Hello everyone! I’m back this week to discuss the results of ARG Indianapolis and what can be taken from it. Going into the weekend there was a large debate amongst players that Shaddolls were the best deck of the format. After this weekend, we can see that they are not the only dominant deck of the format. Six Burning Abyss decks made the top 16, as well as six Lightsworn Shaddoll variants. There was one Shaddoll/Artifact deck, one Satellarknight, one Madolche, and one Geargia deck playing 3 copies of Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror. After it was all said and done, 3 of the 4 players in Top 4 were playing Burning Abyss with Jeff Jones winning the event.
Burning Abyss was the deck that really made a case for being the best deck in the format. Before many versions of the deck were playing 2 to 3 copies of Rank-up Astral Force. The builds from the past weekend moved away from this strategy and we see 3 copies of Vanity’s Fiend. Jeff Jones played 3 copies of Raiza in his main deck along while Dalton Bousman and fellow writer RJ Scarpelli opted with Fiend. When talking to Scarpelli about Fiend, the idea behind it was to summon him 1st turn when playing against Shaddoll. The ability for a Shaddoll player to get rid of it is small, as they would have to a Shaddoll Dragon or Shaddoll Squamata to get it off the board. In combination with Vanity’s Emptiness, their outs to your board just got even smaller. You could see the change from the early Burning Abyss builds to the current ones more built to handle the Shaddoll heavy meta.
This weekend also showed there was a little bit of wiggle room for other decks. We saw Madolche take a spot in the Top 16 along with Geargia! This was quite the surprise to many as this format has been described as a 3 deck format (Burning Abyss, Shaddolls, and Satellarknights). The Madolche deck mained 2 copies of Maxx “C” and 2 copies of Effect Veiler. We also saw a loss in popularity in the Satellarknight deck. Larry Musgrove was the only one who made the Top 16 with the deck, as he played tech choices like Honest and Book of Moon.
When looking at the winning decklist, you see a lot of different choices. Jones played 3 copies of Raiza the Storm Monarch and 3 copies of Mind Crush. This was very different from the other Burning Abyss lists and lead to his success. Raiza is not only a good way to get rid of Shaddoll Construct or Shaddoll Winda but it can set a player back multiple turns in combination with Phoenix Wing Wind Blast. Jeff also played 1 copy of The Traveler and the Burning Abyss. This card hasn’t really seen play until this point even though it’s a fairly good card. This card can create a Rank 3 monster almost instantly and is live fairly often.
Jeff also played 2 copies of Shaddoll Dragon, which would surprise most people looking at this list. The idea is quite ingenious however, because clearing backrows is the only problem the deck has. This can eliminate this problem, and also makes Mathematician even better. Mind Crush is a good call for the deck. If you aren’t exactly sure what your opponent has in their hand but you have a Scarm or Graff making a blind call won’t hurt you that much. Against the Shaddoll deck you have no fear of destroying their Winda or Construct. My favorite thing about Mind Crush is the information it gives you. Knowing what your opponent has in your hand can win you the game because you know exactly what they are able to deal with and what they can’t deal with.
The side deck and extra deck are also very different from the previous lists. We see 2 copies of Mobius the Frost Monarch and Majesty’s Fiend. This is a total of 7 tribute monsters between the side and main deck. The monster can produce many tribute monsters, and Jones took full advantage of it. Jeff sided 2 copies of The Monarchs Stormforth as well. I talked about this card last week when discussing my list, and it looks like Stormforth is here to stay. The ability to tribute an opponent’s monster can be very crippling late game. Jones also chose to side 3 copies of Non-Fusion Area. This card was sided by some people, but now we can expect to be more popular. Not only does this card stop Shaddoll Fusion it also stops Super Polymerization, which can be crucial to winning against the Shaddolls.
The Extra deck was different from the norm as well. We don’t see a single copy of Constellar Pleiades but that is because there are 0 copies of Rank-up. We do see 3 copies of Downered Magician. This was put in there because it would not only ensure Dante would hit the graveyard, it also leaves a large presence on the board. Downered also pierces, which can be useful against Shaddolls which set mosnters constantly. The other thing that is strange is Jones played 2 copies of Number 47: Nightmare Shark. This monster is very useful as it can put pressure on your opponent because you may be reluctant to leave him out for another turn and lose half of your original starting life points.
The ARG will have an effect on the rest of the format, however there only remains 8 days. We can expect more people to start playing Burning Abyss, which can lead to more people main decking Effect Veiler and Breakthrough Skill. As well, we can expect Satellarknights to continue to lose popularity. The deck is the most predictable out of the new “Big 3” and this is also why it is loosing popularity. The biggest problem with the deck in my opinion is the lack of big plays. Any power push with the deck requires the normal summon effect to be successful, and once you can stop that you can pretty much expect their turn to be over unless they have Soul Charge. Shaddolls should continue to be popular, but with the possibility of Soul Charge finding a place on the Forbidden and Limited list Shaddolls may lose a lot of popularity. Burning Abyss may lose a Tour Guide from their deck, but much shouldn’t change that deck. With YCS Dallas coming up and a new forbidden list we will see if the “Big 3” will be remain on top, or if more decks playing Shadow Mirror in the main deck can win.
We have the release of Next Challengers coming in October. With Qlipoth’s coming out, we will finally see the Pendulum mechanic in action. Some people have already been deciding how they will prepare for the Qlipoths. Spell Shattering Arrow is a good way to stop their Pendulum monsters and deal damage. Mistake is possibly another card that will see play again because the Qlipth deck relies on adding cards to the hand. One final card that I personally like that should see play again is Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell. Whenever there is a deck that revolves around spell cards this card gains popularity. Cursed Seal can single handedly win you games against this deck. We will see if Qlipoths turn the “Big 3” into the “Fab 4.” There will be a lot of things coming in the next month, and that should make things exciting for the rest of the calendar year. Thanks for reading this week, good luck and play hard.