Wednesday, November 28, 2012


So the last nationals for 2012 is on December 22nd. Thats wonderful, I thought for sure I was gonna miss this one out cause I'm going on a trip with some friend from college on the 23rd to 26th. This tournament usually falls on the 25th or the next day, hence Christmas Tourney. But since I'm still here on the 22nd, I say its one more chance to aim big before we close 2012.

Also, since I'm going to the US next year for my Masters program, I figure it would be good to know someone over there. Gotta make some social links (too much Persona 4 for me recently) before travelling, I don't wanna get home sick for the first month. I've added my Facebook account on the side, so please add me!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Bright Star Shines Upon the Dragon Lords

After getting pass the emoness from scrubbing yesterday's event, I've decided to review on the deck that I was originally gonna enter Top Shop with. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, I was not able to get my copy of M7 by yesterday morning, so I did a last minute decision to play E HEROs again. Kyde among others see me running around trying to borrow a copy of M7, which ended up in vein. Before i start my deck review, I originally wanted to play this deck because I know no one would be prepared for it and it would dominate through the swiss rounds. I know the deck has great match ups against Mermail Atlanteans and also Wind-Ups. HEROs is a bit iffy IF they know what you are doing, which I doubt. My Meta call was spot on yesterday, which leads me into even more emoness as I would most likely made top 8 if I had this deck with me.

monster (24) :

3 Hieratic Dragon of Su
3 Hieratic Dragon of Tfenut
2 Hieratic Dragon of Eset
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
1 Wattail Dragon
1 Emerald Dragon // Luster Dragon
3 Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo
2 Tragoedia
1 Gorz the Emmissary of Darkness
1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
2 Cardcar D
2 Effect Veiler
2 Maxx "C"

spell (10):

2 Pot of Duality
2 Hieratic Seal of Convocation
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn
1 Dark Hole

trap (6):

2 Ninjitsu Art of Super Transformation
2 Solemn Warning
2 Threatening Roar

extra (15):

1 Hieratic Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis
2 Hieratic Dragon King of Atum
2 Gaia Dragoon
1 Constellar Plolemys M7
1 Photon Streak Bounzer
1 Number 25 Focus Force
1 Sword Breaker
1 Inzektor Exa-Beetle
1 Tiras Keeper of Genesis
1 Heroic Champion Excalibur
1 AOJ Catastor
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Ancient Sacred Wyvern

side (15):

2 Koaki Meiru Drago
1 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer
1 Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon
1 Puppet Plant
2 Nightbeam
3 Macro Cosmos (EDIT)
2 Rivalry of the Warlords
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Malevolent Catastrophe

If your still wondering why M7 plays such an important role to the point that I would NOT play this deck without it, then here's what I have to say. I gives this deck a 3-card-OTK. Hieratic was a deck that was known for their 3-card-OTK. If you have any 3 Hieratics you could put onto the field, it was an OTK. But since the banlist took out our second REDMD, this wasn't possible with 3 dragons alone, until M7 finally came into the picture. This may be old news some, but we only got M7 last week and a majority of the guys here are clueless about Hieratics. Lets say this article is directed towards that crowd.

You need to have any combination of Hieratics you could put out on to the field, ie Su, Su, Eset or Su, Eset, Tfenut. Any combination would do. 

First your gonna take 2 dragons and make Atum, and that Atum brings out REDMD from your deck. Now, special a Hieratic from your grave and tribute it for the 3rd copy in your hand. Then, with the 2 level 6s on your field, make M7. M7 would then uses it's effect to bring REDMD back to hand. Your gonna banish Atum and bring back a Wattail Dragon onto the field.

2800 + 2700 + 2500 = 8000

Well, if your opponent has a monster on board, the your not gonna get an OTK, true. But, even if don't get an OTK, this deck can hold its own very well since your beaters are humongous. I would like to shout out to Kyde who suggested me playing Exodios the Ultimate Forbidden Lord in the deck. The reasoning behind that was solid, it makes Gustav Max and it also lets you recycle your M7's. I would most likely include a copy of that card in my deck soon.

I don't think there is much to say bout the main and extra. Lets go straight to side deck. I've predicted a strong showing of Mermails, Dark Words and HEROs yesterday. While Wind-Ups are powerful, they are just too expensive to have many players playing them, but their presence shall never be discarded. Also, this deck dies hard to Agents, so I have a few cards in the side board to counter that match up.

Drago and Kycoo, along with BTH are Agent hates. It also hits random Chaos Dragons and mirror matches (expect Kycoo). I know all these cards are anti-Krystia, instead of destroying the Krystia on board. But I do not feel Agents as a deck, is fast. The Trooper build might get Krystia out early, but Call of the Haunted in vulnerable. For the DW match up, I would side in Kycoo, Soul Drains and also BTH. "Dark Worlds are not a matchup, its solitaire", I shall not review who said that. For both these match ups, the Maxx "C" and Threathing Roar comes out. Veiler comes out too for DW and Heavy Storm for Agents. (I constantly side out Heavy in both this and my HERO deck)

I have much hate for both Mermail Atlanteans and also Wind-Ups in my main, so I don't really have much in my side. 3 Macro (EDIT) for Mermails and 2 Rivalry and a Malevolent for Wind-Ups. Malevolent is in there mostly for Factory, and the Wind-Ups here are usually pretty trap heavy.

