Perfecting Agent Herald: Top 8 YCS Providence Report
7/4/2011 10:30:00 AM
Hi, everyone! I'm Luke Mattingly and I recently placed in the Top 8 at YCS Providence.
Planning Before the Event:
Unfortunately the new popular way of play testing, Duel Network, is a very inadequate resource to prepare for large-scale competitive events. While it may prove fun and easy to use, the level of competitive play just isn't there.
I chose Herald of Perfection
because a friend suggested the idea to me, along with the fact that the recent structure decks Konami has been releasing have been extremely playable starting with Machina's Mayhem, and then Dragunity Drive.
I spent a lot of time trying different ideas for the deck starting with Advanced Ritual Art
, Agent of Creation Venus, and Mystic Shineball(s), teamed with White Elephants Gift. The biggest problems were that I would draw Mystic Shineballs and they would be useless, also if I drew them it would make Advanced Ritual Art
dead, therefore I had to play Dunames Dark Witch
as well. The same issue arose that if I drew Dunames and a Mystic Shineball Advanced Ritual Art
was still dead so I added a second Dunames. In short vanilla fairies aren't very good and neither is wasting your normal summon to use White Elephants Gift. From that disappointment I tried Dawn of the Herald
, it worked exceptionally well, so I stuck with it.
Going into the event I expected to play around four Tengu plants, two Six Samurai, a Gravekeepers, a Blackwing, and the rest being random decks. I spent the majority of my play testing time against Six Samurai and Tengu plants. The deck was having a lot of ease versus Tengu, which was very nice, but struggling versus Samurai and their ability to make Colossal Fighter
or Ally of Justice Decisive Arms also armed with Musakani Magatama
, this matchup would cause me troubles.
My cousin was playing the same deck and we had tested out most possibilities for the build besides Safe Zone
. The situation came up the night before the event where I had already face-up Safe Zone
on my Herald of Perfection
and my opponent was attempting to use Musakani Magatama. We were unsure on how the effect of Magatama would resolve or if it would at all since the card text reads “Negate and Destroy,” We at least knew that Magatama wouldn't destroy Herald (due to Safe Zone) but we were unsure if it would negate it, I called two of my friends that were judges and their answers were split.
I decided to main deck Royal Decree
until we had the ruling for sure. First thing the next morning I asked the Head Judge. He proceeded to tell me he would rule it that Muskani Magatama could be activated in response to Herald's effect but would do nothing; I was ecstatic, learning that Safe Zone
plus Herald of Perfection
in the Six Samurai matchup was virtually unbeatable. We dropped Royal Decree
to the side and put in Safe Zone!
MVPs of the Main Deck:
Agent of Miracles Jupiter - The ability to boost any Light fairy by 800 is a pretty amazing effect. This was definitely an underestimated card going into this deck and it proved its worth. It was definitely a miracle worker allowing for easy access over Legendary Six Samurai Shi en, and this deck's mortal enemy Thunder King Rai-Oh
. Another quick little add on, is that when you summon Agent of Mystery Earth, and search out Agent of Miracles Jupiter you have an instant six stars for Dawn of the Herald so that you can drop Perfection!
Herald of Orange Light - My opponents never saw it coming, which a phenomenal factor. Main decking three meant I drew it decently consistently and the fact that it destroyed the monster activating the effect was something my opponents weren't used to after commonly dealing with Effect Veiler
Explanation of Side Deck choices:
2 Maxx C - This was for the Tengu plant matchup, knowing that I had a hard time keeping up negating effects since all of their cards 1 for 1'd me or like Pot of Avarice
gained them advantage, I needed away to hold my opponent at bay or gain back some advantage, this card worked wonderfully.
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
- Going into this event I expected players to be siding Light Imprisoning Mirrors with anticipation of Agents with the freshly released structure deck Lost Sanctuary. I also expected Dimensional Fissure
to be a popular side deck or main deck choice in Six Samurai, after the deck won the Battle Kingdom Finals and The United Kingdom WCQ. I also expected a lot of Dimensional Fissure
since it was already being sided to combat Tengu Plants. One final card this deck struggles against is Royal Oppression
, being essentially a single card that shuts down my entire deck.
- Same reasons as Mystical. Reason for this over Dust Tornado
, is because Dust was too slow, if they activated LIM or Oppression in response to something I activated I wanted to chain it and get it off the field right away.
