War of Kings is a blog dedicated to my favourite comic books, books, games and movies.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Duel! - Halloween Special - The Dead Rise Again

I'm not entirely sure why we need another zombie structure deck, but they decided we do - so we have Structure Deck: Zombie World just in time for Halloween. And damn if they haven't made it good. This deck centres around destroying your opponents monsters, and then brining them back from the graveyard as zombies to fight by your side. It’s the obvious strategy for a zombie deck, I wonder why they didn't think of it before - up till now, zombie decks only brought their own monsters back from the dead, not their opponents.

The New Cards
Forget about previous structure deck trump cards who were badly hampered by their summoning restrictions and inability to be brought back once destroyed - Red-Eyes Zombie Dragon is easy to summon, resummon, and resummon again. It’s a level 7 monster, but only needs one tribute if you're playing a zombie deck. But, it only has 2400 attack, which is standard for level 6 (one-tribute) monsters these days anyway, and you can't use decoy dragon on it, as it it’s a zombie. So its basically a zombie-deck-only level 6 monster. It does have another effect - when it destroys a zombie-type monster, you can summon it from the graveyard to your side of the field. In attack position. Nice - but only really useful if you're playing against a zombie deck, right? Wrong.

Despite its 'Ultra-Rare' status, the new version of Red-Eyes isn't really this decks trump card - that honour goes to another new card, the field spell Zombie World. When this card is on the field, all cards on both fields and in both graveyards are treated as zombie-type cards. See the synergy? No matter what deck your opponent has, his minsters will become zombies, and Red-Eyes effect will work. Plus, it messes up some type-based cards - the powerful Fossil Excavation won't work as all cards in the graveyard are zombies. Lightning Blade, Tail Swipe and Icarus Attack are useless as all cards on the field are zombies. Oh, and there's one more effect - you can't tribute summon non-zombie monsters. And since zombie world doesn't affect your opponents hand, that means no high-level monsters for him.

There are two other new monster cards in the deck - Malevolent Mech - Goku En and Paladin of the Cursed Dragon. Both cards are an antithesis of a previously released card, explaining why they are light monsters, the only two light zombies found in the game. Malvolent Mech- Goku En is the dark version of Majestic Mech - Okha and both are vaguely dog-shaped with wings. They are very similar, both are level 6, have 2400atk, 1400def, can be normal summoned without a tribute, and are destroyed during the end phase if you summon them in this way. Goku En's effect has some added zombiness, however - his destruction is delayed as long as there is another zombie on the field, and when it is eventually destroyed by this effect, you take 2400 damage. Ouch. Is the risk worth it? You decide.

The relationship of Paladin of Cursed Dragon to Paladin of White Dragon is a lot more complicated. From the artwork alone, the former is obviously the zombie version of the latter. Both are level 4 light monsters with 1900atk. Paladin of Cursed Dragon is an effect monster that can summon a level 4 or lower zombie-monster that was destroyed by battle from your opponent's graveyard. Think death knight. However, Paladin of White Dragon is a ritual monster that you can tribute to special summon Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Quite different. But if you think back to the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Series, you'll remember that Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Red-Eyes Black Dragon were the two opposing powerhouses. It seems Red-Eyes has now fallen to the dark side and become a zombie, and taken the Paladin with him.

The other new spell card (besides Zombie World) is the quick-play spell, Spell Shattering Arrow, which destroys all your opponent's face-up spell cards and deals 500 damage to them for each one. What is it doing here? I don't know, but I can hear my Crystal Beasts crying.

There is one new trap here - Imperial Iron Wall. It also has nothing to do with zombies - it prevents cards being removed from play, completely destroying the strategy of the Dark Monarch decks. A lot of people will want this. But why on earth is it in here? One reason - you can't summon monsters from the graveyard if they aren't there.

The Old Cards
The rest of the cards have been seen before, but I'll mention the most useful.

Pyramid Turtle is possibly even more important than ZW. When its destroyed, you can special summon a zombie with 2000 or less def from your deck. Please note every single card in this deck has 2000 or less def. Including Red-Eyes. And you get two Pyramid Turtles. Ryu Kokki is the standard level 6/2400atk, but can take out warriors and spellcasters more powerful than itself. Its ok against most decks, but it shines against the Yusei-type synchro decks with their powerful synchro warriors, and is ready for the next structure deck which will be spellcaster themed. Patrician of Darkness is only 2000atk for a level 5 monster, but it does allow you to choose your opponent's attack targets. Marionette Mite and Zombie Master are only good when ZW is on the field - one can be discarded to take control of an opposing zombie monster, and the other can be used to summon zombies from the opposing graveyard. Plague Wolf is a little like the Mech - you can double its attack (to 2000) but then it gets destroyed.

