Saturday, 30 June 2012

Tournament Report (30-06-12)

After being on holiday for a few days, I decided to go across to the other side of London and play in Upminster. It's a nice small venue which is Konami certified and therefore can legitimately give out Turbo Packs. It was 5 rounds with about 25 players. One of them was Jovan: the recent UK Nationals winner. He was playing the same build he ran there.

I decided to play Evols over Agents due to not being completely confident with the latter just yet. I felt like if I was to be matched up against Chaos Dragons, then I'd run into some problems. However, all the people piloting the deck were terrible and so I never had to face them.

Round 1: Evols Vs Dino Rabbit
I was not pleased that I had to play Dino Rabbit in the first round. I have not had enough experience playing it except for Dueling Network. However If I am to be a good player, I have to beat good player's decks.

I won the Die Roll
Game 1: He didn't draw Rabbit the whole game. He ended up attacking my Westlo with Sabersaurus, allowing me to get a Cerato. Unfortunately with all the Pro Dino Rabbit players maining D prisons, I knew attacking over Sabersaurus was not really a good option. I ended up going into Dolkka a few turns later after holding out and he exhausted his hand to get rid of it's materials. I ended my field with a nice assortment of Dragons and Dinosaurs.

Game 2: He did that thing where I want to punch him ever so slightly in the balls. You know the one, where Rabbit gets summoned and makes an Evolzar Laggia with 3 backrow. I tried to make something out of the situation but he had an answer for everything.

Game 3: I sided into Chain Disappearance and something else, but neither of them came up. However I did open with Najasho and Evo-Force, allowing me to return the favour that he did to me on game 2. I had about 6k LP to my name while he was trying to survive on 2900. Evolzar Dolkka put in work again when I realised he was holding back due to drawing a Gorz. Sealed me the game right there.


Round 2: Evols Vs Wind-Ups

I Lost the Die Roll
Game 1: He summoned Thunder-King and was trying to hold back his Wind-ups, since I had no idea what he was playing. He poked a couple of times. Eventually I had to resort to suiciding into it with a Cerato and then Reborning it. I then proceeded to return the favour about 3-4 times, dropping him down to about 1000. He then managed to get a dark hole, which I Solemn'd and then he Solemn'd, putting me down to 2050. At that point he Brought out a Zenmaity and then finished me off with a Shark.

Game 2: I sided into 2 Gozen Match and oh boy did it put in work. He said that he was running 3 MST but Gozen stayed on the field the entire duel. He couldn't do anything and I kept beating face with Dinosaurs and eventually, dragons. By this point he was mad and I knew that Game 3 was all down to luck.

Game 3: However, luck was not on my side (Even though I was running 2 Veilers and sided in 2 D.D. Crow). He looped me for 4 cards and ended the game with a Zenmaity and Leviathan Dragon on the field.

1-1 :(

Round 3: Evol Vs HERO 

I Won the Die Roll
Game 1: He was pleasantly surprised when he attacked Westlo with Alius. He tried to cope with a barrage of Diplos picking away at his backrow. Why he set some of the cards he did, I don't know (Stupid stuff like Duality). Eventually he was resorting to Veilers: 1 was used on Cerato to stop it getting over his Alius and one was used in defence to survive for another turn. When you see someone set a veiler, you know they are desperate or they are setting up for a BLS. However in Heros, the latter is usually not going to happen.

Game 2: He didn't have any sides for Evols, which tends to happen since they are a Tier 2 deck and not on the radar. I did the Zenmaister combo (ending my field with Zenmaister, Westlo and a Laggia) which put me in a really good position against his 3 backrow. He eventually decided (after a couple of minutes of looking at everything), to go all out and try and gain back the field. I was prepared with a Solemn Judgment and Laggia. I had to stop a Miracle Fusion and a Dark Hole. The last card in his hand was a Miracle Fusion (after he had reborned my Cerato onto his side) and used him and Alius to make a Nova Master, then attacked Zenmaister. I was like 'Uh oh TCGLover, you've got him down to 4500 and right now you have no way to get over it. Better draw into your favourite side'. Draw phase, Puppet Plant. GG.

2-1 :)

Round 4: Evol Vs Dino Rabbit

I Lost the Die Roll
Game 1: I opened so badly, and he had to read the card's effects since he couldn't be bothered to read up on the archetype whatsoever. That's Dino Rabbit players for you. I was trying to burn away at his resources with Ceratos and Najasho but couldn't draw into anything Substantial.

