Includes Video Replays: Ahoy matey, take a trip on the high seas and bring a HERO along!
Arrrrre you Ready Kids?
The Plunder Patroll archetype is the most recent TCG-Premiere, and features a set of WATER/Fiend monsters taking on the high seas with boats, puns, and tons of unique effects. If you haven’t been fully acquainted with the theme yet, let’s do a quick rundown of the important cards, why they are important, and how they contribute to the end goal of disrupting your opponent to victory!
The first wave of support came with two maindeck monsters, so let’s start with them. Whitebeard, the Plunder Patroll Helm is a Level 4 tuner with two amazing effects. First, during your opponent’s turn, you can just summon a Plunder Patroll from your Extra Deck with the same attribute as a monster your opponent controls or in their GY, then you equip Whitebeard to that summoned monster. This gives you a way to cheat out your ships, but we’ll come back to the importance of that later. Its second effect is also powerful – whenever it is sent from the hand or Monster Zone to the GY, you can summon a Plunder Patroll from your deck. So not only does this give you Extra Deck speed, but it is also the theme’s first tutor! The second monster from the docks is Redbeard, the Plunder Pirate Matey. It’s first effect is identical to Whitebeard, giving you a way to cheat out your Extra Deck Plunder Patroll monsters, but it’s second effect continues to the Equip theme. Whenever Redbeard gets sent from the hand or Monster Zone to the GY, you can equip it to a Plunder Patroll monster you control. So what’s so important about Plunder Patrolls being equipped? That is a perfect segue into the ships, the monsters that do all of the heavy lifting for the archetype.
Plunder Patrollship Brann is a Level 8 FIRE Synchro monster that offers 2 effects for your board. First, it boosts the ATK of all other Fiends by 500. Secondly, you can discard a Plunder Patroll card to banish a Spell/Trap your opponent controls, then you add a Plunder Patroll monster from your deck to the hand. Where the equips come into play is that this effect becomes a Quick effect if it is equipped with a Plunder Patroll card! This backrow disruption pairs well with the next ship, Plunder Patrollship Moerk, the Rank 4 DARK Xyz Monster. Similar to Brann, it can discard a Plunder Patroll card to banish an opponent’s effect monster, then you add a Plunder Patroll Spell/Trap to the hand, and if it is equipped with a Plunder Patroll card, that is treated as a Quick effect. Its secondary effect lets you detach an Xyz material to prevent the destruction of a Plunder Patroll card, similar to Dingirsu. Between these two ships, you have disruption for both monsters and backrow, but there is yet another.
Plunder Patrollship Lys debuts in Eternity Code as a Level 8 LIGHT Fusion monster. First, it can discard a Plunder Patroll card to negate the activation of a monster effect. If it was equipped with a Plunder Patroll card, it also gives you a search of any Plunder Patroll card after negating and destroying that monster! Secondly, you can use its Quick effect during either Main Phase to Special Summon a Plunder Patroll monster that is in your hand or that is equipped to a monster you control. This gives you additional swarming capabilities, as well as a way to re-use your equipped monsters! With the arrival of Lys in the second wave of support, your disruptive playstyle is solidified, but let’s talk about the other new monsters for the theme.
Bluebeard, the Plunder Patroll Shipwright is first on the list as a generic extender, or way to get a larger field presence. While you control a Plunder Patroll monster, you can summon this guy from the hand. Secondly, whenever it is sent from the hand or Monster Zone to the GY, you can discard 1 card to draw a new card. This gives you a way to make more monsters on your opening turn as well as trigger the effects of your other Plunder monsters without losing card advantage! The last new monster is Goldenhair, the Newest Plunder Patroll. Goldenhair can summon itself to the field from the hand by sending another Plunder Patroll Monster card from your hand or face-up field to the GY. Or, if it is in the GY, you can discard a card to Special Summon it back from the watery depths. Either way, this gets more Plunders to your field to play with!
This theme may rely on its monsters to generate advantage and equip, but it has a slew of supporting options as well. Plunder Patroll Shipyarrrd is the theme’s Field Spell, offering a search for any Plunder Patroll card for a single discard. It also can recover itself from the GY by bouncing a Plunder Patroll card in your Spell/Trap zone to the hand. This is key for recovering your equipped monsters, giving you more discard fodder for the following turn. Another support card is Emblem of the Plunder Patroll, an actual Equip Spell that protects the equipped Plunder from being targeted. Secondly, you can send Emblem to the GY to cheat out a Plunder Patroll monster from your Extra Deck with the same attribute as a monster on either field or in either GY. This is a major upgrade from White and Redbeard, as this checks your own GY as well!
