Friday, 11 August 2017

Deck Profile: Link Summoning ABC

We talked about this before, but I feel that the deck deserves another mention.

The current build of ABC decks is looking to be my favourite deck of the format. Much like how the playstyle fo Zoodiacs warped over the past few months, ABC has also underwent a change.

To recap, they started off strong in the OCG with the most popular build being Galaxy ABC. But even before the Structure Deck was made available, plenty of players were already filled with ideas. Machine Lover Dsummon came up with very different ideas- Karakuri ABC, Resonator ABC and Cyber ABC

Video Link

Video Link
Ties of the Brethren was speculated intially to be the sole playmaker of the deck, although a Galaxy Engine would shortly take up that role.

Shortly after it was released, Hsiao Tsun-Yu took it to win the Asia Championship 2016. In this build, the deck has the ability to bring out Cyber Dragon Infinity. Galaxy Soldiers would search for each other, or be special summoned out via Transmodify. Cockadoodledoo was there to facilitate the Field Spell searching process and rotate around the Union Hangars.

Gold Gadget and Silver Gadget would be responsible for enabling Xyz Summons. In a deck where you wish to get your A, B and C into the graveyard, Diamond Dire Wolf and Castel the Skyblaster Muskeeter would grow to be more popular and powerful, with some players even playing it at two copies.

Galaxy Serpent was teched by some players. It could be searched out via Galaxy Soldier and can be used for a Level 7 Synchro Summon with the 3rd copy of Galaxy Soldier.

To sum it up, ABC was the hype back then.
Credits to
However, players would soon find flaw within this deck build. Plenty of Special Summoning meant that it would be weak towards floodgates. Bricks were also common when Transmodify arrives in hand without a corrospondening target. Relying solely on Cyber Dragon Infinity was also risky as players dedicated options such as Lava Golem and Santa Claws to demolish fields.

The deck soon morphed into a more stable, although some would argue boring, deck variant focusing on a fortified backrow filled with floodgates and 'stun' traps. 

Photon Thrasher replaced Cockadoodledoo as it was more searchable. Being a LIGHT monster also meant that it can replace the Gadget monsters for Xyz Summoning Bujintei Tsukoyomi. The trap count would grow in this variant of the deck, in order to capitalise on Bujintei Tsukoyomi's effect.

Plenty of "Meta Picks" are also witnessed in this era. Book of Eclipse was meant to combat Majesecter Unciorn - Kirin and Blue-Eyes Sprit Dragon, Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon. Anti-Spell Fragrance cripples any Pendulum decks while slowly the opponent down, requiring them to set their Spell Cards for a turn. ABC-Dragon Buster could also seize this oppurtunity to banish those cards away before their turn comes.

Evidently, Honest and Cockadoodledoo lost its popularity over the weeks.
Credits: RoadOfTheKing
I personally attempted a "Brave and the Bold" move by maximising the Cyber Dragon engine. It was a very fun deck concept but sadly, it could not compare with the sheer consistency of the modern builds at that time. Cyber-ABC was what I named it. To find out more on the card choices, you can read it up on an old post here.

When Torque Tune Gear was first released, plenty of players also experimented on the prospect of Synchro ABC. Torque Tune Gear doubles as a booster that can be equipped to A-Assault Core to get it up to 2400ATK, allowing it to run over Armophage Sloth which was quite popular in the OCG around that time.

The play required: Cockadoodledoo with + Union Hangar

  1. Acitvate Hangar, search A. 
  2. Special summon Cockadoodledoo, summon A, trigger Hangar to equip B. 
  3. Synchro for Ancient Fairy Dragon, use B's effect to search out Torque Tune Gear. 
  4. Ancient Fairy destroys Hangar to search Pseudo Space, which copies Hangar's effect. 
  5. Fairy Dragon's special summons Torque Tune Gear, which triggers Pseudo Space, equipping C from deck to it. 
  6. Torque Tune Gear + Ancient Fairy = Crystal Wing. And you have ABC in the grave.
An old video can be found here.

Ultimately, this build never caught on, and the 'Bujuntei Tsukoyomi-rush' version of the deck continued on until ABC met its match in the form of Zoodiacs.

Attempts to incorporate the Zoodiac engine into ABC to keep up with the other decks failed, and Zoodiac ABC could not produce results. With triple Zoodiac Barrage and Zoodiac Ratpier, the engine shared little syngery with the Union Monsters.

Finally, we arrive today after a 6-month absence of the Machine Unions. With Destrudo ABC
Once again, RoadOfTheKing delivers, and you can find a neatly arranged combo article here.

ABC returned to being a more 'combo-oriented' deck instead of a 'farm, stun and floodgate-focused' playing style. Set Rotation was played to better access the Field Spells in the deck, which are responsible for starting plays. With the absence of Pot of Cupidity, which is too risky to play with only two Union Hangar, the Union Monsters reverted to a 2-3-2 ratio. Some players can find space to pilot the Gadget monsters once again, but the heart of the deck currently is still Destrudo, the Dead Drake of Dread and Dragon Ravine.
Supreme King Dragon Darkwurm is played solely for its ability to special summon itself from the graveyard. Players can easily yard it with Dragon Ravine. On the field, it would provide a target for Destrudo, the Dead Drake of Dread when the Union Monsters are not available.
Credits: RoadOfTheKing

The current main priority of the deck is not Xyz Summoning, but Link Summoning in order to trigger the Union Monster effects. B - Buster Drake is the most popular for searching and thinning the deck, while A-Assault Core's graveyard effect is more popular than before. Monsters returned to hand can be special-summoned back again when C-Crush Wyvern is sent to the graveyard. With an additional monster on the field, Link-2 Monsters can turn into the Link-3 Decode Talker.

During the opponent's turn, dismantling ABC-Dragon Buster can be as fast as during the following Standby Phase, especially when the opponent has quite a number of cards in their hand and is thus more likely to have a Kaiju monster ready for ABC-Dragon Buster. While seperated, A, B and C are gathered on the field and preferably with B and C at the zones Decode Talker points to.

The dismantling would also trigger Union Hangar during the opponent's turn, fishing another Union Monster from the deck. The equipped Union Monster can be special summoned onto the field during the following turn, gathering up to four Union Monsters on the field.

If left unatteneded, the monsters on the field can form Topologic Bomber Dragon and extend into a second ABC-Dragon Buster during the following turn.

Hand Traps poses the greatest challenge for this latest build of ABC. Maxx "C" and Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring can stop ABC players dead in their tracks or deliberate whether to continue forth with the original game plan. D.D. Crow is teched into some decks whereas Ally of Justice Cycle Reader is lesser seen. Both would also have the ability to prevent ABC-Dragon Buster's summon.
Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit is equally annoying, threatening to destroy Union Hangar or get rid of Decode Talker during a timely activation.

Destrudo, the Dead Drake of Dread poses a high cost, making ABC players struggle with Trickstar matchups. Negating or stopping Destrudo, the Dead Drake of Dread's summon would not only waste your opponent's lifepoint cost but also leave them unable to continue the combo play.

Personally, I really like how the deck is played currently. It surprises anyone unfamilair with the new concept and a deck like this ushers in the Link Summoning well as the new mechanic can be incorporated into an old deck and old idea. Not needing to pick up an entire new archetype in order to enjoy a new mechanic is, what I feel, a key point when new mechanics are concerned.

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