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Wotansday Night Matchup: Six Samurai VS Plant Synchro

February 9th, 2011

For the past few months Plant Synchro has been a very strong Deck, winning 2 YCS events (Milan and Philadelphia). With little combos that result in big rewards and enough versatility for Duelists to try out any card they want it’s been a popular choice as well. From now on, it’ll have some serious competition at the top tables thanks to the new Six Samurai Decks, fresh off their massive boost in power from Storm of Ragnarok’s Legendary Six Samurai. What will happen when these 2 Decks face off?


The Six Samurai vs Plant Synchro matchup is an interesting one because of how both Decks like to play out their Duels. Plant Duelists need time to set up their main plays (like getting a Dandylion into the Graveyard to use with Debris Dragon or Summon Fluff Tokens) whereas a Six Samurai Duelist can kick things off in a big way on their very first turn. The aim for each Duelist will be to force the other one to play at their speed; the Plant Synchro Duelist holding off his opponent long enough to get things going, and the Samurai Duelist rushing his opponent before that can happen.

If you’re playing Six Samurai the aim will be to get Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En on to the field as quickly as possible and then back it up with Musakani Magatama, Solemn Warning or something else that can keep you safe from the effects of your opponent’s monsters. The reason for this is that Shi En does a great job of negating your opponent’s Spells and Traps, but can’t do anything to their monsters, and monster effects are the strongest tools in a Plant Synchro Duelist’s arsenal. Without any protection you could lose your Shi En to Caius the Shadow Monarch, any card to Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter or Scrap Dragon, or even all of your cards to Black Rose Dragon, which Plant Duelists can Summon practically at will.

If you’re on the other side of the table the aim should be to disrupt your opponent’s combos as much as possible, and then take advantage of their empty field by getting in as many direct attacks as you can. In the past this meant simply Setting Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter and getting its effect to go off, but with Kagemusha of the Six Samurai stopping you from destroying other Samurai and Hand of the Six Samurai and The Six Samurai – Irou getting rid of it altogether that Ryko’s not going to be as powerful as you think.

Since your opponent’s monsters can all protect each other you’re going to have to go for their Spells and Traps, especially Gateway of the Six. Most of your opponent’s combos will revolve around Gateway, and it’s difficult for your opponent to Summon several monsters without it, so whenever you see it on the field, destroy it as soon as possible! Ryko will be able to do this of course, but there’s also Mystical Space Typhoon and Raigeki Break. Many Duelists have been using Phoenix Wing Wind Blast recently because of the many uses it has in the Deck (discarding cards like Dandylion makes it even better) but those Duelists are now switching to Raigeki Break because it permanently gets rid of Gateway instead of just holding your opponent off for a turn.

Even with the above tactics it’s going to be difficult for Plant Synchro to keep up with the pace of Six Samurai so more drastic changes may have to be made to the Main Deck in order to beat them. One popular route is to add more LIGHT and DARK monsters to your Deck along with 2 Chaos Sorcerers. The Deck already has quite a few LIGHT monsters (like Ryko, Effect Veiler and Formula Synchron) as well as a few DARKs (Caius the Shadow Monarch and Sangan) so a few more of each will be enough to support your Chaos Sorcerers. An extra DARK monster to consider would be Mystic Tomato, which can be Summoned by Lonefire Blossom, fill up the Graveyard for Pot of Avarice, and turn Spore into a Level 5 Tuner. Another LIGHT monster to add would be Cyber Dragon, which can take down most Samurai in battle and also give you more Synchro Summon options when you’re facing down a Shi En.

Going back to Samurai, there are some great cards that you can make use of in your Side Deck that very few other Decks can use. First up is Rivalry of Warlords, which forces each Duelist to only have 1 Type of monster on the field. Since all your Samurai are Warrior-Types your Deck is unaffected, but your opponent will be in all sorts of trouble! They can’t Summon anything with Debris Dragon, can’t Tribute a Fluff Token for Caius unless they have no other monsters, and even then they’d be forced to Set it instead, and will be forced to get rid of any extra Types of monsters they control when you activate Rivalry. Another great card is Grave of the Super Ancient Organism, which prevents all Level 6 or higher monsters that were Special Summoned from attacking or activating their effects. Pretty much all of your Deck, including Shi En, consists of Level 5 or lower monsters, and many of the Plant Deck’s heavy hitters (Synchro Monsters and Chaos Sorcerer) are Level 6 or higher, so like Rivalry you remain unaffected while your opponent’s struggling! Back either of these cards up with a Shi En and there’s almost no way for them to make a comeback.

No matter which side of the table you’re on, this is a difficult matchup purely because of the different levels of speed that each Deck is comfortable with, but with the above advice and enough practice you’ll know what to do when you’re facing off against either Deck. This is the matchup that’ll almost certainly decide who wins YCS Dallas, and will make for some exciting Feature Matches be sure to head over to the coverage page this weekend to see all the action unfold!