Trinity Format – May 2018 Trinity Cup Deck Profiles

The May 2018 Trinity Cup has come and gone. It was organized through the Trinity Discord (here), and had 25 players. The Top 4 was as follows:

1st Place: Boddity77

2nd Place: MonoBlueTron

3rd Place: guiltygearxx

4th Place: meepmoto27

Thank you to all of our participants, and congratulations to the Top 4 on their performances. Now, each of them has agreed to give a short deck profile and tournament report.

1st Place: Boddity77’s Mekk-Knight Altergeist

Bug Boddity77 for a text decklist if you need one.
Boddity77’s 1st-place Mekk-Knight Altergeist deck. The trinities are an additional copy of Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall and Altergeist Meluseek.

Why did you choose to run your deck?

I played Mekk-Knight Altergeist because, simply put, it was tier 0. This deck combined all the most powerful and synergistic cards of the format to create an unstoppable control deck. I went 14-1 in games over the course of the tournament, and even avenged my single lost game by 2-0’ing the player I dropped it to when we rematched in the finals. I was of the opinion that Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall needed to be banned, and set out to do so by showing how unstoppable it could be.

What was your deckbuilding philosophy when making this deck?

In the past several months of tournaments I noticed how much of a powerhouse Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall could be after being served multiple losses at it’s hands. However, I was mostly playing against pure builds, which included a lot of situational and sub-par Mekk-Knight cards. I realized that playing just Purple and search targets was more than powerful enough, due to it’s big body, resistance to removal, and constant plusses. Additionally, Altergeists got some key cards in Flames of Destruction that helped them out as a control shell immensely. Despite multiple community-voted hits, in testing I found an Altergeist backbone was still incredibly powerful while covering for some of the weaknesses of the Mekk-Knight engine like clearing monsters over 2500 attack. The rest of the deck is the most powerful generic consistency enablers, defensive cards, and a handful of techs to accentuate the deck’s strengths and help in the matchups I expected to face.

What were some of your tech choices and “trinities?”

I briefly considered a Mekk-Knight engine of 1 Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall, 1 Mekk-Knight Blue Sky, and 1 other Mekk-Knight as a search target. However, I realized I could use a trinity to make an even stronger core engine without adding more than 1 additional mediocre Mekk-Knight as a search target. Even the “bad” Mekk Knights are beaters who summon themselves without going minus, and playing a second Purple Nightfall allowed for the chain of Purple, search Blue,  search the second Purple.  I chose Mekk-Knight Indigo Eclipse and Mekk-Knight Red Moon as my other targets for rank 8 plays and monster removal for things like Gaia Saber, the Lightning Shadow.

Then, I found the ideal Altergeist lineup after the ban of Altergeist Silquitous was to use a trinity on Altergeist Meluseek. This allowed the first Meluseek to search Altergeist Multifaker to summon the second Meluseek with 2 more targets in deck. These two chains of monsters replacing themselves and making advantage was simply overwhelmingly powerful. For tech cards I included Call of the Haunted and Back to the Front to play through disruption like Solemn Strike and continue the flow of threats. I also included Forbidden Lance due to the synergy of doubling down on Purple being removal resistant, because it could defend me from situations where my opponent used a card to force Purple’s effect, then chained another card to prevent Purple from being able to banish itself. The rest of the backrow is pretty standard, just the most useful, flexible, and powerful defensive options. For consistency, I also added a Spellbook draw engine, Last Will, Witch of the Black Forest, and the Tour Guide package. The Altergeists and Witch are Spellcasters which was synergistic in case I hard drew Spellbook of Knowledge, and Knowledge is also a way to trigger Last Will to summon Meluseek from deck.

How did you prepare for the meta, and would you change anything going forward?

I was primarily scared of the mirror match, Pendulums, and Pacifis. This is why I mained cards like Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit which hit Purple Nightfall, Pacifis, the Phantasm City and penulum scales like Zefraath and Metalfoe monsters. I also included 7 Mystical Space Typhoon-like spell/trap removal cards across my main and side, along with other useful cards that answer spell/trap threats like Scrap Iron Statue, Wiretap, and Zaphion, the Timelord. Chaos Trap Hole and Lullaby of Obedience were for Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall, Chain Disappearance was for Altergeist Meluseek, the hand traps and Mind Control were for when I was made to go second, and the grave banishment and Prohibition were for whatever rogue I could make them work against.

As for things that didn’t work that well, Forbidden Lance wasn’t actually that great and even though I had the option to protect Meluseek a couple times the attack reduction meant no battle damage would have been dealt and thus no sending to grave. I wish I had mained the sided MST instead. Otherwise the deck worked perfectly.

