Home > 2011/09 - Toronto, Canada, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Tech Update: Splashable Suites

Tech Update: Splashable Suites

September 18th, 2011

Usually when we talk about tech choices that are appearing in a wide variety of Decks, we’re usually talking about single cards.  But one of the cool things that makes YCS Toronto stand out from previous events, is that we’re actually seeing entire suites of cards being played across a number of different strategies.  The result is an impact far greater than single cards could achieve alone, and deeper, more influential trends that have shaped this tournament from the ground up.  Let’s discuss some of the most popular suites that we’ve seen this weekend, and let’s start with the biggest!

Tour Guide and Black Luster Soldier:
One of the most notable changes in the new Advanced Format was the return of Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, and Duelists are going to great lengths to fit the oldschool powerhouse into their Decks.  With Effect Veiler being so popular, and with so many Decks running a substantial number of LIGHT monsters beyond Veiler, most Duelists just have to add DARK monsters to the mix in order to play the Soldier reliably.  As a result, we’re seeing the following five cards popping up in all sorts of different Decks:

3 Tour Guide from the Underworld
1 Sangan
1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning

With most Decks already running Rank 3 Xyz Monsters, Tour Guide and Sangan are a strong addition to almost any strategy.  Getting a DARK to the Graveyard is as easy as Summoning Tour Guide; Special Summoning another one from your Deck; and stacking them to make Number 17: Leviathan Dragon.  Detaching a Tour Guide to boost Leviathan to 2500 ATK makes Leviathan a topnotch attacker, and lands the necessary DARK monster in the Graveyard.  Alternatively, an early game Tour Guide Special Summoning Sangan will feed the Soldier a DARK once either monster is sent to the Graveyard, and Sangan’s effect can then be used to get Effect Veiler, completing the pair of monsters that must be banished for the Special Summon.  With all five pieces of this suite being so useful and so versatile, it’s a huge hit this weekend.

Double Veiler:
Speaking of Veiler, the double-Veiler suite is also tremendously popular this weekend.  No surprise there: Veiler is the tech card of the weekend, achieving massive popularity in a huge spread of Decks.  Shutting down everything from Tour Guide and Black Luster Soldier, to Master Hyperion, XX-Saber Faultroll, and Karakuris.  If you aren’t playing Veiler yourself, you may want to consider adding it to your Deck.

Veiler is also a Level 1 Tuner and a LIGHT Monster, making it even more flexible.  It’s not just a top counter card to trump your opponent’s best moves: it can also start your own big Synchro plays, or serve as one half of the Special Summoning cost of a Chaos monster. Effect Veiler’s popularity is no surprise: most Duelists saw this coming.

Double Maxx “C”:
Now this – this was a surprise that almost nobody saw coming!  Along with double Veiler, a significant number of top-ranked Duelists were playing two copies of Maxx “C”. Maxx “C” is one of those cards that works really well against veteran Duelists: with the threat of Tragoedia and Gorz the Emissary of Darkness looming in the wings, most Duelists this weekend have demonstrated that they’ll stop their turns cold when their opponent activates Maxx “C”.  In previous formats, Maxx “C” wasn’t as effective, because many competitors would just try and power through it to win the Duel then and there.  But that’s a lot tougher to do now. Decks like Six Samurai aren’t nearly as popular, while from-the-hand monster effects that can stop would-be wins are seeing far more use.  If a Duelist does try to press, they risk feeding the Maxx “C” player a ton of free cards, setting themselves up for a loss on the next turn.

And while Effect Veiler can sometimes shut down a turn in the same way, it’s important to note that you spend a card using it: you pitch Veiler, and you don’t get anything in return. Maxx “C” is different: when your opponent activates their Monster Reborn; Tour Guide from the Underworld effect; or starts Special Summoning Mystical Shine Balls with The Agent of Creation – Venus, you Chain with Maxx “C” and instantly draw a card to replace it.  That slight edge is a big deal, in a format where speed and efficiency make for tournament victories.

Starlight Set-Up:
Another impact of Heavy Storm’s return is a split in attitudes on Trap Cards. Some Duelists have adapted by keeping a few important Traps like Solemn Judgment and Solemn Warning (both of which have been largely regarded as too important to pass up), combined with Chainable Traps like Compulsory Evacuation Device, Safe Zone, and GottomsEmergency Call, along with Spells like Smashing Ground.  Other Duelists have decided to stick with non-Chainable Trap Cards, and have opted instead to protect their larger Spell and Trap Card Zones with Starlight Road.  This suite has seen a lot of use this weekend:

2 Starlight Road
2 Dimensional Prison
2 Bottomless Trap Hole

The Starlight suite is a no-brainer for Decks that rely on Continuous Spells and Traps, or Field Spells: it’s virtually a must for Gravekeepers, which needs to protect Necrovalley to keep its monsters big and aggressive.  The suite’s also highly useful for Decks that rely on big back rows, and that use lots of monster removal to control the Duel and quicken the pace: Gadgets, Nordics, Gladiator Beasts, and Anti-Monster Decks all fit the bill.  But at the same time, any other Deck can use the suite as well, and that’s part of what makes this format so unpredictable.  Whatever Deck you’re up against, it could be running Starlight Road with a bunch of removal; Chainable Traps with extra Spells; or other, even less foreseeable lineups.  Even amongst Decks of the same strategy, like Agents or Plant Synchro, the Trap choices can make things radically different.

Trap Dustshoot and Mind Crush:
Finally, a number of intrepid Duelists this weekend dove right in and are now playing the following:

1 Trap Dustshoot
2 Mind Crush

Players are being more conservative with their Trap Cards, which keeps more cards in more Duelists’ hands. That makes it far easier to use Trap Dustshoot.  What once was a dead card two or three turns into a Duel, can now be a live draw ten turns in, and that’s led to Trap Dustshoot seeing far more play.  It’s good timing: with Mind Crush now Semi-Limited instead of Limited, competitors can use the information they gain from their first Dustshoot or Crush, and use it to make decisions with these cards later.

Playing this suite here this weekend was a risk: while there are lots of Decks like Agents that search cards from the Deck to the Hand (which make them an easy mark for Mind Crush), there are lots that don’t.  Worse yet, with no dominant Decks established yet, and the field so varied, making those Mind Crush plays without seeing an in-hand card can be really tough.  This suite actually did pretty well here in Toronto, but once the dust settles after this event, and players are more familiar with the Decks they’re encountering, Trap Dustshoot and Mind Crush get much better.

These suites can be run in a variety of Decks, so if you’re not familiar with them, consider playing them in your strategies moving forward.  They’ve all been successful here this weekend, and any one could present the edge you need over your opponents.