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"F.A.", short for "Formula Athlete" (F.A.フォーミュラアスリート Fōmyura Asurīto) is an archetype of WIND Machine monsters. It is one of two formerly TCG-exclusive archetypes that debuted in Code of the Duelist[1][2], the other being "Vendread".

Design

The archetype is based on a futuristic motor racing theme, with some elements referencing the motorsports events such as Formula One or Grand Prix Motorcycle racing. So far, all monsters of this archetype have original 0 ATK.

Members

F.A. Level-based effect
Standard New when at Lv. ≥ 7
Hang On Mach Unaffected by activated effects of monsters whose original Levels/Ranks are lower than current Level. Any card that would be sent to the opponent's Graveyard is banished instead.
Motorhome Transport At Level 11: Cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. At Level 13: Can Special Summon F.A. Monsters from your GY once per turn.
Sonic Meister Cannot be destroyed by battle against monsters whose original Levels/Ranks are lower than current Level. Can make up to 2 attacks on monsters during each Battle Phase.
Turbo Charger Opponent's monsters whose original Level/Rank is lower than this card's Level cannot target monsters for attacks or effects, except this card. Opponent's monsters cannot activate their effects until the end of the Damage Step when an F.A. monster battles.
Whip Crosser Opponent must pay 300 LP to activate the effect of a monster whose original Level/Rank is lower than this card's Level. Opponent cannot discard or send cards from their hand to the Graveyard to activate a card effect.
F.A. Support effects
Level manipulation Other
Auto Navigator Target 1 "F.A." monster you control whose current Level is higher than its original Level; Special Summon this card, and if you do, reduce that target's Level by the difference between its current and original Level, and if you do that, this card's Level become equal to the amount reduced. If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can add 1 "F.A." Field Spell from your Deck to your hand.
Dark Dragster Once per turn: Can target 1 card on the field; reduce this card’s level by 3, and if you do, destroy that target. Must first be Special Summoned(from your hand) by having a Level 7 or higher “F.A.” monster on the field, but no “F.A. Dark Dragster” in your Monster Zone.
Dawn Dragster Once per turn (Quick Effect): Can negate Spell/Trap Card/Effect by reduce this card's level by 2, and destroy that. Inflicts piercing battle damage.

Support

Card Origin
F.A. Circuit Grand Prix Racing circuit
F.A. Off-Road Grand Prix
F.A. City Grand Prix
F.A. Dead Heat Dead heat
F.A. Downforce Downforce
F.A. Overheat Overheating
F.A. Pit Stop Pit stop
F.A. Test Run Shakedown
F.A. Winners Winning event

Playing style

Similar to the "Fortune Lady" archetype, the "F.A" monsters get stronger the higher their Levels. However, instead of naturally gaining Levels in the Standby Phase, they have an effect that gives the option to increase their Levels each time an F.A. Spell/Trap card or effect is activated. They also have no maximum Level, and are therefore capable of being Level 13 or higher. This makes their Level increasing a lot faster, more aggressive, and potentially limitless. All non-Tuner monsters revealed thus far gain 300 ATK x their own Level and have effects and support cards that increase their Levels further. Of particular note are the F.A. Field Spells that grant 2 extra Levels in either the Main Phase, the Battle Phase, or both. This, combined with the fact that they search any F.A. card but themselves when destroyed by a card effect, makes them integral to the F.A. theme.

However, unlike the "Fortune Lady" archetype, the F.A. is less about increasing Levels than it is Level control. Being a Synchro-focussed deck, it rewards players for considering which monster to Summon before making their plays, and adjusting the Level of the monsters they control accordingly. The only on-archetype Tuner monster so far, F.A. Auto Navigator, allows you to reduce any F.A. you control to its original Level, then Summons itself from your hand or GY at the Level the target lost. It also searches an F.A. Field Spell when Normal or Special Summoned, further increasing its value to the player and compensating them for the loss in card advantage Synchro Summoning entails. So, by adjusting the Level of the target beforehand, basically any generic Synchro monster in the game can be Summoned. By matching the Level of the F.A. monsters, you can also Xyz Summon most Xyz monsters too, but this strategy is less effective, as there are many other strategies that are more effective for Xyz Summoning. Some powerful Xyz monsters like Cyber Dragon Infinity and Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir can contribute situationally however.

The F.A. Quick-Play Spells are incredibly powerful, with the ability to give the deck lots of options when played from the hand (or Set as response cards) while often contributing to the Deck's Summon power by banishing themselves from the GY. F.A. Downforce can give your monsters an temporary two Level boost both from the hand and from the GY, but F.A. Pit Stop and F.A. Test Run are central to the Deck's capabilities. Pit Stop drops an F.A.'s Level by 2 to draw cards equal to the number of Pit Stops in your GY +1 (akin to a stronger Good Goblin Housekeeping), before banishing itself from the GY to Special Summon any F.A. from the GY. Test Run on the other hand, changes an F.A.'s battle position to destroy any card on the field without targeting(similar to Kozmojo without banishing) before banishing itself from the GY to destroy a card you control and Special Summon an F.A. from the deck(akin to Zoodiac Barrage). Test Run in particular can destroy your Field Spell to give you an extra search while Summoning an F.A. of your choice, a play that often leads to an instant F.A. Motorhome Transport nearly for free. PSY-Framelord Omega is therefore very valuable to keep recycling the Quick-Plays as they banish themselves, and is often the Deck's first Synchro Summon. The various downsides of these cards can often be turned into upsides by some creative play with Levels, keeping in mind that the F.A. monsters can raise their Level by 1 each time any of them is activated.

