The year is 2020. At long last, Deep Sea Diva is at 3-per-deck. Even when it was limited to one, everyone feared Diva for its role in combos that searched for Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord and ripped cards out of the opponent's hand. Those plays were usually followed up by a Trishula, Dragon of the ice Barrier to take a third card, leaving your opponent with half a hand and usually no chance to win.
Now, in the present day with Eternity Code releasing a wealth of Deep Sea support cards, the Water deck has some powerful new cards. The most popular are the search spell Deep Sea Aria and the new hand control monster Deep Sea Minstrel. Minstrel's effect lets you discard it along with another Water monster to look at your opponent's hand, pick a card and banish it for the turn. It fits into existing play patterns really well, and it helps you play around cards that might stop you from comboing off otherwise.
Coincidentally, Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince sets up Minstrel perfectly. Using Neptabyss' effect you'll send an Atlantean Dragoons to the graveyard while searching your deck for another Dragoons; the copy you sent to the graveyard will get Minstrel to your hand, and from there you'll discard the Minstrel along with the second Dragoons, banishing any annoying hand traps that might interfere with your plans.... like Nibiru, the Primal Being!
That second Dragoons will search for Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord, and if you started this play sequence by summoning Deep Sea Diva to get to Nebtabyss, then linking both those Water monsters away will get you the five Waters you need in your graveyard for Moulinglacia's Special Summon. From that point the combo can go in a lot of different directions, commonly eliminating the rest of your opponent's hand and ending on multiple negates, or even True King of All Calamities.
It's absolutely absurd how easy and devastating this combo is. Many people will just immediately surrender at the sight of Deep Sea Minstrel in Game 1 because they don't want you to know what they're playing for Games 2 and 3. That makes Deep Sea Diva one of the best and most powerful Normal Summons in current competition; winning Game 1 has never been so easy.
Unfortunately, my experience playing the Water deck myself has shown me that the Water cards are pretty lackluster going second. While that hand-demolishing play is fantastic going first, the deck has to rely on generic blowout cards to even have a chance if you're playing second. Hand destruction type strategies usually aren't very good if your opponent's already played all their cards, and while Atlantean Marksman and Atlantean Heavy Infantry do exist, I find that they all rely on specific card combinations to really work. They usually require a very high commitment and they often lose to any disruption. I'm not a fan.
But that doesn't mean I won't try and make something work. Though some of you may already know, Animadorned Archosaur from Eternity Code can search for Sea Serpent monsters as long as the monster you search has a Level that matches whatever Dinosaur you destroyed with Archosaur. That means you can destroy Babycerasaurus or Petiteranodon and get Deep Sea Diva. That's great, but Archosaur itself is a Normal Summon, so getting a Diva to your hand can be redundant. You don't want to search it and then wait around to summon it later. The solution is to use Miscellaneousaurus' effect to special summon Archosaur from your deck, getting you the Diva and preserving your Normal Summon so you can combo off immediately. That's actually pretty viable.
Dinosaurs and Water cards? How will this work? In my last article I talked about the theory first, then showed you the deck list. This time I'll start with the list to give you a sense of what I want to explain.
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Hanko's Water Dinosaurs by Hanko Chow
'Hanko's Water Dinosaurs' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!
Created By: Hanko Chow
Market Price: $174.60
Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord
Market Price: $0.19
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by having exactly 5 WATER monsters in your GY. If this card is Special Summoned: Discard 2 random cards from your opponent's hand (or their entire hand, if less than 2). You can only use this effect of "Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord" once per turn. If this face-up card leaves the field, skip the Battle Phase of your next turn.
Market Price: $1.46
1 Tuner + 1 non-Tuner monster
When this card is Synchro Summoned: You can draw 1 card. Once per Chain, during your opponent's Main Phase, you can (Quick Effect): Immediately after this effect resolves, Synchro Summon using this card you control.
Market Price: $64.35
2+ Effect Monsters
Your opponent cannot activate cards or effects in response to this card's effect activations. If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 Link Monster that was used as material for its Link Summon; this card gains ATK equal to that monster's Link Rating x 1000. You can banish 1 Link Monster from your field or GY; destroy 1 card your opponent controls, also for the rest of this turn, you cannot banish monsters with that same Attribute to activate this effect of "Accesscode Talker".
