Hey everybody! Giant Skyhawk here, and as a new writer for the Serpentcards team I couldn’t be more excited to start things off with the first in a regular series I plan to write for the website. As we all know, COVID-19 has caused most if not all in-person Yu-Gi-Oh! play to be suspended. That said, Konami has actually done a strong job of encouraging local stores to run Remote Duels, which keeps the physical cards in the game and even opens up opportunities for some players who don’t live near a local game store! I’ve been participating in Remote Duels the past year or so (last format I was actually the number one ranked Remote Duelist in Canada but I am currently rank eight for this format at the time of writing) and it has been a blast. I noticed that a lot of locals in Canada and the United States actually take participants from outside of the local area, so I figured I’d set up an idea called Remote Duels Across America!
Every week or two I’ll be taking the time to enter a local tournament remotely from a different location in North America, give you all a bit of background information about the hosts and write up a tournament report for the actual matches. You’ll get to see me evolve my lists as cards come in the mail, win big, lose hard, and be flabbergasted by changes in local metagames that I will never see coming.
We’re starting off with a weekly Remote Duels tournament that isn’t an Official Tournament Store, but is a very welcoming and kind community and felt like the right place to begin our journey across the webcam dueling universe.
This past Tuesday I entered the Crush Cards Remote Duels tournament! Crush Cards is a Youtube channel run by a couple and the channel itself is very wholesome and has a great mix of competitive deck profiles and fun opening content. You can find them on YouTube at youtube.com/c/crushcards. For the past little while, they’ve been running Remote Duel tournaments on Tuesdays and they usually end up with around 12-20 players making it an equivalent to a reasonably sized locals.
I decided to play my one true Yu-Gi-Oh! love for this event, and that’s Dinosaurs! However, I’m playing a pretty unique spin on the deck and I have some choices here that are partially for budget reasons and partially testing some theory work. Here is Dragoon Dinosaur, and welcome to the first instalment of Remote Duels Across America!
x3 Animadorned Archosaur
x3 Souleating Oviraptor
x2 Ultimate Conductor Tyranno
x1 Dinowrestler Coelasilat
x1 Dinowrestler Pankratops
x1 Giant Rex
x3 Parallel eXceed
x3 Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
x3 PSY-Framegear Gamma
x1 PSY-Frame Driver
x1 Dark Magician
x1 Red-Eyes Black Dragon
x3 Fossil Dig
x3 Lost World
x2 Double Evolution Pill
x1 Called By The Grave
x1 Cosmic Cyclone
x1 Red-Eyes Fusion
x2 Solemn Judgment
Extra Deck (15):
x1 Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon
x1 Naturia Beast
x1 Abyss Dweller
x1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
x1 Evolzar Dolkka
x1 Evolzar Laggia
x1 Gagaga Cowboy
x1 Light Dragon @Ignister
x1 Number 60: Dugares The Timeless
x1 Tornado Dragon
x1 Knightmare Phoenix
x1 Predaplant Verte Anaconda
x1 Salamangreat Almiraj
Side Deck (15):
x1 Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju
x3 Droll & Lock Bird
x2 Nibiru, the Primal Being
x1 Cosmic Cyclone
x3 Dark Ruler No More
x1 Forbidden Chalice
x2 Twin Twisters
x1 Imperial Order
x1 Solemn Judgment
Some choices here might seem less than standard for a Dinosaur deck, but for now, I’ll let the description of the games do the work. You can expect a more detailed deck profile on this in the future! The main idea is that you can use any of the two-card Dinosaur combos going first to end on a board of Ultimate Conductor Tyranno, Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon, a Predaplant Verte Anaconda for Conductor to destroy and an Evolzar Dolkka with a Miscellaneousaurus attached to it so that there is a followup play for the next turn. Let’s get into the rounds!
