Abyss Rising Set Review - Part 2

Jason Grabher-Meyer

11/12/2012 1:07:00 PM
 Comments

Last week we opened up our gigantic Abyss Rising Set Review with an in-depth investigation into the effect monsters of the new set! Today we're going to continue on, looking at the notable Xyz, spells, and traps. As always the list is arbitrary and consists entirely of cards that I think are worth discussing. I personally anticipate at least one card to draw some attention strictly for not making my list this time around, so if your favorite isn't here, voice your opinion down in the Comments.

Part 3 will finish out this article series by profiling the OCG import and World Premiere cards tagged onto the back of the set, so today we're looking at two dozen cards from the core release. It's going to be a long day of card reviewin', so let's get right to it!

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 Gagaga Cowboy
$4.99
$4.19
$3.37
Gagaga Cowboy
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN041
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1500 / 2400
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 monsters // Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; apply this effect depending on this card's battle position. // * Attack Position: If this card attacks an opponent's monster this turn, it gains 1000 ATK and the opponent's monster loses 500 ATK, during the Damage Step only. // * Defense Position: Inflict 800 damage to your opponent.


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Gagaga Cowboy is a generic Rank 4, and it's even a Warrior-type, so you can play it with some notable Heroic Champion cards like Heroic Champion - Double Lance. It's really easy to bring out, and its effect lets it trade blows with anything packing 3000 ATK or less - it destroys basically anything you're likely to come up against this format. It's got a cool burn effect that can end games, too, and will probably become the source of some much-maligned loop play somewhere down the line despite its "once per turn" restriction.

And since it's a Gagaga, it works with Gagaga support! Love it.

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 Heroic Champion - Gandiva
$8.74
$4.30
$3.15
Heroic Champion - Gandiva
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN042
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2100 / 1800
Rarity Ultimate Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 Warrior-Type monsters // Once per turn, when a Level 4 or lower monster(s) is Special Summoned to your opponent's side of the field (except during the Damage Step). You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; destroy that Special Summoned monster(s).


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In the right match-up, Heroic Champion - Gandiva is an absolute beating. Since she's compatible with Heroic Champion - Double Lance you can 1-for-1 into her and Xyz Summon her with a single card. From there she can attack over all sorts of Level 4 and lower monsters to make +1's through battle, as well as suppressing your opponent's low-level Special Summons. Gandiva's the flip-side of Steelswarm Roach, with more ATK and an easier range of plays that allow you to Summon it. Most importantly, Gandiva can stop Special Summons that are the result of effects, not just inherent Special Summons.

Wind-Ups hate this thing: it's the bane of Wind-Up Shark, Wind-Up Magician, Wind-Up Rat, and Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity. It shuts down Tour Guide From the Underworld and Rescue Rabbit in Dino Rabbit; Inzektor Dragonfly in Inzektors; and Geargiaccelerator, Geargiarsenal, and Geargiano Mk-II in Geargias. It even stops a bunch of stuff that isn't seeing play right now, but that remains a perpetual threat in the background of competitive scenes, like Rekindling.

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 Heroic Champion - Kusanagi
$3.17
$1.43
$1.00
Heroic Champion - Kusanagi
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN043
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Warrior
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2500 / 2400
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

3 Level 4 Warrior-Type monsters // Once per turn, during either player's turn, when a Trap Card is activated: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; negate the activation, and if your do, destroy it, then this card gains 500 ATK.


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Heroic Champion - Kusanagi is another powerful addition to Elemental HERO decks, thanks to its synergy with Elemental Hero Bubbleman and A Hero Lives. It basically just says, "Your opponent won't use traps against you as long as this card remains on the field." They aren't just going to feed you free card advantage once a turn (let alone a +500 ATK boost) since you're packing as many as three negations: you drop this guy, and your opponent's trap cards are effectively offline.

"But Jason," you cry! "For three Xyz Materials, I could just play Number 16: Shock Master and stop ALL the trap cards!" Sure. But you'd have a 2300 ATK monster instead of a 2500 ATK monster. You wouldn't be able to use your trap cards either, which is huge, and Kusanagi is easier to Xyz Summon in certain situations anyways. I keep coming back to Heroic Champion - Double Lance, but that's because it's an underrated card that makes other cards worth playing. Kusanagi's no exception. Being able to 2-for-1 into this guy and then press for game is pretty great.

