The Wind Spirits of Greece: Harpies

I've been talking about YCS Miami a lot in my articles so I thought I'd take a break and talk about a deck I've been testing for the future when Lord of the Tachyon Galaxy is released. Harpies have always been a fan favorite deck for people who watched the original Yu-Gi-Oh! but they've never really been competitive. The word Harpy also refers to half woman-half bird spirits in Greek mythology, which is where the name of the article comes from. But it turns out, all Konami needed to do was release a spell card that let you +3 off discarding or destroying it to make them competitive. Who knew! Really though, Hysteric Sign is one hell of a card and I feel that building the deck around drawing and triggering Sign is going to give you the best results with the archetype. Of course it's always tricky testing a deck that will only be legal so far in the future but I'm pretty sure we can all agree that by next format Wind-Ups will be slaughtered like it's brother Plants, leaving Fire Fist, Water, Rabbit to lead the pack. If that holds true then destruction effects will be key and that's what really drew me to trying this deck in the first place. Icarus Attack and Phoenix Wing Wind Blast will both be awesome cards next format and I can run both!

3 Harpie Channeler
3 Harpie Queen
3 Cyber Harpie Lady
1 Harpie's Pet Dragon
2 Spirit Reaper

3 Hysteric Sign
1 Harpies' Hunting Ground
2 Pot of Duality
1 Pot of Avarice
1 Heavy Storm
1 Monster Reborn
3 Upstart Goblin
1 Book of Moon

3 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
2 Icarus Attack
2 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Judgment
2 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Torrential Tribute
2 Compulsory Evacuation Device
1 Starlight Road

2 Lightning Chidori
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Vylon Disigma
1 Number 16: Shock Master
1 Harpie's Pet Mirage Dragon
1 Queen Dragun Djinn
1 Maestroke the Symphony Djinn
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 50: Blackship of Corn
1 Photon Papilloperative
1 Steelswarm Roach
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Stardust Dragon

The first thing you probably noticed was the monster count. I know it looks slim but it works very well for what this deck wants to accomplish. Once you get to Hysteric Sign and search your 3 Harpies you don't want to be stuck with a fistful of monsters. What you do want are spell and trap cards to let you capitalize and push your advantage onto your opponent. Summoner Monk is a card you see most Harpie decks playing and at first I though he was going to be really useful, especially with Upstart Goblins, Hysteric Signs, Harpie Queens to turn into Hunting Grounds, etc but it never really did anything outside of the Monk > Monk > Chaneller > Pet Dragon = Queen Dragun Djinn + Big Eye combo. Playing Monk means dedicating your entire strategy to that combo and while I did consider just making the deck to survive game shots with Tragoedia then turning around and stealing their guys with Big Eye, what's the point? T.G.s do it better with being able to special summon Warwolf during their push to block their attacks and using TG1-EM1 on the following turn to steal their strongest monster while dodging things like Effect Veiler and Fiendish Chain that the Big Eye combo could never dodge. So while T.G.s are better at that strategy, this deck is better at a different one.

If you had the opportunity to play Blackwings during the 3 Gateway Six Samurai format you'd easily be able to draw the comparisons between that deck and this one. If you didn't get the chance to use it, games usually went like this - Summon Shura or Bora then set a ton of backrows; Icarus Attack, Solemn Warning, Book of Moon, Royal Oppression, Seven Tools were all likely candidates. Then when they made any kind of push you would stop it then follow up with a Blizzard to either push or to make a Goyo Guardian or Brionac with. This deck is very similar since Sign will give you the first monster to push with and once they either use destruction on it or you tribute it to Icarus you'll have more monsters to push with. Even if they are able to get past your field you can comeback with Channeler into Lightning Chidori much like you could with Blizzard into Brionac. Trust me, in any of my testing games most of my opponent's could NOT comeback from Harpie + 3-4 backrows followed by a Lightning Chidori.

