Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Let's talk about this banlist

     Jubilation? Fear? Anger? One of those words(or all three) are probably running through your mind right now at the sight of a post by me(it wouldn't possibly have anything to do with the new TCG banlist). However this post isn't about me as you probably already know my story. I didn't like the direction the game was going so I stopped playing for a format or two(turns out one just does not actually ever quit yugioh). I was planning on sitting out yet another format, when Konami did something extraordinary. They got my a good way. I have always been a proponent of separate banlists for the TCG and OCG however I have known full well that my dream was likely to stay just that. Until it doesn't. I don't need to tell you all what events have transpired. Just know that this is game changing. In all honesty I don't know what many of the new cards do but I can tell you that this separation of TCG and OCG changes things. Most importantly however is the fact that Konami did a massive cleansing of the game that I and many others that have many more accolades than I have been wanting. Card Destruction, gateway, monster reborn,and  pot of avarice all were banned and rightfully so. Unfair cards that gave unfair advantage that in turn produced unfair wins were punished. Something like that has not happened in many formats and certainly never of this magnitude. Is the list perfect? No. Heavy storm was banned which I will always think is wrong. I don't like overextending and cards that punish overextending should play an integral part of the game. I will say however that Konami did take meaningful steps to anticipate this overextending tendency. By hitting backrow cards such as D-Prision, Torrential, Bottomless, and Judgement the " Set 5 and Sit" mindset becomes a alot less viable but not having a card that completely eliminates that mindset is still better than any amount of precautionary measures. But I digress, Konami did alot more harm than good and made meaningful changes which is a massive step in the right direction. More importantly it actually makes me want to play the game again. While I don't know the exact specifics of why the game was so bad and exactly what cards got it into that predicament, it doesn't really matter as it really is always the same story just with different card names. That being said I don't want to talk about each and every card on its own but I do believe that a few warrant greater attention(at least in my eyes).

Elemental Hero Stratos: Oh the venerable hero finally gets hit. Before my hiatus I was playing and heroes and thus developed insight into how the deck played(Hero Beat if you are curious of the variant). However all people really seem to want to know is: "Is the deck dead?"  Short Answer: Yes. Long answer: Yes, in its current form. Heroes will have to change and adapt and will need to incorporate new strategies and tech choices, but hell what deck doesn't have to do all of these things? Explore, discover, create. That is what this list requires and to be honest it is quite refreshing to see the need for such traits in Yugioh.

Destiny Hero Malicious: Oh the days of perfect circle and how this card brings back memories of such. Some people are scared about the amount of possibilities that this card opens up(with there being three d-draw and all) but I welcome those possibilities. To actually have a draw engine and not just being able to search for whatever you want is a nice change of pace. Maybe I'm just talking out of my ass considering I haven't been following the metagame very closely for the past format but being able to splash in a draw engine in whatever deck is nice. Plus I'm also looking forward to a hero/d-hero mashup that tries to compensate of the lack of Stratos.

Black Whirlwind: I will admit that this has always been one of my selfish desires to see this card back at three(If you haven't read the blog before, just know that I love Blackwings). Blackwings is the one deck where I feel comfortable tooting my own horn, since I have played them for so long, I know the intricacies as good as anyone else and feel completely comfortable playing them. While in past formats the deck has been garbage(which forced me to turn to heroes) this format has changed things. Blackwings are now largely where they were at when they were in their prime. They only lack 2 gale but even then they were still tier one with only one gale. With so few actual traps now, hand traps may become a larger force and Kalut is still one of the best in class. Couple that with the fact that Blackwings are able to dance around skill drain and you have a very solid concept for a deck(for the uninformed I believe that skill drain will play in a big role in this format).  Even if Blackwings don't flutter to the top having three black whirlwind certainly doesn't hurt them and if nothing else it gives me a reason to play them.

Plaguespreader Zombie and Mezuki: I lumped these two together because they represent in essence the same thing. Zombies could very well be back. Couple this with three malicious and three d-draw and you have a deck that is very similar to the zombie decks that were dominating past formats(not recent ones). This is particularly scary and like I said earlier, unlimiting malicious open particular holes that give reason for concern and this just might be one of those holes. This does pose a particular problem however, it seems that zombies are either broken or worthless and making them a good(not broken) archetype has so far proved elusive. Still it remains to be seen but these two cards are ones to keep a very close eye on, but if it does end up being broken we will only have to deal with it until January!

