Fresh Ideas from Switzerland: Magic & YGO “BIG BOX” Format

Dear readers and friends of various CCGs such as MtG and YGO!!

I recently was kindly invited to travel to Switzerland (a neighboring country to my country Austria – it was a 9 hours train ride for me just for your info) and stay over the weekend with Elemental Clash fan and fellow tabletop enthusiast as well as terribly nice guy in general, Philippe Etter. Here he is besides the grim looking designer of Elemental Clash himself (I am the threateningly looking bearded guy to the left if you weren’t sure!)

Andi (left) with his awesome host Philippe (right).

Andi (left) with his awesome host Philippe (right).

Monsieur Etter was very kind, generous and hospitable to me and I had the great opportunity to meet some of his gamer friends as well, all of which had to (well they were thrilled to actually) give Elemental Clash a try.

Some intense EC Action was had!

Some intense EC Action was had!

And all of them loved the game, some of them, independently from each other, even calling it “even better than Magic”! What greater honor could I receive for my humble work!! Thanks Philippe and friends for your openness and the great feedback you gave me for my 10-years-games-project!!

Besides having a ton of fun playing Elemental Clash with Philippe and a lot of other new friends from Switzerland, I was introduced to a really  fun, new to me variant of playing my beloved Magic: the Gathering! What Philippe did was he sleeved a few thousand cards (all individual ones, no duplicates!) and put them all, sorted by rarity but not by type or color, and put them into some big boxes. A relatively small deck containing only basic lands was kept separately. So what we did was each player got a deck containing totally random cards and when drawing a card (at the beginning of the game – your starting hand – during Draw Phase but also anytime a card would instruct you to draw cards or a card) you could draw from the lands deck or from your main deck, which, again, contains no lands whatsoever, so only Spells (Creatures, Instants, Sorceries, Enchantments, Artifacts and so on…). At the beginning of the game each player would draw 13 (I think) card in any combination from the shared lands deck or from their main deck. In general, so I was told and deem reasonable, you’d draw from the lands deck first until you got at least 4 out of the 5 colors in Magic, and then you’d proceed with drawing from your main deck (or more lands from the land deck). Each player has 30 Life by the way and during each Draw Phase, you’d draw 3 cards from either land or main deck, in any combination, instead of the regular drawing of 1 card – which gives you a whole lot more options…

I really found this new variant highly intriguing and entertaining, although I had a few minor complaints about useless cards and the inclusion of some very old-fangled, weak cards that can’t compete with today’s (Modern) cards power level and would have done some things different if I were to build such a card pool. Also I need to note that they had an awesome 3 player variant where two players share a life total and play against one player who has some benefits and gets some bonuses such as having more cards at the beginning and being allowed to place a Creature with converted mana cost of 3 or less onto the battlefield for free at the outset of the game – all very original and creative as I had found!

So yeah, as I really, really liked that variant of playing good-old Magic: the Gathering Philippe introduced me to, I simply could not resist the urge to build something like that for me as well!! With some minor changes however…

And I’d like to henceforth call and refer to Philippe’s MtG variant – which is the only way they play MtG over at his place as he told me:

“BIG BOX MAGIC”!

So when I returned home safe and sound after an awesome nerd-n’-gaming-weekend in Switzerland, first thing I did was to order a bunch of soft sleeves (2000 pcs straight – soft sleeves for an Euro a pack o’ hundred since poor, destitute me couldn’t afford high quality sleeves as rich-ass Philippe did – sorry Philippe, no offense intended; hope none was taken haha!) in Magic card size AND 1000 Yu-Gi-Oh sized sleeves BECAUSE: I suggested to Philippe, and he had actually had the same idea already, his fun-as-hell MtG variant could be done quite nicely and easily with Yu-Gi-Oh! cards as well, and you’d even save yourself the trouble of trying to draw into enough and the right resources (lands in the case of Magic of course) when done with YGO cards. And this is why and how I invented:

“BIG BOX YU-GI-OH”!

So when I got the sleeves in the mail, my sister kindly helped me with sleeving about 800 individual YGO cards (no duplicates whatsoever, just as in Big Box Magic) and after that like 1800 different Magic cards and hey presto, done were my awesome YGO Big Box…

My sister Nora with our YGO Big Box (which didn't quite fit into one box lol!).

My sister Nora with our YGO Big Box (which didn’t quite fit into one box lol!).

…. as well as my equally awesome MtG Big Box!!

Mtg Big Box

As for YGO, my sister gave it a short try (only one measly game – she is not too keen on playing CCGs at all, which is a shame but whatever…) with me and we need to seriously figure out some special rules, which will need some more playtesting in order to be determined. So with the YGO Big Box we each drew a starting hand of 13 cards and 3 cards during each Draw Phase. We played with decks of no real pre-set size (as once you’d run out of cards in the deck you’d just take some more cards from the central pool of the box) and 10 000 instead of 8000 Life Points. Same as in the Magic Big Box Philippe introduced me to, each card is only included once in the YGO Big Box and cards are drawn in a totally random manner. One huge problem we ran into was caused by the one normal summon per turn rule that is in place in the YGO TCG. What happened was that my sis drew pretty much Monsters only, at a rate of 3 cards per turn, and all she could do is set or play a Monster and then give over to me, with Monster cards piling up in her hand rapidly and without much use…

One possible fix for that would be to increase the number of allowed Normal Summons to two per turn. On the other hand, especially when playing with an Extra Deck with Synchro- and XYZ-Monsters (We have a shared Extra Deck with a ton of Synchros and XYZs to pick from – only one copy of each however – while Philippe refuses to play with Extra Decks as something that seems to be a general policy of his for one reason or another; but fair enough) that would create an obvious problem…

If you’d be allowed to Normal Summon twice you could easily Synchro Summon with a tuner and a non-tuner played from hand on the same turn, well on turn one even, and even more easily you could overlay your Normal Summoned Monsters right away if they shared a Level, and drop a nasty XYZ guy as soon as turn 1, which’d be less fun I’d say. What I am thinking currently on how to fix this new issue would be something like this: We could make up a rule that says you can EITHER Normal Summon two Monsters during your turn, whereby no Tribute Summon would be allowed as one of your Normal Summons, and by doing so you’d not be allowed to Special Summon from your Extra Deck on the same turn, OR you’d have one Normal Summon and are permitted to Special Summon from the Extra Deck to your heart’s content!!

I think having to choose between 2 Normal Summons and no XYZ and Synchro Summon (I left Fusions out of the game entirely, since they require a particular card, namely Polymerization, or some variation of that card, in order to perform a Fusion Summon. Drawing into Polymerization or some of the very few similar cards is simply too unlikely to ever happen…) versus one Normal Summon and Special Summoning from your Extra Deck (Either XYZ or Synchro) would be a good way to tackle the dilemma we ran into. Of course, lots of testing will show if the approach is viable and even working at all. Plus I am sure I will be coming up with several other special rules for Big Box YGO as we go along with testing the newly invented variety of the game! In the same way I am dead certain more problems will pop up as we keep playing but solutions shall and will be found for those issues as well as I am very much positive about! 😀

As for my Big Box Magic, I tweaked some of Philippe’s rules and how he did it a bit, giving it my very own touch and thus improving the gameplay experience – in my opinion! For instance I skipped all the old, outdated crap cards and am using only Modern layout cards (mind you I didn’t say Modern Format cards. There are lots of awesome older cards that are not Modern Legal but do have Modern layout versions available, as they were reprinted in Duel Decks and stuff like that – Swords to Plowshares and Memory Lapse would be only two examples….). Also, I added non-basic lands to the land deck – in a 50:50 ratio of basic lands and non-basic lands with the land deck card count totaling in at about 120 cards. This way it makes sense to have non-basic land hate/stuff that benefits from your opponent having non-basic lands to the mix in your Magic Big Box – quite to the contrary of what my friend Philippe had. I was a bit annoyed to have wasted some draws on Spells that only do something when non-basic lands are in play. But I do understand. My Swiss friend didn’t have the time to “cherry pick” each individual card like I did – I really only added cards that work with the format, of all types and rarities, and left out cards that do little in a 5 colors format with half the lands being non-basic, for example cards like Consume Spirit and Nightmare… Apart from that, I left what I had seen with Philippe untouched, rules-wise!

Anyways, that is it about what I brought with me from my amazing (but short, alas!) trip to Switzerland when it comes to games and new ways to play and enjoy them! If YOU got a large collection of Magic and/or YGO cards and can spare some cash for a ton of card sleeves, I can highly recommend building either your own Big Box Magic or Big Box YGO (will post the final rules for the latter once we have thoroughly tested and figured out everything!) or even both for yourself and give it a hurl! It is a ton of fun I can ensure you!! And there are not two games that will be the same, that’s for sure!!

YGO Thumbsup

THANK YOU Philippe for inspiring me with your great, great variant of playing MtG as well as for your boundless kindness, generosity and hospitality when I had the pleasure to stay with you for a few days! And three cheers to all my other, newfound Swiss friends whom I had the pleasure to meet and game with during my visit to Switzerland!!

So, as usual I wish you all – and the Swiss in particular this time around 😉

HAPPY GAMING!

Yours,

Andi

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YGO: My personal take on CHAOS DRAGONS

Dear friends and fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG!

It’s been quite a while since I posted about YGO on here or since I posted at all. Today I want to bring to your attention, after a long spell of silence, an at least to me very special deck I have developed / built myself, and which could even be somewhat competitive.  Anyways since I gave up on organized tournament play (I will spare you the reasons which would lead into a lengthy rant on my part – not going there at this point) and play mostly for fun in the confines of my home or with friends here and there casually, the competitiveness of my personal take on Chaos Dragons does not really matter. All that matters is the fun to be had with them.

The aforementioned deck I am going to showcase looks back on a looong line of “deck evolution”, being a Hieratics deck in the very beginning, then a “rainbow” Dragons deck (featuring great dragon cards from all Attributes) and now, since all the Dragon Rulers are flat out banned these days, I would call it my very own take on what many woud call “Chaos Dragons”.

As always, I will provide you with the decklist and follow up with some explanatory text on strategy and on how the deck is supposed to work out. So without much further ado, let’s get started already with…

Andi’s Twilight Dragons:

Monsters…26

3 x Plaguespreader Zombie

2 x Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden

3 x Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress

3 x Eclipse Wyvern

2 x Labradorite Dragon

3 x Lightpulsar Dragon

2 x Chaos Sorcerer

2 x Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon

2 x Odd-Eyes Dragon

1 x Dark Armed Dragon

1 x Blue-Eyes White Dragon

1 x Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon

1 x Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning

Spells…9

3 x Dragon Shrine

2 x Monster Reincarnation

2 x Charge of the Light Brigade

1 x Foolish Burial

1 x Burial from a Different Dimension

Traps…5

3 x Breakthrough Skill

2 x Skill Successor

Extra…8

1 x Goyo Guardian

3 x Michael the Arch-Lightsworn

3 x Leo, the Keeper of the Sacred Tree

1 x Star Eater

About the Deck:

This deck seems like a classic approach of a Chaos Dragons deck, in which you’d fill your graveyard with Light and Dark Monsters in order to pull off powerful Special Summonings such as Lightpulsar Dragon, Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon, Dark Armed Dragon or the big boss of all of ’em: Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning.

