The New Mermail – A Jeff Jones and Billy Brake Creation – YCS Miami

Hello Yugioh Community! By the time you are reading this article the first YCS of the year, YCS Miami, has probably taken place and a winner has been determined. Hopefully I was able to do well, but either way I wanted to give all of you duelist out there an inside look on what I took to the tournament. I wrote an article of similar style about my inzektor deck I took to YCS Indianapolis and ended up doing fairly well so let’s hope I can repeat this success! One of my best friends, Jeff Jones, and I have been working long and hard on trying to build the best version of the Water deck possible to try and start 2013 in a big way. After weeks of testing, grinding it out, and comparing our results we came up with a list, while there a couple of difference due to player preference, but we have built a version of the Water deck that to my knowledge hasn’t really been seen before. I hope you guys enjoy this article, especially since the Konami coverage site doesn’t really share the top deck lists anymore you will at least get a chance to see what I have been messing around with for the past month.

Question of the Article: Are you surprised about what deck won YCS Miami?

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

-Why Water? -
I have been using the “Water Deck” since the day of the Abyss Rising sneak preview and I have never stopped loving it. This is easily one of my favorite decks of all time. Not only is it quick and powerful, in our(Jeff and I) version we even add a control aspect to it if we aren’t able to finish you off quickly. The amount of versatility this deck offers is incredible, you have basic plays that happen often, but you can get all sorts of combinations of hands that you will need to use all of your brain power to determine the most beneficial route to take. It is important to really enjoy the deck you play because I honestly feel you will try harder to win if you are having fun with it. Lucky for me, I love my deck and it just so happens to be powerful enough to win most of the time. Depending on what happens with the forbidden and limited list, I think Water is here to stay for quite some time.

***Due to the fact I am writing this article a few days before Miami, there is a chance it may change!***

-The Deck-
Total :40

Monsters: 25
3 Mermail Abyssmegalo
3 Mermail Abyssteus
3 Mermail Abysspike
3 Mermail Abysslinde
3 Deep Sea Diva
3 Atlantean Dragoons
3 Atlantean Marksman
2 Mermail Abyssgunde
1 Atlantean Heavy Infantry
1 Mermail Abyssleed

Spells: 7
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Heavy Storm

Traps: 8
3 Abyss-Sphere
2 Abyss-Squall
1 Safe Zone
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
1 Solemn Judgment

Extra Deck: 15
2 Mermail Abyssgaios
2 Number 11:Big Eye
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Armory Arm
1 Ally of Justice Catastor
1 Dewloren, Tiger King of the Ice Barrier
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 Scrap Dragon
1 T.G. Hyper Librarian

-Not the Norm-
As you can probably tell our version of the Water deck is pretty different from what has become the standard version. I am going to go over a few of the basic questions that I feel many players will ask after looking at my list.

-What are an Abyss-Squall and a Mermail Abyssgaios? Mermail Abyssteus changed the game!-
When these two cards were both released in Abyss Rising they were both overlooked due to the fact there was no easy way to make two Rank 7, outside of two copies of Abyssmegalo, and there really weren’t too many solid Mermail monsters, but after Cosmo Blazer everything changed. Being in love with the deck the way I am, I had hoped for a good TCG exclusive and Konami did not disappoint! They released Mermail Abyssteus, a level 7 water monster that triggers all of my other monsters while searching out my deck for any level 4 or lower Mermail to fit the situation I am in. This one card made both Abyss-Squall and Mermail Abyssgaios absolutely amazing. Abyss-Squall, or as Jeff nicknamed “Return from the Abyss” , is like a Return from the different dimension for Mermails from the grave, it special summons 3 Mermail monsters in defense mode, there effects are negated, and they die during the end phase. One at first might question its usefulness, but with a closer look you will be able to see what Jeff and I discovered as a way to insure victory. All I need in the grave is two level 7 (Any combination of Abyssteus/Abyssmegalo/Abyssleed) and a copy of Mermail Abysslinde preferably. Abyss-Squall will then net you a Rank 7 (Big Eye or Abyssgaios) and when Linde is destroyed during the end phase you will trigger here grave effect to summon any Mermail from your deck. The best part is that all of the cards in this deck search for each other and can set this particular situation up turn one rather easily.

