While there is a U.A. monster named “Playmaker” already, U.A. Midfielder is, in fact, the actual playmaker of the deck. Unfortunately he’s both the most important part of U.A.’s engine and its Achilles heel. Let me pull up the card and we’ll discuss a little bit.
You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by returning 1 “U.A.” monster you control to the hand, except “U.A. Midfielder”. You can only Special Summon “U.A. Midfielder” once per turn this way. During either player’s turn: You can target 1 other “U.A.” monster you control; return that face-up monster to the hand, then Special Summon 1 “U.A.” monster from your hand with a different name from that monster. You can only use this effect of “U.A. Midfielder” once per turn.
So the first 2 parts of the effect are U.A.’s family effect. Every U.A. monster can be special summoned from the hand by bouncing back a U.A. already on the field to the hand. Also, each U.A. can only special summon once per turn using this method.
Midfielder’s unique effect allows him to force a switch on the fly during either player’s turn. It’s not too likely you would keep Midfielder out during the opponent’s turn unless you just did not have a better option.
So for the uninitiated, what makes Midfielder so important to the deck is that he is the only monster that can be normal summoned without a tribute. Midfielder is the only level 4 or lower monster that U.A.’s have naturally available in their archetype.
The game plan is to activate Stadium, normal summon Midfielder, this triggers Stadium’s first effect allowing you to add a U.A. monster from the deck to your hand, then use the family effect to bounce Midfielder for the new U.A. you just picked up, then the special summon triggers Stadium’s second effect and buffs the new monster (and any other monsters on the field, U.A. or not) by a cool (and permanent) 500 ATK points.
It’s a little convoluted, in all honesty, but it’s definitely not something you see all the time. The other U.A.’s in fact also pack some pretty powerful effects and if left unchecked, this deck can run away with the duel. But the over reliance on Midfielder can cripple this deck.
Any negation or destruction to a Midfielder has resounding success in shutting U.A.’s down. With “Reinforcements of the Army” getting limited to slow down more powerful decks from breaking the game – it also dealt a huge blow to U.A.’s fielding their star player early.
Even without Stadium live, a handful of other U.A. monsters (without Midfielder) might as well be a handful of Pokemon cards for all the good they’ll do you. But U.A. isn’t completely without options. The next card we’ll look at is one of the prized top decks (within archetype) that a U.A. duelist can manage.