Hey everyone, I’m back this week after my trip to Dallas. This week I’m going to be bring you a tournament report to recap all the exciting events that happened throughout the weekend.
My trip started out on Friday as there were no flights for Thursday that were less than $100 more expensive than the flights on Friday. I also had to leave Sunday night as I had an economics test Monday morning, so I knew this was going to be a short weekend trip. Friday morning, my grandfather drove me to the Atlanta airport. My flight left at 11 am and landed just after 12 local time. I caught the free shuttle from the airport to my hotel. I was staying with Frazier and Billy. A bunch of us went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. Afterwards, we went back to the convention center to preregister. After preregistering, I played with my friend Chris Hentz’s Inzektor deck for a while. It was an interesting build running Hopper, Sword, Tour Guide, triple Call of the Haunted, and Card Trooper. He ended up making Top 8 in the tournament so a big congratulations goes out to him. As I started asking around to see what people were playing, it seemed like just about everybody I knew was going to be playing Inzektors. I had pretty much made up my mind that I would be sticking with Dino Rabbit, but seeing literally everyone playing Inzektors made me second guess myself. The hall closed at 7 and we headed back to the lobby of the Sheraton to test a bit more. Billy, Weigle, Frazier, Kulman, and I decided that we were in need of a break and went to Chipotle for dinner. By the time we came back, I couldn’t stop second guessing my choice. Inzektors had a good match up against Dark World and Heroes, two decks that would surely see a rise in play here this weekend. I decided to get the cards for Inzektors and test it for a while. I had been playing Rabbit for weeks and felt safe not testing the deck any more. Soon enough I got all the cards and sleeved up. I started to play my friend Anuraag. He was playing V-Hero, a deck that combined Rescue Rabbit with Fusion Gate and Elemental Heroes to give you a constant stream of big beaters. The few matches we played were in my favor, but I knew that deck had a weak Inzektor match up. Anuraag began to question his choice as well and we returned to the lobby in hopes of finding him Inzektor cards. This is when I met Brian, a Rabbit player from California. He asked me to play and I agreed and we returned to the tables by the pool to play a couple more matches. The first match I went 20 cards deep without seeing an Inzektor and lost out. The second match I narrowly won, but I realized I was having an issue dealing with a first turn Laggia. It was about 1 am now and I had a lot to think about before the morning. I went back to our room where I talked with Frazier who decided to go with Rabbit after all. I as well came to my senses and realized that I didn’t have anywhere near enough experience with the deck to do well in an 11 round tournament.
Building my Deck
This part was filled with paradoxes where I essentially had to pick something and hope to play against those decks that the cards were good against and avoid the decks I would be less prepared in the main deck for.
The first thing I had to consider was my hand trap ratio. Before today, I would have almost certainly played 3 Maxx “C” and 0 Effect Veiler. However, when I got to the event and Inzektors had an insane amount of hype, I felt that it would be foolish to exclude Effect Veiler entirely. Frazier said that he was doing 3 Veiler and 0 Maxx “C.” I wasn’t willing to go that far and settled on 2 copies of each.
The next thing I had to decide on was whether or not I wanted to play Jurrac Guiaba. In Long Beach I did play the card, but hadn’t played it since and was again not planning on playing it. However the recent hype of Inzektors made me want to reconsider this. Also the main problem I had with the way I was running it before this night was that after I sided against Inzektors, I only had 15 monsters in my deck. I definitely wanted to fix this before the tournament started. I considered siding Guiaba just against Inzektors, but the only card I was willing to take out of my side deck was Cyber Dragon, which would only account for 2 of the 3 spots needed. I couldn’t justify to myself taking out a card that was good in multiple match ups somewhere from the rest of my side to add a card that was only good against the one. This led me to consider Doomcaliber Knight for my side deck. It was a solid monster to put in against Inzektors, but it worked in multiple match ups as well.
For a while I had been going back and forth between siding two copies of Vanity’s Emptiness or two copies of Black Horn of Heaven. Earlier this week I realized that both of these cards were bad going second and that was generally the only weakness of Bottomless Trap Hole, except Bottomless was good against the same decks those two were, but also good against Heroes and Dark World. I reached the conclusion that I would side Bottomless in the mirror when I went first and side it against both of those decks going first and second.
In regards to the extra deck, there were two things I changed since Long Beach. I added Submersible Carrier Aero Shark as an extra decked way to deal with Gellenduo. I also added back Steelswarm Roach as the card is incredible against Dark World since it also gets 300 extra attack and none of their monsters can attack over it.
