The Shabyss Deck Explained

Hello duelists! Two weekend ago I made the top cut of ARGCS Columbus with a deck that I thought was fairly new. It was a 37 card deck that used both the Shaddoll and Burning Abyss engines.Here is the deck list:

Monsters: 21
3 Tour Guide from the Underworld
3 Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
2 Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss 2 Mathematician
2 Shaddoll Dragon
1 Shaddoll Falco
1 Shaddoll Beast
1 Shaddoll Squamata
2 Effect Veiler
1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning

Spells: 8
1 Foolish Burial
3 Upstart Goblin
1 Allure of Darkness
3 Shaddoll Fusion

Traps: 11
3 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast
2 Karma Cut
2 Trap Stun
1 Compulsory Evacuation Device
3 Vanity's Emptiness

Side Deck
2 Maxx "C"
2 Ally of Justice Cycle Reader
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
2 Malevolent Catastrophe
2 Chain Disappearance
2 Vanity's Fiend
2 Breakthrough Skill
1 Super Polymerization

Extra Deck
2 El Shaddoll Construct
1 El Shaddoll Winda
2 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
2 Downerd Magician
2 Ghostrick Alucard
1 Number 49: Fortune Tune
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Number 47: Nightmare Shark
1 Temtempo the Percussion Djinn
1 Goyo Guardian
1 Armades, Keeper of Boundaries

Up until the week before the event I was pretty set on using Burning Abyss but when I was playing the mirror match I just felt that it was missing something. I hated the fact that a Dante in defense mode was incredibly hard to get rid of without a trap card, and I thought of many ways to solve this problem but couldn't find a very good one until Shaddoll Fusion. When using regular Burning Abyss and playing against Shaddolls the card that you feared most would be Shaddoll Fusion because of its power and the advantage it created. So I started trying to figure out a way to incorporate it with the Burning Abyss engine because of the power plays and ability to replace themselves which would out grind your opponent. But most importantly, it allowed me to play some of the best trap cards in the game (Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and Karma Cut). So I began trying to figure out how to cut down on every unnecessary card and see if I could get the deck to 40 cards and, if I had enough time and testing, 37 cards.


For quite a while I was convinced that this deck truly could not play less than 39 cards, and that 39 cards was the correct number of cards for this deck. Prior to the list with 3 Upstarts I was running 1 Shaddoll Hedgehog, a Super Polymerization and 1 Upstart Goblin because I truly believed that the ideal number of cards for this deck was 39 (as crazy as that may sound). And I continued playtesting and playtesting and I could not figure out what to cut from my deck to make it 37, and was pretty set on using 39 cards at ARGCS Columbus. Then on Tuesday or Wednesday night my buddy Robert messages me telling me that people have gotten word of the 40 card Shabyss deck but their lists are way off from mine. He said that they were doing something different - they were choosing to only use 3-4 Shaddolls. And I was amazed at this so I decided to try cutting Shaddoll Hedgehog as I felt that the rest were mandatory with the exception of Squamata, but he helps set up turn 1 Falco and lets you send Beast with Mathematician when you need to dig for a card or you already have Scarm/Graff + a discard trap that will get you Tour Guide next turn so you don’t really want to send Scarm with Mathematician. The only time you would really want to have Hedgehog is when playing against Shaddolls and you activate your Shaddoll Fusion (while they have an extra deck monster out) sending a Light and Hedgehog to special summon El Shaddoll Construct using Constructs effect to send either Falco or Dragon. Then you would add Shaddoll Beast to your hand with Hedgehog’s effect and tribute your Construct for it. But what Robert pointed out to me was that literally all your traps would deal with Shaddoll Fusion or the monster that it bought out so searching Beast to tribute over Construct wasn’t as big of a deal as it was in the Shaddoll mirror match. This made Hedgehog unnecessary. After testing, it proved that he was indeed correct and now I was at a 38 card deck. Once I told this to Robert he was disgusted and said, "There's no way you're using 38, this is the easy part; all you have to do is cut your worst card." After all my testing I realized that Super Polymerization was the worst card in my deck and thus is it moved to the side deck and I decided that I would only side it in against Shaddolls.

Why I think this deck was the best going into this event.

What I really liked about this deck was that getting over Dante is pretty tough without touching your Extra deck (as only Burning Abyss can get around Dante with their plethora of discard traps which most other decks do not use) and Burning Abyss can’t function very well without using their Extra deck. And if I have a Shaddoll Fusion in my hand at that point odds are I'm winning that game, because I still have whatever Dante and Scarm added to my hand and just went at least +1-2 off of Shaddoll Fusion. Not to mention the huge surprise factor that occured when turn one you summon Dante and in a turn or two you're activating a Shaddoll Fusion out of nowhere.

Things to mention about the Main deck

Effect Veiler

Now most people chose not to main deck Effect Veiler for the event mainly because it's very weak against Shaddolls. Remember that in this deck you are using Shaddoll Fusion so you need light monsters to send from your deck with Shadoll Fusion because El Shaddoll Construct can destroy a lot of monsters that El Shaddoll Winda cannot and sending Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning isn't exactly great. So after searching for good light monsters it came down between Majesty Fiend and Effect Veiler. The thing that I really liked about Effect Veiler was that against Burning Abyss if I didn't open up Shaddoll Fusion I can just make them skip their turn entirely by Veilering a Tour Guide, whereas Majesty was pretty weak against Burning Abyss because of the huge amount of traps they ran, Veiler has some niche uses against Shaddolls such as Veilering a Mathematician turn one or a Falco/Beast, but while Majesty Fiend would give me a huge advantage against Shaddolls, it didn't do anything to an El Shaddoll Construct that was already on the field, so I would need to either draw a discard trap or a Shadoll Fusion to get around their Construct, whereas Veiler would serve as a trap card. If I got a monster up against Burning Abyss and they summoned Tour Guide I was probably winning that game, whereas Majesty’s Fiend just is another normal summon. I also expected to see Stellarknights at the event and decided that Veiler is better there too because they do use Dimensional Prison and Breakthrough Skill. Veiler acting as a trap card was the main thing that I liked about it.
2 Cir

This wasn't a monster that I really wanted to open up with because he doesn't do anything unless I can Scarm or Graff into my graveyard and since I was already putting in a Shaddoll engine I really wanted to lower my amount of normal summons (and most importantly get my deck down to 37 cards) and this was the monster that I could reasonably cut to two, and I did not miss the third one all day so this seems like it was a good call.


1 El Shaddoll Winda and no Level 7 Synchros

I was initially using 2 El Shaddoll Winda for a while, but Mike Balan pointed out to me that you almost never actually summon out two Winda, because when you use Shaddoll Fusion and send from the main deck, you almost always want to summon out El Shaddoll Construct because most Extra deck monsters are bigger than Winda so you need Construct. The only time you really summon Winda is against Stellarknights when they summon Castel, or when you use monsters from your hand. I also never found Falco + a level 5 occurring a lot so I decided not to play any level 7 synchro and did not miss them all day.

What would I Change?

I thought the deck was very good, but if I were to make a change in the main deck it would probably be cutting Shaddoll Squamata for another Trap card or perhaps Trap Stun as I found him to not be very necessary but most importantly he was not good to draw.

In the side deck, I would get rid of two Malevolent Catastrophes because after more testing I found Malevolent Catastrophe to not be as good as I had initially thought and I would put in a third Mystical Space Typhoon and another card (probably a Vanity's Fiend because it is just amazing against Shaddolls).

That's all for this week's article! If you'd like to see me write about a certain topic feel free to message me on Facebook. The Circuit Series stops by Raleigh, NC next on November 8-9.

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