Regional Top 8: Steven Baker’s Awesome Spellcasters

Toadally Awesome has given a bunch of different strategies new life. Everything from Paleozoic Frogs, to Heroes, Mermails, and even Lightsworn got a huge boost from Toadally Awesome. It’s on the same power level as Cyber Dragon Infinity, if not stronger in a lot of ways.

The biggest difference is that Toadally Awesome’s extremely easy to summon compared to the mighty Rank 6 Infinity, thanks to an abundance of Level 2 Aquas and the effect of Bahamut Shark. The easier and faster you can get a Toadally Awesome down, the stronger your strategy probably is, and Spellcasters might be one of the fastest decks that can do it.

If you were at all familiar with the Clown Blade strategy that took the OCG by storm a few years ago, you know how good it can be to just throw together some Performages with some Level 4 summon enablers. While we don’t have insane cards like Number 16: Shock Master to offer broken payoffs, Bahamut Shark into Toadally Awesome is definitely good enough.

The biggest stopping point is that you’ll need Waters to summon Bahamut Shark, and none of the Performages fit the bill. Luckily there are a bunch of other ways to accelerate Waters into play, and with Performages to help you Xyz Summon King of the Feral Imps, which searches Jigabyte to fuel Bahamut Shark, practically turns your Performage into a Water material anyways.

Let’s take a look at the list that Steven Baker Top 8’d his Regional Qualifier with:

AquaMadoor-YSKR-EN-C-1ESteven Baker’s Awesome Spellcasters – 41 Cards
Altoona Iowa Regional Qualifier, December 18th, 2016

Monsters: 21

3 Aqua Madoor
2 Chocolate Magician Girl
2 Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju
3 Jigabyte
2 Maxx “C”
3 Performage Hat Tricker
2 Performage Trick Clown
1 Rescue Rabbit
3 Tin Goldfish

Spells: 14
1 Book of Moon
2 Cosmic Cyclone
3 Instant Fusion
3 Pot of Desires
1 Raigeki
1 Soul Charge
3 Unexpected Dai

Traps: 9
1 Bottomless Trap Hole
2 Dimensional Barrier
1 Floodgate Trap Hole
3 Solemn Strike
1 Time-Space Trap Hole
1 Vanity’s Emptiness

UnexpectedDai-LDK2-EN-C-1EExtra Deck: 15
1 Abyss Dweller
2 Bahamut Shark
1 Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
2 Daigusto Emeral
1 Diamond Dire Wolf
1 Elder Entity Norden
1 Gagaga Cowboy
1 King of the Feral Imps
1 Number 39: Utopia
1 Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
2 Toadally Awesome
1 Traptrix Rafflesia

Side Deck: 15
3 Anti-Spell Fragrance
2 Book of Eclipse
3 Denko Sekka
1 Dimensional Barrier
2 Retaliating “C”
3 System Down
1 The Winged Dragon of Ra

Tin Goldfish and Jigabyte aren’t new when it comes to summoning Bahamut Shark, but this is probably the first time we’ve seen them used outside of a Lightsworn strategy. Normally those superfast Rank 4 strategies try to abuse Minerva, the Exalted Lightsworn to make super explosive plays, but Baker went in a totally different direction with a much bigger focus on Bahamut Shark. That makes sense since the scariest fields are probably those backed up by a Toadally Awesome, and if you can manage to summon a Shark along with another Xyz that’s probably enough to win the game if you’ve got even just one trap card.

So how does Baker do it? In addition to a full set of Tin Goldfish and Jigabyte, he’s got several ways to abuse the only Level 4 Water Spellcaster available: Aqua Madoor. Rescue Rabbit’s an obvious combo; opening with just a Rescue Rabbit will net you Bahamut Shark for a Toadally Awesome. But Unexpected Dai is what really makes the Aqua Madoor package worthwhile, since an easy way to get a Level 4 Water into play for free is super convenient and exactly what Baker wanted. Couple that with the fact that Aqua Madoor is a Spellcaster that enables Jigabyte, and you’ve got a lot of good ways to get Bahamut Shark into play.

