Hey everybody! Due to some computer issues, I’ve taken a break with writing since nationals, but I’m back this week with a tournament report from this weekend’s YCS in Toronto, Canada. It’s interesting to see how the meta is going to develop after this as we lead into the ARG Circuit Series next month in Fort Worth, Texas.
Let’s jump right into the report. My deck choice for the event was Dragunity. Here is the deck list I settled on:
3 Dragunity Dux
2 Dragunity Phalanx
1 Dragunity Arma Mystletainn
3 Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms
3 Blaster, Dragon Ruler of Infernos
3 Redox, Dragon Ruler of Boulders
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
2 Cards of Consonance
3 Sacred Sword of Seven Stars
3 Upstart Goblin
3 Dragon Ravine
1 Book of Moon
1 Gold Sarcophagus
3 Reckless Greed
2 Vanity’s Emptiness
1 Return From the Different Dimension
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Solemn Warning
1 Trap Stun
Extra Deck: 15
2 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Gaia Dragon, the Thunder Charger
1 Hieratic Dragon King of Atum
1 Scrap Dragon
2 Stardust Dragon
1 Colossal Fighter
2 Crimson Blader
1 Dragunity Knight – Gae Dearg
3 Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana
Side Deck: 15
2 Effect Veiler
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 XYZ Encore
1 Dark Hole
1 Eradicator Epidemic Virus
2 Royal Decree
3 Needle Ceiling
If you’ve read any of my articles before, you’ll know that I’m a strong believer in giving yourself the best chance for an event by playing the best deck. If that’s the case, why on earth would I choose such a seemingly off-the-wall deck? In short, I thought it was the best deck, even if no one knew about it.
This conclusion was not one that I reached quickly. After I got back from the World Championship, the OCG Ban List was already in circulation. At this point, I was very unsure whether or not I would actually be able to make it to Toronto, but I wanted to start testing just in case I was. While I wanted to test other decks, Infernity was going to be my default deck for this event. It didn’t lose any power on the OCG Ban List and even gained a few new tricks such as Transmodify. I was also already comfortable with playing the deck as I had played it earlier this year in New Jersey. Because of this, I knew I wouldn’t have to test it as much even if I chose this deck for this event. This let me test a wide variety of other decks. I tried everything from Blackwings to Dragon Plants. Blackwings had powerful spells and traps like Black Whirlwind and Icarus Attack, but their monsters were so incredibly subpar. I mean really, what do I look like summoning a Bora in 2013? Similarly, I found Dragon Plants to be subpar in their own right. They were plagued by a weak early game that was only mitigated by opening cards such as Card Trooper and Sacred Sword. Even when they got going, I found the number of options the deck had to be limited. Often times I was not able to special summon more than 1 Dragon Ruler per turn. There were, however, two things I did like about the deck. The first of these being that Dragon Rulers are free. They don’t actually cost any cards to play and every other deck does. This became increasingly relevant as the TCG list was revealed as Heavy Storm was banned. Dragons don’t cost cards and backrow do. The second thing I liked about the deck was Return From the Different Dimension. It became nearly impossible to lose any game where you drew this card.
In an attempt to correct for the deck’s poor early game, I added a Lightsworn engine to the deck. It consisted of Lyla, Ryko, Charge, and Recharge. Unfortunately, this was not as powerful as I had hoped and had problems of its own. The Lightsworn engine had lots of normal summons which lead to clogging. Additionally, Lightsworns were not actually Dragons. This meant that a lot of what I was milling was entirely useless. At this point, I began looking into the Tempest Dragunity deck.
I questioned why this deck limited itself to just Tempest. It seemed like adding more Dragon Rulers would give the deck a better engine (Sacred Sword and actual good discards for Ravine). This alternative seemed to solve all of the problems of the Dragon Plant deck. Ravine gave the deck an amazing early game, great late game, stronger engine, and still took advantage of the fact that Dragons are free and could abuse Return From the Different Dimension. I began extensively testing my idea.
I feel that there are a lot of card choices that are not entirely obvious and thus should be explained.
No Tidal – As I said, I wanted to utilize more of a Dragon engine than the traditional Tempest Dragunity deck, but I chose to exclude Tidal altogether. I found that the only bad hands the deck had, were hands that contained all monsters. Because of this, I wanted to minimize the number of monsters I played. Tidal was the weakest of the four Dragons as it had the worst second effect.
No Main Deck Hand Traps – People were open to try just about everything with the start of the new format. I knew that going into the event I would play lots of different decks. I knew Veiler or Maxx “C” would not be good against a large number of them. Because of this, I didn’t want to include possibly dead cards. I might add hand traps as the meta becomes more defined, but I think no hand traps was correct for this event.
