Welcome back to Day 2 of YCS – Bogota. The drafting has begun! Good luck to the Top 16 as they Duel for the title of YCS Bogota Champion!
Sean McCabe is one of the most successful and most celebrated Duelists left in the main event! His top cut record stretches all the way back to 2009 and beyond and spans multiple continents, including a Top 16 showing three years ago right here in Toronto. McCabe is just coming off his run as a North American representative competing for the US at the World Championship last month, and now he’s back in Toronto, once again in the Top 16, ready to make an impact.
Not familiar with how this works? Each round of draft contributes 15 cards to the competitor’s play pool. When the draft is over, each Duelist builds a 40-card deck from the 45 cards they selected, with the remaining 5 cards making up their Side Deck and their Extra Deck (if they happened to open any Xyz Monsters; remember, Xyz are only in the Shatterfoil rarity slot in Battle Pack 3: Monster League). Understanding the nuances of the drafting process, as well as the interactions between cards in the unique Monster League booster set, are crucial to success – especially as more and more YCS competitors start to do their homework.
Also worth keeping in mind? The special rule of Monster League: all monsters count as being all Types. That means every monster – no matter what the card says! – counts as a Spellcaster, Warrior, Dragon, Zombie, Fairy, and all the rest. Understanding the full ramications of that special rule is integral to your success in Monster League Draft play, and whoever wins here today is going to have to pull out all the stops to take advantage of the unprecedented opportunities this format offers.
Now we take you step-by-step to show you Sean McCabe’s drafting process: the cards he took, and every card he passed.
Drafting Round 1
Each round of drafting consists of three booster packs of Battle Pack 3: Monster League combined into a pool of fifteen cards. Here’s how McCabe’s first round of fifteen cards turned out.
Pack 1: Call of the Haunted; Psychokinesis; Slate Warrior; Silent Psychic Wizard; Genex Ally Bellflame; 2 Bound Wand; Lord Poison; Curse of Anubis; Rhinotaurus; Intrigue Shield; Evil HERO Infernal Gainer; Fighting Spirit; Quantum Cat; Gauntlet Warrior.
Here he took Silent Psychic Wizard.
Pack 2: Forbidden Chalice; Call of the Atlanteans; Rare Metalmorph; Blast With Chain; Sunlight Unicorn; Cestus of Dagla; Wind-Up Juggler; Psychic Overload; Ghostrick Jackfrost; Noble Arms – Caliburn; Cross-Sword Beetle; Chiron the Mage; Call of the Atlanteans; Hypnocorn.
McCabe picked Blast With Chain.
Pack 3: Fighting Spirit; Vylon Ohm; Mudora; Mezuki; Premature Burial; Evigishki Merrowgeist; Mythical Beast Cerberus; Reptilianne Rage; 2 Chiron The Mage; Submarineroid; Time Escaper; Ready for Intercepting.
Premature Burial was the must in this pack.
Pack 4: Closed Forest; Shadow Spell; Diskblade Rider; Miracle’s Wake; Typhoon; Noble Arms – Caliburn; Uminotaurus; Gonogo; Telekinetic Shocker; Call of the Mummy; The Immortal Bushi; Tutan Mask.
Shadow Spell offers both attack-stopping power and a great ATK-modification trick. McCabe chose it from this pack.
Pack 5: Card Trooper; Machine Assembly Line; Tutan Mask; Jurrac Protops; Murmur of the Forest; Dweller in the Depths; Shocktopus; Ancient Gear Knight; Blue Thunder T-45; Poseidon Wave; Gonogo.
Shocktopus can turn a losing situation into a stolen win, and it was McCabe’s pick here.
Pack 6: Closed Forest; Electromagnetic Bagworm; Book of Eclipse; Cross-Sword Beetle; Swords of Concealing Light; Shocktopus; Call of the Mummy; Herald of Green Light; Ribbon of Rebirth; Ghostrick Jackfrost.
This was McCabe’s first Swords of Concealing Light. He’d pick up more copies as drafting continued.
Pack 7: Flame Tiger; Butterspy Protection; Dark Bribe; Herald of Purple Light; Raging Battle Ox; Pollinosis; Chain Dog; Trident Warrior; Rigorous Reaver.
Lacking in beatsticks, McCabe took Flame Tiger.
Pack 8: Spellbook of Wisdom; Diskblade Rider; Gyroid; Freya, Spirit of Victory; Raging Mad Plants; Rigorous Reaver; Black Stego; Vanguard of the Dragon.
Diskblade Rider was another solid attacker.
Pack 9: Genex Ally Bellflame; Quantum Cat; Evil HERO Infernal Gainer; Rhinotaurus; Fighting Spirit; Gauntlet Warrior; Intrigue Shield.
