Side Deck Theory: Full Force Virus

Kelly Locke

9/18/2017 11:00:00 AM

Full Force Virus was one of last week's most-discussed cards after Johnny Nguyen topped the Tulsa Oklahoma Regional with a pure Kozmo build . Nguyen is a regular at Regionals each season and has an impressive number of Tops 8s, plus a handful of near-misses with unique strategies. Kozmos are rare this format, so Nguyen's success is a big deal for those dedicated Kozmo players still holding out among a sea of Zoodiacs and True Dracos.

So how did he do it? The standout card in his build was Full Force Virus a devastating tech choice against Zoodiacs and True Dracos. Resolving it at the opportune moment usually early in the game would leave his opponent with almost no monsters. It's an excellent strategy to keep Kozmos relevant this format, but Full Force Virus isn't exclusive to any particular theme. It's playable wherever you can regularly Summon Dark monsters with at least 2000 DEF.

Let's take a look at the match-ups where Full Force Virus excels, the strategies it's currently playable in, and which monsters you'll need to tech to play it.

Infecting Zoodiacs And True Dracos
Full Force Virus destroys monsters with less than 1500 DEF on your opponent's field, in their hand, and among their newly-drawn cards for three turns of their turns. Competitive play tends to prefer high-ATK to high-DEF, so many of the game's most popular monsters end up within Full Force Virus's range. It's a double-edged sword: with so few competitive monsters featuring high-DEF there's a limited number of monsters you can reliably Summon to tribute for Full Force Virus' activation cost.

That said, two of the game's current top strategies are vulnerable to Full Force Virus. Zoodiacs stand to lose all but one of their Main Deck monsters. Only Zoodiac Ramram has enough DEF to avoid destruction. Each of their Xyz monsters gains ATK and DEF based on the combined stats of their Zoodiac Xyz Materials, but their DEF will rarely end up above 1500. Even Missus Radiant's DEF buff often isn't enough, and other Rank 4 Xyz lose out to Virus too.

 Full Force Virus
Full Force Virus127334
Set Raging Tempest
Number RATE-EN078
Type Normal Trap Card
Attribute TRAP 
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

Tribute 1 DARK monster with 2000 or more DEF; check your opponent's hand, all monsters they control, and all cards they draw until the end of their 3rd turn after this card's activation, and destroy all those monsters with 1500 or less DEF.

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Firing off Full Force Virus at the start of the duel can rob your opponent of all of their Zoodiacs, but it's not enough to keep them from making further plays. Fire Formation - Tenki and Zoodiac Barrage let Zoodiac players grab replacement monsters to launch their plays despite taking losses from their hand. You'll want to wait until a Tenki or Barrage resolves, then destroy whatever's Summoned. After Game 2 your opponent might go straight to Ramram, but at best they can Summon Zoodiac Drident and destroy a monster on your field. That's not at all a problem if the only monster you control is also your tribute fodder for Full Force Virus.

Pairing Full Force Virus with backrow removal is excellent. Twin Twisters is a little expensive as you'll be spending four cards out of a five card starting hand. Cosmic Cyclone is a solid choice, especially since it's also useful against True Dracos. In Nguyen's case he was able to use themed removal from Kozmo Sliprider and Kozmojo to destroy or banish Zoodiac Barrage, but Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit or Ash Blossom & Joyous Springs are excellent generic options.

Full Force Virus isn't just a preemptive option: it's also a solid board wipe. For most decks I'd recommend siding it out for spell-based mass removal, especially since letting your opponent put a monster on the field leaves you vulnerable to My Body as a Shield; you don't want to wait a turn and give up a monster only to have your trap easily negated. But if it's very playable in your strategy it's totally possible to play it as another mass removal effect. Just keep in mind that Missus Radiant may make your opponent's field immune to destruction.

Three of the four top True Draco monsters have 1500 DEF or less, so Full Force Virus has utility in at least one other major match-up. Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter, Ignis Heat, the True Dracowarrior, and Majesty Maiden, the True Dracocaster can be destroyed in the hand or on the field with the exception of Majesty Maiden when Dragonic Diagram is on the field. That leaves only Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King. For most decks Master Peace is the biggest threat, so destroying the smaller True Draco monsters might not seem like a worthwhile endeavor. It's totally possible to win games in True Dracos with just Master Peace.

What makes Full Force Virus interesting here is its ability to destroy new draws, including those drawn from True Draco Heritage, Disciples of the True Dracophoenix, Pot of Desires, and Card of Demise. Seeing each newly-drawn card gives you perfect information about your opponent's range of options, and any True Dracos they draw besides Master Peace will land in the graveyard. Destroying True Dracos in the hand won't give your opponent extra draws with True Draco Heritage, but it will set up Disciples of the True Dracophoenix and True King's Return.

