Exploring the Side Deck: Psi-Blocker vs. Tsukuyomi

frazier smithWhat’s up, duelists? We only have a few more weeks until nationals so I wanted to talk to you about some of the side deck tech that’s been seeing play recently. Most of you are well aware of Tsukuyomi’s presence in the meta—thanks to the OCG—but Psi-Blocker has also started to see an increase in play around the globe, and for good reason, too. This article is going to compare and contrast the two cards and help you decide which one you want to play for the big tournament.

I’m going to assume that everyone already knows exactly what [ccProd]Tsukuyomi[/ccProd] does since she’s been out for years and recently received a rarity boost. If you’ve been living under a rock, however, I’ll keep it simple by saying that she has the ability to Book of Moon any monster each time she’s summoned, and she’s a Spirit monster, so she’ll get summoned quite often. Psi-Blocker, on the other hand, may be a little bit more unknown to most people since it has never really accomplished much since its release. Here’s a closer look:

psi-blockerPsi Blocker

Level 4 Wind
1200/ATK 300/DEF

Once per turn: You can declare 1 card name; cards with that name, and their effects, cannot be used until the End of your opponent's next turn.

Notice that I felt the need to highlight the word used in Psi-Blocker’s effect. Apparently, that one little word has a lot of power behind it. Psi-Blocker is much like Prohibition but with a few significant differences. For one, Psi-Blocker doesn’t care if the card is already on the field. It can name something that’s already out, and it will shut its effect off all the same. That’s extremely relevant since we don’t always get to go first, and most decks like to put cards on the field that hinder our plays when we go second (think [ccProd]Evilswarm Ophion[/ccProd], [ccProd]Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Jowgen the Spiritualist[/ccProd]). Now while you may already know everything I’ve said so far, most people do not know just how complex Psi-Blocker’s effect really is. A post in Julia Hedberg’s judge group, Adjudication Conflagration, lists what can and cannot be done with a card named by Psi-Blocker.

If a Monster Card is named by Psi-Blocker, it cannot:
- Be normal summoned or set.
- Be inherently special summoned.
- Be used as Fusion, Synchro, or Xyz Material.
- Be Fusion, Synchro, Ritual, or Xyz summoned properly.
- Declare an attack.
- Manually change its battle position.
- Activate its effects that start a chain, mandatory effects.
- Apply its continuous effects (Ophion, Kycoo, Jowgen).

If a Spell/Trap Card is named by Psi-Blocker, it cannot:
- Be activated, including any of its effects if it is already face-up on the field.
- Be manually set.
- Apply any continuous effects.

If a Monster Card is named by Psi-Blocker, it can:
- Be used to pay a cost. Examples: [ccProd]Lightning Vortex[/ccProd], [ccProd]Enemy Controller[/ccProd], [ccProd]Destiny Draw[/ccProd], etc.
- Be used for other card effects. Examples: [ccProd]Reinforcement of the Army[/ccProd], [ccProd]Monster Reborn[/ccProd], etc.
- Be added to your hand from any card location.
- Be special summoned from any location.
- Be targeted.
- Be affected by any means.
- Change its battle position via card effect. Examples: A/D Changer, [ccProd]Book of Moon[/ccProd], etc.
- Apply any lingering effects. Examples: Shock Master, [ccProd]Forbidden Lance[/ccProd], Maxx “C,” Effect Veiler.
** Exceptions: You cannot use it for anything that would perform a Fusion Summon or Synchro Summon.
- Be used for another monster's summoning Procedure.
** This also includes using it as part of a Tribute Summon.

If a Spell/Trap card is named by Psi-Blocker, it can:
- Be used to pay a cost. Examples: [ccProd]Summoner Monk[/ccProd].
- Be used for other card effects. Examples: [ccProd]Magician of Faith[/ccProd], [ccProd]Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo[/ccProd], etc.
** It is perfectly legal to add the named card to your hand from any location, or have the named card’s effects be used via another card. Example: [ccProd]Spellbook of the Master[/ccProd].
- Apply any lingering effects.

That’s a pretty long list, so I’d like to say thanks to Alex Gravely for providing us with that material. We don’t have any official rules on Psi-Blocker yet, but this is what we follow for now. Though there is a hefty amount there, it’s actually kept quite simple and sweet. You should be able to answer any questions you have from there. As a duelist, I’m going to give you some real life scenarios with the card. For one, the most common use is for Dragons to shut off Ophion and then either destroy it with [ccProd]Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack[/ccProd], or steal it with Number 11: Big Eye. Let’s say you manage to cut off Ophion’s effect, but you weren’t able to get rid of it because of your opponent’s backrows. In that case, the Ophion would still be unable to attack your Psi-Blocker, so if the Evilswarm player doesn’t have another monster to beat over it, you can just name [ccProd]Evilswarm Ophion[/ccProd] again next turn and try once more. Believe me, it does happen.

