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GeneralZorpa on Yugioh
The Shoebox Part 1
 June 3, 2010

I'm Funny How?
 
This will be part of e three part article that addresses some cards that are often overlooked by competetive YGOers. The problem with deck size, is that you often cannot find room for cards that you would otherwise like to play. But these cards that you exclude can actually make or break a game depending on what they are. In this section, we will look at the X-Saber deck.
 
Two cards clearly stand out as being good, but not good enough for the X-Saber deck as far as the netdeck is concerned. XX-Saber Gardestrike and XX-Saber Garsem are just on the edge of being played in the deck due to them being good cards, but not quite what the doctor ordered for most people in the deck.
 
In this article, we will look over the strengths and weaknesses over similar cards that are being currently played in the deck. Then the reasons that deckbuilders seem to pass them over as far as playability is concerned.
 
The Strength of 20 Sabers
 
The first card that we are looking at today is XX-Saber Gardestrike, the promo card for the Ancient Prophecy Set. The stats stand as follows. We have 2100 ATK and 1400 DEF on a level 5 EARTH Beast-Warrior. These stats right there are almost impressive, as it is an X-Saber monster with a level of 5, which allows easy access to level 8 Synchros, which the deck otherwise finds hard to get to.
 
The ability is pretty good as well. This is flirting with Cyber Dragon territory, as you can Special Summon it if you control no Monsters and you have 2 or more X-Sabers in the graveyard. Note that the card says when you control no mosnters. THis means that unlike Cyber Dragon you can Special Summon this guy when your opponent has nothing.
 
The requirement of 2 X-Saber monsters is not as hard to reach as some people might think. X-Saber decks tend to Synchro SUmmon with almost ALL X-Saber monsters, which means that it is not hard at all to get to 2 in the graveyard. This is especially relevant after a desperate Black Rose Dragon effect or even a JD hit. You get a 2100 attacker and then can Synchro into level 8 Synchros really easily, or you can just beat face.
 
This guy is even good in the graveyard, as he can be Special Summoned by Gottoms Emergency Call, which menas that you can Summon multiple level 8 Synchros with little to no effort on your part. Cards like One for One and Foolish Burial can also get you to 2 Graveyard X-Sabers very early on, and you can bring the pressur eon your opponent quicker than they would otherwise see from an X-Saber deck.
 
Even his ability to be Tribute Summoned is a plus. Oftentimes, you play Brain Control on cards that you do not want to give back to your opponent, but have no Tuner to Synchro. In this case, Gardestrike comes to the rescue, able to be Tribute Summoned, pushing home damage and even drawing out removal cards from your opponent clearing the way for big plays next turn.
 
I frankly see this card as a one-of in the X-Saber deck. It is not a mainstay as it once was due to the release of the clearly superior X-Saber Boggart Knight. The fact that Boggart KNight is much more consisten in the early game means that the deck has an easier chance to OTK, whereas Gardestrike is better in the mid to late game, where removal is limited and you can often fight for the win with a 2100 beater or a level 8 Synchro.
 
 What the Hell is That? An Antelope?
 
You would not think that a card based ona relatiel gentle grazing animal from Africa would make it onto a Yu-Gi-Oh! card, but here we are in XX-Saber Garsem. Garsem boasts the stats of 1400 ATK and 400 DEF on a level 4 EARTH Beast. These stats are pretty much abyssmal. If it was level 3, it would be far superior, as it can be Special Summoned due to the ability of Rescue Cat.
 
The ability is where the money is at. He gains 200 ATK for each X-Saber monster on the Field and when he dies by card effect, you may search your deck for an X-Saber monster and add it to your hand. This seems like an early attempt by the game designers to come up with something like Darksoul, the goal of course giving X-Saber decks access to a search card without making it broken like Reinforcements f the Army.
 
The plus with Garsem is that he can get very big. He counts himself, so you might as well put him at 1600 ATK instead of 1400. With a full field he is at 2400 ATK, which is very respecable for a level 4 monster. However, you are not likely going to have a full field of X-Sabers, as you are going to Synchro Summon a lot, making non-X-Saber monsters. Plus a card that helps you win when you are already winning is not really worth it'salt in today's game.
 
The second ability was an attempt at an early Darksoul. The fact that Garsem would often be destroyed by Battle obviously did not enter the game designer's heads. However, the effect allowed Summons off of XX-Saber Emmersblade to be more productive into cards like Torrential Tribute. Even Mirror Force balked at the sight of Garsem, as it will often fetch you cards that you can further use to win the game.
 
The biggest problem with Garsem is of course it's level. If it were level 3, it would be good, not great but good, as you can then combo with Rescue Cat, which most X-Saber decks that are good will play as one of their few non-X-Saber monsters. But as a level 4 he is inferior to Boggart Knight and not as effective a searcher as Emmersblade or Darksoul.
 
In the end Garsem is not as good a Candidate for the off-color X-Saber deck as Gardestrike is. But it is still a card that is very cool to play around with. If on this next format anything happens to Darksoul, we can expect sporadic Garsem plays to happen. The same will also happen if Boggart Knight gets hit, as Garsem has no restriction on Synchro Summons.
 
The Skinny
 
By far the most useful of these two cards is Gardestrike. I found a place for him in my X-Saber deck and he has shined brightly in his splash role. I feel that more than one can lead you with more dead hands than Boggart Knight, and although it is technicaly superior to Boggart Knight as far as playing Faultroll is concerned as well as drawing out removal, he is fine at a splash.
 
Garsem also might be a splash, he can technically get bigger than Boggart Knight as well as doing a psuedo-good search. However, I think that these will be the cards that X-Saber decks fall back on should anything happen with the next banlist. As it is, tehy can certainly be a surprise for an opponent used to only the standard X-Saber plays. Anything you can do to put your opponent off-balance is good.
 
The short is play Gardestrike, it's better than you think and consider playing Garsem if anything happens to the deck over the next list.
 
That's it for the first issue of The Shoebox, so please stay tuned! You can contact me at raptor1k@hotmail.com if you have any deck fixes, ideas, questions or comments about YGO or the article I just wrote. As always please put YGO in the title so I don't miss it and not write you back.
 
Thanks for reading!
GZ

 




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