Pojo's Yu-Gi-Oh! news, tips, strategies and more!

Jae Kim

Card Game
Card of the Day
TCG Fan Tips
Top 10 Lists
Banned/Restricted List
Yu-Gi-Oh News
Tourney Reports
Duelist Interviews

Featured Writers
Baneful's Column
Anteaus on YGO
General Zorpa
Dark Paladin's Dimension
Retired Writers

Releases + Spoilers
Booster Sets (Original Series)
Booster Sets (GX Series)
Booster Sets (5D Series)
Booster Sets (Zexal Series)

Starter Decks
Yugi | Kaiba
Joey | Pegasus
Yugi 2004 | Kaiba 2004
GX: 2006 | Jaden | Syrus
5D: 1 | 2 | Toolbox
Zexal: 2011 | 2012 | 2013
Yugi 2013 | Kaiba 2013

Structure Decks
Dragons Roar &
Zombie Madness
Blaze of Destruction &
Fury from the Deep
Warrior's Triumph
Spellcaster's Judgment
Lord of the Storm
Invincible Fortress
Dinosaurs Rage
Machine Revolt
Rise of Dragon Lords
Dark Emperor
Zombie World
Spellcaster Command
Warrior Strike
Machina Mayhem
Dragunity Legion
Lost Sanctuary
Underworld Gates
Samurai Warlord
Sea Emperor
Fire Kings
Saga of Blue-Eyes
Cyber Dragon

Promo Cards:
Promos Spoiler
Coll. Tins Spoiler
MP1 Spoiler
EP1 Spoiler

Tournament Packs:
TP1 / TP2 / TP3 / TP4
TP5 / TP6 / TP7 / TP8
Duelist Packs
Jaden | Chazz
Jaden #2 | Zane
Aster | Jaden #3
Jesse | Yusei
Yugi | Yusei #2
Kaiba | Yusei #3

Reprint Sets
Dark Beginnings
1 | 2
Dark Revelations
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Gold Series
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Dark Legends
Retro Pack
1 | 2
Champion Pack
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Turbo Pack
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
5 | 6 | 7

Hidden Arsenal:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4
5 | 6 | 7

Brawlermatrix 08
Evan T 08
X-Ref List
X-Ref List w/ Passcodes

Episode Guide
Character Bios
GX Character Bios

Video Games
Millennium Duels (2014)
Nighmare Troubadour (2005)
Destiny Board Traveler (2004)
Power of Chaos (2004)
Worldwide Edition (2003)
Dungeon Dice Monsters (2003)
Falsebound Kingdom (2003)
Eternal Duelist Soul (2002)
Forbidden Memories (2002)
Dark Duel Stories (2002)

About Yu-Gi-Oh
Yu-Gi-Oh! Timeline
Pojo's YuGiOh Books
Apprentice Stuff
Life Point Calculators
DDM Starter Spoiler
DDM Dragonflame Spoiler
The DungeonMaster
Millennium Board Game

Yu Yu Hakusho
Harry Potter
Vs. System

This Space
For Rent

Jae Kim: Theory and Practice
JK11: SJC Houston
and the Forgotten Shonen Jump

January 22, 2009

I would like to begin by congratulating Jerry Wang on his win at Shonen Jump Houston, and also a hearty thumbs-up to runner up Ryan Spicer, who put up a good fight en route to a 2-1 loss.


With that said, I have no clue where to begin for this article.


My Experience at SJC Houston


I placed third after swiss with an 8-1 record, losing to Ryan Spicer in a hard-fought match in the sweet 16 after misplaying and facing a Royal Oppression/Stardust Dragon lock (ironic, considering my entire deck was built to achieve that state). Both of us realized the bracket was set up to place a relatively easy path to the finals after our match, and sure enough he ended up playing for his second championship. It was my first match with one of Texas's finest, and one I will remember.


I want to spend some time discussing the decks from the event, since they weren't very well-publicized and the coverage of the entire tournament was lacking. While I was informed of the reasons why Metagame was not present directly from Jason himself, I think Upper Deck made a mistake by not sending its premier cover man, JGM, to the site. In these turbulent times, any move that even reeks faintly of weakness will be taken badly. By spending 300-400 dollars for a plane flight, the notion that SJC's and the tournament scene are dying due to Konami's takeover could have been averted, or at least delayed, for a few months.


This tournament actually featured an evolution of Tele-dad. In direct competition was my double Royal Oppression build, played by Jerry Wang, his friend Tony Tjandra, and myself (while Jerry and Tony are my friends, they did not collaborate on anything with me and came up with an arguably superior build)  versus Chris Bowling's excellent build from SJC San Francisco (if Chris collaborated on this with Spicer and others, my apologies). Let me expound upon the philosophies of both builds.


