Hello Yugioh Community! The North American World Championship Qualifier, NAWCQ for short, is now only a couple of weeks away! This is arguably the most important tournament of the year if you live in the USA or Canada, but its results are even highly anticipated by the rest of the world. Since this event is so important you can bet duelist from all over these two countries have been working hard to make sure they have an edge on the competition and hopefully yield positive results. A way to prepare mentally for an event of this magnitude is to break down each match-up and figure out how each game might go for both of the decks. In these last remaining days leading up to the NAWCQ I want to take a look at some of the most expected match-ups, what each of the decks has going for them, and a general sense on what to do from each decks perspective. This week I want to discuss what will probably end up being a majority of the match-ups at the NAWCQ: Dragon Rulers vs. Prophecy!
Question of the article: Which deck will win the NAWCQ?
Don’t forget to answer the question of the article in the comments down below!
-Taking a Look at the Decks-
Before I divulge into what my own opinions are on this match-up I am going to post a sample deck list from each of the respective decks I will be discussing. For the Spellbook deck we will use a decklist that made top 8 at the Greek Nationals piloted by Stavros Papadopoulos.
And for the Dragon Ruler deck I have chosen to just put together a standard version of the deck.
-The Match-Up Review-
I can say with pretty strong certainty that in this match-up the die roll is a huge factor. If the Dragon Ruler player gets to go first in game one then that gives them an opportunity to win the game, but if the Prophecy player goes first then it is almost already over. Prophecy has a distinct advantage in game 1 over Dragon Ruler's mainly because of how the deck is built and its annoying consistency to gain massive amounts of advantage while summoning monsters that shut down the entire Dragon Ruler deck. Cards like [ccProd]Kycoo The Ghost Destroyer [/ccProd]and[ccProd] Jowgen The Spiritualist [/ccProd] can end this match-up quickly especially when they go first and get to be summoned for free from [ccProd]Spellbook of Judgment [/ccProd] before the Dragon Ruler has a chance to get some board presence with a [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossac [/ccProd].
Now as horrible of a time Dragon Ruler's can have against Prophecy game 1, it isn't completely unwinnable. In order to figure out how to overcome obtain victory you must remain calm and try and play to your outs as best as possible. The best cards in the main of the Dragon Ruler deck that will help fight off Prophecy are easily [ccProd]Heavy Strom[/ccProd], [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd], and the three copies of [ccProd]Gold Sarcophagus[/ccProd] if you don't draw them. Since the Prophecy deck can be devastated by these two powerful and rightfully restricted cards, it is important to utilize [ccProd]Gold Sarcophagus[/ccProd] the way it was once used before the introduction of Dragon Rulers. The plan is to survive long enough to have a Heavy Strom with a follow-up push and drop a couple of [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossac [/ccProd] and put the Prophecy player in a spot where they won't be able to recover. If the Dragon Ruler player is main decking[ccProd] Swift Scarecrow [/ccProd]like in the example deck list,it can even be used to help guarantee getting to the card that you sarc'd for. This task is not easy, but it is smart to at least have a game plan and attempt to win instead of being upset that you lost the die roll and now the game is over. Overall, I would have to give the game 1 match-up in favor of the Prophecy player. This is the reason why so many players main Droll and Lock Bird and [ccProd]Eradicator Epidemic Virus[/ccProd] to help turn the odds in their favor.
This is where things get a little more tricky and the tides may turn. First let's take a look at what cards the Prophecy player might put in to deal with Dragon Rulers. More than likely you will see most Prophcey players side cards in like [ccProd]Rivalry of the Warlords[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Soul Drain [/ccProd] which will mean not only are their monsters shutting the deck down, but now so will their back rows. Prophecy players really won't side too many cards on top of that in most cases since they main deck so many super-effective cards for Dragon Ruler's already. Prophecy will still have their great match-up from game 1 and most of the time the pressure will be on the Dragon Ruler player to not only side effectively, but draw it quick enough before it is too late.
Now most Dragon Ruler duelists on the other hand will side in probably more cards for this match-up than any other, due to Prophecy's popularity combined with it being a very tough match-up. In most cases, this is where you will see the Droll&Lock bird, [ccProd]Epidemic Eradicator Virus[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd] come into play. Siding back row removal in against Prophecy is a must! Not only is it important to have to try and destroy their set Spellbook of Fate, it helps deal with all of the other lock down traps they will be side boarding. [ccProd]Epidemic Eradicator Virus[/ccProd] is the easiest way to beat Prophecy with out really needing to think. Now in most likely scenarios, the Dragon Ruler lost game 1 and will get a chance to go first in game 2 giving them a huge edge post-siding. It is not hard far a Dragon Ruler player to open up his turn with a rank 7 xyz monster, in this case[ccProd] Number 11: Big Eye[/ccProd], and draw one of three copies of [ccProd]Epidemic Eradicator Virus[/ccProd]. When it resolves it is usually impossible for the prophecy player to make a comeback barring some great plays and even more luck. Droll and lock is important for anytime when the Dragon Ruler player is going 2nd because opening up with it can mean the difference between winning and losing. While Prophecy can draw hands where they "play around it", more often than not you will be able to spot their[ccProd] Spellbook of Judgment [/ccProd][ccProd]from resolving and turning the odds back in your favor. I would probably have to lean in favor of the Dragon Ruler player in this match-up after side decking as taken place, but Prophecy still has a good shot to win the match if they won game 1.
Conclusion: At the NAWCQ I would bet my bottom dollar that you will see many Prophecy vs. Dragon Rulers every round. It is important to understand this match-up and how most of the games go so you can develop a game plan and figure out how to deal. In this particular match-up game 1 will go to the Prophecy player most of the time. They main too many answers for most Dragon Ruler decks and if they win the dice roll it becomes nearly impossible unless they open with a pretty awful hand. Post-side however tips the odds back in favor of the Dragon Ruler player since in most cases they will side in almost double the amount of cards to deal with main and side deck answers the Prophecy play may have. Despite the Dragon Ruler having two games to play with their side deck cards in, if you take a loss game 1 to Prophecy, you can bet that game 3 will be a difficult one to manage. In my opinion, these are the two best decks right now and will more than likely take 1st and 2nd at the North American World Championship Qualifier, the victor of the two though is unclear.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions, suggestions, concerns, or simply want to just answer the question of the article, you can do so in the comments down below!
-YCS Toronto and YCS Columbus Champion