Last week I wrote an article outlining the three biggest problems that plague the standard True King Dinosaur deck list. I repeatedly mentioned that I didn't think Dinosaurs were a bad strategy, and that I felt anyone who could solve those problems could easily take down a tournament.

As a quick refresher, the three points were as follows: first, Dinosaurs don't do so well against hand traps; second, there are a lot of brick hands; and third, they lacked longevity. I sprinkled my own thoughts about solutions throughout that article, many of which borrow from common OCG practices that haven't fully made it into the TCG.

Unsurprisingly, Filippo Pura managed to win the Switzerland Nationals with a list that solved pretty much all the issues I wrote about in that article. There's a lot of slick stuff going on here, so let's take a look at his list.

DECKID=107624By now, most people know that Dinosaurs live and die by Dragonic Diagram. If you have Diagram plus either of the Level 2 Dinosaurs you can combo off into some crazy fields. The bad news is that Dragonic Diagram gets stopped by both Ash Blossom & Joyous Springs and Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit, leaving you with some mismatched hands if it doesn't go through. That downfall is amplified going second, when your opponent will almost certainly have Zoodiac Drident on their field as well.

The workaround is to play a variant that can still function when Dragonic Diagram gets stopped, and Pura played a suite of Yang Zing cards to do that. At first glance it might be hard to see out how the Yang Zings help, but they're crucial to this strategy because they helped Pura get so much value out of Souleating Oviraptor.

The standard, one-card Souleating Oviraptor play leaves you with two negations. Here's how it works:

- Summon Souleating Oviraptor, sending Miscellaneousaurus to the graveyard

- Banish Miscellaneousaurus to summon Jurrac Aeolo

- Synchro Summon Denglong, First of the Yang Zing, using its effect to grab Nine Pillars of the Yang Zing

- Use Denglong's Level-copying effect to send Chiwen, Light of the Yang Zing to the graveyard

During your opponent's turn, you can use Nine Pillars of the Yang Zing to negate a card, which triggers the destroyed Denglong and the Chiwen in grave. Denglong Special Summons Bi'an, Earth of the Yang Zing, and you can then immediately use its quick effect to Synchro Summon a Herald of the Arc Light that can't be destroyed by battle.

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Just in general, that play is awesome. Two negations out of one card is going to be a decent return on your investment in any strategy. But then you remember that this is just your backup play for when your opponent already wasted a hand trap on your Dragonic Diagram and things look even better.

Yang Zings are so good at maintaining field presence that they naturally play off of the simplified games that tend to happen when your opponent's throwing hand traps at your plays. It's a brilliant second line of combos that Pura clearly saw had value, and I expect more players to pick up on it going forward.

More Yang Zing Than Anything
I also wanted to point out how dedicated Pura was to the Yang Zing side of his strategy, even if they technically don't make up the majority of his deck. I mentioned in my previous article that I feel True King of All Calamities doesn't do enough to warrant the cost of summoning it, and I think Pura would agree with me.

There are a few areas we can point to if we want to solidify that thought. The first is Pura's Extra Deck. The only card that's not a one-of is Denglong, which right away tells you that he's planning on making Denglong more than any other monster. The Extra Deck space in Yang Zing True King Dinosaurs is tight, so reserving two spots for Denglong instead of one is a big deal.

Next, take a look at how many Jurrac Aeolo Pura ran. While many competitors would play just a single copy to reduce their chances of drawing it, Pura knew how important the Souleating Oviraptor combo was so he ran two copies of Aeolo. In a 45 card deck you still have a good chance of not seeing it in your opening hand, and there's an even lower chance that you'd ever see both in your starting five, but you absolutely need one in deck to do the best combos.

Lastly, Pura chose to run three different True King monsters instead of just True King Lithosagym, the Disaster and True King Agnimazud, the Vanisher. The important thing to point out here is that all of the True King destruction effects work with any Wyrm monsters that don't match the attribute of the destroyed one, not just True Kings. That means you can revive Yang Zings with Lithosagym and Special Summon them from the deck with True King Bahrastos, the Fathomer.

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If you're looking for an answer to the "so what?" question, here it is: there aren't a lot of bad hands in this deck. In conventional builds, drawing all Dinosaurs or all Dragonic Diagrams was a death sentence. With the Yang Zings, though, you can actually do stuff with just Oviraptor or just Diagram and a handful of True Kings. The only truly bad hand would be opening all Yang Zing monsters, but that's so rare that it's basically not worth mentioning.

In my opinion one of the biggest selling points of Yang Zings is that you get to use all three effects of Denglong. It's a real shame that a lot of players are using one of the best Level 5 Synchros in the entire game as nothing but Level 9 Xyz Material, so it's refreshing to see Pura take things to the next level. I've already talked about the one Souleating Oviraptor combo where you're using all three effects, but you can even expand on your standard Babycerasaurus and Dragonic Diagram hands by using Denglong in order to make Ultimaya Tzolkin, too.

The New Format
As for the list itself, the only Forbidden & Limited List change would be Elder Entity Norden, but Pura only played one Instant Fusion anyway so I'm not sure how often that was a factor. I'm sure you'd also want to ditch Retaliating "C" because there's no Lunalight combo to be afraid of, and three Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit might be overkill.

There are no copies of Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring included in this list, which I can only presume was due to monetary restrictions. Dragonic Diagrams aren't cheap, but they're a lot more necessary than Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring.

I feel that a list like this with very minimal changes could definitely be successful at the North American World Championship Qualifier. There's clearly a lot of people picking up Dinosaur cards in preparation for the new format, but many of them have yet to catch on to Yang Zings. I'll admit that the combos can be complicated at first, but in the long run I think it's objectively the best way to play Dinosaurs if you want to be successful.

Big congratulations to Filippo Pura on his winning list, proving that new variants of old favorites are sometimes the best option to win!

-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 Yu-Gi-Oh! content on his Youtube channel, Dzeeff. In his spare time he enjoys eating cheese, Overwatch, and, of course, playing Yu-Gi-Oh. Click here to follow him and his adventures on Facebook!