The Physician’s Recommendation: Gemini Beat and Chaos Dragon

Johnny LiWelcome to the twelfth installment!

We’re on a countdown of some three weeks until we reach the largest and most competitive WCQ of the year!  Since I last checked in, it has become more cemented in my mind to run a main deck that counters Spellbooks for this event.  I wrestled with the fact that gearing my main deck toward Books would weaken my other matchups, but ultimately I made the decision I felt would benefit me the most in those crucial late rounds of day 1 and on day 2 of nationals.  Book is the most controlling permissions deck this game has seen in a long time, even moreso that triple-Guide Dino Rabbit!

Those who have kept up with me know I like to chat about random things Yugioh-related at the start of the articles.  Before I begin talking about today’s decks, I will share a little from the player perspective and from the judge perspective.

From a player: I’ve noticed some cases of mis-siding around me, so here are a few comments for Dragon players: side out all the hand traps vs. Book.  Veiler will not advance your gamestate.  Side out Stream, Lightning, or both.  Side out Corsesca.  Don’t run Red Dragon Archfiend, period.  True, it gets under Rivalry, but if you are leaving tuners in against Books you have mis-sided already.  Don’t go into Dracossack unless you absolutely have to pop some spell or trap.  Don’t Eradicator in their draw phase.  Psi-Blocker and Spell Canceller can remove all counters from all copies of Star Hall.  Puppet Plant gives you a double-out to Kycoo-Jowgen and can often bait Fate out while preserving your normal summon or battle phase.

Also, players may get a kick out of this: WizKids is releasing a special calculator/dice/card holder tailored specifically for Yugioh players.  Keep an eye out!

From a judge: I’d like the following to serve as a reminder that we should appreciate what judges do, even when they don’t always get things right.  They are just volunteers, after all.

So I’ve been on patrol on DN as usual, and there are a few items I hope the general player base can take note of.  First, administrators are limited.   If you call an admin and you end up waiting a long time, it’s because the line ahead of you is long.  Wait patiently (or better yet, google the ruling yourself if possible).  Don’t go raging at admins in private message just because they aren’t responding to you immediately.  There are THOUSANDS of players online and just a few admins.  Second, appreciate that the administrators are of high quality.  The exam DN admins take is miles and miles ahead in difficulty compared to Konami’s RC-1 certification test for judges.  I would bet on a DN admin over an average YCS floor judge in a rulings contest any day (although many admins are judges and vice versa).  I’m sure everyone has horror stories of an administrator getting something wrong.  No one is infallible.  However, it is much less common on DN than with your typical RC-1 floor judge.  Lastly, if you’re raging over a ruling you’re given, the chances are that you’re the one who is wrong.  Players have threatened to get me fired over my rulings more times than I can count.  In 100% of these cases, the player was upset because he did not read Konami tournament policy or DN administration policy.  Before you complain something is unfair, ask yourself: do you KNOW the policy on your issue?  What if you activate Stream and discard a dragon, then search your deck for Tidal only to find that there are no copies left in deck?  If you have read up game policy, then you won’t be left raging when the judge/admin comes and gives you a warning as well as instructions for you to show your deck to your opponent.  Knowing policy isn’t just for judges; it’s for players too!

Now, I know not everyone plays on DN, but I am stating all of this because the principles carry over to the judges you see in real life as well.  Appreciate your judges!  Understand that they get a lot of heat from angry players just for doing their job correctly.  They are VOLUNTEERS.  They simply like helping people and are willing to sacrifice an entire day to do so.  Yes, there are many bad ones who are in it for the wrong reasons.  Yes, some of them do not know as much about game mechanics as they should.  That’s what appeals are for.  Remember Frazier’s wisdom: if you are positive you are right, ask for an appeal!  But still respect the floor judges with courtesy, even when they haven’t earned it.  It makes you the better person.

This is an appreciation to the judges and admins: thank you for your work.