The rest of my side is focused on HERO, arguably this deck's worst match up. I would side in Puppet Plant, BTH, Nightbeam and also the GALAXY-EYES!! I take out the Maxx "C", Veiler, Dark Hole and also a copy of Roar (or 2, depending on the results of game 2). Puppet Plant explains Excalibur in my extra. I wanna drop Plant on a Allius or Stratos and then attack for big damage. But I bet people would be confused with Galaxy-Eyes.

I like Galaxy-Eyes for 2 things. (1) it is a LEVEL 8 DRAGON I could bring out with Atum and (2) it's effect is excellent when your trying to push for game through a Shining or Excalibur. Being a level 8 monster means I could potentially use it to steal a Shining or Zero off my opponent's board with Tragoedia. I know its a very risky move to side in a card just for this, but I would always win the game if I pull this stunt off. Also, Galaxy-Eyes is good against random match ups where my opponent would hide behind Gachi or Zenmains. I could side this in for Agents as well, but I feel Krystia would stop Trago. It's random, I know, but I really like this card.

That's it for my deck review today, thanks for reading. And I am still salty my donkey didn't win me my playmat yesterday. 

Donkey Let Me Down ...

Today was Top Shop 2012, the last official tournament for the year. Early this morning I was faced with dilemma, no deck to play. I've not receive my copy of M7 yet and I don't actually own E HERO Gaia (WTF!? I know). Effectively, I couldn't play either deck to their best potential, but decided to stick with HERO because unlike Gaia, M7 is a necessity.

Tournament actually started on time today, that's crazy!

Match 1 : VS Mermail Atlanteans - Saw

Duel 1 : I hid my balls somewhere in the closet and didn't attack his face down for at least 3 turns. Turns out to NOT be Linde and I got smashed by set Heavy (which I did not MST because of Sphere) and Megalo.

Duel 2 : I open Soul Drain and manage to keep it on the board for the majority of the game. My opponent plays Trap Stun, dropping Megalo and destroying Shining but attacks into Warrior Lady. He scooped for no real reason after witnessing that.

Duel 3 : We were trading monsters but I was steadily decreasing his life. At one point, my hand was Storm, Allius and Bubbleman, with 2 set; he had 3 set and a Librarian. I YOLO and play Storm and XYZ into Excalibur, and left him at 700. I know I just have to top deck any Stratos, E Call or RoTA to seal the game, since I doubt Excalibur would stay on board. My opponent tops Avarice and makes Catastor. I top Miracle into Shining, rammed into Catastor, brought back the 2 HEROs and made Gagaga Gunman.

*My opponent was extremely salty and keep telling EVERYONE how I topped deck a win, dude YGO!*


1 - 0

Match 2 : VS Rabbit MetaBeat

Remember my most recent post before this, the one regarding Burden of the Mighty, this match proves my theory 100%.

Duel 1 : I started with Rai-Oh and MST. My opponent shows me Alexandrite Dragon. I was on the ropes next turn when he decided to show me Rescue Rabbit and made Laggia to protect his 4 face downs. I drew for my turn, took a deep breath and plays E Call for Stratos, naturally that got negated by Warning. I played Reborn but was hit with Laggia, no matter. I flipped a face down Miracle Fusion, banishing both Airman and TKR into Shining, he shows me BTH, which I chained the ever powerful Super Poly. I knew his last card was Starlight Road. Nova kept attacking for damage.

Duel 2 : I couldn't draw Burden and was killed when his 2000 line gets pass my 1900.

Duel 3 : I opened TKR, Warning and MST. He summons Genewarp Warwolf, I played Warning. He sets 4. I attack for damage and sets Torrential. I summons another 2000 and walk pass my monster. The next turn, I passed and he summons Rabbit into double Sabersaurus the next turn, I chained BTH which was met with a Starlight Raod.


I lost the match but I was ever so certain that my side deck choice was correct. Problem was drawing into it.

1 - 1

Match 3 : VS E HERO - Izzat

Duel 1 : I dance around his spells and traps with Allius and Trasher. He tops a Miracle and cleared my board. I set MST and passed. He attacked me and I chain the MST dropping Gorz. It was over the next turn since he had under 2700.

Duel 2 : I open Burden first turn and proceed to control the board. Allius piratically became unstoppable and I was able to take this match pretty easily.


Izzat agrees with me that Burden was extremely effective in the mirror match and he said he had a nightmare playing against it.

2 - 1

Match 4 : VS E HERO - Mike (the blogger dude)

Duel 1 : We basically played the same playstyle since we were testing with each other for the pass 2 months. I would say the outcome pretty much comes down to the draws in this matchup. Problem was, my deck was fitted to play against the more diverse meta while his was more pin pointed towards the main meta (which HERO was part of). At the end of the day, I got murdered by Gorz.

Duel 2 : I drop Gorz early on when his Rai-Oh attacks into MST. Manage to keep the token on board and won the game with it.

Duel 3 : I open Allius and attacks his empty field, no Gorz. He passes again (hey!!Hhe should have discard a card since he had 7, OMG cheater spotted!!). I summon Startos and attacks ... into Gorz. I set 3 face downs, Compulse, BTH and Prison. He draws and shows me Night Beam on Compulse and MST on the others. Airman into Allius and ditching that Allius for Super Poly on my monsters. As the saying goes, I draw good, he draws god.


Shouldn't have told Mike what I was siding against another HERO before the match, he totally pin pointed what I sided in while I have no clue what he sided. But, I doubt that would matter since he opened the nuts that last round.

