Top 8 With Spellbooks at YCS Toronto

Loukas Peterson

9/4/2013 11:01:00 AM

Originally I had no intention of attending this event, having no desire to play in the March 2013 format a second longer. If Worlds showed us anything, it was that Prophecy (with Spellbook of Judgment as a backbone) and Elemental Dragons (with explosive power and an overwhelming draw engine) were effectively unbeatable.

But when YCS Toronto was announced as using the new September 1st F&L List, I immediately began building a deck for the event. Jeff Jones and I collaborated together, and after he showed me the power of World of Prophecy, I couldn't say no to the deck. After a few weeks of throwing around ideas we settled on a build, hopped in the car with Billy Brake, Alex "Thunderpants" Vansant, and Sam Pedigo and found ourselves in Toronto. We only got lost once.

It was great to see familiar faces and meet other duelists, both Canadian and American, and I had the pleasure of meeting a few infamous players, including the North American WCQ winner, Patrick Hoban! We tried to get sufficient rest, but five eccentric guys in a hotel room wired on Red Bull and anticipation was a not a recipe for sufficient sleep. My punishment for so little rest was winning a meager three die rolls.

    Spellbooks Loukas Peterson    
  Location:  YCS - 2013-09-01 Toronto Canada - 5th - 8th Place
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Effect Veiler
2 High Priestess of Prophecy
3 Spellbook Magician of Prophecy (UTR)
3 Temperance of Prophecy
1 World of Prophecy
Monsters [11]
1 Book of Moon
1 Dark Hole
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Spellbook Library of the Crescent
2 Spellbook of Eternity
3 Spellbook of Fate (UTR)
1 Spellbook of Life
2 Spellbook of Power
3 Spellbook of Secrets
2 Spellbook of the Master
2 Spellbook of Wisdom
1 Spellbook Star Hall
2 The Grand Spellbook Tower
Spells [25]
2 Mirror Force
2 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
Traps [4]
Deck Total [40]
2 Consecrated Light
1 Dimensional Fissure
2 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer
2 Maxx "C"
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Retort
2 Rivalry of Warlords
2 Royal Decree
1 Soul Drain
Side Deck [15]


1 Angel of Zera
1 Arcanite Magician
1 Armades, Keeper of Boundaries
1 Black Rose Dragon (UTR)
1 Crimson Blader
1 Daigusto Phoenix
1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
1 Herald of Pure Light
1 Hierophant of Prophecy (UTR)
1 Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack
1 Mist Bird Clausolas
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Shining Elf
1 Tempest Magician
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
Extra Deck [15]

Check out Loukas' tournament report right here, on TCGPlayer!

My side deck choices were... slightly unconventional in some ways, but I'll shed some light on my choices. I was trying to cover a lot of decks in just fifteen cards.

Consecrated Light: I only planned to side this in for two decks - Blackwings and Infernities. I faced no Infernity decks over the course of the tournament, and against Blackwings, clearly the Normal Summon wasted on Consecrated Light did me no good. This was the one bad choice I made in terms of siding. It was a last minute decision and it didn't pan out for me.

Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer: I'd generally use Kycoo for the Spellbook Mirror match. I also expected it to carry its weight against decks like Elemental Dragons and Dark World, knowing that I could Special Summon it if my opponent destroyed The Grand Spellbook Tower. Unlike Consecrated Light, Kycoo was a Spellcaster and was worth the Normal Summon.

Maxx "C": Since I play nothing to stop OTK's, siding in this critter was a hard choice to make. My Reasoning for this card was actually kind of funny; I simply wanted my opponent to stop Special Summoning. Even if a few extra Summons would heavily profit my opponent, the idea of me drawing four cards was enough for various players to end their turn, despite that often being the wrong play. In Round 9, I drew six cards off of Maxx "C" and NONE of the cards I drew into could help me crack my opponent's field! Maxx "C" was more of a red herring than anything else.

Dimensional Fissure: I sided this card against anything that used the Graveyard or discarded a lot of cards... like Mermail. I think there are better choices because Dimensional Fissure as a one-of is not as strong as it was in previous formats.

Mystical Space Typhoon: I sided this in against nearly everything. Playing two in the main deck was a great choice, and the third came in as a provision. Turns out, there's a lot of hate in peoples' Side Decks for the Spellbook strategy. Mystical Space Typhoon helped mitigate it.

Retort: Retort is the straw that broke the camel's back in the mirror match. Yes, High Priestess of Prophecy, Kycoo, Spellbook of Wisdom, World or Prophecy, and Spellbook Star Hall are all phenomenal in the mirror, but every time I played this card, the game was simply over.

Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN080
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

When your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card with the same name as one in your Graveyard: Negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card. Then your can add 1 card with that name from your Graveyard to your hand.

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Rivalry of Warlords: Against decks like Lavavavavals (I can never remember where to stop on each name), Mermails and Synchro-centric strategies, a faceup Rivalry ends the game unless your opponent has a response to it. Honestly, I was surprised to see that this card wasn't on the F&L List when similar cards that prevent card interaction - stuff like Dimensional Fissure, Macro Cosmos, Soul Drain, and so on - were Limited.

Royal Decree: Against decks that set a lot of traps, I quickly sided in Royal Decree. I didn't do this in Toronto, but I think my favorite play in the deck was resolving a Royal Decree then summoning Hierophant of Prophecy, which has a built-in Harpie's Feather Duster.

Soul Drain: In theory, this card should have been a lot better against Mermail, Dark World and Dragon Ruler, but literally every time I played it, my opponent destroyed it with Mystical Space Typhoon. Every, time. In my Top 16 feature match, I didn't even play it because Rivalry of Warlords was more than sufficient.

Here's how the tournament went!

Day 1 - Round 1: Prophecy
I shouldn't say that every Prophecy match I played was a mirror; in this particular match, our lists were hugely different

Game 1: My opponent quickly established a field of Spellbook of Fate, The Grand Spellbook Tower, and Spellbook Magician of Prophecy with two Spellbook spells in the Graveyard. My opening was similar, but with a key difference: I had Spellbook Star Hall. Right off the bat, I knew that keeping in one copy of that card was going to be very beneficial. With neither of us profiting from nor resolving The Grand Spellbook Tower or World of Prophecy, Game 1 came down to my monsters having higher ATK; Spellbook Star Hall really saved the game.

Game 2: During his second turn, my opponent was able to summon High Priestess of Prophecy from his hand and in doing so revealed a Spellbook of Wisdom. I couldn't remove her with Spellbook of Fate and lost too many cards to her destruction effect, eventually losing the game.

Game 3: We started this game with about two minutes left in the round. After I played Dark Hole on his field during my second turn, and summoned two High Preistess of Prophecy and attacked for 5400, he couldn't mount a comeback and extended the handshake when he saw his next card.

Record: 1-0

Round 2: Chris LeBlanc (Geargia)

I was happy I'd survived the first mirror of the day, but knew harder matches were soon to come. I immediately recognized my second round opponent, but didn't want to put pressure on either of us by saying "Hey didn't you win a YCS with Geargia?" My assumption was correct, though, that he was running the same deck he'd won with before.

Game 1:
I don't remember much of Game 1 except when he made a big push by investing all his resources into a Crimson Blader and two Karakuri Synchros. I played Dark Hole the following turn and had too much card advantage for him to come back from.

Game 2: He didn't open very well, which didn't help the already-uphill battle for the Geargia deck; this game ended quickly.

Record: 2-0

Round 3: Mermails
My opponent's average turn took about three weeks. Little occurred during the match on my end simply because there were very few turns during our fifty minutes of play.

Game 1: My opponent definitely had a grasp of the Mermail deck as a whole, but had a few issues with how cards worked, and I was able to prevent him from using Black Rose Dragon to wipe the board. He used Deep Sea Diva and a Fishborg Tuner for Synchro Summons, but Spellbook of Fate proved to be too good.

 World of Prophecy
World of Prophecy70826
Set Judgment of the Light
Number JOTL-EN028
Level 9
Type Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2900 / 2400
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

When this card is Special Summoned by the effect of a Spellcaster-Type monster or a "Spellbook" Spell Card: You can target 2 "Spellbook" Spell Cards in your Graveyard; add those targets to your hand. You cannot Special Summon other monsters during the turn you activate this effect. When you add card(s) to your hand by this effect: You can reveal 4 "Spellbook" Spell Cards with different names in your hand; destroy all other cards on the field.

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Game 2: This game was always in my favor, but I'll admit, I was very nervous when he took an eight minute turn trying to decide what to do and put us into time. I resolved the effect of the World of Prophecy late game and stocked enough resources to win, despite his onslaught of Mystical Space Typhoons on my Rivalry of Warlords - plural - and my Soul Drain.

Record: 3-0

Round 4: Darkworld
As I kept winning, I kept getting more and more nervous. This round was no exception, especially when I learned his deck's dark nature.

Game 1: The game started with a Dark World Dealings, and I died on the inside. Dark Worlds is rarely a matchup anybody wants to see. Drawing the World of Prophecy wasn't terrible in this situation because I was able to put it in the Graveyard and use its effect the next turn. However, I had to waste a Spellbook in hand to keep it's effect live when he played Skill Drain, and I couldn't blow up the field. The decisive moment in this game was when I crushed his 4500 ATK Number 22: Zombiestein by battle, thanks to Star Hall.

