Hello everyone, my name is Ping, and it is a privilege to be writing here about my recent experiences in YCS Brighton. I have been a Yu-Gi-Oh player for a few years now, competing in the Bristol, Plymouth and Cornwall regions of the UK. For the past year or so, I have switched to judging instead at my Bristol local. Although judging allowed me to keep up with recent trends in the metagame, my in-game skills did deteriorate over time as evident from my 6-3 performance at the UK WCQ earlier this year.
In order to restore my Yu-Gi-Oh ability to my former standards, I decided to spend roughly four weeks to prepare both my deck and myself for this YCS. While judging my local PhotonShockwave Sneak Peek, three Rescue Rabbits were pulled, and two more were pulled at the same local the Thursday after. Since 2011 is the year of the rabbit in Chinese astrology, I decided to use Rescue Rabbit as my weapon of choice for YCS Brighton. The weeks that followed involved countless hours of deck modification, tweaking the number of certain cards in the main and side deck such as Forbidden Lance, Bottomless Trap Hole, Starlight Road (which I dropped from the side), and Dimensional Fissure (which got switched to the side deck after playtesting). I was even making last minute changes on the Saturday morning of the YCS after discussing the deck with Nathan Pang.
Having never attended a YCS before, I simply assumed 90% of all my matchups would consist of the most popular decks of the format: Plant Synchro, Dino Rabbit, Dark World, and Karakuri. I spent hours playing those matchups, particularly Plant Synchro, until I was literally dreaming about how to deal with the Plant decks in my sleep. One thing to note is that I never played on Dueling Network, only in real life, where listening to my opponent's voice and expressions became a huge part of my game plan.
On to the event itself. We pre-regged for the YCS on Friday, and made sure everyone got an early night, but still showed up really early on Saturday morning so my friend could register too (he was stuck in traffic on Friday until really late). I found Team MFM at the vendor's stall, was very impressed that Vini got the vendor's job at Brighton, said hi to everyone, and then talked to Nathan Pang about his deck choice, which happened to be a different build of Rabbit! While I helped him with his side deck, he convinced me to mess around with my main and side for the mirror match, which I was very grateful for on Sunday.
A lot of people wondered why I did not main Heavy Storm or Starlight Road. The answer is simple: Starlight Road can be a really bad topdeck and I assumed the best players will be able to read it like an open book, and simply deny me the protection one hopes for when playing it.
As for Heavy Storm, it was a hard decision. Reason being Plant players do not have a lot of traps, and Heavy Storm tends to be dead due to my own back row. For decks that do have a lot of back row cards, such as Anti-meta and Dino Rabbit, if I walk into a Starlight Road, I probably will lose due to the inability to deal with Stardust Dragon and back row protection. Therefore I sided Heavy Storm, and only sided it in when I was certain my opponent was not playing Starlight.
This card cannot be Special Summoned from the Deck. You can banish this face-up card you control; Special Summon 2 Level 4 or lower Normal Monsters with the same name from your Deck. Destroy them during the End Phase. The effect of "Rescue Rabbit" can only be activated once per turn.
Store.TCGplayer.com allows you to buy cards from any of our vendors, all at the same time, in a simple checkout experience. Shop, Compare & Save with TCGplayer.com! - [Store FAQ]
The Tournament In ten rounds, I managed to get paired against nine different decks. Due to my Christmas travels, I can not find my notebook record which contained all of my opponent's names, but I am grateful to be paired against each and every one of you. The games were really enjoyable, and I managed to learn different techniques from each of my opponents, which really helped in my Top 32 matches.
Round 1 - Lightsworn I went for early aggression, and won before he could Summon any boss monsters.
Round 2 - Piper Chaos Here I managed to control the field with Evolzar Dolkka and my traps.
Round 3 - Karakuri I lost a game due to Naturia Beast, and my having so many destruction spells. But I came back in game 2 and 3 using Jurrac Guaiba to deny him any advantages with Karakuri Ninja mdl 339 "Sazank."
Round 4 - Chaos - Lost I lost 2-0, but I learned a lot from the guy. It was a shame he dropped. After this game, I was able to read Chaos Sorcerers and Torrential Tribute much better.
Round 7 - Dark World Round 1 I drew the nuts, and won before I saw any of his cards except for Upstart Goblin. Remembering Round 5, I deduced that he was playing Dark World and sided accordingly. In game 2 the side deck worked in my favor, and I gained control with Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo for a while until I went for game, using Mind Control on his Grapha.
Round 8 - Chain Burn (Nathan from France: such a cool guy, I am glad he made the Top 32 as well) This was the scariest match in the whole tournament. He won the first game, despite my best effort to to hold on to my last 50 life points. In the second and third games I won by simply wasting cards to avoid being burned, and dealt lethal damage quickly while negating all his stall cards. A turn 1 Trap Dustshoot in one of the games really helped, despite not hitting any monsters.
