I play Yu-Gi-Oh! because I love the game. There are many things I love about it. I love the game itself, how it plays. With such a wealth of playstyles things hardly ever feel flat or one-dimensional. You can always switch it up and do something different. There are 10,000 ways to do it differently though. In a single deck you can change up a lot already, let alone a different archetype. You can play the best deck of the format. You can play a rogue deck. You can play casual. You can give it all you got at a local or play at an Extravaganza for fun. You set your own goals and achieve them in the way you want to. And I'm going to be honest, I love winning too.
On April 24 and 25 the Extravaganzas returned to Europe. I was set on participating in the Benelux Extravaganza. However, even a day before the event I wasn't sure what I was going to play. I considered multiple options:
Dragon Link. The best deck of the format. I have been playing this deck and its multiple incarnations a lot over the past couple of months. I feel pretty confident in picking this deck to play, but I wasn't really sure it was the right deck for the event. I expected there to be a lot of players ready to face it. I don't want to get countered because I'm playing a certain deck.
Phantom Knights. This deck is one I have been testing a lot recently. It's a lot of fun and has a high ceiling. It can play around impactful hand traps and the end board is pretty impressive. But I ran this deck on Saturday at the Giant Card event, bricked twice, and lost to a bad matchup for an impressive 0-2 drop record.
I also had a third option, which was to return to monke. Either Subterror or Eldlich was on my radar. The Benelux is filled with other back row players and I did expect people to run a lot of removal.
So I had to come up with something else. On the night before the event I still wasn't sure. In a Discord call my friend Sam told me something I wanted to hear. We both have a soft spot for Drytron. Ever since the deck was released he played it and even after the ban list limited Cyber Angel Benten we both kept playing it. We both agreed it still was a solid deck and definitely a surprise pick. Looking at our old decklist, though, we wanted to change it up a bit.
We are still playing a combo variant. The concept of the deck is to summon Vendread Battlelord, use its effect to block monster effects from being activated for the rest of the turn, and proceed to full combo and win. To explain the combo: open Vendread Battlelord or any way to get to it and either two Drytrons or a Drytron Nova to summon Drytron Zeta Aldhibah. Activate Nova, summon Zeta. Link Zeta away for Linkuriboh. Zeta effect in grave, tribute Battlelord. Zeta adds the ritual spell Revendread Evolution. Activate Evolution, send a Battlelord from deck as tribute and summon the Battlelord from the graveyard. Activate Battlelord's effect and your opponent cannot hand trap you anymore. Link away Zeta for Relinquished Anima and link all three dark monsters for Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion.
Curious sends Drytron Gamma Eltanin, Battlelord also triggers, which adds Cyber Angel Benten, and sends the third copy of Battlelord to the graveyard. Gamma activates in grave tributing Benten to summon Zeta back. Benten triggers and adds Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands. Normal Manju and add either Meteonis Drytron or Megalith Phul, whichever you don't have in hand or have milled with Curious. Activate Meteonis Drytron, summon Phul. Phul adds back Benten. After that has resolved, activate Phul to ritual summon Megalith Ophiel from deck. Ophiel adds another Phul, while Benten adds Chaos Valkyria.
Your field now is a level six Phul, Curious, Ophiel, and Zeta. Link Zeta and Curious to Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess. Summon Chaos Valkyria and summon either Abyss Dweller using Ophiel or I:P Masquerena. Your end board is now I:P, Apolloussa, and Phul. In your opponent's turn Phul can tribute itself and the Phul in hand to summon Megalith Bethor. On summon Bethor can pop three or more cards depending on your graveyard. A board to be reckoned with.
It's kind of unrealistic to expect that we are always uninterrupted during the start of the combo, or that we win all die rolls. So we have to include some tech to play through fields and cards that are defensive. Dark Ruler No More is a popular main-deck card this format. However, the card has no utility when going first. Drytrons have a lot of value in the grave and we can ritual summon from there too. So we added three copies of Forbidden Droplet to the main. This card works perfectly in this deck because we can also turbo out Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder by summoning two Drytrons and overlaying them for Lyrilusc - Assembled Nightingale. Dark Ruler No More went into the side deck.
