WHYP: Heart of the Cards…wasn’t there tonight

Let me keep it simple: I tried running a Yu-Gi-Oh! only team. It sucked. The end.

You want more than that? Sure then. Let’s just say the…

Heart of the Cards…wasn’t there tonight

The Team:  This team deserves to be sent to the Shadow Realm.

A reminder of our event rules:

  • Every card (including BACs) had to come from the same universe (Marvel, DC, WWE, etc.)
  • Every card had to be legal in Global Escalation (we rely on the official list found here – we also banned Jimmy Lawler so we wouldn’t have everyone running double-Overcrush Becky Lynch)

Ok, so the stipulations really hurt Yu-Gi-Oh! specifically. I lose access to the best removal (Puzzle), the best control (Jinzo), and the best shenanigans (Ring of Magnetism) of the entire set.

First of all, I asked myself: how do I try to win here? The answer is obvious: Obelisk the Tormentor, using Goblin Attack Force’s global. Gaia the Fierce Knight was my backup plan if Obelisk got neutralized by control. If you’ve never played with or against Obelisk, you force your opponent to block (with Goblin), then when your opponent can’t KO Obelisk, he deals a metric ton of damage.

But Obelisk costs 7. To get to 7, I need ramp, and…Yu-Gi-Oh! is really bad at ramp. Still, I have to at least try. I used Blue-Eyes White Dragon for its global, and…Sangan. A weird one, but the ability synergizes well with Blue-Eyes to give me ramp. He also works as a way to set up my characters in order to avoid what will likely be a terrible, messy dice bag.

I also need removal, and Yu-Gi-Oh! is also…not that great at removal outside of the Puzzle, which I can’t use here. Well. let’s see what we do have. First, Crush Card Virus. Great targeted removal…if I can draw it at the right time. With my likely messy bag, I know not to rely on that one. So I decided to put Saggi the Dark Clown (who shows up in Crush Card Virus’ art, funnily enough). A black sheep for sure, but being able to snipe characters off the board is likely to come in handy so long as they don’t have too much defense. Then, there’s the Millenium Rod. The puzzle is banned but the Rod isn’t. It’s not removal in itself, but being able to steal my opponent’s characters should be handy in the right situation (I can even use the Blue-Eyes global to KO the controlled character in a pinch).

The last two cards are utility. First, Horn of the Unicorn can be really good when used with Obelisk to double up on damage (Overcrush damage plus ability damage), and the global is decent utility. Then, there’s Morphing Jar. I noticed I didn’t have a low cost, and I wanted something I could easily buy before KO’ing Sangan on turns immediately following a bag reset. So I put Morphing Jar as a 1-cost. *Note: I would have preferred a 2-cost bolt character to use with my globals, but there is literally no 2-cost bolt option in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! When it has one of the best bolt-based globals in the game. That…just never computed for me.

Ok, this team is a complete and utter mess, but I’ll try. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a win?

Game 1:

I started off against a Guardians of the Galaxy team. This was an odd one. My lower costs got going, Saggi did some removal, and I bought Obelisk, Millenium Rod, 2 Gaia’s, and even a Blue-Eyes…but no matter what I did, none of them rolled. Seriously. Not one. So sure, the weenies held the fort as best they could, but it was only a matter of time before a Teamwork and Thrown Car-fueled Rocket Raccoon assault gave my opponent the win.

0-1

Game 2:

Next up, time to face off against Super-Friends and DC. This should have been a bad matchup, but…only my opponent’s smallest characters hit. I went for Saggi very early to mess up her board presence as best I could, and it worked; I KO’d Jimmy Olsen and the like, and I got a lucky turn where she literally missed every character she rolled. Obelisk hit, with me having just enough damage on the board for the win in an empty field. Not how you’d try to win normally, but I’ll take it.

1-1

Game 3:

Last but not least, try to go up against Avengers, Patch + ID Card, Cable…the works. With Madame Web to tie up blockers of course. This matchup is exactly what I want to avoid when I have lousy removal and no way to protect Obelisk. My opponent built a good board presence long before I could get Obelisk on the board. So when he hit, he was essentially irrelevant. My opponent just kept up her own ramp going and slowly set up Madame Web, Cable, and enough damage to win twice over. Despite my best efforts, my bag was too messy to keep up and she eventually charged in, tied up my blockers with Madame Web and won.

1-2

Post-Mortem:

-What worked? Not the win condition, that’s for sure. The only game I won was because my opponent rolled worse than me. Without Static Field or the like to protect Obelisk, his ability is really hard to trigger when my opponent can build up board presence unless I get some great removal going. (Same for Gaia)

-Funnily enough, the one bright spot was Saggi the Dark Clown, who was a complete pain to deal with for my opponents (who had a lot of 2 to 4 defense characters). Kind of a precursor to the Range keyword when you think about it. But let’s be honest: he isn’t sufficient removal, and I couldn’t get the rest of my removal going at all since they were actions and I couldn’t Prep them with Sangan.

-Speaking of which, Sangan was fun for shenanigans, but Sangan + Blue-Eyes was NOT sufficient ramp by any means to get things going. My bag was a mess, and missing Sangan on key turns just set me back 3-4 turns sometimes. This highlights how important it is to have at least some ways to thin out the bag using global abilities where possible (which you know if you’ve played this game competitively).

-Last but certainly not least: this team also failed because my energy types were all over the place. I needed bolts for Blue-Eyes but had no cheap bolts. I needed fists but had no cheap fists (I guess I could’ve put the Injection Fairy, but how would she really have helped?). I had too many shields due to missing Sangan and little to use them on (the Mystic Box global would’ve countered my own win condition). The whole thing was a mess to run.

So…bad ramp, meh removal, meh win condition, and absolutely no synergy. I’m not surprised this didn’t work, but I wanted to try YGO-only at least once with this ruleset. My locals want me to do Turtles next. I refuse. I want to finally do a Marvel build, but with so many options for Marvel in GE, what should I choose?

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