Monday, September 2, 2013

Thoughts on YCS Toronto

First, I should publically document the pride I have for my son.  The AmeriCorps program is not an easy one as the dropout rate will attest.  Transitioning from a life threatened by Effect Veilers to one with real world demands is difficult.  He is holding up well …

… and he is still beating me at Yugioh.  

Enough paternal musings, we have a YCS tournament to consider.  

Your Dragon Overlords still reign
It looks like I have to quickly write a number of posts so that my “Predictions” for this meta are buried deep in the archive.  Though most of my thoughts were reasonable, I clearly swung and missed on the Dragon Ruler variants.  If you add the dragunity decks, 50% of the top 16 decks were dragon variants.  

I should have known better.

A large percentage of good players were piloting E dragons last format.  Regardless of the ban list, most players will return to the decks they know.  I suspect many of these players tested and found that the deck could be tweaked and run quite well.  We saw this Wind-ups a couple of years ago.  The hand loop was gone, but the deck was revised and continued to dominate.  Kudos to the first guy who put in the plant engine in the deck.  I also really liked J Cho’s Skill Drain version shown here.

Whether this is truly the “best deck” is hard to say given the disproportionate number of good players that were using it.  Since Draccosack is no longer as critical to the decks performance, we may see a number of people taking it up.  I suspect they won’t have the same success.  Nevertheless, it’s a very good deck and one that will be around for a while. 

If the TCG wants to limit its play, it will need to adopt the OCG “Special Rule”. For those that don’t know, the rule says you can play only six E dragons per deck.  Personally, I think this rule is ingenious since it allows decks dedicated to types have their monsters while killing E dragon predominant decks.  On the other hand, the deck is vulnerable so the need to do so seems to be gone.

Truly Shocking …
There were several honorable mentions.  Christopher LeBlanc made it into the top 32 with Karakuri Geargia. David Wu also made the top 32 with Madolche’s.   This means that if fewer than 24 people entered with these decks, they outperformed the field.  On the other hand, fewer than 283 people would have needed to enter with E dragons for that deck to outperform expectations.  I suspect the biggest underperformer was Mermails.  Three of the top 16 spots went to Mermails and surely more than 142 people played it.  Of course this analysis would be more complete if we knew how many people played what deck. 

There was one group of decks that was notably absent – the rank 4 toolbox decks.  This group of decks includes Gadget variants, Harpies, and Madolches.  Geargias can be played as a rank 4 deck, but LeBlanc used to Geargia engine to make level 7 and 8 synchros.   Furthermore, Wu and LeBlanc are the exception that proves the rule.   They outperformed the field because of the experience they had with their respective decks.  Both have been playing their respective decks since Return of the Duelist.  I’m sure the other decks had experienced players as well.  Heck, Jeff Jones was playing Harpies. 

So why did we not see more rank 4 decks?  I don’t believe banning Ultimate Offering made a difference.  When you drew it, great – but most of the time it just sat in your deck. 
The real difference was banning Shockmaster.  SM’s a card similar to BLS.  It’s a great equalizer.  Take a good but not a great deck, throw in BLS, and behold, you can win some games.   SM is the same way. For example, Jeff Jones created a Gogogo Zombie deck that could put Shockmaster on the board with amazing ease.  Without it, the deck couldn’t beat a Worm deck.  With it, Spellcasters struggle. 

Personally, I would like to see Shockmaster return.  I know some people don’t like losing to a second rate deck just because SM has been summoned.   But the card is easy to beat over and it’s expensive to make.  At best it’s a neg 1 and often it’s a neg 2.  If Jeff Jones had access to Shockmaster, we’d all be talking about his deck as if he had topped with something as odd as … uh … psychics.  

By way of announcement: The next two weeks look to be pretty busy; but, have no fear.  I'll be back to posting after that.  

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