Dragon Ruling in Vegas – A Top 16 Report

Kevin SilvaHello Duelists! I'm back! This was a strange trip to prepare for because I was prepping my bags for YCS Chicago and as I packed up everything I couldn't even think about Vegas too much. Arnold Phillips and Vincent Jouett were also using a very similar decklist to mine because of how broken Hieratic Rulers are. Joel Enriquez the other guy in the car and a very close friend of mine opted to run Mermails instead and we all seemed prepared except that I didn't want to play test at all. I watched them play test a ton and I just didn't feel like playing. Guess it's just one of those times where you feel so prepared. I even told them I probably won't top because I keep losing on the bubble. On Friday at the hotel, I finally was able to see my friend, Dylan Mauceri, who is one of the nicest guys I know. We ate at some chicken place and I was the first to fall asleep. Getting enough sleep, eating breakfast, and drinking water throughout the day is so so soooo important if you want to have a higher chance at topping a premiere event, please trust me on this and make is a priority to eat and sleep ( Remember to take a shower as well, don't be nasty! ). As I stepped into the venue for Day 1, I notice so many top players and I even told myself nope you can't sneak a top this time these players are way better than you. Throughout the day people were asking  for my signature on the Patrick Hoban mat and I was shocked. There's only 100 of those printed!

Here's my decklist!

Hieratic Ruler

[ccDeck="Main Deck"]

1 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders

1 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos

1 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls

1 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms

3 Hieratic Dragon of Su

3 Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit

3 Hieratic Dragon of Eset

1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon

1 Flamvell Guard

1 Luster Dragon #2

1 Labradorite Dragon

1 Dragunity Corsesca

2 Mystical Space Typhoon

2 Magic Planter

2 Dragon Shrine

3 Hieratic Seal of Convocation

3 Hieratic Seal from the Ashes

2 Skill Drain

2 Call of the Haunted

2 Trap Stun

2 Mirror Force

1 Raigeki Break

1 Fiendish Chain[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Side Deck"]

 2 Maxx "C"

2 Fencing Fire Ferret

1 Swift Scarecrow

1 Ko’aki Meiru Drago

2 Mind Crush

1 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Fairy Wind

1 Electric Virus

1 Skill Drain

1 Book of Moon

1 Dark Hole

1 Enemy Controller[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Extra Deck"]

2 Mecha Phantom Dracossack

1 Number 74 Master of Blades

1 Number 11 Big Eye

1 Black Rose Dragon

1 Stardust Dragon

1 Colossal Fighter

1 Crimson Blader

1 Scrap Dragon

1 Star Eater

2 Hieratic Dragon of Atum

1 Constellar Ptolemy M7

2 Gaia Dragon the Thunder Charger[/ccDeck]

Here's how I did round by round.

Round 1 Vs Ghostricks I won the die roll and things started out pretty well as I see a possible OTK coming. I set a few backrows including Call of the Haunted and he sets a monster and passes to me. Since he gave me an opportunity to go off, I took the bait and summoned 5 monsters down and swung for game, but he Ghostrick Jiangshi which let him search Ghostrick Specter not only let him draw a card but stall out my OTK after it died he also dropped Ghostrick Mary down and specialed another one of her and she has 1600 defense, and I really didn't know what was going on, all I knew was I burned my resources to go for game and I had no cards left in hand. Since it was an unfamiliar match up I didn't know what to expect next, but how could he take out my field? After a few turns he finally Mirror Forces my field but I am loaded with Dragons in grave for my rulers so I didn't feel too worried, after summoning 9 monsters from my extra deck I make the final push with a freshly summoned Crimson Blader and he was shocked I managed to utilize my extra deck so well, by saving the Constellar M7 until I really needed it was probably the only reason why I won game 1.

Game 2 I had a pretty good hand and thought I would handle this match rightfully so. After a few turns I was staring down a [ccProd]Caius the Shadow Monarch[/ccProd] and I special summoned Tefnuit and he flips up [ccProd]Mask of Restrict[/ccProd]! Didn't see that coming... Game 3!

Game 3 Completely shut him out turn 2 with Skill Drain this game and he was a little mad on how good that card is.