One of the major advantages of Full Force Virus over other Side Deck cards is its ability to reveal your opponent's hand. Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit and Ash Blossom & Joyous Springs have 1800 DEF, so they're immune to Virus' effect. That doesn't save them from being revealed by Virus. Most Kaijus are also immune, but similarly show up when resolving Full Force Virus. Maxx C isn't spared, however, so that's a major plus.

Siding In Full Force Virus
There are a few reasons why Full Force Virus is so great in Kozmos. First, the tribute fodder for its effect is actually a Token. Nguyen could leave his Kozmo DOG Fighter on the field and still activate Full Force Virus, forcing his opponent to deal with a self-replacing monster in the immediate aftermath of Virus' effect. If left alone DOG Fighter would Summon another Token and add an extra 2000 ATK to Nguyen's field. His Kozmojo would also stay live, and with DOG Fighter's effect he'd maintain card advantage despite activating two traps that required him to give up a monster.

It's hard to emulate that synergy in non-Kozmo strategies. It's a short list of Dark strategies in competition as it is, including some rather fringe themes like Pendulum Magicians and Dark Magicians. Full Force Virus costs a bit more in those decks, but they're definitely capable of putting it to use. It's hard to recommend any Virus card outside of Dark-heavy themes like D/Ds, Burning Abyss, and Vendreads, and non-Dark themes with at least one easily accessible Dark monster. You're probably better off siding a different piece of mass removal like Overworked, Dark Hole, or Raigeki if you're not already maining them.

If you absolutely have to use Full Force Virus you can add in some Dark Extra Deck monsters. Maestroke the Symphony Djinn fulfills the requirements and can survive at least one destruction effect. As a Rank 4 it's perhaps the easiest Extra Deck option available. Since Link Monsters don't have DEF we can't look forward to a future high-DEF Dark Link, but there is one card on its way in Circuit Break that makes Full Force Virus much easier to activate.

Destrudo, the Dead Drake of Dread has a huge 3000 DEF and an effect that Summons itself from the graveyard. It's still over a month away in the TCG, but it's poised to shake up the game when it arrives. Whether Full Force Virus is as relevant in November as it is now is unlikely unless Konami is overly nice to Zoodiacs and True Dracos on the next Forbidden & Limited List. There's also new Vendread support on the way in Circuit Break. Vendread Houndhorde easily Summoned and its 2100 DEF is more than enough for Full Force Virus.

 Card of Demise
Card of Demise116962
Set Millennium Pack
Number MIL1-EN014
Type Spell Card
Attribute SPELL 
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

Draw until you have 3 cards in your hand, also for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, your opponent takes no damage. During the End Phase, send your entire hand to the Graveyard. You can only activate 1 'Card of Demise' per turn. You cannot Special Summon during the turn you activate this card.

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Even with excellent Dark monsters for Full Force Virus it remains a difficult card to put into action. It's extremely predictable and surprisingly easy to play around. Your opponent will side out as many of their low-DEF monsters as possible in exchange for high-DEF Kaijus, spells, and traps. They can prioritize Summoning and searching monsters with high DEF too. Full Force Virus may only be effective for one out of three games.

There are enough draw effects running around to keep all of the Virus traps relevant. Crush Card Virus may have been weakened with an errata, but its counterparts are just as strong as ever. Full Force Virus, Deck Devastation Virus, and Eradicator Epidemic Virus still check your opponent's draws, and in doing so heavily punish Pot of Desires, Card of Demise, Daigusto Emeral, Zoodiac Combo, and other draw effects. In particular both Full Force Virus and Deck Devastation Virus are unlimited, so integrating those cards in your Side Deck and building a consistent siding strategy with them is a bit easier.

Unfortunately Link Monsters don't have DEF and as a result they're immune to Full Force Virus. However, the monsters used to Summon them frequently have low-DEF, so Virus' playability in the future shouldn't be hurt if the format continues to become increasingly Link-heavy. I think it's important that we don't ignore the Virus traps going forward. Nguyen's success was a wake-up call on Full Force Virus. Another surprise with Deck Devastation Virus could be just around the corner.

Until next time then


Kelly​​​ ​​​Locke​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​a​​​ ​​​West​​​ ​​​Michigan​​​ ​​​gamer and writer.​​​ ​​​​​​ ​​​In​​​ ​​​addition​​​ ​​​to​​​ ​​​writing​​​ ​​​on TCGplayer,​​​ ​​​Kelly​​​ ​​​writes​​​ a ​​​​​​ personal​​​ ​​​blog​​​ ​​​ ​​​covering​​​ ​​​Yugioh,​​​ ​​​Destiny,​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​other​​​ ​​​hobbies.​​​ ​​​You​​​ ​​​can follow​​​ ​​​him​​​ ​​​on​​​ ​​​​​​ Twitter​​​ ​​​ ​​​and​​​ ​​​check​​​ ​​​out​​​ ​​​his​​​ ​​​​​​ Youtube​​​ ​​​channel​​​ .​​​ ​​​​​​ ​​​He​​​ ​​​also studied marketing at Western Michigan University.

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