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Yu-Gi-Oh Deck Review: Venom Monsters
What are "Venom" Monsters?
Welcome to our next Yu-Gi-Oh monster card review! Today we'll be covering the "Venom" creatures, a series of Reptile-types who excel at weakening your opponent's monsters. To determine the overall usefulness of these guys, we'll examine the monster, magic, and trap cards that compose and support Venoms. First, let's take a look at the bread and butter of this theme deck - the monsters!
Note: Telling friends and family you're getting into Venom will earn some strange looks and frantic phone calls.
Includes: Venom Boa, Venom Cobra, Venom Serpent, Venom Snake, Vennominon the King of Poisonous, Vennominaga the Deity of Poisonous Snakes
If you count the above, you'll see there's a total of six monsters in the Venom theme. That's really not that much; several theme decks have dozens of creatures to pick from. Thus, bear in mind you won't have a ton of choices with Venom monsters.
Fair enough, but how strong are they? Well, attack-wise, not very. Almost all these creatures suffer from a low attack stat (usually around a measly 1000-1600) , which can make them vulnerable to stronger beasts. However, many have the ability to place "Venom Counters" on opposing forces. These counters will, with the help of a Spell card we'll soon cover, reduce those monster's attack, hopefully allowing your Venoms to gain the upper hand.
So, most of your Venoms' task will be placing Venom counters throughout the duel. However, the two strongest Venom monsters are not to be underestimated in battle. You see, Vennominon and Vennominaga gain 500 attack for each Reptile-type in your Graveyard. As long as you're using a Reptile-focused deck, their attack can easily reach 3000 or 4000, overwhelming almost any foe. Additionally, if either would be destroyed by any effect, you can remove from play one of those Reptiles from your Graveyard to prevent the destruction. And note that if Vennominaga is able to inflict damage to your opponent three times, you automatically win the duel. A powerful effect indeed, but summoning Vennominaga in the first place can be tricky - you need to activate a specific tap card and sacrifice Vennominon, who himself requires two monsters as tributes to be summoned.
Includes: Venom Swamp, Venom Shot
Next up, let's examine the magic cards that'll support your Venom forces. The main focus here is the Field Spell "Venom Swamp". At the end of each player's turn, all faceup non-Venom monsters gain one Venom Counter. Also, each monster's attack is reduced by 500 for each Venom Counter on it, and if this makes the attack stat zero, that monster is destroyed. So, your Venoms will be unaffected while other monsters will gradually lose attack and die! You malicious duelist, you. Venom Swamp is likely the key to your success - do your best to keep it active whenever you can.
In addition to your Field Spell, you have one other magic card in the Venom theme: Venom Shot. It's a decent card; activating it allows you to send one Reptile-type from your deck to your Graveyard (useful for powering up Vennominon) and place two Venom Counters on an opposing monster. Keep in mind you're required to have a Venom monster on the field to use it.
Includes: Venom Burn
Yep, there's only one trap card for our Venom monsters. Sadly, it's a little underwhelming. Venom Burn removes all Venom Counters from a monster, and inflicts 700 damage to your opponent for each. Not great, not terrible. And remember that if you remove the counters from an opposing monster, it's attack will return to the original value.
It may not be a "Venom" card, but to summon Vennominaga, you'll need the trap card "Rise of the Snake Deity". Activating it when Vennominon is destroyed allows you to summon Vennominaga from your hand or deck. It's the only way to call forth Vennominaga, so be sure to include it!
Again, though technically not part of the Venom series, you'll probably want to use the trap card "Offering to the Snake Deity". When activated, you sacrifice one of your Reptile creatures on the field to destroy any two of your opponent's cards. You can even activate it to destroy Vennominon, then use Rise of the Snake Deity to call forth Vennominaga. Highly recommended.
Rating: 1½ out of 5 stars
While Vennominaga, Venom Swamp, and Offering to the Snake Deity are powerful cards, most of the Venom monsters are just too weak to be effective in most situations. Plus, there's terribly few to choose from, severely limiting your tactical options. So, on their own, Venom monsters will be hard to win with.. But don't abandon all hope. Venoms can combo well with other, more fleshed-out Reptile decks. For example, try blending them with the "Alien" monsters to create a formidable and cold-blooded deck.
Used by: Professor Thelonious Viper in Yu-Gi-Oh GX
In case you're not familiar with GX, it's the second anime of Yu-Gi-Oh, starring protagonist Jaden Yuki, who attends a high school for duelists called Duel Academy. Don't be silly, of course card games are more important for students to learn than, say, accounting or grammar. Anyway, a good way into the show, Duel Academy hires Professor Viper to help discipline students. (Obvious spoiler alert). However, he's eventually revealed to be evil, draining students' life force to fuel a dark machine. Maybe he's just mad about his stupid first name. Regardless, Jaden ultimately duels him, and Viper's Venom cards give the duelist a rough time.
Duel Academy, you really need a better screening system for potential teachers. I mean come on, just looking at this guy lets you know he's evil.
What do you think of the Venom monsters?
Hopefully you've enjoyed today's card review! Let me know what you think of the Venoms, and kindly look forward to our next Yu-Gi-Oh deck review. Until next time, remember: card games > science/math.