Ben McDowall YCS New Jersey Tournament Report

Ben McDowallHello Yugioh community, firstly I would like to think ARG for giving me the opportunity to write this article for them, and I hope to be writing more articles for them in the future. I have decided to write an article about my experience in YCS New Jersey. Even though I did not manage to make top 32 at this event, I thought that because of the deck that I decided to play that my tournament experience was worth sharing.

Before I go any further I should probably say a few things about myself, my name is Ben McDowall. I have been playing this game since 2002. I have one major event top, Nationals of 2010, I placed in the top 32 losing out to Courtney Waller’s blackwing deck. I also lost on the bubble at YCS Philadelphia a year ago, and I have numerous Day 2’s, as well as finishing in 20th place at SJC Columbus 2005, back when they only cut to top 8 at major events.

In the weeks leading up to the event I had no idea what I was going to play. I went back and forth between Gadgets, Infernities, Mermails, and Wind-Ups. I couldn’t make a decision one way or the other, and eventually it was the Wednesday before the event and I still hadn’t made a decision, and I felt like there were problems with every one of the decks I was considering playing. I wasn’t comfortable enough with Mermails and Infernities, and I knew they were very skill intensive decks, so I didn’t want to bring a deck I was sure I would make many misplays using. If I had had more time to prepare for the event, then I probably would have chosen Mermails, but I did not get enough time testing them for my liking. Gadgets and Wind-Ups had kind of the same problem with me, I was very comfortable with both decks, but outside of their ridiculous openings of Factory Rabbit, and Gadget Ultimate Offering, I just didn’t think the decks were able to do enough to keep up with the meta. I finally settled on an unconventional deck choice Wednesday night before the event, Watts.

Now some of you may be wondering why I chose to run Watts for the event, and I will explain my reasoning. I had experience with the deck at a regionals in Garden City Michigan, where I just placed outside of the top 8, finishing in 12th place. Additionally I thought that the deck could provide blowout wins with Thunder Seahorse, just like Wind-ups and Gadgets could, except that my blowout wins only required me to draw a three-of card, instead of two separate cards like in Wind-ups and a limited card in gadgets. Additionally my deck had the added factor of my opponents not knowing how to play against it since it was not meta. As far as consistency went, the deck is very consistent as many of the cards let you search in the deck. Also I felt like I had favorable matchups against both Water and Fire Fists in this event, because Mermails are pretty much unable to otk me because of the amount of stall I play, and Fire Fists all depend on getting their effects off through battle, which it is hard to trigger them due to all the stall cards I play. Without further ado this is the deck that I entered into the event.

Thunder Sea HorseMonsters: 17
Thunder Sea Horse x3
Wattgiraffe x3
Wattcobra x3
Wattdragonfly x3
Wattpheasant x2
Cardcar D x2
Honest x1

Spells: 8
Messenger of Peace x3
Pot of Duality x2
Monster Reborn x1
Dark Hole x1
Heavy Storm x1

Traps: 15
Threatening Roar x3
Waboku x3
Thunder of Ruler x3
Dark Bribe x2
Mirror Force x2
Solemn Judgment x1
Ceasefire x1

Extra: 15
Abyss Dweller x2
Diamond Dire Wolf x2
Starliege Paladynamo x2
Gagaga Cowboy x2
Daigusto Emeral x1
Evilswarm Ouroboros x1
Lavalval Chain x1
Maestroke the Symphony Djinn x1
Number 16: Shock Master x1
Number 39: Utopia x1
Number 51: Blackship of Corn x1

Side: 15
Lava Golem x3
Mystical Space Typhoon x3
Macro Cosmos x3
Maxx “C” x2
Breakthrough Skill x2
Ojama Trio x2

Now as you can see my build of Watts is different than most Watt builds that have seen play over the past couple of years. Most builds have focused on getting two Watthopper’s on the board at the same time to lock the opponent out of being able to attack, and then attacking directly with all the Watt monsters until it is game. I felt that this version of the deck was not as consistent as mine, as you could not count on getting the Hopper lock every game, and even if you did get it you had to either hope your opponent didn’t draw outs like Dark Hole Torrential, etc, or that you would draw outs to those cards. Instead I thought that it would just be better to protect my monsters with spells and traps that prevented my opponent from attacking.

TragoediaI actually wish that I could have found 3-6 more stall cards for this deck, as you will see in my tournament report just about every time I lost a game it was because I ran out of stall cards to prevent my opponent from killing me. Unfortunately none of the other one turn stall cards in the game really fit what I needed. Because I wanted to use them to protect my monsters from being destroyed by battle this meant that cards like Swift Scarecrow, Tragoedia, Gorz, Battle Fader, and One Day of Peace were out of the question, because they would either require me to have a clear board, or did not end the battle phase. I could not count on my life points to be lower than my opponents by at least 2000, so Frozen Soul couldn’t be played. The only other one that I considered was Zero Gardna, but I chose not to, because he requires you to use a normal summon, and your normal summon is very important in this deck, since a lot of the times you can lose just by getting monster clogged hands. The deck does very little special summoning, so if you end up with 4+ monsters in hand you can literally only play one per turn.

