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Starring Roles

December 10th, 2014

We’ve got a plan, we know the cards needed to pull it off, and we know which cards can help you filter through the Deck to get the necessary cards. The last things to think about are defensive cards and how to construct the Extra Deck. Let’s start on the defensive end.


There are three prevailing theories of defense currently in play in top level competition.

  1. The best defense is a good offense.
  2. The best defense is my opponent not being allowed to do anything.
  3. The best defense is to snipe the lynchpin of my opponent’s strategy and ignore everything else.

The best Decks tend to combine all of these elements together and use defensive cards that accomplish multiple things at once. Take Stellarnova Alpha for instance. It’s practically the definition of sniping the lynchpin of your opponent’s strategy, but it’s also good at helping you to maintain your own offensive capability by shutting down your opponent’s defensive cards and letting you draw through your Deck. It’s an easy choice to play 3 copies of it.


A similar card that’s good for defending your key monsters but also creating offense is Enemy Controller. The ability to Tribute your monster to take control of an opponent’s lets you dodge removal, lets on-field effects resolve even if Skill Drain is active, and gets you an opponent’s monster to do with as you will. You can also add Enemy Controller into your Satellarknight Skybridge combo to really pump up your damage output for a turn and perhaps steal a game outright. On the true defensive end, Enemy Controller can block attacks as it always has, but perhaps most importantly, it can steal away a monster that your opponent really needs to use that turn, like a Virgil, Rockstar of the Burning Abyss, Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, or El Shaddoll Construct.

When it comes to lockdown potential, it’s key to look for cards that mesh with your own strategy to become one-sided. For example, you need to Special Summon a lot with ‘tellarknights and do so during both players’ turns so Vanity’s Emptiness doesn’t make a lot of sense. The top ranked ‘tellarknight players from YCS Anaheim realized this and didn’t play even a single copy of the card anywhere. On the other hand, all of the attacks you’re planning to make are coming from Xyz Monsters. Xyz Monsters have no Levels, so you can get away with running Level Limit – Area B as a permanent solution without adversely affecting your own strategy. Of course, thanks to Stellarknight Triverr, you could also go with Swords of Revealing Light – a card that’s seen Regional success as of late. The Swords are a totally one-sided enemy attack stopper that have the side benefit of prematurely triggering Shaddoll Flip Effects. And you can make them effectively permanent by constantly bouncing them back to your hand with Triverr, something you’ll be doing a lot in the course of pulling off your strategy!

Finally, there are “defensive” cards that you play primarily to defend your offense. Mystical Space Typhoon is a must right now in an era of extremely powerful Trap Cards like Vanity’s Emptiness, Skill Drain and Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss, and Night Beam is beginning to catch fire as well. It’s especially effective against powerful Traps that can be used any time like Fire Lake and Sinister Shadow Games, preventing them from being Chained barring some activation acrobatics from your adversary. The thing I like most about these cards over Wiretap and Dust Tornado is that you can play them as soon as you draw them, which means that when you’re going second, you’ll get that extra draw and you can execute your strategy right away.

And with that, we’ve covered almost everything you could want in your Main Deck. Now it’s time for the Extra Deck. Currently, the prevailing theory for ‘tellarknight Decks is that you should play 14 or 15 different Extra Deck monsters so that you can “react to a variety of in-game situations,” but I think it’s abundantly clear what my opinion on building a reactive Extra Deck is. Instead, let’s take inspiration from the other Decks that are seeing success right now. Burning Abyss and Shaddolls both rely on Extra Deck monsters as lynchpins of their strategy, much like the ‘tellarknight strategy we’ve been discussing this week. You don’t see those Decks playing 15 different monsters. Burning Abyss, for example, tends to play about 10 different Extra Deck monsters: 3 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss, 2 Virgil, Rockstar of the Burning Abyss, 3 Downerd Magician, and then 7 1-of monsters each chosen primarily for its ability to break through an opponent’s defense or close out the game. Shaddolls are very similar. You’ll have 3 El Shaddoll Construct, 3 El Shaddoll Winda, 2 El Shaddoll Shekhinaga, and then 7 1-of monsters chosen primarily for their ability to break through an opponent’s defense or close out the game. A similar strategy can be applied to ‘tellarknights.


Stellarknight Triverr is the lynchpin of our Extra Deck, so we’ll start with 3 of that. We’re limited to ‘tellarknight Summons only while a monster Summoned by Skybridge is in play, so 2 Stellarknight Delteros makes a lot of sense. It’s also a very good card in its own right. Think of them like the Dante and Virgil of ‘tellarknights. Now we have 10 spots to work with and fill with cards that break through an opponent’s defense, close out the game or both. Gagaga Cowboy is part of our victory plan, so we definitely need to run at least 1. I personally prefer 2. Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer is an obvious pick, and one that you’d conceivably like to resolve multiple times per Duel, so a pair of them makes sense. Starliege Paladynamo is similar, but also negates effects and tacks on a free draw when it’s destroyed, so you’ll probably want to play it even though it only works on monsters. With 5 slots remaining, what else can we run to advance our own strategy?


Bujintei Tsukuyomi lets you load your Graveyard with ‘tellarknights, draw cards, and has a decent DEF, so it’s an obvious pick. Abyss Dweller can preemptively stop entire strategies cold, which is just as good as an outright win in some cases, so it’s a good pick too. Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon can put up 2500 damage in the blink of an eye, so it’s a pretty good choice as well. Number 101: Silent Honor Ark can clear a monster out of the way, protect itself, and get 2100 damage through. Finally, Evilswarm Exciton Knight does what it always does: annihilate everything else on the field during either player’s turn. It’s the closest thing to a purely reactive monster you’ll find, but a 2-Material field wipe is hard to ignore when much of your strategy hinges on a 3-Material field wipe.


‘tellarknight Decks have been suffering from a “square peg, round hole” problem since they first came out – and have still managed to find some success despite this! Much like Mermails in the past, a change in philosophy could be just what the doctor ordered to get them competing at a higher level than ever before. And, much like Mermails, some new cards this Winter wouldn’t hurt either. Secrets of Eternity is coming sooner than you think!