Tyler Tabman’s NAWCQ 1st place report

How’s it going everybody? I’m back again with another tournament report and man has this been one exciting week for me! Not to mention a great few months. Taking Top 32 with Gravekeeper’s then Top 16 with countdown was probably more than I could have ever asked for, so winning the NAWCQ was an unbelievable accomplishment. At first my goal was to simply Top 64 the event and make a 3rd top in a row, and then as I realized I had a decent shot at qualifying for worlds – something I never thought would happen. Even after I made it to the top 4, I still could not fathom winning the entire event. So let me be the first to tell you, I’m still in shock!

As usual I was poor at keeping notes of my rounds and this time didn’t even have the lifepoint count – so a lot of details will be missing.
I’m sure you all want to dig right into the tournament report, so let’s get started!

Prior to nationals, my fellow teammate and friend Traviis Massengale and I extensively tested a turbo version of dark worlds, being able to blow out the opponent in 1 or 2 turns. I had almost committed myself to the deck, but more and more found myself losing to itself. Drawing poorly constantly is something I cannot stand, it makes loses inevitable. I quickly went back to the drawing board with absolutely no idea what I was going to play and nationals less than a month away. My options became narrowed down to these 3: Chaos Dragons, Gks, or Wind ups. I never liked chaos dragons and I hate playing “the” meta of all decks so that wasn’t very likely. I still loved Gk’s but I wasn’t sure if it could keep up the pace for nationals this time around.
I started to test windups again after dropping the deck proceeding YCS ATL, which was wind ups ultimate nightmare! ATL was a very dark place, where everybody mained 3 Maxx “C” (scary, right?). With that card virtually non-existent in the main deck, I felt the good ol’ control build with factories was just the thing I needed to do well at this event. It seemed to have a bit of trouble with Dino Rabbit, but proper side could make the matchup around 50/50, and generally can beat it if they don’t open ridiculous. The thing that really sold me on the deck was its dragon matchup. It was almost as good vs. Dragons as final countdown was! With literally 0 traps, their only defense was 3 Veiler, and that was not a problem. Making game one almost an auto win, and games 2 and 3 your side deck is a real blow out. Since Dino Rabbit seemed to be the only issue, I decided to main a reaper and Gorz and call it a day.

Round 1: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. (Chaos Dragons)
All I remember is I won this game 2-0
Record: 1-0

Round 2: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. (Chaos Dragons)
I just remember winning 2-0 again.. sorry. I remember next round!
Record: 2-0

Round 3: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. (Zombies)
Yes, that’s right. Zombies.
Game 1: He’s only able to try and beat me down with a goblin zombie at first, mid game I loop a few cards out of his hand and gain enough advantage to control the game.
Game 2: I open really poor and after he uses Caius around turn 2 I’m down 2 cards and lose within the next turn or so.
Game 3: This game actually went back and forth for a bit and really came down to the wire. It started off very slow and I was holding onto a shadow imprisoning mirror for the longest time. I couldn’t use it yet because I needed to get my sangan search off. Sangan died, he set one and passed. Next turn I had the ability to go for a strong push so I MST his backrow and get blasted by a chained MST to my Shadow imprisoning mirror, ugh. At some point I attack with kycoo but it gets fiendish chained. I end my turn and my field is Tiras, Zenmaity and kycoo to his set monster and mezuki in grave. Tiras popped fiendish chain so that he wouldn’t be able to use mezuki. He tops lance and crashes sangan into kycoo, grabs Plaguespreader zombie, uses mezuki to revive goblin zombie and goes into brionac bouncing my zenmaity and tiras and has 1 backrow set with 0 cards in hand. Great, all I had left was an instant fusion. I topdeck dimensional prison and set both. He flips Heavy storm and I proceed to cry. I had plenty of outs but only 1-2 turns to get them before I lost. I topdeck rat for my rat and proceed to double zenmaity in defence and clear brio with a leviathan or zenmaines and take the game from there. Wayyy too close! Good game for sure. Props for almost stomping me with zombies.
Record: 3-0

Round 4: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. ???
I don’t even remember this round.. if you played me please tell me what happened lol. I think I played against dino rabbit. Anywho, I won.
Record: 4-0

