Jump to content
  • News

    Our website articles

    • bufuudyne
      Since the last "Meta in Motion" article, the format has seen a shift in what's been seen as competitively viable, though two archetypes from before have stood the test of time (for the moment) and carved their names as this season's decks-to-beat. From the deck archives from the last NAWCQ, SAWCQ, and European Qualifiers, [Goukis], [Trickstars], and [Sky Strikers] had the most top cut representation, with the latter two archetypes having been meshed together to dominate the competition – in terms of representation, “Sky Striker Ace”/”Trickstar” practically dwarfs every other deck in the format, even the Pure variant, and is only closely followed by “Goukis” statistically. While the former archetypes made up a majority of the tournament's population, decks like [SPYRALs], [Mekk-Knights], and even [Paleozoics] struggled to make their mark at the WCQs, with nearly 1800 participants dueling for the coveted first place position. With the ban list rumored to be released in August of 2018, there is an air of concern about the current state of affairs, what with "Sky Strikers" having access to a number of problematic cards at their disposal, as well as the results broadcasting a possible need for Konami's TCG department to handle the issue through either limiting or outright banning particular aspects of the top contending decks. Despite the uncertainty as to how the ban list will handle the current play space, there’s no doubt that “Sky Strikers,” “Goukis,” and “Trickstars” will continue to reign supreme in the current format and are the most popular decks moving forward into July.
      What’s Changed?
         In terms of population and popularity, the competitive field barely changed - however, considering the aforementioned “Sky Striker Ace”/”Trickstar” deck’s population count and overall success in the game’s most recent TCG event, it is worth noting as to how and why this particular deck has managed to do so well in the current climate, as well as understanding how best to approach the deck if matched up against it. First and foremost, the “Trickstar” core is incredibly small, having only to rely on [Trickstar Candina], [Trickstar Lycoris], and [Trickstar Lilybell] as the only Main Deck monsters, [Trickstar Light Stage] as their Field Spell and as their archetypal searcher, and the infamous [Trickstar Reincarnation] to heavily disrupt the opponent’s hand and to be used as a revival card to either extend plays or recover fields. As a result, the deck is open to different variations, utilizing a high number of hand traps, Token generators, and draw cards, among other options, to optimize and differentiate them from the competition. It also utilizes perhaps the game’s most simplistic engine to boost their consistency and efficiency; as a quick recap, all of the “Sky Striker Ace” Spell cards have a simple requirement of not controlling any monsters on the player’s field in order to resolve, and as an added bonus, if the GY has three Spell cards when you activate any of the “Sky Striker Ace” Normal Spell cards, they all have a second effect that range from an additional draw to gaining control of one of your opponent’s monster. The combination of the two resulted in a deck with great competitive capabilities and with a low difficulty rating, but not without weaknesses that can and have been used to shut down the strategy.
         While the deck sees great success through the use of the “Sky Striker Ace” Spell cards and with “Trickstar” effects effectively burning the opponent for every card added to the hand (voluntarily or not), that’s not to say the deck is without flaws . Looking at it analytically, one can note that the two archetypes of the deck suffer from their own specific weaknesses, namely with “Sky Striker Ace” having to rely so heavily on said Spell cards and with the “Trickstar” archetype having difficulties setting up a board with more than one monster at a given moment. If one were to play a card like [Anti-Spell Fragrance], it can effectively end any chance of the deck had in making any substantial plays unless an out is used before the card is formally resolved. Meanwhile, considering the nature of “Trickstars,” and how reliant they are on “Trickstar Candina” touching the field through a Normal Summon in order to search for combo pieces, negating said summon does a good job in hurting opening plays – that is to say that the player doesn’t already have the combo cards in hand but at that point that’s up to RNG and the luck factor in play. It’s a generalization to say that’s all the deck suffers from, that the deck has no real means to get around the issues, and that the deck practically gets shut down if one were to apply pressure on these fronts, but recognizing that these issues could mean a victory does help in choosing the right Side Deck options when faced against “Sky Striker Ace”/”Trickstars” in any setting, be it casual or competitive.
      What’s Next for the Format?
         With the ban list speculated to be around the corner, it’s difficult to not imagine how drastic the shifts in competitive viability the current contenders will be once the changes are implemented, as well as to how serious Konami’s TCG department can change the landscape with their Forbidden/Limited list additions, with many already voicing their opinions on how “Sky Striker Ace” as an archetype could be and/or should be adjusted. It could be argued that, if the reigning decks were out of the way, decks like [Altergeists] and [Burning Abyss] could see some success, with some decks already archived to have made it pretty far in their respective tournament settings. While I try to stay unbiased for the sake of competitive analysis and deck building suggestions, it wouldn’t be a lie to say that the current competitive climate would stand to benefit from their absence from the game, or at the very least move in the right direction if/when specific cards in their arsenals move to either the Limited or Forbidden list.

