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The True War of the Giants Starts Here!

February 1st, 2014

Duelists that make it to the Round of 16 in this weekend’s YCS in Atlanta will set aside their Advanced Format Decks to take on a new challenge never before seen in top level competition: Booster Draft! War of the Giants: Round 2 expands on Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants to offer an exciting and challenging new experience for Duelists everywhere, and if you want to take home the top prize and the accolades that go along with it, you’ll need to practice! Practice is, of course, the only thing that makes perfect, but today I’ll talk about a few game changing cards from the War of the Giants: Round 2 pack that you’ll need to know how to deal with (and how to use yourself!) if they come up in your draft.

Mecha Phantom Beast Blackfalcon
may seem unassuming, being a common and all, but if you let it take off it’ll ground your chances of winning in a hurry. Every time Blackfalcon declares an attack, it’s controller gets a Mecha Phantom Beast Token, and it can Tribute any Token during either player’s turn to shift an enemy monster to Defense Position. To compound the threat, Blackfalcon is also impervious to destruction as long as its controller has any Tokens on the field. Blackfalcon’s 1200 ATK might not seem all that threatening, but when your big monsters start winding up in their weaker Defense Position where ATK boosting cards can’t help them, and Blackfalcon starts being joined by other monsters, things can get out of hand and you can find yourself on the receiving end of a massive blowout.

To deal with Blackfalcon effectively, your best bet is to prevent it from making that first attack. It may seem like a waste to use a card like Butterspy Protection, Threatening Roar, or Zero Gravity against a 1200 ATK monster, but when the options are use the card or get pecked to death by Mecha Phantom Beast Blackfalcon, I know which one I’d choose. There are also cards that can negate monster effects available in both the Battle Pack 2 and Round 2 cardpools. Breakthrough Skill and Forbidden Chalice are much more valuable cards to have when drafting with Round 2 than they are when you only draft with Battle Pack 2 because of cards like Blackfalcon, Mecha Phantom Beast Tetherwolf, Mecha Phantom Beast Stealthray, and huge bombs like Kazejin, Red Ogre, and Big-Tusked Mammoth. Also, keep an eye out for Memory Loss. It’s an unassuming new addition to the card pool, but it’s incredibly useful against a wide variety of cards.

Speaking of Red Ogre, look out for Red Ogre. One of the interesting things about drafting with War of the Giants: Round 2 is that it lends itself well to allowing for and encouraging different draft orders and strategies. While personally, I’ll still take an Ancient Gear Golem if I get the chance during the first round of Battle Pack 2 cards, Kevin will pass on any high-Level monster early on and will look to take a giant or two in the War of the Giants: Round 2 pack. Cards like Red Ogre are why this is a valid strategy.

Red Ogre is a one-shot Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier. Those who were Dueling back when Brionac was legal in the Advanced Format know that you only really needed one shot out of Brionac to win, but for everyone who has never played with or against it: you really only need one shot out of Brionac to win. If you’re looking for a giant or two, you can’t go wrong with Red Ogre. The best way to deal with it if you’re on the receiving end is to hope your opponent targets more cards than they need to in order to actually win, and then stymieing the assault with a card like No Entry!! If you’re the one using Red Ogre, you should generally only return your opponent’s monsters to their hand.

One of the major additions to the format is the inclusion of more Level 5 and 6 monsters. None of them exceed 2300 ATK, but their effects are all quite good. Another valid draft strategy is to completely skip out on giants from the Battle Pack 2 packs entirely and see how many Level 5 and 6 monsters you can pick up instead. This is a valid strategy to take into most drafts because it’s mathematically probable that at least one copy of every card in War of the Giants: Round 2 will appear in an 8-player draft pod, meaning the Level 5 and 6 strategy is almost always going to be available.

It’s also advantageous to you because it allows you to focus exclusively on picking up Spells, Traps, and solid low-Level monsters in both Battle Pack 2 rounds, as long as you’re OK with the prospect of giving up cards like Ancient Gear Golem, Darklord Desire, Splendid Venus, etc. to your foes. You’ll also know early on in the Round 2 pack whether or not your strategy will pay off or if you need to change things up with the final set of Battle Packs.

Big-Tusked Mammoth, in particular, is a huge nuisance. While its ATK is only 2000, your opponent will be hard pressed to exploit this because none of their monsters will be able to attack the turn they’re Summoned! It’s a dangerous effect to rely on though because you have to constantly pick off your opponent’s monsters before they regain the ability to attack, leaving you more open to interference from Spell and Trap Cards. There are certainly trade-offs to be made, but a Level 5 and 6 based strategy can be very strong!

All of this is very surface-level stuff. The more you booster draft, the more you’ll learn about all the potential draft strategies, how to pull them off, how to figure out what your future opponent’s are doing, and how to put all of these cards, many of which you’ve probably never played with before, to their best use. And you can head over to our event coverage page on Sunday to find out how our top 16 competitors in Atlanta fare in the very first YCS playoff booster draft!