I'm here with Jackie Bernal and Alyxander Lisgathe on Day 2 of ARGCS Seattle to talk about the Burning Abyss deck that Jackie took all the way to a Top 8 finish! This is her second ARG Top 8 of the 2014-2015 season, making her easily the best-performing female duelist of the year so far!
First, let's get started with the decklist that she was rocking this event!
Jackie Bernal - Burning Abyss
3 Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Rubic, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
2 Calcab, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
1 Alich, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Tour Guide from the Underworld
2 Vanity's Fiend
1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Rank-Up-Magic Astral Force
1 Foolish Burial
1 Allure of Darkness
1 Soul Charge
3 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
3 Karma Cut
3 Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss
2 Raigeki Break
2 Vanity's Emptiness
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
1 Solemn Warning
2 Caius the Shadow Monarch
2 Maxx "C"
3 System Down
1 Dark Hole
3 Fairy Wind
2 Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss
3 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
2 Downerd Magician
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Ghostrick Alucard
1 Number 47: Nightmare Shark
1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Chronomoly Crystal Chrononaut
1 Number C69 Heraldry Crest of Horror
1 Constellar Pleiades
Me: So guys, I have to ask first, why 44 cards? We've seen decks bounce to 50 or even 60 cards, or the standard 40, but rarely in between,
Alyx: After Iowa, she didn't want to take anything out because it had done so well but I knew she wanted to play all the new cards.
Me: Touching on those new cards from The New Challengers, which Burning Abyss cards were you the biggest fan of?
Jackie: I want to add another Alich, he's absolutely ridiculous. He's like a Breakthrough Skill alongside the discard traps that just put you so far ahead. But Fire Lake is insane but it's the reason that makes Burning Abyss the best deck. The card lets you generate such massive advantage to overwhelm your opponent.
Me: Yeah I noticed because you only ran the one Alich alongside two Calcab and three Rubic. But enough of the Burning Abyss monsters, how did you like the pair of Vanity's Fiend in the main?
Jackie: There was not a single matchup where it was dead. It really helps shore up the Shaddoll matchup which is arguably the worst matchup for Burning Abyss
Alyx: Speaking of Shaddolls, how many did you play?
Jackie: I played four, and dodged a fifth round 2 because I missed the round.
Me: So you missed a round, what's the story behind that?
Jackie: I missed round 2 because my friend Amanda Lapalme's contact messed up and I couldn't let her walk the streets blind and alone, so I walked back with her to the hotel to get her glasses. I came back and saw that we were well into Round 2 so I just asked the head judge not to drop me. Amanda was worried that she would have cost me a shot at Top 8, but I calmed her down and simply said, "Don't worry, I got this."
Alyx: It has to be noted that I volunteered to go back with them! I proceeded to lose the next round and not top. Karma baby.
Me: So we just had The New Challengers and the release of the new archetype, Qliphorts. What are your guys opinions on the deck?
Jackie: They don't have Fire Lake so I can't call them the best deck They're incredibly powerful but people haven't really figured out how to play against it so they just lose. It is so reliant on the early game and setting up a quick OTK, that if you drag out the down, it's really easy to shut them down.
Alyx: The deck can grind you out very quickly of resources and can represent a turn 2-4 kill. People just don't know how to play the deck, build it properly, or play against it. Playing Odd-Eyes is like playing Kuribandit in Dragon Rulers and Shaddolls, not optimal. You go through your deck so much that you don't need additional searches. I'd also love to point out that she's a genius for wanting to Side Deck System Down against Qliphorts. It keeps them out of the Extra Deck, shutting down any potential Pendulum Summon plays.
Jackie: After about Turn 4 the deck just runs out of steam so you're able to shut them down.
Alyx: But I have to give it credit that it is definitely the deck with the most potential. Looking back at ARGCS Atlantic City, Satellarknights dominated because people hadn't figured out quite yet on how to properly build Shaddolls.
Me: On that note of referencing a previous circuit, how do you guys enjoy the Circuit Series?
Jackie: I honestly prefer Circuits over YCS's and regionals. I'm a big fan of how well the tournament is run. I hate not being able to eat. At an ARG event I am able to get some rest and rejuvenate myself. Day 2 of YCSs are like the worst days of my life.
Alyx: I love the coverage. The coverage is what makes ARG events for me. YCS coverage is incredibly poor inside the United States. I love watching foreign tournaments and ARGLive gives me a chance to do that as well.
Jackie: I love watching the past coverage. We're both too busy to test so watching the VODs gives us a chance to see how people play.
Alyx: Recently I bought my ARG subscription, and it allowed me to teach Jackie some cool new plays by watching past matches on the Youtube Channel and the VODs. They give you a great resource to learn from when you can see the good players on the top tables!
Me: Well thank you for your time guys and have fun on the casting table!
Alyx and Jackie: Thanks a lot!