Results 2-1 Tournament Record 1-0

Round 2 vs Bujin Jabriel Pennington

I'm facing someone good from Louisana and I was just there last week so I was a little surprised by that because I didn't know they traveled to events too. He's a really nice guy named Jabriel, and I can't say his name right still.  We discussed how the regionals were the week before and he told me if I was running dragons it would be hard for him. He is using Bujins a match up I feel is very strong in my favor.

Game 1 This game I'll consider a misplay I made and that is miscalculating. whenever you calculate you have to be very quick because stalling can penalize you. So I calculated 8100 damage in my head if he had Effect Veiler before even deciding to go for game, my hand was pretty awesome. Anyway he has an irrelevant [ccProd]Bujin Yamato[/ccProd] on the field and I just go off, but he does have the Maxx "C" and I push through it and he does end up having the Veiler on my [ccProd]Hieratic Dragon King of Atum[/ccProd], so I continue by banishing the Atum to summon Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon and stole his Yamato with Big Eye and calculate 7800 damage when I finally push through, I was very mad at myself for making that kind of mistake at an ARG Circuit, he comes back and take game 1 away.

Game 2 I had a win no matter what hand, all he could do was attack me with [ccProd]Bujingi Hare[/ccProd] once and I OTKed him next turn.

Game 3 This game was very interesting because he didn't open with Yamato or Maxx "C" and I opened a little slower than usual. I had set a Flamvell Guard, Mirror Force and Call of the Haunted a pretty solid set. He summons Bear along with his Bujingi Hare, and decided to swing on my Guard to which I flip up Mirror Force. Next turn I drew Hieratic Dragon of Su to combo with my Hieratic Dragon of Eset, it was unfair in my favor and managed to steal the game I apologized to him and we exchanged smiles and a handshake.

Results 2-1  Tournament Record 2-0

Round 3 vs Mermails Nick Tomlin

I'm not a fan of this guy but feelings aside at least we shook hands and wished each other good luck. He's a So Cal judge with 2 premiere event tops I believe

Game 1 No idea what he's using because he went first and 5 backrows face down, I look at my hand and thought I was going to win, I set 3 backrows face down (2 Call of the Haunted and 1 Hieratic Seal of the Ashes). He passed his turn back to me and during his end phase I sent away Hieratic Dragon of Su. On my turn I flipped up Call and tried to take back my Su and he chained [ccProd]Trap Stun[/ccProd] so I chained another Call to get my Su back and he said sure and we had a ruling dispute for a second, because he thought the Hieratic Su goes back to the graveyard so I call the judge over. The judge ruled against me and I was like WHAT? So I appealed and Jeff Jones (he judged) came over. Jeff said, "alright just get to the point what happened?" I explained how I wanted to chain a 2nd Call of the Haunted to his Trap Stun and he said alright and let the chain resolve, and the Su stayed on the field ruled in my favor. After that, it was 8000 damage (Blaster 2800 Dracossack 2600 Gaia Dragon the Thunder Charger 2600) in one turn thanks to his Trap Stun.

Game 2 I open pretty terrible and I scoop after he controls my backrow.

Game 3 This game was total destruction in my favor. All I had in the beginning of the game was a Fire Ferret poking him, I drew no hieratic monster until I finally screamed out loud "FINALLY!", and by the way you should get worried if I show emotion during a match haha! He chained Maxx "C" when I went off and I returned Maxx "C" to my hand with Constellar M7, a giant momentum shift in my favor, I actually resolved M7 twice for Maxx "c" and his only out the entire game was Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls to even attempt to come out but I would unfortunately draw 3 cards from that situation if he did that and I was still at 8000 the entire game.

Results 2-1 Tournament Record 3-0


Round 4 vs Plus 1 Fire Dalton Bousman

I was excited to finally play against Fire Fists, but not exactly the person I wanted to play against due to the sheer high skill level this guy has. I respect Dalton a tremendous amount despite what anyone says about him stalling or cheating. It was a very good game, and I'm excited to play him in the top cut of another event again because we are apart the next generation of players who really want to top and have the tools & skills necessary to do so. We start things out with a deck check and Jeff Jones comes by and takes our decks, when he comes back he says my deck is fine but tells Dalton to come back with him, but it was a joke and Jeff laughed a little and we all giggled and started our match, which is on livestream if you ever want to check it out.

