Winning YCS Miami – A Hometown Hero’s List – Travis Smith

A dream that began while looking at previous YCS winners on the internet came true. I remember the day YCS Miami was announced through Konami, the feeling was indescribable because knowing that I’ve been given a chance to play in my first YCS in my hometown. Confidence, knowledge of the game, and most importantly support from my friends is what fueled my success. YCS Miami being my first major event, I was obviously a bit intimidated by the large crowd, and all the famous Yu-Gi-Oh players I’m used to only seeing online. Being able to walk away from my first YCS with the title of a champion can show that anyone with the right amount of dedication and practice can succeed in this game. So without further adieu, here’s the deck I used and reasoning behind my card choices.

Preparing for YCS – You can go with this, or you can go with that.  Going to a large scale event like this, two main things where on my mind: Consistency, and Side-Deck capabilities. My first choice was not the Wind-Up deck surprisingly. Geargia seemed to be the deck that met my requirements. Being able to side Gozen/Rivalry and Dimensional Fissure sparked my interests. However, hands not involving Geargia Arsenal or Geargia Armor were too slow, and by the time they reached my hand, my opponent had built up on advantage. Also the Mermail matchup was really unfair. So after making this discovery I shifted away from the Geargia Deck, and thought about Mermails. But the possibility of my opponent siding or maining either Macro Cosmos or Dimensional Fissure was a deal breaker. The main reasons why I didn’t give Dino-Rabbit or Fire Fists a thought was because of its low consistency and it easily looses to decks that over extend. So I moved on to the most hated deck of the format, but surely the best, Wind-Ups. Wind-Ups easily remind me of Plants, due to its Extra-Deck options, and consistency. So let’s move on to the deck list and my choices.

Main Deck: 40

Monsters: 17

3 Wind-Up Rabbit
3 Wind-Up Rat
3 Wind-Up Shark
3 Wind-Up Magician
2 Tour Guide from The Underworld
2 Thunder King Rai-oh
1 Sangan

Spells: 10

3 Wind-Up Factory
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn
1 Dark Hole

Traps: 13

3 Fiendish Chain
3 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Torrential Tribute
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Judgment

Side Deck: 15

2 Maxx ‘C’
2 Effect  Veiler
1 Snowman Eater
3 Dimensional Fissure
3 Messenger of Peace
2 Dust Tornado
1 Mirror Force
1 Dimensional Prison

Extra Deck: 15

1 Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaighty
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Number 20: Giga-Brilliant
1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
1 Leviair The Sea Dragon
1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Number 16: Shock Master
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Maestroke The Symphony Djinn
1 Photon Papilloperative
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Tiras, Keeper of Genesis
1 Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon

Monsters, aside from the obvious
As we all know, standard Wind-Ups run triplicates of everything (Shark, Rabbit, Rat, Magician), two Tour Guide, and the one Sangan. I opted to run two Thunder King Rai-oh for full consistency. I felt like hand traps just pause the problem where as regular traps get rid of it completely.

Spells, The Big 10
I opted to just run three Wind-Up Factory and decided not to go along with the recently popular two Fire Formation – Tenki. To start off, Tenki can be drawn late game with no targets, it is Mystical, Heavy, and Dust Tornado fodder, and it creates clunky hands. The obvious trinity (Dark Hole, Heavy Storm, Monster Reborn) and I chose to play three Mystical Space Typhoons because the meta at the moment was backfield heavy. Not really much to say about Pot of Avarice, other than it being a power card, good late game and helps reset combos.

Trap, Yea I’m running triple chain triple compulse
I don’t mean to sound repetitive, but I don’t want to sit here and tell you about obvious card choices. If you’re playing competitive Yu-Gi-Oh, you should already know the solemn brigade (Solemn Judgment and 2 Solemn Warnings) , 2 Torrential Tribute, and 2 Bottomless Trap Holes are mandatory. Previously I was running 2 Dimensional Prison, 2 Compulsory Evacuation Device, and 2 Fiendish Chain. However, playing at locals showed that Dimensional Prison didn’t cut it against top tier decks. Decks like Mermail can easily just destroy it with Marksman, and Wind-Ups can play around it. I was only expecting to play top tier and I wanted to have good Game 1 matchup, due to game 1 being extremely important because it can give you confidence and less stress knowing you only have to win one more game. Risking having a Dimensional Prison, while my opponent opens up Magician and Shark was too risky, and I believe it was the right meta call to play triple Compulsory Evacuation Device and triple Fiendish Chain. That’s what I believe gave me the edge over every other Wind-Up build.

Side Deck, to side against all the Wind-Up hate!
Snowman Eater was to combat Dino-Rabbit, and possibility of facing an anti-meta deck. Snowman Eater is good against cards like Thunder King Rai-oh, Dinosaur vanillas, Evolsaur Laggia, it is level 3, creates defense, what more can you ask for in a side deck card? Moving on to hand traps, Maxx ‘C’ is good against spam decks like Wind-Ups, Six Sams, Mermails, and it’s in there for the possibility of rogue decks.  Effect Veiler just like Maxx ‘C’ is good in the mirror, can pause cards like Rescue Rabbit, Tour Guide etc. I expected Mermails to be very big in this event due to hearing about the new age Mermail, so I opted to go with 3 Dimensional Fissure. Also its good against Chaos Dragons because it stops hand traps, because sending to the grave is a cost. 3 Messenger of Peace for the Dino-Rabbit and Anti-Meta matchups. Messenger being good as it can stall, and help create a comeback. Wind-Up Rabbit being 1400atk it is unaffected by messenger of peace. Everybody and their mother is siding Gozen Match and Rivalry of the Warlords due to how it can cripple Wind-Ups in its tracks. So I had to go with 2 Dust Tornado and I can’t emphasize how important Dust Tornado was in the Mirror Match.  Getting rid of their Wind-Up factories and their backfield that could stop me from potentially going off.  Most people will question this: why I sided 1 Mirror Force, 1 Dimensional Prison. Its because, going back to what I recently stated, people can read cards like these easily, so usually when I side into these cards, I only choose to pick one. Mirror Force against decks like Dino-Rabbit, Fire-Fist, and the dreadfully hated rogue. Then Dimensional Prison for floater decks like Chaos Dragons.

Extra Deck, Bye Bye Zenmaighty, you will be missed!
Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaighty because it can what tutor any Wind-Up in the deck, and usually starts all the combos. Everything else is pretty basic, except for the Gagaga Cowboy, and the Abyss Dweller. Most people aren’t using these cards because they probably have no room or don’t think it’s as important. But in my opinion Gagaga Cowboy easily seals games, and Dweller improves your Mermail matchup.

As most of you started this game I started the same, when Yugi and Kaiba’s structure decks were released. From then on, knowledge of the game grew onto me. Knowing that I won my first title at my first YCS, is something words can’t even describe. I want to say thank you to everyone that rooted me on, and helped me move on from table 183 to first place. There are some people that will say I’m lucky, and others that have seen me grind it out till the end, know that I know when to make the best play. Those are true companions in this game I like to call Yu-Gi-Oh. Remember Yu-Gi-Oh players it’s not that hard. All you have to do is practice, study the game, know how to make the best play, and never quit. Me winning YCS Miami shows, even a guy that’s only ever attended small events like locals and regionals can be a YCS Champion.

Travis Smith