Here at Infinite, we've been bringing you lots of reports on what's winning at Remote Duel events, like the latest Yu-Gi-Oh Extravaganzas, Remote Duel Invitational Qualifiers, and the Invitational itself.

While we do wish for those in-person YCS and Regional events to return again, we all know that won't happen until the pandemic's over. For now, organized play is still wisely postponed in the Americas and Europe. But many countries including the US, are beginning to turn a corner with vaccinations, and in a few places elsewhere in the world, life is almost back to normal. And that includes Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments.

What if I told you that there's a place out there that's actually starting to host in-person events, safely and responsibly?

Last weekend, while we were all busy watching the Remote Duel Invitational via live stream, I happened to notice some event results in my news feed. Surprisingly it was an in-person event with 7 rounds of Swiss, and then a cut to Top 8. It had amazing prize support, too! After looking into it more, I decided I wanted to take some time and write about it, since this tournament wasn't some small local event. This was big enough to rival the size of a small Regional.

New Zealand's Done Great Fighting COVID

I'll be honest, I don't really keep up to date with what's happening in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic's a huge international issue and it's almost impossible to follow every aspect of it, so let me run some things down for you so we're all on the same page.

New Zealand has one of the lowest COVID death rates in the world, and they have exceptionally low case numbers. Most analysts accredit that to the strength of the country's initial response, even before vaccines were available: New Zealand's government was quick to organize in the face of the pandemic, limiting the spread of the virus, and did an excellent job promoting a plan to ensure public safety. Ever since around October of 2020, they've had very few active cases, and as an extension of that an exceptionally low mortality rate. In New Zealand it's largely safe to go outside again, and it's been that way for months.

A return to normalcy also means, at least eventually, a return to in-person Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments! That's why last Saturday, Shuffle "N" Cut Hobbies and Games teamed up with Your Move TCG Events to host a live event in the city of Auckland. The turnout reached an impressive 66 players, many of whom flew from all over New Zealand to attend and compete in one of the country's several big Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments in the post-pandemic era.

Why were New Zealanders so willing to travel for this tournament? Well, first who doesn't want to play some competitive, high-stakes Yu-Gi-Oh, live and in person? We all can't wait to get back into it. But the prizes were great too, including a World Championship 2019 Pack! If you're not familiar with swag from recent World Championships, this was the prize set with the Japanese Lost Art version of Monster Reborn, and Red-Eyes Black Dragon with a Prismatic Millennium Rare finish. A sealed copy of this set easily fetches over a thousand dollars!

These envelopes were originally awarded back in the 2019 World's Celebration OTS events, which were held in many OTS locations. There were two per store: one was awarded to the winner of each local event, while another was raffled away. I have one myself and it's a very nice collectible to have, since there are so few of them out in the world.

Back to the event: 66 players meant seven rounds of Swiss with a Top 8 playoff, running from 9am to 7:30pm. The attendees even had time to compete in a bunch of side events, like win-a-mat tournaments and a win-a-box. It sounds like a well-run event, with tons of fun and Yu-Gi-Oh to be had! And luckily for us, they did a great job with the coverage: there are lots of photos and even some deck breakdowns to share.

The photos and charts in this article were made possible by Wilson Yip and James Hamil from Shuffle "N" Cut Hobbies and Games

The three most popular decks in the Swiss rounds were Invoked Shaddolls, Dinosaurs, and Dragon Link. From there the field was a mix of acknowledged strategies that have seen big success this format - stuff like Virtual World, Eldlich, and Zoodiacs - as well as lots of rogue decks and fan favorites, from Phantom Knights and Madolches to Blue-Eyes and Cyber Dragons.

Here's the full breakdown of the complete field.

When the Swiss rounds were over and the field was narrowed to just eight remaining competitors, the Top 8 consisted of 2 Invoked Shaddoll builds, 1 Phantom Knight deck, 1 Zoodiac Eldlich, 1 Pure Zoodiac deck, 1 Dragon Link, 1 Dinosaur, and 1 Prank-Kids deck. The variety really shows how balanced the current format can be.

Want to see all the Top 8 builds? You can find them archived right here on Infinite.

