The Duelist Spice Session #3 with Didier Luidialam

The Duelist Spice Session #3 with Didier Luidialam

Didier finished Runner-Up at the Grand Championship 2020. Marking his first-ever appearance in the Grand Championship, Didier nearly claimed the coveted prize. He talks about his experience of the event and goes in-depth about his deck building processes – in a Highlander format which presented a tricky challenge to all players.

Interviewer:
First of all, congratulations to making it to the Final. What are your first thoughts and also your first experience of the event?

Didier:
Great to play against all these proven duelists, but especially in that Highlander format. I never had any interaction with this kind of format, nor have I ever piloted such decks. So, it was an extremely new challenge to me and which turned out to be very fun also.

Interviewer:
So, given that you never played such tournament or duel – you also had never built a Highlander deck. So what were your first ideas about how to go forward with some deck idea that sounded cohesive to you?

Didier:
I just zeroed in on the Dangers! I fancied the Danger! engine almost immediately and slowly revolved the deck around them.

Interviewer:
So that thought-process created Danger! Dark World with Zoodiac and Phantom-Knights engines. Guide us through it and how/why you chose these particular engines.

Didier:
As I said, I believed in the Danger! core - an assemble of cards which enables OTK but also provides consistency and flexibility. To create a synergy off the Dangers!, I wanted to add engines which benefitted from being discarded. Thereby, Dark World was the most natural fit, followed by Phantom-Knights which provide recursion and trap defensibility after being discarded. I added the Zoodiac engine because I wanted a going-first engine also, and Zoo felt like the most potent single card engine. Just like all Danger cards can do same, all Zoo monsters can access the same Zoodiac extra deck monsters. All-in-all, this is what I felt a Highlander deck should be like – all 1 copies of a card but which still does same thing as the other.

Interviewer:
Any other engines which you first considered in early drafts but which didn’t make the final cut? You are most noticeably familiar with Thunder and Infernoids. Were these ever a consideration?

Didier:
Not really. They just didn’t seem like they would fit in the deck.

Interviewer:
So you maximized on all the Dangers! playing all the monsters except for the Danger! spells and traps cards. Have you considered playing them as well?

 

Didier:
Not really. I just wanted the Dangers for their swarm ability and consistency that they provide. I did not want to convolute the strategy.

Interviewer:
You could have played a similarly larger amount of Dark World cards also, just like Danger! Did you want to play more of the Dark World cards?

Didier:
The Dark World cards– I definitely wanted to play more but I felt the deck space was too tight, and at the end, I chose the ones which I felt provided the most advantage instead of adding more names for the sake of adding more names.

Interviewer:
There is a definitely a theme where you fitted very synergizing engines, but where you did not attempt to add further layers to convolute the prime purpose of the deck. Another instance is the PK engine – you played it just for the Fog Blade access, but you did not play more of the PK traps, nor did you play more Rank 3s.

Didier:
Yeah, I just wanted the PK engine for the trap, and cards which benefitted off the discard from the Danger! Even cards like Zephyros and Metalfoes Fusion are there for that – just cards which benefits off the discard effect and provide further card advantage.

Interviewer:
That is a very settled gameplan indeed. However, I did find it curious that you did not play the Zoodiac Combo trap card, to refuel the Zoodiac extra deck engine after its first burst. Did you not consider it?

Didier:
I did not want to revolve the deck around Drident. I felt a one-time use off it was more than enough, maybe recur it off Pot of Avarice – but that was it. The Drident is mostly a Turn 1 play, just like the Hornet Drones-Skyblaster combo for when I am going first. Otherwise, this deck worked much better going-second as the Danger monsters provided quick OTK potential.

Interviewer:
So no further consideration made for more Zoodiac monsters in the extra deck either then?

Didier:
No, these four were more than enough. Overall, they are just names with just Chakanine and Drident being the more relevant ones.

Interviewer:
I find it odd that you did not include the Black Luster Soldier Link though, for how easy you could make it with this deck with the Dangers and the Dark World cards ect...

Didier:
I did not find enough space. I used practically all cards in extra deck. All the Link 4s were useful. The Kagari/Link Spider play climbing into Curious and Gryphon was the main Turn 1 setup with possibly a Drident interruption and the Fog Blade search. The Knightmares and Borrelsword were all very important cards for the going-second strategies. The only thing which I did not pull off in the tournament, but which I managed in test, was setting the Trigate Wizard. Otherwise, besides the Trigate, all the Extra Deck cards were useful.

Interviewer:
The Side Deck features a multitude of handtraps. Inherently, Danger! do not work too well with handtraps. So how did you handle that aspect of siding?

Didier:
I kept the Danger when siding-in the handtraps. Cards I sided out were mostly the cards which would provide plusses off the discard such as Metalfoes Fusion, PK cards, some of the Dark World cards ect.. I feel the Dangers are just key component of the deck that even with handtraps, the deck needed them to function cohesively.

Interviewer:
Are there cards/techs which you never accessed over all the Rounds of the tournament?

Didier:
With exception of maybe 1-2 side deck cards, I don’t think so. I accessed and drew all the cards from the main deck atleast once, over the course of the tournament.

Interviewer:
So, overall, how was the experience of a Highlander format?

Didier:
Very interesting and looking forward to playing more games like these soon.
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