Deck Doctor #29: Battlin’ Boxers and Barrier Stun

tyler nolanHey readers, first up this week is Eric Hennig’s Battlin’ Boxer list:

Monster: 16
1x Thunder King Rai-Oh
1x Masked Chameleon
3x Battlin' Boxer Glassjaw
3x Battlin' Boxer Headgeared
3x Battlin' Boxer Sparrer
3x Battlin' Boxer Switchitter

Magic: 15
3x Pot Of Duality
3x Upstart Goblin
3x Mystical Space Typhoon
2x Forbidden Lance
1x Rank-up Magic Numeron Force
1x Book of Moon
1x Dark Hole
1x Reinforcement Of The Army

Trap: 9
3x Fiendish Chain
2x Vanitys Emptiness
1x Compulsory Evacuation Device
1x Bottomless Trap Hole
1x Torrential Tribute
1x Solemn Warning

EvilswarmBahamut-DT07-EN-DUPR-DTBoxers are a cool deck that came out in LTGY that has largely been overshadowed by Dragons. The big card in this theme is Lead Yoke, who is effectively a super Gachi Gachi Gantetsu. The problem with that, is that big Gachi Gachis are extremely easy to answer currently with Big Eye, PWWB, Evilswarm Bahamut, and Constellar Pleiades in the format.

I’m not sure I like the Numeron Force in the same deck as Upstart Goblins. Utopia Ray V is pretty insane, but Numeron Force is so situational, and costs so many cards that it’s really only good when you’re pushing for lethal damage with it, which becomes very difficult with Upstarts in the main.

Dark Hole really isn’t a card I’m a fan of right now. Versus Dragon it’s dead versus a lot of their fields. Between Stardust Dragon, the new Stardust Spark Dragon, and Dracossack, the card is either useless, or doesn’t do enough to justify running.

The full 3 duality seems a little greedy considering how you really want to be special summoning monsters all game, I’m going to drop it down to 2 copies, mostly because drawing multiple copies seems miserable in this deck.

Lastly for the cuts, I want to drop the two Forbidden Lances. Having answers to Wind Blast is important, but I’m going to add something else that answers a more wide range of threats.

DarkHoleSYE-NA-C-1EThe cuts in summary:
-1 Rank Up Magic Numeron Force
-1 Dark Hole
-1 Pot of Duality
-2 Forbidden Lance

I wanted to swap out the Forbidden Lances for Seven Tools of the Bandits, which has a lot of benefits. With Trap Stun gaining popularity in Dragon mains, it’s really important to have answers to it when you’re relying on traps to support your monsters. It also serves as an answer to Return from the Different Dimension, while still being an answer to Wind Blast. I’m going to add 2 copies to replace the Lances we cut earlier.

The last adds I want to make to the deck are pretty simple, just 3 copies of Maxx “C”. Maxx seems incredible in this deck, since actually answering a Lead Yoke typically requires at least 2 special summons. Other thing I considered for this slot was some Veilers and a XYZ Block, since most of the answers for Lead Yoke are monster effects. However, I thought that the card draw given by Maxx “C” would help draw into stronger hands when you open up poorly, which seems like an issue this deck can have.

However, before I wrap this up, I want to make some changes to the extra deck:

1x Number C39: Utopia Ray Victory
1x Number C105: Battlin' Boxer Comet Cestus
2x Number 105: Battlin' Boxer Star Cestus
3x Battlin' Boxer Lead Yoke
1x Number 39: Utopia
1x Heroic Champion - Excalibur
1x Maestroke The Symphony Djinn
1x Gagaga Cowboy
1x Crimson Blader
1x Scrap Dragon
1x Colossal Fighter
1x Stardust Spark Dragon

Lavalval ChainNow naturally the Number C’s can come out, which conveniently leaves room to add two important extra deck cards I feel you’re missing. Lavalval Chain is huge in this deck. There are numerous lines that allow you to turn mediocre hands with a Sparrer and Headgear into hands that are ready to go off next turn, by sending Glassjaw to the grave with Chain’s effect.