Match 5 : VS Dark Worlds

Duel 1 : He opens Tour Guide and double Dragged Down. Luckily I was able o hold my own (somehow) long enough for me to make Shining and hopes to get pass Grapha, which it did and he scopes. At the end of the game, I found out he mistook my life for his. I was at the hundreds where as he had still a good 6000 with him.

Duel 2 : I open double Soul Drain but he had answers. Grapha stood there and did his job; he was pleased when Shining took a Skill Drain to his face.

Duel 3 : I open YOLO hand, so I passed a turn, which I got hit by Leviathan Dragon. I YOLO next turn and he had no answers for it.


3 - 2

That last game didn't matter since even some 4 -1's could't get into top 8. Sharmir was emo cause he fought his way through a game loss at the beginning to received an answer like that from Cookie. We 3-2 (me and Kyde) just sit back and watch the action.

At this point, I've decided to cheer for Mike, since him winning means I get a playmat for myself ... indirectly.  Which brings us to why the title of this report is Donkey. Me and Kyde have decided to bet on whose gonna win the tournament. I was betting (or actually hoping) for Mike to win and his choice was with Zack. So, he said "Lets see whose horse would win this match." which I've replied "Nah, horse is too big for Mike, maybe donkey"

This is how Mike is suppose to level up:

Donkey (top 8) --> Pony (top 4) --> Horse (finals) --> Cow (champion)

Cows are bigger than horses, true story, at least from where I'm living.

So the Donkey "beat" Zack at the top 8, so he becamed a Pony. But he lost at top 4 AND the bottom 4, so he leveled down back into a Donkey. No playmat for me and I'm utterly disappointed with the donkey today.

Quotes of the day:

"Prophet Muhammad GQ" ~ Kyde
"He where got pony? He donkey" ~ GQ

"I think his gay -->" ~ Fishtank
"I'm best Wind-Up player in Malaysia" ~ Sharmir
"My idol shall "tapau" you all with Crystal Beast" ~ quite some number of guys

*Tapau means wallop in cantonese*

Friday, November 23, 2012

When You Need Power Over Everything Else

If your piloting a control based beat down deck, be it Elemental HEROs or Dino Rabbit, you want your monsters to be able to walk over anything your opponent has on the board, and keep your spells and traps for something bigger, like the boss monsters. If your level 4's couldn't win in a battle against your opponent's 0-drops, you know your in deep shit. Lets just stick with HEROs and Rabbit for the moment, and not think of any other control beat decks. Chances are, the only time you would feel an insufficient in power, and also the need of more power, would be in a match against another HERO or Rabbit.

Why is power, or in YGO, the ATK stats important in these match ups? Normally, HEROs have their 1900 line, and in a mirror match, players would trade monsters if they do not want to waste traps on a lesser HERO, waiting for cards like ZERO or Shining. In Rabbit, how many times did you wish you could just walk pass Kabazaus with your Guaibba and not wasting your Forbidden Lance in hand? Some might argue that the traps is what matters in these match ups, I'm not saying thats wrong, but thats not all there is to these grind games. When a HERO player drops Photon Trasher on to the field, the game would suddenly favor the card's owner. Photon Trasher isn't a game ending card in any means, but it has 200 more attack points than HERO's 1900 line. This forces your opponent into playing traps, spells, summoning XYZs or dropping Honest to get over it, effectively putting pressure on the board, especially since it wasn't normal summoned.

A big contributing factor why the 2100 attack line in so good against these decks would be the ineffectiveness of traps against them. Don't get me wrong, a single BTH or Prison is enough to get rid of the Trasher. But in a HERO mirror, especially early in the game, you wouldn't want to set more than 1 face down, unless you have a Warning or such. Gemini Spark contributes to this, because setting more than 1 would let your opponent plus off you like no ends. Looking at a HERO (and also Rabbit's) trap line up, the Solemn Brigade took 3 slots off the 10 or so copies of traps. And you don't really wanna use Solemns on a 0-drop, especially if the game is early. In grinding games, every life counts, a direct swing from Trasher may prove sufficient in the long run.

Thats all I have to say about how utterly amazing Trasher is in mirror matches, but why is it good? Because it is a card that could walk pass any level 4s your opponent might throw at you. Basically, it slightly weaken's your opponent's power line and affects how the game should be played altogether. In conclusion, I do feel that cards that alter power lines would be very important in these match ups. Which leads me to the card I wanna discuss today. Similar to what Kyde said on his blog, Seal of Oricharos increases your power line by 500. That's enough to steal games in a control mirror grind game. But I do feel the card's drawback is too much for decks like HERO and Rabbit. We still need our extra to fully utilize our advantage, unlike decks like Rock Stun (which Seal truly shines in).

Burden of the Mighty is a very simple card, it decreases your opponent's power line in accordance to their level, here, we are mostly talking about 400 points. It does not affect XYZs, so your opponent can always overlay their monsters to make your card dead. So, why is it good? Simple, it wastes your opponent's resources. Imagine, your opponent has a field of Trasher and Allius, pretty amazing field for a grind game, but you place Burden on the S/T zone and summons Thunder King. Thats not all, it forces your opponent to get rid of it early. Burden also makes HERO fusions in the ranges even an Allius could take out.

How does this benefits Rabbit? It makes Guaibba an instant trap magnet, baiting you everything so you could drop Rabbit or Tourguide safely. Thats not all, your 1900 line becomes 2300, while your 1700 becomes 2100. That is basically gonna change the tempo of the game until the inevitable MST shows up. If your opponent HAS to prison your level 4s, you know your in a better position than he is. If you have Allius and Burden, you could just attack your opponent's Allius, knowing your gonna deal damage, cause his gonna take out Burden first. You setting a face down after that is gonna be huge, cause that card might be Spark, it doesn't have to be, but your opponent is gonna do everything they can to try to play around it, which affects their tempo instantly.

