Brothers of Legend early openings have been released and Altergeist is finally revealed to be slated to receive their much-awaited support! This makes it a decent time to go over this... interesting deck.
For an archetype consisting of female monsters, Altergeist sure gets a lot of hate. The archetype is honestly pretty cool when you think about it. They have similarities to both mythology and computing!
It's a deck that relies on ever-so-slightly interrupting your opponents. However, it does so pretty easily, and in a lot of different ways. Maybe that's why people hate it (or maybe just because Faker comes out after Imperm). Perhaps the most commonly used one is the bounce effect of Silquitous, followed by a monster negate from Altergeist Protocol. Let's go through the Altergeist gang - or at least the important ones.
OG Altergeist Monsters
The Small Ones
Meluseek is the most important level 1 Altergeist that searches a monster when it hits the grave from the field (Faker access), but it's also a great option going second. It has an effect where it can send a card on the field to the grave whenever it inflicts battle damage to the opponent. Of course, that wouldn't be impressive if she only had this 500 ATK, but she actually comes with a passive effect where she can declare a direct attack whenever!
Silquitous is the level 2 (seeing a pattern here?) and is one of the most important Altergeist monsters. It's weird because she's so essential but you don't really wanna play 3 of her. She's arguably the worst normal summon, but the best one to bring out off of Multifaker, so you don't want to draw her if you're only playing 1 copy. Silquitous has the ever-annoying bounce effect that bounces another Altergeist card for cost. Being a quick-effect has a lot of implication, as you'll learn later.
Multifaker is the level 3 and the heart and soul of the Altergeist deck. She summons herself out after a trap activation, then brings out a friend when she's special summoned. She enables your monster-based interruption, as well as potential follow-up (if you decide to bring out Meluseek).
With Amazement and Dinoruffia coming out, you've probably already read "This is the Marionetter of the deck". Well, this is Marionetter. She's the level 4 sets an Altergeist trap from the deck and is also able to swap 1 Altergeist card on the field with a monster to special summon from the grave (more ways to proc Faker's summon effect).
The Big One (s)
Lastly - Kunquery. She has another annoying way of interrupting your opponent. Think you're dealing damage? This monster can just randomly jump out of nowhere (from your hand) and negate your attack. On top of that, she can negate a face-up card on the field while she's face-up (Apkallone-esque). Did I mention she's not once per turn?
Hexstia is the only relevant Altergeist link monster (Primebanshee is debatable, but I feel she doesn't come up as much). Also, I put Kunquery in here so Hexstia doesn't look as alone. She's the way that the deck can dish out big damage. 1500 ATK doesn't seem much, but she boosts herself with the OG attack of an Altergeist monster she points to. That would usually be Mario, so she usually hits 3100.
In addition to being a proverbial beatstick, she's actually extremely important to the archetype. She can tribute an Altergeist monster she points to to negate a Spell/Trap activation/effect. On top of that, she can search any Altergeist card from the deck. Yes, even traps.
Altergeist Protocol is arguably the most annoying card in the strategy. It's up there with Silq. The active effect is a monster negate, with a cost of sending an Altergeist card from the field to the grave. PSA: sending instead of tributing comes up, especially against Shenshen! But it's not just that. The passive is horribly underrated by most. Protocol prevents the activation and effects of Altergeist cards activated on your field from being negated. That Ash Blossom chained to your Faker's on-summon effect? Yes, just flip this without tributing and you're good to go.
Altergeist Manifestation is basically a Call of the Haunted for the deck, with a little follow-up sprinkled in. Aside from special summoning (in attack position) an Altergeist monster from the grave, it also is able to banish itself from the grave to add an Altergeist trap from the grave back to hand!
Personal Spoofing, the honorary Altergeist trap. It shuffles back an Altergeist card either face-up from the field or from the hand to search for a monster from the deck. That's it. That's all it does - but its simple effect is surprisingly versatile.
Nifty Little Interaction
Now let's really get into it. Let's look at a few cool interactions that make the deck good.
If you're new to the deck and are keen-eyed, you'd have noticed that most of the cards have a cost, be it sending from the field to the grave, shuffling, or bouncing back. It makes it hard to be up in card economy with all these costs, so how do we manage our resources?
This is where Silq and Spoofing come into play. The most common play is the Manifestation into Silq bounce/Spoofing shuffle. Manifestation destroys the monster it summoned if Mani leaves the field. This, PLUS the cost of Silq and Spoofing can be mitigated when played properly.
See, Mani does NOT have to stay face-up on the field to resolve its effect, since it's not a continuous trap. That means, in the same chain that you're activating it, you can chain Silq / Spoofing to either bounce it back to hand (for use again next turn) or to shuffle it back to search another monster. This play will get you the bounce/search and will still summon the Altergeist monster from grave!
There are a lot of other things that you can consider with this deck to play it optimally. Have a Meluseek with a Protocol in hand? Maybe don't turn it into a Linkuriboh so that you have a free cost to negate a monster effect! Things of this nature. But this Mani play will surely point you in the right direction.
Finally New Altergeists?
Fijialert. I'm not even going to write the effect down here. Do you know those professors that literally just read off of Powerpoint? Nah, we're not doing that for this one. It's just so bad. Please never play this card unless some weird new support comes into play.
Memorygant is still pretty bad and seemingly unnecessary, but at least has some uses. It can be your in-archetype boss monster that can get north of 4000 ATK easily. It could pave the way for an easy OTK with its effect to destroy a monster your opponent controls when she destroys a monster by battle since she also will be able to attack a second time in a row! Now, it sounds exciting, but it is a Link-4 and you're not always going to have enough gas to summon her.
Pookuery is the real superstar of the new supports. It's Altergeist's very own Micro Coder. It's more gas (in a control deck, at that) but its main purpose will be to help bring out a Hexstia on your first turn. This allows you to more easily access an in-archetype out to backrow removal cards!
Altergeist is 100% on the Mount Rushmore of the Most Hated Decks of All Time. It has easy-to-access interruption that can come out unexpectedly, and its grind game is magnificent.
That being said, I do like the deck. I think it's a pretty fun deck to use with some cool little interactions here and there. It requires you to properly manage the cards at your disposal to stay ahead in the economy game. With the new support, it'll probably see more play for some time, so brace yourself... or indulge and have fun with it!