Kusanagi is a feather in the cap of Noble Knight strategies, too: you can use Rescue Rabbit to pop out two copies of Noble Knight Artorigus, then Special Summon Noble Knight Gawayn to overlay. Previously, the payoff for that play was limited to Number 16: Shock Master, and now you have a second option that's a better fit for certain situations. Bit by bit, Noble Knights just keep getting better.

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 Number 8: Heraldic King Genom-Heritage
$3.39
$1.33
$0.27
Number 8: Heraldic King Genom-Heritage
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN045
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Psychic
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2400 / 1800
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 "Heraldic Beast" monsters // Once per turn: You can target 1 face-up Xyz Monster your opponent controls; this card's name and original ATK become that monster's name and current ATK, and this card's effect becomes that monster original effect, then that monster's ATK becomes 0 and its effects are negated. These changes last until the End Phase.


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Man, and you thought Temtempo was cool? Number 8: Heraldic King Genom-Heritage is the ultimate Xyz Killer, stripping its target of its effects and stealing its attack points. Harsh! Note too that you don't have to expend Xyz Materials to use Genom-Heritage's effect, which is weird, but really good - it means you can combo it with stuff like Xyz Gift to draw free cards.

While we don't have many Heraldic Beasts in the TCG right now, Heraldic Beast Aberconway is notable for its decent 1800 ATK and its effect that grants you a free +1 by returning a yarded Heraldic Beast to your hand. There's an awesome support spell in this set that lets you 1-for-1 Genom-Heritage into play with some easy graveyard set-up, and we're going to see more Heraldic Beasts in Cosmo Blazer, so this is definitely a card to watch.

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 Mermail Abyssgaios
$2.98
$1.64
$0.95
Mermail Abyssgaios
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN046
Level 7
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Aqua
Attribute WATER 
A / D 2800 / 1600
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

2 Level 7 WATER monsters // While this face-up card has Xyz Material, Level 5 or higher monsters cannot attack. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; negate the effects of all face-up monsters your opponent currently controls that have less ATK than this card, until the end of the turn.


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Depending on what your build of Mermail Atlanteans looks like, it's not too far-fetched to see two copies of Mermail Abbysmegalo on the field at the same time. That means certain types of Mermail strategies are going to get some use out of Mermail Abyssgaios, playing it both for its defensive ability and its effect-stopping trick. Whether this card makes the cut for you alongside or over Big Eye' rel="/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Number 11: Big Eye">Number 11: Big Eye is questionable, but it's interesting and it can put in work in the right situations.

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 Empress of Prophecy
$3.40
$0.68
$0.39
Empress of Prophecy
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN047
Level 5
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2000 / 1700
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

2 Level 5 Spellcaster-Type monsters // This card gains 300 ATK for each Xyz Material attached to a monster you control. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; shuffle your Deck, then reveal the top 5 cards of your Deck and destroy monsters on the field up to the number of "Spellbook" cards revealed, then return the revealed cards to the top of the Deck in any order.


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Empress of Prophecy's a very cool card that's sadly relegated to casual play strictly because there's no great way to Xyz Summon her yet. Back in Part 1, we discussed the synergy between Emperor of Prophecy and Hermit of Prophecy. That's matched with more combos involving the Level-boosting effect of Spellbook of Life, but it just feels like all the puzzle pieces aren't quite there yet. It's very possible to play Empress of Prophecy: you just can't do it consistently yet, as far as I'm aware.

That said, she comes out big, hits hard, and has a great ability that can even out her own cost in Xyz Materials. I love that you can use her effect to stack the top two cards of your deck with Spellbook spells, then combo off into Spellbook Library of the Heliosphere for a quick plus, too. In my opinion, it's Heliosphere that makes an Empress deck worth playing for casual competition.

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 Madolche Queen Tiaramisu
$15.99
$6.39
$5.44
Madolche Queen Tiaramisu
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN048
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Fairy
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2200 / 2100
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 "Madolche" monsters // Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target up to 2 "Madolche" cards in your GRaveyard; shuffle those cards into the Deck, then shuffle cards your opponent controls into the Deck, up to the number of "Madolche" card returned.


