Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Intro to LINK Burning Abyss (Post Link Vrains Pack)

Its here!!! Its finally here!!! Burning Abyss received their support in a form of a Link Monster. Is this going to lead to a resurgence of the Burning Abyss? (Well...after SPYRAL hit the road)

In Link Vrains Pack, many archetypes received supports in a form of their Link Monsters. Burning Abyss was one of them. Introducing Cherubini, Black Angel of the Burning Abyss!!!

Link Rating 2 DARK Fairy Link Effect Monster
ATK 500
Links: Bottom Left, Bottom Right
Materials: 2 Level 3 monsters
You can only use the 3rd effect of this card’s name once per turn.
(1) Monsters this card points to cannot be destroyed by card effects.
(2) If this card on the field would be destroyed (by battle or by your opponent’s effects), you can send 1 card you control to the GY instead.
(3) You can send 1 Level 3 monster from your Deck to the GY, then target 1 “Burning Abyss” monster you control; increase that target’s ATK / DEF by the ATK / DEF of the sent monster until the end of the turn.

So now with this official text, lets analyse this card bit by bit.

  1. Cherubini requires 2 level 3 monsters to summon. With no Burning Abyss monsters requirements (as Link Materials), it means that you can use Tour Guide, Fiendish Rhino Warrior and Crane Crane to Link into Cherubini.
  2. It also makes Flying "C", a once-effective Side Deck option against Burning Abyss, now a mere fodder for Link Summoning. Many popular hand traps are also level 3 such as Ghost Ogre & Snow rabbit, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring and Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries.
  3. Cherubini first effect makes Burning Abyss monsters not self-destruct at the presence of a Non-BA monster. This allows you to make greedy plays and swarm the field without the fear of your monsters getting destroyed by their own effect. It also prevents occasional nuisances such as Torrential Tribute or Bottomless Trap Hole.
  4. Cherubini's second effect is one of the most overlooked and underestimated effects. Cherubini can evade destruction by sending one card you control to the graveyard. Many never noticed (Even for me during AFASG) but you can send Spell/Trap cards to prevent his destruction.
  5. Ever had an Imperial Order draining your health and you really want to get rid of it? Just send it via Cherubini. Drawing into a bricky Good ad Evil of the Burning Abyss? Just set it and get rid of it.
  6. Finally, Cherubini's last and most important effect. He can Foolish Burial any level 3 monster and add stats to any BA on the field based on the milled monster's effect. We all know Foolish Burial to be a very strong card, being limited by the banlist for a very long time. With that in mind I guess you all can tell why Cherubini is such a strong card. Cherubini's mill is not limited to Burning Abyss monsters but ANY level 3. (Such as Djinn, Releaser of Rituals)
  7. Cherubini's ATK Boost is not limited to himself but to any other Burning Abyss monsters. This ATK Boost is very important as for any BA Deck, any damage to health matters. If Barbar dealing 900 Damage is a big deal in a game, Cherubini's ATK Boost should also have such impact so do not overlook it.

With this, lets look at the potential decks the Burning Abyss archetype has to offer

I will be using a rubrics with a scale of 1-5 for a few categories:
  1. Speed: Well we all know how scary some decks can be with explosive combos and OTK potentials
  2. Consistency: Brick City or Easily Achievable Field
  3. Resource Management: Determines how easily the deck runs out of steam as the game stretches
  4. Control: Whether the deck can control the field with Lockdowns or Annoying Quick-Play Effects.

Pure Burning Abyss

Speed: 2
Consistency: 4
Resource Management: 5
Control: 4

The Pure Burning Abyss build utilizes floodgates in a form of continuous traps to slowly grind and sneak damage to win their opponent. Using Beatrice as the main line of defense, it could be used aggressively by milling Farfa, or be used to generate resources by milling Scarm/Cir. Waiting for the opponent's deck to run out of steam before going aggressive is the main game plan of the deck.

