Hey guys, this is Collin Reardon. Some of you know me, some of you don’t. Regardless, I am considered to be one of the best deck builders in the Northern Virginia area by many of the good players. Now, I don’t mean this to come off as cocky, as I am not nearly as good as others in terms of skill during physical gameplay. However, in terms of deck construction, I feel like I have strong theory and have really improved on my deck building skill in the past couple years. Anyways, I won’t spend too much more time on that. This article is about the deck my team had prepared for ARG Richmond, the reasons we chose every single card, and the journey surrounding it. One team member got 3rd with the deck (Nic Colella, aka Ginger), and another almost topped as well (Nishaad Lorengo, aka “SQUIDS~” on DN).
The story of Team Islands (sponsored by The Island Games, theislandg.com) begins when me and my friend Nishaad started working on the Shaddoll deck. We both liked the deck a lot, and knew it would be the best or second best deck. What I really liked about it was it’s flexibility in match-ups, while also being able to play hate for Nekroz. Nekroz isn’t the best deck by a big enough margin right now like best decks have been in the past. If you build your deck to beat Nekroz, you can beat Nekroz. However, Shaddolls are also really good against everything else, while also being able to make plays that are also good against Nekroz. In other words, you can primarily focus on beating the Nekroz match-up while also being able to beat the rest of the field.
Anyways, there were several people asking me for a Shaddoll build and a Nekroz build. People in my local area are always asking me for builds as I am one of the most respected deck builders in the area. So one night, I made a Facebook group called “Collin’s Deck Building”. I only added 6 of my closest friends to the group, who respected me as a deck builder and who also I could trust for help. These 6 people are:
-Nicky Reardon (My brother, and probably one of the best players I know)
-Nishaad Lorengo (My newest friend out of the members, but became one of my closest. He’s very new to competitive play, but is probably the second best player on the team behind Nicky. Both he and Nicky just have a natural gift for strategic thinking that not many people have. He also made the biggest contributions to the deck compared to any other members by far. His ideas also surprised me, and I learned to respect his ideas very quickly.)
-Dilan Solanki (Again, another great player who I respect as a player and he respects me as a deck builder, and keeps improving so much every week)
-Ryan Levine (Another friend who came up with good ideas and also has an interesting view on things that not many people have)
-Ginger (Also someone who I was also discussing the deck with, and who respects me greatly as both a deck builder and player. He top 4’d the ARG with the deck, and helped build it a little, but only a little. Also the best person I know at Goat format, and PS - I know people who topped SJC’s during the actual Goat format and have won Goat 1ks)
-Tristan (Probably my oldest friend in the Yugioh community. He doesn’t play anymore, but frequently comes back randomly every couple formats, so definitely someone who I was going to include in this Facebook group.)
This group, originally just for deck lists, eventually formed into a team. We quickly realized that we have one of the strongest group of people and different skills in our area, and everyone was putting a lot of effort and an equal amount of good ideas, so the formation of a team almost sort of naturally occurred. So, originally in “Collin’s Deck Building”, I posted decklists of Shaddolls and Nekroz. This early version of Nekroz is VERY similar to the final decklist Ryan Levine and Nicky ended up playing at the ARG, Ryan also topping with the deck. However, the Shaddoll deck needed a lot of work. After a LOT (and I mean a LOT) of discussion within our team, we came to this list:
3 Star Seraph Scepter
3 Star Seraph Sovereignty
3 Effect Veiler
3 Shaddoll Beast
3 Shaddoll Falco
2 Shaddoll Squamata
2 Shaddoll Hedgehog
1 Shaddoll Dragon
1 Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning
3 Upstart Goblin
3 El Shaddoll Fusion
3 Shaddoll Fusion
2 Dark Hole
1 Foolish Burial
1 Soul Charge
2 Call of the Haunted
2 Solemn Scolding
1 Vanity’s Emptiness
Extra Deck: 15
3 El Shaddoll Construct
2 El Shaddoll Winda
1 El Shaddoll Shekhinaga
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Number 10: Illumiknight
1 Evilswarm Ouroboros
1 Stellarknight Delteros
1 Stellarknight Constellar Diamond
1 Goyo Guardian
1 Arcanite Magician
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree
3 Artifact Lancea
1 Thunder King Rai-Oh
1 Vanity’s Fiend
3 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Mind Control
3 Royal Decree
We knew immediately that we were going to play the Star Seraphs, as we felt it was the best light engine the deck could play. It is very crucial that this deck has a good light engine as making Construct is essentially the entire deck. I know the Star Seraphs are inherently inconsistent as their OWN engine, but fusing for Construct is their primary goal in the deck. It’s just the fact that if you DO open one of each Seraph, Scepter + Call, or Scepter + Soul Charge, you have a near auto-win. If you think about it, that’s actually insane. Just for having lights in the deck (which is necessary for the deck to be functional), you are given a near auto win against ANY match-up, if you draw just any of many two card combos. That itself just concludes why Seraphs are the best light engine for the deck to run.
