Frazier Smith: Stop, Lock, & Droll!

frazier smithGreetings, duelists! I’ve had the chance to do some testing on the new format, or I should say the new half of the format since we didn’t actually get a new Limited/Restricted List. It really does feel like we’re playing in a completely different era now, though, since the release of Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy has pretty much warped the game as we knew it. Before the pack, everyone had their eyes fixated on Mermails as the deck to beat, and then there were the other decks like Fire Fist, Dino-Rabbit, and the most recent of them—Infernities—which are all subpar now. You can debate amongst yourselves on the validity of that fact, but believe me when I tell you that they cannot consistently keep up, and if you’ve been playing with Dragons and Spellbooks, then you probably already know that. Another addition to the format is the return of hand traps. They saw very minimal play in the Mermail dominated format, especially outside of the side deck, but now they’re back in full swing and they’ve brought some new friends along for the ride this time. I follow the OCG meta just as much as I follow the TCG’s, so I’ve been noticing that most Elemental Dragon players over there use two to three copies of Droll & Lock Bird in their main decks. The most use that card has ever seen over here is in the side deck to prevent unfortunate losses against Gishki FTK, however, that’s all about to change, so you can prepare to see multiples in the main decks over here as well. Since the global meta is finally united, most decks will look just like the dominant decks in the OCG, complete with Maxx “C,” [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd]s, and Droll & Lock Birds.

Recently, I asked my Facebook friends if any of them knew how Droll & Lock Bird actually works. Surprisingly, many of them had no clue or serious misconceptions about the effect of the card. It seems that many players believe it is something that you chain to an effect that searches/draws cards from the deck, or that it doesn’t stop anything other than Spellbooks. I’m here to tell you that the card has merit in not only the Spellbook matchup, but also the Elemental Dragon matchup as well. But first things first, let’s see what this thing reads:

droll & lock birdDroll & Lock Bird

Spellcaster/Wind/Effect

Atk / 0 Def / 0

If your opponent adds a card(s) from their Deck to their hand, except during the Draw Phase, you can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard. For the rest of this turn, neither player can add card(s) from their Deck to their hand. (Drawing cards is also considered as "adding a card to the hand.")

This card can only do one thing in decks other than Dragons, and that is stopping the abusive nature of Prophecy and Dragons. In the Dragon deck, however, it can fulfill another role if the timing is off, which is being used as fodder for the effect of Tempest, Dragon Ruler of Storms. This is why the only deck you will see maining the card will most likely be Elemental Dragons. It can never really be a dead card.

Droll & Lock Bird is not a card that you chain to an effect that searches/draws cards. You must activate it after your opponent searches/draws cards from the effect of another card. You can chain it to an effect that activates after your opponent searches cards, though, so remember that. For instance, if your opponent uses [ccProd]Sacred Sword of Seven Stars[/ccProd], removing Redox and drawing two cards, then triggering the effect of Redox, you can chain Droll & Lock Bird to Redox’s effect because he or she drew cards from the Sword first. What I’m trying to say is that Redox’s effect is not what enabled you to use Droll, it was the fact that Sacred Sword resolved and the window opened. It just so happens that Redox triggers at the same exact time. Now in this scenario, since the chain always resolves backwards, Droll will be chain link two and Redox will be chain link one, so your opponent will not be able to add an earth dragon with Redox’s effect.

maxx cAnother important thing to note is that you can use Droll & Lock Bird when your opponent activates Maxx “C” on your turn to slow you down. First they need to draw at least one card from Maxx “C,” and then you’re allowed to activate the effect of Droll & Lock Bird to prevent them from drawing additional cards. This is important for the Dragon mirror match as Maxx “C” happens to be the most annoying card to go against when taking your turn. And also in the Dragon mirror match will be the outrageousness of [ccProd]Super Rejuvenation[/ccProd], which Droll stops as well if your opponent gives you an opportunity to do so. Let’s say your opponent activates the effect of one of his or her baby dragons, discarding it and another dragon, and then removes the two monsters in the grave to search his or her deck for the effect of one of the bigger dragons. If you use Droll & Lock Bird right there, he or she will be unable to draw any cards from [ccProd]Super Rejuvenation[/ccProd] during the end phase. Of course this will make him or her hold on to the [ccProd]Super Rejuvenation[/ccProd] for a later turn, but the same window of opportunity might not present itself, or it can slow them down enough for you to make a push before they grab a couple hand traps. Even if they don’t have [ccProd]Super Rejuvenation[/ccProd], it can make them think twice before removing their bigger dragons because they won’t be able to search any cards and keep the deck flowing. Droll—just like Maxx “C”—allows for bad Yu-Gi-Oh, and that’s a good thing because it gives players the chance to make mistakes, therefore differentiating them from the better players in the long run.

