The new theme arrives in The Infinity Chasers this weekendalongside Evil Eyes, Infinitrack, and a handful of solid reprints. So areWitchcrafters worth your time with so many other tournament andcausal-level themes available right now?
I'd absolutely recommend you try the deck out, if only for its unique spellrecycling mechanic, but I suspect it'll end up seeing a bit of tournamentsuccess at some point too, thanks to its excellent card economy and SideDeck potential.
Crafting A Winning Monster Line-Up
There are six Witchcrafter monsters in The Infinity Chasers with arange of Levels, Attributes, and unique effects.
The first three – Witchcrafter Potterie, Witchcrafter Pittore, andWitchcrafter Schmietta – all carry the same effect: you can tribute themand discard a spell to Special Summon another Witchcrafter monster from thedeck. Effectively four of the Witchcrafters can be substituted for anyother Witchcrafter, so you can use the monster line-up as a toolbox andfind the effect you need most at any given moment.
Those Special Summon effects also happen to be Quick Effects, so those fourWitchcrafters can swap out even during the Main Phase of your opponent'sturn. You probably won't be Summoning Witchcrafters from your deck toooften outside of your own turn, so the real value in the Quick Effect isthe ability to beat cards like Infinite Impermanence and Effect Veiler.You'll still be at the mercy of Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring and Calledby the Grave, but it's a serious advantage to be able to deftly play aroundtargeting effects. Of course, Witchcrafters can still play through negationtoo thanks to Witchcrafter Holiday, and that's when you'll end up SpecialSummoning a Witchcrafter on your opponent's turn.
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So what's worth Summoning? The deck's boss monsters – Witchcrafter Haineand Witchcrafter Madame Verre – are basically the entire point of theWitchcrafter deck. Virtually every duel with Witchcrafters will be decidedby whether Haine or Madame Verre can do their job properly. Both monstersfeature awesome interruption abilities: Haine's removal and Verre'snegation break up plays and chip away at established set-ups. Summoningeither monster's just the first step towards achieving your win condition,but it's arguably the most important one.
The lower-Level Witchcrafter monsters exist to support the Witchcrafterengine and Summon the two higher-Level monsters. Witchcrafter Potterierecycles a Witchcraft card by banishing itself in the graveyard, whileWitchcraft Schmietta can be banished to send any Witchcrafter card from thedeck to the graveyard. Together the two cards can recruit any on-themecard, but that's actually not necessary.
That's because all of the monsters are easily Special Summoned from thedeck already, and as we'll discuss in a moment there's almost no need torecover spells in the early game. That said, both effects activate in thegraveyard, so there's really no downside to using them other than losingtargets for Witchcrafter Holiday.
Witchcrafter Pittorehas a somewhat mediocre draw effect, and unfortunately it clashes with Potof Extravagance. That said, digging for your best cards – largely for free– is a minor bonus that helps reach match-up winning cards like SecretVillage of the Spellcasters.
Witchcrafter Edel also carries a Quick Effect that Special Summons aWitchcrafter from the hand, and a tribute effect that Summons aWitchcrafter from the graveyard. Edel plays a vital role in building fieldpresence and getting both Witchcrafter Haine and Witchcrafter Madame Verreon the field in a single turn. Summon Edel, use her first effect to Summonanother Witchcrafter from the hand, and then use the new Witchcrafter toSummon Haine and activate Edel to Summon a Witchcrafter from the graveyard.During your opponent's Main Phase you can then activate the firstWitchcrafter again to Summon Verre.
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With both Witchcrafter Haine and Witchcrafter Madame Verre on the field theWitchcrafter deck can actually compete with other strategies. Quick Effectdestruction from Haine helps to interrupt your opponent's plays, and itscontinuous effect protects your other Spellcasters from targeting effects.It's a crucial component of long-term field commitment for Witchcrafters,and Madame Verre adds an extra layer of protection and offensive power. Itsfull-field negation effect is insane, and a well-timed activation can endyour opponent's turn outright.
Again, with Haine on the field there's not much your opponent can do toactually break your set-up outside of mass removal: Verre's ATK boostingeffect will typically save it during the Battle Phase, and it can't betargeted with Haine on the field. Factor in both monster's Quick Effectsand you have a surprisingly solid set-up that pairs exceedingly well withfloodgates.
