Hello everybody! I’m back this week with a Top 16 report from the ARGCS in Indianapolis. I only changed my deck from YCS Toronto by a few cards, so instead of re-explaining my deckbuilding process, I’ll start off talking about what changes I made since last time and then I’ll move onto a round-by-round account of my rounds. Let’s get started by taking a look at the deck I played:
2 Puppet Plant
3 Shaddoll Beast
2 Shaddoll Dragon
2 Shaddoll Squamata
1 Shaddoll Falco
1 Shaddoll Hedgehog
1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning
2 White Dragon Wyverbuster
2 Black Dragon Collaserpent
3 Raiden, the Hand of the Lightsworn
2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
3 Soul Charge
3 Upstart Goblin
3 Super Polymerization
3 Shaddoll Fusion
1 Allure of Darkness
1 Charge of the Light Brigade
2 Sinister Shadow Games
3 Vanity’s Emptiness
Side Deck: 15
1 Puppet Plant
1 Vanity’s Fiend
2 Flying “C”
2 Chaos Sorcerer
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Forbidden Lance
1 Mind Control
1 Sinister Shadow Games
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
Extra Deck: 15
3 El Shaddoll Construct
2 El Shaddoll Winda
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Stardust Spark Dragon
1 Crimson Blader
1 Arcanite Magician
1 Goyo Guardian
1 Number 61: Volcasaurus
2 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Number 106: Giant Hand
1 Abyss Dweller
In the main deck I only changed two cards from my deck in Toronto. I cut two Chaos Sorcerer for two main decked Puppet Plant. I tested Puppet Plant earlier in the format, right after Shaddolls first came out, but at the time found it to be underwhelming. Brandon Wigley texts me suggesting it and Vanity’s Fiend in the side for the mirror match. I tell him I didn’t like Puppet when I first tried it, but that was before the build with Lightsworn. I definitely thought it was worth retesting for this build as Raiden is a Warrior and Lyla is a Spellcaster, the two types that Puppet Plant steals. I jokingly suggested that we could go ahead and just main deck the card as it takes Dante and Pleiades when playing against Burning Abyss and it takes any Satellarknight. Brandon was under the impression that if they use Alpha to negate Puppet Plant, they wouldn’t draw a card, but when we asked Saturday morning they said they would draw.
After testing it, I came to realize that Puppet Plant was absolutely insane in the mirror match. It gave you such a huge advantage there, but didn’t end up being very good against Satellarknight. This conversation and playtesting took place the Thursday before the event, so we didn’t have as much time as we’d like to test it and didn’t test it against Burning Abyss at all.
Saturday morning I was still unsure whether or not I would use it in my main deck. The idea was that Shaddolls were the best deck and Puppet Plant gave you a huge advantage against them, while being at least decent against the other most played decks. If we could make it through the early rounds of the tournament where we were more likely to play against rogue decks, we’d have a big advantage in the later rounds where we were more likely to play mirror matches.
If I was going to play it, I knew I’d cut Chaos Sorcerer. Puppet Plant has a chance of being dead, so I wanted to cut another card that had the chance of being dead if I was to include it. I wasn’t a fan of Chaos Sorcerer in the Shaddoll mirror since they never leave extra deck monsters on the field that I might need to banish. That being said, I decided I was just going to play it safe and keep Sorcerers in the main and just side Puppets and had them written on my decklist until about 5 minutes before the tournament, but I was talking this over with Jerry Williams and he told me when he won, he had mained Electric Virus in Dragon Ruler format. I decided that to do well you have to take chances so I decided to take a chance and main Puppet Plant and hope to get through the earlier rounds.
I added Forbidden Lance to the side deck. Honestly, I meant to play it in Toronto, but I don’t own them so when I was making my side deck and looking through my box of options, I completely forgot it was an option. It’s excellent against Burning Abyss as you can protect Winda from Phoenix Wings and Karma Cuts.
I wanted Chaos Sorcerer against Burning Abyss to be able to banish Dante. I also wanted it against Satellarknight as a means of playing around Emptiness. Since he’s inherent, they’d have to preemptively flip Emptiness.
