Marcello Barberi WCQ Utrecht Winner Tournament Report

Complexity Card Gaming and Marcello Barberi here with another Tournament Report for YGOrganization!

Dear Yu-Gi-Oh community,

My name is Marcello Barberi and as most of you might already know I won the WCQ : European Championship 2017 in Utrecht going 17-0 and making history by being the first player in the world to do that. 

This accomplishment still feels unreal, especially because i didn’t even need to attend the event in the first place! I had already accumulated enough points to qualify for the World Championship as Rank 1 Italian player.

This means that I’ve qualified for Worlds 2 times this year, breaking yet another record! I guess that might be my destiny in this game after winning YCS London years ago!

First of all, I want to thanks my team Complexity Card Gaming! I think we’re doing a great job and the fact that in 2017 we’ve already won 2 premier events as well as placing 2 team members at Worlds proves it.

A special shout-out must go to Stefano Memoli and Federico Mecozzi, who lost in Top 8 with the same card by card list, since they are the people I play-test the most with, and finally to everyone who lent me cards especially Alberto Marazzi.

2017 is by far the year I’ve played the most Yu-Gi-Oh. In fact, due to the new ranking system, I travelled all around Italy for Regionals every weekend, and it proved to be quite helpful overall – not only did I get to test at multiple events, I also got to see how others in Italy were playing as the format developed.

In particular, the weekend prior to the WCQ I went to Chicago for a regional to get the last points needed to be safe. The tournament went well and it helped a lot in the preparation for the WCQ.

In fact, I played Pure Zoo there too, and realized I was right to think it was the best deck. The deck gained a lot of space for tech cards due to the loss of Instant Fusion and Fusion Substitute from the Main Deck – I replaced these with cards like Cosmic Cyclone and multiple different hard-hitting traps, as well as Extra Deck space for Abyss Dweller, meaning Pure Draco wouldn’t be an issue.

Sure, the Draco Zoo variant was by far the best deck going first, since it could have unfair openings in particular through Zephyros, but it turned out to be too fragile going second, especially now that every Pure Zoo was maining at least 3 copies of Solemn Strike.

Using this mindset, I tried to build my deck to have some kind of advantage in the many mirror matches I expected, as well as keeping it as generic as possible for Game 1, since in such a big tournament it is likely to play against some Pure Dracos and rogue decks.


This is the list I came up with :


The Zoo line-up is quite standard, outside of the third copy of Thoroughblade. I thought a 10th monster was quite important in the grind games and I liked it more than the third copy of Ramram because of the fact that ATK points are quite relevant in the mirror, and that drawing cards is important after the loss of the Substitute combo.


The biggest innovation was deciding not to main any copy of Ash Blossom, and I feel like that was one of the key reasons for my success. After the limitation of Terrortop, the card lost a lot of utility in the mirror match, and the only reason I even sided it in was for Card of Demise. The minus 1 in the grind game against other Zoo is way too relevant and I probably wouldn’t have won as many matches if my opponents weren’t also playing them.


Continuing on to the Spells, I guess it is mandatory to talk about Shuffle Reborn, the so called ‘tech of the weekend.’ The card is an amazing tool for Zoo due to its versatility. Going first it essentially allows you to use the effect of Ratpier or Blade without fearing Ghost Ogre, while going second it is a great extender against Drident and Solemn Strike. In fact, while drawing 2 copies of any other outs to Drident doesn’t do much, if you open Shuffle Reborn alongside another out, you are able to play around Counter Traps too, which is a big deal! The second effect isn’t as relevant, but it still provides marginal utility, allowing you to shuffle back a copy of Tenki or a clutch Flying C my opponent might give me.

The rest of the line-up is quite standard, I decided to replace Dark Holes with Enemy Controllers because they provide more utility going first and they also play around the very popular My Body as a Shield. Maining 2 Cosmic Cyclones was mainly an assurance against True Draco and allowed me to save some space in the side deck – going forward you might swap them with Twin Twisters but i didn’t want to risk it because Twin Twisters (in my opinion) is worse going second. (This choice paid off due to the large amount of die rolls I actually lost.)

