Do you like robots? Robots are pretty cool. When shouldn’t you like robots? When they are Jewbots that were sealed away under the Sacred Tree. Damn it, Winda. Why’d you have to go blowing up the Sacred Tree releasing all of the Qlis and Infernoids? You dun goof’d. Qliphort was the first competitively viable Pendulum Deck. And now, they’re back with a card that just says “Draw 3 cards.”
Back in 2014, Qliphort Scout just gained you advantage until you could either drop Towers (if you even played it) or OTK with Disk. After Scout was Semi-Limited, the deck became floodgate.dek with three Skill Drain and three Emptiness. Siding the rest, Iron Wall, Light/Shadow Imprisoning Mirrors, you name it. When Wavering Eyes came out, Qliphort Towers Turbo became Europe’s own personal nightmare without a Crab King in sight to save them. Towers rests on the Forbidden List, and with one Scout, one Saqlifice, one Skill Drain, one Emptiness and no Towers, Qliphort were forgotten about. I really hope whoever created the new monster isn’t allowed to play Yugioh anymore, because that’s what Demise Qli does.
So, if you don’t know by now, Qlis are a (mostly) Pendulum Archetype of Level 5+ monsters that don’t let you Special Summon except for “Qli” monsters. The Effect Pendulum Monsters can be Normal Summoned without any tributes, but they become a Level 4 monster with 1800 ATK. They also drop to a Level 4 with 1800 ATK if they’re Special Summoned. Don’t forget they’re unaffected by activated monster effects of those with a lower Level/Rank than its level, so either 4, 6, 7 or 8. The Scale 1s boost your Qlis’ ATK by 300 and the Scale 9s reduce your opponent’s monsters’ ATK by 300.
Scout and Monolith are Normal Monsters. Scout searches more Qlis and Monolith draws cards. Carrier bounces monsters when tributed. Helix destroys S/T when tributed. Stealth bounces cards when Tribute Summoned. Shell can attack twice and pierces. The rest are largely irrelevant now.
So the Qliphort SHELL (pun intended) looks like this now.
1 Qliphort Scout
1 Qliphort Monolith
2 Qliphort Carrier
2 Qliphort Helix
2 Qliphort Stealth
3 Card of Demise
3 Pot of Duality
2 Summoner’s Art
1 Upstart Goblin
1 Vanity’s Emptiness
1 Skill Drain
1 Rivalry of Warlords
1 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Strike
1 Chaos Trap Hole
1 Magic Drain
This skeleton is 26 cards. You have room for one or two more Qlis, more Necrovalley, Stormforth and lots of Trap Cards. Scout is your advantage engine. Helix and Carrier sometimes offer one-for-one trades, but mostly provide a body to beat down with. Duality and Upstart simply for consistency. The card that puts you the furthest ahead is Card of Demise. Card of Demise is why Qliphort can exist again. Konami thought this was okay. It’s not. Spellbook of Judgment wasn’t okay. Super Rejuvination wasn’t okay. Ultimate Offering wasn’t okay. Pot of Greed wasn’t okay. Sitxth Sense wasn’t okay. Card of Demise isn’t okay. If you haven’t read the card, I’ll break down the benefit and the drawbacks of Card of Demise.
+Draw until you have 3 cards in your hand
-for the rest of the turn, your opponent takes no damage
-during the End Phase, send your hand to the Graveyard
-you can only activate 1 Card of Demise per turn
-you can’t Special Summon during the turn you activate it
Pot of Greed is forbidden. You’re allowed to play zero copies per deck. That draws two cards unconditionally. Card of Demise draws between 1 and 3 cards. I don’t need to tell you that it’s best when drawing three cards, but you don’t get to keep them. You need to get them out of your hand, or you’ll be forced to send them to the Graveyard. The other downsides don’t really matter. No damage for the rest of the turn, whatever. Attack, then play Card of Demise. Only one Card of Demise per turn, that’s fine. You’d play 3 Pot of Greed if you could only activate one each turn. Demise is a +2 when you use it. No Special Summoning doesn’t matter. Normal the Qlis, beat down. You already run Duality and that doesn’t let you Special Summon. The only downside is that you need no other cards in hand to plus the hardest and you need to get those cards out of your hand.
