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DeathJester

The Advanced Format and the Top Tier Decks of the New Metagame

10.01.04  Hello everyone Iím DeathJester. To tell you a little about myself; I was a National Qualifier for Yugioh Nationals 2004 and Iím a UDE certified Level 2 Judge of Yugioh TCG Rules. Iím currently 18 years old and I just started college at the University of Central Florida.

In this first article I will be discussing the emerging metagame following the implementation of the new Ban List. As all of you may know, most of the mass removal in Yugioh has been either eliminated from the game or restricted to one. (For example, Torrential Tribute.) The days of Chaos Emperor Dragon and Yata-Garasu are now a figment of the past when we talk of the new Advanced Format. Many wonder, which deck archetypes will be, the top tier decks. After researching this topic extensively, by reading numerous forums and discussing the topic with many players like myself, Iíve come up with my take on the new top tier decks in the Yugioh Advanced format.

Warriors

The Warrior theme has always had a large amount of support. Cards like Reinforcement of the Army, The Warrior Returning Alive, Don Zaloog, Goblin Attack Force, etc., have made the Warrior deck very deadly and hard to deal with. When you think of a Warrior deck the concepts of speed and removal come into mind. Warriors are arguably the fastest deck in the Advanced Format. For those of you who disagree, let me explain thoroughly.

Warrior decks boast a type of search that no other deck has which is, spell-based search. Unlike the Gravekeeper deck, commonly referred to as the fastest deck, Warrior decks have Reinforcement of the Army. Reinforcement of the Army allows you to search for any Level 4 or lower Warrior monster from your deck to your hand. Many a duelist would agree that with this card Warrior decks could grab a Warrior for any situation. If thereís a 2000 ATK beater in your way, search for a Goblin Attack Force and run over it. Is that Spirit Reaper stopping you from attacking your opponentís Life Points? Search for a D.D. Warrior Lady or Exiled Force to get it out of the way. Is there a clear field and you want quick damage? Search for a Marauding Captain to summon another Level 4 or lower monster from your hand to dominate the field.

Gravekeepers only have monster-based search which means that they rely on their monsters to search for other monsters. Monsters are FAR more vulnerable than Spells. Warriors also have a form of revival with The Warrior Retuning Alive. With mass removal nearly non-existent, the Warrior theme is easily at the top of the list with their blazingly fast field domination and in-game adaptation.

Zombies

Next up, we have the Zombie deck. Zombie decks are famous for their large monsters and annoying habit of never staying in the graveyard for too long. Zombie decks accomplish these feats with the spell card, Book of Life. Book of Life is not only their key form or revival but allows the user to remove one of the opponentís monsters from the graveyard while reviving their own. A 2 for 1 deal is always excellent when it comes to card advantage. Zombies also have the best battle searcher in the entire game, Pyramid Turtle. This 1200 ATK monster can Special Summon any 2000 DEF or less Zombie monster from the deck to the field. Now letís take a minute to analyze hereÖhow many zombies are below 2000 DEF? Nearly all of them! The ability to easily summon annoyances such as Vampire Lord, Ryu Kokki, and Patrician of Darkness make the Zombie decks not only unfair, but also extremely powerful. Zombies never really had to fear mass removal due to easy revival. With the lack of removal in the Advanced Format Vampire Lord is going to stick around a lot longer than expected. As most have said, Vampire Lord is probably the best tribute monster in the entire game with its unique self- revival effect. With all this in mind, Zombie decks have only gotten stronger with the Ban List.

Gravekeepers

Next up is another deck that boasts not only mass summoning power but also exceptional field domination with tricky monster effects rivaling the power of Warriors. The Gravekeeper deck has always been highly underrated and highly underplayed. Gravekeepers summon other Gravekeepers quickly with aid of Gravekeeperís Chief and most importantly, Gravekeeperís Spy. Gravekeeper decks, like Warriors, can easily have 3 or 4 monsters on the field on turn 2! Not only that, but Gravekeepers have the best field spell card in the game we all love and hate: Necrovalley. Necrovalley gives all Gravekeepers on the field +500 ATK and DEF and locks the graveyard by not allowing revival or removal. The Gravekeeper player can abuse this lockdown by reviving their own monsters at no cost with Rite of Spirit, which is unaffected by Necrovalley. With the elimination of cheap revival (i.e. Monster Reborn) and the restriction of Mystical Space Typhoon in the current format, Necrovalleyís playability is easily doubled.

The monsters of the Gravekeeper deck are also as deadly as Necrovalley. Gravekeeperís Spear Soldier has the always-fun ability of trample. A 2000 ATK trampler is nothing to ignore. Next is Gravekeeperís Assailant. Easily one of the deadliest monsters in the game, Gravekeeperís Assailant switches an opponentís monster position to ATK or DEF depending on the current position. This makes Jinzo a minimal threat and makes Scapegoat nearly unplayable. One of the nastiest tricks with Gravekeeperís Assailant is the ability to wipe out 3 Berserk Gorillas or Spirit Reapers with one Assailant and still be able to attack directly! How could this be possible you ask? Allow me to explain.

Assailantís switching ability triggers on the declaration of attack. So when you declare an attack with Assailant you immediately choose a target for switching before the attack resolves. For example, if you declare an attack with Assailant and target Spirit Reaper, Reaper will be immediately be destroyed since it was targeted by Assailantís effect. Since the number of monsters on the opponentís field had changed when you declared your attack, you get to re-declare your attack. Following me here?

Declare an attack and target Reaper. Reaper is destroyed and you re-declare targeting another Reaper and it is also destroyed. When the last Reaper is destroyed and there are no more Reapers left you may re-declare your attack and target your opponentís Life Points! (Note: This only works if you have Necrovalley active on the field. This process also applies to Berserk Gorilla.) The Gravekeeper deck still has many more tricks that I will discuss in future articles. It takes a large amount of skill to play this deck. So donít expect to build it and master all of its tricks in one day.

Water

Lastly, we have the Water decks. Water decks have Chaos Emperor Dragonís little brother, Levia Dragon Daedalus. When you offer the field spell card A Legendary Ocean as a tribute with Leviaís effect, you will destroy every card on the field expect for Levia and will be free to attack directly for 2600! Can you say cheesy? Donít worry though as this requires much more effort to accomplish than just summoning CED and paying 1000 LP. ALO (A Legendary Ocean) makes this process a bit simpler by downgrading Levia Dragon from a 7-star monster to a 6-star monster making it a 1-tribute monster.

Water decks also boast very large 4-star monsters with the help of ALO and Umirukka on the field. Also, with ALO the 4-star Water monsters can attack under Gravity Bind as well. Water decks will definitely be seen in the competitive Yugioh environment.

As you can see there is a common pattern among the deck archetypes Iíve discussed. They all involve some form of swarm or field domination with easily summoned high ATK monsters. I see these types of decks as the top tier decks in the emerging metagame of the Advanced Format. Iíve stressed many times throughout this article that mass monster and spell removal in no longer something to fear. This lack of removal allows offensively based decks such as these to thrive once more. Beware and prepare to see many examples of these archetypes in your Regional competitions as well as the upcoming National competition.

In my next article I will discuss the Burn/Stall archetype in the Advanced Format and determine whether itís over-hyped or underrated. See you next time!
 


 

 

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