Why Yugioh (and honestly card games) died for me in 2018. Post YCS Secaucus and NAWCQ Experience

I’ve been putting this off for awhile. Days, then weeks and finally months because I didn’t want to admit it to myself. Like a spouse in an unfulfilled marriage, I just kept going along because I feared change more than a stagnant lifestyle. While melodramatic that’s basically how Yugioh has been for me since YCS Secaucus way back in May of this year. Konami made the correct decision to ban Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King and with it killed my ability to win at the game with relative ease. Ever since then I grew more and more frustrated as my tier one deck became a high functioning rogue deck. To make matters worse, the community further deteriorated due to new time rules at events, toxic gameplay and unsurprisingly far greater powercreep. However, I’ve been feeling hostile to not just Yugioh, but Magic the Gathering also. I feel obligated to force out an event summary for the last three events I went to because they both changed my opinion on the game. That being said as a basic TLDR for everyone in case it was not obvious: this blog is probably dying because I’m tentatively done with card games.

Also disclaimer: I wrote this as I thought it so instead of prose it just sounds like how I talk. I apologize for how awkward it may be. Also I wrote this under a lot of stress so there may be some typos and such… Yeah I’m doing a great job hyping this. Woohoo…)

 

Event Summary

Well after dropping that casual bombshell I’m going to fly through these event summaries because they can all be summed up in 3 short words:

“I scrubbed out”

And while you can easily just say “ah you’re quitting because you’re bad at the game” I don’t see it that way actually. I see it as I have a ceiling with which I’m willing to play the game. I  never play-tested online since coming back into the game competitively a few months ago because it’s not fun for me. I never go to locals because the uber ride is expensive and I honestly have disdain for the players at said locals. For these reasons I admitted to myself that I would have a hard time beating players who made this game their life. I got as far as I did mostly from a solid understanding of my deck and frankly in hindsight luck. Masterpeace was a win condition. Most games pre-banlist were basically just… did they have an out? Without him everything became hard. Maybe my lack of practice finally got me, but I definitely didn’t win as often playing floodgate control despite how good Dinomight Knight is. Anyway, I should turbo through these events already. Luckily, since they maybe my last post I have pictures to offer!

YCS Secaucus

fixed venue

This was an event that we drove too following the release of Dark Saviors. Two of my friends had the deck while I was playing True Draco. I won’t lie. I really wanted to play Sky Strikers. I think the deck is really cool, but I was not willing to pony up the $500 needed to get 3 copies of Sky Striker Mobilize Engage and 3 Sky Striker Mecha Widow Anchor. This tournament (right in my home state actually) would be the beginning of my downward spiral toward hating this game.

 

Round 1: Vs Chain Burn…

No Yugioh player ever wants to play against Chain Burn. Much less in the first round of an event when you’re not expecting it. Game 1 I lost to getting burned out. Games 2 and 3 I made a lot of cute plays to avoid burn damage (like using Waterfall of Dragon Souls to sack off my targeted monster to draw cards!), but game 3 he still managed to ruin my day.

Loss 1-2

Round 2: Vs Sky Striker Pure

This matchup was my first time seeing how hard the pure sky striker matchup was. Basically if they resolved Afterburners the tempo loss actually just wrecked me. Anti-spell wasn’t even good enough since my deck couldn’t even OTK. Game 1 he wipes out all of my cards so I lose. Game 2 I somehow outgrind him and win. Game 3 I narrowly beat him in a simplified gamestate.

Win 2-1

Round 3: Vs Altergeist

This was a horrible match or rather game. This guy was playing the trap Scrubbed Raid (named appropriately for any player actually using it) he was able to engineer a gamestate totally by accident due to his annoyed demeanor where I could never attack, but he could never out my board. In hindsight I should’ve surrendered because we started game 2 as they called time in the round so I lost.

Loss 0-1

Round 4 No Show…

Round 5: Vs Sky Striker Dark Magician

Game 1 I utterly rekt him with floodgates. Game 2 he draws half his deck with Spellbook of Wisdom into Sky Striker Mobilize Engage and I die. We draw due to the new time rules as we start game 3 in time…

Draw

Round 6: Vs Sky Striker Lair Monarchs

This was the only match of the event that made me happy. I was able to resolve Mettatron the 12th the true dracocombatent to summon Superheavy Samurai Steam Train King. He ran over his Ether, the Heavenly Monarch and then banished my opponent’s graveyard for over 4000 damage total.

Win 2-0

Round 7: Vs Pure Sky Strikers

I got outgrinded twice…

Loss 0-2

Round 8 Another No Show…

Round 9: Vs Altergeist

There was somehow a repair this round as if to add insult to the injury that we were playing Yugioh at 9pm despite the new EOM procedures. I beat my opponent in 2 fair back and forth games. Nothing much to say here.

