Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rogue Thievery

For this installment, we'll be looking at an oldie but a goodie. This is again for the rogue decks but far more selective.

Falling Down
Equip spell
Destroy this card if there is no faceup Archfiend card on your side of the field. Take control of 1 of your opponent's faceup monsters. Inflict 800 points of damage to your Life Points during each of your opponent's Standby Phases.

An archtype specific Snatch Steal. This game has seen multiple cards that steal monsters come and go. Change of Heart was the original with Snatch following. There's also Relinquished and his banned evolution Thousand-Eyes Restrict. Currently we only have Mind Control as the only "free" stealer. I use quotes because in card advantage theory it's not truly free. Any other stealer has a cost. Brain Jacker must flip meaning he has to survive a whole turn facedown and can't die in battle. Creature Swap is an even trade though it's generally a -1 (again card advantage theory). Enemy Controller requires a tribute.
Now what can we do with an archetype specific Snatch? Sadly Archfiends are a dead archtype and are rarely seen anymore. That does not make Falling Down dead though.
Thanks to some translation snaffu we had a handful of cards printed that are considered Archfiends before Archfiends debuted in Dark Crisis. The most famous being Summoned Skull, the original tribute beater. There's also Axe of Despair. Both of these cards are seen in the hands of new players often. Well why not give them a card that saw it's generic twin banned? Let's toss together a quick newbie friendly Archfiend deck.

3 Archfiend Soldier
2 Summoned Skull
3 Flamvell Firedog
2 Flamvell Magician
2 Summoner Monk
Gorz, Emissary of Darkness
2 Tragoedia
2 Breaker the Magical Warrior

Monster Reborn
Dark Hole
Heavy Storm
2 Rekindling
2 Falling Down
2 Axe of Despair
Pot of Avarice
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
Mind Control
Book of Moon

Torrential Tribute
Mirror Force
2 Compulsory Evacuation Device
2 Dimensional Prison/Sakuretsu Armor
2 Solemn Warning/Bottomless Trap Hole

2 Red Dragon Archfiend
2 Stardust Dragon
2 Thought Ruler Archfiend
2 Dark End Dragon
Black Rose Dragon
2 No. 39: Utopia
4 open slots

Now the deck should be able to hold any big monsters off with the traps or you can steal them with an Archfiend enabled Falling Down. The main deck has 7 Archfiends with 4 more in the extra. That should be plenty to activate and keep Falling Down.
Key combos:
Firedog>Mage>synch>RDA/Thought Ruler/Utopia
Monk>Mage>synch>RDA/Thought Ruler/Dark End/Utopia
Axe on your/opp's monster>Falling Down. If you Axed an opp's monster steal the Axed monster.

Be wary of Typhoons and other cards that'll chain to Axe and/or Falling Down. Be careful when you Axe an opp's monster. Falling will often go down before Axe.
Cards to consider:

Hidden Armory.
Normal spell
Send 1 card from the top of your deck to the Graveyard. Add 1 Equip Spell Card from your Deck or Graveyard to your hand. You cannot Normal Summon or Set the turn you activate this effect.

Grab Axe or Falling Down from wherever.

White Elephant's Gift
Normal spell
Send 1 faceup non effect monster you control to the Graveyard to draw 2 cards.

This is generally only good in decks that can spam vanilla monsters like Hieroglyph (Holy Marked Dragons) decks and the occasional Agent deck that doesn't want to synch/exceed. If it was quickplay it'd be that much better as well as worthy of a rarity bump.

Dark Necrofear
This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card can only be Special Summoned by removing 3 Fiend type monsters in your Graveyard from play. When this card is destroyed by battle or by an opponent's card effect while it is a Monster Card, equip it to a monster your opponent controls during the End Phase of this turn. Take control of the equipped monster.

The deck has 9 fiends in the main. It can be used as a wall with its 2800 DEF. It also fits rather nicely with the stealing theme. Notice that it is a semi nomi monster. If summoned properly through the means described in its effect it can be revived later on unless it was returned to the deck or hand.

I hoped you enjoyed this spotlight and subsequent deck. Until next time, this is the Island of Lost Cards where the unwanted and ignored find homes.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Salvation and Protection

Within Order of Chaos there is a little purple common that has or will create a ruckus regardless of its name.

The Huge Revolution is Over
Counter trap
When a Spell Card, Trap Card or Effect Monster's effect is activated that destroys 2 or more cards on the field; Negate the activation and destroy it.

What we have here is a new version of Starlight Road.

Starlight Road
Normal trap
Activate only when an effect is activated that would destroy 2 or more cards you control. Negate the effect and destroy that card. Then, you can special summon 1 Stardust Dragon from your Extra Deck.

