Sunday, December 30, 2012

Emo Report

Went to Gamer's Arena today because I wanted to pull some Hysteric Party from the new Tournament packs. It turns out the packs would only arrive next month and the rankings for this tourney won't carry on to next year, so my effort for the pack of Top100 sleeves were to waste as well.

So, I played Hieratics.

Round 1 : Vs Quasar Quickdraw

Duel 1 : His deck can't make Ophion, so I win.

Duel 2 : First turn Quasar looks a bit like an Ophion.

Duel 3 : Again, his deck doesn't make Ophion.

1 - 0

Round 2 : Vs Quasar Quickdraw (since when was this top tier?)

Duel 1 : His deck doesn't play Ophion.

Duel 2 : His deck doesn't play Ophion.

2 - 0

Round 3 : Vs Spellbooks (OMG, they really exist)

Duel 1 : He dropped 2 Junons on me and fucking Injection Fairy Lily FTW.

Duel 2 : He didn't drop 2 Junons and fucking Injection Fairy Lily.

Duel 3 : I notice he can't make Ophion, so I think I'm in a good position.

3 - 0

And I went home after making some quick cash, selling some cards.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Yesterday was Malaysia's last Official Tournament for 2012, and I must admit, its not a big event by any means. Firstly, the prize support is bad and secondly, Comic Fiesta was held on the same day. Quite a number of my friends went to KLCC for the CF event instead of coming to GA for Malaysia Open. I would probably do so myself if I had not already got seeded to top 32. The number of participants barely reached 100 or maybe slightly lower than that. You get a free T-shirt and a pack for entry (unfortunately, I didn't get my pack).

This is one tourney I went without thinking of winning. I seriously told everyone I'm gonna scrub the first round, since this was single elimination. I was pretty much very emo because I don't have the cards to play Hieratics, so I went with HERO. Lately I have issues with control based decks and I really wanted to just play Hieratics and go YOLO on everyone. I registered my decklist an hour before closing, I just netdeck the HERO build that took second place at Singapore Top Shop and Mask Change as the extra card just to troll.

Despite the low turn out, this tourney shows some great improvement over past tourneys. Number 1, we start on time and the scheduling was done rather well for Malaysian standards (the standard is pretty low in comparison to other countries thou). Also, we have feature matches every round. A camera was set up and a wide screen broadcast the matches live, that's a first in Malaysia, where we previously aren't even allowed to watches matches (unless your a friend of the staff crew and Mr.P doesn't hate you). 

Since I was seeded to top 32, I waited at the sides for the tourney to start ... again. I wasn't even in the mood to play, and I kept play testing against people using Hieratics just to show how much I want this deck to be in action. I didn't know Sam would be playing in this tourney beforehand, and when I saw him early yesterday, I knew I really wanted Hieratics to be my deck, just for a chance that revenge kill (despite having a very very bad matchup against Verz). I asked head judge Cookie if it was possible for me to change my decklist (even in the Hanzo build, I would be more confident than playing HERO at this point), but he told me it wasn't possible.

Top 32 vs Zombie-Chaos (that sides into Antimeta)

I've never seen my opponent before and he told me he was off the game for a few years now and just got back very recently. Also, he was playing with clear sleeves, that lead me to believe this would be an easy win on my part, I let my guard down way too much.

Duel 1 : My opponent starts with just a set monster and ended. (Again, how I wished I was playing Hieratics) I opened Thrasher, Allius, Bubbleman, Miracle, MST and Judgment. I special summoned the thrasher and attacked into Pyramid Turtle (I stunned when I saw that) which got him Goblin Zombie. I set 2 and passed. He then set another monster and set 3 backrow. I MST'ed Prison in the end phase but i didn't wanna lose to a combination of Torrential and Solemn, despite having a Miracle. I summon attacked into a Reaper, but my main phase 2 Black Corn was destroyed by BTH. I made Shining so I wouldn't lose Bubbleman to Reaper. He played Dark Hole and summoned Zombie Master, knowing I'm gonna lose a card in hand other wise, I flipped Judgment. He sets 2 more and passed. I drew Super Poly and summon Allius, that was hit by Torrential. He summoned another Zombie Master and brought back Pyramid turtle, hitting me to lethal condition. I topped decked MST. With him having 2 backrows and 2 monsters that could kill me with a hit, Gaia and Escuridao doesn't look good at all. I decided to risked it all and blow my Super Poly with MST and special Bubbleman and draw 2. I hit Dark Hole and Reborn. Sadly, there was nothing delicious in both our graves, so I've decided to play Dark Hole to clear the board and draw 2 with a reborned Bubbleman, but he had Starlight Road. I play Reborn just to make Hope and get rid of Zombie Master but his last card was BTH.

