Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Rise and Fall of Maxx C

The one thing about Yugioh that has always fascinated me is the ever-changing trends that occur as the meta changes. A card that may be considered a staple in one format can be completely irrelevant or sometimes "bad" in the next, and then by the end of the same format it's good again. Likewise, a card that never saw much play (like 7 Tools), can suddenly become very viable. As these kinds of trends occur and new techs are found alongside it, the viability of certain decks can swing in one direction to the other as well.

I was listening to the ARG stream the other day, and one thing that stuck out to me was when Alistar Albans talked about how bad it sucks to go 2nd, your opponent opens Laggia + backrow, and your sixth card is Maxx C. This has happened to me, and I'm sure to you all that own C's, more times than I can count and it's not always a first-turn issue. When my opponent nutty swarms and sets up a ridiculous field, I think to myself "I'm gonna draw Maxx C", it is, and am like "well that woulda been nice last turn" as I sit there with a dead card in my hand and trying to figure out how to break up the opponent's field. This exact thing happened when I played against Shiggs' Samurai in the box tourney game 1. I don't open C, he sets up a dominating field first turn, I draw C, basically screwed. Unfortunately, as it was also commented in the stream, the game has gotten to the point where hand traps are almost a necessity to some extent, since without them, you risk getting blown up. If you do have it, you will most likely end your opponent's turn to give you a chance to break up what they started and re-claim control. It's almost like "screwed if I do, screwed if I don't". With 3 MST in the game, relying solely on conventional traps may not be the most feasible option as well. Or, you play the "protect the Skill Drain" game as evident in Hero and DW.

When the ban list first came out, a lot of people basically had a "oh gawd wind-up format" mentality, which I believe was the main reason for Maxx C's and Wind-Up Rabbit's price spike. Rescue Rabbit and Dolkka didn't see their price spikes until after Atlanta. Many then considered C to be a 3-of staple, and I think anyone that owned three, ran them all. I know I did. Moving forward a few weeks, I believe it was Frazier Smith and Alistar that basically said "wait maybe Maxx C isn't that good". This resulted in a pretty divided crowd, with some people agreeing with them and some basically saying it's blasphemy. I admit I thought it was kinda preposterous as well, but I also have to consider that I occasionally play against people that let me draw 6-10 cards off a C and then I just outright win next turn so I have a biased view lol.

At the present time, the declining use of mained Maxx C's has caught on. The general consensus is that it is only "good" against Wind-Up, which is seeing less play overall, "OK" against Dino Rabbit, and "bad" against Inzektors, Heroes, and DW. I personally think conventional Wind-Up has been knocked off the "big 3" and Heroes have taken it's place. I don't know enough about Wilson Tsang's Beast build or Alex Vansant's Monster Mash variants to make any further assessment. Looking at the top 4 of Long Beach consisting of DW, Rabbit, Piper, and Hero, in 3 out of those 4, Maxx C isn't that great against. Against DW, C will most likely be a 1-1 at best (ignoring a crazy Card Destruction play), Piper and Chaos in general are inherent special summon-based and thus makes it hard to C against it, and you can 1-1 it on a Miracle Fusion/Reborn/Road against Hero. Not that great. Because of this trend, Maxx C has been declining in value, with eBay Completeds showing around the 70-80 mark. Still expensive, don't get me wrong, but it's still a big decrease from the 95-100+ it was around Atlanta time. Trollandtoad aren't even buying them at the moment, and ARG will give a whole ~50 bucks for either version.

It's hard to tell what will happen as time progresses because of this teetering-like pattern the game has. One may theorize that Wind-Ups will come back because people have dropped their C's or moved them to the sidedeck. Games 2 and 3 they can smokescreen into/out of the Beast build to make the opponent's sided-in C's less useful, theoretically. Veiler is becoming an increasingly played card to deal with Inzektors, is fairly good against Wind-Up, but not that great against Rabbit, and terrible against Heroes and DW.

My prediction is that C will experience a little more price-dropping because of the results of Long Beach and stabilize around the $50 range, especially if this trend is apparent in YCS Dallas. Dino Rabbit will still be heavily played especially with the re-emergence of the Forbidden Chalice tech to deal with Snowmans/Gellenduos. Heroes are solid overall and music to a budget player's ears. Inzektors aren't quite as budget as Heroes, but not nearly expensive as Rabbit, and they can OTK out of nowhere and obviously wreck a field. Band-wagoners will hop on DW's win, with budget players probably replacing the 2 Tour Guides with Sillvas or something. I wouldn't expect DW to win in Dallas, because people will be more prepared for it via their sidedeck since the deck just won. Basically a repeat of that first YCS where DW debuted. Anyways, all of these instances point to a continual decline in main deck Maxx C usage. It's still a great card against certain decks, but in the meta that may shift because of Long Beach, maybe not so much.

On a side note, looking very forward to playing in locals again starting Monday in an effort to be prepared for regionals :) I think the last time I played any in-person Yugz was the box tourney, but having the couple weeks off was refreshing since I just felt so drained from all the drama and BS that was apparent around that time. Hate being 10 years out of high school and yet having to deal with high school-like drama, especially over a children's card game lol.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Updates + DW Takes Long Beach

I apologize for the lack of posts this past week, as I have been rather busy with other projects and tasks. This weekend I've started to work on writing a comprehensive book/paper/manual on how to make money off Yugioh. I'm currently at about 9 single-spaced pages, with a little over 7000 words. I am not certain if this work will ever be seen by anyone's eyes beyond my own, but it is something I'm considering. If anything, it's just a fun way to put all my thoughts down in written form. It may be something I pass down if I ever have to relocate again or retire from the game completely.

Well congrats to Michael Balan who just won YCS Long Beach with Darkworld. The top 4 was DW, Rabbit, Heroes, and Chaos Piper. Never woulda expected DW and Piper to make it so far!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Angel Flores, Save the Meta

Another article written by Danny the Team O Captain:
Right now I'm reminded of a time when Samurai was kicking our butt every single tourney, week in and week out. People thought for sure there was no beating the Samurai deck at all. I myself had trouble with the deck but at the time didn't have money to build Samurai. Then an angel was sent from the yugioh gods, that man's name was Angel Flores. Now this is not a personal cry or plea for help to the man himself, but the next YCS is at Long Beach and maybe, just maybe, lighting can strike twice in California. Come on yugioh give us something to work with yugioh.

Here is the deck he made and won with:

Monsters: 16
1 Elemental Hero Stratos
3 Elemental Hero Alius
2 Thunder King Rai-Oh
2 Cyber Dragon
2 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
1 Genex Ally Duradark
1 D.D. Warrior Lady
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind
1 Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
1 Honest

Spells: 15
1 Dark Hole
1 Nobleman of Crossout
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Monster Reborn
1 E - Emergency Call
3 Gemini Spark
2 Forbidden Chalice
3 Pot of Duality

Traps: 10
1 Hero Blast
1 Torrential Tribute
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Solemn Judgment
1 Seven Tools of the Bandit
2 Solemn Warning
2 Dimensional Prison

Side Deck: 15
1 Mind Crush
1 Nobleman of Crossout
2 Miracle Fusion
2 Penguin Soldier
2 Kinetic Soldier
2 Summon Limit
2 Super Polymerization
2 Pulling the Rug
1 Royal Oppression

Now I think that this can be adjusted to fit our current meta by a lot. Of course with the big 3 holding down the fort for right now, and for those of you not knowing what I'm talking about I'm referring to Dino Rabbit, Inzektors, and Wind Ups. With this format a lot of it is who wins the die roll, hence the term dice roll format. So when your opponent goes first with Dino Rabbit, Laggia is always usually the turn one set up. Now I notice when you play the deck if you play cards that force your opponent to activate Laggia like Book of Moon, Smashing, Dark Hole, etc they will auto Laggia's effect. Well the same goes for monsters- if you summon Gale, Grand Mole, DD Warrior Lady, anything that causes a problem for the Dino Rabbit player right then and there. Same goes for Wind Up and Inzektor- if you go first Fossil Dyna or TKing with back row, stops Wind Up really well. Inzektors is a little tough but Veiler and Fiendish Chain, even Doom Calibur, takes care of that. Most smart players won't summon turn one and pass with Inzektors so you're in the clear.

