Yu-Gi-Oh! Rogue Report: 60 Card S-Force
When forgettable modern decks come to mind, as best they’re able, the S-Force often take the top spot on that list with a resounding “Oh yeah, those guys”. Debuting in Blazing Vortex, S-Force are one of the rare column-based strategies, although their janky playstyle and unintuitive Level spread prevented them from being fan-favorites. That said, in the brand-new set Cyberstorm Access, there’s one last piece for the deck that just might give it a niche within exactly the current meta, at least once Kashtira kicks the bucket. S-Force Nightchaser is a fantastic Link-1 monster that allows you to loop and dodge like no other deck, and while it’s less obviously powerful than something like Magical Musketeer Max, there’s plenty of tricks awaiting a persistent pilot. Presenting, 60-Card S-Force.
At a glance, S-Force has the makings of a competent deck, from a Field Spell that adds on activation, to a wide array of effects that filter cards from various zones. Where it falls apart, however, is almost entirely in their puzzling Levels/Ratings. Their ‘Stratos’ (Search on Summon) is Level 5, and their boss, a potent Link-3, requires 3 monsters exactly for his Link Summon, which is harder than it seems. That said, Nightchaser fixes most of these issues, allowing you to port your crucial 1-ofs back into Deck, while recurring your banished monsters. Being able to turn a single S-Force Rappa Chiyomaru into S-Force Justify and another Chiyomaru is strong, although the majority of the time you’re depending on various 1.5 card combos to start your gameplan. That said, the deck is one of the few strategies that can reasonably utilize a strange interaction that’s also been enabled by CYAC, in the form of Link into the VRAINs!, and Trap Tracks.
I spoke about Trap Tracks before in the context of Dinomorphia, where it’s a fantastic card, but here we’re able to use it in concert with Link into the VRAINs!’ GY effect, to recur things like Droll & Lock Bird or other handtraps, over the course of various turns. It just so happens that some of your endboard S-Force monsters are Level 6, and with them being LIGHT & DARK, and needing banish opportunities for Nightchaser, Bystials even enable you to go into Beatrice, Lady of the Eternal early and often. In high ceiling hands, you’re looking to end on some combination of Droll, Justify, and a live Chiyomaru, which is brutal beyond belief into the future meta.
Right now, this style of endboard isn’t exactly the best into the current top deck, Kashtira, but it is devastating to the second & third, being Superheavy Samurai & Purrley. Once the banlist comes out, and likely touches Kashtira in some way, the power such a collection of varied stopgates will have is far greater.
Via Beatrice, you can bin over the course of a turn cycle, a handtrap of your choice (I’ve chosen Droll & Gamma) and Link into the VRAINs!, necessitating only a way to pop your own card. The below list is what I’d consider to be reasonably greedy: We’re on more than 40 cards (And I’d be on even more if Little Opposition were out) to help distill the amount of ‘soft garnets’ we run, including everything from Bystials to Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer as another way to pop cards without Trap Tracks. That said, everything here tries to roughly fulfill the same gameplan, in that you’re looking to get the S-Force engine started, and recur powerful handtraps like Droll through lines involving Beatrice. That last part might be better without S-Force in a different deck, but frankly I can’t find a shell that fits it as well as the plucky security officers!
As a 60 card deck, it’s important that relative ratios remain the same. For example, if you’d normally include ~6-9 handtraps in your list, you’d want to instead err towards ~9-12, such as we do here. Lists with 60 cards manage to avoid the common pitfalls of running too many cards you actively don’t want to draw, by shifting the probability towards cards you do. There are certainly 40-Card versions of this general gameplan, probably cutting DPE, and most of the Bystial package, although here we’re able to profit off of simply having those as alternate avenues of gameplay. Bystial itself is fine enough, and can carry us on its shoulders if we’re slow to start the S-Force side of things. The only lock across the whole deck is in Destiny Fusion, so as long as you activate it last, you’re fine.
The reason I wanted to showcase this list in particular is due to the fact that it’s chock-full of interactions I’d simply call…neat. To name a few — Destiny HERO - Drawhand is our Level 4 for DPE over Celestial because our gameplan revolves around Droll, so locking them before any searches is potentially icing on the cake. Branded Regained is an opposite Nightchaser, allowing us to have an obscene grind game from both the field & banished, cycling through our entire S-Force lineup in a turn cycle. Link into the VRAINs! is also a way to get an uninterruptible Underworld Goddess of the Closed World going, and finally, Crossout Designator doubles as a way to turn Nightchaser on over the course of a turn cycle, if you absolutely need to.
If you enjoy pile-style decks, I genuinely urge you to give this a try; it’s certainly not a perfected list, or a perfect archetype, but collectively you assemble interaction on so many axes that you’re bound to shut down an opponent eventually. It feels very akin to how Phantom Knights played while the DPE-Scythe interaction existed, insofar as you’re looking to assemble an assortment of available pieces, while cycling through a toolbox-y extension package. Now that I mention it, PK could be a home for the Link into the VRAINs!/Trap Tracks combo, or something like it via Break Sword’s pop — definitely worth some exploration.
Essentially everything here aims to help you reach your various packages, with very little fluff. Due to the fact that this list has a lot of moving parts, often you’ll try to bait the opponent with one of your engines, and then pivot to the other once you’ve chewed through interaction. Part of the issue with 60-Card lists is, however, their lack of sideboard consistency, as you’ve got less of a chance to see sided-in cards compared to minimum deck size. That means you’re more keen to tailor your sideboard for 9-15 cards against a specific matchup, or spread, or even Maindeck outs like DRNM if you know the field’s going to consist largely of a specific kind of endboard (combo, backrow, etc).
With that, S-Force’s best chance at top tables is concluded! I’ve been a fan of this deck’s weird little playstyle since Blazing Vortex, and I just wish it got these cards sooner! How would you run this deck — 60 cards? 40 cards? How else do you plan to use Link into the VRAINs!? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!