This past weekend, I was able to place in the Top 32 of YCS Philadelphia and I'm back here today with my tournament experience! Leading into this event, I was extremely confused on what my deck choice would be. I had tested almost every deck of the format and I was choosing a new deck to play for the event every day. This was the case for me due to the fact that I personally felt that everything was subpar. No deck was able to beat the other decks of the format on a consistent basis. By Thursday night, I had decided that I was just going to play Dragon Rulers since nothing else appealed to me more... or so I thought. As I was building my deck late Friday night in the hotel room with my friend Christian Georges, I started thinking to myself how uncomfortable I felt playing this deck for 12 rounds (Including the top 32, if I was able to reach that far). I thought this way because within my testing, Madolche and Artifact variants were beating me most of the time unless I was able to set up [ccProd]Stardust Dragon[/ccProd] + [ccProd]Skill Drain[/ccProd] first. As soon as I started having doubts about Dragons, I started to remember my friend Phill Pena trying to convince me to play Geargias throughout the whole time I was testing. I never considered it once because I never saw myself playing that deck, and I never liked the concepts of the deck itself. I felt that this was a big mistake on my part, as every deck should be taken into consideration if it has the potential of being the best deck for the event. This applied to me, as I started to think of how Geargias played against every match up, and I instantly liked it. In theory it had good match ups across the board, which is what I was looking for all along. I convinced Christian to make the switch to Geargias, asked for a few of our friend's builds (Shout outs to Marcus, Alex, and Phill for helping with the last minute switch), made our own changes to the deck, and I was finally satisfied with my deck choice for this event. Here is the deck list I came up with last minute, and my round by round coverage.
3 Geargiano MK-II
3 Maxx "C"
3 Upstart Goblin
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Soul Charge
1 Book of Moon
3 Black Horn of Heaven
2 Vanity's Emptiness
1 Needle Ceiling
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Solemn Warning
]3 Gear Giant X
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Number 85: Crazy Box
1 Number 103: Ragnazero
1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Ghostrick Alucard
1 Soul of Silvermountain
1 Temtempo the Percussionist Djinn
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Number 20: Gigabrilliant
2 D.D. Crow
1 Macro Cosmos
1 Dimensional Fissure
1 Mind Control
2 Dimensional Prison
2 Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare
2 Light-Imprisoning Mirror
1 Dark Hole
1 Needle Ceiling
1 Soul Drain
Round 1 - Sylvans Die Roll: L
Game 1: I notice that he opens very poorly as he summons [ccProd]Sylvan Princessprout[/ccProd] and activates it's effect to excavate, not seeing a a plant monster off her effect and setting 0. I open poorly drawing Geargiano + MkII with no Armor, Arsenal, or Geargiagear in sight. We pass to each other for a few turns, until I finally draw a Geargiagear and play it during his end phase. On the following turn, I make a huge push backed up by a [ccProd]Wiretap[/ccProd] for his [ccProd]Phoenix Wing Wing Blast[/ccProd] and his Life points become very low. After activating Vanity's Emptiness on his [ccProd]Miracle Fertilizer[/ccProd], he proceeds to scoops up his cards. Game 2: He opens very strongly this game as he combos off with [ccProd]Sylvan Sagequoia[/ccProd] and Princessprout, making [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccProd] backed up by a few backrow. One of the concepts I didn't like about Geargias, and the reason why I never saw myself playing the deck before was because of the problem I had this game. This deck has a very hard time beating over developed boards, and my opponent was able to win a free game because of this reason. I still attempted to play the game out, but that didn't last very long as he was able to pop with Dracossack every turn forcing me into the 3rd game. Game 3: Opening Geargiarmor + Macro Cosmos was too much pressure for my opponent because he can't make any real plays without any of his monsters being able to go to the graveyard. Even though Macro Cosmos hurts my deck to an extent, I sided the card because in the match ups I would side it for, it would hurt them more then it would hurt me. I was easily able to steal the game due to having Macro Cosmos so early in the game. 1-0
Round 2 - Racoons Die Roll: L
Game 1: He starts off by setting a monster + 4 backrow and passing his turn. I assume he's either running Geargia, Artifacts w/ Hands, or even Mermails, because not many other decks set a monster on t1. After passing my turn w/ a set Armor + 3 backrow, he flip summons [ccProd]Baby Raccoon Tantan[/ccProd] which I opt to [ccProd]Solemn Warning[/ccProd]. On my following turn when I attempt to flip Armor to search for Accelerator, he [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd]s my Geargiarmor. I choose to not Wiretap here because I have another level 4 in my hand, and I want to simplify the game by clearing his board w/ Excition Knight. The summon of my level 4 is successful and when he tried to Fiendish Chain again, my Wiretap that I saved came in handy, allowing me to wipe out his board. A few turns pass by, and he isn't able to come back.
