You may want to reconsider getting rid of your Dantes

What's up duelists? It has been quite some time since my last YGO related article on any site, let alone here on Today I am going to discuss why the release of Nekroz is not the end of the powerful Burning Abyss archetype!  Last week, as many others were preparing for YCS Seattle and trying to pick up their copies of Nekroz for the event, I spent my time thinking, how could there really be an archetype that could truly challenge Burning Abyss? I mean consistency, power, answers to floodgates? I mean Burning Abyss was in my eyes maybe the most "complete package" ever created. I am well aware that Burning Abyss struggled some against Shaddolls, but it wasn't the same thing as a deck that could challenge BA in many different categories. Shaddolls simply put a lot of damage into play and took advantage of your extra deck monsters to use a free Shaddoll Fusion from their respective decks. Typically when the BA player lost to shaddolls, they lost on the scoreboard but not the box score. What that means is that despite Shaddolls winning the game or match, they typically did so with less cards than their adversaries from the abyss. The release of Denko Sekka did no favors for BA.

I now return to my previous question, "How could there truly be an archetype release that could compete with the complete package of Burning Abyss?" I had pretty much come to the conclusion that there couldn't be. If the game was to advance to the next step Burning Abyss would need to be hit on the Forbidden and Limited list, much like Dragon Rulers and Prophecy in the past. Let me just tell you, I was absolutely incorrect. On the Friday night before YCS Seattle I found myself at Epik Cards and Games, and played a good amount of games against Billy Brake. Of course coming fresh off a top 16 from ARG Ft Worth, I felt pretty confident about my chances with Burning Abyss. And let me tell you, I was completely and totally humbled. Out of about eight games, I won once, and really had no chance in about five of them. I then began to think about a variety of things on my ride home. "Wow, that deck is just too good," to, "I had no idea, how could I be so clueless?" "Burning Abyss stands almost no chance," to, "I guess it's time to switch to the new juggernaut."

Then it hit me. There was more than one strategy in which Burning Abyss could deal with Nekroz. But was I just blinded by my desire to not have to drop the cash on the new deck? Or was this a legitimate theory to test?

I spent the next few days testing both Nekroz and Burning Abyss. I came to find out quickly, all the decks Nekroz struggle to beat lose savagely to Burning Abyss. So a rouge deck was simply not a realistic answer to the current problem. I found myself eliminating every deck from contention except Nekroz, Burning Abyss, Satellarknights, and Qliphorts. I pretty much came to the conclusion that if you weren't piloting one of these decks it would be a long day for you at any major event. So, I really wanted to continue playing my burning abyss so I tried a large variety of things, learned as much as i could about the Nekroz match-up.

By the time Wednesday came around I was at another locals in my area, and to my surprise Billy Brake had come to that one as well.  While Billy did get his fair share of three games against me, I also managed to take three games myself, with almost all 6 of our games went back in forth. The next day, my friend Josh and I went to Dallas for a locals called Oak Cliff Gaming.  This is a pretty awesome spot, with great ownership and they are fairly new. If you are ever in the area you should totally check it out, because it is truly an awesome place. After lots of testing with Billy Brake and Scott Page, I ended up with this:

3 Tour Guide From the Underworld

3 Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss

3 Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Farfa, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Rubic, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Libic, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
2 Dark Hole
1 Raigeki
1 Book of Moon
1 Foolish Burial
3 Breakthrough Skill
3 Karma Cut
3 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
3 Vanity's Emptiness
2 Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss
Side Deck
2 Effect Veiler
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
3 Shared Ride
2 Twister
3 Mischief of the gnomes
2 Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare

Extra Deck
2 Virgil, Rockstar of the Burning Abyss
3 Downerd Magician
3 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Number 47: Nightmare Shark
1 Ghostrick Alucard
1 Number 20: Giga-Brilliant
1 Mechquipped Angineer
1 Wind-Up Zenmaines
1 Sky Cavalry Centaurea

So, the first thing you may notice is that I play not a single copy of Mystical Space Typhoon. While I am well aware that there are plenty of copies of Vanity's Emptiness floating around, I play three copies of Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and three mass destruction cards that also have the ability to clear Vanity's off the field. You could argue that it ultimately hurts my game one match up against Qliphorts, but I feel strongly that I should win most of my game ones in that match up anyways. I already play three copies of both Vanity's Emptiness and Breakthrough Skill which are both weak in that match up anyways, my game one against that deck just isn't destined to be perfect right now. However, against other match ups like Nekroz and Satellarknights this deck list matches up pretty well in my estimation. However, we are discussing specifically the Nekroz match up here, so let us dive into it.

