In the original days of dueling, Field Spells rewarded players for keepingthem on the table over long periods of time. That's changed in recentyears, with more Field Spells than ever acting as one-time search effectsfor themed monsters. Trickstar Light Stage, Oracle of Zefra, The HiddenCity, and Union Hangar are essentially Reinforcement of the Army effectsstapled to Field Spells. Other search effects may be delayed, like SPYRALResort, Dragon Ravine, and Dragonic Diagram, but the premise is still thesame.
In hindsight it was only a matter of time until someone discovered how totake the Dragon Ravine and Union Hangar strategy played in ABC's and applyit on a much larger scale. Ancient Fairy Dragon links together impressiveplays by swapping Field Spells and Special Summoning a freshly-searchedmonster. 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 CaliforniaRegional.
DECKID= 108533Casey's build is worth spotlighting for a few reasons: first, it's a greatexample of the innovative deck construction that's possible this format.From time to time players get rooted into strategies and builds with testedratios and forgiving play sequences. But there are plenty of opportunitiesto go rogue this format with Cubics,Magical Musketeers,Six Samurai,Ojama ABC's, and evenBlackwingstopping Championships. The idea that tournament competition isn't diverse,or that's it's too difficult to reckon with Pendulum Magicians and TrueDracos, has been proven wrong again and again by rogue strategies in justthe last month.
We can also inspect Casey's build from another angle: the awesome FieldSpell engine he's built up using Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson andAncient Fairy Dragon. Pairing both monsters together isn't particularlynew, but so far we haven't seen someone take the Field Spell cycling ofAncient Fairy Dragon to such an extreme. There's an entire Subterror enginein Casey's deck that just doesn't work without the Destrudo engine, and theremaining Field Spells build off that combo in unique ways.
Finally, much of Casey's success was thanks to Naturia Beast –hepractically built the deck around it. The takeaway here isn't just thatthese engines somehow worked together thanks to Ancient Fairy Dragon, butalso that its end goals made those interactions worthwhile. Naturia Beastled Casey to victory in a spell-heavy format, and he protected it withcards like Overtex Qoatlus and Subterror Fiendess. It's an awesome monsterthat deserved to be built around, and that's exactly what Casey did withhis 2nd Place strategy.
Juggling Five Decks At The Same Time
Take a moment to count how many different themes make an appearance inCasey's build. There's the obvious Subterror line-up with four monsters andthree Field Spells, five Trickstars, three Invoked cards, and the smallestengine: a two-card tech of SPYRAL Super Agent and SPYRAL Resort. Dinosaursrepresent a sizeable chunk of Casey's list with three monsters and twospells, 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 andmonster types, but Casey made it work by leveraging two cards: AncientFairy Dragon and Subterror Behemoth Phospheroglacier. The 5D's-era Synchrois the deck's key search effect and packs useful Special Summon support forLevel 4 or lower monsters. Typically Casey would Summon Ancient FairyDragon using either Armageddon Knight or Dragon Ravine, then trade Ravinefor Magical Meltdown, The Hidden City, Trickstar Light Stage, or SPYRAL -Resort. Each of the Field Spells can search a Level 4 monster which AncientFairy Dragon would then have a chance to Summon. It's largely the samestrategy as we've seen with Union Hangar, but with far more utility.
For example, after Summoning Ancient Fairy Dragon Casey could destroy aField Spell to search The Hidden City, then use its effect to searchSubterror Nemesis Warrior. Once he Special Summoned Warrior with hisSynchro's ability he could activate Nemesis Warrior to send SubterrorBehemoth Phospheroglacier to the graveyard, and tribute both monsters toSpecial Summon it face-down. That's the real end game here: by puttingPhospheroglacier into play he could Flip Summon it, send any cardfrom his deck to the graveyard, and revive Nemesis Warrior from thegraveyard as a bonus.
Subterror Behemoth Phospheroglacier's only as strong as the cards it cansend to the graveyard, and in the past Subterror players would mostly useit to get Subterror Nemesis Warrior into play if they didn't have italready. Glow-Up Bulb was another great send to enable Synchro plays, andfor a while I was a big proponent of A/D Changer. Casey's build sticks tohigh value options that play well with the rest of the themes in hisstrategy. Glow-Up Bulb upgrades his Level 4 Earth monsters into NaturiaBeast, Overtex Qoatlus searches Double Evolution Pill, TrickstarReincarnation 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 werenecessary to extend combos and reach Casey's win conditions. There areultimately two goals here, where the simplest is to win the duel on Turn 2by 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 thedeck's incredible power in simplified duels.
Casey could still end games swiftly with more aggressive cards likeUltimate Conductor Tyranno and Invoked Purgatrio. There's a ton offlexibility in the deck's design to rapidly shift from defensive toaggressive play, and it's largely thanks to the massive line-up of FieldSpells. There are so many cards in this deck that are just one effect awayfrom being Summoned or searched, and that's especially true with theInvoked 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 Subterrorengine: using Ancient Fairy Dragon to Summon Subterror Nemesis Warrior,then using Nemesis to put Subterror Behemoth Phospheroglacier in play, andfinally use its flip effect to send Glow-Up Bulb while returning Warrior tothe field. It's all easily done on Turn 1, and Subterror Fiendess can evenoffer protection against hand traps during certain parts of the combo.
Naturia Beast itself isn't terribly difficult to deal with – especiallyafter siding in Kaijus and Evenly Matched. But Casey's deck challenges hisopponent to overcome interruption from so many other cards, including TheHidden City's attack negation. If your opponent can't answer it they'relikely to lose the duel outright. Pendulum Magicians have the most to losefrom Naturia Beast's spell negation, and while they can answer it withAstrograph Sorcerer and Purple Poison Magician, there's still plenty ofinterruption from The Hidden City, Overtex Qoatlus, and Subterror Fiendessto keep Naturia Beast on the field.
In other match-ups Naturia Beast is simply a more effective Anti-SpellFragrance. 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 workagainst 60-card strategies. Even when Naturia Beast doesn't keep youropponent locked out of their spells you can still use it to bait out theirmost important cards. Breaking through a field of Naturia Beast, The HiddenCity, and potentially another interruption takes a lot of effort, and Caseycould have followed that up with Invocation, Black Rose Dragon, or DoubleEvolution Pill to push the duel right back into his favor.
If you take the deck in a more casual direction there's an interestingbackbone for a dedicated Subterror strategy.Subterror Guru isstuck in import limbo, but in the meantime I can't imagine why you wouldn'twant to play Armageddon Knight, Destrudo, and Dragon Ravine in a typicalSubterror build. New Field Spells offer new opportunities to take this samestrategy and apply it in slightly different ways: what about a build usingOracle of Zefra where you could Pendulum Summon Armageddon Knight to keepyour Normal Summon free? How about Dragonic Diagram? What about – dare Isay it – using Dragon Ravine to search Dragunity cards?
There's tons of potential with Ancient Fairy Dragon, Destrudo, and FieldSpells 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. Iretrieved my shelved Subterror deck as soon as I saw this list and I regretnot doing so earlier. There's a surprising amount of potential buried inthe Subterror theme, and Destrudo has awakened slumbering giants here andin dozens of other strategies.
Until next time then
Kelly Locke is a West Michigangamer and writer. In addition to writing onTCGplayer, Kelly writes a personal blog covering Yu-Gi-Oh!, Destiny, andother hobbies. You can follow him onTwitter and check out his Youtube channel. He also studied marketing at Western Michigan University.