YCS Dallas 1st Place: Billy Brake’s 60-Card Control

Boyajian Headshot

Decks exceeding the 40 card minimum have been around for quite a while: 41 and even 42 card decks were quite popular in the older days of the game, and more recently duelists like Long Dao and now Billy Brake have won Championships with massive 53 and 60 card decks respectively. What allows these strategies to be successful even though they go against the basic concepts of consistency? Looking at a deck like Mermail as a starting point, it would … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Six Samurai

Boyajian Headshot

Six Samurai was once the greatest deck in competition. While the majority of its success was thanks to [ccProd]Gateway of the Six[/ccProd], the Samurai were still quite a threat even once Gateway was Forbidden. With [ccProd]Reinforcement of the Army[/ccProd] now completely off the F&L List all Warrior strategies get a huge boost in consistency. Comboing off on your first turn is integral to the Samurai strategy, so when such a powerful lock type strategy suddenly becomes more consistent in accomplishing … Continue reading

Surprisingly Competitive: Burning Chaos Queen of Dragons

Jason Headshot

Last month I was surprised to see Daniel Nunnally Top 8 the Minnesota Regional Qualifier with a deck I’d considered when Duelist Alliance released, but had never seen in tournament competition – a Chaos Ritual build starring [ccProd]Saffira, Queen of Dragons[/ccProd]. Nunnally’s a familiar face: he took second place at YCS Chicago in 2012 and scored several big tops since. He played Saffira with Tour Guide from the Underworld to fetch [ccProd]Djinn Releaser of Rituals[/ccProd], turning Saffira into a one-sided … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Satellarknight Burn

Boyajian Headshot

With [ccProd]Reinforcement of the Army[/ccProd] finally going back to three per deck on the F&L List, Satellarknights are going to be even more consistent than before. Guaranteeing a start with [ccProd]Satellarknight Deneb[/ccProd], or finding that [ccProd]Satellarknight Altair[/ccProd] to solve a problem on the field is key to the strategy’s success, but that small bump in reliability wouldn’t necessarily make me want to play the deck by default. Flashback to the weeks before YCS Toronto: SJC Philadelphia Champion Jessy Samek was … Continue reading

The New F&L List: Card By Card

Jason Headshot

We finally have a new F&L List! And while none of the reigning Big Three themes were directly affected – Shaddolls, Satellarknights, and Burning Abyss – the list will impact those decks in numerous ways, while potentially bringing other strategies up to their level. Once again, with roughly three months between shifts in the Advanced Format the list is relatively gentle, at least compared to years of drastic format shifts gone by; I think it’s fair to say that the … Continue reading

YCS Lima Top 4: Dragon Shaddolls

Boyajian Headshot

So, I caved. If you’ve been following along and read my last piece on Shaddolls you know that I went abroad to explore Peru and play in YCS Lima. Up to the point when that article was written, Shaddolls hadn’t made nearly as big of an impact as they have now, so there was less of a consensus about what deck was the best in the format. My theory circle, or triangle I guess, consisted of just Jeff Jones, Billy … Continue reading

Comparing YCS Toronto and YCS Madrid: Side Deck Tech For The New Format?

Jason Headshot

Though YCS Toronto and YCS Madrid took place on the same weekend, and both tournaments were won by Shaddolls, the two tournaments were actually hugely different. While the Top 4 of YCS Madrid was pure Shaddolls, they were all acknowledged versions of the deck: Artifact Shaddolls took three top spots and Dragon Shaddolls took the remaining seat. Toronto was different: Satellarknights took a Top 4 slot, while the three remaining Top 4 spots went to Combo Shaddolls (Marc Carisse), Outstanding … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Koa’ki Meiru Drago Rulers

Boyajian Headshot

Regardless of what the best deck in the format may be, it’s often a strategy based around either Light or Dark monsters. The Satellarknight deck invests minimally for big gains, and slowly closes its grip on your opponent’s throat with efficient traps. Both Burning Abyss and Shaddolls are significantly more combo-oriented, with high-impact synergies driving big plays that usually make winning pretty easy if they work. So with a format focusing on those three centerpieces, how can you best take … Continue reading

Crazy For DUEA: Black Garden Benkei

Jason Headshot

In two weeks the Advanced Format will roll over into the October 1st list, but as I’m writing this we have no idea what that new Format will actually look like. I’m personally expecting the next play environment to look a lot like this one: right now we’ve got three top decks, none of which are degenerate and all of which emanate from Duelist Alliance. If I was calling the shots, I’d be pretty happy with the state of things … Continue reading

Analyzing Options: Shaddolls

Boyajian Headshot

Like most things, I try to approach Yu-Gi-Oh! as logically as possible. If I can draw rational conclusions that make sense logically, than the theory should be correct and that’s how things should work out in practice, right? That’s actually something I’m not quite sure of anymore; not because I don’t still believe that. But recently I’ve felt my logical conclusions have been very different from the real-world results I’ve been seeing in testing. As I’m writing this YCS Toronto, … Continue reading