Saturday night my room mates refused to stop play testing, chatting and basically having fun. Needlessly to say, I didn't get more than an hour of sleep that night!
Round 9 - Frog Monarch (Andrea, he topped 32) My lack of sleep did not affect this match too badly: I won the first game using Laggia, negating his Enemy Controller, then taking advantage of his Treeborn Frog by attacking it with Jurrac Guaiba. In game 2, I played a combination of control using Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo, Laggia, and a heavy back row.
Round 10 - Rabbit Mirror Match against Luke Quinsee - Lost Despite my loss here, I believe this match was the reason I won the tournament. I lost 2-0, but it was also my first Rabbit mirror match against someone who knows exactly what they are doing - EVER - and since we were both X-1, I decided to use this match as a learning opportunity and figure out how to win the mirror. Luke's gestures, playstyle during the match, and his advice on the mirror afterwards proved to be priceless. Thanks, dude.
Top 32 - Dark World The experience from the Swiss Rounds really kicked in here, reading and preparing for all his play certainly helped. Game 2 was a lockdown battle between his Rivalry of Warlords against my double Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror. The lack of sleep really kicked in here: I started misplaying a bit, but I recovered each mistake by pinching my legs to keep myself focused.
Top 8 - Rabbit Mirror (Feature Match) Game 1 I fought through his first turn Laggia, using Sangan to search for Neo-Spacian Grand Mole, and managed to lock him down with it. In game 2, I was staring down a turn 1 Laggia again, but this time I turned it around using Spirit Reaper. I lured him into attacking my face-down Mole and flipped Mirror Force, followed by Fiendish Chain, but at that point I was -2 in card presence. I then drew both my copies of Maxx “C” and quickly lost. In the third game I decided to go for pure aggression, and risked swinging into Gorz if he had it. The reason was simple: the more turns he'd have, the more likely he would be to draw Gorz and power cards; since my hand was pretty poor, I wanted to finish the game before he could draw any more.
Final - Nathan Pang, Rabbit Mirror (Feature Match) In game 1 I opened with two Solemn Warning; 2 Sabersaurus; Gold Sarcophagus, and something else. I used Sarc to banish Tour Guide, knowing it would either stop Nathan from playing his Rescue Rabbit, or that I'd get to use it again him. It worked, and the two Warnings kept him off balance long enough for me to take the game.
Game 2, Nathan hit the nuts draw of Rabbit, Tour Guide, and Solemn Judgment, but it didn't show through in his expression. I opened poorly, and that was made worse by Nathans turn 1 Laggia. I set Fiendish Chain and Lance, thinking I could survive the next turn at 800 life points and make a comeback as long as Nathan does not have MST or Solemn Judgment. He did.
In game 3 he chained Maxx “C” on me, after I used Mind Control to take his Leviair for Rescue Rabbit. After minutes of thinking, trying to figure out how I could guarantee game with Fossil Dyna, it turned out I had to take the risk, using Kabuzauls, Thunder King, and Laggia to wipe away his 6000 life points instead. At that point I was sure Nathan had game in his hand next turn, and that he had just tried to buy time using Maxx “C”. I had to go for game, and succeeded!
Side Decking Strategies Taking a page out of Alberto Gonzalez's book, I side into Anti-meta in game 2, by taking out two or three Rescue Rabbits, the Kabuzauls, a Gold Sarc, and maybe Dustshoot. I bring in Fossil Dyna, Thunder King, Cyber Dragon, and maybe a few relevant traps.
For the mirror match I tend to do all that, but remove the three Jurrac Guaibas as well, in favor of two Fiendish Chains and Spirit Reaper. Of course in game 3, if I was going first, I would side back into Dino Rabbit, but I'd keep the Fossil Dyna in the main deck. Fossil Dyna was the MVP of my side; I sided a pair of the little Dyna in every game, and it helped every time.
After the YCS Post Brighton, I believe my Rabbit deck needs some revision to deal with changes in the meta. Although the three Guaibas are excellent for a field that's mostly plants, it's not the best choice if the Rabbit mirror match is going to be more common; Guaibas would be better off in the side deck. I personally thought Marvin Webber's tech choices were great for the Rabbit-dominated tournament.
To rebuild the main deck after Brighton, but before the release of Order of Chaos, I would drop the Guaibas for two Reapers and a Fossil Dyna.
Reaper can help by stalling in the mirror, and the Fossil Dyna can guarantee a kill despite the influence of Maxx “C”, or it can let you make a comeback when staring down a field of 2 Laggia and Leviair.
Side deck wise, I felt two Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror was too much: there were not many Chaos or Gravekeeper decks, so for the Dark World match up I would side three Dimensional Fissure and just a single Mirror. My revised side deck would look like this:
I hope you enjoyed the long read! The weekend was great fun, and I managed to learn a lot from the different European players!
All original content herein is Copyright 2000-2013 Ascension Gaming Network,
No portion of this web site may be used in any way without expressed written consent.