For our final essential cards for the overview, let’s talk about the two traps that give you the attributes you need for your cheating summons. Plunder Patrol Booty is a Continuous Trap that can change the attribute of an opponent’s monster, then take a Plunder Patroll monster from your GY to Special Summon or shuffle into the deck. This gives you ultimate flexibility, especially if you bring back White or Redbeard to immediately cheat out the ship of choice! The alternative option is Pride of the Plunder Patroll, which carries multiple effects. First, you can draw a card when a Patroll destroys an opponent’s monster by battle. Cool. Secondly, you can send the face-up trap to the GY to either: 1) make your opponent draw 1 card before you get to send 1 monster from their hand to the GY, OR 2) Send any monster from their Extra Deck to the GY. This second option gives you the ability to rig your opponent’s GY with the attribute you need to summon out whichever ship you want!
Now it is important for me to stress that these two traps are essential for their ability to rig attributes, but it’s important for you to notice that they offer distinct advantages. Assuming you are going first, Pride lets you rig an attribute before your opponent even has the chance to play a card, but Booty gives you an additional summon if you wait until your opponent summons a monster. Also, as the game accelerates towards a state where many duelists are running Red-Eyes Dragoon following its upcoming release in the 2020 collectable tin, you may even err towards the disruption capabilities of Pride if you can rip your opponent’s single copy of Dragun in response to the activation of Red-Eyes Fusion or Predaplant Verte Anaconda!
The final monster for the deck is the theme’s Link Monster – Blackbeard, the Plunder Patroll Captain. His effect is similar to our initial pirates – during either player’s turn, target a monster you control to summon a Plunder Patroll monster from your Extra Deck with the same attribute as a monster on your opponent’s field or in their GY, equip the target to that Patroll monster, then draw a card. This effect adds an additional ‘cheat’ during your opponent’s turn or even your own, but it also lets you change any monster you control into an equip card! This becomes more relevant whenever we get to the Additional Techs section of this article. But where Blackbeard is important is that he replenishes your hand with a draw – since all of your ships require a Plunder Patroll card in hand to enable their disruptive capabilities, Blackbeard becomes truly essential. Or, you could try running an engine that keeps your hand high and dry while your pirates run amok.
HEROs Don the Black Flag:
In recent waves of supports, HEROs have become less and less apt to work with other archetypes or themes. With a staggering number of restrictions locking you to HEROs, there really hasn’t been a reason to try and hybridize them with something else. But then came along a theme that wants everything that HEROs can offer – the Plunder Patroll. Starting from the top, there is one essential card that helps out our Patroll friends so much – Vision HERO Vyon. First, when Vyon is summoned, you can send any HERO from the deck to the GY. The best option would be to send Elemental HERO Shadow Mist, as that gives you the ability to add an additional HERO to hand when sent to the GY. Before we get too far down the path of other HEROs, the other effect of Vyon is equally as important here – you can banish 1 HERO monster from your GY to add Polymerization from your deck to the hand.
Now you may be wondering why Poly is important in 2020. To answer that question, I point ecstatically to Plunder Patrollship Lys. It is a Fusion monster that requires any 2 Plunder Patroll monsters as its material. But it also protects the rest of your plays with its ability to negate monster effects. Going into a Lys early in your combo insulates your combos from disruption like Nibiru or Phantazmay, and it is definitely something that your opponent won’t see coming off of a Vyon play. How this also affects your game is that your Fusion Summoned Lys (now summoned properly), can return for the rest of the game through your other Plunder effects. It can be summoned from the GY with Booty or it can be summoned from being equipped by another Lys. This is essential to a grind game where your goal is to disrupt the opponent and slowly reduce their resources over time.
Returning to the HERO discussion, there is another HERO that’s awesome here – Destiny HERO Malicious. Despite dropping to Semi-Limited on the most recent TCG Forbidden/Limited List, this HERO is great at providing an additional material to work with from the GY. And you know what – Plunder Patroll has so many ways to discard, that the ‘brick’ of drawing a copy of Malicious simply isn’t a major downside. As you’ll notice in the replays below, the primary play is to actually search a copy of Malicious with Shadow Mist to then discard later in the turn. Big brain plays, big brain plays. There is one major point that you should understand about the HERO engine here – it is not just a way to get Polymerization or just a way to get extra material – it is a consistent method for getting 2 free cards to the hand that can be leveraged to make more out of your Patrollships. Remember, you need to end your turn with at least 1 Plunder Patroll card in hand to use any of their disruption!
With this lengthy introduction out of the way, let’s check out the deck in action so you can understand the basic combos and the advantages of hitting the high seas hard and fast on your opening turn.
If the embedded video above does not work, click here to view the replays on YouTube.