This card is more powerful against HERO than it is to Rabbit. While there is some use of this in a Rabbit mirror match, Laggia and Dollka are still too powerful. Whereas in HEROs, the XYZs are usually unprotected from traps and spells. In short, Burden forces your opponent to go into their extra deck for answers. Also, you can even try siding a copy of this against Agents and Chaos Dragon's. It doesn't have to stay on the field for long, since you just need to get in there and take out a big boss monster, like how Leeching the Light does, except this card stays on the field until something happens to it, you still fall short to Krystia by 100 thou.

To wrap things up, I would really recommend this card to any who is trying to catch your opponent off guard in a HERO mirror. Its not the most effective of cards, but it does it job in slowly changing the games tempo and gaining you slight advantage, a little at a time. I wouldn't play this in anything but a control deck, and wouldn't play this against anything thats not a control deck. This is the kind of card that would only shine in a mirror match, where the power line of both decks are equal. Hope this helps.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Preparing for Top Shop

Its this time again, me looking through my cards and decks, trying to figure out what am I gonna bring to the tables this Sunday. Top Shop is a few days ahead and to me, this would be my last big tournament for the year. I'll be going on a trip and would most likely miss out nationals at the end of the year. I'm not retiring from the game or anything, unlike Mike.

Lets talk about Top Shop. This would be a tournament only for 56 players with invites, Gamers Arena holds 28 of the invites if I'm not mistaken. Duelist playing in this event are all qualifiers from their respective local's Top Shop Qualifiers. So, I guess the chances of playing against randoms are lesser I guess. Now, what does Top Shop stands for? To be honest, I have no clue. Last year, it was to decide the so-called Asia's best trading card game hang out, which Sam won and crowned Gamer's Arena with that title. But this year, no such event would be taking place, so effectively, we're just playing for the fame and glory I guess. Don't let me start on the prize support, if TCG players are complaining about their prizes, let me say, you would rather kill yourselves than admitting the gifts they provide are the grand prizes.

Now, what deck am I gonna play this coming weekend. I'm not sure! I'm currently leaning towards Hieratics, but that all depends on the whether M7 is legal for the event. I know the set would be officially release by Saturday, but I'm still not sure if the cards would be legal. This is because we have some events where cards are legal on the day it was release, and other where we need to wait a week or two before we could play them. If the card isn't legal, guess I'll stick with HEROs. Don't get me wrong, I love HEROs, but their matchups against Dark Worlds are horrible, and game 1 against Mermail Atlanteans heavily favors the opposition. DWs are a lot more popular than I initially thought.

I'm still testing out both decks at the moment and trying to figure out a good side deck for the META. Luckily, Firefist (lame ass name) still seems to be off the radar at the moment and Mermail Atlanteans didn't change their playstyle even with the new support. Wind-Ups, being Wind-Ups, are still too expensive for the majority of the community and would likely be low in numbers. Not that you could avoid siding for them. The ever present Countdown is still as annoying as ever, you really don't wanna lose just cause you play someone with Countdown.

That's all I guess, hope I could do better this time, I've yet to capture a win for an official tournament yet, and I really hope to add that into my achievement sometime soon, especially since I'm leaving for the US mid to late next year for my Masters programme (TCG, here I come?).

Friday, November 16, 2012

Blame the Internet!

I'm not dead, in contrary to my semi-retiring announcement a month ago. It's not that I have nothing to share, but I've been cut out from the world for 1 week now. My internet is down since last Friday and I'm enjoying a cup of coffee at Starbucks as we speak to check my mails and stuff. I would really wanna go into depth on the single cards in Cosmo Blazer, but truth is, I don't have the chance to read them yet. I could read them now, but I'm at the Starbucks near my school, I don't want my friends from real life walk by and go "Hey, GQ, OMG, you play YGO!?". Blame the Internet Service Provider (ISP)! Also, I have no clue whether the set has reached Malaysian shores yet.

I've recently rekindled my passion for Hieratics, and after a few games with Mike on DN the other day (yeah, at Starbucks), I seriously feel with a good side deck, this could be very viable this format. It all started last Saturday, before my rounds for Asia Plus started. All day long, I wished I've picked an aggro-combo deck for the event instead of a control deck like E HEROs. Maybe my deck responded to my dilemma (Heart of the fucking cards, yeah!), I drew shit the whole day. Since then, I've been straying away from pure Control oriented decks for a bit. Which leads me to my Hieratics, a deck that had never let me down since it's introduction.

While the deck was a top contender last format, it's pretty safe to assume not many in Malaysia truly understands the deck. Everyone still think that the deck is a one trick pony with Gustav Max, even with me and Zack bringing the deck to the top tables in 2 qualifier events, the people are still skeptical. Truth is, I don't think many has ever tried the deck, the only ones I know still playing and refining the deck are me and Kyde (If your not mentioned, I'm sorry). Also, with the release of M7 to our format in a month's time, its perfect to bring the great Dragon OTK deck back into the picture.

