I was testing many decks for Toronto the week before the event, I started off with Nordics, but dropped them after losing to Herald of Orange Light one too many times. I then spent a few days testing every deck I could think of. Gravekeepers, Gladiators, Agent, Plant, TG Agent, Usually only about one or two matches with each deck, just enough to get a feel for everything. GB/GK felt too inconsistent for my taste, and each had some pretty bad matchups. The reason I didn't play Agents/Plants was simply because I wasn't comfortable playing mirror matches all tournament. I settled on TG as it was a deck I was already very comfortable with, and it was testing very solidly for me. This was the decklist I used for the event:
(The missing cards are 2 Liberty at Last!. - Frank)
On the Friday before the tournament, we arrive in Toronto at 12:30 pm, after leaving at 4am. We get lunch and arrive to the tournament site before preregistration starts. I ask a friend of mine if he wanted to play a couple of games, he was running a fairly straight agent deck, without Tour Guide nor TGs. I think I 12-0'd him in games post-side, and played versus another friend of mine, also running agents, though a TG agent build, and pre-side. Here it was much closer to 50-50, we weren't recording games and we each thought the other player was up in games. I was happy with a 50-50 winrate, and a 100-0 winrate post side. Who isn't? The secret to the side was Liberty at Last!. When siding for Agents, I would:
-1 Call -1 Starlight Road -1 Dark Bribe -3 Horn of the Phantom Beast -1 Book of Moon -1 Beast King Barbaros
+2 Liberty at Last! +3 Mystical Space Typhoon +1 Breaker the Magical Warrior +1 Chain Disappearance +1 Dimensional Prison
MST/Breaker went in versus almost every deck, I was too scared of decree to not side them in, and it always paid off.
Liberty at Last!, as I said earlier, was my favorite card in the side. The idea behind it was that Venus ¨ Gachi Gachi Gantetsu happens almost every game, and if you Liberty at Last! that setup, sending Venus back to the deck and Gachi back to the extra deck not only does it deal with the Gachi, but it gets rid of Hyperion fodder. It is also good later in the game, if they field a kristya + anything else, you can Liberty both back into the deck. One time I Liberty at Lasted back an Earth and thunder king, so I could search in EP with the TG monster he just destroyed.
I wanted to test versus plants, but nobody in my room had it built, and everyone wanted to leave the convention center early, so I had to improvise a side with little knowledge of how the plant deck ran. Maxx gCh is also much better versus plants than Chain Disappearance is. Versus plants I sided:
-2 TG1-EM1 -1 Dark Bribe -1 Pot of Duality -2 Bottomless Trap Hole -1 Starlight Road -1 Mirror Force
+3 Mystical Space Typhoon +1 Dimensional Prison +2 Chain Disappearance +1 D.D. Crow +1 The Transmigration Prophecy
The only interesting card here is The Transmigration Prophecy, which I used over a 2nd crow. I never drew it, but the idea behind it was the utility, it sends back their spore/glow up, and I can send a Tengu back to deck, even just send back double Tengu for a push.
Those were the two major decks I was worried about, I tested a little versus Gravekeeper, but the matchup was so hugely in my favor I just sided one Closed Forest specifically for them, then just put the msts in. While playtesting, I realize Orient Dragon is definitely an extra deck staple, so I drop $40 for one without even thinking the next day. But enough pre-tournament stuff.
Arrive at the convention center at around 8am, and realize I'm not siding much for plants, this is where I make a decision - Spend $40 for 2 Maxx gCh or spend $16 for 2 Chain Disappearance. I opted for the cheaper option, despite my preexisting hate for Chain Disappearance, a friend convinced me it was good. If I have one major regret, it was being cheap and not spending the extra $24. Maxx gCh is simply a better card, Chain Disappearance was always dead.
Round 1: TG Plants This guy was really tired, and misplayed constantly.
Game 1: I don't remember the details, but he tries to go off then realizes he only can field like 4000 points of damage after he is halfway through the play. It was a pretty easy win from there.
Game 2: He knows I have Dark Hole in hand from a duality, and instead of clearing my field and passing with Stardust + Leviar, he passes with my Rush Rhino in atk, Leviar, and a Gaia Knight. Easy win from there.
