Hello again, I hope you are all doing well today. The new format has arisen, and with it in effect a few things have changed in the game. Mermail for some reason or another was left unscathed and will most definitely remain a top contender of the format.
Since the deck is so prevalent in almost any tournament, I think it would be important to address some situations that you could find yourself in when playing with or against the water deck. So lets just get right into it.
Atlantean Cards - All of the Atlantean cards have mandatory effects when they are sent to the graveyard by a water monster. At a first glance, one would think that wouldn't be relevant, but when figuring out a chain link, it becomes important to know how your chain will resolve. Mandatory effects always go first on the chain. If more than one go on the same chain, then you get to decide how it links, but keep in mind that turn player always gets the first chain link when simultaneous effects go on chain! Say you pitch a Marksman and a Dragoons for Megalo, this is how to properly enact the play.
First: Pitch the 2 water monsters to reveal megalo. At this point, your opponent has an opportunity to respond to the effect to attempt to special summon. They could Maxx C or Mind Crush or even Solemn Warning, but they can't bottomless just yet, as megalo is only attempting to summon itself from hand.
Second: Megalo's search effect, Marksman's effect, and Dragoons' effect will start a chain, it cannot be interrupted as it has already been established that the cards are in the chain link. However, another card can be chained to the third chain link (aka Megalo). So you get to pick how you want to resolve the chain. Lets say you go Marksman (you target at the point you declare the chain) CL1, Dragoons CL2, Megalo CL3. Remember, Abyssmegalo's search effect is optional, so it will always link after all of your mandatory effects in a chain.
Third: Assuming they didn't chain to your cards, resolve your effects. Chain Link 3 was Megalo, so search your abyss card; CL2 was Dragoons, so search your sea serpent card, and CL1 was Marksman, so destroy their set card. Keep in mind if your opponent already allowed you to resolve the chain, they cannot chain the card you are attempting to destroy. They can, however, add the card to the chain link. (quick note: Bottomless Trap Hole and Torrential Tribute can still be activated in this chain as a response to megalo's summon, but as CL4 or higher)
Mermail Abyssmegalo vs. Abyssteus
Please Note that Abyssmegalo's search effect is optional, while Abyssteus is mandatory. Remember! Mandatory effects always go first when simultaneous effects go on chain!
For some reason, people seem to think Mermail Abysspike's effect works in a way similar to Abyssteus and Abyssmegalo, where they chain to the atlanteans they discarded, but that is simply not the case.
The proper way to use Mermail Abysspike is as follows:
First of all, you normal/Special Summon it. Pretty simple… Make sure they don't have a solemn warning etc. Next you discard your water. Lets say you discard an Atlantean Heavy Infantry. At this point, your opponent has the opportunity to respond to Abysspikes effect. They can use a card like Bottomless Trap Hole, Effect Veiler, or even Fiendish Chain. If your effect is allowed to resolve, you will be able to search your level 3 water.
Next up, your Atlantean Card will start a new chain, and if your opponent does not have a response, it will resolve, destroying their face up card.
Now onto the tricks of the deck that you can use to help better your game versus mermail.
This has got to be one of the most important rulings of them all when playing against Mermail. Say you have a Jurrac Guaiba, Fire Fist - Gorilla, or any card with an effect similar where it gains an effect when it destroys a monster by battle.
Ok, so that monster attacks a Mermail Abysslinde, Linde and Guaiba/Gorilla etc. will go on chain. Chain link one will be turn player's Guaiba, chain link 2 will be linde. Linde will resolve and get Mermail Abysspike, at this point the Abysspike is supposed to try and activate, but unfortunately Guaiba is still attempting to resolve, so Abysspike will miss timing with its effect.
Please keep in mind this is only relevant on your turn, as turn player always starts off the chain link when simultaneous effects go on chain. If you attack your Mermail Abysslinde into a copy of Jurrac Guaiba, the chain link will resolve Linde CL1 and Guaiba CL2. Guaiba will resolve, and then Linde will resolve, getting Abysspike. There is nothing interrupting Pike at this moment, so you can successfully attempt to use it's effect.
Here is a different situation where Abysspike would miss timing:
I am turn player.
set Call of the Haunted
Mermail Abysslinde face-up attack mode
Atlantean Heavy Infantry in defense mode
I activate Dark Hole
Trooper and Abysslinde will go on a chain
Trooper (Mandatory effect) will be CL1, Mermail Abysslinde (optional effect) will be CL2
Linde resolves, getting Pike. Pike won't be able to activate because Trooper is attempting to resolve.
So basically, any time Abysslinde is cl2 or higher and searches Abysspike, the pike will miss timing.
More Abysspike rulings
A lot of players have caught on to the fact that you can simply abyss-sphere for Mermail Abysspike to pitch an atlantean to trigger it's effect. Of course the pike will be negated by sphere, but you still get to use its effect anyway. This is a great way to discard cards like Marksman and Heavy Infantry in order to get rid of pesky cards at the time. Unfortunately, if the sphere is chained to something, Abysspike will miss its timing.
I will provide an example to show why
You summon your own copy of Mermail Abysspike and discard Atlantean Marksman.
Abysspike will resolve… searching whatever… that part is irrelevant to this situation. Next marksman will start a new chain, and target my set card. I chain the set card, Abyss-Sphere and special Summon a Mermail Abysspike of my own
Chain link one, Marksman
Chain Link two, Abyss-Sphere
Abyss Sphere gets Abysspike. Here, abyss pike would attempt to activate, but can't because marksman is still trying to resolve. Marksman will attempt to destroy a face-down spell/trap but can't because sphere is now face up.