It also has some neat spells, useful in any deck. There's the literal drawcard, Pot of Avarice - originally very rare, it was in Structure Deck: Machine Re-Volt, and now its in this one. Cold Wave is very popular in the Japanese version of the game these days. The only reason I don't think I've seen it used much is that its not easy to get hold of. Another hard-to-get card was the quick-play spell Shrink, which halves a monster's original attack for one turn - very useful. And almost impossible to get hold of was Magical Stone Excavation, the only legal way to bring back a spell card from the grave. . But now, I think we'll see all of these a lot more. I certainly want them.

You have three cards with 2400 attack, all of which can be brought out pretty easily, but if your opponent pulls out a monster with a higher attack, you're in a bit of trouble -there are no cards in this deck with an attack higher than 2400. But didn't I say ZW means no high-level monsters? I did, but it's not quite true - a lot of decks can play around ZW without much effort. I'm sure the fact that the new Yusei-type synchro decks will still work perfectly well against this is no coincidence. Synchro players can still splash their low-level monsters and tuners, and bring out their powerhouses by synchro summon. Most archetype based decks use name referral, and so players won't care much that they're now playing with zombies. Most notably, Gladiator Beasts can still tag in and out and perform their special brand of contact fusion. Elemental Hero decks will still be able to use their powerful support spells fusion summon high level monsters. Crystal Beasts can still switch between monster and spell form, and Rainbow Dragon doesn't need tributes. Aliens will be slightly hampered by the inability to tribute summon the Cosmic Horror or Alien Mother, but they can still synchro summon the Cosmic Fortress, and use Crop Circles to special summon Alien Mother. The only deck I can think this will seriously hamper is Neos and Lightsworn, as you'll have to find a way around not being able to tribute summon E-H Neos or the Lightsworn Dragon - remember both Premature Burial and Call of the Haunted are now banned.

Or, your opponent could just destroy Zombie World - all they need to do is play a field card. Everyone has fields in their decks these days, and often Terraforming and Ruin of Land too. The number one problem with this deck is how much it relies on ZW to prevent tribute summons - and yet, the deck only has one ZW in it. Sure it has Terraforming and Magical Stone Excavation, but you really need three copies of ZW. Plus a Ruin of Land. You can protect it with Field Barrier, but the deck is also lacking a bit in spell prevention. It doesn't have Mystical Space Typhoon, Heavy Storm or Giant Trunade. They must have thought that Spell Shattering Arrow, Cold Wave and Dust Tornado were good enough. I don't.

So what happens if you can't keep Zombie World on the field, or you find yourself facing down a high-attack synchro or fusion monster? You have to go with spells and traps. Bottomless Trap Hole is excellent here, as it works on any kind of summon. But wait, doesn't Imperial Iron Wall negate BTH? Reading the card carefully, I think the monster is first destroyed (sent to the grave) and then removed from play, so that's ok. You could also use Soul Taker, that destroys a monster and gives your opponent 1000 lifepoints, or zap a monster with Shrink and destroy it with one of your monsters, or use Creature Swap. But honestly, I'd rather have Lightning Vortex, which isn't in the deck for some reason. There is one other option if you have ZW on the field and a high-attack monster is special summoned - Getsu Fuhma destroys any zombie it battles with. You'll just have to sacrifice it and some lifepoints.

This deck also doesn't have the banned Call of the Haunted or Premature Burial, or the unbanned Monster Reborn that everyone is now hunting for. It does have zombie-only cards that can bring back your monsters from the graveyard, and excellent cards that steal monsters from your opponents graveyard so don't be too worried about this weakness. It isn't really there. Watch out for an opponent's Monster Reborn, however. It allows your opponent to summon a monster from your graveyard - meaning they can get hold of Red-Eyes or Paladin, and as all of your cards are zombies, it won't be fun for you.

Best Card (for this deck): Pyramid Turtle
Best Card (for any deck): Magical Stone Excavation
Best Card Artwork: Red-Eyes Zombie Dragon

Verdict: Much as I dislike doing it, I'm going to have to give a zombie deck a Major Victory! All of its weaknesses are easily fixed, except its lack of really high attack monsters - and with cards like Turtle and Zombie World, you should be able to decimate your opponent before they can pull out something good anyway. I might get this just for Magical Stone Excavation, Pot of Avarice and Imperial Iron Wall, and then use ZW (and the rest) to trade for cards I want. I know people I know will be buying this.

Note: I have been using the old terminology - tribute instead of release, and tribute summon instead of advanced summon. It's not because I can't adapt to the new terminology, but rather because the cards in this deck use the old terminology. I'm not sure why, we've already had a starter deck and booster pack which use the new terms. Perhaps these cards were printed before the change, and they decided to delay the release for Halloween.

No comments:

Post a Comment