Thursday, May 24, 2012

Analyzing Sealed in YGO

I must admit, my excitement for Battle Pack has been increasing over the past 48 hours, after seeing a few box opening videos on Youtube (Europe got it early). I found it funny that the measure of "goodness" of a box is directly linked to the number of Tour Guides pulled. For example I've seen 2 videos now where 0 were pulled, and thus the box was considered bad, regardless of how many Forbidden Lance/Chalice, Fiendish Chain, Duality, Adreus, Tiras, etc were pulled. I've seen 1 video where the guy pulls 2, and obviously that was considered a good box. The rest of the cards could've been Skull Servants and it probably would've still been considered a good box lol.

Sealed is kind of a mixed can of worms to a lot of people - some believe that it is very skill-based, whereas some people think it's completely based on what you open. To be honest I believe it's a combination of the two, because I've seen horrible players beat out better players due to their bombs, and I've seen good players win out with a weaker pool against bad players with a great pool. I can ensure you though that the people that top 8 PT/GP Magic Sealed events consist of more "good player, bad pool" types than "bad player, awesome pool".

I've been thinking of the viability of Sealed in YGO from a Magic Sealed point of view, and it just makes me realize that I don't think doing good in YGO Sealed will be any more of a measure of skill than it would be in Advanced. Yes it does help "level the playing field", but I wouldn't say a person that wins a particular YGO Sealed tourney should be considered the "most skilled" player. To understand where I'm coming from, I'd like to explain how Magic Sealed works - out of 6 packs, one is expected to build a 40-card deck. At 15 cards per pack, that comes out to 90 cards to choose from. When you factor in you'll be running around 15-18 land, you only actually have to pick around 22-25 cards from your pool. This is the point where deck-building skill is measured and there are numerous possibilities in which you can go with your pool. There are many instances where I've built a deck, and after the tournament gave my friend my pool, and asked what they would've done. In most cases they decided to do something completely different. The decision to go one-color or multi-color can be huge; do you potentially sacrifice consistency to splash a color because you have some removal cards or a bomb or two in that color? Is my color pick completely based on that one bomb I opened? Or do I just go with these colors because the pros said they are the best for this set? The ability to analyze your card pool and establish your manabase may sound simple, but in practice can be quite difficult, especially for those just starting out. Magic, a game where you have to take into account colors, casting cost, and mana, naturally lends itself to Sealed play.

Let us compare this with YGO Sealed with Battle Pack. Given 10 packs at 5 cards per pack, you have a total of 50 cards to make a 40-card deck. I think one of our locals is going to run it at 9 packs per person (for an even 4 people per box), so that will only be 45 cards. Soo, what the hell happens if I end up pulling 6 XYZ's? Run an illegal deck? I've seen a lot of Zenmaister, Utopia, Greno, and Perl pulled from the videos I've seen. The likelihood of pulling 10 XYZs out of 10 packs seems much less likely, so the 10-packs-per-person configuration would naturally tend to work. This 9-pack thing is going to fail in practice fast, and even the rules state each player is to receive 10 packs. So let's say I have my 50 cards, and I have 5 XYZ's which will go into my Extra deck. I have 45 cards left and want to cut 5. I don't mean to be crass, but any idiot would be able to make 5 cuts. Most likely you'll be cutting the double-tributes if you didn't pull multiple Change of Hearts or Snatch Steal, or the most situational cards you have in general. I think they did a pretty good job in constructing the set, but realistically only having to cut like 5 cards? That's not tough. I can even imagine some people just being like "screw it" and running all the cards they opened. So we're basically completely taking out the "skill-based deck construction" aspect of Sealed out of the equation.

From here, it will just be same ol' Yugioh but the effects of luck will be felt even greater. We'll remember why the broke cards are banned as your effort to bring out Super Conductor Tyranno get completely durrrr'd by a Raigeki. I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer about the format, as I really am looking forward to playing in it, if only to experience something different in Yugz. The set looks good, and I need to re-obtain Dualities, Tiras, Adreus, Forbidden Lance, and of course I want me some Tour Guides :) I'll probably be playing in as many Sealed events that are held, and considering the cost to play in one of them, I'll probably be playing in more than the majority of people that play in my area.

It seems Konami is all like "hey, we have Sealed too, and here's why it'll be fun and important!", but realistically their set-up is still flawed. The simple solution would be to cut the deck size to maybe like 30, so you have to actually pick through what you will and won't play. That's about as skill-dependent you can get for deck construction for this I suppose. A lot of it is simply due to the nature of the game. Whether Sealed becomes more-supported on the Regional and above level, I highly doubt it. Would you do a considerable amount of traveling for a Sealed Regional or YCS? I don't think most players would - it will always be more of a side event sort of thing.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Three Tops for Team Overload - Seattle Regional Report 5-19-2012

During the week I was in "limbo" as my boss hadn't e-mailed me back in regards to me being able to take the weekend off, but either way I played in every tourney I could this week to just prepare as much as I could for regionals in the chance that I could go. I had my invite from Portland, but it's always been my goal to top 8. Since this was the last regional for the season for our area, I was really hoping Danny and Link would be able to top this one so the team's overall invite percentage would be 100% for the people that actually went to regionals (so basically the team minus Dwight, Alan, and "injured reserve" Rob). I even said if I had to play Link or Danny at any point in the tourney, I would give them the win to achieve that. I found out Wednesday that I could get the weekend off, so I book the hotel for us on Thursday. I was lending out 3 of my Cardcars to Danny for his deck, but luckily Zach pulled one so I could run 2 in my deck.

On Friday I go over to Danny's but we don't test since Zach was getting off work early. We then go to Zach and Link's, and I think we're on our way around 2 or so. We stop at the Zip's in Ritzville as it's basically a tradition now. I don't remember too much of the ride, we just listen to music and talk a little about side-decking and whatnot. We get to our hotel around 7, check in, and we get keycards with the Avengers on them. At first I just ask for 2 but after noticing they had the Avengers on them, we all get a copy so we'd be the team lol. Danny got Hulk, Zach Captain America, Link Iron Man, and I got Thor. From there we do deck stuff like writing out our decklists and tweaks to our Extra decks, and it was good thing that I printed out 2 extra copies beforehand. We also didn't want to get screwed over by deck checks, so we make it a point to check each other's lists. We order some amazing Chinese food, the Sesame Chicken was so bomb. After eating I tell Danny "you know, with you and me being like the last of the old generation, I feel we're like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, trying to keep up with the younger generation but still being able to whoop some ass", after that we come up with what wrestler people from our locals would be most similar to - my favorite is Steve "Lord Regal" Schroash lol. Apparently Danny and I are Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco lol.