After we decided we would be running Shaddolls with Star Seraphs, I knew I had to find a good turn 1 play. If you open the Star Seraphs, you want to be able to do something broken on your first turn. I looked at OCG lists, and they ran Summoner Monk and Shock Master. Now, Shock Master is exactly what the deck needed, a busted turn 1 play to go into with the Star Seraphs. So since Shock Master is banned in the TCG, I went on DN and searched rank 4 XYZ monsters, to find a good turn 1 play for the deck. If I didn’t find a good one, our dream of Shaddoll Star Seraphs was dead. However, I came across this card called Number 10: Illumiknight. This was exactly the card we needed. Turn 1, if you open Sovereignty and Summoner Monk, you can do the Star Seraph combo, draw 2 cards, then summon Illumiknight. Scepter’s effect allows you to pop the random summoner monk on your field, and then draw a third card. Then, you can use it’s effect to discard a Shaddoll and draw a card, then use the Shaddoll monster’s effect. Even if you don’t discard a Shaddoll, this combo seemed insane. You draw 4 cards and use Falco or Hedgehog, or you can draw 4 cards while fixing your awkward hand, or just draw 5 cards. All these options seemed insane, and I knew I had found exactly what I needed.
Now, Summoner Monk ended up being cut for Call of the Haunted, as Summoner Monk was a huge liability with everyone starting to main 3-5 hand traps in literally every deck. Monk was good, as it let you open the nut draw more often, or you could just go Monk into Scepter, add Sovereignty, then overlay for Lavalval Chain to stack another Scepter; however, Call just ended up being better, as it didn’t fall to hand traps, and it allowed you to get back Construct and then use it’s effect, which is just amazing against Nekroz.
The early copies of the deck had 2 Mathematician in it. It seems like a great card, making your engine more consistent, being able to use any Shaddoll effect, a floater, making Shekhinaga, etc. However, the more and more I played the deck, the more and more I noticed how terrible the card actually was. The best turn one play in the deck that CONSISTENTLY happens (and by consistently, I mean the majority of games you play) is going into Construct with either a Squamata, Hedgehog, or Falco, then setting Falco and adding Beast, then tributing the Construct for the Beast. This allowed you to be able to have a set Beast and Falco (which are great against literally any match-up you face) while also being able to bring back Construct with Falco. Construct from grave is one of the best cards in the mirror and against Nekroz, because as many of you know, it doesn’t count as being from the extra deck. A Construct they can’t use Shaddoll Fusion from deck, Unicore, or Brionac is hard for either deck to deal with. Along with this play, it was ideal to also have the option to set your hand so they can’t Trishula you. With Mathematician in your deck, it was very hard to accomplish this play, especially the part where you set your hand. The deck itself is already pumping out Constructs and using Shaddoll effects. While your doing this, you have plenty of normal summons in the deck. The deck is constantly going into Construct, then using Hedgehog to search Squamata, do damage, then El Shaddoll into another Construct and get two more effects. Scepter, tribute set Beast, Falco, Hedgehog, are all great normal summons in the deck. Now, I understand Mathematician can sometimes be a better normal summon than those cards, but it’s better to normal summon the slightly less optimal one and have you be able to use all the cards in your hand than having to choose between two normal summons.
