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No More Heavy Storm – Now What?

September 25th, 2013

One of the biggest changes on the latest Forbidden & Limited List was the Forbidden status of Heavy Storm.  Before YCS Toronto nobody really knew how that was going to pan out, but now that we’ve seen the results from the first YCS of the new era, as well as plenty of Regional Qualifiers, we have some answers.

Trap Cards Everywhere!  Kind Of…

Heading into the Toronto weekend there were two camps: the first planned to run lots of Trap Cards since they no longer feared Heavy Storm.  The second group decided to run very few Traps, because they believed opponents were likely to run three Mystical Space Typhoons.  If your opponent has no targets for their Typhoons, any copies they draw are useless.


So some Decks, like Evilswarm, Constellars, Blackwings, and Bujins, ran as many as 20 Trap Cards.  Others like Dragon Rulers and Mermails still ran some Traps, but tried to play as few as possible.  By the time the event was over and Edward Kuang was crowned Champion, there was no clear winner in that debate.  Some Decks just like running a lot of Trap Cards, while others prefer to focus on running more monsters or more combo-driven Spells instead.  It’s really up to you to decide which approach you want to take.


But Mystical Space Typhoon?  It seems like a pretty good idea anyways, since some of the biggest, most popular decks that run low Trap counts still play different kinds of cards that Typhoon’s really useful against.  For instance?


Field Spells Are Huge

We’re only a few weeks into this format, but Duelists are already starting to strategize for what’s being called, “the Field Spell war.”  While many strategies get along just fine without Fields, three of the most-played Decks get big advantages from Field cards: Dragon Ruler and Dragunity Decks run Dragon Ravine to stock their Graveyard and create combos, while Spellbooks draw extra cards every turn with The Grand Spellbook Tower.  If you can keep your Field Spell active while stopping your opponent from playing their Field, you’ll often win because of it.  It’s a tricky dynamic – you need to know when to play your Field and when to hold back, because each new Field Spell destroys the previous one.





Even Decks that don’t run Fields are often playing powerful Continuous Spells and Continuous Traps.  We’ve seen plenty of themed Continuous/Field cards doing well in Regional Qualifiers; think Madolche Ticket, Madolche Chateau, Constellar Star Chart, Infestation Infection, and all the different Fire Formations.  Generic Continuous cards are huge for Side Deck play, too: Gozen Match, Rivalry of Warlords, Soul Drain, Mind Drain, Dimensional Fissure, and countless others are all seeing use.  It’s much safer to bank on those cards, since Heavy Storm’s not around to destroy them along with your other stuff.


And of course, Vanity’s Emptiness remains one of the most feared cards in competition.  If you can make a big Special Summon, then flip Emptiness to keep your opponent from matching you with another big monster, victory’s often academic.  This was a great strategy last format, but again, it’s even more powerful now with no Heavy Storm to punish you.  The back row’s a much safer place…


…Or is it?


Full-Field Blowouts!

It turns out that you’re not as safe as you might think.  While Heavy Storm’s not a threat anymore, cards like these are more dangerous than ever.




Black Rose Dragon and World of Prophecy are really easy to Summon, and both have effects that destroy every card on the field.  Summoning Black Rose is as easy as Normal Summoning Debris Dragon or Masked Chameleon; using that monster’s effect to Special Summon a Level 3; and then Tuning for your Synchro Summon.  One card can demolish everything, and Debris Dragon’s really popular in Dragon Rulers.  Spellbooks are even more brutal, Special Summoning World of Prophecy with Temperance of Prophecy.  World’s effect returns two Spellbooks to your hand from your Graveyard, then lets you reveal four Spellbooks to destroy everything… except for World, which is free to attack for 2900 Battle Damage.


Other decks have high-impact destruction tricks like Icarus Attack, Delta Crow – Anti Reverse, and Dark Armed Dragon in Blackwings.  There are lots of powerful destruction effects that blow away one card at a time, too: everything from Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress and Atlantean Marksman, to Scrap Dragon and Master Hyperion are seeing tournament success.  And no matter what you play, you can always run Malevolent Catastrophe; it’s a Trap Card you activate in response to your opponent’s attack, and it destroys all Spells and Traps.


So if you’re going to play with a lot of Trap Cards, make sure you include some ways to negate the effects of field-clearing monsters like World of Prophecy and Black Rose Dragon, and Duel cautiously when taking on Decks that have numerous ways to pick off your Set cards one or two at a time!


The Forbidding of Heavy Storm created a ton of possibilities; the choices you make will hinge on your personal style and the strategies you choose to play.  Keep an open mind, and be sure to try different techniques to see what works best!