Round 1: Win vs. Mermail Atlantean 2-0
Game 1 I bricked on a hand of Solemn Judgment, Terraforming, Animadorned Archosaur, Dark Magician and Ultimate Conductor Tyranno. I set the Judgment and passed turn hoping to not die. Funnily enough, a well-timed Judgment can keep you in most games and buy you another turn to find a card. My opponent drew for turn and activated Deep Sea Minstrel sending a copy of Deep Sea Sentry for cost. I debated scooping here, but I felt like I wanted to see how their specific combo would play out and a Judgment with four cards in hand might get me there to hopefully draw a Dinosaur. They banished Terraforming from my hand with the Minstrel and I banished Dark Magician because it was the funniest thing to banish. Luckily, they bricked and just wanted a read on what I was playing so they set one monster face down and passed.
I drew Giant Rex for turn and for those unfamiliar with Dinosaur, attacking with any Dinosaur monster into a Lost World token is really strong at making your combo. I activated Lost World and Normal Summoned Giant Rex. I went to the Battle Phase and attacked into the token, using the effect of Lost World to destroy a Dinosaur-type monster from my deck instead. I destroyed Babycerasaurus and then activated its effect to summon Souleating Oviraptor, which then added to my hand a Miscellaneousaurus. I went into Main Phase 2 and went to the races. I activated the effect of Oviraptor targeting the Lost World token to summon Baby from the graveyard, activated Misc from hand to protect my Dinosaurs and then banished Misc from the graveyard to summon Animadorned Archosaur. I used Archosaur’s effect to destroy the Baby to add Double Evolution Pill, and then used the effect of Baby to summon a copy of Misc. I overlaid the Misc and the Oviraptor for a copy of Evolzar Dolkka, linked the Archosaur into a Linkuriboh, and then linked it and the Giant Rex into a copy of Predaplant Verte Anaconda. I activated Pill banishing the Giant Rex and the Linkuriboh to summon a copy of Tyranno from the deck in defence position, then activated Verte’s effect to summon Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon from my extra deck. I activated Dragoon’s effect to destroy the face-down monster and found it was a Mermail Abysshilde. I passed turn, my opponent drew, and conceded the game. The power of Lost World tokens is nothing to be scoffed at!
Game 2 all I had to stop any combos was an Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring but the rest of my hand was quite strong. They Normal Summoned Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince and sent an Atlantean Dragoons from their deck to the graveyard for cost. This was fine since using Ash on either the Neptabyss itself or the Dragoons it sends for cost is very low impact. They added an Atlantean Dragoons with the Neptabyss and a Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord with the Dragoons that was sent for cost. They then dunked the Dragoons in hand as cost for the Abyssteus and ordered the effects as Chain Link 1 Dragoons and Chain Link 2 Abyssteus. I decided to Ash Blossom the Abyssteus because I knew that would put them at two Water-type monsters in their GY and two on the field meaning that getting exactly five water monsters in the GY for Moulinglacia might be difficult. They added a Mermail Abyssmegalo to their hand and then took the time to realize the awkward situation the sequence had put them in. They then linked off their two monsters to summon Mermail Abyssalacia which is a very cool midrange card. They then discarded a Mermail Abyssgunde and the Moulinglacia to summon Mermail Abyssmegalo and used Abyssmegalo to add Abyss-Scale of the Kraken, which negates a monster effect during resolution. This threw me off—guard, because most of the time this deck tends to play Abyss-Scale of the Mizuchi which negates the first Spell effect. They then used Abyssgunde to summon back Abyssteus and link the two of them into Marincess Coral Anemone. They used the effect of Coral Anemone to summon back the Abyssgunde. They then linked off Abyssalacia and Anemone to summon Marincess Great Bubble Reef, a card I have not seen in my entire life. They then equip the Kraken to the defence position Gunde and pass the turn to me with no cards in hand. This felt suboptimal but I later learned that they were quite new to Water Combo as a strategy so it made sense that the lines might be different than I am used to seeing.
