Cardfight Coalition

Creative Deck Strategy: Nimble Whitewater

Splash back into the deep end as we revisit the White series for a different approach to Fish!

It all starts with CDS: Whitewater:

This article is a continuation from my ‘Creative Deck Strategy – Whitewater’ posted back in 2018. As most of the information in that article still applies today, I wanted to continue the story with how to optimize the build with current deckbuilding practices and new cards, allowing for a more robust White Synchro build to be revealed here. If you missed that article or want to skim it over for a refresher, click the image above or the link here.

Secondly, I will be heavily heavily using technical terminology for this ‘advanced’ article, so here is a quick primer in case you haven’t read one of my articles of this type before. To dive into discussions on more of the technical side of the game, consider requesting the Student role on our Discord server. Additional information can be found on our “Rules-You-Read-First” Channel.

  • Starter – This term refers to cards that initiate your combos. You can identify these cards by wanting one of them in your perfect opening hand. Of these starters, a limited number should require your Normal Summon to function properly, as you only get one of those per turn.
  • Extender – This term refers to cards that let you continue your plays, especially in the case when your main combo is disrupted. These cards gain this name because they ‘extend’ your play before you have to pass the turn over to your opponent.
  • Removal – Options that can remove barriers or floodgates to allow for you to play the duel. These cards should be selected to best support your deck in getting over its worst obstacles.
  • Core Engine Requirement – An updated term for cards that you are only running due to their impact in a certain engine. This can refer to a ‘Garnet’, such as Gem-Knight Garnet when running Brilliant Fusion, or it can refer to something like Sangan, who is best unlocked when deployed alongside Tour Guide from the Underworld.


Strategy Overview:

While my most recent article on Fish focused entirely around utilizing Sharks and Xyz monsters to the best of their ability, today’s article focuses on a Synchro-centric approach. Making the most of Fishborg Launcher, Fishborg Archer and other WATER tuners such as Crusadia Arboria, one can design a strategy to make WATER Synchro monsters with ease, such as White Aura Whale and White Aura Monoceros. As with the original Whitewater article, we will be employing a Nimble engine, as that is one of the most resource-efficient ways to get multiple non-tuners to the field for Fish. But this strategy isn’t all history – like many modern decks, it needs to be adaptable to both an offensive and disruptive footing. While the White Aura monsters apply pressure extremely well, it falls upon newer members of the WATER Synchro lineup to handle the disruptive front. But that comes later on in the article, so let’s focus for now on the Starters.

Searching for Starters:

To modernize this strategy with the latest in deckbuilding norms, we have to determine the optimal starters for the strategy. These starters should consist of monsters that make the most of your one Normal Summon for the turn. To make this determination, we must first pose ourselves a question: What card in our strategy offers the most advantage or momentum to your plays? Looking across our various archetypes and series, there is one standout card we want to trigger as quickly as possible, and that is Nimble Angler. Angler summons 2 additional Nimble monsters from the deck anytime it is sent from the hand or deck to the GY; thus, we want to dedicate all of our starters to being able to trigger that +2! Who better to answer the call than a walking Foolish Burial and Pot of Avarice for fish?

Deadreef the Ephemeral Fish (YGOrg Translation) is a great starter for the Fish-type when you do not want to be locked into Xyz Summoning. With the ability to send any Fish to the GY upon being summoned, this can turn into an awesome catalyst for the rest of your turn. To add perspective, having Deadreef alone would result in the Link Summon of Marciness Coral Anemone and Mermail Abyssalacia. Yes, this board is not amazing or stunning in many regards, but it is definitely a start. That is the point of starters – giving yourself a baseline upon which you can extend your plays with extenders! It then logically follows that we should figure out how many total starts to run in the first place!

Let’s talk probability for a short segment. Imagine the problems of running a deck with 40 starters. See the problem already? You don’t want to over-invest in your starters, as that can lead to reducing your ability to extend your plays, especially when faced by an opponent who is definitely running disruption of their own. Taking a less extreme example into account now – what happens when you draw 2 starters in the same opening hand? Does that mean one of your cards is just useless for the turn? Now there is a balance between running enough starters to consistently open with one and running few enough to minimize multi-starter hands. While the jury is still out (as it is an ongoing math problem over in the Classroom of our Discord), current projections indicate about 4 starters are appropriate for a 40-card deck, so I’m going to shoot for that for this article’s build.

