Competitive Corner: Top 8 Burning Abyss Infernoids

Doug Zeeff

6/20/2016 11:00:00 AM

I knew I wanted to write on Infernoids this week for Competitive Corner. Despite losing two copies of Reasoning – the deck's original win condition – Infernoids seem to be alive and kicking. Two builds using triple Goyo Defender topped Regional Qualifiers over the past couple weeks, Tuning Infernoid Decatron to a Level 1 monster to churn out a field that could often look something like Leviair the Sea Dragon, Infernoid Devyaty, and Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon.

But Steve Sandler took a drastically different approach to keeping Infernoids relevant, making it to the Top 8 of the recent ARG Circuit Series in St. Louis. Infernoids have always been a powerful theme, packing strong recursion effects as well as built-in D.D. Crow abilities. Infernoid Devyaty's especially good right now since it Heavy Storms the field when you summon it, and then you can negate monster effects. Infernoid Decatron gives the theme a ton of flexibility, not only digging straight to whatever Infernoid you need, but also providing excellent Level manipulation, something Sandler took full advantage of.

For example, Sandler described a common opening post-event, requiring Infernoid Harmadik and Infernoid Decatron. He could Normal Summon Decatron to send Infernoid Antra to the graveyard, making Decatron Level 3. From there, he'd banish the Antra to Special Summon Harmadik, putting two Level 3's on board to make a Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss. That would get him more mills, with a good chance of hitting an Infernoid or two. From there, if he had a Burning Abyss monster in hand he could make Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal. It's reminiscent of Speedroid Terrortop, but it survives many more purposes. Instead of just making Rank 3's, Sandler could summon threats like Infernoid Seitsemas to take care of established boards.

Before we delve further into how everything works, let's take a look at Sandler's list:

    Burning Abyss Infernoids Steve Sandler    
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Alich, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
1 Barbar, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
1 Calcab, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
2 Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Farfa, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
2 Fiendish Rhino Warrior
1 Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
1 Infernoid Antra
2 Infernoid Attondel
3 Infernoid Decatron
2 Infernoid Devyaty
3 Infernoid Harmadik
1 Infernoid Onuncu
1 Infernoid Patrulea
3 Infernoid Seitsemas
1 Libic, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
3 Maxx "C"
3 Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss
1 Tour Guide From the Underworld
Monsters [35]
1 Foolish Burial
1 One for One
3 Twin Twisters
Spells [5]
Deck Total [40]
2 Dark Hole
3 Enemy Controller
2 Fairy Wind
3 Majesty's Fiend
2 Mask of Restrict
1 Raigeki
2 Void Imagination
Side Deck [15]


2 Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal
1 Dante, Pilgrim of the Burning Abyss
3 Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss
1 Gaia Knight, the Force of Earth
1 Infernoid Tierra
1 Leviair the Sea Dragon
1 Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1 Number 47: Nightmare Shark
1 Number F0: Utopic Future
1 Scrap Archfiend
1 Super Quantal Mech Beast Grampulse
Extra Deck [15]

One of the biggest links between the two strategies was Fiendish Rhino Warrior, and I'm honestly surprised that Sandler only ran two copies. Rhino solves two issues for this strategy: first, it prevents your Burning Abyss monsters from blowing up when you have an Infernoid on the field; and second, it mills virtually whatever you need. If you desperately need a Burning Abyss monster you can send Graff, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss to the grave, but sometimes you're short one Infernoid, so you can always dump those instead.

Admittedly, he probably just didn't have enough space for a third copy. Sandler already had to make a ton of cuts to fit everything in. He only played two Infernoid Attondel, usually a three-of, and singles of Infernoid Patrulea and Infernoid Antra. Patrulea's been a staple three-of for as long as I can remember, but it's less important here because it's not Level 3 and it's not a bigger Infernoid that you can summon from the grave.

Notice that he also cut both Monster Gate and Reasoning. That's huge, showing that Sandler was confident Infernoids were still good not only minus two Reasonings, but without any of them at all. Both cards contribute to luck-based wins, but Sandler must have realized that it conflicted with the Burning Abyss monsters. Not only that, he really wanted to play three Maxx “C”, and that wouldn't be possible with cards like Reasoning and Monster Gate in the deck.

Against Competitive Metagames
One of my favorite things about this hybrid deck is that each theme compensates for the downfalls of the other. For example, Burning Abyss generally has a rough time against Domain Monarchs because Domain of the True Monarchs locks them out of the game completely. All of the Burning Abyss monsters are super weak and get run over by any of the Monarchs. Luckily, Infernoid Seitsemas and Infernoid Devyaty directly out the deadly Field Spell, and Infernoid Attondel can crash with any of the 2800 ATK monsters to get a Tribute Summoned monster off the field.

Conversely, the Burning Abyss monsters help by preventing Infernoids from bricking. Any two Burning Abyss monsters gets you to a Dante to mill three cards, and with 35 monsters you're bound to get something good. While some Infernoid duelists have gravitated to the aforementioned Goyo Defender to help create large fields, Sandler went with the Burning Abyss monsters, which makes up for the lack of explosiveness by being far more reliable.

 Infernoid Onuncu
Infernoid Onuncu95480
Set Secrets of Eternity
Number SECE-EN019
Level 10
Type Effect
Monster Fiend
Attribute FIRE 
A / D 3000 / 3000
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand or Graveyard) by banishing 3 "Infernoid" monsters from your hand or Graveyard while the total Levels and Ranks of all Effect Monsters you control are 8 or lower, and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. When this card is Special Summoned: You can destroy all other monsters on the field. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when a Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated: You can Tribute 1 monster; negate the activation, and if you do, banish that card.

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One thing Sandler talked about post-event was that he felt his list was underprepared for Kozmos. Originally he thought that the three Majesty's Fiend in the Side Deck would be enough, but later he wanted to add not only System Down, but also a second copy of Number F0: Utopic Future. He said he'd cut the Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction, which makes perfect sense. Conventional Burning Abyss decks need Acid Golem as a big attacker, but with Infernoids in the mix that shouldn't be an issue.

Void Imagination is cool Side Deck pick that shows up repeatedly in Infernoid lists, although Sandler had to play a smaller engine because the Extra Deck was so tight. Imagination's a fantastic counter to decks that heavily rely on the Extra Deck like Burning Abyss and Pendulums, and it sets you up for a quick win if you can resolve it. I'd assume that he only needed two copies because he's just using one Infernoid Onuncu, a requirement for Infernoid Tierra's Fusion Summon. If he played three Imagination there's a high chance of he'd get stuck with dead copies, something I'm positive he wanted to avoid.

What's really awesome is that I think this variant has room to grow. It might be possible to fit both Burning Abyss monsters and the Goyo Defender combo, leading to a consistent powerhouse capable of ridiculous first turns. Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal is not only a defensive wall but also a way to aggressively send Infernoids to the grave, putting opponents in a difficult spot.

Regardless, this is an excellent starting point for a totally off-the-wall strategy, and I can't wait to see how Sandler improves on it in the coming weeks!

-Doug Zeeff

Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered semi-Yu-Gi-Oh! related content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, playing Overwatch, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!

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