This is the 29th Main Box and was released on July 31st, 2020. Infernity Destruction introduces the Weather Painter, Simorgh, Demise, and Performapal decktypes and adding support for Infernity, Fur Hire, Koa’ki Meiru and X-Saber decktypes.
While at first glance you see Infernity Archfiend and Infernity Launcher and you start freaking out and think “OMG THIS IS THE BEST BOX”, the box as a whole is decidedly average at best in terms of competitive potential. In my opinion, it feels like another filler box, much like Chronicle of Glory, but this more or less promotes the Clash at Crash Town event. With that being said, however, I will still take a look at the box and highlight any key cards / archetypes that catch my eye.
The very obvious elephants in the room in terms of the box’s potential are Infernity Archfiend and Infernity Launcher. Both of these are core cards of the Infernity archetype and are currently Limited in the TCG for enabling mass search/extra deck spam. Infernity Archfiend can Special Summon itself from the hand upon drawing it if no other cards are in your hand, and will also search any Infernity card on Special Summon as long as you don’t have any cards in your hand. This effect will also trigger if Special Summoned through other means, such as through Infernity Necromancer. Infernity Launcher will allow you to discard a card from your hand once per turn (which is good as Infernity cards will gain their best effects once you have no cards in your hand), and once your hand is empty, you can send Launcher to the GY to summon 2 Infernities from the GY. Since we’re getting 3 copies of each, and I mentioned earlier that both were limited to 1, this could mean that the deck could be Tier 0, correct? Well, it really just depends on how the deck will adapt with only 3 monster zones to work with. It may suffer from flip-down effects to deny their Synchro plays through cards like Floodgate Trap Hole, Paleozoic Canadia, and Elementsaber Molehu, in addition to the other disruptive cards in the meta right now. Since the deck will likely spam a lot of monsters from the Graveyard with Infernity Necromancer and the newly announced Infernity Launcher, it also can be very prone to Necrovalley almost completely shutting down the strategy. However, they receive a powerful negate in Infernity Barrier through a Kalin Kessler level-up reward, which is basically an in-archetype Rebirth of Parshath to negate pretty much anything, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Now that the big people on campus have been addressed, lets look at Performapals. Performapals were a Tier 0 deck in the TCG when combined with Performages to be a hyper-consistent deck that could set up tons of negates and removal. The problem is though, most of their good cards are not in this box. When looking at the deck as a whole in Duel Links, it feels like it attempts to play a very slow and grindy stallfest, but doesn’t do a great job of that. Performapal Thunderhino, however, could potentially set up an soft attack lock with 2 copies of itself on the field, though a lock of this nature screams 2018 Duel Links, and can be broken by pretty much any removal or monster negate like Karma Cut, Raigeki Break, or Fiendish Chain.
Speaking of 2018, Fur Hire also randomly got a few new monsters. The two in particular I want to discuss are Bravo, Fighter Fur Hire, and Helmer, Helmsman Fur Hire. Bravo can boost all of your Fur Hire monsters by 500 when you summon another Fur Hire while it’s on the field, in addition to having a baseline 1900 ATK itself on a Level 4. This can boost a Dyna, Hero Fur Hire to 3k ATK, which will allow it to be able to beat over Invoked Cocytus, which is a card that Fur Hire inherently struggles a lot with. The only issue is that the boost only lasts until the end of the turn, so you can’t use it to make a 3300 DEF Wiz, Sage Fur Hire to have a big fat Spell/Trap negation monster thats a bit harder to beat over, and the deck will still have a lot of issues with clogging. Helmer can help dig through your deck a bit more with its effect to discard a Fur Hire to draw a card, and is like having a 3 extra watered down Beat, Bladesman Fur Hire to start your plays, so there’s that at least.
Koa’ki Meiru Bergzak is not a half bad beater for Koa’ki Meiru at 2000 ATK and can attack twice, but only after destroying a monster in battle on its first attack. With that being said, Koa’ki Meiru Ice is pretty much a better option for most scenarios, as it can destroy opponent’s monsters through its own effect and only has 100 less ATK. It will be tough to squeeze this card in your Koa’ki Meiru deck, if you play it at all, especially since the deck has been long neutered by previous banlists.
Finally X-Sabers got Saber Hole, which can negate the Summon of a monster as long as you control an X-Saber monster. This card in particular is quite interesting, since negating Summons is quite rare in Duel Links, and the two other cards that do negate Summons are Champion’s Vigilance and Solemn Scolding, which aren’t really that common due to Vigilance being limited to 1, not to mention that it’s only really useable in Blue-Eyes or Dark Magician due to it requiring you to control a high-level Normal Monster, and Solemn Scolding requiring nearly all of your starting LP as a cost to activate, and being the only set card in the Spell / Trap Zone. Saber Hole can be a pretty devastating negate versus decks that need their initial Summon to get their combos started, but due to the nature of the negate, it will give off very unique delays in that if a monster has an effect to activate on summon like Shiranui Squire, the game will give a delay on summon asking the user of Saber Hole if they want to negate the summon, so a skilled player could very easily play around it. Could this card revive the long dead X-Sabers? Only time will tell.