Jigabyte-SDMP-EN-C-1EAs I mentioned before, Jigabyte’s pretty much the glue that makes this whole strategy work. Why? Because even if you don’t have a Water material right off the bat, you can search them and put them into play with ease. Both Performage Hat Tricker and Performage Trick Clown are notorious for the sheer power of their acceleration. Hat Tricker can come out of your hand quickly and overlay with anything for King of the Feral Imps so you can search Jigabyte, and there are even cooler combos with Performage Trick Clown thanks to Chocolate Magician Girl.

Chocolate Magician Girl is great in this deck since it can throw away unneeded Spellcasters to help you dig for better combo pieces. It’s great with Performage Trick Clown, because once you ditch it to draw a card, you can still bring back the Trick Clown and use it for an Xyz Material. If you happen to have Performage Hat Tricker or any other way to get a Level 4 down, you can overlay Trick Clown with it for King of the Feral Imps, search Jigabyte, and Special Summon it thanks to Chocolate Magician Girl. Then you’ll have two Materials for Bahamut Shark, setting you up while building a large, resilient field with Toadally Awesome and Trick Clown.

Chocolate Magician Girl also helps you get Elder Entity Norden online for your Instant Fusion, so you can immediately field Bahamut Shark or summon King of the Feral Imps to get an extra body onto the table. The fact that you also play a bunch of Normal Spellcasters makes Chocolate Magician Girl that much better, because it helps all of your bad hands while still being amazing in your good ones.

One more thing to note is that this is one of the better strategies for Elder Entity Norden, because both Toadally Awesome and Daigusto Emeral can easily recycle it to the Extra Deck to make sure your second and third Instant Fusion aren’t dead. I’m actually a little surprised to see only two copies here, but it could just be that it wasn’t as important here was it can be in other strategies.

Tech Picks
Baker had some interesting tech picks to deal with the expected field. Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju is great for addressing anything that Toadally Awesome would normally have problems with. It’s one of the cleanest ways to deal with Majespecter Unicorn – Kirin, and the fact that it basically trumps everything is a big reason why we see Kaiju everywhere. As long as you can get rid of one problematic threat, you can usually push your combo through and take back the field. From there all you need is Toadally Awesome or a couple traps, and with your opponent’s resources depleted it’s an easy game.

Cosmic Cyclone’s something we really haven’t seen in Main Decks much yet, but it has a lot of uses across the spread. Dealing with problematic floodgates is a good reason to run spell and trap removal, though Cosmic Cyclone’s obviously less effective than something like Twin Twisters in that slot. However, if you’re in the business of banishing Metalfoes Pendulums, Paleozoic Traps, or ABC Union Monsters, then Cosmic Cyclone has a lot of merit right now. It can also be a complete blowout against particular rogue strategies that may use cards like Artifacts or other measures that really lose out when they’re banished. Cosmic Cyclone can also be a complete blowout against inexperienced Metalfoes Duelists, banishing their key Fusion Spells if they don’t run extra copies of them.

TheWingedDragonofRaSphereMode-DPBC-EN-UR-1EThe last really sweet tech choice is in the Side Deck: a single copy of The Winged Dragon of Ra. Because of the popularity of The Winged Dragon of Ra – Sphere Mode, The Winged Dragon of Ra can steal a duel out of nowhere. Sphere Mode’s one of the most popular answers right now to Toadally Awesome strategies because they’re known for building fields with several problematic monsters, so Sphere Mode deals with the maximum number of threats in a virtually unstoppable way. But once it hits the field, The Winged Dragon of Ra becomes a deadly counter-side.

Baker noted that he could wind up playing Creature Swap in the future. Because Bahamut Shark will Special Summon Toadally Awesome without any Xyz Material, you have an easy way to produce the worst kind of Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction. From there, you can Creature Swap it to your opponent and watch it slowly destroy them. They won’t be able to Special Summon, it can’t attack, and they’ll have to take 2000 during their Standby Phases.

Any strategy that can abuse Bahamut Shark for Toadally Awesome is probably going to be good right now. This deck may be the most focused Bahamut Shark strategy yet, so it’s super cool to see something like this come out of left field. Toadally Awesome with trap back up is an easy way to win duels, so a consistent way to make that fields seems like a good recipe for success.

-Robert Boyajian

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