Harpies have flirted with serious competitive success in the past, and I'vepersonally taken the deck to a Regional a few years ago. The theme'sexcellent spell and trap support has attracted competitive players in thepast, and the old school feel and nostalgia factor have made it a favoriteof casual players basically since the start of Yu-Gi-Oh.
More support is absolutely welcome from both the casual and competitiveperspectives, but the tournament efficacy of Harpies largely hinges ontheir upcomingLink Monsterwhich won't arrive here until some later date. In the meantime these fivenew cards represent the first steps toward modernizing the theme, andthat's as much as we can ask for at the moment.
Putting 'Sisters' In Sisters Of The Rose
Harpie Perfumer and Harpie Oracle are joining the Harpie family and addingmuch-needed search power and recycling to the theme, but they're alsotaking the deck in a slightly different direction. Both monsters achievetheir full potential when played alongside Harpie Lady Sisters or Harpie'sPet Dragon, yet Sisters is almost never played in Harpie lists.
It's a mediocre card at best, and it would be entirely unplayable if notfor Elegant Egotist. Even then there's only ever been one reason to playit: it's an optional fourth target for Elegant Egotist. Four of the newHarpie cards in this set either benefit from Sisters or Harpie's Pet Dragonor require Sisters outright, but you need to weigh the cost of running aLevel 6 Harpie with essentially no effect very carefully.
The benefit of playing Harpie Lady Sisters is incredibly direct with HarpiePerfumer: controlling Sisters or Harpie's Pet Dragon when activatingPerfumer lets you search for two cards instead of one. Perfumer's fine onits own, and its search effect is especially useful for grabbing additionalcopies of Elegant Egotist. You can rarely have too many copies of ElegantEgotist, and that's especially true in an era of Link monsters. SincePerfumer can search it from your deck to your hand you won't need toactivate Hysteric Sign on the field as often. Or, alternatively, you canload up on Elegant Egotist to flood the field with monsters.
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Beyond Elegant Egotist you can also use Harpie Perfumer to search all threeof the new Harpie spells and traps, plus Harpies' Hunting Ground, HarpieLady Phoenix Formation, Cyber Shield, and Triangle Ecstasy Spark. Some ofthese cards just aren't worth playing, and there's a bit of unnecessaryoverlap between the Harpie cards Hysteric Sign can search. That said, theoverlap isn't nearly as painful as Perfumer's inability to search HystericSign or Harpie's Feather Storm. Still, Perfumer represents the beststandalone play starter for Harpies. Both Harpie Channeler and HarpieDancer require more set-up to produce results, and if you lead with ElegantEgotist to Summon Harpie Lady Sisters you'll get more value out of Perfumerthan any other monster in the deck.
So how about Harpie Oracle? It's built to follow up after Harpie LadySisters is Summoned, or even follow a Harpie Lady Channeler play withHarpie's Pet Dragon. It's one of new recycling effects among the newsupport, and it can return a spell or trap from the graveyard during theEnd Phase. Its targets are identical to Perfumer, but it's significantlyless useful at the start of the game.
Unfortunately Oracle is competing for space against better cards, and whileI'd certainly entertain the idea of playing a single copy I'm pessimisticabout its potential. The extra Summoning power isn't really necessary andthere are far better Normal Summons in the deck. Even salvaging copies ofElegant Egotist is already covered by Hysteric Sign, so there's littlereason to actually run Oracle.
The New Cards For Perfumer To Search
Alluring Mirror Split, Harpie's Feather Rest, and Harpie Lady Elegance areeach searchable by Harpie Perfumer, but they're not equally playable.
Alluring Mirror Split is questionable: there aren't many ways to find aspecific Harpie monster, so the Special Summon of Alluring Mirror Split cancome in handy for Summoning a Harpie Dancer or Harpie Channeler. Attackingstronger monsters with Alluring Mirror Split on the field will let youtrade out one Harpie for another. With Harpies' Hunting Ground on the fieldyou'll be able to destroy Alluring Mirror Split immediately and trigger itssecond effect for a free Special Summon.
This card Special Summons more monsters from the deck than Elegant Egotist,and it's arguably faster than Hysteric Sign. Unfortunately I think itreally only benefits a build that leans heavily into Harpie Channeler, andwith Divine Wind of Mist Valley Limited I'm not sure that's worth pursuing.
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Harpie's Feather Rest takes advantage of the name-changing effects attachedto most Harpie cards. It's an easy way to recycle targets for ElegantEgotist, and with the extra search power of Harpie Perfumer it's a welcomeaddition to the deck. It's still a bit of a Gamble if you don't open withsome serious Summoning power or multiple ways to search Elegant Egotist.Drawing just one card for resolving Feather Rest is underwhelming, thoughyou can net an extra draw if you control a Harpie Lady Sisters or someother Level 5 or higher Harpie.