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You notice that Abyss Rising is packed with strong female roles? I'm a fan of that. Madolche Queen Tiaramisu is one of three major boss cards released in the new set, finally taking Madolches to a higher level of competition. There are plenty of ways to get Tiaramisu onto the table, and once she's there her effect is usually an immediate +2 in terms of card economy: you shuffle back up to two cards from your graveyard (which doesn't impact your card presence), but your opponent loses real cards from their field.

That's a tremendously powerful effect, especially since you can 1-for-1 into Madolche Queen Tiaramisu really easily thanks to basic stuff like Madolche Magileine. But add Madolche Chateau or Madolche Ticket into the mix and things get even crazier. With Chateau on the field you'll return any monsters you'd shuffle back for Tiaramisu's ability to your hand instead of your deck, turning her from a +2 into a +4. Madolche Ticket gets you a Madolche monster from your deck instead, and since Tiaramisu's a Fairy, you can even Special Summon whatever you search. With Tiaramisu clearing the field, that Special Summon effect can often mean game when it brings out a beatstick like Madolche Chauxvalier. Not all Madolche duelists are going to continue playing Madolche Puddingcess, but if you do, you can even bring Puddingcess to the table for more havoc. And remember, the Xyz Material you detach from Tiaramisu is a valid target to return with her own ability.

Tiaramisu's nuts because she's so easy to bring out. You can play her with ease in the early game, suddenly devastating your opponent's field while throwing down some major damage. As you draw into Chateau and Ticket she gets even better. Because the Madolche boss monster is an Xyz instead of an effect monster you'd have to draw into, she's a perpetual threat. By the same token, you don't have to worry about drawing her and having her clog your hand, like a Chaos monster or an Elemental Lord that has unique Summoning requirements. While Mermails are getting the bulk of the attention right now, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw Madolches top YCS Seattle as well.

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 Snowdust Giant
$0.80
$0.16
$0.08
Snowdust Giant
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN049
Level 4
Type Xyz/Effect Monster
Monster Beast-Warrior
Attribute WATER 
A / D 2200 / 800
Rarity Rare
Card Text

2 Level 4 WATER monsters // Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; reveal any number of WATER monsters from your hand, and place that many Ice Counters on face-up monsters on the field. Non-WATER monsters on the field lose 200 ATK for each Ice Counter on the field.


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Snowdust Giant is the first of two big reasons in Abyss Rising to play a deck built around Ice Counters. The Giant is what the Ice Counter mechanic should have had from the beginning: an accessible monster that both places Counters onto the field with ease, and that provides an immediate payoff for doing so. While it won't guarantee you any immediate pluses, Snowdust Giant's ATK-reducing ability is pretty good at getting you over your opponent's biggest monsters, and spreading Ice Counters all over the field can lock down your opponent's moves so long as you can protect the Giant. The sheer number of Ice Counters can be a huge boon in combination with one of the OCG imports tagged onto the tail end of Abyss Rising, and we'll discuss that in Part 3 tomorrow.

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 Gagagigo the Risen
$1.40
$0.28
$0.10
Gagagigo the Risen
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN050
Level 4
Type Xyz Monster
Monster Reptile
Attribute WATER 
A / D 2950 / 2800
Rarity Rare
Card Text

3 Level 4 monsters


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I look at Gagagigo the Risen the same way I looked at Sword Breaker in Return of the Duelist: it's not an amazing card, but it has a niche and if you have room for it in your Extra Deck it's worth playing. This new incarnation of Gagagigo is unique simply because it has higher ATK than any other Rank 4. If you're playing a deck where you can muster three Level 4 Xyz Materials on occasion, it could be worth running. Note too that like Genom-Heritage, Gagagigo the Risen doesn't need its Xyz Materials for any sort of effect - it's another great fit for Xyz Gift.

High
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 Different Dimension Deepsea Trench
$0.75
$0.15
$0.07
Different Dimension Deepsea Trench
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN052
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

When this card is activated: Banish 1 WATER monster from your hand, Graveyard, or side of the field. When this face-up card is destroyed: Special Summon the monster banished by this effect.


