I had every intention of playing Madolches for this event. I had picked the deck up right after the ARG $20K, and I took it to a local win on the first day of playing with it. I used the TG version, which was inspired by the Forte family’s build—named after Nate Forte who won ARGCS Washington. At first, I thought the deck might have been a fluke and that one guy had gotten lucky with it, but more events passed, and the Forte family kept topping with it. If I am not mistaken, three of them topped Nationals and three of them topped the $20K.
I ran the idea by McCabe because it seemed like a good choice for Worlds, since none of the cards were touched, and it was already proven to be consistent. Anytime you have just a few people playing a deck and they continuously do well with it, it should raise a red flag that the deck is legitimate. I tampered with a few other successful builds that utilized the Double Summon engine, and the Artifact engine, but none of them seemed as good. Even still, as much as I loved the deck, I just couldn’t commit to it in such a short time frame. I don’t doubt my skill, because I feel that I could top with anything at this point, but I don’t think I could win without knowing every little intricacy of the deck, and that bothered me.
So here I am, Friday night before the event, and I still have the Madolche deck all sleeved up. Two of my friends that I traveled with were also playing it, including Nick Ma, who topped both ARGCS Philly and Nationals with it this year. We talked about dessert recipes for hours, and he seemed pretty confident in them, but I still couldn’t get behind it. On the morning of the tournament, around 7A.M., I de-sleeved the entire Madolche deck and re-sleeved my KAT deck from the $20K. I decided to cut the BLS ([ccProd]Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning[/ccProd]) for [ccProd]Mind Control[/ccProd], seeing as how there would be many Geargia, HAT, and Infernity decks going into this event. I changed up the side deck a bit so that it could better combat Infernity, and I was all set. Here’s the full list:
Main Deck: 41
Monsters: 15[ccDeck="Main Deck"]
3 Artifact moralltach
2 Artifact Beagaltach
3 Traptrix Myrmeleo
2 Traptrix Dionaea
2 Maxx "C"
3 Soul Charge
3 Artifact Ignition
2 Pot of Duality
1 Dark Hole
1 Mind Control
3 Artifact Sanctum
2 Fiendish Chain
2 Breakthrough Skill
2 Dimensional Prison
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Solemn Warning
1 Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare
1 Call of the Haunted[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Side Deck"]2 Fire Hand
2 Ice Hand
2 Malevolent Catastrophe
2 Needle Ceiling
1 Maxx "C"
1 D.D. Crow
1 Soul Drain
1 Deep Dark Trap Hole
1 Acid Trap Hole
1 Dimensional Fissure
1 Necrovalley[/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Extra Deck"]2 Number 101: Silent Honor Ark
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Number 61: Volcasurus
1 Tiras, Keeper of Genesis
1 Constellar Pleiades
1 Number 103: Ragnazero
1 Number 82: Heartlandraco
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
1 Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight
1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
1 Lavalval Chain[/ccDeck]
Round 1 vs. HAT
He won the roll and chose to go first. He opened with 3 backrows before ending. I had a decision to make: I could either summon my Kuribandit right now and risk the chance of getting hit with an Artifact Sanctum or Breakthrough Skill, or I could set my Wiretap and other traps before proceeding. I debated this for a while, and then decided to go for it. He responded with Sanctum and I lost the Bandit. The rest of the game was extremely “grindy,” but a Soul Charge from him in the late game would be enough to seal the deal. For game two, I decided to let him go first, and I took an early lead in advantage. At one point, he activated Bottomless Trap Hole on my Traptrix Myrmeleo, and I simply said, “that’s fine,” before continuing my play. I like it when I don’t even have to explain anything for a person to know they messed up. He did end up resolving two copies of Artifact Sanctum later on, but it wasn’t enough to stop me from pushing through.
