ABC in Late 2021 - Dragon Buster or Bust? ABC is a deck suffering from the constant banlist changes and its reliance on Union Hangar. However, ABC has its small successes here and there in com


ABC is a deck suffering from the constant banlist changes and its reliance on Union Hangar. However, ABC has its small successes here and there in competitive gameplay. As a fun rogue deck, how does ABC-Dragon Buster compete with the current meta? And what meta aspects are deterring this archetype from further success?

1-2 Card Combos and Welcome Additions

"Union Hangar or bust" are words to live by when playing ABC. However, it is still a 1 card boss monster. This allows the space and flexibility to add other powerful engines, similar to Invoked. One popular engine is the splashable Red-Eyes Dark Dragoon package. Union Hangar + any Union results in Dragon Buster and Dragoon. Add another extender and I:P Masquerena is on the field as well. Other engines include Galaxy Soldier to create Cyber Dragon Infinity and the future BODE Destiny Hero engine for Destiny Hero - Destroy Phoenix Enforcer. These engines significantly raise the ceiling of the ABC endboard.

On another note, if ABC's Tribute effect resolves, then it itself is a combo for multiple lines of play turn 3. The singular commitment gives ABC a fantastic grind game and easy OTK potential on following turns. 

Also, newer cards like Unauthorized Reactivation can help start or extend the ABC combo. For example, any piece + Unauthorized Reactivation achieves the same result as Union Hangar. This slightly lessens the deck's reliance on their field spell. Pot of Prosperity is a fantastic card that helps the deck dig for its missing piece. While ABC is always hit because of other decks using similar cards, it is constantly getting new tools to adapt their playstyle.

Handtrap Meta vs ABC

One great aspect letting ABC handle the meta is its semi-resiliency to handtraps. Ash Blossom & Joyous Springs is a gamble on Hangar or B-Buster Drake effect. It either ends the turn or does nothing. There is only 1 notable chokepoint for Effect Veiler and Infinite Impermanence to activate, and it is on Platinum Gadget. However, Unauthorized Reactivation equipping A or C nullifies those handtraps. Impermanence is completely shut off if ABC opens Set Rotation as well. Effect Veiler or Impermanence will not hit Predaplant Verte Anaconda because Dragon Buster will chain to banish Verte. Finally, Ghost Belle & Haunted Mansion only hits A's GY effect, which is hardly impactful.

Devastating handtraps that hinder ABCs already difficult success include Artifact Lancea and Nibiru, the Primal Being.  These cards are played against the current meta decks such as Invoked or Tri-Brigade. On the upside, Dragon Buster is immune to Nibiru with Unauthorized Reactivation. Ally of Justice Cycle Reader and Droll & Lock Bird are side cards that hit both Dryton and ABC. Unfortunately, in preparation for meta matchups, most decks are already prepared for ABCs as well.

The Awful Bricks

Because the deck struggles to find relevancy in the meta, it has to resort to optimizing its end board in any ways necessary. This includes playing multiple bricks in the deck. The Dragoon package has its share of bricks in Dark Magician and Red-Eyes B. Dragon. This affects the resources Dragon Buster has to banish cards on the field. On another note, Union Driver is an essential brick enabling turn 1 combos. One better have Unauthorized Reactivation as well if Union Driver is in the opening hand. Outside of the engine bricks to play ABC, the deck tends to open awkward hands because of its reliance on equipping Union Driver. 

Meta decks often play bricks to extend their endboard. For example, Dryton luxuriously plays Dragoon as a backup or an additional negate. However, in a deck like ABC, an engine like Dragoon would be a necessity because a lone Dragon Buster is often not enough. Access to combo is not typically a problem due to Pot of Prosperity, but opening something like Union Driver sometimes ends the turn without a play. However, the bricks are absolutely necessary for this deck to stand up to the big dogs of competitive play.

How are ABCs in 2021?

There is still some to discuss for the current state of ABC, but this covers many main points about its relevancy. For a rogue deck, ABC is rather good. Low commitment combos allow ABC to fit lots of other cards. As a result, there is a myriad of 1 or 2 card combos for the deck. However, these combos arrive at the cost of playing bad bricks, most notably Union Driver. Dragon Buster and non-engine interruptions can win games, but common side cards for the meta negatively impact ABC as well. Overall, if you expect to win events with Light Machines, go with Dryton. But for a fun deck that can steal a couple of matches, ABC is a safe pick.

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