Hey, why did he play that card anyway?
There are many things I could talk about: I could talk about the ban list and how I think it needs to be adjusted, I could talk about how it’s been months until I last blogged but defend myself on the other projects I’ve been working on, or I could talk about the validation behind the newest, controversial Yu-Gi-Oh tournament policies in the current negation state of the game. As a matter of fact, I think I just created 3 different reasons why I shouldn’t run dry on my next three blog posts… What I am going to talk about, though, is something that offends me “personally” as a duelist in the TCG. As the title of this blog implies, I am very connected to Wind monsters, as in Poison-Ivy-of-Batman-plant-love for Wind monsters (Yes, I think I will write a fanfic on this). They were my first Yu-Gi-Oh love since I watched Mia summon her Harpies in the anime and when Empress Mantis with Rising Air Current was my boss combo, so I naturally keep an eye open for any new Wind monsters or Wind archetypes in the TCG, OCG, rumors, and beyond. What I have seen as of late, especially with the new Simorgh support, is not very encouraging.
To put it simply, this “modern” Wind deck has as much synergy as a peanut butter-tuna sandwich with bacon as bread. The two new Big-Big Birds (Not to be confused with Mist Valley Apex Avian, the OG Big Bird), effects only happen in response to a Spell/Trap card activation or effect (Yup, they don’t stop Monster effects at all) and while Darkness Simorgh negates Spells and Traps completely by tributing a Wind monster, Simorgh Lord of the Storm spins a card (meaning returns from the field to the deck) when Spell/Trap card effect is activated. Now, my question, what freakin’ card in the deck goes with this strategy? Sure, you have nearly endless effect fodder on your turn, because most of the Simorgh Spells/Traps can be banished to reduce the level of a Winged Beast by 1 in your hand (We will get to the problem with THIS shortly…), but what about during your opponent’s turn, when you’re trying to stop them from setting a U.S. military level defense of beatsticks and negators on their field? No quickplay Spells or other Traps exist in the archetype to disrupt your opponent’s monsters. It seems Wind monsters must permanently flop around with one wing like a bird just escaping a chicken factory, because ALL Wind decks have this problem… Where they’re designed to either A. Disrupt Spells or Traps (Herpies, the Simorgh Lame Peak, some crap in Gustos) or B. Monsters (Some crap in F.A.s, Trap Beasts with Priests, The Fart heroes of PETA) but never C. For the love of Apex Avian, BOTH. But I’m getting off topic… None of the Spells or the single Trap add synergy to the Big-Big Birds' effects.
Then there’s the little guys, Simorgh’s tiny fan club, two of which are as useless as a mute parrot (Protection and Beginnings), two others as useful as finding a piece of gold in a silver counting contest (Endings and Summoning). Why, for the love of Apex, could not, these freakin’ birds, GET THEIR EFFECTS WHEN THEY ARE SUMMONED, PERIOD! Would it have really been too much to ask? Are we talking Tier 0 Dragon Ruler or Yata + Before-Errata Envoy of the Ending levels if it had happened? You could still have kept the once per turn thing, but at least the little guys could have got their effects off when they Specialed from the Graveyard. They’re already limited by not being able to self-revive if your opponent has a Spell or Trap in their respective zones (I was testing the deck and my opponent just set a single Spell or Trap when he ended his turn, and I didn’t have a lame Bird of Protection in my hand, because who the hell would run that? Nor did I draw Simorgh Rejection. I nearly busted a gut laughing my butt off.) Again, this lack of synergy had me bashing my head against my Mist Valley Shrine. If your birds can come back from the Grave but get banished afterwards, at least have them do something for it. Have them come back in attack position, have them all be the same level so you can Xyz and circumvent the whole banishing thing, make one a turner so you can Synch, just something other than be fodder for either your opponent’s attacks or your Big Birds' effects.
The last aspect lacking synergy in the deck I’m going to discuss here is the relationship between the Big Bird levels and the Spell effects. It’s great we have a searcher with Simorgh Arrival (could be better, but I’ll take it) and a poor man’s Harpy Feather Duster that’s a bouncer, Simorgh Rejection… then you have their effects that reduce the level of a Wind Monster in your hand by 1 by banishing in the Grave, while your Big Birds are all level 8… This means in order to easily summon a Big Bird (the overall purpose of the deck I might add), you have to either A. Have two of the Spells in the Graveyard, or B. Have a Spell in the Grave and the Field Spell. Why not make the Spells when banished… I don’t know… have the same effect as the Field Spell?! Or just make all the Simorgh Big Birds level 7 instead of 8, so they would have better synergy with the Field Spell. It’s as if, when crafting Wind decks, Konami bakes a two-layer cake but only decides to use half the can of icing, they give a hair cut but only shave half the head while charging full price, or give a man trekking in a desert only half a bottle of water. When one sees the efforts put into other decks, one has to wonder what cackling madman in Konami’s staff has a Poisonous Wind card framed on his desk, errating all Wind monsters and support to fit his diabolical ends. Did his Blue-Eyes deck lose to Harpies in the 90s because his hand kept bricking? Did his beatdown strategy get unexpected thwarted by Gustos when he was about to enter the 3rd bracket of a Regional qualifier? Or did someone in a falcon mask piss in his oatmeal on a Saturday morning?
aIn anycase, I won’t deny some good things can be expected with the Simorgh archetype. The Field Spell; in the OCG called Elborz, Sacred Peak of Simorgh; is an outstanding addition to Winged-Beast/Wind decks, allowing a player an extra Normal summon of a Winged Beast monster if he or she controls one of the Wind variety, and it reduces the tribute required for the summon of a Winged beast in your hand (Granted you have a level 5 or higher Wind one in the hand). Simorgh Rejection is a Giant Trunade for your opponent’s cards in the Spell and Trap Zones, and all it takes is a two card-combo summon a 3200 attack spinner (Bird of Summoning and the Sacred Peak… And pray your opponent doesn’t have any Hand Traps). I was given some hope with the Pendulum era of Yu-Gi-Oh concerning Wind monsters. We had Ritual Beasts, Majespecters, Yosenjus, Windwitches, and Speedroids, it seeming like for the first time the archetype was getting some love. But none of these decks have adapted well to the competitive format. Maybe if Mist Valleys get some extra support (Honestly the Wind archetype we were all hoping would get the zombie treatment) we’ll finally have the red-eyed emu we all dreamed of riding into the Yugioh tournament scene. But even if this does happen, considering the game's pattern towards Wind-monsters, I’m not that hopeful. They’ll probably then limit or outright ban Apex Avian, or make the strategy as uncoordinated as the Little and Big Birds That Couldn’t.
On another, not bird deck related rant note, be sure to check out my latest article on how to create a competitive Dragon Deck. I give lizard-love to everything from the OGs Red-Eyes and Blue-Eyes to the Guardragons and Rokkets. Follow this link… here to view it. Happy Hunting fellow duelists, and be sure to pack your Called by the Graves to stay safe from the Loli-Zombie Empire.