Play against Six Samurai (from Black Feather point of view)

March 7, 2011

Before you read on, this is mainly based on September 2010 restriction list. Asia Championship Qualifier 2011 is the reason why I still post about something in the ‘past’, since it will not adopt the new March 2011 list.

This is a strategy guide on how to play against Six Samurai using Black Feather.

Why I pick this match up:
– I played Black Feather in the September 2010 list
– Six Samurai is the deck to beat
– Six Samurai and Black Feather are likely be the two most played decks in the Asia Championship Qualifier
– I hate Six Samurai

I group Six Samurai into two main builds.

– With LSS – Mizuho and LSS – Shinai
– With Hand of Six Samurai

I state the 2 main builds in the beginning because my strategy against them varies slightly, which will be explained later.

Mizuho and Shinai
This is a popular build in Singapore.
Good point: Possible infinite token combo in the first turn which (almost certainly) wins the game straight away. (For e.g.:  Crazy opening)
Bad point: Mizuho and Shinai may be bad draw.
(Example deck list: Clover)

Hand of Six Samurai
This is what many call ‘the Japanese build’. There are players in Singapore who play this build too.
Good point: Less bad draw and more consistent. Hand can clear the field if the player has 2x Gateway of Six or 1x Gateway of Six + 2x Six Samurai United
Bad point: No cheese, unlike above build. It’s less popular among greedy players.
(Example deck list: Jspeed)

In this match up, it is common to end within few turns. Winning the dice roll is crucial, but of course it’s an uncontrollable factor unless one cheats.

In the first duel, it’s likely that the one who won the dice roll will win.

When Six Samurai goes first
Large part of the duel is determined if a Shien lock is successful. When I mention Shien lock, I’m referring to have Shien and at least one other monster (usually Kizan or Grandmaster), with proper trap set up at the back. Usually a Shien lock involves a Solemn Warning, which explains why Six Samurai plays 3 copies. It is to increase the probability to draw into at least one in the first turn. Usually if the Black Feather player can’t break the lock in the first turn or next, then the duel is decided.

When Black Feather goes first
In order to win Six Samurai, the BF player has to interrupt the summoning. I use ‘interrupt’ and not ‘stop’, because a lot of time this is done by Book of Moon. Being the first duel, there’re 3x Book of Moon, 3x Icarus Attack and 2x Solemn Warning in a typical BF build that can interrupt the summoning. That means there’s a very high chance to draw into at least one copy in the first turn (>76.39%). The question is whether the BF player has other cards to step up and win the game from there.

After the first duel, the side deck comes into play. In comparison, BF benefits more from side deck. There are little cards that Six Samurai can take out since it is a combo based beat down deck, while Black Feather is a kind of tool box anti-meta.

Cards that Six Samurai may side in
– Bottomless Trap Hole
– Dimension Prison
– Greenkappa
– Dust Tornado

Cards that Black Feather may side in
– Kinetic Soldier
– Puppet Plant
– Gozen Match
– Chain Disappearance

The above list is not what players will certainly side, but these are the common cards to expect. For example, when a Six Samurai player sets a monster, the BF player has to consider Greenkappa as a possibility.

I have mentioned in an older post that my side deck strategy against Six Samurai is divided into 2 routes, one when I go first and one when I don’t.

(Reference: My last updated Black Feather deck list)

I start first
– 3x Kinetic Soldier
– 1x Gozen Match
– 1x Chain Disappearance
– 2x Bottomless Trap Hole
– 1x Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn
– 1x Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor
– 1x Dark Hole
– 1x Allure of Darkness
– 1x Icarus Attack
– 1x Mirror Force
– 1x Torrential Tribute

Opponent starts first
– 3x Kinetic Soldier
– 1x Puppet Plant
– 1x Gozen Match
– 1x Seven Tools of the Bandit
2x Bottomless Trap Hole
– 1x Blackwing – Bora the Spear
– 1x Blackwing – Blizzard the Far North
– 1x Icarus Attack
– 1x Trap Dustshoot
– 1x Solemn Judgment
– 2x Solemn Warning

(In red: only against Mizuho and Shinai build)

Generally, the strategy revolves around Kinetic Soldier. It is to keep Kinetic Soldier on the field as it is good in both attack and defence. Six Samurai has little cards to remove it from the field, mainly only Mizuho or Hand. Another way is by synchro monsters like Brionac, Trishula or Naturia Balkion. Therefore, the traps will be used to interrupt such cards. For example, use Solemn Warning on Mizuho not Shien. Shien can’t remove Kinetic Soldier but Mizuho can. It is safer to set Kinetic Soldier than to normal summon it because of Solemn Warning. Don’t be tempted to normal summon Kinetic Soldier to attack on any Six Samurai Monster. Of course, it is not a must-follow rule to set Kinetic Soldier first, as Kinetic Soldier can be used as a bait for Solemn Warning in order to summon Dark Armed Dragon. However, if Six Samurai starts first and set up the field and is able to use Solemn Warning on Kinetic Soldier, then it is likely game set. There is only 1 copy of Gozen Match since there are 3 Kinetic Soldier.

