The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance?

Malaysia’s Asia Championship Qualifiers 2015 is happening this weekend and I scrubbed Round 1 of Single Elimination. This is going to be one short post but no ranting. It’s obviously salty to have your goals scratched out by reality as early as the first round however any competitive YGO player understands the potential risk of dropping out early. Regardless, how well you have prepared yourself. It wasn’t a total waste of a day since I managed to grab some tasty loots and having a few laughs with distant friends is always a good way to grind off any sort of bad aftertaste. Here’s how my match went:


Game 1: Opponent went first and set three cards and ended. I opened with Goblindbergh, A Hero Lives, Mystical Space Typhoon x2, Fiendish Chain, and drew an E-Emergency Call. Made my move with AHL into Stratos but was met with Skill Drain which of course I replied with MST and my opponent flipped a second copy which caught me by surprise. No brainer, second copy of MST happened and here’s the great twist; he flipped a third copy of Skill Drain on me and I died from there. Damn…

Game 2: I went first but my nigga Dark Law wasn’t around to bring the heat. Game progressed into a grindy pace but I was eventually able to play Dimensional Fissure effectively disabling his monster’s abilities together with that broken spawn-spam-splash trap card Yang Zing has.

Game 3: Dude set a few cards and ended. I did practically the same thing since the only relevant cards I had at that moment was Vanity’s Emptiness and Compulsory Evacuation Device which was quickly rendered useless by Harpie’s Feather Duster. Skill Drain happened again but MST solved the first copy. No action for me because a second piece of IMBA cardboard named Skill Drain practically broke the game for me. Eventually, I tried a few comeback plays with Summoner Monk (Lance-ed it) into Shadow Mist flipping it down with Book of Moon for Mask Change. But it was all pointless. My opponent’s back-rows consist of Mistake, Skill Drain, Imperial Iron Wall, and a set Torrential Tribute.

Being a sore loser is part of improving (not the kind that blames everything on someone else or luck.) Re-evaluating factors and decisions is the best way to move on from a defeat, learning from defeat as they say. I examined the match in my head over and over again but couldn’t move on from the first game where a play-set of Skill Drains murdered me. Was it a mistake or just balls? That decision brought first blood for my opponent, I am not here to diss or rant, having said that, again I pondered on the argument whether it was a misplay which went unpunished or was it pure instinctive guts crafting a high risk-high return tactic? It was a bad beat without a doubt but what happened really got my mind going places thus why I chose to name this post The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance? I have no answer for that situation at the moment. What do you think? Thanks for reading!


Because I Am Japanese And I Call Brooklyn Home

After an extended leave of absence from locals, I finally decided to drag my lazy bones and head out to what would unknowingly be a most wondrous afternoon of slaughter-slash-Yugioh. Most of you are probably aware of the upcoming Yugioh Open Tournament Singapore and the many regionals held all around Asia, today was one of those regionals in Malaysia’s very own Gamers Arena. Upon my arrival I immediately spotted three Malaysian titans; Andrew Abercrombie (HLG) who plays with precision, accuracy, and tears duelists to pieces without even them knowing it, Zack Wonder Boy (2013 Worlds Rep) is one who can outplay A-A hands with wits and luck, and of course for this massacre to be complete the People’s Champion Sung Lee (2012 Worlds Rep) had to be present. Let’s get into it. Oh, I ran Heroes (Terran) because it was the only deck I had.

ROUND 1 (Satellarknights)

Game One: Opponent went first summoning a 1800 ATK Foolish Burial, milled Deneb, set a Trap, and ended. Dude’s one Trap (Fiendish Chain) met my MST and I guess it just didn’t worked for them. I had A Hero Lives, Goblindbergh, E-Emergency Call, the rest was OTK.

Game Two: Dude summoned Deneb and searched Altair with one set card. Played the grinder’s game a bit with Stratos+Vanity and took that round to flex my Yugioh muscles. Eventually, A Hero Lives had to happen.


ROUND 2 (Zombies)

Dimas from Jakarta (Indonesia), I apologize for not being able to share my deck-list with you due to all the tournament hassle. If you happen to miraculously read my blog feel free to drop a comment and I’ll hook you up with the list. Any of my readers who know him please relay this message for me. Thanks!

Game One: I went first and had Dark Law on the field terrorizing him. After a few turns, Dark Law ate a Mirror Force and I had to clone my nigga but it ate another Mirror Force. Both our hands weren’t great so we were forced to grind it out but eventually I appear victorious. Mezuki, Goblin Zombie, and Uni-Zombie is rad.

Game Two: My opponent went first and Uni-Zombied millions of Goblin Zombies. Fucking Zerg! At one point he made Black Rose Dragon and nuked my field (Zergs with nuclear, fucking A…) Having forced to dig deep, I went full-blown Japanese and played technical Yugioh but soon realized my shovel wasn’t big enough to dig myself out from this massive crater Black Rose Nuclear Dragon buried me in. Wrecked~

Game Three: I went first and Dark Law cause he’s cool like that (still had to die to Mirror Force though.) Déjà vu happened again and we both found ourselves in similar grind scenarios which Dimas gained advantage through constant top-decks. I saw Hahpyi no Hanebyouki (NOT HANEBOUKI Konami should definitely change it to Hanebyouki instead), Dark Hole, Monster Reborn, and more.

It came to a point where I was staring down Beelze of the Diabolic Dragon with no immediate outs. I went into my pet Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon for some massive comeback plays but the defining moment was went Dimas got greedy and turned his DEF-positioned Beelze to poke for 1500 ATK trying to cut the game short. With zero back-rows to deal with I top-decked Instant Fusion (2000 LPs left) and Number 101 for the win. I don’t have Castel, I suck.


ROUND 3 (Heroes)

Game One: Karma is a fickle-minded mistress. My opponent went first and opened the optimum Hero play, Number 16: Shock Master (locking Spell) backed by Vanity’s Emptiness. So, yeah, long story short I got Karma-ed and scoop.

Game Two: Karma is a fickle-minded bitch. My turn to go first and guess who ate Number 16+Dark Law+Vanity? Yup.

Game Three: Dude went first and I prayed with every celestial credits I have left not to get Karma-ed. My heart can’t take it even though it’s just Yugioh. I could have died of heart attack AND HE DID NOT HAVE THAT OP PLAY!!! He Stratos searched Shadow Mist, set one, end. My turn came and I took some time to slow roll my opponent because I am an asshole (I admit.) AHL into Shadow Mist to bait that Fiendish Chain and it happened (I had Mask Change in hand), Stratos+Kagetokage searched Bubbleman, killed his Airman, during Main Phase 2 it was practically game. Number 16+Dark Law+Vanity cancer, you will be missed.


ROUND 4 (Wonder Boy’s Nekroz)

Game One: I held onto my OTK/OP COMBO hand while I was facing Djinn Lock with no outs. Something broke in my mind.

Game Two: Remember how Karma is a fickle-minded mistress? Yeah, I went first but could not cancer Malaysian Titan Zack with OP plays because Kagetokage and Blazeman were best buddies (they chill together a lot.) My Japanese kicked in as i Fudo Yuusei-ed my way to the best possible play to survive.  So, Blazeman it was. I milled Shadow Mist and grabbed my other nigga Stratos and plotted an incredibly cancerous Turn Two play while imagining a dramatic scene where I screamed ITTE SHINE while going for game next turn. How could I be wrong? I had Vanity’s Emptiness and Compulsory Evacuation Device backing me up. I sensed a rattled titan so I was convinced. But an IMBA top-deck changed rewrote my soon-to-be prolific moment. Yeah, you guessed it. It was one of the Holy/Unholy Trinity, Hahpyi no Hanebyouki. YUGIOH!!! The titan proceeded to force fed a Djinn-Reversal-Lock and something definitely broke inside my mind.


ROUND 5 (Heroes)

Game One: Dude made paper mache plays and I OTKed him.

Game Two: Dude made paper mache plays again and I OTKed him again.


I made the playoffs and I wanted revenge but Zack Wonder Boy died to Atlanteans. Top Four consisted of Andrew Abercrombie, People’s Champion Sung Lee, an Atlantean Randy (who eventually won AHAHAHAHA PRICELESS YUGIOH), and the only Terran left alive (me.)