The central piece of this Dragon-toolbox-like deck has always been and of course also is in my build…

It is simple: You send it to the graveyard from anywhere (Dragon Shrien is GREAT for this and some Lightsworns will help too), then banish any Lv. 7 or higher Light or Darkness Dragon and when Wyvern gets banished, let’s say by summoning Lightpulsar Dragon, Chaos Sorcerer or Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning, you’ll get the previously banished Dragon into your hand, from where you can usually special summon it easily like in the case of almighty…

That is not new at all and not in the least original, but as I said I added my own touch to the basic Chaos Dragons Deck, for once using Dragon Shrine to great extent which sends any 1 Dragon (think Eclipse Wyvern) to the Graveyard from your Deck, or two dragons if the first one was a Normal Monster (and I have 3 of them in the deck). In exchange, I am running very few Lightsworn cards though. What makes the deck somewhat special and is probably the most original part of the whole thing is sort of a synergy (I hesitate calling it a “combo”) I discovered with a rather new addition to the family of Dragon Monsters. Lo and behold:

So what I love to do turn 1 is the following: Normal Summon Eclipse Wyvern, then tribute it to Special Summon Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon. This will let me banish a Level 7 or higher Light or Dark Dragon from my Deck. I usually pick Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. When Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon is summoned, I can send a (Dark Attribute) Odd-Eyes Dragon to my graveyard. And hey presto, I have a huge threat already in the form of Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon and a Dark and a Light Monster in the Graveyard, ready to be banished to Special Summon something nasty, let’s say Lightpulsar Dragon. When doing so, Eclipse Wyvern’s effect will trigger and send the banished card (Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon in our example) to my hand. What I then do is banish Lightpulsar Dragon to Special Summon Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. That means I now have two 2800 ATK Monsters in play and odds are in my favor that I will have another, possibly powerful Dragon in hand or graveyard to be Special Summoned right away through Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon’s awesome effect!! What a first turn. Second turn: Opponent plays Dark Hole… Less fun lol… 😛 😀

Also, this deck has quite some synchro potential and it is not all too difficut to get out the all powerful…

…or a potentially even more powerful Goyo Guadian as well as the great Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn.

One note on the side deck: It is obviously incomplete and needs some work still of course. Suggestions would be much appreciated!!

Ok thank you, dear reader, for taking the time to read my thoughts about my new Chaos Dragons version, which I personally enjoy playing a lot!

Next up in the Yu-Gi-Oh section of this here blog: A review of the AWESOME new Synchron Extreme Structure Deck!

Stay tuned (no pun intended!!)

And as always,

HAPPY GAMING to you all.

Yours,

Andi

YGO: Three Experimental Decks: Pendulum Magicians, Red-Eyes Revisited & Red Dragon Archfiend Deck

Greetings to all Yu-Go-Oh TCG afficionados out there!

At long last I am about to write a new YGO deck article after a long spell of silence on anything YGO-related. I have been quite busy over here doing loads of pixel art (yes, even I need to make a living off of something!) and preparing several crowdfunders, among others for my latest game “Dreams of Dystopia” as well as a re-release of my first game creation: Elemental Clash!

But now I yearn for some diversion to relax and unwind and so, after being focuses more on Magic: the Gathering lately I have been pondering various different YGO Deck ideas once again, and the result of said pondering are various decks, some more original and competitive and some less, of which I would like to discuss and share with you 3 of the decks I came up with lately, in this very deck and strategy article. All decks are intended for the Advanced format and I must stress the point again that what you will see are purely experimental deck creations that may or may not be even nearly competitive. I intend to play them casually with friends mainly so I don’t worry too much about the actual power level of the decks to be discussed herein. As always, I will be sharing the decklists with you and then go on with elaborating a bit on the strategy involved in each of the 3 decks I will be showcasing below.

So why not just get started with the first deck then?

PENDULUM MAGICIANS:

Monsters…26

3 x Stargazer Magician

3 x Timegazer Magician

3 x Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter

1 x Aurkus, Lightsworn Druid

3 x Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress

1 x Ehren, Lightsworn Monk

1 x Wulf, Lightsworn Beast

1 x Honest

2  x Chaos Sorcerer

1 x Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning

2 x Gragonith, Lightsworn Dragon

3 x Aether, the Empowering Dragon

2 x Odd-Eyes Dragon

Spells…11

3 x Dark Eruption

3 x Monster Reincarnation

3 x Supply Squad

1 x Foolish Burial

1 x Charge of the Light Brigade

Traps…3

3 x Skill Successor

About the Deck:

Well this all started with some sort of deckbuilding dilemma I had been facing: I had purchased a set of 3 of the highly recommendably “Spacetime Showdown” Starter Pack, which introduces the new Pendulum Monsters and Pendulum Summoning as a new, unique mechanic for Special Summoning Monsters, so I had playsets of each Stargazer Magician…

and Timegazer Magicain:

While these two give you a very broad Pendulum range of Levels 2 -7, the problem I was facing was that there were plenty of cards that would special summon either of those from the deck, such as the classic Mystic Tomato etc., but in order to set up the Pendulum Summoning I would have to get the two Pendulum Magicians into my hand to activate and place them in the two Pendulum Zones from there. After some while of thinking for possible solutions, I had quite an unusual idea: Being a huge fan of Lightsworn-powered “Chaos Dragons” builds, I thought “what if I would make my graveyard a greatly extended hand?” So the idea was born to times the Pendulum Magician with a Lightsworn-engine that would send a good part of my deck to the graveyard rather quickly. That way I would have the missing Pendulum parts in the form of the two Magicians showed above in my graveyard sooner or later – to be retrieved from there by means of the classic Monster Reincarnation for instance. There is even a better option to add any of the two Magicians to your hand that came to my mind soon after that. Have a look:

Dark Eruption is simply perfect for easily retrieving any of your Pendulum Magicians from your graveyard in order to get the two different Pendulum pieces into position reliably and repeatedly.

So what I ended up with was a Lightsworn-powered graveyard filling build that creates an extended hand of cards so to say through including cards that let you retrieve your key-Monsters from said graveyard. And since the Lightsworns are of the Light Attribute and many other Monstes in the deck, including the two different Magicians, are Dark, it was pretty obvious to include some classic “Chaos Dragons” powerhorses, namely Chaos Sorcerer and its superior version Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning. On a similar note, I may want to make room for a copy of Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon and maybe even a  copy of Dark Armed Dragon. I will look into this further.

Anywas once you got your Pendulum Monsters all set up in your Pendulum Zones, the fun really just begins. There are lots of high level Dragon Monsters that can be Pendulum Summoned, such as two new ones, namely Odd-Eyes Dragon…

…and Aether, the Empowering Dragon, which even has a great effect when Pendulum Summoned:

With lots of different Lightsworns in your graveyard, Gragonith, Lightsworn Dragon can become a huge threat too, especially with his abiltiy to inflict piercing battle damage when attackig defense position Monsters.

Again this deck is highly experimental as it stands now and as I said before, adding cards like Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon which would definitely have a lot of Dragon cards to reanimate from the graveyard by his awesome effect in a deck like this and Dark Armed Dragon would probably be another good choice to look into. Furthermore, the kickass Synchro king of Lightsworns, Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn…

…would be a great addition to the Extra Deck here, especially, and I must check the Pendulum Summoning rules one more time, as I think one can Pendulum Summon Monsters with a Level from the Extra Deck too. That would be perfect as Michael is Level 7, so just in my Pendulum Range in this deck.

Overall I think the deck, in combining tried and tested Lightsworn and Chaos Dragon elements with the new Pendulum Summonig, could have at least some potential, although I highly doubt that it would outmatch a classic, streamlined Chaos Dragons build in performance even by a far shot. It gets a plus point for being innovative for sure though! Alright, on to the next deck:

RED EYES REVISITED:

Monsters…19

3 x Flamvell Guard

3 x Red-Eyes Chick

3 x Red-Eyes Wyvern

3 x Summoned Skull

3 x Meteor Dragon

3 x Red-Eyes B. Dragon

1 x Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon

Spells…18

3 x Dragon Shrine

1 x Foolish Burial

1 x One for One

3 x Dragon’s Mirror

3 x Inferno Fire Blast

2 x Polymerization

3 x Silver’s Cry

2 x Summoner’s Art

Traps…3

3 x Call of the Haunted

Extra…12

3 x B. Skull Dragon

3 x Meteor B. Dragon

3 x First of the Dragons

3 x Red Dragon Archfiend

3 x Stardust Dragon

About the Deck:

Well I must say I have a soft-spot for the terribly underpowered Red-Eyes B. Dragon. Just have a look at the poor fella:

I always felt ol’Red-Eyes was being treated like the step-child of YGOs early, classic Normal Monster Dragons, being considerably weaker than his blue-eyed cousin  on the one hand and getting far less support in form of cards that interact with him than Blue-Eyes White Dragon did. However there is some quality support for Red-Eyes as well, most of which you can see in the above list as well as some fairly strong (at least stats-wise) Fusion Monsters listing him as Fusion Material. I had been playing a version of a Red-Eyes deck earlier on but that was built with Traditional Format rules  in mind.  So just yesterday I decided to pay tribute to that old deck and revisit and re-build it so that it would be Advanced Format legal. The result is the decklist you have seen above. The new build may not be all-too competitive but has some potential and indeed I think a lot of fun can be had with the deck.

The main man in this show is not plain old Red-Eyes B. Dragon but rather his overpowered cousin Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon. Take a peek:

He can be Special Summoned from hand quite easily by banishing any Dragon from the field and his effect is really amazing in pretty much any Dragon-based deck, but especially in a build like this one. I would recommend to use Dragon Shrine and Foolish Burial on him early on so you can easily grab him from the graveyard, special summoning him with Call of the Haunted that is and start Special Summoning higher level Dragons from hand or graveyard right away. Another great way to Special  Summon Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon or even regular Red-Eyes from your graveyard is Red-Eyes Wyvern, of which I run 3 copies in the deck:

Using the awesome Lv. 1 Tuner Dragon Flamvell Guard, you can easily Synchro Summon into a Red Dragon Archfiend or a Stardust Dragon, whichever you need most at that point, even more so considering you have a ton of ways to Special Summon the Lv. 7 Red-Eyes B. Dragon from hand or graveyard, thus easily setting up the Synchro Summon requirements. There is one nice card interaction or synergy that I would like to bring to your intention involving the awesome Red-Eyes support Spell…

You can just activate it when you have a Red-Eyes on the field inflicting no less than 2400 points worth of  direct damage, which is quite a lot and probably the most powerful burn effect in the whole game (the classic Ookazi deals just 800 effect damage for instance) and then you can use the Red-Eyes that is unable to attack to Synchro Summon into some bigger Monster, which then can attack right away! The same goes for the various Red-Eyes based Fusion Monsters. Either by using the classic Polymerisation to Fusion Summon either B. Skull Dragon (3200 ATK -requiring Red-Eyes plus Summoned Skull) or Meteor B. Dragon (3500 ATK – requiring again Red-Eyes plus Meteor Dragon) whilst the Fusion Material is in your hand or on the field, or, even more efficiently in conjunction with your Fusion Material Monsters conveniently sent to your graveyard via Dragon Shrine, from your Graveyard by means of Mirror of Dragons, you can pull of an Inferno Fire Blast and then Fusion Summon into some of the aforementioned big, bad guys that will be able to attack right away. Furthermore, if you used Polymerization, the Fusion Material Monsters will end up in your graveyard from where they can be  called back to the field easily via Call of the Haunted, Red-Eyes Darkness Metal Dragon etc so they will be joining your attack forces once again. This way you will be able to fill your Monster card zone with a lot of highly powerful (stats-wise) Monsters rather quickly and reliably. Summoner’s Art is great for grabbing any of the Fusion Material Monsters you’d need at any time!

