7/6/2012 11:04:00 AM
Have you ever found yourself in a Duel noticing something fishy is going on? You ignore your feeling anyway, and then BAM! You fall for your opponents trap (or puns) hook, line, and sinker? Well, today you'll definitely have that feeling, as we talk about Banish Fish!
Banish Fish (Or Banishark, or Generation Fish - depending on your preference) is an archetype that kind of just swam through the Dueling community unnoticed when it was first released in Generation Force
. Which, in hindsight, is completely understandable considering that was the pack that introduced the Xyz mechanic to the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. With the release of subsequent boosters, the archetype has garnered more support - yet no presence in practically any current metagames. How many Banish Fish decks have you seen in your locals, regionals, or a YCS for that matter? Probably none - in fact, you've probably got a greater chance of spotting the Loch Ness monster.
There is one place where I've noticed Banish Fish having a presence, though - and that is amongst the online community, where there exists a small group of Duelists who love this humble little archetype. I've got to admit, after watching several of their deck profile videos, Banish Fish have reeled my heart right in, too! So here's my humble attempt at Banish Fish:
Don't Fall for the Bait
Before you ask, "Where is [insert Banish Fish support card name here]?", I want to explain a problem that I see happening with a lot of deck builders out there. A lot of Duelists, when constructing their next YCS roflstomper of a strategy, cannot always discern where the line is between "What archetype support should I include?" and "How much
archetype support should I include?" - especially when experimenting with a new a pool of monsters that they haven't played before. It's a problem any player can run into regardless of skill, and the easiest way to avoid this problem is understanding how to analyze individual cards.
The best way to do this is by understanding two basic principles of the game - utility and synergy. Synergy is, in essence, how well one card plays nicely with other cards. Wingtortoise
is a great example of a card with excellent synergy: by himself he's practically useless, but when combo'd with Airorca
he becomes this neverending nuisance harassing your opponent and enabling bigger moves. Any card that works at its strongest when combined with another card is considered to have excellent synergy. Now, on the opposite end of the spectrum is a card like Snowman Eater
, which has excellent utility. Snowman Eater
is completely uninterested in working with anybody else - he just wants to blow up something and be on his way. That's utility - a card with a great effect that works completely on its own. Understand, though, that these are very rudimentary explanations of these two principles. If you want to learn more about them I suggest you go back into the article archives and find the two pieces Jason wrote on the subjects. (Jason's Jot: You can find those articles and more Core Theory work, over in the Core Theory Archive on the TCGplayer facebook feed right here!
With that being said, those two principles have a lot to do with what kind of support I included in this deck. The thing that you need to understand is that a successful strategy needs to have synergy to reach a truly competitive level of potential, but in moderation. If a deck is loaded with cards that are focused on synergy and creating combos, you're going to find yourself with clunky hands that won't always do what you expect or desire. That's why this build might look like it's very skim on Banish Fish support cards at first glance
You may also notice that there is a glaring lack of cards that forcibly remove my Fish, Sea Serpent, and Aqua type monsters from play. Dimensional Fissure
and Macros Cosmos are both great cards, but believe it or not, both were totally lackluster in testing; so much so that they caused me to lose on several occasions because they cluttered my field and hand. Yes, they disrupted my opponent's play patterns. But they actually disrupted mine as well, especially one of this deck's strongest players, Wingtortoise
. He NEEDS to be in the graveyard when he's not in your hand or on the field, and those cards don't always allow for that. Let's move forward to the monsters, though, and I can explain more there.
Welcome to the Fishery!
