2002 Japan Nationals Standard Deck Breakdown

Posted in Event Coverage on May 30, 2002

By Isamu Fujieda


As everyone anticipated, the most-played deck is UB Psychatog. If one counts the variants, those running red for burn or green for Pernicious Deed, Psychatog decks take up a whopping third of the field. Tsuyoshi Fujita, Masahiko Morita, and Masayuki Higashino are among the players using this deck, which appears to be especially popular with players from the Kansai region.


The next most-played deck archtype is RGU. This is a broad category, including decks like Masaya Mori's, which uses Fact or Fiction to gain card advantage, then win with big creatures like Arrogant Wurm or Roar of the Wurm. Some players are sporting versions with Opposition or other utility cards from all three colors. GP Sendai champion Kazuaki Arahori, along with other members of the Hachiouji Clan, is one of the more well-known players who chose this archtype.

UG Tempo

Although there are is a number of conventional Tempo decks, a good number of players, including Itaru Ishida, the Andou brothers, and Toshiki Tsukamoto, have chosen to go with control variants, using Squirrel Nest and Opposition to lock down their opponents.


The main breakdown in this archtype is between versions that are traditional Steroid, using big green unhousebroken creatures along with Shivan Wurm, versus versions that rely more on burn, including Meteor Storm. In all, this color combination is being used by 35 people, including Masashiro Kuroda and Osamu Fujita, making it the second most popular archtype after Psychatog.

Trenches Control

A good number of players, including Team Fire Ball Pro members Jin Okamoto, Tsuyoshi Ikeda, and Jun Nobushita, have chose to run variants on Goblin Trenches control decks. Having proven its strength at various Nationals around the world, this is a powerful deck that has a tendancy to roll opponents with its potent combination of control and tempo advantage.


Pegged by many as the best Standard deck, Psychatog is out in full force. Perhaps surprisingly, the next most popular deck has ended up being RG. Still, it's an open field with a number of deck types vying for contention.

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