Duel 2 : I started with 2 Maxx C, Rai-Oh, Veiler, Torretial and Gemini Spark. But my opponent sided into anti-meta with cards like Kycoo, Cyber Dragons and also that 2400 zombie from the structure deck. Effectively making my hand traps dead. Luckily, a Torrential was able to go off without triggering a Road and I had Shinings to farm advantage.

Duel 3 : I was really in a dilemma since I didn't know what my opponent is gonna side into now. Since he switched quite a few cards, so his deck could be both the more aggressive build from game 1 or the more defensive build in game 2. I tooked out the a Maxx C (I was playing 2) and Veilers for conventional traps. He started with a set monster again which was a Pyramid turtle into Il Blud (yes, fucking Il Blud), and I blast it with Gemini Spark because I wasn't sure of it's effect and wasn't in the mood to ask a judge for it (NOTE : Don't ever do that!), but I set 3 and passed. He set 2. I summoned Stratos, which got BTH'ed. I searched for Bubbleman, flipped MST on a lone Compulsed, set Miracle and Mirror Force, Special Bubbleman and flip Miracle for a 3500 Shining and attacked (I had Mirror Force, Soul Drain and Solemn Warning set). He sets a monster and passed. I drew Rai-Oh and was very certain I would win at this point. Rai-Oh attacked into Ryko, which he destroyed my Rai-Oh, taking 3500 instead. This lead me to believe he has a Chaos monster to take care of my Shining and didn't want Rai-Oh to be in the way. He draws to 4 and special BLS, I had Warning. He then showed me Sorcerer. He summoned Zombie Master, ditch his last card for Pyramid Turtle. He passed and I drew into BTH. I set that and passed back, knowing I could fend off his attack and destroy his field if he tried to go for game, but he top decks Heavy Storm... Yu-Gi-Oh! 

I packed and found out something, his field had 5300 attack, while I'm still at 6000. Felt like an idiot since 1 of my friend lost because some stupid miscalculation in life back at Top Shop, and I laugh at him. Karma. But I didn't bothered to look at the next card, since I don't wanna feel even worst if it was something good.

Basically that wraps up my report for this event. All I could say, I wasn't in the zone ... at all. Sam won the event, not like that came out of nowhere. Verz easily won the event because the majority of the people playing (myself included) knows how to side against it, some doesn't even know what Ophion does, much less counter it. A Good deck + a Skilled player + no one knows how to counter it = easy victory.

On side note, I've found out yesterday my Hieratic build has an even worst matchup against Dark Worlds than I previously thought. Grapha isn't a problem, viruses isn't a problem; but Dragged down is a very big problem. Since I mained deck a ton of hand traps (3 Veiler and a Maxx C), I tend to have a lot of dead draw against DW. And my deck tends to start slow and snow ball into an OTK, which is easier and more consistent than people give it credit for ... but that's when your hand doesn't get Dragged down every second turn. Need to construct a better side deck for it now. The few games with DW really helped me realize this. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Reinventing the Invented.

I love Hieratics, they're the deck I'm most comfortable with and to date, they have never failed me in any event. The past few months did sway me away from my dragon empire but now I'm having my faith back in them and regretted losing them in the first place. Of cause, I doubt any modifications on the old build would take you far, and Hanzo is as inconsistent as ever. I spent my free time for the past few weeks (when I'm not playing Magic) trying to recreate the Hieratic deck. Perhaps the introduction of MTG into my card game career helps me realize this. "I want to build a deck with staying power."

I've been playing Cast-Attack-Win mono-red Aggro in MTG and I've experienced the disadvantages of lack of staying power a lot. Sure, it might not matter if I could pull a good hand and my opponent is playing a slower deck. But a turn 3 Tragtusk almost always set me back a turn and I would lose out due to lack of high power spells. The same is here in YGO. Although I'm pretty much very confident that I can go for the kill whenever I want to. My judgment on when to land an attack using Hieratics has been good so far (except for that match with Sam at ACQ finals), I really do feel the need of increasing the staying power of my deck. By the way, Staying Power is basically a term for the capability of a deck to withstand an onslaught after your tempo has been disrupted and or took away from you. This is especially true in a deck like Hieratics where there are almost no 1-card-top-deck that would change the tides of the game (outside of staples like Reborn and Black Luster Soldier).

