Thursday, August 22, 2013

New List Craziness

Never in a million years did I ever expect the ban list that we received. Here is a recap of how my last two weeks have gone: once the OCG list was pretty much confirmed by DGz's Organization, I scoured DN and DGz to see what people were going to be playing in the early format. The "Dragon Ruler Plant" deck was fairly known about by now, even though it seems like the general populace is just realizing it's a deck and I'm sure there are still those that are clueless. Beings as Dragons was the only deck I had from last format (sold basically everything else I had to afford that deck lol), I decided to test it out a little and told Danny about the deck and gave Mikey (my boy from Texas) my deck list I had been working on over DN. Fortunately I have a play-testing animal in the form of Mikey who was able to play probably about 60 games all in one day, and said he had about a 90% win ratio (sure it's DN but I don't care) and said he loved it. I was ecstatic.

After some more scouring in DN Unlimited, I came across Brandon Balls, who I believe is 'ygo duelist bodan' on DGz, although I had first thought it was Brandon Wigley but later found out his DN name is just his real name lol. So as I watched Brandon Balls play, I didn't see much out of the ordinary, until it hit me that he wasn't making any of the standard plant plays that I had been seeing up until this point. Some DGz members, most notably Pat Hoban, had indicated their opinion that the plant engine was kind of gimmicky, so perhaps this was the result of that philosophy. After watching a few more games I saw that he had essentially replaced the plant engine with Cardcar D's, Pot of Duality's, Skill Drain, and real traps (Torr, Force, Solemns) which I found to be ingenious. The problem I personally had with the plant engine was Card Trooper and my inability to mill well. In my testing I tended to mill Heavy Storm (mind you this was testing for the OCG list) way too often and other power cards and not mill enough Dragons or Dandylion. I also felt that it was more susceptible to getting Maxx C'd, so this "control" version incorporating back row was right up my alley. Sacrificing explosiveness for consistency and continual card advantage, I could live with that. The premise of the deck is to essentially +1 off Sword and then +1 via Cardcar, with the possible aid of Pot of Duality, set a few backrow, and then perpetually gain card advantage over the next few turns while thinning the deck via banished dragon effects. This way you could get to your power cards (*cough* Return *cough*) as quickly as possible. Tidal and Tempest's -1 abilities help aid in "color fixing" while Cardcar helped mitigate those -1's. I basically spent the next few days either stalking Brandon Ball's games or talking to Mikey who was putting in work through testing. Eventually I garnered probably 95% of Brandon Ball's deck list and decided that it would be what I would play for our local Gamer's Haven box tourney for JOTL which we had last Tuesday.

Going into the box tournament, I was rather excited because it was a completely new format but worried at the same time. After all, the last thing I wanted to experience was putting in hours of research, testing, theorizing, just for it all to not pan out and get stomped at the tourney. I had kept the deck a complete secret to at least have that "surprise factor" going into the box tourney. I won't do a whole tourney report because I can't recall specifics at this point, but I went undefeated through Swiss, won vs Corey AKA Spokane Vampire in top 8, and then top 4 decided to split because it was getting late and it was all Team O anyway. As I played through my matches, for the most part they all played out exactly how my testing and test hands indicated. A lot of early-game plussing, making good exchanges with Torrential and Mirror Force, making as few play mistakes as I could since I had so much practice with Dragons anyway, and setting up a Stardust + Return play for game. Even playing in the OCG list I believed Stardust would be very important in the upcoming meta, but I believe it will be even more so in the TCG one. Who knows when we'll get Stardust Radiance. So needless to say I was very happy with the deck and proved, at least on a small scale, that the Dragon deck was far from dead and I would say is a good candidate going into next format. I don't think it'd be played by so many 1700+ ranked players on DN if it weren't. I still feel it's quite adaptable and has outs to many of the commonly see plays that other decks can put out. It's just finding an ideal list that can handle the meta via the main and side that will be the difficult part. There are quite a few different variants of the deck so I can see that eventually becoming streamlined to an "ideal" version, much like how it evolved last format.

Speaking of the TCG ban list, I pulled it up during the tournament and clicked on it right at 6PM. I saw that Burner was banned and was like "OK looks like the same list" until I scrolled my eyes down to see E-Hero Stratos banned. I paused and was like W.T.F. and continued to see the crazy changes there were in the TCG list. Corey took my phone and started announcing all the drastic differences much to everyone's surprise and excitement. He eventually got to the infamous Gateway of the Six, announced that it was banned, and the whole room roared in cheer and applause all while staring at Shiggs who is known for "Shiggurai"/"Sackurai". It looked like he just found out his dog had to be put down; very sad. For the entire rest of the tourney everyone was either calling people talking about the ban list or talking about it at the tourney itself. Gone were those sacky cards which people have complained about for years with Konami doing nothing about it.

While it will be a heavier back row format with Heavy gone, on the surface it seems more manageable due to the limits on Bottomless, Compulse, and Torr. Mirror Force is a card people should have always played around, and I guess D-Pris seems pretty good but that is why cards like Lance, Trap Stun, 7 Tools, and Decree could all see a rise in play. Past that we have things like Fiendish, again hold your MSTs like you should rather than blind-spacing.

I don't have a whole lot of opinion on the list other than that, besides my apprehension that with the format so seemingly "balanced" and looking like a huge number of decks to be playable, siding will once again be a nightmare going into any kind of event. I wish they had upped the extra deck to 20 like many had hoped/speculated, but it was not to be. Eagerly awaiting to see what happens at Toronto!


  1. ygo duelist bodan is not brandon ball lol

    1. well wtf, who is he lol

  2. Everybody is excited about the list. Toronto will prove what decks will top in the September format.