Trinity Format – April 2018 Trinity Cup Deck Profiles

The April 2018 Trinity Cup has come and gone. It was organized through the Trinity Discord (here), and had 26 players. The Top 4 was as follows:

1st Place: TreeTopDuelist

2nd Place: guiltygearxx

3rd Place: (UltraInstinct) Burritoman93

4th Place: Prawnwizard

Thank you to all of our participants, and congratulations to the Top 4 on their performances. Now, each of them has agreed to give a short deck profile and tournament report.

1st Place: TreeTopDuelist’s HERO Control

40-card HERO Control
40-card HERO Control. The trinities are 1 extra copy of Elemental HERO Shadow Mist, and the co-forbidden pair of Dark Hole and Monster Reborn.

Why did you choose to run your deck?

My favourite decks to play are ones which allow both consistency and versatility. Linear gameplans are often easily disrupted, so I wanted something which could create offensive pressure, but not be ground out in the long game. HERO was the perfect choice for this: Multiple monster searchers and generic advantage cards allowed me to retain consistency and card advantage, meaning that I could dedicate a lot of maindeck space to control cards, whist also having a high likelihood of opening with a monster.

What was your deckbuilding philosophy when making this deck?

This deck was very different from the other recent HERO builds. Instead of trying to OTK as soon as possible, I opted to control the game, and then smash face with Elemental HERO Honest Neos when I saw an opening. The Trinity metagame is also impossibly diverse, meaning that I wanted to play lots of generically good cards which wouldn’t be dead in the majority of matchups. As a result, my side deck was hardly ever used.

What were some of your tech choices and “trinities?”

This segues quite nicely into my favorite tech cards – Armageddon Knight, and Shaddoll Dragon. A fair few decks play no backrow, but many others play a full suite of trap cards. As a result, cards like Mystical Space Typhoon are sometimes dead when drawn. On the flipside, not playing any Spell/Trap removal wouldn’t be a good idea, since most decks do play traps. Armageddon Knight, Foolish Burial, and Reinforcement of the Army are all effectively copies of MST in this deck, as they can all put a Shaddoll Dragon into the Graveyard. Doing so allows me to both minimize the amount of direct S/T removal in the deck, while also maintaining access to it. I talk more about the other techs on the Trinity Youtube channel, which you can find here.

How did you prepare for the meta, and would you change anything going forward?

I wasn’t expecting anything in particular, as the previous banlist had seemed to level the playing field. As a result, I just tried to play the most generically good cards possible – traps are generally useful against most decks! I never really needed to use the sidedeck, though I did side-deck a bunch of “Trap Hole” cards for Traptrix Rafflesia.

What were your matchups?

– My first match was against a WATER-synergy frog deck. I got blown out by True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer, but managed to apply enough pressure to 2-0 the opponent.

– Round 2 was against a really cool SPYRAL deck. It was close, and I feel that this was the hardest matchup in swiss. I don’t know much about Trinity SPYRAL, so I misplayed a lot. Both decks having an excellent grind game made it particularly difficult. In the end, I won 2-1.

– The next match was my only loss the whole tournament, and it was entirely due to me bricking both games. Game One, I opened Vyon, both Shadow Mists, and Polymerization. Game 2, I only saw side-deck cards. This was the only time that I’d bricked, which still leaves me confident on the consistency of the deck.

– The 4th Round was against Skull Servants. My opponent didn’t play any backrow, so I managed to counter his every move and win 2-0.

– The last round of Swiss was against Dragon Rulers. It was a really fun match! My opponent kept taunting me with his Amorphage Goliath, so I Monster Reborn‘d his own Goliath for the win! The Duelingbook replay is available here.

– In the Top 4, I went against Prawnwizard’s Field Spell Rank 4 Turbo, a control deck, and managed to have my board wiped by his Evilswarm Exciton Knight every single game. Despite that, the comeback power of HERO proved too much, and I managed to win 2-1. The Duelingbook replay is available here.

– For the Finals, I was up against guiltygearxx’s Zefra Pendulums. This deck was terrifying. Zefraniu managed to provide the opponent with a huge amount of negation, though I managed to push through with typical HERO shenanigans. The match was super intense, and you can watch a replay here!

Is your deck still playable in the current format?

Yes! The deck hasn’t been hit on the banlist at all. I might take out some of the less useful techs, like Enemy Controller, but there’s nothing which I wish I had played that I didn’t. A Mask Change for Masked HERO Acid could be cool, but I didn’t want to brick with so many similar cards in the deck (eg, Miracle Fusion). HEROs are very flexible with builds, so you can really go with whatever you like!