TOP FOUR (Sung Lee’s Cyber-Ryu)

Game One: Drew dead, ate Sacred Pleiades (Protoss High Templar)+Cyber Dragon Infinity (Protoss Mothership Core), don't have enough Life Points to make IMBA comeback plays. This sucks.

Game Two: Sung Lee is a seasoned champ and he knows polite mind games better than anyone else in Malaysia’s Yugioh community. I took first turn and immediately went into my Japanese-mode where I take on an Iceman-Johnny Chan-look. My hand consisted of Goblindbergh, Kagetokage, Shadow Mist, and Vanity’s Emptiness (the rest was not important.) I have the OP play so I went for it but upon revealing Kagetokage after Normal Summoning Goblindbergh, Sung Lee dropped a big Maxx “C” on me with a malicious evil impression yet still able to masked it with politeness. Man, this sucks.

The correct play was to stop attempt to bluff the nuts but you can only win that much with grinding. When you play a great player it matters even more to show that you can rattle his or her cage. You need that extra set of balls. At this point, it was shove or fold for me, the Japanese me would have played textbook, but it hit me that I grew up in Brooklyn. I am from Brooklyn. In Brooklyn, we don’t do rattle, we certainly never run, and we never will. Sung Lee took three free cards effortlessly without knowing that I had a hold on his mind. Number 16 (lock Spell)+Vanity OP, enough said.

Game Three: The champ went first with no Yugioh Mothership Core plays (he’s titled.) I was holding a joker hand. The could-be-would-be kinda hand. I had Vanity’s Emptiness, CED, Fiendish Chain, Monster Reborn, Instant Fusion,  and drew into Soul Charge. The only play I had was to call it strong with my only advantage was having titled him and so I did. A couple of draw-and-pass went by (I still don’t have monsters.) Eventually the tension broke with Sung Lee going for Infinity (Solar Wind Jammer+CyDRA Drei) but Fiendish Chain backed with Compulse stopped his tracks. Going back into draw-and-pass and finally I drew into a monster, my favourite suicide jet bomber Goblindbergh. He had one set cards and the cancer wasn’t far away for me so I Reborn-ed his Cyber Dragon Drei, summoned Goblindbergh, whacked for 3200, and during Main Phase 2 my own version of Mothership Core was insight, however, a Book of Moon completely flipped the board (floored my Goblindbergh.)

Sung Lee’s turn came and he went for the Chimeratech Fortress play effectively making my Vanity dead when he added two Galaxy Soldiers into the equation but Book of Moon saved me from a legit Infinity threat. I took 2000 from Fortress (CyDra+Drei) and when my turn arrived I drew a dead Mask Change however I held my fort with Evilswarm Exciton Knight through Soul Charging Noden into Goblindbergh. I set Mask Change. The champ had zero hand cards but I knew he would have access to a free CyDra through his dead Cyber Dragon Core. He had five outs, 3 OOPArts Golden Shuttle and 2 Cyber Repair Plant. Sure enough salvation came through the form of a fucking ancient alien golden jet. Sure enough he went for Infinity absorbed my Verzbuth and swing for 2900. My only out at this moment was Stratos. Unfortunately, Karma’s a bitch. I topped the single copy MST I left inside. GGWP I scooped, we shook hands, and Sung Lee went on to scrub finals. YUGIOH!!!

I ended up in third place and salvaged my day by getting a UR Clear Wing Synchro Dragon from one of the seven booster packs I won. Moral of the story, I need Castel and Terran sucks (Heroes OP if you OP.) ToSsGirL should have piloted Protoss as her name indicated. The end. Blasted Meg & Dia when I wrote this (irrelevant for fun line.) I hope you enjoy this piece and thank you for spending time here. Till next time people.


Michelangelo Swift Kicking And Screaming

Yuki Usagi is a massive game-balancer joining the ranks of Effect Veiler and Maxx “C” and without a doubt will be making its debut very soon. This card is a nice option for a wide range of use due to how generalize the game is right now and having a hand trap against Pendulum Scales is indeed much more reliable in comparison to backrows. Being a Light monster and a Tuner basically gives it the same functions as Effect Veiler held (Light fodder and such) plus Emergency Teleport having access to it opens up a variety of different tactics. I like how Yuki Usagi enables E-Tele to be use similar to a Trap card. The lightweight part about Usag, it doesn’t negate the monster’s effect so it’s somewhat subpar against monsters like Stratos or Atum. A one-for-one trade is good but a lot more can be said otherwise.

