Report: Top 4 at the Invitational with Red-Eyes Eldlich
- Marijn van Duivenboden
The Remote Duel Invitational marked the end of the previous format. But to do well at this event, you didn't need to play any of the cards that since ended up on the Forbidden and Limited List. One could also sneak Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon-powered Eldlich past a bunch of True Kings of All Calamities …
Some don't like it, some love it. Remote Dueling, however, is here to stay and remains the only way to play in the absence of real-life events. We even get some high-level tournaments.
With the Yu-Gi-Oh! Day events held in December 2020 and the first Extravaganzas in early 2021, our Remote Invitational came kind of late. There have been three earlier Invitationals, one in Europe with influencers, one in North America where people had to qualify, and another one in South America with qualifiers as well.
For those that don't know—the Remote Invitational is an invite-only event organized by Konami. Ours was livestreamed on the 13th and 14th of March and was the first of many such Invitationals to come.
To qualify for this event, you first had to earn an invite to your region's Remote Invitational Qualifier, either through a Top 8 finish at an Extravaganza or by making the finals at a Yu-Gi-Oh! Day. For the Remote Invitational Qualifiers, Europe was split into four regions: UK & Ireland, Germany & Scandinavia, Western Europe (Benelux, France, Spain, and Portugal), and Eastern Europe (Italy plus the rest). The Top 4 players of each Qualifier were then invited to the Remote Invitational. Easy, right?
So the Invitational was scheduled for the weekend after the new ban list dropped. However, it was not in effect yet. This means the entire event was held under the old ban list and True King of All Calamities was still legal. Some people weren't excited for the event anymore because it's an old format. I myself thought it was a nice sendoff: one final event with this list. All decks at peak performance after an entire format. The Top 16 players of Europe battling it out one last time.
Maybe I was biased because I got to participate in this event, who knows. But excited I was. After getting first place at the Yu-Gi-Oh! Day at my local and second place at the Remote Invitational Qualifier, I was ready. If you are interested in some behind the scenes stuff where I show you how I prepared for the tournament, be sure to check out my Youtube channel.
- 7 Virtual World
- 2 Zoodiac Eldlich
- 2 Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon Eldlich
- 2 Dragon Link
- 1 Paleozoic
- 1 Phantom Knights
- 1 Madolche
This breakdown is pretty diverse. Virtual World is obviously the best deck of the format so it comes as no surprise that it was the most popular at the event. The other nine decks displayed great variuety, though. Multiple Eldlich variants featuring Eldlich the Golden Lord with either a Zoodiac package or a Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon package. The other decks were a little bit more rogue. Dragon Link became very popular at the end of the format because of the newly found strategy featuring Chamber Dragonmaid and Dragonmaid Tidying.
I played the Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon Eldlich deck. For this event I thought there were two viable strategies. One, a consistent control deck, a deck that doesn't necessarily get countered by anything, has answers to all viable decks, and can basically always play or do something to advance its game plan. Or two, a very high-ceiling combo deck that auto wins going first and has potential going second. The latter strategy, however, is completely invalidated by True King of All Calamities. With these theories in mind, I opted to go for number one.
|Main Deck||Extra Deck||Side Deck|
This event was something new for me. Starting with a Top 16 cut, and single elimination all the way. You can't lose a single duel or you're out. The main deck was the same as the list I played at the Invitational Qualifier, but I changed the side deck to reflect what was going on in the format. Since all the lists that the players had topped with were public, I had a rough estimation of what they were going to play. I build my side deck to counter those decks, with The Transmigration Prophecy as a wildcard in case Drytron showed up.
Round 1: Paleozoic
My round one opponent was Adi, who was playing Paleozoic. Adi is an excellent duelist and qualified for this event with the same deck. His skills with the deck are on point and he knows what he's doing. That said, he has no out to Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. Knowing this, I was pretty confident going into round one.
I luckily won the die roll and started off with Red-Eyes Fusion summoning Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. There was nothing in Adi's deck to beat it and I quickly won game one. In game two Adi started by setting three back row. My hand was pretty strong and I could send one of the cards to the grave with the effect of Eldlich the Golden Lord, trying to bait out a Solemn Judgment. Afterward I resolved Lightning Storm clearing the last two cards. The game swung into my favor since I had all the cards in play. Unfortunately for Adi, his strategy was strong versus most meta decks but not mine. I quickly closed out the game in the turns after and won my first match.
Round 2: Eldlich Zoodiac
After winning the die roll once more, I started off with Cursed Eldland, paying 800 to add more resources and then activate Red-Eyes Fusion. Dragoon hit the field once again, and after setting three back row, I passed my turn. Joshua opened with Zoodiac Whiptail, overlaying to Zoodiac Hammerkong to try and banish Dragoon. I negated this effect, destroying the Zoodiac and leaving his field empty. He set some cards and passed. I summoned my discarded Eldlich the Golden Lord back from the graveyard to proceed to the battle phase. With two set cards Joshua couldn't stop the damage. After crashing into my Dragoon he already was low and I won game one.
