Yu-Gi-Oh! Alternate Alliance: How Would Amazoness Fare in DUAE?

Carter Kachmarik
April 19, 2023


When Duelist Alliance came out in August of 2014, it changed Yugioh as we know it: Ever since its release, the power ceiling was irrevocably changed, and moreover, the complexity ceiling as well.  Following the grindy, Normal-Summon reliant format of HAT, DUAE marked this turning point with a trifecta meta of Shaddoll, Burning Abyss (in the TCG), and Satellarknight, with the latter being replaced by Nekroz in early 2015.  The first turn draw was gone, and decks utilized the Extra Deck in new ways, creating the first modern ‘advantage loops’, such as Cir & Dante, or Construct & Falco.  In short, the game as we see it today came into being, and every card released since pays some amount of respect to the transition that came with the set’s release.

The crux of this new series of articles is to take a deck that’s far below the power level of the current game, and essentially time travel back to August of 2014, bringing whatever support that archetype’s received since then with us.  It’s a common saying that ‘man, this would have been great in [insert year]’ when new support is revealed, but I want to put that to the test.  This is a look into the alternate history that may have unfolded, Amazoness had arrived fully-formed in Duelist Alliance.

So, why examine Amazoness?  Amazoness are unique in several ways, though perhaps one of their stand-out characteristics is a command of the Battle Phase: Unlike other decks which have received modern support, like Gladiator Beasts, Amazoness retain their care for combat, rather than becoming a combo engine that ends on a negate-oriented Fusion Monster.  They also had a spot in a series much-beloved to most Yugioh players: Legacy of the Worthless, being examined in their 2016 iteration (which is also conveniently the same pool of cards they actually had during DUAE).  Among these cards were various ways to mitigate or reflect damage, in Amazoness Fighter & Amazoness Swords Woman, as well as their surprisingly decent-for-the-time Field Spell, Amazoness Village.  That said, their heavy reliance on battle, and ineptitude in outing monsters like El Shaddoll Construct & Dante, Traveler of the Burning Abyss meant they were automatically disqualified.  In short, they were a Battle Phase-oriented archetype, with few ways to actually deal with threats during the Battle Phase.

Since then, however, Amazoness has received two waves of support, in 2017 & 2022, neither of which brought them up to the speed of their respective metagames.  In 2017, Amazoness were bolstered with Amazoness Princess & Amazoness Onslaught, which were extraordinarily potent in Duel Links, and gave the deck consistency as well as actual ways to access different lines during the Battle Phase.  Next, in 2022, the deck got a shockingly reasonable wave that included real ‘boss monsters’, in Amazoness Augusta & Amazoness Pet Liger King, as well as ways to make them more readily; between having a ‘Stratos’, a ‘ROTA’, and an actual endboard to shoot for, things were going well enough for these warrior-women, although it ended up being too little too late, as I mentioned.

When you squint your eyes, though, and compare Augusta & Liger King to the bosses of DUAE, there might be actual merit.  Not only does Augusta overpower Construct, at 3200 ATK, but her protection could allow another sizable Amazoness monster to beat over the Fusion, unimpeded by the destruction.  Not only this, but Onslaught quite literally decimates the recursive loops provided by the format’s top decks, banishing normally protected threats, and caring little for things like Dante’s high DEF, or Construct’s pop & float.

Amazoness could certainly control the Battle Phase if placed in 2014, and their ample protection would likely mean they reach that point unimpeded, for lack of hand-traps like Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, but with what consistency could they get there?  This may be the largest factor the strategy has over its competitors: Amazoness is rife with card filtering.  As mentioned, they have a search-on-Summon with Princess, and a ‘ROTA’ with Call, but in their newest wave, Amazoness also obtained two Traps that recur cards, in Amazoness Hall & Amazoness Hot Spring, which seem laughably slow by today’s standards, but could see play during DUAE.  Not only that, Amazoness War Chief takes it up to 11 as a free Summon that can set cards like Call or Onslaught, meaning at worst you’d be left with a 1900 ATK body and some battle protection.

