The Decks to Expect – Part 1
Even though we were hard at work providing you with all the action from the German National Championship 2014, we didn’t find the time to turn some numbers into an article. The numbers I’m speaking of are the breakdowns for the Top 32 Decks for that event and since this is an important indicator for this weekend’s metagame, I thought now would be the perfect time to deliver you these stats.
Prior to many of the National Championships, we would constantly hear from players that the HAT archetype would definitely be the most dominant deck. While that remained true for the German National Championship – the largest European Nationals – the deck couldn’t dominate the opposition by a wide margin; the Geargia archetype was in hot pursuit, even scoring the first place as long as you don’t combine the various versions of the HAT archetype. Too confusing since you’re not familiar with the decks? No worries, here’s a more detailed explanation.
[h2]HAT – Hands – Artifacts – Traptrix[/h2]
This control deck is working like a clockwork that hasn’t been skipping a beat in the last 50 years. Not one, not two, but three different engines are powering it, ensuring a maximum of stability. First we got the Hand monsters – a very popular splash in many archetypes these days. [i hand] and [f hand] can often net card advantage or at least guarantee some sort of field presence for you. The chances of getting destroyed in just one turn are marginal if the last monster you control will not only replace itself, but also take out an opposing threat. And after that happened, you can do it all over again. And again. And again.
But wait, there’s more! The Artifacts can stop an opponent dead in his tracks since they can be special summoned on your opponent’s turn. A 2100 ATK strong beatstick can prove quite the obstacle to overcome when you’re just about to enter your Battle Phase, but that’s still not all. You also get to destroy a face-up card when you’re Special Summoning [a mora] on your opponent’s turn, possibly taking out their strongest attacker!
While [a mora] is nice and all, it wouldn’t be as threatening without [a sanc]. It’s basically “an [a sphere] for Artifacts” with the added benefit that you can’t counter it with a [mst]. In case you tried to take it out with a [mst] or some similar removal (on your turn), the Trap will punish you and take down one of your remaining cards instead. So once you know you’re playing against Artifacts, you should be hard pressed to play any removal, which in turn creates opportunities for your opponent to come back with some big plays like [tt] (or in some cases [mf]).
We’re still not quite done with the deck since there’s one more component that hasn’t been explained: The “Traptrix”-monsters. These are pretty straightforward: Play them, search your deck for a “Trap Hole”-Trap Card and ensure that you’ll have a great answer for opposing threats. Do you expect a heavy hitter? No worries, [bth] will take care of that for you. A boss monster maybe that usually tends to turn the game upside down all by itself? [tthn] will deal with that.
Naturally, the Traptrix monsters are not affected by “Trap Hole”-Trap Cards, so it will be even harder for your opponent to deal with them when they hit the field.
The deck might not win the title of the most innovative approach, but it more than makes up for that with its perfect scores in categories that matter the most in a 10+ rounds tournament: Reliability, stability and the potential to come back after your opponent had a great start.
Some Duelists prefer to leave out one of the three parts, instead putting a little more emphasis on one of the others or replacing one engine altogether with yet another one. So sometimes you won’t find Artifacts in this deck and instead the “Brotherhood of the Fire Fist”-monsters that will replace the Artifacts, etc.
This explains why “HAT” is not the most popular deck in the diagram above, but the core of many of those decks in the list – Artifact FF, Hand-Trix and HAT – is basically identical.
That’s the first deck we expect to put up impressive numbers this weekend. We’ll explain the other popular archetypes a little later today, so make sure to check back regularly.