Round 5: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. (Dino Rabbit)
I just know I went first game three so I won game one, but I don’t remember what happened game 1 and 2
Game 3: I opened up with 2 MST, torrential, gorz, mind control and something else. I set torrential and pass. When he draws his hand him and somebody next to him laugh but the comment is made “well I guess you can’t really complain!”, as he proceeds to summon Kabuzal. I opt to not waist torrential on it, although if I draw nothing else I’m in fairly poor shape. I draw and pass and not much happens for maybe 2 turns although I think I used the torrential on something. Next turn I draw and set sangan and he kills it. I want to grab tour guide but I have a strong feeling he has a veiler based on the comment before and he was holding 3 cards in hand, since I have mind control I figure I’ll grab shark, go utopia and beat him down to capitalize on his lack of monsters. I was skeptical however because he already burned through his first veiler. For my turn however I draw tour guide. I space both of his backrows which were both chalice (phew!), and then decide to go with my original play, or say YOLO and try to tour guide into zenmaity shark for game. I chose the latter and get punished when he veilers me. I get further punished when he summons guiba, kills tour guide then goes into dolkka with one of the guiba’s and kabuzal, leaving another guiba on the field. I soul taker the dolkka and have to pass with gorz, double bottomless, and solemn in hand. He opts not to attack into gorz and somehow makes maestroke, with a set monster. I draw and pass. He tops tour guide and has a rabbit banished, but he has (any XYZ) + maestroke + sangan on the field, so if leviar’d back the rabbit, he didn’t have enough monster zones to use it’s effect (so I assumed that’s why he didn’t do it). He went for zenmaines and then poked with sangan and I dropped gorz. He ended his turn. I set all my backrows and passed. He had 2 backrows. I needed to make a push, and I had solemn to back me up. Next turn I used instant fusion and mind controlled his sangan, he chains compulse and I’m forced to solemn. I go into zenmaity as I wanted to go double zenmaity then temptempo, but his other backrow was torrential. He has zenmaines with 2 materials and maestroke with one. Even if I used dark hole, his zenmaines would finish my 600 life points. Well, this goes to show that I shouldn’t of gotten greedy with the tour guide play. Always stick to your guts.
Record: 4-1

Round 6: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs Dale Bellido (Ultimate offering Gadgets)
I see the name and cry. After losing my last round I thought at the very least my consolation prize would be playing against somebody mediocre.
Game one: He opens up with a green/yellow gadget set one. I don’t have an answer to kill the damn gadget so I accept that I’m going to take a minus off the torrential and then with my wind up rabbit at least I can kill the oncoming red or yellow for the next turn, as I wouldn’t want to crash with rabbit. So I summon rabbit set heavy and torrential. He summons gadget I torrential, rabbit runs, and he sets a 2nd backrow. For my turn I flip up heavy and go for a 3 card loop, or maybe that was a bit later.. anywho, he veilers and I chain book, then hit a gadget or two out of his hand. So he opened multiple gadgets. I end with zenmaity into rabbit and eventually win the beatdown war.
Game 2: Gadget + offering, he plays 9 gadgets.
Game 3: The yugioh gods gave me tour guide + shark + avarice. And simultaneously they made sure he drew no hand traps. Sorry to win that way Dale, but to be fair both of our decks were built to sack! He was a great sport about it and wished me luck.
Record: 5-1

Round 7: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. (Dino Rabbit)
Game 1: He drew no monsters and after I eventually gained some momentum he couldn’t recover.
Game 2: He drew better this time lol.
Game 3: We both opened up fairly poor, but I opened even worse. I had no monsters this time around so I had to reborn his sabersaurus. He compulsed it for a +1, then I had to use rat and instant fusion under Maxx “C” to go into zenmaines just so I don’t get beat down. Eventually he overwhelms me with like +4 card avantage. Ughh, guess I’ll be playing through the bubble.. again.
Record: 5-2

Round 8: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. (Dino Rabbit)
Game 1: I see he’s maindecking D.D. warrior lady a few turns into the duel and because of this I play a bit sloppy, tisk tisk. He eventually goes into dolkka to which I attempt to answer with acid golem, however his one backrow was bottomless. I’m sitting on a rabbit and he pokes me for 2 turns as I dig for an answer before I topdeck mirror force and turn the game around.
Game 2: I just remember I lost
Game 3: He doesn’t open with any monsters and burns through double MST by turn 2, I summon rabbit resolve factory and from there proceed to get the double rat/rabbit loop going 3 turns later and making infinite free XYZ’s to burn through all of his backrow.
Record: 6-2