I drew for turn and my hand was very strong here. It was Lost World, Giant Rex, Called By The Grave, Miscellaneousaurus, and Fossil Dig. In the Standby Phase, they use the effect of Great Bubble Reef banishing the Coral Anemone to draw a card and boost itself by 600 attack. The card they drew was Artifact Lancea and they immediately tried to activate it in a new chain. Normally this card is a debilitating weakness of Dinosaur but not only am I playing a version of the deck less vulnerable to Lancea, I have the Called By The Grave to banish the anti-banishing menace. I activated Fossil Dig to search for Souleating Oviraptor, activate Lost World, Normal Summon Oviraptor and carefully construct the chain to be Chain Link 1 Lost World, Chain Link 2 Oviraptor and Chain Link 3 Misc. The Kraken equip spell does not activate and is mandatory so it has to negate the hand effect of Misc during resolution of the chain. I resolve Oviraptor, perform a very similar combo to end on Ultimate Conductor Tyranno, Evolzar Dolkka and Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon. After destroying the Great Bubble Reef and the Abyssgunde with Dragoon, I entered the Battle Phase and attacked for game.
Round 2: Win vs. Virtual World 2-0
In Game 1 my hand was effectively unbeatable. I had PSY-Framegear Gamma, Miscellaneousaurus, Babycerasaurus, Parallel eXceed and Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. I led with Misc’s first effect from hand and then used Misc’s second effect for 1, which resolved meaning I was likely safe for the turn. I summoned Archosaur and did the standard combo. Because I had eXceed I was able to summon a copy of Abyss Dweller on top of the usual board with a Gamma to discard for Dragoon and an Ash in hand. As soon as they saw the Verte Anaconda into Abyss Dweller, they scooped the game before I even paid cost for Verte’s effect.
Game 2 I didn’t see any handtraps. My hand was Lost World, Oviraptor, Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju, Called By The Grave, and Fossil Dig. They led off with a Normal Summoned Virtual World Hime – Nyannyan and then used Virtual World Xiezhi – Jiji targeting the Nyannyan to summon itself and send a Virtual World Gate – Qinglong to the GY. They used Qinglong to add a Virtual World Mai-Hime -Lulu and dump a Virtual World Gate – Chuche and then used Lulu to dump a Virtual World Gate – Xuanwu and add a Virtual World Gate – Kauwloon. They then Synchro Summoned a Stardust Charge Warrior with the Nyannyan and the Lulu to draw a card and Kauwlooned out a Chuche. They then used the Xuanwu to summon back the Lulu, activating Nyannyan in a new chain, and then made a Chaofeng, Phantom of the Yang Zing with the Charge Warrior and the Lulu. They shuffled back the Xuanwu and the Qinglong to pop the Chaofeng with Chuche, then used Chaofeng’s effect to add a Virtual World Roshi – Laolao to hand. They then overlaid the Jiji and the tuner Nyannyan for Number 75: Bamboozling Gossip Shadow, which was a major misplay. They now only had the Lulu to pair with the Laolao they proceeded to activate, and realizing that they messed up with an “oops, all tuners” Virtual World misplay they passed on a Gossip Shadow, a dead Chuche, a Laolao in defence and a Lulu in defence.
I draw for turn, and it’s a PSY-Frame Driver. Go figure! In standby, they attempt to activate Artifact Lancea, but luckily for me I’ve yet again drawn the Called By The Grave for it. Assuming the card in hand is nothing I push for game. I tribute the Gossip Shadow with the Dogoran and then activate Lost World and Normal Summon Oviraptor. I do a slightly different version of the combo that plays around Ash on Misc in the GY, and end up making Dolkka and Conductor with a Pentestag linked to it. Since Pentestag gives Conductor piercing, the damage is more than enough for game! If my opponent hadn’t misplayed there and had kept the Jiji available I almost certainly would have lost that game unless they held the True King Of All Calamities for the Main Phase. On to round 3!
Round 3: Win vs. Drytron 2-0
Game 1 I opened the nuts and went full combo plus Judgment, ending on Evolzar Dolkka, Ultimate Conductor Tyranno, Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon and a set Solemn Judgment.
