What’s The Call: Squires Versus Speedroids

Doug Zeeff

7/4/2016 11:00:00 AM
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It seems like it was yesterday when I posted an article about consistency, power, and longevity, announcing that it was the beginning of several discussions about the North American World Championship Qualifier. And yet here I am, writing my last article before one of the biggest events of the year wraps up.

Today I wanted to talk about a fairly debated topic: should you play Squires or Speedroids in your Extra Deck Monarchs. Both engines are four cards, and both facilitate Tribute Summons, which makes for an easy comparison. If you take a look at recent Top Cut Monarch lists you'll notice that people are usually playing one or the other, but not both. What's interesting is that there truly doesn't seem to be a right answer between the two: even the hyper competitive players seem to be divided.

That being said, I wanted to analyze both engines from an objective standpoint to help you make your own conclusion for the North American WCQ. While some duelists will always hang by their original choice, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each will prevent you from having regret this weekend.

The Squires
If you're running Squires in your Extra Deck Monarchs, chances are you're playing two Edea the Heavenly Squire and two Eidos the Underworld Squire. That's by far the most standard option, although some duelists change those ratios slightly. For example, it's not unheard of to play three Edea so you see it before Eidos, or to play just one Eidos so you hardly ever draw it.

Right off the bat, this is a big characteristic of the Squires: you're generally playing two good cards and two bad cards. Edea's definitely the one you want to draw, but it's completely useless without an Eidos left in deck. So you want to see the Edea early, but you still have to play a solid number of Eidos to balance out. It's not that Eidos is horrible to draw, it's just that it could be any piece of interchangeable tribute fodder.

The obvious benefit is that running Edea and Eidos gives you a ton of longevity on two distinct fronts. First, when Edea hits the graveyard you get to add back a banished Monarch spell or trap. That gives you bonus access to almost every card in your deck, nabbing back banished Pantheisms as well as virtually any card you banish with The Prime Monarch. It also combos beautifully with Brilliant Fusion, yarding Gem-Knight Garnet and Edea to earn all the regular perks of Gem-Knight Seraphinite as well as a free card off of Edea.

The second way these cards bolster longevity is through the Eidos' graveyard effect. You can banish it to Special Summon another Squire from your grave, which is usually going to be Edea, which then gets you another Eidos. That puts tribute fodder on your side of the field without using your Normal Summon, so Eidos' on-field effect kicks in to give you two Tribute Summons that turn. That's a one-two punch that can cause a lot of mayhem, and there aren't really any alternative cards that do anything similar.

 Edea the Heavenly Squire
$2.05
$0.79
$0.34
Edea the Heavenly Squire111651
Set Structure Deck: Emperor of Darkness
Number SR01-EN003
Level 1
Type Effect Monster
Monster Warrior
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 800 / 1000
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 monster with 800 ATK and 1000 DEF from your Deck in Defense Position, except "Edea the Heavenly Squire", also you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 of your banished "Monarch" Spell/Trap Cards; add it to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Edea the Heavenly Squire" once per turn.


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Ideally, you're drawing the first Edea and Brilliant Fusion without ever seeing the others. The single Edea will grab both copies of Eidos from your deck over two turns, and Brilliant Fusion yards the other Edea. In that best case scenario you've earned up to three free banished cards as well as avoided worrying about tribute fodder for two turns. That shift in momentum can totally throw the game in your favor, especially combined with the already powerful Monarchs themselves.

Of course, this is Yu-Gi-Oh, and you're not going to draw the perfect hand all the time. Not only that, but Edea and Eidos lose really, really hard to any sort of trap card or hand trap monster. Because they take up your Normal Summon, you're basically passing your turn if you can't resolve their effects. That isn't the case when you have a preemptive Brilliant Fusion, of course, but if you don't have that then you wind up way behind your opponent.