What were your matchups?

Round 1: Altergeists 2-0

Game 1 he used Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit on my Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall and hit me with a huge Mirror Force for 4, but I still managed to clutch it out by playing around his Magician’s Right Hand and getting back my Purple with Premature Burial. Game 2 I Infinite Impermanence‘d his Spellbook Magician of Prophecy and Zaphion, the Timelord cleared his backrow for a massive +3, and he never recovered.

Round 2: Gem-Knights 2-0

Game 1 he Solemn Warning‘d my Altergeist Meluseek but I was able to quickly beat him down for the remaining 6000 lifepoints with Mekk-Knight Red Moon and Scapegoat link summons. Game 2 I opened my side-decked D.D. Crow and Effect Veiler along with Ghost Ogre, so I was able to suppress his plays and he scooped when I resolved Personal Spoofing.

Round 3: Mekk-Knight Madolche 2-0

Game 1 I opened strong with the Tour Guide from the Underworld combo searching Altergeist Multifaker and setting 2. I had Solemn Strike for his Madolche Puddingcess and he couldn’t keep up with my grind power. In game 2 he used Mirror Force as a -1 to stop Meluseek and when I Torrential Tributed his Scapegoat link play for another +1 and then got another +1 from resolving the Multifaker I searched he was slowly but steadily out-advantaged.

Round 4: Mekk-Knight Altergeists 2-0

Game 1 I opened really strong with Meluseek and Mekk-Knight Blue Sky and though he was barely able to keep up because of his own Meluseek, I Torrential’d his Multifaker play while being able to protect my own Purple with the dodge effect and he scooped. Game 2 even though he really got rolling with his Altergeists and created a multiple negate board with Altergeist Hexstia and Altergeist Protocol I was able to break it with Galaxy Cyclone‘s graveyard effect and a swarm of Mekk-Knight beaters. Even though he was able to stay in the game with multiple revive effects and Fairy Tail – Snow, he couldn’t beat the Mekk-Knights and I sealed the deal with Number 23: Lancelot, Dark Knight of the Underworld.

Round 5: MonoBlueTron’s Mekk-Knight Pacifis 2-1

Game 1 he opened very well with Kaiser Colosseum and Pacifis, the Phantasm City and even though I wanted to not activate anything in order to make Pacifis useless he also drew his own Purple Nightfall and was able to beat me down with a token when I hit Purple with Solemn Strike. In game 2 I had Ghost Ogre for Pacifis and even though he Solemn Warning‘d my Purple I still had Mekk-Knight Indigo Eclipse to force his last backrow and then Call of the Haunted to bring back Purple and start the flow of beaters that he couldn’t topdeck well enough to beat. Game 3 I opened Lullaby of Obedience but was worried that he drew his Purple so I held onto it and just beat down with the Purple I already drew. Despite a misplay by holding Twin Twisters too long and getting my Meluseek Debunked, I was rewarded because he did have his Purple in hand and the held Lullaby allowed me to steal his Mekk-Knight Avram instead and push for game-ending damage a few turns in through the summon limit.

Top 4: guiltygearxx’s Zefra Pendulums 2-0

I opened Altergeist Protocol and Altergeist Multifaker and even though he blind hits the Protocol with Mythical Beast Garuda, he opts to attack with his 2 pendulum monsters before making Heavymetalfoes Electrumite, reading a Solemn. Sadly this played into my Mirror Force and having the Multifaker and a Meluseek on board and Purple in hand I go big into Altergeist Hextia and despite Performapal Seal Eel he can’t recover. Game 2 I open Typhoon but it isn’t enough to stop him from going big with Electrumite, however his board isn’t too threatening with only a Zefra War and the option for Fullmetalfoes Alkahest on my turn. I draw enough MSTs to break through and he opts to go for a last-ditch Saryuja Skull Dread instead of sitting on Alkahest,  but I have Effect Veiler and seal the deal with Meluseek and Protocol.

