Friday, May 27, 2011

East Meets West

So Konami's continued the habit of releasing spoilers for their up and coming sets. Indeed the advertisement page for Generation Force shows a sizable amount of OCG imports and TCG exclusives for players to look forward to. Judging from the pictures shown, it seems that Konami managed to sneak one last Synchro Monster into set along with all the Xyzs (and imported Fusions). However, one card description in particular seemed to catch my interest.

"Synchro Monsters also have a traitor in their midst! Their biggest enemy might be a Synchro Monster itself: the treacherous Orient Dragon."

So out of curiosity I zoomed in on the image using Photoshop to get a closer look at the effect.

Orient Dragon
(Dragon-Type/WIND/Level 6/ATK 2300/DEF 1800)
1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner Monsters
When this card is Synchro Summoned: Target 1 face-up Synchro Monster your opponent controls; banish that target.
Now I'll admit I wish the darn thing had more ATK, even 100 more would have sufficed, but it stills provides a lot of options the way it is now. 

A way to get rid of that Stardust, Shi En, or Catastor that's blocking your path without being forced to waste your only copy of Brionac. AND another Debris Dragon target to boot? What's not to love? ^_^

Oh wait, it's a Secret Rare!  -____-

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Silence Isn't Golden...


I cannot begin to emphasize that players who use this card need to be careful. If seen so many players lose games just because they forgot to recover the removed from play (or should I say "banished") card.

It happened to a guy I faced last night on Dueling Network, he lost because he forgot to reclaim his Gateway of the Six, although I reminded him after remembering the effect myself a few turns later. In a tournament setting this is a depressing way to lose, although I should note that players can get game warnings for forgetting Gold Sarc's effect, the opponent included if you can prove he/she "intentionally" forgot to remind you, which technically speaking they shouldn't have to seeing as it is your card effect, but I digress.

The best way to solve the problem? Put a die on top of your deck with the number two-side facing up. Reduce the number by one during each of your Standby Phases until two of them have passed. Problem solved! ^_^

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lost in Translation

Fanslations have always been an iffy business for me. On one hand, people in the TCG want to know what future awaits in the Western meta, thus encouraging them to translate up and coming OCG cards. Unfortunately, unless the translation was done a professional, which in most cases it isn't, a lot of things can be lost in translation. 

Why do I bring this up?
 
Well, while browsing Pojo Forums, as I typically do on occasion, I came across a post by Kevin Tewart, whom most know as Konami's current U.S. head of development for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game. The post was a respond to a previous post about a player referring to the Exceed Monster known as No. 17 Revise Dragon:
Leviathan Dragon. It's Leviathan Dragon, not "revise dragon".

This is another example of how naming things in English, but using Japanese characters, doesn't really work that well. In many cases the English name is the correct name, since the real name is, well, English.

"Exceeds monster" is another such misnomer.
Exceed Monster is a misnomer? I don't know about everyone else, but every time I've watched an episode of Zexal, I distinctly hear エクシ一ズ  (Ekushīzu). So naturally I was confused upon hearing this and didn't understand what he meant until I saw the advertisment for Starter Deck 2011 on Toywiz:
 
Name: Yu-Gi-Oh 2011 Dawn of the XYZ
Manufacturer: Konami
Series: YuGiOh ZEXAL
Release Date: May 2011
For ages: 4 and up
Details (Description): Exciting times are upon us for the Yu-Gi-Oh! property. There’s a brand new Yu-Gi-Oh! animated series on the horizon, and with it comes an all new kind of monster! These revolutionary monsters will make their spectacular North American debut in the 2011 Starter Deck. The 2011 Starter Deck serves two roles. It’s designed to teach new players the ins & outs of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. It’s also to teach current players about this brand new category of monsters. And it’s the first place for Duelists to get their hands on these hot new monsters. The first booster set with the new monsters will be releasing in August 2011. But Duelists who want to be ahead of the game will get a leap forward by picking up their new monsters in this Starter Deck!

Each Starter Deck Contains: 40 Common Cards, 1 Ultra Rare Card, 2 Super Rare Cards, 1 Beginner’s Guide, 1 Game Mat – Plus the debut of the new Xyz monsters!

*Notes: Picture is a Konami placeholder, not final image!
Xyz Monsters? WTH! If this is accurate, which it may or may not be knowing Toywiz's track record, this would be one of the worst name changes ever. And to make matters worse they changed No. 39 Aspiring Emperor Hope to Number 39: Utopia? Much less dramatic than I'd have hoped. -__-

I'm at a loss for words.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spiral Nemesis

So Elemental Hero Escuridao, a.k.a. the DARK Attribute Hero Fusion, has been announced to be released along with Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Manga Vol. 9. For those of you that are unaware of it's effect it goes as follows:

Elemental Hero Escuridão
(Warrior-Type/DARK/Level 8/ATK 2500/DEF 2000)
1 "Elemental Hero" monster + 1 DARK monster
This card cannot be Special Summoned except by Fusion Summon. This card gains 100 ATK for each "Elemental Hero" monster in your Graveyard.
Yes, I realize the effect is lackluster compared to the effects of the other Attribute Fusions, but WHO CARES? Now no card, save an Egyptian God Card,  is safe from the threat that is Super Polymerization, a.k.a. the Spiral Nemesis.

Of course support like this comes at a cost, as your opponent can just premptively use their own Super Poly to steal your monsters and bring out their own Fusions. And since Super Poly can't be chained to, there's little anyone can do it.

