Speed Duel Skill Updates!

RyanA

Skill cards are among the things that separate Speed Duels from regular Advanced Constructed. Most of Speed Duel's specifics subtract aspects from the classic game mode, minimizing the card pool and simplifying the rules. Skill cards, however, add a unique element—and now they've changed!


inner conflict - twisted personality

Changes in How Skill Cards Work

With the updated texts to a few skill cards, we finally received some clarity on a few ruling conflicts that arose in competitive play. One specific rule relates to skill cards that summon a monster, such as Union Combination and Cocoon of Ultra Evolution. Previously, the rule was that there would be no "on the summon" window. This meant that the monster would not be able to be hit by Floodgate Trap Hole or a Book of Moon before the opponent was able to activate its effect.

This is now the case. A personal hunch of mine, the change could mean that the Duel Academy Box will bring us more skill cards that summon monsters. After all, it's easy to imagine how Jaden's skill lets players perform a fusion summon of classic cards like Elemental HERO Flame Wingman.


Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth xyz dragon cannon floodgate trap hole
No longer immune to being flipped face down

Changes to Specific Skill Cards

The three skill cards that are undergoing changes are the skill cards that were dominating the competitive format as of late. Cocoon of Ultra Evolution, Twisted Personality, and Inner Conflict. One remarkable aspect is that none of these skill cards were introduced in the Battle City Box. Perhaps the game's creators assumed that the twenty-something skill cards included in it would make the older skills fade out of the game? The opposite was true, with these three skills towering above even some of the best from the latest product.

Cocoon goes through two important changes. The first one is that from now on, you'll only be able to activate one of its two powerful effects per turn. It will no longer be possible to grab Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth from your deck, and then dig for some more spell and trap removal to ensure your battle phase goes as planned. Secondly, you can't summon anything else on the turn you activate the metamorphosing effect. Not only does this prevent you from bringing out an additional monster to inflict the last 500 points of damage. It also prevents the player from using Breaker the Magical Warrior, currently one of the hottest cards in the format.


cocoon of ultra evolution
I got hit by double Moth way more often than I'd like to admit

Inner Conflict's design was inspired directly by Change of Heart, but it went through an erratum similar to the one Brain Control had in Advanced Constructed, and is now a lot more like Mind Control. Inner Conflict was used in "Monarch" decks to use the opponent's monster as tribute fodder for strong level six monsters like Jinzo or Dark Ruler Ha Des. With its new text Inner Conflict's target can't be tributed anymore, in addition to not being able to attack directly. The skill might still have utility to play around the opponent's flip effects, or crash monsters with equal attack points, but the card certainly lost a lot of playability.


inner conflict
Nice Mind Control you have there

Finally, Twisted Personality went through a minor yet impactful change. The skill card was originally designed as a hard counter to the stall burn strategies that were popular at the time. However, it quickly became clear that, due to triggering when either player takes damage, the skill actually directly supported these decks! With its new text, Twisted Personality will only gain counters whenever its controller takes damage. That means that you'll no longer be able to build up incremental advantage in a drawn-out game where you and your opponent exchange tiny hits to each other's life points.


twisted personality
Marik calmed down considerably

The Future of Speed Duel

The changes were accompanied by a message that these skill cards would be reprinted in Speed Duel Tournament Pack 3, releasing briefly after the Duel Academy Box. This could be a big hint at two things. First, that this new tournament pack will reprint a lot of older cards that are hard to obtain for players currently, such as Parasite Paranoid, Haunted Shrine, or Don Zaloog. On the other side of that spectrum we could see rarity upgrades such as a foil Kairyu-Shin.

Second, the fact that a new Speed Duel tournament pack is coming out means that there is at least some intent to reinvigorate organized play. Speed Duels had more or less become a very niche thing during the remote duel era, more or less exclusive to Extravaganza and YCS public events, which a lot of players were not able to enter due to playing in the Advanced Constructed events. With in-store play hopefully the norm again by March next year, we're crossing our fingers that the Speed Duel format gets the support it deserves and will sway the heart of duelists all over the world. It'll finally be time to get our game on once again!


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.



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