Pirating your Opponent’s Options:
As you may have noticed, this deck does not win by negating everything your opponent does. In fact, you shouldn’t even try to go for that, as it is an ineffective way of piloting the archetype. Instead, this strategy wants to go first, set a board of a couple of Plunder Patroll, then use your disruptive effects to reduce the impact of your opponents turn. Pirate away your opponents summoned monster with Moerk, then search out a Plunder S/T for your following turn. Disrupt a Field Spell with Brann, then get a new monster for a massive swing. Piloting this deck really does feel like you are on a real pirate ship, as you should constantly be swaying from setting up disruption, to setting up your following turn, to swinging back around to disruption. You’ll also notice that the HERO cards offer a consistent platform – with access to Vyon through Reinforcements of the Army, Foolish Burial, or Shadow Mist + any discard option, your chances of seeing it on your opening turn stand at about 60%.
What you may not notice in the replays is that none of the duels have the deck in a fully commanding position throughout the entire duel. The ‘swaying’ I mentioned earlier is reflected well by the duels, as the opponent may destroy your entire established field only for you to swing the duel back into your favor with a string of plays on the subsequent turn. Across the internet, I’ve seen these new Plunder Patroll cards described as being “extremely fair,” to the point where it doesn’t offer enough to stand a chance in the current game. But with the right tech cards and the right balance of the build, I think that this deck really can shine. The HERO engine is just one such option, others will be described later in the alternative tech options. But enough about playstyle or theory for now, let’s get into the decklist.
Check out the decklist in the spoiler below!
My Suggestions on what NOT to Run in 3 Copies:
With all of its restrictions and the requirement of discarding Patroll cards for your ships, the Plunder Patroll theme does not always play well with outside support cards. But this has led many folks across various online communities to focus a bit too hard on a couple individual support cards, so give me a moment to provide some feedback on what cards you shouldn’t place a heavy emphasis on.
First is an unreviewed Trap, Plunder Patroll Parrrty. The 1st effect of this card serves as a way to mulligan your hand, drawing cards equal to the number of Equip cards you control +1, then you get to shuffle cards back into the deck equip to the number of Equip cards. It’s second effect offers more, equipping itself from the GY to a Plunder Patroll monster when it is summoned from the Extra Deck. However, this second effect can only be used once per Duel. With this heavy restriction, this trap is not worth it for a number of reasons, because if you summon any of your Ships the correct way, all you need to do is employ Redbeard’s second effect to get an equip card on it. There is no need to run this trap, which it then forces you to discard to make the most of it, just to arrive at the same end result! Also, it’s draw effect is rather slow, and can only give you a chance to draw into a Plunder Patroll card if you make the mistake of not ending your turn with one in hand.
Second is the theme’s fusion spell, Plunder Patroll Shipshape Ships Shipping. This is the in-theme way of Fusion Summoning Lys, but that does not make it necessarily excellent. Since you only have 1 Plunder Patroll search on your first turn with Shipyarrrd, you need to prioritize what is most important. Normally, that should not be used in getting to this Fusion Spell, rather you will normally want a Whitebeard to start cementing your field advantage. Secondly, while its GY effect is impressive with the ability to banish itself and equip any Plunder Patroll monster (or Emblem) to a Plunder monster you control, you also don’t necessarily want to prioritize discarding that over a Shipyarrrd, Malicious, or Whitebeard. This is the beauty of the HERO engine – it frees up your priority list to not need to run Shipping high numbers. Now, don’t get me wrong – this is an amazing card. But it is very much a one-card-wonder, something to search with a Moerk to discard with another ship during your opponent’s turn!
Third is running unnecessary draw spells that inhibit your win condition. Pot of Extravagance is a major offender here – yes you are running multiple copies of your Extra deck monsters, but you most certainly do not want to run out of a specific ship, ever. Along a similar vein, Pot of Desires may seem appealing, but much like running it in Salamangreat, you run a major risk of banishing your primary combo pieces if you use it too early. That said, this deck also doesn’t want to banish the extra combo pieces in your deck even after going off, because that is what gives you continued plays on your second or third turns. This strategy takes you on an extended journey – you will rarely succeed by going for a quick raid then hoping for the best, especially in this era where decks are designed to play around and through disruption.
Lastly, do not try to plug so many expanded engines alongside the Plunders. If you are turning to Generaiders, Dark Worlds, or Atlanteans, you are severely risking not having enough Plunder Patroll resources to disrupt the opponent. Yes, the other themes offer a bit more disruption, but if those decks aren’t competitively viable on their own, what would be the benefit of adding their disruption capabilities to a deck that already disrupts extremely well on its own? While there are additional engines listed in the techs section below, note that those are designed to replace the HERO engine in this build should you choose to steer the Patrollships in a different direction, but I want to make sure you’re setting a good course before your veer too hard off the Patroll path!
