Rerouting: Laval Shiranui

Loukas Peterson

5/11/2017 11:02:00 AM

It's no surprise that something as powerful as Soul Charge was quickly Limited, but its cousin Rekindling was totally unrestricted for what seemed like forever.

Obviously, Rekindling can bring back a mere fraction of the sheer number of options Soul Charge offers, but five monsters for the price of one card is great no matter how you spin it. Rekindling was Limited on April 1st 2014, just in time to wave goodbye to the aforementioned Soul Charge. It would have been pretty crazy to have six copies of Rekindling at once; it's an alternate dimension I'm sure glad I don't live in.

While Rekindling isn't Limited to reviving just Laval and Lavalval monsters, it's pretty much the only thing Lavals have that's competitively unique. Lavalval Chain is Forbidden, and the silver medal for Laval cards goes to a tie between Laval Volcano Handmaiden and Laval Cannon. If you're not blown away quite yet, perhaps today's contributor can convince you with his Laval deck.

I've always liked Lavals, but they haven't been the same since Rekindling hit the F&L List. I tried a few different versions of the deck since, but nothing really stuck - half the cards in my hand were dead about half the time, so a quarter of my cards were useless! It's not the best math, but when your strategy revolves around Rekindling, it's adding insult to injury when you draw Laval Magma Cannoneer.

What's another good theme that cares more about the graveyard? Zombies! Uni-Zombie turns the useless Lavals trapped in your hand into useable cards. I know Uni-Zombie's discard ability won't trigger Laval Volcano Handmaiden's extra yarding effect, but at least I don't feel bad about pitching a card.

Thanks, Loukas!
-Noel R. ~ Temple, Arizona

Fortunately, Noel's already aware of Handmaiden's unfortunate wording and restriction: its effect won't kick in if it's yarded as a cost. If you look carefully, Molten Conduction Field, Laval Stennon, and Laval Miller all send Handmaiden to the graveyard as an effect, but that just makes me question why other Lavalval cards don't.

Here's the deck Noel sent us.

    Laval Shiranui Ver 1.0 Noel R.    
Main Deck
Side Deck
2 Boost Warrior
3 Laval Cannon
2 Laval Magma Cannoneer
3 Laval Volcano Handmaiden
3 Mezuki
2 Shiranui Samurai
1 Shiranui Smith
3 Shiranui Solitaire
2 Shiranui Spiritmaster
2 Spirit of Flames
3 Uni-Zombie
Monsters [26]
1 Foolish Burial
3 Hand Destruction
3 Into The Void
1 Magical Stone Excavation
2 Molten Conduction Field
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Rekindling
1 Symbol of Heritage
1 Upstart Goblin
Spells [14]
Deck Total [40]


1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
2 Formula Synchron
1 Laval Dual Slasher
1 Laval Stennon
3 PSY-Framelord Omega
2 Shiranui Shogunsaga
1 Shooting Quasar Dragon
1 Shooting Star Dragon
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Extra Deck [15]

As previously stated, Uni-Zombie won't trigger Laval Volcano Handmaiden, but that's what Molten Conduction Field is for! Typically, you'll send Laval Lakeside Lady or Laval Magma Cannoneer to the graveyard with Handmaiden, and bam - your yard winds up having five Laval monsters once the dust clears.

Or, you could channel your inner Loukas and draw multiple copies of Laval Volcano Handmaiden in your opening turn…Whatever floats your boat. We're not even playing Laval Lakeside Lady, after all; times sure have changed.

It's Getting Hot In Here
As stated before, Rekindling is the best card in the Laval arsenal. Soul Charge is swell at the beginning of the game, but I'd rather not pay Life Points just to bring back multiple Laval Volcano Handmaidens for 1000 LP each. I considered adding That Grass Looks Greener for more graveyard fodder, since both Zombies and Lavals benefit from it, but then you're really tempting fate. Mill your Rekindling and it's game over; the risk really outweighs the reward.

I'll be upfront - I was going to completely disregard Noel's submission, but there is something that ties the Shiranui and the Laval themes together beyond Uni-Zombie. It's not perfect, but it gets the job done, kinda like my neighbor's Guard Dog that barfs off intruders instead of barking them away.

