Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blackwings are the Best Stun Engine

Why is that? They have a mess load of tricks when used together, but they can also stand alone.

-They have a Chainable removal card in Icarus Attack, which can be used to clear back rows, and that's important in a format without Heavy Storm.
-They have Black Whirlwind, which makes them all into Gadgets with higher ATK and effects.
-They have Tuners that can be Special Summoned (Gale, Breeze, Vayu (through Shura)), and a Tuner that can Special Summon Synchro Material (Blizzard).
-They have a way to Special Summon a Monster through cards like Solemn Warning and Royal Oppression (Vayu's effect).
-They have amazing battle tricks through Sirocco, Kalut, and Gale.

That's just inherently built into the theme. Using a certain play-style also removes the intended reliance on Special Summoning.

They also get around the biggest weakness other Stun decks have. Stun decks need to draw just a few Monsters while drawing a bunch of Spells/Traps to control the game. If Stun decks draw all Monsters, they lose. "Summon Banisher, pass," isn't exactly the strongest set-up.

If Blackwings draw an all-Monster hand, they can play out of it. If it's the right combination of Monsters, they could possibly push through a bunch of damage. That's because Bora and Gale Special Summon themselves, and Kalut acts like a Spell/Trap. Shura and Blizzard can also set up big plays on their own.

Because of all of this, Blackwings have no glaring weakness that you can take advantage of. They're all Dark, but Consecrated Light won't stay up for long with Book of Moon and Icarus Attack flying around. They need their Normal Summons to work, but they can just Chain Icarus Attack to your (Bottomless) Trap Hole/Torrential Tribute to clear out your cards. If you try to destroy their Blackwings with effects, they can Chain Icarus Attack, but if you try to attack over them, you might just be playing into a Kalut.

However, there are still good cards that you can use against them. Snowman Eater is a great choice, since they cannot Chain Icarus Attack during the Damage Step. Moreover, it's a 1900 DEF wall that they can't get rid of without taking a minus. What's more is that it's also good against other Stun decks and Gladiator Beasts.

Seven Tools of the Bandit can negate the Traps that they depend on, and Royal Decree can just shut them down if they drew a hand full of Traps. Although an odd choice, Bait Doll is also effective. You can force them to use an Icarus Attack when you don't have a field, so they'll have to destroy one of their own cards (they can destroy Bait Doll) in addition to tributing their Blackwing.

What's most important is knowing how to play against them. Their key card is Icarus Attack, if you didn't know already, so you have to play around that. If that means playing only one card at a time to the field, then that's what you should do. If that means baiting it out to make them waste it, then do that.

That doesn't mean that Blackwings are a good deck. They have consistency issues, since they only play like 10 Monsters that they use as beaters. Also, they don't have the speed that decks like X-Sabers and Lightsworn have. If Blackwings are playing from behind, Icarus Attack and Kalut may help, but they can't always have those cards when they need them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

5D's Episode 129

I haven't had much time to post, or much to post about, recently. But, this episode was pretty good.

Basically, Team Ragnarok's Polar God cards have all had convenient effects that just happened to counter whatever Team 5D's has tried. But, at the end of the previous episode, Harald activates a Continuous Trap from his Graveyard (墓地からのトラップカード?!). It would remove from play all of Harald's Monsters and deal over 9000 damage to Yusei's LP in three turns.

But, Yusei Accel Synchro Summons Shooting Star Dragon and attacks three times with it after using a Speed Spell to give it an extra 1000 ATK. That was kind of pointless since Harald was still alive afterward, and it did nothing but let Harald use his Polar God's effects again.

Harald then activates his Trap Card that lets him see an opponent's Set card. Yusei conveniently has his own Trap, Trick Mirror, to use the effect as his own or something like that. It's not really clear, because then Yusei says that he uses it to negate all of Harald's Polar God's effects. That's a condition put in place by the Trap, not really an effect. But, of course, the anime characters can twist the effects of any card to suit their needs.

So Harald decides to attack with Odin, but Shooting Star Dragon removes itself to negate the attack. In response, Yusei activates Zero Force. It can be activated when a Monster you control is removed from the field (so it would actually Miss the Timing in real life), and it reduces all of the opponent's Monster's ATK to 0.

Yusei then dramatically skips to the end of Harald's turn, and when Harald's Trap Card from the Graveyard removes all of his Monsters from play, their combined ATK is no longer over 9000, it's 0. So Yusei takes no damage, and attacks directly with Shooting Star Dragon.

Not a bad episode, but because it's the end of a duel/race, we know that the next episode won't be so good.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tournament Report 9/26/10

I took a changed up Scrap deck to locals today. It uses Dandylions instead of Gravekeepers.

Sundays are generally more competitive than Saturdays, since the winner of a Sunday tournament gets a box. However, because of the two YCS events taking place this weekend, the super-competitive players who travel to those events no matter where they are weren't there.

