Posted by : Abdalaziz al-shammari Jan 7, 2011

Setting a monster in Defense Position isn’t just one of the most popular ways to start off a Duel, it’s one of the strongest moves available in a lot of Decks. Scraps have Scrap Goblin to deflect a full turn of attacks and retrieve fallen Scrap monsters, Gravekeepers haveGravekeeper’s Spy and Gravekeeper’s Recruiter to get more monsters when they’re attacked, and X-Sabers have XX-Saber Darksoul and XX-Saber Emmersblade to do the same.  Almost any Deck can play cards like Spirit Reaper, or high-impact Flip Effects like Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter, too.
Since almost any Deck can throw down a big problem in Defense Position, you need to be prepared to deal with it. You have to be able to smash through those defenders, otherwise you’ll never get anywhere near your opponent’s Life Points! The good news is that there are lots of ways get by the obstacles your opponent sets in your way. Here are some cards and techniques that can help you beat them, starting with the obvious answer: just blow them up!
One of the best ways to deal with a Defense Position monster is to destroy it with an effect so you don’t have to waste an attack on it.  While Ryko can be 1 of the deadliest defending monsters itself, you can use its Flip Effect to destroy a Defense Position monster, too.  If you don’t have the time to Set Ryko, or don’t have space in your Deck to play it, you can rely onScrap Dragon instead: its effect lets you destroy 1 of your cards and 1 of your opponent’s.  Destroy something you control like Dandylion or XX-Saber Darksoul, and get rid of a defending monster.  Red Dragon Archfiend is a classic answer too, destroying all of your opponent’s Defense Position monsters after you attack one of them.
There are several Spell Cards that can eliminate defenders as well.  Nobleman of Crossout will remove a face-down defender from the game, and can strip every other copy of the card it hits from each Duelist’s Deck if you use it on a Flip Effect Monster.  Shield Crush destroys monsters instead.  Sometimes that’s not quite as good as removing them from the game – you’d rather remove a Darksoul or Sangan to make sure they don’t hit the Graveyard and get their effects – but Shield Crush can destroy face-up Defense Position monsters, too.  Both cards saw play in the Top 16 of YCS Atlanta.

If you can’t destroy a defending Spirit Reaper or Scrap Goblin, then the next best option is to hammer damage clean through them!  Monsters that like Blackwing – Bora the Spear andGravekeeper’s Spear Soldier can still inflict damage even if the opposing monster is in Defense Position. You compare their ATK to the defender’s DEF, and then inflict the difference as damage.  Since some of the best Defense Position monsters have low DEF with effects that say they can’t be destroyed by battle, you can turn them against their controller by treating them as a doorway straight to your opponent’s Life Points.  Flamvell Uruquizas is a Synchro Monster that doesn’t need any specific Synchro Materials, and inflicts damage even when it attacks a Defense Position monster.
Blackwings are great at piercing through defenders.  Not only do they have Bora, but their Synchro Monster Blackwing Armed Wing can damage players through their Defense Position monsters as well. Even better, it gains ATK when it attacks a Defense Position monster.  Both Blackwings can be powered up to huge ATK totals with Blackwing – Sirocco the Dawn’seffect and Blackwing – Kalut the Moonshadow, so they can deal massive damage when they attack a Fluff Token or a Ryko.

Sometimes you can’t destroy a defending monster and you won’t have a piercer to attack with, but there are still cards that can do the next best thing.  For instance, Gravekeeper’sAssailant and Enemy Controller can turn a strong Defense Position Monster to Attack Position.  That can soften it up for destruction by battle.  In the case of something likeMarshmallon, which will survive all attacks, you can send every attacker you have after it to deal maximum damage.  If you play Machines, you can use Karakuri Shogun mdl 00 “Burei”to both change a monster’s battle position, and to attack.
Alternatively, cards like Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier and Compulsory EvacuationDevice won’t destroy your opponent’s Defense Position monster, but they WILL get them back to your opponent’s hand, out of your way.  That frees you up to make direct attacks, and can dodge effects of monsters like Sangan, Darksoul, or Gravekeeper’s Recruiter.  You can even just nudge defenders out of the way for a turn with Mind Control.

Finally, certain monsters let you take advantage of defenders by rewarding you with powerful effects when a defender is destroyed in battle.  Blackwing – Shura the Blue Flame andFlamvell Firedog both have effects that let you Special Summon a monster from your Deck when they destroy another monster, Defense Position or otherwise, in battle.  XX-Saber Fulhelmknight does the same thing, but it Special Summons from your Graveyard instead of your Deck.  Fulhelmknight doesn’t even require the monster it destroys to go to the Graveyard, so you can attack Sheep Tokens and Fluff Tokens to get a free Special Summon.
Every Deck should have at least a couple ways to deal with Defense Position monsters, but how you deal with them is up to you.  Destroy them, pierce through them, move them somewhere else, or take advantage of them with powerful effects – the answers can span your Main Deck, Side Deck or Extra Deck.  If you play a variety of countermeasures and keep a little space in your Side Deck, you’ll be prepared for anything your opponent tries to hide behind.

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