Coming Up: Crystal Clash!!

Hello everyone!!

I just yesterday finished doing 320 individual card images in photoshop for the massive prototype of

Crystal Clash

a game that is not just yet another re-iteration of Elemental Clash, like Panzer Clash or Space Clash, and all that it has in common with Elemental Clash is the Clash in the name. Crystal Clash was born out of my sister Nora’s wish to take part in my game design passion, but, lacking the patience I possess, my sister backed out of the project after a while and I went on to design the game which my sister had given the igniting spark for, on my own.

I am glad to announce that Crystal Clash may be released and published by a renowned US-based games publisher, whose name I am not at liberty to reveal just yet, soonish, maybe later this year if all goes well.

CC Coming Soon

The deal is not yet sealed but the game is finished, all 160 artworks are already in and the lead designer of the unnamed publisher and I invested considerable time and energy in the project so the outlook is a VERY good one and I am confident that Crystal Clash will be printed and distributed soon (soon as in games industry standards, meaning it could happen later this year or some time next year even).

I will not tell you anything about how the game works, save for it being a non-customizable (well there will be sort of customizability and with possible expansion, deck tuning will become more of an option) card game coming with four factions – Light, Darkness, Order and Chaos – so it is for 2 – 4 players. What I will tell you, and this is remarkable, in Crystal Clash your Resources are your “Life Points” at the same time. You have to spend Crystals, the main currency or resource in the game, to summon fantastic Characters, forge mighty Relics and activate a variety of Abilities and each unblocked opponent attack costs you 2 Crystals. Whenever your Crystal total is reduced to zero, you lose. Do not worry however, as at the beginning of each turn you may discard a card adding a number of Crystals to your Crystal Pool equal to the card’s cost.

And one more thing to tease you: This game will come with a TWIST, in a quite literal sense, that has not been seen in any (customizable) card game before. I will not reveal the secret regarding my mysterious statement just now. All shall be made known in due time!

For now I will only show you some card previews (from left to right: A Character, an Ability and a Relic card) of each of the four initial factions that will come with the Crystal Clash base game.

Here are some Light card samples illustrated by Laurie Thomas:

Light Card Samples

And here some Darkness card samples illustrated by Manchen “Michelle” Yang:

Darkness Card Samples

Here card samples from the Order Faction illustrated by Cj Penna:

Order Card Samples

And finally some Chaos card samples illustrated by Dennis Saputra:

Chaos Card Samples

OK these are all the previews I got for you today. Hope you like the look and style of the cards. Note that each Faction Deck was illustrated by one artist so the styles of each deck are very consistent. You will have noted that there are a ton of icons on the cards. In an effort to reduce loads of card text and make the cards and their effects easier to read and identify at first glance, I replaced many common terms or whole lines of text with the small icons you can see all over the cards. For example the red sword icon stands for an “Offensive Ability” whereas the green shield stands for a “Defensive Ability” and so forth. I will do a proper explanation of all icons and discuss card anatomy in a future post on Crystal Clash!

Well I hope I can reveal the name of the publisher who will most likely release Crystal Clash soon and I will make sure to keep you updated on the progress of the project and finally will also reveal the still secret “twist” that will make this game stand out from the crowd!

Thank you for reading and

game on!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

Yu-Gi-Oh: Trying To ROCK the Meta!! (100th Blog Post!)

Dear readers!

Before I go on to the actual article, let us just rejoice for a brief moment in celebration of what is no less than my 100th post on this here my humble blog! I do not know if it will be a worthy one, but i do not really care either so let me just seize the opportunity to thank each and everyone who has been reading my random ramblings on games and geekdom in general over the last couple of months!

But on to the main show! This article is going to be a deck/strategy article, which is supposed to be a follow-up on my recounting of my first Yu Gi Oh Tournament experience (the article can be found here) in which I will be showcasing an again rather unorthodox deck of mine which I think could POTENTIALLY wreak havoc on many of the decks I have seen and/or faced in yesterdays tournament.

The Premise:

As I have clearly seen in yesterdays visit to the cards store and in my participation of the Yu Gi Oh tournament there is that everyone is really going bonkers over XYZ and Synchro Monsters and the Special Summons they entail. Also Special Summoning totally overpowered Monsters from hand (like for instance the notorious Judgment Dragon or Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning) or from deck or graveyard were very commonly seen. So instead of just throwing a ton of my non-existant money at buying into the XYZ/Synchro craze to jump on the bandwagon and be in with the crowd, which would be totally unlike how I roll, I much rather wanted to attempt to come up with a deck that needs neither XYZs nor Synchros to win, but, to the contrary, would foil all those Special Summoning Shennanigans by tackling the “evil” at its root! And luckily, I happen to own all but 5 cards for the deck that had been forming in my head ever since I witnessed the XYZ and Synchro craze and even if I would not, all would be very cheap and budget friendly to assemble, just as I lke my decks. Once again, I will refuse to even use an Extra Deck, just as I did with my first tournament deck (my take on Monarchs, to be read about in previous blog posts). Before we move on to the actual decklist and strategy, just take a look at him, who shuts down all the madness once and for all, and who was the start of my Anti-Meta deck idea. Behold and tremble in fear, all ye who feel the urge to Special Summon:

The Deck:

Well, as always the following deck is my own take on a deck archetype, an archetype called “Rock Stun” and while I could make good use of a pure Rock deck to profit from the massive, universal ATK boost of Solidarity, I decided to build this one with a few Light Monsters, which I will explain and justify below (and Solidarity will still be an OPTION as you will see soon as well!). Let me share the decklist with you first before going into explaining what I am to do with the deck and how all is supposed to work! And NO I will not run Block Golem cause he is so awesome for facilitating easy XYZ Summons. NO EXTRA DECK for the love of Odin!

Anti-Meta Rocks (V. 1.0)

Monsters…20

3 x Koa’ki Meiru Guardian

3 x Koa’ki Meiru Sandman

3 x Koa’ki Meiru Wall

3 x Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo

3 x Banisher of the Radiance

3 x Thunder King Rai-Oh

1 x Neo-Spacian Grand Mole

1 x Gaia-Plate, the Earth Giant

Spells…12

3 x Pot of Duality

2 x Mystical Space Typhoon

2 x Forbidden Lance

2 x Catapult Zone

1 x Book of Moon

1 x D. D. R. – Different Dimension Reincarnation

1 x Dark Hole

Traps…8

2 x Call of the Haunted

2 x Dimensional Prison

1 x Mirror Force

1 x Bottomless Trap Hole

1 x Compulsory Evacuation Device

1 x Torrential Tribute

Side Deck…9

2 x Legendary Jujitsu Master

2 x Gigantes

2 x Mormolith

3 x Solidarity

The Strategy:

First of all a disclaimer: This is a) a budget deck so do not tell me to include Dark Horn of the Heavens – the 2 Forbidden Lances and3  Thunder Kings that were the only cards I had to buy to assemble this were costly enough and b) this is supposed to be a “Rogue Deck” as MTG players would call it, which means it is a rather unorthodox build running many cards you will be wondering why I favored them over ostensibly better card choices – it is my own take on an Anti-Meta deck and all shall be explained below. I cannot guarantee however how well and if at all my plan will work our as intended in the end. It all will be seen next Saturday!

You may also wonder what that rather strange side deck is all about, but be patient, this as well will be explained soon enough. But let us move on to the actual deck strategy. The overall idea is not to win with strong Monsters – a good deal of them are 1900 ATK beatsticks, no more, no less and I only got one “big guy” (Gaia Plate) whom I will not even need to win if all goes as planned – but to rather hose and foil your opponent’s every move and especially counter or prohibit right away any of your opponent’s Special Summoning attempts of anything and from anywhere! A card like the above seen Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo would simply destroy the very strategy of any of the decks I have seen in yesterday’s (tournament) environment at the cards shop in Linz.

Besides the fossilized main man of the show, I decided to break the “all-rockness” of a typical Rock Stun Deck to add this littel mischieve maker:

This guy is simply amazing, as he not only shuts down any deck searching shennanigans but can also be sacrificed to negate any Special Summoning of a Monster! Pretty awesome and all that comes on a 1900 ATK beatstick to boot! I do realize the dissynergy between my Thunder Kings and my Pots (of Duality) but I think I can handle and time all right to make good use of both cards in one deck.

And then of course we got the Koa’Ki Meirus, Guardian, Sandman and Wall, which shut down the activation of a Monster Effect (destroying the Monster as well), the activation of a Trap (destroying it as well) or the activation of a Spell (and destroying it) respectively! You have to sack them for their effect but that is what I call control!!

koa ki meirus

After we have established that the deck has massive control capabilities, limiting or even entirely shutting down opponent Special Summoning attempts via Pachycephalo and Thunder King as well as Effect Monster, Trap and Spell negation through the Koa’Ki Meirus, let me go through the decklist card by card giving you my brief comments and thoughts on each:

Koa’ki Meiru Guardian: Farewell to any nasty Effect Monster!

Koa’ki Meiru Sandman: Goodbye annoying Trap!

Koa’ki Meiru Wall: Good riddance to you, mischievous Spell!

Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo: Just says NO to any and all Special Summoning and/or destroys all Special Summoned Monsters when flipped face-up. His only weakness are his more than meager stats but there are ways to protect him or get him back as we will see.

Thunder King Rai-Oh: As discussed above, this one shuts down any adding of cards from hand to deck except by your regular draw phase draw (hence to be used carefully with your Pots of Duality) and negates the Special Summon of any Monster – repeatedly even, as the deck has ways to retrieve/reanimate the Thunder King.

Banisher of the Radiance: I figured banishing cards rather than have them sent to the graveyard would be awesome for shutting down many graveyard based effects as well as negate Monster effects that trigger when the Monster goes to the graveyard. If I get him and manage to hold him on the field for some time, this could be good against Lightsworn amongst other things.

Neo-Spacian Grand Mole: A great card for stalling in general but again a terrific way to get rid of any Synchro or XYZ Monsters, as he sends any Monster he battles (and himself) back to your hand before damage is calculated and dealt. No wonder this guy is limited to 1 copy per deck!

Gaia-Plate, the Earth Giant: None of the Monsters in my deck exceed 1900 ATK except for this one, which is kinda the Boss Monster in the deck that isn’t even needed for the win. Note that this has to be used with care in combination with Pachycephalo as, however powerful Gaia-Plate may be (an ATK 0f 2800 and the ATK and DEF of a Monster battling with him are halved…), he can only be Special Summoned (easily – by banishing 2 Earth Monsters from your Graveyard). So you’d have to get rid of your Pachycephalo somehow first if you really feel the need to Summon Gaia-Plate. Anyways the Earth Giant can serve as a good backup plan if need be!