So lets look at some of the possibilities. I'm no pro when it comes to deck building but if I was gonna build the deck I would probably go with something like this

Monsters: 15
1 Snowman Eater
1 Elemental Hero Stratos
3 Elemental Hero Alius
3 Thunder King Rai-Oh
2 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind
1 Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
1 Honest
1 Spirit reaper

Spells: 13
2 Miracle Fusion
1 Dark Hole
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Monster Reborn
1 Book of Moon
1 E - Emergency Call
3 Gemini Spark
3 Pot of Duality

Traps: 13
1 Starlight Road
2 Fiendish chain
1 Hero Blast
2 Torrential Tribute
1 Solemn Judgment
2 Solemn Warning
2 Dimensional Prison
1 Mirror force

Side Deck and Extra is your choice or based according to your local tourney.

So I know what you're thinking- "where's Maxx C, where's Veiler ?" To be honest I'm so tired of the bad draws with all the hand traps. I played without Maxx C in my locals this weekend but I did side two and guess what I took first place. If you guys remember our big box tourney was last weekend and I got into the top 4 with 3 Maxx C's. Coincidence? I think not. Now I'm not saying these cards are terrible but against certain decks they completely suck. I imagine that you're worried about hand loop and Rabbit Laggia but you really don't get much out of Maxx C against a skilled player and I think Wind Up is dying unless they make a build that's unheard of. Inzektors should get raped by this deck or at least with using the side deck. I'm gonna be testing this real soon here but Heroes has a chance to make a strong impact cause there's also the Skill Drain build. Look at this way, with priority possibly leaving the game, this deck barely gets hit by the change, meaning this can be tweaked even more and is cheap as hell to build. So players, there's a ton of innovation you can do to this deck but for now I'm giving you a starting to a possibly strong idea.

I wish I could be at Long Beach but I'm celebrating my birthday that weekend. Til next time, love the game, stay confident, and always play to win.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Market Analysis & Prediction - Synchros

Since I wasn't sure on what specific card to do a Market Analysis on, I decided to shotgun it and go for Synchros in general.

For the past couple of months, many people have jokingly talked about how they never synchro anymore, or say "what are these white cards?", etc. Danny and I have often asked each other "should we just sell em off?" I think everyone hesitated due to the "you never know" factor and with none of the "money" synchros being announced for a reprint other than the European Brionac promo at that time. I'd like to go over the current status of some of these Synchros in relation to our game and the OCG and what we can expect moving forward into GAOV.

Brionac is one of those Synchros that no matter how little a person's deck might Synchro, they usually have a copy of this guy in there. Throughout the years he has held a very consistent $30-40 value (not gonna go into DT cards). Currently you can pick this card up off eBay Buy-It-Now's for roughly $22-23. Recent Completed listings show them being purchased anywhere between $15-25. With the confirmed news that Brionac will be in the next Gold Series, I can only see it's value going down further. The DT one should retain a very respectable value.
Buy prices:
Troll: 30 for 1st ed
ARG: 18.25 for Unl (46 for DT)

Catastor is still relatively seen in Extra decks with the combination of there being so many floater-like Level 4's and the Veiler reprint. He is still very useful for his effect against any kind of non-Dark heavy deck.
He has always hovered around the $15-20 mark and can currently be found for that on eBay. No easy-to-get reprint has been mentioned as of yet (disregarding it's Ultimate status in TU07).
Buy prices:
Troll: N/A
ARG: 10.25 for Unl (25 for Ulti)

Mist Wurm
Mist Wurm saw a recent increase in price due to the banning of Trishula. What was once a $10 card for the longest time has crawled up to the $15-18 range. In a Veiler-Chain format, I believe its usefulness is questionable. While decks such as Sams and Karakuri can go into it, it's just not the same as Trish.
Buy prices:
Troll: 14 for Unl
ARG: 13 for Unl (18 for DT)

Naturia Beast & Barkion
Initially Beast was over-shadowed by its Barkion counterpart in playability and value. I remember Barkion being pretty expensive at around $30-35 and Beast being around $20-25. Currently Completed listings for Beast show them being around $20, while Barkion is in the $15-18 range. Naturia Beast can be a very crippling card against certain Spell-heavy decks, and Sams and Karakuri can go into it with ease. In certain scenarios a protected Beast can be more devastating than a Shi En.
Buy prices:
Troll: 15 for Unl
ARG: 16.25 for 1st, 10.25 for Unl
Troll: 12 for Unl
ARG: 13 for both editions

Black Rose
This card saw its peak when Plant Synchro was in its hayday and this card could often be found at 2 in the Extra. Like Brionac, this is also a frequent card that is seen as a 1-of regardless of Synchro'ing capabilities. Realistically two Level 3's and a Veiler isn't a far-fetched play, but I have to admit it has been ages since I've seen someone summon, let alone resolve for its effect, a BRD. There are many different rarities for this card and the last reprint we saw was the tin, so it still holds a very respectable value, with the tin one being around $13-15 on eBay Completeds.
Buy prices:
Troll: 18 for 1st ed Ultimate (only one they buy currently)
ARG: They buy all rarities, tin one @ 7.25

Scrap Dragon
This card has been a highly-desired reprint, many hoping it to be in the Collector's Tins or a SE promo, but it has always escaped the reprint. If people in the current meta only have one spot for an 8-star Synchro, and they aren't running Road, this guy is usually the one that makes it in. It currently holds its maintained value at around the $30-35 value depending on the rarity. This card, surprisingly, has yet to be announced for a reprint.
Buy prices:
Troll: 30 for Unl Ultra
ARG: 30.25 for both Ultimates, 21 for 1st Ultra, 19 for Unl

Hyper Librarian
Many people went absolutely crazy in purchasing Shonen Jump subscriptions to get this card (and make large amounts of profit) when it was announced. I myself ordered 2 subscriptions to pick up a spare for Danny. At that time, Tengu Plants abused this card with all the Synchro shenanigans that deck had. Currently, with Plants being dead and most decks not spamming Synchros like they used to, this card has lost a lot of its peak value, with it currently being in Completeds at around $18-20.
Buy prices:
Troll: N/A
ARG: 13.25

Orient Dragon
I hesitated to include this card at first, but figured I'd just press on with it since it used to have value. Upon its release, many people were excited for a non-specific 6-star Synchro-based answer to other Synchros, besides using Brionac and having to pitch a card. I ran it for quite a while (when it was relevant) and have banished many a Synchro. It used to be in the $20-25 price range, while it is now around $15-18.
Buy prices:
Troll: 14 for Unl
ARG: 10.25 for Unl, 9.25 for 1st

With that being said, what should we do with Synchros? Well the obvious answer is to take into account what your primary deck is. If you're running Samurai or Karakuri, a full Synchro suite is pretty important to have. If you're running something kinda random like Scraps, well I don't need to tell you to keep your Scrap Drags. In the "main-stream" aspect of looking at things though, my first recommendation would be to sell off extraneous copies of "money" Synchros you have. With the majority of them being so old and thus due for a reprint, it's only a matter of time. Might as well sell/trade em while they have a fairly decent value, when you rarely even Synchro, right? I recently have come to terms with me knowing I will most likely not need them and will be playing a deck that rarely synchros, like Inzektor or Heroes. I have sold all mine off except like a Librarian, and have random rares like Stardust and Armory.

