Report: Top 4 at the Invitational with Red-Eyes Eldlich

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.

remote duel logo

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.

Getting In

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?

The Format

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.

true king of all calamities drytron alpha thuban lulu
Miss them already?

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.

The Decks

  • 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.

toadally rusty bardiche Madolche Messengelato
A welcome surprise!

Easter Egg My Deck: Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon Eldlich
Main DeckExtra DeckSide 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.

eldlich the golden lord red-eyes dark dragoon
The best of friends

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.

paleozoic marrella zoodiac whiptail laolao
Some expected, some unexpected

The End

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.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.


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Bonkers91(29.03.2021 17:40)

No Drytron? Pretty Bold
Put nice article as always

rinona73(25.03.2021 10:09)

Playing dragoon was a very bold choice, I feel like the zoodiac engine or a completely different deck like vw, dragons or drytron would've been way better.

DylanPayne(24.03.2021 22:37)

Bringing madolche, pk and paleozoic to the invitational surely was a bold move. It's always hard going rogue, but those are decks which can steal a lot of wins if you know how to master them.

ByRob(24.03.2021 21:38)

1 Maldoche ?! It's bold for him

Ephrem(24.03.2021 19:10)

It was an interesting call to play Eldlich instead of VW, but it sure is good though. Going for Dragoon instead of Zoo is still a really bold choice, which I wouldnt have done. Still a decent run for a great deck!

daisyrose(24.03.2021 18:21)

While Dragoon is obviously a huge presence in the meta, I feel that ramming it in random decks and destroying their percentage of good hands is quite bold, a fool's errand. People really should open a hypergeometric calculator from time to time.

hugs1(24.03.2021 18:11)

It was very bold of konami to hit drytron like they did. Now control trap decks are the way to go...

Raidraptor-Nest(24.03.2021 18:07)

I'm not bold enough to say I know enough about the current meta, especially as I hugely dislike the massive overuse of hand traps in today's game. But It seems Dragoon is at last proving itself to be the powerhouse it was marketed and feared as

Ring94(24.03.2021 09:34)

If I would be more bold, I would still playing Drytron instead of other meta decks, this because I really like their mechanics and I'm enjoy playing with that deck

N8MARE(24.03.2021 00:02)

Pretty bold move to bluff having zur nibiru :D
I am not the biggest fan of hand traps but the psychological aspect of having to guess if the Opponent has them is one of the nicer aspects.

Razzudk(23.03.2021 23:28)

Bold to play without Drytron

georgeStr(23.03.2021 22:58)

I played and will keep playing my eldlich deck, especially as an engine in other deck of mine, because I just love how amazing this engine is. It must feel really bold to keep playing virtual world without VFD now, there are variations of the deck with bottoms or dragoon but I wouldn’t go for it. Lastly I am speechless for Paleozoic that still exists.

Wolfyes(23.03.2021 22:22)

The March 2021 banlist was pretty predictable but no one has yet targeted the mythical and bold dragoon!
With no more fear of the true king of all calamities I feel more comfortable with my dragonmaid deck

swoppydo(23.03.2021 19:55)

The the only deck not Being tOuched by the banList and Dragoon as icing too.
Jokes aside i see Eldilitch as sky striker : unless slaughthered by ban list it will be top tier

ToonManiac(23.03.2021 18:54)

I thought Paleozoic could handle this meta :(

Ludwing-(23.03.2021 18:25)

Bold move made by the players not to play drytron.

uncherishedx(23.03.2021 17:12)

I love dragoon, it reminds me of a personage from bold & beautiful. Hard to stop xd

uncherishedx(23.03.2021 16:52)


NBUlquiorra(23.03.2021 16:36)

Putting Dragoon in the deck is basically the move right now. It's kinda bold at the moment bc so many players actually hate this card that they would hate you too xD

Zetsubou(23.03.2021 15:49)

The moment you hear that the deck name includes Red-Eyes or Dragoon you know it’s going to be hard, only the bold ones are going to win against those xD

LucaZekrom(23.03.2021 15:05)

A quite bold assumption to call the deck "Red-Eyes Eldlich", when it's just Eldlich with a Dragoon package xD

tatsym(23.03.2021 15:42)

LucaZekrom I'm gonna be honest this isnt my title either haha

LucaZekrom(23.03.2021 15:52)

Tatsym haha xD Still, I've seen this name for Dragoon Eldlich too many times already, and find myself to really dislike it for some reason

gsus6(23.03.2021 14:47)

Happy to see Madolche in this list. A bold attempt that no one expected for sure xD

tatsym(23.03.2021 15:45)

Gsus6 it was the deck he played since release of the archetype, it could have been guessed that he would play it haha! His deckprofile is up on my youtube channel ;)

gsus6(24.03.2021 08:30)

Tatsym thanks! I'll check it out ^^

TomyD92(23.03.2021 14:22)

It's bold to have such an event with old rules but the duelists don't need to change their decks and strategy.

