The World Exclusive cards in Abyss Rising provide new support for several themes, such as Ninjas, Spellbooks and Noble Knights, as well as new cards referencing one of the most famous scenes from the original anime.
Ignoble Knight of Black Laundsallyn: Level 5 2000/800 Dark Warrior
You can send 1 face-up LIGHT Normal Monster you control to the Graveyard; Special Summon this card from your hand or Graveyard. You can Tribute 1 “Noble Knight” monster; add 1 “Noble Arms” card from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of “Ignoble Knight of Black Laundsallyn” once per turn. You can control only 1 face-up “Ignoble Knight of Black Laundsallyn”.
The latest addition to the Noble Knights theme breaks from previous traditions and gives us a Dark Warrior, instead of a Light one, which makes sense given that he’s actually an Ignoble Knight. As with the rest of the Noble cards his true strength won’t really be known until we have the complete set of Knights and Arms. Whilst it might also be possible to fit him into decks that run other Light Normal monsters, it doesn’t really make sense to use him there, since you won’t be able to benefit from the rest of his effect.
Ideally you’re meant to use Artorigus to Special summon Laundsallyn, since he’s part of the theme, in additon to being a Normal Light monster. After this by tributing another Noble Knight you get to search your deck for a Noble Arms card, allowing you to empower your other Knights. If you don’t control any other Knights you could even use Laundsallyn himself, but I would question the effort you’ve gone through merely to get an equip card.
Laundsallyn of course has competition from Hidden Armory, which can also search Equip cards, and is much easier to use, considering it’s a standalone card. However the fact you forfeit your Normal Summon / Set could be quite a drawback to its use in this deck. Given we’re nowhere near the full set of Knights yet, this is a little hard to tell though.
Laundsallyn can also be a useful way to move around your Noble Arms on the field by getting rid of a monster that one is currently equipped to.
Mermail Abyssmander: Level 4 100/2000 Water Fish
You can banish this card from your Graveyard to activate 1 of these effects.
• Increase the Level of all “Mermail” monsters you currently control by 1.
• Increase the Level of all “Mermail” monsters you currently control by 2.
Abyssmander is a World Exclusive Mermail, but seems a bit out of place compared to the rest of the theme. Instead of working when it goes to the Graveyard, or helping to send cards to the Graveyard, he instead waits in the Graveyard until he becomes useful. Until then he merely serves as a wall. This means you’ll either have to dump him to the Graveyard first, or merely use him as a blocker until he’s destroyed by your opponent.
Once in the Graveyard he opens up more Xyz options for the Mermail deck, by allowing you to increase their Levels by either 1 or 2. This would allow you to summon Rank 5 or 6 monsters with the smaller Mermails, and Rank 8 or 9 monsters with Abyssmegalo.
However I find it unlikely that most Mermail decks would go to the effort to include him. I imagine for most of them the Extra Deck space is already fairly tight, and there wouldn’t be enough space to fully make use of these options. In addition you’d usually be better served dumping the Atlanteans to the Graveyard with Undine, rather than spending your time on Abyssmander.
Red Dragon Ninja: Level 6 2400/1200 Fire Winged Beast
When this card is Summoned: You can banish 1 “Ninja” or “Ninjitsu Art” card from your Graveyard to target 1 Set card your opponent controls; reveal that Set card, then return it to either the top or bottom of the Deck. Your opponent cannot activate the targeted card in response to this effect’s activation. You can only use the effect of “Red Dragon Ninja” once per turn.
Red Dragon Ninja is the latest in the line of Ninja cards we seem to be getting in the exclusives each set. However instead of being used alongside the newer Ninjitsu Art of Super Transformation, Red Dragon Ninja is instead for the original Ninjitsu Art of Transformation. This provides you more options when using the original card, without having to compromise on the Ninja theme.
Red Dragon Ninja itself is a useful card for clearing out your opponent’s defenses, since it’s a mix of Night Beam and Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, but with a body. Since you get to see the set card, you can make an informed decision about where to send it. If it’s a card your opponent could immediately use again, and is a threat to you, you can send it to the bottom of their deck. This makes it unlikely that they’ll see it again this game. If you see that it’s a useless card you can instead return it to the top of the deck, stopping your opponent from making useful plays next turn.