Unfortunately, these two games took entirely too long to finish, so we were seconds away from end of round procedure. We quickly shuffled, presented, and drew our hands. He decided to go first again, and his only play was a set monster with two backrows. That was also the first turn of time. I wasn’t about to make the first move, so I followed suit with a set monster and three backrows. On his following turn, he set another backrow and another monster. I drew and summoned Traptrix Myrmeleo without searching. I thought about flipping my Ice Hand, but decided not to. I passed back to him, and he set a fourth backrow and a third monster. That was his last turn, and now it was up to me to either win the game, or draw. I drew for turn and flipped the Ice Hand, then Xyz summoned [ccProd]Number 82: Heartlandraco[/ccProd]. He took his time to read it, and I told him that the only relevant thing he had to know about the card was that it could attack him directly. I detached Myrmeleo and he chained Fiendish Chain. I summoned Traptrix Dionaea and revived Myrmeleo, using her effect to destroy a backrow. It happened to be Beagalltach, which came out and forced him to destroy his set Soul Charge. At this point, he only had one backrow left, so I activated Artifact Ignition to destroy it, and then Xyz summoned Number 50: Blackship of Corn, sending his Beagalltach to the grave and inflicting 1000 damage for game.
Round 2 vs. Mermails
This guy had just recently started playing again, so our game was very brief. I won both pretty academically, then walked around to watch other matches. I think the only thing memorable about this match was when I searched Bottomless Trap Hole off of Traptrix Myrmeleo, and then seeing him immediately activate Soul Charge for [ccProd]Mermail Abysslinde[/ccProd], [ccProd]Mermail Abyssleed[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls[/ccProd] on the following turn. I used Bottomless with a confused expression, and he said, “oh wait, it banishes all of them?” So that was that.
Round 3 vs. Lightsworn
He won the roll and opened with [ccProd]Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner[/ccProd]. He milled three, one of which was a [ccProd]Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms[/ccProd], and passed to me. I summoned Myrmeleo, searched Bottomless, and attacked. It almost seemed as though he had [ccProd]Honest[/ccProd], but if he did, he didn’t use it, so Lumina went to the grave after a few seconds. I set four backrows and passed back to him. He tried to summon a Raiden and I used Bottomless to get rid of it. He passed again and I summoned another Myrmeleo, searching Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare. The game was pretty much over after that, especially since I made Lavalval Chain to stack a Dionaea.
In game two, pretty much the same thing happened, except he dropped a Kuribandit and it got him a [ccProd]Mystical Space Tyhoon[/ccProd]. I decided to not set the Bottomless I had just searched with Myrmeleo, but instead set only Moralltach and Sanctum. Surprisingly enough, he didn’t take the bait on his following turn. In fact, he held on to the MST for so long that I never set Bottomless until I got another trap to set with it. By that time, though, I had summoned Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight, and things were about to get interesting. I finally set the Bottomless, along with a Moralltach and Deep Dark Trap Hole. He tried to end phase MST the Bottomless, but I made him target the Moralltach instead. On his next turn, when he summoned Raiden, I used Artifact Sanctum immediately, bringing out Moralltach, and he chained Breakthrough Skill from his grave to the activation of its effect. I used Cairngorgon’s effect again to make his Breakthrough redirect its target to Cairngorgon, and we had a little ruling dispute. He was under the impression that Breakthrough’s effect from the grave didn’t start a chain, but the judge quickly clarified that it does, and that I could redirect it. On his next turn, he summoned Tempest from the grave by banishing a [ccProd]Judgment Dragon[/ccProd] in the grave and an [ccProd]Eclipse Wyvern[/ccProd] in his hand. He had just searched the Eclipse Wyvern with Minerva’s effect, which I had never seen before, but it wasn’t really relevant at that stage of the game. Next, he Synchro summoned [ccProd]Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree[/ccProd]. I used Deep Dark Trap Hole and he chained Forbidden Lance. I checked his grave to see how many Lightsworn monsters were in it before chaining Bottomless Trap Hole and removing it for good. He scooped right after.
Round 4 vs. Hieratic Artifact Hands…stuff?
He went first and opened with [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd]. I had no idea what he was playing, but it quickly revealed itself on the following turn when he activated [ccProd]Dragon Shrine[/ccProd], sending a [ccProd]Labradorite Dragon[/ccProd] and Blaster to the grave. I opened with two artifacts, unfortunately, but he failed to make a move, so I drew into a playable move. I suppose that since I didn’t have a monster on the field, he couldn’t combo off. When I finally summoned a Myrmeleo, I was already set up with enough protection to not die, and a Maxx “C” in hand as a deterrent. He went for a [ccProd]Hieratic Dragon King of Atum[/ccProd] play, and I had to Fiendish Chain it, but my backrows got locked up, so I had to wait at least 10 turns before clearing it. This game took no less than thirty-three minutes to complete, so we were about to go into time in game two. He ended up getting an early lead in the following two games, and I lost the match. If game three had played out, I would have certainly won, but time was not on my side.