Pot of Duality: Just a great way to sift through your deck, and in a deck that does not Special Summon at all (well save for Gaia-Plate) it comes with no real drawback whatsoever. Again you have to use it when there is no Thunder King Rai-Oh on the field as  he would chancel out the Pot’s effect. All in all these rather small dissynergies can be handled if the deck is piloted the right way!

Mystical Space Typhoon: Self-explanatory as it just get rid of any Spell or Trap card. Many will scold me for not running a full playset of 3 but I had to make room for giving the deck my “personal touch”!

Forbidden Lance: A card of many uses, just how i like it. Lance decreases the ATK of a Monster by 800 for one turn and it is also unaffected by Spell and Trap cards other than Lance for the rest of the turn. Most basically you could just decrease the ATK of an attacking opponent Monster by 800 so it would be killed unexpectedly, but more importantly, you can protect your key-monsters, first and foremost your Fossil Dyna Pachycephalos from unwanted and/or destructive Spell and Trap effects. Very useful indeed.

Catapult Zone is a card many will laugh at me for playing and ask why I don’t just cut it and swap in a third Mystical Space Typhoon and maybe a Dark Horn of the Heavens etc. The reason why I chose and insisted to run at least 2 Catapult zones is quite simple if you think about it: It once per turn prevents one of my key Monsters like the stats-wise very weak Pachycephalo or the slightly stronger but still just 1900 ATK strong Thunder King from being destroyed in battle and lets me send any Rock Type Monster from deck to graveyard. This not only means I might be able to save one of my weakling key Monsters from dying in battle, but also allows me to send a Grand Mole or Pachycephalo to my graveyard, from where I can conveniently reanimate it through Call of the Haunted (so yeah, even this deck is not complete without at least SOME Special Summoning!) . Plus Catapult Zone fills my graveyard with Rocks to pay for Gaia-Plate’s upkeep cost if I should drop that one at some point in the game.

D.D.R.: Different Dimension Reincarnation: I am sitting on the fence with this one. On the one hand I think I should just run a third Call of the Haunted instead and on the other hand I think it may be useful to get back banished key Monsters in case my Banisher of the Radiance removed some of them from play. There would also be the option of the Release from Stone Trap which Special Summons a Rock Monster from the Banishment but then I would rather play D. D. R. as the latter could also get me back my Thunder King Rai-Oh, which Relase from Stone could not. Really not sure if I should drop this card or not. Testing will have to show.

Book of Moon: Just a generally useful card in any deck. I like the thought of flipping Pachycephalo face down in order to use his Flip Effect (again)!

Dark Hole: Destroy all Monsters in play. Any explanation needed??

Dimensional Prison conveniently banishes an attacking Monster, protecting your key Monsters, preventing some damage and through the banishing clause preventing many nasty Monster effects that trigger when the Monster is sent to the graveyard from happening.

Bottomless Trap Hole destroys AND  banishes any Monster with ATK 1500+, Normal or Special Summoned. The banishing aspect once again can and will be crucial many times!

Mirror Force annihilates a full attacking army. Wish I could run 2 of these but I do not know what to take out in favor of a second copy…

Compulsory Evacuation Device is every XYZ- or Synchro-Summoned Monster’s worst nightmare and works pretty nicely on other hard-to-summon Monsters as well!

Call of the Haunted is a special addition of mine to this rather unorthodox Rock Stun build of mine and I plan to mainly use it to reanimate Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo and Thunder King Rai-Oh, to use the effect of the latter one more time. And if my thinking is correct I could even pull of some nifty tricks with convenientyl and instantly reviving and sacking Koa’Ki Meirus with this as well. Really not sure if I should drop the single D. D. R. in favor of a third Call…

Torrential Tribute is yet another card of general usefulness that needs no furhter explanations.

So much for the individual cards in the deck. Now all that remains for me is to address the major weakness of the deck, the poor overall Monsters stats. So here comes…

The Plan B:

All my Monsters but Gaia-Plate, who shouldn’t show up in too many games, have a maximum ATK of 1900, which is not a bad thing for non-Tribute Monsters with awesome effects like Thunder King or my Koa’ki Meirus (in fact more than half of my Monsters, 12 to be precise, have an ATK of exactly 1900), with many being much weaker. While I think that in the Meta I have encountered, the effects of the Monsters I am running in this deck outweigh the sheer attack power, which seemed less imprtant to me in the games I had, I still have a plan B in case I will encounter a/some deck(s) relying more on high stats than on effects and XYZ/Synchro/Special Summoning. This is what the somewhat obscure Side Deck is intended for! My plan is to swap out the 6 non-Rock Monsters (3 Thunder Kings and 3 Banishers) as well as 3 other cards to swap in 6 Rock Monsters in their stead (2 of each Mormolith, Gigantes and Legendary Jujitsu Master) along with 3 copies of Solidarity. As long as I have at least 1 Rock Monster in my graveyard, and this should be incredibly easy to accomplish, all my 1900 ATK guys will be respectable 2700s if I have only one Solidarity out! That should solve, to some degree at least, the low-ATK-power issue of the deck. Also, the 3 different Rock Monsters that will be added have some quite awesome effects as well, so they are not just random replacements for Thunder King and Banisher.

———————————————————————

Well that is the best answer to the meta I encountered on yesterday’s visit to the cards store and the YGO tournament there I could possibly come up with without actually testing it all out. I will just have a shot at it in next Saturday’s tournament with my rather unusual, homebrew attempt at an Anti-Meta/Rock Stun Deck. We will see if the plan unfolds as intended or if I will fail miserably! I for one am looking forward to it, regardless of the outcome!

Will keep you posted in any case.

Game on!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

 

Yu-Gi-Oh: Thoughts after my first Tournament

Dear readers and friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG!

So yesterday was the day! My gaming buddy Robin and I participated in our very first Yu-Gi-Oh tournament and travelled to the Magic (and more) shop in Linz, the capitol city of Upper Austria. Neiher of us had any clue what kind of decks would be awaiting us – the so called Meta-Game was a total unknown for the two of us.

I figured everyone would be totally crazy about XYZs and Synchros, and my guess turned out to be right, so I, always striving to not be “in with the crowd”, fielded one of my own deck creations, the FPM (Frogless Prismatic Monarchs) deck, which does not even have such a thing as an extra deck (due to the fact that I tend to avoid being mainstream and, much more important, because 6 of my key cards prevent you from summoning from your extra deck) and Robin just tried his luck with his own  homebrew Beast deck.

Here a picture of my fully optimized Monarchs Deck (You’ll find the full article here!):

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Note: I replaced 1 Level Eater with a second Tragoedia, which is not seen in the above image. A trade that was well worth it in hindsight.

So let me share a few thoughts on and impressions from my very first Yu-Gi-Oh tournament, in which, and I have to mention it proudly right away, Iwas able to finsih 5th out of 13, which is quite good for my first tourney experience, all the more considering I am into Yu-Gi-Oh for about a year, never played outside of my own home, knew zero about the current meta or any in fact any and faced  mostly total pro over the course of the event. So yeah, I am very satisfied with how I fared and Robin, although he made it as 11th out of 13 had a great time too and I think it was a great learning experience for him as well. I myself learnt a lot too from this great experience – that’s for sure!

What I found curious was the age range of participants which was an amazingly broad spectrum from 10 year old kids over teenagers, 20somethings like myself up to one guy, who was really nice in particular who was about double my age (me being 26 right now). And one thing I realized – don’t underestimate the wee ones. Some of the kids had totally awesome decks and wielded them equally well!

Overall the Magic store where the event took place was crammed full of people, as parallely to the Yu-Gi-Oh Tournament a Magic: The Gathering Pre-Release event was held  so the store was really crowded with approximately 50 people or so and filled with the loud shouting of the Yu-Gi-Oh “kids delegation” which I did find a bit irritating as I must admit. Notably, the MTGers and the YGO-crowd seemed to peacefully coexist, which I found pleasantly surprising, although I do think I as the only one there who was into both games at the same time!

In the tournament itself I won my first 4 games or two rounds without even getting any of my key Spells (March of the Monarchs and Return of the Monarchs) out a single time and still lost but 4200 Life Points in all the four games combined. My first opponent was a kid with an Aesir deck or something (in general I was surprised about my lack of deck knowledge, as I had not heard of like 90% of the decks I saw the whole day at the Magic store) and I felt somewaht evil for wreaking him with my Monarchs. The second opponent was a bit older but a newbie just like me. He ran a Dark World Deck which I stomped as well. After the first four games or two rounds I won without losing once, my luck somewhat took a turn for the worse (speaking of luck: It really sucks that you cannot draw a fresh hand even once so your winning or losing depends soooo much on the luck of the draw – which I personally dislike in a game, all the more as it could be changed easily tournament-rule-wise!). Round 3 I played against the kind older gentleman who ran an XX-Saber deck which worked out like crazy. Without exaggeration I think he special summoned (including XYZ and Synchro Summons) like a dozen Monsters each turn and the deck worked like a charm, even though he kept insisting his deck was kinda crappy and he would play it wrong. Anyways I lost two times in a row to him as all of a sudden all my Monarch support turned up but no Monarchs were to be seen, which was odd, as I was running 10 of them. Opponent 4 was a kid who totally obliterated me 2 times in a row with a completely insane Lightsworn beast of a deck which he played masterfully – so again, do not underestimate the YGO kids! Again It seemed like cursed – my Monarch support showed up but not the Monarchs! Anyways 4 wins out of 8 games was more than satisfying for my first tournament experience for me personally and ranking 5th in the end felt indeed very rewarding, considering all the aforementioned factors.

One thing however I realized: All the YGO experts, young and old, are totally going apeshit with Special Summoning, and all were totally fucking crazy about XYZs and Synchros in general. That made me think of two options:

The first is a non-option for me, as I hate just jumping onto the bandwagon and flush a ton of money down the sink by buying into the whole XYZ and Synchro craze that is apparently going on big time these days. When I detest one thing, than it is just being mainstream, this being the reason why I ran a rather unusual Monarchs Deck, whithout even having such a thing as an extra deck (although many great XYZs for 6 star Monarchs were suggested to me  – yeah right, suck it XYZs!!) and moderately successfully so even.

Option number two seems far more unorthodox and hence attractive to me. Instead of throwing my non-existant money onto getting a hold of pricey-due-to-popularty XYZ and Synchor Monsters, I will just go Anti! Yeah right, Anti Meta could win me a tourney or two in an environment were everyone from the kind mid-40s guy running XX-Saber to the snobby Lightsworn kid is all about Special Summoning. And it won’t cost me dime (well by far not as much as trying to jump on the already far too crowded XYZ/Synchro bandwagon) as I won all the cards (or most of them) to build a deck that would so ruin any of the probelmatic ones I ran into universally. Just two words:

Rock Stun

Since I doubt anyone showing up in next week’s tournament will read this blog, I will share with you in a subsequent post the deck I came up with – my very own take on an Anti-Meta / Rock Stun deck – that I think would bring down 90% of the decks I saw or faced myself yesterday. Just before I close this article and refer you to the next one dedicated to my next tournament deck, I would like to show you one card:

This one just says no! Synchro Summon? NO! XYZs? NO! Summoning from Graveyard or Deck? NO, NO, NO!

