Volcanics: A Fiery Control Deck!
Written By: Jeix
Hello and welcome to my article. My name is Jeix and today I’m sharing with you this deck archetype that I piloted to a Top 4 placement in a small 24-person Edison tournament in May 2021.
The decklist that you see has undergone some slight changes since the tournament but the core of the deck is still the same.
You can find the original here: https://www.formatlibrary.com/home/dds2-edison-top-4-deck-lists
Without further ado, let’s begin our talk about this deck.
What are Volcanics?
To round up the deck, Royal Oppression aims to slow down the opponent and prevent dangerous cards like Stardust Dragon or Drill Warrior from entering the field so that we may continue to trade favorably with our Blaze Accelerator.
If our Flips are attacked, they’ll activate during the Damage Step, dodging our own Oppression. If not, we can continue to answer threats as they come until we find a Caius or we feel comfortable enough to send our Spies and Hamsters in for some damage.
Strengths of the Deck
Decks that rely on a few big cards to put pressure on the opponent can fall apart in front of Blaze Accelerator, such as a Future Fusion opening by a Dragon player.
In addition, if your Blaze is already face-up on the field, Light and Darkness Dragon is unable to negate it and will die to it.
Foolish Burial works wonders in the deck when you are missing Shell to fire your Accelerator (remember that it does NOT discard for cost!) or if you want to make a power play with Plaguespreader.
Snipe Hunter is great in any deck with Shell and is often a problem solver. You can also ditch extra Blaze Accelerators and then add them back from the graveyard with Rocket!
To round things up, Sangan can fetch any monster that isn’t Caius or Rocket, making it a very welcome addition to find exactly what you need.
Weaknesses of the Deck
The Frog Monarch matchup is probably the hardest game 1 you’ll ever face. You can’t touch Treeborn Frog with your Caius, since it will always be in the graveyard, and you can’t answer the monarchs until after they’ve used their effects and attacked, since they’ll be in the hand before then.
Both Raiza and Caius are great at dealing with your slow Flip effects before they can get any value.
Unlike other matchups where Blaze Accelerator can successfully neutralize threats like Ryko or Hamster, it’s effectively useless in this matchup.
As with Gorz, answering something after it has already traded with your resources is a losing battle.
The cherry on the cake is your Royal Oppression, which doesn’t hurt the deck at all. The only target for it is Battle Fader, which they won’t need to use given the limited amount of pressure you’ll be putting on them.
If you manage to win game 1 against Frog Monarchs, let me know how you did it. Otherwise, grab your side deck and get ready to make some changes.
Effects that destroy your Flip monsters before you can activate them are scary. Icarus Attack in Blackwings and Gyzarus in Gladiator Beasts are two prime examples. Black Rose Dragon is another one.
Your Blaze Accelerator can help clear the way before setting your Flips, but sometimes it’s not enough as there’s multiple ways for those decks to generate heavy destruction out of an empty board.
Finally, Dimensional Fissure and Banisher of the Radiance stop your Blaze completely. Thankfully, your Ryko and your Spy can get rid of those for you, provided they aren’t hit with a Nobleman of Crossout, another scary card for this deck.
More Than Just a Plan B: the Extra Deck
Normally, a deck like this would rarely resort to the Extra Deck, given how the game plan revolves around Royal Oppression and controlling the field.
However, aside from the staple Synchros you can find in any Extra, some of the other ones work very well with what we are trying to do, compensating for some weaknesses.
Staple Synchros: Catastor, Black Rose, Brionac, Goyo, Stardust and Mist Wurm.
Mist Wurm is not a hardcore staple but it’s the only generic level 9 synchro available in the format
Shell Synergies: Magical Android, Tempest Magician, Thought Ruler Archfiend and Brionac.
Shell loves being discarded, but recycling it over and over can cost you precious life points that you have no way of regaining in your Main Deck. Android and Thought Ruler can give you back precious life while providing you with a beefy beater.
Brionac + Shell is just a ridiculous combo able to clear multiple problem cards by itself.
Tempest Magician can deal incredible amounts of damage out of nowhere by dumping your whole hand of Shells and spare Blaze Accelerators and can easily be made using Plaguespreader and any of your Gravekeepers.