Round 1: vs X-Sabers

-Duel 1: My opponent dropped Giant Trunade, XX-Saber Boggart Knight, X-Saber Airbellum, and XX-Saber Faultroll on his second turn. I was able to turn the game around, but then he used Dark Hole and swarmed again.
-Duel 2: I controlled the game with Scrap Dragons.
-Duel 3: I used Solemn Judgment on his Hyunlei, giving me control of the game.

Round 2: vs Venoms

-Duel 1: I dropped Giant Trunade, then Synchro Summoned Scrap Dragon. He bounced it with Compulsory Evacuation Device, but I cleared the field with two Mystical Space Typhoons and Dark Hole. I Monster Reborned his Gorz for game.
-Duel 2: He didn't draw any Monsters, so I was able to keep control.

Round 3: vs Lightsworn

This was Round 5 opponent from this tournament.

-Duel 1: He killed me with Celestia and double Judgment Dragon.
-Duel 2: He drew really badly, and I played around his Gorz to take the game. Having Catastor, Stardust Dragon, and Solemn Judgment helped, too.
-Duel 3: I preemptively used D.D. Crow to prevent a Judgment Dragon play. But, he swarmed the field with Chaos Sorcerer, Lumina, and Wulf, to go with the Gorz he had summoned before. I removed my Scrap Dragon with Chaos Sorcerer and attacked with the rest of his Monsters. I used Mind Control on Chaos Sorcerer, removing Lumina. Then I Synchro Summoned Scrap Dragon using Scrap Chimera to destroy Chaos Sorcerer and his one back row (it was a bluff Cold Wave). I attacked over Wulf and left Gorz there, fearing a Celestia play. He passed, and I pushed through his Gorz. He drew Judgment Dragon, summoned it, and activated its effect. I Chained Bottomless Trap Hole, and Scrap Dragon revived Scrap Golem. He sent a card from his hand to the top of his deck for Plaguespreader Zombie, then tributed it for Celestia so that he could suicide with my Scrap Golem, preventing another Scrap Dragon from coming out. We were both top-decking, but he was at 700 LP. I drew Scapegoat and Set it. He drew the card he top-decked for Plaguespreader Zombie and passed. I drew Scrap Goblin and Set it. He drew and passed. I flipped Scapegoat in his End Phase, showed him my Set Scrap Goblin, and he scooped.

Round 4: vs Blackwings

This guy wasn't a newb, but he wasn't very good. Like I said, it's hard to tell when they're playing Blackwings...

-Duel 1: He Set four back rows. I drew Giant Trunade and played it. I went Summoner Monk into Scrap Dragon, then Set a few back rows, including Trap Stun. To top it off, I had Scrap Chimera in hand. I won two turns later.
-Duel 2: He drew both Skill Drain and Royal Oppression. They actually locked him down more than me. I was able to keep pushing through damage with Scrap Tuners, and I finished him off with Scrap Dragon.

So, I was undefeated going into the final round. My opponent was my Round 3 opponent from this tournament. I also just found out his YouTube channel, teamsnipe2010. We decided to split a Duelist Revolution Special Edition Box.

Round 5: vs All-Monster Deck

We were actually able to get someone to film this for us. I'll try to upload the videos tomorrow.

I don't want to ruin the surprise, so I won't say whether I got 1st or 2nd. Regardless, we split the Duelist Revolution Special Edition Box evenly, so we each got five Special Editions. Notable pulls include an Ultra Effect Veiler, Ultra Naturia Bamboo Shoot, Ultimate Voltic Bicorn, Paradox Fusion, and two Super Rush Recklessly.

I got a Turbo Pack 1, getting Book of Moon, Hand Destruction, and Trade-In; another awesome pack. Also, since I'm practically the only one who gets Turbo Pack 1's at my locals anymore, I'll pull that Doomcaliber Knight eventually...

I had some time after the tournament, so I put a dollar in the Duel Terminals and got a D-Hero Malicious. I realized that those were the new Duel Terminal 3's, so I proceeded to waste a bunch more money (really only $17) to try and pull either Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier or Locomotion R-Genex. Unfortunately, I failed, but I pulled some other nice cards. I got R-Genex Magma, Burial from a Different Dimension, Compulsory Evacuation Device, and Fabled Ragin.

So, it was a pretty awesome day. Oddly, the part I liked the most was beating Lightsworn in Round 3. It was just a really fun game.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Destined to play...

Scraps. It's kind of crazy, but I've been pulling a mess load of Scrap cards.

At the Sneak Preview, I pulled two Scrap Goblins, one Scrap Beast, and one Scrap Golem. I also pulled Scrap Hunter, but he doesn't really count. I was able to get a Scrap Dragon for about $15, as well. Aki also pulled a Guts of Steel, which I'm still trying to find a way to abuse.

At Regionals, I pulled another Scrap Beast and a Guts of Steel, and I also went out and bought Scrap Chimeras and Scrapstorms. I also bought a second Scrap Dragon for the low low price of $5.

