YCS Prague 1st Place: Joshua Schmidt’s 60-Card Paleozoic Frogs

The March 17th weekend was huge. We had a YCS in Prague as well as Guatemala, plus a UDS Invitational in Las Vegas, each with some pretty crazy storylines. After Paleozoic Frogs took down YCS Atlanta in a format dominated by Zoodiacs, suddenly there was a lot to figure out; Paleozoic Frogs were one of the few strategies that didn’t use Zoodiac Ratpier in any way. The same strategy almost won the UDS Invitational before getting blown out in Game … Continue reading

Analyzing Options: Nekroz July 2015 F&L

With the release of the most recent Forbidden and Limited list, I strongly believe that Nekroz is still the best deck going into the beginning of this format. Clash of Rebellions introduces new cards, but how much that set actually impacts competition, we’ll have to see. There are a ton of super powerful splashable cards that just about anyone can use – Archfiend Eccentrick and Mistaken Arrest are good examples – but other than that there’s nothing too bonkers. The … Continue reading

Looking Ahead: Counterattacking “C”

Having the tools to beat Nekroz is an absolute must in current competition; it has been since the strategy debuted. The deck’s simply on another level, excelling in both consistency and resource management without sacrificing power level or flexibility. However, the best choices to counter Nekroz can change based on several factors, often what your specific strategy is trying to do, or how format trends are developing. It’s important to be ahead of the curve, because Nekroz players will be … Continue reading

Preparing For The WCQ: The Nekroz Main Deck

For as long as I can remember, there’s been an argument about whether tournaments in established or newer, un-established formats are more skill intensive. But one thing’s for certain: each take their own specific type of preparation. In an un-established format you typically just try to play the most powerful strategy and go from there; if you know that your deck can do lots of awesome stuff and isn’t easily teched by popular cards, then you’ll probably be pretty successful. … Continue reading

Effect Veiler Is The Place To Be

Rarely do I find a card that I think solves every problem I’m having in a format; typically trends shift pretty fast, and those rare few cards that do seem to solve everything tend to be really effective one moment, then less effective the next depending on what’s going on in competition. But looking at the format for the 150th YCS in Columbus and the North American WCQ this year, I think Effect Veiler’s going to be the most played … Continue reading

Investigating The Top Cut: YCS Tech Options For Nekroz

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

Side Deck Tech: Which Cards Hit Big Off DRLG?

Whenever a new set drops the play environment shifts and new strategies emerge. That means competitors change their Main Decks, either by taking up new strategies entirely or by adapting their existing decks to better fit new trends. It’s pretty common to see people talking about which decks are “The New Big Three” in the wake of a new release or even a big event, and the first thing most people want to see after a Championship-level tournament is which … Continue reading

What’s Underrated In The New Format?

We’ve only been writing on the upcoming January 1st format for a few days here on the CoreTCG Blog, but a lot of our focus has rested on surprises: the strategies most players aren’t seeing yet; the conclusions that were jumped to a little too quickly; and the interactions that might not be so obvious. In my article earlier this week I zeroed in on two big decks that were largely being ignored – even scoffed at: Mermails and the … Continue reading

The Issue In Hand – Effect Veiler, Maxx “C”, & Swift Scarecrow

Hand traps are very interesting because their roles shift drastically every format. We can look at last format as a pretty good example of one end of the spectrum: the best deck – Dragon Rulers – generally played six to seven hand traps. [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd], [ccProd]Maxx “C”[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Swift Scarecrow[/ccProd] were arguably some of the most important cards in competition because the Dragon Ruler mirror was so important. [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd] could completely open the game for you, baiting your opponent to make … Continue reading

Still Underrated: Mist Bird Clausolas

It’s been almost two months since the official release of Judgment of the Light, but many duelists are still discovering the real power of its more understated cards.  While JOTL’s full of hidden gems and themed-out highlights, there’s another class of cards that’s off in its own category: splashable picks that are obviously noteworthy, but that most players don’t make room for, don’t experiment with, or don’t really understand until they give them some rigorous testing.  If you get how … Continue reading