There are several unusual card choices and I will try and explain them. I will start with Wattpheasant. At first his effect may seem subpar, but there are actually several different situations where he is good, and I will go over them. If my opponent has an exceed on the board like Blackship or Big Eye, and I don’t want my opponent to be able to activate its effect the next turn, I can summon it, attack directly and banish the exceed, and it will return to the field during the end phase with no materials. That is a way it can be used defensively, but what about offensively? Let’s say my opponent uses Fiendish Chain on a Wattcobra, and I need it to be able to search and get plusses through my deck. In that scenario I can summon the Wattpheasant, attack directly, and use it to banish my Wattcobra, and then it will return to the field unaffected by Fiendish Chain. Or what if I have a Thunder Sea Horse in my hand and I want to use its effect, but my opponent is slowing down my plays with Thunder King, well I can banish the Thunder King, and then use my Seahorse in main phase 2. I actually came into a situation in testing where my opponent dropped a Moulinglacia against me, and I followed it up with a Wattpheasant banishing the Moulinglacia the next turn, and because it had left the field he couldn’t conduct his next battle phase, and the best part was the Moulinglacia had returned to the field for me to do it again next turn. There are other situations where Wattpheasant is good, but I think you understand the basic idea, that being said, all those are very situational scenarios, which is why I only play 2, unlike the other Watt monsters which are good pretty much all the time.

Dark Bribe is another one I want to talk about. Most conventional Watt builds run the Huge Revolution is Over to protect their setup from massive destruction cards like Dark Hole Torrential etc. I preferred Dark Bribe over this card, because it gave me more utility. I could negate all the same cards, while at the same time I could negate an mst trying to destroy my Messenger, or an abyssspher when my opponent is trying to otk me. A situation that came up in testing that shows Dark Bribes greater utility. My opponent was playing Macro Rabbit, and had a field of Laggia with materials, Dollka with materials, Leviair with a material and a Sabersaurus. He attacked me with his monsters, and I responded with Mirror Force. He used his set Starlight Road in response, and I Bribed it. Since Dark Bribe was a counter trap Laggia was powerless to stop it, and my Mirror Force resolved clearing his whole board, had that Dark Bribe been a The Huge Revolution is Over I most assuredly would have lost that game.

Ojama Trio in the side deck was an idea I had the day before the YCS where I was trying to figure out something I could do against both Infernities and Wind-Ups as I had weak matchups against both, since they were xyz toolboxes they could not use the tokens to synchro, they had a difficult time getting them off the field, Infernities in particular would have a difficult time dealing with it since if you could spring it on them when they had a Necromancer and Archfiend on board they would be board locked and Barrier would be powerless to stop it because they would have just searched for Archfiend. The few times I tested this card it did ok, but I only sided it once in the tournament, and I didn’t draw it, so it was pretty much irrelevant. That being said I probably would not side this card if I was allowed to do the event over.

Now that I have gone over my reason for playing certain cards let’s get into the tournament report.

macro cosmosRound one against Dragondraw Exodia.
Game one he is unable to get anything going at all and I win pretty quickly. The only two cards I see my opponent play this game was Royal Magical Library, and Monster Reincarnation (which he activated illegally without a target in grave to try to get a counter on the library.) I still don’t know for sure what he is playing, but I board in the Macros because I figure if he plays Reincarnation that he probably depends on his grave at least to some extent. Game 2 gets sealed for me when he has to discard an Exodia piece for into the void while Macro is up.
Record 1-0

Round two against Frog Monarchs
As soon as I see what he is playing I think I am going to lose this match, because my deck is weak to destruction which Monarchs basically have an infinite amount of with monarch Econs and Soul Exchanges, not to mention LADD, and side decked Jinzo’s, which no matter how you look at it is a lot of hate for my deck. Either way, I don’t remember much about game one, other than I won, game 2 he drops a LADD against me that I have to neg to many cards to get off the field, so I end up losing, game three I open turn one Macro, that he has no outs to. At one point he Soul Exchanges to drop a Jinzo, which I am forced to Solemn Judgment, and he really can’t do anything because of the Macro after that, so I end up winning.
Record 2-0

Round three against Mermails
Game one my opponent misplays when going for game and forgets to normal summon an abysslinde for game, and pays for it when I manage to come back and take the game. Game two my deck basically did what it was supposed to do against Mermails, and he didn’t really have a chance.
Record 3-0