At locals, I bought a second Scrap Golem and two Scrapyards. After the tournament was over, I got a third Scrapyard.

On a random day, bought three Duelist Revolution Packs. I pulled Scrap Beast and a third Scrap Dragon.

At locals, one of my friends gave me a Scrap Golem. I already had two, so I gave it to the X-Saber player I beat, since he wanted to make a Scrap deck.

Last weekend, I bought a third Scrapstorm and pulled a fourth Scrapyard.

Earlier this week, I bought a Duelist Revolution Special Edition. I pulled another Scrap Golem.

Even though I bought half of the cards, the cards I needed at the time just magically happened to be in the packs I bought. It's pretty nice.

Anyway, this is basically a random post since I haven't been able to post all week. I'm going to locals tomorrow, so I'll have a tournament report up tomorrow night...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Post 200

If you couldn't guess by the title, this is my 200th post. It also coincidentally happens to be exactly one year after my first post.

Well, the game has changed a lot in a year. Lightsworn decks lost a bunch of cards, Black Whirlwind finally got Limited, and X-Sabers ended up being the new Lightsworn (for a while, anyway).

The TCG also got a really nice format in the time between the March 2010 ban list and the release of The Shining Darkness. Infernities, then X-Sabers, then Frogs, controlled the rest of that format.

But, the first few weeks of the new format have been awesome. X-Sabers were weakened to the point of being like Hopeless Dragon in terms of swarming power, except that they swarm with weaker Monsters and have more of a control element to them. Other former top tier decks are still around, like Blackwings, Gladiator Beasts, and Infernities, but they're nowhere near good enough to dominate the meta.

Huge, game-changing cards have been pushed aside (for now...). Heavy Storm is Forbidden and Royal Oppression is Limited. But, new cards have taken their place. Trap Stun provides players with more Cold Waves, and Solemn Warning is much more versatile than Royal Oppression.

What's more is that Starstrike Blast has no inherently broken cards, at least in the core set. There are nice cards, like Scrap Twin Dragon and Glow-Up Bulb, but there's nothing that would change the meta drastically. Hopefully there won't be any crazy TCG-exclusives this time.

There is some apprehension over the new cards in Storm of Ragnarok, but we'll have to see what happens with those.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tournament Report 9/18/10

I went to locals with Scrapkeepers again. I dropped the Main Decked Rai-Ohs for Rykos, which forced me to change up the deck a little bit. I took out a Scrapyard for a Pot of Avarice, and I also added a Scapegoats. I also dropped the double Magic Cylinder for two Dimensional Prisons.

Again, it was a small tournament. There were about 18 people there today.

Round 1: vs ???

This guy's deck was very odd. It used a Reckless Greed draw engine, had Machinas, Gravekeepers, Jinzos, Geartowns, and Mask of Darkness. I didn't even see most of this stuff until later in the tournament.

-Duel 1: I started with Scrap Beast and two Scrap Chimeras in hand. That means I win.
-Duel 2: I used Bottomless Trap Hole on his first Machina Fortress, and Trap Stunned the Call of the Haunted that tried to revive the other. I just kept poking with Scrap Beast for damage for most of the game. Of course, I finished him off with Scrap Dragon.

Round 2: vs X-Sabers

This was my Round 4 opponent from this tournament.

-Duel 1: I started with a Set Scrap Beast and a back row. He used Mind Control, and I laughed, because he wouldn't be able to Synchro Summon with it. He summoned XX-Saber Boggart Knight, XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, and XX-Saber Faultroll. He Synchro Summoned Urbellum with Fulhelmknight and Boggart Knight, then revived Fulhelmknight with Faultroll. I took Fulhelmknight's attack, then flipped Scapegoat. He attacked two tokens, and handed back Scrap Beast. I Synchro Summoned Naturia Beast with Scrap Beast and one token. I then Normal Summoned Scrap Chimera to revive Scrap Beast and Synchro Summon Scrap Dragon. I destroyed my left-over token and his Fulhelmknight, then attacked over his Faultroll. I Set a back row and ended. He Tribute Summoned Caius, removing Scrap Dragon and attacking over Naturia Beast. I don't remember how, but I was able to reverse the situation and win.
-Duel 2: He started with four back rows and a Set Monster. The odds were that the Set Monster was XX-Saber Darksoul or XX-Saber Emmersblade, so I used Giant Trunade to clear his back row, then summoned Banisher of the Radiance. His Set Monster ended up being X-Saber Pashuul, and I lost from there.
-Duel 3: I got the duel down to a top-decking war, and I kept drawing Traps, enabling me to keep getting rid of his Monsters. It turns out that he sided in System Downs, thinking that Scraps were Machines. I hit one with Mystical Space Typhoon, and I found out that after the match, he had drawn both, leaving him with dead cards. Thanks to that, I was able to win fairly easily.

