Friday, August 31, 2012

New Format, Toronto, More Testing

Well we can officially say 'good bye' to the format that we've been playing in for the past 6 months, and furthermore have a YCS on the very first day to see what ends up being good at least for the early part of this format. Undoubtedly people all around the country have put many hours into testing, theorizing, and preparing for this event. We all know what decks will be popular going into this event, and I'm not going to try and predict what will win; realistically it's a crap-shoot like it always is. All I can say is that if there's someone that is very comfortable with all the new Wind-Up combos and some that haven't even really been publicized, and just good with the deck overall, I think they would have a great chance of going far. I think the top 32 will be pretty diverse since the format is relatively undefined. I would expect to see Hero, Dino Rabbit, and Wind-Ups to take quite a few spots of top 32.

As for myself, I think it was on Sunday that I tested with Alan on DN for a few hours, and I finally decided to give up Agents once again. I think in every game we played I opened at least 1 Ball, and my win-loss ratio wasn't great against his Karakuri variants, so again I said "enough is enough" with the deck. Regardless of the variant, the Ball is just too problematic. I for one am excited that the locals in our area will be running the new format (better late than never I guess) and you know, everyone that's been playing under it all along, or at least been researching the trends, will be that much farther ahead than those that have relentlessly held onto the old one and solely been focusing on it (yea, I don't get it either). With regionals coming up in just 3 weeks, I have a lot of locals to go to for the much-needed practice.

We have the box tourney and maybe the team duel which should be happening on the 9th as well, so it's officially crunch time! Good luck to all at Toronto, and since I highly doubt that Konami is going to be releasing decklists, I will do my best to post them as I find them for your easy viewing. I have not been doing it for the past YCS's just because it was toward the end of the format and didn't feel like it mattered all that much anymore.

Friday, August 24, 2012

First New-List Tourney Recap, Format Impressions

Last Tuesday we had the first tournament for the new format at Gamer's Haven, which I was excited for since like the week prior. This was also Rob's first tourney back in God knows how long, so I was 2x excited. Prior to this, I had mostly been testing with Plants, and the more I played it, the less I liked it. It felt way too passive even for my taste, and I figured that it just wasn't fast/powerful enough to keep up with the meta. I was back at square one all the way till like Monday, until I played against Schroeder on DN. He was trying out Agents and as always, Kristya is a beast. I had forgotten that Agents was a deck even though I played it so much back when it was popular and even lost to a guy at Portland regionals who top 8'd with TG Agent a few months ago. I checked out Josh Graham's build on DGz, and although I don't own any E-Teles, I tested a few games on DN with my own version and liked how it performed overall, so I decided to go with that for the tourney. I went with the philosophy that boss monsters win games, and this deck has the most at the moment.

Around 3pm or so I picked up Rob and stopped by Panda since I hadn't eaten all day. I eat my food, test with Rob a bit, do some business, pick up a fairly substantial amount of commons off Paul, and all was good. Originally I was going to do a full tourney report but I didn't keep my lifepoint papers and it's been too long to remember the details of the games.

To recap, I ended up getting 3rd after losing to Jon Borden's Samurais. I lost the di roll and game 1 he opens Gateway and derps, I win game 2, and he pretty much derps game 3 when he just Enishi's away my one thing I can summon and Shi En's just gonna negate my relevant backrows. Of course I don't draw into Kinetic or anything like that y'know. I made the deck using 2 Trago as well as Gorz specifically to deal with this kind of BS, but if you don't draw it, a lot of good it does lol. I know a lot of people discredit Sams as a deck, but wtf are you supposed to do when they open nutty turn 1 with backrow protection and you open mediocre? Besides trying to bluff your way out of it; jack shit, that's what. I swear to God he opens Gateway like it was back at 3. Thankfully Rob beat him in the finals, I didn't watch too much of their match since I had to play Schroeder again, this time I beat him - mirror match is fun!

As for the deck, I liked it as long as I didn't open with multiple Shine Balls. I noticed that the only games I lost (besides the nutty Samurai openers) were the ones I opened two in the early game. I remember making a blog post way back about why I would stop running Agents, in that I'd lose to bad players simply due to opening multiple Ball. Sure it's not necessarily an auto-lose situation because I could have 4 other sick cards, but losing 2 cards worth of resources is too detrimental in the majority of cases. I even ran the deck at 42 to try and lower my probability of opening multiple, but there are still those times and you're just like "yay..QQ". Although I do like the deck, I can't imagine taking it to a big event and simply praying to Lady Luck that I don't open awful. I'll patiently wait for the Toronto and various regional results before I continue on with Agents. I think I have a good feeling what I'll be running from now on, but I definitely need to practice with the deck.

