The Shark deck archetype debuted in Duel Links in 2020 with the launch of Reginald Shark Castle Unlock event! At the time, Shark deck was rogue at best and used in tandem with Number 37: Hope Woven Dragon Spider Shark to be a nuisance with adding engines like graydle and mermail as well to try and make up for the lack of a true boss monster. As the deck settled, the niche of Shark deck became outdated and the deck wasn’t seen competitively and never made the tier list. However, Shark Deck received meta defining support in February 2021 with the release of Photon of Galaxy Mini Box, giving the deck much needed power to allow it to compete with the other top tier decks!!!
Today, the deck is a stun oriented deck focused on making Abyss Dweller With either a Atlantean Heavy Infantry or Atlantean Marksman as material for a quick play destruction on face up or set cards as well as negating effects from even attempting to activate from the graveyard after dweller resolves..
The goal of this guide will be to introduce the core of a Shark deck, discuss relevant tech cards, provide sample decks, highlight combos and plays, and analyze common matchups in the current meta.
Territory of the Sharks
The only skill that a atlantean-xyz based deck can use right now, the ability to make every water type monster on your field into level 4s for the current turn lets us have access to strong rank 4 Xyzs like Abyss Dweller and Number 37: Hope Woven Dragon Spider Shark. This skill paired with a Deep Sea Diva allows a one card Xyz summon and our main power combo into Abyss Dweller with Atlantean Heavy Infantry as material
Deep Sea Diva (3x):Deep Sea Diva is your main 1 card combo that will make a Abyss Dweller with a Atlantean Heavy Infantry ready to destroy a face up card. Upon summoning diva, this will give you options to multiple lines of play which will be discussed further in this guide. Once summoned you are able to special summon an infantry or marksman from the deck. By summoning Infantry off this effect you are now allowed an additional normal summon if the card you summon is a sea serpent (another marksman or infantry) It is hands down the best monster card in the main deck. There are also tech cards to either summon diva from grave to utilize her being a tuner or techs to bring her to the hand because of her being the best card in the deck. These traits make Deep Sea Diva one of the top search monsters of the current meta.
Silent Angler (1-3x):
Silent Angler is the main special summonable monster in our deck (not counting our extra deck). Upon having any water monster face up on the field you are able to special summon this card from hand, Silent Angler allows the player to extend plays through disruption, make syncro plays without a skill, allow hands with only a Infantry to still turn into a loaded Abyss Dweller, and other niche plays by just being lvl 4 already and not needing to use the skill Territory of the Sharks Which is only able to be used 2 times per duel. This effect provides consistent access to both Abyss Dweller or Number 37: Hope Woven Dragon Spider Shark As well as our core syncro extra deck monsters like White Aura Dolphin and Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier which opens up for big plays on the current and following turn.
Atlantean Heavy Infantry (3x):
Atlantean Heavy Infantry is what we consider as a 3 of right now (meaning you want 3 of this card to have the most optimal list). Deep Sea Diva as mentioned above allows you to SS this card from the deck!. Also infantry on his own, once summoned allows for the additional normal summon of another sea serpent monster! Making him a core staple to the deck. The quick play destruction of an opponent’s face-up card on the field AS SOON AS when Abyss Dweller hits the field with this card as material is a force to be reckoned with.The main enabler of this deck’s power in this meta is this card and getting it as material for your XYZ monster Abyss Dweller is a top priority.
Atlantean Marksman (1-2x):
Atlantean Marksman functions as a great multi purpose card. To start you can consider it as the opposite of infantry while as a material under a water-XYZ and another option to summon with your diva’s effect. It can destroy a set card your opponent controls when detached from any water-XYZ. This effect is useful as it can be taken into account vs heavy backrow matchups and also pop and stop certain effects like set a winda trying to summon from the deck or extra deck for example in invoke neos. Which will be discussed in the matchup portion. Secondly, it adds another way to special summon from the deck. Upon dealing any battle damage involving this card you are given the option to special summon a Lvl 4 or lower sea serpent from the deck. Which will be infantry or as will be discussed next more commonly Atlantean Attack Squad Atlantean Attack Squad Which is going to put some pressure on your opponent either with threatening lethal or forcing resources. Lastly, with marksman being a level 3 when you have no skill left or if there is a reason to make a problem monster switch to defense you can summon diva into marksman and make a no skill costing syncro Crystron Ametrix
Atlantean Attack Squad (1x):
There isn’t much to say about the atlantean attack squad. It is your what we call a beater. Sitting next to an Abyss Dweller with material it has a stout 2700 atk and also 2200 atk next to any of your fish, sea serpent, or aqua type monster respectively. This is a great target for an Atlantean Marksman play if you can do battle damage with that card you will be able to special summon Atlantean Attack Squad from the deck and continue attacking in the same turn for a otk threat sitting next to a Abyss Dweller (1900+2700=4600 dmg)! If we see better support for this deck, this will probably be the first card to get replaced.
