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.

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Hour of Devastation Pre-Release Summary: The day the Second Sun Approached us with an army of horses…

I entered the Hour of Devastation 2-headed giant pre-release earlier today. I was sold on this set for its flavor and story (mostly established characters like the gatewatch getting owned), unlike Amonkhet which was the first Magic Pre-Release I had skipped since I started playing.  This summary is going to be pretty brief also.

Our Decks:

My partner played Green/White Midrange and I played Red/Black Control. MVP of my deck were the 4 copies of Open Fire.

Our Match-Ups:

Round 1: Vs 18 land UW Approach and 15 land WB Zombies

We started out in the standard sealed boardstall. They cast Unconventional Tactics on Wildfire Eternal which hit us allowing them to cast Approach of the Second Sun for free. We tried to race the Second Sun, but they stalled us out by combining Crested Sunmare with Mirage Mirror to make an army of indestructible horses. Eventually they drew into the 2nd sun and a 7th land defeating us.

Loss 0-1

Round 2: Vs Esper Gideon and Red/Green Midrange

I messed up this round and thought that Without Weakness could be used on any creature. I used it (2 of them in fact) to protect our Crop Elite from an Open Fire and an Invocation Slaughter Pact.  None of us released this error for 2 turns and by then he had a huge lead. I should also point out that despite being Esper, our opponent never drew into land other than Swamp.

Win 1-0

Round 3: Vs White/Black Zombies (Also featuring Gideon) and Red/Green Aggro

The Red/Green player kept a 1 lander and never drew a 3rd land. Our opponent’s only creature was the Maruading Boneslasher which could never block so we just kept attacking them.

Win 1-0

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We won 6 packs, opened nothing to really warrant writing about and went home. This set is very cool in terms of flavor, not so much in terms of monetary value. Regardless it was at the least an interesting experience.

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Thanks for reading as usual.

Yugioh ARG Atlantic City YosenZoo Kaiju Deck Profile and Tournament Report Good Synergy or Horrible Mistake?

Two friends went to ARG Atlantic city playing their homebrew deck Yosenju-Zoodiac-Kaiju. Each played the exact same list. How did their tournament go?

Deck List:

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Duelist A

The reason behind why I ran this deck is that I wanted to run the best deck that required 0 thinking or time commitment. This was the most consistent and required least amount of thinking throughout the whole day, which was my main goal. Myself and a friend of mine played a nearly identical main, side and extra deck. Today I played Yosenzoo Kaiju, a deck that was designed specifically to go second and OTK (since every deck this format wanted to go second, and most didn’t play mirror force traps). Main-decking 4 board wipes, and multiple ways to 2-card combo, the deck specialized in making the typical zoo combo but overlaying for Tiger King instead of Daigusto Emeral, and setting Fire Formation Tensu, allowing the Yosenju engine (which you search off bullhorn because they’re beast warrior) to completely go off. In a lot of testing, we left the main deck at 46 to try and mitigate lawnmowing mills and we felt that (also running pot of desires) there was not a single card we could cut to make room.

 

The Combo:

Any way of summoning rat and a slumber OR Zoo and 1 Yosenju and Raigeki or kaiju and zoo and 1 Yosenju.

It’s same as zoo setup, except you search a Yosenju with Bullhorn and then make Tiger King with the 2 rats to set Tensu (or Tenki if you used Zoodiac Barrage) and Yosenju swarm.
Round 1: Pure Zoo (I think) 2-0

This is probably the fastest match I’ve ever had in my life. It was a total of 4 turns, and ended in less than 5 minutes. He went first and opened standard zoo combo, made Emeral+Drident and set 2 passed. I draw for turn with an opening hand of Tenki, Twin twisters, Kama 1, Kama 2, Kama 3, and Slumber. I twin twister ditch Kama 3 to which he reveals my body and chalice. I then slumber, search Kama 1 with Tenki, and then summon Kama’s 1,2,3, bounce my opponent’s kaiju back to my hand, and then attack for game for a total of 2 turns.

Game 2 he opened very similar, and I opened slumber zoo for the combo, ending the match in 4 turns.

 

Round 2: Infernoid Zoo (2-1)

Game 1 he wins die roll and goes first, setting up a board of decatron (with Devyaty-negate monster-effect), Drident, Rafflesia, and Totem bird. I Kaiju the Totem bird, slumber, and then OTK with Barrage and 2 Yosenjus in hand.

Game 2 He goes first again and sets up a similarly unbreakable board. I don’t draw slumber so it’s harder to bait out/break, but I set myself up (backed by storming mirror force) to not die. I survive the turn because storming mirror force is broken, and all I need to do to swing for game (he was at 300 life) was topdeck any monster. I draw a dead Tensu, set it, and wait for him to kill me as long as he didn’t’ mess up.

Game 3 I draw Maxx c Lancia going second so there was just no way I was losing, especially when he left arm offering’d his hand for an instant fusion to bring back zoo. He took the maxx c challenge and I drew 6 cards, Slumber’d for game and held Forbidden Chalice in hand for Fairy Tale Snow.