So, before I started my project to reinvent Hieratics, I took a bold move and basically remove everything from the deck but the core, which are the Hieratic engine. I know how good Hanzos can be and also how the Exodius engine can benefit the deck. But in order to have a fair view, I throw everything out into the side lines and let the testing tells me whats best. Even my all time favorite pure-Hieratics that features 10 traps were broken up into chunks of dragon meat. I sat down at my desk, looking at the very core of the deck and nothing else, thinking how am I gonna make this thing last longer and also how am I gonna last until I have the perfect window of opportunity where I launch the killing blow.

The 3 Su, 3 Tfenut, 2 Vanillas, 2 Convocation and the Red-Eyes Darkness Metal are staples. There is no way I'm able to take them out. But I've decided to cut down a copy of Eset and have a single copy of Nebthet to increase my options especially against decks with big monsters and Gorz. Another reason why I cut down Eset would be to make space for the other cards that would then be included into the deck. The skeleton of the deck took out 14 space, thats about one-third of the deck right there. I need every bit of space I can get, in order to keep the deck at 40, I never like to go over that magic number, no matter what the statistics tells me. 

Next, I look through my binder to look for a strategy that would be defensive enough to keep me in game until I do a push for game and also help me make a come back after the assault fails. At this point, Hanzo has completely left the picture. I know how good the card is as a starter, but I really hate pulling Ninjitsu Art instead of the Hanzo. While it give the deck more control, it took some amount of consistency from it. I wouldn't want a game lost because I drew my cards in the wrong order. I've searched the net for some decklist and look through some videos (the majority of them doesn't even include Hieratics, I wanna add new elements or borrow them from another deck). Believe it or not, the deck that actually gave me the inspiration for my current build was Mermail Atlanteans. 

We all know how good the deck is and how it totally dominates game 1 in most match ups. The fact that MST and Storm does almost nothing to it speaks a lot. I was thinking, maybe I could borrow this aspect of the deck. And the card that came into mind was so simple. That card was so back to basic I almost always look passed it. This card was none other than Call of the Haunted.

Old, but still one of the best cards ever!

We all know what Call does, it is one of the best cards in the game offensively and defensively. Inzektors play 3 copies of this card to stay in the Meta even after its supposed death by banlist. The next thing that came into mind was how to make Call of the Haunted an Abyss Sphere. Abyss Sphere is good because it wastes a blind MST or Storm. It laughs at destruction and makes your opponent looks like an idiot. But there is no card in Hieratic that would gain you that kind of value, so I look outside the box for cards that you normally don't find in Hieratics, some cards that would be stupid to run in a standard Hieratic deck. Again, the answer was right there all the time. Junk Doppel told us again and again how good a play chaining Call to a MST targeting Sangan really is, we weren't listening. Sangan fetches none of the Dragons, which leads to why no one would play it in the deck. But, the format as of now is very dependent on hand-traps, and Sangan fetches them all, not to mention Cardcar D, the all time Hieratic favorite. 

At first I was thinking about the practicality of this play, I mean, turn 1 Sangan and turn 2 Cardcar doesn't sound like the best opening ever. It gets the job done in terms of card advantage, but how is the deck gonna survive 2 or 3 turns without field presence. Simple, hand traps. The lack of cards on the field makes Mermail's destruction pretty much useless at the beginning stages in the game, and because you are digging into your deck at such a fast pace, you would most probably have some sort of hand trap in your hand to survive. As such, I included Gorz and Tragoedias into the staple pile. And, to increase my chances of opening Sangan, Tour Guide of the Underworld sounds very promising. Also, equipping Sangan on an Exa-Beetle is a pretty broken move as you take down a monster and grab a hand-trap of choice then make a 2600 piercer. I've checked several ruling sites to make sure this was possible.


Q : If "Sangan" was treated as an equip card and then sent to the graveyard, would it's effect activates.
A : Yes, it will be activated.

Knowing this, I was thrilled that my strategy was coming together. I've also added another card that would benefit from Call, which was Card Trooper. Trooper's milling effect may seem to contradict with the consistency I was looking forward to, but for the most part it doesn't. My deck is now so jam packed with monsters I would rarely mill more spells and traps. Also, I could always just set the card and treat it like a random floater. Since Thunder King Rai-Oh is still a major pain in the ass, I really like this card in here. Also, M7 gets rid of problems like milling key monsters, although I would normally care less since I have Call.