Number 37: Hope Woven Dragon Spider Shark (1-2x):
Number 37: Hope Woven Dragon Spider Shark is our old boss monster for the deck upon release of the skill Territory of the Sharks. Only needing 2 level 4 water monsters and you have a 2600 atk monster that can reduce all opponents face up monsters by 1000 atk and does NOT target opposing monsters with the reduction. Secondly, Hope Woven has the ability to summon any water monster from the graveyard upon destruction. An important note is hope woven can and will miss the timing on this effect if it is destroyed on chain Link 2 or higher. Hope Woven at the current time of writing this guide is recommended at 2 but the 2nd is rarely needed and it is saved for specific moments and matchups. With that said, once more extra deck support comes the second Hope Woven will be most likely removed.
Abyss Dweller (2-3x):
Abyss Dweller is the boss monster for the deck. Abyss Dweller This XYZ monster will be your most common first priority summon and has the quick-play effect (activatable at any moment on either turn) to detach a material and negate effects from activating in your opponent’s graveyard after it resolves. Keep in mind that you can not chain it to negate an effect that has already activated. This effect is useful in its own vs the current meta as it can stop The White Stone of Ancients from activating and as well as negate thunder dragons effects when sent to grave from the field for a couple quick examples with many more coming in the matchup portion. Secondly, as mentioned above this is activatable at any moment in the game which adds to the utility of this effect and proper timing becomes key in certain matchups. This useful quick play option brings to the main point why this is our boss monster. The atlantean core adds the ability to destroy face up and set cards based on which atlantean is attached to Abyss Dweller as material. With Atlantean Heavy Infantry for face up cards and Atlantean Marksman for set cards. These mechanics as well as matchup knowledge and the plethora of Tech spots we have open lead this to being a very powerful deck selection for any player who enjoys the archetype.
White Aura Dolphin:
White Aura Dolphin’s is a level 6 synchro that fills 2 very important roles in the deck. First, being an attack reduction. Once per turn you are able to target and reduce one faceup monster your opponent controls attack by half the current attack! Secondly, it has the ability to revive itself from the graveyard as many times as it is destroyed by an opponent given you have water monsters in your graveyard to banish too revive it each time upon destruction.. Also when it is destroyed and revived from the graveyard it is considered a tuner. Leaving an abundance of followup plays coupled with the skill Territory of the Sharks you can do against your opponent once you have summoned this monster. These two effects make it a staple in the extra deck and in the matchup portion will be further discussed on its relevance in certain popular decks
Crystron Ametrix (CA) is one of your extra deck monsters that will rarely see play. Ametrix’s main purpose in the deck is because the skill Territory of the Sharks is only twice per duel. Leaving a weakness in the deck as far as follow-up. Thus the role ametrix fills. Being a level 5 Synchro water monster it is able to be summoned simply by summoning Diva Deep Sea Diva and summoning a lvl 3 atlantean. Giving a play after the skill has been used and when sometimes there is none. Now ametrix also has the ability to change all face up special summoned opposing monsters to defense. Leaving an opportunity for the summon of this card to be optimal in very specific and rare moments in a duel. With this easy access and a stout 2500 atk (3000 next to a dweller with material) it is a Monster that has a place in the deck.
Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier:
Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier’s bounce effect is really important against decks that have an abundance of followup and where you don’t really want to destroy their monsters. Brionic also lets you activate Atlantean Heavy Infantry and Atlantean Marksman’s secondary effects after Brionic discards them to get more additional pops coupled with the cards you choose to bounce. Another great thing is that Brionic is not skill dependent, so you can easily summon it with Deep Sea Diva + Silent Angler or Gishki Chain. Brio will open up opportunities for lethal if you keep him in mind when you have specific hands that can do a Xyz+Synchro in one turn as mentioned in the combo portion.
