Over the Horizon – The September 2013 Format

tyreeI’m sure by now people have all sorts of decks built on Dueling Network under the September banned list; I know I have at least 5 built. The September 2013 list is arguably one of the best lists we’ve had in years. Over 40 cards were put on the list in all, that’s insane! Many people are excited that they can run some of their old favorites such as Blackwings or Zombies; I’ve even seen a few Tele-Dad variants and X-Saber decks being played on DN. As we all know YCS Toronto is this upcoming weekend, much to my regret I will not be attending the event but I am excited to see what decks end up making the top cut and what ends up winning the whole thing. Though there are many other decks that have a good shot at making the top cut and winning, I’m going to lay out what I feel will be the top 5 decks going into YCS Toronto this weekend.


I’m going to start off with the one being the most obvious, Spellbooks. As Frazier said in his article, Spellbooks were practically untouched with the deck going back to what it had before Tachyon was released and not only that, practically every other deck that posed a threat got hit in some way. With you no longer having to focus on having Kycoo and/or Jowgen on the board turn 1, you can now run cards like Temperance, [ccProd]World of Prophecy[/ccProd], Justice, and Prietess (if you weren’t before). Having spells like [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd] being an out to anything, Grand Spellbook Tower giving you 2 Draw Phases, and Wisdom being a searchable Lance, it’s hard for this deck to not be a strong contender for the upcoming format.


I say Dragon Ruler decks because there are so many ways to go about building Dragons now, [ccProd]Card Trooper[/ccProd] and D.D.R. being almost mandatory in the deck with Trooper being able to mill your Dragons and D.D.R. to get back any of your banished monsters. The most popular build I’ve seen so far is Dragon Ruler Plants. The deck has instant access to [ccProd]Debris Dragon[/ccProd] when searched by Tempest, which gives the deck the ability to nuke the field at almost any given point using [ccProd]Black Rose Dragon[/ccProd]. The plant engine gives the deck tons of synchro options from level 2 all the way to level 11! The plant version can also run multiple copies of [ccProd]Scapegoat[/ccProd] as well as [ccProd]Enemy Controller[/ccProd] to use all the tokens you produce to your full advantage. Many people play this version since it’s versatile and fun to play and I agree wholeheartedly as it’s my go to deck when I don’t know what to play on DN. Builds that include [ccProd]Skill Drain[/ccProd] in the main deck are also good, as [ccProd]Skill Drain[/ccProd] will be a powerful card in this coming format, and since your Dragons will be there to stay thanks to Drain, Maxx C will not hurt much. I’ve seen builds that range from ones that use Ryko and [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Tetherwolf[/ccProd] in the monster lineup, ones that use [ccProd]Debris Dragon[/ccProd]s and not the plant engine, and ones that utilize a full trap lineup in their build. With so many ways to go about building the deck, I feel that it has a strong chance at doing well at Toronto.

Fire Fist

Even with the loss of 1 Fire-Formation Tenki, the deck is still going strong. Along with one more [ccProd]Pot of Duality[/ccProd] the deck gained [ccProd]Coach Soldier Wolfbark[/ccProd], which is a one card rank 4 that is very good in my opinion since it gives you easy access to Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Cardinal, a game changer when resolved. Wolfbark is a huge addition for the deck since you can search this out with Tenki instead out Gorilla or Bear, which don’t always get the job done. The deck has always been good for its built in spot removal, it just got outpaced by Dragons and Spellbooks after Tachyon was released. Now that the format has slowed down the deck can finally come back to the surface.  Builds that utilize Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Dragon are very popular since it allows you to quickly overwhelm your opponent, searching multiple copies of Tenken or Tensen if left on the field. I’ve seen hybrid builds of 3 and 4-axis mixed together, running Bears, Dragons, and the 1 Spirit along with various copies of Rooster and Leopard. I can’t say I know too much about that version of the deck since I’ve only watched it being played, but some of the plays can get kinda crazy even with only one Spirit. Many builds also now run Boar with it being an Emmersblade for Fire Fists as well as being a level 4 tuner. Though you can only use it for a synchro of a FIRE monster, one good one that comes to mind is [ccProd]Crimson Blader[/ccProd]. Fire Fists, with the old tricks it had before along with some new ones are going to be good in this coming format.

