Hello Duelists! This past week I received a plethora of messages asking me questions about my Qliphort deck from YCS Tacoma so I thought I'd do a deck analysis this week. This was the decklist that I used at the event:
3 Qliphort Scout
3 Qliphort Disk
3 Qliphort Carrier
2 Qliphort Helix
1 Qliphort Monolith
2 Performapal Trampolynx
3 Maxx "C"
3 Summoners Art
3 Upstart Goblin
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Book of Moon
3 Vanity's Emptiness
2 Skill Drain
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Mirror Force
3 The Monarchs Stormforth
2 Flying C
3 Artifact Lancea
2 Vanity's Fiend
1 Snatch Steal
No Stealth, 1 Monolith: After the YCS I got countless messages asking me why I didn't use Stealth. I didn't bother responding to most of them as I already wrote an article explaining my reasoning for those ratios. I was being entirely honest when I said I didn't think Stealth was very good. Here's the link to the article that explains why I don't use Stealth and why I only use 1 Monolith. http://articles.alterealitygames.com/exploring-qliphort-monolith-and-stealth/
Mirror Force: This card was probably one of the best cards all weekend. It just steals games. I actually used this card at ARGCS Texas in Stellarknights but since I only top 16'd I realized that most people wouldn't pick up on how good this card was and use it.
Vs Nekroz: Mirror Force is an absolute blowout. Nekroz will try to OTK you if they're given the opportunity and if you have Mirror Force for that push, it sets them really far behind because they invested a lot into committing to the field so they probably won't have much for the next turn. If you have Scout on the field you probably just win because you're going to be accumulating too much advantage for them to keep up.
Vs Qliphort: The explanation here is simple: this matchup is predominantly about who can OTK their opponent first, so Mirror Force prevents you from being OTK'd and allows you to OTK them next turn.
I believe that Mirror Force is a "seasonal" card. What this means is that it's really good when nobody knows about it because it's going to steal so many games (which it did), and because of this it can only be good for a limited amount of time in each format. At some point people will realize how good it is, it will become a staple, and people will start to play around it more and more to the point where you usually won't get much value out of it.
Not maining Snatch: I don't think Snatch Steal is very good outside of the mirror match, but it's a really good card in the mirror match and it helps you OTK, so I decided I would just side it in.
Storm: Going into the event I didn't expect to play many Nekroz, and expected to play primarily against Burning Abyss (with traps) and even more Qliphort. If you can get to Storm and Saqlifice early on in the game you'll probably win just because Storm is a blowout card. Storm allows you to OTK your opponent by putting another monster into the Pendulum deck and getting rid of your opponent's backrow in the process. The Qliphort mirror match has definitely changed; before Storm the Qliphort mirror match was all about who could keep Scout on the field, but now I believe the mirror match is all about who can OTK first (this is also the reason that I sided both Dynatherium and Stormforth). Storm helps you accomplish your goal of OTK'ing in the mirror match which is why I decided to side a 3rd copy just for the mirror match.
Contrary to popular belief, Storm definitely has some application vs Nekroz. You can Pendulum Summon all your monsters, then use Storm, and now your extra deck is unlocked so you can summon Rhapsody to lock them out of Valkyrus (if they have 2 or less Nekroz cards in their graveyard) and OTK them. It's not a great card vs Nekroz, and I would definitely side it out, but it isn't a complete blank (like Veiler is when playing against Qliphort).
Some people were confused about why I was running so many traps along with Storm. Prior to this deck, most Qliphort builds that used Storm ran very few if any trap cards. Ever since I picked the Qliphort deck up, I have been sure that traps are definitely the way to go. And when people started playing Storm, for some reason they came to the conclusion that you couldn't run traps with it, which would really only make sense in a format dominated entirely by Qliphorts and Burning Abyss (which was not the case). Usually the only time that you activate Storm is when you can OTK your opponent or you really need to trigger Saqlifice. If you have a floodgate that they can't get rid of, Storm doesn't conflict with this; you still have a floodgate that they can't do anything about unless they draw an out to it for their turn, so you can just control the game until you decide to use Storm and drop your opponent's life points to 0.
No Spell Shattering Arrow: Like I stated earlier, because the mirror match is no longer getting rid of your opponent's Scout and more about OTK'ing, there is no longer a need for Spell Shattering Arrow.
Artifact Lancea: This was for the Nekroz matchup. The obvious plays with it are to either chain it to Trishula's effect or use it during the draw phase to prevent your opponent from banishing their ritual spell cards. Although after the event I decided there were better cards to side for this matchup, like Imperial Iron Wall or Mind Crush.
There's a cool play with Lancea when your opponent activates Nekroz Mirror and you know that your opponent wants to banish monsters from grave (such as Shrit, or Clausolas and Brionac to summon Trishula) to resolve Mirror. You can chain Lancea and one of two things will happen: you get to see their whole hand because they won't be able to resolve Mirror properly or they'll have to tribute monsters from their hand/field, which can force them into an incredibly suboptimal play.
Vanity's Fiend: I wanted a monster that was a floodgate against Nekroz, so it was between Vanity's Fiend and Majesty Fiend, but testing proved that Majesty Fiend was pretty easy to out. Since Nekroz usually side out Book of Eclipse when playing against Qliphort this makes their only out a field wipe such as Dark Hole or Raigeki, or a very inconvenient Decisive Armor + Dance Princess combo (assuming they didn't side Dance Princess out). The main thing that Vanity's Fiend had going for it was that it didn't get outed by Mystical Space Typhoon.
Flying C: This card hasn't really seen much play and I understand why. This is a high risk, high reward card. You always go second with this deck, and I feel if you open a hand trap when playing against Burning Abyss you auto-win. So I wanted to increase my chances of doing that by having 5 hand traps as opposed to 3. Yes, I'm aware that you can't summon Flying C if you have Scales out, which is why it's such a risky card. I probably wouldn't include this card in my side deck anymore because Burning Abyss aren't played much due to their awful Nekroz matchup.
Using 3 Disk: This isn't even a question, I have no idea how people use two. You want to OTK, and you want to have big monsters under Skill Drain. I've already explained why Stealth is bad, but in the Nekroz matchup specifically, Disk is far better at drawing out Valkyrus and having multiples can be very important to OTK when they run out.
That's all for this week's article! I still believe that Qliphort are the best deck. Nekroz are a more consistent deck, but I do not think they are the best deck. 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 Lauderdale, FL next on March 7-8! I hope to see you all there!
And As Always Play Hard or Go Home!