Table of Contents
- Rounds and Matchups
Recently, I attended the Las Vegas regional in hopes to earn an invite. It was my first regional of the new season and it turned out to be a great success! With 2 losses throughout the day, I ended up placing 12th in the 245 player regional. It was a total of 8 rounds of swiss. I played what many players would think is the best deck of the format: Sky Striker Orcust. I was originally going to play Pendulum or Mekk-Knight, but I opted for a deck that can perform well going first or second.
Here is the deck I used for the event:
Any Thoughts, Changes, or Recommendations to the Build?
As far as the build goes, it’s pretty standard. However, there are a couple of changes I would have made in hindsight. For one, I really missed Called by the Grave, and I was considering removing the Phantazmays for them. I haven’t tested with Called by the Graves yet though. Phantazmay is a great monster for Masquerena’s effect and puts immense pressure on decks like Sky Striker or Salamangreat, but it also turns off Impermanence and your Striker spells. He adds to the Dark monster counts as well, allowing you to use him for Allure. The removal of Phantazmay is debatable and I personally feel it’s a card you play at three or zero. I would also take out 1 Dark Ruler No More for a free slot in the side.
Adding Afterburners in the main was a last-minute decision. There were many times when I’d run out of cards to search with Engage, but then Afterburners isn’t really great compared to Shark Cannon and Widow Anchor. It did put in work though, so I don’t regret it and would keep it.
The 3rd Galatea never really came up, but its existence allowed me to play less conservatively. Also, Zeroboros came up 0 times that event, no pun intended. However, it is still is an option to consider if your opponent doesn’t respect your Masquerena.
Rounds and Matchups
Round 1: Lunalight Orcust 2-0
I won the die roll and opted to go first. My hand was decent. I didn’t open a starter, but Hornet Drones and Harp Horror did the trick. I ended on a standard board of I:P, Babel, and a bunch of Orcusts in GY.
To be honest, I wasn’t really familiar with the Lunalight archetype this format, so my plays might have been questionable. He normals Kaleido Chick. At this point, I use I:P’s effect to make Knightmare Unicorn shuffle it away. I still wasn’t sure if that was the right call or not. The important thing is, as long as I live, I can easily come back and regain control. However, he still advanced his plays. He scaled Tiger, revived Zephyros, and made a small combo to access the Orcust engine and make Galatea. This triggered the Phantazmay in my hand, drawing me Ash Blossom and shuffling back another card. He set the Babel with Galatea and climbed into Longirsu, which then sent my linked Phantazmay to the GY. He then revived Galatea with Skeleton and overlayed into Dingirsu, sending my set Drones to the GY. He then ran over Unicorn with Dingirsu and passed.
I returned the favor by making my own Longirsu in the EMZ, sending his linked Dingrisu away. I then activated Afterburners. He didn’t chain anything, so I popped both his Longirsu and Babel. I overlayed Dingirsu and swung, and he scooped.
Game 2 he went first. His hand must have been awkward because he ended up on a 2 material Apollousa, Abyss Dweller, and a Longirsu with Babel setup. This was a strong board, but nothing a Pankratops can’t tear up. He activates Dweller on my Standby Phase and I summon Pankratops. I swing over Apollousa and tribute him to destroy Longirsu. After loading up some spells in the GY with Shark Cannon and Widow Anchor, I target Dweller with Afterburners. There wasn’t a Cymbal Skeleton in his GY, so I was able to freely pop the Babel as well. I just end on Kagari and a set Crescendo.
On his turn, he destroys his own Tiger and my set Crescendo with Twin Twisters. However, his options were very limited so he makes Trisbaena and attacks my Kagari and ends. I search Gizmek with Crescendo. I topdeck Harp Horror and proceeded to combo with it and Gizmek. After summoning Dingirsu he concedes again.
After the match, my opponent admitted he didn’t know his deck very well, but he at least he still got a decent combo going.
Round 2 Mirror Match 0-2
He wins the die roll and goes first. I open no hand traps as he gets the Engage plus starter combo. I was able to last a good amount of time because of some of his misplays midgame, but I lost control when he banished my Babel with Trisbaena.
Game 2 I go first. It starts with double Allure and ROTA to load up my spells in the GY but I was unable to dig for the Engage. I normal Armageddon Knight to dump Harp Horror, but Harp Horror was negated by Ash Blossom. I set Impermanence and pass. On his turn, I was able to Nibiru him quite early because he had Engage and a starter again. However, the token had well over 6000 ATK and 3100 DEF. He passes, and I was unable to draw a starter or an Orcust monster to send with Orcustrated Return. I then lost to my own Token and his Orcust combo.
Many people believe mirror matches are a true test of skill, but it isn’t the case. Of course, some level of skill is involved, but most of the time it comes down to who opens better.
