Corrupted Puppets: A Look at Shaddoll


Hello Duelists, Galo Orbea here yet again!

This time I want to explore an archetype coming out in Duelist Alliance, in my opinion the one getting the most hype in the set, I’m obviously taking about Shaddoll. To be honest, I feel the hype is real after seeing what they can do, but before we get into variants that let’s take a look at the cards available once Duelist Alliance comes out next week (August 15):

ShaddollFalcon-DUEA-JP-RShaddoll Falco (Falcon)

Spellcaster/Flip/Tuner/Effect

FLIP: You can target 1 “Shaddoll” monster in your Graveyard, except “Shaddoll Falcon“; Special Summon that target in face-down Defense Position.

If this card is sent to the Graveyard by a card effect: You can Special Summon this card from your Graveyard in face-down Defense Position. You can only use 1 “Shaddoll Falcon” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

This maybe one of their biggest threats in deck beside the effects it has it can also enable Synchro Summons since it’s a tuner.

ShaddollHedgehog-DUEA-JP-CShaddoll Hedgehog

Spellcaster/Flip/Effect

FLIP: You can add 1 “Shaddoll” Spell/Trap Card from your Deck to your hand.

If this card is sent to the Graveyard by a card effect: You can add 1 “Shaddoll” monster from your Deck to your hand, except “Shaddoll Hedgehog“. You can only use 1 “Shaddoll Hedgehog” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Its flip effect enables one of the best features this archetype has, access to their Spell/Trap cards, mainly Shaddoll Fusion. The other effect gives you either fodder for a Fusion or access to the other effects.

ShaddollLizard-DUEA-JP-CShaddoll Squamata (Lizard)

Spellcaster/Flip/Effect

FLIP: You can target 1 monster on the field; destroy that target.

If this card is sent to the Graveyard by a card effect: You can send 1 “Shaddoll” card from your Deck to the Graveyard, except “Shaddoll Lizard“. You can only use 1 “Shaddoll Lizard” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Its flip effect is good against threats like Banisher of the Light for example. Its other effect can help with getting fodder in the Graveyard, we’ll talk about options that can take greater advantage of this feature later.

ShaddollDragon-DUEA-JP-CShaddoll Dragon

Spellcaster/Flip/Effect

FLIP: You can target 1 card your opponent controls; return that target to the hand.

If this card is sent to the Graveyard by a card effect: You can target 1 Spell/Trap Card on the field; destroy that target. You can only use 1 “Shaddoll Dragon” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

This is another very strong threat with both of its effects being able to get rid of floodgates and other threats.

ShaddollBeast-DUEA-JP-CShaddoll Beast

Spellcaster/Flip/Effect

FLIP: You can draw 2 cards, then discard 1 card.

If this card is sent to the Graveyard by a card effect: You can draw 1 card. You can only use 1 “Shaddoll Beast” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

This card is like a necessary evil, don’t usually see it on the field unless I’m attempting a Rank 5 XYZ play but it’s there for a +1 or at the very least an even when making a Fusion Summon.

tumblr_n8rberCJ8T1rem1amo1_400Shaddoll Fusion

You can only activate 1 “Shaddoll Fusion” per turn. Fusion Summon 1 “ShaddollFusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your hand or your side of the field as Fusion Materials. If your opponent controls a monster that was Special Summoned from the Extra Deck, you can also use monsters from your Main Deck as Fusion Materials.

This card makes the deck, I would go so far to say just the last sentence makes the deck. XYZ monsters being so prevalent lately (also Fusions in these future mirrors) sending from your deck is easy. Also, a good out to the deck’s Fusions would seem to be making an XYZ to get rid of it, but the Fusions have an extra effect that make them a pain to get rid of. As an extra, if Falco is sent as a material you can setup for the extra threat next turn.

FacingtheShadows-DUEA-JP-CSinister Shadow Games (Facing the Shadows)

Send 1 “Shaddoll” card from your Deck to the Graveyard, then you can change any number of face-down Defense Position “Shaddoll” monsters you control to face-up Defense Position.

A lot of the builds in OCG were only running three copies of this card and a couple more Traps, but it just seems weak, I would probably go for some more defense. There a few combos like when you have a Falco/Hedgehog face-down and activate this to setup Shaddoll Fusion, so the card is strong nonetheless.

ShaddollRoots-DUEA-JP-CShaddoll Core (Roots)

Special Summon this card as an Effect Monster (Spellcaster-Type/DARK/Level 9/ATK 1450/DEF 1950). (This card is also still a Trap Card.) If Summoned this way, you can substitute this card for any 1 Attribute Fusion Material Monster listed on a “ShaddollFusion Monster. If this card is sent to the Graveyard by a card effect: You can target 1 “Shaddoll” Spell/Trap Card in your Graveyard, except “Shaddoll Roots”; add that target to your hand.

I might consider running a copy of this since you can recycle Shaddoll Fusion in case they have something that will send the Fusion elsewhere.

300px-ElShaddollWinda-DUEA-EN-UR-1EEl Shaddoll Winda (Midrash)

Spellcaster/Fusion/Effect

1 “Shaddoll” monster + 1 DARK monster

Must first be Fusion Summoned. Cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. Neither player can Special Summon more than once per turn. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 “Shaddoll” Spell/Trap Card in your Graveyard; add that card to your hand.

