Greetings, duelists! As you know, this last weekend was the European WCQ. We saw the ultimate matchup of Prophecy vs. Dragons in the finals, where Prophecy reigned supreme and took home the title. The event coverage was amazing, and we have PJ Tierney to thank for that. If you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly recommend checking it out, especially if you’re attending the North American WCQ next week. There is a lot to take from such a huge competition, so my aim in this article is to briefly discuss some of the things I thought were worth noting and some theory-oh that I’ve found in my testing.
It’s no surprise that Prophecy beat Dragons in the finals. For one, Prophecy has a great matchup against the Dragon deck because of its stun-like capabilities due to[ccProd]Jowgen the Spiritualist[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer[/ccProd]. When you really think about it, those two cards are the whole format. They dictate the plays you’re allowed to make, and if protected thoroughly enough, they’ll automatically win you the game. This has caused a lot of players to start using [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] again. [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] is one of those cards that seemed really bad at the beginning of this format simply because it didn’t do much against Dragons—there is usually a [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccProd] and some tokens on the field, so at best it will only strip them of their free tokens. However, as time moved forward, people realized how dependent the Prophecy deck is on keeping monsters on the field , or more accurately, a face-up Spellcaster. [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] can clear a first turn Jowgen and Kycoo, allowing you to special summon as much as you need to in order to steal the game. There is always the possibility that the opponent could have a [ccProd]Spellbook of Wisdom[/ccProd] set, but I can tell you from experience that Prophecy players don’t make as much of a priority out of getting Wisdom first turn as they do with [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd]. A lot of the time, they cannot end with both.
Another hot pick this weekend was main decked [ccProd]Eradicator Epidemic Virus[/ccProd]. In my last article, I talked about how my local is predominantly Prophecy because of how cheap the deck has become to build. I was forced to main hate cards against it since I’m more likely to play against it than any other deck now. At Euros, many of the players must’ve felt the same thing because almost every Evilswarm player mained EEV and several Dragon players followed suit. We all know the card can outright win you the game if the Prophecy player doesn’t have a very good hand. It’s strange because the definition of “good” changes for the Prophecy deck in games two and three. The deck would much rather draw trap cards and monsters first turn, so when Eradicator is flipped, the damage will be minimal and the game can be stolen. This has happened to me before, and it has happened to my opponents who have used EEV on me, too.
Evilswarm had a huge showing at Euros, but I don’t think it’ll be nearly as big here. The deck has a terrible matchup against Prophecy, and I’d even go as far as saying that the only way it could possibly win a game is if they open with Eradicator, otherwise, the deck gets overwhelmed by Prophecy’s shear card advantage. Star Hall also makes those pesky Kycoos and Blue Boys into giant beatsticks. If it’s a Priestessless Prophecy build, the matchup becomes even more abysmal for Evilswarm. It essentially means no dead cards and Ophion won’t have a real impact on the game as it would if the 7-star boss monster was around. The problem is, an Evilswarm player cannot tell if you’re playing Priestess or not, so he can never safely detach the second material from Ophion. Many people are still playing her, even if only one copy.
Evilswarm does have a good Dragon matchup, but it really has to win the die roll to have a realistic chance in my opinion. Establishing that first turn Ophion before Dracossack comes out is so key because Dragon players who play Monster Reborn can bring back a fallen Dracossack, despite Ophion, since it doesn’t have a level. The same technique can performed with Redox and an Earth monster (most likely a dead Maxx “C” or Reactan). [ccProd]Compuslory Evacuation Device[/ccProd] is an Evilswarm player’s best friend in this matchup. It just sucks that the deck has to main cards that pretty much do nothing against Dragons like Eradicator and Pandemic. I recommend maining [ccProd]Imperial Iron Wall[/ccProd] if you’re going to play this deck. It stops [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd] and all the Dragons—except the babies of course.
If you’re taking Dragons to the WCQ, side hard for Prophecy. Make sure to side cards that can be used in multiple matchups, too, like Psi-Blocker and [ccProd]Tsukuyomi[/ccProd]. They can be used against both Prophecy and Evilswarm. If you side [ccProd]Electric Virus[/ccProd], I recommend putting in one [ccProd]Infestation Terminus[/ccProd] since it allows you to take Ophion and deatch its last material, giving you access to all your high level monsters again. If you draw the trap card, just set it for one turn and then use the [ccProd]Electric Virus[/ccProd] on the following turn to take Ophion and tribute it to bounce two of their cards. That play is so devastating that I can’t imagine you losing after it. You can do the same thing with Eradicator and [ccProd]Electric Virus[/ccProd], but [ccProd]Infestation Terminus[/ccProd] allows you to deatch just in case you didn’t draw an Eradicator with it. If you’re going second against Prophecy, it’s best to leave Eradicator in the side deck because they should be able to set up and prevent you from ever making a Big Eye. Cards like [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd], [ccProd]Last Day of Witch[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Puppet Plant[/ccProd] will work wonders when going second. Remember, you only get six cards to open with, so if you draw [ccProd]Eradicator Epidemic Virus[/ccProd] on your first turn, your other five cards have to be able to kill Jowgen, Fate, and make a Big Eye. If you really want to side Eradicator in when going second then I advise playing Fusilier Dragon, the Dual-Mode Beast. He works well with [ccProd]Skill Drain[/ccProd], Eradictor, [ccProd]Forbidden Chalice[/ccProd], [ccProd]Sacred Sword of Seven Stars[/ccProd], and the general theme of the deck (pushing out Rank 7s).
If you’re playing Prophecy at the WCQ, don’t bother maining too many tech cards that beat Dragons because that matchup is already in your favor. You don’t need to main deck Maxx “C,” you’d much rather that card be a Droll & Lock Bird since your mirror match is horrendous. Don’t play more than 10 monsters in the main either. I think 10 is the standard, and for good reason. You can play less, but playing more will contribute to bad hands. Remember, Prophecy loses when it draws a hand consisting of 3 or more monsters. Think about it, if you draw 3 monsters, the rest of your hand has to be absolutely nutty at that point. The same goes for traps, keep them to a minimum; the standard is a max of 4. Side heavily for the mirror match since it’s your toughest matchup. Priestess and Kycoo are extremely good in the mirror, especially since it puts massive pressure on the opponent, and it allows you to keep setting [ccProd]Spellbook of Judgment[/ccProd] while putting them on a clock. The Spellbook mirror is all about who gets locked first. You’re supposed to be trying to activate Judgment and search a Judgment to set for your opponent’s turn. This is all easier said than done, because they will be trying to do the same thing. Wait until your opponent activates Judgment, and then chain yours. It’s a very technical mirror. Good luck.
Thanks for reading! Remember, play hard or go home!
-The Dark Magician