Dear readers of this here my blog!
Well I got the deckbuilding itch once more, when it comes to Magic: the Gathering as well as to the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, so here’s a three-part deck article about three YGO decks I am in the process of building and assembling. So in the following articel I will share with you three deck profiles, three deck lists as well as my thoughts on them and on the strategies involved in said decks.
Before I want to dive into the decks, I just wanted to note that two of the three decks are heavily based on XYZ-Summoning (whereas one deck doesn’t even have an Extra Deck – as of now!) which is kinda odd, kinda curious because I really, really disliked the “XYZ-craze” going on at local tournaments. I even played mostly decks without Extra Decks and of the Anti-Meta kind at said tournaments, such as my Rock-Stun and Monarchs decks. But since I tried Hieratic Dragons and liked the XYZ action, it seems I changed my mind once again and am now in the middle of building XYZ-centered decks, two of which I am going to showcase in this article. So let’s have at it by starting with the one deck devoid of Extra Deck cards:
Ritual of the Photon Dragon:
2 x Cyber Valley
3 x Kaiser Seahorse
3 x Manju of the The Thousand Hands
3 x Alexandrite Dragon
3 x Paladin of Photon Dragon
2 x Honest
2 x Cyber Dragon
3 x Galaxy Eyes Photon Dragon
3 x Photon Lead
3 x Photon Sanctuary
3 x Luminous Dragon Ritual
1 x One for One
3 x Lumenize
2 x Ritual Buster
2 x Beckoning Light
2 x Dimensional Prison
About the Deck:
Yes, what you are looking at is a Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon Deck – well, my take on such a deck! Here is the main guy of the show for you to marvel at:
As you can barely read above, Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon has quite a lot to offer and boasts a mighty 3000 ATK just like “Ol’ Blue-Eyes. The deck is built around getting GEPD out reliably and early on, and even multiple copies of it! One main road to summoning Photon Dragon easily involves Ritual Summoning this guy:
This Level 4 Light Attribute Ritual Monster is a pretty good deal in and off itself, as it has a respectable 1900 ATK AND draws you a card whenever it destroys a Monster in battle – card draw is hard to come by in YGO and I really like effects like that. The main reason why this guy is in the deck however is the fact that you can tribute him in order to Special Summon a Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon from your hand or Deck. This is really great and mimics the powers of Paladin of White Dragon that let you Special Summon Blue-Eyes White Dragon in a similar fashion. Now what is really cool is that you can use the Ritual Spell used to summon Paladin, Luminous Dragon Ritual, a second time, from your graveyard, which lets you get out two Paladins and hence two Dragons quite easily.
This is a Light Attribute-only deck when it comes to the Monsters and I added some nice ones to support the overall strategy of the deck:
Kaiser Seahorse is amazing as counts as two Tributes for Tribute Summoning your Photon Dragon the old-school way. Cyber Dragon is in there for pretty much the same reason: Special Summon him when you control no monsters and your opponent does and use him as Tribute fodder.
Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands is extremely useful to find missing pieces for your Ritual Summoning of Paladin of Photon Dragon, as it searches your deck for either a Ritual Monster or Ritual Spell card and puts it into your hand.
Cyber Valley is in for stalling and card draw, as it had 3 quite useful effects, one of which lets you negate an Attack and draw a card and another drawing you two cards by banishing itself and another Light Monster from your side of the field.
Honest is just an amazing card in any deck with a substantial number of Light Monsters as it can be discarded from your hand at no cost when one of your Monsters battles and will boost the ATK of your Monster by the ATK of the Monster it battles with for one turn. This way you can push through a lot of damage and, maybe even more crucial in this deck, you can make weak Monsters survive an opponent attack so you can use them as Tribute material for Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon later on.
Alexandrite Dragon is a nice beater at an outstanding 2000 ATK (for a no-Tribute Monster) and goes well with the Light theme of the deck, benefitting from Honest etc. But what is really cool is when your opponent goes first and playes a Monster and you happen to have Alexandrite Dragon, Cyber Dragon and Photon Dragon in hand. You’d Special Summon Cyber Dragon followed by Normal Summoning Alexandrite Dragon which woud then allow you to Special Summon Photon Dragon from hand – on your first turn! It won’t happen all too often but the possibility is there!
Coming to the Spells, we have 3 Luminous Dragon Rituals for summoning your Paladins, one copy of One for One which lets you Special Summon a Cyber Valley which can be used as Tribute Fodder and one very powerful card, namely Photon Lead. Photon Lead lets you Special Summon any Lv 4 or lower Light Monster from hand, thus providing additional Tribute fodder for Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon. At best you can Special Summon Kaiser Seahorse which will act as two Tributes for Galaxy-Eyes, which would once again make a first turn Photon Dragon very much possible! Photon Sanctuary is yet another, quite easy, way to Special Summon a Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon from hand, as it produces two Photon Tokens with 2000 ATK / 0 DEF that cannot be used as Synchro Material and cannot attack. Just use them to meet the Special Summoning conditions of Photon-Dragon. The drawback that you cannot summon any Monsters except Light ones on the turn you activate Photon Sanctuary is irrelevant in an all-Light Monsters deck like this!
