Touring the New Format with Ryan Spicer!

Hello everybody, I would like to start off with an introduction and a big thank you to ARG for the opportunity to write for their website!  A little history about myself, my name is Ryan Spicer, and I have been playing Yu-Gi-Oh! for around 7 years now and competitively since 2006.  Some accomplishments include winning Shonen Jump Chicago in 2008, placing 2nd three times at various SJC events, and finishing in the top 4, 8, 16, and 32 six other times.  I have a total of 10 Premier event top cut appearances ranging from SJC’s, YCS’s, and Nationals and 25 Regional top 8’s.  But enough about myself, lets jump right into what I wanted to talk about for my opening article!

With the new Banlist for September 2011 just released, I am sure everyone is scrambling to test out what will be the new top decks, and today I am here to discuss just that and also give my insight into what cards gain strength in the upcoming format!

Ever since the release of the OCG Banlist, I have been practicing extensively trying to figure exactly what deck I want to play for the new format.  I started off playing with what I thought was going to be an extremely strong choice going into the new format in the form of LightSworn/Twilight, and let me say straight forward, I was not impressed in the slightest.  The deck did gain a lot of power in the form of a third Judgment Dragon, a second Necro Gardna, and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, but with that new gained power, it still has not gained any form of consistency or an effective way to start fast every game.  There were the games where I would open with Solar Recharge or Charge and win very early with a Judgment Dragon or Black Luster Soldier, but overall, the consistency just wasn’t there.  Also often times, I found it very difficult to get around a first turn Reborn Tengu or Tour Guide from the Underworld, because many of my Lightsworn monsters simply cannot deal with Tengu, and the Tour Guide produced a 2500 attack Leviathan and a search with Sangan, which often times searched for Effect Veiler or Herald of Orange Light.

After playing against decks packing Tour Guide, I soon realized that whatever deck I ran must use Tour Guide from the Underworld.  I went so far as to play Tour Guide in my Lightsworn deck, which did actually work very well, but overall I found that Tour Guide was better suited for other decks, and that eventually led me to putting down my Lightsworn deck and moving onto my next deck I wanted to test for the new format:  Destiny Heros!

Destiny Heros have always been a favorite deck of mine ever since using them way back in the Teledad format.  Back then they were undeniably the best deck and ever since using them I have always loved the cards and how they functioned.  I have always tried to use them in every format, and now with Destiny Draw back at 2, I think they deserve and will be played much more.  My initial Destiny Hero deck consisted of using three Tour Guides, Veilers, Sorcerers, Black Luster Soldier, Dark Grepher, Plaguespreader, Plasma/Scapegoat, Diamond Dude, and Malicious.  Basically I would use Tour Guides and Stratos to search for whatever I needed and I would use Plasma, Sorcerer, BLS, and Plaguespreader combined with Malicious for Synchros to accomplish my win conditions.  I thought Plasma would be a very good choice because Tour Guide can instantly produce 2 monsters on the board for Tribute fodder, and Scapegoat was chainable to Heavy Storm,  and Mystical Space Typhoon.  Through time though I found the Plasma to be dead more than not so I dropped it and the Scapegoat and added Destiny Hero – Doom Lord.  Doom Lord I feel is a very strong choice because it allows you to get around Synchros, XYZ monsters(it also gets rid of the XYZ materials at the same time!) or really anything that you cannot deal with at the time, and it also acts as discard fodder for your Destiny Draws.  I tested various builds of this including Absolute Zero and I was impressed with all of them.

Still something was lacking with all the decks I had been testing.  Tour Guide from the Underworld was just too powerful and I wanted to run a deck that could stop it from activating nearly every time my opponent would play the card.  So I went on to test Tour Guided Agents, and this is where I found what I feel is going to be one of the formats best bets for major tournament success because of its ability to use Herald of Orange Light on top of Effect Veiler.  Basically, this deck has a very steady pace of play and is very powerful because it can pretty much search for everything it needs through the use of Tour Guide, and Earth.  On top of its ability to search for whatever it needs, it also has very powerful win conditions in the form of Archlord Kristya, Master Hyperion, and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning.  Being able to have Herald of Orange Light or Effect Veiler in hand at almost any point in the game to stop whatever my opponent can do(especially Tour Guide) is what really leads me to believe this is going to be the deck of choice for most people.  Even if you don’t draw Effect Veiler or Herald right away, you can always search for it by using Tour Guide to search Sangan, XYZ for Leviathan, detaching Sangan to boost its attack to 2500 and using Sangans effect to either search for Herald or Veiler.  There are also some very deadly combos that this deck packs that really set it over the top.  One of the deadliest combos in the deck is a 3 card OTK, and it’s a combo that you can play three copies of each card if you wish to.  The combo involves Gold Sarcophagus, Tour Guide from the Underworld, and Master Hyperion and it goes like this.

Step 1:  Summon Tour Guide search for Sangan, and XYZ for Leviar.

Step 2:  Use Gold Sarcophagus to remove Venus – The Agent of Creation

Step 3:  Remove Sangan for Leviars effect and Special Summon Venus while searching for Genex Ally Birdman with Sangan’s Effect.

Step 4:  Pay 1500 Lifepoints to Special Summon 3 Mystic Shine Balls from your deck and XYZ for Gachi Gachi Gantetsu.  Return a Mystic Shine Ball to Special Summon Birdman and then pay another 500 Lifepoints to Special Summon the Shine Ball from your hand.

Step 5:  Synchro with Shine Ball, Birdman and Venus for a Level 8 Synchro Monster.  Remove Venus from the grave to Special Summon Master Hyperion and attack for game!

Master Hyperion will have 3100 attack, say you Synchro Summoned a Stardust Dragon for your Level 8, Stardust will have 2900 attack, and Leviar will have 2200 attack.  3100+2900+2200 = 8200 damage!

Now this combo can be altered to do other things, but that is just an example of how this deck can take 3 cards and turn them into a game ending finish!

Now I would like to end this article with a two cards that I think should gain popularity in the upcoming format!   First up is Trap Dustshoot, basically this card is back in a big way thanks to Heavy Storm returning to the game.  Dustshoot is just very deadly because it can strip your opponent of any monster card while at the same time revealing what cards they have in hand.  This is even more deadly when you learn to time it for more effective use.  It is often smart to hold onto dustshoot in your backrow and wait for your opponent to waste a Mystical Space Typhoon or Heavy Storm and then you can chain it for a +1, and knowledge of your opponents hand.  Next is Mind Crush.  This one is just a very good card right now due to the amount of searching that is going on in the game.  With the use of Tour Guide, Gold Sarc, Pot of Duality, and many other searchers, it is very easy to know what your opponent is holding in their hands at almost any time in the game.  Because of this, Mind Crush really needs to be played in the Main Deck.  It is also very useful for getting rid of opposing Effect Veilers which in turn clears the way for your Tour Guide from the Underworld.

So, whatever deck you choose to play, know that if you plan to win you must have a way around opposing Tour Guides, and you must also utilize Tour Guide yourself.  Also I think that every deck should be using Tour Guide, Sangan, 2-3 Effect Veiler, and a Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning.  To me, these are the new staples of the new format.

Until next time, Thank You for reading and be sure to come back and check out my next article!

-Ryan Spicer

Ryan Spicer

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