Home > 2012/09 - Toronto, Canada, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Tech Update – September 1st:

Tech Update – September 1st:

September 1st, 2012

The tournament is just getting started here at the Constitution Hall of the Metro Toronto Convention Center, but we’re already seeing some common trends and a lot of new tech cards set to make a huge impact this weekend, largely thanks to the new Advanced Format F&L List.  Here are six cards that players are talking about; playing; and banking on to help them achieve victory!

Number 16: Shock Master:
This is the card name lingering in the air this morning.  Duelists are doing everything they can to both beat Number 16: Shock Master, and play it themselves, and the faster they can get to it, the better.  Decks like Geargia, Gadgets, Gravekeepers, Wind-Ups, Samurai, and others are all earning more respect here this weekend, for their ability to Special Summon multiple Level 4 Xyz Materials from the Deck or Graveyard with effects, making it easier to gather three Materials for Shock Master’s Xyz Summon.

Once Shock Master hits the table it’s one of the most powerful cards in the game.  You can use its effect immediately to clear the way through your opponents Traps, or to ensure that your opponent can’t defend themselves with Gorz the Emissary of Darkness.  That monster effect prevention ability then locks down your opponent’s actions next turn.  You can wait until you’re finished using your Spells, and then activate Shock Master’s spell-restricting ability to keep your opponent from using theirs.  Technically, Shock Master’s ability is supposed to act on both Duelists equally…  but since you control when it’s activated (and what kind of cards the effect is going to impact), it always works out in your favor.  It restricts players in a way that most aren’t used to dealing with, and it interferes with the core strategies and key plans of the biggest decks in competition today.  It definitely seems set to live up to its reputation.

Compulsory Evacuation Device:
With Inzektors far tougher to play thanks to the newly-Limited status of Inzektor Dragonfly and Inzektor Hornet, lots of Duelists are playing more Trap Cards here in Toronto.  While Solemn Judgment, Solemn Warning, Torrential Tribute, and Mirror Force are all seeing maximum use, competitors are digging even deeper to get a leg up on the competition with their trap lineups, and Compulsory Evacuation Device looks like it might be the most popular.  

Closely tailed by Bottomless Trap Hole, Compulsory is a fast and Chainable answer to some of the biggest threats in this tournament.  With so many of the most-anticipated Decks focusing on Xyz Summons, competitors are looking for as many ways as possible to outplay stuff like Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity, Wind-Up Zenmaines, Gear Gigant X, and especially Number 16: Shock Master.

“Shock Master is really tough to play around,” noted 2012 World Championship competitor Jarel Winston, when we asked about his use of Compulsory.  Since Shock Master’s ability can alienate a Duelist from their most important cards if its effect resolves, you need to find immediate answers to it the moment it hits the table, and Compulsory Evacuation Device is the perfect trump card.  Bouncing Shock Master doesn’t just mean a narrow escape: it can also turn the tables on your opponent.  Because Shock Master requires three Level 4 Xyz Materials, your opponent loses a big chunk of their field if you can kick it back to their Extra Deck with just one trap.  Compulsory Evacuation Device turns a tough situation into a big opportunity.

Starlight Road:
Since Dark Hole and Heavy Storm are Limited, with Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute playable at two-per-Deck, there’s a lot of mass removal flying around here this morning.  With so many swarm strategies in this competition we’re even seeing Duelist’s teching Needle Ceiling into their Main and Side Decks.  Since so many competitors are playing six or more mass-removal cards, players are looking to protect their big fields as much as possible, and a single Solemn Judgment just isn’t enough.  

