Home > 2010/02 - Nashville, Tennessee > Deck Profile: Jon Moore’s X-Saber Deck

Deck Profile: Jon Moore’s X-Saber Deck

February 27th, 2010

A lot of Decks got a big push from the new cards in Absolute Powerforce, and X-Sabers got one of the biggest. Three new X-Saber cards are really revving this Deck up:

  • The new Synchro Monster “XX-Saber Hyunlei” can destroy up to 3 Spell & Trap Cards when she’s Summoned.
  • “Saber Hole” negates any Summon when activated.
  • “XX-Saber Emmersblade” Special Summons 1 Level 4 or lower X-Saber from your Deck when it’s destroyed by battle.

These cards set up big combos with cards that only X-Saber Duelists can play, and make X-Sabers way more powerful than they once were.

All that potential hasn’t gone unnoticed! Jon Moore, winner of SHONEN JUMP Championship Houston, experimented with X-Sabers heading into today’s tournament, trying all sorts of different ideas to create a winning Deck. Though he started with a build that was heavy on Lightsworn monsters, the final version of the Deck is more dedicated to X-Sabers, packing fifteen X-Saber monsters and no “Charge of the Light Brigade.”

Monsters Spells Traps
3x XX-Saber Faultroll
2x XX-Saber Gardestrike
3x XX-Saber Fulhelmknight
3x X-Saber Airbellum
3x XX-Saber Emmersblade
2x XX-Saber Ragigura
1x Rescue Cat
2x Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
1x Card Trooper
1x Giant Trunade
1x Brain Control
1x Heavy Storm
1x Mystical Space Typhoon
1x Mind Control
1x Pot of Avarice
2x Saber Slash
2x Foolish Burial
1x Torrential Tribute
1x Mirror Force
3x Gottom’s Emergency Call
2x Bottomless Trap Hole
3x Saber Hole

With two days left before the Advanced Format changes on March 1st, and Decks like Lightsworn and Zombies well-established with successful builds, what could make a veteran Duelist like Moore dive straight into a new Deck? Moore was intrigued by the  strengths that X-Sabers have: explosive aggressive speed, and control over your opponent’s options. A lot of X-Saber monsters don’t have the high Attack Points that some other Decks are packing, but Moore’s Deck specializes in Summoning lots of them all at once to dish out big damage:

  • “XX-Saber Faultroll” is a big attacker (2400 ATK) that can be Special Summoned when Moore controls 2 X-Saber monsters. Faultroll’s effect then allows him to Special Summon another monster from his Graveyard, giving him 4 total.
  • “XX-Saber Gardestrike” is another strong monster (2100 ATK) that can be Special Summoned from the hand, hitting the field whenever Moore has 2 or more X-Sabers in his Graveyard.
  • “Gottoms’ Emergency Call” also Special Summons 2 monsters from the Graveyard, and the only requirement is that there needs to be at least 1 face-up X-Saber on the field. This card can Special Summon an X-Saber of any size from the Graveyard, including Gardestrike or an X-Saber Synchro Monster.

None of these cards are new to the X-Saber arsenal, but they’re all stronger than they used to be because of “XX-Saber Emmersblade.” On its own, Emmersblade will protect Moore from attacks and help him set up Synchro Summons by keeping a monster on the field, replacing itself with another X-Saber when it’s destroyed by battle (similar to well-known cards like “Mystic Tomato” or “Giant Rat”).

But since Emmersblade makes it easier to keep an X-Saber around, that makes Faultroll easier to Special Summon, since Faultroll needs X-Sabers on the field to get rolling. It used to be that the best ways to use Faultroll reliably required combos with “Threatening Roar” or “One for One,” but now you can just Set Emmersblade, replace it with its effect if it’s destroyed in battle, and Normal Summon another X-Saber next turn to have the 2 X-Sabers you need for Faultroll.

And since 1 Emmersblade can Special Summon another (and that new Emmersblade can get a third), it makes filling your Graveyard for Gardestrike or Emergency Call a snap. Before Absolute Powerforce, an X-Saber Duelist who wanted to use Emergency Call or Gardestrike would had to let monsters be destroyed in battle, or use them for Synchro Summons, or play cards like “Foolish Burial” to get those Graveyard effects working. It was slow, and often required the X-Saber Duelist to take losses before using their best card effects. Moore still plays “Foolish Burial,” but now the strategy is faster, and those Burials are used to set up precise combos to fit given situations.

Aside from all that Special Summoning power, X-Sabers are also incredibly good at cutting down on your opponent’s cards, to control the Duel. If you give an X-Saber Duelist enough time, they’re going to combine the Special Summoning power of “XX-Saber Faultroll” with the discard effect of “XX-Saber Gottoms” and force you to discard your entire hand. You have to play quickly against this sort of strategy and get your cards on the field to avoid that. But if Moore’s opponent Sets multiple cards to the Spell & Trap Card Zone, because they’re worried about the threat of “XX-Saber Gottoms,” he’ll Synchro Summon “XX-Saber Hyunlei” and destroy up to three of those cards for free. If the opponent Summons more than one monster, or controls a monster and a face-up card like “Royal Oppression,” Moore will destroy those cards with just one of his own – “Saber Slash.”

Moore’s created a Deck that traps his opponents in a series of lose-lose situations. If they play conservatively, they’ll lose cards to “XX-Saber Gottoms” and “X-Saber Airbellum.” If they play aggressively, they could lose out to Hyunlei and “Saber Slash” instead.

Breaking out of that pincer strategy is really hard to do, because Moore is playing 2 copies of “Bottomless Trap Hole” and 3 “Saber Holes” as well. That gives him a lot of control over what his opponent’s can and can’t do, letting him pick off any monster that he thinks might cause him trouble. “Judgment Dragon” is one of the most feared cards in this tournament, but since “Saber Hole” can negate its Special Summon, Moore can destroy the Dragon before it ever gets a chance to use its effect. The same goes for “Dark Armed Dragon,” “Zombie Master,” and any Synchro Monsters that Moore might want to shut down. They all fall to “Saber Hole.”

This is a great Deck to look at when you start building for the next Advanced Format, because aside from the second copy of “Foolish Burial,” it loses nothing on March 1st. If you’re looking to play X-Sabers over the coming weeks, this Deck is the perfect place to start!

Deck Profile - Jon Moore