And there’s more than just this one!

Please read on in the next article where I will be showcasing my dedicated Anti-Meta/Rock-Stun Deck!

Thanks for reading and as always,

Game on!

Yours,

Andi

Elemental Clash: Totally Stoned!

Dear readers and dear friends of the Elemental Clash Customizable Card Game!

The last few artworks needed for the imminent release of the Legendary Legacy Expansion Set are coming in one after another and as I write these lines I am not totally stoned as the blog post title might suggest, but rahter totally excited about the “Legacy of Legends” becoming a reality in a matter of a few weeks!

So I am pleased to provide you with almost daily updates and previews on and from the upcoming expansion and this time it will all be about Stones! Right, I am talking about Element Stones!

With Legendary Legacy being about Unique cards big time, the set will not come with 4 Non-Basic (Special) Element-Stones, like the Master Set did, but rather with 8 – four regular ones and four absolutely über-awesome Unique Element-Stones as well! (Remember, a card with “Unique” can only be included once in a deck and if a copy is already in play, further copies cannot be played.)

So here are the 8 different Non-Basic or “Special” Element-Stones that will be included in Elemental Clash: Legendary Legacy, with the top row being the regular ones and the bottom row the fantastic “Uniques”. The Stones were brilliantly illustrated by Katy Grierson from the UK and our newest, talented member in the EC art team, Emmanuel Bou Roldán from Argentina.

EC LL Element Stones Presentation

 

I think, overall these stones, the uniques and regular ones, add a lot to the game and make cards that let you search your deck for Non-Basic Stones as well, namely Stonelore (Earth) and Dwarf Miner (Fire) all the more important, up to the point that you would be able to build a “Stone Toolbox” with some of the above Stones as well as the old ones from the Master Set being included in your deck once and you’d just search out what you need most at at any given point in a game. Obviously, some of the Uniques would make good inclusions in many decks, especially such that have access to Non-Basic Stone searchers.

But let me discuss all of the Stones shown above one by one, starting from upper left and working my way down to lower right:

  • Corroding Stone obviously punishes opponents for playing lots of Non-Basic Stones as you can just destroy it any time to destroy any Non-Basic Element-Stone. Might be a good trade if you are facing dreaded Haste- or Powerstones from the Master Set or even the powerful Unique Stones we are going to discuss later on!
  • Sparkstone may seem pretty weak as you can destroy it to deal 1 damage to any target, Creature or Player. However it can be quite useful against certain powerful Creatures (Will-o’-the-Wisp, a 6/1 Quickattacker comes to mind) or you can just use it to deal that last 1 damage needed to take down a big Creature or needed to defeat the opponent during late game, when sacrificing a Stone of your own won’t matter that much anymore anyways. Plus Sparkstone gives access to direct damage, albeit little, to decks of any Element(s), not only Fire, where direct damage is abundant!
  • Morphing Stone is a amazing addition to multi-Element decks as it gives you access to any one Basic Element-Stonewhen you destroy it. This would make for a great first turn Element-Stone play as you can look at your hand and just exchange the Morphing Stone to the Basic Element Stone you need most at that point. Multi-Element decks are made much more viable through this one, and this was an intentional design decision. We want to see colorful decks!! Also, Morphing Stone thinks out your deck as well – albeit too much deck thinning can be lethal in Elemental Clash, quite literally so!
  • Mirrorstone is similar to Morphing Stone as it gives you access to various Elements in one Stone as well, also making multi-Elements more and more viable. Mirrorstone might be a great first stone in a Stack as it will be producing various kinds of Energy at once.
  • Rainbowstone is the godfather of all Multi-Element-Stones as it produces Energy of all Elements straight away. Hence the “Unique” status! Again, decks featuring 3 or even all four Elements should be profiting massively from this one, especially if they include cards like Stonelore or Dwarf Miner to “fetch” the sole Rainbowstone from your deck. A perfect first turn Element-Stone needless to say!
  • Stone of Wisdom is kinda a must have in any deck as it has Boon, which means you will get it for free if damage dealt to you would send it to the Archive (discard) and you can just destroy it to draw 2 extra cards. Mind you however, excessive card drawing may be detrimental to your overall strategy, as paradox as it may sound because every card drawn will bring you one step nearer to defeat. Furthermore, there will be a lot of Anti-Unique cards that may urge you to include not that many Uniques as you’d want to.
  • Dragonstone has exactly one deck it is useful for and indeed it was made for: Dragons! See this as a hint to a bright future of the Dragon Creature Type in the Elemental Clash Customizable Card Game! Dragonstone is a Powerstone and Hastestone in packaged in just one (Unique) Stone for Dragon Creatures, as all Dragons played to its Element-Stone Stack will get a +1/+1 Counter at once and have “Quickattacker” as well. Pretty amazing. If you are familiar with the Spellcaster “Prisma of the Many Colors” you will realize what awesome 4 Element Dragon Decks become possible with the release of both Dragonstone and the aforementioned Rainbowstone. Just use Prisma’s Flip Effect on turn one, fetch and place a Rainbowstone and put a Dragonstone on top. Then play any Element-Stone on top of that and play a Quickattacking, +1/+1 boosted Dragon of any Element on top of that on your very first turn. Mean. Maybe too mean?
  • Fatestone is simply a life-saver. If you destroy it you cannot lose by any means until the end of your next turn. In Elemental Clash, experience tells that games are often very close and one extra turn may mean the difference between victory and defeat! Should be playable in a lot of decks as well!

Well my friends, those are the new Legendary Legacy Element-Stones for you! Hope you are looking to seeing those printed and playing with them.

Don’t get stoned though. Cause, well, drugs are bad, right? 🙂

More Legendary Legacy Updates to come soon!

Game on!

Yours,

Andi

 

Presenting (Prehistoric) Pixelmon – The Deckbuilding Game

Dear readers and friends of dinosaurs, deckbuilding games and retro-pixel monsters alike!

I am proud to announce yet another game project of mine and just as a disclaimer, this is low in my list of priorities and still I am far down the process of designing this and am actively working on getting this done later this year. Please have a look and be amazed:

– Andreas Propst Productions Prouldy Presents –

Pixelmon Banner

(Prehistoric) Pixelmon – The Deckbuilding Game will be a 2-5 player Deckbuilding Game on the lines of the revolutionary Dominion (game of the year 2009 if I am not mistakend) where players will tame, train and battle each other with a fighting team of various prehistoric pixel monsters (as seen in the above banner), all done in full, pixellated glory by yours truly!

How the idea of Pixelmon was born:

Sometimes it is funny how ideas are conceived. In the case of Pixelmon, two things occurred shortly one after the other by mere coincidence. Firstly, a while ago, I made a Pokémon Deckbuilding Game (DBG) for me and my younger sister Nora, who is a true Pokémaniac, having played through all the video games time and time again. I wanted to recreate the Pokémon experience in a game, a Deckbuilding Game and this was when the raw version of what is now the Pixelmon game engine/system was designed and developed. Of course I had made the Pokémon DBG purely for personal home use but I did try to pitch the idea to Nintendo with the argument  that “Pokemon=Awesome” + “DBGs = Awesome” would result in something totally über-awesome. They did actually write back saying anything I’d send in would become sole property of the Pokémon Company / Nintendo so that was that pretty much and the game got burried for a while. It was not until a few months later that I tried my hand in doing Pokémon Gameboy Advance Rom Hacks (as seen previousyl on this blog) which lead to me realizing I was awesome (or so I was and am being told) at doing retro pixel art (sprites). After the first couple of these tiny artworks were done, and it was big fun for me doing those, I instantly thought back at the neglected Pokémon DBG. Well how perfect I thought… I can just make good use of my very-well received Prehistoric Pokémon sprites twice – once in the Rom hack and once by just using those graphics in a non-copyrighted retheme of the Pokémon DBG!! I was thrilled about the idea to have an awesome deckbuilding game featuring tons of prehistoric monsters all done in retro pixel graphics. Of course a new name had to be found and was found soon: Pixelmon. Perfect, isn’t? 😀 #

And for all the sissies who will say Nintendo will sue my ass off: Digimon, Monster Rancher, Dinosaur King. That is just 3 examples of highly commercial and relatively successful blatant rip-offs of the original Pokémon concept (you know some kids going around having adventures with their monster companions, training them and having battles in order to be the best of ’em all, save the world or whatnot) and none of them had any troubles, and neither do I worry to get into legal troubles even the slightest bit. After all it is freaking PIXELMON… not Pokémon… 😀

How the game works (currently):

Here’s a brief summary of the actual gameplay as it currently stands. The following is based on the results of a recent playtesting session of the original Pokémon DBG (I do not have a dedicated Pixelmon prototype just now – working on it though!) which thought me so many lessons that I have a very clear idea about how the game is supposed to work in the end. Let’s have at it! So the aim of the game is to be the one with the most prizes…

Prize Card small

…after at least 8 turns (and turns are not exactly short in this game, so 8 turns will make for a game of a pleasant length, with my idea being 45 -60 mins). Basically what you do is tame, train and battle with your Monsters, whereby turn 1 – 5 are for taming and training only and in turns 6 -8 and beyond, the actual monster battling action will take place. I would be keeping track of turn count by means of an 8-sided dice being advanced accordingly.

So at the start of the game the playing field is set up, but I won’t go into detail on the setup – all you need to know that there will be a big stack of Pixelmon cards with 5 of them revealed at a time (the Pixelmon Offering), some smaller stacks with 3 cards revealed from each, which will be the Attack Stacks, one for each Element (the Elements will be Normal, Fire, Plant, Rock, Electro and Water) as well as the Item Shop deck, which will contain Items you can purchase over the course of the game. Before the game can begin, each player chooses a Starter Pixelmon from among 5 different ones at random.

Each Starter Pixelmon is associated with a Starter Deck consisting mostly of weak Attacks/Moves of 10 cards each. And this is the deckbuilding aspect in this. What you will try to do is “learn” new attacks by purchasing them from the various Attack Offerings and adding them to your Attack Deck, this strengthening and optimizing your deck over the course of the game.

There is also a very straightforward resource system involved which all revolves around the “Tamer Value” each card has, which acts as costs and also as currency at the same time in various stages of the game. I prefer to upload the full game rules once done on this here blog than explain in detail how all works, so I am asking for your understanding for not elaborating on the technical details here.

