Mermails are nothing new and Patrick Hoban is also not new. Mermail have been at least a decent deck since their release when Atlantean Dragoons and Deep Sea Diva were unlimited before Neptabyss existed. Hoban recently made Top 4 at the ARGCS with Toadally Mermail, Froggy Mermail, Atlantean Mermail + Toadally Awesome, whatever you want to call it, the deck has Mermail cards, Atlantean cards and a small Frog engine. Let’s take a look at the deck, Hoban’s specific choices and how well Mermail stack up against the current meta.
I’d expect that all of you know what almost all of these cards do but not all of you played in 2012 and 2014 when Mermails were the best deck, so I’ll explain. The Atlanteans activate when they’re sent to the Graveyard to pay the cost of a WATER monster’s effect and the Mermail discard WATER monsters to activate their effects. They’re like peanut butter and jelly, they just go great together. Skip to here if you know what the cards do.
The Atlanteans are all Sea Serpents. Neptabyss summons an Atlantean from your Graveyard when used as a cost. Heavy Infantry and Marksman destroy opponent’s face-up and face-down cards, respectively and Dragoons searches any Sea Serpent. Neptabyss can also dump any Atlantean to search any Atlantean. Infantry’s, Marksman’s and Dragoon’s other effects don’t come up.
Mermails are all varying types, Sea Serpent, Aqua and Fish. Megalo is the only good Sea Serpent and can summon itself from your hand by discarding two other WATER monsters, which triggers the Atlanteans. Teus is an Aqua and can summon itself by discarding one other WATER. If you summon them by their own effect, Megalo searches an “Abyss-” Spell/Trap and Teus searches a Level 4 or lower Mermail.
Pike and Turge are the only good Level 4s, they’re both Fish. When you summon them, you can discard a WATER to search a Level 3 WATER or add a Level 3 or lower WATER from your Graveyard to your hand, respectively. Mander is seeing some play because it banishes itself from your Graveyard to make your Level 3 Mermails Level 4 for Bahamut Shark.
There are five Level 3 Mermails, all of them are Aqua and all of them are decent. Linde used to be the most used because she floats into any Mermail when she dies. Gunde summons a Mermail from your Graveyard when she’s discarded. Hilde summons a Mermail from your hand when she’s discarded. Ocea works a little weird, she targets a Mermail you control, summons Level 4 or lower Mermails from your Deck whose levels are less than or equal to that monster, then send that monster to the Graveyard, which will make it so Pike and Turge can’t be activated. Dine can summon herself if you search her with Teus, Turge or Pike, then if she was summoned by the effect of a Mermail you can Special Summon a Level 3 or lower Mermail in your Graveyard. Linde and Gunde can also Special Summon and trigger Dine. Gunde is always good, Linde is good if you want to play a long game and Hilde, Ocea and Dine really depend on what else you want to be doing.
3 Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince
1 Atlantean Heavy Infantry
1 Atlantean Marksman
2 Atlantean Dragoons
3 Mermail Abyssmegalo
3 Mermail Abyssteus
2 Mermail Abysspike
1 Mermail Abyssturge
1 Mermail Abyssmander
2 Mermail Abyssgunde
1 Mermail Abysshilde
1 Mermail Abyssocea
3 Aqua Spirit
3 Swap Frog
1 Deep Sea Diva
1 Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord
3 Pot of Desires
3 Instant Fusion
1 Soul Charge
1 One for One
1 Upstart Goblin
EXTRA DECK: 15
3 Toadally Awesome
1 Mechquipped Angineer
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1 Number 101: Silent Honor ARK
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
2 Bahamut Shark
1 Mermail Abyssgaios
1 Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree
1 Elder Entity Norden
SIDE DECK: 15
2 Maxx “C”
1 Atlantean Heavy Infantry
1 Atlantean Marksman
3 Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju
1 Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk
3 Twin Twisters
1 Vanity’s Emptiness
3 Anti-Spell Fragrance
Hoban used a pretty small Atlantean engine compared to most and a rather large Mermail engine AND actual Frog cards. Triple Neptabyss and double Dragoons are because that’s the maximum amount allowed but the reasoning behind only one Infantry and one Marksman is that this version of Mermails is built to go first and your opponent won’t have any cards to destroy on the very first turn. Triplicate of the Level 7 Mermails isn’t very interesting, nor is the one-of Moulinglacia and Diva. Moving on.
