Home > 2010/10 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Deck Profile: Robbie Stargel’s Merchant Pot Zombies (MPZ)

Deck Profile: Robbie Stargel’s Merchant Pot Zombies (MPZ)

October 9th, 2010

Years ago, long before the arrival of Synchro Monsters, a Deck called “Merchant Pot Turbo” (MPT) captured the imagination of Duelists.  The idea was to run a vast number of monsters and half a dozen Spells or fewer: no Traps.  In doing so, the MPT Duelist could load his Graveyard with monsters via Magical Merchant’s effect, and easily get to powerful Spell Cards like Heavy Storm.  The Deck also ran Pot of Avarice, which was the lynchpin of the strategy; filling the Graveyard with monsters allowed for the immediate activation of Avarice, and the MPT Duelist would shuffle back the 5 most useful monsters from his Graveyard back into his deck to hopefully draw them.  At the time, the strategy chiefly revolved around Summoning as many Chaos Sorcerers as possible.

Today, Robbie Stargel is taking a new approach to the old theme.  While Stargel hopes to Summon Chaos Sorcerer, he’s also playing a variety of Tuner Monsters that take advantage of a filled Graveyard.  Then he takes everything 1 step further by adding a personal twist: a Zombie lineup captained by King of the Skull Servants!  The result is a wacky, unpredictable strategy that’s sure to surprise Stargel’s opponents.  Here’s what it looks like:

Check back after the event is over for the full Deck List.

Check back after the event is over for the full Deck List.

Robbie Stargel’s Merchant Pot Zombies – 40 Cards

Monsters 35:

1 Gorz

1 Dark Armed Dragon

1 Dark Simorgh

1 Chaos Sorcerer

1 Trageodia

2 Dandylion

3 Quickdraw Synchron

2 Lonefire Blossom

2 Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter

1 Tytannial, Princess of Camellias

3 Debris Dragon

1 Spore

1 Card Trooper

1 Skull Servant

3 King of the Skull Servants

2 The Lady in Wight

1 Mezuki

1 Zombie Master

1 Plaguespreader Zombie

1 Beast of the Pharaoh

3 Magical Merchant

1 Necro Gardna

1 Fortune Lady Wind

Spells: 5

2 Pot of Avarice

1 Cold Wave

1 Monster Reborn

1 Giant Trunade

Once Stargel builds his Graveyard, he’s got 3 big ways to leverage it into Duel-winning attacks.  The first is a list of powerful monsters he can Special Summon from his hand: Chaos Sorcerer is a mainstay of this kind of Deck, but it’s joined here by Dark Armed Dragon, Dark Simorgh, and Quickdraw Synchron.  All of these monsters can be big threats on their own, but in an environment packed with Solemn Warning the ability to Special Summon over and over can have an even bigger impact: often, Stargel’s opponent will pay 2000 Life Points to negate the Summon of 1 big monster, only to get knocked below 0 by the next.  Since Stargel can do so much Summoning in a single turn, he doesn’t need individual monsters to stay on the field: 2000 Life Points is 2000 Life Points, whether it’s paid to activate Solemn Warning or lost in battle.  With 46% of the Duelists at YCS San Jose playing Solemn Warning, up from 32% at YCS Toronto, we’re likely to see at least half the field playing Warning here today, and Stargel can capitalize on that with big, easy Special Summons.

Next up is Stargel’s base of Graveyard-loving Tuner monsters.  Spore, Debris Dragon, and Plaguespreader Zombie all have effects that take advantage of Stargel’s Magical Merchants, Card Trooper, and Ryko, Lightsworn Hunters.  The right Graveyard setup can see him Synchro Summon twice in a given turn, without costing him alot of cards in the process.

Finally, the third arm of this three-pronged offense comes from King of the Skull Servants.  With 3 copies of the King, plus The Lady in Wight to back it up, Stargel can devastate half of his opponent’s Life Points with a single attack.  It can be Special Summoned from the Graveyard with Zombie Master and Mezuki, too, so those Graveyard-filling effects don’t just power up the King: they also make it easier for Stargel to get the King to the field in the first place.  Once the King has been Summoned, its second effect lets Stargel repeatedly bring it back from the Graveyard should it be destroyed.

With so many different monsters in the Deck, Stargel’s got lots of tricks up his sleeve.  “Fortune Lady Wind helps me eliminate back row cards, since I don’t have much removal, and it combos with Dark Simorgh.”  While Breaker the Magical Warrior might seem like a good call here, Lady Wind is too small to destroy with Bottomless Trap Hole, making it tougher to stop her when Stargel needs to destroy a specific card like Royal Oppression.

Beast of the Pharaoh is another top pick with some super-cool combos to go with it.  If you’re not familiar with Beast of the Pharaoh, its ability lets its controller Special Summon a Zombie from their Graveyard when they use the Beast as a Synchro Material Monster.  That means Stargel can wipe the field with Black Rose, then Special Summon Zombie Master or King of the Skull Servants to the now-empty field, not unlike what Quickdraw Duelists do with Debris Dragon and Dandylion.  “The Lady in Wight is another Debris Dragon target,” continued stargel.  “She’s a 2200 DEF defender that can stall while I set up.  There’s a lot of synergy between all the different cards.”

And the matchups?  “It fares well against Sabers: this Deck makes their Trap Stuns dead and can Summon 3-4 monsters fast enough to take the win.  I haven’t tested as much against Gladiator Beasts, but if I can combo off quickly enough it doesn’t matter.”  Sounds good, but Stargel was well aware of the matchups where he’d need to be more careful: “Blackwings trample this Deck since Shura is great against the Merchants, but it also depends on how they start up – whether they have Oppression or not makes a big difference.  Bora hurts my deck a good bit, but I’ve noticed people are playing fewer copies: a lot of people are down to just 2 Boras instead of 3.”

Stargel’s comment about Trap Stun is a really important point.  About half of the competitors at YCS San Jose ran Trap Stun, and even more ran double Mystical Space Typhoon.  Many of the Duelists with strong rankings in the later rounds ran 2 of each, and others used Seven Tools of the Bandit: it’s very common right now for a strong Duelist to run 4 or 5 cards that do nothing but destroy or negate back row cards.  Against most opponents that’s a good balance: but against Stargel, those are all dead cards because he doesn’t Set anything.

Stargel’s Merchant Pot Zombie Deck is a mix we love to see: while it’s creative, fun, and totally off-the-wall, it also takes advantage of big trends we’re likely to see in today’s tournament.  Does Stargel’s Deck have that perfect blend of originality and competitive insight?  We’ll find out as we see follow his performance today.