YCS Philly was one of the craziest events I have ever attended. I would first off like to give a huge congrats to Chris Leblanc for winning his 2nd YCS running Madolche! I ended up making it to the Top 32 of this event with Mythic Dragons maining [ccProd]Skill Drain[/ccProd] and lost in Top 32 to Dragon Plants. Though it was good to get another top it was still a tad disappointing to lose in the first round of top cut. Many people including myself had no clue what they were going to run the weeks and even days leading up to the event. With this event being the first one Primal Origins was legal, you had a plethora of decks to choose from and finding the best out of all of them can take some work. You saw everything at the venue Saturday morning, Sylvans, Geargia, Artifact variants, Dragons, Mermails, Madolche, Infernities, Evilswarm, Bujins, and many others. It was hard to prepare for all of these decks and predict how many of each deck you would most likely face, I had some friends play against 4 Madolche and others wouldn’t see any throughout the whole tournament. Today I’m going to talk about what I think were the top decks going into the weekend, Hand Artifact Traptrix (just going to call it HAT to shorten the name) and Geargia.
I’m going to start off talking about HAT. The weeks leading up the event, the deck gained a lot of popularity, as I saw many people playing the deck on Dueling Network whenever I got on to watch games. Everybody was trying to find the best way to use the Artifact monsters, from putting them in Constellars to just running them in their own deck. The product of testing was putting them alongside Traptrix and Fire and Ice Hands, which made the deck called HAT. The deck is just a combination of really good cards so there is no real name for it. I first heard about the deck from my good friend Chris Hentz and he showed me what the deck looked like. I’m going to use one of the lists from YCS Philly as an example since the deck is still fairly new to some people.
[ccDeck="Main Deck"]2 Artifact Moralltach
2 Cardcar D
3 Fire Hand
3 Ice Hand
3 Maxx "C"
3 Traptrix Myrmeleo
1 Traptrix Dionaea
3 Pot of Duality
2 Pot of Dichotomy
2 Upstart Goblin
3 Artifact Sanctum
3 Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare
2 Dimensional Prison
2 Black Horn of Heaven
2 Call of the Haunted
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Solemn Warning
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
1 Torrential Tribute[/ccDeck]
The deck plays much like +1 Fire Fists did, though it does have some key differences. You have the Hands acting as spot removal for on field threats alongside using Sanctum to disrupt your opponent’s setup. The deck also runs 1-2 copies on Dionaea which serves as a pseudo [ccProd]Coach Soldier Wolfbark[/ccProd] being able to bring back Myrmeleo, pop a S/T, and then overlay for a rank 4. [ccProd]Pot of Dichotomy[/ccProd] is a very key card is the deck, it’s also one of my favorite spells so I’m glad it’s able to see play. With the way the deck is built Pot of Dichotomy is very easy to get online, being able to shuffle back your hands if you draw too many or have gone through some of them. [ccProd]Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare[/ccProd] is a very good card right now and it’s searchable in this deck. Hitting XYZ’s with this the turn they are special summoned is huge, and if you hit a [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd] with this it misses timing for its revival effect. This card is great against the new decks that gained support in Primal Origins, Madolche, Sylvans, and Artifacts all get hit by this card in some way. The deck uses it’s plethora of traps to outgrind and overwhelm your opponent over time, so you most likely won’t be getting done with your round in 10 minutes.
The deck does have some problems though. One being with the deck being reactive, it can’t do all too much when you opponent starts to wall up with a [ccProd]Flamvell Guard[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd]. I mean you could XYZ or try to Moralltach over it, but that’s hoping they have no traps to stop you. Another problem is the Artifact monsters themselves. Some people choose to run [ccProd]Artifact Beagalltach[/ccProd] to help when you draw Moralltach, but what happens when you draw Beagalltach or Moralltach alone? I think running a potential dead card to help when you draw a dead card isn’t the way to go since it creates a bad draw in itself. This deck is very linear in its plays, which hurts this deck since it’s not too hard to counter when players know what they are up against. Players aren’t going to play into your cards and [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd] your backrow randomly and attack your facedown monsters when they find out what you’re running, and being proactive with this deck isn’t ideal most of the time. Going into time can also be a problem for this deck since it doesn’t dish out damage very fast. I’m not saying this deck is awful but it’s going to have to be changed up a bit in order to keep up and take as many spots in Top 32 at future events as they did at YCS Philly.
Geargia has always been there and has risen and fallen in play throughout many formats now. Going into YCS Philly many people decided to run HAT, while others didn’t like the deck so they wanted to find something else to run. After you think about it for a bit, Geargia was a really solid choice for the YCS and many players choose to run it. Geargia has always had the almost impossible to lose with opening; [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd], [ccProd]Geargiagear[/ccProd], plus traps going first, nothing has changed about that. It also has a great HAT matchup, many people I am good friends with such as James Frazier and Dalton Bousman took multiple loses to Gears. They were even maining the 3 Trap Hole Nightmares and siding 3 [ccProd]Nobleman of Crossout[/ccProd]s for Geargia. The deck has a hard time dealing with what Geargia does, which is flipping Armor up and down until you make a push. Geargia also gained a new extra deck card in Primal Origins, [ccProd]Number 103: Ragnazero[/ccProd]. It’s a generic rank 4 and the effect reads:
“Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 face-up Attack Position monster your opponent controls, whose current ATK is different from its original ATK; destroy it, and if you do, draw 1 card”
This is a great card to use against Madolche, especially when you have no traps to protect you. It can also be used in other scenarios like against a [ccProd]Temtempo the Percussion Djinn[/ccProd], or a[ccProd]Bujin Yamato[/ccProd] with a [ccProd]Fire Formation - Tenki[/ccProd] face-up.
Gears struggle against other decks like Mermail and Spellbooks, which were almost nonexistent at YCS Philly. Dragons weren’t too difficult for Gears unless they put up a board turn 1, Gears were very good at taking advantage of the slow hands Dragons had or when they opened up unplayable. With Madolche, it was hard for them to deal with Armor plus backrow without a [ccProd]Madolche Chateau[/ccProd] to boost their monsters up and grind through the traps. The deck had no bad matchups against the expected decks going into the deck.
This decks biggest problem has always laid in going 2nd. You are set back more than most decks since you most likely have to set Armor plus whatever backrow you have on your turn, not being able to clear whatever threat is on board immediately. Another one of the decks problems is drawing no monsters, or too many of them as it’s very hard to deal with what the opponent does when either happens. Trap Hole Nightmare being highly played also doesn’t play into Gears favor, it hits just about everything in the extra deck, and also Armors gotten off of [ccProd]Geargiarsenal[/ccProd]. Playing around that card can be very hard to do if the opponent is applying constant pressure. Moving forward I’m not sure how many Geargia decks you will see, if the deck gets too popular players might start moving to decks which beat Gears or start to side very heavily for it. If you are planning to run this at an upcoming event, be sure to be prepared for the mirror match.
ARGCS Washington D.C. is this upcoming weekend on May 31st - June 1st (click the picture below for the details) and I’ll be attending for sure, be sure to try and attend since the number of events before our WCQ is starting to run low. Who knows what will win going into this, there are so many different decks out there it’s hard to guess.
Until next time!