Deck Revision

Hello everyone, I’m back this week to discuss something I have found immensely important in Yugioh. When you start to play a deck where do you begin when deciding how to construct it? Do you go on Dueling Network and browse through all the cards in the deck and build your own original deck list, or do you find a successful build of the deck and work off of that? Once you have produced a rough draft of your deck you will come to notice that some issues arise, and those issues need to be revised. Deck Revision is an incredibly important thing to do because the Meta is constantly shifting in trends. Lets examine these trends and how players have revised their decks in order to stay ahead of the curve!

YCS Dallas

The October 2014 format began with YCS Dallas and going into this event a lot of players were skeptical about what decks were going to do well, which meant that this event was going to dictate what direction players would take their decks going into the following event. In the format just before YCS Dallas there were three popular decks that players chose to use:


Burning Abyss


Shaddolls was the best deck due to its ability to take control of a game very quickly and overpower the other two decks with the power of Super Polymerization, and Shaddoll Fusion. Next in line was Burning Abyss, which was just behind Shaddolls in the tier list but still came out on top over Shaddolls a good amount of the time due to its ability to use some of the best trap cards in the game effectively. Lastly Satellarknights were at the bottom of the pecking order due to their slowly paced and linear gameplay. After the October 2014 Ban List took effect Shaddolls were the deck that received most of the hits due to Soul Charge and Super Polymerization going to one. These hits invoked a shift in the power of each deck and left the players with the task of revising their old deck lists. In the days leading up to YCS Dallas many players began testing new ideas and started to weed out the good and bad ones. After all the testing was said and done, it was finally time to put the new decks to the test!

Once YCS Dallas concluded Billy Brake was the last one standing piloting a 60-card Shaddoll/Burning Abyss control deck. Bewildered by a 60-card deck winning the YCS, many players opted to copy Billy’s deck and try it out for themselves. The issue with simply copying someone’s deck and playing the exact list is the fact that people will be prepared for it and know almost all of the cards you are playing. If Billy went to the next event and ran the exact same deck with no changes he probably would not do as well, for the simple fact that people would be more prepared for his deck. On the other hand if he made revisions to his winning deck list to put him ahead of his opposition he would stand a much better chance! A prime example of a player who revised their winning list in order to compete at a following event was Patrick Hoban at ARGCS Indy in 2014.

This particular event followed YCS Toronto where Patrick Hoban claimed first place playing a Chaos Shaddoll variant. Knowing that players would certainly copy his deck list Patrick decided to change his own deck list and give himself an edge in any mirror matches that he played. The main revision that he made to his deck was the inclusion of 2 Puppet Plants into his main deck, which gave him a significant advantage in the Shaddoll mirror match. I attended this event and made the mistake of playing a list almost identical to Hoban’s Toronto one. I still managed to make it into the Top 16 of this event but I did not progress further into the Top Cut due to the lack of changes I made to Hoban’s original list. I ended up losing to Dalton Bousman in top cut because his main deck was tailored to beating Patrick’s Toronto Shaddoll list, and Shaddolls in general. Dalton and his group were all main decking Vanity’s Fiend, which was a card that Shaddolls lacked answers to in the main deck.

Using the OCG to Revise Your Deck

A lot of players write off the OCG once they can look at TCG event results when trying to revise their decks and that is something I do not understand. The OCG players have the luxury of being able to play the new decks before we do, which means they will have a better understanding of what is optimal what is not optimal. Obviously their ban list is different from ours but that does mean we should ignore the tech cards they use when looking at their deck lists. Lets paint a picture of this situation shall we!

In this scenario we’ll need to go back in time a few months to the point where only the OCG had the Shaddoll cards. Without any TCG event coverage to look at you must find some OCG Shaddoll decks that have done well and build off of them. After a search you finally come across this decklist on Shriek, which is a website where you can find news on the OCG. Lets examine an OCG Shaddoll deck from July 2014 and compare it to the current TCG deck lists!

Monsters 23:

3 Mathematician

2 Black Dragon, Collapserpent

1 Eclipse Wyvern

3 White Dragon, Wyverbuster

1 Electromagnetic Turtle

2 Dark Armed Dragon

1 Black Luster Soldier- Envoy of the Beginning

2 Shaddoll Hedghog

2 Shaddoll Dragon

2 Shaddoll Squamata

2 Shaddoll Beast

1 Effect Veiler

1 Shaddoll Falco

Spells 11:

1 Heavy Storm

1 Foolish Burial

2 Shaddoll Fusion

1 Pot of Avarice

3 El- Shaddoll Fusion

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

2 Super Polymerization

Traps 7:

3 Sinister Shadow Games

2 Bottomless Trap Hole

1 Shaddoll Core

1 Solemn Warning

Side Deck:

2 Ice Hand

2 Fire Hand

2 Thunder King Raioh

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

2 Spell-Shattering Arrow

2 Different Dimension Ground

2 Compulsory Evacuation Device

2 Fairy Wind

Extra Deck

3 El-Shaddoll Winda

1 El-Shaddoll Grysta

1 Vision Hero-Adoration

3 El-Shaddoll Construct

1 HTS Psyhemuth

1 Arcanite Magician

1 Black Rose Dragon

1 Leo, Keeper of the Sacred Tree

1 Castel the Skyblaster Musketeer

1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight

Now lets take a look at the similarities and differences between the Shaddoll decks now and the one listed above. The main deck plays very similar ratios regarding the Shaddoll monsters, and utilizes the White and Black dragons to facilitate OTKs and general card advantage. Another similarity that is shown in this deck list is the inclusion of Mathematician, which is used to set up plays in the early game and accumulate advantage throughout the rest of the game. The spell lineup is quite similar as well aside form Heavy Storm and Pot of Avarice as those cards are currently banned in the TCG. The ratio of Shaddoll fusion and El-Shaddoll fusion in this particular list is 2:3 while the current preferred ratio here in the TCG is 3:3 because both fusions help unclog the full monster hands. The trap lineup is quite similar as well because it includes three copies of Sinister Shadow Games which is arguably one of the best cards in the deck because it allows you to make any hand better and advances your gamestate immensely. The side deck is something that might not be as applicable to a first look at Shaddolls because at this point in time the OCG also had to account for Qliphorts. Lastly, lets examine the similarities between the OCG extra deck and our TCG one.

The only real differences between the OCG extra deck and our current one is the inclusion of El-Shaddoll Grysta, HTS Psyhemuth, and Vision Hero Adoration. The rest of the cards included in the OCG extra deck are all played or have been played in Shaddoll variants across the TCG. Considering all of the similarities between this old OCG Shaddoll deck list and the current ones we utilize in the TCG this illustrates the point that you can look to the OCG when you want to begin looking into a deck.

Every time you formulate a deck list it is always subject to revision, because the Meta is ever changing. One week you might feel the need to play more effect negation, while the next might warrant an influx of spell/trap removal. It all depends on what happens at events, because these events will determine the direction the Meta goes. These events will help you decide what revisions you should make to your deck and the changes you make will help you compete better at events. This weekend at ARGCS Chicago, I hope to see a lot of new and innovative ideas present in the field of decks in attendance, and as always Play Hard or Go Home!


Maximillian Reynolds
Maximillian Reynolds

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