Thoughts Before YCS New Jersey

frazier smithWhat’s up, duelists? Last week was the release of Hidden Arsenal 7 which brought us Evilswarms, Tin Goldfish, Daigusto Emeral, Lavalval Chain, and Constellars. This has opened up some new options for deck ideas going into YCS New Jersey. Most people are/were fiending for the Evilswarm deck above all else simply because of its success in the OCG, but I think that faith was a little misplaced since we have an entirely different meta and we don’t have a major part of the deck yet—Evilswarm Kerykeion. In Japan, the most tyrannical deck right now is none other than the overpowered Incarnate Dragons.  The deck has a rough matchup against Evilswarms due to its reliance on high level monsters, and yet it still hasn’t stopped the Dragons from absolutely destroying the tournament scene over there. So what does this tell you? Well for one thing, it says that Evilswarms are at their best in the OCG because they have a card we do not have, Kerykeion, and it has more matchups that are in its favor (Prophecy, Water, Dragons). In the TCG, the best deck is Mermails—by far—and you can’t guarantee that you will play even half your tournament rounds against that deck. The other popular decks are Fire Fist, Macro Rabbit, and soon to be Tin Gadgets. There are other oddities as well like Infernities, Frog Monarchs, Thunder Family, Dark World, etc. Our meta is incredibly diverse when compared to the OCG, so Evilswarms will have a hard time thriving before we get Tachyon next week.

Since YCS New Jersey is coming up quickly and Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy is scheduled for release on the same day, we will be forced to play in one more major event where Mermails are the deck to beat. Now I know this may make it sound appealing to play Evilswarms, but remember what I said earlier about being unable to predict what you’ll actually get paired against. Even if you do play against your best matchup all day, you could still easily lose to it. One of the scariest things about relying so heavily on Ophion is the fact that it creates a threshold. What this means is that the opponent will be stuck holding infinite broken cards that will all overpower you if the Ophion is ever dealt with. This turns the matchup into “protect this one monster or die.”  One Heavy Infantry or [ccProd]Genex Undine[/ccProd] can seal the deal for Evilswarms. Mermails only need one opening and you’ll never have a chance to recover after that.

abyss-sphereAs it stands, the last YCS, which took place in France this past weekend, was won by none other than Mermails and it was maining something like 53 cards. This whole “maining way more than 40 cards” thing isn’t an isolated incident, either. During the same weekend, players from all over have been topping Regionals with Mermail decks using anything from 43 to even 60 cards! I can understand what they’re all trying to accomplish here, but it does seem a bit silly to be honest. The idea is that Mermails can essentially search for any piece of their deck with any of the other pieces of the deck. That is mostly true, too. Sphere gets Linde, Linde gets Abysspike, Abysspike can search Undine, Undine can trigger Dragoons, Dragoons can search Megalo, Megalo can search Sphere, etc. The only thing is, you still want to see those powerful limited cards like [ccProd]Monster Reborn[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd], and the cards you side in after game one to destroy [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Atlantean Dragoons[/ccProd] (which is like the best card to open with). I’m not saying that it’s the worst idea, but I don’t think you really need to use so many cards to get the best results with Mermails. Also, take into consideration that France was an incredibly small event—smaller than most Regionals in the United States, actually—so whatever came out of that, I would take with a grain of salt.

What I do like about playing both the Undine engine and the complete Mermail engine is that you get to have instant outs to hard to deal with cards like Evilswarm Ophion, [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd], [ccProd]Vanity’s Fiend[/ccProd], etc. The more cards you play, the lesser the chances you have of drawing [ccProd]Genex Controller[/ccProd]. So the theory is there, but the question still remains on whether or not it’s worth it to sacrifice consistency for utility, because that’s essentially what’s happening. You have more options, but you will draw the cards you need in certain situations less. Above all else, I would be concerned with not drawing my side cards to stop all the hate that Mermails inevitably receive after game one.

As for Fire Fist, Dino Fist, and all kinds of other decks abusing the Tenki engine, I still think those decks are the most consistent for now. They have a great game one and an even better game two. There isn’t much to side against them, while they can side some pretty nasty cards against everything else. That’s something worth sacrificing a little bit of explosiveness for in my opinion. It’s still very likely that Mermails will have the most decks in the Top32, but I attribute that to the sheer number of players using them on the YCS level, and the fact that a lot of the better players are using the deck. The deck is still nuts and will continue to be for quite some time. If you read my article last week about the problem with Mermails, then you know that I don’t like the idea of using it because of the big target it has, but that hasn’t stopped it from winning three YCS tournaments this format. As for the upcoming Tin Gadget deck, I’ve tested it and found that while it has some stellar openings, it still lacks anything to push it over the edge. The deck is just consistent. That’s it. And my testing has proven to me that Dino Fist/ Fire Fist is strictly a better deck because you get more value for having to do/draw less. Opening with [ccProd]Rescue Rabbit [/ccProd] will instantly trump any opening that Tin Gadgets could have, and opening with Tenki is exceedingly strong, too. I tried many decks in the past few weeks and the only thing I could conclude from them was that they simply were not as good as Fire, period. They all have nice things they can do, but Fire is strictly better.

Rescue RabbitAfter everything has been said and done, I think this YCS will be a steamy one, just like the last two in North America.

What do you think? Have you found something that can stand up to BOTH Fire and Water? Would you dare play it at the upcoming YCS in Jersey?

Thanks for reading, duelists! Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!

-Frazier Smith

-The Dark Magician

Frazier Smith

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