Dear friends, fellow Yu-Gi-Oh! players!
At long last I have time and want to write an article on the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG again, as I have had a few games of said game just yesterday, after a long time of abstinence, not only from YGO but any game. I haven’t had the opportunity to play any game at all for about 4 – 5 weeks which kinda sucks for a gaming geek like myself. Yesterday however, my loyal boy-companion Robin (yes that is actually his name!) came over for some serious and indeed long overdue card gaming action.
So yesterday was the day for some quality gaming time and YGO hit the table multiple times, among other games as my latest and hottest prototype AWE (Antediluvian Wars: Extermination), Elemental Clash HEX on which I wrote in former blog posts, among others. And thus I was also able to give my latest, until that point totally untested “Gemini” YGO Deck a go! I had built it over a month ago when I last had the time and all to think about the YGO TCG and others. In this article I want to discuss the strategy behind said deck, which is in a very raw state still as you should know and I am now thinking of ways to improve it, having been able to identify some key issues with it when we gave it some test runs in yesterday’s gaming session.
The idea to build a deck around Gemini Monsters was conceived when I went through some of the many Structure Decks I have in my possession, and I found some amazing cards that I had shamefully overlooked previously in the “Warrior’s Strike” Structure Deck, which contains many really powerful Gemini Monsters, mostly or even exclusively Warrior types as well as some nice Gemini Support cards.
Before providing you with my current, work-in-progress deck list and diving into the strategy of my approach of a Gemini Monster Deck, let me elaborate a bit about how Geminis actually work (for those without a profound enough knowledge on the YGO TCG – don’t worry you guys!).
A Gemini Monster is labeled “Gemini” after its Monster Type in bold on top of the card’s text box. So for instance it would say [Warrior / Gemini]. Now a Gemini Monster can be Normal Summoned without any effects, counting as a Normal Monster at first. Then, you can spend your next Normal Summon on summoning your Gemini Monster which is already in play or on the field if you may, and by doing so it is turned into an Effect Monster with usually kickass effects as stated in the text box of the respecive card. The fact that all Gemini Monsters in play, which have not been summoned a second time thus being turned into Effect Monsters and all your Gemini Monsters in your graveyard count as Normal Monsters is tremendously useful, as it opens up a whole world of highly useful Normal Monster Support cards. And there are some really neat ones and that is why (regular readers of my former Yu Gi Oh blog and this blog will already know that about me) I just love Normal Monster Decks. So once I realized that Geminis would be considered Normal Monsters under the right circumstances, my curiosity towards Geminis was raised and I had to give building a deck around them a try. Luckily, I already owned some of the cards needed and the rest were not exactly expensive to obtain at my dealer of fine trading cards on the internets either.
Before I present you with my current deck draft and elaborate on the strategy involved, have a look at a great Gemini Monster, which happens to be the main-man in my particular version of a Gemini Deck: Phoenix Gearfried! (He’s the star of that Structure Deck as well as you can see him on the box to the left!)
One more note on Geminis in general: What is cool about them is that there are not only a ton of Warrior Geminis but Geminis from all kinds of Monster Types which makes them very much “splashable”, meaning you can run a few of them in various differnt decks without having to commit to building a dedicated Gemini Deck like the one I am showing you in a few moments. For instance I am really liking Gigaplant in my plant deck, which has a truly awesome Effect once you turn it into an Effect Monster: It lets you Special Summon any Plant (or Insect) Monster from hand or graveyard on each of your turns. Just like that. Pretty amazing if you ask me.
But let us push onwards and come to the actual Gemini Deck I have built. Here is the decklist for you guys, but again I would like you to keep in mind that this is a draft only, a work-in-progress that needs some serious tweaking to run smoothly, as I realized after some initial test-runs:
Graveyard Gearfried/Gemini Deck:
3 x Gemini Soldier
3 x Featherer
3 x Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter
3 x Card Trooper
3 x Evocator Chevalier
2 x Tuned Magician
3 x Poenix Gearfried
3 x Supervise
3 x Gemini Spark
2 x Herculean Power
2 x Hidden Armory
1 x Foolish Burial
1 x Premature Burial
1 x Symbols of Duty
1 x White Elephant’s Gift
2 x Birthright
2 x Gemini Counter
2 x Gemini Booster
X x Awsome Synchro Monsters of various Levels
About the Deck:
Well the main objective of the aptly named “Graveyard Gearfried” is to get your biggest guy, Phoenix Gearfried with a respectable ATK of 2800 and once Gemini Summoned some quite awesome effects, into the graveyard asap to revive him with Birthright, Premature Burial or Symbols of Duty. And that already leads us to the first problem of the deck: I think I am running too few reanimation Spells & Traps, so I will add a third Birthright or even a run-of-the-mill Call of the Haunted to the mix – if I can figure out what to take out in favor of more reanimation.
