Zombies at the Remote Duel Invitational Qualifier


Up until a few days before the Remote Duel Invitational Qualifier, I had no idea if I was even going to play in the event. After all, the weather would be great and my room would be warm. The evening before the event I won my locals with Zombies, and then I wanted to see how far I could take the deck.

zombie world

Digging Up an Old Strategy

Some loyal readers might remember that a while back, I wrote about how a deck based on Zombie World could be a solid rogue contender on a budget. In order to understand what makes it tick, I actually played around with it for a bit to gain a reasonable understanding of how the deck works. To play it in this event, I would not be building it on a €100 budget, but utilized my full collection. This meant that I had access to cards like Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring and Forbidden Droplet!

However, I had another new tool at my disposal. Among my recent articles, you'll see one about Ready Fusion, where one of the card's strengths I highlight is being able to summon a tuner fusion monster to turn any monster into Crystron Halqifibrax. Since the latter can pull a Glow-Up Bloom from the deck, this means that any normal summon that can put Necroworld Banshee into the graveyard (or is Banshee itself) sets up the combination of Zombie World and your boss monster, Doomking Balerdroch.

ready fusion Doomking Balerdroch
The king's new toys

Was this new innovation my chief reason for playing this deck? It was not. Above all it's a strategy that I enjoy playing, and while "play what you like" is probably pretty bad advice for people wanting to go competitive, it's been quite a while since I entered an event with the mindset of "If I don't top this, it will have been a bad day." That said, the Zombie World strategy does have several strong points. Your field spell will prevent quite a few plays that the Tri-Brigade, Dragon Link, and Salamangreat decks need to achieve victory, and the trap card Rivalry of Warlords, although less easy to access, will hit a whole bunch of other decks where it hurts, such as Prank-Kids or Phantom Knights.

The only deck I was worried about was Drytron. Luckily, only six out of 62 players decided to bring this strategy, but I was surely going to encounter them on my way to the top tables. My side deck did have several outs to Drytron, though, so it wasn't going to be completely hopeless.

Tournament Day

It was a strange experience to prepare my remote duel setup after several weeks of playing locals again. It was the first event I played online in a while; my qualification had been earned at a Yu-Gi-Oh! Day event the week before the Remote Duel YCS.

During the first round, it became clear that a few qualified players had registered for the event without the intent of playing, which would lead to us playing an eight-round event despite having only 62 players. I was one of the lucky few to have the bye during the first round, but in round two I dove straight into the action and played against Sky Strikers! This matchup poses several issues. Sky Striker Mecha - Shark Cannon can disrupt your plays by banishing cards from your graveyard and Sky Striker Maneuver - Afterburners! easily gets rid of both your Doomkings. Nevertheless, my opponent could never really get the ball rolling and I was able to set up my field spell plus Rivalry in both games.

Round three was going to be a bit harder, since I was paired against former Worlds competitor Raphaël Neven who was on Tri-Brigade Zoodiac. He was able to set up Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess, Ancient Warriors Oath - Double Dragon Lords, and Tri-Brigade Revolt; I simply couldn't get past that! Game two, I was able to set up Zombie World, Halqifibrax, and Balerdroch. This forced him to rely on the Zoodiac portion of his deck, so I used my interruptions to prevent Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder from coming out, which won me the game. Sadly, I opened a hand full of monsters without any extenders in the final game of the match.

zeus apollousa Double Dragon Lords
These cards were a bit much to handle

After that loss, I got paired against a pretty sweet deck: Madolche! My deck did exactly what it had to do during the first game, thanks to Ready Fusion serving as that amazing extender. In game number two, his opening was rather weak; not even explosive enough to trigger my Nibiru. But my hand was not strong enough to play through it, and on the next turn I was simply beaten down by a bunch of monsters powered up by Madolche Chateau despite preventing Madolche Messengelato from searching with Zombie World up. In the third game, I opened Balerdroch, Halqifibrax, and I:P Masquerena. To add insult to injury, Formula Synchron let me draw into Nibiru, so it was pretty much impossible for him to even reach my life points.

In round five, I got paired against another high-caliber player: Jean-Lou Bernard, who is the former Belgian national champion and has been playing tons of events since they started again. He was playing Prank-Kids and despite the game starting in my favor as I was able to stop the few starters he drew, the game quickly grinded to a halt when he topdecked a Mystic Mine! I tried to get him to commit to make a play by bluffing that I was playing outs like Set Rotation, but after I realized that he would never deck out thanks to Prank-Kids Pranks, I had to scoop up my cards to conserve round time. In the second game, my setup was suboptimal, and he crashed through it. I was on a 3-2 record at this point, so the Top 8 could only be reached if I won everything else!

