Siding For: Fairy Tail - Snow

Kelly Locke

10/11/2017 11:00:00 AM

Charge of the Light Brigade's move off the Forbidden & Limited List was a huge boost for decks playing Fairy Tail - Snow, and that's a problem for strategies that have a hard time playing through its disruption.

Dedicated Lightsworn decks and other strategies using a Lightsworn engine – especially Infernoids – are very competitive at the Regional level, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few decks like those Top 32 of a YCS, even after the release of Circuit Break. It's not just Charge of the Light Brigade pushing those strategies to the top tables; Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn plays a major role by offering mill, draw, and destruction effects in one neat Rank 4 package. Its mass printing a few months ago coupled with Charge's move off the F&L, combined with recent hits to Zoodiacs, Dinosaurs, and True Dracos, is driving up the popularity for a pair of shockingly affordable strategies.

I want to discuss siding strategies for Lightsworn-heavy decks at some point, but for now I'd like to focus entirely on Fairy Tail - Snow. It's one of the best cards of the format, and it's a total gamechanger when your opponent has a loaded graveyard; there are plenty of decks out there that are crippled by its Book of Moon-like effect. For some strategies the biggest threat in the deck isn't Minerva, Judgment Dragon, or any Infernoid card. Instead, Fairy Tail – Snow's often the most dangerous monster in the entire deck.

Your Side Deck's at its best when you maximize the effectiveness and match-up utility of your sided cards. “Effectiveness” can mean a lot of different things: the stopping power of an individual card, its resilience to removal, or how easy it is to search or put into play. You can also increase the effectiveness of a sided card by targeting the biggest threat among your opponent's cards. For example, True Dracos get extra mileage from Kaijus because they answer Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons – a card that's exceedingly difficult for them to remove from the field otherwise.

For others, that means siding cards specifically to handle Fairy Tail - Snow.

Keeping Snow Off The Field
Lightsworn, Infernoids, and some Zombie variants are loaded with cards that dump monsters in the graveyard, but they'll inevitably toss plenty of spells and traps into it too. Fairy Tail - Snow converts those non-monster mills into card economy and aggressive or defensive disruption with frightening efficiency. Its high-utility effect can swing the duel around by locking the Extra Monster Zone and stomping momentum, all the while providing an excellent Level 4 material for Synchro, Xyz, and Link Summons.

There's no reason to let such a powerful card go unchallenged. Snow's cost is steep: banishing seven cards might be cheap the first time, but as the duel goes on your opponent will have to make increasingly difficult choices about what to banish; you can make those choices harder by limiting their mill effects or by negating Snow's activation, forcing them to bashing another seven cards.

Which path you take largely depends on how much Snow's effect impacts your own strategy. Will an unchallenged Snow impede the Summon of key Extra Deck monsters? Will it stop a crucial OTK or combo? If so, you may want to target Snow directly. Otherwise countering search, mill, and other effects will probably be fine.

 Fairy Tail - Snow
Price N/A
Fairy Tail - Snow139864
Set OTS Tournament Pack 5
Number OP05-EN005
Level 4
Type Effect Monster
Monster Spellcaster
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 1850 / 1000
Rarity Super Rare
Card Text

If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; change it to face-down Defense Position. During either player's turn, if this card is in your Graveyard: You can banish 7 other cards from your hand, field, and/or Graveyard; Special Summon this card.

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For some strategies Snow can be the difference between a successful OTK and your opponent living another turn. It's much-needed defense for Lightsworns and Infernoids – two decks that have historically struggled with finding the right defensive cards to compliment their mill-heavy strategies. Years ago Necro Gardna was a competitive option for Lightsworns, and Electromagnetic Turtle from two years ago still isn't a bad choice.

Fairy Tail - Snow is just so much better, and if you need to punch through that defense in a hurry you'll want a proactive way to take Snow out of the game. Most of the time your opponent will end up milling it during their End Phase, or loading it back into the graveyard after detaching for Minerva's effect.

Targeting banish effects and graveyard negation in the form of hand traps will either force your opponent to bashish another seven cards or lose their Snow Summon entirely. D.D. Crow is obviously a solid choice here to banish it, but Skull Meister's negation is often just as good. The immediate result is usually the same: either Snow won't be Summoned, or you've knocked out at least one of your opponent's Summons that turn. But keep in mind that D.D. Crow does edge out Skull Meister slightly if the duel goes on a bit longer; your opponent will eventually fill their graveyard again.

It's easy to make an argument for D.D. Crow this format given its match-up utility, but it does suffer from having a relatively weak impact on the duel. Banishing a single monster can make a difference, though it might end up stuck in your hand for a while. Ally of Justice Cycle Reader is another option and trades utility against Infernoids for greater effectiveness against Blue-Eyes, Lightsworns, and ABCs. Banishing two monsters is a huge improvement even if it's limited to Light monsters. You can take out two Lightsworn names from your opponent's graveyard to delay Judgement Dragon, or set your opponent's ABC-Dragon Buster back a turn.

When a single Fairy Tail - Snow isn't enough to change the outcome of a duel these hand traps become phenomenal choices. When your opponent has enough fodder in their graveyard and a single Snow is enough, then you'll need a floodgate to keep it off the field. You're looking for a card that can either put up some restriction on graveyard activations, or a card that prevents your opponent from banishing. Luckily there are plenty of Side Deck options in both categories.