Exceeds were already facing stiff competiion from Synchros, and now it looks like Fusions will make the situation worse for them. But of course, only time will tell how the meta shifts.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Previously on Yu-Gi-Oh! (Online)...

Playing video games online can be a frustrating experience. Even when you're at the peak of confidence in your skills there are a multitude of things that can go wrong. You'll face that noob that'll ragequit on you when you KO his monster, or those "pro players" that always go for the OTK. With hindrances like this it's often difficult to rank yourself up.

Personally speaking I've never been a fan of dueling online, preferring the experience of getting to sit down and fight your opponent face-to-face. Call me oldschool, but that extends to not using webcams either. I can't explain, but for me it's just not the same.

Believe me, I've tried several times—Yu-Gi-Oh! Virtual Desktop (YVD), Yu-Gi-Oh! Online, GameKing, KaibaCorp—all only to quit.

But recently some friends of mine got me into Dueling Network. While the servers can sometimes be overloaded, it's quick and easy to get started. Just don't forget to make an Extra Deck like I did on my first run, lol.
 
And remember to include Pot of Duality and Solemn Warning in your builds. ^__^

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Oh, and I go by Iceman Hotty on the site. Hit me up if you see me online.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Warriors


Warriors are the most supported Type in this game. There are several archetypes that, while not Warrior-exclusive, possess numerous splashable monsters at their disposal. Destiny Hero - Malicious, Colossal Fighter, Don Zaloog, D.D. Warrior Lady—these are but a few examples. In fact one of the, if not the most supported monsters in the game is Elemental Hero Neos, a Normal Monster!

Why do I bring this up? Well, at the Extreme Victory Sneak Preview last weekend, while going through the commons and rares in the set I came across T.G. Striker and Elder of the Six Samurai

T.G. Striker (Warrior-Type/EARTH/Level 2/ATK 800/DEF 0)
If your opponent controls a monster and you control no monsters, you can Special Summon this card from your hand. During the End Phase of the turn this card on the field was destroyed and sent to the Graveyard, you can add 1 "T.G." monster from your Deck to your hand, except "T.G. Striker".
Elder of the Six Samurai (Warrior-Type/EARTH/Level 3/ATK 400/DEF 0)
If your opponent controls a monster and you control no monsters, you can Special Summon this card from your hand.
Now I'm sure I'm not the first to think up of this particular combo but Striker + Elder = Legendary Six Samurai  - Shi En

With this new trick, combined with the handful of splashable Warriors in Extreme Victory, Warrior Toolbox just got one heck of a lot better.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

To Infinity & Beyond


The metagame in Yu-Gi-Oh! is a volatile thing, for months, even years, a decktype can be competitive. All it takes is one bad banlist and it's playability can be totally shot. But the banlist isn't the only factor that comes into play. In the TCG, being a few sets behind the OCG, the differences in player mentality can be notable especially when compared to our Eastern compatriots. Generally speaking, the Japan and the other OCG countries will always have a larger card pool to work with. The only stabilizing factor is the existence of the TCG exclusives which cause the metas to diverge, on occasion. Grandmaster of the Six Samurai, Allure of Darkness, and recently Reborn Tengu—cards like these generate creative spikes in the TCG which otherwise draws most of its strategies from the OCG.

Gradually, however, these "exclusives" become available in both regions, which drastically impact either meta. For example, Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier, previous limited to one in the OCG was recently released on Western shores. Due to previous not being available the card was not mentioned on the previous banlist for TCG players (March 2011). As such, players here can enjoy the privilege of using Triple Trishula for the next few months, at least until the September list is released. Trishula, being the devastating card that it is, has hindered some playable predominating decktypes in the meta. Users of Formula Monarchs, previously a top rated decktype, can be completely overwhelmed by an opponent playing one Trishula, let alone three.

In times like this, if a deck isn't able to evolve, it will die out completely. Now I've been a long time player of Monarchs. However, the emergence of Formula Monarchs, or Frog/Genex Monarchs as the deck's also been called, several months back put me off from competitive play for quite some time. The reason being most players of the deck refused to work on exploring the other variants of Monarchs. Recently, thanks to my good friend Chris Oyola, I've discovered the marvel that is Water Synchro. I won't give his exact build but basically the deck uses the Genex engine to set your Graveyard for future Synchro Spamming. I've constructed my own variant minus a few cards. I'm not running Effect Veilers (needed to counter Trishula) or teching any Monarchs in my variant, lacking the appropriate cards for such tactics, at the moment anyway.

HOHENHEIM & TRISHULA (MARCH 2011)
MONSTERS (25)
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 Meklord Emperor Skiel
3 Reborn Tengu
3 Genex Controller
3 Genex Undine
1 Sangan
1 Spore
1 Plaguespreader Zombie
1 Dandylion
2 Fishborg Blaster
2 Treeborn Frog
1 Glow-Up Bulb
3 Battle Fader
1 Meklord Emperor Grannel
1 Tragoedia


SPELLS  (15)
1 Dark Hole
1 One for One
1 Mind Control
1 Foolish Burial
1 Giant Trunade
1 Monster Reborn
1 Allure of Darkness
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Enemy Controller
3 Pot of Avarice

Honestly only real complaint I have with the deck is that I have trouble deciding what Synchros to run. The sky's the limit when it comes to level manipulation. With regard to the Meklords, Skiel and Grannel are just personal tech with Wisels being preferred over the two more often than not. Unfortunately we've yet to to hear any word of the last Machine Emperor's release, so until then I'm stilling experimenting with substitutes.

Remember players, the game ends with you.