tornado and pass. My only hope is that he blind’s my set dust tornado with lyla, but unfortunately he hits my trap hole and then proceeds to summon lumina, and drop a lot of damage whilst milling a lot of cards. The next turn he has an out to my wolfbark and I lose from there.
G3- This game I open up well with a healthy trap/monster ratio. I have answers to his tking, card trooper, and prohibition on bear. I’m able to resolve bear’s effect and take this one relatively easily.
G1- This ends up being a really long grind game. For a turn or two, the game state was something like his tiger king on board and bear in hand and me with an unknown set card. If at any point he summoned the bear and attacked he would have won, but fortunately for me he did not and when the opportunity presented itself I flipped my set bluff tenki and stole the game.
G2/3?- I actually don’t remember these games at all, sorry! I end up winning one way or another.
G1- Unfortunately I was unaware that Dirk was maining 2 copies of Full House, and I play right into one and instantly lose this game.
G2- This game turns into a trap war, and eventually I’m able to stick a Thunder King on board. Dirk is unable to draw an out and eventually the king takes it.
G3- Having never played against full house before, I made the mid game decision that the best way to play around it was to simplify the game state as much as possible. This led to me grabbing an MST off my duality and hitting his set Fiendish Chain. His other set card turned out to be full house which made my MST perfect, because it both dealt with his trap card, and caused the other one to be dead for the rest of the game. I should have easily won this game after triggering my bear effect the next turn, but unfortunately I make a crucial misplay in searching out a gyokkou, instead of searching out a tenki, popping the set card with gorilla, and then making a cardinal to shut off Dirk’s wolfbarks. I’m unable to recover from Dirk’s wolfbark plays and lose this game shortly afterwards.
G1- I lose the die roll but somehow manage to win the game. I don’t actually remember much of this match at all.
G2- He opens 2 back row, cardcar and passes. Had I drawn bear or tenki I would have most likely won this game, but unfortunately I don’t open any monsters. I still choose to MST both of his back row before setting and passing. I knew that Dalton plays 2 copies of full house, and full house is fundamentally awful in a simplified game state so I do believe clearing his back row was the correct play. Also, had I hit a set forbidden lance it would allow my traps to resolve and keep the game from snowballing out of control. I’m able to hang in the game for a while but draw a monster card too late and eventually lose this one.
G3- We end up in an awkward wolfbark war and Dalton ends up getting this one. I’m pretty sure that I misplayed at some point, but the details are kind of blurry so its hard for me to explain exactly how.
G1- So for the second event in a row I find myself on the bubble. I know that I’m playing against prophecies, so when I see my opening hand of effect veiler and fiendish chain I think I’m in a good position. I go first and choose to summon gorilla and set 2 before passing. I believe that this is the correct play unless he A) has outs to both of my back rows, and is still able to power/master over my gorilla B) opens priestess +3 spellbooks. The odds were in my favor, but unfortunately for me he has the priestess and is able to clear through my back row and stick a tower on board. I don’t have an out to it and this game soon snowballs out of my control.
G2- I don’t remember much of this game, but I know that my sided veilers and D.D. crow kept him from ever getting anywhere and I end up taking this one.
G3- He opens up magician and fist pumps when I don’t have the effect veiler. He proceeds to search spellbook crescent and chooses secrets, masters, and tower. I end up giving him a tower and he is forced to play it and pass after setting a few back row. Generally speaking you should never search crescent unless you have a guaranteed way to continue the spellbook “combo”, so I believe that this was a misplay on his part. I have the out to his tower, and he top decks nothing relevant for a few turns. On his last turn to do something, he summons a temperance which is met with an effect veiler. After a short dispute about whether or not effect veiler would negate temperance, he eventually is forced to pass and I attack for game the next turn.
I end up barely making the top cut, finishing in 16th place. My friends and I discuss everyone’s top 16 matches over a great meal at Bw3’s and I go to bed that night feeling extremely confident!
G1- I win the die roll and open up triple duality, cardcar, MST, and bottomless. Duality searches out a Bear, and I set my backrow and get the +1 off cardcar. On his turn he makes a weird combo that ends with a field of ocea, pike, and linde. I hold my bth through it all and eat the 4500 damage. He then makes an angineer with the linde/ocea and passes to me. On my turn I duality into a wolfbark, summon bear, and declare an attack on his angineer. He uses its effect and I set mirror force, torrential tribute, and a forbidden lance before passing. Because of my set mirror force, I’m able to wait till the last possible minute to torrential, which I do when he proceeds to drop a megalo, a linde, and finally a tidal on board. I make a somewhat questionable decision here by lancing my bear, thinking that I could just mirror force to protect him for the next turn. He brings out an ocea (I think?) with linde, and I end up deciding that it isn’t even worth it to use the mirror force to save bear. The next turn I’m able to make a dweller with wolfbark. I bottomless his tidal the next turn and he’s unable to out my dweller backed up with traps.
