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card review Chain Strike: An Insight Into Chain Burn

Card Review
Chain Strike: click to enlarge
Chain Strike

Card text:

Activate only as Chain Link 2 or higher; inflict 400 damage to your opponent times the Chain Link number of this card. You cannot activate this card if multiple and/effects with the same name are in that Chain.

  • Number: CDIP-EN043
  • Rarity: Common
  • Card Type: Spell/Magic Card / Quick-Play
  • Password: 91623717
SP = Short Print (Common);
SSP = Super Short Print (Common);
Chain Strike
An Insight Into Chain Burn

written by beast
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Burn decks are generally designed to inflict damage by card effects, i.e. 'Effect Damage', as opposed to inflicting damage by battle, i.e. 'Battle Damage'. There are various types of burn decks around, such as 'Anti-Heal' Burn focusing on Bad Reaction To Simochi (a card that turns any effect that increases the opponent's life points to inflicting damage to the opponent) in combination with such cards as Gift Card (which increases your opponent's life points by 3000), and Gravekeeper Burn focusing on Wave-Motion Cannon to deal out as much as 8000 damage in a single blow and using stall cards such as Messenger of Peace, Level Limit - Area B, Swords of Revealing Light, Battle Fader, Cyber Valley, Gravekeeper's Spy and Gravekeeper's Guard, in combination with Necrovalley and Royal Tribute to halt the opponent's options; but one burn deck that I see most potential in is the Chain Burn deck - a burn deck which relies on heavy chains which dish out huge chunks of damage while drawing cards in the process, allowing for even more burn! A Chain Burn duelist would hope to draw into one of the two Chain Strike he is allowed in the deck as Chain Strike - the only 'Chain' card which is and has ever been on any of the limited lists - is currently semi-limited.

So what is Chain Strike? Chain Strike is a Quick-Play Spell card that has three main parts to it: its effect and two conditions. Its effect allows it to dish out 400 damage to the opponent times the Chain Link number. Its first condition states that it must be activated at Chain Link 2 or higher. Its second condition states that it can not be activated if multiple cards/effects are in the same chain.

But to understand all this, one must have an understanding of what a Quick-Play Spell card is, what a Chain Link is, and what it means to 'activate' a card. I won't go into too much detail what a Quick-Play Spell card is because of Chain Strike's first condition which basically causes it to act as a trap even though it isn't one (so is uneffected by such cards as Royal Decree and Jinzo which shut down the deck).

It is the concept of Chain Link which most duelists find trouble with. A Chain is started when an effect activates by either player. That automatically becomes Chain Link 1. His opponent is then given an opportunity to respond, for example by activating a trap card. If he chooses to respond with an effect of his own, that becomes Chain Link 2. If he chooses not to respond, the player that activated his effect is then given an opportunity to respond to his own effect, and that would become Chain Link 2. Subsequent 'Chain Links' may similarly arise by the activation of a card effect in response to a previous card effect.

But when one activates a card, doesn't the effect immediately resolve? The answer to this question is plainly 'no'. But i'll explain. A chain resolves in reverse order to the activation of the cards/effects. When a player activates a card's effect, he must wait for his opponent to say it's ok, before he can chain to his own effect. For example, If a player has four set quick-play spells/ traps - Poison of the Old Man, Just Desserts, Jar of Greed, and Accumulated Fortune - and activates all of them in the set order (assuming the opponent has consented to the first three), and the opponent then chains Solemn Judgment or Dark Bribe to Fortune, the first thing to resolve is the last thing to be activated. SO, Judgment/Bribe would resolve first, negating Fortune, then comes Jar of Greed, then Desserts, and finally Poison. Another example which has nothing to do with Chain Burn in practice, but can be learned from in its principles, is if a player activates Hammer Shot and the opponent (or the same player) chains Book of Moon targetting the highest attack monster in atk position, the first thing to resolve would be Book of Moon turning it face-down, then Hammer Shot wouldn't be negated, but would resolve normally, destroying the monster in atk position with the highest attack at resolution if there is one.