Finals: Rematch with MonoBlueTron’s Mekk-Knight Pacifis 2-0

Game 1 I draw both the bad Mekk-Knights, but it ends up working out because I’m able to lay down the beats while activating no card effects for several turns until he topdecks his Mekk-Knight Avram and  searches with Pacifis. Over those turns I drew Paleozoic Dinomischus and Mirror Force and clear the Pacifis and his monster, leaving him with only dead Phantasm Spiral traps and Kaiser Colloseum. I’m able to finish the duel with my Altergeists before he draws into anything good. Game 2 I play it slow because Meluseek can clear a Pacifis while only activating in the damage step. I force him to use Dinomischus while pitching Ghost Ogre to stop that, but that leaves him down 2 outs to my Purple Nightfall follow-up. He makes Gaia Saber, the Lightning Shadow and has a second Pacifis when I out the first with Paleozoic Olenoides but I’m able to stall, clear his Pacifis and Sea Stealth Attack with Galaxy Cyclone‘s grave effect and Cosmic Cyclone, remove all normal monsters then Gaia Saber from his board, and finish him before he finds a way to turn on his Phantasm Spiral traps.

Is your deck still playable in the current format?

I played this deck not only because I wanted to win, but because I wanted to show the community how broken Purple Nightfall truly was. After my successful demonstration, the community voted on it’s ban and for the semi-forbidding of Altergeist Meluseek and Altergeist Protocol. Because of this, the deck in this form is 100% dead.

However, this strong control shell of backrow, searching, and card draw with other powerful and resilient monster cores will live on in the future. Control is king in Trinity Format right now. The format is rife with powerful splashable single card plays like Tour Guide + Sangan into Masterking Archfiend with a search, and Blackwing – Gofu the Vague Shadow and Scapegoat with the Knightmare link suite and Topologic Bomber Dragon. This, combined with strong backrow like the Solemns and Lost Wind, mean that this type of control deck is here to stay.

2nd Place: MonoBlueTron’s Mekk-Knight Pacifis

Bug Boddity77 if you want a text decklist.
MonoBlueTron’s 2nd-place Mekk-Knight Pacifis deck. The trinity is an additional copy of Phantasm Spiral Battle.

Why did you choose to run your deck?

As always, my decisions are primarily guided by the unholy throbbing in my heart for the churning, torrential currents of Pacifis, the Phantasm City.

What was your deckbuilding philosophy when making this deck?

Trinity is a format defined by the quality of its answers. While in the TCG, removal is wildly inadequate when compared to the strength of monster cards, problematic monsters in Trinity are either significantly less strong or outright banned. Wielding the tools designed to unseat Master Peace, the True Dracoslaying King feels really, really good when they’re being deployed against Batterymen.

Because of this, I gravitate towards the greediest control deck possible every format, and that routinely ends up being the consistent, grindy, and flexible Phantasm Spiral.

What were some of your tech choices and “trinities?”

Because I expected pendulum to be a top 3 deck this format, and control has issues against pendulum’s seemingly-infinite resource generation, I included Mekk-Knights in my build. These gave me a proactive gameplan designed to run over similarly slow decks before they could get off the ground. Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall is a huge beatstick that both dodges removal and can evacuate himself from the board if I need to satisfy Phantasm Spiral Battle’s activation requirement. The Avram were icing on the cake, allowing me to trigger Pacifis’ effect even if my opponent refused to give me a token.

I tried to play as few cards as possible to maximize the chance of seeing Pacifis, the Phantasm City early and often, but couldn’t resist splashing one trinity for a second copy of Phantasm Spiral Battle.

How did you prepare for the meta, and would you change anything going forward?

As explained previously, Mekk-Knights were almost exclusively included as a check back to pendulum decks. My pendulum matchup was further improved by Kaiser Colosseum, one of the last legal floodgates.

I grappled with a variety of sideboard options to beat back Altergeist, as I expected them to be well-represented, but in practice they were more weak to generic answers like Solemn Strike than they were to anything cute like Debunk.

If I had another shot at deck composition, I would include more answers to the Mekk-Knights, which were extremely well-represented as well as far and away the hardest cards for me to beat. I’m not sure how I could have better insulated myself against them, however. They’re hard to hate out.

What were your matchups?

Boy, they were great.

2-0 against Goodstuff, 2-0 against HERO, 2-0 against Paleo Frogs, 2-0 against Zefra, 1-2 against Mekk-Knight Altergeist. In top four I won 2-1 vs. my 4th round Zefra opponent and lost 0-2 to my 5th round Mekk-Knight Altergeist opponent.

Swiss was odd, because until round 5 I never felt in danger of losing any of my games. In my opinion, this deck was on a completely different level of the playing field than anything else played in the tournament. The exception to this feeling was my round 5 opponent (and eventual tournament champion), with whom I felt the complete opposite. I was never even reasonably close to beating their deck.

Is your deck still playable in the current format?

It’s arguable. People finally wised up and Semi-Limited some critical parts of my deck, and with the banning of Mekk-Knight the deck lost both its worst matchup as well as its most efficient backup engine. Still, I’m optimistic.