Xyz Slidolphin is a great substitute for a third Silent Angler if you plan on only going through the box once, although, slidolphin’s special summoning condition is slightly harder to fulfill, it is still possible to turbo out 2 Xyzs in one turn.
Gishki Chain Is currently the most popular tech monster card we have right now with Buzzsaw Shark being released and will be tested soon. Ran at 1-2 in most Shark decks, Gishki has synergy with Heavy infantry due to it being a Sea Serpent Monster. Which allows it to be normal summoned off that effect. It also has the effect upon normal summon to look at your next 3 cards in your deck and stack them in any order you would like. This effect allows you to typically line up a Diva/tech for followup and also allow further pre planning on how to approach the duel knowing what cards will come next.
Forbidden Lance’s usage as a tech card is tied directly to the heavy backrow status of current meta. Forbidden Lance has the quick-play effect (also activatable in damage step) upon resolving to have your monster of choice be unaffected by spell and trap cards for the rest of the turn as well as reduce the attack of said monster by 800. Having such a versatile attack reduction option coupled with its counter playstyle towards spells/traps make this card a staple of the deck in the current meta.
Necrovalley is a tech card suited for metagames where graveyard heavy interactions are common in opponents decks. Since we don’t rely heavily on the graveyard in most matchups nor our techs, necrovalley has found its way into many main decks. Being such a counter to top tier decks some of which are not a favorable matchup it becomes preference if you personally would like this in your main deck (Necrovalley will stop your Salvage and Surface from resolving). In tournament format this is a staple side deck card in a heavy graveyard meta. Currently, Necrovalley has a strong matchup as a countermeasure to Chaos Dragon Levianeer, Noble Knights, The White Stone of Ancients, as well as numerous rogue decks that rely on the graveyard currently. A good point to keep in mind vs blue eyes necrovalley will not stop the summon of a blue eyes from the deck. You will still need to activate dweller here before there endphase to accomplish that. Necrovalley does not stop effects from activating in the graveyard. It stops cards from moving (or changing types and attributes) and in this case stopping them from grabbing a blue eyes card back to the hand. The card may be considered niche and a dead draw in certain matchups. Necrovalley provides the Shark deck player great value if against the right matchup
Fiendish Chain functions as a versatile trap card that synergizes well with the main strategy of the deck as well as helps vs bad matchups. This card can be used to target opposing monsters and negate their effect, stopping their on summon effect if need be. This card is used on threatening monsters, such as Noble Knight Medraut. Going first,fiendish can be used to stall the opponent from setting up their optimal board. Against thunder dragons, fiendish can be used to negate Chaos Dragon Levianeer to prevent it from destroying two cards on your field. Since shark decks usually have an Abyss Dweller or trying to get one out, fiendish as a stall and disruption card works perfectly to buy time to get to your win conditions as well as have a monster faceup to use your infantry pop on if need be. Fiendish’s secondary effect to be a continuous spell synergizes with other techs like TTH since that requires you not to have a trap in grave.
Book of Moon:
Book of Moon has found itself to be a staple tech of the deck based solely on it being one of If not the most powerful tech cards in the game. It is a pay to play card. So if you have them I suggest using them. If not there are plenty of other options that will have their own benefits that will be discussed in this article.
Treacherous Trap Hole:
Treacherous Trap Hole Is a semi limited card that lets you target 2 monsters on the field and destroy them as long as you have no traps in the grave. Currently the main consensus as our best use for semi limit cards. Very powerful and considered a game winning card. Suggested at 2 for this reason. Fiendish chain being a continuous trap as well as remaining face up on the field if the monster is not destroyed synergizes with this concept as well.
Salvage is a recovery tech card that has become popular for its ability to grab a diva from the graveyard (as long as you have two water monsters with 1500 or less attack). With Deep Sea Diva being the single most powerful summon as it allows a +1 summon from the deck as well as the option to summon either Atlantean to deal with the opposing board. Salvage has found its way to the top as far as recovery options for the deck we have currently.
Surface’s strength in the mirror match is incredibly powerful. As another recovery option , surface allows you to Special summon any level 3 or lower fish, sea serpent, or aqua monster from the grave in defense. This effect brings different options than say Salvage and is inherently very strong against destruction based effects. Typically will be used to summon Atlantean Heavy Infantry back on the field to continue doing your extra normal summon with infantry and also your normal summon after if possible.This would be considered a more budget friendly option for a replacement for a card like Salvage. Which is currently the most popular tech of this kind.
Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror is a great card is it can help deal with a lot of the meta decks like noble knights (Merlin) , thunder dragons (Basically their whole deck) , onomats (Gagaga Sister, Gagaga Head, Number 70: Malevolent Sin), Desperados (The Barrel Dragons), and Darklords. The reason why people main deck this over Necrovalley is because it doesn’t stop your recycle cards like Salvage and Surface or floating monsters (hope woven) and White Aura Dolphin.
Light-Imprisoning Mirror’s strength is against specific matchups in the current meta. As what is considered a staple side deck card Light-Imprisoning Mirror can single handley win games. Blue eyes, Satellarsknights, Stick and Chair, and the list goes on for Light based archetypes. So in short you add this card in Vs those matchups in a side deck event.
Mystical Space Typhoon
Mystical Space Typhoon has found its way into many main decks and side decks. The reason this card would be played over cosmic cyclone or lance in some cases will be in matchups when Treacherous Trap Hole is expected. For instance in the mirror match,blue-eyes, and many more matchups as that card has risen in popularity due to lack of monsters being indestructible. Successfully hitting a opposing trap will shut off any future Treacherous Trap Hole that the opponent might have set or about to draw. Leaving this generic backrow removal a option for you to consider
Murmur of the Forest:
Murmur of the Forest is a great f2p alternative to Book of Moon, since the main reason, BoM is better than Paleozoic Canadia since it can be activated on your turn and as well as on the opponent’s turn. MotF allows you to flip a monster face down and as well as bounce a field spell back into its owner’s hand so you can potentially bounce your own necrovalley to activate Salvage or Surface and then reactivate your necrovalley later. The only downside to this card is you cannot flip your own monsters and it’s also not a quick play so it will not work on your opponent’s turn, but it’s quite good considering how it’s a tradeable rare card compared to the selection box exclusive UR.
Head Judging is a good card to tech in as it has a surprise factor since no one expects it from waters. It’s also great since it’s a continuous trap which allows for 1 use each turn as well as stay face up through a trunade. Since shark deck is not exactly known for its draw power, a strong continuous trap can be really beneficial. This is in F2P Tech and a semi-limit like Treacherous Trap Hole (which is just more powerful). Being able to destroy 2 monsters with a single card is just too strong to pass up.
- Deep Sea Diva+Silent Angler+any atlantean = a synchro summon + xyz summon or 2 xyz summons. I.e summon diva then summon infantry. Now you special summon angler to do a level 6 synchro play or summon the atlantean and then activate skill and save angler for the monster you don’t use.
Abyss Dweller WILL NOT negate effects in the graveyard when chained to the effect. Only negates effects from attempting to activate in graveyard after effect of dweller resolves.
Atlantean Attack Squad can be special summoned off of battle damage with marksman for an easy OTK strategy. (Check replays for a example)
White Aura Dolphin A key card in many matchups. It has a soft once per turn effect of banishing a water monster to revive itself from destruction by an opponent’s card effect or battle. Meaning you can revive it over and over again until your graveyard is empty
When making a decision on which to summon first with Infantry+Diva+angler in hand. Here are a couple tips to keep in mind. First, if going second into backrow if you summon diva and they target your infantry with disruption you can still summon angler for a synchro/XYZ play. Secondly, if looking at a bounzer consider summoning infantry+angler and saving diva for the next turn as well as putting Hope woven out as a floater because you will need infantry’s effect to destroy bounzer without a tech regardless.This deck does not plus or recover outside of Diva and Salvage. Keeping this in mind is key since relying on your topdeck card is very common and effects like diva and each of your tech cards are extremely important to resolve.
The Shark deck utilizes a small core of monsters and a good amount of tech cards. With this said your Tech choices will be key in matchups. As well as understanding the full power of each tech card and how it can counter directly to your opponent. For instance Forbidden Lance. A staple tech card currently. Used for the popular reason of dodging back row threats. But has many other uses such as hitting a Aleister the Invoker to negate the fusion or any fusion monster for that matter. Also the attack reduction can be huge in matchups like thunder dragons before you can side out cards. Like lance there are other techs that are chosen that have many uses as well I.e Book of Moon Treacherous Trap Hole. Keep that in mind as the meta is ever evolving and these cards can be the difference in a duel.