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Moving onto the spells, Different Dimension Deepsea Trench is narrow, but you can use it to set up some cool combos with Levia-Dragon Daedalus. The release of the World Premiere card Slushy means that might actually be relevant, so if you decide to try a Daedalus deck, give this thing a shot. It can turn field-clearing plays into instant wins. Yes, it does combo with a variety of removal effects too, but if you're going to be playing Deepsea Trench you want to run it in a very specialized kind of strategy to ensure you make the most of it.

High
Mid
Low
 Advanced Heraldry Art
$1.20
$0.24
$0.15
Advanced Heraldry Art
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN055
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Rare
Card Text

Target 2 "Heraldic Beast" monsters in your Graveyard; Special Summon both those targets. Immediately after this card resolves, Xyz Summon 1 Xyz Monster using those 2 monsters only.


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Advanced Heraldry Art is, in my opinion, what puts the Heraldic Beasts on the map. There isn't a full strategy here yet, but once we get more Heraldic Beast cards it's going to be pretty awesome to set up a graveyard and then have three double Monster Reborns that take you immediately into a Rank 4 Xyz Monster. Note that while you can - and often will - use Advanced Heraldry Art to Xyz Summon Number 8: Heraldic King Genom-Heritage, you don't have to. You can bring out any generic Rank 4, which makes this a vastly more flexible card than some might realize.

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Low
 Lemuria, the Forgotten City
$0.90
$0.18
$0.09
Lemuria, the Forgotten City
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN057
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

This card's name is treated as "Umi". All WATER monsters gain 200 ATK and DEF. Once per turn, during your Main Phase: You can have all WATER monsters you currently control gain Levels equal to the number of WATER monsters you currently control, until the End Phase.


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Oh, this card is so cool for so many reasons! Played in a Frog deck, Lemuria, the Forgotten City can boost Ronintoadins and Treeborn Frogs to Level 3, Level 4, or Level 5, letting you make big Xyz Summons essentially for free. In a Superancient Deepsea King Coelacanth Deck, you can use Coelacanth's effect to bring out Level 3 or Level 4 monsters to make Rank 8 or Rank 9 Xyz Summons - it's one of the best ways to play the new Number 9: Dyson Sphere. You can abuse Cloudian - Turbulence and Cloudian - Smokeball, or even play Lemuria with Deepsea Diva to make Level 8 Synchro Summons instead of Level 4's or Level 5's.

Beyond that, it provides a 200 point ATK boost and it counts as Umi. That opens up entirely new dimensions of strategy for anyone interested in Codarus, letting you leverage your use of Umi into not just a destructive ability, but also big, imposing Xyz Summons. I'm almost sad this card isn't getting more attention.

Also? I like the fact that "Lemuria" sounds like it's a forgotten city of adorable, hyper-intelligent seafaring lemurs.

High
Mid
Low
 Spellbook of Eternity
$1.05
$0.21
$0.08
Spellbook of Eternity
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN058
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Rare
Card Text

Target 1 of your banished "Spellbook" Spell Cards except "Spellbook of Eternity"; add that target to your hand. You can only activate 1 "Spellbook of Eternity" per turn.


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Spellbook of Eternity is a slick little card in the mid and late game, effectively acting as a Spellbook of Secrets but in reverse: it gets you used stuff instead of making pulls from your deck. Like Secrets, it keeps your graveyard loaded with Spellbooks for stuff like High Priestess of Prophecy and The Grand Spellbook Tower, and it gives you another way to play Justice of Prophecy and Temperance of Prophecy without diminishing your card presence.

The problem? Spellbook of Eternity is a mid-game card that's dead in the early game, in a strategy that's already filled with cards like that. It can feed your effects while reverse-toolboxing cards you need, but it can also be useless for turn after turn, leading to an early loss. The primary challenge for any Prophecy duelist is overcoming the fact that the deck can have weak early game draws. That's the risk you accept playing Spellbook of Eternity, so try to take that into account when you're deciding whether or not to run it.

