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Pro-Talk: Kevin Semlali

25.02.2018 | 13:20 |

We are here with Kevin Semlali “Nephtys” from France, Paris. Kevin entered Round 11 with a perfect X:0 record. In Round 11 he had to face Lars Junginger with True Dracos, taking an unfortunate loss due to too many floodgates. Still, he finished 2nd after Swiss going into Top 32.

Kevin Semlali

 

Hi Kevin, thank you for taking your time to talk to us. Please tell us how did you come to play Yu-Gi-Oh!?

The first time I got in touch with Yu-Gi-Oh! was when I was I kid. I was watching the Anime back then and I was getting into it. I started to play seriously when Flaming Eternity and Lost Millennium were released. When I first saw Hand of Nephtys I knew that this is going to be my signature card. That must have been around 2005. In 2010 I went to my first YCS in Bochum. I was running Infernity back then. It was a really bad Deck, but I got hooked on the experience. Ever since than I hardly missed any premier event in Europe.
Now, I work at our local shop “Ultrajeux”. It’s the biggest one in France. I do all the tournament stuff there. We do have locals almost every day.

You are running Dinosaurs and finished x:1 after Swiss. Why?
I decided to go with True King Dinosaurs for this event, because it’s a Deck that can go 1st or 2nd. I don’t want to play a dice roll Deck. Since the mid banned list, we don’t have a broken Deck anymore. Basically, the Deck can break any board, if it doesn’t brick. In fact, that’s my most favorite part of playing this Deck: taking my opponents boards apart with an underrated Deck. And should someone decide to let me go first, they will regret it. I punish him with True King of All Calamities. Ever since Souleating Oviraptor was announced, I wanted to play the Deck. In Sidney a guy topped with a similar Deck which served as a starting point. I took his list and tweaked it to my purposes.

We are now going into Top 32. Is there anything different?
During Swiss you my face a lucky player, who does not deserve to be in this position. In Top cut there are, at least for the most part, only the good players left. It’s another stage of the tournament. When you loose your out. When I was younger I felt a lot more pressure when playing top cut. Nowadays it’s different. I feel relieved because I’ve already achieved my goal. I like the competition and I like to mindgame my opponent. The top cut takes it to another Level.

Do you have any advice for Duelists who want to improve?
At first you have to learn and understand the game on how it works and how the cards interact. There are some basic lessons that everybody has to learn. This may take quite a while, depending on your environment. After that, you should play the cards you like. It’s why a lot of players quit the game. They saw cards in the Anime and it didn’t work out. The only card I was looking forward to play was Ultimate Conductor Tyranno. I just needed to find a Deck to build around the card.

Tell us about your tournament experience
I’m aware that the Deck can brick every now and then. It happens sometimes. On the other hand, I do have the advantage that the Deck is not very well known, so my opponents often don’t know what to do. They lack experience in the Match-Up and, of course, I try to use this to my advantage.
I do have bad Match-Ups as well. In my case it’s not the Decks that hurt me, it’s cards. I don’t like to see too many handtraps. They punish me. I hate to see Trickstar due to Droll & Lock Bird and True Draco due to all the floodgates they maindeck. Overall, I feel pretty confident with my build and hope to continue my winning streak.

How do you feel about the current metagame
To be honest I prefer the OCG metagame. After the mistake of changing Maxx "C" to 2 it was quickly put back to 3 again. I feel like banning Maxx "C" in the TCG was a mistake. It should be at three. Only in Dragon Format it was the one card that made all the difference. Since the release of the Link Monsters we need the card back three. It is necessary to balance the game and punish loop Decks. I feel like the Japanese list is more well-conceived. I also hate unfair combos like Droll & Lock Bird in Trickstar. If you don’t get to play the game it gets very frustrating.
In general, I think that putting cards to 1 is not a good idea. The cards should be unlimited or banned. Cards being at one favors the player how draws into the card first. I appreciate the release of cards like Evently Matched. It punishes players who tend to overextend or set 5.

Tell us about your local community in France?
I know all the players in France. A lot of people quit playing lately. We had a few issues when Konami decided to take the license and do Organized Play on their own. We didn’t have any good events for quite some time. Furthermore, the French Organizer decided to give out too many prices and lost the license.
Another point that the community didn’t appreciate was moving Nationals from Paris to somewhere else. Most of the players live in the Paris region. It very easy to get to Paris from all over France, but it’s quite hard to get anywhere else.

Do you have and final words
Have fun!