Shaddoll and Burning Abyss may be the standout strategies this format, but Mermails have emerged as a successful rogue option. Two Mermail players took first and second place at the Las Vegas Regional Qualifier last week, proving that the deck still has what it takes to compete. So what was the key to these player's successes? Great game two and three match-ups, plenty of Main Deck outs to Vanity's Emptiness, and several ways to play around El Shaddoll Winda.
Luis Barbosa placed second at Las Vegas with his build of Mermails. He played three copies of Atlantean Marksman to take advantage of the large trap line-ups being played this format. With so many traps in Satellarknights, Shaddoll, and Burning Abyss, a card like Marksman is almost always live. Barbosa's build is focused on taking out backrow, clearing the way for OTK's and forcing his opponent to activate their defensive cards at inopportune times. Along with Marksman, a set of Mystical Space Typhoon helped him accomplish that.
Barbosa sided two copies each of Light-Imprisoning Mirror and Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror. Without any Light or Dark monsters in his Main Deck, he could easily get away with running both of the hugely popular attribute floodgates. Trap Stun was another solid pick against the most trap-heavy strategies in the format: Satellarknights and Burning Abyss. Vanity's Fiend and Majesty's Fiend are strong counters to various rogue match-ups, and are easily summoned thanks to Mermail Abyssteus, Abyssmegalo, and Dragon Ice.
Very few players are actually siding for Mermails right now, and the cards that are seeing the most Side Deck play lack coverage against Water strategies. In addition, Mermail Abyssmegalo's 2400 ATK lets it eat Winda and helps to turn one of the most common match-ups in the format into an easy win. Choosing to play Mermail was a great call by Luis Barbosa, and it definitely paid off for him.