When I start first, my strategy is to seal my opponent off with traps and win with that tempo. Therefore I side out cards like Dark Hole since I won’t use it. If i do, then I’m already losing. Sirocco doesn’t fit into the strategy as it is hard to summon, so it is sided out along with Vayu. Icarus Attack is dropped to 2 because I want to keep my monster on field more often to press and win the game before I run out of trap. Puppet Plant is not sided in because I don’t need it. Allure of Darkness is sided out because there are less Dark attribute monsters. Bottomless Trap Hole fits this strategy but I only side in against Mizuho and Shinai build. This is because the Six Samurai player has 2 routes: 1. summon and use Mizuho + Shinai combo; 2. Summon Shien. The chance of activating Bottomless Trap Hole is higher than Hand build since Hand build will only go towards the Shien route. So Bottomless Trap Hole is only usable after the summoning of Shien is stopped if it is Hand build.

When opponent starts first, it is about surviving the first 2 turns. In order to survive, it is either by attack and balance the board difference with Six Samurai, or set up defence then counter attack. The choice depends on the starting hand. Puppet plant is sided in to steal Shien, which will allow more offensive play after that. It is safer to set Kinetic Soldier than to summon it as mentioned above. Allure of Darkness is kept in the deck to help in opening more options of cards to decide whether to go offensive or defensive. Seven Tools of the Bandit is to help out in the counter attack strategy, as it is mainly to use on Solemn Warning. For example, Kinetic Soldier was set to survive the next turn. I can now summon my Shura because I had set Seven Tools of the Bandit last turn, rather than summoning Shura on the first turn and gets negated by Solemn Warning. Solemn Judgment is a burden in this match up when opponent starts first. Trap dustshoot is a dead card even if it is drawn in the first turn. Blizzard is reduced because I don’t want to draw it early, since it is only useful when I’ve another BF in grave. It is a dead draw in the first turn. The reason I reduce it in this match up while I still keep it in others is that there are not many ‘next turn’ to use Blizzard. Bora is mainly to free up space since I will depend more on Kinetic Soldier. Against Mizuho and Shinai build, I favor Bottomless Trap Hole. Solemn Warning is sided out because I will not have a chance to stop the Shien. The reason I still keep 2 copies when it is against Hand build is because I don’t have better substitute. Although Bottomless Trap Hole has the same problem when opponent starts first, but it is still better than Solemn Warning because of the LP.

Before this build, I used less Kinetic Soldier, which allowed me to use more Gozen Match. I focused more on counter attack if opponent starts first, and have more traps when I start first. I sided in more Puppet Plant when opponent starts first, and more Chain Disappearance when I start first.

It is close to impossible to stop a Shien lock if opponent starts first. Effect Veiler may be an option.

Giant Trunade breaks my strategy. Sometimes I lose a match because I lose one duel to infinite token and another to Giant Trunade. It is frustrating but there is nothing I can do. It can only be stopped by Solemn Judgment unless I play other cards to counter it. I had tried Mind Crush, and name Gateway when Hurricane is played. It also can be used when opponent uses Reinforcement of the Army or Shien’s Smoke Signal. Overall, it is still mediocre.

Quote from Jspeed (Source):


“When opponent starts first and has a strong solitaire hand of Gateway and Hurricane (Giant Trunade), then it just can’t be matched. Most of the decks can’t do anything about it. You can only do what you can do.”
(Broken translation)

There are some small tricks against Six Samurai.

When I start first, I will set all or most of my cards down at the back row, even if they are practically useless down there. This is to pressure the Six Samurai player to play slightly differently, because he knows he won’t be able to summon safely. He may not want to summon Kageki then Kagemusha, but summon other monster to bait away my trap. Another reason to set all down is to reduce risk against Mystical Space Typhoon (Cyclone). If I’ve only 1 card that can interrupt opponent’s summoning, then it is easy for opponent to cyclone it away if I only set that card down. Black Feather can easily set 3-4 cards, so it will help to protect the real traps. Hurricane is out of question here, since it makes no difference.

There is one common scenario in this match up. BF player starts first then set Solemn Warning and Six Samurai player summons Kageki on the first turn. The question is whether to use Solemn Warning on Kageki or wait for Shien (of course, opponent may not summon Kagemusha). The reason to use on Kageki is to prevent any summon on that turn and that includes special summon of Kizan or Grandmaster. The reason to wait and use on Shien is to do a 1 for 2 card trade on Kageki + kagemusha. People debate about this.

Personally, it depends on Gateway of the Six. If there is no Gateway, then I will wait and use Solemn Warning on Shien. This is because I’m less worried that he is going to flood the field. If he then summons Kizan(s) or/and Grandmaster, I can wait and negate when he synchro summons Shien (may be Trishula). It is easier to deal with Kizan and Grandmaster without Shien on field, since I’ve the card advantage after a 1 for 2 trade with Solemn Warning and also an additional 0.5 card advantage since I start first. If there is Gateway(s), the resource difference will be obvious if I wait and negate Shien not Kageki. Since he can summon Kageki + Kagemusha, then search with Gateway and summon more monsters for free. I can’t assume opponent will synchro for Shien before summon more monsters.

Part of the content may still be applicable in the March 2011 restriction list.



  1. A very insightful and thorough post. Against most decks, I suppose that it doesn’t matter if you go first or second. But against Six Samurai, it naturally makes a huge difference, and it was good to see your strategies on the topic.

    Too bad that the Asia Championship Qualifier is using the old list, though.

  2. There is an advantage to start first in most match up, but Six Samurai just magnifies it.

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