Tech Update: Day One

January 9th, 2010

It’s still too early to tell for sure in the main event, but already we’re seeing some big single card choices appearing in a variety of different Decks. Watch for these cards to be defining forces in this weekend’s tournaments.

The saying goes “offense wins games, but defense wins championships,” and that was certainly the case in the final SHONEN JUMP Championship of 2009! Vincent Ralambomiadana won SHONEN JUMP Championship Columbus just eight weeks ago with the Deck he called “French Twilight,” a Twilight variant packing “Gorz the Emissary of Darkness” and three copies of “Tragoedia.” The result was a defensive powerhouse that could shift gears from aggression to defense at the drop of a hat, a strategy that punished aggressive opponents and made Ralambomiadana a SHONEN JUMP Championship winner.

Duelists have had 2 months to reflect on Ralambomiadana’s success, and the result is obvious everywhere you look today on the tournament floor: “Tragoedia” is everywhere. Zombies, Lightsworn, and even Blackwings are all packing Tragoedia, hoping to block big attacks and steal big monsters. The French (Twilight) Revolution of Dueling has clearly gripped this tournament, making “Tragoedia” one of the #1 cards to beat in the minds of many players competing here today. Useful almost everywhere, “Tragoedia” is being played in nearly everything.


“Enemy Controller”:
…And that’s a big reason why “Enemy Controller” is now popping up in 2’s and 3’s in the Decks of many Duelists! When everyone is relying on the safety afforded by “Gorz the Emissary of Darkness” and “Tragoedia,” the ability to punch through those cards at unexpected times can mean victory. Attack with a monster, draw out that big Special Summon from the opponent’s hand, and then Tribute something you already attacked with to take control of Gorz or “Tragoedia.” That leaves you free to attack with the rest of your monsters and often finish the Duel. Special Summoning Gorz or “Tragoedia” in Attack Position today is going to be a tremendous risk, as “Enemy Controller” could quickly turn either monster back on its owner.

“Enemy Controller” might be less effective in this role when Absolute Powerforce releases in a few weeks, when “Battle Fader” becomes available. “Battle Fader” is Summoned from the hand during the opponent’s turn, similar to Gorz and “Tragoedia,” but instantly ends the Battle Phase, making offensive tricks with “Enemy Controller” useless. (“Battle Fader” also stops the attack before the damage goes through, unlike Gorz and “Tragoedia,” so you never have to take damage.)

Controller should be especially big in Zombies today, where it can be used to Tribute Mezuki or “Goblin Zombie” to claim their unique effects. Players are often refusing to attack when they’re confronted by “Goblin Zombie.” By Tributing it for your own “Enemy Controller,” you can have a way to trigger your Goblin’s effect without moving to your Battle Phase or waiting around for your opponent to attack. This can be extremely useful, throwing conservative opponents off their game.

Blackwings can use “Enemy Controller” to search and Summon “Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor,” and it also works as a bluff, since it looks like you have “Icarus Attack” when you actually have “Enemy Controller.” Once that Vayu is Tributed, its effect can unleash a big attacker like “Blackwing Armed Wing.”

Even just as a defensive card, Controller can be useful in a lot of different ways. Sure, it can block a big attacker and turn it to a more vulnerable Defense Position for a counterattack next turn, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. If your opponent activates “Bottomless Trap Hole” in response to your Summon, you can Tribute the monster that would be removed from play to take one of your opponent’s monsters. This is a great play not just because it can mean victory, but also because cards like “Blackwing Armed Wing” or “Mezuki” can be useful from the Graveyard once they’re sent there. Controller saves them from being removed from the game. If your opponent Summons “Dark Armed Dragon” or “Judgment Dragon,” Tributing a monster that would be destroyed otherwise can let you borrow that big Dragon, and at least defend your Life Points for a turn so you can try and fight back later.

“Enemy Controller” is useful in hundreds of different situations, and it’s an especially awesome pick for this tournament thanks to “Tragoedia” running wild. Any Deck already packing “Book of Moon” can simply swap those Books for Controller, too, making Controller incredibly easy to fit into most Decks. Watch for it to make a big showing in the Top 16 by the end of the day.


“Deep Sea Diva”:
Another card making a big splash here this weekend is “Deep Sea Diva,” which dove into the spotlight when SHONEN JUMP Championship Anaheim winner Jeff Jones took it to Day 2 at SHONEN JUMP Championship Columbus. The Diva is being played in a variety of ways here this weekend. Many Duelists are running just 2 copies, using it for a quick pair of Synchro Summons when the first copy is drawn. Others are hoping for a bit more stability by playing 3 copies, ensuring that even if they hold back on their first Diva, the risk of drawing a second copy is lessened by a third copy still remaining in the Deck to Special Summon. Some are even going so far as to run a single “Spined Gillman” or “Mermaid Archer” to give extra options or a search target for their third Diva after they’ve played the first 2.

There are several players here running Monarch variants, putting Diva to work turning their Level 6 Monarch monsters into Level 8 Synchros.

The ability to quickly throw down a pair of Level 2 Tuners can allow quick wins in virtually any Deck, and the combos “Deep Sea Diva” makes possible aren’t difficult. One just needs to know the Level combinations available and then see the opportunities when they arise to create some truly stunning chains of plays. Since the Diva is so easy to use, and can fit into as few as just 2 Deck slots, it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot of it in a lot of Decks, especially relatively newer Duelists, who can get a huge bang for their Dueling buck thanks to Diva’s combo abilities.

We’re going to see a tremendous amount of “Tragoedia” and “Deep Sea Diva” here this weekend, and while “Enemy Controller” may not prove to be as popular, it’s going to be a deciding factor in who makes the Top 16. Watch for these cards in the upcoming Feature Matches here today, and think about what they could do for your Deck!