And The Winner Is…

In the end, Andrew Doodson piloted Prank-Kids to defeat Dinosaurs in the finals and was crowned the champion of the event, taking home product-hover id="196864" with an impressive finish of 9-0-1.

Here's what he played.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Prank-Kids by Andrew Doodson

'Prank-Kids' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Andrew Doodson

Event: Shuffle 'N' Cut Championship Auckland

Rank: 1st

Advanced

Market Price: $979.58

Cards

Prank-Kids Place

Market Price: $21.42

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180357_200w.jpg

When this card is activated: You can add 1 "Prank-Kids" monster from your deck to your hand. Once per turn, if you Fusion Summon a "Prank-Kids" Fusion Monster (except during the Damage Step): You can have all monsters you control gain 500 ATK (even if this card leaves the field). Once per turn, if you link Summon a "Prank-Kids" Link Monster (except during the Damage Step): You can have all monsters your opponent controls lose 500 ATK (even if this card leaves the field). You can only activate 1 "Prank-Kids Place" per turn.

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There Can Be Only One

Market Price: $0.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227588_200w.jpg

Each player can only control 1 monster of each Type. If a player controls 2 or more monsters of the same Type, they must send some to the GY so they control no more than 1 monster of that Type.

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Prank-Kids Weather Washer

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180330_200w.jpg

2 "Prank-Kids" monsters

If your "Prank-Kids" attacks, your opponent cannot activate cards or effects until the end of the Damage Step. During your opponent's turn (Quick Effect): You can tribute this card, then target 2 "Prank-Kids" non-Fusion Monsters with different names in your GY; Special Summon them. They cannot be destroyed by battle this turn. You can only use this effect of "Prank-Kids Weather Washer" once per turn.

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Nibiru, the Primal Being

Market Price: $13.87

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227439_200w.jpg

During the Main Phase, if your opponent Normal or Special Summoned 5 or more monsters this turn (Quick Effect): You can Tribute as many face-up monsters on the field as possible, and if you do, Special Summon this card from your hand, then Special Summon 1 "Primal Being Token" (Rock/LIGHT/Level 11/ATK ?/DEF ?) to your opponent's field. (This Token's ATK/DEF become the combined original ATK/DEF of the Tributed monsters.) You can only use this effect of "Nibiru, the Primal Being" once per turn.

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Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay

Market Price: $5.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220688_200w.jpg

If your opponent Special Summons a Link Monster(s) (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon this card from your hand, draw cards equal to the number of Link Monsters your opponent controls +1, then shuffle cards from your hand into the Deck equal to the number of Link Monsters they control. When your opponent activates a card or effect that targets a monster(s) you control (Quick Effect): You can discard 1 card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it. You can only use each effect of "Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay" once per turn.

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Dark Ruler No More

Market Price: $5.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/224992_200w.jpg

Negate the effects of all face-up monsters your opponent currently controls, until the end of this turn, also, for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, your opponent takes no damage. Neither player can activate monster effects in response to this card's activation.

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Knightmare Phoenix

Market Price: $0.56

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/228688_200w.jpg

2+ monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 Spell/Trap your opponent controls; destroy it, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Phoenix" once per turn. Co-linked monsters you control cannot be destroyed by battle.

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Forbidden Droplet

Market Price: $120.32

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218962_200w.jpg

Send any number of other cards from your hand and/or field to the GY; choose that many Effect Monsters your opponent controls, and until the end of this turn, their ATK is halved, also their effects are negated. In response to this card's activation, your opponent cannot activate cards, or the effects of cards, with the same original type (Monster/Spell/Trap) as the cards sent to the GY to activate this card. You can only activate 1 "Forbidden Droplet" per turn.

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One for One

Market Price: $1.08

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/71252_200w.jpg

Send 1 monster from your hand to the Graveyard; Special Summon 1 Level 1 monster from your hand or Deck.

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Mystic Mine

Market Price: $8.67

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/189419_200w.jpg

If your opponent controls more monsters than you do, your opponent cannot activate monster effects or declare an attack. If you control more monsters than your opponent does, you cannot activate monster effects or declare an attack. Once per turn, during the End Phase, if both players control the same number of monsters: Destroy this card.