Also, the main reason we didn’t include Mathematician is just that it was overall underwhelming. We quickly realized that you are losing against Nekroz if you aren’t fusing, and Mathematician doesn’t help with that side of the deck. If you were going to play all mirrors and Satellars all day, Mathematician would be great in helping with the overall consistency of the deck. However, against Nekroz, Mathematician did absolutely nothing unless you were already fusing, and once you get to the point where you’re fusing, you never are going to not normal summon. The normal summon is just overall too important part of the deck when you’re fusing, and Mathematician just becomes cloggy and underwhelming. I hope that clears it up for all those that were doubting that specific choice.
Now, time to get into the deck. First, we’ll start off with the Shaddoll line-up. I think 3 Beast is necessary. Drawing a card is the only effect that is good in all stages of the game. You use Beast almost every turn, and go through them pretty quickly. In the mirror, tribute setting Beast is very important, and having others to use is extremely vital.
The next Shaddoll monster is Falco. Falco is great against all the top decks, and is good in majority of scenarios. It’s one you want early game (unless you brick of course), mid game, and late game. Because of that, we chose to run 3. This was sort of a last minute change (the Thursday before), because we just wanted to be able to access it as much as possible against Nekroz. I’m not sure if 3 is correct, but it wasn’t necessarily bad (by the way, this is really the only not completely thought out choice, the rest of the deck was really calculated).
Squamata is an automatic two of in this deck. Squamata isn’t actually a great Shaddoll, as it doesn’t do anything itself. It’s always just another Shaddoll. There’s no reason to run three Squamata and aggressively send it to grave. Most of the time, you just don’t send Squamata to grave unless you absolutely need it there. It’s only in the deck so you can search it for it’s 1800 body, it’s flip effect, or to use with El Shaddoll on your opponent’s turn, so you have the option of sending any Shaddoll monster. Other than that, it’s not very useful as it doesn’t actually do anything itself.
Hedgehog is very underrated. I want to stress how important two Hedgehog is. In this deck, Hedgehog is utilized to it’s full potential as we don’t run Mathematician. A lot of times you use Hedgehog to get Squamata or Dragon to fuse with. Since we use six fusions, it’s also important to have a Shaddoll that adds another Shaddoll, so you can fuse again on the same turn. Hedgehog is also the best Shaddoll monster to open with, as it unbricks your hand, allows you to search and tribute set Beast when you open a fusion, and then for the other reasons I listed above. I almost wanted to run three Hedgehog, but decided two was just the correct number as like Squamata, it adds another Shaddoll and doesn’t have it’s own effect like Beast, Falco, and Dragon do.
Dragon is by far the worst Shaddoll. It doesn’t accomplish anything on it’s own. Let me explain it this way, Shaddolls, by Yugioh deck building definition, is a combo deck. Now, it actually isn’t a combo deck, but by deck building parameters it is. What I mean by this, is that Shaddolls thrive when it has access to multiple cards. It doesn’t want to simplify the gamestate, as Shaddolls want to constantly fuse and gain advantage through their own cards. If you gain advantage just by minusing the opponent, you aren’t going to be able to accomplish much as your plays require you to have multiple cards. This is why Dragon is by far the worst Shaddoll. During the early turns, it doesn’t accomplish anything. Even if they have backrow, you would rather save Dragon for when they have a problem card or only have one backrow. You almost never want to fuse using Dragon. The only reason it’s there is to pop problem cards, as another Shaddoll effect, out problem monsters (which Squamata can also do), and for it’s 1900 body. It’s definitely necessary to the deck, but you never want to draw it. It’s n the deck strictly for utility. All these reasons are why Shaddoll Dragon is definitely a one of.
Next, for Effect Veiler. Veiler is just by far the best hand trap for this deck. Like the Star Seraphs, it’s used a lot of the time for a light monster. Construct is literally the deck, so being a light alone is a reason to max out on this card. In addition, it’s also single handedly one of the best protection cards against Nekroz, Satellarknights, and Star Seraphs. Being able to stop Beast and Falco in the miror is also extremely relevant. Stopping Trish and Brionac is a priority for this deck, and also stopping a Manju or Senju can be detrimental. This card does all of that. I see absolutely no reason why this card shouldn’t be a three of.
