(Jason) Alot of people are underestimating Dark World right now, and I'm not sure that's justified. Since the event coverage from YCS Brighton only published the deck lists of the Top 16 finishers, at least one Dark World deck made Top 32 at that event, only to slip beneath the radar of the general public. That wouldn't be a big story on its own, but the Duelist that built and played the deck makes the situation pretty interesting: Claudio Kirchmair.
Some of you just noticed your ears perking up. Others may not be familiar with the name, so let me bring you up to speed: Claudio Kirchmair is one of Europe's most recognized and successful Duelists. If you ask any informed competitor to list the Top 3 players in Europe, Claudio will always make that list. If I were to summarize all of his accomplishments we'd be here far longer than I'd be comfortable with, but we can certainly run down a few of the highlights. In 2008, Kirchmair took second place at the European Championship, which at the time was inarguably the most grueling and competitive tournament in existence. He'd go on to make Top 4 at the World Championships. That same year, he became one of the first-ever European Duelists to top an SJC when he made Top 8 at Shonen Jump Championship Seattle. He was the 2009 National Champion of Austria, and stormed the US once again in 2010 to take a Top 16 finish at SJC Los Angeles. He topped YCS Paris and YCS Brighton last year, achieving the latter accomplishment with an innovative, heavily controlling version of Dark World.
It's for that reason that he's here today: to tell us about the deck he played; what makes it so different from other Dark World builds; and why it could prove to be a strong choice over the coming weeks. Enjoy!
Claudio Kirchmair on Dark World Turbo Today I want to show you my version of Dark World, and talk about why I chose to play it at YCS Brighton. First of all, it was kind of boring to play Plants again and again across multiple formats. I wanted to play something new, with my own engine and enough support to keep up with Plant Synchro. I tried Rabbit but it was not the deck for my play style: I hated to draw vanilla monsters, and it ran out of gas pretty fast. Agents was another deck I tried a lot, but there were those hands where you open with 2-3 boss monsters and no good play. Kristya wouldn't be consistent in it, and why should I play the deck if I can't run the best boss monster.
I knew that Dark World was a big deal in the OCG metagame, but I hadn't found a version that would work in the TCG metagame. After a little research, I read an article written by Ryan Spicer where he described the Turbo Dark World deck played by his friends Chris Bowling and Erin Diaz. Chris Bowling and I have something in common: we love to play Upstart Goblin whenever possible. I read Spicer's article and saw the potential in the idea, but I thought they made some bad card decisions. Don't get me wrong, the idea was great but the list needed some Tuning to work properly for my play style. When I build and play a deck, I always want to be in a good position. I want to have as much control over the game as possible.
First of all I want to show you my deck list, and after that I will explain my card choices and my general thoughts about how the deck works. I will try to give you a deep insight into my deck and I hope you'll enjoy it!
Let's go card by card, so you can understand why I chose to build the deck the way I did, and how each card functions in my particular strategy. We'll start with the monsters.
Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World: He's the boss monster of the deck and his 2700 ATK is more than enough to prove it. He also enables free destruction and will be resurrected from your graveyard as long as you have at least one Dark World monster in your hand or on the field. This will give you the opportunity to use your freshly bounced Dark World monster for other cards like Dark World Dealings. He makes every one of your weaker Dark World monsters a real threat, because each of them can bring Grapha back until he's removed from the game. In that case, you still have two more copies to continue putting pressure on your opponent. And, he even writes articles on the official American Yu-Gi-Oh! Coverage site (he will be proud to read that).
Snoww, Unlight of Dark World: This card is similar to Reinforcement of the Army as it was played in the good old TeleDAD deck. It's even better, actually, because you can search nearly every key card of the deck with Snoww – even spell cards – which makes the deck much more consistent. For instance, if you open with Dark World Dealings, Snoww, and another discard spell card or Dark World monster, then you're in a good shape and will search the missing card for your hand. Most times your search with Snoww will be another Snoww for the purpose of deck thinning, because all the draw power of this deck allows you to get to your power cards faster than your opponent. Snoww has also 2000 ATK if you have a face-up Gate, and can run over Thunder King Rai-Oh, or he can be used as a tribute for the strong Deck Devastation Virus.