Ritual Abyss

Speed: 3
Consistency: 3
Resource Management: 4
Control: 5

Ritual Abyss relies on the infamous 'Djinn Lock' to cheat wins and catch opponent by surprise as not much decks have ways to get rid of it. With the addition of Cherubini, milling Djinn could not be easier. This build is split into 2 more sub-categories for the ritual variant: Nekroz Engine or Malacoda Engine. Both this build suffers from consistency issues when you draw into undesirable combo pieces example: Nekroz Cycle and Good & Evil of the Burning Abyss. More insight on each engines will be discussed later.

PK Fire Phantom Abyss 

Speed: 5
Consistency: 2
Resource Management: 4
Control: 2

Phantom Abyss utilizes both archetypes of the Burning Abyss and the Phantom Knights. The Phantom Knights engine help give the deck speed by swarming the field and gaining the full benefit of Phantom Knight Breaksword. This deck however suffers from consistency issues as your Burning Abyss monster still gets destroyed in the presence of a Non-Burning Abyss Monster. The Phantom Abyss build have the worst control out of all builds as it has little to no deterrence during your opponents turn except for Fog Blade and Beatrice.

Nekroz VS Malacoda???
Many of you will be wondering whether to opt for Nekroz or Malacoda Variant. Both have their pros and cons and it boils down to preference. As for me, I prefer the Malacoda build due to it being part of the Burning Abyss archetype.

The Malacoda Variant trades off consistency of Djinn Locking with more survivability. A Djinn Lock from Malacoda is always scarier than a Djinn Lock from Clausolas.
This is due to Malacoda's ability to discard Burning Abyss monsters from your hand during either player's turn, making it a threat as you can discard Farfar.

Malacoda also have the ability to send any card to the graveyard upon being destroyed. This helps mitigate OTKs should Malacoda be destroyed. As mentioned, Malacoda is a part of the Burning Abyss archetype so you can discard it for Beatrice and salvage it back with Pre-Preperation of Rites.
Also, Good and Evil of the Burning Abyss is such an excellent card which helps speed up the deck after a ritual summon.

On the other hand, the Nekroz Variant is all about consistency.
You have 8 cards to search out your ritual spell (3 Clausolas, 1 Brionac, 3 Preparation of Rites and 1 Reinforcements of the army).
Also, Clausolas is level 3 so that means you do not need any other ritual tributes apart from Djinn himself.
The cons of using the Nekroz Build is that Clausolas effect is somewhat useless with Djinn Lock. As Djinn Lock is active, your opponent will not have extra deck monsters unless it is mid into the game. Thus, Clausolas effect will most likely never activate.
Another problem is that Clausolas have to be in Defense Position due to its low attack. This means that you need other monsters to attack as Clausolas will just be a wall.
Lastly, Clausolas defense is lower than Malacoda. With Magicians as one of the meta decks, Purple Poison Magician ATK Boost is enough to hit over Clausolas with most Magicians.

Now, lets head to the combo section of Burning Abyss with Cherubini and their respective builds. Do note that I am only posting combos regarding Cherubini.
(If my combo mention fodder BA, it refers to any Burning Abyss monster that is not Graff, Cir or Scarm)

Basic Starting Combo
Cards in Hand: Tour Guide of the Underworld
1) Normal Summon Tour Guide and use her effect to special summon Rhino Warrior
1) Normal Summon Rhino Warrior/Graff and Special Summon Fodder BA (Alternate)
2) Link Summon to Cherubini
3) Activate Rhino Warrior to mill Graff and use Graff to special summon Scarm
4) Activate Cherubini effect to mill Cir, reviving Graff from the graveyard
5) Xyz to Dante using the Scarm and Cir
6) Detach Scarm to mill 1 card (If playing Phantom Abyss, always mill 3 cards)
7) At this point, if you have another BA Monster, you can discard to summon Beatrice
8) Scarm effect activates at the end of the turn
Notes: This is the standard starting play for Burning Abyss. It can also be achieved with Fiendish Rhino Warrior + Fodder BA

Phantom Abyss Start-Up
Cards in Hand: Phantom Knights Silent Boots + Phantom Knights Ragged Gloves
1) Normal Summon Ragged Gloves
2) Special Summon Silent Boots
3) Link Summon to Cherubini
4) Activate Cherubini effect to mill Graff
5) Activate Graff effect to summon Scarm from the deck at Cherubini's Link Point
5) Banishing Ragged Gloves, mill Fog Blade from the deck
6) Banishing Fog Blade, Special Summon Silent Boots from the graveyard
7) Since Cherubini's link marker is pointed towards Scarm, Scarm will not be destroyed
8) Xyz to Dante using Scarm and Silent Boots
9) Detach Scarm/Silent Boots to mill 3 (Scarm for resources/ Silent Boots to search for Fog Blade)
10) At this point, if you have another BA Monster, you can discard to summon Beatrice

Phantom Abyss (Decode Talker Variant)
Cards in Hand: Any 2 BA Monster + Phantom Knight Silent Boots
1) Special Summon both BA monsters
2) Link Summon to Cherubini
3) Activate Cherubini effect to mill Phantom Knight Ancient Cloak
4) Banish Ancient Cloak to add Phantom Knight Ragged Glove to your hand
5) Normal Summon Ragged Glove
6) Special Summon Silent Boots
7) Xyz Summon to Leviair the Sea Dragon
8) Detach any to summon the banished Ancient Cloak
9) Link Summon Leviair and Cherubini to Decode Talker
10) Banish Ragged Glove to mill Phantom Knight Fog Blade
11) Banish Fog Blade to summon Silent Boots
12) Xyz Summon to Dante
13) Detach Silent Boots to mill 3 cards
14) Banish Silent Boots to add Fog Blade to your hand and set it

Malacoda Djinn Lock
Cards in Hand: Tour Guide of the Underworld + Pre-Preparation of Rites
1) Activate Pre-Preparation of Rites to add Good & Evil and Malacoda
2) Normal Summon Tour guide to Special Summon Graff
3) Link Summon to Cherubini
4) Activate Graff effect to summon Scarm from the deck
5) Activate Cherubini effect to mill Djinn, releaser of rituals
6) Activate Good & Evil to ritual summon Malacoda using Scarm and Djinn
7) At the end of your turn, activate Scarm's effect to add Farfa
Notes: Adding Farfa via Scarm allows Malacoda to remove threats easily during your opponent's turn by discarding Farfa

Malacoda Djinn Lock (Dante Variant)
Cards in Hand: Tour Guide of the Underworld + Pre-Preparation of Rites + Fodder BA
1) Activate Pre-Preparation of Rites to add Good & Evil and Malacoda
2) Normal Summon Tour guide to Special Summon Graff
3) Link Summon to Cherubini
4) Activate Graff effect to summon Cir from the deck
5) Activate Cherubini effect to mill Djinn, releaser of rituals
6) Special Summon your Fodder BA from your hand
7) Xyz Summon to Dante
8) Detach Cir to mill 3 (In hopes to get Scarm)
9) Activate Cir effect to special summon Graff from the graveyard
10) Activate Good & Evil to ritual summon Malacoda using Graff and Djinn
Notes: This combo is a more greedier play which focus on having a strong board but losing Scarm's Search compared to the previous build.

Nekroz Djinn Lock
Cards in Hand: Tour Guide of the Underworld + Clausolas
1) Discard Clausolas for Nekroz Cycle
2) Normal Summon Tour guide to Special Summon Graff
3) Link Summon to Cherubini
4) Activate Graff effect to summon Cir from the deck
5) Activate Cherubini effect to mill Djinn, releaser of rituals
6) Link Summon Cir and Cherubini to Decode Talker
7) Activate Cir's effect to summon back Cherubini at Decode Talker's Link Point
8) Activate Nekroz Cycle to ritual summon Clausolas using Djinn to Decode Talker's Link Point
Notes: This is rather different from the 'usual' way to Djinn Lock and the rationale was to protect Clausolas with Decode Talker's ability as Clausolas is rather vulnerable compared to Malacoda.

With that, I end this article of the new LINK Burning Abyss. Hope the Burning Abyss archetype has a pleasant journey after the effect of January 2018 List!

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