Exploring the Format: Artifact Shaddolls

Boyajian Headshot

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

Jason Headshot

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

Boyajian Headshot

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

Boyajian Headshot

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

Boyajian Headshot

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

Boyajian Headshot

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

Jason Headshot

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

Analyzing Options: Beating Nekroz

Boyajian Headshot

Knowing how to beat the best deck in the format is probably the most important piece of information you can have when competing in tournaments, so today I’m going to focus on the best cards you can play in the Nekroz match-up. Strategy-wise, there isn’t really anything special you can do. Playing around Nekroz of Trishula is important, and I’ll get into that, but unlike a more linear strategy like Satellarknights or Qliphorts, there isn’t some magic strategy to give … Continue reading

Analyzing Options: Building Nekroz

Boyajian Headshot

With the release of Secret Forces, Nekroz is looking to not only be the front runner of the format, but also the handsdown deck to beat. I’d argue that it’s probably the third best deck of all time if you’re excluding FTK strategies, right behind Dragon Ruler and Prophecy respectively. Regardless, building the deck’s quite interesting. Much like Dragon Ruler there’s a pretty large core of must-play cards, but from there you’re free to fill the rest of the deck … Continue reading

Seven Last Minute Tech Cards For The YCS Weekend!

Jason Headshot

With the days and hours ticking down to YCS Tacoma this weekend, more results from big events keep pouring in. Deck lists continue to emerge from YCS Charleston; last weekend saw three Regional Qualifiers in Toronto, West Allis, and Las Vegas; and ARGCS State Championships added to the buzz in dozens of venues. The result is a ton of info for competitors to sift through as we brace for the impact of The Secret Forces. While the Nekroz threat looms … Continue reading