Peaking into YCS Rhode Island

Wow! What an exciting weekend we had here at Rhode Island, with many deck types and strategies coming to light under the radar. That’s what I like to see! Today we’re going to discuss the interesting choices brought to Rhode Island that had at least remote success this weekend.

To start things off let’s discuss something that caught everybody’s eye, agents! Here is the deck list that made it to the top 8 of the tournament.

Top 8 – Simon He w/ AGENT
Monsters: 29
3 Mystical Shine Ball
3 Master Hyperion
3 The Agent of Creation – Venus
2 The Agent of Mystery – Earth
2 Tragoedia
2 Tour Guide From the Underworld
2 Spirit Reaper
2 Maxx “C”
2 Effect Veiler
1 Chaos Sorcerer
1 Archlord Kristya
1 Thunder King Rai-Oh
1 Herald of Orange Light
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning
1 Honest
1 Sangan
Spells: 10
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Enemy Controller
1 Forbidden Lance
1 Creature Swap
1 Dark Hole
1 Heavy Storm
1 Mind Control
1 Monster Reborn
Traps: 1
Treacherous Trap Hole

I had been testing agents for this format for quite some time a while back, but even I must say this list contains some very interesting tech choices. Most notably being the one-of spells creature swap and enemy controller, along with some more common but not staple choices in the deck such as mind control, 2 spirit reapers, and a lone treacherous trap hole. The strategy of this deck is fairly clear: Build advantage. That’s one of the reasons I enjoyed playing chaos so much after YCS Kansas City, you can sit on reapers and trags while you build up plays, forcing your opponent to make a push. Agents can do this wonderfully, having easy access to gacchi to slow down the pace of the game, as well as having triple hyperion to rely on as a boss monster. Tragoedia capitalizes this slow game state, as any advance towards your life points will be punished with a very big monster! Creature swap and enemy controller work well with your extra shineballs given by venus, and also provide for more things to “draw into” as you play the passing game. Otherwise you might stack up on cards that don’t really help you late game, but having a versatile selection of one-of cards allows you to make some tricky plays. As such, the deck can also be aggressive with 2000 beater venus’s, and 2400 thunder kings. It’s very clear why this passive aggressive deck saw success here at Rhode Island, so a big congrats to the two duelists who brought Agents to the top 8, Simon He and Daniel Vrabel.

Another deck that caught literally everybody’s attention was Zombie Monarchs, piloted by none other than SJC Indy 2005 Champion Nareg Torossian. This deck combined the strategies of surprise and control into one, making it another scary deck to go against at this event. Seeing as surprise was a key component of the decks success however, I wouldn’t be too worried about it in the future, but it certainly had its merits as to why it saw success today here at Rhode Island. With card troopers, rykos, reapers, goblin zombies, and caius’s, it seemed to be somewhat of a clash of generic good cards. We go back to the days of flipping ryko and tributing it for caius. Many have abandoned that simple concept, and yet here we see it make it all the way to top 4! Gravekeeepers spy is another splashable card in control decks like that contribute heavily. With this splash of cards it becomes a question of what am I playing against?? There’s no clear decision of what exactly you want to side in. Having this flexibility game two and game three gives a clear advantage for the deck. I haven’t looked at the full deck list yet so I can’t make many assertions yet, but I wanted to give you all my two cents.

The last thing I want to talk about is a deck that had sparked fear into many throughout day one at RI, brought to you by none other than two of my good friends Kevin Ward and Paul Cooper. Paul had built this neat deck a while ago and worked with Kevin thoroughly before the event, both deciding to take it to the event and see just how their theory would play out. They actually both got a feature match round 6, playing the exact same deck, and both started off with an astonishing 6-0! Unfortunately neither top 32’d the event, but came exceptionally close making it a very notable deck to talk about. Here is both Kevin’s feature match along with his deck list.

Monsters: 8
1 Elementa Hero Stratos
3 Elemental Hero Alius
2 Thunder King Rai-Oh
2 Spirit Reaper

Spells: 16

1 Pot of Duality
3 Miracle Fusion
3 Gemini Spark
2 E-Emergency Call
1 Heavy Storm
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Reinforcements of the Army
3 Mystical Space Typhoon

Traps: 16

2 Dark Bribe
1 Starlight Road
2 Torrential Tribute
2 Mirror Force
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
3 Dimensional Prison
2 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Hero Blast

Side Deck
3 Wind Up Shark
3 Wind Up Magician
2 Wind Up Rat
2 Wind Up Rabbit
2 Tour Guide from the Underworld
3 Wind up Factory

Extra Deck

3 Elemental Hero the Shining
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur
1 Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh
1 Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon
1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1 Number 16: Shock Master
1 Photon Papilloperative
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Wind Up Zenmaity
1 Wind Up Zenmaines
1 Number 20: Giga-Brilliant

You’re probably wondering what on earth you are looking at! It’s just what it seems, Hero’s that sides into wind ups. Conversion sides have been around for a long time, but not many can effectively utilize both aspects of the deck. You have to be able to take out an entire engine, replace it with another, while keeping in staple cards that work well with both decks. Since the hero engine and the wind up engine both have limited amount of cards that support itself, it’s not actually all too difficult to swap the decks completely! The majority of the deck after all is staple cards such as solemn warning, dark hole, reborn, etc., that run with both decks. The tricky part is finding the right balance, and of course, balancing the extra deck. What makes a conversion side truly successful however? Whatever counters your main deck be completely useless against your conversion sided deck. That means when they see your heros, the average duelist will be quick to take out their veilers, maxx c’s, and fiendish chains, replacing them with cards such as kinetic soldier. Although the wind up deck they now have may not be able to be 100% as impactful as a pure wind up deck, limited in extra deck space and limited in the engine, the ability to play without fear of hand traps makes it way more dangerous than any other strategy. As such, the opponent will have dead kinetic soldiers sitting in their hand. I absolutely love decks like this, catching the opponent off guard giving you the upper hand. Being predictable is no way to go into an event, and these two duelists from my home town in Kansas were no strangers to this concept. Good job to both of you and good luck next event, I hope to see an equally interesting deck!

You could even say, it would make them the most interesting duelists in the world because…
I don’t always play Heros, but when I do, I side into Wind-Ups.

A few others under the radar strategies to come out on top included a single sea lancer frog deck and one gravekeeper deck. It’s great to see that the game is finally opening up so that a wide array of decks can make it to the top. More in depth analysis from the duelists themselves and others will be sure to come for this event, I just wanted to give you guys a quick look at the event and show you guys that anything can happen. Keep an open mind! I love yugioh and competitive play, but I also love being innovative and having fun, so never forget that part. I hope you guys enjoyed this short look into YCS RI. As always, play hard or go home!