It should be noted that a continuous spell/trap card is activated when it is flipped face-up, to which it may be chained to. However, if its effect happens while it is already face-up, such as Ultimate Offering's effect, it may still be chained to. This is partly why most 'Chain' cards have both terms 'cards/effects' in their condition, such as Chain Strike's second condition.

It should also be noted that a summon or an attack cannot be chained to because it doesn't have a Spell Speed. So if Bottomless Trap Hole is activated in response to a summon of a monster with 1500 ATK or more, Bottomless Trap Hole is Chain Link 1, not Chain Link 2.

It should also be noted that a Spell Speed 2 effect cannot be chained to a Spell Speed 3 effect. Spell Speed 2 effects are those arising from the activation of Quick-Play Spell cards, Normal or Continuous Trap cards, and Quick Monster Effects (such as Light and Darkness Dragon). The only cards that are Spell Speed 3 are Counter Trap cards. So, using the example above, if the player also had a Chain Strike in addition to his other four, he would not be able to chain it to Solemn Judgment/ Dark Bribe.

It should also be noted that if a Flip-Effect monster is attacked and its Flip Effect activates, you may not chain to it, but may activate a card after the damage step of the battle phase when the effect has resolved.

It should also be noted that the second condition of Chain Strike or Accumulated Fortune does not prevent you having 2 Chain Strikes or 2 Accumulated Fortunes in the same Chain. The reason for this ruling is that by the time of the activation of the second Strike/ Fortune, there is only one Strike/ Fortune in the Chain, i.e. there aren't 'multiple' cards/effects with the same name in the Chain at the time of activation.

Combos with other cards:
The beauty of the 'Chain' cards is that they can be activated in response to your opponent's card effects. It is common for the opponent to activate Heavy Storm only for your chainable cards to go off, with Heavy Storm actually helping you by acting as Chain Link 1. Therefore, if one has Accumulated Fortune in hand and only two other chainable cards which have no pre-condition, a wise Chain Burn duelist would set all three and prompt the opponent either to be scared and not attack or to activate an effect which would act as a 'leg-up' for Accumulated Fortune to be activated. There are various combos the Chain Burn duelist may use, and since I have looked thoroughly into it, winning most of my duels on this site with my Chain Burn deck and elevating myself currently to 10th in the July tournament (update: I finished third), I will portray the extent to which a Chain Burn duelist should be risk averse and stall and to which he should take out the opponent's life points without caring for his own.

In my opinion, the inclusion of many cards should depend on the dueling environment, or meta. Cyber Valley, Zero Gardna, Fire Trooper, Wattgiraffe or indeed Trap Monsters such as Zoma the Spirit should depend on how many opponents are playing Book of Moon or cards that negate a summon (like Saber Hole). Other cards such as Des Koala should depend on whether opponents generally play aggressively, setting multiple cards in their back row, or passively, reserving cards in hand. Tremendous Fire should not be looked down upon for inflicting 500 damage to your own life points, because the 1000 is likely to contribute more to your opponent's downfall; however, it is not a Quick-Play Spell and in my opinion the full potential of Chain Burn decks are achieved when Chains most easily go off, so at best it would be in my side deck, and instead I would include 3 Chain Detonation, as a successful Chain Burn deck should be able to use it multiple times. In my opinion, Gravity Bind used to be better when level 4 or higher monsters tended to dominate the field, but more and more are the lower levels being used, so I wouldn't main it. To me, Waboku is better than Threatening Roar as it can be used during the Battle Phase, but I still would prefer Battle Fader as you generally want the opponent to attack your monsters, just not your life points, and so Waboku is more vulnerable to spell/trap destruction. If you do include Battle Fader, it's probably best not to use Fire Darts though some Chain Burn decks use it. It should be noted that Battle Fader activates in the hand and Special Summons itself at resolution, so you could potentially get a 2400 inflicting Chain Strike due to your opponent merely attacking and you activating Battle Fader (which becomes Chain Link 1) and chaining 5 other Trap or Quick-Play Spell cards (though make sure you fulfil the conditions of the 'Chain' cards). Blast Sphere is undermined by the fact that the opponent can Synchro Summon, using the equipped monster as a Synchro Material Monster, or Tribute Summon. Marshmallon is great for stalling and inflicting life points, although it can conflict with Dimension Wall which I still think you should max out on, especially with Battle Fader and Gorz as back up if you decide to main them. Secret Barrel, Just Desserts and Ceasefire have the potential to do heavy damage, just don't use Ceasefire blindly while you have set monsters (unless it is for the win). It should be noted that while Barrel and Desserts work well with Ojama Trio, Ceasefire doesn't work with it as the tokens aren't Effect Monsters. Jar of Greed and Legacy of Yata-Garasu should both be maxed, as they count towards Chain Links and give you the ability to create new chains during the next turn. Reckless Greed is a tricky one, but in my opinion it should not be run as you cannot guarantee game-ending burn cards, and the downside to it of not being able to draw for 2 turns is too significant. Morphing Jar almost always means game once it's flipped, Sangan can search it out or a Battle Fader, and finally Mask of Darkness is a good inclusion as you can choose any trap that is in the Graveyard, being a potential winner - it's slow, but effective.

