Meta snapshot: ARG Oklahoma City

cameraclops-bpw2-na-sr-1eI’d like to do more metagame snapshots but I simply don’t have the time. Too many deck lists are made public, but they’re too random. Konami has no back log of them publicly, which I believe they should. TCGPlayer isn’t updated with all of the deck lists. is cumbersome to use and also doesn’t get all of the information. They also don’t tell you any information. I’m about to.

Another ARG event happened the 17th and 18th. I can’t find how many players attended but at least all top 16 deck lists are made public. While YCSs are bigger, I can only find like four deck lists from YCS Mexico City and they’re all in video form. The ARG lists are barely legible but at least they’re public. Konami doesn’t even need to make them public before top cut like ARG does, just after the tournament. But c’mon people, learn to write legibly. If I got your name wrong, I don’t care enough to correct it because you couldn’t care enough to write your name right in the first place. But seriously, Michael Tamez, I can’t read what this says.


Grisaille Prison and Inzektor Exa-Beetle are on that list. Who you are, your race/religion/creed/gender/whatever else doesn’t matter to me. Not one bit. I just want to see your deck list. Another guy had some cards written in Spanish and some in English. If they’re all in Spanish, I’ll just go to the Spanish YGO DB and figure out what the cards are that way. But keep them all in one language and all legible, please.

Before I go into the ARG lists, let’s look at YCS Mexico City.

“Blue-Eyes Decks are the most represented in the Top 32, with 9 Duelists piloting them to a top cut finish. Nevertheless, despite their popularity this weekend, they still comprise less than one-third of the Decks in the Top 32.
Metalfoes seem to be the second most represented Deck in the Top 32, with 5 Metalfoes Decks making it to the top cut, including 3 Metalfoes Decks that use Qliphort monsters.
Kozmo Decks and Phantom Knight Burning Abyss Decks also had a strong showing this weekend, each placing 4 Duelists into the Top 32.
Atlantean Mermail Decks weren’t far behind, with 3 Duelists piloting an Atlantean Mermail Deck to a Top 32 finish.
Lightsworn, Zombie, Odd-Eyes, DARK HERO Synchro, Dinomist, Gadget Artifact, and Stun Decks are each represented by a single Duelist in the Top 32.”


Metalfoes is what won. Metalfoes is just another combo deck that combos into Synchro and Xyz plays, occasionally making one of the few fusions. Adrian included Jowgen because nothing short of Raigeki can kill it game one. The fabled Catsith can kill stuff like Jowgen and Emptiness game two off of a Melody or something, but most people only side one if at all. Other than Jowgen, there isn’t really anything exciting to talk about. It’s usually pretty uninteresting and irrelevant whether you have two or three Goldriver and whether or not Glow-Up Bulb was in your list. It’s the other techs and the side deck that shows how prepared you were for a tournament and/or if you just got lucky. The Qliphorts seem like interesting techs but they’re another pair of cards that you either run or you don’t. Sometimes they play a large role but I think that the Qliphorts did not do very much because Cyber Dragon Infinity is not too hard to handle with Kaijus running around. Solemn Strike isn’t usually seen in the Side Deck and Adrian never explained why it’s in the Side Deck. My best guess is for other Pendulum Decks. After game one of seeing no Solemns, I’d be less afraid to Pendulum Summon, then probably get caught in a Strike and lose. Cosmic Cyclone is chosen over MST because it banishes opposing Scales and Fog Blade. No Twin Twister because Metalfoes really need every card to combo off. I’m surprised there isn’t an Omega to put Metalfoes Fusion back in the Graveyard when it gets banished with Pot of Desires because I know I always banish both Graff and Cir in Burning Abyss. It’s not exciting but there are lots of ways to build Metalfoes and they all seem fine.

Onto the ARG. I can’t find how many people attended it. There are a lot of problems with Yugioh coverage. At least I can find that there were 791 people playing in the main event of YCS Mexico City. Let’s start the ARG with the winner after I have no idea how many rounds and four rounds of single elimination top cut. If you want to try to read their handwriting, you can look here.


