How to Play Wind-Ups

Hey everyone! I’m back this week after a weekend in my home town for the YCS this past weekend. Unfortunately I lost out on the bubble (surprise!) and didn’t make Top 32, but congratulations to Alistar who did make the top cut.  It was great seeing everybody this weekend and while I did not make the Top 32, quite a few Wind-Up decks did. Last week I told you how to effectively use your Maxx “C”s and Effect Veilers to beat the deck, this week I’ll bring you some plays you could be making with the deck that you may have not been doing before.  The deck isn’t hard to play when you have a hand containing Wind-Up Shark and either Tour Guide From the Underworld or Wind-Up Magician, but what happens when your plays aren’t so pretty and you’re left with some decisions that have to be made?

Wind-Up Rabbit Plays

At this point, just about everybody knows that this card is the nuts. It’s a costless Strike Ninja that can just about never be killed and it allows you to play around Effect Veiler. Let’s explore some of the other uses of the card.

First of all, Wind-Up Rabbit gives you a strategy completely separate from the loop; Rabbit beat down. One of the best openings outside of having a loop is Rabbit and Factory. This gives you a pure advantage system that your opponent cannot ignore. Once you remove one time and get a second Rabbit, you’re in an amazing position. Every turn after that, you’ll be going +2 just by having them face up (Remove the first Rabbit on your turn and search and then remove the second Rabbit on your opponent’s turn and search a second time). This also puts a lot of pressure on your opponent. For instance, if your opponent didn’t open with any monsters, you’re doing 1400 the first turn, 2800 the second turn, and 4200 the third turn. Any cards they use to stop this damage such as Dimensional Prison is just more advantage for you.

At this point, Rabbit beat down is pretty well known, but Rabbit has a lot more uses than just that. For instance, have you ever thought of turning Wind-Up Rabbit into a Necro Gardna? Let’s say that you have Wind-Up Rat in hand with Wind-Up Rabbit in the grave yard. If you summon Rat and use the effect to bring back Rabbit and end, aren’t you doing just that? When they attack the next turn you just use Rabbit’s effect to remove the Rat from play. Then they’ll kill the Rabbit by battle. Next turn your Rat returns to the field and you can do the same thing over again. This is important because Wind-Ups are a combo deck and this minor play will give you a few extra turns to draw into more combo pieces.

It can also make your next turn plays pretty much untouchable. For instance, if you were to open with Wind-Up Rabbit and Wind-Up Shark with nothing else relevant to the combo, what would you do? I think one of the better plays in this situation would be to summon Rabbit, special summon Shark, get Zenmaity, use its effect to get Rat, use it to get Rabbit and end. At the very least you are guaranteeing yourself an unused Rat next turn to give you access to any rank 3.

Next have you ever considered using Rabbit as an extra Zenmaity? For instance let’s say that you have Rabbit coming back with Rat in hand and a random level 3 Wind-Up in grave.  If you summon Rat and use the effect to get back the level 3 and then use Rabbit to remove Rat from play, you can now XYZ into Leviair to bring back the Rat and essentially making Leviair an extra Zenmaity.

Pushing through for Game

I think that a lot of people don’t realize that a lot of the time when you can discard your hand, you could actually just kill them. Magician + Shark is 8500 damage. Let me show you how:

  1. Summon Magician
  2. Special Summon Shark
  3. Use Magician to get Magician
  4. Decrease Shark to 3
  5. Use Magician to get Hunter
  6. Make Utopia with the two Magicians
  7. Overlay Shark and Hunter for Zenmaity
  8. Detach and get Rat
  9. Use Rat to get back Hunter
  10. Overlay for a second Zenmaity
  11. Detach for another Rat
  12. Use it to get back Hunter
  13. Overlay for Giga-Brilliant
  14. Use Giga-Brilliant’s effect

Then just attack since 2800+1800+1800+2100 is 8500 damage. After all, why loop them and give them a chance at winning when you could just make sure they don’t win by killing them?

