Friday, July 30, 2010

Competitive Play: The Different Levels

Now, I have been reading and hearing from numerous players about how one can be competitive or not. Certain people one is only competitive by going to regionals and above, while others just say they don't duel casual games and the like.

I feel like it's time to break down the different levels of competitive play, along the diverse groups that inhabit each level, along with other general characteristics.

In the end, we will see how everyone can be competitive, that it's not just limited to "pro players" and other things. People define their own level.

Level 1: Local Competition

For some people, this is the highest level of competition they are going to get. Also, one of the most important, if not, the most important level. Why? This is where everyone begins. While Regional and other levels are more rewarding, locals bring that competitive environment in a much more controlled state. It is also one of the best places to compete, mostly due to the lack of cheating and such (mostly due to the low amount of pressure it has on players, but it still happens).

Locals are also the highest level some players get mostly due the lack of regionals or any higher end tournaments in their area. In this case, the locals can become quite intense. Still, local tournaments are mostly suited for the players who really like to enjoy this game for what it's worth and overall seek a good time.

Level 2: The Regional Champ

Still similar to level 1, Regional players have that higher competitive drive than the local players. While some of them are still genuine players and have fun, we begin to see a bigger percentage of netdeckers and elitist attitudes in here. Why? A chance to go to Nationals is something players of the higher category desire and must pass through this level.

While regional play can still be quite enjoyable, the rumors of alleged cheating and other shenanigans may appear. Some players may have hostile and bad attitudes, but generally won't be too common. Most people will go to regionals just to have a good time, while others just shoot for the prize and leave their fun side at the door.

Level 3: Hey ma, I'm a Card Game Big Shot!

Commonly the players you see only at big events like YCS, former SCJ's Championships, and Nationals. This level still has players from levels 1 and 2, but they are a minority. They are commonly seen as "scrubs" or "noobs" because they choose to use their favorite decks or non-mainstream decks. This level is mostly inhabited by players who only seek to win in this game at any means necessary, even if it for some that's cheating.

There are still many players who innovate and have fun who get far, but are often overshadowed by the glorious champs and tier 1 players. It's a much more aggressive form of competition, and not for everyone.

Level 4: To Infinity and Beyond!

These are the biggest competitors of all, mostly because they reach Nationals and even Worlds. Very recognized for their accomplishments. However, this level also has it's intensity. After the shenanigans witnessed in the previous US Nats, one can speculate that it may be an aggressive environment full of cheating, stealing, and other things. But that's not a guarantee. Most can still have a pleasant experience here.

Level 5: I'm too Good for This!

While not related to any of the other levels in terms of tournaments, level 5 competition is created for those players who strictly play tournaments and refuse to play casually. This level is the toughest of all.

There are people who look down on non-competitive players and talk smack about them, but really don't get to see what's going on in the lowest level. So level 1 is full of players who are still learning their way around, combined with skilled players and such. Level 1 is the true nightmare for Level 5 competitors it seems, since it represents the melting pot of these games, people with all levels of skill coming together to have fun.

And so, these are the 5 levels of competitive play, more or less summed up. It's all I could write from a hospital room at 1am, so I might do a revisit of this article in the future. But for now, that's all I got.

Perhaps now, we can all get a better understanding of the different levels of competitive play and stop bashing one another.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Archetype Analysis: X-Sabers

The dominant species in today's meta, these beastly warriors are indeed a force to be reckoned with. While I don't have a Saber deck, they have been a deck I like since the days of the very first Duel Terminal from the OCG.

Humble Beginnings: Entering the Terminal

X-Sabers first originated as a select group of monsters that came in the duel terminal along with the Mist Valley, Ice Barrier, Ally of Justice, Flamvells, and Worm archetypes. At first, they seemed to be a deck focusing on hand control, considering Airbellum, Urbellum and Urz all had effects that affected the opponent's hand at some point.

At this point, the only one that shined was Airbellum due to the days of Synchro Cat in the TCG and OCG. Urbellum also had some involvement in some extra decks, but didn't have as much of an influence as Airbellum.

