The Stars Align in Columbus: A Sean McCabe Interview!

Frazier SmithWhat’s up, duelists!? The past weekend featured quite the shock to the dueling community at the hands of Sean McCabe, who won the second Circuit Series event piloting Constellars! He battled through several grueling rounds of Dragons and eventually found himself in the finals against none other than Evilswarm, the other underdog deck in the Top16. If you didn't know, there were a total of 14 different Dragon variants represented in the top cut. It almost seemed like Teledad days, if you ask me. However, McCabe did what Lightsworn couldn't do back then, and that’s take down the most tyrannical deck in the format consistently. Luckily for you guys, he happens to be one of my closest friends and was willing to do a brief interview explaining some of his card choices and reasoning. But first things first, here is his decklist:

[ccDeck="Main Deck"] 3 Constellar Pollox:3 Constellar Kaus:3 Constellar Sombre:3 Constellar Alpiedi:3 Constellar Sheratan:1 Honest:1 Thunder King Rai-Oh:3 Mystical Space Typhoon:2 Fire Formation - Tenki:2 Forbidden Lance:1 Dark Hole:1 Book of Moon:1 Reinforcement of the Army:3 Fiendish Chain:2 Vanity's Emptiness:2 Imperial Iron Wall:2 Dust Tornado:1 Solemn Warning:1 Bottomless Trap Hole:1 Torrential Tribute:1 Compulsory Evacuation Device [/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Side Deck"] 2 Cyber Dragon:1 Vanity's Emptiness:2 Effect Veiler:2 Gozen Match:1 Dimensional Fissure:1 Imperial Iron Wall:1 Forbidden Lance:1 Soul Drain:3 Mind Crush:1 Dust Tornado [/ccDeck] [ccDeck="Extra Deck"] 2 Constellar Omega:2 Constellar Pleiades:1 Constellar Praesepe:1 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon:1 Abyss Dweller:1 Number 61 Volcasaurus:1 Tiras Keeper of Genesis:1 Number 85 Crazy Box:1 Gagaga Cowboy:1 Gaia Dragon, The Thunder Charger:1 Starliege Paladynamo:1 Constellar Ptolemy M7:1 Wind-Up Zenmaines [/ccDeck]


What did you side against each matchup?

“When going second against regular dragons, I sided in 2 Cyber Dragon, 2 Gozen Match, 1 Vanity's Emptiness, 1 Imperial Iron

Circuit Series Columbus Champion .

Circuit Series Columbus Champion .

Wall, and 1 Soul Drain. I sided out 2 Sheraton, 2 Dust Tornado, 2 Forbidden Lance, and 1 Torrential. Torrential was the last card sided out because if they open with Dracossack, I have to commit to the field with Pleiades or Cyber Dragon to get over it, and if they don't open with Dracossack, I much rather have any of the various lockdown cards instead of Torrential. When going first, I did the above but kept the Cyber Dragons out and instead kept in 1 Sheraton and Torrential.

When going first against Dragunity, I sided in 1 Vanity's Emptiness, and 1 Imperial Iron Wall. I sided out 1 Sheraton and 1 Dust Tornado. When going second, I sided out 2 Sheraton and 1 Dust Tornado for 1 Emptiness, 1 Iron Wall, and 1 Lance. Lance is to force through your first turn play to get rid of Stardust, then you can answer Ravine or set the lockdown cards.

Going against Evilswarm, I sided in 1 Dust Tornado, 1 Forbidden Lance, and 2 Effect Veilers. I sided out 2 Vanity's Emptiness, and 2 Iron wall. I didn't play against prophecy but Iwould've sided 2 Veiler, 3 Mind Crush, and 1 Dust Tornado and sided out 2 Emptiness, 1 Sheraton, 1 Bottomless, 1 Torrential,and 1 Compulsory Evacuation Device.

Going first against Bujin, I sided in 1 Lance, 1 Dust Tornado,and 2 Mind Crush for 2 Emptiness, 1 Sheraton, and 1 Fiendish Chain. Going second, I sided in 1 Lance, 1 Dust, 2 Mind Crush,and 2 Cyber Dragon for 3 Fiendish Chain, 2 Emptiness, and 1 Sheraton.

Against Laval, I sided in 1 Emptiness, 2 Gozen Match, 1 Mind Crush for 2 Dust Tornado, 1 Sheraton, 1 MST.”

Why did you play essentially 5 copies of MST?

MysticalSpaceTyphoon-LCYW-EN-ScR-1E“At Toronto, I main decked Royal Decree because I didn’t want to lose to people opening 3-5 backrows and answering some of the few plays I had. The 3 MST and 2 Lance just weren't enough to deal with the massive back rows. As the format went on,decks that did that became more and more scarce, while Prophecy and Dragons became more common. I wanted to have something that would help out against both of those decks while still helping out against those rare decks that open with infinite backrows. The main reason decks like this lose to Prophecy is because of the extra card every turn as well as the ever present Fate. Dust and MST help with both of these problems for obvious reasons.

Against Dragons, Ravine is a huge part of their set up and getting rid of it in the early game could leave them with few to no plays. Also, all Dragon decks play at least a few traps, and being able to end phase MST one of their backrows to allow your next turn to go unhindered can't be ignored. For a while, Iwas siding the 3 Dust Tornados instead, so doing this allowed me to free up more space in the side deck for more Dragon hate.”

What would you change about the deck if you could go back?

“I would definitely not side in Soul Drain. That card seemed so much better than it actually was. I'd probably replace it with a 3rd Gozen Match. I'd also consider adding a 3rd Pleiades to the Extra Deck by cutting the 2nd Omega.”

What decks did you face in swiss?

“I played against 5 regular Dragons, 2 Dragunity Dragons, 1Bujinn, and 1 Laval. I lost to 1 regular Dragon deck and 1Dragunity Dragon deck.”

What was your hardest match?

“My hardest match was probably against Larry Musgrove in Top 4. I lost game one due to a Skill Drain and Effect Veiler, and although I opened strong game 2, he opened with Sword into Dark Hole, Decree, Return, and Rageki Break. At that point, if things went a little differently, I could've been out of the tournament just like that.”

Constellars have been around for quite some time, and they haven’t really made any noise up until now. That’s largely due to the fact that Dragons and Prophecy have been around for just as long. Both of the decks are far more unfair than a Pleiades and some backrows. However, the deck is definitely good if we take it out of this format (or the last), and put it anywhere else. It has a couple of tricks that give it an edge, and since most people aren’t used to playing against it, there might be a surprise factor to the less experienced. For instance, I cannot tell you how many times I have seen people use Mystical Space Typhoon on a backrow, trying to destroy Vanity’s Emptiness in the process, only to have Sean chain Pleiades effect and bounce the backrow. Now the MST is wasted and you just lose.

On top of this, McCabe is actually one of the best players and deck builders in Yu-Gi-Oh. His builds are always streamlined for consistency and consistency only. Every deck he has ever played and topped with has the same formula—clean and simple. If a card is not limited to one per deck, he most likely will not be playing it. If you look back at older events, his X-Saber, Agent, Gravekeeper, and Wind-up decks all consisted of maxed out copies of the same cards. He’s the mind behind the powerful Gravekeeper deck of 2010, too. And with a total of 9 tops under his belt, I think it’s safe to say that this was a well-deserved win for him. Maybe we’ll see the emergence of more Constellar players at the next Circuit Series Event in Worcester, MA on November 16-17!


Until next time, duelists! Remember, Play Hard or Go home!

-Frazier Smith

Frazier Smith

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