Analyzing Options: SPYRAL

While I definitely think that something with Zoodiacs or That Grass Looks Greener is probably the new deck to beat, Raging Tempest has a bunch of other sweet stuff going on. SPYRAL hasn’t put up any real results in tournaments yet, but it also hasn’t seen much support, either.

Raging Tempest gives SPYRAL new cards that definitely make it better than ever, and while it might not be able to keep up with Zoodiac combos or Infernoids milling 20 cards a turn, it still has lots of potential. Today we’re going to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the SPYRAL strategy, and try to come up with a solution to the cons, so we can take advantage of the pros.

SPYRALSuperAgent-TDIL-EN-UR-1ESPYRAL revolves around a single card: SPYRAL Super Agent. It’s the enabler that many of your cards require in order to work, so finding it and getting it onto the field is a huge priority. Luckily, it can Special Summon itself if you can manage to call the top card of your opponent’s deck correctly, which is important for one big reason: speed. SPYRAL’s biggest weakness is inherently tied to Super Agent because he’s required for so many of your cards to work.

Not only do you need to find Super Agent, but you also need it in play immediately, which is typically using your Normal Summon. As we’ve seen in the past, strategies that rely heavily on a bunch of Normal Summons tend to perform poorly. SPYRAL Super Agent’s effect that can help you deal with that by Special Summoning it is huge, but you’ll need more than just that to compensate for your speed issue.

You also have obvious ways to search SPYRAL Super Agent in cards like SPYRAL Resort and Charming Resort Girl. Both cards are great, especially the Field Spell. SPYRAL Resort makes all of your other SPYRAL cards untargetable, so it gets much harder for your opponent to disrupt your plays. It also replaces itself immediately by searching a SPYRAL, and then does so again every turn it stays in play. It does have a maintenance cost that shuffles a monster from your grave into your deck during the End Phase, but with monsters dying and a robust lineup of hand traps feeding the yard, I don’t think that’s a big issue. Your first SPYRAL Resort might have to destroy itself, but as long as you’re setting up it’s worthwhile.

Charming Resort Girl isn’t exactly new, but I think she’s ultimately key to your strategy for a few reasons. First, it lets you protect your SPYRAL Super Agent – that’s a huge deal. When so many of your cards require Super Agent to work, you want to make sure you can keep it safe. In addition to that, Charming Resort Girl can also Special Summon Super Agent when it’s destroyed by battle, so that added consistency really helps. Its last effect that lets you get back a Super Agent is nice, but I think it’s the least relevant effect on the card. That said, it synergizes well with Super Agent because it’s so easy to get it out of your hand and onto the field.

New Toys
The new SPYRAL cards from Raging Tempest are really exciting, and the first one worth talking about is SPYRAL Tough. Having only one set of SPYRAL Super Agents isn’t the worst, because there are a bunch of ways to search and a new way to impersonate it.

SPYRAL Tough counts as SPYRAL Super Agent on the field or in the grave, so you can take advantage of all the SPYRAL cards that require Super Agent in play even when you don’t have the real deal. SPYRAL Tough also has a great effect that can destroy an opposing card as long as you call the top card of your deck right. You probably would’ve settled for any effect slapped onto a card that counts as SPYRAL Super Agent for this strategy, so an ability that’s actually relevant is a great deal when you can use it once per turn.

SPYGALMisty-RATE-EN-UR-1EThe next card actually made me want to write this article in the first place, and that’s SPYGAL Misty. I feel like this strategy was so close to being competitively relevant if SPYGAL Misty was simply SPYRAL Mistly, but alas that’s not the case; probably for good reason. Because Misty’s a SPYGAL you can’t search it with SPYRAL Resort, which is a huge deal, but whenever you draw Misty it’s going to impact the game in a big way. It can draw a card when it’s summoned as long as you call the top card of your opponent’s deck, and while that effect is good, its next ability is what really makes it great.

SPYGAL Misty has an effect similar to Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin, a card so powerful that it’s forbidden in the OCG, that lets you return a Super Agent you control and one monster your opponent controls to the hand. If you’ve played against Kirin then you know how strong that effect this is. Disrupting your opponent by bouncing a monster is crazy powerful, especially when you can do it once during your turn and once on your opponent’s. SPYGAL Misty’s probably the strongest card in your whole deck, and if you can manage to get it into play with a Super Agent that’s probably how you’re going to win the game.

SPYRALGEARUtilityWire-RATE-EN-SR-1EThe last card really worth talking about in my opinion is SPYRAL GEAR – Utility Wire, one of the best theme-stamped traps we’ve seen in a while. Utility Wire lets you return any monster your opponent controls to the top of their deck as long as you control a Super Agent, so it’s a very easy activation requirement with a huge upside. Spinning monsters to the top of your opponent’s deck isn’t just a great way to disrupt them, it’s especially powerful for a couple other reasons.

First and foremost, you can easily deal with more resilient threats that might have graveyard effects. Second, you can punish an opponent’s weak hand by spinning a monster to the top of their deck to guarantee they can’t draw a fresh card the following turn. When paired with a Super Agent and Misty, Utility Wire’s probably the best trap you can have.

What makes Utility Wire even more exciting is that it’s a SPYRAL GEAR, so you can search it with SPYRAL Quik-Fix. SPYRAL GEAR – Big Red was previously the best SPYRAL GEAR card because it’s effectively Premature Burial, but Utility Wire means that your Turn 1 SPYRAL Quik-Fix can get you high impact protection. Just having the option of Utility Wire is super nice, as specific situations will lead want either Utility Wire or Big Red, and just having extra options is always nice.

The Next Step
Getting to SPYRAL Super Agent isn’t much of an issue, but getting it into play quickly is the real problem we need to solve. Its own effect is probably the easiest way to do that. While at first glance it might seem like you have a 33% shot of getting that right, most strategies play substantially more monsters and spells than anything else. Calling monsters should give you the highest likelihood against the majority of the field, raising your chances substantially higher than they may appear. In addition, once you see what kind of strategy your opponent’s playing, it’s much easier to guess what type of card they have on top of their deck.

ConvulsionofNature-DB2-EN-C-UEConvulsion of Nature is the obvious way to make sure you don’t really have to play a guessing game. It synergizes well with a bunch of your cards: SPYRAL Super Agent, SPYRAL Tough, and SPYGAL Misty. The upsides of all these cards when you’re guessing correctly is insane, so having Convulsion of Nature to guarantee one is definitely worthwhile. Normally in duplicates, you can afford to call the first card wrong because you know that the rest of your SPYRALS will call it correctly.

Convulsion of Nature makes up for the initial loss of your first SPYRAL missing, so if you value that SPYRAL effect at one card in terms of card economy, then Convulsion of Nature’s a great deal. Your ideal Turn 1 probably involves Convulsion of Nature along with Misty and Super Agent to make sure you set up immediately, and having Misty draw you a card will immediately replace the Convulsion.

Brilliant Fusion can help the speed issue too. Getting another Normal Summon off of Gem-Knight Seraphinite’s super powerful in a strategy that’s so reliant on Normal Summoning. You can also use it to get Charming Resort Girl into the graveyard too; not the most important thing, but it can give you a little bit of value to make up for the use of Brilliant Fusion. Unfortunately Performage Tricklown doesn’t do much for you here, but it’s nice to have some on-theme synergy with Charming Resort Girl.

While we might not see SPYRAL make the Top Cut of a YCS, I could definitely see it succeeding in Regionals. What do you think is the best way to play SPYRAL?

-Robert Boyajian

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