Joshua began game two, kickstarting his Eldlich engine with Cursed Eldland and his Zoodiac engine with Zoodiac Thoroughblade. Checking with him if Zoodiac Drident was his fifth summon, I definitely made him sweat, but I had not sided in my Nibiru, the Primal Being. I sent one of the two back row to the grave with my Golden Lord since Drident can't destroy it after it is revived. I attacked over Drident and then set three cards and two Eldlixirs with my discarded Golden Land cards. Joshua attempted to search with Eldland, I destroyed his Eldland before it resolved with Conquistador of the Golden Land to cut off the additional resources permanently. Joshua then attempted to make a Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder but that was met by a Solemn Judgment. My Judgment was hit by his, to be negated by my second Solemn Judgment. Yugioh in 2021. His field now was near empty, but he did summon the Lord he sent with Cursed Eldland. 3800 is a lot to out.
In my turn I drew Red-Eyes Fusion. I knew that with zero cards in hand it wasn't smart just to activate it and pass. I kept it in my hand and started link summoning with Conquistador and Lord. I further did this to kickstart my Eldlich engine to set more Eldlixirs and Golden Land cards. I ended my turn with a 3500 Lord, a Wynn the Wind Charmer, Verdant, and three backrow. Joshua had to pick up a Zoodiac monster to proceed, but he couldn't find it. He passed his turn after contemplating if there was anything he could do. End phase Eldlixir of Scarlet Sanguine and now I had two Lords.
I started my turn firing off Red-Eyes Fusion to summon Dragoon now I had a card in my hand that it's actually useful. I tried to destroy his Lord but it was met by Forbidden Droplet. I couldn't link away my Golden Lords due to Red-Eyes Fusion and I couldn't kick over a 2800 defense. I passed knowing he was almost out of resources. In the end phase he conquistadored my negated Dragoon. With only two cards in play and one topdecked Joshua wasn't in a good position. He tried to dig deeper with Vampire Sucker, but I did not allow that. After trying to summon back his Lord as a final defense, it was banished by Huaquero of the Golden Land. He passed and set one card next to the Sanguine and Conquistador that were set due to the graveyard effects of the other Lands/Eldlixirs.
In my turn I used my Conquistador and Haquero I used in his turn to make a Constellar Pleiades. On the summon Joshua activated Sanguine and chained Droplets to no avail. I bounced his last card to overlay for Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max, burning for some of the remaining life points and going straight for the battle phase. It was time for the Top 4.
Top 4: Virtual World
After I finally lost a die roll, Daniel started off. Combo combo combo, adding Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring from the grave to the hand with Constellar Ptolemy M7, and he passed the turn. I activated Red-Eyes Fusion, met with Ash, met with Called by the Grave. Sometimes you just have to be a better player than your opponent. After this I burned with Dragoon, set up my resources, attacked, and Daniel scooped on his next turn.
I wish game two was as spectacular. After opening Dark Magician to later draw Red-Eyes Black Dragon I really was behind on card advantage. Daniel had too much free room to combo, and he easily won game two.
Game three. I start with Red-Eyes Fusion and set Solemn Strike, Torrential Tribute, and Ice Dragon's Prison. Remember what I said about being the better duelist? Daniel activated Lightning Storm. This was negated with Dragoon. Then Harpie's Feather Duster hit the field. If that wasn't enough his Triple Tactics Talent was. Tribute summon Virtual World Roshi - Laolao, activate Virtual World Xiezhi - Jiji, and that was it. No card in my deck was ready for this, and I was out of the tournament. Daniel proceeded to the finals where he lost to another Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon Eldlich deck.
I wasn't salty or angry. I actually was pretty happy. The Top 4 players all received a copy of Duel Link Dragon, the Duel Dragon. Although I wished I won the event, I can't complain. All in all I'm very satisfied with this entire journey. The deck worked. Even after the ban list update, it's actually still 100% legal and viable. It will be interesting to see where the meta goes and if control will hold its own. Up until this point it only really worked because it was one of few strategies that countered True King of All Calamities. As of now slow seems to be key if we look at tournaments that have used the new Forbidden and Limited List already.
It will take some time until the next big online event. Having focused on the Invitational for so long I can't wait to start exploring other rogue strategies again. It has been fun to discard spells and traps for Eldlich the Golden Lord, but I really need a break. It's time to welcome our dragon overlords and look to the horizon for new adventures.
Tatsym signing out.
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