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This Space
For Rent

Zero Space
By Perennial Zero
May 24, 2005

 

Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys:

Did the ol’ bird really live up to the hype?

Part I 

 

When Flaming Eternity was first introduced to the Yu-Gi-Oh! community, the mascot of the set, Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys, received A LOT of online buzz. Card-reviewers and forum-contributors alike regaled Phoenix as an amazing and even broken card (check some archived CotD reviews on various YGO websites =P), and many feared that Nephy’s super-cheese recursion/heavy storm affect would grossly effect the current metagame, leading to even more bland net-decked unoriginality amongst duelists. Now that FET is old news, and The Lost Millennium is at our doorsteps, we’re left to ask: Did the ol’ bird really live up to the hype?

As of the date of this article’s posting, there have been three Shonen Jump Championship Series since Nephthys has been considered legal for tournament play: the L.A., Orlando and Houston series respectively. Combining the decks of the top 8 players of each tournament, only 2 duelists out of the top 24 main-decked Phoenix, both of them competing at the LA Series which, interesting enough, took place just one day after the April 1st ban list went into effect. Phoenix wasn’t even side-decked by the top players at Orlando and Houston! It seems that as time goes on, and duelists become more familiar with Sacred Phoenix’s effect, its presence at the championship level continues to decrease.

Why?

 

One reason for this is the state of the current metagame.

 

Whether by chance or reaction, the U.S. metagame has evolved into an environment that naturally counters Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys:

 

1. D. D. Assailant was released just in time to make up for D. D. Warrior Lady’s 1-per-deck restriction. Most top-tier decks use 1-2 of these babies and for good reason. Unfortunately for Nephy, Assailant owns her pretty bad.

 

2. Bottomless Trap Hole usage has noticeably increased in the past few months. With the new restrictions in place, Bottomless (probably the best natural counter to Phoenix) has managed to eek out a spot or two in many competitive decks.

 

3. Indirectly, Vampire Lord’s semi-restriction has also deterred the usage of Sacred Phoenix. With Zombie/Chaos decks emerging as a top-tier deck type and pure Zombie decks also finding a competitive niche, many duelists have decided that having two 2000-attack monsters with built-in recursion is more reliable than just having one 2400-attack monster with a moderately improved version of that effect. In fact, Vampire Lord’s semi-restriction is one of the major reasons Bottomless Trap Hole has seen more play as well. Furthermore, more Zombie Decks mean more Book of Life usage. This one unrestricted spell card can single-handedly shut down Phoenix’s revival effect. And, unlike Vamp. Lord, once Nephthys is removed you don’t have another waiting in the wings to take its place.

 

I’ll go more into detail about Sacred Phoenix itself in Part II of this article series. =)

Happy dueling folks!

~ Zero

 


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