Various rogue decks continue to take tops at high-tier events, and not just the Dracos and Pendulums of old. This time, we got to see Kristijan Mašic take Magical Musketeers to the top 32 of YCS Milan. Let’s take a look at his deck and see what he did to get this far.
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Like the Gladiator Beast deck that topped Pro-Play Dallas, Mašic diminished explosive offensive power for a grindier playstyle. Magical Musketeers can constantly generate and recur resources to continually disrupt the opponent. The Magical Musketeers continue grinding until they get an opportunity to deal lethal damage.
The Fastest Hands in the West
The Magical Musketeers’ calling card is the ability to activate their archetypal Traps and Quick-Play Spells from the hand in the same column as a monster. This allows them to use Spell and Trap disruption without falling prey to the usual Spell and Trap counters, like Twin Twisters. Each Musketeer gets a different benefit from activation in their column. They can special summon, plus from the deck, or recur from the graveyard.
Where the deck really bites is with their Spells and Traps. They have two different negates: Magical Musket – Cross Dominator for monsters and Magical Musket – Last Stand for Spells and Traps. Magical Musket – Desperado removes problematic cards, and Magical Musket – Crooked Crown helps play past disruption. But the most interesting card in the deck, which Mašic made special note of, is Magibullet – Dancing Needle. This card targets up to three cards in either graveyard and banishes them. In previous articles, I’ve noted how useful archetypal grave disruption could be. The same holds true for a deck that not only banish three at a time but can also easily search and recurs the card that does so.
Help From Beyond
Mašic played two interesting cards in his Extra Deck: Security Dragon and Ningirsu the World Chalice Warrior. These two cards helped break Thunder Dragon boards. The threat of double Thunder Dragon Colossus is of particular concern for Magical Musketeers since they gain so much advantage from the deck. Mašic would make Security Dragon to bounce one Colossus to the Extra Deck, then climb into Ningirsu to send the other to the grave. Other removal options include Knightmare Phoenix, Knightmare Cerberus, and Knightmare Unicorn.
Many other Magical Musketeer decks use other in-archetype Level 4s and Mudragon of the Swamp to Xyz Summon Number 39: Utopia Double. This monster searches Double or Nothing! and summons Number 39: Utopia. This combination of cards often results in a large attack and an OTK. However, Mašic opted not to play it, choosing instead to focus on the long-term game. For offensive options, he would default to Borrelsword Dragon instead.
So how was this deck, out of all the decks, effective against the current meta? For one thing, we’ve seen the meta shift from aggressive board-making and breaking to constant grinding and wars of attrition. With how much Musketeers can plus and recycle, they fit right into that kind of environment. For another thing, the Musketeer’s from-hand Spell and trap disruption is so potent. Many rogue decks that rely on their spells and traps crumble under the backrow counters their opponent sides in games two and three. By keeping cards close to the chest, Muskets protect their weapons until they’re ready to strike, leaving opponents without a reply. Finally, Magibullet – Dancing Needle specifically brings relevant utility. As mentioned, graveyard disruption is huge in this meta, especially the ability to banish three cards at a time. You could get far banishing Skeletons and Knightmares, Engages and Rayes, Spinnys and Balelynxes. Any opponent would have trouble if their key cards were just removed like that.
In summary, a consistent advantage engine, a unique method of disruption, and a targeted attack on meta strategy allowed Mašic to top YCS Milan with Magical Musketeers. As players long for the winds of this meta to change, we look to players like Mašic to shake things up and bring something new to the top tables.