Home > 2011/09 - Toronto, Canada, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Deck Profile: Bobby Barone’s Mask Change HERO Deck

Deck Profile: Bobby Barone’s Mask Change HERO Deck

September 17th, 2011

It’s early here Saturday, but most Duelists are already anticipating Agents and Plant Synchro variants to be the two most important match-ups of the day. The stage is set for innovation, and Toronto’s own Bobby Barone is rising to the challenge! His strategy? A HERO Beatdown Deck that borrows from the Gemini HERO Decks of old, but that adds a fistful of new twists hinging on the new Spell Card, Mask Change. The surprise all-star of the strategy? None other than Elemental HERO Ice Edge, a pint-sized direct attacker that’s taken on a whole new role as of September 1st.

Barone’s Deck is built around fast, tricky attackers with high ATK, like Elemental HERO Neos Alius; Elemental HERO Stratos; and the deadly Thunder King Rai-Oh. Protecting Thunder King can easily clinch Duels in this format, where it stops everything from Synchro Monsters and Xyz Monsters, to Master Hyperion and Archlord Kristya. This Deck is packed with monster removal to break up the opponent’s strategy and allow for direct attacks, and that lets Barone keep Thunder King on the table. But it’s not just a simple Beatdown. Triple Miracle Fusion and double Mask Change means plenty of big Fusion Monsters, while Ice Edge adds a new element of backrow disruption that this strategy’s never had before. Here’s what it looks like:

Bobby Baroen’s Mask Change HERO Deck – 40 Cards
(Off saving the day, currently unavailable)

Mask Change is clutch for this strategy. Barone explained: “I make use of Mask Change to not only give me access to Masked HERO Vapor and Masked HERO Goka, but also to allow my Miracle Fusion to get out Elemental HERO Absolute Zero; Elemental HERO The Shining; or Elemental HERO Nova Master.” A single Mask Change can help Barone make Miracle Fusion a live card in the early turns of a Duel, speeding the Deck along when he only opens with a single Elemental HERO. A lot of HERO builds run into a familiar problem on a regular basis: they start with Miracle Fusion in hand, but either can’t get the Graveyard presence quickly enough, or never get to play Miracle at all. Mask Change is a great solution: it gets that first HERO to the Graveyard, and Summons a second, much bigger one to pose an immediate threat as Barone requires it. Once that monster is destroyed, he’s got two HERO cards in the Graveyard to use with Miracle Fusion.

Mask Change also lets Barone bring out new attackers during the Battle Phase, since it’s a Quickplay Spell; it lets him play around Bottomless Trap Hole and Dimensional Prison by Chaining to them; and it gives him access to the powerful Masked HERO Vapor. Since Vapor can’t be destroyed by effects, it’s unaffected by everything from Master Hyperion to Torrential Tribute. Very few competitors are going to be ready for Mask Change, and since it’s so flexible and so useful in so many situations, it’s going to be a big factor in Barone’s success today. It even helps him play the darkhorse star of the Deck, Elemental HERO Ice Edge.

Ice Edge is an 800 ATK monster that can make direct attacks: when it deals Battle Damage to an opponent, its effect can destroy a Set card of its controller’s choice. It’s really good at forcing an opponent to activate Solemn Warning (since if it hits, the opponent would lose their Warning anyway), and it can destroy Bottomless Trap Hole and Set copies of Mystical Space Typhoon. If the opponent tries to banish it with Dimensional Prison, Barone has that threat of Mask Change, throwing it down to swap out Ice Edge for Masked HERO Vapor. Since Vapor can’t be destroyed by effects, the only defensive card that’s effective against it is Dimensional Prison. And if Prison is outplayed by Mask Change, then nothing stands in Vapor’s way. It’s a great little self-reinforcing strategy where everything works together, and that type of synergy is what takes people to the Top 32 of big events like these.

Barone is packing a lot of tricks – we won’t spoil them all, but he did talk about one in particular: Super Polymerization. “Super Poly got a lot better with LIGHT Decks everywhere,” remarked Barone. Super Polymerization can’t be Chained to, so it can’t even be negated by cards like Solemn Judgment and Solemn Warning. It lets Barone fuse one of his Elemental HERO monsters with an opposing FIRE, WATER, or LIGHT monster to make an Elemental HERO Fusion, stealing a monster without any warning to make a big Summon. With Agents and Lightsworn both packing a ton of LIGHT monsters, Barone is able to make big plays that both clear the field, and unleash Elemental HERO The Shining.

Barone’s Deck appears to be unique in today’s field: he’s striking out on his own to try and outplay Agents, Lightsworn, and Plant Synchro. Will he be successful? Only time will tell!