Masters of Secrets, Wisdom, Fate, Life…

frazier smithHello, duelists! It’s the week after YCS New Jersey and as you know, Mermails were able to claim another victory. Tyree Tinsley captured his second win, so special congrats go out to him, and congrats to ARG’s very own, Patrick “Proban” Hoban, who managed to top with Infernities. All in all, it was a very exciting weekend, and the last event before the rise of the Dragon Rulers and Prophecies. And speaking of Prophecy, I’m sure most of you know that I, as well as 3 other ARG writers, all used Prophecy this past weekend in Meadowlands. The deck was piloted by Joe Girolando, Joe Bogli, Mike Steinman, and yours truly. We all made slight variations to fit our playstyles and address certain issues that each of us thought were more important than others. Here is a copy of the decklist that allowed me to finish with a 9-2 record and 34th place:

40 cards
Monsters: 13
2 [ccProd]high priestess of prophecy[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]spellbook magician of prophecy[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]maxx “c”[/ccProd] 3 [ccProd]justice of prophecy[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]tragoedia[/ccProd]

Spells: 18
3 [ccProd]spellbook of secrets[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]spellbook of wisdom[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]spellbook of power[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]spellbook of fate[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]spellbook of the master[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]spellbook of eternity[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]the grand spellbook tower[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]spellbook of life[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]pot of duality[/ccProd]

Traps: 9
3 [ccProd]fiendish chain[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]torrential tribute[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]mirror force[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]bottomless trap hole[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]mirror force[/ccProd]

Side deck: 15
1 [ccProd]heavy storm[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]dark hole[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]breakthrough skill[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]debunk[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]messenger of peace[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]dimensional fissure[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]breaker the magician warrior[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]rivalry of the warlord[/ccProd] 2 [ccProd]mystical space typhoon[/ccProd]

Extra deck: XX
2 [ccProd]gachi gachi gantetsu[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]hierophant of prophecy[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]number 11: big eye[/ccProd] 1 [ccProd]daigusto phoenix[/ccProd]

monster reborn**I actually played several other extra deck monsters but none of them were even close to being summoned, both because it’s so impractical, and the lack of [ccProd]Monster Reborn[/ccProd].

So as you can see, the deck only used two copies of [ccProd]High Priestess of Prophecy[/ccProd] and a total of nine traps. The traps make all the difference since they allow the deck to do something that it normally cannot do, and that is prevent itself from dying. The most reliable way to defeat a Prophecy player is to kill them in the early turns so that he/she cannot amass insane amounts of card advantage in the late game. Decks like Mermails are more than capable of doing this, which is why the main deck is also geared towards beating that deck specifically. The three copies of [ccProd]Maxx “C”[/ccProd] along with the two copies of [ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd] help to guarantee you another turn. The deck is surprisingly great at cleaning up fields and regaining control once you learn to conserve your Priestesses and [ccProd]Spellbook of Power[/ccProd]s. Despite all of this, the Mermail matchup for this deck is still incredibly difficult because there’s no way to guarantee that you won’t get dougie’d on by Abyssteus Dragoons or the several other absurd openings unless you have one of your three copies of [ccProd]Maxx “C.”[/ccProd]

On the other hand, the deck’s strongest matchup happens to be the second most played deck in the game right now—Fire Fist/Dino Fist. That deck aims to win through grinding it out with constant monster removal and timely aggression. It naturally works like a charm, but against Prophecy, the whole engine just falls apart. You have no opportunities to go “plus” in the same ways that you do in other matchups. If a Priestess hits the field, you can bet that she’ll be accompanied by a [ccProd]Spellbook of Wisdom[/ccProd]. This means that most people will lose in one turn from a massive swing in advantage because Priestess will come out, pop a card, attack over another, and then anything that threatens her on this little conquest will be negated by the power of Wisdom. There’s also [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd] which is great due to [ccProd]Spellbook of the Master[/ccProd] being able to instantly add two Spellbook cards to your grave as early as turn one. This is accomplished by playing [ccProd]Spellbook of Secrets[/ccProd], searching [ccProd]Spellbook of the Master[/ccProd], and then playing Master to copy Secrets. You can either search for the field spell or [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd] from there, depending on which one you don’t already have. That opening is considerably strong and even more consistent. There are essentially six copies of [ccProd]Spellbook of Secrets[/ccProd] in the deck (3 [ccProd]Spellbook Magician of Prophecy[/ccProd] and the 3 copies of Secrets itself), so you have a 65% chance to open with 1 out of the 6 in a 40 card deck. I’d say the odds are ever in your favor.

royal decreeThe deck does have some randomly horrendous rougue matchups like Dark World and Chain Burn. One of my losses was actually to Chain Burn which makes me wish that I had sided two copies of [ccProd]Royal Decree[/ccProd] instead of the two almost useless copies of [ccProd]Mystical Space Typhoon[/ccProd] I played instead. Dark World is scary because it usually comes with Eradicator Epidemic Virus, which happens to be an autowin against Prophecy for obvious reasons. If you can dodge those random rogue decks, you should be fine.

As far as the main deck goes, I would only consider adding in another Priestess. This is for one reason and one reason only—because it takes entirely too long to actually win the game. My teammates and I spent 20 minutes on average to win a game, and this is strictly because the opponents would not scoop even after seeing that you have +8 on them. I mean, it’s kind of hard to scoop when it’s turn 20 and your lifepoints are at 7000 from two attacks by the little blue boy. I can’t say that I blame them because I know how it is to travel across the country to play, but there’s no reason that Steffon Bizzell was the only person who scooped after seeing where the game was going. I think players should realize that sometimes games are over from other reasons than having your life drop to 0. For example, when Wind-ups would go first turn Magician Shark, ending with an insane field and real backrows, there’s really no point in wasting time or showing your opponent what you’re playing since you are going to lose anyways. You can tell when your hand has a chance of coming back, but for the most part, you’re just going to lose. And the same is true when you’re staring down a Prophecy player who has the field spell, a known [ccProd]Spellbook of Fate[/ccProd] somewhere in the backrow, and six cards in hand…to your 2 cards total. You have to be realistic.

maxxThe side deck was pretty hard to make proper use of because the Spellbook engine is so tightly intertwined with every other card in the deck. You can’t side out too many Spellbooks because then you won’t be able to summon High Priestess reliably, and she is your only win condition, literally. Therefore, you have to look at the only other things that stand out, which are the three copies of [ccProd]Maxx “C,”[/ccProd] the two copies of [ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd], and some of the trap cards depending on the matchup. That was literally all I could ever afford to side out. It wasn’t a big deal because of how solid the main deck was, but I could easily see where a player might mess up his/her deck after game one, and it’s imperative that you do not do that. Actually, that seems to be the case with a lot of the decks this format; you can’t side too many cards or take out too much of the core engine because these themed decks will not operate properly without their supporting pieces. In any event, it’s time to wrap this thing up so thanks for reading guys!

Until next time, duelists! Remember, Play Hard or go Home!

-Frazier Smith

-The Dark Magician

*ARG will be posting a deck profile/interview video with me at YCS New Jersey so check it out when you can.

Frazier Smith

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