Home > 2016 North American WCQ, Championships > Deck Analysis: Card of Demise

Deck Analysis: Card of Demise

July 10th, 2016

While not a theme or an archetype, Card of Demise has basically become a strategy on its own. Whether it’s reviving an old Deck or giving fire to a new one, it has completely reshaped how Trap-based strategies are being played. Right now, reactive strategies are a huge disadvantage. Burning Abyss and Monarchs are both so good at being proactive, generating a ton of free cards while just following their normal game plan. If you’re trying to disrupt them, you usually end up at a deficit because your Trap Cards can only answer so much.

How do you solve this problem? Initially it was a fast clock. If you have high damage output and come out of the gate quickly, it’s okay if you can only disrupt your opponent so much. All you need is to make an opening long enough for you to end the game, so the fact that your cards aren’t grinding efficiently doesn’t make too much of a difference. However, Card of Demise gives you a better way to grind. You can still trade your Trap Cards just like you did before, and even if you can’t do it very efficiently you can count of Card of Demise to gas you back up.

However, it’s not as easy as jamming Card of Demise in your Deck and going from there. Card of Demise specifically works in Trap-centric strategies because Trap Cards give you a good way to get rid of your hand without Special Summoning. You want to have nothing in your hand when you activate Card of Demise and during the end of your turn to maximize its value. Having a low monster count also helps this, because unless they are Pendulums they are typically stuck in your hand.

In addition to low monster counts and high trap lineups, utilizing additional Card Zones is also important. For example, Pendulums utilize an additional two zones that otherwise can’t be accessed. Similarly, Field Spells also use an additional zone that most strategies can’t. The Deck is built around Card of Demise, so you want to make sure it’s powerful as possible when you use it. The biggest problem? Finding the Card of Demise. Duelists have done everything from Pot of Duality, to Into the Void, and even Kuribandit as ways to get to it faster. Card of Demise is so integral that they basically need to find it within the first couple turns or else all of those bad Trap Card trades can add up to defeat.

So with all of that, what Deck do you play? Well the most popular by far is the spaceship menace. Fast damage from Farmgirl paired with the impressive power of Dark Destroyer can spell quick defeat. It is also very good at interacting during the opponent’s turn by Special Summoning, so you get around that drawback of Card of Demise by just doing everything you want during your opponent’s turn and having enough damage to win the following turn. You have a Field Spell to shuffle back any dead monsters you don’t want, as well as the upside of wanting your large spaceships in the Graveyard for your Call of the Haunted and Oasis of Dragon Souls.

Other Card of Demise strategies that have seen a lot of success include Qliphorts and Majespecters. Pendulums let you utilize additional zones, but how each decides to attack is a bit different. Qliphorts don’t provide you with a fast clock but it does have access to a bunch of powerful Trap Cards that can hinder your opponent. Between Skill Drain, Gozen Match, Rivalry of Warlords, Lose 1 Turn, and a plethora of others, the opponent’s Deck typically just can’t do what it wants to. Majespecters on the other hand try to abuse Pendulum Summoning as much as they can because every Majespecter effect activation means another card, so it can actually out-grind the opponent without needing a fast clock.

Other Decks that want to use Card of Demise? Basically any that has more than 10 Trap Cards. We have seen everything from Geargia to Gravekeeper put up decent showings all because of Card of Demise, so if you’re trying to rework an older strategy that is Trap-centric then there probably isn’t a better time to do it. Even Trap Cards right now are more powerful than they used to be. Drowning Mirror Force and Solemn Strike are both insanely strong, so it makes a lot of sense why we see Card of Demise do so much right now.

Do you think a Card of Demise strategy will come out on top? Which do you think it will be? Make sure to catch Live Coverage on Sunday to find out!