One long car ride later we arrived at the tournament.
Round 1: Karakuri Geargia
I'd looked around the competition and saw five or six Karakuri Geargia duelists, so I wasn't surprised to find out it was my Round 1 matchup. I don't exactly hate this deck, but I wouldn't say I enjoy facing it. It's one of the strongest tournament contenders right now, building up ridiculous card advantage at the drop of a hat.
Game 1: I lost the die roll and was staring down an impressive field of Thunder King Rai-Oh and three set cards on Turn 1. I opened with Blue-Eyes White Dragon and some other useless cards so I simply passed and took 1900 damage. He didn't Summon any other monsters but he loaded up a fourth face-down. Next turn I set Nikitama, Divine Wrath, and Mirror Force. During my End Phase I lost both traps to a pair of Mystical Space Typhoon.
My opponent continued to do some damage and I eventually grinded through his Thunder King Rai-Oh, Solemn Warning, and Mirror Force. I eventually gathered some resources and ended up repeatedly banishing his monsters with my defense position Chaos Sorcerer while poking with Nikitama. He allowed Nikitama to do 4000 damage before Mirror Forcing it, and by that time I had so many cards at my disposal it hardly mattered.
Game 2: My opponent opened up with a set monster and four back row. Ouch. I was able to grind through everything with the help of Aratama and Yaksha, and when we were both low on cards I forced him into having to let me draw four off of Maxx "C" to make a subpar play. At that point I easily overcame his field and, with the help of Mind Crush, secured my first win of the day.
Record: 1 – 0
Round 2: Karakuri Geargia
I didn't really want to face back-to-back Karakuri Geargias, but the odds weren't exactly in my favor…
Game 1: Once again I went second, this time against a set monster and four backrows. My hand was weak, and it of course included a Blue-Eyes White Dragon. I set three and on my opponent's next turn he flipped Geargiarmor, added Geargiaccelerator, and then went all in. I was able to drop Tragoedia but scooped next turn because I didn't want him knowing what I was playing.
Game 2: I opted to go first, setting Aratama and Mirror Force. My opponent set four backrows and a monster. Next turn I flipped Aratama and he Fiendish Chained. I Normal Summoned another Aratama, adding Yaksha to hand, and overlaid for Number 101: Silent Honor ARK. A 2100 ATK monster that has to be destroyed three times to finally be taken down is pretty darn good. By the time he could build up some steam a timely Phoenix Wing Wind Blast sealed the duel in my favor.
Game 3: It's apparently impossible for my opponents to open poorly because I was looking at five backrow first turn this time. I set Aratama and Trap Stun with Chaos Sorcerer, another Aratama, Mystical Space Typhoon, and Tsukuyomi in hand. He passed. On my turn I flipped Aratama, searched Nikitama, and then lost it to Mind Crush. I chained Trap Stun, and he chained a second Mind Crush, again calling Nikitama.
I discarded Nikitama, but because I had another Spirit on field I got to draw a card with Nikitama's ability. From there it was as easy as Normal Summoning my second Aratama to search out a second Nikitama the following turn, Mystical Space Typhooning one of his backrows, and bringing out Number 101: Silent Honor ARK again. Just like last time, ARK gave my opponent a ton of trouble, and the second I made my second copy he scooped it up.
Record: 2 - 0
Round 3: Hieratic Dragon Rulers
I knew my opponent here was playing Hieratic Dragon Rulers because I spectated him last round, and wasn't exactly thrilled to be going up against this new strategy. I wasn't actually sure how this matchup would go but felt if I played it correctly I'd be able to pull out the win.
Game 1: My opponent opened with three backrows and no monsters, but I didn't have a strong opening either. I summoned Aratama searching Nikitama and poked for 800. The cool thing about Spirit monsters is that they return to hand in the End Phase. That might seem like a drawback, but it's actually a huge boost because it prevents your opponent from Special Summoning stuff like Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit.
