TWISTED NIGHTMARES: Speed Duel Set Review

Twisted Nightmares introduces a lot of new cards to the Speed Duel format. This article only covers the ones that have a chance of impacting the format in any way or are worth our attention.

Dark Necrofear

Dark Necrofear is one of Bakura’s most iconic monsters and scores high in the nostalgia category. Its biggest flaws are that it is hard to summon and that its stats and effect are rather lacking. There just aren’t that many fiends that justify playing a deck around them. This set introduces new interesting fiends, but still no coherent strategy. Dark Necrofear is a reason to build a deck around fiends, but it’s not a good reason. Having your opponent kill all your fiends so you can summon a monster that needs to be destroyed as well? That’s not a strategy that will see a lot of viability.

Ha Des, Gaap and Mefist

Dark Ruler Ha Des

I put all three of these monsters together since they share an important trait and serve the same purpose. That trait is that they are all monsters who need to be tribute summoned. This makes them slower and a bigger investment. In other formats, that might be a big problem. Speed Duels are different. There are decks that are too fast for you to tribute summon, but a certain kind of deck gives you enough time for this. That kind of deck is stall. Stall decks have plagued Speed Duels for some while now, but guess what? These monsters are great new tools to fight them. Dark Ruler Ha Des negates the effects of every monster destroyed by it. This makes you able to attack over Zombina, Yomi ship, and Man-Eater Bug without having to worry.

Gaap the Divine Soldier deals with them in a completely different way. He puts all monsters in attack position without triggering flip effects. This reveals what’s hidden and allows you to start dealing damage. To help with that, Gaap can even increase its attack by revealing fiend type monsters stocked in your hand.

Our third and last anti-stall weapon is Mefist the Infernal General. Mefist deals piercing damage. When it does so, it makes your opponent discard a card. All of these are great tools against stall.

Prometheus, King of the Shadows

When looking at Dark Necrofear, I think it is too hard to summon considering what it gives in return. Prometheus, on the other hand, gives more in return with a higher ceiling. Prometheus already has the advantage that he can always be summoned and only needs DARK monsters. On top of that, he also reaches 2400 ATK and can get way higher. Prometheus can deal a lot of damage in one turn and doesn’t need to die to get its effect. It might still be a gimmick, but at least this gimmick has a win condition.

To the Doomed

We finally got generic monster removal spells in Speed Duels! Say hello to Offerings to the Doomed and Tribute to The Doomed. For a long time, we had almost no way to get rid of soft locks like the Command Knight lock or the Gentlemander lock. For a lot of decks, this was impossible to out. It would result in a boring and frustrating situation where you usually just counted the cards in your deck and started calculating. It can still happen but will become even harder than it already was. If you compare the two, I think Offerings to the Doomed will be better. You don’t need to discard and it’s a quickplay. This allows you to use it as an interruption. It’s still a costly card, since skipping your draw phase isn’t something to take lightly.

Allure of Darkness

When looking at impactful cards, Allure of Darkness is definitely one of the five most important cards. It gives something Speed Duel didn’t really have yet, draw power. Being able to turbo out certain cards will be impactful. Think about Relinquished decks, Moth decks, Gravekeeper, Viral Despair decks and so much more. You can even play things like Sphere Kuriboh as a DARK target to use this in other decks. In conclusion, Allure of Darkness will definitely see use, but it stays uncertain in which decks.

Trap Monsters

Twisted Nightmares introduces trap monsters into speed duels. The first one is Zoma the Spirit. Zoma’s synergy with Lava Golem and overall usefulness makes it a very impactful card. It has 1800 ATK, it burns your opponent when it dies and it special summons itself. It really does it all. In contrast, we have Metal Reflect Slime. It has no ATK, no useful effect, but it’s at least 3000 DEF and can also special summon itself. However, it is still easily countered by Windstorm of Etaqua, giving your opponent a chance to deal free damage.

