March 2013 Deck Guide: Evilswarms

EvilswarmOphion-HA07-EN-ScR-1EWelcome back to another March 2013 format deck guide. This time, it’s Evilswarm. What does the deck do? How does it win? Is it good? How does it lose? How do you beat it? All of these questions and more answered just for you. I want the March 2013 format to be played because it’s more diverse than April 2005, so I better get started on the archives. Remember, this is a guide for those that didn’t play during this format, so it may sound condescending but it isn’t. It’s for beginners to the format. Let’s get into it.

I decided to start with Dragon Rulers, and that’s coming, but I have too much written and too much more to write for it to go up soon. So now, it’s Evilswarm. Dragon Rulers are a bunch of Level 7 monsters and Spellbooks use a ton of Spell Cards, so how can we beat them? With the same card. Evilswarm Ophion.

I would argue there are three good cards available in this deck. They are in order; Shock Master, Ophion, Bahamut. Rescue Rabbit and Kerykeion are one card Rank 4s but no Xyz generates real advantage. Allow me to explain the contents of the deck. (Almost) All of your monsters are Level 4 and help you make your three good Xyz Monsters. Also, most are DARK Evilswarm monsters because your Xyz monsters aren’t all generic.

Evilswarm Castor has 1750 ATK and is also a warrior. Reinforcement of the Army was limited, so you can run effectively four copies of Castor. Castor gives you an extra Normal Summon during the turn it was Normal Summoned. This effect does not start a chain and cannot be negated with effect negation unless something like Skill Drain was already face-up so that Castor’s effect can’t apply.

Evilswarm Mandragora is similar to Cyber Dragon. Your opponent just needs to control more monsters, though. You can control four when your opponent has five. As long as you have less, you can summon it. This Special Summon does not start a chain. It cannot be negated by things that negate effects, only Summons. Vanity’s Emptiness also cannot be chained to prevent this summon. The 1550 ATK is fairly low but still relevant.

Evilswarm Thunderbird starts at 1650 ATK. Whenever anything is activated, you can banish it. Then it returns to the field during the next Standby Phase. The next, yours or your opponent’s, whichever comes first. Thunderbird comes back with 300 more ATK, too. It resets to 1650 when it gets banished, so it does NOT become 1950 then 2250 then 2550. It stops at 1950.

evilswarmkerykeion-ltgy-en-sr-1eEvilswarm Kerykeion is the odd man out with 1600 ATK. There’s lore behind it, something like all of the Constellars coming together to fight the Infestation virus and Kerykeion is the corrupted version. Don’t quote me on that. Kerykeion has three parts to its effect(s) and a clause that says you can only use each effect once per turn, even if you have multiple Kerykeion. The first effect is irrelevant, it allows you to Tribute Summon an “lswarm” monster for one less Tribute. Good if you’re building a jank build of Steelswarm or something but we’re not. The main effect banishes any “lswarm” monster from your Graveyard and targets another as cost, then when it resolves, it puts that target in your hand. Then, anytime that turn, as long as Kerykeion remains face-up you can activate its ignition effect to Normal Summon 1 “lswarm” monster. This effect starts a chain, can be negated and doesn’t use up any of your other Normal Summons. You can even go Kerykeion → Castor → other Evilswarm.

The last staple Evilswarm is Heliotrope. He’s your Normal Monster with 1950 ATK. The 1950 ATK is relevant making Thunder King, Stratos and basically every other stun-esque monster with 1900 or less ATK basically irrelevant. Salamandra does not banish monsters from your opponent’s Graveyard, otherwise, it would be good. It’s notable that it’s a Dinosaur because Evolzars are still on everyone’s mind. O’lantern and Ketos both tribute themselves to destroy either a monster or a spell/trap, respectively. Fine against rogue but not against Spellbooks or Dragons. Azzathoth is almost good, too bad it’s a FLIP monster. Obliviwisp isn’t good either.