The card in question is Left Arm Offering. While it lays waste to your card economy almost as badly as Final Destiny, Left Arm also searches the best card in your deck. If you can somehow get to both Rekindling and Soul Charge in the same turn, your chances of winning go way up and with Left Arm Offering, you'll have access to a mass revival spell on roughly half your Turn 1's.

I don't want to gloss over Left Arm Offering's cost, and yes, it is a huge one; there's no way to get around it with any crafty chaining. You'll lose at least two cards plus your Left Arm in a 3-for-1 minus. To be competitive, you'll have to mitigate those losses of card economy either by yarding cards with good graveyard effects, or having stellar monsters to summon once you activate your newly searched Rekindling or Soul Charge.

 Left Arm Offering
Left Arm Offering116963
Set Millennium Pack
Number MIL1-EN015
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

f you have 2 or more other cards in your hand: Banish your entire hand; add 1 Spell Card from your Deck to your hand. You cannot Set Spell/Trap Cards during the turn you activate this card.

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That's something I really like about the Shiranui theme. Normal Summon Shiranui Solitaire, Special Summon Uni-Zombie, and yard a Mezuki. It's a very simple play, but Noel's deck desperately needs more ways to turn one card into two, so to speak. Shiranui Solitaire, Shiranui Spiritmaster, and Shiranui Samurai all have two great effects, with the second only coming into play after the Shiranui in question is banished.

For example, say you have Shiranui Solitaire and Shiranui Spiritmaster in hand. Activating Left Arm Offering means you'll search your deck for Rekindling, pop a face-up card on the field, and Special Summon your banished Shiranui Spiritmaster. In terms of card economy you'll break even, and if breaking even means searching something as powerful as Rekindling then I'm game.

To ensure that you have even better cards to banish, I'm taking out Shiranui Smith for Necroface. One loads your removed zone and feeds effects like Shiranui Solitaire, while the other, well… just sucks alot. Shiranui Smith will rarely payoff its potential, if you can even say it has any in the first place.

No Instant Fusion? Instant Loss!
I'm a huge proponent of breaking the mold and playing niche cards “just for kicks,” but Instant Fusion seems like an obvious must-run here and should take precedent over something like Symbol of Heritage. Referring back to the whole “turning one card into two” thing, Instant Fusion and Elder Entity Norden complete the picture.

While it's not compulsory, T.G. Hyper Librarian is an obvious early Synchro you'd want to make. At worst, it's a segue for Shooting Quasar Dragon; and since you probably burned through your hand to field, drawing a few extra cards will really help.

The Shiranui and Zombie pals are the ancillary strategy here, but it's fitting to add a few more cards that can produce the end field you need even if it seems like you're diluting your focus. Laval decks were well known for fielding Shooting Quasar Dragon in the past, but that's not a reality anymore unless you can naturally luck into Rekindling, a Molten Conduction Field, and some way to field a Level 1 monster. Needless to say, it's a lot of work to put a Level 12 Dragon on board that requires three Synchro monsters.

Another fan favorite card works perfectly for this deck - Brilliant Fusion. Not only is Gem-Knight Seraphinite a Double Summon on legs, it's the perfect way to find another card for Left Arm Offering. Gem-Knight Lazuli gets back a Normal Monster when it hits the graveyard, and purely going off the ATK, Alexandrite Dragon wins out for the choicest Light monster to yard. I mean, Flash Knight has almost as much ATK and you can search it with Reinforcement of the Army, but Alexandrite Dragon's extra 200 ATK may come in handy.

Remember when Performapal Skullcrobat Joker was a common first turn play and a lot of decks were running Brilliant Fusion at the time? Drawing Gem-Knight Garnet was obviously terrible, but that's a prime example of how important the extra ATK of Gem-Knight Garnet was over something like Gem-Knight Alexandrite. It was often a game-saving force.

 Brilliant Fusion
Brilliant Fusion122379
Set 2016 Mega-Tins Mega Pack
Number MP16-EN082
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

When this card is activated: Fusion Summon 1 "Gem-Knight" Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, using monsters from your Deck as Fusion Materials, but change its ATK and DEF to 0. If this card leaves the field, destroy that monster. Once per turn: You can discard 1 Spell Card; the monster Special Summoned by this card's effect gains ATK and DEF equal to its original ATK and DEF, until the end of your opponent's turn. You can only activate 1 "Brilliant Fusion" per turn.

