Players at the Orlando Florida YGO Series Open got their first taste of serious, post-Duelist Alliance competition merely a day after the release of the new set. The event's Top 16 was full of new DUEA strategies like Satellarknights, Yang Zing, and of course Shaddolls! That deck made up over a fourth of the Top 16, and three Shaddoll builds placed in the Top 4. The Orlando winner Robert Tanney played Shaddolls with Lightsworns plus a surprise entry in Caius the Shadow Monarch.
Shaddoll players need to run Light monsters to have the proper Fusion Materials for El Shaddoll Construct, and there are several ways to do that. Other successful Shaddoll builds used White Dragon Wyverburster, but Tanney went with a pair of Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress and a single copy of Felis, Lightsworn Archer. Lyla's another out to Side Decked cards like Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror and Soul Drain, while Felis combos with Mathematician to make 1-card Level 7 Synchro Summons like Arcanite Magician and Black Rose Dragon.
Caius might seem like an odd choice, but there's plenty of Tribute fodder in this deck thanks to Shaddoll Falco. Running three copies of a Monarch also let Tanney play The Monarchs Stormforth, a card that's also useful for Summoning Shaddoll Beast. While he couldn't use Shaddoll Fusion on the same turn as Stormforth, the ability to Tribute his opponent's cards was too good to pass up. Tanney's trap line-up included three Vanity's Emptiness: one of the best Main Deck answers to Shaddoll Fusion. It's quickly becoming a must-run for many players. Tanney's build is an excellent example of just how flexible the Shaddoll strategy can be, and it's a strategy that will continue to evolve throughout the format.