Billy Brake 3rd Place YCS San Mateo – Trigon Dragons Explained

9.1Hello Yugioh Community! I am back from YCS San Mateo where I finished in 3rd placed yet again! I did not get that elusive third title, but this was my 9th time making it to the top 4 or better out of my 16 major event tops. At least once I get into single elimination portion of the event I manage to do pretty well and one day hopefully this will result in a few more wins! I took a version of Trigon-Dragon Rulers almost all the way to the top this past weekend, being eliminated just short by the eventual champion Merlin, he is quite the duelist and he deserved his first ever major event win! Despite not being able to take it all, my deck worked quite well throughout the weekend and I will have another chance to take home a title in a few days at the ARG Circuit Series in Columbus, Ohio this weekend! Luckily, I am going to spill my decks strongest and most powerful combos so anyone can use them and hopefully you all will enjoy!


Question of the Article:
Do you think that Dragon Ruler’s(Minimum of 9 Dragon Ruler’s in a deck) are the most dominant deck a format has ever seen since the legendary Tele-Dad format?

Before I go into the deck, Here is a round by round break down of what I faced for informational purposes. I will mark my wins with a W and losses with an L.

Round 1 – Spell Book (W)
Round 2 - Dragon Ruler (W)
Round 3 – Dragon Ruler (W)
Round 4 – Dragunity Ruler (W)
Round 5 – Dragon Ruler (W)
Round 6 – Dragon Ruler (L)
Round 7 – Evilswarm (W)
Round 8 – Mermail (W)
Round 9 – Dragon Ruler (W)
Round 10 – Dragon Ruler (W)
Round 11 – Dragunity Ruler (L)

Top 32 – Evilswarm (W)
Top 16 – Evilswarm (W)
Top 8 – Geargia (W)
Top 4 – Dragon Ruler (L)
3rd/4th Playoff - Dragunity Ruler (W)

-The Deck-
First off I will go ahead and post my deck that I built with fellow duelist and one of my best friends Robert Boyajian if you haven’t already taken a look at it yet on the ARG Facebook page.

[ccDeck="Main Deck"]3 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos:3 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders:3 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms:3 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls:3 Maxx “C”:2 Debris Dragon:2 Dragunity Corsesca:1 Flamvell Guard:1 Swift Scarecrow:1 Trigon:3 Mystical Space Typhoon:3 Sacred Sword of Seven Stars:3 Dragon Ravine:2 Terraforming:1 Cards of Consonance:3 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast:2 Vanity’s Emptiness:1 Return From the Different Dimension[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Extra Deck"]3 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack:2 Number 11 Big Eye:2 Ancient Fairy Dragon :1 Star Eater:1 Stardust Dragon:1 Black Rose Dragon:1 Scrap Dragon:1 Crimson Blader:1 Colossal Fighter:1 Thought Ruler Archfiend:1 Armory Arm[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Side Deck"]2 D.D. Crow:3 XYZ Encore:3 DNA Surgery:2 Debunk:2 Mind Crush:1 Bottomless Trap Hole:1 Deck Devastation Virus:1 Dust Tornado[/ccDeck]

buylist

-The Basic and Optimal Plays-
Most people at first glance of this deck list would have the reaction of, “OH BOY ANOTHER DRAGON RULER DECK LIST!” and while this may be the case Mr. Boyajian and I came up with quite the turn 1 combo barring our opponent’s having any sort of hand traps. While this deck doesn’t focus around this awesome turn one play, we built the deck to be able to consistently pull it off and be able to manage and win the game even when it doesn’t; think of the play I am about to show you as an added bonus that is gained just by simply running two copies of Ancient Fairy Dragon in the Extra deck. For the sake of demonstration I am going to show you the one of the most optimal turn 1 openings, but keep in mind there are a million different scenarios and since Dragon Ruler’s are one of the best toolbox-like decks of all times there are many different combinations of cards that can result in a formidable field.