 

Round 3: Pure Zoo (1-2)

Game 1 I bricked double Chalice, Tensu, Raigeki, Kama 2, Kama 3. I cleared his board but got hit by Solemn Strike to my Kama 2, by which he had enough resources to otk me next turn.

Game 2 I pulled off the yosenju combo and won.

Game 3 He opened an unbreakable board and I had no board clears.

 

Round 4: Metalfoe Zoodiac (0-2)

Next to Paleo, this is my second-to-worst matchup, as I simply lose to a board that they can bring back next turn if I can’t otk.

Game 1 his opening board was Majespecter Kirin, Totem bird, Drident, Emeral, Metalfoes Counter and a Fullmetalfoes Fusion set. I Kaiju’d totem bid and slumber’d, but he chained maxx c and I couldn’t OTK with Kirin on board and the maxx c/fullmetal combination.

Game 2 I elected to go first (my 3 strikes and 2 barriers in the side were for against pendulum-based decks and Paleo) but drew none of the 5 traps that I sided in, even after desires for a 6-card opening hand.

 

Round 5: Lunalight Zoo/Fusion Draw Norden Turbo Zoo (1-2)

Game 1: He went first and apparently, this deck turbo makes Elder Entity Norden, fusion substitute, and draws 4 cards. I didn’t have twin twister and he had double strike barrier set.

Game 2: I OTK’d with the combo.
Game 3: He opened the nuts again and I couldn’t contest.

 

Round 6: Invoked Artifact Windwitch (2-1)

Game 1: I surprised him with the OTK.

Game 2: Given limited options, I had to go for the OTK, even chalice-ing the scythe, but I had no idea he ran Drowning Mirror Force, which ended up winning the game for him.

Game 3: A bit of a grind because I bricked, but stalled out long enough to kaiju Crystal wing, slumber, and OTK.

I only played Round 6 because my friends were finishing up a side event,  I ended up giving my opponent the win and dropping.

 

Looking back: Nothing can keep up with the consistency and the 1-card combo that zoo requires. Nor the strikes or mirror forces that I couldn’t twin twister enough of. I can live with Drident, but Kirin, strikes and barrier still hurt.

 

MVP of the day: Storming Mirror Force. Nearly every time I drew the card I won the game, or it saved me from losing badly when I bricked. It’s just way too strong.

LVP of the day: Juragedo. I was originally going to play Yosenju Tsujik, but I couldn’t find one (because honestly who owns that card) so I tried to replace with Juragedo. In theory, it helped beat over drancia if they popped rat since it special summons during battle phase, and it’s essentially a swift scarecrow I draw into to prevent getting OTK’d with an open board and running only 4 traps. Card was awful all day, and every time I drew it I lost.

That just about summarizes my experience. Shoutout to all my friends for letting me borrow cards and I’m sorry the deck didn’t perform better.

 

Duelist B

Round 1 – Pure Zoo

0-2

Opponent went first and opened Terrortop, strike, warning, and dimensional barrier.  I did not open any form of backrow removal and got otk’d

Game 2 was strange.  I pushed for some damage and set torrential in main phase 2.  I thought I was safe, but then my opponent summoned Denko sekka.  Why did he side in Denko? I have no idea.  He didn’t even know I was playing Yosenjus, and on top of that I was only playing 4 trap cards in the entire deck.  The Denko tech confused me, but it won him the game so I guess it was the right move.

Round 2 – Pure Zoo

2-0

Opponent went first and opened very well.  He negated my slumber with my body as a shield, which allowed me to use a second slumber.  I flipped vanities during his standby phase and continued to beat him down with Jizukiru over the next several turns.

Game 2 was almost exactly like the first.  He summoned Drancia/Emeral and set backrow.  He then negated my first slumber.  I followed up with a second slumber.  Poked for game.  Very boring for both of us.

Round 3 – Pure Zoo

1-2

He opens the sheep combo and sets double strike and barrier.  GG.

Game 2 he literally burns himself to death with all the strikes and instant fusions.

Game 3 he plays into Needle Ceiling and Torrential Tribute.  Then he activates Lullaby of obedience, calling Terrortop, and gets nothing.  Then he messes up the rat combo.  Despite his several misplays he still wins because I didn’t draw a single monster all game.  In fact, the only monster I drew all MATCH was the Kama 1 in game 2.

Round 4 – Paleozoic

2-0

Game 1 I opened Twin Twister, for the first time all day!  That card alone was enough to win.

Game 2 I actually managed to otk with Slumber, Twin Twister, and Yosenjus.  Despite playing a deck that was built specifically to otk, this was the only time all day that I actually drew into one of the several possible otk’s.

Round 5 – Paleozoic

0-2

He stuns me with his traps on my first turn.  Then made double toad with backrow.  GG

Game 2 he does the same thing, but instead makes triple toad and Opabinia.  GG

Then I dropped.