An even more advanced scenario occurred last weekend at an iPad tournament where Shonen Jump Champion, Stephen Silverman, was playing a Dragon mirror match against one of our local players. His opponent activated the effect of a baby dragon by discarding another dragon and itself and Steve chained Maxx “C.” Steve drew his one card and the opponent used Droll & Lock Bird to stop him from drawing any additional cards. He then quickly realized that he’d made a terrible mistake when he saw the smirk on Steve’s face who already knew it would cut off any [ccProd]Super Rejuvenation[/ccProd] play he might’ve been able to make that turn. In other words, he screwed himself over by using Droll & Lock Bird without thinking because it says that neither player can add cards from their deck to their hand. So while it did prevent Steve from drawing more cards from Maxx “C,” it also cut off the turn player off from using the best card in his deck and of course this cost him the game. Maxx “C” already replaced itself when Steve drew the first card, so there was no minus on his part, but the player who used Droll not only lost the Droll, but also was forced to hold onto a dead card. He also had to make more plays that turn to gain field presence, but of course he wasn’t able to add more dragons to his hand so he would run out faster. It was a play that I was fortunate to have seen so that I’ll know never to do it myself.

spellbook of judgmentThe most obvious use of Droll & Lock Bird is against Prophecy players after they’ve activated [ccProd]Spellbook of Judgment[/ccProd] and attempted to go ape with their search/draw spells. You need to wait until he or she resolves one of those cards:

[ccProd]Spellbook of Secrets[/ccProd] [ccProd]Spellbook of the Master[/ccProd] copying Secrets

[ccProd]Upstart Goblin[/ccProd] [ccProd]Spellbook Magician of Prophecy[/ccProd] [ccProd]Toon Table of Contents[/ccProd] [ccProd]The Grand Spellbook Tower[/ccProd] [ccProd]One Day of Peace[/ccProd]

The great thing is, you get to see whatever he or she searches so you’ll know if you want to use Droll or not. A good Prophecy player can attempt to play around Droll so you need to be cautious of that. If he or she searches out [ccProd]Spellbook of the Master[/ccProd] with [ccProd]Spellbook of Secrets[/ccProd], you might think it’s appealing to wait until he/she plays the [ccProd]Spellbook of the Master[/ccProd] copying Secrets to use Droll, but what if he just doesn’t do that? What if he simply goes, activate [ccProd]Spellbook of Power[/ccProd], then activate the [ccProd]Spellbook of Master[/ccProd] to copy the [ccProd]Spellbook of Power[/ccProd] and proceeds to the end phase to gain massive card advantage? This is something to think about when trying to get full value out of your Droll & Lock Birds. Don’t be too greedy if it can cost you the game. Just use it on Secrets if you have to and that’ll slow them down for the turn. Lastly, I found it interesting that you can use Droll and Lock Bird immediately after your opponent draws a card from the Grand Spellbook Tower in the standby phase. This can be debilitating to your opponent if you already have field presence, especially with Dragons since it doesn’t take too long to kill. If Priestess isn’t around, it will most likely be game breaking. As always, just be smart with the way you use your cards. This format isn’t as bad as people think it is. Misplays will cost players the game more so than before they did prior to Tachyon. To me, that’s a step up from Megalo Diva Derp.

Until next time, duelists! Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!

-Frazier Smith

-The Dark Magician

Frazier Smith

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