Upon looking at OCG decks from relevant tourneys, here is a list of Synchros that some-what get played in their more prominent decks. There may be a few decklists that include a particular Synchro, but those can be seen as outliers. In general:
Dimension/Verz Laggia: Stardust (for Road)
Hieratic/Hieroglyph: Brionac, Black Rose, Stardust, Scrap
Inzektor: Armory, Catastor
Laval: All relevant Synchros
Heroes: Catastor, Stardust (Road), Scrap

Besides Lavals, the OCG, and even in some aspects the TCG, are gradually leaning toward all-XYZ Extra decks. Hieroglyph are getting a lot of hype with the exclusives that have been announced, and although I did include those 4 Synchros with them, I have seen a few decklists that were all-XYZ. I don't imagine this trend to revert back toward Synchros any time soon, with many people saying Konami isn't going to make any more Tuners or Synchros. Samurai will be getting their own XYZ soon, and with the structure deck coming out, people may hold on to/pick up that deck and thus their relevant Synchros. It is not something that I will be pursuing though, so I don't mind having the extra cash off the Synchros that I'm not even using anymore. If you're in a particular need of money, look at your Extra deck and ask yourself "when's the last time I brought this guy out?" If all you can come up with is "that one time I used Veiler", well it should be obvious where you can get some extra money from.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Confidence, What a World of Difference

An article from none other than Team O's captain, Danny:
How should I begin? Well my confidence came back to me on a Tuesday morning when my work manager Michelle and I had a long and brutal conversation (not as bad as I'm putting it lol). She is very sweet and very cute but she can get to the point very quickly. I'm like super negative at times and I believe that it has a lot to do with me and having such a hard time in Yugioh, work, and all other life experiences. My negativity had such an impact on my life that now I'm ready to face it and steamroll it into the ground at this point. Michelle told me that every negative reaction to a bad situation that you have has no control on the outcomes for the things you do and are responsible for. Believe me, I fought this back and forth with Michelle. She is an amazing person and at the end of the conversation, she had won it and there goes me being dominated by a woman once again. So I agreed to remain positive no matter what the outcome of any situation, and here is how I apply it to Yugioh.

For the longest time, challenges became hard to face because I'm the kind of person who always wants to win; to remain dominant, to never lose no matter what situation is. When it comes to free dueling, I will only play people who either don't take it as they just "beat Danny the god of Yugioh" when they win, or put myself in a situation where where the deck I was facing wouldn't dominate mine as badly. So what that did was give me a false sense of confidence thinking my deck was good, but this didn't really prepare me the way I needed. Even if you win a hundred practice matches, are you really winning? That's what I figured out from my good teammate Link. He helped me, along with others, realize that I need to face all challenges as if I was gonna win or at least be happy with the results and understand that I did everything that I could have done and there's nothing more I could have done besides practice more, make adjustments, and read up on the meta. I honestly feel I have gotten better and realize that many players make mistakes. Once I see the opening I need to capitalize on it.

At the last box tournament I went to, I got into the top 4 out of 28 and won 5 Special Editions of Order of Chaos. This made me feel really good about myself, spending $10 to get back $50 in prizing sounds really productive, if I say so myself. I am ready to face all challenges and can't wait to tell you about the tournaments I win in the future. My confidence is back and I plan on applying it to every aspect of my life. When you do good at work, you go home happy. When you win you're happy, and when you're happy with your results you're happy, so just remain positive and good things will happen.

So in conclusion, face all challenges, prepare yourself the right way and always be happy with your results, especially if you feel that you gave it your all. I can't stress that enough and if I make top 4 for the next 20 tourneys I will love it but my ultimate goal is to always be positive.

So this is Danny your team captain, taking one tourney at a time. Remember, Team Overload, baby!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Moving Forward

I know the past few posts have been kinda dreary/drama-laden and mostly about box tourney talk, and I kinda want to "re-generalize" the blog again to what it used to be. I may cut down on the overall length of posts but I'd like to post more frequently again. Speaking locally, what's done is done and I am at peace with knowing I'm not going to be putting 60+ miles on my car on Saturdays anymore.

It's been forever and a half since I did a "Market Analysis" post, so perhaps I'll try and put one up here soon. To be honest, Pojo's Profiting thread in the Card Collecting forum, and DGz's General Finance thread in General Groundz, are my go-to places when I'm trying to find info on the current market and what may potentially rise/drop in the future. Sometimes it's full of "pulling this out my ass" kind of insight, but there are people that post that know what they're doing and do it well.

Uncle's finally called me earlier today, so I picked up my 18 packs of ORCS from the prizing for their box tourney. It's kinda funny how the gift card they gave me to give back to them was for $78 (4.33 * 18 = ~78) and all that covers is 18 packs since they charge for full retail + tax. I got my SE boxes for $62 each, and that's 30 packs plus 5 Veilers. 18 for $78, or 30 for $62... this is why people don't (or at least shouldn't) buy loose packs lol. My pulls were fairly decent though, with Exa-Beetle, Giga-Mantis, Zenmaity, Hornet, Blade Armor Ninja, Ninjitsu Art of Super-Trans, and an Armor Blast. There should only be like 2 holos left in that box.

Speaking of Blade Armor Ninja, for the longest time now, I've wanted to run some kind of Hero variant but would always trade/sell away any copies of The Shining I'd get, simply because I knew it'd have to be reprinted sooner than later for Europe legalization. The Shining reprint tin comes out next week, and I've picked up all the available fusions, so it may be something I finally get to run. MegaCapitalG's latest video also really intrigued me to the deck as well.

My homework load is crazy right now so I'm going to be taking this week off playing in tourneys. Next week, finals week, should actually be pretty lax so I'll be playing in as many tourneys I can during that week and the following week, spring break. As oddly excited I am to play in Brandon's Traditional tourney again, Portland regionals is going to be here in a flash so we as a team need to push forward with testing so we can top this bitch.

Monday, March 12, 2012

ORCS SE Box Tourney Report 3-11-2012; Gamer's Haven

Well the big day finally arrived and I was pretty pumped. I decided I'd play the Hopper-Kaliber version of Inzektor after getting some feedback from Nate and Danny after the testing they did. I don't do too much beforehand besides get ready, I leave and get to Haven around 11:30.

I go upstairs and there's not a whole lot of people yet so I just find a spot to sit next to Nate and Danny who are playing, and I alter my deck after borrowing Danny's 3 Kaliber's. After I get done with that Epler wants to test so we play a few games, he's running AHL Rescue Rabbit Glads for today. I think I win all the games except one where I can't deal with Herk, Chariot, and all the plussing he was able to do. I buy a bunch of random rares and commons off Donut so he can enter the tourney.

Trevor and Corey come in, and I could feel the tension/awkwardness rise in the room. I'm not gonna go into details of the drama since in the end everything was worked out and there's no hard feelings from or to any parties involved. It was probably all a case of "he said, he said" and stuff being taken out of context. I tell Trevor in the end, this is just a game and I love all the guys that belong to Spokane YuGiOh (more on CDA later). Like Danny mentioned later we don't need to start some kind of team war lol.

Joe Lancaster comes a bit later with a few people he brought over from Yakima, like Danny said, he's a cool and genuine guy. He ran the tournament basically flawlessly and it was beyond awesome that he made the drive over for us. He didn't even want compensation or anything like that. I think in the end he received $40 to cover the gas, even though he still didn't want to accept it. I think his Yakima friends made him lol.

Of all people, Antonio randomly showed up, who was in the area because there's a casino nearby (at the Black Pearl restaurant?) and saw the Haven. He buys a few of my burn deck cards and some other minor things. Kim from Idaho also showed up, but his Sams are incomplete since he doesn't have Maxx C or Veiler. I tell him I'd lend him what I had, and gave him the money I owed him for selling his stuff so he can enter the tourney. He ends up registering after the round 1 pairings get made so he got the first-round bye.

We have a quick Team O meeting before the whole players meeting, Danny reminds us to just chill out and we don't want to start a team war, even though I bring up that it'd be awesome to have a 5-on-5 money match where each person puts in X amount and the winning team takes the pot. Link agrees :) I just think it'd be fun and friendly competition. I'm not sure how many people are on their team though, it may have to be like 3-on-3. After that we bring it in and wish each other luck. For the rest of the day, whatever happens, happens.

Joe does a very brief player meeting and tells us that we'd be playing downstairs. Even though the fan did help, it was still rather warm. Everyone was glad that we weren't gonna be upstairs lol. Attendance was 28, which is good in some aspects but bad in others. I was personally hoping for around 40, and I'm not sure why Adrian, Ryan, Dwight, Eric and his kid, Sjan, Ian and Unky Twan, Carl, Colin, and some of the other more-frequent/competitive Idaho players didn't show up. In fact the only Idaho players were the 3 on our team and Kim. I find it too coincidental that absolutely none of the other Idaho players showed up, even after handing out the fliers to them and a lot of them seemingly excited for it. I'm gonna leave my personal conspiracy theories to myself, but as it was said in Hamlet, "something is rotten in the state of Denmark." I will say this though: if you didn't show up on purpose (and you didn't have some other obligation), well, at the end of the day, that's probably all good cuz even if we did end up with a regionals here, all you'd do is scrub the fuck out anyways. Go ahead and stay bad, the team likes winning all y'alls prize support.