Lastly I decided to main two copies of Snowman Eater. I felt that Heroes and Rabbit would be the most played match ups and it is superb against both of them. This is the list I settled on:
2 Maxx “C”
2 Effect Veiler
3 Rescue Rabbit
3 Tour Guide From the Underworld
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
2 Snowman Eater
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Forbidden Lance
1 Dark Hole
1 Heavy Storm
1 Book of Moon
1 Monster Reborn
1 Mind Control
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Smashing Ground
2 Torrential Tribute
2 Fiendish Chain
2 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Mirror Force
Extra Deck: 15
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
2 Evolzar Laggia
2 Evolzar Dolkka
1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
2 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number C39: Utopia Ray
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Submersible Carrier Aero Shark
1 Steelswarm Roach
1 Wind-Up Zenmaister
1 Ally of Justice Catastor
Side Deck: 15
2 Doomcaliber Knight
1 Snowman Eater
2 Forbidden Chalice
1 Smashing Ground
2 Dimensional Prison
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
3 Macro Cosmos
I was content with my list and decided it was time to sleep.
We woke up about 7:30 and showered and then wrote our decklists and Frazier and I finally made it down there about 9 am. Billy was up much earlier and left long before we did. I turn in my decklist and play some Tele-DAD mirrors while I wait. Eventually the tournament is under way and they pair for round 1. They announce that there were a little over 1200 people in attendance. This would translate to 11 rounds.
Game 1: He messes up majorly when he attacks with a Spirit Reaper and I activate Forbidden Lance to target the Reaper. He responds with Solemn Judgment and I explain to him that it was still targeted and that it still dies. Unfortunately, his misplay does not cost him and I don’t draw enough monsters to keep pressure on and he windless my resources away with counter traps all the while he is drawing for Bountiful [Edit: It has since been revealed that the judge ruled this wrong].
Game 2: He draws Solemn Judgment again this game which is huge for counter Fairies. We go back and forth with both of us simplifying the game state turn by turn. It comes down to me having no hand and no field to his two cards in hand. At this point, I come to the realization that I am probably going to lose round 1 to Counter Faries. Luckily, I top deck a Kabazauls. This keeps the pressure on and he trades more 1 for 1 removal with it, but I draw a Sabersaurus the following turn and beat him down with that until I come out on top.
Game 3: He opens the third game with Duality into Van’Dalgyon, summon Bountiful and set two. I summon Kabazauls and attack. He switches it to defense with Enemy Controller. I set Torrential and end. He activates another Duality and this time grabs Solemn Judgment (for the third time this match). He attacks my Kabazuals, sets the Judgment and sets a monster before he ends. I draw MST. I think for a second about how the turn will play out and decide to MST his unknown set card. It was Divine Wrath. I then activate Dark Hole and he activates Solemn Judgment. He draws a card and drops Van’Dalgyon. I take 1500 damage from its effect and then flip my set Torrential. This was a huge momentum shift and I’m able to keep the pressure on and take it from there.
Mask Change Heroes
Game 1: I draw a really subpar hand, but am able to put myself in a solid position after many turns of being able to do nothing. He attacks my Tour Guide with a Shining and I activate Lance on my Tour Guide and chain Mirror Force. This makes his Shining miss timing since it would need to activate when my Lance would be resolving. A couple turns later he flips a Safe Zone on an Elemental Hero Ocean. This was incredibly difficult to deal with. I Mind Control his Alius and summon Veiler to which he attempts to Super Polymerization, but realizes he doesn’t have a third Shining in his extra deck. I continue and am able to summon Catastor. We were in a stale mate for a number of turns until I decided I was going to make a push with Rabbit. I knew he had the Super Poly since he misplayed and flipped it earlier. I was going to summon my Rescue Rabbit, get the Kabazauls and I figured at this point he would activate Super Poly. He did and made Absolute Zero. I activate Monster Reborn on Kabazauls and was planning to make Dolkka, have Catastor attack Zero and negate Zero with Dolkka. Unfortunately his last set was Compulsory and he summoned a monster the following turn and rammed Zero into Catastor and then attacked for game with his last monster.
Game 2: Rabbit does what it is supposed to do and I take this relatively quickly. Unfortunately, there wasn’t more than maybe 12 minutes left after this game was finished.
Game 3: I set a Gellenduo and he can’t deal with it for the longest time. We come to another stale mate when he flips Safe Zone on Elemental Hero the Heat. After many turns of 1 for 1ing on both sides the situation is this. I have Gellenduo with Forbidden Chalice set and Snowman Eater in hand and am at 3100. He has Heat that is on Safe Zone with 2 cards in hand. He summons Elemental Hero Stratos and activates the destruction effect. I see this as my chance to break the duel open and chain my Chalice targeting my Gellenduo. Stratos’ effect doesn’t target and he still has to kill something since he already activated it. The only thing left to kill was the Safe Zone which destroyed the Heat. [Edit: It has since been discovered that the judge ruled it wrong] I was planning to let him kill my Gellenduo and set my Snowman and shift the game into my favor the following turn. Unfortunately the last card in his hand was Miracle Fusion and he dropped a 3200 attack Shining to wipe me out.