This strategy has two components to it: the fish and the fishermen. When you combine those two aspects you get the complete engine of the deck. Let's talk first about the fish. Snowman Eater
, Shark Stickers
are considered to fall into this group. The fish do a lot of the grunt work for you. Skystarray
is essentially the neverending thorn in your opponent's side. This little 3 star can attack your opponent directly for 600 every turn and then banish itself until your next standby phase; putting Skystarray
out of harm's way - which is where Wingtortoise
picks up the slack. Wingtortoise
can special summon himself from your hand or graveyard whenever a Fish, Sea Serpent, or Aqua type monster on your side of the field is banished. This little guy is one of two big reasons why this deck has no Macro Cosmos
or Dimensional Fissure
; his ability to constantly be reused is monumental to this deck.
coupled with Skystarray
can be devastating to stall strategies. Skystarray
will constantly pick away at your opponent's life points while Wingtortoise
helps to build up your field presence for repeated Xyz and Synchro summons. A really simple combo that you can find yourself repeatedly abusing is to attack with Skystarray
; banish it; and special summon a yarded Wingtortoise
, which then triggers Shark Stickers
' effect from your hand. At that point you can overlay for Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
, detach Wingtortoise
, and then be fully prepared to repeat the whole process come next turn. While this move is very simple, it's usually the simple combos that make for great plays and great decks.
and Snowman Eater
are your pop power. They'll blow up a lot of what stands in your way. Airorca
can destroy any face up card on your field at the low cost of banishing a Fish, Sea Serpent, or Aqua-type monster from your hand. When you're trying to use this thing effectively, it's a matter of determining which monster in your hand is most worth using as ammo for Airorca
. You have to predict which Fish, Sea Serpent, or Aqua-type monster will be the least useful in a given situation, which can make Airorca
a little tricky, but you get the hang of it with time.
is a tried and proven gold mine of a card. He is so simple and yet so perfect in design and execution. 1900 is a benchmark number this format and Snowman Eater
comes built and ready to answer that call with its high DEF. What he lacks in attack power, he compensates for by blowing stuff up - which can be satisfying beyond belief. His lack of attack power is actually of great benefit to this deck - which I can explain by talking about the fishermen component.
| Sea Dragon Lord Gishilnodon
A / D
2300 / 1800
1 Tuner + 1 non-Tuner Level 3 monster // When a face-up Level 3 or lower monster on the field is sent to the Graveyard, this card's ATK becomes 3000 until the End Phase of this turn.
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||Unlimited - Damaged
|Alter Reality Games
||1st Edition - Moderately Played
||Unlimited - Moderately Played
|Alter Reality Games
||Unlimited - Lightly Played
|Static Age Games
||1st Edition - Lightly Played
||1st Edition - Lightly Played
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With all of the fish swimming around, you need some way to catch hold of them. How else will you abuse their sheer aquatic awesomeness? This deck comes packed with some fishermen that can catch these guys and bring them right to the Surface
- foremost of which is Deep Sea Diva
. This is the kind of strategy where the Diva is truly worthy of her name; she's queen and she knows it. Deep Sea Diva
's Special Summon ability gives you instant access to both Skystarray
, which in turn opens you up to a score of level 5 synchros, my favorite of which is Sea Dragon Lord Gishilnodon
Another simple but wonderful combo centers around Gishilnodon; when testing, I often found myself with a spent Snowman Eater
on my field with a Deep Sea Diva
in my hand. I would summon Deep Sea Diva
, activate her effect to summon Skystarray
, and then synch for Gishilnodon with the spent Snowman Eater
. That would leave the freshly summoned monster on the field with Gishilnodon. Now, one of two things would usually happen at this point: either my opponent would choose to trigger Torrential Tribute
on Gishilnodon's summon or I would go ahead and attack and they would then activate Mirror Force
. Regardless of what trap would be activated, I would chain Forbidden Lance
on Gishilnodon so that it would resolve before my opponent's card. Forbidden Lance
would drop Gishilnodon from 2300 ATK to 1500 ATK, but then after the destruction trap would resolve (destroying the other monster I had on the field), Gishilnodon's effect would trigger and double that 1500 ATK to a formidable 3000 ATK until the End Phase. It's also important to remember that Gishilnodon's effect will trigger whenever ANY level 3 or lower monster on the field is sent to the graveyard.