AncientFairyDragon-CT06-EN-ScR-LEOpening Hand – [ccProd]Dragon Ravine[/ccProd], [ccProd]Debris Dragon[/ccProd], [ccProd]Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls[/ccProd] Redox, [ccProd]Dragon Ruler of Boulders[/ccProd] plus any 2 cards(These can influence the combo you do, but for this they will just be irrelevant). Also keep in mind the Tidal and Redox can be any two Dragon Ruler’s, even the same one in most cases won’t make a difference.

Activate [ccProd]Dragon Ravine[/ccProd] – Discard Tidal to send [ccProd]Trigon[/ccProd] to the graveyard; Summon [ccProd]Debris Dragon[/ccProd] bringing back [ccProd]Trigon[/ccProd] then synchro summon for [ccProd]Ancient Fairy Dragon[/ccProd]; Use [ccProd]Ancient Fairy Dragon[/ccProd]’s effect to destroy the Ravine and add another copy to your hand.

Current Situation – 9000 life points; Ancient Fairy Dragon on Field; Dragon Ravine, [ccProd]Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders[/ccProd] and two other cards in hand; [ccProd]Debris Dragon[/ccProd], [ccProd]Trigon[/ccProd], and Tidal in Grave; All Big Dragon’s effect haven’t been used.

Activate the 2nd Dragon Ravine discarding Redox to send Tempest to the Graveyard; Banish Tempest and Debris Dragon to special summon Redox to the field in Defense position. Search your deck for Tempest (Don’t let your opponent say you didn’t activate it’s effect), and add Debris Dragon from your deck to your hand.trigon

Current Situation- 9000 life points; Ancient Fairy Dragon, Redox, and 2nd Dragon Ravine(used) on field; Debris Dragon, Tidal, and two other cards in hand; Trigon in grave; Redox and Tempest effects have been used.

Activate Ancient Fairy Dragon’s effect to special summon Debris Dragon from hand to field in face-up Defense Position. Overlay with Redox and Ancient Fairy Dragon for [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccProd]. Detach Ancient Fairy Dragon to Special summon two level 3 tokens to the field. Synchro Summon with 1 token and [ccProd]Debris Dragon[/ccProd] for the 2nd Ancient Fairy Dragon. Use Ancient Fairy Dragon’s effect to add the 3rd [ccProd]Dragon Ravine[/ccProd] to hand and gain 1000 lifepoints. Banish Debris Dragon and Ancient Fairy Dragon to Special Summon Tidal from the grave. Then, Overlay with the 2nd Ancient Fairy Dragon and Tidal to special summon a 2nd Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack and use his effect to special summon 2 more tokens to the field.

 

Ending Situation – 10,000 Life points; 2 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack with 3 Mecha Phantom Beast tokens on the field; 3rd Dragon Ravine and the two other cards you started with in hand.

There you have the most basic version of the play and as you can see there are many different variables to take into account that can have you end with all of your different Dragon Rulers either in the grave or hand. By ending with the 3rd Dragon Ravine in hand, that means you are going to easily be able to have a follow-up play if your opponent is able to break your pretty rock hard set-up. Keep in mind, the most overlooked part of this combo is the life gain. In the Dragon Mirror match, your life points are recourses and can make all of the difference in deciding the match. Despite this amazing opener being the reason I fell in love with this deck, I was only able to pull it off a few times throughout the tournament, meaning my opponent’s had the opportunity to go first or perhaps they just had [ccProd]Maxx “C”[/ccProd], but that is the beauty of the deck, “Life, it finds a way”.


“Doesn’t Maxx “C” just destroy this Combo!?” “I’ll just use Effect Veiler on your Debris!”

This seems to be a question that comes up a lot, while Maxx “C” does prevent this solid set-up, the trade really isn’t that bad depending on the other cards you may or may not have opened up with. At worst if they Maxx “C” the Debris Dragon summon, you still go ahead and continue to the first Ancient Fairy Dragon, pop your first Dragon Ravine to gain 1000 and add the 2nd Ravine to hand and hopefully have some traps to fight off your opponent. So they end up getting their plus one, but they are way behind in terms of the game state and a face-up Ancient Fairy Dragon can be quite scary and must be dealt with immediately or else there may be severe consequences.