BLS should be obvious, every time you draw that card you win. The fact it’s a light is also just nuts.
Upstart is also not a card that I should need to explain. It literally is the same thing as having a 37 card deck, if you don’t take into account life points It’s simple, having the minimum amount of cards in your deck is more important than life points. It’s just that simple. Anyone who doesn’t understand this just doesn’t understand other basic principles of Yugioh or card game theory, I can promise you that.
Now, at first we weren’t maxing out on the fusion cards. We started with 3 El and 2 regular, the we went to 2 and 2, then back to 3 and 2, but eventually came to the conclusion that 3 and 3 is correct. After playing the other options, I would never play any less than six fusions. Like I said before, if you’re not fusing by turn two against Nekroz, you’re usually just dead. You need to get to one ASAP. I know drawing two or more fusions sucks, but it’s better to draw multiple than zero. There’s more monsters in the deck than fusions, so it’s more likely that you brick with too many monsters and not too many fusions. It’s just too important that you are able to play Yugioh against Nekroz to not max out on these cards.
The three board wipes, two Dark Hole and one Raigeki, was a concession to many things. First off, they’re our only answers to the Djinn lock if they are smart and search Trish. They are also outs to the detrimental monster floodgates Diamond, Dark Law, Majesty’s Fiend, and Vanity’s Fiend. In addition to that, they are some of the best cards in the deck against both Nekroz and the mirror match. Against Nekroz, once they find out you’re not playing Nekroz, they have absolutely no reason not to leave monsters on the field. Unicore is great against us, and being able to wipe the board against Nekroz can be great. A good strategy against Nekroz is outgrind them with Constructs and Falcos. Normally they will either be able to have a bunch of ritual spells but no monsters in hand, or they will run out of all their ritual spells. Dark Hole and Raigeki help accomplish both strategies extremely well. Against the mirror match, the board wipes are the best cards. Normally, the best field in the mirror will be a set Falco, a set Beast, and a Construct (usually from grave). Now, I understand if you were to Dark Hole them here, they would get to draw a card, get a fusion spell, and reset the Falco. However, none of these are really relevant. The last turn, they set it up to tribute set Beast. Drawing two cards and discarding one is so different from just drawing one card that I can’t even explain it. Also, they won’t have a 2200 body. Even just Dark Holing just a set Beast can be really detrimental to the opponent. In addition, getting back a fusion spell is completely irrelevant. In the mirror, you never want to leave an extra deck monster on the board. Constantly making fusions and having to tribute them off leads to a build up in fusion spells and not enough monsters to use them. The loser of the Shaddoll mirror usually ends up having 3-5 ritual spells that are just useless. This is another reason why the draw two discard one from Beast is extremely important, because you can turn a dead fusion spell into a real card. Lastly, a set Falco that has already used it’s effect is completely useless, as when you use a board wipe in the mirror, you always follow it up with killing their Falco they brought back. Any board wipe in the Shaddoll mirror is game breaking and usually game winning as well.
Foolish Burial is a card a lot of people are iffy about in their Shaddoll decks. However, I think the card is absolutely insane. Most of the time, it’s our fourth Upstart Goblin that doesn’t have the opponent gain 1000 life. Other times, it can be a ROTA, Falco, or MST. The card just has too much utility and is one of my favorite cards to see early or mid game.
Soul Charge is just an insane card. Have you read the card? I don’t think I’ve ever resolves a Soul Charge in this deck and not won the game. In addition to just bringing back Construct(s) (which is usually just game winning on its own) and other random guys, making Arcanite Magician, or making Castel, it also has great utility with the Star Seraphs (obviously lol). If you ever don’t play this card in Shaddolls you’re just insane.
