Thursday, July 28, 2011

They Hatin'

So once again it's that time of the year where all players around the world begin fantasizing about the upcoming banlist. Many suspect Reborn Tengu to be semi-limited, or even banned on the September 2011 list, a move that would hardly be surprisingly given the widespread use of the card. In the current format Tengu acts in a similar manner as Destiny Hero - Malicious did during the Tele-DAD format several years back. However, Tengu has couple differences that set it apart from it's predecessor.
  1. Not being a Tribute Monster enables Tengu to be played the turn it's drawn, unlike Malicious which requires a Tribute.
  2. Being Beast-Warrior, makes it compatible with the recently popular Horn of the Phantom Beast, making Tengu able to generate advantage without leaving the field.
  3. Not being searchable outside it's own effect. Unlike Malicious, which can searched for and/or Special Summoned by a number of cardsElemental HERO Stratos, Mystic Tomato, Foolish Burial, Armageddon Knight, Limit Reverse,etc.Tengu needs to be drawn into to be played.
  4. Tengu doesn't centralize the metagame the same way Malicious did. Granted the limitation status of other cards played a role in this, but in the current state of the game several decktypes are dominant, unlike the Tele-DAD format.
That aside, I don't think Reborn Tengu will be affected by the upcoming banlist, and this has nothing to do with it's current impact on the game. As previous banlists have shown, the OCG meta is the primary factor in the outcome of the list. Since Tengu is not out in Japanland, it is highly unlikely to be touched. Granted it could still be semi'd as a preemptive measure, but I doubt Konami will hit the card before OCG players get their chance at it. Then again, Rescue Cat was banned back in September 2010, BEFORE XX-Saber Darksoul became playable in the OCG. A deterrent to prevent the X-Saber abuse that plagued the TCG meta? That's the most likely reason.

It's Konami's decision in the end, but I suppose anything is possible. After all, who would've thought both Monster Reborn AND Dark Hole would ever be unbanned? 

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Strange Players

Dueling Network is full of all kinds of weirdos.

One guy A.S.S.'s me for explaining that Continuous Spells like Card Trader can't be played during the Standby Phase.

And another forfeits when I tell him that my Effect Veiler won't destroy his Black Rose Dragon after negating it's effect.

A third kept trying to destroy my Ally of Justice Catastor by attacking it first with his Blue-Eyes White Dragon and then his Exploder Dragon. I had to correct him twice. He offered a draw (he technically had more Life Points), but I politely declined. I turn the game around later and win.

Then there's the guy who offered a duel with the note: "Easy win." I needed to test out a new deck so I accepted his offer. However, during the game he kept making misplay, after misplay, until I realized he was blatantly cheating. After taking a deep breath I spent the next fifteen minutes explaining game mechanics to him. After seeing that his trolling attempts left me unfazed, he quit, leaving me with the win.

While I won most of my other games fair and square, that one A.S.S. still bothers me. Fortunately this is the first time it's happened to me so I shouldn't have to worry about any up and coming bans...hopefully.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Game of Dragons

Dragons hold a special place in this game with most of the more iconic Monsters being dragonic in nature: Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Red-Eyes B. Dragon, Cyber End Dragon, Rainbow Dragon, Stardust Dragon (and all it's upgrades)...the list goes on. It's no surprise then that the Zexal Era would introduce yet another mascot in the form of Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon.

Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon
(Dragon-Type/LIGHT/Level 8/ATK 3000/DEF 2500)
"You can Tribute 2 monsters with 2000 or more ATK to Special Summon this card from your hand. When this card battles an opponent's monster, during the Battle Step: You can banish that monster and this card. Return the banished monsters to the field when the Battle Phase ends. If the monster banished by this effect was an Xyz Monster: This card gains 500 ATK for each Xyz Material that monster had attached to it when it was banished."
Now I've never a huge fan of Dragons as an archetype. I respect good players that run Dragons, but I've yet to run them myself. This is because there are few non-Synchro Dragon-type Monsters I actually like. Perhaps the sole exception being White Night Dragon.