Game 2: I sided into Chain disappearance and opened with it. I knew that if I get it's effect off, I have sealed game 2. He went straight to Rabbit, I activated it and he chained Lance, crushing my hopes and dreams in the form of a Laggia. He attacked my Westlo and I really had nothing to deal with it. It didn't help that he had 3 backrow either.

2-2 :(

Round 5: Evol Vs Six Samurai

I Won the Die Roll
Game 1: I knew he was playing Six Samurai since I had been sitting next to him in previous matches. He had been downpaired since he was on 3-1 at this point and he told me that If I let him win, he would make the top 8 cut. I told him that there is a chance for me to make the cut if I win so that was reason enough for him to play. I ended up with some heavy backrow which had answers to his plays; Veilers for Kageki and Torrentials for his Kizan Spammage. Six Samurai have a tendency to burn through their resources, which is exactly what I made him do. I ended on the field with Laggia and he scooped with about 4000 life left.

Game 2: He did that annoying thing where he summons Six Samurais with Gateway and United on the field, allowing him to assemble several large creatures with no cost. He ended his turn with Grandmaster, Shadow, Kizan and Barkion. I draw into Puppet plant and took Shadow with the intention of ramming it into Barkion. He had a Compulsory set and I had no real answer for the smack I was about to recieve (I had Fiendish Chain in hand but with Barkion out, It was dead).

Game 3: He opened really badly and I quickly found my field presence high enough to push through. He managed a Shi en after drawing well and attacked westlo, allowing me to make Gem-Knight Pearl with the summoned Vulcano and Cerato, which took it out with ease. I was really worried he had Gorz since he had a card in hand he had been holding onto since the beginning of the game. However it turned out to be a dead card and I ploughed through his defences, and also his Self Esteem.

3-2 :)

So in the end I had managed to scrape together 9 points. Jovan was the only undefeated duelist. After the rankings had been posted, It turned out I had come 9th, meaning I was one away from making the Top 8 cut. I'm not really upset though and I did some decent trades.

I hope you guys enjoyed reading my Tournament Report. I rarely go to Tournaments these days since I had been studying and It's not easy for me to get there. But I felt Evols really had shown their worth today and I made a stupid play on my 3rd round where he attacked with Reaper and I thought it took the card out of the hand before I can summon my Gorz. That misplay cost me that game and may have put me in the top cut.

TheTCGLover Out!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Future Visions: Magical Archetype Round TWO!

In continuity from their starting set, Return of the Duelist, the Magical/Spellbook archetype are getting extra support in the next OCG set, Abyss Rising.

I suggest you read that article, if you don't know the Magical Archetype at all. They are coming to the TCG in August so finding out about them now rather than later will always benefit you more.

Ok. So like last time, lets start with the Spellbooks and then the new monsters. I'm going to talk in continuous prose, where I assume you know about the ones we know from REDU already.

Goethe Spellbook

You can only activate 1 "Goethe Spellbook" per turn. If you control a face-up Spellcaster-Type monster: Banish up to 3 "Spellbook" Spell Cards from your Graveyard; apply 1 of these effect depending on the number of cards banished to activate this card.
• 1: Target 1 Set Spell/Trap Card on the field; return it to the hand.
• 2: Target 1 monster on the field; change it to face-up Attack Position or face-down Defense Position.
• 3: Target 1 card your opponent controls; banish it.

So while you control a spellcaster, you can banish Spellbooks and the more you banish, the better the effects. The effects do not stack so you can't banish 3 and get all 3 effects. By the wording of the text, you cannot banish 3 and apply the 2nd effect or the other way around (of course). A really good thing about this card is that it gets all the benefits of the archetype (Which makes all the Spellbooks better than they look), and it's a quick play. So it can sit on your field until it's needed on your opponent's turn. If they try to heavy storm, you can activate it's first effect and return another spell/trap on your side of the field to your hand, making them waste their Storm (Almost). And being able to banish cards on their turn is oh so useful now that Ignition is gone. You can hit cards like Sangan, Rescue Rabbit and other annoying cards. However the whole card is quite situational since you do need 3 Spellbooks in the graveyard to get it's best effect. At least it's almost always going to be live and can be used to clear the way for your turn.

Alma Spellbook

Target 1 of your banished "Spellbook" Spell Cards, except "Alma Spellbook"; add that target to your hand. You can only activate 1 "Alma Spellbook" per turn.