Both cards protect the destruction of 2+ cards. That's the similarities.
Road gives you a 2500 beater that can save your cards once. But it can be negated by Solemn Warning.
Revolution disregards where the cards are or who controls them. What does that mean? You can stop Dark Hole/Torrential even when you only have 1 monster but your opp may have multiples. You can also stop Scrap Dragon. Judgment Dragon. Light and Darkness Dragon if you don't want your opp to get something back.
Make your choice and enjoy the salvation.
Until next time, the unwanted and ignored find care on the Island of Lost Cards.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Proof of Powerlessness

For those rogue decks that drop high level monsters, do you hate when your opponent swarms the field for a synchro summon to take down your beast? Well now you'll have an answer.

I introduce Proof of Powerlessness.
Normal trap
Activate only while you control a Level 7 or higher monster. Destroy all faceup Level 5 or lower monsters your opponent controls. Monsters you control cannot attack this turn.

Now let's see what decks can use this.
Dragons with Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon and FGD/Five-Headed Dragon. Decks using Flamvell Firedog and Mage. Heroes with their fusions. Malefics. Machina. Any deck that can regularly drop a lvl7+.
Now some of you may notice the last line. It can easily be disregarded. Now if the card was a spell, that line would mean something. As a trap, you're free to activate it during your opp's turn where your monsters can't even declare attacks.
The only concerns with this card are exceeds. They have ranks instead of lvls making them immune to all cards that specify lvls such as Gravity Bind and Level Limit Area A or B so watch it.
Now let's talk uses. Worried about an impending synchro/exceed summon? Just flip Proof and your opp has lost their material. Got a pesky Agent deck that just spammed Shine Balls? Flip Proof and make them powerless. We have a conditional, free Lightning Vortex. And best of all it's chainable so if your opp tries to destroy your high lvl monster, drag theirs down too.
Now let's see those rogue decks wreck.
Until next time we on the Island of Lost Cards take care of the unwanted and ignored.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Deck Profile: Budget Dark World

For our third installment, we have our first deck profile.
Last October we received a Dark World structure. Since the Machina Mayhem structure, structures have generally been good enough where you can buy 3, toss em together and have a nice deck to play with for ~30$. The exception would be Dragunity since it needs an extra deck and is easily countered as a deck.
Back to DW; the archtype first came out in Elemental Energy. People tried the deck but it lacked consistency and was ignored. News of the structure sparked interest in this dead archtype and the new cards found in the structure makes the deck quite playable. A standard deck will only use 19+ cards total from the 3 structures. For this reason people will often advise others to just go online and order singles., trollandtoad, ideal808, alterealitygames are just a few of the numerous sites out there. TCGplayer hosts multiple stores so be careful how many stores you order from as that will result in multiple s&h.
The core of a DW deck from the structure is 3 Grapha, 3 Snoww, 3 Broww, 3 DW Gate, 3 DW Dealing and 2 Mind Crush. 2 Beiige are generally teched (tech=preference cards) and some may use the Virus cards (Deck Devastation Virus [DDV] and Eradicator Epidemic Virus [EEV]).
New players, either to the game or the deck, will try Ceruli, Goldd/Sillva and Reign-Beaux. Ceruli may be a nice tech at 1 but isn't all that worth it. Goldd and Sillva are lvl5 monsters that need tributes if normal summoned. They are often overlooked by Beiige and sometimes Brron simply because they can be normal summoned without requirements. Reign-Beaux only gets its effect when discarded by the opponent's effect so unless you're in the mirror match (a game where both players are using the same deck/archtype) it's useless.
Dark World Lightning is playable but it's generally best in the side deck. The reason for this is DW Lightning is easily countered. The selected facedown card must be destroyed. If the opp chains the selected card, it will resolve first and be sent to the grave as part of the game's mechanic leaving Lightning with nothing to destroy. Without destruction, you can't discard.
Players will also tech Skill Drain in the deck. It will wreck most of the top decks which rely on their monster effects. It generally has no effect on DW since they activate in the grave, not on field. Ceruli is the only one that will be useless under Drain since its discard effect upon summon will activate on field. It will also conflict slightly with Trance Archfiend and Fabled Raven, to be discussed below.
Shortly after the structure came out, Photon Shockwave released and with it the TCG exclusive Dark Smog. There was also Latinum but it is wisely disregarded.

Dark Smog
Continuous trap
Once per turn: You can target 1 monster in your opponent's Graveyard; discard 1 Fiend type monster and banish that target.

Now the key word there is "and." That one word determines that the discard is part of the effect rather than a cost. This allows DW to activate. Those who have this card will generally include Goldd/Sillva because they become easier to discard with the "once per turn" clause and the fact that it's a trap.
Players will also use Fabled Raven to open the doors for synchros and exceeds.

Fabled Raven
Once per turn, you can discard any number of cards from your hand and increase the level of this card by the number of discarded cards, until the End Phase. This card also gains ATK equal to the number of discarded cards x 400, until the End Phase.