The F.A. strategy is therefore twofold. On one hand it is about rapidly raising your Levels and delivering a straightforward beatdown. On the other hand, it's about destroying your own Field Spells to get whatever card you need, when you need it, and getting your monsters to the correct Levels for the circumstance. More often than not in the latter case, the correct Level is at least 7, as this allows for the secondary effects of the regular F.A. monsters to come into play and for F.A. Dark Dragster to be Summoned. Some of these Level 7 effects are on par with some of the most powerful monsters in the game, and this, combined with the fact that the regular monsters' primary effects weaken monsters lower Level/Rank than them, means that any F.A. in your deck has the power, given a couple of turns, to become an unstoppable force of nature. Indeed, this is one of the deck's greatest strengths.

Flames of Destruction introduced a third element to the F.A. strategy, a win condition in F.A. Winners. While it is not recommended to include this card in all F.A. decks for consistency reasons, a deck built around it is not actually bad. It is a Continuous Spell card that allows you to banish an F.A. Field Spell from your hand, field or GY when an F.A. 5 Levels or more higher than its original Level inflicts battle damage to your opponent while battling their monster, and when all 3 Field Spells have been banished by this effect you win. This is surprisingly good as it cannot be destroyed by card effects while you control an F.A. monster, and even if your opponent removes one of them, Winners does not care which Winners banished your Field Spells, only that they were banished by any F.A. Winners. However, getting an F.A.'s Level up by 5 requires both a Field Spell and F.A. Downforce, or the risky F.A. Dead Heat. However, Dead Heat's potential to activate Winners on your opponent's Battle Phase by raising the Level and ATK of an F.A. in response to an attack makes it worth the risk, potentially allowing an F.A. player to wrap up the Duel in 2 turns going second, banishing 1 Field Spell in each Battle Phase. This strategy is however vulnerable to attack response Traps like Storming Mirror Force and F.A. Dead Heat can backfire badly. In addition, an opponent who refuses to Summon monsters cannot be beaten by Winners, and a player who only uses Defence Position monsters must be beaten with F.A. Dawn Dragster.
Recommended cards

Weaknesses

  • As a conventional strategy without the insane Summon power seen on top-level decks at the moment, F.A.s are vulnerable to Anti-Meta strategies that can handle the high ATK of the F.A. monsters.
  • The effects of the F.A. Spell/Trap cards are almost always hard once-per turns, limiting their swarming capability, and forcing them to almost always rely on one or two high-Level F.A. monsters that can be picked off by powerful removal cards.
  • Because most of the F.A. plays begin with a Quick-Play in the GY, and their effects cannot be activated the turn they are sent there, F.A.s are almost always vulnerable on the first turn, going first or second. If they cannot Summon F.A. Dawn Dragster going first they can easily fall victim to an OTK. Most F.A. decks therefore play a first-turn engine of some kind, especially one that involves destruction of their Field Spell. Examples include Destrudo the Lost Dragon's Frisson and Dragon Ravine, Zoodiac Barrage and Cockadoodledoo, or Ancient Gear Catapult.
  • Any card which negates the effects of the F.A. monsters is a huge problem, leaving all F.A.s with 0 ATK.
  • Despite F.A. Hang On Mach's anti-GY effect F.A.'s are very reliant on their GY for longevity, and can lose very quickly to Macro Cosmos or Masked HERO Dark Law, unless they already have Test Run to remove them. Indeed, F.A. decks can often be their own worst enemy.
  • F.A. Auto Navigator is often the only reliable Tuner in the Deck, and any card which can get rid of it like Called by the Grave or Chain Disappearance is a huge issue.
  • With the changes to the ban list banning Ancient Fairy Dragon and Limiting PSY-Framelord Omega, F.A.s have lost most of their Extra Deck power besides their own cards.

Official Decklists

Konami's "F.A" deck [3]

References

  1. "Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME (KONAMI Europe)". Konami. July 13, 2017. https://www.facebook.com/YuGiOhTCGEU/photos/a.624974477644694.1073741831.616190488523093/1032822920193179/?type=3&theater. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  2. "The Organization | [COTD] The F.A. Arrive". YGOrganization. July 13, 2017. https://ygorganization.com/cotd-fa-arrive/. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  3. !"F.A. Deck Recipe". Konami. September 15, 2017. https://twitter.com/YuGiOh_OCG_INFO/status/907886145542922240?type=3&theater. Retrieved September 15, 2017.