Welcome to YCS Toronto!

August 29th, 2015


Last weekend we got a taste of the new Advanced Format in Philadelphia, as the first-ever Ultimate Duelist Series Invitational kicked off the new competitive season. Nekroz, Burning Abyss, Tellarknights, and Star Seraph Shaddolls were all represented in the Top 8, but the final rounds of the tournament had one big surprise in store – two Kozmo Duelists took Top 8 and Top 4 finishes, immediately skyrocketing the profile of the new World Premiere theme from Clash of Rebellions.


Today we see the fallout, as Regional Qualifiers start up again across the globe, and YCS action returns to Italy and Canada! The format has been reshaped: Nekroz have been curbed with the Forbidding of Djinn Releaser of Rituals and the Limiting of Shurit, Strategist of the Nekroz, but Performage monsters may give the strategy a new edge. Burning Abyss are wildly popular, proven an effective counter to Nekroz in the North American WCQ. Qliphorts were bolstered by the release of Wavering Eyes, creating a new turbo strategy that exploded at the European WCQ… but failed to appear at the UDS Invitational. And Tellarknights are more glamorous than ever, coming off dual wins at the UDS and the 2015 World Championship.


Star Seraph Shaddolls will also be in contention, as UDS runner-up Sean McCabe is back piloting the same Deck that got him second place last weekend in Philly. McCabe took second right here in Toronto last year, and was famously part of the Gravekeeper revolution at YCS Atlanta back in 2010 – an event that saw Frazier Smith, Ronald Mack, and McCabe capture all Top 3 slots; another tournament where McCabe took second. Can he finally capture a Championship win? McCabe’s quest is just one of the big stories here this weekend.


Kozmos are another. Coming off such a promising performance at the UDS Invitational, Duelists are now beginning to appreciate fine-point details that give the Deck an excellent Nekroz match-up. Tricks like banishing Kozmo Farmgirl or Kozmo Goodwitch when attacking into Nekroz of Valkyrus, or slamming Kozmo Sliprider into Nekroz of Unicore to trade in battle and score a free Special Summon, may catch Nekroz players offguard. Is the Kozmo theme ready for competition? Were those UDS Top 8’s just a fluke? We’ll find out as the Day 1 field narrows.


Thousands of hours of playtesting and travel have brought 687 Duelists here today to the Metro Toronto Convention Center, playing dozens of different strategies with one common goal: to win the first YCS of the season and claim the title of Champion. The field is wide open, and some of the game’s greatest innovators are here to push the boundaries in a bid for title gold. Who will win? Who will fall. And what will emerge as the biggest strategies of the new Advanced Format?


Those are the driving questions here in Day 1. Welcome to a new era. Welcome, to YCS Toronto!