Chaos Impact features the debut of the Unchained theme – a collection of Fiends that let you use your opponent's monsters for Link Summons. Among the new cards is aLink 4 named Unchained Abomination, and while it's a solid Extra Deck pick for the Unchained it might be an even better generic pick for dozens of other strategies.

Abomination wields a solid ATK and favorable Link Arrows, but more importantly its trio of destruction effects set it apart from other Links.It totally outclasses other Link Monsters in terms of the number of cards it can destroy per turn with its targeted effect, and only the mass removal abilities of Topologic Link Monsters can rival its efficiency. It might just be the next must-play Extra Deck Link Monster, especially in a format that's stacked with floodgates and backrow.

Unchained Abomination's three removal effects trigger independently based on specific conditions. Surprisingly those conditions aren't at all difficult to meet, and at least one of them is practically guaranteed to trigger for each turn Abomination stays on the field.

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Its first ability activates if a card on the field is destroyed by an effect except Abomination, so any destruction effects – those activated by your opponent or your own effects – will let you destroy another card. Keep in mind that this ability activates regardless of who controlled the destroyed card, or even the destruction effect itself. You can activateAbomination even if your opponent is destroying their own cards with  something like Dragonic Diagram.

Abomination's second effect triggers whenever a monster's destroyed by battle, and it's more than capable of achieving that on its own thanks to its 3000 ATK. As a result Abomination is effective at breaking most boards during the Battle Phase, and apart from monsters like Thunder DragonColossus there aren't many cards that can Stand In its way. Some of the larger Link 4s out there can match or exceed its ATK, but many are vulnerable to its destruction ability. Preying on smaller monsters first is probably the best strategy here, but in a pinch you can even run your weakest monster into your opponent's to trigger Abomination.

Lastly, Abomination's simplest destruction effect activates on either player's End Phase. Waiting until the End Phase to destroy a single card isn't worth investing Link Materials, but it's largely just a great bonus.Unlike Abomination's first two abilities this final one is practically guaranteed to activate, so it's additive to the destruction you've already created by firing off removal during the Main Phase and Battle Phase.Ideally you'll be landing in the End Phase having already destroyed two or three cards with Abomination's attacks and its first two removal tricks, then pick off a remaining card, or destroy your own, near the end of your turn.

None of Unchained Abomination's effects are terribly complicated, and at first glance it's not an especially interesting card. It's packed with enough removal to blast its way through boards that aren't immune to destruction, and played defensively it can kick to keep your field safe by comboing off your chainable removal. You'd absolutely want to play this alongside Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, Twin Twisters, Heavy Storm Duster,or Solemn Strike to trigger its first effect during your opponent's turn, but is that  enough to make Abomination worthwhile?

It's competing with a line-up of excellent aggressive Link 4s, including Borreload Dragon, Borrelsword Dragon, Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax, and theLink 3 Black Luster Soldier - Soldier of Chaos. Defensively it's also competing against monsters with even more destruction packed into their effects, like the Topologic Link 4s and Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess.

Playing The Short & Long Games

There are three areas where Unchained Abomination really shines as a Link4: first, the sheer number of removal effects makes it one of the best candidates for capitalizing on momentary lapses in your opponent's defenses. Abomination adds another answer to the question of "What do I follow up with after resolving Dark Ruler No More?" It's a fantastic aggressive option for cutting through your opponent's field, although it's admittedly more vulnerable to disruption than other cards.

Effect Veiler, Infinite Impermanence, and Lost Wind will shut downAbomination's rampage, but those same cards are useless against something like Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax. That said, single-turn negation isn't quite as defeating against Abomination as it is against monsters with destruction effects that activate on-Summon, and the act of destroying a card like Lost Wind will usually trigger its first effect.

Unchained Abomination excels at applying pressure turn after turn despite the fact that it's not a negation body or a floodgate. That's the second area where Abomination outclasses other Link Monsters: its long-term presence is even more disastrous than its first-turn burst of aggressive power. You can play Abomination as a Link 4 utility option to blow up backrow and monsters alike, but if you can keep it on the field for a few turns you'll see a massive return on your Link Material investment.

