Friday, January 24, 2014

Journey to YCS Sydney~

Hi everyone, this is my looking back post on what went on at the recent YCS Sydney and my own tournament looking back post too. You can skip that and just jump straight into the deck list here, but if you wanna read more, just click on!

So the story all started... With this lol! I got the news abit late, but once I saw the mat, I was instant hooked. I contemplated between just buying it off eBay or something, but decided that Sydney wasn't exactly that far away, so I wanted to go take part in my very first YCS as well as what was my very first TCG event!

Fast forward a month worth of deck building, finding cards, along with heading to Taiwan to help judge for the Asia Championship 2013 Plus, me and Jeff arrived in Sydney on 16 September! U can click on the individual days to see which day's stuff you wanna see~

16 January
17 January
18 January
19 & 20 January

16 January
So after some 8 hours worth of flight time, waiting at the airport 1 hour for the shuttle, we finally arrived at Maze Backpackers at about 3pm. We just got a cheapo hostel though, since we just wanted a place to crash for the night and spend most of the day out. So anyway, out we go!

After a quick Burrito lunch, we headed down first to Good Games Sydney Central! There was supposed to be a tournament going on there, but we were rather late for it. In the end we only saw 4 players there towards the end of the tournament. Retail had nothing exciting for Yugioh though, with only 2 card albums, 1 of them being for $1 singles, so yeah... Nothing exciting here so we left quite quickly.

Next up, Good Games Town Hall! This shop showed more promise, simply with the number of YGO players alone. We spent the rest of the day here till the night, basically checking out people's albums, looking at the locals playing deck. Then at 6.30pm, there was a tournament which Jeff joined. I was playing a pretty unconventional deck so I decided to not join, plus I haven't found all my cards yet anyway. And guess what? Jeff won~ He got 5 packs in total and even opened ultimate Tenki, talk about luck~ Anyway, this day's coverage is pretty short, simply cause by the time the tournament ended, it was already about 10pm, so we just had a simple dinner, headed back to the hostel and snoozed off.

17 January
 Next day! We woke up pretty late at about 10am, only because it was still 7am back in SG. Well, after a short breakfast, we headed towards Good Games Burwood~ There was a YCS Warm-Up tournament starting at 11.30am so there was already tons of people at the store. Quite a lot of people were also looking for cards last minute, hopefully before they do the pre-registration later.

The pre-registration booth was setup real early though, the table was already ready by the time we arrived before noon! I want those mats~~~

Got a press pass! All thanks to PJ Tierney who helped me make the arrangements for it. That way i could legitimately take photos throughout the weekend without any issues~

And guess who got first dibs at taking a photo with the giant cards! Lots of thanks to Matthew Bell from Konami who was hiding behind the cards and helping me lift them up for the photo. And just in time too, cause once I took the photos, they had to ship them off to the tournament venue.

Pre-registration started promptly at 2pm, with the queue quickly snaking through not just the store, but even down the stairs and out of the stores! Good thing i noticed the queue forming so I was able to register myself without having to stand in line for long. You get the nice YCS token for pre-registering and the blue chip token lets you collect your 5 Shadow Specter packs along with the DMG mat on tournament day~
On-site, I also got a chance to meet up with Mr Paul Kite, the head judge for the event! He was really friendly and answered the questions i had readily~

In the end, we stayed there for quite awhile, cause Jeff had some problems finding the cards he needed. By the time he found them and we headed off, it was already 5+pm. We headed back to the hostel, dropped our stuff off and made our way to Darling Harbour!

Dinner was really awesome, we had seafood, while basically checked out the sights along the harbour. Lots of street acts were going on as part of the Sydney Arts Festival as well, so it was pretty cool to watch. We stayed till till the evening before going back to rest. Though somehow I couldn't really sleep throughout the night... Could it have been my duelist's spirit burning up? It's Time to Duel!

18 January
Here we are at ANZ Stadium! Reached there rather early at about 8+ just to check out what was going on at a YCS~ From here on out its gonna be more of pictures guys, since most of my day was spent playing rounds.

 Here's the schedule! Click on the link to see the up-sized version from FB!
So much people here just queuing  up for registration... Good thing I pre-registered yesterday.