As always, send your deck ideas to the Deck Doctor fan page:

https://www.facebook.com/ArgDeckDoctor

Please write your decklist out fully.  Use the deck lists in this article as an example.  Thanks!

stratosJeff Schultz’s Hero Beat Gemini

Main Deck: 40

Monsters: 11

1 Elemental Hero Stratos
3 Elemental Hero Neos Alius
2 Photon Thrasher
1 Freed the Brave Wanderer
1 Gemini Lancer
2 Thunder King Rai-Oh
1 Gorz The Emissary of Darkness

Spells: 16

3 Miracle Fusion
3 Gemini Spark
2 Super Polymerization
2 E - Emergency Call
2 Pot of Duality
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Heavy Storm

Traps: 15

2 Hero Blast
2 Dimensional Prison
1 Starlight Road
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Torrential Tribute
2 Mirror Force
1 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Judgment

Extra Deck: 15

2 Elemental Hero The Shining
1 Elemental Hero Absolute Zero
1 Elemental Hero Nova Master
1 Elemental Hero Great Tornado
1 Elemental Hero Escuridao
1 Elemental Hero Gaia
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur
1 Blade Armor Ninja
1 Photon Papilloperative
1 Starliege Paladynamo
1 Gem-Knight Pearl
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Number 16: Shock Master

thunder kingAt a Glance

Hero Beat was once one of the most consistent decks in the game.  I remember years ago, before the deck could even use Miracle Fusion, I sided around 10 cards just to combat it.  This was because I ran Gladiator Beasts, and Hero Beat was by far the most difficult matchup.  I had to take out all sorts of things like one of each GB, Retiari, Test Tiger, all the Chariots…and side into antimeta with Cyber Dragon, Thunder King, and Snowman Eater.  This was when Pot of Duality and Solemn Warning had just come out, and those two cards really pushed Hero Beat over the edge.  It made the deck incredibly consistent.

Last year, Joe Giorlando popularized Hero Beat all over again with his performance at Long Beach.  I remember the way he described his decision to run the deck: he said that every test hand he drew was so good, that the deck’s openings were so simple and consistent - everything you want from a stun deck.  I also remember a lot of players joining the bandwagon at YCS Dallas that year, only to be disappointed by the results.  Some fans were even angry at Joe because he ran Dino Rabbit instead of sticking to Heroes.  Joe made the right choice, however.  In choosing to run Heroes at only one event, he acknowledged that the deck was a good meta call, but not one to stick through the entire format.

Hero Beat is best played in grind formats, where players are likely to MST your backrows and play Bottomless Trap Hole so that you can punish with Gemini Sparks.  Just because it isn’t highly functional right now doesn’t mean trade your HERO cards away.  Keep them around, as you never know what September may bring…

Monsters

1 Elemental Hero Stratos
3 Elemental Hero Neos Alius
2 Photon Thrasher
1 Freed the Brave Wanderer
1 Gemini Lancer
2 Thunder King Rai-Oh
1 Gorz The Emissary of Darkness

gorzSince currently we are not in a one-for-one grind format, we’re going to be doctoring the deck in a “generic” format.  (I’ve noticed some players commenting that Tyler and I don’t always doctor the most competitive decks.  The reason is because there are only a couple right now, and if we only did competitive decks, we’d write for two weeks and be done with it.)  So, in a generic format, Gorz is good in this deck.  Not right now, but usually.  In Geargia format I liked that running Gorz would punish players who thought that because you ran a backrow heavy deck, they could attack freely once your field was open.

Jeff is sacrificing the 1900 barrier by running Lancer over Crusader, but for good reason: he wants to keep a Gemini Spark tribute while opening up options for Absolute Zero.  The decision isn’t too bad since we’re looking pretty good in the LIGHT department anyway.  Speaking of which, Honest will serve as a better out to big monsters than Freed.  Freed has its applications, but being a dead opener is not what we want in a deck that’s all about consistent openings.  I never liked Thrasher in the deck because of it how it plays into field wipe and how it isn’t a HERO name, so let’s trade that for some better opening hands..

