As some of you know I recently attended YCS Toronto, the first YCS to feature Duelist Alliance. I didn't play in the main event because I was tied up all Saturday writing feature matches, but I did play in some side events on Sunday. The deck I took with me was Batterymen, a strategy I've talked at great lengths about before. Why did I play this particular deck when I had almost all the other competitive decks at my disposal? There's one huge reason, and that's The Monarchs Stormforth. This is a non-targeting, quick-play version of Soul Exchange, and it still allows you your Battle Phase. I honestly think it's the best single card to come out of Duelist Alliance, and I don't think any deck can abuse it as much as Batterymen can.

No, not even Monarchs.

Make sure you read the article I linked to just a second ago to get an idea for how Batterymen work, because otherwise this is going to get really confusing early on. Basically, the reason The Monarchs Stormforth is so unfair in Batterymen is that not only can you search out your Tribute monsters easily and consistently, you also can push 6800 damage to the field after resolving just one Stormforth. Batteryman Charger is the card that allows that, Special Summoning a Batteryman 9-Volt from your deck which then grabs a Batteryman Fuel Cell.

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But even better still, you can search out your searcher with Batteryman Micro-Cell in the first place. If we're being completely honest, resolving Micro-Cell successfully is pretty much game. As a reminder, here's what you can accomplish off of one Micro-Cell:

-Set Batteryman Micro-Cell

-Your opponent attacks Micro-Cell, you Special Summon a Batteryman 9-Volt from your deck (+1)

-9-Volt adds Batteryman Charger to your hand [+1(+2 overall)], Micro-Cell dies [-1(+1)], and you draw a card [+1(+2)]

-On your turn, Tribute Summon Charger (-1[+1])

-Special Summon Batteryman 9-Volt from your deck and add another Batteryman monster to your hand [+2(+3)]

Netting those kinds of gains off of one card is insane for a rogue deck. Actually, between my first Batteryman article and this one you might've noticed that other players started to pick up the strategy. A variety of the Batteryman Cards have only had one printing, and most of the good ones have at least quadrupled in price since Duelist Alliance dropped.

Despite that, nobody's topped anything with a non-Artifact version of the deck, which is surprising to me. I mean, Artifacts are cool and all, but I sort of just have a deep-seated hatred for them, you know? My goal was to create a consistent, deadly Batteryman Deck without using the Artifact suite, and I feel that I did that successfully. While changes can definitely be made going forward, let's look at the build I took into a metagame I expected to be heavy on Satellarknights, Burning Abyss, and Shaddolls, at YCS Toronto:

DECKID=101109There's definitely a lot to talk about with this deck, but I'm sure one card in particular stands out: Dogu. Before you criticize me for playing such a seemingly worthless card, let me tell you a little story: once there was a man named Loukas Peterson. His friend Doug told him to play one copy of Dogu in his deck, or else he'd be cursed for the YCS main event. Loukas ignored this advice, and ended up not playing Dogu. By the end of Day 1, Loukas had collected five draws (5 – not a typo).

This is the Dogu curse.

Oddly enough, though, I actually won every game I drew Dogu, regardless of the rest of my hand or how good my opponent's draws were. I suppose you'd realistically drop it for a Thunder King Rai-Oh, but there was one time when I needed a Batteryman 9-Volt to go off and it wouldn't have worked if I'd played Thunder King instead. I can't exactly recommend using this little statue thing, but if you get five draws in a tournament it might just be because you've been cursed. Better safe than sorry, I always say!

Breaking The Mold
I mentioned earlier that Artifact Moralltach and Artifact Sanctum usually sneak their way into Batteryman builds, but I'm still against that style of build. In theory it's great because Moralltach's free Tribute fodder and it's Level 5, but in practice I found it just gave me more dead draws than I was already stuck with. Also, the Artifact engine took up five to six card slots, and I feel that they could go to more useful things.

And no, I'm not referring to Dogu, so don't get smart in the comments.

