Yu-Gi-Oh: Thinking Outside the Box…

Fellow friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG!

With tons of resources in the form of wikis, forums and deck videos on Yu-Gi-Oh decks it is very tempting to just “net-deck” your decks, “borrow” the deck lists/recipes others have made that is. Granted, with masses of gamers actively playing and building decks for the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG it is hard to be original and pretty much everything has probably been done before by someone else.

Still I am up to take the challenge and so I am always striving to think outside the box so to say when it comes to new decks and deck ideas. This article is about originality and the three decks I will present you in this article are as original as original gets. Don’t crucify me if you have seen the same or similar deck ideas elsewhere as I for one, have not!

We will start with what is probably the most original deck concept of the three and work our way towards the one which may be least creative and new!

Pot of Destruction – My take on a “Control Deck” in the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG and a tribute to my favorite card in said game!

Some of my more creative and fresh deck ideas start with one card, or one basic idea. This one was born out of my “love” for one particular card:

Yeah that’s right! Good old pot of greed! Don’t you just gotta love that grinning, green Goblin face? And no, I don’t care if Pot is banned or whatever in official tournament formats, as I DON’T PLAY TOURNAMENTS and by my personal house rules, everyone is entitled to their Pot! Well to one per deck at least! Why is this my favorite card you may ask. Well the answer is simple: I appreciate and realize the importance of card advantage in any CCG, YGO included. And Pot simply creates card advantage. You spend one card to get 2 new ones. Fair and square. What adds to my fascination for Pot of Greed is that so many cards and card artworks pay hommage to this iconic card, as can be seen in cards like Jar of Greed, Moray of Greed, Pot of Duality and many, many others.

So how can one build a deck around one Spell card, however powerful it may be? I will show you in a second!

So while it was settled for me that I was going to build a Pot of Greed – themed deck, I realized that the card advantage gained by the Pot and its derivates and support cards could be put to great use in a Control-type of deck. Control is an archetype, an established strategy / deck type in Magic: the Gathering, which focusses on destroying opponent Creatures and/or neutralizing opponent cards while relying on very few Creatures to win. While I for one had to realize that (nearly) monsterless builds are more or less impossible in YGO, I thought I could still emulate a Control type deck. So what does that have to do with a Pot of Greed / Draw Deck? Yet again, the answer is simple. My plan with the experimental, rogue-style deck I am going to build is this: Draw tons of cards with Pot and pals and combine that with lots of Monster pinpoint removal Spells. In theory, the card advantage created would ensure that you constanly draw enough removal to keep the upper hand on the field until you can swing in for the win with one “Killer Monster”. Who’s going to be the killer will be revealed soon! Anyways, that is the plan: Card Advantage + Monster Removal +  Killer Monster = Victory. We shall see if it works out or not – testing will show soon…

Anyways here is my proposed, experimental as I cannot emphasize enough, deck list:

Pot of Destruction aka “Smoking Pot”:

Monsters…17

1 x Spirit of the Pot of Greed

1 x Magician of Faith

3 x Avatar of the Pot

3 x Mystic Tomato

3 x Giant Germ

2 x Royal Magic Library

3 x Jar Turtle

1 x Dark Armed Dragon

Spells…20

1 x Pot of Greed

2 x Shard of Greed

3 x Gold Sarkophagus

3 x A Feather of the Phoenix

1 x Dark Hole

1 x Lightning Strike

3 x Shield Crush

3 x Fissure

3x  Smashing Ground

Traps…3

3 x Jar of Greed

 The Strategy:

First of all a word of caution: This is a FUN-DECK and I am not aiming to be competitive with it! So having gotten that out of the way, let me talk a bit about how the deck is supposed to work:

As said before, the basic strategy is to gain card advantage and control the field with lots of Monster pinpoint destruction like Shield Crush, Smashing Ground and Fissure and then swing in for the kill with a big, bad Monster. The big, bad Monster in this deck is Dark Armed Dragon. I will talk about his role in this deck shortly, but first a few words about how this deck generates card advantage galore:

Well since even by my house rules, your are only allowed to run one Pot of Greed, I included lots of other draw cards that, amusingly, are referring to the Pot or pay him hommage. These are Jar of Greed and Shard of greed. I added 3 Gold Sacrophaguses firstly, to ensure you will get your hands on your single, lonely Pot of Greed easily and secondly, so your chances of getting your killer, Dark Armed Dragon out of your and into your hand. A Feather of the Phoenix lets you recycle your Pot and Magician of Faith can do the same. If you dont need more cards, you can retrieve other powerful Spells as well, such as Dark Hole. Then there are the Pot of Greed and Jar of Greed support cards. Spirit of the Pot of Greed lets you draw one more card with your Pot and Avatar of the Pot lets you even draw 3 cards when you discard Pot from hand. Team that up with A Feather of the Phoenix and you’ll get a ton of additional cards. Jar Turtle not only shines as a defender with 2100 DEF for a non-Tribute Monster and turns all your Jars into Pots so to say, as you get to draw not one but two cards from Jar of Greed while the Turtle is in play face-up. Royal Magic Library on the other hand has a special place in my heart. It is a decent blocker at 2000 DEF and basically lets you draw 1 card for every third Spell you activate. With constantly recycling Spells with A Feather of the Phoenix, you should be able to draw a ton of cards through the Library.

