Hi guys! This has nothing to do with tournament/meta analysis (that will come once the format actually starts). Rather, it's a bit of theory-oh regarding Effect Veiler, a hand trap that many people haven't seen in main decks since March 2013 format.
During your opponent's Main Phase: You can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard to target 1 face-up Effect monster your opponent controls; negate that target's effects until the End Phase.
This format, many people consider Maxx "C" a staple because it has a tremendous amount of utility in the Dragon Ruler and Dragunity Ruler match-ups (which collectively accounts for more than 50% of the current meta). With the Dragons neutered, it's clear that Maxx "C" will be taking a backseat in lieu of traditional traps and hand traps that are more suited diversity players expect to see in January. Before one understands why Veiler will be so crucial next format, it is necessary to quickly go over the decks that are generally accepted to be contenders for the next format:
- Fire Fists
- Geargia Variants
- Noble Knights
- Mythic BEWD Dragon Rulers
Effect Veiler is a unique card because it provides a level of versatility that Maxx "C" doesn't. As a level 1 tuner, Effect Veiler is able to facilitate synchro summons in instances and match-ups where its effect negation is not needed. At face value, this seems relatively idealistic. Synchro summoning manually with a monster like Veiler and another Monster that was legitimately placed onto the field (i.e. not Dragon Rulers) is always a "neg 1" in terms of card economy. Upon further examination however, one begins to understand the utility of Veiler's tuner status. Look at the match-ups where Veiler is at its weakest; a list clearly topped by Mermails and Bujins. Because my deck of choice for the upcoming format is Mermails, I will use them for this hypothetical to demonstrate how Veiler is useful against decks that are largely unaffected by Effect Veiler's negation. Going up against another Mermail deck, Veiler would offer the Mermail player access to Crimson Blader, a card that defines the outcome of the game once it is summoned. In addition, Veiler can also offer the Mermail player access to Scrap Dragon (especially potent when used in conjunction with Abyss-Sphere). In both of these scenarios, loss of card economy is either mitigated (in some cases alleviated completely) or made irrelevant. Against Bujins, Veiler serves a similar function. By using a leftover Abysspike from a main phase 2 Abyss-Sphere or by simply special summoning Aqua Spirit, the Mermail player is able to use Veiler to go into Armades, Keeper of Boundaries. In this match-up, Armades is particularly devastating as it serves as non-targeting monster removal that is immune to Honest, Crane, and Crow.
Of course, Effect Veiler's primary usefulness should not come out of these niche circumstances. If Veiler was only good for its level 1 tuner status, one could easily replace it with the plethora of generic options available (oftentimes such replacements are more potent in terms of functioning purely as a level 1 tuner). However, Veiler plays a crucial role in the upcoming format because it gives the player turn-agnostic effect negation that is immune to standard spell and trap removal. Effect negation will be huge in the upcoming format. Oftentimes people cite Exciton as the sole reason to play Effect Veiler. Forget Legacy of the Valiant for the moment. Effect Veiler can effectively stop the majority of decks that people perceive to be the best for January, even without considering the generic Rank 4s that LVAL will bring us. Veiler shuts down Tree Dragon, Hootcake, Medraut, Channeler, Wolfbark, Spellbook Magician, Temperance, Judgment Dragon, Lumina, Geargiarmor, and more. While Veiler does not remove the threat it is negating, it does serve as a "stop button" for your opponent. In many ways, Veiler will be a more definitive answer to plays next format than Maxx "C" was this format. While one could OTK through Maxx "C" and make a Felgrand to counteract any possible Swift Scarecrows, it is much more difficult to do the same through Effect Veiler. Veiler stops plays period. There is no decision for your opponent to make. That effect is gone until the end phase. Veiler also has the rare benefit of being useful when going second. The same cannot be said about common alternatives for effect negation such as Fiendish Chain and Breakthrough Skill.
The last thing I would like to touch on is Effect Veiler's immunity to common spell and trap destruction. While Breakthrough Skill is also quite resilient to MSTs, it is seen less frequently when compared to Fiendish Chain. Fiendish Chain is the most delicate trap card in the game by far (which is probably why Konami has ignored it on the F/L lists). A MST before its activation, chained in response to its activation, or even a MST used 15 turns after its activation will ultimately nullify its usefulness. In contrast, Veiler is completely immune to MST, Night Beam, Dust Tornado, etc. One never has to worry about losing Veiler to common S/T removal allowing it to serve as a more reliable form of effect negation.
That's all for today. I hope you enjoyed reading what I have to say about the upcoming format and Effect Veiler's paramount role in January.
What are your thoughts on Veiler's usefulness?