TCG PHHY Metagame Tournament Report: 250th YCS Los Angeles Check out some of the Top decks from one of the biggest YCSs of the last decade!

TCG Meta Deck Representation & Breakdown

Deck Breakdown:

  • 33 Kashtira
  • 7 Naturia Runick
  • 5 Spright
  • 3 Branded Despia
  • 2 Drytron
  • 2 Mathmech
  • 2 Floowandereeze
  • 1 Plunder Runick
  • 1 Kaiju
  • 1 Scareclaw Adventurer
  • 1 Marincess
  • 1 Swordsoul Tenyi
  • 1 Tearlaments
  • 1 P.U.N.K.
  • 1 Traptrix
  • 1 Rikka
  • 1 Sky Striker

Deck Highlights



Paulie Aronson overcame 3,000+ other players at the 250th YCS in Los Angeles and became the new champion with Kashtira.

Kashtira as a deck hasn't received too many changes ever since its emergence back in Team YCS Las Vegas. Because the deck requires so many set ratios to maintain its consistency, Paulie's deck doesn't stray too far from the standard builds. With that being said, Paulie's build does have some key differences that sets it apart from the rest.

For starters, Paulie chose to play a single copy of Tearlaments Kashtira; a card most Kashtira players exclude from their lists. This gave him an extra extender and a way to banish Kashtira cards from his GY. This can come in handy when he needs to summon a Rank 7 XYZ or banish Kashtiratheosis to retrieve a resource.

Paulie also chose to play Pot of Desires in addition to the more popular Pot of Prosperity. Since both Pots have conflicting effects, players generally don't to play them together; as activating 1 will make the other dead. However, by playing both, you also maximize the chance of seeing a "draw" card in your opening hand. This made it easier for Paulie to access his resources while not really giving up too much. Since Kashtira is one of the few decks that can interact with their face-down banished pile, it doesn't hurt too much to banish 10 from the top of your deck as long as you're safe from Number 89: Diablosis the Mind Hacker

We can also see 2 copies of Enemy Controller and 3 copies of Book of Moon in the Main Deck. Enemy Controller is usually seen in the Side Deck as a popular way of breaking boards and forcing your effects through. It's especially powerful in the mirror match as it can take an opponent's Kashtira monster and then turn it into an Kashtira Arise-Heart if they've activated Kashtira Shangri-Ira this turn. This can quickly turn the game, especially if your opponent doesn't have a well-timed response. Book of Moon is also quite popular as one of the most generic utility cards this format. While it's especially good against Kashtira, it also has utility against most of the other meta decks, as it can flip a problematic monster face-down. Although it's usually played alongside Book of Eclipse, some players have started cutting Eclipse as they believe it's too committal and can result in some very unfavorable situations if handled poorly. 

Lastly, we see 3 copies of Knightmare Corruptor Iblee in the Side Deck. Iblee can be normal summoned and then linked off for Salamangreat Almiraj to trigger its effect. This makes it a powerful option against most of the meta including Branded, Runick, Spright, and in the mirror. The only downside, is without a good way to search it, you'd have to draw it for it to be effective. 

Naturia Runick


Jesse Flores placed 2nd at the 250th YCS in Los Angeles with Naturia Runick.

Naturia Runick is a control deck that has been slowly creeping up the meta as more players discovered how powerful the Runick engine is. In this iteration, Jesse's deck functions as a mid-range control deck that sets up Naturia Beast backed by an arsenal of Runick spells. This is usually very difficult to deal with, as the Runick spells function as interruptions that will prevent the opponent from dealing with Naturia Beast.

In this deck, the Naturia engine's main objective is to create deceivingly problematic threats for the opponent while also providing monsters to Synchro with. For example, Naturia Mole Cricket will often summon Naturia Camellia and Naturia Sunflower to the field; which would provide two monster effect negates. If your opponent chooses not to interact with this, Camellia also happens to be a Tuner monster; letting you Synchro with Sunflower and a Level 4 monster for a Level 10 Synchro. This can be especially scary when there are a lot of cards banished as the deck can summon Swordsoul Supreme Sovereign - Chengying, ending the game in an instant.

The Runick engine on the other hand supplies a constant stream of disruptive spells, extenders, and advantage through Runick Fountain. This makes the deck quite problematic to deal with; as it feels like you're constantly getting drowned out by an endless arsenal of Runick spells while the opponent draws 3 off Fountain every turn. This also synergizes incredibly well with Naturia Beast as it can provide Runick spells in grave to shuffle back while also protecting you from some of Runick's biggest enemies in Cosmic Cyclone, Lightning Storm, and Harpie's Feather Duster

We can also see 3 copies of Evenly Matched, 2 copies of Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju and 1 copy of Kurikara Divincarnate in the Main Deck with an additional copy of Kurikara in the Side Deck. All of these cards function as powerful board breakers with Gameciel and Kurikara being especially good for getting rid of problematic monsters. Kurikara has been speculated to be a great card for a long time as it can tribute away complete boards without much counterplay. This marks one of Kurikara's first major event top cut appearances; leading it to gain quite a bit of popularity in the week after. This makes things quite scary as if you're caught off guard, it's not uncommon to suddenly be staring down a big Kurikara with the end of the game following soon after. 