Gale Synchros: Arcanite Magician, Blackwing Armor Master, etc.
Gale is not only a problem solver in your Main Deck but a powerful gateway to synchros you couldn’t otherwise make.
Arcanite Magician is additional targeted destruction that can be summoned using one of your Gravekeepers as material. Its purpose is similar to Black Rose, but sometimes you need to play around Starlight Road or really need a synchro that can dodge Bottomless to get that fifth monster in the graveyard for Pot of Avarice.
Armor Master can do something that no other synchro can: attacking without being afraid of Honest or Kalut while also staying safe from any and all Catastor, Goyo, Stardust, Colossal Fighter, Thought Ruler or Red Dragon Archfiend
The final level 7 synchro of your choice, other than Black Rose, should be chosen among Ancient Fairy Dragon, Psychic Lifetrancer or Zeman the Ape King
If there were any Field Spells in Edison, I’d pick Ancient Fairy as an additional way to gain life. As it stands, though, it’s probably a below average choice for a synchro summon.
Psychic Lifetrancer is even worse, being a vanilla beater that Armor Master outclasses in every way, its only usefulness being giving you an extra turn if Drill Warrior is attacking you directly, but only if you’ve made another Psychic synchro before it this game.
Zeman is a unique synchro but with a very strict summoning requirement: you need exactly Gale + Hamster for it (or double Ryko). You can use its effect to negate attacks by ditching Shells, but Armor Master basically has the same effect already built in by virtue of being indestructible. The only good thing it has going for it is that it can’t be hit by Prison or Mirror Force as long as it’s attacking. Honest and Kalut will still work though.
Your only other option aside from these is X-Saber Urbellum, but its very low ATK and extremely underwhelming effect make it even worse than Lifetrancer in my opinion
Plaguespreader Synchros: Colossal Fighter, Dark End Dragon, Armory Arm and the other level 8 synchros.
The only ways to summon a level 8 synchro in this deck are by combining a level 6 synchro or a Caius with Plaguespreader. Occasionally you’ll also be able to use Hamster+Ryko+Plague.
Plague’s effect to come back from the graveyard is essential here: a leftover Hamster or Spy can immediately become a level 8 synchro by normal summoning Plague. Its effect can let you put Shell back on top, which you’ll promptly search again using the Shell in your graveyard, making Plague completely free.
This versatility makes Plague really powerful and flexible, able to turn a feeble Ryko into a fearsome Goyo by passing through an Armory Arm.
Dark End Dragon must be made using Plague and either Caius or Tempest Magician. It’s the only level 8 synchro you have access to that can deal with Gorz in main phase 2.
In extremely rare circumstances, you could also execute the Colossal + Armory Arm combo and win the game out of the blue.
The Side Deck
The Side Deck for this archetype is still unrefined (even the one you see in the decklist up top) but I can recommend some cards to try out.
Here’s what I was running when I topped that tournament:
Since then, I came up with new ideas, some better than others, that I’m going to share with you.
They won’t all fit in your 15-card side deck so you’ll have to experiment and let me know what works best for you!
Here’s some side deck ideas, sorted by the role we want them to fulfill:
Like I mentioned earlier in the article, this deck has no way of interacting with the graveyard in the main. We are looking to fix this by adding cards like D.D. Crow and The Transmigration Prophecy in the side.
Other forms of graveyard control you can consider are Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer, which will also stop opposing D.D. Crows, and Soul Release.
Although Crow has historically been all you needed to counter graveyard decks, the rise of resilient hybrids like Vayu Turbo and Diva Hero, who are able to pump out a new threat every turn, rather than being stopped in their tracks by a Crow, has made Kycoo a card more worthy of consideration. The fact that it protects your Shells and Pots of Avarice from opposing Crows is just an added benefit.
In your main deck you are packing the most generic and efficient ways of responding to your opponent’s plays such as Bottomless or Book of Moon. These cards don’t perform the same against all decks and you should consider more narrow options when dealing with decks that are easily countered by other cards.
Chain Disappearance is better than Bottomless against a small deck like Quickdraw or the Frogs in Frog Monarch.
Pulling the Rug is a lot better than Bottomless when dealing with Monarchs and works against other decks too such as Gadget or Quickdraw.
