Danger! Haven't quite emerged as a successful dedicated strategy yet; theircompetitive showings have been almost entirely hybrids. ButMark Myatt's Danger!build from the recent Ft. Worth Texas Regional could be the start of a newera for Dangers, even before the theme's next round of support inSavage Strike.

Myatt's played 22 Dangers out of a total of 30 monsters in his Main Deck –a significantly higher ratio than any deck in ourdeck archiveso far. It's a dedicated strategy in every sense with a handful ofexcellent tech choices to take advantage of the theme's huge number ofSpecial Summons and discard effects.

You might be wondering: hey, how does this deck actually win?You're not alone – the Danger! theme doesn't have an obvious win conditionoutside of Summoning a couple of high-ATK monsters.

Danger! Bigfoot! carries a massive 3000 ATK that can swing over just abouteverything on the competitive scene, but raw ATK isn't enough to win intoday's game. Instead, Myatt's goal was Link Summoning Knightmare LinkMonsters to create Extra Links, apply floodgate effects, and leverageutility monsters like Tri-Gate Wizard and Knightmare Unicorn to dispatchopposing forces.

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The Danger! toolbox is fairly straightforward: Danger! Nessie!, Danger!?Jackalope?, and Danger! Chupacabra! search and Special Summon additionalDanger! monsters when they're discarded. Danger! Bigfoot! and Danger!Thunderbird! destroy face-up and set cards respectively, and Danger!Dogman! has a surprisingly powerful ATK-decreasing effect.

The removal effects are excellent, but they're also destruction-based.Tri-Gate Wizard and Knightmare Unicorn help fix the deck's abundance ofdestruction by adding a banish and bounce effect to your Extra Decktoolbox.

Myatt's Extra Deck choices outside of Tri-Gate Wizard, Unicorn, andBorrelsword are largely based around lengthy Link combos and buildingfields that end with Knightmare Gryphon and other Knightmares. The combosaren't very different from ones we've seen before in Goukis, but Myatt hadan opportunity to play a card most other Link-spam strategies are missingout on.

Number 42: Galaxy Tomahawk is totally insane, and the Level 7 Dangers gaveMyatt easy access to its busted Token-summoning effect. Tomahawk took someof the pressure off the non-Danger! monsters in Myatt's deck and let himlaunch major Link plays using just Dangers. Without it he'd need to rely onPhantom Skyblaster and other Special Summons to amass enough resources forhis Link Summons.

There's one more win condition here: Myatt could lean into Imperial Orderto lock spell-heavy decks out of the duel. The usual combo of sending afloodgate to the graveyard with Curious, the Lightsworn Dominion andrecovering it with Knightmare Gryphon isn't new, although Myatt's excessivedraw power would often make the combo unnecessary. Danger! playsexceptionally well under floodgates and can quickly crush an opponent who'sstuck spinning their tires against Imperial Order.

The Most Bang For Your Normal Summon
If you asked me to list the most impactful Normal Summons this format I'dbe remiss to not mention Phantom Skyblaster.

Next to Armageddon Knight it's arguably the best Normal Summon in the gameright now, but most of the top decks on the competitive scene aren'tplaying it. It's not a combo piece for Thunder Dragons, it interferes withSky Striker spells, and most other themes have more important monsters toNormal Summon.

That said, Danger! offers the perfect opportunity to flex Skyblaster'sinsane Token-Summoning power. Since every monster in the theme has abuilt-in Special Summon there's virtually no competition for your NormalSummon, especially since Armageddon Knight and Dark Grepher have limitedutility in a deck with so much draw power.

Leveraging Special Summoned Danger! monsters into Link Summons was anobvious yet important part of Myatt's strategy. Most of the Danger monstersare passable beasticks on their own, but they're often not enough to wingames without some help from the Extra Deck. Myatt's end boards ofKnightmare co-Links were often made possible by Tokens Summoned off PhantomSkyblaster, and its power here can't be overstated.

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Skyblaster's a solid +1 in an era of Link Monsters when it's Summonedalone, but it gains another +1 of card economy if you can commit just onemore monster to the field before using that Normal Summon. Myatt's deck wasabsolutely stacked with monsters that filled this particularniche. As a result, Skyblaster would almost always generate two Tokens anddouble Myatt's field presence with a single effect.