Mermail AbysslindeMermails

Even with one Dragoons and one Diva, the deck is not dead. Yes on one hand they lost 4 monsters, but on the other hand Bottomless and Torrential got put to one along with [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd], [ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Soul Drain[/ccProd], all cards that hurt the deck got put to 1. Mermails just lost the ability to go “Megalo, Diva, Game” as consistently as they did in the past. You still have your 3 Tidals, 3 Megalos, and 3 Abyssteus so you won’t be short on rank 7s. With traps being run again Marskman becomes just as good as it was pre-Tachyon, which in turn makes Abyss-Sphere better as well. The deck now has room for [ccProd]Mermail Abyssocea[/ccProd], which wasn’t entirely needed before. Being able to turn an Abyssteus into an Abysslinde and Abysspike or Turge is pretty good (though they will miss timing) and can make some really good plays with the right setup. You can even run copies of [ccProd]Aqua Spirit[/ccProd] since it allows easier access to rank 4s such as [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Bahamut Shark[/ccProd] and he is huge in certain matchups. [ccProd]Fishborg Archer[/ccProd] is also a nice addition to the deck, being able to get more usage out of Tidal’s Foolish Burial effect and being able to trigger Atlantean effects when reviving Archer. Having easier access to rank 3s can’t be a bad thing. Some people have gone back to the old route and put [ccProd]Genex Undine[/ccProd] and Controller back into their deck, though  Undine does allow you to get off your 1 Dragoons and your other Atlantean effects consistently, personally I am against putting monsters with flavor text into any of my decks. I do feel that Mermails can’t be forgotten quite just yet.

Infernity LauncherInfernity

My last deck will be Infernities, one of my old favorites. The deck saw a good amount of play at YCS Meadowlands and was a good pick for that event if you decided not to play Water, but it fell aside when Dragons and Spellbooks took over, but now with the 6-8 hand traps moving away from the main deck I feel that this deck can be viable again. I’m pretty sure everybody has heard this before but 3 pseudo Solemn Judgments in one deck is pretty good. There are 2 main builds to the deck, the XYZ version and the synchro version. The deck already has that “Glass Cannon” feel to it at times and the synchro version adds to that feeling with it being a little bit more inconsistent than I would like it to be, right now I feel the XYZ is a stronger choice. The deck gained some really good cards in JOTL, [ccProd]Archfiend Heiress[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Archfiend Palabyrinth[/ccProd]. Heiress allows you to search for [ccProd]Infernity Archfiend[/ccProd] or the Field Spell when sent to the graveyard, [ccProd]Armageddon Knight[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Lavalval Chain[/ccProd] being the most optimal ways. Palabyrinth lets you target 1 Archfiend on the field and banish 1 other Fiend-type monster on the field to special another from your hand, deck, or graveyard with the same level, and gives all your Fiends an extra 500 attack. When you thought the deck had enough combos as is, those 2 cards give you even more options to work with! When the deck gets set up, almost nothing barring a 6-card god hand is getting through their field. With the infinite combos and multitudes of ending boards, the deck does have a high learning curve to it, you just have to put the time into it and keep practicing. With the major traps getting hit along with the other decks, with the right build and pilot I think this deck will go far at future YCSs.

Before I end, I just want you guys to remember that the ARG Open Series, now renamed the ARG Circuit Series being held in Fort Worth Texas is less than a month away! So make sure you try and show up and tell your friends about it. The more people that show up, the bigger these events will get remember that. $5000 in prizes are being given out at this first event. Even if you can’t make the debut event try to make one of the future ones as they will be held all over the US. That’s it for this article, next week I might talk about some more decks that I feel that can be viable this format, leave your thoughts below on how you feel about the list and what decks you like and will be taking to events this season. Till next time! 

-          Tyree Tinsley

-          YCS Rhode Island 2011 & YCS Meadowland 2013 Champion