Two weekends of Yu-Gi-Oh and attempting to make some money has been my motivation for keeping my chin up lately in a ridiculously stressful life situation. I, like many Yu-Gi-Oh players, out there have very difficult lives outside the game when it comes to money. I might have a 95% blinged out deck right now, but that’s more so a credit to my previous accomplishments, the kindness of others (including HotSauceGames), and using my head in investments rather than actually spending money on it to make it look better. I’m not confident enough to take credit for anything that’s happened to me because I’m surrounded and supported by much stronger and more knowledgeable people. To see me top at an event and is a credit to all of those whom support me every day in any aspect of life because it’s been a nightmarish time for me lately.
I wasn’t able to make YCS “Ebola” Texas, ARGCS Columbus, ARGCS Iowa, the Tinley Park regional for a bunch of common reasons good players don’t go to major events: sickness, money, proximity to other events, and travel issues. Since the day after my 22nd birthday, my birthday being September 17th, I was bedridden sick for three weeks straight with no internet connection. I was supposed to be writing on HotSauceGames since that time but without internet connection, and me being unable to physically make it to the library at my university that plan was thrown out the window instantly. I was isolated to sleeping, getting behind in classes, and ruining the successes I had recently had in all aspects of my life. “Eat, sleep, bathroom, repeat” was the line that got stuck in my head during this time that I would have preferred being in class, testing cards, or being around people to being in my cheap, hard to heat apartment.
This caused me to not only miss YCS Texas but to hinder one of my fellow writers on here, Mike Glowacki, from getting the real life playtesting desperately needed to be successful at a major event. For those that don’t understand the situation, central and southern Illinois are essentially one giant corn field separated by county and property lines. To be lucky enough to have Mike, Kiley Davis, myself, and a few other decent players in the area near Eastern Illinois University is something that is nearly impossible via statistics. We’re a tight knit group of misfits trying to keep up our skills in a situation that if it falls apart hinders us greatly. We’re forced to be more group oriented because there is only one local remotely close to the area; the other
Weekends came and passed along with a lot of my happiness that I had for a majority of the semester from having decent attendance in classes and actually having time to be around other people rather than the continuous working schedule that I was accustomed to while at college. I knew that my two pick-me-ups were going to happen the next two weekends with being able to do card playing on both of them along with trying to make quite a bit of money. The first weekend started for me early because of EIU having a day off on October 17th for “Fall Break” meaning I got a chance to relax at my parent’s house and thinking over my decklist for the weekend. Or I would have relaxed if my car didn’t break down at my girlfriend’s house the night before the tournament causing me to have to borrow my mom’s truck for an hour trip up to Pastimes in Niles, Illinois. If I wasn’t focused on making money before my car troubles I was now motivated by an unexpected instantaneous need.
Well, to say I was disappointed with the results and the tournament itself would be an understatement. The first thing I learn walking through the door was that even though the tournament was that even though it was advertised as a “TCGPlayer 1k Tournament” the prizes to the event were directly for Pastimes, meaning your choices for spending were drastically limited. Between $90 boxes of Duelist Alliance, their highest singles being a Secret Rare Judgment Dragon and an Ultimate Rare Scrap Dragon, and them not having any Player’s Choice white sleeves (and only 3 packages of UltraPro Pro-Matte White), your chance of getting anything actually worth the credit was little to none.
Although seeing some the Illinois players consistently at the tournament such as Aaron Vera and Jordan Palmer at the event was nice, the overall amount of people entering was disappointing when I was trying to prepare for the TCGPlayer 10k that was to occur the following weekend. 16 people competing 4 rounds to get into a top 8 for credit is a complete joke of a tournament when you’re trying to get the rust off of a small break on a scene. I was honestly expecting for my build to fail at this tournament so that I could know what I could do to improve for the next week, but with 16 people and some of them having no sense of competitive play I knew that this was going to be a murder. I easily went 3-0 and contemplated for the last round to give my opponent the win and get food but I figured that during the week I was going to have limited play so I would test more against Shaddolls without 3 Super Polymerization in this last round. I took the win and went into the top 8 as the only undefeated then quickly opened complete high monster trash 3 games in a row, stealing a game 2 that definitely shouldn’t have been mine. I used my obtained $50 store credit to get 2 packs of White Pro-Mattes and an overpriced Duelist Alliance: Deluxe Edition where a Yang Zing super and a Felis, Lightsworn Archer awaited me. When comparing the list I took to Indianapolis the next week to the one I had for this tournament, you’ll see a lot of critical changes that allowed me to win games that I definitely wouldn’t have with this build:
- 3 Raiza, the Storm Monarch
- 3 Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
- 3 Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
- 2 Mathematician
- 3 Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
- 3 Tour Guide From the Underworld
- 1 Dark Hole
- 1 Foolish Burial
- 3 Mystical Space Typhoon
- 3 Upstart Goblin
- 1 Allure of Darkness
- 1 Raigeki Break
- 2 Breakthrough Skill
- 1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
- 3 Karma Cut
- 3 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
- 1 Solemn Warning
- 1 Torrential Tribute
- 2 Vanity’s Emptiness
- 1 Caius the Shadow Monarch
- 1 Vanity’s Fiend
- 2 Fairy Wind
- 2 Malevolent Catastrophe
- 2 Maxx “C”
- 2 Mind Crush
- 2 Mobius the Frost Monarch
- 2 Puppet Plant
- 1 Raigeki
- 2 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
- 2 Downerd Magician
- 1 Grenosaurus
- 2 Ghostrick Alucard
- 1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
- 1 Mechquipped Angineer
- 1 Muzurhythm the String Djinn
- 1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
- 1 Number 47: Nightmare Shark
- 1 Number 49: Fortune Tune
- 1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
- 1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
The build was as “pre-October 2014 non-RUM Astral Force” cookie cutter as could be for the time, with Raiza the Storm Monarch being the only tribute summon monster listed. As shown by my choices I had for the weekend talked about in Part Two, I did not like Raiza in the least bit as a card to be my “tribute winner.” My thoughts were still clouded from September where the overwhelming factor of Shaddolls with Super Polymerization had dominated the Burning Abyss vs Shaddoll Match-up. For the longest time I experimented with an idea using Koa’ki Meiru Doom and Dark Simorgh (a card I always try to make playable) to lock my opponent out of setting and gaining advantage that I eventually talked myself out of. The reason for completely scraping the idea was the fact that because of the lack of Heavy Storm, everyone sets their backrow instantly without a care because there was no common mass removal threat against them thus Dark Simorgh has to be summoned turn 1 to reach maximum potential. This idealism of an opponent, regardless of skill level, instantly setting multiple backrow became my justification for siding Malevolent Catastrophe when going second in almost every match-up.
I think the best thing to happen was that this weekend showed me the fact that opening Tour Guide from the Underworld turn 1 in game 1 would never result in a Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss or any other xyz unless I specifically knew that my opponent was not playing any form of Shaddolls or I had an insured Vanity’s Emptiness to stop it. I learned that a turn 1 Mathematician is a hugely defensive card because people do not like to give away free draws in exchange for damage unless they’re going for game.
These seemingly obvious orders of operation that weren’t apparent in previous testing caused a renaissance of thought that led to my deck list and play style changing on the Thursday before the TCGPlayer 10k. I’ve started to learn that clinging to the standards or idealisms founded by myself or others and accepted to be correct rarely are actually correct; you can spend hours and hours on a theory you’ve accepted to be correct only to find one anomaly to destroy an entire argument. I suppose that’s why we play the game, anyone can be lucky and anyone could be correct in a tournament.