Building a Championship with Billy Brake

Hello Yugioh Community! For those of you who don’t know, YCS Toronto took place this past weekend. I was fortunate enough to be able to walk away with my first ever 1st place finish at a major event! It was my 10th time to top a major event and words can’t describe how it felt to finally win! I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and have been rooting for me to get a victory! It was a long road, but I can now call myself a Champion! Today I am going to let everyone in on what deck I used to win YCS Toronto and the reasoning behind my card choices.

Pre-Tournament Preparation – Deciding what to use!
There is actually a pretty funny story of about how the Tengu/Tour Guide/Plant deck I used for this YCS came about. It all started right after the ruling on XYZ materials would not get their “sent to the graveyard” effects. A Good friend of mine named Jesse Samek texted me one day talking about what decks were options to run for YCS Toronto since we both would be attending. He told me to test out a deck with a Destiny Hero engine. I built one up with Reborn Tengu and Tour Guide From the Underworld and it seemed to work pretty well. The only problem I had with it was the Destiny Heroes themselves. So as I was play testing I came to the realization that maybe if I took out the Destiny Hero engine and replaced it with something I liked better and thought would perform well, it would in fact be the best deck. I ended up trying out the plant engine and I quickly came to the conclusion that even though the ban list did its fair share to hurt the plant deck, it still might be the top deck to use. My conclusions were quickly reaffirmed later that same night as I had a conversation with another good friend and fellow Alter-Reality Writer – Jeff Jones. He informed me that he had just started messing around with plants and really thought they could be a contender. Ever since that day about 3 weeks ago the only deck I began to test was Plants and I was on a mission to find the best build to give me the best odds to win YCS Toronto!
I went through many versions of my plant deck. I luckily had a regional the weekend before YCS Toronto so I would have a chance to play around in a semi-big tournament to test out my options. In this regional I had decided to use a build with Tragoedia, Junk Synchron, Chaos Sorcerer, and Cyber Valley. I ended up not having a very successful showing, but knew that playing had helped me immensely. I learned what cards in the main deck and side deck I did not like and what problems the deck had that needed to be corrected. I had a major consistency error with the cards that I mentioned above so I knew that all of them had to come out. It was easy for me to tell from this event that Agents were probably going to be the most used deck at YCS Toronto so I would have to fix my deck accordingly. I strongly feel that if I did not have this tournament I might have gone to YCS Toronto with a very similar deck like the one I used and would have had just as bad of a showing. The one thing to take away from this is that if you go to a major tournament and don’t fare so well always look on the bright side of things. If you lose, figure out what it is that made you lose and make yourself stronger.

Without further adieu, I will go ahead and post my deck list and then go over why I made certain card choices!
Main Deck: 41
Monsters 22
3 Tour Guide From The Under World
3 Reborn Tengu
2 Thunder King Rai-Oh
2 Effect Veiler
2 Maxx “C”
1 Debris Dragon
1 Dandylion
1 Lonefire Blossom
1 Glow-Up Bulb
1 Spore
1 Caius The Shadow Monarch
1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning
1 Gorz, Emissary of Darkness
1 Sangan
1 Spirit Reaper

2 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Enemy Controller
1 Heavy Storm
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Mind Control
1 One for One
1 Book of Moon
1 Foolish Burial
1 Scapegoat

2 Solemn Warning
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Call of The Haunted
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Trap Dustshoot

Side Deck:15
2 Cyber Dragon
2 D.D. Crow
2 Leeching The Light
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Dust Tornado
1 Chain Disappearance
1 Debunk
2 Mind Crush
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon

Extra Deck:15
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Ancient Fairy Dragon
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Orient Dragon
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Brionac, Dragon of The Ice Barrier
1Trishula, Dragon of The Ice Barrier
1 Formula Synchron
1 T.G. Hyper Librarian
1 Armory Arm
1 Ally of Justice Catastor
1 Number 17:Leviathan Dragon
1 Steelswarm Roach
1 Leviair The Sea Dragon
1 Number 39: Utopia