HEROs would rape Hieratic, there is no question there. Control beats combo, thats how the game works. But HEROs in general, have a very very low showing in Malaysia. Most top players here would prefer decks like Mermail Atlanateans and Wind-Ups over HERO. Theres a ton of reasons contributing to this, but we're not here to discuss this. Also, while Hieratics would lose to HEROs more often then not in game 1, theres always games 2 and 3. A good side deck is the perfect solution to any matchups. And in my opinion, the best side deck cards against HEROs would be Forbidden Lance, a card Hieratics could main 3 of's if they want to, actually, thats not a good idea considering the monster effect heavy format we are in, lets just stick to siding them. I always think the best way to play against HEROs would be to know what they are gonna do next. I could usually pinpoint what cards my opponent is gonna play and what remaining options they have left, lets just say this comes from years of experience with HEROs. So, with the proper cards, the match ups would actually come into my favor, especially since there would be nothing that devastating in their side deck anyways.

monster (25):

3 Hieratic Dragon of Su
3 Hieratic Dragon of Eset
3 Hieratic Dragon of Tfenut
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
2 Wattmeter Dragon
3 Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo
2 Cardcar D
3 Maxx C
2 Effect Veiler
1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy
2 Tragoedia

spell (10):

2 Hieratic Seal of Convocation
2 Pot of Duality
2 Mystic Space Typhoon
1 Heavy Storm
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Reinforcement of the Army

trap (5):

2 Ninjitsu Art of Super Transformation
2 Solemn Warning
1 Starlight Road

extra (15):

1 Stardust Dragon
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Ancient Sacred Wyvern
1 Tiras Keeper of Genesis
1 Number 61 Volcasaurus
2 Hieratic Dragon King of Atum
1 Photon Streak Bounzer
1 Number 25 Focus Force
1 Inzektor Exa-Beetle
1 Sword Breaker
1 Constellar Plolemys M7
2 Gaia Dragoon
1 Hieratic Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis

I'm still refining my side deck at the moment, I still can't get the right mix of cards to take on the format, also, I'm still not sure what the new Haze Beast and Fire Fist (lame ass name for Flame Star), along with the powered up Mermails are gonna do to the meta. That may take a weekend or 2 to make, as I wanna see a good decklist and playstyle for these decks first before I could do anything to counter them.

And lets get into the decklist, starting from below, at the extra, since most of my explanations would be at the monster line. I bet many are questioning my choice of Heliopolis over Gustav Max. I had both of these cards in my extra until I've decided to play more level 7 Synchros. But in my test plays, I've never ever made Gustav Max, but I've made Heliopolis twice in like 10 or 15 games. I'm not sure why did that happen, since the only real way to make Heliopolis would be a combination of BLS, Stardust and Tragoedia, still I've manage to brought it out in more than 1 occasion and I would normally win the game if that happened. Gustav ... not much luck. Maybe I'll drop both all together for a second copy of M7, cause it's just that good. Recycling copies of Maxx C and Veilers is good, making broken OTKs is even better. I'm not sure why I still have Exa-Beetle in the deck considering I play them both the same way.

Moving on to traps, the only real card I would need to discuss might be Starlight Road, and even that is pretty obvious. Lets just say going first and opening Road and 2 Hieratics basically spells game for most match ups. It punishes your opponent for trying to punish you for over extending, if thats fair. I play Warning over Torrential or Bottomless because I want my OTKs to go through. Thats all that matters really. Spells are pretty standard.

To back up my lack of real traps, I'm playing a lot of hand traps. Maxx C in 3s is really good this format, anything aside from HEROs die to them. Even if I play against HEROs, I could still use them as a 1 for 1, but like I've mentioned, HEROs are tough to beat using a combo oriented deck. The main strategy in the main deck building is to snatch wins from non-control based decks in game 1. I'm leaving the majority of my side deck for HEROs, taking Veiler and Maxx C out and I will have at least 5 free spaces in my main deck, not to mention Tragoedias and that Starlight Road. My side deck is pretty packed with traps I forecast. 

The overall playstyle of the deck is similar, but without Inzektors blowing your stuffs one by one, you could start very strong with a Eset-Su play, and that is devastating if your opponent doesn't have answers in hand. With strong openings, consistent OTKs and also a pitch of control, this deck can challenge anything the meta would throw at it. And I don't see it losing to any non-tier 1's any time soon.

That's all I wanted to say, and my coffee is getting cold. I don't do scripts, so I tend to just type whatever on my mind on the moment and this took me bout a hour to finish? Hope my internet gets fixed by the end of the day, so I could do some reviews on the upcoming archtypes and promising singles.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mate Your Mama

Asia Plus qualifiers went by and while I didn't win it, I feel proud that my friends Andrew, Zack and Sharmir took the championship medals home. MYM - Mate Your Mama fought through 4 rounds of single elimination and was crowned champion with leader Zack, showing us the power of Ultimate Offering in a Mermail Atlantean mirror match against Mango, the Asia champion for 2010. I would be lying if I said I wound't wish it would be me standing there instead, but I really wished they would win this thing as they've been putting so much hard work into it. Good job guys, really proud of you!

Now to the report for Team GQ.

We have a less eventful day, waiting for our top 16 match to start for at least 5 hours. And at 3 pm, we finally started our match.

Top 16 : vs Lightsworn/Agent Angel/Darkworld

Our opponent would go on to the top 4 of this tournament, not that it really matter.

Duel 1 : I open 3 Gemini Sparks, HERO Blast, Miracle Fusion and Nightbeam. I continuously drew into defensive traps to keep his Agents at bay. But lost after I run out of traps. My grave count was 22, I drew no monsters.