Now lastly to how I am planning to win with this Deck:

The answer is Dark Armed Dragon. Let’s have a look:

Summoning this beast is quite tricky as you can see. You have to have exactly 3 Dark Monsters in your Graveyard to Special Summon the dragon from your hand. Once he is in play though, the havoc begins. Not only does he have an impressive ATK of 2800, you cccan also banish one Dark Monster from your Graveyard to destroy ANY card on the field. What a killer indeed! In order to meet the summoning requirements of Dark Armed Dragon, I am running Mystic Tomato and Giant Germ.  Both Monsters can summon extra copies of themselves when destroyed so you will be able to get the right number of Dark Monsters in your Graveyard easily. But I guess one has to be careful to do this the right way. If 4 or more Dark Monsters are in your Graveyard, it is pretty much game over for you.

I  have to stress again that this deck is VERY experimental at the moment. What I am looking for is a second killer Monster for the deck. While Dark Armed Dragon is surely awesome, the summoning conditions required are quite difficult to fulfill and once more Dark Monsters than 4 are in your deck, you can as well concede. A backup win-condition would be very much needed in my opinion.

Teaming up XYZ-Monsters and Gravity Bind:

Another idea I had that I for one at least have not seen anywhere else before revolves around XYZ-Monsters and Gravity Bind, which can be played as a full playset of 3 per deck as per my personal house rules. I had the idea for the deck when I realized that since XYZ Monsters don’t have a Level, but rather a Rank, they are immune to or circumvent the paralyzing powers of Gravity Bind (and similar cards such as Level Limit – Area B). What a great deal when you are pitted against a stall deck featuring the bothersome trap. But why only use XYZs against the Gravity Bind Lock? Why not combine these two elements? That is what I was thinking when the idea for the following deck evolved:

XYZ Gravity Normals:

Monsters…20

3 x Atlantean Pikeman

3 x Jerry Beans Soldier

3 x Mad Lobster

1 x Dragon Zombie

3 x Tune Warrior

2 x Gene-Warped Warwolf

2 x Alexandrite Dragon

3 x Rescue Rabbit

Spells…14

3 x Enchanted Fitting Room

2 x Oni-Gami Combo

2 x Symbols of Duty

2 x Swing of Memories

2 x Double Summon

2 x Level Limiter – Area B

1 x White Elephant’s Gift

Traps…6

3 x Gravity Bind

2 x Justi-Break

1 x Ultimate Offering

Extra…15

2 x Gachi Gachi Gantetsu

3 x Number 17: Leviathan Dragon

3 x Grenosaurus

2 x Gem Knight Pearl

2 x Number 39: Utopia

1 x Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier

2 x Scrap Archfiend

The Strategy:

First of all I have to say, that after a few initial plays, this deck is big fun. It is very rewarding to dominate over your opponent using mostly low-level Normal Monsters. Also I find it great that the deck does just fine devoid of any of the cards I consider “power cards” such as Pot of Greed, Raigeki, Mirror Force or Monster Reborn. I got White Elephant’s Gift instead of Pot, Justi-Break instead of Raigeki and Swing of Memories or Symbols of Duty instead of Monster Reborn. Furthermore, there are so many great and exciting interactions in this deck – let me share a few with you:

So the basic strategy is to facilitate early and numerous XYZ Summons (or even Synchro Summons via Tune Warrior), while protecting yourself and keeping your opponent from (counter-) attacking via Gravity Bind and its “backup solution” Level Limiter – Area B.

Readers of my previous YGO articles will already be aware of my particular fondness of Normal Monsters and their many, powerful support cards. This deck features some of the best of the best Normal Monsters from Levels 2 – 4 out there. From the Lv 2 Atlantean Pikeman at 1400 ATK over the Lv 3 1750 ATK Jerry Beans Soldier to the kickass Lv 4 2000 ATK beatsticks Gene Warped Warwolf and Alexandrite Dragon. The only Effect Monster in this deck is Rescue Rabbit, which has an extremely useful effect enabling you to XYZ Summon a varity of XYZ Monsters fast, easy and conveniently. Here he is:

You can tribute the little bunny fella to special summon either two Lv 2s, two Lv 3s or two Lv 4s in this particular deck to facilitate flexible XYZ Summons. For Rank 2 I am running Gachi-Gachi Gantetsu, for Lv 3 Grenosaurus or Number 17: Leviathan Dragon would be my choice and for Level 4 Gemknight Pearl or Number 39: Utopia would be my prime targets.

