Hello Yugioh players! I would like to start off thanking everybody who congratulated me on winning YCS Meadowlands New Jersey which happens to be my second YCS win, with the previous one being YCS Rhode Island 2011. With over 1500 players in the tournament it was no easy task taking home the trophy. I might as well start off with the weeks leading up to the YCS and how I prepared for it.
About a month before the YCS took place I started to playtest with Mono-Mermails, I never played the deck before that and I figured it was a good time to start since there was a good chance I would end up playing it for the YCS. I tried using all kinds of cards in the deck to find out what I did and didn't like such as [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd], [ccProd]Mermail Abyssdine[/ccProd], [ccProd]Torrential Tribute[/ccProd], [ccProd]Mirror Force[/ccProd], and all sorts of other cards trying to find the most optimal build for the event. The person I worked on the deck with is my close friend Raheem Spivey, we bounced ideas back and forth trying to make sure the deck was perfect. In my testing with the deck I ended up top 8'ing a 1k tournament I went to as well as a regional in Charlotte, North Carolina a week after that so I was having some relative success with the deck, but I still felt like there were things I could improve in it. One thing I was afraid of was the Evilswarm matchup as the deck wasn't legal for any of the events I attended and I didn't get a chance to playtest against it much. After testing a few days against Evilswarms I found out that the matchup wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, in fact it was harder for me to beat Evilswarms using Fire Fists since Pandemic would ruin your day. Once I found that that matchup wasn't too hard and that the deck wouldn't be too prevalent at the YCS going by the regional results across the country, cards like Abyssdine and the 3rd Heavy Infantry were cut from consideration. [ccProd]Abyss-squall[/ccProd] is another card I ended up cutting, I know it's a great power card and everything but it just never worked for me and I drew it dead way too many times, not to mention it was one of the first cards I sided out. I ended up adding [ccProd]Mermail Abyssturge[/ccProd] to the deck and Moulinglacia shortly afterwards which I have to say both cards were amazing over the weekend, Turge allowing for easier Rank 4 plays and recycling Infantry and Divas, and Moulin for being amazing in the mirror match. [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd] was another amazing card for me since it worked great vs [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd], Dolkka, and Banisher (if previously in the grave), having 2 effect in one and unlike [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd] you couldn't chain MST to it. After many adjustments, this is what I ended up using:
3 [ccProd]Mermail Abyssmegalo[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Mermail Abyssteus[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Mermail Abysspike[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Mermail Abysslinde[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgunde[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Mermail Abyssleed[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Mermail Abyssturge[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Deep Sea Diva[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Atlantean Dragoons[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Atlantean Marksmen[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Atlantean Heavy Infantry[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Moulinglacia, the Elemental Lord[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Salvage[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Monster Reborn[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Pot of Avarice[/ccProd]
3 [ccProd]Abyss-Sphere[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd]
I really didn't want to go above 40 cards, though the deck searches a lot and many of your hands are good no matter what combination of what Monsters you have, running more than 40 cards in your deck makes it harder to see those unsearchable cards that you want to see such as [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd], [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd], [ccProd]Pot of Avarice[/ccProd] and I don't know about anyone else but I want to see [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd] as much as physically possible. It also makes it harder to see side deck cards Games 2 and 3, and if I'm running 50 cards, the chances of me losing to a [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Soul Drain[/ccProd] get a lot higher. I find that decks flow better the closer they are to 40 cards, that might just be me though.
Friday of the YCS me and my friends got into New Jersey around 4 PM or so and went straight to our hotel, the Embassy Suites which happened to be right across the street from the Expo Center so that was nice. After pre-registering and meeting up with many of my friends, I went back to the hotel to work on my side deck with Raheem since I usually never finalize my side deck until Friday night of a YCS. Mike Steinman got in really late since he missed his earlier flight, so when he got into Jersey I met up with at the Marriott hotel which was a short walk from mine. He told me he was running Prophecy for the event, which I knew from earlier that Joe G, Frazier and Joe B were running the deck as well. Besides talking with Mike about our decks, I ended up getting some play testing in with Garon and his Prophecy deck, which was good for me since I never got much testing in against Prophecy. I ended up playing until around 2 AM and headed back to the room to build a side deck, I ended up taking out the 2 [ccProd]Debunks[/ccProd] out of my side deck for 2 [ccProd]Mind Crush[/ccProd]es since [ccProd]Mind Crush[/ccProd] was good against Prophecy as well as being more versatile in the mirror, being able to hit cards gotten off of [ccProd]Salvage[/ccProd] and getting free knowledge of your opponent's hand. I also cut the [ccProd]Soul Taker[/ccProd] in my side for [ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd] since I was already siding 3 [ccProd]Maxx C[/ccProd]s and [ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd] combos great with it and you can do neat things with it in the mirror. This is the side deck I ended up using for the event:
3 [ccProd]Maxx "C"[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Snowman Eater[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Gorz, Emissary of Darkness[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Messenger of Peace[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Dust Tornado[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]Mind Crush[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd]
The event itself ran pretty smoothly Day 1. Though I was running on about 3 hours of sleep I was ready to go, and after a few hours of waiting around for it to start, Round 1 began.
