Top 32 deck lists from the 2016 NAWCQ

The North American World Championship Qualifier has come to a close. Top cut was 64, which I think is a little high, but that was the decision made. More than 32 copies of Minerva were given out to the top 32 finishers and I tried to compile all of their deck lists. If only there was a way for Konami to publish the deck lists or something. Maybe if they had a website like they could put YCS, WCQ and worlds deck lists there. At any rate, I’ve managed to gather 21 of the 32 deck lists and I’m going to share all of them with you. Most were from deck profiles on YouTube, where you’d have to watch 17 videos. Here’s the condensed version.

There were 2253 players who entered. Konami tells me this is the Top 64 breakdown:

21 Burning Abyss Phantom Knight (PK Fire)
13 Extra Deck Monarch (All variants)
6 Domain Monarch
7 Odd-Eyes Magician
6 Performapal
5 Demise Kozmo
2 Burning Abyss Monarch
1 Fire King Kozmo
1 Kozmo
1 Demise Qliphort
1 PSY-Frame

First Place

Top 1 Erik Christensen

Erik was 59th in swiss, which means if top cut was 32 or less, he wouldn’t have made the cut, let alone win the whole event.

Second Place

Top 2 Tommy Rowe

Tommy’s weekend just went perfectly. From his deck profile, he seemed thoughtful and good at the game. He mentioned both using a spreadsheet and turn player priority. Considering one of his opponent’s used an Effect Veiler on a Terrortop he didn’t activate, and another ran two Dark Ladies into F0 without knowing what F0 does, it’s easy to see how the players that know their stuff are able to do well. The only curious thing about his list was the lone Maxx “C”, but Tommy explained that Upstart Goblin does nothing going second, while Maxx “C” often functions as an Upstart Goblin going second and that PK Fire is able to still function with just four cards going first, so Maxx “C” isn’t a detriment. Setting up multiple Xyz, then playing Maxx “C” makes most players stop anyways. Tommy made it clear that Maxx “C” is not good in multiples, but the one over an Upstart Goblin in a list not already running Maxx “C” makes sense.

Top 4

Top 4 Travis Smith

Corebage is interesting. It’s one of the only variations within the PK Fire deck. Travis noted that Alich is just to have something to dump with Beatrice to interact on his opponent’s turns. He also said he should have played Rhapsody in Berserk because Graveyard hate is seriously lacking.

Top 4 Admassu Willians
Most Domain lists are looking more and more like this. Frost Blast and Dark Simorgh are neat techs. I don’t think Simorgh deserves a slot in the Main Deck, but I didn’t make it to Top 4 at the NAWCQ.

Top 6

Adam Hutchins and Jimmy Nguyen never made their deck lists public. Maybe in the future, I’ll edit them in if they do. Adam was playing Domain Monarchs and Jimmy was playing PK Fire. I separated Top 6 from the rest of Top 8 because these two players are both going to the World Championship and won their matches against Jesse Kotton and Michael State.

Top 8

Top 8 Jesse Kotton

I asked Jesse if he had anything to say about his specific build and he said it wasn’t trying to do anything fancy, just be consistent and win games when his opponent stumbles. The list looks pretty standard other than the two Gloves and one Cloak. Normally, people run two Cloak and one Gloves.

Top 8 Michael State

This is the only Kozmo deck in the Top 8. Pain Gainer and Seven Sins can’t actually be made unless his opponent gives him monsters. There is no way to take monsters in this list, nor is there a DARK Rank 8 to put Pain Gainer on top.

Top 16

William Burke was playing Majespecter Magicians.

Top 16 Roland Fang

The only thing to note is the redundancy of Volcasaurus, Pleiades and Adreus in case the first falls into Fog Blade or Strike.

Top 16 Jesse Flores

I would probably cut a copy of Maxx “C” to make this list 40. It’s also missing Alich. Jesse said that he wrote it too sloppy on his deck list and wasn’t allowed to play it.

Nicholas Huynh was playing Domain Monarchs.

Ben Leverett was playing Extra Deck Monarchs.

George North was playing PK Fire.

Top 16 Vincent Paglia

The only interesting choice made here was the regular Caius in the Main Deck. It’s still good, but 2400 ATK isn’t great because everything in the Burning Abyss deck just runs it over. It does banish Beatrices and Dantes, though.

Top 16 Michael Sanders

Michael said that he only made Break Sword a few times throughout the tournament and wished he had a second Leviair multiple times. He also said that Emptiness and Chaos Trap Hole sucked, but Mirror of the Ice Barrier was amazing. Black Luster Soldier is in the deck because you need to “savage” your opponent to win. What this really means is that if your deck wins guaranteed 75% of the time, that’s probably not good enough to win a tournament. If BLS makes that 75% guaranteed chance of winning into either 60% or 90%, you need the 90% because 75% wasn’t going to get you there in the first place, so the matches you lose because of BLS are worth the extra matches you win.

Top 32

Top 32 Zach Stone

Zach is here even though his last name is Stone because he’s registered as Bishop-Stone with Konami. Other than liking the ability to summon Simorgh with its own summoning procedure, I just want to say Robbie already said everything there is to say about this deck.

Francisco Brown-Santos was playing Performapals.

Top 32 Chase Cunningham

The Karma Cuts and Vanity’s Emptiness are not cards you see very often anymore. Both were good enough to get Chase to the Top 32, so they must be decent. He also only showed 14 cards for his Side Deck, but if you’re copying this list to play, just add a third Mask of Restrict.

Top 32 Mike Egna

Mike said that Nobledragon Magician and Xiangke Magician were the best two cards all weekend and that they were almost always the cards to search with Pendulum Call. The only other thing he said was that he’d like to make space for some number of Majespecter Tornados.

Top 32 Spencer Hodum

Spencer said Cherries was awful and that he’d play Stygian Dirge over them.

Top 32 Hervey Jaramillo

Hervey was first in swiss. If the top cut was Top 16 or Top 8, he possibly would have won the whole thing. Hervey lost to Travis Smith, who wouldn’t have made Top 4 if the top cut was even Top 32 because he was 33rd in swiss.

Top 32 Shay Kelly

Please excuse my poor deck construction. The fourth Pantheism and Return are Foolish Burial and Instant Fusion.

Top 32 Robert Kenny

Bobby said if he were to play the event again that he wouldn’t play Light Phoenix and more copies of Oafdragon or Xiangke. He also said Ignister wasn’t very good and that he’d play Giant Hand instead. The players that played Splashmammoth all said it was incredible for them. Sloth is also interesting and something I never thought of. It stops searching or acts like Domain. Seems pretty good.

Matt Kolenda was playing PK Fire.

Top 32 Alexander Liddington

Top 32 Jiahao Liu

Top 32 Tyler Pinnow

Tyler said Swords of Concealing Light was amazing at the event.

Top 32 Jarred Randolph

Jarred said he sometimes wanted the second CyDra Nova in testing because it would be tributed with Ehther, but it never came up in the tournament.

Michael Tamez refused to share his deck list, but was apparently playing Extra Deck Monarchs. This competitive season is practically over. There really won’t be any more premier events under this F&L list.

Top 32 Steven Tarnok

Steven said he wished that he played 3 Odd-Eyes Unicorn and 2-2 Oafdragon to Dragonpit and no Wisdom-Eye. He also said that MST is just better than Twin Twisters in this deck.

Top 32 Elvis Vu

I’m thinking about doing some sort of graphic every time a new F&L list or set comes out just showing what the meta has been like. If you have any suggestions, leave them below. Pick up Sloths before they jump up, click an ad and until tomorrow, actually play to win, or recognize that you’re playing for a different reason.

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