Rescue Rabbit is the last staple monster. You run two copies because it’s semi-limited. Infestation Infection and Kerykeion can let you put Heliotropes back in your deck to make the second Rabbit live. Before Kerykeion was legal, people played Sabersaurus to make Evolzar Laggia and Dolkka. You have plenty of other options for Level 4 Normal Monsters with decent ATK, but other than Sabersaurus, Dark Blade is probably the best because he’s a DARK for Evilswarm Nightmare and Allure of Darkness and a Warrior for Heroic Champion – Excalibur.

Tour Guide from the Underworld is another option. It was used before Kerykeion was legal due to the heavier use of Rescue Rabbit with Dinos. Sangan is fine but can only search Tour Guide, Rabbit and any hand traps you run. Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, Dark Armed Dragon and Gorz, are seen occasionally. Ideally, you can’t summon any of them because your Ophion will have materials. You can still play them, I just don’t recommend it. Let’s talk about hand traps for a minute.

Maxx “C” is probably the best. Against Dragon Rulers, if you’re forced to go second, you can drop the Maxx “C” and your opponent will be forced to assume it’s a Dragon Ruler mirror and either set up an unbreakable board, banish their dragon with Sacred Sword or completely stop. Later in the game, the Dragon Ruler player is much less afraid of Maxx “C” because what you can do with 4 cards is possibly make two Rank 4s. Dragon Rulers can make at least two Rank 7s, possibly three, possibly just summon another Dragon with four cards. If you’re both low on cards, the Ruler player may stop. Against Spellbooks, Maxx “C” almost always sucks. I wouldn’t run the full playset because you’re trying to beat Spellbooks and Dragons game one and neither care enough if you play Maxx “C”. Veiler is also not very good. It’s a great card in this format but only good for hitting Big Eye, Dracossack and Spellbook Magician of Prophecy. This is another card you only want on the first turn or two. And, hopefully, you have your Ophion out, making Veiler unnecessary against Dragon Rulers because they can’t summon their dragons. Spellbooks don’t care about their monster effects being negated on their own turn, after turn one. Hitting Little Magician hurts, but Priestess, Justice, Kycoo, Jowgen and Defender don’t matter if they’re not active during their controller’s turn. Justice goes through Veiler and Priestess doesn’t matter.

drolllockbird-op01-en-sr-ueIf you’re going to play a hand trap, play Droll & Lock Bird. You’re barely searching. Only Ophion, Infection and Reinforcement of the Army search at all. Both Dragon Rulers and Spellbooks search a lot, making Droll & Lock painful to be under. More painful than either Maxx “C” or Effect Veiler. Both are important for Dragons and Spellbooks, but you’re not either of those decks. You’re just trying to stop them from doing their thing. Swift Scarecrow and D.D. Crow are also good cards but not in Evilswarm in this format. Skip them.

The Holy Trinity broke up after this format and went separate ways. We have Heavy Storm, Dark Hole and Monster Reborn. If you can ever get a plus in card advantage against Dragon Rulers with Heavy Storm and you don’t have super important stuff on the field, fire off Heavy Storm because you want every single plus you can take. Spellbooks later in the format, and now, play Tower, Star Hall, Fate, Wisdom and sometimes real trap cards in addition to the Solemn pair of Warning and Judgment. Heavy Storm definitely is something you want to hold if you can, but don’t worry about it too much. When you either don’t know if the set cards are Spellbooks or you know they’re not, that’s a safe time to Heavy Storm because you either one for one and halve their LP or you clear all of the backrow. Dark Hole is not great this format. Everything is unaffected. Dracossack can’t be destroyed. Evilswarms are unaffected. Constellars are unaffected with Omega out. Spellbooks have Wisdom to save their guy. If you think Dark Hole will clear the field to get through for game or you’ll be up on card advantage after, go ahead. Nothing matters this format, so saving your cards matters less. Of course, saving them still matters and definitely factors into the attrition fights but most Spellbook and Dragon lists don’t run Dark Hole. Monster Reborn is going to be used most of the time, probably 80% or more, on getting back Kerykeion if it’s available, otherwise, any Level 4 to make an Xyz. Gem-Knight Pearl and Ouroboros are the only Xyz you want to resummon because of their ATK. Don’t forget that you can bring back opposing Kycoos to lockdown Spellbooks or Dracossack to destroy any single card.