Game 2: I decided that since I didn't really know all that much of the deck I was playing against, I would just have the same game plan as I did game 1. I once again attempt to Excition Knight him this game, backed up by a [ccProd]Book of Moon[/ccProd] to play around any effect negations, and it resolves. I'm easily able to take the game within the following turns. 2-0
Round 3 - Lightsworns Die Roll: W
Game 1: I see that my hand looks very awkward w/ 5 monsters + Soul Charge. When this deck draws multiple monsters, not all of them can be played essentially being -1 for each one you can't play. I figured that with this kind of hand, applying pressure early gives me the best chance of winning since he can just be playing a faster deck then me and I won't be able to keep up. So I start off by making 2 Gear Gigant X with no protection and hope to apply as much pressure as possible on the following turn, depending on what he does. My opponent starts off slow by summoning [ccProd]Lumina, The Lighsworn Summoner[/ccProd] and passing his turn allowing him to mill [ccProd]Eclipse Wyvern[/ccProd] and removing [ccProd]Judgment Dragon[/ccProd]. I was actually very scared when I saw that he was playing this deck, simply because this deck can push very fast and Judgment Dragon is a huge problem for Geargia. However, due to him opening subpar, I was able to win on the following turn especially because Lightsworn don't play a lot of backrow which allows me to make my plays freely.
Game 2: He opens a lot stronger this game, alongside a [ccProd]Royal Decree[/ccProd] for my multiple Trap Cards and is able to take the game fairly quickly.
Game 3: There's not much to say about this game as I open very strong w/ Dimensional Fissure, Light-Imprisoning Mirror, Geargiarmor, and 2 Trap Cards allowing me to win easily. 3-0
Round 4- Scraps (Benedict Junk) Die Roll: L
Game 1: My friend Benedict and I were both very surprised when we had seen we both had to play each other again. The last time we played against each other was in the Top 32 of YCS Chicago where he was able to beat me with his creative Dark World deck. I was hoping that he wasn't playing the same deck again as the match up is easily in Dark Worlds favor. However, I realize he isn't playing this deck as he passes his turn by setting a monster and a few backrow. I open solid by setting Armor + 3 backrow and ending my turn. On his turn he plays the new field spell, [ccProd]Scrap Factory[/ccProd] and then summons [ccProd]Scrap Beast[/ccProd]. He then activated [ccProd]Scrap Storm[/ccProd], to which I respond with Book of Moon. This was a key misplay made by me because Scrap Storm is still able to resolve even if the monster is face down. Had I read the card more carefully, I wouldn't have played Book of Moon because I knew that Benedict was right before even calling a judge just by reading the card for a second time. I feel that this is one of the biggest reasons why rogue decks are the scariest decks to play at events. Not only do you have to read their effects multiple times to understand what they exactly do (key wordings), but you also don't know all the other cards that can be in their deck. This means that you don't know what kind of tech choices/outs they have within their deck. These rogue decks can also have different kinds of rulings that can cause you to make incorrect plays as well. I'm sure I would've lost this game regardless, so I decided to concede right away after I realized I had misplayed.
Game 2: A crucial Mystical Space Typhoon on his Scrap Factory allowed me to quickly take this match into Game 3. From this match, he shows that he's playing Royal Decree which I was happy to see in this game rather than the 3rd. Had I not seen it this game, I wouldn't have been able to side properly and would've had bad cards in my Main Deck for the last game of the match.
Game 3: I'm able to gain a huge amount of advantage by stopping each one of his Synchro plays within the early game. However the problem this game was that I had to trade a lot of my resources to do so. I started to draw dead Geargiagears, and I couldn't apply pressure on him by attacking him every turn with my Geargiaccelerator due to him having [ccProd]Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders[/ccProd] each turn. He's able to give himself more than enough turns, and is able to clear through each one of my backrows with his freshly drawn Soul Charge. Next turn, I have no follow up plays and concede. 3-1
Round 5 - Bujin Die Roll: W
Game 1: This game was extremely long, as I drew very subpar while my opponent opened up with [ccProd]Bujin Yamato[/ccProd] + [ccProd]Kaiser Colosseum[/ccProd] and 3 other backrow. After a few turns of taking damage, I'm able to finally draw Geargiarmor which Bujins have a hard time running over. I'm able to gain more than enough advantage after flipping my Armor each turn and make a comeback push. After running through 2 [ccProd]Bujingi Hare[/ccProd]s, 2 [ccProd]Bujingi Turtle[/ccProd]s and a [ccProd]Bujingi Crane[/ccProd] I was able to simplify the game to my Wind-Up Zenmaines and 2 backrow to his 2 cards in hand. I then chain Vanity's Emptiness to a [ccProd]Bujincarnation[/ccProd] I know that he added with [ccProd]Pot of Duality[/ccProd] and he immediately scoops up his cards.
Game 2: Exciton Knight + Wiretap was able to quickly steal this game, and avoid going into time. 4-1
Round 6 - Fire Fist Die Roll: W
Game 1: A [ccProd]Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear[/ccProd] effect on my set Geargiarmor and getting a free [ccProd]Fire Formation - Tenki[/ccProd] search off a direct attack gives him more than enough momentum to win within the early stages of the game.
Game 2: He doesn't have to a way to run over my set Geargiarmor and loses after I flip it enough times to make a strong enough push for game.
Game 3: A clutch Solemn Warning for his Soul Charge while I have multiple Gear Gigant X + Daigusto Emeral on the field seals the match. 5-1
Round 7 - Bujin Die Roll: L
Game 1: My opponent starts off poorly by summoning Bujingi Hare and setting 4 backrows. I take a huge amount of damage as he summons [ccProd]Bujin Mikazuchi[/ccProd] next turn and I'm forced to Solemn Warning his [ccProd]Bujintei Susanowo[/ccProd]. I draw Geargiarmor next turn and I'm able to slow role the game with it and my trap cards for his plays to take this game. I found this game to be funny because I was able to actually play my Needle Ceiling while I had 2 set monsters on the field against Bujins which doesn't happen very often.
Game 2: The new generic rank 4 XYZ [ccProd]Number 103: Ragnazero[/ccProd] came in very clutch this game as I was able to destroy his Bujin Yamato while he had Fire Formation - Tenki face up through Bujingi Hare, and avoiding Bujingi Crane at the same time! I was able to do this because Ragnazero is a "Quick-Effect" which means I can do it during either player's turn, so I did it once during my turn to force out the Bujingi Hare, and once during his turn to get rid of the Bujin Yamato. He tried to gain back momentum with Bujincarnation, but Solemn Warning put a stop to that and allowed me to win on the following turn with Geargiagear. 6-1
Round 8 - Madolche Die Roll: L
Game 1: My opponent starts off by setting a few backrow, while I set Geargiarmor along with a few backrow of my own. On my opponent's next turn he summons [ccProd]Madolche Magileine[/ccProd] and searches for [ccProd]Madolche Anjelly[/ccProd]. Now, here is one of the things I liked most about playing Geargias this weekend. When your opponent sets a monster, especially on turn 1, you can have a good idea of what your opponent is playing. Off the top of my head, the only top tier decks that set monsters on turn 1 is Geargias (Geargiarmor), Mermails (Abysslinde), and Artifact Hands (Fire Hand). But sometimes your opponent won't account for this since they'll just attack into it, and each one of these monsters can punish them for this in their own way. I was able to punish my opponent for him running into my Geargiarmor and getting not 1 search by the time it was my turn, but 2. The game ends shortly after I Solemn Warning his Madolche Anjelly.
