Preparation Importance with Billy Brake

Hello Yugioh Community! It has almost been a month since the last YCS in Indianapolis and the next YCS will be taking place this weekend in Providence, Rhode Island! Anytime a premier tournament is upon us, I believe it to be very advantageous to attempt to assess the format and make sure your side deck is prepared properly. In order to do this, we must take many factors into account and look at them realistically. I am here today to go over these facts and offer up my own suggestions of what cards I estimate will be key in making the odds in your favor. Whether you are attending the YCS this weekend or merely playing at a local shop, being prepared is always important and can be done quite easily with a bit of time and thought.

Question of the Article: Which deck do you think will be the most popular at YCS Providence?

Don’t forget to answer the question of the article in the comments down below!

What Has Changed In The Format From YCS Indianapolis?
Since the last YCS was only a few weeks ago we can go off of the results from that event while trying to assess the format. Going into that tournament Wind-ups were easily the most popular deck and still are. I strongly feel this to be true, even though they have lost a little bit of steam. The only reason their popularity may be down a little bit, in my opinion, is a result of how many different “good” decks there are so players have more options. Geargia decks were fairly popular going into YCS Indy, and we saw many different versions reach success. This deck is still a contender and expect to have to deal with it in Provedince. We saw Chaos Dragons gain a huge surge in popularity due to the fact of how well they did. It was easily a fan favorite deck last format and now those duelists know it can still do well, you can expect to see a growing number of players wielding this powerful and explosive deck. I was able to bring Inzektors back to the top tables on the grounds that no one was prepared for them and I caught a lot of duelist off guard. While you can expect to see growth in the number of Inzektor players, we will certainly see an increase in player’s using cards that will try and shut the deck down while they might not have used them before. Heros and Dark World were both semi-popular going into YCS Indy, but neither of these decks had a great showing, part in fact because I feel everyone was adequately prepared for them. With these anti-meta like decks falling off the radar, I have a feeling they might be able to pack quite a punch in Rhode Island. Lastly, Six Samurai was able to win the entire YCS and anytime a different deck wins, it is almost a known truth many players will try and mimic the success that it had. I think we can all expect a big boom of Six Samurai players flooding the tournament scene. I should probably mention that this past Tuesday the new water structure deck, Realm of the Sea Emperor, was released and I know there are some duelist out there who are itching to use all of their new water cards. While this deck does have a lot of the good monsters, I feel the deck won’t really be a huge threat until the release of Abyss Rising. I did mention them though because they already have a two-card combo that can be quite devastating and you shouldn’t sleep on this deck despite it missing a lot of its card pool.

The Top Decks to Watch Out For!
Now that I have gone over what some of the key changes in the format have been since YCS Indianapolis let’s take a look at what I think we will see the most of in Rhode Island. Once we know what we will be up against, we can really make sure we are ready to face every expected challenge.

(You will more than likely face multiples of this deck)
1. Wind-Ups
2. Geargia/Gadget/Machina

(You will probably play 1-3 of these decks)
3. Chaos Dragons
4. Hero/Dark World/Anti-Meta
5. Six Samurai
(You might face 0-1, but they are out there)
6. Agents
7. Dino-Rabbit
8. Inzektors
9. Heiratics
10. New Water Deck
What to Side to Slow These Decks Down!?
Now that I have listed out which decks I feel I will face more of and which ones I might see, it is time to prepare the side deck accordingly. You will want to side more cards for the decks you feel you have a greater chance of facing multiples of and still be able to include a couple of cards for the match-up you might see once or even not at all.

Wind-Ups –
Rivalry Of Warlord/Gozen Match – These cards are my favorite against this deck. They both shut down what they are trying to do and can leave them paralyzed. If your deck uses all the same type or attribute, I would strongly recommend whichever one you can fit in to deal with this problem deck. If you have the choice of one of the other I would go with Rivalry of Warlords to ensure your opponent cannot stall you out with Wind-Up Rat bringing back Wind-Up Rabbit since they are both Earth monsters.

Maxx “C”/Effect Veiler – No surprise these cards are good against this deck, but you should have the ability to max out on either one of these when you are going second against this deck. They are the only way to prevent a turn one Wind-Up Magician and Wind-Up Shark from ending the duel prematurely. They are key in this match-up when going second and I wouldn’t leave home without them.

