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 Dress up your boss

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Al-Bhed
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PostSubject: Dress up your boss   Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:34 am

monsters. Boss monsters. Not any boss.

But let's start from the dress and we'll get to that later.


Forbidden Dress is the kind of card the relevance of which is highly dependent on the format itself. And it just so happens, that in the format we saw it (earlier for OCG ofc, but it is not much different for the TCG), it was useless. Granted, that format wasn't that far behind. For the OCG it was the format abyss rising came in, about 5 months ago, all the way to a few days/weeks back, and for us it is the format we were in not just before abyss rising, but also including it, and perhaps all the way into some HA releases and the start of cosmic blazer. Regardless, upon learning of the card, the definition sub-par was very accurate. It was outclassed in every way that mattered by Forbidden Lance.

Of course their effects are not that much similar, but what we care about when we pick cards, is their interractions with other cards and decks, and in all cases that mattered, Forbidden Lance would do the same thing better. Let's see why.

Quote :

Forbidden Dress
Quick-Play Spell Card
Target 1 face-up monster on the field; until the End Phase, that target loses 600 ATK, but it cannot be targeted or destroyed by other card effects.

I'll go ahead and assume that you know forbidden lance grants full s/t immunity to target monster, as well as reducing its ATK by 800.

First, let's mention that both these cards are at their basis a -1. You can activate it as a spell speed 1 to protect a monster from an effect that may or may not come, or to make a monster weaker. Of course, you almost never use it that way. That is because those cards are chainable, and that's the whole point of them. You use them in response to an action made by your opponent, in order to maintain advantage and gain control, usually with them being a 141 on average.

The major weakness of Forbidden Dress is that even though it is only usable as a chainable card, as mentioned, and useless competitivelly otherwise, it carries an effect meant for spell speed 1s/continuous effects. The second effect of Forbidden Dress stops the opponent from targetting the target monster. However targetting happens at activation, so if the opponent activates a card and targets a monster, even if you chain Forbidden Dress to it, the monster has already been targetted and Forbidden Dress will not grant it any protection in that regard. Your effect is now useless. Like that, Forbidden Dress cannot be used against most spell speed 2 targetting effects that don't destroy, as well as normal spells, reducing any exchange with those where Forbidden Dress is involved (even if it is done properly, like predicting the opponent's dimensional prison and using Dress beforehand to save the monster for the turn), into a bad -1, in normal circumstances.

Of course there are monster ignition effects, but you'd get the better part of the deal using forbidden dress very inconsistently in that format. Things like BLS, Chaos Sorcerer and DAD would most likely target something else or just run you over, following a different strategy with no loss of card presence while you wasted 1 card, and the same would apply to some targetting Xyz. It may be able to protect against some of those xyz effects currently, like Maestroke, Black Corn, Ptolemys, Photoknight, etc. but not only the exchange may not be in your favour, it is also quite inconsistent to happen, as the opponent usually has other resources to deal with monsters, other than his Xyz toolbox, which most decks just go in, in a time of need, which wouldn't happen that often.

In the end, the effect of Dress to focus on, is the destruction immunity, with targetting negation being an underused bonus. And that is the point of comparison with Forbidden Lance.
Most destruction effects at that point, where you would be able to use those cards, would happen by spells and traps. Of course there are things Forbidden Dress would protect against alone, like Ryko and Snowman (remember you are not chaining to them either, Dress cannot be activated during the part of the damage step where you resolve effects, after damage calculation, so you are still activating pre-emptively here and ryko can still get another pick), however the greater the overlap, the better for Forbidden Lance, as it would protect against any spell and trap, whether it destroyed or not, unlike Dress, which would prove more useful only in obscure situations. Forbidden Lance would protect against Dimensional Prison, Mind control in addition to everything else, while forbidden dress's area of expertise was against things you might as well have predicted properly. Of course we can add Grapha in the strengths of Dress, but Grapha would rarely be needed to kill that monster. Usually it would hit a backrow, or a monster just because it is forced to, since Grapha can simply run over monsters. There is the situation where you cannot summon the Grapha in the same turn/the monster is too big and you are forced to get it out of the way with the effect, but again it is not a situation which you'd be in often enough to consider it.

