The Format of Control/The Backrow
After the most recent banlist, it is not surprising to see that a lot of
common anti-meta builds and control decks bite the dust, mostly due to Heavy Storm
greatly restricting their ability to, y'know, control the game. Indeed;
the new banlist is the bane of the control deck as we knew it.
And yet, looking at the deck types floating around on the Internet makes
me think: while we lost control decks, our decks are now all bending
towards control. Or, rather, the metagame is becoming more control-orientated, while control decks as
a concept are waning a little. Or, rather, all of our decks are
attaining control elements, because they have to compete with the other
decks which control perfectly well. Adapt or die.
In my last post, I brought up Tour Guide From the Underworld, and it's friend Effect Veiler. How often do you see these two (and Sangan) maindecked in many builds? And Trap Dustshoot and Mind Crush, run together in pairs. Talks of main-decked Thunder King Rai-Oh once more. (By the by, I've changed the colour of the Trap cards here: for better or for worse, d'you think?)
Is the meaning of this not clear? The metagame is moving into the
direction of controlling the opponent's cards and setting up; whoever
draws Effect Veiler first to stop the opponent's Tour Guide
play has a noticeable advantage in this department. This isn't counting
specific decks; my very own Agents retain their love for Archlord Kristya, especially now that monsters are "in", thanks to Heavy Storm, for example. And there's numerous others. But Effect Veiler
will be hot stuff in the coming format; despite the heavier Spell/Trap
hate nowadays, expect some players (especially Scraps) to be
maindecking Fiendish Chains as well.
To summarise: from pre-format observations, it looks as though control
is now in; but not as a deck type, but as a way of thinking
that permeates each and every competitive deck in the upcoming format.
Never have I been more glad to have been shown wrong in thinking that
this would be a format of OTKs; if the metagame continues to develop
like this, it could be a very fun game in future.
Also: rogue thoughts on spells and traps. Considering the downturn in
Trap usage, it may be advisable to drop down to two or even one MST,
and using just your deck's non-generic spell/trap destruction, if it
has any (and you run it anyway). I've seen a few people cut Heavy Storm
entirely because, in their words, the lack of extensive backrow means
that it's not as useful as it could be. I like the line of thinking, but
I'd rather cut the Mystical Space Typhoons first, since they break even at best.
I've seen rumours of people going for Nobleman of Extermination instead of Mystical Space Typhoon, which I'm not so hot on; while Extermination is a great troll against Solemn Warnings, since they can't react to it, it isn't so good in this format, since the return of Heavy Storm results in much greater amounts of chainable trap cards. I've also seen people running the "anti-MST" brigade, which consists of Legacy of Yata-Garasu/Jar of Greed, which are both cards which generate pluses if targeted by Mystical Space Typhoon, Dust Tornado or Heavy Storm. Of the two, I'd recommend running Legacy, if either: there are a few decks which run Spirit monsters, even if only one jumps to mind (and even then, it's a rare tech).
But that's besides the point. The fact is that the level of S/T hate in the format is slightly overhyped; this is why Fiendish Chain may welll remain a useful card in September 11. Why, yes, people can run Heavy Storm, Mystical Space Typhoon, Dust Tornado, Breaker the Magical Warrior and whatever bit of archetypal destruction that suits their tastes (whether it be Grapha, Dragon God of Dark World or Master Hyperion, or what-have-you) but there are only two words to summarise why this is a bad idea: dead draw. (Except for the archetypal stuff, because they generally have other uses besides hatin' on the backrow.)
Running too much S/T hate when there are not enough spells and traps in
people's decks hurts the consistency of your deck. Therefore, the amount
of S/T hate drops; this will lead to an increase in the S/T used in
people's decks. There may well be a happy balance found here; but I
think the metagame will now largely depend on how well people deal with
the new list. We're out of the woods of "set five S/T, end", and we're
now in the game of weighing up the opponent's two traps; "is one a Starlight Road, or is that just what he/she wants me to think?"
Even if they're running the four spells (3x MST, 1x Storm)
that everyone crows about, that's a tenth of their deck. You are not
always going to draw into it; you should be more cautious because such
things exist, but not especially so.
Either way, I'm pretty sure Chaining a Lyla and forcing your opponent to MST it is always funny.
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