I had wanted to play on Thursday and this weekend as well, but Trong said that Uncle's will still be going by the old/current list. This absolutely disgusted me because all it does is hold a playerbase back - what the hell's the point of playing/practicing for an old format especially when the new list is official on the Konami site? I guess when your maindecks are Dino Rabbit (even though Rabbit is still good) and Chaos Dragon (local players should know who I'm referencing now), I guess you have all the reason in the world to keep going by the old list. Fuck the players though, as long as you can run your decks at full potential right? I had a lot of pride in knowing that Gamer's Haven was holding the first tournament in the area using the new list - too bad not many showed up. September 2nd, Northtown, I'm gunnin' for ya and I'm hoping to bring friends :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Trending Up, Trending Down

Well I've been pretty busy the past few days testing the new format on DN, deck-building, theorizing, and doing some more deck-building. A lot of it has just been adding substitutes to existing decks, but I've also been working on a Plant build featuring Cardcar D's. It's crazy how nerfing Inzektors makes a lot of stuff playable again. In the end I think D-Prison will end up seeing more play than Mirror Force, because let's face it banishing > getting destroyed, has been like that for quite some time now. I'm not sure on the use of Bottomless; I still personally like it, but I've noticed it being taken out of decks recently in favor of D-Prison.

Anyway, I'd like to highlight some of the things that I've seen in terms of what has increased and decreased in popularity due to the new ban list, from my perspective anyway.

Trending UP
1. Thunder King Rai-Oh
TKing, as we all know, sucked last format due to Inzektors. With them out of the picture, this guy becomes relevant again. With the emergence/hype of Plants, increased viability of Agents, and inherent special summons in general, this guy is a very good opening play. There are also still a lot of search cards and tutoring in general. With BLS still legal in the game, this also becomes great Light food.

2. Snowman Eater
Snowman was still pretty popular in most sidedecks last format, and I started to main 1 in Wind-Ups when people stopped playing Inzektors. Now, we still have Dino Rabbit and Heroes, where Snowman is great against. As was last format, it being level 3 is very relevant. I expect to see a lot of him at least in the early part of the format.

3. Maxx C
Mostly due to people wanting to run Plants, I believe Maxx C and Veiler have switched roles in usage once again. It's still fairly useless against decks like DW and Heroes, but now it basically does the same things as Veiler did, but you don't go minus. Most of the times it ends your opponent's turn. If this isn't in the REDU SE, I believe it will be a high money card again.

4. Synchros
I find it funny how bringing back 1 Spore and 1 Debris automatically makes Synchros in general see more play, even though the only really good level 6 Synchro left, Brionac, got banned (I know Brio isn't a Dragon but you know what I mean). Samurai will continue to be very popular at least in my area, and Plants are a thing now, so I fully expect to see white cards a lot more often than last format.

5. Dimensional Prison/Mirror Force
Both of these attack-based traps saw very little play last format, largely due to Inzektors and Lyla. Mirror Force going to 2 has a lot of people being like "oh my goddd", but come on, just play the game skillfully. I personally love seeing Force at 2 because it punishes bad players just like Torr to 2 has done, even though I'm not sure if I'd run it anyway as stated at the beginning of this post.

6. Card Trooper
With TKing seeing increased play, and Heroes and their 1900's unscathed by the banlist, Trooper is the perfect "crasher" for the +1. A fine Debris target as well. I will never like "random mill" outside of Lightsworn-ish decks, but it's hard to argue against its uses.

Trending DOWN
1. Effect Veiler
Last format, Veiler was clutch against Inzektors and Wind-Ups. With those being expected to see less play (still not counting out Wind-Ups myself), 1 less Rabbit and 1 less Guide, you basically don't see 3 maindeck Veiler in anything right now. Still a good card, and it being a 1-star Light tuner is still relevant, but for now TKing has replaced its status as the go-to Light splash for BLS.

2. Soul Taker
This card was great for taking down opposing Shinings and Lightpulsars last format. Chaos Dragon may still be a good deck (haven't tested myself), but it has been hit enough to where I don't think we'll see it as often as we did. Heroes will still be popular though, especially early format, so this card is still great for forcing Shining to miss timing. However, I've still seen less copies of this being used in the main. I like it as a potential side card.

3. XYZs
I remember when we started talking about the March ban list 6 months ago, the potential for Tour Guide/Sangan getting hit was on everyone's mind. Danny always mentioned that it would be dumb to hit Tour Guide because they (Konami) were trying to sell XYZ's, which is very true - that's probably why it stuck around at 3 for another 6 months (that and Battle Pack). Now, with her going to 2, coupled with bringing Spore and Debris back and Inzektors and Windups getting hit, it just seems like XYZ's prominence has gone down a bit. Don't get me wrong, Dino Rabbit will still be all about the Evolzar plays, Heroes will beat you down with Excaliburs and Blade Armors, but you know, what decks will regularly go into stuff like Tiras, Adreus, and Bounzer? I personally like the concept of having both Synchros and XYZs be viable even though it is a bitch in terms of space lol. It makes it so you have to put more thought into building your Extra, and thinking is never a bad thing right?

