The silent evolution of Black Feather

September 4, 2010

It is the beginning of September.

Players try out their decks in the new ban list, and most of the time people just update to their decks in the early stage. While there are people who try to come up with something new, with some (a lot) testing, before the deck wins something and gets attention.

Black feather is probably the most common deck out there now because

– tested and proven to be solid
– own the cards
– minor update (one less Black Whirlwind)

Since March 2009 (you may argue even earlier), Black feather has been a big part of the metagame. When Raging Battle was out, black feather’s popularity was unrivaled. In comparison to now, you have 3x BF-Gale and 3x Black Whirlwind. And what really made it so dominant back then was arguably the efficiency of summoning Dark Strike Fighter. The metagame was simply about winning with it and preventing it at the same time. The three main decks were Black feather, Gladiator beast and Cat synchro. Even gladiator beast went for Dark Strike Fighter with Summoner Monk and Rescue cat. When Sam won Asian Championship with Black feather and Benjamin won World Championship with Black feather as well, there was little doubt that it was the best deck in that metagame. Black feather has the best tech cards among the top 3 decks, but you can literally play without side deck and have a very decent win rate.

In September 2009, BF-Gale was restricted to 1 which largely due to almost every deck used it. Of course, Dark Strike Fighter was banned along with Solemn Judgement. Undead became one of the best deck in the beginning of the ban list since Mezuki was at 2 and Burial from D.D. at 3. I can’t talk about September 2009 without mentioning about Lightlord, which simply held the dominant status. Black feather had a bad match up against Lightlord and a rather 50-50 against Undead. The deck list was updated with 2x BF-Vayu in place of 2x BF-Gale, and other minor changes against the main metagame. It was Starlight road’s appearance that gave Black feather the chance to gain more tournament appearance as it increased its win rate against Lightlord and variants slightly. The reliance on tech cards were more intense compared to the previous ban list.

Later in March 2010, Black feather was everywhere as one less Black Whirlwind had little impact on it. There are many other decks, like Infernity, Quickdrawn Synchron, Frog etc. Black feather still clocked the most tournament wins in Singapore. Click HERE to see the figures (Source: Duelist Codex). The toolbox advantage of Black feather made it a more reliable deck to run in a tournament as you might face many different decks. At the end of the ban list, Rivalry of warlord and Deck destruction virus were popular choice for Black feather. The deck kept evolving with the metagame by picking the right tech cards.

The reliance of tech cards for Black feather has increased by time, and from a deck that others have to side deck against becomes  a deck which side deck against others. It is a deck which can adapt and compete against any (not over imbalance) metagame. First, this is  because of the strong backbone of the deck, which not many theme decks have. As you can see the same main cards throughout the different ban lists. Second, it does not rely on a specific platform e.g. special summon or graveyard, which makes it hard to be countered. Third, there are little dead cards, as most cards have effects by itself and do not require certain situations. Lastly, the depth of its toolbox (because of the second reason, there is little restriction in terms of tech choice).

Here is an example of the core build of Black feather which you can start to build on by adding appropriate tech cards accordingly,

3x BF-Sirocco
3x BF-Shura
3x BF-Bora
3x BF-Kalut
1x BF-Gale
2x BF-Blizzard
1x BF-Vayu
1x Dark Armed Dragon

1x Black Whirlwind
1x Allure of Darkness
1x Monster Reborn
1x Dark Hole
2x Mystical Space Typhoon
2x Book of moon

1x Mirror Force
1x Torrential Tribute
2x Bottomless Traphole
2x Icarus Attack

It is less than 40 cards, obviously. Of course, you can increase or decrease the quantity of any of the cards or even remove them. It is just a general guide for deck building.

Written by Maxilicious


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