Good Games setting up their booth, quite a lot of nice stuff here~ I bought some cards from here for friends in the end.

In the meantime, I was walking around and saw this brother (12 yo) and sister (6 yo) playing YGO together. Seriously way too cute!!!

 After waiting quite awhile for the registration to complete, we were finally let in! The hall looked nice and long at first, but it got fully packed after awhile.

Here's a look at what players can win at the side events, as well as the nice trophy! Well, never knew I would be getting a lot more intimate with the trophy on the next day at this point of time.

Announcements for the tournament has begun! Here's Paul Kite again,  along with Matthew Bell doing the opening announcements! We have 821 participants, which is more then double of the previous national event in Australia, so thats a big number! Judges really had their work cut out for them that weekend.

 Off to check the pairings! Only 1 thing I would have suggested to improve, was to maybe print more then 1 copy of the pairings. Though the pairings were split up into alphabetical order and split among 5 pillars, each pillar still had only 1 copy, which essentially meant above 160 people were crowding around a pillar to look at a piece of paper. Maybe an additional one on the opposite side of the pillar?

Well, after some time to squeeze to the front and check out my pairings, I was headed to my table! For info on the deck that I used, check here~

Round 1! I was at table 365, which was outside of the event hall, sigh. Wasn't sure this was a good start to a tournament, and remember hoping that i would just move into the hall by the next round.

My round 1 was against Daniel using Dark Worlds, and I went oxo. Cant remember in full details how the rounds went (15 rounds is pretty much stuff to remember and i was never good at remember plays). Here's what i can remember.

Game 1 - He starts first, but doesn't do much except set 1 to back row and 1 monster. I make Naturia Beast, attack, then realise its Dark Worlds after i see his monster. Kinda won from there.
Game 2 - Cant remember what happened, basically i had a pretty uninspiring hand and lost without doing much moves
Game 3 - Turn 1 Naturia Beast with a set card gets me the game.

Score: 1-0

Daniel was pretty cool, since we had a long wait for the tournament to begin this round (Some issues due to admin errors on judges side), we had quite a long chat, along with the other players who were next to us. It was pretty fun!

Finally inside the room! Round 2 was against Adrian with Spellbooks and I went XOX. Here's how it went~

Game 1 - He starts first, I remember seeing Crescent, Secrets, Master, multiple searches, his board is setup nicely when he ends, with Fiendish Chain, Tower, Fate and even Maxx C. Couldn't do much to even setup and lost the game
Game 2 - My turn to start first. I remember there was some grinding in this game, and it reaches the point where I had Felgrand, Burei and Nisamu on the field, while he had Spellbook Magician. He suicides Magician into Burei, then sp Cyber Dragon and contacts for Chimeratech Fortress. However next turn my Felgrand negates Fortress to 0 attack and I hit for that game.
Game 3 - Multiple searches here too, but his field was not as good this time. Sadly my hand was pretty bad too, and he had Maxx C as well. I did have a Gozen Match to stop his Life, but I had an attack mode Redox, which he used Power and Masters, searched for Fate and stuff, and i had no return from there.

Score: 1-1

I was abit disappointed I already was x-1 by round 2, and both of us were not too familiar with rulings for each other's decks, so not too sure I was the nicest guy about the loss. Anyway apologised to Adrian after the whole tournament, he was really quite nice honestly.

Round 3 was against Connors with Blackwings! He was 10 years old and I went oxo! He was really packing the right cards when i got that x, had not much comments lol. He was a pretty nice kid though.

Game 1 - He starts, but not too many fancy moves. I basically flooded for game within couple of turns.
Game 2 - This was totally lol. My hand was basically 2 Ninishi, 2 Kuick, and a couple of irrelevant stuff. I summoned Ninishi, summoned Kuick, Kuick ate Bottomless and i had to suicide Ninishi. Next turn I summoned Ninishi, summoned Kuick, made Burei and ate Black Horn. In the mean time he just normal summons each turn and I eat more damage. Next game please~
Game 3 - Yeah, basically my hand was abit better, and I managed to flood to take the game.