While I do have some hopes for this box due to Infernities, I’m quite unsure on how they will impact the meta once the box comes out. The other cards seem like a bunch of filler with nothing else too spectacular. Unless you really like Infernities, I would hold on to the gems for Xyz.
A force to be reckoned with in the TCG, Infernity are finally getting some of their most powerful support cards in Infernity Archfiend and Infernity Launcher - both of these cards are limited in the TCG due to the insane advantage and spamming potential that the two have when combined, with launcher summoning archfiend plus a tuner, archfiend searching another launcher and so on, usually ending in a board of an Infernity Doom Dragon plus a generic lv 6 synchro (either a Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier or Battlewasp - Halberd the Charge) plus an Archfiend plus an Infernity Spell or Trap. However, I suspect a lot of people are suffering from what I call “Infernity-itus” - Meaning that they are deathly afraid of Infernities here solely because of how powerful they were in the TCG, and aren’t taking into account the decks limiting factors, for which there are 3 big ones:
- 3 monster card zones: - Infernity plays are severely hampered with only 3 monster card zones, and they find themselves restricted by this quite greatly, limiting their extension’s.
- A lack of a solid turn 1 play: - The ideal skill for Infernities is Infernity Inferno which allows them to dump Archfiend directly from the deck alongside Infernity Beetle /Infernity Avenger to begin their Synchro climb, however this play can only be done on your second turn, which severely slows the deck down and forces you to wait a turn before you can begin plays with either Infernity Necromancer, Infernity Launcher, or Infernity Mirage.
- A weakness to common disruption: - Like with all synchro decks, this deck suffers greatly in the face of common disruption such as Fiendish Chain, Karma Cut, Floodgate Trap Hole and Necrovalley (This weakness can be somewhat alleviated by Infernity Barrier, and in-archetype omni-negate, however I think more than one would be required to alleviate this). As such, Infernities find themselves in an oddly underwhelming place, but like in the TCG, they are one of the few decks that only got stronger with the arrival of XYZ’s, and with them on the horizon for Duel Links, Infernities will be an archetype to watch out for.
Looking to be the best deck in the box right now, and stealing the spotlight for many from Infernities, Weather Painters are a control deck that is actually relatively new in the TCG/OCG so it is a nice surprise to see them here in Duel Links. As a heavy control deck, this deck is going to be controlling the board with The Weather Thundery Canvas bouncing the opponents monsters back to the hand, thinning out their resources and allowing you to play the long grind game while you yourself have massive search and defensive potential with The Weather Snowy Canvas, where you can banish yourself as a Quick Effect to dodge certain types of backrow such as Fiendish Chain and Karma Cut whilst simultaneously searching of the effect (You can even banish multiple monsters at once, but you will only get one search). This deck has proven to be very consistent in setting up a board of at least 1 Thundery Canvas, whilst being easily able to search another, however the deck is not without its weaknesses.
- This deck has a terrible Blackwing match-up due to Assault Blackwing - Raikiri the Rain Shower popping the backrow easily and Blackbird Close negating The Weather Painter Snow and The Weather Painter Thunder’s search effects - This deck also has a very tough Dark Magician match-up due to Dark Magical Circle banishing backrow and Magician Navigation negating it for a turn.
- This deck in general is VERY susceptible to monster negation (whilst being shockingly resilient to backrow removal, despite being a backrow focused deck). However, this decks general resistance to some of the most played backrow in the game gives this deck some honestly great potential, and it is easily starting to look like the best deck in the box - If not tiered then certainly a rouge strategy.
An interesting deck that focuses on bringing out Simorgh of Darkness to negate backrow, alongside Simorgh, Bird of Divinity to facilitate Darkness’s summon and inflict massive burn damage during the end of each players turns. Simorgh’s biggest problems right now are a lack of their Field Dpell, a lack of a 3rd summon, and only sitting at a max ATK stat of 2900 - Whilst the combo with Simorgh Onslaught to search Darkness and then Divinity / Simorgh, Bird of Beginnings (whichever you don’t have) is very interesting it’s problem is that for Darkness to negate a backrow, it needs to tribute either itself of or another Winged-Beast, which is a very heavy cost - furthermore the deck relies on an opponent’s lack of backrow to special summon the smaller birds for tribute fodder to try and summon their true boss monster in Simorgh, Bird of Ancestry. The deck seems very underwhelming at the moment, but current build ideas that tech in cards such as Steelswarm Mantis could help this deck become a solid rouge strat in the foreseeable future.