Galaxy Cyclone is downright abusive if not a bully. It gives you the similar advantage Breakthrough Skill provides but what really stands out is how players using this card now have constant access to a MST-esque card at their disposal against Pendulum Scales, face-up Traps/Spells. Galaxy Cyclone not being a Quick-Play card is something to be thankful about so is the limitation it has for not being able to activate both effects in the same turn. However, the latter’s restriction can easily be bypass just by having another copy of it in your Graveyard. Talk about redefining strategies.

I am a big fan of the Cyber Dragon archetype but whether or not the strategy will achieve Meta success is still up for debate. Cyber Dragon Infinity is a neat addition to the deck’s arsenal. What I like about it? Infinity gives the deck a strong opening move. For example, go into Infinity with a set Vanity’s Emptiness and you are golden (in some sense.) All you need is three cards for the example combo to work. Despite all the hype Infinity gotten, Chimeratech Rampage Dragon somehow appealed much more to me. Free backrow destruction, Foolish Burial more fodders, and additional attacks to clear the board. What’s important is Rampage opens the option for players to abuse Overload Fusion and it’s a Level 5. Power Bond into Cyber Twin Dragon, Overload Fusion into Chimeratech Rampage Dragon, the rest is up to your imagination. In a way, Rampage plays a more important role for CyDra OTK to be competitively relevant.

Last but not least, Neptabyss the Atlantean Prince. One word, BROKEN. This card just gave Atlantean Mermails another way to one card OTK with Deep Sea Diva. No matter how I look at it Neptabyss looks more like a princess to me. This concludes today’s post. CyDRA OTK is now my default casual deck and hopefully i can find a reason to visit locals soon. Thank you for reading! If you have anything to share, please do so by commenting below.


Twisted Maple Trees

                   (If You Want A Clearer Picture In Mind)

Is Nekroz of Sophia worth playing? A hard question to answer indeed. The nifty Vanity-esque effect from hand is hard to pass off since all Nekroz Spells currently available allows you to fetch another Spell for free. It is kinda sick to able to waste opponent’s Mask Change or Shaddoll Fusion. The fact that Nekroz has the option to run a one-sided hand trap version of Archlord Krystia which is searchable through Nekroz of Brionac is downright demoralizing. However, by relying on Sophia’s effect players effectively bear the cost of constantly depleting their resources to gain temporary control. It’s a known fact that most Nekroz pilots run only six Ritual Spells in the current competitive scene. To incorporate Nekroz of Sophia into your arsenal might see that you increase the amount of Spells played which one way or another brings upon the predicament of opening or drawing into dead cards.

Assuming players utilizes Nekroz of Sophia with six Ritual Spells in their deck, indirectly they are forced to play a rush or OTK style due to the limitations with resources. No doubt the control option is available but the lack of resources will begin to creep in once the match enters midlife or late-game (not accounting for the nuts the opposition could possibly have yet. ) For what it’s worth, at the very least, Sophia is a magnificent last resort with her Trigger Effect. Who doesn’t like a clean slate really? Though, again, choosing to make this move pushes you further into a corner when you are already in deep shit. So far the cons weigh much heavier than the pros. One thing to notice is how much Sophia’s Quick Effect simplifies the game stage with one-for-one trades or an early minus later turning into a plus (stopping Exceed/Synchro  plays and running over weak monsters during your turn.) IF there is no Main Phase 2 involved. Truth be told, having an Effect Veiler or Maxx "C" would warrant a safer bet. 

What I am thankful for is this card requires tributes belonging to different types from the field and don’t come with the usual Nekroz Monster privilege of being free. Also, having additional clause of preventing Normal and Special Summons after activating it’s Trigger Effect is a good curb. Good job on Konami’s part for keeping the card design healthy. Calling the thought of dealing with Sophia that is accessible through Nekroz Kaleidomirror or Nekroz Cycle a mind-fuck is perhaps an understatement. But I admit it is regrettable as well since it would have propelled Nekroz mirror matches to a different level (skills and whatnots.) Conclusion, would I play Nekroz of Sophia? Yes, probably as a tech or at two. The answer to “is it worth playing question” though depends entirely on individual perspectives. Put on your thinking cap I suppose? Once again, thank you for spending time here and I hope you enjoyed the article!