So we have a way to get to our traps, and hopefully, a small enough monster count that we are never heavy on monsters. Scout removes them from our deck, too, so we’re less likely to draw too many monsters. Now we need cards to stop our opponent from playing Yugioh. I’m jut going to power through all of the options I’ve seen and what I think of them.
Monolith isn’t the best but provides a low scale for Summoner’s Art and potentially draws more cards. Remember that you can resolve the discard part of Demise, then draw off Monolith. Verbally say that you’re resolving Demise before you draw with Monolith or your opponent may shark you on it.
2800 under Skill Drain/Re-Qliate. Bounces things sometimes. Normally you’ll Normal Summon this guy at 1800. Stealth is good but isn’t a one tribute when you’re Tribute Summoning it, making Stormforth less good. Stealth is still 2800 and can still bounce things, which can be game-winning.
Effectively the same as Stealth. It deals more damage turn after turn if you Tribute Summon it. If not, it’s the same as Stealth.
The same as the previous two, but worse. It’s Level 7, so it’s affected by Level 7 monster effects when you Tribute Summon it. The other worse part is that its effect doesn’t generate any advantage. I like it because it’s just another 1800 ATK guy that can sometimes be 2800. Cephalopod can conditionally gain life and inflict burn, but usually not a lot. Maybe enough for another Scout/Counter Trap activation, but probably not enough to matter most of the time. Most games, it won’t even be gaining life or burning.
Qliphort Carrier and Qliphort Helix
These two are the same card. You can Normal Summon them at 1800 or tribute one thing for them. Helix destroys S/T when it’s tributed, while Carrier bounces monsters. I’d play 2 Helix 2 Carrier or 3 Helix 2 Carrier because you don’t want to lose to Decree. Decree means you lose and some people are siding it again. You can also destroy your own dead backrow to make room for more traps for more Card of Demise plusses. You have 1900 LP, no way to gain LP. You have a set Solemn Warning, and drew Card of Demise off of Monolith. Destroy your own Warning if you need to set more cards.
This is in some lists to act as another copy of Necrovalley without clogging up your hand and providing a body. If you don’t have Necrovalley, get Necrovalley. If you have Necrovalley, Normal Summon it and attack for 2100. I like the reasons you would play Commandant. I don’t like it when I have other Qlis I want to Normal Summon after I’ve activated Card of Demise.
Hand traps in general conflict with Card of Demise. You can only use them while they’re in your hand, but Card of Demise gets rid of your hand. Not good in the main deck because you need other answers for things. It gets better once you know what you’re playing against, but it’s really only not good against Monarchs and okay against Kozmo.
Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries
You can put this card in your side deck. Don’t bother main decking it. Unless you know you’re playing against Burning Abyss every round, you don’t want it against Kozmo, Monarchs, Pendulum or rogue. Still has all of the hand trap problems.
I thought of Ariadne when I first saw the huge trap lineup. She searches, but you have no real way to destroy her. She makes your counter traps free, but you need to have them. You can’t even Pendulum Summon Ariadne. Ariadne is another monster that just doesn’t align with the plan of the deck.
Like Ariadne, this is good at first. Another low scale, searches Scout. Is 1700 ATK at worst. She clogs your hand, rarely gets enough counters fast enough and just doesn’t do enough. I quickly dropped her and forgot about her.
Why aren’t you playing this? It has four effects. Four. All are relevant, too. Without multiple Scout, searching this becomes less important, but you still need to run it.
You want to maximize the chances of getting to Scout and Card of Demise. This allows you to play a 39 card deck. And the 1000 LP doesn’t matter enough to not run Upstart.
Extra copies of Scout/Monolith. You’d want to run three, but it’s dead otherwise. You can set it and blow it up with your own Helix. You really want that Scout, but multiple dead cards when every card you have matters, really hurts. I’d only play two, but three copies isn’t that bad either.
