I'll be the first one to admit that back in the day, I hated Mermails. I despised how quickly they finished out the game when Deep Sea Diva was unrestricted and I continued to hate them when Abyss-squall became the norm, forcing duelists to deal with countless Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossacks and Mermail Abyssgaios. Those cards aren't too hard to deal with now, but back then, they were the epitome of an uphill battle.

It's been awhile since Atlantean Mermails dominated the competitive scene, but with Breakers of Shadow now legal they're about to become king again, thanks to their Prince!

You probably couldn't even dream up Nebtabyss, The Atlantean Prince, it's that good. With its Ignition Effect, you can trigger any Atlantean you want right from the deck while searching any Atlantean to your hand. It essentially mimics Genex Undine's role in the Mermail deck of old; dump a Water, add a Genex Controller. But now you've eliminated all risk of dead drawing Controller while still beating anything in your way, and search for more pieces to your combos.

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If that wasn't good enough (and spoiler: it is), you can revive any Atlantean you want if Neptabyss is sent to the graveyard to activate a Water monster's effect. There are so many ways to trigger that it's actually silly, so you have easy ways to revive Atlantean Dragoons. That means you can Xyz Summon of Abyss Dwellers, which will lead to even more searching. You can get Atlantean Heavy Infantry for an extra Normal Summon as well, or Atlantean Marskman for insane damage, but Dragoons is your most likely Special Summon.

Cyber Dragon Infinity Ain't Got Nothing On This Prince
The real kicker with Neptabyss, much like the beauty of Genex Undine, is that sending a Water monster from the deck to the graveyard with it is a cost. That guarantees you'll trigger the effect of one of your Water monsters, which is going to pose an interesting problem for your opponent if they've got Solemn Strike – they're going to either have to negate whatever Atlantean you send to the graveyard or negate Neptabyss' searching effect. Neither decision's very good, and both leave your opponent in an awkward position.

If you haven't felt it already, many of us are going to be staring down the dreaded Cyber Dragon Infinity plus Solemn Strike field on Turn 1 in the very near future. That's set-up's easily possible thanks to Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer and Guiding Ariadne. But by simply Normal Summoning Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince and activating its effect to send Atlantean Heavy Infantry from your deck to the graveyard, you've effectively solved most of the problem. Your opponent must choose to either lose their Infinity and stop your Neptabyss search, or save the Infinity and stop Heavy Infantry, while still allowing you to search. The correct play is saving Infinity and letting you search, but then you can just search for another Infantry and you're suddenly one Mermail Abyssteus away from solving the problem. You'll still have three cards left to work with and that can make an OTK really quickly.

Before I go on, here's what I've come up with:

DECKID=104044What should strike you about this list is the lack of Mermail Abysslinde and Abyss-sphere. Those two cards are simply too slow in a format where you're going to have to handle Cyber Dragon Infinity and other absurd monsters; the last thing you want is a handful of cards you're going to have to set when you have so much utility thanks to Neptabyss. The goal's no longer to OTK when possible and slow-roll your opponent with Mermail Abyssmegalo and Mermail Abysslinde plusses, but rather end the game quickly and furiously. With no Linde and Sphere, Mermail Abyssleed fails to make the cut as well, because of the possibility of a dead draw.

Going first, you're going to look to setup Moulinglacia, The Elemental Lord and Mermail Abyssmegalo equipped with Abyss-scale of the Mizuchi. Those two cards will give you a serious edge against Pendulum Performages, essentially starting them with only three cards; you can negate any spell card, including a Pendulum Spell, and you've ripped two cards out of their hand.

The reason I can talk about that first turn field so nonchalantly is because Neptabyss can send Atlantean Dragoons from your deck to the graveyard to search out another copy plus whichever Sea Serpent you're missing. From there the rest is pretty easy. With three copies of Neptabyss, a Deep Sea Diva, One for One and triple Upstart Goblin, you're going to get to Neptabyss on your first turn often enough.

Triple Maxx "C" and triple Effect Veiler will help thwart your opponent's big plays, while giving you plenty of card advantage. Maxx "C" is a star card again, so I almost always want it in my hand going first or second. You can accomplish so much with a variety of three card combos, that I'm not worried about being stuck with a hand trap to start with.

Instant Fusion's so strong here thanks to Abyss Dweller and Atlantean Dragoons, it's almost unfair. They both work hand in hand together, since Neptabyss will load your graveyard up with Dragoons for Elder Entity Norden to revive. That's two easy searches due to Abyss Dweller without even having to think about your next play.

Forbidden Chalice easily disrupts Cyber Dragon Infinity and Traptrix Rafflesia, making that Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince opening that much better when trying to deal with those common first turn setups.

