Hey, this is Brandon Bird and I am back this week to talk about the way the meta has changed since the release of Duelist Alliance, and what cards should be sideboarded against the popular post-DUEA decks. First I’m going to talk about the Shaddolls and Burning Abyss decks, but then I’m also going to discuss some other decks that I think will be popular in a post-DUEA meta, and how to sideboard against those, too.
The first deck I want to talk about will be the deck to beat, Shaddoll. Shaddoll is a deck relying on setting monster with flip effects and fusion summoning. With that being said if they don’t get to Shaddoll Fusion very quickly they could lose because that is their way of summoning all of their fusions that stop their opponent from being able to keep a lot of monsters on the field if any. Being able to sideboard in Super Polymerization and discard a card to get one of your opponent’s El Shaddoll Winda or El Shaddoll Construct off the field and you get to summon your own is really annoying for your opponent and really good for you. You can also run Caius the Shadow Monarch in Shaddoll, so you can flip summon Shaddoll Falco to special summon a Shaddoll from your grave and then tribute Shaddoll Falco to summon Caius the Shadow Monarch and activate his effect to banish an opponent’s El Shaddoll Winda or El Shaddoll Construct and burn them for 1000 damage.
I will now discuss some side deck cards that you can use against Shaddolls, some of which you can even play if you’re playing Shaddolls.
The first card I will talk about is Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror. With all the dark decks running around such as Shaddolls, Infernity, Burning Abyss, and Evilswarms, Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror will really help you from losing to dark monsters effect this format.
The next card I want to talk about is Nobleman of Crossout. With Shaddolls monsters all being flip effects and Geargia having Geargiarmor, this card will be good not only against Shaddolls but also against a couple of other decks. If you Nobleman of Crossout a Shaddoll monster all the copies of that Shaddoll monster is banished from both players decks.
Vanity’s Emptiness is a card that will beat Shaddoll and about every other deck this format if you draw it and you’re on the play. If you go first and have an okay field and flip Vanity’s Emptiness the Shaddoll player can’t make much of a play unless he finds away to destroy Vanity’s Emptiness. With the popularity of Vanity’s Emptiness rising a lot lately Burning Abyss has one more card they have to deal with. Vanity’s Emptiness, a lot like Maxx “C”, influences how the Burning Abyss player makes his future plays, since you limit his ability to special summon, and how can you win without special summoning monsters in a deck that is meant to special summon monsters?
The next card on my list to talk about today is Non-Fusion Area. If you go first and flip this card Shaddolls can’t fusion summon, so they can’t really get out to many good cards until at least their next turn if they can’t destroy Non-Fusion Area. Unfortunately, this card pretty much only hits Shaddoll at the moment, though it will also hit the Elemental Hero monsters.
Royal Command is another card I want to talk about in this article. Regardless of how the most recent printing of the card reads, Royal Command will negate the effects of all the Shaddoll monsters, both their flip and grave effects, effectively shutting down the decks’ biggest ways of winning. Just remember if your deck is based around flip effects don’t use Royal Command because it will also negate the activation and effect of all your flip effect monster’s effects.
Dimensional Fissure, Macro Cosmos, and Soul Drain are the 3 next cards I will be talking about today. Dimensional Fissure, Macro Cosmos, and Soul Drain all stop Shaddolls from either sending cards to the graveyard or activate monsters effects in the graveyard. Any deck that can side deck these 3 cards has a very good chance this format since about every deck uses their grave to do anything.
The last sideboard card vs Shaddolls I want to talk about is Skill Drain. Skill Drain stops all of their flip effects and their fusions effects. So if you are playing a deck that can summon out big monsters without effects that activate on the field like Mythic Dragon Rulers you need to side deck Skill Drain. This is a hot card against a handful of decks this format, though you should be wary about the decks it doesn’t counter!
Next deck I want to talk about is a very cool deck in my opinion and it is Burning Abyss. The deck Burning Abyss is based off of a book wrote a long time ago called “The Divine Comedy”. The Burning Abyss archetype has 3 main deck monsters Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, Cir Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, and Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, they have 1 XYZ Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss, and 1 trap card The Traveler and the Burning Abyss.
The Burning Abyss deck focuses on summoning Tour Guide from the Underworld every turn to summon one of the 3 Burning Abyss monsters from your deck and XYZ summoning Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss then using his effect, detaching the Burning Abyss monster you summoned off of Tour Guide from the Underworld and milling 3 cards and getting the Burning Abyss monster you detached effect. Besides that you are able to run 3 Phoenix Wing Wind Blast which is one of the best cards in the game right now being able to bounce back El Shaddoll Winda and El Shaddoll Construct or just set your opponent back a turn and most decks can’t recover from being set back an entire turn.
