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card review Batou Shoulder, Shadow of Fiction: Curser of the spell casters

Card Review
Batou Shoulder, Shadow of Fiction: click to enlarge
Batou Shoulder, Shadow of Fiction

Card text:

*  Your opponent's spells cost 1 more to cast for each spell in their graveyard.

  • Collector Number: 57
  • Rarity: Uncommon
  • Type: Creature
  • Race: Ghost
  • Power: 2000
  • Mana Number: 1
  • Cost: 3
  • Civilization: Darkness
Batou Shoulder, Shadow of Fiction
Curser of the spell casters

written by  Premium Member LV89
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General description:
DM has never been more disturbed ever since psychic creatures came into play. With their rampant appearance more decks based on them reigned the metagame ranging from the slow and tormenting hyperspatial control spell based decks to the quicker and more aggressive WFN beatdowns.

However Takaratomy decided to bring the era of the psychics' reign to an end and while hints of this were brought during E1 with No Questions! Onimaru Boy and Liger Blade, Fierce Tiger, in E2 the number of anti-psychic cards has grown significantly ranging from power reducers such as the ever popular Funk, Guard of Hope to creatures that benefit from the existence of psychics in the battle zone such as Buinbe, Airspace Guardian. Of course there are also the creatures that make the opponent pay for putting things in the battle zone without paying cost such as Magnum, Fast Attack Puppet but I will stop speculating here.

As if the hatred towards the poor psychics was not enough, Takaratomy also released cards that hit spells hard so that one of the most precious ways to bring the psychic creatures in the battle zone was also hindered. And thus we got this guy...

"I will give those that try to cast forbidden magic the greatest nightmare of their lives!" - Batou Shoulder, Shadow of Fiction

Its effect is that it increases the cost of the opponent's spells by 1 for each spell from their graveyard. As you can probably infirm from its effect, Batou Shoulder's use is to hinder your opponent from casting spells, most importantly Hyperspatial spells that can bring out big bad psychics. But then the problem of the graveyard lacking sufficient spells to increase their cost beyond the opponent's mana ramp arises. But have no fear my friends, for where there is a will, there will also be a way.

Strategies and game play:
There are only three decks so far in which I found Batou Shoulder to be useful and I will list them as follows:
1 Water/Darkness rush
Not very effective but Batou Shoulder is a card that can slow down the opponent's spell casting while your other quicker weenies try their best to finish him quickly.

2 All-Yes discard beatdown
Surprisingly effective and it can also hold a Master Weapon - All Yes. If it keeps discarding the opponent's spells then your plan of hindering his spell casting will work. Just pray you don't hit a shield trigger or get ninja striked.

3 Hyperspatial control
Ironically, the card that was meant to work against psychics can also benefit their decks. Like in the discard beatdown, the WD HP control also aids Batou with discarding the opponent's spells. But probably the best part about HP control is Volg Thunder. Yes, Volg Thunder deckout decks that aim to spam this monster of a milling creature work well with Batou Shoulder for the more spells fill the opponent's graveyard, the harder will it be for them to ever cast spells again.

Combos with other cards:
Obviously you would want to pair Batou Shoulder with cards that benefit its effect. First of all there are the spell discarders such as:

"You will not remember any of the pain once your mind is reset." -Snake Tailcoat, Black Demon of Torture

Mist Reset is probably the simplest and most effective way to aid Batou Shoulder, especially in early turns. If in turn 2 you discard an opponent's Faerie Life or Ghost Touch and then in turn 3 bring out Batou Shoulder, you can begin his hell quicker in the game.

"I will not allow the demonic magic of the Darkness civilization to enter my realm! Aim higher, men!" -Alcadeias, Lord of Spirits

Even though Rain of Arrows is an old card, it proves to be quite effective since Darkness has the strongest spells along with Fire, some of these including Ghost Touch, Hide and Seek, Hyperspatial spells, Inferno Sign, Super Infernal Gate Smash, etc.
And speaking of Fire, there is also...

"If you thought that the archers are Alcadeias were something, wait until you see this!" -Cabalt, the Patroller

Or should I say Cabalt, the Troller? This guy is basically a Rain of Arrows with a body that also discards Fire spells. Quite ironically that this creature is hitting the civilizations with the best spells, those of Fire being of course their Hyperspatial spells as well.

