Exploring Qliphort: Soul Transition

Hello Duelists! After receiving lots and lots of messages about my Qliphort list and which cards I planned on using from the new set, I decided I may as well write an article about it with my reasoning behind which cards I’m using and their ratios. Secrets of Eternity introduced four possibly relevant Qliphort cards into the Yugioh world: Qliphort Monolith, Qliphort Stealth, Qliphort Cephalopod, and Soul Transition. This week I’ll discuss Soul Transition and Qliphort Cephalopod and next week I will discuss Qliphort Stealth and Qliphort Monolith. Let’s get right into it!

Qliphort Cephalopod

You cannot Special Summon monsters, except "Qli" monsters. This effect cannot be negated. All monsters your opponent controls lose 300 ATK.

You can Normal Summon this card without Tributing. If this card is Normal Summoned without Tributing, or is Special Summoned, its Level becomes 4 and its original ATK becomes 1800. If this card is Normal Summoned/Set, it is unaffected by activated effects from any monster whose original Level/Rank is lower than this card's current Level. When this card is Tribute Summoned by Tributing a "Qli" monster(s): You can activate this effect; if your opponent has more monsters in their Graveyard than you do, you gain LP equal to the difference x 300, and if you do, inflict the same amount of damage to your opponent.

There’s not much to say about this card, to be entirely honest.  Unlike the other commonly used Qliphort tribute monsters, Disk and Stealth, this card does not generate card advantage or apply direct pressure on the opponent when it’s summoned.  It plays with the Qliphort theme of life-points, but it’s not impactful enough to be worth main-decking.

Consider this: in the Qliphort mirror, monsters very rarely, if ever, go to the graveyard (getting hit by Solemn Warning and being detached as XYZ materials are pretty much the only times that ever happens).  More useless monsters in the mirror aren’t very fun.  Against Shaddolls, games tend to end very quickly – you either get OTK'd in one turn, or you win by bouncing their monsters with Carrier and OTKing them back with Disk.  Burning Abyss is the one deck against which this card was imagined to be a viable option, but even in the side deck it’s fairly lackluster. Your primary win-conditions against BA are either to spin everything to prevent them from floating you out of the game, or to floodgate them entirely.  Cephalopod accomplishes neither and is in fact made worse by either strategy succeeding, so there’s no real reason to use it there.  This is a card you can definitely skip in both the main and side deck.

Soul Transition

If you control no Special Summoned monsters: Tribute 1 face-up Level 4 Normal Summoned/Set monster; draw 2 cards. You can only activate 1 "Soul Transition" per turn. You cannot Special Summon monsters the turn you activate this card.

This is a very "weird" card, in my opinion. I use that term lightly because I don't think it's very good, and I'm fairly certain that it's just a slightly better version of Pot of Duality (which I ended up cutting at ARGCS Orlando without regret).

Soul Transition is a very good card when going first, since you get to trigger a Qliphort monster’s effect and you get to see 2 new cards! (If you had Saqlifice equipped you get yet another card – Scout if you’re missing it, another combo piece if not.) That sounds pretty good, right? Well, yes, when everything goes right it is pretty good.  That said, there are downsides. If you’re using 2 copies of Soul Transition, imagine the other 74.5% (or 63.9%i f you're using 3 copies) of the time when you don't have it in your opening hand (the odds of opening a card you play 2-of in a 37 card deck is roughly around 25.5% and 36.1% if you're using 3 copies of a card). Because the point of the Qliphort deck is to pendulum summon and flood the field with monsters, Soul Transition will force you to just normal summon and pass your turn if you want to make it live, and this isn't a good way to win the game. When there is a gamestate where you and your opponent are going back and forth, tempo-wise Soul Transition is an awful topdeck as odds are you will need to pendulum summon in order to stay alive or just to make plays.  It is essentially like Pot of Duality in that sense (this is the reason that I cut Pot of Duality at ARGCS Orlando, it usually didn't do anything for me outside of turn one).

Another problem with Soul Transition is that it will often force you to make less-than-optimal plays in order to get full value out of it.  Let’s say you open Soul Transition and Scout. In this situation most people tend to add Helix off of Scout to get value out of both the Soul Transition and Helix during your opponent’s end phase. Prior to the release of Secrets of Eternity, the optimal turn one play would be to grab from Scout, so now if you add a Helix you’re telegraphing that you have a Soul Transition. A possible solution would be to add a Carrier so that your opponent doesn’t know whether or not you have a Soul Transition, but that's probably not going to give you as much value out of Soul Transition as Helix would have given you (the ability to destroy your opponent's Scout in the mirror match is pretty great! Or just destroying a Spell/Trap in the end phase is also good).

If those were the only problems with Soul Transition then I might still consider using it. However, the biggest problem with the card is that it’s almost always going to be dead when you’re going second.  Soul Transition is a trap card, which means that you have to set it before you can get any real value out of it, so that means that if you're going second it’s going to be a -1 in your hand for that turn. Another confounding factor is trying to successfully normal summon a monster and having it stay on the field until your opponent’s turn. Many decks are playing responsive trap cards such as Bottomless Trap Hole, Solemn Warning, and Compulsory Evacuation Device, and if you're playing against Burning Abyss, even discard traps such as Phoenix Wing Wind Blast or Karma Cut. If your opponent opens one of these cards going first and uses it on your monster, you're going to be set back pretty far because on their next turn they’re going to have the ability to apply a lot of pressure and Soul Transition will be pretty irrelevant since you're going to need to pendulum summon and tribute summon to attempt a comeback. This is part of the reasoning behind Qliphort decks using a lot of Spell/Trap destruction cards, as you want to simplify the gamestate and get rid of your opponents backrow.  You can then activate Scout so that you can gain a card every turn, and set a floodgate so that your opponent can’t play YGO.  Soul Transition doesn’t help accomplish any of these, especially when going second.

Soul Transition isn't a card I want my opponent to have going first. I think the best comparison here is comparing Soul Transition to Apoqliphort Towers. If I'm using Burning Abyss I never want my opponent to summon Apoqliphort Towers against me, because I’ll probably lose that game shortly after, but because of the inconsistencies that Towers adds to the Qliphort deck, most players don't (and shouldn't) use it. This is the same scenario here: I don't want my opponent to go first and open Soul Transition and Scout, but nonetheless that doesn't make it worth playing.

What do you guys think about Soul Transition and Qliphort Cephalopod? Do you plan on using either at the next ARGCS or YCS? That's all for this week's article! If you'd like to see me write about a certain topic feel free to message me on Facebook.  The Circuit Series stops by Fort Worth, TX next on February 7-8! I hope to see you all there!  But if you can't make it to Texas, be sure to check out our ARG YGO State Championships!  You can find the list of locations here: http://articles.alterealitygames.com/event/arg-ygo-state-championships-february-7-8-2015/

As Always Play Hard or Go Home!