This beast was indeed the star of the show for quite some time, that is, until Synchro Cat was affected by the list. Despite this, Airbellum found temporary shelter in Gladiator Beasts.

However, it was only a matter of time until Airbellum would get some much needed backup, as well as it's journey to the top once again.

The Prophecy Fulfilled: Boosters Gallore!

Ancient Prophecy was just the thing X-Sabers needed. Just when it looked like the Duel Terminals were about to give up on them, they make a jump to booster packs. However, their first transition came in a starter deck in the form of Gottom's Emergency Call. However, Ancient Prophecy was their call to be drafted up to the main roster.

This booster also gave the debut of the XX-Sabers, a much more powerful breed of Sabers, including the key to their new strategy, Faultroll.

Faultroll gave Sabers a new meaning...swarming strategies that would lead them to a quick victory. However, Faultroll wasn't enough to give them that push. Fulhelmknight and Ragigura were also keys in the new push for Sabers. While Fulhelmknight provided some protection, Ragigura provided some much needed recovery for the Saber army.

Gottoms also got a remake as their new boss synchro, and provided a new loop that wasn't available to the TCG until the english Duel Terminals.

The Saber Saviors: The Tale of the Cricket and the Reaper

However, the one thing that gave X-Sabers their final push was XX-Saber Emmersblade, a TCG exclusive for the Absolute Powerforce pack. Emmersblade became their key recruiter, moving the deck with much more speed, as well as becoming the missing half to summon Hyunlei. For a while, Emmersblade was at the top of the world, being the center of the deck itself.

Emmersblade became the most expensive card since Judgment Dragon. The cricket gave Sabers that push into the competitive world. While they weren't winning major tournaments, they were mostly in the Top 8 and even Top 4 in some situations. They were making their presence felt as the new contenders and weren't going to get pushed around.

Most players didn't jump to them due to the Infernity hype that ensued before TSHD, but that was all about to soon change thanks to one new addition...Darksoul

XX-Saber Darksoul (another TCG-Exclusive) was just what the deck needed. When sent to the graveyard from the field, it allowed for the search of ANY X-Saber from your deck to the field. Keep in mind, this could even search out the mighty Faultroll. This became another instant staple in the deck and demand was high. Emmersblade and Darksoul together were making Sabers fly to the top. They had all the speed in the world, and nobody could stop them.

But that wasn't enough. Darksoul eventually took the control of the situation, leaving Emmersblade behind in the dust. The ability to search through the deck became much more important than simple recruiting. Darksoul had more class. And the deal was finalized when they made a deal with a certain cat. By following an alliance once again with Rescue Cat, Darksoul could have even more power as it took Airbellum as it's partner in crime. Nowadays, this is the trio that allows X-Sabers so many of their wins. Rescue Cat searches for Darksoul and Airbellum, allowing for Fualtroll and others to quickly sweep any of their enemies.

However, this isn't the only trio to be feared in Sabers. XX-Saber Boggart Knight isn't too far behind. By allowing the special summon of another X-Saber upon it's normal summon, this also allows for either an instant synchro or another opening for Faultroll to come out.

And with September's list coming around, many are debating whether these beasts will stay strong or feel the wrath of the mighty list. While it seems unlikely that X-Sabers will meet their demise by September, many wonder how they will perform in the upcoming formats. Only time will tell. But for now, they are truly the dominant species.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Duel Video: Psychics VS Fish

In this edition of duel videos, Casper finishes his new psychic deck and sees if it can bring down my Fish.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

WTF Luvdisc?!?!?!?!?!?!?

The other day I saw this image online and was quite curious...

Could Lovedisc finally be bestowed with an evolution? If so, it better be awesome!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Supreme Trainer

Spellcaster/Fusion/Level 10

1 Spellcaster-Type Synchro Monster + 1 Spellcaster-Type monster
This card cannot be Special Summoned from your Extra Deck except by Fusion Summon. When this card is Fusion Summoned, place 2 Spell Counters on it. This card gains 1000 ATK for each Spell Counter on it. Once per turn, you can remove 1 Spell Counter from a card you control to activate 1 of the following effects:
● Select and destroy 1 card on the field.
● Draw 1 card
Well, looks like this is quite the interesting card for my Gravekeeper's...