2 Ryko the Lightsworn Hunter - Same reasons as MST and Twister
, I was obviously very worried about Dimensional Fissure
, LIM, and Royal Oppression. The big added bonus it can kill troublesome monsters. The deck struggles versus Thunder King Rai-Oh
a lot considering it shuts down 12 cards out of my deck, all key to the purpose of the deck. Banisher also seemed to be a common side because it's already good versus Tengu plants, and is something my deck also struggles with because I can't activate Herald of Perfection's effect in Response to an effect activating since I can't discard to the graveyard
3 Kinetic Soldier
- Why Kinetic Solider instead of Puppet Plant? Simply I was expecting lots of Dimensional Fissure
or Banisher of the Raidiance put in against my deck and Puppet would've been dead a lot.
Dark Hole - The reason I didn't main it was because most of the time I had Herald of Perfection
already on the field, so it was a dead card. I did side it against most matchups where I expected Banisher or Thunder King Rai-Oh to come in against me. I also sided it for matchups like Gravekeepers where they commit a lot of monsters to the field.
3 Royal Decree
- A really powerful card, great versus X-Sabers, Gravekeepers, Blackwings, and Worms. So many decks this format play a very large amount of traps, and I think any deck that can afford to side Royal Decree
should consider it.
How the tournament went:
I start off the first round of the tournament with a Thunder King Rai-Oh
staring me down from my opponent's side of the field. My luck was not looking up. My opponent proceeds to drop two more after I kill the first one. It turns out he is playing Gladiator Beasts(The worst possible matchup for my deck because of Thunder King, and Gladiator Beast War Chariot, along with main deck Royal Oppression). I get a little lucky, and Herald of Orange is helpful to negate his monster effects when his Gladiator Beasts tag out while they are in the deck, so he can't activate War Chariot. I somehow come out on top.
My next round is versus Six Samurai; I'm a little concerned until I notice he has no side deck. All worries fall away and it's an easy win.
I continue on to play Brian Prange's Counter Fairy Gladiators who boasts he has never lost with his deck. Well apparently all good things come to an end, he doesn't draw Chariot and Jupiter is just too big.
After that Gladiator Beast matchup yet another Gladiator player follows. Just my luck, three of the worst matchup possible. I struggle versus Thunder King, and he takes a game off of me by looping Gladiator Beast War Chariot but I come out victorious.
During round 5, I see my cousin playing and calling for the Head judge because his opponent is appealing, Infernity Barrier
versus Herald with Safe Zone equipped to it. The Head Judge to our surprise reverses his ruling from the beginning of the day!!! He says he got an email mid-tournament from Jerome Mchale saying that Infernity Barrier
, Magatama, War Chariot will negate Heralds effect but not destroy it due to the Zone. This hurts us a lot. I have to continue on with main decking Safe Zone
with it being a useless card for the rest of my rounds!
I also played versus a Tech Genus player who flips Royal Oppression
on me game one and allowing him to instantly win since my only main decked out is Giant Trunade
. I come back to win the match.
I take a loss to Tengu plants via a misplay, and an unforeseen Mind Control. My first loss of the day, I'm a little upset because the matchup was there, and my misplay was obvious.
I play a Scrap Deck, easily control the game with Herald and win. He can't keep a monster of the field due to Jupiter being 1800, and I pound him down.
Last round of the day, I get a Feature Match versus Six Samurai. I win the die roll and go first, drop first turn Herald of Perfect and take control and win the first game. Game two I play way to conservatively, and instead of pushing I lose. Game three, I don't draw into Herald, and he plays super aggressive, I play too passively again in fear of Musanki Magatama, big mistake, and aggressive play takes me down.
I finish day one with a 6-2 record, with 2 rounds left to play before a Top 32 cut.
I go straight to sleep, then back up early the next day. I start off Day 2 going versus Tour Guide Plants. He makes a drastic misplay by pushing with a Cyber Dragon
and then synchroing into Ally of Justice Catastor
to kill my other monster. Next turn I Hyperion, Turn Herald to attack, and Fuse his monsters together to make Chimeratech Fortress Dragon
for the match!
I play a Gravekeepers in the last round of swiss, nothing interesting, Agent of Miracles Jupiter beats over his monsters and I control with Herald. I proceed to Top 32.
Once I made it into Top 32, I began versus Paul Clarke piloting Gravekeepers. Win the die roll first turn Herald, and the lockdown proves too strong. Game two, He starts off Thunder King Rai-Oh
, locks up my entire hand, then proceeds to drop Pachycephalo, and wins next turn because I have 0 plays! I reside back into dropping firs turn Herald, and control the game from there.