We get continental breakfast and walk over to the tourney, get there around 8:30 and there's basically no line and they open up early so we get in right away. I don't think anyone pulled anything good from our packs. Zach cracks jokes with like everyone that walks by, it was too funny. Right before the tourney Jo Lancaster comes over and tells Danny that he's going to have a reserved table, where he'd get to play at all day and not have to worry about moving. It was funny how sincere he was trying to be without being offensive, he was like "well I know you can get winded from moving around too much so we're just gonna have you play at this table". It was pretty sweet to be honest, at least we didn't have to look all over the room to try and find where Danny was lol. We see Chris Hentz walking around and Danny asks him how he felt DD Crow was against Chaos Dragon, we all agreed that removing 1 target didn't to do much against the deck.

The player meeting/decklist-pickup didn't take long, and I think the tourney gets started at around 10:30. Attendance is around 240. I go to sit down, and I see Danny sitting at his spot unpacking his things. I get back up and walk over to Danny, my opponent is just wtf, and I tell him that he should sit on the other side of the table so he can see the clock throughout the day. I figured it was just a tiny advantage, but an advantage nonetheless. Turns out being able to easily see the clock made a big impact.

Round 1 vs Darith (Samurai)
I lose the die roll.
Game 1 - He goes into turn 1 Beast after drawing 2 from United. I summon Centipede, he doesn't know what it does and reads it along with the Hornet I equip to it. He tries to negate Hornet with Beast but I tell him it doesn't work like that, we call the judge anyway, and he's basically like "we're not in Mexico". I dominate the game after that.
Game 2 - Similar to game 1 except he goes into a Shi En instead of Beast, and the same judge tells him that Shi En won't stop Hornet either lol. He tries to Magatama but I just special a Centipede anyway from Dragonfly and take the game.
Record: 1-0

I go over to watch Danny's match against this little kid with Heroes but he's pretty good. The kid is locked under Level Limit, each fusion he brings out just gets turned to defense lol. Danny wins that game. The game count is now 1-1 and time was basically running out, and the kid draws his cards just a little before time is called. The judge comes over and tells them they have 5 turns. The defining moment in this match was when the kid Solemn Warning'd something, at that point I knew Danny would have the game since he again had Level Limit. The kid gets rid of it somehow and gets in 1900 from TKing. I think he has another Level Limit though and the kid's not able to make up the difference in life.

Round 2 vs Manar (Mist Valley Ninja?)
I win the die roll.
Game 1 - I just set Warning and pass, he summons Hanzo so I Warning it. At this point I figured I was just playing Ninja, but he ran these Mist Valley dudes along with the field-spell. I have an awkward Ladybug+Giga-Mantis hand, which I have to use throughout almost the entire game, but he never gets over it. Eventually I draw Hornet so I can start popping stuff with my beefed up Ladybug lol. I'm down to 2000 while he's at 52 but I ride out the rest of the game this way.
Game 2 - Most of the game I just have Dragonfly+Mantis with no hornet. I have to Solemn his Storm for 3500 life, but I'm able to lock his field with Level Limit while I eventually just pop stuff and take game.
Record: 2-0

It's announced that since the tourney was moving rather quickly we'd get lunch after round 3.

Round 3 vs Joseph (Hero)
I lose the die roll.
Game 1 - I open garbgarb and literally get nothing going as he beats me down with 1900s and finishes off for exactly 3200 with Shining.
Game 2 - Jo comes in and tells him that he will get a game loss since he wrote "Bottomless" in his decklist rather than the whole name of the card. I also got to choose who went first for game 3, so naturally I went with that option lol.
Game 3 - He gets me down fairly low but I'm able to establish control with Dragonfly, he scoops after he shows that he only has monsters in his hand.
Record: 3-0

Zach and Link get done fairly quickly and for the 3rd time we're waiting for Danny's game since it's going into time. It really wasn't his fault, his opponent for this match running Sams was going really slow, he was locked under Level Limit and Messenger I think, he clearly doesn't have a viable play but just sits there. Even the judge is about ready to tell him to make a move. Unfortunately Danny can't make up the life difference and loses this one. We scramble over to the food court and wolf down a burger since the line was long to begin with and we didn't have much time left.

Round 4 vs Felix (Chaos Dragon)
I win the die roll.
Game 1 - He pretty much dominates me after I have another garbage hand.
Game 2 - I win this one since I open decent.
Game 3 - He turn 1 Future Fusions, and I'm just like fffffff. I get a Messenger up but he plays Heavy, Reborn, and BLS's me for OTK. Get YGO'd :/
Record: 3-1

At this point Link and Zach were 4-0 while Danny and I were 3-1. I was still feeling good, I only had to win all my matches for the rest of the day lol.

Round 5 vs John (Inzektor)
I win the die roll.
The kid literally gets nothing going either game. What ever Inzektor he's able to summon I just Veiler and then pop. No damage from me either game.
Record: 4-1

Round 6 vs Tyler (Inzektor)
I win the die roll. 
Game 1 - He goes to equip Hornet to Centipede and then I Veiler, in which he doesn't know that it falls off. Judge comes over and confirms that it does. Then he's like "ok since it falls off I'll get Centipede's effect", I'm just like "...but I Veiler'd it, it has no effect." And he's like oh ya, derp. We're both kind of down to topdecking and I Solemn his Dragonfly for 2700. This ends up winning me the game though and I go wombo-combo with Fly and Mantis.
Game 2 - I get Fly-Sword OTK'd rather quickly.
Game 3 - Very grindy, and at one point I thought I was done for after he was able to attack me with his Kycoo to remove Centipede and Hornet. I Dark Hole his field of Leviathan and Kycoo. From there I draw better than him and I have Veilers to stop his plays.
Record: 5-1

Link is 6-0, while the rest of us are 5-1. I figured one of us would have to play each other at this point, turns out Zach and Danny were paired the next round.

