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Shining Victories: Reaper of the Extra Deck Cards

April 19th, 2016

Monsters like Maxx “C” and Effect Veiler are some of the most popular cards ever printed.  The ability to pitch a card straight from your hand to unleash an effect is really strong.  They’re like Trap Cards your opponent can’t pre-emptively eliminate: you can play them in response to your opponent’s moves on their turn, but spell and trap destruction like Mystical Space Typhoon and Twin Twisters can’t stop them.  And since you never have to put these cards on the field, it’s almost impossible for your opponent to know if you have them.

Some of these monsters offer even more value when you Summon them.  Take Effect Veiler and Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit; since they’re Tuners you can use them for Synchro Summons if you don’t need their effects.  Snow Rabbit’s even got a respectable 1800 DEF and can use its destructive effect even while on the field.  By filling different roles those cards give you more options and more ways to outplay your opponent, and that flexibility makes them really strong.

Shining Victories ushers in a new monster that’s going to change the game in some big ways – especially when you’re facing off against a Deck that’s similar to yours.  While Burning Abyss may be heating up tournaments, a little Winter chill may level the playing field…

NiceDantes-ItdBeAShameIfIHappenedToThemGhost Reaper & Winter Cherries is a Level 3 Dark Zombie Tuner with 0 ATK and 1800 DEF – similar to Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit.  Ghost Reaper has that defensive ability and you can use it for Synchro Summons, but it offers a totally different kind of effect.

If your opponent controls more monsters than you do, you can discard Ghost Reaper to reveal a card from your Extra Deck, then search your opponent’s Extra Deck for cards with the same name.  If you find any, you banish them all.  That effect works on your turn or your opponent’s, and it’s worded as a “discard” effect, not a “send to the graveyard” effect.  That means it still works if something like Macro Cosmos would keep you from sending cards to the graveyard.

So if both players have the same card in their Extra Deck, you can discard Ghost Reaper to select that card and banish every copy your opponent has.  Since you can only activate that if your opponent controls more monsters than you, there’s suddenly a new layer to the game where you might Summon fewer monsters to keep Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries live, while your opponent tries to guess if you have it and manages their field accordingly.

They’ll have to be careful, because one misstep can spell doom for certain strategies.  Consider the following:

BILL-BILL-BILL-BILL-BILL-BILL-BILL-BILLDante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss is the heart and soul of the Burning Abyss theme; without it you lose your best Rank 3 Xyz, sending Malebranche cards to the graveyard is tougher, and you can’t Summon Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal.  If you can Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries your opponent on Turn 1 and banish all their Dantes you might win the game then and there.

Super Quantums rely almost entirely on Super Quantal Mech King Great Magnus to win, and they Summon it by gathering the three “Super Quantal” Xyz Monsters and activating the effect of Super Quantal Mech Ship Magnacarrier.  If you banish Great Magnus they can’t Summon it, but banishing Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse or Super Quantal Mech Beast Magnaliger is often just as good.  Since they’re already good Xyz Monsters, you may be playing them already!

Heroes have been making a comeback lately, since Masked HERO Dark Law is so good against Kozmos, Phantom Knights, and Burning Abyss.  But a clutch Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries can keep Dark Law out of the game.  You might even steal away their only Fusion Monster for Mask Change II.

To cut off big cards from your opponent’s Extra Deck you’ll need at least one copy in yourself – that’s easy in a mirror match, but tougher elsewhere.  We may see all sorts of strategies playing a single Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss just for Ghost Reaper.  That’s especially good if you play a Deck that doesn’t really need many Extra Deck monsters to begin with – those Decks have lots of space to power Ghost Reaper’s effect.

But even if you don’t want to specialize, there are lots of Extra Deck cards that see play all over the place… and some of them are powerful enough to win games on their own.  Stop your opponent from Summoning them and you can get a serious advantage.

Abyss Dweller’s huge against anything that triggers effects in the graveyard, from Kozmos and Burning Abyss to Atlanteans and beyond.  Eliminate it, and you might leave your opponent with no answers to some of the biggest plays in competition. Number S39: Utopia the Lightning and Number F0: Utopic Future are two of the best answers to some of the greatest boss monsters of today, and lots of Decks simply can’t answer a 3000 ATK untargetable Level 8 DARK Machine without them.  Even if you don’t build your Extra Deck to try and anticipate your opponent’s, you can still find lots of things to Ghost Reaper away.

Zombie Decks get a bit of extra play from Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries too, where you can revive it with Zombie Master and Mezuki.  You can Tune with Ghost Reaper to Synchro Summon anything that requires a Dark Tuner too, like Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons.  The new Stardust Charge Warrior just makes it even more powerful in a Level 3 Deck like Burning Abyss or Phantom Kights, and Level 8’s like Stardust Spark Dragon and Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend are possible with Level 5’s.

Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries is the best hand trap we’ve seen since Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, and the timing couldn’t be better.  With Burning Abyss on top, Ghost Reaper’s a game-winning answer to Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss.  If you’ve been struggling to beat that Deck, then Shining Victories has the answer you’ve been looking for.

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