So each turn goes like this:

  1. Tame 
  2. Train
  3. Battle (only turns 6 and beyond!)

First players may “tame” monsters from the Pixelmon Offering by discarding hand cards with tamer value equal to or higher than the tamer value of the Pixelmon they want to tame to add that Pixelmon to their team (of course the stronger ones will have a higher tamer value than the weaker ones. You have to choose your team members wisely, as there is an “element wheel” involved as well, each Pixelmon belonging to one of the aforementioned elements and having a strength against one particular element and a weakness against another one. So assembling your fighting team of 3 Pixelmon is vital and you got to strive to get a well balaned fighting party together.

Here’s a sample Pixelmon card (just a preview, finished product may and will differ from this):

Sample Pixelmon Card

As you can see, each Pixelmon has indicators  for Level (left), Initiative (middle) andd Hit Points (right). Each Pixelmon starts at level 10 and you put a small red D6 on the HP indicator in the first row with the respective number on top, in the above case this Pixelmon would start out with 2 HP. Dice are moved down and the numbers on top of the dice would be advanced as the Pixelmon is trained / levelled up. In the top right corner we see the element of the Pixelmon and below that the strenght and weakness.

After all players pass during the Tame Phase, the game commences to the Train Phase.

During Training, players may do several of the following actions, until they do not have any more hand cards or until they decide to pass, whereby one player performs one action and then the next and then round the table until the starting player gets to do their next action and so on until all pass (There is no particular order in which these must be performed):

  •  Level-Up a Pixelmon by discarding any 1 card. Advance the dice one row and adjust its value to the new HP. Each Pixelmon can be levelled-up only once per turn.
  • Learn a new Attack by discarding a number of hand cards with tamer value higher than or equal to the tamer value of the Attack from the Offerings you want ot learn. Take your new Attack from the Offering and place it in your discard.

Here’s a sample Attack card for you: Sample Attack Card Upper left corner: Tamer Value, upper right corner: Element, lower right corner: Damage Value, lower left corner: Level Requirement to perform the Attack/Move.

  • Buy any Item from the Item Shop deck by discarding cards with a combined tamer value higher than or equal the tamer value of the Item you want to purchase and put it aside face down. It may be used later or during battle.

Here’s a sample Item card for you:

Sample Item Card

The “X” stands for a still undeterminde Tamer Value (cost) of this item!

After all players pass, it is either the next turn and each player draws until they have 5 cards in hand OR it is on to Battle Phase.

As this article is dragging along far too long already I will not explain the details fo how battle works. What you should know is that all players are involved in the battle – everyone can attack everyone – and the “last man standing” (the remaining player when all others had their Pixelmon all knocked out) will receive a Prize Card. Furthermore Battle is like a game within the game where players attack in rounds  always following the following structure:

  1. Draw: Draw until you hold 5 cards in hand.
  2. Attack: Spend an Attack card to launch an attack on any opponent Pixelmon by paying the energy cost of the Attack card. Each Pixelmon can perform one Attack per round and players get one attack at a time with all players round the table performing an attack until the starting player can perform the second attack and so forth. If all players spent all their attacks or decide to pass it is on to step 3.
  3. Discard/Energy: You can discard hand cards to your Energy Zone. This Energy will pay for the Attacks you will be performing in future attack steps.

As said Battle Phase is conducted like explained above until all but one player are out of the game. The latter receives a Prize card. Who has the most price cards after 8 turns is declared the winner! (If one or more players are tied for prizes at the end of turn 8, furhter turns and Battle Phases will be conducted until one player emerges victorious).

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Well, so much for my “brief” overview of the Pixelmon DBG gameplay! I will make sure to post the full games rules for all who want to know in detail how the game works on  here as soon as I found time to type them up. I’d really could make good use of a clone these days 😛

Let me close this rather lengthy introduction to the Pixelmon Deckbuilding Game with some visual impressions!

Here some of the Pixelmon to be featured in the game:

Pokemon Prehistoric Samples

And here is what the Pokémon DBG proto testing looked like:

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And here my overjoyed sister Nora after having won!!

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Hope you liked my introduction to the Pixelmon Deckbuilding Game! As always, I will keep you up ot date!!

Game on!

Yours,

Andi

Elemental Clash Major Update: New Spellcasters and a New Card Type!!

Dear readers, dear friends of Elemental Clash!!

The end is nigh (well not the end of the world but rather the work on the long overdue Elemental Clash expansion)! There are maybe about 10 illustrations missing until the, at least by myself, long anticipated first full 100+ cards expansion to the Elemental Clash Master Set…

Legendary Legacy Logo

…can be completed and put on http://www.thegamecrafter.com for any enthusiast of the game to purchase at their leisure!

And yes the holdup was all caused by delays on the part of some of my artists. Some of said artists have been replaced an now we are nearing the completion of the Set and my realistic estimate would be that EC: Legendary Legacy will be released and available on TGC by mid-May 2014!

And oh boy this set will have a lot going on for it, albeit I have to mention that this will be the first and last “full expansion” to the game. Do not worry, I won’t give up on my beloved brainchild any time soon, it is just that I will be starting to release “demi-expansions” which will be 90 cards total and each have a different theme and such (cough… Gravestorm… cough… Zombies…cough). Excuse my sudden coughing fit! Anyways the demi-expansions will make it easier to me to release new cards in smaller intervals and will save you a lot of money, as a tuckbox is way cheaper than the boxes EC: The Master Set comes in and Legendary Legacy will come in for instance, while not cutting down on gameplay value! But only so much about the future of EC!

In the bold title of this post I promised you some awesome updates, so here they come:

First of all, feast your eyes on four new, glorious Spellcasters magnificently “brough to life” by our very own Enggar Adirasa!

EC LL New Spellcasters

Well, kind people, I could post you one or several possible decklists for each of the above, awesome new Spellcasters but I shall spare you this time and let you ponder yourself how to best make use of any of the above! Just a few words on each at these amazing new ‘Caste. First I have to note something rather odd: With Korlash the Purger in the lower left hand side the first Orc makes an appearance in the world of EC – and not just as a regular Creature, no, as a might y Spellcaster right away!! Guess I will have to make some Orc Creature cards at some point soon! But here some brief comments on all the four new Spellcasters I am showcasing today:

  • Brith the Humble negates all Play-Effects, Destroy-Effects and/or Leave Effects while face up and you can flip him to give all your Creatures with printed ATK and DEF of 2 or less a mighty +3 ATK and +3 DEF boost until the beginning of your next turn. So the static ability is quite powerful against many decks as a ton of awesome Creatures have Play-/Destroy- or even Leave-Effects. Your Brith Deck could run Creatures without such effects and a Creature swarming deck featuring lots of low ATK/DEF Creatures would be perfect as they’d get the major boost from the flip ability if needed. Merfolk or Goblin swarm decks would come to mind for instance!
  • Omnia, Mistress of Denial should be a pretty annoying Spellcaster to face, as she’ll increase the cost of all OPPONENT Spells (not yours mind you) by 1! Plus if the opponent tries to pull off a major summon of a Creature or casting of a Spell you cna just flip Omnia to neutralize that card while being played. And, even more nasty, the stack cannot be used again right away since the neutralized card needs to sit there until its controller’s next Standby-Phase when it is Purged!! So no way to retrieve the neutralized card either. It is gone for good! One card that comes to mind that would rock with Omnia is Mercury’s Vice which is a Permanent-Spell that neutralizes all Spells unless the caster sacrifices an Element-Stone. I think you realize how ugly this could get in an Omnia Deck!
  • Korlash, Orc Purger, our first Orc in the EC cards “universe” is pretty straightforward and his Static Effect can totally wrack SO many common strategies you’ll see your opponents playing. Korlash just laughs right into the face of Boon- and Reanimation or Card Recursion decks. The fact that he draws you 2 cards each turn and that you can flip him to give all your Creatures a temporary 2 ATK  boost plus Purge suggests a Creature rush / beatdown deck approach for him, rounded out with some direct damage. Maybe Goblins would be the best fit since there are no Orcish armies in Elemental Clash to go with Korlash, thematically – yet!
  • Ogg, Goblin Maniac is proof that Goblins as well can ascend to “Spellcasterhood”, as he is the first Goblin that is actually a ‘Caster. You will have noticed that Spellcasters have expanded from just humans in the Master (base) Set to humanoids with Orcs, Dragon Ladies as well as Demons (as seen previously) and, yes, also Goblins. In the case of the Goblin Spellcaster, he’s a maniac as it is clearly stated in Ogg’s title and you must be a maniac too to dare build and play a deck around him. I mean just look at him. Ogg has a compulsive fixation on the number “3”, as he gives you a starting hand and hand size of 3, draws you 3 cards each turn and your deck may have up to 33 cards! So this means if you take zero damage and dont restock your Spellbook somehow, you will lose on your 11th turn with Ogg. Being an utter lunatic and all, Ogg has quite a bit to offer as well: As long as he is face-up you’ll get to deal 1 damage to target Creature or Player whenever you discard a card from hand. And there are many great cards that can act as “discard outlets” which in turn would work well with Salvage cards (which can be played for free if discarded from hand to Archive). If you don’t need the static ability anymore, Ogg has a fantastic magical power up his sleeve, as he can cast any Spell (except Permanent- and Equip-Spells) from ANY Archive for free when you flip him… Overall I think this is my favorite of the four new Spellcasters presented above as I am a madman myself, just as Ogg, and like myself a fine deckbuilding challenge, which Ogg definitely does offer!!

