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Looking Back: The Deck Spread in Orlando

October 17th, 2009

The numbers are in! KDE has tallied all the Deck lists from the SHONEN JUMP Championship held in Orlando 3 weeks ago. Out of a Day 1 field of 673 competitors this was what Duelists played:

20% – Gladiator Beasts
19% – Lightsworn
10% – Blackwings
8% – Chaos
6% – Zombies
5% – DARK Synchro
4% – Twilight
28% – All Others Combined

Surprised? Let’s take a quick look.

First up, Gladiator Beasts were the most popular Deck in Day 1. More than 120 Duelists staked their fate on the strength of cards like “Gladiator Beast Gyzarus” and “Gladiator Beast War Chariot.” But with so many Gladiator Beast Decks in contention, not a single one managed to make it to Day 2. Gladiator Beast Duelists here in Austin may have to go back to the drawing board and innovate the archetype if they want to find success, perhaps helped out by new cards like “Ancient Forest.”

Lightsworn was the next most common deck in Day 1, winning 9 out of the 16 Day 2 qualifications. This was no surprise – Lightsworn has been played by a lot of Duelists for the past year, and many competitors went into Orlando deeply familiar with the Deck. Lightsworn are capable of scoring huge wins in come-from-behind situations, draw a lot of extra cards, and wield plenty of strong monster effects. The continued lack of a winning Lightsworn Deck might cause some to lose faith in this Deck, but upcoming reprints of key cards will mean that new Lightsworn Duelists can take their place, and might have better luck. (Upcoming Lightsworn reprints include “Solar Recharge” in Ancient Prophecy Special Edition, “Charge of the Light Brigade” in Stardust Overdrive Special Edition, and “Honest” in Twilight Edition.) It seems as if Lightsworn will continue to occupy their fair share of the field for months to come.

Blackwings took first and second place in Orlando, but made up only 10% of the Day 1 field. The double-pronged victory for “Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor” from Ancient Prophecy is doubly impressive because of the Deck’s low numbers in the tournament, and also because it was the first SHONEN JUMP Championship where Vayu was legal.

Chaos Decks filled 8% of the tournament, while Zombies occupied 6%. The latter seems to be way more popular here in Austin than it was in Orlando, with vendors this morning even remarking that they were selling out of Zombie cards – including the Ancient Prophecy Secret Rare “Kasha”.

And finally, there’s the biggest number of all: 28% of all Duelists played a Deck that would fall under ‘other’. This would include the “Rescue Cat” and “Sky Scourge” Decks that made it to Day Two in Orlando, plus all the X-Sabers, Gadgets, Destiny Heroes, Spellcasters, Dragons, and tons of other Decks that players brought.

This is evidence that you don’t need to play a Deck you don’t want in order to attend, compete, and have fun at a SHONEN JUMP Championship. You can just bring your favorite Deck and Duel as you see fit!