Dear friends and fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh TCG!
Yesterday I had my good friend and fellow Yu-Gi-Oh! player Robin over and we had ourselves a little YGO marathon over the course of which I tested like two dozens of different decks and with one of these decks, something unprecedented happened:
I actually achieved my first ever “First Turn Kill”, meaning I managed to win on my very first turn! That is pretty cool in and off itself but what is even cooler is that I did that with a totally crappy (one might think) deck which I built from seemingly random commons I found in my boxes of cards which I bought cheaply while ago!
What I wanted to achieve when I constructed this seemingly weak common deck was just building a deck which made good use of Equip-Spells, which I think are underrated and indeed more powerful than many people think or realize. Ye ol’ Axe of Despair gives any Monster a permanent 1000 ATK boost for instance which is pretty amazing. So what I did is I threw a bunch of rather good to mediocre Equip Spells together with some more or less random Monsters to form my “proto” Equip Deck. I think it wouldn’t have fared so well in that “protoypish” form so what I did next was to research a bit on Equip Decks on the internet and, over the course of my research I came across this card, which I deemed pretty amazing and which had me very much intrigued:
Armed Samurai has awful stats for a Lv 4 Monster but his effect is pretty much unique, powerful and totally unheard of: For each Equip Spell attached to him he gets ONE ADDITIONAL ATTACK each turn. As far as my knowledge goes, additional attacks are pretty rare in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG and only very few, very rare cards like for instance Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, have such powerful effects. I was intrigues. A common Monster with such a powerful ability. I could see how this would be awesome with some of the Equip Spells in my prototype deck like Axe of Despair and Mage P0wer, which would easily compensate the lack of ATK-Power in Ben Kei. So the next step for me was to scour my “card reserves” once again, which produced exactly 3 Ben Keis along with some other useful cards with my soon-to-be-built deck. So I assembled the next version of this deck, running quite a lot of Equip Support besides Armed Samurai Ben Kei such as…
and of course a ton of more or less powerful Equip Spells. What I had then was far from optimized or even fine-tuned, but it won me some games against my opponent’s highly powerful Beast-deck AND scored me, as boldly mentioned above and in the title of this article, my first time ever one-turn kill in my personal “career” as a player of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG. I was pretty satisfied with my almost all-common deck. Actually I liked the deck so much that I now want to “pimp” it a bit and buy a few cards (all on the cheap) to fine-tune it properly and add some key cards, which may be cheap but I don’t happen to own like this one:
Here’s a list what I want my “advanced” version of the Ben Kei Equip deck to look like:
Ben Kei Equip:
3 x Armed Samurai Ben-Kei
3 x Mataza the Zapper
3 x Iron Blacksmith Kotetsu
3 x Sunlight Unicorn
3 x Mystic Tomato
1 x Sangan
3 x Axe of Despair
3 x Malevolent Nuzzler
3 x United We Stand
3 x Mage Power
3 x Big Bang Shot
3 x Ego Boost
2 x Hidden Armory
1 x Premature Burial
1 x Reinforcement of the Army
2 x The Warrior Returning Alive
About the Deck:
In general, this deck could be called “unorthodox” as firstly, it does not have any Traps and secondly, the Monster Count is rather low with just 16 Monsters. Obviously I made this deckbuilding decision to maximize the number of Equip Spells and if this wasn’t just some fun-deck I would probably cut some more of the Monsters to run even more Equip Spells (such as Shooting Star Bow – Ceal which makes the equipped Monster unblockable at the cost of 1000 ATK) and some Giant Trunades to clear the enemy Spell and Trap Zone to launch a safe attack. For instance, I already cut out the Maha Vailo, a Equip-Supported Monster with 1550 ATK that gets an additional +500 ATK for each Equipment attached to it. Some will say “why the Sunglight Unicorn” and may be asking so rightfully, but again, this is a casual/fun deck and I like drawing additional cards! More on that later though. Well needless to say the main goal of the deck is to launch a devastating attack with a multi-equipped Armed Samurai Ben Kei asap and thus finish of your opponent over the course of one turn at best. Let me give you some thoughts on the individual cards:
Armed Samurai Ben Kei: Obviously the star of the whole show. At 500 ATK his stats are awful for a Lv 4 Monster, but his effect, which gives him one additional attack per turn for each Equip Spell attached to him is quite amazing and can but will not all too often lead to a first turn / one turn kill. Just equip all you got to Ben Kei and swing in for multiple, massive attacks. Maybe I should really consider running Giant Trunades, because Ben Kei will be prime subject to all kinds of nasty traps like Sakuretsu Armor etc.
