First, we’ll look at Pacifis itself. It’s a field spell that counts as “Umi” while it’s face up on the field. For our purposes, though, this won’t matter so much.
“You cannot Normal or Special Summon Effect Monsters the turn you activate either of this card's effects (even if this card leaves the field). Once per turn, if you Normal or Special Summon exactly 1 Normal Monster (and no other cards): Add 1 "Phantasm Spiral" card from your Deck to your hand. If your opponent activates a card or effect (except during the Damage Step), and you control no Tokens: You can Special Summon 1 "Phantasm Spiral Token" (Wyrm-Type/WATER/Level 8/ATK 2000/DEF 2000).”
This is a really powerful card. As we’ll see, we’re really only going to be Special Summoning Normal monsters a lot of the time. So, this isn’t really an issue. The Phantasm Spiral support cards are actually quite good, too, so that first effect is actually extremely important. The second ability is also particularly awesome. I mean, who doesn’t want a free 2000 ATK and 2000 DEF monster that’s level 8?
So, how do we build around this? Let’s take a look at a June 2017 regional Phantasm Spiral deck that actually fared quite well. Except… we’re going to make a couple of quick changes for it to be legal with the May 2018 Forbidden and Limited List. The changes are actually in our favor.
2x Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring
3x Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit
3x Megalosmasher X
3x Phantasm Spiral Dragon
3x Rescue Rabbit
1x Dark Hole
3x Fossil Dig
3x Heat Wave
3x Pacifis, the Phantasm City
1x Phantasm Spiral Crash
2x Phantasm Spiral Grip
1x Phantasm Spiral Wave
2x Pot of Desires
2x Unexpected Dai
3x Phantasm Spiral Battle
1x Phantasm Spiral Power
3x Quaking Mirror Force
1x Skill Drain
2x Solemn Strike
1x Solemn Warning
1x Abyss Dweller
2x Bahamut Shark
1x Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer
1x Evolzar Dolkka
1x Evolzar Laggia
1x Gem-Knight Pearl
1x Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy
1x Number 39: Utopia
1x Number S39: Utopia the Lightning
1x Steelswarm Roach
2x Toadally Awesome
1x Tornado Dragon
In the original list piloted by Michael Craig at the Seattle, Washington Regionals, he ran one copy of Maxx “C” and 2 Dark Holes. At the time, Rescue Rabbit was limited, as well. We gotta cut the Maxx “C” and the 2nd Dark Hole. But, Rescue Rabbit is unlimited! As it turns out, triple bunnies is actually a huge improvement for this deck! Let’s break it down.
A lot of this deck focuses around Phantasm Spiral Dragon, as we’ll see. There are a ton of ways to Special Summon him with the Phantasm Spiral Spells and Traps. He has 2900 ATK, which is PLENTY good! He also has 2900 DEF, which is actually pretty above average. He’s going to be one of your main beatstick monsters in this deck, obviously, as well as a way to Xyz into some Rank 8 Xyz monsters, especially Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy.
We have five hand-traps in the form of two Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring and three Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit. With these we can shut down shenanigans from the deck and effects on the field. Ash Blossom is the one most people play, but both are great.
Rescue Rabbit is really awesome in this deck because he grabs our level 4 Normal Monsters in Kabazauls and Megalosmasher X. Being Water attribute and Dinosaur type, these monsters help us access some great Rank 4 Xyz monsters. Kabazauls is a pretty ancient 1700 ATK monster while Megalosmasher is a far more recent 2000 ATK level 4 beatstick. Really, they exist for Xyz summons, but they can do damage if you need them to. Playing 3 Rabbits gives us more consistency, which is cool.
Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way. Dark Hole and Raigeki help us keep the board clear. Terraforming is obviously to get our Field Spell. Pot of Desires helps us draw out of bad hands, even with that steep 10 card banishment cost. The rest we need to look at more closely.
