Is Virtual World the New Deck to Beat?
- Sherif Lewis
Virtual World came out of nowhere and took down a major! Well, we all knew it was a good deck. But most people thought it would only come into its own after the upcoming ban list announcement, scheduled for the second half of December. In this article, we will look at why the deck has shown up to the party early.
208 duelists participated in Luxury Card Gaming's latest tournament — LCS VIII. 23 of them opted to engage with the new Virtual World archetype. Out of the top sixteen duelists remaining, seven played that deck, with the finals of the event coming down to two Virtual World duelists. This means that roughly 30% of the players who entered the tournament with this strategy made it to the top cut. That alone shows that the deck is quite capable of competing with the meta.
Virtual World – A Virtual Explanation
The general idea is that the deck is divided into two main monster types. Wind psychic monsters make up the tuners while Earth wyrm monsters compose the non-tuners. With the exception of Virtual World Hime - Nyannyan, all main deck monsters have the same effect, which reads, "If this card is in your hand: You can target 1 'Virtual World' card you control; send 1 'Virtual World' card of a different type (Monster, Spell, Trap) from your Deck to the GY, and if you do, Special Summon this card, then …" Before getting into the individual effects that follow this, note that these monsters' effects resolve in hand, so they can only be negated by either a PSY-Framegear Gamma or an Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring. Other hand traps are unable to negate these effects.
Lulu is the deck's main searcher, but its search effect is limited. It must be a different card type than what you target on the field and send to the graveyard. Lili servers as your Foolish Burial. It's actually better than Burial because you send a card from your deck and then send another type of card after you special summon it. Jiji is basically the opposite of Lili as it lets you return a card from graveyard to hand during the end phase. Laolao special summons Virtual World monsters from the graveyard in defense mode with their effects negated.
Nyannyan is the oddball of the bunch. It activates from the graveyard to special summon itself as a tuner if a level three monster(s) is special summoned to your side of the field. It is then banished, which activates its second effect to shuffle one banished card into the deck.
All the main deck monsters have the same restriction. If you use the effect of any of these monsters, you are limited to summoning monsters that are level/rank three or higher. This means that this deck doesn't allow you to link summon at all basically, which is interesting considering that most current decks released rely in some way or shape on link-summoning, even if it is using a non-archetype link monster.
As for the spells, Virtual World City - Kauwloon grabs "World Gate" cards from your deck and places them face up on the field. It also has some bonus effects depending on the number of Virtual World Gate cards you control. The important thing about this card is that it bypasses cards like Ash Blossom and Mistake. For the other spell card, we have Virtual World Gate - Qinglong, which is your own themed one-turn monster negation at the cost of banishing a Virtual World card from your graveyard, which shouldn't be a problem since your main deck monsters send a lot of them there. Its second effect is to banish itself from your graveyard to add a Virtual World monster from the deck to your hand before discarding a card in hand.
The last main deck card is the deck's only trap card, and it's a continuous one: Virtual World Gate - Chuche. Chuche can target any face-up card on the field and destroy it at the cost of recycling two different Virtual World cards from the banished zone back into the deck. As a bonus to help your Xyz and synchro plays, Chuche can banish itself from the graveyard to increase or decrease the level of one Virtual World monster on your field by three levels.
The deck's boss monster – Virtual World Kyubi - Shenshen – is a card that might disrupt a lot of combo decks on its own. The first line in its long effect is that any card sent from the field to the graveyard is banished instead. It also has the ability to return a banished monster to the graveyard once per turn when a monster you control declares an attack. Its last effect is that it can special summon itself from the graveyard at the cost of banishing two monsters from the graveyard with different original types/attributes. This last effect, however, cannot be triggered during the same turn it is sent to the graveyard. The other synchro monster is Virtual World Beast - Jiujiu, a level six monster that cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects while you have two or more different monsters in your graveyard with the same type and attribute. Also, you can banish two different monsters with the same type and attributes from the graveyard to target one card on the field and send it to the graveyard.
There are three on-theme Xyz monsters. Virtual World Dragon - Longlong is a rank three monster that cannot be targeted if it still has materials. Additionally, for the cost of detaching two materials, you can negate the activation of a monster effect that has an attribute different from all other face-up monsters they have on the field. The other rank three is Virtual World Shell - Jaja, which can protect a monster you control from being destroyed by battle during its controller's turn. The complementary effect is that it can banish a monster it battles after damage calculation if you have two monsters in the graveyard with the same type and attribute. Virtual World Phoenix - Fanfan is a rank six monster that can detach two materials to banish one face-up card your opponent controls and one card from either player's graveyard. If it is destroyed in any way while on the field, it can replace itself with two Virtual World monsters with the same type and attribute.
Pot of Desires is the deck's draw card of choice and it has very interesting synergies with the deck. Losing ten cards to the Pot is actually advantageous — in some cases — as Nyannyan and Chuche can recycle any banished cards and not just face-up banished cards. That means that while mainly you would want to recycle your Virtual World cards, Nyannyan can recycle any card, not just on theme cards. PSY-Frame Driver is an excellent candidate for recycling so that PSY-Framegear Gamma can be used multiple times.
But How Do You Win?
To put it quite simply, you need to have one Virtual World card on the field and an on-theme monster or more in hand to start the combo. The deck excels at making level nine synchro monsters. It can even make multiple in a single turn. Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys can help with some extra draws. But why stop at making a bunch of level nine synchros when you can also easily summon Xyz monsters. The best one in this case is True King of All Calamities. You can even manage two of them if you open well, which basically forces your opponents to skip their next turn if they don't have any quick-effect monster negation or a Nibiru, the Primal Being. Also, Virtual World Gate - Chuche is the deck's best card as it can get rid of floodgates, problematic monsters, or force a negation in order for you to go through with your plays.
Gabriel Netz admitted that the deck can still be improved further and that being new gave it an edge as players are still learning how to fight it. Only time will tell if the deck manages to stay on top or not, but now that it is on the competitive radar, players will look for creative ways to either make the deck stronger or they will find ways to beat it.
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