There is one highly powerful Fusion Monster that was released fairly recently that is probably easiest to get on the field either via regular Polymerization or Mirror of Dragons, as it requires just any 2 Normal Monsters as it’s Fusion Materials. Have a look:

Ok then, on to the third and last deck!

RED DRAGON ARCHFIEND DECK:

Monsters…21

3 x Salvage Warrior (Lv. 5)

3 x Cyber Dragon (Lv. 5)

3 x The Tricky (Lv. 5)

3 x Dark Resonator (Tuner Lv. 3)

3 x Flare Resonator (Tuner Lv. 3)

3 x Creation Resonator (Tuner Lv. 3)

3 x Barrier Resonator (Tuner Lv. 1)

Spells…11

3 x Red Dragon Vase

3 x Resonator Call

3 x Scarlet Security

2 x Resonant Destruction

2 x Synchro Blast Wave

Traps…6

3 x Call of the Haunted

3 x Red Carpet

Extra…12

3 x Red Dragon Archfiend

3 x Number 20: Giga-Brilliant

3 x Number 17: Leviathan Dragon

3 x Grenosaurus

About the Deck:

This deck is one of the less creative and more obvious builds as it centers around Lv. 3  Tuner Resonator Monsters as well as around Red Dragon Archfiend and the various dedicated support cards which I personally find very appealing.

So the basic plan is to get out one of your Level 3 Tuner Resonators that are hard to destroy such as Dark Resonator, can be Special Summoned such as Creation Resonator or give an attack boost to your Archfiend like Flare Resonator.

The next step would be to (Special) Summon a Level 5 Monster to Synchro Summon into your Red Dragon Archfiend early on and reliably. Either Special Summon the classic Cyber Dragon if you have no Monsters and your opponent has at least one or go for The Tricky, which just requires you to discard any 1 card from hand to be Special Summoned. Another great Lv. 5 Monster is Salvage Warrior. Whilst you cannot Special Summon him by himself, he will return a Tuner Monster, so one of your Resonators in this particular deck from graveyard to hand when Tribute Summoned.

Once you have at least one Red Dragon Archfiend in play (an multiples of them are very much possible in this deck!) the fun just really begins with a ton of potent support cards that start working once a Red Dragon Archfiend is on your side of the field:

Red Dragon Vase for instance lets you draw 2 new cards which is pretty awesome but comes at the penalty that you cannot Normal or Special Summon the turn you activate it. Scarlet Security is a one-sided Heavy Storm, destroying all opponent Spells and Traps, set or open on the field, which will secure a safe path for your attacking Archfiends and take care of other unpleasant Spells or Traps such as Swords of Revealing Light and many others. Red Carpet lets you Special Summon 2 Resonators from your graveyard, which, since most of your Resonators are Lv. 3. sets up some nice XYZ options – the reason why this decklist includes a variety of powerful Rank 3 XYZ-Monsters.

The last card I wanted to mention is Resonator Call, which is like Reinforcements of the Army, just for Resonators, as it allows you to add any 1 Resonator Monster from your deck to your hand which gives you a nice “tutoring” type of effect and, to a lesser extent, thins out your deck a bit.


Well, dear friends and readers, that are my three experimental decks  for you. I for one am looking forward to get them to the table and put them to the test!

Thank you for your interest and GAME ON!

Yours,

Andi

YGO: Revisiting Anti Meta & Rock Stun

Dear readers and friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG!

Recently I revisited some old favorite decks of mine – namely my dreaded Anti-Meta Deck and my old, long-neglected Rock Deck, the two of them having many parallels but playing differently still, even more so with the changes I made to both decks recently.

I reported about my Anti-Meta deck, which I have semi-successfully played at tournaments already, previously on this blog. Back then I already noted that I really loved how the deck worked, since it screws any Special Summoning, including the still booming XYZ-ing, royally and manages to win with really small Monsters averaging in at maybe 1500 ATK, with the lowest being under 1000 and the very highest being 1900 ATK. I really enjoy not “being in with the crowd” and to venture off the beaten path in general so an Anti-Meta Deck without any Extra Deck whatsoever winning with some weakling Monsters is right up my ally. So I had thought the deck was already nasty enough, annoying the crap out of most opponents, but through experimenting on the amazing YGOPRO Android App (do download it from Google Play – it is well executed, free and fun!!) I realized that the deck could be made even more annoying and indeed powerful. The result could be called “Rainbow Anti-Meta” or “Rainbow Stun” since it includes not only Earth Attribute Rock Monsters but Monsters of various Attributes as you are going to see. So here I present you with the card list for my new Anti-Meta build:

Rainbow Anti-Meta:

Monsters…20

2 x Koa’ki Meiru Maximus

3 x Banisher of the Radiance

3 x Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo

3 x Koa’ki Meiru Boulder

2 x Koa’ki Meiru Tornado

2 x Koa’ki Meiru Ice

1 x Koa’ki Meiru Guardian

1 x Koa’ki Meiru Sandman

1 x Koa’ki Meiru Wall

1 x Thunder King Rai-Oh

1 x Neo Spacian Grand Mole

Spells…12

3 x Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru

2 x Diamond Core of Koa’ki Meiru

3 x Catapult Zone

3 x Pot of Duality

1 x Forbidden Lance

Traps…8

3 x Call of the Haunted

2 x Dimensional Prison

1 x Bottomless Trap Hole

1 x Solemn Warning

1 x Mirror Force

About the Deck:

So as I said above this is an Anti-Meta deck that mainly punishes or downright shuts down Special Summoning of any kind as well as many other things. The deck contains a good number of Earth Attribute Rock Monsters but features a lot of different Monster Attributes, hence the name “Rainbow Anti-Meta”. As I have written in a previous article on a former incarnation of this deck, what I wanted to achieve with this deck is to go a different route rather than buying into the XYZ & Synchro “craze” I had encountered previously on tournaments. So what is different about this new Anti-Meta build of mine? Well basically I took out some Koa’ki Meirus and then added even more but different Koa’ki Meirus, whilst Rock Monsters still build the core of the deck, allowing me to still run tripple Catapult Zone, one of my all-time favorite Field Spells, as a core element of the deck:

Catapult Zone is simply great as it does two awesome, very much (ab-) usable things. As you can read for yourself, not only does it prevent one of your Monsters (any, not just Rocks) from dying in battle once per turn, but also lets you send a Rock Monster from deck to graveyard whilst doing so. If you run some Call of the Haunteds for instance, this creates a Rock toolbox kinda thing in which you send just the Rock Monster you need most to the graveyard only to reanimate it with Call of the Haunted.

But on to the Koa’ki Meiru cards, of which the better part of the deck consists. What I took out were 2 copies of Guardian, Sandman and Wall each, as I found something even better than those quite awesome Monsters and I figured I could use these 3 toolbox style via Catapult Zone + Call of the Haunted. So the Koa’ki Meiru Monsters I added are Koa’Ki Meiru Tornado on the one hand…

…and Koa’ki Meiru Ice on the other…

…as well as 3 Koa’ki Meiru Boulders and 2 Koa’ki Meiru Maximus. As you can see in the above images, both Tornado and Ice have effects that let you destroy Special Summoned Monsters, which will give most competitive decks you are going to face a hell of a hard time in most cases. While Tornado will stay on the field longer as he doesn’t have an upkeep cost as most Koa’ki Meirus tend to have, Ice is kinda a one-shot deal. You use his effect to destroy a Special Summoned Monster, possibly let him attack for 1900 damage and then let him die. There are no Continuous Spells to reveal from your hand to save Ice and discarding an Iron Core will most likely not be an option either, but that is fine really as experience with testing this deck shows.

Another one-shot Koa’ki Meiru Monster is Koa’ki Meiru Maximus. Maximus has a fearsome 3000 ATK and can be Special Summoned (yeah, despite of all the anti-Special Summoning stuff in the deck, it does some Special Summoning as well! Trust me, it works!) from hand by banishing an Iron Core from the hand. Once per turn, Maximus lets you destroy any one card on the field. Similar to Koa’ki Meiru Ice, Maximus is best used as a one-shot weapon, as the upkeep cost is quite difficult or uneconomic to pay for (discard a Koa’ki Meiru Monster or an Iron Core). So what I’d recommend is to Special Summon your Maximus, destroy a card with his effect and attack for 3000 and then let him die at end of turn. Of course if you have a spare Iron Core or expendable Koa’ki Meiru Monster in hand, making Maximus do his thing for another turn would not be a bad thing either.

A great addition to the deck is Koa’Ki Meiru Boulder, which lets you add any Level 4 or lower Koa’ki Meiru Monster or an Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru to your hand when it dies in battle. I find myself running the little guy into opponent Monsters all the time only to fetch me an Iron Core, or any of my Koa’ki Meiru Monsters (except high-level Maximus of course), which all have very diverse and useful effects. Thanks to Boulder, the deck does not only have a graveyard based toolbox (through Catapult Zone) but also a Koa’ki Meiru Toolbox so to say and thanks to Boulder, I can run only 1 – 2 copies of certain Kao’ki Meiru Monsters since I can fetch them with Boulder anyways accoring to what I need most at any point in a game.

In an effort to support and enable the effects of my various Koa’ki Meiru Monsters, I am running tripple Iron Core of Koa’ki Meiru as well as two of the awesome, new Diamond Core of Koa’ki Meiru. Actually, rather than fetching Iron Core with Boulder, sometimes grabbing a Diamond Core is an even better option, as it adds ANY Koa’ki Meiru card from deck to your hand, including the mighty Maximus of Koa’ki Meiru. So yes, Diamond Core is VERY useful and versatile, since it even expands the Koa’ki Meiru toolbox theme mentioned before. In general, I reall like decks that are able to fetch you just the right card out of a diverse toolbox of different cards, and the fact that this deck has two of these toolboxes (the graveyard-based one enabled by Catapult Zone as well as the Koa’ki Meiru toolbox) makes it a very enjoyable and rewarding playing experience!

