A week and a half ago, I was able to place in the Top 32 of YCS Chicago and today I'm here with my tournament report! Right after my poor performance in ARG North Carolina and loosing to 2 Fire Fist decks in Swiss, I immediately dropped Hieratics. I felt that the deck was too fragile and I was loosing because constant streams of back rows/Wolfbarks were too overwhelming. Essentially the first deck I pick up right after is Fire Fists. (As you can tell from the past few articles I've written about Fire Fist and giving examples with it.) At first I felt that the trade for consistency over power was better for a premier event due to the fact that you want as much consistency as possible within Swiss/Top. However, within my testing I found several problems within Fire Fist that wouldn't make it the optimal pick for YCS Chicago. Simple problems against some of the best decks in the format such as not being able to run over [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd] without [ccProd]Fire Formation - Tenki[/ccProd], having to side cards (Ex. Debunk, Banisher of the Radiance) game 2 and 3 that are only good going 1st and not against developed board versus Mermail. This left me to choose between either Geargia or Mermail. I decided to choose Mermail 2 weeks before YCS Chicago because I felt that Mermails had a better match up against most of the meta than Geargia. Here is my deck list and how my matches played out each round.
3 Mermail Abyssteus
3 Mermail Abysslinde
3 Mermail Abyssgunde
3 Mermail Abysspike
2 Mermail Abyssturge
1 Mermail Abyssmegalo
1 Mermail Abyssleed
2 Atlantean Marksman
1 Atlantean Dragoons
2 Aqua Spirit
1 Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Upstart Goblin
1 Dark Hole
3 Reckless Greed
2 Breakthrough Skill
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Solemn Warning
1 Abyss Squall[/ccDeck]
1 Mechquipped Angineer
1 Mermail Abysstrite
1 Bahamut Shark
1 Lavalval Chain
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Number 85: Crazy Box
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Mermail Abyssgaios
2 Abyss Dweller
2 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccDeck]
3 Maxx "C"
1 D.D. Crow
2 Zombie World
2 Black Horn of Heaven
2 Malevolent Catastrophe
1 Needle Ceiling[/ccDeck]
Round 1 - Geargia
Game 1: I see that he has a set monster and 2 backrows. This gives me the idea that he's playing either Mermails/Geargia because there aren't that many decks that set turn 1 outside of Mermails with Abysslinde and Geargia with [ccProd]Geargiarmor[/ccProd]. I play [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] first because the risk of it being [ccProd]Mermail Abysslinde[/ccProd] is worth taking over running into his Geargiarmor (Which would allow him to not only know my deck and make [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd], he also gets a free +1) or even letting it sit there and get +1s every turn since I didn't have anything to destroy it other then Dark Hole. It ends up being a Karakuri Watchdog and I slowly take the game by beating him down as I can tell that his hand is weak because he set Watchdog turn 1.
Game 2: I open poorly this game and it ends quickly when he's able to resolve Geargiarmor more than enough times without me having an answer to it.
Game 3: Here's where I made a misplay that definitely cost me the match. The game comes to a point where I have [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccProd] (In defense mode), 1 Token, Linde with Abyss-Sphere, [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd], Mystical Space Typhoon and I have no cards in hand. My opponent has only 2 face down backrows. During the end phase he activates [ccProd]Geargiagear[/ccProd] and now it's his turn. He draws to 1, and returns Mk-II in his hand to special summon his freshly drawn [ccProd]Genex Ally Birdman[/ccProd]. He then attempts to summon Black Rose Dragon and activate it's effect, which I respond with Breakthrough Skill. I realize I misplayed right after when he summoned Mk-II and brought back Geargiano which brought back Watchdog. He then synchro summoned into Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 "Burei" and brought out another Watchdog to his side of the field. He then surprises me when he puts the 2 level 7 monsters together to make [ccProd]Number 11: Big Eye[/ccProd], which I assumed that most people didn't play in Karakuri Geargia. It definitely helped at that moment even though he didnt need it, as he took my Dracossack and destroyed my set [ccProd]Abyss-sphere[/ccProd] which I only activated to send [ccProd]Mermail Abyssturge[/ccProd] to the graveyard. I wanted to have the option to get anything I wanted off my Abysslinde in the battle phase after all his plays were finished. Basically, he was able to break my whole entire board all because I had used the Breakthrough Skill on the Black Rose Dragon. What was the correct play? This may sound crazy at first, but what if I didn't Breakthrough Skill the Black Rose Dragon? Black Rose would resolve, leaving me with my Dracossack on the field and a Linde that searches Mermail Abyssleed. My opponent however, would only be left with Mk-II that isn't able to do anything. There's no standard rank 3 XYZ (In Karakuri Geargia) or Karakuri synchro he can make to beat over Draccosack and [ccProd]Mermail Abyssleed[/ccProd] at the same time. I was very sad because not only did I lose a game that I could have easily controlled the results of, but because it was round 1 as well. I knew that if I had let this early loss get to me, I would be on tilt and it would effect the way I play through out the rest of the day. The best thing to do when you lose early is to just keep your head up and just be ready for the next round. All I said to myself and my friends the rest of the day was "One round at a time.".
