Am I the only one who feels like Strike of Neos was just barely released? (Now that I think about it, that’s probably because it took me until last week to find a store that actually had the Strike of Neos Special Edition packs in stock . . .) Anyway, I’m kind of surprised to find it’s time to write card previews again, though I’ve definitely got an amusing one this week! Combo-oriented decks have been increasingly successful in high profile events lately, and I’m going to talk about a card that will fit nicely in with that trend. If you’ve been intrigued by Six Samurai decks, then you’ll want to read all about Backs to the Wall—so I’ll waste no more time on exposition!
Backs to the Wall is a trap card, and it works like this—you pay yourself down to 100 life points, and then you special summon as many Six Samurai monsters from your graveyard as you can. Bear in mind that you cannot special summon more than one monster with the same name, or bring back one with the same name as one you already have on your field. Remember, “as you can” means that if it can be summoned, you have to summon it. You can’t opt to summon only one or two if there are more monsters in the graveyard that fulfill the requirements of the card.
What do you think? For Six Samurai decks like the one Jeff Baumgartner played to a Top 8 finish at the Columbus Shonen Jump Championship, Backs to the Wall is like a better, Samurai-themed Return from the Different Dimension. The most successful Six Samurai builds running now focus on crowding up the graveyard with plenty of Samurai (usually with Card Trooper) in order to create a second toolbox that the player can access with cards like The Warrior Returning Alive, Premature Burial, and Call of the Haunted. Since these decks are already dispatching Samurai to the graveyard right and left, they’ll often have one of each of the following in there and ready to go:
The Six Samurai - Zanji (with 1800 ATK), The Six Samurai - Irou (with 1700 ATK), The Six Samurai - Yaichi (with 1300 ATK), and Grandmaster of the Six Samurai (with 2100 ATK). That’s 6900 damage right there, and if you’re running Kamon it’s 8400! I believe the popular expression for such a turn of events is “good game.” Even if your opponent has something like Sakuretsu Armor ready to spring on you, you can divert that destruction onto a Samurai of your choice. And yes, it works with Grandmaster.
Since Backs to the Wall will also usually bring up multiple Six Samurai
monsters, you’ll be able to take advantage of their great effects too. If you’re having a difficult time getting two Samurai out at the same time to special summon Great Shogun Shien, this card can help you do it—and Zanji, Irou, Yaichi, Grandmaster, and Shien kick out 9400 damage all together. That’s some serious Samurai smack-down going on right there.
Backs to the Wall gives more late game power to a deck that’s already noted for speed, but that occasionally loses some strength when it runs out of cards to combo. This new trap helps shore up a crucial late-game weakness, and it fits in really well with the Six Samurai builds that are currently seeing success. The life point payoff isn’t as much of a handicap when you’re staring down an impending loss due to a lack of steam—and hey, if you’ve only got 1000 or so life points left to lose, it seems like much less of a gamble. If you have an unprotected opponent in the early game, perhaps you’ll want to forge ahead—but most players are likely to reserve this card for more of a “last stand” kind of scenario.
Since Backs to the Wall is a trap, it’s spell speed two—meaning that you can attack with one Samurai, let your opponent destroy him with Mirror Force (or whatever he or she’s got), and then use Backs to the Wall to bring up a whole horde of attackers. It’s chainable—if you’re sufficiently daring to leave yourself with a mere 100 life points, you can chain it to your opponent’s Mystical Space Typhoon or Heavy Storm.
Just like Return from the Different Dimension, you can chain this trap to your own effect, thus preventing your opponent from foiling your dastardly plans by responding to the resolution of Backs to the Wall with Bottomless Trap Hole or Torrential Tribute, which would really, really hurt. Just, ow. Not good. You definitely want to prevent that.
I’ll just mention that if you’re looking for a quick way to reduce your life points for some sneaky combo, Backs to the Wall will do the trick. It’s a guaranteed way to turn the dial on Megamorph over to “awesome” (4200 ATK Grandmaster, anyone?), and it’s also a nice way to support that Reversal Quiz/Black Pendant combo*. This is actually a really nice synergy, because the Samurai themselves work to protect your key combo. First, special summon all your Samurai with Backs to the Wall. Then, you can use Yaichi to destroy any set spell or trap cards that might ruin everything—like Magic Drain or Magic Jammer—and then execute the Reversal Quiz combo without being interrupted. You hate being interrupted while you’re trying to do something your opponent isn’t going to like, right?
I’m sure if you sit and think about it, you can come up with all kinds of other uses for the card. Six Samurai has made a good showing and the deck has even more potential just waiting for someone to discover it. Combo decks are hot right now—take a look at the Top 8 decklists from the last few Shonen Jump Championships if you don’t believe me. Decks that many players have sworn would never make Day 2 are doing it—now’s the time to come up with something devastating. Get on it!
*For reference, the combo goes like this—first, you set Black Pendant. Then, activate Reversal Quiz. This sends Black Pendant to the graveyard, but its damage effect doesn’t resolve yet—it goes on a chain after this current chain resolves. Call the type of card on top of your deck correctly, and Reversal Quiz flips your life points with your opponent’s. Then, on the next chain, Black Pendant deals 500 damage to your opponent (who now has only 100 life points). Then he or she loses.
Normally, the Reversal Quiz deck uses Wall of Revealing Light to pay
itself down to (or below) 500 life points. However, Wall of Revealing Light requires payments in multiples of 1000, so sometimes it can’t pay you all the way down.
Backs to the Wall can always send you into the kill range this combo