Destroying Atlantis – Defeating Mermail Atlanteans

Hey, what's up fellow Yugioh Players? It's me Tyree Tinsley again! Part 2 of my last article (Battle of the Minds) has been temporarily put on hold, since I feel that everybody should know anything and everything about what they can do to defeat the powerful new deck called Mermail-Atlanteans! If you don’t know how to play against this deck, it can devastate you, especially with the many options and plays that it has but hopefully after reading this article you will have learned a thing or two to beat it!

First, we need to look how the deck functions and plays in order to find what steps can be taken to beat it. The deck is fairly linear throughout most of the game, so most plays shouldn’t be too shocking as you get familiarized with the cards that most builds play, commonly summoning Undine turn 1 or setting Abysslinde to set up their future plays, so like against most other decks, don’t attack set monsters early on without a plan. The deck also has many Graveyard-based effects, so cards like Fiendish Chain and Effect Veiler aren’t exactly ideal against it. Veiler is only optimal when they summon Deep Sea Diva or Moulinglace but if they are summoning the Elemental Lord they are already set up enough to where the Veiler probably didn’t do too much damage. I also wouldn’t advise Veilering an Undine, as good it may look, sending the Water monster to the grave is a cost and you will only stop them from adding the Genex Controller to the hand. Most builds of the deck I have seen up to this point run few Trap cards, only running 2-3 copies of Abyss-Sphere and maybe some copies of Torrential and/or Compulsory, so cards like Heavy Storm and to a lesser extent MST,  aren’t ideal versus the deck (Game 1 at least). Activating MST at the wrong time can be costly if you hit an Abyss-Sphere which will set them up for future turns. You can however, chain MST to the Abyss-Sphere when they activate it so they won’t get the effect so make sure to use your MSTs at the right time! As with the popular Trap-less builds of the deck, you will probably see Tragoedia and Gorz so make sure to play around them, so you don’t lose the game to a timely Trag getting dropped, especially in the earlier stages of the game. A good thing to try and do in this matchup is to try and hold your key traps in your hand until you notice they are ready to make a big move, getting your Torrential blown up by Marksmen early on doesn't sound too pleasing. Many versions of the deck have a 2500 ATK barrier, which means that they generally have a hard time running over monsters with 2500 ATK or more, so putting up a big monster up such as Utopia, Lightpulsar, Hyperion, etc backed up by some form of protection would be a good position to be in. Letting the game drag on when facing this deck isn’t a solid strategy depending on the deck your running since a good amount of decks this format have either a poor early or late game. Mermail-Atlantean has a good early, mid and late game through use of Salvages, their boss monsters Abyssmegalo and Moulinglace, and their ability to grind out by pick away at your resources using their Atlantean effects. Putting big monsters onto the board recklessly or needlessly is another thing not to do as Number 11: Big Eye is not too hard for them.They can just overlay 2 Abyssmegalos and take whatever you decided to lay onto the field, so that BLS you just summoned with nothing to protect it might be ending the game in a way you didn’t expect! The deck searches and adds cards to the hand a lot throughout the game, so make sure you try and remember what they have steadily accumulated in their hand so you can play accordingly. Confusing that Diva they added to their hand a turn or 2 back and with a Gorz you think that might have can be the difference between winning and losing. The more you play against the deck the better you will get at knowing and understanding how they play, how to play against it, and how to counter it!

Now we can start naming cards that are good against the deck that you can possibly side against it. Since the deck centers on the graveyard and having it setup, cards like Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure are really good because while they are on the field the deck can’t make many plays outside of some Synchro or Xyz plays with Diva, so if your deck can run Macro or D-Fissure, go for it! Soul Drain is also a card that is useful against the deck; it shuts down all of their effects that activate in the grave such as Marksman, Abysslinde, Dragoons, Heavy Infantry, so even if you see this card after the early stages of the game it will still be fairly useful shutting down a key part of their deck! Thunder King Rai-Oh is another great card. Just about any deck can main it and it's great versus a plethora of decks at the  moment and only gets better with this deck making its way into the meta! Hitting it early game stops then from activating Undine's or Abysspike's effect. Although you cannot negate the Summon of Abyssmegalo with Thunder King because it starts a Chain, you can negate the summon of the Elemental Lord Moulinglace and any Synchros or Xyzs they try and make. Thunder King backed up by some protection can win games on its own at times! Maxx “C” is another card that is decent against the deck that you can side in if you are running a deck that can’t side D-Fissure or Macro Cosmos. Since Abyssmegalo starts a Chain when it’s Summoned, you can chain Maxx “C” to it and draw, sort of like how you can Maxx “C” Wind-Up Shark. You also can hit cards like Abyss-Sphere, Abysslinde (outside of the Damage Step), and Diva which can stymie their plays when activated at a key point in time. One card which is a great against Mermail-Atlanteans that just about any deck can run in the Extra Deck is a card fresh out the new set Abyss Rising called Abyss Dweller! If you don’t know what this card does, its effect is:

“While this card has an Xyz Material attached that was originally WATER, all WATER monsters you control gain 500 ATK. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; any card effects that activate in your opponent's Graveyard cannot be activated this turn”

This card is a huge help against the deck, acting as a Monster version of Soul Drain negating all of their Graveyard effects, this card even helps against other decks such as Darkworlds and some key monsters like Sangan, Mystic Tomato, and Card Trooper. You can also give all of your Water monsters a boost by using a Water monster as an Xyz material so decks like Wind-Ups can greatly use this card to their advantage! Another Xyz monster which is great against the deck is Shock Master. Its ability to lock down monster effects for up to 3 turns, so if you run a deck that can easily put 3 Level 4 Monsters on the board such as Wind-Ups, Geargias, Bubble Heroes, or even Chaos Dragons (running GK Spy), then this is a good weapon you can use! One more card I want to talk about that a friend brought up to me is an older card called The End of Anubis. This card reads:

"While this card is face-up on the field, all effects of Spell, Trap, and Monster Cards that target a card(s) in the Graveyard or that activate in the Graveyard are negated."