Again the word "and" signifies the discard as part of the effect and not a cost. Sadly both these cards are expensive for the average player and not always accessible. But with the release of Order of Chaos we get a new shining star for the deck.

Trance Archfiend
Once per turn: you can discard 1 Fiend type monster, and this card gains 500 ATK until the End Phase. When this card you control is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 of your banished DARK monsters; add that target to your hand.

Notice "and." Now the added bonus of this card is that it gives you an instant DDV target after discard as well as allowing you to reuse banished DW monsters. It's also common so it's easily accessible to the average player.

This is my current build:
3 Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World
3 Snoww, Unlight of Dark World
3 Broww, Huntsman of Dark World
2 Beiige, Vanguard of Dark World
2 Brron, Mad King of Dark World
3 Trance Archfiend

3 The Gates of Dark World
3 Dark World Dealings
2 Dragged Down to the Grave
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
Book of Moon
Foolish Burial
Card Destruction
Allure of Darkness
Monster Reborn
Dark Hole
Heavy Storm

2 Call Of The Haunted
2 Mind Crush
Trap Dustshoot
Torrential Tribute
Mirror Force

Brron is still an 1800/2100 beater and enables a Grapha summon.
Dragged Down allows you to see your opponent's hand, feeding you info on what they're playing and have while disrupting their plays.
Foolish quickly sends Grapha to the grave where he can be revived at will.
Mind Crush allows you to discard from your hand if you're desperate by calling a card unlikely to be in your opp's deck. Otherwise you can disrupt plays after your opp searches or used Pot of Duality.
Dustshoot saw a rise in play when Heavy was unbanned. While it was banned, players often set most of their hand and used traps to control the board/field. With Heavy's return, players generally keep most of their hand, relying on "hand traps" such as Effect Veiler and Maxx C. Dustshoot also feeds you info while stripping the opp of a monster.
I've tried different cards in the Call slots from Smashing Ground to Compulsory Evacuation Device. While Grapha does destroy cards, I found the deck needed a lil extra destruction. Smashing helped but it's not reactive like Evac. Now, the reason I switched to Call is because I noticed a trend when I used Reborn. I'd revive a lower DW and then bounce it for Grapha, resulting in an extra card in hand to reuse. Escape from the Dark Dimension may be used instead to allow more targets late game and for retrieving banished Graphas.
The deck runs much smoother with the inclusion of Trance.
For those worried about the mirror match, the trick is to avoid using Dealings. Rely on one sided discards like Dark World Lightning, Trance and DW Gates and use Dragged Down to pick non DW cards from your opp's hand.
Be careful what cards you set when limiting your losses from Dragged Down, Card Destruction and the occasional self inflicted Mind Crush. Some people have teched a copy of Starlight Road to protect their set cards.
You should also keep an eye out for Different Dimension Ground as that, Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure will wreck your DW plans.
Now go forth and enjoy the spoils of war.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gaping Ice Hole

Thanks for returning to the Island of Lost Cards. For our second installment I'll cover a card I've seen some use to shocking results.
Is Master Hyperion popping your monsters? Scrap Dragon? Zenmaines? Well send em through a gaping ice hole.
Enter Icy Crevasse.
Normal trap.
When exactly 1 monster you control is destroyed and sent to the graveyard by an opponent's card effect: Target 1 monster your opponent controls; send that target to the graveyard and inflict damage to your opponent equal to the original ATK in the graveyard.

True it's rather conditional but people still run Solemn Warning, Bottomless Trap Hole and Dimensional Prison regardless of 3 legal Mystical Space Typhoons and Heavy Storm not to mention all the monster effects roaming the game.
Now the experienced player will generally use Scrap Dragon, Hyperion and Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World to destroy backrow (the spell and traps on the field) rather than monsters.
Regardless of that Icy Crevasse deserves some awareness. I'm among the few that still use Smashing Ground in most of my decks. Then there's always the players who Torrential Tribute, Dark Hole or Mirror Force a single monster.
Now after you've had a single monster destroyed, what do you get? A one sided Ring of Destruction. It's banned for a reason kiddies. Now the new text of original ATK in the grave is a little troublesome as it won't do squat against those 0 or ? ATK monsters so choose wisely when you pick a target.
Hopefully this card will see some play at locals and can leave the Island.
Until next time we take care of the unwanted and ignored.