The fact your opponent cannot chain the set card to this effect’s activation makes it much more likely that you can get rid of the card, but as with Night Beam, extra cards could be chained to allow the targeted card to be used. This effect might also prove handy in keeping Red Dragon Ninja alive, because if you select something like Bottomless Trap Hole or Torrential Tribute, you can prevent the opponent from instantly killing Red Dragon Ninja.
The effect does have a few restrictions on it though. Firstly you need to banish a Ninja or Ninjitsu Art card from your Graveyard to activate his effect. This will be no problem at all if you just used the Transformation Art, since you’ll have a Ninja ready and waiting to get banished. During the normal course of play I also expect that it shouldn’t be too difficult to get one of these cards into the Graveyard prior to summoning Red Dragon Ninja. The other restriction on the card is that you can only use this effect once per turn, which is I suppose to stop a scenario where you can lock the opponent out of useful draws for several turns.
Slushy: Level 2 0/0 Water Aqua
When this card is Normal Summoned: You can send 1 “Slushy” from your Deck to the Graveyard. If you have 3 copies of “Slushy” total, either banished and/or in your Graveyard (combined): You can banish this card from your Graveyard to target 1 Level 5 or higher Sea Serpent-Type monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target. You can only use the Special Summoning effect of “Slushy” once per turn.
Slushy gives high Level Sea Serpents a new lease on life by making it easier to summon them than ever before. He could be used on his own merely as extra support in a Sea Serpent deck, but he also combines well with other powerful Water monsters like Swap Frog and Sea Lancer.
When using Slushy on his own it’s easy to get 2 copies into the Graveyard, since the first copy will dump the second, before very quickly being killed or used for some other purpose. The issue then becomes how to get the 3rd copy in there, which will either rely on using another card in the deck to send him to the Graveyard, or just simply setting the 3rd copy when you draw it. When combined with Swap Frog though, this becomes much easier, since not only can you discard Slushy to summon Swap Frog, but Swap Frog can also use its effect to send Slushy to the Graveyard. You’ll very quickly get all 3 Slushy in the right place, ready to start reviving your Sea Serpents.
Once Slushy is set up you can start bringing powerful Sea Serpents such as Daedalus and Poseidra back to life, and this can be repeated up to 3 times. Even if you just end up using these monsters for beatdown you’ll find that lots of decks can struggle when suddenly faced by huge monsters like them. Especially since they know the monsters will be right back next turn.
This can be extended when combined with Sea Lancer, who can recycle used copies of Slushy, allowing you to summon your powerful Sea Serpents even more often.
Abyss Dweller: Rank 4 1700/1400 Water Sea Serpent
2 Level 4 monsters
While this card has an Xyz Material attached that was originally WATER, all WATER monsters you control gain 500 ATK. Once per turn, during either player’s turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; any card effects that activate in your opponent’s Graveyard cannot be activated this turn.
Abyss Dweller is a useful Xyz monster for shutting down decks like Mermail which rely on cards activating in the Graveyard. As an added bonus it also gives Water decks a boost, meaning it will be a useful tool for Mermails as well as against them. Since it’s a generic Xyz it can still be played in other decks as well though.
To get the full potential out of Abyss Dweller you’ll need to use a deck with Level 4 water monsters, so that its power boosting effect will work. This is of course easiest to achieve in a Water based deck like Mermails, but decks which just happen to feature Water monsters, such as Wind-Ups (with Shark) can also manage. In the former case this can make all of your monsters more powerful, aiding you to a speedier victory. In the latter case it will probably just result in a more powerful Abyss Dweller, but this will still be useful, since a 2200 is considerably harder to get rid of than a 1700.
The most important part about Abyss Dweller though is its second effect, which thankfully works regardless of what materials it has. For a turn it can cause a one sided Soul Drain, locking your opponent out of Graveyard effects, potentially shutting down a lot of their plays. However just as with Soul Drain you need to be very careful when using this card. It does not negate anything, it merely prevents activations. This means if you chain Abyss Dweller to an opponent’s effect it won’t do anything. This will mean you may have to pre-emptively use its effect in order to stop your opponent. This may sometimes result in you wasting the effect though. It could however be useful against cards like Abyssmegalo or Genex Undine, who sent cards to the Graveyard as a cost for their effects. If you chain Abyss Dweller to those cards instead, the monsters used as Costs will never get a chance to activate.