Three copies of Fossil Dig help us dig out our Dino monsters. With three Rabbits, we may able to trim a copy, but we can always grab that third Kabazauls or Megalosmasher X. Heat Wave is actually one of the better spells in the deck. This card can only be activated at the start of Main Phase 1, but that’s OK. When you play it, neither player can Normal or Special Summon an Effect Monster, until your next Draw Phase. That’s actually extremely brutal for most decks, but not this one.
Unexpected Dai is another way to Special Summon one of our Level 4 Dinos to play. It’s another consistency card, but this one is only good if you control no monsters. Still, it’s going to be good in a lot of situations.
Now we’ll get into the Phantasm Spiral spells. We already covered the field spell in Pacifis. Phantasm Spiral Crash is an Equip Spell that gives the equipped Normal Monster the ability to inflict piercing battle damage. Then, when that monster deals battle damage to an opponent, you can Special Summon a Phantasm Spiral Dragon from your hand, deck, or graveyard and equip it with this card. If that wasn’t good enough, you can then switch an opponent’s monster from Attack to Defense position. You can only use this effect once per turn, because otherwise that would be pretty silly.
Phantasm Spiral Grip is similar to Crash, except this deck runs two copies instead of one. Grip gives the monster 500 ATK and if that monster destroys a creature by battle, you can Special Summon a Spiral Dragon and inflict 1000 damage to your opponent. This one may actually be better in some cases as you will likely run over a lot of things.
The last one is Phantasm Spiral Wave. This one is particularly strong because it makes the equipped Normal Monster unable to be destroyed once per turn. If it’s battled that turn, at the end of the Battle Phase, you can do the Spiral Dragon summoning thing. While that Dragon can’t then attack like with the other two, your opponent then has to discard a card. So, it’s still a decent card.
First, we’ll get the staples out of the way. Two copies of Solemn Strike and one copy of Solemn Warning deal with summons that need to be nipped in the bud right away, and with Strike, problematic monster effects. Skill Drain is really good in this deck, and it’s too bad we can only run one. It hoses so many decks.
We also run three copies of Quaking Mirror Force. If you don’t know what it does, this is how it reads:
“When an opponent's monster declares an attack: Change all your opponent's Attack Position monsters to face-down Defense Position. Monsters changed to face-down Defense Position by this effect cannot change their battle positions.”
This is fine because we actually want to beat on opponent’s monsters with our Phantasmal Spiral support. It’s bad against Link monsters, though, who are immune to it. Still, it’s a strong card.
Phantasm Spiral Battle is a pretty awesome Trap card, as it can be activated from your hand if you control an “Umi” field spell, which Pacifis just happens to be! If you control only Normal Monsters, you can blow up one card on the field. Then, you can banish this card from your Graveyard, you can target one Normal Monster on the field and equip all Phantasm Spiral Equip cards you control to it. While very situational, it can help you live the dream of summoning all three Phantasm Spiral Dragons in one turn.
The last card is Phantasm Spiral Power. Here’s what it does:
“If all monsters you control are Normal Monsters (min. 1): Target 1 Effect Monster your opponent controls; until the end of this turn, it loses 1000 ATK and DEF, also it has its effects negated. If "Umi" is on the field, you can activate this card from your hand. You can banish this card from your Graveyard, then target 1 Normal Monster you control; equip 1 "Phantasm Spiral" Equip Spell Card from your hand or Graveyard to that Normal Monster.”
Being able to deal with a bigger Effect Monster is great, being a hand trap is better, and recycling an Equip Spell is awesome! You only need one, but it’s great!
How Competitive Are Phantasm Spirals?
Before Link Summoning, this deck could be pretty good. It has a nice little Xyz Summoning engine and really messes with other decks’ strategies. That being said, it’s extremely reliant on its engine. But, when it works, it’s really tough to stop. If you tweak the Extra deck to include Links, though, it’s probably going to hold its own.
Outside of the meta hand trap creatures, this deck is very cheap to build. Would you build Phantasm Spirals?