I mentioned earlier this week that I'd be taking Satellarknights to a Regional Qualifier in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend, and that's exactly what I did. Several of my passengers fell through at the last minute, causing some interesting mix-ups pre-tournament, but eventually I finished the five hour (!) trek to Ohio. I arrived literally two minutes before registration closed, and was extremely glad I filled out my deck list on the drive.

The biggest reason I wanted to go was to test out Satellarknights and compare them to Batterymen. I wasn't exactly sure on which deck I wanted to take to YCS Toronto, and felt some much needed real-life testing was necessary.

The Deck
As many of you know, this Regional was the first set of tournaments under the new Forbidden and Limited List and Duelist Alliance. Going into it I figured Shaddolls would be a big match-up, but so were many other strategies like Satellarknights, Yang Zings, Infernities, and Burning Abyss. Satellarknights basically beat everything but the mirror is kind of bad.

I figured that I could probably go the entire day without playing a mirror match because everyone would be playing Shaddolls. Because of that, I chose to take the exact build of Satellarknights that I wrote about on Monday. Here's the list again, and I've also included the Side Deck I took with me:

DECKID=101007Looking back on the event I'm incredibly satisfied with my version of Satellarknights. While most duelists opted to play stuff like Photon Thrasher, Kagetokage, or more actual Satellarknights I chose to run a suite of Traptrix monsters as well as Kuribandit. Most people really dislike Kuribandit - or just refuse to try it - but I can say with absolute confidence that it was totally nutty every time it resolved. Setting up Soul Charge and Call Of The Haunted combos while also thinning your deck by five cards is just straight up unfair.

As far as consistency goes, I only bricked once the entire day. My opponent hit a solid "Madolche Anjelly with three back row" opening and I started off with three Satellarknight Deneb, two Kuribandit, and drew into a Satellarknight Altair. Needless to say, I didn't win that game. Beyond that, though, there was only one other time where I opened subpar, and that was a hand of two Satellarknight Vega, two Wiretap, and Stygian Dirge. It was an okay hand with the Dirge, but my opponent had the clutch Typhoon' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Mystical Space Typhoon">Mystical Space Typhoon in his opening draws.

The Side Deck, however, could use a little work. Shaddolls are honestly way worse than everyone expected, and I quickly 2-0'd the only Shaddoll player I dueled against. And it wasn't that he was a bad player by any means; he was at the top tables all day and even drew really well against me. But the theme just doesn't have enough kick and it's way too slow, which is why a lot of people are switching to Satellarknights. Anyway, I'm definitely going to lower the Shaddoll hate going into Toronto. Forbidden Chalice is really good against Shaddolls, but not really anything else. Cards like Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror and Nobleman of Crossout are not only good against Shaddolls, but also a variety of other important match-ups. Because of that, I'll be dropping Chalice for something more useful, possibly more Satellarknight counters.

Speaking of, I'm not really sure how you can play against Satellarknights without Stygian Dirge. Flipping up Dirge early game is basically an auto-win, especially since not everyone even knows what it does. Similarly, Pulling the Rug acts as a second and third Solemn Warning, but free. The only issue I found with Pulling the Rug is that it loses hard to Stellarknight Delteros and Stellarnova Alpha. Besides that though? Fantastic.

The Tournament
One of the things I noticed with the Satellarknight players at the top tables with me, was that they knew their rulings way better than those at the lower tables. That might seem obvious, but there were several different interactions that came up throughout the day that you should know if you're playing Satellarknights. For example, did you know you can attack if you activate but don't resolve Satellarknight Altair? I did, but many others didn't. Additionally, there were a lot of issues with open and closed game states, as well as player priority (no, not that priority).

Let's say you Xyz Summon Satellarknight Delteros and your opponent has Compulsory Evacuation Device face-down with a set monster. When you Xyz Summon Delteros your opponent can't respond to the Summon with Compulsory. That part is pretty obvious, I think. What one of my opponents figured, though, was that he could activate Compulsory Evacuation Device after the Xyz Summon but before I activated its effect. That's not true. As turn player, you have player priority to use cards and effects before your opponent can. Basically, the non-turn player can't just activate stuff Out of the Blue, such as when the turn player is thinking through a combo string or deciding if they want to activate an effect or not.


Oh yeah, and make sure your opponent actually announces their Satellarknight effects before you prematurely negate them. Way too often I'd Normal Summon a Satellarknight Altair and my opponent would immediately Fiendish Chain it. I could then Soul Charge or Call Of The Haunted back a second Altair and use its effect because I never activated the ability of the first one. The same was true for Satellarknight Vega where people would negate its effect when I didn't even have another Satellarknight in hand. Lastly, for the love of all that is holy wait until your opponent targets a card with Traptrix Myrmeleo or Stellarknight Delteros before attempting to negate. This seems super simple, and it is, but you'd be surprised how many people just activate Fiendish Chain right away. Patience is a virtue!

Let's Talk YCS Toronto
I'm just starting up classes again for college and as such much of my Yu-Gi-Oh! time is going down the drain. That means I don't have nearly as many hours for testing as I have in the summer. Regardless, I have some ideas of what to expect at YCS Toronto.

First and foremost, everyone is now aware Satellarknights are the best deck right now. It's funny to think that people swore Shaddolls would be the end of the game and that we'd enter a "Tier 0" format. If you're not playing Satellarknights in Toronto you're going to have to play something that beats them. Furthermore, if you are playing Satellarknights you're going to have to innovate if you want to beat the people topping with the theme this past weekend.

As in, don't just go netdeck someone and expect results.

There are plenty of useful tools for taking down Satellarknights. Stygian Dirge is amazing, as are some other cards I'd care to not mention right now. Duel against Satellarknights a lot these next few days, and try out a bunch of potential Main and Side Deck cards to demolish them. They're far from unbeatable, but it's they won't go down without a fight. Personally I find it interesting that you can use your Extra Deck to take down Satellarknights. Heroic Champion - Gandiva essentially wastes two of your opponent's Summons, and Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight can mess up Typhoon' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Mystical Space Typhoon">Mystical Space Typhoon and Stellarknight Delteros.

Mystical Space Typhoon's actually an interesting card in and of itself right now. While it's been on the decline the past couple months due to Artifacts, I think it's now worth considering in the Main Deck again. Stopping Call Of The Haunted is crucial, and you can also pop searched back row like Bottomless Trap Hole and Time-Space Trap Hole. Preemptively hitting Stellarnova Alpha is also cool, too, but you should probably make sure your opponent isn't one of the few people using Artifacts in their Satellarknights.

Going forward I still believe Satellarknights are a strong pick, but like I said earlier: you have to be making some innovations. Run of the mill versions just aren't as strong now that the cat's out of the bag on how good they are. Let me know in the Comment section what your Satellarknight tech is, and also what you're planning on playing at YCS Toronto!

-Doug Zeeff