WOW! Plants are still on top. I guess since the deck is so versitile it can adapt to any situation. Also if played in the right hands is seems it can not be stopped.
I would like to congratulate Chris Biswell on his 2nd place finish. It’s not an easy task to play almost 2 days straight of competitve Yu-Gi’s. But Chris did it and just came short of winning it all.
I recently read a great article, written by Chris, about how he prepaired for the tournament and what changes he would have made to his deck. Plus he explains how we all should be while we are playing.
He states we all should play fair and try not get an easy win by being a rule shark. I know some people will do anything for a win. We all have to remember that winning is not everything and having a fun competive match should be what we play for. Here is the article.
Taking Synchrocentric to Second at YCS Kansas!
Hello everyone! I’m Chris Biswell, and I’m here to bring you my second place YCS Kansas City tournament report. It was a fun tournament where I caught up with some friends I haven’t seen since nationals and meeting some new ones. With that, as well as one of the lowest theft rates to ever been seen at a YCS, my second place was just icing on the cake for a great weekend.
The preparation for the tournament was very sporadic, because I was juggling school, debate, and Yu-Gi-Oh! all at the same time. Being a full time student, I do not get to play nearly as much as I would like, and because of that I was very unsure on what I wanted to play for the event.
Initially I was going to play Karakuri, because I enjoyed the decks ability to switch from a hyper aggressive to control strategy through its vast access to many syncro monsters. However I found that I was simply too inclined to always play a control strategy, and could never make explosive plays because I feared too many possible outs the opponent could have to the play. This made me feel uncomfortable with the deck, so I began to look for alternatives.
In my search, I found myself talking to Daniel Hackl – who you may remember made top 32 with Agents at the Toronto YCS – about his interpretation of how Agents should be side decking. By avoiding cards like Leeching the Light, you simply change a majority of your light monsters for non-light monsters with control oriented effects. I loved the idea, but after playing the deck for a few days non-stop, I still wasn’t happy. Something just didn’t feel right about the build, and I didn’t feel comfortable with taking it to a major tournament either.
Eventually, I decided to just play Billy Brake’s Plant Syncro deck. I already played the deck at the beginning of the format, and felt confident that I could do well with it at the YCS. While the main deck was the same at Break’s from his YCS Columbus 1st place finish, my side deck was different to account for the newer meta and my play style.
This is what I decided on the night before the event:
3 – Tour Guide From the Underworld
3 – Maxx C
3 – reborn tengu
2 – Caius The Shadow Monarch
2 – Thunder King Rai-Oh
1 – Debris Dragon
1 – Dandylion
1 – Lonefire Blossom
1 – Glow-Up Bulb
1 – Spore
1 – Sangan
1 – Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 – Black Luster Soldier Envoy of the Beginning
1 – Spirit Reaper
1 – Effect Veiler
2 – Enemy Controller
2 – Mystical Space Typhoon
1 – Scapegoat
1 – Foolish Burial
1 – Book of Moon
1 – One for One
1 – Monster Reborn
1 – Heavy Storm
1 – Mind Control
1 – Dark Hole
1 – Pot of Avarice
1 – Steelswarm Roach
1 – Scrap Dragon
1 – Ally of Justice Catastor
1 – Brionac Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 – black rose dragon
1 – Trishula Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 – Stardust Dragon
1 – Armory Arm
1 – Formula Synchron
1 – T.G. Hyper Librarian
1 – Orient Dragon
1 – Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 – Number 39: Utopia
1 – Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1 – Ancient Fairy Dragon
2 – Dimensional Prison
2 – Dust Tornado
2 – Gemini Imps
1 – Mystical Space Typhoon
1 – D.D. Crow
1 – Thunder King Rai-Oh
1 – Doomcaliber Knight
1 – Mirror Force
1 – Fiendish Chain
1 – Smashing Ground
1 – System Down
1 – Tempest Magician
Some of my card choices need to be explained. First, is the lack of Wind-Up Zenmaines. Simply put, I just didn’t have enough time to pick one up for the event. If I did have the time, then I would have taken out the Steelswarm Roach from my extra deck because I just simply don’t use the Roach all that often. Most decks can simply go into Xyz monsters and attack over it, and since it gains the most use in the Karakuri (and now the new Chaos) match-up; I would have decided to just use the Wind-Up Zenmaines because of its higher utility in more match-ups.
Second, some plant users decided to go for main decking 2 Spirit Reaper instead of 2 Caius The Shadow Monarch. The reason why I stuck with 2 Caius The Shadow Monarch is because I enjoyed the power that Caius brings a deck. Especially with 3 reborn tengu and 3 Tour Guide From the Underworld, I almost always had a tribute for it.