 

This version of the deck failed miserably.  It was 46 cards…much larger than any other variant I had made before.  This diluted my chances of seeing cards like twin twister.  In testing, the 46 card deck did not seem to be a problem since every card was something I was okay with seeing in my opening hand…if I also drew a monster with it.  I don’t know what the odds of this happening were, but in the over 10 games I played, I drew almost no monsters and had to set fake backrow.  Immediately after I dropped I decided to cut the deck down to 42 cards and play in a side event.  The event was an 8 man (3 round) tournament similar to the last chance qualifier at nationals.

Round 1 – Windwitch, Artifact, Invoked

2-0

He went first and make the ultimate providence-like monster and crystal wing with backrow.  He had one card in hand (Aleister).  I opened a kaiju, slumber, and barrage.  He activated Maxx “c”, but I didn’t care and just pushed for game.

Game 2 he goes first, but I open Artifact Lancea.  Chaining lancea to his invocation let me otk him the following turn with the rat/tensu combo.  He tried to stop my combo with artifact scythe, but I had chalice in hand.

Round 2 – 60 card Infernoid

2-0

Game 1 he goes first and opens void feast.  I deal with the double decatron with book of moon and slumber.  Push for game with rat combo.

Game 2 I open lancea and shut off his lawnmowing mills.  I can’t otk on my turn so I make Rhapsody in Berserk and banish the threats he had in grave.  He has no plays the following turn because everything good is gone and scoops his cards.

Round  3 – Yosenju Kaiju

2-0

Believe it or not, I played against a Yosenju kaiju player in round 3.  He was bad though so it was a free win.  I watched him play in a previous round and he thought that he could negate the draw effect of toy vender with vanity’s emptiness.  Also I was tired and made a pretty bad misplay.  The only monster on board was my Drancia. He activated slumber and I forgot to chain Drancia to pop itself to force slumber to fizzle out. Whoops.  Also he sided flying “C” to stop my xyz summons.  Chalice made flying “C” a non-issue.

I ended up winning the side event (prize was a mat and an invite to the ARG invitational).  Super small tournament means no glory.  This was basically just another way to playtest changes to the deck.

Comparing my performance in the main event and the side event gives me some insight on how to move forward:

Based off the matchups I would say that the pure zoo matchup is more difficult that I had seen in playtesting.  This is undoubtedly due to the amount of backrow they can set.  Would cutting my deck size down improve this matchup for me?  I would assume so, but haven’t tested yet.  Seeing backrow removal is essential for my deck to function…as is seeing monsters.  Bricking cost me the main event, but I think it was probably due to my own bad deck building.  Smaller is better.

Infernoids is the deck’s easiest matchup since noids play virtually no backrow.

Paleo is impossible to beat.

Main take-away: Reduce deck size.  Add more backrow hate.  Consider playing another deck at Brooklyn regional (maybe BA).

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(Submitted by friends)

Is it expensive to play Meta? (In Yugioh)

Disclaimer: Submitted by a friend referring to a regional BEFORE Zoodiac was released. I think the story holds true even more so now.

 

Once again, Yugioh players await the release of a new pack that completely redefines the meta as we know it. And once again, the rarity of the cards for that particular archetype are among the hardest to obtain, and priced the highest on preorders. For a deck that already mandates a minimum investment of $400 of cards both in the main and extra deck, the recent revelation that 3 of the core cards in Zoodiacs are secret rare certainly do not offer much resolve to those looking to play the deck, myself included. The deck has shown extreme success in the OCG, a likely precursor to what will happen in the TCG. Unless Konami issues an emergency banlist, similar to what they did during PePe (Performapal Pendulums), the cards will likely maintain their $50+ value and the deck cost will sit at around $600-800. For anyone, this is an enormous sum of money to put aside for one deck, especially when metalfoes and ABCs cost as little as $200-300 to build. Although it is, there are definitely ways to minimize the initial investment and still have decent success. You can still play meta, at a discounted price, as long as you are willing to accept that you will lose some matches because you don’t have the expensive cards to win.

 

Personal Example 1: Philadelphia Regional with Metalfoes (No desires, no barriers, no strikes).

 

I played Philadelphia Regional with a Metalfoes list as seen below. Granted I borrowed most of the deck (Thank you to player who loaned me the cards), I was able to be successful (initially) without pot of desires, dimensional barrier, or solemn strike in my decklist. By the end of round 5, I was undefeated with a record of 5-0 against 1 Brilliant ABC and 4 mirror matches. Although every single one of my opponents activated pot of desires at least twice during each match, I was still able to edge out my opponent because of my conservation of resources and deep knowledge of my deck. Despite them generally having +1 or +2 advantage due to desires, or stopping me for an entire turn with strike/dbarrier, I was able to play around it. I instead played a very Orichalc/Mithrilium/Alkahest turbo version, which utilized my monsters as traps in place of dbarrier and strike. There were plenty of times where I would have won sooner if a summoner’s art was a strike/barrier/desires instead, but I was still able to make it work. At least until the later rounds.