Broww, Huntsman of Dark World: More draw power is never bad, and you can summon Broww with Tour Guide From the Underworld to Special Summon the unfair Grapha back from your graveyard. Broww's the third best Dark World monster, and he works like Destiny Draw in combination with Gate or Dark World Dealings.
Tour Guide from the Underworld: First of all, I really hope that this card gets limited to one for the March 1st Advanced Format. This card is insane, and everyone has to change their decks to counter this card (running Maxx "C", Effect Veiler, and so on). In our case, Tour Guide is another card that functions sort of like Reinforcement of the Army, because you can special summon Broww from your deck or bring a banished Dark World monster back to the field with Leviair (in most cases, the banished Dark World being summoned will be Snoww). Leviair benefits from Allure of Darkness and Gate, since both cards can banish your Dark World monsters, and that makes Tour Guide even stronger than you might expect. You can also summon Number 17: Leviathan Dragon or Wind-Up Zenmaines for field control if you don't have Grapha in your graveyard for all those broken combos. Tour Guide's a Fiend monster, too, which means that she will help us to activate the effect of Gate pretty quick.
Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World: Beiigeis the weakest Dark World monster in the deck, but you need to run at least one in my opinion. He lets you draw every turn with Gate even if he's discarded, while Snoww and Broww will stay in the grave, and that means you won't be able to bounce them back to your hand with Grapha. Beiige also gives you the option to summon two Grapha from the Graveyard if you first normal summon him, and then discard him for an effect. 5400 to 6000 ATK is a lot of attack power to field in one turn... That's the biggest reason why I play Beiige over Goldd and Sillva: because he can be normal summoned. I don't like to run more than one Beiige, because I have the feeling that he's not that great if you activate Dragged Down to the Grave. He's the weakest choice in the eye of my opponent, and will always be chosen to discard over Grapha, Snoww and Broww.
You will recognize that I run only 13 monsters. I have to run a ton of spell cards to make this strategy work the way I want, and here they are:
Upstart Goblin: I love this card. It allows me to build a 37-card deck, and we all know that the only thing that's better than a 40-card deck is a 37-card deck. I was never a fan of running more than 40 cards in anything, because doing so decreases your chance to draw your power cards. I want them and I want them fast: if possible, faster than everyone else! The life points for your opponent gains with Upstart's effect doesn't matter in this case, because you quickly take complete control over the game, and you will be able to wipe out those additional 3000 life points for sure.
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Dark World Dealings: After seeing the results from YCS tournaments leading up to Brighton, I got the feeling that there would be only a few Dark World decks around. Sure, this deck was hyped tremendously, but we all know that it's pretty difficult to build a working version. Dark World Dealings is the best card with which to get your Dark World effects, and I will always compare it with Destiny Draw. If you ever hit a mirror match, then your opponent will have the same problem as you with his own Dark World Dealings. It's a choice between that, or having a problem against every other deck instead if you don't main dealings, because this card is one of the keys to consistency.
Dragged Down to the Grave: This is a little bit like Dark World Dealings, but more dependent on your hand. The big difference is that Dragged Down allows you to see your opponent's whole hand and choose the most annoying or strongest card, and get rid of it. This is something that I would call “informational advantage over your opponent,” and it's pretty strong for a good Yu-Gi-Oh! player. With full knowledge of my opponent's hand, I can predict all of my opponent's moves and outplay him with the information I gained. That will usually result in a win for me. The downside of Dragged Down is that you have to set your spell and trap cards in order to leave your opponent with no choice but to discard a Dark World monster. I tried to play only a few monsters and a lot of spell cards to make this card work as efficiently as I could. By running very few monsters, I can control my opponent's choice about what to discard. That's something you have to think about if you build this deck: you should always try to play your cards as efficiently as possible.
The Gates of Dark World: This card is a late game winner. You will be able to draw at least 1 additional card every turn if your opponent can't get rid of it, so long as you have at least one Fiend monster left in your graveyard. Gates works like Dark World Dealings for your Dark World monsters, and it also boosts your monsters by 300 ATK, which is a big factor in cases where boss monsters go head to head. Gates' ATK bonus also helps by ensuring that you have more monsters to combo with Deck Devastation Virus, turning a face-up Snoww into a valid tribute. Gates is something like a staple card for me.