    • As a change of pace, it would be more prudent to look over and talk about what decks are currently seeing some attention as we enter June 2018 in this “new” playing field, as well as point out their individual strengths and weaknesses they bring to the table. With the recent introduction of the [Dark Saviors] Deck Build Pack, the game’s been shaken as more and more players pick up [Sky Strikers] as their go-to archetype moving forward, especially when facing threats like [Goukis] and [Trickstars]. The ban list effective as of May 21st, 2018 has also forced some of the more prominent figures of the format to change their deck profiles to reflect the adjustments, which either crippled their presence in the game as a whole or reinvented their play style to be better acclimated. But what has changed the game more drastically than any one archetype at this moment has been a change in the “end of match” procedures, with many a duelist voicing their opinions for or against the updated rule. Nonetheless, the changes in the TCG format has brought about a number of new contenders to challenge long standing veteran decks and their achievements are worth noting for those interested in picking up the decks in the near future – considering the number of decks seeing play as of late, I’ll only briefly talk about the top 5 most commonly played decks between May 23rd and May 29th, 2018, courtesy of [TCGPlayer]’s deck archives.
      Who Are the Decks to Beat?
         First and foremost, the “Sky Strikers” have amassed a large following since their initial announcement and release in the OCG, with many arguing that the deck itself can be seriously considered as “Tier 0” material (which remains to be seen as the time of this article’s release). With a single monster in the Main Deck, two Link Monsters to switch between, and a large arsenal of in-archetype Spell cards to further their plays, many made the connection that the deck would be akin to [Zoodiacs] from several formats before. Due to the nature of the deck, many have already experimented with engines to see what suits the deck the best, with [Toon Table of Contents], [Foolish Burial Goods], and the [Bamboo Sword] series seeing play in one way or another. But what has caught the attention of many players is that it’s entire Spell line-up is not constricted by a hard “Once Per Turn” clause, which can give the player a serious advantage in both card economy and field control when properly recycling their materials, sans their Field Spell. Coupled with boss monsters that can bolster their own attack strengths or drain the opponent’s monsters ATK/DEF stats for each Spell card sitting in the GY, and you get a deck that is proficient in controlling the flow of the duel, as long as the opponent didn’t Side Deck accordingly and play cards like [Anti-Spell Fragrance] to break the momentum.
        With the change in the “End of Match” procedure and dodging two ban lists in a row, “Trickstars” have managed to stay where they are competitively using burn damage to drain the opponents down to critical levels, which makes a huge difference between advancing onto the next round or leaving the venue with the new rules in place. Having been relevant since their conception into the game, as well as having most of their archetypal cards reprinted in the [Star Pack VRAINS], the core is rather inexpensive, bearing in mind the deck runs cards like [Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring], [Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit], and [Droll & Lock Bird] at three each, as well as their infamous [Trickstar Reincarnation]. Their biggest threat are cards that negate or use the Effect Damage taken against the “Trickstar” player, with cards like [D/D/D Rebel King Leonidas] and [Beelze of the Diabolic Dragons] the first to come to mind. As of late, their more recent support has been more focused on Link Summoning, and while that’s definitely nice to see for a deck that was released during Link Format, it currently has little use for them in its current state – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” incarnate, as it were. While not the most popular choice among the player base for its “scummy play style,” the fact that it’s practically unhampered if not buffed by the new changes make it a viable deck to pick up for the current format.
         As a little recap, and to reiterate for those who are in the know, the [Altergeist] deck is set to have a few of their cards reprinted in the upcoming [Battles of Legend: Relentless Revenge] booster pack with erratas to fix their effects. Before, the deck had recently gained a reputation as a strong Control deck after the release of [Altergeist Multifaker], who singlehandedly bolstered the deck enough to bring it into competitive relevance. Its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness: the deck revolves around and generates fields off of the activation of Trap cards; with the release of [Red Reboot], many players have found themselves to be on edge when considering the match-up, as the aforementioned card has been a popular choice amongst duelists at every tournament event thus far. Still, the deck is set to become an even more serious threat, as the text change opens up more combo opportunities and stronger presence on the board through [Altergeist Manifestation] and [Altergeist Hexstia], respectively. A stronger deck now since its initial release, it only sees itself viable for more support that could potentially overthrow the more prominent of competitive figures in higher play as it is a deck used by one of the more prominent characters in the “Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS” anime series.
         Similarly, the “Gouki” archetype was an anime original deck many players turned their attention away from, as they were generally unremarkable when compared to some of the other decks that were played during their release, more prominently [Pendulum Magicians]. However, the release of [Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights] in [Extreme Force] and the [Knightmare] Link Monsters in [Flames of Destruction] opened the gateway for them to unleash terror in the form of Extra Link Summoning, effectively blocking the opponent from Extra Deck Summoning entirely by Co-Linking their own monsters from one Extra Monster Zone to the next, even pushing it further with [Knightmare Corruptor Iblee] sitting on the opponent’s field, blocking all forms of Special Summoning. As an aggressive deck, the archetype’s greatest strength comes from their monsters’ ability to float, as well as using the “Gouki” monsters repeatedly to feed the Link Summoning by rapidly Summoning and reviving to continue their combos. However, as the deck is heavily reliant on “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights” and general monster effects to get their final board set up, if the deck were to get disrupted or preemptively struck by [Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries], they falter in the recovery aspect. An entertaining deck to watch, but a nightmare to duel against, it’s already pushed past most of its opposition and has the number one spot in its sights.
         With the introduction of the “Knightmare” archetype, a familiar face also received indirect support through their strengths – [SPYRAL] has seen some more time in the spotlight, having incorporated the “Knightmare” Link Monsters to lock the board down tight through Co-Linking. Like before, they work off of manipulating the opponent’s top card to generate their board, using [SPYRAL GEAR – Drone] to reorganize the top 3 cards of the opponent’s deck in any order for the player to call which ever type of card to fulfill a Special Summon or an effect’s requirement, with previous ban lists attempting to water down their effectiveness to little avail. Like the aforementioned “Goukis,” “Isolde, Two Tales of the Noble Knights” and the “Knightmare” series’ inherent abilities have proven to be invaluable towards the deck’s recent successes. With the deck’s current resources, the best way to counter them would be to use cards like “Droll & Lock Bird” and “Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring” to limit the cards being moved from the Deck, and using “Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries” on their [SPYRAL Double Helix] can effectively shut the deck down hard. For those who still have their “SPYRAL” cards lying about, now would be a good time pick up the deck again.
      That Can't Be All, Right?
         Of course, this is only the tip of the competitive iceberg, with decks like “Pendulum Magicians,” [Mekk-Knight], and [True Draco] still seeing placements in tournament play, as well as a few appearances in low numbers, like [Paleozoic] [Frogs] and [Fur Hire]. However, this is only a rough overview of the current state of the game, as the format is still solidifying with each passing tournament event until the midway point between now and August 2018. I try to keep myself from being biased towards a few of these decks, but I can safely voice both my concern on a centralized meta around certain archetype and my pleasure in seeing a varied pool of archetypes making their mark, despite the fact that some of these archetypes had already garnered a reputation from a format or two before. I’m hoping that the game sees some more variety added into the bunch – the “Knightmare” Link Monsters have definitely played a large role in expanding the Link library in many decks, and only time will tell if more decks come back from the brink to place their bets on the table.

    • The [A-to-Z] archetype has most definitely seen an interesting turn to say the least, with the initial play style focusing on Union monsters that rely on [Fusion Summoning without Polymerization] to bring out their boss monsters to suddenly incorporating Chazz Princeton/Jun Manjome’s comically iconic [Ojama] line-up to quickly push out the Fusion monsters by going through a few hoops and hurdles to meet the requirements using cards from the more recent [Legendary Duelists: Ancient Millennium] expansion. It’s managed to keep itself relevant in our current game state, if not become a deck to beat in a competitive setting, due to the deck’s simplicity and versatility, the aforementioned “Ojama” cards included. Despite the popularity nowadays, it has not always been the case, as the original line-up of “VWXYZ” was critically panned by the player base for having poor synergy and underwhelming Fusion monsters – it wasn’t until 2016 when Konami reintroduced the Union monsters in the repurposed [Structure Deck: Seto Kaiba] box with tools that took the “Yu-Gi-Oh!” community by storm, with the deck winning tournaments and taking positions left and right. Technically speaking, the archetype can be broken down into two halves, the original “VWXYZs” from the anime series and the more recent “ABCs,” with the latter introducing support cards to help both halves work together to form their ultimate Fusion Monster – [A-to-Z-Dragon Buster Cannon]. Definitely a bit of a task, but it’ll definitely be of great use to those interested in building and understanding the essentials of the deck, myself included.