 

Rounds 6-9 were an absolute nightmare. Round 6 was against an extremely rude mermail frog player who attempted to blatantly cheat me on 4 separate occasions. Game 1 he opened double toad moulinglacia (ban soul charge pls) so I scooped before he could see what I was playing. Game 2 I bricked and he opened with gaios, the equip spell that negates spell cards, and moulinglacia. He tried to attack for game with moulinglacia, but I reminded him gaios had xyz material attached to him and he couldn’t win that turn (despite saying he played the deck for years and is the best mermail player ever). He then tried to use swap frogs bounce effect twice in one turn, and tried to scoop my cards for me when he tried to attack with gaios for game when I had bounced moulinglacia the previous turn, rendering him unable to conduct his battle phase. In the end, I grinded enough to make Vermilion with gofu and cleared his board to put him at 4k life. He topdeck’d soul charge and trish’d me, but I drew eccentric and was able to pop his trish and swing for game. In this case, the presence of strikes and barriers didn’t matter, but desires certainly would have helped me come back game 2 quicker and not get sucked into time, leaving the match in a draw.

 

Rounds 7-9  truly proved the power of expensive staples. Round 7 my opponent outgrinded me in the mirror because he could desires twice to gain more advantage than I could, and Round 8 my opponent had barrier and strike, calling fusion and then striking my pendulum summon in my last attempt to make a play. Had he been playing any other card, I would have been able to steal it from him. However, the true power of these staples spoke for themselves, and I couldn’t win.

Round 9 my opponent opened infinity kirin and I had no way of outing it easily without strike, so I proceeded to lose that game as well due to low advantage.

 

The same scenario occurred with my budget ABC deck. I ran it at Yugioh day at Alternate Universes, a pretty competitive locals, opting to play floodgates and chalices over dbarriers, desires and strikes. I ultimately finished top 8 and received a token, but the two matches I lost were because I didn’t have those staples, and my opponent had them instead. The advantage they bring is just too strong to pass up.

 

What started out well, proved that at the highest level, the fact remains that expensive staples will outright win you games. Any top 8, 16, 32 YCS or regional decklist will reflect that. You can still be competitive, but you will never be able to consistently perform because the fact is you’re at a disadvantage. Unfortunately, the same rule applies to anti-meta decks this upcoming format. As of right now, Zoodiacs will ultimately dominate the format-and the market-until nationals. That doesn’t mean you can’t build anti-meta decks, but if you do, they require the expensive staples to be relevant. Unfortunately, this is not a format for budget players. If you’re a budget player reading this, I’m sorry to say you should take a break until after nationals. Hopefully everything will cool down by then, or just suck up the initial cost and sell the strikes and barriers before nationals to minimize loss. Either way, it’s going to take a huge chunk out of your bankroll.

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Didn’t you gun Force of Will Last Week? Why on Earth did you enter a Fow AGP? The story of losing to yourself: How to improve as a card gamer

Gosh that’s a long title. However, it accurately represents what happened today (and is hyperbolic which is a plus). My buddy (the one who got me into and brought me back into Force of Will) was like “there’s a Force of WIll AGP in NJ, let’s go to it” and I was like “sure lol sounds like fun. If only I had known that a long day of losing money, misplaying and as a result blaming myself was to follow.

 

Our Deck and the Messy Store of How We Made It

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So what initially roped me back into this game was the remaking of my favorite Ruler Valentina as a bizarre fusion of her and Pricia (another character I liked except for the fact that she killed Valentina). My buddy and I decided we would both buy her and try to build the best UB (blue/black) control deck possible. He affectionately named Pricentina Control.

 

Main Deck and Quick Card Analysis:

  • Invading Demon of Water, Valentina/Valentina, Released Terror: Makes all Dark/Water spells shrink a creatures Def/Atk respectively by the spell’s CMC, makes certain spells like Space Time absurd)
  • Space Time Anomaly x4 (Best card in the deck by far, triggers favorably with Valentina, won me games I had no business winning)
  • Leviathan, First of the Sea x1 (Win Condition, worked for my buddy not for me, more on this later. Also this posr may be crazy long. I apologize for not mentioning sooner)
  • Charlotte’s Water Transformation Magic x3 (Amazingly useful and versatile, allowed many resonators to be killed, but lost to effects already activated very hard)
  • Black Moonbeam x1 (Not that useful, but necessary)
  • Horn of Sacred Beasts x1 (Useful once, otherwise dead)
  • Heavenly Instrument Hydromonica x1 (I only resolved the stack effect once, otherwise I sided it out almost every game)
  • Deathscythe, the Life Reaper x1 (Amazing with Soulhunt, I was never unhappy to draw into it/have it)
  • Valentina’s Reach x2 (Worked out will for my buddy, I only resolved it once and it barely mattered)
  • Marybell, the Steel Doll x1 (Drew it, swung with it once, honestly not even sure about it)
  • Aretemis, the God’s Bow x4 (Useful, but only fringe most creatures were too big, but it combo-ed will with Space Time)
  • The Nameless Mist x3 (Amazing card, did its job efficiently though I fought more creature decks so it missed a lot)
  • Captain Hook, the Pirate x2 (Very powerful when I managed to cast it, won me a few games, but I almost always had to bounce creatures except in round 2)
  • Lapis Dark Storm x2 (Very powerful and dumb, but I only resolved it 3 times, one of which it did nothing)
  • Separation of Body and Soul x4 (A great card in this deck only due to Valentina’s minus effect, a definite 4 of)
  • Hera, Goddess of Jealousy x3 (I literally destroyed my own Regalia all day because only one of my opponent’s played any)
  • Soulhunt x4 (Easily the second best spell in the deck, with no resonators it was very easy to get 2 for 1s with this card, it was especially nasty with Deathscythe as it could be added back to hand)
  • The Scorn of Dark Alice x3 (Insanely useful against the many creature decks I faced, better than Mist for me at least)