As far as [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd] is concerned, his popularity has dropped drastically and for good reason. With the release of Star Eater, the minus one that is [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd], very rarely does enough damage to a Dragon Ruler player to warrant its use. If your hand is good enough; having another copy of Dragon Ravine and any Dragon Ruler for example, means you could still probably make a Dracossack, use its tokens to make another Ancient Fairy Dragon and continue. Now if they know the combo that is coming and hold the Effect Veiler for the Dracossack, then it could be more devastating, but you would still probably be able to produce a field of [ccProd]Star Eater[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccProd], just depending on the hand you were dealt.


“Why Only 1 Cards of Consonance”

In our Hotel room the night before, Robert Boyajian and I got into a Yugi-heated conversation about this card in particular. At the time we were both running two copies of [ccProd]Cards of Consonance[/ccProd] putting our decks at 41 and he was trying to convince me of it’s like of necessity while I was arguing to the point of wanting to have consistent openings and being able to dig for [ccProd]Return from the Different Dimension[/ccProd]. His points were quite valid and we ended up meeting in the middle and both decide to run 1 copy and have our decks at 40 in the main. It is a card that is almost always sided out, either because of the risk of [ccProd]Mystical Refpannel[/ccProd] or the fact it does nothing to help any particular match-up. After the event and looking back on it I almost wish I did not play this card at all. It was very underwhelming and simply takes away from what we are trying to do with the deck more than is helps. Do not be surprised if you do not see this card in my deck list at the upcoming ARG Circuit Columbus this weekend.


“Phoenix Wing Wind Blast over Raigeki Break?”

Easily one of the most debated choices in most decks this format. After all of the testing that I have done I came to the decision that [ccProd]Phoenix Wing Wind Blast[/ccProd] is strictly better in most scenarios and not only help me deal with problem cards, it can just outright win the game. With all of the Dragon Ruler and Dragunity Ruler decks running around it is hard to not think more often than not, I will be facing down a [ccProd]Stardust Dragon[/ccProd] or a Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack a time or twoPhoenix Wing Wind Blast and [ccProd]Raigeki Break[/ccProd] would just not cut it here. This makes Phoenix Wing Wind Blast so much better when going second. It also has the ability to cut an opposing Dragon duelist off from whatever color they summon if they banish any other Dragon Ruler. For example, your opponent banishes a Tidal and a Tempest in order to Special Summon a Blaster to the field. You allow the effect to Special take place so the Blaster comes to the field; then when your opponent triggers his other Dragon Ruler’s effects to search you can activate Phoenix Wing Wind Blast to put the Blaster on top of the opponent’s deck. Since the chain resolves backwards the Blaster returns to the top, then the opponent must search for Tempest and Tidal, shuffling their Blaster into their deck cutting them off for the time being. This play is pretty optimal if they banish the two Dragon Ruler’s from hand to summon the Blaster, a typical play from a mediocre Dragon Ruler hand, but more likey than not, this play can make their hand almost unplayable. On top of its many useful tricks I the mirror I find it just as good against all of the rouge decks out there. Let’s say you open up with 2 copies of Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and you set them both. Your opponent then mirrors your move and passes to you. This means more likely than not, they had no really good play on turn one and are relying on their back rows to get set-up. If you were to put both of the cards they set on top of their deck, chances are you have just won the game. They essentially have now lost two draw phases and you were able to deal with their back row at the same time. These are just a few of the reasons we decided to go with Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, it just seems to be an all around better card.