Game 1: I open with a strong Rabbit into Laggia (this was my first dice roll win of the day). I am forced to negate early on and he is able to summon Catastor. I have a significant amount of card advantage, but the momentum was certainly in his favor. I hold of the Inzektors with several Fiendish Chains and Warnings, and eventually I’m able to shift the game back in my favor and take it.
Game 2: I get absolutely blown out. I think he summoned a Dragonfly and I Warning and he Reborned it to demolish me.
Game 3: I saw game 2 that he kept in Effect Veiler. My opening hand game 3 had Tour Guide, Macro, Heavy Storm, Forbidden Chalice, and Forbidden Lance. I couldn’t afford to lose my only monster to Veiler and decided that it would be better to wait a turn so I set Macro and ended. He set 3 and a monster and ended. I flipped Macro in the End Phase as the card is crucial in this match up and I would rather him Warning my Tour Guide than Warning my Macro. Fortunately, I drew Rabbit the following turn for a blowout. I Heavied his 3 sets and summoned Rabbit and made Dolkka and attacked over his Ryko. I won shortly after and he did have the Veiler first turn.
Game 1: He wins the dice roll and opens with a loop including Factory. I consider scooping just so that he won’t know what I’m playing, but I reconsider after taking a second look at my hand. It was 5 generic cards that didn’t tell him what I was playing regardless of which one he hit. I believe it was Tour Guide, Heavy, MST, Dark Hole, and Mirror Force. He misses the Dark Hole and Mirror Force and hits everything else leaving himself with a Zenmaines. My sixth card was Rabbit and I summon it and make Dolkka and attempt to attack over his Zenmaines. Unfortunately he had Prison. I set Mirror Force and passed. He summoned Magician, dropped a Shark, and made a Utopia. He turned Zenmaines to attack and attacked with it all. I Mirror Forced and he Booked to save his Utopia. He was forced to kill his own Factory with Zenmaines’ effect. On my turn I activated the Dark Hole and suddenly I was back in the game. I set a Snowman and he summoned Rabbit and attacked into it. A couple turns later I drew to Pot of Avarice and Maxx “C.” I checked my graveyard and had 4 and decided it was worth it to go ahead and play the Maxx “C” so I could Avarice. Off the Avarice I ripped Rabbit and MST and MSTed his Fiendish Chain and summoned Rabbit to make Laggia and take the game from there.
Game 2: I don’t remember much from this game, but I do remember winning the match 2-0.
Game 1: I was behind for most of this game. He started off with Rabbit after winning the dice roll and that put him in a solid position. Any hopes I had of coming back were crushed when his Avarice came down.
Game 2: I open extremely defensively and set 5. He opens offensively and attacks me with a Sabersaurus. My 7th card was a Rabbit and I summon it against his 1 backrow (I had Solemn set). I make a Laggia and he makes a crucial misplay thinking his set was Lance when in fact it was Chalice. When he flipped it when my Laggia attacked his Sabersaurus I was like “Okay, so you take more damage?” This game was a blow out from there.
Game 3: This game was incredibly long. I started off by setting a Gellenduo. After attacking it he had Smashing and I set another Gellenduo. I remember he accidently flashed me an Avarice (he did this several times). Eventually it was live and he drew a Rabbit off the Avarice. The turn after he activated his Avarice, my Avarice was finally live. I drew double Sabersaurus off mine. This was critical as I really needed Traps. He accidently flashed me Dark Hole as time was called. It was my turn 3 and he had Snowman Eater in attack mode with Laggia with both materials in attack mode. I activated Dark Hole and he negated. I summoned Sabersaurus and attacked the Snowman. This put me ahead in life. Main phase 2 I played Smashing on the Laggia and I knew the only card in his hand was Dark Hole. The next turn was his last turn and it would come down to whether or not he could draw a monster to win in time. If he could not, I would win in time the following turn. Unfortunately, he drew Tour Guide.
I was upset about this loss after his horrible misplay game 2 and him revealing several cards in hand because of his sloppiness throughout the match.
Game 1: This match was pretty easy and he didn’t really know what he was doing. He dropped a Chaos Sorcerer and I Rabbited over it the next turn to take it fairly easily.
Game 2: I’m under 1000 and I Utopia Ray his BLS to attack him for 400. He has a set monster. On his turn he flips Marshmallon thinking it does 1000 when its flipped. I tell him to reread it and I attack over it for game the following turn.
Game 1: I open the absolute nuts after winning the dice roll. I win without even knowing what he’s playing. The only card I saw was a Snowman Eater. While I’m side decking I ponder out loud about what he could be playing. I say that my best guess would be Rabbit because of the mained Snowman. When I say this he mentions Simon He specifically and at this point I was fairly certain that he was in fact playing Rabbit so I sided accordingly.