Flicnlic(23.03.2021 13:49)

Bold move by the two guy going into this tournament with rogue decks.

Sgreff(23.03.2021 13:41)

A pretty bold move to use 2 solemn judgments in a chain, sure you lose a lot of life points but worth it to come out on top of the exchange

Ciaipollus(23.03.2021 12:41)

The very bold move was made by the guy who brought Madolche. That's the stuff!

cenaites(23.03.2021 12:37)

It was quite bold of Adi to be playing Paleo, only problem was really no out ot Dragoon. Guess he didn't expect such a strategy to be so effective, and one must focus on what he expects to face against

L0kki(23.03.2021 11:26)

Bold move to not play virtual world!

AkingApe97(23.03.2021 11:17)

My esteem to the bold guy playing paleo, such a great believer! Having no outs for dragoon was really his only mistake

swkcard(23.03.2021 11:08)

I never thought Paleozoic could handle this meta, that was a bold move from this player :')

Ordaliesque(23.03.2021 10:44)

I don't think you really have to be bold to play at these events ! I mean, just as you said when talking about Adi, a player with a good knowledge of his deck, its weaknesses and the combos it can perform, can do well in most events ! What was bold was to come with a deck such as paleozoic ! They are strong but I would not put them against most "meta" decks, they lack a lot of options to go over big bodies or heavy backrows. They are just not enough :/

opto4(23.03.2021 10:02)

Damn, deciding to play Paleozoic at an event like this sounds bold! Kinda hard to beat Eldlich Dragoon with it though lol
I'm surprised there was no Subterror Dragoon in the Top 8!

Minouchtik(23.03.2021 09:43)

Now that VFD is banned i don't see how playing Dragoon is such an amazing thing, the card is the opposite of fun to play and kill the diversity in the game IMO

Johakun(23.03.2021 09:33)

Could explain the inclusion of Called by the Grave? Isn't it a bit bold to play a card like that in a trap-heavy deck?

tatsym(23.03.2021 11:50)

Ash kills sanguine/red eyes fusion and belle kills sanguine too, called by is a versatile defence but also offence card. If you dont use it turn 1 you can still set it like a trap.

LadyKaylee(23.03.2021 08:45)

I feel that you need to be very bold and self-confident to play in these events, and I'm certainly not the type, but I enjoy reading the event coverage from people who actually got to be part of that experience.

Kenik(23.03.2021 08:39)

You have to be bold to play like this

ygo-hitsuji(23.03.2021 08:38)

Some of the rogue picks were very bold choices indeed. Very interesting tournament to close out a format!

Bulligi(23.03.2021 08:34)

Whoever tried to play combos in a new format must have been bold

Alex1415(23.03.2021 08:33)

So bold anyone who brought drytron or virtual world

vitttto17(23.03.2021 08:05)

I am glad that vfd was banned, because this neew format seems really nice in fun to play, also congrats to al players who have participated in the tournament, I am not that bold to compite in it , congrats

Crashme(23.03.2021 06:59)

Very bold to say "Sometimes you just have to be a better player than your opponent." ;-), but in the end you are right sometimes you just have to be smarter! Congrats for making it to top 4.

Riser(23.03.2021 03:18)

Firstly, congrats on making top 4 in such a high-tier event. Seriously, that's amazing. I do admit this one flew completely under my radar since, as you said, I considered it a part of an outdated format. Of course this segways into the banlist and the shuffle into the new format. Konami made some good calls. Granted, the Calamities ban was obvious, but the Utopic ZEXAL ban was very suprising, at least to me. Of course we all know what's coming in Lightning Overdrive, but I found it uncharacteristically bold of them to ban ZEXAL preemptively, instead of using its existance to sell LIOV for a format and then axe it.
Then there was Union Carrier, which I think is fair to say backfired spectacularly. Not only did it not deserve to be banned at all (sure it helped Drytrons, but there are enough other ways of hitting that deck, one of them even having happened in that same list), but it being gone brought back DBDS, which then proceeded to get promptly abused by every dragon link player under the sun. Anyhow, I hope you'll enjoy abusing both that little guy as well as Dragoon in your future endeavors

Matt94Gin(23.03.2021 00:35)

Bold of you to play both Judgment, Strike AND Order. How did it work out for you? Was a all-or-nothing strategy for turn1?

tatsym(23.03.2021 01:32)

Matt94Gin strike is also pretty good going 2nd combined with torrential to 'play through stuff'

Judgment was there because it otherwise would have been in the side deck anyway. Never saw order

xHerzchenx(23.03.2021 00:23)

Congratz on making it so far in the tournament. Your deck shows, that Dragoon will be a force to be reckoned with in the new format, but I still think Dragon Link will dominate the next format. Not banning Elpy is really a bold move from Konami...

Taricovic(23.03.2021 00:20)

Bold move by konami to not ban Dragoon...