Anyways I don't have my life point sheet anymore so match-recaps are purely off memory.

Round 1 vs Shiggs (Sams)
Game 1 - He wins this one after he goes off first turn and I didn't open with Maxx C. I also open with a pretty crappy hand (at least vs Sams with Shi En out). He takes it within the next few turns.
I side out all the Hopper-Kaliber stuff since none of it did anything for me first game. I also had to have something to side out for better anti-Sam stuff.
Game 2 - I win this won pretty well I believe.
Game 3 - Throughout the course of the game he used all his Uniteds and was in a very advantageous state. He walks into a Torrential which brings back the advantage to be even, then makes another non-beneficial play so I end up with advantage and win.
Record: 1-0

Round 2 vs Epler (AHL Rabbit Glads)
Sucks to play teammates early on but can't help it since we were about 1/3 of the attendance.
Game 1 - He wins this one with Equeste-Chariot control. I misplay by not playing Veiler on the first turn Prisma and over the course of the next few turns is way up on me in advantage.
I was hoping this wasn't another "Alan incident" where I always win in fun games but lose in the critical for-reals match lol.
Game 2 - Again I side out Hopper-Kaliber (did this all day pretty much) for conventional removal, TKings, Snowmans. Does the trick.
Game 3 - Near the end I have a 2500 Leviathan out and he has Utopia w/ 1 material. I summon Dragonfly but don't have Hornet (didn't think I did for majority of the game) intending to just kill the Utopia. I don't pump the Leviathan to 3000, which ends up being good since he had Veiler in hand. Leviathan and Utopia suicide and I poke with Hornet. He sets a monster, and I top Centipede. At this point I'm just hoping to not run into a Hoplomus. He had one in grave but had no idea if he was running 2 or not. I decide to just go for it, Centipede runs over it (don't remember what it was), and Dragonfly for the game.
Record: 2-0

Round 3 vs Danny (Rabbit)
This was it, Captain vs Co-Captain :)
Game 1 - Very back-and-forth and grindy. We're both down pretty low and I stop his Leviair play. My Leviathan was in the grave, and I was going to XYZ for Rank 3. His field is Sabersaurus and Leviair. I debated between going for Giga or Acid Golem, but I chose Acid Golem. I figured all he'd have to do is top another Dino or Lance which would just run over Giga. I didn't want to go Zenmaines and kill the Leviair that way, since I'd just be taking more damage (potentially lethal) next turn since I didn't have any backrow protection. I also wanted to rush for damage and get 1200 from the Leviair battle. In the end, this screws me though as I don't have the LP to maintain the Golem nor do I have a way to get rid of it. Woulda been mine had I had a 2nd Leviathan in Extra I believe.
Game 2 - Again this was a long game, since we only had about 10 minutes left at the end of this game. At the end we were both around the 1100 mark, I have Ryko set with BLS and Book in hand vs his Sabersaurus and 2 backrow. I flip Ryko, targetting his Sabersaurus, which he Solemn Judgments. This gives me the light I need, and I basically have no other move, not sure what his other backrow was, but I summon and swing for game.
Game 3 - An early Shadow Mirror completely shuts me down with me not drawing MST. I try to go into a Zenmaines with the hopes to pop it later, but he Books my summoned Hornet and he has complete control after that.
Very good match, from now on I'm gonna run 2 Leviathan (until we get even more Rank 3's)!
Record: 2-1

Round 4 vs Joe (Wind-Up)
I move way down in the tables, and somehow Shiggs is above me by 1 table spot even though we both had the same record. This was also going to be the last swiss round, so it was do or die time. Joe normally runs Lightsworn, which I figured he was running, but within the first turn I see it's not.
Game 1 - Sure enough, every time I play against a Wind-Up (or variant) I never open with Maxx C in game 1. He loops me for 3 but doesn't have much for significant backrows. I have Centipede in hand which with Hornet pops his back, attack over Zenmaity, from there I establish control. He also goes into Acid Golem, which burns him from 6000 to 0.
Game 2 - Not much of an idea what happened this game, I think a lot of Inzektor shenanigans since our match didn't last that long.
Record: 3-1

After this round Alan (Karakuri) was the lone undefeated I think. There are a ton of 3-1's, so it's all up to tie-breakers as to who made it into top 8. One of the Yakima guys who initially was put into top 8 had an error in their match recording, he was marked for a win rather than a loss. So after the re-pair, top 8 ended up being Alan (Karakuri), Link (Rabbit), Nate (Inzektor), Danny (Rabbit), myself (Inzektor), Shiggs (Samurai), Roy (Rabbit?), and one guy from Yakima (Rabbit). 5 out of 8 for Team O, not bad at all considering a lot of us had to play each other. Epler was 3-1 as well with his only loss to me but didn't make it in :( Happens.

Top 8 vs Nate (Inzektor)
Well from one box tourney to the next, we had to face each other in the earliest playoff match.
I really have no idea how our matches went now, other than remembering I won the first one and he won the next two. Lots of Veiler, Fiendish Chain, the usual in an Inzektor mirror match. I sided in Trap Hole, which worked on his flip-summoned Dragonfly, but it was whatever. I only had them for the mirror and Nate was the only mirror I played, so didn't get much use out of them today.
Record: 3-2

Top 4 ends up being Alan, Nate, Danny, and Link. All Team O top 4, which was our goal, and everyone splits the top 4 prizing evenly and decide to just play for the mats. Top 8 get their SEs, I didn't pull anything out of my SE besides Veiler. 5th through 8th got a GS4 mat as well but I didn't want it so I gave it to our area's "young prodigy" who's like 9 or something. Figured the little kid should get something y'know :) He's very good though, taking out people twice his age and more.

So top 4 is Nate vs Alan, and Link vs Danny. Alan and Link win. Finals is Rabbit vs Karakuri, and Alan wins the whole damn thing. That guy makes Karakuri work lol. Helps that he's been running it for like 2-3 months now lol. Congrats to Alan, he did exceptionally well.

As for me, I didn't give the Hopper-Kaliber stuff much of a chance I suppose since I seemingly sided it out every game 2 and 3. I never got to use Hopper for his ideal effect, but Kaliber was alright. I need to play with it more to get more comfortable with it and learn all the little plays the deck brings with it. I wish GAOV and Lavalval Chain would just come out already lol.

Not sure when we may do another box tourney, but Danny and I both agree that our focus should primarily be on bringing up the local scene. To be honest I'm not going to push myself hard to organize a regional in our area when all I got is pretty much a big "fuck you" from 80% of the Idaho community. There's too much greed, an over-sense of loyalty, jealousy, manipulation, fear, and laziness to deal with and thus becomes a tremendous uphill battle to bring any sense of "one community" to the area. Perhaps I was a bit jaded when I had assumed that we had this all along. I'll work and fight for people that give 2 shits about the game, but I can't and won't waste my time on people that don't. I do sincerely appreciate each and every person that did show up, and once again to Joe Lancaster. Where Spokane YuGiOh goes from here on, it's anyone's guess.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

ORCS SE Box Tourney Final Reminder + Explanations

So I decided to stop by Uncle's today since they still hadn't called me about my 3/4 box. The owner was there and I was just like "just thought I'd stop by and try to get an update" and he said they were still currently in transit. His guess was that they'd be there by Monday and would let me know, but we shall see.

After that, Danny and I rode out to Lightning just to hang out a bit and I used up the last of my store credit to buy 3 ORCS SEs (only pulled Zenmaioh). We originally went to trade but I just wasn't feeling up to it since I figured most everyone would be at the box tourney tomorrow. Also since the tourney is tomorrow, this will be the final reminder that it starts at 1pm at Gamer's Haven in the Valley. Tomorrow is Daylight Savings time as well! I will probably show up around 11AM. Danny is wanting to do a few side events so that more people (like perhaps the younger kids) had a chance to win things and came away with at least something. Stuff like GS4 mats, cards, etc. We want everyone to have an enjoyable time and to keep coming back to Gamer's Haven for locals. For Spokane, Gamer's Haven should be the place for Yugioh. I'm willing to give my STOR sneak mat and a 2-page Monster Binder as prizing for side events as well.