Round 7 vs Andrew (Dark World)
I lose the die roll.
Game 1 - He is like +6 on me very early via Reckless and Card Destruction and regular DW plays. I just hold on for dear life though, and surprisingly I'm able to take control of the match by just playing conservatively. He goes to try and draw but I remind him he's under Reckless, which is why he lost in my opinion.
Game 2 - This was very back and forth, I don't remember the specifics but I lose.
Game 3 - I know we're going to go into time since we only have about 2 minutes left, so I side out my Warnings and Judgment and add in any stall I can via my Messengers and Level Limits. I pretty much have a yolo hand, so I push for 7000 damage and then sit back with Zenmaines and backrow. He plays way too defensively and has 2 Grapha on the field for the longest time but doesn't attack for fear of getting his backrow popped I guess. He eventually does decide to attack the Zenmaines to remove both of its materials and I do pop a backrow since I have Dark Hole and Transmigration in my hand. I make the play and Transmigration during his draw phase to put the 2 Graphas back in the deck. He brings out 2 Beige to attack me down to 4200, but can't do any more damage so I win.
Record: 6-1

Link is 7-0 so he's guaranteed top, and Danny beat Zach so it was looking unlikely for Zach to top unfortunately. With only 1 more round to go, we were so close to topping. I was just praying I didn't have to play against random/sacky shit or against Danny in general.

Round 8 vs Hai aka Charlie (Inzektor)
When I saw who I was playing against, I just saw a long very asian-sounding name and was like "crap, I'm screwed." I assumed he was playing Inzektor, which I was right lol.
I win the die roll. (Happy about winning the most crucial one!)
Game 1 - We played the "draw-go" game for like 8 turns since neither of us were drawing the Inzektor piece we needed. He Foolish's for Hornet though so I knew I was on a clock. I set Dragonfly so I can set up myself up for next turn. He passes yet again and at this stage we both have 4 backrow while I have my set Fly as well. My turn I flip summon, go to equip, and he Veilers. I normal summon another Fly, which he Solemns. I activate Call, which he Warnings. I just attack to bring him down to 1000 and I feel good since I have Veiler and backrow to stop whatever he tries to do. I think I do just that and pop and attack for game. At this point I'm like "fuck yea, I know I got this."
Game 2 - This is more back and forth but he pops my Safe Zone which turns the tide more toward my favor. I outgrind him and I get off the Mantis combo.
Record: 7-1

I'm very hyped at this point, Link lost his match but it didn't matter and I walk over to him, just smile and say "get fuckin hype!" and we hug it out. We go over to Danny's match and he has this Dino Rabbit player completely shut down. His field is like 3 Boat, Giga-Brilliant, and a Level Limit to the dude's no cards in hand. He topdecks Rabbit and slams it down, but Danny has the Veiler. The guy is in like absolute shock and he scoops it up. Danny is incredibly hyped and we all hug it out. We just hope that none of us gets screwed over somehow but I was confident that we all had topped. We watch Zach's match and he wins as well. The chance of him topping was slim but we just hoped for the best. Turns out no X-2 made it into the top 8, but the three of us made it in so we were all hyped!

1st - 12 year old Windup kid who got caught for cheating via stacking and marked sleeves, but pulled an Adam Corn and turned on the waterworks so he only got a gameloss instead of a DQ for one of his matches. Apparently he opened Magician, Shark, Avarice, Reborn or something ridic in most of his games.
2nd - Long-haired Asian guy (Dino Rabbit)
3rd - "Sharon" (Dino Rabbit)
4th - Link (Chaos Dragon)
5th - me (Inzektor)
6th - White guy (Chaos Dragon)
7th - Danny (Wind-Up)
8th - Asian guy with blue power ranger shirt (Inzektor)

So we all get the new Heliopolis mat, sit down and wait around forever for some reason, while Zach is doing his usual thing and being like "oh my god is that team overload?? what? 3 people from team overload topped?" all loud like lol. I don't think anyone pulls much from their packs and Link and Danny got a shiny black deckbox. We didn't play out any of the top 8, I think the judges just wanted the event to be over at this point. We bullshit around for a little while but I wanted to get started on the road since it was about 8 and I still had a 5 hour drive to deal with. We were excited for the whole drive down, and just kinda dumbfounded that we all managed to top. Who would've thought that out of the whole 4 people that went from Spokane, 3 of them would top 8? We agreed that our slogan was no longer "we takin' over", but "we took over" lol.

Decklist: 40
Monsters: 18
10 Staple bugs
2 Ladybug
2 Veiler
1 Gorz
1 Sangan
2 Cardcar D

Spells: 13
3 Duality
1 Hole
1 Reborn
1 Heavy
1 Book
1 Foolish
1 Mind
1 Lance

Traps: 9
2 Torr
2 Call
2 Safe Zone
2 Warning
1 Judgment

1 Leviair
1 Zenmaines
2 Leviathan
1 Temtempo
1 Giga-Brilliant
1 Acid Golem
1 Utopia
1 Maestroke
1 Crimson Shadow Ninja
1 Tiras
1 Exa-Stag
1 Photon Strike Bounzer
1 Gaia Dragon the Thunder Charger
1 Stardust

2 Messenger of Peace
2 Soul Taker
1 Dust
1 Trap Stun
1 Veiler
1 Fiendish Chain
2 Bottomless
1 DD Crow
1 Transmigration Prophecy
1 Ryko

All in all I was very satisfied with my build.
Monsters - at times I felt that 2 Ladybug was too much, since a double Ladybug hand is just awful. It seems crazy but I liked Veiler at 2 since I seem to clump with 3. If you Veiler, you have to be able to get rid of that monster or it was for nothing. When I ran 3 sometimes it felt like I had a problem in doing that. Gorz was good for a varied field such as regionals. 2 Cardcar also felt like the right number, I only opened with it a few times, but it was good in getting me more advantage. I've noticed running 3 can be clumpy. You want to open with it, but not draw right into a 2nd one in most circumstances. In some though it's OK.

Spells - basically the line-up I've ran for a few weeks but decided to main Mind Control as I was making a meta-call that there'd be a lot of Inzektors. I can Mind the Inzektors themselves, or what ever rank 5's they brought out and go into Gaia Dragon. I can also Mind Control a Pulsar or Sorcerer and go into a Bounzer fairly easily in theory, even though I never had the opportunity to do so.

Traps - again what I've ran for a while but decided to finally cut the Chain.

Extra - fairly standard for me, but I think Utopia can get the boot for something else.

Side - LLAB and Messenger are MVP. Level Limit especially can completely shut decks down. I never got to use Soul Taker on a Shining or Pulsar, but hey I at least had them for the match-ups. Transmigration was pretty awesome as well. Every card from my side was brought in at least some point throughout the day.

