The Scoop: The End of a Pilgrimage

"But already my desire and my will
were being turned like a wheel, all at one speed,
by the Love which moves the sun and the other stars"

Paradiso, Canto XXXIII, lines 142–145, C. H. Sisson

 

The ending of The Divine Comedy

 

My kindest greeting duelists! We are back again with The Scoop! The realest Yu-Gi-Oh! News Report on the net right here on ARG! Another ARG Circuit Series has ended with Nekroz taking yet another victory, piloted by Nick Ma! Congratulations to Nick on becoming the latest ARG Champion! Also, Konami began sending out spoilers for the next booster set to be released this very weekend: Crossed Souls. Within the few spoilers given, we see some rather interesting cards. One particular set of support, however, brought about a huge wave of emotion for players: Dante's pilgrimage has come to an end.

What Does This Mean For Burning Abyss?

Well, quite frankly, it means back to the laboratory, right? Taking a look at the plethora of Burning Abyss cards that are already available, plus the almost-mandatory support cards that are needed for the deck to function, it can be difficult to see where your loyalty should lie in terms of card selection. Adding a total of three new Main Deck cards and one Extra Deck card could present some space and consistency issues in a deck which has seen its structure fluctuate constantly since its release. The cards released are the final two Malebranches, Barbar and Draghig, along with the Burning Abyss fusion spell, The Terminus of the Burning Abyss, and finally, Dante, Pilgrim of the Burning Abyss.

Let's take a look at their effects and possible merit in the deck.

Draghig, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss

ATK 1100/DEF 900

If you control a monster that is not a "Burning Abyss" monster, destroy this card. You can only use 1 of the following effects of "Draghig, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss" per turn, and only once that turn.
● If you control no Spell/Trap Cards: You can Special Summon this card from your hand.
● If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can choose 1 "Burning Abyss" card from your Deck and place it on top of your Deck.

This particular Malebranche is the perfect setup card for a majority of the plays that Burning Abyss seek to do. Stacking the Fusion Spell, Fire Lake, Traveler, or any Burning Abyss monster is almost perfect for the deck. The one thing they're missing is a themed draw card, though, because the only way to take advantage of putting a card that you actually want in your hand on top is to utilize it with cards like Allure of Darkness and Upstart Goblin. Still a good set-up card though for all intents and purposes. Surely it could find its place somewhere in the deck with Pilgrim Dante being so potentially powerful and the Fusion Spell being absolutely necessary for him to hit the field.

Barbar, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss

ATK 1700/DEF 1000

If you control a monster that is not a "Burning Abyss" monster, destroy this card. You can only use 1 of the following effects of "Barbar, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss" per turn, and only once that turn.
● If you control no Spell/Trap Cards: You can Special Summon this card from your hand.
● If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target up to 3 "Burning Abyss" cards in your Graveyard, except "Barbar, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss"; banish them, and if you do, inflict 300 damage to your opponent for each.

The consensus just isn't in for this card quite ye. Or at least it wouldn't seem to be from observation of Burning Abyss players. With it being the largest Malebranche of the archetype, its sheer power alone is a tease. Its effect, however, isn't the most resourceful as it have the same floatability as the rest of the monsters in the archetype. It doesn't net you anything and it doesn't set up for anything. It merely inflicts direct damage at a maximum of 900 damage per turn . You're sitting on the fence with us, Barbar. Prove your worth.

The Terminus of the Burning Abyss

Fusion Summon 1 "Burning Abyss" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or your side of the field as Fusion Materials. During your Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the Graveyard: You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 "Burning Abyss" monster on the field; it gains 800 ATK and DEF until the end of your opponent’s next turn.

Pretty simple themed Fusion card with a decent graveyard effect. The fact that its attack boosting effect can only be used during your Main Phase is a bit of a hindrance, as most people would forget about the card being in the graveyard later in the game, and using it in the Damage Step would be infinitely better. Alas, we were not given such an effect. And the nature of Konami product is "You take what you get and play with it". Not much more to this card. I would, however, like to note that the artwork on this card is absolutely beautiful. Great job to the artist that created it!

Dante, Pilgrim of the Burning Abyss

ATK 2800/DEF 2500

3 "Burning Abyss" monsters with different names
Must be Fusion Summoned and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. Cannot be targeted by an opponent's card effects. Once per turn, during either player’s turn: You can send 1 "Burning Abyss" card from your hand to the Graveyard; draw 1 card. If this card is destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard, or if this card you control is sent to your Graveyard by an opponent's card effect: You can send 1 random card from your opponent's hand to the Graveyard.

If you're familiar with the Divine Comedy, then you know that this is the part where Dante ascends into Paradisio and is guided through the nine Celestial Spheres of Heaven by Beatrice. This Dante comes at what looks like a hefty cost. A 4 card commitment is needed for this behemoth to get to the field. His effects are incredible and he's a very powerful card, there's no doubt about that. My question is this, though: At what point will I say "I have 3 different Burning Abyss monsters in my hand, let's bring out this one 2800 monster that needs another Burning Abyss card in my hand to do anything."? Sure, you'll get most of that back with the Malebranches, depending on which ones you use, but it just doesn't seem worth it for a card that'll probably get Trishula'd next turn unless you're holding Effect Veiler or Alich. It's just so many cards to invest. Maybe we can all reflect on your pilgrimage in the future, Dante, but for now I think we'll have to take a pass on your story telling. Congratulations for making it out of the Burning Abyss.

 

Well that was fun! Don't think we've forgotten about the other cards such as El Shaddoll Anoyatyllis and the inclusion of Zefra monsters into different archetypes. We'll probably be seeing them make an impact in the coming months of competitive play. I believe Dante and the Malebranches needed a moment in the spotlight, this time, because I don't see them getting very much high-end attention for now. Do you think different? What's your opinion on the new Burning Abyss support? Leave it in the comments below and we'll talk about it!

Thanks for checking out the Scoop this week guys! Stay tuned and I'll keep you up to date with the latest and greatest in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh! Got a question about something that's happened recently? Someone you want to see interviewed? Drop it in the comments section and start looking for the Dragon Balls!

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Dominique Roberts

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