No Zephyros – I am not quite sure I’ve ever seen a Dragunity deck that did not play this card. I found it almost entirely win-more. It was only good when you already had some type of combo. Sure, it made those combos better, but realistically they were good enough on their own to not warrant its inclusion.
2 Phalanx – This is another card that I don’t think I’ve ever seen played at less than 3, but I felt it was unnecessary. It’s certainly very important to the deck, but it’s so heavily searchable that having access to it is never a problem. Additionally, once you do have one, the second and third Phalanx become a bad draw.
1 Mystletainn – This card is also traditionally played at 3, but I chose to only play 1. It definitely serves an important role and gives the deck a lot of explosiveness that it would not otherwise have without it, but it’s bad in just about every problem scenario. I don’t want it when they stop Dux, I don’t want it when I’m under Maxx “C,” I don’t want it when they have Ophion, etc. Since this card is searchable off of Tempest, I didn’t have to actually draw it to play it. It seemed extra to play more than 1.
3 Upstart Goblin – As I’ve said in other articles, I think you should always run the minimum number of cards to give yourself the best chances of seeing your best cards. If 40 is the best, why is 37 not better? I was going to run 3 Upstart Goblin in whatever deck I played at this event.
Reckless Greed – This card seems a bit off the wall, but it’s honestly one of the most overpowered cards in the deck. In my banlist article, I put this card down to two as its absolutely insane in the right deck and this was certainly the right deck. In your opening 6 cards, you have over a 5% chance of just straight drawing two copies of it. You don’t really lose games where you open with two of these. That’s a whole 5% of your games that you just auto win. That could be the difference between topping and not topping. In this deck you also have so many cards to dig through your deck, meaning that even if you do not open with multiple copies of Reckless, you’ll likely draw them from one of your many draw cards. Even the one copy was insane in its own right. Those two cards put you so far ahead of your opponent. This deck is capable of very unfair things. Combine those unfair things with more options than your opponent and you’re going to win. Additionally, you don’t actually need your draw phase. Ravine discarding a Dragon to grab a Dux is a +1 anyway.
3 Needle Ceiling – I chose to side deck three copies of Needle Ceiling as it destroyed two of the decks I was most concerned with; Karakuri and Infernity. Both decks put up massive fields that would otherwise be difficult to deal with. Even Infernity Barrier can’t save them from a Needle Ceiling as you just flip it when they draw and have a card in their hand and all of their Barriers are dead.
I road to Toronto with the Leveretts and Desmond Johnson. We left on Thursday after I was out of class. It was a 16 hour drive that we spread out over two days. Zach Leverett left his Yu-Gi-Oh bag at the hotel we stayed at in Nowhereville, West Virginia so I spent a large part of Friday sending out texts to people trying to rebuild his deck. Eventually we crossed the border and a couple hours after that we were in Toronto. We checked a couple of hotels near the convention center hoping to find duelists to finish Zach’s deck, but we had no luck, so we went back to our hotel.
There, we met up with Jarel Winston, Chris LeBlanc, and Michael. We played a few matches, resleeved our decks, and printed out translations before calling it a night.
Saturday morning we get to the convention center extra early to find the extra cards we need to finish his deck. With some help from Ned, Matt, Jeff, Michael, Chris, and a couple others we manage to find all the cards to finish it. We register right as they are about to cut off registration. I’m very confident in my deck and ready to get started.
Game 1: I get my engine going early, but go through half my deck without ever seeing a Ravine. Because of this I had to take some early damage. I eventually establish a dominant board and attack into Gorz. I attack over the token and main phase 2 try to pop the Gorz with Dracossack, but he has Effect Veiler. He has no cards in hand and tops BLS. I thought I was low enough where that would have been outright game, but in actuality I was left with 400 and no field. I’m able to reestablish a board the following turn and Big Eye his BLS and take control back of the game. I flip the Emptiness I drew for turn when he draws to prevent a Judgment Dragon drops, he doesn’t draw it and loses the next turn anyway.
Game 2: I start out very strong and Reckless put me very ahead in the game. By turn two I had Stardust, Atum, Dracossack, with Bottomless, Warning, Emptiness set.
Vs. Bobby Chambers, Blackwings
Game 1: He opens a strong setup of Whirlwind Shura first turn. He runs the gauntlet of searches and is continuously gaining advantage. I ran out of smoke when he stopped my normal summon and I was limited with the number of Dragons that I could summon.
Game 2: I exhaust a lot of resources, but I can eventually break through all his backrow and take control of the game.
Game 3: He opens with double Whirlwind Shura (he later revealed that he sided out 1 Whirlwind and 3 Kalut) and searches for double Bora. The next turn I Book his Bora’s summon so that he doesn’t search, but the following turn I take a ton of damage when he specials 2 Boras. Had he had Kalut, he’d have won that turn. I’m able to get over his field the following turn, but I have very few life points left and he summons Sirocco and specials Gale and halfs and pumps to attack for game.
