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Getting Up to Speed with Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s: Vanity’s Emptiness

October 8th, 2014

(Editor’s Note: Vanity’s Emptiness was first and last released in 2010 as a common in Starstrike Blast. While overlooked at the time, it has since become a mainstay of Dueling. It will become available again as part of the Legendary Collection 5D’s Mega-Packs.)

Vanity’s Emptiness was one of the most popular cards in the game over the last few months. It was played in dozens of Top 32 decks in Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series tournaments, and it was commonly run in twos and threes in Shaddolls, Satellarknights, Burning Abyss, and just about any other Deck you can think of. It’s a Continuous Trap that stops both Duelists from Special Summoning, putting a stop to just about every current strategy!

Empty
You can play this powerful Continuous Trap in two different ways. First, you can make a big Special Summon yourself and then flip Emptiness to keep your opponent from fighting back. Second, you can wait for your opponent to activate an effect that would Special Summon a monster, then Chain Vanity’s Emptiness to stop that effect from resolving. Some of the most devastating Emptiness plays accomplish both at the same time.

How good is Emptiness? Think of all the cards it stops in the most popular strategies.

 

Powerful

hut down Shaddoll Fusion, Shaddoll Falco, and Shaddoll Core, chaining to the activations to surprise your opponent. Paired off with Satellarknights? Emptiness lets you beat key cards like Satellarknight Altair, Satellarknight Vega, and Call of the Haunted. In the Burning Abyss match-up you can stop your opponent from resolving the effects of Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss, and Tour Guide from the Underworld.

All three of those Decks are still popular in the new Advanced Format, but a few changes to the Forbidden & Limited List have powered up other strategies too. Fire Fists and Fire Kings benefit from Coach Soldier Wolfbark’s return to three per deck – it was previously Limited – but a chained Emptiness can rob it of its Special Summon ability. Artifacts have been popular since they debuted in Primal Origin, but Vanity’s Emptiness cuts off the Special Summon effects of monsters like Artifact Moralltach and Artifact Beagalltach, and demolishes the effect of Artifact Sanctum.

Destructive

That said, power of this level doesn’t come without complications. Vanity’s Emptiness has an effect that destroys it whenever a card’s sent to the graveyard from its controller’s Deck or field. This starts a new Chain after the current one ends. That means you can destroy it with regular Spell and Trap removal like Mystical Space Typhoon and Raigeki Break… or you can destroy another of your opponent’s cards and knock out Emptiness in the process. You can also remove it with themed Spell and Trap destruction like Shaddoll Dragon or Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress.

You can also destroy an opposing monster, send it to the Graveyard, and destroy Vanity’s Emptiness that way too! If you can break your opponent’s control over the field long enough to win a battle that’ll do the trick. Simple monster removal like Raigeki will work as well, and defensive cards like Mirror Force or Torrential Tribute can work wonders.

That said, the Vanity’s Emptiness player can fire back. With the right set-up you can protect your Emptiness from destruction effects, including its own. Monsters that resist destruction like Number 101: Silent Honor ARK are safer to field when you plan to flip Emptiness, because your opponent can’t take them down and destroy Emptiness with its effect. (Remember, detaching an Xyz Material from an Xyz Monster won’t trigger Emptiness’ destruction.) Cairngorgon, Antiluminescent Knight can redirect effects like Mystical Space Typhoon back at your opponent’s cards, often forcing them to change their plays or abandon simple removal altogether.

Stardust Spark Dragon may be the most popular option: once per turn on either Duelist’s turn, you can target one of your face-up cards and protect it from destruction one time. That means if your opponent targets your face-up Vanity’s Emptiness for destruction you can Chain Spark Dragon’s ability to target Emptiness and protect it. If your opponent targets something else for destruction, you can protect that card if it’s face-up, or at least target Emptiness and keep it from destroying itself.

The best Vanity’s Emptiness plays always involve a plan to protect your position, so keep that in mind if you’re looking to make the most of it. If you’re trying to beat Emptiness instead it’s important to pack a mix of removal cards; Mystical Space Typhoon’s clutch, but so is basic monster removal, too: Raigeki and Dark Hole can be tremendously helpful. Decks with theme-specific removal cards may have an advantage, and you can always fend off a tough Emptiness lock by simply making your big Special Summon first, so your opponent doesn’t beat you to the punch.

Emptiness can be incredibly powerful; understanding the ins and outs of this card is tremendously important if you want to survive in tournament competition.