Expecting the Unexpected at the NAWCQ – With Billy Brake

Hello Yugioh community! I am back this week and I cannot put into words how excited I am! The North American World Championship Qualifier (NAWCQ) is only a few days away and duelist from all around Canada and the United States are going to be in Columbus, Ohio this weekend to try and win a trip to the Yugioh World Championship in Japan! I know I have spent the past few weeks making sure I am prepared and ready to face whatever challenges and obstacles that may lie in my path to victory. In my article today I am going to go over the more unexpected decks that are gaining popularity and if you are not prepared to face them, you might find yourself with an early exit in this weekend’s tournament. While it is always important to know what the best and most popular decks are; we must be ready for all of the unexpected decks while preparing for any major event and most certainly the NAWCQ.

Question of the Article: What unexpected deck do you think has the best chance of doing well at the NAWCQ this weekend?

Don’t forget to answer the question of the article in the comments down below!

As formats develop and change so does tech card choices for most players decks. When these changes occur, one deck that might not have been so great before because of certain cards most duelist were using, might become better if that card is no longer being played. These key shifts in the meta happen all the time and if you are able to pick up on it and take advantage of it, you might be able to take most duelist by surprise and get some easy wins. I feel that the decks that I am going to go over today have the best chance to thrive on this idea at the NAWCQ.

This deck is easily the best unexpected, powerful, and lethal deck that duelist should watch out for. I used this deck for quite some time even when players were main decking three copies of Maxx “C” and Effect Veiler and I struggled. The deck was still powerful, but having to face that much hate every single round made it very hard to top a twelve round tournament. Since the meta has shifted and the most used and feared decks has become Dino-Rabbit, Chaos Dragons, and Inzektors most duelist have cut this card completely out of their main deck and some don’t even bother to include it in their side deck. The meta has even come to a point where some duelist are even cutting back on how many Effect Veilers they are keeping in the main! If you don’t have any hand traps in your main deck to stop the onslaught of Wind-Up effects you are going to have a very tough time pulling out a victory in the first game.

The recent rise in this decks popularity can almost directly correlate with the rise in Chaos Dragon duelist. The average Chaos Dragon deck uses no traps and only three copies of Effect Veilers to try and stop all of the Wind-Up shenanigans. If you are planning on taking Chaos Dragons to the top tables at the NAWCQ then you better make sure you keep this match-up in mind when constructing your side deck.


MAXX “C” – There are no surprises here. Even though this card is not as powerful as it may have been during the Plant Synchro format, it is still needed to help fight off decks like Wind-Ups and Hieratics. This is the main card you will need to make sure you have for this match-up. Without Maxx “C” it would be tough for any duelist to make sure they get to keep the cards in their hand.

D.D. CROW – Oh you want to use your Wind-Up Rat to bring back Wind-Up Hunter? I THINK NOT! This card is obviously good against this deck since it is live anytime they attempt to activate their Wind-Up Rat’s effect. Beware though Leviair the Sea Dragon is a very powerful Rank 3 XYZ monster and Wind-ups can make him very easily so use your Crow wisely!

MIRROR OFOATHS – Mirror of Oaths has not seen play for quite some time, but it is something duelist should probably consider before the NAWCQ . It can be pretty useful against Dino-Rabbit as well as help in the Wind-Up match-up. When your opponent makes a Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity to try and start discarding cards out of your hand, you can flip Mirror of Oaths for a free trade-off and stopping your opponent in their tracks. Not to mention it was just printed as a super rare in the newest turbo pack for style points!

RIVALRY OF WARLORDS/GOZEN MATCH – If you deck is able to sideboard either of these cards effectively, I would recommend doing so. Rivalry is better in most cases, but if you are just running a deck with a lot of dark monsters and different types, Gozen Match is a nice replacement. Both of these continuous traps can shut down any Wind-Up duelist from even thinking about discarding the cards out of your hand.

Someone call Fraizer Smith, Jonathan Weigle, and Austin Kulman because their deck is trying to make a comeback! Ever since Heavy Storm was brought back from the ban list this decks popularity had plummeted to being an almost non-existent factor, but not anymore. Duelist from all over the world are picking this deck up again and giving it a go.

The simple answer is because of how it matches up against the big three decks in the format. Against Chaos Dragons, if they aren’t able to draw a Royal Tribute to virtually end the game then it might just be an activated Necrovalley that shuts down all of the decks boss monsters that will finish them off. The Dino-Rabbit match-up is almost just as good. A 2500 defense mode Gravekeeper’s Spy can really put the brakes, no pun intended, on any Dino-Rabbit duelist not to mention the boat load of removal this deck packs. This decks worst match-up out of the big three is Inzektors, but even then it is not too bad. If you are able to get their Inzektor Hornets to the graveyard you can be sure that Necrovalley will stop them from being able to destroy any of your cards.


SHADOW IMPRISIONING-MIRROR – This card is kind of a given, but there are some new duelist out there who may not remember the power that gravekeepers once had. This card will pretty much shut down their deck enough to the point where they won’t be able to do much outside of summoing monsters and attacking. This has always been my favorite side card for this match-up.

ANY FORM OF REMOVAL – Any form of Monster/Spell/Trap removal will prove quite effective against Gravekeepers. Dimensional Prison and Bottomless Trap Hole will probably be the most efficient form of monster removal since they both deal with any monster in the deck while Necrovalley is face-up and remove them from play so you won’t have to worry about those annoying Gravekeeper’s Recruiters! Dust Tornado is my favorite answer to almost anything a Gravekeeper duelist can throw at you. It can get rid of problem face-down backrows or just rid the field of Necrovalley and allow you to go off no matter what deck you are wielding.

Conclusion: While it is important to know what the top three decks will be going into the North American World Championship Qualifier this weekend, you need to make sure you are ready for the unexpected. Since the Yugioh meta is always shifting and players are playing new decks and have new tech card choices older decks that weren’t as good have a chance to rise to the top. If you are planning on attending the NAWCQ this weekend you should keep your eyes out for Wind-Ups and Gravekeeper’s alike! These two decks you may have thought were extinct are now fighting back and more hungry for a win than ever before! As long as you know these decks popularity is on the rise and have adjusted your side deck accordingly, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about!

Good luck to everyone who will be attending the NAWCQ this weekend, I wish you all the best of luck! I will be there early Friday morning and if you see me walking around, feel free to stop by and say “Hello!”

Thank you all for reading, if you have any thoughts on this article or suggestions for future articles feel free to leave it in the comments down below! Don’t forget to answer the question of the article located at the top!

-Billy Brake
-YCS Toronto and Columbus Champion