Ultra Athletes (U.A.) debuted in Gaia Genesis establishing itself as a mid tier deck for the remainder of the year. Post Cyber Style nerf, U.A. decks struggled to maintain a presence on the tier list and remained dormant for the entirety of 2019. Fast forward to the release of Valhalla Calling, U.A. has received an additional wave of support and show promise in the current metagame with a handful of top cut performances.
Ultra Athletes (U.A.) are a high tempo aggressive deck focused on special summoning high level monsters with a variety of effects to control the board and/or make strong pushes. U.A. monsters have a unique effect that allows them to “tag out” for different U.A.s, mimicking a sports team. U.A.s can special summon themselves from the hand by returning a U.A. from the field to the hand. Loading... is the main searcher of the deck, allowing the player to search for any U.A. monster upon normal summon of any U.A. monster. The search power gives the player access to a toolbox of maindeck monsters with a variety of effects for many situations. U.A. decks are typically supplemented with some sort of tribute engine and backrow to facilitate the summons of their monsters while keeping up card advantage or offering protection.
Sealed Tombs : Arguably the best skill in the game, U.A. can utilize Sealed Tombs because the deck rarely special summons or banishes from the graveyard in an impactful way. Sealed Tombs can be used to stun opposing meta decks for a single turn such as: denying Darklords the ability to use Loading... , turning off Loading... , and prevent banishing and special summoning which is integral to decks like Vendread, Magnet Warriors, Darklords, Six Samurai, and Subterror. It is important to note Loading... cannot be banished from the graveyard to search Loading... until Sealed Tombs expires.
Beatdown : Beatdown is best paired with Loading... variants as U.A. can easily summon two high level monsters with Loading... and a U.A. monster. A double Beatdown boost is usually enough to allow the player to swing over defense position Loading... , Loading... without a castle boost, Loading... , and other high level monsters. Without Beatdown, it is rarely possible to exceed these attack thresholds on Turn 1 or Turn 2, warranting consideration during deck building.
Draw Sense: Low-Level : A newly buffed skill, Draw Sense Low Level (DSLL) can be used as a method for reliable access to Loading... . The skill is easily triggered and in a deck that is prone to bricking, U.A. can definitely appreciate this skill. It is worth noting that this skill is best suited for metagames where Loading... is worthy of a main deck slot, as relying on taking battle damage can be played around.
Switcheroo : Similar to DSLL, Switcheroo is a consistency boosting skill. Switcheroo has strong value in Neos variants because sending back garnets such as Loading... can be used as an additional chance to draw into Midfielder or Loading... . Similar to DSLL, Switcheroo is best used in conjunction with Loading... .
Building Ultra Athletes
Core Monster Lineup:
U.A. monsters act as a toolbox for the deck. Each of their effects are useful in common situations in the current metagame. The most important card is Loading... because it's the only Level 4 monster that can be normal summoned without requiring tributes. Once Midfielder’s summon is resolved, any high level U.A. monster may be special summoned once per turn by returning Midfielder or another U.A. from the field to the hand. This is colloquially referred to as the “tag out” effect shared among all U.A. monsters. Offensively, Loading... and Loading... are the offensive playmakers of the deck. Slugger has an Loading... like effect upon attack declaration that turns off the activation of monster effects such as Loading... , Loading... ’s special summon trigger, Loading... , and all Subterror Behemoth Flip Effects. Dunker’s effect controls the board as it destroys one card on the field after inflicting battle damage. This is a strong effect as Dunker can also pierce, making the effect much stronger as it can clear bigger monsters simply by attacking into smaller ones. Defensively, Midfielder has the ability to tag out any other U.A. monster for another as a quick effect. This is a strong effect as it can be chained to the opponent’s card effect or can be used to tag out offensive U.A. monsters for defensive ones after a successful attack. This is a hard once per turn so be cautious. Loading... is the latest addition to the deck and is a once per turn negation. Perfect Ace has synergy with Loading... as it’s a reliable discard outlet for the card while negating during the opponent’s turn. Lastly. Loading... is an important card as its effect upon normal summon is to special summon an additional U.A. monster from the hand or graveyard onto the field. This enables the player to swarm the field and bring out Midfielder to establish strong control over the board.
U.A. Spell/Trap Support
U.A. Spells and Traps are a small but impactful group designed to facilitate the deck with generating card advantage and offering board control. Loading... is the archetype’s field spell. When an U.A. monster is normal summoned, any U.A. monster can be added from the deck to the hand. This strong effect compliments the deck’s playstyle by granting access to any U.A. monster, bolstering the toolbox nature of the deck. Once per turn when U.A. monsters are special summoned, all monsters on the player’s side of the field gain 500 attack. Because U.A. decks inherently special summon multiple times, the players monsters can exceed high attack thresholds at a high rate over the course of the duel. This special summon effect is a soft once per turn, meaning additional copies of Stadium can grant an additional 500 attack boost with another special summon. Loading... is a trap card with two effects. Its on field effect banishes a monster a U.A. battles with at the start of the damage step for two turns. It’s a useful effect that blanket protects U.A.s and can be used to clear monsters like facedown DARK machines to prevent Loading... from coming out. It’s graveyard effect allows the player to banish penalty box to search for a U.A. Spell/Trap, most likely U.A. Stadium. Finally, Loading... is the latest support released in the latest set. Turnover Tactics is used to tag out U.A. monsters on the field for ones in the deck. The drawback is Turnover Tactics allows the opponent to do the same, so it’s a niche card that may see fringe use at best.
It is worth noting the last two cards in the U.A. archetype are spells and traps. Loading... is a special summon from the deck and a secondary starter card for the deck. It will greatly increase the consistency of the deck and is a card to keep an eye out for following the release of Zexal.