Have you ever had an idea for a deck that seemed cool, but was just too much trouble to build?  I’m fairly confident that all duelist have.  Maybe it was one card in an older set that you thought could be broken by new support, or a newer card that has potential against the metagame.  Maybe your idea was there, but the funds to get the cards to complete it were not.  Or perhaps breaking away from a tried and true meta-deck to play something yet untested isn’t your cup of tea.

For all of those duelists that did break away from the mold to attempt something new, there’s a set pattern, a development of your deck idea over the course of several tournaments, until you feel like you’ve perfected it.  One such example is Robbie Kohl, who has worked on perfecting his gadgets for countless hours, changing and bending his strategy to the meta at the time.  However, if you’re like the Bellido brothers, or Theerasak Poonsombat, lightning can strike instantly and a new, destructive deck is born.  Each of those duelists have brought dozens of effective strategies into this game.  This article is going to document the changes I’ve made to a new deck I’ve been playing with, outlining the strategies, strengths, and weaknesses of each build.

As anybody who knows me well can say, I like to tinker with strategies not fully developed, to try and gain some sort of natural advantage over the main decks of a portion of a format.  I found a decent formula within my Moja decklist, which took a top 16 finish at a regional before taking it to Shonen Jump Championship Columbus 2009, where I finished 7-3, and received a deck profile.  Now I attempt to put my own spin on this deck based on Mystic Piper.  Let’s break down the common components of these decks, shall we?

Mystic Piper:  The namesake of the deck.  He allows you at least a 1-for-1 trade in cards, so long as he gets to the field.  More often than not, your first Mystic Piper will be Normal Summoned.  However, we have several ways to reuse the piper in this deck, to the point where you have the possibility to have a “Pot of Greed”-like effect once per turn at the cost of your Normal Summon, so long as you have level 1 monsters to draw.  Of course, since the strategy is based around him, run the maximum number of copies allowable.

 

Kinka-Byo:  Our little kitten friend has finally found a new home.  He allows you to revive any level one monster from your graveyard.  Like all spirits, he returns to the hand at the end of the turn, and his effect removes the revived monster from play if it’s still face up on the field when Kinka-Byo goes away.  This is rarely a problem, since your main target is Piper, who tributes himself to the graveyard.  This combo can result in a possible Pot of Greed/Draw 2 effect each turn.  You can also revive Level 1 tuners to make Formula Synchron, which leads us to….

Effect Veiler:  Everyone’s favorite “Suprise!” card makes an appearance in this deck.  Being able to negate monster effects are great, but turning that veiler into a combo piece to draw even more cards, and possibly be used to produce instant Formula Synchrons is amazing.  Plus, it has a LIGHT attribute, making it much more useful in other versions, as you’ll see later in the article.

Battle Fader:  Yet another Level 1 monster, and this one stops your opponent from flooding you with attacks and damage.  A great suprise card, and tribute fodder to boot.  A great choice overall.

Sangan:  Sangan breaks our streak by being a Level 3 monster, but he fetches nearly everything in your deck, making him essential to toolboxing what you need, when you need it.  A must-run.

Treeborn Frog:  Since you run ways to get this little guy into the graveyard faster, he becomes available as tribute fodder and a blocker for damage, as well as a use for more sinister cards in the deck.  More on that later.  It’s also level one, lending a hand to Piper’s ability, so I recommend running one of this card.

Magical Merchant:  Good for some versions, not for others.  If you’re running Merchant, chances are your monster count is high, so you could dump Pipers, Treeborn, Glow-Up Bulb, and Chaos/Kinka-Byo fodder for later use, and get a spell or trap out of the deal.  Sounds amazing to me, so I run 3 in builds that main more that 20 monsters.

Glow-Up Bulb:  This little guy is popping up into everything lately, and since this is essentially a Level 1 Strategy, it’s a perfect fit.  The deck lacks in tuners that are readily accessible (You want Veilers to stay in your hand) and this card does the job quite nicely.  Literally a plethora of ways you can summon it to the field, it allows for more Formula Synchrons and a better chance of thinning the deck to get to your win conditions.

Speaking of your win conditions, let’s get them out of the way as well:

Creature Swap:  Boy oh boy, this card is going to win you more games than any other card in the deck.  If you think about it, a sound strategy is “dig for a creature swap and screw my opponent over in the process.”  It’s also the same strategy everyone is going to be using if running these decks.  Being able to swap a weak monster for a large threat usually means bad, bad things for the opponent.  The most damaging play is the Kinka-Byo combo, in which you grab back a monster with Kinka-Byo (usually a Piper), creature swap the Byo over, and use the revived monster in some way (Piper to draw a card, for instance).  When you end your turn, Kinka-Byo will return to your hand, and your opponent will have just lost their monster.  Brutal, effective, and can swing the tempo of the duel at any time.  Run this in 3.

Wave-Motion Cannon/Dimensional Wall/Magic Cylinder:  In my first build, i used these to decent success.  Being able to reflect damage made swinging for game with a swap easier, and Wave-Motion on top of that allowed for simple victories.  Use of these cards is dependant on what build you’d like to run.

Caius/Chaos Sorcerer:  For those of you who like a more aggressive approach, try both of these guys on for size.  You’ll usually have the tribute fodder for Caius, and since most of the cards in the deck are LIGHT and DARK attribute, you’ll be able to summon the Sorcerer very easily.  The banishing effect of Sorc makes him invaluable to countering a large push, and Caius’ banishing ability alongside his raw attack points means trouble for the opponent.  I max out on 3 of each of these cards if I’m playing the appropriate build.

