A Spellbook ARG Wisconsin Report

Hello everyone! My name is RJ Scarpelli and today I am going to be talking to you about the Spellbook deck I chose to run for ARGCS Milwaukee. But first, let me give you some background information on myself and some of my accomplishments in this game. I have been playing competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! since around 2009 and have acquired 4 premiere event tops during that time span. The events I topped were as follows: YCS Long Beach, YCS Austin, ARGCS St. Louis, and YCS Chicago. Sadly, I have lost in the first round of the top cut every time, but I am ready for that curse to be broken! Without further ado, let’s hop into the decklist that Dirk Wagner, Dalton Bousman and myself finalized for ARGCS Milwaukee!


ARGCS Milwaukee Spellbooks by RJ Scarpelli

Monsters: 12

  • 3 Spellbook Magician of Prophecy
  • 3 Temperance of Prophecy
  • 2 World of Prophecy
  • 2 Fire Hand
  • 2 Ice Hand

Spells: 18

  • 3 Upstart Goblin
  • 3 Spellbook of Secrets
  • 2 Spellbook Library of the Crescent
  • 2 Spellbook of the Master
  • 2 Spellbook of Eternity
  • 2 The Grand Spellbook Tower
  • 1 Spellbook of Wisdom
  • 1 Spellbook of Power
  • 1 Spellbook of Life
  • 1 Spellbook of Fate

Traps: 10

  • 3 Fiendish Chain
  • 2 Black Horn of Heaven
  • 2 Raigeki Break
  • 1 Solemn Warning
  • 1 Torrential Tribute
  • 1 Bottomless Trap Hole

Total: 40

Extra Deck: 15

  • 1 Armored Kappa
  • 1 Daigusto Phoenix
  • 1 Gachi Gachi Gantesu
  • 1 Ghostrick Socuteboss
  • 1 Herald of Pure Light
  • 1 Shining Elf
  • 1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
  • 1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
  • 1 Number 101: Silent Honor Ark
  • 1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight
  • 1 Chimeratech Fortress Dragon
  • 1 Downerd Magician
  • 1 Number 82: Heartland Darco
  • 1 Abyss Dweller
  • 1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction

Side Deck: 15

  • 2 Debunk
  • 2 Dimensional Prison
  • 2 Rivalry of Warlords
  • 1 Soul Drain
  • 3 Maxx “C”
  • 1 Breakthrough Skill
  • 1 Retort
  • 3 Mind Crush

Now, after first looking at this list, you might think we are crazy, so let me explain our more obscure card choices.


WorldofProphecy-JOTL-EN-ScR-1E3 Temperance of Prophecy and 2 World of Prophecy

We chose to play the Temperance and World version of Spellbook over the Justice and Priestess build due to World’s sheer power. If you thought Dark Magician of Chaos was a good card, World is literally a double DMoC with the addition of a Judgment Dragon effect. How can you not play such a powerful card? The most common counter argument to the Temperance strategy is the idea that if you’re playing Temperance and World over Justice and Priestess, you will be bricking more. Dalton, Dirk, and I have come to the conclusion that this is not a true statement. The reason being is Justice and Temperance pretty much both have the same requirement to activate their effects, you have to activate a Spellbook card previously in the turn. The only cards you realistically want to activate prior in the turn to use Temperance and Justice’s effect are Secrets, and Crescent. The only other card that you can open with if you’re playing Justice is a Tower to trigger Justice’s effect for free. But even then, the important Tower is now vulnerable on the field, and it won’t even net you a card in your Standby Phase due to Justice removing herself from the game. So, if you’ve opened Secrets or Crescent, which card would put you in a better position to win the game, Temperance or Justice? Also, if you haven’t opened a way to get to Secrets, you were not going to win that game anyway. People are under the impression that Justice can get you to your Secrets so you can start your engine next turn, but the way the format is right now, you can’t afford to wait that single turn to grab your Secrets and Priestess. Spellbooks need to set up as fast as possible because they have a hard time dealing with large, threatening boards due to Fate being at 1. As I just mentioned before, that’s another reason we played Temperance over Justice, World’s Judgment Dragons effect is too good to ignore, and it answers their ENTIRE field and lets you take control of the game. With those facts and a few more, we came to the conclusion that Temperance was the right choice.


