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I have been playing Yu-Gi-Oh for almost 9 years now. I stopped for a period of about 4 years in the GX Series; however, I always kept my old cards and even had the occasional game with a friend. When I came back into the game this summer of 2010, I had discovered the game was very different from when I had started. The format had become much faster and much less forgiving of mistakes. The old fiend deck I used to run that fared pretty well competitively lacked the strength necessary to take on more modern archetypes.
One of my favorite decks to work with is one that I honestly never see any discourse on. COTD has never reviewed - despite the archetype being expansive and interesting- even one of these cards. I've spent a few months now playing with the Light-attribute Reptile-type Worms found in the Hidden Arsenal/Duel Terminal series.
Now, a lot of people will already dismiss them as a weak deck type. It's true. They aren't Blackwings or Lightsworns. They have almost no magic support and consist of a great deal of lousy flip effect monsters. It's not a fair rep, I think. I've been playing local tournaments with Worms, and I've changed it's purpose entirely based on my performance with them. Little by little, I find myself winning more often as the deck becomes more pulled together. Now, like I said, I'm not winning these tournaments, but certain Worms have awesome effects when they are used correctly. I wanted to do an overview of all 26 of the Worm type monsters. Some of them will be short, but the more usable ones will probably get a good amount of writing on them.
First let's talk about their sole spell: Worm Call. It allows a free special set along with your normal summon as long as you have no monsters on your field. It gives a silver lining to going second, as you can probably get either 2 monsters or one tribute on the field. Best case scenario lets you drop your tribute monsters on the field for nothing. This card is really neccessary to give Worms a slight boost in their speed, so pack at least 2 in the unlikely case you're using Worms.
Let's just go down from A to Z (each different worm's name starts with a different letter of the alphabet, another reason I think they're fun.)
Apocalypse is decent even not in a worm deck. A flippable (and even reusable in some cases) MST can be a lifesaver in a situation that gives you a nasty trap or magic you don't want anymore. With some defense, you can even keep him on the field to tribute after he's used, so you could save yourself from a bottomless or having a good monster torrential'd.
In my day, a level 3 like this with a decent effect was a boon for the Gravity Bind deck. I know there are stronger monsters, but Barses effect is where he comes in handy for a Worm deck. Along with Worm Call you can get that flip effect (any, doesn't even need to be a Worm to do it) to come out in one turn rather than two. Barses also serves as a Messenger of Peace warrior with just about as under 1500 as it gets.
Cartaros is another necessity, but not quite yet in the TCG. Searching a level 4 or lower worm monster isn't going to set you up for much other than to thin your deck for now. As the new Worms come out, this will be a much more useful card.
I'll admit it. There are better worms. As there weren't too many out at first, this was the only real level 4 beatstick the archetype had. A potential 2000 Attack 4 star is enticing...but the time it takes to get that boost isn't equal to what you could do with two turns. Book of Taiyou/Barses speeds it up a little, but it's not a terribly worthwhile trade.
Erokin is respectable. 1 Tribute for 2400 can take on any of the monarchs, and every turn, he lets a flip worm re-use it's flip effect. The only problem with him is the special summoning...so no Worm Calling or reborning him. He's good if you know how to defend your weaker worms, but there are better Worms for tribute.
These 5 were the first to be widely available in the TCG. It's pretty understandable how they could be seen as weak. This first generation lacks a whole lot of punch that later worms give way to. There's a light at the end of this tunnel, but it's a long one.
Falco is interesting in that he basically gives all of your flip effect Worms the potential to use their abilities again. Unfortunately though, there's a card that does this better and you have perfect control over it: book of eclipse or book of moon.
Worm Gulse is one of the better worms, in my opinion. Put out a Rock Sentry or Medusa Worm and get a good stall card going and you can be growing Gulse for serious damage. Even a Book of Eclipse on your opponent before sending this guy out can give him a good amount of strength if your opponent has good numbers on the field. Now is as good a time as ever to mention that every Worm monster is LIGHT and therefore works with Honest. Honest helps puts this deck together because it gives your weakest Worms the potential to fend off even the strongest monsters. We'll cover some later Worms that can do some REAL damage with Honest in hand.
