Welcome back to our Introduction to Goat Format Power Cards series, in which we breakdown the basics behind how to best use (and counter) key power cards in Yu-Gi-Oh!'s Goat Format. Our last entry in the series covered Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning, Morphing Jar, Heavy Storm, Snatch Steal, Mirror Force, and Torrential Tribute. This time we will be going over Tribe-Infecting Virus, Sinister Serpent, Graceful Charity, Delinquent Duo, and Ring of Destruction. We will analyze other power cards in the next installment of the series.
Goat Format Power Card #7: Tribe-Infecting Virus
Tribe-Infecting Virus is at heart a game-shot enabler. Goat Control gets value of out Tribe-Infecting Virus by waiting for an opportunity to use Heavy Storm, summoning Tribe-Infecting Virus to clear the field of all face-up monsters (most importantly Scapegoat tokens), and then using Black Luster Soldier, Premature Burial, and/or Ring of Destruction to end the game.
If you’re playing a deck like Thunder Dragon Chaos, you can instead use Tribe-Infecting Virus more as a way to take advantage of the discard. Sinister Serpent, Night Assailant, and Thunder Dragon are all more-or-less “free” discards, which makes Tribe-Infecting Virus a great way to clear a field at little cost.
When playing against Tribe-Infecting Virus, it’s best to banish it if possible so that your opponent doesn’t have a chance to revive it for an OTK later. Otherwise, try to run it over in battle with a card like Tsukuyomi, Blade Knight, or Abyss Soldier. Depending on the matchup, it’s often a good idea to put pressure on a deck like Goat Control so that they don’t have all the time in the world to setup a game-shot.
Goat Format Power Card #8: Sinister Serpent
Sinister Serpent is free fodder for Abyss Soldier, Metamorphosis into Thousand-Eyes Restrict, and of course Tribe-Infecting Virus. When you have Sinister Serpent, you need to consider how valuable it is to your gameplan and not just let your opponent banish it with Nobleman of Crossout if you don’t have to. When Sangan is destroyed, you’ll often want to search Sinister Serpent because of how powerful it is.
Depending on the situation, however, Sinister Serpent can be set to bait out your opponent’s cards like Thousand-Eyes Restrict, Blade Knight, Mystic Swordsman LV2, Mind Control, and so on. Or it can just wall attacks for awhile. This going to be situation and matchup dependent.
Sinister Serpent can be one of the most frustrating cards to play against, and there aren’t a lot of counters to it. If you’re playing against someone who you know likes to set it, I would manage your Nobleman of Crossout, D.D. Warrior Lady, and Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning well so that you can banish it. Trap Dustshoot can also be a good way to take care of Sinister Serpent, but this strategy is only recommended for aggressive decks.
Goat Format Power Card #9: Graceful Charity
Like many power cards in Goat Format, it can be difficult to determine the perfect time to activate Graceful Charity. Some people like to wait to activate it until they can guarantee a +1 in card advantage by discarding Sinister Serpent or Night Assailant. Others prefer to use it as soon as possible to threaten to get it back with Magician of Faith.
With Thunder Dragon Chaos, you usually want to hold off on activating Graceful Charity until you have good discard candidates for it. With Goat Control on the other hand, you often want to use it as soon as possible so that you don’t fall behind in the early game. If you have a way to search Sinister Serpent however (Sangan, or Mystic Tomato for Sangan), you should probably wait to use Graceful Charity until you have searched that juicy Sinister Serpent.
While Graceful Charity is not really the kind of card that you can easily counter, you can use your opponent’s discards to get good information about what kind of hand they might have. Discarding a light and a dark indicates that they might have a chaos monster. Discarding a Nobleman of Crossout is often a tell that they have a second Nobleman of Crossout in their hand. Discarding two power cards indicates that they have a very strong hand. You’ll get better at these reads with experience.
Goat Format Power Card #10: Delinquent Duo
Contrary to certain myths that are perpetuated in the Goat Format community, if you open Delinquent Duo, you usually want to activate it straight away. The risk of your opponent discarding a Sinister Serpent is pretty low, and the odds of hitting one of their key power cards is pretty good. Mid-game however it can often be better to wait on Delinquent Duo until your opponent has a low hand count and has just put their Sinister Serpent in the grave. Like a lot of power cards, it’s situation-dependent.
If you have Morphing Jar and Delinquent Duo, one of the tricks that you can do is to set both of them. After Morphing Jar flips, you can use Delinquent Duo to leave your opponent with only three cards.
The best way to counter a Delinquent Duo is to simply play a chaos deck, Thunder Dragon Chaos or otherwise. Thunder Dragon Chaos has a lot of Delinquent Duo protection with its namesake card as well as Night Assailant. Any chaos deck however has the option to just discard a light and a dark monster to enable Chaos Sorcerer.
Goat Format Power Card #11: Ring of Destruction
Ring of Destruction is unique in that it’s quite powerful at all stages of the game. Ring of Destruction is great from protecting an early game flip effect that you want to resolve. Like Sakuretsu Armor, it stops your monster from being attacked over, but it also stops Breaker the Magical Warrior and Thousand-Eyes Restrict. For this reason, I don’t mind committing Ring of Destruction to the board early if I open with it.
If you draw Ring of Destruction later in the game, you’ll need to be more careful about how you use it. Guaranteeing a win (or in some cases, a draw) should be your top priority. A common newbie mistake is to flip your Ring of Destruction as soon as the damage would be enough for game. Your opponent might chain Book of Moon or Compulsory Evacuation Device, so try to bait these cards out first. Attacking with a monster, baiting out a battle trap, and chaining Ring of Destruction is also a solid play. If they chain Book of Moon, they’ll be 2-for-1ing themselves by saving your monster from being destroyed. Also remember that Ryu Senshi cannot be hit by Book of Moon or Compulsory Evacuation Device, making it the preferred target for a lethal Ring of Destruction.
As explained above, the proper way to counter Ring of Destruction is by chaining Book of Moon or Compulsory Evacuation Device to save the monster. If it’s late game, you’re low on lifepoints, and Ring of Destruction hasn’t been used yet, proceed cautiously. Don’t throw away your only Book of Moon if you can avoid it.
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