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Stone Base:

  • Ruler’s Memoria x1 (Getting it of the way first. this was the worst card in the deck, it entered the field tapped on my first turn 3 times, one time costing me the game, it’s one of the only cards getting cut)
  • Remains of Attoractia x4 (A very good card that I missed read and used incorrectly until round 5 as a result)
  • Water Magic Stone x1 (I wish it were darkness, but this is where my buddy and I disagree, more on that later)

Magic Stone of Dark Depths x4 (No complaints)

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Side Deck

  • Girl in Twilight Garb/Dark Alice x1 (Sided into her once, won the game, but due to glaring misplays I never used her again all day)
  • Black Moonbeam x2 (Useful and necessary evil)
  • Deathscythe, the Life Reaper x2 (Needed to sure up J-Ruler match-up, honestly I wish I had more just for the soulhunts)
  • Schrodinger, the Fallen Black Cat x1 (For Dark Alice, I drew into it and it was pretty dead in hand)
  • Riza, First of the Dead x4 (Legitimately useful in one game and trash in the other. I can’t complain though card was solid overall)
  • Melder, Last of the Dead x3 (Trash, awful trash, 2nd worst card in the deck and getting cut to 1 if it stays in at all, we had so much removal it never mattered, minus 800 and we have to be dying, terrible)
  • Prison in the Lunar Lake x2 (Best card in the side, always a blowout when resolved and searchable off Riza)

 

So first of all, just so you know how back we are. We forgot to buy all the cards for the deck. It took the great kindness of my roommate ( a Fow master and case opener) and literally the only two guys at the store who had trades to allow us to even play our decks. I tip my hat to both of them. Now for the most painful part of this…

Our match-ups…

 

Round 1: Vs Fiethsing Combo

Game 1 he opened the nuts going second dropping Gwiber into Captain Hook and I lost instantly. Game 2 I make my first misplay. I swap to Dark Alice and assume that the Valentina rock enters tapped if I don’t have Valentina. In reality it just costs you 300 life. So I go until turn 5 to make a play because I keep letting the stone enter tapped. My opponent bricks on stones until turn 6 and as a result I defeat him. Game 3 I go first, Ruler’s Memoria entered tapped preventing my turn 1 Scorn of Dark Alice. He combos-off turn 2 and kills me.

Loss 1-2

Round 2: Vs Sol Burn

Game 1 he burns me to 15, but I out-grind and defeat him, making the misplay of thinking that his World Flame card made me banish 2 magic stones…

So I literally put 2 of my stones in the graveyard…

Game 2 I make the misplay of not using Prison in the Lunar Lake on his Uther, Goddess allowing him to burn me out in the late game. Game 3 we end up in time and draw.

Draw 1-1-1

Round 3: Vs Lilias Petal

I knew going into this tournament how Lilias worked since he is innately unfair as he cheats in huge Chimera FROM HIS SIDE DECK. So knowing this I killed every resonator he played to prevent his ability. After he finally summoned his Chimera I killed it with Soul Seperate and then defeated him. Game 2 I side in Prisoner in the Lunar Lake and Riza to switch it out. Prison negates and kills 2 of his Chimeras leading to my victory.

Win 2-0

Round 4: Vs Lumia Mid-range (Against the event judge)

Don’t ask me why the judge for the event was in the tournament. Anyway game 1 he hits me with double Captain Hook (after I make the misplay of ripping a mana dork from his hand instead of it), but somehow I survive. I kill all of his resonators until he has to use his Melfee just to flip Lumia. After killing her I lose to the most absurd and stupid ruling in my card game career. Apparently there is an end of end phase phase…

So he cast a reanimate spell that said exile this creature during the end phase. However, he cast in the end of end phase phase…

So it didn’t get exiled…

It was a 900/900 flyer that killed me…

Game 2 I hold him down with Prisoner in the Lunar Lake until we go into time. I J-Activated Valentina and used Bows to kill his blocking mana dorks. I then top-deck 2 Space Times to kill all of his blockers and him on turn 3 of time.