Game 1+2: I ended up winning fairly easy through use of [ccProd]Bahamut Shark[/ccProd] and Heavy Infantry. I know that [ccProd]Salvage[/ccProd] helped me a lot in the match.
Round 2: Fire Fist
Game 1: I opened up with [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd] and Diva so he ended up losing pretty fast, not much to say about this game.
Game 2: Fossil Dyna combined with 4 backrows made me lose this game, I remember attacking with Marksman into his Fossil Dyna and he activated [ccProd]Prideful Roar[/ccProd] in Damage Calculation.
Game 3: I literally rode Gachi Gachi to victory as it made all of my monster bigger than his and I had a lot of MSTs and [ccProd]Dust Tornado[/ccProd]s to clear the backrow away.
Game 1: I forgot a lot of details of this match but I do remember dropping Moulinglacia and hitting Tour Guide and [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] out of his hand and winning shortly after that.
Game 2: My opponent ended up making a huge mistake of summoning Bear instead of Tour Guide when I had Gachi Gachi with 2 materials, Dragoons, and Marksman on the field and ran his Bear into my Marksman.
Round 4: Fire Fist
Game 1: This game kept on going back and forth but I ended up barely taking this game using Sphere to get Abyssteus to attack for game since all my Megalos and Abyssleed was gone already. [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd] put in work this game as I used it on his Thunder King to resolve my Dragoons effect.
Game 2: Banisher with 4 set backrows stopped me from doing much at all. My lone Diva didn't stand a chance.
Game 3: My opening hand is pretty bad, I end up eating 2 Thunder King attacks directly and I am forced to summon Abyssteus discarding Megalo and [ccProd]Monster Reborn[/ccProd] it to get over the Thunder King. Later in the game his board ended up being Banisher, Tiger King, Bear with a faceup Tenki and a set backrow. MST his backrow then I remove [ccProd]Breakthrough Skill[/ccProd] from my grave to negate Banisher and summon Megalo from my hand discarding Abyssgunde and Dragoons, I search Diva summon it to get Marksman and make Catastor. I barely end up winning this game thanks to Catastor just taking down his board and his lifepoints
Game 1: He opens up Rabbit tot 2 [ccProd]Sabersaurus[/ccProd] and goes into Laggia then sets 2 backrow and passes to me my hand was Heavy Infantry, Megalo, Dragoons, [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd], Diva, MST. So unfortunately for him he lost that game on my first turn.
Game 2: He opens up Rabbit again and goes into Laggia plays [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd] and sets another backrow with it, I remember setting [ccProd]Dust Tornado[/ccProd] and MST then passing back to him. he then summons Bear and attacks gets Tenki and I let it go, he gets Bear with Tenki and passes and in the end phase I flipped MST on D-Fissure and he negated with Laggia and I chain [ccProd]Dust Tornado[/ccProd] to destroy D-Fissure and set [ccProd]Abyss-Sphere[/ccProd] from my hand using Dust. On my turn I summon Diva to get Marksman flip Sphere to get Abysspike and make Dewloren, bounce Sphere and Marksman and attack over the Bear. I ended up gaining too much advantage over the next few turns and he can't come back.
Round 6: Fire Fist (Jonathan Weigle)
Sucks I had to play a friend but it had to happen at some point.
Game 1: I go turn one Gachi and pass. On his turn he Rabbits into Tiger King getting Tenki and it searching Bear, he kills my Gachi after using Tiger Kings effect. I forgot the full details but on my turn my ending board was [ccProd]Bahamut Shark[/ccProd], Moulinglacia and Abyssleed and he doesn't draw [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] on his next turn so he scoops.
Game 2: He goes turn 1 D-Fissure, summons Rabbit into Dweller. I quickly lose this game because I can't get around both the Dweller and the Fissure.
Game 3: I go turn 1 Gachi again and pass because my opening hand is kind of weak. The game ends up dragging on for a while, his board being Tengu, Tiger King, and another monster backed up by 2 D-Fissures and 2 other set backrows. I am hiding behind a Messenger at the point with a facedown [ccProd]Snowman Eater[/ccProd] and my hand being MST, [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd], 2 Dragoons, Diva, and Abyssgunde, I am just waiting for a Megalo or any discard outlet to go off. On his next turn he uses [ccProd]Diamond Dire Wolf[/ccProd] to get rid of my Messenger and attacks into [ccProd]Snowman Eater[/ccProd]. I destroy Tiger King since it hasn't attacked yet. On my turn I draw Megalo and win the game that turn.
Game 1: He drew pretty bad and I win this game with Dweller and a boosted Megalo
Game 2: He drew poor again and the multiple [ccProd]Maxx C[/ccProd]s that I have combined with [ccProd]Mind Crush[/ccProd] lets me take a win here.