Geargia/Gadget/Machina –
Cyber Dragon – I like this card a lot against these kind of decks. Not only can it turn your opponent’s Machina Fortress into your own beater in Chimeratech Fortress Dragon, but he can be used to deal with almost any situation. In Wind-Ups or Inzektors you can use him as a Rank 5 material, he can be used as that beater you need against Heros, or as I said, instant monster removal of your opponent’s machine-type monsters. He is an all around great card and I would strongly consider him for this match-up because of his versatility (as opposed to the linear System Down).
Messenger of Peace – While they do have Accelerator that can attack under this card, that is pretty much about it. They will have to spend time and use their resources to get rid of this nuisance of a continuous spell card. Even if it only holds them off for a few turns, that may be just enough time for you to get what you need and answer all the advantage this deck has the ability to gain. While Messenger doesn’t directly do anything, it can buy you time until you can make a play that will swings things in your favor.

Chaos Dragons-
Messenger of Peace/ Level Limit Area- B – Since I already went over Messenger you can use what I said earlier and apply it here. I really like Level Limit mainly due to the fact it eliminates their main form of back row destruction, Lyla. Lyla is level four and will go straight to defense mode when she is summoned rendering her useless. Most monsters in the Chaos Dragon deck are of high levels and will all fall victim to this card. Keep in mind to watch out for Ryko and Tour Guide though!

Dimensional Fissure/Macro Cosmos – Activate one of these at the start of a duel and you will be on the road to victory my friend. If you are able to successfully keep all of your opponent’s monsters out of their grave, they won’t be able to survive for very long. This whole deck is very grave dependent and cutting them off from filling it up can be key. If you deck isn’t devastated by either of these cards I would make sure to include them in your side deck.

Hero/Dark World/Anti-Meta –
Dust Tornado – I cannot emphasize how much I love this card against any of these decks. They are all very back row depend and having an abundant amount of spell/trap removal in your deck can be quite helpful. Against Heros you can pop that annoying Skill Drain or freshly set Gemini Spark/ Hero Blast to avoid any problems in the future. Dust Tornado hits a wide array of cards in the Dark World match-up, the most important being Gates of the Darkworld. Dust can be very powerful and go in against a wide assortment of match-ups, this card must be considered when constructing a side deck for this format.

Gemini Imps(Dark World)- Possibly my favorite answer against Dark Worlds, right up there with Dust Tornado. This card not only negates your opponents whole engine, but it give the play who uses it a free card in the process. It is one of the only ways to stop your opponent from a turn one Card Destruction that could instantly decide the fate of the game. I don’t know about you guys, but I will probably dedicate three side deck slots just for this card to give me a huge edge in this match-up
Six Samurai –
Kinetic Soldier – This match-up is a little tougher to side against, but can be done. If you feel you will face a few Six Samurai duelist throughout the tournament and want to dedicate a few spots to slowing them down, Kinetic Soldier is a great choice. Hot only does he gain huge attack when taking down every Six Samurai in his path, he can also be defensive to inflict maximum amount of damage on the opponent. When using this card you must be careful and make sure you have answers for both Naturia Barkkion and Naturia Beast as neither of them are warriors, but can be made fairly easy in Samurai. If you are able to stop your opponent from making any non-warrior type monsters, you can bet Kinetic will give them a run for their money.

Dust Tornado/Messenger of Peace – I decided to lump both of these together since I have already discussed each of them already. Dust Tornado can be a great way to stop those annoying spells such as Gateway of the Six Samurai, Shien’s Dojo, and Six Samurai United. If your opponent isn’t lucky enough to open with some of their amazing spells you can at least use Dust to clear any back row your opponent may have set for you. Messenger of Peace is a solid card in this match-up as most of their monsters are fairly strong, but watch out if they are using Legendary Six Samurai Mizuho since he has the ability to pop any card on the field.

As far as the bottom section is concerned, I feel you will face very few of these deck types and while you might want to include a card or two in whatever match-up you feel uncomfortable, try and have cards that work against the top decks, but can still be used for these more random match-ups you may face.

Conclusion: YCS Rhode Island is this weekend and as always I wanted to stress the importance of being prepared and knowing what to expect. Once we look at all the factors that may have affected the meta we can realistically asses the format and prepare accordingly. I went over some of my favorite side deck cards for each of the top decks and each card I discussed I feel should strongly be taken into consideration while preparing your side deck for whatever upcoming tournament you have.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, suggestions, or just want to answer the question of the article located at the top; Feel free to leave them down in the comments below!

-Billy Brake
-YCS Toronto and Columbus Champion