     That last part of was just a joke, we as yugioh players should never put up with a terrible game no matter how short it is but that segway was just to good to pass-up. That being said the fact that Yugioh is going to have 4 banlists per year is extremely significant. Not only will the game change more often but we won't have to endure six months of pain because of terrible card design by Konami. Now I hope Konami doesn't use this as a catalyst to say " Well they only have to complain for 4 months" to justify even worse card design, instead I hope they use it as an opportunity to moderate the game which in turn would mean that they wouldn't have to make such drastic changes that completely alter the game as we know it instead they would make smaller changes that improve the health of the game. Time will tell if Konami will squander this opportunity but if this banlist is any indication then Konami is taking the right provisions.

     With that being said there is still some cause for concern, not necessarily for the coming format but for some of the reasons Konami did what they did. There is new zombie support coming out in Shadow Specters and the likely reason that Konami brought back both Plauge and Mezuki to two is to push the new product. I have yet to dive into the new support cards and see if they are any good but I will get on that soon and write another post about it. Furthermore and perhaps the most interesting takeaway from  this list, is the fact Konami didn't bring any previously banned cards back. They only hit cards or un-restricted them. Could these be a new tactic that Konami uses? If this tactic continues we could see more of a set rotation sort of game(which if  done right would not be a bad thing). Only time will tell but it is an interesting development nonetheless.

Thank you all for reading and I greatly appreciate all of my readers continued support(even through the six months were nothing was posted).


Sunday, November 4, 2012


As i type this post, i see that many bloggers are leaving yugioh as well as Wilson Tsang(a.k.a 3zinferno). It's weird i thought yugioh could return to its former glory with the banlist, but i was wrong again!

It's sad to see a game i love lose its competitive side and literally turn into a "children's card game."

But it is losing its competitive edge.

Prize support, competitive play, jacked-up rulings, competitive players(if any) turn out to be in it for the money and not fame( a lot of ARG writers).

To not worry about this, i've been playing magic, which does not have the above problems and i like the game in general. In fact, I recently got 3rd at my last fnm. (No need to worry about vanguard, ill be playing it again once Shadow Paladins come out in a month).

But Yugioh, i'm really not sure about anymore. I'm conflicted between selling my agent deck and just focusing on magic and vanguard or keeping it just to play casual.

What are your thoughts on yugioh atm?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Most recent event

Hey, its Grant!

Sorry for being gone long, as i stated in my last article, me and cameron wont be able to update the blog frequently because of school. However, a most recent event has sparked my interest.

One day, I looked at Michael Bonancini's blog(DeathAspect) and saw an article of reform from Kris

In it, he stated the current state of the game and necessary steps to bring yugioh back to a competitive state. It got me thinking about Yugioh, Magic:The Gathering, Cardfight Vanguard, as well as their current states.

Yugioh: With the new banlist, yugioh's metagame has balanced out at last. We havent had a skilled format since september 2010(before the arrival of six sams). However, i would call it a game more suited for casual players.

Magic: Game reads "Competitive players enter here."

Vanguard: Semi- competitive. Was meant to be a fun game, though.

The difference between yugioh and cardfight vanguard was that yugioh was a new kid on the block that gave magic a run for its money. That was when i was in Kinder to 2nd grade. Now, Yugioh still is the #1 card game, but what in the future? Vanguard was meant to be casual to begin with, but bushiroad still flies winners out to nationals and worlds.

What about Konami?

What will the future lie ahead for Yugioh?

The answer is: I don't know.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Local Report: We get turned down, little kids take over locals, I break up with bubbleman, and a hero rises.....and falls

  1. Get  a good nights sleep
  2. Eat a good breakfast
  3. Get to the venue early
  4. Do last some last minute testing before the regional
  5. Compete at the regional
As you probably inferred this is my checklist for whenever I go to regionals. So why isn't number 5 crossed off? It didn't happen and since the regional is now over it never will happen. Before the regional even started Grant, Brett, and Ryan all had some shit to do so they couldn't come. It was up to Chris and I to represent the team. Or so we thought. At the pace we were moving at we were going to be at the venue at about 9:00 and registration didn't end until 10:00. We have arrived at many 700+ person regionals about an hour early and have had no problems so were not worried. Well we should have been. There was a huge delay, only 6 konamai employees were checking people in and with a line still at 200 strong that process was anything but fast. Then suddenly the line just stopped moving. Then at 11:30, after a full hour of no movement a konami employee informed us that they had only rented 2 rooms instead of the usual 3 because they had unforeseen numbers of people even though this kind of large scale regional has happened before. So they turned us away. It seemed like the 200 people that were mislead(us included) were going to riot lol. Konami even called security just to make sure that didn't happen, so that was pretty funny. After the turning down, Chris and I decided to go to locals and pick up our just starting out yugioh playing friend: Ryan(not the Ryan from the team).