Lightning surprisingly had 18 show up for their tourney, but since I had to be home by 4, Danny and I didn't enter. It's just so freaking random as to when people decide they want to play. I saw quite a number of new faces. One week it's 16 with half the attendance being Team O, then the next it's 18 with only 2 Team O members. Like wtf?? lol. And no, it's not a case of "oh those guys aren't playing this week so we should enter the tourney."

After speaking to Danny, I just wanted to clarify a few things regarding a few aspects about last Monday's Uncle's box tourney to the local players, whoever happens to read the blog:

- Losing to Trevor in swiss did make me salty, but only in regards to how our game 3 ended. I've played the game long enough to the point that a fair loss isn't something I dwell on anymore. If I don't draw Maxx C or Veiler game 1 and lose, well that's the format. If I lose cuz I simply got out-played, that's fine; I need to improve or learn my match-up better. If I lose after having complete control of the game but lose cuz of that one topdeck, well ya I'm gonna be salty about it and anybody else would as well. Against Inzektor, a late-game state of 2700 beater (Gorz), Stardust, and a set Fiendish Chain vs 2 cards-in-hand to a topdeck'd 3rd should be game in all normal circumstances. His Heavy baited my Stardust, and the normal-summoned Dragonfly baited my Fiendish. So besides Reborn, BLS (which I don't think his deck ran), or DAD (which I think he had too many darks), the probability to draw a live out at that specific moment was very low, since I would've had game next turn. I can't even think of another freshly-drawn card that'd be in his deck besides those 3 that would've outright won him the game like it did. It's basically the equivalent of river'ing that one-copy-in-the-deck card to win in poker. It's happened for me and against me, that's just the nature of the game sometimes. So I don't want people to have some sort of impression that I just outright got dominated or something. If I did get dominated, I probably wouldn't be salty about it in the first place. I'd just be like holy shit I have a lot of room to improve.

- I decided to scoop (which in essence was an even split since I sold the mat for $35) in the final solely because it was almost 10 and the wife was going ballistic. Outside of Alan and maybe Danny, no one knows what it's like to have a spouse that completely controls what you do, when you do it, and how. I can't afford to take big risks because that may mean I'm no longer involved in the game. At all. I'm not going to risk her getting completely mad at me, becoming suspicious and finding my cards somehow, her throwing away all my shit and me being on complete lockdown, just for some satisfaction of playing out one more round to be some "big victor" of the poorly-ran, poorly-planned, spur-of-the-moment box tourney that started an hour late. It wasn't an issue of me being scared or lacking confidence or anything like that. I'll play my 100% against anyone and everyone. I've played for cards before in Sam format using GK's with no Duality or Warnings, so clearly I'm not afraid to lay it out on the line lol. In fact sometimes I'm occasionally like "anybody wanna play for cards or cash?", but no one wants to so I've just kinda given up on that whole bit. If you want to play in a money match though, by all means please come hit me up. Trust me, I wanted to finish out the tourney as much as anyone regardless of how tired I was, but in some situations, it's just not up to me. It's too crucial that I maintain a fine balance between "keeping the peace/her happy" and doing what I want to do. It was a feat in and of itself that I was at the box tourney in the first place. No one that's never been married before can know what it's like, because girlfriends for the most part are super supportive and all that. That's easy-street. If they piss you off you can break up with them and not lose half of everything that you own. Wait till you get married.

- Yes, I should've just given Nate the win if I knew I wasn't going to play it out in the finals. That was my bad, and I honestly just didn't think about it. It was late, I'm up early every morning of the week, stressed over homework, wife on my back, frustrated they didn't have any freakin packs for prizes, so I wasn't exactly in a clear state of mind. At the same time, I'm not gonna minus myself $75 worth of prize support when the primary reason I went to the box tourney at all, and why I play this game in general, is to plus. Some people are so cutthroat they don't even want to split at all, so it's kinda hypocritical to expect me to go from getting ~$100 worth of prizes and get "2nd", to getting ~$25 and take 4th (cuz I doubt that Troung kid would've offered to split with me - and I had to go, so by default I would've gotten 4th).

See y'all tomorrow, should be a fun event!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

ORCS SE Box Tourney Reminder #1

For the Northwest-based readers, this is a friendly reminder about the Order of Chaos SE box tourney that is going down this Sunday at Gamer's Haven at 1PM. Also don't forget that Sunday is Daylight Saving Time as well; we wouldn't want half the people to show up on time and the rest showing up an hour late lol. If you want the details again, or are just too lazy to navigate to the flier, it can be found at this link. Hope to see the entire Spokane-area playerbase there! Danny told me that Bob put a fan in the upstairs gaming room, hopefully it's some kind of AC unit rather than just a run-of-the-mill fan, cuz one fan ain't gonna cool that whole room lol. The problem with fans is they usually just tend to blow around the existing warm air, especially in a room with no windows. Better than nothing I know, but if it's too uncomfortable people just won't tolerate it for too long. It's only March as well, so it's not exactly hot outside yet. I'd hate to imagine what it'd be like in the middle of August with no AC.

So far, out of 64 Special Editions, I have yet to pull a Zenmaity, Shark, or Zektcaliber (it's cheap but I need 2 more, was hoping to just pull them). It seems like Secrets come 2 per SE box now as well, which is sort of interesting. Perhaps it is their way of dealing with the inflated values on the secondary market. Too bad ORCS doesn't have as good of Secrets as PHSW does.

Still waiting to hear from Uncle's regarding my 18 packs I won, hopefully they get them in tomorrow.

I've also decided I need to have more in the side for the Inzektor mirror match, because the deck is gaining popularity in our area as I predicted. Having a couple DD Crows isn't cutting it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ORCS Box Tourney Report 3-5-2012; Uncle's Games (Valley)

I check the tracking info for my ORCS SE boxes yesterday and notice that the delivery had been upped by a day so that they'd come in yesterday rather than today, which was when they were originally scheduled for. So the plan was for me to wait til they got delivered to Danny's (yea I get my boxes delivered to Danny's address) and then I'd come over and we could open the boxes and playtest and whatnot. Dwight also was going to borrow my Wind-Ups so I had to find a non-TGU build for him, I did, so I built it up and then made a few tweaks to my deck to include the Veilers that I'd be getting later. More time passes and it gets to be around 2:30pm and the boxes still haven't been delivered, I'm like screw waiting around since I also had to run an errand to do some grocery shopping and pick up my Troll and Toad order from my post office. Once I'm almost at the PO Danny texts me and says the boxes came, so I go there right after dropping groceries off and I get there around 3:40 or so. I had told Dwight that I'd meet him at like 4:20 so he could go over the deck and make tweaks to it and whatnot, so all I really had time to do was open all the SEs to pull the Veilers and head out. We open all the SEs and I end up with 24 Veiler and 26 Ra. I give Danny a set of each and I head over to Uncle's. Nate calls me to make sure I'm still coming, I'm like I'll be there in a few.

Surprisingly there were like 9 other people there already and I'd make the 10 they needed to hold the tourney. I sit down and pull out my stack of Veilers, ask Carl if he's cool with me running them since I got them a day earlier, and he's like sure. So I put in my 3 and then grab the deck for Dwight and I go over what I had for the extra and show him the main and stuff. He makes a few changes which I have no problem with. A few people ask if I'd trade my Veilers, I'm like sure. I think I only have like 9 left for trade, so I got rid of quite a few of them.

So right around 4:50 I go to pay and enter the tourney, and apparently the entry is $15 instead of the $10 that the majority of everyone there thought it was. For some reason Shiggs knew it was $15 lol. I'm just like alright so I pay the extra 5 but Dwight only has 14 and Roy doesn't feel like paying $15 considering he was running an Inzektor deck that he hasn't been able to test yet. Carl ends up giving Dwight the dollar and Roy $5 so they can both enter. Corey, Trevor and Aaron show up a bit later and then a few other people. It takes quite a while to get the tourney started, I think it started around 6 and attendance was 15.

