RATE: Subterror Review

I figure I might as well talk about these guys too.

The other TCG exclusive archetype, Subterrors, had its 4 new support cards revealed as well. I did plenty of testing with all the new SPYRAL cards because there was a lot of clear potential there, but these Subterror cards just seem no good if I was to be honest, as such I’ve decided to review them second. I tested a lot of things with these cards and I can’t seem to find much to be doing with them. The only way I can seem to utilize them is by overhauling the deck into something that seems clunky and bad. I’ll go over each and explain why I think that though in a moment.

Overall, I’d say they literally gave the deck nothing of use bar Subterror Cave Clash, which is a mediocre card that’s probably worth running, but not that great in the end. The other cards add no value to the deck and are more or less redundant with current strategies the deck employs. Defender is redundant with Subterror Behemoth Burrowing, the new Subterror Behemoths have really bad or huge combo reliant effects and are additionally synergistic with current strategies or what would be proposed with the new cards, they didn’t give the deck anything new to help shore up its major flaws, they didn’t even give us something to move the deck in a different direction. Honestly I don’t know the reasoning behind these cards creation. Konami seems to be afraid to make TCG exclusive good for this round because of the huge outcry players made against decks like Burning Abyss and Kozmo being too good, but I say it’s better to make cards that are too good that people complain about then making cards that are so bad that people complain about it. It wouldn’t hurt to just make interesting versatile cards that allow deck builders to thrive either, but that takes some thought rather than just easily churning out a completely boxed in archetype completely within the game designer’s control, that’s like… just my opinion though. I will note though, the art on these cards is pretty sick.

Subterror Nemesis Defender

EARTH / Beast-Warrior / Level 2
100 ATK / 2000 DEF
During either player’s turn, when your opponent activates a card or effect that targets exactly 1 Set monster you control (and no other cards), or when a Set monster you control is targeted for an attack by an opponent’s monster: You can send this card from your hand or face-up from your field to the Graveyard, then target another monster you control that would be an appropriate target; that card/effect/attack now targets the new target. While you control a Set monster, this card cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects.

The first card is Subterror Nemesis Defender. It seems Konami is making a point to do 1 Subterror Nemesis monster, 2 Subterror Behemoth monsters, and 1 Subterror spell or trap in each set they receive support. Continuing with that trend we have another Nemesis monster. Defender is alright I guess? I can’t really say it doesn’t provide some kind of value, but I really don’t see why they completely neutered this card. I believe in a previous article I made mention of this deck needing an out to Nobleman of Crossout for the deck to be good because if it ever became meta relevant people would side Nobleman and easily oust this deck. Nemesis Defender seems like a really half hearted reply to that plea giving you probably the weakest defense to cards that effect your set monsters. I see no reason why this card cannot simply be discarded to negate any card that targets any single set card (spells and trap included). I understand that would be good, but who really cares? It wouldn’t be unfair at all, and most people target 2 cards or use mass removal anyways so it would be limited in usability. Instead we have this retargeting effect, which I understand the purpose of, but it’s a little thin in realistic usage.

The purpose of this card is to have a lot of synergy with Cave Clash (the fourth card I’ll get to). Cave Clash returns a Subterror card from your graveyard to the hand if you inflict battle damage. The clear initial synergy is that Nemesis Defender discards itself easily to the graveyard to provide a near infinite usage in combination with Cave Clash recursion. In addition, Nemesis Defender can be used to force the opponent to attack into your high defense monsters such as Voltelluric, Umastryx or Stygokraken, which will ideally inflict battle damage during the opponent’s turn, activating Cave Clash as well as you Subterror Behemoth. (This would also create a nice chain in which the opponent cannot use Solemn Strike to negate one of the flip effects because you can put the flip effect chain link one and Cave Clash chain link 2). Then, you will get back the Nemesis Defender immediately, making this “combo” cost effectively nothing.

Nemesis Defender also forces the opponent to attack into your Nemesis monsters, which is pretty good too. For example, if you have a Nemesis Archer on board you can redirect attacks and destruction effects onto it, which would typically be to your advantage. You can also redirect attacks onto your face-up monsters onto a Nemesis Defender you control. Defender cannot be destroyed period if you have a face-down monster, which is pretty darn sweet, but in the grand dueling scheme doesn’t achieve anything.

In the end, all these neat ideas don’t amount to much tangible advantage for Subterrors, and on top of that these combos are incredibly involved so they rarely pan out in an actual duel. I would say you could potentially run 1 of Nemesis Defender or not even run it at all.

Subterror Behemoth Dragossuary

EARTH / Zombie / Level 6
2400 ATK / 1600 DEF
FLIP: You can activate this effect; this turn, “Subterror” cards you control cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects. You can only use this effect of “Subterror Behemoth Dragossuary” once per turn.
When a face-up monster you control is flipped face-down, if you control no face-up monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your hand in Defense Position. Once per turn: You can change this card to face-down Defense Position.

I really like this cards art, which made me really want to make this card work, but it’s just so bad. In terms of attack and defense it’s pretty average if not below average, especially considering it has a pretty lack luster effect. The effect provides almost no synergy for the deck, meaning summoning it means you’re purposely avoiding a better Subterror Behemoth monster in almost every instance. Most importantly it’s effect almost never applies.

You’d think preventing your monsters from being destroyed would be great, but the problem is you can almost never actually use Dragossuary’s effect before destruction occurs. Here are what I consider to be the two most common ways you would destroy a Subterror Behemoth monster: Dark Hole, Raigeki or Interrupted Kaiju Slumber or a card that negates effects like Solemn Warning or Strike. If the opponent is using one of the mass removal options like Dark Hole then there’s no way to avoid that with Dragossuary because there’s no reliable ways to flip up your monsters on the opponent’s turn, and even if you could you would always have to flip up Dragossuary preemptively because flipping Dragossuary in chain to Dark Hole would have Dragossuary activating and resolving after Dark Hole already destroyed all of your monsters. In the case of Solemn Strike, they negate the summon of or effect of Dragossuary before it even resolves its effect, allowing it to be destroyed. Even in the case of Torrential Tribute, if your opponent chains that to Dragossuary’s summoning Torrential will also resolve before its effect. And even if you do get Dragossuary to resolve, what now? What effect are you needing protection from on your turn that was worth overlooking all the better Subterror Behemoths?

What can this card bring to the table though? I could only think of two things it provides. First, it’s a Zombie, meaning all that Zombie support is added to the table (there’s not a whole lot). In combination with Des Lacooda there’s some sort of Zombie synergy going on, maybe a card like Call of the Zombie, Mezuki or Book of Life would be worth running? Probably to clunky, but now I’ll file that idea away in my mind.

The second usable facet of the card is that it’s level 6. The only other Level 5-6 Subterror Behemoth is Stygokraken, and now with two of them one could possibly perform some tribute summoning or run some tribute summoning tech cards. For example, you could run 1 copy of Mausoleum of the Emperor to kick start your deck and get a monster flipped face-down very quickly and swarm your monsters. In hindsight you could do that anyways… but, you could also run a card like The Monarchs Stormforth.

All this to say you probably shouldn’t be running this card. It adds nothing to the deck and in order to get any kind of effective use out of the card you have to completely destroy the core of the deck, make a new deck, and then realise you’re now running a worse deck… wait what?

Subterror Behemoth Voltelluric

EARTH / Thunder / Level 9
1900 ATK / 3000 DEF
FLIP: You can target 1 Set monster your opponent controls; take control of it until your next End Phase. You can only use this effect of “Subterror Behemoth Voltelluric” once per turn.
When a face-up monster you control is flipped face-down, if you control no face-up monsters: You can Special Summon this card from your hand in Defense Position. Once per turn: You can change this card to face-down Defense Position.

Ah, another bad card! This is just another example of a card that requires a huge bloated combo for almost no pay-off. This effect should not require the opposing monster to be face-down and should additionally take permanent control, then at that point I could think about running this card, but until then though this card is some spicy toilet paper.

Once again though, all kidding aside, there are some things going for this card. First, huge defense. Yay huge defense! Second, taking control of monsters certainly isn’t bad and Subterrors do have things they can do with those monsters, such as tribute them for a tribute summon or tribute them for Nemesis Warrior. For me, the clearest synergy this card has is with Nemesis Warrior to allow for the high pay-off. When Voltelluric is flipped face-up you can revive a Nemesis Warrior and steal an opponent’s face-down monster (which you got to be face-down by burning a card). You can then tribute that monster for Nemesis Warrior to summon another Subterror Behemoth and ideally build up into the monster stealing combo using Ultramafus and Voltelluric every turn in combination, probably doing more than enough damage in two turns. Once again once again, this is all very convoluted and requires too many cards and fates to align, so give up on this pipe dream.

Other than that, this card does nothing. Don’t run it unless some Thunder support comes out or a really easy Subterror exclusive way to flip the opponent’s monsters comes out other than Ultramafus.

Subterror Cave Clash

Continuous Spell
All “Subterror” monsters you control gain 500 ATK and DEF for each Set monster on the field. Once per turn, when a “Subterror” monster you control inflicts battle damage to your opponent: You can target 1 “Subterror” card in your Graveyard, except “Subterror Cave Clash”; add it to your hand.

Congratulations! You made it to the only good card!

Subterror Cave Clash is pretty neat, it adds some much desired recursion to the deck and even some attack boosting. Sadly you cannot recur much other than monsters at the moment, here’s hoping for a good control-type trap card that you can keep grabbing with this in the next set, and no I do not count Subterror Behemoth Burrowing because that card isn’t very good.

First things first is the recursion, this foremost allows you to significantly cut down on your Subterror Behemoth monsters and replace them with Cave Clash for what I would consider to be additional bonuses. This doesn’t significantly change the deck in any way, how it plays or its goals, but it solidifies the base of the engine. Unfortunately the consistency of the deck is still an issue because this does nothing for that. What I’ve been running is this engine at the moment with the addition of this card:

  • 2 Subterror Behemoth Umastryx
  • 2 Subterror Behemoth Stalagmo
  • 1 Subterror Behemoth Stygokraken
  • 3 Subterror Nemesis Archer
  • 1 Subterror Nemesis Warrior
  • 3 Subterror Cave Clash

Because you can now fairly easily recur monsters, and have the additional bonus of higher attack and defense you can afford to run an incredibly lean Subterror engine which leaves much more room for backrow, which is all that this deck can rely on at this point.

With Cave Clash Nemesis Archer puts a lot more pressure on the opponent because it’s very easy to team her up with a Des Lacooda or a Nemesis Warrior and get some meaty attack boosts pestering the opponent. Also, given that I’m running less Behemoths I would prefer to use the smaller Nemesis monsters as a base with my spells and traps halting the opponent’s plays.

I would say you should run at least 2 and I personally would run 3 of this card in almost every Subterror deck.


That’s all for this week. See ya all again later!

Written by: Kyle Oliver

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