PR♥ISM is a sub-archetype of the Bermuda Triangle clan, introduced in the extra booster Dazzling Divas in mid-2013. It is notable for being the first archetype to feature a Break Ride unit in the North American metagame, and being relatively easy and inexpensive to build as all of its necessary cards are contained in the same, small set. While it is likely not the absolute best option for current tournament play, it is still extremely competitive and quite fun to pilot. We will be looking at the clan’s best options at each grade level, as well as a sample deck list with some guidelines as to how the deck should be played.
Labrador acts as this deck’s finisher, bringing with it the benefit of an 11k base power and an ability that greatly reduces the need for a booster in the vanguard column. Labrador’s Limit Break ability allows it to call up to 3 PR♥ISM units to open rear-guard circles when it attacks, simultaneously gaining +10k power and +1 critical if the full 3 cards were called. The best comparison to this unit is Majesty Lord Blaster, as they both have sub 13k (Cross Ride) level power, and the ability to gain an extra critical. Although Labrador requires the player to invest cards into field presence in order to gain its boost, it does not result in card disadvantage in the way of MLB (moving both Blaster units from the rear-guard to the soul). On the flip side, activating Labrador’s ability can result in overextension to the field, leading to a lack of necessary cards to guard with or rear-guards who are readily exposed to attack. Labrador becomes much more effective if it follows 1 or more PR♥ISM-Image, Vert Break Rides, as Vert’s skill builds the necessary card advantage to begin freely calling units to gain Labrador’s boost.
Labrador’s second and oft-forgotten ability allows it to counter blast a card with PR♥ISM in its name in order to bounce a PR♥ISM rear-guard to the owner’s hand. This skill can be quite important in insuring you are able to use Labrador’s Limit Break multiple times in a game, and combos well with cards such as PR♥ISM-Promise, Celtic & PR♥ISM-Image, Clear. Their extra 4k boost may not seem like much, but can be great for pushing a rear-guard column up above 20k, or making the vanguard 15k vs an opposing 10k. Labrador’s synergy with PR♥ISM-Smile, Coro makes the latter one of the best starters for this archetype, as it essentially allows Labrador to bounce 2 cards for the price of one (useful in activating her Limit Break).
As both of Labrador’s abilities specify PR♥ISM units, the deck is relatively limited in what rear-guards it can play.
Vert was the first Break Ride unit released in the North American metagame, likely a large contributing factor in Bermuda Triangle being one of the most highly represented clans in the 2013 Regional season. While its effect may seem somewhat innocuous on its face, simply drawing 1 extra card can be very powerful, especially considering that the extra 10k power added to the vanguard will require additional card investment on the part of your opponent to block. Its ability to bounce 2 Bermuda rear-guards when Break Ridden allows the player room to set up ideal rows (such as Mermaid Idol, Sedna + PR♥ISM-Romance, Lumiere to form a 20k column), and more importantly the necessary open space to activate PR♥ISM-Promise, Labrador’s Limit Break ability. Like Labrador, it is also has the benefit of being an 11k base power unit. Chaining Break Rides with multiple Verts is one of the most powerful sequences this deck can produce, as the incremental card advantage will allow the player to easily win any attrition wars.
The PR♥ISM deck’s most important grade 2 unit is PR♥ISM-Promise, Celtic. When bounced back to the hand from R, Celtic can soul blast 1 in order to give another unit +4k until the end of the turn. This temporary boost is not limited to rear-guards, and can be valuable in making Labrador difficult to guard even without a boosting unit. As a 9k base, Celtic is not vulnerable to un-boosted 8k G1s, and forms a 16k column with the weaker of the deck’s 2 boosters (PR♥ISM-Image, Clear), enough to require a minimum 10k guard against an opposing 11k vanguard.