Giant Soldier of Steel: Rank 3 1300/2000 Earth Rock
2 Level 3 Rock-Type monsters
This card is unaffected by other monsters’ effects. Once per turn, during either player’s turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; it gains 1000 DEF until the End Phase, and if it does, you take no effect damage from your opponent’s card effects this turn.
Giant Soldier of Steel is our first card which harks back to an older age of Yu-Gi-Oh! and upgrades a classic monster. It creates a fairly large wall, but can also be a useful tool against burn damage.
The normal defense on Giant Soldier of Steel isn’t too impressive at only 2000, but it does at least allow him to fend off most Level 4 or below cards. If the opponent does summon something larger he can then boost himself to 3000 defense, which should be enough to defend against nearly everything that commonly sees play at the moment. However you only get two chances at this, so you’ll need to find a way to actually fight back before he is defeated.
Immunity to other monster’s effects also helps make Giant Soldier of Steel a tough wall to break through, especially once the summon is successful. Apart from Dark Hole, most Spell and Traps that act as monster removal are reactive. This means that cards like Dimensional Prison or Mirror Force will be useless against him, and he’s too small to get caught by Bottomless Trap Hole. The Solemn Trio and Torrential can still hit him, but it might be better to save those for threats, rather than walls. This would normally leave you with two options, summon something bigger, which he can still usually block, or use one of your monster effects to destroy him, which he also blocks. This means that Giant Soldier of Steel can often buy you at leas two extra turns, in which you can try to rally the rest of your resources.
The big issue though is with how to actually summon him, without massively disrupting the rest of your deck. One deck that could handle this easily is Chronomaly who can simply add him to the Extra Deck and continue as normal. Another possibility would be to incorporate Rescue Rabbit and normal monsters, such as the original Giant Soldier of Stone, into your deck to allow instant summoning. Most other choices just end up being poorer versions of this, require you to use cards that wouldn’t fit the deck, or might be better off not used for the Xyz summon anyway.
Noble Arms – Arfeudutyr: Equip Spell Card
You can only control 1 face-up “Noble Arms – Arfeudutyr”. Equip only to a Warrior-Type monster. Once per turn: You can target 1 Set card your opponent controls; the equipped monster permanently loses 500 ATK, and if it does, destroy that target. (The ATK loss remains even if this card leaves the field or the monster becomes unaffected by card effects.) If this face-up card on the field is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 face-up Warrior-Type “Noble Knight” monster you control; equip this card to that target. You can only use this effect of “Noble Arms – Arfeudutyr” once per turn.
Our latest Noble Arms card is Arfeudutyr, which allows you to clear out your opponent’s defenses in exchange for the strength of your monsters. What’s especially useful is the fact that it can destroy any set card, meaning it can take out both Spell / Trap cards and Monsters. This will allow you to pick and choose based on the scenario. The fact the monster loses attack each time will limit how many times you’ll get a chance to use this effect, because eventually it will become weak enough for your opponent to launch a counterattack against the monster.
A novel use for the card could be to equip it to an opponent’s Warrior, since it will allow you to destroy one of their cards in addition to weakening their monster, hopefully allowing your monsters to defeat it.
Arfeudutyr also has what I assume is the defining characteristic of the Noble Arms, which is the ability to be reused once destroyed. This prevents your opponent from using cards like Mystical Space Typhoon on it, and allows you to more easily use effects which require you to destroy one of your own cards. It also means the Equip will usually stay around as long as you can keep other Noble Knights on the field.
Spellbook Library of the Heliosphere: Normal Spell Card
If you have 5 or more “Spellbook” Spell Cards in your Graveyard: Reveal the top 2 cards of your Deck; add any revealed “Spellbook” Spell Cards to your hand, and shuffle any remaining cards into the Deck. You can only activate 1 “Spellbook Library of the Heliosphere” per turn. You cannot activate any Spell Cards the turn you activate this card, except “Spellbook” Spell Cards.
Heliosphere is a powerful Spellbook, but has quite strict activation requirements. Since you need 5 or more Spellbook Spells in your Graveyard before you can activate it, you may well find it useless during the first few turns of the game. It may also conflict with cards like Spellbook of Fate, which banishes your Spellbooks, and The Grand Spellbook Tower, which adds them back into your deck. Due to cards like these you may well find it difficult to keep 5 or more Spellbooks in the Graveyard, and thus make Heliosphere playable. I would assume that once the complete set of Spellbooks has been released, this card will become better, since it should be easier to fill the Graveyard with Spellbooks.