Round 2 - Ghostrick
Die Roll: W
Game 1&2: This was probably the fastest match I played all weekend, simply due to the fact that my opponent was just a little kid who seemed to be new. The only thing notable from this match was I found [ccProd]Swords of Concealing Light[/ccProd] to be very annoying since I had a full field of monsters which forced me to do absolutely nothing for 2 turns straight.
Round 3 - Geargia
Die Roll: L
Game 1: The only reason why I was able to win this game was specifically through mind tricks and how I was acting against my opponent. In the early stages of the game I had Mermail Abyssteus, Sphere, and Abyss-squall to my opponent's set monster with 2 backrows. On his turn he flip summons Geargiarmor and adds [ccProd]Geargiaccelerator[/ccProd] to his hand. He then thinks for a moment and special summons the Accelerator, followed by summoning Karakuri Saizan. Even though I don't have a real response to my opponent's summon here, I stop him and say that I'm thinking if I want to do anything. This brings the idea of [ccProd]Torrential Tribute[/ccProd] to his mind, (He even says it out loud) especially since I'm asking him to give me a quick moment for each one of his plays. I'm looking at the same card over and over again after each summon he makes to install into his mind that I do have the Torrential Tribute. He then comes to a point where he makes Dracossack, and attempts to pop one of my backrow. He picks the card I kept looking at constantly which was Abyss-sphere. I then bring out Abyssleed and that completely messes with his plays for the rest of the turn because he lost his chance to OTK me, while committing all his cards onto the field. On the following turn, I was able to make a big push back and a game ending Squall sealed game 1. Had he made an aggressive board against me that turn, I would've surely lost since the only defense I was was Abyss-sphere which he would easily be able to run over with the amount of resources he had. This shows that not only being able to make the correct play with your hand can win you games, but playing simple mind games on your opponent will be able to steal you games as well.
Game 2: This was another game that I was supposed to lose due to the fact that my opponent was overwhelming me with constant pluses from [ccProd]Gear Gigant X[/ccProd], and Geargiarmor. Within the late game however, my opponent was summoning monsters that he could've simply kept in his hand and slowly waste my resources to leave me with 0 cards left over. A clutch [ccProd]Needle Ceiling[/ccProd] for my opponent's board left him with 0 monsters left in his hand/deck to play with allowing me to comeback. I started trading my resources for his backrows while we had a very big life point difference, and time was running out on the clock. I did consider scooping up my cards and going to the next game since there were only 6 minutes left on the clock, but there were many different monsters I could've drawn in the following turns which is why I opted to stay in the game for a few more minutes. Within the next 2 minutes, I was able to draw the cards I needed to wipe out the remainder of my opponents life points.
Round 4 - Gravekeeper
Die Roll: W
Game 1: I was able to set up turn 1 with Dracossack, while he was unable to get rid of it. This allowed me to go +1 by destroying a card every turn and leaving him with no cards.
Game 2: Turn 1 he simply plays [ccProd]Necrovalley[/ccProd], sets a monster, sets a backrow and passes. On my turn I set Abysslinde, [ccProd]Twister[/ccProd], and Mystical Space Typhoon. My opponent draws for turn and opts to summon Gravekeeper Assailant and setting all the cards in his hand except 1. From this, I can read that he has [ccProd]Royal Tribute[/ccProd] since he didn't have those multiple cards set before. I then opt to Twister his Necrovalley, and right after he sets the last card in his hand. I then start applying pressure by [ccProd]Atlantean Marksman[/ccProd] popping the first old backrow, one of the new set that weren't the Royal Tribute, and MST'ing the last new backrow and once again leaving him with no cards to win the match.