Game 2: Turns out, my opponent's build of Dark Worlds was inherently different from any Dark World deck I'd ever seen before. Vanity's Emptiness, Dark Armed Dragon and Battle Fader were just some of the odd picks, and I never saw even one Dragged Down into the Grave the entire match. Game 2 was a very easy game. Even when he was able to destroy four of my cards with Malevolent Catastrophe, I profited by using the effects of both Star Hall and Tower.

Record: 4-0

Round 5: Geargia
I recognized my opponent, but I couldn't figure out where we'd seen each other. From the start, he seemed determined to do well in the event.

Game 1: Game 1 reminded me why I main decked Mystical Space Typhoon.

Game 2: I opened very poorly for the first time of the weekend; my only useable cards were two copies of Mirror Force, and they were all but useless against his Stardust Dragon. I held Dark Hole one turn too long and made the wrong call, costing myself the win.

Game 3: I went first and had Star Hall, Spellbook Library of the Crescent, Spellbook Magician, Spellbook of Fate and two Spellbook of Secrets. Despite having no way to Summon World of Prophecy quickly, it's easy to see that my hand was quite good. My opponent killed a lot of my cards, but did so at a very high cost. When the dust settled he had just one card to my Star Hall and Tower. I was able to check out two 'books per turn and sealed the match from there.

Record: 5-0

Round 6: Blackwings
This is the guy that went undefeated until Top 4. As soon as he played Black Whirlwind, I had terrible flashbacks of Dark Strike Fighter OTK's.

Game 1: I don't like to complain about unfortunate hands because luck's simply a factor in this game. However, my opponent did open double Black Whirlwind and used a Deck Devastation Virus on his first turn to pull two Spellbook Magicians and an Effect Veiler out of my opening hand. Siding Consecrated Light ended up not being a good choice.

Game 2: My first card was the World of Prophecy, and sadly, I just couldn't keep pace with my opponent's momentum. It was basically over when he played a third copy of Black Whirlwind on his second turn.

Record: 5-1

Round 7: Laval
My feature match can be found over in the official coverage. I felt very comfortable in the matchup despite being beyond terrified at playing in my very first feature match. I enjoyed playing my opponent; he was respectful and courteous.

Record: 6-1

Round 8: Spellbook Mirror
As much as I'm scared of running into Chain Burn or Nurse Reficule or Final Countdown or something, the most nerve-wracking match-up is always the mirror. Skill will usually play a big role in determining the outcome of your mirrors, but some luxuries you have in other match-ups (drawing two cards a turn and your opponent never activating a Fate) are simply not available here.

Game 1: Despite my one copy of Spellbook Star Hall, his Priestess really took it to me. I lost after a vain attempt, trying to kill him with an Attack Position Effect Veiler. Needless to say, that ended poorly.

Game 2: Going first is important, but in mirror matches that revolve around controlling the field, it's much more important. This was a swift win with Star Hall and Kycoo.

Game 3: My opponent's opening play was a Kycoo and two set cards. I dropped a Priestess over his Kycoo, popped one of his two set cards, and that +2 on my part was more than enough to get me in a very favorable position. On my second turn I drew a Retort and used it a few turns later when he chained Wisdom to my Spellbook of Fate. Kycoo, Retort, Mystical Space Typhoon, World of Prophecy and Star Hall are all stellar in the Spellbook mirror match.

Record: 7-1

Day 1 was over, but my mind was far from calming down! I couldn't distract myself from Day 2 and I fell asleep thinking of all the "what-ifs" of the next day. As a result I had a nightmare where I showed up to Day 2 and lost to a Lava Golem. Now let me be clear - the Lava Golem in my dream wasn't a card - he was my opponent.

I think he beat me with Cyber Stein.

Day 2 - Round 9: Dragon Ruler Plants
My opponent for that round was very well known in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community by my comrades, but I couldn't get a read on him from his stoic nature. Turns out, he was a friendly, respectful and jovial duelist.

Game 1: To be honest, this game was a little unfair. I don't think he actually did anything the entire duel. Spellbook of Fate after Spellbook of Fate kept him from playing cards.

Game 2: I was very impressed by my opponent's second game, even though I lost all my Life Points in one turn. He cleared all of my relevant set cards and proceeded to Special Summon all four Elemental Dragons and ravage my Life Points. I knew the Elemental Dragon Plant matchup was good for me, but after witnessing my own complete destruction here and facing the reality that I might be knocked out on the bubble, my nerves came back with a vengeance.

