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Dodging Danger with Denko Sekka!

November 4th, 2014

Cards that effectively put big chunks of the game on pause are always really powerful: Vanity’s Emptiness is one of the most popular Trap Cards of the year, shutting off all Special Summons; stuff like Macro Cosmos, Dimensional Fissure, and Soul Drain are so powerful they have to be Limited to 1; and Royal Decree’s Trap-stopping power have made it one of the most feared Traps of all time. Dark Simorgh prevents cards from being Set, but the need for both WIND and DARK monsters to use it effectively keeps it out of competition. Cards like these place restrictions on both Duelists, but if you control them you get to choose when they hit the game, and you can build your Deck to play around them in advance.

The New Challengers introduces a powerful new monster that’s somewhere in between Royal Decree and Dark Simorgh, but it’s Level 4 and can be played in any Deck! Check out Denko Sekka!

Denko Sekka
can’t be Special Summoned, but its effect is awesome: while you don’t control Set Spell or Trap Cards, neither Duelist can Set Spells or Traps, nor can they activate ones that were already Set. That’s awesome for a bunch of different reasons.

First up, any Deck that relies on Trap Cards to protect its position in the Duel will be left defenseless. Strategies like Burning Abyss and Satellarknights – which use a lot of traps to compensate for smaller monsters – have major problems dealing with Denko Sekka.

On the other hand, if you run a Deck that doesn’t play many Trap Cards yourself, Denko Sekka covers for your lack of Traps by putting your opponent on the same footing. It’s a lot like playing a combo-heavy Deck with tons of Spells and monsters; such decks often forgo Trap Cards for Royal Decree. The difference is that Denko Sekka can’t be destroyed by simple backrow removal that everybody runs, like Mystical Space Typhoon.

Furthermore, if you’re opponent can’t use their Trap Cards, any Trap they draw is useless. By controlling the Duel with Denko Sekka and running very few Traps yourself, you’ll ensure that you draw live cards while your opponent gets stuck with blanks.

Finally, since you decide when to Summon Denko Sekka you can even use it in a Trap-heavy deck to secure your biggest pushes. Normal Summon it and make a flurry of Special Summons for game, or Summon it and then launch a giant Soul Charge play: as long as Denko Sekka survives you’re free to make all the Xyz and Synchro Summons you want for the rest of the turn. Use it as Xyz or Synchro Material at the end, and you can Set your Traps without giving your opponent the luxury of a turn without Trap interference.

These are some of the most powerful and feared Trap Cards in competition today: Artifacts wield Artifact Sanctum; Shaddolls have Sinister Shadow Games; Satellarknights stop your moves with Stellarnova Alpha; and Burning Abyss kick your cards back to the Deck with Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, all while triggering the effects of their “Malebranche” monsters. All four are flexible, Chainable tricks that can be difficult to play around… but Denko Sekka stops them all.

Note that even though Stellarnova Alpha’s a Spell Speed 3 Counter Trap, not even that can stop Denko Sekka. Alpha can only be played in response to the activation of an effect, and since Denko Sekka’s ability is a Continuous Effect, it never activates. Spell Speed’s irrelevant – Denko Sekka’s lockdown will stop any and all Set cards from being flipped no matter what they are.

And that’s great, but at the same time Denko Sekka only has 1700 ATK. How can you protect it? Good question…

Safe Zone
is one of the best answers! While it’s okay to just drop Denko Sekka for one turn when you’re going for the win, it easily shapes the whole Duel if you can keep it on the field. While Denko Sekka would stop you from Setting Safe Zone while Sekka’s on the field and its ability is active, all you need to do is Set Safe Zone first, before you make your Summon. Since you then control a Set Spell or Trap Card, you can Normal Summon Denko Sekka without its ability active. It’s your turn, so you can immediately activate Safe Zone to protect Denko Sekka, which removes the Set card from your backrow by flipping it over – that means Denko Sekka’s effect immediately turns on to stop your opponent from making their plays or countering yours, while Safe Zone shields Sekka from being targeted or destroyed.

Falling somewhere between Royal Decree and Dark Simorgh, Denko Sekka’s easy to Summon, easy to play, and even easy to get rid of when you need to! If you want to Set your own cards again it’s a Level 4 monster, so it’s easily overlaid for an Xyz Summon, or Tuned for a big Synchro. Stopping your opponent’s moves is just the beginning: Denko Sekka can create dead draws, force through your OTK’s, and create sweet protected set-ups that are tough to beat.

Try it yourself, when you grab your copies from The New Challengers launching in stores this Friday!