The Asian Championship Qualifiers Singapore 2017 was held over the last weekend, on 14th May 2017.
Participating with my Windwitch Trickstars, I performed less than ideal for the event. However, I hope that by sharing my deck, other players can learn from my mistakes and maybe even inspire some to pick it up.
Oh? A deck focusing on normal summoning multiple times, OTKing using weak monsters, and rarely dips into the extra?
Where have I seen this before? So nostalgic, so comforting, It feels like meeting a dear old friend you’ve never seen in your life. I must make this deck my own.
A reddit comment recently by u/FoolishBruial made me realise how Trickstars resembles the Yosenjus. Small in numbers, multiple Normal Summons (Trickstars via Chain Summoning) and separate direct attacks for an OTK. Finally, burn is part of the strategy.
I like Trickstars as an archetype, I won’t deny that. It wasn’t the best deck for the format and is frankly quite unsupported at the moment. It managed to make it into the Top 8 at YOTHK last month. It packs burn, disruption and gimmicks into a single deck, which attracted me to give it a try.
Windwitch – Glass Bell x3
Windwitch – Ice Bell x3
Windwitch – Snow Bell x1
Droll & Lock Bird x3
Ghost Ash & Beautiful Spring x2
Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit x2
Trickstar Candina x3
Pot of Desires x2
Mind Control x2
Harpie’s Feather Duster x1
Trickstar Lightstage x3
Solemn Strike x3
Solemn Warning x1
Ring of Destruction x1
Magic Deflector x2
Trickstar Reincarnation x3
Heavy Dust Storm x2
Windwitch – Winter Bell x1
Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon x1
Stardust Dragon x1
Clearwing Fast Dragon x2
Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer x1
PSY-Framelord Omega x1
Zoodiac Boarbow x1
Abyss Dweller x1
Evilswarm Exciton Knight x2
Colossal Fighter x1
Proxy Dragon x1
Decode Talker x1
Diamond Dire Wolf x1
Vanity’s Emptiness x1
Imperial Order x1
Blazing Mirror Force x1
Rainbow Life x1
Different Dimension Ground x2
Maxx “C” x3
Dark Hole x1
Cosmic Cyclone x2
Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju x3
I concluded that the main selling point of the Trickstar archetype is the ability to empty the opponent’s hand via Trickstar Reincarnation and Droll & Lock Bird. I reasoned that it is hard to escape the “Empty Hand” combo for current True Draco variants, as plenty of decks dropped the PSY-Frame engine.
The Burn strategy seemed pretty unreliable and tough to pull off, even with Chain Summoning. Towards that end, I felt that Trickstar Lycorssica and Trickstar Lilybell distracted me from that goal. Thus, I opted to remove them from the deck. With a fall in numbers of LIGHT monsters in the deck, I dropped Honest too. This made the deck less explosive at the cost of being more consistent.
An optimal opening will involve setting up Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon and Normal Summoning Trickstar Candina afterwards, fetching Trickstar Reincarnation. Together with a Droll & Lock Bird in hand, I can potentially empty my opponent’s hand during the following turn when he attempts a search. My monsters will then launch into direct attacks before he can recover from the loss of resources.
I chose to pair the Windwitch archetype with Trickstars as they are also capable of dealing burn damage. WindWitch – Ice Bell is can enable plays on its own, extending into either a Stardust Dragon or Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, indestructible by Monster Effects. Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon‘s effect also makes it harder to be destroyed by battle. Apart from Terraforming and Trickstar Lightstage, the deck lacks single-card plays – cards that can single-handedly propel the user miles ahead in advantage and resources. This was another reason why I chose the WindWitch engine.
Another theoretical synergy the two archetype share is that if the Windwitch play meets with an opponent’s Maxx “C”, Trickstar Reincarnation can punish the opponent for drawing too many cards. Multiple copies can even leave them with a Deck Out situation.
Mind Control actually came to mind as the deck runs tuners. Opening and summoning Windwitch – Glass Bell becomes a stronger opening with Mind Control to enable a Synchro Summon.
Solemn Strike was added with the intention to negate opposing ‘Hand Trap’s, in particular, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, which can negate a wide range of cards, including Trickstar Reincarnation.
Magic Deflector was a versatile option for the current format and I like its utility.
The Extra Deck above is arranged in the order which I wrote my decklist, meaning that the first card depicted (Windwitch – Winter Bell) was also the first card that came to my mind. Rank 4 Monsters are good to have, since it is not that easy to get two Level 4 Monsters onto the field in this deck.