However, some of the support Dragon have received in recent years has shown a lot of promise, such as Totem Dragon and Dodger Dragon. Galaxy-Eyes is yet another addition to the growing list. Barring an effect like Skill Drain or Imperial Iron Wall, it's Quick Effect makes it nigh unstoppable during the Battle Phase.

Almost makes me tempted to run off to my locals and start collecting support for when Photon Shockwave arrives in the TCG. Of course Dragons were never my thing, but then again, maybe for Galaxy-Eyes I'll make an exception. ^_^

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's Been Done Before

Recently I've been hearing players begin discussing what to side in against Dark Worlds once Structure Deck: Gates of the Underworld reaches the TCG. The most commonly suggested solution is:

Gemini Imps
(Fiend-Type/DARK/Level 4/ATK 1000/DEF 1000)
"When a card effect controlled by your opponent is activated which would cause you to discard from your hand, by sending this card from your hand to the Graveyard, negate the activation and the effect of the card and destroy it. Then draw 1 card."
Indeed running Gemini Imps has served merit before, as a means of disrupting much feared XX-Saber Gottoms and Royal Tribute plays. With the coming of Dark Worlds, Gravekeeper players will be need to be especially careful as running Royal Tribute will become more of a liability than an asset and will need to be sided out according. However, Gravekeepers already have their own means of suppressing the numerous discard-triggering effects inherent in Dark World decks:  

Gravekeeper's Watcher
(Spellcaster-Type/DARK/Level 4/ATK 1000/DEF 1000)
"When your opponent activates an effect whereby your opponent discards a card(s) from his/her hand, you can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard to negate the activation of the effect and destroy it."
While it may not be capable of turning your opponent's Card Destruction into a -1 like Gemini Imps can, in a Gravekeeper Deck, Watcher has added searchablility, and that can be all too crucial in gaining control of the game earlier. Whether as a Gravekeeper player you'd rather retain card advantage or be ready to counter your opponent's strategy faster, ultimate that's a matter of personal preference.

Just be wary, the Blackest Night is coming.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

P.S: Different Dimension Ground is another solution to the Dark World threat, and it works against Fableds too. ^_^ Just another option to consider if you find the DWs to be that much of a threat. Shutting down potential T.G. plays isn't a bad idea either especially when they've surged in popularity of late.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Broken than Pot of Greed

So after browsing through the new releases in Photon Shockwave, I came across Fragment of Greed.

Fragment of Greed (Continuous Spell)
"During your Draw Phase, place 1 Greed Counter on this card when you perform your normal draw. When this card has 2 or more Greed Counters, you can send this card to the Graveyard to draw 2 cards."
I told my friends how this cards was more "broken" than the original Pot of Greed. Mind you, this was a joke as the art does depict a shattered Pot of Greed. However, I got such a strong reaction that this was a BAD card that, quite frankly, I'm disappointed at them.

Here we have a more balanced, splashable version of Pot of Greed. It may not be part of some game-ending combo, but it's far from being unplayable. From that logic, Six Samurai United is a bad card. Just the other I had a game against someone that was playing a Six Samurai deck. Everytime he attempted to summon a Six Samurai and start gaining Bushido Counters, I negated the summon with Solemn Warning. Because he couldn't net any card advantage from his Six Samurai United and Gateway of the Six he subsequently lost. I myself was trying out dubkdad1's most recent Volcanic variant.

Now does that mean that Six Samurai United is a bad card? Of course not. But you can't always use the "this card counters that" argument in this game. Things just don't always play out that way.

It's a solid card, and it's worth playing. I would play it, not in anything I'm running at the moment due to space issues, but it's something I might consider running in the future.

Wouldn't you rather have you opponent waste their Mystical Space Typhoon on the Fragment of Greed you just played than your set Solemn Warning? I'd like to think so.