Game 1 I won the die roll and had a strong opening after a question of Mind Crush vs Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls to see my hand or not, he was not allowed to see my hand and I was supposed to summon Tidal from my grave according to Jeff Jones, but at the regionals in California you can't summon a Dragon Ruler if you activate it from the hand and ends up in grave, they should really be clear on how that ruling is. I finally end up winning game 1 with powerful monsters hence why I like this deck so much.

Game 2 It got to a point where I had no cards left and I immediately scooped.

Game 3 I had a strange play that I didn't recognize in my hand until a few turns later and I was disappointed with myself because I probably could have changed the game to be more in my favor, I had a dead Magic Planter late game which I was forced to discard with Raigeki Break a really unfortunate circumstance which led to my eventual loss.

As I said this was a great game, getting a loss this early was alright.

Results 1-2 Tournament Record 3-1

Round 5 vs Geargia Luis Vasquez

Luis seemed nervous and I caught on once he saw my name on the sheet and he asked nervously if I was the one who played against Jeff Jones, and I told him yeah and I lost 1-3 so you have nothing to worry about.

Game 1 I won the die roll and set Trap Stun, he just set a ton of backrow, I went off with Trap Stun and a combination of Hieratic Eset->Hieratic Su-> Hieratic Su.

Game 2 keep in mind I still have no idea what he is running but since he had a lot of backrow I thought MST would be viable for this match. This game he has no monsters and I was pushing with everything I had losing card advantage for damage, a tactic that is widely unpopular with most players. After all the pushes I force a Fiendish Chain on my Fire Ferrett and he was at 600 life points, he drew a monster and set it, I drew Hieratic Eset and swing over the face down which was [ccProd]Genex Ally Birdman[/ccProd], and used Trap Stun and swung with Fire Ferrett for game.

Sitting next to me was Brian Ferguson and he was shocked how fast that game ended and how I played too. Some situations you can feel it's the right thing to do.

Results 2-0 Tournament Record 4-1

Round 6 vs Aaron Furman Plus 1 Fire Fists

This name looked way too familiar and he brought out a Grey 2-Player Spellground playmat, a red calculator case, and a Dark Magician Girl Double Deckbox, so immediately I thought he was a vendor or really rich. I also knew he was closely related to Ned Salkovich only because of the rare Red Calculator Case which at this moment in time goes for around $300.

Game 1 This game was very grind filled game. Just to shorten this up he needed any monster to go off with the MST he took off [ccProd]Pot of Duality[/ccProd], but never saw the monster and decided to use MST on a different card which he ended up losing because he had no way of stopping my backrow and he would either deck out or lose to Mirror Force which was really unfortunate.

Game 2 I was blown out by card advantage and I opened 2 normal monsters, but because of the Dalton match up I learned magic planter was going out every time against this match up.

Game 3 He had [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd] and 1 face down backrow  and I had to make a push with hieratics, he told me that he had 2 Maxx "C"s in hand but couldn't use it because of the dimensional fissure which really sucked.

I told him after the game if he knew who Jeff Walker was? He knew and he knew who Alexander Flamer was. (Alex Flamer defeated both of us several times in the past.)

Results 2-1 Tournament Record 5-1

Round 7 vs Elvis Vu Plus 1 Fire Fists

We didn't really say much except good luck, it seemed we both understood only one of us is moving on.

Game 1 I opened a crazy nice hand with Trap Stun but this time I saw only had 7800 damage on board, so I made a very strange play I flipped up my Skill Drain after going off and used Magic Planter on it to draw a redox 1600 attack! That's all I needed to make the push for game on turn 2.

Game 2 I was blown out by Soul Drain and his endless stream of plussing.

Game 3 It was a close game but a judge who was watching ruled against him when he allowed me to search with Blaster when he had let his [ccProd]Bottomless Trap Hole[/ccProd] resolve and because of that I was allowed to search a Flamvell Guard to my hand while him still flipping up Soul Drain and that put him down to 1500 life points, and he asked me next turn if I had game, I didn't draw a monster but yes I did have game, he had 2 face up Tenkis a face-up Fiendish Chain and a face-up Soul Drain and I had a face up Skill Drain so that was 1500 damage, and I still have 4500 left! Another win against fire!

Round Results 2-1 Tournament Record 6-1

Round 8 vs Mermails John Hubbard

I saw Hubbard play a few games beforehand and noticed he doesn't misplay at all. I also noticed he thinks like Pat Hoban does so before the match even began I told him before looking at the pairings if he wanted to intentional draw and he said we'll talk about it. I told him I feel like it'a  50 / 50 chance we beat each other in my eyes and I would like to tie when I sat down to the table and he said alright that sounds good, we still have win the last match.

