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Tech Update: Round 5

April 9th, 2011

We’re finishing up Round 5 (of 9) right now. And based on the Decks we’ve been able to see so far, a few single card trends have made themselves obvious across the Day 1 field. These 4 cards are seeing more play than usual here today at the YCS.

Let’s talk about how you can use them in your Deck.


Seven Tools of the Bandit

Trap Stun was a defining card in many Decks a few months ago, but Duelists have slowly gravitated back towards Seven Tools of the Bandit. Here are some of the reasons:

* Trap Stun can leave all of your opponent’s cards intact when things go wrong. Seven Tools is guaranteed to destroy 1 of them.-It can force your opponent to pay big Life Points if you’re negating a Solemn Judgment or Solemn Warning they’ve already paid for.

* Seven Tools leaves you free to use the rest of your own Trap Cards for the remainder of the turn.

And maybe most important of all:

***** It can’t be negated by Naturia Barkion or Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En. (Since Seven Tools is Spell Speed 3.)


Magic Drain

While we’re on the topic of Counter Traps, a few others are seeing play as well. The most popular of the bunch appears to be Magic Drain, which negates a Spell unless its controller can discard another Spell Card. Drain is seeing more play for a few different reasons:

* As more Decks continue to play an ever-increasing number of Trap Cards, fulfilling the discard condition gets tougher and tougher. Duelists just don’t have extra Spell Cards to discard.

* With Spell Cards like Shien’s Smoke Signal and Dragon Ravine defining some of the top Decks in today’s field, negating the right Spell Card at the right time has never been more powerful.

* Drain can shield your most important Field Spells and Continuous cards from Mystical Space Typhoon and Giant Trunade. Typhoon and Trunade are massively popular and since Dust Tornado isn’t seeing much play, MST and Trunade represent the bulk of most Duelists’ Spell and Trap removal.


Card Trooper:

Another card that’s popping up everywhere today is Card Trooper! Again, there are tons of reasons for this:

* Since you draw a card when it’s destroyed, Card Trooper is an expendable defense in the face of strong attacks

* It’s a safe bluff when Set in the face of Hand of the Six Samurai. Even if Trooper is destroyed with Hand, you get a new card to replace it.

* It counters Thunder King Rai-Oh. Just bump Trooper’s Attack Points to 1900 and slam it into Thunder King. Both monsters will be destroyed, and Trooper’s controller will draw a card as a result.

* It’s useful for filling the Graveyard, something we saw Jonathan Barber take advantage of when he piloted Flamvells to a Top 16 finish at YCS Charlotte. It’s a good combo for any Deck packing Pot of Avarice.

* Virtually all of the top 10 most played Decks from YCS Charlotte had key Level 3 and Level 4 attackers that are easily defeated by Card Trooper, so it’s a universally useful beatstick.


Penguin Soldier:

You might laugh, but this really is happening. Faced with the threat of massive Synchro Monsters, Duelists are resorting to Penguin Soldier to return them back to the Extra Deck. Why? Well…

* Soldier clears the field of up to 2 monsters at a time.

* It does that without destroying the monsters. That’s important in the Samurai and Dragunity matchups, where a destruction effect like Ryko or Snowman Eater could be negated by Musakani Magatama or Stardust Dragon.

* Penguin Soldier is very in a number of Miracle Gemini Decks. Penguin Soldier is a WATER monster, so it fills the need for a WATER Fusion Material in Summoning Elemental Hero Absolute Zero. A surprising number of competitors are subbing out their Elemental Hero Ocean cards, making the leap to the high-impact Penguin instead.


Whether or not this trend will continue beyond the weekend remains to be seen, but it is garnering some astounding results mid-way through Day 1 today!

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