ARGCS Seattle Runner-Up Deck Analysis – Rosty Elkun (Qliphorts)

rostyHello Duelists! This week I'll be discussing some card choices from the Qliphort deck that I made the finals of ARGCS Seattle with and top 8 at YCS Anaheim (technically top 16, given that it’s a draft format after top 16). Now, some of you may have already worked out why I used some of the cards I did, and why I chose to cut certain cards, but for those who haven't had the chance yet, this article is for you!

Dust Tornado?!?!

The reason I chose to play Dust Tornado is that it gives you a huge leg-up in the mirror match during game 1. I also expected a lot of Qliphort at both events that I attended. To remedy this problem I searched for cards similar to Mystical Space Typhoon, and Dust Tornado was the only card I found that I thought was any good. It was also pretty good against both Burning Abyss and Shaddoll, since you could blow away their Spell/ Trap removal cards in the end phase and just OTK them. The only card I found similar to Dust Tornado was Night Beam, and there were players who thought that Night Beam was indeed a better pick but I disagree. I don't like Night Beam in the mirror match very much because it doesn't do much going first and I would much rather have a Dust Tornado to deal with their Scouts so that they cannot gain constant advantage and OTK me as opposed to just hitting their facedowns. If you’re using Night Beam you also run the risk of destroying a facedown Saqlifice that they set as a bluff and allowing them to search their deck for a Qliphort monster. (With Dust Tornado you usually just wait for their Scouts and destroy them as opposed to hitting random backrow, unless you can OTK your opponent). Another thing I didn't really like about Night Beam was that if I went first against Burning Abyss and they were to open a live Fire Lake + any discard trap (Phoenix Wing Wind Blast or Karma Cut), then I would be very far behind since they could just chain the other card, then resolve Lake properly regardless. The only time Night Beam is better is when you’re going second against Burning Abyss, and even then it’s not that great if they have 3 or more trap cards.

Torrential Tribute:

At Seattle I used Torrential Tribute but ultimately chose to cut it is because the card has a lot of impact when it’s unexpected, especially in the mirror match. However, it lost a lot of its value after the lists were released and people began to play more carefully.

No Stormforth

I had been testing this card for quite a while (long before ARGCS Seattle) and I didn't like it very much. One of the biggest problems with this card was that it would often be a dead combo piece if your opponent didn’t open very well. For example, when my opponent didn’t have a monster equipped with Saqlifice on their first turn, it lost most of its value. But the biggest problem was that I didn't always open Disk along with Stormforth, and it's very hard to resolve a Scout going second due to the siding strategy of the mirror. Tributing an opponent’s Carrier for your own Carrier would just waste your normal summon and let them OTK you next turn. All in all, this card would almost always be better off as something that would let you play the game going second through multiple MSTs or Spell-Shattering Arrows. As it so happens a card like this exists, Dynatherium is that card.


Dynatherium is an incredibly powerful card in the mirror match post-siding. First, in the mirror, the first thing that gets dropped is usually the floodgate: Skill Drain. While it has some minor uses, it's not nearly as good as more Spell/Trap destruction. As it so happens, that floodgates, apart from a couple real trap cards, are the only things that’ll stop your Dynatherium plays. But what are you making with it, you may ask? If you’re going second, and your opponent has resolved a Scout, that means they have a total of six cards. This means that Dynatherium paired up with any Qliphort monster is instant access to Exciton. This will clear your opponent’s board, including any Spell/Trap destruction they have set, letting you successfully resolve Scout, putting you very far ahead. Even if they had Saqlifice on board, you’ve still obtained a massive amount of card advantage and tempo – not to mention you have 4 more cards in your hand to deal with whatever they’ll try to throw at you. Going first, making Ragnazero will rarely be the correct play, unless your hand is very weak. Many players still play Stormforth, which is a pretty hard counter to Ragnazero. However, this doesn’t mean that Dynatherium is useless going first. If you’re resolving Scout continuously, then you’re probably winning. But if your opponent manages to stop your Scout, then you have Dynatherium as your backup plan, and Ragnazero will let you dig deeper into your deck to keep going, alongside its pseudo-floodgate effect.

Maxx c vs Flying C

In the weeks leading up to Anaheim there was a fair amount of debate still going around on which card was the optimal pick for the Burning Abyss matchup. So I decided to do a Pro/Con list for both and decide from there.

Flying C:
Pros: Can be a blowout if your opponent uses 2 Burning Abyss from their hand, and pretty good at stopping your opponents plays if they opened Tour Guide from the Underworld. Usually forces them to waste their battle phase because they must attack into your monsters to get rid of it if they don’t have an easy way to put Alich in the grave. Will prevent them from being able to use Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss.

Cons: Can't really side it in when going first because if you activate a Scout you cannot Special Summon non-Qliphort monsters. Drawing it any point after turn one probably means you can't summon it since you'll probably have a Qliphort Pendulum scale out. Isn't very good against an established board. Forces you to side out Skill Drain because it doesn't have a very good interaction with Flying C which I didn't really want to do.

Maxx C:
Pros: Is really good against Tour Guide, and is also pretty good if your opponent opens up 2 Burning Abyss monsters since they'll probably just summon one and pass their turn if you use Maxx C. Can side it in going both first and second. Does something outside of Turn one usually (as long as the Burning Abyss player doesn't OTK you). Helps you get to Scout and more Floodgates.

Won't always stop Lake. Isn't very good against an established board.

I ended up choosing Maxx c and I haven't regretted it at all! Every game that I open Maxx C going second vs Burning Abyss I feel like I have already won that game just because they can't set up an unbreakable board with Lake backing it up, at least not without giving me too many cards for it to matter.

Qlimate Change sided as opposed to maindecked

This one pretty simple: most people are choosing to main Qlimate Change, and I'm not convinced it's very good in the main deck. Most people are using around 3 Spell/Trap removal cards in their main deck so the odds of Qlimate Change being a blowout – or even particularly useful – aren’t very high. It's also one less real trap card that you have when going first, and I would just rather play another real trap card over it (such as Solemn Warning/Bottomless Trap Hole). Qlimate gets progressively better the more Spell/ Trap removal cards your opponent has in their deck and in games 2/3 your opponent usually has 6 or more.

Why I cut a Skill Drain for Anaheim

I think that 2 Skill Drain is the perfect amount. Beyond being a fairly awful card in multiples, it isn't very good in the mirror match. Yes, it can outright beat Shaddolls and slow down Burning Abyss enough to swing the game in your favor, but I would always side one out against Burning Abyss for other floodgates so I decided to just cut it down since I have a very good Shaddoll Matchup regardless.

I do believe that Qliphort is the best deck this format due to how fast it can take itself out of the early game and the fact that it can play so many of the best floodgates. That's all for this week's article! If you'd like to see me write about a certain topic feel free to message me on Facebook. The Circuit Series stops by Atlanta, Georgia this weekend!

And As Always Play Hard or Go Home!