So much for the new Spellcaster previews! Let us move on to the next major news feature:

Surprise everyone: EC: Legendary Legacy will introduce another new card type besides Equip Spells – well it is actually a special type of Creatures, so let me introduce you to:

Familiar Spirits:

I went out of my way (and of my money!) to make the Legendary Legacy expansion super-awesome and added 8 different extra cards to the mix: The 8 Familiar Spirits – 2 from each Element and each associated with one Creature type. If you have been following the news on EC here you will already know that the upcoming expansion features a lot of “tribal” cards and that each Element has its major Creature type, which is Trolls for Earth, Spirits for Air, Goblins for Fire and Merfolk for Water. However I realized there are also secondary “tribes” in each Element. The minor tpyical Creatuer types are Albs for Earth, Elementals for Air, Dwarves for Fire and Wizards for Water. So I had 8 Creature types, four major and four minor ones. This lead me to the conception of the Familar Spirit card concept and to the creation of the follwing 8 Familiar Spirit Cretures, one fore each major and minor tribe:

EC LL Familiar Spirits

What we see at first glance is that all the Familiar Spirit Creatures (all beautifully illustrated by Emmanuel Bou Roldán) cost 1 and have an ATK of 0 and a DEF of 1. Furthermore we see that each has the “Familiar Spirit” keyword in large font with a particular Creature Type specified after the dash. Let me show you one Familiar Spirit in detail in order to explain:

Troll Familiar

 

So the keyword “Familar Spirit – X” (insert a Creature type for the X) just means that during your Standby-Phase, when this is in play, you may attach it to a Creature of the specified type. You can just use it as a regular but rather weak Creature, best used for blocking / defending against opponent attacks if need be, but if you have the Familar Spirit and a Creature of the matching type in play during any of your Standby-Phases, you can attach the Familiar to the Creature just as you would attach an Equip-Spell. The Creature you attached it to is refered to as the “Master” of the Familiar. Any one Creature may have more than one Familiar Spirit attached. As long as the Familiar Spirit is attached to its Master, the Familiar cannot attack or block separetely and cannot be attacked directly (but you can hit it with direct damage or target it with other effects) and gives the effects specified in the card text to its Master. All Familiars give a default stats boost of +1 ATK and +1 DEF to their Masters and also an additional, useful ability. In the case of Troll Familiar above, you can destroy the Familiar (while attached) to prevent the destruction of its Trollish Master. While the stats boost is the same for all Familiar, the nature of the additional ability varies greatly among the different Familiar Spirits as you can hopefully see above. Oh and if the Master dies, the Familiar dies with him and Familiars cannot be detached once boned with a Master.

I think that covers the explanation of how Familiar Spirits, the new type of Creature I am inroducing in Legendary Legacy (there will surely be more Familiars in future sets!), actually work and so I conclude my rather extensive updated with wishing you a good time and happy gaming!

More EC-related news will be posted as it comes in so the waiting time until the scheduled release of EC: Legendary Legacy wil be a bit easier to bear (at least for me!)!

Thank you for being  reader and

GAME ON!

Yours,

Andi

 

Yu-Gi-Oh: Two “Guest Decks”!

Dear friends and fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG! Today we’re having something rather special: I will not ramble about some of my own deck creations but rather showcase two decks my good (gaming) buddy Robin…

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…whom I got really hooked on Yu-Gi-Oh in the past couple of months (ironically as a year ago or so I abhorred the YGO game and franchise – hate the Anime still!!) has built, one just recently and the other he has been playing, quite successfully over and over again since months (I always wondered how it would never become boring or stale to him!). I have to note that, as mentioned in previous YGO-related posts, that we are practicing and preparing for our very first tournament, which will be held in Advanced Format, so Robin and I had to modify our original (Traditional Format) decks to fit that format. Hence, the following two decks are modified versions of their original form to be legal in Advanced Format. Both decks are rather unusual builds and work terrificly well, whereby one is a Beast Deck Robin has been playing for three quarters of a year now or so and really perfected it. It is a creative mix of cards that all in all works together like all the parts of a well-oiled engine, which is illustrated by an awesomely high win ratio against all of my decks (and I think I have about two dozens assembled right now). The other deck is a Dinosaur deck, similar to the one I had in my “early days” which is also terrific in putting out crazy-powerful, high level Monsters quickly and reliably. Just as I was torn between Monarchs and Blue Eyes when thinking of which deck to pick for my very first tourney, Robin wasn’t really sure whether to run the new Dinos deck or the old and hence tried and tested, reliable Beast deck. By now however I think we both made up our minds and I will “go into battle” with my FPM (Frogless Prismatic Monarchs) deck I posted about just a few days ago and Robin will stick to the Beasts as far as I know. But on to my first two “guest decks” which I am pleased to be allowed to elaborate on! Let us start with the newer Dino  deck and save the best for last (the Beasts!):

Robin’s Dinosaurs

 Monsters….17

3 x Hydrogeddon

3 x Gilasaurus

2 x Hyper Hammerhead

2 x Frostosaurus

1 x Cyber Dinosaur

3 x Super Conductor Tyranno

2 x Ultimate Tyranno

1 x Jurrac Titano

Spells…11

2 x Big Evolution Pill

1 x Pot of Duality

1 x Card  Trader

1 x Magical Mallet

1 x Riryoku

1 x The Dark Door

1 x Magical Stone Excavation

1 x Terraforming

2 x Jurassic World

Traps…12

2 x Fossil Excavation

1 x Call of the Hauntedd

1 x Nightmare Wheel

1 x Magical Cylinder

1 x Draining Shield

1 x Memory of an Adversary

1 x Mirror Force

1 x Volcanic Erruption

1 x Strike Slash

1 x Kunai with Chain

1 x Survival of the Fittest

My thoughts on the Deck:

Well, after playing JUST ONE DECK for like an eternity (the Beast Deck we are going to look at later) Robin finally decided to build another one, and th result you can see above. In my honest opinion the deck is a bit unfocussed and could be modified, improved and fine tuned a lot, but hell, it DOES work, and surprisingly well. At this point I totally trust in Robin’s deck building skills so I will not force my own ideas on him though I could think of many ways how to straighten the above decklist to some degree, which would make the deck even more deadly. Robin is running a lot of totally obscure one-of Spells and Traps which, again, work unexpectedly well all in all as extensive test sessions have shown. But let me talk about the overall strategy now!

Well the basic plan is to get out Robin’s two main or “Boss” Monters reliably and early on, those two being

and

Both of these kickass prehistoric behemoths  have amazing ATK values of 3000 and 3300 respectively, with Super Conductor Tyranno even breaking that “rule of 3000 (ATK)”, which is a general limitation of top ATK-values in the desing process of YGO cards as far as I understand, thus putting even a Blue-Eyes White Dragon to shame. Both Tyrannos have totally badass effects attached to them, Super Conducter a bit to a lesser extent and Ultimate with an utterly devastating effect as you can see for yourself above. He will basically wipe out all opponent Monsters in one battle phase. Super Conductor’s ability will only be really useful in stalemate situations, as you can, instead of attacking, Tribute one of your Monsters in order to slap a whooping 1000 points worth of direct damage right in your opponent’s face. I have to mention that Robin runs a third 3000 or more Dinosaur: Jurrac Tyranno. While this one has some useful protective effect, personally I would swap it for a third copy of Ultimate Tyranno.

The main means of getting these beasts into play is Big Evolution Pill, although some Gilasaurs can be helpful as well.

By just Tributing one Dinosaur, you get a card that will let you Summon the above, extremely badass Tyrannos without any Tributes for three turns. The best case scenario would be that you Special Summon one of your (very handy as can just be Special Summoned from hand with a drawback that won’t matter in the early game) Gilasaurs from hand, use it as Tribute for Pill and then Drop Ultimate or Super Conductor Tyranno on turn 1. That would spell major trouble for many opponents, as you can follow up with two more bigass dino beasts on the consecutive turns.

When it comes to Spells and Traps (this deck has a high S/T ratio as you can see in the above list – which should be alright though) Robin is really running a creative mix of cards, if I am looking at the bright side of things – or a raher unorganized and unfocussed accumulation of more or less random cards. On the plus side, you never know what nasty Trap Robin might have set for you as there is such a variety of Traps (and Spells), not all of which I would be playing in a deck like this, that you never know what bad surprises may come up. On the downside, I think the deck needs to focus some more on Dinosaur-Support. For instance, if it was my deck, I would add a third Big Evolution Pill, as this card is indeed the centerpiece of the deck and the more copies you run, the greater the odds you get it in your starting hand, early on or whenever you need it. There is one Trap in particular which I’d really run not once but thrice in this deck (hell, it even features Ultimate Tyranno in the artwork!! :D):

Giving a permanent surprise boost of 1000 ATK (!!!) to any of your Dinos is simply amazing and then you get that awesome effect in addition! Slamm that on Ultimate or Super Conductor Tyranno and you will have an unstoppable prehistoric powerbeast in your army! Also, you can use this with Hydrogeddon so it becomes strong enough to destroy many opponent Monsters in battle so you’ll get to Special Summon additional Hydrogeddons from your deck.

I will not go through all the various (and curious, maybe even odd) Spells and Traps Robin is running as you can look them up on the yugioh wikia or wherever you want yourselves. One card I have to mention before we proceed to the other deck is one that my young friend is running in all his decks: Card Trader!

Card Trader is a really nice card if you think about it: Once per turn just take the least useful card in your hand and shuffle it into your deck to draw a fresh card, with a good chance to draw into something more useful. While it certianly does not create any card advantages, you can really profit from the effect, though the element of luck obviously plays a big role!

Robin’s Beast:

Monsters…19 1 x Key Mouse 3 x Hyena 2 x Hand of Nephtys 2 x Trojan Horse 1 x Chiron the Mage 2 x Manticore of Darkness 2 x Sacred Phoenix of Nephtys 2 xMosaic Manticore 2 x Beast King Barbaros 1 x Behemoth, King of all Animals 1 x Alector, Sovereign of Birds Spells…11

2 x Big Cattle Drive

1 x Trade-In

1 x Swords of Revealing Light

1 x Card Trader

1 x Foolish Burial

1 x Dimensional Capsule

1 x Lightning Vortex

1 x Dark Hole

1 x Spiritual Forest

1 x Gaia Power

Traps…10

3 x Horn of the Phantom Beast

1 x Call of the Haunted

1 x Dark Bribe

1 x Dust Tornado

1 x Chain-Whirlwind

1 x Icarus Attack

1 x Mirror Force

1 x Scrap-Iron Scarecrow

Extra Deck:

1 x Naturia Leodrake

???

My thoughts on the Deck:

So this is Robin’s main deck, which he built like three quarters of a year ago, and played ever since without major modifications to the original build and with great success nonetheless. I must admit I had initially utterly underestimated this deck when Robin assembled it from spare cards in my quite extensive collection, as I thought it was, agian, just more or less a random agglomeration of cards, and furthermore I worried that with the overall high high level Monster ratio this would never work out. But much to my joy and surprise, everything fell into place more than just neatly, and the deck worked and still works fantastically, having so many tricks and different strategies accessible. The high win-ratio against my various decks speaks for itself.

The above decklist is Robin’s original Beast Deck, just slightly modified to be Advanced Format legal so he can run it in the upcoming tournament as noted before.

Man, where to start on the strategy of this deck, as there are so many diverse strategies and obvious as well as more subtle interactions going on in it. You know what, I will just go through some cards worthy to note and give my comments on each!

But first!! Most AWESOME card in any deck running at least a few Beasts/Beast-Warriors:

Isn’t that über-awesome? No only will you give a permanent surprise ATK boost of a whooping 800 to any of your Beasts or Beastwarriors, no, you will get to draw a card each time the Monster destroys another in battle, just like that. Card draw is so rare and precious and this is one of the best draw-engines I have come across so far (provided you run the right monsters along with it).

