Exploring Qliphort: Monolith and Stealth

Hello Duelists! Secrets of Eternity introduced 4 possibly relevant Qliphort cards into the Yugioh world: Qliphort Monolith, Qliphort Stealth, Qliphort Cephalopod, and Soul Transition. Last week I discussed Soul Transition and Qliphort Cephalopod and as promised this week I'll be discussing Qliphort Stealth and Qliphort Monolith. Let’s get right into it!

Qliphort Monolith

Pendulum Effect You cannot Special Summon monsters, except "Qli" monsters. This effect cannot be negated. During the End Phase, if you Tribute Summoned this turn: You can draw a number of cards equal to the number of "Qli" monsters you Tributed for Tribute Summons this turn.

Right off the bat, most of you probably think that this is a must use card and you're right, I agree! It is a target for Summoner’s Art so now if you already have Qliphort Scout on the field you can use Summoner’s Art to complete the Scale and search something else off of Scout, but that's not its primary strength. Being able to draw cards for stuff that you were going to do anyway is pretty great, but now the question becomes: how great? Or, more specifically, how many should you use?

Using 1 Monolith or 2?

To answer this question we need to first figure out what 2 Monolith does that 1 doesn't. I hate opening Qliphort Monolith.  The reason for this is because it's essentially a worse Performapal Trampolynx if I didn't open Qliphort Scout along with it, and unlike every other Qliphort monster I can't normal summon it without tributing so just like Trampolynx it's going to be a -1 in my hand until I get to a 9 scale. So if I were to use 2 then that would increase my odds of having it in my opening hand which is something that I want to avoid.

However, there is a cool application to using 2 Monolith that would make me consider using it since it isn't available with only 1 Monolith, and that's being able to OTK with Qliphort Disk. Before Qliphort Monolith, the Qliphort deck could usually do 7300 points of damage when going for game. For example: Let's say I open a hand consisting of Qliphort Scout+3 monsters or 2 monsters and Saqlifice (Not exactly typical but at the same time not very unrealistic either) before you would just Pendulum Summon a Carrier and another monster or equip it with Saqlifice and then normal summon Disk, special summon 2 Qliphort monsters, and if everything went right then you would have dealt 7300 points of damage to your opponent. Now let's imagine that same situation but with the addition of Monolith: Disk special summons 2 Qliphort Monolith from your deck instead, now that's actually game (31+27+27=8500) because if you have both Qliphort Monolith on the field that means that your one scale is probably a Carrier or a Disk so all your monsters are boosted by 300.

Such an ideal situation comes up fairly rarely, however. The combo I just outlined is a 4 card combo, which means that you will still have 2 cards in your hand (we know they aren't monsters; otherwise that 7300 becomes over 8000 since you can just Pendulum Summon another monster). If they aren't monsters that means that they're either traps or Spell/ Trap removal, in all the games that I've summoned a Qliphort Disk AND had traps to back it up, very few of those games didn't end in my favor. And in reality, if you're summoning all those monsters your opponent has to have opened no real backrow and if your opponent doesn't have real backrow, you’re winning that game anyways. If that wasn't enough, in the mirror match if your opponent went first and paid 800 life points to use Scout’s effect, then that's already game since they're only at 7200 life points! For all of the above reasons I believe that using 2 Monolith is unnecessary and that 1 is probably the correct number to use.

Qliphort Stealth

Pendulum Effect You cannot Special Summon monsters, except "Qli" monsters. This effect cannot be negated. All "Qli" monsters you control gain 300 ATK.

Monster Effect You can Normal Summon this card without Tributing. If this card is Normal Summoned without Tributing, or is Special Summoned, its Level becomes 4 and its original ATK becomes 1800. If this card is Normal Summoned/Set, it is unaffected by activated effects from any monster whose original Level/Rank is lower than this card's current Level. When this card is Tribute Summoned by Tributing a "Qli" monster(s): You can target 1 card on the field; return it to the hand. Your opponent cannot activate cards or effects in response to this effect's activation.

This is the probably the card that most people instantly assumed would be a must play card, but I disagree. I don't think that Qliphort Stealth is very good at all. Here are some arguments that have been brought in favor of Stealth.

"Stealth is really good against a board of 2 Dantes because you can use Carrier and Stealth to clear both"

Counter: You can normal summon Disk and bounce one with Carrier, attack over the remaining one with Disk and even deal some damage with the 2 monsters you summoned, then have an full extra deck for next turn. And if your opponent is expecting you to tribute Carrier on their next turn then they usually summon Downerds Magicians over the Dantes so that the Dantes will get their graveyard effect, which takes away most of the advantage that Carrier and Stealth were supposed to give you, so I think Disk does as good of a job as Stealth. A normal summoned Disk isn't exactly easy for Burning Abyss to get over either without a trap card (especially if the Disk is being boosted by 300).

"When you're playing against the mirror you can bounce a normal summoned Disk"

You can also just crash with your own Disk and deal another 4200 (or more) damage with the 2 monsters you summoned off Disk. Usually their Disk won't have a Saqlifice equipped unless they opened multiples as they would want to tribute just 1 monster for Qliphort Disk and OTK you. The mirror is very quick if both players open Qliphort Scout, if your opponent has a normal summoned Disk and he hasn't OTK'D you, odds are you can OTK him on your next turn, so you don't need Stealth because Disk does the same job but better.

"You can bounce your own Scout turn one."

Well that just doesn't sound all that great to me, so you had a Scout and summoned 2 monsters (or monster + Saqlifice) and you probably have a Monolith in the other Pendulum zone (otherwise there wouldn't be much of a point to summon it turn one). I don't see why bouncing Scout is very good here, as the only worthwhile card to add is Saqlifice, and by doing this you still lose to the same cards that you normally lose to when playing against Shaddolls and Burning Abyss (Enemy Controller and Snatch Steal) except all you've done now is put yourself at 800 less life points, and made the monster they're about to take 300 points stronger. Remember, almost every deck struggles with getting over a normal summoned Disk. Summoning a Disk is just as good, Stealth just seems win-more in that situation, and Disk will also fill up your extra deck for a blowout turn next turn.

"When you tribute Helix you Night Beam backrow"

What backrow are you trying to hit that they haven't used already? Bottomless Trap Hole? That would've been used - Mystical Space Typhoon? That would've been used as well. I guess you can destroy a Compulsory Evacuation Device but that’s a pretty niche edge case. And on top of everything you have to have opened with Stealth to even have that situation come up because if you search it off of Scout then they will use any relevant cards they have set so the Helix being a Night Beam would be the same thing as a Mystical Space Typhoon as it’s probably not a chainable card anyway.

There really is only one situation in which I think that only Stealth can get the job done and that is in the mirror match when you open a monster that ISN'T a Helix or a Carrier and equip it with Saqlifice. This allows you to normal summon Stealth, bounce their monster that is equipped with Saqlifice and now if you have 1 more monster and a Carrier or a Disk in the Pendulum zone you can OTK them.  That said, this situation is pretty rare, and I don’t think it makes playing an otherwise mediocre card a good idea.

What do you guys think about Qliphort Stealth and Qliphort Monolith? Do you plan on using either at the next ARGCS or YCS? 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 Fort Worth, TX next on February 7-8! I hope to see you all there!

And As Always Play Hard or Go Home!