 High Priestess of Prophecy
High Priestess of Prophecy60170
Set Return of the Duelist
Number REDU-EN020
Level 7
Type Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2500 / 2100
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

You can reveal 3 "Spellbook" Spell Cards in your hand; Special Summon this card from your hand. Once per turn: You can banish 1 "Spellbook" Spell Card from your hand or Graveyard to target 1 card on the field; destroy that target.

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Game 3: My opening hand was two Temperance of Prophecy; Spellbook Magician of Prophecy; High Priestess of Prophecy; Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer; and Spellbook of the Master. I Summoned Spellbook Magician and almost started crying out of joy when he didn't respond with a Veiler. As I was searching my deck, I admitted I would have extended the handshake had he played a Veiler. I assumed I was safe with my established field late in the game, but I didn't realize that the Dandylion Tokens coming out after a Black Rose destroying the field would make my Grand Spellbook Tower miss timing. He was very understanding and politely reminded me of the Chain Links. I almost forgot what a Debris Dragon and a Dandylion together looked like. Even though my opponent lost, he was amicable until the end, and I'm more than grateful for duelists like him.

Record: 8-1

Round 10: Dragunity
Finally, I could take a breath! I knew because of my tiebreakers, there was no way I could not make the Top 32. I sat down smiling, and jovially spoke with another nervous duelist who was relieved as I was to be guaranteed to qualify for the top cut.

Game 1: My opponent was playing Dragunities with a few of their more obscure cards, but from what I heard, his deck also had the ability to OTK and not just control the field. Going second in this matchup was actually a blessing.

Game 2: From his Side Deck choices, I could tell he hadn't played against Spellbooks much. His opening play was Stardust Dragon, Mind Drain, Forbidden Lance, and Dragon Ravine. I played Spellbook Library of the Crescent, summoned Temperance of Prophecy, activated Master, then Secrets, and then activated Fate to remove his backrow. I Summoned Priestess, played Power to get over his Stardust, popped the Mind Drain with Priestess, and then played my Tower. I won on my next turn.

Final Swiss Record: 9-1
After 10 rounds of Swiss, I'd placed second overall with my only loss being to my Round 6 opponent, who managed to remain undefeated with Blackwings!

Top 32: Spellbook
I was pleased to look down and see a mat waiting for me to keep!

Game 1: My opening hand was Veiler, four useless Spellbooks, and Priestess. After I saw my opponent was playing Spellbooks as well I almost scooped, hoping that he wouldn't see what I was playing. Miraculously, I won this game by attacking with a Temperance and a Priestess; they were the only two cards I had left, while he had nine cards at the time.

Game 2: I don't know why, but my opponent opted not to play a Wisdom on my monster when I activated Power, and because of that decision he lost very quickly afterwards. I saw his abysmal hand post-game and genuinely felt bad. I know how discouraging it is when you're simply stuck with a bunch of unplayable cards. In this case, I think my opponent had two Maters, a World, and three copies of Fate.

Top 16: Bobby Barone (Mermail)
If nerves hadn't done me in yet, it seemed as if a Feature Match in Top 16 against Bobby Barone was going to be the straw that broke the camel's back! I was literally shaking so much during this match that I couldn't get my Side Deck back into my deck box during Games 2 and 3.

You can read how it went here.

Top 8: Mermail
In my time testing for the YCS, I found that Mermails can be a scary experience when you're piloting Spellbooks; I no longer run Jowgen the Spiritualist, which was once the most influential card in this match-up. However, testing proved that the matchup was still in my favor.

Game 1: Sadly I couldn't draw into any of the core cards I needed, and I couldn't mount a comeback once my opponent got an early lead on me. I hung in the game for a short time, but sometimes you just have to resign and go to Game 2.

Game 2: As soon as I saw my opening hand I felt very discouraged, and I didn't feel any better when he resolved a Chain Whirlwind to destroy my one usable card, Spellbook of Fate. I played zero Secrets, zero Magicians, and only one Crescent throughout the entire match. Honestly, I felt a little deflated after playing some great Yu-Gi-Oh! over the weekend, only to have my YCS run end in a lackluster match that didn't showcase my deck's strengths.

It would've been easy to look at a loss like that and feel sad aobut it, but I quickly reminded myself that I'd just made Top 8 at a YCS, and things looked a lot better in perspective! I was very grateful for all the help, especially from Jeff Jones, for mapping out the trip and making the deck I played. I walked away with prizes, two Feature Matches, several deck profiles and some mutual respect from a lot of duelists!
I have no intention of switching decks for the format; I'm just looking to get some quality reading in for the next four months.

-Loukas Peterson

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