Round 3 Pendulum 2-0
I lose the die roll and start sweating when he activates Servant of Endymion. I had an Ash Blossom in hand, but I didn’t want to be forced to use it on Servant. He then activates Pendulum Call discarding his other Servant. This was my moment to Ash. Luckily, he didn’t have any other spells outside of his other Pendulum scale so he Pendulum summoned Purple Poison Magician and passed. I pick apart his board by sending his Purple with Longirsu and sending his Servant with Dingirsu. I swing and pass. He topdecks Chronograph Sorcerer which conflicted with his other high scale and then scooped shortly after.
Game 2 he surprisingly made me go first. I do my standard combo of I:P and Babel with a set Widow Anchor. I wasn’t really sure what he had planned. He starts with Dragon Shrine sending and summoning Darkwurm. He then searches and scales Supreme King Gate Zero. After scaling a high scale, he performs a massive pendulum summon of 4 monsters from his hand. I don’t know if he forgot if Topologics were a thing, so I summoned Topologic Bomber Dragon and nuked his MMZs by summoning the Gizmek Orochi that was dumped by Orcust Knightmare earlier. He passes and ends up forfeiting soon after.
After the match, I asked about his decision to make me go first. He sided Chaos Hunters and Lanceas but didn’t see them. Also, for next time, it probably would have been better for me to summon Zeroboros to clear the scales as well.
Round 4 Lunalight Orcust 2-1
Another Lunalight Orcust. I win the die roll, but my hand was incredibly awkward. I still end up making a Bomber Dragon turn 1 with 4 triggers ready to go. On his turn, he kept baiting me to use Bomber’s effect every time he brought out 2 level 4s. I wasn’t going to allow him to make Azathot and freely combo. However, after the 3rd time, he was still playing. I really hate Zephyros, Yellow Marten, and Tiger. I admit I got tilted at that point and forgot to use Hornet Drones when he summoned 2 level 4s for the 4th time. Then I get OTKd by Borrelsword Dragon and Dingirsu.
Game 2 I did some plays but I also had Nibiru and a Shark Cannon ready. I was able to Shark Cannon his Pankratops and destroy his Nyarla. After he committed a few more summons, I dropped Nibiru and he scoops soon after.
Game 3 He summons Danger!? Tsuchinoko? discarding Harp Horror. I meet him with an immediate Lancea. He finds a way to special Yellow Marten and ends turn. On my Standby, he activates his own Lancea, putting me in a pinch. I summon Pankratops and Mathematician to dump Harp Horror, then Foolish Gizmek to the GY. I swing over both of his monsters with mine, and his Lancea prevented Marten from getting banished.
On his turn, he makes Outer Entity Nyarla, which forced my Pankratops to destroy it. He resorts to the Orcust engine to advance his plays, but Nibiru said hello. He passes with a Token and a Harp Horror. I special Gizmek on his end phase and proceed to OTK with Gizmek and Borrelsword on my turn.
He was definitely a lot better than my 1st round opponent, but I have yet to see the full potential of Lunalight Orcust in this format.
Round 5 Thunder Dragon 2-1
My next opponent was Jovanny Castillo, who I recognized from his success in YCS Ft. Worth. I win the die roll and he dropped Phantazmay and Impermanence on my Galatea’s summon. This put me in a pinch, but luckily I had World Wand and Drones in my hand. I activate Drones and link the monsters into Barricadeborg Blocker and discard World Wand to advance my plays. I manage to get my usual board with I:P and Babel.
On his turn, he attempts to enter battle immediately to force my I:P. I link into Longirsu and sent his Phantazmay to the GY. From that point, the game became a 22 minute festival of grinding. His 1st turn managed to break my board and end with double Titan and his own Dingirsu. On my turn, I revive Longirsu with Skeleton and he destroys my Babel with Titan. He then activates Thunder Dragonmatrix. I had no response, and he misplays by attempting to destroy my Longirsu that was pointing to his Titan in the EMZ. This misplay hurt a lot, as now I was definitely up in the grind game then. I send Titan with Longirsu’s effect and send the other one with my own Dingirsu. The board was now just a Dingirsu on both sides of the field. He manages to come back a few more times but eventually conceded.
Game 2 was incredibly quick. I summon Armageddon Knight, and my Harp Horror got D.D. Crowed. I had to pass and he destroyed me. That game didn’t even last a few minutes. In Game 3, there were 9 minutes left, and I was to make sure I wouldn’t take any damage on his turn. I do my normal combo and went for Topologic Bomber Dragon with I:P’s effect. He used Batteryman Solar‘s effect to dump Thunder Dragonhawk and activated Thunder Dragon in hand. I forget to destroy the Solar, so he tributes it to summon Thunder Dragon Colossus. He summoned it under Bomber’s arrow which triggered it. My opponent banishes Dragonhawk to mulligan 4 cards but draws nothing good. He passes. On my turn, I go straight to battle and hit the Colossus for 3k damage with Bomber’s effect. Babel was still up, so I revive Dingirsu to send the Colossus and hit for another 2600. I activate Gizmek to finish it off and he concedes.