Win 2-0

fixed results

Somehow with my stellar record of 5-1-3 I got around 260th place out of 1306 players. This is the crutch I still use to try and justify how terribly I did at this event. I got 2 whole byes, which while they helped my score only left me feeling that I didn’t even earn this paltry score…

I might as well give my thoughts on the end of match procedures now since they were first tested at this event and I sent the day discussing them with many players and even a judge. Every player I spoke with hated them. The judge liked them. I felt that they had a good intention, but failed to do their job. Matches still went into overtime that lasted up to an hour. Players began to side deck burn cards just so they could win in whatever phase time was called in. The worst part is that they caused players to game the system by slowplaying. I agree fully that something has to be down to make Yugioh events not end at midnight, but that the new rules at their onset totally failed to do so. My opinions actually changed as I write presently, but more on that later.

As a final aside I want to shoutout my friends at Drexel who won the School Duel on Day 2 of the YCS, my parents for letting us spend the night at my old house after day 1 and this one dude I ran into cosplaying Weevil Underwood at the venue.

fixed novelty

 

ARG Atlantic City

Following Secaucus, my group united to go to ARG Atlantic City since one of our friends had a contact who could get us a free hotel room for one night. We went in Friday night and had one of most fun nights of Yugioh goat control, beer and debauchery that I’ve ever been a part of. It was truly superb.

fixed goats night 1

I don’t think I’ve ever posted about it on the blog, but I love Yugioh goat control. It’s all that I love about the game. It’s a back and forth, slow grindy format where card advantage and value matter the most (or just jamming like a madman and hoping you win). I would go more in-depth, but this is already likely going to be my longest post so let’s just call it “old school” Yugioh, but an actual competitive format. My friends and I play it often to unwind and gamble a few bucks!

fixed goats 2

 

The Actual Event:

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So by this point the format was solved with Gouki and Trickstar Sky Striker as the two best decks. My draco deck on the fringes once more, I tried to jam as much hate for the meta decks as possible.

fixed decklist

Round 1: Vs Gouki

Game 1 my opponent Extra-Linked me and I surrendered. Game 2 we grinded and I beat him. Game 3 we grinded, but they called time while I had more life so I won. My opponent refused to shake my hand after the match lamenting that the new time rules stole the game from him. Admittedly had our game dragged on he would’ve probably won. Still this made a lasting negative impression on my since the new rules were in turn leading to poor sportsmanship…

Win 2-1

Round 2: Vs Pure Sky Striker

Game 1 I did beat my opponent off the back of floodgates. Game 2 we entered a grind game and I lost. Game 3 I made a single misplay by killing my opponent’s Decode Talker instead of their hornet bit token (which I thought was a Phantom Skyblaster token). This gave them the ability to out my board and beat me. This match taught me that the Sky Striker match-up was indeed winnable, but that I could not make a single mistake at any point or else I would auto-lose.

Round 3: Vs Mekk Knight Invoked

Game 1 bricked opening Inspector Boarder and all Draco spells so I lost without any counterplay. Game 2 I bricked again. This was both mentally excruciating and also funny since my opponent was the same Mekk-Knight Invoked player I gave the win to at the last Philly Regional so he could get his invite…

Round 4: Vs Trickstar Sky Striker

We grind game 1 and I won in the end. He takes game 2 and ultimately beats me in time game 3.

Loss 1-2

Round 5: Vs The Most Confident Gouki Player in History

Game 1 he Extra Links me and I scoop. Game 2 we grind and I win. Game 3 we both open unplayable hands and I make Beelze and hit him until he loses…

fixed brick

This was my opening hand and my first two draws…

He opened double Gouki Rematch and his own Cherries, which he used to removed MY ISOLDE…

Despite winning this match I was so frustrated I dropped from the event after this round.

Win 2-1 -> Drop

 

ARG Win a Mat 

I was given access to unlimited side events so I ended a win a mat while my friends continued in the main event. I think I tweaked my deck, but all I remember is putting Inspector Boarder in the side deck.

Round 1: Vs Tramids

I gave my opponent the utmost respect and did everything in my power to utterly destroy him. He was taking advantage of Neo Spacian Grand Mole at 3 and used it to bounce my monsters, but he couldn’t keep up with me in damage output both games.

Win 2-0

Round 2: Vs Gouki FTK

I had the most outlandish talkative opponent this round (which I only won due to the dieroll). Game 1 we grind and I win. Game 2 I flip Rivalry of Warlords and he fails to out it. We had so much witty banter that you would think we were old friends and not tournament rivals. He said and I quote, “I thought we were friends!” in response to me flipping up Rivalry. It was a surprisingly fun experience that never expected to have playing against an FTK deck.

Win 2-0

Round 3: Vs Altergeist

Game 1 he starts to out advantage me so I scoop. Game 2 I beat him using Inspector Boarder which locked out his monster effects. Game 3 he plays right into my Evenly Matched and never recovered from it.

Win 2-1

And so I won the event and received the 2016 ARG mat!

fixed mat

I actually really like this mat (I’m a sucker for stained glass!). This was my highlight of the actual ARG and my best tournament result in the last three months of Yugioh).

Last thing to note was that after my friends also scrubbed out we had another night of Yugioh, beer and goats (in a new hotel room) which was once again amazing!

fixed goats night 2

We ended up playing goats so late that night that we gave up on attending the Day 2 of the ARG and went back to Philly after sleeping in.

