Deck Interview: Dale Bellido

Kevin Cavanagh


A little over two months into the format and two things are clear: Monarchs and Cyber-Stein both single handedly define this format. When you plan on going to a Shonen Jump event, Monarchs and Cyber-Stein are the two things you have to make sure you know how to play against in order to do well. However, what do you do at the beginning of a format when the answers aren’t so clear? How do you prepare for an event where you have only a mere guess at what deck type is going to be the best? Knowing the answer to these Questions is critical in improving ones game…

Let’s flash back to Shonen Jump Championship Boston in September. At that point and time the format was brand new, simple as that. No more Chaos Return. No more Recruiter Chaos. No more Chaos in general. Preparing a deck for a format undefined is no easy task, so I went to one of the best, Dale Bellido, to find out how he prepares for an event where the metagame is so wide open and unpredictable. Before we get to the interview, a very quick review and analysis of what Dale Bellido played at the first Shonen Jump of the new format…

Dale Bellido – “DST”
Shonen Jump Boston

    DST Dale Bellido    
  Location:  2006 Shonen Jump Boston -  Place
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Airknight Parshath
1 Breaker the Magical Warrior
3 Cyber Dragon
1 D.D. Warrior Lady
2 Don Zaloog
2 Exiled Force
3 Hydrogeddon
1 Morphing Jar
2 Mystic Tomato
1 Newdoria
1 Sangan
1 Treeborn Frog
2 Zaborg the Thunder Monarch
Monsters [22]
1 Creature Swap
1 Enemy Controller
1 Graceful Charity
1 Heavy Storm
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Nobleman of Crossout
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Premature Burial
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Rush Recklessly
1 Scapegoat
1 Shrink
Spells [12]
2 Blast with Chain
1 Mirror Force
1 Ring of Destruction
2 Sakuretsu Armor
1 Torrential Tribute
Traps [7]
Deck Total [41]



Quick Deck Analysis

The monster lineup is very aggressive, which I would expect for the start of a Shonen Jump format. Similar to Magic the Gathering and Versus, formats tend to start aggressive and then turn into control as time goes on. Such has not always been true for Yu-Gi-Oh, but it’s something I have been noticing the past couple of formats. Nevertheless, this deck packs a very hard punch and the monster lineup certainly shows that.

Zaborg the Thunder Monarch is the most aggressive of the four monarch brothers and Dale uses two in his build here. Zaborg can clear the way for Airknight Parshath and Don Zaloog to do their thing, be an extra “Smashing Ground”(only better), or be an extra face down removal engine which is something that a lot of players tend to shove to the wayside.

Concluding his tribute lineup are 2 copies of Airknight Parshath, a card that has seen absolutely no love in this format whatsoever (and for good reason). Airknight serves three main purposes, the first being that he draws you cards when he pierces through some damage, which is quite easy with the built in trample effect. Granted card advantage seems mediocre at best in a format where Cyber-Stein is so prevalent; drawing cards against a Soul Control variant could effectively nullify the very advantage that their deck works off of. The trample ability is the second reason Airknight proves to be accessed as an “aggressive card”. Trampling over Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive, Nimble Momonga, Mystic Tomato, Shining Angel, Spirit Reaper, etc. The list goes on and on and if 3 Cyber Dragon wasn’t the start to just about every single tier 1 decklist in the format, Airknight would be able to see a lot more play. The third reason Airknight is good? You get to beat your opponent with a fairy. I mean come on…How awesome would it be to see Paul Levitan or Emon get roughed up by Dale’s fairy?

Airknight is one of the ways this deck can maintain a good advantage, Don Zaloog is the other one. Airknight puts more cards in your hand while Don Zaloog takes your opponents cards away. With all the damage step tricks that this deck runs Don Zaloog isn’t as much of a liability as he would be if you were to run him in a standard Warrior Toolbox variant. In fact, running Don Zaloog effectitivly makes your opponent thinks hes running up against a standard Warrior Toolbox deck, making the damage step tricks just that more surprising.