Vs. Fire Kings
Game 1: He starts off pretty weak with just a summoned Flamvell Firedog. I summon Dux and he plays Maxx “C.” I try to crash into Firedog, but when I attempt to enter battle phase he plays Veiler. I have Book for Firedog the following turn and take control of the game on my next turn.
Game 2: He plays Onslaught and I chain Vanity’s Emptiness to which he chains MST on another set, thinking that Vanity’s Emptiness is destroyed, but it’s not because when my other set is destroyed Vanity’s Emptiness had not resolved yet so it lives and Onslaught is stopped.
Vs. Dragon Plants
Game 1: He wins the roll and starts with Sword followed by Card Trooper. I make a field and put him under Crimson Blader and take the game relatively easily.
Game 2: This game was more of the same. Dragon Plants don’t really have a great early game and my deck does, so I take it easily again.
Vs. Dragon Plants
Game 1: I put up a field and flip Return From the Different Dimension for game.
Game 2: He starts by removing two Rulers for a Blaster and then Swords away the fourth. Then he plays Gold Sarcophagus for Blaster and sets a backrow. I make Colossal and attack for 2800. The following turn he flips Return and gets the wrong things back. He ends up Big Eyeing my Colossal after I Booked a Dracossack summon. Then he can only attack for 7800 since he didn’t get the Blaster that he Sarced. He ends his turn with Dracossack, Big Eye, set Dracossack, my Colossal, and a set monster. I make a Crimson Blader and some other monsters to ram Blader into Colossal and get back Blader and attack over one of his monsters with it, then clear the rest of his field. His set was Dandylion and I knew the card in his hand was Debris. Since he’s under Blader, he can’t do anything the following turn and I win the next turn.
Vs. Dragon Rulers
Game 1: I see that he’s playing cards like Eclipse Wyvern, Skill Drain and Mirror Force in his Dragon deck. I win a relatively long game 1 which is important as Drain is a lot harder to deal with than regular Dragon Plants. Because of this, I side 3 MST instead of just 2.
Game 2: We go back and forth this game and he has a lot of backrow, two Drains a Mirror Force and Emptiness. Pretty early he removes Blaster to get Guard which makes it so he has very few elements. I flip Reckless, but miss and can’t do anything for the two turns. Because he had so few elements, he couldn’t either. Eventually I MST two of the sets and attempt to set my own traps, but he has the answers to traps and plenty of options now that we aren’t under Emptiness. I’m not out of the game, but strategically scoop.
Game 3: I start with Red-Eyes, Stardust, Atum with double Reckless set. He makes a Stardust of his own (had he made Blader, it would have been difficult to win). The next turn I simply overwhelm him with the amount of cards I have and he scoops it up.
Vs. Marc Carisse, Spellbooks
Game 1: This was a particularly odd game. I resolved triple Reckless Greed, but didn’t actually draw anything usable off of them and he takes it with the standard Spellbook setup. A Divine Wrath ensures his victory.
We get mid-round deck checked, but everything is fine.
Game 2: He doesn’t really draw any Spellbook cards and can’t really compete without an engine when I have mine going.
Game 3: I was almost certain that I was going to lose this game. He had a lot of advantage including a Soul Drain and Rivalry of Warlords. He didn’t have any monsters, so he wasn’t able to capitalize on the tons of card advantage. I draw Return and set it and he doesn’t have an answer to me attacking for game next turn with Return.
Game 1: I was almost certain I was going to lose this game as he started with a monster and 5 backrow. I work my way through them the best I can. I summon a Dux and equip Phalanx. He asks what would happen if he plays Lance on it (essentially asking if Phalanx would fall off). I tell him that I don’t know (even though I know it stays) knowing that if he asks a judge the judge will tell him he has to make the play first. That’s exactly what happens and he wastes his Lance. I take control of the game from that point on.
Game 2: He starts out with the rank 4 Constellar that protects itself from spells and traps. He flips Emptiness on my Phalanx. I use XYZ Encore on the rank 4 which was extra cool as he was not able to special anything back due to Emptiness. On the following turn I take control with Royal Decree.
I’m glad to have finished 7-1 after losing so early. I’m very paranoid about my tiebreakers as last year at Toronto I went 8-2 and didn’t top due to tiebreakers. Had I lost at any point on day 1 after my first loss, this was a very real possibility to happen again.
We head back to the hotel and eat at Subway. Sunday morning we wake up to a water pipe having busted in the hotel and all the water was out. Desmond and I walk about half a mile to another hotel to take a stripper bath in their sinks. It’s the struggle out here. When we get back, I can’t find my phone. I didn’t bring it with me, but it woke me up that morning so I have no idea where it could be, but I never find it. We get to the convention center with just enough time to resleeve before round 9 starts. Desmond, Ben, and I all made day 2.
