Duels from the Deep is the latest booster pack of the Legendary Duelists series released in June 2022. As you may guess from the name, the set is focused on water monsters and, in particular, on the decks used by three iconic duelists from the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and anime series: the world famous fisherman and Duelist Mako Tsunami; the leader of the Seven Barian Emperors, Nash “Shark”; and the Blue Maiden, Skye Zaizen.
The cards included in this collection focus therefore on the archetypes used by these famous duelists. For example, Mako’s deck uses a lot of cards from the Umi and Sea Stealth archetypes. The first one is built around the Field Spell Card “Umi” and the cards “treated as Umi” to enable a variety of combined effects from other monster and spell cards. For example the field card “A Legendary Ocean” reduces the Level of all WATER monsters by 1, allowing Level 5 monsters to be Normal Summoned directly. Legendary Ocean hence opens the door to bring in play “Ocean Dragon Lord – Kairyu-Shin”, a Lv5 monster that forces each player to only have 1 face-up non-WATER monster in play leading to a strong field control effect. This archetype is quite competitive and is often used in tournament events.
Another interesting Archetype featured in this set is “Marincess”. Most of the monsters belonging to this group can special summon themselves from the hand or the graveyard consequently triggering powerful cascades. Most recent monsters of this archetype have also gained some interesting banishing effects that extend the strategy of this archetype even further. The main strategy of a deck built around this archetype is to link summon key monsters early in the game to disrupt the opponent strategy and to gain control of the match.
Both the Umi and Marincess archetypes can synergize very well with cards from the “Abyss” and “Sea stealth” archetypes that could also be found in the Duels from the deep collection.
Right Out Of The Booster Pack
Each Duel from the Deep booster pack contains 5 cards while each box holds 36 boosters packs for a total of 180 cards. Overall the collection is relatively small as it is made up of only 57 cards but it introduces a good amount of new cards (21 out of 57 corresponding to 37%).
This set is also good in terms of rarity as it includes 9 Ultra Rares, 8 Super Rares, 10 Rares and 29 Commons. There is also one single Ghost Rare card, “Number 101: Silent Honor ARK”, that is a very nice reprint of a card first seen in the 2014 Core Booster “Legacy of the Valiant”.
The best card to pull from this set in terms of value is obviously the Ghost Rare “Number 101: Silent Honor Ark”. Together with this very rare card, this set also counts a lot of very interesting ones to be used in both Water-based deck and other deck types. Let’s have a look at some of them:
Number 101: Silent Honor Ark is a Lv4, Xyz monster that could be called to the field by using 2 lv4 monsters as summon material. The main role of this card is to remove any powerful monster your opponent may summon and add it as a material for the Ark. This effect requires the player to detach 2 materials from the Ark while it will only add 1 new material back but there are a few cards that can help in making sure the Ark effect could be triggered multiple times.
Forbidden Droplet is a quick-play Magic card that requires a player to send to the graveyard any number of cards from their hand and/or field. For every card discarded this way, one of the opponent Effect Monsters will see their ATK halved and their effects negated till the end of the turn. In addition, the activation of this card can not be chained with a card sharing the same type of any of the cards discarded (trap card, spell card, effect monster …).
Mega Fortress Whale is a lv7 Effect monster with 2550 ATK and 2350 DEF that allows all the water monsters to attack directly if Umi is on the field. In addition, this card has a quick effect that destroys a 1 face-up monster the opponent controls. Considering its secondary effect, this card appears to be quite useful in any Umi decks, in particular if Legendary Fisherman III is part of the deck.
Citadel Whale is another Lv7 Effect monster with good attack and defence that represents a great upgrade of Fortress Whale. First, it could be Special Summoned from the hand or Graveyard by tributing two Water attribute monsters. If summoned this way, Citadel Whale allows the player to set the Spell card “Sea Stealth Attack” directly from the deck. The defensive role of Citadel Whale is to disrupt the opponent strategy by destroying any card which activates an effect that targets a Water monster.
Torrential Tribute is a very nasty trap card that could fit any deck. The trap activates any time a monster is summoned and its effect is to destroy all monsters on the field. This card could be a very effective way to quickly re-balance a match in any deck. If you are playing a water-based deck, this card is even more efficient considering all the available cards that protect Water monsters from being destroyed by card effects.
At a personal level, I have to say I always like the sets belonging to the Legendary duelists. Most of these collections are very thematic and include good cards to build or re-build famous decks. In some cases, these collections are also quite interesting and could be used to create efficient strategies.
Duels from the Deep belong to this last group and I would definitely consider it to create competitive water based decks. The first positive aspect of this specific collection is the amount of cards from archetypes that could support each other. In addition, some of these archetypes (Umi and Marincess) have been used consistently at competitive level too and not just for casual play. The second positive aspect of this collection is the limited size. In fact, having only 57 cards available makes reasonably easy to pull good rare cards from either the boxes or the booster packs.
Overall, this set could provide some very good cards for any deck and if you are considering a water based deck, this collection would be a great source of powerful cards for a very reasonable price.