The side deck was made to be able to combat many different decks, with a few one of card choices because of their strength in either many or just one match-up in particular to add a little more card choices for those decks. Really quick, I want to go over the side in and out strategies I used for the event.
If I played against Karakuri:
-1 Lonefire Blossom
-1 Debris Dragon
-1 One for One
-1 Foolish Burial
If I played against Agents:
-1 Lonefire Blossom
-1 Debris Dragon
-1 One for One
-1 Foolish Burial
-1 Mystical Space Typhoon
+1 Thunder King Rai-Oh
+1 Doomcaliber Knight
+1 Smashing Ground
+1 Fiendish Chain
+2 Dimensional Prison
+1 Mirror Force
If I played against Darkworld:
-1 Lonefire Blossom
-1 Debris Dragon
-1 One for One
-1 Foolish Burial
-3 Maxx C
-1 Effect Veiler
The Tempest Magician was for the Final Countdown decks. Because of One Day of Peace, Final Countdown is a very viable strategy, and fortunately because of Plant Syncro’s level 1 tuners and T.G. Hyper Magician, it is very easy to make Tempest Magician and win before the Final Countdown reached twenty turns.
For other non-top tier decks I would just judge what to side in and out based on what cards they used. If they used a lot of defensive traps, or a lot of continuous spells and/or traps I would side in the extra Mystical Space Typhoon and Dust Tornado and take out cards like Maxx C. Sometimes when it comes to side decking you aren’t always perfectly prepared for what you could go against, so you need to be able to adapt on the spot to the match-up realizing cards that are dead or not as useful and changing them out for things that will be.
Also, you may have noticed how every match-up I was prepared to side out the most of my plant engine. That is because I found something very interesting about Plant Syncro last format, that I decided to pull across to this format, and that is how no matter whom you play against, they will always side deck similar cards against you, like Maxx C or D.D. Crow. Sometimes, those cards just do too much damage to your strategy to win.
I decided to side out those cards for games 2 and 3 because it would create dead cards in my opponent’s hand, while still not inhibiting me to play. Because of Tour Guide From the Underworld and Tengu, my Caius The Shadow Monarch should always have tributes, and I still had solid opening plays with Doomcaliber Knight, Thunder King Rai-Oh and reborn tengu. Not to mention Tour Guide From the Underworld and Sangan, along with Spirit Reaper making it so I can adapt to different situations, and still remain in the game. The reason I would keep Glow-Up Bulb in the deck is because it is a great standalone card that I can use to tribute summon Caius, or still make syncro plays with reborn tengu and Gorz, the Emissary of Darkness.
Sometimes it is better to slow your deck down and take a more conservative approach to the game, while still keeping your versatility. There is more to Yu-Gi-Oh! than just playing an explosive deck and only using its big plays to win. When it comes to cards like One-for-One, Foolish Burial, and Debris Dragon, you take a risk of cards like Maxx C disrupting your entire play. It can be better to instead of trying to make a big power play, to just play smart and in regards to the cards your opponent could have, instead of just going for it and hoping the best.
But, enough about how I prepared for the event, and on to the tournament report!
Over the course of the tournament I played against the following decks:
Round 1: Syncro Summon Plants (Win)
Round 2: Dark World (Win)
Round 3: Karakuri (Win)
Round 4: Rabbit Dino (Win)
Round 5: Infernity (Win)
Round 6: Agents (Win)
Round 7: Chaos (Win)
Round 8: Agent (Lose)
Round 9: Mystic Piper Chaos (Win)
Round 10: Plant Syncro (Win)
Top 32: Plant Syncro (Win)
Top 16: Agents (Win)
Top 8: Rabbit Dino (Same person from swiss) (Win)
Top 4: Plant Syncro (Same person from swiss) (Win)
Finals: Chaos (Same person from swiss) (Lose)
Despite the diversity of decks I played against, I played all of them the same way. There is an important rule to follow when you are playing any game, and that is despite how you prepared and side decked for a match-up, you can still lose just because of luck. So, how I approached my games was to create a deck going into game 1 that could adapt to any match-up and create options to game 2 and 3 that did the same thing, but accounting for my opponent’s side deck.
Essentially, theory can only go so far when preparing for match-ups. You also need to keep your deck’s synergy and consistency, as well as make it so you are effectively countering your opponents strategies while keeping yours working. The plant cards in the deck I saw as too inconsistent and vulnerable to opponents side decked cards. So I removed them for large monsters with great effects, and traps to stop my opponent from taking advantage of the game.
