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Pro-Talk: Interview with JY Sharif

27.10.2018 | 17:47 |

We are here with JY Sharif from the UK. JY is a YCS regular and a World Championship 2017 competitor. Today, he is running a Danger! build. Going into Round 5 JY is still undefeated.

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Hi JY, thank you for taking your time to talk to us. Please tell us how did you come to play Yu-Gi-Oh!?
When I was 15 I found a Tin Box in my room with some cards in it. I started playing and attending my locals until I met a guy named Andy Swann. He taught me how to play and helped me to get to where I am right now. My locals Wargames Workshop, which is a great local actually, helped me out a lot. Depending on the schedule of events I spend almost 40 hours a week on the game to prepare, other weeks I barely play at all. I’m lucky my job leaves me enough freedom to prepare and travel to events.

What Deck are you running for this weekend?
I came here with a strange brew of Danger! Dark World Phantom Knights Blackwing. At first I didn’t feel very confident going into the event. After the first few games I start to feel better. My current record is 3:0:1 and the way I won my games showed me that the Deck is good and performing well.

I faced Burning Abyss, Pendulum and Altergeist twice. My draw was against Burning Abyss in Round 1. Burning Abyss itself is not so hard to beat. It only depends on whether they draw into their handtraps or not.


How do you feel about the current metagame
Honestly, if it wasn’t for Firewall Dragon we had a great metagame. Cannon Soldier is an issue as well, but other than that it’s great. I cannot quite understand how cards are designed nowadays. Burning Abyss are restricted to “once per turn” but the Danger! cards are different. The draw effect is not restricted to once per turn. Even though they seem very similar to Burning Abyss they have no restriction. That’s absurd. I have to admit that even if they were restricted to once per turn, they still would be strong.

How was Worlds for you?
It was great! From the moment when we went through immigration it was huge! We were treated like movie stars! It was my first time in Asia in general and it felt like going to a whole different world. Yu-Gi-Oh! was the reason for me to leave the UK for the first time.
The event itself didn’t go too well for me. I came in last, because I tried a risky Deck. My Dinosaur build was aiming at going second. It was geared towards the mirror, but all the US and EU players ran True Draco. I lost Round 1 and the pressure was already getting to me. After losing Round 2 I was heartbroken and wanted to leave. As soon as the event ended, I left and had to get myself some food and ice cream to feel better again. Probably it was a little bit too early for me to go there. Now, if I go back I guess it would be a lot different. Looking back, I felt like a little baby back then. I matured a lot since that.

Have you been to the United States to play at a YCS?
I always wanted to go to the United States and play in a YCS. Last year I was racing for Worlds again, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get a visa. Basically, I lost my invite to Worlds at that time. The application costs 130 pounds and you get denied within 5 minutes.

I like the points system a lot! It ensures that only the best players are participaton at Worlds. I just wished that there were more spots for Duelists from other countries. There is one spot for the UK, Germany, France and Italy, but only 2 more spots for the rest of Europe. So, I hope Konami will change the system to make it more fair for the other countries. My friend Kristoffer for example would have made to Worlds twice in a row if he was from Germany or the UK. He is Danish, so he needs to earn his invite at Euros. He lost in Top 8 and lost his chance to go to Worlds. I felt for him!


Do you have any advice for Duelists who want to improve as a player?
Practice! Take your time to practice and make sure to enjoy playing. My second important advice is: don’t be afraid to ask other people for advice. When I started playing, I messaged a lot of people online and asked them questions about plays, Decks and cards. Sometimes they don’t reply and that’s perfectly understandable. But most of the guys were very helpful and I’ve learnt a lot. Nowadays, I get a lot if messages from other people asking for advice. It is hard to reply every single one, but I do my best to help out. Youtube is also amazing to learn and improve.

Do you have any final words
Shoutouts to Andy Swann and my friend Kristoffer Nielsen. Believe in yourself and have fun!