Posted by : Abdalaziz al-shammari May 7, 2010

Flamvell Cat and Blackwings are 2 of the most popular Decks around right now. Both Decks like to Special Summon free monsters whenever they can, and both Decks are very good at Summoning lots of Synchro Monsters. Both Decks also have strong monsters that can pull off big combos all by themselves, Flamvell Firedog for Flamvell Cat, and Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame for Blackwings. Today we’re going to look at these 2 cards, how they work, and what cards you can use to beat them.
Both of these monsters are Level 4, and can Special Summon a monster from the Deck whenever they destroy another monster in battle and send it to the Graveyard. These monsters are Summoned during the Damage Step, so you can’t use Royal Oppression orBottomless Trap Hole on them.
Flamvell Firedog will usually Special Summon Flamvell Magician, a Level 4 Tuner, with its effect. The Magician can then attack and be used to Synchro Summon a Level 8 monster likeStardust Dragon or Colossal Fighter. Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame can Special Summon any “Blackwing” monster with 1500 or less ATK from the Deck. If Blackwing – Gale the Whirlwind or Blackwing – Breeze the Zephyr is Summoned, the Blackwing Duelist can use them to Synchro Summon Blackwing Armor Master. If Blackwing – Vayu the Emblem of Honor is Summoned, its effect is negated, which lets the Blackwing Duelist combine it with Shura to Summon Ally of Justice Catastor or Magical Android.
Both of these monsters have high ATK too, Flamvell Firedog has 1900 ATK, while Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame has 1800 ATK, and can be boosted up to 3200 ATK with Blackwing – Kalut the Moonshadow.

As powerful as their effects may be, they can be stopped with the right cards. First off, the destroyed monster has to go to the Graveyard for Firedog’s and Shura’s effects to activate. That means they won’t work when they destroy Token monsters, like Dandylion’s Fluff Tokens or Scapegoat’s Sheep Tokens.
 Also, if you’re using a Deck that removes monsters from play with Macro Cosmos andDimensional Fissure, the destroyed monsters will never hit the Graveyard either. Flamvell Firedog’s and Blackwing Shura the Blue Flame’s effects will not work if either of these monsters is removed from the field by the effect of a monster they attacked before that monster goes to the Graveyard. If either of these monsters attacks a face-down Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter, Ryko’s effect can destroy the attacking monster before its effect can activate. Gravekeeper’s Guard and D.D. Warrior Lady can stop your opponent in the same way, since they can also get rid of the attacking monster.

Another way to take care of Shura and Firedog is to use monsters with high DEF, since they won’t be destroyed in battle by either of these monsters. Super-Nimble Mega Hamster has 1800 DEF, which means it’s safe from an attack by an 1800 ATK Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame. Its effect can also Summon a face-down Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter that you can use to destroy the Shura next turn.
 Gravekeeper’s Spy has 2000 DEF, big enough to stop both Shura and Firedog. Once it’s flipped face-up, you can then get another Spy to double your defences, or bring out aGravekeeper’s Descendant, which can destroy the attacking monster with its own effect next turn.
Let’s not forget that Flamvell Firedog and Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame are still just monsters, and your opponent has to attack to have any chance of getting their effects off. There are plenty of cards that can stop that from happening. Bottomless Trap Hole can remove both of these monsters from play when they’re summoned, since they both have over 1500 ATK.  Dimensional Prison and Mirror Force can take down either monster the moment your opponent declares an attack. Also, Skill Drain can negate their effects entirely, while also shutting down the rest of your opponent’s monsters’ effects!
Blackwings and Flamvell-based Decks should remain popular for quite a while yet, so you can expect to face off against a Shura or a Firedog at any time. Now that you know their weaknesses though, they won’t catch you off-guard.

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