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CardShark Content - Dennis N. Santana (4/26/2005)

Since my previous article was submitted, I figured I’d write more and help the Duel Masters section expand. This is truly a great game, and on a great site.

My name is Dennis N Santana, and I play Yugioh, Duel Masters and Magic. But of all three, Duel Masters captivates me the most, which is why I write about it. I can’t claim to be card slingin’ god like some guys out there, but I have fun with it, test my decks and look at all the options, and accept everyone’s play style. Hopefully, these things can make me a better writer, and help all of us become better players. And, by the way, I tend to call things by their colors in Magic. Light = White, Darkness = Black, etc.

Anyway, time to explain the title! If you played Magic and now play Duel Masters, you might have noticed a strange, somewhat hard to fathom card type in the last two expansions; the survivors.

Survivors are creatures that, while in play, have the abilities of all other survivors you control. Much like Slivers! That’s what makes them fun. However, there are survivors of every color, and only a paltry few, so it’s very hard to make a color consistent survivor deck that can abuse the “lots of different abilities at once!” theme. I’m using Black/Green/Red. But hey, consistency be damned, it’s more fun to use a lot of colors,
and have your survivors all share abilities.

Indomitable Will

Creatures (24)

4: Smash Horn Q
4: Blazasaurus Q
3: Bronze Arm Tribe
3: Balloonshroom Q
3: Bloody Squito
4: Skullsweeper Q
3: Q-Tronic Gargantua

Spells (16)

4: Terror Pit
3: Crisis Boulder
3: Mana Nexus
3: Dimension Gate
3: Natural Snare

This deck is meant to get in a few quick shots, then hold out until Q-Tronic Gargantua can show up to finish the games. It’s a very necessary part of the deck. Here’s the card by card:

Smash Horn Q- The very necessary survivor that makes all survivors 1000+ bigger. Without him, it’s all too likely that any early strike you attempt to mount will fail, and that by turn 4 or 5, the opponent’s creatures might be out of reach, even if you attempt suicide attacks.

Blazasaurus Q- Your one chance to get in a good early strike. This is the quick-hit evo fodder creature of the deck. It is the cheapest survivor in the deck, and lends a decent ability to the other survivors.

Bronze Arm Tribe- He’s Deck Thinning and mana. If you use blue, you might be able to get away with ditching him for some Promephius Q for more evo fodder.

Balloonshroom Q: Evo fodder and a decent ability. On the off chance that your survivors all get nuked by something, they will be able to lend to the construction of a new army. Might be more effective a strategy with Blue cards around to draw cards, but I digress.

Bloody Squito- If you want a more defensive early game, go with squito. He trades with big things, making it all the more worthwhile. That, and his inclusion ups the number of Black cards in the deck, so you can play those Terror Pits directly, if you really have to.

Skullsweeper Q- He’s a survivor…that’s about it. In my games, he was either mana, or punishing my opponent for not playing a mana card or a creature. It was probably my bad luck, I’m sure if he comes out early enough and you swing with two or more survivors, it’s very worth it. He has a healthy 4000 power with the Saurus and Horn around, and a troubling 2000 alone.

Q-Tronic Gargantua- The survivor king, basically. This guy can break as many shields as there are survivors, so if you have two or more survivors then you can kill very easily in the late game. He also has a ridiculous amount of power with the power-up survivors around, so not many creatures are going to actively combat him.

Terror Pit- The most effective removal card in the game, in my opinion. Instantly a 4-of. If you want to use blue instead, add Brain Serum into this slot.

Crisis Boulder- Your opponent will lose something, slowing him down no matter what. Very helpful, especially to a deck like this that has to race the opponent for the win. Every little bit helps.

Mana Nexus- Not only does this card help you stall a bit, it will allow you to abuse shield trigger cards you’ve drawn, especially the expensive terror pits and crisis boulders that are so helpful.

Dimension Gate- Search for the survivor that fits the situation better; in the early game, it’s often best to get the power up survivors out quickly. In the mid to late game, search for Q- Tronic Gargantua. A version with blue will DEFINITELY want Crystal Memory instead of this, just to be open to more options after that shield breaks.

Natural Snare: More shield trigger removal; almost as effective as Terror Pit, except it doesn’t take resources. It simply converts them into a type that is less threatening.

Survivors are very fun, but they aren’t god-like. I would have wished for more survivors for each color, but you can’t have everything you want.

One last thing: it has come to my attention that it is very possible to make a 2 color survivor deck that focuses around Q-Tronic Hypermind using Green and Blue and that is very easy to pilot to a win. Rather than using Mana Nexus tricks for many different colors while you build up, you include bounce and 8 search cards to bring out your survivors and evolve them. It doesn’t abuse Hypermind’s abilities at all; it simply wants a Double-Breaker to finish the game. Overall, I don’t think it’s as fun as a 3 color one that has loads of different abilities, but it’s an option to consider if you simply want to win.

Note- As of yet, I haven't tested White with Survivors, since the abilities they lend didn't strike me as very useful or interesting, and they don't lend to good face smashing; sure, you can fetch spells and whatnot, but how does that help when the creatures you're using for it cost 5 or 6? In my opinion, White got shafted when it came to survivors.

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