YCS Providence Decks – By the Numbers
Welcome to another Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series tournament! A total of 746 Duelists are gearing up with their favorite Decks, aiming to take down the competition here in Providence, Rhode Island. But before we check out any of the Decks being used this weekend, let’s take a look back at the most popular Decks that were used last month at YCS Orlando!
1.) Six Samurais
Six Samurais were once again the most popular Deck in the main event at YCS Orlando. A whopping 16.1% of the Duelists in Orlando counted on their Six Samurai Decks to take them to the top. This was a slight drop from the 21.2% of the competitors that used Six Samurais at the previous YCS in Anaheim, but it was well above the 11% at the previous event in North Carolina. Six Samurais continued their powerful presence in Orlando, with numbers nearly double that of the second most played Deck.
Samurais are popular for lots of reasons. They roll together blinding speed, powerful monsters, and awesome Spells & Traps, all wrapped up in a cool theme. Summoning Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En on the first turn is easier than ever before, since Shien’s Dojo, Elder of the Six Samurai, and Asceticism of the Six Samurai make it so simple to Special Summon low-Level Samurais to the field. Plus, Shi En is as hard as ever to take down.
A total of 7 Six Samurai Decks made it into the Top 32 at YCS Orlando, some relying on the traditional strategy of Tuning Legendary Six Samurai – Kageki with Kagemusha of the Six Samurai to Summon Shi En, while others utilized the new strategies of Tuning Elder of the Six Samurai with Kagemusha, or Tuning Legendary Six Samurai – Kizan with Shien’s Squire.
Regardless of which approach to Summoning Shi En proves to be the most popular here in Providence, we’re sure to see lots of Six Samurai Decks throughout the weekend.
Gravekeepers were again in the number 2 spot, with 8.5% of the field in Orlando. Gravekeepers traditionally have had a tough time against Six Samurais, but generally have a favorable matchup against monster-heavy and Graveyard-dependent Decks, thanks to Royal Tribute and Necrovalley.
Since Plant Decks usually have a high monster count and use lots of effects that depend on accessing the Graveyard, Gravekeeper Decks will usually trounce Plant Decks. Plant Decks are rapidly gaining popularity thanks to the power of Reborn Tengu and Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier, so we may see a surge in the popularity of Gravekeeper Decks to counter it this weekend.
At Orlando, 6.7% of competitors ran an X-Saber build. Although they still haven’t regained the dominance that they held before Rescue Cat was Forbidden, X-Saber Decks are still one of the most versatile Decks out there. They can discard cards from their opponents’ hands with X-Saber Airbellum and XX-Saber Gottoms, they can destroy their opponents’ back rows with XX-Saber Hyunlei, and they can move in for an OTK with some assistance from XX-Saber Faultroll.
Duelists that like to maintain constant threats against their opponents migrate towards X-Saber Decks, due to the Deck’s unique ability to match the strong suits of several other Decks.
The 3 most popular Decks in Orlando were the same 3 Decks, in the same order, as the 3 most popular Decks at YCS Anaheim. But not only were the fourth and fifth most popular Decks in Orlando different than the fourth and fifth most popular Decks in Anaheim, there was also an exact tie for these rankings in Orlando!
4.) Gladiator Beasts (Tie)
With 2 Gladiator Beasts in the Top 32, the 38 GB Duelists in Orlando gave Gladiator Beasts their best showing in a while. The new release of Gladiator Beast Essedarii in Extreme Victory gave a huge boost to Gladiator Beasts, and with none of the Top 32 Duelists willing to dedicate a Side Deck slot to Gladiator Taming, Gladiator Beasts were free to wreak havoc unimpeded at the YCS.
Although Gladiator Beast Decks could have trouble taking down an army of 1700 ATK Reborn Tengus if they aren’t built to beat them, new Main Decked card choices allow Gladiator Beast Duelists to gain the upper hand even if an opponent Summons Reborn Tengu to the field. Three copies of Gladiator Proving Ground are popular, to search for an 1800 ATK Gladiator Beast Laquari. The 1900 ATK Thunder King Rai-Oh was also a popular choice.
The constant threat of Gladiator Beast Bestiari or Gladiator Beast Gyzarus destroying Necrovalley, and the power for a Gladiator Beast Deck to destroy Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En by using more Spell and Trap Cards than an opponent can negate with Shi En’s effect, give Gladiator Beast Decks a favorable matchup against some of the most popular Decks out there.
4.) Tengu Synchro (Tie)
The final Deck in the Top 5 is a bit of a misnomer and difficult to classify. Reborn Tengu, from Extreme Victory, is a highly versatile and durable monster that goes well in almost any Deck. Most Decks these days (except Gravekeepers and GB’s) also rely on a Synchro-heavy strategy. This can make it tricky over what you call a “Tengu Synchro” Deck and what is a Deck that just happens to include Tengus and use Synchros. (Does including Monster Reborn in your Deck make it a “Monster Reborn Deck”? You get the idea…)
Tied with Gladiator Beasts in popularity was a Tengu Synchro Deck like the one Juan Morales piloted to a second place finish. Long chains of Synchro Summons are made possible by Reborn Tengu’s ability to Special Summon another copy of itself to the field, and the speed at which Reborn Tengus flock to the Graveyard makes it the perfect card for fueling Pot of Avarice.
We’re likely to see a lot of Decks using Reborn Tengu this weekend, since it fits into lots of different Synchro and Tribute-heavy Decks. It is rapidly becoming one of the most popular cards in Extreme Victory.
Doppel Synchro Decks, Miracle Gemini Decks, Karakuri Decks, Debris Synchro Decks, Dragunity Decks, and Frog Monarch Decks were slightly less popular than the 5 most popular Decks in Orlando. But, even though there’s a clear picture of which Decks were most popular at the YCS, the possibilities for which Deck you may face when competing in a YCS are nearly endless. Plus, the possibilities are constantly expanding. They’ve recently expanded once again, with cards from Duelist Pack: Crow and the Lost Sanctuary Structure Deck, including Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite and Master Hyperion, now legal for the first time.
The eventual winner of YCS Orlando was 1 of only 13 Duelists using Zombies in the tournament. Just like at YCS Anaheim, the winning Deck in Orlando wasn’t even one of the 5 most popular Decks, reaffirming that the most popular Decks don’t always win.
Follow our coverage of YCS Providence to see which of the popular Decks from Orlando make it to the top again this weekend, and to watch as new Decks emerge on the tournament scene!