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Abomination's essentially pulling in a +3 in card economy every turn if you're activating all three effects, which means your opponent may simply run out of cards the longer Abomination stays on the field. The slow roll of card advantage makes Abomination a top priority for your opponent's own removal cards, and as I mentioned previously Abomination is fairly easily dispatched by most removal or negation effects.

That said, Abomination is also exceedingly difficult to play around thanks to its range of activation conditions. If your opponent can't find a way to destroy it then Abomination's End Phase effect will kick in at a minimum. They can't go after your other monsters, or even your other cards first without losing a few of their own. Abomination doesn't specifically protect your cards, but it does discourage your opponent from going after them until it's been dealt with.

Ultimately you're punishing your opponent for making moves and punishing them for not making moves with Abomination's End Phase effect.It's a significantly more challenging monster to outplay than, say, Topologic Bomber Dragon. Not only does Abomination have more coverage, but its End Phase destruction makes inaction a non-option. Your opponent can't afford to bide their time and wait you out.

Working With Themes That Thrive On Destruction

Again, I think there are three areas where Unchained Abomination warrants an Extra Deck slot: first, it's packed with three wide-coverage removal effects that let you crush boards of both monsters and backrow, and secondly it applies intense pressure on your opponent for each turn it's on the field.

Finally, the third benefit of Unchained Abomination is its ability to trigger effects in themes that thrive off the destruction of their own cards. The Unchained deck's an obvious place to start, but I'd like to focus on three other themes instead. True Dracos, Dinosaurs, and Rokketsare always looking for new ways to destroy specific cards in their own builds, and players go to incredible lengths to trigger their effects.While Dragonic Diagram's still the king of destroying cards in the hand,Unchained Abomination is perhaps the single best Extra Deck monster to destroy cards on the field.

Abomination's play in True Draco variants in the future seems like an inevitability. Its effects are incredibly easy to trigger thanks toDragonic Diagram, and Abomination can double up on removal by destroying another card after a True Draco or True King card is destroyed. The extra removal isn't always necessary, but it's great to have in the right match-up.

Given that True Dracos already have plenty of free Extra Deck space it's hard to imagine Abomination not making the cut. Still, pure True Draco builds aren't exactly known for their ability to make Link 4 Summons.Abomination will probably only show up in builds that are teching an engine that makes Links more accessible, and especially those that are playing even more cards that benefit from being destroyed by Abomination's effects.

Access to a reliable destruction effect in Dinosaurs is a big deal for Babycerasaurus and Petiteranodon. Ultimate Conductor Tyranno, Dragonic Diagram, Souleating Oviraptor and various True Kings can usually get the job done, but Unchained Abomination's release introduces a reliable Link 4that can trigger the smaller Dinosaurs when they're on the field. It has some fantastic synergies with the deck, including massive benefit fromUltimate Conductor Tyranno's effect. It's an excellent option for theDinosaur Extra Deck – space permitting – even if its up-front cost is still a bit steep for most Dinosaur builds.

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It's hard to imagine a card that can trigger more Rokket effects per turn than Unchained Abomination. It's also hard to imagine a situation where you'd have three Rokkets available at one time, but the potential makes Abomination worth investigating. What really sells Abomination in Rokkets is its ability to trigger Silverokket Dragon from any zone, or destroy a card your opponent controls. Its flexibility means you're not stuck lowering a monster's ATK with Borreload Dragon instead of actually dealing with the monster.

Abomination's simply a vastly stronger defensive pick than Borreload, especially considering that you're more likely to be Summoning Silverokket Dragon these days. You can even trigger your Rokket with Abomination's second or third effect, then follow up with its first after the Rokket destroys itself.

Unchained Abomination's removal makes it one of the most impactful LinkMonsters in the game today, and it's one of the only Links that can generically destroy multiple spells, traps, and monsters with easily-met conditions. Ningirsu the World Chalice Warrior is about the closest thing we have to a Scrap Dragon for Link Monsters, but these days it's typically Summoned, activated, and immediately linked away in favor of another monster with a defensive effect.

Abomination stands out largely because it can serve both rolls simultaneously, although it's worth noting that Ningirsu makes an excellent stepping stone to the Link 4. Abomination is offering something unique to the Link toolbox that also happens to have excellent synergies with a handful of themes, and that's reason enough to give it a try.

Until next time then

-Kelly