Irish Open 2012 | The Irish Duelist

Irish Open 2012

The 2012 Dueling season began this weekend with The Irish Open, and I took part in the event aiming for (at the very least) a Top 8 finish.

Note: This is more of a "mini report" than the big long 4000 word epics that I usually write, for various reasons. The main one being that I don't have the time to do a long report right now, the other being that I wasn't taking notes/pictures while competing this time round.


The Irish Open was announced 2 weeks ago, after plans for a similar event in December were put back. Ever since around the time of last year's World Championship, I've stopped keeping pace with the top Decks as I mainly compete in my locals at The Gathering and there's no point in me spending the vast sums of cash required to run Dino Rabbit or anything involving Tour Guide From the Underworld. I ran T.G. at the last big Irish event and my Deck remained largely unchanged since then.

With that in mind I didn't have any grand plan for The Irish Open. I didn't go into the event expecting to win the whole thing as I felt I'd be outpaced by Rabbit or Dark World or something along those lines at least once. So the aim I guess was to make Top 8 and be near the top tables for the majority of the event.

The Deck.

As mentioned above, I've been running TG ever since last August, and it's a Deck I feel quite comfortable with. It reminds me of the Decks I was playing back when I started attending tournaments in 2007, where the aim of the game was to simplify things as much as possible and gradually generate card advantage. It's a Deck that's designed "not to lose" instead of being "one that wins", which is what I used to look for in a Deck before playing TG.

On the Thursday before the event I had a look around "teh interwebz" for Deck ideas/suggestions and asked a few players for their input before eventually building 2 Decks: TG and Gravekeepers, both being very Trap heavy. On the Friday I made my way up to Dublin and tested with a few players at Gamers World, where I found that the TG Deck was the stronger of the 2, and the one I should be optimising. After some more practice in the (new and awesome) hostel with some cards I picked up (Maxx "C" mainly) I called it a night and put the final touches to the Deck together on Saturday morning. As before I wrote my list before I headed to the venue and felt confident of doing well.

The Event.

The Irish Open was held in the same location as the unofficial Nationals in August, UCD. 64 players attended which meant 5 rounds and a Top 8 cut. After running some numbers in my head I realised that not all of the people on X-1 would make Top 8, so I couldn't afford to lose any matches.

The first 2 rounds were relatively straightforward, as I was paired up against some rogue Decks (Disaster Dragon and Six Samurai). I won those 2-0 and had my first real test in Round 3 when I faced Dino Rabbit. I hadn't played against the Deck in a tournament setting before but I had seen it in action quite a bit from my time at YCS Brighton, so I knew what I was up against. I lost Game 1 as my opponent had a Rabbit/Tour Guide every turn and built up too much momentum, but pulled it back in Game 2 as time was called. We went to Game 3 and I built up an early lead before securing the Match by taking my opponent's Spirit Reaper with Monster Reborn.

Round 4 I took on X-Sabers after getting a pairdown. Duel 1 went by quickly but things dragged on a bit in Duel 2, which I eventually lost after my opponent brought out Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning (he sided that along with Effect Veiler and D.D. Crow, and got all 3 cards off against me over 2 turns). Time was called at the start of Duel 3 but I just managed to squeeze it by having 1 more card than he had outs for (Fossil Dyna attacking for game).

Round 5 was against Jordan Gill from the North, who was running Plants. Again a tight game ensued but I barely squeezed it in time (again, it's becoming a habit now) to go undefeated in Swiss. It was my toughest match all day but quite enjoyable at the same time. Unfortunately my luck ran out in the Top 8 as I was soundly beaten by another Dino Rabbit Deck, but I achieved my objective and was happy with that.

Overall it was a decent event. I played as well as I could and couldn't complain about my loss in Top 8. The event was well run and it was nice to meet up with players again and get back into the mindset of competitive play. I'm not sure when I'll be competing in an event above locals level again but hopefully it won't be too long a wait.