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Simple Strategies – WATER Decks

December 19th, 2012

WATER Decks are back in a big way thanks to Mermail and Atlantean monsters, which have taken Duelists to the top tables of YCS events in recent weeks. While that Deck is quite elaborate and has many different combos, it’s not the only way to use WATER-based cards. Here’s an outline of a basic WATER strategy, some of the cards you can use, and the kinds of plays you can make.


The basic strategy of a WATER Deck is a disruptive one; you can have many cards that destroy opposing monsters, return them to the hand or eliminate the Spell and Trap Cards that protect them. The cards also interact with each other quite well, so you often get 2 effects for the price of one.

Abyss Soldier lets you return any card on the field to its owner’s hand, by discarding a WATER monster. This is a quick and simple way to get rid of any card that’s in your way, whether it’s a high ATK monster or a Set Card that you don’t want your opponent to activate. It’s especially useful against monsters that came from the Extra Deck, eliminating them outright!

Abyss Warrior is another monster that activates its effect by discarding a WATER monster, but instead allows you to manipulate the Graveyards. You can place a monster from either Graveyard to the top or the bottom of the Deck, which lets you re-use your monsters or prevent your opponent from reviving theirs. Both Abyss Warrior and Abyss Soldier have 1800 ATK, enough to hold their own in battle.

Atlantean Heavy Infantry and Atlantean Marksman are the perfect cards to discard for Abyss Soldier and Warrior. If you discard Heavy Infantry to activate the effect of a WATER monster you can destroy a face-up card your opponent controls, and if you discard Marksman you can destroy one of their Set cards. Combining them with the Abyss cards above is a quick and easy way to turn a Duel in your favour.

There are also some useful WATER monsters that work well on their own. Snowman Eater is a popular card to Set on your opening turns, and when it’s flipped you get to destroy a face-up monster on the field (usually the one your opponent just attacked with). Penguin Soldier is another nifty card you can Set, and when it’s flipped you can return 2 monsters on the field back to their owners’ hands. If you do this on your turn you can even return Penguin Soldier itself and Set it again!


The Spell and Trap Cards that WATER Decks use are also quite useful. Call of the Atlanteans allows you to Special Summon 3 Level 3 or lower Sea Serpent-Type monsters from your Graveyard. Although you can’t Special Summon any more monsters on that turn, you can set yourself up for a combo on your next turn or even Summon the monsters to block direct attacks (Call is a Quick-Play Spell Card). Surface has a similar effect but applies to only 1 monster. Both of these can be set up quite easily by Summoning Deep Sea Diva, which lets you Summon another Sea Serpent from your Deck that you can use for Xyz or Synchro Summons.

Salvage is a very useful card to have as it returns 2 1500 ATK or lower WATER monsters from your Graveyard to your hand. This is especially useful for re-using Atlantean Heavy Infantry and Atlantean Marksman, and discard them again for Abyss Soldier and Abyss Warrior. You could also use Salvage to set yourself up for Moray of Greed, which returns 2 WATER monsters from your hand to the Deck, letting you draw 3 cards.

Spiritual Water Art – Aoi is a Trap Card that every WATER Deck can use. By Tributing a WATER monster, you get to look at your opponent’s hand, and then discard 1 card for free. This is an immensely powerful effect similar to that of Confiscation (which is Forbidden) and exclusive to WATER monsters. Since Aoi’s a Trap Card, you can use this effect at any time, even when your monster is about to be destroyed by cards like Dark Hole and Mirror Force!

As you can see, WATER Decks have quite a few tricks up their sleeves, even in their simplest form. Even a basic version will have enough plays in it to surprise the strongest Decks and opponent out there, so feel free to try them out!