written by mike thomas
After just barely missing out on a top eight finish last weekend at the Indianapolis, IN regional,
but accomplishing my goal of earning an invite to the 2018 North American World
Championship Qualifiers, I came into this weekend with the goal of achieving what I could not in
(Continue reading below.)
After eight rounds of swiss, and roughly 130 players in attendance, I managed to not only
achieve my goal of finishing within the top eight players, but also win the entire regional. For
this event, I chose once again to play a pure Zoodiac deck, making some minor alterations from
last weekend’s list.
3 Zoodiac Whiptail
2 Zoodiac Ratpier
2 Zoodiac RamRam
2 Zoodiac Thoroughblade
3 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
2 Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
1 Maxx “C”
1 Kumongous, The Sticky String Kaiju
1 Gameciel, The Sea Turtle Kaiju
3 Zoodiac Barrage
3 Fire Formation - Tenki
3 Cosmic Cyclone
2 Pot of Desires
2 Dark hole
1 Soul Charge
1 Shuffle Reborn
3 Dimensional Barrier
2 Blind Obliteration
1 Zoodiac Combo
1 Missus Radiant
1 Zoodiac Boarbow
2 Zoodiac Hammerkong
2 Zoodiac Tigermortar
3 Zoodiac Chakanine
3 Zoodiac Broadbull
3 Zoodiac Drident
1 Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
1 Jizukiru, The Star Destroying Kaiju
2 Interrupted Kaiju Slumber
2 Enemy Controller
3 Magic Deflector
3 Solemn Strike
3 Grand Horn of Heaven
About the List:
Much of my reasoning on card choices stayed the same, as I believed that the list that I chose
to play last weekend was as close to optimal as possible. This being said, I did make two
important changes to my list for this event.
The first of these changes was one I made immediately following the Indianapolis regional.
After being blown out in the last round of the tournament by Grand Horn of Heaven, I decided to
modify my side deck to include 3 copies of the card, replacing both copies of Floodgate Trap Hole and one copy of Enemy Controller. Although I only sided the card in twice during the tournament, as I only went first against Pure Zoodiac post-side once, and sided the card against Dinosaur, both times I sided the card in I not only drew it, but it secured me the win. 10/10 would side again. The second, and most important, of these changes was the inclusion of a certain tech card.
Thirty minutes before the regional began, and just before submitting my decklist, I was debating whether or not to replace Shuffle Reborn with the one legal copy of Torrential Tribute. Upon voicing the possibility of this last minute change, fellow teammate Zack Sitek handed me a
random card from his entry packs and suggested I play it instead. The card he handed me was a Trap Card called Blind Obliteration.
While initially intended as a joke, I decided to include two copies of the card in my deck, replacing one copy of Pianissimo and simply adding the second, ultimately bringing the list’s Main Deck count to 41. Blind Obliteration reminded me a lot of Needle Ceiling, a card which saw some play during the initial Zoodiac format. Unlike Needle Ceiling, however, Blind Obliteration had two decisive benefits:
First, it did not have the requirement of requiring 4 monsters to be on the field to activate, nor did it have to be chained to the summon of a monster like Torrential Tribute.
Therefore, Blind Obliteration was essentially a Spell-Speed 2 Dark Hole. Having access to a board clear that I
could flexibly activate on my opponent’s turn, while being able to combine it with Pianissimo to
protect my own monsters, proved to be extremely powerful throughout the tournament.
Secondly, Blind Obliteration cannot be negated by My Body as a Shield. Similarly to how My
Body as a Shield cannot negate Ultimate Conductor Tyranno, which can but is not guaranteed
to destroy a monster on the field to activate its effect, Blind Obliteration is not guaranteed to
destroy a monster on the field because of its RNG element (since I might roll a number lower
than the Level/Rank of any monster on the field).
Round 1 -- True Draco Demise (0-0):
Groggily sitting down across from my first round opponent, barely managing to stay awake as it
was, an immediate wave of dread swept over me when I rolled my opponent’s oversized
Attribute Dice and saw that my combined roll was countable on one hand. Needless to say I did
not go first Game 1.