I put this card after Goethe simply because it's effect wouldn't make sense if I put them the other way around. This card is used to follow up when you have activated Goethe and allows you to get back Spellbooks. Very handy but relies on Goethe at this point to go off, otherwise it's sitting in your hand.

Guess what. They have also got a Field spell now! Let's take a look at that before we look at the monsters.

Spellbook Institute - La Maison

Once per turn, during your Standby Phase, if you have 1 or more Spellcaster-Type monsters in your Graveyard or on your side of the field: You can return 1 "Spellbook" Spell Card from your Graveyard to the bottom of your Deck, except "Spellbook Institute - La Maison"; draw 1 card. When this card is destroyed by your opponent's card effect and sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 Spellcaster-Type monster from your hand or Deck whose Level is less than or equal to the number of "Spellbook" Spell Cards in your Graveyard.

That's a lot of text, but lets break it down. First off, you can recycle your Spellbooks. While putting them back into your hand is optimal, putting them back in your deck means you can search it with Grim Spellbook, which is almost just as good. When you do this, you can draw a card, which essentially equates to 2 cards per turn. The second effect allows for a Geartown-like special summon from the hand or deck. If you have a ton of Spellbooks, you can summon something really powerful. However there is a new monster in this set that benefits from this card since it's level 1, which I will discuss next. Overall, this is a very powerful field spell and keeping it on the field for more than a turn will hurt your opponent indirectly. If I play this archetype, I might run 2-3 since it's also searchable by the Spellbooks that search.

With that beefy Field spell out the way, lets look at the monsters.

Magical Practitioner Le Pendu

When this card is sent to the Graveyard: Add 1 Level 3 "Magical" monster from your Deck to your hand.

Simple yet very powerful effect. It's worth mentioning that this card can get it's effect when it's detached as an xyz material. There are no good rank 1 xyz monsters at this point, but it gives the card points regardless. If it's discarded too, it's effect goes off, as well as being sent from your deck, making Foolish Burial a Shien's Smoke Signal for the Magical Archetype.

Magical Elder Hermite

Each time a "Spellbook" Spell Card is activated, increase this card's Level by 2 and ATK by 300.

At a base 1200 attack, it's weak to say the least. However with all the different book of spells, this card's attack, and level, shoot up very quickly, allowing it to reach level's 5 and 7, the perfect levels needed to xyz summon the 2 magical Xyz monsters. 

But would I use it? Probably not.

Magical Instructor Sisti

During the End Phase of your turn, if you activated a "Spellbook" Spell Card this turn: You can banish this face-up card; add 1 Level 5 or higher LIGHT or DARK Spellcaster-Type monster and 1 "Spellbook" Spell Card from your Deck to your hand. The effect of "Magical Instructor Sisti" can only be activated once per turn.

So you can banish this card in the end phase of a turn that you used a Spellbook card to add 2 cards from your deck to your hand. That's an awesome trade off and a huge consistency boost. It's designed so that your opponent has a window to kill this thing before you can banish it, with cards like Bottomless. Being able to add a powerful Light or Dark Spellcaster to your hand is always good. If only Dark Magician of Chaos was still legal!
This card functions best on your first turn, since it allows you to fill your hand up. It works similarly to Cardcar D but is much better.

Magical Emperor Empereur

Once per turn: You can banish 1 "Spellbook" Spell Card from your Graveyard and 1 other face-up Spellcaster-Type monster you control to target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; take control of it until the End Phase. This card cannot attack the turn you activate this effect.

Overall a very lacklustre effect. You remove a perfectly good card on your field and one in your graveyard to Brain Control your opponent's monster, plus this card can't attack the turn this is used. It can be added to your hand by Sisti but really, is it worth running it just for the off chance you'll get to summon it and use it's effect? You can summon it with Magical Summoner Temper but only from your deck.

I could be missing something here. If I am, comment and let me know.

So that's it for the Magical Monsters of this set, except for their new Xyz monster.



2 Level 5 Spellcaster-Type monsters
This card gains 300 ATK for each Xyz Material attached to monsters you control. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; shuffle your Deck, then reveal the top 5 cards of your Deck, and destroy monsters on the field up to the number of "Spellbook" cards revealed, then return those cards to the top of the Deck in any order.

