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 Lesson: Why is Siding important?

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PostSubject: Lesson: Why is Siding important?   Lesson: Why is Siding  important? I_icon_minitimeTue Feb 28, 2012 10:52 am

Siding is important because say your running Lightsworn. Your against a Macro deck and you don't main deck MST. This is where you side. Siding cards include:

The Near-Staples and Must-Plays:
No matter what I find myself playing this format, I always come back to three core cards that I usually want to see, whether they're in my main or side. Whatever I'm running, I want these three cards to be available somewhere. The reason? They're all extremely good against a variety of opposing strategies; they integrate well into a number of different, popular decks; and they offer maximum reward for minimal risk and investment. None of these cards should be surprising to you at this point, but let's count 'em down anyways.

Mystical Space Typhoon:
Flat out, I want three of this card in everything I'm running. If I don't have room for more than two mained copies, I want the third one in my side. The only deck on my radar that can be competitive without Typhoon is Dark World (because they have Dark World Lightning), but even that deck wants access to Typhoon to deal with the inevitable back row cards that are going to be hurled at them after the first Duel of a match – more on those later. Yes, there are some decks that purposely avoid running any back row cards whatsoever in order to dodge the threat of triple Typhoon and Heavy Storm. But those decks are relatively few and far between, and if playing mained Typhoons costs me a bit of an edge in game 1 every now and then, that seems totally worthwhile. Typhoon's too good to ignore, especially with Dark World hinging on its new Field Spell, The Gates of Dark World. - This is basically backrow destruction.

Effect Veiler:
There's not much that can be said about Veiler that you haven't already heard, thought, or implemented in your own Duels a few thousand times at this point. Shut down Tour Guide; The Agent of Creation – Venus; The Agent of Mystery – Earth; Debris Dragon; Karakuri combos; Synchro monsters like Brionac and Scrap Dragon... the list of game-winning cards Veiler trumps is too long to recount here. It also isn't necessary: by now you probably know the list by heart same as I do. Veiler's a Tuner; a LIGHT monster for Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning; and it's searchable via Sangan. If you're not maining two copies, you should almost certainly be siding them. - It negates monster effects, nuff said.

Maxx "C":
While Maxx “C” continues to have its naysayers, it just keeps winning games and tournaments. With the threat of Gorz, Tragoedia, and Effect Veiler, you just can't play into an opposing Maxx “C” and expect to win, even if you'd have game otherwise. Against a good Duelist, Maxx “C” might as well be a free Threatening Roar played from the hand that usually gets you at least one draw to replace itself. Like Veiler, it's searchable with Sangan. Unlike Veiler, it brings several cute little Debris Dragon plays online. And against a haughty Duelist who thinks he can press through its draw effect? Maxx “C” can be a game-winning card that instantly seals the Duel for you on the following turn. I can't count the number of games this card has won me, and I personally try to main it where ever I can. If I can't main deck it, I at least want it sided so I can play it against Plants and Karakuris. I try not to leave the house without two copies of Veiler and Maxx “C”.

The irony of these three “musts” is that Veiler and Maxx “C” - while amazing against most of the decks I expect to see over the coming weeks – are actually pretty ineffective against most of the Dark World builds I'm anticipating. While I consider the more aggressive Dark World builds to be the biggest threat from Grapha's ranks, most Duelists are likely just going to be playing the “Summon Grapha once a turn and do nothing else” build, against which Veiler has very few targets, and Maxx “C” is relatively ineffective. That's interesting, because it creates some push factors and difficult choices that didn't exist before, none of which are simple.

For instance, I love maining Veiler and Maxx “C”. It gives me a big edge in the first Duel of a match against stuff like Plant Synchro, Karakuri, and Agents. Maining these cards also means I don't have to side deck them, so I have more free card slots to play with. But it's a strange, double-edged situation against Dark World. On one hand, having these cards mained is a game 1 handicap. On the other, it sure makes siding for game 2 easy, as I know the first four cards I'll be siding out; and by keeping my side deck more flexible with more open slots, I can actually afford to side more cards against Dark World. Is that worth a weaker game 1 position? Or is it just justifying a decision to play that weaker first Duel in favor of stronger performance against more established matchups? I have no idea. But it's a Question that I, and a lot of other competitors (including yourself) would be wise to re-evaluate constantly over the coming weeks.
I know Maxx "C" is expensive but that's because it's so good. You get the draws and you get to explode next turn, and if they deicide not to explode then you break down their combo.

Top Choices For Expected Matchups:
If you're siding or maining Maxx “C” and Effect Veiler, you're already taking big steps to out-tech the Plant Synchro matchup. Straight up, those are two of my favorite cards to play against that deck, and their mained use in the mirror was a big reason why Billy Brake won YCS Toronto (Brake played Plant Synchro himself, packing two copies each of Maxx “C” and Veiler). You can certainly side deck more for that matchup if you wish, but in my opinion those extra sided cards will fall into place really organically when you prioritize other matchups anyways. With that said, I won't be discussing siding for Plant Synchro on its own. Instead I'll mention it as we go card by card, through other top picks against other strategies.