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Red Reboot

Market Price: $0.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/196848_200w.jpg

When your opponent activates a Trap Card: Negate the activation, and if you do, Set that card face-down, then they can Set 1 other Trap directly from their Deck. For the rest of this turn after this card resolves, your opponent cannot activate Trap Cards. You can activate this card from your hand by paying half your LP.

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Monster Reborn

Market Price: $0.62

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/71253_200w.jpg

This promotional card is printed in Japanese.

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Solemn Judgment

Market Price: $2.96

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/59171_200w.jpg

Pay half of your Life Points. Negate the activation of a Spell Card / Trap Card / Normal Summon / Flip Summon / Special Summon and destroy the Spell Card, Trap Card, or Summoned monster.

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Prank-Kids Rocket Ride

Market Price: $0.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180329_200w.jpg

2 "Prank-Kids" monsters

If this card is Fusion Summoned: You can have this card lose 1000 ATK this turn, also it can attack directly this turn. You can Tribute this card, then target 2 "Prank-Kids" non-Fusion Monsters with different names in your GY; Special Summon them, but they cannot attack this turn. You can only use each effect of "Prank-Kids Rocket Ride" once per turn.

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Harpie's Feather Duster

Market Price: $11.62

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/59159_200w.jpg

Destroy all Spell and Trap Cards your opponent controls.

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Ice Dragon's Prison

Market Price: $65.64

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218977_200w.jpg

Target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; Special Summon it to your field, but its effects are negated, then, you can banish 1 monster from both players' fields that have the same Type as each other. You can only activate 1 "Ice Dragon's Prison" per turn.

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Prank-Kids Lampsies

Market Price: $1.42

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180325_200w.jpg

If this card is sent to the GY as material for the Fusion or Link Summon of a "Prank-Kids" monster: You can inflict 500 damage to your opponent, then you can Special Summon 1 "Prank-Kids" monster from your hand or Deck in Defense Position, except "Prank-Kids Lampsies". You can only use this effect of "Prank-Kids Lampsies" once per turn.

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Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Market Price: $20.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184763_200w.jpg

When a card or effect is activated that includes any of these effects (Quick Effect): You can discard this card; negate that effect.

• Add a card from the Deck to the hand.
• Special Summon from the Deck.
• Send a card from the Deck to the GY.
You can only use this effect of "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring" once per turn.

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Instant Fusion

Market Price: $0.66

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/208990_200w.jpg

Pay 1000 LP; Special Summon 1 Level 5 or lower Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, but it cannot attack, also it is destroyed during the End Phase. (This is treated as a Fusion Summon.) You can only activate 1 "Instant Fusion" per turn.

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Prank-Kids Fansies

Market Price: $1.73

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180324_200w.jpg

If this card is sent to the GY as material for the Fusion or Link Summon of a "Prank-Kids" monster: You can send 1 "Prank-Kids" card from your Deck to the GY, except "Prank-Kids Fansies", then you can Special Summon 1 "Prank-Kids" monster from your hand or Deck in Defense Position, except "Prank-Kids Fansies". You can only use this effect of "Prank-Kids Fansies" once per turn.

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Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu

Market Price: $0.74

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226201_200w.jpg

1 Level 4 or lower "Prank-Kids" monster

You can only Link Summon "Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu" once per turn. If a "Prank-Kids" monster you control would Tribute itself to activate its effect during your opponent's turn, you can banish this card you control or from your GY instead. You can only use this effect of "Prank-Kids Meow-Meow-Mu" once per turn.

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Prank-Kids Dropsies

Market Price: $1.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180323_200w.jpg

If this card is sent to the GY as material for the Fusion or Link Summon of a "Prank-Kids" monster: You can gain 1000 LP, then you can Special Summon 1 "Prank-Kids" monster from your hand or Deck in Defense Position, except "Prank-Kids Dropsies". You can only use this effect of "Prank-Kids Dropsies" once per turn.

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Prank-Kids Rocksies

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184128_200w.jpg

If this card is sent to the GY as material for the Fusion or Link Summon of a "Prank-Kids" monster: You can banish 1 card from your hand, and if you do, draw 1 card, then, you can Special Summon 1 "Prank-Kids" monster from your hand or Deck in Defense Position, except "Prank-Kids Rocksies". You can only use this effect of "Prank-Kids Rocksies" once per turn.