Score: 2-1

Connors was a pretty good kid though. To be honest I actually had fun having the game with him. I guess this is the first time I actually had a talk with a young kid who played Yugioh, so it was kinda fun. Kinda scary also thinking that I have been playing Yugioh longer then the kid's age lol!

Round 4, versus Lewin with Fire Kings going oxo!

Game 1 - Felgrand manages to disturb Garunix for a couple of turns, and I gained enough advantage from that
Game 2 - Tried to repeat what I did, but I basically saw all 3 copies of Garunix! It was pretty funny though, cause I suddenly had a memory lapse and i couldn't find the 3rd copy, when he just reminded me it was in his hand (From Generation Shift) with a cheeky smile lol
Game 3 - Basically went early flood and took the game~

Score: 3-1

Had a great time playing against Lewin, I will really have a hard time forgetting that game 2 cheeky smile for awhile lol

Round 5 vs Robert with Hazy Flame deck, going oo!

Game 1 - Both of us didn't have too exciting hands I think, especially cause I read that he had Torrential Tribute set. I waited for a few turns, till I had the right stuff, then baited out the Tribute, and made Bureido and Beast. Basically Naturia Beast won the game for that one
Game 2 - He didn't have much, so I made Naturia Beast on my turn. Hit for a few turns later and I won (He revealed 5 spells in his hand after the game)

Score: 4-1

Finally my first oo! Nice to play against something different, though to be honest i didn't exactly expect to meet Hazy Flame that day, so it was interesting~

Round 6 vs Henry using 3.5 Axis Fire Fist, with results of xoo~ Im sorry but to be honest, don't remember too much of my Fire Fist games, because I played a lot more Fist in the tournament, so don't really remember too much. My deck is strong against Fist decks though, so yup.

Score: 5-1

Round 7 vs Joshua with Mermails, going xoo!

Game 1: Basically my moves got stopped cold with back rows, i wasted too many cards and couldnt get a field going and lost that one
Game 2: Started and flooded with a nice field to control
Game 3: He forgot about Emergency Teleport and Psychic Commander's effect, so he tries to hit into Commander using Abysspike, so I just pay my life points and Pike dies, with just Abyssturge left. If he remembered either cards effects, he could have just gone Bahamut Shark and Abysstrite, which might have made a difference since I had enough stuff to go for game 2 turns later.

Score: 6-1

Joshua was a really nice dude, and I had a nice chat with him talking about Yugioh history after the game. I'm still chatting with him now even after Im back in Singapore! Though playing with him gave me the idea that my deck was really that rogue, and I guess not too much players that day would be familiar with it.

And thats it for day 1 tournament rounds! So basically i was going into day 2 with a result of 6-1, not bad! Aside from the tournament, i took what spare time I had just walking around, and trying to catch photos for my event coverage. Along the way, i got recognised by a few of the players who were following the coverage and I had a chance to talk to them~ This is a family, consisting of a couple on the right, and the brother in law on the left. Nice to see family bonding in Yugioh in foreign countries, this would never happen in Singapore~

Well, by the time the tournament ended, it was already past 9pm, so I basically had a quick dinner at a fast food joint, then headed back and went to sleep. Though honestly couldn't sleep too well, think I was still adjusting to the time differences, and i was probably still pretty psyched from getting into day 2.

19 January

Day 2 at the tournament! Boy was it off to a hasty start. Me and Jeff got to the event hall at 9am sharp, and I remember thinking that we would probably have at least 5 mins before pairings were announced, thinking that 9am would be the time for players to gather, then they would announce pairings then seat everyone. Boy, were we shocked when we went up and already saw people sitting and waiting for the round to start. This was totally opposite of the previous day where we arrived 1+ hour early and we actually waiting over an hour after the stipulated time before the tournament started. (Though understandable due to the overwhelming numbers in registration) We quickly took our seats and got ready.

First lesson of the day, whatever timings we get to gather, better to gather at least 10 mins early. 

Round 8 against 3.5 Axis Fire Fist, going xox! Again, really don't recall too much of my game here, but basically drew pretty bad. Not off to a good start...

Score: 6:2

Didn't really talk too much to Chris, since I was kinda still flustered from having to rush to find my table and start the game, but he seemed nice enough. I did remember thinking it was pretty funny that he posed with his Tiger King for the photo though, cause he didn't summon it at all throughout all 3 games.

