The Mental Game: Preparing for YCS Philadelphia

Welcome back Yu-Gi-Oh world for yet another article preparing you for the upcoming YCS! This time our travels take us to the City of Brotherly Love where Galactic Overlord will have its first opportunity to impact competitive play. Today I’m going to be talking about what one should except this upcoming weekend, and hopefully identity some significant trends that should be taken into consideration for all players planning on attending. So let’s get right on into it, shall we?

Obviously Dino-Rabbit proved unharmed enough by the change in priority to take the top spot in Chicago and the ability to continuously adapt and now utilize one of the most powerful cards of the format – Macro Cosmo has made it remain a top pick heading into Philadelphia. What might yet again favor Dino-Rabbit to be the choice in Philadelphia is the newly released Inzektor Ladybug from GAOV. While I acknowledge the power of Inzektor Ladybuy and wholeheartedly respect how devastating the deck can be at times, whenever I have used Dino-Rabbit (which is actually three YCS’s at this point!) my favorite matchup has been against Inzektors. I have defeated seven Inzektors decks at the three events I have used Dino-Rabbit, with not a single loss! Having access to Jurrac Guiba and Rescue Rabbit in the maindeck puts Inzektors in such a terrible position if they do not draw an optimal hand, and being able to adequately utilize Macro Cosmos in the sided games favors you in this matchup too much to ignore. And even if the opponent is prepared to Macro Cosmos that means they must fixate their deck with copies of Dust Tornado, Trap Stun and so on with the assumption they will encounter Macro Cosmos – just because that card has such a warping effect on the game. If players gravitate to Inzektors with hopes of using the newly released Inzektor Ladybug they must certainly acknowledge how scary it would be a to sit down and play a handful of Dino-Rabbit decks.

And if players decide to copy Billy Brake from YCS Chicago (like who does that?) and fill their deck with a few copies of Safe Zone, unlike most decks who may only have the three copies of Mystical Space Typhoon and Heavy Storm to combat the powerful trap card, Dino-Rabbit should be playing a full package of Forbidden Lance to stymie any Safe Zone action the turn it is activated. Oh man, I hate convincing myself to keep running this deck because it gets so boring at times…

The next thing that favors Dino-Rabbit this weekend is the release of Cardcar D. Now outside of things such as Hero Beat and those wanting to toss Cardcard D into Inzektors, the only other place I feel as though I am going to encounter this card is in the degenerate strategies we all hate playing. You know exactly what I am getting at. The Final Countdown and Chain Burn and stall this or burn that… all the decks you cringe at the idea of facing. The pseudo-Pot of Greed effect that Cardcar D warrants, in decks that have no business Special Summoning is attracting many players to hop on board of things such as Final Countdown. If One Day of Peace wasn’t enough it seems like Cardcar D may be just the tipping point in introducing these decks into everyone’s mindset.

Well if there is one thing I know about Evolzar Laggia and Dolkka. They love seeing these types of strategies. Chain Burn and Final Countdown rely on having absolutely every card at their disposal and  if the Dino-Rabbit can sit there and flood the field with multiple copies of Laggia and Dolkka since there is no fear of removal spells then suddenly those players have less cards than the opponent has negations. From there I think you guessed how bleak it looks for these strategies. Dino-Rabbit is going to feast on decks like this – especially if you have copies of Forbidden Lance in the maindeck to punish silly burn cards like Magic Cylinder. And do not forget! If you are playing one of the decks which use Accumulated Fortune, try your best to activate multiple Lances or Space Typhoons to disrupt their chain links!

Oh and can I highlight this card for you:

Photon Papilloperative

2 Level 4 monsters

Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 1 Defense Position monster on the field; change it to face-up Attack Position, and if you do, it loses 600 ATK.

2100 ATK / 1800 DEF

How frustrating has it been to sit and look at Gellenduo or Spirit Reaper with a copy of Laggia on board and another Rescue Rabbit in hand? But wait, now we can target Spirit Reaper? Or shift Gellenduo to attack mode? You have got to be kidding me! I do not know why more people are not talking about this card. This is an absolute staple in the extra deck of Dino-Rabbit players. Hello? We have a counter to the what was thought to be the best counter to the deck. And it is an exceed our Rescue Rabbit can make!

