Rahul Pandya here, bringing you an article about four cards that have seen a rise in popularity since the release of Duelist Alliance, as popular side deck cards. As two of the most dominant decks that have been seeing play since the release of DUEA, those being Satellarknights, and Burning Abyss, use the power of XYZ summoning, people have been attempting to slow down their ability to XYZ summon. Satellarknights are a deck that make Rank 4 XYZ monsters and Burning Abyss is a deck that makes Rank 3 XYZ monsters with the ability to use the card Rank Up Magic – Astral Force to make Rank 5 XYZ. As a result of these attempts, four cards have come to the forefront of side decking, and in some case main decking, to slow these decks down. These four cards are Mischief of the Yokai, Stygian Dirge, And The Band Played On, and Flying “C”. I am going to describe what each card does, and the pros and cons of said cards.
This card says “Each face-up monster on the field loses 2 Levels, until the End Phase. You can remove from play this card from your Graveyard to select 1 face-up monster and reduce its Level by 1, until the End Phase. This effect cannot be activated the same turn this card is sent to the Graveyard.” This card is useful against both Satellarknights and Burning Abyss because it modifies levels, and prevents them from XYZ summoning. As these decks do not have any monsters with more than 1800 attack, they can struggle to hold field presence or deal with big monsters. Many people like this card because it is not continuous and with the popularity of Full House in people’s side decks, this card cannot be used against them. The second half of the effect where you can banish the card from your graveyard is very good, because it can be used to disrupt your opponent’s plays or help you create your own. For instance if you are playing a deck that makes Rank 3’s you can use Mind Control to take control of an opponent’s Level 4 monster, and banish Mischief to make the Level 4 monster Level 3 to help you make your plays.
The negative effects of this card is that as it is not continuous, therefore you will not always be able to use it, so if you have already played your copies, you could be out of luck if your opponent has the ability to XYZ summon. The card is very good, but the fact that it cannot stay around forever is a definite drawback.
Rating: 3 out of 4
Stygian Dirge says “Reduce the Levels of all monsters your opponent controls by 1.” This is a very good card in the Burning Abyss mirror and the Satellarknight mirror, because it can disrupt your opponent’s plays, while allowing you to continue yours, much like how Abyss Dweller worked in the Mermail mirror. This card is very good because it only affects your opponent’s side of the field rather than both of your fields. This allows your plays to continue uninhibited. Like Mischief of the Yokai, this card modifies level so that your opponent cannot XYZ summon, cutting of a part of the game for your opponent. In the Burning Abyss and the Satellarknight matchup, the decks struggle to get over monsters with 1900 or more attack, as their main deck monsters are generally 1800 or lower attack.
There are two cons of this card in my opinion. The first is that it is a continuous trap, which makes it susceptible to Full House, which can be a blow out in certain matchups. It can destroy your back row and leave you vulnerable to a push from your opponent. The other con is that as it is continuous it leaves Satellarknight with access to their trap card, Stellarnova Alpha, as they cant XYZ summon they are left with all their Satellarknight monsters on board. While the fact that they cannot XYZ summon may be a good thing, giving them access to a Solemn Judgment type trap card can be detrimental to your plays.
Rating 2 out of 4
And The Band Played On is a card that has only recently begun to see play to counter Satellarknights and Burning Abyss. It reads “Neither player can Special Summon monsters with the same Level as those they control. Neither player can Special Summon monsters with the same Rank as those they control.” This is important because it can hurt their recovery plays, as after the initial summon they are unable to special summon. This means in Satellarknights cannot maintain advantage through looping Satellerknight Altair, or Call of the Haunted if they have another monster on board. This is huge, as the deck plays to advantage, and disrupting their advantage can often mean the game is over. Against Burning Abyss, as they generate advantage through special summoning and making XYZ monsters, this cad can be good to stop their constant special summoning. It can be extremely disruptive, more so than effect negation, because they will have to sit on one monster until they can draw the out that they need.
The negative drawbacks of this card are more numerous than those of the others. In the mirror between two people playing these decks it can disrupt both your own plays as well as your opponents, creating an uncontrollable gamestate from which it can be hard to recover. The second major con is that it suffers from the same thing Stygian Dirge does which is to say that it is continuous and as a result is susceptible to Full House, which, as mentioned earlier, can be a blowout. Lastly, it can hur your overall ability to combo out and win the game, because it prevents you from continually xyz ssummoning, and generating advantage.
Rating 4 out of 4
This card is very good because it is a hand trap and as a result is not susceptible to backrow destruction. Flying “C” says “When your opponent Normal or Special Summons a monster(s), except during the Damage Step: You can Special Summon this card from your hand to the opponent’s side of the field in face-up Defense Position. The controller of this card cannot Xyz Summon.” This card prevents your opponent from being able to access their Extra Deck to XYZ summon, therefore preventing both Burning Abyss and Satellarknights from using their Extra Decks. This is good because it is not susceptible to Full House like the continuous traps mentioned earlier. Flying “C” is very good in my personal opinion because of the surprise factor, your opponent could feel safe from floodgates and then you can summon Flying “C” to their side of the field, and then they have to stop their play. Flying “C” is good because it forces your opponent to often time lose card advantage in order to get rid of it, so they can attempt to make plays again. Many times they will use cards like Dark Hole or Torrential Tribute to clear the card, which allows you to play without fear of those two cards. Flying “C” is also very good because it can make your other floodgates live. For instance, if you summon Flying “C” to their side of the field, than destroy their non-insect monsters, you can activate Rivalry of the Warlords and prevent them from summoning anything but insects, which both Burning Abyss and Satellarknights do not play. This card is especially hard for Burning Abyss to get around, and often times they do not draw an out before they lose.
There are not too many cons to this card. The biggest con is that it does not affect decks that do not XYZ summon that much. It only stops your opponent from XYZ summoning which means this card is useless against decks that do not XYZ summon that much. Thus this card is only really good against decks that need to XYZ summon to win. The other con is that if you are playing a deck where having cards in hand is bad, you could end up locking yourself out of the game by having this card in hand for too long, and you could play it at an incorrect time. Lastly, you could draw this card too late after your opponent has already made his XYZ play, and if you do this card could sit in your hand dead for the rest of the game, or you could open multiple copies and then have dead cards in either your starting five cards or your starting six cards.
Rating 1 out of 4
These four cards are four most popular side deck choices against Burning Abyss and Satellarknights. What you want to side is up to you, and hopefully this article has pointed out some strengths and weaknesses of all four cards. Remember to always analyze the best options for your side deck. Good luck, and Play Hard.