The non-Koa’ki Meiru Monsters, Spells and Traps are pretty similar to what I ran in the older version of my Anit-Meta Deck. Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo is just plain evil, as nobody can Special Summon once he is face-up on the field AND when he is flipped, all Special Summoned Monsters are destroyed, fair and square!

He is one of my all-time favorite Monsters and can ruin the plans of many a player, as nowadays XYZ and Synchro Summoning etc are still highly popular. Then I am still running tripple Banisher of the Radiance, which has a lackluster ATK of just 1600 but the awesomely crippling (for your opponent) effect that all cards are banished instead of sent to the graveyard. This really messes up many a strategy as graveyard-based effects are highly popular as well. What is curious about Banisher and Pachycephalo is that there are seemingly some dyssynergies with other cards in the deck, such as Call of the Haunted, which would be shut down by Pachycephalo, wheras Banisher would banish the Monsters you send to the graveyard via Catapult Zone so again Call of the Haunted would not be able to revive them. However this is part of why the deck is so much fun to play, as it is really challenging and you have to make your choices right, choices that matter, in order not to harm yourself with all your Anti-cards!

Also I kept the limited Thunder King Rai-Oh and Neo Spacian Grand Mole as both can be a major pain for the opponent as well. Thunder King prevents players from adding cards to their hands except by drawing (note that this will shut down some of your cards like Pot of Duality and Diamond Core of Koa’ki Meiru so use with care!!) AND you can sac him to negate a Special Summon, thus supremely doing what this deck does best – annoying “mainstream” opponents. Grand Mole is awesome as well as if he battles with a Monsters, both Monsters are returned to owner’s hand before damage calculation, thus neutralizing many an XYZ, Synchro or even Fusion Monster…

All in all I love this deck and IF I should ever go back to playing at the tourneys, this would surely be my choice for four reasons:

a) It totally wrecks XYZ, Synchro and any other deck that does at least some Special Summoning of sorts.

b) It wins with small critters, which is rather unusual and taunts your opponent splendidly.

c) It is challenging to play as there exist some internalt dissynergies which need to be considered whilst playing.

d) It is very versatile and greatly able to adapt to pretty much any situation due to various toolboxes.

OK, so much about my revised Anti-Meta deck. Next up a new take on my old Rock-Stun deck:

Neo Rock Stun (aka “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”):

Monsters…19

2 x Gaia Plate the Earth Giant

1 x Megarock Dragon

3 x Gigantes

3 x The Rock Spirit

3 x Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo

3 x Barrier Statue of the Drough

3 x Block Golem

1 x Neo Spacian Grand Mole

Spells…11

3 x Terraforming

3 x Catapult Zone

2 x Solidarity

2 x Attack the Moon

1 x Dark Hole

Traps…10

3 x Call of the Haunted

2 x Rock Bombardment

2 x Release from Stone

2 x Dimensional Prison

1 x Mirror Force

Extra…9

3 x Gem-Knight Pearl

3 x Gogogo Goliath

3 x Number 106: Big Hand

About the Deck:

This deck is VERY similar in playing style to the Rainbow Anti-Meta deck discussed above. It too is very crippling for many opponents as it stops them from or punishes them for Special Summoning. What makes this new incarnation of my old Rock Deck so awesome is the following: I got the idea to revisit and revise the old Rock build when seeing a card that really really intrigued me. When I saw that one I thought: “Stopping your opponent from Special Summoning is fine by itself, but WHAT IF only the opponent could not Special Summon anymore while I still can?” So this is the amazing card that would make my nasty plan happen:

This is plain evil… Barrier Statue of the Drought is just like Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo, except with a loophole! So I set out to build a Rock deck prominently featuring the above card which does not Special Summon, except Earth Attribute (Rock) Monsters!! I can only imagine one thing more annoying than not being able to Special Summon: Not being able to Special Summon whilst your opponent can do so! This is possible now thanks to Barrier Statue of the Drought! I just had to build a deck around it and you can see the result in the above deck list. I have to note that there is a Barrier Statue for every Attribute and I was very surprised when I set out to purchase me some Barrier Statues only to realize that one went for 20 (Euro) Cents only! I did not expect them to be so cheap since the effect is soooo powerful in todays Special-Summon-crazy metagame!

So the basic premise of the deck I wanted to build was this: Prevent your opponent from Special Summoning whilst doing so yourself to your heart’s content! And this is my approach on how to achieve these goals:

You stop your opponent from Special Summoning either with Fossil Dyna Pachycephalo as seen in the previously discussed Anti-Meta deck or preferably with Barrier Statue of the Drought. The latter will not interfere with your own Special Summoning at all since all Monsters in main and extra deck are Earth ones. I wanted to run tripple Giant Rat in order to easily get the Barrier Statue into play, but my decision to play Solidarity, which will give all your Monsters a hefty 800 ATK boost as long as at least one Rock Monster (and all your Monsters are Rock Types in this deck) is located in your graveyard.

Furthermore, I decided to aim for some Rank 4 Rock type XYZ-Summons and this card is just perfect for some instant XYZ-action:

If you read the card it should be pretty self-explanatory. Just Tribute Block Golem to Summon 2 of your less useful Rocks from your Graveyard to instanly XYZ into a classic Gem-Knight Pearl or any of your other Extra Deck XYZs.

Less obvious XYZ-enablers are Gigantes and The Rock Spirit. Both must be Special Summoned by banishing a Rock Type Monster from your graveyard and both are Level 4, which means you can get them out quickly and easily setting everything up for some Rank 4 XYZ-Summoning as well. On top of that, Gigantes has a very nice effect, as he destroys all Spells and Traps when destroyed by battle, which turns him into a walking Heavy Storm and which can clear the way for your attackers. The Rock Spirit has an effect as well, but nothing worth mentioning really – I mainly run him as instant XYZ-material!

Lastly, I am running 3 Monsters that could be called the deck’s “Boss Monsters”. Both can be Special Summoned and both are highly powerful. Gaia Plate the Earth Giant can be Special Summoned by removing 2 Rock Monsters from your graveyard, has 2800 ATK and the devastating ability to half the stats of the Monster it battles with. Also you need to remove a Rock Monster from your graveyard during each of your Standby-Phases, otherwise Gaia Plate would die. Megarock Dragon on the other hand can be Special Summoned by removing any number of Rock Type Monsters from your graveyard and will have an ATK of 700 times the number of Monsters you banished, which will make him huge in mid- to late-game:

Now we have seen lots and lots of cards requiring you to banish Rock Monsters from your graveyard – hence, you may have already guessed it, Catapult Zone is, once again, the backbone of this deck, THE card that makes this deck tick! As we have already seen, Catapult Zone sends a lot of Rock Monsters to the graveyard while keeping your in-play Monsters from being destroyed in battle. This and the Trap Card “Rock Bombardment”, which lets you send a Rock from deck to graveyard and inflicts a negligible 500 damage to your opponent’s life points, will give you enough “fodder” for Special Summoning the aforementioned Gigantes, The Rock Spirit, Gaia Plate the Earth Giant and also Megarock Dragon.

Now considering that you have a ton of cards that (require you to) banish Rock Type Monsters from the Graveyard, Release from Stone is an extremely useful card to run in this deck. It lets you Special Summon any of your banished Rocks, becoming the equivalent of a Call of the Haunted for banished Monsters in the context of this particular deck. I could not resist to at least add two copies to the deck.

Also, as mentioned initially, Solidarity is a great card too in this deck in my opinion, as all your Monsters have the same Type (Rock) so Solidarity will give all an 800 ATK boost, which will turn your measly Pachycephalos into respectable 2000 attackers for instance.

Another terrific card which I just recently “discovered” is Attack the Moon:

What an immensely useful card in any deck with a considerable number of Rock Monsters. Just fiddle around with the battle positions of your Rock Monsters and destroy a Spell or Trap each time you do so, which will clear the way for a safe attack with your remaining attack position monsters. This is really a foolproof solution for nasty surprises like Dimensional Prison or Mirror Force! Love that card!

Overall I must say I am really looking forward to trying out this new, surely improved version of my old Rock Deck as I think it can put a literally “rock-hard” grip on many an opponent and stopping most players from Special Summoning pretty much anything whilst you can go willy-nilly with Special Summoning your own critters would just be priceless!

So thank you for reading this once again quite lengthy Yu-Gi-Oh! deck article of mine! I hope you had a good read and encourage you to leave me a comment if you happen to have any thoughts, ideas or input on any of the two decks showcased! Thanks!!

Game on!!

Yours,

Andi

 

 

 

Old Meets New – My First Take on a Pendulum Deck!

Well, dear readers, Konami is ushering in a new ear of Yu-Gi-Oh! with the introduction of Pendulum Monsters and Pendulum Summoning. For once I want to “jump” the bandwagon and be “in with the crowd”, after having defied the Synchro and XYZ-craze thoroughly when it was oh-so hot and just build a Pendulum Deck – but not an ordinary one, one, with my personal touch. I will give you my work-in-progress decklist, which tries to mix old and new, right away and will provide my extensive commentary afterwards! So here comes…

 Normal Pendulum:

Monsters…21

3 x Radiant/Flash Knight (Pendulum Monster)

3 x Focault’s (Spellstone) Cannon (Pendulum Monster)

3 x Tune Warrior

3 x Curse of Dragon

3 x Parrot Dragon

3 x Millenium Shield

3 x Blue Dragon Summoner

Spells…14

3 x Summoner’s Art

3 x Dark Factory of Mass Production

3 x White Elephant’s Gift

3 x Heart of the Underdog

2 x Reinforcement of the Army

Traps…5

3 x Call of the Haunted

1 x Mirror Force

1 x Skill Drain

Extra…15

3 x Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon

3 x Number 61: Volcasaurus

2 x Gem-Knight Pearl

2 x Daigusto Emeral

1 x Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction

2 x Number 17: Leviathan Dragon

2 x Stardust Dragon

About the Deck:

When brainstorming Pendulum Summoning deck ideas, I saw myself faced with two problems, or rather challenges as I see it. First off, the biggest problem would be to get your two different Pendulum Monsters into your hand and set up on the field both fast and reliably. The other problem or challenge would be to create a constant influx of Monsters to be Pendulum Summoned. It did not take too long until it dawned upon me that a NORMAL MONSTER Deck would provide great solutions to both problems, as there are pretty nice searchers for Normal Monsters AND Normal Monster Decks have amazing draw power, especially through one card: The amazing Heart of the Underdog:

So thank the gods of gaming that Konami also made proper Normal Pendulum Monsters. The two I am using are perfect for the deck I had in mind. Have a look:

At the lower spectrum we have Focault’s Cannon with a Level of 5 and a Scale of 2:

… and at the high end of the scale we have the Level 4 Normal Warrior Radiant Knight (Flash Knight) with a scale of 7:

These two Pendulum Monsters will give us a scale “spectrum” ranging from Levels 3 to 6! This meant for me that I was going to include Monsters from those Levels in the deck, with the ultimate goal of XYZ-ing them into some nasty things. For this purpose, I focused on Level / Rank 5 Monsters, as there are quite some powerful XYZs I like at this particular Rank, such as Adreus, Keeper of Armageddoon and Number 61: Vulcasaurus. So this deck had to do the following things:

  • Seek out and set up the Pendulum Scale formed by Focault’s Cannon and Radiant Knight early and reliably
  • Provide a constant influx of new Monsters to be Pendulum Summoned in order to…
  • …XYZ-Summon (or to a lesser extent Synchro-Summon) nasty things!

