Champion's Pulse - Rob Ellam An interview with the UK National Championship 2024 champion, Rob Ellam.

Welcome to Champion's Pulse, a new series of articles wherein we speak to some of the best and brightest players in the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game's competitive scene. 
Today, we at YGOProDeck had the opportunity to speak to Rob Ellam, the victor of the United Kingdom's National Championship 2024.

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Beating out just over one thousand three hundred duelists, Rob Ellam claimed his spot as the UK national champion last weekend, piloting his own blend of Branded Despia amongst a field largely comprised of Snake-Eye and Tenpai duelists. 

Albion the Branded Dragon 
Before we begin, you can find Rob's winning decklist here, and you can find all of the decklists involved in the top cut of the UK national championship here on YGOProDeck.


Q: Congratulations on your nationals win. How was your overall experience at this event?

Rob: "Thank you! I honestly had such a great time, the majority of my opponents were so nice and I had a good time meeting lots of new people!"


Q: What's your history in Yu-Gi-Oh? - When did you start playing, and when did you start playing competitively?
Rob: "I started playing around 2016 - After a friend introduced me to the game. Like a lot of others, I watched the show growing up when I was younger. My first "Competitive" decks were during Secrets of Eternity format, and I played infernoid."

Infernoid Decatron 


Q: What made you choose to play Branded Despia for this particular event?

Rob: "I have been playing Branded Despia for the last four or five months, so I felt comfortable playing it and feel that it can compete well with nearly all of the meta."

Branded Fusion 


Q: Did you do much preparation for this particular event?

Rob: "I sure did!"
(He did not elaborate further!)


Q: What were your matchups like throughout the day?

Rob: "A wide range of things! True Draco, Salamangreat, Chimera, other Branded decks, a few different stun decks, tenpai, and of course - Snake Eye.

Snake-Eye Ash 

Q: Do you feel the deck you took to this event has any particularly strong or weak match-ups, and did you run into any of these at the event?

Rob: "I felt branded was very well rounded into the meta due to the deck's power and utility.
I felt like it had the favour in the tenpai matchup due to the gimmick lock as well as the alba lenatus fusion monster. 
I feel that the only weak match-up it has is going second versus Chimera due to their new monster Diabellze the Original Sinkeeper, which shuts off all quick play cards as well as forcing me to set spells and traps, which are then at risk of being destroyed through Diabellze the Original Sinkeeper or Guardian Chimera."   
Diabellze the Original SinkeeperGuardian Chimera

Q: Are there any cards that particularly underperformed in your deck list at this event?

Rob: "Bystial Magnamhut - I never really even drew it!"

Bystial Magnamhut

Q: Are there any particularly memorable moments from the event that you'd like to highlight?

Rob: "Being on the feature match area was such a nerve wracking feeling. All eyes on you, being able to hear the crowd chanting and cheering, but also such a great experience!"

r/yugioh - Rob Ellam wins 2024 UK Nationals with Branded

Q: Do you have any tips for aspiring duelists who might decide to pick up the Branded deck after seeing your success at this tournament?

Rob: "I really find playing test hands beneficial - Specifically playing as if my opponent has the best hand trap possible in that moment, and seeing how I can best play into it.
There is also a few YouTubers who have a lot of good Branded content, which you can learn a lot from!"

Branded in High Spirits 

Q: Lastly, do you have any shoutouts or thanks you'd like to give to anyone?

Rob: "Huge shoutouts to everyone from Southampton and Portsmouth locals. 

Special shoutouts to Jon, Kieran and Harry for keeping me motivated over the weekend and being the best hype men I could ask for!"


Once again, a huge congratulations to Rob on his victory at this event, and a huge thank you for taking his time to be interviewed, and we hope to see more from you in the future! 
If you'd like to see more articles like this, talking to the best of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s competitors, please feel free to comment below if there's particular duelists you'd like to hear from in recent events, and we at YGOProDeck will try our best to deliver on more of these articles. Is there something we missed, or feel we could ask duelists about their decks? Tell us below!

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