Spell Crafting Recipes
No Spellcaster theme would be complete without a line-up of spells to workwith, and Witchcrafters have an especially useful twist attached to theirthemed cards.
Each of their spell cards can be added from the graveyard to the hand forfree provided you didn't already activate the spell that turn. All of theWitchcrafter spells are restricted to one activation per card, per effect,so activating Witchcrafter Creation to add a monster from your deck to yourhand means you'll need to wait until your next End Phase to add acopy back to your hand.
That said, once you've loaded enough copies of Witchcrafter spells intoyour graveyard with different names you'll be flush with resources to feedyour Witchcrafter effects. The cost to Summon a Witchcrafter from the deckis steep, but once you begin to factor in the free card economy generatedby Witchcrafter spells the theme's overall costs start to becomemanageable. In fact, towards the mid-game you'll end up with more spellsthan you can possibly use in a turn. The trick is actually getting farenough in the duel to reach a point where you're getting enough free cardadvantage to steamroll your opponent.
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There are some pretty obvious picks for your Witchcrafter spell line-up:the themed searcher Witchcrafter Creation is the first card you'll bemaxing out on. It's extremely straightforward, and I actually like the ideaof tossing a few copies of Creation, a couple of low-Level Witchcrafters,and Witchcrafter Haine in a spell-heavy Spellcaster theme. It's expensivein terms of discard costs, and of course dedicated Witchcrafters largelywon't face that issue. You'll need to find the right mix of spells though,and the rest of the themed spells are harder to recommend.
Witchcrafter Holiday's a solid themed Monster Reborn that can grab any ofyour Witchcrafter monsters from the graveyard. If you're planning on onlyplaying one copy each of the higher Level Witchcrafters you'll probablywant to run a few copies of Holiday to keep them in play after they'redestroyed. Wichcrafter Bystreet keeps your Witchcrafter monsters safe fromGhost Ogre & Snow Rabbit or other destruction effects so you won't haveto use Holiday in the first place, but it doesn't add any additionalcoverage that Called by the Grave can't already offer.
Witchcrafter Collaboration adds extra damage exclusively to your BattlePhase, and that pairs nicely with Witchcrafter Edel's Special Summon fromhand effect. While other Witchcrafters can't activate their Special Summoneffects during the Battle Phase you'll find that Edel doesn't haverestriction. You can also use Collaboration to give a monster that's beenboosted by Witchcrafter Madame Verre a second attack. Monsters boosted byVerre keep their ATK boost until the end of turn, and with just threespells in hand you'd have a 5400 ATK Witchcrafter Haine making two attacksin a single turn.
Witchcrafter Scroll nets free draws each time your Witchcrafter destroys amonster by battle, but because it's limited to one activation per turn youcan't double up on its effect with Witchcrafter Collaboration. It's a muchmore difficult card to recommend for the build.
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However, Witchcrafter Draping's an absolutely fantastic Quick-Play Spellfor the theme and easily one of the best cards in the set. Its effectbounces spells and traps back to the hand and can prevent numerous cardsfrom fully resolving. You can kick away backrow, bounce back Field Spells,or take Continuous Spells and Traps off the field after they activate tobreak their resolution. It's a phenomenal tech choice that's discard fodderat worst, and totally game breaking at its best.
Witchcrafters have some serious potential hidden away in their strongestmonsters and Witchcrafter Draping. The deck has an obvious win conditionand plenty of avenues to reach it, but the theme's challenge of findingearly game resources is especially apparent. Loading up on Witchcrafterspells could lead to brick hands, and running too many monsters is equallyproblematic. The deck desperately wants to play traps, but those cardscan't be used for discards.
Quick-Play Spells and hand traps might be the only off-theme defense thedeck can afford. There are plenty of tech choices to try out here:Magician's Restage, Secret Village of the Spellcasters, Metalfoes Fusion,Foolish Burial Goods, and Pot of Extravagance all have a place in theWitchcrafter deck.
Oh, and there'smore supporton the way later this year. Personally I'll be keeping an eye onWitchcrafters. There's a lot of room for this theme to grow.
Until next time then
Kelly Locke is a West Michigangamer and writer. You can follow him on Twitterfor more updates and check out his Youtube channel. He also studied marketing at Western Michigan University.