Beating the Tide – Sidedecking

mike steinman wcqI bet you opened this expecting to see me endorsing the use of Dimensional Fissure, Banisher of the Radiance, Soul Drain, and other cards like Maxx "C", Mind Crush and Deck Devastation Virus in decks that can't side the continuous cards. I'm glad to say this is not what this article is about, I'm not here to tell you to play cards you're probably already using because that would be redundant and pointless. What I am going to do with this article is try to switch the gears in your mind and get you thinking about other things you could be doing to beat the Water deck.

Ever since winning a tournament in late February with Fire Fist siding into Banishers, the card has seen a ton of play. The card really caught on more than I thought it would and for a while people were siding it in everything. The second best home it found after the Fire Fist side deck was probably in the side deck of Wind-Ups. Being a level 3 that was stable under sided Level Limits gave it some merit and if you look at a lot of people playing Wind-Ups right now you'll most likely see Banisher. Thing is, even in Fire Fist with all the protection traps and Forbidden Lances it was a debatable choice and Wind-Ups have even less protection. It also has a higher monster count (especially if you count Factories) so if you have tried Banisher yourself and found it underwhelming trust me you aren't alone. Fire Fist is probably the only deck I would play it in and even then I'm kind of iffy on it. All it takes is a set Snowman or a Messenger of Peace to stall them out to their answers, or just having Dark Hole or Soul Taker to get rid of it and go off that turn anyways.

dimensional fissureDimensional Fissure is in the same boat. Often it will just sit there and since they have 3 MST 2 Dust 1 Heavy to your 3 Dimensional Fissures then chances are they have the out. Even if they dont, unless you can push at them then once again they are able to just sit there and accumulate draws until they can draw the MST or setup a Black Rose Dragon play to wipe your field and OTK you. These are floodgate cards and don't actually do anything but stall. Thing is that the Water deck has so many actual answers to these cards that they don't really stall out for long and once they're gone, your opponent's plays are going to be even bigger since they had more time to accumulate combo pieces while your Dimensional Fissure was up. That is the problem with these cards. You want cards that actually trade for your opponent's cards effectively so you can chip away at their resources and make their combos less powerful. But what are the best cards to do that?

Enter Debunk and Mind Crush. I'll talk about Mind Crush first. You can hit Megalo, Teus, anything searched out via those cards or Atlantean Dragoons which is very crippling. You effectively cut them off of their play and get to see their hand for free. We all know the fist-pump feeling every time someone ditches Marksman for Teus or Megalo and then targets your Fiendish Chain - this is even better. A huge and scary part about playing against Water is not knowing what they have and what combos they can do so once you eliminate the guessing game your path to victory becomes much more clear.

DebunkEXVC-EN-SR-1EDebunk is similar to Mind Crush but at the cost of not getting free information, you get extra applications. A lot of people are unaware but other than maybe Dragoons, Abysslinde is the heart and soul of the Water deck. She basically just does everything for you. And guess what? Debunk can hit Abysslinde too, in addition to hitting everything else. It also removes the cards from play so you don't fuel any future Squall plays your opponent could have. When you have more outs to Linde other cards suddenly become much better. Thunder King Rai-Oh suffered heavily from crashing Line search Megalo plays and Debunk makes him a much safer choice against Water. Debunk also does some other little things like negate hand traps. You can also side it against Dark World. Both cards can be sided against decks like Herald of Perfection and Prophecy. Against Prophecy you get the free information from Mind Crush but I mean you usually know their whole hand anyways right? With Debunk you get to remove the Priestess from play and cut off any Spellbook of Life plays. Mind Crush has that extra added ability to hit anything they can search so who really knows what the better card is against that deck. Certainly looks like Mind Crush on the surface but you can never know for certain unless you test!

Maxx "C" compliments those cards really nicely. Again it's a card that actually interacts with your opponent and interaction is always a good thing. With Maxx "C" you're able to draw out a piece of their combo and effectively stop them in their tracks for free. It lets you break up their combos and in turn weaken future ones unless they draw really well in the next few turns. It also lets you draw to the best cards in your deck, whatever they are.. Wind-Up Factory, Fire Formation - Tenki, Rescue Rabbit, etc. Maxx "C" is already proven to be an amazing counter in the Water mirror but people overlook it because they can just side cards like Dimensional Fissure instead. Tragoedia and Gorz are also options to make sure you can survive if they just yolo into your Maxx "C" anyways and it's probably safe to play those but I could see the card being good regardless.

I truly do believe that siding something like 3 Maxx "C", 3 Debunk/3 Mind Crush, and maybe Gorz or Tragoedia to compliment the rest of the side is the correct way to go about siding for Water. Half of the Top32 at Austin was Water so something has to change or else it will dominate San Diego as well. I've always been a fan of this strategy as opposed to cards like Dimensional Fissure in the past (Different Dimension Ground!) and I think it could be effective once again. Floodgating might've been a solid strategy against Water before but the times have changed and we need to change with it. If you have any other ideas make sure to leave a comment below! We all need to work together in order to take this behemoth of a deck down to the bottom of the sea!