Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Battle of Charleston Harbor

Over 800 doolists from across the States and overseas invaded the shores South Carolina to participate in YCS Charleston.  Though smaller than previous YCS tournaments, this one had all the features of a classic Yugioh free-for-all.  There were ample judges, salty competitors, and the requisite woman’s convention down the hall. Friends of mine quickly scouted the competition and came to the conclusion that this YCS would be the one to top.  Friday’s child is full of hope.  

Round 1: Heroes 1-0.  My first opponent piloted the recently released Dark Law Hero deck complete with that new deck smell.  He was so good-natured and friendly that he let me take back a move.  Would Belichik let Pete Carroll try a different play on second down? I don’t think so.  He likely would have lost regardless; however, it’s not a good idea in competitive play.  

Round 2: Qliphs 1-1. The second round was not so happy.  The good news was that I had extra time to eat.  The bad news was I lost in 3 turns in game one and four turns in game two.  I did learn that Stellarnova Alpha had to be played when Scout was placed in the pendulum zone and not when at the payment of 800 LP. Since the card is a “continuous” card, it is only activated at the time that it is first played.  I’m not sure why this point escaped me in my testing. 

Round 3: ??? 2-1. My third round opponent probably lost his first two rounds. He should have dropped.  While a free win is nice, it’s bad for your tie-breakers.  I likely needed to win the rest of my duels. 

Round 4: Satellar Mirror 2-2. Most losers can point to the moment when the tournament was lost. Mine came in a round four mirror match.  I anticipated a sizeable number of Satellar players and hoped that my version would be slightly faster than the average deck.  My hopes were dashed by Rhapsody in Beserk, a card that I foolishly took out of my Extra Deck.  At one point, he Snatch Stole my Gandiva, emptied my graveyard of Tellarknights, and attached his Rhapsody.  It was a risky move since drawing into an MST would have given me a powerful beat-stick. Evidently, he didn’t think that was likely as he let me gain 5,000 LP. Nevertheless, I never was able to climb back into the duel.  Game two was a Rhapsody Redux.  

Round 5: Qliphs 3-2. Of the eight matches, three were against Qliphs.  It’s funny how this was really easiest dool for me – then again, most of my play testing was against this deck. 

Round 6: Burning Abyss 3-3. I would have to get through five rounds before Diamond could put in some work.  After the long wait, he did just that.  Thanks to Snatch Steal he beat me with it in games one and three.

Round 7: Infernoids 4-3. There were a lot of questions about the number of Infernoid players that would show up in Charleston.  Quite frankly, I thought any deck that can easily remove cards from the graveyard would vivisect Satellars.  That prediction may still come to pass.  However, its reliance on cards like Reasoning makes it not quite consistent enough for competitive play.  

Round 8: Qliphs 5-3.  It’s nice to end with a win.  I would not have predicted that my best record would be against Qliphorts, but that’s Yugioh. 

I finished with 15 points in 208th place.  I can take a little solace in knowing that I beat two of the “Over-40” doolists.  Dudley finished in 301st and Rich in 284th.  I did not fare particularly well the following day and scrubbed out of all three of the Regional flights. I should add that they were some of the most entertaining and competitive duels of the weekend.  

So, there you have it:  Five years of playing Yugioh, four years of local tournaments, three years of regional and national tournaments, and eighteen months of blogging.  I have diligently kept up with trends, learned the rulings, and bought far too many cards. As a result, I am a competent duelist who generally garners respect from my opponents.  In the pool of tier two doolists, I’m one of the best. 

Unfortunately, the lifespan of even a tier two doolists is short.  In a few weeks, there will be another set with more archetypes and more rulings.  The experience of the past six months will mean little if one doesn’t keep up with the game.  Without significant effort, I will go from respected elder to doddering noob. Compared to Yugioh, medicine is a stale, petrified profession. At least, I can keep up with medicine.

For most doolists, X-3 is a reason to drop. For me, X-3 was an accomplishment. I might even improve on this record should the game remain stable.  But it won’t.  Instead, my achievement will go unrecognized and my dreams of returning to nationals will go unfulfilled. 

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