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Sinister Shadow Techniques!

September 3rd, 2014

Do you ever feel like your opponent is the one pulling the strings behind your Shaddoll Deck? Shaddolls have been very popular since the release of Duelist Alliance, but they’ve got a few easily exploitable weaknesses that Stellarknight, Burning Abyss, and even other Shaddoll Duelists can use to make you feel like you’re actually playing with Man-Eater Bug, Hane-Hane, and Polymerization. Today we’ll look at 3 different cards that just 1 copy of can change your entire outlook on some of the toughest matchups for Shaddolls!


When you think of Stellarknights, two things quickly come to mind: non-stop Deck searching, and a seemingly infinite number of Trap Cards. You can fight against the former and add another solid LIGHT monster to your Deck by adding the single allowed copy of Thunder King Rai-Oh to your Deck! When you think about it, your Shaddoll Deck doesn’t really do a whole lot of stuff that Thunder King will prevent. Outside of Shaddoll Hedgehog, all your effects either send cards from the Deck to the Graveyard or let you draw cards. Thunder King stops the searching of Satellarknight Deneb and prevents your opponent from using Pot of Duality to dig for Trap Cards and other methods of getting rid of Rai-Oh, and you can send it to the Graveyard to prevent one of the many Rank 4 Xyz Summons Satellarknights are capable of as well. And to top it all off, Thunder King Rai-Oh is a Level 4 LIGHT monster with 1900 ATK, perfect for putting pressure on the small Satellarknights and useful as Fusion Material for El Shaddoll Construct!

The second major characteristic of Satellarknight Decks is the one that Shaddoll Decks have a far harder time overcoming. Between Stellarnova Alpha, Vanity’s Emptiness, some number of Dimensional Prisons and/or Battleguard Howling, and then Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror for the 2nd and 3rd Duels on top of Compulsory Evacuation Device and Solemn Warning, it sometimes feels like a total miracle when any of your cards resolve successfully. So how can you prevent your opponent from ruining everything with his Trap Cards without falling prey to common counters like Mystical Space Typhoon and Wiretap or getting blown out by Phoenix Wing Wind Blast or Karma Cut?


Jinzo is as old school as they come, and if you’re playing a Shaddoll Deck you’re probably already playing some number of Level 5 and 6 monsters! Many Duelists use a full 3 copies of Shaddoll Beast and some even run copies of Caius the Shadow Monarch or Vanity’s Fiend as well. Why not give yourself the opportunity to turn off all of your opponent’s cards at once by replacing one of those high-Level monsters with the original boss monster with the laser beam eyes, Jinzo! Summoning Jinzo and following it up with a now un-negatable Shaddoll Fusion marks a huge turning point in any Duel and makes it very hard for a Satellarknight or Burning Abyss Duelist to win. With Jinzo and El Shaddoll Winda on the field, your opponent can’t play Call of the Haunted to skirt around Winda’s effect and won’t be able to both gather Xyz Materials and Xyz Summon on their own turn, leaving them with few, if any, ways to combat your monsters.


Finally, we’ll address a common problem encountered by all Shaddoll Duelists – running out of Shaddolls! It’s really easy to send a lot of Shaddolls to the Graveyard in very little time, but that also means that it’s very easy to run out of Shaddolls to use as Fusion Material. Many Shaddoll Decks run fewer than 12 Shaddolls total, some going as low as 10. With Burst Rebirth, you have the option to pull one of the many Shaddolls you’ve sent to the Graveyard right back to the field, face-down, giving you the maximum number of different possible plays with it. And you can use Burst Rebirth at any time, even during your opponent’s turn! You can block a pair of attacks while picking away at your opponent’s field with Shaddoll Squamata or Shaddoll Dragon, set yourself up for a Shaddoll Fusion next turn with Shaddoll Hedgehog, or just dig deeper into your Deck with Shaddoll Beast. Alternatively, you can leave the monster face-down and just use it as Fusion Material straightaway to trigger its Graveyard effect, or even flip it face-up and then Tribute it for a Tribute Summon!

While costly, Burst Rebirth offers a lot of different options and lets you reuse cards you don’t play many copies of but need to use more than once in a Duel, it’s the perfect card to just play one of to expand your Deck’s potential!

YCS Toronto is this weekend, so if you’re still trying to perfect your Shaddoll Deck for the big tournament, give some of these cards a try!