Hello everyone. I hope you all had a nice sneak preview weekend if you could not attend YCS New Jersey. I know a bunch of my friends who could not attend the YCS had some good pulls at the sneak preview. Lucky for them I guess right? With the format essentially changing drastically with the release of Tachyon, YCS New Jersey was the last event before the official release date of the new set and the last event we could see/play in a "normal" format you could say. Most players that I was talking to you before the event, were deciding on running Mermail, Wind-Ups, Infernities, Fire/Dino Fist, etc. But like Joe Giorlando mentioned in his article about the YCS, Frazier Smith, Mike Steinman, Giorlando and myself all decided to run Spellbooks for this event.
Like Joe mentioned, the Fire Fist matchup was by far the easiest for us. Just the pure advantage the Spellbook deck produced over the opposing Bear/Tenki or even [ccProd]Rescue Rabbit[/ccProd] just was not enough for them to prevail over us during testing. Also the fact we played REAL trap cards and not like previous build we saw playing copies of [ccProd]Threatning Roar[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Waboku[/ccProd]. Same could be said about the Water matchup due to the traps we played backed up by the copies of [ccProd]Maxx "C"[/ccProd] and Trag. If you look over Joe's decklist in his article, I played simply 1 card different. I played a single copy of [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd] in the main deck. The reasoning behind this was that I wanted something other then just [ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd] to draw into if a Infernity/Hieratic/Water play just decided to take the [ccProd]Maxx "C"[/ccProd] challenge. Also the synchro option was something I strongly mentioned to Joe/Frazier in the hotel room while we were building the deck. I won a few games by going into [ccProd]Scrap Dragon[/ccProd] and gaining more advantage that way. Even a [ccProd]Crimson Blader[/ccProd] play was in my favor during a Water matchup I had against Micheal Lux (he scooped before I could commit to the synchro summon). This deck was a great choice for the event because we had made our main deck to counteract and interact with the meta we predicted we would play against during the tournament. Fire/Dino Fist and Water were strong choices by many duelists coming into the event so we figured why not have a good matchup game 1 vs them. Ophion was also not that hard to handle due to us once again playing real trap cards unlike other Spellbook builds that previously topped. After day 1, Joe and myself talked about how multiple of our opponents were stymied by the fact we actually played trap cards. Joe explained how one of his opponents went Mermail Abyssteus, discarding Atlantean Marksman, and Joe simply [ccProd]Solemn Warning[/ccProd]'d it. Having his opponents reaction confused and priceless.
I ended up being very happy with the deck selection we all made as a team. Even though Billy, Pat and Paul chose different decks, we still had their input and suggestions as to card choices we could play. That is something very important when building or deciding on a deck to play for an event. Having multiple people to bounce ideas off of and get feedback is VERY important. Some ideas Joe had that I did not have, I had some ideas Frazier did not have, Mike had some ideas that Joe did not have, and every other combination possible because we all helped each other out! It doesn't matter if its a group of 3 people or a group of 30 people, any kind of help/advice is always important. I would not be the kind of player I am today without the help from my friends and the advice they have given me along the way. With the format changing like I previously mentioned, you should get all the help/advice/play testing you could get in since the format is going to become very fast. And very crazy.
Since sneak previews occurred over the weekend while the YCS was going on, I saw some players acquire copies of the highly anticipated Mecha Beast Phantom Dracossack and Spellbook of Judgment. And I must say, the price tags on these cards are either way over priced or well deserved. I understand that these two cards can define the format coming up because of their success over in the OCG, but that is in the OCG. The playstyles and card choices over here in the TCG change a lot due to our "meta" you could say and our "techs" we come up with as players. Yes, we do gain some if not most of our tech ideas from the OCG but we also have cards that the OCG does not based on TCG exclusives. I was doing a little research into how much Elemental Dragons and Spellbooks play against "rogue" decks (Gadget, Infernity, Wind-up, etc) over in the OCG and the numbers are very, very low. The majority of all tournaments seen on websites and OCG coverage are mirror matches or the battle of the top 4. (Evilswarm, Spellbooks, 3-Axis Fist, and Elemental Dragons). This does not mean they don't play a few of the decks during swiss or anything, this is just the slight research I have done to prepare myself for the National Season that is underway.
How does that information factor into why we chose to run Spellbooks at YCS New Jersey? For me anyways, I was set on the deck after seeing Joe do some testing vs Fire Fist and Water and seeing the results mainly in his favor. Another reason was doing some research. Research from YCS Lille and San Diego. We saw mainly Water and Fire/Dino Fist prevail and claim top spots at the events and having multiple slots in the top 32/16/8/4/2. This was something I took into strong consideration going into this event running such an abstract deck. Making the deck to benefit us in the primary matchups we should likely go against was one thing we had talked about the whole night before. Making the deck as consistent as possible for our best matchup but also having a benefit of the doubt in our worst. We all knew what the deck did, but most of our opponents did not. I know from my own experience at YCS New Jersey, 65-70% of my opponents had to read most/some of my cards during our match. That all goes back to the surprise factor I've mentioned in previous articles. Having a strong surprise factor going into an event can give you that slight edge you are looking for to reach the top spot or reach the top cut. Do to unfortunate events during the tournament, none of the ARG players were able to reach the top cut with our Spellbook decks. Does this mean we failed? Does this mean it was a bad deck choice or poorly designed? I would answer those questions with none of the above. I would however, answer the questions with this. "We did not expect perfection during the tournament since we are not perfect, we expected results for future tournaments". What does that mean? That is for you to decide. Until next time, Play Hard or Go Home.