Yugioh ARG Atlantic City YosenZoo Kaiju Deck Profile and Tournament Report Good Synergy or Horrible Mistake?

Two friends went to ARG Atlantic city playing their homebrew deck Yosenju-Zoodiac-Kaiju. Each played the exact same list. How did their tournament go?

Deck List:

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Duelist A

The reason behind why I ran this deck is that I wanted to run the best deck that required 0 thinking or time commitment. This was the most consistent and required least amount of thinking throughout the whole day, which was my main goal. Myself and a friend of mine played a nearly identical main, side and extra deck. Today I played Yosenzoo Kaiju, a deck that was designed specifically to go second and OTK (since every deck this format wanted to go second, and most didn’t play mirror force traps). Main-decking 4 board wipes, and multiple ways to 2-card combo, the deck specialized in making the typical zoo combo but overlaying for Tiger King instead of Daigusto Emeral, and setting Fire Formation Tensu, allowing the Yosenju engine (which you search off bullhorn because they’re beast warrior) to completely go off. In a lot of testing, we left the main deck at 46 to try and mitigate lawnmowing mills and we felt that (also running pot of desires) there was not a single card we could cut to make room.

 

The Combo:

Any way of summoning rat and a slumber OR Zoo and 1 Yosenju and Raigeki or kaiju and zoo and 1 Yosenju.

It’s same as zoo setup, except you search a Yosenju with Bullhorn and then make Tiger King with the 2 rats to set Tensu (or Tenki if you used Zoodiac Barrage) and Yosenju swarm.
Round 1: Pure Zoo (I think) 2-0

This is probably the fastest match I’ve ever had in my life. It was a total of 4 turns, and ended in less than 5 minutes. He went first and opened standard zoo combo, made Emeral+Drident and set 2 passed. I draw for turn with an opening hand of Tenki, Twin twisters, Kama 1, Kama 2, Kama 3, and Slumber. I twin twister ditch Kama 3 to which he reveals my body and chalice. I then slumber, search Kama 1 with Tenki, and then summon Kama’s 1,2,3, bounce my opponent’s kaiju back to my hand, and then attack for game for a total of 2 turns.

Game 2 he opened very similar, and I opened slumber zoo for the combo, ending the match in 4 turns.

 

Round 2: Infernoid Zoo (2-1)

Game 1 he wins die roll and goes first, setting up a board of decatron (with Devyaty-negate monster-effect), Drident, Rafflesia, and Totem bird. I Kaiju the Totem bird, slumber, and then OTK with Barrage and 2 Yosenjus in hand.

Game 2 He goes first again and sets up a similarly unbreakable board. I don’t draw slumber so it’s harder to bait out/break, but I set myself up (backed by storming mirror force) to not die. I survive the turn because storming mirror force is broken, and all I need to do to swing for game (he was at 300 life) was topdeck any monster. I draw a dead Tensu, set it, and wait for him to kill me as long as he didn’t’ mess up.

Game 3 I draw Maxx c Lancia going second so there was just no way I was losing, especially when he left arm offering’d his hand for an instant fusion to bring back zoo. He took the maxx c challenge and I drew 6 cards, Slumber’d for game and held Forbidden Chalice in hand for Fairy Tale Snow.

 

Round 3: Pure Zoo (1-2)

Game 1 I bricked double Chalice, Tensu, Raigeki, Kama 2, Kama 3. I cleared his board but got hit by Solemn Strike to my Kama 2, by which he had enough resources to otk me next turn.

Game 2 I pulled off the yosenju combo and won.

Game 3 He opened an unbreakable board and I had no board clears.

 

Round 4: Metalfoe Zoodiac (0-2)

Next to Paleo, this is my second-to-worst matchup, as I simply lose to a board that they can bring back next turn if I can’t otk.

Game 1 his opening board was Majespecter Kirin, Totem bird, Drident, Emeral, Metalfoes Counter and a Fullmetalfoes Fusion set. I Kaiju’d totem bid and slumber’d, but he chained maxx c and I couldn’t OTK with Kirin on board and the maxx c/fullmetal combination.

Game 2 I elected to go first (my 3 strikes and 2 barriers in the side were for against pendulum-based decks and Paleo) but drew none of the 5 traps that I sided in, even after desires for a 6-card opening hand.

 

Round 5: Lunalight Zoo/Fusion Draw Norden Turbo Zoo (1-2)

Game 1: He went first and apparently, this deck turbo makes Elder Entity Norden, fusion substitute, and draws 4 cards. I didn’t have twin twister and he had double strike barrier set.

Game 2: I OTK’d with the combo.
Game 3: He opened the nuts again and I couldn’t contest.

 

Round 6: Invoked Artifact Windwitch (2-1)

Game 1: I surprised him with the OTK.

Game 2: Given limited options, I had to go for the OTK, even chalice-ing the scythe, but I had no idea he ran Drowning Mirror Force, which ended up winning the game for him.

Game 3: A bit of a grind because I bricked, but stalled out long enough to kaiju Crystal wing, slumber, and OTK.

I only played Round 6 because my friends were finishing up a side event,  I ended up giving my opponent the win and dropping.

 

Looking back: Nothing can keep up with the consistency and the 1-card combo that zoo requires. Nor the strikes or mirror forces that I couldn’t twin twister enough of. I can live with Drident, but Kirin, strikes and barrier still hurt.

 

MVP of the day: Storming Mirror Force. Nearly every time I drew the card I won the game, or it saved me from losing badly when I bricked. It’s just way too strong.

LVP of the day: Juragedo. I was originally going to play Yosenju Tsujik, but I couldn’t find one (because honestly who owns that card) so I tried to replace with Juragedo. In theory, it helped beat over drancia if they popped rat since it special summons during battle phase, and it’s essentially a swift scarecrow I draw into to prevent getting OTK’d with an open board and running only 4 traps. Card was awful all day, and every time I drew it I lost.

That just about summarizes my experience. Shoutout to all my friends for letting me borrow cards and I’m sorry the deck didn’t perform better.

 

Duelist B

Round 1 – Pure Zoo

0-2

Opponent went first and opened Terrortop, strike, warning, and dimensional barrier.  I did not open any form of backrow removal and got otk’d

Game 2 was strange.  I pushed for some damage and set torrential in main phase 2.  I thought I was safe, but then my opponent summoned Denko sekka.  Why did he side in Denko? I have no idea.  He didn’t even know I was playing Yosenjus, and on top of that I was only playing 4 trap cards in the entire deck.  The Denko tech confused me, but it won him the game so I guess it was the right move.

Round 2 – Pure Zoo

2-0

Opponent went first and opened very well.  He negated my slumber with my body as a shield, which allowed me to use a second slumber.  I flipped vanities during his standby phase and continued to beat him down with Jizukiru over the next several turns.

Game 2 was almost exactly like the first.  He summoned Drancia/Emeral and set backrow.  He then negated my first slumber.  I followed up with a second slumber.  Poked for game.  Very boring for both of us.

Round 3 – Pure Zoo

1-2

He opens the sheep combo and sets double strike and barrier.  GG.

Game 2 he literally burns himself to death with all the strikes and instant fusions.

Game 3 he plays into Needle Ceiling and Torrential Tribute.  Then he activates Lullaby of obedience, calling Terrortop, and gets nothing.  Then he messes up the rat combo.  Despite his several misplays he still wins because I didn’t draw a single monster all game.  In fact, the only monster I drew all MATCH was the Kama 1 in game 2.

Round 4 – Paleozoic

2-0

Game 1 I opened Twin Twister, for the first time all day!  That card alone was enough to win.

Game 2 I actually managed to otk with Slumber, Twin Twister, and Yosenjus.  Despite playing a deck that was built specifically to otk, this was the only time all day that I actually drew into one of the several possible otk’s.

Round 5 – Paleozoic

0-2

He stuns me with his traps on my first turn.  Then made double toad with backrow.  GG

Game 2 he does the same thing, but instead makes triple toad and Opabinia.  GG

Then I dropped.

 

This version of the deck failed miserably.  It was 46 cards…much larger than any other variant I had made before.  This diluted my chances of seeing cards like twin twister.  In testing, the 46 card deck did not seem to be a problem since every card was something I was okay with seeing in my opening hand…if I also drew a monster with it.  I don’t know what the odds of this happening were, but in the over 10 games I played, I drew almost no monsters and had to set fake backrow.  Immediately after I dropped I decided to cut the deck down to 42 cards and play in a side event.  The event was an 8 man (3 round) tournament similar to the last chance qualifier at nationals.

Round 1 – Windwitch, Artifact, Invoked

2-0

He went first and make the ultimate providence-like monster and crystal wing with backrow.  He had one card in hand (Aleister).  I opened a kaiju, slumber, and barrage.  He activated Maxx “c”, but I didn’t care and just pushed for game.