Another defensive and offensive card we really liked is Cosmic Cyclone. We were afraid of back row decks. Cyclone also has applications versus meta decks. You can banish Magical Meltdown, Boot Sector Launch, or Prank-Kids Pandemonium in the stand-by phase. This card also entered our list at three copies. We didn't want to play hand traps. We figured the resilience of the Drytrons and the inclusion of these staples would be enough to play through fields. In today's Yu-Gi-Oh! you don't really have to play through a full combo board anyway. The final decklist looked as follows:
|Drytron Megalith Vendread|
|Main Deck||Extra Deck||Side Deck|
We were maximizing on the Drytrons while cutting some cards like Preparation of Rites for the staples we wanted to play. In the side deck we prepared for back row decks. We also expected our opponents to side out every back row removal card so we chose to side Mystic Mine for some free games. We were ready.
The event itself went pretty well. I went 6-0 with my Drytron Strategy at this 54-player tournament. I played some back row and combo decks, and the deck performed amazingly. Our entire strategy worked out really well.
Match 1 I played against Eldlich Zoodiac. I won the die roll and went full combo. His deck stood no chance versus my end board. Game two he started, but his three set cards were met by my Denko Sekka. After removing everything I went in for a quick one-turn kill.
Match 2 I played against Paleozoic Frogs. I won the die roll again and went full combo another time. With a monster that could pop four cards on the field my opponent conceded quickly. Game two he set four cards. After flipping Anti-Spell Fragrance in the stand-by phase I chained Cosmic Cyclone. In my main phase I normal summoned Denko Sekka. With three Drytrons in my hand I again went in for the swift OTK.
Match 3 was against Shaddoll Dogmatika Invoked. Another die roll was won and I full combo'ed. He scooped quickly and we went into game two. He had everything. Aleister the Invoker, Shaddoll Fusion, Nadir Servant, everything. He ended his field with an Invoked Mechaba, Dogmatika Ecclesia, the Virtuous, and three back row set. In my turn I activated Mystic Mine. This was negated by Mechaba. I then activated another Mystic Mine. And I won the match on the spot.
Match 4, Zoodiac Eldlich again. My opponent didn't see any Eldlich cards, however. I only saw one Eldlixir of Scarlet Sanguine the entire match and that was in the very last turn. A quick 2-0 for me.
Match 5 was against Dragon Link. Not just normal Dragon Link, Buster Blader Dragon Link, focusing on the powerful Destruction Swordsman traps to make Buster Dragon and Buster Blader, the Dragon Destroyer Swordsman. After finally losing a die roll, his hand wasn't the best. A Hieratic Seal of the Heavenly Spheres was summoned and underneath was a Borreload Savage Dragon. With the power of Drytrons I managed to break the board. We got into a back and forth, but on the fourth turn I managed to close the game. Game two he started again doing a better combo. With the Prologue of the Destruction Swordsman set and a Seal plus Savage on the field it wasn't looking too good. But when I activated Forbidden Droplet to negate Borreload Savage Dragon and to activate Mystic Mine, the game switched in my favor. He wasn't sure if he still had outs in his deck. He found out quickly because we kept passing turns until he eventually had zero cards left.
Match 6 was against a very interesting deck. I played against Joshua Oosters who ran Phantom Knight Tour Guide Altergeist—a strategy revolving around Tour Guide From the Underworld, which summons Sangan, which then searches Altergeist Multifaker. I won game one because of the die roll. Full combo. Game two we went into a big grind game, which I unfortunately lost. My first loss of the entire event. Game three I started again. My hand wasn't the best and it went back and forth. Joshua even used Solemn Judgment on my Red Reboot that game. Eventually we came to a game state where Joshua's hand was filled with three monsters and his field was gone. I made Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess. He topdecked … Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. Not the trap he needed and I won the tournament.
6-0 with Drytron. Even though the tournament wasn't that big, it's still unexpected. People definitely weren't ready. I only saw one Droll & Lock Bird during the entire event. I went full combo quite a lot and even though my field is hardly unbreakable, I won every time. The deck really proved to be very consistent. When not having full combo my hands were still very playable. It especially surprised me when I had to go second and could break a board with ease. I have an in-depth deck profile on my Youtube channel where I will also show some test hands in the near future.
The deck works really well. It will only get better once Lightning Overdrive comes out. This specific version will be very obsolete by then though. Better cards are coming and soon the identity will change back from Vendreads to fairies.
The Extravaganza was a wild ride. I had a blast playing the deck and talking to all my friends again. I'm happy I got to show the world this deck still has what it takes and I'm looking forward to the new support. Rituals in 2021. Let's go.
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