Round 5 - Geargia
Die Roll: W
Game 1: I don't recall much from this match that well except that a very clutch [ccProd]Solemn Warning[/ccProd] on his Geargiagear was able to pull me ahead and take the game.
Game 2: I opened very strong with [ccProd]Mermail Abyssteus[/ccProd]/[ccProd]Atlantean Dragoons[/ccProd] while he only had 1 backrow with a monster set. I was able to clear his board, make my own board and sit on 2 Black Horn of Heaven's to take it.
Die Roll: W
Game 1: This game goes back and forth but eventually I am able to waste all his trap cards with my own resources and end the game by flipping Abyss-squall.
Game 2: This game ended extremely quickly. He opened by setting 4 and summoning [ccProd]Banisher of The Radiance[/ccProd]. I should loose right? I set my own 2 cards and pass play back to him. On his turn, my opponent decides to attack and I activate a devastating [ccProd]Malevolent Catastrophe[/ccProd] followed by a [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd]. My turn comes, I summon Atlantean Dragoons to run over Banisher of the Radiance and make a board with a combination of Water Monster + Teus + [ccProd]Aqua Spirit[/ccProd].
Round 7 - Fire Fist
Die Roll: W
Game 1: I was able to open [ccProd]Lavalval Chain[/ccProd] + Draccosack turn 1 backed up with Solemn Warning. This very strong turn 1 play easily allowed me to take game 1.
Game 2: Malevolent was once again the MVP, hitting 3 cards and giving me more then enough advantage/simplification to win the game.
Round 8- Bujin
This probably had to be one of the most unreal matches I've ever played in my entire Yugioh career. I arrive at my table, and the round has just begun. My opponent didn't show up for the first 3 minutes, meaning that he receives a game loss. I continue to wait for my opponent, along side a judge who was ready to give my opponent the match loss at the 10 minute mark. 9 minutes had passed and there was still no sign of my opponent. I was very excited that I was able to make it to round 9 and stay x-1 after loosing round 1...or so I thought. Within the 9 minute and 50 second mark, my opponent is able to make it to the table just in time. Even though I didn't want to win in that fashion, I was just sad that my opponent had to show up with 10 seconds to spare when I was certain that he wasn't showing up. Ironically, Desmond Johnson yelled to me that my opponent was going to find a way to comeback and 2-0 me, which I would soon find to be true.
Game 1: I win because he gets the game loss.
Game 2: He opens the game up with [ccProd]Bujin Yamato[/ccProd] and 2 backrow. I don't have a playable hand, so I pass play back to him after setting a few bluffs. He end phase Mystical Space Typhoons my Abyss-squall so he now knows what I am playing. For his turn he summons [ccProd]Bujin Mikazuchi[/ccProd] and attacks with it and Yamato. He proceeds to go into the end phase and search twice due to both of their effects. I see my next draw isn't playable as well and reach for my side.
Game 3: I lose this game due to me loosing a communication ruling, and a key misplay in the middle of the game. Had I appealed, I probably would've won over the ruling. But my emotions got the best of me since my opponent was putting words in my mouth and let the first ruling go through so that I can continue on with the game.
Round 9 - Zombies
Die Roll: W
Game 1: This game takes fairly long as I trade resources with him and simplify the game to me having [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd] to his 0 cards and win the game.
Game 2: An early [ccProd]D.D Crow[/ccProd] for his [ccProd]Plaguespreader Zombie[/ccProd], leaves him at a huge disadvantage off the gate. I'm able to take this game fast by overwhelming him with the advantage I had, followed by a strong [ccProd]Maxx "C"[/ccProd].
Day 1 finished and I was ranked 58, which was the middle ranking of all the x-2's. I was worried that even if I were to win the last 2 that I wouldn't be able to make the cut since I lost round 1. I decided to not dwell too much into it, and just be ready to take it one round at a time.
Die Roll: W
Game 1: This game takes quite some time as I am able to slowly take the game by Marksman popping his back rows one at a time, and rotating them with Abyssturge.
Game 2: My opponent opens Banisher set 4 and passes play back to me. On my turn, I set Linde and Breakthrough Skill and pass. He end phase MSTs my Breakthrough Skill followed by normal summoning [ccProd]Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear[/ccProd] on his turn, forcing me to scoop up my cards.