Reinforcement of the Army is a staple and you should always play your one allowed copy. Castor is the most important because it doesn’t get hit by Effect Veiler and can be paired with any other Evilswarm you run to make the hyper important Ophion. Pot of Duality shouldn’t be in the deck because you need to Xyz Summon Ophion. Pot of Avarice is a fair choice. Games just usually end before it’s relevant. Up to you. Allure of Darkness is limited and doesn’t increase consistency too much. If you’re running a ton of monsters, sure, but most standard Evilswarm lists don’t run enough monsters for Allure of Darkness. You need those monsters to make Xyz.

I haven’t gotten there yet but why Ophion is important is coming. Forbidden Chalice, Dress and Lance are three ways to protect Ophion. Dress doesn’t actually protect Ophion, so let’s look at Lance. Lance reduces Ophion down to 1750 ATK and makes it unaffected by all spells/traps. Dimensional Prison and Spellbook of Fate are two of the few cards that Lance protects Ophion from that Dress doesn’t. Forbidden Dress is the best ‘Forbidden’ card for Evilswarms. Dress reduces Ophion to 1950, still larger than Reactan and Kycoo, but still protects Ophion from all forms of effect destruction. Dress also prevents your monster from being targeted. If the monster was already targeted, Dress doesn’t stop that effect. It isn’t Hexproof. The most important part of Dress is that Dress protects your monsters from Blaster. Don’t forget to Dress and Lance your opponent’s monsters when they’re bigger than yours.

The spell/trap archetype that goes with the Evilswarms is Infestation. Pandemic and Infection are the only two worth playing. Pandemic is like Forbidden Lance but all kinds of better. It protects all of your Evilswarms and doesn’t decrease their ATK. Sure, you can’t decrease an opponent’s monster’s ATK, but whatever. The upside is worth that ‘downside’. The other Infestation is Infection. Infection simply lets you trade any Evilswarm on your field or in your hand for another Evilswarm. Put back Heliotrope and get Castor for more plays. Kerykeion back another Kerykeion, put the second back in your deck and search Mandragora to make an Xyz with. It’s just a good card. You can’t put back Xyz monsters, though, which sucks. Unless you’re running a radical build, play one.

There are a ton of legitimate traps to choose from. I’ll briefly talk about the main cons of each and more hidden upside.

Bottomless Trap Hole doesn’t hit Jowgen or Spellbook Magician of Prophecy. If a big ruler was summoned, it triggers it. Otherwise, great against Dragon Rulers. If Star Halls have enough counters, it can hit anything.

Compulsory Evacuation Device is a lot like Bottomless but can be activated anytime. It can hit any monster, unlike Bottomless, but your opponent gets it back. It’s important to remember that Evacuation Device can clear something like a Jowgen, Kycoo or Dracossack already on the field, whereas Bottomless wouldn’t be able to.

Torrential Tribute clears out everything but Dracossack doesn’t care. Spellbooks only care about Jowgen and Evilswarms don’t care. It’s definitely a good card, just not a powerful one this format.

Solemn Warning and Solemn Judgment are staples. I don’t see a reason not to include the one copy of each allowed in Evilswarms.

Most people played Fiendish Chain this format. Breakthrough Skill is better because you can use it twice and Dracossack can’t tribute itself to destroy something while under Breakthrough. Breakthrough Skill isn’t strictly better. Breakthrough skill just gets more value in that you can use it after a Heavy Storm or after you’ve already used it. You can’t use it on Kycoo but you can hit Dracossack or Jowgen twice. Not that this deck has too much trouble with Jowgen.

If you’re afraid of attacks, Dimensional Prison is the best choice. Mirror Force still exists. Neither are great because everything is unaffected by everything this format. Every deck was so high power that already high power cards rarely made the cut. I ran Mirror Force in my Spellbooks for a couple weeks and it was underwhelming. I’d take almost any other trap card I mention in this article over Mirror Force and D-Prison.