It also has two other restrictions. Firstly that you can only use 1 per turn, which prevents you gaining too much advantage in a single turn. Secondly you can only activate Spellbook Spell cards during the turn you activate it, potentially locking you out of cards like Monster Reborn, Heavy Storm and Dark Hole. Fortunately though the majority of the Spell cards in your deck will be Spellbooks.
The effect itself has an element of luck to it, since it could give you between 0 and 2 new cards. Your deck will be loaded full of Spellbooks though, so I would expect you to be able to get at least 1 card out of this most of the time. When it works to its full extent it’s essentially a Pot of Greed for the deck, which combined with the Tower could lead to a lot of extra resources for you.
I imagine we won’t see the full power of Heliosphere until the theme is complete though.
Spellbook Star Hall: Continuous Spell Card
Each time a “Spellbook” Spell Card is activated, place 1 Spell Counter on this card. All Spellcaster-Type monsters you control gain 100 ATK for each Spell Counter on this card. When this card with Spell Counter(s) is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard: You can add 1 Spellcaster-Type monster from your Deck to your hand, whose Level is less than or equal to the number of Spell Counters that were on this card.
Spellbook Star Hall is the second World Exclusive Spellbook in the set and it provides a power boost to your Prophecy monsters, as well as any other Spellcasters you happen to play. This can help you reduce your opponent’s Life Points faster, and get over pesky monsters in battle that you would otherwise have to use a Spellbook on. It also has a deterrent against being destroyed, since it can replace itself with a Spellcaster. Early on this could simply be fetching Spellbook Magician of Prophecy, but later in the game it might even allow you to get the High Priestess.
The power of Star Hall will grow the longer it remains on the field, so the earlier you draw it the better. At first it’s likely the small attack boosts will make little difference to the outcome of most battles, however eventually most of your monsters will turn into deadly threats. Eventually your opponent will be forced into a tough situation where whether they destroy Star Hall or not they’ll be in trouble.
The biggest problem this card has, is that it doesn’t do anything on its own, and relies on your other cards to be useful. This makes it a terrible card to draw when you’re in trouble.
Attack the Moon!: Continuous Spell Card
Once per turn, when the battle position of a Rock-Type monster you control is changed: You can target 1 Spell/Trap Card your opponent controls; destroy that target.
Our final World Exclusive card draws inspiration from one of the most famous scenes from Duelist Kingdom, where Yugi used his Giant Soldier of Stone to attack the moon and help defeat Mako. In a similar fashion, this card allows you to use your Rock monsters to destroy your opponent’s Spell and Trap cards. This could be a very useful effect, because it allows you to destroy a card per turn for free. Your opponent might even refuse to set cards, in order to save their resources until they can find a way around Attack the Moon!. Alternatively they might set multiple cards hoping you’ll hit the bluffs, allowing them to keep their defenses.
Attack the Moon! is not without its problems though. As with all continuous Spell cards it can make defending yourself a gamble. You’ll need to set extra cards to protect against your opponent’s plays, but by doing so you leave yourself open to losing lots of resources from cards like Heavy Storm. Since the card is built around position changes it might also prove difficult to capitalise on the openings offered by this card. For example by switching a monster to defense, you might clear out the opponent’s defenses, but you can’t then attack on that turn. The fact that monsters also often specialise in one stat means that your opponent may well kill your monster on the following turn, once you switch it to the weaker position.
Another problem is that Attack the Moon! can be a little slow. Unless you add on even more cards into the combo, you will have to wait until the turn after you summon any monsters to be able to use its effect. Sometimes you’ll never get this chance, because the monsters will be destroyed within a turn, making Attack the Moon! a deadweight. You could get around this problem though with cards like Stumbling, or Zero Gravity, which allow for extra position changes, allowing you to immediately destroy your opponent’s cards. They can also help with slowing your opponent’s plays down and protecting your monsters, thus allowing you to use Attack the Moon! for longer. This does leave you even more open to Heavy Storm than before.
For the final part of my look at Abyss Rising I’m going to be examining the OCG imports that were added to the set.