Market Price: $0.94
If this card is destroyed by a card effect and sent to the Graveyard: Special Summon 1 Level 4 or higher Dinosaur-Type monster from your Deck, but it cannot attack this turn.
Market Price: $1.97
During your Main Phase, you can Tribute this card to select and Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Jurrac monster from your Graveyard, except Jurrac Aeolo.
Market Price: $2.58
1 Level 1 monster
When an opponent's monster declares an attack: You can Tribute this card; change that opponent's monster's ATK to 0, until the end of this turn. If this card is in your GY (Quick Effect): You can Tribute 1 Level 1 monster; Special Summon this card. You can only use this effect of "Linkuriboh" once per turn.
Called by the Grave
Market Price: $2.82
Target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; banish it, and if you do, monsters with the same original name as that banished monster have their effects negated until the end of the next turn.
Market Price: $0.24
During either player's Main Phase: You can send this card from your hand to the Graveyard; during this Main Phase, Dinosaur-Type monsters you control are unaffected by your opponent's activated effects. You can banish any number of Dinosaur-Type monsters from your Graveyard, including this card; Special Summon 1 Dinosaur-Type monster from your Deck with a Level equal to the total number of monsters banished to activate this effect, but destroy it during the End Phase. You can only use this effect of "Miscellaneousaurus" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.65
If this card is destroyed by an effect and sent to the Graveyard, select 1 Level 4 or lower Dinosaur-Type monster from your Deck and Special Summon it.
One for One
Market Price: $1.64
Send 1 monster from your hand to the Graveyard; Special Summon 1 Level 1 monster from your hand or Deck.
Market Price: $0.72
You can conduct 2 Normal Summons/Sets this turn, not just 1.
Market Price: $0.68
2 Level 4 Dinosaur monsters
When another monster's effect is activated (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that monster.
Deep Sea Minstrel
Market Price: $0.09
You can discard this card and 1 WATER monster; look at your opponent's hand and banish 1 card from their hand face-up, until the End Phase. If this card is Special Summoned: You can send the top 3 cards of your Deck to the GY, then target 1 Level 4 or lower WATER monster in your GY, except "Deep Sea Minstrel"; place it on the top or bottom of the Deck. You can only use each effect of "Deep Sea Minstrel" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.49
Cannot attack directly. If this card is banished: You can Special Summon this card, and if you do, this card gains 200 ATK for each of your banished Dinosaur monsters. You can only use this effect of "Giant Rex" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.31
If this card is sent to the GY as Synchro Material: You can add 1 "Junk" monster from your Deck to your hand. If this card is in your GY: You can send 1 card from your hand to the GY; Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use 1 "Jet Synchron" effect per turn, and only once that turn.
Martial Metal Marcher
Market Price: $0.35
1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters
If this card is Synchro Summoned: You can target 1 Tuner in your GY; Special Summon it in Defense Position, but negate its effects. You can only use this effect of "Martial Metal Marcher" once per turn. A Synchro Monster that used this card as material is treated as a Tuner while face-up on the field.
Market Price: $41.16
2 monsters, including a Tuner
If this card is Link Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 3 or lower Tuner from your hand or Deck in Defense Position, but it cannot activate its effects this turn. During your opponent's Main Phase or Battle Phase (Quick Effect): You can banish this card you control; Special Summon 1 Tuner Synchro Monster from your Extra Deck. (This is treated as a Synchro Summon.) You can only use each effect of "Crystron Halqifibrax" once per turn.
Vermillion Dragon Mech
Market Price: $0.29
1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
Once per turn: You can banish 1 Tuner from your hand, field, or Graveyard, then target 1 card on the field; destroy it. If this Synchro Summoned card is destroyed by card effect and sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 of your banished Tuners; add it to your hand.
Market Price: $0.71
Send 1 monster from your Deck to the Graveyard.
Market Price: $3.97
1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters
Once per turn: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 card your opponent controls; destroy it. If this Synchro Summoned card is sent from the field to the GY: You can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Coral Dragon" once per turn.
Market Price: $1.00
All your Level 3 or lower Sea Serpent monsters can attack directly. If this card is sent to the GY to activate a WATER monster's effect: Add 1 Sea Serpent monster from your Deck to your hand, except "Atlantean Dragoons".