- To my team, friends, and everyone else that I've played against online or in real life - every game, win or lose, plays a part in my understanding of match-ups, my own deck, what plays to make, how to counter, etc.
- Chinese food, online delivery
- Avengers hotel keycards
- Seattle people having a better sense of humor than Portland
- Team O taking almost 40% of the top 8. It was crazy enough that one of us topped, but 3?
- Jo Lancaster for hooking Danny up with an all-day table and just being cool
- Chris Hentz for talking to us and not being a d-bag pro
- Finally topping and breaking the X-2 curse, holy shit too many years in the making. I've always felt like I was at "that level", but would always play against some BS deck, go X-2 and get crap tie-breakers, and miss top.
- Michael Ting from Dueling Legacy for enlightening me that Inzektors don't need to play Sword. 
- Josh Graham for providing the basis for Danny's Wind-Up deck. It all started with a single DGz post from Josh in which I copied and pasted into the team's facebook group, but with the whole team's input into the deck, resulted in a top for Danny.

- 5 hour drive. It wasn't too bad, but it's still annoying as hell that we have a 5 or 6 hour drive for every regional we want to play in.
- "Sandy Vag", aka the female judge. All day she would make it a point that we were in the way while we were watching Danny's matches, even when there was like 5 feet between us and the table.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Format So Far (OCG) / Banlist Discussion

Earlier today I realized that we're about halfway through the current format now; all of March, all of April, and now about halfway through May so we're at about the 3-month mark. I remember during the crazy banlist time period we had last February, it was said that the banlist is basically made around 3 or 4 months into the format, to allow time for it to be put into the V-Jump magazine and the magazine then put into mass production for release. Whether this is true or not, I do not know, but it seems plausible. Judging by what our current list looks like, I'd say that is a very fair deduction for the most part. I know it may seem pretty damn early to talk about banlist stuff, but I actually think it's getting close to the ideal time. By the time we get Return of the Duelist, pretty sure the banlist would've been made by then. The OCG tourneys between now and the middle of June will probably be the most important ones.

So I took it upon myself to go through all major tourney results that I found on Shriek OCG, keep track of which decks and how many made it into the top 4, and see exactly what was happening. There are a lot of team tournaments in OCG, so I just had to make a judgment call to include all the decks of a particular team for the total count of how many decks placed in top 4. I thought about not including team results at all, but some of these tournaments are pretty large so I didn't want to just ignore them.

My criteria for including a tourney was as follows:
- have at least an attendance of 60.
- attendance information was present; can't just assume based on tourney name/number of decklists.
- not conflict/be confusing; there were a couple of tourneys which seemed to happen on the same day but had completely different lists, so I omitted the more-confusing/less-detailed listing.

(Click the pic if it's too small to read)

Some things to note: the first tourney, on 02-26, was a March format tourney, and the Haneman Championship (on 03-24) allowed TCG cards to be played, hence the Dino Rabbit listing for 3rd (included Tour Guides and Dolkka, which are obv TCG exclusives).

After counting up all the decks that made top 4, my simplified table looked like this:

As expected, clearly Inzektor is the most-dominant deck in the OCG. Hieratic and its Hieratic Ritua variant were combined into a single category, as well as Hero Beat and A Hero Lives Heroes. Whether this was the best thing to do or not, I'm not sure, but either way the tendency is still going to be the same; lots of Bugs, and lots less of everything else, with a gradual decrease down to Gadgets. Any decks that made fewer tops than Gadget variants were omitted (Six Sam, Windup, DW, etc).

Currently, Inzektors remind me a lot of how Blackwings were in the OCG. It may not have been the current top deck in the TCG at the time, but everyone ran it in the OCG and it continuously got things taken away from them via the banlist. My guess is going to be that Inzektors will get something taken away come September, and the amount of play they will see afterwards will depend on the severity of the hits. If it's something like Dragonfly and Hornet to 2, I think it'd still see lots of play, seeing as I've seen some builds only run 2 Hornet anyway. I remember after the hits to BW thinking to myself: "alright, they're done now", but no, they still got played and were still viable! The interesting thing to take into consideration though is that Inzektors are a very good enabler of the XYZ mechanic, at least anywhere from Rank 3 to 6. Help sell dem XYZs right? They're still a fairly new archetype as well, so it's not like how Plants were where they've been around for forever and a half. As Konami provides more support for other decktypes and XYZs for them though, I can imagine them hitting Inzektor a bit so that their new stuff doesn't get wrecked by the old and thus make it harder to sell.

Transitioning to the TCG, the first thing that comes to my mind is what happened to good ol' Tengu. As a TCG exclusive, it was very clear that our game had an impact on the overall banlist. The next thing that pops up is the ever-infamous Tour Guide- will it get hit this time around? With its reprint in Battle Pack, a mass release followed by a hit would not be something I'd be surprised to see. It'd actually keep up with the trend almost perfectly. However, there is still the huge profit possibilities of including it in either the Wave 1 or 2 tins for this year, which I'm sure they wouldn't want to throw away. She is also the perfect XYZ-enabler all on her own, so seems like a win-win for Konami's pocket. The difference between Tengu and Tour Guide here, is that Tengu represented the "old" way the game was played, AKA Synchros. As long as Tengu, Bulb, and Spore were around, players would be free to easily churn out various different Synchros. I believe they had to nip that in the bud so players wouldn't have that strong of Synchro capabilities and thus look toward XYZs.

So what about our other current top decks, in the form of Dino Rabbit and Chaos Dragon? What about Wind-Ups? Well, in OCG the only deck Rabbit gets played in is Verz Laggia, which basically spams Rank 4's. It's not really at the top in the OCG, so it might be safe to say that there won't be a hit on Rabbit. Eventually they will be pushing Verz/Evilswarm on us, so keeping it around may be good since it brings out the 1950 'niller that the archetype has (Heliotrope). Chaos Dragon is an oddity as it hasn't shown up in any of the major tourneys in the OCG; does Hieratic simply outshine it? Will Heroes ever get a hit? I believe they are also a representation of an "old-school" way to play, even though they do have a few good Rank 4's to choose from. Wind-Ups are very affected by Tour Guide and Shark, and seeing as how they OCG doesn't have them yet and the deck has been on the decline for the TCG, I don't see them getting hit too hard either.