"Once your mind is lost, you might cease feeling the torture. Don't bet on it, though!" -Snake Tailcoat, Black Demon of Torture

And now ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the true troll card against spells. Lost Mind Torture discards all of the spells from your opponent's hand, no exceptions whatsoever. How is this card awesome you may ask? Well:
1 it prevents the discarding of certain trolls such as Eternal Meteor Kaiser
2 it fills the opponent's graveyard with all spells from their hand before they can cast it. Ouch!
3 Combined with Batou it basically means the end of your opponent casting anything unless it is a shield trigger.

"If you thought Dias Zeta's Vice Hole was terrifying, wait until you see what I can do!" -Vice Kaiser Zeta, the Vengeance

Vice Kaiser Zeta is basically Lost Mind Torture with a body and has its cost reduced for each spell in your opponent's graveyard. Kind of meh, but it's still a good option.

Secondly, besides discarding spells there is also the option of milling the oppoent, and for that we've got the following candidates to do the job:

"Those that bear the mark of the Bloody Cross are the only ones worthy of marching in my army!" -Death March, Reaper of Death

Bloody Cross basically mills two cards out of both players' decks and can increase the number of spells in your opponent's graveyard by max 2 just for the cost of 1 mana. Neat.

"When you hear my howl you better prepare to pray for mercy! Not that I would grant it, but anyway..." -Volg Thunder

The number 1 milling weapon that is rampant in today's meta, Volg Thunder keeps causing terror to innocent decks that run spells. But this can come to your advantage as you fill the opponent's graveyard with many spells and Batou Shoulder will prevent him from casting whatever he has left in his hand.

And last but not least, there's also this guy:

"Legends say that if one were to stare into the eyes of Gorgonshack, they would be petrified for eternity. In that case, I hope that's true." -Maxval, Electro-Fuuma

Fuuma Gorgonshack basically increases the opponent's spell cost by 2 to add insult to the injury when they already are struggling with the spell increasing effect of Batou Shoulder. Team them up to assure a lockdown to your opponent's spells.

Besides those, since Batou Shoulder is a weenie that aids beatdown decks such as All-Yes Discard, he also works well with small weenies such as:

"Batou Shoulder may feast upon spells but I am the one devouring the mana!" -Time Tripper, Shadow of Stagnation

Time Tripper is a great beatdown card that offers you tempo advantage against your opponent. When paired with Batou Shoulder even if he will try to charge mana in order to have enough to cast spells, Time Tripper will even hinder that by forcing him to put cards in his mana zone tapped.

"Nothing's coming for free from my side of the battle field!" -Magnum, Allshot Puppet

Speaking of anti-psychic creatures, good old Magnum and his Fire counterpart that also has the Alien race will force the opponent to destroy any of the creatures that they get in the battle zone without paying their cost, meaning that shield trigger and psychic creatures are doomed. Also the Darkness version of Magnum deals with shield trigger cross gears or cross gears put in the BZ via samurai generation as well.

"I will seal all forbidden magic that dares to infest the kingdom of Lord Alcadeias!" -Sagrada Familia, Vizier of Instant Seal

Have fear of shield triggers when running your discard beatdown? Fear them no more, for Sagrada Familia does not allow the opponent to cast ANY shield trigger spells while tapped. It doesn't matter if he activates the shield trigger from his shield and casts it for free or if he pays the mana for it and casts it during his turn, he's not allowed to cast them in either case! Take that, Intense Vacuuming Twist, Door of Miracle and Mystery, Reckless Cut Scrapper and Inferno Sign!

And since I kept speculating it, I guess I should also give a mention to this card:

"I will crush your very spark until there is nothing left of you! Yeeesss..." -Beast Wars Megatron... err, I mean Yesman

If you're a huge Transformers geek like I am, you know what I was talking about. Anyway, Master Weapon - All Yes is the very core of a Discard Beatdown deck. Combined with a small weenie like Batou Shoulder it gives him +4000 power, blocker and the ability to discard a card from the opponent's hand when attacking. That gives him a chance to strike another spell from the opponent's hand to increase the numbers of spells in their graveyard, plus it empties their hand quick. Quite the match, yeeesss.

Race-wise, Batou Shoulder does not get a lot of support from Ghosts besides evolution creatures. There are however two exceptions:

"You cannot destroy what's already dead!" -Filefish Jacket, Shadow of Torture

Filefish Jacket turns your Ghosts into mini Guljeneraids by helping you spam Ghosts from the graveyard by simply summoning Ghosts that share the same cost with the ones from the grave. Regarding Batou Shoulder, you can summon him and get another Batou or a Time Tripper from the grave or vice-versa.