Round 2: Six Samurai
Game 1: It was really close, He had a BLS on the field, and I topdeck Skill Drain, then duality into Mirror Force. I set both, summon Barbaros and wait to draw a monster. Once I drew something I rammed the bls and won.
I sided in Chain Disappearances, and 2 msts.
Game 2: He sets 2 and passes, I summon Warwolf and hit for 12, set 2 back and pass. He goes Kageki, I let it go. Summon Kagemusha with effect, I Chain Disappearance, and he chains Asceticism to get another, makes Catastor and hits over my guy. Later it is a really simplified game, I'm down to 2 CIH, a backrow, and a Tengu. He summons plays double edged for Kizan and Kagemusha. I activate Horn of the Phantom Beast on my Tengu to force Brionac or Gaia Knight instead of Barkion. He makes Barkion anyway, then passes with no backrow. Game was easy from here, summoned a Rhino, rammed Tengu into Barkion, and hit for 3700 until he lost.
Round 3: Agents I'm blanking completely on this match, I remember drawing Dustshoot dead game 3, and playing a devastating Liberty at Last! sending back Venus + Gachi.
I'm 3-0 at this point, feeling pretty good that the deck is running as good as it tested. The wins against plants were very welcomed, as I really didn't test at all against them.
Round 4: Plants Game 3 is all I remember, because I was pretty shocked about this loss.
Game3: He summons Tour Guide, then specials Sangan. I stop to think a moment, and after looking at my hand I decide to special Warwolf. He has Mind Control. I lose quite quickly from there. How many of you can say you have been mind controlled on the very first turn of the game though? It isn't one of those things you're thinking about when making a play. This was the first story I ran around telling people, asking them if they've ever been mind controlled on turn 1, the answer was universally gno.h So while I took a loss, I felt accomplished. I also drew Dustshoot dead at some point in the match, and swore to never again side it in.
Round 5: Agents I had to play Sean McCabe, neither of us were very happy about having to play each other.
Game 1: He draws really bad, and never gets a hold on the game.
Game 2: I have control until he dualities into Earth to get Venus. Next turn that turns into a Venus + Gachi versus my Tengu and Rush Rhino. He attacks over Rush Rhino, and I flip Liberty at Last! to take back complete control.
Quick 2-0 versus a great player is always a confidence booster. He ended up winning out and made it to top 16.
Round 6: Agents I felt robbed here. This match was awful and here is why:
Game 1: I look at my hand, 2 Tengus, and a bunch of other monsters. Draw 6th card, 3rd Tengu. Best part of all this was I managed to take control until he topped Reborn. He thought I was just forgetting Tengu searches, little did he know they were all in my hand until I summoned the 3rd. He never asked to confirm, so I just let it go.
Blind MST game 2 AFTER playing duality, he told me later that the Rai-Oh was his 2nd one. If that was a Mind Crush, or a slowrolled Dustshoot he hit, he'd be so mad. He then gets the 33% hit on Solemn, and to top it off he has the storm.
I was more than a little upset, I won't lie.
Round 7 is completely blanking on me, I don't even know what I played against.
Round 8: Dragons
Game 1: All he draws is monsters, and couldn't get any plays together at all. It wasn't a quick win because my hand was also pretty bad, but I never felt I lost control.
Sided in msts, transmigration, and the 2 Liberty at Last!
Game 2: His only s/t was Burst Breath, he told me after the match he only plays 18 monsters, and his deck just derped on him. Not much else to say really.
Day 1 was over, it was only around 8:00, really early for a day1 finish. Props to all the tournament staff for keeping the event flowing at a fast pace despite the late start. Get back to the hotel, order a pizza, take a shower, set the alarm, and sleep.
I have no idea what time Day 2 starts, so I had the alarm set for 6:05. I get up, get everything together and head down to breakfast before heading to the event site. Sadly, the breakfast area was extremely crowded, and they were out of cranberry juice. I settled for a glass of apple juice, and was on my way.
On my way Really, Really, early. I get there at 6:50. Not even the vendors were there yet, day 2 apparently doesn't start until 9:00. Whatever, better early than late.