 

NAWCQ

And we’ve reached it the highest tier of Yugioh and personally I first time in my life I really traveled for it. We went to Fort Worth Texas for the World Championship Qualifier!

fixed trip

While there I ended up making a crucial mistake which allowed me a major insight as a Yugioh player and as a human being.

fixed venue texas

So one of friends after failing to win the Last Chance Qualifier at YCS Secaucus allowed me to borrow his expensive Trickstar Sky Striker cards so I could play the deck. Basically to make a long story short I was awful with the deck (that I picked up the Thursday night before we left for Texas. I couldn’t win a single game and got overly frustrated even trying to play the deck. My lack of playtesting combined with my disdain for the deck’s playstyle got me burned out (no pun intended) on it after barely an hour of practice.

 

Round 1: Vs Light of Sekka Burning Abyss

Game 1 he beats me quickly. Game 2 I beat him. Game 3 I had game through his board of Dante, and double Black Luster Soldier, but I forgot my own Psyframe lord Omega return effect which prevented me from making Borreload Dragon…

So I lost…

Loss 1-2

And then after round 1 of the North American World Championship Qualifier I dropped from the event and sold all of my expensive cards to the vendors.

.

..

Crazy huh?

Travelling halfway across the country to play Yugioh and then basically rage quitting immediately? I know it sounds pretty bad, but I realized that if I wasn’t having fun there was literally no reason to play. I wish I had just played True Draco wherein even if I lost I’d at least enjoy the deck that I was playing. Trickstar Sky Striker with proper practice would’ve likely allowed me to do well at the event, but as I never bother to practice anyway there really was no chance of that. And with my Ash Blossoms, Borreload, Isolde and Saryuya Skull Dread all sold my foray into competitive Yugioh had at last ended.

 

The Aftermath

So you might be thinking that my Nats trip was a disaster after dropping so early. Quite the contrary in fact, I had a blast. While I was saddened by my mistake I made the most of it and indulged in pure Yugioh madness.

First of all I got pretty decent prizes for… well just showing up actually (not the card though, I bought that).

fixed swag

I received the qualifier mat, a pack of sleeves and…

\fixed swag 2

A Millennium item die!

Now these may not seem like much, but the whole event people were trying to buy and trade for them. The vendors were offering $65 for the mat, die and sleeves. Some of the better Millennium items like the Puzzle were selling for even more. One of my friends opened a misprinted gold Puzzle which he sold for $150!

Here are some the things I saw at the event:

fixed big card\

(Giant card structure deck duels)

fixed jaden

(Character pillars)

fixed DL

(Duel Links Previews)

fixed table 500

While a terrible meme I was amused to find Table 500

fixed hoc

I got a card autographed by House of Champs’ John Moore! (I wish I brought a sharpie for more autographs…)

 

Duelist League…

I also entered a few side events!

Which were run HORRIBLY!

I entered a $2 Duelist League tournament, but it started without me. Annoyed I entered another one (receiving an entry card for each attempt) and got to have some meme matches with my beloved True Draco deck.

Round 1: Vs Trickstar Burn

My opponent was the girlfriend of a guy I traded with earlier while wondering the venue. He was cheering her on along with her other friends during the match. She did not seem to know what she was doing playing a burn focused Trickstar deck with Contract with Don Thousand. I beat her game 1, but our game took forever. Game 2 she used Trickstar Reincarnation to banish all of my Draco monsters, but Dinomight Knight preventing me from actually closing the duel so we drew in time as she had much more life.

Draw

Round 2: Vs Cyber Dragons

I 2-0’ed this guy so fast that we kept playing for fun afterwards until he finally beat me with Waking the Dragon (which I had no outs to the Raid Raptor Ultimate Falcon).

Win 2-0

Round 3: Vs Gouki

Game 1 he makes a weird board (funny how anything less than an Extra Link just seems quaint), but he sniped my hand with Neo Spacian Aqua Dolphin so I couldn’t break his board. Game 2 he twin twistered my Rivalry and OTK’d me through Shared Ride…

Yugioh is a fun game…

I kid you not…

At the time of writing this I haven’t played it since.

Loss 0-2

Anyway the reason the side event was so poor was that our Judge was also judging 3 other events all running at the same time so he was not there to give rulings or ensure that the  rounds progressed…

 

VA Duel

fixed va duel

The high point of the weekend was watching the incredibly bizarre Voice Actor duel between Jean Claude Magnum and Zigfreid Von Schroeder. Yeah you heard that right. The guy who lost to Mai Valentine in ep 80 and never seen again vs the villain from the filler arc who tried to hack Kaiba’s computer. Somehow they were able to make this a very engaging, funny and epic duel.

And that was it…

My friends all scrubbed out and we went home.

 

Final Thoughts 

So I should close this nonsense by giving a final explanation of what I learned. I didn’t enjoy playing Yugioh after Master Peace got banned and I couldn’t win anymore. I only enjoyed hanging out with the friends I made through the game (and still do) because I really enjoy these people. Yugioh is a part of my life. I’ll never truly quit it (at worst I’ll keep playing Duel Links on my phone) . I also don’t want to risk the friendships that the game has given me. So I’ll keep my True Draco deck or some other semi-functional jank deck together that can steal a game off a meta deck if the stars align. Maybe if the game got cheaper, the format became less stale or they printed a new archetype that I wanted to play I’d be more excited, but right now the future seems  pretty bleak. Granted as I write this, it’s the off season with no events, but I can’t see myself running back to competitive Yugioh even when they finally reprint Ash Blossom as a tin promo finally crashing her insane price.