This creates very consistent opening hands that could adapt to whatever my opponent would start with, and then play the game smart by spending your resources wisely. I focus on making the right play in any given situation, and as long as you are always making the right play, you should win the game in a very simple manner. Games don’t always end in big flashy combos, sometimes they end by just one player having all the answers, and that’s what I would try and do.
Here is an opening hand for example. For the example, I’ll be going first. My opening hand is: 1 reborn tengu, 1 Caius The Shadow Monarch, 1 Mystical Space Typhoon , 1 Tour Guide From the Underworld, 1 Thunder King Rai-Oh, 1 Enemy Controller.
My opening play here would be to summon reborn tengu, and set Mystical Space Typhoon and end my turn. The Reasoning is because this is a safe play, where I can still maintain all of the outs my opponent may have. For example:
- If I summon Thunder King Rai-Oh I risk my opponent summoning any monster to force its negation, or destroy it. In the opening turns of the game, I like to save my more powerful monsters for when my opponent is further down on cards. Once my opponent is further down on cards, then I use power cards like Thunder King Rai-Oh to secure my place in the game. I also can use it to summon only when my opponent has left a Sangan on the field, that way I know I will get some really good use out of the Thunder King Rai-Oh.
- If I summon Tour Guide From the Underworld, I open myself up to a lot of plays my opponent can make. My using Mystical Space Typhoon or Heavy Storm to destroy my Enemy Controller, they can just simply summon Thunder King Rai-Oh to destroy Sangan putting me in a bad place, or summon their own Tour Guide From the Underworld to destroy their Sangan with my Tour Guide From the Underworld. I also lose a lot of utility for later in the game where I may need the Tour Guide From the Underworld to go into a Rank 3 Xyz to adapt to the situation.
You can know everything about Yu-Gi-Oh! theory about what cards prevent what, but you’ll never be successful if you don’t take the game down a notch and focus on making the right plays in that situation rather than what the right play may be in a different hypothetical situation.
Playing smart and knowing your opponent’s deck is all anyone needs to win a majority of their matches. Being smart and thinking about your plays before you make them can be the difference between winning a game and losing a game. Luck may play a part of the game, but sometimes luck isn’t enough, and you need to be able to use that luck efficiently.
Overall, if you just play smart and make the correct play for any situation, you should be Fine in any game, verses any match-up.
Another small issue I would like to bring up before I explain what I would have done differently and wrap this report up, is an event that happened in one of my swiss rounds. It was against none other than Courtney Waller but this was before we met again in the finals. We were both deck checked, and we both had problems with a few of our cards. They were nothing serious; just warn out versions of cards that have been used for years. For me, I needed to switch my Monster Reborn and Mirror Force, and Courtney needed to change his Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer. He was having difficulties finding his replacement, and so I decided to help him out by looking through my cards to see if I had an extra.
Everyone around was surprised, including the judge and Courtney that I would actually help my opponent out when they are having a problem. You see, that is something that shouldn’t be surprising, but expected. A problem I’ve seen with a few players is their tendency to rule shark, or even soft cheat their opponents just to get an easy win. This mentality in Yu-Gi-Oh! needs to stop. You see, I firmly believe in having the best competition possible, because it’s when both players play at their best do you really learn anything, or truly enjoy the game. Losing may suck, but it’s not as bad when you lost knowing you played the best game possible, and losing when you tried to get an easy win from your opponent.
All I’m saying is respect your competition, and play a fair game. Otherwise, the game can’t even be fun, and that’s the reason most of us are involved in it.
Well, enough of that! I’ll move on to the post event changes.
Post Event Changes
If I could go back in time and play this tournament again, there are only a couple of things I would like to change. The first would be dropping one of the Caius The Shadow Monarch for another Spirit Reaper. The only time I found myself losing games was because I didn’t have enough support for Caius The Shadow Monarch when I drew him. I feel that by taking him out for a second Spirit Reaper, I can make the game go a little longer to give myself time to make a comeback.
The second change would be to take out the Steelswarm Roach for a Wind-Up Zenmaines. As I said before, the only reason I didn’t have a Wind-Up Zenmaines was because I didn’t have enough time to pick one up before the event.
Other than that, the main deck is solid, and I wouldn’t change a thing. It is versatile and powerful, and that makes it a top contender for the rest of the format. Don’t expect this deck to go away folks just because it didn’t win again, everyone can expect to see more Plant Syncro in their competitive future.
Until next time,
Article from Taking Synchrocentric to Second at YCS Kansas!
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