The Abyss is Rising! What is your Favorite?

Hello Yugioh Community! The sneak preview for the newest set Abyss Rising is taking place this weekend! I for one am very excited for this set! This water heavy set contains not only the powerful Mermail theme that Paul Clarke wrote about in his article a few days ago, but lots of cards that are quite marvelous on their own. As a lot of you ARG readers know, right before the release of a new set I like to go over some of my favorite cards that are going to be released. Since there has already been some discussion and a lot of hype around the Mermails, I am going to exclude these guys from this particular article, but don’t get me wrong this new theme can really pack quite the punch. In my opinion, there are a lot of potent cards in Abyss Rising and I wanted to let you guys know about some of my favorites.

Question of the Article: What is the card you are most looking forward to in Abyss Rising?

Abyss Rising – My Thoughts on the Set as a Whole
I can sum up all of my thoughts about this set in one word: Amazing. They really jam packed a lot of different theme supports and alongside the OCG imports included in Abyss Rising, there are globs of cards that work well in any deck. I feel this set is comparable to the release of Order of Chaos last year which brought us Inzektors and Wind-ups, two decks whose strength was tough to match long after their release, but in this set we have Mermail, Spellbook, and even Madolche decks finally get their boss monster. Abyss Rising is jam packed with power and will make an impact on the game at YCS Seattle towards the end of the month. Now let’s take a look at a few of the cards I am the most excited to get my hands on!

Gagaga Cowboy
Rank 4 1500/2400
2 Level 4 monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; apply 1 of these effects depending on this card's battle position. ● Attack Position: This turn, during the Damage Step only, if this card attacks an opponent's monster, it gains 1000 ATK, and the attack target loses 500 ATK. ● Defense Position: Inflict 800 damage to your opponent.

-Why I Like This Card-
I have feared this cards release ever since the first time I read his effect. My fright comes from the doors, which a generic XYZ monster that does burn damage, can open. While there may not be any combos currently that can abuse this guy to burn your opponent down to zero life in a turn, if Konami isn’t careful with their card design, it can become quite possible. Outside of the degenerate strategies Gagaga Cowboy may inspire, it is easy to see how he is a pretty decent generic rank 4 XYZ. While his once per turn burn damage can assuredly end games randomly, his other effect he has can actually come in handy. The effect he gains while in attack mode makes him almost like a Rank 4 Muzurhythm the String Djinn. He can take down any monster he attacks with less than 3000 attack, which could be pretty useful. Overall he is a pretty situational XYZ monster, but can be nice to have in a few scenarios. He may not see too much play due to how restrictive extra deck space has become for most decks, but I can guarantee situations will arise where he would be great to have in your back pocket.

Abyss Dweller
Rank 4 1700/1400
Water/Sea Serpent/XYZ/Effect
2 Level 4 monsters
While this card has an Xyz Material attached that was originally WATER, all WATER monsters you control gain 500 ATK. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; any card effects that activate in your opponent's Graveyard cannot be activated this turn.

-Why I Like This Card-
When I found out the effect of this card I have to admit I got giddy. In a set that is introducing a powerful theme like Mermails, it’s good to have a new card that can counter them quite significantly. This generic rank 4 will be something many duelist will have to fit into their extra decks. Not only does he stop the new water deck in its tracks, it stops always annoying old themes such as Dark World. Outside of his low stats, there really is no downside to this card. It only affects your opponent’s grave so you don’t have to worry about it messing with your own effects, it is a quick effect and can be activated on your opponent’s turn, and it even gains a boost with just one water monster underneath it. Since it has a quick effect it can be chained to anything your opponent may do, you can even wait till you are in your battle phase to activate his effect if you are trying to dodge an Effect Veiler. This card eats recruiters for breakfast; Sangan and Card Trooper are not even safe. The best part about this card, as I have found from testing, is the huge boost in power this gives to the ever so popular Wind-Up deck. With the famous Magician-Shark combo that devastates so many players, they are now able to do over 9000 damage easily since he gives the 500 boost to all water monsters, just as long as you used a Wind-Up Shark to make him (Himself, Zenmaity, Acid Golem). Abyss Dweller is a great counter card to a couple of top tier decks and even makes one of the strongest decks even better. This card is easily my favorite that I am looking forward to in Abyss Rising.

Mind Pollutant
Spell Card
Discard 1 monster to target 1 monster of that Level your opponent controls; take control of that target until the End Phase.

-Why I Like This Card-
I at least wanted to mention this card as I feel a good amount of duelist might over look it. While it won’t be able to be used in any main decks due to the diverse meta, I feel it will be fairly strong in most mirror matches. Geargia/Gadgets, Chaos Dragon, and Inzektor decks will probably be able to make the most use of this in their mirror matches. It isn’t hard to tell that this isn’t too great of card, but I do feel it has potential and at some point in this game could prove quite useful. I obviously have been playing with Inzektors for a portion of this format and can easily say Mind Control is outright the best card to have in the mirror and this card is more of the same. You can discard an Inzektor Hornet to take control of your opponent’s Centipede and you are ready to go to town. This card, all in all, is a water-downed version of the forbidden Brain Control mixed with Mind Control, hence the name Mind Pollutant. It even has what I like to call that sack factor, and can just steal the game away from an opponent. Any card that allows you to take control of your opponent’s monsters without any restrictions on attacking, tributing, synchro or XYZ summoning, deserves to be looked at. While the pretty strict conditions that this card presents might result in a lack of duelist from flocking to this card, I am definitely not going to sleep on it.

Conclusion: Abyss Rising is upon us! While it is filled with amazing support for Mermail, Spellbook, and even Madolche decks, I wanted to take the time to share with you guys some interesting cards that weren’t within those themes. Every time a new set is released in Yugioh, I always want to find my favorite cards that can be splashed into decks that already exist, could be useful in the future, or just have a decent effect that might be worth testing out. Gagaga Cowboy, Abyss Dweller, and Mind Pollutant shined through the brightest from this set for me so far. As I said at the start, I really do think this set is just amazing. Powerful themes, good generic cards, even amazing art on a majority of the cards, there isn’t much more a duelist could ask for!

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, suggestions, or want to answer the question of the article, you can do so in the comments down below!

-Billy Brake
- 2011 YCS Toronto and Columbus Champion