Generally speaking, I enjoy writing about Yu-Gi-Oh more than I enjoy playing it (albeit marginally), which is good, given that I consider myself a much better writer than I do a player. After losing my third game of the day to an Infernity player (in which all three games lasted a combined total of just under 9 minutes), I had given up hope of making day 2 of YCS Berlin and it was no surprise that my next article wouldn’t be a “Top 32” report. Struggling to think of what I could write for my next article, I began wandering the tables in between my remaining matches of Day 1 and the early parts of Day 2. The increased player pool (as opposed to say, a regional or locals) really opened up the amount of interesting tech ideas on display at the event, some of which I want to highlight in this article. Bear in mind that this isn’t a list of cards that I’m telling you to run at all costs, rather they are just some of the more innovative ideas I saw whilst in Germany. Whether they see widespread play either by the end of this format or by the beginning of the next one remains to be seen.
Main-Decked Mind Crush
[ccProd]Mind Crush[/ccProd] in the main deck is something that has been gathering momentum over the last couple of weeks, making an appearance in a couple of regional top 8 deck lists both in the States and in Europe . Out of all the ‘tech’ ideas I saw, this was by far the most frequent one, especially in Fire Fist. Two people I played against main decked it, I myself main decked it in triplicate for the weekend, and so did a couple of people I spoke to. In a format where everything searches, Mind Crush can put in a lot of work, especially if an opportunity presents itself where you can rip a [ccProd]Coach Soldier Wolfbark[/ccProd], [ccProd]Mermail Abysslinde[/ccProd] or another similarly powerful card from someone’s hand (I actually had a situation in a match against a Constellar player who wouldn’t [ccProd]Reinforcement of the Army[/ccProd] for his [ccProd]Constellar Pollux[/ccProd] due to this card). Mind Crush right now is similar to [ccProd]Vanity’s Emptiness[/ccProd] of last format, a card which slowly transitioned from the side deck to the main deck based on its effectiveness against the meta. Out of all the cards I’ll be talking about in this article, I feel that this one will become the most meta-relevant card (out the ones I am discussing today) over the remaining month of the format.
Whilst I’m not tech-savvy when it comes to Mermails, I’ve yet to face a Mermail player running [ccProd]Monster Reincarnation[/ccProd]. I managed to spot a Mermail player running this in one of the side events, and it seemed pretty interesting. Inherently a -1, the player was offsetting this by pitching [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgunde[/ccProd] for the cost to get the add and a special summon. As well as this, he used the card to pitch a dead [ccProd]Mermail Abyssleed[/ccProd] to get himself an [ccProd]Mermail Abyssteus[/ccProd] from grave, which allowed him to go off. Admittedly, Monster Reincarnation does serve a niche role in an inherently combo-based deck (which can make these types of plays quite easily without said card). However, Monster Reincarnation could become an interesting idea next format for any Mermail purists trying to keep the deck alive, if indeed the prediction that some combination of [ccProd]Mermail Abyssteus[/ccProd], Abysslinde, Abyssgunde and/or [ccProd]Abyss-sphere[/ccProd] will be hit by the next banlist is right, but we’ll dodge that incredibly sensitive subject for now.
Mirror of Oaths
A couple of players have tipped [ccProd]Mirror of Oaths[/ccProd] to be an important side-deck card for next format, but the card has a couple of great uses in this format also, mainly in the Geargia matchup. I saw a Geargia player get stung by this card twice, once after resolving [ccProd]Geargiagear[/ccProd] and another time after summoning a Karakuri monster off of [ccProd]Karakuri Steel Shogun MDL 00X "Bureido"[/ccProd]’s effect. The card doesn’t target, which is always an added bonus, but the draw is the nicest feature of the card, aside from the destruction of course; plussing is always nice. In a format dominated by Fire Fist and Mermail, Mirror of Oaths is unlikely to see an increase in use between now and March 31st. The card does have applications in the Mermail match up, but there are better, harder counters for that match up before considering this card. Nonetheless, I was impressed to see such an underrated card in a side deck, simply for the shock factor it could generate. As a format drags on, common side deck choices begin to appear (see:[ccProd]Imperial Iron Wall[/ccProd], [ccProd]Droll & Lock Bird[/ccProd]), so it was refreshing to see someone take a different approach in their attitude to siding.
Jeff Jones had alluded to this card’s effectiveness in an article several weeks ago as one of the better, non-archetype specific cards to come out of Legacy of the Valiant, with Geargia making the best use out of it over the weekend (from what I saw, anyway). In the few games I saw it being used, the card was usually reserved for the prime [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd] targets, such as the Karakuri synchros and [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd]. However, the best use I saw out of it was a Geargia player using it defensively, to protect his [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd] from being popped by a [ccProd]Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear[/ccProd]. As I mentioned earlier, a big plus to Mirror of Oaths is its lack of targeting, a rare feature for a card to have in a game where almost everything else targets. The fact that a lot of important cards in the current metagame do target helps to demonstrate [ccProd]Skill Prisoner[/ccProd]’s potential. In truth, the card is great in any combo deck, where a well-timed Veiler can disrupt your plays. I don’t feel that Skill Prisoner will become any more popular over the rest of the format, but at the minute it fills a great niche in the Geargia main deck.
Tech choices are an important part of YuGiOh!, and as the format drags on, more and more of these ideas come to the fore. This format has seen an almost forgettable card in [ccProd]Full House[/ccProd] become a staple side deck card, Dragon Rulers being reinvented with the addition of the Hieratic engine, and [ccProd]Reckless Greed[/ccProd] finding its way into every Mermail deck since YCS Atlanta. As I mentioned earlier, the aim of this article wasn’t to sell you these ideas as a case of “you need to play these cards now or you’re playing this game wrong”. Rather, it was to promote diversity and originality within the current metagame. I’m not experienced enough at this game to be able to predict with any degree of certainty just how good/bad these cards will become by the end of the format, but it’d be nice to see even just a couple of these ideas stick. Perhaps by the time the ARG Circuit Series concludes in Las Vegas on the 16th of March, we might see another card rise to popularity in the same way that Full House did at the last Circuit Series in Charlotte! The Circuit Series comes to beautiful Las Vegas, NV on March 15-16 this weekend!!! Click the pic below for all the details!
I was half tempted to dedicate a section of this article to Jinzo, partly because of its inclusion as a ‘one-of’ in YCS Berlin’s winner Alpay Engin’s side deck, but also because it’s representative of a painfully common theme I observed at the tournament: Chain Burn. Whilst I had managed to avoid the match up, over the weekend several UK players I spoke to had lost matches across the main tournament and side events to Chain Burn. On the Monday after the YCS, we began chatting to someone in Alpay’s team whilst sightseeing. When my friend asked him about why he included Jinzo, his response was simply “It’s Germany, they love Chain Burn here!”.