Side Decks at Nationals

A quick look at some cards I liked from people’s sides at the North American WCQ.

The North American World Championship Qualifiers (NA WCQ) was this weekend, also known as US Nationals. Apparently it was the largest Nationals yet, which is rather surprising to me, but besides that it seemed like a good tournament bar not being able to watch the finals on stream. I figured I’d take a quick moment to look at something relating to the event because I didn’t really have any other article planned. So, as a quickie I just thought there where a couple of interesting cards that I saw in a lot of high placing decks’ side deck that I figured I’d give comment on.


This card is pretty cool, I’ve sided it before, but it fell out of favor and fell back in favor for Nationals. From a lot of the profiles you can watch on YouTube, I noticed a lot of the people who made it into top 32 went into the event expecting to see a lot of Pendulum decks, and this card is meant in particular to combat them, it also combats another interesting tech side card that a lot of people where using, Magical Deflector, which I’ll also talk about later. Before that though, here’s the effect of Typhoon:

Target 1 face-up Spell/Trap Card on the field; destroy it. If your opponent controls 2 or more Spell/Trap Cards and you control no Spell/Trap Cards, you can activate this card from your hand.

The basic gist of the card is the same as Twister, but probably better in just about every way. The main advantage this card has over a card like Twister, or even Mystical Space Typhoon for that matter, is that it can be activate from your hand during the opponent’s turn, namely when they’re going first. The main application of this is when the opponent plays two monster as Pendulum Scales, giving them two spell/traps cards, meeting Typhoon’s activation from hand requirements and also giving you a face-up spell.trap to target with it. In particular I’ve been told it works best when used on Magical Abductor.

Naturally, this card also doubles as basic spell and trap removal, specifically against floodgate cards which are continuous. The two main ones of the format are Anti-Spell Fragrance and Mask of Restrict, combating Pendulum decks and Monarchs respectively, so you should more likely expect Typhoon to be side decked in the likes of Pendulums and Monarchs to combat those cards, in addition to the obligatory Twin Twister that might already be in the main to begin with. Against Anti-Spell Fragrance, Typhoon is particularly good because it’s a trap.  For example, in a scenario where the opponent activates Anti-Spell Fragrance and you don’t have an immediate out, even drawing into a card like Twin Twister or Mystical Space Typhoon doesn’t give you an out for at least one more turn, which may be enough time for your opponent to win the duel. On the other hand Typhoon can be activate from your hand the turn you draw it when you’re under Anti-Spell Fragrance, which can be a huge boon.


Full House:

Full House is an interesting response to another card. The main purpose of Full House is to blowout all the Card of Demise decks. It previously was used in Fire Fist format because it would totally demolish your opponent’s board in one foul swoop. Here’s the effect:

Target 2 other face-up Spell/Trap Cards and 3 Set Spell/Trap Cards, on the field; destroy them.

Against most decks nowadays this has no applications, since most decks don’t set more than 1 or 2 cards, in which case Twin Twister solves that problem on its own(As a side note, Twin Twister really needs to be limited or banned). Against all the roguish Card of Demise decks though, the player running Card of Demise is almost required to set 3 whenever they activate Demise. On top of that, most Demise decks run a Field Spell and/or Pendulum monsters that they play in the Pendulum Zone. This means activating Full House is a breeze against them and potentially allows you to destroy 5 of their cards. Realistically that should cause them to lose the game, since you literally just went plus 4 on them with a single card.

Full House can be further facilitated in decks that run cards of their own that don’t mind being destroyed, both of the face-up and face-down variety. For example, Kozmos can easily target their face-up Kozmotown or Call of the Haunteds with little grief and even their face-down Call of the Haunteds. Most Pendulum decks can use their own scales as activation requirements for the face-up cards too. Other decks, like Artifacts can even destroy their face-down Artifact monsters during the opponent’s turn for a massive blowout.

Magical Deflector:

I feel pretty cool when I see this card cropping up again because I have a pretty ancient article on this website about how good this card is. It didn’t catch on back then, but it seemed to be a pretty regular side deck choice at the NA WCQ. Here’s the effect:

For the rest of this turn, negate all Equip, Field, Continuous and Quick-Play Spell Card effects on the field.

This card has a lot of applications in the current meta, so it’s no wonder that it started seeing a lot of play. In essence, this card can one for one negate a spell card, as long as the spell is not a normal spell. Then, on top of that, it negates all other non-normal spells for the rest of the turn Trap Stun style. In fact it might as well be called Spell Stun.

There are 2 main things this card negates this format: Everything in Monarchs and Twin Twister. There are of course other things it can negate, but those are the major ones. It should be noted that although Pendulum monsters are treated as spells while in the Pendulum Zone, they are not treated as Continuous Spells so they are not negated by Magical Deflector(too bad, I think it would be fair if it could).

Against Monarchs this card does a lot of work negating all of the following:

  • Domain of the True Monarchs
  • Return of the Monarchs
  • The Monarchs Stormforth

Not to mention most Monarch players also run cards like Twin Twister or Emergency Teleport in the Extra Deck variant. For any deck wary of the Monarch Extra Deck lock though, look no further than Magical Deflector. It turns off Domain for a turn allowing you to use the Extra Deck, it can also go one for one and negate Stormforth, and then, when the monarch player attempts to destroy your Mask of Restrict with Twin Twister, you can negate that too. Just about every deck that isn’t Monarchs should probably side 3 Mask of Restrict and 2 to 3 Magical Deflector. It’s a great combination against the deck. As I stated earlier though, Monarch players have gotten a little wiser and have thusly sided Typhoon, which can get around Deflector and do other optimal things.

When running any deck that hates getting Twin Twistered, Magical Deflector isn’t that bad of an idea either, for example Pendulum decks, because it can protect your scales whenever your opponent tries to Twin Twister them. In Amorphages for example it’s very helpful since that deck is incredibly vulnerable to Twin Twister. I’m tempted to run it in my Stall deck as well.

Written by: Kyle Oliver

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