Also, Abyss Dweller is almost certainly important enough to warrant a slot in the extra deck, almost ending the game immediately if you ever manage to wear down a dragon player’s initial hand, or if they get too greedy with their Ravine.

Additions in summary:
+2 Seven Tools of the Bandit
+3 Maxx “C”
+1 Abyss Dweller
+1 Lavalval Chain

In the 2nd half of this article, which will probably end up being like 3/4ths of the article by the time I finish writing, I want to go through the process that I underwent to build and refine the Barrier Stun deck that I’ve been running for most of this format. The initial list I wrote down in a notebook as follows:
Monsters: 16
3 Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo
3 Barrier Statue of the Abyss
2 Barrier Statue of Heavens
2 Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer
3 D.D. Warrior Lady
3 Fencing Fire Ferret

Spells: 8
3 Pot of Duality
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Dark Hole
1 The Seal of Orichalchos

Traps: 16
2 Mirror Force
3 Dimensional Prison (I even realize this card was semi-limited!)
3 Prideful Roar
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Call of the Haunted
1 Solemn Warning
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Trap Hole
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Sixth Sense

The same notebook page also has a bunch of notes in the margins about sideboard plans and such. I’d love to post a picture, but I can’t find an SD card at the moment.

Fossil Dyna PachycephaloTo briefly go over what the deck is, it functions in sort of the same way as an Evilswarm deck. You aim to lock Dragons out of the game with Barrier Statues and Fossil Dyna, and protect it with traps. There are some key differences however. Where Evilswarm’s lock card is huge, my lock cards are smaller than a defense position Debris Dragon. Where there are losses though, there are huge benefits. Since I’m not reliant on opening with any kind of specific combo, I can afford to play more protection, and versatile monsters. One of the strongest parts of the deck is the expansive trap lineup, which helps make up for my monsters being much smaller than normal, and actually makes the Evilswarm matchup heavily in my favor. The Statues also have numerous benefits over Ophion, such as not getting hit by Xyz Encore, and being summonable off of Call of the Haunted, making you much stronger versus Blaster.

But I digress.

As far as progression goes, very few changes were made in the main between the initial list, and the list I played at the regional a week later. I cut the 3rd Prison for legality’s sake, and dropped the Fire Ferrets to the sideboard in favor of maining 3 1-ofs, Traptrix Myrmeleo, who functioned as sort of half a monster to make the ratios nicer, while also being a real card in rogue matchups like Evilswarm and Constellar, something I was greatly lacking. Grand Mole and Cyber Dragon were the other two 1-ofs I mained, mostly because I was terrified of Dracossack, and they were answers to Debris Dragon, something I was lacking at the time.

After running some numbers and being pretty dissatisfied with how the expected value on Sixth Sense worked out, I ended up cutting it before the regional as well. There are two major factors that led to me cutting Sixth Sense. The first was that it’s just slow, I want as much of my opening hand to be live as possible. If I can’t protect a Statue versus Dragon, it often doesn’t matter if I draw 5 or 6 off Sixth Sense, I still can’t kill a Dracossack + Scrap Dragon, or similar fields. The 2nd factor, which was really convincing is that the expected value on Sixth Sense really isn’t even that great. Sure, 1/3rd of the time the card says, “you win the game” but when played in a deck whose graveyard is almost entirely irrelevant, 2/3rds of the time it reads, “this card does nothing.” And while looking at expected value doesn’t mean too much in this situation due to how extreme the good rolls are, the EV of the card is only +0.8 cards when you consider that 1/2/3/4 rolls are all -1 card. In Dragon and Spellbook, the card is fantastic because it’s more like 2/3rds of the time the card does something relevant, but here? I decided against running it, and haven’t even considered changing back.