Demise and Ruin
A cute little meme deck that can potentially nuke a board and can be summoned from Advanced Ritual Art – Nothing really competitive here without their LV 10 Ritual counterparts or their other Ritual Spell Turning of the World.
This box is looking average at best, and for a lot of people will come down to what the reprints are: The reprints in this box have now been confirmed to be 1) Goyo Guardian, 2) Naturia Barkion and 3) Cursed Fig - In my opinion, these reprints are not nearly good enough to justify digging into this box. As such, I would advise holding-off on buying in immediately and to wait and see if either Weather Painters or Infernities can break through the meta - Do not fall for the massive hype around Infernities, or it might be both your pride AND your wallet getting burned, we must wait and see.
Although many Infernity cards have been in the game for a long time, this new box brings the release of two of the archetype’s most critical cards in Infernity Archfiend and Infernity Launcher. These two are part of a core loop combo with Infernity Mirage, Infernity Necromancer, Infernity Avenger and Hundred Eyes Dragon that allows you to repeatedly summon Infernity Archfiend to search cards from your Deck while putting multiple Synchros on field. It’s currently unknown how many copies of Infernity Barrier will be playable, if any, which is the ultimate end goal of this loop combo. Although we now have all the pieces of Infernity’s core combo, we’re still missing several of the important setup tools that made Infernity such a powerhouse in the TCG, such as Dark Grepher, Armageddon Knight, and Foolish Burial. Because of the complexity and large amount of setup needed to make Infernity combos work consistently, it may take some time before optimal builds are discovered, but it would be a mistake to dismiss the new Infernity support as weak. There is every chance that, as players adapt to the combo pieces we have available, this deck could rise to incredible heights.
Weather Painters are an archetype of Fairy monsters who gain effects when their archetypal Canvas Spell / Trap cards are on the field. All the Canvas effects require the monsters to banish themselves as cost, but the monsters all return during the next Standby Phase. Their big win condition is The Weather Thundery Canvas, which allows them to return opposing monsters to the hand, without targeting, when they do battle. This powerful control effect makes it nearly impossible to contest them by battle and gives them access to a form of non-targeting, non-destruction removal. The deck also has fantastic consistency thanks to The Weather Painter Snow and The Weather Snowy Canvas. The main weakness of the deck is its poor offense, with its largest monster, The Weather Painter Thunder, having only a paltry 1700 ATK. Weather Painters could be a potential contender, but their lack of ability to produce high damage may prevent them from rising too far in the metagame.
While X-Sabers have finally, at long last, received some of the most important cards from their TCG incarnation, it’s too little, too late for the deck to reach meta relevance. Even by 2010 TCG standards, X-Saber was not a fast strategy, and in the current meta environment in Duel Links, Gottoms’ Emergency Call simply takes way too long to start generating advantage. Even the once-powerful search effect from XX-Saber Darksoul has simply been power crept out of the meta, and X-Saber Airbellum was never much use without the support of Rescue Cat. Even with a powerful Counter Trap in Saber Hole, it’s unlikely to be worth running such a slow engine.
The new Simorgh monsters try to create an archetype where there is none, giving some generic search and swarming support to other Simorgh monsters. Although the archetype comes with a boss monster, Simorgh of Darkness, its Spell/Trap negate effect is clunky (requiring you to Tribute another Winged-Beast) and doesn’t offer nearly as much as other relevant boss monsters. While there is potential to incorporate Simorgh, Bird of Ancestry as well, this isn’t exactly a meta-defining boss monster. This strategy just doesn’t provide enough incentive right now to justify running it.
Demise / Ruin
It’s easy to dismiss Ritual Monsters originally released in 2006 as overpriced pack filler, and that analysis would be largely correct. There’s some meme potential with Titan Showdown to form a very one-dimensional variant of Demise OTK, but the lack of options and susceptibility to disruption for this strategy will make it more or less a non-starter in the competitive scene. Megalith fans, however, are likely to be very interested in Demise, Agent of Armageddon. Every Level 4 Ritual monster has inherent synergy with Megaliths, and baby Demise has a nice non-targeting monster destruction effect that triggers when Ritual Summoned. This effectively turns it into a powerful hand trap when coupled with Megalith Och. This is still not enough for Megaliths to be relevant in the meta, but players who invested in Chronicle of Glory will be happy to see this release.
Giving this box an overall review is tough, as whether this is a good investment or not depends so heavily on how powerful Infernity ends up being. On the merit of the other cards, it’s hard to recommend investing here, as Weather Painters are not cheap and they have some notable weaknesses that could hamstring their attempts to enter the meta. I wouldn’t say the box is a pass necessarily, but consider waiting to see how Infernity and Weather Painter develop.
Tell us your own thoughts on the Box in the comments below! The best quality review/first impression will be featured on the site!