Primal Origin is now upon us and with that breaks out a whole new meta. How do we deal with that?
I was speaking about it on the most recent podcast, (the Dark Magician one, though we don’t talk all too much about the Dark Magician) the meta has shifted rather drastically from what could’ve been considered a Fire Fist format to an all new format where Fire Fists are terrible and now new floaty threats emerge almost everywhere. I’m talking about Fire and Ice Hand and Artifacts in specific. After success at YCS Philly with a deck now dubbed “Hat Tricks” (based on the deck consisting of 3 engines whose names can be amalgamated into the word Hat and Tricks: Hands, Artifacts and Traptrix), it’s quite obvious we’ll be seeing a lot of these cards in the future, especially considering they’re also very popular in the OCG as well if that’s any indicator. With the addition of these cards comes shifts in the cards that are run in decks and also mental shifts in play style. One thing I have seen resoundingly in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community at large is a less that amazing ability to play against Hands and Artifacts. Basically, people don’t know how to deal with them. My goal then is to expound on some helpful deck building tips as well as some ways to literally play around these cards.
I’ll start off with main deck-able cards. The first card has been touted for a while now, by more than just me: Breakthrough Skill. The meta has become fairly saturated with monsters that have effects during both players turns. In just about every deck we have the general threat of Rank 4 XYZ: Number 101: Silent Honor ARK, Evilswarm Exciton Knight and the new Number 103: Ragnazero, all of whom have effects deserving of negation on your turn. In Mythic Rulers we have Divine Dragon Knight Felgrand and Stardust Spark Dragon, two huge threats that can combo to completely halt your strategies. And of course we have Artifacts, a deck solely comprised of monsters who have effects on the opponent’s turn.
It’s a generally good Trap as well, not nearly as powerful as a card like Fiendish Chain, but incapable of being MST’d in response and also allowing for a second negation later. This second negation is specifically good against Artifacts, and even more specifically Artifact Moralltach. Moralltach, the one that people refer to as “the blue one”, destroys a face-up card when summoned on the opponent’s turn. This is really the only disruption card of the Artifact deck, so that means if you negate it you can usually get off unscathed during your turn and have a better chance of defeating the deck. A single Breakthrough Skill effectively mitigates 2 copies of Moralltach because it can negate once when flipped from being set and once in the graveyard, which neuters the Artifact Deck.
Dark Hole saw worse days last format, when most people opted not to run this pseudo-staple card. Now it’s a lot stronger, especially against the Hands and Artifacts. In a general sense, with cards like Soul Charge running around making massive boards, it only makes sense to run the massive board wiping card in response.
It’s also pretty good against Artifacts because Artifacts are summoned during your turn for the most part, and because of this you always get a chance to see them on the board and respond to them with Normal Spell Cards, like Dark Hole. Even if your opponent is resolving their Moralltach’s effects, after they summon the Artifact monsters you can simply Dark Hole them to clear the board and mitigate their plays. Not spectacular, but helpful.
Dark Hole is also good against the Fire and Ice Hands. Dark Hole always works against Fire Hand. If the opponent has a Fire Hand alone or with other monsters you can play Dark Hole, and even if you had monsters they will be destroyed so Fire Hand has nothing to destroy so it can’t use its effect. You can also play Dark Hole to destroy an Ice Hand while you have no Spells and Traps to get it off the board. This is a helpful bit of ruling knowledge versus the Hand monsters: If the Hand monsters do not destroy the card they targeted or are unable to target a card they cannot summon another Hand from the deck! Remember that.
A similar, but not nearly as advised card choice is Soul Taker. The Hand monsters can miss the timing. That means if the last thing to happen wasn’t Fire or Ice Hand being destroyed then they wont activate. Soul Taker destroys a monster then the opponent gains 1000 lifepoints after the destruction. This was used to kill Lightpulsar Dragons, back in their heyday, so that Lightpulsar would miss the timing; The same goes for the Hand monsters. I don’t really advise Soul Taker in the main, but if you’re really scared you can side it.
In a similar vein we have Mystical Space Typhoon. This card is your best friend against both Artifacts and Hands, so please everyone stop blind MST-ing all the time because you don’t want to waste this card! Artifact monster do no miss the timing when destroyed ever, so get that out of your mind now. What’s important is that Artifact monsters can only use their effects on the opponent’s turn, and assuming your the one who’s playing against them, that means your turn. So if you destroy Artifact monsters during the Artifact player’s turn, then they can’t be special summoned. This makes playing MST during their turn more powerful. Watch out for Artifact Sanctum though, because it still has an effect when destroyed.
