Hello Duelists! Crossed Souls recently hit stores and it brought us one of the most powerful cards seen in awhile: Lose 1 Turn. With Lose 1 Turns’ release I decided to give Qliphort another chance. I ended up taking the deck to my Regionals (but I don't really plan on revealing the deck I'm planning to use at Nationals). I ended up going 10-0 but the most important thing that I took from that day was I learned some of the problems with Qliphort and how certain matchups are affected. Now, I don't yet have the solution to all these problems, but whoever does find the solution will probably end up being very successful with the deck. I will list out the problems that the deck has by categorizing them into matchups.
I'll only be discussing the four main decks that I would expect to see at an event (mainly because I haven't done enough testing vs the other rogue matchups, but I'm sure Qliphort do well vs rogue).
This matchup wasn't ever really favorable and I believe that it has only gotten more favorable for Burning Abyss. Burning Abyss have multiple discard traps that can put Qliphort very far behind. The only reason that Qliphort stood a chance in the previous formats is probably due to 3 Vanity's Emptiness and 3 Saqlifice. If Burning Abyss open with a live Fire Lake Qliphort are going to have a very hard time winning. At my Regionals I was very lucky because I avoided Burning Abyss, so I can't give you guys more information other than the fact that the matchup definitely favors Burning Abyss.
The main problem with this matchup is that Burning Abyss have much more powerful traps than you, and if they are able to make Dantes then the only real way to keep up is to have Scout resolve and hope that they don't have too much backrow. Qliphort’s real problems here are both about maintaining board presence and active scales.
Depending on the build of Shaddolls that your opponent is using, you either have a really good matchup or an alright matchup. If they're using the Star Seraphs then your matchup is pretty good because that means they're probably not using Mistake, but more importantly they're probably not using Sinister Shadow Games. Shaddolls side into a lot of Spell/ Trap removal cards but they still have the same problem as always, they don't have an efficient way to get around Saqlifice, which is ultimately their downfall when playing against Qliphort, that's not to mention all the floodgates Qliphort use that hurt Shaddoll.
This matchup I think definitely favors Qliphort, and the only time you struggle is generally when your opponent has a lot of Spell/ Trap removal and a recurring El Shaddoll Fusion.
The dreaded Qliphort mirror match
In the previous formats when I used Qliphort I hated the Qliphort mirror match because I didn't feel that much skill was involved in it. Well if I hated it then I hate it to even more in today's format. After testing the mirror for awhile trying to find a way to get ahead, I haven't found one. If one player gets to Scout and the other doesn't get to Scout or have an immediate answer to the opponent’s Scout then the game is usually over pretty quickly. There isn't really much room to "outplay" your opponent in this matchup; if your opponent is resolving Scout and you're not, more than likely you're losing. This creates a huge luck factor that you're going to need to do well that I'm not a fan of.
Since Nekroz are usually the most played deck you should probably be building your deck for them which means that you'll be using cards that aren't very good in the mirror match such as Lose 1 Turn, Skill Drain, Reqliate, etc. The worst part about doing that is that game 1 in the mirror tends to be decided by who opened less of these cards.
Weirdly enough this is the matchup that I think is the most favorable. Your game 1 is nearly autowin because you have 5 floodgates, and plenty of other trap cards that they have to play through. The best part is that Djinn doesn't really hurt Qliphort! Unfortunately, there is a reason that Nekroz were beating Qliphort when they had 6 better floodgates and more Scouts, and that’s because their game 2/3 was (and still is) really good. Ice Hand and Fire Hand make it very difficult to maintain advantage, but this is a bit easier to solve than the problem of Royal Decree. The hands aren't as big of an issue because Fire Hand can't destroy a Qliphort monster that was tribute summoned so if that's your only monster then you'll probably be fine, and cards like Fiendish Chain definitely help to temporarily deal with the problem.
Royal Decree can either be a complete blowout or get 0 value. If you didn't open very well turn one or just didn't open Scout then odds are that you're relying on your backrow to stall out long enough for you to get to Scout, so you're probably going to get blown out by Royal Decree. On the other hand if you opened Scout and 2 monsters or so then you can just tribute away Helix and try to destroy the Royal Decree. So Decree is definitely one of those hit or miss cards, but since they can have cards like Mystical Space Typhoon with it for your Scout it's usually a hit which makes game 2/3 very scary. To counter this problem you can rely on siding into more hand traps such as Artifact Lancea, Effect Veiler, Maxx C, etc. (I'm not sure what the exact ratios should be so you guys will have to test and find out).
That's all for this week's article! If you'd like to see me write about a certain topic feel free to message me on Facebook. The Circuit Series stops by St.Louis, Missouri next on June 6-7! I hope to see you all there!
And As Always Play Hard or Go Home!