Round Results Intentional Draw Tournament Record 6-1-1

Round 9 vs Geargia Nicholas Smith

I guess he was the only Las Vegas player left in the tournament. He was calling himself a scrub and saying how lucky he was to get here. I sure did not want to lose, I have been losing on the bubble a lot lately. He seemed like a friendly guy and we started the match.

Game 1 I drew a standard OTK hand with my deck and wiped him out game 1.

Game 2 He was very serious and used Dimensional Fissure and summoned [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] and I drew Electric Virus and something else I couldn't use due to D-Fissure and even though I was at 8000 life points I scooped immediately knowing he had game next turn with [ccProd]Geargiagear[/ccProd].

Game 3 I drew standard OTK hand again but this time it was different, I could make 2 different pushes, which I opted on doing.  He summoned Wind-Up Zenmaines and [ccProd]Geargia Accelerator[/ccProd] with 1 backrow which I believe I had the Mystical Space Typhoon for. I then went off and he used Effect Veiler on my Atum, since I still had a Su on the field and my normal summon intact I decided to go for Black Rose Dragon and summon Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms to make Big Eye and steal the Zenmaines from him, which I did and he had another Veiler. I overlayed the Atum to summon Gaia Charger and swung over Accelerator with no cards left. He  was forced to switch Zenmaines and attack Big Eye to destroy it, and he ended up losing shortly after that because of how much better Hieratic Ruler is than Geargia. He seemed upset but I would be too if I lost a 3rd event on the bubble.

Round Results 2-1 Tournament Record 7-1-1

I made it to 7th place in this ARG Circuit after Swiss! So the San Diego group of 4 us go to Denny's on the strip and I'm in shock that I managed to top another event and being the only Hieratic Ruler in the top 16 meant a lot as well.

Day 2

Top 16 vs Plus 1 Fire Fists Tony Martinez

Before the match I found out he's still new to the competitive scene but because he's from So Cal, us So Cal players (including me) are accustomed to being a try hard and he's affiliated with people who have multiple SJC/YCS tops so not so much at a disadvantage and he had a great side deck for this event.

Game 1 I pretty much gave him the win this game because I drew a 2nd dead Magic Planter to him setting up his field strong.

Game 2 It was a grind game back and forth and I finally pulled through with an Eset-[ccProd]Skill Drain[/ccProd] combination

Game 3 This game was intense and very close I thought I was going to win because he was running out of monsters but he made a cool [ccProd]Daigusto Emeral[/ccProd] play and brought 3 [ccProd]Coach Soldier Wolfbark[/ccProd]s back to his deck, and then I drew Skill Drain after that, so if I went first I would have won that game which I'm telling you happens more often than normal in this format. It was a very very close game and I was honored to play against Tony. Even though I wanted to win a 2nd Circuit Series, I'll have plenty of chances to win in the future.

Tournament Results: Lost in Top 16 to Plus-1 Fire.

The list of great things that happened at this event

-Finally received my 3rd premiere event top

-Finally dueled Dalton Bousman in a serious match

-Hanging out with my crowd from San Diego

-Meeting Aaron Furman / John Hubbard / Anthony Chiechi / Vegas players (Oscar & Omar) / all my tournament opponents!

-Also hanging out or talking with the Leverett Family, Pat Hoban, Desmond Johnson, Samantha Starstike, Kris Carassco, Oscar Renderos, Bryan Rockenbach, Brian Ozga, Abraham Durazo, Billy Brake, Corey Encinas, Jim McMahan, Christopher Mauch (My Hero), Adam Corn, Jesus Suarez, Kalen Nelson, Trevor Tibbetts, Aaron Jarvis, Alex Vansant

-The 24/7 conversation with the Yugioh meme admins on Facebook

-One unfortunate situation happened

-Unable to win my 2nd title

There's always next time though! The next format is pretty much a Hieratic Ruler or Dragon Ruler format!

Thanks for reading, sorry I haven't been here in a while! Expect me to pop up on YouTube right after YCS Chicago! Let me know what you think of the deck! Also the Circuit Series comes to Richmond, VA on April 26-27, 2014! Click the picture of the Dragon below for all the details!