The Oklahoma Regional Qualifier was among the first major events of the January 2015 format, and Michael Klasel finished in the Top 8 with a Burning Abyss build that took advantage of a couple of the new changes. He played two copies of Dark Hole and one Snatch Steal in his Main Deck – two cards that were Limited and Forbidden respectively just last month. Doubling up on Dark Hole gave Klasel three spells to clear his opponent's monsters. Burning Abyss cards replace themselves on destruction anyways, so Klasel wouldn't lose anything himself, while he'd destroy opposing Qliphort and Shaddoll monsters. Snatch Steal has had a huge impact on how certain match-ups play out. Klasel could take control of his opponent's Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss and overlay it to Xyz Summon Downerd Magician, or take a Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss and use its effect.


In his Side Deck Klasel played three copies of Fairy Wind and Malevolent Catastrophe to help against Qliphorts and Satellarknights. Flying "C" and Non-Fusion Area are also typical picks against Burning Abyss and Shaddolls, but the last card in Side Deck is a bit more interesting. Xyz Universe isn't widely played, but it is highly effective in the mirror match. Sending two Dantes or another Rank 3 to the grave brings Constellar Pleiades to the field. Pleiades is excellent against Burning Abyss, and summoning it via Xyz Universe would strip Klasel's opponent of their own Xyz Monster.

Klasel didn't play any Tribute monsters with continuous effects. Vanity's Fiend has been a popular Side Deck card in Burning Abyss for a couple of months, but with Snatch Steal back in competitive play monster-based floodgates are too risky. Caius the Shadow Monarch's arguably a smarter pick for the new format, and Klasel played two. Even with only a handful of changes, Burning Abyss players are already modifying their builds to adapt to the new format. For Klasel his changes were clearly well-chosen.

-Kelly Locke