Duel 2 : I open 2 Gemini Spark, 2 Prison and Warning. I drew for my turn, Gemini Spark ... Holy shit. History repeat itself, and I counted the cards I drew. It was 21 cards in my hand and grave total, I see no monsters, no RoTA, no E Call, no nothing.

Our player A, Yap Zian won his first game rather quickly, but lost his second game because he opened 2 Hyperion, 2 Krystia, 2 Shine Ball. We both kinda try to laugh it off, when we saw each others hand. Third game wasn't so nice either, he was stuck with Hyperion since turn 1, luckily his opponent misplay and left him with an extra turn, which he topped an Agent and turn the game around.

Sunny took a Card Destruction in the face game 1. Won game two by spamming the field with Hieratics. Game 3, he was playing too safe in my opinion and his opponent took momentum away from him with legion of Dark World and Volcasaurus.

Basically we scrubbed at top 16, I'm not even sure whether I should be blaming myself or not. Agents is one of my better matchups and I don't wanna make an excuse for myself. But I seriously don't know whats wrong with my deck those 2 games. Sunny and Zian were both shaking their heads when I showed them what I drew for both games.

Good thing is, Top Shop has finally been announced officially and would take place 25th of this month. Also, the winner will join MYM in a trip to Hong Kong. Guess the ride is still not over yet, that leaves 2 weeks for us to prepare for the tournament and I can't wait!

EDIT : It seems like theres a communication error between me and Paul. I've been confirmed by many that there would be no flight to Hong Kong at the conclusion of Top Shop. I apologies for the error. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Format after this Weekend

This Saturday would mark an end to the team tournament format in Malaysia, where all but 3 lucky individuals would take apart their decks and prepare for the 2 final events of the year. Asia Plus may be the last celebrated event of the year, as Top Shop has yet to be confirmed, but its ending definately not marks the end of competitive YGO 2012. As mentioned, there's still a "Top Shop" tournament and also the Chritmas tournaments aka Nationals (which isn't really that much celebrated as the winner gets no trip overseas and the prizes are usually booster sets that are outdated). While the manager of Gamers Arena had confirmed that the Top Shop qualifiers would not go to waste, he never confirmed if Malaysia would send our rep for the tournament at Hong Kong. "There would be a tournament from the qualifiers, I promise you that."

Putting that aside, lets look at the format pass this weekend. Wind-ups, while gaining full power through Extra Pack 2012, has lower-than-expected successes in locals, as none of them won anything worthwhile at the moment. I think it has something to do with the pricetag on the deck, Shark is close to RM100 a piece if I'm not mistaken, thats about 30 bucks in USD and Tour Guide is even expensive, at price range of 120 to 150, thats 40 to 50 in USD. Also, the extra pack themselves are out of stock till mid November I've heard. All of these contribute to lack of showing. Another factor behind this may be Mermail Atlanteans.

Mermail Atlanteans have proven themselves as one of the most powerful deck in the format, with card destruction, hand destruction, an OTK, consistent searches and one hell of an annoying wall all packed under one box. Also, the deck is relatively cheap for its tier 1 lable, if you would give up the Genex engine (which I don't recommend). While their percentage in the meta is still low if you compared to those feature on Shriek and in Singapore, I would say the reason behind this would be the players. Few weeks back, I've went to Gamers Arena and saw 4 or 5 Mermail Atlanteans among 15 or 16 players, roughly a third of the guys there are playing this deck, but till now, only Michael (not the blogger) has captured a win with one. I'm not saying the guys piloting the deck sucks, I'm just saying they don't neccessary know how to deal with side decks, as Mermails are pretty easily sided against in my opinion.

While HEROs are the most hyped deck back when their restrictions are lifted. "OMG!! Super Poly so Imba!!" I've always feel that people are over estimating the capabilities of the deck. As much as I love the deck, it is no way, a perfect answer to everything, like many suggested. Super Poly is a card that doesn't reward skill-less plays. So what if it can't be chain, Bottomless Trap Hole and Torrential Tribute are at 2. HEROs in general aren't a favored deck in Malaysia, as there is no autopilot control, relatively expensive and the overall power of the deck is lacking when compared to Wind-Ups and Mermail Atlanteans. Well, that is to be expected from the control deck of the format I suppose. Also, I do think that first turn Stratos into Allius is a bad move, I really do.

Without a doubt, the most played deck would be Agents. Agents got a boost in Extra pack in Tour Guide from the Underworld, giving the consistent strategy the extra edge it needed to combat the newer decks. Also, endless legions of Krystias are no joke, that alone is a factor that would keep most decks from going off. Master Hyperion is more than a powerful boss monster, its a broken top deck. In my opinion, a broken boss monster is one who can turn the tides of the duel around by top decking it, Master Hyperion fits into this category. Also, unlike most top tier decks with high explosive powers, Agents are relatively hard to side against, if you don't know what your doing.

Last but not least, the rogues. Rogue decks has always been a big part of the metagame in Malaysia. Over 40 percent of the meta comprise of rogue decks. Its never safe to just side for the big 3 or 4 here, as chances are your gonna meet more rogues than meta decks. An option would be siding less deck specific cards like Rivalry of the Warlords or Debunk instead of Gemini Imps and his likes. Lightsworn, Six Samurai, Dark Worlds, Chaos Dragons all fit this category. Its not unusual for someone to play in a locals without playing a meta deck, its always the opposite that shocks me the most.