Round 1 vs Schroeder (Inzektor)
Before the match Carl hands everyone 2 packs of PHSW, Troung pulls a Dolkka and Corey wants it. I tell him he's pretty hard to trade with since he tends to over-value all his stuff.
Game 1 - I hit early with Dragonfly and Centipede, I search the Gigamantis since I have a Dragonfly in hand, and next turn I OTK.
Game 2 - He hits me for 2600 early but I stabilize and towards the end all he has are hand-trap monsters which don't help him at that stage in the game.
Record: 1-0

Afterwards Troung comes over and Corey offers to buy the Dolkka, he asks how much, and he says $20 (!!!). So much for knowing the values. I'm internally raging because again I didn't bring extra money, Corey's like "sure" and that's pretty much a free $45 plus. Corey gives me the "wow I can't believe this just happened" look and I just smile and chuckle, trying not to give away to Troung that it was a bad deal. I always hate when people cock-block my trades/buys, so I wasn't gonna do that to Corey. That'd just be a dick move lol.

Round 2 vs Aaron (Darkworld)
Game 1 - He uses Trance Archfiend to get some special summons and draws going and hits me for a good amount. I get lucky with resolving Storm and re-stabilize while he is down to topping.
Game 2 - I think this was the game he MST'd my MST which I used to destroy his Gates. Late game he sets Morphing Jar but I just pop it and go for the win.
Record: 2-0

Danny shows up right when round 3 starts. I think it was in between this round where Trevor went to buy like $27 worth of Pokemon packs, is like "I hope the Mewtwo (or Mew? no clue) hasn't been pulled yet," doesn't pull it, and then the worker guy is like "oh it's already been pulled." Trevor comes back to tell Aaron and Corey what happened, I overhear the story, and we're all like wow that's f-ed. I understand from a business perspective to do that, but at the same time that completely shuts away customers from ever buying again. I wouldn't buy loose boosters if I knew that's the way they were gonna do things, but then again I never buy loose boosters at all lol.

Round 3 vs Trevor (Wind-Up Inzektor)
Game 1 - He wins the di roll, I don't have Maxx C or Veiler in hand I think he went Rat Shark Instant Fusion and loops me for 3 cards. I try to re-stabilize but he Inzektor pops whatever I try to get on the field.
Game 2 - He's out of cards early and I ride an early BLS backed by handtraps to win.
Game 3 - This is pretty back and forth and we grind it out. The late-game state is my Gorz, Stardust that I bring out via token+Veiler, a set Fiendish Chain, and Reborn in hand. I could've Reborn'd a Veiler in grave and kept the Veiler in hand, but I thought the Reborn would be more useful if he somehow gets rid of my field. I figured I was in a pretty good state with Stardust and Chain set. He has 2 in hand and lp's are 3000 (me) to 3800. He draws, plays Heavy Storm, which I think about but end up negating with Stardust. He summons Dragonfly, which I Chain. Then he plays top-decked Reborn on his other Dragonfly, and with the pops, that was game. It was a good game but I admit was pretty salty with how it ended. Had I kept the Veiler rather than Reborn, I may have been able to play out of it but I'd still be in a bad spot since he would've just XYZ'd for Golem to run over Gorz, then I'd just have Stardust to defend a turn, and I would've had to drawn into an answer.
Record: 2-1

So at this point it's like 8:30 and the store is supposed to close at 9. I finally get to see Paul's (Blood Mefist guy) Blood Mefist, it was Super but cool to see nonetheless. Paul has actually been doing a good thing for the community by pumping in competitive cards to our meta, a lot like what I used to do in Texas. I think he's the primary reason more people have Tour Guides, Maxx C's, Zenmaines, and more competitive cards in general now. It's a cool move and everyone benefits from it. 

Round 4 vs Roy (Inzektor)
Game 1 - He gets me pretty low but after a massive Maxx C I draw to like 10 in hand, then I go off. After my initial field of Leviathan, Giga-Brilliant and like Hornet get destroyed, I go into 2 Dragonflys, DAD, and BLS ftw.
Game 2 - I don't remember this game but it was grindy and he takes it with 1000lp remaining.
Game 3 - We're both basically down to topdecking and he's like setting DD Crows and stuff to survive. I end up tributing my Acid Golem to summon Giga-Mantis, which actually ends up going for game over the next few turns. I top into Dragonfly to get rid of his set monster for game.
Record: 3-1

At first the store decided that they'd just end the tourney, and everyone was pissed except Trevor who was undefeated. I figured this would happen since the tourney got started so late, but to be fair these types of tourneys need to be top X playoffs so it doesn't completely become a "who gets paired against who" and "one loss you're out" kind of thing. The store decides they'd do a top 4 after all but they'd close the register so if someone wanted to buy something they'd have to do it now.

Top 4 is Trevor (Wind-Up Inzektor), Me (Inzektor), Nate (Inzektor), and Troung (TG with Junk? no idea really). Naturally Nate and I get paired against each other.

Top 4 vs Nate (Inzektor)
Game 1 - I Giga-Mantis OTK early on.
Game 2 - This one goes down to the wire and life is 1900-700. A lot of handtraps are played, and I Crow'd his Hornet early on and I never drew into it, and he didn't draw into a second one. The final turn is his Centipede+Hornet equipped with no cards in hand to my in-hand Foolish and no field. Roy saw me draw it last turn and was like "yea I don't like that card." I draw into Dragonfly, and with Foolish, that was game for me.
Record: 4-1

So I watch Trevor and Troung finish it up and Trevor expectedly wins. At this point it's 9:45pm and the wife's freaking out at me asking when I'd be back home. The prize layout was a box for first plus a 2-player ORCS mat, second gets 3/4 of a box, 3rd gets 12 packs, and 4th gets 6. I ask if he was cool with me scooping for the 3/4 box but if I got the 2-player mat. He doesn't care about the mat so he's fine with it. I tell Carl and he doesn't have a problem with it either. Sweet, I can finally leave lol. So it becomes revealed that the store doesn't actually have any boxes to give out as prizes, I guess the order just went in earlier that day, so their plan was that they'd hand us giftcards and had us fill out a slip so they'd call us when the boxes came in. We're all just like :/ wtf and Aaron was basically like that's ridiculous, how can you not have the actual boxes for prizes at a box tourney. Trevor is just like "can I just use the store credit to buy something else?" so he gets a box of Pokemon I believe. I'm just cracking up cuz the whole situation was rather ridiculous, I didn't care either way since I live fairly close and all, but yea, the whole thing was just kind of bizarre. Who runs a box tourney and not have the box prize? lol. We will have plenty of boxes at the Haven's box tourney so we won't be doing any of that kinda BS, and it is and will stick to being $10 entry. With top 8 playoff. No shenanigans. 

I watch Nate and Troung play the first game which Nate wins, and I have to leave so I say goodbyes, thank Carl for hosting and running the tourney, and am out. I call Danny and tell him that I scooped cuz the value between 3/4 box + mat and a whole box was pretty much the same, and about the whole no-prizes-yet thing. Hopefully I pull something worthwhile out of my 18 packs, whenever it gets here lol. I still have to open the 5 SE boxes worth of packs, so it's not like I won't have plenty of ORCS stuff though.

Decklist: 41
Monsters: 21
10 Bugs
3 Maxx C
3 Veiler
1 Tomato
1 Sangan
1 Reaper

Spells: 11
2 Duality
1 Hole
1 Heavy
1 Reborn
1 Allure
1 Book
1 Foolish

Traps: 9
2 Call
2 Fiendish
2 Warning
2 Torr
1 Judgment

Same as Sunday tourney

2 Snowman
1 Ryko
2 Smashing
2 Crow
1 Mind
1 Gorz
1 Compulse
1 Bottomless
1 Mirror Force
1 D-Prison
2 TKing

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Locals Report 3-4-2012; Gamer's Haven

Yesterday I went to Danny's after I did some grocery shopping and picked up 2 more Acid Golems. On one hand I'm glad Shonen Jump is going digital since I don't have to bother throwing away the damn magazine anymore, but on the other hand it's going to be interesting to see how this affects the availability of future "magazine" promos with there being no physical magazine. Gone are the days when you can just go to the store and pick up whatever good promo finally came out. Theoretically this could make every good magazine promo that comes out to be anywhere from Shooting Quasar value all the way to Hyper Librarian peak value. I wonder if there'll be a way to purchase a single digital issue and get the promo. Probably not. Shock Master, while it is good in something like Offering Gadgets, isn't good enough overall for me to re-subscribe. Eventually some promo will come out to warrant a re-subscription though.

