DECKID=101602

The first ARGCS of the January 2015 format was won by Gusteph Patigo – scoring the first event win for Burning Abyss this year, at ARGCS Orlando. Burning Abyss was a favorite heading into the new Advanced Format; untouched by the Forbidden & Limited List, it's no surprise to see that the deck remains just as popular as it was last year. The biggest change to most line-ups is the possible use of Snatch Steal, but it's not a mandatory spell for the Main Deck. Of the four Burning Abyss players who made the Top 16 at Orlando only one of them – Patigo – played it in their Main Deck. Snatch Steal creates some crazy interactions between the top decks and Patigo was well-prepared to answer opposing copies with Mystical Space Typhoon, Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, and Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss. Oh, and there's also his eight sided pieces of spell and trap removal.

Two Dust Tornado, three Fairy Wind, and another three Twister make up over half of Patigo's Side Deck. Is it overkill? Maybe, but that's only the case if he sided all of his spell and trap removal together. Fairy Wind's obviously strong against Qliphorts specifically, but Twister and Dust Tornado are better against specific Continuous Traps like Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror, Vanity's Emptiness, and Skill Drain. Once again: all of these cards prevent Snatch Steal from taking monsters, and that fact alone makes them worth doubling up on against Qliphorts.

Patigo didn't play Calcab, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss or Alich, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, and instead ran a playset of Mathematician. He also avoided playing Enemy Controller altogether. His build is a clear standout among the Burning Abyss decks that topped the event and might just be foretelling where this strategy is headed in the next month.

-Kelly Locke