Monday, July 18, 2011

Deck Essay #15: Fortune Chaos Turbo

There is no doubt in anybody’s mind, I should hazard a guess, that Yu-Gi-Oh! is a fast game; with little or even no cost or restriction associated with some of the most powerful effects ever printed, there is not a great deal of constraint when it comes to claiming victory in only a matter of a couple of turns. Many people, however, will decry this aspect of the game as detrimental to its lifespan, stating that decks designed to win in this way are unskilled and do not further our understanding of play. These people, quite simply, are wrong: while I would not be conceited enough to announce that every single One-Turn-Knockout strategy requires a large quantity of skill and experience to pilot, the outnumbering majority, in fact, do. Thence, we come to the Traditional Format: due to the increased card pool and abundance of intricate, complicated interactions between cards, there exists an immense amount of new and exciting possibilities to be explored which fall into this latter category. The deck I will be presenting in this essay is just one such example, a One-Turn-Knockout strategy using an engine which has not, I believe, been investigated to the extent it deserves: a Turbo-based Chaos deck centred on Fortune Ladies.

The end goal of this deck, which I have tentatively entitled ‘Fortune Chaos Turbo’, is, as is always the case in One-Turn-Knockout strategies, very simple: to Special Summon as many large Monsters as possible in as little time as possible, and then attack for game with said Monsters. However, the difficulty present, again as is always the case in this category of deck, comes from the way in which it achieves this win condition, the way in which the deck powers through itself to create this game-ending swarm of Monster Cards: in this specific case, a group of Fortune Lady Monsters is incorporated into a Chaos deck by using a number of cards intended to Remove them from Play, in order to then be able to activate the draw Spell of the archetype, Fortune’s Future. A suite of additional draw cards speeds the strategy towards a plethora of Special Summon effects. The result, a deck based chiefly upon a large amount of personal trial and error, is immensely quick, immensely powerful, and surprisingly consistent.

The Monsters: 17

3 Cyber Valley
3 The Dark Creator
3 Broww, Huntsman of Dark World
2 Fortune Lady Light
1 Fortune Lady Dark
1 Dark Magician of Chaos
1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning
1 Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End
1 Destiny Hero – Disk Commander
1 Dark Armed Dragon

I shall begin, if I may, by discussing the group of Fortune Lady Monsters, the most important aspect to this specific strategy – although a small and, at first glance, uninteresting group it is, indeed! but the deck has been carefully balanced to allow the maximum consistency possible within the forty cards: running more than the three Fortune Ladies found herein (two copies of Fortune Lady Light, and a single copy of Fortune Lady Dark) has a tendency to create dead opening hands, in which one has Ladies with which there is nought to do; whereas, of course, running fewer would make it very difficult to find them when needed. Furthermore, Gold Sarcophagus will also be included in the Spell Card list, allowing one to search for a needed Fortune Lady at any given time. While I will admit that it may look like only three Fortune Lady Monsters is not enough to warrant an entire engine, rigorous testing has found that this number is perfect.

I should like, however, before I move on, to discuss my choices regarding the quantities of the individual Fortune Ladies. I have split the possible set of Fortune Lady Light in order to include a single copy of Fortune Lady Dark for the ability of the latter to interact with certain DARK Attribute support cards, all of which it was, during the initial stages of design, obvious that they were to be included: The Dark Creator, here utilized at its full three copies, can Remove from Play the one Fortune Lady Dark via its effect, fulfilling both the Special Summoning of a Monster and bringing a held Fortune’s Future on line; in a similar vein, Dark Armed Dragon, at its allowed single copy, can also Remove from Play the Fortune Lady Dark from the Graveyard; and, lastly, Allure of Darkness, included at its allowed single copy in the Spell Card list, can Remove from Play the Fortune Lady Dark from the hand – this latter example is, in fact, a +1 to hand presence, which is of particular note not only in regards to any deck, but especially in a combo-based deck (that is, any combo-based deck) that requires the retaining of in-hand options.