Anyways Alan and Shiggs are there and Danny got a huge (I forget what inch) TV from his in-laws so Alan and Shiggs bring it in from Alan's van for him; it's very nice. Makes me want to get a bigger TV, but at the same time I never have time to play games anymore between homework and seemingly-constant Yugz research. What ever TV shows I watch I just download and watch at my convenience/leisure, and I absolutely hate commercials. I never liked the concept of spending an hour to watch a 40-minute show + 20 minutes of commercials. So I guess I don't really "need" a bigger TV per se. Truthfully what ever money I'd be spending on a bigger TV, I'd probably rather just put into "eBay ban list investing" to potentially help me make that much more. I guess that's just the way I am lol.

I leave for the Haven around noon and get there at 12:15-ish and pretty much everyone is there already in the upstairs playing area. I pay my entry and don't pay the extra $2 for the Turbo Pack 4 or whatever they're handing out. I get upstairs and it seriously felt like summer in the room and I told Danny that I was kinda concerned about this for the box tourney, cuz it was pretty damn hot with just ~20 in there, imagine if we had another 15 people. Last time I spoke to Bob he said he had bought some kind of cooling system but dunno what's going on with that. Trevor tries to get things going since the shop closes at 6. We get first round pairings fairly quick, and I think attendance was 18, which is pretty damn good for our area. I'm feeling pretty good about the turnout for next weekend's box tourney as long as people don't forget about it.

Round 1 vs Colton (Inzektor)
I think this was the first time I've met Colton even though I hear about him all the time from Link.
Game 1 - I just get out Inzektor'd at first until I can set up my own Hornet plays, but he takes it pretty decisively.
Game 2 - Basically I get to do what he did the previous game and came out ahead.
Game 3 - I'm stuck on Hornet and Gigamantis in my hand all game while he has Sangan and Trooper, then Dark Holes when I have a set mon for the plusses and subsequent Inzektor plays. Link and Nate are like "so you playin the jap build?" to Colton and they were like "Mike made the asian build" then I just say "I am the asian build" lol. I was like "I don't think it's the asian build I didn't see any Raigeki Breaks or Call of the Haunteds".
Record: 0-1

Pretty shitty start but I shrug it off and just hope to win out for the rest of the day. I also want to go downstairs because it is beyond hot in the room at this point but everyone wants to look through my binder and stuff so I can't leave. This one guy wants my Caius and all I can find are his Black Horn of Heavens, which him and his buddies value at $18 since "that's what they're going for on eBay." I'm just like "whaaat, there's no way they can be going for that much, they aren't even getting played." But they're adamant about it and I don't have good internet on my phone to check. I ask if they looked at Completeds or what, I don't think they had any idea what I was talking about, they were like "well the stores where you can just buy the cards were selling them for $18." I'm like "well just cuz I list some card (and I point to a random Black Illusion Ritual in the kid's binder) for like $30 doesn't mean that that's what the value is. You look at Completeds to see what people are actually paying for them." Upon checking, there are plenty that are being sold at ~$8, and pretty sure the Completeds will show them being sold for less. Learn2ebay better, it's really not that hard.

Round 2 vs Jeff (I think) (Zombies)
This is the guy I mentioned above.
Game 1 - He has no idea what Inzektors do and he opens with a set Pyramid Turtle and a Dust Tornado. Free pops all game. He tries to Book of Life away my Hornet but I Warning it and it's pretty much game after that.
Game 2 - Pretty much a repeat of the first game but I also swarm via Gigamantis.
Record: 1-1

I pack up my things rather quickly just so I can get out of the freaking hot room and go downstairs. I peek into the playing area downstairs and there's just a few Warhammer players, I'm just like why the hell aren't we playing in here? I ask the worker chic if we can play in there and she says that's fine. I go back upstairs since I got bored, I finish up the trade with the $18 Black Horn of Heaven kid and just chill after that waiting for the next round. Danny is starving and gets Trevor to grant a 20 minute lunch break in between the round and gives some money to Corey so he can get Subway for him. Having a Subway and a 7-11 basically next door is pretty awesome. Sandwiches and Slurpees hell ya :) Trevor also announces that half of us can play downstairs where it's cooler but pretty much 90% of everyone goes down there.

I grab a spot to sit and this Warhammer guy nearby is taking up a whole table for painting or some crap. Nobody touches his stuff but Alan sits by it and the guy freaks out about the whole ordeal and talks to the worker chic. She comes in and is like "please be respectful of other peoples' stuff and don't touch it" but seriously no one touched his stuff; I was sitting right there watching the whole time. It's like seriously dude, you want to make 20 people suffer in the hot room just so you can have a 4-spot table all to yourself to "paint", when you're off screwing around on the other end of the room to play with the little toys? (sorry I'm biased and ignorant against this game, but it just looks retarded - if I wanted to sit and paint shit, I'd you know, paint. Like on a canvas. Mind-blowing concept I know.). The Warhammer room or whatever is more than twice as big as the gaming room upstairs, and there were like a third of the people for that game as Yugz. Gimme a break.

I get paired against Corey but he's still at Subway so I just wait for him. He gets back and he squeezes in to the table space that we managed to have.

Round 3 vs Corey (Dino Rabbit)
At first he's like "oh get ready to win", I just laugh and am like "Rabbit's not an easy matchup, at all!"
Game 1 - I think I stop all of his big plays between Warning, Fiendish Chain, and Torrential. He stops my Inzektor stuff with Veiler (saw this all day - so annoying) but eventually I'm able to get things rolling and out advantage ftw.
Game 2 - We get into a weird situation when he Shadow Mirrors my Dragonfly, he summons Tour Guide so I Maxx C, but Alan's just like "Shadow Mirror is out." We're both like wow why are we so bad at this game lol. I don't remember how this ends but he wins a long back-and-forth game.
Game 3 - Similar to game 1 and I think I finish off with the Gigamantis combo.
Record: 2-1

Afterwards I was like "you know, I remember when like the only people in the area to have Guides was me and Danny, now it seems like everyone has a freakin set." We were both like well they're pretty much a necessity now, even though realistically they've been pretty important far longer than the start of this format. 

Round 4 vs Alan (Karakuri)
It's kinda funny since Alan and I have been playing each other on DN the past 3 nights and he hasn't been able to beat me. So obviously he beats me in person lol.
Game 1 - He out-advantages me with Merchant and Neutrons while I'm waiting for Hornet. By the time I get the Hornet he's hit me way too much and has control of the game.
Game 2 - This ends up being a "War of the Cyber Dragons" and a lot of one-for-one removal. I take it by having answers to his plays.
Game 3 - I never get much going and he has removal for the T-Kings I get on the field. I try to survive but I think this was another case of not having the Hornet - kinda the theme of the day for me. Nat Beast also puts in work since I wasn't drawing into trap-based removal.
Record: 2-2

Turns out our game didn't even matter since Alan got 5th. Cutoff was to top 4, which was Link (Dino Rabbit), Nate (Inzektor), Danny (Dino Rabbit) and Colton (Inzektor). Pretty good representation of the format lol, no one around here runs Wind-Up cuz the people that got Tour Guides to play the deck would rather play Dino. I don't blame them. Top 2 was Link and Nate and Nate wins with his Inzektor build which can be found here. It's actually fairly similar to mine except he runs Veiler instead of TKing. I like TKing for its body and I think it's better in the Rabbit matchup than Veiler.

Kind of a bad day for me but hey that's Yugioh. I actually kinda felt "off" today, always second-guessing the initial play I was going to make and doing something else instead. Probably a combination of the heat and stress from my homework load as of late. I haven't really had an opportunity to just relax and watch a movie or anything like that.

