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The Old Man and the Sea
By GeneralZorpa
July 7, 2014

Since their arrival in Abyss Rising, Mermails have been considered top tier. They might not always have been front and center but you would see enough of them even at a local that you had to be prepared. I originally made the deck for my fiance to play as she really enjoyed the mermaid artwork on many of the cards. One time I played it at a tournament and fell in love with the deck as it crushed player after player.

The reason for the success of the deck is that it has a large pool of cards to choose from as well as being able to weather cards that disrupt it and its power plays. You see many different builds of Mermails, almost more than any other deck in the current game. This makes the deck very good for a lesson in deckbuilding.

The main 3 focuses of any deck are these three pillars (like architecture but more fun). Most players and deckbuilders know this on an instinctual level or through experience, but to talk about them I have given them labels and definitions.

Power-The effect that a decks plays have on the game state by removing lifepoints or cards from your opponent.
Versatility-The ability of a deck to respond to opponents plays and stop them.
Consistency-How often a deck makes power plays and can respond to an opponents power plays.

If you take a deck that has high marks in these categories, then you have a good deck. We see in Mermails that the Power plays are devastating as well as being easy to pull off. Abyssgaios, Abyssleed, Abyssmegalo, Dracossack and Big Eye are pretty much the bossiest guys in the game besides Leo, Star Eater and Felgrand. As far as versatility, not so much. They are able to get what they need from the deck but are fairly vulnerable for disruption. Now in my opinion there is not a deck out there that is as consistent as the Mermail deck. Their cards are almost all unlimited and almost all of their cards search others out or add them to the field.

So as we take a look at the core of the Mermail deck, I want you guys to take a look and see where each card fits into either Power, Consistency and Versatility. This will allow you to see patterns in how the cards will interact with one another.

From Hells Heart I Stab At Thee

So I would like to start with a look at the core of the deck. These are the cards that are in EVERY single Mermail deck where the player has access to them. We will not look at Extra deck or Side deck cards as they pretty much decide themselves.

1)Mermail Abysslinde- This is the card that pulls the deck together, searchable by almost all of the other cards in the deck and as well as being able to pull off your own search effects or put a beater on the table. This card does it all.

2)Mermail Abysspike- This is the other card that pulls the deck together, able to search when Special or Normal Summoned means that he can search cards and add them to the grave in a flash.

3)Abyss-sphere- This is the best trap in the deck and probably one of the most broken traps in recent years. Able to search any Mermail or permanently play a card through Abysslinde AND searchable by Abyssmegalo.

4)Mermail Abyssgunde- Searchable by Pike or Abyssteus and getting back cards to use their abilities or attack power. This is the ONLY limited card in the Mermail names for a reason.

5)Mermail Abyssteus- This is an easily Summonable level 7 monster that gives you another Mermail from the deck, sets up Ocea plays and also triggers discard effects.

6)Mermail Abyssmegalo- He was the main key back when Dragoons was unlimited, and has made a comeback as making rank 7 Xyz has become more necessary.

7)Mermail Abyssleed- The biggest normal monster in the Mermail arsenal, able to make rank 7 Xyz and reap an opponents hand as well as being bigger than the average boss makes him an ideal addition.

8)Abyss-squall- This used to be an overlooked card but has made a reappearance as the game has slowed down as it is basically a free Soul Charge that you have to Set.

9)Atlantean Dragoons- This card made Abyssmegalo too good as it plussed on card advantage too easily and set up massive OTK plays as a good portion of the cards in the deck are Sea Serpent.

10)Atlantean Marksman- He has seen a rise in popularity as set cards have become more common. He is also solid as a popper of facedown monsters as well and can sometimes carry games by summoning an Atlantean from your deck.

11)Atlantean heavy Infantry- This is similar to Marksman except he pops face-up cards.

Smile You Son of a *****!

So we also take a look at some of the optional cards in the deck and what they add. I am not including staples or defensive cards as they are generally too varied to cover them all. These are in no particular order.

1) Genex Undine- This includes Genex Controller as it would be stupid to play one without the other. This guy requires you to play a pretty bad vanilla monster but also rewards you by activating any Atlantean effect in your deck as well as sending Tidal to the grave, an integral play. I do not like it as it seems too inconsistent to me, but it is searchable by Pike and is technically card advantage in spades.

2) Salvage- Pure card advantage, this allows you to re-use your Gunde, LInde, Marksman, Heavy Infantry, Dine and Ocea. This is a key card to replenish your hand after an Abyssmegalo rush, and I highly recommend it tried out at 1 copy.

3) Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord- A power play that usually can bring you victory on hi sown and a rising star in Europe. He is hard to pull off, but with Tidal and Sturge, it is easier than you think to stay at 5 Water monsters in the graveyard.

4) Abyss-scale Spells- There are 3, each negating a Trap, Spell or Monster effect and giving a Mermail monster ATK. I usually like Cetus as it negates traps that would stop your plays and has 800 boost like Mizuchi, making your Megalos able to OTK very easily. I even got the combo with this off twice in one match!

5)Abyss-scorn- This card punished MST plays as well as providing both a defensive and offensive option for Mermail monsters. I often combo it with Abyssmegalo for quick kills.

6) Mermail Abyssocea- Considered by many to belong in the first section, I actually place it here as one copy is usually enough for combos and it serves a small role in the scheme of the deck. This card comboed with Abyssteus is amazing and can often win you games by itself. I also include Abyssdine here as well since you would not play her without the Ocea combo.

7) Deep Sea Diva- This card give you access to Synchro monsters as well as adding up Atlanteans to your field for Abyssmegalo food. Since she was limited we have seen less of her, and that is for a reason, we almost always want to Normal Summon a Pike or Sturge instead.

8) Mermail Abyssturge- The retrieval version of PIke, he is not quite as good, although able to recycle Heavy Infantry as well as Gunde makes him an ideal choice. I have seen decks without him, but there is no reason you shouldn't play one copy. I play 2.

9) Beautunaful Princess- A new release that we haven't really seen on the game yet, but it gives you easier access to Pike or Struge and thins your deck. I like 1 or 2 copies.


This pretty much sums up the main cards that we see in the Mermail deck. As far as defensive traps, I often see Breakthrough Skill as well as Solemn Warning. Abyss-sphere is often the only card you will need for defense, but it is very nice to have more options. I also like Compulsory Evacuation Device, Torrential Tribute and Bottomless Trap Hole as they deal with threats easily and cheaply.

I usually include a pair of Mystical Space Typhoon as well as a Dark Hole as I am an old school player at heart and think these cards are too good to not be in here.

It is up to each player to decide how the deck can be built to suit their play style. I prefer a balanced version, with defensive and offensive  options that can be called upon from my deck easily and quickly. Others prefer a combo based version using multiple copies of Abyssocea and Abyssdine.

Just keep the three pillars in mind and you will have a solid deck.

Anyways, I hope that you could take a look at most of these cards and cook up your own ideas of what to make. I am sure I left out some cards and if you feel I should include them in a future article, you can email me at alarbios@live.com or if you have any questions, fixes or ideas for me to look at.

Thanks for reading!
GZ

 

 

 


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