Against Hand monsters, MST is a way to easily make them miss the timing. All you have to do is make MST chain link 1 and the card that destroys a Hand monster chain link 2. It works with most cards: Torrential, Mirror Force, etc. The opponent summons a Hand monster, chain MST to the summon of the monster and then chain Torrential Tribute to the MST. Torrential will resolve destroying all the monsters on board and then the last thing to resolve will be MST destroying a Spell or Trap, not a Hand being destroyed. You can take advantage of this hole in the Hand’s defense with monsters that have trigger effects upon summon. A common one used with hand monsters is Traptrix Myrmeleo, which adds a Trap Hole to hand upon its Normal Summon. If the opponent has a Hand and they Normal Summon Traptrix Myrmeleo, Myrmeleo’s effect will activate and you can chain Torrential Tribute. Torrential will destroy everything then Myrmeleo will resolve making the Hand miss the timing. Their’s also some deck specific cards that make them miss the timing I’ll talk about later.
This only really works against the Hand monsters, but if you’re running Tuners or level 4 monsters then this is a great way to deal with Hands in the main deck. Just take control of the Hand monsters and use them as Synchro or XYZ material and the problem is solved.
It’s rather surprising, but D.D. Crow is starting to see play in the main deck now. Why is that? Because it’s good against a lot of decks in the meta. It has wonderful effectiveness against Mythic Rulers. It can be used against Madolche Hootcake. You can banish Turtles and Hares versus Bujins. You can snipe Infernity Archfiends against Infernities when they try to revive it. And then of course against Artifacts, the Artifact monsters first go to the graveyard (except when used with Sanctum) and then are Special Summoned. You can easily Crow them away to prevent their summon. D.D. Crow certainly isn’t an aggressive powerhouse, but its general effectiveness is very nice.
Moving on to side deck cards, first up is Debunk. This card is good against so many decks it almost deserves a main deck slot. It can negate any Dragon Ruler and banish it. It negates Turtle, Hare and Crane against Bujins. Then it can negate the effect of any Hand monster and any Artifact monster trying to summon itself from the graveyard.
Macro Cosmos, Dimensional Fissure & Soul Drain:
I consider all these cards the same card, because they’re all limited to one meaning you can only run 3 total and they all achieve the same ends, being you can’t use graveyard effects. Soul Drain literally says graveyard effects don’t activate, so that stops Hands and Artifacts. Dimensional Fissure and Macro Cosmos make it so they don’t go to the graveyard so they can’t think about activating their effects to begin with. If I was running Geargia or Evilswarms I would seriously think about main decking all of these cards.
Onto the extra deck cards! This card seem like it’s going to be good for the remainder of Yu-Gi-Oh! because as long as people want to use the graveyard, then this card has a place. Despite the very stun-esque nature of Artifacts and Hands, they use a surprising amount of graveyard interaction. Both Ice and Fire Hand activate in the graveyard, meaning Abyss Dweller shuts them down. All the Artifact monsters must first be destroyed and go to the graveyard before they activate, meaning Dweller shuts them down as well.
The Hand monsters both have pretty measly stats, 1600 ATK for Fire Hand and 1600 DEF for Ice Hand, meaning the paltry 1700 of Abyss Dweller is even enough to attack over them. You attack, if they opponent has no response you activate Dweller’s effect and then attack over the Hands. Then they can’t use their effects because of Dweller’s effect. Dweller is fantastic against many other decks as well, so it should be in the main deck for any deck that can make Rank 4 XYZ.
Stardust Dragon and Stardust Spark Dragon:
If you can Synchro for 8, you are now running Spark Dragon or Stardust Dragon in your deck, it’s official. All three, Artifacts, Hands and Traptrix only use effects that destroy cards. This means if you get a Stardust Dragon on the board they will not be able to do anything about it. Stardust negates Hand effects, Moralltach, all Trap Hole cards and even cards like MST or Artifact Ignition. Their outs become making Number 101, using Solemn Warning on Stardust’s revival effect, and other not so easy things for the deck. Used in combination with amazing continuous Traps, you can completely shut down decks. Mythic Rulers summon Spark Dragon in combination with Vanity’s Emptiness which is a devastating combo. I personally have been testing out Stardust Dragon plus Royal Decree in Sylvans and it literally wrecks people.
Silent Honors it pretty simple against Hands. You can use Silent Honors effect first to steal any Hand monster special summoned from the deck that’s in attack mode. Also, because of Silent Honors destruction prevention effect, you can ram it into Fire Hand, and even if they activate Fire Hand’s effect it has to destroy a monster in order to summon from the deck and Silent Honor will prevent its own destruction.
Blackship of Corn is seeing a lot more play now for obvious reasons. You can use Corn’s effect to send a Hand to the graveyard and the Hand wont get its effect because it wasn’t destroyed. Simple enough.
