Having debuted in Savage Strike in the early parts of 2019, Time Thief has been in the game for around 2 years now. It has very limited low-level tops and just a singular Regional Top (March 2019 – 10th place in Fargo North Dakota). Today we look at where the archetype is now, and its potential in the future.
Table of Contents
Time Thief Gang
For an archetype that’s been around for 2 years, Time Thief only has a handful of monsters. That being said, most of them are extremely cool and useful! Let’s take a look.
We have to start with Time Thief Redoer. The archetype hinges on this card as its boss monster, being the main source of interruption that’s easy to get to, and slippery to catch. Redoer can “spin” a face-up card an opponent controls back to the top of the deck when it detaches a trap card. Now, while that’s all fine and dandy, that’s not his only effect. He can also draw 1 card when he detaches a spell card; and, when in a pinch, he can detach a monster to temporarily banish himself until the end phase. And if those three weren’t good enough, they can be activated all at once! Oh, and did I forget to say that he can steal a card from the top of the opponent’s deck too?
Time Thief Perpetua was released in Ignition Assault, and boy, did it help the deck a lot. Redoer had a lot of things going for it, but had the problem of consistency. By consistency, I mean having the right cards overlaid under it. Yes, it has all these cool effects that vary depending on whether a monster, spell or trap is under it – but therein lies the problem. How in the world do I get a trap under him? Previously the answer was through Time Thief Flyback, but it was too slow. Perhaps Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine? Well, Perpetua solved this problem. Being a generic Rank 4 that can attach any Time Thief card from the deck to an XYZ monster you control is something that the deck has needed heavily.
Most decks have their best starters. For Time Thief, it’s undoubtedly Time Thief Regulator. This little guy has an effect similar to the Rescue monsters (such as Rescue Cat) …but better! The monsters that it summons do NOT have their effects negated, giving you more advantage upon summoning Time Thief Winder. There is a down-side, however. You need to not have any other monster on board to even attempt this effect. That being said, it doesn’t take away from this card’s unmistakable impact in the deck.
The next best monster in the lineup is Time Thief Winder. Albeit a less effective starter, it’s the best in-archetype extender of the deck. Being able to special summon itself by detaching one material from an XYZ monster on the board is a neat way to get an extra body. The search upon summon is a welcome addition, too. Winder can search either of the Time Thief traps, a monster, or Time Thief Startup as an extender.
The two other monsters from the Time Thief archetype are Time Thief Chronocorder and Time Thief Bezel Ship. These two aren’t the best to draw in your hand, but are extremely helpful when in the graveyard (or in the case of Chronocorder, even when attached to Redoer). They’re free bodies with secondary effects. Chronocorder can be a gimmicky Magic Cylinder on board, and Bezel Ship can attach a card from the opponent’s graveyard to a Redoer or Perpetua.
Albeit a little bit underwhelming, Time Thief Startup still has some niche uses. It can be an extender when searched off of Winder or can get Regulator on the board without committing a normal summon. The second effect, unfortunately, doesn’t come up often.
Time Thief Hack is… well, even worse than Startup. Yes, yes, I get there are some instances where this could be useful against stuff like Impermanence, etc. However, it just isn’t worth the brick in the deck. You need to be able to put an XYZ on the board before even worrying about this card. Now, if it made XYZ monsters unaffected by monster effects the turn they were summoned, we’d be having a different conversation.
Time Thief Flyback is another form of interruption when it comes to opponent’s graveyard. The cool thing about this card is the fact that it can be attached to Redoer via Perpetua to make Redoer’s effect to spin live. In addition to that, it can banish itself to attach any card from the opponent’s graveyard to a Time Thief XYZ monster you control. That’s a solid 2-for-1 function. Oh, and its first effect isn’t too bad either, because you can attach anything you need to your XYZ monster, too.
An in-archetype Spell/Trap negation? Count me in! Time Thief Retrograde provides just that! And any sort of negation is always welcome in any deck – all the more in counter trap form.
Extenders for Time Thief
Being a deck that revolves around making Rank 4 XYZ monsters is a huge plus to this archetype. There are a lot of options!
Parallel EXceed, which was released in Eternity Code, is a huge boost to this deck. Normal summoning a brick in hand such as Bezel Ship or even a hand trap allows you to special summon Parallel EXceed from hand and poof! You have yourself a rank 4!
Level 4 extenders are available left, right, and center. Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine, Dynatherium, Performage stuff such as Performage Hat Tricker – the list goes on. The deck benefits from the huge pile of level 4 extenders, both new and old.
We’ve discussed the Time Thief archetype and a bunch of extenders that are available to it. It begs the question though – can it compete? As stated in the introduction, the deck itself only has ONE premier top. So do I believe that the deck can compete? You bet I do!
Shown above is a screenshot of a turn 1 board that Time Thief can make off of ONE Regulator. Let me walk you through what we have here. The obvious one is what Bardiche provided. One of the set cards is Phantom Knights Fog Blade, which is an insanely good card against Zoodiacs. The other set card is Retrograde, a counter for Harpie’s Feather Duster or Evenly Matched. After that, we have Redoer that has Flyback attached to it via Perpetua. Psy-Framegear Gamma, which is live because of the Lambda (after Redoer banishes himself). Flyback’s graveyard effect to interrupt the opponent’s graveyard by attaching a card to Perpetua. And to top it all off, another omni-negate from Cyber Dragon Infinity
All that was made off of 1 resolved Regulator. This is what the deck’s potential looks like. That’s a total of SIX interruptions against an opponent that will have 6 cards in hand. Take note that not even Dark Ruler No More or Forbidden Droplet (unless they send a trap) will be able to instantly wipe this board! The cool thing is, it even has follow-up! We shouldn’t forget that Perpetua can summon back Winder during the Standby Phase to get another level 4 onboard PLUS a search. This shows, that with the tools available to us right now, the ceiling is not a problem with this deck. It’s consistency and resiliency.
(Partial) Conclusion – Is Time Thief banish-this-deck-from-my-collection-bad?
This is going to be way too long of a read if I include the deck profile, supplementary engines, and combo routes, so that’ll have to wait another day. However, we’ll answer this question with what we have so far.
We’ve been rambling on for way too long now. We’ve discussed some tools available to Time Thief to help propel it in games. Resiliency is always going to be a problem for a deck like this that could potentially lose to a singular hand trap. Psy-Framegear Gamma and Called by the Grave (albeit at 1) help, but I believe the release of Crossout Designator will push it over the top.
So is Time Thief good? Maybe. Meta? Nope. But is it bad? Most definitely not. You could say it’s banished… but just until the End Phase.
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