It hits the field at a respectable 2600 attack. At the cost of one xyz material (and 300 of it's attack), you can use it's potentially devastating destruction effect. If you are running lots of spellbooks, then this card's effect is going to let you destroy multiple monsters with it's effect. It's a shame it can't hit spell/traps though, but that would be too broken. At the end of all the destruction, you can return the cards to the top in any order, allowing you to craft the next 5 turns of the duel to your liking, which is always good.

That's round two of the Magical Archetype. They are looking to be a really fun deck to play and as I have been writing this review, I'm starting to fall for them a little bit. Lets hope Konami does not bump the hell out of their rarities. Comment below what you think of the archetype so far and if you are thinking of playing it. I might make a deck on Dueling Network and test them out.

TheTCGLover, Out!

Friday, 15 June 2012

How do Agents fair this format?

That's right, I've started playing Agents. I didn't really play them that much when they were big, but fortunately Tour Guide really helps the deck do wonders. Having access to the card that searches the card that searches Venus somewhat helps to make up for the fact that Earth is currently at one.

Right now there are a few reasons why I decided on the deck. Firstly, the deck is still very strong. Being able  to drop Hyperion is always fun and it allows you to pop a card each turn. Think of it like Scrap Dragon but easier to summon. Having access to raw power is one of the fundamental factors in any deck's success right now. Rabbits have Laggia, Dragons have Red Eyes/Lightpulsar, Wind-Ups have Zenmaioh and Tiras, Inzektors have Giga-Mantis, and Agents have Hyperion.

Secondly, A deck needs to have small control plays that net you small amounts of advantage, so that when you finally decide to make a push for game, your opponent's resources were at the dwindling stage and are most likely not able to stop you. When watching good players play (Like the ones who consistently get the top 8 spots in a YCS), you will notice that if both players draw decent hands, the game becomes incredibly fun to watch. Each player is trading blows and it eventually comes down to the luck of the draw. Agents, just like many decks, have access to small plays that can net some nice advantage. The typical Venus play (pay 1500, get 3 balls, make a Gachi Gachi) is still a fantastic first play and thins your deck by 3 cards AND sets up Hyperion/Kristya. That setup is still viable even with Earth at 1.

Thirdly, if you have been keeping an eye on winning decklists in major tournaments, you will start to see this 'engine' thrown in every deck:

3 Tour guides
1 Sangan
1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
3 Effect Veiler
1 Gorz

Inzektors, Dragons, Rabbits and Wind-Ups can run this engine without it affecting the consistency of their overall win condition. However, each major deck can benefit from that engine in their own way. Rabbits use Tour guide to get rabbit back (thus explaining why they suck in the OCG). Dragons use Tour guide to make a 2500 beater to help OTK as well as put 2 darks into the graveyard for Dark Armed Dragon. Wind-ups use Guide to make Zenmaity and Inzektors run mostly level 3s so they can make rank 3s without having to use Sangan as an xyz material and just leave it on the field instead. 

Agents however, are made of tonnes of Lights. This makes the overall Engine much more consistent once you have BLS in your hand. It also allows you to run a Chaos Sorcerer alongside it since both of them are damn good cards.

With Trishula gone, the deck did take a hit. You cannot protect your Earth and then make a Trishula on turn 2 anymore. But with cards like Genex Ally Birdman, you can still make level 8 synchros which are still very powerful and it does not get banished if sent to the Graveyard as an Xyz material. A fantastic play is to Tour guide into another Tour guide, then bounce the one that was Special Summoned (Since it cannot be used as a synchro material) and then you have a choice of Rank 3 or a Brionac, with the Tour Guide in your hand to follow up with next turn! I'd prefer broke combos like that over Trishula any day.

But even with these awesome factors, the deck benefits from other outside support than what I've talked about already. The T.G. engine still functions very well in the deck and there's no reason why you shouldn't run 1 Striker and 2 Warwolf, provided you have the room. It opens up more synchro options which is something you should always strive to have. It also allows you to make Wonder Magician with either Earth or Striker, which is still a fantastic card.

Oh and on a final note, Veiler their Rabbit, Mind control it on your turn and then Banish it to summon 2 Shine Balls. Thats a Free Gachi and you got rid of their Rabbit!

The TCG Lover out!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Best OOPArts Decklist Ever!

Hello readers. Lets have another Decklist since it's been a while and making decks is such a fun part of this game.

OOPArts stands for "Out of Place Artefacts". They are a collaboration of different artefacts in history that were considered weird and difficult to explain. It's by far one of the most craziest ideas for an Archetype I've ever seen.