Round 5 vs. Geargia
This was probably my hardest match of the entire tournament, strangely enough. There were so many crucial points where if I didn’t respond to his field, I would immediately lose the game. Thankfully, I had Kuribandit dig for Soul Charge while I already had one in my hand. I knew that I couldn’t win the war of attrition with Geargia, so Soul Charge would have to pick up the slack. It all worked out in the end, as I worked to keep my lifepoints high enough to resolve both.
In game two, it was pretty much the same situation, except I was being extremely aggressive with him. I tribute summoned for a Moralltach, and it gave him hell. I beat over several copies of Geargiarmor, and eventually I made a Pleiades. I didn’t stop my onslaught there, though. I continuously pushed each turn by summoning more monsters because his [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] had already been used. I won right before we went into time.
Round 6 vs. Mermail
I had become so aggressive after my last match that I started to lose my fundamentals. He attacked me directly with an[ccProd]Mermail Abysslinde[/ccProd] and I responded with Ignition to destroy Beagalltach, which then destroyed my Moralltach. I don’t know why, but I figured that my opponent would summon [ccProd]Mermail Abysspike[/ccProd] with Linde’s effect, and then I realized that none of my other three backrows could stop attacks. He summoned Megalo instead, which was the right play, and it picked apart both of my Artifacts in the next two turns.
I was so mad at myself. I had thrown the game away by not waiting until his end phase where I would be able to get a Pleiades on the field safely. Taking 1500 less damage was not worth it. It got to a really close point where I was about to win, but he drew [ccProd]Mermail Abyssteus[/ccProd] and discarded [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgunde[/ccProd], which blew me out. I accepted the punishment that game. I deserved to lose.
In game two, I completely demolished him. I opened with double Myrmeleo, which and made an Abyss Dweller. I swung into his facedown monster and found a Genex Controller. He looked at me as though he had tricked me by setting it, instead of a Linde, and I looked back at him like, “This is still an Abyss Dweller, my friend.” The game ended shortly after.
Game three was pretty much the same, except he put up a little more of a fight this time. I resolved a Soul Charge for Pleiades and Number 101, which was more than enough to seal the deal with my numerous backrows.
Round 7 vs. Dino Rabbit (Livestream Feature Match)
You can check this duel out on AlterRealityGames Youtube channel at the link below:
Round 8 vs. Sylvans (Desmond Johnson)
He won the die roll and opened with [ccProd]Lonefire Blossom[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Soul Charge[/ccProd]. I don’t think I need to describe the rest.
In game two, I had three backrows that I thought were pretty good: Bottomless Trap Hole, Deep Dark Trap Hole, and Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare. He used Kuribandit excavate a[ccProd]Sylvan Princessprout[/ccProd], and he triggered a [ccProd]Sylvan Sagequoia[/ccProd]. Since Sagequoia was chain link 2, I couldn’t use any of my backrows to stop it, and things quickly got out of hand. I tried hard to fight back, but he had two Soul Charges when I activated Solemn Warning on the first one.
Round 9 vs. Infernity
I won the die roll and decided to let him go first. To me, he looked like a nice young lad who would never do anything vicious like play Infernity, but little did I know. He set a monster, set two backrows, and passed his turn. I summoned Myrmeleo, searched out a Bottomless Trap Hole, and then activated Duality to get Sanctum. I thought for a minute about the possibility of his facedown being a Fire Hand, and then realized that I had both Dionaea and Soul Charge in my hand, so there was nothing to fear. I swung, and [ccProd]Infernity Necromancer[/ccProd] flipped face up. I verbalized my thoughts, saying how bold I was for letting someone go first when I didn’t know what they were playing, and how it could have just cost me the game. He looked indifferent, which I assume was because he didn’t open too well. Anyways, I made short work of him in a matter of turns by summoning Lavalval Chain, Abyss Dweller, and 101.