Frome there, a full set of Cyber Valley has been included to facilitate the further Removal of a Fortune Lady Monster. It does so while also either drawing oneself two more cards deeper into the deck, if one was able (or, rather, needed) to Summon a Fortune Lady to the field, or retrieving a required card from the Graveyard. The former is a rather rare course of action, for one will not often find a Fortune Lady on the field, but the latter is of especial importance: one can Normal Summon a Cyber Valley, activate its third effect by Removing from Play itself and a Fortune Lady from the hand, place a useful card – such as, for example, Pot of Greed or Graceful Charity for continued drawing, or Monster Reborn, Premature Burial or Dimension Fusion for Special Summons – atop the deck, and then follow up by activating Fortune’s Future to draw that stacked card and another. The synergy herein is, while slightly unintuitive and shrouded to begin with, very impressive and well worth looking into further than merely this single essay.

Five supporting Monster Cards have then been included, with the intention to further enhance the general speed, consistency and overall capabilities of the deck: firstly, a full three copies of Broww, Huntsman of Dark World find their place alongside a set of Dark Word Dealings, a Graceful Charity and a Card Destruction in the Spell Card list, offering extra draws by taking inspiration from the arsenal of the First-Turn-Knockout deck; next, Destiny Hero – Disk Commander becomes a welcome addition not only because of its card drawing effect, but also the ease with which it can be sent to the Graveyard, and subsequently revived to trigger said effect, within a deck such as this; lastly, and in direct correlation to the reasoning behind the inclusion of Destiny Hero – Disk Commander, Dark Magician of Chaos offers the distinct ability, and, again the simple execution of such an ability, to further the strategy towards its end goal – it can also play a part in the final win condition, owing to its sheer size of body.

Finally, the Envoys are clearly included. While it may seem to be just plain folly to base a deck around Chaos Emperor Dragon – Envoy of the End and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, but incorporate only two LIGHT Attribute Monsters to fulfil the second half of their Summoning Requirement, there is simply so much potential for the drawing and searching of cards here that the Envoys will only on the rare occasion be dead. Of course, in addition to this, one should not discount the possibility of sending an unneeded Cyber Valley to the Graveyard through any of the incorporated discard effects, whence it can later provide necessary Removal fodder.

The Spells: 23

3 Fortune’s Future
3 Trade-In
3 Dark World Dealings
2 Gold Sarcophagus
1 Pot of Greed
1 Graceful Charity
1 Card Destruction
1 Allure of Darkness
1 Painful Choice
1 Machine Duplication
1 Monster Reborn
1 Premature Burial
1 Dimension Fusion
1 Raigeki
1 Harpie’s Feather Duster
1 Snatch Steal

We are come now to the Spell Card line-up, which in truth is the last section to discuss – any desired Trap Card would inevitably prove to be too slow to be of any distinct use to this strategy. While it would indeed be nice to run Imperial Order, and possibly Ring of Destruction in addition, such options would offer no specific advantage to the deck as a whole configuration, only finding use when the opponent is involved and, furthermore, only prior to being Set beforehand. Ergo, I decided the omitting of Trap Cards altogether was the best option, for the sake of maximum reliability.

A total of ten theme-specific Spell Cards which allow the drawing of cards stand out in the above list. Quite simply, a Turbo deck is designed to claim victory on the very first turn it can declare an attack, and this plethora of drawing Spells, in addition to the more intricate drawing combos presented by the Monster Card list, will achieve this on the most consistent basis possible: three copies of Fortune’s Future round out the Fortune Lady engine, and has already been discussed and concluded as the cornerstone to the entire idea; three copies of Trade-In then make an appearance due to the abundance of Level Eight Monster Cards included here (a grand total of six, realizing the generally accepted ratio of two targets for every one draw card, expressed as the number 2:1), although this was, of course, an initial design and not an afterthought; three copies of Dark World Dealings, which not only show their usefulness by discarding the primary target of Broww, Huntsman of Dark World, but also when placing other needed Monsters into the Graveyard, such as, for example, a Fortune Lady or the Destiny Hero – Disk Commander; and, lastly, the single allowed copy of Allure of Darkness is an obvious pick within a deck running so many DARK Attribute Monsters.