He is a pretty cool guy and he ended up making Top 8, feel a little bad winning when he drew bad both games and I had a good hand both times.
Round 8: Wind-Ups (Justin Diaz)
Game 1: He opens up with [ccProd]Wind-Up Rabbit[/ccProd], sets 2 backrow and passes to me. I saw [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd] in my opening hand and that quickly lead to his defeat game 1.
Game 2: He returned the favor opening up with Rabbit+Factory and he ended up beating me with WU combos with Dweller on board.
Game 3: All I remember about this game is that Abyssgaios sat on the board for the bit and that I ended up making [ccProd]Bahamut Shark[/ccProd]+Abysstrite for game.
Another cool guy, he also ended up making Top 16
Round 9: Water (James Guerrero)
Got a Feature Match this round at Table 2:
He told me we would meet in the finals, little did I know he would be right.
Felt good to finally go undefeated Day 1 and get 1st Place, so I was able to rest easy knowing that I automatically made Top 32. However I didn't get to sleep until like 5 AM because the people in my room apparently didn't get enough YGO in Day 1 so they played all throughout the night, and it was near impossible to go to sleep with the way it was in the room.
Round 10: Water (Christian Georges)
He was X-1 so I gave him the win in order to guarantee his top. I wanted to play him just for the fun of it unfortunately I left my deckbox in the hotel room, so it was never meant to be. I ran back and got my deck and just hung back for the rest of the round.
Round 11: Infernities (Satoshi Kato)
Knew this match didn't mean much, but I wanted to play just to get the gears turning for top cut.
Game 1: My bad hand combined with a topdecked Archfiend led to my quick end
Game 2: Abyssgaios led me to win this game rather quick
Game 3: He opens [ccProd]Summoner Monk[/ccProd] and a Spell to my no hand traps, he ends with Shock Master, Leviair, Dweller, some Barriers, and an Archfiend. Which leads to me signing the slip on my first turn.
I ended up getting 10th Place after Swiss which felt pretty nice, and after a short break Top 32 began.
Top 32: Evilswarms (George Weber)
Game 1: He goes first and summons Rabbit into 2 Heliotropes, gets Pandemic with Ophion sets 2 and passes to me. I set Linde and pass since its my only play. He summons [ccProd]D.D. Warrior Lady[/ccProd] and removes my Linde. I can't do much on my next turn and he takes the win when he summons Tour Guide next turn.
Game 2: The game ended up shifting in my favor when he attack my facedown Linde, I got Abyssturge off of it and used Turge's effect to get back Heavy Infantry from the grave and special summoning Abysspike using Gunde, I then used Pike's effect the discard the Infantry I got back to destroy Ophion and search out Marksman. He scoops next turn knowing that I have Megalo in hand because he saw it with [ccProd]Mind Crush[/ccProd] a few turns earlier.
Game 3: Was pretty crazy but I ended up barely taking this game by using a key Blackrose to destroy the board which had a D-Fissure on it and following it up with a [ccProd]Bahamut Shark[/ccProd] a few turns later.
Top 16: Fire Fist (Sean Montague)
Game 1: Not going to lie, he destroyed me this game. Dweller with the whole Bear engine rolling can be pretty rough, especially when you draw 3 Abysslindes.
Game 2: I returned the favor and one this game with not too much difficulty thanks that Abyssgaios and [ccProd]Bahamut Shark[/ccProd].
Game 3: This was going back and forth for a good amount of the duel, but a topdecked [ccProd]Snowman Eater[/ccProd] on my part and a few clutch [ccProd]Dust Tornado[/ccProd]s on D-Fissures helped me etch out a win here
Top 8: Water (Marcus Hale)
He got a gameloss in Top 16 vs Heroes so we started in game 2 which was disappointing because I would have liked to play a full match against him.
Game 2: He summons Abyssgaios and Dweller on me pretty early on which lead to me getting annihilated that game.
Game 3: I resolved 2 [ccProd]Mind Crush[/ccProd]es this game, one on Abyssteus and one on [ccProd]Pot of Avarice[/ccProd], and I saw his hand was pretty bad again so that clinched the match for me.
Top 4: Water (Andrew Fredella)
Game 1+2: I know this sounds pretty bad but this was probably the quickest match I have ever played at a YCS. Game 1 I OTK'ed him and game 2 he didn't draw that great so that lead me to winning with a little over 30 minutes left on the clock.
Top 2: Water (James Guerrero)
Rematch from Round 9:
So there it is, that was the end of my journey at YCS Meadowlands, New Jersey, got a whole bunch of congrats and hugs from friends. Did a few deck profiles with Wilson Tsang and Steffon Bizzell and said goodbye to everybody since we had to hit the room because my friend who was driving had to be back to work the next day. If you have any questions for me feel free and don't hesitate to ask me. My focus now is to prepare for the WCQ and to start testing with all of the decks to see which will be number one at Chicago! Hopefully I will be able to pull something out at the WCQ like maybe a 3rd win but until then, practice hard!