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Toadally Awesome

Market Price: $4.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227560_200w.jpg

2 Level 2 Aqua-Type monsters

Once per turn, during the Standby Phase: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Frog" monster from your Deck. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect: You can send 1 Aqua-Type monster from your hand or face-up from your field to the Graveyard; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, then you can Set it to your field. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 WATER monster in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.

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Cosmic Cyclone

Market Price: $1.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/212672_200w.jpg

Pay 1000 LP, then target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; banish it.

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Called by the Grave

Market Price: $2.33

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166373_200w.jpg

Target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; banish it, and if you do, monsters with the same original name as that banished monster have their effects negated until the end of the next turn.

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Terraforming

Market Price: $0.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/147084_200w.jpg

Add 1 Field Spell from your Deck to your hand.

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Prank-Kids Bow-Wow-Bark

Market Price: $1.41

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180322_200w.jpg

2 "Prank-Kids" monsters

A "Prank-Kids" monster this card points to gains 1000 ATK. During your opponent's turn (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card, then target 2 "Prank-Kids" cards with different names in your GY, except Link Monsters, add them to your hand, also "Prank-Kids" monsters you control cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects this turn. You can only use this effect of "Prank-Kids Bow-Wow-Bark" once per turn.

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Artifact Lancea

Market Price: $0.81

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/130004_200w.jpg

You can Set this card from your hand to your Spell & Trap Zone as a Spell Card. During your opponent's turn, if this Set card in the Spell & Trap Zone is destroyed and sent to your Graveyard: Special Summon it. During your opponent's turn: You can Tribute this card from your hand or face-up from your field; neither player can banish cards for the rest of this turn (this is a Quick Effect).

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Accesscode Talker

Market Price: $98.71

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/213365_200w.jpg

2+ Effect Monsters

Your opponent cannot activate cards or effects in response to this card's effect activations. If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 Link Monster that was used as material for its Link Summon; this card gains ATK equal to that monster's Link Rating x 1000. You can banish 1 Link Monster from your field or GY; destroy 1 card your opponent controls, also for the rest of this turn, you cannot banish monsters with that same Attribute to activate this effect of "Accesscode Talker".

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World Legacy Succession

Market Price: $6.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/197132_200w.jpg

Target 1 monster in your GY; Special Summon it to your zone a Link Monster points to. You can only activate 1 "World Legacy Succession" per turn.

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Prank-Kids Pranks

Market Price: $2.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180328_200w.jpg

You can discard 1 "Prank-Kids" card; Special Summon 1 "Prank-Kids Token" (Pyro/FIRE/Level 1/ATK 0/DEF 0), but it cannot be Tributed. During your End Phase: You can target 3 "Prank-Kids" cards in your GY, except "Prank-Kids Pranks": shuffle all 3 into the deck, then draw 1 card. You can only use each effect of "Prank-Kids Pranks" once per turn.

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Dinowrestler Pankratops

Market Price: $0.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/238057_200w.jpg

If your opponent controls more monsters than you do, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). You can only Special Summon "Dinowrestler Pankratops" once per turn this way. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute 1 "Dinowrestler" monster, then target 1 card your opponent controls; destroy it. You can only use this effect of "Dinowrestler Pankratops" once per turn.

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Knightmare Unicorn

Market Price: $1.03

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/228687_200w.jpg

2+ monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 card on the field; return it to the Deck, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Unicorn" once per turn. While any co-linked "Knightmare" monsters are on the field, for your normal draw in your Draw Phase, draw 1 card for each different card name among those co-linked "Knightmare" monsters, instead of drawing just 1 card.

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Prank-Kids Pandemonium

Market Price: $1.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180326_200w.jpg

During the Main Phase: Fusion Summon 1 "Prank-Kids" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or field as Fusion Material. For the rest of this turn after this card resolves, you cannot Normal or Special Summon monsters, except "Prank-Kids" monsters.

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Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion

Market Price: $3.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/199551_200w.jpg

When a card or effect is activated that includes any of these effects (Quick Effect): You can discard this card; negate that activation.