High
Mid
Low
 Spellbook of Fate
$5.65
$1.13
$0.75
Spellbook of Fate
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN059
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If you control a Spellcaster-Type monster: You can banish up to 3 "Spellbook" Spell Cards from your Graveyard; apply this effect, depending on the number of Spell Cards banished for this card's activation. You can only activate 1 "Spellbook of Fate" per turn. // * 1: Return 1 Set Spell/Trap Card on the field to the hand. // * 2: Change 1 monster on the field to face-down Defense Position or face-up Attack Position. // * 3: Banish 1 card your opponent controls.


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Another mid-game card, Spellbook of Fate is - to me - far more impressive than Spellbook of Eternity. On its own it does nothing, but for the cost of banishing one Spellbook Spell you can Compulsory Evacuation Device away a set Spell or Trap card. That's a -1 of your card economy, because you lose your Spellbook of Fate while your opponent just takes their card back. But if it frees you up to score a quick +1 or +2 with High Priestess of Prophecy it's totally worthwhile.

It's the two-book threshold where this card gets interesting. If you can banish two Spellbooks, Spellbook of Fate becomes a better Book of Moon. Since it's a Quick-Play spell you can set it and play it defensively by turning a would-be attacker face-down, or you can play it from your hand to turn a defender to attack position and run it over. Alternatively you can play it on one of your own monsters to refresh their abilities: flip down a used Spellbook Magician of Prophecy and you can get Spellbook of Secrets, then use that to search out whatever Spellbook you need. You banish two Spellbooks from your graveyard to do that, but you'll get Fate and Secrets into your graveyard to compensate, and you'll score a third Spellbook in the process. Pretty good!

Finally, if you banish three Spellbooks you can just remove anything your opponent has on the field. Banishing three books is a hefty cost, but the ability to rid the game of any card - at Spell Speed 2 on any player's turn! - is kind of amazing. Spellbook of Fate is definitely worth playing, even if you just run one copy and search it out when it's needed.

High
Mid
Low
 The Grand Spellbook Tower
$34.90
$27.98
$22.22
The Grand Spellbook Tower
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN060
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Once per turn, during your Standby Phase, if you have a Spellcaster-Type monster on your side of the field or in your Graveyard: You can return 1 "Spellbook" Spell Card from your Graveyard to the bottom of your Deck, except "The Grand Spellbook Tower", then draw 1 card. When this card is destroyed by your opponent's card and sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 Spellcaster-Type monster from your hand or Deck whose Level is less than or equal to the number of "Spellbook" Spell Cards in your Graveyard.


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The Grand Spellbook Tower is an integral card that may make Prophecy monsters a real tournament contender. Amanda LaPalme recently wrote that the main challenge facing Prophecies is that so many of their cards are dead in the early game. She opined that The Grand Spellbook Tower compensates for those dead cards by giving you extra draw power after its first draw (which balances the Tower itself), and I wholly agree. That pacing issue is definitely the biggest problem the deck suffers from, and while Tower isn't a perfect solution, it's pretty good. Searchable via Spellbook of Secrets and Spellbook Magician, it's easily dug out of your Main Deck in the early game, and it combos nicely with Temperance of Prophecy to quickly set up your graveyard. This is one of the most anticipated cards in the set, and for good reason.

High
Mid
Low
 Madolche Ticket
$0.73
$0.21
$0.08
Madolche Ticket
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN061
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Common
Card Text

When a "Madolche" card is returned from your side of the field or Graveyard to your hand or Deck by a card effect: Add 1 "Madolche" monster from your Deck to your hand. If you control a face-up Fairy-Type "Madolche" monster, you can Special Summon it in face-up Attack Position instead. You can only use the effect of "Madolche Ticket" once per turn.


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Madolche Ticket is one of the most powerful new additions to the Madolche strategy. A searchable Black Whirlwind that you can play up to three copies of, it turns the Sisyphean task of destroying Madolche monsters into an even more futile exercise, giving the Madolche player a free card just because you destroyed one of their monsters. It offers a kind of protection that's similar to Madolche Chateau, but it can allow for more flexible decision making. It can also combo with Chateau to create a ridiculously frustrating set-up that's tough to overcome.

