Decks of the day: Burning Abyss and PK Fire

Traveling in the Burning Abyss can be dangerous when Ghost Reapers are lurking nearby
Traveling in the Burning Abyss can be dangerous when Ghost Reapers are lurking nearby

I may or may not have said that Burning Abyss aren’t good anymore. Somehow, they still are. When I was playing the deck I don’t know how I won so many games without ever summoning a monster with more than 2500 ATK. Even though Ghost Reaper exists, I guess Burning Abyss still exist. I want to look at eight Burning Abyss decks today and just look at the choices that led to top 8 finishes for all of these players. Six are Phantom Knight variants, two are not. Here we goooooo.

Vikash Motwani

Vikash Motwani

Motwani played 41 cards, which is not the norm. The 41st card doesn’t really matter. There are plenty of Level 3s to make Dante, which thins your deck by three cards. The 41 cards also slightly decrease the chances of drawing multiple Kaiju or Taketomborg. It isn’t much, though, which is why decreasing the chances of drawing any given card doesn’t matter so much.

Speedroids, Tour Guide, Burning Abyss monsters, Rhino Warriors, Maxx “C”s, Foolish, Twin Twisters and Solemns aren’t unusual. Crane Crane, Kaiju and Raigeki are not standard.

Crane Crane is similar to another Tour Guide. That makes sense. It only summons from the Graveyard, so no getting Graff from the deck. You can still get back Cir, or anything else, from your Graveyard. I don’t think one is an odd inclusion.

Kaiju are not standard, but they aren’t abnormal in the main deck. It just clears anything you don’t want to be there without destroying it, then you run it over with Dante. Or Beatrice. Or Virgil. I saw another player recently playing one Gameciel, one Kumongous and one Gadarla. The first two you can attack over no problem. Gadarla has 2700 ATK, which is enough for Beatrice to die to, then have Pilgrim attack over. Also, Burning Abyss is only playing one Slumber now because you want to dump it with Beatrice and search a Kaiju later. But you play different Kaijus in case you draw the Slumber.

Raigeki is peculiar now. Kozmo doesn’t care. Monarchs can recover. Pendulums don’t care. It can help you clear the board for OTKs and I guess if you want to go second all of the time, it’s fine. The Extra and Side Decks are pretty ordinary. Moving on to our next “Pure BA”

Zachary Rodriguez

Zachary Rodriguez

Rodriguez played a typical 40 card deck. Crane Crane is here for more longevity like Motwani.

The Speed Recovery was put in last minute over an Effect Veiler and Rodriguez mentioned that he would replace it with the Effect Veiler again. Veiler isn’t a very common choice right now, but I do like it against Burning Abyss and Monarchs a lot. It’s not great against Kozmo, which is why it isn’t popular right now. Of course, Black Luster Soldier pairs nicely with Burning Abyss. Especially if you’re running Effect Veiler. It’s almost too easy to summon.

The Extra Deck contains a Totem Bird and a Downerd Magician. Neither seem like typical choices right now. I’d play another F0, another Break Sword, Leviair or Acid Golem. I was wrong with my initial assumption of 2 Beatrice and 2 Downerd. I’d now play 3 Beatrice, 0 Downerd.

Necroface is another atypical choice. Rodriguez stated that he only had one Ghost Reaper and that the Necrofaces never came up. Fun fact: I tried playing Necroface in Nekroz after Nekroz of Brionac was semi-limited, but Necroface never came up. The games just ended so quickly that I never needed it. I did make a Rank 4 with it several times, but never used it to put all my cards back.

Overall, I really like Rodriguez’s list. I might play something similar if I were to play Burning Abyss right now. Or I might play Phantom Knights.

Gustavo Lattari

Gustavo Lattari

Which brings us to the disgusting 43 card monster that Gustavo Lattari calls a main deck.