Round 9: Gravekeeper TG Agents We're talking for awhile, since it was awhile before the round started. Told me he was running a weird deck. He seemed like a really cool guy.
Game 1: my sleeve hits my deck and I knock some cards over, I fix most of it, but don't realize there is an extra card in my s/t zone until I check it the next turn. I point it out, and promptly do the right thing and just scoop to save the judges, his, and my time.
Game 2: I open with 3 backrow, and a set Warwolf. He plays duality revealing Venus, Earth, and something else. Takes Venus, summons it, tries to use effect and I remind him he used duality. He immediately puts Venus back into deck and announces he's taking Earth. I have no problem with this, and let him do what he wants, and I flip Skill Drain. Pretty easy win from there.
Game 3: This frustrated me, anyone who knows me well would say I'm one of the cleanest players there is. Even during this match I was extremely lenient with my opponent, but then this happens: I have Barbaros, a Stardust from road, Warwolf, and Rhino on field. I have strong reads on Gorz, and I figure he has BLS in hand. I have Skill Drain up, but nothing to stop the Gorz from beating over Stardust. I hit over his Earth with Stardust, then hit direct with Warwolf. Then Rhino. Give him plenty of time, then announce I'm ending my turn without attacking with Barbaros. He tries to drop Gorz, obviously the entire point of me playing like this was to prevent him from dropping the Gorz he had in hand, so I tell him it is much too late. He accuses me of rule sharking, despite how lenient I've been on him this entire match, and how good a sport I was about game 1. He draws for turn, then realizes it's too late to call a judge on the issue. The game ends a few turns later, but left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Everyone I talked to said I was definitely in the right, and I knew I was as well, but it just felt bad when he left the match so angry.
I get over it, and wait for the next, all important round to go up.
Round 10: Diva Plant Alex Vansant, he was a really, really, cool guy. This was the first time I'd met him, and I hope to see him at future events.
Game 1: he has Arcanite with one counter, Warning, and something else. I summon Rhino, he warnings. I Reborn and attack over the Arcanite. I feel like there was one more exchange of defensive cards before this, but that was the end result. I eventually get game on the board, and he does some math. I figure the only reason he isn't scooping is because he has CotH down, else he wouldn't have had to do all that math, so I attack in the proper order to play around CotH and win.
Game 2: I have mst for his decree, and see a gameshot I can make. I make Brionac, bounce his monster, and he tells me, gyou're 200 shorth Me, being that nice guy from above, states, gI have Rebornh he saysh what?h I couple times, and I quickly realize my error. I preferred not to lose to mst, so I kept the Reborn in my hand, when I tried to bounce his Mind Crush, he chained it, git's a long shot, I don't think you have it, but Monster Rebornh I discard the last card in my hand, Reborn, and leave him at 200 life. Thankfully he doesn't have any way to play around everything, and I win from there.
I topped WCQ US earlier that summer, but that was a x-2-1 record, this somehow feels more legit than that. x-2, 10th place after swiss. I learn I'm playing Joe Giorlando, I run around to try to find out what he's playing, but no luck. We sit down, wish each other luck, and begin.
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Top 32: Plant
Game 1: he opens Dustshoot. I take control of the game, but my life is really low, I'm down to like 800. trying to go for game, I summon Striker with intent to make Scrap Dragon with Orient + Striker, but he discards Maxx gCh and I decide it isn't worth it. He summons Tengu, I Dimensional Prison. He summons a 2nd, I Bottomless. He summons a 3rd, I Torrential. Call Of The Haunted Barbaros, then search for a Rhino in end phase to attack for game against his empty field.
Game 2: I regret wishing him luck, as he opens with Trap Dustshoot again, to my hand of double Tengu, 3 other monsters and Reborn. Very quick loss there.
Game 3: He Gold Sarcs for Heavy Storm, knowing he doesn't have storm in hand now, I set CotH + Mirror Force, knowing I'm going to have an insanely aggro early game. Start attacking him with tengus and Rhinos to try to kill him before he gets the storm to hand, or at least get him low enough that a Brionac will kill him. He sets a Solemn so he knows he can force storm through next turn. I draw book and hold it, he gets storm, plays it, and I just send my 2 cards to the grave. He summons Rai-Oh, beats over Rhino, and passes with no backrow. I draw D.D. Crow, Book of Moon his Rai-Oh, drop a Barbaros or something and attack for game.
