Analyzing the Dueling Network Meta

 

Dueling network is a flash website that allows you to play Yugioh with your friends, rivals, and everybody in between without ever having to leave your house. The best part? It's all free! You don't have to pay for a deck and you can have as many decks as you want!Today I will be discussing what some of the top players are using on Dueling Network.

NOTE: When I say "Top players", I didn't include anyone who had under 1700 rating at the time this article was being written. This is an entirely arbitrary cutoff that was informed by my best judgment; next month the bar will be different.

Why does this affect me?

The high ranked players on Dueling Network tend to be a good representation of what decks do well at events. I will be referring to Dueling Network as DN from now on. As DN doesn't charge for cards, players tend to use either their favorite deck, or their estimation of the best deck, which they plan on taking to an event.

Infernity is still played?! Oh my.

 

Now let's dive right into the article. First and second place are both using Infernity, and they are very far ahead of third place. Are Infernity still viable this format? I would definitely like to think so. What exactly does the deck do?

The deck tries to set up overwhelming, unbreakable boards as quickly as possible to give their opponents little hope of winning. Pre-DUEA, Infernities were played quite a bit (they even won the World Championship this year!). This format almost nobody is main decking any hand traps such as Maxx "C", Effect Veiler, Flying C, or DD Crow, and this fact alone will have Infernities thrive since they can make their plays without having to worry about these cards and just deal with your trap cards. With the new draw rule being introduced to the game, Infernities come up as a deck that benefitted significantly. This is because the rule change lowers the odds of opening multiple useless monsters when going first, and decreases the number of trap cards you would need to work through when going second.

If Infernities win the dice roll and have any sort of playable hand, odds are that game is already over (bar the opponent playing Shaddolls and opening Shaddoll Fusion, along with a card to bait out Barrier. But, as you will see, even this may not be enough!). The question that comes to mind is "Do you really want to summon an extra deck monster against Shaddolls? You can't search multiple Infernity traps without doing so." There’s a simple answer: whenever you start looping with Infernities and you know you're playing against Shaddolls, rather than ending with a Lavalval Chain and sending Archfiend Heiress to add Archfiend Palabrynth and net an extra search, end the field with an Abyss Dweller. This negates much of the advantage Shaddolls would get from dumping Shaddoll monsters to the grave from a successfully resolved Shaddoll Fusion.

An Infernity Archfiend boosted by Archfiend Palabrynth lets Archfiend attack over El Shaddoll Winda, which is also a very relevant interaction. What if they summon a Winda before I can combo off? This is indeed a scary card but you should be main decking outs to it, such as Breakthrough Skill. Another card that fell out of favor but I think should be used again is Forbidden Lance. Not only can this card protect you from Spell and Trap card effects when you’re going second, it can also help when staring down a Winda and you don't have Breakthrough Skill or a powered up Infernity Archfiend. You can attack Winda and in the damage step weaken it by using Forbidden Lance, then you can combo off in Main Phase 2, as long as your combo doesn't require Soul Charge. Almost all your monsters can run over a Lance'd Winda and if Armageddon Knight attacks Winda it will also be destroyed by battle but nonetheless it does it get it off the field.

Burning Abyss

 

The next deck I want to mention briefly is Burning Abyss. Despite my previous article, I was quite surprised when I saw two of them represented by DN’s top players. I didn’t expect players to take it seriously enough to pilot it at the top of the ladder, and do so successfully. I won't go into any detail on it because that was last week’s article, which you can find here:

http://articles.alterealitygames.com/burning-into-the-shadows-burning-abyss/

Shaddolls

 

There are also two Shaddolls players currently at the top. It doesn't surprise me that Shaddolls are represented as they were highly-expected and very powerful. What surprises me, however, is that there were only two of them. I expected more; this goes to show that the deck can definitely be beaten by other decks, and even if it is the best deck we are by no means in a one deck format.

Madolche

 

I didn't expect to see this deck still be used and do well after the release of DUEA because they are significantly impacted by the advent of Shaddoll Winda. The other main problem that I have found with this deck is that it struggles severely if it doesn’t reach Anjelly in the first few turns of the duel. Some players have reverted to playing a much quicker combo version of the deck, popularized by Nate Forte and his win at ARGCS D.C. This Madolche build uses TG striker, and Reinforcement of the Army to search out Spell Striker. This helps with assembling combo pieces to summon Tiaramisu. However, this still relies on Anjelly access, and many of these cards do little or nothing by themselves.

Satellarknight

 

Another deck that is used by one of the top players is Satellarknights. This deck most closely resembles +1 Fire Fists because they are always gaining advantage (Deneb searches you a Satellarknight from deck, and Altair is a monster reborn that will trigger the effect of the Satellarknight he brings back) and they are searchable via Reinforcement of the Army. The card that throws them to the top is Stellarnova Alpha. This card most closely resembles Infernity Barrier, which is limited for a reason. Stellarnova Alpha will stop any Spell card, Trap card, or Monster effect that your opponent activates, all at the mere cost of sending a Satellarknight monster to the graveyard (which is immediately replaced by a draw!). It’s pretty easy to keep a Satellarknight onto the field for the condition, even while making XYZ plays. I think Satellarknights are definitely a deck to look out for this format.

Batteryman

 

The last deck I want to talk about is Batteryman. This is the biggest surprise to me. Batterymen received support in DUEA in the form of Batteryman 9-Volt. This card is similar in many ways to Elemental Hero Stratos – whenever it’s Summoned, it searches any other Batteryman from your deck to your hand, including itself. When it does that, it doubles its attack from 1000 to 2000 – enough to get over many relevant threats. While it destroys itself during the End Phase, this isn’t too harsh of a restriction, given that it’s already paid for itself with a search, and hopefully run something over as well. 9-Volt synergizes very well with Hunders, being searchable by Thunder Seahorse, and making powerful, low-cost XYZ plays. Another take on the deck focuses on Batteryman Charger, which is an older card from Light of Destruction. This build received indirect support in the form of The Monarchs Stormforth, which makes bringing out Charger a much simpler task, and also helps clear your opponent’s field so you can push for game. Keep your eyes peeled; Could Batteryman be the next deck to watch out for?

I want to give a quick thank you to Will C, Chumlee, and Robert M as I could not access this data on my own, and they assisted me with gathering it. That's it for this week's article! If you'd like to see me write about a certain topic feel free to message me on Facebook.

And as always play hard or go home!

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