Well, its continuous effect hinders a lot of decks that make XYZ plays or the new Yang Zing archetype (basically a deck of floaters that eventually Synchro Summon). Plus it can’t be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects so things like Fire Hand and Artifact Moralltach don’t do anything to it. Most of the outs in the Extra Deck aren’t very effective since they can get their Shaddoll Fusion back even if it is sent while being a Number 101: Silent Honor ARK material. Better outs for this card include: Dimensional Prison, Compulsory Evacuation Device and Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer.

ElShadollNephilim-DUEA-JP-UREl Shaddoll Construct (Nephilim)

Fairy/Fusion/Effect

1 “Shaddoll” monster + 1 LIGHT monster

Must first be Fusion Summoned. If this card is Special Summoned: You can send 1 “Shaddoll” card from your Deck to the Graveyard. At the start of the Damage Step, if this card battles a Special Summoned monster: Destroy that monster. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 “Shaddoll” Spell/Trap Card in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.

This card is great to get rid of card that protect themselves like Number 101: Silent Honor ARK and if nothing else is available it gets rid El Shaddoll Winda for a while.

Now that we have gone through all the cards coming out, I would like to go through the different variants and deck choices that can go with this new archetype. A constant that I saw across the board in all builds was a playset of the following cards: Shaddoll Falco, Shaddoll Hedgehog, Shaddoll Dragon and Shaddoll Fusion. The other monsters varied from two to one copies in the deck.

Along with the cards limited to the archetype, every deck had a single copy of:

ElectromagneticTurtle-15AY-JP-ScRElectromagnetic Turtle

Machine/Effect

During your opponent’s Battle Phase: You can banish this card from your Graveyard; end the Battle Phase (this is a Quick Effect). You can only use this effect of “Electromagnetic Turtle” once per Duel.

Well, the closest substitute we have for that in TCG would have to be Rainbow Kuriboh. It can both stop an attack and be used for a LIGHT Fusion Material.

The most popular variant of Shaddolls in the OCG when they first came out was combining them with a playset of both Artifact Moralltach and Artifact Sanctum, covering for a LIGHT Fusion Material and a greater defensive Trap lineup. It’s where I started my testing with the deck and the results were satisfactory. Along with the mentioned advantages, Moralltach can open up Rank 5 XYZ plays either with Shaddoll Beast or El Shaddoll Winda. Also a few builds had Instant Fusion to Special Summon El Shaddoll Winda to Synchro, XYZ or just get Shaddoll Fusion back to their hand.

300px-BlackLusterSoldierEnvoyoftheBeginning-PGLD-EN-GUR-1EChaos variants like the build that qualified to World’s this year had cards like: Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, Dark Armed Dragon, Black Dragon Collapserpent, White Dragon Wyverburster, Mathematician and Felis, Lightsworn Archer. I would like to point out that in the OCG they have Dark Armed Dragon at two so it’s worth running an Eclipse Wyvern. Besides that, there’s a little combo where Mathematician sends Felis, Lightsworn Archer to the Graveyard and from there you can make Arcanite Magician, Black Rose Dragon or just use Felis’ effect. I haven’t personally played the build, it looks solid although very monster heavy and with very different Shaddoll monster ratios. I do like the fact that this deck has a lot more plays available thanks to the different monsters.

FeliceLightswornArcher-VJMP-JP-URFelis, Lightsworn Archer

Beast-Warrior/Tuner/Effect

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned by a card effect, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. When this card is sent from your Deck to the Graveyard by a monster effect: Special Summon it. You can Tribute this card, then target 1 monster your opponent controls; destroy that target, then send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard.

Other variants went with adding a playset of Kuribandits, I would say this variant may have greater results going second since they would get an extra card plus whatever Kuribandit hits might give you a plus like if you hit a Shaddoll Dragon to destroy a backrow. Some of the same players even played triple The Dark Creator, personally I don’t like these builds for their randomness factor, but I can see them doing well.

Some Shaddoll builds in OCG are even going as far as maining a couple Super Polymerization I don’t think Hero or Shaddoll decks will be that prevalent as to main it just yet here in TCG. They definitely should have a place in the Side Deck since they can be potentially sided in against the mirror, Lightsworn, Infernity, Evilswarm and the new archetypes in the set.

As a side note, Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer is a great out for the Shaddoll Fusion monsters since they aren’t sent to the Graveyard. Along with that if you are fighting off a El Shaddoll Winda, a good out to it (if you don’t need two Special Summons to make him) is Armades, Keeper of the Boundaries since yet again they won’t be able to get back their Shaddoll Fusion.

333px-CasteltheSkyblasterMusketeer-DUEA-EN-SR-1ECastel, the Skyblaster Musketeer

Winged Beast/Xyz/Effect

You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field; change it to face-down Defense Position. You can detach 2 Xyz Materials from this card, then target 1 other face-up card on the field; shuffle it into the Deck. You can only use 1 “Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer” effect per turn, and only once that turn.

Finally, I would recommend you to try this new archetype for yourself, who knows you might be the next innovator. I really enjoy the idea behind the monster effects: Flip, when sent to the Graveyard by a monster effect and the recyclability of the Fusion monsters. This is one of my options for YCS Toronto if I get satisfied with a build and it’s an alright meta call at the time. Also, since Star Seraph monsters aren’t out yet it just seems like the strongest pick until October with the next Forbidden & Limited List.

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