To conclude this, I just wanted to remind people that still holding onto Hornets around July probably isn't the smartest play in the book. For the OCG, this format's Inzektors are basically the same as last format's TG Agents. It topped the majority of events the first few months of the format, and it was clear that they intended to hit that deck by putting Striker and Earth to 1. Likewise they may only get the "BW treatment" though and just get a minor slap on the hand to still be a viable deck, and picking up dirt-cheap Hornets around that "crazy banlist time" may not be a bad investment either. Everyone will fear the worst, but "not so bad" may happen. Coupled with eBay's oh-so-easily-abusable return policy, there is a good potential for profit here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

GAOV Box Tourney Re-Cap (T&M Cards) 5-8-2012

So in the early afternoon, after I got back from class, I decided to go rent the newest Underworld movie from the Redbox and watch it while I made some more changes to my deck for the box tourney. Not even Kate Beckinsale's hotness could help that movie be better, good lord. The special effects look like they came from the 1990's lol. Speaking of Kate Beckinsale, I don't think I ever mentioned that I saw her about 2 feet away from me while my wife and I were in the Bahamas for our honeymoon. My wife had no idea who she was as she doesn't really keep up with celebrities and new movies and whatnot, but I instantly knew - sooo hot! :)

So I take off for T&M's around 4, go to the Panda Express across the street for some food, bring it back and surprisingly Shiggs and Paul are already there, as well as Brandon and his posse. Play a couple games with Paul, and the rest of the team shows up which I was surprised about because I didn't expect Nate and Donut to show up. More and more people show, and eventually sign-ups start. The store is apparently charging $5 for the box tourney now, we're all like "uhh what happened to it being $3?" as the people that were there last week (which includes me) for the store manager's announcement about it specifically remember him saying $3 entry. Still, at $5, it was still a good price (more on that later lol).

The room is actually pretty crowded with players, and someone starts a rumor that there's like 30 people signed up for the tourney. I'm just like "holy crap I didn't think there were even 30 YGO players in the area", but turns out the number of people that actually signed up was 21, even though there were 30-some people there. So we wait and wait, then wait some more, and it's nearing 7PM but the tourney hasn't started. People are frustrated at this point since it should've started like an hour ago, but the guys that run the show tend to chill in the back and play computer games and whatnot rather than get things going or helping customers in general. Not trying to slay anyone, but there have been plenty of times where I've stood at the front counter for like 5 minutes just to buy a pop (or soda, depending on where you're from). We finally get started, attendance is 21, and we're all like "hopefully we play scrub pubs first round" lol.

Round 1 vs Brian (Warrior)
Not much to say about this match - the guy was trading literally through 80% of the entire match, I'd be like "summon Dragonfly?" *wait a few minutes til he finally looked over* "sure" "effect?" *another minute* "sure" etc etc. I think I beat him in about 3 or 4 turns each game, taking no LP from me in the process. I think he knew he'd lose so he just didn't care (not trying to be cocky).
Record: 1-0

Round 2 vs Nate (Inzektor)
I was looking forward to this match to see how Nate's Inzektors have changed since the last time I played him, which I think was at the last Gamer's Haven box tourney.
Game 1 was a little more back and forth, but both games he never got a whole lot going while my deck ran very smoothly. I also go into a Crimson Shadow Ninja which put in work.
Record: 2-0
Since T&M records game wins, I gave him a game so he'd at least have the extra point to help out his record. OXO

Round 3 vs Donut (Hero)
Another match I looked forward to, as I hadn't played Donut in like forever. I was also curious to see how my deck would perform against Heroes in general, as I do think it's still a bad match-up.
Game 1 - I go into an early Crimson Shadow which stays on the field for like a million turns. It was kinda funny to me since prior to today, I had never gone into it since most situations called for Tiras instead. I really liked the Ninja.
Game 2 - I have to play the "bait the backrow" game as I know he has a Chain Disappearance set after grabbing it with Duality. Eventually I get rid of it and can get my Dragonfly plays off.
Record: 3-0

At this point the only undefeateds left are Link, Zach, and myself. It had earlier been said that we'd do 4 rounds of Swiss then a cut to top 8 with top 4 getting prizing, but because it was getting late and everyone was bitching, they decided to just do 3 Swiss rounds to top 4 cut. I thought people were gonna start a riot lol, a lot of "well I'm not comin back here again"s etc etc. I can sympathize as I'd be tight in that situation too, especially when it happens because of things out of the players' control (like the tourney starting an hour and a half late). There majority of people were 2-1, so I agree that there should've been another round to further distinguish them since the one 2-1 to get in basically just makes it in by luck/coin-flip. If there had indeed been 4 rounds then top 8, we would've been there til like 1AM though, so it was kind of a lose-lose situation.

So top 4 was Link (Chaos Dragon), Zach (Hero), me (Inzektor), and Mike H (Lightray).
Since prizing was to top 8, 5th thru 8th just wanted to get their prizing and leave, but for some reason the store was like "we need to wait for the top 4 to finish". I'm just like "theoretically what difference does it make for how top 4 finishes up?" I can't stress enough how upset people were with how the whole tourney went down, and especially for how it ends at the very end. 

Top 4 vs Zach
Game 1 - I again bring out an early Crimson Ninja but he ends up using Maestroke to turn it face-down and then Dark Holes it and my Sangan later on. Over the next few turns I get control of the game and win.
Game 2 - He wrecks me with Shadow Mirror pretty much. I hold off with Messenger of Peace, but eventually he clears my field and I lose after 2 attacks from Bubbleman.
Game 3 - After the game he shows that he opened absolutely terrible, like 3 Miracle Fusion and other dead stuff. I have the Heavy Storm but never play it for fear of Starlight Road since he sets 5 backrow. I just play the conservative bait/MST game and it doesn't take long to win thereafter.
Record: 4-0

So at this point it was me and Link in the finals again. It's 10PM now, and my wife is like "where you at?" every couple of minutes. I really do have to go and Link offers me the split since he had heard that it was going to be a box for 1st and 15 packs for 2nd. The difference wouldn't be all that bad realistically. What happens though, is when we get up to the counter, they're like it's a box for 1st, then 15 dollars in store credit for 2nd. It took Link a while to comprehend this, and I'm just like "it went from here *hand up high*, to down here *hand low*". Then he's like "so basically 2nd gets dicked?" and the manager's like "yea pretty much". I think we were both kinda dumbfounded at how they could make the difference so large, but we each get our half a box and settle on 2 packs of PHSW each since there wasn't much else to use the credit on. I guess we're kinda spoiled in how Uncle's and GHaven do their box tourneys, in which 1st gets a box and 2nd gets like half then so forth, but come goes from a box to a whole 4 packs for 2nd? I dunno, I've always been a firm believer of having a more evenly distributed prize pool rather than essentially winner-take-all. Especially in a poorly-ran tourney such as this one. If you think about it, basically anyone that lost a match wasn't going to "make it", and as I've said before, I hate that crap.