They led off with a Drytron Fafnir which I thought about negating because of the card preventing me from negating the activation of ritual spells. I allow it to resolve and they grab a Drytron Nova. I allow Nova to resolve and they summon out a Drytron Zeta Aldibah. This tells me either than they have a Drytron Alpha Thuban in hand or they really need access to Meteonis Drytron in order to break the board. I say that’s fine, and they leave it on board for now. They then activate Preparation of Rites to likely add a Cyber Angel Benten and I allow it to resolve as I’m not very scared of what a Benten might add here. They activate the Alpha in hand which I assumed was there and tribute the Benten for cost. I choose to negate the Alpha with Dolkka to stop the body from getting on board and I allow the Benten to resolve. They choose to add a Benten. They then activate a Drytron Delta Altais in hand, which I also allow to resolve and they tribute the Benten. They opt not to reveal a ritual monster or ritual spell with Delta, meaning their remaining two cards are not a ritual spell or a ritual monster which is valuable information. They use Benten’s effect to add the third Benten, and then link the Zeta into Linkuriboh. They attempt to activate Zeta tributing the final Benten, and I negate it with Dolkka in order to keep them off the ritual spell and prevent further cycling in case there’s a Drytron Gamma Eltanin in hand for later. They resolve Benten and add Herald of Orange Light. They then activate Triple Tactics Talent to try and take control of a monster, but I negate it with Solemn Judgment, they say “bro I’m so sick, you got it” and that’s the end of game 1! Even with big boards you have to be careful when playing against Drytron as they can chew through a surprising amount of interaction if you let them.
Game 2 was, well, truly a testament to having the Dino DNA flowing through my veins. My opening hand was Droll & Lock Bird, PSY-Framegear Gamma, Babycerasaurus, Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju and Ultimate Conductor Tyranno. My opponent leads with a Preparation of Rites adding Cyber Angel Benten, and on resolution, I activate Droll. They attempt to chain Herald of Orange Light sending itself and the Benten they added for cost, but I chain Gamma. That resolves, but then they activate Triple Tactics Talent to look at my hand. They choose to shuffle the Baby back into my deck, ask me to cut in half and pass the turn. I know because of the hand that the Droll was likely a temporary stop, so I needed a strong topdeck. I draw for turn.
It’s Souleating Oviraptor.
I Normal Summon Oviraptor and they scoop the game up right there. I can confirm there was a pathway to lethal damage and I’ll write it out here!
- Normal Summon Oviraptor and add Misc.
- Activate Misc from hand and then summon Archosaur.
- Use Archosaur to pop the Dogoran in hand and add Double Evolution Pill
- Link Archosaur into Linkuriboh and then link Oviraptor and the Linkuriboh into Predaplant Verte Anaconda
- Activate Pill banishing the Linkuriboh (or something else if you have it) and the Archosaur for Ultimate Conductor Tyranno.
- Banish the remaining Dinosaurs for the Conductor in hand, use Verte to summon Dragoon and that’s a good solid 10,500 damage for game!
On to round 4, the final round between me and my first Remote Duels Across America victory!
Round 4: Win vs. Blind Second Sky Striker 2-0
This Game 1 was easily the most fun game I had today. I lose the die roll and my opponent makes me go first. I wonder what they could be playing, but I don’t complain because I want to go first anyways. I see my opening hand and it’s Lost World, Babycerasaurus, Dinowreslter Coelasilat, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, and PSY-Frame Driver. I decide not to put anything on board and prepare for the worst.
My opponent draws and leads off with a Pot of Desires. I chain Ash, only to find a PSY-Framegear Gamma waiting for me, which they didn’t banish for the cost of Desires. This is what I get for having Called By The Grave for Artifact Lancea twice! They then activate Sky Striker Airspace – Area Zero and activate its effect targeting their Gamma. Off the top of their deck they reveal: Dark Hole, Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion, and Ash. At this point, I’m very confused but I want to see why the Dark Hole is included. They whiff and luckily for me do not have a Sky Striker monster. They attack me for 3500 damage, set two cards, and pass with three in hand banishing the Security Force runaways.