This is PK Fire, not pure Burning Abyss. With Speedroids, Mathematician, and some scissors. And Mask Change II. I know I said 41 cards is almost inconsequential but if you’re playing with 43 cards, you’re just a monster. There are so many small engines in this deck that it feels like an OCG deck. I’m not even kidding. Japanese players seem to stuff everything they want to play into one deck. And now they’re playing 50+ card decks with Pot of Cupidity. I don’t know how badly I want those two draws. It’s the same in Magic. Japanese players have a trend of playing more one-ofs, especially in the side. And in Magic, since you’re allowed to play 4 copies of a card with a 60 card deck and 15 in the side, a one-of is 1.3%, while with a 40 card deck and a 15 card Side Deck, a one-of is 1.8%.

Anyways, I’m just going to evaluate the engines Lattari threw together and called a deck.

Speedroids. Fine. 3 Top 1 Borg. Nothing to really say here. I didn’t want to include them in Burning Abyss when I first saw them because it isn’t nearly on the same level as Tour Guide. But I’ve warmed up to them. Especially in Phantom Knights.

Phantom Knights. The playset of Boots and Gloves while only playing a single Cloak seems odd at first, but Fog Blade and Wing aren’t “The Phantom Knights” cards. Boots summons itself and searches Wing or Fog Blade. And Gloves dumps Cloak should you need it. Gloves also gives you 3000 ATK Break Swords. Two Wing and three Fog Blade are also part of the engine. They’re searchable and bring back your Knights to make more Xyzs. It’s important to remember that Wing gives your monster 500 ATK permanently. It makes Dante 3000 ATK, Break Sword 2500 or 3500 and Nightmare Shark 2500. Not to mention that Dark Law is balanced because it only has 2400 ATK. More ATK makes it very hard to deal with.

Another fun fact: I tried out Yang Zing when they came out. They weren’t great, but 2800 Armades is unfair. Some effects on bigger monsters aren’t fair. If Castel had significantly more ATK, it would be a significantly better card.

Burning Abyss. Only two Farfa and Scarm is peculiar, but he had to cut cards somewhere. I think this engine is as small as it can be while still functioning. They make Rank 3s. I approve.

Tour Guide, Mathematician and Edge Imp Sabres. Everyone knows about Tour Guide. It’s inclusion at one is only noteworthy because it’s limited. Mathematician is very good with the Phantom Knights, but you can also dump Libic to make a Rank 3. You’re also able to put Edge Imp Sabres in the Graveyard directly with Mathman. I reallike like Sabres because you can turn it into a Dark Law, Banish it with Allure or just get it after you’ve milled it with Beatrice/Dante. Unfortunately the Pilgrim can’t discard it to draw a card.

The playset of Mask Change II isn’t really considered anymore. I really liked them when they were first legal because it made Shaddolls and Qliphort an easier match up and it was really good when Nekroz became a thing. And they’re back. I don’t know if they’re back to stay, or Gustavo was the only player to play them. Out of three PK Fire deck lists from a regional in Germany, all three were running some number of Mask Change II. Dark Law is still a good card. I think it’s time you consider it again.

Allure of Darkness is not a card many Burning Abyss players seem to be running. I think it’s a good card, but you often don’t want to be banishing your Malebranches. It’s less painful to banish a Phantom Knight because they can’t turn Dante into Beatrice.

Soul Charge is another interesting choice. Paying 2000 or 4000 for one or two Rank 3s isn’t very good. Plus you’re giving up your Battle Phase. Lattari noted that he almost always sided out the Soul Charge. Another one of, the Galaxy Cyclone is just there for Beatrice to dump to out Domain/Floodgates.

Drowning Mirror Force was included at the last minute and apparently won several games. I’m not very high on the card, but some people are. I wouldn’t play it, but I wouldn’t expect it, either. So it has that going for it.

