Frazier Smith: The Problem with Mermails

frazier smithMermails, easily the most dominant deck this format and the obvious pick for the “deck to beat,” may not be such a great choice going forward in my opinion. I am in no way saying that the deck is bad, but I have several reasons why I don’t agree with using it at a premier level event, so this article will focus on just that.

For one, Mermails are the easiest deck to side against right now, and honestly, they always have been since their release last November. When going into an event, I don’t like to use a deck that everyone is prepared for because it can have very negative results if you go against straight up suicide bomber decks or horrible matchups like Macro Rabbit. On top of this, anything that isn’t Mermails will be siding cards like [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd], [ccProd]Banisher of the Radiance[/ccProd], [ccProd]Soul Drain[/ccProd], [ccProd]Macro Cosmos[/ccProd], etc. While most game ones can be in your favor, games two and three are absolutely horrendous if the opponent draws his/her side deck. Those cards I listed that are sided against Mermails will completely shut the deck down. This is similar to what was experienced when Infernities were first released. Every card sided was a blowout and could literally win your opponent the entire game. If you’ve been playing Mermails for awhile, I’m sure you’ve lost games to players you should not have because of them drawing [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd] and from you never drawing an out to it, or them just having multiple. The other decks in the format do not have this problem. The cards sided against them aren’t nearly as devastating. There really isn’t a great side option against Fire Fist/ Dino Fist which makes it a really strong deck game two. Remember that we also play more game twos and threes than game ones.

I’m sure you’re probably thinking of the obvious argument: Well how come so many Mermail decks have been topping the last few YCS tournaments? I attribute that to two things. 1) There are so many more Mermail decks at big tournaments these days than most of the other decks. I remember walking around after round 1 of Day 2 at YCS San Diego and seeing infinite Mermails everywhere. It was intense. This surprised me only because of how expensive the deck was to afford, but logically, not everyone was able to make Day 2 so borrowing a deck from a friend wasn’t too much to ask. With so many numbers, it’s not surprising that it would take up a majority of the top spots, and it is still a very good deck on top of that. 2) Many of the best players have been using Mermails. That’s no surprise considering that the deck requires the most skill and interaction.

The future holds some nice opposition to Mermails in the forms of Evilswarm, Tin Gadgets, and Prophecy. Ophion is very good. The Evilswarm deck as a whole is pretty terrible outside of that, though. However, that doesn’t matter too much because all it does is summon that one monster and protect it. The chances of a first turn Ophion are so consistent that I’m more surprised when it doesn’t come out on the first turn. Evilswarm is just another deck that adds to the bad matchups of Mermails. If you switch to the Undine build, you’ll be playing a subpar version of the deck. Maybe maining three copies of Heavy Infantry in Mono would help, but that’s only viable if Evilswarms were to pick up that much and I highly doubt that considering that Dino-Fist/Fire-Fist is just a better deck all around.

Spellbook of FateProphecy will be maining three copies of [ccProd]Threatening Roar[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Waboku[/ccProd] to stop themselves from dying on the first turn while they set up their next turn with Divine Judgment of the Prophecy. This is just like Inzektors only better. Once the [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd]s start circulating, it becomes impossible to push through. There’s also [ccProd]Jowgen the Spiritualist[/ccProd], which can be quite problematic if summoned at the end of turn one, almost guaranteeing another turn for the Prophecy deck. Then of course the deck can side into [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd]s and such just like most other decks so there’s that.

Tin Gadgets has the ability to consistently make a 2200 attack power [ccProd]Abyss Dweller[/ccProd] which is beyond annoying because it takes away two of your natural outs—Dragoons and Abyssteus crashing into it. It’s also just very fast and very aggressive since Gadgets don’t have to care about running into backrows—not to mention that most Mermails don’t play any real ones. And let’s not forget about our best friends for game two, [ccProd]Dimensional Fissure[/ccProd], [ccProd]Soul Drain[/ccProd], [ccProd]Banisher of the Radiance[/ccProd], etc. I happen to think that decks that play infinite backrows are also a naturally bad matchup for Mermails. If you don’t draw [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd], or if they just have an answer to it, then you’re in for a rough duel. Every trap drawn from that point on will be set, and it seems that all backrows affect Mermails more negatively than others.

Across ten or more rounds of swiss you want something very consistent or at least something that either has great matchups or isn’t expected. Mermails do not have many great matchups, if any. It seems all decks are geared towards beating it. The mirror match is absolutely horrendous, and anything that isn’t Mermail will side overly effective cards. It doesn’t do well against things like Gishki or those gimmicky decks, so you’ll have to hope to dodge them in the early rounds.

deep sea divaThe most annoying thing of all is not getting to play the game. That is what caused me to make the switch to Dino-Fist—I always get to play my games, even if my opponent opens up the nuts, I am still able to play cards and possibly win. When someone opens well against Mermails, it’s just like the end of the world. All of your cards do nothing outside of maybe the one [ccProd]Deep Sea Diva[/ccProd], and let’s be honest, she isn’t getting very far. I find myself having to draw multiple [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd]s in game two just to have a normal game. It’s also incredibly hard to side with Mermails because it’s a combo deck, so you don’t want to ruin the consistency by changing more than maybe 4-5 cards.

How do you feel about Mermails now? How about in a month after we have Tachyon and Hidden Arsenal 7?

Until next time, duelists! Play Hard or Go Home!

-Frazier Smith

-The Dark Magician

Frazier Smith

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