Table of Contents
- Deck Choice reasons
- Combo and plays
- Tourney Report
On the 11th of December, I had just completed a tiring lengthy day for our country’s Asia Championship Qualifiers. There were 111 participants, and the format for the tournament was a six-round Swiss followed by a harsh Top 16 cutoff to a single elimination playoff. This would be the first premier event of the quarter, following the OCG Forbidden and Limited list which took effect from October 2016.
Well, I guess it is now time to reveal my deck choice.
Zoodiac Yosenju Kaiju
I couldn’t escape the allure of playing Yosenjus (once more~) for a large-scale event, especially when you consider how the Zoodiacs can complement the Beast-Warrior archetype. The Zoodiacs’ ability to launch into plays that generate up to a +3 card advantage is simply too much to ignore and forgo.
Deck Choice reasons
The Zoodiacs are able to generate and replenish resources at an overwhelming rate, all with the use of only a single card; sometimes not even requiring a normal summon. This is a far cry from the deck builds I have been struggling with before – Demise Yosenjus. The deck had a very linear strategy and the lack of resources or bad hands can lead me to tumble lower and lower beyond salvation.
Zoodiacs allow for my Yosenju Kaiju deck to have a first turn play. Previously, nothing much can be done on my first turn since Yosenjus return to the hand during the End Phase. Now, with just a single Zoodiac combo piece, I am able to execute my Zoodiac combos to earn a search via Zoodiac Bullhorn, and a draw via Daigusto Emeral. On top of that, I have Zoodiac Drancia to pose as a threat alongside Daigusto Emeral when I complete my turn.
The Zoodiac engine is different. I can launch into explosive plays with just one card. For example, just by getting Zoodiac Marmorat onto the field, it allows me to summon Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King, effectively fetching Fire Formation spells such as Fire Formation – Tenki and Fire Formation – Tensu from my deck. This, as mentioned in my previous article about this deck, wasn’t possible before. The former grants me another search in addition to Zoodiac Bullhorn’s search, whereas the latter compensates for my game plan if Zoodiac Marmorat has used up my normal summon for the turn. Fire Formation – Tensu is also vital for OTKs, as the Yosenjus make use of the additional normal summon to flood the field.
Solemn Strike, often falling victim to Spell/Trap destruction, has been replaced by Dimensional Boundary since Zoodiac gained dominance. Solemn Strike was a more threatening obstacle to Yosenjus, preventing their first move right from the start, as opposed to Dimensional Boundary, which does close to nothing against the effect monsters Yosenjus. Furthermore, the Yosenju variant is quite unheard of in the competitive metagame. To start off, I am probably the only player in the competitive landscape hugging this set of beast-warriors since their debut, hoping they will see victory some day. For a while, I was even known as The Yosenju guy. I was hoping that the the rushdown OTK strategy would be sufficient for me to steal Game 1 via an OTK and the lack of appropriate Side Deck cards against my deck may make my Game 2 a much easier battle. The lack of Solemn Strikes standing in my way would also make the my Yosenju summoning tactics a lot easier.
That being said, I will have to face the challenge of the Forbidden Chalice, a card now commonly played in the Main Deck to prevent Artifacts’ effects from resolving. However, the usual play would be to keep Chalice in hand and reserve it for use during the player’s turn. Setting it on the field does have its merits, but that carries the risk of it getting blown away by Spell/Trap removal options without serving its purpose to stop floodgate-like effects like Artifact Scythe.
Combo and plays
A few additional things I have learnt about the deck since my last post and I’ve decided to share it.
Yosenjus now have a viable play to perform in their Main Phase 2. Involving Yosenju Kama 1 and Yosenju Kama 3, the former deals damage to trigger the latter’s search, searching out a second copy of Yosenju Kama 1. Entering an xyz summon using both Yosenjus on the board, summon Zoodiac Broadbull, which can search for a Beast-Warrior, namely Yosenju Kama 3. You have now replenished your resources and ended up with an additional monster – Zoodiac Broadbull. From there on, you can simply rank-up Zoodiac Broadbull into Zoodiac Drancia. Alternatively, if a lone Zoodiac Marmorat exists in the grave, place Zoodiac Tigress over Broadbull, attach Zoodiac Marmorat to Tigress and proceed with the combo.