Round 9 against Sam with Hero Beat, going xoo! This losing first game business is getting me stressed out...

Game 1: Really crappy hands and i lost this one. It was pretty sad, cause he actually did a big misplay by summoning Traptrix Myrmeleo while he had Doomcaibur Knight on the field, so he minus-ed 2 himself. But yes, my hand was that poor that the minus 2 didn't affect his control over the field.
Game 2: Game got down to abit of grinding, and I was pretty stressed out, since a loss here would be the end for me. Luckily I managed to take control of the board pretty late game with Bureido and won from there.
Game 3: He didn't have too much, so early field control from my better hand drawn and I won this one.

Score: 7-2

Hmmmm, not too sure on Sam actually. To be honest, he did look kinda sleepy throughout and after the game, so I didn't really talk all too much to him...

Round 10 against Laz with Infernities, going oxo! It was all coming down to this and good thing I managed to win! Thanks to Baha trolling me with his loops so many times throughout the years so I was pretty familiar with Infernities by now lol~

Game 1 - He started off with a pretty good hand, getting to go for Archfiend search by the time his first turn ended. Thankfully I was able to stop his Launcher with my MST, so I managed to take out his board for the win.
Game 2 - He started and had a pretty nice build up at the end of the turn. Struggled abit, even to the point where I managed to use Nisamu to turn his Archfiend to defence to play around Barrier. Too bad that he had Fiendish Chain and I couldn't do too much so i lost.
Game 3 - Still down to a grinding game, basically was both of us trying to start off our combos, and both of us trying to stop each other from doing their combos. I managed to clear mine though, and won the game.

Score: 8-2

And thats all 10 rounds cleared! Laz was really nice, and with both of us being combo decks, we had abit of a chat talking about each other decks. Basic feedback was still, yup, nobody was pretty much expecting Pure Karakuris today. Geargia variant yes, but Pure nope.

After a very long wait (Well at least it seemed very long), the results were out... And I was confirmed to make it into the top 32, with a standing of 28th place! At this point i was already quite happy with my result, 28th out of a 821 pax tournament was already quite good results in my opinion. Not to mention this was my first TCG tournament yet, and I haven't even played a major event since 2.5 years ago in my Singapore Worlds Qualifiers back in 2011. So from here on out, it was just the aim of doing as best as I can, and hope for the best!

Well, I checked my pairings and quickly went to my seat... And guess what was greeting me at my table~~~ Haha, just looking at the mat gave me motivation to try for better results. Its time for the top 32 rounds!

I have no photos for my top 32 round though, as my opponent did not wish to be shown. He was playing 3.5 Axis Fire Fist, and I got a result of oo.

Game 1 - Think I started first, and flooded the field turn 1 with Burei, Bureido and Nisamu. Nothing too fancy to be honest, but it was a big enough lead which Fist couldn't clear the board and I won from there.
Game 2 - Both of us had pretty bad hands, so it was really down to a grinding game. I practically took Nisamu and hit for like 5 times before it got destroyed. However, he was down to 300, and when he took Rooster to hit my Ninishi and I won that game.

Top 16 round, versus Chris with Harpies, and I got oxo! Again no photo as he did not wish to be featured.

Game 1 - Cant remember too well, but I remember i was surprised when I saw the first Channeler. Totally didn't expect to see it at the top 16 tables. Basically just flooded for the win.
Game 2 - He kinda just led the board and I couldn't get anything started. Next game please
Game 3 - He built up to a rather big field, and I made a mistake play here. Basically I forgot my Saizan was already in grave, so I made double Burei, thinking I would go into Dracossack, then Black Rose. However i noticed the Saizan too late, so I couldn't do much about it. Attacked into double Magical hats, and he got a lot of stuff out. I made Felgrand, but his Hats helped him send Breakthrough Skill to grave and he managed to Big Eye the Felgrand.

Next turn however, I drew my Rivalry, opened it on his draw phase, and he had to clear his stuff, choosing to leave his Harpies behind. Then he went into Egoist, and tried to flood more, but Rivalry only allowed Zerofyne, probably thinking Zerofyne would allow him to negate Rivalry again next turn and he could flood the field again. However his negating Rivalry let me summon out Psychic Commander and with Merchant made Catastor to clear Zerofyne. Basically took control from there and won the game later.

