Top 32 YCS Dallas Shaddoll Deck Explained

Hey everybody, last week talked about why I chose to play Shaddolls at YCS Dallas. The build I played was significantly different from the standard builds you typically see of Shaddolls, so this week I want to explain the card choices I made and how I went about solving the various problems I found in Shaddolls. Let’s start off by taking a look at the deck list I used:

Monsters: 18

2 Shaddoll Beast

3 Shaddoll Squamata

2 Shaddoll Falco

2 Shaddoll Hedgehog

1 Shaddoll Dragon

2 Performage Trick Clown

2 Performage Damage Juggler

1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning

1 Photon Thrasher

1 Elemental Hero Blazeman

1 Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn


Spells: 17

3 Shaddoll Fusion

3 El Shaddoll Fusion

3 Upstart Goblin

1 Polymerization

2 Reinforcement of the Army

3 Instant Fusion

1 Foolish Burial

1 Re-Fusion


Traps: 5

3 Breakthrough Skill

1 Vanity’s Emptiness

1 Shaddoll Core


Extra Deck: 15

3 El Shaddoll Construct

2 El Shaddoll Winda

1 El Shaddoll Anoyatyllis

2 Elder Entity Norden

1 Evilswarm Exciton Knight

1 Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn

1 Bujintei Tsukuyomi

1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer

1 Abyss Dweller

1 Performage Trapeze Magician

1 Stardust Dragon


Side Deck

2 Denko Sekka

2 Puppet Plant

1 Shaddoll Dragon

2 Mystical Space Typhoon

1 Mind Control

1 Cairngorgon Antiluminescent Knight

1 Tellarknight Ptolemaeus

1 Constellar Satellarknight Diamond

1 Number 52 Diamond Crab King

1 El Shaddoll Anoyatyllis

The Fusion Problem


el shaddoll fusionI’ve talked previously about using a warrior engine in Shaddolls as a way of solving the fusion spell problem, but I’ll still just give a quick explanation of its use. Essentially you can’t play without a fusion spell, so you don’t want to only play 3 Shaddoll Fusion and 3 El Shaddoll Fusion, as that would not let you play a significant amount of the time. You also don’t want to jam lots of extra fusion spells in the deck or they will start to clog. The best solution to this I’ve been able to come up with is to add Elemental Hero Blazeman, Polymerization, and Reinforcement of the Army to the deck. This gives you four extra cards to access the first fusion spell. Then if you already have a fusion spell, you can use Reinforcement to grab something else from your deck and avoid cloggy hands with too many fusion spells.


The Warriors


In order to justify running Reinforcement, I would have to use warriors that would be sufficiently good when drawn on their own. This was somewhat of a problem as many of the possible choices were subpar and while I thought Reinforcement of the Army was excellent, the cards you can actually get off of it were often not. This led me to running only two copies of Rota.


Photon Thrasher was the best alternative to Blazeman as a choice off of Rota. It gave me access to a light, as well as a way of making Bujintei Tsukuyomi and Minerva. I also decided to run Raiden as it was one of the strongest standalone options available. It allowed me to run Stardust Dragon to protect against things like Dark Hole, something that proved to be a huge problem for Shaddolls.


Armageddon KnightWhen originally incorporating the warriors I played Armageddon Knight, but I found him to be incredibly subpar so I took him out. For him to be good I would need to already have a fusion spell, a light monster, no Shaddoll monster in hand, AND have Reinforcement of the Army in hand. Yes, he’s certainly good in that scenario and I wish I could pull him out of my deck then, but that’s incredibly specific and I don’t think drawing him at times other than that, where he’s almost certainly underwhelming, is worth his inclusion.


The Shaddoll Ratio


Dragon has always been my least favorite Shaddoll. I don’t like cards that take away from my opponent. I’d much rather give me an extra card than take one away from them. All the other Shaddolls do what I’d prefer when they’re sent to the grave, but Dragon takes away from them so I wanted to keep him to a minimum. Because Shaddoll effects are once per turn, I wanted a fifth effect that I could trigger, which is a big reason I even included him as a one of.


el shaddoll constructThe once per turn effect also kept me from running three of most of them. You’re not rewarded for drawing multiples of them and I wanted to keep my hands diverse, so I included only two of each of the rest of them except for Squamata. Squamata is an exception, because he will allow you to search for El Shaddoll Fusion. Using Polymerization to make your first fusion is subpar in comparison to using a regular fusion spell, because you won’t be able to pull anything back when the fusion is sent to the graveyard. The third Squamata helps correct for this, because if you fuse Squamata and a light to make Construct, you can send El Shaddoll and Core to the grave, recover the El Shaddoll, and continue making fusion plays.


No Mathematician


I don’t want hands with a lot of normal summons. If I have to normal summon a monster, I want it to be really impactful. Mathematician popping a backrow via Dragon or drawing a card via Squamata into Beast is just really fair. It doesn’t do much to extend my game and it can’t search me any fusion spells to get me started. I’m not going to win without a fusion spell anyway, so there’s no point in trying to make my game better when I don’t have one. I’m just going to maximize how to get them and then build my deck on the assumption that I have it. If I don’t have it, I lost anyway. If I do have it, Mathematician is underwhelming.


The Concession


I had to make a concession to Retaliating “C.” I could not find a good way to counter it, so I just decided that I would build the best deck I could assuming they didn’t have it since I’d most likely lose if they did have it.


“Better have it”


Unicore, Clausolas, and Diamond


These were the floodgates that I was most concerned with and felt like I could do something about. I debated playing cards like Raigeki and Dark Hole to counter them, but opted to go with Breakthrough Skills instead. Cards like Raigeki and Dark Hole are weird, because they don’t advance my game state and they don’t act as defense to protect my setup when I’m winning. Breakthrough Skill could out these cards and protect my setups when I was winning. Looking back, Raigeki might have been powerful enough to warrant inclusion despite it not doing either of the things I am most concerned with doing.


Siding Extra Deck


I wrote an article a few weeks back on the merits of siding extra deck monsters. This hasn’t really been applied much on the competitive scene until now, but I certainly think it is a worthwhile venture. I could side Cairngorgon to attack over Unicore and protect Mistakes I was siding in. Diamond Crab King was my answer to Towers. Ptolemaeus and Diamond were to give me the upper hand in the mirror match. It was really easy to go Diamond Stardust, which I thought would be really strong. Finally, a second Anoyatyllis was needed in the Nekroz matchup.


I think Shaddolls were a really strong choice for YCS Dallas and likely will continue to be a good choice going forward. I think they have a really high ceiling and possibly the only ceiling high enough to keep pace with Nekroz. They also have a ton of diversity with how you can build them and there is a lot of room for innovation. We’re only a couple of weeks away from YCS San Jose and I look forward to seeing you all there. Until next time, play hard or go home!

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

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