But of course the roses are not always red and everything is not favoring Rescue Rabbit and his dinosaur pals. It seems as though the popularity in my neck of the woods of Chaos Dragons has exploded in the last few weeks. There was the obvious spike after YCS Dallas, but I almost feel as though there was a second surge after a repeat strong performance in YCS Chicago. Now I do not need to sit here and tell you how much trouble Kabazaulz and Jurrac Guiba have with attacking over Lightpulsar Dragon or Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. What I am going to tell you is that the new releases from GAOV are only going to continue to pump affection toward Chaos Dragons. Queen Dragun Djinn, Hieratic Dragon King of Atum, Photon Strike Bounzer and Gaia, the Swift Thunder Knight suddenly take what was once an extra deck with a bunch of room and jam packs if with a series of incredible powerhouses. Lingering Eclipse Wyverns and Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceresses suddenly become Queen Dragun Djinn who are reviving Lightpulsar Dragons – ready to bring back fallen Darkflare and Red-Eyes. That sounds brutal!

One of the major factors favoring Chaos Dragons is the release of Photon Strike Bounzer. Bounzer effect is similar to Dolkka in the sense that it enables this already incredibly aggressive deck to play around Gorz the Emissary of Darkness when performing game shots. Of course Bounzer only negates Gorz and would not destroy Gorz, but in a deck which can seemingly put a million damage on the board as it is negating and dealing 1000 points of damage is often more than enough to seal the game in favor of Chaos Dragons. The release of all of these weapons, in conjunction with YCS success before GAOV is only going to generate more players running this deck at Philadelphia. Fair warning to those Dino-Rabbit players. Not everything is going to be ladybugs and roses.

Now it seems as though I have gone through most of this article bashing Inzektors and I think that is something I am going to need to clear up. Obviously when talking about the Dino-Rabbit matchup it is difficult to ignore that it is going to be difficult but once again if you were to copy Billy Brake you could strengthen that matchup. Messenger of Peace has been flying out of trade binders and into the hands of the masses over the course of the last few weeks. It seems like everyone is trying to get their hands on a playset of these in order to combat the rise of Chaos Dragons with the continued presence of Dino-Rabbit. I am not going to go into much detail because I know the interactions with this card have been well-documented but more Messenger of Peaces is going to be mean a more difficult time for Dino-Rabbit and Chaos Dragons. Since more players are aware of Messenger heading into Philadelphia it may be just the key card that puts Inzektors over the top in the field and have the ability to knock out more Dino-Rabbit and Chaos Dragons throughout swiss – leaving the later rounds to be a feeding frenzy of Inzektor mirror matches. I may be overestimating how much of an impact Messenger of Peace is going to have but I roomed with Billy in Chicago and boy was he talking highly about this card. I don’t think I could have seen someone more confident to face Dino-Rabbit with Inzektors in my life. If he could have played 16 Dino-Rabbits into the finals I honestly think he would have. He started imitating the picture on Messenger as he prepared for the Top 4 at one point. Now that is dedication.

One thing about Philadelphia that I think is important to take into consideration is how popular of a location this event is going to be. Being from New England I understand how difficult it is for a lot of players to venture out to events unless we are talking Nationals or a YCS like Long Beach. But I can say a dedicated base of players from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and so on will travel down to attend this event. Unlike some of the events like Dallas which can be difficult to attend unless you have the resources to fly, I see Philadelphia sitting close enough to New York, Boston but even Chicago to warrant a massive crowd. And if there is one thing I know about massive crowds is that the more players there are the more random things seem to become. Part of the struggle for many of my friends in Long Beach was just finding a consistent stream of playing normal decks. It can become difficult to sit down with your teched out Inzektor deck ready to pound on those Dino-Rabbit matchups and see your opponent unroll a starter deck playmat and open the most optimal Machina hand of all time. It isn’t like you have Cyber Dragon/Chimeratech or System Down waiting in the side deck. So just be prepared for what can be a mentally draining first few rounds when your endurance to play random decks is put to the test.

In conclusion I would have to say that this weekend the best three decks are going to be Dino-Rabbit, Inzektor and Chaos Dragons. As of this moment they are the only three decks I am considering. I have had some flirtations again with Heroes but I am not sure how far that is going to take me. I do not think Hieratics are in position to do very well and even though I always loss to the deck – I do not think Wind-Ups have ever been very good. Degenerate strategies are going to be on the rise because of Cardcar D so be prepared but other than those decks I think the card is overrated and will not have much of an impact on the already established tier one decks… we have this thing called Tour Guide from the Underworld and she rocks enough. The final question that only Philadelphia can answer is how the three top decks can joist for position. Dare I say we have a rock-paper-scissors format growing? Dino-Rabbit does pretty darn well against Inzektors but not so hot against Chaos Dragons. Chaos Dragons does pretty darn well against Dino-Rabbit but can struggle against Inzektors. Inzektors does pretty darn well against Chaos Dragons but not so hot against Dino-Rabbit.

Joe Giorlando

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