Mecha Phantom Beast DracossackThis is also around the time I started cutting Dark Hole from almost every deck that was submitted, which is also the time I decided to cut the card from every deck I had built myself. I realized Dark Hole really doesn’t answer the things you need it to answer, that is Dracossacks and Stardust Dragons. It also doesn’t protect the Statues, so it was just a wasted slot that didn’t contribute to my overall game plan. I also cut Torrential Tribute for being just in general a horrible idea, I don’t exactly know what I was thinking including that in the initial draft of the list.

I added Thunder King, a 2nd Trap Hole to go with the now mained copy of Myrmeleo. A Thunder King Rai-oh, since he seemed pretty solid all-around, and synergized well with all the traps I already had in the main. I also opted to run 2 Forbidden Lance, despite hating the card in the current format. The theory was pretty simple, the only way Dragon is killing statues is through Raigeki Break, Wind Blast, or Blaster effect. Lance answers half of the problem cards, and CotH answers the other half of the problem cards. It also filled the dual purpose that I want Lance to have when I add it to a deck, it allowed me to protect Statues from cards like Dux, Abysslinde, Abysspike, Debris Dragon, etc. It also was incredible for games 2 and 3 versus Evilswarm, which was a matchup I wasn’t sure if I was favored in yet.

I then through together an extremely rough sideboard, and went into the event with zero testing:
3 Fencing Fire Ferret
3 Banisher of Radiance
3 DNA Surgery
1 Traptrix Myrmeleo
1 Seven Tools of the Bandit
1 Cyber Dragon
1 Evilswarm Thunderbird
1 Twister
1 Breaker the Magical Warrior

I also couldn’t find a 3rd copy of Barrier Statue of the Abyss, so I ended up just running 3 Heavens and 2 Abyss, which was only really relevant versus Prophecy.

I ended up placing 6th out of slightly less than 400 people at the regional, if you’re interested I have a short tournament report posted on Duelistgroundz that goes over each round in detail.

I consider doing this segment right after the regional, but with the ARG in Massachusetts coming up, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be running this deck, so I decided to hold off until after the event. The next weekend I play in a couple of locals with the deck, do alright, but make a bunch of changes. For one, I realized D.D. Warrior Lady was just too passive versus Evilswarm, and all it was doing versus Dragons was banishing Debris Dragons. What I wanted was a proactive answer to Evilswarm monsters, and Debris Dragons, rather than a passive one. This led me towards running a small Fire Fist engine. I cut the three Warrior Ladies, one Typhoon, and the two Kycoos to make room for 2 Tenkis, 2 Bears, 1 Gorilla, and a Gyokkou.

cyber dragonSimilar to Warrior Lady, Grand Mole was similarly not proactive enough. While yes, it was an answer to Dracossack, if I’m using my normal summon to kill Dracossack, then I’m not using my normal summon to establish a Barrier Statue, and the problem just gets bigger. Similarly, I cut the Cyber Dragon after realizing Dragons don’t make Dracossack anywhere near as much as they just make a Stardust Dragon, or a Scrap Dragon. While being able to tribute summon to beat over a Debris was nice, the card just wasn’t good enough to continue maining.

Those two cuts turned into a 3rd copy of Lance, and a 3rd Call of the Haunted, trying to make the locks stronger, rather than needing to rely on comeback cards that don’t help comeback.

The other change I made was I cut the Seal of Orichalchos, which simply wasn’t putting in enough work versus Dragon, in exchange for the 6th Barrier Statue, as I quickly realized that with multiple Statues, you really can just sit back and deck your opponent out. They don’t play Dark Hole or Torrential, and they don’t have enough removal to answer all of them plus whatever protection you have for them. Even if they wall behind a Debris Dragon, you have inevitability, which is really rare for these kinds of matchups. Archetypically, the stun deck loses if games go to long, but the banning of Heavy Storm, and the metagame not running mass removal to draw into ends up making the stun deck the deck that can just sit back and wait for the game to end in its favor.