Starlight Road may prove to be one of the defining cards of the weekend, negating those big threats while also turning them back on their controller by unleashing the 2500 ATK Yusei classic, Stardust Dragon!  Stardust’s a powerful beatstick, a game-changing addition to your field when you’re Special Summoning it for free, and it wields a negation effect that allows you to continue protecting yourself from those heavy-hitting destruction effects.  If you Special Summon Stardust Dragon with Starlight Road, you can’t Special Summon it back with its own ability if you Tribute it to negate a destruction card (because it was never properly Special Summoned), but you can still use its effect one time to fend off a Mirror Force or Heavy Storm.  Destruction effects are huge this weekend, and that makes both Starlight Road and Stardust Dragon powerful picks.

Snowman Eater:
Since Tour Guide from the Underworld is now Semi-Limited, Duelists are looking for more ways to make easy Rank 3 Xyz Summons.  Snowman Eater was a popular Side Deck monster for the Dino Rabbit match-up last format, and made its way into Main Decks as a surprising tech card.  Since it can be flipped to destroy a monster, then used for an Xyz Summon, it makes giving up two Xyz Materials for one Xyz Monster a lot more attractive.  Rank 3 Xyz Monsters like Leviair the Sea Dragon and Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction are still incredibly powerful cards, and Duelists are going to do everything they can this weekend to keep using them as often as possible.

Maxx “C”:
The most popular Decks this weekend appear to be swarm strategies: Decks that use lots of Special Summons to get lots of monsters onto the table, usually to perform even more Special Summons in the form of Xyz and Synchro Summons.  Wind-Ups are the main concern for most Duelists, but everything from Gravekeepers and Geargia to Samurais and Sea Lancer rely on the ability to make mass Special Summons, and Maxx “C” stops them dead in their tracks for a turn.  

Duelists know that allowing your opponent to draw a fistful of free cards with Maxx “C” usually spells defeat, since even the most imperiled opponent could have Gorz the Emissary of Darkness in their hand.  A little defense goes a long way, and if you let your opponent create a massive hand with the effect of Maxx “C”, they tend to swing back super-hard if they survive to their next turn.  Maxx “C” was considered a must-run during the eras in which it dominated over the past year, and many believe that those times have returned.  Maxx “C” was one of the most sought-after cards on the tournament floor this morning.

The legendary Spirit Monster has returned, back from a years-long banishment to the Forbidden List!  Newer Duelists may not remember just how influential Tsukuyomi once was, but this multi-faceted gem is back in full fighting form, ready to remind us all of why we once feared and loved it.  Since Tsukuyomi is a Spirit Monster, it can be Summoned and re-Summoned turn after turn to fill a number of different roles.  With 1100 ATK, its effect can turn a monster with high attack points but low defense points to Defense Position so you can run it over in battle.  You can also turn down monsters like Thunder King Rai-Oh that have pesky Continuous Effects, turning them off to free up your plays.  And perhaps most importantly, Tsukuyomi lets you flip your own monsters face-down so you can re-use one-time or once-per-turn abilities.  In the past, the classic play was to flip down Dekoichi the Battlechanted Locomotive and Flip Summon it to draw another card: protecting that set-up was a format-defining combo.  But it was also common to see Duelists protect Chaos Sorcerer or Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, using their effects to banish two monsters a turn instead of just one, or letting them banish something and then make an attack.  That’s still a relevant play today, with Black Luster Soldier remaining a powerful impact player on the tournament scene.

Nowadays there are more good Tsukuyomi targets floating around than you might realize.  There are quite a few new combos from Return of the Duelist alone: Spellbook Magician of Prophecy can search you a “Spellbook” Spell whenever it’s flipped; Geargiano Mk-II and Geargiarmor can retrieve monsters from your Graveyard; and Madolche Magileine can search “Madolche” monsters from your Deck.  Even stuff like Photon Caesar and Dust Knight can be rolled into creative Tsukuyomi places, multiplying their effectiveness by using their abilities more often.  Whether Duelists realize the power of Tsukuyomi is yet to be seen here this morning, but we could see a ton of it in the Top 32 tomorrow.

Stick with us this weekend, as we continue to investigate the most influential cards spanning the most popular strategies right here, at YCS Toronto!