Leveling the Playing Field – Looking Ahead

rostyHello duelists! This past week the ban list was finally revealed to us. Unlike the last few lists, this one seems to shake things up a bit more than usual. Today I will be discussing possible decks that I feel are legitimate competitors for the title of “Best Deck”. Here is the ban list that was given to us:

Forbidden:

N/A

Limited:

Glow up Bulb

Infernity Archfiend

Raigeki

Soul Charge

Super Polymerization

Semi-Limited:

Blackwing - Gale the Whirlwind

Gorz the Emissary of Darkness

Ceasefire

The Transmigration Prophecy

No longer on the list:

Coach Soldier Wolfbark

Magician of Faith

Formula Synchron

Reinforcement of the Army

Burning Abyss

Looking back, I wrote an article about this deck when it was released so I will not go into too many details as you can find them all here:
http://articles.alterealitygames.com/burning-into-the-shadows-burning-abyss
Burning Abyss were completely untouched by the ban list, but that doesn't mean they weren't given a boost. Before the banlist, one of Burning Abyss' biggest problems was the Shaddoll deck. This is because Burning Abyss would constantly be forced to play into Shaddoll's strengths such as summoning extra deck monsters and thus giving them a lot of value out of their Shaddoll fusion. They are also very vulnerable to Super Polymerization because all of their primary plays involve Dark monsters, except for Mathematician and Dante (which can also be used for Super Polymerization to summon El Shaddoll Construct). Getting an El Shaddoll Construct off the field without a trap card was effectively impossible for this deck without a trap card. Despite all these troubles, at ARGCS Indianapolis Burning Abyss took up first and second place. With Shaddoll having less power now thanks to them losing 2 Soul Charge and 2 Super Polymerization, I think this deck has greatly benefited from these changes.

Soul Charge to 1

The Burning Abyss deck’s greatest strength is that they continually generate advantage with every single play they make. Soul Charge would allow other decks such as Shaddolls and Satellarknights to play through all of your backrow – often losing significant card advantage – and then set up an unbreakable board with just one card. With Soul Charge at one, this will happen much less often.

Satellarknight

This deck was both helped by the ban list and hurt by the ban list. Prior to now there were only two Reinforcement of the Army and three Soul Charge (even though many people chose to play two). This deck’s main strategy consists of trying to get Satellarknight Deneb's effect off as soon as possible to continuously loop Altair and apply a lot of pressure every turn. To make matters even tougher, they main multiple copies of Dimensional Prison and Stellarnova Alpha. This can often lead to a paradox regarding how to deal with their field. Let's say you are reading their facedown as Stellarnova Alpha and you decide to just summon a monster and attack over their Deneb, only to run into a Dimensional Prison. This situation will also work in reverse, when you try to get rid of Deneb without attacking only to have your play stopped by Alpha. Next turn they can summon either another Deneb or perhaps an Unukulhai to send a Deneb to the graveyard for next turn if their Deneb from last turn stayed on the field, and if Deneb didn't stay on the field they can just summon Altair and start looping.

A third Reinforcement of the Army helps the deck with the biggest problem it has, which is getting out of the early game by starting the Deneb-Altair loop. As most Satellarknight players will tell you, their biggest struggle comes mainly from not seeing a Deneb early enough. Most games that Satellarknights lose come from not opening up with Deneb or not being able to get access to Deneb's effect. What good does Soul Charge do you if you don’t have any monsters to use it with? Even though you are sacrificing your late game blowouts sacrificing a Soul Charge for another Deneb seems like a very solid trade off to me.

Shaddoll

I think this deck was affected very much by the ban list. Most players have recently moved on to using variants of Patrick Hoban's Shaddoll Lightsworn deck because of its power and consistency. Previously the deck played three copies of Soul Charge and three copies of Super Polymerization in the main deck.
I definitely think that this deck is still viable because of how powerful the fusions are. That said, I no longer believe that it is the best deck until it gets some more support in NECH. In my opinion the reason that this deck would consistently beat Satellarknights is because of Super Polymerization, and now that this card is limited I think it makes the match up a lot less favorable.

The advantage that this deck had over Burning Abyss was that they would usually summon extra deck monsters and if you opened Shaddoll Fusion you would get a lot of value out of it if it resolves. The problem was that even if it did resolve, Burning Abyss could play some of the best trap cards in the game such as Karma Cut and Phoenix Wing Wind Blast that will prevent you from getting Shaddoll Fusion back to your hand via El Shaddoll Winda or El Shaddoll Construct. Another very strong play was chaining Super Polymerization to Tour Guide from the Underworlds effect to summon El Shaddoll Winda and if your opponent has no Breakthrough Skill in grave or a Phoenix Wing Wind Blast/ Karma Cut set you've just ended your opponents turn for them as they can no longer special summon because when Tour Guides Effect resolve El Shaddoll Winda was already on the field. The consistency of having power plays like this were taken away from Shaddolls which I think will be their downfall.

NOTE: These are just the decks that have seen a lot of play recently that I decided to evaluate, there may be another deck that is a blowout deck and ends up being the best deck or maybe it's an old strategy that will dominate such as Madolche, Geargia, or maybe Fire Fist with three Coach Soldier Wolfbarks! I for one am excited to see how the format will evolve!

Which deck do you guys think will be the best? 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 Colombus, Ohio next on October 11-12th I hope to see you all there.

And as Always Play Hard or Go Home!

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