safezone-ap08-en-c-ueYou can either build your deck to beat Dragons or Spellbooks. There is a lot of overlap between the two but the most effective stuff is different. Ophion is the most effective card against Dragons, while Eradicator Epidemic is the most effective card against Spellbooks. So, if your plan is to fight Dragons, we better protect Ophion. We already talked about Forbidden Dress and Pandemic making up most of your protection but there are three additional traps I like a lot. The first is Xyz Reborn. It gives you redundancy rather than outright protecting your Ophion. You can also bring back Shock Master, Bahamut, Cowboy, Emeral or any other Xyz that you lost. It’s a good card. I wouldn’t laugh if you had it in your build and I wish there was more room in the deck. Next up is Dark Illusion. It saves your Ophion once. It’s a one-for-one trade. Dress is usually better but this stops Phoenix Wing Wind Blast, whereas a Dress in response would not. Important to note. Safe Zone is my favorite of the three due to its versatility. It looks like there is only one way to use Safe Zone, but there isn’t, and using Safe Zone is safer in Evilswarm due to Pandemic. The downside to Safe Zone is that if Safe Zone leaves, it takes your monster with it. You can Safe Zone an opponent’s monster in response to Heavy Storm and take their monster down. Or, if Safe Zone is already on your Ophion, just play Pandemic to make Ophion unaffected by Safe Zone. If you do Pandemic with Safe Zone up, Ophion will be able to be destroyed by your opponent’s cards. And, if you put Safe Zone on an opponent’s monster, it can still attack you directly.

Some other Main Deck tech I’ve seen is Starlight Road, Eradicator Epidemic Virus, Imperial Iron Wall and Macro Cosmos. I don’t like Starlight Road because Heavy Storm is the only mass removal card in the format that you want to stop. Just don’t set everything until Heavy Storm is gone. Eradicator is clearly for Spellbooks but lines up very nicely against anything that isn’t Dragons. The card is even great against Dragons as hitting all of their spells for three turns is crippling. You would just prefer to have Ophion than for them to have no spells. I would prefer Safe Zone over Eradicator in the Main Deck because Safe Zone keeps your monsters alive while Eradicator isn’t good against Dragons, which is about 40% of the field. Another 40% is Spellbooks and the remaining 20% is rogue, where it is good. But Ophion is too important in the Dragon match-up to give it up. You don’t want to tribute off additional copies of Ophion, either, as the next, barring Dark Hole, is just as prohibitive as the first.

Imperial Iron Wall and Macro Cosmos are not both seen in the same deck. Neither halts Evilswarm, except for Kerykeion. Both turn off additional Dragon Ruler summons and Spellbook of Fate. Macro Cosmos is used less often because it doesn’t stop the stuff already in the Graveyard. Iron Wall is usually better because it stops everything from happening from the point it flips until either the game is over or it’s gone. If you want to compete and your name isn’t Spellbooks, Dragons or Evilswarm, Iron Wall is a good choice. However, Evilswarm do not need it as they attack the big decks enough.

Time to quickly run through the cards most often seen in the side deck.

Mystical Space Typhoon almost never comes in against Spellbooks or Dragons. If you think Rivalry is coming in, or you know it is, you can bring in MST.

Electric Virus steals a lot of things in this format. So does Puppet Plant. Puppet Plant doesn’t give you anything you really want, so I’m not going to talk about it. Electric Virus steals Dracossack, all of the dragon synchros, Ophion and Bahamut. You can also use DNA Surgery to steal anything. Electric Virus is good against Dragon Rulers, but better in the mirror match. I’m unsure if it’s correct to bring it in against Dragon Rulers.

Soul Drain and Mind Drain are two more floodgates against Dragon Rulers in addition to Ophion. Both are fine but I prefer Imperial Iron Wall because it also stops Spellbook of Fate. Iron Wall and Soul Drain act identically with the only difference being Iron Wall locks out Breakthrough Skill and Kerykeion while Soul Drain costs LP. If your side deck plan doesn’t include bringing in Iron Wall against Spellbooks, play Soul Drain. Although I’d rather play other cards.

Dimensional Fissure is very similar to Macro Cosmos but doesn’t stop Xyz Materials. I see no reason to be playing this over Macro Cosmos in Evilswarm. It’s great in Spellbooks. This isn’t Spellbooks.