Ways to counteract it:
Cards such as Dust Tornado, Mystical Space Typhoon and Delta Crow - Anti-Reverse, if activated during the end phase of a turn you set a card or cards, can spoil your whole game if your opponent has a good enough deck, especially if more than one set card of yours is destroyed. Jinzo and Royal Decree shut down the deck's key draw engines and burn cards, and almost certainly guarantee your opponent the win. Furthermore, specific/ teched cards such as Thunder King Rai-Oh or Prime Material Dragon, if drawn early enough, also shut down your draw/ damage cards respectively. EDIT: Thunder King Rai-Oh doesn't stop your draw cards, it only stops effects which add cards from the deck to the hand except by drawing them, whether the drawing is in the draw phase or not. Since cards like Jar of Greed, Legacy of Yata-Garasu, Accumulated Fortune and Reckless Greed 'draw' cards rather than add cards from your deck to your hand (like Pot of Duality or Sangan), you can activate them while Thunder King Rai-Oh is on the field.

Artwork and aesthetics:
The artwork of Chain Strike is only effective if you use your imagination to understand the meaning of the metal chains and the blasts of fire along a seemingly bottomless hole. It basically requires you to deduce that the longer the chain, the deeper underground you go and the more burning takes place.

Overall rating:
I would rate Chain Strike 10/10. This is reflected in its semi-limited status (the only 'Chain' card to be like that) and the fact that the other cards are likely to be ones which allow you to finish your opponent off, either directly or indirectly by drawing more cards. Unlike other cards such as Just Desserts and Dimension Wall or even Magic Cylinder, which have requirements to fulfil which you rely on, such as your opponent having monsters on the field or attacking with them, Chain Strike's only requirement, which is for there to be other Chain Links in place, should be easy to fulfil for a Chain Burn duelist.


Modified on September 21, 2011 06:31 pm

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Discussion about this Card Review
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United States

Avatar for superjon
Subject: The Chain rules   Posted: July 23, 2010 12:29 am Reply with quote Report content icon

Im not a fan of burn decks, and this one is no different. Without going into details, I believe an aggressive monster based deck will deal out more damage per turn than the burn deck, thus earning you the win. However, if you are running a slower deck with elements of control, you probably wont win.