         While it would be of some benefit to go into detail about the original line-up of the “VWXYZ,” the cards themselves don’t lend themselves to the deck’s relevancy in our current format and has been generally forgotten by the player base for their lack of any real utility. At best, they work as a fun, casual variant for those interested in “showing off” their skill with the deck or for those who want to push out ridiculous monsters for laughs. For all intents and purposes, this article will focus more on the support released in the 2016 Structure Deck, including the "A-to-Z-Dragon Buster Cannon" – maybe in a future article, I’ll touch upon the other half, maybe go into those dark territories no duelists wish to tread.
         Our monster line-up for “ABCs” happen to share a lot of similarities, so for the sake of keeping things as brief and concise as possible, all three components will share this particular segment; [A-Assault Core], [B-Buster Drake], and [C-Crush Wyvern] are all Level 4 LIGHT Machine-Type Union monsters that read:
      As with any Union monsters in the game’s long history of cards, they all share an effect that allows them to equip themselves onto another monster and/or Special Summon themselves from the equipped monster, but unlike most from the past, they also provide a layer of protection that greatly benefits the archetype, with “A-Assault Core” = monster effects, “B-Buster Drake” = Spells, and “C-Crush Wyvern” = Traps. (Something easily denoted from the color of each of the monsters – orange, green, and purple respectively) One of their best strengths is that they have the ability to advance your plays by either adding a Union monster from the GY/Deck to the hand or Special Summoning a Union Monster from the hand, which comes in handy in our current format that focuses on Link Summoning in order to maximize board advantage. This comes especially handy when summoning their boss monster, who I’ll cover later in further detail, as it makes use of the components in the GY as material needed for its Fusion Summon. Maxing out the ratios on all of them is desirable, but many have found that running a 2 “A”/3 “B”/2 “C” ratio is acceptable to make space for more outside support like [Gold Gadget] and [Silver Gadget]; in the end, it’s more so player preference.
         To compliment the deck’s play style, their Field Spell [Union Hangar] provides a quick means of procuring you the pieces to forward your combos and net you the victory:
      Simply put, this card pushes you forward with no repercussions, no draw backs – it also synergizes well with the older “VWXYZ” monsters outside of [X-Head Cannon] and [V-Tiger Jet], since they are the only Normal monsters in the archetype. The fact that it allows you to attach a monster from the Deck on top of allowing you a free search is incredibly noteworthy, and is something envied by many archetypes old and new. It’s only limit is that it’s locked in a “once per turn” clause, but that is the least of your concerns when it can allow for an impressive first turn board with little effort at all. Run 3 copies, no question.
         [Union Scramble] is an interesting card, considering the game’s current attitude towards Trap Cards and the effect having a bit of a prerequisite before activating and resolving, but it provides enough of an advantage to turn the tides if in a pinch, or push your combos even further:
      In the current Link Format, being able to Special Summon as much as you can is greatly appreciated and it helps that each component of the “ABC” line up provide an advantage in either hand economy or further field presence. However, being a Normal Trap card makes it incredibly slow to start, and the GY effect having that stipulation in that it can only activate “during either player’s turn except the turn it was sent” makes it unreliable to lean on. Despite the draw backs, the card is still a viable choice in any “ABC” build, and it has definitely seen more life as a Side Deck option. Debatable on ratios, but 2 copies seem to be a good compromise.
         With the components “A-Assault Core,” “B-Buster Drake,” and “C-Crush Wyvern” combined, [ABC-Dragon Buster] takes the stage, and with it comes a power strong enough to compete with some of the game’s most vicious competitors to date:
      Unlike its predecessors before it, “ABC-Dragon Buster” can banish the materials needed for its Fusion Summon from the GY, which is not only a vast improvement, but also one that’s incredibly easy to meet as getting them all to the GY is not a difficult task. Even better, it can dodge effects that would target it by Tributing itself and Special Summoning any 3 LIGHT Machine-Type Union monsters with different names (the older branch included) as well as a removal-by-banishment effect for the cost of discarding one card – this can play into Fusion Summoning another copy from the Extra Deck if you decide to discard one of the three components for “ABC-Dragon Buster” to resolve its effect. Even with an effect that targets in our current format, the card is incredible and it definitely makes it plain to see why the deck has done so well since its inclusion in the game. Definitely 3 copies, as it ties in very well with “Union Hangar’s” searching and board progression.
         And now we come to the (technical) final boss of the set, the “crème-de-la-crème” of “A-to-Z” – the namesake of the entire archetype, “A-to­-Z-Dragon Buster Cannon.” Definitely a beast not to trifle with and a true threat on the board, but not one without its own set of problems:
      Basically: it stops anything and everything with a simple discard and it floats into the monsters banished for its Fusion Summon. The obvious problem being the Fusion Materials required for its Fusion Summon – in order to summon out the grand boss, you would need to incorporate the original “XYZ” line of monsters in order to Fusion Summon “XYZ-Dragon Cannon,” who requires its own Fusion Materials to be present on the field in order to banish. In a build that works with the more recent “Ojama” support, it’s surprisingly less of a headache to summon, but it finds little life outside of a more casual game space – if you choose to build a deck around “A-to-Z-Dragon Buster Cannon,” I would only recommend 1 copy, but if you don’t, avoid playing it.
         It’s actually hard to believe that this is only a fraction of the entire archetype, and even harder to come to terms about the recent “Ojama” and [Armed Dragon] support Konami decided to release to “help” push this deck over the edge. If you’re looking for something serious and more competitive, the “ABC” line should be more than enough, but a recent “Ojama ABC-Dragon Buster” deck making it into Top 8 at a Regional tournament in Spain seems to have made the small fries actually viable. That’s the true beauty of the deck, and definitely a reason as to why I’ve been so interested in picking them up.

    • It’s been nearly half a month since my last article about the “Fabled” archetype, and scheduling has not exactly been the kindest thing to me – during my time away from the Forums, I’ve kept up with the recent news of card releases, especially the archetypes being released in [Extreme Force], the next booster set to be released in the TCG next year in February. For those unfamiliar with what we’re to be expecting in “Extreme Force,” Konami’s card development team is planning to release two brand new archetypes on top of supporting [Altergeist], [Artifact], and [World Legacy], to name a few. The first in the line-up are the anticipated [Jack Knight] Link archetype, boasting a play style revolving around card columns and control unlike the game’s ever seen In years, as well as showing off their new Link Monster capable of striking directly with a whopping 3000 attack point value! To follow are the Flip-based [Tindangle] monsters, a DARK Fiend-type Link deck whose popularity stems from the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime series, as it is the titular deck used by Akira Zaizen. In the current game state, flipping monsters for effects hasn’t exactly been received well, considering the game moves too quickly for Flip effects to be utilized to their fullest; in recent times, before the release of “Tindangles”, the only notable examples of Flip archetypes have been [Subterror] and [Shaddoll] decks, with the latter taken down a notch after their star card – [El Shaddoll Construct] – was knocked into the Forbidden list as of November 2015, with no clear sign of its return to the game any time soon.

         Stemming away from the usual format of my archetype reviews, I thought it’d be prudent to go over their boss monster, [Tindangle Acute Cerberus], as the deck tries its hardest to bring this beast onto the field as quickly as possible. A DARK Fiend Link-3 monster with the same marker positions as [Decode Talker], the cost to summon may seem a little steep, but the archetype comes equipped with ways to either summon enough material as soon as it can or immediately summon it from the Extra Deck. (And that’s to be covered later in the article) A particular detail to note about “Tindangle Acute Cerberus” is the attack value on the card – 0 attack points? Why put so much effort into creating a Link-3 monster that’s specific to the archetype? The card advertises itself with its effect:

      Tindangle Acute Cerberus
      ATK/0 Link-3
      “ If you have 3 or more “Tindangle” monsters with different names, including at least one “Tindangle Base Gardna”, this card gains 3000 ATK. Gains 500 ATK for each “Tindangle” monster it points to. At the end of the Battle Phase, if this card declared an attack: You can Special Summon 1 “Tindangle Token” (Fiend/DARK/Level 1/0 ATK/0 DEF). ”
      So, in actuality, you’d be sending 3 “Tindangle” monsters to Link Summon a 3000 beater that could rival anything on the field, and it buffs itself up to nearly 4000 if 2 other “Tindangle” monsters are connected to its Link markers, which continues to combo into their Continuous Spell card, which (again) I’ll cover later in the article.
         The archetype’s monster line-up definitely shows synergy within the archetype, but their issues raise several flags for the deck’s consistency, which will start to become apparent as I go into detail. Starting from the lowest Level monster, we have [Tindangle Apostle], a Level 3 monster whose sole purpose is to flip other face-down cards face-up. While it can activate the effects of the other “Tindangle” monsters as well as outside support such as [Prediction Princess Coinorma], its real benefit only allows you to add as many “Tindangle” cards from your Deck to your hand for as many “Tindangle” monsters you flipped via Apostle – definitely more of a combo card rather than something substantial for setting up your board and can sit comfortably at two. [Tindangle Angel] is the Level 4 Flip monster that acts as a recovery agent for the deck, allowing you to Special Summon any Flip monster from the hand or from the GY whenever it’s flipped face-up. A definite “3 of” in the deck, as it sets up your plays while also ending your opponent’s Battle Phase if it manages to resolve its effect during their turn.
         Straying away from the Flip motif for a small moment, [Tindangle Base Gardna] is the deck’s Level 5 Fiend that Special Summon itself onto the field if you control a face-down monster. While it sit on the field, it can Tribute itself when a monster(s) is summoned onto a zone that your opponent’s Link Monster points to in order to summon any “Tindangle” monster from the hand or from the Deck in either Attack Position or face-down Defense Position. Of all of the “Tindangle” monsters at your disposal, Base Gardna’s packing a decent 2300 DEF, but trades any sort of offensive capabilities to be more of a “wall” for the archetype. While not exactly the hardest thing to summon – in fact, summoning out “Base Gardna” is fantastically easy, as long as you control a face-down monster – it’s highly reliant on the fact that you do control face-down monsters to begin with. As such, it’s probably best to keep it down to two – don’t want to draw into it too often, but keep it at a nice ratio for your deck to utilize efficiently.
         The last two cards in the “Tindangle” monster line-up act as the deck’s non-Link boss monsters, presenting themselves as the archetype’s beaters and combo starters. [Tindangle Intruder] is our Level 6 play maker, acting as one of the deck’s more consistent searchers and an archetypical [Foolish Burial] upon its Normal Summon. Additionally, it can also Special Summon itself from the GY in face-down Defense Position if a monster is Special Summoned face-down onto your board. Despite it being able to add any “Tindangle” card from the deck to the hand, its selection is rather limited due to a glaring flaw: the Spells are not “Tindangle” in name, only in their effects. Had “Tindangle Intruder” been able to add any card that says “Tindangle” in the text, then it would definitely improve this deck’s consistency, but as it stands currently, it’s a better searcher than “Tindangle Apostle” – run 3 for the necessity.
         Our true star of the deck is [Tindangle Hound], our Level 7 Flip beater sitting at 2500 attack points that can buff itself to formidable heights. When flip summoned, it targets any monster on the field and takes half of the original attack points before flipping the targeted monster face-down – for example, you can target a face-up “Tindangle Intruder” you control to add 1100 attack points on top of 2500 ATK and flip it back face-down to ready it for its own effect next turn. Additionally, it can drop your opponent’s monsters attack values by 1000 for every Link monster “Tindangle Hound” is linked with; if you have a [Proxy Dragon] on field while “Tindangle Acute Cerberus” is in the Extra Monster Zone, and they have an arrow on “Tindangle Hound,” your opponent’s monsters are losing 2000 attack points! It can also extend your plays in the chance of it being destroyed and sent to the GY, flipping a monster on your field into the face-up Defense Position and activating the monster’s effect. This monster is packing a number of effects that help the deck immensely, and a definite staple in any “Tindangle” variant.
        Now that we got the monsters analyzed and out of the way, the rest of the archetype is a cake walk to explain, considering the “Tindangle” deck only has 2 Spells and a single Trap card in its current arsenal. In terms of what they do for the deck, its varied – the Field Spell card is not exactly the most influential while its active, but the Continuous Spell can keep your boards intact while you build up for your Link Summoning. Unfortunately, they are not “Tindangle” in name, meaning they can’t readily be searched from the deck in the chance you either don’t open with it or can’t seem to draw into it. Thankfully, Konami’s card development team didn’t slip up when they made the in-theme Trap card on both the naming and the effect.
         Their Field Spell, [Euler's Circuit], has a few things going for it, but it serves no real practical use for the archetype. It can potentially lock your opponent out from attacking you while you control three or more “Tindangle” monsters on the field, which is nice, but it doesn’t provide them any protection from card effects that would destroy them, shuffle them back into the deck, or remove them from play. In a bizarre turn of events, it gives you the choice of giving your opponent a “Tindangle” monster, which serves no other purpose than to give them a “Tindangle Base Gardna” in attack position just to hit into a 0 attack wimp. The only solid effect on it is that it can search a new copy of itself from the deck at the cost of banishing itself from the GY and discarding a “Tindangle” card. As far as cards go for this deck, I would opt out of using this one – it’s good In theory, but you won’t use the card unless you decide to use [Set Rotation] and the [Krawler] Field Spell, [World Legacy in Shadow] and even then you’d set “Euler Circuit” on your opponent’s side.
         As if on the opposite side of the coin, their Continuous Spell card, [Nagel’s Protection], provides the deck with the protection they need to stay on the board as well as maximize their damage output, as well as have the same recovery effect as their Field Spell. All “Tindangle” monsters in the Main Monster Zone are protected from destruction by battle and card effects – unfortunately, “Tindangle Acute Cerberus” would be open for destruction, since it would need to sit in the Extra Monster Zone to maximize its efficiency on the field, but it’s of little consequence, considering the archetype in question. Additionally, “Nagel’s Protection” can double the damage dealt by the first “Tindangle” monster to do battle, charging up your beaters to incredible levels. Going back to my previous points about “Tindangle Acute Cerberus,” if you meet the conditions for it to become 4000 attack points in value and it attacks directly, “Nagal’s Protection” beefs up the damage into 8000, an instant kill; the same could carry over to “Tindangle Hound,” who can reach even higher attack values than “Tindangle Acute Cerberus.” (an example would be [Five-Headed Dragon], who sits at 5000 – with “Tindangle Hound,” 2500 attack would be added onto 2200, and with “Nagel’s Protection,” the damage output would be an incredible 9400 total!) An amazing card in the archetype, and something most decks would envy in terms of blanket protection – no question, play at 3.
         Their last card in the Extreme Force wave is their Trap card, [Tindangle Delunay], which provides the deck a means of recovery for a small cost of Life Points. If you already have 3 different “Tindangle” monsters in the GY, you can activate the Trap to destroy the attacking monster after it has dealt damage to you and Special Summon a “Tindangle Acute Cerberus” straight from the Extra Deck. (little disclaimer, but because it doesn’t count as a Link Summon, it cannot be revived from the GY if it gets destroyed) Additionally, if you control no cards in the Extra Monster Zone, you can banish the Trap card from the GY to Special Summon 3 “Tindangle” monsters onto the field, face-down, effectively recovering your resources in the off chance that your monster sitting in the Extra Monster Zone was sent off from the field whether by battle or card effect while setting up your monsters for their flip effects. Despite the nature of Trap cards and how slowly they can handle, this card makes up its speed with both its effects on the field and in the GY, as well as being a readily searched out card in the deck, thanks to the naming convention. As a personal preference, I would suggest having two at least for the sake of having a good ratio while also accommodating space for other tech options.
         And so, after nearly a month and a half of trying to write about this archetype, I finally reached the conclusion of it. It wasn’t exactly a lack of interest in the designs or the play style; I just didn’t have much to say about it. Konami’s strange interest in Flip effects in 2017 going 2018 is a little baffling to me, especially when they’ve been spitting out decks that can easily get around these sorts of effects, more recently the aforementioned “Jack Knight” archetype. As anime-based decks go, it isn’t the worst adaptation, as the cards provided can at least make a functioning deck with a focused win condition, unlike the [Vehicroid] archetype that I went over a while back ago. If you’re looking to play something on the side or for fun, the “Tindangle” cards can provide an at interesting experience, to say the least, as it has the opportunities to create a field of indestructible monsters while locking your opponent out of even declaring an attack, if your opponent doesn’t decide to wipe out your back row or banish your monsters out right. In terms of what could help the deck move at a faster pace, the tried and true [Prediction Princess] engine helps this deck get the monsters it needs onto the field and flips monsters on the fly, all thanks to [Prediction Princess Tarotrei]. Personally, I have no idea whether or not I'll be making the deck out of spite or out of actual, genuine enjoyment after putting in the time and effort to learn how to play the deck.

    • As someone who jumped back into the game during the time in which Pendulum Summoning was the "hot, new dueling sensation sweeping the nation," I was not too aware of the long history of [Duel Terminal]; as a quick recap as to what that was (or as a quick course for those who didn't know it existed), Duel Terminal was released during the 5D's series to provide new decks with an overarching story told in parts, telling the [intertwining history and relationships between archetypes] such as [Nekroz], [Shaddolls], [Gem-Knights], and [Worms] (to name a few). Some notable monsters like [Gem-Knight Seraphinite] and [Lavalval Chain] are remembered for their impact in the competitive field of “Yu-Gi-Oh!" in either a positive or negative way. The [Fabled] archetype definitely appeared on the competitive level, according to [Yugioh Top Decks], but it certainly did not extend its welcome, unlike the aforementioned monsters. To further branch from the original concept, the Fabled deck splintered into a sub-archetype that act as Tuners to the parent archetype, allowing for some interesting plays that will be covered in the article. Time to dust off the old storybooks and read more into these elder gods of “Duel Terminal,” lets dive into the “Fabled” deck and see what it brought to the table.

