It’s hard out there for us birds of prey. I spent a week testing the Harpie Lady archetype. The game has changed so much since I played with them back in January of 2014. Pendulum Monsters are here, Artifacts are different, every deck has crazy amounts of access to every card it needs. Where do Harpies fit in?
3 Harpie Lady
3 Harpie Queen
3 Harpie Harpist
3 Harpie Channeler
2 Harpie Dancer
2 Summoner Monk
2 Instant Fusion
2 Dark Hole
2 Elegant Egotist
3 Hysteric Sign
3 Harpie’s Hunting Ground
1 Book of Moon
2 Book of Eclipse
1 Mirror Force
1 Fiendish Chain
1 Call of the Haunted
1 Icarus Attack
3 Shadow Imprisoning Mirror
Matchup against Burning Abyss
I tested Harpies against Burning Abyss and the results are heavily in Harpies’ favor. Harpies can spam into Level 4 Monsters, which means they have consistent access to Abyss Dweller. With the field spell, Harpies Hunting Ground, you can pick of any power cards before they become relevant. Running Instant Fusion helps make Rank 4s too easy, and provides the boost for Abyss Dweller.
Still my favorite monster in Harpies, Zerofyne negates the effects of all of your opponent’s face-up cards (while they remain on the field), and gains a whopping 300 ATK for each face-up card on the field. It has to negate an opponent’s face-up card, so you can’t use it if there’s nothing for you to negate.
This card works against BA because they always have things face up, and since they tend not to be aggressive in the early game, you can build up the field spell, Harpies, and Hysteric Sign to bolster Zerofyne’s strength.
Matchup against Masked Heros
Oh man. It’s not good. Dark Law gets in the way of everything Harpies want to do.
- Harpies like to use Call of the Haunted to XYZ and Hunt spells/traps, Dark Law prevents graveyard build-up.
- Harpies like to search the deck – with Harpie Queen for Harpies’ Hunting Ground, with Hysteric Sign for Elegant Egotist, and for monsters with Harpie Harpist. Masked Change can chain to any of these activations to punish them, and Dark Law prevents Queen for being discarded and Harpist from going to the graveyard.
It’s a helpless match-up, unless you dedicate deck space/side-deck space to dealing with it.
The Generic Harpie Lady
I decided to run the Normal Harpie Lady because it’s kind of invisible. If it gets banished or interrupted, I’m not as upset as I would be if I ran something like Cyber Harpie Lady. And if they specifically get rid of it, well, it’s a Normal Monster, so shame on them for being in a place where they have to waste cards on it.
Also, it can be normal summoned without fear of Bottomless or Fiendish Chain and other cards that prey on high attack monsters. There’s also the opportunity of running Daigusto Emeral to recover them from the graveyard.
Normal Harpies are easy to treat like a resource, and not like a useful part of the deck. Their main goal is to be thrown around and used as material for other cards.
Call of the Haunted
I love Call in Harpie decks, but in this build, I didn’t get to flourish with them since I focused on testing against Heros. But Call of the Haunted can be used like an MST when you have a Hunting Ground on the board.
It also works with Elder Entity Norden and Instant Fusion. You can Call it, then Norden revives a Harpie, you pop a card, then next turn you XYZ.
Monsters stuck in the past
Harpie Channeller is the accelerator of the deck, kind off. It’s an awkward monster to rely on, now that Solemn Strike and Traptrix Reflesia exist, and Maxx C and Veiler are all floating around. I found myself being really hesitant to use it, unless the opponent was stripped of cards I thought could threaten me.
Harpie Channeller was kind of cool back when Dragon Rulers were still around. It mandatorily becomes a LV 7 monster when you control a Dragon-type. That’s useless. To be completely fair, it doesn’t happen very often. The only dragon you’ll summon will likely be their boss monster, Harpie’s Pet Phantasmal Dragon. But you can’t follow up that expensive (3 material) monster with Harpie Channeller plays, and that’s unreasonably restrictive.
Harpist has two effects:
The first: When you Normal Summon it, you can target another Winged-beast monster you control, and a face-up monster your opponent controls: Return both to the hand
The second: During the end phase it was sent to the Graveyard: add 1 Level 4 Winged-Beast monster with 1500 or less from your deck to your hand.
The second effect is pretty great. The only thing more I could ask for is if it could grab Harpie Queen, but it can get everything else (except itself).
The first effect though, such garbage. This is definitely a your-mileage-may-vary effect, because it’s conceivably good. The problem I was running into was that I don’t leave Harpies on the field. Even if I did, there’s no way to search Harpist, except for Hysteric Sign.
Harpie Harpist’s effect would work in some convoluted Channeler/Dancer/Harpist combo, but not even Mai Valentine has time for that. And if you’re swooping that hard, you’re probably winning that game.
Heavy on the Destruction
I had to run a lot of monster destroying tools because Icarus Attack is not reliable when you’re afraid of your cards getting banished or can’t keep Harpies on the field. But, in that kind of situation, cards like Dark Hole because very viable because you’re expecting a really back and forth game.
Minimal Extra Deck
Harpies have really easy access to the extra deck, and because of that, including monsters that round out Harpie weaknesses is a lot of trial and error.
I found that Lightning Chidori was not as oppressive as it used to be. Zerofyne was still fantastic, and Harpies’ best attacking tool. Their boss monster, Phantasmal Dragon, still has a hard time justifying its purpose. Silent Honors quickly solves what Zerofyne can’t, while providing a larger body than Chidori. Abyss Dweller was amazing.
Fusions: Elder Entity Norden and Mavelus
Norden brings End Phase Call, Silent Honors, and Dweller plays. Mavelus is an extra Wind Winged-Beast material for XYZ summons.
I’m definitely going to spend more time with Harpies. They’re really good at being almost amazing. I tailored the deck specifically to fight Dark Law based decks. So if you consider trying out this build, keep that in mind and feel free to consider the anti-banish stuff highly side-deckable.
Thanks for reading! I’m curious to hear about other Harpie builds. If you’ve tried Harpies, have found struggles or successes, I’d love to hear about them. Share them in the comments, or reach out to me on twitter @mattcarterwa.