Game two was much more of a grind fest, and it got to a point where I tried to use Ignition to destroy my Moralltach, but he chained [ccProd]Light Imprisoning Mirror[/ccProd]. That was the first time that card had ever been flipped on me, and it sucked. My deck seemed to run out of steam as soon as it happened, and I was scrambling for ways to apply more pressure. He was low in life, but I wasn’t able to capitalize on it. He used Soul Charge to bring back two Necromancers in defense, and I responded with Torrential Tribute. He got a little angry with himself because he had Infernity Barrier set, and at least one of them should have been in attack position. He was down to 900, and all I had in my hand was a [ccProd]D.D. Crow[/ccProd] to attack with, but I wasn’t about to get all Courtney Waller on him. The duel eventually came to an end when I made him start to use his Infernity Breaks to clear basic monsters like Myrmeleo and Kuribandit, which were lethal.
After the match, we discussed a couple of his plays and ways that he would have been able to win that game, or at least have a better chance. Now that swiss was over, I felt pretty anxious to hear them call out the Top16. I wasn’t completely sure if I was going to make it because the guy who won round 4 against me scrubbed out pretty hard. But after all was said and done, I finished in 15th place. Tomorrow would be the playoffs, and my first match was none other than the infamous Infernity deck. Great.
I woke up pretty early with the rest of the crew and decided to leave out around 9:20. The walk to the event was only 3 minutes from our hotel, so I arrived pretty quickly. Everyone was just standing around talking and writing decklists for the $1K in 1Day. I was told that the decklists were posted online, so I took the time to study my opponent’s for as long as possible. I noticed some oddities in his list when compared to other Infernity lists, and hoped that those things would help me out—like triple [ccProd]Dimensional Prison[/ccProd] in the main, and no [ccProd]Upstart Goblin[/ccProd]s or [ccProd]Archfiend Hieress[/ccProd]. His deck looked much slower than the standard version, so I was pleased with that, although I did watch one of his feature matches on day one, and he used Soul Charge three times.
Top16 vs. Infernity
He rolled an eleven and I rolled a twelve. We were off to a good start already. I opened pretty well with Kuribandit and Soul Charge, but it didn’t excavate anything in particular. I used another Kuribandit on my following turn, and the same thing happened. In fact, both of them grabbed Artifact Ignitions, and I drew the third copy on my third turn. We got to a pretty simplified gamestate, and he went for a [ccProd]Infernity Launcher[/ccProd] play, but I had more than enough Ignitions to stop him and summon three Artifacts in one turn, and win on the next.
In game two, I opened with Maxx “C” as he tried to go off, and just as I was told prior the match, he didn’t stop. He let me draw a few more, and I was able to win the game fairly easily. Not only that, but I happened to draw double Sanctum after all was said and done, so when it was time for me to set my backrows, I only set both Sanctums and Ignition, knowing that he would Infernity Break them on the end phase. Things played out perfectly, and I won shortly after.
So I was pretty happy that I made Top8 and was one of the first people to get a Circuit Series ring. There was at least an hour wait between Top16 and Top8, so I spent most of the time just talking to everyone. If I won my next match, I would have a good chance of winning the tournament, as there’d be no more Infernities left. I was confident in all other matchups.
I spoke to Jim, the owner of ARG, regarding my ring size and other sponsorship related business, until it was finally time for my Top8 feature match. You can check it out in the link below.
Unfortunately, I was not able to pull out the win in games two or three. A few things to note, though, were that in game two, I set double Needle Ceiling and two other backrows after he went off, figuring that he wouldn’t be able to hit them all, but he ended up getting both. In game three, my opening hand was extremely subpar, consisting of two Ice Hands, Fire Hand, Beagalltach (I side one out, too), and Mind Control. I knew I lost the second I drew that hand, unless his hand was equally as terrible. It wasn’t, and I got scraped pretty easily. I played the entire game without a trap.
Following my loss, I discussed what I would do with my $250 credit, and decided that it would be best spent on a new deck from Duelist Alliance. I live an hour away from Atlantic City, so you can be sure to see me there. I’ll be going for my fourth top in a row this year, and my 17th top overall. Even more importantly, I’ll be going for my second win, too. I hope to see you all there.
Until next time, duelists! Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!
-The Dark Magician