         Released in the fourth installment of the Duel Terminal set of cards, [Duel Terminal - Demon Roar God Revival!!], as Promo cards, the Fabled archetype appeared as an archetype comprised of LIGHT Fiend-type monsters that benefited from being discarded into the GY, whether by manipulating your opponent's Spells or by their own effects. Later down the line, the eighth installment, [Duel Terminal - Charge of the Genex!!], introduced the [The Fabled] sub-archetype to promote a Synchro play style while also continuing the discard effects their parent monsters had before them. Interestingly, the deck never received any Spell/Trap support, but they have a number of cards that can supplement for their shortcomings - cards like [Honest] and [Beckoning Light] can give this deck the power boost and hand recovery that it needed, as most of these monsters have effects regarding only discarding a "Fabled" card and Special Summoning a "Fabled" monster from the GY. As the deck revolved around discarding to the GY, the biggest weakness this deck faces is banishment, as they cannot resolve their effect when something like [Macro Cosmos] keep removing monsters from play. As this archetype lacks any Spell or Trap cards, I'll separate them by the main deck "Fabled" monsters, the smaller "The Fabled" creatures, and the Syncho monsters that act as their head honchos.
         To start us off, we'll take a look at the first wave of the “Fabled” monsters, which (at the time) focused more on their own discard effects rather than focus on Synchro-Summoning to build their advantages. The parent branch is comprised of fourteen members, with only two monsters reaching higher than Level 5 - [Fabled Soulkius] and [Fabled Dianaira] are Level 6 and Level 8, respectively, with the former having the ability to Special itself out from the GY by discarding two cards and the latter manipulating the first Spell card your opponent plays to benefit your field by changing the effect to read:
      " Your opponent discards 1 card. ("Your opponent" means the controller of this monster) "
      The archetype ranges from Levels 4 to 1 (with the four "Fabled" Tuners ranging between Levels 2 and 3), and although they can swarm the field with cards like [Ties of the Brethren], they swarm the field with better consistency with cards that force a discard as a Cost, such as [Twin Twisters] and "Beckoning Light." If there was any pre-existing deck the "Fabled" monsters behave like, one could argue it being closely played like [Dark World] or [Infernity] - all of these decks focused on dumping cards from the hand to the GY to gain an advantage over your opponent. It didn't take too long for anyone playing the deck before the new generation of Tuners and Synchro monsters to finally shape this deck into something more recognizable to the 5Ds-era of play style, improving some of the consistency issues by adding more monsters that Special Summoned themselves onto the field and adjusting Synchro plays with their lower Levels.
         As the story of Duel Terminal continued, and the "Fabled" monsters grew more to be the antagonists of the the plot, new cards were implemented to help create the angels of old in the form of smaller minions - "The Fabled" are a collection of small animal-based monsters with the imps seen on their boss monsters tasked to tame them. This new sub-archetype was comprised of eight Beast-type monsters as opposed to the original Fairy typing that was established that helped the deck by including a number of Level 1 Tuners. Despite the lack of synergy between Types, the "The Fabled" monsters (never going to get used to typing that) managed to pull their own weight in the deck by providing a wider toolbox to Synchro Summon into. For example, [The Fabled Chawa] and [The Fabled Cerburrel] are seen as staples in the build, as the former can discard "The Fabled Cerburrel" to Special Summon itself on the field while also activating the latter's effect to Special Summon itself from the GY, effectively giving you two Tuners to work with.
         To finally round out the archetype, the Synchro “Fabled” guardians make their appearance to protect and support their disciples. They range between Levels 4 to 10, with [Fabled Ragin] sitting at the awkward Level 5. As the deck revolves around drawing an advantage by discarding cards from the hand, the Synchro monsters reflect that with an array of effects that are dependent on the number of cards in both your hand and in your opponent’s – [Fabled Unicore] and [Fabled Kudabbi] are prime examples, as the former’s effect to negate everything your opponent activates is reliant on making sure both players have the same hand size, while the former requires the controller to have no cards in the hand to make sure “Fabled Kudabbi” is protected. “Fabled Ragin” saw some use as the star monster in a turbo build that focused on summoning him out as soon as possible on top of other Synchro monsters for draw advantage to fuel their discard play style. Unfortunately, “Fabled Unicore” is only Synchro monsters to provide your “Fabled” deck any form of protection, on top of the issue of their archetypal Extra Deck monsters’ attack point values, as [Fabled Leviathan] reaches 3000 attack without anything to boost it. As it’s vital for the deck to refill and discard their hand, these fallen angels are a necessary evil.
         To be honest, I was hoping this archetype would’ve been easier to write about – the idea of discarding cards to Special Summon and continue plays sounds good on paper, and in practice, the “Infernity” deck reined supreme for a while back in the days before Arc-V. However, I found myself growing bored as I reviewed one card after another. I talked to a few of my colleagues who were around during the older format when the “Fabled” deck was just starting to be introduced into the TCG, and each person I talked to replied with a sigh of disappointment, stating that it was “a deck that believed discarding cards was a positive, when in reality it wasn’t.” The age clearly shows and the lack of further support speaks volumes – it was overshadowed by its predecessors and it was overlooked as newer players joined the game and as Konami continued to spit out new cards as well as a new Summoning Mechanic. If there’s any positive, there may be some hope for it to play in the Link Format, but it would still require for you to go through hurdles to make any substantial play.

    • The [Flower Cardian] is an archetype of DARK Warrior-type monsters released into the TCG in the [Dragons of Legend: Unleashed], known to be used by Chojiro Tokumatsu in the Arc-V series. The library of cards are based on [Hanafuda] cards and combines it with some monsters duelists may be familiar with (including [Heavy Trunade] and [Poison Draw Frog]) - although the goal of the original game's goal of accumulating the most points differs from the game of Yu-Gi-Oh!, both games rely on having the right combination of cards to make your big plays. They vary in Levels, ranging from Level 1 to Level 12, and there are two monsters for each Level, bringing an array of effects that can Special Summon more monsters if played in sequence. But their most interesting trump cards happen to be the two Tuners provided - they treat all the monsters on the field as Level 2's to Synchro Summon into their big boss monsters at the cost of having the right amount of monsters instead of having the right Level requirement. Let's lay the cards out flat as we take a look at the "Flower Cardian" deck.

         As stated before, the "Flower Cardian" deck is a Synchro-focused deck, with the Tuners disregarding the Levels of the monsters on field in favor of having the right amount of monsters on field. Their greatest strength comes from their incredible draw power and their swarming capabilities, almost always letting you open up with their larger boss monsters on your opening turn. Unfortunately, their strengths are also the source of the deck's greatest weaknesses: out of all of their available monsters, only one is capable of being Normal Summoned, and the plays can sometimes end up being decided by the luck of the draw. Thankfully, the boss monsters this deck provides are quite formidable - including their leader who sits at 5000 attack points and a monster that burns your opponent for each of their Draw Phases! For the sake of clarity, the main deck monsters, the Spells/Traps, and all of their Synchro monsters will all have their own portion in the article devoted to them.
         When they were officially released into the TCG, the original design of the archetype was to provide a set of monsters with the same level, one to Special Summon itself onto the field and one to Special Summon by Tribute - the only one in the deck that can Normal Summon itself is [Flower Cardian Pine] - a Level 1 DARK Warrior-type monster with a measly 100 attack and defense; its counterpart, [Flower Cardian Pine with Crane], is also Level 1, but it Special Summons itself onto the field by Tributing a 1 Level 1 "Flower Cardian" monster on the field and buffs up. This deck has some serious swarming capabilities - the 2000 attack point monsters share the effect:
      " If this card is Special Summoned: Draw 1 card, and if you do, show it, then you can Special Summon it if it is a "Flower Cardian" monster. Otherwise, send it to the GY. "
      Essentially, you can swarm the field if you draw just right, pulling a "Flower Cardian" monster whenever you meet the requirement for the effect to activate, but if you don't have a clue as to what you'll pull into next, then anything that's not a "Flower Cardian" monster drawn are immediately sent to the GY. However, there a few monsters that don't share a Level with others; regardless of the fact, the oddballs play an important role in the build, as they bring some interesting strategies to the table, with the important factor being that they can Special Summon themselves out by Tributing any Level "Flower Cardian" - [Flower Cardian Peony with Butterfly] lets you take a peek at your opponent's deck and rearrange them in any order on either the top or the bottom of the deck, as well as act as the deck's new primary Tuner; [Flower Cardian Maple with Deer] and [Flower Cardian Clover with Boar] remove Spells/Traps and monsters, respectively; [Flower Cardian Cherry Blossom with Curtain] acts as an in-theme [Honest], bumping up their biggest monster from 5000 attack to 6000!