If the opponent manages to escape the OTK, or if the damage dealt isn’t sufficient, Yosenju Kama 1 and Yosenju Kama 3 can work together to search out Yosenju Kama 2 instead, which is capable of a direct attack by itself. Given a lifepoints count at around 1500, opting to xyz summon into a defense positioned Gagaga Cowboy would snipe 800LP away from the opponent. Simply follow up with a direct attack from Yosenju Kama 2 to deliver the final blow. During your opponent’s turn, Gagaga Cowboy’s existence on the field would suffice as a distraction for your opponent to devote resources to get rid of him, given that their lifepoints now lie below the danger zone of being within 800LP. The beauty of this play is that the summoning of Yosenju Kama 2 and declaration of a direct attack involves no monster effect activation. Hence when sneaking in this final game-deciding damage, Solemn Strike or even Solemn Judgment would be unable to stop it.
This is an old play, but if Forbidden Chalice is used on Yosenju Kama 2 during the Damage Calculation, I would be able to deal a whooping 2200 points of direct attack. Chalice, activated during Damage Calculation, will not stop the direct attacking by Yosenju Kama 2, although Kama 2 will be grounded on the field during the End Phase, unable to be returned to the hand as its effect has been negated.
Carrying on from previously, I decided to make some modifications to the deck so as to boost its effectiveness and competitive edge.
|Monsters||Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju x1
Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju x1
Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju x1
Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju x1
Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju x1
Yosenju Kama 2 x2
Yosenju Kama 1 x3
Yosenju Kama 3 x3
Zoodiac Viper x1
Zoodiac Marmorat x3
Yosenju Tsujik x1
Maxx “C” x3
|Spells||Harpie’s Feather Duster x1
Monster Reborn x1
Interrupted Kaiju Slumber x3
Cosmic Cyclone x2
Twin Twister x2
Elemental Triangle of the Zoodiacs x3
Fire Formation – Tensu x1
Fire Formation – Tenki x3
|Traps||Dimension Barrier x3|
|Extra||Number S39: Utopia the Lightning x1
Number 39: Utopia x1
Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Tiger King x1
Diamond Dire Wolf x1
Lightning Chidori x1
Evilswarm Exciton Knight x1
Daigusto Emeral x1
Gagaga Cowboy x1
Zoodiac Tigress x2
Zoodiac Drancia x2
Zoodiac Wildbow x2
Zoodiac Broadbull x2
|Side||Artifact Lancea x2
Denko Sekka x2
D.D. Crow x1
Forbidden Chalice x3
Book of Eclipse x1
Torrential Tribute x3
Imperial Iron Wall x3
Kyoutou Waterfront and other Kaiju support cards are excluded as I feel that they distract the deck too much from its main goal, and that is to OTK and dish out as much damage as possible in a single turn.
Juragedo was dropped, despite being a very helpful member of the deck, for partly the same reason. Lacking the Beast-Warrior archetype status, along with its awkward summoning timing window, if I find myself in a situation where resources are limited and I need to turn the tables, Juragedo does more harm than good. It, at least in my opinion, allows me to win more when I am already leading in terms of advantage. Sadly, that is not what I am looking for in this deck. I opted for consistency, and hence, bye bye Juragedo.
With reference to the combo play mentioned above, I concluded that Yosenju Kama 1 and Yosenju Kama 3 were the key components of the deck. And thus, I kept them at three and decided to forgo the third copy of Yosenju Kama 2.
Most of it consists of the Zoodiac engine. Zoodiac Tigress is played at two to allow me access to the Main Phase 2 play involving Zoodiac Broadbull.
Diamond Dire Wolf makes use of a Zoodiac xyz monster which has exhausted its xyz materials, with the most common example being Zoodiac Drancia. Bearing 2000ATK, it contributes greatly to an OTK as an offensive Rank4 xyz. Lastly, it is useful for either baiting or clearing face down backrows that might have been reserved for my Yosenjus.
Gagaga Cowboy is needed for OTKs and inflicting the last ounce of damage, which is pretty satisfying, especially if your opponent feels profoundly relieved at having survived the Battle Phase.
Forbidden Chalice was actually meant as a counter-side to Flying “C”s that might be used against me, but it ended up as my only answer to Shirayuki in my Infernoids matchup.
D.D. Crow was played at one so as to not conflict with Imperial Iron Wall and Artifact Lancea. All three were meant against Infernoids.
Denko Sekka would be sided in against trap-heavy decks such as Paleozonics.
Round 1 – Vs Odd-Eyes Magician OO
The two games were a fast one as my opponent’s deck was competitively inclined. I took the advantage of the open field during the two games and rushed for tons of damage.
Round 2 – Vs Infernoids OXX
I won my first game after making my opponent think twice about flooding the field by activating my Maxx “C” after a mill by The Grass is Always Tastier on the Other Side. I ended up with an additional draw of two cards, and even though my opponent mirrored my move with his own Maxx “C”, I ignored it and went ahead with my plays. Going all out, I eventually managed to gather sufficient monsters onto the field and elicited a surrender from my opponent.