"Fear the wrath of my Ghost army!" -Azaghast, Tyrant of Shadows

While Azaghast's removal seems rather interesting, nobody who wants a good win will ever try a Ghost/Dark Lord tribal deck.

As for evolutions:

Jack Viper, Shadow of Doom: Jack Viper makes your destroyed creatures go back to your hand instead. It's pretty nifty if you wish to save your Batou Shoulder and Time Tripper.
Frost Specter, Shadow of Age: Turns all your Ghosts into Slayer. Not necessarily what you would want to do with Batou Shoulder since you want to have him alive. Still, pretty good option if you want to get rid of some giant creature.
Zero Nemesis, Shadow of Panic: Discards one of your opponent's cards when attacking. It can aid Batou Shoulder especially if he's also crossed with Master Weapon - All Yes.
Dogmagg, Parasite of Decay: Turns all your creatures into Slayers. Compared to Frost Specter he is stronger and better, but that's about it.
Snake Tailcoat, Black Demon of Torture: The strongest Ghost in terms of power. When it attacks you discard a card and destroy one of your opponent's creatures with cost less than the discarded card. Kind of meh but he can also hold Master Weapon - All Yes pretty well and who wouldn't like to have an early 12000 powered blocker?

Ways to counteract it:
Sadly for Batou Shoulder, he is just a tiny weenie that can get crushed easily by almost anything that comes into play. Firepower is the nightmare of Batou and an early Boost, Crimson Lord brought by Geo Crashing Miranda or Hyperspatial Red Green Hole (assuming you could not discard it earlier) will be its end. Besides that if you are running Batou Shoulder in a beatdown, a shield trigger Blazing Tiger, Crimson Lord will also put an end to it.

Of course there are also the classic Terror Pit and Natural Snare triggers or the ever popular Necrodragon Abayo Shabayo or Ragmarl, Spirit Knight, but besides firepower I should also mention that Batou Shoulder is prone to cost based removal of creatures such as Liger Blade, Fierce Tiger.

Another danger to Batou Shoulder are the spell cost reducers such as Mil Armor, Mecha King Vizier or Franz the 1st, Ice Fang which in an early game render its effect useless.

Also spell recyclers such as Chief De Baula or Phal Pierro can also represent a threat.

Then there are also Soul Recalls that can return your opponent's spells from their graveyard to the bottom of their deck, but the only Soul Recall creature that is used nowadays is Dias Zeta, Temporal Suppressor and that can be brought out by stuff like Hyperspatial Emperor Hole which you can discard before it gets out.

But by far the worst of them is Cyber N World which not only empties the opponent's graveyard but also refills their hand.

Two more threats to Batou Shoulder's effectiveness are Berlin, Bell Gravekeeper that is a good weapon against your spell discard and the ever popular Forever Princess, An Eternity to Rule Them that was created as a counter to Volg Thunder's milling.

* Spell hindering
* Small cost
* Can mess up Hyperspatial control decks in an early game

* Small power which makes it prone to destruction
* Useless against rush and N EX decks that focus on creatures
* Relies on the opponent's graveyard which can be emptied

So far its only version is the one from DMR-05.

Artwork and aesthetics:
Blue is one of my favorite colors and I was glad to see it appear in Batou Shoulder's artwork. I like the glowing candles from its shoulders and I do notice that in Episode 2 there is a trend to give Ghosts candles. Though the snakes that come out of its body seem rather weird to me.
Looking at the card again, I realize that this is pretty much the Ghost version of Fuuma Gorgonshack, which is kind of funny since both creatures are related with their effects.

Overall rating:
All in all, I give Batou Shoulder a 7.5 out of 10. Compared to its predecessor Fuuma Gorgonshack it does hurt the opponent a lot more as a player can fill their graveyard with spells pretty quickly, especially if their opponent loves to discard and mill. Its anti-spell is pretty effective for an early game but it relies on the opponent's graveyard and it cannot stop shield trigger spells. Queen Alcadeias and Codeking Number Nine defeat it in spell banning, but it is still a pretty nifty card to have in your deck.


Modified on February 28, 2013 03:17 pm

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Discussion about this Card Review
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Avatar for subking
Subject: There always has to be something.   Posted: February 4, 2013 11:24 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

All over, nice review.
No mention how it is better than Gorgonshack?
No mention of Sagrada?

And more importantly, no links to all the cards you have mentioned?
How do you expect newbies to know what card you are referring to?
Also, it does hurt N EX as well. N EX does rely on a lot of spells.