With good amount of Lights and Darks, Luster Soldier was a no-brainer. But what about the other Chaos? Sorcerer is a good card, being level 6 gives it a lot of synergy with the deck. It is also a one-card out to The Shining without massively profiting my opponent. Banishing a monster and making a M7 to get it back again seems very good. But does that justify playing him. Chaos cards are bad early in the game for a deck that does not do a lot of milling or grave filling. I fear its inclusion would do more harm than worth, but I still list it as one of the cards I want in the deck, since Call makes him a pretty scary card to mess with. I put Chaos Sorcerer on the bench warmer as of now. At this point, the 40 cards have been decided and I jumped onto DN to test it out.

While winning in DN doesn't mean much, if anything at all, I got to know the consistency of my deck. In 20 matches, I won them all, and I have not drawn unplayable hands. I was stunned at that point, I honestly felt I was looking at a monster trying to shed its skin of an innocent bystander. At the end of the deck testing, I took out the Maxx C's from the main deck as it would not be as effective in the Malaysian meta game. I was looking for cards to replace the 2 new empty slots in the main deck, and that Chaos Sorcerer seems pretty tempting at the moment. I went to Kyde's blog for inspiration since he is the only one aside from myself who is still constantly updating on Hieratics, and I need not look further for answers.

I grab Exodius the Forbidden Lord and teched a copy of it in my deck. In addition of making Gustav Max and also recycling M7, I found another use for it in my deck. That was to recycle Sangan and my hand traps, to start my engine all over again. Since I was only playing a Sangan and 2 Tour Guides, the second TGU sometimes finds itself dead. Exodius helps solve this problem to some degree. While I'm not gonna usually waste an Exodius for a TGU, sometimes, what has to be done, has to be done. Also, the Forbidden Lord help me in quite a few games now and I am glad to say, there wasn't once I wouldn't want him in my hand. But, I would not play it in 2's though. So, my last card would obviously be Sorcerer right? Nope! Exodius gave me another option, and that was Zephyrus the Elite.

Zephyrus needs no introduction, it is good and it makes Red-Eyes so much better by bouncing it back after the Atum play, granting access to an OTK without the 3rd hieratic in hand. Exodius can send the Blackwing into the grave by simply declaring an attack. Also, this deck draws so much you could easily end up with more than 7 cards in hand during your end phase. You could also always just summon it since you're not gonna be doing much until your OTK anyways. I'm very impressed at what the bird could do, but is it better than Sorcerer? I don't have an answer to that yet. Zephyrus is capable of granting you OTKs but Sorcerer is the better card when it comes to spot removal and card advantage. So, it comes down to whether I want an extra Sword or Shield. Both seems to flow with the deck just fine and I bet both would do good to the deck, I guess the ultimate choice would be depending on how the meta game forms itself again. And at last, I've finalized my main deck for my new Hieratic build.

The extra wasn't as tricky as the main. The usual rank 6s and 7s are included. Since I have Veilers in my main deck, I really wanted Black Rose Dragon to clear the board. And since TGU is here, I've added Rank 3's Wind-Up Zenmaines and No.17 Leviathan Dragon. I was gonna play Leviair, but I found myself never making him in test playing sessions and taking him out for another Syncro monster, Ancient Sacred Wyvern. He wasn't as important as Black Rose, and doesn't do as much as well. I am currently debating whether to replace him with Ancient Fairy Dragon (for DW and GK matchups) or Scrap Archfiend. But, the potential to grow gigantic is something I couldn't look away from, and being a comrade that have fought together with me since last format, I am bias towards the Wyvern as of now.

Finally, after the long wall of text that could easily fit into a text book. I'm sorry for dragging you guys on a long boring lecture on how I made this deck. Please take note that while I didn't copy this deck idea (from another Hieratic) off someone else, I am not sure if this deck is new. Someone might have already build something similar and is doing quite well with it, but that's beyond my knowledge. Really big thanks for sticking with me so far and now to the decklist.

monster (28):

3 Hieratic Dragon of Su
3 Hieratic Dragon of Tfenut
2 Hieratic Dragon of Eset
1 Hieratic Dragon of Nebthet
1 Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon
1 Luster Dragon
1 Wattail Dragon
2 Tour Guide from the Underworld
1 Sangan
2 Card Trooper
3 Effect Veiler
2 Cardcar D
2 Tragoedia
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
1 Exodius the Forbidden Lord
1 Chaos Sorcerer // Blackwing - Zephyrus the Elite

spells (9):

