Pro-Talk: Interview with Tom Rose

At Utrecht we talked to Tom Rose, former YCS Champion and current UK National Champion, about his favorite deck Burning Abyss and his experience as a part of the coverage team.


Hi Tom, thanks for taking the time! 200th YCS – how do feel right now?
[quote]Really excited! I’m so excited that I spent 200 pounds to get a new ride to Utrecht. Thursday evening I had to find out that my flight to Amsterdam was cancelled on short notice. But I absolutely wanted to be here and took a local bus and coach from Bristol to London. Then, I had to take the tube and afterwards the Eurostar from London to Amsterdam. I switched to a local train to Utrecht to finally arrive on time. It is a huge event that didn’t want to miss at all! [/quote]

What Deck are you playing?

[quote]Hydralander Burning Abyss – It is a Burning Abyss deck, but rather than playing cards in 3’s I cut the monsters down to 2 to reduce my chances of having more than one copy in the graveyard. Hydralander improves my Altergeist Match-Up, which I struggled with most. For this event, I expected a huge variety of decks, because of the new Forbidden & Limited List that was only released a week prior to this event. Therefore, I tried to find a build that covers a wide range of Match-Ups.[/quote]

You managed to win two Premier Event: YCS Liverpool and UK Nationals 2018, both times with Burning Abyss, a deck that was flying under the radar. Why?

[quote]I’ve always believed that playing a deck that is not the most represented gives you an edge over the competition. I like to compare it to fencers. When you are a lefty and you opponents only practiced against right-handed persons than you have a natural advantage over you opponent. Duelists are not prepared for the Match-Up and don’t know what to expect. I also like to change the deck that I’m playing as rarely as possible. I rather play a deck that I’m comfortable with. It just works better for me.

On the other hand, Burning Abyss has enough room to add or change the current tech cards. In Liverpool I added Chaos Hunter and Ghost Reaper to beat ABC and for UK Nationals I did a similar thing with Naturia Beast. I always try to play a build that no one has seen before.

Burning Abyss is not on a par with the current decks, but even if it is only 90% of the other decks, the surprise factor is enough to give me the edge over my opponents. It is a combination of people making more mistakes than I do.[/quote]

How was doing commentary for you? Why did you switch back to playing?

[quote]I loved doing commentary. It is something that I hope to be doing again. When I first started, I told myself that I don’t want to do too many events per year, because my experience as a player is my addition to high quality coverage. I’m supposed to be the expert and give quality insight and in order to do that I need to keep up with the game.

I’ve liked the livestreams and I love the feedback. I always try to give input to Konami. It is my chance to improve the quality of the stream and coverage in general. For me it is mostly to make coverage more enjoyable for competitive players, so that they can hear a more in-depth analysis from a player that has been in that position.[/quote]

What are your goals for this event?

[quote]I want one of the new prize cards! I want the new Chaos Emperor Dragon. It is a great addition to cube draft. 4:1 right now, it is odd , it is not as powerful than other decks, but if I keep playing people that don’t know how to beat the deck thatn I can keep winning.[/quote]

How do you feel about the current format?

[quote]I feel like at the moment the format is still wide open. I feel like Sky Striker is most popular. I’m quite excited that we didn’t have any event and decklists to get back to after the release of the new Forbidden & Limited List. This never happened before. [/quote]

How did you get in touch with Yu-Gi-Oh!?

[quote]I have three older brothers. We had unsleeved structure decks and started playing on the living room floor. After that, years later I started playing with my oldest brother again. He was at university at that time. He went to a local tournament there and told me that people are still playing the game. Then we started back home again and found a local in Bristol. I was at the time when Duellist Revolution came out and I’ve been playing ever since. To me [ygo] is so much more than pure competition. It’s all about travelling, friends and cube draft at Sunday night after the event. [/quote]

Do you have any final words?

[quote]Shoutouts to my Team Team Kuribrohs, I just joined the team at the start of the season. Most importantly thanks to my girlfriend for supporting me through all the expense and travelling and the time. I couldn’t do without her![/quote]

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