Despite her strength, it is not certain or even likely that you should be running 4 copies of Celtic, as she competes with PR♥ISM-Smile, Liguarian (the archetype specific 10k vanilla G2) & PR♥ISM-Romance, Lumiere (a 9k which becomes 12k on offense). The exact numbers of each comes down to personal preference, but I believe the best option to be 3/4/4 respectively. Liguarian is inherently valuable as a 10k base, and forms a 18k column with Mermaid Idol, Sedna to attack opposing 13k Cross Rides. Lumiere forms a 20k column with the aforementioned Sedna, and can attack 10-13k vanguards without a boost. One does have the option of making cuts elsewhere should they desire to run a different number of grade 2 units.
Like its G2 counterpart Celtic, PR♥ISM-Image, Clear can boost a unit by 4k when bounced, and acts as an incredibly solid choice with its 7k base power. Clear can be used to boost extra G3 units, forming an 18k column for attacking Cross Rides. The other spots at G1 are easily filled by Mermaid Idol, Sedna (the 8k vanilla G1), PR♥ISM-Romance, Mercure (a 7k which becomes 10k on offense), & Mermaid Idol, Elly (the deck’s perfect guard). Mermaid Idol, Sedna is much too powerful not to run despite its non-PR♥ISM typing, but one must be careful with its placement as it cannot be called or bounced by PR♥ISM-Promise, Labrador. It can however be moved by Break Riding PR♥ISM-Image, Vert if needed. The same goes for Elly, as there is sadly no archetype specific shield.
The numbers of each are up for interpretation, but I would not go without 4 copies each of Sedna & Mercure. One could run either 3 or 4 copies of Clear, mostly depending on how many shields they want to run. If running 8 G3 units, I would run 4 shields, but only 3 shields if running 7.
First Vanguard (Grade 0)
There are 3 playable options for a first vanguard in the PR♥ISM build. Intuition may say otherwise, but PR♥ISM-Smile, Coro is often the best in practice. Its 5k base power is incredibly important, as it allows your vanguard to reach respectable numbers when boosting. Pairing Coro with Labrador or Vert in the vanguard column forms a 16k row, perfect for attacking 11k opposing vanguards (likely the most common number now that Cross Rides have begun to fall out of favor in exchange for Break Rides). Coro can also pair with Liguarian in a pinch to reach 15k, good for attacking a 9-10k rear-guard or a 10k vanguard.
Coro’s ability allows it to bounce itself to the hand whenever another of your Bermuda Triangle rear-guards is bounced. Boring, but very useful in the sense that it can be easily re-called in the optimal position for boosting, can combo with Labrador’s 2nd effect for 2 card bounces at the cost of 1, and can be used as an extra 10k guard when things get dicey. Coro’s power, utility, and archetype specific name place her above the other options in my opinion.
Although the deck seems to run best with only 7 G3 units (3x Labrador & 4x Vert), it is inevitable in this configuration that you will lose a game to missing G3. Should you wish to trade some power & guarding ability in exchange for consistency, the option exists of running 4x Labrador alongside the starter Bermuda Triangle Cadet, Shizuku. Shizuku can move herself into the soul at the cost of 1 counter blast to search the top 5 cards for a G3 unit, reducing the likelihood of mis-riding G3. It is best to run 8 G3 units in this version to increase the likelihood of Shizuku’s ability hitting. It only has 4k power though, missing out on many “magic numbers,” and at best breaks even in card advantage.
Costume Change, Alk is also viable, but is suboptimal as its effect requires it to boost the vanguard, reducing one’s options. It also shares Shizuku’s weak 4k base power.
Triggers (Grade 0)
One’s options are again limited by the importance of sticking to the PR♥ISM typing. PR♥ISM-Miracles Canary (critical), Adria (draw), and Timor (heal) are all near mandatory. I would not advise running less than 4 of each, as all of the non-stand trigger types are very good (outside of specific decks such as Nova Grappler) and can be used in conjunction with both of Labrador’s abilities.
It is worth noting that I would NOT run PR♥ISM-Miracle, Irish in the last spot, despite it sharing the strong ability of Celtic/Clear. Irish has 2 big points against it, 1 being its status as a stand trigger, the other being its low 4k power. Stands are often suboptimal in this deck due to attack ordering with PR♥ISM-Promise, Labrador. In order to best use Labrador’s Limit Break ability, it must attack first so that the rear-guards it calls can attack afterwards and receive the boosts of any triggers that are checked. Running stands would require attacking with at least one rear-guard first, meaning that Labrador would need to call a useless booster behind her (she has already declared her attack, missing the timing for the boost), or putting a booster behind the rear-guard which attacked, resulting in missed attacking power unless a stand is revealed.