I guess this is it for now. I can't think of another deck off my head to talk about, I mean, if I can't remember it, its not important right? Guess I should try that scripting thing people are talking about. Also, its about 24 hours to Asia Plus Qualifiers Malaysia, I wish everyone participating good luck in the games and may the Force ... I mean, Heart of the Cards be with you.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis

Believe it or not, this was the card that got me interested in the Hieratic archtype 9 months or so ago. As of now, I like this guy better than all of the other Hieratic and possibly better than other XYZs. This card is dirt cheap in Malaysia because no one who plays Hieratic (if theres any left aside from me and Kyde) would play him. Often overlooked, I've always consider this to be the true boss of Hieratics, but a boss that could not fit into the Hieratic deck. Over the months, there's numerous attempts to play this card effectively, and some really succeeded in integrating this card into Barboros based decks and also as a tech for Dark Worlds. 

Since a few weeks ago, I started to look at this card at a different point of view. Not as a boss monster that you summon to sit on the field, but as a counter for HEROs. Kinda like how Chimeratech Fortress Dragon is a side deck option for Machine that resides in the extra deck. I've been intensively playing Lightsworns for the pass few weeks and while the deck has very very powerful beaters, sometimes I still wanna get rid of my opponent's field without triggering Shining and Zero.

Lets say your holding a Judgment Dragoon alone, you could very well special summon it and blow the field. That could get rid of the opposing HERO, but Zero will drag you down with it and Shining is gonna make sure Excalibur kills JD the next turn. Of cause, if you have 2 JDs, then that wouldn't be an issue, but lets stick with when you only have 1. Tragoedia is a card that has been a semi-staple in Lightsworns and even Chaos Agents. Why is Trago mentioned here? Cause it could make you a 3000 beater without losing your field or let your opponent access to more strategies.

Ditching JD to gain control of a Shining or Zero might sounds stupid at first, considering how powerful JD is. But look at it this way, Heliopolis is also a 3000 beater that ca take out your opponent's cards; not as convenient as JD, yes, but I wouldn't say that far off. You CAN summon JD and take out the field, but that JD is gonna get killed in the end (considering you don't have Honest or Necro Guardnas), Heliopolis however, could very well stay on the field. HEROs don't really have that many cards they could use to get over 3000 once their Miracle Fusion into Shining fails to net a profit. They could try to top deck something but thats just playing with luck.

My Lightsworn build plays copies of Herald of Creation, getting JD back into hand is no difficult task. Not to mention I could also get Tragoedia back if I want to. You could also always have Big Eye in your extra deck, ditching a Dark Armed or Gorz to get hold of the opposing Gorz or even Hyperion. Herald and Trago open the deck to a lot of options, espeacially in a deck where the graveyard could be viewed as a second hand.

Also, I would like to point out that Lightsworns and Agents have 1 thing in common, they tend to have a lot of useless monsters in hand. Maybe let me rephrase that, they tend to have a lot of monsters stuck in hand where you would rather have them in the Grave. Heliopolis helps solve that problem. If you could drop it early game, it could very well help you set up your grave for a Krystia or JD play. Trago ditching Krystia to capture Shining, making a Heliopolis and play Call of the Haunted on Krystia sounds like a game winning play to me. Also, spot removal cards (except for Compulsory Evacuation and BTH) aren't gonna do anything to Heliopolis.

Of cause, I'm not suggesting you try doing this every time you have the chance. A duel is not so simple, and a HERO deck isn't a deck with 1 trick only. But I really consider this as a devastating play against HEROs, I almost always win if I get Heliopolis out this way. I once saw this video on Yugitube, suggesting that we treat our extra deck like a secondary side deck, it was back in Frog Monarch format, where he would have Thought Ruler Archfiend in the side instead of something like a Colossal Fighter, why? Because Thought Ruler is immune to Enemy Controller and also Soul Exchange. By having Thought Ruler, he could afford to have lesser cards in his side deck against Frog Monarchs. I believe this theory applies here as well. HEROs are a very big deck in OCG, and there are tons of cards you need to side just to get rid of those pesky spells and traps. Having outs to the big monsters really helps, especially since Lightsworns and Agents (arguably) aren't tight in extra deck space.

I may just be pointing out the obvious here, but I feel like getting my massage across. I see Agents siding in cards like Leeching the Light to get over Shining. I'm not saying thats a bad card, with the right combination, that is an OTK in itself. But I wouldn't really wanna attack to get rid of a HERO, maybe its just me, but I don't like to risk a Dimension Prison. Also, Leeching the Light isn't really useful when Zero is the one standing across the field. Lightsworns are a deck that could do very well in Asia Plus and with the right build, I say, anywhere. I would like to suggest a copy of Heliopolis in the extra, just for those moments where dropping JD is awkward. I mean, even if Heliopolis got BTH'ed, at least you got rid of the opposing HERO without triggering anything right?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Preparing for Asia Plus - 3

While everyone thinks that Dark World as a major pain in the ass for this event, I see a different deck as a threat. Like Dark World, this is a deck that can be fitted into any of the 3 players and would be able to deal with the opponent just as well. The deck I'm having very high up my alert chart, is none other than Lightsworns. Now, the deck has fell in favor ever since the end of its pinnacle a few years back, but the deck has never truly been dead. Everyone knows how much a punch Judgment Dragoon packs, the only problem keeping it from being a top contender would be consistency.