Round 3: vs Blackwings

-Duel 1: He went first, Set Ryko and a back row. I destroyed his Set Royal Oppression with Mystical Space Typhoon, Special Summoned Cyber Dragon and attacked Ryko. Cyber Dragon died, and he milled two Boras, which was good. After a while, he attacked into my Mirror Force with Armed Wing. He Chained Icarus Attack (which was the second one he played that duel, by the way...), and I Chained Scapegoat. Next turn, I Normal Summoned Scrap Beast and Synchro Summoned Scrap Dragon. However, on his turn, he Normal Summoned Sirocco, revived Shura with Monster Reborn, then boosted Shura's attack. He attacked my Scrap Dragon, allowing me to revive Scrap Goblin, while he Special Summoned Vayu from his deck. He used it to Synchro Summon Brionac, and bounced Goblin. I didn't draw anything for the next few turns and died.
-Duel 2: It was my turn to control with Brionac, and I ended up beating him down with it and Scrap Chimera.
-Duel 3: He drew Black Whirlwind, Sirocco, Shura, Dark Armed Dragon, and Icarus Attack. That means I lose.

Round 4: vs Newbie Gladiator Beasts

-Duel 1: I started with Scrap Beast and four back rows. I kept getting rid of his Gladiator Beasts with Traps, and I was able to peck away with the Scrap Beast. I won from there; going first in this format is apparently quite important.
-Duel 2: He went first, started with a bunch of back rows and a Rai-Oh. The pivotal moment was when he topped Bestiari to fuse for Gyzarus to destroy the Ryko I had just Set.
-Duel 3: I forgot how I won. I'm pretty sure that it was very similar to the first duel.

So, I ended up getting 2nd place, which is quite good. I sold my XX-Saber Boggart Knights, and used the store credit I won and the money I got from the Boggart Knights to buy a Scrapstorm, and three Duelist Revolution packs. I pulled Scrapyard, an Ultimate Rare Wattchimera, and an Ambitious Gofer.

Also, instead of getting a Turbo Pack 3, I got a Turbo Pack 1. I pulled Grandmaster of the Six Samurai and Ryko, which was pretty awesome. I'm going to start getting Turbo Pack 1's instead of 3's so that I can get more Common Rykos and Books of Moon.

I'm not sure about how I feel about Rykos in a Scrap deck. My mills were usually really bad. I did mill well in Round 2, getting a Beast into the Graveyard for the Chimera in my hand, but I could have won without it. I'll have to see what happens...

Friday, September 17, 2010

XX-Saber Darksoul

All TCG players can appreciate how much XX-Saber Darksoul does for X-Saber decks. It helps with the consistency problem that the deck has had since its release.

But, not everyone knows how XX-Saber Darksoul, by itself, impacts the way the game is played.

By existing, XX-Saber Darksoul makes people afraid to attack Set Monsters. There's this whole reasoning that if you attack a XX-Saber Darksoul (except with certain Monsters like Rai-Oh and Banisher), you're only helping your opponent put their OTK together.

That idea may have been valid last format, when that second XX-Saber Faultroll would ensure that you lose, but not so much this format. X-Sabers can't OTK nearly as easily without Rescue Cat.

Also, if you just leave XX-Saber Darksoul on their field, then they can easily drop any Tuners and/or Faultrolls in their hand to destroy you. Even if you let them search, it's better not to let them just have an X-Saber sitting on the field.

However, this type of reasoning with XX-Saber Emmersblade is much more understandable. If you attack their XX-Saber Emmersblade, then they get their XX-Saber Darksoul or their Tuner (whichever one they need at the moment), and they swarm you next turn. In this case, it's better to leave XX-Saber Emmersblade on the field, since it doesn't provide the +1 search when used for a Synchro Summon.

Because of these XX-Sabers, recruiters are much less useful. If you play recruiters, then your opponent will use the same mind-set that they use against X-Sabers. If that happens to be, "Don't attack Set Monsters," then that hurts your deck, especially if it depends on getting your Monsters killed in battle to abuse effects like Cherry Inmato or Infernity Avenger.

However, not everyone has that mind-set. Some people hesitate to attack Set Monsters if they know you play X-Sabers or recruiters. Others don't care, and believe that if they don't attack, then you'll just drop a Tuner for a Synchro anyway.

Sadly, this makes the deck-building process much harder, as you have to take into account that your recruiters will be useless against some players. If you watch X-Saber decks being played, you'd often see XX-Saber Emmersblade being rammed into an opposing Monster to search; while that may work for X-Sabers, it doesn't work for most other recruiters.

Regardless, it's better not to dedicate yourself to one mind-set or the other. It can make you too predictable, and it can allow your opponent to get away with silly things like setting a Gladiator Beast Laquari. The best advice would be to just use your best judgment. X-Sabers can't OTK quite as often as you would think...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Random Stuff #18

It's been a while since I've had one of these Random Stuff posts.

