Yu-Gi-Oh! Rogue Report: Kairyu-Shin Control
Whether you call this strategy “Umi Control”, “Kairyu-Shin Control”, or simply “Water Control”, the fact remains that a deck centered around Mako Tsunami’s new cards from the upcoming set, Legendary Duelists: Duels from the Deep may very well make a splash in the metagame! Despite being somewhat under the radar for OCG players, who have had the ability to test with the cards since it was released overseas last November, experimentation with the tools provided by this new pack may find themselves better suited to TCG play, once it releases here, on June 17th.
Kairyu-Shin Control is a deck centered around its namesake, Ocean Dragon Lord - Kairyu-Shin, who both provides the deck’s greatest disruption, as well as acts as a toolbox, being able to search ones’ deck for any of the archetype’s other cards, once each turn. What makes Kairyu-Shin special, however, is that its first effect is a Continuous Effect, meaning that it applies as soon as its summon resolves; the only interaction window your opponent has is prior to it hitting the field, which makes decks that cannot interact in that manner especially vulnerable to losing all but one of their face-up monsters. That said, this serpent of the seas does require you have an “Umi” face-up, meaning careful opponents can prevent its effect through Spell/Trap destruction, in theory.
Part of the reason this prevention of your strategy tends to be easier said than done is due to the ample “Umi” stand-ins the strategy has access to, with A Legendary Ocean being your preferred Field Spell, making Kairyu-Shin easy to Normal Summon, Maiden of the Aqua being a perfect one-of, to ensure you can keep “Umi” live without having the field itself, and similarly, a single copy of Sea Stealth II, searchable by Kairyu-Shin, that acts as “Umi” in the Spell & Trap Zone.
So, we have “Umi” on the field, what does that provide for us beyond Kairyu-Shin’s continuous ‘floodgate’ effect?
Two new cards from Legendary Duelists: Duels from the Deep, alongside one released last time Mako Tsunami’s strategy was supported, make up the other big payoffs for having “Umi” active on your field. Doom Kraken is a fearsome hand-trap, and while not usable during your opponent’s first turn, having a single copy in rotation during later turns allows you to slowly corner them on advantage. Physalia, on the other hand, allows you to both cheat out your other Water monsters (Such as Kairyu-Shin), as well as place “Umi” in the Graveyard (with several other mechanisms to add it back to hand). Not to mention, in conjunction with Rage of Kairyu-Shin, the strategy has mechanisms to deal with opposing threats as they develop, before they hit the field, and also, in future turns, via Rage’s lock-out effect.
All of these tools combine via the final, and arguably most important card in the strategy, Kairyu-Shin of the Reef. By getting rid of a spare “Umi” on your field, you can potentially fill your entire board with Water monsters, although playing too many Normal Monsters to fulfill this dream may be a bit overzealous. Instead, the focus for Reef is instead to summon a Maiden of the Aqua, as well as a Physalia, or Ocean Dragon Lord - Kairyu-Shin. This can give you either a negation, or floodgate, on the opponent’s turn, and should you make it back to your turn, Kairyu-Shin can accrue advantage, or Physalia can summon even more Water monsters.
There are a few variants to consider with Kairyu-Shin Control’s new cards, such as by using Pacifis, the Phantasm City to make use of the new Normal Monster-based effects, Icejades to benefit the Water Attribute the archetypes share, or even the various Legendary Fisherman cards. Although, in my opinion, their best use is in a slow, methodical control Deck, such as the list seen above, seeking to grind out the opponent over the course of many turns, with powerful traps, and the toolbox accessed by Kairyu-Shin himself.
In the future, I feel as though this deck’s power is going to fluctuate in and out of the Rogue Tier, being significantly favored in matchups against opponents with no Water monsters, and even gaining more tools when Yorishiro of the Aqua releases later this year. In another specific meta call, this strategy can also utilize Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries versus the next top deck, Splight, given both decks heavily rely on Toadally Awesome, to both make plays and prevent opposing effects. All in all, this is a strategy worth checking out whenever the metagame lacks significant Water decks, and it’s sure to drown out fields not prepared for Kairyu-Shin’s continuous effect!
I hope you enjoyed reading up on the power behind Kairyu-Shin’s upcoming strategy, and if you have any additional thoughts on how to best utilize these new cards, go ahead and comment below!