Monday, 27 February 2012

March 2012 Banlist Discussion Part 2: The Limited List

Now it's time for the Limited list. With the list almost in effect, I wanted to finish this segment before then so it's still worth talking about.

If you have not seen Part 1: Click here  (Right click and then new tab. Why this does not already happen when you right click makes no sense.)

So lets begin.

Tech Genus Striker
TGStrikerEXVC-EN-R-1E.jpgOkay. So right before the list, YCS Atlanta happened and T.Gs managed to win it. Of course, nobody had any sides to directly counter them and they are overall a good deck to play. High in Traps, they are able to whittle down your opponent and gain advantage. It seems like a pretty good deck and it's a shame that Benedikt Junk, the best player at YCS Leipzig who was playing T.Gs, did not make the final cut.

But why did Striker get hit?

In the OCG, as evidenced by the banlist, T.G Agents are rampant in the meta. This is because they do not have access to cards which make our meta decks work. For dino rabbits as an example: you need Tour guide to make Leviair and make another Evolzar. Without that combo, you will not be able to play the deck. That is why Konami had to look at T.G Agents and pick cards from it which were most problematic. It was either Striker or Warwolf, and Striker is overall the better card.

But in all honesty, It was a terrible hit. If you hit the Agent part more, then the deck would still not be able to function. Konami did hit the agent part, but not the right cards. But that is the reason why it was hit and the TCG has to deal with it.

The Agent of Mystery - Earth 
TheAgentofMysteryEarthSDLS-EN-SR-1E.pngFor the same reasons as above, Konami needed to hit Agents. This card allows for consistency which without, the deck would desperately need. If you keep earth alive for a turn, then you can go into Trishula next turn with the Venus you searched. So you lost no advantage and you managed to wipe 3 cards off your opponent. That actual play is not that great, but Konami should have hit Venus instead. Some players were really hoping that Hyperion would be hit too, but a boss monster is only really as good as the cards needed to come out. You can run a Boss monster that says "Win the duel", but if your deck only has a 0.1 chance of being able to summon it, then it's a bad card.

There is not much else to say about Earth. Both hits were pointless for the TCG and is a constant reminder that we are in desperate need for a separate Banlist from the OCG.

That's it for the Limited cards. The Semi-Limited discussion will be a lot longer, so you might want to get a drink for that one.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Dino Rabbits win YCS Leipzig!

Congratulations to Stephan Sluis (Who won YCS Paris back in early 2011).

And oh look, he's playing the sackiest deck in the game!

Here's his decklist, so you can netdeck.

Stephan Sluis (Dino Rabbit)

Monsters: 21
Rescue Rabbit
Tour Guide From the Underworld
Jurrac Guaiba
Maxx "C"
Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
Effect Veiler

Spells: 11
Mystical Space Typhoon
Forbidden Lance
Dark Hole
Heavy Storm
Book of Moon
Mind Control
Pot of Avarice
Monster Reborn

Traps: 9
Solemn Warning
Fiendish Chain
Solemn Judgment
Torrential Tribute
Mirror Force
Trap Dustshoot
Starlight Road

Extra Deck: 15
Evolzar Laggia
Evolzar Dolkka
Number 39: Utopia
Number C39: Utopia Ray
Wind-Up Zenmaines
Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
Number 20: Giga-Brilliant
Leviair the Sea Dragon
Wind-Up Zenmaister
Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Stardust Dragon
Chimeratech Fortress Dragon

Side Deck: 15
Macro Cosmos
Cyber Dragon
Snowman Eater
Thunder King Rai-Oh
Royal Decree
Dimensional Prison
Spirit Reaper
Smashing Ground

Pretty Standard Lineup. Nothing else to say really.

Well done to Inzektors which managed to take the other 3 spots of the Top 4. It gave the deck a real boost after it's poor showing at YCS Atlanta

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

March 2012 Banlist Discussion Part 1: The Forbidden List

Now for a segment I decided would be a good idea to make. We can all agree regardless of if you play competitive or not, that the Banlist we are about to play under for the next 6 months is quite possibly one of the worst we have ever seen. Konami describes the Banlist as a way to keep the game healthy and give some cards a second chance. So this time around, has it done that?