Vs. Josh Graham, Mermail
Game 1: He wins the roll and starts out with Bahamaut Trite and two sets. I open double Ravine and his sets were double MST, which ensures him the game.
Game 2: I start out with Atum, Dracossack, Stardust and he can’t deal with the field and scoops on my second turn.
Game 3: He starts by removing 2 Heavy Infantry for a Tidal and tributing for Vanity’s Fiend. My opening hand was 3 Swords, Upstart, Cards, and Ravine. Upstart gets me a Dragon and my engine starts off. I draw into Book and summon Dux. I Book Fiend and he has Maxx “C” for Phalanx. I kill fiend. The following turn he has a second Maxx “C.” On his next turn he summons a second Vanity’s Fiend, but by this time I have Dark Hole.
Vs. Tom Mak
Game 1: I don’t think I actually see any of his Dragons, but by the cards he does play I know he’s playing Dragons by the end of the game. My opening was pretty strong and he can’t deal with it.
Game 2: He starts out by making Master of Blades and setting Emptiness. Because his elements are under it, I have a several turn clock. He eventually flips Emptiness, but I’ve drawn through a lot of my deck by this point and have an MST.
So after 10 rounds I have a record of 9-1 and finish in 6th place. Ben lost out in the 9th round and Desmond lost out in the 10th round, but fellow ARG teammate Frazier Smith topped!
Game 1: I win the dice roll and get my combo going. I also have multiple Reckless Greeds to back it up and take game 1 fairly easily.
Game 2: I lose this game based solely on life points. I was very close to being able to establish a dominant position over the game, but my life points hit 0 a turn before I could.
Game 3: I start with Stardust and some sets. He makes Starleige and then has Honest the following turn so I drop to 4000 quickly, but my field is too big for me to go any lower than that.
Vs. Frazier Smith
Game 1: This game was very intense. He starts out very strong with a first turn World adding back Secrets and Master with Tower and Fate setup. I play Ravine and he Fates it. I play a second Ravine and make Atum and Big Eye the World then overlay for Gaia. Instead of making Vajrianna I should have made Gae Dearg and searched a Dux. Next turn he reestablishes his setup by using double Power on Blue Boy and Fate to flip World down. He double searches and Lifes back World and then uses the effect to blow up the field. I draw several cards on my next turn including Return. I bring back Redox and he end phase Fates it away. I had set Gold Sarcophagus to reduce the chance that he hit Return off Fate if he chose to hit one of my sets. I flip it to remove Red-Eyes. And then flip Return after Specialing a Blaster. I get back Red-Eyes, Tempest, Redox, and Mystletainn. I should have brought back another Dragon instead of Mystletainn here. I make a Dracossack and he Fates it down. I use Red-Eyes and he Fiendish Chains. He kills Dracossack on his next turn and I draw Upstart into Terraforming. I flip Trap Stun and revive two Dragons. He has to Fate it away. I use Terraforming to get Ravine. Ravine makes Scrap Dragon which pops World and attack for game.
Game 2: He starts with a standard Prophecy setup. I debate scooping after my 6th card since if we go into time we’ll have to roll a dice to see who goes first in game 3, but if I just scoop, I’ll automatically go first. I decide against it and just play it out. Reckless puts me up on cards the following turn and a Veiler seals the deal on his turn.
Vs. Dragon Plants
Game 1: I make Red-Eyes, Atum, Stardust, with Emptiness, Bottomless, and double Reckless set to take it easily.
Game 2: I put him under Crimson Blader after taking some early damage and win the following turn.
Vs. Sorosh Saberian
Game 1: This was a feature match. We joked that if he got double MST he’d win and that’s exactly what happened this game. The first one hit a crucial Ravine and the second one caught a Phalanx that would have otherwise put him under Crimson Blader.
Game 2: I caught him with an Emptiness and followed it up with Return for game.
Game 3: This game was unfortunate. I was up a considerable amount of cards on him with Crimson Blader, Solemn Warning, Emptiness (I drew them after he summoned the Rank 3), but we were in time and he made something that can’t die by battle or card effects for two turns, exactly how much time I had to be up in life. I almost certainly would have won if we weren’t in time, but we were. I wish him good luck in the finals and head off to play the 3rd 4th playoff.
Game 1: I start with the setup and take it fairly easily.
Game 2: I am under Reckless and he Blackroses my field away, but I had another Reckless set. This lets me draw to 3 cards in hand which was enough to take advantage of his 1 with Vayu in grave.
I collect my prizes and do a deck profile for ARG. Ultimately I’m very satisfied with how my deck performed. I wish I hadn’t been in time against Sorosh, but overall it was a great weekend. This gave me my 8th top overall and 4th this year making me the player with the most tops this year.
I hope to see everyone at the ARG Circuit Series in a few weeks in Fort Worth, Texas. Until next time, play hard or go home!