Dimensional Prison is better at dealing with fast aggression compared to Book of Moon.
A step further from answering our opponent’s plays is answering the cards they might be siding against us.
My Body as a Shield can be a good idea against Nobleman of Crossout or Deck Devastation Virus. It can also work against Icarus Attack, Black Rose or the effects of some Gladiator Beasts.
Another simple but powerful card is Dust Tornado; it’s generic and able to destroy what your Blaze Accelerator can’t touch: spells and traps.
You are bound to find opponents who will bring in Dimensional Fissure, Macro Cosmos or Skill Drain against you. While it’s true that your main deck removal can answer most of these, timing is critical. Destroying a Black Whirlwind before it searches and after it has searched can be the difference between winning or losing.
I excluded Cyber Dragon from the side deck as it doesn’t work well with Blaze Accelerator and we already have plenty of cards for machine decks. I also excluded Nobleman of Crossout as we don’t want to hit an opposing Ryko and get rid of our own too.
If you can’t beat them, don’t let them play!
Floodgates are not as game-breaking in Edison as they are in modern Yugioh. Most decks carry generic cards like Mystical Space Typhoon or Book of Moon to deal with them and are well aware to watch out for them.
Mask of Restrict is strong against monarchs, but most of them side Dust Tornado or Trap Eater for it. How about Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo or Vanity’s Fiend instead? They are better than Oppression against decks that have ways of playing around it such as Monarchs, Vayu or those Dragon lists focused on making a play with Totem Dragon, which Oppression can’t stop.
There’s plenty of other floodgates out there. Unfortunately, I think most of them would conflict with one or more aspects of this deck, so I left them out. I’m talking about Consecrated Light, Light & Shadow Imprisoning Mirror, Imperial Iron Wall and Mask of Restrict.
Although not technically a floodgate, against Dragons or Blackwings, Burden of the Mighty can shrink their beaters below your Spies, Hamsters and Rockets, while hedging against Black Whirlwind.
These decks might be unprepared to deal with monsters bigger than theirs, as that’s usually not the case. Their lack of defensive traps could mean your undisputed reign on the field and assure your victory. Burden of the Mighty qualifies well for our next category as well...
Side Decking: The Element of Surprise
Sometimes the deciding factor in a game is something that hits you from an angle you weren’t defending from. These cards usually only work once, because your opponent will play around them after seeing them for the first time.
A very punishing card like Starlight Road for Blackwings and Gladiators is a prime example of this. Normally a card you’d exclude from your main deck due to the conflict with Oppression can become your most powerful ally in game 2. Its usefulness will diminish as your opponent falls for it once and becomes aware of it.
Another example is Heavy Storm. Your opponents might be inclined to side out Starlight Road since your deck doesn’t pack mass destruction AND runs Oppression, but this will expose them to this powerhouse post board.
The more narrow the scope, the more powerful the effect. Gottoms’ Emergency Call is an absolute blowout, but it only works against one specific deck.
A more complex example of surprising your opponent is the role that I chose Thunder King Rai-Oh for at the tournament. I was expecting my opponents to prey on my set monsters with Nobleman and to attack my graveyard with Crow. So, post side I took out a Hamster and a Charge of the Light Brigade for two Thunder Kings, looking to shift my game plan to a more aggressive stance and finish them off while they stared at their side deck cards unable to answer my strong beaters.
Obviously Thunder King filled other roles as well, such as slowing down Dragon decks and being an excellent option for many different matchups, such as Gladiators.
An indestructible boss like Prime Material Dragon is a similar example, able to spell trouble for smaller decks that rely on destruction effects to remove bigger threats, such as this deck, Gladiators, Gadgets, Gravekeeper’s, or decks looking to abuse Ryko or Spy.
Burden of the Mighty, which we mentioned earlier, can fall in this category too. After seeing it, your opponent will start the next game packing some spell and trap removal for it.
The same applies for Fossil Dyna and Vanity’s Fiend (if unexpected) which are sure to drive out Dust Tornado and Trap Eater from our opponent’s deck in favor of Soul Exchange, Karma Cut and Book of Moon
Thank you for reading this far! You might also enjoy my Fortune Lady article here.
Want to reach out to me? You can find me on Edison Format’s Discord server here.