Here's the best decklist I could think of, In preparation for when the cards become legal at the end of August. Remember to click the card's names to see their effects. Keep in mind there are a couple of OOPArts cards I didn't include due to their effects being a bit bad.

Monsters - 22:
3x OOPArts Crystal Bone
3x OOPArts Crystal Skull
2x OOPArts Golden Shuttle
2x OOPArts Moai
3x Tour Guide from the Underworld
1x Sangan
1x Gorz the Emmisary of Darkness
3x Effect Veiler
1x Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
2x T.G. Warwolf
1x T.G. Striker

Spells - 12:
1x OOPArts Pyramid Eye Tablet
2x OOPArts Technology
1x Monster Reborn
1x Dark Hole
1x Heavy Storm
3x Mystical Space Typhoon
1x Pot of Avarice
1x Pot of Duality
1x Book of Moon

Traps - 6:
2x Solemn Warning
1x Solemn Judgment
2x Torrential Tribute
1x Compulsory Evacuation Device

Extra Deck - 15:
2x OOPArts Crystal Alien
1x Number 33: OOPArts Super Weapon - Machu Mach
1x Number 6: OOPArts Atlanthal 
1x Leviair the Sea Dragon
1x Leviathan Dragon
1x Wind-Up Zenmaines
1x Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1x Gaia Dragon, The Thunder Charger
1x Tiras, Keeper of Genesis
1x Ally of Justice Catastor  (Striker + Warwolf)
1x Stardust Dragon   (Gorz + Veiler)
1x Black Rose Dragon  (Moai + Striker)
1x Armory Arm  (Veiler + Any level 3)
1x Whatever else you feel might be a good card in this deck.

Please comment below if you need help understanding the deck. I'll be happy to help.

TheTCGLover out!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Ice Counter Monsters

Currently in the TCG, there are only 2 monsters that utilise Ice Counters: Ice Master and Cold Enchanter.

Cold enchanter allows you to discard and put an ice counter on a monster, and allow it to gain attack power. Discarding 2 makes it 2200 which isn't too bad. Of course Discarding for an effect is pretty stupid. Both cards are quite underwhelming at this point. However Konami are throwing them a bone in Abyss Rising. Joining their team is Snowman Creator

When this card is Summoned: You can place a number of Ice Counters on face-up monsters your opponent controls equal to the number of face-up WATER monsters you control. If 3 or more Ice Counters are added by this effect, you can destroy 1 card your opponent controls.

Fortunately it can be used on it's own, but it does have it's use with the other cards. As long as you summon it while you control 2 other Water monsters, you can destroy a card on the field. A good combo to do would be to destroy a back row card and then tribute this card and another water monster to summon Ice master. Then you can tribute Ice Master and Raigeki your opponent's field. It's quite situational but who cares!

However, Konami have made it so this group of monsters (It's not big enough to be an Archetype yet) are doomed to fail from the beginning. Since Cold Enchanter and Snowman Creator are both 1600 attack, you cannot get them back with salvage. Fortunately Snowman Creator can be fetched by Geargiganto X since it's a machine type, and getting 2 water monsters on the field is not too difficult in frogs. 

Please comment below and tell me how you feel about Konami doing stupid stuff like this. They make a group of monsters with a lot of potential, but give them a fundamental flaw that stops them from being really playable.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Mystical Space Typhoon. How to use it?

The title is quite simple, but in reality, it's one of the biggest pitfalls that players fall into. It's not fun when you Mystical Space Typhoon (MST) a bluff or something that was not a threat to you (Like Torrential Tribute, while you already have 3 monsters on the field).

But many players have this thing where they draw it and activate it instantly. In some situations that's completely fine and I accept that. Just like nearly any other card in the game, it usually pays off to take a step back (metaphorically speaking. Don't actually get up and walk away from the table.) and decide how you are going to handle the situation in a way that lets you come out on top.

When a player plays MST and has a choice of 2 or more cards, then that is called 'blind mst'. I used to do this all of the time, thinking that one less backrow was one less problem to deal with. However If you have the choice to hit the cards that you want, then that's even better isn't it? Your victory didn't come down to luck, it came down to your ability to handle the situation, which ultimately is more consistent and you will win more often that way.