Though most decks can't really run this card with it being a 5 Star Tribute monster, if you are running a deck like Chaos Dragons then this might be the card for you to side! It has 2500 ATK so it can't be killed by Abyssmegalo and it's Dark so it also can't be destroyed by the easily summoned Catastor. Besides your opponent not being able to use any of their Atlantean effects, they also can't use key cards like Pot of Avarice, Salvage, and Monster Reborn. If your opponent can't summon Moulinglace to run it over or make a Synchro/Xyz play to get rid of it this guy might be sitting on the field for a little while. Atlanteans do however side cards like Soul Taker for monster removal so you have to watch out. Outside of Atlanteans and Darkworlds though, this card isn't too great in other matchups so if you do decide to side it, don't side too many. I haven't tested this card that much yet, but go ahead and try it out for yourself and see how it works for you.

You have to be careful when you are going into Games 2 and 3 against this deck as Siding the wrong cards in and out can be fatal. Siding out all of your Spell and Trap removal is dangerous as many version of the deck side cards like Messenger of Peace, Level Limit - Area B, Gozen Match, Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror and maybe some generic Traps such as Mirror Force or Torrential to try and take advantage of people who side out all of their MSTs and Heavy since they didn’t see any Traps besides Abyss-Sphere Game 1. So keeping in some copies of MST would be a safe thing to do so you don’t get wrecked by a timely Gozen Match or Shadow Mirror. Against this deck I find myself bringing in my Fiendish Chains. The reason I like Chain over Veiler against this deck is the fact if you have a D-Fissure or Macro Cosmos faceup you cannot use Veiler while Fiendish is still usable and does basically the same thing. Besides using Fiendish to stop Diva, Trag plays, or attacks, you also need to stop Airorca which Atlanteans commonly side to get rid of cards like D-Fissure and Macro, so that is one thing to look out for. One thing I have noticed is that some people running Atlanteans side Deck Devastation Virus. With its easy access to Catastor and T.G. Hyper Librarian (if ran) through Diva, Gorz, and Tragoedia at times, DDV isn’t always as dead as some people think. DDV destroys many decks right now, 2 of the main ones being Wind-Ups and Geargia as it hits just about the entire monster lineup, there isn’t much to do to stop DDV, but just be wary that it might get activated Game 2 or 3 and that you sometimes might want to Warning that Trag or Catastor they are trying to drop on you instead of waiting until next turn to Soul Taker or Dark Hole it.

Finally, there are certain decks you can run that have favorable matchup against the Atlantean deck. Macro Rabbit would be a great choice if your trying to combat Atlanteans. The combination of Macro Cosmos, the ability to lock down the game through Evolzars Laggia and Dolkka, and the infinite backrows the deck runs can be a huge problem for the Water deck to handle. Against the Trap-less versions of the deck, Rabbit is even better because they won’t be able to stop many of your plays, so while you have a Macro up you can make your plays with no resistance. One of the greatest factors is that Macro Rabbit isn't just good against Atlanteans, it also has good matchups against Wind-Ups, Inzektors, Darkworlds, Chaos Dragons, and is decent against Agents. Agents are another deck that wouldn’t be a bad choice when deciding what deck to play for an upcoming event. Not only do they have an amazing matchup against Wind-Ups, but they have don’t have any terrible matchups outside of some rogue decks. Being able to control the game with Thunder King Rai-Oh and Call of the Haunted is huge, as well as the looming threat of Herald of Orange light which can even stop their graveyard effects! Archlord Kristya is a problem for just about every deck this format and the Atlantean deck isn’t an exception. Aside of Heavy Infantry, Dark Hole, and maybe a few tech cards, it locks out most of their deck. You have to be careful though, as the deck can play like Inzektors at times, blowing up a number of cards on your side on the field, so make sure you don’t drop your boss monsters or make a big play before you need to. Playing a deck which is good against many others across the board is a great thing when going into a big event, so if you have an event coming up soon you can try running one of the decks that I've mentioned.

Hopefully this article has taught you guys how to deal with the Mermail-Atlantean deck, and shouldn't feel too unfamiliar and overwhelmed by the deck if you were before. Not knowing how a deck plays and what cards the deck generally Mains and Sides greatly decreases your chances of winning the match against it. Dealing with this deck shouldn’t be too much of a pain (outside of some ridiculous hands) when knowing how it functions; knowledge is the first step to learning how to overcome new decks that enter the format! Again, the more you play against the deck, the better you will fare against it so playtest against it when you have the chance. I Hope this article was informative and you gathered some useful information out of it, until next time guys, later!

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