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Card Statistics from YCS San Jose

October 9th, 2010

Analyzing which Decks you’re likely to encounter in a tournament is important when picking a Deck to run, but thinking about which cards you’re likely to encounter in any Deck can be helpful when you’re deciding on a play or thinking about using a specialized card in your Deck. Check out some of the card statistics from YCS San Jose and some of the trends that have been emerging since YCS Toronto, and think about how they may affect some of your plays or card choices.

Hot Cards in the Top 16

Despite the vast Deck diversity in the Top 16, there were some cards that were in common among several of the Top 16 Decks. Consider the likeliness of encountering these cards, and let it guide your decisions in a Duel.

Pot of Duality was used by 11 of the Top 16 competitors in San Jose, with a total of 20 copies used in the Top 16 Decks. This was a drastic rise from YCS Toronto, which only had 6 players in the Top 16 using Pot of Duality, and a total of 13 copies of it in the Top 16 Decks. Pot of Duality also had a rise in popularity among the general field of players, with 29% of the competitors in San Jose using at least 1 copy, while only 20% of the players in Toronto played it. Could this rising trend cause an increase in the popularity of Thunder King Rai-Oh or Mystical Refpanel?

Solemn Warning was also used by 11 of the Top 16 players in San Jose, with a total of 19 copies present in the Top 16 Decks. This is a slight decrease since YCS Toronto, where 11 Duelists in the Top 16 managed to use 24 copies among them, but nevertheless verifies Solemn Warning’s dominating presence in the game. Moreover, Solemn Warning experienced a large increase in popularity among the overall field of competitors. 46% of the players in San Jose ran Solemn Warning, which is a higher percentage than the 32% that used it in Toronto.

Trap Stun, a popular card used to replace Heavy Storm and limit Solemn Warning’s impact, had a significant decline in popularity in the Top 16 Decks at YCS San Jose, despite an increase in popularity among the full field of Duelists. Only 7 of the Top 16 competitors in San Jose used Trap Stun in their Decks, aggregating 13 copies of it in the Top 16. The previous YCS in Toronto had almost twice as many Duelists using Trap Stun in the Top 16, and almost twice as many copies of it in the Top 16 Decks. In Toronto, 13 of the Top 16 players used a combined total of 22 copies.

These may seem like unexpected results, given the 9% increase since YCS Toronto in the overall popularity of Trap Stun. In fact, 45% of the Duelists in San Jose ran Trap Stun, with 2 copies in more than half of those Duelists’ Decks! However, it’s possible that Duelists were more prepared to face Trap Stun in San Jose than they were in Toronto, and used more Quick-Play Spell Cards and Effect Monsters, like Book of Moon and Effect Veiler, to get around big plays that make Trap Stun so effective. That may be why fewer copies of Trap Stun were seen in the Top 16 Decks. 72% of the competitors in San Jose used Book of Moon (most popular in 3s), and 19% of the competitors used Effect Veiler.

They’re Everywhere!

There were a bunch of other cards that could be found in the majority of the Decks used in San Jose. If you’re aware that your opponent is likely to be running these cards, you can make better-calculated plays to get around them when your opponent has these cards face-down.

Bottomless Trap Hole, for instance, was used in 80% of the Decks entered into YCS San Jose, and 75% of the players in the tournament used the maximum 2 copies allowed. This means you should be careful when Summoning a monster against just about any Deck. If your opponent has a couple of Set cards, there’s a good chance that one of them is a Bottomless Trap Hole.

Dimensional Prison was another popular card in San Jose, used in a variety of Decks. 40% of the competitors in the YCS used Dimensional Prison, and more than half of those players used 2 copies. If you can’t afford to lose your attacking monster, you may want to think twice about attacking with it when your opponent has cards in his back row. There’s always a chance that Dimensional Prison will remove your monster from the game.

Thunder King Rai-Oh also had a major presence in competitors’ Decks. It was used by 19% of the players, most of whom ran 2 copies. With the high popularity of X-Saber and Gladiator Beast Decks, and the rising popularity of Pot of Duality, this shouldn’t be a surprise. But it should definitely be something to watch out for when choosing your Deck or picking cards to include in your Deck.

Mystical Space Typhoon was another popular card in San Jose, used by 69% of the competitors. However, only 52% of the competitors in San Jose used 2 copies, which is a 13% decrease from YCS Toronto. This decline in Mystical Space Typhoon’s popularity is most easily explained by the increased popularity of Trap Stun among competitors. Could Mystical Space Typhoon slowly be fading out of Duelists’ Decks, in favor of cards that pin down a bunch of the opponent’s Spell and Trap Cards at once, like Trap Stun and Cold Wave?

Scrap Dragon is the newest popular Synchro Monster in the competition. Since it’s the only generic Level 8 Synchro Monster that can destroy a card with its effect, 35% of the Duelists in San Jose found room in their Extra Decks for at least 1 copy. While 32% of those Duelists used exactly 1 copy, you can bet that Duelists using Scrap Decks were in the 3% using 2 or 3 copies in their Extra Decks. When your opponent has enough Levels on the field to Synchro Summon a Level 8 monster, watch out for Scrap Dragon!

Taking a look at the popularity of certain cards can help you make strategic decisions. But be careful! Just because a large percentage of competitors may be using a specific card, it doesn’t mean that your particular opponent is using it. Whenever possible, making reads to try to figure out which cards your opponent has is always better than just “playing the odds.” Nevertheless, knowing these statistics can definitely help you limit the cards to consider when thinking about an opponent’s face-down back row.

Understanding the competition is important for every serious Duelist. Follow this weekend’s coverage of YCS Philadelphia to see new trends emerge, and find out which Duelists were the most prepared for the tournament!