Game 2 he goes first, but I open Artifact Lancea.  Chaining lancea to his invocation let me otk him the following turn with the rat/tensu combo.  He tried to stop my combo with artifact scythe, but I had chalice in hand.

Round 2 – 60 card Infernoid

2-0

Game 1 he goes first and opens void feast.  I deal with the double decatron with book of moon and slumber.  Push for game with rat combo.

Game 2 I open lancea and shut off his lawnmowing mills.  I can’t otk on my turn so I make Rhapsody in Berserk and banish the threats he had in grave.  He has no plays the following turn because everything good is gone and scoops his cards.

Round  3 – Yosenju Kaiju

2-0

Believe it or not, I played against a Yosenju kaiju player in round 3.  He was bad though so it was a free win.  I watched him play in a previous round and he thought that he could negate the draw effect of toy vender with vanity’s emptiness.  Also I was tired and made a pretty bad misplay.  The only monster on board was my Drancia. He activated slumber and I forgot to chain Drancia to pop itself to force slumber to fizzle out. Whoops.  Also he sided flying “C” to stop my xyz summons.  Chalice made flying “C” a non-issue.

I ended up winning the side event (prize was a mat and an invite to the ARG invitational).  Super small tournament means no glory.  This was basically just another way to playtest changes to the deck.

Comparing my performance in the main event and the side event gives me some insight on how to move forward:

Based off the matchups I would say that the pure zoo matchup is more difficult that I had seen in playtesting.  This is undoubtedly due to the amount of backrow they can set.  Would cutting my deck size down improve this matchup for me?  I would assume so, but haven’t tested yet.  Seeing backrow removal is essential for my deck to function…as is seeing monsters.  Bricking cost me the main event, but I think it was probably due to my own bad deck building.  Smaller is better.

Infernoids is the deck’s easiest matchup since noids play virtually no backrow.

Paleo is impossible to beat.

Main take-away: Reduce deck size.  Add more backrow hate.  Consider playing another deck at Brooklyn regional (maybe BA).

YosenjuBarrage

(Submitted by friends)

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Magic the Gathering “Competitive” EDH Primer: Grenzo, Dungeon Warden, Who pays for their creatures?!

(Hello. I’m just some random guy. Big thanks to TooManyCardGames for hosting this deck tech.)

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden is a pretty strange card. He’s one of only three legendary creatures with an X in the mana cost. He is one of only two cards (that I know of) which interact with the bottom of the library beyond just putting things there. Also, his hands are bigger than his face, and he’s just funky lookin in general.


So Wait, What Does Grenzo Do Again?

Grenzo lets you pay two mana (at instant speed, and repeatedly) to put the bottom card of your library into play if it is a creature of lesser or equal power to Grenzo. Since he is an X spell, his power is equal to the mana you choose to pay, letting the selection of creatures you can grab scale with your investment.

This suggests two strategies: either make Grenzo really big, and push out huge monsters on the cheap, or ensure that the creatures in your deck are small enough that even a mini Grenzo can get them. While the former is something I’ve tried in the past, I’ll be discussing the latter here.


How Can We Win With Just Small Creatures?

Pretty easily, as it turns out. In RB we have access to some pretty nasty creature-based combos, the simplest being Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker + Zealous Conscripts. Oh wait, did I not mention? This is a combo deck. Yes, I’m one of those guys you heard about in the Kangee deck tech. If you didn’t want to read about that, you can stop here and go try to play Grenzo with Vampire Nighthawk or Herald of Leshrac or whatever.

I’ll wait.

Are they gone? Cool. I lied about waiting.

The other standalone combo we’re playing is Necrotic Ooze. Since we spend most of the game milling ourselves, and our curve is pretty low to begin with, the Phyrexian Devourer/Triskelion win isn’t very reliable. I’ve opted for Kiki-Jiki + Mogg Fanatic in its place. Tap Necrotic Ooze to copy itself with haste, rinse and repeat until you have half a billion Oozes, then sacrifice them all to ping people to death.

I specify “standalone combo” here because there are numerous loops that require Grenzo to be in play, many of which have interchangable or surprising pieces. I will go over these in more detail later, but for now it’s sufficient to get the idea of what the deck is trying to do: flip through as much of the library as possible, stabilize a loop, repeat until you’ve won.


Just Show Me the List Already.

Fine, fine. You can find the most updated list on Tappedout here.

Creatures

When I activate Grenzo, I want a greater than 50% chance of it paying off. As such, I run over 50 creatures.

Mana dorks are incredibly important to the deck’s strategy. Ramping by only one land per turn is not sufficient, so there needs to be some amount of creatures that give you consistent mana increases across turns. This is both so you can flip increasingly large numbers of cards (which get you more mana), and so you can cast actual spells while still holding up Grenzo activations.

These creatures provide less reliable mana production, but generally in greater bursts. They allow you to flip more creatures in a turn than normal, leading to unexpected wins.

Recurring resources is pretty important here, as bringing back a key combo piece from the grave is generally easier than trying to get a funcitonal copy from the library. Epitaph Golem is the sleeper hit here, in its repeatability and the sheer number of combos it enables.

Sources of haste allow you to often play one turn ahead with mana dorks and reanimator creatures.

If there’s one thing Rakdos is good at, it’s removal. This package is relatively small compared to what we could be playing; in a meta with more things like Linvala or Elesh Norn, I would definitely expand this list.

Some combination of these creatures is responsible for the vast majority of the deck’s wins. Again, I’ll give a more full list of combos later on.

These guys are more generalized utility. The slots are pretty flexible, none are required for the deck to accomplish its plan.

So there’s all your creatures. The non-creatures have to be pretty darn good to justify the slot, so I’ll address these individually.

Instants

The most flexible removal in Rakdos. The only mana-efficient way to permanently deal with enchantments. Required.

The spot removal I play needs to be either super flexible or so cheap you don’t need to pay for it.  Fire Covenant and Snuff Out currently fill those roles.

Pyroblast and Red Blast are really nice “gotchas” to have in your pocket. You could play both; I like just the one to keep the fear in ’em.

None of the modes individually are good enough, but the flexibility lets this make the cut. It has game against nearly any opposing combo, can shut off value engines, and blows up that nasty early game Sol Ring. Couldn’t ask for more.

Sorceries

This one is something I’m trying out. The flashback on this is the only reason it’s here, since it’s more likely to hit the grave than it is to be drawn.

This should probably go in every red deck, honestly.

Artifacts

Convert a creature into another flip. Seems fair, given that it’s roughly a 50% exchange rate with the deck’s composition, and it is fair, until you combine it with other cards.

Just double your flips. That’s enough.  The fact that I’m running Bracers should tell you how good Heartstone is.

Fixes iffy draws, recovers you from certain doom, goes crazy with Skirge Familiar. This is banned in modern for a reason.

Auto-include in… everything?

Enchantments

Oh boy, this thing. It’s worth rephrasing exactly what this card does. Whenever a creature comes into play, on anyone’s field, you get one colorless mana per creature you control that shares a creature type with it. If it was your creature, you get one mana for itself. If you stack triggers such that more creatures come into play with this ability on the stack, you can start getting mana on the order of polynomials. This card is actually absurd. If you untap with it, you will almost always win. I’ve seen someone try to Reclamation Sage it down, only to win in response because I controlled a Shaman, and that gave me enough mana to kill everyone on the stack. Of all the cards in the deck, this is the single one that will win the game on its own.

…What’s that? You say there’s one more? Oh… that one.

Okay, so Doomsday. You cast it, stack the 5 cards you need to win, activate Grenzo once, and you win. The competitive EDH version of Grenzo does exactly this, because it is in fact the most efficient, deterministic way to win with Grenzo. It’s also, uhhhh… super boring. For the sake of fun, I generally don’t cast this card that often. It’s just way too easy, and turns the game into “Do you have an answer, like, right now? k i win.”

If you really want to know what Doomsday piles work best:

If that won’t work for whatever reason, you have to think. Odds are you won’t have to think very hard. The only time I had to try when casting Doomsday, an errant Newlamog exiled a piece of every combo I had available. I could still find a way to win.

Lands

I’ve found running about 32 lands to be good for this deck. It can’t afford to run too many real mana rocks, and there isn’t all that much card draw, so going below that is pretty risky. Too many, and you dilute your Grenzo activations too much.

For the most part, this is the standard semi-budget Red/Black manabase. Notable inclusions are Cabal Coffers, which is pretty much only good if you accidentally the long game, and Temple of Malice, Spinerock Knoll, and Howltooth Hollow. These get their value from being able to stack the bottom of the library to some extent, allowing you to plan your flips in advance.

