It was just in time for a monthly series of tournaments that my locals holds where we usually get a large turnout than a typical Saturday tournament. Unfortunately, whether because of exams/finals or something else, we only had ~50 entrants, so the tournament was 5 rounds of swiss, then cut to top 8 or 16 depending on the time. My friends were clearly part of the problem, because I was the only one from my group who was able to make it. I never enjoy tournaments where I’m without my friends as much as those when they’re there, but I suck it up and head out to get some practice for our Nationals on May 31st, where I aim to win a Nekroz mat.
But, enough of that. Here’s the round-by-round breakdown.
I didn’t make detailed notes of my hands, but I remember this game I started with Dark Hole, Cycle and Gungnir and not much else of use. I pass with a clear board, hoping to draw into a *ju next turn. My opponent summons a Shaddol Dragon and pokes for 1900. I draw into the Ju next turn, but he responds with Veiler, so I’m forced to just pass again with not much else to do. On his turn, he goes off into Winda with a set Falco and attacks over my Manju. Next turn, I’m able to summon a Unicore and beat over his Winda, but it isn’t enough and next turn he OTKs.
I remember a lot less of this game, but he opens with Math>Squamata>Beast and continues to poke with the Math for a few turns. He Warning’s my Kaleidoscope and then Torrential’s on my next Ju summon, but he isn’t able to draw into anything substantial and I end up taking this game after getting another monster on board. From my LP records, it looks like that monster was a Trish.
I finally open a Ju, but he CCVs off of Falco on as a response to my summon and I’m never able to recover.
This was a good match, but it’s the start of what will become a pattern throughout the day of unplayable opening hands. It’s really an indication of bad ratios in my deck-building and something I need to improve on before nationals. My opponent was chill and the games were alright, these are the kinds of losses I appreciate.
Guy opens with set 4 and Cardcar D. On my standby phase, he activates stuff like Waboku and Jar of Greed. I instantly know he’s playing Exodia and fear for the worst. The game goes on, he draws a ton and I manage to get some pluses off of Valk, eventually setting up for a Trish. It was a bit risky, but he misplays and chains his only set S/T to Trish’s summon rather than the Ritual Spell. After quick call of a judge to clear up rulings on cards staying on the field for the duration of the chain, we roll the dice for his hand-banish and I manage to hit an Arm. He scoops.
This game rolls a bit differently. He manages to get even more draws off this game, but it’s clear he doesn’t have enough battle-protection when he adds a Swift Scarecrow off of Duality. I manage to setup quite a bit of damage and enter battle phase, expecting a Scarecrow drop. Instead, he asks me how much damage he is going to take and I do the math and end up with 7000. He mulls it over and decides to take the damage and conserve his Scarecrow. He’s left with 1000 LP and in MP2, I go into Cowboy and burn for 800. On his turn, he realizes pretty quickly that he can’t respond to it and he scoops with 3 pieces in hand at the time.
He really didn’t fit my mental image of the stereotypical Exodia player, and while this is one of the worst decks in the game to face down, the banter between us made it an alright game and it definitely wasn’t a game of sheer solitaire. He wasn’t even salty when he misplayed and we had to get a judge’s ruling. Wish more players would have this guy’s sportsmanship.
He wins the die role and opts to go first. He uses Solar Recharge and dumps Lyla, which he then summons off of a Lumina. From the 8 cards he mills that turn, I quickly realize that he’s playing Infernoids. Meanwhile, in my first truly decent opening hand of the day, I manage to do the typical Djinn lock play, ending with Clausolas and Chain on board. My opponent ended up needing an explanation of Djinn’s effect so I run through a couple rulings with him and list some of the typical outs (Raigeki, Hole and Book). He looks over his hand, thinks over what I explained about Djinn and just scoops.
I side in 2x Kycoo and some Lanceas to deal with his Infernoids and end up opening 2x Kycoo, 1x Lancea. It’s not the best hand, but my Kycoo pokes pretty much define the game for a bit until he mills a Wulf and is able to beat over my first Kycoo. By then, I have enough combo pieces in hand to go off and end the board with another Kycoo, a Djinn’d Clausolas and a Unicore. He scoops.
This round was over so quickly that I felt dirty afterwards. I really believe Djinn lock is a cancer and I think this match shows exactly why. My opponent was pretty much just speechless after this round, but was never rude about it. He actually kept telling this story to his friends throughout the rest of the tournament. Strangely enough, I always happened to walk by when he was mid-story. Weird stuff.
After a re-pair, I end up getting paired with a Tellarknight player. I used to main them before completing my Nekroz (and I still own them), so I’m a little bit torn to be facing a deck that served me so faithfully all these months. Nevertheless, I proceed to open bricks for the umtheenth time and get my ass handed to me on a gold platter by a five-material Number 86.
He sides in just two cards, so I’m expecting some already main-decked floodgates and in come the sided S/T hate. Thankfully, I see an MST in my opening hand. I manage to do some shenangians on my turn 1, but it isn’t anything substantial like the Djinn lock. On his turn, he does typical set 4, summon Deneb and pass. I draw Brionac for turn, but during my Standby Phase, he flips Mind Drain on me. I chain MST, but I’m blocked by Nova Alpha. I manage to stay alive for a few more turns, but without the ability to search or discard, I can’t manage to set up a board. He eventually combo-wombos with the Seraphs and takes game from there.
Note: While writing up this report, it occurred to me: can he even use Chair’s effect while under Mind Drain? Need to look into this. Although, it’s not like it affected the final outcome anyway.
Looks like my luck dried up. I’m pretty sure I might have had a shot game 2 if I could get rid of the Mind Drain.What could have been. By this point, I already recognize the massive consistency issue my deck has. How does one even have consistency issues in Nekroz? My decklist wasn’t too different from others’, but something about it just wasn’t working out. It was about this time that I realized I would need to trim the fat and Hobanize going forward with the deck.
I know my opponent from seeing him around locals. He wins the die roll and goes first with his Karakuris. He’s able to combo off into a Nat Beast. Looking at my hand of 4 spells (Raigeki, Dark Hole, Book, Cycle and some random monster), I feel the pain when it clicks in my head that he can negate 80% of my opening hand. I pass and in true Karakuri Fashion, I get OTK’d on my next turn. Really, the only out to Beast I had would be Veiler+Book on his turn or Armageddon Knight into Farfa.
I remember just flailing through my side deck, looking for an out to Beast but not finding one. I end up siding Maxx “C”s just because it’s my best shot at digging for Armageddon Knight or Farfa. I open with a Unicore and hope it’ll slow down his plays. It does, in a sense but he just De-Synchros after making a Synchro capable of beating over my Unicore and goes off in MP2. I draw for turn and try to make a small push, but I can’t put a big enough beater on board and get OTKd next turn.
I have to admit, I was a bit salty over that first match with Beast. Really though, it is what it is and it’s just a game. This was the last round for the day though, so I went to get pizza afterwards and all was well with the world.
Final Score: 2-3 🙁
The day would have been a bit better if my YGO-friends could make it, but finals and all that. Thankfully, most of the frequent players at my locals are super friendly and I get along fine with mostly everyone. It was a good first run with my finished Nekroz deck, but I see some room for improvement with my build. Namely, curbing some cards that I hated seeing in my opening hand and going for 37_Card.dek for maximum consistency. I never want to see a completely unusable starting hand at nationals, so I think this is the build I’ll be going forward with. On DevPro, initial testing has been going pretty good. Overall, it was a really good practice for our upcomining Nationals, where I really want to win a Nekroz Mat. You’ll probably be hearing from me about that sooner or later. That’s pretty much it folks!
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