Back to top Modified on February 4, 2013 11:26 pm 

Avatar for waileukwu
Subject:    Posted: February 5, 2013 11:19 pm Reply with quote Report content icon

hey review time for review :3

let's start with the title-Curser of the spell casters. Now that disappoints me, Kokujo, Curser of Spell Casters? Nothing more boss like?

Oh well, can't complain about that...since I am pointing around with my mouse 'curser', it seems that it is all good :3

We start off with this: probably the best part about HP control is Volg Thunder...where i kinda choke on the glass of water i drank. Out of all the popular hp control, only 1/3 of them run Volg Thunder, the others go Dias, DDZ, Ore dragon (all three parts), Chakra, Bagoon, and Darkness Ganveet. Only Zabi Mira will run Volg in that amount...

and then...Darkness has the strongest spells along with Fire.
Pls, we know u adore darkness and fire, but all civ has equally evil cards, and water had the most spells banned/restricted. Don't even go there.

Then comes 3 perfect deck types for batou to be part of...oh wait, where's the deck? But where is the list? Where r the cards in those decks that actually function with the beautiful Batou?

All yes is amazing
Sagrada is amazing
Magnum/his bud are amazing
Time tripper is amazing
No mention?

Not even poor Mana Crisis? Drop an opponent's card from Mana...that at least deserve a mention >.>

Differences with writing a card review on a small creature like Batou, you are not only going to list cards that will combo excellently, but cards that will generally function along side of one since it is so small (thus a little less combo inducing than high cost cards). So in this review, we get a bunch of cards that discards lovely spells...and yet, where r the cards that actually does damage? Now, in a ideal case, where the op uses some spells, but not completely spell heavy, this card will have a great impact through out, but will loose its effectiveness as op gets his creature army going.

So then, what to do with him? well, i don't see any mention of that, which is a shame. No ghsot buddies to team up with him? No, nothing on that ;-;

oh well. excellent review on spell discards, but aside from that...lacking.
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Avatar for nerafim
Subject:    Posted: February 9, 2013 08:29 am Reply with quote Report content icon

Ok exhaustive covering on the card, so good job, but there is some fine edge and limit defining things needed on the card that I want to get into.

Cost increase to hurt the opponent, messes with Hyperspatials, scales with how hard they try to play and so forth, stops people from abusing. All good so far, nothing to complain about, just be careful about how far that goes in the game and you'll do fine with Batou Shoulder.

Batou doesn't actually "damage" Spell based decks per se, since they also have to get Spells in the grave so they are kind of already playing what they want somewhat.

He's the kind of card they add in the game to discourage the meta evolving in certain ways. So his existence for example would prevent people attempting too many Spell progressions early on or depend on Spells for different things as opposed to just 1-2 actions.

But he's not actually stronger than just flat mana cost increase like Gaga Packun for example (weaker even), he just has a different window of opportunity.

He's not actually a "counter" card, because it doesn't shut down or hurt the opponent directly for doing something. He's more of a dampener, and not something you intend to keep on the field for some kind of "lockdown".

Lots of dangerous strategies don't use Spells for much. Lots of Spells that are dangerous ONLY cost very little and are often played first (like Deadly Love, tap, Fire kill, etc.).

Control decks that usually use spells and Hyperspatials can and would shift to using creatures for removal too, there are plenty of easy ways: Gil Poser, Blade Worm, Fire stuff, Yuppal, etc. Not to mention all the Spell Revival they use, Cyber N and so forth.

So what is the real advantage of Batou Shoulder?...Simple. It just buys you some time, which is the only real advantage any card gives you. It also gives you a nice insurance against people getting clever with early turns Spell abuse, but that's about it.

Like everything in this game it's all about progression...So he IS ok in decks with discard and Mind Reset/Lost Mind progressions or mana burn, you play him in the early turns and it gives you enough time to get whatever strategy you want before your opponent does his.

But it's more like you are making a deck with good discard progressions or manaburn or other Spell cost increase and you are adding some Batou in the deck to capitalize on that and digg the wound deeper, and NOT the other way around.

If anyone attempts to make a deck where they get the "absolute most" out of Batou Shoulder, then they are approaching this game all wrong.

He's not better than Gorgonshack in WD rush because Gorgon is at least twice as fast in effect damage.

And I see no point in it existing in All Yes decks, because those are kind of slow so his advantage wanes in the long run more visibly. He is not the same kind of card as Sagrada or Magnum, I don't really see why you were asked to relate the two. Sure it doesn't "do bad" in it but neither does it provide anything too huge.
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