yugioh-ice-hand-drlg-en047-fire-hand-drlg-en046-secret-1st-15498-MLM20103285353_052014-F2 Fire Hand and 2 Ice Hand

The hands were run in our deck to help us with slow openings and potentially mind game our opponents into attacking them while face down for a complete blowout. To start, Fire and Ice Hand helped with our brick hands (When I say “brick hands”, I mean where you can’t get your engine going turn 1 and you’re forced to just set back row if you have any and pass) because Fire and Ice Hand are the definition of standalone cards. They are able to do something beneficial for you without requiring you to have any other cards in addition to them. So, our game plan was if we couldn’t start off with the Spellbook cycle turn 1, we would hopefully be able to set a Hand and stabilize for a few turns to draw into our needed combo piece. Another benefit to playing the Hands were the mind tricks they add into the game. If your opponent sees you’re playing Spellbooks and you set a facedown monster, do you really expect them to think that its a Fire/Ice Hand? Absolutely not, the correct read would be a face down Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, a dead Temperance/Justice, or maybe an Apprentice/Old Vindictive Magician if you were in Games 2 or 3 of the match and the Apprentice side was appropriate for the deck you were piloting. Once your opponent runs into a Hand, it will put fear inside of them. They will be much more reluctant to attack your face down monsters, so that means you can really stall out if you drew badly. Also, if they were going to try and get rid of your Hand with a monster effect, they usually will have to XYZ summon into an Abyss Dweller or Blackship of Corn, which are both very weak against the Spellbook engine.


UpstartGoblinDB1-EN-C-UE3 Upstart Goblin

This card is pretty much a no brainer. It allows you to play a 37 card main deck. In a deck where you need certain cards to even be able to play the game, Upstart is 99% of the time a must. The only time this can conflict is with Spellbook Library of the Crescent because of Crescent’s drawback, which is only being able to use Spellbook Spell cards for the entire turn. The thing is, if you’ve activated Crescent and have a Secrets or a Magician to go along with it, you don’t need to activate the Upstart on your first turn because you will end with Fate for 3 and a Tower face up, which was a strong lock against the slow decks that defined the meta.


300px-SpellbookLibraryoftheCrescent-AP03-EN-SR-UE (1)2 Spellbook Library of the Crescent

This was a tough decision for me because opening this card in addition to Secrets or Magician meant Fate for 3 and Tower. However, we concluded that the drawback and activation requirement was too much to play 3 of. Another reason is that if you opened Magician and Secrets, you still end with Fate for 3 and Tower face up by Summoning Magician and searching Crescent. Overall I was happy with this ratio of the card at the end of the day.


9209532 Spellbook of Eternity

I’ve seen some Spellbook builds elect to only run 1 copy of Eternity, which I think is absolutely wrong. The ability to cycle Fate for 3 for at least 3 turns is too much to ignore. Sure, opening double Eternity is awful on its own, but if you opened double Eternity with the Spellbook cycle, its not even that bad. The rewards really outweigh the risk on this card in my opinion, so that’s why we chose to play 2 instead of 1.


SpellbookofWisdom-REDU-EN-R-1E1 Spellbook of Wisdom

Wisdom is only necessary as a 1 of because it contributes to brick hands, and is searchable when you need it. For example, you’re not going to want to raw-draw Wisdom most of the time because you’d rather it be a card that advances your game state. Wisdom is only good when you’re trying to push a World or Priestess play through, so you can search it when you’re ready to drop your boss monster. Also, Life acts as a 2nd Wisdom because you can just bring back the monster they destroyed for next to nothing. All in all, it’s not worth playing multiples of cards that contribute to brick hands when they are searchable.


FiendishChain-SDBE-EN-C-1E3 Fiendish Chain

Fiendish Chain is just an overall good card and did what we wanted our traps to do. It gave us time by making the monster not attack, and hit some of the cards that we were most afraid of. Some examples of those cards were Artifact Moralltech, Evilswarm Excition Knight, and Geargiarmor. Another cool thing was against decks that played Wiretap or Seven Tools, you could Black Horn their monster and then Fiendish Chain it after, forcing them to have another Trap negation card.


Sadly, Dirk and I missed the top cut at ARGCS Milwaukee, but Dalton made a solid Top 16 finish, losing to our friend Brandon Ball. Other than that, that’s about all I have for this article. Thanks for reading and let me know what you guys thought of my first article and of the deck in the comments below!

-RJ Scarpelli


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