Floodgate Options
Necrovalley has amazing utility this format and counters nearly every strategy outside of Pendulum Magicians. Paleozoics, ABCs, Infernoids, and Lightsworns lose access to some important effects, and Necrovalley makes Summoning key Extra Deck monsters much more difficult.

Your opponent will actually need three monsters on the field to Fusion Summon ABC-Dragon Buster, and Xyz Summoning Toadally Awesome will require three Water monster in hand including Swap Frog or some other Special Summon effect. Infernoids lose access to all of their Infernoid monsters, and Lightsworns won't be able to use Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner until Necrovalley is off the field.

Most importantly Necrovalley keeps Fairy Tail - Snow stuck in the graveyard, and for some strategies that's more than enough reason to side it. The question is: where can you play Necrovalley this format? Some True Draco variants could pull it off, and Pendulum Magicians can easily forsake Black Fang Magician's effect. It's hard to justify anywhere else though, and since it's a Field Spell it's vulnerable to all the spell and trap removal being played this format.

 Chaos Hunter
Chaos Hunter39235
Set Storm of Ragnarok
Number STOR-EN085
Level 7
Type Effect Monster
Monster Fiend
Attribute DARK 
A / D 2500 / 1600
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

When your opponent Special Summons a monster, you can discard 1 card to Special Summon this card from your hand. Your opponent cannot remove cards from play.

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You can also prevent banishing with Chaos Hunter and Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer. Both monsters are relatively easy to play and Chaos Hunter itself can be chained to Snow's Special Summon. That's very handy for decks looking to push for an OTK–the extra 2500 ATK is great, but the real prize its continuous effect that prevents any more Snow Summons while it's face-up. You can safely destroy Snow and continue attacking without worrying about it returning to the field. It's a great pick if you can survive a single Snow, but it's even better if you can Pendulum Summon it before the first Snow can activate.

The downside to monster-based floodgates is that a Normal Summoned Snow can flip them face-down and turn off their continuous effects. Keep that in mind when choosing between monster-based or spell and trap-based floodgates. Monsters are surprisingly fragile despite the presence of Twin Twisters, Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress, and Infernoid Patrulea.

Light-Imprisoning Mirror, Soul Drain, and Forbidden Graveyard negate Fairy Tail - Snow while in the graveyard. Although it's not technically a floodgate, Debunk's nature as a Counter Trap will stop Snow in its tracks and banish it before it can activate again. Keep in mind that while Snow can be Summoned by banishing cards on the field and in the hand it's still unlikely that your opponent will actually do so. Card that prevent your opponent from banishing in the graveyard will stop Snow from being Summoned in a vast majority of situations.

Stopping Snow From Hitting The Graveyard
If Fairy Tail - Snow never ends up in the graveyard how can your opponent Summon it?

There are plenty of ways to negate monster and mill effects, but with Charge of the Light Brigade at three it's difficult to keep the graveyard totally empty. Blanket-banishing effects like Macro Cosmos, Dimensional Fissure, Banisher of the Radiance, and Different Dimension Ground have seen a lot of play in past formats, but their current positioning is extremely awkward. Only Different Dimension Ground can be feasibly played in current strategies, although Metaphys will be putting Macro Cosmos and Dimensional Fissure back into play.

Ash Blossom & Joyus Spring is the go-to card of choice for negating the majority of mill effects in both Lightsworns and Infernoids. The all-important That Grass Looks Greener is easily outed by Ash Blossom, and while it can't stop the three-card mill from Charge of the Light Brigade it can negate its search effect. Ash Blossom can be chained to Solar Recharge, Reasoning, Monster Gate, and nearly all Lightsworn effects including Minerva. It slows your opponent's engines to a crawl, and Snow becomes dead weight if they can't load their graveyard quickly.

 Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring131153
Set Maximum Crisis
Number MACR-EN036
Level 3
Type Tuner/Effect Monster
Monster Zombie
Attribute FIRE 
A / D 0 / 1800
Rarity Secret Rare
Card Text

During either player's turn, when a card or effect is activated that includes any of these effects: You can discard this card; negate that effect.
- Add a card from the Deck to the hand.
- Special Summon from the Deck.
- Send a card from the Deck to the Graveyard.
You can only use this effect of "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring" once per turn.

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Other negation effects, like Light-Imprisoning Mirror and even Effect Veiler, can slow your opponent and prevent them from landing multiples of seven in their graveyard. Again, when a single Snow isn't enough to change the duel you don't have to pull out all the stops to keep it from being Summoned. You just need to get your opponent to a point where they have to make hard decisions about what to banish, and let their own Snow empty their graveyards.

At a recent Regionals I did exactly that: I forced my opponent to repeatedly Summon Snow to avoid game-ending damage to the point where he banished all of his Lightsworns in the graveyard despite holding three Judgement Dragons in his hand.

The OCG Limited Fairy Tail - Snow for a reason. I suspect we'll see it head that way here in the TCG soon enough, but in the meantime there are plenty of Side Deck options to keep this reoccurring headache from bouncing up out of nowhere, flipping your monsters face-down, then being converted to an Xyz, Link, or Synchro monster. It's the star player of current Lightsworn decks, and well worth siding for directly.

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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