Shooting for Victory: A look at RJ Scarpelli’s Satellarknights


Hello everyone! Today, I will be writing about the ever so popular Satellarknight deck! First, let me give you some background information on Satellarknights. The way the deck plays out is like a new and improved version of Cardcar Fire Fist. They literally mimic playstyles and both depend on a Coach Soldier Wolfbark-type monster to make their big plays. Satellarknights were first released in the new set, Duelist Alliance.

StellarknightDelteros-DUEA-JA-ScRThe first cards of this archetype that Konami gave us were Satellarknight Deneb, Satellarknight Altair, Satellarknight Unukalhai, Satellarknight Vega, and Satellarknight Alsahm. In my opinion, most of the Light Knights aren’t very good. I feel that the only strong current Satellarknights are Satellarknight Deneb and Satellarknight Altair. The reason I concluded the other Satellarknights to be less than optimal are because they all rely on being paired with a different card. For example, opening Satellarknight Vega without Satellarknight Deneb is just awful, opening Satellarknight Unukalhai without Call of the Haunted, or Soul Charge is also terrible. This problem maybe could have been rectified if there was one specific card both Satellarknight Vega and Satellarknight Unukalhai could be paired with beneficially, but to my knowledge, there is not one.

Imagine it like this, instead of opening your ideal starter monster and a bunch of traps, you draw a lone Satellarknight Unukalhai and four traps, I hope to God you rip Reinforcement of the Army, Call of the Haunted, or Soul Charge and that everything resolves completely. If you don’t draw into one of those cards or the effects don’t resolve, you’re essentially playing Yu-Gi-Oh from 2004 where it’s high attack Level 4 monsters with trap cards. In other words, you’re playing a terrible beat down deck. What my friend Dirk Wagner and I have been doing was replacing the bad Satellarknights with more starter cards like Cardcar D or Traptrix Myrmeleo. Think about it, the only way you’re going to win your game is if you get your engine running properly, so why not play more cards that allow you to do that? Here is what I’ve been playing for the past few weeks.

As you can notice, my list differs quite a bit from the lists that did well at ARG Atlantic City this past weekend. After watching most of the stream and seeing how other friends like Aaron Furman, Tyree Tinsley, and Loli built their Satellarknight decks, the only big thing that their deck has that mine struggles with is making Satellarknight Delteros. Other than that, it just seemed terrible to open with a monster that isn’t Satellarknight Deneb or Satellarknight Unukalhai with Call of the Haunted or Soul Charge. That’s why I designed this deck to get you to you Satellarknight Deneb as fast as possible. My strategy also increases my chance of seeing sided cards, so that’s another added benefit. Know that you know a bit about how I wanted this engine to play out, here’s the list I was using:

Monsters: 9

Spells: 10

Traps: 21

SatellarknightDeneb-DUEA-JP-C3 Satellarknight Deneb

Pretty much no explanation is needed here. I’ve heard rumors of people willingly playing two copies because of Reinforcement of the Army, but that’s just downright stupid.

3 Satellarknight Altair

This card is also self-explanatory. Sure,it sucks to raw draw multiples of this card, but it’s the price you must pay to keep your Rank 4 train running.

CardcarD-SP14-EN-C-1E3 Cardcar D

I already touched a bit on playing Cardcar D over the different Satellarknights, but in short, it gets you to Satellarknight Deneb very fast  without needing a card to pair with it such as Call of the Haunted or Soul Charge.

3 Upstart Goblin

If my deck revolves around one card, I’m going to play the least amount of cards in my deck to increase my odds of seeing the card I need. Again, if you’re playing 40 cards, there are always 3 cards that are the worst cards in your deck that you can cut for Upstart Goblin. I’m not saying EVERY deck ever made is supposed to play Upstart Goblin, but Satellarknights is one of the decks that definitely should.

2 Soul Charge

Outside of this card and Call of the Haunted, the deck is pretty fair. Why would you not play the cards that can generate insane amounts of advantage for you at reasonable price? Again, Soul Charge can be dead on turn one, but it’s worth it to play one of, if not the best, card in the game.

3 Mystical Space Typhoon

Since the three main decks this format all play a respectable amount of backrow, and since Satellarknights are a deck that functions well in a simplified game state, we decided to include the playset of Mystical Space Typhoons. Also, Vanity’s Emptiness is as real as ever right now and Mystical Space Typhoon is the perfect out to it. What I really enjoy doing, if I can afford it, if my Satellarknight Altair ever gets Vanity’s Emptinessed and I have Mystical Space Typhoon, is I will let the Vanity’s Emptiness resolve and hold my Mystical Space Typhoon until next turn fo the plus 1 and also forcing my opponent to deal with their own Vanity’s Emptiness. I know it sounds basic, but I notice people over valuing their Satellarknight Altair’s effect. If you already have access to multiple copies of Satellarknight Altair, you don’t have to push the first one through. You can wait, plus, and force your second push through.

2 Reinforcement of the Army

Absolutely staple in Satellarknights. Reinforcement of the Army acts as your fourth and fifth Satellarknight Deneb. One thing neat about this card is it’s interaction with Daigusto Emeral. For example, if you already have your Satellarknight Altair train running and have a Reinforcement of the Army in hand, save it. You save it to get the most value out of your Satellarknight Deneb you can possibly get. Then, with your last Satellarknight Altair, you make Daigusto Emeral to put your two-three Satellarknight Altairs back to the deck and instantly tutor one to your hand with Reinforcement of the Army.