Now that we’ve got some of the basic cards out of the way, let’s see how this deck has developed over the course of a few tournaments:

Version One:

Monsters: 15
3 Mystic Piper
3 Kinka-Byo
3 Effect Veiler
3 Battle Fader
1 Glow-Up Bulb
1 Sangan
1 Treeborn Frog

Spells: 16
3 Creature Swap
3 Pot of Duality
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Foolish Burial
1 One for One
1 Dark Hole
1 Monster Reborn
1 Mind Control
3 Wave-Motion Cannon

Traps: 9
2 Magic Cylinder
3 Dimenional Wall
1 Ceasefire
1 Torrential Tribute
1 Mirror Force
1 Solemn Judgment

Cards: 40

This was the first version of a Mystic Piper deck that I built.  Going into the first tournament, I didn’t plan on winning a single match, but I suprised myself by going undefeated.  Amazed, I now realized I may be onto something, and that’s when I took a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the deck:

Strengths:

– Low monster count means that a Gravekeeper Deck’s Royal Tribute has less of a chance to wreck my hand.
– The element of suprise is a big contributing factor to the success of the deck.  Many games were won due to opponents swinging into Dimensional Walls and Cylinders.
– Wave-Motion Cannon acted as a destruction magnet for cards like Mystical Space Typhoon

Weaknesses:

– A low monster count means a first turn Shi En from a Six Samurai player equals trouble.
– After Round 1, the element of suprise is gone, forcing me to change my strategy and play around theirs, instead of the other way around
– The Majority of my plays are strictly reactions for what my opponent throws at me.
– Once a player figures out that I churn out the majority of my damage from the Walls and Cylinders, they will avoid them, clogging my spell and trap card zones.
– After the first turn, Pot of Duality was a relatively dead card.  I needed to special summon every turn for Kinka-Byo, and Duality wouldn’t allow it.

Taking those two sides of the deck into account, I decided to take a more aggressive approach.  Waiting for attacks is not a good idea in this card game, especially when defensive plays are punished by all of the top decks this format.  Luck played a big part in me being undefeated, and that’s not something I’m comfortable with.  I wanted to play a deck that relied less on how often the opponent was taking actions on me.  I wanted to control the tempo of the duel, and that’s what I tried to accomplish with the second variant of my deck, as seen below:

Version Two:

Monster: 24

3 Battle Fader
3 Caius the Shadow Monarch
3 Chaos Sorcerer
3 Effect Veiler
1 Glow-up Bulb
3 Kinka-Byo
3 Magical Merchant
3 Mystic Piper
1 Sangan
1 Treeborn Frog

Spells: 11

3 Creature Swap
1 Dark Hole
1 Mind Control
1 Monster Reborn
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 One for One
2 Pot of Avarice

Traps: 5

1 Mirror Force
1 Solemn Judgment
2 Solemn Warning
1 Torrential Tribute

Cards: 40

As you can see, the deck has shifted gears considerably.  Many more monsters, and less cards that depended on my opponent taking action.  Creature Swap took a much more prominent role in this build, as did the addition of a Chaos strategy.  I took this deck to a pretty decent sized tournament, placed 1st, and won some amazing prizes (3 duality).  The competition had many more samurai players, and my higher monster count proved to be all the difference in that match-up, and enabling me to play out of early Shi En locks.

Strengths:
– A higher monster count allows for an easier Six Samurai matchup.
– Magical Merchant can burn through my deck, making Kinka-Byo more live, and allowing me to run Chaos Sorcerers
– More aggressive plays are possible, and can end the game sooner than the previous version.
– The omission of Pot of Duality speeds the deck up during mid- and late-games

Weaknesses:
– A higher monster count, and a Chaos Sorcerer engine means Gravekeepers are the deck’s hardest match-up
– It’s possible to have a hand where no combo plays can be formed, leaving you dead in the water for a few turns.
– Magical Merchant’s mill effect is random.  Sometimes it hits 8 monsters, sometimes none at all.

Again, taking it all into consideration, I find this build to be stable enough for premier competition.  Of course, no great idea comes from a lack of experimentation, which has lead me to my latest build of the deck:

Version Three:

Monster: 26

3 Battle Fader
3 Caius the Shadow Monarch
3 Chaos Sorcerer
3 Effect Veiler
1 Glow-up Bulb
3 Kinka-Byo
3 Magical Merchant
3 Mystic Piper
1 Sangan
1 Treeborn Frog
1 Gorz the Emissary of Darkness
1 Tragoedia

Spells: 14

3 Creature Swap
1 Dark Hole
1 Mind Control
1 Monster Reborn
2 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 One for One
2 Pot of Avarice
1 Foolish Burial
1 Allure of Darkness
1 Giant Trunade

Traps: 1

1 Treacherous Trap Hole

Cards: 41

As of this writing, I have not taken this to a tournament.  I have, however, tested it against some of the top tier deck of the format, and I like the tempo it produces.  Similar to all Piper builds, the focus is on drawing cards, but now I have Gorz and Tragoedia main-decked.  They add even more stability (allowing me to dodge OTKs more consistently), as does Allure of Darkness, as I’m able to dig through the deck even faster.  With these new cards come some sacrifices, as I’ve had to cut the trap line-up to one.  And even though it’s only one, Treacherous Trap Hole can rip open fields, leading to even more devastating Creature Swap plays.

This article was designed to allow the reader to look at the thought process that happens during a deck’s evolution.  Hopefully you’ve gained some insight into that if you’ve never done that practice before, and if you have, then I hope I’ve introduced you to a new decktype that you may want to experiment with.  Any comments/questions/concerns can be directed toward PDtamer02@hotmail.com  I’d like your opinions on this article, and whether or not I should make more like this.

Until next time,

-Josh

 

Comments are closed.