I kinda had to force Robin into running a playset of 3 of each but I think he has realized the raw power of this card himself by now!

OK on to some cards worth mentioning:

  • Key Mouse

This one is a Lv. 1 Tuner and can be used with any of the many Level 8 Monsters to Synchro Summon into Naturia Leodrake.

  • Hyena

Robin always seems to be able to set one of these on turn one. When I attack into it, he will be able to Special Summon the other two Hyenas from the deck to block furhter attacks from me or to conveniently use as Tribute Fodder in his following turn!

  • Hand of Nephtys

Tribute her and another Monster to Special Summon Sacred Phoenix of Nephtys from hand or deck. Not half bad! 😀

  • Trojan Horse

Trojan Horse serves as 2 Tributes for Earth Monsters and can help drop Mosaic Manticore, Beast King Barabaros and Behemoth easily.

  • Manticore of Darkness

This one is especially funny and frustrating to play against, as he keeps coming back! When he hits the graveyard, no matter from where or how, you can discard a Beast, Beast-Warrior or Winged-Beast to Special Summon him at the end of your turn. A neat trick is to send it from deck to graveyard via Foolish Burial only to revive it by said method at end of turn. Plus the Monster you discarded for him can be revived by Call of the Haunted later as well! Pretty awesome.

  • Sacred Phoenix of Nephtys

Pretty cool as it respawns when destroyed by card effects and if it does, it wipes out all Spells & Traps on the field, which can backfire if you do not handle it and plan ahead correctly.

  • Mosaic Manticore

A respectable 2800 ATK beater that lets your Special Summon the tributed Monsters. They cannot attack and have no effects but you will have instant Tribute Fodder for further Manticore Madness or other ghastly beasts!

  • Beast King Barbaros

This one is EXTREMELY flexible and versatile as you can use / Summon the Beast King three different ways: Either without any Tributes as a 1900 ATK Monster, by offering two Tributes as a regular 3000 ATK Monster or by offering three Triubtes, which will not only give you a 3000 ATK Monster but also whipe out ALL opponent cards at once. In this deck, having access to three Tribute Monsters is not as hard as you might think so I saw the last, devastating Beast Kind mode happen many times!

  • Big Cattle Drive

This CAN potentially be better than Pot of Greed, as it draws you 1 – 3 cards depending on which Monster Types of Beast, Beast-Warrior and/or Winged Beast you have on the field when you play it. Robin mostly plays it with just having one Type to draw one new card, which is a very wise move in my opinion, but a Pot of Greed effect of drawing 2 cards happens occasionally as well which is pretty awesome!

  • Trade-In

This card was added recently upon my personal recommendation/suggestions. With so many Level 8 Monsters in the deck, drawing 2 cards via Trade-In is a great option and a way to get rid of surplus, unusable 8 Level Monsters in your hand and trade them for something more useful. Plus some times you want to have a bigass Monsteri in your Graveyard, to be reanimated by Call of the Haunted.

  • Card Trader

Robin’s favorite Spell is in this deck as well. Why this is a nice card was already discussed earlier!

  • Dimensional Capsule

This can be very useful to get a key card out of your deck and into your hand, although you need to wait for 2 turns until you get the desired card.

  • Dark Bribe

Giving your opponent a free extra card sucks, but being able not only to destroy a Spell or Trap but also negate its activation is something highly useful.

  • Chain-Whirlwind

This can be awesome Spell and Trap card removal, as you can activate it whenever a card is destroyed by an effect and then destroy up to 2 Spells or Traps. Cards get destroyed all the time so the requirements for activation of this Trap are to be met easily.

  • Icarus Attack

Also a recent addition. Tribute a Winged Beast to destroy any 2 cards on the field. Raw power!

  • Scrap-Iron Scarecrow

This is the most annoying card ever (Well at least in this deck). It negates one Monster attack each turn and that turn after turn after it was originally set. I dread this card!!

——————————————————————————————–

OK that is about it about my first two guest decks I had the honor to showcase on this here blog! I hope that I portrayed the decks well and did them proper justice (Robin will scold me if I have not!) and furthermore, I hope you had a good read!

We will see how Robin’s Beast Deck will fare in the upcoming tournament. What would rock would be if the two of us would have a major face-off as the two finalists. Monarchs or Beasts: Who will win the epic battle?! The answer is clear to me already! 😉

With this I bid you, dear reader goodbye and hope you’ll come back for more YGO and other games related stuff!

Game on!

Yours,

Andi

Yu-Gi-Oh: Taking Frogless Monarchs to my first Tourney!

Well, dear readers and friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG,

preparations and practicing for our (my gamer buddy Robin and mine) first official YGO (Advanced Format) tournament, something I would have never guessed it would be actually happening one day and I would have called you a fool or meaner things had you suggested it to me about a year ago or so, are well underway and all is already planned for the event to take place on Saturday in two weeks from now.

I have to say I was and still am to some degree really torn between two options when it comes to which deck will be the deck for my first ever YGO tournament, and, until our test sessions just today, I was determined to just do something utterly crazy and surprise everyone with my good old Blue Eyes deck, a totally unexpected and unorthodox deck choice. While the Blue-Eyes Deck is great and all and rocks at putting out a bunch of raw-attack-power dragons, among others BEWD of course, that is about all it can do. There is littel in the sense of “control” elements and when somebody can top my 3000 ATK dragons, I am pretty much screwed.

With the other deck I had in mind, it is a totally different story and, while it never will have anything stronger than 2400 ATK out, it is very flexible and features a ton of control elements as well as being VERY reliable, as we established without doubt today, and on top of that it is somewhat unorthodox as well the way I built the deck (and I am a person who just HAS TO play something out of the ordinary). Long story short, the deck I am talking about and which will be the one I will be fielding (or wielding) in my first ever YGO tournament will be what I call

Frogless Prismatic Monarchs (or FPM for short if you prefer the abbreviation)

You know, everyone knows Frog Monarch decks and for my taste, while being no doubt very powerful, but I ever strive to do something in a rather unusual way. So for those who aren’t familiar with Frog Monarch decks, you’d basically use Treeborn Frog as Tribute Fodder for your Monarchs and Frog “respawns” from your graveyard (can be Special Summoned from there) each and every turn as long as you dont have any cards in your Spells&Traps Zone. The more or less recent release of two key Spells, which are Continuous Spells and which I am running both as important and powerful centerpieces of my alternative approach on a Monarchs deck however made running Treeborn Frog as a tribute engine a non-option – hence I adopted the “Frogless Approach.

Before I get to the actual stars of the show, the Monarchs, I have to show you the highly powerful Continuous Spells I am talking about. For those who have no clue what Monarch monstes are and do, only so much: They are all 2400 ATK and 1000 DEF Monsters which all require one Tribute to be summoned and when they are Tribute Summoned they got an amazing effect as they enter play, all being very powerful but different depending on which Monarch you play. So here the centerpieces of my approach on a Monarchs deckl:

Exhibit A: March of the Monarchs:

Yeah you read right, all Tribute Summoned Monsters, and that would include all your Monarchs (I am running 9 in total, so about a quarter of my deck is Monarchs!) , can neither be targeted by card abilities (regardless if Monster ability, Spell or Trap) and, and this is really aswesome, cannot be destroyed by any card effects. Dark Hole or Torrential Tribute anyone? I even run those two which would wipe out all Monsters on the filed save for my badass Monarchs! And the drawback of not being to Special Summon from the Extra Deck doesn’t bother me in the least as I don’t even have such a thing as an Extra Deck. I like it old-school and straightforward – and so this deck surely is! On to key card number two:

Exhibit B: Return of the Monarchs:

This one is really new as far as I know and I dare say, paired with March of the Monarchs, Return of the Monarchs makes the “old” Frog Monarch build obsolete. Ignore the wall of text on the card, which again prevents you from Special Summoning from (in my case a non-existant) Extra Deck and let me get to the point of this: What this card does is, once per turn, when you tribute Summon a Monarch you can basically search your deck for another Monarch with a different name. This will give you access to a “toolbox” of different Monarchs I am running (I am running 5 different ones) and will ensure that you’ll never run out of more Monarchs for endless monarchic (is that a word??) madness!! More on how to best use this card later on.

So yeah, our test runs showed that my Frogless Prismatic Monarchs deck is not only highly flexible and able to adapt to many different situations but also VERY reliable, as I think it did not lose once, though my opponent’s Beasts and Dinosaur decks were quite powerful as well. But let me provide you with the full decklist before I elaborate some more on the strategy:

FPM (Frogless Prismatic Monarchs) – Advanced Format

Monsters…16

3 x Caius the Shadow Monarch

3 x Raiza the Storm Monarch

1 x Mobius the Frost Monarch

1 x Zaborg the Thunder Monarch

1 x Granmarg the Rock Monarch

3 x Battle Fader

3 x Level Eater

1 x Tragoedia

Spells…20

3 x March of the Monarchs

3 x Return of the Monarchs

3 x Pot of Duality

3 x Enemy Controller

3 x Soul Exchange

3 x Fiend’s Sanctuary

1 x Dark Hole

1 x Gold Sacrophagus

Traps…4

1 x Torrential Tribute

1 x Mirror Force

1 x Bottomless Trap Hole

1 x Solemn Warning

About the Strategy:

Well first of all I must note that the deck contains fewer Monsters than I’d run in a regular deck at just 16 and the focus here is really on the Spells with 20 in total and only 4 Traps which are all not very thematic but all very powerful one of’s I would like to have.

So the basic plan would be to create some instant Tribute Fodder for tribute Summoning various Monarchs starting on turn 1. You’d best let your opponent go first though cause all of the Monarchs destroy (various types of) cards when they are Tribute Summoned and you’d really want to have some stuff to target on your opponent’s side of the field. Before I get to the main men of this deck, here’s a couple of ways how you can easily and consistantly Tribute Summon any of your Monarchs:

  • Battle Fader is probably one of your best ways to create Tribute Fodder AND stall at the same time, as you can discard it from hand when the opponent declares a direct attack, Special Summon it and end the battle phase. In your subsequent turn Battle Fader should still be around to Tribute Summon a Monarch with it!
  • Tragoedia acts in a similar way as it can be Special Summoned from hand when you receive battle damage. It has a bunch of other effects but honestly I don’t care for them a whole lot and will just use this one to Tribute Summon a Monarch simliar to what I would do with Battle Fader.
  • Level Eater is a card I am not entirely sure about and I may replace one or two just with plain old Cyber Dragon at some point. It can be Special Summoned as well but has to be in your Graveyard to do so and I wonder how to get it there aside from just using it as an early “chump blocker”
  • Soul Exchange is a great, great Spell in this deck as it not only steals an opponent Monster of choice, but lets you use it as Tribute Fodder for one of your Monarchs. That will rob your infuriated opponent off their best/most important Monster and give you a Monarch who will in most cases destroy at least one other opponent card. The big downside of Soul Exchange is that you cant attack the turn you activate it. But the card advantage it will most likely create in your favor outweighs that drawback in my opinion and from my experience.
  • Fiend’s Sanctuary is pretty straightforward as it just Special Summons a Fiend Token with a bunch of abilities/effects I couldn’t care less about as all I will ever do with the Token is sacking it to one of my Monarchs! Easy as that!