Game 2 was tough for me as Fairy Tale – Snow started becoming a very annoying problem. Flipping my monsters face down, my Yosenjus who were meant to poke for damage ended up being incapable of returning back to my hand. A creative attempt to pass a Level8 Kaiju to him prevented any Infernoids summons for a while. But eventually, when he gathered his combo pieces, there was no mercy as he exacted his revenge, taking back Game 2 to bring the round into its final game. Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju was banished for the summoned Fairy Tale – Snow, allowing his Infernoids to flood the field once more.
A timely Twin Twisters, aimed at my Fire Formation – Tensu stopped me dead in my tracks, surprising me as I wasn’t expecting it. This disadvantageous two-for-one card exchange from my opponent’s end paid off ultimately, as I was unable to OTK that turn, and he managed to turn the tables. Void Madness summoned a wall of monsters to defend himself when the time was called and we were left with two turns each to finish the game. Only one Infernoid Decatron was summoned as the first copy was milled and he drew into the second one. Milling Infernoid Devyaty, my handful of Yosenjus were unable to gather on the field and with that, I lost Game 3.
The second round of the day was rough. Not only did I realize the ineffectiveness of cards like Imperial Iron Wall and Artifact Lancea against Fairy Tale – Snow, since Snow banishes as cost, I completely neglected the lockdown that Infernoids could set up with the aid of their new support card – Void Madness. Sheer madness is more like it. Being vastly unprepared for facing Infernoids, I had no doubt that matchups against this deck would be the toughest of the day. My opponent did eventually finish at Top 16, losing to Kaiju Zoodiacs in the Top 16 playoffs.
Round 3 – Vs Infernoids XX
As if I had jinxed and tempted fate, my opponent for the third round was also piloting Infernoids, although his was a different variant involving Reasoning and lesser traps.
My opponent struggled at the start with a decent mill, and managed to summon out Infernoid Onuncu. He did dedicate all his resources into that summon, along with some xyz monsters that joined the field from his Zoodiac combo plays. I, on the other hand, was starting to witness my luck running out, as I opened with no Zoodiac combo pieces, though I made do with my bad hand and xyz summoned Evilswarm Exciton. Exciton cleared his board but left me with no additional resources. It became a rush for damage before Onuncu could hit the field again, a race which I lost. It was a close game, as Onuncu finished me off, with my set Dimensional Boundary incapable of stopping it. My next draw would be a Elemental Triangle of the Zoodiacs, but sadly the turn to draw it never arrived.
Game 2 got worse for my opponent as he opened with a bad mill filled with spells, hand traps, and two Fairy Tale – Snow. An attempt to test his luck once more ended up in failure, as Reasoning, which I answered to with [Level 1], summoned his third Fairy Tale – Snow without milling any additional cards. However, I had a poor opening hand, and despite drawing into Zoodiac Marmorat, I was unable to xyz summon as Fairy Tale – Snow stood in my way. Game 2 was more of a Fairy Tale beatdown since the Infernoid didn’t get/need to make an appearance. The cards in my hand weren’t right for this game and I was outplayed by my opponent who managed to make the best out of his situation at hand. I lost, but enjoyed the game.
After the two games with Infernoids, I realize that both of my opponents had the good fortune of opening with Zoodiac cards in their 60 card decks, whereas I, with a 40 card deck, had’t seen my copies of Interrupted Kaiju Slumber or Elemental Triangle of the Zoodiacs for the entire day, making me question the theory of probability.
Round 4 – Frog Zoodiacs OO
My opponent couldn’t get his combo to start off for the two games. I had Maxx “C” and Artifact Lancea (in my second game) to keep Toadally Awesome at bay. And even when it did reach the field, the two cards I obtained from Maxx “C” got me a Kaiju monster to easily out it. From there on, it was just constant assaults to bring his lifepoints to zero.
Round 5 – Vs Metalfoes Yang Zing OO
My opponent had a weak opening with only a single Yang Zing monster and a copy of Nine Pillars of the Yang Zing, serving as his only backrow, standing in my way. I summoned a Kaiju over to his field, rendering his counter trap useless for the turn. With Elemental Triangle of the Zoodiacs in my hand, I proceeded with my OTK game plan, which my opponent had no answer to. Being able to dish out over 8000 attack damage, I did however, score a praise from the opponent who noted that my deck was an interesting variant.