Closing out my discussion on starters, let’s talk about a backup to Deadreef. In this case, the best option is the inherent Fish support card, Beautunaful Princess. Whenever this Fish is Summoned, it can banish itself to summon any Level 4 or lower Fish from the deck. In other words, every copy of Tunaful just happens to be another copy of Deadreef, or anything else you may need at the time. Since Tunaful is also a level 1 monster, One for One serves as an additional copy of getting to our Deadreef as well. With this diversity of access to our primary starter, we can actually hit that 4 starter goal without needing to run 3 copies of Deadreef itself, as you will soon see in the deckbuild below. What follows the starter discussion is the most essential piece of this strategy article upgrade – looking at the extenders.


Extending your Plays with Extenders:

As noted previously, this deck truly shines whenever it has a chance to continue the flow from one monster to another, allowing for a continuous chain of Link Summoning into Synchro Summoning. While many of this strategy’s original extenders have continued to play an important role, such as White Stingray and Nimble Angler, we’ve also picked up a few other important options. Before that, let’s also highlight the tuner extenders that make a Synchro-based Fish strategy possible!

First to cover is our Fishborg tuners, Fishborg Launcher and Fishborg Archer. Launcher is a Level 1 tuner that can summon itself back from the GY just by having only WATER monsters in your GY. Since the decklist consists almost entirely of WATER monsters, this condition is very easy to meet, and with the addition of the new Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys as another WATER Synchro, Launcher can increase access to higher leveled Synchro monsters. Archer on the other hand is an extender before you need to play a starter, as it can be summoned from your GY while controlling no monsters (as a Level 3 tuner), by discarding a WATER monster. Lastly, since this strategy melds Synchro and Link Summoning together, we can make use of Crusadia Arboria as our final WATER tuner extender.

In addition to these tuner extenders, we have a couple of new faces joining the WhiteWater school. Mermail Abyssteus is a Level 7 option that can be easily summoned from the hand by discarding another WATER monster. With a greater reliance on Level 8+WATER Synchros than ever before, this makes it easier to climb to the necessary levels. Plus, it adds additional synergy and combos to trigger your Nimble Angler! Next up is Deep Sea Artisan, a new arrival that is primarily an extender in future turns. This is the optimal option to summon from the GY with Marincess Coral Anemone, as it immediately summons another WATER monsters from the GY, facilitating more Link plays or more non-tuner material for your Crocodragon!

The last major extender that has been added to the lineup since the first article is White Mirror (YGOrg Translation). This Fish support option gives you not only recovery of a Fish monster from your GY, but it also searches an additional copy of that monster from your Deck. This adds to the possible combinations to trigger Nimble Angler multiple times in the same turn, in addition to being able to be used with most other Fish in your Deck! All together, these fish are ready to turbo through a bunch of different plays, so here are some replays of the strategy in action!



If the embedded video above does not work, click here to view the replays on YouTube.


Bosses from the Deep:

While past variations of this strategy may have required White Aura Bihamut as a boss monster, we now have some additional tools to allow for a diversity of Fish across the spectrum of our Extra Deck. You definitely saw most of these throughout the replays above, but let’s break down our core win condition. I’ve categorized these essential WATER Synchros into the following three types: Disruptors, Removal, and Extenders.


This category is new to the WhiteWater strategy, as we haven’t had any WATER Synchro monsters that could significantly disrupt the opponent until the release of a powerful Rock monster! That’s right, WhiteWater can make full use of Adamancipator Risen – Dragite! While Dragite’s removal ability cannot be exploited by a deck running 0 other Rock monsters,  its ability to negate a Spell/Trap card or effect once per turn can be extremely useful in keeping control of the duel. On your turn, this gives your plays a bit more protection to ensure that they go off. Also, in limited matchups, this can even be used to completely shut down an opponent’s plays if they are reliant upon a specific Spell or Trap resolving properly!


This category has always been the strongest for the WhiteWater strategy, as they have an extremely strong removal tool in the form of White Aura Whale. Whenever Whale is Synchro Summoned, you get to destroy all Attack Position monsters your opponent controls! Combined with Crystron Quandrax, you can easily trigger this during the opponent’s turn. If destruction isn’t the best option, you can also look to mass removal from Crystron Quariongandrax, a Level 9 Synchro that can banish your opponent’s monsters from the field or GY up to the number of Synchro materials used for its summon! Between these two mass removal options, your primary requirements should be covered, but you also have a couple of additional tools in your WhiteWater toolbox!

First, Coral Dragon offers an alternative form of removal, which I denote as ‘Spot Removal’. Basically, this option can destroy one card your opponent controls, at the cost of a discard. This allows for targeted removal to get the top tier threat off of your opponent’s board. This capability is also offered by a similar option, Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys, just Crocodragon can be used during either player’s turn and requires 2 discards!


