I've been testing for the Yugioh World Championships in Japan for 8 days now and I'll tell you one thing, it's a completely different game. We haven't gotten the banlist yet but TCG Exclusives are obviously banned for the event. This means there is no Dolkka, Tour Guide, Acid Golem, Wind-Up Rabbit or Shark.. That automatically crosses Rabbit and Wind-Ups out as possible decks to run. It's probably hard for you to even imagine the game right now without those decks, it sure was hard to get used to at first. It's an easy format to predict, but building your deck to beat that predicted field is a completely different story - It's actually incredibly difficult. For the same reasons it's kind of hard to build decks in the current format; Inzektors. The difference is, Inzektors rule this format. There's no Dolkka and Bounzer doesn't even do much against an Inzektor + Call of the Haunted. The only deck outside of Hieratics that can even put Bounzer on the field consistently is Dragons, which is a risky pick in a field full of Inzektors. You can't even use Ladybug to pump your Hoppers to Lv6 and overlay into it in a mirror match since Hopper is also a TCG Exclusive. There are still paradoxes in this format too; Since Inzektors are such a powerhouse deck, you want to be maxing on cards like Effect Veiler and Fiendish Chain but since Heroes are also a viable deck you weaken your match up against them when you do that. I'm going to go over some possible card choices and decks for worlds in this article and give my opinion based on my testing so far. I know this topic doesn't relate to most of the people reading this, but I figure you guys never get to read things like this and I thought it'd be a cool change!
Cardcar D - I think it's incredibly crucial to play this card in this format. You're going to want to hold onto your Effect Veilers for more important cards like Inzektor Dragonfly and Centipede, you don't want to waste it on your opponent's Cardcar Ds. And the best way to comeback from your opponent's Cardcar D is with your own! It's near staple in a deck like Inzektor even in the current format just because it helps you get to your combo pieces faster. This card basically replaces Tour Guide in the Worlds format, and if Tour Guide ever gets hit on a banlist I expect it to replace it then too. The card is just too good.
Pot of Duality - I feel like I'm going to be seeing a lot of this card during my weekend stay in Japan. It's pretty much a staple in Inzektors, along with Heroes, any form of Anti-Meta, Countdown, Hieratics, etc. Taking this into account, the format looks to be a lot slower than the current one which is an important thing to factor in when building your deck or trying to decide if your deck is fast enough to compete with the rest. The fact that Rabbit isn't a deck should be enough reason to come to this conclusion but also knowing most of the top decks need Duality to function their best pretty much guarantees a slower format.
Effect Veiler and Fiendish Chain - I feel like Effect Veiler is essentially a 3-of staple in this format. You need to prepare yourself for Inzektors and I think the advantages of being able to stop a first turn Hornet/Sword, a devastating first turn from Loopups, a first turn Stratos, and being unaffected by Mystical Space Typhoon and Forbidden Lance far outweigh the advantage of Fiendish Chain stopping their monster from attacking. Then again, stopping an opposing Dragonfly or Centipede from crashing into yours is pretty good as well. Chain is still an amazing card, but sadly because of the paradoxes you need to be careful how many of these cards you main and I think Veiler is going to get the vote here, maybe accompanied by a copy or two of Fiendish Chain in most decks.
D. D. Crow and Chain Disappearance - In a format without Tour Guide, Leviair gets dropped a whole lot less. That gives remove from game cards like these a lot more value. Even if they are able to waste 2 Inzektors to make a Leviair, you should be maining Veilers and Fiendish Chains and you should have them waiting since you used these cards to get rid of the cards you would've used them on instead! Veiler the Leviair, and the game is over. It's also incredible in the Inzektor mirror match if they Veiler or Fiendish Chain your Inzektor push; just Crow any of their graved Inzektors, overlay into Leviair and continue going off!
Jurrac Guaiba - This card is really cool in this format. It's probably not optimal since there are decks that this deck does nothing against like Heroes, but when you're playing a lot of cards like Effect Veiler and Fiendish Chain that leave their weak monsters vulnerable on the field this card becomes awesome. There's no Dolkka so it's not the kind of card it is against Inzektors like it is in the current format but it still makes Laggia, basically a 3rd Solemn Warning with legs or a way to then protect your back rows, especially if it's game 2 and you have sided in hate (Macro Cosmos, Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, etc). You can even summon 2 Guaibas against Final Countdown and make a Laggia which is something Countdown players at this event won't be prepared for.