-2 Thrasher
-1 Freed
+1 Honest
+2 Cardcar D

Spells

3 Miracle Fusion
3 Gemini Spark
2 Super Polymerization
2 E - Emergency Call
2 Pot of Duality
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Heavy Storm

book of moonThis is identical to my lineup from last year, except with Poly sided since DARK was so prevalent at the time due to Inzektors.  However, it’s pretty insane now since you can cut off chains and eliminate huge threats with Poly.  I’d definitely take Book over a Hero Blast though.  It has dynamic applications against all kinds of situations, as opposed to Blast which gets over a narrow set of threats in the card pool (and is a destruction effect, which is not a good thing).  In almost any format, I’d argue that Book is a better card than Dark Hole.

+1 Book of Moon

Traps

2 Hero Blast
2 Dimensional Prison
1 Starlight Road
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Torrential Tribute
2 Mirror Force
1 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Judgment

It’s hard to give specifics on what the lineup here should be, since it will vary with the format.  If we’re going with the current format, maxed out Compulsory would be mandatory as well as no Starlight.  The problem with a card like Starlight is that it encourages incorrect play and theory.  Falling prey to opposing Warning, playing into TT when they could still have Warning/Judgment down when you otherwise wouldn’t have played into TT, and running cards just to address one other card (Heavy) are all habits that Road will produce that will damage your player mentality.  I truly think this card is a hindrance to growth, apart from a few specific formats where Road was not a dice roll card; it was guaranteed to be live once you forced the grind game.  Depending on the format, Road tends to be a bad card players with bad habits use to punish bad plays.  With exceptions, of course.  It has become increasingly easy to go off without playing into Force, as well, so we’ll use more of a generic summon response card like Compulsory.

-1 Road
-1 Hero Blast
-1 Mirror Force
+2 Compulsory

Extra Deck

2 Elemental Hero The Shining
1 Elemental Hero Absolute Zero
1 Elemental Hero Nova Master
1 Elemental Hero Great Tornado
1 Elemental Hero Escuridao
1 Elemental Hero Gaia
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur
1 Blade Armor Ninja
1 Photon Papilloperative
1 Starliege Paladynamo
1 Gem-Knight Pearl
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Number 16: Shock Master

Starliege PaladynamoStarliege is pretty nasty and can play head games with your opponent since your deck involves Honest (another reason I included it).  We have it and the more versatile Maestroke and Cowboy to get over threats, so we can cut Pearl and include a second Zero since we want to side Snowman Eater.

-1 Pearl
-1 Stardust
+1 Zero
+1 Maestroke

Final List

Main Deck: 40

Monsters: 11

1 Elemental Hero Stratos
3 Elemental Hero Neos Alius
1 Gemini Lancer
2 Thunder King Rai-Oh
2 Cardcar D
1 Gorz The Emissary of Darkness
1 Honest

Spells: 17

3 Miracle Fusion
3 Gemini Spark
2 Super Polymerization
2 E - Emergency Call
2 Pot of Duality
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Heavy Storm
1 Book of Moon

Traps: 12

2 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Dimensional Prison
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Torrential Tribute
1 Hero Blast
1 Mirror Force
1 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Judgment

Extra Deck: 15

2 Elemental Hero The Shining
2 Elemental Hero Absolute Zero
1 Elemental Hero Nova Master
1 Elemental Hero Great Tornado
1 Elemental Hero Escuridao
1 Elemental Hero Gaia
1 Heroic Champion - Excalibur
1 Blade Armor Ninja
1 Photon Papilloperative
1 Starliege Paladynamo
1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Number 16: Shock Master

Be careful against Pandemic and Lance.  If Evilswarms are still a big threat after the September list drops, you’ll want to make plays such as end phase Spark more or target backrow more with Spark since Pandemic will cause Gemini Spark to not be able to resolve fully, thus losing its effect to draw a card should you fail to destroy your target (Ophion).  Waiting until the end phase is good because that’s when they’ve just set their newly searched Pandemics.