We go in the back, and Brandon comes up to me and is like "if you pull the Rank 4 Dragon Queen I'll give you $25 for it." I'm just like sure! I end up pulling a Cardcar and the Dragon Queen thing and a few other holos while Link pulls janky poop. I felt really bad about the whole thing so I told him to just take all the cards I pulled (minus the Car), and told him about Brandon buying the Queen for $25 and asked if he'd give Danny any of the Evo-Rota card there was because he needs a set. I figured that was the least I could do, and I wasn't going to be greedy and keep the "$25 Dragon Queen" as well. Since I already had 3 Cars, I told him I'd trade it to him if he wanted it but he basically says nah you're gonna sell it and it was too high at its current price. I wouldn't sell it now anyways, as I think it's good and will get better over time. Danny is building a deck to run 3 as well, so keeping it can benefit the team overall.

As for my build, I made the changes that I said from yesterday's post, and catered it to the T&M meta of more Hero/Beater-ish decks.
Deck: 40
Monsters: 19
10 Staple Bugs
2 Ladybug
3 Cardcar D
2 Effect Veiler
1 Gorz
1 Sangan

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

Traps: 9
2 Call
2 Torr
2 Warning
1 Solemn
1 Safe Zone
1 Fiendish Chain

I finally had the guts to take Sword out, which I can confidently say helped in the consistency factor of the deck a lot. My goal was to increase consistency while minimizing dead hands, and I almost never got into the "unplayable hand" scenario. The deck ran like butter today :) Because of the meta I went down a Veiler, and because of the Veiler cut I wasn't going to run BLS. Gorz is also more applicable in this kind of meta. I really didn't draw it that much, or when I did, I didn't need it at that stage in the game. When I'd have it in my hand though, I always felt "safe", in case my opponent was able to clear my field. Sangan also helped me in getting the Inzektor piece I needed at the time; it helped my goal of increasing consistency.

As for spells, I upped the Duality to 3, which was alright. My logic was that I wanted to open/go into a turn 1 Cardcar as often as possible, and again helps in getting the Inzektors you need, or whatever else. If I already had Car in my hand, usually I'd grab a trap or something for defense. The main Lance was alright, I did it because of seeing so many OCG lists with the 1 main Lance, to be honest.

Traps were fairly standard, I opted for the Chain instead of a 2nd Safe Zone simply because I'm not comfortable with Safe Zone yet. I also saw a more-recent OCG list that had 1 Safe Zone, so I figured I'd just go with that. I have a weird love for Fiendish Chain, I just like its versatility in that it can stop effects and protect my monster, rather than it being a 3rd Veiler where my bug can just get ran over by whatever monster (like am I gonna Veiler a Stratos for it to run over Centipede? I'd rather Chain to stop effect and battle).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Box Tourney Re-Cap (Valley Uncle's) 5-7-2012

I didn't get to deck-tweaking til like an hour before the tourney, and Zach texted me asking if I'd pick him up so I was scrambling a bit more. I settled on the changes that I told myself I'd do, tested out a few hands and drew nothin but janky poop and didn't feel confident going into the tourney to be honest. I leave for Zach's and pick him up around 4:30.

We get to Uncle's, still not a lot of people there, so I just sit down and play out a few more hands and look over my side. More people show up but only like half are interested in playing since the upcoming T&M box tourney (today) outshines it with its $3 entry. We're waiting around because there are only like 9 people entered even though it was pretty clear that there were like 16. Roy ends up entering on the contingency that he'd get Magic packs instead of YGO for prizing if he topped, or something like that. I think someone else shows up to enter, so Carl ends up withdrawing from the tourney so that no one would get the bye. Earlier in the morning I printed about 20 pages worth of Pojo Q&A stuff regarding Veiler vs Rabbit, but apparently people had been enlightened and know how it works now so they weren't necessary. Still good to have though. Tourney attendance is 10.

Round 1 vs Trong (TG)
I win the die roll.
He really didn't get much going either game and between Inzektors and Cardcars, I have way too much advantage.
Record: 1-0

Round 2 vs Roy (Inzektor)
I lose the die roll.
The note-worthy thing about this match was our dispute about the interaction of Veiler + Inzektor in which I had a Centipede with Mantis equipped, and he summoned Dragonfly to equip Ladybug to it. At this point I Veiler'd, stating that Ladybug would fall off, "...but it's an Equip Spell card". So I tried to explain that monsters can't be in the S/T zone unless they are held there by some kind of effect unless they are there by their own effect such as Giga-Mantis and Dark Necrofear, stated that there are 3 or 4 references on here in which I've taken the time to look up and post, but they're "not official Konami rulings" so I guess it didn't matter. The fallacy of that argument is, well, Konami don't do shit about rulings, at least to the extent that they should.

When you have a group of people talking about rulings on a site such as Pojo and then no one comes in to the particular thread to disprove what someone has said, then it's like what can you do beyond that point? Especially if there are multiple threads asking the same question and all having virtually the same answer; guys such as ness00 and Redshift are pretty good about not leaving incorrectly-answered threads on there. The moment someone posts an incorrect reply, there are 3 or 4 guys that pounce on the dude and tell him he's wrong. This morning I took the liberty of trying to find an official ruling, and hopping on Konami's site, it's evident that their rulings only go up to EXVC. A lot of good that does when Inzektors came out 2 sets after that. See what I mean by when I say they "don't do shit about rulings"? I did remember that Dragunities work a lot like Inzektors though, so upon looking at the official rulings for Dragunity Dux and Legionnaire in the HA03 rule book, it clearly states: "If this card’s effect is negated while it is equipped with a “Dragunity” monster, the “Dragunity” monster will be destroyed and sent to the Graveyard."

We ask Carl who's the judge for the tourney, he says the equip would stay, which I'm just like "god damnit" and I think I actually do a facepalm. Or at least I did mentally. He said he'd check though, so he hops on the computer, comes back a few minutes later and basically reiterates what I had said all along. Thank God for the Internet. 

Anyways after he ended with a Dragonfly equipped with Sword, and me topping Hornet I believe, I had won it.
Don't remember which game I lost but we went 3 games.
Record: 2-0

Round 3 vs Link (Chaos Dragon)
I lose the die roll.
This match wasn't too important since it was going to be the last round of Swiss if Shiggs won his match. 
I ended up using all 3 Cardcar D's in game 1 I believe and still had not gotten into a Hornet until a few turns later. Unbelievable. You can't wait "a few turns later" against this deck lol. I honestly don't remember game 2, I think he Crow'd a Hornet which wrecked me.
Record: 2-1

Shiggs won his round, so top 4 was Link (Chaos Dragon), me (Inzektor), Shiggs (Sams), and Aaron (no clue what he played).

