Tech Update: Looking Back At YCS Atlanta

YCS Atlanta was quite a surprising event. If you’d told anyone before the tournament that not only would Invoked Windwitches be in first place after the Swiss Rounds, but that Paleozoic Frogs would take the whole tournaent, no one would’ve believed you. Zoodiacs still dominated the Top Cut representation just like they did at YCS Seattle, but Paleozoic Frogs managed to be the second most represented strategy with three duelists piloting it to a Top Cut finish. A lot can … Continue reading

Analyzing Options: Building Zoodiacs

Zoodiacs are by far the best splashable engine in the game today. The core Zoodiac combo can take as little as one card to pull off, so many players choose to play Zoodiacs just because they offer you so much for such little investment. Zoodiac Ratpier’s the key to all of it, turning a single monster into a Zoodiac Drident plus another Rank 4 of your choice. The disruption of Zoodiac Drident’s effect is huge, and that other Rank 4 … Continue reading

Exploring the Format: Artifact Shaddolls

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

Analyzing Options: Artifact Lancea and the Artifact Engine

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

How To Beat: Qliphort – Strategy And Siding

If there’s one deck that I’m really starting to not enjoy, it’s Qliphort…or we can just call it Satellarknight 2.0. Don’t get me wrong, even though I’m not particularly the biggest fan of the deck, Qliphort is pretty good and as long as it remains popular you’re going to have to worry about it. The most appealing aspect of the strategy is its consistency; Qliphort Scout opens up everything you can want, and with Summoner’s Art, Saqlifice, and Odd-Eyes Pendulum … Continue reading

What I Would Play For YCS Anaheim 2014: Artifact Shaddolls

Even though I won’t be competing in Anaheim, I’ve tested more for this event than I have in a long time. New Challengers is a really exciting set because it redefined the format so much, even though the two best decks remain the same. Both Shaddolls and Burning Abyss are almost completely different strategies than we knew before, and Qliphorts have become a very popular deck, to say the least. As I write this Burning Abyss and Qliphorts are both … Continue reading

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

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

Analyzing Options: Shaddolls

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

Building Batterymen!

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

YCS Top 16 – Mike Albanese’s Traptrix Hand Artifacts

The new Traptrix Hand Artifact deck placed four competitors into the Top 32 of YCS Philadelphia – only Geargia won more seats in the playoffs, as the new Artifact deck surpassed Madolches, Infernities, Bujins, Mermails, and Evilswarm. It’s a robust control deck that’s very good at building card advantage, very good at reacting to the opponent’s moves, and very good at creating simplifying 1-for-1’s that run the opponent out of cards. One of the biggest advantages the strategy offered was … Continue reading