Welcome back to the latest part of the ORCS preview. Now its time to look at the new clockwork creations offered by the Wind Ups in the set.
Wind-Ups were first introduced to us in GENF and were intended to be one of the introductions to Xyz summoning, with their ability to manipulate levels and get lots of equal level monsters on the field at once. They have some very useful cards in the form of Wind-Up Magician and Wind-Up Factory, but we’ve seen little of them in competitive play so far. The only card we’ve seen so far that gets any use is Wind-Up Zenmaines, and that’s purely because it’s a very good Rank 3 Xyz and not because it’s a Wind -Up. However soon expect to see a lot more of them, but probably not in dedicated decks, for reasons we’ll see later. This set gives us several new monsters as well as a little bit of support.
This set gives us some very important new additions to the Wind-Up theme.
Wind-Up Rat: Level 3 600/600 Earth Beast
During your Main Phase: You can target 1 “Wind-Up” monster in your Graveyard; change this card to face-up Defense Position and Special Summon that target in face-up Defense Position. This effect can only be used once while this card is face-up on the field.
Wind-Up Rat is the revival monster for the deck, and it does this job pretty well. Like most Wind-Ups his effect is restricted to only once whilst it is face up, which means it won’t be getting you too much advantage. Rat is very small, but by switching itself to defense mode it means you won’t likely be taking any battle damage, should it still be around in the opponent’s turn. The main purpose of this card is to make Xyz monsters though, since it can easily revive another level 3 Wind-Up and make cards like Zenmaines or the new Zenmaity.
Wind-Up Honey: Level 1 100/300 Earth Insect
When this card is destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower “Wind-Up” monster from your Deck.
Wind-Up Honey is the recruiter for the deck, which will make assembling key pieces for the deck even easier. However the deck can already do this so easily that I wonder how much extra use it will be.
Wind-Up Shark: Level 4 1500/1300 Water Fish
When a “Wind-Up” monster is Normal or Special Summoned to your side of the field: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. Once per turn: You can activate 1 of these effects.
● Increase this card’s Level by 1, until the End Phase.
● Reduce this card’s Level by 1, until the End Phase.
Here we have a TCG exclusive Wind-Up who does marvels for the deck by easily enabling Rank 3-5 Xyzs. Firstly he basically turns any Wind-Up into a Marauding Captain of sorts, meaning getting two monsters on the field is easier than ever before for the deck.
His level shifting effect is useful for two reasons, firstly it opens up Rank 3 and Rank 5 Xyz, giving access to many of the Wind-Up Xyz as well as powerful cards like Leviair. Secondly unlike most other Wind-Up monsters the effect is only once per turn, not once whilst face up. This means that merely by keeping the card on the field you can guarantee being able to use the effect of Factory every turn, for example. This means you can tailor your search to the situation and actually summon it on the same turn, unlike most other times when factory would trigger after having already used up your normal summon. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of him in the Wind-Up decks to come.
In this set we gain two new Xyz. One an integral part of a powerful loop, the other the king of the Wind-Ups.
Wind-Up Carrier Zenmaity: Rank 3 1500/1500 Water Machine
2 Level 3 monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 “Wind-Up” monster (from your hand or Deck). When a face-up “Wind-Up” monster you control is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard (except during the Damage Step): You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target that monster; add it to your hand.
Here we have the key card that enables a devastating new loop that we’ll be seeing a lot of soon. In terms of an actual Wind-Up card it is very good at it’s job, giving the deck more swarming/ searching power and retrieving fallen comrades. It is also very easy to summon, with cards such as Rat and Tour Guide making it possible with one card. However its low stats mean that it’s doubtful it will live for more than a single turn. Fortunately its purpose will usually be fulfilled within a single turn, especially if you’re using it for the loop.
The Wind-Up loop consists of 3 cards, Rat, Hunter and Zenmaighty. The steps are as follows:
- Summon Zenmaighty and either have Hunter attached as an Xyz material, or in the graveyard. At this point you want as many Rats in your deck as possible.
- Use Zenmaighty (detaching Hunter if necessary) to summon Rat.
- Use Rat to revive Hunter.
- Use Hunter to tribute Zenmaighty to send a random card from the opponent’s hand to the graveyard. (It sends, not discards, so even Dark Worlds fear this.)
- Now you’ve got 2 level 3s on the field and can make another Zenmaighty. Now you can repeat from step 2 until you run out of Rats.
Once this is over you’re free to make another Rank 3 like Zenmaines, or do whatever else you like. Doing this can strip your opponent of 3 cards, whilst still leaving you with either 2 monsters or an Xyz monster. Very soon expect to see quite a lot of people building decks based around pulling this loop off as quickly and consistently as possible.
Wind-Up Arsenal Zenmaioh : Rank 5 2600/1900 Wind Machine
2 Level 5 monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 2 Set cards on the field; destroy them.
Here’s the king of the Wind-Ups, who will presumably for now at least be the big boss of the deck. If you can successfully summon this card it can put your opponent in quite a tough spot. They can’t afford to play monsters face down or be destroyed, but if they play them face up they can be run over by his 2600 attack. In addition he can tear apart the back row if there are several cards face down. This is assuming they don’t tear him apart first, which is likely to happen when there are lots of face downs there. However if he’s successfully summoned before the opponent can set lots of cards it means you’ll probably get free shots for a couple of turns, because the opponent risks losing lots of important cards before they can use them.
There’s limited support in this set coming from a single Spell card and a single Trap card.
Weights & Zenmaisures: Normal Spell Card
Target 2 face-up “Wind-Up” monsters you control with different Levels; your opponent chooses 1 of them, and the Level of the other monster becomes the same as the chosen monster’s, until the End Phase. Then, if your opponent chose the monster with a lower Level, you can draw 1 card.
If you choose to play this card it can put the opponent in quite a bind. Wind-Ups have access to Xyz monsters of all ranks corresponding to their levels. This means that by playing this card your opponent can’t escape an Xyz and they’ll probably have to choose between a tough to kill Zenmaines and giving you a free card, or a Zenmaioh who will start to tear them apart. It’ll be interesting to see how much use this card sees, since it’s not often you want to let your opponent make your play. It will also likely have varying results depending on what player you face, since they won’t all understand the decision they face fully.
Spiral Spring: Normal Trap Card
Tribute 1 “Wind-Up” monster you control with 1500 ATK or more; Special Summon 1 “Wind-Up” monster from your hand. Then, you can Special Summon 1 “Wind-Up” monster from your Deck with the same ATK as the monster Special Summoned by this effect.
This card is meant to be designed as a way to get a very quick Xyz summon, but I don’t think the deck really needs that much help as it is. Just keeping a Wind-Up on the field for a turn will usually give you acess to this sort of thing anyway, and you’ll also lose less cards in doing so. If you’re desperate you can have this set from a previous turn and use it on a normal summoned Wind-Up to get an Xyz, but honestly with something like Shark around, what’s the point?
Hope people have enjoyed this look at the Wind-Ups. Next time I’m going to try and look some of the smaller bits of support for various themes dotted about the set.