Oh and as for the EOM procedures, the Yugioh community despite hating them have gotten used to them now so there’s no reason to really complain. The format has shifted to decks that can win while wasting time (Gouki) or deal at lot of damage quickly (Trickstar Sky Striker). This has just made life harder for trap card based decks, which doesn’t do me any favors since I like playing those type of decks.

 

Why are cards games dead for me overall though? 

Well it’s pretty clear that the only ones I play are Yugioh and Magic. And I realized long ago that I was only playing Magic because I had a few friends who played it. If my buddy doesn’t go to Friday Night Magic I don’t go. It’s that simple. I never edit my deck except for an hour before heading to FNM. I never even bothered to learn my deck’s own combos because I really don’t care. I’ve lost many games of Commander due to simply not knowing how to win. And even if I stop playing Yugioh there’s no reality that I would replace it with Magic. To be clear I feel the same way I do about Goats as I do with playing Commander with my friends, it’s a blast and I enjoy it. That being said I have even less desire to play against strangers or even consider playing it competitively.

Also I realized recently that for too long my life as been completely linked to trading card games. That’s all people would say there is to me. That upsets me now and makes me want to change myself… or at the least try to.

Nothing is 100%. Maybe I’ll want to play competitively again when Ash is a tin promo, or when Firewall Dragon is finally banned (Decode Talker is the real Vrains ace monster after all!). But at the moment I’m going to try and find a new direction for my life. I’ll still have decks to play, but it’s no longer something I’m really actively thinking about.

I don’t expect anyone to have read this far (nor do I really want anyone to). Though if you did thank you sincerely for patronizing this blog which many times I did want to make into a real thing. A mecca of many card games coming together because there is no reason you can’t love many of these games. But time drags on and what was once a fun use of time has now become a tiresome chore. I’m probably going to let the blog die this year. It’s not fun to write about something you have no passion for.

Thanks for coming though. Especially if I change my mind and end up looking like an over-dramatic tool. Seriously though.

Thank you.

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WHAT WOULD MAKE ME QUIT YU-GI-OH FOREVER?!

I’ve told a lot of people this in passing, but I’m not sure if I ever formally put this up on the blog. Basically there is one thing that would make me refuse to ever support Konami again. It’s a very trivial thing compared to the constant powercreep, $60 staple format staples and toxic player-base, but no this one action would enrage me to the point of no return.

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If they ever reprint the Egyptian God cards at common, I will quit Yugioh.

I’ll promptly sell my binder along with all my loose cards and, abandon competitive play (for good) and refuse to ever purchase another Konami product for the rest of my life.

Before recently I thought this would never happen, but after watching the trajectory of the Legendary Decks in terms of common reprints I just can’t ignore the possibility anymore.

(Disclaimer: 2018 will be a series of shorter, more spontaneous blog posts because contrary to my lack of posts I do want to discuss card games. It just always happens when I’m not at my desk with free time. For long time readers of this blog I thank you for bearing with me for all these years. I hope I can continue to offer an interesting look into these hobbies while I have the time for any of them!)

Everything Card Game related I did in October 2017

October was a busy month for me due to adult life so I’m going to slam a bunch of event summaries and photos into this one post. I honestly wish I posted more, but here’s what I got.

 

Spyral Fever

So I have to thank the tier 0 nightmare of Spyrals for one of the most fun Yugioh trips I’ve had in ages. Basically as I’m sure you know if you’ve come this far into card gaming chaos that they released a new Yugioh set called Circuit Break and that in this set there was a new card called Spyral Double Helix which propelled the Spyral deck from fun jank deck to tier 0 powerhouse. I had said Spyral deck and had for the first time in ages that opportunity to play a meta Yugioh deck.

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As you probably already know I flipped that deck on ebay immediately right before the set dropped. This funded my trip to New York City to hang out with friends, go to Sneak Peek and ultimately the Brooklyn Regional!

 

Circuit Breaker Sneak Peak

SDC12762

So first of all I need to make the sad declaration that Circuit Break was not kind to me (or most of my crew). I opened 15 sneak peek packs and my best pull was the Ultra Rare RivalArrival card…

 

I didn’t even open enough Altergeists to build a deck, but luckily that was a temporary problem. Being a prominent deck in the new anime I spent the weekend and the rest of the month trading/buying the rest of the deck. I would’ve done the same with the Rokkets, but many of them are Secret Rares so I’m hoping to wait until the Special Edition comes out to lower their prices. 

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Sneak Peek Mat Tournament 

We entered a sneak tournament where my buddies played each other in the finals (we bamboozled the store by having one friend scoop so they could play for the mat later (and let us leave to get dinner).