EVEN MORE ABYSSPIKE NONSENSE
Mermail Abyssgunde is seeing some play now. Very cool! The thing about this card is that in almost evey scenario, it will make a special summoned pike miss its timing.
Lets take a look at a common scenario.
My hand: Atlantean Dragoons, Atlantean Heavy Infantry, Mermail Abyssmegalo, Mermail Abyssgunde
My Graveyard: Mermail Abysspike
I opt to discard Dragoons and Gunde for Megalo. The chain will go as follows
Mandatory Effects: Dragoons
Optional Effects: Megalo + Gunde
CL1 Dragoons CL2/3 Megalo/Gunde (Your choice. It won't affect the scenario. Let's say I made Gunde CL3)
Gunde resolves. Gets Pike. Pike will miss timing because dragoons and megalo have not yet resolved.
etc etc with the Megalo and Dragoons.
Here is one more common scenario
My Hand: Mermail Abyssteus + Abyssgunde + Atlantean Heavy Infantry
My Grave: Mermail Abyssgunde
I opt to Special Summon Abyssteus by ditching Abyssgunde.
Mandatory Effects: Mermail Abyssteus
Optional Effects: Mermail Abyssgunde
Abyssteus will be chain link one, Abyssgunde will be chain link 2. Abyss gunde will special summon Pike and Pike will not be able to activate because Teus is still attempting to resolve.
Okay… that is enough of me rambling on how pike misses timing a lot. Lets get into other things.
For some reason or another… people think that this card is good versus water decks. I wholeheartedly disagree. In almost every relevant situation, this card won't even be able to work versus Water.
No card in the game of yugioh can interrupt a chain. It just isn't a part of the game. If three effects happen at once, they are considered to be simultaneous. This means that you can decide on the chain as long as mandatory effects go first. So if you summon a Megalo and pitch 2 Dragoons, then the chain will be Dragoons CL1, Dragoons Cl2, Megalo CL3 and there will be no opportunity to respond to one of the Dragoons with Skull Meister.
Mermail Abyssteus has a mandatory search effect, so you are probably thinking to yourself that if it pitches a dragoons that you can indeed use Skull Meister on it now, right? Nope, wrong! If the water player knows what they are doing, they will simply just make dragoons CL1 and Teus CL2. Since they are both mandatory effects, you can choose the way the chain resolves. Skull Meister will not be able to respond
Mermail Abysspike is the one card you can actually use a Skull Meister on. Abysspike and the card it discarded are two separate chains, so they will successfully be able to use Skull Meister on this singleton play out of the explosive deck.
Droll and Lock Bird
For those of you who don't know… this card has spiked up in price. They are now going for around $10 a pop. I believe it is because of all this Prophecy/Spellbook hype. Droll does do a solid job of taking care of that deck. Aside from that though, I have actually had people at my locals try and tell me it is good versus water.
For those of you that don’t know how it works, let me explain.
Droll and Lock Bird has to be activated after your opponent has drawn/searched for a card. After that, your opponent cant draw/search their deck any more. This will never stop Abyssmegalo + Dragoons chains (etc.) because Droll & Lock Bird needs to be activated after they search. Sure, you can do it after they searched whatever they searched, but lets be honest… at that point they probably already got what they wanted and you neg’ed your self a card for no reason.
Next up on the list are Debunk and Divine Wrath. They pretty much do the same things against the water deck so I will put them in the same spot. While they are indeed better cards versus the Water deck than Skull Meister, they also just don't do enough.
Divine Wrath/Debunk gets you into the same awkward situation as Skull Meister where you can't really respond to any of the atlanteans if your opponent makes their chain correct… but at least you can stop a Megalo or Teus. Megalo and Teus activate in hand before they actually special summon themselves, so you can respond with cards like Divine Wrath/Debunk and Mind Crush in order to stop them from being special summoned. Unfortunately, the Atlantean cards they discarded will still trigger.
Divine Wrath/Debunk do have other applications versus the water deck, but at the end of the day, Mind Crush will just do a much better job at taking care of the deck.
Here's a quick tip. Find a more valuable card to stop water decks. Cards like Dust Tornado, Banisher of the Radiance, Macro Cosmos, Soul Drain, or even Mind Crush can really slow the deck down. It is almost always impossible to compete with the advantage the deck gains and these cards can at least stop them from doing what they do best.
And I saved the best for last.
This is by far one of my favorite rulings versus the deck and I just learned it not to long ago from my friend, Scott. So thanks to him!
Abyss-Sphere and MP1
For those of you who don’t know, this is a ruling straight out of the rulebook
After Main Phase 1 has ended, the Turn Player may choose to enter the Battle Phase. If he/she chooses not to, the player automatically proceeds to the End Phase (he/she may NOT enter Main Phase 2).
What does this mean?
If both players agree to end Main Phase 1, then you can move directly to the end phase. This means no Linde/Sphere tricks for your opponent. And if they do attempt to sphere for linde, maybe you can take care of it with a card like Jurrac Guaiba or Blackship of Corn.
On another note, cards like Blackship of Corn and Inzektor Exa-Beetle are monsters with effects that send monsters to the grave. These effects are great for taking care of Mermail Abysslinde as her effect only triggers when she is destroyed.
I sincerely hope you learned something from this article. I despise the water deck and I hope it goes down the drain (thumbs up for bad puns.) Together we can attempt to slaughter the deck and bring forth a more interesting tier one bracket of decks. Thanks for reading guys and gals!