The most memorable part about this match was high-rolling a 10 on Blind Obliteration, and
clearing my opponent’s board of an Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior, and Master Peace, the
True Dracoslaying King, causing his Monarch’s Erupt to be destroyed in his End Phase Game 1.
After realizing I’d likely lose Game 2 in time, I scooped so I could go first Game 3 in time.
I win 2-1.
Round 2 -- Pure Zoodiac (1-0):
This round I happened to sit between two Canadian players whose acquaintance I made over
the course of the 2017 North American World Championship Qualifiers, and YCS Toronto. After
borrowing dice from one of them, I proceeded to win the dice roll and set up an impressive
opening board of Zoodiac Drident, Zoodiac Hammerkong, and Missus Radiant backed up by a
Dimensional Barrier and Blind Obliteration.
I ended up resolving Blind Obliteration multiple times this match, and ultimately won because of
it. After grinding my opponent down to one card in hand, and no cards in Extra Deck, he
committed to a big Soul Charge play, depleting his Life Points to 1000. Upon flooding his board
with Zoodiac monsters, I activated my set Blind Obliteration and rolled higher than 4, leaving
him with no cards to protect from my final attack.
I win 2-1.
Round 3 -- Trickstar Kaiju Windwitch (2-0):
I don’t really know what to say about this round, because I ashamedly shouldn’t have won it.
Game 1, I believed myself to have opened poorly -- opening Zoodiac Barrage, Ghost Ogre &
Snow Rabbit, and three copies of Cosmic Cyclone. Luckily for me, however, my opponent
happened to open all 3 copies of Trickstar Light Stage, and no hand trap to oppose my Zoodiac
Barrage. As unfortunate as I perceived my opening hand to be, it lined up perfectly against my
opponent’s equally awkward hand, and won me the game.
Following this, I might’ve slightly underestimated my matless opponent’s 48 card rogue deck, as
I ended up losing, and had to start Game 3 near time. After a big initial push by my opponent,
he ended with an indestructible Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon (protected by the effects of the
Windwitch monsters used to summon it) and left me with 1500 Life Points before I had a chance
to put any damage into him. Convinced I was in an unwinnable position, I pushed my luck, and
by some wild act of God, my opponent misplayed heavily and never activated Crystal Wing
Synchro Dragon’s negation effect. This allowed me to establish a board of Missus Radiant and
a Zoodiac Boarbow with 3300 ATK, more than enough to conquer his dragon and put myself in
a position to win the game the following turn.
I ultimately win 2-1.
Round 4 -- True Draco Zoodiac (3-0):
I honestly don’t remember this round, but according to my notes I apparently won 2-1.
Round 5 -- True Draco Demise (4-0):
This round I played against a younger opponent, who apparently had won the Israeli National
Championship in 2016. Initially, my opponent’s 15 card extra and undefeated status convinced
me that he was playing a True Draco Zoodiac deck. This assumption led me to use an Ash
Blossom & Joyous Spring on his True Draco Heritage rather than using my Ghost Ogre & Snow
Rabbit during Game 1. Although I stand by this play under my initial assumption, in hindsight I
recognize it to be a misplay as the last card in his hand happened to be Card of Demise. Had I
known he was playing a Demise variant, I would have used the Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit on
the True Draco Heritage, so that I could save Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring for a potential Card
Despite my misplay, I managed to win this round 2-0.
Round 6 -- Pure Zoodiac (5-0):
Unfortunately, I knew this round would eventually come. This round I had to play against fellow
teammate JT Patterson. While I did manage to win the match, I still consider this round to be a
loss. During our games, JT tried to keep things casual, and friendly by intentionally holding
back during our match, simply trying to make the game fun and interactive for us both.
Somehow there was a disconnect in my mind, and instead of approaching what should’ve been
a fun match between teammates with that same casual mindset, I instead approached it much
more competitively and aggressively than I should have.