Round 1 Vs Paleo

Loss 1-2

I got to play against a youtuber (Davinator212) with my Zoodiac Stun deck (don’t try this at home kids). Regrettably I lost in time due to a misplay.

The worst misplay of the day though goes to my buddy who set his Time Pendulumgraph trap card in his Pendulum Scale…

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He went on to lose this match and has been ripped on for it ever since.

 

Goat Format

So due to an increasing disdain with modern yugioh I really got onboard when one of my mates said we should all play goat format. I don’t know if I ever brought this up before, but seems as good a time as ever. Basically goat format is yugioh with the 2004/2005 banlist so the games are glacially slow and reward slow card advantage and grinding. I can safely say these games have been some of my most beloved games of Yugioh. We played quite a bit of goat during the trip so it’s fresh in my mind.

 

Brooklyn Regional

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So the first thing I should say is that I put 0 effort into my deck and scrounged together an ABC deck literally the Saturday before the regional. I also added the additional condition of not borrowing a single card from my friends. Sound hard? Well it was. I played a very bad deck:

20171110_192216

You know the deck is bad when I didn’t even take a photo of it at the venue. Ignore the Dragon’s Ravine and the fact I don’t recall the rest of my extra deck…

Round 1 Vs Pendulum Magician

Loss 0-2

I was completely overwhelmed by what was at the time the best deck.

Round 2 Vs Pendulum Magician

Win 2-1

My opponent made several misplays while his buddies hovered around him.

Round 3 vs Pure True Draco

Loss 0-2

Opened triple Ghost Reaper game 1, my set rotation lock was outed immediately by cosmic cyclone.

Round 4 Vs Lightsworn

Win 2-0

My opponent was not very good, I went out of my way to win with Topological Bomber Dragon for fun.

Round 5 Vs Invoked Draco

Win 2-1

Between his bricks and my decent plays I managed to win.

Round 6 Vs Spellbook True Draco

Loss 1-2

I was getting pretty tired at this point and I couldn’t focus during the duel. Once again the set rotation lock failed.

Round 7 Vs Pure True Draco

Win 2-1

I have no recollection of this match and didn’t make any notes on it…

Round 8 Vs True Draco ABC

Loss 0-2

I opened Oracle of Zefra thus making my combo dead. I got steamrolled.

Round 9 Vs Pure ABC

Win 2-0

I Ghost Reaper’d his Dragon Buster both games. It was pretty anticlimactic.

What this tournament taught me was something I already knew, but never took to heart. I could easily have competitive success in Yugioh if I actually cared to construct a complete deck. I’m not going to say I didn’t make tons of misplays, but after awhile you just get the flow of the game down pat. My deck held me back, but I still got 93rd place.

Highlight of the Regional was definitely getting Italian pro player Marcelo Barberi’s autograph. In hindsight I wish I got a card signed, but I didn’t have a sharpie on me.

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Other than that here are some of the best Yugioh board states I saw/created during the month of October:

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And finally my acquisitions from the Regional/Sneak Peaks:

 

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Magic Standard Showdown?!

My buddy told me that at the Thursday Standard Showdown for Magic that the attendance was so low that they would give us packs just for entering. I threw together a deck of the draft bulk I found at the store, bought a few more copies of Lord of the Accursed and tadah! Black-White Zombies.

20171110_191809

Unfortunately, a bunch of people showed up and we actually had to play in the tournament…

Round 1 Vs UB Control

Loss 1-2

The mere fact I took a game off a real deck made my heart almost stop. In Oketra’s Name iss actually a really good card.

Round 2

BYE

Round 3 Vs 4 Color EDH Control Stuff

Win 2-1

I played my friend and actually won the match thanks to janky enchantments I sided in.

Round 4 Vs Jund Energy

Loss 0-2

Yeah this wasn’t even a real fight…

And the final joke was that we did get packs just for entering, but our pulls were…

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Yep Standard Showdown, once and never again…

 

And that’s about it for my October adventures is squandering precious resources on shiny cardboard. I’m going to a Yugioh Regional tomorrow so hopefully won’t take me a month to discuss what happened.

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Thanks for reading as usual.

WHY I HAVEN’T POSTED IN MONTHS: SUMMER 2017 AND THE DEATH OF TOOMANYCARDGAMES?!

It’s only due to a mix of sleep deprivation, extreme happiness and slight intoxication that’s finally getting me to address the elephant in the room. I haven’t posted here in almost 2 months. The world of card games has changed while I remained inert and silent. Banlists dropped, formats changes and did buy plenty of product, but I did it all in silence. Why you may ask? Well I realized something pretty important. Trying to play and collect all of these card games was already a pipe dream. Maintaining interest and following set releases is really hard. That’s why I started to branch out and hire guest writers (who I actually paid) to specialize in each game. Still even that was impossible to keep up. What happened to make things so difficult? Well it was quite simple really. I finished college.

During my time in school I could devote my money and far too much of my time to all this card game stuff. Summer 2017 brought me into the world of adulthood wherein even following ONE card game is a challenge. When you combine that with how honestly on the fringe I was with most of these games, it became pretty likely that I wouldn’t be able to follow them. That being said there was a time when I truly cared about this blog. It would be wrong to just let it die quietly.