lightpulsar dragonCris Garcia’s Chaos Dragon

Main Deck: 47

Monsters: 29

3 Lightpulsar Dragon
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
2 Darkflare Dragon
1 Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness
2 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
1 Summoner Monk
1 Night Assailant
1 Card Trooper
1 Jain, Lightsworn Paladin
1 Snipe Hunter
1 Blue-Eyes White Dragon
1 Tragoedia
1 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk
1 Dark Armed Dragon
1 Prime Material Dragon
1 Galaxy-Eyes photon Dragon
1 Chaos Sorcerer
1 Interplanetarypurplythorny Dragon
1 Eclipse Wyvern
1 Gragonith, Lightsworn Dragon
1 Axe Dragonute
1 Herald of Creation
1 Vice dragon

Spells: 14

1 D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation
1 Monster Reincarnation
1 Foolish burial
1 Burial from a different dimension
1 Monster Reborn
1 Book of Moon
1 Solar Recharge
1 Pot of duality
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Allure of Darkness
1 Dark Hole
1 Charge of the Light Brigade
1 Forbidden Lance

Traps: 4

1 Torrential Tribute
1 Escape from the Dark Dimesion
1 Call of the Haunted
1 Royal Decree

Extra Deck: 0

At a Glance

Cris is playing more on the budget side and has written in to help craft something workable but also affordable.  One of the nice things about Dragons is that it’s a structure deck archetype and thus the holos are all a dollar or two.  However, not all the cards included in the structure decks are warranted.  Namely, we don’t want cards that are bad opening draws (such as D.D.R. or Escape, which have limited applications only in the late game).  We also want cards that speed up the engine by NOT giving us bad mills.  For that reason, we want to maximize the number of cards we want to mill and minimize the spells and traps so that we are milling more monsters instead.

I played Chaos Dragon for a good while during two previous formats, including at YCS Seattle, where the most horrendous luck spat in my face and crushed my dreams (what were the odds of getting paired against GRAVEKEEPERS in a Dino Rabbit/Mermail/Wind-Up format?).  Looking back, I’d still argue that Dragon was a great meta call for that event.  Mermail probably had the most spots in the top cut then because the deck was new and largely misunderstood.  However, as the format matured, it became evident that Wind-Ups were objectively better (this was before Cosmo Blazer, mind you).  I also believe that Dragons were better than Mermail at the time too, but just that players either were not good with dragons (since most good players migrated to other decks for that event), or there were many more Mermail players.  That’s Yugioh politics for you.  It’s not always the best deck that gets the most top spots.

Monsters

3 Lightpulsar Dragon
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
2 Darkflare Dragon
1 Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness
2 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
2 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
1 Summoner Monk
1 Night Assailant
1 Card Trooper
1 Jain, Lightsworn Paladin
1 Snipe Hunter
1 Blue-Eyes White Dragon
1 Tragoedia
1 Ehren, Lightsworn Monk
1 Dark Armed Dragon
1 Prime Material Dragon
1 Galaxy-Eyes photon Dragon
1 Chaos Sorcerer
1 Interplanetarypurplythorny Dragon
1 Eclipse Wyvern
1 Gragonith, Lightsworn Dragon
1 Axe Dragonute
1 Herald of Creation
1 Vice dragon

maxxA lot of these cards are included in the structure deck, but have no competitive application in Chaos Dragons.  Remember the goal I just stated: we want to mill exceptionally well.  This is kind of a paradox because mills by definition are luck-based events.  Still, we want to maximize the probability of milling good cards to get the engine going, and this is only done when the deck count is at 40 and we’ve cut out the non-light and non-dark monsters, except when they have great synergy such as Maxx “C” and Card Trooper (those are the only exceptions).

