I must admit that there was a time when I wept for the ignorant. The poor duelists struggling with tasks as rudimentary as keeping track of their own life points or remembering what cards they held in their own hand used to bring a tear to my eye. I used to have so much mercy, but those times have long since passed. There is no time for sadness or regret, only rage. Specifically, the rage I feel every time someone loses a duel to themselves. You’d think that at the very least, a proper duelist would at least respect him- or herself enough to lose to the opponent rather than his or her own foolishness. Alas, it has become clear across the past eight rounds that this is not the case. Either that or there are simply fewer proper duelists out there than the players are willing to admit to. While I am personally a fan of this theory, it is irrelevant in the end. As a teacher, it is my duty to train up the duelists of tomorrow, and train I shall.
I have since modified my lecture plan from the last time we spoke. Developments over the course of the tournament have made it clear that what I need to talk about right now is the ever-prevalent Dark Armed Dragon deck. More specifically, I’ll be talking about how not to inadvertently raise a white surrender flag during the duel. You see, the particular requirements and methodologies behind the Dark Armed Dragon deck make it such that the clever duelist will be able to shut it down in a single move while the slackers among you will blindly play into its every desire until it’s far too late to do anything about it.
As an example of smart playing against Dark Armed Dragon, allow me to submit Dale Bellido’s match against Theeresak Poonsombat in Round 6. If you absolutely must allow your opponent to have exactly three Dark monsters in his graveyard, you should do so only under the condition that you can either prevent the summon of Dark Armed Dragon or make your opponent pay for his insolence should he be foolish enough to try. Dale went with the former option, activating a D.D. Crow as soon as he possibly could to drop T back down to two Dark monsters and thusly lock him out of the game. As for the events that transpired afterwards, I have no official comment, but let it be known that it brings a certain joy to my heart when a player manages to play multiple Limited cards multiple times in the same turn.
Unfortunately, Dale’s play with the D.D. Crow spans the entirety of the set of good plays I’ve personally witnessed against Dark Armed Dragon decks. More often than not, I’ve witnessed players commit the cardinal sin of playing against Dark Armed Dragon: giving the opponent his or her third Dark monster and then setting the board up so that Dark Armed Dragon will cause maximum damage when it drops. For example, I watched a player attack his opponent’s Armageddon Knight with Zaborg the Thunder Monarch, giving his opponent exactly three Dark monsters in the graveyard. He then proceeded to set Mirror Force and activate Swords of Revealing Light, a baffling play that would only make sense if the goal of a duel was to lose 8000 life points as quickly as possible. If that was indeed the object of the game, this dismal slacker would be a star! His opponent dropped Dark Armed Dragon, destroyed all three cards on the field, and then activated Dimension Fusion to take the game. This is perhaps the prime example of how not to win a Shonen Jump Championship. By the end of the day today, anyone who would even consider making such a grievous error in the future might as well fashion a custom dunce cap out of duct tape and 37 copies of Sonic Duck to wear to his or her next, inevitable detention.
We can, however, do even more to prevent ourselves from losing to our own devices! Oh yes, there’s more. One of the biggest blows that we can strike against a Dark Armed Dragon player is to activate a chainable spell or trap card, such as Raigeki Break, in response to the Dark Armed Dragon’s effect! Why, then, do some players continue to choose spell and trap cards that won’t do anything about the problem! Unless you’re planning on winning the duel immediately afterwards, “spinning” a Dark Armed Dragon to the top of the deck with Phoenix Wing Wind Blast or activating Shrink on it are more or less useless! If you spin it, the opponent will draw it again, and you will likely have to deal with it again. If you Shrink it, it’s still going to blow away the rest of your field and you’re still going to lose to Dimension Fusion or Return from the Different Dimension! Save yourself the embarrassment, and play cards like Enemy Controller or Raigeki Break to steal the Dragon away for the turn and thus save yourself and the rest of your field or just destroy the monstrosity outright. It’ll save you and, by extension, me all the time it takes to be angry at you while you write, “I will not make myself lose to Dark Armed Dragon” 2800 times . . . once for every needless point of damage you took!