Draw 1-1-1

Round 5: Vs Zero 28 Regalia

Game 1 I triple Space Time his Zero killing her. After which his crippled deck did next to nothing. Game 2 I do it again through his Zero’s Farmilar (by turning it into a bear and then using Black Moonbeam on Zero). HOWEVER, I make the misplay of first forgetting his 1 creature on board had flying (I could’ve killed it and maintained board control with Soulhunt) and also that Valentina’s ruler side could sack to creatures to destroy one…

I literally threw away a game I had won…

Game 3 I killed Zero again, but we go into time and the rules changed to highest life total wins due to it being the final round. I lose to his double burn spells despite easily having game if the match continued as I could’ve survived the burn with total board control.

Loss 1-2

My buddy’s match-ups (This is a first for me and I’m going by his brief descriptions)

Round 1: Vs Jank Lumia Aggro

Opponent’s deck was sub-optimal, easy win with Valentina attacks.

Win 2-0

Round 2: Vs Charlotte Hand Control

Due to Ruler’s Memoria not being a water stone he missed the OTK with Leviathan game 1. Then failed to win in time game 2.

Loss 0-1

Round 3: Vs Lilias Petal

Forgot how many Charlotte Transformation Magics he had in grave and failed to kill Lilias’ chimera as a result, died to the chimera and failed to win in time game 2 again.

Round 4: Vs Dark Alice Control

Got hit by double Lapis’ Dark Storm and lost Hook and Leviathan. Suddenly with no win-conditions he had no way to close out the game. Then once again lost in time game 2.

Round 5: Bye

We finished 16th and 18th place respectively.

Reactions, Reflections and Final Thoughts (The most important part I swear)

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This was a very eye-opening, agitating and useful experience. One that I need to take to heart and use to move forward as a card gamer. First of all I paid $40 to go to NJ to play in this. Once there I paid $25 to enter. Also because I didn’t get all the cards for my deck I had to pay another $10 to get the last couple cards. It is not worth it to pay this much money to scrub out.

This is the most upsetting part though. I did not lose as a result of my deck being bad. In Yugioh and Magic I limit myself because admittedly I’m a very cheap person when it comes to buying expensive staple cards. During the last Yugioh regional I came close to building a perfect ABC deck, but did not go all the way and buy Dimensional Barrier and Pot of Desires ($55 and $70 respectively). Back when I used to play Standard I forced Mono-Red, not merely, because I enjoyed it, but because it was very cheap to build. This is the first time…

Well probably not the first time, but easily the most obvious time that I lost not because I skimped out on building my deck, but because I made misplays that were terrible in hindsight.

  1. Not knowing how my stones worked
  2. Forgetting Prisoner in the Lunar Lake
  3. Forgetting the enemy creature had flying
  4. Forgetting Valentina’s Ruler ability
  5. Not understanding how the phases and the chase worked

All of these painfully obvious things (except the last one because holy crud is that stupid) I allowed to happen and as a result I lost $75 along with almost every game today. My buddy also admitted that in addition to his poor match-ups and luck, he also lost due to misusing resources and also running out of cards.

On the plus side though our deck was solid. There was more times when I could have won had I not misplayed than times where I could not have won at all for any reason. Our deck did what it came to do. We killed creatures, disrupted the opponent’s hand and ultimately killed with powerful finishers.

Our Differences of Opinion on the Deck and My Future Plans with it

  • So my buddy and I came to a few very different conclusions on what to do with the deck. This could be useful to players interested in trying it out.
  • I say cut Ruler’s Memoria for a Darkness Stone, he says add a water stone. My buddy got way more use out of Leviathan today than I did. He dropped it and won all, but one game where it resolved. I played it once all day when I already had board control. I want to add another Scorn of Dark Alice instead of Leviathan personally.
  • I say cut Leviathan or side it for control, he says bump it up to 2 in the main. Again the card worked for me and did nothing for me. I think it’s too slow for the format, he thinks it’s our best win-con)
  • He says cut Captain Hook, I’m not sure. On the one hand we’re playing Captain Hook fairly on turn 5. That’s just to fair and slow for this format. Between enemy Hook’s attacking our stones and the general speed of the combo decks I admit Hook may be too slow for us.
  • I say add Alice’s Little Scout to soak up early game damage, he wants to add no resonators outside of finishers (and Riza in the side). Every game despite our discard and removal he took massive damage in the early game. I watched almost all of my opponents play the cat with the ability draw one when it enters the field. I think Alice Scout not only will block in the early game, but will also allow us to not lose card advantage.

We do agree though that Melder, Last of the Dead is useless. The deck has enough removal. Riza is more useful setting Prison in the Lunar Lake face-down than him. Furthermore, his -800/-800 ability at the cost of us being about to die (from Riza’s paying 1000) isn’t worth it when we’ve already lost so much life in the early game.

