Last week, I got the opportunity to hit double digits on my premier tops at YCS Dallas. I had been testing Burning Abyss for a few weeks since I wanted to try a different deck than what I had been playing since YCS Toronto. From my point of view going into the event, the most popular deck was Burning Abyss based on the results of ARGCS Indianapolis. Also the most popular version of it would be Jeff Jones’ since it looked better suited for the meta, having tech play sets of Trap Stun and Mind Crush.
The matchup I was most worried about was the mirror and whether or not I should use non-standalone cards like Supply Squad and Rank Up Magic – Astral Force. I had to mainly cover the mirror match since I already had an idea of how it went against Satellarknight and Shaddoll.
My flight was on Friday morning as usual and my roommate made us dumplings for breakfast. After a couple hours, I was off to the airport, I made it to my flight right on time and was off to Dallas. Once I landed, Scott Page said he could pick me since he was also getting Brandon Wigley and Tahmid Zaman. After a few laps around the parking lot we were off to the Arlington Convention Center. I got last few cards I needed and met up with some friends. Once Tom Mak was done registering, we went to our hotel where Azad Deihim and Jerome Porter were testing. We ending up ordering some pizza and making final changes to our decklists.
This is the build I ended up playing:
- 3 Tour Guide from the Underworld
- 3 Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
- 3 Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
- 3 Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
- 3 Mathematician
- 2 Raiza the Storm Monarch
- 2 Vanity’s Fiend
- 3 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
- 3 Karma Cut
- 3 Mind Crush
- 3 Trap Stun
- 3 Vanity’s Emptiness
- 1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
- 1 Solemn Warning
- 1 Number 49: Fortune Tune
- 3 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
- 1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
- 1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
- 2 Ghostrick Alucard
- 1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
- 1 Number 20: Giga Brilliant
- 1 Number 47: Nightmare Shark
- 1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
- 3 Downerd Magician
Side Deck: 15
- 3 Maxx “C”
- 1 Mobius the Frost Monarch
- 1 Vanity’s Fiend
- 3 Mystical Space Typhoon
- 1 The Monarchs Stormforth
- 2 Chain Disappearance
- 2 Wiretap
- 2 Ojama Trio
Starting with the main deck, the unique choices start with playing both Raiza the Storm Monarch and Vanity’s Fiend, I basically really liked both types of control these cards provided. Raiza would make Mind Crush a lot more valuable and Vanity’s Fiend would lock my opponents in a different way. Then, I played Forbidden Chalice instead of Breakthrough Skill because I could use it in the Damage Step and the turn I draw it. I was willing to give up the ability to negate El Shaddoll Winda and floaters for the other pros Chalice provided. Besides that it is very close to Jeff Jones’ build not using cards that require other cards to be good like Supply Squad. I thought the build would be able to undergo the YCS although in my opinion the right decision for this event would have been to play Shaddoll with Burst Rebirth and a couple copies of Trap Stun.
Once we got to the Convention Center, I started looking for a couple Ojama Trio because Joe Bogli told me they might be a good tech choice against the mirror and after summoning the tokens you can pierce over them with a couple Downerd Magicians. I just went with my choices, I may have been taking a bigger risk than usual since I made last minute changes. After a while, Round 1 got announced on time (10AM).
Round 1: Vs. Satellarknight Artifact
Game 1: The game got to a point where I could make a Rank 3 and he had a backrow so I went for Ghostrick Alucard and I happen to hit an Artifact Moralltach. I lose a bit of tempo but gain if back with the help of Karma Cut and the constant threat of Tour Guide from the Underworld every turn.
Game 2: He has card advantage on me after I don’t draw any useful Burning Abyss monsters so my discard traps don’t get full value. I eventually lose to a constant stream of Deneb -> Altair -> Deneb.
Game 3: I open pretty strong with double Dante the Traveler of the Burning Abyss and a single Wiretap. We go into time and he can’t deal with my board so I win from there.
Round 2: Vs. Fire King
Game 1: He doesn’t get much going for him except summoning a Fire King that doesn’t even trigger. I try to go for game twice and both times he had Swift Scarecrow. I find it pretty weird that he would main them in the current meta since it’s mostly about grinding.
Game 2: He tries to make plays with Fire King Avatar Yaksha, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bear and Coach Soldier Wolfbark but in the end my Karma Cuts stop him. I take this game pretty easily from there.
Game 1: I open Dante the Traveler of the Burning Abyss and double Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, he tries to enter End Phase with a Kuribandit but I put it back to the top. I make another Dante the Traveler of the Burning Abyss swing for 5000 and pass. He tries to do Kuribandit again and I put it on top again. He scoops after he sees the second Phoenix Wing Wind Blast.
Game 2: He gains board control and mills Necro Gardna and then makes Lavalval Chain. I can’t deal with all the threats and he eventually outsources me with Dragon Rulers.
Game 3: I make Number 49: Fortune Tune pretty early on so I can be safe from being OTK’d and at the same time gain some life. We get to a point where I’m at over 9000 LPs and he’s at 1800 LPs, we are about to go into time and my game plan at that point is to summon Tour Guide From the Underworld and make Number 47: Nightmare Shark for game but at the end of his turn he mills two Necro Gardnas. So the plan changed to keep stalling it out. We go into time and on his second to last turn he makes Abyss Dweller and deals with the Fortune Tune. In his last turn he drops Judgment Dragon clears the board, drops two more Judgment Dragons and two Dragon Rulers for game!