From there, two copies of Gold Sarcophagus have also been included with the intention of assisting in the drawing of cards, if not drawing cards directly; one is able to select a Fortune Lady Monster from the deck and send it to the Removed from Play pile, whither it can then be immediately used for the activation of a Fortune’s Future. Searching for and Removing Dark Magician of Chaos, or any other required Monster, followed by the activation of Dimension Fusion, is also an acceptable play. Only two copies of Gold Sarcophagus were included in order to prevent the drawing of multiple situational cards at the same time. In the same vein, a single copy of Machine Duplication was also included for the option, should it present itself, to Special Summon all remaining copies of Cyber Valley from the deck; such, while being a welcome addition to the arsenal, is not by any means an essential one, furthering the decision to only run the lone copy.

The drawing and searching potential is completed by what we might suitably term ‘staple’ cards: Pot of Greed, Graceful Charity, Card Destruction and Painful Choice. These four Spells realise a great potential in not only the Traditional Format as a whole (hence the use of the term ‘staple’), but especially and most notably in the DARK School of Thought, a school of Yu-Gi-Oh! specifically centred on speed and an overwhelming abuse of the Graveyard. Each one either draws more cards or places combo pieces into the Graveyard for future use, and some even have the distinct possibility of doing both. Their existence is obviously welcome in general, by it is particularly noteworthy in this case.

The next three Spell Cards represent the final additions to the set of Special Summon effects utilized to achieve the game-ending swarm of Monsters: Monster Reborn and Premature Burial both grant the revival of a single large Monster with which to either attack, or advance the deck towards a point in which attacking becomes the object of the mind; and Dimension Fusion, inarguably one of the most powerful Spell Cards ever printed, will most often Special Summon many Monsters at once. These cards are, however, in need of more discussion. While many One-Turn-Knockout strategies would find Monster Reborn, Premature Burial and Dimension Fusion being the instrumental cards in the win condition, the Spells here have a much different, even strange, purpose, due to the peculiar construction of the deck – that is, the majority of the large Monsters which will do the necessary attacking will, in fact, Special Summon themselves, and so these three Spell Cards will function more as combo cards than anything else, creating or facilitating more draws or facilitating the retrieval other needed cards from the Graveyard. They should, of course, be played thus.

Lastly (but by no means the least important aspect), three pieces of generic, Traditional Format field control have been included: Harpie’s Feather Duster, Raigeki and Snatch Steal, the former being able to deal with an opponent’s back row while the latter two deal with the opponent’s front row. While these Spell Cards add nothing to the deck in the sense of strategic importance, they are nevertheless essential in creating a stable battle-oriented deck. To omit them would be to denounce the existence of an opponent altogether, and while the First-Turn-Knockout deck does in fact do this the most extreme degree, it is not the place of the One-Turn-Knockout deck to do so. Although far from being a control-oriented strategy, in which the idea is to restrict the opponent’s moves by reacting to anything they do, there is still a need here, if only a slight one, for the ability to answer threats offered by an opponent; Harpie’s Feather Duster, Raigeki and Snatch Steal comprise the most versatile suite for such, I have discovered.

With the possibilities in this great game, and especially when considered within the increased card pool of the Traditional Format, being very close to infinite, it is almost impossible (or, at the very least, I think so) to sit back and allow ourselves to become slaves to what the wider population consider to be the standard architecture. Doing so would only serve to prevent the growth of Yu-Gi-Oh! to any standard in which ‘flourishing’ would be an appropriate adjective. Although there have indeed been some formats ruled by one deck build (the now termed ‘TeleDAD’ format of September 2008 springs instantly to mind), this time appears to be over – there is merely a need for players to realise this. While I am not condoning, I should clarify, the extradition of what we call ‘meta’ (for meta should always, in my opinion, be the dominant, or even only, force), the leg room available within that term is enormous, as exemplified by the topic of this composition: through the use of a little explored drawing engine, and some additional support in the way of tried and true tricks, I have discovered (or rather, simply unclouded) yet another fast, powerful and consistent One-Turn-Knockout strategy. Now, whether it takes off is another story, but the success I have had warrants, I believe, at the least some further investigation.

1 comment:

  1. A perfect balanced deck as always Jamie. The most interesting build with Fortune Ladies that I have seen for a long time. When I saw the title I moaned : "Oh, more Chaos stuff" but it proved to be really unique. Though I prefer Heavy Storm over Snatch Steal but this is just a preference.

    I have also to add that the last paragraph is exactly the same as my beliefs and it is sad to see the vast majority of players imitating one another limiting their creativity to single tech cards.

    Keep up the good work!