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Tomas
Top 8 SJC
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THe ONe PG 16 on the Pojo Boards


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Tomas's Duel School
The Most Controversial Format Ever
Looking Back at what Made this
Format what it Was
February
10, 2009

       

The Most Controversial Format Ever

Looking Back at what Made this Format what it Was


Here is the shoutout to everyone I owe one to, so let’s start, with a shoutout to Team Enigma. I want to thank them for extending an invitation to their team, and I hope I can be a good asset to help the team move to the future of this game. Also, shoutouts to: Jim Q, John H, Steven W, Miles, Julian Wong, and whoever else I owe one to that I don’t remember now off the top of my head. But most importantly my shoutout to Bianca =], I love you.


We are nearing the end of what was once the Gladiator Beast format and what turned into the total dominance of the Teleport Dark Armed Dragon (TeleDAD) format.. This is something I like to do, is to look back and get people to understand the format and what really went on.

 

What many people don’t understand about this format, is that it’s not the luckiest format ever, it’s one of the most skilled. The fact of the matter is, back in the day, there was always room for error (which I have observed) because there were so many things that could just turn the game around so fast (from Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning to Dark Magician of Chaos to all the other decks that showed their relentlessness and how people could play out of things even easier).

 

This format, was a format for a lot of pro players to thrive on. The Gladiator Beast and TeleDAD mirror, is one of the most complex matches people had to play against. Before I go on, I have to stress one thing to people, this game always has had a luck factor, so just calling it all luck is not a statement that is fair to those who have done well in this format or any format. Sure people can say someone got lucky one day, but everyone can have days like that, it’s life and it’s a game.

 

Gladiator Beasts all started well first with Paul Levitin, showing the world that Gladiator Beasts can overtake Dark Armed Dragon decks with his Gladiator Beast Build pre-Gladiator Beat Gyzarus. From then on Steven Harris started the rest of the dominance two Shonen Jump Championships later in St. Louis. Then on, the next 5 Shonen Jump Championships and the United States and Canadian National Championships went to players who used Gladiator Beasts (Chris Bowling and Lazaro Bellido). From Jermol Jupiter’s Last hurrah for Gladiator Beasts in Baltimore, in came the utter dominance of TeleDAD.

 

TeleDAD has absolutely dominated the format after the loss in Baltimore. Adam Corn (Tulsa), Cesar Gonzales (Seattle), Justine Arnwine (Charlotte), Ryan Spicer (Chicago), and this was before Plaguespeader Zombie came into the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. After the release of Plaguespreader Zombie it was even more dominance with Jerry Wang (Atlanta), Steven Harris (Detroit), Alejandro Vivaldo Reyes Suarez (San Francisco) and Jerry Wang again (Houston). To all these great players (If you didn’t read the Metagame coverage for SJC San Francisco, Alejandro is the reigning Mexico National Champion), they all were able to thrive and win against the teleDAD mirror match.

 

An In-Depth look at “The Most Skilled Format”
I will be focusing more on teleDAD than Gladiator Beasts because of how the last 8 Shonen Jump Championships have went. Many pro players are all in agreement that this has been the most skillful format ever (TeleDAD format).. The complexity of the TeleDAD mirror match is unlike the mirror match of any decks in the past. So many people I have talked to, say that it’s just a lucksack deck that pilots itself. I honestly thought that at the start of this format, until I really got into understanding the deck. The deck, is just a very consistently built deck that can explode in one turn and end the game. Yet, the teleDAD mirror match, is all about skill. There are so many people who can just copy a deck off the internet, but wouldn’t fully understand everything behind each card that is played. First it’s player preference, that some run Destiny Hero – Plasma and some don’t, some play Psychic Commander (Steven Harris) and some don’t, etc.

 

You have to play the match pretty much absolutely perfect. That one small mistake for people is that they can misplay just one card and the game is over the next turn. It could be from people who play Solemn Judgment at the wrong time, or Phoenix Wing Wind Blast on the wrong card as well. Every single card, and every single play matters more than ever when you play against the mirror match. It’s not easy at all to really get in-depth the understanding of every play unless you can do the research and play the mirror hundreds of times like the pros have to be so good in the mirror match.

