Guapping to the Top: First Place TCGPlayer 2.5k Shaddoll Deck Analysis

Hello everyone, my name is Michael Glowacki. I have been playing competitively for around 8 years.  I have a Nationals Top 32 in 2010, and many regional tops. Enough about me though, let’s dig into this past weekend. I attended a TCG Player 2.5K in Chicago and placed 1st Place. I played Shaddolls this past weekend, and want to share with you some of the reasons why I played it and what cards I chose. First we will go over the list.




300px-SuperPolymerization-SDCR-EN-C-1EAfter play testing the past several weeks, a few things became apparent with the Shaddoll deck.  One of the first things I decided is that the deck needed to main deck 3 copies of Super Polymerization. This card is in my opinion the best card in the deck, and has so many purposes. When playing the Shaddoll mirror match, I would play my Shaddoll Fusion to bait out the Vanity’s Emptiness. In response to Emptiness, I would chain my Super Polymerization. This play could not only devastate my opponent by using their monsters but it would also ensure when my Shaddoll Construct or Winda came out, it would be under the protection of Emptiness. At this point, they would have to play something next turn to get rid of the Emptiness, which would make them waste cards. If I had my own Vanity’s Emptiness, it would almost ensure that the game would be won. With this format, getting your monster and Emptiness to stick is everything. Super Polymerization is also necessary to main deck now because the three main decks are Burning Abyss, Shaddoll, and Satellarknights. All three of these decks rely heavily on light and dark monsters, making Super Polymerization live at all times.  This past weekend in my Top 4 match I played Super Polymerization on my opponents two Construct, crippling him very badly and allowing me to shift the tempo of the game in my favor.

Triple Effect Veiler in the main was also a choice I had made during the week. Some builds opt to play Upstart Goblin over it, which has its pros and cons. Personally, I liked Veiler because it is very good against the Satellarknight matchup along with the Burning Abyss. If you stop Burning Abyss from their Tour Guide of the Underworld to resolve and special summon for Scarm or Graff early game, you can make the game a lot easier win. Playing against Satellarknight? Veiler on the Altair at the right time can leave your opponent scrambling to make a play against an establish board. Effect Veiler isn’t necessarily the best card in the mirror match, but if you can wait to hit a Shaddoll Falco or Shaddoll Beast it can stop your opponent from continuing to draw or set up their field.

300px-ArmageddonKnight-TU01-EN-R-UEArmageddon Knight was a choice I decided to play after RJ Scarpelli had told me about the amazing first turn plays it creates. If you open Armageddon Knight and Soul Charge, you can play the Armageddon Knight to dump Shaddoll Squamata, and then dump Shaddoll Beast. You can play Soul Charge, paying 1000 life points and special the Squamata. You use them to XYZ summon into Lavalval Chain, which you send Shaddoll Falco to the grave and use his effect to reset him. This allows you to place a good first turn board, and puts your opponent on a smaller clock because you have already begun to start your engine. If you have a Sinister Shadow Games with that combination, your set up just got even better. If you were playing Mathematician, this play wouldn’t be possible. You can use your Armageddon Knight as the requirement for a dark monster to fusion to Shaddoll Winda, as well.

Decklists are about what you don’t play as well. I decided I didn’t like playing White Dragon Wyvern Buster. The card is very optimal in making rank 4 monsters, so I figured I don’t need another card that doesn’t help me out of a Vanity’s Emptiness situation. Because I am playing Armageddon Knight, the ability for me to make a Rank 4 monster isn’t really an issue. I also chose not to play Compulsory Evacuation Device. This card is pretty good for the format because it can answer pretty much any XYZ monster or Synchro. However, I chose to play Torrential Tribute because it allows my Shaddoll Monsters to get their effects when destroyed by it. This would allow me to set cards like Shaddoll Dragon and when my opponent would begin to overextend, I could not only punish them with Torrential Tribute, but I could destroy a spell or trap card as well.

Extra Deck

300px-TempestMagician-CSOC-EN-ScR-1EThere extra deck is pretty standard with the exception of one card. Tempest Magician is arguably one of the best monsters in the extra deck. The ability for you to make him is quite easy, because you only need a Shaddoll Falco and a Shaddoll Squamata or Shaddoll Dragon. In the early game if I know I can put my opponent under 4000 life points, it can make a Soul Charge game ending. You can Soul Charge for two Shaddoll Beast, Shaddoll Falco, and a Squamata or Dragon. You can overlay into a Volcasaurus, and use his effect to burn for a significant amount. Then you can Syncro into Tempest Magician, and burn them off for the remaining damage. This was a very popular play of mine. I would make sure to clear the set spell and traps and make sure my Soul Charge play would go off. Tempest Magician is also a good card for when time is called, and it gives you a way of being able to burn your opponent if you need to edge them for the win.

Side Deck

20140614122709!DiamondCoreofKoakiMeiru-PRIO-EN-C-1E (1)The side deck again is pretty standard with the exception of Koa’ki Meiru Drago and Diamond Core of Koa’ki Meiru. These cards were put in for the mirror match, Satellarknights, and Burning Abyss. Some people are thinking why Koa’ki Meiru Drago with no Dragon type monsters in the deck. The reason is simple. You activate the effect of Diamond Core of Koa’ki Meiru by removing it from play before you summon. That way, you will be able to make sure your Drago stays alive; you can stun your opponent for a turn. In the Shaddoll deck, a turn by stunning your opponent is sometimes all you need to finish them off or shorten the amount of time they have to make moves.

The Monarchs Stormforth is a very good and versatile card. Not only can it remove a face up Emptiness that is a problem for you, it works very well with the Shaddoll deck. You can add a Shaddoll Beast to your hand through the effect of Shadoll Hedgehog, which makes the card live a large majority of the time. Combine that with a Raiza the Storm Monarch, and you can make some very crippling plays. If you see your opponent has had a backrow that has been set for some time, you can assume that it if they drew that card again it wouldn’t help their situation. Raiza also is good because it can be the biggest monster on the board in a mirror match, and it doesn’t allow your opponent to Shaddoll Fusion using cards from their deck.

ChainDisappearanceTU06-EN-SR-UEChain Disappearance almost single handedly helps you with the Burning Abyss matchup. If you hit an opponent’s Scarm, it shuts down their ability to keep adding Tour Guide from the Underworld to their hand. If you hit a Graff, it also stops them from being able to put a lot of monsters on their board.  Royal Decree is a very powerful card this format, being able to almost beat Satellarknights as well. It stops them from being able to protect their monsters, and that is very important in winning the Satellerknight matchup. Mystical Space Typhoon is a must because of the flood-gate cards being sided against the Shaddolls.

Overall, I would say the deck is very good. I played against three straight mirror matches in the Top 8, Top 4, and the finals. This build doesn’t have any problems with the mirror, as it really depends on holding onto Emptiness until you absolutely need to set it. It has a good Satellarknight matchup, and can handle Burning Abyss as well. With Patrick Hoban winning YCS Toronto, you can expect to see a lot of people playing his build. With that in mind, expect to see a lot of Shaddolls, but also expect people to be siding for it heavily. Thanks for reading, and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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