Here are my card choices with which I tried to achieve these three goals:

You can easily search out the missing “Pendulum parts” by means of some Spells. The as of the latest ban-list semi-restricted Reinforcement of the Army fetches Radiant Knight, whereas Summoner’s Art fetches Level 5 Focault’s Cannon instantly, as well as any of your Level 5 Normal Monsters, whatever you need most. Your universal searcher however is Blue Dragon Summoner. Included in the Super Starter Space-Time Showdown, as seen on my previous post, Blue Dragon Summoner lets you add ANY 1 Normal Spellcaster, Dragon or Warrior from deck to hand. And yes, that would include EITHER of your Pendulum Parts, one being a Warrior and one a Spellcaster and both counting as Normal Monsters.

Ample amounts of Monsters will be drawn through Heart of the Underdog, as shown above, which will also trigger when you draw one of your Pendulum Monsters, which do count as Normal Monsters as well, and White Elephant’s Gift. The latter lets you tribute one Normal Monster to draw 2 cards. Imagine you got 5 Normal Monsters Pendulum Summoned. You can overlay 4 of them for 2 XYZ and can then sac the remaining one to draw 2 cards… how convenient! Dark Factory of Mass Production lets you retrieve any 2 Normal Monsters from your graveyard so you have ample backup for future Pendulum action! Call of the Haunted reanimates any Monster as well so you can XYZ again and again.

The actual XYZ-materials are mostly Level 5 Monsters, all of them pretty old-school and considered more or less unplayable. Curse of Dragon and the lesser known Parrot Dragon are both Lv 5 Normal Dragon Monsters with a lackluster 2000 ATK and Millenium Shield is a Lv 5 Warrior with a respectable 3000 DEF (and only 0 ATK). All three can be fetched by Summoner’s Art and via the effect of Blue Dragon Summoner. All three make for exquisite XYZ options such as Adreus, Keeper of Armageddon…

… as well as the well-known Number 61: Volcasaurus and possibly more. Note that Focault’s Cannon is Level 5 as well and excess copies can be used in Pendulum Summons leading to XYZ-Summons subsequently.

There’s also the possibility to Synchro Summon into a Stardust Dragon using Lv 3 Tune Warrior and any of your many Lv 5 Monsters. Obviously the inclusion of Synchros in the Lv 3 – 6 Pendulum range would be a good thing, as you can Pendulum Summon Monsters with a Level straight from your Extra Deck, which would include Synchro Monsters!

Well obviously, and I state it clearly once again, this deck is a work-in-progress and highly experimental. Thank goodness there exist such things as the YGOPRO App for Android, where you’ll always find opponents to test decks with, and if not, there is also an AI mode to boot! I will further refine this first Pendulum Summoning deck idea of mine and look into the subject of other possible Pendulum builds in the future and promise to keep you updated on my “findings”!

So thank you for reading and let us welcome the new era of Pendulum Monsters with great furore!!

Game on!!

Yours,

Andi

YGO: Super Starter Spacetime Showdown Unboxing & Review

Dear readers and friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG!

It is Yu-Gi-Oh! Starter time once again and this time, the “Super Starter Space-Time Showdown”

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…is ushering in a whole new era in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Collectibel Card Game with the introduction of Pendulum Monsters. Will it bring good times or bad? You won’t know even after reading this article, as only time will tell. What you will know after reading this unboxing and review article will be the contents of the new Starter Pack and some of my thoughts on it. That is all I can offer for now. Also I will try to explain how the new Pendulum Monsters actually work. So let us dive right into the action!

What you get in the pack:

I got my copy of the new Space-Time Showdown Super Starter for about 9 Euros (around $13 USD or so) off the internet and was mighty pleased with the contents of it:

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So what you get besides a rules booklet and a paper playmat (with the new Pendulum Zones – more on those later) is two packs of cards. One is the actual deck of 40 cards and the other a nice extra 10 cards to improve the starter deck. The deck contains two of the actual Pendulum Monsters, Stargazer Magican and Timegazer Magician…

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… as Holos as well as an assortment of 38 Common Monsters, Spells and Traps. Some of the Common Monsters are really great in my opinion and I will highlight them later on. The 10 extra cards contain one copy of Odd Eyes Dragon in holo foil as well as another foil card (mine was a Dark Hole – yay!) and 8 other non-foil Monsters, Spells and Traps.

Now to the question we have all been asking ourselves: How do the actual Pendulum Monsters work? I will explain it briefly:

Each Pendulum Monster as seen in the above photo is half Spell and half Monster (Normal or Effect) card and can be played as a Monster regularly. However you can activate it as you would do with a Spell. In the latter case, you have to put it in either of the two new Pendulum Zones which are located in to the left and to the right of the Monster and Spell/Trap card zones. Having one Pendulum Zone occupied by a Pendulum Monster will do nothing at all. However, once both Pendulum Zones are occupied by Pendulum Monsters, you get to Pendulum Summon once during your turn, during either Main Phase. Now here’s where the new “scale” stat comes in. Each Pendulum Monster has a scale, which is a value displayed to the middle left and middle right of the card, under the blue and red crystals if you look at the photo example above. When you Pendulum Summon you can Special Summon as many Monsters as you want or can from hand or Extra Deck whose Levels are in between the scale values of your two active Pendulum Monsters. If you had a Timegazer and Stargazer Magician in place, you could Summon Monsters with Levels between 2 and 7 for instance. And yes that would include Synchro Monsters from your Extra Deck. One more thing to note: When a Pendulum Monster dies it goes face-up on top of your Extra Deck, from where it can be Pendulum Summoned as a Monster again and again.

And that is how Pendulum Monsters and Pendulum Summoning works. Whether if the introduction of the same is a bad or a good thing has to be seen. Time will tell and I must admit that I cannot yet fathom all the consequences all this will have on the gameplay, flow of the game and in-game balance. Will Pendulum Monsters turn the world of dueling upside down? Probably, but only time will tell. What is certain is that the new mechanics make summoning Synchros from your Extra Deck very easy and a lot of XYZ-action is obvious with the mass-summoning potential entailed. Matter of fact I am in the process of figuring out some working Pendulum Summoning builds as I write these lines – one deck that is working preeetty well already but is still undergoing testing will be showcased in a follow-up article.

For now though, let me share some notable cards from the Super Starter Space-Time Showdown with you:

First off I would like to showcase two dragons:

Aether, the Empowering Dragon is the only card in this deck that has an Effect directly related and activated by Pendulum Summoning…

…whereas odd-eyes Dragon, whom you get in holo foil with every Super Starter Space-Time Showdown…

…has somewhat decent stats and a nice effect, however is not the best card I have seen yet overall.

What really caught my eye was a series of Monsters that interact with Normal Monsters and/or Spellcaster/Dragon/Warrior types. Those are the “Empowered Warrior” and “Summoner” Monsters.

Vendtra, the Empowered Warrior is a LV 5 Monster with 2000 ATK that can attack your opponent direclty. This is pretty mean in and off itself but when he dies, no matter how, you can add a Normal Spellcaster, Dragon or Warrior from your Graveyard to your hand. Arnis, the Empowered Warrior (LV 4) on the other hand lets you Special Summon a Spellcaster with 1500 ATK or less from your deck if she is destroyed in battle. Terratiger, the Empowered Warrior lets you Special Summon a Level 4 or lower Normal Monster when summoned, which is obviously great for some instant XYZ-action!

Next up the “Summoner” Monsters:

White Tiger Summoner does pretty much the same as Terratiger and gives all your Monsters +100 ATK and DEF which is kinda nice. Red Sparrow Summoner on the other hand lets you Special Summon a Warrior with 1500 or less ATK from your Deck when it is destroyed by battle and, my favorite, Blue Dragon Summoner lets you add ANY Normal Dragon, Spellcaster or Warrior from your Deck to your hand when sent from field to graveyard, which gives him a special spot in the next article on Pendulum Decks and in fact in my heart:

Overall I must say I find the new Pendulum Summoning concept highly intriguing and am looking forward to see what will come off it and how it will change the way we duel. As for the Super Starter Space-Time Showdown, I can only heartily recommend it as I think it is a great deal, has some interesting, new Monsters as showcased above and is a good way to explore, to some extent, then new Pendulum Monsters and Pendulum Summoning concept. Just don’t despair if you never ever get to Pendulum Summon when playing with just one Starter. The odds of drawing both your Pendulum Monsters at the right time are low and maybe you’d want to invest in a second or even a third copy of the starter if you would like to build an at least semi-serious attempt at a Pendulum Summoning deck!

All that remains for me to say is that I will follow-up shortly with my own Pendulum-musings in the form of my very first attempt at a serious Pendulum Summoning deck. Until then, I wish you all a

Happy Gaming!!

Yours,

Andi

 

YGO: Revisiting Normal Monsters – An XYZ-Perspective

Dear readers!

I hope you are able to keep up with my fast and furious postings these days. I have many ideas on my mind, both on games of my own and decks and strategy for my favorite “real” or rahter other card games. Thus I have the urge to post about Yu-Gi-Oh decks and strategy once again. Please be patient if you aren’t one of the Yu-Gi-Oh! lot at all – posts on different topics, such as on my latest game idea “The Magical 66”, will follow shortly. For now it is Yu-Gi-Oh strategy and deckbuilding once again. And yes, this is how I choose to spend my spare time on such a lush and nice Sunday afternoon like this one! 😀

So if you have been following my recent Yu-Gi-Oh related articles, you will already know that I have discovered, at long last and just at the time when a brand new Monster Type is making an appearance (I am talking about “Pendulum” Monsters which shall be dealt with once I have my new Space Time Showdown Starter Pack for a thorough review), my fondness for XYZ-Monstes and cards that enable easy Summoning of these black-bordered beasts.

