Dear friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG!
Just recently, my interest/attention has once again shifted from Magic: the Gathering to Yu-Gi-Oh! I noticed that I am switching back and forth between these two and also others, enjoying either for a shorter or longer period of time until I switch back to the other. So now my focus of interest is on Yu-Gi-Oh! again and I built several casual, not competitive, decks on the cheap, meaning I am only using cards I have in my possession. Two of these decks I want to showcase in this deck/strategy article. As usual I will provide the full decklist followed up with some of my thoughts on the respective deck. So let us start with
Kings of Fire
3 x Fire King Avatar Kirin
3 x Fire King Avatar Barong
3 x Flamvell Firedog
2 x Flamvell Magician
1 x Flamvell Archer
2 x Manticore of Darkness
2 x Sacred Phoenix of Nephtys
3 x Fire King High Avatar Garunix
3 x Onslaught of the Fire Kings
3 x Circle of the Fire Kings
2 x The Big Cattle Drive
2 x Book of Moon
1 x Dark Hole
1 x Foolish Burial
3 x Horn of the Phantom Beast
2 x Icarus Attack
2 x Flamvell Counter
1 x Needle Ceiling
1 x Torrential Tribute
About the Deck:
This deck is an “evolved” version of a deck I threw together using only cards from the Onslaught of the Fire Kings Structure Deck and this newer version has a lot going on for it. Your “boss monsters” are Fire King High Avatar Garunix…
…and the well known Sacred Phoenix of Nepthys. Both Monsters resurrect after being destroyed by a card effect, whereby Garunix destroys all other Monsters on the field whereas the Phoenix destroys all Spells and Traps in play.
You can Special Summon either of your “boss monsters” easily by two amazing cards, of which I happen to own a playset of both due to purchasing three of the aforementioned Structure Decks. One is Onslaught of the Fire Kings and the other Circle of the Fire Kings.
Circle lets you choose any of your FIRE Monsters in play and one of your FIRE Monsters in the graveyard. Then you destroy the former and Special Summon the latter. This lets you easily trade one of your low-level / low-power Fire Monsters with a Garunix or a Phoenix in your Graveyard. You can use Foolish Burial and the effect of Fire King Avatar Kirin, which lets you send a FIRE Monster from Deck to Graveyard when destroyed by any means, to fill your Graveyard with your high-level / high-power Monsters.
Onslaught of the Fire Kings on the other hand lets you Special Summon ANY FIRE Monster of the Beast, Beast Warrior or Winged Beast types (all your Monsters are of one of those types) straight from your deck. It loses all effects and is destroyed at the end of your turn. That is why I am running 2 Book of Moon (a card of general usefulness which I firstly underestimated) so you can flip the Special Summoned Monster face-down, thus avoiding its destruction. You don’t need to do that of course if you WANT your Garunix or Phoenix to be destroyed by the effect of Onslaught, as they will resurrect and destroy all other Monsters in the case of Garunix or all Spells and Traps in the case of Phoenix.
Manticore of Darkness is a great target for Foolish Burial or Kirin’s effect as you can Special Summon it at the End Phase of the turn it was put into the Graveyard (it doesn’t specify from where) by discarding a Beast/Beast Warrior/Winged Beast from your hand or your side of the field. That is not bad at all for a 2300 ATK Monster.
One amazing non-Tribute FIRE Monster I cannot leave unmentioned is Flamvell Firedog. At 1900 ATK he is a decent beatstick but his effect is what makes him shine. If the Firedog destroys a Monster in battle, you can Special Summon a FIRE Monster with 200 DEF or less from your deck. Running 2 copies of the somewhat off-topic Monsters Flamvell Magician and Flamvell Archer turns Firedog into a viable instant Synchro and XYZ-engine. You can fetch Flamvell Magician to Synchro Summon a Level 8 Monster like Stardust Dragon or Red Dragon Archfiend or XYZ into anything with Rank 4. Alternatively, using Flamvell Archer would enable you to Synchro Summon anything Level 7 such as Black Rose Dragon etc. You can use Firedogs awesome ability to fetch Fire King Avatar Kirin or Barong as well since they have 200 DEF as well, which can be handy at times as well.
