Spotlight: Retaliating “C”

Doug Zeeff

12/5/2016 11:00:00 AM

Of the logged Majespecter Metalfoes deck lists we have from YCS Anaheim's Top 32, virtually every one played at least two copies of Retaliating “C”. Justin Tam from Top 32, Alberto Lopez from Top 16, and Ludvig Hallstrom from Top 4 all played two copies in their Side Decks, while Alan Santacruz from Top 8 played three. What was once a fringe pick in some lists has become the standard, and today I want to take a look at why that's happening.

Retaliating “C” has three effects, and the first two play off each other. When your opponent activates a Spell Card that would Special Summon one or more monsters, you can Special Summon Retaliating “C” from your hand. While it's face-up after being Special Summoned this way, it's a Macro Cosmos. As we'll discuss in a second, that's hugely valuable in current metagames.

With 1400 ATK and DEF, it's not likely that Retaliating “C” will survive until the end of turn. Especially when you consider its disruptive banishing effect, opponents are going to want to get rid of it as soon as possible. That's fine, though, because when it hits the graveyard you get to add an Earth Insect with 1500 or less ATK from your deck to your hand.

There's some Grade A selections for that effect like Cockroach Knight, Basic Insect, and Informer Spider, but most people are going to grab Maxx “C” instead.

 Retaliating "C"
Set Clash of Rebellions
Number CORE-EN045
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Insect
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 1400 / 1400
Rarity Common
Card Text

During either player's turn, when your opponent activates a Spell Card that includes an effect that Special Summons a monster(s): You can Special Summon this card from your hand. If Summoned this way, while this card is face-up on the field, any card sent to the Graveyard is banished instead. If this card is sent from the field to the Graveyard: You can add 1 EARTH Insect-Type monster with 1500 or less ATK from your Deck to your hand, except "Retaliating "C"".

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Maxx “C” is without a doubt one of the most influential cards in Yu-Gi-Oh, and that hasn't changed this format. Every deck wants to Special Summon and build huge boards, but Maxx “C” keeps your opponent from doing so unless they want to give you a ton of cards. It's truly a win-win, with your opponent stopping in their tracks or giving you enough resources to beat their field. In a match where both players have access to Maxx “C”, Retaliating “C” acts as the third, fourth, and even fifth copy.

As I mentioned, half the beauty of Retaliating “C” is the stun effect when you Special Summon it. It's a power play against Instant Fusion and Brilliant Fusion, smashing your opponent's combos. Both of those cards appear in ABC-Buster Dragon decks, and a Macro Cosmos effect really messes things up. Brilliant Fusion's main purpose is either sending A-Assault Core, B-Buster Drake, and C-Crush Wyvern to the graveyard to complete Buster Dragon's requirements, or Performage Trick Clown to combo off with a Rank 4. Retaliating “C” sees your opponent summon a Seraphinite and waste a Light monster, totally throwing off their momentum.

Against Instant Fusion, which was likely going to be used for Traptrix Rafflesia, it forces your opponent to make Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer to deal with Retaliating “C”. You won't get the search effect, but you also won't have to deal with Traptrix Rafflesia. It still works out in the end.

Perhaps the best use is against Metalfoes. The whole point of modern Majespecter Metalfoes strategies is to use Metalfoes Mithrilium over and over again, recycling precious resources like Fullmetalfoes Fusion. If you use Retaliating “C” on either Fullmetalfoes Fusion or Metalfoes Fusion, you're permanently banishing the fusion spell and two fusion materials. That's absurd, and in the case of Metalfoes Fusion it's often enough to win the game because you've banished their only copy.

 Fullmetalfoes Alkahest
Fullmetalfoes Alkahest124737
Set Invasion: Vengeance
Number INOV-EN039
Level 1
Type Fusion/Effect Monster
Monster Psychic
Attribute FIRE 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

1 "Metalfoes" monster + 1 Normal Monster
Must be Fusion Summoned and cannot be Special Summoned by other ways. Once per turn, during your opponent's turn: You can target 1 Effect Monster on the field; equip that target to this card (this is a Quick Effect). This card gains DEF equal to the combined original ATK of monsters equipped to it by this effect. You can use monsters you control equipped to this card you control as Fusion Materials for the Fusion Summon of a "Metalfoes" Fusion Monster that lists them as Materials.

