Last weekend, I went to YCS Chicago and competed with Shaddoll Agent in the Main Event. Even though my record was not that good in the end, lots of people asked me for the deck list, how my matchups were and if I would change anything in the deck after the YCS Chicago experience. So here we go.
With Nekroz as tier 1, followed by Satellar and Burning Abyss, the Shaddoll archetype was certainly not the deck to choose if you intended to top. Shaddoll is especially weak against Nekroz of Trishula, because the Shadoll deck is dependand on ALL the hand, deck and graveyard. To that, it is pretty easy to side board against the usual Shaddoll Deck: Macro Cosmos, Royal Command or Shadow Imprisoning Mirror can shut down the deck almost entirely. On the other hand, the Shaddolls themselves focus on the Fusion Summons. So usually, the Normal Summon is not really needed.
The decision to run Agents came during the night before a Regional in London. After loosing 10 times in a row against Nekroz, I just felt like OTKing that stupid deck. I had not that many cards with me - except for my beloved Monster Mash deck, which included the Agents. So I put them into the deck at one o clock in the night, and played the Regional the day after. I did of course not end up perfectly, but the deck won all Nekroz matches, so I decided to keep that build.
The Deck List
The first version of the Shaddoll Agent included 2 copies of Kristya, and 2 Master Hyperions. While those cards did lovely against Burning Abyss and Nekroz, they also resulted in terrible starting hands. I tested a bit, ended up 0:5 (drop) at a bigger tournament because I tested too much stuff at the same time, and was already thinking to switch to a normal built. The week after, I judged and lent the deck to a friend that wanted to play for fun and did not care for winning. He ended up 6:1. So I kept the deck, playtested a bit more and discussed with others that kept their Shaddoll decks. This is how the final list looked like:
Unfortunately, the picture does not load on all devices. So here a short sum-up of the deck:
3 Shine Ball
1 Master Hyperion
1 Black Luster Soldier EotB
1 Chaos Sorcerer
1 Rai Oh
3 El Shaddoll Fusion
2 Shaddoll Fusion
1 Foolish Burial
1 Allure of Darkness
1 Mystical Space Typhoon
1 Shaddoll Core
2 Sinister Shadow Games
1 Vanities Emptiness
1 Ring of Destruction
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
1 Mirror Force
3 El Shadoll Construct
2 El Shaddoll Winda
1 El Shaddoll Shekhinga
1 Goyo Guardian
1 Black Rose Dragon
1 Arcanite Magician
1 Acid Golem
1 Herald of Pure Light
1 Cavallry Centaurea
How I and the deck did
I did take notes the first few matches.
Round 1 - 2:0 Ritual Beast.
Opponent was inexperienced and did a playing mistake that costed him the first game. Game 2, I started with 2 El Shaddoll Fusion, 2 Shadoll Fusion and Gorz, wich turned out to be the best starting hand, forcing him to do an early XYZ. He had a Solemn Warning set, which did not help against my 2 Shaddoll Fusions.
Round 2 - 2:1 Evilswarm.
I had to start the first turn with a Winda because I opened with 4 Monsters, one of them Gorz, the others Shaddolls. Lost the first Game because I did fear Mirror Force in the late game and did not attack. Won the other two games because I boarded into a spammy version with Grand Mole, while keeping Thunder King and Squamata in the Deck.
Round 3 - 1:2 Nekroz.
Opened first Game with Thunder King. Opponent Scooped after 2 turns. Did not see anything of the Deck, so I wasnt able to board against it. Game 2 I did a misplay, Game 3 I went into a Clausolas lock in the time out, while I had 2 Shaddol Fusions, a Core and an El Shaddoll Fusion. Strange enough, my opponent did not know how Shaddolls worked, so I had to give him translations after each move I did. I think I would have lost even without the time out, so it did not matter that much.
Round 3 - 1:2 Nekroz.
You saw it in the featured match. I did a missplay in the first game by not activating Bottomless Trap Hole on Unicore. I noticed right after and was so annoyed about myself that the next stupid missplay followed right after. Round 2 with 2 beatsticks and an emptiness worked well. Round 3, I had to decide whether to set Vanities Emptiness or hope to get Gorz summoned. I decided for Gorz. To not play it too obvious, I set a Squamata and intended to let him attack through the turn after. Unfortunately, my opponent showed a really good remind of my Gorz in the first turn of the first game. So he played in a way that he had Trishula available. I couldn't afford to lose anythhing in my hand, because all cards had possible combintions that would have gotten me back in the game.
Round 4 - Match Loss.
Was selling stuff :p*
Round 5 - 2:0 Qliphort: Started the first game with thunder king. Game 2 lasted quite some time, because I had 2 Gorz and 1 Black Luster Soldier, but my opponent had Re-Qliate face-up the whole game. It ended up in a game with a tribute set Qliphort Scout, Shadowmirror and no Qlis in my opponents deck, while I had a Fiendish Chained Acid Golem. In the end, Raigeki decided the game. I most probably would have had him deckout anyhow.
Round 6 - Opponent did not show up.
I would have liked to play a bit more
I did not keep that close a track from then on, but did talk with people and trade a bit. I lost against a Nekroz Deck again, but this one had funny stuff like DD Warrior Lady in it.
My final record was 5-4, including the Tardiness Match Loss.
* To the vendors, where there were no speakers unfortunately. I was 20 Minutes late for the round.
What would I change in the future?
All in all, it was more playing mistakes than real the deck's fault that costed me the games. What I will certainly overthink are the 2 Gorz in the Main Deck. They just do really bad against Nekroz, and Satellar can also find a way around. I boarded Maxx C and Grand Mole almost all games into the Main Deck, so it might be an idea to play both in the main deck right from the beginning.
Some people suggested to only play 2 Shine Balls to reduce the times an useless Shine Ball is Drawn. But that would take a very important option for heavy damage with a strong field control. With Venus, a random Shaddoll and a El Shaddoll Fusion, you can do:
Venus 1600 ATK
2 Shine Balls = Centaurea 2000 ATK
1 Shine Ball 500 ATK
El Shaddoll Fusion with Shine Ball and the random Shaddoll to El Shaddoll Construct 2800 ATK
total: 6900 ATK
This is no OTK, but we are talking here about a combination of 2 unlimited cards (Venus + El Shaddoll Fusion) with 1 out of 10 Shaddolls in the deck. That combo happens quite often.
A problem that the deck faces is that people started to play Maxx C in the main Deck again. Additionally, the Match against Shaddoll Dragon is pretty awkward, because at some point you are forced to use Venus and do an XYZ summon to avoid drawing the Shine Balls.
The deck is certainly not perfect the way it is, but it worked fine for me. Any suggestions for future changes in the deck are therefore appreciated.
How do you play your Shaddoll deck?