Ahead of the Curve: Fluffal Shaddolls
Doug Zeeff

Writing articles for Yu-Gi-Oh! right now is kind of tough: we know that there will (hopefully) be a new Forbidden & Limited List in the next couple weeks, but it's impossible to predict what exactly will be on it. That makes coming up with deck lists a bit of a balancing act, focusing on not only what won't be affected by the F&L List, but also what could capitalize on potential trends after the the format drops.

I think everyone can guess that Zoodiacs and True Dracos will be affected in one way or another; those themes have dominated competition literally for months now, taking most of the Top 32 seats at both YCS Rimini and YCS Toronto. It's also safe to say that Extra Deck cards will be popular no matter what happens, especially at a Regional Qualifier level where there are tons of rogue decks.

Accepting both of those points as true, I wanted to build a deck that could take advantage of a new, open format to get fast, easy wins at a Regional Qualifier early in the competitive season. I strongly believe the best time to earn your invite to the World Championship Qualifier is right after the first Forbidden & Limited List following the World Championship comes into effect, because so many players just aren't as focused on the game as they will be later in the year.

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By now you've probably guessed that I'm a huge fan of Fluffals. I've written about them many times before, and I've been patiently waiting for Frightfur Patchwork's TCG release. Fluffals might not look scary at first, but there are a lot of powerful interactions and ridiculous effects buried beneath their cute demeanors.

Fluffal Wings is the most notable, giving you a slick +2 in card economy any time you can resolve its effect. It's a prime Gem-Knight Seraphinite Fusion Material with Brilliant Fusion, setting up your graveyard for its effect in the process. All you'd need after that is either Fluffal Bear or Fluffal Dog, which digs towards your Toy Vendor. This combo was always a great first turn play, but it's even better now that it also happens to put two Earth monsters on board for Missus Radiant!

Perhaps even more important is the new engine I've been messing around with recently: Shaddolls. Fluffal decks with small Shaddoll engines have been popular since the very beginning, but there's one big release that brings the entire strategy together. Predaplant Darlingtonia Cobra is everything you could possibly want out of a searcher. When you summon it through Predaplant Orphys Scorpio you get to grab a copy of either Polymerization or a spell with Fusion in its name from your deck.

Obviously that can get you to Brilliant Fusion, but there are so many more applications in this variant. Shaddoll Fusion's a fantastic, unexpected choice for going second against a large board of Extra Deck monsters, whereas El Shaddoll Fusion could be an option to further your hand's strength when you already opened Shaddoll Fusion.

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But it doesn't stop there. Frightfur Fusion acts as an excellent mid-game choice for your Frightfur Fusion Monsters, while Instant Fusion pulls double duty depending on your hand. Need Frightfur Sheep? Special Summon it. Need El Shaddoll Winda? You can Special Summon that, too! There will even be times when you need the standard Polymerization to fix your opening, and Darlingtonia Cobra can do that as well.

In regards to the most versatile Darlingtonia Cobra selections, it doesn't get any better than this hybrid deck.

There's also some overlap between common moves in both themes. Toy Vendor's chief purpose is to thin your deck for better draws while potentially hitting Fluffal monsters, but you can also trigger your Shaddoll effects if you reveal one off the top of your deck. Fluffal Rabbit isn't seen in most conventional Fluffal lists, but you can send it from your deck to the grave with Shaddoll Fusion to make El Shaddoll Shekhinaga, getting a Fluffal monster back in the process.

Foolish Burial Goods can pitch Toy Vendor to grab a Fluffal or Shaddoll Core to add back a Shaddoll Fusion. Fluffal Penguin's Destiny Draw effect can yard Shaddolls to add insult to injury. Heck, Edge Imp Chain's effect triggers if you use it to Fusion Summon El Shaddoll Winda!

Both decks are incredibly strong going second, but also have some threatening first turn boards. It's a list designed to throw your opponent's off-guard and steal wins with OTK's. Let's take a look at the build so far:

@@@@@DECKID=107879@@@@@ One thing I want to point out is that this is the most “neutral” version of the list. I don't think anything on here has a chance of being touched by the Forbidden & Limited List except possibly Maxx “C”. That's important because it means you'll have to make a few changes for metagaming reasons depending on the tournament you go to.

While that's true for almost any deck list you find online, it's especially true here because I have basically no Main Decked outs to a successfully summoned Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King. I have no idea how popular True Dracos will be after the Forbidden & Limited List, but if Master Peace is still hitting the table every match then you'll definitely want some Kaiju monsters.

Similarly, in a world where Zoodiac Drident is a non-factor but players latch on to backrow heavy decks, Denko Sekka could be a valuable asset against Solemn Strike, Solemn Warning, and Dimensional Barrier. The latter's a real pain because the Extra Deck is almost exclusively Fusion Monsters.

Besides the metagame positioning that I've already mentioned, Fluffals are interesting in the Link era because Frightfur Sabre-Tooth can cheat the system, reviving a Fusion Monster to one of your Main Monster Zones. In most cases you just won't need more than two Extra Deck monsters on the field at a time, which Missus Radiant sets up with little effort.

Perhaps the best reason to run Fluffal Shaddolls at a future tournament is the surprise factor. Playing around a first turn Shaddoll Fusion was once on everyone's minds, but it's not so important these days. A well-timed Shaddoll Fusion can seal the deal in a lot of cases. El Shaddoll Winda's surprisingly difficult for some decks to get over, and El Shaddoll Shekhinaga's a negation powerhouse.

Even the Fluffal and Frightfur monsters themselves can be deadly at the right times, threatening lethal damage with a small investment. If you can summon Frightfur Sabre-Tooth to revive a Frightfur Kraken you'll have a clean 8000 damage with direct attacks, creating win scenarios that won't normally be available to conventional strategies.

Fluffal Shaddolls hit fast and they hit hard. I don't know what the F&L List will bring to Yu-Gi-Oh, but I feel like a lot of players are praying for a big shake-up. If you weren't sick of Zoodiacs headed into the WCQ season you're probably sick of them by now. Fluffal Shaddolls seem to be a safe choice headed into the Regional Qualifier weekends in the coming weeks!

-Doug Zeeff

Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered Yu-Gi-Oh! content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, Overwatch, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!