Something that makes the Yu-Gi-Oh! Goat Format unique is its diverse array of powerful cards that are limited to one per deck. On the surface, this might seem unappealing. Is it the case that whoever gets luckier and draws more power cards wins? It turns out that this is rarely the case. Like in poker, having good cards helps, but it’s more about how you use them. Knowing how to use power cards is a key step to transitioning from a beginner into a more knowledgeable Goat Format player.
The purpose of this article is to introduce you to some of the power cards in the format, show you how to use them properly, and also show you how to play around your opponent’s power cards. In part 1 of this series, we’re going to introduce you to six of the most powerful and game-changing cards in the format: Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning, Morphing Jar, Heavy Storm, Snatch Steal, Mirror Force, and Torrential Tribute. These aren’t the only power cards in the format, however. We’ll cover some more in the next installment of the series.
Goat Format Power Card #1: Black Luster Soldier
Black Luster Soldier - Envoy of the Beginning is so powerful that some would argue that it’s the best card in the entire Goat Format. Decks that aren’t considered “chaos” will usually make sure to throw in a few lights and darks just to play it. Why? It has two effects, both of which are potentially game-winning.
With Black Luster Soldier, you should be looking to use it to win the game first and foremost. It can double-attack over nearly any monster in the format (but watch out for D.D. Warrior Lady) and be used in combination with Ring of Destruction to deal an additional 3000 damage. You can even summon it, use its effect to banish a monster, Metamorphosis it for Gatling Dragon, and then use Premature Burial or Call of the Haunted to bring it back and attack for game. Otherwise, if your opponent has a problematic monster that you can’t deal with, using it to just banish that monster is fine as well, especially if you can protect your Black Luster Soldier with a Book of Moon.
Black Luster’s Soldier’s 3000 attack can also be its greatest weakness. If your opponent controls a Black Luster Soldier, try to take control of it with a Snatch Steal or Thousand-Eyes Restrict and start beating them down. Otherwise, try to banish it with a D.D. Warrior Lady, your own chaos monster, or a Tsukuyomi+Nobleman of Crossout combo. You want to make sure its gone for good.
Goat Format Power Card #2: Morphing Jar
Morphing Jar is a very difficult card to play and play around. In fact, a whole article could be written on just it alone. It’s one of the most swingy cards in the format; Morphing Jar is the kind of card that can win or lose a game all by itself. There are a few tricks for mitigating its damage.
The best kind of Morphing Jar is one your opponent doesn’t expect. Don’t set a bunch of spells/traps at once and then set a Morphing Jar; that’s usually too obvious to work. Instead, try setting them over the course of many turns so that you don’t arouse your opponent’s suspicions. One cool trick is that you can set Morphing Jar alongside a Dust Tornado, and then when your opponent attacks into it, activate Dust Tornado, destroy a spell/trap, and then use its second effect to set a card from your hand so that you don’t lose it to Morphing Jar.
The best way to play around Morphing Jar is to always keep it in the back of your mind. Do you have way more cards in hand than your opponent? Maybe set one or two or them before you attack into your opponent’s facedown monster; better to be safe than sorry. If your opponent does manage get off a really good Morphing Jar, don’t panic! You can often simply use it against them by flipping it down with Book of Moon or Tsukuyomi and attacking into it. You can set your whole hand first, draw a new 5 cards, and tip the scales back in your favor.
Goat Format Power Card #3: Heavy Storm
As the only commonly played mass spell/trap destruction card in the format, Heavy Storm can be a difficult card to use well. It can shape the entire dynamic of the game, so you don’t want to spend it lightly. It has many different uses and a few tricks.
With Heavy Storm, you either want to use it to kill your opponent (for example: Heavy Storm + Black Luster Soldier), or you want to use it to gain card advantage. Destroying one spell/trap without a strong follow-up is the worst possible use of the card. Before you use your Heavy Storm, think to yourself, can I get better use out of this later? You want to use it to turn the tide of the game. One trick is to set either chainable cards or spells to bait your opponent into setting more spells/traps themselves. Then use your set cards and activate Heavy Storm to destroy your opponent’s. This type of play is often called the “pro Heavy.”
Needless to say, if your opponent hasn’t used Heavy Storm yet, don’t go setting a bunch of spells/traps lightly. However, if they’re chainable, consider doing the opposite. Perhaps set a Scapegoat and a Ring of Destruction to bait your opponent into activating their Heavy Storm. Then chain both! Now your opponent has wasted one of his most powerful cards.
Goat Format Power Card #4: Snatch Steal
Like the other cards on this list, games are won and lost with Snatch Steal. However, careful players will be able to make sure that they never get surprised by this card. Timing is everything with Snatch Steal. If you use it at the wrong time, you’ll wish you had saved it for later.
Snatch Steal is only as good as the monster it’s taking, so make it a strong one like Black Luster Soldier or Airknight Parshath. If that monster is later flipped face-down, Snatch Steal will be destroyed, but you’ll keep the monster permanently. Therefore, consider using it in combination with Tsukuyomi or Book or Moon. Another option is to tribute the monster for Metamorphosis, but this isn’t always a good idea. However, Snatch Stealing a monster and tributing it for your Airknight Parshath can often be a strong play.
If you can avoid it, don’t play a very powerful monster without an answer to Snatch Steal. Cards like Compulsory Evacuation Device or Book of Moon are great Snatch Steal counters, but any spell/trap destruction card will also work. Of course another option is to just take the monster back with your own Snatch Steal. Last but not least, walling out your lifepoints with Scapegoat while gaining 1000 lifepoints each turn can work out well too.
Goat Format Power Cards #5 and #6: Mirror Force & Torrential Tribute
Nearly every deck plays these cards, and for good reason. Being able to answer an entire field with only one card is quite valuable. But everyone knows that Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute exist, so a savvy player will avoid walking right into them.
The key to using Mirror Force and Torrential Tribute well is conservation. Try not to use them too early in the game if you can avoid it, because then your opponent can disregard them for the rest of the game. Setting Torrential Tribute alongside monsters that you don’t mind losing like Sangan or Sinister Serpent can be a good bait. Baiting your opponent into overextending is the trick to getting maximum value out of these cards.
Be cautious when your opponent has unknown spell/trap cards. In contrast to the current format, playing a lot of monsters at once and going aggressive is often not the best idea. It’s better to poke with a single monster, force them to answer it, and then play another one. Losing multiple monsters to a Mirror Force or Torrential Tribute can be a huge setback, so if you do go aggressive, make sure that the risk is worth the reward.
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Read the second part of the series at: Introduction to Goat Format Power Cards Part 2.