Cameron Neal or Neel won the whole thing. I can’t read his name. I think it’s Neal. The list looks like a standard PK Fire list with a few exceptions. Kumongous usually isn’t seen in the Main Deck. A while back when Beatrice was new, Noah Greene topped some regional and made a joke deck profile video about his attacking deck with triple Gameciel in the Main Deck. Since then, Kaijus haven’t seen much Main Deck play. From what I’ve seen of the OCG, they’re putting Gameciel in everything. Kumongous is a better choice than Gameciel because it’s still weaker than Dante but it’s Level 7. Blue-Eyes is an insanely popular choice despite its lackluster power level, and they would just make an Xyz with Gameciel. The other interesting choice is actually (more than) three choices. Only two Pot of Desires, only two Allure of Darkness and 40 cards. Usually, we see 42 to 45 cards with three Pot of Desires. You’re not going to be resolving all three copies without Necroface shenanigans, so two is fine. And if it’s milled with Dante, so be it. Allure of Darkness has no once per turn or Special Summoning restrictions, so you’d think to throw three copies in a deck with 19 DARK monsters. You simply don’t want to banish your monsters in PK Fire. Cameron already has two Leviair and two Pot of Desires. You just don’t want to be banishing your things. And if you don’t see Allure of Darkness, it doesn’t even provide card advantage. Just selection.


Second place was an Odd-Eyes Majespecter deck piloted by Jose Maitret. The Main Deck looks as standard as standard can be. Double Radish Horse is going to be a staple moving forward as it allows you to make a Rank 4 before your one allowed Pendulum Summon each turn. Majespecter Tornado is better than Tempest because it deals with threats already on the table. Tempest doesn’t. Mirage Dragon seems out of place but it’s jut the fourth worse Performapal Odd-Eyes Unicorn. It’s better than the Magicians because you can use Sky Iris to search it. Magical Abductor is still a role player to the extreme and you still don’t want Twin Twisters.

I thought Steelswarm Roach was noteworthy. Blue-Eyes need to use Return of the Dragon Lords or something similar to attack over it because Roach stops all Synchro Summons and Alt Dragon that Blue-Eyes tries to do. Break Sword is the only Rank 3. I don’t like Totem Bird. Sure, it negates something, but you can’t use Archfiend Eccentrick and Break Sword is like Scrap Dragon. The singleton Veiler in the Side Deck seems peculiar until you realize that Magical Abductor can search it. Psi-Blocker is an old tech that is seeing play again. It turns off whatever floodgates your opponent might have from Vanity’s Emptiness or Anti-Spell Fragrance to Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon. Kumongous also solves the Spirit Dragon problem.


There were a total of six different Burning Abyss variants. The most represented deck, even if two had Phantom Knights in them. Eugene Davis also used Kaijus in the Main Deck to combat troublesome monsters. Instead of multiple Kumongous, Eugene used three different Kaijus along with a single Slumber. If you draw the Slumber, great, you destroy everything, give an opponent Gameciel or Kumongous and take Radian. Radian is also DARK, so you can banish it with Allure should that come up. There is no Pot of Desires to be seen but the only singleton you really are excited to open with is Tour Guide and sometimes Emptiness. The deck is consistent enough already to take the slight drop and run 41 cards. I’d probably just cut an Allure and run 40 cards. Don’t forget that Beatrice can dump the Slumber directly to search a Kaiju.

Corebage and Giga-Brilliant have become standard now that Beatrice doesn’t take up so much space. Several players have even cut Dante down to two. Very early lists when DUEA was new used only two but quickly realized that many times you need all three. In Phantom Knights, less so because many times you would make Dante, you make Break Sword. I still like three and after playing a few games with this list, I missed the third Dante. I said on my Facebook that Vanity’s Fiend might be more important than Ghost Reaper in the mirror match. I think the third should be in here. Ally of Justice Quarantine is like Vanity’s Fiend for LIGHT monsters only. Neat but restricts you, too. Of course, Gameciel is an out, but it completely walls Blue-Eyes otherwise. Lightning Vortex might see more play in the future. It’s just another copy of Raigeki and Spirit Dragon can’t tag out into Azure-Eyes in time to save their field. Lightning Vortex only hits face-ups and requires a discard. Neither are much of a cost when all of your cards do something in the Graveyard.


