Rahul Pandya here back this week to discuss The New Challengers and some of the cards that will see play, and cards that I feel will see play in the future. As with most packs, the pack released cards to attempt to keep older decks relevant or give them support, as well as introducing new cards. The New Challengers, held true to this form, and The New Challengers came out two weeks ago, and provided power to some of the top decks as well as introducing the Qliphort deck. I feel that this set has been one of the best support sets, meaning that it has been one of the better sets to release support for existing decks, or series of cards. I feel that as time goes on we will see an increase of play of cards in this set, as formats shift and change. With boosts to the Shaddoll, Burning Abyss, and Satellarknight deck, as well as more generic cards being released, this set supports the existing meta perfectly. The New Challengers has allowed the meta to continue interrupted and without too much interference from new cards, and will play a large role in the Meta of the future.
Denko Sekka is one of the best cards out of The New Challengers, and will continue to be as long as we are in a back-row format. Denko Sekka‘s effect is “Cannot be Special Summoned. While you control no Set Spell/Trap Cards, neither player can Set Spell/Trap Cards nor activate Spell/Trap Cards that are Set on the field,” which is very reminiscent of the forbidden card Cold Wave. Not being able to activate your cards can be the difference between controlling the game and getting blown out. This card is also very good because it has decently high attack, making it possible for it to stay alive, and because of the card’s ability to lock your opponent out of the game, can be devestating. Denko is also splashable and can be played in anything that does not play too much back row, as it can be used to help further your plays. This card has increased the power of hte best decks and will continue to be dominant as the formats evolve.
The Shaddoll deck got a huge boost in this set, and got some of the best new cards to come out in this pack. The power of the deck increased tenfold, with the release of El-Shaddoll Fusion and the earth and fire fusions, allowing the deck to continue to be one of the top contender. El-Shaddoll Fusion, is another fusion spell for the deck, which makes it searchable by the effect of Shaddoll Hedgehog, and helps the deck when your opponent attempts to stop your play. It ca help dodge trap cards, or can be used to avoid Vanity’s Emptiness, and help you maintain your advantage, and continue your play. The earth fusion, allows you to negate your opponent’s special summoned monsters’ effects, which can help you against rouge decks, can clear your opponent’s board, and is a target for Super Polymerization against decks that are based on earth monsters. This effect is very good because it allows you to discard a Shaddoll card which allows you either continue to build advantage, or can help you add cards from your graveyard back to your hand. The fire fusion grants the same protection of Super Poly, against fire decks and has a very good effect as well. It negates special summons, the same way Thunder King Rai-Oh does, and you discard Shaddoll card to negate the summon. Denko Sekka also helps to improve this deck’s ability to play through an opponent’s back row and ensure victory.
Burning Abyss as a whole got a lot stronger with the cards they got out of The New Challengers. The set released, a new trap card, three new monsters and a new synchro monster that all boost the deck’s power, and the deck’s anility to generate advantage. The deck has always gained advantage by playing mostly traps, that allow them to use their monsters’ effects to generate advantage, and the new monsters are nowhere good as good as the original Burning Abyss monsters, however, one is a tuner that allows you to make Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss, which is they synchro monster. Virgil’s effect is “You can only control 1 “Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss“. Once per turn: You can discard 1 “Burning Abyss” card, then target 1 card your opponent controls or in their Graveyard; shuffle it into the Deck. If this card on the field is destroyed by battle or card effect and sent to the Graveyard: You can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of “Virgil, Rock Star of the Burning Abyss” once per turn.” This card is very good because it allows you to take care of problem cards while generating advantage. This also allows the deck to create interesting on turn kills, and keeps the deck firmly in the driving seat of a match.
The first truly good pendulum deck came out in this set, which is the Qliohort deck. THe deck generates crazy advantage, and can one turn kill you rather randomly because of the fact that most of the cards search each other. The deck , however, is very fragile and can be defeated easily if you draw the cards that counter it. The deck is very powerful and will continue to get more powerful as more and more support for Pendulum Summoning and the deck itself comes out. This deck going forward could be a good call because we do not have everything out for it yet, nor do we know how to properly play it to make it strong.
The next card in the Solemn series of cards was released in this set. As the other two cards are both on the forbidden list, Solemn Judgment is forbidden and Solemn Warning is limited, this card must be good right? I think the card is very good in spot situations, as it has more restrictions than both of its brothers. It reads “If this is the only Set card in your Spell & Trap Zone, when a monster would be Summoned, OR a Spell Card, Trap Card, or monster effect is activated: Pay 3000 LP; negate the Summon or activation, and if you do, destroy that card.” It is a very good card as it negates almost anything, however, as it has the restriction that it has to be your only set card you have to be careful when deciding to play this card in your deck. Going forward this card could see more play depending on how future formats end up forming
These two cards give a huge boost to the Yang Zing deck, as they help the deck with speed and consistency. Yang Zing, has been a deck that has struggled to keep up due to lack of explosiveness and consistency and these two cards lend themselves to fixing that problem. Jiaotu, Darkness of the Yang Zing can especially help because of its effect to “If you control no other monsters: You can send 2 “Yang Zing” cards from your hand to the Graveyard; Special Summon 1 “Yang Zing” monster with 0 ATK and 1 “Yang Zing” monster with 0 DEF from your Deck, but banish them during the End Phase.” which allows you to synchro summon on your first turn, and can instantly make Yang Zing Path live, allowing you to get deeper into your deck without too much effort. Oasis of Dragon Souls also helps the deck play because it allows you to play non-Yang Zing monsters in the deck and still be able to syncrho into the Yang Zing synchros without damaging the overall synergy of the deck. Oasis brings back a monster from your graveyard in defense and makes it a wyrm type of monster, which is needed to syncrho into the Yang Zing synchros. Overall these two cards help to increase the speed and consistency of an otherwise slow deck.
This card gives power to all the rank 4 toolbox decks as it is a generic XYZ monster that takes two level 4 monsters to make. It has 2500 attack, making it one of the higher attack rank 4 xyz, which is useful as it can help you get around some of the more problem monsters that rank 4 toolbox decks struggle to get passed. I personally like this card as an out to a defense mode Dante, because it allows you to attack over it and continue pushing for game. ITs effect halves an opponents monster’s attack and adds it to itself allowing you to become bigger than your opponents monster
The last card I would like to discuss is Valerifawn, Mystical Beast of the Forest and the power it brings the Raccoon deck. The Raccoon deck has seen play, and this card allows the deck to have strong re-curability, and is one of the deck’s best top-decks. I personally think it helps the deck because it is a tuner and allows you to synchro summon Naturia Beast which can help you win against Qliphort and is generally hard to get around.
These are the cards that I think are strong from the newest set, The New Challengers, and I will be testing them in many decks. I personally feel this is one of the best supporting sets we have had in a while and look forward to playing with these cards. Just remember, not every card is built for every deck, and good luck in which ones you decide to play.