Exploring the Format: The New Darklords

With Destiny Soldiers released, Darklords now have enough support to push them into the competitive spotlight. With an abundance of draw and search power the deck’s not only consistent, it has a ton of powerful, high-impact effects that you can reuse over and over very efficiently. All of that sounds like a recipe for a winning strategy to me, and if you think Darklords won’t take at least a couple Top Cut slots in upcoming tournaments then you’re definitely mistaken. … Continue reading

Analyzing Options: Paleozoic Frogs

Paleozoics are really interesting. We’ve neveretr seen a trap monster strategy have any real tournament success, but Paleozoics are so different on a base mechanical level that I had to pick them up. I don’t think straight Paleozoics are good enough to find tournament success, simply because they can’t do enough as a reactive strategy, but the easy way to solve that problem is to combine them with the Frog engine. Toadally Awesome’s one of the sweetest cards from Invasion: … Continue reading

YCS 1st Place: Thomas Rose’s Burning Abyss Phantom Knights

ABC-Dragon Buster debuted at YCS Liverpool, and surprisingly it didn’t win the Championship. The ABC strategy was expected to become the be-all end-all, but it fell short as players focused on finding tech to beat it. Thomas Rose piloted a Burning Abyss variant specifically targeted to beat the Union Machine menace, and he was rewarded with a 1st Place finish for his efforts. Burning Abyss Phantom Knights is widely recognized as one of the most consistent strategies in the format. … Continue reading

Looking Ahead: New Metalfoes

Metalfoes have had quite a dominating performance thus far. Taking down a UDS Invitational and two YCS tournaments since their release, the strategy has a lot of inherent traits that synergize with Pendulums. Destroying your own cards to search more cards is solid, but as we saw with Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer, when you’re destroying Pendulums to get more cards it can get downright unfair. Instead of making 1-for-1 trades, you fill your Extra Deck while searching card for free, setting … Continue reading

Looking Ahead: Toadally Awesome

I genuinely loved to play Frogs; it has to rank in my top five favorite decks of all time. Obviously Frog FTK being broken had a bit to do with that, but the diversity of play coupled with the fact that I was dueling with ridiculous looking Frog cards was just awesome. While I don’t think there’s going to be a big Frog resurgence, I do think that Toadally Awesome is going to have a huge impact on competition when … Continue reading

Looking Ahead: Pot of Avidity

When Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries was first revealed, I thought Yu-Gi-Oh! would change forever. So many strategies rely on specific Extra Deck cards to function, and usually the most powerful competitive decks do that the most. It makes sense that the best decks are the ones trying to do something really powerful with a particular Extra Deck Monster. If the card you rely on is in your Extra Deck, you can get to it every game really reliably rather … Continue reading

Double Regional Top 8 Profile: Brethren Majespecters

Ties of the Brethren arrived last week in Legendary Decks II, and it didn’t just debut as the number-one bestselling card in the set – it also had an immediate tournament impact. While you can play Brethren in a wide variety of decks, both mainstream and niche, it was an immediate point of innovation for astute Majespecter players. It carried at least three Majespecter decks to Regional Top 8 showings its first weekend out. Though Majespecters got off to a … Continue reading

Analyzing Options: Beating ABC-Dragon Buster

Well, Kaiba’s done it again. The new ABC theme is real, and it meets every expectation I had and more. The deck’s goals are very simple, but its sheer power level is way beyond those of the current top strategies. It’s definitely going to be the best deck once the necessary cards are released in Structure Deck: Seto Kaiba, and Metalfoes are the only other strategy anywhere close, thanks to support from Invasion: Vengeance. The key to ABC’s success is … Continue reading

Looking Ahead: Dimensional Boundary

Generic cards that can be used in any strategy are always worth looking at. Recent sets have been more focused towards themes with the most powerful cards typically belonging to specific archetypes, but sometimes we get cards that every deck can use to really up their game. Look at Pot of Desires, Twin Twisters, and Solemn Strike; they’re all really powerful, and Twin Twisters has gone so far as to warp the format while Pot of Desires is an absolute … Continue reading

Regional Top 8 Double Profile: Dark Synchro and Evil Empowering Pendulums

While we’re only heading into the third weekend of Regional Qualifiers so far this format, we’ve seen some really cool decks and some equally impressive innovations to previous strategies. While Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Burning Phantom Knight variants are just as popular as many expected, the changes to the format really opened up a lot of possibilities; both for old decks to see more play, and for new strategies we’ve never really seen before. And that wasn’t just because the … Continue reading