Full disclosure – if you came here for an optimistic account of victory, you came to the wrong place.
So I hadn’t played Yu-Gi-Oh for a month (real life uh, found a way) and decided the best way to get back into it was to dive headfirst into the first regional since the release of Shining Victories. It wasn’t a good idea, but I was prepared to deal with the consequences.
I hit up my bros for a good Monarch decklist, since I didn’t own any of the new Kozmo cards. Monarchs are known for drawing brick hands, but it was either that or going in with something even less reliable, so I was just out to find the best list possible.
We settled on some sick combos with Brilliant Fusion, focusing on making Ultimaya Tzolkin with Quickdraw Synchron and The Prime Monarch. The fact that the only Tzolkin I own is French was hopefully not going to be a problem.
So, with this hastily thrown together deck in hand, I jumped in for a Sunday of fun(?) at GUF Brisbane.
ROUND 1: Jordan – Magician Pendulum
Round 1 was against Jordan, a pretty cool guy who is known for having some spicy techs. He was running Magician Pendulum, a deck that I wasn’t really expecting post-banlist. I won the dice roll and elected to go first.
My first turn ends at a solid “okay”, with a board of Tzolkin, Beezle and The Prime Monarch. Unfortunately I don’t have any actual Monarchs, or a way to get to one, but I’m hoping Tzolk might just get me there.
Jordan opened pretty damn well, with a Magical Abductor into multiple spells including Terraforming. He makes a sizable board including an Apex Avian, Majespecter Kirin and an Abyss Dweller and clears my field.
I look at my hand, realise all of my good cards are in the grave, and when he activates the Dweller in Standby I scoop it up.
This time my opening is atrocious. I tribute for a Kuraz to pop some dead cards and draw more cards that are also dead. Jordan opens with Majespecter Raccoon and Pendulum Call, so he has ample dudes to kill me. He makes Utopia Beyond with Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon on the field, which is 8000 damage on it’s own.
Lessons learned – I should probably just summon Crystal Wing going first blind.
ROUND 2: Malcolm – Kozmo
This round was located on the bottom tables, which were using the computer chairs from Guf. This is fortunate, as the comfy chair helped soothe me after my round 1 ass-kicking.
Malcolm rolled a seven, I rolled snake-eyes and was forced to go first.
I resolve Pantheism three times in my first turn, and after drawing that many cards statistically some of them have to be good. I end with a field of Erebus, Tzolkin and Crystal Wing.
My opponent obviously had an incredibly sub-par opening, and banishes two Kozmo monsters to summon Kozmo Dark Planet. He punches over my Erebus and passes.
I draw, set a card to summon Beelze off Tzol and punch for 6k over the Dark Planet. Crystal Wing negates the search. Malcolm draws to three cards in hand and scoops.
I go first, look at my five cards and pass. Monarchs, man.
Malcolm actually has a turn this time, he ends with a Tin Can -> Destroyer -> Tin Can play, taking a Sliprider in the end phase.
I Stormforth into Either, ending with another Stormforth set and an Either in hand.
At this point, my opponent mentions that in Game 1 I managed to shuffle away his very live Kozmotown with Erebus, and this game he just hasn’t seen one. No Town today.
I make a Trishula with Junk Synchron, Edea and The Prime Monarch and it’s all over.
ROUND 3: Maice – Ghostricks
I legitimately love the aesthetic of Ghostricks. I had a playset of them in max rarity when they released and I was secretly hoping the whole time that they might be good. While they have settled as a reasonable rogue deck, they never quite had the kick I wanted.
I introduce myself to my opponent, who seems like a cool guy. Game 1 I summon Erebus to shuffle away a set card, which was apparently Quaking Mirror Force.
Unfortunately for my opponent, I know what his cards do. Making your opponent read is one of the big advantages of Rogue decks, as you will often steal wins from people not playing around cards because they don’t know they exist.
Also, it turns out that set monsters that were Tribute summoned are still considered Tribute summoned, which makes Ghostricks a pretty rough match-up for Maice.
My score pad honestly just says “Game 1 – Monarch things, Game 2- Monarch things.” My opponent was a cool guy about it though. Good for him.
Between round 3 and 4 we had lunch. I only mention this because the kebab I ordered turned out to be roughly the thickness of your average leg, and my truest victory for the day was almost finishing the whole thing. Men with bigger appetites than me told me, “There’s no way you are getting through all of that.” Oh ye of little faith.
Anyway, full of meat and optimism, I continued on my journey to greatness.
ROUND 4: Cameron – Qliphort feat. Card of Demise
As long as there has been Yu-Gi-Oh, there have been decks designed to allow the least Yu-Gi-Oh possible to be played. These decks have recently seen a boost with Card of Demise, which allows them to set their entire hand, draw more cards, and then set those, too. Greeeeeat.
Cameron, my opponent, seems like a pretty chill dude. I win the dice roll and go first.
