Rabbit Hunting

Hey guys, I’m back this week with another article. This time I’m going to give some insight on beating Dino Rabbit, the deck that just won this past weekend’s YCS in Brighton. Additionally it managed to capture half of the spots in Top 16 and three of the four spots in Top 4. If this past weekend’s event was any indicator, Rabbit is making a move towards becoming the best deck in the format. Rabbit has a favorable Plant matchup, which is important as Plants are the most played deck. Today I’m going to give some tips on beating this tricky matchup.

Main Deck Options

Maxx “C” and Effect Veiler – There has been a debate between 3 Maxx “C” and 1 Veiler or 2 of each for the majority of the format. Looking at only the Rabbit matchup, it seems that Effect Veiler does almost nothing against Rabbit and really only stops their Tour Guide plays. Maxx “C” is an automatic plus 1 as they are forced to special summon twice if you chain it to Rabbit’s effect. This is important as whatever they bring out will negate something of yours and be a plus for them. Veiler in this situation would be almost entirely dead and even Veilering a Tour Guide would be a minus 1. Veiler is alright against Plants, but really Maxx “C” does the same thing but better the majority of the time in that matchup as well. For these reasons I could see dropping Veiler altogether and maxing out on Maxx “C.” I don’t think anyone should be running more than 1 Veiler at the most.

Spirit Reaper Spirit Reaper is an extremely versatile card. It gives you the ability to wall for multiple turns against the deck as they have a very limited number of outs to the card. The winning deck had just seven outs in his entire deck to a Reaper stalling in defense. Most of the other Rabbit decks in Top 16 had even fewer outs. Combine this with the fact that Reaper is good in just about every matchup and we should consider playing multiple copies instead of just the one.

Thunder King Rai-Oh – This is the optimal first turn play against just about every meta deck, Rabbit included. He’s good the majority of the game and really only bad when your opponent has an established field. He works to prevent them from establishing a field which is why he should be summoned as soon as you have the opportunity to do so. Since Rabbit can do little without their XYZs, it is definitely worth considering going from two copies of the card up to the maximum number of copies.

Side Deck Options

Snowman Eater – I think that Snowman Eater is a solid card to Rabbit. It is one of few cards to be a one card out to Laggia as they cannot negate it. I also like that it breaks even with opposing Thunder King Rai-Ohs since it has 1900 defense. It also serves as a mini Spirit Reaper against anti-meta decks.

Black Horn of Heaven – This card is absolutely amazing against Rabbit as they can’t really win without inherent summons. It stops every single one of their power plays including Laggia, Dolka, Leviair, and Zenmaines. It also has uses in the Plant mirror match. Ryan Spicer’s latest article talks more in depth about this card’s uses so all of you should go check it out!

Fiendish Chain – This card is similar to Effect Veiler in that they both negate effects, however in the Rabbit matchup, this card is much superior to Veiler. Like Veiler, it stops their Tour Guides, but also stops their XYZs in their tracks. It turns their powerhouse Dolka into a 2300 vanilla that can’t attack. Against Laggia, it forces them to negate it and leaves you free to do whatever you want. One of the biggest advantages of this card is that not only is this card useful before they establish a field, it is also useful when you draw it and they have already set up their field. It’s also good in more than just the Rabbit matchup, another useful quality!

Playing the Matchup

One thing you have to be sure not to do in this matchup is to not set any monsters that Guaiba can attack over. This means you should try not to set your Glow-Up Bulb, Spore, Dandylion, or Sangan so as not to give them a free XYZ monster.

Also you should take note of the use of Forbidden Lance. You don’t want to try and attack over their Guaiba with Thunder King while they have sets unless you can play around it. A good way of playing around lance would be activating Enemy Controller on Guaiba when you attack. If they chain Lance to make it so that it doesn’t go to defense, it loses 800 Attack and you should still be able to get over it. If they don’t play Lance, Guaiba has low defense and Enemy Controller will allow you to safely attack over it.

Also some of the builds play Dimensional Fissure. If the first card they play is Fissure and you opened Maxx “C”, you should chain it to Fissure, even if you aren’t totally sure they’re playing Rabbit. Since you can’t play Maxx “C” once it resolves, you might as well play it now. At this point two things could happen, you will have either discarded a dead card which isn’t the end of the world, but in doing so you stopped them from setting up for a turn and you can now set backrow or have a turn to set up for yourself or you will get a plus 1 off Maxx “C.” This is even more important here as Fissure doesn’t give them any real advantage and by playing it they really started out with one less card and Maxx “C” let you start out with one more card.

Chain Links and Rulings

Rulings are an important part of the game that everyone should know. Especially when they provide outs to a situation like the one I am about to highlight that otherwise you probably would not have known.

Let’s say your opponent has Dolka on the field with both XYZ materials on it. This is especially troublesome for Plants as they rely on their monster effects more heavily than most decks. Enemy Controller and one of several cards provide an immediate out, if you know how to chain it correctly. You simply need the Controller and a monster that triggers when it leaves the field such as Dandylion, Sangan, or Reborn Tengu.

For my example I’ll use Sangan. First you want to set Sangan and activate Enemy Controller to tribute Sangan and take their Dolka with both materials on it. The Enemy Controller will resolve and Dolka will come to your side of the field before Sangan activates. Sangan will start a new chain in the graveyard. You then activate Dolka’s effect in response to Sangan’s effect, attempting to negate Sangan. Then you activate Dolka’s effect to negate itself. Sangan was chain link 1, Dolka attempting to negate Sangan was chain link 2, and Dolka attempting to negate itself was chain link 3. The chain will resolve backwards and Dolka will kill itself and you will still search for Sangan.

Thanks for reading everybody. I hope you all took something away and are able to give yourself  a better Rabbit matchup in the coming weeks. Until next time, play hard or go home!

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

Patrick Hoban

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