Billy Brake: The Best Way to Deal with Starlight Road

Billy-Brake-480x360Hello Yugioh Community! From two come one, from one comes great cosmic might! I synchro summon Stardust Dragon! Unfortunately, in the game recently these great words of Yusei are not true when you see a Stardust Dragon special summoned; Most of the time it is the end result of a resolved Starlight Road. This week I wanted to spend some time discussing the way I feel about this card and how to effectively deal with the situations it will put you in. I’ve seen many duelists live in fear of it and others not respect the road, but in both situations the idea of this single card has affected the way they played enough to change the outcome of a duel.  I am here to explain the way I personally deal with this card in a majority of situations, how to play around Road, and when to respect the Road and when to go for it.
starlight roadQuestion of the Article: Is Starlight Road a hard card to play around or easily read and dealt with?
Don’t forget to answer the question of the article in the comments down below!
-Best Way to Deal with Starlight Road -
-Step 1 –
Read the Road
I cannot tell you the countless times I have played and seen my opponent throw down three to four back row on their first turn and I have opened with a copy of Heavy Storm and knew it was time for a decision to be made. If you duel as much as I do, I am sure you can relate to this unwanted feeling of not knowing whether to go for it or hold back the Strom. If anything this should be a moment to rejoice since you drew your one card answer to an overwhelming amount of traps your opponent has set for you, but the card Starlight Road exists, one of the biggest swing cards in terms of advantage we have in our card pool. Before I go into how to play around it I want to touch on some of the ways of reading if they have Road or not. You have to keep in mind when reading each of these scenarios, in most cases, the plays that would indicate your opponent is holding Starlight Road, it can also be a Solemn Judgment. Since they both stop any players attempts to stop aggression with some form of mass removal (Heavy Strom, Torrential Tribute, Dark Hole, etc.) you have to keep this in mind when attempting to read their back rows. Here are some examples of easy scenarios to pick out a road.
mirror force-Obvious Plays That Would Indicate a set Starlight Road-
-Opponent sets 3-4 cards to their back row on turn 1
-Opponent has multiple back row and seems to be playing very aggressively (summoning multiple monsters with no fear of punishment from Torrential Tribute, Mirror Force, or Dark Hole).
-Opponent is trying to fool you and seems to really be considering setting a lot of back row, but in the end sets 2-3. You must be careful of falling into their trap, the best Starlight Road is the one you don’t see coming.
-Step 2-
If your Opponent has Starlight Road, what can you do about it?
I know it can be rather annoying knowing your opponent has Starlight Road in their backfield, but if you want to be an optimist, you can use this fact to your advantage. Instead of walking into it or just hoping they don’t have it, by making correct plays and leaving Starlight Road dead you now essentially have a plus one in terms of advantage on your opponent. I know staring down three back rows can be rather intimidating, but if you know one is a Road then, in a sense, you are really only dealing with two face downs, and assuming your opponent summoned or set a monster, they would only have two cards in hand. This opening game state can actually be in your favor if you can make the read on the Road. How you observe and play the game can really improve your play. In my opinion, there is a huge mental aspect to this game, and having their right mind set and now getting bogged down by complex situations, in this case a lot of set spells/traps, you can use a process of elimination, until all they are left with is a dead Starlight Road, leaving you free to wreck havoc on your opponent. In order to play this way it is important to pay attention to when and where your opponent has been setting their spells/traps, this is of the upmost importance if you are trying to play around the Road and leaving it dead. If you lose track of where it was and which back row they set first it will make your late game Mystical Space Typhoons much more ineffective.
MysticalSpaceTyphoon-LCYW-EN-ScR-1EStarlight Road to Mystical Space Typhoon Connection-Flashback to my Last Article-
I wanted to interject and make a connection between my last article I wrote on Mystical Space Typhoon and if it is played correctly Starlight Road will be no problem. I have seen many times players open up with a Mystical Space Typhoon and Heavy Storm vs. an opposing three set back rows. The player would then blind MST in an attempt to hit the Starlight Road so then they would be free to Heavy for the simple plus one. I completely disagree with this play and would like to offer a much safer alternative that you can apply to many scenarios (Not just if you open up with Heavy and MST). If you are facing an opponent and suspect them of setting Starlight Road on their first turn and you open up with a Mystical Space Typhoon, I think it is in your best interest to hold this card in your hand until a later part of the game to get maximum usage out of it. As I mentioned in my pervious article, use your monsters as bait to eliminate their back row one by one until all they have left is the Starlight Road. Now the proper time to use the Mystical Space Typhoon becomes quite clear, you use it on any freshly set back row that they throw down on the following turns. Since chances are that they opened up with the Road you know every card they set after that will more than likely be a real trap and they are hoping to benefit from the protection of Starlight Road to continue using their traps to eliminate you from the game, but since you played your Mystical Space Typhoon correctly this will not happen. More than likely by the end of the game they will be seen complaining about how dead their Starlight Road was and that “You got Lucky” that you never MST’d it, but in reality you played correctly and saw positive results.
heavy storm-Step 3 –
Know how to Avoid The Road
I just wanted to mention some way to avoid the damage that you would receive from a resolved Starlight Road. Many players are keen to the fact that the card that you activated that the opponent chained Starlight Road to must be destroyed by Starlight Road in order for them to special summon the Stardust Dragon from their extra deck so if you were to chain Mystical Space Typhoon on your own card (Whatever the Starlight Road is attempting to negate) it will still be negated, but your opponent can’t summon Stardust Dragon. While this may seem like a neat play, in most cases it is incorrect. Instead, why not make sure you have a way to deal with the Stardust Dragon in the cases that they have Road and when you activate your Heavy Strom, your opponent chains Starlight Road, you can chain your Mystical Space Typhoon to one of their other back rows, this way you have eliminated two of their face downs and since you have committed you will hopefully have an easy way to deal with the free Stardust Dragon, keeping advantage even.
Another common way people deal with Starlight Road is with Solemn Warning. Many players know this so you should make sure you don’t forget this fact! Since Starlight Road gives the player the option to special summon a Stardust Dragon, it can be Solemn Warning’d whether they choose to summon Stardust or not. A Key fact not to be forgotten!
Conclusion: Starlight Road and a lot of back rows can be very intimidating and if you let it defeat you mentally at the start of the game, what’s the point of playing? Having the ability to read this card and knowing how to deal with it correctly once you do make the read can put you in a prime position to win the game. Starlight Road is one of those cards that can be quite effective against inexperienced players with low cost – high reward, but if played around properly it can be one of the most useless cards in your opponent’s deck. Using Mystical Space Typhoon effectively is key in playing around Road and exploiting its weaknesses. It is also important to know that they don’t always have the Road and if you have an effective way to deal with the Stardust Dragon it can be okay to test and see if your opponent bluffing it. Each scenario in this game is different which is why it is hard to give advice on how to play exactly, but I can at least offer up some of the conclusions I have come to after having played this game for such a long time.
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions, suggestions, concerns, or simply want to just answer the question of the article, you can do so in the comments down below!
-Billy Brake
-YCS Toronto and YCS Columbus Champion