      Notice the Levels shared between the monsters - keep them in mind when you make your plays!

      Ordered from the lowest Level to the highest Level - they might have no counterpart, but they can improve your fighting capabilities!
         Of course, the deck's consistency would be utter garbage if it wasn't for the Spell cards that supported the deck, providing you with ample material for some insanely explosive plays. [Flower Gathering] was the first card released to support the deck's field swarming - it Special Summons 4 "Flower Cardian" monsters with 100 attack straight from the deck in attack position at the cost of disabling their effects as soon as they touch the field - your targets are always Flower Cardians Pine, [Willow], [Zebra Grass], and [Paulownia], which allows you to Special Summon their 2000 attack counterparts no problem. In the [Invasion: Vengeance] and [Raging Tempest] booster sets, they managed to nab some strong searching support - [Flower Stacking] searches the deck for any "Flower Cardian" monsters and rearranges them on the top of the deck, essentially setting up combos, while also providing a means of recovering a monster in the GY by banishing itself on the turn after it was sent; [Super Koi Koi] can Special Summon the top 3 cards on your deck if they're "Flower Cardian" in name, or else it banishes them face-down and you pay 1000 LP for each card banished by this card's effect; [Recardination], their last Spell card, is the tied as this deck's most strongest component, letting you return any "Flower Cardian" in the GY back to your hand while also letting you Special Summon any "Flower Cardian" monster, ignoring the Summoning Conditions! Their last card in the Spell/Trap department is [Fraud Freeze], a Continuous Trap that immediately bounces back a monster to your opponent's hand, but with some limitations holding it back from being seriously considered - it only bounces back all monsters your opponent controls if they Special Summon a monster from their hand (outside of the Damage Step), and it destroys itself if you don't control any "Flower Cardian" Synchro monster. An excellent selection of Spells and Traps for sure, which makes it all the more harder to consider your ratios.
         Without further ado, we'll finally take a look at the strongest monsters in the "Flower Cardian" arsenal, the Synchro bosses, Flower Cardians [Boardefly], [Lightshower], and [Lightflare]. In order, they sit at 2000/2000, 3000/3000, and 5000/0 that allow all "Flower Cardian" monsters to deal piercing battle damage (Boardefly), protects all Cardians on the field from card effects while burning your opponent 1500 LP for each card they add on the Draw Phase at the cost of drawing on your turn (Lightshower), and shuts down an effect once per turn, while Special Summoning a new "Flower Cardian" Synchro Monster after it leaves the field by any means (Lightflare), respectively. In terms of effects, Lightshower and Lightflare would want to see the most play, but Boardefly's the easiest to summon out, as it requires:
      " 1 Tuner  + 2 Non-Tuners "
      Because the Cardian Tuners counts every monster (including itself) as Level 2, and Boardefly's a Level 6 Synchro, you would need 2 other Cardians to Synchro Summon; likewise, you would need a Cardian Tuner to Synchro Summon with 3 more monsters for Lightshower (Level 8) and 4 for Lightflare (Level 10). There's only one missing from the set - [Flower Cardian Moonflower] - that helps with draw power while acting as a Synchro Tuner, essentially opening up possibilities of running Synchro monsters that require the Synchro Tuner. (with the right set-up, of course) With the deck's capabilities, it really isn't that difficult to summon these "Flower Cardian" warriors even with the intimidating requirements stated on each card.

      Boardefly - Moonflower - Lightshower - Lightflare
         I only covered this deck on the most base level - talking about combos and tech you can add into the deck would take up a lot more space (nearly 2-3 more paragraphs, give or take) - but the in-theme support makes this a very formidable budget deck, as they can take the luck factor into their hand and rearrange their cards like the [Sylvan] archetype was known for. Despite the limitation of mass Extra Deck Summoning the new Link Format provides, the deck can fair rather well despite the new boot to its proverbial wheels; having Lightshower or Lightflare makes for an intense field pressure, with former forcing your opponents to focus all attention on removing it or deal with 1500 Life Points burned with each of their Draw Phases. (not exactly the hardest thing to handle, but when the "Flower Cardian" deck can spit this thing out on Turn 1, it's hard to respond) A very affordable deck to play, if you're looking for a deck with great potential and want to watch combos go on and on, I'd strongly recommend the deck to anyone interested.
      Trivia note: "Flower Cardian Boardefly" was originally called "Flower Cardian Inoshikacho" in the OCG, named after the [combination of cards that have seen some influence in animes such as Dragonball Z and Naruto] and the three monsters that comprise it: "Flower Cardian Clover with Boar," "Flower Cardian Maple with Deer," and "Flower Cardian Peony with Butterfly."

    • And so we reach the end of the new support in the [Legendary Duelists] booster set - there are still a number of cards in the set, but they were mostly some of the more used cards in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links mobile game, or so says the [OCG card list]. And what a way to go out; not with a bang, but with a groan of disappointment. The poorly named [Chemical] series of cards used by Misawa Bastion in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX finally got some more cards to fill out his deck; after nearly 15 years after their last support card - [Hyozanryu] counts for the archetype, apparently - we finally receive more support for Misawa's [Water Dragon] deck, and no, it wasn't that [mysterious fire dragon that was seen in the opening]. Were the cards released any good, and does it make the Water Dragon worth summoning? If you read how I felt about it from the paragraph, its pretty obvious its a big fat no - regardless, lets look at the last archetype support in the Legendary Duelists booster.