D.D. Crow is the neat tech here. It banishes whatever Dante tries to get back and stuff from Blue-Eyes. Pendulums are mostly unaffected but Metalfoes aren’t. I’d rather have Kumongous than the Crows, but you can banish it with Allure and not feel so bad. Mirror of the Ice Barrier is for Farfa, and Lullaby can call Terrortop in the Mirror Match. I can’t think of anything else that is worth paying 2000 LP for when playing Burning Abyss. If you take a Malebranche, when it goes to the Graveyard, it’ll go to your opponent’s Graveyard and it’ll trigger there.


This is a deck list I like a lot. Crane Crane and Rhino Warrior aren’t seen often. David Vazquez also chose to up the amount of actual Malebranches he played, including Libic, which is a card I ran three of at one time when Tour Guide was unlimited because I just wanted to go Dante → Virgil → Acid Golem, shuffle away the one Nekroz card in their Graveyard and then attack for 8000. Times have changed, but Libic isn’t a worse card. Astral Force isn’t a card we’ve seen in a long time. I was looking at other cards to summon with Astral Force and I realized you could Dante into the Lightning. Then I remembered Lightning needs a Utopia as material in order to get bigger. With Astral Force you can activate Giga-Brilliant, then rank it up into Corebage. I don’t like Fiend Griefing and would cut them for an Emptiness and Solemn Warning. Then I’d cut a Ghost Ogre, Tri-Eyed Dice, Flying “C” and Majesty’s Fiend for two Enemy Controller and the two Fiend Griefing. Don’t forget to add the third Dante. I’d also swap Angineer for Grampulse here. Vanity’s Fiend might even be Main Deck worthy with Rhinos. We’ll have to see how the format progresses. Otherwise, this is my favorite list from the top 16.


We’ve seen 60 card decks before. It’s nothing new. Denny Vu has done this before, too. He just crammed everything from PK Fire and Rhino builds together and all of the good traps. I’d cut the Totem Bird for the third Dante and just run a standard 15. His side deck included Enemy Controller which I said was a good card before. Decks with 60 cards are less consistent but there is a lot of redundancy in it. Rhino builds have around 17 Malebranches, PK Fire builds about 11 to 13 and the 60 card everything build has 17. Compared to traditional PK Fire builds, it’s about the same percentage of Malebranche monsters. I haven’t tried Pendulum Hole yet because my testing partners only want to use Mermail and Dinomist so I’m stuck testing against randoms, who all play Blue-Eyes. It’s good when I have seen it, just additional Solemn Strikes.


Infernoids won a YCS a while ago and I thought the deck was okay but not quite top tier before when Reasoning was unlimited. This is actually just a Burning Abyss deck with tech Onuncu and Devyaty to attack for game. They’re fine but run out of steam very quickly if you don’t win the game. Multiple Rhinos or the Phantom Knight engine do it better. This isn’t impressive. Abe Thalos is probably just a very good player and the people he played against weren’t remembering that the Infernoids could come out of nowhere. I’m not suggesting he cheated on purpose, but I’ve seen a lot of players summon Infernoids with Levels/Ranks higher than 8 excluding Gaia Knight and Scrap Archfiend. I’m unsurprised that he lost sometime in the Top 16 when the other best 15 players were able to remember to play around Onuncu and Devyaty.


If you like Blue-Eyes, it’s a fine deck. Not the best, but okay. Two copies made their way to the Top 16 at ARG Oklahoma City. Both are pretty stock. Neither had Twin Burst. This build is boring and I think worse than the next.


Other than Galaxy Soldier, this build is a lot more solid than the previous. Galaxy Soldier is in the deck to provide an extra threat when the deck simply can’t create any field. I don’t like Number 62 but it’s a fine choice. The lack of Koa’Ki Meiru Drago is a little concerning but Swords of Concealing Light answer any opposing Dragos, Quarantines and Vanity’s Fiends. Catsith is for Galaxy Soldier and Melody to destroy anything like Vanity’s Emptiness or Dragon’s Mirror if that somehow comes up. The most noteworthy tech here is Ghost Ogre and that’s become standard somewhere between your Main and Side Deck.