2nd Place: guiltygearxx’s Zefra Pendulums

45-card Zefra Pendulums
45-card Zefra Pendulums. The trinities are the semi-forbidden Nine Pillars of Yang Zing, the semi-forbidden Heavymetalfoes Electrumite, and the co-forbidden pair of Terraforming and Pendulum Call.

Why did you choose to run your deck?

At the start of March, Pendulum decks received a lot of hype with the release of Heavymetalfoes Electrumite, I figured that a build focused on summoning Electrumite using vanilla monsters would be strong. Zefra can take advantage of the tutoring opportunities of Electrumite to set up Zefraniu, Secret of the Yang Zing. Zefraniu give access to a series of strong trap cards which can stop your opponents plays. This plus the ability to go into some very powerful link monsters on your next turn puts a lot of pressure on the opponent. The deck can summon some of the most unstoppable boards in Trinity format, though it is very glass cannon.

What was your deckbuilding philosophy when making this deck?

The deck wants as many combo pieces as possible in order to consistently set up a formidable field first turn. The combo pieces come in 3 main categories: searchers, cards that special summon a pendulum, and normal monsters. The main combos require you to search out Zefraniu with either a search card or Electrumite. Since the field spell can search Zefraniu, I played a field spell engine. Throwing Dragon Ravine in the deck can help you send Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm for the combo or Destrudo the Lost Dragon’s Frisson for later. The combo to use Electrumite effectively is one normal monster and one special summon of a pendulum. This conserves both your pendulum summon and your summon limit summons.

To achieve this I played cards like Dragon Shrine and Foolish Burial (sending Darkwurm), Abyss Actor – Curtain Raiser, and Emergency Teleport / Unexpected Dai. For normal monsters I chose Metalfoes, which are summonable from both Dai and Teleport and can help you plus with Metalfoes Counter, Master and Vector Pendulum for the Draco Face-off engine, Dragonpulse Magician, which is searchable by Pendulum Call, and Flash Knight, which is searchable by RotA. A good combo is ending with Zefra pendulum monsters in your pendulum zone along with a Zefraniu and a set Nine Pillars. With this set up, you can negate a card then search Zefra War giving you an extra disruption on your opponent’s turn.

What were some of your tech choices and “trinities?”

The Magician engine is great because they are good scales with decent effects, and Pendulum Call glues the engine together with the ability to fix mismatched pendulum scales. Majespecters help by providing easy +1s on summon giving you a stronger longevity game. The Mythical Beast engine gives you access to a handful of fairly powerful monsters, particularly Mythical Beast Jackal King that can negate monster effects. I played some powerful synchros such as Void Ogre Dragon and Beelze but did not end up using them in tournament.

How did you prepare for the meta, and would you change anything going forward?

Because this deck has the advantage against any deck as long as it can set up its optimal board, the majority of my side deck was cards that would help me deal with my opponent’s board going second. I played MST, Cosmic, Twin Twisters and Anti-Magic Arrows to deal with backrow. Performapal Seal Eel and Performapal Changeraffe are also helpful to bait out negations while functioning as pendulum monsters for Electrumite. For Extra Deck matchups I had Dimensional Barrier and Amorphage Sloth. I had D.D. Crow, Called By The Grave, and Imperial Iron Wall for graveyard decks.

What were your matchups?

Round 1 was against Lightsworn. I opened well, but he had Effect Veiler and out grinded me game 1. Game 2 I managed to suppress his plays with counter traps. Game 3 was a grind game that ended with us both top-decking, luckily I managed to top-deck Armageddon Knight for Destrudo. (Writer’s Note: This was me, boddity77, playing Lightsworn! It was a real heartbreaker when he ripped the Armageddon Knight, I would have sworn I had it. T~T Congrats anyways!)

Round 2 was vs Frogs. Standard Matches for the first 2 games, I bricked game 3 but ended up getting by because of a win awarded because there was an illegal card in my opponent’s side deck.

Round 3 against True Draco Zoo. Both games I was able to establish strong fields that he couldn’t completely deal with.

Round 4 against Prawnwizard’s Field Spell Rank 4 Turbo. I won game 1 with a standard field, Game 2 Trickstar Reincarnation killed my hand and I ended up bricking. Game 3 I opened sub optimally and he managed to out grind me with Rank 4 monsters.

Round 5 against HERO OTK. I managed to go first, and set up good boards both game 1 and 3.

Top 4 against (UltraInstinct) Burritoman93’s Mekk-Knight Zoodiac. I was out grinded in game 1 but both game 2 and 3 I managed to get out insane boards and he couldn’t counter them.

Finals vs TreeTopDuelist’s HERO Control. Game 1 I opened mediocrely and ended up paying too many lifepoints for Destrudo. Game 2 He had Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit causing me to brick with an insane hand, I managed to come back somewhat with Yazi but he had Mirror Force.

