Hey there Yu-Gi-Oh! Community. First off, Happy Holidays!! For those of you that don't know me, my name is Titto Maret, residing in NJ. I just recently started playing Yu-Gi-Oh! a little over a year ago. Within that time, I've gone from a noob (playing a simple Spellcaster deck) to a decent player (playing Meta decks). So far I've competed multiple tournaments, including both YCS Toronto and YCS Providence, topping only the last two regionals I've attended. Now that you have some history on where I'm coming from, I'll be using this time to go over some of the most underrated and greatest tech cards to counter the current Meta.
Now I'm sure most of you, by now, have heard the extreme hype of both, Maxx "C" and Thunder King Rai-Oh; and how they pose the two greatest threats within the Meta; Allowing you to draw and increase your hand-size while crippling your opponent and stopping their setup. So, seeing as how they have become somewhat of a "Staple" within top tier competitions, and these cards are very well-known anyway; this article is going to address 6 cards that not only provides an out to Thunder King, but also counters the Meta and don't see as much play as they should.
First up is Smashing Ground; a card that tops on the one-for-one (spot) removal list. With Thunder King Rai-Oh being mained in almost every deck at 3, Smashing is definitely a great way to overcome it. Not only that but the thing I love most about this card is it DOES NOT TARGET!! In fact, because of the recent events at YCS Brighton and having numerous Dino Rabbit decks topping, the playability of this card is extremely versatile as a push. For instance, when they go Tour Guide-> Leviair-> Gold Sarc-> Rabbit-> into Laggia first turn with 2 cards set to their back row; Smashing Ground will then force an early negation. Once this happens all you have to worry about is their back row.
Next there's Penguin Soldier. This card's effect is nuts; sitting as a double compulsory in monster form! Most decks nowadays main deck Spirit Reaper, so when most players attack into a facedown monster, that’s what they're expecting to run into; not a random Penguin Soldier that forces them to go minus in their setup. Now with the Meta the way it is, Penguin Soldier can put in a lot of work if you know how and when to play it. Wind-Up Zenmaines, Thunder King Rai-Oh, Evolzar Laggia, Synchros, etc…all pose a lot of problems. But with Penguin Soldier most of those problems can be fixed.
My number three pick is Neo-Spacian Grand Mole. Personally, I cannot begin to explain the amount of times this card has won me the game because of its ability to get rid of pressuring monsters like Wind-Up Zenmaines, Elemental Hero The Shinning, or even Gachi Gachi Gantetsu. This is an awesome tech to either stall with or win with once you have a field established. Though I do believe Grand Mole puts in a little less work than Penguin Soldier, but nevertheless it get's rid of those pesky, difficult to deal with cards. The only bad thing about Grand Mole is that you have to summon him, so any summon negation can hurt not to mention any spot removal, more commonly known as Dimensional Prison. All and all though, if used at appropriate time, this card can create major opportunities for pushes.
Then of course, there’s Snowman Eater - an excellent out to most cards in the format. When a card allows you to knockout any problem on the field and force your opponent to over-extend, its always a great thing. Sitting on a hefty 1900 DEF, its quite difficult for your opponent to run over first turn with such cards as Thunder King, Reborn Tengu, Elemental Hero Alius, etc and minusing your opponent one card and your field remains unaffected. However, the defense isn't the only thing that this Snowman has, it's also a level 3 which means you can use it for a Xyz summon on your next turn or use it for a Synchro Summon since the chances of Snowman Eater being killed are very unlikely. Thus, allowing you to sacrifice it for that Caius or Vanity's Fiend that you have in hand.
At number five, I chose Vanity’s Fiend. Somewhat splashable as a mini Archlord Kristya; this card has been seeing play quite a lot actually throughout this entire format. Once it hits the field, it's rather hard to get rid of since most decks only have a few outs to it. It's great because it shuts down the Meta and with its high attack (2400) it's virtually impossible to beat over without actually Special Summoning. Also in Chaos oriented decks, it's wonderful because it's a dark which means once your opponent finally gets rid of it you can follow up on your next turn by removing it for a Black Luster Soldier- Envoy of the Beginning or Chaos Sorcerer. Other than that you can drop this, stall for a bit to assemble the rest of your setup and constantly poke at them with Vanity's Fiend, forcing them to waste powerful cards such as Dark Hole, Mirror Force, etc...to get rid of it.
Finally we have a personal tech of mine, Soul Release. This is a card that sees play every now and then. However while playing in a format that is EXTREMELY graveyard dependent, this card takes a heavy toll on the majority of the decks that are topping. Plants, Agents, Disaster Dragon, Darkworld, and Chaos, just to name a few. In short, graveyard reliant decks lose to this card. The options you have with Soul Release are virtually unlimited with Leviair the Sea Dragon out. For instance, you can play Soul Release and remove a Thunder King from your opponent’s grave and then use Leviair's effect to bring it back to your side of the field. This card has so much potential but because it's a Normal Spell Card it doesn't see the play it deserves, at least for this Meta anyway.
Well, there it is folks, 6 cards with 6 different effects that effectively deal with the current TCG Meta. Test them out or in a lot of players cases RETEST them and see if what I'm saying actually makes sense. Remember that the Meta is always changing with each new set that comes out so a card that wasn't too good a format or two ago may be worth revisiting now. One piece of advice I leave you all with is that one of the best qualities to have in Yu-Gi-Oh! is knowing when to play the correct card relevant to the circumstance in which you are currently in. That's all for now (leave your comments below, I'd like to see what everyone thinks of my very first article). Till next time… Happy Holidays 🙂
Time Warp Comics & Games
Cedar Grove, NJ