My hand is literally every Synchron I play bar one. Oh, but I have a Tuning, so I quickly add the last one, do absolutely nothing else, and pass.
My opponent just completely shuts me out of the game. There are five traps on the table and a Necrovalley against my zero ways to remove spells and traps, so I die.
I side infinite Twin Twisters for this match up, and what do you know, I draw one. Sadly for Dan, I draw one and my opponent opens no back row. Nevertheless, I tribute his Qliphort Carrier with Stormforth twice, and just grind him out of advantage with higher quality cards.
Everything was going okay with Game 3 until I forgot how to read. One of the reason that Extra Deck Monarchs was not a solid comeback choice is that the deck is very…splintered.
One half of the deck is based on getting out cards from your Extra deck, and the other half says you absolutely CANNOT summon cards from the Extra deck.
So, I put a bunch of Fusions and Synchros on the table, and everyone is cool with it, and then half a turn later my opponent points out that Return of the Monarchs locks you out of your extra. Whoops.
We call the judge over, and he rules that the game state has progressed too far to rewind. Since we both missed it, he rules accepted game state and issues us both a PE – Minor, which is a Warning.
We discussed it later, and I mentioned that, truthfully, we probably could have rewound if he really wanted to, but you should never argue with a judge’s ruling! (Unless it’s a formal appeal.)
Anyway, I got him in the end.
ROUND 5: Richard – Burning Abyss
Eassie is a good mate of mine, so I knew that whichever way this game went, it would be okay.
I build myself a brick house on 45 Brick Ave with all my bricks.
He opens with two Dantes and a lot of damage. I drop the ol’ Stormforth into Erebus to clear them. He makes two more Dantes and I die.
I open Brilliant Fusion into a Monarch, followed up by Prime + Quickdraw into Tzolkin + Crystal Wing. Combooooooooooooooooo.
Further proof of why playing cards like Brilliant Fusion can be awkward. My whole hand is kind of great, and Eassie only has one back row. So I jam in the Fusion and he flips Magic Deflector.
Suddenly my hand is brick town again. I proceed to the Prayer Phase and do NOT get there.
ROUND 6: Dylan – Monarchs
I was shocked that this was my first mirror match of the day, which was also something I was totally unprepared for. I open the Tzolkin+Crystal Wing combo on Dylan, he responds by breaking my board and then we just grind back and forth forever.
Monarch mirror matches are pretty damn grindy, and I think in the end I managed to kill him by summoning Tzolkin+Crystal Wing again. Fortunately for me, he had shuffled it instead of killing it outright, giving me a second run at the combo.
Game 1 took 33 minutes, which is insane, so we started Game 2 with 7 minutes left.
I looked at my hand, bricked and scooped. There is pretty much zero point in forcing a draw at X-2 at a regional, you are more likely to stuff up your chance of topping. Better to go for a clean win, even if it’s for the other guy.
Sadly, I brick again and die like a dead guy. Oh well, points for trying. Except there aren’t.
ROUND 7: Michael – Atlanteans
Without sugar-coating it, at this point I was pretty damn tilted. I went from 3-1 to 3-3 in a massive downward spiral and I was hoping I could at least claw my way back to a positive score.
I opened Maxx C, Maxx C, Monarch, Return + Dead Spell and realise the spiral isn’t over. He does Mermail stuff and I die.
This time I open a live hand, live through the first turn and savagely drop a Trishula to seal the deal. I only dropped Trish twice the entire tournament, and ultimately haven’t regretted cutting it or the Junk Synchron. Both of those cards are only good if you have access to an Edea + Prime, which means you have likely resolved a Monarch and are winning anyway.
Plus you rarely want to waste your normal summon on a non-Monarch.
I open a slow hand, and my opponent opens Raigeki, Instant Fusion and Deep Sea Diva, because he is the Ocean God, Poseidon.
I think I could have handled the loss, except when he turned to me and said “Man, I wish I had seen some of my Side cards today.” As if the two Limited power cards + double OTK wasn’t quiiiiiiite enough for him.
I grabbed my two packs and bailed before the top cut. I pulled both secrets from the box, but it was a Twin-Burst Dragon and a Drowning Mirror Force, which was like winning the lottery with a $12 jackpot.
I learned many things at this Regional, the best one being that I have amazing self-control in the face of adversity, and also how it feels to be at the mercy of a judge. Definitely something I will keep in mind next time I take a judge call myself!
In terms of my deck, this is where I would normally provide a list, except I can’t recommend playing the build. Some of my mates playing the deck did better than I did, but ultimately I think we have all moved on to better ideas.
MVPs were Maxx C every time I didn’t draw more than one, and Tzolkin which is not a fair card if he survives more than one turn.
Hopefully my next report is a bit more positive! That is all for now, but I will leave you with this:
Friends don’t let friends play Card of Demise decks.