In this series, Mascis documents their journey to and their experience in the Goat Format World Championships. This is part three of five.
Winners Round 1 vs Paul Levitan [Bazoo Return]
Game 1: He wins the RPS and decides to play conservatively by setting a card, totally fine if you don’t know what the other player is on and have nothing else to do when going first. I draw Magician of Faith for turn but have no plays on my end either so I set both the Dustshoots in my hand and pass. He flips up Heavy Storm on his turn and I’m very excited about this. My Dustshoots pick up D.D. Warrior Lady and Kycoo. Seeing two Bazoos in hand and only one defensive card in Enemy Controller, I figure that my Tsukuyomis will be able to clear Bazoos so I’ll have to draw some finishers from there. I clear one Bazoo, then he topdecks Reinforcements of the Army and finds D.D. Assailant. People underestimate Assailant but it’s stats are really solid and it presents great offensive pressure. It’s also great in Paul’s deck because he can use Return from the Different Dimension to bring it back after it traded with something. I draw a Ring of Destruction for my turn and set Book of Moon, Ring, and Faith. He topdecks Breaker which forces my Book and Ring picks up Assailant. Faith will get back the Book on my turn and I get to set it back down with Tsukuyomi which also attacks over Breaker. He sets a trap next turn then I set a Tsukyomi after that even though I had goats just in case he gets to Nobleman. The Enemy Controller he has face down can switch a Sheep Token to attack mode which is not good for me when I’m at 3000 life points. He summons a Bazoo next turn, banishes the food in the grave and attacks my Tsukuyomi. I elect to Nobleman even though I know he has Return since I drew Mirror Force for turn. Faith gets me the Nobleman back anyway. I reset Faith with the second Tsuk, attack, set Mirror Force and end but I get Dust Tornado’d. For some reason, he targets the Scapegoat I set turns ago. Lucky me. He summons the third Bazoo with no food and attacks Faith. I get him to use Return from the Different Dimension by using Book on the Bazoo’s attack, since I’m only at 3000 with two defensive spells gone and a stupid Magician face down. I pick up the four for one Mirror Force, Nobleman again on my turn, pick up Scapegoats with Faith to prevent any OTKs going forward, reset with Tsukyomi, then attack. He draws Nobleman off of the top. I summon Asura Priest and attempt to connect which I know he has to use the Enemy Controller on. He draws Pot of Greed on his turn, but doesn’t see any gas so he scoops it up. He could have prevented another attack with Asura through Controller but maybe he was just frustrated with the position.
Game 2: I side in Seven Tools because I’m sure this deck plays Solemns and I also like the idea of using Seven Tools on a Return. My hand has no monsters but I do have Dustshoot, Meta, Goat, and Swap! He sets 3 and puts up Kycoo. I know I’m not getting Stormed here so I set 4 cards, Saku, Goat, Dustshoot, and Seven Tools. He sets a card before attacking with big Blade Knight and Kycoo. I use Goat on the Kycoo attack then Saku the Blade Knight. I could have saved the Saku and just ate two attacks but having Meta in hand means I can’t clear both monsters with Thousand-Eyes Restrict since Blade Knight will still be boosted. He flips Duo in Main Phase 2 and gets my spells, leaving me with zero cards in hand. I draw Ring, lose a goat from his Kycoo attack, then I draw Snatch. I take Kycoo with Snatch in order to prevent Bazoo from coming down and growing big. I don’t banish with it’s effect after connecting to play around Return. He draws and summons Bazoo in hand, then follows up with MST on my Snatch Steal to try and get Kycoo back. I chain Ring because he’ll be down to topdecking and I don’t want to be taking 1800 and 1600 over and over. I draw Tribe next turn which I can’t use, then Meta which I can’t use, then Book which I set. I Book the next Bazoo attack then try to clear it with the Tribe but I eat a Ring of Destruction. He then has Blade Knight the following turn to seal the game. The Duo hitting my spells really put me in a bad position this game.
Game 3: I open Pot of Greed and Delinquent Duo. Pot gets me Goat and Meta and Duo hits Bazoo and Blade Knight. I set Dustshoot and Goat and pass. This is a spot where when they draw to four and pass priority, you gun the Dustshoot. It helps that they already discarded two monsters from Duo, so you can reasonably assume that they have another monster. I see two Kycoos, Return, and Solemn. Kycoo’s attack procs my Sheep Tokens to be summoned. He sets both traps and it’s my turn. I test to see if he wants to Solemn with Meta and he does. I don’t like playing 50/50 with MST there because I drew Ring for turn so I want him to start paying life. I set Ring and MST and pass back. He attacks a Sheep after drawing. I rip Meta and get in for 1800 with Thousand Eyes putting him at 2200. He draws and sets the card he just drew, so I MST it. It’s a bluff. Another attack and Ring ends the match.
Winners Round 2 vs vifr [Panda Burn]
Game 1: I lose RPS again but I get to open Pot of Greed as compensation. He has his own Pot of Greed which gets him into Graceful, discarding the Exiled and the Mirror Force. He summons Gyaku-Gire Panda, sets a back row, then plays a Wave-Motion Cannon to start a clock. I knew the match up already coming into this, so I know that I have to be aggressive and do damage before he burns me out. I Pot of Greed and nab Snacth Steal in order to take the Panda then keep it with Tsuk. He tries to attack with Rat the following turn but I have the early Ring. I don’t want that card’s effect resolving so I’ll take the 1400 even though it helps his game plan. I summon Tsuk again and this time my monster gets hit with Ring. He fires off Cannon for 2000, Ojamas me, then Uses Heavy to destroy my facedown MST and Nobleman. This is an excellent play by him. He sets a monster and and backrow, then uses Level Limit. I figure the monster has to be Des Koala because he could have summoned a Panda and did a ton of damage with it otherwise. The face down back row is some sort of burn, so he is baiting me to either do nothing and die or walk into Koala and die. I have other plans. I switch a token to attack mode, then Creature Swap it to attack over it for 1600 taking his Koala in the process. A topdeck Snatch is great for him But he is forced to attack his Koala as he doesn’t have enough to burn me with after a Panda pierce and 300 burn from an Ojama token. I draw Meta to summon TER and get under the Level Limit, dropping him to 400. He sets a monster and passes. I topdeck Swap here which is one of the best cards I could have gotten here. Swap will give him a token, then I can summon Zaborg with the monster he gives me and zap the token with Zaborg’s effect, ending the game with another attack from Thousand-Eyes.
Game 2: He starts by T-Setting and ending. I have Breaker and I force out Ojama Trio. I follow up with Nobleman of Crossout for his Giant Rat and get in for 1600. He uses Level Limit and shows me Des Wombat, meaning he sided in the Rescue Cat OTK. He attempts to attack my now defense mode Breaker but I have Book of Moon. MST will pick up Level Limit in the end phase. No other set cards from him is scary to me because that means I could be getting Last Will with a Rescue Cat sometime soon. I flip Breaker and clear the Wombat then set Pikeru’s Circle of Enchantment. He plays the 2nd Level-Limit and passes. I draw Meta with Mobius in hand and think for a bit. I wanted to be able to pressure since he didn’t seem to have anything going on quite yet, but the Mobius plus Meta into a new level 6 didn’t feel strong to me. I went for it anyway valuing the damage I could do. He just has the out in the form of Exiled Force. I summon Tribe-Infecting Virus next turn and swing in. Seeing his window opportunity closing, he uses Last Will, then follows up with Rescue Cat. This will bring three Pandas to the board, two of which will be destroyed at the end of the turn. While I’m nowhere close to being dead, I figure now is good to flip Circle so that I can at least save myself a bit of damage. If I topdeck out of this I may need that extra life to not die from my own Ring of Destruction. I draw Faith next turn and set it even though I will take a chunk from Panda. I get back Meta when he attacks it figuring that King Dragun or Thousand-Eyes could get me out of this pickle. I draw Circle and set it. He flips up Injection Fairy Lily next turn to close it out. This is where the Hallowed Life Barrier would have been better!
Game 3: I start off with a Graceful Charity without Sinister in hand because I have Faith and can get a light in the grave with Zaborg. I find Duo with Charity and get to rip Wave-Motion and Giant Rat. I set my Magician and Book of Moon and pass it over. He responds with his own Charity, then discards Secret Barrel and Trio. This signals to me that he has at least another Trio and some kind of protection as he values the other cards in hand over burn spells. Premature Burial gets back his Rat which attacks faith. I don’t use Book since I have Breaker in hand already, but I will get back Charity thinking that more sets are coming. He sets a backrow and plays a Wave-Motion. I draw Circle for turn, then Sinister plus Tsukuyomi plus Ring off of Charity discarding Sinister and Tsuk. Breaker deals with Rat by breaking Premature and I swing in and set my traps. He draws, sets two more backrow and passes. I nab Sinister after getting Creature Swap off of the top and swing in with Sangan and Breaker. He tries to Ring my Breaker, but I keep it alive with my Book of Moon. I do this because he is drawing off of the top and I can stop any burn with Circle, so having more monsters on board is valuable. This also saves me life in case I can’t close the game out soon. He Ojamas in the End Phase, then sets a monster and passes. I draw Torrential for turn, do the creature Swap Play with the Ojama tokens he gave me, and I am 100 points of damage off of a Ring of Destruction for the game. He topdecks Panda, summons it, then tries to attack the Giant Rat he gave me with Swap but the Ring catches the 3300 attack point endangered animal and I'm moving in on the winner's side.
Winners Round 3 vs Ronie Calderon [Anti-Meta Warriors]
Sparky is a duelist that is always going to be a difficult match up. He is such a solid player that is constantly underrated by his peers despite his results always being solid. He deserves all the success he has had in this format and if you read his Top 4 Interview it was kind of impossible not to root against him.
Game 1: I get to go first this game and open with Charity and Faith yet again. I draw into Fusilier and a second copy of Metamorphosis. I set Dustshoot and Saku along with Faith and pass. He starts off by summoning Mystic Swordsman LV2 which I get to Saku. Main Phase 2 I flip the Dustshoot and send Kycoo back, his only monster. I see that the whole hand is super weak to King Dragun which I have the ability to make in hand, but a Trap Dustshoot on his side may disrupt this. He sets everything but Snatch and Dustshoots my Tsukuyomi away on my turn. I make the King Dragun and decide not flip Faith just in case he top decks something wild that he could potentially get back with a Snatch and Book combo. Drawing for turn finds me Ausra and I decide not to wait any longer on the Faith. Charity finds me Book and Heavy Storm so the rest of the game is easy from here on out. He attempts to Snatch the Faith which I respond to with Book. I don’t flip Faith the next turn to play around a potential Torrential. He sets another card the next turn. I draw Sangan so this way I don’t die to Torrential. I flip Faith to no response so I get Heavy Storm and go on to win the game.
Game 2: He starts with Duo hitting Saku and Book, then follows up with Pot of Greed. He sets a monster and two back rows and passes. I draw and don’t see a Dustshoot from his end so I set the Mirror force in my hand first before I use Graceful Charity so that he can’t activate Dustshoot after resolution, discarding Metamorphosis and Tribe. I summon Breaker but I get a Book of Moon for my troubles. I set the rest of my hand, Dustshoot and Dust Tornado and ship the turn back to him. He draws and passes prio and I Dustshoot. I see he plays Mystic Swordsman LV4 and has a Nobleman in his hand, so I put Kycoo back. He flip summons Mystic Swordsman LV2. I’m going to lose Breaker in this spot no matter what I do so I let the attack go through. I draw a blank in Meta, set it, and pass. He flips the LV4 and attacks so I Mirror Force to get the two for one. He sets another monster and the Nobleman and passes. I draw BLS, another blank. He flips up Don Zaloog and rips the BLS away from me. I draw Heavy Storm and set it not to lose it. He attacks again and does not choose to mill the top two. I get a Scapegoat next turn which is great for me as it turns my Meta on and blocks Don. He draws and fires off Charity discarding a dead Dustshoot and Smashing Ground. I don’t flip Goat here on the attack. This is a mistake but my rationale was that I wanted to get Thousand-Eyes out safely. There could have been a Solemn hiding in the back and there could have been a Book of Moon as well. I flip next turn when he flips up Heavy Storm but he had drawn Tribe for turn. This time he uses Don to mill Faith and Mobius. I draw Kinetic Soldier, which would be really good in almost every board state versus this deck but Tribe is not a Warrior monster. I set it and he summons Kycoo and attacks. I draw Sinister Serpent and the duel is effectively over.
Game 3: I open Pot and Faith which is always great to see together. I set Faith after firing off Pot of Greed and set Saku and MST to back it up. He responds by using Duo, hitting my Creature Swap. I figure I can answer the normal summon with Saku then reset my Faith with Tsuk so I discard Meta. He summons Breaker which picks up MST. That was the worst one for him to hit on my end as now i'm not going to be able end phase MST. He decides not to attack and sets two to the back row. I draw another Faith and try and flip up the one I have set but I am met with Solemn Judgment. I decide I’m going to try and clear Breaker here but I get hit with a Book of Moon. I’m ok with this board as we are even on cards and I have a battle trap set plus another in hand. I figure I should be able to get the second to faith resolve as well. He top decks Pot of Greed next turn, ruining that dream. Kycoo gets added to the board after he uses MST on my Saku. I set Kycoo with Tsuk’s effect because if I rip BLS I just take the game over if it sticks. Instead I draw a dead Dustshoot. I set my whole hand and pass. He flips Nobleman and doesn’t add to the board. I hit his attackers with Mirror Force and he passes it over. I draw a dead Meta and set it. He draws and plays a Don, deciding not to Mill. I draw a dead Mobius. He hits an Asura Priest and attacks, ripping the Mobius from hand. I draw dead for the fourth card in a row and find out that BLS was in fact the third card after the Don Zaloog’s summon, so if he used the Don’s mill effect the first time I would have hit it. Overall game two should have played out differently if I elected to goat, but him hitting Pot of Greed this game shifted the momentum. Hard fought overall.
To be continued in part four.
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