I opted for Stardust Dragon instead of a second Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon as I wanted an available option for a Synchro Summon when I open with Windwitch – Glass Bell and Mind Control. It is also a precautionary move against Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries.
As I will mention later, the lack of Clear Wing Synchro Dragon is (pun intended) clearly a mistake.
Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer is one of the best Rank 4 monster available in the game, whereas PSY-Frame Omega dominates the Level 8 Synchro Monster section.
Abyss Dweller turns off graveyard effects, and is useful against True King Dinos and True Draco if I can manage to summon it.
I felt that Evilswarm Exciton Knight was good enough to deserve two slots dedicated to it. It can turn the tides of a game and is deadly against Demise True Draco variants.
Zoodiac Boarbow, Proxy Dragon and Decode Talker were all for the sake of capitalising on a stolen monster via Mind Control, denying the opponent from receiving the monster back during the End Phase.
Colossal Fighter and Diamond Dire Wolf were my final additions since I still have some available slots left. One gives me an alternate win condition to loop my opponent to a Deck Out if they responded initially with a Maxx “C” and Diamond Dire Wolf provides a removal option.
Rainbow Life was a safeguard against other Burn decks, be it Trickstars or Chain Burn. My worries turned out to be true, as there was a Nurse Burn deck at the event (which eventually made it to Top 16) and a few other Trickstar decks. Be that as it may, I didn’t come across any in my 6 rounds of Swiss.
The other traps can replace Magic Deflector if it proves to be a better option for Game 2 & 3.
Maxx “C” was sided as I predicted a large number of True Draco players at the event. Hence I wanted to prioritise Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring and Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit in the Main Deck. Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju was the only Kaiju I played as the Windwitch monsters imposes summoning restrictions. I did not want that to stand in my way, hence I chose the WIND Attribute Kaiju.
With Zoodiac True Draco being the dominant force and popular deck choice here in Singapore, I prioritised deck slots to two copies of Clear Wing Fast Dragon, seeing how it would be useful in such a matchup. This turned out to be a naive decision, as I ultimately never found myself in a need of a second copy.
Additionally, I also took out Clear Wing Synchro Dragon to make space for the second copy, another mistake that cost me the game in the second round. I underestimated the usefulness of Clear Wing Synchro Dragon against Dinomight Knight, the True Dracofighter.
Next, while the metagame was unprepared to face Trickstars, the recent popularity of Windwitch Spellbook True Draco made players tech in The Monarchs Stormforth and Mind Control. These cards easily answer Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, wasting the resources I dedicate into its summon. Facing a prepared player base, the Windwitch engine underperformed and could not live up to my initial expectations.
I played Different Dimension Ground instead of Macro Cosmo as Droll & Lock Bird can’t work under Macro Cosmo and I did not want the banish effect to linger. This turned out too costly. For the first game on that day, I felt the difference of being unable to banish Spells/Traps.
Different Dimension Ground does not banish Spells/Traps, and is hence unsuitable for a True Draco matchup and is unable to replace Macro Cosmo. Sadly, I realised that too late.
Finally, I relied too heavily on pulling off the Droll & Lock Bird combo. The deck was built around making that play happen, and winning from there. This became a problem as I found it hard to steer the deck to victory if I don’t open with Droll & Lock Bird.
Moving forward, I will have to substitute Different Dimension Ground with Macro Cosmo. The latter is more suited to combat the current metagame, and I now believe that the pros outweigh the cons.
I will also consider Pot of Duality instead of Pot of Desires. Since it contradicts with the Windwitch archetype, I may have to find another partner for Trickstars.
As for the Extra Deck, the Windwitch Trickstars can benefit from other Synchro monsters. Crimson Blader can be effective in the current metagame populated by True Draco. Blood Mefist is a lesser-known Level 8 Synchro that also produces Burn damage. Its lack of self-protection makes is unsuitable in the current metagame though.
My poor standings can be attributed to a lack of proper playtesting and preparations. Time would have revealed the weaknesses about my deck, that weren’t so obvious to me at the first glance. It was disappointing to not even manage a 4-2 score, but I have no regrets piloting the deck.
There is still much to be said about Trickstars. Apart from the Windwitches, there are plenty of other methods to compensate for the archetype’s lack of members & support.
I will discuss these in the following article – Bag of Trick(stars). Stay tuned.