Burning Abyss is an eternally popular deck, capable of alternating between aggressive, explosive play and grindy long game. Almost every Burning Abyss monster gets an effect when sent to the GY, and its main card, Dante, Traveller of the Burning Abyss, loops itself with Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss.
With Cherubini, Black Angel of the Burning Abyss making its arrival from the depths, the deck gains potency in all its variants.
Table of Contents
What’s Relevant about Cherubini?
Monsters this card points to cannot be destroyed by card effects.
This effect is equally important in new BA variants, despite being the least combo-oriented. Burning Abyss has many tools to disrupt on the opponent’s turn, such as Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss, Phantom Knights’ Fog Blade, and Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal. However, disruption nowadays can’t stop all the plays a high ceiling deck can do. Thus, it is important to protect our own board to reduce the amount of disruption that the deck has to muddle through.
A 2500 DEF Dante is infinitely harder to beat over when it can’t be destroyed. A Dante that survives two turns equals another three cards in the GY, and the possibility of turning into Beatrice. Moreover, Cherubini protects the cards he points to even if he is destroyed by mass removal, such as Raigeki. Discouraged by this, it is more likely that you will be able to resolve Fire Lake.
You can send 1 Level 3 monster from your Deck to the GY, then target 1 “Burning Abyss” monster on the field; it gains ATK/DEF equal to the sent monster’s ATK/DEF, until the end of this turn.
While field protection is important, this is the effect that you’ll mainly be using Cherubini for. The applications for sending a Level 3 monster are enormous. This includes every Burning Abyss effect monster, as well as the Phantom Knight archetype. This has applications increasing your first turn potency by sending Cir, Graff, or a Phantom Knight, as well as going second, with Alich and Farfa.
Cherubini doesn’t just solve BA’s ceiling problem with Master Rule 4’s Extra Deck monster limitations, but also its problem with high ATK monsters. When it comes to running over large monsters, Dante’s 2500 ATK doesn’t cut it. In combination with Barbar, Dante hits 4200 ATK, definitely over the reasonable threshold of current meta-relevant monsters. Attacking over high-protection monsters is a forgotten type of removal in a game with mass removal and Kaijus, but definitely relevant in a deck that wants to run as many monsters as possible.
What Variants are Impacted by Cherubini?
“Pure” BA,” otherwise known as “Big BA” back in its heyday. Big BA refer to the larger ceiling the deck has as a result of the deck being almost purely BA monsters, and thus being difficult to stop with disruption, while having more offensive plays available. This variant has the capability to make Cherubini with two Dante, and has reliable access to Beatrice. Big BA enjoys virtual immunity to hand traps, in a format littered with them.
As mentioned before, the deck now has multiple ways to remove threats. Cherubini provides both ATK-based and effect-based removal, while providing whatever BA effect you’d like. The deck can easily put 8000 damage on board with the inclusion of Cherubini as well. It’s a rather straightforward variant!
Pure BA also has some new tools, such as Sekka’s Light. Without the need for Spell-based removal, the deck can play Pot of Greed! For disruption, Pure BA can use Beatrice with Farfa, or even include Fairy Tail – Snow if Beatrice being removed is a concern (Cherubini can protect her!). Hand traps are also available.
Pure BA runs four monsters that require Normal Summons: three Fiendish Rhino Warrior and one Tour Guide From the Underworld. Having full use of every card in your hand is a massive factor in Pure BA’s effectiveness.
“Stun” variants are incredibly diverse, ranging from playing many floodgates such as Anti-Spell Fragrance and Vanity’s Fiend, to looping Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss until nothing is left. While the deck contributes less to the Burning Abyss aspect of milling and having sticky boards, it boasts consistency in having respectable stun and grind game. Cherubini provides less mass-removal prone boards, in any form of “stun.”
Cherubini serves a different purpose than to increase your power ceiling. Rather, Cherubini is a guarantee that any two Burning Abyss monsters result in itself and tribute fodder for Vanity’s Fiend or Majesty’s Fiend by sending Graff or Cir to the GY from the Deck. The opponent’s outs are limited to banishing Fiend or to run over Cherubini and subsequently remove the threat.
Cherubini also guarantees a stronger board in variants with lots of traps. Ending a first turn board with Dante and a few traps is rather lackluster. But with any three BA monsters in hand, you can now protect Dante with Cherubini. Alternatively, with two BA monsters, it becomes Cherubini and a BA monster of your choice. This makes Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss more cost efficient with Farfa.
Phantom Knight BA
Otherwise known as PK Fire, Phantom Knights are an obvious application of Cherubini’s effect. Cherubini essentially searches one of the most flexible traps in the game, Phantom Knights’ Fog Blade by sending The Phantom Knights of Ancient Cloak to the GY. This is a much more solid game plan than relying on Dante to mill from the Deck.
Searching Fog Blade is not the only function that Cherubini serves. Phantom Knight BA has an inherent problem in that it runs PK monsters that don’t serve much purpose in hand. Normal Summons are better delegated to a Burning Abyss monster to get its effect, or for Tour Guide. Before Cherubini, that PK monster wouldn’t be usable to XYZ summon with a BA monster. However, with Cherubini protecting monsters in its linked zones, PK monsters are now a viable combo piece in hand!
Cherubini has a diverse effect that changes with its deck’s play style. Its ATK boost limits Pure BA’s need to run much single removal. It also increases its consistency in grabbing key limited cards. Cherubini contributes to trap-heavy builds by creating stickier boards, and reducing the effectiveness of mass removal on floodgate monsters. And in Phantom Knight BA, Cherubini increases the usefulness of PK monsters as combo pieces. Most importantly, Cherubini eliminates the need for random milling for Fog Blade searchers.
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