My Black and White columns are typically about judging, or at least a topic that's somehow tangential to judging, or is educational about policy, card interactions, and so on. It's not often I'll delve into the strategy side of the TCG as there are writers that cover that stuff as part of their regular duties.

At the moment, however, there's nothing in the worlds of judging, organized play, or product release that I want to talk about, so methinks a fun deck that has some competitive potential is worth a few hundred words.

This week on Black and White: Zoodiacs and… Lunalights?!

Yep, You Read That Correctly
If you asked most competitive players what Lunalights are or what they do, their response will likely be limited to the fact that Lunalight Black Sheep searches for Fusion Substitute. But it turns out there's a bit more to the theme than just that.

Lunalights are a Fusion-based family of Beast-Warriors that center around Special Summoning themselves, and recycling themselves form the graveyard. While Lunalight Black Sheep's powerful for its ability to search Polymerization, it actually has three versatile effects that all fit into a much larger engine; one that can Fusion Summon twice on the first turn pretty reliably. Let's talk about the Lunalights before discussing the Zoodiacs.

You can discard Lunalight Black Sheep to search for Polymerization or to get another Lunalight back from your graveyard to your hand. Also, if you use Black Sheep as a Fusion Material, you can get any Lunalight from your graveyard or a face-up Lunalight in your Extra Deck back to your hand.

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Lunalight White Rabbit can Special Summon any Lunalight from your graveyard when it's Normal Summoned – and that includes the first two Fusion Monsters. Its once per turn effect clears out your opponent's spells and traps too, letting continue your game-ending plays unabated.

You can discard Lunalight Purple Butterfly in your Main Phase to give any Lunalight an extra 1000 ATK for the turn. That effect isn't once-per-turn, so you can reuse it with Lunalight Black Sheep for even more ATK. The Special Summon effect is solid but doesn't come up very often.

That said, it works well with Lunalight Blue Cat. When you Special Summon it, you can double a Lunalight's original ATK until the end of the turn. If Blue Cat's destroyed by battle or card effect, you can Special Summon any Lunalight from the deck except for another copy of Blue Cat.

Lunalight Wolf is one of the theme's two Pendulum Monsters, and its Pendulum Effect is a once-per-turn Miracle Fusion for Lunalights. The monster effect gives all Lunalights piercing. Lunalight Tiger's Pendulum Effect lets you Special Summon a Lunalight from your graveyard once-per-turn and negates that monster's effect, destroying in in the End Phase. Tiger's monster effect lets you Special Summon a Lunalight from your graveyard when Tiger's destroyed.

The Fusion Monsters are the center of this strategy. Lunalight Cat Dancer takes any two Lunalights as Fusion Materials; it can't be destroyed by battle, and it has an effect that lets you attack all of your opponent's monsters with it twice per turn in return for a tribute. It also burns your opponent for 100 LP whenever it attacks.

Lunalight Panther Dancer uses Cat Dancer and another Lunalight as a Fusion Material, and it can't be destroyed by card effects. Its "attack everything twice" ability doesn't require a tribute but you do have to activate it in Main Phase 1, which is easy to forget when you're just starting to learn the deck. Panther Dancer increases its ATK by 100 for each monster it destroys by battle.

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The strongest monster of the group, Lunalight Leo Dancer fuses Panther Dancer plus two other Lunalights. It clocks in at 3500 ATK, can't be targeted or destroyed by card effects, and can attack twice – not all monsters twice each, just two attacks per Battle Phase. But it can destroy all of your opponent's Special Summoned monsters after it battles a monster. If you need a board clear that's hard to get rid of, Leo Dancer's your cat.

The Lunalight support cards are limited but really effective. Luna Light Perfume's an unrestricted Monster Reborn for Lunalights, with a graveyard effect that lets you pitch a card to get a Lunalight from deck to hand. Lunalight Reincarnation Dance is a double search when a Lunalight's destroyed.

The Deck's Objective
While there's a whole bunch of ways to build decks, I immediately saw the game-ending potential of Lunalight Cat Dancer and Lunalight Panther Dancer and zeroed in ont hat. Because they can attack each opposing monster twice, that's usually four to eight chances at inflicting battle damage per turn.

So my first thought was "make a huge Panther Dancer and wreck face," and I found that if my opponent couldn't answer the Fusion Summon or the attacks, the game ended that turn. Previous builds ran Mage Power as ATK boosts for Panther Dancer but they were cut for consistency issues.

In fact, consistency was a major sticking point. If I found a path for Fusions Summons, I could make a game out of it. But if I didn't have all the combo pieces I needed everything went the other way instead.