As for the traps, we got 3 Lumenize, which lets you negate an Attack and grants a Light Monster of your as much ATK as the Monster which ATK was negated had, thus mimicing the effect of Honest in a way and giving you an additional option how to protect your Tribute fodder Monsters as well as a considerable ATK boost for one of your Monsters. Then I am running 2 Beckoning Light which lets you restock your hand with Light Attribute Monsters, 2 Ritual Busters which is really great as it prevents your opponent from activating Traps and Spells or their effects when you Ritual Summon, until the next Standby-Phase. This allows you to Ritual Summon Paladin and then Special Summon Photon Dragon and then attack with it unhindered and without the danger of running into nasty Traps or Spells. Two copies of Dimensional Prison are in for additional control and protection.
3 x Gorgonic Cerberus
3 x Gorgonic Ghoul
3 x Gorgonic Gargoyle
3 x Gorgonic Golem
3 x Chronomaly Crystal Skull
3 x Chronomaly Crystal Bones
1 x Neo-Spacian Grand Mole
3 x Catapult Zone
2 x XYZ-Override
1 x Dark Hole
1 x Terraforming
1 x Mystical Space Typhoon
3 x Fiendish Chain
3 x Call of the Haunted
2 x Mirror Force
2 x Dimensional Prison
1 x Solemn Warning
1 x Compulsory Evacuation Device
1 x Bottomless Trap Hole
3 x Gorgonic Guardian
3 x Grenosaurus
3 x Number 17: Leviathan Dragon
2 x Number 20: Gigabrilliant
1 x Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction
1 x Number 34: Terrorbyte
About the Deck:
This is a heavily XYZ-centered Rock-Type Deck which I “discovered” when I recently bought some Legacy of the Valiant boosters and came across the so called “Gorgonic” Monsters. These are mostly Level 3 Rock-Type, Dark Attribute Monsters that are simply made for some serious XYZ-action and it seems that I too, finally, am buying into the “XYZ-craze” I had dreaded for so long. The good thing about this is that all the Gorgonic Monsters so far are commons, including their XYZ-boss Monster card Gorgonic Guardian:
Besides Gorgonic Guardian seen above, there are 4 different Gorgonic Monsters. All 4 have weak stats but useful effects. Let us look at all of them real quick:
- Gorgonic Golem (Lv 3) makes the Monster that destroyed it in battle 0 ATK, permanently. Also you can banish Golem from your graveyard to prevent your opponent from activating a set Spell or Trap card for one turn which can be handy at times.
- Gorgonic Gargoyle (Lv 3) can be Special Summoned from hand if you Normal Summon a Rock Type Monster, which makes for awesome XYZ-Summoning Options.
- Gorgonic Cerberus (Lv 3) can turn all Rock Type Monsters you control Lv 3 when Normal Summoned which again goes very well with XYZ-Summoning various Rank 3 XYZs like Gorgonic Guardian among others.
- Gorgonic Ghoul (Lv 1) is the only Gorgonic with a Level other than 3. You can Special Summon Ghoul from hand if you control another Ghoul, by paying 300 Life Points.
To support my Gorgonics I am running 2 Chronomaly Monsters:
Cronomaly Crystal Bones…
and Chronomaly Crystal Skull:
Crystal Bones and Crystal Skull are Rock-Types as well and go hand in hand with each other, making for great XYZ-Summons as well!
Neo-Spacian Grand Mole is a great disruption card so I added one copy to this All-Rock deck.
Besides a lot of staples in Rock-Stun and Anti-Meta builds such as Fiendish Chain, Compulsory Evacution Device, Solemn Warning, Dimensional Prison etc etc, I am running a number of Field Spells – two different ones to be precise:
Catapult Zone is great in any deck with a lot of Rock Monsters, as you can prevent one Monster from being destroyed in battle once per turn, by sending any Rock-Type Monster from deck to graveyard. This is really great since I am running tripple Call of the Haunted as well, so great reanimation is bound to happen! The second Field Spell is XYZ-Override, which lets you use your XYZs effects requiring to detach a Material without detaching one. It could be problematic to run two different kinds of Field Spells but my plan is to use Catapult Zone first to make my weak Rock Monsters survive battle and filling the graveyard with Monsters early on, then, once I got my XYZs out switching to XYZ-Override, to max out on its capabilities.
The Extra Deck consists of a bunch of Rank 3 Monsters obviously, such as staples like Number 17: Leviathan Dragon and Grenosaurus as well as the Gorgonic XYZ-Monster Gorgonic Guardian which I showed you above. For additional fun and variety I am running Acid Golem of Destruction, Terrorbyte and Gigabrilliant as well. I have to note that the Extra-Deck is still raw and incomplete as I have to admit that my knowledge of existing XYZs is still quite limited and far from encyclopedic. So if you know any great Rank 3 XYZs that I didn’t add to the list yet, please do suggest them to me so I can complete my Extra Deck on this one! Thanks!!