I then didn’t play Yugioh for 3 weeks, so we fast forward to the day before the ARG Circuit event. I normally don’t recommend making changes to your deck the midnight before the event, but I hadn’t tested the Fire Fist stuff at all prior to that playtesting session that Friday night.

To put it nicely, the Fire Fist stuff was awful. In theory I was actually really excited about it, but it just did not test well at all. Too many drawn Bears/Gorillas with no Formations to go alongside. Too many bad cards, and versus Evilswarm they really weren’t much better than Warrior Lady since they still couldn’t attack over a 2nd monster. I went from excited to test, to very disappointed in less than an hour. In brainstorming with a the group of people I travelled to the event with, we came up with numerous possible solutions, but what I ended up doing was running 2 copies of Jain, returning 2 of the Warrior Ladies to the main, and replacing the Gyokkou with the Typhoon again. I also decided to add a 2nd copy of Myrmeleo to the main, as it seemed like the best monster to add. It was between that, or a single mained Kycoo. I’m not entirely sure which is correct, but the difference is pretty marginal.

As far as the sideboard went, DNA Surgery wasn’t for this deck. Instead, I opted for Zombie Worlds and Kycoos in the board. Zombie World is especially notable because it blocks Temperance from getting World’s effect, since it changes type to Zombie even while in the Graveyard, and it (obviously) destroys their Tower when you activate it. While it’s easier for the Spellbook deck to answer than DNA is, the Spellbook deck doesn’t get to play with free cards anymore. Every tower you destroy is card advantage now. Every time you force Secrets to grab Tower, that’s one less Fate they have access to this game. And most importantly, without Tower, the Spellbook deck runs out of steam VERY quickly, especially versus this deck.

Versus standard Dragons I was largely preboarded, but I wanted to have answers for some of their sideboard cards like Skill Drain, and Decree. I opted for Seven Tools of the Bandit, since it answers both of those, as well as Wind Blasts, and Trap Stuns, alongside Twister, and a single copy of Imperial Iron Wall. The Seven Tools and Twister were cards I only wanted games 2 and 3, but the Iron Wall was added simply because I had an additional cut I wanted to make going into the postboard games (1 Myrmeleo, 1Trap Hole, 2 Prideful Roar)

For Evilswarm, the matchup was generally pretty easy once the Statues came out, and it didn’t really matter too much what I put in, so it was largely just stuff that went in everywhere else like Kycoos, and Seven Tools, as well as cards that in general go in versus just about every rogue matchup like Cyber Dragon, Fire Ferret, and Thunderbird. I’m sure a bunch of readers just now just did a bit of a doubletake, “What? Cyber Dragon? Hasn’t this kid read Ophion?” I have read Ophion. In fact, if you look closely, versus this deck Ophion says, “Your opponent wins the game.” I’m not worried about the Evilswarm deck summoning Ophions, if they’re summoning them they’re approaching the matchup wrong and I should easily win anyway. I have plenty of good outs to the card, DDWL, Fossil Dyna, Ferret, and most importantly, Prideful Roar. The way I lose the Evilswarm matchup is if they realize this, and just try to beat me down with Castors, Thunderbirds, Kerkyons, and Heliotropes. This is a big reason why I opted to run Jain, instead of the 3rd Warrior Lady, or something like Drillroid, and it’s also why Cyber Dragon is incredible in this matchup. Cydra beats over all of the cards your worried about, and they typically need to commit more than one card to clear it out of the way.

Anyway, anybody who saw my interview on stream, or read the report I posted on DGz knows I played terribly, and at no fault of my deck, scrubbed out after making some pretty major misplays in almost every round I played.

Well, that was a bit of a tangent, but hopefully I was able to show the process I go through when building a deck from scratch.

If you have a deck you’d like doctored by either Johnny or myself, send us a message at

Until next week, remember to Play Hard or Go Home!