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How Do I Beat Wind-Ups?

July 9th, 2012

Ever since the release of Order of Chaos, Wind-Up Decks have been a force to be reckoned with, and are one of the most powerful Decks you’ll come up against in any Regional Qualifier or YCS you go to. It’s a Deck that can start Duels at a ferocious pace and end them just as quickly, but it’s not unbeatable!


Understanding Wind-Ups.

The first step to defeating a Deck is to understand how it works, as once you know what it can do you can figure out which specific cards/plays you need to stop. Wind-Ups are a strong Deck right now because they have multiple plans of attack: they can either go for a devastating loop with Wind-Up Hunter eliminating several cards from your hand, or Xyz Summon whatever Rank 3, 4, and 5 monster(s) they need to take down your field. All of this can be done with relatively few monsters.

Tour Guide from the Underworld is the easiest way most Decks can Xyz Summon Rank 3 monsters and the card sees play in Wind-Ups as well. Wind-Up Magician is capable of Special Summoning more monsters from your Deck, and Wind-Up Shark can Special Summon itself and tweak its own Level for Xyz Summons.

Finally, the Wind-Up Xyz Monsters are some of the strongest you’ll come across. Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity is a key component in the “Hunter Loop”, letting your opponent Summon more monsters for free. Wind-Up Zenmaines is a tough-to-destroy monster that can also destroy opposing cards, and Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh can clear your field of Set cards. Wind-Up Duelists also have access to other strong Xyz Monsters like Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon.

You may already use these cards.

You may already use these cards.

Beating Wind-Ups.

The key to beating Wind-Ups is knowing which of the above plays they’re likely to make and then cutting them off from doing it at the right time. Cards like Solemn Warning and Torrential Tribute are some of the most effective to use against Wind-Ups, but it’s important to activate them at the right time or else they’ll go to waste. This was exemplified in the recent WCQs, including the finals of the North American WCQ where a mistimed Maxx “C” in Duel One of the finals may very well have cost Robert Lewis the crown.

In the early stages of a Duel, most Wind-Up Duelists will aim to start the “Hunter Loop” by Xyz Summoning Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity, before using its effect to Summon whichever remaining combo piece they need. If you’re using Bottomless Trap Hole, try to save it for when they Summon Wind-Up Hunter; most Duelists only use 1 copy and once it’s gone you won’t be losing any cards from your hand for the Duel! Torrential Tribute and Solemn Warning are best saved for when Zenmaity hits the field, before they use it to Summon more monsters.

If your opponent is simply setting up Xyz Summons, you’ll have to analyse their field to see what Xyz Monsters they can Summon. If you expect them to Summon a Rank 3 monster, it’s best to use Torrential Tribute before they do so, as Wind-Up Zenmaines is immune to its effect. Save your Solemn Warnings until they Xyz Summon, as you’ll get rid of more cards that way.

Finally, if you’re playing Quick Effect monsters like Effect Veiler and Maxx “C”, you’ll need to time them perfectly as well. Maxx “C” is great in the early stages of your opponent’s turns as you’ll draw cards every time they Special Summon, and even if they do go for the “Hunter Loop”, you’ll draw more cards then they can discard. That might cause them to wait a turn, which is your chance to strike back! If you’re going with Maxx “C” be sure to wait until they commit to the loop. Using Maxx “C” when they Summon Tour Guide is ineffective, as they’ll simply Summon Sangan and pass to reload for next turn, but if you wait for the Zenmaity and its effect to activate, your opponent is now committed and can’t fall back on a Sangan search for next turn. Effect Veiler’s great against Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity if you can destroy it next turn, but if you can’t you’ll have to use it on cards like Tour Guide From the Underworld before they Xyz Summon.

Useful Side Deck Cards

Useful Side Deck Cards

Cards to use against Wind-Ups.

In addition to all the cards mentioned above, there are some effective answers to Wind-Ups that you can add to your Side Deck, so that you’ve a greater shot of taking the Deck down in Duels 2 and 3. D.D. Crow is great for tripping up your opponent when they’re in the middle of a combo, as it can banish Wind-Up Hunter before your they can revive it with Wind-Up Rat, and with Hunter gone your hand is safe for the Duel.

Chain Disappearance can rid your opponent of all copies of Wind-Up Rat once they Summon one, which will make your chances of winning rise dramatically. If you’re playing a slower-paced Deck you might also want to try Summon Limit, which forbids Duelists from Summoning more than 2 monsters per turn. Since Special Summoning is what Wind-Ups do best, limiting their ability to do so slows them down enough for you to destroy their cards one-by-one.

Thunder King Rai-Oh is another handy card to use, as it prevents Wind-Up Factory from giving your opponent free monsters, and you can send it to the Graveyard to negate one of their Xyz Summons. All of the “Wind-Up” Xyz Monsters are Machine-Types, which means you can use Cyber Dragon to get rid of them all while Summoning Chimeratech Fortress Dragon from your Extra Deck, probably with sizeable ATK.

Wind-Ups are one of the trickier Decks to take on as they can do so many different things, but a combination of the right cards and right predictions can give you enough of an edge to take them down. Try out some of the tips and tactics above and see which ones you can make the most of the next time you come up against the Deck!