The answer is No. It has not.

The banlist ideally should be used to keep some decks in check. It should be used to reduce the power creep so it does not take one huge step at once, making all other decks almost impossible to be competitive with. Also, It should be an evaluation of everything that is wrong with a format and deal with said problems. But this time around, they have really not been doing enough 'evaluating'.

I'll start off with the forbidden list. There's only a few cards put on the forbidden list this time around.

Glow-Up Bulb and Spore

This was a very strange and in my opinion, bad move by Konami. The plant engine was splashable and was the reason why the deck did so well. That combined with broken TCG exclusives made the deck as popular as it was. As we know, the engine consists of just 4 cards (5 when lonefire was at 2). But the main card of the engine was arguably Dandylion. This monster has the ability to special summon tokens, allowing for use with tuners to synchro into multiple levels. Glow-up and spore abused dandylion since spore can reach a level 5 synchro by removing either lonefire blossom or dandylion (making it level 4), then synchroing with a token. Glow-up bulb is just a free draw from formula synchron. Both combos were able to create a nice amount of advantage, but they were only as good as the cards it can abuse.

So why did Konami not just ban Dandylion? It's clear that with Dandylion around, derpyness will follow. Take out the catalyst and the reactants wont have enough umph to work. I use Glow-up in Lightsworns and it was an amazing boon for the deck. Spore is a great tuner for plants due to it's flexibility. However, Dandylion was a prime example of a card being able to do too much, and Konami kept it around? Like anyone will use Dandylion now that the other 2 cards are gone. It's just incredibly stupid and 2 perfectly good cards have been wrongly thrown into the fire in an attempt to save it's ass.

It used to be cute, but now after this, it will leave a bad taste in my mouth every time I see it. I hope it does for you too.

Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Trishula,DragonoftheIceBarrierHA04-EN-ScR-1E.jpgThis was another somewhat unexpected move by Konami. They banned one of the best synchros ever made. It requires 3 monsters to summon it and removes 3 things from the game, so you couldn't make too much advantage from it. However with Xyz being the new thing that Konami are trying to promote, this was bound to be hit. The card was unfair if you are not prepared for it but so are many other cards. How do you deal with stardust if all you have are destruction cards? How do you deal with colossal fighter if you have no way to destroy it with card effects? These questions are on a player's mind all the time and this is no different. If you don't have outs to any card, then it doesn't mean it should be banned or it's broken. Clearly you're not running enough Solemn warnings, Judgment, Effect Veilers, Fiendish Chains or whatever else is being use to negate this card.

So really, the card did not deserve a hit. It was not really aimed for except in Agents, but even then it's annoying going a -1 when it gets warning'd. Last format, I played many duels against many players of different skill levels. I got trishula'd about 4 times which is next to nothing. However in total, Trishula was summoned on me over 20 times and I always had a way to deal with it.

Your opinion may differ on the card. If you feel I'm wrong and It did need a hit, comment and say why. I'd love to hear it (No sarcasm).

Finally, to end this discussion on a good note.

Trap Dustshoot
TrapDustshootCP05-EN-SR-UE.pngThe one hit I actually agree with. This card was starting to get really annoying. It allows you to see your opponent's starting hand a rip a card from it of your choice. There are other cards that can rip cards from your opponent's hand, but guess what: They are all banned. Delinquent Duo is banned, Forceful Sentry is banned and other such cards are also banned. The main problem is that this card in many situations puts your opponent at such a disadvantage that it's unfair. They are already going second which is a kick in the balls already, then they start their turn with only 5 cards in hand which you got to see?

Card should have gone a long time ago. I have this knack for opening with Dustshoot consistently, but regardless it should be banned and never come back, even if Heavy Storm gets banned in the future.

So that's my take on the Forbidden Section of the upcoming list. 1 out of 4 is not very good Konami And your other hits are not looking too good either.