First of all, every form of Oppression Tele-dad is likely superior to the standard form, unless modifications are made to it. The reasons for this are many, but one need only look at Houston to see examples of this. Chris and Kyle Bowling, and Ryan Spicer all had two losses with one copy of Oppression main-decked and zero Emergency Teleport. Jerry and Tony were undefeated until the last round, while I went 8-1. To my knowledge, our six decks were the only Dark Armed Dragon builds maining Royal Oppression.


What Makes Chris Bowling's Build Good?


Monsters: 19
1 Elemental Hero Stratos
3 Destiny Hero – Malicious
2 Krebons
2 Plaguespreader Zombie
2 Dark Armed Dragon
1 Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude
1 Destiny Hero – Plasma
1 Dark Grepher
1 Necro Gardna
1 Breaker the Magical Warrior
1 Sangan
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 D.D. Crow
1 Mystic Tomato

Spells: 13
3 Destiny Draw
3 Allure of Darkness
2 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Brain Control
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Scapegoat

Traps: 8
1 Crush Card Virus
1 Royal Oppression
1 Trap Dustshoot
2 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
3 Solemn Judgment


To be quite honest, I thought the national champion's build was quite terrible when I first looked at it. It wasn't until I had to exhaustively analyze and test it (when facing Spicer) that I realized the deck-building philosophy behind it.


The deck is famous for running zero copies of Emergency Teleport; what many duelists fail to realize, however, is that it packs the full contingent of defensive answers to being killed in one turn. Scapegoat is the best anti-OTK card in the game, with the possible exception of Threatening Roar and Waboku (but Scapegoat also combos with Plasma, which is a favorite of Spicer and Bowling). Then you throw in Gorz, Necro Gardna, and D.D Crow (which all prevent OTK's). Combine this with the fact that the deck is designed to have very few dead draws, with no Teleports, and it becomes incredibly consistent.


Bowling's build is built on consistency. With all of the draw power that standard dark decks have, you are almost guaranteed to draw into either Solemn + PWB (which is an airtight defense against a first turn kill), a Dustshoot, a CCV, a Scapegoat, or one of the monster defenses (Gorz, Crow, Gardna). Any one of these combinations prevent the first turn kill.


The deck then goes to set up double Synchro summons with Plaguespreader Zombie, which is generally a far superior synchro monster to Krebons when you have stable monsters such as Tomato and Sangan as normal summons. I saw the power of this first hand when my Spirit Reaper hit Spicer's Malicious, leading to two synchro monsters staring me in the face the next turn. Tomato can set up Malicious searches, or they can simply end phase Wing Blast or main phase Destiny Draw to set this up.


The deck is not quite as explosive, but its choices actually bog down the opponent into a slower game state. From there, the consistency and mid-late game touches lead to a grinding victory.


What Makes Double Oppression Builds So Good?


Monsters: 18
2 Dark Armed Dragon
1 Caius the Shadow Monarch
1 Elemental Hero Stratos
2 Destiny Hero – Diamond Dude
3 Destiny Hero – Malicious
1 Dark Grepher
1 Breaker the Magical Warrior
1 Mystic Tomato
2 Krebons
1 Sangan
1 Necro Gardna
1 Plaguespreader Zombie
1 Spirit Reaper

Spells: 13
3 Destiny Draw
3 Allure of Darkness
2 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Emergency Teleport
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Brain Control

Traps: 9
3 Solemn Judgment
2 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
2 Royal Oppression
1 Crush Card Virus
1 Trap Dustshoot


This is Jerry Wang's build from SJC Houston. It is about three cards different from my own, and thus I feel qualified to comment on the choices.


Many players have misconceptions about Teledad Oppression. I have read forum threads on the topic and have seen two consistent errors in how players are analyzing the deck. Let's talk.


1) Oppression DaD is only good when you draw Oppression in the beginning


This is false. Oppression is nothing like a win condition in the deck. If you don't draw it, it simply means you drew six other cards of a standard Tele-Dad build. What this means is that you are still playing a top tier deck. You can think of Royal Oppression as more of a cherry on top of the cake/icing/drink/root beer float.


It allows you to make more aggressive pushes with cards like Dark Armed Dragon and Stardust Dragon. But not drawing it does not affect your win percentages negatively, because that simply means you have six other cards of a regular Tele-Dad build.


2) Oppression Cuts Away from the OTK Potential of Teledad


This is relatively true, but you must understand that a lot of times Oppression Teledad outright wins the game with certain field set-ups. For example, if you have a board like Stardust Dragon, Dark Armed Dragon, Solemn Judgment, and Royal Oppression with Necro Gardna in the graveyard, you have basically won the game.