Despite the deck’s losses, traps are still fantastic in Trinity and Pacifis, the Phantasm City still represents a more consistent advantage engine than any other control strategy. Like every format, tweaking the deck will require incessant testing and a good grasp on what’s playable in June.

I’d be wary of including any less than 35 cards, as without access to Phantasm Spiral battle you’re missing most of the payoff of playing Pacifis, The Phantasm City at all. The following 28 cards constitute what I consider to be the inflexible core of Phantasm Spiral control, and any engine with incidental synergy that generates value or closes out games quickly would be right at home among the 7 required remaining cards.

Bug Boddity77 for a text list if you can't identify a certain card.
The backbone of a potential June 2018 Trinity Format Pacifis deck.

3rd Place: guiltygearxx’s Zefra Pendulums

Bug Boddity77 if you need a text decklist.
guiltygearxx’s 3rd place Zefra Pendulum deck. The trinities are the semi-forbidden Zefraniu, Secret of the Yang Zing, Nine Pillars of Yang Zing, and Heavymetalfoes Electrumite.

Why did you choose to run your deck?

Other players and I assumed the deck was removed from the meta with the April forbidden list, however after testing we found out that the deck’s hits didn’t really matter. I underestimated the power of Altergeist after the emergency list, and didn’t want to play Mekk-Knights. The deck ended up doing pretty well compared to other deck types this tournament so it was not a bad choice.

What was your deckbuilding philosophy when making this deck?

I didn’t change much from the previous tournament, only removing the Magician engine (with Pendulum Call at co-forbidden) to have more space for semi-forbidden cards. I mained more anti-disruption pendulum cards such as Mythical Beast Garuda, Performapal Seal Eel and Performapal Changeraffe. I was going to main cards like Mystical Space Typhoon and Twin Twisters but did not want to disrupt my ratios. Knowing that my deck would be slightly less consistent I wanted as many semi-relevant combo pieces as possible and any pendulum can be destroyed by Heavymetalfoes Electrumite for full value so I prioritized pendulum outs to disruption.

What were some of your tech choices and “trinities?”

I made some mistakes with my side choices but it ended up not really affecting most games. Two ideas I had was Effect Veiler and Forbidden Chalice, the purpose of these cards is to counter Red Reboot + Black Rose Dragon/Evilswarm Exciton Knight; this never came up and I don’t think I would have sided them in the relevant matchups. I also played a Majespecter Fox – Kyubi engine because Majespecter Tempest is an out to Mekk-Knight Purple Nightfall, but I forgot to side it. Rest was just backrow hate.

How did you prepare for the meta, and would you change anything going forward?

My side had outs to control oriented strategies but ultimately it did not make a huge impact. For Mekk-Knights I used the Majespecter engine in the side. Since the deck is 90 percent engine I mostly just relied on the natural variance of the format, this deck can beat anything if It can build the right field uninterrupted so I don’t necessarily have to have specific outs to my opponents deck.

What were your matchups?

Round 1 was against True Draco Kozmo. This deck is a midrange deck without too much control, so I had a decent advantage. I opened well first games and he could not deal with two counter traps and Metalfoes building up advantage. Game 2 I had a lot of difficulty playing around the the Dracos and Kozmo Forerunner but ultimately ended up getting to Borreload Dragon.

Round 2 vs Frog. This is a difficult matchup because it is a control oriented strategy that is guaranteed to have at least some strong disruption. Game 1 I had disruption but not enough monsters and was out-grinded my opponent building up advantage with frogs. In the third game I could not play through his multiple disruptions and then he summoned Toadally Awesome when we were both at low resources.

Round 3 vs Volcanic Altergeist.  This matchup is somewhat control heavy but my opponent did not open enough disruption to stop all my plays.

Round 4 did not play due to the opponent dropping

Round 5 vs HERO control. I went first and went off really well and game 2 my opponent only had a Super Team Buddy Force Unite! and Call of the Haunted so couldn’t stop me.

Top 4 Vs Altergeist Mekk-Knights. This was a deck most people saw as the defining deck of the tournament. Round 1 I got hit with Mirror Force before committing to an Electrumite, we grinded somewhat but his deck built more advantage. Game 2 I opened well but he wore me down with Galaxy Cyclone and Meluseek, and I couldn’t get past his Altergeist Protocol.

Is your deck still playable in the current format?

