Home > Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2016 > 2016 World Championship Format Deck Analysis: Burning Abyss & Phantom Knights

2016 World Championship Format Deck Analysis: Burning Abyss & Phantom Knights

August 20th, 2016

The Forbidden & Limited List (F&L) for the World Championship is a special mix of both the TCG and OCG lists with additional modifications. Because of that, the World Championship becomes a very unique tournament in terms of what strategies are being played. This is a fantastic opportunity for highly skilled Duelists because they can analyze what they think will be the strongest strategies for a completely new environment. Luckily, any Duelist who has made it as far as the World Championship is definitely at that skill caliber, so things are looking exciting for this weekend.

Rank 3 Xyz strategies have been very successful in the TCG and are well known for their consistency. Burning Abyss Decks have been a top contender since their release two years ago, and since then Phantom Knights have also seen success either in combination with Burning Abyss or as their own independent strategy. The big key to both strategies is Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss. Dante allows Rank 3 strategies to dump a ton of cards into the Graveyard quickly, meaning a bunch of free effects for almost no cost. In addition, Dante gives Burning Abyss a way to thrive in the late game by recycling Burning Abyss cards back to the hand. Dante is also the best way to summon Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal for Burning Abyss because all it takes is an additional Malebranche. However, Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss is Limited in the OCG along with Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, and both of those cards are Limited in this weekend’s tournament; so how can Rank 3 Xyz strategies find success this weekend?

Is having only a single Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss an issue? Yes and no. For standard Burning Abyss it’s surprisingly not that bad, because as soon as a single Dante hits the table you can discard a Malebranche to rank it up into Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal, which gives you access to your whole Deck. This lets you assemble the combo of Dante along with Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss so you can have them looping each other for the rest of the game. Beatrice is one of the big reasons why Burning Abyss is so strong in the TCG right now, and only having a single Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss doesn’t change that.

However, other Rank 3 strategies do lose out. They cannot recycle Dante the same way unless they’re using some tech to do it, so once they use Dante they’re out of acceleration. However, Phantom Knights only need Dante in the very early stages of the game. If they can fill their Graveyard, then Leviair the Sea Dragon can start getting their Phantom Knights back from the Banished Zone and onto the field so that they’ll eventually hit the Graveyard and start the cycle all over again. The Phantom Knights of Break Sword is also an obvious powerhouse, even more so in pure Phantom Knights because it gives them access to Rank 4 Xyz as well.

Losing out on two copies of Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss from the standard Burning Abyss Deck is a bit rough simply because there are only so many good Malebranches. There are an abundance of them that can fill the slot, but none compare to the original three Malebranches that were released in Duelist Alliance, so the overall card quality is definitely lower for this tournament.

However, all of the most powerful reasons to play Rank 3 strategies are still intact. Speedroid Terrortop does so much for a single card, getting whatever Rank 3 you want into play without any setup. Speedroid Terrortop is so good in fact that it is played in several strategies that don’t even necessarily hinge on Rank 3 Xyz Summons, but might want access to Terrortop just because of how much it does for so little. It can provide materials for Xyz or Synchro Summons, and even Tribute fodder for the Monarch strategy. It’s a total all-star.

Will Burning Abyss, Phantom Knights, or some combination of the two take down the weekend? Stay tuned to coverage to find out!