Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cheap Deals from the OCG

Okay – I get it.  The TCG and OCG are so far apart that tournament reports from across the Pacific are little more than cultural oddities.  You might as well base your side deck on a Kaijudo deck list than try to learn something from the OCG.  They have different ban lists, exclusives, play styles, and tax systems. Reunification of the Korean peninsula seems more likely than reconciliation of the two metas.  Besides, who needs their Cyberstein when we can top deck wins with Soul Charge?

While the relevance of the OCG meta continues to suffer, it has not waned completely.  They still play Yugioh and, contrary to popular belief, they don’t play Cyberstein.  The biggest difference between the two metas is the presence of Nebra Disk, which won’t be available to us until the fall. Thus, their most dominating deck, Chronomaly Artifiacts, is not likely to top a Western YCS.  

Nevertheless, a search through the OCG can lead to the discovery of future gems.  I picked up Fiendish Chain for pennies by watching the card get play in the OCG.  You could have had a playset of Overworked for $0.60 if you noticed the siding habits of OCG players.  As always, past performance does not predict future fortune.  Still, many of these cards are cheap or (even better) gathering dust with a bunch of common cards. 

As a reference point, I surveyed all the OCG tournaments of more than 50 players listed on Shriek as of April 1st.  70 decks were listed; the percentage of each deck is given in the graph.  Beside each deck type, there is a “Power Number”. This number roughly measures how well the deck placed.  Lower numbers suggest more first and second place finishes.  
As one would expect, Chronomaly Artifacts and Dragon Ruler variants are the most common decks. In fact, decks with either artifacts or dragons make up more than 50% of their meta.  Shadolls are also making their presence felt, which is not surprising given the flexibility of the deck.  The Mermails and Geargias are not going away though the latter relies on Machina monsters.
Coming Soon

Several of the side deck choices are predictable given that many of the Chronomalies are machines. Cyber Dragons and Chimeratechs are common and System Down is seeing more play. The pressure for the TCG to pick up on this trend is even greater since we live with charged souls.  Can you imagine what it is like to draw into Soul Charge with a pile of monsters in the banished zone? 
Light-monster hate is becoming more common as well.  Bujins, Chronomalies, Battertymen, and Artifacts are all light.  Enter the Ally of Justice monsters and Koa-ki Meiru Doom.  For those of you who loved Solemn Warning, there is Chaos Trap Hole.  Thankfully, none of these cards are more than $0.50 
OCG players also appear to be investing in life point cards.  For the most part, LP cards only see play in RKD’s*.  However, I suspect many of their duels are going into time.  As a result, Emergency Provisions, Rainbow Life, and Supremacy Berry can steal games.  One could argue these cards have even more value in our meta where Soul Charge turns life points into monsters.  

With the exception of Chimeratech Fortress Dragon, all of these cards are less than a dollar.  At the very least, it is probably worthwhile sorting through that shoe box of commons to find them.  Today's 25 cent common can be tomorrow's five dollar must-have. 

* RKD: Random Kid Deck

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