Recently, I’ve been starting to put this card in just about every deck I make. Pretty much because I feel like it’s just a straight up amazing card. Most people think this card is a little iffy, the way it goes neg-one makes it a turn off. So, because of this I felt I should give this card a little bit of a spotlight so others might give at least an thought when building there competitive decks.
For a long time now the OCG (for the most part I would be referring to Japan) has been using this card as well as Raigeki Break in nearly everything they build. While on the other hand, this card is almost completely off the map in the TCG bar that one copy of Raigeki Break the guy who topped YCS Chicago (Aaron Noel) used. From what I hear around me, people don’t like these cards because they see them and all they see is that minus since they both use 2 cards to get rid of 1 of the opponent’s cards, but what they don’t see is the unprecedented control they give you over your opponents plays, with Phoenix Wing in particular in the case of this article.
I’ll start out first by saying that this card does not belong in every deck. Pretty much any kind of Stun deck that makes almost all there advantage through battle and the draw phase is not going to be able to compensate for the discarding of cards and might as well already have a major amount of control over the opponent’s game play anyways making Phoenix Wing a bad choice and unnecessary. In order to fully utilize this card you’ll need to be making some kind of advantage through your deck’s play style or have cards that are still live in the Graveyard or cards that can easily become dead in the hand, or at the very least less valuable than the majority of other cards in hand.
Interestingly enough, all the top decks can meet this criteria. Dino Rabbit easily gets dead cards in the hand with the Vanillas so it can afford to run a card like Phoenix Wing. Chaos Dragons has a lot of Graveyard support and manipulation so they can strategically discard cards to there advantage. (Of course I wouldn’t expect a Chaos Dragon deck to run Phoenix Wing considering they run no other traps, so it wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense in that respect, but it would not hurt to try running the deck with more traps) Lastly, the most viable candidate is Inzektors who have plenty of cards that are equally live in hand and in the Graveyard and I’m sure Inzektors would also welcome the control this card brings. A lot of other good sub teir decks take advantage of it easily too like Dragunity’s with Phalanx/Aklys, Frogs with pretty much every Frog monster being a viable discard or even Lightsworns who can get hand clogs with cards they want in the grave. The list pretty much goes on forever so I’d rather not explain each and every deck that can use this card.
So, we can fit this card into our decks, why am I running it? Phoenix Wing is second to none in stopping the opponents plans from going through when it comes to generic spells and traps. It brings a pin point removal to almost any situation that allows players to break up plays and even at some points set back the opponent by one turn. The best way to be using Phoenix Wing Wind Blast is to use it in response to the opponent making some action where in the end when Phoenix Wing bounces a card to the top of the opponent’s deck the opponent will also be vulnerable to loosing advantage in other ways. (which sounds a bit confusion now that I read it again, but venture onward) That’s not to say you can’t use it as a basic removal when the situation arises, but ideally it’ll be used to force the opponent into a corner. Here’s an example of a pretty common play for a way to use Phoenix Wing to its fullest potential.
Say you’ve got your Phoenix Wing set maybe some monster, let’s go with Sabersaurus (why not). The opponent summons an Inzektor Dragonfly and then activates its effect. Now would not be the appropriate time to activate Phoenix Wing because we’ll just go neg 1 and give the Dragonfly back to the opponent next turn and that’d be kind of pointless since they’d just summon it again and blow up our stuff. So, Dragonfly will resolve they equip it with Inzektor Hornet. The opponent has now made themselves vulnerable for a brief moment and this is where Phoenix Wing will work best. Since Hornet is an equip spell now it’s only Spell Speed 1 meaning we can respond before they activate Hornets effect if the opponent doesn’t use turn player priority to activate a random MST or other quick play (which in this case would just make your play even better, so I don’t know why they’d do that). So then Dragonfly’s effect resolves equipping Hornet, then in response to the successful activation of Dragonfly’s effect we can activate Phoenix Wing. Once again, bouncing the Dragonfly would be pointless because that would allow them to use it next turn, so instead we’ll target the Inzektor Hornet equipped to the Dragonfly. It resolves and now the Inzektor player’s in a bit of a pickle. First off, they don’t get Dragonfly’s effect and now they have it as a sitting duck with it’s low 1000 ATK to your Sabersaurus. On top of that there next turn is going to be almost a total dead draw unless they already have a really nutty hand to begin with. Even more you now protected your dinosaur for one turn and may go into a Laggia or Dolkka next turn and completely lock them out of the game. Tough cookies for them I guess!
If you understood the example now I’m sure it makes sense how you use Phoenix Wing not only as removal, but to break up the opponent’s plays and ideally leave them in a very vulnerable position. The facet is best seen against combo decks since they usually rely on two cards on the field to perform a play, you can easily disrupt the play by hitting one half and leave the other half vulnerable with the right timing. As another example, against a Wind-Up deck, when they go for there signature combo Magician + Shark you can bounce the Magician when it activates it’s effect when Shark is summoned and they end with there combo halted and a useless Shark on the board.
One of the best things about the card though is how it can set the opponent back by a turn if done correctly. A lot of cards when put back on top of the deck can essentially kill the opponent’s next turn. Some of the best cards to top are Field Spells since they can’t possibly chain them to Phoenix Wing so it’s sure they’ll go back on top. Also Field Spells usually have an attack boosting effect which means you can top it when you opponent attacks your monster and ideally you can cause there monster to suicide into yours as well as set them back a turn by draw a Field Spell card. Also, in heavily Normal Summon based decks you can just top the monster they just normal summoned and force they to take a dead turn to do the same thing the next turn. A great example of this is bouncing a Vanilla monster in the Dino Rabbit match. Aside from stray Forbidden Lances you can easily just bounce an opponent’s Sabersaurus or Kabazauls and I’m sure they wont have all that happy a next turn. On top of this is may protect a monster you needed to save for one turn, say we turn this around now, like your Inzektor Dragonfly, and now that it’s protected a turn and on top of that the opponent is set back by one turn you can proceed to kick your opponent’s butt.
Of course I would be amiss not to mention the fact that this card can just straight up remove any card from the field meaning it can be used as an out to almost any situation which is invaluable in a deck that doesn’t other wise have a whole lot of control. While it may not be at its best use when you use it to kill a Synchro or an XYZ monster, the fact that you can do that on top of its other uses is what’s strong.
So, once again thanks for reading and I believe next week I’ll probably be talking to you about some new plays in Vayu Turbo as well as Destiny HEROs. Good luck with all your Dueling endeavors!