Deck Brake-Down : YCS Brighton Top 16 Anti-Meta

Hello Yugioh Community! I hope all of you duelist out there had a great New Year! Now that the holiday season is coming to a close it is time to get back to business and start thinking Yugioh again! My first article of the New Year is going to be a continuation of my popular series Deck Brake-Down. I want to take a look at the most recent YCS Brighton, specifically Top 16 Qualifier Merlin Schumacher. The main reason I chose to look at this deck is because I think this list might give player’s the best chance at winning even if they can’t get their hands on three copies of Tour Guide From the Underworld.

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I was lucky enough to meet Merlin before the YCS started and I have to say when he showed me his list beforehand I was rather surprised by the deck he had decided on using for the YCS. It looked as if he had taken a lot of cards that people were siding or attempting to tech and piled them all together into a heap of cards and called it a deck. This is one of the most interesting decks to top a YCS in quite some time and I really wanted to talk about his list and give players my opinion and what I would do differently with his deck.

Merlin Schumacher (Anit-Meta Top 16)
Monsters: 15
2 Banisher of the Radiance
2 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer
3 Thunder King Rai-Oh
3 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
2 Breaker the Magical Warrior
1 Spirit Reaper
1 Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
1 Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind

Spells: 11
3 Pot of Duality
2 Shrink
2 Smashing Ground
2 Shard of Greed
1 Book of Moon
1 Dark Hole

Traps: 15
2 Solemn Warning
3 Dimensional Prison
2 Safe Zone
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Dark Bribe
1 Mirror Force
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Trap Dustshoot
1 Starlight Road
1 Vanity's Emptiness

The Monsters
Starting off with the Monster Line-up, you can find all of the usual suspects from a majority of Anti-Meta type decks in his list. He also has some tech choices such as Blackwing- Gale The Whirlwind. I really like this card in here because not only does it give this deck outs to tough cards like Stardust Dragon it also allows this deck to have the option to Synchro Summon for an Arcanite Magician with Breaker the Magical Warrior or XYZ Summon with Spirit Reaper, both of them being level 3. Having this ability can really come in handy in a lot of tough situations. The only monsters I don’t like in this line-up are the 2 copies of Banisher Of Radiance and 2 copies of Kycoo The Ghost Destroyer. With many decks out there packing 3 copies of Reborn Tengu, the bane of Anti-Meta decks, I don’t think this card is playable right now. It is too weak and its effect just doesn’t hurt enough of the Meta out there. I would also take out Kycoo, The Ghost Destroyer; This card just doesn’t quite sound good enough to me. It is ok against Agents and Plants, but nowhere good enough to run in my opinion.

There are a few additions I would like to make to the monster line-up that I feel would make this deck even stronger. First, I would like to add 3 copies of Reborn Tengu. The best way to deal with an opponent’s Tengu is with your own Tengu, sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Reborn Tengu is an all around good card with its only drawback being that you draw multiple copies. It is a card your opponent will have difficulty dealing with and in an Anti-Meta deck that is your main goal, give your opponent a hard time. I would also add two more copies of Spirit Reaper to this deck. Since there are multiple copies of Smashing Ground and Dimensional Prison are in the main deck your opponent’s field will be open allowing Reaper to go on his rampage, relieving them of the cards in their hand. Finally, I would add in a couple of Doomcaliber Knights to finish off this monster line-up. He is a big monster that can deal with cards like Reborn Tengu and can slow down Rescue Rabbit from being able to go off on you.

Billy Brake’s Changes
Take Out:
2 Banisher of Radiance
2 Kycoo, the Ghost Destroyer

Add In:
3 Reborn Tengu
2 Spirit Reaper
2 Doomcaliber Knight

The Spells
The first card that catches your eye on Merlin’s deck list is probably the two copies of Shard of Greed. While I respect him for using this interesting tech to incorporate some draw power into this deck, I feel the space could be used to fit in useful cards that are live right when you draw them off the top. I would also take out the two copies of Shrink. Shrink is an interesting tech just like Shard of Greed, but I just feel there are better options then both of these cards that might be able to produce some more positive results on a consistent basis. Lastly, I would take out 1 copy of Pot of Duality. I am a big believer in running a 40 card deck with two copies Pot of Duality, instead of a 41 card deck with three copies of Pot of Duality. This point can be argued and simply comes down to player preference, but with the addition of the three copies of Reborn Tengu I think that the two copies of Pot of Duality will suffice.

There is only 1 spell card I would add into this deck. I am going to put one copy of Forbidden Lance into the deck. I feel it will get the same job done that Shrink could do for the most part, while at the same time save your monsters from cards like Dimensional Prison, Dark Hole, Torrential Tribute, etc. It is just a more versatile card and can still be activated in the Damage Step to take your opponent by surprise.

Billy Brake’s Changes
Take Out:
2 Shard of Greed
2 Shrink
1 Pot of Duality

Add In:
1 Forbidden Lance

The Traps
I really like the trap line-up that Merlin decided to go with so there are only a couple of changes that I would make. Vanity’s Emptiness can be quite a powerful card when chained to a Rescue Rabbit or a Tour Guide from the Underworld, but it can be pretty situational. I feel Vanity’s Emptiness would be better served in the Side Deck. The other trap that I don’t agree with is Compulsory Evacuation Device. It is a fairly solid card and can deal with any annoying Synchro or XYZ monster. Both of these cards can be pretty good, but much like Shrink, I think there space could be used much more efficiently.

Fiendish Chain is the only trap card I would add into this line-up. This card can be good against every deck that is out there right now, especially Rescue Rabbit. By adding a couple copies of this card in I feel it would help make the Agent and Rabbit match-up much better and it gives this deck a couple of more outs to stop the always annoying Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier.

Billy Brake’s Changes
Take Out:
1 Vanity’s Emptiness
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device

Add In:
2 Fiendish Chain

The Finished Product
Monsters: 18
2 DoomCaliber Knight
3 Reborn Tengu
3 Thunder King Rai-Oh
3 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
2 Breaker the Magical Warrior
3 Spirit Reaper
1 Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
1 Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind

Spells: 7
2 Pot of Duality
1 Forbidden Lance
2 Smashing Ground
1 Book of Moon
1 Dark Hole

Traps: 15
2 Solemn Warning
3 Dimensional Prison
2 Safe Zone
2 Fiendish Chain
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Dark Bribe
1 Mirror Force
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Trap Dustshoot
1 Starlight Road

Conclusion: At the most recent YCS in Brighton Merlin Schumacher was able to pilot an Anti-Meta deck all the way to the Top 16. I liked his deck a lot because it might be away for player’s to have success without having to shell out tons of money for Tour Guide From the Underworld. I took his deck and made a few changes of my own to where it would fit my play style. I replaced some cards I felt were a little underwhelming and tried to make the deck as consistent as possible so that it will be able to bring player’s repeated success.

Thanks for reading! I hope the input I had on this deck is able to help some duelist out there! Remember when you see a deck list of someone who did well at a major event, that doesn’t mean it is the perfect deck! There is always room for personal techs and ways to improve the deck with the current Meta!

If there is any particular topic you would like to see me write about in the future feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments below! Remember Play Hard or Go Home!

-Billy Brake
-YCS Toronto and Columbus Champion

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