This is the 33rd Mini Box and was released on March 31st, 2021. It adds the F.A. archetype and support for the Harpie, Ninja, and B.E.S Archetypes.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a first impression for a box, it’s been a while since a box has impressed me enough to write one, but this box has got my attention, unfounded though it may be, this is something time, and the KC Cup, will tell…
Harpies are an archetype of WIND Attribute Level 4 Winged Beast monsters who focus on swarming the board with Harpie Channeler + Harpie Perfumer and generating massive advantage of double searching using Perfumer (whose search becomes a double search if you use Level Augmentation on Channeler), Hysteric Sign’s search 3 effect, Harpie’s Feather Rest’s draw 2, and Harpie Harpists GY search (quite frankly this deck searches so much you’ll hardly know what to do with the surplus of cards in your hand). All this builds up to your boss monster, Cyber Slash Harpie Lady, a generic Level 8 Synchro that treats a Harpie as a Tuner for its Summon and, in response to a Spell / Trap effect activation, can Quick-Effect bounce your opponent’s monster back to their hand, or your own Harpie back to yours. These additions give Harpies an incredible amount of searching and disruption options on the opponent’s turn, with their biggest weakness being low stat values, forcing people to consider even a card as weak as Cyber Shield to be a mandatory tech option in Level Augmentation builds, just so Cyber Slash can swing over Darklords. Overall, Harpies look to be a strong deck overall, reminding TCG players of their 2014 glory days, and Duel Links players of the 2017 Harpie era; the nostalgia is as strong as the searching, but can a deck whose boss monster struggles to swing over 3000 ATK possibly compete in this meta?
F.A. are an archetype of Wind attribute Machine type monsters that operate using a “stun” style of play, with all of the main deck monsters sharing the following effects:
- Gains ATK equal to its Level x 300.
- Each time a “F.A.” Spell/Trap Card or effect is activated: You can increase this card’s Level by 1.
Furthermore, all F.A. monsters gain an effect when their Level is 7 or above (something easy to do with their level increasing effects + Level Augmentation), and an additional passive effect if their level is higher than the Level/Rank of the opponent’s monster. Their main monsters F.A. Hang On Mach and F.A. Whip Crosser banishes any card your opponent sends to the graveyard and prevents the opponent from discarding or sending cards from their hand to the GY to activate card effects when their Levels are at 7 or above respectively. Both of these effects are absolutely damning to the two most powerful decks in the game right now: Blue-Eyes and Star Seraph Darklords. Against Blue-Eyes, Whip Crosser denying Karma Cut is damning for any sort of removal outside of battle and denying them Cards of Consonance plays is ever-more damning, precluding them from generating the disgusting levels of card advantage the pseudo-Pot of Greed grants them, as well as stopping Darklord Ixchel from drawing in the Star Seraph Darklord matchup. Hang-On Mach banishing any card they send to the Graveyard ruins any potential The White Stone of Ancients plays and utterly cripples Star Seraph Darklords when coupled with itss protection effect, making it “Unaffected by activated effects from an opponent’s monster whose original Level/Rank is lower than this card’s Level” to prevent Stellarknight Delteros and Evilswarm Ouroboros from removing it, allowing Mach to banish all the DL cards sent to the graveyard, denying any Darklord Contact plays and banishing their Darklords Spell / Traps if sent to the Graveyard. The question that follows is “how consistently can we reach our stun monsters?” and the answer to that lies in the /Assault Mode engine to turbo out Ancient Fairy Dragon, to in turn destroy one of the two F.A. Field Spells then search another Field Spell with Fairy Dragon’s effect, and search a monster using the on-destruction effect of the Field Spells, then finally using Ancient Fairy Dragons second effect to Special Summon the searched monster.
I would be remiss to talk about this box if I failed to talk about one of the most hyped cards in the entire box, Lightning Vortex, which destroys all face-up monsters on the field by discarding one card. This card is effectively an improved version of Special Hurricane with the benefits of:
- Not destroying your own monsters
- Not being restricted to special summoned monsters
These two upsides are huge, and effectively replaces Special Hurricane in side decks where the card had found a home, possibly even making it into the main decks of decks like Ritual Beasts due to its synergy with Ritual Beast Tamer Lara and as an on-demand out to a non-tagged out Blue-Eyes Spirit Dragon. Overallm I’ve seen 2 camps of thought with this card: one camp is hyping this up as the most powerful removal in the entire game and that every single deck will run 3 all the time, and the other who think it is overhyped to hell and back and it will see limited to no play. I lean slightly more into the latter’s camp, but I cannot deny that the two advantages this card gives over Special Hurricane are huge and massively increase its utility, I can’t deny how good this card is against a Blue-Eyes board that doesn’t see it coming, but against Darklords, Darklord Tezcatlipoca renders it useless, and them being able to Quick-Effect search it in response to Vortex’s activation makes it even worse.
