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UDS Invitational – Summer 2017 Wrap-Up

September 25th, 2017

It’s been a crazy weekend here in Florida! Our newest UDS Champion has been crowned! 178 Duelists came to test their skill in a field of uncertainty in the wake of the new Forbidden & Limited List, and Jeff Jones has proven himself to be the Ultimate Duelist!

In this event, we saw the rise of Pendulum Magicians as a dominant new strategy. It was immediately apparent that it would be a popular Deck, with tons of Duelists using it in the early rounds. While they took less than half the spots of the thirty-two Day 2 Duelists, they ended up taking most of the Top 8 and Top 4, with the Finals being a Pendulum Magician mirror match. It was interesting to see the differences between the many Magician Decks, seeing who is and isn’t playing cards like White Wing Magician, Astrograph Sorcerer, Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow, or Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer. Almost all players used Wavering Eyes in the Main Deck, now that it has gone from Forbidden to Unlimited.

True Draco saw several cards become either Forbidden or Limited, including Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter; True King’s Return; and Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior. Yet, the Deck was formidable; it was one of the most popular strategies in the first part of the tournament. When we got to Day 2, a third of the Duelists were using True Draco. However, once we got to the Top 8, there was only one True Draco Deck remaining. Whether this is due to players preparing for True Draco in their Side Decks, or due to the Deck not being quite as strong as expected, is hard to say. We’ll probably see a lot more True Draco over the next few weeks, while Duelists settle on whether they like the Invoked engines (with Aleister the Invoker and Invocation) or Spellbook engines (with Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, Spellbook of Secrets, and Spellbook of Knowledge) the most.

A few other strategies proved to be strong options, with ABC Decks displaying a particularly strong showing. There was a lot of variation in the ABC Decks, with some using True Draco engines, and others using Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow to make big Link Summon plays. We even saw a build running the newly Semi-Limited Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning!

Finally Trickstars showed they were fully capable of competing, with two Duelists making Day 2, and one making Top 8. Their builds were very different from one another, showing that the Deck is flexible in its creation. Michael State used a Trap Card heavy build, including defensive traps and cards like Disturbance Strategy to deal tons more damage with Trickstar Lycoris and to open up more potential to combo with Droll & Lock Bird. Kesavan Kushalnagar used a build with Instant Fusion and no Traps besides Trickstar Reincarnation.

The next Premier Level North American event isn’t until after Circuit Break and Legendary Dragon Decks release, so Duelists will have to keep innovating! Until then, congratulations to Jeff Jones for becoming the Ultimate Duelist with his Pendulum Magicians!