Competitive Corner: Brent Casey's 5-Field Deck

Kelly Locke

3/27/2018 11:00:00 AM
 Comments

Field Spells have become increasingly powerful over the past decade of dueling, and a rule change in 2014 cemented their place in the competitive scene. The themed Field Spells of today search cards, trigger effects, and provide stat boosts to ATK and DEF as an afterthought. SPYRAL Resort recently dominated the game and tipped the scale in favor of non-targeting effects. It led the – at the time – best deck in the game to numerous event wins and tops, while providing consistency and protection against targeting.

In the original days of dueling, Field Spells rewarded players for keeping them on the table over long periods of time. That's changed in recent years, with more Field Spells than ever acting as one-time search effects for themed monsters. Trickstar Light Stage, Oracle of Zefra, The Hidden City, and Union Hangar are essentially Reinforcement of the Army effects stapled to Field Spells. Other search effects may be delayed, like SPYRAL Resort, Dragon Ravine, and Dragonic Diagram, but the premise is still the same.

In hindsight it was only a matter of time until someone discovered how to take the Dragon Ravine and Union Hangar strategy played in ABC's and apply it on a much larger scale. Ancient Fairy Dragon links together impressive plays by swapping Field Spells and Special Summoning a freshly-searched monster. So why stop at two Field Spells when you could play three or four? Brent Casey upped the ante to five Field Spells in a single deck, and piloted it to a 2nd Place finish at the San Diego California Regional.

    Five Decks At The Same Time Brent Casey    
  Location:  Regional - 2018-03-17 San Diego California - 5th - 8th Place
Main Deck
Side Deck
1 Aleister the Invoker
3 Armageddon Knight
1 Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson
1 Fairy Tail - Snow
1 Glow-Up Bulb
2 Overtex Qoatlus
1 SPYRAL Super Agent
1 Subterror Behemoth Phospheroglacier
1 Subterror Behemoth Umastryx
1 Subterror Fiendess
1 Subterror Nemesis Warrior
1 Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm
1 Trickstar Candina
1 Trickstar Lilybell
1 Ultimate Conductor Tyranno
Monsters [18]
2 Double Evolution Pill
3 Dragon Ravine
2 Dragon Shrine
1 Foolish Burial
1 Invocation
1 Magical Meltdown
1 Monster Reborn
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Set Rotation
1 Soul Charge
1 SPYRAL Resort
3 Terraforming
3 The Hidden City
2 Trickstar Light Stage
Spells [23]
1 Trickstar Reincarnation
Traps [1]
Deck Total [42]
3 Cosmic Cyclone
3 Denko Sekka
3 Effect Veiler
3 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
3 Kumongous, the Sticky String Kaiju
Side Deck [15]

EXTRA DECK

1 Abyss Dweller
1 Ancient Fairy Dragon
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Borreload Dragon
1 Decode Talker
2 Invoked Mechaba
1 Invoked Purgatrio
1 Naturia Beast
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1 Proxy Dragon
1 Tornado Dragon
1 Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing
Extra Deck [15]
Notes:


Casey's build is worth spotlighting for a few reasons: first, it's a great example of the innovative deck construction that's possible this format. From time to time players get rooted into strategies and builds with tested ratios and forgiving play sequences. But there are plenty of opportunities to go rogue this format with Cubics, Magical Musketeers , Six Samurai , Ojama ABC's , and even Blackwings topping Championships. The idea that tournament competition isn't diverse, or that's it's too difficult to reckon with Pendulum Magicians and True Dracos, has been proven wrong again and again by rogue strategies in just the last month.

We can also inspect Casey's build from another angle: the awesome Field Spell engine he's built up using Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson and Ancient Fairy Dragon. Pairing both monsters together isn't particularly new, but so far we haven't seen someone take the Field Spell cycling of Ancient Fairy Dragon to such an extreme. There's an entire Subterror engine in Casey's deck that just doesn't work without the Destrudo engine, and the remaining Field Spells build off that combo in unique ways.

Finally, much of Casey's success was thanks to Naturia Beast –he practically built the deck around it. The takeaway here isn't just that these engines somehow worked together thanks to Ancient Fairy Dragon, but also that its end goals made those interactions worthwhile. Naturia Beast led Casey to victory in a spell-heavy format, and he protected it with cards like Overtex Qoatlus and Subterror Fiendess. It's an awesome monster that deserved to be built around, and that's exactly what Casey did with his 2nd Place strategy.