Bueno, parece que esta es una carta interesante que puede servir con mis Gravekeeper's...

Note that while it is an Arcanite Magician, it requires just a spellcaster synchro and any other spellcaster.

Fijate en como todavia tiene el nombre de Arcanite Magician, pero requiere cualquier synchro de tipo Spellcaster.

Diva-Spy is just got it's new boss. Flip Spy, search any Gravekeeper, summon Diva and search for Reese/Diva. Tune Diva and Spy for Tempest/Explosive. Attack with synchro, Gravekeeper and this card that helps the deck too...

Diva-Spy tiene su nuevo "boss card." Voltea a Espia y busca cualquier Gravekeeper, pon a Diva en juego y busca a Reese/Diva. Envia a Diva y Espia para Tempest/Explosive. Ataca con el synchro, el Gravekeeper que sobra y despues activas esta carta que ayudara a esta version...

With Super Polymerization, you can safely attack and summon Supreme Trainer with no problems. And since Gravekeeper's don't mind the discard (thanks to Stele), it's the ideal fusion card for this deck.

Con Super Polimerizacion puedes atacar e invocar a Supreme Trainer de forma segura. Y como los Gravekeeper's no les molesta el descartar (gracias a Stele), es la carta ideal para fusion para este deck.

Pokemon DS Tournament Report

Well, the inaugural Pokemon DS Tournament at Game Wizard is behind us and it's time to report.

Bueno, ya el primer torneo de Pokemon serie DS en Game Wizard ha pasado y es tiempo para reportar.

For all those players in Puerto Rico who are seeking to battle their pokemon, this is the place to go on saturdays.

Todos esos jugadores en Puerto Rico que buscan un lugar donde batallar sus pokemon, este es el lugar para ir.

Now then, time to report...

Ahora, el reporte...

As you can see in the video, my team and I were prepared. However, a new wave of pros turned the competition to a new level.

Como ven en el video, mi equipo y yo llegamos preparados. Como sea, nada nos preparo contra la nuva ola de jugadores profesionales que crearon un nuevo nivel para esta competencia.

While only 2 of us made it into the Top 4 (not me), Casper finished the tournament at second. Therefore showing to be the surprise factor of the group.

Mientras solo 2 de nosotros llegamos al Top 4 (yo no llegue), Casper termino segundo en el torneo, demostrando que es el factor sorpresa del torneo.

Let's see if the following weeks are just as intense.

Vamos a ver si las proximas semanas siguen igual de intensas.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dirg The Dark Monarch


When this card is Normal or Special Summoned, you can remove from play up to 2 cards from your opponent's Graveyard. For each card removed, send the top card of your opponent's Deck to the Graveyard. This card cannot attack during the turn it is Normal or Special Summoned.

Effective side deck vs Infernity, Frogs and Sabers. However, by the time this is released in the TCG, we should have a completely different meta (taking a guess).

We still can't ignore this card. Notice how it's effect can go into effect when it's also special summoned. Use Dirg to remove for such things as DAD and then revive via DDR or Escape From the Dark Dimension to keep using it. Hey, it's worth a shot.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A new low...

These last few days I have been reading the reports from Nationals to see what's going on and to keep up with the game. But instead of finding positive news, I instead get these...

According to sources, he got stacked against in a match and then got all his stuff stolen. He then dropped out of the tournament, went berserk and punched a few walls before getting arrested.

And then there's this...

Another player was arrested when caught stealing stuff.

There's a few other reports of players being DQ'd for marking cards and other methods of cheating.

So I have to ask...

Is this what we have stooped to? Seriously, it's a National Tournament. It's things like these that make me wonder why so many people take this game like serious business, instead of having fun.

Have fun players been reduced to "noobs, scrubs, and bad players?" Because if that's the case, I'm happy being a scrub until I quit this game, because I'm in it for the fun.

