Path of the Avatar: Book 2 – Water

Last time we crossed paths, I had gotten 2nd place at YCS Toronto using my Earth Bending powers along with my innovative Psychic Deck featuring Grandsoil the Elemental Lord.

Now, months later, I continue my journey of mastering the Elements. I've been in training now for weeks, trying to learn the graceful and fluid style that is Water Bending, letting my defense become my offense, and turning opponents forces against them.

The release of Abyss Rising and the Roar of the Sea Emperor Structure deck let lose a maelstrom of Water support, with Atlanteans, Mermails, and of course the most infamous Water Monster so far created in the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG, Moulinglacia, the Elemental Lord. Going into YCS Seattle, I hope to use these powerful creatures of the deep to further my training in becoming expert of the Elements. Here is the deck I've been working on so far.

3 Atlantean Dragoons
3 Genex Undine
3 Deep Sea Diva
2 Mermail Abyssmegalo
2 Mermail Abysspike
2 Mermail Abysslinde
2 Atlantean Marksman
2 Atlantean Infantry
2 Genex Controller
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 Moulinglacia, the Elemental Lord

2 Salvage
2 Pot of Duality
1 Monster Reborn
1 Heavy Storm
1 Dark Hole
1 Pot of Avarice

3 Abyss-Sphere
2 Mirror Force
2 Torrential Tribute
2 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast

1 Ally of Justice Catastor
1 Armory Arm
1 Blackrose Dragon
1 Dewloren, King Tiger of the Ice Barrier
1 Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
1 Mist Wurm
1 Scrap Dragon
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Tech Genus Hyper Librarian
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Daigusto Phoenix
1 Gachi Gachi Gantetsu
1 Number 11: Big Eye
1 Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
1 Wind-up Zenmaines

My Monster lineup is pretty standard as far as I'm concerned, the only thing somewhat different is I'm only using 2 Atlantean Marksman and most people use 3 since 3 seemed like too much, with many decks leaning away from setting too many cards. Merlantean decks have very similar monster lineups, where things get really different are the Traps. My good friend and teammate Billy Brake and I decided that the mirror match is too dependent on simply who draws better and goes first (go figure). We also decided that, as good as Effect Veiler is versus some decks, and Maxx C is against others, we would rather not risk having dead cards against "x" deck, and tried to shoot for a different approach, in trying to make our hands as consistent as possible, and being able to keep up against numerous decks in the format.

Most Merlantian decks are very low on Trap cards, and believe me, I wish I could run it like that, but unfortunately with the release of the Merlantian deck, some players of opted to start running Rabbit again, and many decks main and/or side Dimensional Fissure or Macro Cosmos. My deck runs 2 Mirror Force and 2 Torrential Tribute to start. Torrential isn't so odd but Mirror Force has been working wonders, as most people assume it is a Abyss Sphere, and walk right into a field crushing force of light. This helps greatly against Rabbit decks as 99% of the time, they go into Dolkka, and against Wind-up decks helps deal with Shock Master as long as they don't call Trap Cards.
And finally, my last trap card is my favorite Trap Card in Yu-Gi-Oh, and I'm super excited about playing it again; Phoenix Wing Wind Blast!

We started noticing that many times, we just had many cards in our hand (resulting from Undine more often then not), and sometimes not a way to deal with cards. Since Undine is technically a +2, and Wing Blast a -1, using it to spin an opponent's card leaves them 1 card behind, and kills a draw. Killing draw phases is something that used to be widely done in the past, but as of late, is not the case. Being able to turn Genex Controller into dealing with threats, and killing draw phases was just too good for me to pass up. Making a Rabbit opponent redraw a Normal Monster, making Wind-ups draw a Magician or a Factory again after trying to force a big play, can often result in a blow out, as you just proceed to throw everything you got at them while they draw dead.

The deck can outspeed Wind-ups minus an opening of Magician and Shark, or multiple Wind-up Factories, which at that point, most decks lose anyway. I find the deck works so well because of the fact that, although certain cards in the deck require them to work together with other cards, you have Undine (which in my opinion is the best card in the deck) and Deep Sea Diva are just SO good on their own. Undine is always a +2, giving you a toolbox for almost any monster in your Deck, or destroying any card on the field, and Deep Sea Diva allows you to set up Synchro (or Xyz) plays at will.

Against Geargia, we feel we have a pretty solid match-up. Geargia is very passive while trying to control, while Merlantean is very aggressive while trying to control. It seems to me that, the Geargia decks main way to defeat the Merlantean deck is to open with both of its Solemn Warnings, or something like Solemn Warning and Effect Veiler. Undine can just destroy their set cards (Like Armor) without fear of Effect Veiler and proceed to build advantage very quickly.

The decks hardest match-up in the current Metagame is probably Chaos Dragons and Macro-Rabbit. Chaos Dragons has the ability to survive a turn via Maxx C's, Veilers, Gorz, and Tragoedia, and then push back with giant monsters. Usually this means destroying your Moulinglacia, and also skipping your next battle phase. So when playing Chaos Dragons, one must be very cautious and think very hard before going into something where things could possibly backfire. Moulinglacia is one hell of a card, but against Chaos Dragons which thrive on having cards in the Graveyard, it could also be the start of something very bad throwing some much needed Light and/or Dark monsters away.

Rabbit is the other somewhat difficult matchup. Dolkka can be a very difficult card to handle, especially when backed up by Forbidden Lance and/or Macro Cosmos. Macro Cosmos can stop most cards in the deck from triggering, and whatever it cannot, Dolkka deals with. With the addition of defensive Trap cards, it increases the odds of being able to deal with the obnoxious deck. I really want to spin a Macro Cosmos on top of my opponents deck and make them draw that stupid card again, and have to reset it.

The Extra deck is fairly standard as well, but there is one monster I would like to touch on, and that card is Armory Arm. Armory Arm easily STEALS games that you cant win. I cannot make clear enough, how many times I've gone into  Abyssmegalo + Armory Arm (Basically the same play as BLS + Armory Arm, but much easier to pull off) and just double swung for game, whether it be over 1 Monster, 2 Monsters, or just directly. It is something I do not see many people do, or even see many people talk about, so I feel like it was very important for me to bring this up.

One final note, even though the Merlantean deck is extremely mainstream, and that is something I tend to stay away from, Water is by far my favorite Element, so I have to at least try to do well with them. Not only that, but what kind of Bender would I be if I just gave up and didn't at least attempt a Water deck!

So until next time folks, (which will either be my YCS tournament report, or my Fire Bending article) play hard or go home!




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