         As a recap of the deck's history, it barely has any to go off of -" Water Dragon"'s specific requirements to summon it limited its usage and flexibility and the materials needed for it - [Hydrogeddon] and [Oxygeddon] - were either unremarkable or awful ("Oxygeddon"'s effect is situational due to it listing a Pyro-type monster destroying it, as well as the effect burning both players a whooping 800 Life Points). The Spell card [Bonding - H2O] was for the longest time the only way of bringing out Misawa's monster, and it was very rare to ever reach the requirements before your opponent destroyed your field, even back in the day. There are no records in recent time of them being splashed into a deck and the new cards themselves have been glanced over for the more fleshed out archetypes included - shadowed by its GX companions, the [Vehicroid]s and [Cyberdark]s. There aren't a lot of great things to say about this deck, which hurts because I, someone who liked the deck idea and monster designs, really hoped playing this deck would be a whole lot more enjoyable. What we got isn't awful, but it still has more to work upon to even be considered a deck - if there is more support in the future, I'm all for it.
        To add to the small periodic table, [Duoterion] appears to search the deck for lab equipment as well as bring out the ingredients for your monstrous concoctions. Its a Level 5 WATER Dinosaur-type monster that has a set of effects that require some work to activate together - it can discard itself from the the hand to add a "Bonding" Spell or Trap card from the Deck, and Special Summon any "Hydrogeddon" or "Oxygeddon" from the GY when its either Normal or Special Summoned. The addition of "Bonding" cards helps play into summoning their new boss monster, as well as provide the GY for plays with their new Trap Card. Likewise, the ability to Special Summon the other "Chemical" monsters upon its own summon helps refuel the field for "Water Dragon" or for an XYZ summon of something more threatening, like [Evolzar Laggia]. A Level 5 wasn't what this deck needed, but the effects it brings to the table desperately is - a necessary evil at 3.
         So instead of the unnamed, unreleased fire dragon that Misawa used during his time on GX, another Water Dragon was created in a new form that actually generates enough power for additional plays. The improved [Water Dragon Cluster] is a Level 10 WATER Sea Serpent-Type monster that still requires a "Bonding" card to bring it onto the field, but the effects are what makes it a miracle of science, at least in today's standards. Upon its Special Summon, it shuts down all Effect Monsters your opponent controls, dropping their attack points to 0 and negating their effects until the end of the turn. As if that weren't enough, it has a Quick Effect - it splits itself apart and summons two "Water Dragons" from the hand or Deck in defense mode, ignoring their requirement of being summoned by a "Bonding" card entirely. Thankfully, the ability to bring out two Level 8's fairly quickly once it appears on the field opens up some more deck strategies, effectively allowing them access into the Rank 8 toolbox, namely cards like [Number 38: Hope Harbinger Dragon Titanic Galaxy] and [Number 23: Lancelot, Dark Knight of the Underworld]. Running 3 gets cloggy, but 2 seems just fine, considering the Spells and Traps can return it from the GY.
         With the introduction of Duoterion into their chemistry set, a new set of "Bonding" cards were created specifically to fit them into the equation, with the first being [Bonding - D2O] to help form "Water Dragon Cluster." By simply Tributing two "Duoterion" and an "Oxygeddon" from either the hand or the field, you can Special Summon "Water Dragon" or "Water Dragon Cluster" from the hand, Deck, or GY, cutting down a lot of time setting up your field and bringing out the stars of this deck in a more effective way. What's great is that if there's a "Water Dragon" in the GY while this card's sitting there with it, you can return the Spell card back to your hand to summon out the "Water Dragon" later. While the effect looks great (even amazing for the "Chemical" standards), it still requires for all the materials in the right places - after some time reviewing and play-testing the deck, I've come to the realization that the "Chemical" archetype behaves like a Ritual deck, but without the Ritual monster. It makes summoning the Water Dragons incredibly easier to summon when compared to "Bonding - H2O," it'd be a mistake not running it.
         Of course, with the introduction of a new element, another combination was created to support the deck - [Bonding - DHO]! It shuffles a "Duoterion," "Hydrogeddon," and "Oxygeddon" back from the GY to the Deck to Special Summon a "Water Dragon Cluster" from your hand or GY. It also banishes itself from the GY to add a "Water Dragon" or "Water Dragon Cluster" to your hand, whether from the Deck or GY. Considering the Summoning Conditions stated on the Trap card, Bonding - DHO a bit easier than the Spell counterpart, having to rely on one of each of the "Chemical" monsters rather than two of Duoterion and a Oxygeddon, as well as refilling your deck with the material rather than requiring the monsters in your hand or on your field. No question, you'll need to run this card in the new "Chemical" deck.
         For an archetype who received their last card of support in the [Spell Ruler] booster pack, there wasn't a lot of expectations for these new cards to bring the "Chemical" deck up to par with some of the lesser played archetypes in our current times, like [Triamid] or [Chemicritter]. Despite being enthusiastic about the cards packaged - talking about how it finally has a searcher for the "Bonding" Spells and Traps, as well as having the means of returning the original "Chemical" monsters for future plays - even I can see that the "Chemical" deck needs to go back to the lab and rethink the formula.

    • As we continue down the line of GX-series support in the [Legendary Duelists] booster set, the cards introduced show some promise, but it doesn't seem to fix a lot of the issues the archetype in question suffered from its conception. If you read the title, we'll be taking a looking at one of the many [Roid] sub-archetypes made famous by Duel Academy's underdog duelist, Syrus Truesdale - introducing the newest [Vehicroid] cards, fresh off the production line. These [Toon] lookalike planes, trains, and automobiles are remembered more for their career in the anime, and for good reason, but these new support cards bring the promise of making the deck at least slightly more usable, considering another Roid sub-archetype - [Speedroid] - practically left these old jalopies to rust in the garages Konami left them in. I'll do a quick summary as to why I say this, but it should be obvious to anyone who's been playing the game why the Speedroids are the only Roids worth remembering nowadays.

         As with a majority of decks from the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX series, the Vehicroids worked around the idea of fusing their monsters with [Polymerization] to create their larger monsters, ultimately fusing together to become [Barbaroid, the Ultimate Battle Machine]. Beyond that, the deck suffered from having difficulties locking down their board for any substantial presence; the recovery of the deck was situational, the protection was almost nonexistent, and so on. Coincidentally, Rank10YGO released yet another [Legacy of the Worthless] video going over this archetype and outright expressing his disdain against these rejected [Chevron] mascots. In final grading, the deck lacked anything remotely salvageable, and as for his suggestion on making the deck stronger (as is tradition with his other videos), he confessed that he had no idea how to improve the archetype. Then out of nowhere, in 2017, Konami's card development team decided that, out of every single archetype that could have benefited from some of their attention and care, these rusted machines needed to get some support because Syrus' brother got some support for his [Cyberdark] deck and it would be mean to play favorites.
         Hoping to cement itself as a staple in the deck, [Mixeroid] joins the fray to help bring out plays in the biggest of ways. It stands as a Level 4 WIND Machine-type monster that can Special Summon a non-WIND "roid" monster from the Deck by Tributing one Machine-type monster you control (probably to circumvent any [Speedroid Terrortop] nonsense), as well as provide the means of Fusion Summoning a monster without the use of Polymerization. And how do you do this, you ask? By paying half your Life Points and banishing a number of Machine-type monster to summon a Fusion Monster before destroying it on your End Phase. If you really think its worth banishing 12 monsters just to bring out Barbaroid, run one or two - otherwise, its best to dump it into the river, cement blocks strapped to the wheels.
         Time certainly has given the archetype a lot to do (except not really), as they managed to create the great society of [Megaroid City], a new Field Spell to provide a place they can call home. It can search your Deck for any "roid" card by destroying another card you control, essentially searching for the "Speedroid" cards you'll need to start any combo. Interestingly, the second effect switches the attack and defense points of your battling monster on the Battle Phase, during damage calculation only, by sending any "roid" monster card to the GY, not only to beat over monsters with arguably one of the strongest monsters (albeit situational), but to also play into the new Mixeroid - unfortunately the [Ambulanceroid]-[Rescueroid] combo doesn't work, as it activates when a monster gets destroyed by battle. Beyond that, it provides no protection from card effects or battle destruction, and its searching effect is decent at best. You'll want the city if you want to transform the newest monster into a behemoth, but if that's not what you had in mind, reconsider your options.
         Surprisingly, the "Vehicroid" archetype received a really strong Counter Trap designed to put stop your opponent's play, and then some, but only when the conditions are met - [Emergeroid Call] can negate the effect of any Spell, Trap, or monster effect for no cost, as well as force your opponent to drop all the cards with the same name as the activated card from the Main Deck and Extra Deck as long as you control a "roid" Fusion Monster. [Mystical Space Typhoon], [Zoodiac Drident], [True King's Return]? Negate, dump. Additionally, it can banish itself from the GY to return a "roid" monster back to the hand. Definitely need to run this card in case of emergencies, and the recovery is a nice added insurance policy.
         As if it was lifted from the "Transformers" series, the Megaroid City transforms itself into one of the largest bodies this game has ever seen in its history. [Super Vehicroid - Mobile Base] requires a "roid" Fusion and any "roid" monster to rise onto the field, sitting on nothing but 5000 defense points - it plays into the Megaroid City Field Spell, for when it attacks, the stats switch and it gets to hit anything for 5000 attack points (until the End Phase, where it returns to being a zero attack wimp). It can target a monster your opponent controls to Special Summon a "roid" monster from either the Deck or Extra Deck with an attack less than or equal to the targeted monster, as well as return a "roid" monster in the Main Monster Zone to take its spot; as it was released during the beginning of the Link Format, it experiments the idea of shifting its position from the Extra Monster Zone to make room for either a new Link Monster or another Extra Deck Monster Monster like [Pair Cycroid]. Definitely a lot more easier to summon and use than [Super Vehicroid - Stealth Union], with a better effect all around, considering the ability to Special Summon any "roid" from the Deck is far more superior to attacking all monsters with half of 3600 attack points. A great addition, expect to see a lot of Mobile Bases on the field.
         Did the new cards help the deck become even a tiny bit stronger? A little bit of yes, but more so "meh" - despite the effects of Emergeroid Call and Mobile Base, helping you recover your field after a Fusion Summon as well as negating some nasty effects while dumping the other copies into the GY, the deck still suffers from having too many monsters that don't do anything to advance the archetype's game state, it doesn't improve the already poor field presence due to Megaroid City's inability to serve and protect their "roid" card (outside of some stat manipulation that doesn't necessarily matter because the attack and defense points on these old junkers are unremarkable no matter how you look at them), and the speed is still too slow to make any reasonably decent boards in the early game. As it stands, the deck still lacks a great deal before becoming at least enjoyable to play, at least by itself - adding in the Speedroids definitely help, due to the Terrortop-Taketomborg plays and the Synchro Monster options that open up thanks to the Tuners. I would say this would be the weakest of the new support cards, but there's still one more to talk about...