Another time you should be thinking about pushing through for game is if you are running Wind-Up Kitten. Generally speaking, Wind-Up Zenmaines is difficult for Wind-Ups to deal with. If your opponent has one of those on the field, they’re probably feeling that they’re pretty safe. If you summon a Tour Guide and use it to make 3 Zenmaitys and finally a Kitten, you can clear any threat like opposing Zenmaines, and push through for 5300 damage. You can also abuse Kitten by removing it for Rabbit’s effect and bringing it back the following turn.

Pushing Through Maxx “C”

Surprisingly enough, there are times where I find it effective to push through Maxx “C” (At least somewhat push through).

One of the times that I think it is best to do a little more is when you normal Magician and attempt to special Shark, but they Maxx “C” you. Here I think it is good to go ahead and use Magician to get Rabbit. Here the Rabbit will help protect your setup so you can continue to do the loop the following turn.

Another time that I think it is good to push through Maxx “C” is when you have Tour Guide and Wind-Up Factory. Let’s assume that they play it right and drop Maxx “C” when we activate Tour Guide’s effect. If you’re wondering why it’s best to play Maxx “C” right here, check out my last article. We would get Sangan (or Bus if we played it) and then we activate Factory. At this point they have 5 in hand to our Tour Guide, Sangan, Factory, and 4 in hand. Let’s go ahead and XYZ into Zenmaity and let them draw to 6. Now let’s use Zenmaity’s effect and special out a Rabbit from our deck, letting them draw to 7. Since we used Zenmaity’s effect we get a search from Factory. Now we end and they draw to 8 in hand. As soon as they draw, remove the Rabbit and take another search from Factory. It is important to remove Wind-Up Rabbit as soon as they draw to search off Factory before they have a chance to activate a Heavy Storm that they might have. Essentially, if your opponent ended his turn right there you would activate Wind-Up Rabbit’s effect to get you another search anyway, but if you remove it now you can search before they play Heavy Storm. Might as well go ahead and ensure that you search. If they have MST they’re using it on Factory regardless of when you activate Rabbit’s effect so there’s no real way of playing around that. Once you remove the Rabbit, you’re still ahead in terms of card advantage. They’ve got their 8 cards in hand to your Zenmaity, Rabbit (that’s coming back the next turn), Factory, and six in hand. I think that this leaves you in a much better position for the following turn than if you were to just end with Sangan. If they were unable to kill the Zenmaity you can essentially guarantee yourself game the following turn. They’ll be forced to use whatever combo breaking resources they have such as Warning on the Zenmaity that is already on the field, but you got to search two more combo pieces because of Factory. This means that if they Warning the Zenmaity’s effect on your next turn, you can just summon the searched Magician and special the searched Shark and loop them anyway.

Side Decking

After game 1 you’re going to want to take out the cards that do nothing by themselves like Wind-Up Factory and Wind-Up Magician. These cards make the combo very fragile and combo oriented. They’re fine game 1 (Despite what Billy says! =P), but game 2 and 3 they’re going to have a lot more hate for your combo. If you side in cards like Snowman Eater and Smashing Ground you can clear a lot of threats like Laggia or any sided Thunder Kings. Cards like Snowman are even great in the mirror because of two things. Firstly, like any other deck, they’ll be siding Thunder Kings as well and Snowman is a very effective way of dealing with that. Secondly, it’s one of the only ways of dealing with your opponent’s Rabbits. If they attack your set monster with Rabbit and it was a Snowman Eater, they can’t remove it in the damage step and you can kill the Rabbit with Snowman Eater’s effect.

Playing Games 2 and 3

Game 1 it’s alright to end your combo with Zenmaity and a Zenmaines, but games two and three you have to be aware that your opponent is siding Cyber Dragons against you. This means that if you looped four cards out of your hand, but missed the Cyber Dragon, they’re going to have a 3000 beater to your nothing when they are the ones who should have had nothing. For this reason, it’s pretty important to end with a Leviathan Dragon after game 1 (Ending with Leviathan is also good game 1 since Leviathan is aggressive and Zenmaines is passive and you don’t want to allow your opponent time to rebuild after you loop them, but it’s imperative games two and three).

Wind-Ups are not nearly as auto-pilot as many people first thought. Certainly they have the hands that are complete blow outs, but a lot of the time you’re going to have to grind to win. I hope that you will keep these plays in mind when you do not have the blow out hands. Until next week everybody, play hard or go home!

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

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