Perhaps the most important point here is that you want either card not to protect yourself, but to get your plays off. You want to get your summon off and your attack off, which means prison, bth, mirror, tt, all traps. You also would like the bonus of surviving that dark hole, that mind control and being able to run over your opponent's monster, either in your turn or in your opponent's. You are not looking to make one monster you have invincible instead, ygo is past that, monsters are expendable, or at least a single monster is. A play however is important, and you want to protect that. In that sense, Lance will get your play off, while Dress will help you protect your 1 monster from your opponent's attempts to beat it, which in the end isn't something you'd focus as much on. Additionally, just by looking at numbers, Lance reduces by 800, while Dress by 600, which offensivelly is superior. Laggia can run over BLS with Lance but not Dress, for example. And the full s/t immunity is in fact more versatile, since you can do straightforward, yet tricky stuff like making that Descendant 700 instead of 2000, or make that horn a -800 instead of a +800, etc.

Let me bring it to your attention in case you didn't know: Dress has now competitive use. What happened in such a short amount of time to change all that?
First of all, some new decktypes, and new cards.
Mermail was around already, not that much new, but something to talk about shortly. Atlantean offered them a new monster destroying monster effect, Atlantean Heavy Infantry. Genex Undine can use it from the deck to destroy a monster, Abysspike and Megalo from the hand.
Fire Fist brought us Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear, with Bear + Tenki being in fact splashable in decks with Beast-Warriors.
Fire Kings have Garunix to destroy monsters, although you are probably not surviving a Fire King High Avatar Garunix attack after the dress drop, unless you play malefic cyber end or something.
Diawolf Terrorfang is a thing now, anything with access to a rank 4 can just go ahead and destroy a card if needed, and unlike other ignition effects, this will give you the much-much better part of the exchange when chained.
Wind-Ups are now in OCG as well, making all of that relevant in the same real metagame, as aside from the regular Rank 5, they have access to Volcasaurus for quick Gaia OTK action.
Evilswarm Bahamut can be a real b****...

Still though, all that does is protect one monster you have from the action your opponent took. It's your opponent's turn. In your opponent's turn you are supposed to use disruptive chainable cards, not protective, that's for your turn. That is because, as it is still his turn, he can still play around a protection if he is allowed to make a play. Instead what you want to do is stop him from doing a play, making a chainable protective card that is meant to be used in your opponent's turn, subpar under normal circumstances. You'd rather be leaving that monster out alone and use a card to disrupt your opponent instead, because if he does as he pleases, chances are you will be in the worse place anyways.

That is however format specific and there is an exception here. A lockdown situation. If a monster you have is preventing your opponent from taking a certain action, an action which your opponent would rather be taking, or has a need to take to carry on with his play, then protecting the card that is causing that situation has merit. If for example I have an Archlord Kristya on the field, I wouldn't mind protecting that monster if the opponent needs special summons for many plays and has little ways to get over it. In fact many lockdown strategies do it, for example Safe Zone'ing your Herald of Perfection or your White Dragon Ninja is a pretty good strategy.

To do the thing though you need the card, and it's better if you get that card consistently. So what is the card in this case?
Evilswarm Ophion, now in a metagame near you (if you are in asia).
Quote :
Evilswarm Ophion
2 Level 4 "lswarm" monsters
DARK/Dragon
Neither player can Special Summon Level 5 or higher monsters while this card has Xyz Material. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; add 1 "Infestation" Spell or Trap Card from your Deck to your hand.
2550/1650

Verz has been really rising in popularity in the OCG lately, with Gungnir's evil twin being the star of the show and Cercyon completing now the deck. Of course, bring up Ophion in a metagame ruled by rabbit, wind-up, inzektor and stun, and you will quickly be presented by something better.

That however is not the case as much now. Dragons are returning in the OCG (Lavalval Chain is amazing in Chaos Dragons, as you'd expect), Mermails try to get that Megalo and sync with their diva as an out, Fire Kings are out with a couple of annoying phoenixes, saint will soon want to do chicken plays, grapha is there hatching its fail plans for world domination, miracle fusion as well as super polymerization is as annoying as ever, even with the warrior xyz addition, kaiza has been hyping agents in the chat forever and is performing black magic to see them rise again, Fortress is the awesome card it always was, with gadgets never going out of style in the OCG and Gorz, as always, is a b****. That among others.

There are matchups in the OCG that Ophion has in the bag just with its effect. And even if it does not, its 2550 ATK and pseudo s/t immunity allows it to hold its own against matchups like rabbit, which are otherwise unfazed by its effect. To sum up, it's imposing 2550 ATK, blocking most xyz from running it over, combined with the ability to grab a Pandemic Contagion Infestation to protect itself from s/t attempts to get over it for a single turn, allows it to make good use of its primary effect of stopping any special summon of a level 5 or higher monster, to perform a pseudo lock on the opponent. The opponent is not completely locked out of actions, he simply is losing potential outs to the threat he is facing, leaving him with much less options.

So, as we see, Evilswarm Ophion (can I call all Evilswarm, Verz from now on? I will, thanks), is a monster you'd rather protect, as it locks the opponent out of his own outs. But what are those outs? Let's go through them.
As it will be protected from spells and traps, you'd want to get rid of it with a monster effect. That would translate into Ryko, Snowman, Night Assailant, Heavy Infantry, Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Bear, Wind-Up Kitten, Grapha, Zenmaines, Diawolf Terrorfang and Maestroke in the easily accessible options (as well as Bahamut giving you the finger in the mirror). Then we have some rank 5 and 6, for wind-up and perhaps inzektors (remember the special summon restriction, so no stuff like hieratic xyz, that's dead in the matchup, give up) with effects to deal with it, like Volcasaurus, Ptolemys, etc. And then of course we have the good ol' "punch it in the face like a real man and kill it" option, of simply running it over with a higher ATK stat. Remember that the 2550 is not the easiest thing to get over, but Pearl will get over that (have that in your extra if you have little outs to ophion and are playing in that kind of metagame), Acid Golem will, Gagaga Gunman is your go to man for beating high ATK things lately, and theme specific stuff like bahamut shark, while Excalibur just towers over everything, so it's hardly worth the mention.

And here is where Forbidden Dress comes in. It stops about 90% of the options available in the metagame to deal with Ophion. First of all, as it stops destruction, regardless of their speed, destruction effects of monsters are stopped dead, including those that activate in the damage step, as those Forbidden quick spells, all alter the ATK stat so they can be activated there. Most other monster effects that target, are ignition. That means that their summon is a dead give away and can be responded to beforehand with Dress. Not the most advantageous play in terms of card presence, but it means your Ophion stays and their monster is useless. And then we have running it over. Ophion is at 2550, so anything with less than 3150 will fail to kill it in battle with Dress support. That leaves you with a lone Heroic Champion Excalibur to run it over, if you have a warrior deck.

Things like Volcasaurus have a much better time with it. If you chain the Dress, it will just go into Gaia and run it over still. Even if you try and stop Ptolemys from targetting it, you won't be able to deal with that 2700 ATK without something extra. Similarly, if you try to stop an effect, while the opponent has a high attack on the field (at least 1950, which isn't that much), they can deal with it. Which however would require you to have either a lot of resources or a wind-up deck that got a play off, or an inzektor deck that got a dragonfly-ladybug play off. And even in all those cases, don't forget, a huge monster staying on the field, is Bahamut bait against Verz.

The dress fits. It fixes most of his issues, it's just his size and it make him feel good inside. Have an Ophion with Dress support, and many matchups will have a hard time playing around it. The moral of the story is not to play dress in everything. It does cover many things in the new ocg format, but it simply works perfectly with the conditions of Ophion. Some boss monsters need protection, so we dress them up. That's the moral.

Will you see the card? Probably, it will be used against you. And not just in Verz, because either it fits or just pure hype generated by Verz. But, even though it used to be pointless, it is relevant now. And even more than that, Verz is relevant. Good deck with good options, not as much for yourself, but for locking out on your opponent.

That's all this time. More of a rant, less of an article. But anyways.


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25 Jun 17, 02:12
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marthbeatsfalco: nope, there are 5 distinct and significant angles

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