Round 9: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. Some really salty guy (Inzektors)
Game one: I lose the diceroll and he sets one. I open shark magician and have to go for it, he has torrential. The following 3 turns or so he bottomless/veilers/solemns or whatever all my plays since all he has is backrow. Eventually I drop gorz and put on some pressure. He flips his facedown foolish burial and I finally learn he’s playing inzektors! I start to cry from fear of dragonfly, but he summons ladybug and I let out a huge sigh of relief as I win next turn. He keeps complaining about how terrible he drew, however had he drawn monsters instead of backrow, I would of just looped everything he had…
Game 2: I go for a push and he stops it, then pops my factory. He ends his board Centipede attached with a Sword and Giga Brilliant, both boosted by 300. I had an explosive hand hence why I didn’t care he stopped me the turn before. So I knew I was going to loop but I needed to figure out how to clear the 2700 bug while still discarding what he adds back off of sword, as I still couldn’t really handle a comeback play with dragonfly. I loop his hand and end the loop with utopia, zenmaity, and rat/hunter. I instant fusion and XYZ with rat to make a Giga brilliant of my own. Giga boosts everything, Utopia kills centipede and he adds back dragonfly, gigas crash and zenmaity attacks directly. Main phase 2 I use hunter to tribute zenmaity and end. He tops something and attacks hunter, I was just assuming my hunter was dead anyway, so I completely forgot about utopia, when I allowed the attack he looked at me and the expression on his face “I can’t believe I just lost to this idiot!”, and I win next turn.
He was extremely mad. Wouldn’t even shake my hand. Which was funny because he was acting very friendly prior to our match. Just a game man, oh well.
Record: 7-2

Day one is finally over! I always hate playing on the bubble, one match and it’s all over. Fell asleep around 4:30 so I got maybe 3 hours. Hence why there are bags under my eyes in my deck profile, and that I was stuttering.

Round 10: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. Sean Montague (Dino Rabbit)
Game 1: He goes dolkka and attacks my reaper and sets 2. I heavy his 2 backrow and he chains lance to kill reaper (Damn!), had he not had lance I would have been plus a million, as I summoned wind up rabbit go instant fusion and acid golem over dolkka. Absent of lance, the heavy would have been a plus one, AND the reaper hitting a card would have been a plus one. But this way I was still ahead and cleared dolkka. He soul takers my acid golem. We trade resources and eventually he’s beating me down with a guiba and 1 backrow and I have solemn set, and instant fusion in hand. I draw tour guide, go triple zenmaity into shark, insant fusion, go for adreus and proceed to push for game after I solemn his Dimensional Prison.
Game 2: First few turns he summons guiba and attacks reaper with it, damage step he uses chalice and kills it then goes for laggia. Next turn I set snowman and he attacks it with sangan, snowman kills laggia and he’s forced to pass with sangan, I think reaper that he reborned from me, and 3-4 backrow. I forgot what happened afterwards but he ends up beating me down with leviar for 2 turns or so with heavy protection, and I can’t even summon my wind up rabbits because of leviar. I eventually am forced to do something and opt to set wind up rabbit to either bluff a snowman or at the very least allow me to draw another out, since I had bottomless set there was no reason not to. He doesn’t attack it. I summon wind up rat and drop shark, he veilers rat, shark is booked, I flip rabbit and xyz and he has an answer and I lose.
Game 3: Shark Magician Reborn, hit all 5. Sorry about that.. that’s why I play the deck.
This was a feature match but for some reason it’s not online.
Record: 8-2

Round 11: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. (Inzektors)
Ahhhh the bubble. Can’t lose now!
Game 1: I open with zenmaity loop, but not the hand loop. I go triple zenmaity, zenmaines, set 2 backrow. He summons centipede, I bottomless, and next turn proceed to win.
Game 2: He summons dragonfly, activate sword, set 3. Suddenly my hand of double MST and heavy looked very good. I use heavy and it goes through. He specials a centipede from dragonfly, I drop double shark and he scoops.
Record: 9-2
Yes! Got my 3rd top in a row. Honestly that’s all I really wanted.
Now, why the hell did I only play 2 chaos dragons but 5 dino rabbit? I enjoy auto-winning. They made it up to me be playing two more back to back!

