Pro-Talk: Lorenzo Santoni from Italy

01.12.2019 | 16:08 |
Lorenzo Santoni, a very experienced player from Italy, is the only undefeated Duelists remaining at YCS Milan holing a 10:0:1 record going into Top 32. We spoke to him after Swiss rounds about his home court advantage and his tournament experience.


Lorenzo Santoni Hi Lorenzo, thank you for taking your time to talk to us. The first thing I would like to know is, how did you get in touch with Yu-Gi-Oh!?
I started playing in 2009. Some friends of mine picked up the game and introduced me to it. I was in school back then when we started playing during classes. Some of them quit the game, but we meet every now and then and reminisce about the old times. We pull out Decks and start playing for fun. I kept on playing the whole time long. That’s almost 11 years of experience that I bring to events and I feel like that helps me a lot when going into these events.
What keeps you going?
I like the competition and the events themselves. I like to see how my ideas and my Deck will pan out through a long event like a YCS. I also like to build my Decks myself with the support of my friends and teammates. It is super important to have a team around you. The more people there are, the more ideas we have to find the best solution. I like that the game is constantly changing and that we get something new and spicy almost each month. I also like to improve and grow as a player. My experience helps me a lot and get along with new rules and changes.
What was your biggest success?
That was Rimini 2015 where I won my first YCS. It was Nekroz format back then and I feel like it was one of the most skillful formats ever, apart from Djinn lock, which was just plain stupid. When I compare the current format to Nekroz I see some similarities but also differences. If the goes long that it becomes a lot more skillful like Nekroz back then, which was almost a war of attrition. Then there are Decks in the current format that can go crazy turn 1 and build a board that is almost impossible to break. That’s the big difference: you need to have interruptions to stop opponents plays. Back then we had far less handtraps. No there are far more handtraps in the game and preparation is crucial.
What Deck are you running for this weekend?
I decided to go with Orcust Striker. The Striker engine helps in the mirror match. You get to stuff like Anchor to stop the Masquerena play. On the other hand, the engine makes the Deck far more consistent than pure Orcust. Even if you brick with Striker Orcust can play on. It is more consistent and more explosive than the pure versions. Additionally, Striker adds interruptions when going first.
How do you feel about the current metagame
It’s ok. You have a lot of grind games and no FTK Decks in the format. We are also far away from having turn 1 losses, so I like it. But I also think that changes to Orcust and Striker would be good to make other Decks viable again.
How do you prepare for events?
The first step in preparation is to analyze the metagame and predict who it will develop for future events. You never know what other people and other teams will come up with. I look through the coverage and also check the OCG to see how the game might evolve. I have a big testing circle that helps me build Decks to have an advantage over the other players.
Do you have any tips for new Duelists on how to improve?
My first advice would be to have fun when playing the game. If you are so focused on winning you might find yourself pushing too hard and therefore feeling too much pressure. For the newer guys playtesting is very important and experience matters a lot get to a higher Level of play. When I was younger, I was playtesting a lot, and now I’m in a position to have seen a lot and know from experience. Playing events with real opponents is also very important, because only then you will learn how you behave when facing stressful situations. There is a difference in playing at home or at big events where many people will be watching you.
Do you have any final words
Shoutouts to my Team Complexity Card Gaming, to my friends Gabriele, Franceso and my girlfriend of course.