Case in point, Cesar Gonzales. There was so much speculation about how legit he really is and was. Shonen Jump San Francisco couldn’t have thrown that speculation about that he was a cheater right out of the window.. From the featured matches that I did with Cesar Gonzales playing, and the ones that Jason Grabher-Meyer, that he literally just (even if he did a quick pile shuffle) shuffled his deck and immediately gave it to his opponent. He didn’t do anything with his deck after his matches he just put it in the deckbox and left it on the table to go talk to people. Then in his matches he was just so quick to shuffle and give to his opponent, it really showed the world that he was real. Also, the fact of the matter is that he never sided against the mirror match. Why people may ask, but really, his deck on how it was built, never really needed to side for the mirror for the exact reason, he knows the mirror match so well, he knew he could just play through it even if his opponent sided. His match against Chris Bowling really highlighted that.

 

Skill is not only in the gameplay itself though. It’s also in the deck and the choices that each individual player makes with it. First with the choice of which other Destiny Hero that isn’t Destiny Hero – Malicious to use. Some decks would main deck Scapegoat, thus also using Destiny Hero – Plasma, so many decks use Destiny Hero – Doom Lord, and the others would choose Destiny Hero Diamond Dude over Destiny Hero – Plasma. Some players have had to choose between Mirror Force or Torrential Tribute, or even if to play Mirror Force at all. There are very distinct differences that when you play the mirror match, Stardust isn’t as popular as Thought Ruler Archfiend or Colossal Fighter. Some of the other tech cards people have used over time have been cards like Jinzo, Dark Eruption, and Threatening Roar. The most recent of all tech cards for TeleDAD, has to be Royal Oppression. Jae Kim and Chris Bowling started this revolution at SJC San Francisco, both main decking Royal Oppression in TeleDAD, for the scenario at hand, Stardust and Royal Oppression or Colossal and Royal Oppression. With damage step activation of Colossal Fighter, it is immune to Royal Oppression, and not only that, once you have a big monster like Colossal Fighter, it’s almost the end of the game, unless your opponent has some crazy combination of cards to take control back (this is not impossible). There have been many changes to TeleDAD in the last 2 Shonen Jump Championships.

 

Looking at this format as the Worst Format Ever:

The cost was probably the more argued part of this format. That only the rich could survive in this format because the best decks (TeleDAD and Lightsworn) were just so expensive. TeleDAD people called a $1,500 deck and Lightsworn a $1,000 deck. I don’t remember so many players getting turned off from the game because of the high cost. This format has been really fun for me because I really like any format that I qualify in. But the cost really took a toll on me and a lot of other people. Players who I knew were good, but just couldn’t afford to be able to pay for it all.

Another reason people see this as the worst format ever, is because it’s an OTK format once again (or so many times it is). From TeleDAD to Lightsworn, both decks have the power to win in one turn (same with Zombies). We have survived the Stein-Format (didn’t take long to say goodbye to Cyber Stein), Demise format, and Dark Armed Dragon Return format. The explosiveness of TeleDAD in respects to Lightsworn and Zombies is one that there is no comparison. So many times just 3-4 cards can just end the game, and that’s why people feel that this OTK format was all about luck, because you can get the OTK so fast with TeleDAD, it wasn’t really playing at all sometimes.

 

There was so much complaining in this format (even at times I had to complain about it), but it takes a lot to keep going and to just fight back against the best deck of the format. So many players called for an emergency restriction, so many players wanted a balance in this game. This new list, people are anticipating it to be one to balance out the best decks in the game and put them all on the same tier.

 

A look at TeleDAD from the Anti-Meta perspective:
What many people know me for now (it was Chain Burn and Gate Guardian until 2 years went by and only a few people remembered), but it’s my willingness to go out and play something new and different. I’ve never been so humbled to understand the effect that Middle City actually had on the meta. The fact of the matter is, I like trying to be different and do things and play what people aren’t ready to see. The fact of the matter, is that a lot of times, Anti-Meta players, really need to go first, to setup for the explosiveness of TeleDAD.. I noticed that so many times, going second hurt so bad unless they had a questionable opening hand and I could take control after their turn 1. What many people have done to make me feel humbled is to Private Message me on the Discussion Boards telling me how happy they are with the deck, and they thank me for making it. It’s amazing to look back and think that I actually made an impact on the game. People from my region put it this way to me (this is paraphrased): That my deck gave hope to all players out there, that Anti-Meta and something different could do something and win against the best decks. A few other really good players have said to me, is that they were upset (in a nice way) that my deck went out there in the world. Because so many players started to have to side against Anti-Meta decks, and that many players who lost game 1 and couldn’t take the control back. It makes me feel that what I do, has a positive effect on people, because It’s nice to know just one deck could effect a lot of people, even without winning the SJC.