Call of the Haunted is great. It has great synergy with the Star Seraph engine, and getting back Construct against Nekroz or the mirror can be really problematic for the opponent. It’s one of the best cards in the deck once you start making Constructs (which you want to do ASAP every game). It also has great utility with the three Artifact Lancea and one Thunder King Rai-Oh in the sideboard, but that’s just bonus upside the card offers. I have to give Nishaad credit for coming up with this (he also came up with the idea before it started becoming an actually thing some Shaddoll decks started running).
Solemn Scolding is something I was really against at the beginning. Nishaad is also the one to credit for this idea. Most of the time, it’s used as a Diving Wrath against the top three decks. However, it also stops Dark Hole and Raigeki, fusion spells, etc. Every time I drew it where I didn’t brick, I straight up won the game. The card is literally insane. It goes extremely well with the rest of the deck, as Call of the Haunted and Vanity’s Emptienss are continuous, so it doesn’t conflict. If you need to use El Shaddoll Fusion, you can set both and then activate it during the opponent’s draw phase, immediately turning on Scolding. If you don’t want to use it then you can just set both cards and wait until you use El Shaddoll, then you have Scolding live. Also, after you sideboard, a floodgate plus Scolding is the most insane thing ever. The card is so good I can’t even put it into words. It’s also not expected, which actually makes it near impossible to lose when you draw it.
Vanity’s Emptiness is obvious. The card should get banned. You just have to use it more conservatively now. All you do is wait until you have board control, then you set it. Once you start doing this, you won’t lose a game you draw this card (assuming you didn’t completely brick).
I want to bring up why we didn’t run the card Shaddoll Core. We went back and forth on this card for quite some time, but ended up opting not to run it. Against Satellar, it’s great obviously being able to add Shaddoll Fusion back and keeping pressure. Against the mirror it can be good by allowing you to not run out of fusion materials. However, the one problem is drawing it. I know that sounds like a bad reason, but literally every single time you draw it against Nekroz, you lose. The deck already has problems about drawing a fusion but not enough monsters or monsters without a fusion. The -1 this card brings to your hand when you draw it is almost ALWAYS enough to lose you the game on the spot to Nekroz. We decided that the very slight upside it gave you against the other match-ups was just not worth it compared to the downside of what happens when it’s bad.
The last thing I want to talk about the main deck is opting to not main deck Mistake. Now, I understand Nekroz is the best deck and we would play a lot of it. However, the deck needs to be as streamline as possible. I felt the deck is overall good enough to win game one against Nekroz without main decking Mistake. The inconsistencies the cards brought to the other match-ups was just too high of a cost to main deck this card. I wanted to make the deck as streamlined and consistent game one as possible against all the decks of the field, rather than the deck just be Mistake or bust against Nekroz and praying you don’t draw Mistake against the other match-ups. Now, I know some people will say that it’s not terrible because it’s good against Satellars too. Now, first off I expected to play a lot more mirrors than Satellars, and about equal amount of rogue as Satellars, which was all true. The way this deck loses to Satellars is just drawing an awkward hand and losing to their beaters. Mistake doesn’t help with that problem at all. Cutting a Deneb search or two won’t make or break the game. It is far more important to be able to use Hedgehog to search another Shaddoll against them, so when you have a Winda, if they do something to it you can chain El Shaddoll and make another Winda. That play is extremely vital to beating Satellars and even with Mistake on the board, sometimes they can just cut your resources if you aren’t able to make that specific play.
I won’t dive too much into the extra deck, just a couple things. I’m going to bullet it so it’s faster:
-Three Constructs is necessary, you make three almost every game.
-You can run two or three Windas. You only make three when you don’t have access to a light, but I found by the time you would make a third, most of the time you’ve found a light.
-The only earths for Shekhinaga in the deck are Leo and Goyo, but I found you make it a lot when you make Leo and then add back El Shaddoll to do a lot of damage or go for game.
-Castel is mainly for Soul Charge, but sometimes comes up with flip summon + normal summon or call + normal summon.
-Illuminknight I already explained.
-Ouroboros is great when they have a fusion you want to return to the extra, only one mirror in grave, or are low on hand resources, but isn’t made much outside of that.