Round four against Dino-Fist
I won this match, the only thing I remember was he opened Rabbit games one and two, and then I saw a side decked Rivalry of Warlords against me in game three, which only stops me from making xyz plays. The Rivalry ends up preventing me from going into Cowboy for game, but unfortunately for him I have the Honest in hand when he tries to attack over my monster for game.
Record 4-0

fire fist - bearRound five against Fire Fist
This guy was really cool, I had a good time playing against him, my deck basically does what it is supposed to do both games. He only misplayed against me once when he Veilered my Wattgiraffe so it couldn’t attack directly, while he had no monsters on board. I almost didn’t attack because I was afraid he would drop a Tragoedia or something because I couldn’t figure out why else he would Veiler my monster in that situation.
Record 5-0

Round six against Mermails (Jeffrey Strain top 32)
I win the die roll and open Thunder Seahorse, but unfortunately with 3 other monsters and Messenger as my only stall card, which leads to a monster clogged hand. Messenger is good against mermails, but only if you draw it with other stall cards, because they will try and otk you, and then afterwards you can drop the messenger, and a lot of times their out to it will be gone at that point, but when you draw just Messenger it will get msted or Heavy Infantried, which is exactly what happened and I got otked. Game two I get put in a situation where I have three watt monsters on board that have all attacked directly that turn, and one watt monster in hand, with no stall cards, and he is down to 1800 life points to my 6500. His board has a Gungrir, Zenmaines, Abysspike and a defense position Deep Sea Diva, and he has one card in hand, which I know is not a water monster, because he only discarded one for gungrir the previous turn, when it would have been more optimal to discard two. I basically have two choices in this situation, the first being I could overlay into Maestroke and live to see the next turn no matter what he topdecks, or I can make Blackship of Corn to destroy his Diva, so he can’t synchro, and with the 1000 life points of damage it would drop him down to 800 life points and put him on a one turn clock to kill me. The way I saw it there was only one card he could top in that situation that would have given him the win, and that was dragoons to discard for gungrir to destroy my blackship search diva to get marksman, then synchro with pike to make dewloren and then proceed to otk me. With only two dragoons left in deck I was willing to take those odds, so I made Blackship. He ends up topdecking Salvage, which I thought he boarded out, since I boarded in Macros and used it to get back Diva and Infantry. He then discarded Infantry to destroy both of my monsters, and then summoned Diva and killed me. My next draw would have been a Ceasefire, so if I had done the Maestroke play I would have won the game, but regardless I still think I made the right play and would do the same thing again under the same circumstances. Anyways congratulations to him on his top 32 finish.
Record 5-1

genex undineRound seven against a kid who couldn’t have been older than 12 playing 48-card Undine Mermails
There has been a lot that has been said about this deck, and why it isn’t very good, most of which I agree with but there is one thing that I haven’t read anywhere and it is this. When I sit down and table shuffle my opponents deck and I count any number higher than 45 I automatically assume this is what I am playing against, and the only reason the number isn’t lower than 45 is some gadget decks like to play exactly 45 cards. When your opponent knows what you’re playing before you even play a card that is free information you are just giving away for no reason. I don’t remember much about the first two games other than I won the first and he won the second. In game three I go first and open no stall cards, but I do open a Macro. We go into time a couple of turns into this game, and I am really happy, because my deck is near unbeatable in time. Anyways he isn’t able to see an out to Macro, and when I Breakthrough Skill his Tragoedia on attack declaration it pretty much seals the match for me. I would also like to take the time to point out that since I drew no stall cards if he would have seen an out to Macro at all I am pretty sure I would have lost this game, but since he was playing the 48-card version he had much worse odds of doing so.
Record 6-1

Round eight against Karakuri Psychics
Game one he sets two backrow and passes. I open Heavy Storm and play it, which he Solemns. As soon as I summon the Wattgiraffe in my hand he instantly regrets playing the Solemn. Anyways in my deck I only need four attacks to have game when he Solemned so I won easily. Game two he resolves a Decree that I don’t have an answer for, so I end up losing, in game three I get him low enough, and then activate Troar duing his turn. He ends up trying to draw into Dark Hole by getting as many draws off of Bureido as he can, he eventually draws into Avarice, which he uses, but whiffs on the Dark Hole and concedes.
Record 7-1

Round nine against Infernities
Infernities is not a very good matchup for me, because they have so much searchable destruction, and my deck doesn’t have the ability to kill them before they can go off. He wins game one, I don’t remember how but I won game two, and then in game three he opened the stone cold nuts, and I opened not a single monster.
Record 7-2

So I finish day one with a 7-2 record, and in 51st place. I need to win both of my matches to get into the top 32, so I get a good night’s rest and show up at the convention center at 8:30 ready for another day of dueling.

