Have you ever dropped Maxx "C" only to have your opponent tell you they're going to deck you out and then actually follow through with it? No?

Then you probably haven't played against Chris LeBlanc in the past couple weeks.

LeBlanc's a two-time YCS winner with a ton of achievements in his dueling career so far, and recently his insane Fusionist Turbo strategy's taken the community by storm. The idea is to use the forgotten Synchro Fusionist to search out Brilliant Fusion, Instant Fusion, or Re-Fusion whenever it's used for a Synchro Summon. Grabbing any of those cards usually results in a ridiculous number of follow-up combos, digging LeBlanc closer to his end goal: never letting the opponent get a turn, by taking their entire hand with multiple copies of Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barriers and PSY-Framelord Omega.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. This deck originally garnered attention when LeBlanc took it to a Regional and started off 6-0 before losing the last two rounds, both of which he attributed to not having Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit. His deck profile (which you can find here) immediately drew in a ton of players that were awestruck at the creativity while seemingly unconvinced of its competitive viability. After all, lots of decks go X-2 at Regional Qualifiers, right?

I think the strategy's worth a second look because LeBlanc worked on it for several weeks before bringing a new build to ARGCS Las Vegas, narrowly missing Top 16 but dominating Sunday's 1K tournament. If you compare this deck profile to his previous one it's clear that a lot of time was spent testing and fine-tuning, and I thought it was really interesting to see how the strategy developed over just a few weeks. I took some time to ask LeBlanc some of my own questions to get some insight into his thought process, but before we dive into that let's see what his newest version of Fusionist Turbo looks like:

DECKID=103999The first question I had to ask was how the heck LeBlanc came up with this idea, since Synchro Fusionist is pretty darn obscure.

LeBlanc told me that "Patrick [Hoban] had mentioned the card to me awhile ago and he said he couldn't find a way to use it, so I looked through every card in the game a couple times to see if anything worked well with it." I think we've all had moments like that, where a friend mentions a concept that they couldn't quite figure out and then we find the combo that breaks it.

I asked LeBlanc if that was the case for him, and if so, what card was the final piece of the puzzle. He answered "Probably Baxia. Summoning Norden back was pretty important, so once I put Baxia in, it had that extra combo piece it was missing."

Baxia, Brightness of the Yang Zing can blow up one of your cards to Special Summon any Level 4 or lower monster from your graveyard, regardless of whether or not it's a Wyrm-type. I bet a lot of duelists overlooked that – I know I did – because Baxia requires a Wyrm non-Tuner to Synchro Summon, but LeBlanc saw that you could simply make Yazi, Evil of the Yang Zing with generic Synchro Materials and then go into Baxia using Yazi as Synchro Material.

Baxia also bounces a card when it's Synchro Summoned, so LeBlanc could push through his opponent's field if he was going second, or return his own Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier to his Extra Deck to get multiple uses out of its effect.

New Advancements
Many of the changes from the last version of LeBlanc's Fusionist Turbo deck seem odd at first, like running two Gem-Knight Lazuli instead of Gem-Knight Garnet. LeBlanc's not playing any monsters to get back with the Lazuli when they're used for Brilliant Fusion, but he explained that they're a lot better than Garnet just because they're Level 1's. The Garnet was virtually never used for anything because it was awkwardly Level 4, but LeBlanc can revive the Lazuli with Junk Synchron as a free +1 if he has no other Level 2 or lower monsters in his graveyard. He can Normal Summon a Lazuli to try and make a Formula Synchron and dig deeper into his deck, too; that's just not possible with Gem-Knight Garnet.

Power Giant - a forgotten monster from Starstrike Blast - makes an appearance too, and in triplicate! It's sort of like The Tricky, but its Level is reduced by the Level of the discarded monster. That Level reducing effect opens up a bunch of fringe combos that wouldn't be possible otherwise, but Power Giant's main purpose is just to dump cards out of your hand. As LeBlanc explained, most of this deck's losses come from drawing too many monsters that you'd rather have in the graveyard. Power Giant fixes that problem while also putting a versatile Synchro Material on the field.

#####CARDID= 8055 #####

He runs two copies of Tatsunoko for the same reason. It's really easy for this deck to make a Level 3 Synchro, usually with a Level 1 Tuner and Synchro Fusionist, so LeBlanc ran a second Tatsunoko to help play out of awkward hands that have too many monsters and not enough power spells. According to him, Tatsunoko's the most valuable card in the entire Extra Deck, extending combos while simultaneously fixing consistency issues.

Speaking of, this strategy's surprisingly consistent even going first with just five cards. There are a ridiculous number of spells to kick your turn off with: almost all of them can be activated as soon as you draw them to advance your position. (Re-Fusion and De-Synchro are the two exceptions.) Probably more important, though, is that you'll be drawing an insane number of cards after you Synchro Summon T.G. Hyper Librarian, which means less pressure to play cards like Upstart Goblin just to dig for combo pieces.

LeBlanc wanted to shout out his team The Card Guyz, and I was going to link to their Youtube channel anyway because they've got a couple videos of LeBlanc piloting Fusionist Turbo; they're extremely helpful if you're trying to pick up the deck. This strategy's insanely complicated, and when I asked LeBlanc what advice he'd give to people that want to play it he said, "I think everyone needs to practice with the deck more: it took me awhile to understand it fully. It's definitely a hard deck to play especially if you haven't played in a Synchro based format."

At the very least, I'd probably take the time to watch those deck profiles and get a basic understanding of why he plays certain cards. I've seen this strategy pop up all over the place at local and Regional tournaments over the past couple weeks, and I'm sure you will, too. Knowing how to play against it - and how not to play against it - is crucial. I asked LeBlanc if he had any words of wisdom for those up against Fusionist Turbo, and he merely replied, "Don't play Maxx "C" versus this deck!"

So, yeah, unless you're playing Exodia you probably shouldn't drop Maxx "C" against Fusionist Turbo. It's a great way to get decked out on your first turn.

-Doug Zeeff

Doug Zeeff hails from Michigan and is currently an English major in college. When he's not found emailing Konami about why there's not a single walrus card in all of Yu-Gi-Oh! you can find him regularly posting unorthodox, unfiltered semi-Yu-Gi-Oh! related content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, laughing at his own jokes, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh.