Extreme Victory Tech Update

May 22nd, 2011

Now that we’ve finished watching Extreme Victory-powered Decks fight it out through the playoff rounds,  it’s the perfect time for a Tech Update! Here are some of the Extreme Victory cards that are seeing play in all kinds of Decks.  Each has seen use in a spread of Decks here in Orlando, so they might fit into one of yours.  Especially…

Reborn Tengu:
A lot of Duelists came into this tournament believing that Reborn Tengu was a card strictly for use in combo Decks that could abuse it and generate a lot of Synchro Summons in a short span of time.  It’s definitely good in those types of strategies – Duelists like Juan Morales with his Birdman Tengu Deck, and Alex Vansant with his Ultimate Offering Tengu build have demonstrated that by making it to the Top 32.  But it’s also just an incredible attacker that can build momentum when no other monster can, and it’s an awesome piece of defense in a format where that can be worth its weight in gold.

Hand of the Six Samurai; Gravekeeper’s Descendant; Gladiator Beast Gyzarus; Gemini Spark… None of those cards can touch Tengu.  And while a surprising number of competitors opted not to run Tengu simply because they feared the chance of drawing two copies in their opening hand, the number of Tengus being played in the Top 32 suggests that wasn’t the right call.  In fact, a bit of math suggest the same conclusion.  Realistically, the odds of drawing two Tengus in your opening hand with a 40 card Deck is about 5% – statistically insignificant, happening once in 20 games.  Decks like Samurais that are theme-heavy may not have room to play Tengu, but in anything else, it’s definitely worth finding space for.  We can expect to see more and more of this card as the Summer progresses.

Gladiator Taming:
A lot of Gladiator Beast Duelists finished with good records in Day 1, and just like in Anaheim, Gladiators made the Top 32 again.  While Gladiator Taming wasn’t in every Duelist’s Side Deck, it was extremely popular for Gladiator Beast Duelists themselves, who can put it to better use than others.  While a non-Gladiator Duelist would have to have a Tuner or a Tribute Monster to pair with the Gladiator they’d take with Taming, a Gladiator player can attack with the stolen monster and tag it out.  Alternatively, they can pair it with the appropriate Gladiator Beast on their side of the field, and tag for Gladiator Beast Gyzarus, Gladiator Beast Heraklinos, or Gladiator Beast Essadari.  If Gladiators gain momentum over the coming months, we’re bound to see a lot more of this card.

Safe Zone:
We saw Safe Zone played in a variety of Decks, with two big standouts: Gladiator Beasts, and Victor Santana’s “Heralds of Hope” Deck.  In the Herald Deck, Santana played Safe Zone to protect Herald of Perfection, keeping it safe from battle and from targeted effects.  That allowed him to play fewer Fairies, and let him use the Fairies he did play to focus on the negation of his opponent’s best moves (instead of just keeping Herald of Perfection alive).  Safe Zone would frequently shut down several cards Santana’s opponent would’ve otherwise used to take out the Herald.  That let him dodge multiple threats with just a single card, instead of forcing him to go card-for-card negating everything.

Gladiator Beast decks used Safe Zone to accomplish a variety of goals this weekend.  When a Gladiator was attacked by a bigger monster, Safe Zone became a mini Waboku, letting the Gladiator survive and tag out.  If a Gladiator Beast attacked into something like Mirror Force, Safe Zone would keep it around; even if that monster couldn’t make direct attacks anymore, it could still tag for a Gyzarus or another Fusion Monster.  It can be Chained to effects like those of Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter or Torrential Tribute, too.

But all that aside, one of the coolest things about Safe Zone is that you can attach it to your opponent’s monsters, too – not just your own.  That means you can stop a monster from making a direct attack, and you can take things even further under the right conditions. When Safe Zone is destroyed, the monster it’s attached to is destroyed as well.  So, if your opponent targets your face-down Safe Zone with something like Mystical Space Typhoon or Dust Tornado, you can Chain the Zone; target your opponent’s best Attack Position monster; and destroy it with Safe Zone’s effect once the Chain resolves.  Your opponent loses their removal card and their monster, while you only lose your single Trap Card.  Since Safe Zone’s a Continuous Trap, the destruction effect won’t start a Chain, either: that means you can’t stop it with a Chainable solution, like Stardust Dragon.  Cool stuff.

Elder of the Six Samurai:
Elder of the Six Samurai made a big impact in Six Samurai Decks this weekend.  Since it has the same ATK as Kagemusha of the Six Samurai, it can be Special Summoned with Asceticism of the Six Samurai when you control Kagemusha.  Alternatively, you can Summon the Elder and then use Asceticism to get Kagemusha from your Deck as well.  From there, a Samurai Duelist can Synchro Summon Naturia Beast or Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En.  Elder’s own Special Summon effect is pretty handy too, giving you another way to make Shi En with just a single Normal Summon.

But we saw Elder of the Six Samurai played in other Decks as well, strictly because it allows Duelists to splash Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En.  If your Deck has a Level 2 Warrior-Type Tuner, you can tech Elder and have the right Synchro Materials to bring out the feared Samurai Synchro.  X-Sabers can do it with X-Saber Pashuul, and T.G.’s can do it with T.G. Striker.  We saw Striker splashed into different Decks as well, including Blake Brown’s Top 32 Striker Zombies, so there’s a ton of potential for Shi En to just start showing up in places you wouldn’t normally see him.

Tour Guide From the Underworld:
Rounding out our countdown, Tour Guide From the Underworld saw play in all sorts of Synchro strategies this weekend, including several piloted by former Championship-winning Duelists.  The main reason for this trend was Sangan: the ability to get to it reliably meant that a Synchro-minded Duelist could have easy access to precise combo pieces.  Stuff like Debris Dragon, Lonefire Blossom, and Glow-Up Bulb were suddenly far easier to get to, bringing consistency and speed in a field that often hinges completely on those two factors.  If Sangan is already in play, a Duelist running Tour Guide can search out another Guide and use the first one as Synchro Materials while the second defends.  Some even went so far as to play a copy of Dark Mimic LV3, getting a little bit of draw power and defensive action in the process.

With theme-specific cards like W Nebula Meteorite, Dodger Dragon, Scrap Orthros, and Shien’s Dojo also appearing repeatedly this weekend, there was a lot of Extreme Victory being played here in Orlando.  If you’re not familiar with the set yet, definitely take some time to check it out.  A vast number of Decks in the Top 32 this weekend were made possible strictly by new cards, so you may find something for your strategy.