Home > Intermediate Tips > Playing Good Defense Without Losing to Starlight Road

Playing Good Defense Without Losing to Starlight Road

October 2nd, 2012

It’s no secret – there are a lot of high-powered destruction effects in the Advanced Format.  Heavy Storm and Dark Hole are must-run cards for most Duelists, and with Torrential Tribute and Mirror Force both Semi-Limited it’s pretty common to see six pieces of mass removal in every Deck.  Since Needle Ceiling has become a popular pick for Side and Main Decks, you might play even more than six field-wiping cards!

And who could blame you?  Duels often go to whoever can keep the most monsters on the table long enough to win, so big removal effects that can level the playing field can both defend you, and leave your opponent weak to your counter-attack.  There’s just one problem…

I believe you were expecting me.

With so many mass removal tricks in every Deck, Starlight Road is popping up everywhere.  When your opponent activates Starlight they don’t just negate the card you were relying on: they also Summon a free Stardust Dragon, which can negate something else or dish out a painful beating with its 2500 ATK.  When Starlight Road goes off it’s often powerful enough to win the game.  So how do you make sure cards like these aren’t turned against you?

The hits just keep on coming.

Some of your strongest Trap Cards can backfire on you if your opponent has Starlight Road Set, but a little bit of know-how can help you play around it.

-If your opponent’s back row is empty, they obviously won’t have Starlight Road Set.  Try using cards like Mystical Space Typhoon and Night Beam to keep the opponent’s back row under control when you’re relying on mass removal.

-Even better, try to figure out if your opponent might have Starlight Road Set, and then make your plays accordingly.  If your opponent is quick to Set multiple cards to their Spell and Trap Card Zone and they don’t seem concerned about Heavy Storm, that’s a good clue that he or she may have Starlight Road face-down.  If your opponent Sets several cards all at once like that, and one of them isn’t flipped for a few turns despite you making attacks, it could be Starlight.

-Remember, cards like Torrential Tribute and Mirror Force can be played to destroy just one opposing monster if you so choose.  Conventional wisdom leads most Duelists to hold onto those cards until they can destroy more than one monster, but if you think your opponent has Starlight Road you can adjust your plays to destroy one monster at a time.

-Negation cards like Solemn Judgment and Dark Bribe can be Chained to Starlight Road to negate it, forcing through your removal.  Since Starlight Road has a Special Summon effect, you can even negate it with Solemn Warning.

-In a worst-case scenario, you can Chain a destruction card like Mystical Space Typhoon to your opponent’s Starlight Road and destroy the card they’re trying to negate.  Starlight Road has to destroy the negated card in order to Special Summon Stardust Dragon: destroying your own card before Starlight Road can won’t stop the negation, but it will keep your opponent from getting a free Stardust.

Scientific Dueling Goes "Boink"

Another popular way to dodge the effect of Starlight Road is to simply never trigger it.  As good as cards like Torrential Tribute are, plenty of Duelists are opting to run Trap Cards that only affect single monsters – that way they won’t have to worry about Starlight Road.  If you don’t run any mass removal cards, your opponent won’t have much use for Starlight, and lots of these cards have unique advantages anyways.  Dimensional Prison can banish tricky cards like Sangan and Stardust Dragon, stopping them from using their effects, while Compulsory Evacuation Device is great against Synchro and Xyz Monsters.

Cards that can destroy more than one monster at a time are really popular right now, but you have to be careful of Starlight Road if you want to use them well.  Make your plays carefully; try to deduce what your opponent has Set; and always ask yourself what might happen if your opponent has Starlight Road.  Sometimes, activating a big Trap Card might not be worth the risk.