I thought D/D/D was a bad deck. I’m still unconvinced that it’s good. It only goes Swirl into Genghis into Necro into d’Arc and maybe another D/D to attack for game. I’m unimpressed. The only games I won was because Solemn Strike and Emptiness put in so much work. Many games I was unable to do anything but summon a single d’Arc with the help of both Dark Contracts. Then my d’Arc was killed and I took 2000 and was unable to recover from there. Michael and Crystal Wing also can’t be made at all. I lost a game once because I could go Genghis and Glow-Up Bulb into a Level 7, then make Red-Eyes Flare Metal when my opponent was at 400.


This Trade-In build is a significant improvement over the previous list. Other than the terrible handwriting, this list is probably the future of D/D/D. Vanity’s Ruler is just like Vanity’s Fiend but with two key differences. It has 2500 ATK and it’s only for your opponent. Testing this build, I never missed Glow-Up Bulb or Synchros at all. I still haven’t resolved Thomas at all because it hasn’t come up. I thought it was a role player in the deck but I either haven’t had the chance to or I didn’t need to. I assume the play is Swirl Slime into something then banish it to summon Thomas from hand and make a Rank 8. Kali Yuga is really strong, though. D/D/D are just too fragile compared to even Blue-Eyes. I wouldn’t sleeve up D/D/D for a tournament, even though they can use all of the Viruses.


It’s September and DracoPals are still ticking. They look really different from when they started with triple Monkeyboard, triple Joker and triple Luster, but the idea is still the same; summon Ignister and some other Xyz along the way and hope Ignister is enough to win the game. And, usually, it still works. System Down is an odd inclusion when Kozmo are such a small portion of the meta. I would rather an additional Ghost Reaper and Ghost Ogre over them, but Juan either didn’t or didn’t have access to the Ghosts. Draco Pals aren’t dead. The deck still has access to Kirin.


Metalfoes wins through Tzolkin and all those Dragon-Type Synchros. It’s a combo deck that’s good at making Tzolkin. When I used Quickdraw in Monarchs, Tzolkin often won the game when I was able to get a Crystal Wing and another dragon. Metalfoes is a weird deck and I have a hard time putting how it functions into words. My best suggestion is to play the deck, play against it and to watch YouTube videos of people playing it. They’re also all more than 40 cards and make my pictures of the decks look bad. Storm is also a house against anything trying to play with actual Trap Cards. It makes them cry, reluctantly sign the match slip and go home.


Dark Destroyer is still limited and Blair Hunter is still playing Kozmo. He has to know the deck better than anyone else at this point. One Yaksha and Wickedwitch are interesting but they allow you to make Abyss Dweller. Dark Planet is just a 4000 guy that can’t be targeted and will likely win the game if he doesn’t get hit with any kind of Mirror Force, which nobody uses. Previous builds of Fire King Kozmos only used one Island. Blair used the full playset because it’s an important combo piece and wants access even if some number are banished with Pot of Desires. My only qualms with the Side Deck here is that Ghost Reaper isn’t a three-of. Against Burning Abyss, you want to see it as early as possible. Blair had 45 cards in his deck. If he doesn’t have Maxx “C”, that’s either a 21% chance or 30% chance of seeing Ghost Reaper if his Burning Abyss opponent goes first. That’s my argument for still playing close to 40 cards with the maximum amount of copies of cards you want to open with. That’s why I ran three Wind-Up Magician in 2012 while most other people ran none, one or two. The lack of people using math to help build their decks is insane. I used to not and it is more work to do so, but it gives you confidence that your deck isn’t bad and actually improves your chances of your deck doing what you want.


Johnny Nguyen did it again. Lightsworn are good. Minerva isn’t like Giant Hand. Minerva is the whole strategy. Metalfoes Fusion is cute but doesn’t put back Judgment Dragon, which makes me want to cut it. Plus, it doesn’t do anything if you do draw it. You want all of your cards to be impactful. The full playset of Snow is here but Eclipse Wyvern is nowhere to be seen. That’s probably because Lavalval Chain is also Forbidden. When Soul Charge was unlimited, it was super easy to go Chain → dump Eclipse Wyverns/Dragon Rulers, summon Ruler, blow up the field with JD, summon second JD, summon another Ruler and attack for game. That’s harder to do now but Trapeze Magician is a powerful tool that didn’t exist before. Denko Sekka is the type of card you want to open with against Card of Demise decks, which have mostly been phased out. See previous argument for triple Ghost Reaper in the Kozmo deck for my argument on triple Denko. I don’t like 50 cards when there are certain cards you want to see. The deck is legitimate, the biggest barrier is Minerva. Only YCS winners and those willing to shell out the money for it are the only people that can play it. I still think it’s worse than Burning Abyss variants. Minerva isn’t even a 10% advantage against Burning Abyss and other decks.


Madolche is the last deck in the Top 16. It surprised me until I looked at it. Brilliant Fusion makes OTKs out of nowhere on the first turn and Tiaramisu still doesn’t target. Madolche isn’t anything I’m afraid of and you shouldn’t be either. You’ll probably win game one if you’re playing a good deck. The side deck is really ready for Burning Abyss and Pendulums. Gameciel and Dark Hole are for Blue-Eyes. The deck is okay but the combos just don’t come together often enough for it to be a consistent contender.

D/D/D and Blue-Eyes are still popular for some reason. Burning Abyss is still the best deck. Probably the PK Fire version but the Rhino builds are still quite good. If I were to enter a tournament, I’d play a build that looks very similar to the Burning Abyss build with the Fiend Griefings in it. ARG events are more competitive than other events and the top decks reflect that. Infernoids, D/D/D and Madolche are a bit surprising, but if you don’t make mistakes and get lucky, they’re fine.

Until Wednesday, click an ad, buy super Rhinos and let me know in the comments how you’re liking this format and what you’re playing.




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6 thoughts on “Meta snapshot: ARG Oklahoma City”

  1. I think that kozmo is still considered to be tier 2 based on the tops this format,which could be consider a legitimate threat in the case of Juan Mendoza’s Dracopals.(Hence siding 2 system down.)

    1. Talking tiers is almost useless without numbers to back them up. Just look how Magic players figure out tiers. Where the tier lines could move a little bit but it’s by percentage of tournament tops. You don’t have to know anything about Magic to understand the number system. There simply isn’t enough information to do something similar for Yugioh. I wouldn’t mind doing something similar but I simply don’t have the time and it wouldn’t be profitable. As it is now, nothing I write is currently profitable. If Konami made deck lists public, I’d be much more willing to even just do a deck metagame.

      Obligitory link to how Magic does metagame and tiers.

  2. Hello again! Thanks for the posts, I’ve been glad to hear about top-tier stuff. I had a question, though. What exactly do you mean by building your deck with math? I mean, I think I get it, but just in case, run it by me, please. As for what I play, still currently using a HERO build based on using Prisma and Blazeman to empty my deck to charge up Skull Lair, then pull Electrum to shuffle my stuff back in. It’s not great, but I like watching people look confused when I use my random stuff. I’m thinking I may change to Gusto, though, as I found out my local store had a big bunch of them for cheap, so I got them and tried them out and so far it’s been fun. What are the issues of running a Gusto deck besides the obvious shutting down deck summons? Finally, I get that Ancient Gears are probably never going to be good competitively, but with some of the new stuff announced for February it’s high on my list of stuff to try, so I’d appreciate any tips involving running an Ancient Gear deck too. Thanks again for all your posts!

    1. By building with math I mean use to ensure the highest chances of drawing the cards you want to draw. If you side in three Ghost Reaper and want to see it in your opening five, there is a higher chance of seeing it with 40 cards than with 60. Even more likely to see it if you have Maxx “C”. You always want a good 40 (or more) cards after side decking. Not the least bad 40 you have.

      Gustos need their battle phase to go uninterrupted to do things properly. They’re definitely a fun deck. I’m not paying close attention to OCG stuff because it’ll come out in the TCG eventually and there is a lot going on in the TCG so I can’t really tell you anything about Ancient Gears.

      1. Ok, thanks. I didn’t know about, so that really helps. Thanks for the insight on Gusto, I was able to order a couple of cards that I think will help with that. As for the Ancient Gears, I’d appreciate it if you’d run an article on them when they do get their new support on February 24 in addition to a set review if you do one of those. Thanks again!

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