Subterror Round-Up 02: INOV

I’ve been playing a lot with the new Subterrors and here’s some takeaways and strategies.

Sorry for having no article last week. Monday was Halloween and I was very busy all week in preparation for the Trunk and Treat event at my church. I went as Kylo Ren, it was pretty fun. Besides that, Subterrors are here with new support!

First, I’m going to go through all the support as an overview, then I’ll get into some strategies and ideas I’ve been testing. Overall, as a precursor I’d say I think the support is very good, but probably not good enough to make the deck “meta”. It comes really close but it’s lacking consistent turn 1 plays, and I think it deserves for quick-effect or trap like effects to increase interaction on the opponent’s turn, because as of now the deck just sits back on the opponent’s turn until the Battle Phase, which leaves your face-down monsters way too vulnerable.

Just released, we now have 4 new Subterror cards: 3 monsters, 1 trap. This includes 2 more Subterror Behemoths and 1 of the people from the hidden city, the “Nemesis” monsters. Here are the cards:

Subterror Behemoth Ultramafus

Level 12 / Pyro / EARTH

3000 ATK / 1800 DEF

FLIP: You can change all other face-up monsters on the field to face-down Defense Position. You can only use this effect of “Subterror Behemoth Ultramafus” 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.

Subterror Behemoth Stygokraken

Level 5 / Sea Serpent / EARTH

1400 ATK / 2600 DEF

FLIP: You can target Set cards on the field, equal to the number of “Subterror Behemoth” monsters you control; destroy them. You can only use this effect of “Subterror Behemoth Stygokraken” 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.

Subterror Nemesis Archer

Level 3 / Fairy / EARTH

1600 ATK / 1400 DEF

At the start of the Damage Step, if this card attacks an opponent’s face-down Defense Position monster, and you control another “Subterror” monster: You can shuffle that opponent’s monster into the Deck. If this card on the field is destroyed by battle or card effect and sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 “Subterror” monster from your Deck in face-up or face-down Defense Position. You can only use each effect of “Subterror Nemesis Archer” once per turn.

Subterror Behemoth Burrowing

Normal Trap Card
You can banish 1 “Subterror” monster from your Graveyard; for the rest of this turn, face-down monsters you control cannot be destroyed by card effects, and your opponent cannot target them with card effects. If this card on the field is destroyed by a card effect: You can add 1 “Subterror” monster from your Deck to your hand. You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 “Subterror” monster you control; change it to face-down Defense Position.

Those are the four new cards, I’ll go through each of the four individually first:

Subterror Behemoth Ultramafus:

This card doesn’t add all that much to the table for the deck. It’s the biggest Subterror Behemoth yet, clocking in at 3000 ATK, but the extra 200 gained on Stalagmo goes mostly unnoticed since you don’t want to rely on attacking over monsters in this deck to begin with, and by nature of Ultramafus’ effect you would almost rather it had higher defense, because it doesn’t need nearly as much ATK to attack over defense position monsters, at least typically. The 3000 ATK is nice at least for when attacking directly because it finishes off the opponent more quickly.

Ultramafus does add an additional monster above level 9, meaning it’s quite ideal for Ritual Summons. There’s the potential to run lots of different Ritual Monsters because it can provide the entire tribute rather easily. For example you could use it summon Herald of Perfectness. Not a great idea, but it does take advantage of the fact that Ultramafus is probably now the most searchable level 12 monster in the game now because you can run the equivalent of 9 copies using it, The Hidden City and Terraforming in combination. In general though, I would say this just amounts to a small additional amount of synergy with Prediction Princess Tarotei. The level also has some negative synergy in that a level 12 monster is much less likely to be summoned off of the effect of Subterror Nemesis Warrior, but that’s not really as relevant given how easy it now is to summon big Behemoths with Nemesis Archer.

The flip effect has some minor synergies and benefits worth noting. First, flipping all monsters face-down is the only way for Subterrors to get around monsters that cannot be targeted, which is a justifiable concern with the existence of Kozmos. Before you would have to supplement the deck with Traps in order to deal with said monsters, but this adds a very easy searchable monster that outs that scenario.

Flipping monsters face-down also has pretty obvious synergy with the other two monsters added in the set. Face-down monsters can be destroyed with Stygokraken’s effect and shuffled back to the deck with Nemesis Archer’s effect. With Ultramafus’ effect you can also flip face-down your own monsters that would not typically be face-down in order to more easily activate the Subterror Behemoth hand summon effect. So for example, whenever you flip Ultramafus you can flip all other monsters face-down, then you can use Ultramafus’ effect to flip itself face-down. This then meets the condition of all Subterror Behemoths in the hand, allowing you to summon them. There are also some fun monsters that are worth flipping face-down already that are worth mentioning, such as Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands. Manju gets his search effect when Normal and Flip Summoned, so i you flip Manju face-down you can re-flip on another turn for another search.

In testing I found that I only really wanted to run 1 Ultramafus.