To Where My Shoe Points

                  (Greatest Story Ever Told By Green Goblins)

Prepared Explosives is one of those cunning cards you see once in awhile. On first glance, it seems to be another new addition to Chain Burn strategies. With more strategies disregarding Life Points to obtain their winning conditions, Prepared Explosives’ effectiveness deserves some mention regardless whether it makes its debut in the competitive scene or not. Chipping away Life Points from decks like Qliphorts or Heroes is always a good thing since it allows big pushes to be feared more in accounts of surprise burns. Sort of like how Satellarknight Sham plays a role in their strategy, this card provides you with the option of added pressure towards your opponent’s decision making. 300 chips for each card they control can build up to be quite massive since Meta strategies nowadays usually comes with huge front or back rows.

With an additional effect of stealing 1000 Life Points when it is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard makes Prepared Explosives a silent scammer if you will. Robbing off opponent’s Mystical Space Typhoon, Harpie’s Feather Duster and LPs seems like a sweet deal (chain it to MST/Duster snatches 1300 LPs effortlessly.)  Sounds like a possible game ender maybe? That would be exaggerating but nonetheless an option when one chooses to utilize Prepared Explosives in such manner. But where this card truly shines as a tech side is during late-game or Sudden Death/Extra Turn stages. Players are more likely to commit onto their board to either push for damage or bluff for control (setting fake back rows) making Prepared Explosives a huge surprise when resolved successfully. Similar to how top players siding Rainbow Life to counter OTKs or simply to gain Life Point advantage, Prepared Explosives gives you the ability to further deplete opponent’s LPs. Perhaps a better example to compare Explosives to would be Gagaga Gunman.

This card is a simplified version of Gagaga Gunman’s effect and Rainbow Life’s main objective. Albeit it isn’t as versatile as Rainbow Life or Threatening Roar when it comes to tactics and functions but it is an easier card to use during said stages of the match. Whether or not it could be as good as theory says depends entirely of timing. However, taking in account of turn limitations during Sudden Death, pressure can be a big contributor in deciding the victor. Any extra damage is always welcomed. Somehow I like the idea of screwing with people’s mind during Sudden Death stages. Commit and risk getting burned for nothing, don’t commit opponent rushes for colossal amount of damage. Do you think it’s worth siding? Leave your opinions below and thank you for reading!


Talking Reptiles

Why did Heavy Storm got banned in the OCG? One word, Qliphorts. It sounds ridiculous however it does not change the fact that Storm can easily become one of Qliphorts’ nuts or simply put winning condition. The scenario can be a traditional Storm-OTK or more complex plays like blowing your own Saqlifice and searching whatever outs necessary at that particular moment which inevitably leads back to an One-Turn-Kill. How Qliphorts can easily break-even with Qliphort Scout or Saqlifice after Storm hits the field is probably another reason why Heavy Storm got the hammer. Whether it is grind or going in for the kill, Qliphorts profits more from Storm. Ultimately, Heavy Storm is a combo enabler for Qliphorts (Pendulum Scales going into Extra Deck instead of Graveyard, very comical indeed.)

Going further into this topic of discussion, why wasn’t Giant Trunade brought back instead of Harpie’s Feather Duster? Bringing back Trunade doesn’t help in any way and perhaps could hurt the competitive scene even more thanks to the popularity of continuous Spell and Trap cards these days. Taking Qliphorts as an example again, activate Scout and then Trunade it back for another activation gives the controller two “free” cards that can lead to a number of different scenarios. Of course, assuming there is no response to Scout’s activation. Recycling cards like Fire Formation-Tenki or Call of the Haunted for more pluses can be quite cancerous as well or the mere use of Trunade to disable whatever floodgate cards you have activated, combo off, and set them back, is just sick. In a way, Giant Trunade doesn’t provide any balance for the game.