Juggling Five Decks At The Same Time
Take a moment to count how many different themes make an appearance in Casey's build. There's the obvious Subterror line-up with four monsters and three Field Spells, five Trickstars, three Invoked cards, and the smallest engine: a two-card tech of SPYRAL Super Agent and SPYRAL Resort. Dinosaurs represent a sizeable chunk of Casey's list with three monsters and two spells, although it's shocking that five cards can be considered ‘sizeable' in a forty-two card deck.

Synergy's tough to establish in a deck with so many different themes and monster types, but Casey made it work by leveraging two cards: Ancient Fairy Dragon and Subterror Behemoth Phospheroglacier. The 5D's-era Synchro is the deck's key search effect and packs useful Special Summon support for Level 4 or lower monsters. Typically Casey would Summon Ancient Fairy Dragon using either Armageddon Knight or Dragon Ravine, then trade Ravine for Magical Meltdown, The Hidden City, Trickstar Light Stage, or SPYRAL - Resort. Each of the Field Spells can search a Level 4 monster which Ancient Fairy Dragon would then have a chance to Summon. It's largely the same strategy as we've seen with Union Hangar, but with far more utility.

 Ancient Fairy Dragon
$5.01
$3.96
$3.00
Ancient Fairy Dragon161996
Set Legendary Collection Kaiba
Number LCKC-EN070
Level 7
Type Synchro/Effect Monster
Monster Dragon
Attribute LIGHT 
A / D 2100 / 3000
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
Once per turn: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower monster from your hand. You cannot conduct your Battle Phase the turn you activate this effect. Once per turn: You can destroy as many Field Spell Cards on the field as possible, and if you do, gain 1000 LP, then you can add 1 Field Spell Card from your Deck to your hand.


Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
ClevelandCardResale 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $1.99
ELCgaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $3.00
Minato Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $3.00
Valueduelist 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $3.00
RecursiveTraders 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $3.00
WisCardboard 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $3.00
Aether Game World 1st Edition - Near Mint 3 $3.05
TopCardShop 1st Edition - Near Mint 7 $3.30
Amazing Discoveries 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $3.35
CompetitiveCardShack 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $3.35

For example, after Summoning Ancient Fairy Dragon Casey could destroy a Field Spell to search The Hidden City, then use its effect to search Subterror Nemesis Warrior. Once he Special Summoned Warrior with his Synchro's ability he could activate Nemesis Warrior to send Subterror Behemoth Phospheroglacier to the graveyard, and tribute both monsters to Special Summon it face-down. That's the real end game here: by putting Phospheroglacier into play he could Flip Summon it, send any card from his deck to the graveyard, and revive Nemesis Warrior from the graveyard as a bonus.

Subterror Behemoth Phospheroglacier's only as strong as the cards it can send to the graveyard, and in the past Subterror players would mostly use it to get Subterror Nemesis Warrior into play if they didn't have it already. Glow-Up Bulb was another great send to enable Synchro plays, and for a while I was a big proponent of A/D Changer. Casey's build sticks to high value options that play well with the rest of the themes in his strategy. Glow-Up Bulb upgrades his Level 4 Earth monsters into Naturia Beast, Overtex Qoatlus searches Double Evolution Pill, Trickstar Reincarnation creates another Special Summon opportunity, and Fairy Tail - Snow is just an all-around amazing utility card.

Both Ancient Fairy Dragon and Subterror Behemoth Phospheroglacier were necessary to extend combos and reach Casey's win conditions. There are ultimately two goals here, where the simplest is to win the duel on Turn 2 by negating or interrupting the opponent's cards using Naturia Beast, Overtex Qoatlus, Invoked Mechaba, The Hidden City, Trickstar Reincarnation, Set Rotation, Subterror Fiendess, or Fairy Tail - Snow. Failing that, Casey's build could transition to a lengthy grind game that leveraged the deck's incredible power in simplified duels.

Casey could still end games swiftly with more aggressive cards like Ultimate Conductor Tyranno and Invoked Purgatrio. There's a ton of flexibility in the deck's design to rapidly shift from defensive to aggressive play, and it's largely thanks to the massive line-up of Field Spells. There are so many cards in this deck that are just one effect away from being Summoned or searched, and that's especially true with the Invoked and Dinosaur engines.