A Look at the Monsters:
To start things off I have all of the usual suspects: 3 Rebron tengu, 3 Tour Guide from the Underworld,Sangan, Lonefire Blosson, Dandyion, Glow-Up Bulb, Spore, and Debris Dragon. These 12 cards are pretty much all staple in a Tengu-TGU plant deck.
I chose to run 2 copies of Maxx “C” and 2 copies of Effect Veiler because in this current format both of these cards can be huge. If you are playing against Agents, Maxx “C” can help you retain the edge when your opponent summons a Venus and trys to go off on you, Effect Veiler can do the same and also stop Master Hyperion from destroying your cards. I chose to run a combination of each of them because drawing 1 Maxx “C” and 1 Effect Veiler can give you more plays as opposed to drawing 2 copies of either of them, I think that having options in your deck can be very important. These cards were pretty key in my success.
I main decked 2 copies of Thunder King Rai-Oh. This was more of a meta call than anything else. I decided that Agents, Plants, Gladiator Beast, and other decks that might possibly be using Tour Guide would be the most popular. Thunder King is a good way to fight off a turn 1 Tour Guide making sure they don’t get their Sangan search and he can really put a stop on what the Agent deck can do. Since I figured most of the field would be Agents I thought he would go perfectly in the main. He performed just as well as I knew he would.
Caius the Shadow Monarch is a card I added into my deck a few days before the event took place. I had been going back and forth between him and Chaos Sorcerer ever since I built the deck. He won my heart since I felt he was a strong follow up after a turn 1 Tour Guide and I wanted to make sure my deck had a decent consistency to it. I had problems drawing a dead Chaos Sorcerer. He performed fairly well, he was a card I sided out a lot, but I know in certain games if he has been a Sorcerer I would have guaranteed lost.
I think that ever deck this format should main deck a copy of Gorz, The Emissary of Darkness. He is better than he has ever been. With lots of back row removal he can really shine. This card is just too good not to play. If you are able to flip over a Mystical Space Typhoon in response to an opponent’s attack and then drop a surprise Gorz, it can be a game ender. I did not get the opportunity to drop him that much, but when I was able to he put in his fair share of work.
Last, but not least Spirit Reaper! I had decided that I would run a 41st card a couple of day before the YCS and it was going to be good ol’ fashioned Reaper! The main reasoning behind using this card was for the Agent match-up. I felt that half of my matches would be against Agents I wanted to make sure I had an ace up my sleeve. If they were able to drop Archlord Kristya, there were very few outs in my deck, so I added him in help stall out if the situation occurred. He is also a pretty good card against almost any deck. I felt there would never be a time I would draw him and think he was going to harm me. Spirit Reaper is one of those cards that you know your opponent will have to waste at least 1 card to get rid of him. I am very glad I chose to use him; he did his work in getting me to my first championship.

A Look at the Spells:
Jeff Jones had given me the idea to main deck 2 copies of Enemy Controller. This card is by far one of the best spells in the deck. It has so many uses with Dandylion tokens or in my deck Scapegoat tokens. Simply a hand with Glow-Up Bulb and Enemy Controller would give me a way to get rid of my opponents monsters and give myself a Synchro. Tributing a Reborn Tengu to take their monster and then XYZ summon with it can be absolutely devastating! This was one of my favorite cards in the deck and I could not have won without it.
The only other spell that might stand out of the ordinary would be Scapegoat. This card traditionally has not been in many plant decks. When I first built the deck with Destiny Heroes instead of the plant engine I used this card with Destiny Hero – Plasma and when I made the change over I had left Scapegoat in to give it a try. It was one of the best things I have ever done. This card was by far my favorite spell in the deck, any time I drew it I felt I was going to win. If I have Scapegoat and Lonefire Blossom I can make almost any synchro I want. I activate Scapegoats on the end phase of my opponent’s turn. I can then summon Lonefire and then pop to special summon Spore from my deck. I synchro with one of the tokens to make a Formula Sychron in order to draw a card. My live spore can come back as a Level 4 tuner that I can synch with my remaing 3 tokens to make a 5, 6, or 7. So I can make a T.G. Hyper Libraian, then synchro the Formula with the other 2 Tokens to make an Armory Arm to net me another draw and also boost my Hyper Librarian to 3400 atk with burn damage. I can also make a Trishula with Formula, the tokens , and the Level 5 I make. I am not going to go into all the combos, but as you can see having Scapegoat can really open up a lot of options for the deck. This card is my MVP of the weekend!

A Look at the Traps:
All of the Trap cards I decided to use were pretty standard. I didn’t use Mirror Force of Bottomless Traphole in my main deck simply because I felt if you played too many trap cards that you would have to set, that not only are you going to be more open to a Heavy Storm, but it would give you clogged hands. I only used 1 copy of Call of The Haunted because when I had tested it the card performed well, but I never really enjoyed drawing 2 copies of the card. I went with what I felt would give my deck the most consistency. I wouldn’t change a thing about this line up.

