Monday Night Matchup: Fish VS Six Samurai
With a new format come new Decks, new Duels, new tactics, and also the return of the Monday Night Matchups! This week we’re looking at the matchup that decided Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series Charlotte and seeing what happens when 2 of the fastest Decks around collide. It’s Fish versus Samurai!
How do these Decks work?
Both of these Decks are able to overwhelm opponents in a single turn, moreso Fish than Six Samurai now that Gateway of the Six is Limited. With Fish the aim is to Summon Superancient Deepsea King Coelacanth and use its effect to Special Summon 4 more Fish-Type monsters from your Deck (2 Oyster Meister and 2 Fishborg Blaster usually). After that you Synchro Summon Colossal Fighter and Armory Arm to instantly defeat your opponent (by equipping Arm to your opponent’s monster you can keep using your Colossal Fighter to attack into it and your opponent loses a huge chunk of Life Points every time) or bring out Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier and Sea Dragon Lord Gishilnodon and attack with all of your high ATK monsters directly. When the Deck doesn’t have its main combo set up the aim is to defend for as long as possible with various Frog monsters (Dupe Frog being the most reliable) while getting ready to Tribute Summon Coelacanth as soon as possible.
Six Samurai needs no introduction as it’s been the one Deck everybody’s been talking about for the past month. What a Samurai Duelist often tries to do is Synchro Summon Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En and back it up with wither Musakani Magatama or Solemn Warning to “lock out” the opponent. The Deck can still make huge plays with Gateway and Double-Edged Sword Technique though, sometimes ending Duels just as quickly as Fish aims to do.
How can Fish beat Samurai?
The key to beating Samurai is in stopping their Set Spells and Traps from ruining your Duel-winning combo, as once it goes off you have enough Synchro options to deal with whatever monsters they control. Solemn Warning is the most threatening as it will stop you from Summoning Superancient Deepsea King Coelacanth, and also negate its effect if your opponent lets you Summon it. Solemn Judgment, Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute are Trap Cards you have to face no matter what deck you play against, and some Samurai Duelists are even trying out Compulsory Evacuation Device and Royal Oppression in order to give themselves more protection options when they have a Shi En on the field.
Outside of Book of Moon, all of the cards your opponent will most likely be playing to stop you are Trap Cards, so Trap Stun will be of great use to you when you’re up against Six Samurai. Trap Stun won’t “lock up” your Treeborn Frog in the Graveyard either, as you can activate it at the start of your Standby Phase before Special Summoning Treeborn right after it. Giant Trunade is another key card you’ll need to ensure your combo goes off safely, and if your opponent controls a Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En you may need to have both Trunade and Trap Stun ready so that your opponent can’t negate everything. Another card to watch out for is Effect Veiler, but at the moment not many Samurai Duelists are using it in their Main Decks so you should be safe from its effect in Duel 1.
How can Samurai defeat Fish?
For Six Samurai, the aim in this matchup should be to defeat your opponent before they get a chance to pull off their Coelacanth combo, getting in Life Point damage wherever possible and then have a way to deal with Superancient Deepsea King Coelacanth when your opponent tries to Summon it. Any Solemn Warnings should be saved for the Coelacanth itself, and Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En should be used to negate Giant Trunade and Trap Stun the moment your opponent activates them. It might also be a good idea to Set any Spells and Traps you have when you Summon Shi En, in order to make your opponent think you have enough cards to stop their big play, and slow them down enough to seal the Duel with your attacks over the next few turns. One of the best cards to bluff your opponent with is Double-Edged Sword Technique, and if you can make your opponent think it’s a Solemn Warning you can swing things in your favour in a huge way when you’re ready to activate it.
If your opponent doesn’t have all the cards they need to win the Duel, they’ll often be defending themselves with multiple Dupe Frogs (with 2 on the field you won’t be able to attack) so you should use your Shien’s Smoke Signal or Reinforcement of the Army to get Hand of the Six Samurai (or Legendary Six Samurai – Mizuho if you use it) and then destroy one (or both) of the Frogs with its effect and attack over the other one. Your opponent will add Swap Frog to their hand in order to set up a Tribute Summon (by Special Summoning itself before sending Treeborn Frog or Ronintoadin to the Graveyard) so when you’re attacking get ready for a Coelacanth to hit the field in the next few turns.
There are some cards that Six Samurai Duelists aren’t using that may be of huge benefit in this matchup. First up is Effect Veiler, which can shut down several stages of the Fish combo. Most Duelists have this card in their Side Decks already, but with Fish Decks becoming more popular thanks to their success at YCS Charlotte it may be a good idea to move a Veiler or 2 to the Main Deck to shut them down. The other card to consider is Dimensional Fissure, something that very few Duelists are prepared for right now. While Dimensional Fissure is face-up any monsters that would go to the Graveyard are removed from play instead, and the Fish Deck is far more reliant on Special Summoning monsters from the Graveyard (Treeborn Frog, Ronintoadin and Fishborg Blaster being 3 examples) than most so it will struggle while you control this card. Back it up with a Shi En and there’s almost nothing they can do! If you’re Side-Decking this card you can swap out your Double-Edged Sword Techniques for it in Duel 2 since you won’t be using your Graveyard as much.
Both of these Decks are very strong, can win Duels in an instant and are difficult to stop. Now that you’ll see them both on the top tables more often this is one matchup you need to be prepared for!