When I went through my extensive YGO cards collection consisting mostly of random Common card lots I had bought on the cheap off of ebay, two common cards in particular caught my attention, one of which I included in my Star Seraph XYZ Budget Deck which I shared with you on here in a previous article a few days ago:

XYZ Reception is pretty awesome IF you focus on XYZ-Summoning Monsters of the same Rank, such as Rank 4 Number 39: Utopia in the aforementioned Star Seraph Deck. If you have a deck full of Level 4 Monsters, it becomes incredibly easy to put XYZ Reception to good use as you will in most cases have a Monster of the same Level in hand and another on the field, setting up instant XYZ-capabilities without much difficulty. The other card that caught my eye will be very useful in a deck like the one which I came up with just now and will be showing to you shortly:

Galaxy Queen’s Light is rather useful for facilitating high-Level XYZ-Summons. My favorite Monster Level happens to be Level 8, not because the Monsters at that Level are so exuberantly huge stats-wise, but rather for the reason that there is just so much great support for Level 8 Monsters such as Trade-In or the many support cards available for good-old Blue-Eyes White Dragon. The latter has a special place in my “duelist heart” as he has for many others no doubt and on top of that, there are a ton of great XYZ Monsters at Rank 8, one of which…

…requires you to overlay two Level 8 (there we go again!) Normal Monsters – emphasis on Normal.

Those who have been following my YGO-related posts may already know that I am VERY fond of Normal Monster Decks as I think they got some massive support going on and a Normal Monster Deck can be quite powerful and enjoyable if done right. So that leads me directly to the deck I have come up with, which is a Normal High Level XYZ Deck as I would call it – maybe it could be even called Normal XYZ Dragons for the fact that it runs mostly Dragon Creatures – not for the sake of their Dragon Type, but rather for the sake of their Level and Normal Monster Status! Besides 3 copies of the classic BEWD I am running tripple Rabidragon and tripple Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord, totalling in at 9 (!) Level 8 Normal Monsters to play around with. The latter two are a bit and considerably weaker than BEWD respectively – Seal has 0 ATK and 0 DEF even – but all that doesn’t matter in the age of XYZ.

So before I go more into detail, let me share my proposed decklist:

Rank 8 Dragon XYZ Extravaganza:

Monsters…15

3 x Flamvell Guard

3 x Alexandrite Dragon

3 x Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord

3 x Rabidragon

3 x Blue-Eyes White Dragon

Spells…21

3 x Ancient Rules

3 x Summoner’s Art

3 x XYZ Reception

3 x Galaxy Queen’s Light

3 x Swing of Memories

3 x Trade-In

3 x Heart of the Underdog

Traps…4

2 x Champion’s Vigilance

2 x Call of the Haunted

Extra Deck…9

3 x Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon

2 x Thunder-End Dragon

2 x Number 46: Dragluon

2 x Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis

About the Deck:

Well, there’s not much to be said about the Monsters in the Deck, as for the most part, their stats are irrelevant (though a 3000 ATK Blue-Eyes first turn and for free through Ancient Rules is nice as well) and their effects do not exist since they are all Normal Monsters, and pretty much all that counts is their (high) Level. As I pointed out above I have 9 out of a total of 15 Monsters that are Level 8, with the oddballs Alexandrite Dragon (Level 4) and Flamvell Guard (Level 1). The former is just in for his awesome 2000 ATK and can be “tuned up” to a Level 8 by means of Galaxy Queen’s Light whereas you can do the same with the latter, but the main reason that Flamvell Guard made the cut is the fact that he is a Level 1 TUNER, so you can Synchro into an Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon if you want to take that route. It has to be noted that there are precious few Monsters in this deck overall. However there are tons of quality Spells that should make up for that deficiency – if it even is one.

First off, the fact that this is a Normal Monsters only deck lets me run what I think is one of the most potent draw engines in existance in the YGO TCG so far, if only you run enough Normal Monsters: Heart of the Underdog. This Continuous Spell lets you draw another card whenever you draw a Normal Monster during your Draw-Phase. And another if it was a Normal Monster again and another and another and another… Heart of the Underdog ensures your supply of Normal Monsters needed direly to swarm the field with XYZs will not run dry and also interacts greatly with one of my big-bad XYZ-behemoths, which will be detailed later on.

Making up for the overall lack of Monsters, I am running 3 Summoner’s Art which let you add any of your high-Level Normal Monsters to your hand from the deck. This card could in theory be counted as a Monster as well as it will fetch you any of your Level 8s instantly. Furthermore it makes a great duo with Ancient Rules, which lets you Summon a Level 5 or higher Normal Monster from your hand straight away, which is great overall for setting up for some massive Rank 8 XYZ action!

XYZ Reception serves the same purpose pretty much as it lets you Special Summon a Monster with the same Level as one that is already in play on your side of the field right away. Imagine you Special Summon any Level 8 Monster with Ancient Rules and then a second one from hand with XYZ Reception. You would be able to go for any of your (Rank 8) XYZs straight away.

Also very useful in facilitating even multiple XYZ-Summons is Galaxy Queen’s Light. Basically what it does in this deck is this:  If you managed to put one of your Level 8 Monsters into play (and there are a TON of ways to achieve that in this particular build) and got some of your lower Level Monsters out (Alexandrite Dragon or Flamvell Guard) they’ll all be turned into Level 8s and you can go ahead and Special Summon some massive Monsters from among your XYZs in your Extra Deck.

As if the raw draw-power of Heart of the Underdog would not be enough, the deck also features 3 copies of Trade-In, which let you discard one of your many Level 8 Monsters to draw you two new cards. This is great in and off itself but you can also do something akin to an one-two punch, by sending one of said Monsters to the graveyard by means of Trade-In, drawing 2 cards and then reanimating the discarded Monster right away with one of your three Swing of Memories or one of the two Call of the Haunted.

The former, Swing of Memories is really great as it Special Summons any Normal Monster from the Graveyard for one turn. It would be destroyed at end of turn, but that “drawback”, if I should even call it that, is actually irrelevant if you Summoned the Monster with XYZ on your mind!

To round out the deck I included 4 Traps – 2 of the aforementioned Call of the Haunted and one less standard Trap Card: Champion’s Vigilance. This is a Solemn Verdict that comes at no Life Points cost at all. So it negates the Summoning of a Monster or activation of a Spell or Trap (which are destroyed) when you activate it. The only requirment is that you have to control a Level 7 or higher Normal Monster to activate it – no problemo in a deck like this I would say!!

Coming to the Extra Deck, I am running 3 Synchro Monsters, namely three copies of Azure-Eyes Silver Dragon…

…which can be handy as none of your Dragons can be targeted or be destroyed by card effects until the end of the next turn after this one was Special Summoned AND as Azure-Eyes revives any Normal Monster in your Graveyard during each of your Standby-Phases. This begs to be used for furhter XYZ-Summons and if you manage to get two Azure-Eyes out you will be able to re-use two of your Level 8s from your graveyard to XYZ-Summon on each of your turns. Pretty amazing!

Thunder-End Dragon is your emergency button so to say! He has an impressive 3000 ATK and you can detach one XYZ Material during your turn to destroy ALL other Monsters on the field. Quite brutal if you ask me!

Number 46: Dragluon has 3000 ATK as well and three Dragon-related effects, whereby the first is most important in the context of this particular deck: Simply detach an XYZ-Material to Special Summon any Dragon from your hand. That will inevitably give you even more material for further XYZ-action!

Lastly, Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis is yet another 3000 ATK dragonic behemoth with an amazing effect as well:

As you can read for youself, you can once per turn detach an XYZ Material from him to discard or tribute from your side of the field a number of Monsters to destroy the same number of cards on the field – any type, any position. This is really powerful if you think of how many Monsters the previously discussed Heart of the Underdog will draw you!

Well, overall I think I will really enjoy playing this deck – I own all the cards listed so why not give it a try. What I do not know is if it would stand a chance in a competitive environment at all. I do however like all the possible interactions and the fact that this is yet another take on the Normal Monsters kind of decks I am so fond of!

I hope you enjoyed this deck and strategy article and all that remains for me to say is…

Game on!

Yours,

Andi

YGO: Showing Some Love For Equip Spells!

Dear friends of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG!

Ever since I laid eyes on this card…

… I felt the urge to build Equip-Spell centered decks that made use of the awesome draw potential slumbering in Sunlight Unicorn. In this two part article I will showcase two totally different approaches on Equip-Spell-themed decks, the first of which does not even run Sunlight Unicorn but does run a good number of Equip cards as a central part of its strategy. Let me get started with…

Abyss-Equip Control:

Monsters…24

3 x Vylon Ohm

3 x Abyss Soldier

3 x Mermail Abysshilde

3 x Mermail Abyssturge

3 x Mermail Abysspike

3 x Mermail Abyssnose

3 x Atlantean Heavy Infantry

3 x Atlantean Marksman

Spells…12

3 x Abyss-Scale of Cetus

3 x Abyss-Scale of the Kraken

3 x Abyss-Scale of Mizuchi

2 x Moray of Greed

1 x Dark Hole

Traps…4

3 x Fish Depth Charge

1 x Torrential Tribute

About the Deck:

This is a heavy-field control deck using Abyssoldier and various Mermail Monsters to discard cards for beneficial effects such as those of the Atlantean Monsters, that destroy set or face-up cards when discarded for the effect of a Water Monster, all supported by 3 of each of the Abyss-Scale Equipments. As there are relatively few (only a quarter of the deck) Equip-Spells, I did decide against Sunlight Unicorn, which will however be prominently featured in the second deck to be showcased in this very article. The only odd non-Water Monster I insited on running was Vylon Ohm, as the Abyss-Scales will get destroyed – for potentially great and disruptive effects as I think – and Vylon Ohm lets you return an Equip-Spell from your graveyard to your hand, which is a nice thing and not found so easily in the YGO TCG as a whole. I have to note that this is a very unusual Mermail-build as most of those focus on quickly XYZ-ing or Synchro Summoning through the swarming capabilities of the Mermail Monsters. I passed on all of that – not least cause this is intended for casual play only and is not aiming to be competitive.

Let us look at some of the Monsters. Here is your basic Abyss Soldier:

Abyss Soldier has quite an amazing, terribly disruptive effect as you can return ANY card on the field to its owner’s hand, no matter if Spell/Trap or Monster or if face-up/face-down etc. Now it gets even worse for your opponent if you combine Abyss-Soldier or some of your Mermails discard effects with cards like Atlantean Marksman and Atlantean Heavy Infantry. When discarded for the effect of a Water Monster like Abyss Soldier, Marksman will let you destroy any 1 set card on the field whereas Heavy Infantry will let you destroy any 1 face-up card. Both is pretty amazing combined with Abyss Soldier, as you’ll get rid of 2 cards at the price of one.

On to the Mermails, asides from serving as targets for the Abyss-Scale Equips (we will come to those in due time) those have great effects as well. Abysshilde lets you Special Summon a Mermail Monster from hand when she is discarded (let’s say for the effect of Abyss Soldier or your other Mermails). Abyssturge lets you discard a Water Monster (once again the Atlanteans come to mind) when Normal Summoned to return a Level 3 or lower Water Monster from graveyard to hand. You can use that effect not only  to activate Atlantean Marksman or Heavy Infantry, but also to receive one of the two to use them once again. Your Abyss Soldiers won’t run out of ammo any time soon in this deck, that’s for sure! Abysspike does a similar thing as you can once again discard a Water Monster when he is Normal Summoned which lets you then search your deck for a Level 3 Water Monster and put it into your and. Of course the Atlanteans would be good targets for to fetch. Lastly, Abyssnose lets you discard a Water Monster when it destroys an opponent Monster to Special Summon a Mermail Monster straight from the Deck.