OK this about covers the quite synergetic cast of Monsters in the deck. Let us look at the Spells and Traps now:
There are quite a few Beast / Beast Warrior / Winged Beast support cards available and this deck pretty much runs the best of the best. First and foremost I have to mention one of my all-time favorite Trap cards for any deck running even just a number of Beasts and/or Beast Warriors: Horn of the Phantom Beast. This card is simply amazing. Not only does it give a permanent surprise boost (and what a nasty surprise it can be indeed) of no less than 800 ATK to one of your Beasts or Beast Warriors, no, it also lets you draw a card each time the equipped Monster destroys another Monster in battle. This makes the Horn an awesome draw engine with a total of 11 potential “Horn targets” and your opponent will alway be hesitant to attack one of your Beasts/Beast Warriors if you have just one set card in your Spell and Trap Zone.
The next best Beast / Beast Warrior / Winged Beast support card in my opinion is The Big Cattle Drive, which can easily be the equivalent of a Pot of Greed in a deck like this, potentially even better. The Big Cattle Drive lets you draw one card for each Monster type of Beast, Beast Warrior and Winged Beast you have in play. If we look at the statistics for a moment: This deck has a good mix of 6 Beasts, 5 Beast Warriors and 5 Winged Beasts so the odds are quite good that you will draw at least 2 cards most of the times you use The Big Cattle Drive and there is the potential to “max it out” and draw a whooping 3 cards. Something like that is pretty unheard of in Yu-Gi-Oh and thus I really really like this card.
For further support, I run two Icarus Attack, which lets you tribute one of your Winged Beasts to destroy not one, but two (!) cards in play. Any cards, Monsters, face-up, face-down, Spells, Traps, anything you want. However I more or less run these as some sort of emergency button, since the only Winged-Beasts are my ace Monsters Fire King High Avatar Garunix and Sacred Phoenix of Nephtys. Tributing one of these is a pretty dire sacrifice and should only be done if you really really need to get rid of two bothersome cards on the field. This warrants the inclusion of two copies of Icarus Attack in my opinion.
Furthermore, I am running 3 field sweepers / Monster mass removal cards. Dark Hole and Torrential Tribute are staples, but I am also running Needle Ceiling, a Trap that you can only activate if there are four or more Monsters in play and which destroys all Monsters on the field. The synergy of these cards with your ace Monsters Garunix and Phoenix should be obvious by now.
Also, since more than half of my monsters (12 to be precise) have 200 DEF, two copies of Flamvell Counter should work well in this deck and take care of pesky Spells and Traps your opponent might activate. Flamvell Counter lets you remove from your Graveyard one FIRE Monster with 200 or less ATK to negate the activation of any one Spell or Trap card.
That about wraps it up for this deck. Overall I think there are lots of very powerful interactions and I am looking forward to taking it to the test some time soon. Now let us move on to the second deck / part of this article…
3 x Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
3 x Magical Merchant
3 x Apprentice Magician
3 x Old Vindictive Magician
1 x Magician of Faith
1 x Sangan
1 x Witch of the Black Forest
1 x Breaker, the Magical Warrior
2 x Chaos Sorcerer
2 x Dark Armed Dragon
1 x Black Luster Soldier, Envoy of the Beginning
3 x Dimension Capsule
3 x Dark Erruption
3 x A Feather of the Phoenix
2 x Monster Reincarnation
1 x Pot of Greed
1 x Graceful Charity
1 x Card Destruction
1 x Monster Reborn
1 x Premature Burial
1 x Foolish Burial
1 x Magical Stone Excavation
1 x Swords of Revealing Light
About the Deck:
You could safely call this deck “Cheapo DAD” (DAD stands for Dark Armed Dragon), as I don’t own and won’t invest in the must have cards in a decent DAD Deck, Armageddon Knight and Dark Grepher. So here is the main man of this deck:
You can see how awesome this one is, but at the same time the Special Summoning requirements are quite tricky. You need exactly 3 DARK Monsters in your graveyard to Special Summon DAD from your hand. But once you achieve this, you will be rewarded by a 2800 ATK behemoth of a dragon with a utterly devastating ability: You may banish 1 Dark Monster to destroy ANY 1 card on the field. And there is no limitation to how often you can do this in one turn. So most basically you will have 3 Dark Monsters to banish from your Graveyard resulting in the destruction of no less than 3 cards, regardless of card type or position. How I plan to set up the conditions required for the Special Summon of destructive DAD I will detail later on. But first a few words about the other Ace Monster in the deck:
This one is far easier to Special Summon, as you “only” need to banish one LIGHT and one DARK Monster from your deck to pull it off. You will be rewarded by a 3000/2500 super-soldier with two kickass abilities as you can read on the above card image.