So the three of us arrive at locals along with alot of the same people that were turned down at regionals. The little kids had invaded our locals and were screaming and shouting as they played some sort of bat shit, everything goes form of yugioh. It looked more like a playground than a local yugioh shop. Hands down the funnies thing though were the little kids playing the street fighter arcade game. They were fighting each other(in the game) and as each of them landed a hit on each other they would yell something out in korean(maybe they were cussing) and one kept yelling MINECRAFT for no apparent reason. A kid right next to the street fighting kids had just bought a plain green mat and proceeded to take a permanent sharpie marker and try to make recatngles(in the shape of a yugioh card of course) well they looked nothing like rectangles and instead looked like deformed traingles. When his dad pointed out that he had pretty much ruined the mat he proceeded to cry and throw a tantrum(mind you these kids were not babies they were ages 9-11) right at the same time the street fighting kids were screaming in joy or horror, I couldn't tell and the minecraft kid yelled MINECRAFT. Suffice to say the three of us nearly died laughing. I can hardly keep a straight face while writing this. I am not exaggerating it was complete anarchy but so hilarious. After a while the mat tantrum kid was carried out by his parent and the strret fighting kids were replaced by more mature individuals, though the minecraft kid continued yelling MINECARFT for absolutely no apparent reason at all throughout the day. The rest of the little kids(about 10 in all) moved over to the yugioh tables and proceeded to sack with six sams, mill the nuts with lightsworn, steal games with bls, miss timing, play cards recklessly, waste power cards, and use banned cards all the while being very loud about the whole process. I'm not sure why 10 year olds feel the need to be so vocal but I really hope I was nothing like that when I was 10. Near the time when local tourney signups began starting the little kids started to file out giving the store a sense of calmness that was thought by many to be impossible to achieve. Though if you must know MINECRAFT kid was still there.

So after all that I have time to talk to people and they say running heroes at locals is a bad idea because everyone and there mother is running dark world which is bad news for heros. I was thinking whatever as it was just locals but when it was announced the winner of the tourney would get a box of return of the duelist, the stakes were raised. There were around 70 people attending with 4 rounds of swiss and a cut to the top 16. In the end though I stayed with heros just for the sole fact that I have been using and testing the deck for so long now that I know all the plays the deck has and how  to play it correctly that even if I had some bad matchups I could survive. Plus the world needs a hero to save them from the villanous world of darkness that currently enveloped our precious local shop, so Ailus and I teamed up to try to make a miarcle fusion between us happen that would close the gates of the dark world. On to the actual tournamnet report!

DECK USED: Skill Drain Hero(I kept in skill drain for the rouge matchups, which locals tend to have  alot of)

DECK FACED: Dark Worlds!
Game 1: Dark worlds ran into their usual consistency issues and I slowly beat him down, he attempted to resolve a dealings but I had dark bribe.

Game 2: He was able to resolve a card destruction, need I say more?

Game 3: This one was also back and forth, 2 of his grapha's were gone thanks to bottomless and d prision but he eventually had the foolish burial to send grapha then summon it and he beat me down from there.

Result: LOSS
Evil has won this round but good always wins. The heros will defeat the dark World!

Round 2:
DECK FACED: Dark Worlds Again!
Game 1: I stopped his card destruction with bribe, his dragged down took out my dark hole and I sent grapha making me lose a card. I drew into e call from the dragged down and then drew into d prision for my draw. I removed grapha then slowly beat him down.

Game 2: He played gates then got his plusses from there. I used super poly to temporarily get rid of grapha, then dd crow finished the job. I had skill drain when he played tour guide and used miracle fusion to get shining so he couldn't come back.

Result: WIN
The heros are staging a comeback

Round 3:
My opponent ran away at the sight of such a heroic deck. In normal terms he never showed up.

Result: WIN

Round 4:
DECK FACED: None again!
I got a bye! Why? Now my tie breakers are horrible and I have a very slim chance of winning that box.