I’ll admit I was pretty salting for losing off some mills and knowing my tiebreakers will probably go down the drain by the end of the day. Oh well, that’s Yu-Gi-Oh!, nothing to do but to keep at it.
Game 1: He draws and quickly uses both Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and Karma Cut on two no so important cards. A couple turns later, I have to make Temtempo the Percussion Djinn, boost it to 2700 by dropping materials off a Downerd Magician. In his Draw Phase, I read him having Raiza and even Black Luster Solider – Envoy of the Beginning so I Phoenix Wing Wind Blast the Downerd Magician and flip Vanity’s Emptiness in the Standby Phase. That position controls the game for a while, he eventually flips Trap Stun and I chain Mind Crush on Tour Guide from the Underworld and he reveals his hand of two Raizas and BLS. I ask if he had them on the turn I flipped Vanity’s Emptiness and he confirms it. I win the game due to having more resources still available.
Game 2: He opens strong and don’t feel like trying to grind through this game will be worth it. I end up scooping to be able to play a third game.
Game 3: I open perfect against the mirror, I make two Dantes and set Wiretap and Ojama Trio. I stop his plays with the Trio next turn, I summon Mathematician swing over a token and overlay two Downerds. At the beginning of his turn, I say “What, are you going to Raigeki me?” and he does. I still take the game in time, since he couldn’t make plays (courtesy of Trio) and I dealt some damage early.
Round 5: Vs. Satellarknight
Game 1: I Mind Crush him pretty early and I see a Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare. He was also maining Battleguard Howling and Satellarknight Skybridge, so the techs were real. The game goes on for about thirty minutes and gets to the point where if I Number 47: Nightmare Shark him I win. He flips the Trap Hole when I activate his effect. I lose to my lack of memory, “it happens”, live and learn.
Game 2: With little time left in the clock and in a winning position, I tell him that he should scoop so we can play game 3 but he says he doesn’t mind getting a draw. I end up having to attack a Starliege Paladynamo that negated a Dante. He draws for turn and I Mind Crush his Altair. He had drawn Honest off Paladynamo and if he had it a turn earlier it could have changed the game. I take game 2 in time so we get a Draw. At this point, I can’t really afford to lose if I want to top the event.
Game 1: I keep track of his searches and play my traps accordingly. By the end of the game, I stop his special summons of High Priestess of Prophecy with Vanity’s Emptiness.
Game 2: There were eight minutes left in the clock but I thought I was going to be able to end in a winning position. By the time there were like three minutes left I was pretty sure I would control the game with Vanity’s Emptiness once again, it works out and I win in time.
Round 7: Vs. Burning Abyss
Game 1: I lose this game of the mirror due to the advantage he gains off his Supply Squads. I eventually need to hit direct with a Raiza but he obviously has real traps. He flips Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and I scoop.
Game 2: I win due to an Ojama Trio chained to his Trap Stun, later I Chain Disappearance both his Scarm and Tour Guide from the Underworld.
Game 3: There isn’t much time left yet again and I can’t stop his Tour Guides. He wins because his Raiza gets more value than my Mobius, since he bounces my monster and swings for damage in time.
I was pretty much out of reach from Top 32 but since I have nothing else to do and it’s the last round I decide to play it out. At the end of Swiss, only one X-2-1 made it to the top cut.
Game 1: A forced third turn Dante mills my other two Tour Guides. Then, he out grinds me, using his resources more effectively.
Game 2: I open double Dante and Ojama Trio but he summons Tour Guide so my Trio wouldn’t have been effective. In my turn, he deals with my Dantes using Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and Karma Cut. I can’t deal with the stream of Tour Guides and lose a few turns later.
In conclusion, I found myself going into time a lot by the way the deck is played and how grindy the play style is. In that situation it’s pretty hard to try to rush for damage, so in a way it’s counterintuitive unless you can control the board early. Games can be difficult if you don’t draw the right combination of monsters and traps. I should have tested a little more to have a better plan, maybe have more aggressive Side Deck options like Puppet Plant to be able to deal damage quickly.
After the round, we went to eat at Alyoku Steak Sushi Bar where I got a NY Strip with shrimp on the side. The food was pretty great and it was nice to relax for a bit after a long day. Azad and Jerome were still in the tournament so we called it a night pretty early. Tom and I went to the event like at 11 AM and I registered to play a Win-A-Mat just because I already have my invite and didn’t feel like filling out a deck list. In the finals I lost to Clayton Hill (North American WCQ Dragon Duelist Champion) and his Satellarknight Artifact deck, it was a good match, he deserved the win.
For the rest of the day I just hung out with friends, made a couple trades, met up with Jarvis and Kiley. I had to leave to the airport as soon as the finals started. I made it to my flight right on time and almost missed my flight due to not finding my passport. Long and behold it was in my bag all along.
When I got back to Boston at around midnight, I finished a short homework assignment, and called it a night. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked but there’s always the next event. I will be going to YCS Anaheim in November so I’ll get another shot at my tenth top. I’m actually looking forward to The Next Challengers because of the Burning Abyss support but more importantly for the introduction of Qliphorths. Finally, I would like to thank everyone for an awesome weekend and congrats to everyone who topped. Special props to Billy for his third win! See you guys at Anaheim.