Notable Exclusions

The most obvious missing cards are tutors. Vampiric Tutor, Demonic Tutor, Gamble, Diabolic Intent, and more could all find their way into this list. As far as I’m concerned, they take a lot of the fun out of this deck, though. I’d never begrudge anyone for running them, but in a deck where the optimal play is almost always to tutor for Doomsday, then cast Doomsday, then win… No thanks.

Many cards are excluded for budget reasons. Badlands, fetchlands, Imperial Recruiter, and Mana Crypt are probably the biggest of these. None of them are really necessary, but all would be nice to have.

With an average CMC of 2.94, Ad Nauseum is not at its best here, and even if it were included, drawing tons of cards actually helps surprisingly little. Mana is nearly always the biggest constraint under which the deck works, not cards.

Budget

You can pick up this list for under $200. With a simpler manabase, it can still function reasonably well and drops to well below $150. Start dropping Bloodghast, Simian Spirit Guide, and a few others, and you can go even lower without significantly affecting the functionality of the deck. What I’m saying is, as far as commander decks go, this one is pretty darn cheap if you want it to be.


Okay, I Didn’t Read Any of That. How Do I Play?

Generally speaking, I’ll follow these guidelines when I play this deck.

  • Always cast Grenzo for X=1, or three power. This lets you get everything in the deck except for Necrotic Ooze, which will probably end up getting reanimated anyway. Only cast Grenzo for X=2 if it doesn’t prevent you from activating an additional time, and even then probably not.
  • Never activate Grenzo at sorcery speed unless you’re trying to win right now, or there’s a problem you can’t let someone untap with. You have instant speed interaction. Make sure your opponents know it. Even if you can’t bluff, it’s always possible to flip into something that opponents assess as a threat; it’s better to do this when they can’t answer at sorcery speed.
  • Don’t always cast Grenzo as soon as possible. If you have stuff to do in your hand, it’s sometimes worth running out mana and utility creatures when they don’t have to compete with Grenzo activations. The longer Grenzo stays on the field, the more likely he is to die, and that can be a major tempo hit if you don’t have recovery options.

Where’s That List of Combos You Promised?

Sure, fine. This is a partial list. I’m constantly finding new combos and interactions.

Kiki-Jiki + Conscripts = Infinite hasty attackers

Necrotic Ooze + Kiki-Jiki and Mogg Fanatic in the graveyard = Infinite damage

(The remaining combos require Grenzo on the field, usually at X=1)

Mana Echoes + some quantity of starting mana = You probably win somehow

Doomsday + 2 mana + Grenzo = You win however you want

Ashnod’s Altar + Heartstone/Illusionist’s Bracers/Ogre Slumlord/Pawn of Ulamog = Every creature results in two more flips. Since we play over 50% creatures, on average this flips the deck, especially considering the creatures that add mana on their own.

Epitaph Golem + Workhorse = Infinite ETB and death triggers.

Epitaph + Workhorse + Zulaport Cutthroat/Blood Artist = Infinite drain

Epitaph + Workhorse + Ashnod’s Altar/Heartstone/Illusionist’s Bracers/Pawn of Ulamog = Infinite mana, flip your deck.

There are many more specific loops that can use Carrion Feeder or Viscera Seer in place of Ashnod’s Altar, but these are generally too complicated to try to enumerate.  A representative example might be something like:

Epitaph + Priest of Gix + Viscera Seer + Heartstone = Infinite mana, scry, every creature in your library.


This Guy is Confusing. I Want to Play Something Else.

Well, if you want something from Rakdos specifically, you might have a bad time. Playable legends are relatively slim in this color pairing, with the best options likely being Kaervek the Merciless and Rakdos, Lord of Riots. Yes, I know Vial Smasher is a card. I also know that it’s never just red/black, also shut up. Anyway, these clearly lend themselves to quite different strategies than Grenzo.

If you don’t like Rakdos, and I wouldn’t blame you, you can find similar abilities in YisanAleshaThrasios, and Mayael the Anima. All of these have their individual limitations relative to the Dungeon Warden, and their strengths.


This Has Gone On Way Too Long, Wrap it Up.

Grenzo, Dungeon Warden is a pretty cool guy. I’ve been playing him since I pulled the card in a Conspiracy draft over two years ago, and there’s always something new to find. Practically every set gives him new toys to play with, even for a relatively focused combo list like this one. The fact that I wrote just… way too much about this should make it clear how much I like this deck. It’s really cool.

Thanks for reading, folks. If you enjoyed this, consider checking out my youtube channel 1600 Horsepower or my website here.

Magic the Gathering “Competitive” EDH Primer: Kangee, Aerie Keeper UW Bird Tribal, Don’t worry just peck their eyes out

Yes, I can’t believe that this is happening either. It dawned on me that while I claim this is a blog is about like 7 different card games, we only ever talk about Yugioh (mostly due to the fact that Yugioh is easy to write about). So in an attempt to try something completely different I’m going to go into way too much detail about my only EDH/Commander deck Kangee, Aerie Keeper which is essentially Blue/White Bird tribal.

 

Why of all the possible EDH generals are you playing this?

20170224_103044

So despite having access to many Magic cards, this became my only EDH deck to not get scraped/sold when my local meta became nothing, but Storm and Infinite Combos. While I had many decks at one point this is somehow only deck I somehow really cared for.

What does this thing actually do and why should I remotely care?

Kangee, Aerie Keeper is a 2 generic, 1 white, 1 blue legendary bird wizard (high ho erratas) that reads Kicker 2x, when Kangee enters the battlefield put x feather counters on it if it was kicked (an additional mana cost you can choose to pay). Other birds get +1/+1 for each feather counter on Kangee (Erratas reee).

capture3

So what does this mean? Kangee is essentially an anthem effect for birds. The issue is that in order to gain any benefit you have to pay a minimum of 8 mana to get a mere +1/+1. Now to be honest this is a pretty good effect if you actually have the mana. I’ve cast Kangee where x was 6 before (which gave my birds +6/+6). While this cost a whopping 12 mana it did create a dangerous board. Kangee is a cool anthem that gets better the later in the game, which is only hindered by the fact that Blue/White are terrible colors for ramp…

Now wait a second here… Isn’t Derevi, Empyrial Tactician a Bird Wizard too? Isn’t he an infinitely better commander in far better colors ???

Yes, that’s all true. Derevi is a good commander that’s also a bird. He also gives access to the birds in Green (one of which we all know about and many others that we don’t). Why don’t I just play Derevi instead? Well think for a moment about the type of mindset that makes one consider playing BIRD tribal at all. If I said I came here with the aspiration of winning that would be a boldface lie.

 

Strengths and Weaknesses of Birds

To be fair birds aren’t a bad tribe. Flying is and will always be a good keyword, giving every bird  essentially pseudo-unblockable. Furthermore, as a result of being fairly common in world-building there are tons of these darn things.

capture2

Another major strength of this deck is that absolutely no one will deem you enough of a threat to waste resources on in the early to mid game. The target should only appear on your head after who’ve hopefully assembled a flock, played an anthem and hit one player for enough damage that they will likely lose the game. After which a board wipe will happen and you won’t be able to recover because you’re playing birds…

And thus we reach the first (of many) weaknesses of this tribe. Birds are completely wrecked by any sort of wrath (board-wipe) effect, which are unfortunately very common in the EDH format. Furthermore, unlike most magic tribes the actual bird specific support cards are beyond sub-par. Here’s a quick example…

20170224_103743

The stats of almost every bird are also pathetically weak as if to add insult to injury. So how do we get anywhere with a tribe of non-synergistic weak creatures?

 

A Clear Bird Strategy

In order to survive the horrible situation you’ve knowingly put yourself into by playing birds you need a solid strategy that makes the best use of these fowls. For example, I play a very low to the ground (hah!) aggro deck that uses very low cost birds and many high-end anthem effects. The creatures I use are typically 2-3 drops like Welkin Tern and the anthem effects are 3-5 drops like Gravitational Shift. I have tried multiple variants of bird tribal and would not claim my current build to be the best one. I’ll discuss some more variants later on.

 

Staple Birds 

20170224_103654

Aven Mindcensor

In a sky of creatures barely above your 5th draft pick, an actually good bird soars above the average mediocrity of the flock. This is one of the only birds in the game that’s actually a good creature worthy of competitive play. Aven Mindcensor pretty much stops your opponents from searching their decks and can be flashed in allowing you to hold up counter-spell mana (You are a Blue deck after all). This card does everything you could possibly want other than hit for big.