Well those are my means of creating ample Tribute Fodder for an endless stream of Monarchs, fuelled by the aforementioned Return of the Monarchs and well protected by March of the Monarchs as elaborated on earlier as well.

But let’s take a look at the Monarchs themselves already! The two main guys in my build are the two best Monarchs available, and most YGO-savvy readers will agree: Caius the Shadow Monarch and Raiza the Storm Monarch. I am running playsets of 3 of each and it IS necessary I tell you. Bask in the glory of those two beasts!

caius & raiza

Those are both hyper-powerful in different ways, hence playsets of three for the both of them: Caius lets you BANISH any one card, regardless of card type or position, which circumvents many graveyard based effects and on top of that if you happen to banish a DARK Monster, you’ll even deal a whopping 1000 points worth of direct damage to your opponent just like that. Raiza’s ability is a bit more subtle but in my opinion also very powerful, letting you pick ANY card on the field (Monster, Spell, Trap, face-up, face-down – anything!) and put that card on top of the opponent’s deck. That means you”ll not only rob your poor opponent off a key card but you’ll ruin their next draw as well. Followinga Raiza with anohter Raiza can be especially crippling / devastating for your opponent!

What I like to do would be some sort of one-two-punch Monarch action, which is made possible through Return of the Monarchs: Tribute Summon let’s say Caius first, then search out a Raiza via Return of the Monarchs and Tribute Summon it using your Caius or something else favorably on your next turn to search for anohter Caius and so on and so forth.

The other three Monarchs, which are one of’s in the deck, are just in for additional Monarch Mayhem and maybe Mobius the Frost Monarch is the most useful of the three, as he destroys upt ot 2 Spells and/or Traps when Tribute Summoned. The other two are Zaborg the Thunder Monarch who destroys any 1 Monster on the field and Granmarg the Rock Monarch who eliminates any face-down card on the field.

Two additional support Spells which work wonders in this deck I have to mention before closing this already WAY too long article are Pot of Duality and Enemy Controller.

Pot draws you 3 cards, you pick one and shuffle the rest back into your deck which is immensely useful in finding you the key card you need most at any given point, whereas Enemy Controller can be a) used to stall a bit by turning an ATK position monster into DEF position at instant speed or b) can trade one of your special summoned weakling Monsters like Battle Fader or a Find Token created by Fiend’s Sanctuary for  any kickass Monster your opponent might have. And of course you can use the Monster you just nicked from your opponent as Tribute Fodder for a Monarch or so!

Overall I have to say that I am really happy how this deck, which I had to adjust quite a bit to fit the Advanced Format limitations, turned out and performs overall. It all works like a well oiled engine, is realiable and flexible at the same time, being really able to adjust to about any situation thanks to awesome Monarch abilities and despite the fact my hightest ATK values will always be “just” 2400, is immune to Anti-Special Summon stuff along with many other positive things I am not able to think of just now.

In conclusion I think this will be a worthy entry deck in a possible “career” as an active YGO tournament participant – again something I wouldnt have dared think off like a year ago or so!

We will see if Frogless Prisamatic Monarchs will do any good in the meta that I don’t know the slightest thing about I will be facing in two weeks time!

Will definitely keep you posted on how it goes!

So thanks for reading and GAME ON!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

Awesome Announcement: BIOMECHANIC DINO BATTLES on Kickstarter Soon!

Dear readers!

I am thrilled to make an AWESOME announcement, which has nothing to do with AWE, Elemental Clash or any of my other game projects I have been posting about on here previously:

With great pleasure I would like to announce that BIOMECHANIC DINO BATTLES (The Deckbuilding Game) will be on KICKSTARTER, through American publisher of awesome tabletop games GAME SALUTE, soon!

BDB Banner Game Salute

 

When I am saying “on Kickstarter soon” I mean as early as towards the end of this month or else some time next month, as far as I am informed.

In this brief introduction to the world of Biomechanic Dino Battles I will not go into great depth when it comes to rules and how the game actually works (I will let you know about that soon enough!) but rather give you an awesome visual tour through the basics of the game, and we have some stunning visuals to offer, which was first conceived in summer 2011 as a Customizable Card Game. When looking for playtesters for the original BDB (as we like to refer to it) I got to meet my design-partner to be, Nathan “Nate” Moore from the United States of America. Nate had the brilliant idea to turn the game into a “deckbuilder” on the lines of Dominion or Thunderstone for example, so Nate and I teamed up to create what I am able to present you here and which will hit Kickstarter soon enough: Biomechanic Dino Battles – The Deckbuilding Game.

Here an artistic rendition of the two of us (The lunatic to the left is my humble self whereas the computer-genius to the right is Nate):

Andi & Nate Dino Masters

 

The artwork for Biomechanic Dino Battles was done by two outstanding artists: While Michael Rasmussen, who works for Fantasy Flight Games on a regular basis for instance, my trusted long-term friend and Elemental Clash artist par excellence Enggar Adirasa on the other hand did the amazing Strategy and Tech  card illustrations among other things. Just have a look at some samples:

Artwork Showcase small

 

So what is the game actually about?

you may have guessed it from the title and the art samples already, but BDB is a deckbuilding game similar in the core system to the revolutionary Dominion (Game of the Year 2009), Thunderstone or Nightfall to name a few, which is set in a somewhat dystopic future where the Terran Emperor keeps the masses entertained, just like the Old Romans did, by games – in the case of BDB however no gladiators fight till the death in the arena, but genetically engineered and biomechanically enhanced dinosaurs do!

So the BDB is a deckbuilding game. That means that contrary to a regular (customizable/collectible) card game, players do not build their individual decks prior to the actual game, but every player starts out with an identical, very small deck of cards and builds, expands and modifies said deck DURING the course of the game, which is an awesome concept made popular by the aforementioned Dominion, which, to my knowledge, was the first of its kind.

An important note before I show you some actual card samples:

The following card images are just teasers/previews which may be subject to changes still and do not represent the finished product! There are many things that still need to be fixed and yeah, I saw the typo in Megalomania (the first “a” is missing!).

At the core of the game, we have a threefold resource system: The trinity of Combat Cards – Attack, Evade and Defend:

Combat Cards

 

Every player starts with a fixed set of the above combat cards as well as some Rage cards on which I am not going to elaborate in this first, introductory post. With these Combat Cards, which can be purchased like any other card and added to the deck from the Supply, you do a lot of different things like buying new Dinosaurs for your fighting team or new Strategies or Techs as well as powering attacks of said dinosaurs, activating Techs as well as evade or defend against opponent attacks. The three Combat Cards are the heart and soul of the game so to say!

Next up what we have all been waiting for the most: The actual Dinosaurs!

Dinosaur Card Samples

As you can see, the Dino cards not only look amazing, both in artwork (good job Mike!) and layout (good job Game Salute!), but there is a lot going on on these cards. Too much actually that I want to go into detail about the meaning of all this. However I do promise to analyze the layout of the Dino cards in another post some time in the nearer future. All you need to know is that you’ll be starting the game with a “Dummy Dino” and you’ll be able to purchase additional Dinosaurs from the rotating Dino Offering to build up your team of Dinos, whereby one Dinosaur will be your active fighting one and up to 3 others can go to your “Reserves” to be fielded later on.

The goal of the game, and I almost forgot, is to inflict 160 Points worth of damage, whereby when a Dino receives damage, the player that caused the damage may put damage counters of their color on the damaged Dino. When it is defeated (has no more Hit Points left) each player takes their damage counters and they are added up to form the total damage dealt. And as said before, the first one to accumulate counters worth 160 points of damage that way will be declared the winner.

But what would be kickass Dinos without the right Strategies? Here are some samples of Strategy Cards:

Strategy Card Samples

 

You can usually play one Strategy during your turn (same goes for attaching Combat Cards to Dinosaurs and Combat Moves like attacking and retreating) but there are a ton of supportive Strategy cards you can use to enhance your capabilities by gaining “+Attaches”, “+Combats” or “+Strategies” etc. so it is vital to buy the right Strategy Cards that support your overall deck strategy. Besides that, some Strategies will enhance your Dinosaur’s combat values, let them deal additional damage or draw you additional cards so there is a huge variety of decks with all kinds of overall strategies you can build from the card pool available in the BDB Base Game.

Lastly, I want to show you some Tech Cards, which are usually some kind of machinery that do all kinds of devilish things to your opponent(s):

Tech Card Samples

Techs, contrary to Strategies don not use up one of your Strategies per turn and there is no limitation on how many you can play a turn. Usually, Techs come with two different, alternative effects of which you can use one by paying for its cost with the Combat Cards seen above and they can also be used on an opponent’s turn, which adds the element of surprise to the game as well.

And that, dear reader, is Biomechanic Dino Battles for you!

I will be sure to post regular updates as well as kickass art and card previews over the course of the next days and weeks up until a hopefully soon Kickstarter campaign and would be more than happy to see YOU over at Kickstarter supporting BDB however you can – even if it will not be monetary support, help us spread the news everywhere for example! Anything helps and would be much appreciated!

So see you in the arena, where steel and flesh of prehistoric beasts do clash! 

Yours,

Andi

 

 

Yu-Gi-Oh: A Marathon & Going Advanced Format

Dear readers and fellow friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG!

Man what a weekend that lies behind me! After like 5 weeks of total game abstinence, I got my fair share of Yu-Gi-Oh at last when my good friend and trusted boy companion Robin visited and stayed over the night. It was nothing short of a true YGO marathon and we counted (believe it or not) about 50 games in the end. We even played while eating Pizza and stuff – no rest for the wicked as it says!