A Look at the Side Deck
I went with 2 Copies of Cyber Dragon and 1 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon to help up in all of the anti-meta matchups. I felt since I was siding Cyber Dragon I had to side the fusion just in case I found myself on the opposite side of a Gadget or Karakuri deck. The only other decks this card would go into the main would be Gravekeeper’s,Gladiator Beast, T.G.’s, and any other sort of deck with a lot of removal and beaters. He is a pretty good general side card to deal with a lot of rouge decks out there.
I sided 2 copies of D.D. Crow mainly for the mirror match. Being able to cut off your opponent’s Spore, Glow-Up Bulb , or Pot of Avarice can be huge! He also works well against Lightsworn, Frog Monarchs, and Zombies. I sided him in a couple times in the few mirrors I faced, it was nice to have him there, but I only played 2 mirror matches and he did come in handy in my top 8 match vs. Tristan. I also sided a Debunk and a Chain Disappearance as well for the mirror, I never really got to use these cards, but I think I would keep them in the side as they can be really helpful had a I played more mirror matches.
I originally sided in 2 Mind Crush and 2 copies of Bottomless Traphole against the Agent Match up, but half way through the day that changed. I began to only side the Bottomless as Mind Crush had proven to be ineffective. Bottomless put in work against all of the Agent decks I faced. It is another card that can help me prevent an Archlord Kristya drop and hits almost all of their monsters save Earth. Going back now I would probably take Mind Crush out of my side and try to fit in something that I feel would give me a better edge in other match-ups.
I sided a third copy of Mystical Space Typhoon and one copy of Dust Tornado. This was mainly for the Gravekeeper match up, but they would both go in against any anti-meta kind of deck that was back row dependent. My philosophy at this tournament was if I played against any GK’s I would side out all copies of cards in my deck that Necrovalley would negate and have 3 MST, Heavy Storm, and Dust Tornado to just eliminate their back rows, leaving them with a dead Necrovalley face up on the field. Both choices helped me a lot against my anti meta matchups and they will be staying in my current side deck.
I saved the best for last. My favorite card in my side deck for the weekend would have to be the two copies of Leeching The Light! I played against 8 Agent decks and any time I drew this card it would almost insure victory for me in that match up! My favorite play I had all weekend with this card would be in the last round of Day 1, Round 8, it was game 3 against Agents. I had a set Scapegoat and a Face-up Ally of Justice Catastor. My opponent had a face-up Gachi Gachi with 2 material and he Special Summoned a Master Hyperion to destroy my Catastor and attack my directly for 3100 damage and then set another monster. I activated Scapegoat during his end phase. On my turn I summoned a Spirit Reaper, switch all of my Goats to attack mode and activated Leeching the Light. This gave all 4 of my goats 3100 atk and Reaper 3400 atk. I attacked over his Master Hyperion with Spirit Reaper, his facedown Mystical Shine Ball, and then used Enemy Controller to tribute my goat token that had attacked to take his Gachi Gachi, my three remaing Goats each had 3500 attack and I was able to attack directly for 10,500 damage with three sheep tokens! This card made the Agent match up much much easier! Easily my side deck MVP for the weekend.

A Look at the Extra Deck:
Most of my options are pretty self explanatory. The only thing I am going to touch on is that I ended up cutting Arcanite Magician and Shooting Star Dragon to fit in Uptopia and Ancient Fairy Dragon. I mainly did this because I found myself needing another 7 star for my Debris Dragon and Ancient Fairy being a light monster for Black Luster was pretty helpful. Uptopia pretty much had the same reasoning behind him, if my Debris were to get Veiler’d and I had another 4 star I could still make a big light monster and run over my opponents. I was pretty happy with my extra deck in the tournament, I never found myself wishing that I has any other synchro in any situation.

I have been playing this game ever since I was 12 years old and to have finally won a Title means the world to me! Before every event I take a lot of time and effort into making sure that I will go into the tournament with the best deck that will give me a chance to win it all. This past weekend I was able to make it happen. I want to say thank you to everyone who has helped me and /or watched me grow into the player that I am today! I will continue to try and do my best at events and keep on winning! I hope this insight into my deck will help others when they are trying to build a deck to win their tournaments. Yugioh is a game that involves luck, but I believe that if you have the best deck and the know how to play, you increase your chances of doing will astronomically.

Jim (ARG) can no longer call me Lebron James he must refer to me as Dirk Nowitski.

Sincerely, Billy Brake

Thank you for reading! Don’t forget to comment below!