Side Deck Theory: Heavy Storm Duster

Kelly Locke

8/9/2017 11:00:00 AM

Dust Tornado was once a widely-played supplement to Mystical Space Typhoon and Twister, but that was before Mystical Space Typhoon made its way from Forbidden to Unlimited.

It didn't take long for players to drop Dust Tornado entirely when Heavy Storm returned to the game after a short stint on the Forbidden List. Trap-based spell and trap removal was always slower than spell counterparts, so given equal footing it was always preferable to play a Quick-Play Spell over a trap.

Heavy Storm Duster changes all of that.

Code of the Duelist brought with it a new piece of spell and trap removal that nets you a +1 in card economy. Heavy Storm Duster destroys two spells or traps at the cost of your Battle Phase, and it's the lack of a tangible cost that has players excited over this new card. It's an outstanding tech choice and well-worth discussing in a Side Deck context. Backrow-heavy strategies beware: Heavy Storm Duster is here to punish you for setting cards.

Comparisons To Twin Twisters
Twin Twisters has been the go-to spell and trap remover since its release early last year. Its value exceeded every other piece of backrow removal since Heavy Storm, but the discard cost didn't work for everyone. There are decks, plenty of them, that love having a discard outlet attached to such an aggressive card. It's always great if you can turn a card's cost into an advantage.

You should aim to get the most value out of each effect in your deck. Why destroy one card when you can destroy two or more? To be fair there are reasons to hold your removal back a bit, but in general the more impact a single card can have the less you'll have to rely on drawing into additional copies to deal with multiple threats. The classic example with Twin Twisters is a situation where your opponent controls two floodgates. If you're playing Mystical Space Typhoons you'll need two of them to destroy both cards holding you back, but one Twin Twisters does the entire job.

Heavy Storm Duster inherits most of Twin Twister's strengths, but it makes trade-offs in interesting places that help or hurt it depending on the situation. Like Twin Twisters it destroys two cards, and it's even better in terms of card economy since there's no discard cost associated with Heavy Storm Duster's effect. Instead, Duster eats your Battle Phase for the turn. Losing one of the most crucial phases in the game is a big deal beyond Turn 1 especially when the cost is tied to Normal Spells or Ignition monster effects. But Heavy Storm Duster's a trap, so activating it on your opponent's turn completely mitigates one of its key drawbacks.

 Heavy Storm Duster
Heavy Storm Duster139249
Set Code of the Duelist
Number COTD-EN076
Type Normal Trap
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

Target up to 2 Spells/Traps on the field; destroy them. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this card.

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You'll want to activate Heavy Storm Duster during your opponent's End Phase so often that you'll almost never have to choose between destroying backrow and having a Battle Phase. Resolving it has roughly the same impact as Twin Twisters, but you're left with an extra card. You don't need to hold onto something in your hand when you set it, so that extra hand trap or follow-up play next turn doesn't need to become discard fodder.

Unlike Twin Twisters you won't have to take a -1 to destroy a single spell or trap, either. Heavy Storm Duster is card economy neutral at worst. Holding on to your Dusters until later in the game is still a smart strategy, but burning them early isn't nearly as bad as it is with Twin Twisters; it's worth activating your trap to destroy a Dragonic Diagram or Zoodiac Barrage before they resolve. That can be a hard choice to make with Twin Twisters, but it's really easy with Duster.

As a trap, Heavy Storm Duster has serious drawbacks. You can't use it immediately to pave the way for an aggressive play that turn, and it's vulnerable to destruction the turn it was set. Twin Twisters already fulfills the need for an aggressive backrow-breaking card. Opening with Heavy Storm Duster when you're going first is preferable, so siding in Heavy Storm Duster after a loss is a good idea.

Sizing Up The Competition
Heavy Storm Duster has to compete with more than just Twin Twisters: it's also fighting for space with other backrow removal cards. Cosmic Cyclone was a huge hit in May to counter True Dracos and it remains relevant today. Duster also destroys backrow, so it triggers the effects of the True Draco spells and traps. Banishing backrow is still restricted to themed cards and Cosmic Cyclone, so for now I don't see Heavy Storm Duster displacing it.

Duster is clearly the safest and most effective backrow removal as far as generic traps go. Malevolent Catastrophe gives a bigger bang for your buck, but too many things have to go right to resolve it. Duster, meanwhile, is chainable to removal and still destroys two cards without blowing up your own. Well, mostly chainable anyways. If you entered your Battle Phase that turn even a Duster set the turn before can't be activated.

One interesting commonality between Twin Twisters and Heavy Storm Duster is how easily telegraphed they are. If you opponent doesn't have a card in their hand you know they can't activate Twin Twisters, or any card with a discard cost for that matter. Likewise, if your opponent has already entered their Battle Phase you know any set Dusters are now dead until your turn begins. This is the perfect opportunity to activate your own backrow removal and destroy their now-unchainable trap. Cosmic Cyclone has a similar limitation with its Life Point cost, but it doesn't come up nearly as often.