You can also very easily run Breakthrough Skill since it can be milled by Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss and you really won’t care to much. In Burning Abyss you can easily make all the good rank 3 monsters too like Ghostrick Alucard, Temtempo, the Percussion Djinn, and Mechquipped Angineer. Now I will discuss some good sideboard cards you can side in against Burning Abyss.
The next card I want to talk about is Maxx “C”. With Maxx “C” the Burning Abyss player either has to stop special summoning or let their opponent draw a lot of cards. Maxx “C” will always at least get you one draw if you play it right and hopefully more than one.
The probably most annoying card for Burning Abyss is Flying “C”. When Burning Abyss summons Tour Guide from the Underworld and you special summon Flying “C” they most likely lose since all the other Burning Abyss monster’s will be destroyed due to their effects and they can’t XYZ summon so they can’t do much of anything except maybe have Torrential Tribute or Dark Hole.
If you already don’t main deck Phoenix Wing Wind Blast and your deck can even kinda use it you need to be side decking it. Stopping Burning Abyss for an entire turn by activating Phoenix Wing Wind Blast on the monster Burning Abyss summons off of Tour Guide from the Underworld makes it very hard for the Burning Abyss player to win.
Another card that will destroy Burning Abyss is And The Band Played On. And The Band Played On will not let Burning Abyss special summon any monsters if they have a level 3 already on the field since all of their monsters are level 3.
The next deck I will be talking about is Spellbooks.
With Shaddolls everywhere, Spellbooks will be a good meta call since being able to use Spellbook of Fate and recycle it with The Grand Spellbook Tower is amazing against Shaddoll boss monsters. Having Spellbook of Fate enables you to banish El Shaddoll Winda and other problem monsters, increasing your chances of winning easily. The only problem with the deck is it needs a Spellcaster type monster on the field to do most of it’s plays, and it draws poorly occasionally, but with the right build that can be fixed. Check out some of RJ Scarpelli’s Spellbook articles if you’d like to see how the deck has evolved recently.
I will now discuss some good side deck cards you can side in vs Spellbooks, since it’s very possible that we might see a resurgence of this deck to counteract the Shaddolls.
The first two cards I want to talk about are DNA Surgery and Zombie World. With these 2 cards since Spellbooks have to have Spellcaster type monsters on the field to do just about anything will stop Spellbooks from doing anything. Sadly with the new 2 field spell rule you can’t place your Zombie World over their The Grand Spellbook Tower and destroy it but that still doesn’t mean it isn’t worth running.
The next two cards I want to talk about are Mistake and Thunder King Rai-oh. Since Spellbooks rely on searching cards from their deck, sideboarding these two cards don’t really let Spellbooks play. It is also hard for Spellbooks to destroy these cards without being able to search so it just makes them that much better. These two cards will be a great counter against other decks too, such as Burning Abyss decks.
The next card I want to mention again is Macro Cosmos. Macro Cosmos makes it to where Spellbooks have no Spellbook spell cards or monsters in grave so they can’t activate the effects of The Grand Spellbook Tower, Spellbook of Fate, Spellbook of Life, or Spellbook of Masters. Without being able to use those 4 cards they really have nothing going for them. Macro Cosmos is definitely stronger than Dimensional Fissure in the Spellbook matchup.
Another great card to side vs Spellbooks is Mind Crush. Since Spellbooks add a lot of cards to their hand from either their deck or their banished zone and they reveal will a lot of their cards you will usually know at least one card in their hand at all times. Having multiple Mind Crushes could and most likely will win you the game vs Spellbooks. Additionally, you can counter other decks like Evilswarm, Infernity, Mermail and Burning Abyss with this, too.
Dark Hole is another good card to sideboard in against a bunch of decks, including Spellbooks if you already don’t main deck it. Being able to destroy the little monsters they even run, all with one card sounds pretty good to me. It also destroys the Spellcaster they need for Spellbook of Fate, Spellbook of Power, and Spellbook of Masters. This card has gone from being in every main deck, to seeing 0 play, to being played in the sideboard, but that doesn’t mean that this card doesn’t have the potential to let you go +4.