There are so many ways in this deck that allow you to send one or even more Gearfrieds to the graveyard early on. First of all you could just pull off a less creative Foolish Burial to send PG (Phoenix Gearfried) from your deck straight to the graveyard. Also, Featherer is great as when it is destroyed by battle, not only can you send a Gemini Monster from deck to graveyard, making it kinda a walking Foolish Burial, but you’ll also draw a card in the process. I have to note that this decks features a considerable number of Monsters that practically replace themselves, by drawing you a card when they die, namely the playset of Featherer as well as the 3 copies of Card Trooper. Speaking of, there are lots of more subtle, less pinpoint ways of sending stuff from deck to graveyard, like the aforementioned Card Tropper as well as Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter and Hidden Armory, which can be a bit tricky to use properly. Ryko is an amazing card as it destroys ANY one card on the field, no matter if Monster, Spell or Trap, face-up or face-down, anything AND sends the top 3 cards from your deck to your graveyard in the process, presenting another chance to get some PGs into your graveyard to be reanimated by various means as discussed above. Hidden Armory serves two purposes as well as it has you put the top card from your deck into your graveyard AND lets you add any Equip Spell from deck to hand. Your prime target will be the, in a dedicated Gemini deck, awesome Supervise, but you could also opt for your lone Premature Burial if you are in need of a reanimation card. However, Hidden Armory is a bit tricky to play, as you cannot Normal Summon or Set the turn you activate it – which, however, does not prevent you from Special Summoning from the graveyard for instance.
After having covered the general strategy support Monsters, let me introduce you to the other Geminis in the deck.
Gemini Soldier is extremely useful when an Effect Monsters, as it won’t be destroyed by battle the first time it battles in a turn and after battle, and this is truly awesome, you’ll get to Special Summon a Level 4 or lower Gemini Monster from your deck other than another Gemini Soldier. Your prime target for this would be Evocator Chevalier, but if you are planning on some Synchro action, Tuned Magician, who is a Level 4 Tuner as long as he is an Effect Monster, which obviously would open up a huge variety of possible Synchro Summons such as Brionac, Dragon of the Ice Barrier, or Stardust Dragon to name a few.
Evocator Chevalier is an amazing Gemini Monster with very much decent stats to begin with (1900 ATK which is nothing to sneeze at in a Lv. 4 / non-Tribute Monster) but once he is Gemini Summoned he’ll turn any of your Equip Spells into kickasscard removal. As long as Evocator Chevalier is an Effect Monster, you can send any Equip Spell you control to your graveyard to destroy any 1 card on the field, be it Monster, Spell or Trap and regardless of position, face-up or face-down. This leads me to the next problem I am having with this deck: My only Equip Spells are the three Supervises, which I need to turn my Geminis into Effect Monsters at once and the lonely Premature Burial and one Symbols of Duty, which will send the Monster revived with it back to the graveyard if I sacrifice the Burial or Symbols for Chevalier’s destructive effect. Well sometimes this “trade” might be worth it after all.
Then we have the two copies of Tuned Magician, which is a Gemini with a kind a lackluster ATK of just 1800 and the only effect it gains when you summon it the second time is that it becomes a Tuner. As mentioned before I think this might be useful sometime and the deck would benefit overall from just the possibility of facilitating powerful Synchro Summons (Brionac, Stardust Dragon etc. as mentioned before).
Last but not least we have the big fat boss of Gemini Warrior Monsters, PG himself. We have seen and talked about him before but I have not discussed his actual effect just yet, only that he is easily Special Summoned from your Graveyard through stuff like Birthright and profits from other Normal Monster support cards. Well if you revive him from the grave and use your Normal Summon to turn him into an Effect Monster, your opponent is in serious trouble. You may have read it already in the card image above, but let me state it once again. PG’s effects are the following: Firstly, whenever your opponent activates a Spell card, and that is simply bound to happen a lot due to the nature of the game, you can Special Summon any Gemini Monster from your Graveyard, just like that. A second PG for instance and basically for free would rock, wouldn’t it? The secondary ability is somewhat less useful but can be quite powerful under circumstances: You can send any one Equip Spell you control to the graveyard to negate the activation of any one Spell or Trap and destroy it. Yet another reason to run more Equipment in this deck!! (just 5 in the current decklist if you remember…)
Besides the actual Gemini Monsters the deck naturally features a ton of Gemini Support cards, of which Supervise is probably the most important and potent.