TheTCGLover out.

Monday, 20 February 2012

What does YCS Atlanta tell us?

This post will be discussing the decks at the YCS over the weekend. I will focus on the top 32 since it's quite a broad range of decks that made it to the top cut and there's a lot to discuss.

Okay so here's the top 32, In order of how many there are:

15x Dino Rabbit
9x Wind-up
2x Inzektors
2x Tech Genus
1x Agents
1x Evolsaurs
1x Empty Jar!
1x Dark world

That's quite a diverse top 32 compared to the previous YCSs. Do take note that there are NO plant decks in the top 32, and Konami just burned them to the ground in the banlist. You really did your research didn't you, Konami?

So almost half of the Top 32 was Dino Rabbit: Currently the most expensive deck in yugioh. With them acquiring so many spots, they were almost a sure winner. Their general sackyness means that anyone can pick the deck up and play it. Wind-ups got a good number of spots, getting over a quarter of them. They are also pretty sacky and with them also not being hit whatsoever by the banlist, they're not going anywhere. In actual fact, with Trap Dustshoot going to 0, they have gotten stronger.

Now here's a surprise, only 2 Inzektors in Top 32. I don't know if this is because of a low number of players or because of other factors (People prepared for them better perhaps?) but 2 is surprisingly low. Their general ability to pop cards multiple times a turn makes you wonder what happened. It only gets worse for them at this point.

2 Tech Genus made the cut. That's impressive to be honest. It's nice to see them go out with a bang. One thing I like about T.G.s is the way the deck works. As PJ (TheIrishDuelist) said: "Most decks are designed to win. T.G.s are designed so they cannot lose" which summarises the deck perfectly. They can special summon multiple times a turn, pump their beast warriors and search for more copies. It really is a brilliant deck and I wish I could have made it.

Now for the 1 off's. Agents are losing a bit of consistency with the banlist but right now the only explanation for why they only managed 1 spot is they were probably under-represented. Most players were preferring to play other decks. That's not saying that Agents are bad or anything, they just require a little bit of skill and people don't like to think for themselves. I'm actually building Evolsaurs to mess around with this upcoming format, and the decklist was incredibly well made. He earned that spot and I would have liked to see him reach higher. Here is the decklist for it:

Moving on is Empty Jar. That's a huge surprise considering it's weak against Wind-ups and Dino Rabbits. The deck needs a hand for it to work and both decks can hurt it in some way or another. I would like to see the decklist and the side for this deck. If I see it, I'll put it on this post.

Lastly is Dark World. It managed one spot with the help of Trance Archfiend: A new Dark World support card in Order of Chaos. It lets you discard a card and give it 500 attack and when it dies, you can get a banished dark monster to your hand. It helps the deck immensely and if there was any reason for players to try the deck, Trance Archfiend is it.

So a pretty diverse Top cut. How does the Top 16 look?

7x Dino Rabbit
5x Wind-Up
1x Agents
1x Empty Jar
1x Dark World
1x Tech Genus

So half of the Dino Rabbit decks were knocked out and 4 Wind-ups lost. There is two important things to notice from this top 16. One is that both Inzektors that made the Top 32 were knocked out, which will make people wonder if they are really a tier 1 deck at this point.

Secondly, notice that Half the Rabbit decks went out. Half the players of the top 32 left and half the rabbit decks went out. That shows that the rabbit players are quite similar in terms of playstyle and if you know how to beat them, then you will probably be able to do a repeat performance on every rabbit player. If you don't get what I mean by that, then just remember that they still have a 50% chance of winning at this point.

The rogue 1 off decks are still in the running, which is very surprising. It's a shame that Evols went out though. But as you can see, it's 4 rogue decks against 12 sacky linear ones. It gives them quite an uphill struggle but with that, they can tell what they are most likely to play against and prepare accordingly.