After watching these videos and reading the reports, I have a real bad image of how rotten these high stakes tournaments have become. And yes, I'm just speaking after seeing a few out of a select crowd, but it's things like these that make one want to rethink and wonder why people stoop to these levels.

Stealing, cheating, aggression, and deception...have these become the new standard for high level tournaments?

I for one, hope it won't be so...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Crazy Idea...

After deciding to take a break from Fish (until further notice), I have been stuck with the dilemma of not knowing what Water deck to build now.

Despues de decidir coger un descanso de los peces (hasta nuevo aviso), he estado cargando un dilema relacionado a yo no saber cual nuevo deck Agua estare creando.

I had so many old ones to revive and new ones to try: ALO Control, Sea-Serpent Weenie Rush, Wetlands Control, Codarus.dek, Absolute Zero oriented deck, Ice Barrier, Turtle Control (?).

Tuve tantas ideas viejas y nuevas cual quise probar: ALO Control, Sea-Serpent Weenie Rush, Wetlands Control, Codarus.dek, un deck orientado hacia Absolute Zero, Ice Barrier, Turtle Control (?).

And then I found a little card back from my high school days in my folder, and I wondered what would it be if there could finally be a deck that used it...

Y despues vi una carta que lleva guardada desde mis dias de escuela superior, y me puse a pensar si por fin puedo hacer un deck que lo use...

And yes, I know about the errata. But this deck itself is a challenge I can't pass up.

Y si, conozco del errata. Pero el mismo deck es un reto que no pienso ignorar.

I think I'm finally letting the heat get to me...

Creo que estoy dejando que el calor me llegue...

Turbo Pack 3

Ultimate Rare (1):
Caius the Shadow Monarch

Ultra Rare (1):
Dark Grepher

Super Rares (4):
Rescue Cat
Morphtronic Celfon
Treacherous Trap Hole

Rares (6):
Dark Eruption
Magical Android
Gladiator Beast Retiari
XX-Saber Faultroll
XX-Saber Ragigura
Saber Slash

Commons (9):
Nobleman of Crossout
Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer
Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude
D.D. Crow
Cloak and Dagger
Superancient Deepsea King Coelacanth
Gladiator Beast War Chariot
Koa’ki Meiru Drago

Now then, this pack is quite interesting. There's a lot here to be happy about. But as usual, there's many within the YGO community who will bash this pack and say it's full of unplayable cards.


Now, time to focus on the good.

First off, a Caius reprint (though ouch to seeing it as an Ultimate) is nice to see, since it's pretty hard to get one as it is.

Ultra Grepher should look awesome, but I was hoping it would be at a lower rarity. But oh well, beggars can't be choosers.

Super Cat looks really cool, but Rekindling and Celfon are the ones I like most (yes competitive players, I just said Rekindling and Celfon are cooler than Cat...I mad).

As for the rares...where can I begin?

Magical Android, Dark Eruption, and Retiari are simply phenomenal. The Saber reprints are good and all, but the first 3 I like the most (competitive players must be having an aneurysm right now for reading this).

And then, the beloved commons. Once again, these are the most important considering we will be seeing these practically 80% of the time.

D.D. Crow, Coelacanth, War Chariot, and Drago common reprints are indeed something to celebrate. I admit, Kycoo seemed a bit random here (as did Nobleman and Diamond Dude), but hey, it's nice to see them here anyways.

Overall, it's a pretty nice pack that should motivate anyone to go to tournaments and get these little packs.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Copa Mundial

En honor a la vistoria española en la copa mundial, quiero felicitar a todos los siguientes de este blog que provienen de España o son españoles. En verdad fue un tremendo partido y fue una gran victoria para nosotros.

Ahora, mientras no soy 100% español (pero vengo de familia española), senti un gran orgullo al ver que ganamos en esta copa.