-Delteros is obvious, shouldn’t have to say much about that.
-I feel Diamond is essential. The extra deck isn’t tight enough to not warrant one spot for an auto-win in the mirror match. It’s literally a free win just by sacrificing one extra deck spot.
-Goyo is just there for a level 6 (obviously lol). It doesn’t come up much, but when it does it’s crucial to have one.
-Arcanite is obvious. It’s made very often after you do the turn one set Beast and Falco play and when you Soul Charge.
-Black Rose isn’t actually that obvious. You barely make it against any of the match-ups, it just doesn’t come up as often as you would think. I was running Daigusto Emeral over it for quite some time for the long mirror match games or games where it was good to put back Seraphs so you can Seraph combo again, but in the end just decided I’d rather put in Black Rose so I don’t lose one random game to rogue or Satellar just because I don’t have it. I would get so mad at myself if that happened.
-Leo is made very often as a 3100 beater that allows you to get back El Shaddoll Fusion to usually push for game, and if not, definitely a lot of damage. It can also just randomly win the game sometimes in certain match-ups, but that doesn’t happen very often.
I hope that explains everything I need to for the extra deck. Anyways, now on to the sideboard. I’m going to start off each section by explaining how I sideboard for each match-up, then explain why we sideboard that way and why the cards I chose are there.
Against the mirror:
-1 Effect Veiler
-1 Shaddoll Fusion
+1 Vanity’s Fiend
+1 Mind Control
We only sided two card in for the mirror. I know it doesn’t seem like many, but we actually don’t have that many bad cards against the mirror. Effect Veiler is pretty bad, but I feel like it’s necessary to keep in at least two just as a concession to the Star Seraphs. It also can sometimes come in clutch against an important Falco or a Beast, but it’s generally a very situational card in the match-up you never really want to see more than one of.
In regards to Shadoll Fusion, like I said before, the mirror often ends up going kind of late, and the way you lose is having too many fusions. You have a lot more turns to find a fusion card, so it’s better to sacrifice the small percentage early game of opening a fusion to get the late game advantage of not getting too fusion flooded. It’s a lot better to draw two El Shaddolls than it is to draw two regular Shaddolls, so this is why I side out the regular one.
Mind Control has always been known to be one of the best cards in the Shaddoll mirror. Often times if you steal a Falco, Beast, or even a Hedgehog (in certain scenarios), which denies the opponent the effect they thought they were going to get and give you for free, usually wins the game on the spot.
For the second card in the mirror, I wanted to side a card that would be a free win if it stuck on the board. The only two cards I could think of are Vanity’s Fiend or Majesty’s Fiend. To solve this, I posted a debate in the Facebook group of Vanity’s Fiend vs. Majesty’s Fiend. In the end, we decided that Vanity’s Fiend was overall better as BLS, Soul Charge, three level fours, and the fusions all out Majesty’s Fiend. Also, Mind Controlling Majesty’s Fiend and fusing just seemed like an auto-lose we didn’t need, even if it’s not very likely. The only downside to Vanity’s Fiend was if people ran Mathematician into Peropero. However, it’s very likely that Mathematician would be summoned before Vanity’s Fiend came down, so it was unlikely they had one once it did. Also, people think Majesty’s is better because Squamata and Dragon are searchable. The thing is, they are very rarely going to be able to be searched out if the opponent can’t fusion summon, and also they would’ve probably also been used for other purposes before Vanity’s Fiend came down, so it’s unlikely they saved one in hand.
-1 Shaddoll Beast
-1 El Shaddoll Fusion
-2 Call of the Haunted
-2 Solemn Scolding
-1 Vanity’s Emptiness
+1 Thunder King Rai-Oh
+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+3 Royal Decree
You don’t really need three Beast against Satellars, as you almost never tribute set it. You only use it to make Winda most of the time, and sending it off Construct doesn’t happen as often because it’s often better to send Falco, and even then Construct doesn’t come up as much since Winda is so good in this match-up. The traps obviously come out because we transitional side into Decree, and we don’t want any card conflictions. MST is to out floodgates, which is the most common way they beat us, and Thunder King is just another light that can occasionally give us a free win. El Shaddoll comes out because like the mirror, we aren’t as stressed to fuse early, we can give ourselves a little more leeway. I’m siding out a Shaddoll so I want to keep the count somewhat even. However, unlike the mirror, regular Shaddoll Fusion is a lot better than El in this match-up since Satellars use the extra deck a lot more.
