We reach the end of the Duel Monsters era of support for the [Legendary Duelists] booster set, as we turn our attention to our favorite fisherman,
Freaky Fish Guy Mako Tsunami and his signature [Umi] deck. He was introduced alongside other remembered duelists like Weevil Underwood and Rex Raptor as competitors, where he showed off the awesome might of the ocean with [The Legendary Fisherman], but as the series progressed, he appeared for only a short window during the Battle City Tournament, showing off a new terror of the deep: [Fortress Whale]. Since then, the game changed to suit archetypes rather than combo strategies, and The Legendary Fisherman was lost to obscurity in a sea of new, more supported decks like [Mermail] and [Atlantean]. Still, these new cards may be able to breathe new life into the deck by filling the missing gap in the Legendary Fishermen line of card and providing the Umi deck with some new toys to play with. Let’s dive in and take a gander at our newest member to the Fisherman family.
Back in the early days, when Yu-Gi-Oh! focused more on monsters and effects working in tandem to each other rather than creating archetypes, Mako Tsunami introduced the game’s first WATER themed deck against Yugi Muto during the Duelist Kingdom Tournament. The heart of the deck is the Field Spell “Umi,” giving his monsters the protection and power they needed to drown out their opponents (literally), but when it moved from the television show to the card game, the strengths showcased in the show were downplayed as they changed the text and errata’ed the effects to better suit actual play. As the years went and the game evolved, Umi saw some changes, namely in cards that took its name like [A Legendary Ocean] and the recent [Pacifis, the Phantasm City]; with the former, it lowers the Level of all WATER monsters in your hand to summon them easier, as well as provide a small attack buff to beat over monsters. Much like Weevil’s [Great Moth] deck and Bandit Keith’s [Barrel Dragon] deck, the Umi deck drifted into obscurity as the game continued to move forward. Since there hasn’t been any documented deck on websites like [YugiohTopDeck], I haven’t found a deck skeleton that works off of cards more recently released. However, with all the WATER support cards released in the past, the deck can work many ways.
After 2 years after the release of [The Legendary Fisherman III], [The Legendary Fisherman II] bridges the gap between the first and third iteration. Like the first in line, The Legendary Fisherman, its a Level 5 WATER Warrior-type monster that takes the name of the first Fisherman while it sits on the field or in the GY, which makes it eligible for the summon of the third Fisherman. While “Umi” is active on the field, it becomes unaffected by other monster’s effects - this protects it from monsters that target to destroy like [Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon]. Its usefulness doesn’t stop right there, as it has a way of searching any Level 7 WATER monster upon its destruction by battle or card effect (albeit it needing to be destroyed while its still under your control), which means you can search for the third Fisherman, [Levia-Dragon - Daedalus], and [Poseidra, the Atlantean Dragon]. No question, this Fisherman blows the first one out of the water, providing itself protection from monsters as well provide the means to advance your plays - if your running the first one, replace it with the second.
A new terror of the deep was released alongside the Fisherman, a retrain of another signature monster used in his career during the Battle City Tournament - [Citadel Whale] is a Level 7 WATER Fish-type monster with the same stats as the Ritual monster, but actually provides a means of protection by negation. It can actually Special Summon itself from your hand or GY by Tributing 2 WATER monsters on your side of the field, which allows you the means to return it when it gets destroyed. The negation effect it carries around is strong, but conditional:
" Once per turn, when your opponent activates a card or effect that targets exactly 1 WATER monster you control (and no other cards) (Quick Effect): You can negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card. "
By reading the effect, the biggest flaw becomes extremely apparent - because it only stops the effect that targets exactly one monster, it cannot activate if your opponent decides to do a monster wipe via [Raigeki] or clean out your Spells and Traps with cards like [Mystical Space Typhoon] and [Cosmic Cyclone]. Despite the limitation, Citadel Whale is definitely a threat on the field that needs to be taken care of carefully, or else it’ll capsize your big plays and drag you down under.
It seems like Konami really wanted to promote the new Link Format and the importance of Monster Zones, as they released the [Rage of Kairyu-Shin], a Quick-Play Spell card that can only be activated with a high leveled WATER monster on field. You can destroy any number of monsters your opponent controls equal to the number of Level 5 or higher WATER monsters you control, but it provides a nasty kick - after the destruction effect, it completely drowns out the spots until the end of the next turn, effectively shutting your opponent out if the conditions are just right. Obviously it cannot target and lock down the Extra Monster Zone, but by locking out the Main Monster Zones, it’ll make it hard to recover when you can’t use anything more than 3 Monster Zones. [Graydle] decks can take advantage of this card, but it can work in any deck that can summon any high leveled WATER monsters, like [White Aura Whale] or [Invoked Cocytus]. Situational at best, but definitely a fun card to run for fun if you want to watch your opponent flop around helplessly, trying to resurface.
One detail I overlooked for the new Citadel Whale, it has the ability to set the new Trap card - [Sea Stealth Attack] - immediately from the Deck, which sets it up for plays when it activates. Upon activation, it can immediately play “Umi” from your Deck or GY, which unlocks the rest of this card’s effects:
- " Once per turn: You can banish 1 WATER monster you control until the End Phase; this turn, face-up Spell/Trap Cards you control cannot be destroyed by your opponent’s card effects (even if this card leaves the field). "
- " At the start of the Damage Step, if a WATER monster you control whose original Level is 5 or higher battles an opponent’s monster: Destroy that opponent’s monster. "
First off, it solves the issue of activating the Field Spell by either activating one from the hand or returning it from the GY, and the latter two effects are especially powerful - it provides your backrow some serious protection from everything until the End Phase as well as immediately destroy problematic monsters that cannot be destroyed by battle, like [Blue-Eyes Twin Burst Dragon] or [Amazoness Queen]. The banishment requirement for the first effect is also exceptional, as it can rescue those high level monsters from cards like [Fiendish Chain]. If you decide to run a card that takes the name “Umi” in your deck, there’s really no reason as to why not to run this card as it provides some of the strongest protection to your field.
The Legendary Fisherman received some stellar support in this set, but it still suffers from some fundamental details - the archetype lacks a searcher for the Fishermen, any real means of reviving them once they hit the GY, and they don’t go over 2500 attack points, mainly because they won’t get affected by “Umi.” Regardless of the flaws, the deck is fun to play and, if you always wanted to control the powers of the great sea, perhaps this deck will call out to you like the ocean calls out to Mako.