Now when you're playing this game, you will have to approach the playing field while having to overcome whatever your opponent's deck is capable of throwing at you. If that's Wind-Ups, then you can expect your hand to be taking a beating. It only makes sense to be pre-emptive and set up Solemn Warning and Bottomless to make sure that they don't get that through, provided you're going first. If you don't have those cards and you open up with a bad hand, then you have to make do and it makes sense to set 3 or 4 cards, so you can use them next turn. Of course, there is always the chance of Heavy storm, but if that's the case then you were going to lose anyway.

How does this tie into MST? Well once they have used the 2-3 cards to make a field of monsters, the other cards are protection cards, which will get placed in their backrow so that they can survive, especially if you foiled their plans with yours.

MST in this situation is not as effective. In this scenario, the Wind-Up player has around 3 set cards, and since they focus on the loop, they are packing their deck with Solemn Warning, Bottomless and Judgment. If you hit Bottomless then you've pretty much wasted your MST and they are in a happier position knowing they have one less card to take out of your hand next turn. You need to reduce their backrow before playing MST so as to hit a more preferable card. That means wasting your bigger monster (Neos alius, Centipede, Kabazauls, Guaiba) to make sure that Bottomless is taken out. Now you have a 100% chance of hitting a powerful trap card, as opposed to 66% as it was before. You lost your summon, but your Heavy storm would have been in vain because of Solemn Judgment. I don't recommend baiting out their cards using your most important cards. Like for instance, I wouldn't overlay your just summoned Tour Guide (Provided it goes through) with your Sangan, just to make a monster over 1500 that can be Bottomless'd (Some players to prefer to hit the big threat rather than the catalyst, which has proven to get yourself in more trouble than it's worth.)

When playing against Field Spells, It's common practice to ignore the Field Spell until it becomes an annoyance, because using MST on that field spell and activating a card that you couldn't while the Field Spell was active is incredibly risky. But it's one of those risks that you might have to take to stay alive. If the plan does not succeed, then they will have another copy of that Field Spell in their hand or have a way to get it into their hand, and you're down 2 cards and back to square one.

A big part of the Card is setting it on your Main Phase 2. It's great to set it because if they set one card, in their end phase, then there's no problem and you can happily hit it before it becomes live. But another fantastic thing about MST that players overlook is that it craps over Continuous Traps.

Take this example, you summon Black Luster Soldier and your opponent has 3000 Life points left. You know that they are running Battle Fader but they have no cards in their hand. You attack directly and they activate Call of the Haunted, targeting Sangan, with the intention of getting it destroyed and being able to Battle Fader you on your second BLS attack. BUT if you chain MST onto the card's activation then it is destroyed and cannot summon a monster. In this scenario MST acted as a cost less Solemn Warning from THE HAND. You attack for 3000 and win the YCS, Hooray. The same can be applied for Fiendish Chain since if you MST after Chain has resolved then you cannot attack again since Chain stopped it. using MST when it activates means it does not resolve and your original attack continues.

When drawing multiple MST, it's perfectly acceptable to set 2 of them. When your opponent sets 2 back row cards, then you can hit both of them and 2-for-2. But in this scenario, one of the cards you hit will most likely be one of their MST since they will already know how to use the methods talked about in this post.

One last thing. You can really catch your opponent off guard if you have a MST and another card set with no monsters on the field and Gorz, the Emmisary of Darkness in your hand. Once they attack, you MST your other card and Gorz comes crashing down. Your opponent may have also overextended because if they see you have backrow, they know you cannot Gorz. But in that scenario, you have led them into a trap that can pay off tremendously. It's even better if you MST their backrow card and then Gorz, but sometimes you don't have that luxury and it's worth -2ing yourself to get some field presence.

The main points to take from this small Article:
- Don't blind MST. It will only waste your MSTs and it gets worse when your opponent has 3-4 backrow cards.
- Hit the Continuous Spell and Trap cards before they resolve. That way, MST becomes a negation card as well as a 1-for-1.
- Don't be afraid to MST your own cards if it means you can drop a 2700 beater on the field. In the Late game when both players are down to 2-3 cards in total, this can clinch victory for you.

MST is one of the most versatile cards in the game, and knowing how to use the card to it's fullest potential separates a pro player to a netdecker. These unorthodox ways of using the card comes from hours of playing the game yourself. Especially in the last point. If you are not confident with MSTing your own cards, then you will lose in some situations when you shouldn't have.

Of course in this article I've almost completely disregarded Heavy Storm. But how to use that effectively needs it's own article too.