Shrink, Blast with Chain, and Rush Recklessly would be the “damage step” tricks that I refer to when looking over this build. All of the cards can be played during your damage step or your opponents, which is certainly a nice thing. These cards work the best with Airknight Parshath, but Don Zaloog is another prime target for these cards. The two copies of Blast with Chain were included expecting a bunch of Mobius at Shonen Jump Boston, a fine call at the start of any format.

Reinforcement of the Army is well supported in this deck with 1 Reinforcement of the Army for the 5 warriors that Dale runs. In the forums I see people breaking the standard 1 Reinforcement of the Army: 3.5 Warrior ratio, this is just another example of someone who uses the correct amount of Reinforcement of the Army.

The Interview

Anyone can analyze a deck, but only the person who played it at the event can tell us what went into his decisions. Dale Bellido needs no introduction. A Shonen Jump champion, Dale has been a star in this game for a long time now and he’s always a favorite to top 8 at any event he attends. Here’s the interview seemingly everyone has been asking me for…

Kevin Cavanagh- How do you prepare for an unexpected metagame? What kind of things do you take into consideration that you wouldn’t for an established metagame?

Dale Bellido- I usually just play the format, mainly Mystic Tomatoes. I usually tackle each metagame with a basic tomato control build just because, in my opinion, it’s (Mystic Tomato) one of the best monsters in the game that can be played in numbers. (2+) After my first encounter with the American metagame a year ago, I realized that it’s not 100% based on the deck selection, but just being able to adjust yourself is what really matters. Aside from that I’ll play what ever I believe is right.

Kevin Cavanagh- Despite how impressed both Jason (Grabher-Meyer) and I were with the build; it did not fair to well in Boston. What happened in Boston? What did you lose to?

Dale Bellido- In Boston it started of great. I won my first 2 matches, but in round 3 I got stein'd in the early stages of both game 1 and 2. Round 4, game 3, I was plus 4 and he Returned from a Different dimension 2 Cyber Phoenix, Jinzo and a Cyber Dragon and played the Limiter Removal he had just ripped that turn.

Kevin Cavanagh- Knowing what the metagame is like now, how would you improve upon the deck? What changes you would make to battle the current metagame?

Dale Bellido- I would change the deck type into Decrees, no more Blast with Chains. I definitely need more then one shrink, you may just see it at the next jump I play. THE KEY TO THE FORMAT IS E-HERO WILDHEART! *wink face*

Kevin Cavanagh- You and your brother are without a doubt the best brother duo in the game today. What is it like to watch from the sidelines on Sunday when he is competing in a top 8, as opposed to you?

Dale Bellido- It’s great to see him play day 2 of a Shonen Jump. The only thing I hate is to see him lose in the top 8. For example, in Boston during game 2 he was plus 4 (I think) and Ramon ripped a random Ceasefire for game. All that aside, it’s great to see my brother day 2 (and any other superfriend for that matter.)

Kevin Cavanagh- What’s the next Shonen Jump you plan on attending?

Dale Bellido- I will be at SJC Anaheim alongside fellow superfriends Matt peddle and possibly Andrew Hayton. (This article was done prior to Shonen Jump Anaheim. Dale used a very unique deck there as well, built by his brother Lazaro Bellido. Look for that deck to be analyzed sometime in the future)


Dale Bellido has risen so much since his first win over a year ago at Shonen Jump Championship Chicago. He has firmly established himself as one of the best players in North America and is a force to be reckoned with at any event he attends.

Next week…I don’t know what I’m going to write about. Maybe I’ll write about the deck that Dale played at Shonen Jump Anaheim. Or maybe I’ll write about the deck his brother Lazaro has turned into “the deck of the format”, in Soul Control. Those Bellido brothers seem to be doing everything right.

Until Next Week,

-Kevin Cavanagh
Amp- We run through you.

Random Story- This is actually not the first time I got the chance to speak with Dale Bellido. Several months before my top 8 at Shonen Jump Baltimore, I attended Shonen Jump Durham with my old team, CREW!! I arrived at the event and met up with some friends in the hotel lobby. I was mad thirsty and told my friend Matt Ward that I would do anything for a soda. He told me to go up to Dale (who was playtesting up in the bar area) and tell him “I own you” and that he would give me $1.00 for a drink. I happily walked up to the bar and said it right to his face….and ran away. Best. Coke. Ever.

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