I am a Yugiboomer it turns out. As such I’m playing Master Duel in two ways. One is trying to win with old cards like Morphing Jar and the other is trying to learn the mechanics of new play styles and archetypes. The easiest way to do the latter is to use structure decks and I’ve decided to try a different one each month, building extra cards in when I understand how they work. My first deck is ‘Burning Spirits’ which has a heavy focus on Link Summoning and the Salamangreat archetype. So here’s three strategies I’ve found to win in Ranked play.
1 – The card ‘Salamangreat Heatleo’ can be Link Summoned, then Link Summoned again using itself. As standard it’s summon will have the effect to put a Spell or Trap zone card back into the opponent’s deck which really helps. The second summon using itself gives it the ability to change a Monster’s attack to match one in the Graveyard which can make high attack opposing Monsters very weak. This makes the moderately strong ‘Heatleo’ powerful against almost any single Monster. Couple this with ‘Salamangreat Raccoon’ which can be discarded from the hand to both gain Life Points and make a Monster unbeatable in battle for a turn, add in the fact that ‘Raccoon’ will return to the hand if a Salamangreat destroys a Monster in battle and there’s a brutal cycle of invincibility and destruction. ‘Heatleo’ survives while ‘Raccoon’ is sent away, ‘Heatleo’ destroys a Monster and ‘Raccoon’ returns, the enemy is slowly worn down with just one Monster needed on the field.
2 – The card ‘Salamangreat Pyro Phoenix’ (not part of the structure deck, I added this one) can do a few things with its abilities to do with Link Summoning but are only relevant against Link users. However if ‘Pyro Phoenix’ is summoned using itself as material you can destroy all cards the opponent controls. Monsters, Spells, Traps, nothing is safe here. Unless the opponent has something that reverses or resists the effect then their Life Points are left open for attack. You can work around this idea to get more Monsters on the field meaning more direct attack power. I recommend having three ‘Pyro Phoenix’ in the Extra Deck if possible for this one.
3 – The third strategy I found was the most surprising for me as it wasn’t a Salamangreat Monster. The card ‘Degrade Buster’ needs to be summoned picking two Cyberse Monsters from the Graveyard and Banishing them, Salamangreat Monsters are Cyberse. ‘Degrade Buster’ can use its effect on both your turn and your opponent’s as it works by quick effect, what it does is Banishes a Monster with higher attack than it meaning it can attack and defend against something it shouldn’t stand much chance against. This makes it so your opponent struggles to fight back in any way because ‘Degrade Buster’ has a fairly high attack anyway.
Using the strategies above I’ve been much more successful in the Ranked play on Master Duel, they’re not the easiest to get working but it’s amazing when they do and fun to see the opponent find ways around.
That brings me to my next point. Salamangreat’s biggest weakness is in pure attack strength. They have ways to boost attack but that becomes luck of the draw. The ‘Blackwing Full Armor Master’ card is unaffected by other cards effects so must be beaten in battle and with three thousand attack that’s not easy to do, being immune to effects and hard to kill makes it tough for Salamangreats to get past and a duel could be lost because of the one card. Anything with effect immunity is a struggle for this deck.
I’ve not explored every possible card combination with these decks but I think learning three like this give an old school player a much better chance.