I'm still looking for ways to innovate Scraps. With Scrap Searcher, Scrap Mind Reader, and Scrap Twin Dragon soon to arrive in Starstrike Blast, the theme will become much better. I'm not planning on using Scrap Soldier, since it's silly to just have one more card that's better off in the Graveyard than in the hand. If I want to Synchro Summon Scrap Twin Dragon, I'll use Scrap Golem and Scrap Beast.

So, Gravekeeper's seem to be the most consistent engine for Scraps to be mixed with. Basically, Flip Effect Monsters provide solid support, especially if they can stay on the field afterwards. I don't like Ryko in Scraps, though. Actually, I don't like Ryko very much at all right now. I'll probably do a post on that eventually. Recruiters of some sort would work with Scraps, too, but recruiters aren't very effective in the TCG nowadays. I'll probably do a post on that, as well.

Because of this, phenomenal recruiters like Cherry Inmato can't shine like they should. Dark Plants have an amazing amount of support, and it's especially potent in a format without Brain Control (Mark of the Rose, if my hints were too subtle...). I was thinking about making a Cherry Inmato-based deck, but it might not interact with the TCG meta too well...

Apparently, a new ruling change for Dragunity Aklys has been announced. If Aklys would be destroyed at the same time as the Monster it's equipped to is destroyed, then its effect would activate. Some examples of effects that would fit this new ruling include Black Rose Dragon, Judgment Dragon, and Icarus Attack.

So, it's quite fitting that the three Dragunity Drive Structure Decks that Aki ordered arrived today. We're going to work on a Phalanx-less Dragunity deck so that we can feature them in some videos next week. Once Hidden Arsenal 3 comes out in December, we should be able to get Dragunity Phalanx.

Oh, and in my Chemistry class today, an example of a compound happened to be the ion formed by magnesium and sulfur (magnesium sulfide), which has the formula MgS. It reminded me of the Fabled theme (commonly abbreviated as MGS in the OCG). That's all.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tournament Report 9/11/10

So, I went to locals today with Scrapkeepers. It was only a small tournament today.

EDIT: I remembered a few more details from Duel 1 of Round 4, so I added those in.

Round 1: vs Newbie Deck

I won...

Round 2: vs Dark World Monarchs

This guy was running a really odd deck. He also had an E-Teleport engine, Cyber Valleys, and Fires of Doomsday.

-Duel 1: I started with a Set Scrap Goblin and some back rows. He summoned Cyber Valley and two back rows. I Set Scrap Beast. In my End Phase, he activated Fires of Doomsday. He removed one token with Cyber Valley to draw two, then tributed the other token for Caius, removing my Goblin. He flipped his other back row, Emergency Teleport, and Synchro Summoned Stardust Dragon. He attacked over my Scrap Beast, but I didn't care because I had Scrap Chimera in hand and Trap Stun Set. I basically won from there.
-Duel 2: He just didn't draw very well, and I won.

Round 3: vs Flamvells

This was my Round 4 opponent from this tournament. We were getting ready to start, but then the tournament organizer announced that the pairings were messed up. So...

Round 3 (for real): vs Gladiator Beasts

This was my Round 2 opponent from this tournament.

-Duel 1: He started with Stratos for Prisma and four back rows. I started with Summoner Monk, but he negated its summon with Solemn Judgment. I Set some back rows. He summoned Darius and used Test Tiger to switch it out for Bestiari, and he ended up destroying my Magic Cylinder. He attacked with both, putting me at 4700 LP, then tagged out for Laquari. I drew and summoned Scrap Beast. I Mind Controlled Laquari to Synchro Summon Scrap Dragon. I Set the Trap Stun I drew and ended. He summoned Prisma and ended. I drew, then activated Scrap Dragon's effect, targeting his Prisma and my Trap Stun, which I Chained. Scrap Chimera gave me another Scrap Dragon, which destroyed his Stratos, and I attacked for game.
-Duel 2: He Bestiari'd and Gyzarus'd me to destroy my field. I destroyed his Gyzarus somehow, but he revived it with Monster Reborn to destroy the rest of my cards.
-Duel 3: I wasted all of his back rows, so it became a top-decking war. Scraps work best in that situation, which was obvious when he Dark Holed my Scrap Dragon, getting me back a free Scrap Monster. I was able to win off of the advantage from multiple Scrap Dragons.

Round 4: vs X-Sabers

This was the finals. My opponent was my Round 5 opponent from last week.

