Howdy Partner! – YCS Texas

Tyler Tabman

I know what the title says, and I’m sure you all got excited about an entire article over Gagaga Cowboy, but unfortunately that’s not what I’m here to talk about this week. In this week’s article I’ll be going over YCS Texas, which I will actually be attending this time! This of course gives me a little more incentive to analyze the meta more in-depth and accurately, especially since I don’t get to attend nearly as many events as I used to in the past.

I’ve talked about this in a previous article relating to deck choices and what you should be thinking about in terms of defining the current meta. No matter what the card-pool may be, even if it is the exact same, each YCS is unique. As the first YCS of the format this one is especially unique because there’s much more room for variance of deck choices, along with everybody trying to get the one up on their opponent via surprise factor. As it so happens though this time around on the ban-list, the meta isn’t necessarily as spread as it ideally should be during its beginning stages. Two of the top decks last format were Fire Fist and Water, neither of which got touched at all on the Forbidden list. The only deck which really got touched was Wind-Ups, which so happened to be a rather difficult matchup for Water. With Wind-Ups out of the way (for the most part – obviously some people are still going to try to find a way to keep the deck alive), Fire Fist and Water are going to be the top contenders at this event.

Water has a rather favorable matchup against Fire Fist, being able to gain the full advantage of Atlantean Marskmen and having overall bigger monsters, which can swarm the field rather quickly and overwhelm the average Fire Fist player. Fire Fist’s greatest strength is being able to capitalize on an open field to gain quick advantage and momentum, along with stabilizing field position early on. This was an area Water previously was weak on, however the release of Abyssteus and his fairly impressive 2400 def and searching another monster helped this flaw out rather nicely. Another factor not to be ignored is the format defining skeleton of most everybody’s Water deck now days which came from non-other than ARG’s own Billy Brake in his top 4 finish at YCS Miami. Packing maximum copies of Abyssmegalo and Abyssteus, Brake was able to make full use of his two copies of Abyssgunde and easily swarm the field with lvl 7 monsters to access either Big Eyes or Abyssgaios. This of course made his two copies of Abyss-Squall ever more deadly. If you haven’t seen his full decklist I’ve posted it below.

Monsters: 25
3 Mermail Abyssmegalo
3 Mermail Abyssteus
3 Mermail Abysspike
3 Mermail Abysslinde
3 Deep Sea Diva
3 Atlantean Dragoons
3 Atlantean Marksman
2 Mermail Abyssgunde
1 Atlantean Heavy Infantry
1 Mermail Abyssleed
Spells: 9
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Forbidden Lance
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Heavy Storm
Traps: 6
3 Abyss-sphere
2 Abyss-Squall
1 Solemn Judgment
Side Deck: 15
1 Neko Mane King
2 Maxx “C”
2 Tragoedia
2 Deck Devastation Virus
2 Dust Tornado
2 Messenger of Peace
2 Gozen Match
2 Mind Crush
Extra Deck: 15
2 Mermail Abyssgaios
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Mist Wurm
1 Armory Arm
1 Ally of Justice Catastor
1 Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier
1 Malefic Stardust Dragon
1 Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 Scrap Dragon
1 T.G. Hyper Librarian

Due to this new base in most Water players decks, we can see the archetype becoming overall more explosive in nature. As such as you can see, the deck plays very little traps and has little to no defensive strategies, but rather an all-out attack approach. Like they say, the best defense is a good offense. As far as the Fire/Water matchup goes, it makes Fire’s ability to go in for a quick plus easier, but leaves it more fearful to an all-out swarm. The argument can thus be made that Fire has a greater ability to win this matchup than previously due to its increased effectiveness of an early game Abyss-Dweller; a card that is more than common to see in this matchup. To summarize the points of this, arguments can be made on both sides, but it’s clear that Water is going to be contender number 1 at this YCS with Fire close behind on its tail. This of course creates one of Yugioh’s everlasting greatest flaws, a paradox in card choices. Most cards which are great against water are subpar against Fire, and vis-versa, somewhat similar to a format with Inzektors and Rabbit, but nearly to that same extreme (such as reaper/prison being great against rabbit but terrible vs the bugs, and cards like Macro being great against bugs but terrible vs Rabbit). And as it so happens, Dino-Rabbit decks might see a bit more play here at YCS Texas due to the increase in Water decks. An early game Laggia + Macro Cosmos is as game winning as it ever was against Inzektors. The Fire Fist matchup isn’t nearly as clean as a victory however, making it questionable whether or not duelists will choose to go this route.

Whatever you decide to play, I’d highly advise against any decks that have similar strategies to that of Water or Fire. The reason for this is that there’s almost no justification to play a deck less powerful than the top decks, yet have the same weaknesses be exploited time and time again. For example, Darkworld loses to Macro, Dimensional Fissure, and Dweller, just like water does. It’s undoubtedly a powerful deck, but without the ability to auto-win game 1 like they did previously, as well as having every duelist be more than prepared with their cards already sided for water, there’s no reason that Dark World should be a better choice than Water.

I’m sure the reason you’re all reading this is to answer the following question –
So, what SHOULD I play?

Unfortunately, I can’t answer that for you. Playing either Fire or Water geared towards beating Fire and Water is obviously a solid choice. Remember, playing the best deck doesn’t make you a bad player or a band-wagoner. The “best” deck is the best deck for a reason, because it hast the most strength. You don’t have to prove to anybody that you must win with an un-played deck, even if it’s a bad deck, that’s just silly. I’m all for strategies that take your opponent by surprise and can beat the top decks, but make sure they ACTUALLY beat the top decks. They typically say fight fire with fire… well the same goes for water! Water capitalizes in explosion, so if you can effectively outs-peed them, such as a deck like Hieratics, than that might be a solid choice to gain victories in that matchup. However, make sure you can push through the controlling slow-paced game that Fire will have in store for you. It’s important to keep a balance between your matchups so that you don’t go into any game being unprepared.

Whatever you all decide to play I wish you the best of luck and hopefully you grasped a few ideas to pick off of in deciding what to play at the upcoming YCS. As for me, I have no idea what I’m going to play! But hey, I usually don’t figure it out until a few days before the YCS anyway. I’d suggest you don’t do what I do and start practicing your deck right away! I’ll see you all next week, and don’t forget, play hard or go home!