Thrummingbird

This card is really good in combination with many cards in the deck. It adds counters to Kangee, Door of Destinies and Soulcatcher’s Aerie. While normally just a 1/1 for 2 mana it synergies very well with many other cards.

Warden of Evos Isle 

It makes your birds cost less. By bird standards this thing is amazing. Need I say more?

Keeper of the Nine Gales

This one is hard to gauge. On paper its effect is adequate, tap it and 2 other birds to bounce literally anything. The issue is that in practice, this means that you’re not attacking with 3 birds…

Mirror Entity

While not a bird technically, this card is on the short list of ways that you can actually kill someone with this deck. Use its effect, make your flock have actually respectable stats and then hit one player for big. This is as close to win condition as we’re going to get people.

 

Staple Enchantments, Artifacts, Sorcery/Instants (Sort of)

20170224_103730

Always Watching

How are we going to play to the Alfred Hitchcock “Birds” theme if the flock isn’t always watching?! This makes it so your birds can attack and block (in theory). It’s also another solid anthem effect.

Marshal’s Anthem

So after your birds inevitably die a painful death and you have nothing to your name, this card is one of the best ways to revive your crew and prepare for another attack on the next turn. Also anthems for the win.

Soulcatcher’s Aerie

This is an absolute gem of a card. It turns your birds dying into a positive as every subsequent bird you cast becomes larger and larger. I’ve gotten 8 counters on this card before which made every bird I top-decked an actual threat. It’s slow in the early game, but amazing late game.

Favorable Winds

It’s a 2 cost anthem for birds…

This is quite frankly amazing.

20170224_103714

I don’t need to explain why EDH staples like Sol Ring and Sensei’s Divining Top are in this deck. If you have them, you put them in every Commander deck…

Skullclamp

Another card that makes the death of your birds hurt less. There are also many birds with 1 toughness you can just kill to draw more cards (until you start stacking anthem effects ofc).

Obelisk of Urd/Door of Destinies

I play Obelisk of Urd over Door of Destinies (gasp!) because I like the immediate +2/+2 boost over the eventual high end boost of the Door. Both do the same thing essentially as an artifact anthem though.

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Migratory Route is the only “staple” here. These are just some of the cards you can play that I find acceptable (or the case of Sphinx’s Rev actually good). I highly recommend Counterspells to protect your birds though.

Well time to stop beating around the nest, here is my actual deck:

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This is by no means the best (or likely even decent) way to build the deck. My greatest success is usually just killing one player before running out of resources or hitting one player for big damage. I do enjoy this deck (more than any normal person should) because once you get the chain of anthem effects going it’s very satisfying to see just how big you can grow a tiny little Storm Crow.

Here are some other ideas I had for the deck.

 

Other Potential Strategies

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Big Bird(s)

You could drop the low cmc birds and focus on ramping into huge birds instead. Some of these creatures actually have decent stats/effects. Aven Fateshaper is efficient card filtering and Aven Brigier is a cheaper anthem than Kangee (he also rewards using bird soldiers).

Birb Tokens

Other than Migratory Route, there are many cards that make bird tokens (more than I listed ofc). With Eyes in the Skies and Scion of Vitu-Ghazi you can make a flock of tokens to attack the enemy. Playing tokens also gives you access to the anthem Intangible Virtue and the wrath protection using cards like Rootborn Defenses (which also makes you even more bird tokens!).

Morph Synergy

While I didn’t have any to pictures, there are many birds with Morph that also care about you flipping cards face-up. Cards like Aven Liberator for example give protection effects when flipped up. One appeal to this play style is that it might be fun to play multiple Morph creatures. The caveat is this that is likely even weaker than my current deck xD

Ishai, Ojutai Speaker

I honestly forgot this was a card until I added it last night. It could be a good general, especially since the partner mechanic can give us access to green and thus ramp! That being said it might lead us down the long and dark path to just being discount awful Derevi deck (my greatest of fears).

Alright, I’ve discussed this more than anyone ever should have.

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Thanks for reading as usual (if anyone could manage to get this far)

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Didn’t you gun Force of Will Last Week? Why on Earth did you enter a Fow AGP? The story of losing to yourself: How to improve as a card gamer

Gosh that’s a long title. However, it accurately represents what happened today (and is hyperbolic which is a plus). My buddy (the one who got me into and brought me back into Force of Will) was like “there’s a Force of WIll AGP in NJ, let’s go to it” and I was like “sure lol sounds like fun. If only I had known that a long day of losing money, misplaying and as a result blaming myself was to follow.

 

Our Deck and the Messy Store of How We Made It

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So what initially roped me back into this game was the remaking of my favorite Ruler Valentina as a bizarre fusion of her and Pricia (another character I liked except for the fact that she killed Valentina). My buddy and I decided we would both buy her and try to build the best UB (blue/black) control deck possible. He affectionately named Pricentina Control.

 

Main Deck and Quick Card Analysis:

  • Invading Demon of Water, Valentina/Valentina, Released Terror: Makes all Dark/Water spells shrink a creatures Def/Atk respectively by the spell’s CMC, makes certain spells like Space Time absurd)
  • Space Time Anomaly x4 (Best card in the deck by far, triggers favorably with Valentina, won me games I had no business winning)
  • Leviathan, First of the Sea x1 (Win Condition, worked for my buddy not for me, more on this later. Also this posr may be crazy long. I apologize for not mentioning sooner)
  • Charlotte’s Water Transformation Magic x3 (Amazingly useful and versatile, allowed many resonators to be killed, but lost to effects already activated very hard)
  • Black Moonbeam x1 (Not that useful, but necessary)
  • Horn of Sacred Beasts x1 (Useful once, otherwise dead)
  • Heavenly Instrument Hydromonica x1 (I only resolved the stack effect once, otherwise I sided it out almost every game)
  • Deathscythe, the Life Reaper x1 (Amazing with Soulhunt, I was never unhappy to draw into it/have it)
  • Valentina’s Reach x2 (Worked out will for my buddy, I only resolved it once and it barely mattered)
  • Marybell, the Steel Doll x1 (Drew it, swung with it once, honestly not even sure about it)
  • Aretemis, the God’s Bow x4 (Useful, but only fringe most creatures were too big, but it combo-ed will with Space Time)
  • The Nameless Mist x3 (Amazing card, did its job efficiently though I fought more creature decks so it missed a lot)
  • Captain Hook, the Pirate x2 (Very powerful when I managed to cast it, won me a few games, but I almost always had to bounce creatures except in round 2)
  • Lapis Dark Storm x2 (Very powerful and dumb, but I only resolved it 3 times, one of which it did nothing)
  • Separation of Body and Soul x4 (A great card in this deck only due to Valentina’s minus effect, a definite 4 of)
  • Hera, Goddess of Jealousy x3 (I literally destroyed my own Regalia all day because only one of my opponent’s played any)
  • Soulhunt x4 (Easily the second best spell in the deck, with no resonators it was very easy to get 2 for 1s with this card, it was especially nasty with Deathscythe as it could be added back to hand)
  • The Scorn of Dark Alice x3 (Insanely useful against the many creature decks I faced, better than Mist for me at least)

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Stone Base:

  • Ruler’s Memoria x1 (Getting it of the way first. this was the worst card in the deck, it entered the field tapped on my first turn 3 times, one time costing me the game, it’s one of the only cards getting cut)
  • Remains of Attoractia x4 (A very good card that I missed read and used incorrectly until round 5 as a result)
  • Water Magic Stone x1 (I wish it were darkness, but this is where my buddy and I disagree, more on that later)

Magic Stone of Dark Depths x4 (No complaints)

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Side Deck

  • Girl in Twilight Garb/Dark Alice x1 (Sided into her once, won the game, but due to glaring misplays I never used her again all day)
  • Black Moonbeam x2 (Useful and necessary evil)
  • Deathscythe, the Life Reaper x2 (Needed to sure up J-Ruler match-up, honestly I wish I had more just for the soulhunts)
  • Schrodinger, the Fallen Black Cat x1 (For Dark Alice, I drew into it and it was pretty dead in hand)
  • Riza, First of the Dead x4 (Legitimately useful in one game and trash in the other. I can’t complain though card was solid overall)
  • Melder, Last of the Dead x3 (Trash, awful trash, 2nd worst card in the deck and getting cut to 1 if it stays in at all, we had so much removal it never mattered, minus 800 and we have to be dying, terrible)
  • Prison in the Lunar Lake x2 (Best card in the side, always a blowout when resolved and searchable off Riza)

 

So first of all, just so you know how back we are. We forgot to buy all the cards for the deck. It took the great kindness of my roommate ( a Fow master and case opener) and literally the only two guys at the store who had trades to allow us to even play our decks. I tip my hat to both of them. Now for the most painful part of this…

Our match-ups…

 

Round 1: Vs Fiethsing Combo

Game 1 he opened the nuts going second dropping Gwiber into Captain Hook and I lost instantly. Game 2 I make my first misplay. I swap to Dark Alice and assume that the Valentina rock enters tapped if I don’t have Valentina. In reality it just costs you 300 life. So I go until turn 5 to make a play because I keep letting the stone enter tapped. My opponent bricks on stones until turn 6 and as a result I defeat him. Game 3 I go first, Ruler’s Memoria entered tapped preventing my turn 1 Scorn of Dark Alice. He combos-off turn 2 and kills me.