Este saludo es para ustedes!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Zero Fish: Destiny Edition

Well, I'm off to take a break from Fish for a while. Need to take some time with another water deck and refresh ideas for Fish. But before I go on that fishing break, I will leave here the other version of Zero Fish.
This one uses Destiny Heroes (mostly Malicious and Dasher) and a few other Dark monsters to feed both D-Draw and Allure.

While not my favorite version of Fish, it's one of the craziest ones I have done.

So here it is:

And with this last Fish deck in some time, I go off to search for other water decks to turn to.

Perhaps the Ice Barriers from HA02, or maybe giving another shot at Sea-Serpents...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Fleur de Chevalier

I saw this was coming out in the next Tag Force game and went nuts. This card is indeed good.

Vi que está carta va a salir en el próximo juego de Tag Force y me volví loco con anticipación. Ésta carta es buenisima.

It's stats and effect:
Synchro level 8

"Fleur Synchron" + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
Once during your turn, you can negate the activation of an opponent's Spell or Trap Card, and destroy it.
Sus atributos y su efecto son:
Sincronía Nivel 8


"Flor Sincrón" + 1 o más monstruos que no sean Cantantes
Una vez durante tu turno, niega la activación de una Carta Mágica o de Trampa de tu adversario, y destruyela.
Great effect. Sure, it's limited to negating only 1 Spell/Trap during your turn, but that's all you need when you look at it. Fleur can negate Torrential, Mirror Force, Dimensional Prison, Shrink, Compulsory, and other troublesome cards that can leave you wishing you had that set Dark Bribe.

Gran efecto. Y aunque esta limitada a negar solo 1 carta magica o trampa de tu oponente durante tu turno, es todo lo que necesitas. Fleur puede negar ese Torrential, Mirror Force, Dimensional Prison, Shrink, Compulsory y otras cartas que te pueden dejar deseando tener Dark Bribe en el campo.

And not just that, you can also bring it out with this little popular fellow:

Y no solo eso, sino que puedes sacar esta carta con la ayuda de un cierto Tuner bien famoso:

Since Quickdraw substitutes any "Synchron" tuner, you can easily use it for Fleur the same way you would summon Junk Destroyer.

Como Quickdraw substituye cualquier tuner "Sincrón" se puede usar para Fleur de la misma forma que Junk Destroyer.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Shooting Star and Scar-Red

Star Strike Blast has some new incredible "boss" synchros. And for once, they are actually quite simple to summon (unlike the Savior dragons).

(Effects weren't written down due to not being 100% confirmed yet)

First runner is Scar-Red Nova Dragon, the easiest one to summon by far.

All it needs in Red Dragon Archfiend and 2 tuners for the summon.

Flamvells can summon it via Rekindling (summoning Firedog, Magician, Archer, and Baby)

One RDA with 2 Deep Sea Divas is another way.

Blackwings can use Blizzard to revive Mistral to gain easy access to 2 tuners.

Junk Synchron + Turbo Synchron is another excellent way of doing so.

Fish can also do it, considering they can summon Formula Synchron like nobody's business...

And speaking of Fish...

This guy is going to get abused in Fish once it comes out!

I think Fish decks can bring this guy out with little to no effort.

Summon Coelacanth and proceed to swarm with 1 Oyster Meister, 2 Royal Swamp Eel, and 1 Golden Flying Fish/Metabo-Shark. All while keeping Fishborg Blaster in your graveyard or hand to discard for Coelacanth's effect.

Tune RSE with the first lvl 4 Fish to make Stardust, then tune the other RSE with Oyster to make Gungnir (can't wait for this card to get to the TCG) and leave off a token.

Discard a card to special summon Fishborg from the graveyard and tune it with the token for a Formula Synchron.

Proceed to go nuts.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Zero Fish: Redux

Lately, I have been working on a newer version of Zero Fish.

While it is still mainly a Fish deck, it uses Absolute Zero as a secondary boss. The traditional win condition for Fish is still here, the synchro swarm.

However, this deck differs in a few ways:

1. It uses Future Fusion to dump Coelacanth/Treeborn mostly, instead of being focused on Zero itself.

2. While this deck uses only 2 copes of Zero (mainly to have more space on the synchro options), 2 Miracle Fusions and 1 Future Fusion are mained.