Mirror Diva, Biscayne provides an excellent card advantage engine at G1, but lacks the important PR♥ISM typing and is only a 6k (poor in conjunction with 9k units such as PR♥ISM-Promise, Celtic). The promo card Pretty Celeb, Charlotte has a great ability and solid 9k power at G2, but again is not a PR♥ISM and works best in an Eternal Idol, Pacifica build as a 3rd G2 choice alongside Top Idol, Aqua & Pearl Sisters, Perla. PR♥ISM-Promise, Leyte finds itself in the odd position of acting as an 11k booster for a vanguard that doesn’t really want or need one (Labrador). The remaining PR♥ISM G2s, Rosa & Scotia, have subpar abilities and weak 8k bases.
1 PR♥ISM-Smile, Coro (first vanguard)
4 Gunslinger Star, Florida (crit)
4 PR♥ISM-Miracle, Canary (crit)
4 PR♥ISM-Miracle, Adria (draw)
4 PR♥ISM-Miracle, Timor (heal)[/ccDeck]
Playing the Deck - General Guidelines
At the start of the game, PR♥ISM-Smile, Coro should be moved behind the vanguard where it will serve the most use as a booster. In the late game, it can be bounced and used to fuel Labrador’s Limit Break, usually being called behind the vanguard once again simply to meet the 3 PR♥ISM rear-guard requirement. Coro can act as an additional 10k guard, but it is best to save her until absolutely necessary as her additional power and ability put in a surprising amount of work toward wearing down the opponent.
If your opponent is not running a 10k G3 vanguard, Mermaid Idol, Sedna is the best G1 ride for its strong 8k defensive base. However, if you have a read on your opponent playing 10k base G3s, it may be best to save her should the option arise, as she forms a 20k column with PR♥ISM-Romance, Lumiere. Do your best not to ride Mercure at G1 or Lumiere at G2, as their abilities are only active as rear-guards.
Riding Clear at G1 and Celtic at G2 is fine as you have multiples of each, and their effects are only used 1-2 times per game on average. When using their soul blast abilities, make sure to put the additional 4k power in a row where your opponent will be forced to use more power worth of guard(s) to block the attack. This can be tricky if your field is empty prior to Labrador’s attack/Limit Break, but with 1 game matches in tournament play, you should have plenty of time to look at your hand and work out the math. There’s no need to rush!
While it should go without saying, always ride Vert before Labrador if able. However, it is NOT worth skipping G3 to wait for Vert. If you ride Labrador first, your Verts will serve best as rear-guards in most situations; riding a Vert over Labrador to set up a future Break Ride will usually result in lost card advantage and less effective perfect guards.
Always remember that Vert can bounce ALL Bermuda Triangle units when Break Ridden, while Labrador can only bounce PR♥ISM units. Placement of your Sednas is extremely important in this regard, as they are very difficult to recall once Labrador has been ridden. When attacking with Labrador’s Limit Break, the best configuration is usually a Sedna on rear-guard in the boosting position, and calling 2 front row attackers & another rear-guard booster with Labrador.
Similarly, use your heal triggers to move non-PR♥ISM units from damage to the drop zone, as they cannot be used to pay for Labrador’s counter blast ability.
TLDR - Pros & Cons
PR♥ISM is an inexpensive, competitive option for the current metagame. It has a unique play style involving bouncing units, and a very powerful G3 vanguard that grants itself additional crits.
The deck often falls on its face when it doesn’t break ride 1 or more times. It can be easy to accidentally overcommit to the field, or misplace units which cannot be bounced.
About the Author
Paul McCann is a current Cardfight!! Vanguard and former Yu-Gi-Oh! player who has contributed to ARG as a guest writer in the past. He has 2 SJC top finishes from the days of yore, one with Toon cards in his main deck not named “Toon Table of Contents!”