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The "SPYRAL" archetype's intended playstyle is a broadly control focused playstyle, focused on summoning "SPYRAL Super Agent" and maintaining it on the field to gain advantage from its support cards. Though played as such at release, the archetype's playstyle shifted into a combo playstyle following the release of Link Monsters in New Master Rule, taking advantage of the archetype's ability to generate massive amounts of advantage in a single turn to build boards with high-power (and often non-"SPYRAL") Link boss monsters. Specifically, "SPYRAL Master Plan" and "SPYRAL Quik-Fix" lack hard once per turn clauses on their searching effects, allowing players to repeatedly summon them and gain advantage from them, and use the searched out cards to Special Summon large amounts of monsters for Link plays.
"Spy" cards consist of "SPYRAL Super Agent", "SPYRAL Tough", "SPYGAL Misty", and "SPYRAL Double Helix"; all of them involve a card-guessing mechanic, where the player must declare 1 card type from Monster, Spell, or Trap, and reveal the top card of the opponent's Deck to see if it matches the declared card type. If the player declares correctly, all the "Spy" cards will activate an advantageous effect.
|SPYRAL "Spy" Summary|
|SPYRAL||Card Type||Card-Guessing Effect||Other Effect|
|SPYRAL Super Agent||Effect Monster||(HOPT) Guess the opponent's top Deck; if correct, Special Summon this card from hand.||(HOPT) If it's Special Summoned by "SPYRAL" card effect (including its own), destroy 1 enemy Spell/Trap.|
|SPYRAL Tough||Effect Monster||(OPT) Guess the opponent's top Deck; if correct, destroy 1 enemy card.||Its name becomes "SPYRAL Super Agent" on the field/in the GY.|
|SPYGAL Misty||Effect Monster||If summoned: Guess the opponent's top Deck; if correct, draw 1 card.||(OPT, Quick Effect) Return 1 friendly "SPYRAL Super Agent" and 1 enemy monster to the hand.|
|SPYRAL Double Helix||Effect Link Monster||(HOPT) Guess the opponent's top Deck; if correct, take 1 "SPYRAL" monster from Deck or GY, and either add it to hand or Special Summon it (with zone restriction).||Its name becomes "SPYRAL Super Agent" on the field/in the GY.|
These "Spy" cards are the main board presence in the archetype's intended control playstyle, with "SPYRAL Super Agent" in particular being its centerpiece that many "SPYRAL" cards require to use their effects. In "SPYRAL" combo decks, "Super Agent" is not strong enough as a boss monster, and is instead usually used as a required stepping stone to enable the needed "SPYRAL" card effects, then used as a Link Material for stronger Link boss monsters. "SPYRAL Double Helix", the archetype's Link 2 monster, is extremely important for both the control and combo playstyle, as it is a "SPYRAL Super Agent" name and provides both searching and revival capability, and greatly increases the combo deck's consistency by being able to access "SPYRAL Master Plan" and "SPYRAL Quik-Fix" directly from the Deck.
|SPYRAL "Spy support" Summary|
|SPYRAL Master Plan||Effect Monster|
|SPYRAL Quik-Fix||Effect Monster||
|SPYRAL Sleeper||Nomi Effect Monster|
|Charming Resort Staff||Effect Monster||
|SPYRAL Resort||Field Spell|
Within these cards, "SPYRAL Master Plan" and "SPYRAL Quik-Fix" are both extremely important for being able to search "SPYRAL MISSION" and "SPYRAL GEAR" cards. Their main searching effects are also notably not hard once per turn effects, meaning that they can be looped if they are repeatedly sent to the GY and re-summoned back to the field to generate massive amounts of advantage, including with "Quik-Fix"'s own effect; though it banishes itself if it leaves the field after Special Summoning itself from GY, this can be avoided (so it can be looped further) by overlaying it into a Rank 1 Xyz monster and then detached from that monster as material.
