Hello, I am Negative1 and this is my September 2020 KC Cup writeup. I will be going over my preparation for the event as well as my experience during the event itself with some analysis of the decks I used along the way.
For every KC Cup, how you prepare will largely decide how you perform. If you have a good idea of what to expect and practice against it then your likelihood of succeeding is much greater.
Karakuri was the deck I tested against the most because I believed karakuri would be very popular this kc cup. What I found was that the deck is absolutely broken going first, arguably tier 0 if it could always do so. This is because they have draw power alongside having access to Loading... and Loading... , the deck could make strong boards, and even if their board does get destroyed then they typically have a followup play. Average Karakuri hands go plus 2 or plus 3 in card economy meaning there are few decks that can compete with them. In a tier 0 format, you must either play the tier 0 deck or you must counter the tier 0 deck, so I immediately started looking for counters in the event the meta became dominated by karakuri.
A common sentiment found in the duel links community was that karakuri lost to sabers, and because of how popular I was expecting karakuri to be I decided to test the matchup. What I found was that saber goes even at best, and likely loses to karakuri. This is because most people are only thinking of the games where elementsabers go first with Loading... , and with palace the deck is able to maintain a flip even if there is a trunade. However, sabers have a difficult time competing with karakuri in any other scenario, not to mention karakuri is capable of using offerings to destroy molehu before committing to a play. If karakuri go first they can set up a board uninterrupted, and without Loading... saber struggles to summon Loading... on it's first turn so it gets steamrolled by a board of 3 big monsters. Despite this weakness, saber does have a strong matchup against invoked neos and blackwings, and since I already have a lot of experience with the deck I was ready to play it if necessary.
Invoked neos was another deck that I expected in kc cup so I tested to see what it's good and bad matchups were. Something I found was that there were not many matchups where I felt neos was favored. In kc cup, having a well rounded deck can be okay but just going even in wins and losses is not enough to win. To win kc cup, you must net more wins than losses, and because of this I choose to not run this deck.
Now you may notice that I did not mention triamids among the decks I tested. This would be because I didn't really test triamids, it was a deck I stumbled upon. The Wednesday before the event, I found out about a japanese event where triamids performed well in spite of an overwhelming karakuri presence. I found this quite odd, so I messaged Wayne Kenoff inquiring about the deck and he spoke favorably about it. After giving it some thought, I bought the deck on Thursday, but I spent most of the day getting responsibilities out of the way so that I would have no issues playing until Sunday. I was unsure if I would even end up using it, but having it as a potential fallback plan seemed like a good idea.
At the start of the event, I found invoked neos was the most played deck. Since elementsabers was the deck I felt had the safest matchup against invoked neos, I used this build to climb. The early hours of the kc cup were defined by the larger quantity of invoked decks and the overall lack of witchcrater. At most, I would play a single game against witchcrafter in 20, so running a deck like elementsabers that would otherwise lose to witchcrafter was not a risk. Saber resulted in my early climb going smoothly and reaching 42000 DP fairly fast, at which point I was near the lower end of top 10 global.
Invoked neos has ways to deal with many things, but the one thing they struggle with above all else is battle traps. Loading... and Loading... are highly effective at beating neos because their only outs to battle traps is by randomly sniping them with Loading... and using Loading... . In both instances, they are spending resources to not lose instantly because battle traps punish neos for paying so many life points to trigger Loading... . I chose mirror wall over wall of disruption because I was also trying to protect myself against trunade in case I saw any karakuri while climbing. Additionally, paying the maintenance cost of 2000 life points can set up Destiny Draw for the following turn. Loading... and Loading... are the best traps at locking up the opponent's board, so I ran both of them at 3.