Building Batterymen!

Amanda Profile

HAT’s, SAT’s, BAT’s… deck names these days seem to be imitating the uniformity of 1st-grade rhyme books. But with Artifacts, Traptrix and Hands’ incredibly adaptable and easy to splash into other strategies, it’s almost difficult to avoid adopting at least some of those acronyms when you go to build a deck. And it makes sense. Instead of traditional backrow, cards like the Artifacts supplement the role of traditional defensive spell and trap lineups for decks that can benefit heavily from … Continue reading

Exploring the Format – Satellarknights

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As different formats have come and gone, we’ve seen quite a few control strategies become the number one “deck to beat” of their eras. The +1 Fire Fist deck and Geargia variants of past formats are great examples: they both used effects that gain you a ton of card economy, while playing efficient reactive cards to keep the game. The scariest part about these types of strategies though is how consistent they are: if you happened to draw a poor … Continue reading

Analyzing Differences: Shaddolls – OCG Vs. TCG

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With Duelist Alliance now released in the TCG, we can finally play the strategy that’s basically been the deck to beat since its release in Asia’s OCG: Shaddolls. Quite possibly the most hyped competitive force since Dragon Rulers and Prophecy, the Shaddoll deck’s a graveyard-centric Dark strategy that gets a ton of bonuses when each of its monsters are sent to the yard by a card effect. Unlike other less consistent graveyard strategies – I’m looking at you, Lightsworn – … Continue reading

Crazy For DUEA: Fresh Prince Skull Servants!

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Duelist Alliance is fascinating from a competitive perspective, because it introduces three new themes that could all turn out to be tournament-level strategies. As I write this, DUEA is tournament-legal for the first time this weekend, and players across the globe are taking Shaddolls, Satellarknights, and Yang Zings to tournaments hoping that their strategy’s the next big thing. One, or maybe two competitive front-runners in a new set? We’ve seen that before, though most named themes tend to start off … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Prophecy

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I write about Prophecy a few times every year, pretty much for one reason: it’s very difficult to lose when you’re playing Prophey and draw well. Sure, any deck can win the games where they get a tremendous opening hand, but I’m using the term “draw well” pretty loosely here. A good hand for Prophecy is basically any ahnd that lets you do something, whether that be Spellbook of Secrets and a Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, or just a Justice … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Bujins

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As the current era of dueling pre-Duelist Alliance comes to a close, it seems like we’re still far from putting a label on it. Every tournament has shown that some deck you might’ve underestimated was actually pretty good, and even something you might’ve written off before could’ve surprised you. The more I play and the more I get involved in the game, the more I’ve come to realize that players don’t tend to explore as much as they should – … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Dragon Ruler Turbo

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Regardless of how hard Dragon Rulers get hit, it seems like they’ll be a competitive force until they’re Forbidden. Summoning huge Dragons for the cost of a couple monsters in your graveyard seems look a pretty good way to win, especially when you have a ton of draw power to go along with it. The newer Dragon Ruler variants specialize in just that: they tear through your deck while filling your graveyard with resources, and then aim to resolve a … Continue reading

Top Cut Tech Highlights For The New Format!

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While the 2014 WCQ season is now over and the World Championship looms on the horizon, we’re awaiting the results from dozens of major unsanctioned tournaments held this past weekend. The first big crush of information regarding the new format and the recent changes to the game are still waiting in the wings, so for now I want to take one last look back at the North American WCQ, to spot the little innovations that could determine the future of … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Jeff Jones’ Koa’ki Meiru Fire Fist

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If there’s one thing about Jeff Jones that separates him from the rest of the pact, it’s his ability to innovate. Whenever he enters a tournament it’s very rare to see him play a mainstream strategy; rather he finds comfort in taking on decks that people haven’t really seen before and trying to break them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but the majority of the time it seems to be the latter. His choice for the NAWCQ was no … Continue reading

The Real Meaning Of The First Turn No-Draw Rule

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The past week heralded what might be the biggest single change to the Yu-Gi-Oh! game system we’ve ever seen. The structure of Turn 1 has been static for twelve years; it’s remained the same through format changes, alternate modes of play like Draft and Sealed, and it’s survived countless tweaks of mechanics and card text. For all the changes that have been wrought upon the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG over the past decade-plus, the actual way we play the game turn by … Continue reading