Allure of Darkness: All I need is speed, and this card doesn't just give draw power: it also helps me to get rid of an unneeded Tour Guide. Leviair loves this card and that's another reason why I run it. I love to run more Destiny Draws
Foolish Burial: I know that I want to get Grapha in my graveyard as fast as possible, and that's the reason I run Foolish Burial. Most of the time, if you open with Grapha in the graveyard and at least one other Dark World monster, you'll win. In a worst case scenario, you can use it for Dragged Down, Card Destruction, or Dark World Dealings, or you can play it and send a monster to the grave so you can bring it back with Monster Reborn.
Card Destruction: This card is the MVP of Dark World. If you have enough Dark World monsters in your hand you should win after the resolution of all their effects. Also, it's pretty strong in combination with Deck Devastation Virus, because you see the opponent's entire hand when Card Destruction resolves, and you can cost them a few cards if they draw the wrong monsters.
Monster Reborn: This card is good all on its own. Most times you use it to Special Summon Snoww from your graveyard, to return him back to your hand with Grapha. That helps you to get through your deck faster, and it's a clean +1 in card presence. You can also take one of your opponent's monsters if you discarded something good through Dark World Dealings, Dragged Down, or Card Destruction.
Dark Hole: In this deck, I'm not afraid to kill my own Grapha because I will summon him again and again. I don't care if Grapha gets destroyed, as long as he isn't banished. Sometimes you need Dark Hole for an all-in move, or you get rid of annoying monsters like Evolzar Laggia, Evolzar Dolkka, or Thunder King Rai-Oh. It is also great with Wind-Up Zenmaines because you can stall with it till there's enough monsters to make Dark Hole worth activating, and then even destroy one of the opponent's set cards with Zenmaine's effect. It is a staple in my opinion, like Monster Reborn.
Heavy Storm: This deck runs only a few non-chainable trap cards, and I'm not afraid to destroy one of my Gates. If that ever happens, I've still got two more. You also need Heavy Storm against main decked Dimensional Fissure, or any Anti-Meta deck. Dark World has a psychological advantage playing Heavy, because your opponent will set more cards to his back row to try and protect them from Dragged Down. Setting Reckless Greed can also trick your opponent into over-committing and setting too many cards. This trick worked back in the old days and is still worthwhile today: your opponent doesn't know that you can activate all your back row cards at once if you want, unless he knows your complete deck list, so he'll set multiple cards to match you and then lose them all to Heavy. There's also my all-day-long-praised Solemn Judgment + Heavy Storm combo, which destroys all your opponent's back row cards for sure. This is something you always should keep in mind if you play against Anti-Meta, as it will protect you from throwing your match-winning card away. Wait against certain decks until you have Solemn Judgment and Heavy Storm. The only “static” set cards I run are Torrential Tribute, Solemn Judgment and Gate, and that's the reason why Heavy Storm works Fine in this build.
Last but not least, the trap cards...
Reckless Greed: This card is very strong in this deck. The Dark World strategy consists of 2-card combos, usually consisting of one card to allow you to discard, and one Dark World monster. How do I raise my chance to get two of those matching cards into my hand? Right, I play more drawing cards, and I will get the most cards from Reckless Greed. Reckless will also decide the moment when I start to go through my deck, which should leave me in a position of total control over my opponent. It's very good to force your opponent to waste Mystical Space Typhoon or Heavy Storm on your fake back row, and it can trick your opponent into overextending his back row like I mentioned before. Reckless is mostly used to set up the big turn where you will draw through, like, 50% or more of your deck.
Mind Crush: You take their best card again, like Dragged Down, and you have also the chance to hit more than one card since many decks run at least triple Tour Guide. Most times you take their Dimensional Prison to protect your Grapha, or their Heavy Storm to protect your static backrows or at least one of their power cards. You run enough cards that give you the informational advantage you need to make the right call with Mind Crush, but it helps if you know the core deck list and first turn plays of the popular strategies. Mind Crush is a skill based card where you have to guess sometimes, and it's easy to misplay with it. You can also activate it and call a card you know you won't hit, just to discard a Dark World monster from your hand and get his effect, with a big surprise factor for your opponent. You will receive informational advantage and be able to discard. Profit?
