Versatility's an important part of success in Yu-Gi-Oh. Linear strategies like Evilswarm that largely focus on one play pattern tend to lose to decks like Dragon Rulers, where there are hundreds of possible combos. Going along that exact matchup last format, Dragon Rulers could usually beat Evilswarm despite the ability of Evilswarm Ophion essentially turning off the entire Dragon Ruler deck. The factor that made the difference was that while Evilswarm was basically just Evilswarm Ophion Turbo, Dragon Rulers could make so many different plays that a good duelist could fight out of almost anything.

The problem? Sometimes one single card just does so many things that it's hard to narrow down the combos into one coherent deck. Enter Obedience Schooled, the powerful new World Premiere from Legacy of the Valiant. Its effect is pretty straightforward: if you have no monsters, fill your field with a bunch of fluffy animals. The restriction? For the rest of the turn the only Special Summons you're allowed to make are more fluffy animals. Obedience Schooled is a completely free +2 that leverages into way too many plays to count, many of which Beau outlined in his article a couple weeks ago.

Narrowing Down the Playing Field
While most of the local fanboying over Obedience Schooled in my area goes to Loukas Peterson, I actually adore this spell, too. There are way, way too many things I wanted to try with it. The obvious deck for it is Baby Raccoons, a strategy focused on creating huge streams of Beasts with Baby Raccoon Ponpoko and Baby Raccoon Tantan. Both Raccoons can Special Summon the same Beasts as Obedience Schooled outside of a few Level 1's. The question, then, wasn't what I could to do with Obedience Schooled – it was rather what I couldn't do with it.



The play sequence that gets mentioned the most is Special Summoning Key Mouse and two other Level 2 Earth Beasts and going straight into Naturia Beast as a 1-for-1. That's amazing in exactly seventeen different ways, but I won't bore you with the specifics. Naturia Beast can shut down entire decks without batting an eye, and you can Synchro Summon it here without losing card economy or giving up your Normal Summon.

That's pretty darn cool if you ask me.

What's even cooler is that you can still Normal Summon non-Beasts, opening up The Earth – Hex-Sealed Fusion for an easy Naturia Exterio. A one-card Naturia Beast's already awesome, but Beast has a semi-low ATK and only stops spells. Exterio, on the other hand, has a beefy 2800 ATK and an effect that nullifies around half of your opponent's deck for free. When you have the option of consolidating two cards first turn to all but ensure you're going to win the game there's hardly a decision to be made.

Outside of that one combo I had a lot of trouble trying to fit everything else I wanted to do. Obedience Schooled into Behemoth the King of All Animals? Great! Instantly filling the field with three tributes for Obelisk the Tormentor? Also great! Special Summoning Outstanding Dog Marron, Rodenut, and Catnipped Kitty in an attempt to force your opponent to quit from overwhelming cuteness? Well, that one's a little silly, but hey, you never know.

DECKID=99539There were some challenges in constructing this deck, as I wanted the best chance of not losing. To mitigate the inherent risks I had to put in enough alternate moves to ensure that I could win without Obedience Schooled. Secondly, I wanted to play the best Beasts possible so that I didn't have to scoop when I opened with them. That's part of the reason you're seeing Sea Koala in here, as it's one of the better Level 2 Beasts without Obedience bringing it out. I'm also comfortable playing triple Key Mouse because you can always just set it and search out Ponpoko or Tantan if you need to.

The last challenge was giving myself enough defense so I could mount a comeback if the opponent broke through my original set-up, or if I needed to stall for a few turns.

Solving Issues
It's funny because Junk Synchron on its own almost takes care of the first problem entirely. Sometimes Ponpoko and Tantan just don't put enough damage on board, and that's where Junk Synchron picks up the slack. It's a one-card Junk Warrior, Frozen Fitzgerald, or Ally of Justice Catastor. Sure, you can't get the most out of it when you open with Obedience Schooled, but that's the whole point: you're going to need other plays beyond your three, non-searchable spell cards. Not only that, but if you do happen to start off with Obedience Schooled and Junk Synchron you're looking at back to back turns of high octane monsters, most likely swinging the game in your favor. Throw in a Hex-Sealed Fusion and you're looking at first turn Exterio followed up by a Level 5 Synchro of your choosing.

Brutal.

I already mentioned how these particular Beasts lend to the highest amount of utility when drawn, so I'll skip revisiting that. The remaining issue was the lack of defense. I was originally using triple Upstart Goblin and triple Trap Stun in order to OTK with Obedience Schooled as often as possible, but quickly found that wasn't the most reliable strategy. In addition, I'd regularly take huge Life Point hits early on and couldn't really do anything about it. I'm all of for taking some damage to churn out a bunch in return, but that only works if you actually survive long enough to push back.

That's where the hand traps and real traps come in. Two Effect Veiler and two Maxx "C" prevent shenanigans from happening when you're not in a shenanigan type of mood. Both can be revived by Junk Synchron too, further strengthening your moves when you don't open well. Gorz the Emissary of Darkness and Swift Scarecrow give you things to draw into with Maxx "C" so that you don't lose before getting a chance to retaliate. I've considered dropping a Gorz for a second Scarecrow because Gorz prevents you from activating Obedience Schooled, but so far it's been working fine as-is. You'll just have to test it out for yourself and see what works.

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I'm running minimal traps, but they're all game-breaking cards that are easy to activate. A single Solemn Warning is the last surviving member of the "negate everything because I said so" trio of Solemn-related traps, and deserves a spot here for just being too good to pass up. Divine Wrath's one of my favorite cards right now, negating and destroying pivotal monster effects at a speed that can't get Trap Stun'd. Lastly, two Mirror Force round out the traps, punishing overly aggressive opponents that don't think out their plays in advance and leave themselves wide open to a field wipe.

A Beast Of A Strategy
Of course, there's still the basic suite of Raccoon plays, made even better by the recent addition of Kalantosa, Mystical Beast of the Forest. Baby Raccoon Ponpoko nets you Baby Raccoon Tantan, which gets you to Kalantosa for a free pop. Alternatively, Ryko, the Lightsworn Hunter cuts out the middle man of Tantan and goes directly to the destruction step, with the added benefit of some deck thinning. Either one's a fine choice, as are any of the other Beasts besides Key Mouse. Should you find yourself left with two surviving Level 2's, a slew of Rank 2 Xyz Monsters are waiting to be Summoned. The best, of course, is the Raccoons' own boss monster, Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu.

If you're looking for a good overview of all the silly things Sandayu accomplishes I'd advise you to check out another one of Beau's articles, linked here. Having Beau explain cards in extreme detail so I don't have to seems to be his calling, and I'm thankful that I won't have to delve into Sandayu too much. The gist is that it's a slightly smaller Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack, with much more useful tokens. Sandayu has built-in protection and you can usually bring it out without taking a minus of card economy. There's really no reason not to play three in a deck that Summons it so easily, and it's always nice to have another play with Obedience Schooled should Naturia Beast not fit the matchup.

Obedience Schooled is arguably the best Super Rare in all of Legacy of the Valiant, and it's something to pick up while it's still valued low on the secondary market. A free +2 with relatively few restrictions is nothing to scoff at, and if we see another deck like Spellbooks at the top tables those first-turn Naturia Beasts could be ridiculously important. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if this card double or tripled in price down the line, but what are your thoughts on it? Did you like the deck? Would you change anything or add in a tech card I overlooked? Please, let me know in the comment section below!

-Doug Zeeff
Article Aftermath #28