Territory of the Sharks only works if your deck and extra deck only contains water monsters, so do not tech in cards like D.D. Crow or Ally of Justice Cycle Reader as it will cause the skill not to activate.
Punkititiri, 2nd Place Global February 2021 KC Cup
Kazaarus, Top 16 MCS #40
The introduction of noble knights to Duel Links had given us our first true tiered XYZ deck. For shark deck, it’s important to recognize the threatening aspects of noble knights in order to properly play against them. The three major concerns Noble knights poses against Shark deck are:
- Until Noble Arms are Needed Once Again The core strategy of Noble Knights revolves around doing their main combo ending/starting on borz to put copies of this trap in the grave. Leaving what can feel like endless follow up for a deck with very powerful boss monsters.
- Merlin Merlin is a card you don’t want to see them going first with. But do want to see them going second with. Merlin allows them to tribute himself and special summon any noble knight from the deck. Now what is important to keep in mind is merlin can (quick effect) meaning chain to dodge disruption from the grave to xyz into their boss monsters. Now what is good to keep in mind if they are going second is they cannot protect merlin from disruption with the equip spells. So you are safe to just pop merlin to start the turn.
- XYZ monsters There two main boss monsters are not to be taken lightly. With Sacred Noble Knight of King Custennin and Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus Both having the ability to float into monsters upon destruction. As Well as being either able to destroy a monster or bounce cards back to the hand. It is very important to stop these effects and limit any type of advantage gained in this matchup.
While these threats should not be taken lightly, Shark Deck has access to a very strong boss monster in Abyss Dweller. ADs graveyard negates and quick play destruction makes it very difficult for them to do their combo going second as well as continuing pressure if we draw the right techs going first. Because Noble knight players can establish very strong boards, there are different ways to approach the game depending on the coin flip to begin the duel.
Going First: When going first, you will make Abyss Dweller with a Atlantean Heavy Infantry if possible. It’s important to prevent the Main combo of borz getting the traps into the grave if at all possible. To prevent this, staple techs such as Book of Moon can be used to halt their attempt temporarily for a turn. It is important that you wait to chain BoM to the activation of their equip card. You do this to make sure they lose card advantage basically a -1 extra for trying to do the combo. Also a key play to remember. If all you have is a lance set and when you go to pop there Medraut or Borz with your Dweller. If they attempt to chain Glory and put a Destiny to protect from destruction. You can chain Lance and it will be destroyed. (will not be protected by destiny). Main focus. Don’t let them put traps in grave
Going Second: Going second vs Noble knights and their full combo can be menacing. But far from impossible. Trap cards such as karma cut/Treacherous Trap Hole/Canadia are cards to keep in mind when looking at their set card. Now in this situation it is important you draw very well meaning at least a good tech or two. With Book of Moon or Forbidden Lance you should be able to do your combo as well as damage/clear their board. 1st tip if you draw BoM and they have merlin in the grave. You want to BoM the monster with the live equip card on it, not gwen. Reason being they have a live trap so if you allow them to pop your normal summon by floating the equip onto drystan you will lose right there. 2nd tip you will want lance to protect what will most likely be your Atlantean Heavy Infantry which they will target with their back row if able. Now that you understand those are your dangers you can play your turn. Make Abyss Dweller with infantry loaded. At this point you are looking at a few different things. Either you have BoM’d and cancelled the equip float onto the next monster or you’re looking at a rank 5 XYZ or just a Med and borz on the field. On a side note you do not need to BoM the borz with no merlin in grave because once you activate dweller the equip will not float so save your cards. If possible you want to make 2 monsters here as well. Hopefully a dolphin so you can push through there Gwen. Either way try and save your pop on abyss if possible while clearing their board. Keep in mind they have a follow up on the next turn to summon at least one monster with a trap from the grave. And when you activate dweller it will force the response if they want that summon that turn. From here you will need to understand your unique situation in the duel!
