Home > Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Deck Profile: Roy St. Clair’s X-Saber Deck

Deck Profile: Roy St. Clair’s X-Saber Deck

September 4th, 2010

Just as Dale Bellido has stuck with Infernities through the September 1st Advanced Format changes, Roy St. Clair is still chalking up win after win with X-Sabers.  St. Clair made the first breakthrough Day 2 performance with X-Sabers earlier this year, when he made the Top 4 of SHONEN JUMP Championship Nashville with a Deck that ran triple XX-Saber Emmersblade.  Now he’s back playing Sabers yet again, triple Emmersblade and all, with a  5-0 record.

A quick review: X-Saber Decks are powerful because they’re really good at searching out the monsters they need, when they need them.  They then use those monsters to trap the opponent between two deadly pincers: if a Duelist commits cards to the field, they can lose them all to XX-Saber Hyunlei; if they keep cards in their hand, X-Saber Airbellum and XX-Saber Gottoms can strip that hand bare, forcing the opponent to discard card after card.  As the Deck sped up over the past few months this dual-threat strategy sometimes fell by the wayside in favor of explosive wins, but now, X-Sabers are back to their classic form, and taking on a much more controlled pace.  Here’s what St. Clair is playing:

Monsters: 17

2 X-Saber Pashuul

3 XX-Saber Emmersblade

3 XX-Saber Faultroll

3 XX-Saber Fulhelmknight

3 XX-Saber Darksoul

3 XX-Saber Boggart Knight

Spells: 10

1 Reinforcement of the Army

2 Gold Sarcophagus

2 Book of Moon

1 Dark Hole

1 Monster Reborn

1 Mind Control

1 Giant Trunade

1 Cold Wave

Traps: 14

3 Gottoms’ Emergency Call

3 Trap Stun

2 Solemn Warning

2 Bottomless Trap Hole

1 Solemn Judgment

1 Mirror Force

1 Torrential Tribute

1 Royal Oppression

Reinforcement of the Army is really good,” started St. Clair, describing some of his favorite plays.  “I run three XX-Saber Fulhelmknight, and Reinforcement of the Army is like running a fourth copy.  It’s so good, especially here, where Dandylion is seeing alot of play.”  With Dandylion and its Fluff Tokens on the field, it’s really easy for St. Clair to make use of XX-Saber Fulhelmknight’s effect, Special Summoning a Level 4 or lower X-Saber from his Graveyard every time Fulhelmknight destroys a Defense Position monster in battle.

“It also lets me get X-Saber Pashuul, so it’s like running a third copy of that, too.  It makes it really easy to play XX-Saber Hyunlei.”  Most Duelists competing here today are Setting 2 or 3 cards to their Spell and Trap Card Zone at a time, figuring they can do so without much risk due to the Forbidden status of Heavy Storm.  St. Clair has spent all morning punishing that misconception: he runs 3 Trap Stun and Cold Wave, all of which can prevent his opponent from Chaining their Set cards to Hyunlei’s ability.  “It’s so easy to activate Trap Stun, go Hyunlei, and destroy 3 of their cards.”

St. Clair made some noteworthy changes to the Deck as a result of the new Forbidden and Limited List.  With Rescue Cat now Forbidden, he no longer plays X-Saber Airbellum at all, instead placing more emphasis on Pashuul, Fulhelmknight, and Emmersblade.  He still runs 3 Darksoul, but Fulhelmknight and Pashuul are just more useful Tuners in St. Clair’s opinion.  In addition, Royal Oppression’s new Limited status has left St. Clair free to play a full 3 Gottoms’ Emergency Call: a Deck building decision that became increasingly unpopular as the previous Advanced Format wound down, and Oppression became more and more common.  The return of triple GottomsEmergency Call helps the Deck perform consistently, and lets it retain a little bit of that explosiveness that Rescue Cat once allowed.

Unlike some, St. Clair isn’t playing the specialized themed cards available to X-Saber Duelists.  While there’s been some talk of X-Saber Decks now becoming more reliant on Saber Slash and Saber Hole, St. Clair isn’t running either, instead relying on 2 Bottomless Trap Hole and 2 Solemn Warning.  While Saber Hole has the advantage over Bottomless Trap Hole of being able to fully negate Summons, Solemn Warning negates a wider range of Summons including those that are the result of an effect: Summons Saber Hole can’t stop.

And while negating a Summon is usually better than destroying and removing a monster like Bottomless Trap Hole would, Bottomless is easier to activate since it doesn’t require a face-up X-Saber for its activation.  Still, expect this to be a point of contention amongst X-Saber Duelists moving forward.

Right now, Roy St. Clair is undefeated in this tournament.  Will X-Sabers make the cut to Top 16?  We’ll find out in just a few rounds!