Coping with the loss of 2 Gateways. | The Irish Duelist

Coping with the loss of 2 Gateways.


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Storm of Ragnarok made its competitive debut at YCS Dallas and there was 1 Deck that every Duelist was talking about. Six Samurai, boosted by the new Legendary Six Samurai monsters in Storm of Ragnarok performed a miracle at the event, barely edging out Blackwings as the most popular Deck in the event and winning the event. Thanks to the incredible combos and huge turns sparked by Gateway of the Six, Legendary Six Samurai – Kageki, Legendary Six Samurai – Kizan and Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En, it was no surprise that Six Samurai won the event. Soon after, we saw Gateway of the Six become a Limited card on the new Limited and Forbidden Cards list. While many Duelists saw this change as a problem for their Six Samurai Decks, it may in fact be just what’s needed to help Duelists create an even more powerful Samurai build.



If you look at the Six Samurai Decks from YCS Dallas you’ll see how they’re built to make the most of Gateway of the Six, using multiple Kizan, Grandmaster of the Six Samurai and Legendary Six Samurai – Kageki. Some Duelists even went so far as to use Upstart Goblin (to draw into Gateway as early as possible) and Double-Edged Sword Technique (to give their Gateways lots of counters and allow for second-chance Synchro Summons). The aim with these Decks was to Summon as many monsters as they could and end Duels as quickly as possible. With Gateway now Limited any Duelist who tries to build a Deck in the way we’ve seen them up to now is going to have trouble getting their combos to work as they’ll see Gateway less often.

Instead, what many Duelists are trying now with their Samurai is to build a Deck that Summons Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En early, then protects it with Spell and Trap Cards to ensure they get a steady stream of negation. Once that’s done they use their other Samurai to whittle away at their opponent’s monsters or Summon more Synchros (like Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier and Naturia Barkion) to end the Duel without risking everything they have on one big play like before. Gateway of the Six certainly helps things along, but these new Samurai decks are capable of doing well even when they don’t see the card in a Duel, unlike before where every big combo was based around it.



The good news if you’re changing up your Samurai Deck is that you don’t have to change your entire Deck to make it work. Most of the cards you used last month will still be useful now and you’ll only have to add a few others, mainly to your Spell and Trap lineup. First up are the Trap Cards which now focus mainly on stopping your opponent from Summoning monsters and using their effects. Musakani Magatama is still as strong as it ever was so at least 2 copies in your main deck will be quite useful. Solemn Warning (now Semi-Limited) and Solemn Judgment will also help you to “lock out” your opponents after Summoning Legendary Six Samurai Shi En. With Book of Moon now Limited, Bottomless Trap Hole is often the next best thing and is handy to have when you don’t draw either Magatama or Warning. Finally, 1 copy of Double-Edged Sword Technique would still be great to have in the Main Deck, as you can use it after Summoning your first Shi En to bring out a second one, add more counters to your Gateway if you draw it, or just Special Summon enough monsters to end the Duel with direct attacks.

The biggest difference between older and newer Samurai Decks is in the Spell Cards. With 2 Gateways and 3 Upstart Goblins (which Duelists mainly used to get their second Gateway after drawing the first) taken out there’s lots of space for cards that can be used in a wide variety of situations. Top of the list is Book of Moon, followed by Cunning of the Six Samurai. Cunning of the Six Samurai is a Quick-Play Spell Card that lets you send 1 of your Six Samurai monsters to the Graveyard to Special Summon 1 from either Graveyard. In Samurai mirror-matches this is great for taking your opponent’s Legendary Six Samurai – Shi En, but the card’s got plenty of other tricks too. Since it’s a Quick-Play, you can Chain it to cards like Bottomless Trap Hole or Dimensional Prison to keep a monster on the field, or if your opponent tries to negate your monster’s effect with Effect Veiler, you can use Cunning to send it to the Graveyard and bring it back right away, no longer negated! Cunning’s also great in the Battle Phase, letting you attack again with a Samurai after every monster you control has already attacked, or stopping your opponent from attacking because you traded your low ATK Samurai for a much stronger Shi En.



The monster lineup remains mostly the same as before, but with a few key additions. Hand of the Six Samurai’s a lot more useful than it was before as you’re going to want to take care of monsters before risking attacks that could get stopped by all the Trap Cards everybody’s running. With multiple Grandmaster, Kizan, Kageki and Mizuho you’ll almost always have a monster to Tribute for its effect, and even if you don’t you can Tribute Hand itself to destroy your opponent’s monster. Spirit of the Six Samurai’s another card worth adding and does a great job of making your monsters strong enough to take down bigger threats, or make your Shi En even harder to destroy. The last monster that’s new to Samurai Decks is Effect Veiler, and although it isn’t a Samurai monster, it’s still incredibly useful at stopping your opponents and can be used as an extra Tuner when you don’t need to worry about opposing monster effects.


Gateway of the Six used to be the foundation on which the entire Six Samurai Deck was built upon, but with it now Limited Duelists are finally seeing just how strong and versatile Samurai Decks can be. Now that you know how the new Six Samurai Decks will look it’s time to start building them!