Namely, I really liked using both Trap Stun and Wiretap. When you're dealing with huge backrows you want to just end the game quickly, and Trap Stun's your card for that. What Wiretap does is negate opposing Wiretaps as well as Stellarnova Alphas. Without the Artifacts taking up room I can also make room for more trap cards, and you can see how that allowed me to play Breakthrough Skill, Fiendish Chain, and Dimensional Prison instead of just two copies of one of those particular cards. Of course, Moralltach does make Call Of The Haunted slightly more versatile – it lets you make effect-driven plays beyond just reviving 9-Volts – but playing nine Tribute monsters is just a little bit too crazy for me. I'm already opening with unplayable hands on occasion, stuff like multiple Fuel Cells with no way to put them on the field, and I don't want to throw Moralltach into the mix and make things worse. Remember kids: you're just as likely to open Moralltach as you are Sanctum.

As for other tech choices, I opted to play one of each of the revival cards: Battery Charger and Portable Battery Pack. Most players have dropped one or both, but I feel they're just too good not to play. Battery Charger's essentially a redo: it lets you have a second shot if you get hit by Solemn Warning, Torrential Tribute, or Stellarnova Alpha. Portable Battery Pack is harder to pull off since it requires multiple Batterymen in the graveyard, but it just outright wins you the game when it resolves. I don't like Soul Charge in Batterymen because you really, really need your Battle Phase, so I'd heavily advise that you stick with the theme's Monster Reborn cards, especially if you're not using Artifacts.

How To Crush Satellarknights, Shaddolls, and Burning Abyss
Naturally I wouldn't be playing Batterymen at any big competitions unless they could beat the top three strategies, and luckily Batterymen do that with ease. Shaddolls are arguably the most played theme right now, and that matchup is 100% in your favor. The Monarchs Stormforth is literally the best answer to all of their cards, dodging the Shaddoll monsters' trigger effects when they're destroyed and sent to the graveyard. Fuel Cell can also just bounce stuff, forcing Shaddolls to play slower than they already do.

Once Side Decking comes into play it gets a bit more difficult, but the ball's still in your court. You can assume your opponent will be putting in Light-Imprisoning Mirror and maybe Maxx "C", but you'll be throwing in Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror as well as destruction for Light-Imprisoning Mirror. If you see fit, feel free to Side Deck Fire Hand and Ice Hand. They're not super powerful this format, but they're really good in Batterymen because your opponent will think you've set a Micro-Cell and just attack into them. They also blow up problematic backrow cards like Light-Imprisoning Mirror and Vanity's Emptiness, which is a nice bonus.

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Burning Abyss are incredibly similar to Shaddolls in that they lose to the same Side Deck card: Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror. Even better, you can use things like Vanity's Emptiness, And the Band Played On, and Stygian Dirge to prevent your opponent from playing Yu-Gi-Oh! at all. You've just got to really watch out for those chainable traps like Raigeki Break, Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, and Karma Cut. Saving those Trap Stuns until your opponent activates something big is crucial in this match-up.

Satellarknights are in some ways the hardest deck of the three to beat, but in other ways it can be the easiest. On one hand, Satellarknights don't really play cards that'll just stop you from playing entirely. They can't use Light-Imprisoning Mirror, and Vanity's Emptiness is easy to get around with The Monarchs Stormforth. On the other hand, if you brick and your opponent has a playable hand you'll lose in like, five seconds, because they'll just build up too much momentum. Stellarnova Alpha's kind of a pain, but as long as you can bait it out and then flip Trap Stun after it resolves you should be good. Luckily it's rare for your opponent to Summon more than one monster at a time, which means a medium or strong hand should be able to create an OTK the majority of the time.

At the end of the day, I feel Batterymen are an incredibly strong choice in current metagames. I already have my World Championship Qualifier 2015 invite, but I'm going to attend a Regional Qualifier a couple weeks from now and I'll probably take Batterymen with me. I'm confident in both the Artifact and non-Artifact versions, and as long as you're a skillful player you should be able to win your matches with ease. Let me know in the Comment section if you went to YCS Toronto, and if so, how you did and what you played!

-Doug Zeeff