Now about the actual Equip-Spells: I am running 3 of every of the 3 different Abyss-Scales in existance. All of them can only be equipped to Mermail Monsters and Abyss-scale of Mizuchi gives 800 ATK to the Monster it equips and is destroyed when a Spell’s effect is activated on your opponent’s side of the field. It negates that effect. Similarly. Abyss-scale of Cetus negates an opponent Trap effect as well as giving an 800 ATK boost. Abyss-scale of the Kraken lastly gives a 400 ATK boost and negates a Monster effect and is sent to the graveyard if it does. So with all these negation effects you will only further interrupt your opponent and for the fact that the Abyss-scales are sent to the graveyard by that, Vylon Ohm was added to retrieve some of them so you can re-use their effects.

One last card I wanted to Note is Fish Depth Charge. It is a Trap you can activate to Tribute one of your Fish Type Monsters to destroy any card on the field and then draw a card. Nice to have this one in reaction to one of your Mermails getting destroyed anyways!

Gemini Equip (Unicorn-Powered):

Monsters…16

3 x Sunlight Unicorn

3 x Vylon Ohm

2 x Armed Samurai Ben Kei

3 x Iron Blacksmith Kotetsu

3 x Evocator Chevalier

2 x Phoenix Gearfried

Equip Spells…19

3 x Supervise

3 x Fusion Sword Murasame Blade

3 x Mage Power

3 x United We Stand

3 x Axe of Despair

2 x Big Bang Shot

2 x Symbols of Duty

Other Spells…4

2 x Trade-In

1 x Foolish Burial

1 x Reinforcements of the Army

Traps…1

1 x Call of the Haunted

About the Deck:

This is a Gemini-Equip Deck that is built in a way so as to max-out on Sunlight Unicorn as a potent draw engine. Almost half of the deck (19 cards out of 40) are Equip Spells so this means that statistically, one out of two times, you WILL get an extra card from Unicorn and that for free basically. Since it lets you take a reaveled (“excavated”) Equip-Spell from the top of your deck into your hand, your supply of said Equip-Spells will get restocked again and again. That is much needed actually due to the very nature of Equip-Spells, which are very vulnerable, not only to Spell removal like the classic Mystical Space Typhoon, but also due to the fact that they live and die so to say with the Monsters they are equipped to. And Monsters will die – a lot! There are just so many easy ways to get rid of pretty much any Monster so your Equip Spells will not stay all that long in most match-ups. Another card to remedy the situation to some extent is Vylon Ohm, which we have already seen in the first deck discussed previoulsy in this article. When Vylon Ohm is Normal Summoned you can banish an Equip-Spell from your graveyard and take it into your hand during your next Standby-Phase, which is a nice way to recover lost Equipment.

Before I come to the Equip-half of the deck, let me introduce you to the rest of the Monsters first:

I run only two different Gemini Monsters actually, so the deck name “Gemini-Equip” could be seen as a bit misleading – I shall discuss the two Geminis shortly, but first a few words on two of the other, non-Gemini Monsters I am running in this deck. First off, we got 3 copies of Iron Blacksmith Kotetsu. He is really neat in getting you any or rather THE Equip-Spell that you need most at any point in a game, as he can be flipped to add any 1 Equip-Spell from your deck to your hand. Secondly there are two odd copies of potentially highly dangerous Armed Samurai – Ben Kei in the deck:

I once built a deck focussed solely on a Ben Kei OTK (one-turn-kill) but disassembled it as it either won on turn 1 (if the opponent went first) or it did not work at all. I run two odd copies of Ben Kei in this deck as a potentially very powerful side-strategy. As you can see the Armed Samurai is quite weak at 500/800 but his effect rocks in a deck consisting of 50% Equip Spells. Once you equip him a few times, the small guy becomes a force to be reckoned with. For each card equipped to Ben Kei he will get one additional attack during each Battle Phase. This means if you attach just two Axe of Despair, he will be a 2500 ATK beast that can attack thrice. That alone can whipe out whole opponent armies in one Battle-Phase.

Now coming to the actual Geminis, I run two of them: The Level 4 Evocator Chevalier as well as Level 12 Phonix Gearfried. Both of them have quite amazing and useful effects related to Equipment, once they have been summoned again to activate their Gemini effects.

Evocator Chevalier…

… has a decent ATK of 1900 and when you summoned him for the second time he will get the amazing effect of sending any Equip-Card to the graveyard in order to destroy ANY 1 card your opponent controls. With 19 Equipments in total in the deck you should have ample ammo for the Chevalier and you can always use Vylon Ohm to retrieve an Equipment that was sacrificed if you really need it back.

Phoenix Gearfried…

…lets you Special Summon a Gemini from your Graveyard whenever an opponent activates a Spell card AND when a Spell or Trap card is activated during either player’s turn, you can just conveniently send one of your Equip cards to the graveyard to negate the effect and destroy the activated Spell or Trap card – very powerful card effect as well. And he swings in at 2800 ATK at the very least – if not boosted by a ton of Equipment that is!

Before I get to the contents of my diverse and numerous “weaponry” a few words about the non-Equip Spells. Trade-In is just great to drop a Phoenix Gearfried into the graveyard, from where he can be reanimated by means of some of my Equip-Spells (more on those shortly) or by the single Call of the Haunted I am running, which will draw you two extra cards in the process. I am really a huge fan of Trade-In and find myself running this handy Spell alongside many Level 8 Monsters in many a deck! Also I included a Foolish Burial for similar reasons, dropping Gearfried into the Graveyard to set everything up for Special Summoning him from there, as well as one Reinforcements of the Army, which will “tutor” for either Ben Kei or Evocator Chevalier, whichever you need most at that point.

Now to the other half of the deck, the actual Equip-Spells:

  • Supervise is central to this deck, although I run precious few actual Gemini Monsters (5 to be precise). It lets me turn a Gemini Monster into an Effect Monster with the effects as stated on the Monster card and, and this is crucial, when Supervise is sent to the Graveyard from the filed, it lets me Special Summon a Normal Monster from the Graveyard. Well first of all you can destroy it at will through the awesome effects of Evocator Chevalier or Phoenix Gearfried and then it can reanimate any Gemini Monster, preferably another Phoenix Gearfried, since those count as Normal Monsters while in the Graveyard. This is arguable the best Equip card you have in this deck, although it doesn’t give any stats boosts by itself and is useless if you don’t have a Gemini Monster around to equip it to.
  • Fusion Sword Murasama Blade is simply great as well, although you need a Warrior to equip it to. Ben Kei, Evocator Chevalier and Gearfried would be your targets. Not only does it give a somewhat lackluster 400 ATK boost to the Monster it equips, but also said Monster cannot be destroyed by card effects! This is simply amazing as all your key creatures (well save for your main draw engine, the Sunlight Unicorn) are of the Warrior Type and the Fusion Sword makes them more or less invincible to any Monster removal, be it pinpoint like a common Fissure or mass removal of the likes of Dark Hole etc…
  • Mage Power gives the equipped Monster +500 ATK for every Spell and Trap card on your side of the field. So at the very least it will grant a 500 ATK boost for itself and in a deck full of Equip Spells it can be far more dangerous in theory.
  • United We Stand even gives a 800 ATK AND DEF Boost for each face-up Monster you control.
  • Axe of Despair just gives a hefty 1000 ATK to the Monster it equips – fair and square!
  • Big Bang Shot gives +400 ATK and the Monster it is attached to will deal piercing battle damage which is great to get through opponent defenses easily.
  • Symbols of Duty is Special in that it lets you send one of your face-up Normal Monsters (think of your Geminis) to the graveyard to Special Summon any Monste from ANY graveyard. This can be handy for reanimating Phoenix Gearfried or for stealing any opponent Monster from their graveyard, which I find pretty neat!

 

YGO: Two Creative Decks Built On A Budget

Dear readers and friends of the fine Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG!

Well believe it or not, but I had a revelation – one of a rather stupid and (to many) rather obvious kind. So I had bought together various Yu-Gi-Oh card lots consisting mostly of Common cards of off ebay on the cheap over the course of the last 1,5 to 2 years or so. Previously, I discarded the most part of those as utter “cardboard junk” and did not pay much attention to the bulk of the cards I own from purchasing these cheap-ass lots in the past. What I just recently realized is the pretty much obvious fact, that many of the newer cards, that is since XYZs had been introduced, only make sense when you look at the card LEVELS and NOT their stats. Konami has been boosting and supporting the XYZ-Summoning thing a lot in recent years and made many, many cards that are great for XYZ-Summoning and make only little or no “sense” otherwise. So these cards are relevant and “good” because of their Level rather than their stats and often have ways to easily special summon themselves or other similar cards. Take this Common for example:

If you just see it as a 1800 ATK one-Tribute Monster this would really suck. But if you see it as a 5 Star XYZ Material that can be Special Summoned easily in the right deck (a Chronomaly Deck in this case), the card can be really, really awesome for XYZ-ing into anything Rank 5!

Well I know it is mighty late for me to realize to look at recent cards from an “XYZ perspective” but suddenly, a whole new dimension opened up in  front of me when looking through my extensive, mostly Common card collection. So just recently I build an almost all Level 3 Gorgonic Rock Deck focussing heavily on summoning loads of Rank 3 XYZs. Then today I looked through a bunch of my cards one more time and the result of my “research” or “exploration” were two decks which consist pretty much exclusively of Common cards or cards that I own and are all easily to come by as they are included in many more or less recent Starter and Structure Decks.

Let me share with you the two decks I came up with. I think they are making quite creative use of many cards that are either Common or obtained easily in said Structure and Starter Decks. The two decks are rather different from each other, the first focussing on XYZ-ing into Number 39: Utopia and other Rank 4 XYZs and the latter is what I call a “Twilightsworn” type of deck, which only features one quite costly card which I happen to own and runs tons of Lightsworn cards, which are all to be obtaine easily and cheaply since the release of the Realm of Light Structure Deck, which I reviewed on here earlier as well as a heavy focus on Synchros! Let us get started with the XYZ Deck – and yeah I admit to the fact that I am really becoming somewhat of an “XYZ Pimp” myself here, but I try to keep it in check by pursuing budget friendly XYZ-adventures! 😀

Star Seraph Utopia:

Monsters…24

3 x Star Seraph Scout

3 x Star Seraph Sword

3 x Star Seraph Sage

3 x Nova Summoner

2 x ZW – Sleipnir Mail

2 x Vylon Prism

2 x Honest

3 x Goblindbergh

2 x Express Train Trolley Olley

1 x Kagetokage

Spells…11

3 x Photon Lead

3 x XYZ Reception

2 x Celestial Transformation

2 x Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen

1 x Dark Hole

Traps…5

3 x Lumenize

1 x Mirror Force

1 x Call of the Haunted

Extra…15

3 x Number 39: Utopia

1 x Number C39: Utopia Ray

3 x Gem-Knight Pearl

2 x Number 10: Illumiknight

1 x Fairy Cheer Girl

1 x Gagaga Cowboy

1 x Starliege Paladynamo

3 x Stardust Dragon

About the Deck:

First of all I have to say that I find myself building Light-Attribute-centered YGO decks time and time again  and this must be the 6th or 7th of all the Light decks I have come up with and actually assembled so far (other examples would be my Fairies and Blue-Eyes Synchro Decks etc). This is largely due to the fact that the Light Attribute not only has an amazing array of Monsters to offer, but also a ton of GREAT support cards such as the awesome Honest or the Commons Lumenize or Photon Lead. All three of these cards are featured in the above deck as you saw in the decklist.