Onto some deck specific cards. Naturally, the first cards I think about for the changing meta are cards that are for my own deck. This is specifically good for my Lightsworn Ruler deck and other decks with Dragon Rulers in them. Ice Hand is easily dealt with because you don’t set Spells and Traps. Fire Hand can be attacked over by Master of Blades because if they target Blades with Fire Hand, you can negate Fire Hand’s effect and destroy another card.
Ryko and Super-Nimble Mega Hamster are two other cards good for fighting off Hands in Lightsworns. As I mentioned before, the Hands have pretty small attacking stats making it tough for them to break over high defense monsters without consolidating the Hand monsters into XYZ monsters, which removes the threat of the Hand monsters effects. This is the reason why Geargia is so good against Hand decks because they have a very difficult time dealing with Geargia Armor’s 1900 DEF. Similar theory goes with Super-Nimble Mega Hamster. They can’t attack over it so it’s very safe and it even summons a Ryko from your deck, or maybe a Madolche Hootcake if you’re running Madolches.
Ryko by himself is also very good. Ryko when flipped first destroys a card and then after that mills 3 cards. This makes things that can miss the timing do so. So if a Fire Hand attacks into Ryko, you can destroy a Fire Hand without fear because Fire Hand will miss the timing because of Ryko’s milling effect.
I’ll end with some HERO stuff. By HERO stuff I basically mean HERO Beat, aka Neos Alius, Gemini Spark etc. I was thinking about it and this deck just has every answer possible to Hands. There’s three cards:
Gemini Spark, Hero Blast and Super-Polymerization. Gemini Spark makes the hands miss the timing because of its draw effect. (not actually true, my bad you guys!) Hero Blast is chain-able, that means whenever a card is activated you can chain Hero Blast to that, making Hero Blast chain link 2, making the Hands miss the timing if you destroy them with Hero Blast. You can also Super-Poly with the Hands to get rid of them in a self explanatory manner.
QOTW? Question of the Week:
What do you think of Fire Fists coming into the new meta? A lot of the new cards, like Fire and Ice Hand and Number 103: Ragnazero give the deck a very hard time. Can it survive under these new conditions? Comment below!
Written by: Kyle
Great article Kyle! Thanks for all the help, I was really having a tough time playing around the Hands specifically!
Nice to read (and hear in the podcast) that you haven’t put down Sylvans yet! Can we get a decklist update article? I think Orea is such a powerful card with the non-targeting / bouncing effect.
I’ll probably get up a deck list in the near future for Sylvans. I’ve been trying to get a long video with me doing a lot of different plays with the deck, but I’ve been running into problems with good screen capture programs and video editing software.
There is also “Skill Prisoner” which is a tech that negates their Hands and the only Artefact that matters. And is also good against 101, Veiler, anything that targets, really.
I don’t really like Skill Prisoner, that’s why I didn’t mention it. Since in most instances, Hand monster activate in the Damage Step, you can’t realistically stop them unless you have only one monster and they have only Fire Hand. Skill Prisoner also doesn’t work against Moralltach because his destruction effect doesn’t target.
My comment was negated by the site so here’s an overview:
“Skill Prisoner” can work against Ice Hand, too. And work fine when you destroy the Hands by card effects.
“Evigishki Merrowgeist” can shuffle the hand into the deck during battle. Effectively countering them.
“Armades, Keeper of Boundaries” can prevent their effects from activating.
I really enjoyed reading your article, and I hope you can write more tech choice cards to counter the prevailing/upsurging cards in the meta. But I have a question about one of your last comments made with gemini spark vs HANDS, “Gemini Spark makes the hands miss the timing because of its draw effect.” I don’t believe gemini spark makes cards miss timing, since destroying and drawing occur at the same time. Has its text changed or is it a special case just for Fire and Ice Hands. It occurred to me when I’ve been playing mirror with my friend’s E-Hero Shinning by gemini sparking it, would Shinning miss timing due to gemini spark. Have I’ve been playing Hero’s wrong?
On another note, what do you think of fencing fire ferret against the meta today?
I look into it, and yes you are correct, thanks for checking my facts! The destruction and the draw happen simultaneously. I’ll edit the article a little bit.
Ferret is an interesting card, but I feel like if you’re going to run it you might as well be using Fire and Ice Hand instead, unless you’re really lacking on deck space.
[…] of summoning up a storm. Though right now, as pointed out in both Kyle’s article “Dealing with Hands and Artifacts” and “Don’t Destroy Stuff.” it’s easy to see Mirror Force and […]
One thought about Master of Blades: Moralltach doesn’t target. Period.
I know you didn’t mention Artifacts on Master’s text, but, anyway, just sayin
You said chain to the summon with mst but a summon does not start a chain, you respond to the summon with mst
My bad, I mis-said it as chaining to the summon, but responding is what I meant. Thanks for the catch!
what about forbidden graveyard?