Speaking of Countdown, I want to talk about that deck a little more in-depth. At first glace this deck looks like a great pick for Worlds. Acid Golem isn't legal, so they can't summon it to drain their life then just pop it off when they don't want it anymore. Rabbit is gone too, but a few more problems arise. Inzektor is considered an auto-win match up to many but after talking to Tabman a little about it, I don't believe it is. Since they can just pop anything you set, it's almost never safe to double set against the deck and it makes playing One Day of Peace at the correct times and holding onto your Swift Scarecrows that much more crucial. Night Beam and Raigeki Break are also popular picks in other areas of the world, which gives this deck a huge problem; if you can't deal with a Night Beam you have to flip your stall cards before they have a chance to Beam them. Not that big of a deal, right? If you're playing someone who has qualified for worlds they wouldn't be wasting their Space Typhoons anyways. But when you look deeper you see that when you're forced to flip those cards right away, it weakens your Hope for Escape engine. You can no longer hold on to your stalls and take damage willingly to get more value out of your Hopes, and that's a huge problem.
Hieratics - This are another deck I want to talk about. When I first started testing I figured summoning a Bounzer could be a legit win condition against decks like Inzektor. The deck also has OTK capability, so it seemed like a cool deck to try. When I realized that literally any out to my Bounzer sent me into a downhill spiral I realized the deck couldn't compete. A simple Dark Hole or Call of the Haunted after I already negated an Inzektor effect smashed the deck. And Bounzer isn't like Dolkka in the sense that it doesn't kill what it negates. A lot of the time I would negate a Dragonfly and they would pass, I would attack into a Threatening Roar even though I had Lance for any other threat they could have and they'd just use Dragonfly again, then followup with another monster effect play and I would lose. The deck is way too fragile and if anyone testing for worlds is reading this, I definitely wouldn't suggest it.
Chaos Dragons - I believe this deck loses nothing to the worlds banlist but Tour Guide. Losing Tour Guide is actually a huge blow to the deck, not because of the exceeds it could bring out but the way it easily put darks in your graveyard. Losing Tour Guide means you're probably forced to max on milling cards like Solar Recharge and Ryko, even though it's sub par against Inzektors. Speaking of Inzektors, that deck can be a nightmare for Chaos Dragons. I'm expecting atleast 3 of my 5 swiss rounds to be Inzektors, so why would I run a deck that's going to have an uphill battle in most of my matches? I think that combined with the inconsistency issues the deck has with opening all bosses or milling its best cards is enough for me to cross this deck off my list.
Gravekeepers - This has always been a favorite deck of mine, and it's a cool deck to think about. Necrovalley could very well be the key to defeating the expected field at this tournament; Shutting down Inzektors as well as Hero Blast and Miracle Fusion, Dragons, etc. Necrovalley is one tank of a card in this format but the problem comes with protecting it, and being able to survive a turn where they are able to get rid of it. Malefic Stardust Dragon is a great option when you're looking for cards to protect Valley. They're going to need either 2 Hornets or a Hornet+Space Typhoon to push through a Malefic Stardust/Valley setup, barring you have any disruption of your own. Effect Veiler, Fiendish Chain and Compulsory Evacuation Device all help with locking opposing Hornets in the grave. As long as you're locking out Miracle Fusions, you're monsters are all bigger than your opponent's if they're playing Heroes. The deck's hardest match up (Rabbit) is gone, but again another problem arises. Cardcar D and Pot of Duality are both going to be incredibly popular which isn't good news for this deck. Those cards help dig for answers faster than this deck can push and win games. This deck does have the option of siding Secret Village of the Spellcasters though, locking out any Countdown player unless they have a Space Typhoon set to chain. Most of the time you can Descendant it away before playing the Village though. I think this deck definitely has a lot of potential but it has to be built and played correctly. Even then, it's a risky option.
After reading this article, I'm sure you all can see why this format is so hard to prepare for. Looking back at last year's World Championship, the deck to beat was Six Samurais so people played Agents and Doppel Plants to counter it. This year the top deck's worst matchup (Rabbit) is unplayable, making countering it much harder. The Inzektor mirror match is very luck based too, so it's not like you can just play it and outplay your opponents. That'll only work to an extent. The situation reminds me a lot of YCS Dallas 2011, where I was one of the many Blackwing players in attendance. It wasn't because I didn't have Six Samurais; my friend Jonathan Weigle had actually gotten the whole deck put together for me the night before. I elected to play Blackwing because unlike Samurai it could still win going 2nd against Samurai, and the mirror match wasn't decided on a coin flip. That's part of my play style and I personally find it to be a strength. I know some players will just play Inzektors because of their raw power and endless options and I wish those players luck because I know they're going to need it. Meanwhile, I'll be playing the Blackwing of the Worlds 2012 format.. I just need to find it first. Until next time!
- Mike Steinman