The idea for this deck came to me when I pretty much stumpled upon three Common Monsters all called “Star Seraph”. All of these are Level 4 Light Attribute Fairy Type Monsters, two of which can Special Summon additional Star Serphas rather easily. So the idea of a Fairy-focused Light XYZ Deck aiming for XYZ-ing into Rank 4 Monsters was born. I found many great cards to go along with that. First a bit about the Star Seraphs. Here’s a sample:

So Star Seraph Sage lets you easily Special Summon another Star Seraph from Hand OR Graveyard by discarding a Spell Card. Star Seraph Scout lets you Special Summon another Star Seraph from hand even easier: When it is Normal Summoned, you can just Special Summon another Star Seraph from hand. Lastly, Star Seraph Sword has no such effect but you can once during your turn discard another Star Seraph from Hand to give it an ATK boost of the original ATK of the discarded card. This would make its ATK anything between 2600 and 3000 depending on which Star Seraph you discard.

Nova Summoner is great in that it lets you search for either Star Seraph Sword or Scout when it dies in battle, which can be useful to facilitate some easy XYZ-Summons. Besides Nova Summoner and the Seraphs, which are all Fairy Types, I am running a number of support non-Fairy Light Monsters. ZW – Sleipnir Mail can be attached to one of your Utopias from hand or from play to give it a permanent and mighty 1000 ATK boost, turning your 2500 ATK Utopias into 3500 ATK behemoths. Furhtermore when the equipped Utopia dies, you can Special Summon an Utopia from your Graveyard. Vylon Prism is a Thunder Type Level 4 Tuner that can be equipped to a Monster when it leaves the Monster Card Zone to give it 1000 ATK during damage calculation only. You could use it to Synchro Summon Stardust Dragon and give the Dragon that ATK boost right away, making it a 3500 ATK Monster. Or you could boost an Utopia in a similar way by just detaching the Vylon Prism XYZ-Material from said Utopia. The last Light Attribute Support Monster is the obvious Honest, which can be a real life saver in a deck with mostly Light Monsters. If you still don’t know what it does, please look it up on the yugioh wikia!

Lastly, I am running a number of non-Light Monsters that go well with the overall (XYZ) theme of the deck. Goblindbergh is a staple in many decks and that for good reason. When he is Normal Summoned you can switch him into Defense Position to Special Summon another Level 4 or lower Monster from hand. This can facilitate some XYZ-Summons very easily. One good target would be the ridiculously named Express Train Trolley Olley. Summon Goblindbergh and then the Express Train from hand and XYZ into anything Rank 4, and the XYZ Monster will get a permanent +800 ATK boost from Trolley Olley, which is quite nice as it will give you a 3300 ATK Utopia or a 3400 ATK Gem-Knight Pearl etc. Lastly I run one odd copy of Kagetokage (since I own just one) which can be Special Summoned from hand whenever you Normal Summon a Level 4 Monster, once again setting up some instant XYZ-action!

Coming to the Spells: I have tons of ways of Special Summoning Fairy and/or Light Type Monsters. First off, Photon Lead Special Summons any Level 4 or lower Light Monster from your hand, which means you can Special Summon any Monster in the deck except 6 (your Goblindberghs, Trolley Olleys and the sole Kagetokage). XYZ-Reception lets you target one Monster you control with a Level and lets you then Special Summon a Monster with the same Level from your hand. The Monster’s ATK and DEF become 0 and its effects are negated, but all that does not matter cause you need it for quickly XYZ-Summoning some Monster from your Extra Deck anyways. I find XYZ-Reception an exceptionally great and useful card, especially for a common which I can imagine to be just SO useful in many XYZ-focused builds. Also, I am running two Celestial Transformations that serve the same purpose: They Special Summon a Fairy Type Monster from your hand. Its ATK is halved and it is destroyed at End-Phase, however, once again, you won’t need the Monster any longer than you can say “XYZ!”. Lastly, Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen does a similar job in that it lets you Special Summon a Fairy from hand if you control no Monsters currently. Also one copy of Dark Hole was added – just because it is a staple!

As for the Traps, I run tripple Lumenize which I think is an exceptional Common card which just works so well in any deck running at least some Light Monsters. Basically it lets you negate an attack and gives one of your Light Monsters an ATK-boost equal to the ATK of the Monster whose attack you negated until your next End-Phase. To round out the Traps part of the deck I am running one Mirror Force and one Call of the Haunted – pretty much standard…

As all my Extra Decks, this one is quite raw and is far from final. Besides Number 39: Utopia I put in just some more or less random Rank 4 Monsters which I happen to own. I just lack the knowledge of existing XYZs to come up with a more focused, better Extra Deck as I have to admit. Still I think the Monsters I have in the Extra Deck currently are not that bad of a mix, and I even found a home for my Illumiknights which require 3 Level 4 Monsters to be XYZ-Summoned. With so many ways to Special Summon Monsters as in the above deck, I think meeting these requirements will not be too hard and indeed very realistic!

Budget Graveyard-Trix Twilightsworn Synchro:

Monsters…25

1 x A/D – Changer

1 x Vylon Tetra

2 x Plaguespreader Zombie

3 x Ryko, Lightsworn Hunter

3 x Necro Gardna

1 x Minerva, Lightsworn Maiden

1 x Lumina, Lightsworn Summoner

1 x Raiden, Hand of the Lightsworn

1 x Ehren, Lightsworn Monk

1 x Lyla, Lightsworn Sorceress

1 x Wulf, Lightsworn Beast

1 x Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite

2 x Vylon Prisma

1 x Celestia, Lightsworn Angel

1 x Gragonith, Lightsworn Dragon

2 x Chaos Sorcerer

1 x Judgment Dragon

1 x Black Luster Soldier, Envoy of the Beginning

Spells…8

3 x Solar Recharge

3 x Monster Reincarnation

1 x Charge of the Light Brigade

1 x Dark Hole

Traps…7

3 x Skill Inheritance

3 x Breakthrough Skill

1 x Torrential Tribute

Extra…9

3 x Michael the Arc-Lightsworn

3 x Scrap Archfiend

3 x Stardust Dragon

About the Deck:

This deck has a rather long name, granted… Let us analyze it: First off it is a Budget Deck, as for the most part the cards are Common or easy to acquire, especially since most of the cards are to be found in the latest of the Structure Deck series (please read my review also to be found on this blog!). The only quite expensive card I can think of is Black Luster Soldier: Envoy of the Beginning, whom I was lucky enough to find in a random booster. Secondly, I called the Deck “Graveyard-Trix” because it includes lots of cards with which nasty tricks can be pulled off – from the graveyard. I am running the well-known Necro Gardna and Plaguespreader Zombie as well as lesser known and used cards such as Skill Inheritance and Breakthrough Skill. Also, the Deck is called “Twilightsworn” since I chose a Lightsworn build as a solution for getting my “Graveyard-Trix” cards into the graveyard in the first place. And “Twilight” because I am not only running Light Monsters but also a good number of Dark ones so as to make Chaos Sorcerer and Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning a possiblity. Lastly the “Synchro” in the title indicates that Synchro-Summoning is an integral part of the deck.

As the main “engine” of the deck I run 11 Lightsworn Monsters (+ Michale the Arch-Lightsworn in the Extra Deck), most of them as one-ofs only. That allows me to play Judgment Dragon for instance and also lets me send a substantial number of my own cards from Deck to Graveyard. And that is where many of them become useful.

First off, some of my “killer” Monsters require you to banish one Light and one Dark Monster from the Graveyard to Special Summon them. These are Chaos Sorcerer and immensely powerful Black Luster Soldier – Envoy of the Beginning. Bask in his glory for a moment:

Then I have some Monsters AND Traps that are most useful when in your Graveyard. Plaguespreader Zombie is a Level 2 Tuner that can be Special Summoned from the Graveyard easily by its own effect and can be combined with a Level 4 Lightsworn for instance to Synchro into a Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn. Blackwing – Zephyros the Elite is a Level 4 non-Tuner that can be Special Summone from the Graveyard as well if needed. Then I got 3 Necro Gardnas which can be banished from the Graveyard to negate any one attack. Also I included one A/D – Changer which has an effect that may seem negligible and situational, however I think it MAY be useful at times: You can banish him from the Graveyard to change the battle position of any 1 Monster on the field. Then I got 3 copies of 2 different Trap cards that have effects that can be activated from the Graveyard. Skill Inheritance lets you give a Monster an  800 ATK Boost for a turn if banished from the Graveyard and Breakthrough Skill negates the Effects of a Monster for one turn if removed from the Graveyard.

Also the deck features lots of Tuners from Levels 2 – 4 that allow for many combinations in order to Synchro Summon Michael, the Arch-Lightsworn (Lv. 6) to Stardust Dragon (Lv. 8). Vylon Prism is especially nice. We dealt with that one in the first deck description already. It is a Lv. 4 Tuner that can boost one of your Monster’s ATK during combat by 1000.

As for the Spells, I am running the best draw a Lightsworn deck can have with tripple Solar Recharge as well as what makes a depleted deck and a full graveyard a diverse and efficient toolbox: Monster Reincarnation, three of them. It lets you discard a card to take any one Monster from your Graveyard into your hand. This means you can just dump your Ace-Monsters like Judgment Dragon and Black Luster Soldier: Envoy of the Beginning into your Graveyard to conveniently retrieve them through Monster Reincarnation!

YGO: Three Decks I want to build: Photon Ritual, Gorgonic Rock & Evol!

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:

Monsters…21

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

Spells…10

3 x Photon Lead

3 x Photon Sanctuary

3 x Luminous Dragon Ritual

1 x One for One

Traps…9

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.

Gorgonic Rock:

Monsters…19

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

Spells…8

3 x Catapult Zone

2 x XYZ-Override

1 x Dark Hole

1 x Terraforming

1 x Mystical Space Typhoon

Traps…13

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

Extra…13

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!!

Evo-Deck:

Creatures…23

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

Spells…8

3 x Evo-Force

3 x Evo-Diversity

2 x Evo Miracle

1 x Foolish Burial

Traps…9

3 x Offering to the Snake Deity

3 x Evo-Instant

3 x Call of the Haunted

Extra…7

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:

Evolzar Laggia:

Evolzar Dolkka:

Evolzar Solda:

 

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.