I draw for turn and it’s Double Evolution Pill. At first, I figure this is a sure bet because Lost World messes with Sky Striker a lot and turns off their set disruptions due to placing a monster in their Main Monster Zone. I activate the Lost World and am promptly met with a Cosmic Cyclone. Figures! I then decide to go for the meme. I special summon Coelasilat from my hand and Tribute Summon the Driver. I then attempt to activate Pill banishing the Coelasilat and the Ash for cost, but they have an Ash of their own for me. Time for Driver beats! Driver is shockingly decent against Sky Striker as they have a hard time getting over it and can’t take it with Widow Anchor because it doesn’t have effects that can be negated. I swing in for 2500 and just like that we’re both down to 4500. I pass the turn, and my opponent draws. They first and foremost set a card in their spell and trap zone and then activate Area Zero. They reveal three cards, but the only target to add is a Sky Striker Mecha – Shark Cannon. Very useful when all I have in my grave is a Pill! They snag it and send the Sky Striker Maneuver – Afterburners! they set to the GY. They then Dark Hole by Driver, set another backrow and pass. With only Baby in hand, I draw for turn.
It’s Lost World. Please let there be no Cosmic Cyclone.
I activate Lost World, and my opponent says “This time, it’s good”. The magic words. I normal summon Baby and summon a token, proceeding to attack into it to pop a Baby from the deck. My opponent clarifies a bit about what Lost World does here, and then allows it. I use Baby to summon Oviraptor and then use Oviraptor to add a Misc. I then move to Main Phase 2 and activate Oviraptor targeting Baby to summon back the other Baby, and then use Baby to summon Archosaur. I use Archosaur to pop Baby and add Double Evolution Pill and then I use the Baby to summon a Giant Rex from the deck. I use Archosaur to link into Linkuriboh and then link the Giant Rex and the Linkuriboh into Verte Anaconda. I activate Double Evolution Pill banishing the Linkuriboh and the Giant Rex to summon Dinowrestler Pankratops. In this matchup Conductor isn’t very good as a part of the end board so I opt to use Pankratops for more flexibility. I use the effect of Giant Rex to summon itself after being banished and then overlay the Oviraptor and the Giant Rex into Evolzar Laggia, and after that pay 2000 life points to make Dragoon and pass turn with a Misc still in hand and the three large monsters. At this point I think I have the game on lockdown, but I was dead wrong.
My opponent draws for turn, thinks for a moment and special summons their own Dinowrestler Pankratops. I didn’t expect that at all but I opt to negate its summon with Evolzar Laggia as I’d likely just lose the Laggia if I allow it to be run over by Pankratops. They then proceed to activate Raigeki from hand, which I choose to negate with Dragoon in order to keep Pankratops on the field. They then proceed to use Area Zero targeting the token. Here I have to make a decision: Do I value keeping the Pankratops on board or do I set myself up to play through a Shark Cannon if they hit a Sky Striker card off this activation? I opt for the funny play, and chain Pankratops targeting the Lost World token. I protect it to pop Petiteranodon from deck and then they find a Sky Striker Ace – Raye, add that to their hand and send the token away. I use the effect of Petiteranodon which is ok as they have no more cards in hand and summon my second copy of Oviraptor from the deck. I use both Oviraptor and Lost World to place another token on my opponents side of the field and add the final copy of Misc to my hand. My opponent Normal Summons Raye and enters the Battle Phase. I take a sigh of relief as my gamble had paid off and they forgot that Lost World had text on it. They use Raye to attack into my Verte Anaconda and I drop to 1500. They then use its effect to link into Sky Striker Ace – Hayate, and attack directly when I remind them that Lost World means Hayate only has 1000 attack points. They drop me to 500 and send a copy of Sky Striker Mecha – Widow Anchor to the GY. They then move into Main Phase 2 and link off the Hayate for a copy of Sky Striker Ace – Kagari to add back the Afterburners in GY. They then link into Sky Striker Ace – Zeke with Kagari and the token to banish my Oviraptor and I allow it in order to possibly have Misc protection next turn. They then Afterburners my Laggia and my Lost World, then use Zeke’s effect to send their own Area Zero to the GY. The effect of Area Zero summons out a Sky Striker Ace – Roze, which they link with the Zeke to make a Ningirsu the World Chalice Warrior. They activate Ningirsu and chain a set Shark Cannon targeting my Misc in the GY. They opt to summon the Misc to their side of the field and send the Shark Cannon they activated and my Dragoon. I have a lot of Dinosaurs in the graveyard including a Giant Rex. They have one set card, the Ningirsu and a Misc in defence.