Naturia Beast's Power
Starting the duel with Naturia Beast is insanely powerful this format. Brent Casey's build was designed to do exactly that using the Subterror engine: using Ancient Fairy Dragon to Summon Subterror Nemesis Warrior, then using Nemesis to put Subterror Behemoth Phospheroglacier in play, and finally use its flip effect to send Glow-Up Bulb while returning Warrior to the field. It's all easily done on Turn 1, and Subterror Fiendess can even offer protection against hand traps during certain parts of the combo.

Naturia Beast itself isn't terribly difficult to deal with – especially after siding in Kaijus and Evenly Matched. But Casey's deck challenges his opponent to overcome interruption from so many other cards, including The Hidden City's attack negation. If your opponent can't answer it they're likely to lose the duel outright. Pendulum Magicians have the most to lose from Naturia Beast's spell negation, and while they can answer it with Astrograph Sorcerer and Purple Poison Magician, there's still plenty of interruption from The Hidden City, Overtex Qoatlus, and Subterror Fiendess to keep Naturia Beast on the field.

 Naturia Beast
$999.00
$11.17
$7.99
Naturia Beast94080
Set Legendary Collection 5D's
Number LC5D-EN244
Level 5
Type Synchro/Effect Monster
Monster Beast
Attribute EARTH 
A / D 2200 / 1700
Rarity Ultra Rare
Card Text

1 EARTH Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner EARTH monsters // While this card is face-up on the field, you can send the top 2 cards of your Deck to the Graveyard to negate the activation of a Spell Card and destroy it.


Store Condition Qty Avail Price  
CardSourceGaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $7.00
Gsantsm 1st Edition - Lightly Played 1 $7.99
GreatCardzGreatDealz 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $8.37
ZLinked Gaming 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $9.00
LWGamer 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $9.15
Gamer's Gauntlet YGO 1st Edition - Near Mint 2 $9.15
CLand 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $9.15
Extramint 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $9.20
Buis Card Place 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $9.44
Alter Reality Games 1st Edition - Near Mint 1 $9.49

In other match-ups Naturia Beast is simply a more effective Anti-Spell Fragrance. It's a great floodgate against decks that rely on Field Spells, like Trickstars, ABC's and True Dracos, and it also puts in a ton of work against 60-card strategies. Even when Naturia Beast doesn't keep your opponent locked out of their spells you can still use it to bait out their most important cards. Breaking through a field of Naturia Beast, The Hidden City, and potentially another interruption takes a lot of effort, and Casey could have followed that up with Invocation, Black Rose Dragon, or Double Evolution Pill to push the duel right back into his favor.

If you take the deck in a more casual direction there's an interesting backbone for a dedicated Subterror strategy. Subterror Guru is stuck in import limbo, but in the meantime I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to play Armageddon Knight, Destrudo, and Dragon Ravine in a typical Subterror build. New Field Spells offer new opportunities to take this same strategy and apply it in slightly different ways: what about a build using Oracle of Zefra where you could Pendulum Summon Armageddon Knight to keep your Normal Summon free? How about Dragonic Diagram? What about – dare I say it – using Dragon Ravine to search Dragunity cards?

There's tons of potential with Ancient Fairy Dragon, Destrudo, and Field Spells beyond ABC's, and even beyond what Brent Casey did with his deck.

This build is both incredibly cool and an absolute blast to play. I retrieved my shelved Subterror deck as soon as I saw this list and I regret not doing so earlier. There's a surprising amount of potential buried in the Subterror theme, and Destrudo has awakened slumbering giants here and in dozens of other strategies.

Until next time then


-Kelly

Kelly​​​ ​​​Locke​​​ ​​​is​​​ ​​​a​​​ ​​​West​​​ ​​​Michigan​​​ ​​​gamer and writer. In​​​ ​​​addition​​​ ​​​to​​​ ​​​writing​​​ ​​​on TCGplayer,​​​ ​​​Kelly​​​ ​​​writes​​​ a ​​​​​​ personal​​​ ​​​blog​​​ ​​​ ​​​covering​​​ ​​​Yu-Gi-Oh!,​​​ ​​​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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