Joe Giorlando: Wind-Up Regional Reflection

joe giolandoSo this past weekend was the first regional in the state of Massachusetts since you could detach Sangan off XYZ monsters and search. Yeah, it has been far too long. I am not going to lie, I was rather excited to just play in something other than a local or a YCS. I decided to take it as an opportunity to play test a bit for YCS Austin this upcoming week, so some of the decisions I made in terms of deck building were in order to test out specific card choices to see how I felt about them. Anyway, I imagine it would only be fair to just show what I ran before breaking down certain aspects of the tournament.

3 Wind-Up Shark

3 Wind-Up Rat

3 Wind-Up Rabbit

1 Wind-Up Magician

1 Wind-Up Warrior

1 Wind-Up Soldier

1 Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear

2 Tour Guide from the Underworld


3 Wind-Up Factory

3 Mystical Space Typhoon

3 Fire Formation - Tenki

2 Pot of Duality

1 Dark Hole

1 Heavy Storm

1 Monster Reborn


2 Torrential Tribute

2 Dimensional Prison

2 Bottomless Trap Hole

2 Mirror Force

1 Solemn Judgment

1 Solemn Warning

1 Fiendish Chain


3 Banisher of the Radiance

2 Snowman Eater

1 Maxx "C"

2 Level Limit - Area B

2 Messenger of peace

2 Dimensional Fissure

1 Breakthrough Skill

1 Dust Tornado

1 Compulsory Evacuation Device


1 Number: 61 Win Condition Volcasaurus

1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger

1 Tiras, Keeper of Genesis

1 Photon Papilloperative

1 Abyss Dweller

1 Number 39: Utopia

1 Number 16: Shock Master

1 Diamond Dire Wolf

1 Maestroke, the Symphony Djinn

1 Temtempo, the Percussion Djinn

1 Leviair the Sea Dragon

1 Soul of Silvermountain

1 Number 17: Leviathan

1 Wind-Up Zenmaines

1 M-X Saber Invoker

A fairly standard Wind-Up deck for the current format. At first, people seemed to either completely disregard the deck, or underestimate the power level of the deck. I would be the first to admit, I would have originally been somewhere between those two. But after plugging away in the early stages of the format with some of the premature builds, which used the drastically inferior Summoner Monk, I found that the core Wind-Up engine was indeed strong enough to consider a legitimate deck this format. With the build I ran this past weekend, there were a few things I wanted to try out.

M-X Saber InvokerThe first of which was using two targets for M-X Saber Invoker. Now, as good of a card as Invoker is in this deck, it most certainly is not Zenmaity. Most Wind-Up decks are only using one target for Invoker right now, and that might be the most efficient way to run the deck, but I wanted to test out two copies. I did so because in game one, the liklihood of running into Maxx "C" or Effect Veiler should be virtually zero, and therefore, the coast is often clear for an OTK push. I am not going to write out every single OTK this deck can accomplish, since the list is almost endless. But a good portion of the requires a target for Invoker in the deck, and even when you are not strictly trying to perform an OTK, you will often find yourself with Shark in hand and the ability to go into Number 61, which you will soon realize is nicknamed, "The Win Condition." My logic was to try and pace through a quicker game one with multiple Invoker targets in order to hedge against drawing the sole copy, and side either Soldier or Warrior out (usually Soldier) for more control based cards in the following game.

Another card that is not found in every Wind-Up build this format is Pot of Duality. Obviously there are the restrictions in the later stages of the game when you are returning Rat/Magician/Rabbit from the banished pile, which is a reasonable issue with playing the two copies. But since day one of this format, I thought it was clear that bolstering the early plays from this deck is the most efficient way to construct the deck. You have the ability to find Wind-Up Factory and Wind-Up Rabbit so easily with all the full set of Tenki and two Pots, I just could not see myself cutting Pot with that opening play in the deck. This deck has such a strong late game as it is - you should find yourself in a winning condition if you happen to draw a dead Pot of Duality anyway - especially if you are returning multiple creatures from the effect of Wind-Up Rabbit. Being able to filter through the early draws, and sculpt a hand with either sufficient protection, or the pieces needed for an aggressive push is absolutely necessary.

