No.16 Shock Master and Gem-Knight Pearl Changing the Game One Extra Deck at a Time

Hello Yugioh Community! It is now the month of June and the North American World Championship Qualifier is only a few weeks away! There is only one NAWCQ a year which sets it apart from the monthly YCS. This tournament is the Holy Grail for a lot of players, me included, and the top 6 finishers will win all-paid trips to Japan to represent the USA or Canada at the World Championship 2012. With such an important event coming up I decided to talk about the very few changes that will have an impact on the game. The game is almost exactly the same from YCS Philadelphia, but there were a couple of cards that were released that players need to keep in mind going into the NAWCQ. Gem-Knight Pearl from Battle Pack: Epic Dawn and No. 16 Shock Master from the Shonen Jump Alpha Subscription are the cards I am talking about. I am going to go over why they are good and what decks will be able to abuse them the most.

Question of the Article: Which card do you think will have a bigger impact on the game, Gem-Knight Pearl or No.16 Shock Master?

Don’t forget to answer the question of the article in the comments down below!

RANK 4/ROCK/EARTH/2600/1900

Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to declare a card type (Monster, Spell, or Trap); that type of card (if Spell or Trap) cannot be activated, or (if Monster) cannot activate its effects, until the end of your opponent's next turn.

At first glance Gem-Knight Pearl may not look like much since it doesn’t even have an effect, but that is just not true. This card now gives players another generic Rank 4 monster any deck can go into instead of NO. 39 Utopia. Having more options in this game is always huge. A turn one Leviathan Dragon can sometimes be quite the obstacle for a lot of decks. While Maestroke is always an out it can be a victim of a well timed Effect Veiler. Just the mere existence of Gem-Knight Pearl should all but convince any duelist that there Leviathan Dragon will not be safe. His obvious downside is his lack of an effect. He is just a pure beater and a nice option to have in your extra deck if you run enough level 4 monsters to bring this guy out.

NO. 16 Shock Master is a card that I have been wanting for awhile. Before the announcement that Blood Mefist was going to be the new YCS prize card I thought there was a decent chance at it being this guy. The fact I thought he was a potential prize card should show how good I think his effect can be. The ability to be a Spell Canceller, Jinzo, or Skill Drain on crack based on whatever situation you are in can be game-changing. He does require 3 Level four monsters so in most decks you will not see this guy come out very often, but when he does you better be ready. He can seal you off from any certain type of card for up to three turns which could give your opponent more than enough time to find a way to finish you off.

Both of these guys are made by overlaying with level four monsters so you will see them both used in a lot of the same decks. Here are the few decks I feel will benefit the most by having these guys around.

It must be true when they say the rich get richer. This absolutely powerful and painfully boring deck that was already pretty solid gained a couple of more weapons. The addition of Gem-Knight Pearl is huge for Rabbit duelist everywhere. Cards like Utopia, Leviathan Dragon, Light Pulsar Dragon, Summoned Skull, basically any monster with 2500 attack give dino-rabbit players difficulties, but not anymore! There Rescue Rabbits can now make a 2600 beater and run over any of those problem cards.

NO.16 Shock Master isn’t a huge addition for the deck, but should really be considered in being included into the extra. There are lots of times you will have a face-up Dinosaur and activate a Rescue Rabbit effect to give you 3 level four monsters just like that. It also allows some pretty cool plays with Mind Control to make sure you get the most out of your Rescue Rabbit’s effect.

This is a deck that seems to have fallen by the wayside. Before the main goal of this deck was to make a couple copies of Blade Armor Ninja and attack your opponent for game. It had a pretty linear goal, but now with Shock Master the deck gains a little bit of depth. By simply holding a copy of A Hero Lives and any other monster you can summon a NO.16 Shock Master very easily. You pay half your life to special summon Elemental Hero Stratos from your deck to the field, use his effect to search out a Bubbleman, summon any monster, set your hand, and special summon Bubbleman with his effect and just like that you have a Shock Master. This is probably the most competitive deck that can take advantage of Shock Master and I expect to see a couple of them at the upcoming NAWCQ.

Gem-Knight Pearl also has an impact on the HERO deck in general similar to the way it helps Dino-Rabbit. Utopia and Leviathan gave HERO decks their fair share of difficulties, but Pearl can make quick work of them. Having this big beater to go into is just huge for all decks who have access to rank 4 XYZ monsters.

Just when you thought this deck was dead! This deck easily gets the biggest boost of them all from the release of NO.16 Shock Master. If you open up with an Ultimate Offering and a Gadget that can mean a field of 3 Shock Masters all ready to completely lock out your opponent, just make sure you call monster effects with the last Shock Master you activate. Shock Master might just be the card that gadgets needed to make a comeback and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we see a couple of these decks take a run at the NAWCQ.

While Gem-Knight Pearl is nowhere as good as Shock Master in this deck, it is not an option to sleep on. Going along the lines of having an Ultimate Offering face-up, there is a chance you lost a couple gadgets earlier in the duel Gem-Knight Pearl is a great option to have after making a couple of Shock Rulers. Just like in the other decks I have talked about he is a good way to deal with a lot of the XYZ monster your opponents will throw at you.

Conclusion: The North American World Championship Qualifier is just weeks away and I couldn’t be more excited. For the most part the game will be very similar to the way it was for YCS Philadelphia, but NO.16 Shock Master and Gem-Knight Pearl might shake things up. Both of these cards are needed in the extra deck of any deck containing a decent amount of level four monsters. While Gem-Knight Pearl is a huge boost for Dino-Rabbit duelist everywhere, Shock Master has the potential to put Bubble Beat and Offering Gadgets back on the map. It is very important to get a good amount of test playing in against both of these cards in these last few weeks before the NAWCQ.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or suggestions for my future articles feel free to leave them in the comments down below! And don’t forget to answer the question of the article!

-Billy Brake
-YCS Toronto and Columbus Champion