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North America WCQ – Tech Update

July 9th, 2017

The North America WCQ is the final major event before the World Championship, and the Duelists are continuing to adapt their strategies do get an edge on the competition. Here are the trends we’re seeing this weekend.

Shuffle Reborn

With Elder Entity Norden now Forbidden, the Fusion Substitute Zoodiac combo doesn’t work anymore. Since they can’t use Norden and Substitute to extend their combo and get a lot of extra cards, Zoodiac Duelists are looking for new alternatives. Shuffle Reborn has been the standout choice for a few reasons.

First, it’s a great way to restart your Zoodiac combo if it gets disrupted by an opposing Zoodiac Drident or Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit. Simply return your monster to the field and adapt your play sequence to the new situation. In fact, you can easily bait out an opposing Drident effect by simply playing a monster and attacking, then use Shuffle Reborn in Main Phase 2 to get your own Drident and destroy the other one.

The Graveyard effect of Shuffle Reborn is also very valuable. On paper it sounds like it isn’t that helpful – you give up a card on the field and banish a card from your hand, and you just draw one card. However, you can use this effect along with a card like Fire Formation – Tenki, which stays on the field but doesn’t actually offer much benefit. With Tenki, you’re giving up a mostly useless card, then you’ll draw one and banish one. That’s a much better trade, and it helps you dig into your Deck for more useful cards. The ideal scenario of course is to play out your whole hand, and you won’t have to banish anything in the End Phase.

Mind Control and Enemy Controller

The Zoodiac monsters have found their way into so many Decks, it’s easy to see why these cards are making a comeback. With Mind Control, you can simply take a Zoodiac and use it to Xyz Summon. If you’re trying to take Zoodiac Drident, your opponent will likely use its effect to destroy itself before you take it – that’s still a decent trade on your part.

Enemy Controller is a lot more versatile, and can do some cool tricks. The biggest one is to act as a bait for Drident. Attack with any monster into Drident, and force them to use Drident’s effect on your monster. That’s where you use Enemy Controller to Tribute the monster that was going to be destroyed, and take control of the Drident (or another monster if the situation calls for it). Use their monster to attack if you can, then use it as an Xyz Material so they don’t get it back. Enemy Controller has the benefit of versatility, as it can also block attacks and get around dangerous monsters like Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King (If not Tribute Summoned with a Spell) or Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon.

Paleozoic Canadia

It’s Book of Moon, and sometimes a monster! More and more, we’re seeing Duelists use Paleozoic cards outside of dedicated Paleozoic Decks. Canadia is seeing use largely due to the sharp increase in My Body as a Shield – if you just turn the monster face-down, My Body as a Shield isn’t going to stop you. Canadia is also a way to leave Shuffle Reborn as a dead card. Even if they’re only playing a few Trap Cards, using Canadia also gives the chance to revive it as a monster later in the Duel.

Forbidden Apocrypha and Xyz Universe

Although these aren’t new to the competitive scene, they’d fallen out of popularity for a while once Duelists got used to them and learned to play around them. It seems Duelists aren’t using a lot of their counters for them anymore, because they’re in many players’ Side Decks.

Magic Deflector

This card negates all Spells except Normal and Ritual for the entire turn, making it extremely versatile. Fire Formation – Tenki, Zoodiac Barrage, Dragonic Diagram, and the Dracoslayer Continuous Spells are the most important things to worry about, but it also shuts down things like Enemy Controller, Book of Moon, Set Rotation, Magical Meltdown, The Monarchs Stormforth and much more.

Lose 1 Turn

A card we haven’t really seen since Qliphorts, Lose 1 Turn is very strong in the True Draco Deck. Since they don’t Special Summon much outside of the effect of True King’s Return, they can use Lose 1 Turn to shut down almost any other strategy without hurting their own. We’re also seeing, to a lesser extent, Skill Drain. With either card, you can just Tribute it away with a True Draco if you ever want it off your field.

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