Round 5:
DECK FACED: Lighsworn
Game 1: Lightsworn milled bad and heros are consisitent so I won.
Game 2: This was a pretty back and forth game. Lightsworns milled good but I was able to delay the JD by using reborn to get celestia so now he only had 3 lightsworns in grave. He eventually destroyed celsitia and summoned JD and used bottomless trap hole. For a few turns nothing really happaned as we both drew no monsters until he drew lumina, revived another lumina(he had no cards left in hand) then he overlayed into zenmaines. I drew into ROTA which got me ailus(I had already used stratos) then I used super poly to get nova master and I beat him down from there.

Result: WIN
Record: 4-1

Apparently my tie breakers were bad so no top 8 for me( thanks in part to that bye). Chris however did top 8 with Machina's but he then proceeded to lose against Agents. I watched the game and it was one of the best games I have seen. The agent guy is a regular and I commonly see him at regionals, the game was back and forth but agents pulled out the 2nd win.

After the tourney we hung araound and talked to people then we went off to eat dinner. The newb ryan told us how he went 0-5 which was pretty funny but this was his first ever foray into competitive yugioh. His deck was bad( I told him so!) so he said he wanted to build final countdown( another troll) I just shook my head in dismay. Some other yugioh players were there so we did some trading. Chris and I tested some more and I finally took out bubbleman. Whenever I drew into him he was useless, I just wanted to try him out to give my skill drain heros a little more explosiveness but I must look elsewhere. Overall I was disappointed with my performance today but I have a few more things I am going to be testing out for my hero deck so hopefully it all works out. The hero will rise again as good always wins over evil.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

YCS Toronto: What it means for the meta

 Hey readers! No, its not Grant, Its me, the supposed main blogger that hasn't been very main, eh whatever. I'm not here to give my usual I was busy speech. No infact I wasn't really busy and have been playing this format alot. So far the format is pretty decent. lets talk!

One little constant annoying thing that just irks me when it really shouldn't is the fact that a YCS happened on the very first day of the format. I always enjoyed going to a regionals before any major event happened and see what the local duelists played. For the people that went to Toronto it really makes no difference but for people like me that really can't go because of school and such, it just irks me, that being said I really should just take it with a grain of salt. Nothing to surprising happened at Toronto though. The one thing that I loved though was Jeff Jones using psychics. I have always liked Jeff Jones because he is the one "pro player" that ventures out of the accepted norm. Remember he did play Nordics at one YCS(I forget which one). Aparntly for the duelists that have been loyal to psychics, you guys now have a deck to go off of. I can bet the farm that we will be seeing more psychics in the future. Also i think we can classify this in the "amazing meta call section" along with Frazier Smith using Gravekeepers at Atalanta. Wind ups winning the event was not really a shock, basically if you followed the news it was a general consensus that wind ups were far from dead. Personally this reminded me of exactly a year ago when Plants has been "nerfed" only to be the best deck and win YCS after YCS in that respective format. People called Plants dead and they weren't, infact they were alive and breathing, if you followed the news, then you knew this. The same situation has happened here. Play the game long enough and history starts repeating itself.

Konami's coverage sucked but at this point that's par for the course. We can't even depend on top cut decklists anymore instead we rely on the now unofficially official yugitubers and  people that were at the event. Come on Konami get your shit in order. Some decks that I saw while looking where plant synchro(nice to see a comeback) among other things. One thing that I have been surprised to see none of is agents. Grant and I have done some extensive testing with them and they are quite good. I will be back with more testing results later. Personally I will be sticking to my heroes(cause apparently I own them). They have proven effective this format and that is evident by the top cut finishes at Toronto. In the most basic form YCS Toronto has provided us with a clear idea of the format right at the beginning of the format and on a much grander scale that the usual regional. November is the month that things get shaken up. Abyss rising comes out which will change the meta and if history has taught us anything probably for the worse. Wind ups winning YCS Toronto is old news. Knowing how to side deck for them is old news as well. This is where yugioh gets intricate, the tiny meta shifts that ultimatley dicate the way the game is played must be determined. We as players must learn to out predict this shift and change with it. YCS Toronto should not be the meta determiner until November. People will shift the way they play in order to better prepare themselves against wind ups, then they will shift again learning how to play against the oppenent that has prepared against win ups. Its complicated but very integral to anyone's success in this game. I will test and be back with more info. Right now I am going to sleep. Goodnight and as always thanks for reading!