Until next time, TheTCGLover out!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Future Visions: The Mermail Archetype

It's that time again. Now that Return of the Duelist is looming in closer, I don't consider it the future any more. Of course we don't have it yet and won't have it until August, but when I say the future, I mean far far away :) .

In Abyss Rising, there is a lot of Emphasis on the Water attribute. It seems to be Shark's pack since his deck in the anime focuses around Banish Fish and other fish stuff. It only seems right that any archetypes debuting in the set are going to be Water-based.

The Mermail Archetype is the Only Archetype that we know of right now (from Abyss Rising). They are a group of level 3 and 4 fish type monsters. The level 3 Mermails all share the same effect that special summon another Mermail when discarded. The level 4 ones are generally the ones doing the discarding.

Anyway without further ado, lets "dive" in and take a look at what we're dealing with.

We shall start with the level 4's.

Mermail - Abysslang

Your opponent cannot target another face-up WATER monster you control for attacks. All face-up WATER monsters gain 300 ATK, except this card.

It's one of those archetype cards that have the name, but are not playing the game. This card does not actually help the deck much. It does not provide any advantage and it needs to survive to be of any use. With only 1800 defence, I can't see that happening.

Not much else to say. Don't even bother trying to run this.

I apologise for starting with negatives but once this card is out the way, we can start looking at the relevant and useful cards.

Mermail - Abysspike

When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can discard 1 WATER monster to the Graveyard; add 1 Level 3 WATER monster from your Deck to your hand. The effect of "Mermail - Abysspike" can only be activated once per turn.

This card is essentially the Stratos of the deck. It lets you discard the level 3 Mermails (Which let them get their effects) and add a Water monster to your hand. It even activates when it's special summoned. Without a doubt there is no reason why you wouldn't run 3 of these. It gives the deck consistency, allows for good combos and thins your deck. However the discard is a cost and if it gets veiler'd, you might have just put yourself in more trouble than it's worth. 

Run 3, no matter what!

Mermail - Abyssturge

When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can discard 1 WATER monster; add 1 Level 3 or lower WATER monster from your Graveyard to your hand. The effect of "Mermail Abyssturge" can only be activated once per turn.

It does the same thing as Abysspike, except it gets monster from the Graveyard instead. Of course getting cards from the graveyard is not as handy as from the deck. At least both of them have utility with Frogs. 

I'd say to run 2 until I see a combo worthy of putting it at 3.

Now for the level 3's. It makes sense to review them after the level 4's since they get their effects when they're discarded by those level 4's.

Mermail - Abyssgunde

If this card is discarded from your hand to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 "Mermail" monster from your Graveyard, except "Mermail - Abyssgunde". The effect of "Mermail - Abyssgunde" can only be activated once per turn.

So when it's discarded you can get back a Mermail from the graveyard. I guess that's quite handy, especially if you special summon one of the level 4's since they can activate their effects. Ideally, you summon Abysspike (The Stratos) while you have another in the graveyard. You then discard Abyssgunde and that allows you to add a monster from your deck to your hand, and special summon the other Abysspike, allowing for no loss in advantage and you can now xyz into a rank 4 if you want to.

Run 2 perhaps.

Mermail - Abysshilde

If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 "Mermail" monster from your hand, except "Mermail - Abysshilde". The effect of "Mermail - Abysshilde" can only be activated once per turn.

So just like Abyssgunde, it allows you to make combos with the level 4s. Special summoning from the graveyard is always more favourable than from the hand for obvious reasons. 

Run 1 or 2, depending on how many Abyssgunde you want to run.

There is a level 7, believe it or not. Lets take a look.

Mermail - Megaloabyss

During your Main Phase, You can discard any 2 WATER monsters except this card; Special Summon this card from your hand. When this card is Special Summoned by this effect: Add 1 "Abyss" Spell or Trap Card from your Deck to your hand. You can Tribute 1 other face-up Attack Position WATER monster you control; this card can attack twice during this turn's Battle Phase.

It actually does a lot for the deck believe it or not. Since we now that Abyssgunde and Abysshilde like being discarded, it turns this card's summoning condition into a whole bunch of interesting combos. If you discard Abyssgunde, then you can special summon a Mermail from your Graveyard (Maybe the other one that was just discarded, which has to be Abysshilde). Then you can tribute it to let Megaloabyss attack twice this turn. against an empty field, that's 4800 damage right there, which is not too shabby at all. When it's summoned you can add an Abyss Spell or Trap, which is great since they are not too bad.

Actually, why don't we take look at them now?

