Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Age of Anxiety

william fitzgeraldThe period between World War I and World War II is often referred to the Age of Anxiety. The people of this time experienced confusion and large amounts of negative anticipation. You may be wondering how this relates to Yu-Gi-Oh!, but I believe there is a pretty uncanny resemblance to The Age of Anxiety and the state of the current meta game. As the NAWCQ is just around the corner, duelists are doing all they can to prepare for the invitational tournament. There are a lot of solid picks for this event and I believe that most of the decks that have found success in 2013 will all be great choices. However, one variable remains unsolved. What powerful cards will the TCG receive?

Decks That are Variables:

Since the release of Japan’s Premium Pack 3, Elemental Dragons have dominated the meta. As powerful as the large elemental dragons are, it is very unlikely that they can form their own deck without their chibi sized counterparts. However, the large dragons can be splashed into other decks with an elemental theme. For example, Tempest (Wind) can be used in Dragunitites to improve consistency and lessen the decks reliance on the field spell Dragon Ravine. Tidal (Water) can be used in Mermail for easy access to powerful Rank 7’s such as Number 11: Big Eye and Mermail Abyssgaios. While we do not currently know the full list for TCG Exclusives and OCG imports it does not look like we are going to receive the chibi dragons in next months Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy. I think Konami realizes that the chibi dragons have a good amount of potential to make them money, that they could easily make great imports in Judgment of the Light or perhaps even their own pack. However, if the chibi dragons are included in Tachyon I believe that the Elemental Dragon deck will make a very strong and successful debut.

upstartSimilar to E-Dragons, the Prophecy arch-type is finding large amounts of play in the OCG. This deck is frightening with its raw power and un-believable consistency. It doesn’t particularly have any bad match ups and there are very limited side deck options against the deck. Not to mention the game ending potential in their ace card Spellbook of Judgment Day. Players have been using Upstart Goblin and even Toon Table of Contents to take advantage of the powerful Spellbook. This almost unbelievable card will most undoubtedly be Secret Rare and one of the highlights of the set. Adding another high priced card to the already expensive deck, unfortunately eliminating it for most budget players. This card yields un-real advantage and can easily win it’s owner the game. We can already expect this deck to be a dominant force in the TCG meta and reflect its success in the OCG’s meta. So have your Droll & Lock Birds and Puppet Kings ready because this deck is a real threat.  All in all, I believe that this deck will be highly represented in the NAWCQ and will do very well.

Decks That You Should Expect:

Now our TCG dominant deck, Mermail-Atlantean, is no sleeper pick. I believe it will easily be the most popular deck and take the most spots in the top 32. Mermails have now won the last three western YCS’s and gotten overwhelming amounts of tops at each of them. The deck is extremely versatile and consistent, as well as taking a varying amount of skill to play correctly. The deck currently possesses un-matched speed and power, with a consistency aspect that is unreal. However, the question on everyone’s mind is “Can this deck compete with Evilswarms?” With the release of Hidden Arsenal 7, Evilswarm Ophion and his gaggle of goons have been released into our meta. The deck has a very strong boss monster in Ophion, one that prevents the most popular deck in the format from functionally at its full potential. While duelists have been stepping up their Infantry numbers, a well protected Ophion with decent backrow is a death sentence to Mermails and any deck relying on high level special summons. However, while Ophion may be the head honcho, he is not the decks only threat. They have a new and improved version of  Wind-Up Rabbit. Evilswarm Thunderbird. Thunderbird is stronger (it’s 1650 and boosts itself to 1950), it’s faster (it comes back during the NEXT standby phase) with Wind-Up Rabbit you had to wait until YOUR next standby phase. The only thing that good ole’ Rabbit has over Thunderbird, is that Thunderbird literally looks like a disease and WU-Rabbit is pretty freaking adorable. Anyway we won’t truly know how much the new Evilswarm deck will affect our meta until after YCS New Jersey.

Rescue RabbitDecks That Will Be Under the Radar (Stun/Anti-Meta):

Stun and Anti-Meta have huge potential at the NAWCQ. I’m talking Heroes, Macro-Rabbit, Fire Fist, and especially Gadget Stun (or any Gadget deck for that matter). I’ve always been a fan of a deck that can pump out strong monsters and support it with a strong backrow and a good-sized hand. While some of these decks can obviously get outpaced by Mermai-Atlanteans or Prophecy, when your opponent has 0-2 cards to side against you, and you have 4-7 cards to side against them, a lot of Game 2’s and 3’s will be in your favor. And remember duelists if it gets to that point it’s Game 3 that counts!

Old Favorites: (The Sam Gilbert Section)

Out of the above categories this is probably my favorite. Decks like Wind-Ups and Geargia that have solid match ups across the board with a wide variety of side deck options are always great meta-calls, especially for Nationals! Konami certainly hasn’t forgotten about them so you shouldn’t either. And believe me when I say that Prophecies aren’t the only deck getting a new power card in Tachyon. Just read this card!

Geargia Gear:

“Special Summon 2 "Geargiano" monsters from your Deck. Their Levels are increased by 1. You can only activate 1 "Geargia-Gear" per turn.”

It’s a chainable trap version of the infamous Rescue Rabbit! This gives the deck some much needed speed and gives the deck some extra Rank 4 XYZ summoning ability. It might even provide some OTK assistance.

Well that’s all for now duelists! I wish you good luck in your Yugi-Endeavors and much success in July’s NAWCQ 2013!

Best Regards,

William Fitzgerald

William Fitzgerald

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