Beyond the Veil and Back

What’s up my Yugi? I have an interesting concept to talk about which I believe will be beneficial for helping to understand shifting metagames and simple “theory-oh.” That idea is none other than the current and future usefulness of the infamous Effect Veiler. As most of you may know, the popularity of Effect Veiler in the main deck has diminished incredibly amongst the top players. At the start of this format, in the top 32 of YCS Toronto, we saw nearly every player maining 2 to 3 copies of Effect Veiler. In fact, 30 out of the top 32 players (94%) were using the card. If you remember Jeff Jones’ article from late August he discussed how imperative it was to open with Effect Veiler and how not having the card in your opening hand put you in a dangerous position. However, times have changed and plants have established themselves as the most dominant deck, taking 3 out of 4 wins at the last 4 YCSs. If we fast forward to YCS Kansas City there were only 18 of the top 32 players (56%) using the card.  While some decks--other than plants of course--may be crippled by the sheer surprise of an opposing Effect Veiler, the plant deck can easily continue its strategy with little interference from the pesky hand trap. Because of this, the competitive scene has been flooded with a new trend of playing as many as 3 copies of Maxx “C” in the main deck, which I’m sure most of us would agree it’s the better card and it has a greater impact on the game in its current state. This has even affected the game on an economical level since players feel the need to own 3 copies of the card just to compete, causing the little cockroach to appreciate to $50+ in a short time. It took awhile since its release but it finally got there and I’m sure there were times when you would think to yourself: Why has this card (Maxx “C”) not caught on in the mainstream of Yu-Gi-Oh, yet? Well, that was largely due to the importance of Effect Veiler at the time as well as the absence of Heavy Storm, amongst other things. Now that Heavy Storm is back, the trap ratio for almost every deck has decreased while hand traps have taken their place and become the new defense--for the most part.

So, what other factors caused this change in the popularity of Effect Veiler in the main deck you ask? Well let’s see, there’s the fact that Veiler is typically a -1. What that means is that when you activate Effect Veiler and discard it to the graveyard to stop a monster’s effect, such as Tour Guide from the Underworld or The Agent of Mystery – Earth which didn’t cost your opponent anything other than a successful summon, you lose a card while he or she still has that Tour Guide or Earth. Don’t think about this too much though since both of those monsters have really low attack power and you could simply run over them with almost anything which would then cancel out the minus. Destroying monsters by battle is one of the best ways to gain plusses or make up for minuses. Because of the intrinsic -1 associated with Effect Veiler and the slow grind for card advantage in the plant mirror match the card has been either taken down to either 1 per deck or dropped altogether. Another factor is the usefulness of Enemy Controller as of late. It’s common for a good player to use his or her Controller to break through a Veiler. For example:

The next contributing factor is the presence of Thunder King Rai-Oh as a mainstream card. Many players are maining 2 to 3 copies of Thunder King and it’s one of the best opening plays in the game right now. His 1900 attack makes him a huge threat when coupled with his ability to negate inherent special summons and restrict the ability to add cards from the deck to hand. Effect Veiler will generally have no effect on an opening Thunder King play and if your hand isn’t able to deal with it you’ll be wishing the Veiler was a completely different monster. It also sucks that Veiler cannot be used on your own turn. Because of this, you can’t even turn off the oppressing effects of an opposing Thunder King when you would really need to. Also, one of the worst feelings in the world is when your opponent opens with a Thunder King and you open with several hand traps but no real monsters. These duels usually end really quickly unless the opponent is dumb enough to give you free cards by playing into your Maxx “C.” As a result, players have opted to not play more than a combined total of 4 hand traps. If you already use 3 Maxx “C”—as you should—then that leaves room for only 1 Effect Veiler in the main.

Unfortunately, Effect Veiler does little to nothing against Dino-Rabbit decks either. A first turn Rabbit play means you’ll be staring down an Evolzar Laggia and some backrows. At no point in your opponent’s turn could Veiler have stopped him/her unless he/she was required to play Tour Guide and Gold Sarcophagus. To make matters worse, if the opponent went for an Evolzar Dolkka instead of Laggia your Veilers will be rendered useless. Once again, you would rather draw cards with Maxx “C” rather than stare at a dead card. The same beatdown logic that applied to the aforementioned Thunder King Rai-oh scenarios will also apply against the Dino-Rabbit deck. This is due to the 3 main deck copies of Sabersaurus who also has 1900 attack. I know that some of us—including myself—had a misconception before the deck was actually released that “Oh, they’re just normal monsters. No big deal.” This way of thinking has been quickly pushed aside because 1900 attack is still 1900 attack. You can only take 4 of them directly before the next shot is good game.

Despite the current issues with Effect Veiler the card will still see play as the game progresses. You can expect it to raise and drop in usefulness as the format changes. Speaking of which, YCS Atlanta is the next major event and a new set (Order of Chaos) will be legal for the first time, which brings us a completely new theme (Inzektors) while also increasing the power of lacking themes (Wind-ups and Ninjas). According to the buzz on the Yu-Gi-Oh forums these soon to rise decks are debilitated by opposing Effect Veilers. Whether that will hold true or not only time will tell. In the meantime, why not build your own versions of those decks and test them out on the Dueling Network. If it isn’t too much to ask please post the results of this theory in the comments section below. I’d ask that you only post results that are related to Effect Veiler vs. Inzektors and Ninjas, as well as your general comments, if any.

This is Frazier Smith reporting out, until next time my Yugi, Play hard or go home!

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Frazier Smith

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