-Duel 1: He started with some back rows and a Set Monster. I Set Gravekeeper's Spy and two back rows. He Mind Controlled my Spy and Summoned XX-Saber Darksoul. He then flipped Pashuul and Synchro Summoned Mist Wurm. He bounced my Trap Stun, and I Chained Bottomless Trap Hole. Then, I Set two back rows and Scrap Goblin, and he attacked it with XX-Saber Fulhelmknight. I drew Mystical Space Typhoon for my turn. I flipped Call of the Haunted for Gravekeeper's Spy. Then, I flipped Trap Stun, which he considered negating, but didn't. I Synchro Summoned Arcanite Magician and destroyed two of his back rows. I used Mystical Space Typhoon on the last one. Then, I Tribute Summoned Scrap Golem, reviving Goblin to get Scrap Dragon. I destroyed my useless Call of the Haunted and his Fulhelmknight, then attacked directly. He passed his next turn, and I attacked again. Then, he played Dark Hole, but I got back Scrap Golem. He forgot that Scrap Dragon could revive another Scrap, and everyone watching laughed. He scooped.
-Duel 2: He Set some back rows, a Monster and ended. I drew a "meh" hand, and Summoned Rai-Oh to attack. He removed it with Dimensional Prison. I Set four back rows. He Normal Summoned Fulhelmknight and Flip Summoned Darksoul. I had to use Book of Moon on Fulhelmknight to stop the Synchro. I Summoned Scrap Beast to try and attack over the face-down Fulhelmknight, but he had a way to stop it. He was able to swarm with Naturia Beast, Catastor, Faultroll, and Boggart Knight a few turns later.
-Duel 3: I opened with an all-Monster hand and started with Thunder King Rai-Oh. He Set some back rows. I attacked, and he used Book of Moon. In my End Phase, he used Reinforce Truth, which was cool, to Special Summon X-Saber Pashuul. He Normal Summoned Giant Rat, Synchro Summoned Goyo Guardian, then attacked my Rai-Oh to steal it. I used Giant Trunade, Monster Reborned his Giant Rat, and Normal Summoned Scrap Goblin. I used Giant Rat to destroy Rai-Oh, then Synchro Summoned Black Rose Dragon to destroy Goyo Guardian. It was a desperate play, but it was my best option. He Summoned another Giant Rat and attacked directly, then re-Set his two back rows. I Set a second Scrap Goblin. He attacked it and Set XX-Saber Darksoul. I used Nobleman of Crossout to remove his Darksoul, the I summoned Scrap Beast. He responded with Bottomless Trap Hole, but I had Mind Control to steal his Giant Rat. I Synchro Summoned Scrap Archfiend and attacked directly. He summoned Fulhelmknight and Set a Trap. I attacked into Mirror Force, then Set Gravekeeper's Guard. He summoned another Fulhelmknight and attacked. He took some damage, and I bounced his second Fulhelmknight. I Summoned Scrap Chimera, reviving a Goblin, and used Goblin and Guard for Arcanite Magician. I used it to destroy his Set Spell/Trap and Fulhelmknight, then attacked directly with Chimera. He Normal Summoned the second Fulhelmknight again, and Set a back row. I tributed Scrap Chimera for Scrap Golem and tried to revive Goblin. He used Crevice into the Different Dimension to remove both of my Goblins. I attacked to force Fulhelmknight's negation effect, and ended. He summoned yet another Fulhelmknight. I revived Chimera with Golem and attacked twice to destroy one Fulhelmknight and force the effect of the other. He Set a back row and ended. I activated Scrapyard, but he used Solemn Judgment. I drew the Scrap Beast I would've searched for next turn, but I ended up destroying a Reinforce Truth, which he Chained, with Scrap Dragon's effect. I Dark Holed and ended. He was top-decking, but I had Scrap Chimera in hand, so the XX-Saber Boggart Knight he drew was useless.

So, I went undefeated and got first place! But, since it was such a small tournament, I didn't get that much store credit. I did get enough to get a Dragon Knight Draco-Equiste tin, though. I pulled Shield Wing, but nothing else that was notable.

Apparently, Scraps are better than I thought. I thought that the lack of non-Tuners would hurt the deck's consistency, but it's not as bad as I had expected.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

5D's Episode 126

This episode was actually pretty good, so I'll actually write a full review.

So, Brave replaces Dragan in the race/duel after being beaten by Jack. Brave proceeds to negate Scar Red Nova Dragon's effect, and suicide Thor into it. Both Monsters die, but Thor comes back, and its burn effect takes out the rest of Jack's LP.

Crow then goes in for Team 5D's. He somehow (stacking) starts with Sirocco and Gale in his hand, and summons them both. He halves Thor's ATK, and invents a new Blackwing. When the Levels of all of his Blackwings is equal to 8, he can Special Summon this shadowy Level 4 Blackwing. He tunes Gale to it to Synchro Summon Armor Master, and attacks Thor. Sirocco makes a direct attack, and afterwards, Brave activates a Trap.

Frigg's Apple heals all of the Battle Damage Brave took and also gives him a Level 1 Token whose stats are equal to the damage he took that turn (2750). Crow Sets two Traps, and Thor comes back in the End Phase, dealing 800 damage.

On Brave's turn, that Continuous Trap that negates other Traps while a Polar God is on the field expires. But, Brave uses Thor's effect to negate Armor Master's effects, then attacks both of Crow's Monsters with both of his Monsters. When both of Crow's Blackwings are destroyed, he Special Summons another new Blackwing from his hand. On the Special Summon, he activates that new card from the Crow Duelist Pack: Black Return. Brave Chains a Trap to destroy a Monster that has destroyed another Monster in battle during the turn, targeting Thor. Crow is extremely surprised, as if that's not an expected play. Brave Sets a card, ends his turn, and brings Thor back.

