Last week I talked about Wind-Ups and the Fire deck and now I'm going to cover the other 2 projected powerhouse decks of the format: Rabbit and Mono Mermail.
The Rabbit deck has seen a complete make over. At the end of last format players (including myself) were testing with [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd]and [ccProd]Pot of Duality[/ccProd] and those trends have carried over to this format and people are starting to catch on. The loss of [ccProd]Sangan[/ccProd] makes the strategy even better. The deck has really turned into an anti-meta version of its former self, which doesn't make the deck appealing to a lot of players. It feels like a better Hero deck at times, grinding out with above average ATK normal summons until you can safely pop off with a [ccProd]Rescue Rabbit[/ccProd]. In the case of Heroes, that copy of Rabbit would instead be a copy of the powerful spell [ccProd]Miracle Fusion[/ccProd]. [ccProd]Laggia[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Dolka[/ccProd] are both obviously superior to The Shining but by the time you drop either card it should be winning you the game. [ccProd]Gemini Spark[/ccProd] and[ccProd] Hero Blast [/ccProd]also give Heroes an insane grind game and [ccProd]E - Emergency Call[/ccProd] makes them the most consistent deck in the game. There are advantages to both decks but what really puts Rabbit on top is it's ability to go first and just open Rabbit giving their anti-meta strategy a walking [ccProd]Solemn Judgment[/ccProd] from the get-go, and its ability to effectively run [ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd]. Still, the deck is comparable to a Tier 2 strategy and it's just not powerful enough for people anymore.
That means if you're playing the deck you either just love normal monsters, love dinosaurs, or you're trying to abuse the power of Evolzar Dolkka and Macro Cosmos so your deck will be built accordingly. That's where Cardcar D and Duality come in. Cardcar D serves multiple purposes. It helps dig you to your copies of Macro Cosmos before it's too late. What if you already have it? Well it's true that while your Macro is in play your opponent is probably stunned from making any plays, you're still at a -1 in terms of card advantage. In the grand scheme of things it might not seem big but that means you have 1 less card available to you to kill your opponent with and that could be the difference between winning the game or them drawing MST before you can do it. You could even draw into a second copy and make MST irrelevant if your opponent does draw into it. Sometimes you have Macro but just no monsters or plays so you need to draw into them. Then comes the "Why would I want to draw and turbo in my normal monsters?" argument and I guess people don't realize this but if you didn't have Cardcar D.. you were still going to draw into this normal monsters. This is where Cardcar D is awesome because instead of just drawing the normals by themselves, if you draw 2 and hit one that means you have 2 extra cards to work with (the extra card off Cardcar D + your next draw phase). That makes it hurt much less to draw that Kabazauls and I'd rather have that happen than to just draw it for my turn while my opponent is advancing his game state and not be able to do anything with it.
Since it's a normal monster beatdown deck, Pot of Duality will dig you to your support. Cardcar D, Rescue Rabbit, Macro Cosmos, other trap cards, Forbidden Lance, and pretty much all of your deck are good things to see off Pot. It just helps you stabilize which is with Dino Rabbit needs. The days of consistently opening Rescue Rabbit or Tour Guide -> Sangan are over so there's no reason to not play the card. The amount of Macro Cosmos to play is also something people have started to look at more closely and I think 3 is the correct number. Like I said earlier you're playing Dino Rabbit to abuse Dolkka and Macro Cosmos, not to have solid matchups across the board. If you expected a lot of mirror or rogue decks you wouldn't be playing this deck. And if you are well then it just makes sense to max it. Against Water you can never have too many copies and you really just want to increase your chances of seeing it. I'm happier opening with 2 than not seeing it in my opening hand at all. Half the games that 2nd copy will save you from an MST and you'll be thankful for drawing it. Of course it does weaken your game 1 matchups against anything Macro doesn't hurt but you do play more games with your sidedeck in than without. You can max out on Rabbit cards in your side.. Snowman Eater, Gorz the Emissary of Darkness, Dimensional Prison/Mirror Force, etc. I've even messed around with maining Snowman Eater to kind of off balance playing triple Macro Cosmos. Snowman is so powerful that honestly resolving him in the mirror will put you so far ahead and that will mitigate drawing Macro Cosmos. I've seen other people do it too, and even a regional winning decklist was playing both Snowman Eater and Macro Cosmos in the main.
While I still think Undine Water is the better version, most people have decided to go the Mono Mermail route and I can't really blame them.. it is the deck Billy and Jeff used at the last YCS and that's a good enough reason for most people to play it over other versions. Mermail is obviously really low on defense and I think being able to summon a 2800 ATK effect "Dolkka" is another reason people want to play the deck. Without Gaios you're either conserving all your cards in your hand and hoping not to get OTK'd or you're tossing a few monsters out, maybe searching a Sphere, then waiting for your opponent to get over your field so you can push back with the rest of your hand. Instead of just leaving your guys out there you can make a Dolkka-ish card and I guess I can understand that. Still, isn't it just better to add a Moulinglacia onto that board and make coming back virtually impossible in the first place? To have instant answers to opposing Gaioses thanks to Genex Undine and more access to Atlantean Dragoons. It just seems like people are getting lost in the idea of Gaios when going into him isn't even very good when the game is so heavily based around removal right now. But I suppose as most people are using the Mono version I should talk about it too.
Fiendish Chain is seeing a huge amount of play in the current format and I think Breakthrough Skill is the better card to be playing in Water. You already have less outs to an opposing Gaios than most decks do and you want to make sure he isn't a problem for you. Second reason being, most players already hold their MSTs for your Abyssphere and they hardly ever waste them by blind Spacing. This means that if you flip Fiendish Chain on something you really need to negate, chances are they're going to have that MST just waiting in their hand and can instantly out your Chain, too. Flipping Breakthrough Skill in that scenario stymies their play and renders their MST useless. It actually kinda creates the same guessing game Torrential Tribute made in the past and making your opponent constantly question the best way to use their cards is always a good thing. I also still really like Torrential in the deck, I know Gaios is a main play now but it's still a great card and more importantly will create surprise blowout situations since Billy and Jeff didn't play it and some people might just ignore the card's existence because of that. I also don't understand why people are excluding Bahamut Shark and Mermail Abysstrite, that combo is incredibly powerful and is definitely worth the 2 extra deck spots.
That's about in for the projected top decks. I also expect to see good performances from other decks like Prophecy. The format is wide open and innovation is proving to be really important right now. Good luck to anyone going to Austin this weekend and enjoy the weather! It should be a good YCS