Hello Duelists! This past week I attended YCS Tacoma and made it all the way to Top 16 in draft before losing out. Before I start I'd like to congratulate Barrett Keys for winning the YCS! I wasn't planning on going to Tacoma up until about Wednesday night, so I bought my tickets pretty late. I had been playtesting for ARGCS Texas for awhile and as a result I never really learned anything about Nekroz since I didn't actually think I was going to go to Tacoma. After talking to people who knew Nekroz well, we came to the conclusion that learning the deck in 2 days and playing perfectly with it wasn't going to happen, but learning to play against it was another story. So I instantly start calling everybody and asking whether I can playtest vs their Nekroz on Friday, and Elvis Vu, Kritin Deo, Cole Hill, and Joey Chou all offered to come to the rescue (Thanks guys!). And on Thursday I furthered my knowledge on the Nekroz cards and the typical plays that they make, then Chumlee and Kritin offered to help me playtest against Nekroz Thursday night, so I got Zach Stone and we discussed the plays that we should be making and I quickly got the hang of playing against Nekroz. On Friday my flight gets delayed so I arrive into Tacoma early Saturday morning and get some sleep.
Before the event, I see Luka (Who would end up finishing in 3rd place, congratulations!) and test the Nekroz matchup and shortly after, the pairings for round one are posted.
Round 1: Satellarknight 2-0
My opponent is pretty young, and actually goes on to win the Dragon Duel event so congratulations to him.
Game 1: He made a weird play where he didn't use Mystical Space Typhoon on my Scout but used it on my 1 Scale so I just OTK'd him.
Game 2: He uses Mystical Space Typhoon on my Scout but doesn't have one for Skill Drain and I win shortly after.
Round 2: Satellarknight 2-0
Game 1: He goes first and only gets to Deneb on his second turn, (which is a problem when playing against Qli) and his backrow could not keep up with my monsters and I won on my next turn.
Game 2: He doesn't have any monsters the whole game. A Snatch Steal keeps him in the game for a bit, but I drew Compulsory Evacuation Device to seal that game.
Round 3: Nekroz 2-0
Game 1: I Mirror Force him that game and that sets him very far behind for the rest of the game and he cannot come back.
I noticed that he kept trying to set bluffs game one, so I kept in Storm in the hopes that he will do this again and I could punish him for it.
Game 2: He chooses to go first. He starts his turn off with Manju, set three. And just like I predicted he set a lot, I opened Storm,Skill Drain, Saqlifice, Mirror Force, a Disk, and something else. So I set three, holding Emptiness, use Storm on his 3 backrow, hitting 3 S/T removal cards. On his next turn he summons Unicore then Trishula after drawing Twister for my Skill Drain, and attacks with both, leaving me at 400. Next turn I draw a card that isn't a monster, summon Carrier, and set one. He turns Trish to defense mode and attacks with Unicore leaving me at 200... I win the game shortly after because of his fear of getting blown out by Mirror Force.
Round 4: Nekroz 2-1
Game 1: I don't have Scout, Saqlifice or Vanity's Emptiness and he blows me out pretty quickly.
Game 2: I summon Vanity's Fiend and he has no outs so I win shortly after.
G3: He makes me go first and I open with Book of Moon, Mirror Force, Stormforth, Helix, Carrier. At this point I'm pretty sure I lose. He doesn't brick and does a good amount of ritual summoning, he summons Ragnazero and attacks, I let it go through. On my turn I draw Maxx c, flip my Stormforth and normal summon Helix by tributing his Ragnazero attack for 2400 and pass. When he tries to special summon I use Maxx C. And he debates stuff for awhile. He says "I think you have Mirror Force" then he summons Trishula banishing the card I drew from Maxx, my Helix and an irrelevant graveyard card. Then normal summons Manju and special summons Unicore letting me draw a card. He attacks, (This would be enough for game) and I Mirror Force him for three. He sets a backrow and passes. On my turn I draw, still no Scout. I summon Carrier and equip it with Saqlifice and attack, during the End Phase he flips up Royal Decree. We are pretty close to time. He draws, banishes a mirror or two, ritual summons Gungnir and destroys my Carrier with Gungnir's effect which let's me add Scout, at attack declaration, I Book of Moon the Gungnir and next turn he didn't have Valkyrus so I won shortly after. I didn't think I would win this game.
Round 5: Nekroz Joey Chou 0-2
I'm not sure what I was really doing this match. (Also congrats to Joey for making the top 16!)
Game 1: He's forced to set a backrow and for some reason I think to myself "Oh hey maybe it's not a Mystical Space Typhoon!" So I don't take the -1 by activating Storm and activate Scout instead and he uses Mystical Space Typhoon. I have an Emptiness in hand with some monsters so I attack and pass, he tries to ritual summon and I use Emptiness. He passes, and if he draws 1 of the 2 Mystical Space Typhoons left in his deck he wins the game, and if he doesn't I probably win, but he draws Mystical Space Typhoon and puts enough damage on board to reduce my life points to 0.
