Pro Player Talk: Michael Duke (YCS Sydney 2017 Winner)

Michael Duke was the winner of YCS Sydney 2017 defeating Bohdan Temnyk in the finals in an epic Metalfoes mirror match. He is no stranger to the top tables of an event having other accomplishments such as Top 4 Australian Nationals 2019, Top 16 of Oceania WCQ 2017 and Top 64 of Australian Nationals in 2016. When he’s not playing on the top tables, he can be seen as a floor judge at regionals and even bigger events such as Nationals or the WCQ. I was able to catch him for a quick chat.

Micheal Duke Pro Player


Hey Michael, how are you feeling about this weekend?

I’m feeling reasonably confident. I’ve had a lot of practice with my deck against a lot of match ups so I think I’ll do alright.


What deck are you playing?

I am playing Salamangreat. I like that it can summon Abyss Dweller and can fit a lot of tech cards in the deck. There are a lot of defensive options so you can usually play a long and it has a lot of durability to play the long game.


When did you decide on this deck and what other decks did you consider?

I decided on this deck a month ago. I also considered the Orcust deck but by the time I acquired the deck, it was too late to test and play at a high level with that deck.


How do you approach big events and what is your goal?

I usually go with the most popular and successful deck but this time I went with something else. My goal is to make top cut. Anything on top is a bonus.


How do you stay on top of your game through the long day ?

I just drink a lot of water and relax in between rounds. I try not to do trading and other things in between to save my energy.


How long have played this game and how did you improve to get where you are today?

I started playing at the end of 2011 just when Xyz monsters were released. I started getting a lot better when I met my close friend Nick Hillier because he was very competitive at the time while I was casual and he taught me to get better and was my motivation.


What would be one piece of advice you would give to aspiring players?

You don’t want to blame your losses on luck. You should try figure out what you could have done better and be accountable for your losses. It will help you learn to not make the same mistake again later and also improve you as a player.


Which locals do you play at and what is it like?

I play at Gametraders Macarthur Square. It is a very fun environment with a few competitive players but they try to host fun events so everybody can be involved!


Any shoutouts or final words?


Shoutouts to everyone from my locals and that’s about it.

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