And Then There's Diva
All this talk about Nebtabyss, The Atlantean Prince and we've only glanced at Deep Sea Diva. I know it's Limited, but the decks plays are absolutely bananas when you resolve Deep Sea Diva that it's worth knowing exactly what you can do. Here are a couple of scenarios.

In Hand: Deep Sea Diva + any Water monster

- Normal Summon Deep Sea Diva, and Special Summon Neptabyss the Atlantean Prince from your deck.

- Activate Neptabyss the Atlantean Prince's effect, and send Atlantean Dragoons to the graveyard as its cost. Add another copy of Atlantean Dragoons.

- Add Mermail Abyssmegalo from your deck to your hand with the first Dragoons.

- Special Summon Mermail Abyssmegalo, discarding Atlantean Dragoons and your Water Monster as its cost.

- Megalo will resolve, letting you fetch Abyss-scale of the Mizuchi and then Dragoons will follow, nabbing Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord.

- Equip Abyss-scale of the Mizuchi to Mermail Abyssmegalo and activate its effect, tributing Neptabyss for it.

- Special Summon Atlantean Dragoons from the graveyard with Neptabyss.

- Synchro Blackwing - Nothung the Starlight using Deep Sea Diva and Dragoons, triggering Nothung's effect to deal 800 damage to your opponent.

- Special Summon Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord – you'll have exactly five Water monsters in your Graveyard: two Atlantean Dragoons, Deep Sea Diva, Neptabyss the Atlantean Prince, and the Water monster.

- Attack! (800 + 2400 + 2400+2400 + 2800 = 12400)

Two cards lets you OTK through a field of 5200 attack points, thanks to Nothung's effect to reduce a monsters ATK by 800. That's just silly. But what if you managed to not open with a Water monster? You can still drop Moulinglacia! Start with just Deep Sea Diva.

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- Normal Summon Deep Sea Diva, and Special Summon Neptabyss the Atlantean Prince from your deck.

- Activate Neptabyss the Atlantean Prince's effect, and send Atlantean Dragoons to the graveyard as its cost. Search Atlantean Marksman.

- Add Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord from your deck to your hand with Dragoons.

- Synchro Summon Tatsunoko using Neptabyss the Atlantean Prince and Deep Sea Diva.

- Synchro Summon Blackwing - Nothung the Starlight using Tatsunoko and your in-hand Atlantean Marksman. Trigger Nothung to burn for 800 damage.

- Special Summon Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord. This time you'll have Atlantean Dragoons, Atlantean Marksman, Deep Sea Diva, Neptabyss the Atlantean Prince, and Tatsunoko.

These are just two of many combos you can pull of with Deep Sea Diva, and only two of the reasons this deck deserves your attention.

The final combo I want to show off is probably my favorite, but requires you to Main Deck Steam Synchron with Accel Synchron and Number 32: Lancelot, Dark Knight of the Underworld in your Extra Deck. Again, it starts with just Deep Sea Diva.

- Normal Summon Deep Sea Diva and Special Summon Neptabyss.

- Activate Neptabyss' effect, and send Atlantean Dragoons to the graveyard as its cost.

- Add Atlantean Heavy Infantry from your deck to your hand with Neptabyss.

- Get Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord with Dragoons.

- Synchro Summon Tatsunoko using Deep Sea Diva and Neptabyss.

- Synchro Summon Accel Synchron using Tatsunoko and Atlantean Heavy Infantry from your hand.

- Special summon Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord.

- Activate the effect of Accel Synchron to send Steam Synchron from your deck to the graveyard as its cost, increasing its Level to 8.

- Xyz Summon Number 32: Lancelot, Dark Knight of the Underworld.

That is one card, Deep Sea Diva, which can take two cards out of your opponent's hand and let you Xyz Summon a monster that can negate a spell, trap or monster effect, thus making your opponent's starting hand only three cards. Fair? Hardly.

I ultimately determined that I wanted a more streamlined deck, so I didn't include those combo pieces, but you easily could because the play is so strong. The ability to Side Deck the best floodgates in the game only means your chances of winning Games 2 and 3 are that much higher. I'd highly suggest you fool around with the brand new Atlantean Mermail deck, if only so you know what it can do. But if you don't want to play mirror matches all day and want a deck that can hang with the best of them? This is it.

-Pasquale Crociata

Pasquale's from Long Island, New York, but has lived in New York City for nine years where he earned a BFA in Musical Theater from Pace University. Outside of the Yu-Gi- Oh! community he's a working Actor, Model and Singer. Those interested in keeping up with his Acting career can check out his website www.PasqualeCrociata.com, 'Like' his Facebook Page or follow him onInstagram and Twitter.

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