In my match against Spicer, he had Stardust Dragon + Solemn + Oppression versus my five card hand and I was pretty much unable to do anything. You don't need “OTK potential” when certain game situations have given you the game outright.


Also, much of the explosive nature of the Teledad engine is due to Grepher and Wing Blast. I ran three copies of RoTA for easier access to Grepher while cutting the Wing Blasts, while Jerry kept the Wing Blasts. You can still win games with that contingent. Two different trap cards (Oppression for Torrential and whatever else the opponent may play) does not change the situation.


Thoughts on the Event Itself


The event had the feel of a casual regionals. I attribute this to the lack of Metagame coverage and short notice to players. The Jump was not even announced publicly by Upper Deck until a few weeks before the event! While I am saving my thoughts on UD vs Konami for another article, it seems rather likely that UD is losing its hold on the game and a somber mode has set in. This upsets me greatly, since UD has done a wonderful job with the organized play department and promoting the game.


The judging was excellent, run by Frank Debrito of Team Nexus (apologies to you if the team has disbanded). The TO's placed the pairings in places where they could be easily accessed without commotion, and theft was at a minimum because security/policy officers were hired to patrol the venue and protect players. This was an amazing move; I didn't hear of any theft or robbery the entire event.


The event itself was also filled with numerous top players. For every Adam Corn or Cesar Gonzalez that didn't show up, a Ryan Spicer or Fili Luna stepped in to fill the void. The game appears to be thriving, with players simply looking for and hoping for a leader to step in and direct the game with more gumption and conviction.


After the black mark upon the game delivered by SJC San Francisco (hearing a mother's impassioned, crying plea for the return of her son's cards was not a good part of my day), SJC Houston returned some faith back to all of us. I was actually hoping to speak with Jason or UD staff about doing coverage of the top 8 and sending it to Metagame editors, but my day two prevented this opportunity.


Instead, video coverage was done by some random person that I have never seen before. To my knowledge, each of the matches that he video taped is going to take a day to upload, and you can see one of the matches on Youtube. Unfortunately, as I learned with my East Vs West team battle, the public's interest in an event has a relatively short shelf life. I am quite certain nobody will really care about the videos a week from now.


So to many, this will be the forgotten Shonen Jump. But the changes that were wrought upon the metagame will likely endure until the next Forbidden list is out.


An Overview of What is to Come in this Column


This makes a second day two with Teledad for me. However, as many players know, I've never really been the type to enjoy playing cookie-cutter builds. So while I feel I have mastered the nuances of Teledad, I feel like dropping it and working on decks that can legitimately counter the format and hopefully restore some life back to a stagnant landscape (wish me luck with this, Tele-dad is the strongest CC in the history of mankind).


My next articles are probably going to discuss:


1) The case of UD vs Konami- As a law student, I found PDF files of the case from our database and had actually sent an article to PojoBill on the eve of this insane news. It wasn't published due to fear of legal ramifications, but I can always edit it and such to make it less dangerous.


2) Keys to understanding the format- This is going to be more addressed to Teledad players, but also to those like me who want to stop its iron grip on the format. I feel many players miss the point completely (sob stories of being “sacked” when you probably didn't play it perfectly aren't my cup of tea). I went from believing that the consistent day two pros had to be cheating, to realizing that the skill gap between the standard player and the perfect player is immense. Based on my own experience from SJC Detroit to now going 9-1 and 8-1 at Frisco and Houston, I now firmly believe that a strong player wielding Teledad can probably day 2 80-90% of Shonen Jump Championships.


While the mirror match between someone like Spicer and Jerry Wang may be 50-50 or 60-40, the mirror between someone like Wang and a random player is most certainly not. In fact, you can almost argue that Jerry would have an 80%+ chance of winning. How? Because there are certain nuances of the format to master. I hope to help you with that.


3) I want to write a few general play articles based off step 2 about what decks need to counter Teledad. The answer is a lot more complex than you think.


A lot of this advice will be born from personal experience. I thought I was a solid 8/10 prior to SJC Detroit, but then realized there was an entire new world of play that the best players used. I then realized I was actually more like a 5/10.


After these past few SJC's, where I had to wield cookie-cutter and feel dirty about it just to prove my theories about the game to myself, I feel my understanding of proper play in the format is at a maximum power level. So I want to share that with all of you.


Stay tuned, and send feedback to JAELOVE@gmail.com.






Copyrightę 1998-2008 pojo.com
This site is not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise affiliated with any of the companies or products featured on this site. This is not an Official Site.