Parting Words (Gosh this was long)

I don’t regret today. I learned that I was too confident in my ability to play a card game with literally no practice after quitting it for months. That being said most of my problems came from simply not reading cards (especially my own). I want to believe that as a result of today I will do two things differently in the future.

I will never travel to major event without having full knowledge of my deck/side deck, as it’s not cost-effective to spend so much and lose.

I will never enter a tournament with a deck I don’t think can theoretically top. If I enter a Yugioh or Magic event ever again, I’m going to enter with a good deck. Hopefully, not the most expensive deck, but definitely not a deck I built on the cheap for fun that I think can cheese a few wins. I’ve always used the fact that because I didn’t have Dimensional Barrier, Pot of Desires or a full-power Abzan deck as an excuse to justify my losses. “I didn’t have the optimal deck so that’s why I lost” This was the first time it was incredibly apparent that I lost not to my deck, but too myself. As a result this was very frustrating and I’ll be burned out on Force of Will possibly forever.

I don’t see myself following the game after college. I only plan to keep cards of sentimental value, though I’m not sure if I’m going to try and sell the cards from this deck. I honestly believe that the only card game I’ll be able to play after college is Magic the Gathering, which is simply the most represented game in my experience.

Well I’ve droned on for too long, but I actually think this is one of the better posts I’ve made. I learned alot about my strengths and weaknesses as a player. I think we learn more from our mistakes than our successes and today taught me that more than any other tournament.

Thanks for reading as usual.

What Happens When Your Yugioh Deck Refuses to Fail You (Infernoids Pre-Lawnmowing Next Door)

I got into the first Yugioh tournament of 2017 among my college group. I was exceedingly uncertain of myself. I was playing Infernoid without Omega or a real side deck. I was even more dismayed by the current D/D/D format that has just dropped in Yugioh where turn boards of Crystal Wing + D/D/D Cursed King Siegfried and #38 Hope Harbinger Titanic Galaxy become a real possibility. I respect that many D/D/D players have waited over a year anxiously to play this deck at full power though I just see it as a small intermediary period before Zoodiac takes over the format (though full D/D/D has a chance against Zoodiac I will admit).

Round 1: Vs Full Power D/D/D

Speaking of which, I was complaining like crazy over the lack of chance I had in this match-up. My opponent’s D/D/D deck was filled with all of the new cards alongside the unfortunate format staples of Desires and D-Barriers.

Game 1 he makes the board of Crystal Wing, but not anything else I can remember. I force out  Crystal Wing’s negate with Antra before using Decatron to become Seitsemas, run over D/D Savant Kepler and banish his Crystal Wing. From there Decatron banished his D/D Lamia during his turn and somehow avoid dying to his remaining attackers manly a Hope Harbringer. During my next turn I topdeck Void Imagination, but first use Decatron to become Harmadik. Decatron blew up his Hope Harbringer Titanic Galaxy, summoned Seitsemas from the graveyard and then used his remaining monster (I want to say Odd-Eyes Absolute Dragon) to fusion summon Infernoid Tierra. These three cards take out the rest of my opponent’s board. On the next turn he uses Pot of Desires, but surrenders after dropping to 3 cards in deck with no outs to the double banish from grave effect.

Game 2 he throws up the aforementioned stun board with Crytal Wing, and Hope Harbringer, but makes a misplay and cannot bring out Siegfried. I first use Book of Eclipse to force Hope Harbringer’s effect, then drop Harmadik to force Crytal Wing’s effect. After this I activate Void Imagination, but flips D-Barrier naming fusion. Having no resources left alongside being dead on board I surrender.

Game 3 I go first and mill as much as possible with Raiden, however all I manage to mill was exactly enough cards to use Fairytale Snow. He proceeds to start comboeing off to make an OTK board while I sat there trying to choose the right thing to flip face-down. When he finally made Odd-Eyes Absolute along with a Lamia I flip down the Lamia with Snow banishing all my other cards in the process. He kills Snow leaving me with nothing, while he has Hope Bringer, 2 D/D Savants and Absolute. I topdeck Reasoning mill a bunch of cards and then hit Decatron. Decatron becomes Seitsemas and I bring out another Seitsemas. Decatron attacks Kepler, but is met with Dark Contract of the witch (however it was on attack declaration so I tribute it to banish a card his graveyard. After that Seitsemas attacks a Savant and banishes his facedown Lamia. I then summon another Seitsemas from my graveyard. On his next turn for some reason I use Decatron to banish the slime he placed in the grave off Foolish Burial, which actually stunts his turn to the point that his passes.. After which I top deck another Decatron and use it to become Antra to bounce Odd-Eye’s Absolute Dragon. I then sacrfifce Setisemas to Monster Gate and mill cards until I hit another Decatron! Said Decatron becomes something I becomes Harmadik to destroy one of his blockers, before I summon Infernoid Devyaty and destoryed the rest of his board. On his next turn he uses Desires and draws into Lamia and Swirl Slime, but has no way to use them. And that’s how I beat Full Power D/D/D in round 1 of my locals…

Win 2-1

I had no belief that I could win this match. I was resigned to defeat from the beginning of game 1 and was even more prepared for it after banishing all my cards to Fairytale Snow. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that your deck can at times surprise you. One could easily make the argument (which I have legitimate counter to) that all I did was topdeck/mill well. I cannot deny this playing a deck like Infernoid, which is very mill dependent. The takeaway is if you believe in the heart of the cards…

If you trust in your deck sometimes it will do everything in its power to win for you.