Besides Rabbit, this deck features a ton of XYZ and Synchor enablers: One card I don’t see all too often in decks is Enchanted Fitting Room. For the meager toll of 800 Life Points, you gotta pick up the top 4 cards from your deck and Special Summon all Lv 3 or lower Normal Monsters. It won’t happen all that often, but you could potentially Special Summon up to 4 Monsters. With 12 eligible cards in this 40 card deck, the odds are good that you will not have paid the 800 LP in vain. Besides Enchanted Fitting Room I run Double Summon, Ultimate Offering and Swing of Memories, which can all be used to facilitate XYZ and Synchro Summons pretty easily.

Furthermore, the deck has some very nifty tricks up its sleeve. Symbols of Duty can be devastating and is a card which I greatly enjoy playing, as you can tribute one of your Normal Monsters to take any Monster from ANY graveyard and Special Summon it to your side of the field. Nothing more rewarding than destroying the strongest opponent Monster via Justi-Break only to turn it against its former master through the effect of Symbols of Duty!

Oni-Gami Combo is also awesome, as it lets one of your XYZ Monsters attack twice in a row, under the condition that all of its XYZ Material has to be removed, which is hardly a drawback if you got a Monster such as Gemknight Pearl, which has no use for its XYZ Material anyways.

A great Synchro Monster in this deck is Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier, which can easily be summoned with Lv 3 Tuner Tune Warrior and any of your many Lv 3 Monsters. Brionac has a devastating effect and can send multiple cards back to their owner’s hands by discarding a number of cards while boasting a decent ATK of 2300.

Winning with Watery Weaklings: Wetlands and a Deck that is better as it may seem:

This third and last deck I am going to present you in this article is probably the least original, as I have seen similar ones on the internet by now. Originally though, I had no clue that this is actually a somewhat well-known deck type, and it was a card I found in my boxes-o’-cards that raised my curiosity and the urge to build a deck around it. Here it is:

That’s right, Wetlands gives all your Level 2 or lower Aqua-Type Monsters a whooping 1200 worth of ATK-boost! There are tons of other Field Spells that grant stats bonuses to Monsters of a certain Type or Attribute, but 1200 ATK is just outrageous and totally unheard of. So, I thought, there must be some way to “abuse” this card, to build a deck that would be a good home for Wetlands.

I researched on the Internet and that is when I saw that others had built decks around Wetlands before, but here is my version of the deck anyways:

Wetlands.deck:

Monsters…18

3 x Unifrog

3 x Submarine Frog

3 x Cryomancer of the Ice Barrier

3 x Dewdark of the Ice Barrier

1 x Starboy

1 x Penguin Soldier

2 x Mother Grizzly

2 x Screech

Spells…16

3 x Wetlands

3 x Terraforming

3 x Aqua Jet

3x Moray of Greed

2 x Repair

1 x Dark Hole

Traps…7

1 x Torrential Tribute

3 x Aegis of the Ocean Dragon Lord

3 x Gravity Bind

Strategy:

Similar to the deck discussed with one, this deck wins with seeminlgy weak Monsters, which is a quality which I like in any deck. It is very rewarding to beat the crap out of an opponent with Level 2 Aqua weaklings!

So the basic plan is to swarm the field with hard-to-block or downright unblockable little Aqua Monsters and then drop Wetlands (I am running virtually 6 copies – 3 x Wetlands + 3 x Terraforming) to turn the small critters into huge beaters.

Under Wetlands, for instance, the direct attacking Unifrog would have 1600 ATK, the “trampling”/”piercing” Submarine Frog would have an impressive 2400 and Dewdark of the Ice Barrier would be a 2400 ATK direct attacker in most cases.

The deck features ways to stop your opponent from attacking you and/or killing your direct attackers. This is achieved by tripple Gravity Bind and tripple Cryomancer of the Ice Barrier as a backup for Gravity Bind. Cryomancer has the same ability as Gravity Bind, but the effect is only active when you control another Ice Barrier Monster. This can be achieved easily by fetching a second Ice Barrier Monster through Mother Grizzly and Skreech.

The latter two cards are the oddballs in the deck as they have both level 4, whereas all other Monsters are Level 2. So while these two will not benefit from Wetlands, I still included them to serve as Monster search engines. Mother Grizzly Special Summons pretty much any Monster from your deck when destroyed in battle and Skreech can send 2 of your Monsters from deck to Graveyard so they can be retrieved via Repair.

The rest of the deck consists of some quite potent support cards for (low level) Water Monsters. Moray of Greed draws you three new cards by shuffling two Monsters into the deck. Aqua Jet is amazing as it gives any of your Monsters a permanent ATK boost of no less than 1000, which can make your direct attackers really huge. Target Dewdark with Aqua Jet and he will be an outstanding 3400 ATK beater, outmatching even the most powerful, high level Monsters. The more Aqua Jets the merrier as a matter of course. Another amazing card in this deck is Aegis of the Ocean Dragon Lord. Activate it and none of your Level 3 or lower Monsters can be destroyed by any effects or in battle that turn. You can of course make your benthic army survive a massive opponent attack unharmed or be really nasty and activte it when you play Dark Hole or activate Torrential Tribute, so pretty much all your Monsters will survive with your opponent losing all their Monsters.

Overall I like this deck a lot and it has proven to be competitive, at least in the casual environment over here!

 

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