Crow is scared that he's below the safety line (of 800 LP, since he's at 650 LP). Brave then has a flashback, but no one cares about that. After the flashback, Crow summons Blizzard in DEF, reviving Gale. He then activates his other Trap, Black Boost. When he has at least two Blackwings on his side of the field, he can activate it to draw two cards. As if Blackwings need more draw cards.

He draws the Speed Spell, Speed Force. When he has at least 4 Speed Counters, he can activate the card to prevent his Monsters from being destroyed by Spell/Trap effects until the end of his next turn. That's not broken at all, right? He then proceeds to halve Thor's ATK again with Gale. Then, Crow tunes Gale to the new (Leve 5) Blackwing to Synchro Summon Black-Winged Dragon. Yay. But, when the new Blackwing is used as a Synchro Material, its owner gains 600 LP, conveniently.

Crow attacks Thor, and when it comes back, Black-Winged Dragon negates the damage. It has an effect closer to its OCG effect, being that it loses 700 ATK no matter how much damage was negated.

Brave summons some weird puffy cloud people on his turn and Synchro Summons Loki with them and the Level 1 Token. Crow is surprisingly surprised. Loki attacks Black-Winged Dragon, but Crow activates his Black-Winged Dragon-specific support Trap: Black Sonic! When the opponent declares an attack while Black-Winged Dragon is on the field, all of the opponent's Attack Position Monsters are removed from play.

But, of course, Loki's effect negates the opponent's Traps when they're activated in response to Loki's attack. More accurately, it negates the activation and effect of a card that is in the Spell/Trap Zone when activated while it's attacking. That might be an interesting if there are some Monsters in the Spell/Trap Zone...

So, Black-Winged Dragon is destroyed, leaving Crow with 50 LP. Thor smashes Blizzard, and Crow is top-decking. Somehow, he's going to be able to live, because next week's key card is Black-Winged Dragon...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Trap Stun

It's really good, and stuff. It's practically a staple in non-Stun decks, which is why it may begin to change the way the game is played. Wasn't there a card that did that until August 31st? I think it was called Heavy Storm...

So, unless you're playing against Stun, you should expect to see Trap Stun(s). There's no set number yet, but it's usually one or two, though some people may play three (it's like having four Cold Waves...okay, not really).

Now, what does this mean? First of all, it means that Book of Moon, and maybe even Enemy Controller, will be more important than ever. You can disrupt big plays with Quick-Plays under Trap Stun, preventing your opponent from Synchro Summoning XX-Saber Hyunlei or Black Rose Dragon.

It also means that you can't Set all of your Traps to your back row so quickly. Trap Stun could easily wreck your plans, so it might be better to save some of your Traps in your hand, unless of course you have a way to stop Trap Stun from hurting you. Wasn't a similar idea used up until August 31st? It had something to do with not overextending your back row without protection...

There are also two different ways that people will play Trap Stun. The first way is to Chain it to a non-Counter Trap. That's a little bit more expected than the second way, and is usually used when making a small push, like attacking over a Monster with a Shura or Flamvell Firedog.

The other way is to play it like Cold Wave, before doing anything. This prevents Counter Traps, like the prevalent Solemn Warning, from stopping your big plays. And, if you play it like Cold Wave, and your opponent negates it with something like Solemn Judgment, Dark Bribe, or Seven Tools of the Bandit, then you aren't forced to commit to your big play. You can wait until you have another opening.

Unfortunately, there's no surefire way to punish your opponent for playing Trap Stun. It normally only lasts during their turn, so you can't push back with immunity as you could have if they had played Cold Wave. Moreover, there's no super-anti-Trap Stun-card, like Starlight Road was to Heavy Storm. You basically have to settle on either using Solemn Judgment to negate it, playing more Quick-Play Spells, or using specific Trap-hate cards like Seven Tools of the Bandit, which isn't a bad idea.

Trap Stun is an all around good card that was just overshadowed by Heavy Storm and Cold Wave in the past. It did see some play before September 1st, but with Heavy Storm now gone, it's the next best thing to Cold Wave.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tournament Report 9/4/10

This was the first locals with the new ban list. As a result it was a very interesting day, with almost everyone playing different decks from each other. I did see two people playing similar Chaos Control decks and at least two people playing (Chaos) Blackwings, though.

I went with my Vayu Turbo deck, and Aki came along with my Scrapkeeper deck. There were about 32 people in the tournament today.

Round 1: vs Chaos Control

-Duel 1: I drew too many dead cards, which is the worst thing that could happen against a Stun deck like this.
-Duel 2: Same as Duel 1...

Aki won Round 1 against Newbie Amazoness.

Round 2: vs Newbie Deck

I won...