Side Deck/Tech Choices:
Shark Deck (Mirror Match)
Shark deck mirror matches are often decided by the player who can position the board to their advantage best. Going first or second can mean little if you play into a trap or make a suboptimal play or if going second open optimal techs. With that said going first and playing optimally is a huge advantage. A few facets must first be taken into consideration, because they produce two different game states with equally viable and distinct win conditions. The first consideration is the skill, Territory of the Sharks. This allows only 2 uses of the skill and can be huge if your opponent is the one being too aggressive. The presence of at least one Abyss Dweller on the field allows you to negate their dweller pop. Or if possible pop their Infantry before being able to make an Extra deck monster like their own Abyss Dweller. This is where well timed offensive outbursts can outright win the game. Understanding delays on opposing backrow and your options for OTK threats is very important here. A second consideration is White Aura Dolphin and (Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier).These cards can single handley win the game without interruption from an opposing Abyss Dweller or backrow. With Dolphins atk reduction and floating ability and Brio’s bounce effect (if you send an infantry from hand with brios effect then you can pop a faceup card on the field keep this in mind) you can find Lethal if you look. The final consideration is looking for the Marksman/Atlantean Attack Squad OTK strategy, fueled by a passive game state where your opponent is not threatening you or you have good tech cards to protect. With these considerations taken into account, Diva+marksman/infantry = Dweller+marksman in attack. If you are able to deal battle damage with marksman in any way you can summon an Atlantean Attack Squad leaving a field of 1900+2200+2700 to threaten lethal. (This strategy is used in many matchups currently)
The first path is an aggressive OTK approach. Strong hands enable swarming multiple monsters onto the field and can overwhelm the opponent if their board is weak. Summoning diva + lance in hand can protect monsters from disruption cards commonly found in shark decks, like Book of Moon. Be careful when deciding to go for a game, as shark decks can either main or side deck cards like Treacherous Trap Hole to prevent you from making an Abyss Dweller. A well timed treacherous can leave a board open and vulnerable to a follow up reverse OTK if there is no contingency plan. When pushing for OTK, being prepared for the opponent’s back row can be beneficial if Forbidden Lance or Book of Moon is in hand, as forcing backrow through lethal threats is common in this matchup.
An alternative strategy to winning the mirror match is to play disruptive and wait patiently for windows to OTK. Treacherous Trap Hole and Paleozoic Canadia and Book of Moon can stall for turns while combo pieces are accumulated. Popular cards like this can successfully halt OTK pushes and leave the opponent drained. After the opponent is spent, it’s important to assess if any backrow or faceup monsters they control are a threat. Destroying an opposing Abyss Dweller can slow down a turn but also slow down any offensive momentum they had to try and maintain control. The key to winning this stage is correctly identifying your card advantage and skill advantage and making your opponent pay for being aggressive.
Side Deck/Tech Choices:
Thunder dragons are considered an unfavorable matchup currently. With that said in a side deck format we are able to side heavily for them and drop cards that don’t help Like Forbidden Lance or Book of Moon for Necrovalley and a Shadow-Imprisoning Mirror. As Well as other replacement cards like Fiendish Chain and Treacherous Trap Hole that do well also to counter the main problem.
When tackling the Thunder dragon matchup, it’s important to understand the One main threat and win condition against Shark deck. Chaos Dragon Levianeer This card can and will single handley destroy your board without a proper Tech card to stop it. Now you still want Abyss Dweller as a first priority because you shut off Thunder dragon effects when sent from field to grave. Which is the advantage we have vs the archetype naturally. Now with an Abyss Dweller on the field making a White Aura Dolphin will be the next play. As without Constellar Ptolemy M7 Thunder dragons will have an extremely hard time getting rid of that monster as well.
Make an Abyss Dweller with infantry loaded for a face up pop if possible. Set your backrow. As mentioned above you will want something to either negate levianeer or stop them from making it. There are 2 ways to do this. With Book of Moon if they open Aloof Lupine they will most likely be able to make a rank 6. Which will be a Constellar Ptolemy M7 trying to either bounce your abyss back to the deck or at the very least get more light and dark materials in the grave. Here is where you book of moon the M7. Halting their turn and forcing them to pass to you which hopefully you will find a otk threat of some sort. IF they summon raiden either pop on summon with abyss or use book of moon. If you have to pop there M7 and dont have disruption for it. This is where you will pop it with your Abyss Dweller. At this point if they have Levianeer and you don’t have a way to negate it. This is where it becomes the unfavorable matchup. So keys for going first. Setup abyss then dolphin (dolphin will revive itself from grave). Don’t allow materials to build in their graveyard. Also on a side note a main deck necrovalley is also popular and in there for this matchup. As that card stops levianeer from banishing and summoning.