2 Hieratic Seal of Convocation
2 Pot of Duality
3 Mystic Space Typhoon
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn

traps (3):

3 Call of the Haunted

Extra (15):

1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Ancient Sacred Wyvern
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 No.17 Leviathan Dragon
1 Tiras Keeper of Genesis
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 Superdreadnough Rail Cannon Gustav Max

side (15):

3 Rivalry of the Warlords
3 Debunk
2 Nightbeam
2 Thunder King Rai-Oh
2 Maxx C
2 D.D Crow
1 Neospacian Grand Mole

Well, the cards in the side are meant to counter the decks in my area, so it might not work on a universal scale. Rivalry was a card that I wasn't too sure of either since I have quite a few different types of monsters in here, but I've tested it out against Wind-Ups and it works just fine. Since I couldn't play both Soul Drain and Macro Cosmos, I settled with Debunk for the Mermail and Dark World match ups. Crow is gaining more popularity over here too.

Thanks for staying on for so long and reading my ridiculously long post. Any constructive criticism is welcome, just don't leave a comment like "This deck suck!" without reason (Mike, I know you and/or Andrew are gonna do it, so I'm gonna give you a warning before hand). I wasn't planning to review this deck until the end of next week, because I wanted everyone to see what this deck could do. But, I don't have Tour Guides and I couldn't find a Gustav Max. The chances of this deck being completed before the 22nd is grim. Not wanting a decklist to go to waste, I would really wish for a brave soul to pick up this deck list and enter a tournament. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

TB Tourney Report

Not much has been going on since Team MYM's achievements at Asia Plus 3 weeks ago, the game has came to another stalemate period. Well, since the last tournament for 2012 is next week, although it would be an event without interesting prize support; nevertheless, there is still something to look out for. Not gonna make an excuse for myself, I wasn't completely in YGO for the past 2 weeks. Hence, there was no post at all. I'm currently training myself to follow the footsteps of great planeswalkers. Yes, I've started playing MTG (officially) 2 weeks ago, and some of my YGO friends also decided to join in as well. I'm not going to stop YGO, I've played multiple card games simultaneously before, I just took 2 weeks off YGO to learn the game of MTG, thats all, and after some back breaking sessions of Friday Night Magics, I think I finally get to know the game now.

Back to YGO. Today was Toysbar's qualifier thing for the tournament on the 22nd. I wanted to test my super special awesome Hieratic build, but I don't have Tour Guides (yes, I've spent too much cash on MTG and I can't afford TGUs at the moment). So, I played Masked HEROs today just for fun. Before I get heat from the other Malaysian bloggers, NO, I wasn't playing the build that won Top Shop, I was playing the build I played at Asia Plus Qualifiers.

Match 1 : Vs Inzektors

Duel 1 : I wasn't aware of his deck until I destroyed Sangan and him grabbing Hornet. Once I saw that card, I went from defensive to offensive to make sure he doesn't get his engine started.

Duel 2 : I open with a Crow and a Veiler, nothing much for him to do after I veilered his Centipede and Crow that lone Hornet.

Match 2 : Vs Wind-Ups

Duel 1 : I drop Maxx C on Magician-Shark. I just keep pushing with big monsters that gets even bigger with Mask Change.

Duel 2 : Both of us are at the 2000s, I have Maxx C in hand and a Rai-Oh on board. He has Rabbit and top decks Sangan, which he makes Zenmeity. Figuring his gonna get Rat and make another XYZ, I let that pass and chained Maxx C to its effect. Wind-Up Warrior was summoned and I looked at it and went "Oh!"

Duel 3 : I open 2 Veilers. I just keep my stream of beaters on the field and eventually won after his Magician-Shark was met by veiler.

Match 3 : Vs Fire Fist

This was my first meeting with this deck across the board and I have almost no knowledge on how should I side for it.

Duel 1 : My opponent sets up an obvious Morphing Jar and I took advantage of that. Acid-Zero cleared the board and I made Shining for a push for game.

Duel 2 : My opponent over extended into Torrential and his backrow was wiped out by a top deck Heavy Storm. I won after Zero crashed into his monster and have my army of Ocean and Allius attack for game.

So, I took first and 5 packs of boosters. Nice prizes for a Rm10 entry fee, but I pulled jank, so it was still a loss of 10 bucks I guess.