For some reason this card has a line break in it. Unfortunately I can't give a first-hand account of Hope. The effect is interesting enough, a free card is nice, and a discard is bad (unless you plan on using that to your advantage). The draw doesn't just happen when he's flipped, and that's a big problem, considering he's probably just going to get wiped anyway by a card effect rather than being attacked. It's too risky to put a weak monster like this in for the possibility of a draw, but maybe in a removed from game deck, you can avoid the discard? I'd say this is another case of another card doing what this does, but better. I wasn't rushing to get this guy, and I don't plan on using one.
Illidan is a godsend to the archetype. He is probably one of the strongest monsters in this deck simply because of how devastating his effect can be. When I first saw him, I thought "Well, if you can keep a 2000 ATK one tribute out for even one turn, I guess you can destroy one or two cards if you're lucky?" Then I read closer. The set can be anything! Put down your Scrap Iron Scarecrow and just keep negating attacks and setting again. Giant Trunade and set all over again. Use Medusa Worm's effect! This card's effect can be pretty fantastic if you play your cards creatively, and 2000 is at least strong enough to hold its own against a 4-star, if you were even planning on attacking with this guy. Illidan could probably have a playable deck around him, but that's something totally different. I can't wait until he's widely distributed.
Jetelikpse, a card about as hard to get as it is to pronounce. This is another one of those duel terminal cards that will be released at some indeterminate time (Not In Hidden Arsenal 3, sorry!), but his effect is another decent one. Basically, he comes right on back when he's destroyed after a flip. Erokin or Book of Moon/Eclipse can keep him on the field longer, but he's especially good with Offerings to the Snake Deity; give him up, destroy two cards, and get him back for a quick tribute! He can be nasty and annoying, which is the kind of support the deck needs.
The prospect of a 1 tribute 2700 attack monster used to be mouth-watering in the old days of the game. If I'm not mistaken, it's still pretty respectable- especially with an effect like his. I wouldn't recommend overusing it though, since with Worms, it's generally a good idea to keep your monster presence up. Though a lot of people seem to think he's a big player in the deck, I really like his female counterpart better.
Well, these 6 comprise what I call the Second Generation in the TCG. They are a little stronger, and give the deck a lot more versatility than Erokin did.
I used Worm Linx once and couldn't pull off its effect at all. Then I made my deck more defensive, and got really good drawing power from it. It's stats are horrible, no questions asked, but it's effect can really fatten your hand, and as we all learn in Duel School, more cards means more options. The effect also refers to BOTH end phases, so defend him for just a few turns, and you could draw 4 or 5 cards outside of your draw phase. I can see this card seeing some play in non-Worm decks. Maybe there's a place for an Exodia stall and 3 of these guys? Only time can tell I guess~
I really don't even want to talk about this card. It's effect is horrible. It's stats are horrible. It's LEVEL is horrible. Assuming this card even survives to flip face up, you can equip it to a monster to deal 400 damage during each standby phase. So that's what: 400 damage you'll do to your opponent before he tributes that monster or Synchs it? Pass this worm up, it is too slow for such a meager effect.
Worm Noble has at least admirable defense and an alright burn effect. I can't really say he fits into an aggressive worm deck or even a defensive one, since that deck kind of relies on not being attacked in the first place. I want Noble to be good somewhere, but I can't seem to figure it out.
Dropping your opponent's attack is nice, but not really worth using this card for that, since your opponents monster doesn't even need to bat an eyelash to polish off this morsel, 500 attack loss or not. I used him once or twice, but ultimately put him the way of Millidith. Though this effect happens at least, unlike Millidith.
Lousy defense and a lousy end phase effect, but he's a good searcher, considering you can get any Worm you want, and with the later on ones, that's good stuff. You can Worm Call him and summon another Worm to keep him around. His attack is okay for when your opponents go on the defensive, but he may not always cut it, I'm afraid.
Worm Queen is a little more my style than Worm King. Destruction is nice, but Queen can bring out any of the other Worms in the deck simply by tributing herself. She speeds up the deck (especially if you pack multiples and just dump them to thin out your deck), but the 2700 for a Worm tribute packs a bit of a wallop too. I'd say she's a must for the deck. It's also sort of cute that she's holding a Dimikles.