This next fisherman is literally my favorite card in the whole deck. Debris Dragon
hasn't seen much play this format due to the neutering of most mass synchro decks after the March F&L List. This amazing card's kind of fallen by the wayside due to most Duelist's uncertainty of the viability of a very synchrocentric monster in a format dominated by Xyz. In this deck, though, Debris Dragon
's an amazing tech pick. Remember earlier when I said that Snowman Eater
's lack of attack power is important to this strategy? Well, Debris Dragon
is why. Summon Debris, use its effect to snatch up Snowman Eater
and synch 7 for Gungnir, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
. This combo alone made me fall in love with both Debris Dragon
and in fact the entire strategy. Gungnir is a fantastic card that sees next to no play because of his strict summoning requirements - which, with Debris Dragon
, this deck can meet very easily.
is also a great mid or late game topdeck for this strategy. Since we're running a playset of both Snowman Eater
and Shark Stickers
, chances are good that we'll always have a target for Debris Dragon
's fantastic effect. If summoning Gungnir is inappropriate for the situation you can still call forth either Ancient Fairy Dragon
or Black Rose Dragon
, depending on what your extra deck looks like.
The Effect Veiler
s and Tour Guides are here to help add consistency, just as they are in a lot of other decks that run them.
Man Cannot Survive on Fish Alone!
The spell and trap line up for this deck is pretty straight forward for the most part. It all centers around keeping you and your fish afloat. We've got triple Pot of Duality
to keep your important players flowing right into your hand, as well as most of your other widely acknowledged staples: Monster Reborn
, Dark Hole
, Heavy Storm
, Mind Control
and Book of Moon
. We've already discussed Forbidden Lance
which, for our purposes, can be considered a staple as well. This deck focuses on using a lot of little guys to make a lot of big guys, so being able to protect some of the shrimpier monsters in the deck is imperative. Forbidden Lance
is great for doing just that, as is the trap line up in general.
Bottomless Trap Hole
, Torrential Tribute
, and Solemn Warning
are all pretty common in most metagames no matter where you are, but you don't always see the card I chose as the final inclusion in my trap line up: Defense Draw
. It serves as another line of defense for the little guys and can also be great when paired with Gishilnodon. Leave Gishilnodon to sit with whatever level 3 or lower monster you have with him, and when it comes time for your opponent's turn and they decide to swing over the little guy for some quick and easy damage, activate Defense Draw
, draw, and then let your opponent deal with the 3000 ATK wall that Gishlnodon has become. It's the little things in life.
You Have to Make Sure the Line Has Some Slack
One of the greatest things about this deck is its flexibility. You can swap out cards like it's going out of style, especially when it comes to your spell and trap line up. The main engine isn't dependent on anything other than itself for support, which means you can side quickly, easily, and effectively for your match-up. Take out your Heavy Storm
, Mind Control
, and Defense Draw
for a play set of Kaiser Coliseums or Royal Prison
s for your Chaos Dragon and Wind-Up matches. You could also take out the majority of your traps for playsets of Royal Decree
s and Mystical Space Typhoon
s to deal with your Rabbit match ups. Better yet, side in triple Imperial Iron Wall
! No one would ever expect that card chilling in a Banish Fish side deck! That would be a moment in which you bask in the incredulous look on your opponent's face. The lack of commitment to a definite spell and trap line up just means more flexibility in your side deck.
Considering this deck is just as at home Synchroing as it is Xyz summoning, your extra deck has some room in it as well. The extra deck was constructed to cover my bases in as many different situations as possible. You can customize it as you feel fit - just know now that 3, 5, and 7 are very important numbers for you.
Before You Go Fishing...
This deck is a ton of fun to pilot. What draws me to it is just how satisfying the simple plays this deck makes can be. There's something to be said about simple pleasures in life, and Banish Fish for me is most definitely one of those pleasures. I can't say for sure whether or not this strategy is something that could make an impact on the format with a good showing at a YCS, but I'm not one to just write something off as impossible. What I do know is that this deck is crazy fun, quirky, makes some great plays, and is totally worth giving a go. You should absolutely try it, and if you do, we can swap our big fish stories.