Fighting Spirit protects your monster in two different ways, and McCabe snatched it up.
Pack 10: Hypnocorn; Ghostrick Jackfrost; 2 Call of the Atlanteans; Cross-Sword Beetle; Cestus of Dagla.
Cross-Sword Beetle was another strong attacker.
Pack 11: Vylon Ohm; Fighting Spirit; Time Escaper; Chiron the Mage; Mythical Beast Cerberus.
Chiron the Mage can do some damage in battle, plus it can take out occasional backrows. It was the obvious pick in this set of cards, save perhaps Fighting Spirit.
Pack 12: Call of the Mummy; Gonogo; Uminotaurus; Telekinetic Shocker.
Telekinetic Shocker offers more field presence and more protection for your best monsters.
Pack 13: Gonogo; Dweller in the Depths; Jurrac Protops.
McCabe took Jurrac Protops.
Pack 14: Herald of Green Light; Ghostrick Jackfrost.
He then took Ghostrick Jackfrost over Herald of Green Light.
Pack 15: Herald of Purple Light.
And finally he took Herald of Purple Light as his last pick.
Drafting Round 2
With those fifteen cards drafted, McCabe took a look through his choices thus far and began drafting round two.
Pack 1: Jain, Lightsworn Paladin;Psychic Sword; Goblin Elite Attack Force; Dragon’s Gunfire; Vylon Ohm; Raigeki Bottle; Sacred Crane; Card Trooper; Mezuki; Rush Recklessly; Madolche Baaple; Evilswarm O’Lantern; Ghosts from the Past; Swords of Concealing Light.
His first pick from this round was Rush Recklessly.
Pack 2: Freya, Spirit of Victory; Earthquake; Book of Eclipse; Winged Rhynos; Spined Gillman; Breakthrough Skill; Tardy Orc; Dodger Dragon; Master Craftsman Gamil; Windstorm of Etaqua; Royal Firestorm Guards; Recycling Batteries; Zero Gravity; Stegocyber.
Windstorm of Etaqua is a big aggression-stopper, and McCabe took it swiftly.
Pack 3: Flame Tiger; Hyper Hammerhead; 2 Recycling Batteries; Seed of Flame; Dodger Dragon; Rhinotaurus; Miracle Locus; Evil HERO Infernal Gainer; Koa’ki Meiru Sandman; Raigeki Bottle; Bashing Shield; Psychic Reactor.
Here he picked Koa’ki Meiru Sandman.
Pack 4: 2 Koa’ki Meiru Beetle; Stygian Street Patrol; Swords of Revealing Light; Ghostrick Jackfrost; Super Rush Recklessly; Nordic Relic Laevateinn; Raging Mad Plants; X-Saber Airbellum; Magical Exemplar; Miracle’s Wake; Mist Valley Falcon.
Mist Valley Falcon’s another powerful attacker with some added combo potential, so it was McCabe’s choice.
Pack 5: Reptilianne Rage; Mind Over Matter; Jain, Lightsworn Paladin; Alien Brain; Ribbon of Rebirth; One-Shot Wand; Telepathic Power; No Entry!!; Submarineroid; Reptilianne Gorgon.
No Entry!! is another valuable attack-stop that can handle multiple attackers at once.
Pack 6: Mudora; Gentlemander; Knight Day Grepher; Cestus of Dagla; Herald of Orange Light; Tree Otter; 7 Completed; Seed of Flame; Shutendoji; Aye-Iron.
Mudora is a high-powered Summon in the late game, that takes special advantage of the “all monsters are all Types rule” in Monster League.
Pack 7: Super Rush Recklessly; Banner of Courage; Koa’ki Meiru Drago; The Warrior Returning Alive; Creature Swap; Enraged Battle Ox; One-Shot Wand; Jerry Beans Man; Gale Lizard.
Koa’ki Meiru Drago also takes advantage of the Monster League Special Rule, and McCabe took it here.
Pack 8: Stygian Street Patrol; Koa’ki Meiru Sandman; Koa’ki Meiru Beetle; Dimension Gate; Giant Soldier of Steel; Lion Alligator; Magicians Unite; Meklord Army of Granel.
Koa’ki Meiru Sandman got him another strong, flexible attacker.
Pack 9: Swords of Concealing Light; Ghosts from the Past; Goblin Elite Attack Force; Psychic Sword; Sacred Crane; Dragon’s Gunfire; Vylon Ohm.
Here he got another Swords of Concealing Light!
Pack 10: Freya, Spirit of Victory; Royal Firestorm Guards; Stegocyber; Master Craftsman Gamil; Spined Gillman; Winged Rhynos.