CalloftheHaunted-SDCR-EN-C-1E2 Call of the Haunted

This card is actually just insane. It’s on the level of Geargiagear good. The only problem with Call of the Haunted is Geargiagear was a stand alone card, where Call of the Haunted is not. It only accelerates you winning when you’ve already gotten your engine running. Everyone was running three copies of this card at ARG Atlantic City, but they also elected to play Satellarkngiht Unukalhai. Since I do not play that card, and I see a lot more of my deck thanks to Cardcar D, we elected to only play two copies. Call of the Haunted, like Soul Charge, is dead on turn one, and drawing multiples is not wanted. Those are two more reasons not to max out on this card.

3 Stellarnova Alpha

Easily the best trap in the deck. It does literally everything you want; negates something important, sets up your graveyard, and draws you a card. How is that even legal? Not much needs to be thought about regarding how many copies of this card you run. One cool thing with Stellarnova Alpha is if you open it without Satellarknight Deneb, you can set it and the moment you draw Saellarknight Deneb, its search effect will go through anything outside of Solemn Warning, thanks to Stellarnova Alpha.

3 Breakthrough Skill

I really only wanted to play two of this card, but monster effects locking you out of the game on your turn have become extremely relevant. For example, Shadoll Winda, Number 106: Giant Hand, Abyss Dweller, and Evilswarm Exciton Knight are all cards you will see very often in competitive tournament play. With all of those cards I just named and many more, effect negation is clearly very important this format, and Breakthrough Skill can do it twice. More cards like Mathematician, Armageddon Knight, Kuribandit, Satellarknight Altair, Satellarknight Deneb, and Tour Guide from the Underworld are all extremely powerful cards this format that you must answer. Breakthrough Skill does just that, and much more.

VanitysEmptinessSTBL-EN-C-1E3 Vanity’s Emptiness

There is a reason that this card jumped to $35 a pice, and that reason is this card this format could be considered better than Solemn Warning, Bottomless Trap Hole, and even Torrential Tribute. Think about what Vanity’s Emptiness stops this format. Yep it stops next to everything For example, Tour Guide from the Underworld, Shadoll Fusion, Soul Charge, Satellarknight Altair, Call of the Haunted, and much more. And to make matters worse for your opponent, you can choose to keep your emptiness alive as long as you want until your opponent answers it. If they don’t have an immediate answer, Vanity’s Emptiness can make more cards in your opponent’s hand dead, all for just one card! Als, don’t flip your emptiness all willy nilly. Make sure that you are able to conduct a productive turn for yourself under your Vanity’s Emptiness if you’ve flipped it on your opponent’s turn and they didn’t answer it. Again, I like to keep my Vanity’s Emptiness alive as long as possible because without my opponent being able to special summon, their chances of winning pretty much hit rock bottom.

3 Dimensional Prison

Personally, I am not a big fan of battle traps in general because they aren’t reactive at all. If you have a Dimensional Prison, you are forced to let your opponent make their play, hope your Dimensional Prison isn’t destroyed in the process, and have them attack into it. Most good players are able to read batlle traps pretty easily, so playing around Dimensional Prison isn’t entirely difficult. So you’re probably thinking to yourself, “If you don’t like battle traps, why are you playing them. and three of them at that?” Sadly, there are a shortage of strong defensive cards and I think Book of Moon is complete trash. Dimensional Prison is included in the deck mainly for Shadoll Winda, big threatening monsters, and Satellarknight Deneb.

3 Wiretap

This card’s explanation is pretty much the same as Mystical Space Typhoon’s. It helps you simplify the gamestate where Satellarknights thrive. All of the main decks this format play at least six traps realistically, and most of them play more. Also, I like holding my Wiretap when I’m not forced to play it and my opponent has more backrow for me to negate. While watching games, I notice people misplay with Wiretap in the following three common ways; holding it when there are no cards left to negate in your opponents backrow, gunning it instantly on the first trap you see, and holding it until your opponent only has 1 backrow (SOMETIMES this is correct). To start, you obviously should use your Wiretap on your opponents last backrow. I’m not saying hold it for the last backrow, though. You want to use your Wiretap on their last backrow because they probably don’t have any other traps to set in hand otherwise they would be set, and if you don’t, your Wiretap will most likely sit there dead as a -1.  Next, don’t gun your Wiretap on the first thing you see, hold it until you will get the most value out of your push. Finally, there is no hold your Wiretap until they only have one more backrow. Reasons behind this theory are that it may not be a trap card set, and you most likely could have used your Wiretap earlier to get you more value. Bluffing is an extremely real thing in Yu-Gi-Oh. Personally, I think it’s amusing every time I see someone wanting to hold their Wiretap for their opponent’s last backrow and it ends up being a bluff. Don’t be that person.

CompulsoryEvacuationDevice-SDBE-EN-C-1ECompulsory Evacuation Device, Solemn Warning, Torrential Tribute, and Bottomless Trap Hole

Pretty much each of these cards are staple in most formats if you’re playing a backrow deck. These four traps are probably the four most flexible traps we have this format. They all have little to no requirements to activate and have extremely powerful effects. Compulsory Evacuation Device is the only one that could be debated on because it’s not very good against Satellarknights or Burning Abyss, but is incredible against Shaddoll. Other than that, there’s nothing really special to talk about on behalf of these cards.

That’s about it for this weeks article guys! Satellarknights are the new control deck of this format. They’re not very tough to play outside of timing your traps correctly, which A LOT of people have problems with. Again, this deck is really basic and that’s where the intricacy comes in. Perfecting how to side and building your main deck accordingly will take you to the top with Satellarknights. Thank you all for reading and stay tuned for next weeks article!

 

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