Leeching The Light:
First up on that list of strategies is Agents, which to me means Leeching the Light. Sure, you can side Light-Imprisoning Mirror or other cards for the trio of Agent decks you should be planning to face: Tour Guide Agents; Tech Genus Agents; and Thunder King Agents. But all three decks can play around stuff like Mirror with basic cards they're already running, and it won't really stop the beatdown once they've established a field anyways. Leeching the Light is different. It's still a very surprising card; it's tough to protect against, since most Agent decks are light on defense; and it straight-up wins games on its own. It's useful against Lightsworn as well, and can even be played against certain Hero Beat builds, so it's more than just a one-trick pony. If you aren't playing this card yet, all I can do is point you to the Finals Feature Match of YCS Toronto, where it literally won the tournament, finishing the last Duel. As far as I know, this is straight-up the best piece of Agent tech out there, and combined with Veiler and Maxx “C” it makes for a robust tech strategy in that matchup. - Great against BLS.

Cyber Dragon / Chimeratech Fortress Dragon:
I think Karakuris are being grossly underestimated heading into this weekend. In my mind, if you don't own Tour Guides (which are necessary for Plant Synchro and Dark World), and you don't want to play a Tour Guide-free version of Agents, this deck is your number one competitive choice. With the ability to make some of the biggest, most dominating first and second turn plays in the format, Karakuris combine the raw aggression of Bureido and Burei combos with a hellish control angle built around Naturia Barkion and Naturia Beast. When you have one of those first-turn hands that let you drop a couple Karakuri Synchros and a Naturia Beast with a back row, there's almost nothing that can stop you. It's just brutal, and the deck does it consistently. It also plays a strong defense thanks to its card-replacing effects when it's slow to start, and it does a great job of presenting multiple threats on its kill-turns in order to play around Effect Veiler.

With the secondary market values of this deck's key Synchros still languishing, I don't expect to see Karakuris taking the world by storm any time soon. The low market demand just doesn't suggest that a lot of people are buying into the deck. But they should be, and I certainly don't see any reason to discount the notion of Karakuris as a top contender. That means it's worth siding against, and in my eyes, the number one side deck option to address Karakuris is still Cyber Dragon and Chimeratech Fortress Dragon. Cyber Dragon is useful in other matchups as a simple beatstick, especially against Anti-Meta and Hero Beat decks. It's useful against straggling Gravekeeper Duelists, and can also just be a strong surprise played in more conservative tournament environments, where it can defy the opponent's expectations or let you press through Solemn Warning. But of course, its real value comes in equalizing those big fields with two or three big Karakuris. The Karakuri deck rarely loses card presence when it goes off: it might give up a single card at most when it leverages cards from the hand to the field, thanks to all of its on-theme search and draw effects. A quick 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 in your favor is devastating, and can leave the opponent with no way to recover. Cyber Dragon can accomplish that for you, and it does it without playing any cards that are vulnerable to that crushing Naturia Beast. Beast is a big factor in how you approach this matchup, and it plays a role in determining the fate of other Karakuri side options we'll discuss later.

D.D. Crow:
Handsdown, this is my number one pick against Dark World. While we may see more sophisticated Dark World builds over the coming weeks, most players seem to consider more elaborate Dark World strategies outlandish, and are limiting themselves to conservative builds that largely seek to win with Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World. Against that kind of build, banishing Grapha so that it can't be repeatedly Summoned from the graveyard usually means victory. It forces your opponent to use successive copies of Snoww, Unlight of Dark World to struggle for another Grapha, instead of reinforcing their set-up by searching replacement copies of Gates or strategy-advancing cards like Dark World Dealings. It knocks a big leg out from under the Dark World Duelist, and if you lean properly, they fall right over.

Crow also gets the biggest nod from yours truly because it completes that robust side decking suite I mentioned earlier for the Plant Synchro matchup. Alienating the Plant Synchro Duelist from Spore, Glow-Up Bulb, and Dandylion plays is huge in conjunction with the preventative abilities of Maxx “C” and Effect Veiler, and since all three of those tech cards are played from the hand, they're extremely tough for the Plant Synchro Duelist to predict and play around.

In fact, that from-the-hand factor is what makes D.D. Crow so great against Dark World, too. While cards like Bottomless Trap Hole and Dimensional Prison could banish Grapha from the Duel, there's a very good chance that they could be destroyed with Grapha's effect long before the Dark World Duelist ever tries to Summon it. While Crow is vulnerable to Dragged Down into the Grave, that's just not as common a threat as simple Grapha discards, which you can expect to see every time you play a Dark World Duelist. The threat of Grapha's destruction ability is a big, big factor in my choices for how to side for this matchup.

Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror:
…And that's shown by my second pick as well: Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror. While a Continuous Trap may appear to be a risky choice in a format with triple Mystical Space Typhoon and Heavy Storm, you can expect a lot of Dark World Duelists to be eschewing those cards in favor of the higher risk, higher reward Dark World Lightning. Searchable by Snoww, Lightning can clear back rows while enabling another Snoww's effect, creating rolling plays and maneuverable strings of choices that can easily lead to wins.
All in all I hope this proves to you that siding IS important. And if you want any tips just ask away, no cost Razz

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