Fossil Dyna acts a lot like Vanity’s Fiend. It’s a shame both Reactan and Stream run it over. Good thing that Fossil Dyna can be Safe Zoned. Thunder King Rai-Oh feels much the same as Fossil Dyna, except actually good. Until your opponent can assemble Kycoo and Power, Rai-Oh completely wins the game. I even sided it when I played Spellbooks because, hopefully, I was doing my things and my opponent had to waste their time trying to clear it. It’s deadlier than Ophion but easier to deal with. Even a Star Hall with one other spell activation will let Kycoo run into Thunder King. Safe Zone and Dress are the best cards to protect both Thunder King and Dyna.

You can play Gozen Match for Dragons. You can’t play Rivalry of Warlords at all. I don’t like Gozen Match because Tempest → Tempest → Dracossack is a line of play that is easily taken. It also doesn’t hurt Spellbooks enough. Skip this.

DNA Surgery is a card that actually turns off most of the cards in Spellbooks. I’ll list them. Defender, Master, Star Hall, Fate, Wisdom, Power and sometimes Tower. That’s 13 or 15 cards that do nothing. And, with 12 cards that search those cards, having 25+ of your deck shut off really hurts. DNA Surgery also allows you to make Evolzar Laggia and Dolkka. I like the card but Droll and Eradicator should be enough to beat Spellbooks. Otherwise, you have to cut cards that you need in order to function.

Deck Lockdown works against both Spellbooks and Dragons. It’s a good card but can be worked around and destroys itself after a couple turns. I was never really afraid of Deck Lockdown while I was playing either deck. The scariest thing for Dragons is Ophion, and the scariest thing for Spellbooks is Eradicator. Both can be recovered from, too. If you don’t have Droll & Lock Bird, run Thunder King. If you don’t have Thunder King, run Deck Lockdown.

I’ve also seen Overworked and Deck Devastation Virus. Overworked is an okay card against Spellbooks, often acting as a simple Raigeki. It’s also great against Fire Fist, should you run into any. I probably wouldn’t allow any JOTL or NUMH in tournaments I host (if any, due to online software) but it’s possible Fire Fist will have access to Rooster, probably making them a popular choice. Deck Devastation Virus hits all of the hand traps in Dragon Rulers and two babies, but again, giving up an Ophion is too big a cost. And I don’t see anywhere else where I’d want Deck Devastation over another card. Nothing is set in stone. You can run whatever you want. After the Extra Deck, I’ll explain what I’d run.

EvilswarmOphion-HA07-EN-ScR-1ETriple Evilswarm Ophion is mandatory. Often you’ll need all three in a single game. Its continuous effect stops either player from Special Summoning Level 5 or higher monsters, like the Dragon Rulers. Its ignition effect searches out Pandemic or Infection. It’s also 2550 ATK. Enough to beat over High Priestess and Stardust Dragon and tribute to Eradicator, but low enough to lose to Dracossack, Big Eye, Gaia Dragon and Gem-Knight Pearl. Its 1650 DEF also loses to Maestroke. Ophion loses in battle a lot, but hopefully, it won’t get to that point. Another reason I don’t like Eradicator in the Main Deck is that you just always want to jam an Ophion onto the table turn one against an unknown opponent. Spellbooks is the only deck where you want to tribute it off immediately. You lose if you do that to Dragons.

Evilswarm Bahamut is like Big Eye, but worse. Detaching and targeting is a cost, discarding is part of the effect. Bahamut can still attack the turn it takes something, unlike Big Eye. Stealing monsters is just such a powerful effect that it needs to be respected. Bahamut won’t ever get taken by Big Eye unless it’s lethal damage, so don’t be afraid to run it out against an existing Big Eye or Dracossack. Be careful in the mirror, Bahamut is Big Eye for the Evilswarm mirror. I like two because it’s super important but not important enough for three.

Evilswarm Ouroboros is the type of card you want access to but rarely make. It’s good in niche situations but rarely game winning. It’s also three materials, which isn’t the easiest to make in Evilswarm. Evilswarm Nightmare is very good. Nightmare is basically mandatory on every monster that could run it over, otherwise you lose your Nightmare and it’s wasted. It’s good but not in this meta. Evilswarm Thanatos is only unaffected by monster effects. I’m sure it’s to mirror Constellar Omega but Thanatos doesn’t make all of your Evilswarms unaffected by monster effects, nor does it protect your team from Dark Hole or Mirror Force. I wouldn’t run Thanatos.

