Since their debut in Duelist Alliance Shaddolls have struggled to keep up with Satellarknights and Burning Abyss. That all changed last week at YCS Toronto, where Shaddolls took an incredible sixteen spots in the Top 32. The deck was well-represented over the weekend and piloted by many of the game's best players. Patrick Hoban won the draft format finals, and used Shaddolls to get there. His deck included some unconventional choices that might come as a bit of a surprise, but his success highlights just how effective those cards were.

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As is his trademark, Hoban played three Upstart Goblins in his Main Deck. Shaddoll Fusion is the key to this strategy, and getting to it as quickly as possible is incredibly important. Besides thinning the deck, Hoban could also mill his spell with Lyla, Lightsworn Scorceress, Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn, or Charge of the Light Brigade. Once Shaddoll Fusion hits the graveyard it can be recycled by El Shaddoll Winda or El Shaddoll Construct – two cards that are easily Summoned with Super Polymerization.

The Lightsworn line-up's a bit unique. We've seen players use Felis, Lightsworn Archer and Mathematician plenty of times, but Hoban didn't play either of those cards. Instead, he sticks with Lyla, Raiden, and a pair of sided Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter. Sending Shaddolls to the graveyard with Lightsworn effects is definitely worthwhile, and Light Attribute monsters help bring Construct to the field, but it's Soul Charge that ends up benefiting the most. With three Level 4 Tuners there are plenty of extra chances to make Synchro Summons, as well as Rank 4 Xyz. Thanks to Soul Charge, Hoban could make those cards even more often while recovering El Shaddoll monsters.

Shaddolls are back on the map, and builds like Patrick Hoban's could become the standard for future events. Now the question is whether Satellarknights or Burning Abyss will be able to compete, or if any rogue strategies will make an appearance at YCS Dallas next month.