Aki won Round 2 against Machina Gadgets (my Round 3 opponent from last week).

Round 3: vs Lightsworn

-Duel 1: I got killed by Celestia and Royal Decree.
-Duel 2: I forgot how I won. I'm pretty sure that I just kept control of the duel for the whole time.
-Duel 3: He drew really badly, allowing me to set up an optimal Morphing Jar play. I controlled the game with Spells/Traps for the rest of the time, swarming with a bunch of Synchros near the end of the duel to claim victory.

Aki won Round 3 against Chaos Blackwings (my Round 2 opponent from this tournament).

Round 4: vs Chaos Control

I just had to play against both Chaos Control decks... My deck has such a bad match-up against control decks like that...

-Duel 1: I got him down to 3300 LP, but Breaker and Chaos Sorcerer rushed in to kill me.
-Duel 2: We simplified the game down to only having a couple cards each. He Monster Reborned my Effect Veiler (which I had used earlier to kill his Doomcaliber Knight) and Normal Summoned Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo. He tried to Synchro Summon with the two Monsters, but Pachycephalo prevented him from doing so. I was able to take control from there with Sirocco.
-Duel 3: He didn't draw many Monsters, so Armageddon Knight and Armed Wing were able to take him out after a while.

Aki won Round 4 against Salvo Chaos.

Round 5: vs (Chaos) Blackwings

I'm not sure if he used Chaos Sorcerer or not, but I did see D.D. Warrior Lady.

-Duel 1: Kalut is freaking annoying...
-Duel 2: Too many dead draws...

Aki won Round 5 against Chaos Control (my Round 1 opponent).

So, Aki ended up going undefeated with Scrapkeepers! I went 3-2 and got 8th place, which is meh. Our Turbo Pack 3's weren't all that great.

But, Aki did get a bunch of store credit, which he used on a Bottomless Trap Hole (he only had access to one English copy), a Cyberdark Horn (Dragunities should be arriving soon...), an Ultimate Rare Effect Veiler, a pack of sleeves, and two Duelist Revolution booster packs. The DREV packs were meh, since the only holo he pulled was Voltic Bicorn, which he already got from the Japanese DREV booster box.

So yeah, the tournament today was pretty good. I got valuable experience with the new format, and Aki got his first locals win with a deck no one was expecting. It was odd that there were no Gladiator Beast or Quickdraw Plant decks there, though...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What to play this format...?

I can't figure out what deck I want to play this format.

I think about using Quickdraw, but then I realize that it's a meta deck now. Even though I started using it in February, it's now expected to be a top tier deck, so I'm adverse to playing it. Moreover, it's not as great as people hype it up to be. The deck's inconsistent, and it has very little offensive power.

I also consider some sort of Black Salvo-centered deck. But, it's not all that great, seeing as how you need to draw Dekoichi before Black Salvo. I mean, you could use Armageddon Knight to send Dekoichi (or Cannon Soldier) to the Graveyard, but that would ruin the whole point of using Dekoichi. Regardless, a well-timed D.D. Crow can mess up your plans entirely. Even though people play Dimensional Alchemist to help with that, the deck is still exceedingly slow.

I've been thinking about using Scraps, but they're kinda meh. You need to draw the Tuners before the non-Tuners, and the deck is extremely vulnerable to remove from play cards. When the deck works, it's awesome, but it doesn't work nearly often enough.

I want to find a way to use my Mist Valley Falcons (and Dark Simorghs, by extension), but they're not all that amazing by themselves. In some sort of super-controlling deck, the 2000 ATK is really nice, but it's not always worth it. I suppose that it could fit in Blackwings, being a Winged Beast. Gale would also give access to Mist Valley Thunder Lord, which is amazing.

I've also got an interesting concept, using The Immortal Bushi as a pseudo-Gadget. Instead of drawing into more Gadgets, you just keep using the same Immortal Bushi after it dies, allowing you to fill your deck with Monster removal cards. It's just an idea, though. I'm probably not going to use it.

Most likely, I'm going to be using my Vayu Turbo deck. It's proven to be pretty decent, having both speed and control elements. Main Decked Skill Drains should also do a good job as messing with the new (unestablished) meta. Basically every deck that people are planning on using rely on Monster Effects, so Skill Drain would wreck. The problem I'm seeing with Vayu Turbo, though, is that its outs to big Monsters tend to be Synchro Monsters, and Synchro Monsters can be easily shut down now that people can just Set whatever back rows they want. As opposed to having to decide between a Dimensional Prison and a Bottomless Trap Hole, they could just Set both, meaning that your Synchro Monster will die no matter what you choose. I do Main Deck a bunch of Trap-hate, but it might not be nearly enough.

Lastly, I was thinking about making a new Monarch variant. I'm not sure about exactly how I'd do that, but I'll figure out something. I'd probably have to wait for either the meta to become established or Starstrike Blast to be released. Monarch builds aren't really all that effective unless they have some sort of anti-meta spin on them, usually.