Whether Amazoness would go the route of Burning Abyss, and play a trap-heavy control gameplan where it’d hope to grind out value, or err towards the Fusion-heavy swarm of Shaddoll is hard to say, but it could likely do a convincing imitation of either, given the density of its cardpool.  That raises another question though: What cards, at minimum, would the strategy need to be in the general area of a Top 4 DUAE deck?

These 8 cards represent everything the strategy would need, although one could very easily swap Amazoness Pet Liger King and Amazoness Pet Liger, or perhaps War Chief for Amazoness Spy.  In essence, the goal of this specific group of cards is to provide the deck with everything it may need to carve out a niche in DUAE: Extraordinary competency in the Battle Phase.  From multi-attacks, to multiple forms of protection, from banishing to destruction, everything you might need to crush a Shaddoll or Burning Abyss player is present here, without being overbearing.  It’s actually something of a shame that no deck like this existed at the time in real life, as much of the interaction centered around trap-heavy 2-for-1 trades in the form of Fire Lake of the Burning Abyss, or Sinister Shadow Games.  Every top deck had some way to surmount the other in battle, of course, but none placed as special a focus on it as Amazoness might.

With this 8-card set in mind, I looked at some of the topping decks of the period to get a glimpse of what Amazoness might have in its arsenal as far as generic Spells & Traps go. Luckily, DUAE has a ton.  To start, Shaddoll were known for using Super Polymerization to the fullest, of course, but given we’re all EARTH, and Shekinaga wasn’t out yet, Amazoness would be largely unaffected.  Tools used by Satellarknight also come to mind, such as Vanity’s Emptiness, one of the format’s calling cards, but staples that were limited at the time, such as Solemn Warning & Torrential Tribute could also be fantastic for the strategy.  In the end though, in my testing with friends, one card I couldn’t manage to fit in the list was Soul Charge…which was at 3.  Soul Charge was of course a huge reason as to why decks like Satellarknight & Burning Abyss could threaten to swing the game as soon as their Special Summon lock was gone, but in Amazoness, losing your Battle Phase meant losing too much advantage, even amidst the plusses.

Given the amount of searching present in the added card set, we could afford to dedicate plenty of room to 1-ofs, and a swath Spell/Trap interaction in a format teeming with Counter Traps & floodgates.  I found myself often able to pivot between various Amazoness Spells & Traps I’d not even heard of, as the list was refined, crashing my Amazoness Sages with Amazoness Heirloom into Constructs, and looping Amazoness Willpower with Amazoness Spiritualist: When you take a moment to place a deck like this in a slower format, you can get a better feel for its advantage loops.  Amazoness was…tremendously fun.

As someone who played a ton of Yugioh around this time, with my favored deck being the rogue Batteryman, backed by a brand-new 9-Volt, huge swings in the Battle Phase are my bread and butter.  Facing off against the likes of Zach Perkins’ Shaddoll list, or Aaron Furman’s Satellars was surreal, in all honesty, and just imagining how our beloved card game could have turned out in such an alternate timeline was one heck of a thought experiment.

This was the list I used, with classic Side Deck staples like Shadow Imprisoning Mirror and Compulsory Evacuation Device added in for the appropriate match-ups.  Altogether, I think this list was successful in what it wanted to accomplish, in being able to tussle with the top decks of Duelist Alliance, although it doesn’t use as much of Amazoness’ older catalog of support as I’d perhaps want it to.  Part of this thought experiment was to see if new cards could allow older ones to play better in a historic environment, but on the whole, I found myself playing no more than hyper-searchable 1-ofs when it came to ‘classic’ Amazoness monsters, with the exception of Queen.  Limiting my 8-card set to disinclude any new Level 5 or higher monsters, aside from War Chief, meant that making Liger King, and then Augusta, required a high enough density of big warriors to work.  By that limitation, Queen was an essential part of your gameplan.  All told, it mentally brought me back to flip over cards like Wiretap against Stellarnova Alpha, and the added flair of Amazoness aggro play was rewarding at every point.

With that, I’ll happily conclude the first entry into Alternate Alliance!  This was a joy to work through, and I’m always thrilled to start a new series of articles.  What sort of archetypes would you want to see dropped into DUAE format next?  Would you play Amazoness at the time, if the support suggested existed?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!