Afterwards I play another match against Corey and beat him, then Roy and I play a game of Magic and he beats me. I'm in a weird place with Magic and dunno what the hell I'm doing with it. I think I'll be able to pursue it harder next quarter with an easier school load since this "trying to do 3 tourneys a week" thing is too much to pull off. Tomorrow there's a spur-of-the-moment box tourney at the Valley Uncle's; I like these kinds of unprepared and hardly-known tourneys since there'll undoubtedly be hardly anyone there, while the prize layout will be the same. I think they have a 10-man minimum, and I envision them having right around that. At least I'll be able to spread the news for our box tourney a bit as I haven't talked to the Uncle's crowd.

We want Dwight to step his game back up to what it used to be, his problem is that he never has "the cards" or holds on to them, so we have like a mini-meeting and talk about what he can play for the box tourney (both tomorrow's and ours). Basically the best options are Inzektors after I get my 5 ORCS SE boxes, Guide-less Wind-Ups, or some kind of stun deck like TG but Link doesn't believe in the deck with Tengu going to 2. Tengu to 2 does hurt it pretty bad as it was probably the best card for the deck besides Horn of the Phantom Beast, but I still think we'll see some form of it top a YCS sometime between now and September.

Decklist: 41
Monsters: 22
10 Bugs
1 Gorz (still believe this should be played)
2 TKing
3 Maxx C
1 Sangan
2 Reaper
1 Tomato
1 Arma Knight (hating this card the more and more I play it)

Spells: 12
3 Duality
1 Hole
1 Reborn
1 Heavy
1 Book
1 Allure
1 Foolish

Traps: 7
2 Torr
2 Warning
1 Judgment
2 Fiendish

2 Zenmaines
1 Leviair
1 Leviathan
1 Giga-Brilliant
1 Acid Golem
1 Utopia
1 Utopia Ray
1 Armory
1 Catastor
1 Brio
1 Black Rose
1 Scrap
1 Stardust
1 Chimera

I kinda want to try out the Hopper-Zektcalibur build that top 4'd YCS Germany, theoretically Hopper is a more-useful version of Arma Knight since you can either equip it to Dragonfly and special out the Hornet to get it right there and go into Zenmaines or something, or equip it to Centipede and search the Hornet out. Zektcalibur is a nice attack boost and turn 1 Centipede+Calibur is a decent play. If the Centipede dies you can add it right back to your hand via Calibur's effect. Potential options to run Deck Dev as well. Some things to think about and mess around with at least!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ebay's New "Rent-a-Deck" Policy

Don't forget the ban list is official now as well, sorry to have to remind you lol.

Anyways, I received the Spring Seller Update newsletter from eBay but didn't bother to read it since I do very minimal selling on there anyway these days. I figured it was just a message saying they increased their fees yet again or some crap. So I hop on to DGz last night and notice a thread that was talking about this update. Mr. Allen C. Pennington breaks it down Barney-style very nicely:
There are a few updates, but here is the biggest one:

"Starting in June, Top-rated sellers will need to have tracking information uploaded to eBay within their stated handling time on 90% or more of their transactions with US buyers. As of June 1, the 20% final value fee discount and greatest on average boost in Best Match will go to those listings from Top-rated sellers that include 1-day handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back refund option."

Basically, everyone wants to qualify for being a top seller since it boosts your sales and gives you a discount on fees. Starting in June in order to be a top seller you have to offer a 14-day return on all listings. So let me spell this out for you for those who don't get it:

1. Pick a random big-name store.
2. Go to their eBay store.
3. Buy a ygo deck shortly before a YCS.
4. Duel
5. Return the deck after YCS.
6. ???

So basically you now get to "rent a deck" for 2-weeks at no cost to yourself.
My mind was promptly blown after reading this and the subsequent messages on the thread. It is pretty clear that this new policy is very abusable, besides just what Allen mentioned. I'll go over what I think are the potential impacts this new policy has:

1. You can now play what ever deck you want at any Regional, YCS, or Nationals
This one is a gimme since Allen mentions it, but just thought I'd reiterate that now you can simply buy the cards to build any deck like a week before a Regional, play in it, and send them back for your money back. The impact that this has is that now semi-budget players can "afford" to play the best deck. I say semi since pure budget players probably wouldn't have the money in the first place to "buy" the card(s) at all. I'd expect an increase in play in "the best decks/cards" in most major tourneys.

2. Investing in the ban list is now virtually 100% safe
The ban list is arguably one of the biggest factors when it comes to profit/loss. Within a week Maxx C went from a $60-70 card to a $90-100 one. Glow-Up Bulb went from $40+ to $12-15 and is probably near un-tradable in most locals. You hear occasional stories of people buying hundreds of some specific card because they "heard it was coming back", it ends up not coming back, and pretty much all that money was wasted. But now you can essentially go "nilly willy" on buying up large quantities of "you never know" cards. Most of the banned cards are cards that are pretty low in value but if they ever came off the list in any fashion, would fetch a pretty penny. Look at BLS's jump from $5 to $50+ (initially). The same could probably be said for cards like Imperial Order, Ring of Destruction, CED, holo versions of things like MoF, etc. Simply buy up large quantities of what ever you think has even the remote chance of coming back maybe a few days before when the ban list usually leaks, wait for the leak, and return what ever didn't end up coming back. It may seem like a pain in the ass but the potential profits are huge. This one user, BGBK, on DGz summed it up very well:

"let's all pretend you did this with imperial order, who is roughly going for $4.

if it got unbanned it would at least be $20 from initial hype. it wouldn't be hard to get 100 copies of it, at 16$ profit each that is 1600$. that's low balling the profit you could get from it too"

This can also work for purchasing cards that you think may go up if they are not hit or if the list is made in some fashion. In Maxx C's and Wind-Up Rabbit's case, I looked at the list and immediately knew they would both shoot up, so I purchased all of the ~$60 Maxx C's I could find (only like 4) and six $30 Rabbits. In hindsight I probably should've gotten a lot more Wind-Up Rabbit :(

3. You can now "endless-loop rent" cards
This one can be a pain in the ass, but you can basically "rent" cards for a week and a half for the cost of shipping and rinse-and-repeat to your heart's content. Let's pretend the Tour Guide reprint wasn't coming out til like October so this policy could actually be useful. Say you wanted to play with a set of Tour Guides but didn't want to outright shell out the $450 or whatever to play with them because you knew they were getting reprinted. Simply purchase a set from some store, play with them at what ever tourneys you have for like a week and a half, return them, wait to get your money back, and re-order from a different store. If you were ballsy you could re-order them from the same store and simply say "oh I changed my mind again about the purchase." Ideally you would want to plan out when you order and return them to have your "down time" correlate with days that you don't have tourneys. The logistics can get kind of confusing with this since you have to take into account the number of days it'll take your items to arrive, initiating the eBay return process, the number of days it'll take your items to go back to the seller, and however long it'll take for the refund to process. Those that are persistent and savvy could probably orchestrate this easily though, and the "simple" solution is to have 2 loops going on at the same time so when it's one loop's "down time", the other loop is "active". Hopefully that made sense.

4. Secondary market may become skewed
This one is hard to predict, but the one thing I know is that being an individual-based eBay seller isn't really a fruitful endeavor. Between all the fees and the potential ways of getting screwed by buyers, what's the point? I actually think eBay is trying to steer towards a "bigger stores only" type of market, for what ever reason. As the number of individual-based sellers decreases, the supply of in-demand cards decrease. As the supply decreases, buyers are potentially having to compete even more to obtain what they need/want, which increases the bid amount, with the mentality of "crap, there's only like 5 of these up for auction and the next one ends in 3 days. I need this now and have to win it." As the bid amount increases, that's reflected in the Completed Listings, so that value becomes the new standard value for the card. With this rinse-and-repeat, you can end up with value hikes and the bigger stores will take advantage of that, further cementing the increased value. Lots of people go by eBay Completeds for values, and even with this policy in effect they still will. All this will do is cause everyone to value their cards higher because "that's what they're going for on eBay."

Personally the ban list aspect of it is the most relevant one to me, unfortunately I know other people will be looking to do the same. For this September, I'd recommend to start saving money in like June or July so you have enough to buy large amounts of cards, maybe around August 10th. List leak should happen around the 17th, just like it did for this one. This gives you a week to return the cards that didn't come off the list or you know won't rise in value. I don't mind sharing this strategy with y'all because the majority of you will probably forget all about it in a week or two lol. Just sayin'.