Theorycrafting with Turk: Resources vs Outs. A New System for a New Meta.

Hello Yugioh World, it's been a long time in the works, but I've come up with an article that hopefully will give you guys a new outlook on the meta, or at the very least provide you with some ideas that will make you think. My name is Luke Jaeger, and I'm a player out of New York, specifically Toywiz in Nanuet.

Theorycrafting " is the analysis of circumstantial and general factors in order to understand the decision making process of individualized and group players for the purposes of creating generally more favorable predictions, behaviors, and overall outcomes."

This basically means that by evaluating the stand alone power of the cards, and the combo ability of the cards coming out, and looking at the OCG - we can determine the path of our TCG meta and prepare ourselves to combat it.

With the upcoming Order of Chaos set, Hidden Arsenal 5, and the next YCS being in February, this leaves lots of time for players to re-evaluate their decks. Will Plants still be the best deck? The biggest threats for the top are Wind Ups and Inzektors, combined with the brilliant showing by Dino-Rabbit at YCS Brighton, all cumulates to 1 thing; YCS Atlanta is going to be crazy. Whatever deck you as a player decide to play, it needs to be able to combat those decks.

Before doing an example of a deck, I would like to take a second to go over the difference between Resources and Outs. Outs are the simpler of the two, so I will go over that first. An out is a single card that you can use to solve a problem situation. If you're playing plants and you need to get rid of an Archlord Kristiya, and you draw Dimensional Prison, that card is an out. Resources however, are cards in your deck that you can combine to make an out. Aside from Black Luster Solider and Gorz, the monsters in most players decks have no answer to anything with 2800 attack or higher. Situations like these usually end up with the plant player using some of his resources to make something like a Catastor, or Trishula to beat over, or remove the problem monster.

In general, decks with lots of resources are better because they can deal with any situation and respond with whatever the situation calls for.  I'm going to evaluate what many people consider a deck "past its prime" X-Sabers.

Monsters: 21

3x XX-Saber Fulhelmknight

3x XX-Saber Emmersblade

3x XX-Saber Darksoul

3x Giant Rat

2x X-Saber Pashuul

1x X-Saber Axel

1x XX-Saber Faultroll

1x XX-Saber Boggart Knight

1x Super-Nimble Mega Hamster

1x Neo-Spacian Grand Mole

1x Gorz the Emissary of Darkness

1x Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo

Spells: 13

3x Enemy Controller

3x Creature Swap

1x Mind Control

1x Dark Hole

1x Monster Reborn

1x Book of Moon

1x Reinforcement of the Army

1x Level Limit - Area B

1x Pot of Avarice

Traps: 8

2x Dimensional Prison

1x Compulsory Evacuation Device

3x Royal Decree

2 Gottoms' Emergency Call

Extra Deck:

2x XX-Saber Gottoms

1x Naturia Beast

1x Naturia Barkion

1x Naturia Landoise

1x Dark End Dragon

1x X-Saber Urbellum

2x XX-Saber Hyunlei

1x Magical Andriod

1x Black Rose Dragon

1x Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

1x Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

1x Wind-Up Zenmaines

1x Number 17: Leviathan Dragon

Before I go over why my deck excels against this current meta, I would like to detail the big problems at most locals. Between Plants, Dino-Rabbit, Darkworlds, and Agents, that just about covers everybody's local. The reason my deck excels against these decks (with the exception of Agents) is because of its ability to make pluses from tangible evens. Cards like Giant Rat are not pluses or minuses, they are just evens. However, when you add cards like Fulhelmknight and Darksoul into the mix, those tangible evens translate into massive pluses. The reason I am  playing this deck is because of the ability to make plays using nothing but cards on the field and gaining/maintaining hand presence.

Regardless of what deck people are playing, the game currently has been simplified to one of many plays and this deck has options in the main that can combat these decks without going minus. Because of the game reliance on Tour Guide from the Underworld and Exceeds, the plays that decks made can be easily defined as Thunderking + Backrows, Rank 4 Exceeds (usually Laggia/Dolka/Roach), Rank 3 Exceeds (Zenmaines/Number 17), and Boss Monster (Kristiya-Hyperion/Grapha/Synchro Monster).

Now that we know what the decks are playing, all that is left is to evaluate what cards can overcome those problems without going minus. This is where the creature swaps and battle phase floaters come into play, combined with X-Sabers natural ability to stall and produce pluses through battle phase shenanigans, the deck was the ideal choice for me.

Now I'll finish up with a couple quick examples of scenario's and combo's that you can use if playing this deck and how plausible it is to have them established.

The obvious 2 card combo that makes the deck what it is; Creature Swap and Giant Rat or Emmersblade. Because you run 3 of each card, the chances of drawing copies in your opening hand is very high. People often criticize my deck for not playing Thunder Kings saying that "if you don't main deck 2 Thunder King's you're a scrub" Against a 1st turn Thunder King, this play is ideal because it lets you end with a Thunder King and any number of cards that you can get with Giant Rat (like Fossil Dyna).

When going over the decklist, you may have passed over the X-Saber Axel and gone, "uhmm....what?". A reaction like that does not surprise me, as most people considered the card "noobish". However, if you have a Giant Rat and Emmersblade in your hand, you can end with a possible +7 on your opponent. You would set the Giant Rat and they would attack over with let's say a Green Gadget. You would bring out your X-Saber Axel in face up attack position. Then you would draw for turn and summon your XX-Saber Emmersblade. You would then attack into the Green Gadget (assuming it was sucessful) you would draw a card from Axel's MANDATORY effect, and then special summon another Emmersblade. Once you exhausted all your Emmersblades (and drawn 3 cards) I would then get a XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. If I had a Enemy Controller in hand (which I also run 3 of) then I could attack the Green Gadget, special summoning an Emmersblade and then exceed in to Wind-Up Zenmaines. This leaves you with 2 more cards in hand then you would normally have, 1 replacing the card that you summoned (the 1st emmersblade) and a Wind-Up Zenmaines that has the ability to go +2. Overall a very solid +1 with a possible +3.

I could go on for days detailing the different plays that you could make, but that would take the fun out of it. But before you play this deck, here's a couple suggestions to help you succeed.

1. Darksoul can only work if its sent from your side, so Creature Swapping him is bad news bears.

2. Game 2, be wary of Smashing Ground and Dark Holes, this deck loses to those cards, so be careful.

3. Always ask your opponent if he has a response to declaration of attack, you can't Maxx "C" Fulhelmknight unless you do it in attack declaration.

I hope you enjoyed this article, I wish you all the happiest of holidays and hopefully a great 2012!

Play Hard or Go Home,

Luke Jaeger.



Been playing "competitive" yugioh for about 2 years. Only reason for the quotes is because its a subjective word, you can play games with 60 card decks against your friends and still consider yourselves competitive, thankfully with me this is not the case haha.