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Garden Rose Maiden
Market Price: $6.12
1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters
If this card is Special Summoned: You can add 1 "Black Garden" from your Deck or GY to your hand. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 "Rose Dragon" monster or 1 Dragon Synchro Monster in your GY; Special Summon it. You can only use each effect of "Garden Rose Maiden" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.29
When your opponent activates a Trap Card: Negate the activation, and if you do, Set that card face-down, then they can Set 1 other Trap directly from their Deck. For the rest of this turn after this card resolves, your opponent cannot activate Trap Cards. You can activate this card from your hand by paying half your LP.
Market Price: $0.77
If this card is added from the Deck to your hand: You can reveal this card; Special Summon it. If this card is added from your GY to your hand by a card effect: You can reveal this card; Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use 1 "Lappis Dragon" effect per turn, and only once that turn.
Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion
Market Price: $0.40
You can banish this card from your GY; immediately after this effect resolves, Normal Summon 1 "Mecha Phantom Beast" monster from your hand. While you control a Token, this card cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects. If this card is sent to the GY: You can Special Summon 1 "Mecha Phantom Beast Token" (Machine-Type/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0). You can only use this effect of "Mecha Phantom Beast O-Lion" once per turn.
Double Evolution Pill
Market Price: $0.99
Banish 1 Dinosaur monster and 1 non-Dinosaur monster from your hand and/or GY; Special Summon 1 Level 7 or higher Dinosaur monster from your hand or Deck, ignoring its Summoning conditions. You can only activate 1 "Double Evolution Pill" per turn.
Market Price: $2.49
If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can destroy 1 Dinosaur monster in your hand or face-up field, except "Animadorned Archosaur", then add 1 Reptile, Sea Serpent, or Winged Beast monster with the same original Level as that destroyed monster, OR 1 "Evolution Pill" Spell, from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Animadorned Archosaur" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.26
2 monsters with different names
If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card; during the End Phase of this turn, add 1 Continuous or Field Spell from your GY to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Barricadeborg Blocker" once per turn. Face-up Spells you control cannot be destroyed by your opponent's card effects.
True King of All Calamities
Market Price: $0.47
2 or more Level 9 monsters
Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card and declare 1 Attribute; this turn, all face-up monsters on the field become that Attribute, also all monsters in your opponent's possession with that Attribute cannot activate their effects or attack. Monsters that "True Draco" and "True King" monsters in your hand would destroy with their effects can be chosen from your opponent's field.
Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince
Market Price: $3.84
You can send 1 "Atlantean" monster from your Deck to your Graveyard, except "Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince"; add 1 "Atlantean" card from your Deck to your hand, except "Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince". If this card is sent to the Graveyard to activate a WATER monster's effect: Target 1 "Atlantean" monster in your Graveyard, except "Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince"; Special Summon it. You can only use each effect of "Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince" once per turn.
Ultimate Conductor Tyranno
Market Price: $0.81
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must first be Special Summoned (from your hand) by banishing 2 Dinosaur monsters from your GY. Once per turn, during the Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can destroy 1 monster in your hand or field, and if you do, change all face-up monsters your opponent controls to face-down Defense Position. This card can attack all monsters your opponent controls, once each. At the start of the Damage Step, if this card attacks a Defense Position monster: You can inflict 1000 damage to your opponent, and if you do, send that Defense Position monster to the GY.
Market Price: $2.43
1 Link-2 or higher Link Monster
If this card is Link Summoned: You can activate this effect; Special Summon a number of "Link Tokens" (Cyberse/LIGHT/Level 1/ATK 0/DEF 0) up to the Link Rating of the monster used for this card's Link Summon, also you cannot use "Link Tokens" as Link Material for the rest of this turn. You can only use this effect of "Linkross" once per turn.
Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys
Market Price: $0.18
1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters Gains 500 ATK/DEF for each card in your hand. You can only use each of the following effects of "Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys" once per turn.
• If this card is Synchro Summoned: You can draw cards equal to the number of non-Tuners used for its Synchro Summon.
• (Quick Effect): You can discard 2 cards, then target 1 card on the field; destroy it.
Market Price: $0.72
Add 1 Level 6 or lower Dinosaur monster from your Deck to your hand.
Market Price: $0.47
2+ monsters with different names
If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 card on the field; return it to the Deck, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Unicorn" once per turn. While any co-linked "Knightmare" monsters are on the field, for your normal draw in your Draw Phase, draw 1 card for each different card name among those co-linked "Knightmare" monsters, instead of drawing just 1 card.