I’m not sure if it was a lack of sleep, or being overly stimulated by caffeine, or something else
that caused me to act so rashly. Whatever the cause though, I ultimately came off of this round
feeling badly about how things transpired. This round resulted in some tension between JT and
I for a few hours, but by the end of the night, we’d made up. I was deeply thankful for this, as
smoothing things over between us was ultimately what I cared about the most after the round.
I’m sorry JT.
Round 7 -- True Draco Zoodiac (6-0):
This was one of my quickest matches of the tournament. I believe I won the dice roll for this
round, and set up a strong opening board of Zoodiac Drident and Zoodiac Hammerkong backed
up by Dimensional Barrier, Pianissimo, and a Cosmic Cyclone, with a Ghost Ogre & Snow
Rabbit in hand. Game 1 ends in a blowout victory for me.
Game 2, I open with: Dark Hole, Interrupted Kaiju Slumber, Gameciel, The Sea Turtle Kaiju, Ash
Blossom & Joyous Spring, and Zoodiac Ratpier. My opponent set up a somewhat impressive
board of Missus Radiant, Zoodiac Drident, Zoodiac Hammerkong, and Ignis Heat, the True
Dracowarrior. However, my opponent did not set any backrow, thus I knew the only threat I
faced on my turn would be Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit. After wiping the board with Interrupted
Kaiju Slumber, I normal summoned Zoodiac Ratpier and attempted its effect. When my
opponent had no response, I knew the match was won. I quickly went through the motions of
setting up my OTK, and proceeded to win from there.
To add insult to injury, the card I drew for turn Game 2 was Dimensional Barrier.
I win 2-0.
Round 8 -- Dinosaur Yang Zing (7-0):
Coming into the last round as the only undefeated left in the tournament, I was feeling pretty
good knowing that I was pretty much guaranteed a spot in the top 4 no matter the outcome of
the match. I ended up losing the dice roll, and when I saw my opponent activate Fossil Dig at
the start of his turn, I knew the match was over. At the last London, ON regional I attended --
wherein I came in 4th place -- my only loss was at Table 1 to Dinosaurs. Since then, it has
become a recurring theme for me that whenever I play against Dinosaurs in tournament, I lose.
Although I managed to make a comeback Game 2, I drew very poorly compared to my
opponent’s exceptionally strong hand Game 3, and lost.
I lose the last round 1-2.
Despite my loss in the last round, when final standings were posted I had still managed to come
in 1st place -- winning the regional for myself, and for Team Ziege. I am exceptionally proud of
my achievement this weekend, as I met the goal I had set for myself of making it into the top
eight cut, and exceeded it by winning the event outright.
As far as changes go, the only card I would consider is Blind Obliteration. While the card did
steal a few games for me, I found myself siding it out in most rounds. For me, the card was a
one time, joke addition to my deck that just so happened to work out. However, because of how
strong the card proved itself to be this weekend, I might consider keeping it in the deck. The
inclusion of Grand Horn of Heaven was a welcome addition to my list from last weekend, and
definitely a card I intend to keep on my list until the end of the format.
I’d like to give shout outs to teammates and friends I rode with this weekend: Connor Fancett,
Evan Betzig, JT Patterson, Zack Sitek, and Ray Dai. I couldn’t have asked for a better car to
attend an event with. Even with its ups and downs, you all made every minute of this event
wonderful and it wouldn’t have been the same without any of you.
I’d like to congratulate teammates JT Patterson and Evan Betzig who earned second and
fourth place respectively. You both worked hard, and played very well at this event. Your ranks
were well earned, and represent a true demonstration of your skills as players. Congratulations.
Special recognition is to be given to my friends on “Team Sergei” for giving me the dice I used
all day after forgetting to bring any with me, and of course to Ali Alziyadi for continuing to be
the greatest “hype man” I’ve ever met.
As always, I’d like to thank Jessie Swinton and Ziege Games for sponsoring me as a player.
There isn’t a better store or team whose brand or values I’d wish represent more than yours.
Last, but not least, I’d like to thank you as a reader for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed!
Until next time,