Before I move on I will go ahead and share one of my favorite turn one plays with our deck.
Cards in Hand – any combination of Mermail Abyssteus, Atlantean Dragoons, and Mermail Abyssmegalo/Leed. Activate Abyssteus effect paying the cost by discarding Atlantean Dragoons, search your deck for Mermail Abyssgunde with Teus and Megalo/Leed (Whichever one you don’t have) with Dragoons effect. Activate Megalo’s effect to discard Gunde and Leed. Search your deck for Abyss-Sphere or Squall depending on the rest of your hand, then special summon back Mermail Abyssleed with Gunde’s effect. Tribute your face-up attack position Mermail to send a card from your opponent’s hand to the grave and then overlay with the remaining two for Mermail Abyssgaios and in most cases proceed to win the game!

-Why no Genex Undine , Moulinglacia, or Salvage? –
We completely cut the Undine engine, while it is still good, it just takes up a lot of space and we have completely eliminated opening up with multiple Genex Controllers and just losing. Genex Undine is probably one of the best cards you can search of a Mermail Abysspike, but with Mermail Abyssgunde, Mermail Abysslinde, and Atlantean Marksman all being targets there is usually another play without Undine that, in most cases, is just as optimal. The main reason why I feel we ended up cutting Undine is just because of the amount of deck space that he takes up, Undine is the reason I feel most Water duelist end up with more than 40 cards because it is hard to fit everything in when you have at least 2-3 spots being occupied by Genex Controller to allow undine to function. The point of not using Undine is another reason why you won’t find Moulinglacia in my build. While he is another good card, in most cases he ends up being a win-moar card if you will. With no way to search him instantly, outside of drawing Dragoons and a discard outlet, he just isn’t as reliable in our deck. We tried to make the deck as consistent as possible and Glaica had to go. Consistency is the main issue I had with Salvage. The more I began to play with this Undine-less version, the less I began to like Salvage. It is still a great card and I can see myself playing it again one day, but from my testing over the past month it just seemed not needed and would always be in my hand when I took a loss. The only real cards I want to get back are Abyssgunde/ Diva/ Marksman and with multiple ways to get all of these cards and the fact that I am maxed out on Diva and Marksman, Salvage would just sit in my hand most of the time doing nothing. It is still a great card and can get any Water duelist back into the game, but opening with it early in our version can just be too slow.

-Let’s talk about tech – Solemn Judgment, Compulsory, and Safe Zone -

These are come tech cards that might stick out on my list and two of which Jeff and I seem to disagree upon. First up we have Solemn Judgment. I have been using this card in my water deck ever since I started including any form of traps into my deck. It can stop any out my opponent has, in most scenarios there outs are very limited, and is easily one of the best trap cards this game has ever seen. Compulsory and Safe Zone are where Jeff and my play style seem to differ just enough to alter our versions of this deck. I have concluded after extensive amounts of play testing that Safe Zone is one of those cards that can win me games that I probably shouldn’t. The main reason I decided to test it out is because I liked the idea of having a Mermail Abyssgaios attached with a Safe Zone and watching my opponent try and deal with it. Outside of the initial card they have to use to kill my Gaios they also need to have the MST for my Safe Zone which will free up my Abyss Squall just to make another Gaios once they finally defeated the first one. Safe Zone is a card that takes a lot of duelist by surprise and I hope to use this to my advantage. The last card I want to cover is the one copy of Compulsory Evacuation Device that I seemed to have “splashed” into my deck if you will. It is a chainable trap card that has multi-purposes in my deck. I can deal with almost any problem monster my opponent drops or I can use it offensively when my Deep Sea Diva gets Effect Veiler’d, I can chain compulsory returning Diva to my hand, get out Atlantean Heavy Infantry and just normal summon the Diva again. It is just an out to a lot of cards in the game right now and I think it will be a solid pick for YCS Miami.

Conclusion: Jeff Jones and I have set out in a mission for 2013 to each get our 3rd title and hopefully make it out to the World Championship Qualifier in Vegas this summer! We wanted to start the year working hard on making what we feel could be the best deck going into an event while keeping it under wraps for the most part. I shared our grand creation with you guys to help show everyone that innovation does still exist in this game, but just in different forms. Hopefully Jeff and I have done well at YCS Miami and will have the results to back up my hype for our Water deck! Either way I wanted to give you guys the inside scoop at to what we have been working on, and with the lack of deck list being posted after events now, I hope this helps show a brand new way to go about using Mermails!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, or just simply want to answer the question of the article, feel free to do so in the comments down below!