Combined with Madolche Queen Tiaramisu the Ticket's a true terror, letting you turn the Queen's +2 effect that shuffles opposing cards back into the deck, into a +3 that leverages your searched monster straight into field presence with a Special Summon. Free cards are great, but free cards that then become direct attacks for game are even better. There's some debate about Ticket, but I personally think it's a must-play at two per deck.

High
Mid
Low
 Mind Pollutant
$0.75
$0.15
$0.03
Mind Pollutant
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN064
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Rare
Card Text

Discard 1 monster to target 1 monster of that Level your opponent controls; take control of that target until the End Phase.


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Mind Pollutant is an intriguing card, offering the chance to make a 2-for-2 trade of card economy provided you don't wind up returning the opponent's monster. It requires a more specific sacrifice than Enemy Controller, and since it's a Normal Spell you can't play it on your opponent's turn, but it doesn't eat your field presence: that makes it far easier to use whatever you take for a Tribute or Xyz Summon. It's got some decent potential in mirror matches where you're more likely to be able to Level-match your opponent's monsters on a decently frequent basis.

High
Mid
Low
 Bubble Bringer
$1.24
$0.32
$0.15
Bubble Bringer
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN067
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Level 4 or higher monsters cannot attack directly. During your turn: You can send this face-up card from the field to the Graveyard to target 2 Level 3 or lower WATER monsters with the same name in your Graveyard; Special Summon this targets. Their effects are negated.


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I think we're playing in a format where Bubble Bringer is a little too slow for current Water decks, but it's a really interesting combination of disposable defense and aggressive Special Summoning. We've certainly seen cards like this before, stuff like Level Limit - Area B and Gravity Bind, but the fact that you can turn Bubble Bringer off at almost any time makes it a very different card. And the fact that you Special Summon a Rank 3 Xyz (or a pair of monsters like say, Deep Sea Diva) when you decide it's time to come out of your shell makes it a dynamic threat any time it's face-up.

High
Mid
Low
 Abyss-squall
$1.30
$0.38
$0.21
Abyss-squall
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN071
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Target 3 "Mermail" monsters in your Graveyard; Special Summon those targets in face-up Defense Position. Their effects are negated and they cannot declare an attack. Destroy them during the End Phase.


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Again, I think the current pace of competition might be too fast for Abyss-squall, but there's definitely a playable card here. Searchable with Mermail Abyssmegalo, you can use it to gather Materials for a Rank 3, Rank 4, or even a Rank 7 Xyz Summon. You can also use it to play the effect of Mermail Abysslinde, since its ability triggers in the Graveyard when it's destroyed. The lack of deck space and its uselessness in the early game are the two big factors that are likely to keep this card out of competitive play, but it's searchable off an effect that's a natural +1 to begin with, and from there it offers an additional +1 or +2 when played correctly. That's tough to ignore.

High
Mid
Low
 Abyss-sphere
$6.99
$5.61
$4.36
Abyss-sphere
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN072
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Special Summon 1 "Mermail" monster from your Deck. Its effects are negated. You cannot activate any Spell Cards. When this card leaves the field, destroy that monster. Destroy this card during your opponent's next End Phase after activation.


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Abyss-sphere is where the money is. Even if you only have room for one copy, this is a must-run in Mermail Atlanteans strictly so you have something to search out with Mermail Abyssmegalo's "go get a free card" effect. You can use Abyss-sphere to Special Summon an Abyssmegalo straight from your deck as a temporary beatstick, or you can get a Mermail Abysslinde on your opponent's turn to dodge 'sphere's drawbacks; when it's destroyed you can make a more permanent Special Summon.

Abyss-sphere is chainable, so if your opponent tries to destroy it with Mystical Space Typhoon or Heavy Storm when it's set, you can activate it in response to bring out Mermail Abysslinde and plus off the exchange. It's a really difficult card to play against, and it may prove to shape the way Mermail Atlantean duelists build their trap lineups. There's a strong opportunity to play a fully chainable roster of traps here, which could make Mermails extremely tough to approach.

High
Mid
Low
 Madolchepalooza
$4.39
$1.46
$0.97
Madolchepalooza
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN074
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Special Summon any number of "Madolche" monster from your hand, but shuffle them into the Deck during the End Phase.


