All posts in Patrick Hoban

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Since their release in February, Nekroz have utterly dominated the competitive scene. They have accumulated at least half of the spots in top cut of every single tournament leading up to last weekend’s North American World Championship Qualifier. Despite being more powerful and more consistent than every other deck in the game, it was a Burning Abyss mirror match that would determine the champion of the third largest tournament in this game’s history. The tournament, format, and season are over, but it’s important to reflect on previous events to see what might hold true for tournaments that have yet to Read more


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Whether they are playing for the prizes, the glory, for fun, or just for a seat at the table, duelists from across North America are toiling away in preparation for this weekend’s World Championship Qualifier. The winner will be forever immortalized next to dueling legends like as Theerasak Poonsombat, Adam Corn, and Chris Bowling, who have previously emerged victorious and earned a spot at the coveted World Championship. Two years ago I became the North American Champion, but after a disappointing performance at Worlds and being one round short of re-qualifying last year, I want nothing more than to earn Read more


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This last weekend the Circuit Series came to St. Louis and the Leveretts and I made the trip. I made it to the Top 16 with my Nekroz deck, finishing 1st after swiss, before losing to a mirror match. Today I’m going bring you a tournament report, where I’ll explain my card choices for my rather atypical build of Nekroz and a quick summary of my matches and tournament experience. Let’s start off with the deck I played: Monsters: 27 3 Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands 2 Senju of the Thousand hands 2 Mathematician 1 Tackle Crusader 1 Bull Read more


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I often wonder if my whole approach to the game is correct. As a competitive player I am always looking for ways to gain an edge. While I have been able to find that edge pretty consistently over the last couple of years, I’m certainly not satisfied. Sitting at a roughly 50% top ratio may better than most, but it leaves me wondering how I can get the other half. In today’s article, I’m going to give an analysis of my tournament strategy in comparison to other top players throughout the game’s history. This inquiry has lead me to the Read more


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Hey everybody! Last week I talked about the contradictions that Djinn created in terms of deckbuilding and technical play for Nekroz. This week I’m back with the other half of the problem; the contradictions created from the various other floodgates present in the current format.   These are cards like Mistake, Anti-Spell Fragrance, Vanity’s Emptiness, and Lose 1 Turn. All of these cards are exceptional against Nekroz, but they come with their own set of problems when using them and building to get around them.   If you’re not playing Nekroz, it may seem very obvious that you want to Read more


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Hello duelists and welcome back! The most successful strategies in this game have proven to be ones that establish a semi-soft lock, in which you play your cards and then make it so that your opponent cannot play their cards. While there is a rewarding feeling that comes with attrition wars and an exchange of cards with your opponent, it has been proven time and time again that the semi-soft lock is superior in terms of achieving results.   The first reminisces of this appeared in Tele-DAD with Royal Oppression and reemerged in Dragon Rulers with Vanity’s Emptiness. Since that time, Read more


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Hey everybody and welcome back for the conclusion of my “Origins” article mini-series, where I share with you how I got to where I am today and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I originally talked about my early years in the game, which you can read by clicking here if you missed it. The second part of this mini-series was spent talking about the role that the online community played, which you can read about by clicking here. Today I’m going to talk about what caused my transition from online player to top-ranked duelist.   When we last Read more


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Hello everybody! After a little delay, I’m back this week with the second Origins article in my three-part mini-series, where I share with you my story and some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way. In the first part, I talked about how I got started and my early years in the game. If you missed the first part of this article series, you can check it out by clicking here. Today I’m going to pick up where I left off with the discovery of online Yu-Gi-Oh and how it played a key roll in developing me into the Read more


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A little over two years ago when Frazier Smith wrote his Origins article series, I was still a relatively unknown player in the community. At that point I had spent over a decade playing this game and only had a handful of premier event tops and no rings to show for it. The transition to becoming a seven-time champion with the most tops ever is a change no one could have seen coming, but you can be certain it didn’t happen overnight. I would like to share with you my personal story and some of the lessons I learned along Read more


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Hey everybody! I hope you guys are as excited for the Forbidden and Limited List as I am! This is perhaps the most important list of the year as it is the list that will be used to qualify duelists for the 2015 World Championship!   I hope we can all rejoice in the limitation of certain floodgates; specifically Vanity’s Emptiness, a card that has consistently been thought would surely be hit on the next list, only to consistently remain untouched. Combine this with the hit on Skill Drain and I predict the result is that Nekroz will become even Read more