G2- This game Bryan opens up the mermail combo, ending with angineer, bahamut shark, abysstrite, and 2 backrow. I start off the game with duality and pull a clutch dark hole. The hole leaves his board with a linde and a bahamut shark. I tenki for a bear, run over his linde, and then pop his megalo with bear’s effect. The next turn his bahamut shark effect is met with a solemn warning, and Bryan is never able to recover.
G1- I open very strong, on top of going first to Jono’s subpar hand. I’m able to trigger an early bear effect which nets me an early lead in the game. At one point in the game, we end up in a wolfbark war and I topdeck a dimensional prison. I’m forced not to set this, as he would be able to respond with an exciton knight the next turn and seal the game. A turn later I topdeck lance to go with the wolfbark/prison in my hand to his field of Honors Ark and a set card. The wolfbark summon goes through, and I make the decision to set both of my cards and pass without overlaying. Because we are given our opponent’s decklists in advance, I know that Jono plays a copy of black horn of heaven. I cannot afford to get horn’d at this point, so I take the risk of not overlaying, to go for the blow out win the next turn. The only way this could go wrong would be if Jono happened to topdeck one of his very few remaining monsters, and chose to yolo through my 2 set backrow. Fortunately he topdecks a set card instead, and the game ends on the next turn.
G2- This game you’ll notice that I again choose to double blind mst before passing. This accomplishes a lot for me. Jono is side decking 2 copies of full house, so as we already discussed simplifying the game state will usually make these cards dead. I also had the opportunity to blind mst a solemn warning, allowing my cardcar to go through. Finally, I could have hit a set forbidden lance, allowing my trap cards to go through and keeping Jono from resolving a clutch bear effect. The next turn I’m able to land a Thunder king on board, and despite topdecking a duality and 2 tenkis the next couple of turns, Jono is unable to get the king off the board and I eventually attack for game.
You watch this match here!
G1- Unfortunately I lose this dice roll, and pat opens up relatively strong with an undine and 3 set cards. I’m able to resolve a bear effect, and choose to search out a gyokkou. I do this to force Pat’s reckless and hopefully leave him in a bad position. I have the MST for his first sphere, but Pat has a second and he’s able to get the +1 with a pike/marksman combo. After that I do not have enough backrow to stop Patrick’s waterfall of monsters and lose this game.
G2- Thanks to a clutch MST topdeck I’m able to stop an abyss sphere and resolve a bears effect, putting be really ahead in this game. I have warning for Hoban’s pike the next turn and take this game decisively.
G3- Unfortunately in this game I had not yet made the realization that Pat will almost always go off on his second turn, so I make the mistake of summoning traptrix myrmeleo from my hand, instead of thunder king. Patrick proceeds to summon his entire hand and takes complete control of the board, making my in hand thunder king completely dead. I don’t have an out to his on board gaios and I lose the game quickly from here.
Unfortunately I lose my 2nd top 4 match in the same month and am sent to the losers bracket to play for the third place trophy. As disappointing as this was, it did allow me to commentate in the finals of the tournament which was a really great experience! If you didn’t see it the first time, you can watch that video here.
G1- I win the die roll, but accidentally leave in a copy of soul drain from my previous match. The head judge rules that I fix my deck and we start the match like normal, so I do so and let my opponent go first instead. A topdeck mst allows a bear poke to go through, and my deck does what it does and snowballs out of control from there. At one point my play of summoning gorilla is questioned by the commentators, but I believe it was the correct play for several reasons. 1) my opponent never gave any indication that one of his set cards was torrent, 2) the odds were heavily in my favor that his set card was not a torrent, 3) generally speaking you want to be very aggressive against harpies or you can get punished by hysteric party, or out grinded by hunting ground/hysteric signs, 4) if I was able to resolve the gorillas effect I would have more or less sealed the game. Later in the same game I play into a blackhorn, and it’s worth mentioning that I had neglected to look at the trap line up of Ian’s deck at all so I hadn’t expected it.
G2- This game Ian opens up a combo that is supposed to end with a queen djinn and a dracossack, but he doesn’t see it and ends with a much less threatening field of maestroke. I blind Ian’s set card because I need tenki to resolve to make the wolfbark in my hand live. On Ian’s next turn I have the out to hunting ground and am able to stick a tigerking on board to recruit another bear and run over maestroke. Even with Ian resolving a +1 chidori he doesn’t have the traps to stop my pushes and I take this game decisively.
That concludes my first article for ARG! I hope that you enjoyed this and looked forward to my article next week on what I believe to be the two most important aspects of competitive Yu-Gi-Oh. Information gathering, and decision making.
-Jordan Christoper Winters