Number16ShockMaster-JUMP-EN-UR-LENumber 16: Shock Master is probably my favorite Xyz Monster. I chose Big Eye as my site cover because that’s my second favorite. Shock Master isn’t a fair card. Sure, it takes three materials and only has 2300 ATK but that’s not a high enough barrier to using it. It’s called the “Shock Lock” for a reason. Run at least one because it wins games. I would consider a second but the first doesn’t come up too often.

Gem-Knight Pearl and Maestroke do basically the same thing; answer monsters with 2550 or 2600 ATK. Pearl either crashes or runs them over. Pearl with Safe Zone is a powerhouse in the mirror match. Unless they can find Heavy Storm or some other way to clear the Safe Zone, they’re not going to be able to deal with Pearl. There is Ouroboros, though. Maestroke sets something so your Ophion, or other, can attack over it. Setting a Dracossack then activating Dark Hole is legitimate and don’t forget that that is an option. I strongly believe both are staples.

Abyss Dweller still sees play in 2016. I don’t know what the future holds for Abyss Dweller, but as long as there are cards that activate in the Graveyard and Level 4 monsters, Abyss Dweller will see play. This is no exception. Abyss Dweller acts as a mini-Shock Master for Dragon Rulers when you can’t get that third material and already have Ophion. You should still run it, it’s just less good than Shock Master most of the time.

Gagaga Cowboy is other ABYR staple Rank 4. Back when there were less Rank 4s, Cowboy almost always demanded a slot due to the nature of attacking. Sometimes you fall just short of 8000 and Cowboy puts you over the threshold where you actually win. I think it’s a staple in this format.

CBLZ is the set after ABYR. It brought us the Fire Fist and Diamond Dire Wolf. It’s great for instant removal, even though it’s pretty bad at that by today’s standards. The only target outside of itself is Rescue Rabbit. So it’ll blow itself up most of the time.

Number 50: Blackship of Corn was really popular about five months prior when Wind-Ups were the best deck and Blackship was an easy way to deal with Zenmaines. You won’t make it often. It’s nice to have but this slot could easily be any other monster. It does pretty cleanly deal with Maestroke, though.

When Blackship came out, it was most comparable to Photon Papilloperative. Papilloperative isn’t the same card. It has very little utility in this format. The only things you want to turn to ATK position are Jowgen and Dracossack. Under Jowgen, you can’t even summon Papilloperative. And Dracossack usually won’t be able to be destroyed. Not worth your time.

Daigusto Emeral isn’t quite at staple-level status but it’s nearly there. It’s great for putting Ophions and Kerykeions back in your deck but you already knew that. You can also Special Summon Heliotrope from your Graveyard if you need to do that. Lavalval Chain is kind of the other side of Daigusto Emeral. Sure, stacking a Rescue Rabbit is great, but just making any other Xyz is usually better. Lavalval Chain doesn’t have useful cards to dump in this deck. As good as the card is, skip it.

Steelswarm Roach and Number 39: Utopia were the first Rank 4s played. Roach is a monster with “lswarm” in its name. Roach cannot stop the Dragon Rulers or Xyz monsters. Roach has been outdated. Negating attacks isn’t very useful anymore, either. The Lightning doesn’t exist. Utopia Ray does. That’s not very good, either. Moving on.

number69heraldrycrest-ltgy-en-r-1eNumber 69: Heraldry Crest isn’t anything that was on my radar from May to September 2013. That’s because I was playing Spellbooks and then Dragon Rulers. It’s a three-material Rank 4 that has two effects. The first is a trigger effect on summon that negates the effects of all other face-up Xyz Monsters currently on the field. I wish this was a continuous effect. It’s not. This includes yours. This is forever, not until end of turn. It negates Dracossack and Ophion. It starts a chain, so something like Constellar Pleiades can be chained to it, but afterward, all Xyz Monsters will have their effects negated. The other effect is an ignition effect that doesn’t detach Xyz Materials. It targets another face-up Xyz Monster and until the End Phase, its name and effect become the same as that monster. This wears off at the end of the turn, so targeting an Ophion to continue to lock them out is useless. You can target an opposing Big Eye to steal their monsters. You can target their Bahamut to steal their monsters. You can target Dracossack to make tokens and tribute a token to destroy something else. The effect to copy an Xyz doesn’t detach materials, so you have three for whatever Xyz you become. The ATK also stays at 2600. You can copy Cowboy and effectively attack for 4100. The type does not change, so you can’t copy Dire Wolf. I can’t believe I went the whole format without seeing this card.