You didn’t think extenders for your plays was just contained in the Main Deck, did you? This is the primary category for a pair of Level 7 WATER Synchros, one tuner and one non-tuner. White Aura Monoceros is a returning player for the WhiteWater strategy, allowing you to summon any Fish monster from your GY whenever it is Synchro Summoned. As a result, you should employ Monoceros to climb to the Synchros you need using your GY in the case that you only have 7 Levels available on your board for a Synchro Summon. Alternatively, you can look to Deep Sea Prima Donna as an extender option that pulls a monster from your deck! Prima Donna also works extremely well with the aforementioned Deep Sea Artisan, allowing even more of an extended play!

All together, these Synchros serve as the core functionality for our theme. With that, let’s cover the decklist and just keep swimming onwards!


Sample Decklist:

Check out the decklist in the spoiler below!

Monsters: 31
||| Mermail Abyssteus
| Mermail Abysspike
|| Deadreef the Ephemeral Fish (YGOrg Translation)
||| White Stingray
| Fishborg Doctor
| Mermail Abyssnerei
|| Crusadia Arboria
| Sea Archiver
| Fishborg Archer
||| Nimble Sunfish
|| Nimble Manta
||| Nimble Angler
||| Deep Sea Diva
||| Fishborg Launcher
| Deep Sea Artisan
| Beautunaful Princess

Spells: 9
| One for One
|| White Mirror (YGOrg Translation)
| Deep Sea Aria
| Foolish Burial
| Monster Reborn
||| Whitefish Salvage

| Crystron Quariongandrax
| Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys
| Adamancipator Risen – Dragite
| White Aura Whale
|| White Aura Monoceros
| Deep Sea Prima Donna
| Coral Dragon
| Crystron Quandax
| Tatsunoko
| Celestial Double Star Shaman
| Marincess Coral Anemone
| Mermail Abyssalacia
|| Crystron Halqifibrax


Strategic Shift Between WhiteWater1 and this Strategy:

You may have noticed that there is a slight difference between the two builds in the focus of the strategy. This new WhiteWater list utilizes a significantly higher monster count and no Trap cards, in comparison to the old list using both Oh F!sh! and White Howling. Unfortunately, the game has progressed to the point where you need to be completely balanced around full exploitation of Trap cards in order to justify running many traps, thus these two options have fallen off of my recommendations. That said, you can definitely build a variation of this theme using the traps, as I’ll definitely cover next in the additional tech options section!


Additional Tech Options:

  • Trap Options:
    • White Howling – Want to lock out Spells for the turn? This is a great Trap Option to enhance the disruptive capabilities of this strategy!
    • Oh F!sh! – Monster negation while recycling your banished Fish resources? Seems like a great pairing that is helpful in both respects.
    • The Ice-Bound God (YGOrg Translation) – Multi-use Trap card that negates the effects of face-up monsters; can have promise in a build that typically ends on multiple WATER Link or Synchro monsters!
    • Red Reign – This option, while aimed towards Resonator variants, can definitely be exploited by any Synchro deck employing Level 8+ Syncho monsters.
  • WATER options:
    • Swap Frog – Additional extender in line with Mermail Abyssteus and White Stingray, also opens the opportunity to including Ronintoadin and other Frog support.
    • Mermail Abyssgunde – With so many Mermail options already included in the lineup, this can be included as well for further extenders.
    • Nemeses Umbrella – Extender that recycles your banished Fish or other core engine requirements for re-use.
    • Adamancipator Crystal – Dragite – This option can be included to both power up the Risen form, as well as give your WATER synchros a bit more recyclability.
    • Crystal Girl (YGOrg Translation) – Search option that also acts as an extender!



Shake off the excess WATER, because you finally made it to the depths of this article! I hope you enjoyed this renewed look at a non-archetype aligned strategy, instead focusing on meshing a bunch of cards together that tend to work extremely well! For now, thanks for reading, and I’ll catch you next time with a new CDS coming soon!

A variation of this build is currently participating in The Creative Deck Strategy Showdown, Part 2 in Group D! Be sure to check that out!


Reminder, I also take suggestions for future CDS articlesI 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 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 replays for 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: Witchcrafter, Sky Striker, Shaddoll, Krawler, Superheavy Samurai, & Simorgh.


Hello everybody! I serve as Number VIII of the Organization; however, my primary role on the site is to generate non-news content! Let's keep the endless flood of profiles on undervalued archetypes flowing, shall we?