Let the sisters blow past your opponent upon these wings!
How to play Harpie Lady in 2019?
This may be one of my last articles of the year, but hopefully you will come away with some valuable tips on how to love utilizing these winged beasts and their incredible synergies with other WIND and Winged Beast themes! At its core, Harpie Lady is a strategy built up from Mai’s original cards – Harpie Lady, the Normal monster, and Harpie Lady Sisters, a level 5 version with a bit more ATK but that must first be summoned through the intheme spell Elegant Egotist. The spell’s effect is simple – If “Harpie Lady” is on the field: Special Summon 1 “Harpie Lady” or “Harpie Lady Sisters” from your hand or Deck. To make this work a bit easier, most of the other Harpie monsters also become “Harpie Lady” when in the hand or in your GY.
Over time, the theme has gotten numerous waves of support. From being one of the prime recipiants of support in the WIND structure deck giving viable replacements for the Normal Harpie Lady, to receiving core set legacy support tying the theme to the new mechanic of Xyz Summoning – this theme has gotten its fair share of support. This all culminated in the recent new Harpie support in the Legendary Duelists Sisters of the Rose last year, followed closely by the first Link monster for the theme. So the question becomes – how do we use all of this cool support to make Harpies soar?
Focus on Disruption to be Mean!
After all of the support that has been thrown this theme’s way, there are a couple of standout cards that give the deck its identity. First, there is Harpie’s Feather Storm. By controlling any Winged Beast monster, you can activate this trap card and negate all of your opponent’s activated effects for the rest of the turn. This card is crazy good against all modern themes, because shutting off all effects with a single card is amazing. What makes it even better is that it is actually a hand-trap Trap card as well, since you can activate it from your hand by controlling a Harpie monster. To the TCG its last effect doesn’t matter, but if it is destroyed by an opponent’s card effect, you get to tutor a copy of Harpie’s Feather Duster, but R.I.P. F/L list.
The next best thing would be to have that trap card be searchable… and it is with the highest advantage search option in the game. Hysteric Sign has two effects and while you can only use 1 of them per turn, the first acts as an extender by getting directly to a copy of Elegant Egotist, but the second lets you add 3 Harpie cards during the End Phase of a turn where it is sent from the hand or field to the GY. Talk about powerful, but the next best thing would be to destroy it yourself during your normal plays… and yet again, you can!
The last truly unique facet to the Harpie strategy is its first field spell – Harpie’s Hunting Ground. Whenever a Harpie Lady or Harpie Lady Sisters is summoned, you have to destroy 1 Spell/Trap on the field. Note that since this is mandatory, you will need to be smart about activating it as an ill-timed activation will just force you to destroy itself. But a smart Harpie pilot will use this effect to trigger Sign, destroy your opponent’s set backrow, or trigger other of your cards that only activate when destroyed. In short, this deck has coverage over monster effects and coverage over backrow – but you can’t win a game with support cards alone, let’s talk monsters.
Who should you take to the sky?
The key monsters to the Harpie strategy are actually quite limited in number. Due to the high searchability factor through Sign, you shouldn’t actually be running all too many duplicate copies of your monsters outside of one main exception – Harpie Channeler. This card lets you discard any Harpie card to Special Summon another Harpie monster from your deck. Then secondly, it becomes level 7 whenever you control any Dragon-type monster. While this was clearly released in the Xyz era to unlock the most powerful Rank of the era (Rank 7), it now gives your deck the ability to trigger the latest ‘gimmick’ for the theme introduced in Sisters of the Rose: Level requirements.
In order to influence duelists and push them towards utilizing Harpie Lady Sisters again for nostalgia’s sake, there were two new Harpies that work best when interacting with Sisters: Harpie Perfumer and Harpie Oracle. When Perfumer is summoned, you can add a Spell/Trap that refers to Harpie Lady or Harpie Lady Sisters, but if you control a Level 5 or higher Harpie when you do, you can add 2 instead! On the other hand, Oracle can Special Summon itself from the hand when you control a Level 5 or higher Harpie, then during the End Phase after you summon Oracle, you can recover a copy of a Spell/Trap from your GY that refers to Harpie Lady or Harpie Lady Sisters. This gives the deck two extenders to keep your combos going.