Top 4 vs Shiggs
I lose the die roll.
I was in a pretty bad position in game 1 when I was facing down his Colossal Fighter; he had gone for game with a huge Warrior-loaded grave, but I had Veiler to keep me alive at 400LP. I Heavy Storm my backrow of used-up traps and a Giga-Mantis equipped to Ladybug so I special back Centipede and pass. He tops Enishi and runs over both dudes. I have a Reborn in my hand, so I knew my surviving play was going to Reborn Centipede, equip Ladybug, send, grab Dragonfly, send, and go into Tiras. I do exactly that, run over Enishi and pop Colossal. I don't think he has any top-deck outs to this situation other than Derka Hole, he tops Smoke Signal, grabs Kageki and sets it, and it's over since I have Inzektor in hand.
In game 2 I open with 2 Messenger of Peace and draw into a third one which I'm happy about. I'm able to put one on the field before he brings out Shi En so I'm in a very good situation. I gradually set up my field and pops, turn off Messenger when I'm ready, and it's over a couple turns later.

Finals vs Link
So apparently they weren't giving out GAOV for prizing, which just pisses people off. I thought the whole point of this tourney was to get the new set out, but instead they "had to get rid of these boxes" (ORCS). Link was like "if I had known that I wouldn't have played." I didn't mind too much at the time, even thinking I would've preferred ORCS since it has Hornet while GAOV only really has a couple of Secrets worth anything, but in hindsight I would've gone with the new set if I had the choice. We agreed to split the packs but play it out. We ended up with 18 packs each, pretty good for a few hours of play.
I lose games 1 and 3; game 2 I had him locked under Messenger, poking with Reaper, and popping whatever he ended up setting leading to more Reaper pokes. I think this is the first time I've ever had this play go off lol. I think I'm gonna try to go for it more for aggro/beater-ish decks and maybe up Reaper to 2 in the side.

We go to Link/Zach's and open our packs, our best pulls were a Zektcaliber and a Wind-Up Rat. Pretty shitty!

Overall I was satisfied with my build and the changes I made played out in line with my theory-oh.
Deck: 40
Monsters: 19
10 Staple Bugs
2 Ladybug
3 Veiler
3 Cardcar D
1 DD Crow

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

Traps: 10
2 Torr
2 Call
3 Solemn
2 Safe Zone
1 Fiendish

After cutting Hopper, I can easily say that I don't miss the card at all. There was never really an instance when I was like "damn I wish I had Hopper right now." I do like Cardcar, as I was explaining to someone else, sometimes I'd play like 2 Cardcar in a game and still didn't Hornet, so imagine what it would've been like if I hadn't had them. It'd take me 4 turns to draw into nothing, rather than 2, unless I played something extreme like Armageddon Knight that ensured Hornet into the grave. Every time I was able to use Cardcar's effect, it felt like I was basically 2 turns ahead of my opponent (or catching up in some games), which is why I like the card. In my opinion though, it goes like this for the TCG: if a deck would normally play Tour Guide, it should run them over Cardcars if space doesn't allow for both. If a deck normally wouldn't run Guide, then it may benefit from a couple of Cardcars. At the end of the day it's still a generic +1 draw card, but what's going to happen is that Guide will see more play than Car in the top decks at the next YCS, and thus everyone will dismiss Car as crap. That's kind of an unfair assessment in my opinion though. People have also asked me "you bought Cars, so why don't you have Tour Guides?" Reprint's coming up. I don't mind waiting out the 3 weeks to save some $.

I tried the maindecked Crow instead of BLS cuz I kept dead-drawing it in my test hands, and I also anticipated Inzektor or other grave-based decks. I figured if I was going to side it in a bunch, I should just main it. I didn't draw into it too much throughout the day though. I tried the 1-of Sword rather than cutting it completely, which was probably OK. Even at 1 it'd be dead in hand sometimes, so I'm glad I didn't run the conventional 2. Earlier in the week I asked Mike from Dueling Legacy why the OCG didn't play Sword, and he said "I prefer to spend space on cards which help me make my combo successful like Lance, [or] DAD". I thought about it for a while, and was basically like "huh..he's right" lol. I took this a bit further and rationalized that Sword increases the OTK capability of the deck at the expense of some consistency, and was also a lot better in a Rabbit-heavy environment. Since our area basically doesn't have Rabbit anymore, its usefulness diminished. I may end up cutting the 1 Sword I still have in there in an effort to further increase consistency (still having troubles with Hornet access).

I tried the 2 Safe Zone since my 2nd arrived in the mail, but it really didn't do much for me. Never drew it much so I can't come to any conclusions about it yet.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Shift in "The Big Three"

Throughout this format, we have had a notorious "big three" consisting of Dino Rabbit, Wind-Up, and Inzektor. Everyone knew what decks were being discussed when someone simply said "the big three". Then came YCS Long Beach, where Heroes and Dark World became "somewhere up there" along with the big three. I personally felt that Wind-Up deserved to be dropped from its status, but for the most part, everyone still considered the big three to still be those decks. The next US YCS, Dallas, and the European one, Tolouse, gave rise to Chaos Dragons. Forget Nizar Sarhan's win with Dino, everyone was talking about Dragons. This was a deck that seemed to come out of left field, where many veteran dragon duelists such as Dragon Duelist Girl and Rich "Draigun" Clarke initially dismissed the new archetype and claimed regular Disaster variants were better. At the YCS, Alexander Reed and most of his friends that used the same deck (for the most part) did exceptionally well at Dallas, so obviously they had stumbled onto something.

Fast forward to last weekend's YCS, Chicago, and we can see that Chaos Dragon took just as many spots in the top 32 as Dino Rabbit at 9 a piece, with Inzektor taking 8 total spots. Priority or no, both Rabbit and Dragons made a big appearance and impact. Famous players such as Allen C Pennington and Cesar Gonzalez ran Dragons and did well throughout Swiss. I was personally rooting for Allen to win, but he has made it well known on DGz that he got sacked hard in his top 32 match. I believe there were only 2 Wind-Up decks that made it into the top 32, and only very few of everything else. When Rabbit, Dragons, and Inzektor account for 26 spots, well there's not room for much else. It's crazy to think how an event or two can change the meta completely.

The release of GAOV may also cause a shift in the top tier decks and bring about many questions that I'm currently curious about: will Hieratics prove to be a viable deck in the TCG? Will Ladybug give Inzektors the extra "oomph" they need to win a YCS? What role will Cardcar D have in all of this? Do Evols have enough support now to live up to their hype? Meta-shifts like these are exciting and yet bring up so many questions where the answers are almost always difficult to find. In most cases, with the top players being very secretive about what they find at times like these, the only kind of answer one can find is by testing or just simply waiting it out for YCS results. Those that are able to put in the time to come up with their own conclusions about formats are usually always "ahead of the game", but then again not everyone has the time to put much into testing.