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I've maxed out every spell, which is something that Noel should have done from the start. Why wouldn't you play three copies of Molten Conduction Field? Sure, I hate cards that sap your card economy as much as the next person, but you need “bad” cards like that to make your deck work. Genex Undine was pretty useless without Genex Controller, right?

I debated playing Allure of Darkness in the hopes of banishing Necroface more often, but the first two times I did that, well, I'll leave it up to you to figure out which card got banished.

Hint: it was Rekindling. And on that note here are the changes I made to the deck!

-1 Shiranui Smith
-1 Uni-Zombie
-1 Mezuki
-2 Laval Cannon
-1 Spirit of Flames
-3 Into The Void
-3 Hand Destruction
-1 Upstart Goblin
-1 Symbol of Heritage
-1 Magical Stone Excavation

-1 Formula Synchron
-1 Shooting Star Dragon
-1 PSY-Framelord Omega
-1 Shiranui Shogunsaga
-1 Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

+2 Necroface
+1 Gem-Knight Lazuli
+1 Electromagnetic Turtle
+1 Alexandrite Dragon
+3 Left Arm Offering
+1 Molten Conduction Field
+3 Instant Fusion
+3 Brilliant Fusion

+1 Elder Entity Norden
+1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
+1 Hi-Speedroid Chanbara
+1 Coral Dragon
+1 T.G. Hyper Librarian

I've often depended on T.G. Hyper Librarian to give me the missing combo pieces that would let me finish a play sequence with a slew of good monsters. Maybe I'll need to draw into a Foolish Burial, Soul Charge, or Instant Fusion, but whatever I need, making Hyper Librarian is almost always my first priority I every game.

Double PSY-Framelord Omega is a good backup plan, but that's definitely not the exigency of the strategy. Here's the deck, pieced back together.

    Laval Shiranui Ver 2.0 Loukas Peterson    
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Alexandrite Dragon
2 Boost Warrior
1 Electromagnetic Turtle
1 Gem-Knight Lazuli
1 Laval Cannon
2 Laval Magma Cannoneer
3 Laval Volcano Handmaiden
2 Mezuki
2 Necroface
2 Shiranui Samurai
3 Shiranui Solitaire
2 Shiranui Spiritmaster
1 Spirit of Flames
2 Uni-Zombie
Monsters [25]
3 Brilliant Fusion
1 Foolish Burial
3 Instant Fusion
3 Left Arm Offering
3 Molten Conduction Field
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Rekindling
Spells [15]
Deck Total [40]


1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Coral Dragon
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Formula Synchron
1 Gem-Knight Seraphinite
1 Hi-Speedroid Chanbara
1 Laval Dual Slasher
1 Laval Stennon
2 PSY-Framelord Omega
1 Shiranui Shogunsaga
1 Shooting Quasar Dragon
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier
Extra Deck [14]

Do I want Rekindling to slip off the F&L List? Of course I do, but the voice inside me that never wants to go against a deck with three copies of Rekindling is louder than anything else. Gone are the glory days when you could make your opponent cry with Rekindling - now you make them cry with Zoodiac Drident or Evolzar Laggia instead.

Just remember, beat your opponents before they beat you!

-Loukas Peterson

Loukas Peterson lives in Madison, Wisconsin where every day he cries for warm weather, mollified by his job as software engineer and living in the basement. When he's not playing cards or crying about the lack of Fabled support, you can find him on his kayak reading a book and playing the ukulele or at his painting desk, probably on his 30th cup of coffee for the day. Hailed on the only one capable of cooking Minute Rice is 57 seconds, Loukas is always looking for another creative outlet and a dog to pet.

Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you love creating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send the following to to have your deck featured in the “Re-Routing” deck fix column!

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send a written deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will be filed and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck should be TCG legal).

-Your name and city.

-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs make Loukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you're playing it, and its strengths and weaknesses. “Winning” is not a strategy per se, and neither is “beating your opponents before they beat you.”

-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love with the deck! The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and if you throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; be warned, unfunny jokes will push your deck to the back of the stack. Don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'm not bored of it yet! –LJP

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