Additional Tech Options:
- Abusing Patroll cards – Metalfoes Fusion and Foolish Burial Goods in the Sample Decklist:
- Performapal Popperup – Plunder Patroll cards like to be sent to the GY, do it while drawing new cards to replace them! This can give your deck more speed, but it does come at the cost of valuable LP.
- Galaxy Cyclone – Metalfoes Fusion gives you draws, Galaxy Cyclone lets you destroy your opponent’s backrow… Or it can be used to destroy your own. Combine it with Shipyarrrd to get any equipped Plunder back to the hand!
- Breakthrough Skill – Negate monster effects? Cool. Do so from the GY? Even better when it is discarded.
- Dragon Buster Destruction Sword – Want to stop your opponent’s access to the Extra Deck? Buster can be used in tandem with Blackbeard to really ruin your opponent’s day. Turn after turn. This combo works better when you run Crystron Halqifibrax in the Extra Deck as well, since 2 of your Plunder monsters are tuners!
- Dragunity Corseca – Similar to Buster, this can be equipped to your Pirates to give you even more search power. This then will fuel your discard effects on subsequent turns!
- Necroquip Prism – Recovery spell option that can get back both a Plunder Patroll from your GY and prepare for the return of a Shipyarrrd bouncing the Plunder you equip from hand. The other option is to use Lys to summon that equipped Plunder as well, but then you are just adding an extra step to the play.
- Supporting Engines – HERO in the Sample Decklist:
- Destruction Sword – Don’t just stop with Dragon Buster. You can choose to include a small Destruction Sword engine, since Destruction Swordsman Fusion can send any card from your hand to return itself to the hand. This can let you trigger your Plunder effects, as well as add additional disruption options!
- Genex Undine and Genex Controller – The Genex engine has been touted by many as a great advantage alternative (in place of the HEROs), as Undine can send Goldenhair, giving you the discard needed to bring back Golden in the form of Controller. This is 1-card access into Blackbeard, but in my testing, the potential for drawing Controller or multiple Undine made it too unreliable and resulted in significant losses.
- Danger! – Discarding? More Draws? AND fodder on the field for Link Summons? The Danger monsters is yet another great pairing with the Plunder Patroll, but they are now a tad more limited with the recent restrictions on Danger! cards in the TCG F/L List.
- Trickstar – More field spells unlock Set Rotation to give you access to Shipyarrd without needing Goods, and the Trickstars can provide both discard fodder (Trickstar Mandrake) and Link fodder (Trickstar Corobane). This also gives you a bit more backrow control with Light Stage, but Brann typically handles that role just fine.
- Predaplant – Similar to the HERO engine in that it can search Polymerization, but slightly more impressive since it also gives you 2 monsters on the field for Link Summons. The downside here is that Scorpio requires a discard, and that can leave you with limited options to make use of any other Plunder cards in your hand.
- Enabling your ‘Extra Deck Cheating’:
- Kaiju – All of the Kaiju have diverse attributes and can be easily summoned to the opponent’s field. Thus, you can tech in copies of the Kaiju you want to ensure that you can get that attribute to your opponent’s field for summons through Black, White, or Redbeard.
- Knightmare Corruptor Iblee – This option may have fallen out of favor since the banning of Knightmare Mermaid, but it can be used to enable Blackbeard to summon Moerk and search on the first turn of the duel. It also can be used as a good disruption option if your opponent can’t get it off the board!
- Lullaby of Obedience – At a cost, this can be used to force your opponent to make the difficult decision to give a monster from their deck to your hand, or to summon that monster to their field for you to then use with your Patroll summons. This option does come with a hefty cost, but it is definitely an option for you.
Well this has been quite the fun trip sailing across the high seas with some HEROs. I hope this inspires you to take another shot with this theme, because the Plunder Patroll archetype has been criminally under-served by the decklists I’ve seen posted online thus far – they really can do much more than you may have seen. Please try this theme for yourself, it may surprise you and show you just how much you missed dueling without the overhanging jolly roger. With that, I’ll leave you to your own devices for now – maybe my next article will resonate with you in these troublesome times.
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.
I’ve also launched the Creative Deck Profile series of articles (CDP), where I take a requested archetype or strategy, posting a build with some replays. These are hosted on my YGOrganization Youtube channel, located here. Be sure to subscribe, as I upload previews of upcoming articles there before they are officially posted to this site!
As of now, I have a couple of outstanding requests that I am looking into: Cyberse, Generaider Boss, Mecha Phantom Beast, Psychic, Shaddoll.