Exploring the Format: Zoodiacs Post MACR

With all the hype surrounding True Kings and True Dracos, it doesn’t seem like Zoodiacs are getting the attention that they should with the cards they gain from Maximum Crisis. It might not seem like much, but Zoodiac Chakanine unlocks all of the combos that were lost once Zoodiac Ratpier was Semi-Limited, all on its own. We saw just how dominant Zoodiacs were when Ratpier was unrestricted, and a competitive shift thanks to Maximum Crisis positions the strategy exactly where … Continue reading

Tech Update: Looking Back at YCS Denver

With the release of Duelist Saga and a new Forbidden & Limited list, it was unclear what would take the top spots at YCS Denver. The previous format had been interesting, to say the least. Zoodiacs seemed to be the one dominating force at first glance, but we quickly saw just how well Paleozoics could combat them. As the weeks went on 60-Card strategies continued to gain momentum; That Grass Looks Greener was practically a one-card win condition, generating a … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Blue-Eyes White Dragon

Prior to Structure Deck: Seto Kaiba and Invasion: Vengeance, Blue-Eyes White Dragon was quite the force in the competitive scene. Accelerating huge monsters into play is a good way to win, and the Blue-Eye strategy was really consistent with its high number of draw cards and search effects. The deck slams down threats quickly and often. But ABC-Dragon Buster, Metalfoes, and Paleozoics really raised the bar in terms of power level. Each of those decks can snowball out of control … Continue reading

YCS Anaheim 1st Place: Elvis Vu’s Brilliant ABC’s

If you asked anyone before YCS Anaheim, they would’ve told you that ABC-Dragon Buster was the deck to beat. There are three big things that the ABC deck has going for it, the first being the power level of ABC-Dragon Buster. No other monster can remove threats as well as Dragon Buster can, and the additional effect to tag itself out and Special Summon the monsters you brought it out with with makes it really resilient. In addition to that, … Continue reading

YCS Top 32: Sandro Ficini’s Cyber Herald

YCS Toronto and YCS Rimini were held the same weekend, both under the old Forbidden & Limited list. While that would normally render a lot of information from those tournaments irrelevant because there were so many changes, there are always exceptions. One of which was at YCS Rimini, where Sandro Ficini made it all the way to the Top 32 with Cyber Herald! An excuse to write about Herald of Perfection? Sign me up. I tend to get drawn to … Continue reading

For The New Format: Gem-Knight Tellarknights

Tellarknights might be better positioned than some players realize. The moment the latest F&L List was announced and we learned that Nekroz, Burning Abyss, Shaddolls, and Qliphorts were all taking big hits, Tellarknights became a hot topic. While the deck never performed on the level of those four strategies, it was still reliably topping Regionals and YCS events all year, and it’s been a contender since Duelist Alliance dropped back in August of 2014. When Tellarknights won the 2015 World … Continue reading

Analyzing Options: Building Nekroz

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

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

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

Crazy For DUEA: Black Garden Benkei

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

Beating Ice Hand And Fire Hand

Ice Hand and [ccProd]Fire Hand[/ccProd] were everywhere at YCS Philadelphia, and they’ve been everywhere since. The Hands can wipe an established field clean, create massive card advantage and opportunities for huge comebacks, and keep your opponent from attacking you. They buy you time to put together combos; they compensate for when you don’t hit those combos in your early game; and they do the precise opposite to your opponent: against bigger fields, the Hands can put your opponent on a … Continue reading