Sideboard Analysis: Burning Abyss Decks from ARG Chicago


Hey guys, Kiley Davis here to give you a brief recap of anything significant that happened in the game of Yu-Gi-Oh from this past weekend. While there were Regionals in Hawai’i and Philly, the most important event of this weekend was definitely the ARG in Chicago. And let me tell you, was it awesome! For those of you who haven’t seen the decks that have topped, check out this link for that info, and for a majority of this article, I will be referring to this spreadsheet; follow along at home!

At the ARG, there were:

  • 10 Burning abyss
  • 3 Shaddoll (1 Artifact / 2 Chaos)
  • 2 Qliphort
  • 1 Satellarknight

Instead of going over all the decks in detail, I’ll spend the majority of this article discussing the Burning Abyss sideboard choices. While we’ve seen a few of them before, we’ve also got some new sideboard tech, so let’s dive right into it!

DustTornado-YS14-EN-C-1EFirst, let’s briefly mention that Dust Tornado has begun to see more play. Satellarknight player Jerry Merrithey opted to main two copies, while Burning Abyss players David Edwards and Chase Cunningham sided two and three copies, respectively. Now that Burning Abyss players are mainboarding copies of Night Beam in addition to the standard Mystical Space Typhoon, do you feel that the Dust Tornados are overkill?

I mean, Night Beam and Dust Tornado are completely different cards, of course. While Night Beam can only deal with face-down threats, Dust Tornado can also deal with cards in those pesky Pendulum Zones. However, Dust Tornado has to be set the turn you’re able to play it. While Night Beam can deal with a pre-emptive Skill Drain or Vanity’s Emptiness, it can’t do anything once the card is flipped face-up. While there’s some debate over which card is better, I would argue that Night Beam is better because it can be played from the hand, is really great to have going second; Dust Tornado is nice to have going first, but it doesn’t necessarily help you when you’re going second and your opponent flips the floodgates on your end phase. It didn’t see a whole bunch of play, but if you need even more removal, this card might be worth looking at.

EnemyController-BP03-EN-C-1ESeven of the ten Burning Abyss players were sideboarding numerous copies of Enemy Controller before any copies of Raigeki. Why is this? Well, for one, because Raigeki is no longer a sideboard card; why wasn’t it in the main in the first place? Next, why isn’t Enemy Controller sided? I mean, it does a handful of things:

  • Triggers Qliphort effects if you tribute them
  • Changes Dante and other walls into attack mode
  • Alternatively, changes Qliphorts into defense mode
  • Takes your opponent’s monsters
  • Can be used defensively (if need be)

So, in short, Enemy Controller has a handful of awesome uses. But I think that the most important use is that it can enable one-hit kills. I mean, what happens when you can’t hide behind your Dante/Qliphorts? The top three decks this format have a very easy time putting a large amount of damage onboard, so it’s pretty obvious that a well-placed Enemy Controller could potentially end a game early. Most of the Burning Abyss players were running three copies of this card; if you’re siding it, you want to see it.

300px-FairyWind-ANPR-EN-C-UEFairy Wind saw a whole bunch of play over the weekend, seemingly replacing Spell-Shattering Arrow in the sideboard. This is only interesting because it legitimately seemed like the two cards were equally favorable just a few weeks ago. Looks like the meta has developed and found our optimal Qliphort side? Most of the Burning Abyss players were siding three copies of the Fairy Wind. Why would you want to side any less?

300px-MajestysFiend-PRIO-EN-ScR-1ELet’s take a minute and talk about Majesty’s Fiend, though. Ever since we got the Japanese PRIO spoilers, I knew in my gut that Majesty’s Fiend was going to have a gigantic impact on the game. I don’t normally pre-order cards, but I definitely had to make sure I had my three copies of the M. Fiend. This card is like, the best card in current Yu-Gi-Oh because it can make the game absolutely unplayable for a Burning Abyss player. What do you do when your opponent Stormforths your Dante for a Majesty’s Fiend, other than cry internally? Most of the Burning Abyss players that topped were sideboarding Majesty’s Fiend, and most of them were siding three copies. This card is just way too good to look past. But it makes me wonder, why aren’t we playing this in the main? Yeah, it’s not great against the Qliphort match-up, but it literally beats down most other match-ups! Majesty’s Fiend is the stunniest stun card in Yu-Gi-Oh, you can just drop it and sick back for a few turns, and potentially even the rest of the game. Chase Cunningham was playing two copies of Majesty’s Fiend in the main, so he definitely had the right idea.