I for one am enjoying this part of the format - there are no set philosophies in terms of what's good and what's bad yet, it's basically all personal theory-oh and results from testing. Is the D-Hero engine not good enough anymore? Some seem to think so, but some are absolutely excited by it. Some think Wind-ups are dead in the water, others not. Is going Tour Guide into Tour Guide, and not using Bus/Assailant at all the right play, or should we have a target besides the other Guide and Sangan? Again, I've read a lot of argument for both sides of the coin. It's these kinds of things that make the game interesting because when you're facing your opponent, you never know how much testing/tweaking they may have done or what innovation/tech they're using, and they might just take you by surprise and think twice about that decktype altogether. It opens the door for skill to enter the game again, which is a huge welcoming change. I just wish Gateway wasn't legal - any idiot kid can go derp, derp, add, derp, xyz, add, derp, swing, negate with Shien, win (etc etc). Unfortunate, because I know if I ran that deck I'd see Gateway once a match, tops, and not in my opening hand like you see kids do seemingly all the time.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Finally! September 2012 Ban List

Well it's finally been confirmed that "the Satoshi list" is real. It's pretty much all over Youtube, and the DGz banlist thread hit the 200 mark which only occurs when the list is confirmed and out. ness00 of The Organization has also confirmed scans to be real. Shriek is still late to the party, which I know is going to be "the final holdback" for a lot of people; always has, always will, but the evidence that has been spread about so far leads me to believe we finally have it.

Edit: Aaaand, it's up on Shriek. Enjoy!

For reference:
New Forbidden: 2
Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Future Fusion

New Limited: 9
Chaos Sorcerer
Inzektor Dragonfly
Inzektor Hornet
Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
Evigishki Gustkraken
Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity
Ultimate Offering

New Semi-Limited: 11
Blackwing - Kalut the Moon Shadow
Debris Dragon
Rescue Rabbit
The Agent of Mystery - Earth
Tour Guide From the Underworld
A Hero Lives
E - Emergency Call
Hieratic Seal of Convocation
Pot of Duality
Mirror Force

New Unlimited: 7
Necro Gardna
Destiny Draw
Emergency Teleport
Level Limit - Area B
Swords of Revealing Light
Magic Cylinder


So what does this mean for the game? I've pretty much heard it all from "this will be a skilled format" to "basically just as fast as it was before." One thing for sure is that Inzektors are dead, which makes cards like Mirror Force and D-Prison playable again (don't forget Lyla is still a card though). I honestly have no clue what I'll be playing, the forums will be in a state where everyone will have justification for why everything's playable, but we know that the game never ends up being like that. No, it won't be Glad or Monarch format, nor will Blackwings suddenly be tier 1 so calm down. Sams and DW have virtually no change, but they will still suffer from their own consistency issues like they have with our current list and thus aren't automatically catapulted to tier 1 status either. The simple go-to for people will be to add in substitutes for what they lost in their deck, and that's OK to do at a start of a format like this, but just know history has shown that this rarely ends up being the ideal path by the time the format is established. 

So, I guess it's time to research, do some theory-oh, and test!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Worlds, Banlist, Locals

Since my last post, I've been patiently (sort of) waiting for the list and just trying to ride out the format. It's crazy how much effort people put into fake lists this time around; I just don't get it - do people seriously have nothing better to do with their time? Even Worlds was an avenue for fake list promotion, I just don't get why Konami can't release the list like 3 weeks prior to the 1st, especially with the fact that YCS Toronto is on the 1st. There are just so many ridiculous things when it comes to this game, including Worlds. I didn't watch a whole lot of it since at the end of the day it's a one-weekend format tourney that doesn't impact anyone besides the competitors there. The deck choices of the US team were rather surprising, but I guess they went with their gut and chose to go "against the grain" of what everyone else would most likely be running and siding for. I heard about the whole Jarel incident, and watched the very sad ending of the Dragon Duel final. That feeling of helplessness is seen throughout in a lot of aspects of this format, and I hope Konami realizes the shit they're doing to this game is plain wrong. As long as they make a buck though, it doesn't matter. All we'll get is this cycle of "good first half crap last half" stuff, with sometimes it being more like "good first quarter crap last three-quarters." Like I said in a previous post, how much I play in this next format will depend on if they actually hit the problems, at least a portion, that everyone's been talking about for like the last 9 months.