malefic cyber endRound ten against Malefics
So I got to the convention center a half hour early, and the pairings for the next round are already up. I go over to them, and I wonder if my opponent had received a feature match in day one, so I look at all the event coverage, and sure enough he did receive a round seven feature match. His deck is a really bad matchup for mine because he maindecks Skill Drain, which completely cripples my deck, and I don’t main mst. Let this be a lesson that if you plan on playing a rogue deck at a ycs you should not accept a feature match day one, because at that point your biggest advantage is surprise, and by agreeing to do a feature match you basically give up your biggest advantage if your opponent decides to look at the event coverage before he sits down to play you. Even though my deck had a horrible matchup I spent the next 30 minutes thinking about card interaction, and what I should be trying to do against him. We sit down to play, and he activated a Deck Devi against me, which I hadn’t been sure if he was maining or siding it, because I saw him use it in his second game of the feature match. I end up stalling him with Messenger, and I am able to take game one. Game two he resolves a Skill Drain, which I have no out to, so he end up winning. Game three I open with Seahorse, and I search for two more, and I pass. He sets two and passes I draw and he Mind Crushes my Seahorses in the standby phase, and then Deck Devies me. Things aren’t looking very good, but fortunately I topdeck Monster Reborn during my next turn, and I am able to get searches going with Wattcobra. I eventually amass too much advantage against him and I win.
Record 8-2

Round 11 against Inzektors Jeremy Macwan top 16
So the bubble match, all I needed to do was win one more and I would top 32 with Watts, I knew I would have the tiebreakers to make it too. Unfortunately Inzektors is another bad matchup for me, as their entire strategy involves plussing off of hornet which my deck really can’t do anything to prevent, and as an added bonus my deck is weak to destruction too. I win the die roll and go first and see my opening hand of thunder seahorse, solemn judgment, and four battle stoppers, which if you haven’t realized is literally the stone cold nuts in this deck, things were finally looking up, but unfortunately a judge came over right before we were about to start and said we had been selected for a random deck check. To add insult to injury my opponent told me his opening hand hadn’t been very good when they took our decks away. Anyways we eventually get our decks back and I don’t open as well as I did before. During game one he has trouble getting to Hornet early, but eventually draws into an Armageddon Knight. I am in a situation where I have no stall cards left, and my opponent is at around 3000 I can’t remember the exact amount, but I draw a Thunder Seahorse, which my only target in the deck is two more Thunder seahorses, which I search for anyways, just to make sure I don’t draw them next turn, this leaves me with a grand total of three monsters left in deck. I attack him to drop him to around 2000 and pass. He combos off, but fortunately is not able to kill me. If I draw a stall card I would be able to win, but I ended up drawing Wattdragonfly, and after a minute of thinking I concede the game. I checked my next three draws, and they were all stall cards too. Game two was an odd game, because I held him in check with double Macro, and he held me in check with double tking. Eventually I get enough hits in that I am able to Ceasefire for game. Game three I get him down to 4600 pretty early and make Shock Master calling monster effects in main phase 2, which he tries to Fiendish Chain, but he can’t since I had attacked directly with Wattgiraffe earlier in the turn. He draws sets a s/t and passes, I draw and summon Wattgiraffe and attack directly but my shock master gets fiendish chained on attack declaration, but the attack goes through dropping him to 3400. He end phase uses call of the haunted on dragonfly, and then proceeds to otk me for 8100 damage the next turn. The worst part is my next topdeck was monster reborn, which I could have used on wattgiraffe, I had the third wattgiraffe in my hand which I could have normal summoned and attacked with both, and then in main phase 2 I could have overlayed into blackship for exact game. I asked him if he would have had an answer to it, and my opponent said no. Anyways congratulations to him on making top 16 with Inzektors.
Final record 8-3, final standing 72nd place

Even though I wasn’t able to place in the top 32, I definitely had a good time over the course of the weekend. I entered a couple side events and ended up coming in second place in a bp side event, which is a format that I thoroughly enjoy. I hope we get a sealed ycs within driving distance of where I live, because I honestly think that format is more fun than all of the constructed formatswe have had in the last couple of years.
One thing that I thought before going into the event was that game one was going to be crucial, because when you are playing rogue, and surprise is your biggest advantage, your opponent should have a general idea of how your deck works games 2 and 3, so they will make the most mistakes in game 1. I feel this way about almost every rogue deck I play, and this idea was reinforced because every match in the tournament went the same way as game one did.
As far as Watts fare against the new meta, I must say they will no longer be viable. They have an ok at best matchup against Edragons, and I must say that is being kind, but against Prophecies the matchup is downright horrible. In my testing against it the Prohecy player had to either open up horrible or misplay a lot for me to even have a chance at winning, and that was pre-Tachyon.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, if you have any questions, just leave them in the comments section, and I will do my best to answer them. Until next time, play hard or go home!