Home > 2016/04 - Houston, Texas, Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series > Tech Update: Burning Abyss Phantom Knights

Tech Update: Burning Abyss Phantom Knights

April 9th, 2016

Burning Abyss was a dominate force in the competitive scene for a while, but after taking several hits from the Forbidden & Limited List we thought we had seen the last of it. However, Phantom Knights showed a lot of success at the UDS Invitational in Los Angeles, and at YCS Las Vegas we saw both Decks merge into a cohesive strategy. Basically, because both engines are trying to abuse Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss, you can get the early acceleration and value that Burning Abyss provides while giving you the inevitability and resources of the Phantom Knights.


Since then, a lot has happened and the strategy has taken a few interesting terms. Now Duelists are even arguing whether or not its best Deck in the field, even before the Forbidden & Limited List takes effect. But why is it so powerful?

The new addition of Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal from Premium Gold: Infinite Gold gave the Deck a huge boost. It accomplishes everything the Deck wants to by providing a way to effectively churn out advantage while also giving the pilot a ton of options. She can send anything to the Graveyard, so whether it be a Burning Abyss, a Phantom Knight, or even a Breakthrough Skill, Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal has you covered. This becomes especially important when considering all of the potential Burning Abyss effects you can activate during your opponent’s turn. Farfa, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss for example is much stronger when you get to choose when and what to disrupt, so you can make plays based on whatever your opponent is trying to do.

However, it isn’t just Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal that has caused this Deck to rise in success. A couple specific tech choices have also pushed it over the top, the first being Mask Change II. The first aspect of Mask Change II that allows it to fit so well is that it helps you discard Burning Abyss or Phantom Knight cards that you’d rather have in the Graveyard. The real kicker though is how well Masked HERO Dark Law is positioned right now. Banishing your opponents cards is strong, and is especially effective against Graveyard based strategies such as Burning Abyss Phantom Knights or Atlanteans. It’s also great against Pendulums so you can make sure they don’t hit the Extra Deck. Most strategies search an abundance of cards as well, so Masked HERO Dark Law basically banishing a card every turn for free or forcing your opponent not to search is fantastic.

The next piece of noteworthy tech has been Booby Trap E. Continuous Traps have been the bane of many Duelists existence, whether it be from the olden days of Imperial Order or Royal Oppression to newer tools such as Vanity’s Emptiness or Anti-Spell Fragrance. If Burning Abyss Phantom Knights can disrupt their opponent for a single turn, they can usually amass enough damage to end the Duels shortly after. Booby Trap E gives you better access to these cards because by letting you take the ones milled by Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss and put them into play, or even send one with Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal and get it back immediately. While Vanity’s Emptiness and Anti-Spell Fragrance are the most popular choices, Xing Zhen Hu has also made an appearance as a way to easily deal with backrow so they can press for game.

The last tech that seems worth talking about is the inclusion of Kaijus. Kozmos pose a threat to Burning Abyss Phantom Knights because the large ships are very difficult to deal with. However, with a single Kaiju a lot of problems can be solved by tributing away the Kozmo Dark Destroyer for a Monster that is much more easily removed. Along with a few Kaijus, Duelists have also included Interrupted Kaiju Slumber as a powerful Dark Hole esque effect. Not only will they be Summoning a Kaiju large enough to defeat the opposing one, but the additional upside of banishing Interrupted Kaiju Slumber from the Graveyard to add a Kaiju is also great. This allows Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss to potentially mill one early, or even have Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal send the Spell so you can search a Kaiju.

For all of these reasons and many more, we have a ton of Duelists bringing Burning Abyss Phantom Knights to the tournament this weekend. Will it be able to compete with the dominance that Performapals have shown thus far? We’ll have to see tomorrow.