3. With Miracle Fusion and Phantom of Chaos, D.D.R. is being considered over Symbols of Duty.

4. Like Genex Fish, this deck uses Symbols. But to differ, it runs only 1 copy due to only 3 normal monsters in the deck.

5. A single copy of Trap Stun has proven useful, as you will face constant threats to Zero when your opponent has no monsters. This is just a good measure.

The deck has been testing quite well for the time being, and while I have considered using D-Heroes instead, this version is the closest thing I have to completion.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Duelist Revolution

Even though there's still a month before this gets released in the TCG, I want to get my thoughts on some of the interesting stuff in this pack.

First off, you already know how much I'm interested in the Amazoness cards, so I won't divulge into that.

First off we have a little critter that's worth using in any stun deck:

Naturia Bamboochute

If you Tribute Summon this card successfully using a "Naturia" monster as a Tribute, your opponent cannot activate Spell or Trap Cards while this card is face-up on the field.
This card alone is good enough to launch Stun Decks to another level. This little thing packs so much hate in one effect, I'm going to make a deck around this. Probably going to use another fun name like Bamboo Control, Glenn Beck.dek, Rocky Bamboo, or anything else that hits my mind. But combined with Rock Stun is the best bet I can give, considering Naturia Cliff can work wonders in the deck itself as a floater.

Another cool monster we got here in Effect Veiler.

During your opponent's Main Phase, you can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard and select 1 monster your opponent controls. Negate that monster's effects until the End Phase.

Now, this can be quite the good side-deck material for many decks. Sure, it unfortunately won't stop things like Gorz, Kalut, or Honest, but it works wonders against Faultroll, Monarchs, Substitoad, floaters (Emmersblade being the most common one), Rai-Oh, Jinzo, Vanity's Fiend, Banisher, and so much more.

Quite the handy thing to have around. This card has been seriously overlooked.

Next up:

Delta Fly

Once per turn, you can increase the Level of 1 other monster you control by 1
Dragon decks are going to go apesh*t with this card. Hopeless Dragon can have yet another great tuner. Heck, even if you're not running a Dragon deck, this is one great tuner to use with any level 4 monster for an instant level 8 synchro.

Another interesting card worth mentioning is Divine Warning:

Pay 2000 Life Points. Negate the Summon of a Monster or the activation of a Spell Card, Trap Card, or Effect Monster's effect that includes the Special Summoning of a monster and destroy it.
Great for things like Battle Fader, Gorz, and other annoying monsters that summon via effect.

And lastly, a card nobody has yet to mention but is really good support for a specific deck.



When this card is Normal Summoned, you can select 1 Level 1 Beast-Type monster in your Graveyard and Special Summon it in face-up Defense Position. The effect(s) of the monster Special Summoned by this effect is negated.

Yet another way to recycle King of the Beasts via Moja. Even though it says it negates effects, Moja's tributing is a cost. It won't have any issues at all bringing back the beastly behemoth the deck depends on.

There's a whole lot more worth mentioning (Double Syclone, Scraps, Unicorn Cards), but that's all I got for today...

Eevee Decks

Besides my anxiety for the Amazoness cards in the upcoming DREV set for August, it's not the only game with new deck ideas coming in.

Pokemon will also have a new set in August (I believe), and it's sure to pack quite the deck...with Eevee!

Umbreon was the first one to make me see how interesting the Eevee decks were going to be...

EvoBlast (1 Darkness, 2 Colorless)
This attack does 50 damage plus 10 more damage for each Pokémon that evolves from Eevee on your Bench.

EvoBlast Umbreon sounds like a really fun card to have, especially concerning that we still have this Eevee...

With this, we can basically have a great Eevee Toolbox engine going on.

Now that's an interesting deck I would like to see come August.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Generation Shift it destroys a monster as a cost to add another one to the hand, huh? I wonder where this can work?

Perhaps if I combine it with Amazoness Village...

Props to Harpie_Commander for pointing this out

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