250th YCS Los Angeles Tech Update

April 2nd, 2023

Here are some of the trends we’ve seen here at the 250th YCS in Los Angeles!

Unexpectedly Droll

One of the recent trends is Droll & Lock Bird in the Main Deck. Droll & Lock Bird isn’t like an Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring or Infinite Impermanence, where they’re generally a safe inclusion in any Deck. There’s a specific environment where you’ll want Droll, with Duelists using a lot of searching and drawing effects at once. Droll is strong against Kashtira, Dark World, Floowandereeze, and Spright, just to name a few. Droll’s effectiveness may change as the meta evolves, but for now it’s performing well.

Gamma Galore

PSY-Framegear Gamma has always been a strong negation effect, but Spright Decks are positioned to take full advantage of the card. Gamma is a Level 2 monster, making it fit perfectly into the overall Spright strategy. Sprights are also able to easily play the Link 2 PSY-Framelord Lambda, keeping Gamma as an option even with a full field. Finally, as a Psychic-type monster, Gamma can be Special Summoned with Emergency Teleport, making it even more valuable as an extender, and making your extra copies of Gamma still useful in case your PSY-Frame Driver is banished.

It’s Melffin’ Time

Spright Decks have found a new mini-combo in recent weeks, with a splash of Melffy monsters. Since every Melffy is Link/Rank 2, it’s only natural. It starts with Melffy Catty, which has an effect that activates in response to your opponent’s Summons or any attack they make on Catty. The effect will return Catty to your hand and add a Beast-type monster from your Deck to your hand. You’ll get Melffy Pinny with this, which can Special Summon itself and immediately Synchro Summon with Catty from your hand. This will let you play Herald of the Arc Light, which provides a powerful banish effect and a Spell/Trap negation all in one! So by starting with just Catty, you can play the Herald. Catty can be searched up with Gigantic Spright when the time is right, but the Synchro Summon won’t happen until your opponent’s turn, allowing you to dodge Gigantic Spright’s Level/Rank 2 restriction.

Book of Eclipse at home

The rise of Book of Eclipse is nothing new, and we’ve even seen similar cards popping up for a while. Destructive Daruma Karma Cannon is one such card. Up to now it’s only really been played in Decks like Ninjas that care about face-down cards. Other Decks don’t want to bother with it, since they’d prefer Book of Eclipse or another similar Quick-Play Spell so it can be used the turn it’s drawn, even during the Draw Phase before other effects happen. That left Karma Cannon on the wayside as being just too slow.

However, one trend we’ve seen is the rise of Karma Cannon in Labrynth Decks, where it can be better than Book of Eclipse due to being a Trap Card, thus synergizing with the rest of the overall Labrynth strategy.

The original Kaiju

We’ve seen several Duelists this weekend using Volcanic Queen and Santa Claws. Historically, Duelists would rather use Kaiju monsters or Lava Golem, but there are a few differences with these two cards that make them worth considering.

With Volcanic Queen, the most notable thing is its very low DEF. Kaiju monsters must be Special Summoned in Attack Position, and the weakest is the 2200 ATK Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju. Volcanic Queen has a mere 1200 DEF and can be Special Summoned in Defense Position, making it easier to destroy. It’s also a FIRE Pyro monster, making it an excellent card to give away before you flip Rivalry of Warlords or Gozen Match, since the average Deck won’t have a good way to get through it. In such a situation, they’ll likely be taking some burn damage from Queen too.

Santa Claws’s biggest advantage is that it does not lock you out of a Normal Summon/Set the way Lava Golem and Volcanic Queen do. It may give your opponent a free card, but the intent is that you’ll be able to destroy Santa Claws before getting to that point. And even if they do draw a card, it’s probably better than whatever monster you Tributed. The other nice thing about Santa Claws is its very low ATK, making it by far the least threatening of this kind of monster when it’s turned against you.

Volcanic Queen and Santa Claws are also not limited to one use per turn, so drawing multiples can still provide some benefit. Multiple Kaiju are nice because you can Special Summon one to your own field, but often you prefer to get rid of your opponent’s stuff. And while you can also use multiple Lava Golem in a turn, it’s unlikely that there will be so many monsters on the field to enable it.

There are quite a variety of similar effects here, all with subtle things to set them apart, and Volcanic Queen and Santa Claws are finding their niche between them all.