The main plan against Satellars is to set-up Winda + Decree as fast as possible, and Veiler their power play if they get over it. If you draw Decree in this match-up or can spam Windas, it’s pretty hard to lose this match-up.
-3 Star Seraph Scepter
-3 Star Seraph Sovereignty
-1 Shaddoll Beast
-1 Shaddoll Dragon
+3 Artifact Lancea
+1 Thunder King Rai-Oh
+1 Vanity’s Fiend
Now, this is where the sideboard plan starts getting weird. Against Nekroz, the easiest way to beat them is with cards that shut them down. This means that post-board, we get to side into an anti-Nekroz deck. Now, the Star Seraphs are still great in this match-up, don’t get me wrong, but what’s even better than the Star Seraphs are just a bunch of cards that say Nekroz can’t play. The only way we can side in all these cards that beat Nekroz is if we side out the Star Seraphs. If you were to not side out the Star Seraphs, you would either have to side out a lot of consistency cards, or side a lot less for Nekroz. Both of these options just seem a lot worse than boarding out a good light engine for an even better one, then siding into all anti-Nekroz cards. This way, you don’t lose the consistency of the deck while also being able to sideboard into literally an entire anti-Nekroz deck. Now, some might think that it could be bad since we are siding out six light monsters for four light monsters, but the deck already had more light monsters than it needed to begin with. Also, if you don’t open a light but open a card like Mistake, it kind of makes up for it. But mainly the light count isn’t a factor since we already get to run so many.
Now, I know a lot of you guys are going to respond asking why I didn't just main the cards I'm siding in instead of the Seraphs. Again, it's not the the Seraphs are bad against Nekroz, it's just that I'd rather have an anti-Nekroz deck than a Star Seraph deck with couple floodgates post-board. I wanted to keep the deck as streamlined and consistent as possible against any deck game 1. The Star Seraphs are still the best light engine, allowing you to get free wins against any deck if you happen to open one of a couple two card combos. It's just that since I'm siding into literally an anti-Nekroz deck, I have to side out my light engine into another light engine that's slightly better so I don't ruin the consistency of the deck.
That’s it for the deck explanation. I hope you guys found it helpful. Now, Ginger got 3rd at ARG Richmond with the deck, but his was three cards different in the main, and one in the sideboard. These were his changes:
-1 Shaddoll Beast
+1 Allure of Darkness
-2 Solemn Scolding
+2 Fiendish Chain
-1 Mind Control
+1 Secret Village
Now, I can explain why he did these things, but I’m not going to say I 100% agree with them.
He wanted to run Allure of Darkness because he wanted to maximize the chances of drawing a fusion card. I can agree with this logic, I’m just not sure if a Beast is the card I would cut for it.
He ran Fiendish over Scolding for two simple reasons. First, if you draw if with the most common turn one play of setting Beast and Falco, you can set your whole hand and still activate Fiendish. I can get behind this reasoning, it makes sense. I’m actually just not sure yet if it’s worth all the upside that Scolding gives you. Also, it’s a good draw against an established field. If they have a monster, sometimes Fiendishing it later can come in clutch (thus why it’s better than Breakthrough Skill). Again, I think it’s a great card, I’m not not quite sure yet if these reasons outweigh the upside and versatility Scolding gives you.
For the sideboard, he cut Mind Control for Secret Village. Now, Secret Village is an unreal card, and probably one I should’ve included 1-2 copies of in my deck myself, but I definitely don’t think Mind Control is the card I would cut for it. I would probably cut a Lancea for one, then play Majesty’s over Vanity’s Fiend to keep the light count the same.
Thanks for reading everyone, hope you liked it! Please comment any questions or constructive criticism you have. Thanks again!