|Playstyle guide part 1. Stun Decks|
WHAT EXACTLY IS A STUN DECK?
The primary goal of a stun deck is to proactively shut down card advantage. The idea here is simple; if you can disrupt your opponent's engine, you can then slow the pace of the match and turn the duel into a ground and pound game. This is not to be confused with anti-meta decks, though the two often fall into the same category. Stun decks operate on a more universal scale. Since the key to Stun decks is universal answers, the archetype you select (if you select an archetype at all) is irrelevant.
ENGINE BUILDING TIPS
As with most decks, you want to start with an engine that generates you card advantage. This engine should also be comprised of cards that negatively affect the opponent's card advantage. A perfect example of this is Archlord Kristya. This monster allows you to special summon it if you have 4 fairies in your graveyard exactly, and recurs one of them. This nets you positive field presence, at no cost to your hand advantage. Kristya's other effect prevents special summons while he's out. This stops your opponent from making toolbox plays. Kristya also recurs itself when sent to the grave from the field, ensuring that you can re-summon it next turn, provided you can meet it's summon requirements. What sets Kristya apart from an anti-meta card is the fact that it's a stand-alone, practical, economically balanced card. By it's nature, it protects itself from superior attacks because it prevents swarm, which leads to boss monsters.
Your spell and trap selections should be dynamic as well. It's generally a mistake to have more than 1-2 static backrow out with this deck type, as you will need the space to deal with threats throughout the match. If you're able to limit, say, the number of summons to 1 per turn, 1-2 cards in the backrow to deal with that summon per turn will be enough, and the rest should stay in hand to protect them from cheap removal until you're out of backrow and ready to deal with the next monster summon. The first backrow should deal with the summon, the second should deal with cheap removal, hopefully protecting your summon disruption and allowing it to do it's job. While this format favors heavy backrow to be on-line, the stun playstyle does not.
THE EXTRA DECK
The extra deck should consist of further stun to deal with problems, and heavy removal tactics to punish overextension. This deck type will rarely include extra reinforcement for your deck's engine, as your focus shifts to stopping the opponent's engine instead.
SIDING MORE STUN
The side deck is a crucial element. Here, you'll put in your anti-meta counters to help further deal with the opponent's deck. A stun player should have won game 1 for sure because they stopped the deck's engine, so siding is crucial to ensure that you not only stop the opponent's engine again, but start to bonus off of the opponent's attempts to use their engine. Cards like trap stun, vanity's emptiness, xyz encore, stygian dirge, and maxx "C" are all good examples of ways to further punish your opponent for trying to speed up the duel. A stun player wants to have each battle phase turn into a one on one confrontation, so they can control the battle with cheap removal and superior attack power. Often, with a stun player, one monster with 2000 or more attack power is all they need in play to push their way to victory.
Naturally, this deck doesn't fare so well in a mirror match. Both decks struggle to shut each other's engine down, and the pace of such a duel can be really slow. Faster decks stand to be slowed down, but are able to get around the stun by using cards that "shut off" their stressors. Trap stun, Skill Drain, and Resistant monsters are a good counter to a stun player. Dragon Rulers kept on top of the meta by using Skill Drain with Stardust Dragon and Colossal Fighter to get around most of their weaknesses. Stardust is able to use it's effect while Skill Drain is active, as is Colossal Fighter, so Dragon Rulers would respond to stun by shutting off effects and just beating the opponent's monsters with pure force before they could set up their backrow. Stun Decks with heavy backrow would fall victim to Blaster being used on their monster, followed by a Trap Stun and an OTK. Stun players have to control the pace of the duel, or they will lose quickly.