But there’s more than meets the eye!
So let’s pull together the rest of the theme with a suite of other Harpies. Our first task is determining which version of Harpie Lady we want to run. While each version has its merits, my recommendation is to actually stick with the OG Normal Harpie Lady – because then we have an even greater way of kicking off combos when starting the duel through the use of Unexpected Dai. If you have Dai, Channeler, and another Harpie card in hand, you can use Dai to bring out Lady, Link Lady away for Imduk the World Chalice Dragon, then summon your Channeler to use its effect and bring out Perfumer. Then, since you control a Dragon, Channeler is Level 7 which lets Perfumer grab you two support cards!
You may ask what other Harpies can we run to ensure we can be somewhat consistent? Well there are a couple of great options. Harpie Queen ensures you can get to Hunting Ground quicker, Harpie Harpist gives you a search during the End Phase of a turn it is sent to the GY, and Harpie Dancer gives you more summoning potential (and a sick combo with Divine Wind of Mist Valley). All together, these options give you a variety of tools to disrupt your opponent’s board, become more consistent, have insane power plays, and more. And remember, you’re going to be searching a lot between Sign and Channeler!
To round out today’s strategy, we want to ensure we can get to the newest Harpie, our Link 2 Harpie Conductor, as she synergizes well with your Harpie effects. First, she can destroy a Spell/Trap instead of a Harpie when it would be destroyed, and second, she lets you bounce an opponent’s Special Summoned monster when one of your monsters return to hand. Like Dancer or Harpist. Since her requirements are just 2 WIND monsters, we should easily consider the power of throwing in the small Speedroid engine. At worst, you dead draw into Taketomborg, which is inherently just another WIND extender anyways, so there is no harm there!
Let’s checkout the Decklist:
Harpies are the WIND Generalist:
As you probably noticed by now, there are a ton of things Harpies do well, but there are few things that they do better than everything else. That’s probably the reason why they have always been overlooked as a contender – they really just have a touch of what each other WIND archetype in the game does well. So, my thought going into this build was to try and take the best pieces of other archetypes to support the Harpies, all in the name of helping Conductor get to the field of course!
The first thing you probably noticed is the inclusion of the Dragunity engine. This small engine is easily accessible, as you Link Summon Dragunity Knight – Romulus normally through Imduk and your Channeler. This triggers its effect, adding Dragunity Divine Lance to hand, which is effectively another monster extender, since it equips Phalanx from the deck to Romulus. Then, you have a split decision tree. Either use Phalanx to Synchro climb into a Crystal Wing (since Harpie Ladies are Winged Beasts to unlock Dragunity Knight – Vajrayana), or you can use it to Link climb into another Link 2 like I:P Masquerena. To top it off, this play chain unlocks an untargetable and indestructible Mekk-Knight Crusadia Avramax, or similarly a Topologic Bomber Dragon that can’t be killed by card effects. While other decks make these indestructible boss Link 4 monsters as well, this deck has one huge advantage – you can also protect your significant investment with Harpie’s Feather Storm. This stops the few outs that are left to your big boss monster, such as Dingirsu.
The other thing I think we need to discuss is the field spells. You’ll notice I’m running 3 different fields in here, and frankly that’s because each of them serve the deck at different points. Divine Wind of the Mist Valley enables an overpowered combo when combined with Dancer, as each turn you get a guaranteed summon of any Level 4 or lower WIND monster from the deck. While that might not happen all too often, it is definitely a combo of cards worth its potential inconsistency cost. On the other hand, Elborz, the Sacred Lands of Simorgh lets you get all of the Harpies that accumulate in your hand onto the field by giving you multiple Winged Beast Normal Summons each turn. I should also note that this also makes Harpist’s 1st effect (and Conductor’s 2nd effect) occur much more often in duels, giving you a boost that you might need when closing out a duel.
Additional Support Options:
- Harpie Support cards:
- Harpie Lady 1: This is the best alternate option for ‘Harpie Lady‘ since it gives all of your monsters a boost. This makes multiple copies through Egotist much more likely to force through an OTK.
- Harpie Lady Elegance: This trap card works well in builds featuring Sisters, but it is admittedly difficult to get a double search off of Perfumer when using this. If that were consistently possible, I would highly recommend using this card as it also has a destruction effect similar to Alluring Mirror Split.