Pot of Duality
Less restrictive than Card of Demise and gives you card selection. It doesn’t plus, but it may let you get to the cards that do generate advantage. Not Special Summoning is a fair price to pay. Play three.
Card of Demise
This is the whole reason Qliphorts are back. Plus three, but you need to use your whole hand. If you have so many cards that you can’t draw three cards off of it, you’re probably winning and didn’t need it anyways. It also refuels you when you’re low to put you ahead of a game in parity.
The Monarchs Stormforth
Carrier and Helix can both tribute one monster using this and you won’t need anything else. It kind of conflicts with Card of Demise going second. If you have this, but no monster to Tribute Summon and you have Card of Demise, you either need to play it before Demise or set it and be unable to use it. That’s minor, though. I think you need at least two copies somewhere, mained or sided.
It doesn’t actually do anything. It’s just another floodgate but doesn’t take up one of five Spell & Trap Card Zones. Really nice against BA and Kozmo. Not bad against Monarchs. Bad against pretty much every non-meta deck. That’s another problem I’d like to talk about later. Necrovalley is good, but I don’t know how many is best. Three feels like too many, but so does two. At one, it rarely comes up enough that it may as well be another Summoner’s Art.
Raigeki is a blank in your opening hand going first, which you always choose when given the choice. But so are all of your traps. It’s an okay choice and clears boards, but doesn’t do anything when your opponent doesn’t have monsters. In that case, though, you’re probably winning.
Negates effects, makes your Qlis big and gives them a small boost. You can also play it before you use Card of Demise and still set the rest of your cards. It’s a decent card. Kozmos just don’t care, which is a problem.
Mystical Space Typhoon
Your best out to Royal Decree and floodgates that stop you. If you remember what went where, you can snipe stuff like Ultimate Providence and Solemns if you play against the DracoFairy build. Not worth main decking at this point. It helps against rogue. It doesn’t help against meta.
Honestly not a good card. It’s best in the Qli mirror. Not against Kozmo. Not awful against Kozmo, but not too great. I wouldn’t bother with System Down. Stuff like Stormforth and Iron wall are better.
Just another floodgate. A decent one, too. It banishes all of your Qlis, which you will want to Pendulum Summon back at some point in the late game. Not an awful choice.
Rivalry of Warlords
The best floodgate against the meta. Phantom Knights can still make Xyz, but Burning Abyss can’t. Monarchs can’t really play anymore. Kozmo can sometimes do things, but really only summon one ship. DracoPals can go dragons make Ignister or something, but that’s what your other traps are there for. Strike that Ignister down. Don’t let it blow up your scout and shuffle away Rivalry.
Typically only better against DracoPals than Rivalry is. Worse against Kozmo and Monarchs than Rivalry is. It stops Rank 3 decks from making Dante. That’s about it. Both are bad against rogue decks, which sucks.
Drowning/Quaking Mirror Force
I like Quaking better because it clogs up your opponent’s field and lets you deal with their monsters when you want to. It also doesn’t put their threats back. Ignister is limited, so if it attacks, putting it face-down lets you get rid of it when you want. More people seem to prefer Drowning. I suppose because the set monsters can still be used as tribute fodder.
Other than the LP payment, this card is all upside. If you’re down in LP but have too many cards, you can destroy this with your own Helix. Same goes for any LP payment card.
A little different than Warning, but you need at least one. Three is good, but a lot of LP to pay. If you have the three, play three. If you only have one or two, don’t sweat it too much.
Chaos Trap Hole
Strictly worse than Solemn Warning. Only hits Normal Summons and Special Summons. No effects of any kind. It’s really good against the meta because it’s just another Solemn Warning. Better than Strike against Monarch because it completely stops the Tribute Summon. Three is too many. One is decent. I’m unsure about two.