Lava Golem and Santa Claws

I don’t think I need to explain how impactful Lava Golem is going to be. It removes threats, it burns your opponent and it has “synergy” with Amazoness Swords Woman and Zoma the Spirit. This should definitely make you think twice before you summon a second monster. A card that’s more interesting is Santa Claws. This holiday monster only needs to tribute one monster, doesn’t take away your normal summon, and is a lot weaker than Lava Golem. I am saying that like it’s better, but the fact that it doesn’t burn and even gives your opponent a card makes a big difference. It might help with a deck out strategy. But besides that, I don’t think it will see a lot of play for now.

Powercreep with Gil Garth

Gil Garth won’t impact the format but is an important card to look at. It might have slipped under the radar with all the new and flashy cards, but it’s the first level 4 or lower monster with 1800 or more ATK without a “negative” effect. Sadly, it’s already powercrept in Match of the Millenium. Even so, I wanted to give it the attention it deserved.

Newdoria

Newdoria is not spectacular. In ways, it’s worse than Yomi Ship, but it does have some things it does better. It has more ATK, so less damage when crashing, but it has lower DEF so more monsters get over it. Your opponent can now get over it with zombina, don zaloog, Senju and sonic bird, but at least you can choose what you destroy. You can even destroy your own monsters. It’s also a Dark, so you can use it with Allure of Darkness or Prometheus. That’s Newdoria.

Curse and Circle Upgrades

If you thought Gravekeeper’s Curse could be annoying, then get ready for Bowganian. It has higher stats and it burns more. It even does so during each of your standby phases. Pretty annoying. It’s a good addition for burn decks.

In the same category, we have an upgrade for Spellbinding Circle. If you thought it couldn’t get worse, imagine it also burned. This is how Nightmare Wheel came to be. It does everything Circle does, but better AND it burns. Yeah, burn certainly got a lot stronger with these additions.

Absolutely Normal

On top of everything, we get normal support. This might be useful for Fitting room decks, Dinosaur decks, or Skull Servants. The first card is Creature Seizure. It makes both players choose a monster and gives these to the opponent. You have to choose a normal monster. Give your opponent a Skull Servant, while they give you an actual decent monster seems wonderful. You can even do this after a Santa Claws and get the draw yourself in the end phase.

The other card we got for our normal monsters is Faustian Bargain. Faustian Bargain, in theory, is an amazing card. It removes a monster AND it gives you an extra monster. However, it’s a dead card when you topdeck it and special summoned monsters aren’t that common. However, it’s still a good counter against Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth, Zoma, and Lava Golem. After all, it can even send your own monsters.

Supply Squad

I won’t lie, Supply Squad seemed insane to me. It can give you so many free cards and by just playing. Then I remembered that it makes decking out a lot more likely. And on top of that, it can be guessed that the next format won’t be kind to Spells/Traps. So this is a card with a lot of potentials! In another format. A format where deck out isn’t a regular win condition and people don’t play as much spell/trap removal.

A New Battle Trap

We can be glad to get another battle trap. I am glad to see more variety. However, I don’t think Prideful Roar will see much play. Metalmorph already showed us how bad a battle trap that requires a monster can be. It is certainly strong, but why play it over traps that always protect you like Windstorm, Kunai or Security Orb. It is nice that it guarantees you to beat over even the strongest monsters, but having to pay that much means you won’t be able to do that more than once. That is assuming you didn’t already take too much damage. So this card only helps you when you don’t need the help yet. For now, Kunai will do the job better.

Conclusion

Speed Duel Starter Deck: Twisted Nightmares is a great set. It contains enough cards that will make an impact on Speed Duels. It also has a lot of cards with potential that we’ll look back on in the future. Sadly, it doesn’t actually introduce a new archetype or a viable strategy, unless Prometheusproves to be viable, but I guess we can’t have everything. I look forward to what existing decks will do with these new cards.

Danique de Jongh
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Danique de Jongh

European Speed Duel Champion 2019. I study Philosophy and am a Yugituber. I hope you like what I write.


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