Trap Dustshoot: Dustshoot is the best card to open with in a format dominated by Heavy Storm. Your opponent will usually have the minimum of four cards in his hand because he will always be afraid to set too many spell or trap cards. Dustshoot takes their best monster, gives you informational advantage, and you will open with it a lot more often than other decks because you have superior draw power in the early game. The synergy with Mind Crush should be obvious.
Deck Devastation Virus: This card acts like Crush Card did back when it was legal. Everyone runs Tour Guide, Maxx "C", Effect Veiler, Spirit Reaper, and other small monsters: you will destroy many of your opponent's most important monsters with it. You also get 3(!!!) turns where you see every card your opponent draws. That's a big deal! Devastation Virus can even be used to play around Bottomless Trap Hole or Dimensional Prison, tribuing away a monster that would be banished otherwise, and you will draw it very fast in this version of Dark World. The only problem is that it can be difficult to set up, but with our fast and easy Grapha access (Snoww is also a possibility) we should be able to activate it whenever we draw it. Three turns of informational advantage, and maybe even card advantage, is a great deal!
Solemn Judgment: This is the best card in the game because it can negate nearly every card (exception: card effects). You will know your opponent's hand and counter the best of whatever they have with Solemn Judgment. You should have taken most of their options already with other cards, so Judgment will also protect you from unexpected topdecks. You can also go for game with it, or protect your whole set-up. As was the case for Trap Dustshoot, the draw power this deck offers means we will draw this card more often than other decks. In other words, this card is too good to exclude it.
Torrential Tribute: This was the last card I added to my build. I had the feeling that the random Solemn Judgment won't be enough to protect me from my opponent's early game aggression. Mass destruction cards like Dark Hole are always a good option to have in your deck because they can help you to come back from a losing game. Like I mentioned before, I don't care if Grapha will be destroyed, and Torrential can create one of the best defensive set-ups possible in combination with Wind-Up Zenmaines. You can also play around Effect Veiler with Tour Guide, if you chain Torrential to Effect Veiler's effect. Tour Guide won't be on the field, and you will be able to summon Broww for your Grapha. That's only one example of the moves Torrential allows, but it's a good one to know in general.
The extra deck is pretty standard, and you see that Leviair and Wind-Up Zenmaines are the most-used Xyz Monsters. I don't think that it's necessary to explain those.
How It Plays Before I try to explain why I don't run cards like Sangan or Morphing Jar, I want to give you a quick summary about my deck.
I think this build of Dark World has a kind of Destiny Hero level of draw power, which means that it's the fastest deck in the current format. There's no other deck with that many draw cards, and that's why I think that this strategy is kind of ahead of a lot of others. I'm frequently able to draw my whole deck if I want, and that's something that's rarely seen in Yu-Gi-Oh. Dark World also has the ability to search their boss monsters! What other deck can do that?
I will say something that not everyone may agree with, but I think that this deck has similarities to TeleDAD and Infernities. It takes control over the game in one big turn, and it gets to its key cards very quickly. You have a very good first game match-up and should be able to side into a much slower control version for games two and three. You have a nearly infinite amount of big monsters, and that will put constant pressure on your opponent.
Deck Devastation Virus is most times the *gg* (good game) from your opponent and it'll get stronger the more the format develops. You control your opponent's hand and that makes the deck very skill-dependent. It's hard to make the right decisions based on your own knowledge and it's even harder if you have to think and calculate for two players. That doesn't mean that you can't run this deck: it only means that you have to invest enough time to make the right decisions. It's always possible to lose a game due to just one misplay, and this deck won't forgive you a single one if you are not in the winning position. The whole strategy has a lot of synergy, and many of the play patterns and individual cards involved give you an advantage over popular card choices. This deck doesn't lose to Effect Veiler and Maxx "C" which are practically the new trap cards for upcoming YCS tournaments. Everyone will try to run as many copies of each as they can to deal with Inzektors and Wind-Ups, but the more copies your opponents run, the worse their matchup against you will be. All your monsters are DARK and Fiend-Type, and that gives you access to a lot of strong side deck cards like Gozen Match or Rivalry of the Warlords. Those are cards that can win you the game by themselves.