Spined Gillman is a strong global ATK buff that would go on to do great things for McCabe.
Pack 11: Miracle Locus; Seed of Flame; Evil HERO Infernal Gainer; Hyper Hammerhead; Rhinotaurus.
Rhinotaurus is another solid attacker.
Pack 12: Raging Mad Plants; Miracle’s Wake; Ghostrick Jackfrost; Magical Exemplar.
Miracle’s Wake is a defensive pick that helps you stabilize your field when you’re under fire, helping you make comebacks. It was McCabe’s pick here.
Pack 13: Ribbon of Rebirth; Submarineroid; Reptilianne Gorgon.
McCabe took Ribbon of Rebirth in this late pick.
Pack 14: Gentlemander; Knight Day Grepher.
Gentlemander’s pretty much the worst, so Knight Day Grepher was the auto-pick!
Pack 15: Gale Lizard
Finally McCabe took Gale Lizard.
Drafting Round 3
With just one round of drafting to go, here’s how it all came together!
Pack 1: Psychic Jumper; Metabo Shark; Uminotaurus; Pollinosis; Skill Successor; Metalmorph; Koa’ki Meiru Doom; Psi-Curse; Dodger Dragon; Exploder Dragon; Magical Undertaker; Card Advance; Vampire Koala; Stegocyber; Hate Buster.
McCabe grabbed Skill Successor.
Pack 2: Murmur of the Forest; Lord Poison; Mist Valley Falcon; Scapegoat; Koa’ki Meiru War Arms; Poseidon Wave; Knight Day Grepher; Swamp Mirrorer; Reptilianne Gorgon; Plant Food Chain; Lion Alligator; Golden Flying Fish; Stamping Destruction; Shredder.
Next he nabbed another Mist Valley Falcon.
Pack 3: Stegocyber; Swords of Concealing Light; Machine King Prototype; Gorgonic Golem; Typhoon; Magical Undertaker; Bashing Shield; Unstable Evolution; Psychic Overload; Ancient Gear Knight; Sunlight Unicorn; Number 10: Illumiknight; Arsenal Bug.
…and a third Swords of Concealing Light!
Pack 4: Knight Day Grepher; Mind Over Matter; Unstable Evolution; Jurrac Protops; Hate Buster; Battlestorm; Koa’ki Meiru Guardian; Goblin Elite Attack Force; Quantum Cat; Aye-Iron; Pyramid of Wonders; Memory Loss.
McCabe took a copy of the underrated Pyramid of Wonders, in what some might consider to be a surprisingly late pick.
Pack 5: Berserk Gorilla; Pyramid of Wonders; 2 Jerry Beans Man; Gonogo; Koa’ki Meiru Doom; Call of the Mummy; Flame Tiger; Typhoon; Victory Viper XX03; Leotaur.
The dupes were piling up as McCabe nabbed a second Pyramid of Wonders!
Pack 6: Lord Poison; Night Beam; Koa’ki Meiru Wall; Hyper Hammerhead; Electromagnetic Bagworm; Banner of Courage; Butterspy Protection; Black Veloci; Bazoo the Soul Eater; Heroic Champion – Kusanagi.
Another great late pick, as McCabe got Butterspy Protection!
Pack 7: Creature Swap; Card Guard; Unstable Evolution; Sacred Crane; Frontier Wiseman; Dark Crusader; Card Advance; Gentlemander; Damage Gate.
Card Guard was a more reasonable pick compared to those last few lucky grabs, but certainly not a bad choice.
Pack 8: Magical Exemplar; X-Saber Airbellum; Gentlemander; Stygian Street Patrol; Wonder Wand; Rhinotaur; Frontier Wiseman; Herald of Purple Light.
Here McCabe grabbed Herald of Purple Light
Pack 9: Metabo-Shark; Card Advance; Uminotaurus; Stegocyber; Vampire Koala; Pollinosis; Koa’ki Meiru Doom.
A late Pollinosis was a decent choice here.
Pack 10: Stamping Destruction; Golden Flying Fish; Scapegoat; Reptilianne Gorgon; Poseidon Wave; Knight Day Grepher.
Stamping Destruction is an underrated removal card and another nice pick.
Pack 11: Typhoon; Stegocyber; Number 10: Illumiknight; Gorgonic Golem; Machine King Prototype.
Typhoon is a pretty flexible card in Monster League and a strong choice here amongst weaker options.
Pack 12: Aye-Iron; Memory Loss; Knight Day Grepher; Unstable Evolution.
Unstable Evolution was McCabe’s pick.
