Have you ever seen a card float around in the meta and wonder why it's there? Have you ever questioned why a card isn't in the meta at all? I do it all the time, and today, in my first article ever, I'll be discussing some cards that I think have caught too much attention, or maybe havn't caught enough attention at all.
For those of you who don't know me, my name is Anthony Pascariello. I topped nationals in 2011, and then YCS's Atlanta, Long Beach, and Chicago in 2012. I've been playing the game since Blue-Eyes White Dragon was good. A long time. After a break, I came back in about 2009 and I've done everything I can to become the best player I can be. Deck selection, card selection, and how to play, are the three main elements I've come to realize make somebody successful during competitive play.
Today we're going to skip deck selection (which we'll talk about next article), and head straight to card selection, as this diverse meta calls for some cards to be easily chosen as main deck material, and some others that don't even make my cut for the side.
So let's do it.
First card: Fiendish Chain
Where It Belongs: In Your Binder
Reason: Fiendish Chain is a card that was popularized in the beginning of Rescue Rabbit format, when somebody thought it was a good tech card and everybody went with it. But why did everybody go with it? And why are people still with it now? Mirror Force is as two, Torrential Tribute is at two, and Solemn Warning and Bottomless exist and are very prevalent in many decks, and they all seem to be pretty good protection, whereas their only flaw is being hit by Mystical Space Typhoon or Heavy Storm. They all have something in common. They answer the problem being presented by your opponent by removing it from the field and disregarding it as a threat. Fiendish Chain doesn't do that. It slows down your opponent's threat until you can clear it another way, and by doing that you're either going minus, by using two cards to get rid of one, or putting yourself into a position to go minus by field committing. There are plenty of specific examples of cards that Fiendish Chain can be used against, such as Tour Guide, Black Luster Soldier- Envoy of the Beginning, and virtually any wind-up monster, but look at the position you're left in after you've dealt with the problem that you just stopped, depending on how you stopped it. And if you didn't stop it and it was used as an xyz material, your opponent can feel safe going for game knowing Gorz won't be too prevalent. It's overall a very situational card, and that just doesn't cut it for me.
Second Card: Black Luster Soldier- Envoy of the Beginning
Where It Belongs: IN THAT MAIN DECK
Reason: Here's a Tony Fun Fact for you! Black Luster Soldier can remove from play any monster on the field, OR can attack twice if it destroyed a monster by battle. "Tony, that's not a fun fact, we already knew that." Whoa now. Then why isn't this card being played in every deck? BLS was banned for a very long time. But he is currently not banned. This card is so powerful, it can win duels by itself. It creates such a problem for your opponent, that sometimes just having him is enough to make a bad hand turn into a win. Effect Veiler is necessary in every deck. Tour Guide and Sangan are splashable in any deck. There's your light and dark monsters. Sangan will even get the Effect Veiler for you, he doesn't mind. So go get a Black Luster Soldier, put him in your deck, and watch how great he actually is. He's great. I really cannot stress that enough. His effects are so good, while also having 3000 attack points, making him one of my favorite cards in the game right now.
Third Card: Thunder King Rai-Oh
Where It Belongs: In The Side Deck
Reason: Despite it being my nickname, I can't be biased towards this card as much as I would like to. Thunder King Rai-Oh is a great card, easily. But against some decks a first turn Thunder King won't slow them down as much as you'd like it to. And by second turn he may have lost his shot at glory altogether. I love the card, don't get me wrong. He hurts the xyz play, the synchro summon, the sangan search, he baits out backrows, he does your taxes, washes the car, has a lot of attack points, he's great. And then my friend Card Trooper came around. Agents are starting to get popular, a Venus would ruin a first turn Thunder King Tony. Most of the time it will always go one for one, which is good for what it is, but he'll rarely go two for one, and more likely than that go minus one. He belongs in the side, where you know opening him games two or three would help you a lot more.
And Our Last Card: Snowman Eater
Where It Belongs: Nowhere Near Your Deck
Reason: Snowman Eater has been seeing play for a while now, simply because he always seems to do what he's meant to, and that's destroy a card when he's flipped up. Most of the time that comes from him being attacked by a threat, and so when he gets rid of it he looks like a hero. But I think he's a bit over hyped. He also started seeing play when Rescue Rabbit was the dominant deck, which makes it even more unclear to me as to why he was gaining popularity. Dolkka absolutely destroys Snowman Eater. If you ever saw a face down monster and you had to make Laggia or Dolkka, it was surely Dolkka you chose. But even now, when using him would make a bit more sense, he still doesn't seem fit to make a huge enough impact. Even when he does his job, destroys a monster and stays on the field, he's just going to sit there. He can't attack. He can't even defend too well after he's face up. I believe after that, all he can be used for is an xyz summon, which would be using two cards for one thus evening out the gamestate. It doesn't create a problem, it doesn't put you in a better position. It chills. Get it? He's a snowman so he.... nevermind. Anywho! He's the equivalent of a Smashing Ground or Soul Taker except those cards don't require you to waste your normal summon, thus giving him a place in Tony's Book of Cards That Shouldn't See Play.
So what did we learn today?
We learned that Fiendish Chain and Snowman Eater are very good at faking glory!
We learned that Thunder King Tony is really good.... sometimes!
And we learned that Black Luster Soldier is one of the best cards in the game!
I believe that diversity is a huge part of this game, and when mixed with good deck building and good play, anything's possible.
Next time we'll talk about how to pick what deck is not only best for you, but best against all the other decks running around.
Thank you all so much for your time and your support. It honestly means the world to me.
-Until next time, Anthony Pascariello