Game 2: I opened Scout, Summoner's Art, Helix, Saqlifice, Vanity's Fiend and a Maxx c. He just set a monster on his first turn and passed. Now I know it's a hand and more than likely it's a Fire Hand, so the obvious play is to use Summoners Art to add a Monolith, have Scout search a monster Pendulum Summon Helix and the searched monster, attack into Fire Hand, then in Main Phase 2 summon Vanity's Fiend. Somehow I ended up just summoning a monster and attacking - I guess I really didn't want to get Trish'd...? Anyway he just OTK'd me on my next turn, we went to go eat after this match since he beat me so fast and my knowledge of how to play Yugioh came back to me after lunch.
Round 6: Nekroz 2-0
Game 1: He is going first, sees his hand, tells me that he didn't side out, a judge is called over and gives him a game loss.
Game 2: He goes first and summons Manju, sets a backrow and ends. I opened 3 Vanity's Emptiness, Scout, and 2 other spell/Trap cards. I use Scout and luckily he let's it go, he doesn't have a way to get rid of all 3 of my Vanity's Emptiness throughout the game so I end up winning.
Round 7: Nekroz 1-2 Scott Page
Game 1: He doesn't have an out to Skill Drain and I win shortly after.
Game 2: I don't open Scout or Saqlifice and he uses Twister on my Floodgate, I have Vanity's Fiend + Stormforth but he tributed his monsters away for Valkyrus so I lose shortly after.
Game 3: I open Skill Drain, 2 Vanity's Emptiness, Helix, and Lancea.
I summon Helix, set 3 pass. He tries to special summon with Kaleidoscope, I use Emptiness due to the way it was ruled at the event, Scott still sends Herald of Arc Light to the graveyard and he searches Great Sorcerer of the Nekroz, attacks my Helix and during the damage step uses Decisive Armor to boost him up to 2500. On my turn I don't draw a monster so I pass. He normal summons a Manju and attacks with both monsters then sets one. I draw for turn hoping for a monster, and I draw a Scout, so if he didn't draw Mystical Space Typhoon for turn then this is a very winnable game. I pay 800 then he uses Mystical Space Typhoon. I end my turn. He draws for turn, normal summons Fire Hand and that's enough for game.
Now that I'm x-2 I'm hoping that I won't play vs a 6th Nekroz in a row.
Round 8: Qliphort (Finally) 2-0
Game 1: He goes first and uses Scout to search Helix (seems like somebody's got a Soul Transition set), equips a Saqlifice, sets two or three and passes. I opened Book of Moon Scout Emptiness Compulsory Disk and Storm, so I need my Scout to resolve. I use Book of Moon on his Helix, and he chains Soul Transition. I use Scout for Saqlifice, set it, Use Storm to pop his backrow and Scout, Pendulum Summon Disk and Scout, attack, set 2, pass. He searches Stealth, sets up the Scale I use Emptiness and he uses Mystical Space Typhoon on my Compulsory Evacuation Device which I chain on my Scout, lucky for me because he searched Stealth and not Disk he couldn't otk me and I won next turn (although I remember him telling me that be couldn't otk me, but I'm pretty sure that he would have been able to).
Game 2: I don't really remember this game at all, but I won.
So my roommates meet up and 4 of us advanced to day 2, unfortunately 3 of us are x-2 and the other is x-3, so it's not looking great.
Round 9: Nekroz
Game 1: I let him go first and he summons Manju then uses Kaleidoscope, I chain Maxx c, he summons Unicore then overlays for Ragnazero and passes. I use Scout and he uses his only backrow which is Mystical Space Typhoon. I put a Helix and a Monolith in the Pendulum zone, Pendulum Summon Scout and equip it with Saqlifice then summon Disk, he opts to let his Ragnazero die, then use Valkyrus on the next attack. I had at least one real trap card and Skill Drain so he couldn't come back this game.
Game 2: He chooses to go first, this game goes on pretty long after he uses both his Raigeki and a Dark Hole (on different turns) to get rid of my board while I had an Emptiness up. I am eventually able to grind him out of Valkyrus' and reduce his life points to 0 – mostly thanks to Skill Drain and the ability to just summon 5 monsters out of nowhere.
Before going into this round, I knew probably more than 50% of the people who were x-2 so I was pretty sure that I was going to play vs somebody I knew.
Round 10: Burning Abyss, Anthony Tachella
And I end up being correct, I have to play vs one of my friends Anthony for the top.
Game 1: I let him go first, and he summons Tour Guide and I did not open Maxx C so he summons Graff, Dante Mills 3 and he mills Cir, Scarm, Farfa – pretty good! Graff summons Cagna, and Cir summons Graff. He ends with 2 Dantes, and searches a Tour Guide. I have Scout, Saqlifice, Disk, Vanity's Emptiness, Mystical Space Typhoon, and Mirror Force. So I end with Carrier equipped with Saqlifice and 3 backrow.
He summons Tour Guide and I use Emptiness, he banishes Good and Evil from his grave discarding Calcab and adding Fire Lake. Calcab returns Mystical Space Typhoon to my hand, then he uses Beginning of the End, at this point I realize that I'm going to lose, then he uses Night Beam on my facedown Mirror Force, and Virgil seals the game after he uses Libic's effect to summon a Rubic.
Game 2: I again opt to let him go first, and unfortunately do not open any Flying C or Maxx C. He special summons a BA, then normal summons Graff, Dante mills three, and mills a Cir (this is looking bad for me) and ends with 2 Dantes and a backrow. My hand isn't very amazing, I use Mystical Space Typhoon on his facedown and he chains Mind Crush calling Qliphort Scout and I didn't have one, I randomly discarded a Cir from his hand (I'm starting to think this man might just be the Cir king). I normal summon a Carrier, equip it with Saqlifice and set some backrow, which was Skill Drain, Mirror Force, and Compulsory Evacuation Device. On his turn I use Skill Drain when he summons Tour Guide, so he summons a Virgil and passes. Next turn I drew a monster (or had one last turn I don't remember) so I tributed Carrier to bounce Virgil, added Scout which added Monolith since I decided I need to start gaining more cards to catch up to the advantage that he accumulated on the first turn. He doesn't topdeck a Mystical Space Typhoon and I eventually grind the game out, we were at about 9 minutes on the clock, and I just show him my hand and that I have game next turn, luckily Anthony understands that time benefits neither of us and concedes so that we can play game 3 with more time.
Game 3: He lets me go first and again no hand traps but I did open the best card in my deck against that deck: Book of Moon. My opening hand was Disk, 2 Saqlifice, Scout and Book of Moon. So if he didn't open Enemy Controller or Snatch Steal I knew I was winning this game. I summon Carrier, equip it with Saqlifice, set 2 and pass. He special summons a BA monster, normal summons a BA monster and I use Book of Moon on the normal summoned monster, he sets no backrow and passes, so I just normal summon Disk use Carrier to bounce his monster and OTK him to advance to the top 32!
Since this match was very close to going into time a lot of my friends were watching me play, and I found out that a lot of my friends made it into the top 32. Congratulations to Mitchell, Kritin, Chou, Eckroth, Omar, Apaipong, Keys, Yueqi, Chu, Luka, Walter, Elvis, Steven, Squiddy, and Esala! And congrats to everybody else who made the top 32.
So I find out I'm playing against Matthew Wright and I have no idea what he's playing, all I find out is that he's rooming with Squiddy, Eckroth, and Chou so I assume that he's playing Nekroz just like everyone in his room.
Game 1: I won the roll and let him go first (I always go second) and he takes awhile to activate Scout and search a monster (I guess he's trying not to make a mistake in top 32). He ends with a Scout in the Pendulum zone and a monster equipped with 2 Saqlifice. I open Scout with 3 monsters or 2 monsters and a Saqlifice so I OTK him by doing 7300 damage which is enough for game, since he paid 800 for Scout.
He tells me that he thought I was using Nekroz and could have done more on his first turn.
Game 2: He lets me go first, and I open with Scout, Saqlifice, Mystical Space Typhoon, Upstart, Mirror Force. Scout searches a Carrier, Upstart Goblin gets me Storm, I summon Carrier, set three backrow and pass my turn. He activates Scout and I use Mystical Space Typhoon. Then he uses Stormforth and I'm ready for him to equip Saqlifice to my monster and normal summon Disk, but he just normal summons Helix by tributing my Carrier so I use Carrier's effect to return Helix to the hand, he asks a judge if that works, the judge confirms it does. He sets the rest of his hand (three cards) and passes his turn. I draw a monster for my turn, I pay 800 for Scout and he uses Mystical Space Typhoon, I use Storm on my 2 backrow (1 of which is Saqlifice) and his 2 backrow, he chains Spell Shattering Arrow, but he has only a Helix in his hand looks at his next card and scoops.
Top 16: Draft 1-2 to Steven who would end up getting second place (Congratulations!)
Prior to YCS Tacoma I refused to travel out to any YCS events but I think I will start and I plan on attending YCS Chicago. This top brings me one step closer in obtaining my invitation to the ARG World Championship. That's all for this week's article! If you'd like to see me write about a certain topic feel free to message me on Facebook. The Circuit Series stops by Fort Lauderdale, FL next on March 7-8.
And As Always Play Hard or Go Home!