Of course, there are some problems because you don't have much protection in the early game. Most times I take the control of the game after I lost 5000 - 7000 life points, and it's possible for you to lose to an overextension by your opponent, because he thinks that he can play fearlessly in the early turns. The second problem is Naturia Beast on turn one or two, but the probability is very low of seeing that, since Ascetic Samurai and Karakuri are not popular deck choices at the moment. Everyone who owns Tour Guide won't run those decks, and that is the majority of the tournament players. Note that these weaknesses only apply to game one, because we will change our strategy with the side deck and adapt as needed.
Addressing Other Options Let's look at the popular cards I don't run in my deck, and discuss why I didn't play them.
Sangan: There are only a few targets for Sangan in this deck: Broww and Tour Guide. This means that Sangan won't give us the toolbox ability that we want to have. Most players will ask why you don't want to summon him with Tour Guide if your opponent chains Maxx "C" to Tour Guide's effect. We know that I run only a few defensive trap cards in the deck, and I won't be able to protect my Sangan against a Thunder King Rai-Oh (which is splashed into nearly everything to enable Black Luster Soldier). If I pass with Sangan on the field, then I'm pretty sure that Rai-Oh will take care of him. What do I do then if they Maxx "C" me? I will summon another Tour Guide and go into Wind-Up Zenmaines, because it will allow me to regain card advantage, or I will summon Broww for Grapha and bounce him back. Both options give you enough card advantage to equal the advantage from your opponent's Maxx "C". You should not summon another Tour Guide or Broww and end the turn, that's pretty bad!
Fabled Raven: He looks pretty good as a discard outlet, but most times your normal summon will be Tour Guide or a Dark World monster. You can't get rid of him if you want to activate Dragged Down and he's clogging your hand. I think that my spell cards are more than enough to get my Dark World effects running, and I don't need Raven in this build.
Morphing Jar: This is a card that really can lose you the mirror match. It has kind of the same problem as Fabled Raven, in that I want to use my normal summon for other monsters. If you play Jar, you need to set your spell and trap cards and I only have Solemn Judgment to protect that risky play. Morphing Jar's very predictable if your opponent knows that you run Dark World, but he's a good card to side into. Game two and three are the slower ones where such cards can be used, and he's much better if you side out Dragged Down.
Sillva, Warlord of Dark World / Goldd, Wu-Lord of Dark World: They can't be normal summoned compared to Beiige, and that's the simple reason why I won't run either of these cards.
Ceruli, Guru of Dark World: I don't like the idea of making my 2-card combos into less consistent 3-card combos. Ceruli's only strong with Sillva, so I don't think that you should run this card. We want to play consistent decks if we want to survive through 10 rounds of Swiss competition.
Pot of Duality: Every deck with Tour Guide has problems playing Pot of Duality. I will special summon nearly every turn with Tour Guide or Grapha, and there's another thing you need to realize: I have only a limited amount of cards that can destroy Rai-Oh immediately. On my first turn I want to set up everything for my big push, and I won't be able to do that if Rai-Oh blocks my Duality. It's just weak card because everyone runs Rai-Oh.
Eradicator Epidemic Virus: This is a very strong card, and Dark World is the first real deck that could play it. I chose to cut it because I had the feeling that Heavy Storm is much stronger, and this card is not as easy to activate as Deck Devastation Virus. This card has a lot of potential depending on the metagame. Unfortunately current environment is very fast, and this is a card best suited to a metagame that's a little slower.
Dark Smog: I don't like this card against Dino Rabbit or Agents, but it's a very good discard option. It makes a Dark World deck more dependent on back rows though, and I have more than enough spell cards to discard my Dark World monsters. I play it in my side deck for the mirror match, and can bring it in against Plant Synchro or any other graveyard-centric decks.
Skill Drain: This is a card with a lot of potential in the upcoming metagame. It handles Wind-Ups and Inzektors, and even Dino Rabbit. I wanted to play one in the main, but I had problems staying over 1000 life points in a lot of games. I chose to play Gozen Match in the side deck instead.
That's it from me, and I hope you enjoyed my article. I piloted this build to a strong top 32 finish at YCS Brighton, and I think that it has enough potential to win a YCS. I'm one of the believers of this deck, and it's a skill-based strategy in my opinion. A good player will have good results with it.
Play fair, good luck and have fun!!!
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