Attempting to Slow Down Mermails with Billy Brake

Billy-Brake-480x360Hello Yugioh Community! If you have been playing Yugioh recently then chances are you have been up against the ever popular Mermail deck. While it has been my deck of choice ever since the sneak preview of Abyss Rising the deck just isn’t for everyone, whether it may be too complicated to play correctly round after round or maybe the overall cost of the deck is way too high, the result is the same: You just don’t want to use Mermails. Since it is the most popular and arguably the best deck of the format however, if you aren’t running water then you are focusing most of your energy on how to beat it. This week I want to go over some of the cards duelists can utilize, and some I don’t think are that great, in an attempt to stop this explosive deck in its tracks and tilt the odds back in your favor.

Question of the Article: What is your favorite card to use against Mermails or if you use the deck what cards give you the most trouble?

Don’t forget to answer the question of the article in the comments down below!

macro cosmos-The Usual Suspects –
[ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd], [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Soul Drain[/ccProd] are the main three cards I see used in an attempt to stop the Mermail onslaught. While I could write this entire article just on these three cards, most players know that they are the best options in shutting the deck down so instead I want to focus more on cards you may not have thought to use instead, but I feel I have to mention these favorites. [ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd] is hands down the best card in general to use against Mermails. It stops the deck completely, It single handedly shuts down almost the entire deck and it will be very rare for the water duelist to win a game where he couldn’t get this card off the field. [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd] is the next best solution, but since XYZ materials are sent to the grave while it is face-up Mermail players will still be able to trigger their Atlantean effects and being able to search out a [ccProd]Deep Sea Diva[/ccProd] with [ccProd]Atlanteans Dragoons[/ccProd] while a [ccProd]Bahamut Shark[/ccProd] is summoning a huge defender, [ccProd]Mermail Abysstrite[/ccProd], can be a pretty good play in the face of a [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd]. [ccProd]Soul drain[/ccProd] is easily the least effective of the trio, but can still hold its own since it will stop [ccProd]Mermial Abysslinde[/ccProd] along with all of the Atlanteans from trigger, but the ability to still summon [ccProd]Mermail Abyssmegalo[/ccProd] and search out an [ccProd]Abyss-Sphere[/ccProd] can prove problematic.

-Thinking out of the Box-

vanity's callThe first card I want to start off with is probably one many duelists, including myself, have not thought about in quite some time. That is [ccProd]Vanity’s Call[/ccProd]. This trap card from Cyperdark Impact I believe can only be activated as a Chain Link 4 or higher, but by paying half of your life points it will negate all of the other cards on the chain and destroy them. When will you ever be able to activate this card you may ask, but the situation comes up a lot in the early game facing any Mermail player. If your opponent discards two cards that trigger in the grave, [ccProd]Atlantean Marksman[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Atlantean Dragoons[/ccProd] for example, in order to special summon [ccProd]Mermail Abyssmegalo[/ccProd] the chain will look like this.

Chain Link 1 – [ccProd]Atlantean Dragoons[/ccProd]/Marksman
Chain Link 2 – [ccProd]Atlantean Marksman[/ccProd]/Dragoons
Chain Link 3 – [ccProd]Mermail Abysmegalo[/ccProd] (Searching effect)
Chain Link 4 – [ccProd]Vanity’s Call[/ccProd]

You have now used one card to essentially stop three of your opponent’s card effects, but at the high cost of half your life points. If you are able to pull this off turn one you now have some serious advantage on your opponent, five cards to their three, and chances are they won’t have much of a follow up. The fact that [ccProd]Vanity’s Call[/ccProd] destroys everything it is negating is just fantastic and makes the life point cost not as worrisome. Overall it can be situational, but you have to bet big to win big.

Banisher of the Radiance-[ccProd]Banisher of Radiance[/ccProd]-
The next card up has been gaining quite some popularity as of late, but I still felt I should still go over my thoughts on it. For those who don’t know [ccProd]Banisher of Radiance[/ccProd] has 1600 attack and while it is face-up on the field it will banish all cards sent to the graveyard, essentially a [ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd] with a body. With proper protection this card can end a game fairly quickly against a Mermail player, but due to the overwhelming amount of outs the Mermail deck has to him I don’t find him on top of my list of cards to use to defeat Mermails. Here are a list of some of their outs, barring the protection for Banisher, so you can see where I am coming from.