Triple Aqua Spirit is pretty standard now that the plan is to summon Bahamut Shark and summon Toadally Awesome because it combines with any of Norden, Dragoons Pike or Turge to make Bahamut Shark, which is the whole game plan. In 2014, Hoban’s plan with Mermails was to use Pike, Turge and Gunde over and over to make Rank 4s, namely Lavalval Chain and Exciton Knight. Neither of those are legal now but this version of the deck does a lot of the same and includes Mander so you can even make a Rank 4 with two Level 3s.
Three Swap Frog and one Ronintoadin don’t add a ton of value to the deck but being able to make Toadally Awesome with Level 2s does come up and they’re the whole point of why they’re in the deck. Swap Frog plus any other WATER means you can make Toadally Awesome if the rest of your hand is a complete brick. You just Normal Summon Swap, dump Ronintoadin, bounce Swap, Special Summon Swap, dump another Swap and make your Toad. They’re also perfectly fine to discard to activate all of your other effects and just not care because you weren’t going to use them that turn, anyway and if you draw Swap Frog later with either Swap Frog or Ronin already in your Graveyard, you get a free Toadally Awesome.
Hilde is not very typical and I’d like to see Linde in this spot as Sphere is already in the deck. You can do things like make Shark with it, detach Hilde and Special Summon a guy from your hand but that hasn’t come up for me yet and I don’t suspect it would but it has come up that I’ve wanted a Linde in the deck. Hilde sucks less when you draw her, though.
As for the spells, Hoban used triple Desires and triple Instant Fusion even though you don’t really want to see more than one copy but that’s because you really want to see the first copy. You can jump through hoops to put back Norden with Toadally Awesome for a second Instant Fusion but you’ll almost surely deck out with a second Desires. Even though cards like Pot of Desires are amazing, I don’t think they’re best for the health of the game both because I’m tired of people complaining about its price and because it limits deck building and gameplay in that it’s an auto include unless you have a good reason not to include it and if your opponent has it and you don’t, you’re that much more likely not to win.
The last three spells aren’t unique but the Sphere is. Hoban said he wants his deck to play first but Sphere doesn’t help do anything until you’re back on your turn. You CAN summon Pike/Turge from your deck and discard Infantry/Marksman to destroy things but that doesn’t come up much without multiples of Infantry and Marksman. I think that Mizuchi is a better option over Sphere, or also include Linde in your deck. You could cut Desires entirely and replace them with one each of Infantry, Marksman and a Linde. Linde, Emptiness and Mizuchi is another configuration that would improve your turn one plays if not for the fact that Desires just draws two cards and helps extend your plays through that.
The only wiggle room in the Extra Deck is the third Toadally Awesome if you cut the small Frog Engine. Big Eye, Red-Eyes Flare Metal and more Rank 3s would be welcome additions but there isn’t enough Space. Coral Dragon, Trishula and Armory Arm could also win games that you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise win but the cards here are simply too important.
Gameciel is in the Side Deck because the whole plan is to go first, which is not a solid plan but it’s all Mermail can hope for at this time. You can build your deck to go second but if you’re choosing to go second, you’re choosing to ALWAYS fight through Strikes, Warnings, ABC-Dragon Buster, Crystal Wing and other troublesome cards that aren’t easy to deal with when you’re going second. You could add Twin Twisters but they suck going first and don’t deal with monsters. You can use Eclipse but there isn’t room without either cutting Desires or the Swap Frogs.
It’s clear Mermail isn’t the best deck but the deck is still fine. Do you like the deck? Do you think it has legs currently? Click an ad, get your Toadally Awesomes and let me know how you feel about Mermail currently on…
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