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It's also silly in the mirror match on your own turn when your opponent tries to use Fullmetalfoes Fusion to make Fullmetalfoes Alkahest. Once again, you're banishing three of your opponent's cards, but you're also putting them in a tough spot after the fact: if they steal your Retaliating “C” with Alkahest to turn off the banishing effect you'll get a Maxx “C” when it's eventually sent to the graveyard. 1400 DEF just isn't enough for Alkahest to survive. It also means that they can't use Alkahest to prevent a more important card like Metalfoes Mithrilium, Metalfoes Orichalc, or Number S39: Utopia the Lightning.

On the other hand, if your opponent leaves Retaliating “C” face-up, you can simply pop it with any of your Metalfoes Pendulum effects to search Maxx “C” immediately. Or you could use it as fusion material for Metalfoes Adamante. Banishing three cards is one thing, but having a threat like Maxx “C” for free on top of that is almost impossible to deal with.

All The Cool Kids Are Using It
I know I've mainly focused on Metalfoes in this article, but don't get me wrong: everybody at Anaheim was using and abusing Retaliating “C”. Several ABC-Buster Dragon duelists were running two or three copies in their Side Deck, including eventual winner Elvis Vu. Many of the aforementioned benefits carry over, but they could use it to make Rank 4's as well.

I find the usage trends in event topping lists particularly interesting. When Retaliating “C” first came out it was an excellent counter to Nekroz and Shaddolls, seeing massive play from August 2015 up until December. Then, when the all-powerful Performage Performapal deck took the competitive scene by storm, everyone dropped it. After nine months of not a single logged Top Cut finisher using it in their Main or Side Deck, Retaliating “C” suddenly popped up this past September for one weekend at a variety of Regionals. Then it went dormant again, until it reared its ugly head once again these past few weeks.

That's crucial because Retaliating “C” isn't always going to necessarily be played just because Maxx “C” is being played. There has to be enough matchups where all three effects are great. Decks like Majespecter Metalfoes that can actually destroy it on the first turn are in even better shape, making Retaliating “C” a potential Main Deck option even going first.

What makes Retaliating “C” so complicated is that there isn't really any good out to it. In ABC-Buster Dragon decks, you could side out Instant Fusion and Brilliant Fusion, but you'd be making your Turn 1 a lot less consistent and powerful. In Metalfoes, there's not a great counter other than praying that your opponent doesn't have it, or switching decks entirely. What could happen, though, is that enough people stop playing cards that Retaliating “C” rips apart, causing players to lose games because they dead draw an unusable card.

 Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries
Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries117933
Set Shining Victories
Number SHVI-EN040
Level 3
Type Tuner/Effect Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute DARK 
A / D 0 / 1800
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

During either player's turn, if your opponent controls more monsters than you do: You can discard this card; reveal 1 card in your Extra Deck, then look at your opponent's Extra Deck, also banish all cards in their Extra Deck with the same name as that revealed card. You can only use this effect of "Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries" once per turn.

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That could cause a chain reaction similar to what we've seen with Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries. At the start of this format with ABC-Buster Dragon, players were scrambling to pick up a set of the hand trap that crushes Extra Decks. You could banish cards like Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss, Toadally Awesome, and ABC-Buster Dragon. However, it was dead against an established board and everyone was playing around it.

If you take a look at the YCS Anaheim deck lists, very few players ran Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries. Of course, that might be because Pot of Acquisitiveness is a perfect solution to it, but almost nobody's running that card, either. It's created a weird dynamic where people totally drop a card because there's a counter to it, even if people aren't playing that counter in the first place.

Retaliating “C” is probably better off than Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries because it's harder to counter, but I don't think its popularity will remain this high for much longer. It's not good against the looming D/D/D's, it's often too little too late against Darklords, and it's quite bad against most rogue strategies. We could be looking at another month or two of hyper-popularity, followed by six months of nothing. Retaliating “C” is a high impact metagame tech that tears apart the competitive scene when it's viable, but flops when the stars don't align. For now, though, it's an excellent Side Deck choice for your own Regional Qualifiers or local tournaments!

-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, Overwatch, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh.
Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!

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