Thunder dragons will do a combination of a few plays depending on their hand. To simplify I will use a couple strong ending boards they can leave with when passing their turn. Keep in mind they can also brick. First and a common turn 1 for TD’s will be Bounzer and Roar or just bounzer on the field Photon Strike Bounzer. Bounzer will negate Diva’s effect if you attempt to activate it while Bounzer is face up on the field. You have two options for plays here. 1 If you open Book of Moon you can flip the bounzer face down and either go for an OTK or take control of the board and summon diva as normal. 2 You either need a Infantry Atlantean Heavy Infantry + another monster or Diva + angler. Keep in mind that Bounzer cannot negate the extra normal summon from Infantry. Allowing you to summon 2 monsters needed to make an Abyss Dweller. Now is where you decide before summoning which options you have. Can you otk? How many cards are in hand? How many resources are in their graveyard? Do you have an answer if you can’t otk and they summon a levianeer next turn? These observations decide if you start going for damage now and clear their board or if you play to win the next turn and make them burn resources. Secondly and very similar to the common first turn they also have the ability to activate a Chaos Dragon Levianeer on the first turn to take a random card from your hand. Leaving you even more crippled to deal with the bounzer most likely next to Levi at this point. The approach will be the same just with less cards. One thing to keep in mind here is that they are over extending and using a lot of resources so if you can take board control they most likely cannot follow up strongly.
Side Deck/Tech Choices:
Blue-Eyes are a pretty favourable matchup as Abyss Dweller can stop The White Stone of Ancients from activating when it’s in the grave. It can stop both effects but be sure to activate the dweller’s effect before Stone activates as chaining to it will not stop it’s effect. As chaining Abyss to any effect will not negate you will need to activate prior to what you are trying to negate. Now as the match progresses there are different lines of plays. Getting over Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon can be an issue if the duel gets there. I will go over turn 1 and 2 and what to expect from there.
Going First Turn 1:
You want to prioritize making Abyss Dweller with an infantry as material. Set your backrow. Pass turn. Now they are going to try and do a few things. Main priority is to make a Blue eyes spirit dragon as that will allow them to take over board control and this is what you are trying to prevent. Option 1 they are able to summon Alternative Blue eyes White Dragon. You will pop this with infantry before they can resolve effect. Option 2 they either summon sage and start drawing cards with Cards of Consonance by discarding Ancients or try and get another Blue eyes out by using sage effect from hand. At this point in their end phase if you haven’t activated Dweller and they discarded the ancients this is when you activate the effect to make sure they get no free summons off of Ancients graveyard effect. Keys to remember. 1 Don’t let Alternative Pop you 2 Prevent them from making Blue Eyes Spirit Dragon 3 Do not allow ancients to activate in their end phase to summon from the deck.
Going Second Turn 2
Now being very similar to turn 1 in the sense of we do not want them to make Blue eyes Spirit Dragon so keep that in mind. For the sake of the guide we will assume they made one Turn 1 (which will be a good hand for them and not guaranteed). Now Blue eyes like to run Karma Cut So if you see a set card keep that in mind. Lance will be good to draw here. IF you draw a Diva+atlantean+angler you have a hand to break their board and i’ll tell you how. Summon Diva then summon Infantry off of Diva’s effect. Then summon your atlantean from the hand off of the Infantry effect. Then use your skill. Now all three monsters are level 4. Make Abyss Dweller with diva and Infantry. Then Special summon Angler and make Hope Woven Spider Shark. Now with this board you have a 2200 atk Abyss Dweller and a 3100 atk Hope Woven. Which will be enough to dismantle their entire board. Also Secondary tips still save your pop on Dweller for there turn so you can keep control. Now if you don’t have this hand and wondering what plays to make. Things to keep in mind. Once he tags out into Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon, Any dragon on the field currently when that happens is untargetable until your next turn. Meaning Infantry will not be able to do much. Also a turn 1 Blue eyes spirit is their best move so if you can’t beat it don’t be discouraged as you will win this matchup more times than not. Something to keep in mind in a side deck event this deck likes to side in [DNA transplant] which will hard counter us trying to activate our skill. With that said if you have a dweller on the field already with Infantry as material if you activate to chain to DNA you will be able to destroy it with infantry since at the time of detaching, abyss was still a water monster.
Side Deck/Tech Choices:
Onomats bring a very consistent OTK threat with their plethora of extra deck monsters as well as the skill Onomatoplay. With the consistency from the skill it also allows them to run cards like Hey, Trunade! and Offerings to the Doomed to help eliminate backrow threat and problem monsters (like our tech cards and Abyss Dweller). In this matchup portion I will go over Turn 1 and Turn 2 as far as what to expect and what to make in a normal match with Onomat’s.
