How's it going guys? Another Circuit is in the books, and with it, another victory for Burning Abyss. But don't let the dominance of Burning Abyss underscore the accomplishments of Shaddoll, Qliphort, and Satellarknight duelists alike who battled their way into the Top 16! Today I'll be going over the Top 5 stand-out cards from the event.
5. Denko Sekka
For the second week in a row, Denko Sekka was the reason four Shaddoll players made it into the Top Cut. Jeff Jones, one of the game's best innovators, spear-headed the design of the Denko-Dolls list which did so well last week at ARGCS Chicago. Not to be outdone by the previous performance, Chaos Shaddoll players showed up in droves at ARG Atlanta packing Denko Sekka. The most-demanded card at the booth all weekend, it's easy to see why Denko Sekka is so powerful. Shaddolls can rely on having few to no traps, subsisting off of the power of quick play spells like Enemy Controller and El Shaddoll Fusion; Denko Sekka makes sure you get to do everything you want while your opponent just has to sit there and watch. He also doubles as a Light-attribute monster for El Shaddoll Construct when you need to make that last push for game. Barring Burning Abyss getting decimated on the new F&L list, look for Denko Sekka to be Shaddolls best weapon against the Burning Abyss menace.
While Qliphort Scout and Summoner's Art are the glue of consistency that hold the deck together, Saqlifice is the card that really makes all the magic happen. Not only does it enable tribute summons of Qliphort Shell and Qliphort Disk (the primary methods of OTK'ing your opponent), but it can make a Qliphort monster you have on the field nearly impossible to get rid of. On top of the ATK boost and the indestructibility, Saqlifice replaces itself with a "Qli" monster should it happen to go from the field to the graveyard in any way. So while Scout gets all the hype and Disk gets all the glory, its Saqlifice that shines through match after match.
3. Fairy Wind
Fairy Wind has quickly become a duelist's best weapon against Qliphorts (apart from Spell Shattering Arrow). It clears away the Pendulum Zone and any face-up problems like Skill Drain or Saqlifice. The burn damage is also highly relevant, as we saw in our Top 4 match of Jeff Jones against Josh Camp where Fairy Wind outright stole Game 2 for Jeff. Fairy Wind has gotten the nod over the Arrow because it can destroy traps alongside spells, giving it the edge. Look for Fairy Wind to continue to be the number one card to bring in against Qliphorts, apart from the almost-staple Mystical Space Typhoon.
2. Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
An oldie but a goodie, what all is there to say about BLS? One of the most powerful monsters ever printed, BLS fuels blindingly fast OTKs while also letting you grind out and gain control of the field. We saw BLS seal the game numerous times this weekend for Shaddoll and Burning Abyss players alike; we also saw how it could take over a duel in the older formats when we watched Korey McDuffie vs Patrick Hoban in 2005 Goat Control. Korey was able to stick a BLS and Pat was unable to keep a monster on the field as his defenses slowly got banished turn after turn. An iconic and incredibly powerful card (albeit a little inconsistent) BLS is the king at stealing games you otherwise had no chance of winning.
1. Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss
While Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss was easily the MVP last week, Virgil showed his colors as a true Rock Star in Atlanta. Powered by Rubic, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss and another BA monster, Virgil wreaks havoc on opposing fields by getting rid of any card on your opponent's side of the field. It also shuffles the target into the deck rather than destroying it, letting you work around the plus effects of cards like El Shaddoll Construct or Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss. Also, should Virgil happen to fall in the line of duty, he nets you a card to let you push right back! While Dante is the monster to get everything going for Burning Abyss, Virgil's ability to clear the way for game makes him ARG Atlanta's top card!