The Playability of Cardcar D

frazier smithCardcar D, a card that I loved to hate upon its initial release, but one that I now find myself unwilling to cut from many of my decks because of the way the game is at the moment. Yu-Gi-Oh has changed just a tad from the last format, and that slight change has, in my opinion, made an entryway for one of the better, slower cards in the game. In case you’re still living under a Naturia Rock, here’s what it does:

[ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd]

Machine/ Effect/ Earth

Level 2

800 ATK/ 400 DEF

Cannot be Special Summoned. During your Main Phase 1, if this card was Normal Summoned this turn: You can Tribute this card; draw 2 cards, then it becomes the End Phase of this turn. You cannot Special Summon during the turn you activate this effect.

cardcarWhen [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd] first came out, the game was incredibly fast. It was May 2012, and only a month away from nationals, which, if you’re unaware, was plagued by many decks that consistently won on turns one or two. You had Wind-ups stealing your hand, Dragons OTK’ing with [ccProd]Future Fusion[/ccProd], Dino Rabbit opening with Rabbit + Tour Guide, and Inzektors popping Gigamantis/Zektkaliber for massive card advantage and enough damage to have you screaming about it being over 9000. Such was the game of duel monsters, but that time has come and gone, thus leaving us with Mermails as the fastest deck. Now while the deck can certainly just kill you in the first two turns, it doesn’t do so consistently, and it rarely does it when backrows are thrown into the equation—barring [ccProd]Heavy Storm,[/ccProd] of course.

The other 3 major decks in the format—Fire Fist, Wind-ups, and Dino Rabbit—are all about setting up. Obviously, they can open up with their “nut hands,” but even still, those games are winnable if you have the right cards and play them correctly. The point is that you mostly get to “play” the game; it’s not as ignorant as Megalo, Diva, Scoop Phase. And with that being said, we can get back to the original point, which is the playability of [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd].

The first thing I’d like to express is how you should be playing the card. There may be a couple of do’s and don’ts that you didn’t know about, so let’s start with that. If you open up with [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd], you should try your best to play it on the first turn, unless there’s some obvious impending doom coming from your opponent. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “There’s no time like the present,” well that applies here more than ever. And don’t be afraid to take a little damage early on if it means that you get to successfully resolve Cardcar, either. There’s a reason we have 8000 lifepoints, instead of 4000 like the anime.  The reason I stress getting it out early on is because once the duel gets intense, there won’t be an opportunity to just pass a turn to draw some cards. You will be busy dealing with threats and such, so understand the time sensitivity on the card. Treat it like a [ccProd]Thunder King Rai-Oh[/ccProd] in the sense that when you open with it, you want to get it out of your hand as soon as possible because it’s best early on. Strangely enough, [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd] and [ccProd]Thunder King[/ccProd] are both pretty good in the late game as well, but we’ll come back to that shortly.

gorzAs for compatibility, I think the only decks that should be utilizing the card are decks that play heavy amounts of backrows—like Wind-ups, Fire Fist, and Dino Rabbit—or decks that need to get to combo pieces quickly—like Hieratics and Inzektors. This way, even when you have to end your turn, you’ll typically have at least two backrows to protect you from outright dying, or some form of hand trap like Gorz and[ccProd]Tragoedia[/ccProd]. But what about [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd], you say? Well let’s assume your opponent does open with [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd] against your two backrows, it wouldn’t be the end of the world because you gained a +1 from the Cardcar, so it would even out the advantage, assuming you went first. This also means that you should always set two backrows, if you have them, when going for Cardcar’s effect.

Speaking of backrows, it seems that everyone loves [ccProd]Fiendish Chain[/ccProd] again, which doesn’t do anything to stop Cardcar D. I haven’t seen many main decked copies of [ccProd]Effect Veiler[/ccProd] going around this format, either, so there isn’t much to stop you from resolving the effect. And if your opponent is willing to waste his one [ccProd]Solemn Warning[/ccProd] or one of his two [ccProd]Torrential Tribute[/ccProd]s, then so be it. Those are power cards, so if they’re going to be used on something, I’m sure you’d much rather have it be used on [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd] instead of your [ccProd]Rescue Rabbit[/ccProd] play, or a [ccProd]Wind-up Rat[/ccProd] and Magician.

Carcar also combos well with [ccProd]Pot of Duality[/ccProd]. You get to build/fix your hand accordingly and then get a +1, too. Getting to use both in conjunction is easily one of the best opening plays. More importantly, it helps you dig for missing pieces to your hand like [ccProd]Wind-up Factory[/ccProd] or [ccProd]Fire Formation - Tenki[/ccProd], or it can sometimes find your devastating limited cards like [ccProd]Monster Reborn[/ccProd], [ccProd]Heavy Storm[/ccProd], and [ccProd]Dark Hole[/ccProd]. I personally tech one copy of [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd] in both my Fire Fist and Wind-up decks. The reason I play exactly one copy is because I know for a fact that I don’t want to ever draw two of the card, and I don’t mind drawing just the one copy of it during the late game, either.

solemn judgmentYou might be wondering why I wouldn’t mind drawing a slow card like [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd] in the late game. It’s mostly because late games tend to go either one of two ways. Both players are either locked in some type of card advantage stalemate where neither person wants to push, or neither person can push safely enough to warrant the play, or you’re both down to very few cards where something like [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd] can severely push the game into one person’s favor. I was watching two players play in a simplified gamestate at my locals—Fire Fist vs. Wind-ups—and the Fire Fist player drew Cardcar and summoned it. The opponent responded with [ccProd]Solemn Judgment[/ccProd] out of fear that a disaster was abound between the next 3 cards he would see by his next turn (two for Cardcar and one for the draw phase). I can’t say that I wouldn’t have done the same thing, given the fact that they both had virtually nothing and had been reduced to topdecking. Even if they both had a few cards, it’s probably still best to stop the effect from going off just out of fear that he’ll draw power cards that late in the game. Afterall, that’s when they hurt the most.

[ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd] is also one of the most absurd cards to drop on the field when you’re already winning the game. It creates an even wider gap by giving you outs to their outs. Foregoing a battle phase to ensure a victory, because that’s usually what it means, is nothing, really. Remember, the more options, the better. If you can find a way to hide behind a Zenmaines or a Maestroke, then [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd] becomes an even easier card to utilize during the game. The idea is to slow the pace of the duel down so that you know you will get to actually use those two new cards. The only time it’s really bad is when you’re staring down a huge field and you don’t have any way to defend yourself, in which case, I’m not sure what will really help you there.

I usually side [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd] out when going second. It’s not that I don’t like the card going second, but you’ll usually need to keep up with whatever opening your opponent has. It’s the same way I felt about siding out [ccProd]Trap Dustshoot[/ccProd] back in the day. It’s already a pretty slow card ([ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd]), so you don’t need to give your opponent even more time to set up when you know they’re going first. And when I go first again in game three, I’ll put it back in depending on the matchup. If I side it out vs. Mermails, I won’t put it back in; I don’t enjoy the idea of giving that particular deck any open shots, but for everything else, it’s not the end of the world. As I mentioned earlier, it digs for combo pieces and side deck pieces alike. Games tend to go smoother when your deck gets to do what it’s intended to do.

So how do you feel about [ccProd]Cardcar D[/ccProd]? Have you ever tested it? If so, which format and what deck was it in?

Thanks for reading, duelists! Remember, Play Hard or Go Home!

-Frazier Smith

-The Dark Magician

Frazier Smith

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