That problem's amplified when you take into consideration that most opponent's Side Deck Effect Veiler against you to stop the bigger Monarchs. Edea and Eidos are fantastic at what they do, but they're only truly good at one thing: being tribute fodder. 800 ATK isn't enough to do any gigantic damage, and their mismatching Levels prevent any Xyz Summoning. If your opponent has a Mask of Restrict then you're looking at dead cards.

So the Squires are sort of in this weird spot. They're very linear, help your late game, but lose to a ton of stuff, including but not limited to their own inconsistencies and how badly they lose to traps. If you're playing Brilliant Fusion it's hard to not play the Squires, but I'm not completely sold on their validity in variants not using the powerful spell.

The Speedroids
Conversely, the Speedroids are almost a perfect contrast to the Squires, which I'll delve into shortly. Mike Steinman wasn't the first or the last duelist to play Speedroids to a successful finish, but I'd like to link his recent article where he explains why he played them at ARG St. Louis. He dissects a lot of the specific math that I'm not going to discuss in this article, so it's definitely worth the read.

So what do I mean when I say the Speedroids are the opposite of the Squires? Right off the bat, you're playing three good cards and one bad card; Speedroid Terrortop and Speedroid Taketomborg respectively. That's a blessing and a curse. You're a lot less likely to draw the one brick card in this engine, but the compromise is that you only get one shot at making it work. Fortunately, Speedroid Terrortop's better by itself than Edea anyways, mainly because it doesn't take up your Normal Summon. If you draw extra copies of Terrortop without Speedroid Taketomborg in deck you can still use them for tribute fodder, but the same can't be said for Edea without Eidos in deck.

Probably most importantly, the Speedroids can be used for Rank 3 plays, adding a new dimension to standard Extra Deck Monarchs. There are a ton of great Xyz Monsters to make, too. Totem Bird's awesome in the mirror match; Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss can mill Pantheism and Prime, as well as act as a good reveal off of Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries; and Super Mech Beast Grampulse can pop floodgates like Mask of Restrict, Rivalry of Warlords, and Secret Village of the Spellcasters.

 Speedroid Terrortop
$13.74
$1.03
$0.60
Speedroid Terrortop105998
Set High-Speed Riders
Number HSRD-EN001
Level 3
Type Effect Monster
Monster Machine
Attribute WIND 
A / D 1200 / 600
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If you control no monsters, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand). When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Speedroid" monster from your Deck to your hand, except "Speedroid Beigomax". You can only use this effect of "Speedroid Beigomax" once per turn.


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While more versatile, you're definitely taking a hit in the Monarch mirror by playing Speedroids against someone running Squires. Assuming both players are able to draw playable hands in the early game, you're both going to be doing similar things for several turns. However, when things really come down to the wire they're going to have extra tribute fodder and extra Monarch spells or traps, which could cause issues. The counter argument to that, is that the Squires are inherently more inconsistent, so you might not get to the late game in the first place, but that seems shaky at best.

Just like the how the Squires have synergy with Brilliant Fusion, the Speedroids have synergy with Super Quantums. With Super Quantum Blue Layer and Terrortop you can make Grampulse with the added bonus of it being a Quick Effect, which is extremely relevant in the Pendulum matchup. That also makes good use of the second and third Terrortop, and gives you Rank 3 access in the late game.

In Summary
If you were biased towards one side of this discussion coming into it, I hope this article showed you the benefits from the other engine. On the surface it might seem as simple as looking at which five card engine you're playing (Brilliant or Quantums), and then making your decision based on that. Unfortunately, you can end with some nutty fields if you open Speedroid Terrortop and Brilliant Fusion, so it's hard to make a definitive choice on that alone.

In a general sense, I think the Squires help combat the mirror match while the Speedroids deal with other matchups. For that reason, your deck building really depends on which engine you're playing. If you go with the Speedroids you're going to need more support for the mirror, and if you're using Squires you'll want more cards to deal with your other matchups. But at the end of the day it's completely up to you, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on which engine is better, or even which one you're playing at the WCQ!

-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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