I’m not sure if that sounds crazy, touching or creepy…

Let’s hope for the former.

Round 2 Vs Domain Monarchs

Game 1 my opponent bricks and I run through his easily with Monster Gate into Devyaty. Game 2 we get into grind game and forgot that even neutered Monarchs can grind like no other deck (bar maybe Burning Abyss). I managed to out his Vanity’s Fiend with Fairytale, but he ghost ogres it. I take a direct attack from Vanity’s before topdecking Decatron to out it. We go back and forth for a few more turns before I run out of resources and lose. Game 3 he bricks and I manage to establish a loaded graveyard. He drops Majesty’s Fiend, but it dies to Devyaty alongside a Decatron naming Pirmais. We go back and forth for a few turns (due to Devyyaty preventing me from summoning more Infernoids). Eventually I draw into Raiden and Solemn Warning. This allows me to finally push damage in through his set Squires and Prime, which had very few cards to banish. He finally normal summons a squire, I solemn it and he surrenders.

Win 2-1

Round 3: Vs Blue Eyes White Dragon

Game 1 I load my graveyard up turn 1 and he surrenders claiming his hand cannot play through that many cards. Game 2 he forces me to start again and wipes out my board with interrupted kaiju slumber and OTKs me. Game 3 I make him go first, but he uses Skill Drain combined with Maxx C. I fail to OTK him and on the next turn he OTKs me using the same combo.

Loss: 1-2

And that’s what happened.

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To make a long story very short. Something something the Heart of the Cards. That’s what Dan Green told me in the Yugioh Duel Links phone game anyway. Download it, it’s really nostalgic.

Thanks for reading!

Also the real highlight of the whole night.

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Blue Green Would Never lead to 0-2 Drop! Aether Revolt Pre-Release (Can mythic rares soothe the pain of losing?)

Aether Revolt Pre-Release happened. I played in 2 events, the two-headed giant and then the singles. Let’s get right into it, because I’m starved for time, strength and ENERGY!

.

..

*Heads to bad joke jail

 

2-Headed Giant

Decks:

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I played Blue/Green Midrange and my partner played Red/White Vehicles. My partner’s notables were 2 copies of Sram’s Expertise, though the Untethered Express was the mvp.

 

Rounds:

Round 1: Vs Green/White Energy and Mono-Red Artifacts

The green/white player dropped Greenbelt Rampager turn 3, while her partner played Pia’s Revolution (and honestly not much else). Meanwhile, we developed the board with Sram’s Expertise along with my Ridgescale Tusker to boost my team. We were able to alpha them from 20 to 4 using the Train. From there the game was all but taken.

Win 1-0

Round 2: Vs Mono Blue Bombs and Red/Black Control

We rushed our opponents with early game aggression. We killed their 0/4 Consulate Skygate just to get in for more damage. Our biggest swing was an alpha strike that took them from 26 to 11. The bombs never came in time for them and we rushed them for game.

Win 1-0

Round 3: Blue/Green Midrange and Red/Black Control

That same couple that I’ve played against at least seven times now were once my opponents. We agreed to split and thus did not play this game seriously, which is good because they beat us using the 3/5 Flying Vehicle with lifelink. My only goal was for my partner to drop the Exquisite Archangel to reset our life to 30, but we didn’t get there.

Loss 0-1

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We got these packs for our ranking. My partner opened the nice Masterpiece Obvilion Stone, and I walked home with Tezzeret, the Schemer and a foil Botanical Sanctum.

Singles Sealed

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I tried Blue/Green again with Aetherflux Ancient and Planar Bridge to get it again. This deck was painfully slow and awkward leading me to the path of X-2 drop.

 

Rounds:

Round 1: Vs Green/Black

I take game 1 thanks to the Aethertouch Stomper. Game 2 I lose to the 6/6 wurm for 6. Game 3 I open 1 land and mulligan. I then open 0 lands and mulligan to 5 on the play…

I admitted at that point that there was no hope of winning.

Loss: 1-2

Round 2: Vs Green/Black Again

I take round 1 again, learning very quick that my opponent was inexperienced (by his being astounded by the power of Deadlock Trap). Game 2 we grind for almost 20 minutes until he managed to run out my energy and kill my Aetherflux Ancient. Game 3 he manages to kill me 20 seconds before time. At that point I shook his hand and promptly called it a day.

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This was one of those Pre-Releases where I opened enough decent cards (overall) that I can’t complain about ultimately losing near the end. The games were fun, the people were nice and I had a good time in the end. You can only ask for so much.

Thanks for reading as usual.