He did end up having Hieratic Seal From the Ashes, and quickly built up a graveyard. When he went for a basic Tefnuit and Su combo I had the Maxx "C" to stop him. My opponent ended with Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack, Gaia Charger the Thunder Dragon, and one Mecha Phantom Beast Token to my eight cards in hand. I used Aratama to get Nikitama and Special Summoned Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning. I attacked over a Token with Nikitama, ran over both his Xyz Monsters with BLS, and then poked with Aratama. I Xyz Summoned Abyss Dweller in Main Phase 2 and that was too much for him to handle.
Game 2: I started out with Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and as you may have gathered by now that's not exactly my favorite thing in the world! He quickly got the ball rolling with Hieratic Seal of the Ashes and once again, went for the Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack / Hieratic Dragon King of Atum combo. I had Maxx "C" this time too, and after forcing him to prematurely activate a Reckless Greed I locked him under Abyss Dweller protected by Mirror Force. When I Mind Crushed his last card in hand he gave me the win.
Record: 3 – 0
Round 4: No-Show
My Round 4 opponent got sick beforehand and ended up not showing up. This allowed me to view the remaining duels at the other tables and narrow down the playing field.
Record: 4 - 0
Round 5: Inzektors
When I sat down I was fairly calm, confident in this deck's ability to beat Inzektors. I had eight cards in my Side Deck for the Inzektor matchup, and I wasn't worried at all. My opponent, however, was up against a rogue matchup and was visibly shaking. When I asked him if he was nervous he confirmed that he was.
Game 1: Blue-Eyes White Dragon found itself settled in my hand for the fourth time in the day, and my opponent kicked things off with Inzektor Centipede and Inzektor Ladybug, searching for Inzektor Dragonfly. Three backrows later and I was up, looking at a less than stellar hand. All I could really do was set Divine Wrath, but a Mystical Space Typhoon left me with no actual defense. He quickly OTK'd me and I really couldn't do anything about it.
Game 2: I started off with a set Overworked and Aratama; not bad! My opponent Typhoon'd the Overworked but didn't have much of a follow-up, simply attacking with Centipede for 1600 damage. A couple turns later and I found myself with two Effect Veilers, Forbidden Lance, and Tsukuyomi in hand, with Chaos Sorcerer on the field. He had 2200 Life Points left and only one face-down. I Normal Summoned Tsukuyomi, flipped and flopped Chaos Sorcerer, and went for game. He tried to Safe Zone Sorcerer to prevent it from attacking directly but Forbidden Lance saved the day.
Game 3: My opponent set three and passed to my awesome hand of double Aratama, Nikitama, Effect Veiler, and Maxx "C". I was ahead this entire game in sheer card advantage and grinded through two of his Centipedes. My favorite moment was when I set Aratama, and then next turn searched Nikitama. I summoned the Nikitama and Yaksha, made Fairy Cheer Girl, and detached Nikitama to draw two cards. It was a huge swing in momentum that he struggled to come back from.
He did, however, make a play that almost defeated me and ended with Wind-Up Zenmaines, Inzektor Centipede, and no backrow! To beat that set-up I summoned Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer and Chaos Sorcerer. I banished Zenmaines, and attacked over Centipede to banish Inzektor Hornet and Inzektor Dragonfly. At that point he was completely out of Centipedes in deck and Dragonfly and Hornet were banished, so I figured I was in a good position. He grabbed Call Of The Haunted with Pot of Duality, but three turns in a row I bounced it with Yaksha, capturing the win!
Record 5 – 0
I was disappointed that I didn't actually get to earn my invite, but was excited at how well my deck performed! The Spirits really worked out, but I'm on the fence about the Blue-Eyes engine. As for other changes I'm considering as I move forward, Tragoedia wasn't that great. I feel like in most cases I would've rather had Battle Fader. Also, Rasetsu wasn't nearly as good as I'd anticipated, while Yaksha was infinitely better than expected! I'm definitely considering dropping Rasetsu for a second Yaksha.
Overall I was thrilled with my experience! I won a cool mat, got some serious testing in with Spirits, and feel prepared for the remaining two thirds of the format. I'll be attending two Regional Qualifiers and one YCS before we change F&L Lists, and I'm planning on bringing Spirits to all of them. If you have any more questions about specific cards or general advice on how to pilot the deck please feel free to ask me in the Comments!
Article Aftermath #27