So here’s:

  • My 5 AM unfiltered thoughts on each card game as of right now
  • Literally every major card game event/thing that happened to me since my last post
  • My thoughts on the recent Yugioh banlists (Can you believe I missed those? Geez)

 

Unfiltered Thoughts: 

Yugioh

My fanatical love of this game and franchise is unquestionable. The floor of my apartment has been coated in Yugioh cards for weeks at a time.

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My collection of anime decks has long surpassed 100 completed decks. I’ve got them all organized by series in the corner of my room now.

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It’s a 100% established fact that Yugioh is my favorite trading card game. I’ve even been dabbling back and forth with meta…

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(aka bricking) but I still consider myself  both a very die-hard and eccentric collector.

Status: Actively Following, Buying, Collecting, Playing

 

Magic the Gathering 

Magic will always be my second favorite game. It has a richness and depth that both intrigues and terrifies me. I know almost every Yugioh that exists. I don’t know half of the Magic cards that exist. Since I moved to my new apartment my Yugioh cads have littered the floor while my Magic cards have gone untouched. I like watching Magic (especially StarCityGames replays) that much I know. However when it comes down to playing it I barely do or try to. All of my passion for

Status: Actively Following Standard and Modern, Infrequent Play due to Yugioh

And now for all of those other games…

 

Pokemon

I have never liked that in Pokemon it feels like comebacks are infrequent. Once you’re losing in prize cards it feels impossible to catch up. And yes I know there are supporter/trainer cards that support the losing player. They just don’t feel like enough to me. Also actually watching Pokemon feels like Legacy or Vintage Magic to me. I just can’t play the game anymore and I haven’t followed it in months. My deck has long since rotated.

Status: Has 2 rotated decks and half a binder, Not Collecting or Playing

 

Force of Will

I honestly loved this game. I gave it a lot of time, money and attention all for it to completely fail me. I sold all but my most beloved cards from the era in which I played. Some swell chap in Germany bought my whole collection on Ebay. I pray those cards are serving him well. I occasionally see spoilers for new cards and to be honest I loved playing Force of Will (my decks still exist), but I don’t think I’ll be playing it ever again.

Status: Morally opposed to it in every way, has a binder and 2 decks as a keepsake

 

Naruto 

Naruto was a weird mix of Pokemon and Magic that I honestly found very enjoyable. Unfortunately Naruto died in like 2013 and there’s no changing that. I only ever had one friend (after Middle school) who played/collected the cards and he’s back in New Jersey. These cards now rest in half of a binder while I ponder how to get rid of my bulk.

Status: Half of keepsake binder and 2 tins of unwanted bulk left

 

My Little Pony 

I never gave this game a fair attempt. We played it incorrectly a few times (trying to force multiplayer), and I think I only played it normally twice. This game was just a bit tedious and the only novelty was that concept of “fighting” with the ponies. Oddly enough all my decks are still built, but this game is likely to waste away in my storage box.

Status: Like 6 decks just lying around

 

Cardfight Vanguard 

I don’t like playing this game. I really like the artwork of certain cards and I enjoyed collecting those cards (back when I had money to throw away). However, now I can’t say I would ever willingly play Cardfight. The gameplay just upsets me and I don’t know if that will ever change. I do still love the Bermuda Triangle and Angel cards. Somehow I never made a binder for them though.

Status: 2 large piles of cards that really need a binder

 

Wixoss

Wixoss died when my friend Kenny vanished. He was the biggest advocate for this game. Without him I lost all interest as did my friend group. I stopped following the show and the sets. My decks are still together, but Kenny took all my other cards so those 4 decks are all I have left.

Status: Selector Abandoned Wixoss

 

Weiss Schwarz

Weiss is the best card game to not play. I love getting cards of my favorite anime characters because I’m a colossal nerd. Just having the cards makes me happy. Actually playing the game however has never worked out. With the exception of one Sword Art Online player, EVERY PERSON I’ve ever played Weiss with has gotten incredibly mad during the course of the game due to a bad card flip or pull. Like they would get so angry that I would feel uncomfortable. This made Weiss increasingly unpleasant to play so I dismantled all my decks. I still love the cards, but adding to a Weiss binder is all I plan to do if even that.

Status: One binder filled to capacity (also these status posts sure have degraded over time huh?)

 

Fire Emblem Cipher

Uh I learned how to play this at 2 AM. I remember nothing about how to play. I’m not a Fire Emblem fan, THOUGH I am enjoying the phone game so that may change. I can’t really comment on the game.

Status: I swear I have these cards somewhere…)

 

What happened:

Philly Regional

I attended the Philly Regional on September 9th. I borrowed a friend’s True Draco Demise deck. This is a chunk of it.

20170908_205027I went 4-4-1 and placed 140th out of  roughly 500. While not great this was the highest I’ve ever placed in Philly.

 

Ixalan Pre-Release

I attended the Ixalan Pre-release immediately before writing this post. I went 3-0-1 running Jund Dinosaurs (because I do what I want).

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I split with round 4 opponent so we could each get the most packs.