Is your deck still playable in the current format?

It took a minor consistency hit by the semi-limitation of Zefraniu, but most likely new cards are what will push it out of the meta if anything. To play it anyways, either play 50 cards or take out the co-forbidden Magician engine and the Terraforming.

3rd Place: (UltraInstinct) Burritoman93’s Mekk-Knight Zoodiac

Mekk-Knight Zoodiac
40-card Mekk-Knight Zoodiac. The trinities are 1 extra copy of Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall, and the co-forbidden pair of Eater of Millions and Magical Scientist.

Why did you choose to run your deck?

I ran Zoo Knights cause I love Zoo and I thought that Mekk-Knights were the best engine to complement the Zoo deck, especially due to Zoodiac Drident being banned for a few formats.

My favorite deck ever to play in any format is Zoodiacs. I love their 1 card XYZ plays/toolbox and I love how you could play traps in that deck to complement their 1 card plays. The Zoodiacs complement the Mekk-Knights and vice versa. This is because the Zoodiacs help the Mekk-Knights with their column mechanic summoning while the Mekk-Knights provide a body and have a consistent search engine for the Zoo to operate. This was my idea and reasoning on why I wanted to run this build of Zoodiac for the April 2018 Trinity Format.

However, just because I love Zoodiacs does not mean that this was the deck I SHOULD HAVE run on April. In fact, I believe that this was my WORST deck that I could have brought to a Trinity Tournament. I did choose this deck because I love Zoodiacs and Mekk-Knights complement them. However, during some testing (which I did not have too much of) I figured out that my deck cannot handle 3000 attack beaters or defensive walls easily. In fact, I thought I would straight-up lose if someone summoned multiple monsters with high stats. The only reliable way I could get over those monsters semi-easily would be an XYZ Zoodiac monster that has Zoodiac Whiptail attached to it. However, miraculously, I made 3rd place and cannot argue with the result. If I were to play that month again, I would have chosen Pendulum as my deck.

What was your deckbuilding philosophy when making this deck?

My deckbuilding philosophy is to look at certain decks and see what they are capable of doing. However, I’m more of a defensive player when choosing a deck so I like to run more traps and control cards to control that game and try to gain advantage. This sometime leads to playing decks that have more board negates (like pendulum magicians) or cards that control the field (Spyrals because of Spyral Sleeper and Altergeist because of its amount of traps it runs and because of Multifaker and Siliquitous).

The one true deck that I’m comfortable playing that incorporates some of those elements are Zoodiac: They have a small toolbox of main deck and extra deck monsters that basically do everything (Pierce, banish, pop, special summon, etc). That toolbox backed up with good traps always got my attention to play them in any format, but Zoo thrives in this format especially due to its slower pace compared to other formats. Altogether, I love decks that incorporate a little of everything but I prefer to play a more defensive game and choose cards to implement that strategy. The Pro Tip of the day is to always be conservative with your plays, especially against backrow!

What were some of your tech choices and “trinities?”

My tech choices were Mind Control and Archfiend Eccentrick. They both were really useful during most of my matches. Although both are good going-second cards and helped out with the summoning of the Mekk-Knights for their column mechanic, they were both useful for different reasons. Mind Control took an opponent’s monster and converted it and other monster(s) that I controlled on the field to a useful link monster like Underclock Taker or Gaia Saber, the Lightning Shadow. Sometimes, it helped me go to a Rank 4 as well depending on the situation. Archfiend Eccentrick was a dual threat card: it either was placed on the pendulum scale to pop a backrow that I didn’t want to deal with or destroyed a monster that I can’t deal with at that moment.

My best side deck card that put in some good work was Called By The Grave. This card is super good against Graveyard decks (Stops Fairy Tail – Snow, Destrudo, Darkwurm, etc.) and is a counter to hand traps like Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit and Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. Every other card in my side deck was decent to subpar. If I could do one thing over to make this deck even more competitive (other than fixing a few cards in the main deck), it would have been to rebuild the side deck. I feel that there are a lot of cards that I have not explored, but I should explore the entire cardpool to find counters/checks against certain decks that my deck cannot handle.

How did you prepare for the meta, and would you change anything going forward?

I felt like I prepared for the pendulum matchup and for any graveyard decks mostly but I feel that this tourney was really diverse. Players were really bringing their own favorite decks to compete and just putting cards/techs to make their deck better for different matchups. For example, like previously stated my favorite deck is Zoodiac so I made a decent and consistent build of them and my result was 3rd place. Other players played their favorite decks too (like Heros, Dragon Rulers, Stun, etc.)

What were your matchups?

Round 1 (Tie): I did not play this round because we could not agree on a specific time to duel.