-Billy Brake
-YCS Toronto and YCS Columbus Champion



  • Steve

    Why No Bahumat Shark or Trite? And How Many Times Between now and miami has 2 Big Eye Been?

  • EJ

    I love this build, I was actually starting this deck up before this all happened and now I can’t pick up a Megalo. ): it’s so hard to find cards for the deck now.


    Thanks so much for doubling megalo’s value! I just bought some for 70 a piece and now theyre nearing 140!

  • Vincent


  • Anonymous

    Worst deck ever.

    • Vincent

      That’s why it made top 4 I guess.

  • Desmond Miles

    Wind-Up game since it was legalized Shock Master in Europe. It is very similar to Synchro Summon. It relies on different strategies: Field Control, Float, Lock, Spam, Hand Control, OTK etc … A true Toolbox.
    I also believe that many have brought Mermail, and many anti-Mermail aka Macro Rabbit. Wind Up has an advantage against them

  • Robert Stafford

    Grats to both of you guys. I am actually very happy to see that this build performed so well in a large scale tournament. Before cosmo blazer even came out my friend and I began testing this variant of the deck. I felt that running so many traps and control based options slowed down the deck (as you pointed out). After the needed cards came out, we set out to Indianapolis at some locals and I went 6/0 at a 30+ tournament and so on. Great deck! Would love to discuss how you felt about some of your choices sometime as I am going to be in Chicago on March 2nd for a regional.

    Congrats again!

    • justing stocking

      what did you side for macro or d-fissure

      • Robert Stafford

        My side deck is the real difference from Billy’s build and my own. I put in a single copy of dust tornado and 2-3 copies of Imperial Iron Wall. It all depended on what the deck what (rabbit for example would call for more due to potential laggia negation. So you would want multiple shots in a single turn to shut it down, or rather a higher chance to stop them before they could stop you. The key is to not side too heavily as it adds inconsistency. Another favorite in a macro/fissure deck alongside anti out of play is skill drain, if there’s room.

  • Banji

    I wanted the karakuri guy to win

    Dope deck dude!
    Its good we still have folk like you and Jeff trying to breathe life into this game, I also love the style you described of aggro/control mix
    Overall good job

  • NicK

    How did younfeel the Fire Fist matchup was?

    In your favour game 1 and 2, or in theirs 1 and 2, or did the contents of the two side decks tip the balance of the matchup after game 1?

    Congratulations on 3rd place by the way!

  • Watanabe

    is possible to know what you side in and if it has worked at the YCS?

  • Nick

    Good job on your top 4, Billy!

  • TJ

    Not rlly surprised that wind-ups won :/ they have been topping all format so it isn’t unthinkable. Why did you decide to run Hyper Librarian? Did you side trags/gorz and deck devi? Also, have you tried
    lightning vortex out? It works rlly well with gunde

  • monky

    this can changue the meta lol

  • Donnell Washington AKA D-Nasty Kuriboh

    Great Job Billy. I am a BIG FAN of Safe Zone and I know you and especially Sam is too!

    Next time become a WINNER and rep Texas Players!!

    • Donnell Washington AKA D-Nasty Kuriboh

      nvm. Apparently you took it out lol!

  • ivan

    can we see the side deck too?

  • ivan

    side deck please.

  • Eric

    Why not play bahamut shark and abysstrite? and also what was your side like if you want to tell the world

  • Fireky2

    This is a really great deck idea, and it doesn’t have you running two genex controllers, im for any deck that prevents that..

  • SlasheR_22

    Great Job on the Top 4 Billy! Awesome deck idea that will prove to be quite the contender in this format. Maybe next time you’ll get your Win :). Next step, make Wind-Ups good next format, counting on you Billy!

  • Shane long

    I personally took the genex portion of mermails out but didn’t know what to put in the version you posted and the explanations gave me some ideas of new cards to try out hope you guys did well

  • turn1crushcardsangan

    amazing job both of you.. sucked you both played eachother but cheers sir!

  • Robby Fish

    Nice article billy, good work on getting top 4 with water! I hope to see you at nats this year!