In our second game, my opponent took the lead, hoping to be able to set up his perfect lockdown this time. Unfortunately for him, I had Maxx “C” to discourage him. Lamenting that he never got to perform his goal of the day, he took on the challenge and allowed me a grand 20-card draw. He ended his turn with satisfaction, and a field consisting of Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy, Void Ogre Dragon and Fullmetalfoes Alkahest along with a Yang Zing monster as a fodder for his two Nine Pillars of the Yang Zing in the Spell/Trap zone. With a huge amount of resources, I was able to tear apart his field. While I did lose my ability to activate Interrupted Kaiju Slumber as I drew into all my Kaiju monsters, I summoned one of the many I had in my hand onto his field, once again by tributing his Yang Zing monster. With only the two dragons to worry about, I went ahead and normal summoned all four of my Yosenjus in succession, among which were two Yosenju Kama 1. Reserving his Fullmetalfoes Alkahest’s effect for my Zoodiacs, since he believes the Yosenju to be a smokescreen (which he is right), I was free to do as I please. Both Kama 1s bounced Hope Harbinger and Void Ogre Dragon back to the Extra Deck. I followed up shortly with an xyz summon into Lightning Chidori, successfully baiting Alkahest’s pseudo-Relinquished effect. From there on, the Zoodiac engine did their work. With Fire Formation – Tensu in hand, I committed a second normal summon of the turn, using only two Yosenjus this time. Add a Kaiju onto my side into the mix, and I had enough to finish him off in a dramatic OTK, winning me my fifth game.
The game was a humble reminder that I had the option of accepting the Maxx “C” challenge to flood my field via special summons without the fear of getting a board wipe by Interrupted Kaiju Slumber if my opponent ends up drawing into his Kaiju monsters. Dark Hole is still a threat though, but I will still embark on this high-risk, high-reward route if I have a Dimensional Boundary ready to be activated. Without access to xyz summons, the Zoodiacs are pretty much crippled for the turn. My Yosenjus, if sufficient in numbers, can then follow up with an assault the following turn.
Round 6 – Vs Lightlords OXO
I won game 1 with a rush down strategy and got slaughtered by Judgement Dragon in the second. The highlight was in the third game that started with a dice roll to decide who would take the lead, and I was forced to go first, as time has been called. Being an OTK-based deck, going first would put me at a disadvantageous spot as I lost one Battle Phase, but I improvised and went for resource-farming by entering into an xyz summon of Daigusto Emeral. I ended the turn, pleased with what I had in hand. For my opponent, bad luck struck. A bad mill from The Grass is Always Tastier on the Other Side with completely no monsters, he tried his best to compensate for that attempting to fill his graveyard with more Lightsworns. Minerva, Lightsworn Saint was summoned, but couldn’t use its grave effect during my turn as I took it out with a Kaiju. Still, I couldn’t end him during that turn as Spiritual Swords of Revealing Light was milled previously. I did what I could with an attack by S39: Utopia the Lightning onto the Kaiju monster on his side, and continued to press for more damage via Gagaga Cowboy in the Main Phase 2.
A final gamble by my opponent – he summoned Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn, which was when instincts almost got the better of me, as I was inclined to destroy with Zoodiac Drancia to prevent any mills, but I remained calm enough in the tense atmosphere to check his graveyard, which at that point of time consisted of three Lightsworn monsters. So I just merely prayed without providing any response to his monster summon. The final mill went through, but the required fourth Lightsworn monster wasn’t in the two milled cards. Unable to tear through my defenses to make up for the difference in lifepoints, the duel came to a close with my victory. Turns out I dodged a huge bullet though, as he revealed to me after the game his (not one, not two but…) THREE Judgment Dragons in hand.
WOAH WOAH WOAH
The state of Singapore’s Meta
Wind Witch Eidolon, humorously nicknamed WWE by players due to its initials, took the day by storm. Securing victory for the event, it outmatched Kaiju Zoodiacs and stood in the way of Infernoids, looking to cause an upset in the metagame. Wind Witch monsters act as an engine for a quick summon of Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, which stands in the way of Zoodiac decks who aim to perform their combo plays. Their archetype’s unique method of fusion summoning allows Eidolon Beast to manipulate the opponent’s graveyard, and simply by banishing a copy of Zoodiac Marmorat can already cripple the entire Zoodiac engine.
Fluffals made a more impressive mark during this tournament, amounting to about 8 users. (~10%) I apologize for the lack of specific stats, but not being part of the tournament organization team meant that I only had my eyes and ears to deduce each deck’s representation rate.