To conclude, I just want to say that if you're one of those (like me) that aren't able to put much time into testing, and you're going into some event, all you can do is go with what you're comfortable with. It also helps to spend some time researching what others have found, and go with your gut/theory-oh. Anticipating what others are playing is also a big factor regardless of where you play.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

GAOV Box Tournies Note, Tourney Results + Format Impressions

For local players- there will be 2 box tourneys for GAOV next week.
Monday (May 7) there will be one held at the Valley Uncle's. I'd assume the usual time of 5:30-ish and regular entrance fee of $15.
Tuesday (May 8) there will be one held at T&M Cards in the Valley. Advanced format (not Brandon's lol). I know many of you have never been there, so the address is: 9212 E Montgomery Ave. It's across the street from a Panda Express and Subway. Time will also be around 5 or 5:30-ish and entrance fee is ONLY $3. That's literally the cost of any other randy local but 1st gets a whole box. Not sure on what the prizing will be for anything below 2nd, if there even is anything, but the manager is pretty fair when it comes to prizing to be honest. It'd help if a decent amount of people showed up, since the entrance is only 3 bucks after all. If you're really gonna skip out on a $3 entry box tourney, well fuck, I dunno what to say about YGO in our area.

Yesterday Uncle's had their Sneak Peak tourney, I ended up getting 3rd after losing to Ian's Dino Rabbit. I was in fairly good position by having a Messenger of Peace up (the only 1 I could find out of my stuff), but he went Mind Control for my Trooper, Reborn his Tour Guide to go into Zenmaines, then later Torrential'd when I went for a Dragonfly play and popped my MoP with the Zenmaines. For some reason he didn't Torrential when I summoned Dragonfly (that's what most people would do), so I assumed my play was safe, so I got greedy and went for the Sword play to grab 2 Centipede and then he Torrential'd. FML. Admittedly I didn't have much for Rabbit in my side, since no one on the team runs it now and I figured people had dropped it. There was some confusion with the interaction between Veiler and Rabbit, so I did update my previous rulings post with sources that describe what happens and why it happens that way. C'mon people, when literally the whole online YGO community is claiming how "Veiler wrecks Rabbit", why would you think that if Rabbit gets Veiler'd and then you banish it, you still get the effect? I beat Dwight in the 3rd vs 4th mirror-match playoff and got 4 packs of GAOV. I was tempted to just get the 3 packs of ORCS for 4th plus 1 pack of GAOV, but figured "ah it's the new set, why not."

Today was the first Advanced format tourney at T&M's, Brandon Schroash'd about playing in it, whining about Inzektors this and Inzketors that, "Hornet should go to 1", I'm just like "c'mon man don't hate" lol since I was the only one running it (until Paul did today). He ended up playing though since everyone brought up the point that he should play if he expected people to play in his (guess they're going to alternate between Advanced and pseudo-Traditional each week). This was also Rob's first tourney back in god knows how long, and this was also the first tourney I've personally played in (and known that we could use it), in which GAOV would be OK to use. So I change up my Inzektor deck to incorporate Ladybug, threw in my Rank 5's, tested like a dozen game 1's against Rob, and the Tiras play is pretty sweet and it happens like on a pretty decent frequency. Sucks when it gets Compulse'd, but the same can be said for any XYZ.

Round 1 I get paired up against Mike "Grizzly Adams" H. who was testing his Lightray/LS. I lose the die roll, and games 1 and 3, with some of the most unplayable hands I've ever had with the deck. There's only so much I can do when I only draw Ladybugs and Hornets - Rob watched, it was just ugly. Lost 1-2. On the bright side I at least had the mindset of "well I'd rather this happen to me here so I can tweak it for later, than at like a box tourney". Sucks cuz the majority of the games I played with Rob, that shit didn't happen.

Round 2 I beat James who was running what felt like pretty much 3 Dragons Collide decks smashed together. Won 2-0.

Round 3 I beat Xavier who ran DW. It was funny watching him try to get his Morphing Jar flipped, but Inzektors, once they get going, tend to not allow stuff like that to happen. Won 2-0.

It was only a 3-rounder, and Rob got 1st while I got 2nd and Paul got 3rd. I thought Mike H should've gotten 2nd, since he had the same overall record as me but he beat me, but their whole pairings and points system is kinda off. These local tournies really do need to do at least a top 4 cut, cuz no one wants to play in a "lose once you're screwed" kind of tournament. I'm personally a big fan of double elimination myself, even up to the top cutoff, that way a person that loses in the first round of top but going undefeated in Swiss doesn't get the ultimate shaft. That's how they do fighting game tournaments, but then again a match of SF, MK, or Marvel can be like 5-10 minutes compared to the 30+ of YGO. I ended up getting 2 packs of sleeves from my store credit, since I needed sleeves to make more decks and they ain't got shit for YGO product at the moment. I was still reeling from my deck taking a dump on my chest in my match against Mike, which leads me into my next point-

The release of Ladybug and Cardcar D makes being able to fit all of the miscellaneous choices into Inzektors very difficult from what I've seen. Trying to follow Team ARG's path and add some Safe Zones into the mix when there are so many good playable traps right now? Holy crap it's tough. Hopper seems like the go-to cut, but how many times have you been able to "hold down the fort" with a Hopper equipped with Sword? Those situations would be crap if you had Ladybug instead. Do the Card Troopers get cut? Cut a Call or is 3 still the right number? Cut the Swords themselves? - those lead to easy OTK's and "floating" Inzektors though. Do we even play Cardcar D? OCG has played triplicate since its release and they haven't had ignition priority for about a year, but does that mean TCG Inzektors will or should? Lots to think about especially when trying to keep the deck at 40 or 41.

As for Hieratics, I admittedly still don't know what the cards do or how the deck works, which is probably pretty bad considering regionals is in like 3 weeks. Apparently the deck needs Gustaph Max to be good? I dunno, it seems to be what I read whenever I'm glancing over discussion about the deck.

In terms of everything else, I'm curious to see if the Messenger of Peace thing will continue to be relevant or if beater-like decks will just ensure they're running more S/T removal and the tech will just die off. Speaking of MoP - impossible to find at locals. As Rob said, "what has Yugioh come to when you can't even get a Messenger of Peace at a local?" lol, too true. For me personally, I almost can't even ask if someone has a particular card and expect to get it anymore, cuz it's like "oh Mike's wanting it it must be good I'm gonna keep it." It's kinda true though, I hardly ever ask for something "random" unless there's a good reason behind it, cuz I honestly wouldn't bother otherwise.