Loss 1-2

Round 2: Vs Sol Burn

Game 1 he burns me to 15, but I out-grind and defeat him, making the misplay of thinking that his World Flame card made me banish 2 magic stones…

So I literally put 2 of my stones in the graveyard…

Game 2 I make the misplay of not using Prison in the Lunar Lake on his Uther, Goddess allowing him to burn me out in the late game. Game 3 we end up in time and draw.

Draw 1-1-1

Round 3: Vs Lilias Petal

I knew going into this tournament how Lilias worked since he is innately unfair as he cheats in huge Chimera FROM HIS SIDE DECK. So knowing this I killed every resonator he played to prevent his ability. After he finally summoned his Chimera I killed it with Soul Seperate and then defeated him. Game 2 I side in Prisoner in the Lunar Lake and Riza to switch it out. Prison negates and kills 2 of his Chimeras leading to my victory.

Win 2-0

Round 4: Vs Lumia Mid-range (Against the event judge)

Don’t ask me why the judge for the event was in the tournament. Anyway game 1 he hits me with double Captain Hook (after I make the misplay of ripping a mana dork from his hand instead of it), but somehow I survive. I kill all of his resonators until he has to use his Melfee just to flip Lumia. After killing her I lose to the most absurd and stupid ruling in my card game career. Apparently there is an end of end phase phase…

So he cast a reanimate spell that said exile this creature during the end phase. However, he cast in the end of end phase phase…

So it didn’t get exiled…

It was a 900/900 flyer that killed me…

Game 2 I hold him down with Prisoner in the Lunar Lake until we go into time. I J-Activated Valentina and used Bows to kill his blocking mana dorks. I then top-deck 2 Space Times to kill all of his blockers and him on turn 3 of time.

Draw 1-1-1

Round 5: Vs Zero 28 Regalia

Game 1 I triple Space Time his Zero killing her. After which his crippled deck did next to nothing. Game 2 I do it again through his Zero’s Farmilar (by turning it into a bear and then using Black Moonbeam on Zero). HOWEVER, I make the misplay of first forgetting his 1 creature on board had flying (I could’ve killed it and maintained board control with Soulhunt) and also that Valentina’s ruler side could sack to creatures to destroy one…

I literally threw away a game I had won…

Game 3 I killed Zero again, but we go into time and the rules changed to highest life total wins due to it being the final round. I lose to his double burn spells despite easily having game if the match continued as I could’ve survived the burn with total board control.

Loss 1-2

My buddy’s match-ups (This is a first for me and I’m going by his brief descriptions)

Round 1: Vs Jank Lumia Aggro

Opponent’s deck was sub-optimal, easy win with Valentina attacks.

Win 2-0

Round 2: Vs Charlotte Hand Control

Due to Ruler’s Memoria not being a water stone he missed the OTK with Leviathan game 1. Then failed to win in time game 2.

Loss 0-1

Round 3: Vs Lilias Petal

Forgot how many Charlotte Transformation Magics he had in grave and failed to kill Lilias’ chimera as a result, died to the chimera and failed to win in time game 2 again.

Round 4: Vs Dark Alice Control

Got hit by double Lapis’ Dark Storm and lost Hook and Leviathan. Suddenly with no win-conditions he had no way to close out the game. Then once again lost in time game 2.

Round 5: Bye

We finished 16th and 18th place respectively.

Reactions, Reflections and Final Thoughts (The most important part I swear)

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This was a very eye-opening, agitating and useful experience. One that I need to take to heart and use to move forward as a card gamer. First of all I paid $40 to go to NJ to play in this. Once there I paid $25 to enter. Also because I didn’t get all the cards for my deck I had to pay another $10 to get the last couple cards. It is not worth it to pay this much money to scrub out.

This is the most upsetting part though. I did not lose as a result of my deck being bad. In Yugioh and Magic I limit myself because admittedly I’m a very cheap person when it comes to buying expensive staple cards. During the last Yugioh regional I came close to building a perfect ABC deck, but did not go all the way and buy Dimensional Barrier and Pot of Desires ($55 and $70 respectively). Back when I used to play Standard I forced Mono-Red, not merely, because I enjoyed it, but because it was very cheap to build. This is the first time…

Well probably not the first time, but easily the most obvious time that I lost not because I skimped out on building my deck, but because I made misplays that were terrible in hindsight.

  1. Not knowing how my stones worked
  2. Forgetting Prisoner in the Lunar Lake
  3. Forgetting the enemy creature had flying
  4. Forgetting Valentina’s Ruler ability
  5. Not understanding how the phases and the chase worked

All of these painfully obvious things (except the last one because holy crud is that stupid) I allowed to happen and as a result I lost $75 along with almost every game today. My buddy also admitted that in addition to his poor match-ups and luck, he also lost due to misusing resources and also running out of cards.

On the plus side though our deck was solid. There was more times when I could have won had I not misplayed than times where I could not have won at all for any reason. Our deck did what it came to do. We killed creatures, disrupted the opponent’s hand and ultimately killed with powerful finishers.

Our Differences of Opinion on the Deck and My Future Plans with it

  • So my buddy and I came to a few very different conclusions on what to do with the deck. This could be useful to players interested in trying it out.
  • I say cut Ruler’s Memoria for a Darkness Stone, he says add a water stone. My buddy got way more use out of Leviathan today than I did. He dropped it and won all, but one game where it resolved. I played it once all day when I already had board control. I want to add another Scorn of Dark Alice instead of Leviathan personally.
  • I say cut Leviathan or side it for control, he says bump it up to 2 in the main. Again the card worked for me and did nothing for me. I think it’s too slow for the format, he thinks it’s our best win-con)
  • He says cut Captain Hook, I’m not sure. On the one hand we’re playing Captain Hook fairly on turn 5. That’s just to fair and slow for this format. Between enemy Hook’s attacking our stones and the general speed of the combo decks I admit Hook may be too slow for us.
  • I say add Alice’s Little Scout to soak up early game damage, he wants to add no resonators outside of finishers (and Riza in the side). Every game despite our discard and removal he took massive damage in the early game. I watched almost all of my opponents play the cat with the ability draw one when it enters the field. I think Alice Scout not only will block in the early game, but will also allow us to not lose card advantage.

We do agree though that Melder, Last of the Dead is useless. The deck has enough removal. Riza is more useful setting Prison in the Lunar Lake face-down than him. Furthermore, his -800/-800 ability at the cost of us being about to die (from Riza’s paying 1000) isn’t worth it when we’ve already lost so much life in the early game.

Parting Words (Gosh this was long)

I don’t regret today. I learned that I was too confident in my ability to play a card game with literally no practice after quitting it for months. That being said most of my problems came from simply not reading cards (especially my own). I want to believe that as a result of today I will do two things differently in the future.

I will never travel to major event without having full knowledge of my deck/side deck, as it’s not cost-effective to spend so much and lose.

I will never enter a tournament with a deck I don’t think can theoretically top. If I enter a Yugioh or Magic event ever again, I’m going to enter with a good deck. Hopefully, not the most expensive deck, but definitely not a deck I built on the cheap for fun that I think can cheese a few wins. I’ve always used the fact that because I didn’t have Dimensional Barrier, Pot of Desires or a full-power Abzan deck as an excuse to justify my losses. “I didn’t have the optimal deck so that’s why I lost” This was the first time it was incredibly apparent that I lost not to my deck, but too myself. As a result this was very frustrating and I’ll be burned out on Force of Will possibly forever.

I don’t see myself following the game after college. I only plan to keep cards of sentimental value, though I’m not sure if I’m going to try and sell the cards from this deck. I honestly believe that the only card game I’ll be able to play after college is Magic the Gathering, which is simply the most represented game in my experience.

Well I’ve droned on for too long, but I actually think this is one of the better posts I’ve made. I learned alot about my strengths and weaknesses as a player. I think we learn more from our mistakes than our successes and today taught me that more than any other tournament.

Thanks for reading as usual.

How to build 25 Yugioh decks in one year

Happy New Years Everyone

As we enter the new year I wanted to reflect on the decks I built over the course of the year.

