This article is going to be a tad different from normal. Not everyone follows the OCG, but in order to become a better player, learning everything you can, the history of decks, even before they are used here in the TCG, can very much help oneself with deck building and comprehension. Today, we will be talking about how Prophecy and Dragon's started off in the OCG, and what this all means going into Nationals.
Dragon's have long been some of the most powerful cards to exist in Yu-Gi-Oh. From Chaos Emperor Dragon, to [ccProd]Dark Armed Dragon[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Judgment Dragon[/ccProd], and then [ccProd]Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Lightpulsar Dragon[/ccProd], these mystical beast have plagued our game time after time, and of course this time is no different. Or is it?
In lore, Wizards and other Magic inclined folk have battled Dragons, and now our game has seemingly been turned into one of those legends you might read about. Prophecy and Dragon Rulers two of the most powerful decks in a long time. Where the Dragon Rulers control the 4 elements to adapt to any given situation, the Prophecy uses their vast knowledge and Spellbook Spells to obtain more cards to deal with whatever stands in their way.
Now, for those of you who follow the OCG, you will know that Prophecy and Dragon Rulers is basically all you see nowadays. At first, Prophecy was dominant over the Elemental Dragons, but of course as time went on, the Dragon players adapted and switched things up.
This is where the Dragon players added Eradicator Virus into their deck. Since the deck could easily make a turn 1 Big Eye (A Dark Monster with over 2500 attack), having Eradicator could instantly mean winning you the game. But that wasn't enough. Dragon's also added a Spellcaster of their own into the deck; [ccProd]Droll and Lock Bird[/ccProd]. The once shunned card now could shut down the entire turn of a Prophecy player, and because it was a Wind-Type monster, could be used in conjunction with the Tempest and Lightning Elemental Dragons.
So of course, Prophecy had to switch things up as well. They added in the very old Spellcaster [ccProd]Jowgen the Spiritualist[/ccProd]. Jowgen could single handily shut down Dragons from Special Summoning anything, and could be protected with [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd]. Not only that, but it could be Special Summon off of [ccProd]Spellbook of Judgment[/ccProd] during the End Phase. This meant the Dragon's only real out was using Blaster's ability to destroy the Jowgen.
Dragon's had to deal with this new found annoyance in a more efficient way, and started to run a Trap Card that will be very popular this Nationals Season; [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd]. [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd] not only helped deal with Jowgen, but also helpped against problem cards in the mirror match as well such as [ccProd]Light and Darkness Dragon[/ccProd], Dracosack's indestructibility, and Abyssgaios's effect negating/attack haltering abilities.
Since all of the Dragon Rulers focus on Banishing cards from the Grave and the new addition of [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd], Prophecy players went with the help another old Spellcaster, [ccProd]Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer[/ccProd]. Again, it could be Special Summoned off of [ccProd]Spellbook of Judgment[/ccProd], and stopped the Dragons from removing from Grave, as well as [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd]'s secondary effect. So now Prophecy had 2 cards that could single handily shut down the Dragons from making any plays.
So finally, where we are currently, Dragons added to their deck the least used of the "Forbidden" Quickplay Spell cards, [ccProd]Forbidden Chalice[/ccProd]. Chalice not only stopped everything Veiler/Breakthrough Skill did, but it could also be used during their own turn to stop Jowgen and Kycoo (along with the cards mentioned above in the mirror match).
Each deck in the OCG has evolved greatly in a short period of time, and we can certainly learn a lot from this. But now, after taking everything we know, we have to add in the factors of TCG cards like [ccProd]Absys Dweller[/ccProd] (which is a very solid card against Dragons) and [ccProd]Mermail Abyssteus[/ccProd]. The OCG does not have these cards, and Mermails make very good use of them. Alongside Tidal, Mermails can make Rank 7 monsters almost as fast and easy as Dragons, meaning that have access to the anti-Prophecy card Eradicator Virus. Also normally, Dragons and Prophecy don't OTK the opponent, at least, not like Mermails. Mermails still have the crazy ability to 2 card OTK the opponent with Abyssmegalo and [ccProd]Deep Sea Diva[/ccProd] as long as there is no [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd] in site.
Speaking of Effect Veiler[ccProd], this card alongside [ccProd]Maxx C[/ccProd] has seen a DRAMATIC increase in play in the OCG (and will here as well). Dragons play as many as 3 [ccProd]Maxx C[/ccProd] and 3 [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd] WITH 2 [ccProd]Droll and Lock Bird[/ccProd] as well. It's crazy that our game has gotten so out of hand, that people feel its needed to run EIGHT hand traps in order to keep themselves in the game. To just not LOSE.
So what changes do you think will see before Nationals? Will some rogue deck make an dramatic entrance to try and go toe to toe with great Dragons and ancient Spellcasters? It's possible, but very rarely do rogue strategies take the game by surprise any longer. The fact that Elemental Dragon's are easier to obtain, and the fact that they seem to be the more versatile deck compared to Prophecy, will probably make them the most popular deck at Nationals. It's very hard to side deck effectively against them simply because they can tutor different outs at any given time. On the other hand, with just 2 cards Prophecy can make it impossible for you to win just by having so much card advantage turn 1, you can't compete. It's quite a vexing situation to be put in as a competitive player. It will be interesting to see how things turn out 2 months from now, and I will certainly be hard at work trying to come up with something to run, as we all know I don't really run the "normal" decks all the time.
Anyway, until next time duelist, good luck, have fun, and play hard or go home.