3 x Evoltile Najasho
3 x Evoltile Westlo
3 x Evoltile Casinero
3 x Evoltile Lagosuchus
3 x Evolsaur Vulcano
3 x Evolsaur Cerato
3 x Evolsaur Pelta
2 x Evolsaur Elias
3 x Evo-Force
3 x Evo-Diversity
2 x Evo Miracle
1 x Foolish Burial
3 x Offering to the Snake Deity
3 x Evo-Instant
3 x Call of the Haunted
3 x Evolzar Dolkka
3 x Evolzar Laggia
1 x Evolzar Solda
About the Deck:
I love Dinosaurs and I love the theory of evolution, so building an Evol-Archetype deck sooner or later was only natural. I have to note that I find the way Konami handles combos and card synergies a bit stupid and less attractive than how that is handled in Magic: the Gathering for instance. In YGO you have certain very clearly defined sets of cards interacting and comboing with each other, in a very much predefined way – you can usually tell by the card name if certain cards have these predefined combos and synergies. Evol is such an “archetype” for example. I find this general concept Konami has adopted in YGO quite limiting as opposed to the more general card interactions to be found in MtG for instance, as you will always need certain other cards to make a deck centered around one such archetype. Anyways as I am slowly but steadily buying into the new XYZs I am also more and more willing to build some decks centered around said predefined archtypes – of which Evol is one!
Evol decks follow the general concept of using the effects of certain Reptile Monsters, all called “Evoltile”, to easily Special Summon into so called “Evolsaur” Dinosaur Type Monsters, most of which are Level 4, which can then be used to XYZ into Evolzar Dragon Type Monsters, which represent the last stage of the “evolutionary line” from Reptiles over Dinosaurs to Dragons! I like that concept a lot!
As for the Reptile Type Evoltiles, I am running 4 different ones, all having effects that will set you up for Special Summoning your Evolsaurs: In general, the weak stats of the Evoltiles shouln’t worry you in the least, as they are only used for getting out your Evolsaurs. Evoltile Najasho Special Summons an Evolsaur straight from your deck when tributed, Evoltile Westlo does the same when flipped, Special Summoning an Evolsaur from the deck that is, Evoltile Casinero Special Summons you 2 Level 6 Fire Dinosaurs from your Deck when it destroys a Monster in battle – you would be chosing Evolsaur Elias and use it to XYZ into Evolzar Solda right away! Lastly, Evoltile Lagosuchus does two things: When Normal Summoned, you can send an Evolsaur from deck to graveyard, from where it can be conveniently reanimated by various means for additional XYZ-action and when it is flipped you can Special Summon any Evoltile Monster from your deck, whichever you need most at that point…
Moving on to the Dinosaur-Type Evolsaurs, I am running four different ones – 3 different Level 4s and 1 Level 6. Evolsaur Vulcano is Lv 4 and has the awesome effect of Special Summoning an Evolsaur from the graveyard when summoned by the effect of an Evoltile Monster. Just send some Evolsaurs to your graveyard with aforementioned Lagosuchus or with Foolish Burial to reanimate them with Vulcano which will give you some instant XYZ-options right away! Evolsaur Cerato (Lv 4) will gain 200 ATK when summoned through the effect of an Evoltile, making it a respectable 2100 beater and if you summoned it this way, you will get to add an Evoltile from deck to hand whenever Cerato destroys a Monster in battle. Evolsaur Pelta (Lv 4) will have a DEF of 2500 when Special Summoned by the effect of an Evoltile Monster and will add such a Monster from deck to hand when destroyed in battle. Evolsaur Elias is your only Lv 6 Evolsaur and is mostly used to XYZ Summon Evolzar Solda. Also, if you happen to have another Fire Type Dinosaur Monster in hand when Elias is Special Summoned through the effects of an Evoltile Monster, you can Special Summon it, which leads to even more XYZ-Summoning possibilities.
Lastly, as the final stage of reptilian evolution, I have 3 different kinds of Evolzar Dragons in my Extra Deck. I best show you the cards instead of just listing their effects here:
Besides Monsters, the Evol-archetype has lots of powerful Spell and Trap support to offer! Here is what I included:
- Evo-Force lets you tribute any Evoltile Monster to Special Summon an Evolsaur Monster from your deck.
- Evo-Diversity adds one Evoltile or Evolsaur Monster of your choice from your deck to your hand – how convenient!
- Evo Miracle prevents the destruction of a Monster that was summoned be the effect of an Evoltile Monster.
- Offering to the Snake Deity is a Trap that lets you destroy a Reptile you control to destroy two opponent cards.
- Evo-Instant is a Trap that lets you Tribute a Reptile Monster to Special Summon an Evolsaur from your deck.
I also added three classis Call of the Haunted to be able to re-use Monsters from the graveyard for various XYZ-Summons.