2016 was a good year for deck creation. There have been a lot of decks/archetypes that can be made for very little money. So in hopes to make this post not a self-congratulatory slap on the back for every deck mentioned I will:

  • Tell you how much it cost to build at the time/Most Expensive Card
  • What sets the cards came in
  • How strong the deck is/Is it fun to play

So with that in mind, let’s get started.

Yugioh

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Apologies for the potato quality photo.

Abyss Actors:

  • Cost: $10 (Abyss Actor Wild Hope $1)
  • Set: Destiny Soldiers
  • Competitive/Fun?: Abyss Actors are a decent splash in Metalfoes. They have a powerful spell that destroys your opponent’s face-up cards that cannot be responded to. I liked the deck for its goofy artwork. As far as pendulum decks go it’s not terrible, is overshadowed by more consistent decks.

Lunalights:

  • Cost:$15 (Lunalight Panther Dancer $3)
  • Set: Shining Victories
  • Competitive/Fun?: Lunalights have potential as a splash engine in the upcoming Zoodiac deck. As it stands the deck is just a cheesy OTK deck that uses an Apoqliphort Towers style boss monster (that attacks twice). Of course I just got them for the artwork. Don’t judge me pls…

Predaplants:

  • Cost: $10 (Starving Fusion Dragon $11)
  • Set: Invasion: Vengeance
  • Competitive/Fun?: This deck is not even remotely finished. There are like 10+ other Predaplants and fusion monsters that will hopefully come out in Fusion Enforcers.

Kozmo:

  • Cost: $30 (Kozmojo $11)
  • Set: Premium Gold (Mostly)
  • Competitive/Fun?: Kozmo has been powercreeped. It’s kind of crazy, but I’d stand by that. Still it’s a really fun deck and I’d recommend it if you have the cash for it. This is likely the cheapest that the cards will ever be.

Zushin Turbo

  • Cost: $6.75 (Stumbling $2)
  • Set: Dragons of Legend 3
  • Competitive/Fun?: Ignoring that 1st word, if you want to stall in a maddened attempt to summon another Apoqliphort Towers knockoff that by no means ends the game then this is the deck for you. It’s really bad, like really really bad, but I get to play Bunilla and that alone makes it enjoyable. Though my strongest memory is the time my Zushin got negated by my opponent’s “Do a Barrel Roll”.

Dinomists

  • Cost: $4 (Dinomist Charge $0.25)
  • Set: Breakers of Shadow
  • Competitive/Fun?: Dinomists are perfectly acceptable as a pendulum deck. With the right build you can drop Toadally Awesome or Cyber Dragon Infinity. Sadly this deck has been pretty much forgotten.

Chumley Huffington’s Koala Deck

  • Cost: $5 (Master of Oz $2)
  • Set: Soul of the Duelist
  • Competitive/Fun?: Hahhaha. As far as being fun, who could be more fun to play as than Chumley? I haven’t a clue. I mean Master of Oz has 4200 attack! That kills almost every boss monster in the game. Much respect.

Pure Paleos (Without Toad)

  • Cost: $10 (Barrier Statue of Torrents $3)
  • Set: The Dark Illusion/Invasion: Vengeance
  • Competitive/Fun?: This deck would be meta if I actually added Toadally Awesome and the frog package. Paleos are a really good deck that is very fun to play. Thy managed to make an all-trap deck viable in 2016. Color me impressed.

Full Power Dragon Rulers, but Big Eye and Dracossack are replaced by #7 Lucky Straight

  • Cost: $0
  • Set: Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy
  • Competitive/Fun?: This deck is banned. I only built it because I had the cards lying on my floor. If you want to relive the 2013 format though this is the deck for you. It also costs alot less than Spellbooks!

Digital Bugs

  • Cost: $3 (#20 Giga-Brilliant $1)
  • Set: Shining Victories
  • Competitive/Fun?: Digital Bugs are one of the most fair and balanced decks printed in years. This deck couldn’t been printed as XYZ monsters first were released… and it still would’ve been too weak. I like it for that reason. These bugs are what I wish more xyz decks were like. Not generic, hard to abuse, and decently flavorful.

Tellarknights:

  • Cost: $20 (Satellar Knight Deneb $5)
  • Set: Duelist Alliance/New Challengers/Invasion: Vengeance
  • Competitive/Fun?: Tellarknights with Ties of Brethren (which this deck is) could be viable if you’re really lucky. With the new xyz, you can make Triverr turn 1 which is honestly pretty good. You could do a lot worse as far as decks go.

Fleur Synchrons:

  • Cost: $30 (Tag Force 5)
  • Set: Yugioh Tag Force 5
  • Competitive/Fun?: Pffttt. This deck is just a bad homage to that one girl from Yugioh 5Ds, that managed to draw with Yusei and then never be relevant again.

Tech Genius

  • Cost: $20 (T.G. Hyper Librarian $3)
  • Set: Extreme Victory
  • Competitive/Fun?: Powercreeped as hell. This deck used to be a pretty good though. It took a game off my full power Nekroz deck too. It’s pretty cool all things considered.

Flower Cardians

  • Cost: $10 (Flower Cardian Pine $0.95)
  • Set: Dragons of Legend 3/Invasion: Vengeance
  • Competitive/Fun?: This deck could be competitive. This could be the most powerful archetype ever created since almost every card reads draw 1 card. HOWEVER, the problem with these cards is that Cardians don’t make any sense. Half of them can’t be normal summoned. All of them pretty much fail if you fail to draw another Cardian. So as a result you have to play almost a monster mash deck which conflicts with the Cardian spells that stack your deck to actually enable your draws. So as a result you get the one of the most brick prone decks ever created. Also the cards are all a wall of text so unless you actually figure out, which is which your turn will take 10 minutes if if you whiff on your draws.

Aesir/Nordic

  • Cost: $8 (Vanadis of the Nordic Ascendant $3)
  • Set: Legendary Collection 5Ds
  • Competitive/Fun?: This deck will never be remotely competitive bar some broken legacy support that cheats Odin onto the field and makes his protection effect work on both player’s turn (and then he’d still get Kaiju’d). This deck is not that fun, without a lot of work. I just threw all the cards with Nordic in their name and my most basic play was either the standard Nordic Valkryie into Odin play or set a Noric play Nordic Lights pass. Not that much fun, but still nice in terms of artwork.

Monarchs:

  • Cost: $30 (3 Structure Decks)
  • Set: Emperor of Darkness Structure Deck
  • Competitive/Fun?: If the heart of brick is on your side, Domain Monarchs can still win games to this day. What happened is I built full power monarchs, played it for 2 weeks and got sick of it. Then by the end of the year I reacquired all of the cards from the structure 2 twice. For that reason I keep it around.

St. Joan+Fire Princess Deck

  • Cost: $5 (Fire Princess $1)
  • Set: Legendary Collection Yugi’s World
  • Competitive/Fun?: What is competitive? This deck is an homage to the old combo of Fire Princess with Marie the Fal- I mean Darklord Marie to burn the opponent for 500 every turn. It plays all the old stun cards and honestly should not fight against any modern yugioh deck.

Nurse Burn

  • Cost: $15 (Gift Card $5)
  • Set: Destiny Soldiers
  • Competitive/Fun?: So Nurse Reficule the Fall- I mean Darklord Reficule used to be a $20 video game promo. However, with the release of Destiny Soldiers, she got her named changed to Darklord, which makes her searchable! Basically this deck is play Nurse, set some combination of Gift Cards/Tri and Guesses, then kill your opponent in their standby phase by burning them for 9000 damage. It’s not fair, and it’s not actually that bad either. The only thing holding back this deck is that it’s powerless going 2nd.

Full Power Rescue Cat, but the Synchros are All Unicorns

  • Cost: $10 (Lightning Tricorn Ultimate Rare $2)
  • Set: Duelist Revolution
  • Competitive/Fun?: This deck is also banned 🙂 I think I watched too many cross-banlist duels on Youtube and thus made banned decks with the hope of having my own cross-banlist duels.

2 Gate Guardian Decks

  • Cost: $17 (Gate Guardian $6.50)
  • Set: Metal Raiders
  • Competitive/Fun?: I’ve played this against more meta yugioh decks that I should have. Labyrinth Wall has not aged well, but using Sacred Sword to banish a gate guardian part to draw 2 makes me happy.

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You thought we were done?

Gladiator Beasts:

  • Cost: $12 (Gladiator Beast Laquari $2)
  • Set: Gladiator’s Assault
  • Competitive/Fun?: War Chariot is a good card. Games where you have it are fun. Otherwise this is another deck that has aged to being unplayable. Luckily, the anime showed new support so maybe it will actually get legacy support someday.

