Home > 2010/01 - Los Angeles, California, SHONEN JUMP Championships > Deck Profile: Christian Thomas Manser’s Insect Deck

Deck Profile: Christian Thomas Manser’s Insect Deck

January 9th, 2010

Christian Thomas Manser is playing one of the weekend’s most original Decks, combining classic Insects with newer entries from Crimson Crisis and Stardust Overdrive. The result is a high-impact swarm Deck that Special Summons big attackers like nothing else, while replacing its fallen monsters with “Verdant Sanctuary.”

Monsters: 24  

3x “Doom Dozer”

2x “Mother Spider”

3x “Aztekipede, the Worm Warrior”

3x “Spyder Spider”

3x “Magical Merchant”

3x “Cross-Sword Beetle”

3x “Howling Insect”

2x “Insect Knight”

1x Shiny Black “C”

1x “Bee List Soldier”


Spells: 11

3x “Enemy Controller”

2x “Solidarity”

2x “Verdant Sanctuary”

1x “Heavy Storm”

1x “Mystical Space Typhoon”

1x “Lightning Vortex”

1x “Brain Control”


Traps: 6

2x “Bottomless Trap Hole”

2x “No Entry!!”

1x “Torrential Tribute”

1x “Call of the Haunted”

Manser’s Main Deck packs three copies each of “Aztekipede, the Worm Warrior” and “Doom Dozer.” Both of those monsters have high ATK and can be Special Summoned from the hand by removing Insects from the Graveyard, and they make up a big portion of his game-winning plays. Manser often plays conservatively, looking for an opening and then striking with multiple Special Summons to quickly seal the Duel. But in order to do so he has to be able to remove Insects from his Graveyard to Special Summon “Doom Dozer” and Aztekipede. That means he has to load Insects into his Graveyard early on.

“I usually open up with either “Magical Merchant” or “Howling Insect”,” explained Manser. He plays three of each, and both monsters can defend him from attacks. “Magical Merchant’s” Flip Effect will get Manser a Spell or Trap Card from his Deck, while “Howling Insect” Special Summons another Insect in its place when it’s destroyed by battle. Not only will the Merchant and the Insect end up in the Graveyard (fodder for Aztekipede and “Doom Dozer”), each can also send additional monsters there too, since “Magical Merchant” will send monsters to the Graveyard while resolving its effect, until it hits a Spell or Trap Card. One “Howling Insect” can search for another, and another, getting multiple Insects in the Graveyard. This provides a stable pair of openings for Manser’s Deck, both of which load him up for a big push later. “I really like opening with Merchant. It allows me to pull a Spell or Trap, send some monsters for “Doom Dozer,” and still grants me my next draw.” Those Graveyard Insects can work for the Deck in other ways, too.

If Manser doesn’t go first, he usually throws out an early attacker like “Insect Knight” or “Spyder Spider” with a Set “Enemy Controller.” “Spyder Spider” and “Enemy Controller” make up one of Manser’s favorite combos, using Controller to turn an attack position monster to Defense Position so “Spyder Spider” can destroy it and Special Summon another Insect from the Graveyard. “It works out really well with “Howling Insect” because I can run it into something, search for Spyder, use “Enemy Controller,” then attack with Spyder and bring Howling back.”

Manser runs several monsters that become more useful if his opponent controls Defense Position monsters – in addition to “Spyder Spider,” he also runs “Cross-Sword Beetle” to hammer damage through defenders, and “Mother Spider.” “Mother Spider” is a 2300 ATK Level 6 Insect-Type that Manser can Special Summon by sending two of his opponent’s Defense Position monsters straight to the Graveyard – it’ll get rid of anything from “Stardust Dragon” to “Pyramid Turtle” and can be a devastating play when it works.

To make sure all those cards have the support they need, Manser plays triple “Enemy Controller” and 2 copies of “No Entry!!” What’s great is that neither of these cards require combos to be useful. “Enemy Controller” is a big card here today all on its own thanks to its ability to stop “Tragoedia,” and anything that changes opposing monsters to Defense Position is useful for stopping your opponent’s attacks. Those defensive tricks help Manser survive when he’s not ready to make a big push, and still setting up his combos.

“Verdant Sanctuary” is a different story – it can make a huge impact when it’s coupled with the right cards. Manser plays 11 Level 4 Insects, and if one of them is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard while “Verdant Sanctuary” is on the field, the Sanctuary will let Manser search his Deck for another Level 4 Insect to add to his hand. With the Sanctuary on the field Manser can suddenly play very aggressively even if he’s not ready to push for victory, because he knows that any losses he takes will be replaced by the Sanctuary. “Sanctuary plays a major role in the Deck because most of my monster are level 4, which makes the Deck into a toolbox of sorts.”

Since the Sanctuary rewards Manser for getting his monsters destroyed, it provides another way of filling the Graveyard. That strategy is at its strongest when he throws out Aztekipede or “Doom Dozer”: if either monster’s destroyed, Manser can get another copy and then Special Summon it next turn, using the previous copy to pay for the Summon.

He even plays one copy of “Bee List Soldier” and one Shiny Black “C,” knowing he can search for them when a “Magical Merchant” is destroyed. “Bee List Soldier” is particularly slick, letting Manser attack with “Spyder Spider,” Special Summon “Bee List Soldier,” and then Tribute both to draw 2 cards with the Soldier’s effect. That play then leaves him with monsters in the Graveyard to remove for Aztekipede or “Doom Dozer.”

Manser’s Deck is really well-built, packing strong, stable opening moves and rolling them into simple, easy-to-make aggressive plays. He’s got enough tricks to make his strategy unpredictable, and the defensive combos let him take advantage of some of the big trends we can expect to see here today. If you thought Insects couldn’t be competitive, Manser’s Deck proves that they can, balancing defense, aggression, card economy, and explosive power enough to take down some of the top Decks of the format. Very cool stuff, and we’ll see how he does here today!