Now let’s get right on to the next deck, Infernity. With the release and hype of Shaddolls, Infernitys can’t really beat them to easy. If Shaddoll summons El Shaddoll Midrash vs Infernity, Infernity can’t win since they can’t summon all of the monsters out of their hand so they can activate all of their effects. Even though Infernity won worlds this year doesn’t mean they will good after worlds. The main reason they even won worlds is because the worlds banlist hit every other good deck so Infernity was obviously the best deck. Even though they lose to Shaddolls and sometimes to themselves they can still make huge unbeatable fields. With that being said I am going to get right into what to sideboard in vs Infernity.
Just like every previous DARK deck I’ve discussed, Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror puts in work against Infernities as well. Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror stops Infernity from playing at all because they can’t activate effects to get monsters out of their hand and they can’t play with cards in their hand. Infernity will have to make Evilswarm Exciton Knight or Diamond Dire Wolf as soon as possible and hope it resolves if they go up vs a Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror.
Similar to the previous special summon-heavy decks, Maxx “C” is amazing at putting pressure on your opponent, limiting the amount of special summons they will make in a turn, unless they’re pushing for game. Maxx “C” makes Infernity either stop or let their opponent draw a ton which could be a really big problem.
Probably the most annoying card for Infernity is Flying “C”. If Infernity tries to special or normal summon any monsters you can just activate Flying “C” and special summon it then Infernity can’t XYZ summon which most likely means they can’t get all their cards out of their hand which means they can’t do anything.
Needle Ceiling is another good card you can sideboard in vs Infernity. With Needle Ceiling you can wait for the Infernity player to summon a lot of monsters and then after they think they are safe you just Needle Ceiling them and they lose all of their monsters.
Vanity’s Emptiness is still an amazing card if you’re on the play versus Infernities. If you are able to make a good enough field and set an Emptiness, when the Infernity player tries to special summon you activate Vanity’s Emptiness. If they have no way of getting rid of it you are in a very good position.
XYZ Universe is a good card to sideboard in vs Infernity. With XYZ Universe as soon as they summon the second XYZ, which they do a lot, you just activate XYZ Universe send both of their monsters to the grave and special summon your XYZ and put XYZ Universe under it as an XYZ material.
The last 3 cards I want to talk about are Macro Cosmos, Dimensional Fissure, and Soul Drain again. These 3 cards stop Infernity from being able to do anything, meaning they’re still arguably the best three sideboard cards in the game. Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure stop them the most since it also stops Soul Charge and Infernity Launcher plays. Soul Drain only really stops Stygian Street Patrol and Archfiend Heiress but it’s better than having nothing.
The next deck on my list to talk about is Yang Zing. This deck is all based around setting a bunch of monsters that when destroyed summon more monsters and eventually synchroing for a Syncrho monster that is unaffected by spells and traps and also gains attack. All the Yang Zing monsters also have the effect of being able to synchro on your opponent’s turn. Now I will discuss some good side deck cards vs Yang Zing.
The first card I want to talk about is Gozen Match. All of the Yang Zing monsters are different attributes so Gozen Match will make the Yang Zing player either summon ones with the same attribute or not summon any at all.
Vanity’s Emptiness is another good card to side in vs Yang Zing. When you attack into a set Yang Zing monster and have Vanity’s Emptiness face-up not only did you destroy their monster, they don’t get to summon another because of Vanity’s Emptiness.
The next card I want to talk about is Mind Control. With Mind Control you can take their Yang Zing monster and either XYZ summon with it or synchro summon with it which will stop them from being able to keep bringing out monsters for free that just summon more monsters.
Discord is the next card I want to talk about. Since most of you probably don’t know what this card does I will tell you it’s effect. Discord states “Neither player can Synchro Summon. Send this card to the Graveyard during your 3rd End Phase after activation. Now that you know it’s effect you probably understand why it is so good. If Yang Zing can’t synchro summon all they have it monsters that when destroyed summon more monsters and that isn’t enough to win a game.
The last 3 cards I want to talk about that are great vs Yang Zing are, again, Macro Cosmos, Dimensional Fissure, and Soul Drain. Like with previous decks I’ve discussed, these 3 cards stop any effects that activate in the graveyard since they are either banished or just not allowed to activate. Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure are the better two since they banish all the cards so Soul Charge is not able to summon a lot of monsters and destroy your cards. Soul Drain is still good since it still stops all of the Yang Zing monsters from getting their effects but if I had to choose I would rather have Macro Cosmos or Dimensional Fissure.