Of course you need to get to Sign for this whole strategy to work at tip-top shape so Upstart Goblins and Duality were auto-ins for me. Harpie's Hunting Ground seems like a game-breaker at first but in reality it will barely be hitting anything. Game 1 it can hit Fiendish Chain, Mirror Force, Dimensional Prison, and maybe force out a Book or MST. People won't be setting bluffs against you because of Hunting Ground and especially because of Icarus Attack so it's not like you're going to be hitting card after card with the field spell. The time they do set bluffs is when they have Starlight Road and that is one of the best cards to hit with Hunting Ground. But it can actually be dead too which is why I think 1 copy is the perfect amount for the maindeck. The 2nd copy can be a blowout against rogue strategies but is probably better left sided. This is actually where Spirit Reaper fits in nicely. They won't be setting bluffs and you'll be able to destroy or spin the real cards, so what can they really do? Their hand is the only safe place for their spells and other cards they're holding and Reaper can just rip them away. The sheer power of a simple Reaper hit is magnified when you're simplifying the game with Icarus Attack and limiting their options by spinning their cards with Phoenix Wing Wind Blast.

Phoenix Wing Wind Blast is an amazing card in here. With the mad card advantage you can gain off a single Hysteric Sign combined with all the disruption you play your opponent is going to run low on resources quick and cutting their draw off by spinning a card is huge. It acts as versatile spell or trap removal if you need it while being able to clear any problem monsters and acting as a discard outlet for Sign or any Harpies you got for free off a resolved Sign. Since Hunting Ground makes MST obsolete and running any more than 1 Hunting Ground seems to be the incorrect thing to do so it's very important that we have some way of clearing backrows if we absolutely have to. Fire Formation - Tenki and Abyssphere are probably still going to be huge cards and they might be the reason I switch to Raigeki Breaks, and that's assuming Wind-Ups are completely dead and Factory isn't a factor as well. There's always the option of just going ahead and running MST too but I think that would hurt the overall deck more than just making the Raigeki Break switch. Other than that, just being able to just keep setting them back with Wing Blast in an aggressive deck like this is a great tool to have.

Now for a couple other cards I chose not to play that a lot of other Harpie decks are. I already went over Summoner Monk but there's also Rescue Rabbit and the normal monster Harpies for a quick rank 4. First I didn't want to use the normal Harpies because they have a weak 1300 attack and Cyber Harpie Lady having 1800 is much more relevant, especially when Hunting Ground can boost it even further. I felt like Cyber Harpie Lady would be better for the beatdown strategy this deck plays. While it's true that having a 1 card Chidori you can drop to comeback at any stage of the game is nice to have, you still have that with Harpie Channeler; it's just for the price of an extra card. Seeing that 2-card Chidoris definitely aren't the end of the world in this deck was the nail in the coffin for Rescue Rabbit variants, for me anyways. I know people that absolutely love running Rabbit and Sabersaurus so you'll just have to test to see for yourself which version you prefer!

Cardcar D was one of my first choices when I built this deck and while it never tested bad but it was just really slow against Water and Fire Fist. You always want to keep a Winged-Beast on board for your Icarus Attacks, bluffed or real. You never want to summon CCD next to a Harpie in fear of Torrential Tribute and even if you have Starlight Road you'll have to choose between drawing 2 or special summoning a Stardust Dragon. Fiendish Chain is a card I often use in place of Compulsory and if the meta is Rabbit/Water/Fire Fist dominated that might have to be the way to go but Compulsory is awesome in this deck. It lets you re-use your small amount of monsters once you hit them while fending off xyzs while you're trying to setup. It's also nice to have a card you can pop with Hunting Ground and chain in case they don't have any spell or traps to pop and you desperately need to summon a monster without wanting to pop the field spell itself. Compulsory always has a ton of applications in every deck it's ran in and this one is no different. A second Starlight Road is an option too, especially since going Channeler into Harpie's Pet Dragon is a strong play alone even if you don't plan on xyz summoning.

As of right now there are a ton of different ways you can go about building and playing this deck and I love this part of Yu-Gi-Oh. Some of the best decks in the game have come out of people innovating and I'm behind that 100%! Of course winning should always be your ultimate goal and sometimes you just have to use the best deck because there's nothing else but the people that innovate and win with their own creations are always the ones that are remembered. They become legends in the TCG world. Vincent Tundo and Theerasak Poonsombat immediately come to mind and I still remember their Trunade OTK and T-Hero decks respectively from over 6 years ago. That's a long time and it's all of our dreams to be remembered like that for something we're passionate about. Use the best deck if you have to but never let your imagination rest. Keep on innovating and maybe one day you'll be a legend too. That's the goal we're all trying to achieve and it's always a race to the next best innovation so never slow down!