Going First Turn 1
Like most matchups it’s important to get Abyss Dweller on the field with Infantry as material to have a Quick-play pop on a faceup card for their turn. Set back row and pass turn. Now it is important to watch what they send with the skill back to the deck and what they grab as it can give insight to what their hand holds. For instance, typically they will send back cards like Gaga Wind and Bolt first and then monster cards. Reason being they can research these spells with Gagaga Sister. So things to keep in mind. If they grab sister + anything but Zubababancho Gagagacoat that typically means they have a Coat in hand. They also like grabbing Gagaga Head for follow up so keep that in mind as well if you can’t OTK your turn. Now they will start their turn with Trunade or Offerings to the Doomed to take care of Abyss or your back row. Then they will summon Sister. You will want toggle on to check what card they searched and based on what you have left on field go in this order. 1 Backrow- Negate sister if possible if not then BoM the sister 2 Abyss Dweller- If they drew Gagawind then they have another summon ready get ready to pop that or the XYZ as mentioned below. One play to keep in mind is if you can negate the sister’s search you still will want to destroy the sister to prevent the coat from summoning from hand as mentioned before. If for whatever reason the ONLY disruption you have is the pop on Dweller DO NOT attempt to pop sister IF they successfully search gagagawind. This will be an instant loss most of the time. It is better to save that pop for a XYZ summon of theirs for the best chance of survival. Summoning an extra monster in defense can be a good idea. Following this guide should give you your best opportunity to keep control against this very aggressive deck going first.
Going Second Turn 2
One of the few matchups where if you can draw Book of Moon then going second can be very favorable since Photon Strike Bounzer is there only true defense besides Offerings to the Doomed which also has the steep drawback of missing your next draw phase. Turn 1 for onomats based on their hand will either require them to skill for sister or If they open it they can hold the skill for a followup play. Regardless they will end on Photon Strike Bounzer and pass to you either with no back row or a couple set cards. These being bluff trunades,Offerings to the Doomed,cosmics, and even possibly a Treacherous Trap Hole. There are a few options here based on your hand and a couple key things to keep in mind. First, If you have a Book of Moon/Forbidden Chalice it is great to start your turn with that especially if you have diva in hand as Photon Strike Bounzer will negate diva at first chance. Second if you have a combination of Atlantean Heavy Infantry + another sea serpent or Angler then you are safe to summon infantry and use his effect to normal summon again or put angler on the field to make Abyss Dweller. Now lastly it is very important to look for your own OTK opportunity as passing the turn back to them can be the way you lose. So by either going for/knowing you don’t have OTK potential can change the approach on how to move forward. To simplify if you have lethal do it if not then making a White Aura Dolphin or Number 37: Hope Woven Dragon Spider Shark with any tech cards you have to play for next turn can be your best option as they are cards that are tough for onomats to deal with without specific summons from the extra deck. This being of course if you can’t go into their turn with an Abyss Dweller loaded with Infantry which will be much more optimal with the interaction you have on their turn. A couple ending points for this matchup that are common as well. First when facing Photon Strike Bounzer and all they have is Gagaga Head for followup negating head can stop them from making plays Photon Strike Bounzer isn’t always worth dealing with. Secondly, when deciding what to pop when they summon head to follow up leaves you with options 1. Popping head stops them from drawing a card 2. Popping sister stops the rank 6 play 3. Waiting for a XYZ will be the play here if your only disruption is a dweller pop. Reason being after head is summoned they are only allowed to XYZ summon for that turn (which include gaga monsters only aswell) per restriction. Also keep in mind if they make a dweller they can negate your infantry pop but your dweller will be bigger than the 2100 Gagaga Head and the 1700 Abyss Dweller.
Side Deck/Tech Choices:
Overall, Shark deck has the strength and power to compete and win against multiple top tier decks in the meta. Their presence in the meta game has shifted players to playing more favorable matchups and old decks are becoming more popular again. Triamids/Darklords/Evil eye etc so watch out!. Although Shark Decks playstyle may be described as linear, the deck’s strengths compensate for their predictability and will remain a top contender for the ladder and tournaments.
- Thanks to Jadehex and RandomPl0x for doing their magic
- Thanks to Dkayed and Duel Links Meta for being an excellent gathering place for the community to come together.