Preparing for YCS Pasadena
With the release of Soul Fusion and two YCS’ taking place in the past month, the metagame is seemingly solidified. Certain older decks have lost popularity while newer strategies have taken the spotlight. This article is intended to list off and explain a bit about what I would expect to be the top 5 most represented and best choices for the upcoming YCS in Pasadena, California. While anything can win, I would highly recommend familiarizing yourself and consider piloting one of these five decks:
Easily the scariest deck of the five to play against, Danger has the ability to win the game going first before you can ever start your turn. Creating an infinite loop with Firewall Dragon, Cannon Soldier, and Grapha Dragon Lord of Dark World, Danger looks to win the game immediately if they get to go first. However, they aren’t strictly relying on going first to win, they have tools within the archetype, such as Danger! Bigfoot! and Danger! Thunderbird! that allow them to dismantle opposing fields going second to clear a path to victory as well. Newer additions to the deck such as Outer Entity Azathot make traditional main decked answers like Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit virtually useless. If you want to stop this deck from beating you before you get to play, I would consider cards like Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries and Droll & Lock Bird as the hand traps of choice.
The newest addition to the metagame, Thunder Dragons came out swinging taking up the most spots in top cut at their very first event. Being able to slam down two copies of Thunder Dragon Colossus and a Thunder Dragon Titan on their first turn is nothing to laugh at. Colossus stopping your opponent from being able to search their deck can be absolutely devastating against a large portion of the competitive decks. The ability to main deck copies of Denko Sekka has also been a huge boon to the deck, giving you a big advantage against decks that rely on setting spells and traps as their primary way of defending themselves.
Pure Sky Striker
A deck everyone who plays competitively should be familiar with, Pure Sky Striker has been a force to be reckoned with for about six months now. Being able to search your deck for any tool you need for a situation is always a critical aspect for a great deck. However, with the addition of Thunder Dragons, that can be difficult. A skilled pilot with the deck can bypass Thunder Dragon Colossus and still find great success with the deck, as shown in the last YCS in London being won by Pure Sky striker.
Similar to Pure Sky Striker, Gouki has been around as a top deck for the better part of 2018. Similar to Danger!, Gouki is looking to combo off turn 1, unlike Danger though Gouki doesn’t technically win the game after they combo you. Going first, Gouki is looking to extra link you, rip apart your hand with Topologic Gumblar Dragon, or both, effectively ending the game. While Goukis popularity has taken a decline, their power has not, being proven by their win at YCS Niagara Falls.
A fan favorite making its way back into the competitive scene, Burning Abyss has been a relevant deck for about 4 years now. Using a few of the new Danger monsters to their advantage, Burning Abyss finds a way to get new tools out of almost every set. Taking a few top cut spots out of the past 2 YCS’ as well as taking first place at the 200th YCS in Mexico and 2nd place at the 200th YCS in Europe, Burning Abyss is a deck you should still have on your radar. Being able to transition between defense with cards like Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal and Fairy Tale – Snow, and then to offense with cards like Borrelsword Dragon and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, Burning Abyss has a variety of tools for just about any situation.
There are many decks that are viable in this current format, but these are the five that I expect to perform the best. Tier 2 decks such as Trickstar, Altergiest, True Draco, and others can perform well at a large tournament as well, but they would need to seriously prepare for the decks listed above them. If you are planning on attending an upcoming event, how do you plan on disrupting the Danger deck so that they do not beat you on their first turn? What tools do you have to fight through several copies of Thunder Dragon Colossus on turn one? Finding answers to these questions are critical if you plan on piercing into top cut of the next event you attend.
The author recommends:
Jesse Choate is an accomplished Yu-Gi-Oh! player currently playing for TeamCollectorStore. His accomplishments include:
YCS Atlanta Top 4 2014
YCS Chicago Top 32 2015
YCS Denver Top 32 2017
25 Regional Top 8’s