Game 2: I find out that I was right when I attack his Sangan and he searches the Rabbit. I had a rather strong hand this game as well and manage to take it without too much difficulty. I don’t remember many specifics of this game.
Game 1: I remember mained Snowman working out incredibly well and I’m able to take it.
Game 2: I remember him playing Duality and getting Bottomless and a second Duality and getting Judgment. I knew where both of them were and he misplayed pretty badly. I Reborned his Thunder King and he Torrentialed. I Lance and for whatever reason he Solemns instead of playing the Bottomless. I’m not quite sure what he was thinking, but it cost him.
Game 1: This guy drew absolutely nothing, only hand traps. I beat him down with a Tour Guide and a Sangan through 5 backrow until his life points hit zero.
Game 2: Again he drew really bad with his only playable monster being a normal. I didn’t draw exceptional, but I certainly drew better than he did.
I was very happy to win 4 straight and finish day 1 at 7-2. I looked at the standings and was ranked 92nd. I was immediately worried. Frazier and I head back to the room and order pizza. We hang out with his friend Aaron who was incredibly cool. Eventually I fall asleep about 2.
I wake up and shower and head down to the convention center again. I get there at about 8:30 and resleeve quickly before the pairings go up.
Game 1: I open really poorly against Heroes. I had double Maxx “C” and Veiler in my hand. I attack him with a Kabazauls and next turn he summons Stratos. I Veiler it and he attacks and I book. I summon Maxx “C” to attack over his Stratos to press for damage with Kabazauls since my hand was so bad. I figured my only way to win this game was to win quickly. He activated Miracle Fusion and I let it go without playing my other Maxx “C.” He attacked and I activated my Maxx “C” and chained my Mirror Force to make his Shining miss timing. Main phase 2 he activated a second Miracle Fusion, but that was all he had left. I was able to steal a win simply through damage soon after.
Game 2: He opens with a lot of Alius and at least 1 Emergency Call. He flips a drain and attacks my set Snowman. I was worried he had Spark so in damage I played Lance so that Snowman could destroy Alius. Next turn I summon another Snowman and make Acid Golem. We were still under Drain and he couldn’t deal with the big beater. He was forced to keep setting monsters while I kept the pressure on with Golem. Eventually I got through all of his monsters and attacked for game with the Golem.
Now I have reached the bubble. The bubble and I have a history and one that doesn’t really favor me. In the last year alone I’ve reached the bubble at every event except for Kansas City, which I topped. At every event I lost on the bubble. I was hoping to change that today. Unfortunately, when pairings went up I saw that I was paired against my friend, Jerry Williams. It sucked having to play him as there were so many of us in contention to top the last round. I wasn’t the only one either. Barret and Silverman had to play as well.
Jerry Williams, Inzektors
Game 1: I open very well after winning the dice roll. I summon Laggia first turn with Solemn set. He sets two and ends. I summon Tour Guide, but he Warnings. I attack and he flips MST targeting my Judgment. I negate it with Laggia and drop Maxx “C.” He drops Gorz in defense. Next turn he leaves the Gorz in defense and rams with the token. I set Snowman and he attacks it the following turn with Gorz. He plays Call of the Haunted to bring it back. I set a second Snowman and I kill the Gorz again. He summons an Inzketor and I judgment. I set Warning. He sets a backrow. I set Fiendish Chain. He asks what I’m at and plays Heavy. Then he summons Tour Guide and I Veiler. I draw Avarice. He tries to Call to stay alive, but I Judgment and win.
Game 2: I open really defensively with I think 4 backrow. He MSTs his first turn and hits my Judgment. Luckily he didn’t follow it up with Heavy. We are at a Standstill for a while and eventually I draw a Rabbit. I keep the pressure on. He makes a Zenmaines and I kill it with Laggia after I played Fiendish Chain. I take it from there.
Honestly at this point I wasn’t even excited. I wasn’t glad that I had to play my friend the last round and I knew that there was a chance that I still wouldn’t make it. After about 30 minutes, they announce the Top 32 and I wasn’t in it. Instead I had missed it by 1 spot and had gotten 33rd. Yep, that sucked. It sucked even more that I robbed Jerry out of the win as he started 8-1 and lost 2 straight to not top. Had he won he would have certainly topped and had I known I would have definitely given him the win.
I go to Chilis with my friends Jake and Phil hoping to feel better. I come back and see the rest of the tournament unfold. Overall it was a successful weekend with ARG placing Frazier, Joe, and Alistar all in top. I felt a bit robbed at going x-2 and not topping, but I suppose I’ll have another chance in Chicago next weekend. My fifth top cannot escape me forever. Until next time everyone, thanks for reading this massive tournament report and remember, play hard or go home!