Game 2: One big problem about Madolche is that even though they're able to make all of their monsters floaters and gain constant advantage, mass removal cards hurt them severely. Cards such as Evilswarm Exciton Knight and [ccProd]Black Rose Dragon[/ccProd] hurts this deck tremendously as they lose all of their advantage since [ccProd]Madolche Chateau[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Madolche Ticket[/ccProd] doesn't allow them to add monsters back to their hand because all the cards are being destroyed at once. This comes into play as I have Book of Moon for his Fiendish Chain on my Evilswarm Exciton Knight to clear his board which he can't come back from.
7-1 Round 9 - Bujin Die Roll: L
Game 1: I open extremely strong with Geargiarmor + Geargiagear + Wiretap to beat through each one of his backrows and Bujin Yamato to take the game quickly.
Game 2: He catches me off guard by flipping a Royal Decree on me, since he played many different trap cards game 1. He's able to establish Bujintei Susanowo early because of his Royal Decree, and I have too many dead cards + no way of beating his XYZ causing me to scoop.
Game 3: He's unable to stop me from flipping my Geargiarmor every turn, forcing him to make XYZ plays and allowing me to gain even more advantage by stopping him with my trap cards. 8-1
Round 10 - Traptrix Artifact Hands Die Roll: W Game 1 & 2: You can read about this match here: https://yugiohblog.konami.com/?p=17586 One reason why I decided to play Geargia this weekend was because of this particular match up. I knew this deck was gaining a large amount of popularity, and this deck has a very hard time beating over Geargiarmor. Their only way of doing so is by using [ccProd]Artifact Moralltach[/ccProd], and that's only after I've searched a monster with Geargiarmor. They can also decide to just bring out Moralltach to attack over Geargiarmor, but even then I can have my own trap cards. 9-1
Round 11 - Scoop to my opponent I decided to give the win to my opponent this round because I wanted to make the most of the time I had, and familiarize myself as much as I can about the drafting portion of the top. I'm thankful to Christian, Patrick, Desmond, and Brandon for giving me key tips on draft! Even though I was unfortunately unable to make it past Top 32 once again, I feel that I'll be prepared once I make it into draft! 9-2
Top 32 - Geargia (Alex Decolator) Die Roll: L
Game 1: Alex has been my friend for a very long time and we both thought it was very unfortunate hat we had to play against each other. We both open solid, but one thing about the Geargia mirror match is that the die roll is a huge factor that comes into play. This is because Geargias takes at least one turn to set up (Unless they have Geargiaccelerator) meaning he's ahead of me already just by going first. He's able to clear through my backrows, and a clutch Vanity's Emptiness for my play seals the deal.
Game 2: We both open solid again, but this time since I'm going first, I'm able to take advantage of this and pull ahead far enough to win the game easily.
Game 3: He opens very strong by starting off with Gear Gigant X + 4 backrow. I had a feeling I was going to lose this game from the start because not only did he have a great start, but I had no Geargiarmor in site. I tried to stall out the game as much as possible and hope to make some kind of comeback by looping Mk-II with Geargiaccelerator, but the game was over when he had Solemn Warning for my Geargiagear. Had he not Solemn Warning'd my Geargiagear, the multiple Mk-II's that I drew would've been live, giving me a chance to win the game.
Even though I was sad that I wasn't able to make it past the Top 32 again, I didn't mind the fact that it was a friend who beat me. Overall, even though I was able to place in the Top 32 of YCS Philadelphia, I was unsatisfied with losing in the top cut. However on a positive note, I'm happy with the fact that I'm 1 top away from hitting the double digit mark! My main goal for this year is to hopefully not lose within the top cut, and finally win a premier event! The Circuit Series comes to Washington, D.C. on May 31st - June 1st, 2014! Click the picture below for all the details!