Game 3: This game, I notice my opponent acting completely different with the way he makes his moves after he sees me open with the Lavalval Chain + Dracossack combo turn 1. I see him making his plays a lot slower, reading cards MULTIPLE times that he didn't read before which I used,(Ex. Aqua Spirit, [ccProd]Mermail Abysstrite[/ccProd], Mermail Abysslinde, etc.) and constantly looking at the clock. I tell him to hurry with his plays as there's only a few minutes left on the clock, there's a difference between actual thinking and slow play, and this was obviously intentional slow play. My opponent keeps doing this for a good solid 2 minutes, and I was lucky enough that a judge was watching the game the whole time. The judge then not only gave him a warning, but also gave us a time extension as well. He isn't able to beat over my board or my Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls coming back every turn, and he loses.
Round 11 - Infernity
Die Roll: L
Game 1: Not only did I loose the die roll, but of all decks, I was playing Infernity on the bubble! I can't put into words how scared I was to play against this deck. Luckily he only made a play that ended with 1 [ccProd]Infernity Barrier[/ccProd], 3 other sets, [ccProd]Infernity Archfiend[/ccProd], [ccProd]Infernity Necromancer[/ccProd], and Lavalval Chain. On my turn, I MST'd my opponent's Infernity Barrier that I knew of and followed up by discarding Mermail Abysspike for Teus which searched out [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgunde[/ccProd]. I then followed up by summoning an Abyss Pike and pitching the Gunde to add another Gunde which also revived the Pike I had in grave. Here, I basically had to pray and hope for the best that my [ccProd]Evilswarm Exciton Knight[/ccProd] was going to go through. When I summoned Exciton Knight, my opponent responded by MST'ing one of his own backrow. I chain right away to his MST and he loses soon after that since he cannot recover.
Game 2: Basically, he opens a hand full of monsters while I have more than enough defensive cards/combo cards to win the game.
After I had finished my match, I wasn't too excited since I didn't know if I was guaranteed to have a shot in the Top 32. If I really wanted to, I could have done the math with the number of x-2's remaining, but at the time I decided to just wait. After waiting for the announcements, my name wasn't being called for quite a long time. Finally, my name was called and I let out a huge sigh of relief. I find out that I have to play the only Dark World in top, Benedict Junk, and asked around what certain techs he played in his deck. We sat down, signed a few forms, had a little small chat, and our match finally began after some time.
Top 32- Dark World
Game 1: We both open strong, but me drawing an early Solemn Warning game 1 put the match in my favor very quickly.
Game 2: He does multiple plays, and ends his turn with [ccProd]Snoww, Unlight of Dark World[/ccProd], [ccProd]Leviair the Sea Dragon[/ccProd], [ccProd]Gates of the Dark World[/ccProd], 2 backrow, and 4 cards in hand. I draw for my turn and he immediately flips [ccProd]Deck Devastation Virus[/ccProd] only causing me to discard Mermail Abysslinde from my hand. He then follows up with a disastrous [ccProd]Mind Crush[/ccProd] that hits the 2 [ccProd]Reckless Greed[/ccProd]s out of my hand and I scoop up my cards right away.
Game 3: I open up extremely poor in this game. I open the game with 3 [ccProd]Debunk[/ccProd], 1 Mystical Space Typhoon, 1 Dark Hole, 1 Mermail Abyssgunde. I opt to set 4 and pass. I felt like my only chance of winning this game here is by hoping he draws [ccProd]Dark World Dealings[/ccProd] so that my hand can get better, and my Debunks would be live. However, he doesn't do this and summoned [ccProd]Tour Guide from the Underworld[/ccProd] into [ccProd]Ghostrick Alucard[/ccProd]. He destroys my set MST, attacks, sets one and passes. On my turn I have no other choice but to Dark Hole since I drew [ccProd]Mermail Abyssmegalo[/ccProd] for turn and pass. He [ccProd]Dust Tornado[/ccProd]s one of my set Debunk during the end phase and follows up with [ccProd]Dark Armed Dragon[/ccProd] for his turn. After 2 destroyed set Debunks, a summoned [ccProd]Thunder King Rai-Oh[/ccProd], and seeing the next draw to be Reckless Greed, my last round of the tournament was over.
Even though I topped, I'm not completely satisfied with my results due to the fact that I'm currently looking to take home a win! Overall though, I had a good all around tournament experience at YCS Chicago finishing in the Top 32 and leaving me with 8 premier event tops! The Circuit Series comes to Richmond, Virginia on April 26-27, 2014! Click the picture of the dragon below for all the details!