The Extra Deck seems pretty standard for a PK Fire deck with Mask Change IIs. The Side Deck is pretty interesting, though. For Kozmo he has the Crush Card, Raigeki, Dark Hole and Maxx “C”s. That isn’t a ton, but with Dark Law, the destruction becomes actual removal. Against Monarchs he has Fog King and Mask of Restrict. They do similar things, but you can make Fog King big and even protect it with Wing. Xyz Universe with Infinity and Felgrand are good against Rank 3 and 4 decks, but I think 3 Ghost Reaper and an Abyss Dweller is better and frees up another Side Deck slot.

Eugene Davis

Eugene Davis

This list is pretty boring, but he knows what he wanted and maxed out on most of them. Nothing in the monster line-up stands out except for the Phantom Knight ratios. Seven or eight is probably the correct number of Pks, but six seems fine. Book of moon isn’t that great of a choice right now because Kozmos (for the most part) can’t be targeted, it doesn’t stop effects and Burning Abyss either use PK s or Rhino Warrior. Book of Moon is arguably the best -1 in the game, but you can’t afford a -1 right now.

The Side Deck isn’t interesting, but it is straight-forward and seems effective. I will admit I haven’t done much testing (if any) with these specific lists and that it is all theory. If I were to play this list I’d probably cut the Book of Moon for another Gloves and play it as it is.

Galo Orbea

Galo Orbea

I don’t really know what is going on here. It looks like a standard Speedy PK Fire deck with Kaijus in it. The CXyz in the Extra really stands out. So does the lack of a Side Deck. I’m just going to assume he didn’t share his Side Deck. The deck profile is from Vexacus, who I think is one of the least useful yugi-tubers. It’s great we have access to more lists, but I’d rather just see the picture of all the cards or a text list, which I do (I pause his videos just to look at the list) Other than the Rank 9, the list looks fine though. Not much to talk about.

Mortiz H.

Mortiz H

I just want to say that I love how the Germans display names publicly. First name with last initial. I’m sure if I dig deep enough, I could find Mortiz H. on Facebook or something, but not throwing around last names is really nice. I’m sure everyone would appreciate a little anonymity.

The list is pretty boring with the exception of Transmodify and Mask Change. At any point if you have a Phantom Knight, you can just turn it into Shadow Mist or Armageddon Knight. Transmodify doesn’t do anything with the Malebranches or Rhino. I suppose you could turn them into Holding Arms/Legs or Phantom of Chaos. I think Mortiz low-key broke PK Fire, though. The engine is only 7 cards, too. If you’re already playing Mask Change II, technically 5. That’s not a big engine to throw into your deck when almost every card is flexible. The Extra Deck also seems to not be playing anything that won’t be needed. And his Side Deck is another standard looking side. One Effect Veiler is a little out of place, but many people side just one of a card.

Christoph P. and Andreas G.
Christoph's list
Christoph’s list

I have to assume these two worked together on the deck. The main deck is the same, except Christoph played 2 Gloves and a Wing, while Andrea played 3 Gloves and no Wings. The Extra Deck is also identical with the exception of Nightmare Shark for Christoph and Virgil for Andrea.

I really like Dark Armed again. If it’s dead, you discard it with Twin Twisters, Mask Change II or Allure it away. If you mill it with Dante, no big deal. It’s like milling a Solemn Warning with Dante. Sucks, but oh well.

I’m not sure if Virgil or Nightmare Shark came up more for either of them, but I’d prefer Nightmare Shark if I’m not playing a tuner. The thing is, Andreas is playing a tuner. Ghost Reaper is in his side and can make Virgil with Flying “C” or any PK. Their lists are decent and seem good. I played a few games and Corebage was never something I wanted, but it’s there to get rid of Prime or Beatrice.

Andrea G
Andreas’ list

It seems I was wrong about Burning Abyss being unplayable. It’s still a strong deck, and I think the Phantom Knight build may be even stronger than just Burning Abyss. Are you going to jump on the Burning Abyss train? They have their own Tour Guide. Tell me how you would play Burning Abyss in the comments.

If you want to play Burning Abyss, Break Swords and Dantes aren’t too much. Get them now. And until tomorrow, click an ad and share this with your friends.

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