But it's really the restriction to Wind Special Summons that drivesHarpie's Feather Rest out of Main Decks. You can, and likely will activateFeather Rest at the end of the turn to play around that restriction, butit's definitely concerning since there are so few Wind Xyz and LinkMonsters.
Finally, Harpie Lady Elegance is deceptively strong. Its first effect isinteresting – and could come organically if you're playing Harpie LadySisters – but the real appeal of Elegance is its second effect. Destroyingit with Harpies' Hunting Ground instantly triggers its search effect forany Harpie monster, so you can simply set it before Summoning a Harpie withHunting Ground on the field. It's a reasonable alternative to a dedicatedsearch spell for Harpies, and it lets you find Harpie Channeler, Dancer,and Perfumer with just Hunting Ground and Elegant Egotist. That combinationcomes up often enough to build around the interaction, but it's definitelyvulnerable to interruption.
Putting It All Together
Harpies have two fantastic cards that make them a threat against today'sdecks: Hysteric Party and Harpie's Feather Storm. Both cards are almosttheir own win condition, and Hysteric Party's value has gone upsignificantly since the introduction of Link Monsters.
Summoning a handful of Harpies from the graveyard can quickly fill up yourfield thanks to the effects of Perfumer and Channeler, and ultimatelyHysteric Party may add to your card economy after investing the trap itselfand the discard cost. It's an insanely powerful card that's slower thanSoul Charge, but the payoff is roughly equal. As it turns out a deck thatcan play four copies of Soul Charge is pretty good; it just needs a littlemore help getting to its power spells and traps.
The other game-ending trap in the Harpie theme is Harpie's Feather Storm,which shuts off your opponent's activated monster effects for an entireturn. Yep, that's the whole turn. Any activated monster effect,anywhere, is negated from the point Feather Storm resolves until the end ofthat turn. Since it's a trap you'll most likely be triggering it near thestart of your opponent's turn, but you can also use it offensively to turnoff hand traps and other Quick Effects.
Feather Storm is perfectly suited for that role: if you control a Harpiemonster you can activate it from your hand, which makes it an excellentchoice for going second in the duel. It won't stop a Thunder DragonColossus from shutting down your search effects, but it will disableinterruption effects that activate.
Resolving Harpie's Feather Storm during your opponent's first turn willprobably hand you the duel in most match-ups. Altergeists and Sky Strikerscan hold out for a turn, but Danger! variants and Thunder Dragons will havea hard time making any progress without monster effects. Basing the Harpiestrategy around an unsearchable card – or two if we're counting HystericParty – isn't necessarily the best idea. That said, draw power and deckthinning could be the difference here. Resolving Hysteric Sign, Perfumer,Harpie Queen, Harpie Lady Elegance, and Elegant Egotist will quickly dropthe Main Deck count early in the duel, and the draw power of Pot of Desiresor the upcomingPot of Indulgencecould make the difference.
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Among the new support Harpie Perfumer is the most obvious must-play and aninstant three-of in virtually all builds. It's a one-card Link 2 or Rank 4with the potential to score a straight +2 off a Special Summon.
Keep in mind that a high-Level Harpie Channeler can replace Harpie LadySisters if a Dragon is on the field. That Dragon monster could be anything,even Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson. I'd be lying if I said I wasn'teyeing a future Harpie hybrid with Dragunity that plays both Destrudo andDragunity Knight - Romulus. Channeler is still fantastic in all areas, andit's even better now that it can Summon Perfumer and potentially allow itto search a second card.
Harpie Lady Elegance is trickier to activate, but it can search otherHarpie monsters much faster than Harpie Harpist. I think players willeventually settle on running a few copies while avoiding the other spellsentirely. Alluring Mirror Split is bested by Elegance and Harpist, andHarpie's Feather Rest clashes with Hysteric Party anyways. You want to befilling up the graveyard, but Feather Rest asks you to empty it almost assoon as three Harpies are loaded in. If it's a choice between HystericParty and Feather Rest I'll choose the former every time.
Harpies are being held back by their inability to search Hysteric Sign andHysteric Party, but there's a good chance that new draw effects will givethe deck the boost it needs to reach an appropriate level of consistency.
Harpie ConductorandDragunity Knight - Romulusgive the deck Link options it just doesn't have right now, but there'ssomething to be said for the Rank 4 Xyz toolbox it has access to. LightningChidori and Ice Beast Zerofyne can't be played anywhere else and carryrelatively unique effects. Harpie Channeler can Summon Number 42: GalaxyTomahawk for huge Link plays, and Destrudo is a very interesting additionto the strategy. It's not an easy deck to build or play, but Perfumer inparticular makes the deck worth testing again.
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