Heroic Champion – Excalibur is neat. You need two Castors to make it. It’s neat but rarely, if ever, comes up. Laggia and Dolkka come up much more often if you’re running DNA Surgery because it turns every single one of your monsters into Dinosaurs. I don’t think they’re a worthy inclusion, but I don’t think DNA is a worthy inclusion, either.

King of the -Farrell- Feral Imps searches any Reptile. You have two that you want to search. The first is Evilswarm Azzathoth. Not a great move. The other is Reptilianne Vaskii. She’s 2600 can you can summon her by tributing both Dracossack tokens, then she can destroy Dracossack and attack for 2600. It’s really cool but I’ve literally never seen it done. Thunder Spark Dragon also falls under the ‘cool but I’ve never seen it done’ category.

If you’re running Tour Guide, you’re going to want Rank 3s. Leviair the Sea Dragon gets your Rescue Rabbit back. Wind-Up Zenmaines is good to sit on. Number 17: Leviathan Dragon doesn’t matter anymore because it only has 2500 ATK after one boost. Just a quick note, this is probably my third favorite Xyz after Shock Master and Big Eye. Number 30: Acid Golem has 3000 ATK. Temtempo, the Percussion Djinn can steal Xyz Materials from stuff like Zenmaines, Acid Golem and Ophion.

Some lists run Effect Veiler, which is valid. Some lists that run Effect Veiler also choose a Level 5 Synchro Monster in case it comes up, which is valid but only if there is space for it. The two chosen most often are Ally of Justice Catastor and Magical Android. I don’t like either. Stardust Dragon is sometimes included for Starlight Road. I’m not going to talk about them because I believe they’re suboptimal and won’t come up.

This is the main skeleton of the deck.

2 Rescue Rabbit
3 Evilswarm Heliotrope
3 Evilswarm Castor
3 Evilswarm Kerykeion
2 Evilswarm Mandragora
2 Evilswarm Thunderbird
1 Dark Hole
1 Reinforcement of the Army
1 Forbidden Dress
2 Infestation Pandemic
1 Infestation Infection
1 Solemn Warning
1 Solemn Judgment

3 Evilswarm Ophion
1 Evilswarm Bahamut
1 Evilswarm Ouroboros
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 Abyss Dweller
1 Daigusto Emeral
1 Number 16: Shock Master

3 Eradicator Epidemic Virus
3 Mystical Space Typhoon

If you win the die roll against an unknown opponent, choose to go first. Make Ophion and have a plan to protect it. Outside of Rescue Rabbit and Kerykeion, you have no one card Xyz. If you know your opponent has no Level 5 or higher monsters, definitely detach those materials from Ophion to get those extra cards, even if you’re not setting them yet. Dracossack is incredibly difficult to deal with, which is why in my list below I’ve chosen the full playset of Evacuation Devices. If you can’t answer the Dracossack, you’ll lose pretty quickly. Summoning Bahamut is not the best course of action because they’ll Big Eye back their Dracossack or just deal with it as the Dragon Ruler deck is built to deal with Dracossacks. Just keep Ophion alive and you’ll stay alive.

