April 2018 Pro Decklist Analysis

With April's Pro Decklist tournament having reached its conclusion, it's time to take a look at the competition and the decks that won it all.

Following strong restrictions on the banlist and with the restrictions of the banned archetypes, Altergeists were the clear deck of choice, with the archetype being the only deck to be represented by more than one duelist in this tournament. Despite this, the archetype, which received a significant boost with the arrival of Altergeist Multifaker, didn't manage to take the top spot in this month's tournament. That honour went to the Gouki Knightmare deck piloted by Diamane.

Before we discuss the top decks in this tournament, though, let's take a look at the representation:

As you can see, the restrictions this tournament placed on the decks that were allowed to participate resulted in a number of different approaches to taking down this tournament and we saw a number of strong archetypes of the past attempt to make a resurgence here. Particularly of note is the D/D/D deck, piloted by Silenty, that many people felt would be far less relevant with the advent of Master Rule 4.

Some players clearly also felt that the best way to win would be to stop these potentially weakened decks would be to stop them from playing altogether, with Kyosuke Kiryu's anti-meta deck narrowly missing out on Top 4 and the showing of Qliphort and Phantasm Spiral decks, piloted by Trickster and InterspectralQueen respectively, which are known for shutting down the opponent's deck.

After 5 rounds of Swiss, we finally reached our top 4 duelists. This is what the breakdown of the Top 4 looked like:

There was a strong showing from Altergeists, with 2 of the 3 Altergeist decks reaching the top 4. Gouki Knightmares also showed their formidable power, eventually taking the win in the face of staunch opposition. The surprise showing, of course, was D/D/D, which performed admirably throughout the tournament, despite getting knocked out in the semi-finals.

Without further ado, then, let's take a look at the decks that made it to this final stage of the competition


Silenty's D/D/D - Top 4

Silenty took top 4 with this take on the D/D/D deck. With help from Saryuja Skull Dread and of course Crystron Needlefiber, this deck can put together some formidable boards, with the ability to use a number of the D/D/D Synchro, Fusion and Xyz monsters to suit his needs.

D/D Swirl Slime and D/D Lamia are still integral parts of the deck, but a bit more work is needed to create a board worth talking about.

Interestingly, Silenty went for in-archetype support in the side deck, alongside a Solemn package, a playset of Evenly Matched and a pair of Twin Twisters. Dark Contract with the Eternal Darkness prevents his opponent's from targeting monsters on the field with Spell and Trap effects and also locks them out of Tribute Summoning with monsters, as long as he has 2 D/D cards in his Pendulum Zone, and Dark Contract with Errors acts as a searchable Trap Stun for the deck. He also played a couple of the D/D/D Xyz monsters in his Side Deck to adapt to other matchups.

Overall, Silenty took this deck to a 3-2 record in Swiss and was knocked out in the first round of top cut, so a good showing


Diing's Altergeist - Top 4

Altergeist are widely touted to be a strong deck in the upcoming TCG format and DIing pilots the deck to a top 4 finish here. Going 4-1 in the Swiss rounds, DIing showed off the archetype's expertise in shutting down your opponent with floodgates and controlling the board in order to win the game. Sadly for him, he lost the Altergeist mirror match in the semi-final. A disappointing finish to an otherwise successful tournament for DIing.

The monster lineup is very standard, using Altergeist Multifaker as the main facility to control the game, with the ability to summon itself whenever you activate a Trap Card, then summoning another Altergeist from the deck. His choice of spells, though, are quite interesting. Choosing to play Dark Hole and Pot of Duality, over powerful spells of the format like Scapegoat or Pot of Desires is interesting and he clearly places a large emphasis on controlling the game from the very start with these choices, looking to grab the specific floodgates he needs with Pot of Duality, rather than taking the inherent advantage given by Pot of Desires. His choice to play 3 Anti-Spell Fragrance and the 1 copy of Imperial Order exemplifies the desire to see his near-game-winning floodgates as frequently as possible.

DIing's Side Deck choice of Secret Village of the Spellcasters is also interesting. As long as he controls a Spellcaster monster his opponent can't activate Spell Cards, and due to the limited spells he plays himself the risk of its drawback is almost non-existent. Evidently DIing's strategy coming into this tournament was to put an emphasis on shutting down the opponent's Spell Cards, first and foremost, but also their monsters, with Skill Drain, the Solemn Package and Torrential Tribute.


Thomas Yang's Altergeist - 2nd Place

The other Altergeist player in this tournament, Thomas Yang, took the deck to a 2nd place finish, after a 3-2 showing in Swiss. Compared to the other Altergeist deck, Thomas has decided to play fewer Altergeist Trap Cards in favour of playing Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit in the Main Deck, as well as opting against board wipes like Torrential Tribute in the Main Deck.

In terms of the Side Deck, as Thomas admits, a number of the cards included are less than optimal, and he felt he could have brought a better showing had he played a more favourable side deck. Shared Ride and Imperial Iron Wall, namely are more suited to the Strikeblade and Invoked Mekk-Knight matchups, just a couple of the decks that weren't permitted in this tournament. Ghost Reaper and Winter Cherries may also have not performed as expected, due to the pure diversity of decks in the tournament.


Diamane's Gouki Knightmare - 1st Place

This month's 1st place deck is this version of Gouki Knightmare, piloted by Diamane to an undefeated 5-0 finish in Swiss and taking both games in the top 4. The deck's raw power and consistency, as well as the freshness of the matchup probably caught a number of people off guard in this tournament.

In terms of how the deck functions, any two Warriors can result in an incredibly strong board, including an Extra Link as well as Destroymare Iblee being played on your opponent's side of the field, as long as you can access Gouki Re-Match. Divine Sword - Phoenix Blade can be discarded to trigger your Knightmares' effects and the recovered later by banishing 2 Warriors from your GY. The deck utilises the interactions of powerful link monsters like Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights, Summon Sorceress, Firewall Dragon and Crystron Needlefiber to turbo out link materials and provide the resources necessary to summon the Knightmare monsters. For a full explanation of the deck you can check out Diamane's deck report here.

Called by the Grave in the Main Deck and the majority of Diamane's Side Deck cards function to allow the deck to combo off without being disrupted, either by hand traps or by your opponent's effects if you're going second. Red Reboot protects you against Trap-heavy decks and gives you almost free rein to OTK your opponent, with Twin Twisters fulfilling much of the same function. In addition, Kumungous, the Sticky String Kaiju and Dark Hole allow you to overcome many boards that your opponent might make during their turn.

Congratulations to all of our finalists and our ultimate victor, Diamane. Keep your eyes out for the next Pro Decklist tournament very soon!