Short answer is no. A pendulum deck in the current format is going to focus more on strong bosses such as Ignister Prominence,  the Blasting Dracoslayer or Metalfoes fusions than searchable disruptions from counter traps. Pendulums as a strategy are still fairly playable regardless.

4th Place: meepmoto27’s Zefra Pendulums

Bug Boddity77 if you need a text decklist.
meepmoto27’s 4th place Zefra Pendulum deck. The trinities are the co-forbidden pair of Duelist Alliance and Pendulum Call, and the semi-forbidden Zefraniu, Secret of the Yang Zing, Nine Pillars of Yang Zing, and Heavymetalfoes Electrumite.

Why did you choose to run your deck?

I chose to run Zefra because I didn’t want to play Mekk-Knights or Altergeist and Zefra were the clear next best deck.

What was your deckbuilding philosophy when making this deck?

The idea behind the deck was to try and somewhat consistently go into Electrumite turn 1 followed by using Zefraniu, Secret of the Yang Zing to get multiple negates. In reality, a lot of my deckbuilding choices ended up being very poor decisions. Overall, I think the right call for the deck would’ve been to maximize the consistency cards and searchers while minimizing the unnecessary extenders such as Magical Abductor or the Majespecters.

What were some of your tech choices and “trinities?”

My main tech choice was a slightly larger Magician engine and the co-forbidden pair of Duelist Alliance and Pendulum Call. Although a lot of my attempts at tech choices (Magical Abductor and Abyss Actor – Curtain Raiser for example) didn’t work out, Pendulum Call was very good. It helped to bring back my scales after getting them wiped in mid-game while also giving great flex options in monsters with Purple Poison Magician and Harmonizing Magician.

My other main tech choice was Mythical Beast Garuda. This card was amazing all tournament. My build especially was very large, so maxing out on backrow removal, especially a searchable piece like Garuda, paid off. Pendulums more than most decks are extremely vulnerable to strong backrow so being able to punch through traps was very pertinent in most matchups.

How did you prepare for the meta, and would you change anything going forward?

My entire side deck was more or less useless this tournament. The only good cards were additional spell/trap removal (Galaxy Cyclone, Twin Twisters, and Hey, Trunade!) and I would’ve mained Hey, Trunade! if I could redo my deck. Other than that all of the rest of the side deck was hastily thrown together and largely useless. I think more useful inclusions might’ve been some additional extenders into Electrumite for when I was guaranteed to go first. Other than that, additional spell/trap removal would always be nice.

What were your matchups?

In my first 2 rounds I played against flip monster control and Burning Abyss which were relatively easy matchups due to the tremendous gap in both power and speed between Zefra and those decks. In the 3rd and 5th rounds I played against Mekk-Knight Altergeist, both of which were games that were extremely close and only won by the excessive grinding potential of both Zefra and Metalfoes cards. My only loss in swiss was to MonoBlueTron’s Mekk-Knight Pacifis. The games in swiss were both pretty quickly lost due to my inability to produce enough backrow removal to get past his boards. They were further sunk by the largely unplayable hands I got from not building my deck’s ratios correctly.

In top 4 I played a rematch vs MonoBlueTron and lost much more closely. My last match of the tournament was the mirror match where I was completely demolished both games by excessively superior opening plays into Electrumite and negates.

Is your deck still playable in the current format?

It is absolutely not considering the goal of the deck was to turbo out Zefraniu and Electrumite, both of which are forbidden. A form of Pendulums is still playable in the current format, but it should be trimmed down to 40 cards and focus more exclusively on Magicians and Metalfoes.

Bug Boddity77 if you really want the text decklist.
A potential June-legal Pendulum deck based off this successful May deck.

The first things to cut would be all of the Zefra cards. Next I removed Magical Abductor, the Draco Face-Off engine, Curtain Raiser, and Emergency Teleport. This is because these cards were all targeted at getting out Electrumite which is no longer the goal.

The new focus of the deck is on building a board using Pendulum Call and the Metalfoes monsters. To help lean into the Metalfoes more, I added Metalfoes Combination and switched out Fullmetalfoes Fusion for regular Metalfoes Fusion. All of these cards also have synergy with Performapal Pendulum Sorcerer. The Performapal engine in the deck could be expanded, but for this build I chose to focus on just Joker. All in all the goal is to amass resources until you can make a big pushing using your high ATK Pendulum monsters and your synchro monsters.




YGOPRODeck writer, Duel Links player, and Trinity aficionado! February 2018 Trinity Cup Champion, and consistently top 1000 in the world in the KC Cups in Duel Links, with a high point of 137th place in the November 2017 KC Cup.

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