2100 for a 4 star, that's incre-oh wait. Okay, if you play Rakuyeh face up as a wall, he will NEVER be able to attack unless you pack an Erokin or Book of Moon/Eclipse. He goes into defense mode, which pretty much guarantees he's done if your opponent summons anything. He could be good with Illidan/Gulse maybe, but I feel like he takes a little bit of work to get to use. At any rate, he's got a good attack for a 4-star, but by the time you get his attack, your opponent could have something stronger than it easily. Use a Book of Taiyou with him if you do decide to play him, though.
These past 8 cards were available recently in Hidden Arsenal 2. They're sort of the wobbly 3rd generation of Worms. The last group of these guys is where I think the archetype really gets interesting.
Solid can act as a good defense monster late game, or you can dump Worms in your grave to get it powerful faster. Staunch Defender can potentially clear your opponent's back row with enough attacks to it. An okay card if you're playing defensively, but not game changing.
Tentacles is a decent monster at 1700 attack, but his effect is almost always usable late game, since you're probably going to be losing Worm's left and right. Couple him with an Honest and you can get a heavy second attack. I'd say if you were going to search any Worm monster with Cartaros, he'd be a definite candidate.
Giving your opponent a monster isn't usually a good thing, but if you're planning an attack, he's not bad to use Worm Queen with. I'm sure there are some other combos that can be used with this guy, but since I'm not holding one in my hand, it's kind of hard to be motivated to think some up.
This card is one of the flagships for Worms, so naturally he came out near last. A flip mass removal is pretty much great, since you don't see too many cards face down in this format, and his gaining attack effect can be set up with cards that dump reptiles or even Future Fusion for a later Worm Monster. With a dedicated deck, and all out attack after future fusion with this guy could result in a one turn win! The absolute best thing about him though, is that Worm Call can bring him right out. Book of Taiyou only speeds him up further. Id say if you're taking the time to make a Worm deck, (which I'm sure you all are now /sarcasm) pack this guy, pack him no matter what.
This guy's a little like Erokin. Decent enough for 1 tribute, and negating effect monsters is always a nice touch. Add to it an additional attack, and you can make this guy work some miracles on the field. You can Honest with this guy to give him a deadly boost along with another (possibly direct) attack. Playing aggressively requires cards like this that-frankly- just didn't start off in this archetype. Try not to get him killed, or use Beckoning light to get him and that Honest you dropped back!
Xex and Yagan are buddies, and Xex is actually
worth using at 1800 attack with no strings attached,
making him the most powerful 4 Star Worm without a
lousy effect. I'd probably use him just for the
attack, but having Yagan, a decent defense monster,
making him immune to battle along with a free
special summon, I can see some potential for this
duo in the future. I think it's sort of hilarious
that they're in the others picture sort of
photobombing each other.
It's hard to fathom this card. It's harder to read it's entire effect. As far as I know, if you used 6 monsters at least to summon it, you can use all three effects in one turn. This card lets you bring back your Worms with a vengeance. I'm sure everyone thought of the Future Fusion to make this monster massive, considering you won't have more than 3 or 4 worms in your hand/field, but then there's the risk of losing FF. Worm Victory always works as a nice backup plan if that happens, since he gets his attack boosted by the graveyard. I mean, you can just clear the field by removing cards from play and go for the finish. Worm Zero boasts a lot of potential power that can only be explored through a lot of play, and I for one can't wait to try it out! This card is to Worm Decks as Heraklinos is to Gladiator Beasts or Stardust Dragon is to...uhm...anything? This is your trump card for Worms, so use it wisely, because it's tough to get those 6+ Worms back!
Oh, and how could I forget:
Yeah, he counts. I guess they didn't really think this one through or something. His stats...honestly, compared to other Worms aren't that bad. But...uhm...don't use this in a worm deck. I mean, he works but really to no end other than maybe graveyard material for Zero?
Well, that's pretty much all I can say on Worms. They are by no means a perfect archetype. They have a lot of really terrible monsters, and it can be sort of hard to make it work as a deck, but remember that Worms aren't just limited to their own support. They also benefit from a few Reptile cards and belong to the expansive family of Light monsters. Try and get some Offerings to the Snake Deity and Honests to run this deck, and you'll have a pretty strong back up for your cards. The difference with using Worms rather than a lot of other modern decks is that you have to play much more carefully and sneakily. Being blunt will only give you away, so it requires a bit of thinking on your toes. I hope anyone reading this who picked out a few of these guys while looking for that Brionac or whatever is the big card in HA1/HA2 might find a few uses for these worms other than fishing bait!
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