  • Zyaro

    i was annoyed at first when reading this article, because I took almost the same build to that same Regionals, but got scared because I thought I needed the Undine engine. Then I realized what this article was really telling me is that my hunch was right. I just got scared. I was about to sell this deck because the ‘necessity’ of the Undine engine made it not as consistent or fun as I’d like, and know that I see I was right and I didn’t need the Undine engine at all, in fact, I could make the deck better without it. This is why you guys are the pros. Thanks for inspiring me and giving me a second chance to keep and innovate on a competitive deck.

  • Metatron

    Hmm . . . Interesting. I actually like a lot the combo Abyssteus+Abyss-Squall and
    making it work regularly with mermail is no easy matter.
    I still don’t understand some choices: Abyssleed being one of them.
    You need 3 discard to get him and while his effect can be useful for recycling your traps
    in late game, do you really have enough card to trigger his effect at this point ?
    And I doubt that he’s really that useful aside from being a fodder for Gaios or Big Eye.
    So why add him ?

    Also, isn’t 3 Linde a little bit too much ? You can easily search for her thanks to Pike
    and Teus and the girl is quite useful with squall where you’ll be able to make
    A Gaios/Big Eye and let her die as the third monster to trigger her eff
    considering she resolves in the grave. Aside from being used as a full-floater,
    She will mostly be used for discarding. And that’s Gunde’s and Atlantean’s job.
    Same for a third Marksman.

    I would say that making some room here for Forbidden Lance would make your deck
    overkill by cutting Leed, 1 Linde and 1 other marksman if you want a third Lance.

    Of course, it would look like Jeff’s deck but the thing is that even without
    the Lances, your deck have more answers in your opponent’s turn than Jeff’s.
    And in my opinion, that’s something that would be needed even if you
    have a mass skill drain monster on the field.

    Congrats anyway for making a consistent and pretty cool high-rank XYZ water spam
    without using Lemuria.

    • Carl

      melatron: abyssgaios is threre for abysslinde to pull put. 2700 is quite good, amd the discarding part is jusr awesome

      if you draw gaios, just discard gaios for teus or megalo, then use abyssgunde’s effect to bring it back

  • Erik

    I was surprised wind ups won, was expecting macro rabbits

  • Martonyo

    Just awesome. I play Mermails too. I use to play the deck without Undine but added the engine in b/c of peer pressure. At the Cleveland regionals I lost both mirror matches. One I lost in time by 600 LP so I wasn’t so upset. The other really got me b/c I lost and he didn’t even run Undine, and had gunde, a card I use to play! So needless to say after I got home I tossed the Undines out of the deck, went to make stack of abyss rising cards, added a 3rd pike, and added the two Abyssteus’s I traded for at the regional. I also tossed out Moulin Glacia once I found without undine he wasn’t a viable option. I like the abyssquall Idea, I’ve been using it in pure mermails but I’ll give it a go in Mermail Atlanteans. Since adding more level 7’s, Big eye and Abyssgiaos have seen more play in my deck, but abyssquall would ensure I’d get it out faster, so that was a great idea. I don’t want to pay 70 dollars for another Big eye though. It was 35 when I brought the first one.

    And I’m glad Mermails showed everyone what the dominant deck will be going into the next format will be. With Wind-ups out the way I’ll have full power to run over everyone else. I guess since Wind-ups were the best deck of the format, they end up winning the last YCS of the format. It’s there final screw you to Konami before die in two weeks. But water proved who will lead the pack the six months, good job on top 4.

  • Wolf

    This is awesome, and will dominate until September lol.


    i think is billy just stuck with the deck that his used in Detroit he would have done better this deck seems weaker to me


      try both out then…

  • Victor

    I see yo have put abyssgunde in the deck and totally agree with that, but i’d like to know, what you think about the Mermail Abyssdine?
    I love your deck list and i’ll try it out when i get the cards i don’t have like the 3th Megalo.

  • Emmanuel Palacios

    Wow this completely changed my point of view of this deck.

  • Carl Frodge

    Congratulations man! I love this a lot! To see a popular deck that escapes the norm. I love seeing people take an existing, netdek2deth deck and make it original. I love that you got rid of the Undine engine. One of the best and sometimes one of the worst things about the deck. So bravo to you on this. And great job to both you and Jeff!

  • 44lvlc0

    nice : )