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Why “No Heavy Storm” Doesn’t Mean You Can Just Set 4 Cards and Win

October 6th, 2010

With Heavy Storm now Forbidden, Duelists are Setting more cards to their Spell and Trap Card Zones.  It’s easy to understand why: in the past, Heavy Storm meant that any Deck had a chance to destroy all the cards in your back row.  Now, that isn’t true.

But what many Duelists forget is that there are plenty of cards that can still wipe out your Spells and Traps.  If you play those cards you have a big advantage over opponents who forget about the destruction cards beyond Heavy Storm: depending on what Deck you’re up against, you might be taking a big risk by Setting that second, third, or fourth card.  Just because Heavy Storm is gone, doesn’t mean you can Set 4 cards and win.

These cards can destroy all of your Spells and Traps!

These cards can destroy all of your Spells and Traps!

Here are five cards that can easily destroy more than half of your Spell and Trap Card Zone.  Each is unique to a particular Deck:

-Quickdraw and Monster Surge Duelists can use Junk Synchron or Quickdraw Synchron to Synchro Summon Junk Destroyer, destroying a card for every non-Tuner Synchro Material Monster used.  It can easily destroy 2 or 3 cards at once.

-XX-Saber Hyunlei can destroy up to 3 of your Spells and Traps, and it’s easy for an X-Saber Duelist to Synchro Summon.

-Delta Crow – Anti Reverse can destroy everything Set in your Spell and Trap Card Zone, any time your opponent controls a face-up Blackwing monster.

-Reckoned Power brings mass destruction to the Koa’ki Meiru!  All they need is a copy of Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru in hand to activate it.

-A Wingbeat of Giant Dragon destroys all Spell and Trap Cards on the field.  All you have to do to activate it is send a Level 5 or higher Dragon-Type monster back to your hand, which is easy to do with Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon.

That’s about half a dozen Decks right there that can clear your entire back row in one shot!  And that’s not even the complete list: more cards like Gigantes and Sacred Phoenix of Nephthys have similar effects.  The rough part is that even if you approach those Decks with caution, a handful of non-themed cards could still blow away your Spell and Trap Card Zone when you Duel other Decks.  Check these out:

These 2 cards could strike at any time, from any Deck!

These 2 cards could strike at any time, from any Deck!

Malevolent Catastrophe and Black Rose Dragon are easy to play in almost any Deck.  Catastrophe fits into virtually anything: it’s a Trap Card that you can activate when your opponent attacks, and from there it’s just like Heavy Storm – it destroys all Spell and Trap Cards.  Black Rose Dragon is a must-play for any Deck that can Synchro Summon: it was Limited until September 1st, and since you can now play as many as 3 copies in your Extra Deck, you need to keep it in mind all the time.

Creative Chaining can sometimes save you, but not against these cards!

Creative Chaining can sometimes save you, but not against these cards!

Sometimes when your opponent activates a card to try and wipe your Spell and Trap Card Zone, you can Chain those cards to at least get their effects: cards like Book of Moon, Reckless Greed, and Mystical Space Typhoon are good examples.  But savvy opponents are always going to try and keep you from Chaining, and they’ll use cards like those shown above to do it.  Trap Stun and Royal Decree can keep you from Chaining your Trap Cards, while Cold Wave will shut down both Spells and Traps.  Sometimes, timing alone will work against you.  For instance, if your opponent flips Reckoned Power or Delta Crow – Anti Reverse in the End Phase when you just Set several Traps, you won’t be able to respond by Chaining them, simply because you Set them that turn.

When your opponent tries to wipe you out, certain cards can save you.

When your opponent tries to wipe you out, certain cards can save you.

So how do you keep yourself safe from Hyunlei or Delta Crow?  Playing carefully is always the first line of defense: if your opponent has a face-up X-Saber and you think he might have a matching Synchro Material to make Hyunlei, don’t Set too many cards.  If your opponent has a Set card that could be Delta Crow, and he controls a face-up Blackwing, that’s another red flag.  As long as you’re always aware of the risks, you can make the right plays.

At the same time, certain cards can help you when your opponent tries to demolish your back row.  Threatening Roar and Scapegoat are both powerful defensive cards that can be Chained to the activation of a big removal card: or they can be Chained to something like Trap Stun or Cold Wave.  If your opponent doesn’t have a card to stop you from Chaining, you can always activate Starlight Road, too: since it negates your opponent’s destruction card, AND Special Summons Stardust Dragon, it’s really powerful.  It can negate Dark Hole, Mirror Force, and Torrential Tribute, too.

Dueling has definitely changed now that Heavy Storm is gone, but you still need to be careful with how many cards you Set to your Spell and Trap Card Zone.  Remember which Decks have cards that can destroy your back row, and don’t forget about the cards that can do the same for other Decks.  A little bit of caution can win you a lot of Duels.