Welcome To YCS Niagara Falls!

September 21st, 2019

The stage is set for innovation.

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Five weeks ago we saw the grand kickoff to the 2019-2020 competitive season in Indianapolis, Indiana, as hundreds of Duelists gathered to compete in the Ultimate Duelist Series Invitational – Summer 2019. That tournament started to establish the look of the current format, with Sky Strikers, Orcusts and Thunder Dragons all reaching the Top 4, piloted by Marcus Carisse, Benjamin Deeter, and Ultimate Duelist David Flores respectively.  All three strategies were instantly locked as some of the season’s biggest contenders, a position each Deck still hold today.

But the remaining seat in the Top 4 was captured by Altergeists, as Doug Zeeff managed to breathe new life into the strategy fresh off the Limiting of Altergeist Multifaker. That underdog success was the beginning of a trend, and one week later it was an all-out rogue fest in the Top 32 of YCS Portland: Salamangreats snuck back into the Top 4, and Strikers, Orcusts, and Thunder Dragons all continued to hold table share.

But Altergeists made a Top Cut return, along with Crusadias, Pendulums, Nekroz, and a shocking Gren Maju Deck featuring Gizmek Orochi, the Serpentron Sky Slasher and Golden Castle of Stromberg!  Yishan McNaab piloted that Deck all the way to the Finals before falling to Brian Chen’s Sky Strikers, but the impact was already made: the floodgates were open and Regional Qualifiers in the following weeks were studded with strategies like SPYRAL, Subterrors, Cyber Dragons, Lunalights and more, all making repeat Top 8 showings in the wake of the format’s first YCS.

Which leads us all here, to today, straight to the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls.

One year ago this exact tournament hall played host to a similar story, when we saw a scattered group of like-minded Duelists break the boundaries of competition with an underappreciated group of then-new cards: the Danger! monsters. What unfolded was a stunning tournament that unleashed some of the deadliest combo decks of all time, built purely off insight, determination, and sheer Dueling grit.

Flash forward to now and the field is very different. A lot has changed in the last twelve months with new cards and new strategies finding their place in competition and the latest F&L List curbing the cards of yesteryear. But the energy here in Hall A the morning of Day 1 feels very similar, and the skills that dominated YCS Niagara in 2018 may be even more dominant here today. Creativity will battle with competitive perfection as Duelists seek an advantage through innovation on one hand, and sheer depth of practice on the other.

Some of North America’s greatest competitors are present and accounted for, ready to write the newest chapter of Dueling history. Welcome to YCS Niagara, and welcome to Day 1 of what’s sure to be an incredible weekend!