"SPYRAL Resort" searches "SPYRAL" monsters (including "Master Plan" and "Quik-Fix") and provides targeting protection to them, which is good both for the control playstyle and for combo-making, preventing the opponent from disrupting the combo. "SPYRAL Sleeper" meanwhile is an in-archetype boss monster that can be made in the later stages of a "SPYRAL" combo to provide additional disruptions in the opponent's turn.
|SPYRAL GEAR Summary|
|SPYRAL GEAR||Card Type||Effects|
|Last Resort||Effect Monster||
|Big Red||Equip Spell||(HOPT) Special Summon 1 "SPYRAL" monster from GY, and equip this card to it. It can't be destroyed by battle.|
|Fully Armed||Equip Spell||
|Utility Wire||Trap||(HOPT) If you control "SPYRAL Super Agent", spin 1 enemy face-up card.|
Within these cards, "Drone" is used to set up the opponent's top deck so that the "Spy" cards' effects will always be able to resolve. "Big Red" is a searchable revival spell that can be used to loop "Master Plan" and "Quik-Fix". "Last Resort" can be used to give a hefty defensive boost to any "SPYRAL" monster, especially "Sleeper". "Utility Wire" is one additional piece of interruption that some decks can include as a part of the "SPYRAL" end board.
The "SPYRAL MISSION" sub-archetype consists of Continuous Spell/Traps that reward the player for making "SPYRAL" plays, and provide additional support to "SPYRAL" monsters. They all have the condition that they're destroyed in the player's 3rd End Phase after activation. They each have an on-field effect and a GY effect, the latter being activated by banishing them from GY. They are searchable by "SPYRAL Master Plan".
|SPYRAL MISSION Summary|
|SPYRAL MISSION||Card Type||Field Effect||GY Banish Effect|
|Assault||Continuous Spell||(OPT) If an enemy card is destroyed by a friendly "SPYRAL" monster, draw 1.||Special Summon 1 "SPYRAL" monster from hand.|
|Recapture||Continuous Trap||(OPT) If a friendly "SPYRAL" monster is Special Summoned, take control of 1 enemy monster for 1 turn (with attack restriction).||If a friendly "SPYRAL" monster would be destroyed, banish this card from GY to protect it.|
|Rescue||Continuous Trap||(OPT) Add 1 "SPYRAL" monster from GY to hand.||Special Summon 1 "SPYRAL" monster from GY.|
In "SPYRAL" combo decks, the field effects of the "SPYRAL MISSION" cards are largely ignored in favor of their immediately activatable GY effects, most notably the effects of "Assault" and "Rescue", which can be used for setups and to further loop "Master Plan" and "Quik-Fix".
With these cards and their effects in mind, the general game plan of a "SPYRAL" combo deck is to gain access to "Master Plan" and "Quik-Fix", summon and re-summon them to use their effects as many times as possible and gain as much resources as possible (through cards such as pre-Errata "Firewall Dragon", "SPYRAL GEAR - Big Red", "Machine Duplication", or "SPYRAL MISSION - Rescue"'s GY effects), and finally use the generated resources to swarm the field with monsters and make Link Summoning plays, ending on boss monsters such as "Tri-Gate Wizard".
- In the TCG, the limits placed on the archetype's key cards, "SPYRAL Master Plan" and "SPYRAL Quik-Fix", means that the deck is significantly less capable at generating endless amounts of advantage, greatly restricting the ceilings of its combos.
- The deck's reliance on deck searching to make its combos means that anti-searching floodgates, such as "Droll & Lock Bird" or "Mistake", can completely shut down the deck's combos.
- Situationally, some cards can change the order of the player's deck (e.g. searchers) after a "SPYRAL" opponent has gained information on the player's top deck with the effect of "Drone", which can disrupt the opponent's ability to correctly guess the player's top deck and fully resolve their "SPYRAL" monsters' card-guessing effects.
- "Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries" can completely cut off a "SPYRAL" player's access to "Double Helix", preventing them from making consistent plays.
- Anti-Special Summoning floodgates, such as "Summon Limit" or "Maxx "C"", can force a "SPYRAL" player to stop their combos.
V Jump's "SPYRAL" Deck