Ender's Game : Heavy Storm | The Irish Duelist

Ender's Game : Heavy Storm


Alex Hayes, a player I've seen develop from an inexperienced casual to one who's done really well in 2009 (topped most of the big Irish events, and did well at the European Championships in Lille as well), has recently started up his own blog aimed towards the more competitive player. Here's his most recent article, taking a look at Heavy Storm, which can also be found in its original form here.

Heavy Storm is a staple. Period. It is one of the most powerful cards in any players arsenal, and it is a shame, because more often than not this exceptional card is often misused in the most ridiculous ways.

It is astonishing how often this vital card is misunderstood. If you are looking for some way to gain a quick plus over you opponent in card advantage terms then Heavy Storm is by no means the card to do it with. The amount of times I've see players waste Heavy Storm on their first turn to facilitate something as trivial as a Charge of the Light Brigade (and the obvious Lumina/Garoth play that follows) is incredible, and in a deck such as Lightsworn that needs as much means of clearing obstacles for game as possible it’s a cardinal sin.

If you play your Heavy Storm too early then that drastically alters the pace and flow of the game from then on, and you effectively hand your opponent the win, depending on their draws. The logical response to a Heavy Storm (mis)play (providing you survive your opponent’s turn) is to simply set every single trap and defensive spell (Book of Moon etc) you draw from that point onwards. This turns the duel into an uphill battle for your opponent, as it should, they should be punished for such behaviour.

The only time you should ever play Heavy Storm is if you can guarantee game (backed up by Solemn Judment to forestall any Threatening Roars etc for example) or game winning advantage/setups – Storm followed by something ridiculous (Stardust Dragon/Royal Oppression/Solemn Judgment/Book of Moon comes to mind). There is a reason that Heavy Storm is at one. But is there a reason it shouldn’t be?

Heavy Storm is a necessary evil. It preserves one of the few truly skilful aspects of the game. Consider, lets say hypothetically that Storm is banned, the logical course of action now becomes to simply set every card you draw without fear, much as you do now once your opponent’s Storm is played. There’s no risk, and ultimately no reward. The only real downside to its existence is the silly excuse that it 'causes one turn kills'. Considering cards like Giant Trunade and Cold Wave 'cause OTKs' in the same manner of Heavy Storm, without the tremendous benefit of the skill factor Heavy Storm maintains this is a pretty weak claim.

The mere existence of Heavy Storm forces players to be careful with their backrows, to perform a thoughtful, considered, dance of balance; if they set too many and over extend then a potential Heavy Storm could ruin them, if they set too little then their lack of defence may lose them the game. Elegant plays such as bluffing and baiting your opponent into destroying non-essential face down cards so that your important ones are free from destruction no longer apply.

Canadian legend Matt Peddle wrote a pretty decent beginner introduction to the intricacies being discussed here over at Konami’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Strategy Site and it’s worth a look.

Heavy Storm is most certainly deserving of it’s current placed on the banlist, and to move it anywhere else would either be madness or chaos.