• Add a card(s) from the GY to the hand, Deck, and/or Extra Deck.
• Special Summon a Monster Card(s) from the GY.
• Banish a card(s) from the GY.
You can only use this effect of "Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion" once per turn.

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Prank-Kids Battle Butler

Market Price: $4.15

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180355_200w.jpg

"Prank-Kids Lampsies" + "Prank-Kids Dropsies" + "Prank-Kids Fansies"

Must be Fusion Summoned. (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card; destroy all monsters your opponent controls. If this card in your possession is sent to your GY by your opponent's card: You can target 1 non-Fusion Monster in your GY; Special Summon it. You can only use this effect of "Prank-Kids Battle Butler" once per turn.

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Prank-Kids Dodo-Doodle-Doo

Market Price: $16.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/180356_200w.jpg

2 "Prank-Kids" monsters

If this card is Link Summoned: You can add 1 "Prank-Kids" Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand. You can Tribute this card, then target 2 "Prank-Kids" cards with different names in your GY, except Link Monsters; add them to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Prank-Kids Dodo-Dooddle-Doo" once per turn.

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Andrew's build really shows how Prank-Kid decks are getting more and more refined; with more people playing Pranks, the strategy seems well on its way to a consensus build. Doodson ran a 45-card Main Deck with There Can Be Only One and many single copy extenders like World Legacy Succession and One for One.

Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion was an interesting tech choice, as it's pretty flexible against a lot of matchups. Its best use is acting as another answer to [Nadir Servant]] or Eldlixir of Scarlet Sanguine, so you don't have to rely on just Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. It also comes in clutch when your opponent has Called by the Grave.

What'd he face on his way to the winner's circle? Here's a quick rundown of the matchups Doodson played over the course of Saturday, as well as his record in each match.

I was able to get in touch with Doodson for a short interview. I asked him why he chose to play Prank-Kids, and how the event was for him overall.

"I've played Prank-Kids since its release day in the TCG, so I feel super comfortable piloting my favorite deck. The only other deck I had that I felt comfortable playing was Dinosaurs. But I didn't want to play Dinos in an event where everyone would be siding or even Main Decking Artifact Lancea. I also felt that other people wouldn't be prepared to face Prank-Kids, or know how to side deck against it, which gave me an edge."

As a Prank-Kid enthusiast myself, I agree that Prank-Kids is a surprisingly a good metagame call since not many players will have the best cards to play against it. And since Prank-Kids hinges on just a 1-card combo, the deck always has enough room to play all the cards you'd want to beat the bigger matchups.

Doodson mentioned he actually took an hour-long flight to travel from the South side of New Zealand to Auckland up in the North. Since he won the entire tournament, I'm sure the trip was well worth it.

Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion

When I asked Doodson if there were still any safety protocols in place due to the pandemic - rules for social distancing, face masks, dividers, or anything else - he told me that there was no need; the event experience was the same as it was before the lockdowns. There was hand sanitizer available for anyone to freely use if need be, but for the most part, New Zealand is well on its way to operating as a lot like it once did.

What It All Means

I didn't know it, but Yu-Gi-Oh's really popular in New Zealand! And to my surprise, they've held other tournaments in the past couple months. They had a lot of success with their recent North Island and South Island Championship series, rallying up to 70 players for each. Local tournaments have even growth in attendance, with the biggest store consistently reaching 25+ players.

I really think the New Zealand player community has the potential to reach three-digit numbers for their tournaments soon, if they hold more regional-like events with strong prizing like the Shuffle 'N' Cut Championship. That would be really cool to see!

I wanted to write about this event because I was so impressed with it. The setting, the prizes, the participation… Everything about the tournament reminded me of those in-person Yu-Gi-Oh events we all miss. And as a fan of Prank-Kids, I'm even more impressed that even though there were only two Prank-Kid players in the entire event, one of them managed to win, and perform so well in every round!

I'm sure someday soon, those of us in Europe and the Americas will get back to these types of tournaments, when the lockdowns are over. For now, I hope you enjoy learning about this one, and if you're curious about what the event looked like - or you just want to live vicariously through pictures of smiling people enjoying in-person tournament play - you can find more photos of the event on the Your Move TCG Events facebook page here.

In the mean time, stay safe out there!