I'm in love with rogue strategies and off-the-radar themes, but even I havemy limits when it comes to obscure knowledge and niche strategies. If youasked me about The Weather Painters, I'd struggle to come up with asuccinct description beyond, "They're A Group of Colorful D.D. ScoutPlanes, Kinda".

If you're part of the 99.99999% of players that don't know what The WeatherPainters are or what they do, you're not alone - even Hommerding himselfconsidered the deck rogue beyond a doubt, citing their Tier 12 status andlong effect text as barriers of play in his post-event remarks."[Opponents] see a dictionary, and they give up."

But if you learn the basics of The Weather Painters, you'll fast track yourcomprehension just like any other card mechanic or gimmick. The Weathermonsters mostly have effects that search the theme's continuous spells andtraps, which turn your Weather monsters into timebombs. The Weather spelland trap effects banish The Weather Painters for effects that hinder andcontrol your opponent. Then during the next Standby Phase, The WeatherPainter you banished returns to the field. All the intricacies are reallyjust different permutations of that interaction.

None of that's unique, really. What's truly special about The WeatherPainters is howthe cards are worded. The Weather Painters place your spelland traps onto the field without searching or activating them, while thespells and traps give your monsters effects to banish themselves, albeit asa cost. Are you confused yet? That's how Hommerding's opponents felt afterhe made Top 8 at the Omaha, Nebraska Regional Qualifier! I want to wish hima sincere congratulations for his achievement, and I want you to check outthe build.

DECKID= 110209It's best if you read each of The Weather Painters and their correspondingspells and traps for yourself, but consider the following interaction topique your interest further.

Start by Normal Summoning The Weather Painter Snow, placing The WeatherSnowy Canvas in your Spell and Trap Zone. Snowy Canvas lets Snow banishitself to search another Weather Painter monster, setting you up tosnowball those effects into massive card economy.

While that might not seem flashy, consider how much card economy you canrally with just The Weather Painter Snow. The Weather Snowy Canvasobviously searches out other Weather Painter monsters, but your cardeconomy changes into implicit plusses for you and minuses for your opponentwhen you factor in the other cards in the theme. The Weather Rainy Canvasturns your Weather Painter monsters into outs for spells and traps, likeThere Can Only Be One, while The Weather Thundery Canvas deals with anymonster in battle.

Furthermore, The Weather Painter Thunder and The Weather Rainbowed Canvasboth cycle through your deck for new cards every turn while The WeatherPainter Cloud and The Weather Painter Aurora protect your Weather cardsfrom being washed out when your opponent's packing Cosmic Cyclone and TwinTwisters to deal with your cards.

As evidenced by Pot of Duality and Pot of Extravagance, it's of the utmostimportance to dig through the deck early on to get to your best WeatherPainter cards. Hommerding admitted that while the deck wouldn't necessarilyfail if it didn't see The Weather Painter Snow on Turn 1, it would be anuphill battle if you don't immediately gather more and more Weather cardsto deal with opposing threats and protecting your cards.

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The steady stream of new cards puts you in a position to take control ofyour opponent, but the real threat you're presenting is The Weather PainterRainbow. Any Weather monsters it points to turn into de-facto copies ofSolemn Judgement. Whenever a card or effect is activated, poof, you banishyour smaller Weather monsters and suddenly your opponent can't play anycards.

Lastly, The Weather Painter Rainbow can negate the Summon of any monstertoo, all on its own, which just goes to show how far The Weather PainterSnow can grow. By getting early access to the best monster in the deck andflooding the field with The Weather Rainbowed Canvas, you'll suddenly setyourself up to stop anythingyour opponent can do… and that's justThe Weather Painter cards!

The Extra Deck Sure Is Extra
Since the Weather spells and traps let the Weather Painter monsters banishthemselves as part of their own costs, Hommerding could play traps thatdon't get much attention otherwise. Skill Drain and Macros Cosmos are bothLimited for a reason - they can annihilate entire strategies on their own -and The Weather Painter monsters can still leverage those spell and trapeffects by banishing themselves quickly!

That also means Hommerding could use Torrential Tribute and Drowning MirrorForce. Obviously Torrential Tribute can stop your opponent when they try toswarm the field, but Hommerding could even trigger it on his turn! If youNormal Summon a Weather Painter you can flip Torrential Tribute whilehaving the chance to save your own monster.

Drowning Mirror Force might be harder to trigger since it only works in theBattle Phase, but removing the Weather Painter monsters from the field setsit up nicely to deal with a bunch of threats all coming down at once.Starting slowly with just The Weather Painter Snow creates a need for massremoval, and Hommerding was able to answer that with the board wipingtraps. As he admitted, "Your best Turn 1 is to Normal Summon and banishyour own monster, which is really pathetic."

When asked why Hommerding decided to play The Weather Painters, his answerwas sufficient but truthful, proving that ingenuity can beat the like ofSky Strikers, Orcusts, Gren Maju, Invoked, and Salamangreats. "When Istarted at the beginning of the year I was a poor college student, so I hadto like the art, and it had to be the cheapest [deck] out." Necessity wasthe mother of invention for Hommerding, and it paid off stunningly at hisRegional.

Despite digging deep with obscure picks like Metaltron XII, the TrueDracombatant – played on top of the already obscure Weather Painters andsparsely used Drowning Mirror Force - Hommerding never triggered Waking theDragon. Taking up a handful of spots in the Extra Deck, all which could bebanished with Pot of Extravagance, it was his Plan B against opposing spotremoval.

The Weather Painter Cloud can recycle The Weather spell and trap cards whenyor opponent brings in spell and trap destruction for Games 2 and 3, butWaking the Dragon's a Main Deck counter to opposing Side Deck counters.Hommerding might often side out Drowning Mirror Force and other cards likeit to save himself from blind Twin Twisters, but it's satisfying to knowthat he did so well even without his ace in the hole.

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson

Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee, hoping one day to run in5th Congressional District on the platform of "Fabled Link Monsters forEveryone." You can find him onTwitter or building a bonfire in his backyard to attract the local wildlife foran audience with his ukulele. Hailed as the only person capable ofcooking Minute Rice in 56 seconds, Loukas is always looking atexpanding his backyard to house every dog in the world without a home.Well, and those with homes already.