Back to Asia Plus, or "good luck making your decks consistent with the shared banlist". While every other deck on the planet loses consistency, Lightsworn's mill engine is as powerful as ever. Yes, its often luck based and when you mill bad, your screwed; but that didn't stop the deck from tearing apart the format years ago. Some would prefer Chaos Dragons, another deck that utilizes the Lightsworn engine, as the more competitive choice. True, Chaos Dragons has quite a few tricks up its sleeve and a tons of boss monsters that could only be match by Agents. None of these monsters are anywhere as powerful as Judgment Dragoons.

Starlight Road is a card that is seeing play in every deck nowadays, Judgment Dragoon is basically a Stardust magnet in a normal game. BUT, remember, this is Asia Plus, we share banned list, so there would be but 1 Heavy Storm across the board. Many would not have the balls of steel to main Starlight Road (siding is a whole different story thou), and logically, thats the right thing. Without the extra protection, JD can clear the field for a mere 1000 life anyday. Also, because of the high chances of playing against rogue decks, people can't have too many cards for a strategy. While Macro Cosmos and Skill Drains are to be expected, lets not forget that Lyla and Ryko are some of the best backrow hate in the game, and the deck could play them in 3. MSTs and Dust Tornadoes, even Twisters are still very much effective against this decks.

Jain is a card that can walk over HERO's 1900 line and a powered up Venus, not to mention everyone's public enemy number 1, Thunder King Rai-Oh. Also, Lumina is still one of the best supporting monsters in the game. Divine Dragon Apocralypth (Chaos Lightsworn) and Herald of Creation (Pure Lightsworns) are great cards that lets you reuse THE most powerful monster in the game. Call of the Haunted makes it even scarier.

While the general strategy behind Lightsworn is sacky and easily countered in an everyday duel, due to the lack of resources (and a better word) in Asia Plus, it's tier suddenly rose quite a bit. Your opponent would only have half the cards they had to deal with you, while you are generally not weaken by the shared banlist at all.

Again, this is just my opinion and I do believe everyone has their own stance. Be it Lightsworns or Dark Worlds, both these decks are gonna be doing serious damage for the coming weekend and those who had yet to submit their deck list should definitely take these decks into consideration. For an environment with a defined metagame, Dark Worlds might be more suitable as it could be fitted to suit the environment. But as I've mentioned, the metagame in Malaysia is none existence, and like every Lightsworn's capability in doing damage is more suited for a non-defined metagame in my opinion.

Its like, if you know where your opponent is hiding, you bring a sniper rifle; in guerrilla warfare, assault rifles are the weapon of choice. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Preparing for Asia Plus - 2

I'm not gonna go stating things like you should play test more, sleep well and have a good proportioned breakfast; although I do feel the majority of Malaysian need these advise, especially the breakfast part. Normally I find everyone I talked to not taken breakfast and are struggling through round 1 for the lunch break. Good thing seeded players start late and we can enjoy lunch with much spare time while the others fight with an empty stomach.

Player B is usually viewed as the dark horse of the team over here. Why is this so? The leader usually plays a META deck and player A plays control more often than not. This leaves B with card pool that basically forces them to play high-risk-high-reward decks. Decks like Lightsworns, Dark Worlds etc are among favorites as they need few staples and rewards the player with their super powerful bosses. Others might prefer strategies like Countdown, Exodia or Chain Burn. In a nutshell, if your deck isn't suited to deal with rogue decks or your not playing these strategies, try to avoid being player B.

Player B is the one who would play over powerful decks and try to score a fast-cheap win against you. They would usually hope that you won't have the necessary side deck cards for their decks. People here usually only side for the really popular and powerful decks. Yes, these top decks need to be taken seriously, but I feel the fact that they are so uber powerful is a trap for the player B's. More likely than not, you would not meet the top tier decks.

Usually, player B will pack cards like Shock Ruler, Prohibition among others to counter these strategies. More often than not, the deck for player B is usually pretty straight forward. Powerful, but straight forward. Hence it is easily sided against. These players can also afford to waste less precious side deck space for the more expensive tier 1 and 2s. This is because Malaysian would rarely put an expensive and competitively proven deck as player B. The majority of the guys here would have their ace be leader, and he will get the more powerful and expensive deck. This is mostly because people here believe in some sort of chivalry where the strongest players should face off in an epic battle to the deaths. I'm not sure why we have this mentality, as I would normally just pit our weakest player with a luck based deck against their best player. If he wins, good; if he doesn't, we would just score off wins from the side.

I feel Dark World would have a strong showing this time around, based on the Singaporean qualifiers and the fact that the deck was once very well celebrated over here. Player B's definitely should pack cards that would deal with them, ie Shadow Imprisoning Mirror and DD Crow. I don't really advise siding deck specific cards for the event (ie Gemini Imps), unless you really have side deck space. Remember, the chances of you hitting a deck specifically is actually very slim.

Also, I feel it is important to post rulings that you might need to your advantage on the various Facebook pages regarding Malaysia YGO and also clarify these with the judging panels. You don't wanna get a game loss because the judges don't know the exact rulings. I've experienced this several times before. Sometimes, judges would scroll their iPad for rulings and this would take time out of the clock; going into time may affect your chance of winning, especially if your not running something OTK based.

Rule sharking and some amount of stacking cannot be avoided in such large scale events. My advise, play every game like your opponent is a cheater. This might sound wrong and all, but that's actually a very safe mind set, as you are prepared for the worst. Do check with the judge and not take what your opponent's words for granted, NO MATTER WHO HE IS.

Again, sorry for the messy post. I've not write in a long time and I'm having problems organizing my post (not that I was writing quality articles before my short break).