Card Review: Mischief of the Gnomes

A pretty awesome card that went straight under even my radar from Secrets of Eternity: Mischief of the Gnomes.

I honestly didn’t even know this card existed for the longest time until I actually saw the card. I looked at the art and thought “I’ve never seen that card before, was it really from this pack?” I re-checked the Secrets of Eternity list on the Wikia, and sure enough, hiding at the very top of the TCG exclusive section was the card Mischief of the Gnomes, it’s even a common, though I didn’t see a single copy in my pre-release cards or in any of my friends multiple stacks of commons from the pre-release. Maybe it’s the same case for you, you’ve never even heard of or read this card, but it’s actually quite amazing.

Mischief of the Gnomes

Normal Trap Card

This turn, reduce the Levels of all monsters in each player’s hand by 1 (even after they are Summoned/Set). You can banish this card from the Graveyard; this turn, reduce the Levels of all monsters in each player’s hand by 1 (even after they are Summoned/Set).

First, you’ll clearly notice this cards resemblance to the card Mischief of the Yokai, which also pictures a pretty lady of sorts surrounded by some goons. The card effect is also incredibly similar for both cards and both are also TCG exclusive cards, most likely hence the similarity. The only major difference, and in my opinion an unfortunate difference is that Mischief of the Yokai is Ultra/Ultimate Rare and Gnomes is a common, but an Ultra would have looked really good for this card.

Now, about the actual card effect, it has quite a few applications. The first is allowing the player who uses the card to easily summon monsters that are level 5 or 6 from there hand without tribute. Upon activation you can turn any level 5 monsters in the hand to level 4 and normal summon or set them. If you have a level 6 monster upon first activation it becomes level 5, then you can immediately banish it in the graveyard to reduce your in hand monsters an additional level to make the 6’s drop down to 4.

The next way to use the card is as a disruption tool against the opponent. It essentially works the same way Mischief of the Yokai, but a little different. Any XYZ-centric deck that relies on a single level of monster to make large plays can be easily disrupted with Gnomes. For example, Satellarknight and Burning Abyss are two match-ups this card could be seen as working effectively against, specifically Burning Abyss. Against Burning Abyss for example, you can simply activate it during the opponent’s Standby Phase to make all the Burning Abyss and Tour Guides in the opponent’s hand level 2, making them virtually useless. You can also allow your opponent to first summon 1 Burning Abyss monster and wait for them to activate the effect of one of the Burning Abyss in hand to summon itself, then chain Mischief of the Gnomes making that monster they’re summoning Level 2 and all remaining in hand Burning Abyss level 2, essentially burning the 2 the player invested onto the field. Not to mention this effect can be activate in the graveyard during the opponent’s turn, making it virtually unstoppable for the opponent to deal with.

Another thing that’s kind of interesting is how this card disrupts Ritual summons. Say your opponent activates a Ritual Spell that will use monsters from the hand as tribute. If you chain Mischief of the Gnomes it will lower all the levels of the opponent’s in hand monsters potentially making them tribute additional monsters to resolve the Ritual Spell (which they are forced to resolve if they can) or it will make the Ritual Spell fizzle if they don’t have enough levels in hand or the Ritual Spell requires exact levels to resolve. If the Ritual Spell does fizzle, as per standard rules, your opponent would have to reveal their hand to you as well to confirm there was no viable monsters to ritual summon with. Pretty neat.

So what decks an cards is this most viable in? I personally would say Gnomes would provide the most versatility in decks that run a reasonable amount of Level 5 monsters that they want to summon and also isn’t heavily reliant on the levels of their monsters being specific. Specifically level 5 is best, rather than 6 because with level 5 monsters you only need to activate Gnomes once and then you can leave it in the graveyard to disrupt the opponent later, for maximum usage. Here’s some example decks or cards that I thought of that work interestingly with Mischief of the Gnomes, naturally they’re mostly decks that I play because I know them best:

  • Shaddolls:
    • The number one slots belongs to Shaddolls, because the card seems to be so incredibly synergetic with the deck. The deck naturally runs all different level monsters, so level manipulation can allow it to make XYZ plays easier for Rank 4 and 5 and helps manipulate Synchro plays with Falco. The most synergetic aspect of course is Shaddoll Beast, being a level 5 monster with a game changing effect. With Mischief of the Gnomes you can easily set a copy of Shaddoll Beast from your hand without tribute, which is amazing, or just as easily normal summon Beast to push for damage. Gnomes also works really well with the Spell and Trap style of Shaddolls, being mostly chainable and flowing; Gnomes would just be another difficult to stop card in that arsenal.
  • Chaos Dragons/Lightsworns:
    • Just like any of the Traps cards that can activate effects in the graveyard, they all deserve being mentioned in Lightsworns, specifically Chaos Dragon variants for the instance of this card. In tandem with milling, graveyard trap cards can essentially provide free advantage and if they are additionally helpful when they are drawn, then all the better! In the instance of Lightsworns, this helps the deck have more defensive options, but also allows it to more easily summon ┬áDarkflare Dragon and could potentially facilitate copies of Shaddoll Dragon in the deck if you were so bold. Unfortunately, Celestia requires tribute summoning to activate her effect, or that would be amazing too.
  • Ultra Athletes:
    • This card is extremely beneficial for this deck, allowing you to normal summon both Mighty Slugger and Perfect Ace without tribute. It’s also easily discardable for Perfect Ace and gets milled off of Reasoning (if you choose to run it). This addition to the deck excites me just a little bit because it works so nicely. Of course, after testing it could prove to be horrendous, but who knows. On paper it sounds great though!
  • Vampires:
    • Conveniently, both the 2 major level 5 Vampire monsters have effects “when this card is Normal Summoned”, meaning that if you lower their level to 4 and normal summon them they can get their effect! That’s pretty much the same as using Vampire Sorcerer, but I suppose the additional defense Gnomes provide and the ability to activate the card twice is pretty good. The card also has the additional visual similarity to a Vampire in the card art, giving it that extra synergy I know every Vampire player loves.
  • Batterymen:
    • Batteryman Charger gets his effect when normal summoned, just like the Vampires, meaning you can still resolve his effect when not tribute summoned. This is also beneficial for this deck because it will make the Charger level 4, so you can XYZ using it and the inevitable Batteryman 9V it summons.

QOTW? Question of the Week:

What’s another deck you think Mischief of the Gnomes could be interesting in, because I would love to know. Comment below!

Written by: Kyle Oliver

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