Sunday, August 19, 2012

The guide to playing/beating final countdown

so you think final countdown is autopilot and takes no skill? think again. It is harder to win with them than to win against them. Tyler Tabman made a perfect meta call in the YCS and almost nobody knew how to play against it, until after the YCS. I really salute him because he made the 2 best meta calls for the game this year (wind ups, countdown). I dont think Exodia by Jarel was a good meta call at all, but i still respect and salute him for bringing the deck to a top 8 finish, or even to play the deck against Japan.

One of the things that people have to realize is that the TCG know about final countdown much more than the OCG. In japan, its not considered a threat because 1 shock ruler + decree fucks up the whole deck but what about asia format? so its my job to bring about some awareness.

So the whole deck is basically revolving around certain cards. You will be stalling or trying to get countdown in your hand turn 1. In asia format you cant run gold sarcophagus and it really hinders the deck's consistency alot. Cards like Card Car D are decent but it is prone to Veiler.

So, the second thing you need to do is to save your scarecrows and one day of peace. Most people are playing One Day wrongly and 1 Day is the single handedly most broken card in the deck because of the fact that you can block out Gagaga Gunman's burn. What you would be setting often is Threatening Roar, and Waboku first, and then later putting out your Ruler of Thunders and frozen souls.

You should also not be playing Battle Fader if you have not realized it already because:

1) Battle Fader dies to Warning and your giving them a chance to fuck you up because taking 2k points off their life means drawing 1 less card from Hope for Escape.

2) Fader dies to random stuffs like Koaki Meriru Dragon and Deck Devastation Virus. Hence its weak.

The same thing can be said for Card Car D but i feel that its still needed because drawing into Countdown is still more important because its the deck's win condition.

Next off if you open with Upstart and POD you should play Upstart first and then POD. It is done so so that you can view the next top 4 cards from your deck. Chances are Counttdown is hidden within those cards. If you do the reverse, POD first reveals the first 3, then you shuffle your deck and you play goblin. the chances of revealing a countdown is lesser, if you know what i mean.

Then you must know about the rulings of Frozen Soul. And that it STACKS. Meaning that if you chain it to Thunder of Ruler, your opponent's next battle phase is skipped meaning the turn after this. This means you would gain a whole fucking 4 turns from Countdown. And the fact that Frozen Soul declares that you need to go into the NEXT battle phase, it means that if your opponent just so happens to forget to declare going into battle phase, then he loses this turn's and skips his next one ! Meaning you gain 6 whole turns from Countdown.

Next of, if you know your opponent has an MST set, you shouldnt be setting only 1 face down damage negater because its likely you'll lose the game after. Unless you have a Scarecrow waiting in his hand to waste his MST then its a good move. You should also set multiple bluffs so that your opponent hits the wrong card.

If your not playing the Hope For Escape build, you should because its bloody good. One more thing to notice is that in early game if you take only 2000 to 3000 damage, just let it pass. Why waste a Waboku/ T Roar? just take it and then profit (mmyeah) off Hope for Escape. Your opponent will be confused by that fact that you do not have any damage negaters.

Your worst matchups are probably Dino Rabbit and 6 Samurai. Hence, i would suggest siding 2 Lava Golems and 2 Penguin Soldiers (to clear off Shien) but its not hard for the opponent to just make it again though so Lava Golems are good.

Now to the second part of the article.

so you think final countdown is impossible to break apart? think again.

In fact the deck is EXTREMELY EASY to destroy.

The most important thing to note is to conserve your MST in game 1s. You would probably lose game 1 without siding but who cares you have games 2 and 3 to make up for it.

Next you have to remember the existence of Gagaga Gunman. 1.6k burn can mean alot of things in many situations.

Next up, you should never be pecking for small damages like whacking early game. What you should do is to build up a winning field enough to push for game. You may call this overextending into Dark Hole, but let me ask you, what if you attack bit by bit and they successfully resolve a Hope for Escape. If that happens you might as well scoop the game. Dark Hole is one card but with most decks putting 8k plus damage isnt hard and you can just build up again (1 reason why Inzektor was the best matchup vs final countdown) . That was why the Japanese kept chaining Solemn Warning to their own summons VS Jarel Winston at worlds. Hope For Escape is sort of a well designed power card, which is something rare for the game.

Once you have put out 8k plus damage, you can now proceed to waste his traps and Scarecrows. You should be saving those MSTs for situations like this to waste his Scarecrows because they're unrecyclable. The moment you see Card Car D you can just Warning it straight.

From above, you must never forget Frozen Soul's rulings. Just declare battle phase. 2 simple words every turn. It wont hurt you.

Next , how should you be siding VS countdown? The usual suspects is Royal Decree. But Countdown players are smart and know how to play around it. Now i will teach you how to play around them. When you have Royal Decree, dont activate it yet. Always wait until you have the 2nd set down. Your opponent is likely gonna just hit Decree with a set MST/ Twister etc. Once you chain 1, your opponent will chain their S/T removal, and you chain the 2nd Decree and OTK straight. Your opponent will be weary to set multiple s/t removals. Decks like Inzektors had the upper hand last format. This format, my call would be Chaos Dragon (laila), Rabbit Dino (lagia) and hieratics (su) to be the worst matchups for final countdown.

There are also other potential cards like Prohibition (calling Scarecrow) which could work (it worked against me once) and other rogue techs like Dark Bribe.

Also if you drew Solemn Judgment turn 1 you can celebrate because resolving Judgment against turn 2 countdown means you win straight. Hence cards like Dark Bribe are potential side cards.

Another card that absolutely destroys the deck is Cursed Seal of Forbidden Spell. If you resolve it against Countdown they scoop straight.

Another potential card you could run is Jinzo (idea from alato). Summoning Jinzo means you've almost won the game unless your opponent gets Dark Hole. The skill of playing Jinzo/Shien/Lagia is that you should not have any other monster on the board besides them to avoid Lava Golem.

And thats all for todays post.


Anonymous said...

Thats stack

mike said...

if it makes u feel any better, i learnt it only after i played countdown at topshop hence i didnt stack.

secondly im never playing the deck again so yeah.

Michael Bonacini said...

Countdown to Yugioh is what Dredge is to Magic - as long as people side for it, it will never be a problem.