For the top 8:

3x Dino Rabbit
3x Wind-Ups
1x Agents
1x Tech Genus

As you can see, the number of Dino rabbits are still proportionate to the number of them in the Top 32, which reinforces my point about them being easy to play against once you know what you're doing. Perhaps there is an amazing Side card that completely destroys them? Electric Virus perhaps?
Wind-ups are still doing well. Only 2 of the 5 decks went out so they are on level with Dino Rabbit. Both decks represent 37.5% of the top 8. Agents have managed to stay in considering there was only 1 in the Top 32. Well done to whoever is piloting it. Lets see what the Quarter-finals did:

Top 4:
2x Dino Rabbit
1x Wind-Ups
1x Tech Genus

Bye Agents. What we have left is concrete proof of Dino Rabbits representing around 50% of the decks since the Top 32. They have continuously managed to cut their numbers down in half every time. 2 Wind-ups went out, so at this point their chance of winning dropped to just 25%, making it the same as the remaining T.G. Deck left. This guy has been the remaining T.G. deck since the top 16.

In the end, 1 Dino Rabbit deck and the last Wind-Up deck was beaten, leaving Tech Genus and the last remaining Dino Rabbit deck. Even at this point Dino Rabbits retain their 50% representation.

The final was a very interesting read, but Tech Genus triumphed in the end, making this a very interesting YCS indeed. I'm really happy that they ended up winning since it was one of the rogue decks.

That's it for YCS Atlanta. I hope you learned a lot about what's to come next format. I am trying to retain from raging about the banlist due to it being absolutely atrocious.

TheTCGLover out!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Best Gate Heroes Decklist Ever!

Hey readers. Now that the premium tin will contain Elemental Hero - The Shining, the UK playerbase will now be able to use it.

I can't wait. It's been a year since i got hold of my playset and now I'll finally be able to mess around with it at locals and anywhere else. Plus the Ra Yellow mega pack will have holo E - Emergency Calls!. It's all coming together right now!

Here is my current gate heroes decklist, with a similar build posted on my channel (Which you can view by clicking the videos on the sidebar). I will change it slightly once Masked Hero Acid comes out.

Monsters - 11
1x Elemental HERO Stratos
2x Elemental HERO Neos Alius
2x Elemental HERO Voltic
1x Elemental HERO Bubbleman
1x Elemental HERO Heat
1x Elemental HERO Ice Edge
1x Thunder King Rai-Oh
2x Effect Veiler

Spells - 22
3x Fusion Gate
1x Terraforming
3x Miracle Fusion
3x E - Emergency Call
1x Reinforcement of the Army
3x Pot of Duality (One of these may become a mask change!)
2x Mystical Space Typhoon
1x Heavy Storm
1x Dark Hole
1x Book of Moon
1x Monster Reborn
1x Mind Control
1x Super Polymerization

Traps - 7
2x Skill drain (Might take these out for 2 more monsters)
2x Solemn Warning
1x Solemn Judgment
1x Trap Dustshoot
1x Torrential Tribute

Extra Deck - 15
3x Elemental HERO The Shining
2x Elemental HERO Absolute Zero
1x Elemental HERO Great Tornado
1x Elemental HERO Gaia
2x Elemental HERO Nova Master
1x Chimatech Fortress Dragon
1x Tech Genus Hyper Librarian
1x Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1x Stardust Dragon
1x Number 39: Utopia
1x Number C39: Utopia Ray

Lets explain the deck. The main focus is to remove stuff with Fusion Gate and Miracle Fusion to summon the Elemental HERO Fusions. Elemental HERO The Shining allows you to get back 2 Heroes from  your Banished Zone when it gets destroyed and sent to the graveyard, allowing you to reuse your materials again. Elemental HERO Voltic allows you to special summon a banished HERO when it deals battle damage, allowing for a large hit of damage if the field allows it.

One good thing about the deck is the versatility. You generally have a nice choice of fusions monsters for the situation. If you're on the defensive then Absolute Zero can stop all attacks and stops them overextending, as well as The Shining, but it's got a beefier attack stat for getting over annoying monsters like Grapha and Hyperion.

I'll get some videos of the deck in action, so subscribe to my channel!

- TheTCGLover