I really liked this card when it was new. It rarely conflicted with the Qli strategy. The issue is that you have to control no Special Summoned monsters. The monsters also have to be Level 4. Unfortunately, Skill Drain and Re-Qliate turn your Qlis into Level 6, 7 or 8. Not Level 4. I began running Re-Qliate to fill the void of Skill Drain after it was limited. With Re-Qliate, Soul Transition isn’t good. Otherwise, it’s decent.
Often dead early. You don’t want to use it until Scout is dead. It’s a necessary evil, but I really hate this card.
If you’re running Qliphorts, you’re running the maximum amount of Skill Drain. It ruins your opponent’s day and makes your Qlis bigger. What’s not to like? The 1000 LP payment? I guess there’s that, but you can pretty much ignore that.
I don’t think I need to say anything about Emptiness. It’s limited. It must be good. Moving on.
I thought this was Void Launch when I saw it on someone’s list. It isn’t. It’s interesting. Make your Qlis. It’s like a better Forbidden Lance for all Normal Summoned Qlis. It negates their effects, then gives them 300 more ATK. Can be activated during damage step. I’d only ever play a single copy, but it’s surprisingly good when you’re trying to grind out the game with 1800 dudes.
This is always a one for one. It’s not the best because it gives your opponent a choice. It still stops nearly everything, though. Twin Twisters, Pendulums, Fire King Island, Kozmotown, Monarch Spells. And if they discard, it was a Drastic Drop Off. The best thing about this card is that if they Twin Twister it and a floodgate, they’re going 3 for 2. If they don’t discard, they still can’t play.
Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell
Similar to Magic Drain, but you can’t ever activate it due to never having spells in hand. Thanks, Card of Demise.
Drastic Drop Off
It’s not entirely bad, but pretty bad. It skips their Draw Phase, effectively. Not good unless you can search it off Ariadne or draw while you have Bountiful Artemis. Card parity isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Lose 1 Turn
It’s just like Skill Drain, but worse in almost every way. It doesn’t even negate the monster’s effect if it leaves the field. Let’s face facts. Re-Qliate and Lose 1 Turn are worse than Skill Drain. Just suck it up.
It’s just like Skill Drain, but worse in almost every way. It does negate the monster’s effect if it leaves the field. i.e. banishing itself as cost. It doesn’t touch Xyz or Normal Summoned Level 5+ monsters. It kinda sucks.
Bottomless Trap Hole
It’s a one for one. Not even a good one. If the monster you’re trying to hit has a trigger/quick effect, that effect can still be used. Sucks to be Bottomless right now.
The Huge Revolution is Over / Starlight Road
These two are basically the same card, but Huge Rev hits Break Sword, Performapal Sorcerer and Twin Twisters. Starlight Road only stops Twin Twisters. Also, you usually won’t be able to Special Summon the Stardust with Qlis as scales.
Soul Drain / Macro Cosmos / Imperial Iron Wall
All are decent floodgates. They stop slightly different things. Soul Drain stops stuff already in the Graveyard. Iron Wall doesn’t let The Prime Monarch or Kozmo ships activate in the Graveyard. Macro Cosmos stops ships from going to the Graveyard in addition to not letting Ehther/Erebus resolve.
Mask of Restrict
You know why you’d play this. Is it worth not being able to tribute your own Qlis? That’s for you to decide.
In testing, I’ve found that it’s about 50/50 against the meta decks. Meta being Rank 3 decks, Kozmo, Monarchs and Pendulums. The problem is that it loses to rogue things that aren’t affected by the floodgates, like Raidraptors, Harpies and Counter Fairies. If you’re at the top tables it’s fine. But during the early rounds, you’ll probably be playing against rogue jank. If you can’t beat the meta and jank, you’re not going to do well. I can’t in good conscience recommend you play this deck at a large tournament. For locals, why not? Below is the list I’ve been liking the most, and below that is the Card of Demise deck that I think is a little bit better. Not by much, though.
Until tomorrow, click an ad, buy up your Cards of Demise, share this with a friend and come back tomorrow.
Jorkslig zim’g gll tllw zmbnliv. R dlfowm’g kozb gsv wvxp.
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