“YOU MAIN 3 MST!?”
For those who have not figured it out yet, [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd] is one of the best cards the current format. It fell mstout of popularity of the Nationals seasons due to its lack of effectiveness, but now with Field Spells and trap cards “that don’t let you play” being so popular it has become a staple at 3 in my eyes. Heavy Storm being forbidden may have something to do with this, but even if we still had our mass spell and trap removal, I still think Mystical Space Typhoon’s would still indeed be one of the best cards of this format. It is offensive, and for the first time in awhile, can be used quite defensively. In the mirror match it can protect your Dragon Ravine by being chained when your opponent attempts to activate a field spell, insuring the survival of the key Ravine. You can chain it to pop a flipped [ccProd]Vanity’s Emptiness[/ccProd] and if they already have it face-up you can go after any other spell and trap they have to get some easy plusses. Return from the Different Dimension has become such a problem that blind MST’ing face-downs might be a player’s only chance to win. At least twice at YCS San Mateo, I was playing a Mirror Match and on their turn I used Vanity’s Emptiness to stop their assault and on my turn would use Mystical Space Typhoon to not only destroy an opposing back row, but I would hit a [ccProd]Return from the Different Dimension[/ccProd] and since Vanity’s Emptiness was still face-up on the field they wouldn’t even have a chance to activate it. This card is amazing and running any less than three copies currently seems foolish in my eyes.


Conclusion:
Even though I did not get that long sought after 3rd win, I can’t complain with a 3rd place finish. I had a great weekend and the deck performed well. Sadly, its co-creator Robby Boyajian lost out on the bubble (Round 11) and was not able to make the top cut with me. The Dragon Ruler mirror match can be quite difficult, but with the right main deck and knowing what to do in each scenario is half the battle. After the ARG Circuit Series Ft. Worth I made sure I sat down and practiced until I had it down like breathing. It is still quite tough to make the correct play with this deck with all of the variables you must account for so if you are a struggling duelist attempting to learn Dragon Ruler’s just hang in there. Even the best players in this game aren’t going to always make the right play, it is just important that you learn from your mistakes and let the past fuel you. I hope some of the insight I shared about my deck will be helpful! I will be at the ARG Circuit in Columbus this weekend (October 12-13) and I hope to see everyone there! If you have any comments feel free to leave them down below!

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-Billy Brake

Discussion

comments

  • Joseph Barnes

    Billy Brake! May you post an article on how/why you started to work with ARG? (like a bio)

    I also want to work with you guys, but in due time… check up on this then 2 years pass I’ll be dueling Irl. Have TOO much love for the game. http://xtrazoneygo.blogspot.com/

  • Max

    “Since the chain resolves backwards the Blaster returns to the top, then the opponent must search for Tempest and Tidal, shuffling their Blaster into their deck cutting them off for the time being. ” Does this sentence means that Tempest and Tidal would miss the timing to get their search? Sorry, i am don’t really understand the miss timing thing. ^_^

  • Noah LaRosa

    Not gonna lie… I used to not think of you as a great Duelist nor creative… But this? Dude, you just got a supporting fan. This kinda of build makes me not as unhappy to have a format(no pun intended) Ruled by Dragons

  • Alex Davis

    Great read and great placement, despite not winning. I agree heavily with the MST argument. There are just too many traps and whatnot out there that stunt a DR deck’s plays before they can get started to not main 3.

  • Guest

    2 Big Eye?

  • rob

    What do you side in, and out in the dragon mirror

  • Pcgamer34

    Ok will do main three mst good job Billy.

  • Marek Masane Foltin

    Right before the “Don’t let your opponent say you didn’t activate it’s effect.” line, you have a mistake. You wrote ”banish Trigon” where I believe was supposed to be ”banish Tempest”. Cool article though. Keep it up Billy. ^^

  • BenRM

    Props for this line, “Don’t let your opponent say you didn’t activate it’s effect.” Very funny.
    Also, great combo.

    • Alvin Yakitori

      I thought the line was funny too.
      But then I looked again and found
      it even funnier because the words immediately before the parenthetical
      insert, Billy wrote, “Banish Trigon and Debris Dragon to special summon
      Redox to the field in Defense position. Search your deck for Tempest”.
      I don’t think that’s how that works…

      • Sajdi

        that is probably a typo I think. After you use your 2nd Ravine, you send Tempest, then banish Tempest+Debris for Redox, search Debris and use Ancient Fairy’s effect to Special Summon Debris.

      • Jefferson Gutierritos

        Definitely a typo

  • Jared Powell

    I didn’t realize it was legal to run a MtG card in a deck.