Home > 2010/11 – Atlanta, Georgia > What to Expect In Atlanta

What to Expect In Atlanta

November 20th, 2010

Welcome Duelists! A total of 876 competitors are here today in Atlanta, Georgia for the main event of this Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series. As always, there’s lots of buzz about what kinds of Decks we’ll see, especially since the new Starstrike Blast booster set just released 4 days ago.

Let’s go over the numbers from the past few events and see if we can find some clues about what to expect today. At YCS San Jose and YCS Toronto, the 5 most popular Decks of each tournament were the same: X-Sabers; Gladiator Beasts; Blackwings; Quickdraw variants; and Gadgets.

Things changed a bit at YCS Philadelphia. Blackwings vaulted all the way to the most popular spot, played by 14.79% of the field. X-Sabers slid to number 2, played by 12.10% of the Duelists, while Gladiator Beasts held tight at number 3 with 9.4%. Quickdraw Dandywarrior kept its #4 spot, piloted by 7.24% of the competitors, but Lightsworn (6.16%) ousted Gadgets (5.62%) from the top 5. So Blackwings were the deck to beat at Philadelphia, and Lightsworn might be more of a threat here today. But Deck diversity continues to increase overall. If you take the top 5 most popular Decks at each event, and total the number of players who used 1 of those top 5, the 5 most popular decks made up a combined total of 64.61% of the field at YCS Toronto, and 64.17% at YCS Bochum. But the combined top 5 slipped to 53.28% of the field at YCS San Jose. The trend continued in Philadelphia, when the 5 most-played decks made up less than half the field. With just 49.69% of the competitors running X-Sabers, Gladiators, Blackwings, Quickdraw, or Lightsworn, more than half of the competitors were playing something else entirely.


Starstrike Blasts The Field Wide Open

Quickdraw has been in the big 5 at the last few events, but it’s likely to get a bump with the new Tuning Spell Card in the newly-released Starstrike Blast booster set. Several other Decks gain power from Starstrike Blast, so we might be in for an even bigger bump in diversity this weekend.

We’re likely to see a big jump in Decks like Scraps and Gravekeepers. Those Duelists will be using new cards, and new techniques, to try and outplay the more established strategies. One of the biggest changes might be the addition of Royal Decree. Both Scraps and Gravekeepers can use it to stop more popular Decks from playing many of their best cards, while Gravekeepers also disrupt the opponent with Necrovalley. Most Duelists won’t be ready for these Decks because they’re extremely new compared to the more traditional choices. But Duelists who are playing these Decks will be well-prepared to take on the familiar strategies. While innovation is always an advantage, the arrival of Starstrike Blast means the field is wide open for creative Deck builders this weekend.


Triumph in Philadelphia

While 5 decks made up nearly half the field in Philadelphia, we saw 8 different strategies make the Top 16. X-Sabers were the second most-played Deck in the tournament, and took 5 of the Top 16 spots; Blackwings took 4 spots as the most-played Deck in the competition; and 2 Quickdraw Duelists made the cut. Lightsworn didn’t make it past the Top 32, and Gladiator Beasts didn’t even get to the playoff rounds, despite being the third most-played Deck of the weekend.

Instead, we saw Top 16 appearances from Duelists playing Machina Gadgets, Elemental Hero Absolute Zero, Infernity, Scraps, and of course, Plant Synchro. While Plant Synchro was nowhere near the top 5 most popular strategies, Thanh Nguyen piloted it to a devastating Championship win, defeating hundreds of other Duelists to claim victory. Nguyen’s surprising win came hot on the heels of a similar triumph at YCS San Jose, where Angel Flores took an unexpected LIGHT Gemini Beatdown Deck all the way to Championship gold. Both Decks were invisible on the radar of the average Duelist, and that surprise factor, combined with careful strategizing against the most-expected Decks, crowned 2 back-to-back winners.

X-Sabers and Blackwings continue to be popular, and Quickdraw draws more Duelists by the day, but an upset and another surprise finish here at YCS Atlanta certainly isn’t out of the question. A lot of Duelists are starting to take advantage of the established trends we’ve seen, and since Starstrike Blast has brought so many strategies back into the fray, anything could happen this weekend!