Deep Sea Diva
Market Price: $0.53
When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 3 or lower Sea Serpent monster from your Deck.
Mecha Phantom Beast Auroradon
Market Price: $3.86
2+ Machine monsters
If this card is Link Summoned: You can activate this effect; Special Summon 3 "Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens" (Machine/WIND/Level 3/ATK 0/DEF 0), also you cannot Link Summon for the rest of this turn. Once per turn: You can Tribute up to 3 monsters, then apply 1 of these effects, based on the number Tributed;.
• 1: Destroy 1 card on the field.
• 2: Special Summon 1 "Mecha Phantom Beast" monster from your Deck.
• 3: Add 1 Trap from your GY to your hand.
Market Price: $0.77
Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned (from your hand) by shuffling 5 of your banished Dinosaur monsters into the Main Deck. Once per turn, when your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card (Quick Effect): You can destroy 1 Dinosaur monster in your hand or face-up on your field, and if you do, negate that activation, and if you do that, destroy that card. If this card is sent to the GY by a card effect: You can add 1 "Evolution Pill" Spell from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Overtex Qoatlus" once per turn.
Market Price: $1.70
If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can take 1 Dinosaur-Type monster from your Deck, and either add it to your hand or send it to the GY. You can target 1 other Level 4 or lower Dinosaur-Type monster on the field; destroy it, then Special Summon 1 Dinosaur-Type monster from your GY in Defense Position. You can only use each effect of "Souleating Oviraptor" once per turn.
Wow, it's 40 cards this time! I'm sure you have a few questions after looking at the list, so I'll try and answer them to start.
First off, the Normal Summons. Mixing two powerful engines like Dinosaurs and Water will definitely create some points of conflict. When you're going first, you want to prioritize your Normal Summon for Deep Sea Diva and Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince. That play for Deep Sea Minstrel that lets you look at your opponent's hand will always force out a hand trap, which makes it that much easier to play for Crystron Halqifibrax. That's why I want to max out on the cards that can special summon Animadorned Archosaur: One for One, Miscellaneousaurus, Fossil Dig and Foolish Burial (to get the Miscellaneousaurus). The deck runs a total of eight cards to Special Summon Animadorned Archosaur, with eight more to get to a Level 2 Dinosaur for you to destroy. That's a lot of ways to get to the Diva and Prince package.
You ideally want to use the Water monsters as your dedicated Normal Summon going first, and that means you actually don't want to draw Souleating Oviraptor or Animadorned Archosaur; you're hoping they stay in the deck so you can summon them off of the Level 2 Dinosaurs. That's why there's only two copies of each in the Main Deck.
This build only runs one Deep Sea Minstrel because you'll search it in the combo and you only need its effect once. It would be cool to open with Minstrel and a water monster like Dragoons before you Normal Summon anything, but that's just too unreliable since you can't search either card without using your Normal Summon, or play other cards to make it happen. It's also just much easier to Side Deck if the Water package is as small as it can be.
The Lappis Dragon is played in case you're summoning Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince without its princess Deep Sea Diva. It also helps you make Coral Dragon sometimes with the Prince, acting as a removal card while eventually leading you into Crystron Halqifibrax. The Jurrac Aeolo tuner's also there for the hand combination of Prince and Miscellaneousaurus. If you don't have Miscellaneousaurus, your second Dragoons will need to search for Lappis Dragon instead of [Moulinglacia] (Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord).
Double Summon might be a one-of and nothing more, but in many decks I build with powerful Normal Summons, I'll always find a way to squeeze it in. It's very under-appreciated at the moment because people see it as a minus in card economy, but if your Normal Summons are very high impact or very rewarding, then the vale of the Normal Summon tends to balance out the economic cost of Double Summon. It's just an amazing extender here, making certain hands with Babycerasaurus and Souleating Oviraptor or Animadorned Archosaur even better.
Red Reboot gets a slot in the Main Deck because Infinite Impermanence is so popular and so devastating against Deep Sea Diva. Even if your opponent gets to set another trap off Red Reboot, the Coral Dragon and Vermillion Dragon Mech will take care of it before you make True King of All Calamities.
Miscellaneousaurus and Babycerasaurus are an ideal hand that you'll see pretty often, so let's start with that.