I draw for turn. It’s a Gamma, so I have to pray that the backrow is nothing, but if it’s nothing it’s the end of the game. I activate Misc effect, and on resolution they attempt to activate their set card which is another Shark Cannon but I remind them that they can’t because they control a monster in their Main Monster Zone. I then activate Misc in grave banishing four for cost including the Giant Rex. I activate Oviraptor to add Ultimate Conductor Tyranno and special summon Giant Rex again from the banished zone. I banish two more dinosaurs to summon Tyranno. I overlay the Oviraptor and Rex into Number 60: Dugares the Timeless, and use its effect to double the attack of a monster I control. This makes UCT 7000 attack, and I attack into the 2500 Ningirsu for 4500 damage which is exact game.
That was unbelievably stressful. Had my opponent only banished the Misc instead of summoned it to their side of the field, I would have lost. Time for game 2!
For game 2 my opponent makes me go first again which I expected and I sided accordingly. I took a look at my opening hand and realized that I was probably going to win, but it was going to be extremely ugly. My hand is Giant Rex, Miscellaneousaurus, Red-Eyes Black Dragon, Solemn Judgment, and Imperial Order. Since Imperial Order plus Judgment is basically the end of the game, I opt to normal summon Giant Rex, set the two cards and pass the turn.
My opponent draws and attempts to activate Upstart Goblin, to which I respond with Imperial Order. They then normal summon a Raye and link into Hayate, attacked me directly for 1500, and then sent a Sky Striker Mecha Modules – Multirole to the GY. They link into Kagari to add back the Multirole, and then link into Sky Striker Ace – Shizuku adding a Widow Anchor in the End Phase and passing turn. I draw for turn and it’s a Gamma. That basically doesn’t do anything, so since my opponent has about six cards in hand I figure I’ll try to see if there’s a handtrap. I normal summon Misc and link into Verte Anaconda. I then activate Misc banishing itself and Rex, and I do hit the Ash! I summon back the Giant Rex and then activate Verte Anaconda. I drop down to 3800 and summon out Dragoon. I activate the effect of Dragoon to burn my opponent for 1500 and destroy the Shizuku. My opponent uses Raye, and I say that’s fine. I ask for anything on resolution and there’s nothing. I then activate the effect of Dragoon and my opponent, thinking that Dragoon targeted chained the effect of Raye to summon out a Sky Striker Ace – Kaina. I informed them that it did not target and that the Kaina would be destroyed before being able to activate its effect. I burn for another 1500 damage and then enter the Battle Phase to attack for another 3500, leaving them with 1500. I pass, and they draw for turn. I pay another 700 for Imperial Order and drop to 3100, but my opponent scoops, revealing a hand of six spell cards that they can’t activate. Sometimes, you just have it!
This tournament went pretty amazingly for me, and I was even playing a very sub-optimal version of the deck due to mail not coming in and some budget limitations. My opponents made critical misplays which cleared the way for my technical play to shine, and even my brick hands offered future opportunities if I played them patient enough. A huge thanks to Crush Cards for hosting! They host Remote Duel tournaments every Tuesday for a small entry fee and there’s prizing for the winner so if you want a good mix of competitive and fun play these are great to enter.
That’s all for this report, but stay tuned for the next Remote Duels Across America! If you have any questions about technical play or decklist choices, feel free to find me on Discord or Twitter and ask away.