Pack 13: Gonogo; Victory Viper XX03; Koa’ki Meiru Doom.
Here he took Victory Viper XX03.
Pack 14: Electromagnetic Bagworm; Hyper Hammerhead.
He took Hyper Hammerhead over Electromagnetic Bagworm.
Pack 15: Gentlemander.
And finally he rounded out his card pool with a Gentlemander!
Here’s the Deck McCabe ended up building…
2 Mist Valley Falcon
2 Koa’ki Meiru Sandman
1 Silent Psychic Wizard
1 Koa’ki Meir Drago
1 Card Guard
1 Chiron the Mage
1 Flame Tiger
1 Cross-Sword Beetle
1 Jurrac Protops
1 Spined Gillman
1 Diskblade Rider
1 Telekinetic Shocker
1 Victory Viper XX03
1 Hyper Hammerhead
1 Gale Lizard
1 Knight Day Grepher
3 Swords of Concealing Light
2 Pyramid of Wonders
1 Premature Burial
1 Rush Recklessly
1 Stamping Destruction
1 Unstable Evolution
1 Fighting Spirit
1 Shadow Spell
1 Miracle’s Wake
1 Butterspy Protection
1 Skill Successor
1 No Entry!!
1 Windstorm of Etaqua
1 Blast With Chain
2 Herald of Purple Light
1 Ghostrick Jackfrost
1 Ribbon of Rebirth
Want to see if the effort paid off? Check out McCabe’s Feature Matches to see this Deck in action!
It all comes down to this: two of the biggest Duelists in the game going head-to-head to become a YCS winner, a Championship title that neither has managed to capture up until this point. While Hoban was the 2013 North American Champion, both of these Duelists are hungry for their first taste of YCS gold. One of them was going home with a new Championship and an Ultra Rare Ascension Sky Dragon Championship Prize Card! Let’s find out who it would be.
So far we’ve followed Sean McCabe’s full drafting process in our Draft Along feature, and his brutal 2-0 victory over Desmond Johnson in the Top 16! We’ve seen McCabe’s Deck and we know he drafted a strong card pool… but is it strong enough to win a Championship?
Two of the most decorated Duelists of the weekend were set to go head-to-head, right here in the first round of Draft play! Desmond Johnson was integral to the rise of the Karakuri deck last year, so much so that he’s widely nicknamed the Karakuri King! But his opponent is Sean McCabe, a competitive chameleon that’s been topping YCS tournaments since 2009 and who just represented the United States at the 2014 World Championship! Two great competitors, and only one of them can make it past this Round – let’s see who’ll make the cut and who’s making the long trip home!
We Cut to a Top 16! and start Drafting!!! Here are the pairings after the draft.
We’ve gotten to know both of these competitors pretty well this weekend, as this is the third Feature Match for each Duelist this weekend! Thomas Mak is from Philadelphia, and in the Top 8 Feature Match we saw him put a combined five copies of Tiki Curse and Tiki Soul to work – he effectively drafted a Tiki Deck, and now he’s in the Finals.
Joe Bogli made the Top 8 at YCS Atlanta, the first-ever Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series event to play out the Top 16 in Draft! That experience may pay off today, as Bogli’s back in the hunt for a Championship title, now with more time spent Drafting and studying War of the Giants: Round 2. He actually arrived here today with a hand-written list of priorities: cards he knew to be top picks, helping him organize his thoughts and his choices. While he had to leave that behind once the drafting actually started, he had a clear set of highlights in his mind that he’d be looking for in his packs today.
Marc Carisse from Toronto, Canada piloted a Geargia Deck to a 9-2 finish in the Swiss Rounds this weekend. James Valentino from Houston, Texas ran an Infernity Deck with Archfiend Heiress and Archfiend Palabyrinth in it, and finished the Swiss Rounds with a 10-1 record. Both Duelists proved their exception skill with the Decks they constructed, but do they have what it takes to win with brand new Decks constructed from packs of Battle Pack: War of the Giants? It’s time to Duel!
If you’re reading this coverage post-event, you may have already seen our Draft Along coverage with Joe Bogli, where we followed him through his drafting process card by card! You saw him prioritize cards like Butterspy Protection (which he drafted two copies of), and that big pick where he chose Memory of an Adversary over Pot of Duality. Now, here in the Top 16, we’re going to see how all those decisions would play out! Bogli made the Top 8 at YCS Atlanta and now he was back this weekend, hoping for an even better showing.
His opponent this round is one of two Canadians in the Top 16: Harison Perinpanayagam from Toronto, Ontario, Canada! He’s had some drafting experience before, but never drafted with War of the Giants: Round 2. Let’s see what kind of difference that makes in this Feature Match…