The Nekroz match up there are 2 cards that I would consider the most important the first being Farfa, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, and the second being Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss. Farfa, has a lot of applications. Including, temporality removing your opponents monster so you can attack, and they cannot use their ritual spells effects in the graveyard because when their turn begins, they have a monster and cannot reach their requirement. You can also remove your own monsters from the field temporarily so they are not considered "Special Summoned from the Extra Deck."  It also answers the notorious Djinn lock . Clearly these things are very important, and farfa puts in so much work in this match up that your use of that card is very important. In addition Virgil, can shuffle back cards to prevent many obstacles, firstly, the ritual spells effects from the graveyard, and secondly, if they are low enough in nekroz cards you could shuffle one away to prevent Valkyrous of Nekroz from negating your battles. Both of these cards serve a similar, but extremely important purpose which is why they Farfa, and Rubic have been bumped from 2 copies to 3 each since the ARG in Ft Worth. A long, grinded tempo match should favor the Burning Abyss player if their resources are used properly.

In a realistic world you must realize that Burning Abyss really only fears two cards, Brionac of Nekroz, and  Trishula of Nekroz. But I will just simply encourage you to only answer those cards in most game states. That means Manju and Senju are fine, Unicore is fine, as well as Valkyrus. I only care if they can resolve Trishula, or Brio and in some cases Decisive Armor which can be a real pain. All that means is to save your answers for those Nekroz monsters, and for Abyss Dweller. Here is an example of a very standard situation and a great tempo builder for the BA player.

The BA player controls two Dantes, the Nekroz player summons Unicore of Nekroz, the BA player allows it. Then when the Nekroz player puts Brionac on the field that's when you use your set breakthrough skill. The Nekroz player has to pass, and now you can use your breakthrough from the grave on the unicore and clear both monsters. likely getting a Virgil in the process. Another cool trick against this deck lies in Phoenix wing wind blast, and Karma cut. Firstly Brionac is a once per turn effect. It isn't too difficult to connect the dots there, but suppose you only have 1 card in your hand, which this version of BA is pretty likely, When your opponent puts Trishula into play it banishes a card from each of those zones on resolution, and it must banish from each or it cannot banish anything. Meaning if you karma cut that trishula, not only will it not resolve, but you probably now cannot be trished agains the rest of this game. So you really just took care of yourself. So keep in mind, only answer Nekroz of Trishula and Brionac and you should be okay. Now another problematic card these pesky Nekroz play is Book of Eclipse, this is to answer the Djinn lock and still use Trishula, so you likely won't combat this card post board but in game one, they can chain it to breakthrough skill to push Trishula through, but of course Brionac would just resolve without effect, as your extra deck monsters would just simply go face-down.

Now we will get into the side deck and how to combat this power. The first thing you should know is that in game 1 I would choose to go second. While you may find this strange against Nekroz they can only do so much because of their fear of getting a Trishula to the face in the mirror. So id prefer to let them start things off. Typically that means clearing their own board, making the djinn lock, or using manju/senju and passing, we play plenty of answers to the worst case scenario, the Djinn lock. So I feel okay sacrificing that possibility to the long haul. However game two my strategy is much different, I would prefer to go first. Despite siding in effect veiler, I also side in Shared Ride and Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare. Shared Ride being a quick play spell card and not a hand trap is actually a very real problem, if it was a hand trap id likely choose to go second. Although it would also be harder to play against Maxx "c" with a Nekroz of Unicore in play, rather than an empty field. Traptrix Trap Hole Nightmare is a pretty unique card. First off the card does not target, so it cannot be stopped by Nekroz of Trishula, nor can Nekroz of Gungnir stop it from negating the effect of the monster, flipping it face down wouldn't even help for those keep copies of Book of Eclipse in their deck after siding. So overall the card just simply puts in work! Effect veiler is solid against the deck, but it is mostly in there because Konami decided to print Denko Sekka, for whatever reason. Denko can be a headache for a deck full of trap cards. With as many trap cards as you play you likely should have an answer for every ritual spell most turns. Luckily there are only a max of 3 each turn. Because of that, be sure to never negate Manju or Senju unless they have 1 or less cards in their hand or you know the contents of their hand, and know they can't make a play unless the effect resolves. In addition be sure to make Downerd Magician as much as your game state allows. This is because Downerd Magician will make it more inconvenient for Brionac to use its effect.

In conclusion, make sure you hang onto your Dantes, this may be the beginning of a new era but your best fiends have more than enough flexibility to adapt. Well wishes! And dont forget to check me out on Youtube, and Facebook. Trbailey823!