Finally, I played the ‘random’ Forbidden Chalice. Essentially as a worse second copy of Book of Moon, I was afraid of Flying C and wanted at least 1 more out to it, but i didn’t want play other copies because I didn’t want to play a card which would lose to Hammerkong in the Mirror Matches.

Talking about Traps, as I’ve said, I wanted a Main Deck of as many generic Traps as possible and that’s why I mained Counter Traps. The decision to use just a single copy of Barrier was only due to the fact that I had a 16 card Side Deck and had to fit something in.

The Extra Deck is super standard. You need as many Zoo Xyzs as possible, but I still think Dweller is a valuable resource, and it came up a lot for me during the weekend! I honestly think this card should be an Extra Deck staple for those competing in the NA WCQ.

The side deck is also quite understandable, being composed mostly of 3 of’s. I sided heavily for Draco and rogue decks, while against the mirror match I usually just swapped Cyclones for Twisters if going second and added Barriers.


And that’s it for the deck discussion. If you want, you can also check out my deck profile on YouTube recorded by Lithium2300 at the event. HERE





He doesn’t have an extra deck so I’m pretty sure what I’m up against. Pretty straight-forward match, he opens 2 Strikes and Warning which makes it difficult for me to get things going but I’m eventually able to grind him out. Game 2 he let me go first and I open with Dweller, Ash and Imperial Order which pretty much closes the game.





ROUND 2 VS PURE ZOO (Marcel Burri) – WON DICE – 2-0

I unfortunately have to play against a team mate so soon. Game 1 I open quite strong with traps and there is not much he can do. Game 2 I draw Flying C but I don’t see any Zoo cards for awhile so he is able to put me at just 200 Lifepoints left but I eventually come back. Super tense game!! Marcel Burri went onto later Top 32 the event, you can check out his tournament report over on CCGs FaceBook page!


ROUND 3 VS PURE ZOO (Lorenz G.) LOST DICE –  2-0

This match was over quite quickly, I don’t remember much about it. I’m pretty sure he bricked both games!



My second and last Pure Draco for the Swiss rounds. He makes me go first and the Dweller puts in a lot work, and it is pretty much the same thing for Game 2.



Losing the die roll against this deck is the scariest feeling! He pumps out an unbreakable board and in fact I lose Game 1! We quickly go to Game 3 but Raigeki and Twin Twisters was enough to break his board this time.



He was playing a similar list and he also Topped. Game 1 I open no monsters for the last time in the event, but I somehow manage to stall with Traps until I am able to draw one. Game 2 Flying C stops him completely, no outs!


ROUND 7 VS PURE ZOO (Dominik W.) – LOST DICE – 2-0

I don’t remember much about this one either, pretty sure it ended quickly though!



This was quite a long match and my first Game 1 dropped in a mirror. We eventually go to game 3 and I’m pretty sure it was Flying C that gave me the win once again, the card is too good!






Either way, I’ve made it to Day 2!




I am 8-0 at this point and pretty confident, I can top even if losing all 3 matches, so I try to gather as much information as possible about  my opponents decks to use for Topcut.


ROUND 9 VS PURE ZOO (Colin Thomas Clement A.) 2-1 – LOST DICE

Not much I can do Game 1, he has all the answers, but I gave him his medicine back Game 2. He doesn’t open a Zoo game 3 and that’s such a relief!


9-0 and 100% in the Topcut at this point.


ROUND 10 VS PURE ZOO (Abderazak G.) 2-0 WON DICE

I know him because he is from Nice (France) and I have a house there, so we have quite a friendly match since we are both guaranteed to Top. Game 1 lasts about 25 minutes and I eventually prevail, Game 2 he doesn’t like his hand that much, decides it’s not worth playing this round and he scoops right away to get something to eat. Fair enough I guess..