Mataza the Zapper: A low-power Warrior too, which is a bad version of Ben Kei, whom I am still running as a backup for the latter. After all, Mataza has an ATK of 1300 (not too sparkling…) and may attack twice per battle phase. This means if you equip him with a lot of Equip Spells you are still going to do double damage and if he has just two Axes of Despair he will still be a 3300 ATK hulk, probably bigger than anything your opponent will have to defend against him, attacking twice per turn.
Iron Blacksmith Kotetsu: I will get a hold of a playset of those asap since the Flip Effect of adding any Equip Spell from your deck to your hand is quite amazing in a deck like this. Maybe I should consider to run an “Equip Spell Toolbox”, some one-of Equip Spells, just because Kotetsu would be able to conveniently fetch any of those.
Sunlight Unicorn: Most will probably disagree with this one, but I like a card that gives me at the least the chance to effectively draw me a second card every turn. Sunlight Unicorn lets you once during your Main Phase look at the top card of your deck and adds it to your hand if it is an Equip Spell. Otherwise you have to put the revealed card under your deck. In a deck which features 16 Equip Spells you will draw an additional card every other turn or so according to probability. I like this card!
Mystic Tomato: This is just in there to fetch Ben Kei (or, if it must be, Mataza the Zapper) as he is a DARK Monster and when Mystic Tomato dies in battle you can Special Summon a 1500 ATK or less DARK Monster from your hand.
Sangan: Sangan is another searcher for your key Monster Sangan.
Axe of Despair: A classic Equip Spell that increases the ATK by a whooping 1000. Tributing a Monster to retrieve it from your graveyard if it is destroyed will hardly ever be worth it…
Malevolent Nuzzler: Another classic. Increases the equipped Monster’s ATK by 700. Can be put on top of your deck by paying 500 Life Points when it would be sent to the graveyard, which may be useful in some situations.
United We Stand: Pretty amazing as it increases the ATK of the equipped Monster by 800 for every Monster you control. So in case you got two Monsters, this will be substantially better than ye olde Axe of Despair, giving an ATK boost of 1600!
Mage Power: Probably the most potent, the most potentially powerful Equip Spell you have giving the equipped Monster +500 ATK for each Spell or Trap card you control. This can easily boost one of your Monsters, preferably Ben Kei by 2000+ ATK.
Big Bang Shot: Gives a rather minor ATK boost of 400 but makes the equipped Monster inflict piercing battle damage which can be very useful indeed.
Ego Boost: Not an Equip but a Quickplay Spell that grants a respectable 1000 ATK boost to one Monster for the duration of one Battle Phase. This card is really more powerful as you might expect, as I have seen in my test games. The thing is the element of surprise and your opponent will always have to fear your Ego Boost if you have just one card in hand when they attack. I love cards like that. Ego Boost can not only inflict a ton of battle damage when used on Ben Kei or the double-attacking Mataza the Zapper, but can also save one of your Monsters from being destroyed in battle when used defensively.
Hidden Armory: Lets you retrieve an Equip Spell of choice from the graveyard, which is handy, but has the drawback that you can’t summon any Monsters on the turn you activate it.
Premature Burial: A good way to reanimate a slain Ben Kei when needed. Note that this is an Equip Spell too so it can easily be searched for by Iron Blacksmith Kotetsu.
Reinforcement of the Army: I am running one copy of this Lv 4 or lower Warrior searcher mainly as another means of getting a hold of Armed Samurai Ben Kei.
The Warrior Returning Alive: This one retrieves your Ben Kei from the graveyard, letting you add him to your hand in case he was destroyed earlier on.
Well there you have it. That is my Ben Kei Equip / OTK deck for you. Again I don’t think this would be a “competitive” deck by any standards and it is still a work in progress. I am just happy it works like every other game or so and found it very satisfying to play, even more so due to the fact that you have the POTENTIAL for a quick and fulminant finish!