The sixth round, I was up against Dragon Link, a strategy that gets countered pretty well by my own game plan. My opponent made that exact remark as soon as Zombie World hit the field, and the rest of the first game confirmed that. Nibiru and Forbidden Droplet helped me push my way towards the win in the second game, so I was at a 4-2 record. In the penultimate round, I got paired against a second Prank-Kids player, but with no Mystic Mine in sight and a double Nibiru in the decisive game of that round, I had reached a 5-2 score. Without the additional players being registered in the event, it would have been a six-round event where I would have ended on a 4-2 record, and with good tiebreakers, that could have resulted in a Top 8 spot. We'll never know!

Prank-Kids Meow-Mu starliege seyfert
We're climbing back up!

Disaster struck in the final round, where I found myself playing against Drytron. I was able to win the first game due to having a great opening play, but game two was a lot slower. When I finally felt comfortable in the game thanks to grinding my way to having Zombie World and Rivalry out, my opponent countered this with a Twin Twisters, and I was unable to combat his Zeus. I drew my opening hand for the third game, and came to the conclusion I wasn't going to win this one. I did have a Zombie World, but no extenders. Diviner of the Herald took out my field spell and it all went downhill from there.

Ending the event on a 5-3 record, I turned off my computer, and called it a day. After dinner, I saw that I had made it to the Top 16, with all three of my losses being excellent tiebreakers and making it to the Top 8. I guess I can't complain too much, since I didn't really have the expectation to get that far, and my main consolation would be that with one less round, the loss in the final round could have occurred in the Top 8.

Decklist and Closing Thoughts

My list for the event was the following:

There are a few cards I can see myself changing after this event. I mentioned several times that I did not have any starters available. One of the best starters is Uni-Zombie, but instead of trying to access him quicker through Shiranui Solitaire, I think I'll be adding at least one extra copy of the second best starter, Gozuki. While Gozuki doesn't have the effect of being able to dump from both the hand and deck, it does stay on board when getting hit by Ash Blossom, Effect Veiler, or Infinite Impermanence; thus still serving as an extra body to make Halqifibrax plays with Ready Fusion.

The extra deck could see some minor adjustments as well. Unless I figure out additional ways of bringing out Borreload Savage Dragon, I could see it go in lieu of something else. Allvain the Essence of Vanity might have been a cute little variation, but in hindsight, a second copy of Sea Monster of Theseus might have been relevant to have.

I think I'll probably be playing this deck more often in the future. I stand by what I said—it's an incredibly fun deck to pilot despite being a bit linear at first sight. I can definitely recommend this version to everyone, whether you are a massive Zombie fan or just looking for something to do with Ready Fusion!

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


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11mantled(17.09.2021 03:36)

As a zombie world player myself it is refreshing to see someone who doesn't default to cards like super poly which imo is really bad this format. I personally like maxing out on gozuki and playing tuner extenders over the dangers since they don't conflict with prosperity and they also can chainblock halq if u link say a tenyi adahra and gozuki away with zombie world on field u can ss another zombie from hand to extend even further. Some small improvements I would make is add barricade borg blocker into the extra deck since it can help get a doomking or banshee out of hand that can't get handtrapped as well as protecting ur field spell from twisters and lstorm. I would also play twisters over cosmic since the discard in ur build will really help with the mezukis and dangers. Matchups where u would side cosmic in such as prankids twisters is better since prankids often set more than 1 card same with shaddoll. Cosmic also loses to lancea which pple will often side into u. A really in-depth article though and congrats on topping.

Closed-Cardmarket-Account-324352(16.09.2021 13:54)

Well written article, really interesting to read. Sad I sold my Zombie deck :(

asweed(16.09.2021 11:40)

What an interesting dl, thanks for sharing and explaining! I would like to share my shiranui/mayakashi deck based on synchro link with you. Cause I tried it against my orcust/scrap phantom k bro's deck and I'm interested to get some tips to turn mine more meta. I already have some ideas but I'm just waiting to get some new competitive cards ;)

Ricev(16.09.2021 11:07)

Thanks for the article! Hope to read more articles like this, with explanations, decklist, and tuning to the list itself for the actual meta. Happy to see ZW still being a good contender deck though.

Closed-Cardmarket-Account-991230433(16.09.2021 08:37)

Zombie deck without Eldlich lol

Endriu96(25.09.2021 12:00)

I hope you know that, Zombies was a Deck even before Eldlich came out. It's not like Eldlich is the only good "Zombie" Deck around, which in the end, it's more of a backrow deck, it's just so happens to have the Zombie Type on it and that's it...

Closed-Cardmarket-Account-991230433(25.09.2021 12:23)

Competitive-wise, Eldlich works better as an engine rather than an entire deck, so I'm noting the fact one of the most splashable competitive engines in this game is not in a deck that would synergize the best with it