I have come accustomed to writing tournament reports the week after premier events, but unfortunately my showing at the North American World Championship Qualifier was not quite on par with the previous handful of events. So I am just going to briefly cover how my, near week, in Ohio went and how the current format is going to progress going forward.
I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a few days out in the Cleveland area attending tournaments run by ARG, and I must say – it was amazing. We had a fundraiser tournament on the Wednesday that I arrived and another normal local the following day. I was able to get in some valuable play testing on Wednesday with a Dino-Rabbit build similar to what I ended up using over the weekend. As a whole I must say I came back home to Boston wishing there was a local in my area like ARG. It was a fantastic atmosphere, from the players to the tournament itself.
Anyway, as I imagine you can tell – I played Dino-Rabbit again. The build I ended up using was only a few cards off from my build from Philadelphia, with minor tweaks here or there. I ended up bumping up to 42 cards to make room for a Compulsory Evacuation Device and cut the Grand-Mole for a second Spirit Reaper. From there I fit some Level Limit – Area B’s into my side deck and called it a day. Boring, yet simple and to the point. I thought it was the best deck going into the tournament. My assumption was somewhat off though, because I didn’t take into consideration how the metagame was adapting over the last month or so. Though I should point out, one of my best friends Jessy Samek took an identical build, side/main/extra to the Top 16, so it wasn’t the worst deck of all time.
I usually pride myself on being able to look at the format and determine what the best deck and builds are. My mistake with analyzing the format at the NAWCQ was that I hadn’t realized how players were shifting their understanding of the current Dino-Rabbit decks. The Macro Cosmos builds I had found success with in Chicago and Philadelphia had one fatal flaw in them – the lack of hand traps. Now I made the decision at both events to side cards like Effect Veiler, and at the end of the day I think I was able to get away with that because the format was at a point where Inzektors were still incredibly popular and you can just win off Macro Cosmos. The funny thing was, even at Chicago I suffered an early loss to Wind-Ups because of how vulnerable I was game one against the loop.
And therein lies the problem going into the event last weekend. My assumption that Chaos Dragons, Dino-Rabbit and Inzektors would continue as the top contenders was drastically off because I hadn’t taken into consideration how many players would copy similar deck lists to what I had been using at the last two events. Therefore, the Dino-Rabbit contingency at the NAWCQ was a relatively vulnerable crop of players to decks such as Wind-Ups, or even in the cause of Paul Copper – Hieratics. Witty players, such as the eventual champion Tyler Tabman, were able to monitor this development in the format and confidently play a deck which had seen relative little success over the course of the format. Wind-Ups were once considered the dominant force at YCS Atlanta, but have steady seen a decrease in popularity over the course of the last few months. To a point where players like myself, and many others, began cutting hand traps and dropping Maxx “C” from there decklists completely.
So now that the cat is out of the bag, how is the format going to progress? Well, first of all, it should be noted that there are no premier level events for the rest of the format. There is no YCS at GenCon this year, and therefore, we will be without major events to try and prepare the perfect meta call for. But regardless, there is still much Yu-Gi-Oh left over the summer and I think it is only fair to prepare accordingly.
With the rise in both the popularity of Wind-Ups, and price, it is only fair that we begin to adapt to that tread. It is finally time for me, and other Dino-Rabbit players, to mitigate the main decked Macro Cosmos to the side deck for good. I know a lot of players were on the fence about maining them in what they considered a metagame condensed with Chaos Dragons, but now that Wind-Ups have risen again in the ranks I cannot justify myself maining them now. Unfortunately I think it is time to consider maining copies of Maxx “C” again. Jerry Williams was able to top 16 at the NAWCQ with two copies of Maxx “C” in his main deck, so it is not out of the question to go back to maining them. He was also able to find room for two copies of Effect Veiler. The two/two split on Maxx “C” and Effect Veiler may be the way Dino-Rabbit players have to adapt to the change.
If we are about to head into a format where Maxx “C” becomes a main deck choice by a majority of the field, the same dynamic will begin to arise that led me to play Hero Beat at YCS Long Beach. The more dead cards in the main deck, like Effect Veiler and Maxx “C” the better decks like Heroes, and in the current format Chaos Dragons, become. The instinct of most players is to hop over to whatever deck has just done well, but when the deck is something like Wind-Ups and can cause such a riffle through the format, I think it is more appropriate to try and go one step beyond the thinking of everyone else. People around the globe are resleeving their Wind-Up Carriers, perhaps it is time to exploit the sudden need to main deck Maxx “C” again and go against the grain.