As for ban list, I'm hoping "the Satoshi list" turns out to be the real one, who knows if it's the actual list though until we get the scans. I've resisted all urges in posting the previous lists that have sprung up, simply because there just wasn't enough proof in any of them so far. Only like 4-7 days!

I actually played at Valley Uncle's today, still lovin' my Wind-Up deck but I can admit the shit's too stupid if you can loop for 4 cards turn 1. I never draw Pot of Avarice and generally draw poorly (open Tour Bus all day), so I'm thankful if I can loop for 4.

There is supposed to be a box tourney tomorrow at Gamer's Haven, but it may be a "tin tourney" if they have the new tins in. It'll all depend on how many people come, but just thought I'd try to get the message out there for a potential box/tin tourney (Advanced).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

And Here We Go

With only somewhere between 2.5 and 3 weeks until the banlist comes out, the bi-yearly tradition is starting up once again. You know what I'm talking about: fake lists, "I heard from someone who heard from someone"'s, random speculation, wishful thinking, it all contributes to people going pretty much absolutely nuts, including me lol. This becomes two-fold for me since I'm also eagerly awaiting what promos will be in REDU SE. So between now and "around that time", every few hours or so I'll check Shriek's sites, Konami's product page, Youtube, DGz and Pojo, looking for any bits of info I can. It may be kind of obsessive, but a lot is riding on this banlist for me this time around. Being able to read Japanese helps a lot in determining fake lists, which I'm happy about :) With an early Seattle reg, potential money match between us and Yakima, and YCS Sea-Tac coming up, I want to dive right into next format and start intensive testing with my team. My paypal is also ready to buy up what ever I imagine going up in value due to the list.

In regards to the list though, I've pretty much made up my mind that if this upcoming format is simply a continuation of our current one, I'm buying an Xbox360, and basically doing an "Austin Kulman" for YGO. If you don't know, he pretty much never plays and just goes to various events buying and selling stuff. I pretty much do this anyway for our local area, on a much smaller scale than Austin. One thing I hardly ever do nowadays is trade. I suppose that it's because it's the end of the format and there's pretty much no point in trying to pick up anything major. People have also kind of ruined it for me, you know, the types that gather around you when you're trying to do a trade and someone will say "something", either tipping the other person off about the trade not being worth it, or people being judgmental in general or whatever. People also whip out their phones to look at eBay quicker than they do their dicks nowadays, so the art of trading has kinda gone by the wayside anyway. So pretty much I buy shit off people, whether it be their binder or their massive amounts of commons, and sell stuff at around 85% of ebay value. I'm perfectly fine with doing this, as it still keeps me somewhat in the game and it's economically worth my time. Theoretically I'm saving my buyers money as well, so everyone wins.

I've also expressed interest in starting up Magic again for the umpteenth time if the YGO list is bad, not sure if I will though. If I do, it'll be right after the rotation in October. Between me, Link, and Danny, one of us has to obtain the title of "Tri-Champion", in which someone tops in at least 3 different TCG regionals/equivalents. Link has tops in Pokemon and Yugz, I have tops in Magic and Yugz, and Danny has tops in Yugz. It'd be nice if all three of us (plus others) got into Magic together. I don't feel like getting into Pokemon (the concept of 1-game matches irks me), and I'm not sure what the state of Cardfight Vanguard is in terms of starting up regionals and stuff like that. Any other TCG isn't played in our area so those are a no-go.

Either way, I have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks. I'm sincerely hoping that the list fixes enough problems to the point where we at least have a good first half. Beyond that, I'm not holding my breath because the game always goes to hell once the latest set comes out. This time around I'm guessing it'll be Water that'll do it, I wouldn't be surprised if we get some exclusive that breaks them and the cycle repeats like clockwork, just like the cycle of changing seasons. I made a few changes to our fake-traditional tourney list, and I keep forgetting to print it off to show to Danny for approval lol.

Completely off-topic things I wanted to express:
- With the latest Batman movie making so much money, it'd be dumb for them to stop. I know Nolan is done with the series, so how are they going to continue the franchise? I'm hoping not a reboot, because going through another origin story movie seems so tedious. I hope they can continue where they left off but just have another director instead. My vote: keep Gordon-Levitt, bring Nightwing into the series somehow, and re-cast Joker. Use the Superman reboot and this new Batman movie as the starting point for the eventual Justice League movie.

- For some reason this has been on my mind ever since I read it and I just can't let it go lol. Snoop Dogg changed his name to Snoop Lion. All the legacy associated with Snoop just seems to have been thrown away. Did anyone besides me watch his sketch comedy show Doggy Fizzle Televizzle?