The fallout of YCS Salt Lake City.
We are now 2 weeks removed from YCS Salt Lake City where True Draco emerged with a surprisingly dominant performance, taking 4 of the top 8 spots and both spots in the finals. Not only that, but Pendulum was completely shut out of the top 8. This has sent ripples through the community as True Draco, and perhaps more specifically Amano-Iwato, have taken the target off Pendulum’s back and placed it squarely on their own. From here, the community can follow one of two paths: 1. If True Draco is truly as dominant as it appeared to be at Salt Lake City, the numbers will surge even higher as it pushes the rest of the decks out competitive viability. 2. True Draco was simply well positioned for one tournament, and the meta will now adapt to beat it. This week on DuelingBook at least, the latter appears to be true.
True Draco cards saw far less play this week than previous weeks and although the True Draco cards themselves have almost identically high win-rates as previous weeks, the ‘generic’ cards that are played almost exclusively in True Draco in the current format, Pot of Duality and Card of Demise, have marginally lower win-rates than previous weeks. YGOscope does not present enough data to determine the cause of this 100% accurately, but I have a theory as to why these cards, specifically Pot of Duality, could be seeing some slight and previously unseen counter play.
Generally, as a deck becomes more popular and players get more experience playing against it, their technical play against the deck improves. Early in the format I doubt many players were using their Vortex Dragon, Norito, or Hope Harbinger negations on Pot of Duality because it is such a seemingly nonthreatening card. Pot of Duality is deceptively threatening, however, because if Amano-Iwato was not in their opening hand and their first action is Pot of Duality there is a 24.88% chance it is revealed by Duality (assuming it is a 40 card deck), completely shutting off all the opponent’s disruption for the rest of the turn. Using one of the negations I mentioned above, or perhaps even an Ash Blossom, on Pot of Duality to play around the 25% Amano-Iwato could potentially push the win-rate of Pot of Duality down slightly. It is entirely possible that Duality and Demise’s win-rates fell more than the other True Draco cards for other reasons; such as being played in other, less efficient decks, or simply through variance, but I believe it possible that the player base changed how they approach the match up and now use their negations of the first draw cards played to prevent a drawn Amano-Iwato, as opposed to waiting to use their disruptions on Dragonic Diagram.
Cards that saw a huge jump in win-rate this week were Zefra Metaltron and Supreme King Dragon Starving Venom. Additionally, despite not making the top 200 most played cards and instead clocking in around 300, Lyrilusc – Independent Nightingale saw an impressive win-rate as well. Due to Card of Demise, True Draco generally does not play any hand traps, making the Pendulum FTK deck its natural counter, launching all of these cards’ win-rates sky high as players are looking for ways to hard counter True Draco. Amano-Iwato can’t be summoned if your opponent never gets a turn!
If you’d like to do a little digging of your own, check out the raw data at YGOscope.com!