You just saw Calvin Tsang’s deck in action, as he took a 2-1 victory over Robbi Kohl in the Round 3 feature match. Tsang’s deck, which he owes in part to Toronto duelist Ervin So, is largely based off the Diamond Dude Turbo strategies of old. The result is a fast, unpredictable deck that doesn’t commit much to the field, but that can buy itself a lot of extra cards through both defense and extra draw power. That makes putting together OTKs a lot easier than one could with a normal TeleDAD build, and that’s the whole game-plan. Check it out . . .
Like Henry Su at Shonen Jump Charlotte, Tsang is playing three copies of Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude with Threatening Roar to back them up. “Diamond Dude gets a lot of free cards,” explained Tsang, “and it forces your opponent to attack — they can’t just leave it there.” If Tsang’s opponent can’t get Diamond Dude off the field he will inevitably flip a high-powered spell off his deck, and in a competition where so many duelists are playing similar strategies, even just one extra card can spell victory. Threatening Roar makes it much harder to do that reliably, and Tsang can frequently bait his opponent into a failed offensive attempt, capitalizing on that failure with Destiny Hero - Diamond Dude and a whole lot more.
“It beats the standard build of TeleDAD,” continued Tsang, telling me about his deck. “They push with a big attack, you Threatening Roar, and then you push back and win.” I wrote about Roar earlier this week over in The Binder, and discussed how its slowing effect is more than just defense — it actually creates huge opportunities for aggression by leaving your opponent in an over-extended position that can then be shattered soon after. Even just getting an extra draw is a great way to get an advantage against other TeleDAD builds.
The entire trap lineup is actually very intriguing, as Tsang plays no Mirror Force, no Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, and not even Crush Card Virus. Instead he plays three copies of Reckless Greed to see more cards, building off the ability he developed with Threatening Roar. “If you win the turn you use Reckless Greed, you don’t lose any draws!” Tsang’s deck is heavily invested in a wide variety of spell cards, and the low number of traps he plays ensures that he’ll have a higher number of live draws on a turn-to-turn basis than his opponents. The fact that he plays three Reckless Greed alongside the usual three copies of Allure of Darkness and Destiny Draw means that all those once-off singleton spells can actually be drawn into reliably.
And man, there are a lot of them. Along with the Monster Reborn, Brain Control, and Heavy Storm you’d expect to see in any TeleDAD deck, Tsang is also playing Mind Control, Giant Trunade, Lightning Vortex, Magical Mallet (another card favored by Henry Su), and Dark Eruption. The latter can get him Krebons, Diamond Dude, Sangan, Snipe Hunter, and his one copy of Prometheus, King of the Shadows. That means he can dig for removal with Snipe Hunter, pull out a Synchro summon with Krebons, nab a discard for Destiny Draw, or finish the game as we saw with Prometheus. Brutal stuff, and obvious in retrospect too, but it took Tsang to make it work in a high-profile event.
At the end of the day this deck is all about resiliency: “The deck can’t be Crushed — it beats the standard TeleDAD.” There’s very little here that can be hit by Crush Card Virus — only five of the deck’s sixteen monsters have 1500 ATK or more. In fact, the only matchup Tsang is concerned about here today is Lightsworn. “It’s not just a bad matchup for this deck, it’s a bad matchup for everything. There is no solid matchup against Honest; they can still out-damage you.”
This deck is a great example of a duelist playing to his strengths, innovating, and creating something unique — or at least, uhh, “borrowing” something unique from Ervin So. With a 4-0 record here in round 4, he’s on a smooth path to Day 2!