This was the most interesting matchup for me, since honestly it was my first time playing against Harpies (Deck is pretty much non-existent in OCG currently), and I had to say i didn't do too many good moves there. There were questions about why I sided in Rivalry against him. Basically all I can say is, I thought Rivalry was an idea, simply because he had Monk and Channeler, which Rivalry would stop both, and it would also prevent him from making the stronger Xyz monsters (Plus i only had 1 Overwork which I sided that too). Logic was basically if he couldn't make the usual Dracossack etc, I would have an advantage over the deck. I have a slightly different logic in my gameplay (evident from my deck choice), so well, not much I can say further to justify this side deck that i made.

So to all the people making weird comparisons saying about how maybe siding Rivalry against Geargias would work, etc. Well, you might want to put abit more effort into thinking of the logic on my end, and not just cut it short with your own logic? Cause if everyone followed the same logic, basically everyone would be playing the same deck, which is not exactly very smart and interesting anyway. Ah well, enough ranting, moving on!

Top 8 round, playing against Barett with 3.5 Axis Fire Fist, getting oo~ I really don't remember too much, but I think my hands were getting better at this point of time. I actually managed to win quite fast after the round started. Barett was really very nice, and he came from USA, which is really far away. So we had a good time, just sharing differences between OCG and TCG, as well as just talking about our experiences travelling over to Sydney. Guess we had a lot in common, considering we were both from else where.

Some interesting trivia though, we had a lot of time to talk at this point, because they were doing deck checks. Where I got a warning because I double sleeved my extra deck, which some of my TCG friends assured me was fine *waves fist*. It was pretty funny, cause I was told that they had to give me the warning due to tournament policy, though they also understood that I may not be too familiar since Im not a TCG player, and not like i could attempt to cheat just by double sleeving my extra deck cards. If I join more TCG tournaments in the future, I should really go through the tournament policy documents in more detail.

Another point of trivia... Apparently i was accused of cheating at this point lol. Seems like there were some locals who complained to the judges saying that I was playing way too consistently and I must have been cheating somehow, so I was under scrutiny by a few judges from this round onwards. I didn't think too much of it at that point, since I thought it was normal to be scrutinised abit more since it was the top 8 round, and I only found out about this much later. Thankfully nothing out of the ordinary happened, I played my usual clean way and cleared the rest of the tournament without any issue. Judges comments were also that basically I was a good clean player with a good deck, so there was nothing they found against me that would indicate I might have been cheating, so yup.

Top 4 round against Adrian again... My revenge match, which I luckily won with oxo!

Game 1 - Won the dice roll this time, opposite of the swiss round. He had no Maxx C, so i started with a board of Bureido, Felgrand and Draco. Couldn't make Naturia Beast but decided to at least build the board best as I can, which got me the game.
Game 2 - He had a Maxx C against me when I tried to build the board, so I ended with just Burei and Nisamu to swing for 4k. After that he sp Cyber Dragon, which I chained Gozen, but he had MST to answer that sadly. So yup, after that he goes into Priestess etc and I lost that one. I remember being quite sad, cause he had just the right cards to counter my hand, but oh well, was starting next so prayed for a good hand.
Game 3 - And a good hand i did get! I summoned my first Bureido, asked if he had Maxx C. Once he didn't respond, I went all the way, and got out triple Bureidos to draw 3, then made Naturia Beast and Felgrand and set 4 back row (Though 3 were fake, i only had 1 real Book of Moon). He had Priestess in hand, but my Book of Moon stops it cold, and Beast stops his Wisdom, and that was game!

We did talk a lot more after this round compared to the swiss, and were sharing how dice rolls were sadly all too important in the game currently. Evident in these 2 rounds, really the dice roll was totally important.
(That being said though, i actually lost 7 dice rolls in my 10 swiss rounds. Hmmmm.... I guess it really depends on the matchup too)

It was time for the finals! Was playing against Chris Welsh using 3.5 Axis Fire Fist and I won with oo! I won't have to do the recall for this page, since you can see it from this Konami coverage post or this replay match video that Michael Cooper made, both showing the play by play of the round.

