Total Control: The Psychic Lockdown

Psychics are a type that first debuted back in The Duelist Genesis. While they never really saw any competitive play as their own deck, it's impossible to deny the ridiculous impact that Psychics had on the game. Psychics were a critical part of the Teleport Dark Armed Dragon (TeleDAD) decks that completely ruled the September 2008 format. Their support card, Emergency Teleport, added unrivaled speed to the deck, dropping cards like Stardust Dragon and Dark Armed Dragon within the first few turns. After the Limiting of E-Tele, Psychics had to find another way to win, so people turned to the Mind Master OTK, which involved using Mind Master and Brain Research Lab to cycle through the Psychics in your deck, eventually getting two 2500 attack monsters that can attack twice each. This deck was good, and it brought about the Limiting of Mind Master and One for One, but it was completely overshadowed by Dark Strike Fighter and the Synchro Cat decks that went with him. After that, Psychics really fell by the wayside, only picking up a few mediocre support cards to this point. Overdrive Teleporter, a card from Crossroads of Chaos, went on to see some success in monarch builds on the local level, but the concept of a pure psychic deck at that point was nothing more than wishful thinking.

That all changed with the release of Extreme Victory. Psychics got a lot of new toys to play with in this set, and they’re very good, to say the least. While the main focus of the deck is still to get out Mind Master, he isn’t needed to take a win. There are two possible directions to go in with a psychic deck: Lockdown/OTK, or Stun. I personally like the stun variant, as it’s much more consistent and less reliant on Mind Master, but both builds have their merits. I guess I should start things off with the lockdown.

The Psychic Lockdown deck is the deck that most people are talking about when they mention psychics. If they can get Mind Master and one other Psychic to the field, they win the duel, plain and simple. Before I start, there are some key cards whose effects I’ll go over.

Mind Master, a level one 100/100 Psychic tuner. He lets you pay 800 lifepoints and tribute a Psychic to get another Psychic from your deck.

Hushed Psychic Cleric, a level three 0/2100 Psychic. With him, you can discard a card to remove from play a psychic in your graveyard. Then when Cleric goes to the grave, Special Summon that monster.

Esper Girl, a level two 500/300 Psychic tuner. When she’s Special Summoned while she’s removed from play, you remove the top card of your deck from play face down. Then when she leaves the field you can add it to your hand.

The ideal play, going first, would be as follows: Summon Psi-Blocker and use his prohibition effect to lock out the potential Effect Veiler. Using a card like One for One or Emergency Teleport, get Mind master to the field. Pay 800 and sacrifice Blocker for Esper Girl, and pay another 800 to put her in the grave and summon Hushed Psychic Cleric from your deck. Now the fun can start. Discard for Cleric’s effect, and remove Esper Girl from play. Use the master to pay 800 and sacrifice Cleric for another copy, get Esper back, and remove the top card of your deck. Discard for that Cleric to remove the one in your grave, Synchro the Cleric and Girl into TG Hyper Librarian, Special Summon your removed Cleric, and add your Esper topdeck to your hand. Then you’re going to use your Clerics effect, remove Esper Girl, and then pay 800 with Mind Master, tributing Cleric for a third from your deck, getting Esper Girl back, and removing a card. Use your last Cleric to remove a Cleric from your grave. Then Synchro the Cleric and Esper Girl into a second TG Hyper Librarian, Special Summon your removed Cleric, add your Esper topdeck to your hand, and draw one card with the effect of your first Librarian. Now you’re going to remove Cleric with Cleric’s effect, Pay 800 and sacrifice it to get another Esper Girl from your deck and bring back the removed Cleric. Use that Cleric to remove Esper Girl, then Synchro your Cleric and on field Esper Girl into Naturia Beast, Specialing Esper Girl, removing from play the top card of your deck, and then drawing two cards, one for each Librarian. Pay a final 800 lifepoints with Master, tribute Esper Girl, Special Summon Doctor Cranium (a one star non-tuner psychic), and add the topdeck to your hand. Then you’re going to synchro Master and the Doctor into Formula Synchron, drawing three cards. Then sync Formula and the two Librarians into TG Halberd Cannon. Throughout this loop you should have drawn through a good portion of your deck, and odds are you hit a Royal Decree along the way. Set that.

To summarize what you just did, you have a Royal Decree to negate all your opponent’s Trap cards, a Naturia Beast to negate all their Spells, and Halberd Cannon to negate their summons. Keep in mind that you paid 4800 lifepoints to make this happen, but that won’t always be the case. If you don’t fear Effect Veiler and already have Esper Girl in the grave, you can omit those steps. You can also use Brain Research Lab to absorb the damage, and then protect it from destruction with Naturia Beast.

Now this isn’t the only Synchro combo that Psychics can do; They can also pay a few more lifepoints to loop with Overmind Archfiend into Naturia Beast, Naturia Barkion, Stardust Dragon, and Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier. The combinations are practically endless, as Mind Master gives you immediate access to your entire deck.

The other way to take Psychics is in a sort of stun direction. This version is a bit more consistent then the lockdown and while it can still OTK, it focuses much more on Beast and Barkion loops to shut down your opponent's plays and then protects your setup with cards like Forbidden Lance, Compulsory Evacuation Device, Solemn Warning, and other defensive trap cards. The main reason to play Compulsory is because of its synergy with Psi-Blocker, which is main deckable here due to all the protection. He also combos well with Psychic Nightmare, who lets you see cards in your opponent's hand. He can even stop Effect Veiler or Solemn Warning for a turn so you can make your big swings.

The other card that stands out much more in this version is Silent Psychic Wizard. he's a four star, 1900 attack monster that removes a Psychic from your graveyard when he's normal summoned. Then when he hits the grave, that Psychic comes back. This makes him a ridiculous floater, and as he can replace himself with a card like Thought Ruler Archfiend, your opponent will be wary about destroying him. The Forbidden Lances the deck plays even allow him to take down any monster with 2700 atack or less in battle.

All in all, Extreme Victory has made Psychics into a very solid decktype, and no matter which direction you take them in they have the speed and durability to give a lot of the top decks a run for their money.

Zack Hughes

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