Abysscale - Kraken

Equip only to a "Mermail" monster. It gains 400 ATK. When an Effect Monster your opponent controls activates its effect: You can negate that effect, then send this card to the Graveyard.

This one is interesting, since there are very few cards that do what this card does. Being able to negate monster effects is really handy. In all of my current decks I run 3 Veiler and a Fiendish chain, just to keep them at bay. With this, you don't get to destroy the monster but you do get to slow them down to a standstill for a turn. Equip it onto Megaloabyss (It can search this card), and It's double attack becomes 5600 which is huge!

I would say to try 1 since with all the staples around, it's hard trying to find space for spells outside of the generic ones.


Target 3 "Mermail" monsters in your Graveyard; Special Summon those targets in face-up Defense Position. Their effects are negated, they cannot attack, and they are destroyed during the End Phase.

This card's main use is to summon Sea Dragon Poseidra since you can just summon 3 level 3 Mermails. There's not much else you can do with this card except that or to xyz summon. I'm just glad it says Mermail and not 3 Water monsters. 


Special Summon 1 "Mermail" monster from your Deck, but its effect(s) is negated. While this card is face-up on the field, you cannot activate Spell Cards. When this card leaves the field, destroy that monster. Destroy this card during your opponent's next End Phase after activation.

This card's only real use is to xyz summon. Not being able to activate spell cards is something you don't want to have for an extended period of time (It's why Naturia Beast wins games). So getting it overlay'd under a monster before the destruction effect kicks in is the only way to use this card. I personally wouldn't use it, but it depends on what direction you are aiming for with the deck.


Send "Umi" you control to the Graveyard; send all Spell/Trap Cards on the field to the Graveyard.

A simple but powerful effect. If you're playing a water deck, you're probably trying to add Umi in there somewhere. Note that it does not destroy, but sends. That bypasses Starlight road and Stardust dragon, which is always handy. Fortunately there are 5 different cards that are treated as Umi while on the field (Guess them all if you think you can.) so there's plenty of fodder for this card. I just don't like how you have to hit at least 2 of your opponent's backrow for this card to be worthwhile since you're giving up 2 of yours. At least it's a trap so you can catch your opponent by surprise in the end phase.

That's it for the traps. What would a ZeXal archetype be without some ridiculous xyz monster to bring it all together? Introducing...


2 Level 7 WATER monsters
While this face-up card has Xyz Material, Level 5 or higher monsters cannot attack. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; negate the effects of all monsters your opponent controls whose ATK is lower than this card's ATK, until the End Phase. 

This card's quite the powerhouse. With 2800 raw power and the ability to negate monster effects And be a Gravity Bind while it has material, it's got a lot going for it. The best part is: you can activate the effect on either turn, essentially making this a Force Focus but so much better. All you have to do is wait for your opponent to activate effects and now you have shut them down completely for that turn. An in built protection effect would have been nice too, but as always I'm asking for too much.

How do you summon this card? Well there's 2 card's we can use. Mermail - Megaloabyss x 2 is the only real way to get this out since it's the right level and attribute. You can use the field spell Forgotten Capital Lemuria (Which is also debuting in this set) to increase the level of all water monsters you control by the number you control. So if you control 3 level 4s, you can increase them all to 7 and summon this card. But the question is, if you can make rank 7s, why not summon Big Eye instead?

Also if you have 2 Megaloabyss, you can increase them to 9 and summon Number 9: Canopy Star Dyson Sphere, which is a fun card to mess around with.

 Anyway that's as far as we know about the Mermail archetype. Overall I see potential for some interesting decks, when combined with the Atlanteans and used with some outside support like Abyss Warrior. I can see this archetype recieving a TCG exclusive since it's so close to being really good. My prediction it's a Level 3 Mermail that Special Summons from the deck when it's discarded. Imagine the Brokenness!

Until next time, TheTCGLover out!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Did you know...

That Goblindbergh causes the Gadget monsters to the miss their timing when you summon them from it's effect?

The last thing to happen for a Gadget to get it's search is for it to be summoned. Goblindbergh switches itself into defence position after it's special summoned a monster, meaning if you summon a gadget, the window to activate it's effect is no longer there.

Damn you Goblindbergh! You could have been good!

My next post will be a discussion on the Mermail Archetype. All I have to do is wait for all of them to be confirmed before I can post it.

Oh. And just in case you have not seen my Battle Pack Epic Dawn Box opening and you like watching packs being opened: