Yu-Gi-Oh! TCGtournaments have partnered with European champion Marcus Patel to discuss his unbeaten Rikka deck and the social side

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCGtournaments have partnered with European champion Marcus Patel to discuss his unbeaten

At an age when the game has inevitably been threatened in recent years by world events, what happens if a card game that relyed on meeting in person is unavoidable? Remote events are one thing, with Konami keeping the game active through remote Duel tournaments, but they aren''t a replacement for the real thing.

The competitive scene of 2022 was huge for many, as COVID made it too difficult to plan such a major event many months in advance, but beyond this, the best players from Japan, North America, and Europe each competed for glory. Moreover, returning to in-person events accelerated player knowledge and empowered metagame understanding. These crucial side-deck choices are crucial to victory.

Many fans and players were expecting the tournament to be dominate by one of two decks before heading to the European Championships in Antwerp between August 19th and 21st 2022. One of these was Tearlaments, a Dark Aqua archetype that combines cards from your deck into the graveyard to form powerful Extra Deck creatures. Tearlaments Lulucaros is also believed to be a good fit for the tournament.

A post from The Disciples (@the_disciples_tcg)

The other was the Spright archetype, which came out of the recently-released Power of the Elements, which is set to become a professional game with rapid and aggressive abilities who can quickly scupper themselves to the field before unleashing powerful Rank 2 Xyz monsters and dangerous Link 2 creatures. Both dominated the European Championships, and were so powerful that many players found it necessary to construct a side deck and main deck around assisting these opponents.

Both of these were the winners, but another overlooked archetype from Secret Slayers, who recently received new support in Power of the Elements, was on the rise, as Marcus Patel of The Disciples, a UK pro Yu-Gi-Oh! team, advanced to fame.

However, the expected decks remained aggressively competing, with Patel having to overcome the Zio Mundrys Tearlaments deck in the final to claim victory. Yet it was the element of surprise (and a lot of playtesting) that helped him surprise the competition with a deck others believed to be a work-in-progress.

Monsters

  • 1 Lonefire Blossom
  • 2 Mudan the Rikka Fairy
  • 1 Primula the Rikka Fairy
  • 3 Rikka Petal
  • 3 Rikka Princess
  • 1 Snowdrop the Rikka Fairy
  • 3 Sunseed Genius Loci
  • 1 Sunseed Twin

Spells

  • 1 Called by the Grave
  • 2 Mystic Mine
  • 3 Rikka Glamour
  • 2 Rikka Konkon
  • 2 Sunvine Sowing
  • 1 Terraforming
  • 3 Triple Tactics Talent
  • 3 Unexpected Dai
  • 3 Dark Ruler No More

Traps

  • 3 Infinite Impermanence
  • 1 Rikka Sheet
  • 3 Rivalry of Warlords

Extra Deck

  • 2 Aromaseraphy Jasmine
  • 1 Benghalancer the Resurgent
  • 1 Evil Twins Trouble Sunny
  • 2 Rikka Queen Strenna
  • 1 Sacred Tree Beast, Hyperyton
  • 3 Sunavalon Dryas
  • 1 Sunavalon Melias
  • 1 Sunvine Healer
  • 1 Sunvine Thrasher
  • 1 Sylvan Dancepione
  • 1 Teardrop the Rikka Queen

Side Deck

  • 3 Appointer of the Red Lotus
  • 3 Dimensional Barrier
  • 1 Dinowrestler Pankratops
  • 3 Evenly Matched
  • 1 Evil Twins Ki-sikil & Lil-la
  • 1 Harpies Feather Duster
  • 3 Ultimate Slayer

Rikka Princess, a Level 4 monster that can selectively summon itself from your hand, is one of the deck''s most powerful monsters, as well as tributing a Plant monster in order to combat an opponent''s monster effect.

This is a deck capable of rapid Xyz and Link monsters, spearheaded by its boss monster Teardrop the Rikka Queen and other generic Xyz and Link monsters. Rapid removal, tribute effects, and the ability to counter opponent effects, and overcome obstacles define the playstyle of this deck, although it is flexible and difficult to come up against.

Power of the Elements was only released a few weeks before the European Championships in August, with the deck benefitting most notableably in this set from Rikka Konkon''s addition to its arsenal, a powerful field spell that would not only search and set the Rikka spell and trap cards, but allowed you to show your opponent''s monster to activate effects. This non-invasive deck consistency could be used to overcome hidden monsters your opponent controls.

It raised the decks'' chances even before the European Championships grew to reach the podium with victories at smaller events throughout the run-up to the event, although it was still considered a threat players posed against. The deck, coupled with Rikkas'' innate tribute and effect negation capabilities, was a successful anti-meta choice to the expected domination of Tearlaments and Sprights, and was a choice that left many opponents dissatisfied.

Patel claims that after going first, he wanted a deck that would go first and second. Unlike the Rikka strategy, it could set up monster negates, which I thought were great against Tearlaments, or cards that would remove my opponent''s monsters from the board, which is really good in against Sprights because the deck requires Level 2 monsters for the engine to go off.

Following our success at the European Championship this weekend, we would like to share the Rikka Sunavalon decklist that led Alex Robertson to the top 32, and Marcus Patel on the way to the championship. Massive congratulations to both! pic.twitter.com/KdwTDUOlUJ

With the addition of common side-deck cards like Mystic Mine and Rivalry of Warlords to counter their strength against hand traps, the deck is an oppressive beast going first or second. Much of the decks success is a process of not only playing the archetype but also playing the meta. The new cards, the counter, and the obscurity of the archetype enabled it to benefit from the misplays of those who have no understanding of Rikka''s problems.

[Players acquiring less familiar with the archetype] eased the game''s success, according to Patel. During games against the deck players tended to waste their money on some of the most beneficial interactions, particularly when I was going second and breaking their boards. Since they didn''t have exactly the proper knowledge, they couldn''t make the appropriate decisions whenever possible.

Although Patel was the player to ultimately prove victorious, the deck was somewhat a team effort from all Disciples members. Alex Robertson, another player on the team, did a lot of the initial planning for the tournament, and three of the four players to compete in the tournament using Rikka were from Disciples, forming the same list they collaborated over several weeks. Competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! is ultimately an excuse to hang out as friends playing a game they love.

When I met my friends before we made the team, I was not on the verge of retiring, but I kind of lost interest in playing the game because it was so simple that I wanted to travel and play Yu-Gi-Oh! Because I liked these people, I just wanted to go to events and think about them and play Yu-Gi-Oh!, then when you''re close to each other, the subject tends to be about Yu-Gi-Oh!, deck choices, and even more, you grow yourself as

"Now we''ve reached the conclusion where everyone of us is very nice. We do quite well at events, because we were able to offer everyone the best information in the room.

Due to COVID, the game has missed this community aspect in its online retreat. Even without a World Championships to bring the European Championships and other events to a close, the journey from regional qualifiers to international championships is a celebration of a game finally returning to the community for two years.

Due to the fact that I didn''t play much during COVID and remote duels, the appeal just wasn''t there, according to Patel. Even during small activities like shuffling each others cards in your hands, traveling, meeting new acquaintances is the biggest motivator for me to do so. The social aspect of the game is because it enables us to continue to grow.

So what does the future hold for Yu-Gi-Oh!? Rikka is already seeing more competitive play since the event, and its place in the meta as a counter-choice has been established. These Championships have demonstrated the return of in-person competitive Yu-Gi-Oh!, and the fun that comes from playing with friends in a local store or a multi-national event.

Both are an essential cause for celebration in a more innovative competitive system and the return of a more interesting and vibrant local scene.

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