The reality is that Danger! need the extra help in achieving trulycompetitive fields of Links and making Knightmare Extra Links. The themehas plenty of Summoning power, but it burns through resources too quicklyto land multiple Link-3s and Link-4s before running out of steam. It's arobust strategy that needs to use its discard outlets effectively to avoidrunning out of cards and ending the turn with an empty hand. Myatt's techchoices were crucial in achieving his desired Link Summons, and whilePhantom Skyblaster is easily the best of the bunch we can't overlook therest of his line-up.

Myatt played three copies of Broww, Huntsman of Dark World and a ShaddollBeast to offset the aggressive discarding of his Danger! monsters.Ultimately these monsters were filler and existed to give him more handswith as many 'good' cards to discard as possible.

His other Main Deck monsters were at home being discarded, but in the caseof Blackwing - Steam the Cloak it's often better to simply Normal Summonit. Either way its effect generates a free Token, while Blackwing -Zephyros the Elite bounces Danger! monsters back to the hand where they canbe activated for the first time or discarded. It's especially useful formonsters Summoned through Danger!? Jackalope? but Myatt could also bouncePhantom Skyblaster too.

Draw Power Is King
The appeal of drawing cards is fairly simple: your odds of building agame-ending combo or having the right card for the situation increaseproportionally with your hand size.

But drawing for the sake of holding more cards isn't always necessary evenif it's generally preferred. Sifting through your deck with draw effectsthat merely score even trades – like Allure of Darkness – will still helpyou reach for your best cards by trading less important ones. Myatt's drawpower did that for the most part, and in addition to his Danger monstershis copies of Allure of Darkness, Broww, Huntsman of Dark World, ShaddollBeast, and Upstart Goblin were instrumental in finding his most powerfulcards.

Remember that the core strategy with Myatt's build involved Link Summoninglarge Knightmare boards – something Danger! struggles to do alone. FindingPhantom Skyblaster, Fairy Tail - Snow, Soul Charge, or his Blackwingmonsters was incredibly important for that reason. His power spells,including Soul Charge, Card Destruction, and The Beginning of the Endhelped him close out duels by rapidly gaining card advantage, and thoseplentiful draw effects practically ensured he'd see at least one of themeach game.

Allure of Darkness was particularly helpful because it could tradenon-combo pieces that were drawn at the wrong time for virtually any othermonster, ideally including a Danger. Otherwise, Allure would help him finda non-Danger monster like Skyblaster out of a hand full of Dangers.

It's worth noting that The Beginning of the End is just stupidly powerfulin Danger! decks. While the OCG has an Unlimited Pot of Avarice we're stuckplaying the next best thing, and luckily Danger! monsters all happen to beDark. The discard mechanic attached to all Danger! monsters synergizesperfectly with The Beginning of the End, but perhaps more importantlyShaddoll Beast and Broww both add extra Darks to the graveyard. Myatt wouldhave probably played them anyways, so their synergy with his second-bestdraw spell is an incredible added bonus.

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The best draw spell in Myatt's deck was of course Card Destruction. Theonce-Forbidden full hand discard is totally absurd in any Danger! hybrid,and it's unquestionably amazing in a dedicated Danger! build. It synergizedwith every monster in Myatt's Main Deck besides Phantom Skyblaster andresolving it would give him a massive lead, even if his opponent found someway to benefit from it. Most decks can easily turn a full hand discard intosome kind of advantage, but Myatt would gain so much more value that thepoint was moot. For his purposes Card Destruction and Soul Charge were allhe needed to end the duel, and dozens of draw effects would eventually leadto that outcome.

Savage Strikeand Dark Neostorm promise to bring more Dangers into the fold, andif Myatt's Top 8 is any indication this strategy can only improve fromhere. Additional Danger! monsters with worthwhile effects might replaceShaddoll Beast and Broww, but any new monsters will need to have a veryspecific set of effects to earn a slot.

For now Beast and Broww are two of the best cards to discard with Danger!effects, yet because they're not Dangers themselves they can't function ascombo starters. More Dangers should translate into a larger line-up ofstarters, but it's entirely possible that new Dangers will instead revolvearound support spells and traps that have yet to be introduced. A new cardremoval effect would also go a long way towards giving the deck bettercompetitive prospects against Thunder Dragons.

There's plenty of potential in the Danger! theme, and it's a capable,competitive strategy even today. That's very promising going as we moveforward into 2019.

Until next time then

-Kelly