My History

Call me Bikou. I have been playing this game since 7th grade back in 2002 with a few breaks here and there. In 05 I started attending tournaments at the local card shop. In those days I had very few cards that could make a proper deck. In those days, the game was much different to what it is now. In 7th grade my deck was based on raising Shadow Ghoul's atk as much as possible, much like Rebecca from the anime. I quickly learned this was not the smartest of strategies. By the time I started playing in locals, I'd managed to turn my deck into a beatdown burn deck using 18-1900 atkers such as Mad Dog of Darkness and Archfiend Soldier along with Ookazi and Just Desserts. With the Kaiba Evo starter I implemented Lava Golems and Shadow Spells, the TCG's real version of the anime's Spellbinding Circle. My deck was fun and managed to work fairly well even though I kept it on the thick side (I ran 60 card decks back then, continuing on through the first few ban lists).
IOC came, sending my deck running from the Envoys, Black Luster Soldier and his hated brother Chaos Emperor Dragon. The special edition (SE) helped quite a bit simply for the Gemini Elves that helped beef up my deck as well as Ring of Destruction that provided great removal and burn as well as trade bait. I managed to turn my deck into a psuedo Chaos deck by adding some lights to my existing darks, such as Thunder Nyan Nyan, and used Chaos Sorcerer long before others did since they were all focused on the Envoys. I'd also used Sakuretsu Armor long before others simply because I didn't own a Mirror Force until I traded a Ring for one.
I did manage to get a Black Luster Soldier and quickly turned my deck's core into a warrior/spellcaster one. I didn't manage to top during these days until the first ban list came and slayed Chaos Emperor and his annoying little bird friend, Yata Garasu. That ban list was great and allowed me to top locals consistently. My deck ran Zombyra the Dark (I still liked beatdown and Zombyra was a beast before Cyber Dragon came out), Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke as the core dark/light targets for Painful Choice. I also used Warrior Returning Alive so I had many ways to search and retrieve Black Luster. My Painful Choice combos always involved the same core: 2 Zombyra, 2 Grandmasters, Sinister Serpent, Black Luster, Warrior Returning Alive and Magician of Faith. If I had Magician in hand or on field I'd dump everything needed for Black Luster, including himself and Warrior Returning Alive and retrieve everything when I could. GKs saw play during the time but no one ever stuck with em. Recruiter didn't exist and the opponents (opp) had numerous ways to take down Valley (MST, Breaker, Heavy).
Once the ban list slayed Black Luster, I tried to maintain a warrior deck but eventually had to move on. For locals I used Rat box with zombies, eventually turning it into a Tomato box, still with zombies. The local shop closed and moved beyond my traveling capacity but a local sports memorabilia shop held tournaments every other week so I maintained connection with the game. I even jumped on the Zombie Master bandwagon. Those were fun times. After the sports shop closed, I fell out of the game for approximately a year around 07-08. I'd also moved towns during this time. I managed to get a Stardust, Red Dragon Archfiend (RDA) and Goyo Guardian tin which started me back in the game.
One weekend the local FYE had a mini anime con. I managed to run into some fellow duelists and we started a weekly gathering either at the mall food court or the nearby Barnes & Nobles. Both places eventually gave us trouble for hanging out there and our gatherings diminished while FYE still had occasional cons every 2-3 months, now including YGO tournies. The majority of the locals had decks that were on par with my beatdown burn deck from a few years ago while I'd kept up with the game, making my deck more trouble for them. Though there were a few who would give me trouble there were also others who'd heard about the con, came and wiped out most of us.
I'd missed out on Gladiator Beasts (Glads) and Lightsworn (LS). I know LS made a showing at atleast one FYEcon but the player didn't stay long for me to play him. I missed LS and TeleDAD at its peak but I spose that's a blessing. Around this time I'd come across an article by GeneralZorpa and managed to build a nice Monarch deck that fit my playstyle. I still have it to this day and enjoy playing with it but it's a little slow for the speed decks of today's meta.
I also managed to make a psuedo X-Saber deck as well as a Flamvell Cat deck at Rescue Cat's peak thanks to a few lucky pulls from a Shining Darkness box including Infernity Barrier which was promptly traded for the majority of cards that let me finish the Cat decks. Sadly the next ban list neutered the decks, leaving me scrambling to obtain Faultrolls to properly build Sabers and turning my Flamvell deck into a zombie hybrid.
While the Saber deck survived, the Flamvell deck didn't.
I've gone through many decks over my career. Gravekeepers (GKs) (original Chaos days and now), A Legendary Ocean (ALO) deck, Rat Zombie box, Tomato Zombie box, 60 card Chaos, Monarchs, Flaming Merchant Zombie Pot (FMZP) and a few others.
My current decks consist of Monarchs, Sabers, Agents, Dark World, Blackwings, Nordic Zombies, GKs, a partially complete Deep Draw Exodia missing the Rejuvenations, Junk Dopple and Machina Gadgets. On DN I have these decks along with Hopeless Dragons, Batterymen and Hieroglyphs (Holy Marked Dragons).
On this blog I'll try to shine some light on unsuspecting commons and combos along with the occasional deck profile.
Welcome to the Island of Lost Cards. Taking care of the unwanted and ignored.