At a recent iPad tournament, I played a Dragon mirror match that went into time and it was my last turn to deal damage. He was higher than me, so I had to hit him hard. He also used Maxx “C,” which happened to be his last card in hand, so I knew that the only thing he could possibly draw to stop me from winning was Swift Scarecrow (he could’ve been siding other things, but Scarecrow is the most obvious, and I had seen him play it in another round). Anyways, to make a long story short, I ended up naming Swift Scarecrow with Psi-Blocker, and what do you know, he actually drew it off of Maxx “C.” That was very lucky of him, but Psi-Blocker happens to be indifferent to people’s luck. With that being said, I think it’s worthy of noting that Psi-Blocker rewards you for your skill level. The more you can make reads on what your opponent had, or the outs he or she has left in his or her deck, the more powerful the card will become. There are so many different scenarios according to what’s on the field, what’s in your hand, what’s in the grave, what’s in the banished zone, and what cards may come off the top of the deck, that you can skillfully narrow down the names of the cards that you should be calling, and the probable chance that your opponent actually has one of them.

I was thinking of ways to preemptively stop/slow down decks on your first turn by calling a key card with Psi-Blocker. If you were playing against Spellbooks, what would you want to call first turn? Cards that immediately pop into your head are [ccProd]Spellbook of Judgment[/ccProd], which is the card that single-handedly sent the deck to tier 1, [ccProd]Spellbook of Secrets[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Spellbook Magician of Prophecy[/ccProd]. If you call [ccProd]Spellbook of Secrets[/ccProd], you run the risk of your opponent summoning [ccProd]Spellbook Magician of Prophecy[/ccProd] and using its effect to search for [ccProd]Spellbook of Power[/ccProd]. Psi-Blocker only has 1200 attack which means that the little blue boy would be able to beat over it and search for anything. That doesn’t seem too productive. Calling [ccProd]Spellbook Magician of Prophecy[/ccProd] would hurt a little more, especially if the Prophecy player doesn’t have another Spellcaster in his opening hand because several cards require a Spellcaster on the field to be activated ([ccProd]Spellbook of the Master[/ccProd], [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd], [ccProd]Spellbook of Wisdom[/ccProd], [ccProd]Spellbook of Power[/ccProd]). Calling [ccProd]Spellbook of Judgment[/ccProd] will send the deck back to its old days where it was extremely slow but still capable of setting up [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd] and [ccProd]The Grand Spellbook Tower[/ccProd] first turn. If you have a strong opening like double Dracossack, you might want to call [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd]. That will prevent the Dracossacks from being banished and possibly set up an OTK for next turn. I personally like to call [ccProd]Spellbook Magician of Prophecy[/ccProd], but depending on my hand, I’ll just call [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd]. That also means you won’t have to worry about the card being set, either, so if you happen to have a [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd], you would more than likely be able to hit a [ccProd]Waboku[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Threatening Roar[/ccProd] on the End Phase.

Tsukuyomi[ccProd]Tsukuyomi[/ccProd] is pretty neat in that her effect activates as soon as she is summoned, which means there are less outs to her resolving than there are for Psi-Blocker. For instance, many Evilswarm players are using [ccProd]Compulsory Evacuation Device[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Book of Moon[/ccProd], so Psi-Blocker could get caught by one of those and be completely unsuccessful. Neither of those cards would stop [ccProd]Tsukuyomi[/ccProd] from flipping that troublesome Ophion face-down, allowing you to do what you do best and swarm the field. [ccProd]Tsukuyomi[/ccProd] also has enough attack power to beat over both [ccProd]Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer[/ccProd] and Thunder King Rai-oh. Psi-Blocker would still be able to cut their effects off, but if you don’t manage to deal with them that turn, then they will become a thorn in your side on your following turn. [ccProd]Tsukuyomi[/ccProd] also has the added ability of letting you use a monster’s effect twice in the same turn, like that of Dracossack or [ccProd]Scrap Dragon[/ccProd]. For example, let’s say you have a Dracossack on the field and your opponent doesn’t get rid of it, but instead sets a monster and a backrow. You can start your turn off by tributing a token to pop the backrow, and then summon [ccProd]Tsukuyomi[/ccProd] to put Dracossack face-down, flip it back face-up, and then reuse his effect once more to pop the monster. This is a very old trick from when you were just a little Slifer Red.

So when it comes to picking which one you want to utilize in your side deck, you really need to evaluate the rest of the cards you’re siding in for the matchups that give you trouble. You never want to “over-side,” which is when you take out so many cards for game two that your deck no longer functions properly. This was the case with Mermails—you were never supposed to side more than five cards in any given matchup. One of the best parts about Psi-Blocker—if you’re using Elemental dragons—is the fact that it is a Wind monster, so it has natural synergy with your deck. That can be so clutch when looking for things to remove for the adult Dragon’s effects. Maybe siding one of each would be ideal since you honestly never want to draw more than one [ccProd]Tsukuyomi[/ccProd] in your hand (I am speaking from experience here). Play around with both, see how you like them, and figure out how to make the best use of them.

Thanks for reading! Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!

-Frazier Smith

-The Dark Magician

Frazier Smith

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