 

SJC Seattle: Middle City
You can read my article about Middle City (though I have newer builds even to now) and get an understanding of the deck. But things people need to really need to understand is that King Tiger Wanghu and Burden of the Mighty was just the core of the deck. The support cards alone can be what wins and loses matches (you can Read the featured match from Seattle here: http://metagame.com/yugioh.aspx?tabid=33&ArticleId=10204) Where you can easily notice that I never got the combo off. Elemental Hero Wildheart, is by far the most underrated Anti-Meta card against TeleDAD. Why do you ask? Well the fact of the matter is, once you can protect Wildheart (Barring Dark Armed Dragon and Brain Control), you single handedly will control TeleDAD. They can’t do anything to it while it’s on the field with traps. No Phoenix Wing Wind Blast to send it away, no Crush Card Virus. The deck had so many ways to just control TeleDAD, but Anti-Meta decks really need that first turn set-up. I stil feel, Middle City at Seattle was less than 6 cards away from being perfect (because I look back and wish I had Doom Caliber Knights and made some better card choices).

TeleDAD against Anti-Meta
A lot of TeleDAD players will agree that decks like Middle City and Stun are just the most annoying cards in the game against TeleDAD all in one deck. Which it really is  if you think about it. They are decks that out to just disrupt everything, and TeleDAD many times needs to work fast to gain back control. Going first can also be key against Anti-Meta, to be able to get that quick jump of control to make an Anti-Meta player just melt. One thing about Anti-Meta is that many times, it’s hard to really make a big push as a comeback, but the bigger the monsters, the harder they fall. People have to understand, there are so many cards out there that can really make a difference in a win or loss against Anti-Meta. The fact of the matter is, TeleDAD can easily go through their deck quite fast with all their draw cads, and Anti-Meta has that problem sometimes to just power through their deck to get all their answers like TeleDAD can. Just remember control over teleDAD is huge, because once you have control, it’s not easy for them to just take it back (especially with Royal Oppression).

 

SJC San Fransico: Demisetown

This format has been such a fast format, and I felt that no one has really seen a deck like DemiseTown yet. So what better place to bring it out than at SJC San Francisco. Demisetown is an OTK deck, which the format has also been deemed as an OTK Format. I wanted to be able to make a deck, that wasn’t TeleDAD that could utilize Allure of Darkness, and Dark Armed Dragon. I felt that my version (Thanks to the help of Nate S, Jarrod R, Leo, and anyone else that helped) was the fastest I could make it to fight back against TeleDAD to try to outspeed it. It was just another deck that though people wouldn’t call it Anti-Meta, I still feel like it was because I was trying to do the same as Middle City but on a faster scale, to be able to do something that disrupts players and surprise people with a new and different deck.

 

The overall look at this format:
It’s always possible to make something new, from Goat Control format we had Chaos Decks and even Goat Control decks (like Beastdown) which was my favourite format. To even now, there are so many Anti-Meta variants now, Black Garden, Zombie, and even Counter Fairy decks that do well, just people need to go out there and try something new. Try to make something that can make a difference.

Yet, this is where I challenge the world. No deck is perfect, and not every deck needs to be expensive. I challenge all the people out there who complained and had something bad to say about the cost of this format, to make something new with what you have. Think of new card combinations that help disrupt players and to help you succeed in this game, because in every format, there are so many people that do it and people never hear about it.

 

This will go down as one of the most controversial (if not the most) format for so many of the said reasons. Now we can look back on it and just move onto the future. Anything is possible in this game, any deck can win at anytime. So don’t give up on trying new ideas, because that idea can end up being the meta, or changing it in one day.  Good luck to everyone in dueling and in anything that doesn’t involve dueling. Have fun and stay safe.

 

You can Contact me by email at theone162120@yahoo.com or on the Discussion Board as THe ONe PG 16.

 

 

    


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