Subterror Behemoth Stygokraken:

Initially my least favorite of the cards, but in the end one of the more important ones. The most important facet of this card in my opinion is that it’s level 5. This makes the card absolutely amazing with Nemesis Warrior since Nemesis Warrior can tribute literally any monster in order to summon Stygokraken. This allows the deck to much more easily and readily combine with other monsters of different archetypes, since even a level 1 monster has value. This lets you protect, in a sense, any monster from effects by tributing it with Nemesis Warrior’s effect. The level also is perfect for Tarotei as well because with a Manju you can use both Stygokraken and the Manju to Ritual Summon Tarotei.

This card is also important because it’s the only built in spell and trap removal the deck has. Other than that the deck is a sitting duck as far as heavy setting decks are concerned. The deck still lacks a way to deal with floodgates, which I hoped will be addressed in the future, but for now you lose game 1 if the opponent flips Vanity’s Emptiness.

This card also has some hidden synergy with cards from this set that I didn’t notice from the onset. First, this card can destroy you own cards, this is very important. This allows you to set off the effects of both Nemesis Archer and Subterror Behemoth Burrowing. I always approve of any additional way to use your cards even if it’s rare because it adds that “just in case” effect giving the deck more options in a pinch.

Subterror Nemesis Archer:

Easily the best of the new support is Nemesis Archer. This card has two effects, both being absolutely amazing and both also very lenient. The battle searcher effect is the best. I know that last week (or two weeks ago I suppose) I said that battle searchers are no longer good anymore, and I still stand by that opinion, but this card has elite battle searching qualities. First, it has the regular battle search effect for when it’s destroyed by battle. Second, it also can activate that effect when destroyed by a card effect. Third, the effect can be activated by either player, not requiring the opponent to activate it for you, so you can use a card like Sky Iris to crash this cards effect for example. Fourth, this card has a very powerful alternate effect and reasonably high enough stats that it warrants the opponent removing it from the field. All of this together makes the card quite powerful.

What I think really gives this card the most usability is that it’s a normal summonable monster. Subterrors, even with this card, are severely lacking in monsters to normal summon. Even with that, the deck still doesn’t have reliable special summoning, meaning getting monsters on the board is difficult, and given the fact they are mostly unprotected, when invested into the field they’re a permanent investment, meaning if they get removed from the field the advantage is lost. Nemesis Archer is the exact opposite, which is a real breath of fresh air. Given that this card is probably the best normal summon of the deck it is notable that it’s probably the best card to search off of The Hidden City. In my first Subterror article I wrote about a basic play using The Hidden City to set Nemesis Warrior, which was cute and all, but now that plays been completely outclassed with the addition of Nemesis Archer. With just The Hidden City, you can search an Archer and set it. Not only can you now negate 1 attack, if the opponent attempts to destroy your face-down archer you then get Archer’s effect, making an added layer of defense. In my testing this seemed to be my typical play when going first assuming I didn’t open with a strong combo.

The second effect, that spins face-down monsters, similar to Ehren, Lightsworn Monk a classic, is also very beneficial. My general goal with Subterrors is to slowly remove all of my opponent’s monsters from the board without sending them to the graveyard. This previously only involved Umastryx’s effect to banish monsters, and that could only be used once per turn and wasn’t always a given. With the addition of Archer there are now two beneficial ways of removing opponent’s monsters from the board and additionally Nemesis Archer has those abilities while being an easily accessible and small Normal Summonable monster. Because of this powerful effect I’ve been running Swords of Concealing Light, not only because of the synergy with Nemesis Archer, but also because it’s very meta relevant.

I almost always max out on this card.

Subterror Behemoth Burrowing:

I understand where Konami was trying to go with that card, but it really just sucks in my opinion. There would’ve been no harm in making the card say “all face-down monsters are unaffected by your opponent’s card effects until the end of the turn” rather than the random restrictions that the card retained. Also, the cost for this card is simply put, bad. Subterrors don’t reliably go to the graveyard and even when they do, I’m typically running cards like Burst Rebirth and Call of the Haunted to revive them with, so I don’t want them to stay there. This makes the cards cost a burden, when it should’ve been easier for how mostly unhelpful this card’s effect actually is. The graveyard effect is the only really good effect, but because it requires going to graveyard this effect becomes useless because that basically means you had to have a good reason to activate this card to begin with, which you probably don’t.

What this deck actually needs is a way to stop card from affecting face-down monsters, because one of the most detrimental cards to this deck is one that gets around Burrowing being Nobleman of Crossout. If Subterrors ever become relevant the immediate side deck of choice is Nobleman of Crossout, a old school choice for eradicating flip effect monsters. You can’t even chain Burrowing to Nobleman, so I don’t really see the point of using it all. The only card that I see consistently that I want to stop with Burrowing is Raigeki, which is only one single card in a deck. I think it’s more reasonable to try to play around Raigeki than to use this card. There are also better ways to deal with that, such as Anti-Spell Fragrance, which will force them to set cards making them extremely vulnerable to Stygokraken.

This card does have some minor possibilities that I looked into, but at the moment I find them underwhelming. First is milling. Using this card you can mill and discard cards on a whim and run a huge slew of revival traps as your only spells and traps. Nemesis Warrior and this card are viable mills, but the rest are only so-so or bad mills making this strategy not the best. Second is using strategies that destroy your own spells and traps. I first attempted an Artifact build usings Card of Demise. There’s potential here, running an extremely low Subterror Behemoth count and then a suite of revival card for the opponent’s turn. Then you can utilize the discarding from Card of Demise to discard Burrowing or the effect of Artifact Beagalltach to destroy your own set Burrowing. All that doesn’t really seem worth it in the end though and it’s probably better to just run that idea without Burrowing to being with, and maybe it’s just better to run that idea with Kozmos… or Felgrand Dragons… or just something else. Whatever Burrowing is bad.

New Subterror Ideas:

With the onset of these new cards I’ve had a handful of new ideas. Here we go all quick like:

  • Subterror Slushy Frogs:
    • This idea is pretty terrible, but I like it. Much like Des Lacooda, Flip Flop Frog provides a nice an easy way to quickly summon your Subterror Behemoths from the hand. With the release of the new card Toadally Awesome, Frogs have become a pretty strong standalone engine, meaning you can pop that whole engine into Subterrors with relative ease.  Second, Subterror Behemoth Stygokraken is probably the best target in the game for the card Slushy (which I completely forget existed until I search “Sea Serpent support” in my ridiculous attempts to find things to do with Subterrors). Slushy can continuously revive Stygokraken and is a perfect fit with Frogs, being a Level 2 WATER Aqua-type monster. Would this work as a deck? I don’t really know.
  • Destroying Subterror Nemesis Archer:
    • Metalfoes:
      • The first thing I did with Subterrors upon seeing the new support was look for all the best ways to destroy Archer on my own terms. The best way is probably this one, using Metalfoes, which seem to be good for just about everything at this point. You can use the Pendulum Effects of the Metalfoes to easily destroy Nemesis Archer and set a Behemoth from the deck. Metalfoes allow easy special summoning to have monsters to tribute for Nemesis Warrior. Metalfoe scales can be use to Pendulum Summon both Umastryx and Stygokraken. Metalfoes provide levels 3, 4 and 7, which are all level Subterrors can provide opening the Extra Deck for more likely XYZ plays. Such synergy. Much win.
    • True Kings:
      • Currently, this just doesn’t work all that well, but in the future this might be a near staple for the deck. The True Kings are those weird level 9 Wyrm-type monsters I made an article about a little while back. They destroy 2 monsters, in hand or on field, including one of there same attribute to special summon themselves from the hand. With this new pack we have both a WATER and a FIRE one, but in the next pack we’ll have the EARTH one which is perfect for Subterrors. Not only can it easily destroy Archer to get her effect, but it easily destroys only EARTH monsters to get its second effect to nuke your opponent’s Extra Deck. Also, you can use it to destroy your in hand Behemoths to setup revival traps.
    • Speedroid Terrortop:
      • Using the typical Speedroid Engine (3 Terrortop, 1 Taketomborg) this deck gains a lot of interesting plays. First, since we’re on the topic of destroying your own Nemesis Archer, you can make a quick Rank 3 XYZ Summon of Phantom Knights of Break Sword. Break Sword can then destroy your own Archer to destroy an opponent’s card. You could also make any other Rank 3 XYZ that tickles your fancy. Another one of interest would be M-X-Saber Invoker, which can summon a Nemesis Warrior from the deck which can make for some quick combos. Terrortop and Taketomborg also provide easy tribute fodder to tribute summon Subterror monsters, and even once you’ve run out of your one Taketomborg you can always summon the new Stygokraken because it only requires one tribute, yay! Using Terrortop and Taketomborg, you’re also given a combined level of 6. This means you can then normal summon a Nemesis Warrior to tribute both of them and summon a Stalagmo turn one, which is the ideal opening most often. This can be done with just 1 copy of The Hidden City and 1 Terrortop and ideally 1 monster to discard for Stalagmo’s effect.
  • Chaos Infinity:
    • Chaos Infinity is an old Trap card for the Meklord archetype. Here’s the effect: “Change as many Defense Position monsters on the field as possible to face-up Attack Position, then Special Summon 1 “Meklord” monster from your Deck or Graveyard, but its effects are negated, also it is destroyed during the End Phase.” The idea is to use this card similarly to Sinister Shadow Games in Shaddolls. This card allows you to reactively flip your Subterror monsters during the opponent’s turn. For example your opponent could summon something and be about to make an XYZ summon, in which case you could activate Chaos Infinity flipping your face-down Umastryx. Umastryx could then banish an important monster of the opponent. You could similarly run the card Ghostrick Scare, which is practically the same but doesn’t summon a monster that you can utilize. This could be seen as a benefit or a downside. Ghostrick Scare can also be searched off of Ghostrick Angel of Mischief, which is pretty easy to summon even for Subterrors if you set your mind to it.
  • Floodgate Trap Hole:
    • Floodgate Trap Hole has now become the ideal support trap for Subterrors. Not only is the card simply a good card, it also now has massive functionality with both Nemesis Archer and Stygokraken. There’s not much more to it than that.

Written by: Kyle Oliver