Top 64: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. (Chaos Dragons)
Game one: At some point I hit lots of cards in his hand and win.
Game 2: I open loop and dimensional fissure, but he has the mystical space typhoon while holding 2 effect veilers. I actually had advantage leading up to the final few turns where I get very low and we’re down to topdecking, he tops decree and sets it then next turn tops pulsar and swings for game.
Game 3: I believe I open up loop and he has D.D. crow for hunter. He tour guides into zenmaines, crashes with zenmaity and pops something. Next turn I summon rat and put on pressure with XYZ’s, using temtempo to get through his zenmaines. I forgot what happened afterwards but I believe I controlled the majority of the duel before eventually winning the game.

Top 32: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. (Chaos Dragons)
Game one: At some point I hit lots of cards in his hand and win. My memory for both game 1’s is off, but this is how it always goes with chaos dragons.
Game 2: I open 6 s/t so I’m forced to bluff gorz. It’s working, but he’s only pushing with sangan and zenmaines anyway so he’s not scared. I just end up losing because I have to solemn his card trooper and he reborns it. Oh yeah, he also had 4 backrow, he sided into traps!
Game 3: Few turns in I go for a big push, rat grabs shark, drop shark from hand, mind control his card trooper and XYZ into giga brilliant with zenmaines on the field while sharks go into Tiras. Boost them all and leaves him at 1200. Next turn he almost amounts a comeback uses chaos sorcerer on Tiras, and had a pulsar out but no Red eyes in the grave. I next turn I XYZ into acid golem, soul taker his pulsar and attack for exact game (3000-2300=700+1500=2200), since soul taker gave him 1000.

Top 16: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. Joseph Presnell
Game 1: We trade resources for and he’s down to literally topdecking. He draws and sets a s/t. I have a tour guide on the field which was veilered the turn before and I summon rabbit, swing with both. I’m at 1200. I can XYZ and win next turn, but if he has warning/BTH I lose to any topdecked monster. However, I figure if he tops any monster anyway, he’ll attack tour guide and next turn I’ll be forced into the same position and lose to those cards. I go to XYZ, he has the solemn and tops sabersauras for game. Grrrr
Game 2: I open up with a simple hunter/shark loop for 3, giving me enough advantage to overwhelm him pretty quickly.
Game 3: My opening hand was Heavy Storm, Dark Hole, Sangan, Torrential, Pot of Avarice. I was like holy jesus thank god, considering he went laggia set 2. So I bait laggia with dark hole, blow his backrows and T set the sangan/torrential. He reads it as snowman eater and summons guiba into my torrential. I don’t remember the next turn or so, but eventually it comes to me swarming zenmaitys on the board to his tour guide, sangan, and 1 backrow. I opt to just leave them all there so I can outright win next turn. It works and I didn’t even really need the avarice. He’s actually a really good player, great match man. Top 8 we goo!

Top 8: Tyler Tabman (Wind-Ups) vs. Randomlygoodcardsputtogether
Game 1: He opens up thunder king and 1 backrow. I’m already confused as I’ve recently forgotten thunderking was a playable card. I go set MST pass, he attacks and I MST his backrow, drop gorz. Next turn gorz kills tking, token attacks over… tour bus?? Now I’m even more confused, if he’s playing that card it has to be wind ups, right? Nope. Next turn I get hunter off once and hit a Gravekeeper’s Descendant from his hand. Now I’m just thinking to myself, “wtf is going on”. And before I can figure out what he’s playing he scoops.
I figure its just a mash of generic card goods so I side snowman and D prison
Game 2: He goes king tiger set 2 backrow. My hand had snowman, warning, mirror force, and double rat. The 2x rat sucked, but the rest of it was broke for this anti-meta or whatever the hell it was. He attacks into snowman, I warning his reborn, mirror force his cyber dragon, and eventually gain momentum and swarm with zenmaity’s to seal my place at worlds!

Semis and Finals are both online.

Winning was such a crazy experience. Having hundreds of people in a crowd and all eyes on you. I’m not sure if I’ll ever really get used to being called the National Champion, it’s just so weird how up until 3 events ago I had 0 credentials, and now I’m up with players I’ve looked up to for years. I’m not ganna say I was the outright best player at the event, or that I played perfectly, because neither are true. But I know my stuff, I played really well (most the time!), and I made the right choice on what was going to take down this event. It’s a great accomplishment, but as a player, there’s still room for improvement and I intend to keep bettering myself. I’ll be working extensively over these next few weeks over preparing for worlds, shoutout to everybody who qualified for worlds with me! It’s hard to believe I met Mike two years ago at nationals, and now we’re going to worlds together. Mike and I have begun testing already and we all plan to take home a victory this year! Thanks for reading everybody, and till next time, remember – Play hard or go home!