Vanity’s Fiend was a decent option for the mirror match. He wasn’t great by himself as he doesn’t provide a short enough clock and they’d have time to get to Squamata or Dragon via drawing them or Shadow Games to send Hedgehog. He also required some setup and wouldn’t do much when you were already behind. Those things being said, he’s incredibly powerful when he is combined with another monster like Construct to shorten the clock. What often ends up happening is you can attack your opponent’s set monsters with Vanity’s and they are forced to kill another monster on the field with Squamata instead of Vanity’s so the other monsters on the field don’t attack them for game.
Crimson Blader in the extra deck allowed me to leave extra deck monsters up on the field for the following turn. Being a fire worked well as they couldn’t use Super Polymerization to fuse with him.
I had access to a Giant Hand this time, so I cut Nightmare for it. They’re functionally the same, but Giant Hand is generic so I can make him with Raiden, Lyla, or Wyverbuster. Being 2000 attack is also great as it can shorten the opponent’s clock.
The Leveretts, Desmond and I head up to Indianapolis Friday. Indianapolis is one of my favorite cities and I’ve probably been to more events in Indianapolis than I have in any other city. I wish we had more time to enjoy the city on this trip, but school kept the trip pretty short.
Saturday morning we get showered, dressed, and head over to the convention center and we’re ready for round 1.
Vs Burning Abyss
Game 1: He wins the dice roll, but lets me go first. I quickly show him why you shouldn’t do that when I start with Fusion to make Construct and send Hedgehog. I grab Beast and tribute Construct for it, getting back my Fusion. I Soul Charge back the monsters I’d used with Fusion, use Construct to send Falco and set it. Then I set Sinister and Vanity’s. This is one of those games that if I were my opponent I would have just scooped to not reveal what deck he’s playing, but he tries to play it out which ends with me attacking for game next turn, now knowing what deck to side against.
Game 2: This game he chooses to go first. He controls the game with free Wing Blasts and Karma Cuts to keep my fusion off of the field.
Game 1: I had an all monster hand. He gets going with Yamato. Crane makes it so I can’t attack over and Turtle makes the flip effects useless. He keeps the pressure on and wins within a few turns after I draw a couple more monsters.
Game 2: His hand would have been ideal, if it contained Yamato. He had five traps including Shadow-Mirror, but with no way to actually apply pressure I quickly build advantage with Lylas and Shadow Games.
Game 3: I Super Polymerization his Yamato, which doesn’t leave him with much of a follow-up and puts me pretty far ahead.
Vs RJ Scarpelli
Game 1: I Lyla one backrow and get hit with Phoenix Wing. Next turn he makes Dante, swings, and passes. I’m pretty sure his set is Emptiness since he made Dante without fear of Fusion. It turns out that it was, thought I didn’t have Fusion. The following turn a Vanity’s Fiend comes down. He beats me down with it for a couple turns. The second turn he summons Mathematician too. I draw Dragon, but if I set it, he’ll just be able to tribute Mathematician to resummon it. Without an out to it, I lose.
Game 2: I start with Raiden. I have Soul Charge in hand, but don’t hit any Shaddolls or other monsters to summon back. He specials Cir and tributes for Vanity’s Fiend. He tries to attack, but Lance makes Fiend weaker than Raiden. It went pretty downhill for him after that.
Game 3: He lets me go first and a massive Soul Charge play keeps him out.
Game 1: This game I start out strong with Falco and double Sinister Shadow Games. Throwing Super Polymerization on Yamato into the mix and the game quickly ended.
Game 2: This game was the exact opposite of the first. It drug on for forever. I never got to Shaddoll monsters, which made my Fusions and Super Polymerizations completely dead. Eventually he made Susanawo with two Cranes to attack over what field I had for game.