That is why Harpie’s Feather Duster is a necessary evil. Yes, it is one-sided but at the very least it gives off that fear factor which Heavy Storm has so gladly held all these ages. The mere existence of Duster puts off the idea of degenerate plays like what we saw with Dino Rabbits or Verz. Power moves of similar pattern are still particularly common that is why players should be thankful for Duster. When you are not at the receiving end that is. It will take awhile before most attune themselves with the psychological block Harpie’s Feather Duster instills and that’s where we differentiate amateurs and pros I suppose (agree to disagree?) So in the end why did Konami brought back Duster? The answer is simple, there is no other option. At least until they design another Spell card with functions and impacts akin to Storm and Duster (sounds like a waste of time?)

Personally, I voted for Cold Wave instead of Giant Trunade or Harpie’s Feather Duster. But applying the same logic as Trunade, I don’t see how Cold Wave can balance the scales. It’s basically do-or-die with Wave or Trunade. One easy example would be a combo deck getting slammed by Maxx “C”. Now would you really want to be put under such circumstances? Having said that, there are “cute” plays with Cold Wave that could possibly balance off the board. For example, Evilswarm Exciton Knight. But such tactics are rather situational and if you need to pull it practically means you are already behind so it ends up being a do-or-die scenario (and Effect Veiler completely breaks you.) The additional clause of not being able to play Spells after activating Cold Wave is suicidal not to mention. What the hell are Shaddoll, Heroes, or Nekroz suppose to do after Cold Waving? Here’s my two cents. Thank you for taking the time to read! Please comment if you have anything to add. Thank you again!


Taming Monkeys

Experience and instincts, to be honest, they are bastard stepparents you wish you never had. Here's the problem with experience, you only get it after you need it. It doesn't help you right now and it only teaches you enough to help you the next time. I'm talking about the kind of experience that comes from having hot hands then go on tilt and finally you tip over the fucking toilet flushing down three stacks of high society moments earlier was lining up in front of you. The kind that tells you if your girlfriend pushes you to “unnecessary” directions, decisions there is probably a good reason but you're too dumb to comprehend at that moment.

And then there's instincts. It's like catching a glimpse at that big right hook swinging from your blind spot. You see it coming, at the same time, you can't do jackshit about it and the next thing you know you're smacked face down onto that cold rough asphalt. You know, the kind that makes you queasy like De La Hoya walking back into Pacquiao. Like that time you didn't study for your “future defining” finals and you think the answer is A but your instincts tells you it's B and you're left hanging dry eventually you close your eyes, breathe, tap into your inner psyche, and you visualize a clear C in your mind. Yeah, we all know how that ends.

The point is victory loves preparation (Amat Victoria Curam.) That's where you can relate all this with Yugioh. You probably heard it a million times before about how play-testing is half the battle won and all that other whatnots. The truth is, play-testing is important because that is where you can comfortably fail with the least of consequences (or cost.) When you scrubbed a tournament  and try to comfort yourself by saying "It's alright at least i gained new experiences." is probably the worst kind of self-pity and justification you can feed yourself. Hey, K'yde i still don't see your point here! It's simple, experience and instincts they don't help you with today, only with tomorrow.

There is no other way around it. That's where play-testing comes into the equation. Learn everything you can about your enemy (the Meta) and yourself (your deck of choice) during testing stages. Since experiences and instincts only help you with decision-making tomorrow choose to fail today when the cost is low compared to tomorrow when the cost is higher. Albeit there is always the caveat where luck plays a part, however, through experiences and instincts you learn how to deal with it. Or at rare times feel the storm coming before it hits. Remember that time when you wanted to make "IMBA PLAY-A" but your guts can't shut up about "IMBA PLAY-B"? How do you decide? The only rational, logical answer comes from personal experience whether or not to trust your instincts or go with the textbook best play. Either way, you only gains all these insights through experiences.

If you are a competitive player, this is not even a choice. Ask any business-minded people and they’ll tell you investing early is key. Not when the bubble burst. In short, failing early teaches you how to use your brain and when to trust your heart. If you’re gonna suck during play-testing not when you are making a run for a title. Thank you for reading! I'm still unsure what to write about for my next post and if you have any requests please leave them down on the comments section. Will see if i am capable of tackling your topic of choice. Thank you again!