We don’t need all the random dragon boss monsters because the Pulsar/Flare/REDMD engine on its own has so many win conditions.  You can beatdown through TT/Force with the REDMD/Pulsar wall.  You can XYZ into Exa-Beetle to get over face-up continuous cards that are locking your plays.  You can make Bounzer, or even Tiras/Adreus.  There is a lot to cut here, so I’ll show you the fix at the very end.

We want to max the copies of the cards that are actually good because we have to expect to mill a few of them.  If you run one-ofs, you can’t reasonably expect to draw them, so we want to go for playsets whenever possible, such as with Ryko, which does dirty things to Evilswarm Ophion.

Spells

1 D.D.R. - Different Dimension Reincarnation
1 Monster Reincarnation
1 Foolish burial
1 Burial from a different dimension
1 Monster Reborn
1 Book of Moon
1 Solar Recharge
1 Pot of duality
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Allure of Darkness
1 Dark Hole
1 Charge of the Light Brigade
1 Forbidden Lance

The most debated thing when it came to the spell lineup of Chaos Dragons has always been MST vs. Lance.  Lance is less blind than MST: you get coverage over Bottomless guaranteed.  MST is more blind than Lance: you may or may not hit Warning/Bottomless.  But, you can also hit face-ups like Messenger of Peace, Skill Drain, an Imprisoning Mirror, and most importantly, Macro Cosmos or Dimensional Fissure.  I’m going to recommend MST in the side deck for when they bring in cards to lock you down and Lance for the main deck.  Playing Lance over MST at this stage will also help you grow as a player.

The second most debated issue with the deck’s spells has been Avarice and Recharge.  Cards like these can draw into power plays, but they are also inconsistent since they don’t immediately work when you draw them.  You need a Lightsworn in hand for Recharge and a loaded grave for Avarice.  I ran them as 2:1 at YCS Seattle.  Some players prefer 0 copies of Recharge, but I will encourage 2 for now.

Traps

1 Torrential Tribute
1 Escape from the Dark Dimesion
1 Call of the Haunted
1 Royal Decree

Decree is good to bring in against decks that you know will side in Macro or that already run a lot of backrow (look I just rhymed).  Keep it in the side deck.  No trap is viable enough to run in the main right now.

Extra Deck

I’m guessing this will be the hardest part of the list in terms of obtaining cards, so think of this as a list of goal cards.  Most of them are not as expensive as they used to be.

Final List

Main Deck: 40

Monsters: 31

3 Lightpulsar Dragon
3 Darkflare Dragon
3 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
3 Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress
3 Effect Veiler
3 Maxx “C”
2 Tour Guide from the Underworld
1 Night Assailant
1 Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness
1 Dark Armed Dragon
1 Tragoedia
1 Chaos Sorcerer
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
1 Eclipse Wyvern
1 Honest
1 Card Trooper
1 Thunder King Rai-Oh
1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning

Spells: 9

2 Forbidden Lance
2 Solar Recharge
1 Heavy Storm
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Charge of the Light Brigade

Traps: 0

Extra Deck: 15

1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
1 Number 20: Giga-Brilliant
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Queen Dragun Djinn
1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon
1 Inzektor Exa-Beetle
1 Photon Strike Bounzer
1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
1 Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Ancient Sacred Wyvern

Alright Cris, good luck and feel free to contact us.

Until next time,

Play Hard or Go Home.

Sincerely,

Johnny

Johnny Li

Johnny Li

Houston, TX
Johnny Li

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Discussion

comments

  • EndothermicNuclearBomb

    I totally agree with the DN admin thing. I passed both the admin test and the judge test two formats ago, and the difference in the difficulty of the two is astounding.

  • lol

    Johhny, may I ask what your DN user is?

  • VenemousCat

    From one DN admin to another, well spoken.

  • LordEnglish

    You added honest while talking about monsters. But in the final list, you are missing it

    • Johnny Site Li

      Not sure how I missed that but thanks! It should add up to 40 now.