While playing 12~14 traps is still pretty viable here in OCG (maybe the Japanese has bigger balls? I don't know), the cards that activates from hand is what defines this format.
Saw this video at Youtube and I feel like stating how these cards affect us on the Asian OCG side. I'm terribly sorry but I'm counting Singapore out of the list, just because Singapore allows TCG in their locals. In fact, I guess the only place my post would apply would be Malaysia (and maybe Thailand).
1. Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
Probably the most powerful card you could activate from your hand. Gorz is not just an OTK stopper like people say he is. He is a game winner and a boss monster himself.
Gorz is extremely useful in our META because people just don't see him coming, even when you have an empty field on turn 2. Thats cause here in Malaysia, we have 9 months of official play and 3 months of ranking or others. For the most part of the year, we don't have the privilege to use promos. Making this card dangerous to less experience duelist.
But in the eyes of experience duelist, some people are making it too obvious that they have Gorz. From what I know, there are 2 ways to play Gorz better. (I'm not saying these are the only ways, I'm saying these are the methods I'm more familiar with). The first is to set chainable traps or spells. MST and his lot would be the best choices although in some decks there are Reckless Greed, nevertheless, they do the same. Activating the chainable card when your opponent attacks would make Gorz live, and it would be less obvious, and you might hit that annoying Solemn Warning. The other is to let your opponent know you have Gorz. Either through Pot of Duality or God Sarcophagus. Why do that? I don't see many doing this but this might be useful at times, especially when the game is still early and you don't have much to do. Most people don't wanna see Gorz too early, before they have some way to pass his 2700. The second method isn't really that popular because it lacks the surprise factor and you only get 1 beatstick instead of 2 most of the times, not to mentions, if your opponent does have something, you probably won't have anything to responds. Personally, I've never did that myself, but an equivalent to that would be drawing your deck out and looks down on your opponent's big monsters and your empty field, and ask your opponent whether he wants to attack.
2. Gemini Fiends
The card gain sudden popularity a few weeks back as the number 1 counter for Darkworlds. Some people at locals says it kills Sabers as well, but the only thing it really hits in sabers is Gottoms. I'm not sure how effective that is, but I assume not really.
While Dark Imprisoning Mirror was the best card to side against DW last format, 3 MST and Heavy Storm makes it difficult to keep Mirror on board. Gemini Fiends kills 3 cards in the deck (4 in some), Dragged down, Dealings and Destruction (Morphing Jar may be the 4th but who plays that). While it only hits 3 cards, the former 2 are the ones that starts the DW engine most of the time, and the latter is the one that would kill you once resolve. That leaves Gate as their only consistent combo card, but as I said, we have 3 MST.
Best part of Fiend is that unlike the other hand traps, its a plus 1. You ditch it, negates something and draws 1.
Personally, I didn't really believe the saying Gemini Fiends make DW less popular, but the showings of the deck is really low now, I guess it may have something to do with it. If DW were to drop out of Tier 1, I'm guessing Fiend would follow suit.
3. Maxx C
The only card from EXP4 that everyone wants, and for good reasons.
Maxx C is powerful this format because Junk Doppel is pretty much still very alive, Venus plays is still a bitch and combo decks are everywhere. Like Chris Bowling said on his channel (not quoting), this card is like Threatening Roar, it tells your opponent to stop whatever his doing, unless he wants you to gain so much advantage you are gonna win next turn, for sure.
I'm not gonna repeat what he said about the best timing to play Maxx C, as I know the TCG players are much better than us regarding Maxx C. We only got it 3 weeks ago, and while we know the obvious, there are bound to have some plays we haven't seen yet. This may be due to the fact that a lot of the players here in Malaysia doesn't follow the TCG side of the game, mostly due to them suck at Engrish.
I've see many bad players playing Maxx C, as they side it in against my HERO. Playing it when I activate Fusion Gate and stuff. Like someone on Youtube said, Maxx C should be played only if you are sure your gonna get pluses off it; you wanna leave your opponent in a difficult situation; or when you want to stop your opponent from doing things. And never play Maxx C as a 1 for 1.
Honest win games. Honest is also overpowered. And the card has a potential to be tech into any deck which runs at least 3~4 lights.
When played in a deck that isn't pure Light or having a lot of Light monsters, this card catches your opponent off guard, a lot. You don't expect to see it in Junk Doppel, but it could be there. It is a Light for your Chaos monsters; it can be returned to your hand for combos; and it has 1900 defense, walling most level 4 monsters off easily.
Everyone is familiar with Honest, so I'm not gonna talk more about that. Main point I wanna say is to try playing Honest in a deck that has a smaller Light count.
The other cards that activates from hand are either too popular to be discussed or too useless to be played. Hope you guys have a nice day and thanks for the long read. Finally finished my Internship and I'm now have 1 week of paradise (minus report) before school starts.