Cubic

  • Cost: $5 (Cubic Fusion Guy $0.75)
  • Set: Dark Side of Dimensions Movie Pack
  • Competitive/Fun?: I… haven’t actually played this deck… ever. I read the cards, sleeved up the deck, put it in the corner of my room and promptly forgot about it. The reason being the deck seemed very awful since every card read: “have the cubic seed or I can’t be played”. The boss monsters were absurd tossing around 3000 burn damage for free, but the little ones bummed me out to much to play it.

B.E.S.

  • Cost: $8 (B.E.S. Covered Core $1)
  • Set: Rise of Destiny
  • Competitive/Fun?: So I built these because I like the artwork. Apparently they released a field spell that makes all the B.E.S. ships into Kozmo ships. This means that some day my dream of B.E.S. vs Kozmo may someday come true.

Toons (Without Kingdom)

  • Cost: $8 (Comic Hand $1.50)
  • Set: Dragons of Legend 3
  • Competitive/Fun?: If Toon Kindgom ever gets reprinted this deck would be a lot better. Still if you actually Comic Hand your opponent’s dude it can lead to some quick laughs. My favorite so far has been Toon #77 The Seven Sins.

Evil Heroes:

  • Cost: $15 (Dark Fusion $3)
  • Set: Jaden Yuki Duelist Pack 3
  • Competitive/Fun?: This was made for nostalgia. It’s arguably the worst variant of Heroes to exist (unless you count Neo Spacians). The fusions have no major payoff and you have to run the vanilla OG E-Heroes. However, the jankness of that is what makes the deck fun to play.

Force of Will?

What the heck are you doing here?! Oh yeah I got sucked back into you against my better judgement after a buddy offered me 2 of the recent starters decks at a major discount. As virtually all of the cards in this game aren’t worth any money I threw some decks together. That being said since I don’t know much about the game anymore so I’ll just give a quick overview.

Valentina 3.0 Blue+Black Control

Overview: They fused Pricia and Valentina together. That’s all I needed to hear to want this card and as a result want to build this deck. It plays like the Esper Dragon deck of Khans standard which I really liked (though all I did that format was play Mono-Red). Basically to put it in a Magic perspective Valentina 3.0 makes all Darkness spells lower a creature’s toughness equal to the CMC of the spell you cast. This makes Space Anamoly (already the most powerful kill spell in this game imo) become eons better. Pretty much you kill your opponent’s dudes until you can drop a Dragon in the form of Pricia herself or a Leviathan, Lord of the Sea to kill the opponent. It loses to J/Ruler decks, but other than that it’s been alot of fun.

Lunya the Liar Girl Red-White Aggro

Overview: I tweaked the red starter deck to make this. It’s not awful, but I don’t think it’s strong enough to combat the meta (or at least what I’ve seen). The one plus is that you can abuse Demonflame with Lunya’s innate ping ability to kill any enemy creature (Lunya deals 100 damage to a resonator whenever you attack/Demonflame destroys any resonator dealt damage the turn it’s cast).

Mono Black Dark Alice Shadows:

Overview: I am constantly impressed by how well this deck does. Dark Faria is really good card and this deck swarms really well. It’s far better than most tribal decks in my experience and I honestly think it could be a decent deck if I actually modified the ratios and cut the janky cards.

Valentina 1.0 Control

Overview: So one of my problems with FoW is that it cares about its legacy format even less than Magic does. All they did was ban my favorite J-Ruler and then proceed to never think of it again. Anyway, this deck is all of the original terrible Valentina support alongside my 2 favorite rotated cards: Cheshire Cat, the Grinning Remnant and Sign to the Future. It’s not a good deck, but it gives me good memories.

Blue/Green Valentina 2.0 (Are you seeing a theme here yet?)

Overview: This deck is all of the flavor Valentina cards that do very little to help her core strategy. On the plus side though if you actually flip her she has the regalia to abuse all of the god arts thanks to Rewriting Laws (the only reason I bothered to splash Green btw) so that’s pretty fun.

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Magic the Gathering

Basically over the course of 2016 I tried every one of these cards as an Commander/EDH general (technically Tariel was on January 1st, but I see it as close enough). For some reason I’m never satisfied when I play Commander so I keep switching generals and decks. Of all of these I would say Atraxa and Tasigur where the best (no surprises there).

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Card Games I never actually play

I don’t really know what to say. I’m surprisingly ok with buying cards, sleeving them up and then never actually using them. That being said I’d lying if I said I like playing Weiss Schwarz or Cardfight Vanguard (especially in comparison to Ygo, MTG or Fow). These are pretty much for collecting purposes if anything.

And that’s it. I hope some aspect of this was useful to you… like at all. It should at least let you see just how cheap it can be to build a yugioh deck. Other than that I hope it was at least a tolerable post. Basically the main takeaway is to pick up the cheap archetypes that come in every set, that no one cares about and thus cost next to nothing. Repeat this and at the same time pick up every deck core you can.

Thanks for reading as usual.

Kozmourning My Career (2 Yugioh Local Reports)

I don’t have a lot of time to discuss copious amounts of:

  • Bricking
  • Misplays
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Redemption
  • Pain
  • Team Kills
  • and Top decks

 

So with all that needless build-up, let’s get started. (Apologies in advance for spelling/grammar errors)

 

Normal School Locals 10/14/16

Round 1: Vs Ghostrick Artifacts (Ghostfacts)

I loaned my buddy the artifacts so his Ghostrick deck could have a better Majespecter match-up. Artifacts however do nothing against Kozmo and failed to prevent me easily taking game 1.

Game 2 he opened a horrific brick that I’ll do my best to show using my sub-par artistic talent and bulk cards lying around.

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He topdecked Allure and blind-allured into Terrorop and a trap losing both. It wasn’t pretty.

Win 2-0

Round 2 Vs Yosenju Kaiju

Game 1 I throw up Cyber Dragon Infinity + Tin with a Ship loaded, but the Kaiju easily wreck me DESPITE HIM FORGETTING TO DROP MAXX C ON MY INSTANT FUSION. Game 2 his only Yosenju gets solemned and Farmgirl wins me the game when my opponent (with multiple tops under his belt) forget he had Speedroid Menko. Game 3 and hopefully this offers pity for him…

His opening 6 cards are these…

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I keep attacking him with Honest until he dies. He never draws into a playable card…

I may have been hard on him for his misplays, but now the guy has been triggered by the number 6 ever since. Feels bad man.

Win 2-1

Round 3: Vs Cyber Angel Star Seraph Herald

So when our far more legit friend appeared from the neighboring college we were happy when he played against our local Blue Eyes star round 1. HOWEVER, after we saw the nightmare of Herald + insane card advantage all of our hope soon vanished. Blue Eyes lost to this in under 20 minutes both players not seeing a 3rd turn…

So game 1 I am knocked to 100 life due to Manju and Herald keeping my pilots from ever making themselves relevant. I set Ghost Ogre and Vanity’s. I flip Vanity’s at the one instance he somehow has no fairy in hand. His Manju, Herald and Gale Dogra are stalled by my 2 Strawmen and Ghost Ogre until he realizes he has no outs left in deck and surrenders.

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So games 2 and 3 I opened all monsters…

Game 2 he assembled his combo (Alongside everyone’s favorite Archlord Kristiya), so I didn’t get to play.

Game 3 I put Dark Destroyer out in response to his first ritual spell, but I never saw him using Star Seraph Stick and Chair to make Utopia S39 into Utopia the Lightning to run over my destroyer and defeat me.

Loss 1-2

 

And so ended our Solemn Strike tournament. I can safely say whenever you think you’ve found the most frustrating Yugioh deck, there’s another still to come…

 

So earlier today my the same Blue Eyes and Yosenju Kaiju player got me to join them in hitting up the nearest Yugioh OTS store (outside of Philly of course). Thus a new not local locals occurred.

 

A.U. Local Tournament 10/15/16

Round 1: Vs the Gosh Darn Yugi’s Legendary Deck Yugi deck

My opponent set a monster and passed.

I normal summon Farmgirl and attack to reveal Magician’s Valkyrie…

I set Vanity’s and do something mulliganing with Kozmotown.

He normal summons Breaker, the Magical Warrior. I drop Dark Destroyer in response to its effect to add a counter to destroy it.

I add back Farmgirl and attack him with it.

He drops Kuriboh…

I make Cyber Dragon Infinity in the second main phase.

He normal summons Skilled Dark Magician and attacks my Farmgirl.

I absorb Skilled Dark and attack him for game.

Game 2 he opens the exact same cards.

I make Pleiades instead of Infinity, but the result is the exact same…

Win 2-0

Round 2: Vs Masked Heroes

I played against the same guy who single-handedly sullied my last regional experience by being ridiculously rude during our match.