Anyways, I gave this review a 5 simply becuase I have played SO many people on here that don't know what a chain is, or that they NEED/MUST allow their opponet to respond. I'd say 85% of the people on here need to read this review.....several times. Good job Beast.
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United Kingdom

Avatar for beast
Subject:    Posted: July 23, 2010 04:12 am Reply with quote Report content icon

Thank you so much, it is much appreciated. I understand your concern against aggressive monster-based decks but it is not needed because Chain Burn decks generally mix elements of stall which combine with the burn for very easy wins. Even aggressive decks won't be able to take a successful Chain Burn deck due to such cards as Battle Fader, Gorz, Marshmallon, Scapegoat, Magic Cylinder, Dimension Wall and even Ojama Trio which can even stop the infernity combo when used right. Using these elements of stall which grant the Chain Burn duelist some burn, the only thing a Chain Burn duelist will have to worry about are those tech-ed cards like Jinzo or Thunder King Rai-Oh, or Dust Tornado or Delta Crow. Even your opponent gaining card advantage can help you with cards such as Secret Barrel and Just Desserts.
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Avatar for gaspar
Subject:    Posted: July 23, 2010 07:12 am Reply with quote Report content icon

I like the idea of Chain Burn. I know most people wouldn't play burn with all the cheap destruction around, but Chain Burn can use its cards before a Judgment Dragon flushes them down, and retain their effects.
I've wondered if Winged Kuriboh Level 9 could be used, since it can be summoned from your hand during a Chain, but I don't know if that would be a good idea since it has undefined ATK. I don't know either if Stealth Bird, Solar Flare Dragon or Poison of the Old Man could be used here of not.
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United Kingdom

Avatar for beast
Subject:    Posted: July 23, 2010 07:18 am Reply with quote Report content icon

Poison of the Old Man is a Quick-Play Spell and thus is a staple in Chain Burn decks. Solar Flare Dragon is only good if you can protect it, and is vulnerable to your opponent's traps, so should only be in other forms of burn decks.
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evra_von Premium Member
LV7 United States send message

Avatar for evra_von
Member since
July 12, 2010
Subject: Dark World   Posted: July 23, 2010 08:40 am Reply with quote Report content icon

I would like to note that whenever "Dark World" monsters are discarded at the same time, their effects form a chain.

Activate "Fine" to discard two cards (Chain Link 1), chain the effects of "Silva, Warlord of Dark World" and "Broww, Huntsman..." to "Fine" (CL 2 and 3) to summon Silva and draw one card, chain "Accumulated Fortune" (CL 4) to draw two cards, chain "Chain Strike" (CL 5) to deal 2000 damage.
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Avatar for djcard
Subject: O.o   Posted: July 23, 2010 09:10 am Reply with quote Report content icon

woah that's a good review... . O.o I'm not a huge fan of burn decks but i might start trying to get into it thanks to this review!
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Avatar for canti
Subject:    Posted: July 23, 2010 02:19 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

The burn deck isn't my cup of tea but thats not what this is about. This is an amazing review good job!
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Avatar for yunghustler
Subject: burn deck   Posted: July 23, 2010 04:12 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

I am a fan of burn decks and think that chain link decks may be one of the most complex and effective decks out there. but i've always struggled with understanding and memorizing the chain link and the spell speeds, so thank you for giving me some kind of clarification
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LV38 Portugal send message

Avatar for joshuacandar
Member since
May 1, 2009
Subject:    Posted: July 23, 2010 06:38 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

In the beginning, i thought it was futile so much information about "basic rules", but that is me.

But i understand there is so many newbies or strange people around there that do not know those "basic rules".
You have explain exhausted your logic in combo with others cards, i like it.
It is possible to you to organize better? created sub-titles.
I have also some tips
Use Book of eclipse, it is also a quick-spell, it have multiple uses, since it can help you to chain, to stall, and reuse flip effects, and more...
you didn't mention Magical Explosion, why? (if you did, it miss me, since your text is very compact.)

I'm undecided to vote, i want your opinion first
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LV38 Portugal send message

Avatar for joshuacandar
Member since
May 1, 2009
Subject:    Posted: July 23, 2010 06:40 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

I personaly like to use burn decks, and my best deck is currently a burn/stall deck. with 30 vit - 4 def
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