The Spellbook match-up is a lot harder than you’d think. Eradicator Epidemic Virus doesn’t even guarantee a victory. You need a follow-up to that if you want to win. Ophion stops Priestess from coming out. I strongly believe that the Priestess-less build (Bad Religion) is better than with Priestess. And the Reaper of Prophecy builds are even worse than Priestess. World of Prophecy and Number 66: Master Key Beetle don’t exist. Your typical line of play going second is summon Castor, summon another Evilswarm, attack over Jowgen and Spellbook Magician of Prophecy. That almost always goes wrong without the aid of Pandemic or Heavy Storm. Killing the Jowgen is easier for Evilswarm than Dragon Rulers but Spellbooks are ready to dispatch every single one of your generic Level 4 guys. Once a few Star Halls have been going for a few turns and Jowgen is over 2000 ATK, you’ve definitely lost. They have too many cards and you haven’t Special Summoned the whole game. Spellbooks just have so many legitimate cards that do things. At least Ophion stops the onslaught of Dragons from Dragon Rulers.

Your main plan against anything that isn’t Spellbooks or Dragons is to grind them out with one-for-one and two-for-one interactions until you can finally attack for game.

This is the build of Evilswarm I would play if I were to enter an unknown tournament before NUMH and JOTL.


Droll & Lock Bird is in the Main Deck for the big two. Heavy Storm is still included because it just wins games. Triple Pandemic because while it’s not great against Dragons, it’s great against Spellbooks and anything rogue. I decided to fight Dragon Rulers game one rather than Spellbooks, leading me towards double Dress and triple Safe Zone over tech that hurts Spellbooks.

Number 69, Dire Wolf and Nightmare could be cut for Blackship or other Xyz you deem more useful. I might cut Nightmare for Blackship.

Side Deck Plan:

Dragon Rulers:

-2 Droll & Lock Bird
-1 Monster Reborn
-1 Infestation Pandemic
-2 or 3 Bottomless/Evacuation Device
+3 Maxx “C”
+2 Xyz Reborn
+1 or 2 Electric Virus

Electric Virus is less of a role player than other cards in the deck, and only comes in when I go second. Evacuation Device is better than Bottomless Trap Hole is, going second. Pandemic and Monster Reborn aren’t big enough power plays against Dragon Rulers. You can keep Reborn in, but you’ll have to side something else out.


-1 Monster Reborn
-2 Forbidden Dress
-2 Bottomless Trap Hole
-3 Safe Zone
+1 Droll & Lock Bird
+1 Forbidden Lance
+3 Mystical Space Typhoon
+3 Eradicator Epidemic Virus

Forbidden Dress is not very good in this match-up. Nor is Bottomless. Evacuation Device at least clears threats already on the table. Bouncing any of their monsters isn’t very good because they’ll just resummon them. My build of Spellbooks has 3 Magician, 3 Kycoo, 2 Jowgen and Defender. Even just nine monsters can be too many for only one Normal Summon a turn. Even if they’re wasting their Wisdoms, you’re at least trying to keep them off of their monsters, which is better than Bottomless. Don’t forget you’re trying to have a good 40, not the least bad 40. That’s why I have only one Forbidden Lance in the Side Deck. I want a good 40 against Spellbooks, not the least bad 40 including Dress.

Evilswarm mirror:

-2 Droll & Lock Bird
-2 Breakthrough Skill
-2 Forbidden Dress
-1 Safe Zone
+2 Electric Virus
+3 Mystical Space Typhon
+2 Xyz Reborn

Against rogue decks, you pretty much always take out Droll & Lock and some number of Safe Zones and Bottomless or Evacuation Device. You want to bring in Xyz Reborn and MST against most rogue decks, like the mirror and Constellars. Torrential Tribute and Mirror Force are both really good against things that aren’t Evilswarm, Spellbooks or Dragons but so many games will be those three decks that you can’t afford to have cards that suck against them.

I like Evilswarm. Not because it’s the best deck or because it’s fun to play. It’s not either. It’s a test of endurance. How many games can I play doing the same thing over and over again without getting tired of it? How tuned is your trap line-up for the meta you’re facing? Evilswarm is much more a deck-building challenge than it is a test of your technical play.

If you made it through in one read, congrats. Let me know if I forgot something. Run out and pick up those secret Rescue Rabbits and those DT Ophions. And, if you have secret Eradicators, you’re a cool guy. Mine are only super. Until Friday when I review the Rivals of the Pharaoh set, click an ad, and tell me on Facebook and Twitter what your favorite decks of all time are and your favorite decks from the March 2013 post LTGY are. I also have a discord chat available to Patreon supporters.


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