This tough opponent was followed by a Top 16 feature matchup against Frasier Smith. Game one he draws amazing and I never had a chance. Game two he drops Colossal Fighter
and kills my Herald, but Dark Hole
, and his low life wins me the game. Game three is interesting because during the endphase of one of his turns that he attacks with Doomcalibur knight, I flip Royal Decree
, and he chains Reinforce Truth(I forgot he couldn't activate since he attacked). So during the next standby phase his X-Saber Pashuul
activates and is negated and destroyed by his own Doomcalibur Knight! Clearing his field for an easy win.
After defeating both players I make it into Top 8 I play Tyree Tinsley. A few mistakes were made during our match, while I had Gozen Match
out he proceed to Synchro with his Dandylion
tokens and level 2 Spore
into Armory Arm
, while already having Stardust Dragon
out. I missed this mistake too concerned with the threat of Armory on Stardust over my Herald. The Top 8 judge watching out match also missed this. Anyway the match came down to me having Herald of Perfection
and no big beater to turn the game around and press him for damage. He Synchros to Magical Android and starts to gain life. I go down to 4 cards left in my deck, I know I have a Monster Reborn
left and have been hoping to use it on Archlord Kristya
and go berserk. I play Pot of Duality
revealing my top 3 cards, NO MONSTER REBORN! I immediately began questioning if I had made the fatal mistake of siding it out. I quickly shook this crazy notion aside, knowing that it must have been that last card. I shuffle up my deck and 2 turns later draw into Monster Reborn
. I reborn Kristya first Synchroing into Avenging Knight(since I had Gozen Match
still out and trampling his monsters). I destroy all of his monsters, and attack directly. I draw my last card and attack with everything, miscalculating and leaving him and 100 Life, he quickly ends his turn as I deck out!
Why is Herald good now?
- Master Hyperion
is a big card for this deck. With a Dark Armed Dragon
like effect, and much easier summoning requirements, including the ability to be Monster Reborn'd, it was an ideal pick.
- Big beat sticks make this deck good. Previously in Herald of Perfection
Decks, they lacked a way to push against your opponent. You would typically sit behind herald, and stall. Master Hyperion
, Archlord Kristya and Synchro Monsters allow for you to push with a since monster while controlling with Herald, a combination of any of them with herald usually means the game is over.
My Favorite Part about the deck?
-The fact this deck has an aggressiveness that it never had before. I found myself OTK'ing opponents more than ever, putting Brionac Dragon of the Ice Barrier on the field, and then either dropping enough fairies for Kristya or putting agents in grave for Hyperion was too game breaking.
Why Pot of Duality?
-A common Question
. Duality added to the consistency to the deck, there would be plenty of times when I didn't draw first turn Herald of Perfection so I had to rely on my agent engine. Duality was also a much faster way of getting to Master Hyperion
so I didn't have to wait it out and dwindle down my fairies or let my opponent draw to more.
Changes I would make now that the tournament is over:
Definitely take out Safe Zone
. As I mentioned earlier the only reason I played Safe Zone
was because of the Head Judges ruling, once this ruling was reversed it was essentially a dead card.
Now that Providence is over and looking ahead to nationals and a format full of Hyper Librarian, mainly Doppel Plants and Water Synchro the main two decks that can capitalize using that card, I will most likely be playing 3 Gozen Match
in the main deck. There are very few matchups it isn't good against. Even decks like Hero Beat are not allowed to commit more than 1 monster of the same attribute to the field.
Since that leaves 1 open spot I'm still debating between a few different choices of a 3rd Pot of Duality
, Upstart Goblin
, and Call of the Haunted. Upstart because drawing two Pot of Duality
opening turn is not ideal and means I will have to wait to drop my herald. I'm considering Call because I realize I don't get to use Archlord Kristya
via her effect very often and would like to use the card a lot more, but also the versatility to get me Master Hyperion
, or even Honest
back to add another Fairy to my hand.
Deck for Cheap:
Changes for people that can't afford cards in the deck. I would love for everyone to play this deck, but realistically I know that not every player has two Pot of Duality
and two Archlord Kristya
. Here's how I look at it, if Archlord Kristya
is about 80 bucks I think is a worthwhile expense, when you could have just spent 90 on just one Solemn Warning! Which is another pricey card that this deck doesn't play.
Another great alternative is Upstart Goblin
, which is an excellent substitute to Pot of Duality
. Besides Synchro Monsters the rest of the deck is relatively cheap. Buying 3 Lost Sanctuary Structure Decks will provide a majority of the cards and the holographic left to get is 3 Preparation of Rights.
The future for this deck:
Is it going to still be viable in a format with Hyper Librarian?
Yes, I think this deck has one of the best matchups versus Tengu Plants and Water Synchro, and I think this deck will be a top contender at WCQs around the world!
Please leave a comment! I love feedback, and I'm pretty good about responding!