What’s up Yugioh players? After a long writing hiatus, I’m back to give my thoughts and experiences on Circuit Series Charlotte, NC this past weekend! First I would like give a huge congrats to Patrick Hoban for winning the event making it his 3rd event win in under a year’s span, which is just insane. I ended up making it to the Top 16 of the Circuit Series but unfortunately took my loss in the first round of top cut to my friend Jono running Fire Fist, and Water vs. Fire was the defining matchup over the weekend. I want to delve into the builds of each deck since they were the big 2 over the weekend.
First I want to take a look at Fire Fists and from looking at the Top 16 decklists they are the most played deck by far, 9 of them making top 16 and they all look the same give or take a few changes; however one card that you see on just about ever Fire list is Full House. The cards text read as follows:
“Select 2 face-up Spell/Trap Cards (except this card) and 3 Set Spell/Trap Cards. Destroy the selected cards.”
Just from reading this card, you can tell this card is an absolute blowout in the Fire Fist mirror match as there are always floating S/T cards on the field such as Tenki or Fiendish Chain, chaining this card to a Tenki or hitting your opponent with it in the end phase can be devastating. The card is so powerful against Fire, Dirk and Dalton decided to main 2 copies each to give them in edge in the mirror game 1. Even if you aren’t running Fire, it’s a very useful card to use against them.
One card that people might taken a second look at is the YCS prize card 106: Giant Hand in Jono's extra deck. It has 2000 attack and defense and is a walking Skill Drain, so it is obvious that this card is a monster in the Fire Fist mirror match, being able to shift the game in your favor when your going through Bear/Wolfbark exchanges. You can check out Jono and Brandon Wigley's feature match for the ACS to see just how good the card is. Right now very few duelists own a copy of this card, so maybe soon through a reprint of some sort the majority of players will be able to extra deck this card.
Another thing I want to take a look at was the builds of Fire that were the most popular at the event. At the beginning of the format we saw 3.5 Axis builds of Fire Fist were the builds that had the most showings, as the explosive Rooster, Spirit, and Horse Prince plays were too good for many player’s to pass up. However as the format progressed, most players found that the 3.5 build wasn’t consistent/good enough for a premier event and had multiple flaws to it, having awkward hands, and being susceptible to multiple hand traps among other problems. Another problem with the deck was that even if you opened up with the turn 1 play, if you didn’t have the traps to back it up, that board could easily get dismantled by aggressive decks such as Hieratics. The pure 4-Axis build of Fire Fist with Cardcar Ds sacrifices this explosiveness for consistency. The deck is one of the most consistent decks we have right now, opening up with Cardcar+Tenki turn 1 puts you ahead early on, and with 3 Duality and 3 Upstarts that isn’t so hard to do. The deck also gained some new power with the release of Silent Honor ARK and Exciton Knight, being able to clear threats off the board if the deck gets too far behind. One of the problems the deck has however is being very linear and being limited to the number of summons the deck has per turn, so you can get clogged with too many monsters at times and not enough traps to stop your opponent from establishing a board. Fire Fist isn’t too hard to play and with it being consistent is a safe choice for any upcoming event this format.
Now I want to talk about Mermails, the deck that had the 2nd most numbers with 4 of them making it to the top 16. Now looking at the deck it looks very different from what Mermails used to look like, especially the list Patrick ran for this event and YCS Atlanta.
3xMermail Abyss Gunde
1xTidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls
First off for the monsters, the deck ran no copies of Infantry, Diva, or Abyssleed and only 2 copies of Marksman along with 1 copy of Undine and Genex Controller. The only spells were Upstart Goblins and had 3 Reckless Greeds in the trap lineup along with 2 Vanity’s Emptiness with no Abyss-Squall. Going from conventional Mermails to this, this looks crazy but the deck with all these changes makes it flow better as a Rank 4/7 toolbox deck, cutting unnecessary cards and adding ones that help you get to your key cards faster. The deck revolves around Gunde nowadays, meaning you don’t commit too much to each play you make, and getting Tidal in grave early is huge as most decks such as Fire can’t handle a free 2600 beater that comes back each turn. I chose to run 1 Emptiness and 1 Warning over the 2 Emptiness because of all the Fire Fists running around at the event and it also has generally the same applications Emptiness has in other matchups as well. This version of the deck is one of the harder decks to play as you have generally have a lot of cards and with that comes more options which gives you more opportunities to mess up, I only had a few days to test for the event with this deck so I know I messed more times than I would’ve liked to throughout the weekend so I wasn’t even mad when I lost in Top 16. I would recommend practicing a good amount before taking this deck to a major event.
Although Water and Fire are the top 2 decks other decks like Geargias, Harpies, Fire Kings, and Hieratics can compete and top as well with some changes as you saw from the Circuit Series top cut even they were low in numbers at this event, making the proper adjustments to your deck for the meta can be the difference between topping and losing on the bubble. We have a while until the next event which is the ACS in March, so it will be interesting to see how the meta shifts and decks change come next big event to see how they adapt to beat Water and Fire with them being the top 2 decks right now.
Overall the ARGCS this past weekend ran smoothly throughout the entire weekend, I really like how relaxed the atmosphere is at the Circuit Series events. Topping this event made me feel great because of how competitive they are. One major thing I like about these over YCS’s is that Day 1 doesn’t end super late and you actually aren’t too tired to go out and eat. Don’t forget guys, the next ARGCS event is in Las Vegas, Nevada March 15th-16th, all kinds of activities outside of the event so make sure you book soon!
Until next time guys!