I'm going to stop here for a second. Stop siding Rai-Oh versus TG, it will almost always hurt you more than help you unless you play a ton of backrow. I have so many outs to Rai-Oh that it will rarely be more than a 1-1, I honestly started laughing in my head when people summoned Rai-Oh turn 1 versus me, I'd either just beat over it with Rhino, or EM1 swap for it and make them deal with it. It's really not a threat at all unless you can protect it.
We all get deckchecked, and about 20 minutes later, they call me up to the event stage, I'm really worried about some stupid deck error like I sided out wrong or something, but it wasn't much of a big deal. A couple of my cards were a little beat up at the top, and could potentially be noticed if you're looking at the top of the deck. There was one card, that was as the judge said it, gtoo mint to playh My ultra rare Dark Hole was in such good condition, it stood out from the rest of my deck when looked at from above. I might be the only player ever warned for having a card that was gtoo mint.h I swore I'd get that Dark Hole graded.
Top 16: Hero Beat Feature match, it was around here I started making mistakes from hunger, as I hadn't eaten much of anything since the pizza the night prior. I end up forgetting a TG search game 3 somehow, and it almost costs me the game. Neither me, nor my opponent realized the missed search until Kohanim told us after the game. Felt pretty awful to win after such a big mistake, but my opponent also made a large mistake by attacking a 3000 atk Barbaros with his Cyber Dragon, so I guess it was even. I also got Dustshooted twice again, which was pretty upsetting.
Top 8: Plant Gotta play against Sean Montague, I don't know what to think of him, the match was so short. He seemed like a nice enough guy though.
Game 1: was pretty much a one-sided stampede of TG monsters until his life reached 0.
Game 2: Another error occurred here, though this was pretty major. He Mind Controls my Tengu to make Trishula, I torrential then forget to search Tengu. I draw, summon Rush Rhino, and a judge then points out I forgot my Tengu search. I panic, until the judge behind me says he saw which card I drew, and could repair the gamestate. I searched Tengu, then instead of drawing Rhino for turn, I drew Solemn Warning. Then Solemn Judgment. Then Mystical Space Typhoon, and won. Granted I'm pretty sure even if the game wasn't repairable, it would've been a double gameloss for the same reason forgetting an LS mill is a double loss. Still a bad way to win, and I understand why he was so mad about the loss.
Top4: Plant Billy Brake, not exactly the person you want to see on the opposite side of the table.
Feature match, not much to say except what was written there. It was definitely his day, and I got blown out. We chat for awhile as the other match finishes up. Glad Billy won, it's definitely about time he got a win. I didn't get to congratulate him as the other people in my car really wanted to leave asap, but if you're reading this, congrats.
3rd/4th playoff: Agent
Game 1: Was really weird, I draw it out knowing I have a much better chance in a complex endgame than he does, I was right, and eventually got over Gachi to attack for game.
Game 2: I make a huge mistake, I thought I had Liberty at Last! down instead of BTH, and I was so excited, because I knew if I resolved Liberty on his Venus + Leviathan Dragon I had the match easily wrapped up, so I didn't even check my backrow out of excitement. He attacks over breaker, I go to flip Liberty, only to realize it isn't there. I have no idea how I made this mistake, but I should've just bottomlessed the leviathan. I had his Gachi stolen, and it would've been an easy win from there. I just derped out hardcore.
Game 3: I make another mistake, he goes Venus, I BTH, he plays Forbidden Lance. He pays again, I try to Warning, only to be reminded that Lance lasts the entire turn. I lose shortly after.
I was a little mad at myself after that loss, but really I didn't care much. The prize card isn't worth that much, and I just made my first YCS top a top 4, losing to the eventual winner. I got a deal to write this report, and an iPod. Overall, it was a great event. If I had to make any changes to my deck, I might cut one of the EM1s for a Dimensional Prison, and definitely play Maxx gCh over the Chain Disappearances. For the most part though, I was very happy with the deck I played, and I hope you enjoyed reading this report.
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