3 [ccProd]Abyss-Sphere[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Mermail Abysspike[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Atlantean Dragoon[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]Deep Sea Diva[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd] Total: 13 Main Deck Answers

Keep in mind this is only taking into account the main deck answers and chances are there will be even more after the Mermail players has sided in. So it is easy to see [ccProd]Banisher of Radiance[/ccProd] requires other cards in order to protect the himself from at least a quarter of the water deck and they also have a decent amount of Spell/Trap removal they can draw in combination to deal with Banisher in the same way you need to draw protection for him. Overall Banisher isn’t a bad card to side against Mermails, but I think it is better to find some more self-reliant options.

Tragoedia[ccProd]Gorz The Emissary of Darkness[/ccProd] vs. [ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd]

It is time for me to dispel this myth that Gorz is good against the Mermail deck. While it is good at making sure they can’t attack you for game in one turn most of the time, that is the reach of its capabilities when facing a knowledgeable Mermail player. Most of the time after attacking into this card the Mermail player will have the option of going into a rank 7, more than likely a [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd] in this case. [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd] renders Gorz completely useless. Not only can Gorz and his token not attack he is weaker than [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd] and can easily be dealt with in the following turn, most of the time Gorz is about as effective as a [ccProd]Battle Fader[/ccProd] in this match-up, but he still has the restrictive cost of needing an open field. [ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd] on the other hand will more than likely force the Mermail player to make a [ccProd]Number 11: Big Eye[/ccProd] to take control of the Trag, giving you many more options than if you are facing down a [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd] waiting to stop you in your tracks. You may wonder why they would opt to go into [ccProd]Number 11: Big Eye[/ccProd] over [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd] when facing down a [ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd] and that is because he can be quite pesky and has ways around Gaios. Despite the fact that [ccProd]Tragoedia [/ccProd] is level 10, his effect will allow him to change to anything 4 or under allowing him to attack freely, but can’t [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd] just negate that effect and render him useless? In most scenarios when he is dropped that is not true. [ccProd]Mermail Abyssgaios[/ccProd] can only negate the effects of monsters that have less attak than himself (2800) so a [ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd] backed up by at least five cards in hand can spell immediate doom for Gaios.

-Out of the Box- Pt II
I started off with an old card many duelist aren’t very familiar with so I figured why not wrap up this discussion with a new card a lot of duelist seem to have overlooked. One of the newest synchro monsters that we received in Cosmo Blazer, [ccProd]Crimson Blader[/ccProd] is the card I am referring to. I made sure to include this level 8 synchro in my extra deck at YCS Austin and he did not disappoint. His effect is fairly simple and can be devastating to any mermail duelist. Anytime [ccProd]Crimson Blader[/ccProd] destroys a monster by battle their opponent cannot normal or special summon any monsters level 5 or higher and with a whopping 2800 attack their outs are fairly limited. If anything this synchro will force the water duelist to pass their next turn since if they set anything he will simply run over it again freezing them yet again. [ccProd]Crimson Blader[/ccProd]’s effect is very similar to the upcoming Evilswarm Ophion which many duelist feel will be the downfall of Mermails so why not use a similar card now? Sadly, the downside to this card is that not every deck has the option to go into level 8 synchro monsters very easily, but if your deck has a chance at it I would give this guy a long hard look when constructing your extra deck.

Conclusion: Mermails are without a doubt the most popular deck thus, making them the deck to beat at the moment. While most of us know about all of the standard cards that are used to take them on, catching your opponent by surprise for something they are not prepared for can result in some pretty easy victories. No matter what the deck may be, what the format may look like, or who is using what, there are always cards out there that can be used to slow whatever may be giving you trouble down. I love trying to look outside of the box and listen to other player’s ideas in an attempt to gain an edge on the competition. Something I always tell my friends, I can have a million bad ideas, but I just need one great one to go the distance! You’ll never know if you don’t try it!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, suggestions, or whatever might be on your mind, feel free to leave it down in the comments below!

-Billy Brake
YCS Toronto and YCS Columbus Champion