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This card's kind of nuts. Searchable with Madolche Messengelato, Madolchepalooza lets you flood the field with attackers which then return to your deck during your End Phase. You can dodge that backlash effect by using those monsters to Xyz Summon Madolche Queen Tiaramisu, and with Madolchepalooza in the graveyard you can use it as fodder for the Queen's field-wrecking ability. Even if you do have to send a card back to your deck, you can get a free search with Madolche Ticket anyways.

And you can trigger Madolche Messengelato's ability.

And you can cheat Madolche Puddingcess into play.

And sometimes it just wins you the game before any of that's relevant.

High
Mid
Low
 Memory of an Adversary
$2.21
$0.98
$0.49
Memory of an Adversary
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN075
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

When an opponent's monster declares an attack: You take damage equal to the attacking monster's ATK, and if you do, banish that monster. During the End Phase of your opponent's next turn, Special Summon that monster to your side of the field.


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This is one of my favorite cards in the set. While similar trap-based removal like Dimensional Prison functions as a 1-for-1 that saves you from taking damage or losing a monster, Memory of an Adversary can still save your monster, but lets you trade Life Points to take an attacker. While Leviair the Sea Dragon can return a low Level monster that was Memory'd back to the field before you can assume control of it, big monsters are helpless, and stealing something like Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning or Archlord Kristya is just ridiculous.

Memory's an early game or mid-game card that's better when you have more Life Points to bargain with, and it can conflict with Solemn Judgment and Solemn Warning. But it can also win games by turning the tables on your opponent, dealing them a harsh -1 that you can leverage into further card advantage with attacks. This is one of those cards that I bet no one plays, despite the fact that it's obviously powerful and has serious potential in most match-ups. While there are a handful of Xyz Monsters you may not want to bother pilfering, most serious attackers are going to be worth taking.

High
Mid
Low
 That Wacky Alchemy!
$1.48
$0.32
$0.19
That Wacky Alchemy!
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN077
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

If a face-up Spell Card(s) in your opponent's Spell & Trap Card Zones is sent to the Graveyard: You can Target 1 face-up monster on the field; destroy that target.


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That Wacky Alchemy! is a potentially confusing card that many might not understand. It's easy to look at this thing and see a card that requires something like Mystical Space Typhoon or Dust Tornado to play, and that would only be useful against a deck running Continuous Spells or Swords of Revealing Light. But that's not the case.

You can activate That Wacky Alchemy any time a face-up spell card is sent from your opponent's back row to their graveyard, and that includes any spell sent as part of its resolution. They play a spell; it resolves; you blow something up. Players are used to confronting monster destruction traps when they make a Summon or an attack. Few are ready for the shock of targeted spot removal blowing away their best monster when they resolve a spell card, so it throws your opponent off balance. It's a disorienting thing to play against, so give it a shot in whatever you're running. You might be surprised by it.

High
Mid
Low
 Retort
$12.95
$2.59
$1.89
Retort
Set Abyss Rising
Number ABYR-EN080
Type Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

When your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card with the same name as one in your Graveyard: Negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card. Then your can add 1 card with that name from your Graveyard to your hand.


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How cool is Retort? Since trap cards are so popular right now, it's really common to see stuff like Solemn Judgment, Solemn Warning, Bottomless Trap Hole, Compulsory Evacuation Device, and Torrential Tribute seeing play on both sides of the table. Retort is a mid-game card that rewards you for playing your traps aggressively: if you used a particular trap card and your opponent then goes to activate the same card later, Retort doesn't just negate the opposing trap as a 1-for-1: it returns your copy of that trap to your hand, giving you a huge +1 while beating down your opponent's defenses.

Like Starlight Road, it's really easy for that initial +1 to become a +2 if it lets you make a successful attack the turn you activated it, and your initial plus - which will almost always come in the form of a free defensive trap - can help you keep the card advantage and the control over the game that Retort's negation created.

It's a really great card, especially in trap-heavy mirror matches.

Alright, we just looked at twenty-four different cards, so it's time to pack it in for today! Join us tomorrow as we finish out this massive Abyss Rising set review, with a look at the OCG import and World Premiere cards!

-Jason Grabher-Meyer

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