Well it has been quite a while since my last post, but I hope people enjoyed being able to see typed-up decklists from the YCS. Not sure why Konami no longer posts them anymore, but as long as Youtube and forums exist, decklists will always be available (to a certain extent). With the school year starting up and my workload picking up in my graduate program, I have been quite busy. I can't even remember when my last serious playtesting session was - I have a pretty shitty schedule this quarter to be honest and can basically only play on the weekend. As for YCS Seattle, I am still waiting to see if it will be a regular Advanced tourney or not before I make reservations of any kind, because there is a rumor that it will be Sealed. I'm personally not going if it's just going to be a Sealed event. Which is kinda funny since I've traveled to Seattle to do a Sealed PTQ for Magic before, not sure why I have no motivation to do so for YGO lol.
One thing I have noticed in our parts is that a lot of people seem confused or "lost" in what deck they should be playing this format. It's almost like we miss having a deck that's above and beyond the rest, but when there is such a deck, everyone bitches about how broken it is. If I wasn't playing Wind-Up, I too could admit that I would have no freaking clue. At the moment there seems to be a lot of "good, but not the best." What I mean is virtually any deck could be constructed to be a "good" deck, but there is nothing that's "broken" like we had last format and formats prior. Even Wind-Ups, arguably "the best" deck at the moment, has its moments of inconsistencies and pure inability to really do anything. Sure Magician-Shark is pretty busted, but outside of that sometimes you just can't do anything in certain situations. How long can you bounce Rabbit in and out and keep taking damage? Can't sit on traps all game as well. Last weekend I was playing against a DW player, I was in fairly good control of the gamestate but had a very slow start in game 3, then he decides to flip his 3 set S/T's, all Reckless Greeds, and proceeds to go off and OTK me that turn. Realistically what could I have done outside of having something like Decree set? Can't do much when they just go "draw 6." Admittedly I should have had more in the side purely for the DW match-up. It has gotten popular enough and problematic enough to commit "silver bullets" in the side for that deck I believe.
We're only a month into the format, but personally it feels like it's been going on for longer than that. Lots of new product has come out or is coming out soon so people are excited about that, but what about the game itself? It's kind of an odd conundrum - back in the day, the Valley was "the" area for YGO. Valley Uncle's had huge turnouts, and now it's lucky to get 6 people. After Dragon's Lair, no one used to go to Northtown for tourneys, and now that's basically the only tourney in the area. The Valley area is pretty much dead for YGO tourneys, and on the opposite end of the coin Gamer's Haven had 100 people show up for the Magic Pre-Release. Crazy that it's hard enough to get just 1/10 of that attendance for Yugz. It's such a shame that downtown Uncle's is so limited in space - with max seating at 20 people, and books and games stacked so close by, it's hard enough just to move around there. If you're sitting toward the middle, you can basically forget about trying to get up to go to the bathroom. I'm not sure why people prefer going to a place like that which also has incredibly lousy prize support (because they overvalue their packs), compared to the spacious Gamer's Haven which gives 100% back via prize support (packs valued at $3). I've joked around that if I was single, I would just run locals from my house - I'm sure I can fit just as many people in my upstairs as downtown Uncle's does in their store, and could give a helluva lot better prize support. I have about the same amount of parking availability too! - ie jack shit.
Getting back to the format; I'm not sure if the Water structure alone will make Water-based decks a thing, but I do believe it will be problematic once the next set comes out. In my mind it will be a clash of Water vs Wind-Ups for the title of best deck. I don't know what all the cards do exactly, but with a structure coming out and a set that's virtually dedicated to the attribute, it'd be hard to believe that it won't be good. In my opinion Konami knows how to make things good (too good/broken), and thus have the ability to sell that product or basically force it on us. Each Structure that has come out lately (Machina, Agent, DW, Sam) has become a competitive deck at some point, so do people honestly think Water will somehow get passed by, especially with the "basically Water" set on top of it? We also have to take into account the new decktypes of REDU (mostly Madolche and Prophecy) which are said to be getting more support via the next set - will they receive enough support to become competitive or get out-shined by Water and what we have currently? We all know the one guy topped regionals with Madolche - if it's good enough to top now, what will it be like with even more support?
While I can't really help those in the situation of not knowing what to play, all I can say is if you're good at the game, then most likely it doesn't matter as long as you pick something that is considered a good deck. Hell if you're that good you can probably do well with a bad deck, but few people actually go out and are like "I want to play with a bad deck".