Seriously though, my hands started improving once I got into the top 32 rounds. Can I honestly say I did not make such a turn 1 field in all my swiss rounds, yet I managed to get the hands for them in 1 game each of both top 4 and the final rounds. Half worried I already spent all my luck for 2014 actually.

Here's a picture of the top 4 winners!

First - DSummon (Pure Karakuri)
Second - Chris Welsh (3.5 Axis Fire Fist)
Third - Jonno Ritzau (3.5 Axis Fire Fist)
Fourth - Adrian Cilmi (Spellbooks)

So basically, it was prize presentation after that, followed by a short interview with Konami. I also did a deck profile video interview for a few players, and by the time I was done, it was already quite late. I remember being so tired out, and i think i looked quite weird in the video, simply because I wasn't used to being surrounded by cameras, along with smiling the entire day just gave me a very weird stiff smile by the end of the day lol.

 And here is the judge team! Seriously, there was way too few judges considering this was for a 821 pax event, and they really worked hard throughout the weekend. Being a head judge and tournament organiser, i really know this feeling all too well. So do give them a pat on the back when you see these amazing guys next time. Cause without them, 821 dudes would not have had such a great weekend. Thanks for the great job again guys!!

And thats about it for the entire event! I left the tournament site and reached back my hostel at 10+pm , had a late dinner and basically replied the flood of congratulation messages coming in till almost 3am before i went to bed. Next day morning i was still tired out, so we just got a simple breakfast nearby, took a few photos and we were off to the airport headed back!

For those who are wondering, these are my prizes! Basically I got an Ultra Rare Giant Hand, a Giant Hand playmate, a nice trophy i totally did not expect to get, and a Dell laptop. There may be questions regarding, what about the flight and accommodation to take part in Oceanics? All I can answer is, Konami is currently discussing this right now, and we will have to see how it turns out.

And thats about it for my whole trip! Looking back, it all started from that DMG playmat, which was outright my main motivation for coming down to the tournament in the first place. Though of course finally getting to take part in a TCG tournament seemed like a totally great idea. Here's a few points to summarise my thoughts for the trip.

- YGO players are really nice in Australia. I really got a lot of "good job and keep up the good work" messages from everyone throughout the day, especially those who were reading my FB coverage. And if they weren't nice, I'm sure a 10 men judge team would not be enough to handle a 821 pax event for sure
- The meta is really very different, i totally didn't expect to meet stuff like Harpies in the top tables. If I ever participate in another TCG event, gonna have to do a lot more research on the meta
- And no, totally didn't expect to win, so this is a nice surprise. Honestly thought i would at best just make day 2, then scrub and go play side events, especially since I'm not familiar with the meta for TCG.
- And lastly, news spreads really fast! I really got congrats from friends (and new people who added me) from all over the world within that couple of hours after I won. The power of social media seriously.

And thats it for the very long looking back post! Hope I didn't bore anyone with the very long post. Really just had that much thoughts throughout this trip, and it was really fun. Its just that I had planned this to be a holiday, where i just play for fun. Suddenly i feel like i got more stressed out by this trip, cause i didn't expect to play all the way till the finals lol. Thats it for my looking back post everyone, and hope you enjoyed the read!


  1. Just to assure you this post aint boring Dsummon. Read it on my way to school. Made my day. Thanks!

    SG reader

  2. Wow.. Congrats to become 1st YCS Champion of 2014 :D

  3. You are the best karakuri player

  4. Very awesome. I shared your post with all the guys I play with at my locals. Congrats!

  5. Congrats on the win!

    I was looking at your older content earlier, and I think one of my favorite ideas from you (besides Karakuri, of course) was the Summoner of Illusions deck. I'm sure that it's gotten better with more and more cards out now. :P

    1. Should be, i would rethink on that deck actually, but seriously. Who needs Summoner of Illusions when you have Cyber-Stein lol! Thinking of making a combined deck for both though, will test it out when i have the time.

  6. Congrats from "the family" :)

  7. please. follow also my blog. Im inspired by you dsummon

  8. Hey, were you allowed to play at the Oceanic Championship?