What happened in Round 1?

October 22nd, 2011

Instead of just choosing 2 Duelists to feature this round, I gathered 8 near-by players to observe in this first round Feature, so that I could track the progress and plays of these Duelists. I’ll be giving you a bird’s eye view of these Matches throughout the round, and offering some insight about their plays.

At our first featured table, we had Kyojun Hino running Dark World against Maximilian Grabel’s T.G. Deck.

Hino had a rough start in the tournament. He accidentally drew 7 cards in his opening, and took a Game Loss penalty as a result. Carelessness is your greatest enemy, even in the early rounds of a tournament. This is an easily preventable penalty as long as you make sure to only draw 5 cards before the Duel starts and don’t even think about drawing your sixth until it’s your turn.

In Duel 2, Hino drew 3 copies of Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World with no way to discard them. To make matters worse, he was unable to overcome Grabel’s Gorz the Emissary of Darkness, which won Grabel the Duel! Hino had a Chain Disappearance Set with a Snoww, Unlight of Dark World in Attack Position, and attacked against Grable’s 1 back row. Grable flipped his back row Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy Chain Disappearance, and then Special Summoned Gorz! Hino wasn’t able to destroy Gorz or the Emissary of Darkness Token before his defeat. It was a great play by Grabel, luring Hino into attacking and then springing Gorz for the victory!

This is a common way that experienced Duelists will use Mystical Space Typhoon when they’re on the defensive.  Not only will they clear the opponent’s Trap Card, they’ll also get to Summon Gorz and a Token to counterattack with next turn.

At our second featured table, we had Adam Riedy running a Synchro Fusionist Deck against Lenard Hill’s Dark World.

In Duel 1, Hill used Koa’ki Meiru Doom to lock down Riedy’s plays. Unable to use the effects of Junk Synchron and Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter, all hope was lost for Riedy as he watched Koa’ki Meiru Doom finish him off.

In Duel 2, I watched Riedy Normal Summon Junk Synchron and use its effect to Special Summon Synchro Fusionist from his Graveyard! Then he Tuned his 2 monsters together to Synchro Summon Ally of Justice Catastor, and used his Fusionist’s effect to search his Deck for a copy of Instant Fusion to add to his hand. Catastor then attacked and destroyed Hill’s only monster, Number 17: Leviathan Dragon.

I asked Riedy why he opted to go for Instant Fusion and Ally of Justice Catastor, instead of Miracle Synchro Fusion and T.G. Hyper Librarian, to enable the Summon of Supreme Arcanite Magician. He gave a great answer, showing that he really understands his Deck. “That was the other option,” he said. “But I couldn’t get over Leviathan with Librarian. I would’ve had to use Miracle Synchro Fusion, but I didn’t want to lose my T.G. Hyper Librarian so quickly, and didn’t want to lose the Synchro Fusionist from my Graveyard – 2 key cards to the Deck.”

Hill eventually destroyed the Catastor with the effect of  Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World and used Deck Devastation Virus to hit a whopping SIX cards from Riedy’s hand, allowing him to defeat Riedy shortly after.

At our third featured table, we have Mohamed El-Makdah running Synchro Summon against Martin Fish running Gadgets.

In Duel 1, Fish fearlessly combined Ultimate Offering with a Gadget to swarm the field with 2 copies of Number 39: Utopia and a Wind-Up Zenmaister. He quickly defeated Makdah with his monsters.

We actually had a Strategy Site article about this very Deck a while back. Remain vigilant, lest the same thing happen to you!

In Duel 2, El-Makdah opened up with Sangan, Solemn Judgment, Enemy Controller, Thunder King Rai-Oh, Foolish Burial, and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning. He activated Foolish Burial to send Glow-Up Bulb to the Graveyard and then Set Solemn Judgment and Enemy Controller before ending his turn.

This was a strange play to make against a Gadget Deck. Thunder King Rai-Oh is an incredible card against Gadget Decks, and it’s usually best to safely get it on the field early so that opponents can’t search their Decks and can’t Special Summon successfully. But El-Makdah opted for the Sangan search instead. After the Match, I asked him why.

“I wanted to search for Effect Veiler to I could stop his Gadgets,” he answered. He thought for a second, and added, “but, I guess Thunder King Rai-Oh could’ve done that too.”

Thunder King backed by Solemn Judgment is a strong play, especially against a Deck with few monsters, if any, that can defeat it in battle.

Also in Duel 2, El-Makdah had Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, Ally of Justice Catastor, and Reborn Tengu on the field against Fish’s Number 39: Utopia with 2 Xyz Materials. But on the next turn, Fish activated Dark Hole to clear the field, putting himself in an unbeatable position.

After the Match, I asked El-Makdah if he would’ve done anything differently. Mourning his loss to Dark Hole, he replied, “I would’ve been more conservative instead of wasting my cards. I definitely would’ve Summoned Thunder King on the first turn, too.”

At our last featured table, we have Calvin Tahan running Dark World, against Kevin Rubio, running Nordics.

Tahan opened up the Match with Card Destruction, Sillva, Warlord of Dark World, Snoww, Unlight of Dark World, Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World, Fabled Raven, and Trade-In. He passed his turn without making a play, and on the following turn, Rubio Summoned Reborn Tengu, Set a back row, and attacked directly.

I found this to be a curious play on Tahan’s part. Tahan opened up with an incredible hand – he could’ve used Card Destruction or Raven to trigger the effects of all of his Dark World monsters, and could’ve used his Snoww’s effect to search for a Grapha that he could discard with Trade-In. Such an opening would’ve been nearly impossible to come back from. Instead, he passed his turn, leaving the chance that Tahan would Set back rows or use cards that could disrupt Tahan’s play. I asked Tahan after the Match why he made the play that he did. He answered, “In case he was playing Dark World, I didn’t want him to know I was playing Dark World, so he might use Dark World Dealings against me. I also know that without One for One and Dandylion, Decks can’t really OTK me this format, so I could just do it the next turn.”

Tahan ended up winning Duel 1 anyway with 2 Graphas.

In Duel 2, Rubio used Ally of Justice Catastor to destroy a Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning that Tahan Summoned on the previous turn, and then ended the Duel with his Catastor turns later.

In Duel 3, Tahan used Trade-In to discard Grapha, Summoned Beige, and Special Summoned Grapha from his Graveyard with Grapha’s effect. Tahan won on his next turn by Summoning Fabled Raven and discarding 4 Dark World monsters from his hand! He then Tuned Fabled Raven with Beiige to Synchro Summon Fabled Leviathan and Special Summoned Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning to finish the Duel!

I asked Rubio if there’s anything he would’ve done differently if he could replay the Match. “I would’ve used D.D. Crow to banish Grapha before its effect was used,” he answered. Not knowing that the Special Summon of Grapha from the Graveyard is an inherent Special Summon that doesn’t use the Chain, he waited until Tahan returned a Dark World monster from his field to his hand, at which point it was too late to use D.D. Crow to banish the Grapha returning to the field.

With the new Problem Solving Card Text, it’s easy to determine whether or not a monster’s Summon starts a Chain. If there’s a colon or semicolon in the Summoning condition, then it starts a Chain. If not, and it instead tells you (in parentheses) where you Summon the monster from, like Grapha, then it does not start a Chain.

Stay tuned for more from Columbus!