FIRE FORMATION - TENKISince I mentioned it in the previous chapter, I feel like I should definitely comment on the Tenki engine. I feel like there are two popular options in the Wind-Up decks right now. Either you are cutting down on the number of Tenkis, and therefore completely cutting Bear, or you are running some number of Cardcar Ds. I am not against Cardcar D, but unlike Pot of Duality which suffers from the damage done to it by the late game, Cardcar D is virtually useless. Both Pot of Duality and Cardcar D will likely sit in your hand as dead cards, but at the very least you can set Pot of Duality as a bluff. And perhaps a turn will come up when you are able to activate it and summon a Bear/Wind-Up Rabbit before passing back. Cardcar D completely eliminates the ability to normal summon useful creatures in the later game like Bear/Wind-Up Rabbit. Past that distinction between the options, Tenki turning into a psuedo-Inzektor Centipede effect is an incredible ability for Wind-Ups. Not only are you able to tutor our the most important creature in your deck this format, you are able to have spot removal for another floater that will eventually net you additional copies of your Wind-Up Rabbit. I almost see no reason not to either max on Tenki and run Bear, or at the very least run the Bear with two copies of Tenki. Finding a way to fight through larger creatures can be difficult for this deck, and Bear is the perfect answer, both as a lightning rod for removal from the important, but as an additional advantage engine in itself.

diamond dire wolfIn terms of the extra deck, there are certainly a slew of difficult card choices that need to be made. I decided to run Diamond Dire Wolf over Blackship of Corn. While Dire Wolf is obviously more reliant on the cards around it, more specifically a floating Rabbit or used Rat, the ability to have spot removal for anything is incredible. Oh, and I racked up the style points one round. Give Dire Wolf a read again. You can use it on your own cards. Pretty useful when my opponent have me Ojama Trio tokens, which are already targets to activate Dire Wolf's ability in the first place. Not only was I able to destroy things for free, I got to destroy those pesky tokens on my field. You never know when that may be useful - remember my tournament report from YCS Philadelphia and that whole Papilloperative on Leviair to attack under Messenger thing? Know all the utility of your cards!

Another extra deck decision point was Adreus vs. Volcasaurus. Now I know, I know. If you are reading this you are probably about to ring my neck. Volcasaurus is downright disgusting. The amount of damage it produces is one of the main reasons I want to be playing Wind-Ups right now. But the problem is, the inability to attack directly virtually forces you to find space for Gaia Dragon. So suddenly my already crammed extra deck is replacing one card (Adreus) for two mandatory cards due to their interactions. As you can note, I am lacking something like Acid Golem, Wind-Up Zenmaioh, Gagaga Cowboy or Giga-Brilliant. It became clear to me after about one game how important that interaction was going to be over the course of the tournament, but it was certainly not something that was strictly automatic.

Breakthrough SkillThe side deck was pretty straight forward. I had a few one of's, such as Breakthrough Skill, because I was curious to experience as much in life testing with the card as possible. But the main focal point of the side deck is the suite of continuous spell cards that combo nicely with the full playset of Banisher of the Radiance. Unfortunately I was never paired against a Mermail deck, so that was disappointing. But boy oh boy, Level Limit and Messenger put in work in some of my other matchups.

I ended up dropping the regional after getting my second loss in Round 7. As a continuation of one of my previous articles, the real value of this regional was not to strictly look at see if I was able to top with the deck. My first loss of the event came against a Hieratic deck and eventually an Inzektor deck. Obviously two decks I could play against, but the likelihood is just so low. Also, beyond both of the decks being unpopular in general, out of the four games I lost, three came from 8000 -> 0 OTKs, twice on the first turn. It is just one of those things in Yu-Gi-Oh you have no real control over, which is not a reflection of your deck, so that needs to be taken into consideration. What I was able to learn from the event came moreso when I played against a little bit more.. real decks, like perhaps Fire Fists or the matches I was able to play between rounds. Those games were a considerable amount more meaningful and yielded favorable results. I am just stopping by here to share what I have tested so far with Wind-Ups this format. I am most certainly not ready to put the deck down, and it may be a legitimate option for YCS Austin this upcoming weekend.

Joe Giorlando

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