TEAM YCS Las Vegas Tech Update

February 19th, 2023

Here’s a look at some of the interesting trends we’re seeing here in Las Vegas!

Here, YOU take this

There’s a variety of cards that Duelists are giving away to their opponents, with the biggest one being Knightmare Corruptor Iblee. It totally shuts down Decks like Kashtira, or anything relying on their Extra Deck but without Link Monsters.

We’re also seeing a huge resurgence in Lava Golem. There’s a few reasons for this. It is still able to do what it always has, taking out opposing monsters without destroying or targeting them. And it hits two at once, unlike a Kaiju. But there’s more to the rise of Lava Golem. It’s a Level 8 Fiend, so it’s a perfect fit in Dark World to fuel Trade-In or The Gates of Dark World. It’s also excellent with Small World, either as a bridge or a final search, since it shares so many traits with other great cards.

Finally, there’s some niche use of Branded Expulsion, using it to give away monsters with negative effects like Gimmick Puppet Nightmare, Ido the Supreme Magical Force, or Ra’s Disciple. That’ll lock the opponent down while you’re still free to do whatever you like.

Dark Hole

Speaking of which, some Duelists are playing Dark Hole again! Rather than the one-sided Raigeki or the modal Lightning Storm, Dark Hole is being played specifically because it can also destroy cards like Knightmare Corruptor Iblee. The one exception is Gimmick Puppet Nightmare, whose effect will linger for the turn it’s Summoned, but at least it’ll still be destroyed so your field will be cleared for next turn.

Using Dark Hole this way is a bit like its counterpart Heavy Storm in the days of old, where destroying your own cards could be a benefit. And in many situations, a Dark Hole will still fulfill the same role as a Raigeki.

Artifact Lancea

While Artifact Scythe is now Forbidden, that’s far from the only good Artifact card! Artifact Lancea has always seen play off and on, and it’s making a comeback to counteract the Kashtira Decks that Duelists have expected to be here. It can be used preemptively to stop them from paying the costs of cards like Kashtira Riseheart or Scareclaw Kashtira, or it can be used in response to an effect like Kashtira Fenrir when they expected to get rid of one of your cards.

One thing to note is that it will still get banished if used under the effect of Kashtira Arise-Heart, and Arise-Heart will get to attach a new material. But if it didn’t already have 3 materials, it won’t be able to respond to Lancea and banish something else.

Turn it face-down and forget about it

A fully established Kashtira field is extremely tough to play through, and many Duelists are finding ways to simply flip them face-down and play through them. There’s a variety of options here, and we’ve seen them all.

Book of Moon is the original, and it has seen play for years because it’s a powerful and straightforward effect. Simply flip one thing down and disrupt your opponent’s plans. This can prevent Kashtira Fenrir or Kashtira Unicorn from attacking on their turn, or from using their effects when you use yours. You can also let your opponent begin making moves toward an Xyz Summon, then flip just one of the intended materials face-down to interrupt the play. As a Quick-Play Spell, Book of Moon is solid whether you’re going first or second.

Book of Eclipse is the next step up. It flips everything face-down, making it much better when going second, and still strong going first. However, it has a pretty notable downside of giving your opponent some free cards. If you’re using Book of Eclipse to open yourself up for other plays, you may be able to destroy your opponent’s monsters before they flip up in the End Phase.

Book of Lunar Eclipse is kind of a middle ground between the first two. It hits multiple monsters like Eclipse, but without the risk of giving your opponent free cards. Book of Lunar Eclipse has a different downside, in that it requires a discard. Of course, Duelists will realize that a discard is often no downside at all.

Destructive Daruma Karma Cannon is the only Trap Card we’re listing here. The various Books all are Quick-Play Spells and thus very versatile, while Karma Cannon requires committing a turn to Set it. The effect can be well worth it though, as it flips everything face-down while also clearing out Link Monsters and Token Cards that would normally be unaffected.

Special shoutout to Ninjas! They have Jioh the Gravity Ninja to permanently lock monsters face-down, and they can use Jioh or any of the aforementioned cards with Ninjitsu Art of Dancing Leaves to Tribute opposing monsters. They can also take advantage of turning their own monsters face-down to get the effects of cards like Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo. Any Deck might want to use the cards mentioned in this section, but Ninjas are the most poised to push them to the next level. To see this in action, check out our Round 6 Feature Match!