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This is the second time I’ve ever done so well at a pre-release. I haven’t gone 3-0-1 since Dragon’s Maze.

I’ve constructed a number of yugioh anime decks.

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Along with buying The Ur-Dragon Commander 2017 pre-con. Ur-Dragon has since replaced Progentitus as my commander.

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I bought a box of Battle of Light’s Revenge and multiple 2017 Starter decks.

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I opened Triple Dimensional Barrier in 3 Mega Tins. Honestly it was a good haul all around.

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I’ve bought the entire Yugioh collections of two people and absorbed most of the cards from a third person.

 

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And I got to watch a Hane-Hane get hit by Raigeki

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There is probably more, but I can’t think of anything else right  now.

 

Yugioh September 18th 2017 Banlist (TCG) 

Zoo died the death it deserved ages ago finally opening the format up to new strategies. True Draco is still viable as Master Peace Turbo. Dinosaurs are now OTK or bust. Lightsworns can sack better. Most of the other hits are irrelevant. There are tons of cards that should’ve been hit also, but I still like this banlist.

Whelp my eyes hurt…. like a lot. It’s time to stop.

What’s next for this blog? I honestly don’t know. I doubt I’ll have time to give it the attention it deserves. It may die. It may not. I thank you regardless for following the mad adventures of one man in his quest to perish suffocated under cardboard.

Thanks for reading as usual.

Fire Emblem Cipher: First Thoughts

Hey everyone! I’m here with a cursory glance at the Fire Emblem Cipher game if you wanted to pick up another card game or are an avid card collector looking for sick art!

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TL;DR:

This game plays like a hybrid of Cardfight Vanguard with a Pokemon win condition and Naruto TCG-like mana cost plus a few unique mechanics. The art on the cards is stunning and an absolute must for those who are fans of the video game series! I would highly recommend it but be warned that you either need to know Japanese or remember translations and the community is fairly small here in America. For all the information you need about this game, check this website out: https://serenesforest.net/wiki/index.php/Fire_Emblem_TCG

A Foreword:

It should be noted that I am a huge Fire Emblem fan so I am fairly biased. It all started in middle school with Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. For those that don’t know, this is where Ike, who is in the Super Smash Bros. series of games, came from. All in all, the video game series is filled with great gameplay, story, and lovable characters so when this card game was announced, I was hyped as all get out.

The Video Game Series Origins:

Fire Emblem is first and foremost a tactical RPG game franchise in the form of turn-based combat developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. There are 15 different titles but only 7 ever graced our American shores + a Shin Megami Tensei crossover in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. Currently, there are 7 booster sets and 8 starter decks which  span 8 of the titles and Tokyo Mirage Sessions.

The Card Game:

  • Card Size – Standard sized (MTG, Pokemon)
  • Factions – Each video game realm has its own color besides Tokyo Mirage Sessions which is in Blue and Red and Fire Emblem Fates which separates Hoshido and Nohr into White and Black.
  • Deck Size – 49 Cards + 1 Main Character. Most meta decks incorporate 2-3 colors.
  • The Board
    • Units are placed in vanguard and rearguard areas. Main character starts in vanguard zone (like Cardfight Vanguard).
    • Retreat Pile = Discard Pile. This is shuffled back as your deck when you deck out.
    • Bond Area is is effectively like chakra in the Naruto TCG or mana in Magic.

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  • Mulligan – Yes. You may mulligan your 6-card hand once with no detriment
  • Mana – Similar to Magic. Must use at least one “bond” card of the same color to pay cost
  • Win Condition – Like Pokemon. Game starts with 6 “orb” cards taken from your deck and placed face-down. When your main character is defeated in battle, you draw one of your orb cards and when you run out and your main character is defeated, it’s game over
  • Combat – Like Cardfight Vanguard with a support check but with more varied “trigger” effects and the checked card is not added to your hand

More About the Product:

Each wave of starter decks includes:

  • 50 cards, many of which appear in their corresponding booster sets, plus some starter deck exclusive foils
  • A nice paper playmat
  • An in-game item download code for owners of the Japanese Fire Emblem Fates.

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Each booster box is 16 packs of 10 cards. The rarities in this game are as follows: Normal, High Normal, Rare, Rare (+), Super Rare, and Super Rare (+).

  • Normal and High Normal look exactly the same
  • R – Foil
  • SR – Textured Foil, approximately 4 in every box
  • (+) – A very accentuated border around the card art and some are signed

Each box includes 5 sleeves and a promo card which is an alternate art of a card in the next set. Each set includes 2 colors besides Booster Set 3 (shown below) which has 3 colors.

Here is the product and a sample of one of my packs:

It looks like I got lucky since I pulled this gorgeous signed Azura card which is approximately 1:4 per case.