He wins the die roll and tell me he really wants to win the Swiss, (So do I..) Turns out i am able to break his board both games so I win the match quickly.



Swiss is over! I’m undefeated for the third time this season! (YCS Liverpool, French National and now this). 4 of us from CCG top and unfortunately my friend Stefano Memoli fall quite short (67th).





We get a Deckcheck and he receives a game-loss cause he didn’t side out Maxx c. Game 2 he opens Masterpeace but I am able to grind through his backrow and get rid of it with a huge attack Zoo thanks to Shuffle Reborn. He saw 2 Card of Demise that game as well, but they don’t get him far.


TOP 32 VS PURE ZOO (Federico Pastore) 2-0 (FEATURE MATCH) WON DICE

I have to play a friend of mine from Rome and we get a feature match you can watch here.


From here on I only play against Pure Zoo, so turns out my prediction was correct. In total I played against 1 Draco Zoo, 3 Pure Draco and 13 Mirror Matches.


TOP 16 VS PURE ZOO (Christos M.) 2-0 LOST DICE

We get another Deckcheck but nothings wrong. Both games are pretty similar, he opens Zoodiac Combo twice and I am able to grind through his board leaving him unable to come back.


TOP 8 VS PURE ZOO (Kristoffer N.) 2-0 WON DICE

Quite a friendly guy, Game 1 he is almost able to out-resource me but he eventually makes a small mistake with his monsters, which is enough for me to capitalize on and come back. Game 2 I draw the weirdest hand with 3 Ghost Ogre and a Flying C, but after a while it somehow gets me there, I tried to stop the power plays with the little resources I had and I am able to win.


TOP 4 VS PURE ZOO (Tom Paine) 2-1 WON DICE

It is at this point that I realise I am about to do the impossible and qualify twice in a year, giving Daniele Stella the qualification to Worlds by doing so. I knew Tom, he is a good player and member of United Gosus, and I felt kinda bad for him while playing cause I could relate on how he must have felt when losing to someone already qualified for Worlds. I lost a Top 8 for a chance to go to Worlds in the past and it is one of my worst memories in this game, but it also gave me a lot of motivation to get where I am now and I really hope it will do the same to him.

Anyway, talking about the match, Game 1 I open a good hand with Barrage and Tenki but he has the Maxx “C” and my only defence is a copy of My Body so he wins right away and that’s my first loss in the Topcut. Game 2 i open the Maxx “C” myself which turned out to be clutch against his Soul Charge so we go to Game 3. He has an average hand but his Imperial Order really screws me and I’m left with only a Torrential Tribute set and a Whiptail in hand. Unfortunately for him he doesn’t play around it and overextends, giving me the win.




I did it!! I’ve qualified twice!! and I am currently 16-0 tying the number of most wins in a premier event. Now it is time to make History and I feel nervous for the first time in the weekend while shuffling my deck… Let’s do this.


This was of course a feature match and you can watch it here.


Game 3 when I summoned Blade I had to make a choice, to play around Ghost Ogre or Flying C.

Time was called already so I spent as much time as possible thinking about it hoping he would give me a tell in the meantime and gladly he did!! In fact, as soon as I picked up my extra deck, he stopped me saying “wait i asked for the effect of blade”. That made it clear that he had at least a Flying C and I took the chance to use the effect of Blade which drew me Barrier and gave me a chance to win the match. Shoutouts do go to Imperial Order though..

That was the real deal in my opinion, not the Raigeki i saw a lot of people talking about, because to be fair I had a lot of outs at that point, you could see by my Decklist, I could’ve drawn any one of them.



Anyway, I did win the match and became the first person to EVER go 17-0!

I can’t explain how unreal it still feels and the only thing i can say is that I’ll try to make history one more time in Japan this August. I’ll be joined by fellow Complexity Card Gaming player Joshua Schmidt for the event.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience and I’ll see you guys at the next events!!


– Marcello Barberi, Complexity Card Gaming.

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