Game 3: When this game started, there were only about three minutes left in the round. I looked at my opening hand of no playable cards and just passed. He started with Yamato and a couple of sets. I drew and had to pass again. He summoned Mikazuchi and swung directly again as the clock dwindled away, but I drew Charge of the Light Brigade to keep my hopes alive. I didn’t hit any lights off of Charge, but I got Raiden to try again. I hit a Lyla. I summoned Chaos Sorcerer and banished Yamato. He summoned another Yamato and had Mikazuchi attack Sorcerer and used Crane. He then had Yamato attack Raiden, forgetting that it was at 1900 because of the milled Lyla and didn’t have a Crane to pump it. Next turn he flipped Vanity’s when I tried to use Fusion. We were already in turns and I didn’t think I’d have enough turns to be able to make up from the early difference. I thought he’d just pass leaving me with one turn to do enough damage, but instead he used Duality to take Fiendish Chain, which turned off Vanity’s. Next turn I summoned a ton of monsters to just make up for the difference.
Game 1: My opening hand was once again unplayable, so I just passed. He started with Raiden and hit Beast. I assumed that I was out of the game at this point, but drew Puppet Plant which turned everything around. I made a Spark Emptiness lock that killed him in two turns.
Game 2: He summoned Lyla and passed, not hitting any Shaddolls. I used Fusion to make Construct and send Beast. This drew me Upstart which drew me BLS. BLS, Construct, and Shaddoll Dragon attacked over Lyla for exactly 9000.
Game 1: He starts out with Undine to send Dragoons and add Marksman. I attack over the Undine and don’t set the Vanity’s in my hand because he could have Sphere set since he added Marksman. He doesn’t flip a Sphere. Next turn he summons Pike and pitches the Marksman and adds Undine. I put him under Crimson Blader the following turn. He has Soul Charge to stay in the game, but it forces him to put XYZs on the field so Shaddoll Fusion finishes him off the following turn.
Game 2: Vanity’s Emptiness keeps him out of the game for quite some time. He ends up having to set Maxx “C”s to stay alive. Eventually he gets Undine to send Infantry and pop it. Then he drops Teus. The following turn I just drop all the cards that had been building up while Emptiness was there and get over the field that he made.
I was just going to double draw into top cut, but the eight round I give James Frazier the win instead of drawing because Desmond lost to him and James having a better record will help Desmond’s tie breakers.
I really wanted to win out in the morning because doing so would let me tie Adam Corn’s record for number of back-to-back round wins in a tournament. He won 23 matches in a row, winning an SJC and going undefeated at the next one until Top 4, before being disqualified. I was 13-0 in Toronto and 6-0 here, so winning the last four rounds would tie the record.
As fate would have it, that didn’t wind up being the case. I came into the next morning not even knowing what deck type my opponent was playing. Usually they post deck lists before top cut, but this time they were just going to give everyone their opponent’s deck list to review for a few minutes before the match.
I main decked Puppet Plant hoping to survive the swiss rounds, knowing that the majority of decks in top cut would likely be Shaddolls and that if I could make it to top cut, I’d be at an advantage. Unfortunately, in the first round of top cut I was paired up with someone who made a similar call and chose to main deck Shadow-Imprisonings, no doubt hoping for the same advantage.
Game 1: He wins the die roll and starts out with Armor and Shadow-Imprisoning. Without seeing a Lyla, there wasn’t much interaction and he swiftly took the game.
Game 2: I start with double Shadow Games, which got me started with Falco and Beast. He had a big Soul Charge a few turns later, but was forced into his extra deck to deal with my threatening field, which left him open to Fusion.
Game 3: He started out with Armor, Sanctum, and Non-Fusion Area. I summon Lyla and am met with Sanctum. I Soul Charge and pop the Non-Fusion Area. He flips Armor and grabs Arsenal. This gets him a second Armor. It turns out he had drawn Shadow-Imprisoning for his turn, which effectively ended the game.
A big congratulations to Jeff Jones for going on to get his third win at the last premier event of the format. We’re only a few days away from YCS Dallas, a little over a week from the ARG Circuit Series in Columbus Ohio, and just over two weeks away from the ARG Circuit Series in Des Moines, Iowa. I hope you guys come out to all three events as we kick off the new format in style. I’ll be back with another article in a couple of days to discuss my thoughts on the upcoming format. Until next time, play hard or go home!