I am also running two of Black Luster Soldier’s little brothers, Chaos Sorcerer, which has the same Special Summon requirements as the Soldier, has an ATK of 2300 and has the effect to banish one face-up Monster on the field once per turn.
But back to DAD and how I am planning on setting up the exactly 3 DARK Monsters in your Graveyard Special Summon Condition.
Firstly, I have lots of ways to get a lot of cards into the Graveyard early on. Your main “weapon” is Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter which has the awesome ability to destroy any one card (I am seeing a card destruction theme here!) when flipped, sending 3 cards from the top of your Deck to the Graveyard whilst doing so. Then there is Magical Merchant, which, when flipped, lets you send cards from the top of your Deck to the Graveyard until you hit a Spell or Trap card, which you can then take into your hand. Both Ryko and Magical Merchant are Light Monsters, so they can be used for fodder for Special Summoning Soldier or Sorcerer. The other “engine” I included for sending Monsters to the Graveyard easily is the pretty well-known Apprentice Magician – Old Vindictive Magician combo. Both Apprentice Magician and Old Vindictive Mage are DARK Monsters, so potential fodder for DAD, whereby Apprentice Magician Special Summons any level 2 or lower Magician from your Deck in face down defense postion when flipped. In most cases you will choose Old Vindictive Magician, set him and destroy any Monster when he is flipped face up (the card destruction theme goes on and on as you see!). Apprentice Magician can also be used to Special Summon and set Magician of Faith from your Deck in case you need to retrieve a key Spell from your Graveyard.
So as detailed above, there are plenty of ways to drop many many Monsters in your Graveyard to hit the 3 DARK Monster threshold for Special Summoning DAD. BUT, you will think, what if more than 3 DARK Monsters are in your Graveyard? That would make DAD utterly useless. My approach to solve this is the following:
Rather than trying to banish the surplus DARK Monsters from my Graveyard (although it can be done to Special Summon Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning or Chaos Sorcerer – quite a nice synergy here I would say!) via cards like Bazoo the Soul Eater or similar cards, my plan is to take cards from my Graveyard and Special Summon them or add them to my deck or hand. I am running quite a high number of cards that are capable of doing so. Monster Reborn and Premature Burial Special Summon Monsters from my Graveyard to the field, A feather of the Phoenix lets me put a card (for instance a surplus DARK Monster) on top of my Deck and both Dark Erruption and Monster Reincarnation lets me add (DARK) Monsters from Graveyard to hand. All these cards are quite useful in and off themselves but they also cater to the needs of DAD in case you have more than 3 DARK Monsters in the Graveyard. Monster Reincarnation is particularly useful to retrieve your “cannot be Special Summoned by other means Monsters” from the Graveyard (Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, Chaos Sorcerer and DAD himself) if Ryko or Magical Merchant dropped them there.
In order to get a hold of my ace Monsters in the first place, I am running three Dimensional Capsules (yeah I know, but I can’t afford Golden Sarkophaguses and after all this is supposed to be a buget deck!) and a Witch of the Dark Forest. The latter can only add DAD to your hand but that is fine anyways. Another, more complicated way to get Black Luster Soldier or DAD into your hand from your Deck would be to combine Foolish Burial with Monster Reincarnation.
Lastly, when we think about statistics, 8 LIGHT Monsters and 13 DARK should be enough to meet the Special Summoning requirements of DAD, Black Luster Soldier and Chaos Sorcerer I would think.
Overall this deck has potential, even though it is a cheapo version of a “real” DAD deck, and it has a lot of destructive power, the power to destroy any bothersome card(s) your opponent might manage to drop, which a huge array of Monsters with pinpoint destruction effects, namely 3 Rykos, 3 Old Vindictive Magicians, two Chaos Sorcerers, 1 Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning and last but not least 2 devastating DADs. I am really looking forward to see if what sounds awesome in theory would also work out in practice!