Game 1 he drops Dark Law + Rafflesia, but I use Raigeki to crush them both. He never recovers and I take the game.

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Game 2 I sided to go second and he makes me go first. I put out a turn one Cyber Dragon Infinity, but he Kaiju’s it and defeats me on his 2nd turn.

Game 3 I lose to Phantom Knight Wings protecting his Masked Hero Acid after we both lose all of our resources.

Loss 1-2

Round 3 Vs Dark Magician

I’m bad.

I’m really really bad.

I lost all respect for myself after this game.

I misplayed amazingly and still somehow won due to my opponent both not knowing how his cards worked or how to pressure at all.

So I had 1900 life. I normal Soartrooper, reanimate a 2nd one from my grave. Realize I have like no life. Etele into Farmgirl, make Breaksword to break my Kozmotown and his Dark Magic Circle. Search my deck only to realize I put Dark Destroyer in grave turn 1 and that I can’t run over his 2800 Magician of Dark Chaos (with no spells ever placed in his grave). I put Dark Lady in defense and pass. Dark Chaos runs over Breaksword taking me to 100.

I topdeck raigeki for the Chaos, but fear something attacking Dark Lady for game so I stay in defense and set tincan. He passes.

I topdeck Kozmojo and attack with Lady, and pass. He sets Eternal Soul, attacks with Magician Rod and I Kozmojo it.

I topdeck call of the haunted and set it. He activates Eternal Soul in his main phase, but I pop it with Slipridder destroying his board. I swing for game on the next turn.

I didn’t deserve this…

Game 2 I set up turn 1 Dark Destroyer + Forerunner + Vanity’s for his Magician’s Navigation. Oh yeah he forgot to use that card’s 2nd effect to goof my Kozmojo or Call of the Haunted…

Anyway he lost on the 3rd turn.

Win 2-0

 

Top 4

I rematch the dang Masked Hero guy. I was beyond done with this dude, but I accepted reality offering me yet another chance to try and defeat him.

Game 1 I win off a Dark Destroyer popping Dark Law only to get hit by Rafflesia’s Floodgate Traphole. However from there I win off Farmgirl direct attacks.

Game 2 I’m forced to go first and open MST x2, Call of the Haunted, Storming and Slipridder. He twin twisters the Storming Mirror Force and then kills him.

Game 3 I lose my Dark Destroyer to Utopia the Lightning. I manage to wreck his Lightning and Castel with Storming Mirror Force. However he recovers and wipes my whole board. I have no cards on field or in hand. However…

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topdeck Tincan, adding Forerunner and next turn drawing Instant Fusion to Castel away his defending Masked Hero Acid for game.

The heart of the cards were literally on my side. I against didn’t deserve this.

My last opponent and I rolled a die for 1st place since we were fighting over 1 pack. Also they didn’t have any OTS packs so that was great…

Thus, I got 2nd place winning 5 packs.

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Anyway, I pulled a Solitaire which is $5, which was the entrance fee.

Breaking even at its finest.

 

Thoughts?

I mess 2013 yugioh where games didn’t end by turn 3. I mess yugioh that seemed fair. Also once Toadally Awesome comes out next yet (as the Hero guy pointed out way more than once) the Masked Hero deck would actually become meta and thus more unfair turn 1 lockout boards with exist.

I’m legitimately considering going back to MTG Standard.

I say after buying a box of Star Pack 2014 for the lolz and pre-ordering an Invasion of Vengeance box to get said Toad…

I totally know what I’m doing I swear…

Thanks for reading this nonsense. Remember to try and learn from your misplays folks…

Three Weeks of Learning Kozmo (Pain and Suffering)

After a long time of playing Nekroz, I retired my ritual spells to try playing something more meta. I chose Kozmo as I had most of the pieces lying around.

Now I might as well admit to myself that after attending Yugioh locals for the past 3 weeks that I’m more or less back into competitive Yugioh.

Why tho?

Well I really love Force of Will EDH (60-card singleton) Epic Stories Format, but I have no desire to buy more into the game or play it remotely competitively.

I’m getting closer to a solid EDH deck though I’m still playing 5-color Planeswalkers, but with better power cards and tutors.

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Anyways as for my early and ongoing affair with Kozmo…

Locals 1

Jank Kozmo Version 1

Main Deck

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Extra Deck

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Side Deck

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So the first iteration of “jank” Kozmo I cut he Dog Fighters and Black Gardens to add in a bunch of traps. This deck on the upside had enough traps to hold back combo decks, BUT it bricked like crazy.

Round 1 Vs DDD

My opponent had a real DDD deck with Pot of Desires. I opened all my traps and literally hindered him until I drew Dark Destroyer. Nothing DDD had could play around Destroyer in hand to disrupt his play. Wave King Caesar however was a clean out to Kozmo ships. Somehow we go into time game 1 and I win off of Wind-up Zenmaines + Goodwitch while my opponent had 3 cards left in deck.

Win 1-0

Round 2 Vs DDD

I take game 1 using the same Dark Destroyer trick. Lose game 2 to an established board and then go into time again game 3. I win in time again. Only highlight was match was that my opponent baited my Cyber Dragon Infinity to force through his Pot of Desires.

Win 2-1

Round 3 Vs Blue Eyes

Game 1 I don’t remember what happened, but I lost. Game 2 I opened Soartrooper, Strawman x2 Town and Call of the Haunted. I mulliganed with Town into nothing and lost the next turn.

Loss 0-2

Round 4 Vs Nekroz

Took game one, got OTK’d game 2 and lost to Solemn Warning game 3 when I couldn’t get my hand empty to avoid Trishula.

Loss 1-2

Deck was a pile of traps without Demise essentially.

Locals 2

Far Worse Kozmo Version 2

Main Deck (Missing Card is Honest)

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Extra Deck

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Yeah I left a pile of my cards at home so I had to make a deck with cards I traded for/bought at the venue.

Round 1 Vs Blue Eyes

Somehow he bricked and took game 1. He crushes me game 2. We go into time game 3 and I take the game off Honest

Win 2-1

Round 2 Vs Unicore “Beast” Control

I take game 1 using the “fair and balanced” Dark Destroyer. I lose game 2 to Wind-Up Kitten plus Kaiju. I lose game 3 to the same combo after bricking.

Loss 1-2

Round 3 Vs Blue Eyes

I don’t remember what happened other than Cyber Dragon Infinity showed up and I didn’t last long.

Loss 0-2

This was a rough night due to misplaying a lot of my cards. It was a miracle I did as well as I did.

Yesterday

Arguably Acceptable Kozmo

Main Deck

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Extra Deck

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Side Deck

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I know it looks so much more legitimate right? After 2 weeks of pain I forced myself to buy the Tincans, Dark Lady and Mojo (good deals IRL and on ebay for each).

Round 1 Vs Blue Eyes

He bricked and I got into Cyber Dragon Infinity off Sliprider + Panzer Dragon. Game 2 I opened my Ghost Ogre and D.D. Crow. I ghost ogre his Galaxy Soldier and D.D. Crow his Galaxy Soldier in grave. He makes Lancelot Knight of the Underworld. I force its negate using Instant Fusion then use Soartrooper to reanimate Dark Lady then I control the game from there.

Win 2-0

Round 2 Vs Demise Majespecters

Game 1 he has total control only risking the match up by making Cowboy (while I was at 200 life) I flipped a Torrential destroying my set Landwalker. I had to set said walker to play around Majespecter Tempest. Still I no longer have the life to do anything so eventually he gets back his board and takes it.

Game 2 I have the board control of Dark Lady + Dark Eclipser, later into Eclipser + Vanity’s. I ended up losing to Tin Can turning off my own Vanity’s. He makes Utopia the Lightning and I lose everything.

Loss 0-2

Round 3 Vs Blue Eyes

Game 1 I I lost to #95 Dark Matter + Vanity’s Emptiness staring down a defense mode Tin Can.

We both bricked game 2, but I mess up neglecting his Return of the Dragon Lords in grave wasting my Utopia the Lightning. He pops the Utopia and gamed me the next turn.

Loss 0-2

Thoughts?

My results aren’t great, but with the power level of my deck I’m amazed to have won any games at all. I’m slowly learning how this deck works in the hopes of transitioning from a Kozmo player to an actually good Kozmo player. The deck isn’t as easy as it seems and while the decision trees aren’t that diverse it still hard to play correctly. I’m nowhere near good with this deck (and I have no desire to drop $60 on Card of Demise or even $30 on Allure of Darkness), but I’ll make due with what I have. It’s been a very painful, but engaging couple weeks of Yugioh.

Thanks for reading as usual.