Well I hope everyone is enjoying the start of their new year and the changes that the ban list brought about. Judging from the past ARG, realistically not much has changed in terms of the format, other than Snatch coming back and sacking wins just like it used to. I didn't happen to watch the coverage or anything but followed the event via DGz and occasionally look at the standings while also taking care of some business and scoping out a box tournament for Magic. People may not be aware but an incident involving Dalton and based loli occurred, basically a similar story to the "Frazier and Billy" incident that occurred during Dragon format involving forgetting to use Tempest's search effect. You can read all about it on DGz if you were curious. Reading it just makes me shake my head with how far some people will go to ensure victory, especially when those involved are considered to be friends.
As for the ARG, we saw a top 16 breakdown of 6 Qliphort, 5 Burning Abyss, 4 Shaddoll, and 1 Satellarknights. Looks basically identical to past events of last format and going into the event I felt that this would be the case. It's not like Tengu going to 3 was going to do anything. The finals was a Burning Abyss-Shaddoll matchup where BA won, again not too big of a surprise. The most notable shift I observed was the change in the BA trap line-up, with some builds excluding PWWB and Karma Cut altogether. This would make sense in an effort to adapt to Denko Dolls and improve its matchup, at least in having fewer cards that could get locked up due to Denko. Other notable changes (at least what I noticed) include the increased usage of maindeck Maxx C, decreased usage of Odd-Eyes in Qliphorts, and increased usage of Night Beam (to where Qliphort TCG lists are looking more similar to older OCG lists). With the new set coming out in a matter of weeks, and the Hero structure deck, and then the Nekroz set shortly thereafter, I could see the game shifting more significantly than it has in the past several weeks. From the minimal amount of testing I've done with and against Nekroz, I can almost guarantee things will change, even if it just means using different floodgates or side cards, or maybe effect negation like Veiler and Breakthrough will become more popular again just to deal with Trish. The true top-tier decks will most likely be able to adapt and hold on (especially since they're getting their own grip of support cards) but I feel that decks like Satella will fall off completely and I still question Shaddolls' long-term longevity, especially with their support being much less substantial than Qli or BA.
Recently I have decided to sell off the large majority of my collection and purchased a Magic deck to get back in the game. I know I have expressed my disappointment several times in the past regarding local attendance, and paired with a few other personal things, have decided I will be shifting my focus from Yugz to Magic. With Saturday not really being a tourney anymore (a whole 4 people showed up with 2 of them being myself and Danny) and me not being able to attend Mondays, that only leaves Sundays, which I have heard has been on the decline. I actually stopped by yesterday to sell some stuff and there surprisingly was a decent number of people there (like 15 I think, which I would say is average or slightly above average) but it is still nothing consistent (could just as easily be 8 the next tourney) and at one tourney a week would err on the side that would say the investment isn't worth it. I don't envision playing Magic 3 days a week or anything but with a box tournament every week and knowing I can hit a Standard event almost any day of the week and know there'll be a decent number of people there, gives me much more confidence in Magic. More people brings more prize support, and the larger events that do exist bring substantial prizing in themselves. It's basically too good to pass up especially with the state of Yugz locally. This is not to say that I am getting completely out of Yugz though, as I have told others that even if I were to completely quit the game, I would still be more involved with the game than some people that actually play; mostly in the research department like keeping up with trends in the game and what's coming out, and also in testing due to the impeccable accessibility the mobile version of YGOPro provides. I guess that couldn't be classified as "quitting the game" then lol. I just don't see myself quitting to the point that I'd have 0 involvement in the game- even if they stopped making product I'd still be down for a game of Goats lol. You could say I'd be part-time, or semi part-time. There's still incentive to hit a box tourney when they do occur and judging regionals and whatnot but as far as putting in a genuine effort to play at locals, I just don't see it happening unless the game somehow became immensely healthier on the local level- I'm talking 30+ people on a consistent basis. It is sad because I know we have the physical player base to have these kinds of numbers again, but people just don't show up for some reason or the other (which I know numerous legitimate reasons exist).
As for the blog, I would imagine that I'd be writing more about Magic and probably the same amount as I have been for Yugioh. I know that is not a lot, but like I said I'm still going to be following what happens at events and know what's going on in the game. Occasionally I'll have enough of an opinion about those things to write about them! Seems like a win-win lol. So with that, I suppose I'll jump right away into talking about Magic. I would say the hardest part of transitioning into the game is the amount of research it takes to get "caught up". This Standard format has shown to be incredibly diverse and with that I know there are still some decks I don't have a grasp on what they try to accomplish. I remember reading from Grand Prix Denver coverage that at the end of round 7 there were like 12 different decks that were undefeated at that point. Abzhan showed itself to be the most dominant strategy, but Blue-Black control ended up winning the event. The general consensus seems to be that basically anything can win in the hands of the right player and a little bit of luck, but with Fate Reforged coming out very shortly we'll see how that may or may not change. Buying a deck right before a set being introduced into the game makes me slightly nervous, but Standard is said to change so often that ultimately I don't think it will matter; I can't keep waiting for the next set or rotation or event or whatever to occur. If I have to move something then I'm confident I'll be able to in some capacity. I'm hoping that this week will be my first local event so I am rather excited. When you're starting from the bottom, the only place you have to go is up!