Here’s a funny picture of the Nerdman (my humble self to the left) and his loyal boy companion Robin (to the right) – and yes, beer is an integral part of a two-day gaming marathon!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

I think the picture speaks more than a thousand words. All in all we had a ton of fun, that’s for sure. So what we did was testing almost all of my decks, and I own close to 30 Yu-Gi-Oh decks at present, all assembled at the same time mind you, some more, some less competitive (in our casual environment) while Robin played with his trusted and pretty awesome Beast/Beast Warrior/Winged Beast Deck (which I will feature as a “guest deck” on here in my next YGO-related post I think!). I am always encouraging Robin to try and build more decks. You know the two of us are a bit different when it comes to decks: While I have so many deck ideas I wanna realize and love to pick and choose from a huge variety of readily available decks, Robin tends to stick to one deck which he perfected and mastered to play. But at some point during our YGO marathon, we actually took out my boxes-o’-cards and Robin did not build one but two new decks, one being a Dinosaur Deck which really really rocks and Robin actually thinks it is better than his tried and tested Beasts Deck, and the other being a Machine/Ancient Gear type of deck, which has great potential in my opinion and in Robin’s but needs some fine tuning. More YGO madness to follow coming Thursday when we meet again.

Here’s what my nerd-room gaming table looked like when we were in the middle of some massive deckbuilding action:

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Yeah, this is what the process of brainstorming ideas, going through a thousand cards and assembling some fun decks from said cards look like – may look familiar to some readers!

So much for the 50 games YGO marathon madness.

As indicated in the title of this post, I and in fact we (Robin and myself) decided to go Advanced Format, for a reason to which I will be coming shortly. First I must note that this is highly unusual for me and unheard of in my still rather young history of playing the YGO TCG, as, so far I didn’t give a shit about Advanced Format or even Traditional Format banlists and restrictions, playing some sort of homerules traditional format with a list of restricted cards and no banned cards at all within the confinements of my purely casual, just-for-fun environment. However, after having played YGO so much, I proposed an idea, which I had never even considered before: “How about” I said to Robin “we go and play in an official tournament some time soon??” Robin was all in for the idea and we found a games store in a nearby city which holds YGO tournaments every Saturday – Advanced Format only, quite unfortunately to me as I would have prefered the Traditional Format.

But anyways, this is the reason why I will be going Advanced Format with at least one of my decks, with which I will be entering my first YGO tournament soon (I have played Magic: the Gathering tournaments in the past, but for YGO it will be a first for me). As for Robin, he doesn’t have to change a whole lot, neither in his Beast Deck nor in the Dinosaur one and he noted that while he has the most experience with the Beasts, Dinosaurs will be his choice for the tournament, which is quite bold and to which I applaud. Just wondering how powerful our future opponent’s decks will be! Again, neither Robin nor myself have ever played competitively in a tournament and we don’t have a clue about the metagame there so we have not the slightest idea what we will find ourselves pitted against there!

As for my choice of decks: My most competitive deck and deck of first choice for a tournament would be my “Rainbow Monarchs” deck which features lots of Monarchs obvioulsy and a ton of ways to get tribute fodder out to Tribute Summon them early and reliably. However! It wouldn’t be me to just take the most powerful deck in my posession and wreak havoc with it just like that. Of course I could just run my powerful and competitive Lightsworn or Zombie decks but I’d much rather surprise everyone with something totally unorthodox, so I will probably be running a “rogue deck”, as you would call a highly unusual and rarely seen deck in Magic: the Gathering, a deck that nobody would expect to be actually played in a tournament.

The deck which will be “the one” is actually just a mix of spare cards that came in the three copies of the “Saga of Blue-Eyes White Dragon” structure decks I had grabbed while ago, but, quite to my astonishment, it works so fucking well, winning again and again against Robin’s highly powerful Beast and Dinosaur decks, to which I lose all the time with most of my other decks.

So yeah, you may laugh now, as I decided to field an old-school Blue-Eyes White Dragon deck on the occasion of my very first official tournament! Nobody will see that coming and I’ll probably win the tourney as nobody would expect an ultra-fast  Blue-Eyes deck as mine surely is! Here he is for you, the glorious, old, blue-eyed bastard!!

Believe it or not, but with the following deck I play “Ol’ Blue-Eyes” on turn 1 and maybe even Synchro into his Synchro equivalent Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon as soon as the first turn, only to revive Blue-Eyes with Azure-Eyes’ Effect the subsequent turn.

But have a look at my current deck list, which I built for the Advanced Format (I hope I did it right and must note that I had to realize, much to my distraught, that One for One is limited… that was a key card in my strategy goddamnit!!)

Blue-Eyes Rocks Deck (Advanced Format):

Monsters…20

3 x Maiden with Eyes of Blue

3 x The White Stone of Legend

3 x Rider of the Storm Winds

3 x Kaiba-Man

3 x Alexandrite Dragon

1 x Breaker, the Magical Warrior

3 x Blue-Eyes White Dragon

1 x Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon

Spells…14

3 x Cards of Consonance

3 x Swing of Memories

2 x Trade-In

2 x Stamping Destruction

2 x Burst-Stream of Destruction

1 x One for One

1 x Dark Hole

Traps…6

3 x Call of the Haunted

2 x Champion’s Vigilance

1 x Mirror Force

Extra-Deck:

3 x Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon

3 x Stardust Dragon

3 x Number 39: Utopia

3 x Gem-Knight Pearl

3 x ???

About the Deck:

As said before, this deck is all about good old Blue-Eyes White Dragon and getting him out fast as well as reanimating him over and over again from the graveyard. You could call this rather stupid looking but nonetheless seemingly very potent deck “Blue-Eyes Beatdown” as well. There are a ton of ways to reliably get BEWD into play, either from hand, deck or graveyard.

But first of all: I hinted at it before, but I am really pissed that One for One is restricted in Advanced Format.

This was really a key card in this particular deck, as it lets you discard one card, preferably a BEWD, and then Special Summon a Lv. 1 Monster from your hand or deck. I have 9 candidates for One for One and all of them are tuners with more or less very useful effects. Just for instance, I could discard Blue-Eyes to One for One, then summon one of my 9 Lv 1 Tuner Monsters, revive BEWD with Swing of Memories etc. and Synchro Summon into Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon – and that on turn 1. But alas, with only one copy of the great, great One for One that will happen only very rarely now.

But back to the deck strategy: So as noted before, there are plenty of ways to bring BEWD into play – fast! Maiden with Eyes of Blue for instance summons you BEWD from anywhere (hand, deck, graveyard) when she is attacked – and the attack is negated even. Furthermore she pulls off the same stunt when targeted by a card or effect… And she is a Lv. 1 Tuner, which means you can Synchro into Azure-Eyes after that as well.

The White Stone of Legend is extremely useful to get one of your BEWDs into your hand, as when the Stone is sent to the graveyard (from anywhere and by any means mind you) you’ll get just that effect: Add a Blue-Eyes White Dragon from deck to your hand. There are plenty of ways to just discard the stone, for example through the aforementione (restricted!!) One for One. But also Cards of Consonence will let you discard Stone AND draw you 2 cards while you are at it. Speaking of drawing cards: Even without any such fancy things as Pot of Greed or Graceful Charity, this deck features raw draw power. 3 Cards of Consonence paired with 6 Monsters that qualify as discard fodder for the former (I would LOVE to run 3 Flamvell Guards to up the count to 9 but I feel I need the 3 Alexandrite Dragons as excellent early beaters as well – what a dilemma!) as well as Trade-In, which lets you discard BEWD to the graveyard, where he may be more useful than in your hand with all the reanimation and stuff. Both Cards of Consonence and Trade-In draw you 2 cards, which is quite awesome for an Advanced Format deck, having basically 5 Pots of Greed (well with some drawbacks, that might well be benefits in many cases anyways).

Another foolproof way to get out BEWD as early as turn 1 is Kaiba-Man. As long as you have BEWD in hand you can just summon Kaiba-Man, tribute him at once to Special Summon your Blue-Eyes right away! And if you don’t have one “handy” in the literal sense, just send a White Stone of Legend to the graveyard by any means (One for one or Cards of Consonance would be favorable solutions) and fetch yourself a BEWD for Kaiba-Man to put into play early on!

Another great, great card in any Dragon Deck is Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon: This badass dragon has a respectable 2800 ATK but what matters is you can Special Summon him from hand by just tributing any Dragon. And his effect seems just too good to be true: Once per turn you may Special Summon ANY dragon from hand or graveyard. Here’s a neat trick which isn’t even hard to pull off. First turn: Play White Stone of Legend, tribute it to Special Summon Darkness Metal Dragon. Stone goes to the Graveyard and fetches you a BEWD. Then just use Darknesss Metal Dragon’s effect to Special Summon BEWD from your hand.  And hey presto, one 3000 ATK and one 2800 ATK dragon on turn one! Next thing your opponent will do: Unleash a Dark Hole! Still an awesome first move!

The deck features a huge numberof Level 1 Tuners (almost half of my 20 Monsters) with awesome effects. About Maiden with Eyes of Blue and The White Stone of Legend I have already talked. The third Level 1 Tuner I am running is Rider of the Storm Winds. I am really torn between this one and Flamvell Guard. While Flamvell Guard is a Level 1 Dragon Tuner and a Normal Monster, thus eligible for reanimation via Swing of Memories with quite a good DEF of 2000, Rider of the Stormwind somehow convinces me more. You can attach her from hand or play to any Normal Dragon Monster, so preferably your BEWD, which will then get to deal piercing battle damage. My guess is that could be vital in overcoming the opponent defenses, so for now I will try the deck with Rider instead of Flamvell Guard. With so many Lv. 1 Tuners and so many ways to get BEWD out, summoning the mighty Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon should be a piece of cake, happen reliably and early on!

Other Spells I play and haven’t mentioned yet are 2 Stamping Destruction, 2 Burst Stream of Destruction and one Dark Hole. The first I am running as an alternative to MST (Mystical Space Typhoon) rahter because they are very thematic and less because of the 500 damage they deal and with Burst Stream of Destruction I can pull off a nice trick: So with a deck that reliably gets out BEWD, Burst Stream of Destruction is awesome, destroying all opponent Monsters as long as you control a BEWD. The drawback of BEWD not being able to attack the turn you activate Burst Stream can be circumvented just by Synchro Summoning your BEWD into Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon, because that one CAN attack even after activating Burst Stream of Destruction and the field will be clear of defenders in addition! The purpose of Dark Hole should be self-explanatory.

As for Traps, I am running a full playset of Call of the Haunted for some very obvious reanimation action as well as 2 Champion’s Vigilance, which act as Solemn Judgment for no life point cost. You can only activate it as long as you have a  Level 7 or higher Normal Monster in play, which should not be the problem in this particular build, and which can be a real life saver, negating any Trap or Spell or Monster Summon that might be troublesome for you! And a copy of Mirror Force is in there just in case…

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Well folks, that is my first actual Advanced Format Deck for you. I wonder how it will fare in a totally new and unknown tournament environment and I won’t mind at all if I get stomped by more crafty deckbuilders / competitive players! I am counting on the element of surprise and am curious to see what comes off it!

More Yu-Gi-Oh related stuff to come!

Game on!

Yours,

Andi