    • And so we enter into one of the more beloved series of the franchise, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, as we take a look at an archetype that has not seen any support ever since its release back in [Cyberdark Impact] - the titular [Cyberdark] monsters used by Zane Truesdale during Season 2. Its been pretty good for him recently, considering his [Cyber Art] deck will be seeing a brand new Fusion monster in the [Legendary Dragon Decks] box later this year. Unfortunately, the archetype does not exactly have the best track record - Rank10YGO did a review in his [Archetype Archive - Cyberdark] video, and although it isn't completely unplayable, the deck has a difficult time developing a formidable field presence. The new support in the [Legendary Duelists] booster set was designed to help the deck's issues of consistency and power, but will it be enough to really make it user friendly for new duelists joining the game? Without further ado, lets take a trip on the dark side as we explore the new Cyberdark support!

         As is with every deck from GX, the Cyberdark deck focused on shuffling [Cyberdark Edge], [Cyberdark Horn], and [Cyberdark Keel] - all three are Level 4 DARK Machine-type monsters - back into the Deck by the effect of their in-theme "[Polymerization]," [Cyberdark Impact!], to Fusion Summon out their original boss monster, [Cyberdark Dragon], a Level 8 DARK Machine-type monster sitting on 1000 points in attack and defense. Their gimmick of equipping any Level 3 or lower Dragon-type monsters from the GY to themselves to boost their powers as well as provide protection from destruction by destroying the equipped monster - the only viable target back in the day was [Hunter Dragon] solely for its large attack points when attached to the Cyberdarks. The problem becomes pretty apparent when you look at how the deck works: the deck is comprised of Machine monsters, but for them to really stand out, you need to equip Dragons from your GY, and not even the stronger ones like [Stardust Dragon] or [Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon]. As a result, the deck suffered from controlling large, imposing monsters that could actually pressure your opponent. The new cards introduced have a lot riding on their proverbial shoulders as the development team hopes that this first - and perhaps only - wave of Cyberdark support cards will remedy the glaring issues of this deck.
         To aid the deck in terms of monster support, [Cyberdark Cannon] and [Cyberdark Claw] will be introduced to provide a ton of effects that'll be bound to improve your plays. They're both Level 3 DARK Dragon-type monsters with similar effects:
      Cyberdark Cannon
      " If this card is sent to the GY while equipped to to a monster: You can draw 1 card. You can only use each of these effects of "Cyberdark Cannon" once per turn.
      You can discard this card; add 1 "Cyberdark" Machine monster from your Deck to your hand. If a monster this card is equipped to battles, during damage calculation: You can send 1 monster from your Deck to the GY. "  
      Cyberdark Claw
      " If this card is sent to the GY while equipped to to a monster: You can target 1 "Cyberdark" monster in your GY; add it to your hand. You can only use each of these effects of "Cyberdark Cannon" once per turn.
      You can discard this card; add 1 "Cyberdark" Spell/Trap Card from your Deck to your hand. If a monster this card is equipped to battles, during damage calculation: You can send 1 monster from your Extra Deck to the GY. "  
      There's a lot to absorb, considering they're packing quite a few interesting effects - Cyberdark Cannon acts as a draw engine, a "Cyberdark" monster searcher, and a [Foolish Burial], while Cyberdark Claw returns a "Cyberdark" monster from the GY back to the hand, acts as a "Cyberdark" Spell card searcher, and behaves like [Gale Dogra] without having to pay 3000 Life Points. These new monster additions do improve the consistency quite a bit, setting up your plays with some rather interesting combos - I'd suggest watching the video; Rank10YGO goes over few options for Cyberdark Claw's Extra Deck monster dump. If you decide to pick up the deck, you'll need 3 of each in your arsenal.
         If there was a word to perfectly describe their new Field Spell, [Cyberdark Inferno], Rank10YGO chose the best one: bloated. It protects every "Cyberdark" monster equipped with a card from card effects, it returns any "Cyberdark" monster on the field back to the hand to conduct another Normal Summon of a "Cyberdark" monster - including the one you returned to the hand - and if it gets destroyed and sent to the GY, it lets you add any card with "Polymerization" or "Fusion" in the name. Strangely enough, it doesn't search for Cyberdark Impact!, but it can add cards like [Ultra Polymerization], [Instant Fusion], and [Fusion Substitute]. In terms of application, by returning a "Cyberdark" monster, you can Normal Summon a new "Cyberdark" monster and equip a Dragon monster or resummon the monster you returned to re-equip a new Dragon monster. Despite the amazing third effect, it doesn't really matter much due to the deck relies more on Cyberdark Impact! and Future Fusion, but it differs depending on your build. It helps resupply your monsters with new equipped monsters and helps them escape effects like [Fiendish Chain] - run 3.
         The support also whips out a shiny, new Fusion boss monster, a retrain of the original Cyberdark Dragon - the slightly more threatening [Cyberdarkness Dragon]! The requirement for its Fusion Summon is rather steep - you need to fuse 5 "Cyberdark" Effect monsters! A Level 10 with 2000 attack and defense, it equips any Dragon or Machine monster from the GY to boost its power while also gaining a new weapon: when your opponent activates a card or effect, you can send any Equip Card on your field to negate and destroy. However, to offset this general improvement, Cyberdarkness Dragon is missing protection from destruction like his older counterpart has, but because it was Fusion Summoned properly, you can revive and reequip it with a new Dragon or Machine monster to keep your opponent on their toes. Despite the drawback, it definitely has a place in the deck alongside the original, as the two work really well together to control the field. Its a Cyberdark weapon like no other, a weapon to surpass... Cyberdark Dragon, at the very least.
         Having play-tested the new support out of sheer curiosity when they were first announced, I can safely say that, despite the new additions and the disgusting combos that can arise with Cyberdark Claw, the deck still falls short in expectation, as relying on Equip Cards hasn't exactly been the most strongest of strategies in the card game's history. The original "Cyberdark" monsters that equip Cannon and Claw can only equip them on their Normal Summon, the Field Spell doesn't protect any "Cyberdark" monsters lacking an equipped card, and summoning Cyberdarkness Dragon in the early game is - and I'm wording this gently - not likely. Not the most "new-player-friendly," but an interesting deck for those experienced in the game and looking for a challenging deck to work with.

  • Create New...