Blame my fascination with the anime, but I've always been drawn to Relinquished and Thousand-Eyes Restrict, two of Maximillion Pegasus's most famous cards. It helps that my play style has always hinged around using my opponent's momentum against them; both monsters take that idea to the extreme. Absorbing monsters, preventing attacks, gaining all the ATK you could want?

Sign me up.

But the real life decks revolving around everyone's favorite Level 1 RitualMonster have always had two glaring problems. First, you have to make a heavy investment into most Ritual Summons and the result really teeters on being fragile. Factor in all the Impcantation Support you want, but those big blue monsters demand a lot of resources or a ton of premeditated setup…sometimes both. You're almost always going to lose out on card economy unless you can leapfrog the drawbacks of the Ritual Summoning mechanic by stacking Rituals in tandem, like Nekroz do.

While other Ritual strategies are designed to compensate for those drawbacks with brilliant combos or economically efficient boards,Relinquished decks actually require your opponent to throw monsters on the field to be at their best, since the three boss monsters of the deck have 0ATK on their own. It hurts to go first since you wind up having one less card in hand than your opponent, but the real pain is the inability to capitalize on your opponent's efforts. It's better to go second and suck up a big monster, especially if your opponent had to commit card economy and key combo cards to get it onto the field.

All that said, I think the new F&L List offers us Relinquished fans some new opportunities. Let's go ahead and take a look at the deck.

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I tailored the deck to function on the play and on the draw, but there's no doubt that its fares much better when it's going second. Still, you'll need to be aware of the difference to the two approaches no matter how much luck is on your side.

The Power Of You(r Opponent's Monsters)
With the release of Millenium-Eyes Restrict, there are three options for taking control of everything in sight all with slight variations in their effects. The titular Ritual Monster Relinquished targets and absorbs one monster at a time, gaining the ATK and DEF of whatever it sucks up. It bounces back any damage received and it can't die in battle when it's equipped with a stolen monster.

Thousand-Eyes Restrict trades the damage reflection for an effect that stops monsters from attacking, and Millennium-Eyes Restrict takes it to another Level: any monster it steals on either player's turn also has its effect negated. While Millennium-Eyes does target, it can grab monsters from both the field and the graveyard! The only downside?

Your opponent can kill it with a Mokey-Mokey.

That's a serious problem for Relinquished decks that want to establish any form of long lasting field presence. The Relinquished family - the proud dad and his two children - can easily deal with single target threats, but what can the deck do against POWERFUL THREATS like the great Mokey-Mokey when you're starting off the duel? Without any proactive absorption, bothRelinquished and Millenium-Eyes Restrict couldn't stop Mokey-Mokey's tirade. Since you can't really make a permanent Thousand-Eyes Restrictwithout playing the horrible Thousand-Eyes Idol, it's a bit of a rough uphill battle.

Going first shouldn't be that unfortunate – it's kind of rare for that to be the case in Yu-Gi-Oh - but there are ways to mitigate that weakness. Pretty much all of them revolve around Instant Fusion, so getting to it early and consistently is monumentally important… but not so important that the deck's corrupted from its main strategy.

Predaplants make the most sense to combine with the Relinquished strategy or obvious reasons. Discarding useless or recursive monsters mitigates the cost of fielding monsters from the deck. Furthermore, Predaplant Darlingtonia Cobra gets a bevy of cards from your deck, whether that'sSuper Polymerization, Relinquished Fusion or Instant Fusion.

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That boosted access to Instant Fusion means you suddenly have a lot of great Extra Deck monsters at your disposal, and combined with the Predaplant monsters you can protect your resources or make a strong monster all on its own. You can combine Predaplant Darlingtonia Cobra andPredaplant Ophrys Scorpio for Beat Cop from the Underworld, and that can protect whatever monster you made on your first turn. It might not sound like a lot, but come back to me when your opponent Normal Summons a monster and kills your big investment. Worst case scenario, Beat Cop adds a layer of protection to your monster and that comes into play a lot more than you might think!

Instant Fusion also grants access to El Shaddoll Winda, but, blegh… that's boring and straightforward and you've seen it before. Don't get me wrong,it's worthy enough to play but not particularly groundbreaking. Instead, I found success with the rarely used Predaplant Dragostapelia, which requires a Fusion Monster as a material. It's costly, sure but it fills a narrow niche that's often overlooked.

Predaplant Dragostapelia can stop Effect Monsters just like Millenium-Eyes Restrict, but it has one other advantage - raw attack power. Nothing, and Imean nothing is more annoying than putting time and energy into Summoning Millenium-Eyes and then getting run over by weak monsters. Since your opponent can force a negate and then run over your monster, it's satisfying to have the points built-in to prevent it.

Lastly, Instant Fusion also makes it far easier to get to Abyss Dweller andEvilswarm Exciton Knight. One can stop entire strategies by itself whilethe other is a walking Self-Destruct Button. Are they going to win you the duel every time? Of course not, but they're awfully good insurance when you're going in blind against random decks, especially at the beginning of a new format. Just Normal Summon Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands and playInstant Fusion – from there it's just a waiting game until your next turn.

Et Cetera, Et Cetera, Etc.
Of course your goal is to go second most of the time. As much as you want to use your opponent's final monster for your Relinquished plays, it'd be foolish to completely ignore their turn. Ash Blossom & Joyous Springand Effect Veiler cover the widest array of effects you want to stop, as generically as possible. They beat out Infinite Impermanence in this strategy because they're monsters and thus discard fodder for PredaplantOphrys Scorpio.

To me, the strangest thing about the Relinquished strategy is the available cards you can play that can be… let's say polarizing, for lack of a better phrase. Millennium-Eyes Illusionist and Illusionist Faceless Magician can help your "Eyes Restrict" monsters stay alive for turns to come, but it's painful when you draw them with a poor hand. I think they're necessaryevils that are hard to go without, but there's one flex card to consider:Djinn Disserere of Rituals.

It's not popular to play cards like Disserere butworst case scenario it's still Ritual fodder two times over - once from your field and once from the graveyard. With the return of Solemn Judgement we'll be seeing more trap heavy decks and so help me Exodia if I play trap decks and lose to that without main deck help. If you're looking to take a card out of this build for something else, I'd start with Djinn Disserereof Rituals. But if you do, expect the Yu-Gi-Oh! gods to curse you with 19trap decks in a row.

Building on that idea, there's a lot more you could add to this deck to swing the strategy in a different direction depending on what you think you'll play against, or even just your own preference. Shaddoll Fusion acts as another Foolish Burial and gives you an El Shaddoll Winda, but thathurts you going first. Lonefire Blossom lets you see Predaplant OphrysScorpio faster but creates more dead draws. Mystic Piper's a glorifiedUpstart Goblin and conflicts with Manju of the Ten Thousand Hands andPredaplant Ophrys Scorpio. There a lot of ideas here, of varying quality.

Overall the deck's insanely fun to play and really works well through themid game. Kinka-Byo is the most frustrating card for your opponent, giving you life when all hope was lost, and the deck as a whole can make anyone think twice about fielding a big monster. With that said I wish you happy dueling with the Relinquished family, and good luck taking down everything that comes your way!

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson


Loukas Peterson lives in Nashville, Tennessee, hoping one day to run in5th Congressional District on the platform of "Fabled Link Monsters forEveryone." You can find him onTwitteror building a bonfire in his backyard to attract the local wildlife for an audience with his ukulele. Hailed as the only person capable ofcooking Minute Rice in 56 seconds, Loukas is always looking at expanding his backyard to house every dog in the world without a home.Well, and those with homes already.