The potential impact of F.A. on the two strongest decks in the game is huge, it directly targets their playstyles and cripples them in their current forms, and a by-product of that may be to raise other decks that aren’t so badly affected by this to the top, one of which being the boxes very own Harpies. If Blue-Eyes and Star Seraph Darklords can adapt to combat the stun strats of F.A. (e.g. going back to running Book of Moon and Treacherous Trap Hole again where possible) then the entire box, and the subsequent meta, will likely fizzle with it as Harpies have a poor match-up with Star Seraph Darklords and an even-to-good matchup with Blue-Eyes. I hate to put so much pressure on the budding F.A. players, but the future is quite literally in your hands, it is up to you to stem the dragon and demon-tide and open a path into a new meta, a brighter meta, so that our tourneys no longer have 50 Blue-Eyes players, and our KC Cup experience isn’t BE on repeat 24/7
Following the release of a great extra deck generic synchro in Cyber Slash Harpie Lady, 3 main deck consistency monsters in Harpie Channeler, Harpie Harpist, and Harpie Perfumer, the soon-to-be-released Harpie Oracle, and the new Spell card Hysteric Sign; Harpie’s will be a meta impact immediately. While they may not be able to get past the Top 2 decks, in reality nothing can and Harpies look to be on the shortlist of next best options. Perfumer is the primary piece and everything else is helping you get to that with it’s ability to search Harpie Spell / Traps such Harpie’s Feather Rest for drawing, Elegant Egotist for special summoning and possibly Harpie’s Hunting Ground and Cyber Shield for utility purposes in certain matchups. Combined with the possibility of searching two cards (if you have a Lv5+ Harpie – yes, Level Augmentation works) Perfumer hitting the field will always make an impact (Channeler being the primary searcher for Perfumer). Those 2 monsters alone tied with any Harpie + Elegant Egotist / Hysteric Sign (to search for Elegant Egotist) makes summoning out Cyber Slash extremely easy for this deck to do. With a medium-sized monster core the deck is then able to play Quick-Play Spells and Traps to help trigger Cyber Slash’s effect during your opponent’s turn for double disruption plays. While everybody is on board with Channeler, Perfumer, a sprinkle of Oracle, Harpist, and Harpie Lady 1 (as an Egotist Target with a +300 boost to WIND monsters) the most controversial card is Hysteric Sign. Sign has some extremely strong moments by being able to add Elegant Egotist from the Deck or GY to your hand, and if it the card goes to the GY (except if you used the search effect that turn!) you can then add THREE Harpie cards including all of the monsters, Harpie’s Feather Rest, and possibly Harpie’s Hunting Ground. However, it’s an unsearchable card that might end up on the field doing nothing. I personally will be trying it with Sign at first, but only time will tell how it will settle. My summary on Harpies is they are the best full archetypal release in a box in quite some time. A few good cards have come out that have made an impact (Stick/Chair, Abyss Dweller for Water, Fire King Avatar Arvata for Fire King, Sacred Noble Knight of King Custennin for Noble Knights, etc.) but it’s been awhile since we’ve seen a full archetype dropped like this and I look forward to playing this deck.
The hardest cards to review in the box. They’re just…unique…and it’s hard to judge their meta impact ahead of time. This deck has some incredibly strong Floodgate monsters in F.A. Hang On Mach banishing all your opponent’s cards that go to the GY and F.A. Whip Crosser restricting your opponent to discarding or sending cards from the hand to the GY if they above Level 7, which is very easy for them to do. Add on top of that a fairly quality Synchro engine with its Field Spells, Level Modulation, and Tuner monster F.A. Auto Navigator (who also searches a Field Spell) this deck has some real pieces. However, I feel it’s missing something. Unless you can get out Ancient Fairy Dragon this deck will lack true power and advantage plays. The most recent builds I’ve seen are currently using Storm to pop your Field Spells and get a search in addition to Psi-Reflector as a method of getting out an easy Ancient Fairy Dragon. While I’m not sure this is the way (at least with Reflector) this is a deck that feels 1 combo away from being completely broken. Maybe the combo already exists and it hasn’t been found yet, or maybe it will soon with some new cards, but at this point I feel this will be an off-meta pick that can be a nice rogue meta contender. Of all my reviews I am the least confident in my assessment of F.A.
