Home > Special, What's New? > Dark Neostorm: Gnome Pun Intended

Dark Neostorm: Gnome Pun Intended

April 23rd, 2019

Forget the flowers and lose the Lock Bird, because an incredible new effect monster’s coming in Dark Neostorm, and it can stop your opponent in their tracks.  Gnomaterial follows the tradition of monsters like Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring and Effect Veiler: it’s an Effect Monster with 0 ATK and 1000 DEF that sits in your hand and waits to counter your opponent’s plays.

If your opponent Special Summons one or more monsters while you control no cards, you can discard Gnomaterial, then target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls. That monster can’t be Tributed for the rest of the turn, and it can’t be used as material for a Fusion, Synchro, Xyz, or Link Summon.

That’s a huge effect that’s great against the most popular Decks in today’s tournaments.  But before we get to that let’s talk about how to play it.

You can only activate Gnomaterial’s ability when you control no cards, so you’ll usually want it in your opening hand when you’re going second.  That means you’ll Side Deck it if your strategy wants to go first.  It’s a lot like Infinite Impermanence, and you need to be careful with cards that might get in the way like Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay.

What’s cool is that Decks that don’t want to go first get a bit of an edge from Main Decking Gnomaterial: you can Side Deck it anywhere, but it’s especially good in underdog Decks like Cyber Dragons, Dinosaurs, Atlanteans and True Dracos since they can all Main Deck it.

The second thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that you can’t Gnomaterial a Normal Summon.  Its effect responds to Special Summons only.  But don’t worry: you’ll still have lots of chances to use it against some of the best Decks going.

With an effect that locks out Tributes and almost every kind of Summon in the game Gnomaterial’s all over the place, but you’ll usually play it to stop your opponent from “Link climbing” – the practice of making one Link Summon and then using that monster with others to make bigger and bigger Links.  That has big ramifications for lots of Decks you’re used to seeing.

The best matchup might be Salamangreats, a strategy that Link climbs through cards like Salamangreat Balelynx and Salamangreat Miragestallio into Salamangreat Sunlight Wolf.  The Salamangeat player uses that first Sunlight Wolf for a second copy, unlocking Sunlight Wolf’s final effect to searcsearch Salamangreat Roar or Salamangreat Rage and control the field.

Gnomaterial can stop those combos by locking Balelynx or Miragestallio.  At the very least you can keep your opponent from trading one Sunlight Wolf for another one, but at best you can stop everything before it starts if your opponent planned to use a Special Summoned Salamangreat Gazelle to get going.

Decks that revolve around the Orcust monsters get a big boost in Dark Neostorm thanks to a new card called Dingirsu, the Orcust of the Evening Star.  It’s a Rank 8 Xyz Monster, but it can be Special Summoned with any one “Orcust” Link Monster as material. From there it has super strong control effects.  The Orcust player will Special Summon it by using Galatea, the Orcust Automaton, but you can shut them down by waiting to see the Galatea and then hitting it with Gnomaterial.

Orcust Decks are usually focused on big combo strings and you can always try and stop them on something like Knightmare Mermaid or Knightmare CerberusGnomaterial’s amazing against Cerberus and Knightmare Phoenix since they don’t have any downward pointing Link Markers.  But crafty Duelists might play out of that, and just keeping them off Dingirsu by targeting Galatea can be enough to win the Duel altogether.

Gnomaterial’s great against Thunder Dragons too, though you’ll play it differently depending on your opponent’s Deck.  If they’re running a “pure” Thunder Dragon build you can stop them from Tributing a Special Summoned Thunder-Type for a Fusion, but most Duelists are using Guardragon Elpy and Guardragon Agarpain supported with Special Summoned Dragons.  That’s where Gnomaterial really shines.

Those Decks aim to Special Summon Black Dragon Collapserpent or White Dragon Wyverburster, use that Dragon as Link Material for Guardragon Elpy, grab a bunch of free cards and then upgrade into Agarpain for a big Extra Deck monster like Hot Red Dragon Archfiend Abyss.  That works because the Black Dragon and White Dragon are easy Special Summons and when either of them is sent to the Graveyard they search the other.  If you Gnomaterial the Dragon as soon as it hits the field it doesn’t do any of that.  Your opponent gets nothing: no Guardragons, no Extra Deck Summon and no free search.

Gnomaterial’s pretty solid against Sky Strikers too, but it might be more of a speed bump than a hard stop.  When your opponent Link Summons Sky Striker Ace – Kagari you can activate Gnomaterial’s effect and threaten to stop their turn.  But Sky Striker Airspace – Area Zero or Sky Striker Mecha Modules – Multirole can both clear the Extra Monster Zone, so be ready: your opponent will probably try to play out of Gnomaterial’s effect.

Gnomaterial is great against four of the strongest Decks in competition, and it’s a strong answer to the Knightmare Link Monsters.  The better you know your opponent’s Deck the easier it is to play, and it could give some fan-favorite Decks a leg up.  It’s going to be one of the hottest cards at your Sneak Peeks, so keep an eye out for it this weekend!

Written by:
Categories: Special > What's New? Tags: