The Plunder Patroll was introduced in Ignition Assault in January 2020. It is one of the few archetypes that was released in the TCG before it was released in the OCG (Plunder Patroll's OCG debut happening in October 2020). The monsters are either crew members or ships. The deck's main strengths are the ships, all of which are extra deck monsters. The main deck monsters help you get your ships onto the field. Before we board the ships, let's familiarize ourselves with the pirates who guide them.
Lets start off with Whitebeard, the Plunder Patroll Helm. During the opponent's turn, Whitebeard can tag out and special summon any Plunder Patroll monster from the extra deck that has the same attribute as a monster in your opponent's graveyard or under their control and Whitebeard then equips itself to the summoned ship. I really like the idea of equipping the monsters to the ships. You can think of it as Whitebeard steering the ship he just summoned. Later on, we'll look at why the ships must be equipped with some crew.
Whitebeard's second effect is also incredibly strong. If he is sent from the hand or the main monster zone to the graveyard, you can special summon any Plunder Patroll monster from your deck. It does not matter if Whitebeard is discarded as cost for a card like Twin Twisters or used as a material for the synchro or link summon of an extra deck monster: it will always be able to replace itself with a new Plunder Patroll monster from the main deck. The only downside to this effect is that it locks you into Plunder Patroll monsters for the remainder of the turn.
Next, we have Redbeard, the Plunder Patroll Matey. It has the same effect to special summon an extra deck monster as Whitebeard. If Redbeard is sent from the main monster zone or the hand to the graveyard, you can equip it to any Plunder Patroll monster you control. Hence, he can board any ship when he's sent to the graveyard.
Then we have Goldenhair, the Newest Plunder Patroll. She is one of your best extenders in the deck and she is also a tuner. You can discard any other Plunder Patroll monster from your hand to the graveyard to special summon Goldenhair from your hand. While this does not seem to be too crazy, remember that you could discard Whitebeard to special summon Goldenhair. Then Whitebeard will trigger to special summon an additional monster to your field.
You will mostly be using Goldenhair's second effect though. If she is in the graveyard, you can discard any card to special summon her from the graveyard. Again, you could discard Whitebeard to not only special summon Goldenhair but also another monster from the deck. Just like Whitebeard, this effect locks you into Plunder Patroll monsters for the rest of the turn. Even though this restricts your play, the restriction honestly costs basically nothing for the deck and is probably good in the long run. If Goldenhair didn't have this restriction, she would be Jet Synchron 2.0 and she would most likely be banned already, which would hurt the deck a lot more than the restriction does.
Next, we have Bluebeard, the Plunder Patroll Shipwright. You can special summon Bluebeard from your hand whenever you control another Plunder Patroll monster. Hence, he also serves as an extender. When Bluebeard is sent from the main monster zone or the hand to the graveyard, you can discard any card to draw 1 card. This doesn't just help you fix your hand. You can also use this effect to get Goldenhair into the graveyard or you could discard Whitebeard for an additional body on the field.
The newest addition to the crew is Blackeyes, the Plunder Patroll Seaguide, who was just recently released in Lightning Overdrive. Blackeyes fixes one of the main weaknesses the deck had before, namely not having a Plunder Patroll card in hand during the opponent's turn. The reason why this is so important will be covered a bit later.
Blackeyes can special summon itself from the hand and returns another Plunder Patroll monster from the graveyard to the hand. Again, this locks you into Plunder Patroll monsters. If it is sent from the hand or main monster zone to the graveyard, you can special summon any Plunder Patroll monster that is currently equipped to another monster.
Lastly, there is Blackbeard, the Plunder Patroll Captain, the leader of the Plunder Patroll. Blackbeard is not a main deck monster but an extra deck monster. You need any Plunder Patroll monster along with any other monster to summon Blackbeard. Just like Whitebeard and Redbeard, Blackbeard can tag out to special summon any Plunder Patroll monster from the extra deck with the same attribute as a monster the opponent controls or is in their graveyard and it equips itself to that monster. However, Blackbeard also draws you an additional card afterward and he is not restricted to the opponent's turn. This means you can use his quick-effect during either player's turn.
The easiest way to summon Blackbeard is with Goldenhair. You can normal summon Goldenhair and link it off for Salamangreat Almiraj. Then you can use Goldenhair's graveyard effect to summon her back and use her and the Almiraj to go into Blackbeard. However, there are many other ways to facilitate Blackbeard.
Currently, there are three ships at the Patroll's disposal, each with a different attribute. First, let us take a look at Plunder Patrollship Lys. Lys is a light monster and it functions as a monster negate. It is a fusion monster and can either be summoned via Blackbeard, Whitebeard, or Redbeard if the opponent has a light monster on the field or in their graveyard or via the archetype's fusion spell Plunder Patroll Shipshape Ships Shipping. By discarding a Plunder Patroll card, Lys can negate any opponent's monster effect and destroy the monster. Moreover, if Lys is equipped with a Plunder Patroll card, you can add any Plunder Patroll card from your deck to your hand after a negation.
This means you don't just get to negate a monster effect and destroy it, but that the discard to activate Lys' effect also replaces itself. Moreover, if you discard a Plunder Patroll monster such as Whitebeard, you can get even more from this. Here we see why Blackeyes is such an important addition to the strategy. You do need Plunder Patroll cards to activate the ship's effects and Blackeyes is one way to make sure you have one in your hand.
Plunder Patrollship Moerk is a dark rank four xyz monster. By discarding a Plunder Patroll card, you can target and banish one effect monster the opponent controls and add a Plunder Patroll spell or trap from the deck to hand. Thus, the discard replaces itself once again and the banish is free. Moreover, this effect is a quick-effect if Moerk is equipped with a Plunder Patroll card. In addition to that Moerk has a Dingirsu-like protection effect: By detaching an xyz material you can avoid the destruction of any Plunder Patroll card you control.
Lastly, there is Plunder Patrollship Brann. Brann is a level eight fire synchro monster. It is the spell/trap equivalent of Moerk. Instead of banishing an effect monster, Brann lets you banish any spell or trap card the opponent controls and add a Plunder Patroll monster from the deck to the hand. Again, this is a quick-effect if Brann is equipped with a Plunder card. Moreover, Brann boosts all other fiend-type monsters by 500 ATK, and guess what? All Plunder Patroll monsters happen to be fiends!
The biggest strength of the Patroll is its ships. The ships can interrupt the opponent for free since the discards can replace themselves. Moreover, your discards will often have additional effects with which can obtain even more card advantage. In the best case, you can negate a monster effect and banish a monster as well as a spell or trap card during each turn.
Another major strength of the deck is that most of your opponents will not be familiar with the deck. It is always hard to play against a deck that you know nothing about. However, it becomes even harder when an unknown deck can have such strong interruptions like the Plunder Patroll. Many opponents will have no idea what is going on because you will be special summoning monsters from the extra deck during their turn and banishing cards left and right.
So, the deck's main deck monsters can create large amounts of card advantage and the extra deck monsters can severely interrupt the opponent. You might be wondering why Plunder Patroll is not a top-tier strategy. Unfortunately, the deck has several weaknesses which we will discuss next.
Even though Blackbeard, Whitebeard, and Redbeard can special summon extra deck monsters during the opponent's turn, they are all reliant on the attributes of the opponent's monsters. So far, there are no wind or earth extra deck monsters for the deck. This can make some match-ups really awkward. Just a Drident-pass opening by the opponent was really problematic for the deck. Thanks to the most recent banlist, we do not have to deal with Drident anymore, fortunately. However, many other strategies exist which do not use the attributes needed for your extra deck monsters.
Virtual World in particular is a terrible match-up for Plunder. The whole deck is made of wind and earth monsters for which you do not have any ships at your disposal. Admittedly, there are ways to deal with such situations. Plunder Patroll Booty lets you change the attribute of an opponent's monster. This will enable you some plays in these match-ups. However, if you do not draw Booty, you will definitively have a hard time.
The ships can yield you incredible amounts of card advantage because the discards required to activate their effects can replace themselves. However, since they all do contain an effect that adds a card from the deck to the hand, they all can be negated by Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. Furthermore, Ash Blossom is the most played hand trap. Thus, you will encounter her very often.
On the bright side, many people are not familiar with the deck. Many opponents will not realize immediately that they can stop your ships with Ash Blossom. In many cases, they will even use Ash Blossom on your Whitebeard or on the archetype's field spell Plunder Patroll Shipyarrrd, which functions as a searcher for the archetype. While this helps your strategy, an opponent who is familiar with the deck will keep their Ash Blossom to stop your ships.
Since all Plunder Patroll monsters are fiends, the deck can also be hit hard with Ice Dragon's Prison. If an opponent knows the deck's weaknesses, they can easily capitalize on them and interrupt the strategy at key choke points. Nevertheless, the deck can easily steal wins from opponents who do not know the deck.
This article merely serves as an introduction to the archetype. However, there is still much more to discuss when it comes to the Plunder Patroll. There are many spell and trap cards in the archetype which I only briefly mentioned in this article. Moreover, there are different styles to play the deck. Both going first and going second are valid strategies, and both have an impact on deck building. There are some neat tech choices you can incorporate into this strategy as well.
I highly recommend giving the deck a try. It is a lot of fun to play, especially against unaware opponents. Moreover, some of the secret rare ships only cost around one to two euros here on Cardmarket and most of the main deck monsters are commons. I just checked the Shopping Wizard and you can get a whole core for less than a hundred euros at the moment.
If you want to read more about the deck, I could definitely write a follow-up article. Moreover, there are several other cool things the deck can do in addition to its main strategy. If you are interested in more insight in the Plunder Patroll, let me know down in the comments!
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