Round 2 (Win): Won 2-1 versus Sonny’s Hero deck. He outgrinded me game 1, due to my hand being a brick. I won games 2 and 3 by negating his Hero Lives and beating him with 4000 life points each of those games. The Duelingbook replay is available here.

Round 3 (Win): Won 2-1 against Gavone’s Frogs. I don’t remember much of this game, but I do remember winning the match by outgrinding him. The Duelingbook replay is available here.

Round 4 (Win): Won 2-1 against KrasherV’s Volcanic Paleozoic. I do not remember much of how this game went and realized after the match that I defeated a previously undefeated. I won game 1 by outgrinding his backrow. He won game 2, but I do not remember the specifics. Game 3 I believe I outgrinded him again. The Duelingbook replay is available here.

Round 5 (Win): Won 2-1 vs Prawnwizard’s Field Spell Rank 4 Turbo deck. Lost game 1 cause of MIRROR FORCE! Won games 2 and 3 from grinding him and for him not playing carefully against my backrow. The Duelingbook replay is available here.

Top 4 (Loss): Lost 2-1 versus GuiltyGear’s Pendulum Deck. I outgrinded my 1st game to a win, but lost games 2 and 3 because my opponent did just enough to lock me out of the game while I had little to no outs against his negate/stun boards. The Duelingbook replay is available here.

3rd Place (Win): Won 2-0 again versus Prawnwizard’s Rank 4 Deck. Both games my opponent made Tornado Dragon 1st Turn to counter my spells/traps, but I still outgrinded against him to win both games. The Duelingbook replay is available here.

Is your deck still playable in the current format?

Yes, my deck is very playable, (though definitely not the best option.) The list doesn’t even need to be changed because nothing was hit.

4th Place: Prawnwizard’s Field Spell Rank 4 Turbo

40-card Field Spell Rank 4 Turbo.
40-card Field Spell Rank 4 Turbo. The trinities are 2 co-forbidden pairs, Terraforming, Trickstar Light Stage, Trickstar Reincarnation, and Heavy Storm Duster.

Why did you choose to run your deck?

I was panicking last minute trying to figure out what deck I should run, and I realized a lot of the decks I was most scared of for the tournament lose to Trickstar Reincarnation or Trickstar Light Stage. Those 2 searchable cards could singlehandedly win me matchups against backrow and combo so all I had to cover for was Dragons/DRulers. Then the most consistent answer to DRulers I could think of was Traptrix Rafflesia so I decided to go with Trickstar R4nk.

What was your deckbuilding philosophy when making this deck?

Include as many direct answers to the best decks as possible. The deck wasn’t aiming to be good in a vacuum it was built to beat the specific decks I knew would be strong. I ended on a deck I think could beat some top players (guiltygearxx, MonoBlueTron) but still was good enough to beat whatever crazy decks I ran into in the early stages (Blue-Eyes Rituals, Skull Servants).

What were some of your tech choices and “trinities?”

Because this was aiming to be a R4nk deck primarily and consistency is really key for the deck to work, I chose the smallest Trickstar engine possible of Candina, Reincarnation, and Lightstage because in testing other Trickstars tended to brick hands. Decided to go with Heavy Storm Duster and Terraforming as my other trinities to further push the backrow matchup and increase consistency with the Trickstar engine. Black Garden was a card I planned on using to help beat DRulers, but I never got matched up with them so this card got sided out a lot of the time. Time-Space Trap Hole was my way to try to kill the DRuler advantage engine.

How did you prepare for the meta, and would you change anything going forward?

I would have taken out Abyss Dweller if I had a bit more time to test. R4nk needs high impact cards to win before you get out advantaged by engines and Abyss Dweller doesn’t cut it. It requires too many resources to make a r4nk and 1700 attack loses to too many top decks.

What were your matchups?

Volcanics was an absolutely brutal matchup for the other player. Trickstars completely counter the deck by slowly peeling away backrow and reincarnating the combo/searched cards. Game 1 against MonoBlueTron is in my opinion enough evidence to show that reincarnation should go back to semi. (Writer’s Note: It did.) Pendulums were a decent enough matchup that I won despite losing the coin toss that I thought would decide the match.

However, decks that I wasn’t prepared for like Zoodiac were really difficult for me to get over. My answers were just too teched out and I can’t keep up in the grind game if I don’t find my Trickstar cards.

Is your deck still playable in the current format?

No, with Reincarnation to semi-forbidden the deck gets a bit worse. Will have to probably cut Heavy Storm Duster if you want to keep the deck mostly the same and just replace with another goodstuff level 4.




YGOPRODeck writer, Duel Links player, and Trinity aficionado! February 2018 Trinity Cup Champion, and consistently top 1000 in the world in the KC Cups in Duel Links, with a high point of 137th place in the November 2017 KC Cup.

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