What’ up, Yu-Gi-Oh! Community,
This is Piran Asci from Complexity Card Gaming coming at you with my experience at the YCS Rimini 2015. Today, I want to talk a bit more about the experience itself rather than focusing on the match details. There were still quite some interesting situations in the swiss rounds and in the top cut, I went through, which I do want to share with you.
I’m going to split this tournament report in two parts, the preparation (which will be this one) and the match analysis and the experience itself.
YCS Rimini was a great experience, in particular it was one of the greatest YCS’s I ever attended, but let me begin how everything began…
It was late Tuesday noon, two weeks out from YCS Rimini. Both, Norman and me were not sure about attending. It would be the most expensive YCS for us in this year, that figured. Not only the money but also the lack of testing were the main issues we needed to solve soon. Our mates Themis, Joshua and Robin already booked their Hotels and we still had not taken any decision.
During that time, I was playing HERO Nekroz, which I’d tested at the CCG Challenge Stop in Leipzig. It worked great for me. I thought I’d solved the Spell/Trap removal issues with the HERO engine, that were caused by the post euros ban list, and at the same time increasing Nekroz’ OTK potential.
Let me give a quick insight to that.
The post WCQ Euros ban list caused some trouble with the Nekroz deck building. By banning Djinn and limiting Shurit, three copies of Reinforcement of the Army and Armageddon Knight (I used to play Armageddon Knight and Shaddoll Dragon over Mystical Space Typhoon) required a reconsideration. Both cards lost targets. Especially when drawing Shaddoll Dragon, there’s almost no way to get rid of floodgates, since I did not run MST’s at all. I never was a fan of main deck Mystical Space Typhoons and I probably never will be. I rather try to find something, that harmonizes with the deck itself to reduce the percentage of bricking.
The choice between MST’s and the Arma plus Dragon engine are also directly connected to the question of how many Reinforcements I should play.
Going for the MST’s obviously would cause a lack of Warrior targets for Reinforcement. Since a third Rota was (and still is) highly necessary for keeping the deck’s consistency on a high level, kicking Armageddon Knight and Shaddoll Dragon was not an option for me.
Therefore, my condition was to keep all three Reinforcements in the deck and to find an alternative solution to the lack of Spell/Trap removals besides Armageddon Knight. I was also looking at least for one more target for Armageddon Knight, that harmonizes with the whole deck. This is where Elemental HERO Shadow Mist comes in. Although it might sound weird in the beginning, there are a bunch of strong advantages that come along with the HERO engine.
Here’s my HERO Nekroz list:
A Hero Lives is the key tool to powerful options. Firstly, we have Masked HERO Acid, which is always a strong out to back row card. Secondly, A Hero Lives, in combination with a Ju or any other level four monster, is an easy out to El Shaddol Anoyatyllis. And finally, Mask Change 2 gives you the option to play around Nekroz of Valkyrus, when going for the OTK.
Additionally, sending Elemental HERO Shadow mist to the graveyard by Armageddon Knight’s effect and adding Elemental HERO Bubbleman to your hand by Mist’s effect, gives you the ability to summon any rank four XYZ monster with nothing but just one Reinforcement of the Army in your hand.
Deck building nowadays is mostly about bringing consistency and OTK potential together and making them harmonize in the most efficient way. The HERO Nekroz did that part quite smoothly.
So why didn’t I played HERO Nekroz at Rimini then?
As some of you might know, I played Clown Nekroz at the main event, which got me to Top 16, adding to my 7th premier event top in a row.
Not that I didn’t want to. I even played HERO Nekroz at the CCG Challenge Stop in Leipzig, where I reached the Top 8 losing to Ritual Beasts.
The main reason why I didn’t played HERO Nekroz is, that I misread Mask Change 2, or didn’t read it properly. Yes, even after almost seven years of Yu-Gi-Oh! experience, this still happens.
With my HERO Nekroz deck already sorted, I arrived at our hotel in Rimini at Friday night.
All the mates where already discussing their side deck’s details. When I told them about my plan of playing HERO Nekroz, Joshua figured out that, when it comes to activating Mask Change 2, you need to send a monster with it’s level lower (not lower or equal) to the level of the Masked HERO, you want to summon, to the graveyard. Thus, the abilities of outplaying Nekroz of Valkyrus, which was a crucial point to me, were gone…vanished! Your opponent could simply discard his Valk to one of my bigger monsters such as Trishula or Valk. I could not take that risk and needed to change my deck as quick as possible. So I finally decided to go for Clown Nekroz, which was the deck Joshua told me to go for.
Having easy access to Number 104: Masquerade gives you a huge advantage against the “old school” Nekroz decks, which was still the deck the majority of the Nekroz players relied on.
To be honest, maybe I’d have decided differently if I had the choice again, not because I think that HERO Nekroz is stronger than the Clown version when it comes to the mirror match, but considering the overall situation, I’d play expectably 50% of my games in the top cut against Nekroz decks and in the swiss rounds even far less than that. In the other half, I’d face decks, that I’d probably prefer the HERO over the Clown engine and even in the mirror matches, the additional summon with A Hero Lives is nothing else than what Clown Nekroz does when going for Number 104: Masquerade.
I know, that it’s a lot of cost to activate that card, but is that important when you want to OTK or getting rid of Satellars entire field? Hell no. With HEROs, the amount of combo pieces you need for the Masquerade OTK is even less than with Clowns.
Usually you need to summon at least Masquerade, Nekroz of Valkyrus and appropriately Nekroz of Trishula to perform this OTK. Already holding a Performage Damage Juggler or Performage Trick Clown in your hand, you exactly need at least five additional fitting-to-each-other cards to ensure the OTK with Masquerade. Actually, try this at home, if you haven’t. Take your Nekroz deck and 5 additional cards of your choice to your hand and try to OTK your imaginary opponent. It will give you a better comprehension of Clown Nekroz and all it’s possibilities in general.
There exists the chance (which is higher than most would expect) of drawing the missing piece with Nekroz of Valkyrus, but then we’re not talking about a save OTK.
On the flip side, assume you’re holding A Hero Lives plus four fitting cards (the probability of drawing four fitting cards is still quite high caused by the amount of different combinations you could draw to fulfill those requirements) plus a random but for this scenario irrelevant card in your hand. For instance, let us take Manju, Nekroz Kaleidoscope and Nekroz of Unicore and Reinforcement of the Army and any irrelevant card. Try to reconstruct the OTK with Masquerade. Also, try the same with Juggler/Trick Clown instead of A Hero Lives. Write down your solution in the comment section below.
Nevertheless, after talking to Josh, Eugen and Themis, I decided to play Clowns over HERO’s. I tested quite less in that time. Besides the Challenge Stop in Leipzig and a few games on Dueling Network, I did not play between WCQ Euros and YCS Rimini. Therefore,I was not confident enough with my own choice.
But let’s get to some pros on the Clown engine.
There’re quite some advantages that come with Clowns. Not to be underestimated is the fact, that you can begin with just summoning a Ju, when holding Juggler in hand without any big fears of getting OTKed. Even better, most of your opponents will fail to OTK with you discarding Performage Damage Juggler, leaving their field with a bunch of monsters you can rid of easily next turn, putting you on a huge advantage.
Here’s my deck list for Rimini:
Armageddon Knight and Shaddoll Dragon were replaced by double MST’s and Photon Trasher was added to ensure a third useful target for Reinforcement. With some of the choices I do not agree anymore. Therefore I’ll show you my current Nekroz list in the second part of my report.
I’ll leave it here for the first part, which outlines my little prep for Rimini, coming at you with the second part as soon as possible. See you soon!