After the match, he showed me he drew into Gamma to save himself from Gizmek but also drew Driver and a bunch of other dead cards.
Round 6 Altergeist 2-0
My next opponent was another guy I recognized from Ft. Worth; I even had dinner with him. I win the die roll and set up the usual board of I:P and Babel. He draws for his turn, looks at his hand, and quietly scoops to keep his deck’s information hidden. During siding, I was 80% sure this guy was still playing Altergeist, but I wanted to side as safely as possible. I take out cards that could potentially be bad in a certain matchup, like Phantazmay and D.D. Crows and put in cards that are generically good going 2nd like Pankratops and Evenly Matches. I also find space for Lanceas in the off chance that he was playing something like Orcust, and to also save me from good going 2nd cards like Evenly Matched, System Down, and Cosmic Cyclone.
He goes first and summons Altergeist Marionetter, setting Altergiest Haunted Rock. Then, he activates the trap to send Altergeist Silquitous to the GY. He then revives the Silquitous by sending Haunted Rock to the GY. He sets backrow and ends his turn. My hand was absolutely perfect for dissecting his board. I start with Afterburners, popping his Silquitous. Luckily, there wasn’t a Spoofing set. I special Pankratops which baited the Solemn Strike. I then special Dark Grepher discarding Knightmare Orcust and uses its effect to dump World Wand using Gizmek as cost. However, both Wand and Knightmare were shuffled by his tech card The Transmigration Prophecy. It didn’t matter though; he scooped when I normal summoned Harp Horror.
Round 7 True Draco 0-2
I was sure I was in for another mirror match, but my opponent had no extra deck. Winning the die roll, I open an unplayable hand. I set all my spells and traps and activated Allure, but I drew into Engage and Mathematician and sent that beautiful hand to the GY. Seeing him comfortably play Draco caused me to scoop.
Game 2 I go first again, and I open another unplayable hand. I was beyond tilted. The only play I could do was special Gizmek, but activating it would just give him more resources. I decided to hold it until my life points were incredibly low but after 3 turns of drawing dead cards like Orcustrated Return and Babel, I just concede. The match lasted 7 minutes.
Round 8 Salamangreat 2-1
My final round was off to an awful start. I lose the die roll and he goes first. I D.D. Crow the Salamangreat Roar he tries to retrieve with Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf, and he ends with Wolf, Stallio, and a set Impermanence. I start with my Drones play and grabbing back Engage with Kagari. After, I destroy his Impermanence and Salamangreat Sanctuary with Twin Twisters and force the Balelynx’s banish with Afterburners. My 3 spells in the grave were ready, so I activate Engage which forced an Ash Blossom. I normal Mathematician to send Harp Horror. However, my Harp was negated by Skull Meister and I end my turn after killing his Sunlight Wolf with Kagari. I soon lost control of the game and conceded.
Game 2 I go first and I was met with an immediate Lancea. I wasn’t worried though, I was guaranteed to live the next turn thanks to Nibiru. I set Widow Anchor and pass. He proceeds to Salamangreat combo by summoning Salamangreat Foxy, then Balelynx, then Foxy again discarding Salamangreat Jack Jaguar. He links Foxy and Balelynx for Wolf. 4 summons. He then uses Sanctuary to reincarnate link the Wolf and it was met with a Nibiru. He passes his turn.
I was about to go off again but Knightmare Orcust was negated by Skull Meister. I kill his Token with Nibiru and ends. He then tries to come back by making Salamangreat Miragestallio in his EMZ but Ash Blossom made him concede.
Game 3, the final game of the day. He opts to go first but seemed to have opened a bad hand. His board ended on a Sunlight Wolf and a set card. I start by destroying his Impermanence with Jamming Waves and was allowed to do my full combo once I realized he had zero hand traps to stop me. Then I send his Wolf with Dingirsu and hit him for 4400 total damage. I end my turn with Galatea, Babel, Crescendo, Widow Anchor, Shark Cannon, and a loaded GY. There was absolutely no way for him to break this. I stop him on summoning Balelynx by taking it with Anchor and chaining Shark Cannon to summon the Wolf targeted by Jack Jaguar. He passes and I kill him next turn, ending the match!
Overall, I was happy with my performance and my deck. However, there is always room for improvement in both aspects. All my opponents were great; they were very respectful and nice. I hope to perform better the next time I play at a regional.
Lives in Southern California as an active player and judge.
Favorite Color: Blue