- Harpie’s Pet Baby Dragon: The first pet option because its effect has aged somewhat decently over time. A free destruction once per turn isn’t something to scoff at.
- Harpie’s Pet Dragon: Feel like you missed out on using Rank 7s? Fear no more, because running this card makes them a win condition again. Just other decks make R7 better and easier, so I personally don’t find it worth it.
- Phalanx Pike: The troll equip spell, but since all Harpies are treated as Harpie Lady in the GY, you can easily get to absurd levels of attack gain. This may be a more viable variant once the Equip spell structure support hits the TCG, but for now, it is definitely more of a joke option.
- WIND/Winged Beast Support cards:
- Swallow’s Nest: Tribute a Harpie, get any other Harpie you need? Profit. This card gives you both the flexibility to dodge your opponent’s onfield negations, but it also lets you summon during their turn to trigger Hunting Grounds as needed.
- Barrier State of the Stormwinds: Yes this card is awesome. See the future support section for more reasons why you should consider it.
- Icarus Attack: Trade one of your Winged Beasts for 2 of your opponent’s cards? It may be slightly outdated now, but it is not a completely horrible card to consider.
- Miscellaneous Considerations:
- Summoner Monk: Yes, this is amazing for Harpies. To be honest, I was slightly scared of Hand traps, so I replaced the two copies I used to run with the Dragunity engine. But this in tandem with Sign can be ridiculously powerful for an opening.
- Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay: Since this is a combo deck, opening essential cards is key. So this is a great option for getting to the Channeler you want, as well as being a Dragon to automatically make her become Level 7!
Future Support and Additions:
Simorgh, Bird of Kings (YGOrg Translation): This incoming Link 3 monster for Winged Beast strategies is ridiculously powerful, especially when combined with the next future support card. First it protects your Winged Beasts from targeting. But its main effect is that during the End Phase, you get to Special Summon a Winged Beast from your deck with a Level equal to or lower than the unused S/T zones on the field. Not only does this give you the freedom to bring out any Harpie you need, but it also works well with the aforementioned Barrier Statue of the Stormwinds, locking your opponent out of Special Summoning as well. The last major combo this consistently unlocks is the Mist Valley infinite negation combo – Mist Valley Apex Avian and Mist Valley Thunderbird.
Union Carrier (YGOrg Translation): Continuing the thread introduced above, Carrier unlocks the Thunderbird piece of our combo. By targeting any WIND monster, such as the Simorgh link itself, you can equip Thunderbird from your hand or deck to Simorgh. Then, during the End Phase, Simorgh just brings out Apex Avian. That gives you the two cards you need to infinitely negate any activated effect. Remember, Harpies have a ton of ways to get enough Winged Beasts to the field, so you should have no problem setting up this combo. The other thing Carrier can unlock is that it can equip a Harpist from the deck to your Harpies, giving you an additional search whenever the equipped monster leaves the field. Not too shabby for Harpies!
Wynn the Wind Medium (YGOrg Translation): While this is probably the future support furthest away from being released in the TCG, it definitely adds yet another layer of consistency for the Harpies. With the ability to grab any of the main Harpie monsters, Wynn will be able to give an extra layer of consistency to this explosive combo deck. While you probably will never use her second effect to Special Summon from the hand when a WIND monster is destroyed by battle, you don’t really need to! That’s the power of Harpies, especially when they get more consistent.
Conclusion and Affirmations:
We’ve reached the end and while I do not have a good reason for the rhymes, I hope you enjoyed our journey exploring Harpies in 2019. If not, hopefully you at least enjoyed their artwork along the way. At the end of the day, this WIND theme does so many things well and has unique support card options no other archetype can claim! They enable powerful bosses, and can synergize with many other WIND archetypes as well. So hopefully this inspires you to add a bit more Mai back into your life!
Reminder, I also take suggestions for future CDS articles! I really want to see some input from you! If you wish to see a CDS article about the archetype, theme, or strategy you love, feel free to private message me on the YGOrg Discord server, the YGOrganization Forums, or just post a comment in response to this article on our Facebook page with your ideas to keep under consideration! On most YGO-related communities my username is Quincymccoy, so feel free to reach out.