Home > 2016 North American WCQ, Championships > Deck Analysis: Burning Abyss

Deck Analysis: Burning Abyss

July 10th, 2016

Burning Abyss has been in contention as the Deck to beat since its release. It has gone through so many different evolutions, and the fact that it topped the 2015 North American WCQ says a lot. The key to its success has always been consistency. Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, and Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss are all very good at making sure you get to whatever Burning Abyss you want. Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss also only takes two Malebranches to summon, so you can almost guarantee that it’ll hit the Field every game. In addition to that, Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss is the kind of card that can snowball out of control. Sending three cards to the Graveyard every turn is great, and if it’s sent to the Graveyard you also get to add back a Burning Abyss card. Since then the strategy has taken a couple hits, but the release of Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal has shot it back into the spotlight.

Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal does everything and more, giving you access to your entire deck because it can send anything to the Graveyard. With a strategy filled with cards that you want in the Graveyard, Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal becomes a ticking time bomb as it can get out of hand really quickly. If that wasn’t enough, Beatrice is also super resilient. If you manage to destroy her, she’ll Special Summon Dante, Pilgrim of the Burning Abyss straight from the Extra Deck! With a whopping 2800 ATK along with an effect that can ditch your Burning Abyss to draw cards, it makes sense why Duelists go out of their way to make sure it doesn’t hit the Field.

Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal is also absurdly easy to summon. All it takes is a Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss and an additional Burning Abyss to discard, so you’re bound to trigger a couple Malebranches on the way. Then when you detach Dante along with whatever materials are under it, you guarantee even more Graveyard effect triggers to make sure you don’t run out of gas. A threat that’s easy to summon, does a bunch of things, and is resilient? A definite recipe for success.

Because Burning Abyss are so consistent, the variants are pretty streamlined and a ‘pure’ Burning Abyss Deck is a rare sight. Burning Abyss Phantom Knights is by far the most popular, utilizing the Phantom Knight engine to gain more inevitability. The denser your deck is with cards you want in the Graveyard, the better your mills with Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss will be. The Phantom Knights synergize well because they make Rank 3 Xyz, and just give you something to do when your Graveyard is full even if you don’t have much else going on. Phantom Knights’ Fog Blade is also a big reason to use Phantom Knights. Because it can be searched by banishing The Phantom Knight of Silent Boots from the Graveyard, you can make sure you find a Trap even when you don’t open with one. Using Phantom Knights also makes Leviair the Sea Dragon a very strong option, so using this variant gives you access to that as well.

Burning Abyss Kaiju takes the second seat in terms of popularity. Getting access to all of the Kaiju Monsters makes opposing Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal and Kozmo Dark Destroyer laughable because you can tribute them off so easily. In addition, Interrupted Kaiju Slumber is also super strong. If you draw it, a Dark Hole that Special Summons a strong Monster to your side of the Field as well as a weak one to the opposing side is solid. The real upside though is that if you mill it with Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss, you can just banish it to add a Kaiju. Making your Burning Abyss list dense with cards you want in the Graveyard is important to improve your Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss mills, so Interrupted Kaiju Slumber plays a very key role in making sure the Kaiju engine synergizes well with the Burning Abyss.

Burning Abyss Monarchs is the final variant that is worth mentioning. Whether or not this should be discussed in a Deck Analysis for Monarchs or Burning Abyss is a good question, but it’s really so much of both that it’s hard to categorize it. The early game is super similar to Burning Abyss, you want to make Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss and fill your Graveyard, then stack a Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal on top of it. The big difference is that the cards you’re filling the Graveyard with are Monarch cards, so you get the late game inevitability of Pantheism of the Monarchs, The Prime Monarch, and Erebus the Underworld Monarch. Burning Abyss also make great tribute fodder for the large Monarchs because they are easy to put into play and have Graveyard trigger effects, so you can easily set up an Ehther the Heavenly Monarch during the opponent’s turn without losing cards in the process.

Burning Abyss took down both YCS Providence and YCS Origins, so it has a huge target on its head. With powerful Side Deck cards like Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries running around in abundance, can it take a third consecutive win? Make sure to watch coverage on Sunday to find out!