Testing the Waters – YCS Miami

It’s been pretty slow for me lately in the Yugioh world after summer, and I made my first reappearance in YCS Seattle, now with 2 new YCS’s announced I have a newfound aspiration for Yugioh again. That being said, I am most likely attending Miami as of right now. Today I’m going to talk about everything related to YCS Miami, including analyzing the field for the meta and some things to expect.

To get things started, I’m simply going to list all the decks I believe will have a showing and follow it up by giving a general guess on its prevalence at the upcoming YCS: Wind Ups, Water, Fire, Rabbit. These are going to be the top contenders to look out for, meaning it should be a good amount of your side deck, with Wind Ups and Water dominating the majority of the playing field. Some outlier decks which will have a few representatives include but are not limited to: Gishki FTK, Darkworld, Heroes, Gb’s, and possibly even Evo’s.

If you don’t know what Gishki FTK is, Joe Giorlando does an excellent job of explaining its component as well as defeating it in his article linked below.


There’s not too much to discuss for Wind Ups because as far as I’m aware, it gained no new support. However, it’s important to look at each individual YCS separately regardless if new support has come out or not, because people’s mind sets change very often which affect the meta. As it so happens, Cosmo Blazer is now legal, giving multiple other aspects to consider when attempting to define the meta. Even though Cosmo Blazer did not give Wind Ups any support, it did give the existing archetype, Water, some significant support. The most relevant support card for Water is Mermail Abyssteus, for those of you who don’t know what it does.

Mermail Abyssteus
Water/LVL 7/Aqua – Atk 1700 Def 2400

You can discard 1 other WATER monster to the Graveyard; Special this card from your hand. When you do: Add 1 Level 4 or lower "Mermail" monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Mermail Abyssteus" once per turn.

An important thing to look at is the fact that Abyssteus is not a sea serpent, meaning you cannot play a lone copy in hopes of searching it via Dragoon. That’s only fair considering how powerful this card is. Being a level 7 with some pretty big defense, minimal summoning cost, and being able to search through your deck quicker, Abyssteus is a huge boost for water. It increases their consistency tremendously, gives you an early game play to stall on, makes Moulinglacia live quicker, and make Big Eyes far easier to make. The majority of you probably already knew this information, but it never hurts to jog your memory. Mermail Abyssleed is another monster they gained which has a whopping 2700 attack and a nifty discard effect; however it requires 3 discards, making it nearly impossible to gain advantage from. While it should not be played in many builds due to its consistency issues when drawn, be cautious of players teching a single copy of this for the sake of fetching it via Sphere and/or Linde. With that, it is possible for water to utilize Skill Drain. While not always so common, it is important to be prepared.

So the increased Water support means a few things. The first is pretty obvious; the Meta will have an increased amount of Water decks and vice versa will thus increase the amounts of Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure in the side deck (inherently decreasing the likelihood of decks such as Dark World being played). Its underline messages such as the example of Dark World which you have to look at when making your deck choice. For example, the premier of the Dark World deck would have been a terrible YCS to attempt to play your Infernity deck at, if for no other reason than everybody would already have a side for your deck, even if they didn’t mean to. Another aspect to consider is that Wind Ups (more or less) have a pretty good Water match up because Waters vulnerability to Shock Master more than most other decks. So if there’s a predicted rise in the Water deck, people might in turn be more inclined to choose Wind Ups in hopes of a swift victory with the shock-lock. This is the broadest form of analyzing the meta and far from conclusive, as there are many more factors to consider. On the same point, Wind Ups are not easy to play and less experience players would be rather fearful of the mirror match.

Moving forward we’ll take a look into the release of the fire deck. It’s a pretty tricky deck because it works as a beat-down deck playing normal beat-sticks such as Vorse Raider and having a trap that increases your monster by 700, then each monster on your board of an additional 300, and also playing Rabbits. However, on top of having serious beat-stick potential, it has monsters which destroy spell or traps, as well as a monster that pop monsters. Its main monster also nets them an attack boosting trap or a monster searching spell whenever it inflicts damage, meaning that if you chose to not commit cards to the field, they can capitalize off that. The fire deck is a huge threat for the meta. Its main weakness is disruption. It runs somewhat similar to Inzektors in the destruction sense, and as such it’s equally important to keep their monsters off the field. If you can do that, the majority of their other cards are pretty worthless. I can’t exactly say how change has caused a change in players main and side, however it gave me some more to consider before putting cards such as Compulsory in my deck.

Next we move on to less prevalent, but still good to know information going into YCS Miami. Heroes are not extremely optimal as far as I can tell for this meta, however they are still a very real threat. A key support card they received out of the new set was Heroic Champion – Gandiva.

Heroic Champion – Gandiva
Warrior/XYZ/Effect – Atk 2100 Def 1800

2 Level 4 Warrior-Type monsters
Once per turn, when a Level 4 or lower monster(s) is Special Summoned to your opponent's side of the field (except during the Damage Step): You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; destroy that Special Summoned monster(s).

The access to this card, in my opinion, gives you a relatively high amount of comfort in the Wind Up matchup in the same sense of Steelswarm Roach against Chaos Dragons. If you protect this guy, you should be pretty safe against Wind Ups early plays and give you more time to capitalize on position. It also gives you a more uniform goal to look towards in the Wind Up match, which should be for the most part to make Gandiva. With Dweller already being easily accessible to Heroes and locking down Water to a greater extent than Gandiva does for Wind Ups, Heroes has the ability to grab position early in the majority of its matchups. Spark and Blast would dramatically help your Fire matchup as well, making the deck even better-rounded.

An even less relevant card is one of the secrets out of this set, the Fire boss monster which requires 5 fires to summon. It’s effect is nothing close to Moulinglacia, but it still may tempt a player to try out something like Evo’s, so don’t let it catch you off guard! More cards to look out for would be the Fire Formation – Tenki and Lightning Chidori. Tenki searches for any level 4 Beast-Warrior making it a prime card for the Fire deck. However, it has also seen play in decks such as Gladiator Beast and even Wind Ups to search out rabbit. For those of you who are not aware of Lightning Chidori’s immense power, take a look at its effect.

Lightning Chidori
Thunder/XYZ/Effect – Atk 1900 Def 1600

2 Level 4 WIND monsters
When this card is Xyz Summoned: Target 1 Set card your opponent controls; return that target to the bottom of the Deck. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 1 face-up card your opponent controls; return that target to the top of the Deck.

The summoning requirements on this bad boy are pretty specific, and for good reason. On its summon you get to bounce a back row and net yourself a one-for-one instantly from the XYZ summon, then an additional spin of face-up card makes it an instant +1, and if you bounce a useless card on top of their deck, will give you a tremendous edge on position. Considering the summoning requirements however, it can only be summoned by a few decks such as Gladiator Beasts, so be aware of the possibilities!