Staying on Top of Format Trends

Hello there!  My name is Mike Steinman, but most people know me better by my online alias TS Fearless.  I don’t get to travel much but I do have 2 National tops under my belt, and today I wanted to talk about how keeping up with format trends can significantly increase your chance to do well in an event.  I'll just jump right into it, and looking forward to YCS Atlanta, a couple really big things come to mind.

Dropping One for One and Debris Dragon from your Plant Deck

If you've been following Yugioh recently this is a huge debate going on right now.  To some people it seems insane to drop what is considered the best combo-enabling card in the deck.  Especially in conjunction with 3 Tour Guide from the Underworld to fetch Sangan to get you to your Dandylion, this card should be just as good as ever.. right?  That actually leads me to the first reason people are dropping this card.

1) People don't let their Sangans sit on the board anymore.  Thunder King Rai-Oh is a HUGE part of the current format, and even backed with protection, searching a Sangan and ending without Xyz summoning is usually a poor play.  On top of that, you would usually search and waste your Sangan to Xyz summon instead of grabbing another Tour Guide, ensuring that you won't draw a dead Tour Guide later in the game. This makes One for One an incredibly inconsistent card. But still, discarding an in-hand Spore or Glow-Up Bulb isn't too shabby either. Except for the next point..

2) Maxx "C" is a card.  A card that is ran in multiples in most every deck, at that.  +1'ing off a Dandylion-One for One play is devastating. They're netting a free card, and if they're able to clear your tokens on the next turn it turns your Dandylion into a -1 and your One for One into a graved plant tuner.  As inconsistent as this card is becoming, it just isn't worth it to some players to continue to run it.

As for Debris Dragon - the weaker Sangan gets, the weaker it makes this card.  You have to rely on drawing your cards that work with it and without any draw power in the deck Debris just serves as a 2000 DEF wall against opposing Thunder Kings a lot of the time.  Maxx "C" also hurts this card and can usually turn into a plus for your opponent whether you continue your play or let them run over your Debris and revived monster.

Dark World Turbo is a Deck

As time goes by, I wonder why this deck isn't seeing the hype it deserves.  It reminds me a lot of the Fish OTK deck that got second at YCS Charlotte in March.  Few people knew about the deck when it made its first appearance at a December Ottawa regional.  It went undefeated at that regional, and was suddenly a huge deck.  But to everyone's surprise, it stayed under the radar for the most part.  People were more concerned with tweaking their Plant, Gravekeeper, Blackwing, and Samurai decks for the upcoming YCS Dallas event.  Legendary Six Samurai - Shi En proved to be too much for the deck to handle even with the help of Puppet Plant, but had there been a samurai-free event before Dallas I'm sure Coelacanth OTK would've dominated it.

This is the exact same advantage DW Turbo has right now.  People are starting to side less and less for Dark World and the players using the deck are finding more efficient answers to standard side boarded cards like Gemini Imps, Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, and Debunk. Strategies like siding Giant Orc (A 2500 beater under Gates) to crash with or attack over opposing Naturia Beasts and give more targets for DDV (A card that gets rid of those pesky Imps) are popping up everywhere.  You can even Mind Crush and call Gemini Imps before you go off if you think they have it!  Dark Smog is also great for new deck types that will be at Atlanta like Inzectors and Wind-Ups.

So what is DW Turbo?  It takes advantage of powerful DW spells to speed through the early game and hit your opponent before they even have a chance to fight back.  Cards like Dragged Down, Dark World Dealings, and Upstart Goblin are maxed.  Trade-In is usually run in doubles and some variants even play Reckless Greed.  These cards gain you card advantage and allow you to pick your opponent's hand apart via Dragged Downs.  This becomes incredibly dangerous when you’re drawing into your Mind Crushes and DDV at the same time.  Marcus Carisse has already piloted the deck to a Top 4 finish at a recent Montreal regional, proving how devastating the deck is.  If you're going to YCS Atlanta, this is a deck you definitely need to be aware of.

Be Aware of How New Cards Directly and Indirectly Affect your Deck

I have a simple example for this one.  Strategies like Inzectors and Wind-Ups make running Dimensional Fissure in Rescue Rabbit decks more viable, which means you're going to need to strengthen your Rabbit matchup if Dimensional Fissure hurts you.  Don't be surprised if you play against players using 2 or even 3 copies of the popular card "Spirit Reaper" as it helps against the Dark World and Rabbit matchups.  Indirect effects on the Meta are everywhere at all times.  Always keep everything in mind when preparing for an event and make sure to get opinions from the best players you know.  You might just be surprised with what they're doing with their decks to better themselves for the future.  Online communities are a great way to get different opinions from players all over the world!  Even sitting in an Xbox Live party with friends can greatly help your game and is something I do all the time with some of my friends (Chris Hentz, Jonathan Weigle, John Hubbard, Alistar Albans, Austin Kulman, Ben Wagner, and so on..).  Whatever you find that works best for you, I promise it will help!

Burlington, Iowa