All posts in Patrick Hoban

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Ronald Reagan famously asked the American voters during the 1980 presidential election, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” It was a question that resonated with people, because most people didn’t keep up with the nuances and daily happenings in Washington to be able to measure Jimmy Carter’s presidency against. What they did know was how they were doing relative to four years ago. Was it harder to buy milk or a gallon of gas? These were things the people were highly sensitive to in their everyday life. Reagan then asked for their vote if they were Read more


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Hey everybody. The pendulum structure deck was recently released, which gave us the new Magician cards. These cards seem to bring more of a coherent strategy to the pendulum deck, as they are actually an archetype rather than a collection of cards that work well together. In order to turn them into a tournament-winning strategy we need to do more than just a superficial analysis of the deck. This week I want to look at what could go wrong with the Magicians and see how they could be improved upon.   The First Turn   Whenever you’re playing a pendulum Read more


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Last month I wrote about how I felt Unicore had been crippling creativity for close to a year and expressing my excitement to play without it constraining the meta. I had to miss the ARG Circuit Series in Anaheim last month due to school obligations, which made this the first event I played in the post-Unicore era. My anticipations for the format were met, as I was able to take first place at the ARG Circuit Series in Last Vegas two weeks ago! This week I want to explain the Pendulum Magician deck that I worked closely with Abe Thalos, Read more


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Hey everybody, last week I did an in-depth analysis of the deck I used to win the ARG Circuit Series in Las Vegas and how we overcame the problems we were having with Magicians. This week I’m back with a round-by-round tournament report on my journey to an eighth win! Let’s get right into it!   I had done the vast majority of my testing for this event with Abe Thalos and Zane Lingerfelt. We had the week out for Thanksgiving and drove up to Abe’s house for a week of intense testing, where we spent a full twelve hours Read more


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Since the Pendulum mechanic was first released last summer they haven’t had too much of an impact on the game. Qliphort has been the only real Pendulum deck to break into the meta, while other decks like Igknight have struggled to really break through and compete with all the other decks. With other decks recently hit on the ban list, the impending release of more and more Pendulum cards, and the banning of Exciton Knight, it seems like we could be headed toward a Pendulum-oriented future for the game. Cards like Luster Pendulum and Performage Plushfire, as well as the Read more


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Hey everybody, I’m back for the first time in a couple of weeks. Now that the ban list is officially in effect we’ve got a lot of things that we can talk about. Given that the format has changed so little since Nekroz came out in February, the game has been kind of bland for a couple of months. I think that the absence of Nekroz changes format more than the entire rest of the ban list does. Allow me to explain:   Let’s start by asking why exactly were Nekroz such a good deck? They had a somewhat high Read more


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Recently I made a post on Facebook comparing Kozmo to Fire Fist. The underlying implication there is that they are incredibly fair and not the kind of deck I would want to be playing with in a tournament. If you look at YCS San Jose all four spots in the Top 4 were Kozmo, a level of dominance seen rarely outside of Tele-DAD and Dragon Rulers. How could a fair deck be so dominant? Then if you factor in every other top deck from last format getting severely damaged or outright eliminated on the ban list, it seems like Kozmo Read more


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Hey everybody, last week talked about why I chose to play Shaddolls at YCS Dallas. The build I played was significantly different from the standard builds you typically see of Shaddolls, so this week I want to explain the card choices I made and how I went about solving the various problems I found in Shaddolls. Let’s start off by taking a look at the deck list I used: Monsters: 18 2 Shaddoll Beast 3 Shaddoll Squamata 2 Shaddoll Falco 2 Shaddoll Hedgehog 1 Shaddoll Dragon 2 Performage Trick Clown 2 Performage Damage Juggler 1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy Read more


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Hey everybody, I’m back this week after an exciting weekend at YCS Dallas. I made Top 32 with an interesting Shaddoll deck. This week I want to explain why I chose Shaddoll over Nekroz, Burning Abyss, or some other alternative deck. I will then write a follow-up article explaining some card choices that seem counter-intuitive or outright bizarre, such as the inclusion of Elemental Hero Blazeman or siding five extra deck monsters. I want to explain my reasoning behind my card choices this week.   I want to start out by saying that there is definitely room for improvement in Read more


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Long gone are the days of 120-card Fusion decks, where the trendy thing to do would be to pack three of every fusion card into existence into your deck for pretty much no reason. No, Master of Oz and Flame Swordsman weren’t likely ever come up and especially not in multiples. Outside of a few select cards like Cyber Stein and Metamorphosis, what we now call the Extra deck was very limited in scope and there wasn’t really a need to limit its use since you weren’t really all that likely to use it very much in the first place. Read more