This card is just awesome in a deck full of Geminis. Not only can you attach it to a Gemini Monster to turn it into an Effect Monster gaining its effects at once, no, you also get to Special Summon a Normal Monster from your graveyard when Supervise is destroyed and sent to the Graveyard. In the best case scenario the loss of Supervise will result in you Special Summoning one of your PGs from the graveyard. Also Supervise combos extremely well with Evocator Chevalier. You can sack Supervise to Chevalier’s destroy any 1 card in play effect and then go ahead and Special Summon any of your Geminis from your graveyard, preferrably someting nasty such as PG himself!
Besides the super-awesome Supervise we got a ton of other Gemini Support Spells & Traps in the mix: Gemini Spark for instance will trade one of your Level 4 Geminis, no matter if still a Normal Monster or Effect Monster already, for one card of your opponent and you’ll draw an extra card in the process (you can tribute a Level 4 Gemini to destroy any 1 card, then draw a card. Herculean Power will let you Special Summon a Gemini Monster of Level 4 or lower from your hand each turn if your opponent controls at least one Monster, which of course means you will still have your Normal Summon to “go Gemini” with the freshly Special Summoned Monster. Besides Gemini Support in the form of Spells I have a few such Traps as well: Gemini Counter will let me negate the activation of an opponent Spell card and destroy it if I put any of my Geminis into face-down defense position. Negating, not just destroying Spells like regular MST (Mystical Space Typhoon) would do, is immensely useful in my opinion. Just say no to your opponent’s Dark Hole for instance! The other Gemini Support Trap I am running is Gemini Booster. Not only does it give a permanent 700 ATK boost to any of your Geminis (Which will turn PG into a 3500 ATK behemoth) but also turns a Normal Gemini Monster into an Effect Monster when the Booster is sent to the graveyard.
And yeah I threw in a lone White Elephant’s Gift for some additional card draw, although Trade-In would be a better fit if I think about it, as it would let me discard PG to the graveyard, from where I can easily Special Summon him, and draw me 2 cards in the “trade”!
In conclusion I think this deck has real potential. Not that I built this deck with competitiveness in mind, but in my utterly casual environment, I think I could have good fun and a good win-lose statistic with my Graveyard Gearfried decks, which features so many ways to destroy opponent cards (Chevalier, Ryko, Gemini Spark etc.) paired with quite some card draw (like Featherer and Card Tropper which replace themselves or Gemini Spark which destroys an opponent card AND draws me a card) as well as powerful reanimation effects in many forms paired with tons of ways to send your ace monster, Phoenix Gearfried, to the graveyard only to Special Summon him from there reliably and repeatedly if your opponent keeps destroying him by some means.
However, as I said this deck is a work in progress and futher testing and fine-tuning will follow. But all in all it seems like a good deal of fun already and that is what counts at the end of the day, right?
Lastly some cards that I can think of off the top of my head that might improve my current deck list:
Cards that should or could be added:
Call of the Haunted plus a third copy of Birthright: Additional ways to reanimate PG would really help or be necessary to ensure that the deck’s strategy unfolds. A copy of Call of the Haunted and a third Birthright would definitely help out.
Monster Reborn instead of Symbols of Duty: Well, Monster Reborn has its benefits as you don’t need to tribute one of your (Normal) Monsters in order to steal a Monster from your opponent’s graveyard or revive one of your own. Firstly however, I did not include any of the what I consider “Power Cards” in this decklist on purpose, because I just prefer to opt for more creative and less obvious solutions and secondly, Symbols of Duty is an Equip Spell that can be fetched with Hidden Armory and serve as fodder for Chevalier’s destructive effect.
Trade-In: As mentioned above, this would be the better alternative to White Elephant’s Gift as it would be yet another way to get your PG into the graveyard whilst drawing you 2 addtitional cards. I think swapping those two will be the first thing I change in this deck.
Some more Equip Spells: I really feel there is the need for more Equip-Spells in this deck, but I am not sure what to drop in favor of those. If I would find room, United we Stand would be my top choice I guess.
Well this is it for my first YGO strategy article in what feels like half of an eternity. I hope that I will find the time to post more often about this game which I had so much misunderstood, underrated and indeed sneezed at in the past, and which has grown so dear to me over the last year or so!
I hope you enjoyed the article and found some of it interesting and useful! Thank you for being a reader!