This box added three new ninja cards. An UR Rank 4 that’s restricted to Warriors with an okay effect in Blade Armor Ninja, a generic Rank 5 with a solid protection effect in Number 12: Crimson Shadow Armor Ninja, and a surprisingly quality Ninjitsu Trap in Armor Ninjitsu Art of Rust Mist. The Rank 4 will help Warrior decks OTK’s a bit more often, but won’t have a big impact on the meta as we already have the similar and more generic Gagaga Samurai. The Rank 5 will be used in decks that can spam Level 5’s as it has self protection in it making it able to be easily played outside of Ninja decks. However, Ninja fans should be most interested in the new Ninjistu trap. The trap states that if you control a Ninja monster half the attack of all monsters your opponent Special Summons. This is a permanent Adhesion Trap Hole that’s searchable with not just one, but two Ninja cards in Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo and Ninjitsu Art Notebook. While I don’t expect it to be played much because it’s more boring than standard Ninja’s, this card opens up the option for Trap control Ninja’s. Focused only around the Lv 4’s (Hanzo, Yellow Ninja, Upstart Golden Ninja) combined with Endless Trap Hell this deck can be a quality Rank 4 engine that doesn’t lose card advantage and halving all your opponent’s monsters’ attack. This will be a very nice rogue deck if people actually choose to play it.
This deck is all about Boss Rush. Is it good? No. Is it hilarious and fun for the right player? Absolutely. Allowing you to summon an endless supply of B.E.S. monsters. The best for this deck likely being the new Duke event drop B.E.S. Big Core MK-2 for the simple fact it actually gets its counters on Special Summon. This deck will be a meme and frankly it’s just bad, but it’s comical so I’m sure some good YouTube content can be created for it.
Mecha Phantom Beast Dracossack: Finally, a Rank 7 Xyz monster that is actually good! Now all we need is a decent way to summon this. It will slide into your DM’s but the 2nd most popular Lv7 monster right now is Cosmo Brain so I find that says a lot in how Rank 7 monsters are just not popular anymore. However, if we get any deck that can get multiple Level 7’s on field easily this will certainly be used as it’s a great generic Rank 7 monster.
Daigusto Emeral: One of the more controversial cards I’ve seen so far. People are completely unsure if this card is good or not in Duel Links. I veer on the side that this card is currently not very good, but pick up 1 copy for decks that can grind as you might use it. My reasoning is essentially that it’s only good in late game situations. Disregarding it’s revival effect as that is not very relevant currently the draw effect requires you to have gone through 5 monsters already (2 for material, 3 in GY) or you can’t even activate its effect. While there is certainly cases this has a use I don’t see games going long enough for this to be a big impact.
Fog King: I’m unsure why this is a SR when it’s essentially a worse version of Legendary Maju Garzett. The only reason to run Fog King over it is you don’t have to tribute your entire field, but at the cost of a Normal Summon this card will never see play.
Spiritual Wind Art - Miyabi: Ballista Squad but better for WIND monsters. It’s a good card, but I don’t see an easy home for it yet outside of Mecha Phantom Beasts who can’t compete in this meta. If there are WIND decks that spam the field and like their monsters in the graveyard (Harpies need their monsters on field too much to use this) this will be a very popular disruption card for them.
Lightning Vortex: This will be the new card you roll your eyes to when you see it activated. The catch is, it’s not actually that good – but don’t get me wrong it will certainly win some games. It is better than Special Hurricane so at the very least it will see play in Side Decks and the occasional Main Deck but there’s simply too many cases where it’s just not going to be enough. Without graveyard synergy combined with it 2 cards committing to destroy the field is often too much to bounce back and OTK. In order for it to be good value you have to destroy at least 2 monsters, them not have protection / floating, and for you have ways to capitalize on their broken board. I’m sure it will find a home somewhere but definitely do not live in fear of facing this at 3x in every deck. You’ll beat them more often than not if they do that.
This is a decent box and has nice value as a mini box. A few decent generic Xys Monsters, almost an entire quality deck by itself in harpies, and an anti-meta pick in F.A.. I am very curious to see how this box settles over time as I feel it will be a quality Mini for quite some time and would be a nice box for new players to start with for a complete deck with Harpies.
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