VanitysFiend-CP07-EN-R-UEJust like Majesty’s Fiend is the all-time hotness, Vanity’s Fiend is equally nasty against the Qliphort match-up. What are you supposed to do when you can’t special summon any of your dudes, and you can’t get your monsters strong enough? People often debate which of the Fiend monsters is better, but it’s very clear that that’s like comparing apples and oranges; while both Fiends will help cover all your bases, they both are strongest against different decks. You probably won’t find yourself siding both Majesty’s and Vanity’s in at the same time, although it definitely is a thing.

If you’re sideboarding Majesty’s and Vanity’s Fiend, you need to be sideboarding copies of The Monarchs Stormforth for good measure. This almost goes without saying, but why wouldn’t you want to tribute your opponent’s Dante for a Majesty’s Fiend? That’s probably one of the most crippling plays in current Yu-Gi-Oh. While most people sided two or three copies of Majesty’s and Vanity’s Fiend, these same players opted for two copies of The Monarchs Stormforth.  While you don’t necessarily need the Stormforth with the Fiends, it’s certainly nice to have!

PuppetPlant-YSKR-EN-C-1ESimilarly, we saw most of the Burning Abyss players siding several copies of Puppet Plant, since you can use it to grab your opponent’s Dante. Puppet Plant is definitely even stronger in the Burning Abyss mirror match, since you can use your opponent’s Dante’s effect before turning their Dante into a Downerd Magician (if your opponent is unfortunate enough to let this happen, of course!). And don’t forget that you can Puppet Plant and then tribute for Majesty’s Fiend! We don’t have Change of Heart anymore, but this card is just as good?

OjamaTrio-DP2-EN-C-1EWe saw a few copies of Ojama Trio over the weekend, which we hadn’t seen way too much of recently. Why do we side this? Because it congests the Burning Abyss field so that they can’t make their double Dante and stuff! I mean, realistically, how does a Burning Abyss player deal with having three of their monster zones clogged? They can’t sync the tokens for Virgil, they can’t tribute the tokens for Majesty’s Fiend, so what can they do? Well, ram their tokens into your monsters. And that obviously sucks! These are the reasons why Ojama Trio is actually a really awesome tech choice against the Burning Abyss. Only four people were siding it this past weekend, but I could definitely see this card being sided more in the future.

NonFusionAreaLCGX-EN-C-1EAnother card we saw a little bit of this past weekend was the Non-Fusion Area. For those that are unaware, Non-Fusion Area is basically the anti-Shaddoll floodgate; as long as it’s face-up, neither player can fusion summon. Which, as a Burning Abyss player is perfectly fine. For a Shadoll player, however, this is somewhat of a nightmare to deal with. If you flip a Non-Fusion Area on a Shaddoll player, you literally forcing them to deal with the Fusion Area before they can actually start mounting their offense again. In my opinion, this is one of the strongest cards against the Shaddoll match-up because it forcibly disrupts their plays until they’re able to deal with your one card, which is awesome.

300px-XyzUniverse-PRIO-EN-R-1ELast but not least, we saw our boy Robert Scarpelli sideboarding the only three copies of XYZ Universe from the entire weekend. Are people sleeping on this card? It turns a double-Dante field into your own Constellar Pleiades, which is already in your extra deck because you’re playing Rank-Up Magic! In addition, Scarpelli also played a copy of Mermail Abyssgaios to deal with those pesky Qliphort dudes. While it’s not quite as good as sideboarding a few copies of Oilman, XYZ Universe is definitely a card to look into!

Anyway guys, that’s been another sideboard analysis for you! What cards stood out the most this weekend? I’d definitely say Scarpelli’s copies of XYZ Universe! Now that the post-NECH format seems to be clearly defined, do you think anyone will be able to break the mold by the end of December? Only time will tell!

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