Infernoids were perhaps the dark horse of the tournament. Previous numbers were low single digits, three or four players piloting them. And today, we have at least 10 players using them as their weapon of choice. Another group 5 players, played other decks such as Chaos Dragons and Lightlords, similarly abusing the mills generated from
The Grass is Always Tastier on the Other Side Lawnmowing Next Door, but failed to produce the same results as Infernoids. There were another handful of Frog variants on the day itself as well, with my friend K.Xavage playing his Paleozonics Frogs but finished only with a score of 3-3.
Various other rogue or lesser known decks included Blue-Eyes, Metalfoes (with and without Zoodiacs), Nekroz, Chain Burn, Bujin, Phantom Abyss, Ritual Burning Abyss and probably plenty more which I didn’t get to witness first hand.
In terms of numbers in the Top 16, Zoodiac decks were actually lacking. Unlike previous tournament situations, as reported in the weekly revealed winning decklists from Japan and China, the playoffs for the Top 16 weren’t occupied by Zoodiac decks. Eidolon Beast competed for the crown (and eventually won the tournament) while there were three Infernoid decks in the Top 16 playoffs.
Fatal mistakes and errors
I prepared intensively against Zoodiac deck variants, but completely underestimated the tricks that Infernoids have up their sleeves, despite expecting them to make an appearance. By summoning two Decatrons from the effect of Void Madness, they can mill their boss monsters, granting Decatron the ability to negate a Spell/Trap AND Monster effect, effectively constructing a lockdown. While I was never on the receiving end of it, Infernoid Devyaty alone was sufficient to be the bane of my deck’s existence, especially since Interrupted Kaiju Slumber didn’t answer my prayers. The threat of Fairy Tale – Snow was also unaccounted for, and I consider that to be the main reason for my losses in my Infernoids matchup. Being capable of summoning itself again and again, it blocked my attacks and interfered with my xyz summoning plans by flipping my monsters face down.. More copies of D.D. Crows would have worked against it.
I was also impressed with the incorporation of the Zoodiac engine into the deck, allowing them to access the Bujin xyz monsters lineup beyond Bujintei Tsukiyomi and Bujintei Hiruko. Bujinki Amaterasu allowed them to retrieve their banished cards back to their hand. A play from my Round 4 opponent, Andrew, made during our second game left me in awe. Attempting to recover from the bad mill, which no Infernoids were milled, he proceeded to banish up to 14 cards to special summon his other two copies of Fairy Tale -Snow from the grave after Reasoning summoned the third copy. All three of them xyz summoned into Bujinki Amaterasu. He special summoned a monster back to his field (my memory fails me, couldn’t remember what it was), and when my turn came, he added Maxx “C” back to his hand via Ameratsu’s effect, and used it right away before I even arrived at my Main Phase 1.
Impressed beyond words, the only response I could offer to his cheeky smile was repeatedly laughing and exclaiming wow.
Familiar with Yosenjus, I didn’t commit any unforgiving misplays that costed me games that day. Thankfully.
While Wind Witch Eidolons are able to produce better results than the Zoodiacs for now, do note the small sample size of only 1111 players for this event. In Japan, the deck isn’t as popular as it is here in Singapore, but this might change soon.
To me, the game is still healthy, with room for interactions between players – most of which involves laughter, cheeky smiles, death stares as the field setup gets torn apart after traps & effects gets baited and on top of that, friendship gets destroyed along with the board monsters as Interrupted Kaiju Slumber is activated, which is why I still play. Speedroid Terrortop still costs an arm and a leg though. Zoodiacs isn’t that bad as it seems. I don’t feel that this few weeks has been a Tier 0 unfriendly meta. Compared to back when Dragon Rulers were at three, and Pepe, this quarter of the year pales in comparison.
I am glad I am able to achieve a decent score of 4-2 with my favorite deck and archetype. I attended four consecutive events with Yosenjus (this is the fourth) and had failed at breaking the threshold of a 2-X score previously. It is indeed fortunate that the Zoodiacs were able to give Yosenju the push to grant it a competitive edge. While I have no regrets, it is indeed frustrating to be one win away from making it for the top cut, although I did not even perform well enough be placed at a higher placing among my peers with similar scores. My initial losses took a toll on the tiebreaker system, placing me at 29th. Nevertheless, I will continue working hard in hopes of making a name for myself one day, with Yosenjus!!! Moving on, I will have to find ways to compensate for the deck’s loss of Fire Formation – Tenki in the upcoming months.
At this point I would like to thank all readers for your precious time and patience to read this article of mine. For other Yosenjus lovers out there, I hope you will end up enjoying playing this variant as much as I did. Do let me know if you discover any crucial modifications for the deck and I will be glad to answer any questions you have about my deck as well.
Ken Sir (The guy who spelt Terrortop as Terratop but I got it right this time round)