Just watch out for that pesky Giant Trunade.

Remember players, the game ends with you.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Playing with the Underdogs

Alright so I spent the last several hours playtesting on Duel Network. The first few matches I used an old Elemental Hero Neos / Chaos deck updated for the recent banlist. Not a Chaos Neos deck, but a Neos Chaos deck, as in I'm using Chaos Sorcerer and not Elemental Hero Chaos Neos. People always get confused whenever I say the name, lol.

It was not actually my intention for the deck to win any of my games. I was just trying to some kill before I went to sleep, but the few successes I had with Neos Chaos encouraged me to try another formerly underdog deck: Ice Barriers. DN had recently added the Photon Shockwave expansion to the list of available cards, minus the Xyz Monsters, which have yet to be implemented. This meant I now had access to Preacher <3.

After some quick browsing for something to start with, I found Zeron's decklist on Pojo Forums worth consideration. To reduce the risk of any potential dead draws, however, as his original decklist ran 5 Tribute Monsters3 of which were Level >6I dropped the General Grunard of the Ice Barrier for a Samurai of the Ice Barrier. After 5-6 games I had a decent grasp of the strengths and limits of the deck.

My main concern is with the IBs that they require others to use their effects. When I played against Gravekeepers, there was little my poor Dance Prince could do if I couldn't get another IB out. And when I did, Necrovalley enabled her to be run over by everything and sealed any potential Preacher/Surfacing/Gantala/Salvage plays.

Speaking of Salvage, I can begin to see why some people don't like running it. It's absolutely painful to draw into sometimes, especially early game. Since Pot of Duality is going to be reprinted soon, it could possibly serve as a viable (and cheap) alternative.

Defender (not Blizzd) and Cryomancer did their jobs very well and Arcanite Magician is a must have in the extra deck. In fact, between Black Rose, Gungnir, Arcanite, and Scrap Archfiend, Level 7s form the bulk of my extra deck, if I even need to use it. Often times swarming the field can end games by itself.

The deck definitely has potential, it just needs little something more to make it flower better. Strategist + Medallion gets the engine going easy enough but if the graveyard isn't protected, you're in for a world of hurt.

Remember players the game ends with you.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Good Job Konami

In my previous post, I mentioned how Konami was remaking older banned into less broken counterparts. It appears that my initial opinion of Rescue Rabbit maybe be worth reconsideration, especially since builds have begun surfacing in an attempt to break the rabbit, as what happened with its feline predecessor.

Putting that aside it's the remaining content of Photon Shockwave that has interested me more. Apparently Konami hasn't given up on older archetypes such as the Ice Barriers, Naturias, and Watts. Ice Barriers specifically have gotten a fantastic support card in the former of Preacher of the Ice Barrier.

Preacher of the Ice Barrier
(Aqua-Type/WATER/Level 2/ATK 1000/DEF 400)
"If you control a face-up "Ice Barrier" monster: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. If you do, you cannot Special Summon Level 5 or higher monsters during this turn. You can Tribute this card to target 1 "Ice Barrier" monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target."
Preacher helps the Ice Barrier theme in three key ways:
  1. It's ability to Special Summon itself helps fulfill the effect activation requirements of several Ice Barrier Monsters that requires another IB Monster to be on the field.
  2. It's second effect effect helps players get out the Generals onto the field easily. 
  3. It's level, type, and attribute make it great for Wetlands variants as another big beater, but one that can swarm the field. It's also compatible with Graceful Revival, Limit Reverse, AND Surfacing, essentially turning those cards into a Monster Reborn for any of your other IBs.
Good card is good, and I'm glad to see an archetype with so much potential finally given support that can tie the entire theme together.

Keep up the good work Konami. *Nice Guy Pose*

Remember players, the game ends with you.

P.S: You can still summon Monsters that don't have levels during the same turn you use Preacher. *Nudge, Nudge, wink, wink.*