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Where to Buy:

  • Amiami.com (cheapest for sealed product)
  • TCGRepublic.com (cheapest singles I’ve found so far)
  • Cipher Facebook Group or Serenes Forest Forum (probably actually the cheapest)
  • Ebay
  • Amazon.com and Amazon.jp

Everything you need to know about the game:  https://serenesforest.net/wiki/index.php/Fire_Emblem_TCG

Final Words:

  • The card arts in themselves made me want to play the game as they are created by various well-known video game artists. They have combined art cards like legion cards in Cardfight Vanguard!
  • As a card game, there are a few mechanics that I have never seen which are neither here nor there. But it is really cool that you can make a deck focused around your favorite character
  • The cost of cards is technically low if you get it in Asia but goes up due to lack of US localization so you have to import everything
    • Booster Box – (Imported) $42-$70
    • Starter Deck – (Imported) $14-$18
  • You have to learn Japanese, remembering effects, or constantly pull up translations

I want to be able to play this game in English one day, but until then I guess I will have to cope with these gorgeous cards being only in Japanese.

I hope this was comprehensive but not too long! I will get around to describing the meta at some point, I’m sure.

Thanks for reading :)!

Super Mega Important Naruto Banlist Update! You’ll never believe what happened! (Totally not a Magic Pre-Release Post)

They’ve finally done it. Naruto TCG has finally released its new ban list, one that will surely transform the meta. Of course the number one hit that everyone is talking about is the banning of N-203 Itachi Uchiha.

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This card is broken. The only characters that damage it are:

  • Sasuke Uchiha
  • Kakashi Hatake
  • and Madara Uchiha

You know what all three of these cards have in common? There all red! This one card is forcing everyone to either main or splash red just to deal with it. Sure you can kill it with jutsu, but it’s Itachi so you now they can just counter any jutsu with the Sharinghan anyway. This card was beyond unhealthy for the format allowing people to run the degenerate Itachi x4 Stall deck that summoned all 4 Itachis and decked people out by hiding behind them!

I for one am very happy with this ban. I won’t bat an eye to the many Itachi players who now have to give Naruto Rasengan Aggro or Temari Bounce Control another look.

.

..

What do you mean April Fool’s Day was 2 days ago?

What the heck was I doing then?

 

While the actual answer to that is schoolwork, let’s pretend it was the Shadows Over Innistrad Pre-Release.

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Your Investigator’s Deckbox

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My Rares:

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My partner opened a Wolf of Devil’s Breach also letting him build a savage Red/Green Wolf/Werewolf deck. Using the 3 Angelic Purges we opened I build Black/White control.

Match-Ups:

Round 1: Vs the same Couple as like 4 times before/RB Vamps and GW Investigate

This is the 5th time I’ve fought this pair in Philadelphia 2-HG events, though this may be the first time my team has beaten them. They had to throw removal spells at my partner’s giant bombs until they ran out of removal in the face of Elusive Tormenter + Gatstaf Arsonists. 2 alpha strikes later they were done. MVP was Sinister Concoction for making combat math impossible for them.

Win: 1-0

Round 2: Vs 2 Pretty Chill Dudes/RB Zombies and GW Tokens

While our opponents got 2 copies of Infectious Curse on us, I had the nuts opening of Elusive Tormentor + Always Watching so I was swinging every turn with a virtually un-killable 5/5. Our opponents tried to stablize with an 8/8 Uwenwald Hydra, but my partner ripped the madness lightning bolt off the top with Wolf of Devil’s Breach on board. We swung out bolt 2 of their blockers allowing our team to take them to 1 life. I resolved Elusive Tormentor’s effect to deal the final blow on the next turn.

Win: 1-0

Round 3: Vs The No-Split Nancies/UB Control and Red/White Flyers

Yeah these guys refused to split forcing us to play out the final match. They had a lot of flyers and rekt us in the early game before Devil’s Playground allowed us to stabilize and recover. A few turns of consistent beats narrowed the gap until they used Welcome to the Fold to steal my Kindly Stranger and flip it to kill out dudes. We outed the witch, but barely dodged him geting madness off for his from under the floorboards. He actually forgot he had the zombies which the only reason we wound up drawing after they wrathed the board after a failed alpha strike. We topped decked a madness bolt for their tooth collector leaving neither side a way to win. Final life totals were our 6 to their 4.

Draw 0-1-0

Prize:

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I opened nothing to write home about, but my partner got a Sorin and another Wolf of Devil’s Breach xD

I’m going to another Innistrad 2HG Pre-release today so we’ll have to see what happens this time.

Thanks for reading as always.

TMCG New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year folks!

It’s been almost a full year since I started this blog. There have been ups and downs, but overall this has been one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in regard to card games.

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In 2015

  • I bought far too many cards
  • I entered nowhere near enough events
  • I watched Nekroz dominate, lag behind and then ultimately die
  • I watched Force of Will became my favorite game

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My resolutions for 2016 are to

  • Spend less on Yugioh (I say this despite having a Breakers of Shadow box on preorder, but more on that later)
  • Play more Magic (whether it be Commander or actually using my Modern deck, I do regret how little Magic I’ve played after leaving Standard)
  • Enter more FoW events (I have the meta cards so I might as well try to enjoy them before they rotate)
  • Actually play/post about the other 6 card games I claim to like (It’s not that I avoid these games, it’s more that I don’t actively seek out fellow players of them)

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I don’t have that much else to say other than thanks for stopping by and reading my random musings.

I’m just going to throw up a few more pictures of memorable events from last year. Thanks for reading as always.

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