As long as you have space for the three Mecha Phantom Beast Tokens, you should be able to do the standard combo for True King of All Calamities using the free draw Linkross package (that's Linkross, Formula Synchron, Martial Metal Marcher and Barricadeborg Blocker). You'll draw there cards and make a True King of All Calamities to skip your opponent's combo turn. Against a backrow-heavy deck, you could probably leave Ravenous Crocodragon Archethys up with Coral Dragon or Vermillion Dragon Mech so that you have a lot of pressure to follow up with.
Now of course, the game doesn't always follow that script. If your opponent has a hand trap they probably would have used it in one of the following scenarios.
First, they might negate your Deep Sea Diva. But if they do, it's still a Tuner and all you need is some way to Special Summon another card and make Crystron Halqifibrax. Usually Miscellaneousaurus is the best, most convenient answer. If your opponent had already used their Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring against your Deep Sea Diva, then your Miscellaneousaurus' effect will probably work.
Alternatively they might Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring Miscellaneousaurus' effect to Special Summon. That's definitely the biggest chokepoint because it costs you the most payoff in the long run: if you had both Deep Sea Diva and Miscellaneousaurus, I'd generally Normal Summon the Deep Sea Diva first and then follow up with Miscellaneousaurus. If you had any of the Level 2 Dinosaurs then you can put out more monsters and make a ton of gains.
I could go on a lot more about how easy it is to win going first with this deck. But obviously, in a best 2-out-of-3 match you'll inevitably go second. If you go second in Game 1 you could probably blind scoop and hope to draw the combo in Game 2 going first. But if the match structure inevitably forces you to go second post Side Decking, then what's the plan?
Accesscode Talker's definitely the go-to Extra Deck boss monster you want to climb into. Ultimate Conductor Tyranno is also a secondary win condition you can aim for. Before siding, it will definitely be harder since the Water cards are just not that good going second. Using them to make high commitment plays will tend to expose you to interruptions. Don't be surprised to lose games when you're forced to go second before siding.
But once you can use your Side Deck? If you're going second I'd side out nine to fifteen cards by smoke screening into a type of going-second Dinosaur deck in hopes of stealing a win.
The Side Deck:
3 Lightning Storm
3 Dark Ruler No More
1 Mystic Mine
1 Dragonic Diagram
1 True King Lithosagym, the Disaster
2 True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher
1 Dinowrestler Pankratops
1 Ultimate Conductor Tyranno
1 Souleating Oviraptor
The bulk of the cards you'll side out are Water cards, because like I've said, they're very subpar going second. That means three Atlantean Dragoons, the Deep Sea Minstrel, Moulinglacia the Elemental Lord, Lappis Dragon, One for One and the two Neptabyss, the Atlantean Prince are definitely going out. Against a slower matchup, maybe you could afford to keep Deep Sea Diva in as a mini "Crystron Halqifibrax turbo card," sure. But the Deep Sea Diva are definitely the next three cards to side out. I'd consider siding out Red Reboot, Called by the Grave and Overtex Qoatlus too, as they are very dependent on your matchup. And finally Double Summon's just a quirky card that won't be missed.
After siding my deck would look more like a True King Dinosaur build, threatening to put out big beatsticks and summon Ultimate Conductor Tyranno or Accesscode Talker. Of course, the generic blow out and board wipe cards are nice to see as well. That's why I personally enjoy this deck list so much.
You can definitely modify the Side Deck to adapt to whatever you think is best for your metagame. For all I know, you could side deck into 10+ hand traps as well as the rest of the Dinosaur engine; whatever will help you get that victory going second. With more testing, I would probably find better card choices to cover the blatant weakness to Abyss Dweller, Herald of the Arc Light or an opposing Calamities. But like I've said before, I just wanted to show the concept and my build's probably not perfect. I personally think that True Kings are good enough, because they help make the Dinosaur engine live while also creating some sort of pressure.
Though it might not be a full-fledged Water list, this deck takes the best qualities of that engine to its maximum potential, helping you to combo off while forcing out opposing hand traps. The nice think about playing Dini cards is the ability to win in certain simplified games just because of Ultimate Conductor Tyranno. I find that Mermail cards are just very situational and need specific card combinations to really work, while Ultimate Conductor Tyranno's just super easy to summon and can walk over almost any field.
And there you have it! I hope you guys will enjoy this perspective on Dinosaurs with special guests Deep Sea Diva and friends. Thanks for reading.