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More Dragon Duel Championship Player Profiles!

July 16th, 2022

Alright, so we already introduced you to some of the top competitors in today’s North America Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Dragon Duel Championship, but who else is competing?! We got some time with four more Duelists making their bids for the title, asking about their Decks, their match-ups, and their achievements so far.

Name: AJ D.
Age: 11
From: New Jersey

AJ got his invite at a Regional Qualifier in Oaks, Pennsylvania, and he’s pinning his Championship hopes today on Tenyi Swordsoul. “It’s the best Deck right now. Consistent. Powerful.” His best match-ups? “Despia, and P.U.N.K. Therion. I’d prefer not to play against Eldlich though, I’m banking on not seeing any big backrow match-ups. I’m not running much removal. Instead, I’m running stuff like a second copy of Incredible Ecclesia, the Virtuous.”

With a Jersey attitude and a lot of experience with one of the best decks of the format, AJ could be a smart money bet for a Top Cut appearance. 

Name: Aiden M.
Age: 12
From: Salem, Oregon

Aiden traveled in this weekend from Salem, but he actually won his invite to the Dragon Duel Championship all the way back in 2019, at YCS Portland. He’s running an Adventure P.U.N.K. Deck, and when he explained why, he was really pragmatic: “People at my locals let me borrow the cards!” You can’t really turn down an elite Deck like Adventure P.U.N.K. when it’s served up on a silver platter!

“The deck’s really good, you have two cards, Rite of Aramesir and Emergency Teleport, that do a lot of work.” Both cards can launch enormous plays without using your Normal Summon, making the Adventure P.U.N.K. deck incredibly flexible, and very difficult to stop. “It’s strong against Branded Despia and Swordsoul,” Aiden explained, “at least if I go first.” The one card he was hoping to avoid? “I don’t like Mystic Mine. I have a lot of Side Deck cards for that.”

Aiden’s been waiting almost three years to cash in his invite, and now it’s finally happening! We’ll check in with him throughout the tournament to see if his patience pays off.

Name: James H.
Age: 13
From: Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Thirteen year-old James won his invite at a Regional Qualifier in Bloomington, Minnesota, and now he’s here, piloting Sky Striker Therion. Why Striker, and why this version? “I felt like it was the best build of Striker available,” he explained, “and I’ve been on Strikers since 2019.” With years of experience running different versions of the Deck, he knows the Striker strategy inside and out; it’s a great idea to play a Deck you know on that level in this kind of high-pressure tournament, since you’ll make the basic plays and navigate common match-up situations without getting fatigued.

“My best match-ups are P.U.N.K. Therion, Swordsoul, and Branded Despia,” James explained. “My weakest match-up would have to be against Salamangreat: I can’t take their resources as easily as other Decks. They have a lot of protection effects, and they can win within a single turn.” Again, competitors were placing their bets on metagame reads, and many of them were hoping that Salamangreat wouldn’t be a factor in this competition.

“My second worst match-up would have to be Marincess,” he continued. “They make their big monster unaffected, and there’s nothing else I can mess with in that Deck.” James was referring to Marincess Aqua Argonaut from Legendary Duelists: Duels from the Deep and Marincess Battle Ocean, the Field Spell that can protect it from opposing card effects. There’s definitely some Marincess over in the Main Event, but would there be any in the Dragon Duel Championship? Only time would tell.

Name: Adam M.
Age: 9
From: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Adam’s from Philadelphia, and he qualified for the Championship by earning his invite in a Philly Regional Qualifier this year. He’s running one of the most rogue decks in the tournament, a Shark Control Deck using new cards from Legendary Duelists: Duels from the Deep.

“I was looking for a budget Deck that could do well,” he explained. “Abyss Shark and Buzzsaw Shark are both good cards that let me make lots of different Xyz Summons. With such a new strategy he might have surprise on his side, but I was wondering if there were any match-ups he hoped to avoid.

“No! They’re all fun!” 

Words to live by, and a sunny reminder of why we’re all here this weekend, no matter what our age! Good luck to all the competitors in the 2022 North America Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Dragon Duel Championship; it’s an amazing field of up-and-coming Duelists, and they’re only getting started in their storied competitive careers.