The Fusion Enforcers booster arrived in the time between YCS Seattle and YCS Atlanta, bringing with it some big changes to the format.
Aleister the Invoker’s another one-card combo starter much like Zoodiac Ratpier, and you can play it in a lot of different strategies. A single copy of Aleister will get you to Invocation, and once you resolve it you can shuffle it back in the deck to rebuy that banished Aleister, adding it to your hand. From there you can summoning it again, search Invocation, rinse, and repeat. Because there are so many different Invoked Fusion Monsters, you have a lot of potential options. You can also use Invocation to banish stuff from your opponent’s graveyard and disrupt them, which makes it even stronger in the mid-game.
There are many different ways to use the Invoked engine depending on how much space you want to dedicate to it. You could go as slim as a set of Aleisters with a single Invocation, or add three copies of Magical Meltdown to search Aleister as soon as possible. There are even more cards you can play to supplement the engine – stuff like Photon Thrasher – which offers a ton of combos if you’re using Zoodiac Ratpier as well.
But we’re not talking about Zoodiacs today; another theme from Raging Tempest managed to go undefeated in the Swiss Rounds of YCS Atlanta before falling in Top 16. Windwitches are an interesting suite of cards that we really didn’t hear about until Fusion Enforcers, mostly because it can mesh so well with the Invoked engine. Windwitch – Ice Bell is another one-card starter that lets you ultimately Synchro Summon a Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon with the added protection of Windwitch – Snow Bell, keeping it from being destroyed by your opponent’s card effects.
Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon’s already a substantial threat on it’s own, but pairing it with an Invoked Raidjin is what makes Invoked Windwitch so strong.
Let’s take a look at the list Andrew Zimitti piloted to a perfect 11-0 finish in Atlanta.
Andrew Zimitti’s Invoked Windwitch – 40 Cards
YCS Atlanta, March 5th, 2017
3 Aleister the Invoker
1 Artifact Moralltach
2 Artifact Scythe
2 Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
2 Maxx “C”
2 Windwitch – Glass Bell
3 Windwitch – Ice Bell
1 Windwitch – Snow Bell
3 Magical Meltdown
3 Wonder Wand
3 Artifact Sanctum
2 Call of the Haunted
3 Dimensional Barrier
2 Solemn Strike
2 Storming Mirror Force
1 Vanity’s Emptiness
Extra Deck: 15
1 Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
1 Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon
1 Invoked Caliga
1 Invoked Cocytus
1 Invoked Elysium
2 Invoked Magellanica
2 Invoked Mechaba
1 Invoked Purgatrio
3 Invoked Raidjin
1 Stardust Dragon
1 Windwitch – Winter Bell
Side Deck: 15
3 Artifact Lancea
2 Dark Hole
1 Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju
1 Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju
1 Gameciel, the Sea Turtle Kaiju
3 Interrupted Kaiju Slumber
1 Jizukiru, the Star Destroying Kaiju
1 Quaking Mirror Force
2 Twin Twisters
As I mentioned before, Windwitch – Ice Bell and Aleister the Invoked are the best cards in your deck. They both do way more than any one card should, and next to Zoodiac Ratpier and That Grass Looks Greener, they’re probably two of the strongest combo-starters in the format. The best part about them is that they can feed into each other. Ice Bell will get you to that indestructible Clear Wing Synchro Dragon we were talking about earlier with no extra cards, but the cost of using Windwitches is that you can’t Special Summon anything but Wind monsters the turn you use them. That’s the real reason why the Invoked engine works so well with the Windwitches; it gives you a powerful threat that’s also a Wind.
Invoked Raidjin is super powerful. We all know how good Book of Moon is, and the ability to Book of Moon whatever you want on either player’s turn is just absurd. Threats that can also serve as disruption are great, because they basically give you a trap card effect without necessitating that you draw a trap card. That means you can build your deck to focus more on combos, because you know that as soon as you make your big plays, you’ll also have that disruption.
But what really makes Invoked Raidjin so powerful is that you can use it to dodge effect negation. Anytime they try to Forbidden Chalice or Lost Wind your monster, you can just flip it down in response to push its effect through. Aleister the Invoker also gets its ability when it’s flipped face-up, so you can get multiple uses out of a single copy.
While Artifacts aren’t as powerful as they once were, they’re still pretty strong right now just because of Artifact Scythe. Dimensional Barrier’s the best trap in the game right now. Stopping your opponent from progressing for a full turn can end the game if they don’t have something to keep you from killing them. Most of the successful strategies right now try to just build a field and back it up with Dimensional Barrier, so if their set-up survives they can just OTK their opponent on the following turn.
Artifact Scythe is the closest thing to Dimensional Barrier we have. It’s often better because it stops all types of summons from the Extra Deck, though it’s riskier in that it can be negated with cards like Forbidden Chalice. It also can’t stop the effects of anything that was already on the field. If you draw it and you don’t have some way to enable it, it’s potentially a brick. But if you’re in the market for more copies of Dimensional Barrier Artifact Sanctum’s as good as it gets, and the Invoked make it even better.
The biggest and most glaring weakness of Artifacts has always been the risk of drawing them. Unless your strategy has some way to use them, or you run something like Artifact Ignition, they can be totally dead cards in hand. But Invocation can solve that problem. Invoked Mechaba’s basically an Ultimate Providence with legs, and while you won’t always want to summon it, it does give you something to do with those Artifacts that are stuck in your hand. I mentioned that pushing your effects through with Invoked Raidjin is a big part of why Raidjin’s so good, and it covers one of the glaring weaknesses of Artifact Scythe.
While Zimitti did manage to pull off an impressive run at YCS Atlanta, I don’t really know if we’ll see much more of this strategy as competition moves forward. I think one of the big reasons Zimitti had so much success was that Kaiju were substantially less popular in Atlanta than they were in previous weeks. The Kaiju cards line up really well against the Windwitches and Invoked, and while they might not be the strongest against Zoodiac, having some sort of access to them in your Main or Side Deck makes matchups like those much easier. Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon’s already weak to Kaiju, and the protection that Windwitch – Snow Bell gives it doesn’t help. Both Invoked Raidjinn and Invoked Maechaba are easily outed by Kaiju as well, though the sheer card advantage of the Invoked engine mitigates that problem.
In addition to Kaiju, Maxx “C” is especially strong against the Windwitches. If you Maxx “C” the effect of Windwitch – Ice Bell, you’ll get two draws off it because it’s all one large effect that happens in sequence. Pushing all the way through Maxx “C” isn’t an option, because you’ll give your opponent three more draws for a total of five, and you’ll only end with Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon. Maxx “C” should be in everyone’s Main Deck, no question. Bringing a strategy that’s so weak against two of the most popular trends is crazy to me, but Zimitti still managed to rattle off an undefeated streak through Swiss.
Last but definitely not least, Windwitches are much weaker playing second than Zoodiacs. While they have a stronger set of plays going first, they’re very easily disrupted if they can’t set up first. The good thing is that they only need one card to go off, so you don’t lose much card economy if your opponent stops you; the issue is that the format revolves heavily around tempo, and losing a turn can be game over if you don’t have the defense you need to survive.
I do expect to see more of Invoked Windwitch as the format develops, not because I think it’s the best choice but because it has such a strong Turn 1 for such a small investment. But I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of Aleister either, as the Invoked half of the strategy seems much better than the Windwitches.