There's one final point to make here: by the time you've set and activated Heavy Storm Duster you could have destroyed a set card with Galaxy Cyclone, then on your following turn destroyed a face-up spell or trap. This takes two of your turns, or three turns total, compared to two for Heavy Storm Duster, but you'll have a chance to break at least one set card before making your moves that turn. Galaxy Cyclone nets a +1 just like Duster over a longer period of time. It isn't chainable though, and it's hard to find a place for Galaxy Cyclone right now. Stopping Field and Continuous Spells from resolving is too important with the top two decks in the format relying heavily on them.

Demolishing Backrow
Between Twin Twisters and Heavy Storm Duster we have two excellent removal options for backrow-heavy strategies. Although Paleozoics aren't especially relevant right now it's worth noting that Heavy Storm Duster is a trap. In other match-ups Duster helps level the playing field against decks that grind out card advantage with heavy backrow. Unfortunately it's less effective than Cosmic Cyclone against True Draco, so for now Heavy Storm Duster doesn't have a match-up where it's clearly the best choice of spell and trap removal.

Heavy Storm Duster is strong against Zoodiacs and their backrow. While I wouldn't recommend it against pure True Draco or even pure Zoodiac it's still a solid pick against hybrids. Draconic Diagram and Zoodiac Barrage are best answered by Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, but if you need additional backrow removal Heavy Storm Duster combos perfectly with your other hand traps. Again, Twin Twisters will sometimes ask you to discard a hand trap or another useful card even if you're just destroying a single spell or trap. Duster let's you hold onto more of your hand traps.

 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit122297
Set 2016 Mega-Tins
Number CT13-EN012
Level 3
Type Tuner/Effect Monster
Monster Psychic
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 0 / 1800
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

During either player's turn, when a monster on the field activates its effect, or when a Spell/Trap Card that is already face-up on the field activates its effect: You can send this card from your hand or field to the Graveyard; destroy that card on the field. You can only use this effect of "Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit" once per turn.

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In longer duels Heavy Storm Duster is an excellent card to shift momentum back in your favor, especially in a simplified duel. If your opponent's field is one or two monsters and a couple of backrows you can solve half of your problems with just one card. Dark Hole, Raigeki, and Kaijus can easily pick off the rest. Every card counts in those situations, so being able to knock out two spells or traps without discarding is incredible.

It's hard to know exactly when those match-ups will come up. It's hard to side specifically for a grind game when match-ups can vary so wildly, and in general it's not a smart idea to side for a specific state in the game when you could be siding cards to deal with immediate threats on the first and second turns.

Duster's also shockingly strong against Pendulum Scales. Setting it when going first is a one-card solution to a pair of Pendulum Spells, although you'll need to be careful about which cards you target if your opponent is playing Pendulum Magicians. Pendulums may or may not see much play going forward, but if they do return I think we'll see a lot more people playing Duster. Keep in mind that you're usually not in a rush to get rid of a Pendulum Scale. Your opponent will only be Pendulum Summoning on their turn anyways, so having Duster instead of Twin Twisters won't put you a turn behind.

Heavy Storm Duster has huge potential in slower formats. I think the game might be a bit fast for it now, and it's a little weak against True Draco, but it's a solid Side Deck option for those decks that are allergic to discard costs.

Until next time then


Kelly​​​ ​​​Locke​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​a​​​ ​​​West​​​ ​​​Michigan​​​ ​​​gamer,​​​ ​​​writer,​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​college​​​ ​​​student.​​​ ​​​​​​ ​​​In​​​ ​​​addition​​​ ​​​to​​​ ​​​writing​​​ ​​​on TCGplayer,​​​ ​​​Kelly​​​ ​​​writes​​​ ​​​​​​personal​​​ ​​​blog​​​​​​ ​​​covering​​​ ​​​Yugioh,​​​ ​​​Destiny,​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​other​​​ ​​​hobbies.​​​ ​​​You​​​ ​​​can follow​​​ ​​​him​​​ ​​​on​​​ ​​​​​​Twitter​​​​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​check​​​ ​​​out​​​ ​​​his​​​ ​​​​​​Youtube​​​ ​​​channel​​​.​​​ ​​​​​​ ​​​He​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​currently​​​ ​​​studying​​​ ​​​marketing​​​ ​​​at Western​​​ ​​​Michigan​​​ ​​​University,​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​hopes​​​ ​​​to​​​ ​​​graduate​​​ ​​​before​​​ ​​​​​​Dragon​​​ ​​​Ravine​​​​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​Unlimited.

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