Kashtira Runick


Shunping Xu placed 3rd at the 250th YCS in Los Angeles with his interesting variant of Kashtira Runick!

For the past few events, Shunping has been doing quite well with his Kashtira Adventurer deck. But for this event, he brought something new and quite unique.

By combining the incredible consistency and aggressive interactions of Kashtira with the advantage generation and defensive interactions of Runick, Shunping's deck does what both archetypes do best; generate absolute advantage all while crippling your opponent's play. The main selling points of this deck is while they have no direct synergy, Runick does a lot of what Kashtira wants. It banishes cards, breaks boards, and supplies a constant stream of ways to make countering your board difficult for the opponent. This made Shunping's deck extremely difficult to deal with as you need to have answers for everything in order to beat it.

Elaborating on this further, while regular Kashtira may struggle against cards like Book of Moon and Book of Eclipse, Runick covers that weakness as the Runick spells will provide them with enough cover even if they get hit by one of these cards. Similarly, while Runick struggles with S/T removal such as Cosmic Cyclone and Lightning Storm, these are also cards that Kashtira don't really fear. This means in order to fully shut down Shunping's deck, you'll need a combination of cards that can do just that, which let's be honest.. isn't very likely. Of course, you can also hope that you have enough pushing power to end the game quickly or for the deck to not draw enough of one engine to establish its advantage generating machine. 



Jacob Banuelos placed 4th at the 250th YCS in Los Angeles and proved that he didn't need Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds to make it far with Floowandereeze at a big event.

Floowandereeze is a deck we haven't seen too much of ever since Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds bit the dust in the most recent Forbidden & Limited list. Many players believed that without Stormwinds, the deck wouldn't be able to hold the board well enough and therefore; dropped the deck altogether. But Jacob obviously didn't think so as he was able to get pretty close to the championship even without Stormwinds.

Jacob's build plays the standard Floowandereeze engine upping some of the ratios with 1 Floowandereeze & Snowl, 2 Floowandereeze & Stri, and 2 Floowandereeze and the Unexplored Winds. This gave him a bit more monsters he could see, considering he was only playing Pot of Duality and not playing Pot of Prosperity. He also played Jack-In-The-Hand as a way to search for a Level 1 bird to help ensure he sees a starter for his opening play.

Jacob also chose to play a variety of board breakers including 3 copies of Evenly Matched and a single Raigeki. These cards can also be searched using Triple Tactics Thrust which lets Jacob add the best S/T in regards to his current situation.Thrust can also be used in Game 2 and/or 3 to search for Harpie's Feather Storm, meaning even if Jacob gets hit by an Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring or Infinite Impermanence,  at least his opponent won't get to play much during their turn either.  

We can also see 1 copy of Dark Simorgh in the Side Deck. Simorgh can be searched through Floowandereeze & Eglen and is great to stop the opponent from setting problematic backrow. With Traptrix and Labyrnth being popular control decks this format, Simorgh can stop almost all of their play, ensuring you don't have to deal with all those annoying traps. To further drive this point home, there are also 2 copies of Royal Decree in the Side Deck. Incase Simorgh gets hit with a well-timed Infinite Impermanence, Decree really helps put the nail in the coffin against all those pesky Trap decks.


Kashtira continues their dominance with more than half of the Top Cut being Kashtira representatives. Although many players are trying to find counters to Kashtira, it feels like none have been overly successful since the start of the format.

Kurikara Divincarnate has started seeing more play after many players have started believing more in it. A well-timed Kurikara can single-handedly turn the game and in some cases, even end the game if you've tributed enough of your opponent's monsters.

This event also has one of the widest spreads with 17 unique deck types in the Top Cut. This includes but is not limited to, Scareclaw, Kaiju, Drytron and even P.U.N.K. making one of their very few Top Cut appearences.

With this being the last huge event of the meta and Cyberstorm Access on the horizon, it'll be interesting to see if anything can contend with Kashtira at YCS Philadelphia. With a bunch of old archetypes getting support, I'm definitely looking forwards to seeing if Kashtira will retain their dominance, or if an old favorite can step up to the plate after some cool new cards.


Week of March 31st - April 7th, 2023


April 1st - 2nd, 2023

  • 250th YCS Los Angeles 

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