So I was playing some casual games against some friends at a local when they joking said something along the lines of "Zoodiacs make any deck better! So play Zoodiacs in Lunalights!" My response was, verbaitim "No that's a stupid idea… … wait. They're all Beast-Warriors. I already run Fire Formation – Tenki… oh no. This can work, can't it…"

And Here Come The Zoodiacs
I normally loathe running a strategy that everyone else deems to be the best deck, "just because it's the best deck." If I'm making deck choices or individual card decisions, it has to make sense to me; I can't just take a deck card-for-card and pilot it optimally. But in this case, I can't deny that there's a fair bit of synergy between the Zoodiacs and the Lunalights by the simple virtue of each of them being Beast-Warriors.

So I tossed in a small Zoodiac engine to see how the two themes would interact with each other.

I realized that a modified version of the Lunalight Black Sheep / Zoodiac Combo that starts with a single Zoodiac Ratpier could end in a searched Beast-Warrior, a random card in hand, an on-field Zoodiac Drident with two Materials and a Lunalight Black Sheep in the graveyard – a prime target for Lunalight White Rabbit. It's a strong play and the other four cards in your hand at the start of the game can guide what Beast-Warrior you search, leaving you to direct your plays from there.

DECKID=107499Adding the compact Zoodiac engine really boosted its consistency,and it gave me the ability to do things like open Turn 1 with a Lunalight Panther Dancer backed by a Zoodiac Drident, and on turn 2, it became a 7600 ATK double-attack-everything monstrosity that can't be destroyed by card effects.

If you're noticing that some big cards seem to be missing: I completely skipped Lunalight Tiger because Wolf does it better, and Lunalight Reincarnation Dance is a bit slow for my liking.

So now that I've made my case for the deck, let's talk about matchups.

Paleozoic Frogs: a.k.a. "don't lose to Paleozoic Dinomischus." While a huge Panther Dancer is nice, it can still be targeted by card effects, so you'll lose out to Dinomischus and Paleozoic Canadia. Toadally Awesome can also be a bit of a hassle since a wise opponent will reserve it to negate a Fusion Summoning effect, or will just use Dimensional Barrier calling Fusions.

For Toadally Awesome, consider siding in Kaijus or your own Dimensional Barriers. Bring in Royal Decree or Denko Sekka for the Paleozoic cards, then go off as usual.

Infernoids: This one's slightly annoying as a big part of the Lunalight engine is graveyard-based. Side in Imperial Iron Walls, keeping in mind that you'll shut off Lunalight Wolf's Pendulum Effect if you do this. (It still has a decent monster effect though.)

Metalfoes: Be wary that your Fusions Summons can trigger their Metalfoes Combination for their benefit. The number of unknown set cards in any given game should be minimal, and the set cards you don't know can be sent back to the hand with Lunalight White Rabbit. The only thing that can realistically disrupt you is Fullmetalfoes Alkahest. Anything else, Panther Dancer can attack over. Side in Anti-Spell Fragrances, natch.


Zoodiacs: Of course, Zoodiac Drident can put a big halt to whatever you're attempting to do. Siding in Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries is an obvious play.

ABC-Dragon Buster: This easily Summoned Fusion Monster has the same disruptive potential as Zoodiac Drident, so your Game 1's will be tough. If you're feeling daring, siding in protection effects specifically to stop targeting non-destruction effects like ABC-Dragon Buster's may be worthwhile, since the Lunalight strategy basically comes down to "protect your huge Lunalight Panther Dancer".

I know this suggestion is out there, but Sauravis, the Ancient and Ascended is a perfect counter to ABC-Buster Dragon. It can also protect your Lunalight Cat Dancer long enough so you can use it as a Fusion Material for Panther Dancer.

Possible Revisions
A 60-card That Grass Looks Greener version of this deck is possible since you can set up a graveyard for Lunalight Wolf and maybe hit some Luna Light Perfumes for some extra search power. If you go that route, you'll need to do some heavy padding to the deck list.

Expand the Zoodiac engine to the full suite: the third Whiptail, some Zoodiac Thoroughblades, plus Speedroid Terrortop and Speedroid Taketomborg. (You'll need to find space for the M-X-Saber Invoker.) Add in the three Lunalight Reincarnation Dances, and you may even want to splash in some Brotherhood of the Fire Fist – Bears to help find the Fire Formation – Tenkis which will also search for more Beast-Warriors.

If you have any questions about Lunalight Zoodiac nonsense, tournament policy, card interactions or game mechanics, send me an e-mail (one question per e-mail please!) to and your question could be answered in a future edition of Court of Appeals!

-Joe Frankino

Joe is a Yu-Gi-Oh! judge and player from Long Island, New York. You can read his non-TCG writings over at and view his video-game related streams at