Preparing Nekroz For YCS Chicago

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For the first time in what feels like forever, I will be attending a YCS as a player rather than for event coverage. Although I still prepare for events as I normally would even if I’m not playing, in order to help my other friends perform better and keep myself in the loop, it’s a very different feeling knowing that I’ll be playing; stressful is the word that first comes to mind, but there’s most definitely a drive involved. Having … Continue reading

Building For The New Format: Oasis of Skull Servants

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Last time around I showed you a Mecha Phantom Beast deck that I’d been refining and honing into a polished product for quite a while. Today I’m taking a different tack: I want to show you a work in progress that can’t really be specialized until we see some metagame definition at YCS Chicago. Why? Because it’s really freaking cool, for one. But more than that, it engages some of the core challenges of a certain kind of rogue deck, … Continue reading

Analyzing the Forbidden & Limited List: April 2015

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With Nekroz the most dominant strategy followed by Qliphorts and Burning Abyss, the April 2015 Forbidden & Limited List had a bit of work to do if things were going to be shaken up. Although I still believe Nekroz to be the best Deck in competition, Qliphorts have been nearly wiped off the map and Burning Abyss took a big hit. Beyond those big changes, there were a ton of other interesting things that happened with this new F&L list, … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Artifact Shaddolls

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The new Forbidden & Limited List shook up things quite a bit, but one thing that still remains true: Nekroz is the deck to beat. Qliphorts took a huge hit on the new F&L List, not only losing cards that were key to the deck’s consistency but also their most important cards to fight Nekroz: Skill Drain and Vanity’s Emptiness. Now that Emptiness is Limited there are very few continuous traps go that can single handedly win that match-up, and … Continue reading

Building For The New Format: Dracossack Hero Strike

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New format! Let’s do some cool stuff. Did you know there’s a Quick-Play Spell that negates the effect of any opposing card – anything, whether it’s a monster spell or trap – and then draws you a card? Strike of the Monarchs is one of my favorite hidden gems from The New Challengers, and it’s pretty under the radar because despite the name stamp, it’s not very good in Monarchs. On a broad level, Monarch decks are all about Tributing, … Continue reading

Analyzing Options: Artifact Lancea and the Artifact Engine

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With the limitation of Artifact Moralltach, the Artifact engine isn’t really what it used to be. There was a short period of time where duelists began to play Artifact Scythe as a replacement, but even then it was clear that the role Scythe played was nowhere as powerful as the role Moralltach once did. Moralltach was clean and efficient removal that left you with a monster, but now it seems as though Artifact Sanctum has been doomed to obscurity. …Or … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Imperial Qliphorts

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As Nekroz continues to dominate, your strategy needs to be prepared for the match-up. If it isn’t, we’re going to come to a point very soon where you’ll be out of any competitive tournament. But what’s the best way to deal with Nekroz? Cards like Vanity’s Emptiness, Skill Drain, and Mistake probably give you the strongest chance; your best bet is to play cards that force the deck off its gameplan, stifling it long enough for you to take the … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Burning Abyss After YCS Prague

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As I write this, Burning Abyss has just won YCS Prague. Up until this point the majority of people didn’t think that it was powerful enough to compete with Nekroz, and even though I don’t intend on switching anytime soon, I do think that Burning Abyss was severely underrated before this tournament. Why did it get such a bad rap? The main reason is that Nekroz of Trishula and Nekroz of Brionac are great at dealing with Burning Abyss monsters … Continue reading

YCS Tacoma 1st Place: Barrett Keys’ Nekroz

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YCS Tacoma marked the Championship debut of Nekroz, and with a massive 22 seats in the Top 32 the Nekroz theme is only getting started. Nekroz is highly resource-efficient, because you can banish the Ritual Spells to search more; consistency is always going to be great when your deck’s filled with search cards. While Nekroz are susceptible to a lot of hate cards, similar to Dragon Ruler, the strategy’s really versatile, solving just about any situation by searching specific cards, … Continue reading

Investigating The Top Cut: YCS Tech Options For Nekroz

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Nekroz have fast become the defining strategy of what might be a one-deck format… albeit a one-deck format where Rogue decks could be successful. This weekend all eyes will be glued on YCS Prague to see if Nekroz domination will continue; if Burning Abyss and Qliphorts can survive; and if early showings from Yosenju and Ritual Beasts in Germany, Switzerland, and other European countries might see either strategy score a seat in the top 32. While we wait for those … Continue reading