As one of the flagship themes in the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX era, Cyber Dragons havelong been hailed as a fan-favorite deck. Virtually any strategy piloted bya protagonist in the TV series will garner attention, and Cyber Dragonshave profited from idolization and quality legacy support.

If you've ever read any of my articles or met me in real life, you knowlegacy support's my absolute favorite. I remember literally being huddledin the corner after a dismal day at a Regional Qualifier being thrashed byGeargia after Return of the Duelist was announced and Doug "Mac 'NBees" Zeeff asked me why I continued to play Fabled instead of, well, newcards that are good.

Needless to say, I have a soft spot for old school decks. Whenever they getnew support, hey, that's even better since it gives me an excuse to wipethe dust off them and try them out again (like I wasn't going to do thatalready anyways). After all, I still have my Super Rare copies of CyberDragon from the original Cybernetic Revolution release all the wayback in 2005.

If I never felt old before, I definitely feel old now.

Back then, Cyber Dragon was a phenomenal card because it largely acted as ablunt instrument for beatdown damage that didn't consume your NormalSummon. It sounds simplistic now, but a beater with 2100 ATK that could runover monsters with high DEF or serve as fodder for Mobius the FrostMonarch… ok, now that I've bored you all to sleep with archaic plays, checkout Jonathan Rivas' Cyber Dragon deck from his Top 8 Regional Qualifierfinish in Ecuador!

DECKID=109283Cyber Dragons may be a fan favorite with some wicked cool support cards,but they've largely fallen out of favor as new waves of support and newthemes have arrived to prop up other decks. But hey, sometimes you don'tneed to be fancy: you just need to field as much damage as possible backedby a Cyber Dragon Infinity to win games!

The OG Cyber Dragon
For all the combos and wild plays Cyber Dragons could make depending onone's personal deviation from the deck's central strategy, Rivas startedoff lauding the namesake of the deck before anything else. It's not justthe raw attack power he was after, though – what's in a name, anyhow.

"Cyber Dragon is just a good card - a good card to start with, especiallywhen you have a clear field or when you need to clear your opponent'sfield." Rivas talked about the ease of fielding the requirements for CyberDragon Nova and Cyber Dragon Infinity, but beyond that, the rightopportunity means you can turn your opponent's Machines into a ChimeratechFortress Dragon too. Even if Cyber Dragon's not as powerful now as it oncewas, the option to place a Level 5 Machine with good stats on the field, orclearing your opponent's board entirely, is always going to be useful.

But by keeping the original Cyber Dragon in the deck, you're not forgoinginteractions that push you over the edge when your card economy needs toexplode. Most Cyber Dragon monsters count as "Cyber Dragon" while on thefield or in the GY, but if you're pulling them from the deck you'll needthe original Cyber Dragon, and Rivas emphasized the importance of that factwith Machine Duplication.

"If you get two free ones out, it's over," Rivas said, explaining theinteraction Machine Duplication has with both Cyber Dragon Herz and CyberDragon Core. Obviously, Cyber Dragon decks go on the defensive with CyberDragon Nova, but getting enough Fusion monsters on the field to deal tenbajillion points of damage (actual scientific calculation) requires FusionMaterials, and the influx of Cyber Dragons is what you need.

So while Cyber Dragon Core may fetch all the spicy spell and trap support,Cyber Dragon Herz keeps your generation of Chimeratech and Cyber Fusionsalive and healthy. "Against a clear board, two attacks is enough [forgame]," Rivas said about Cyber Twin Dragon, hailing Herz as a main conduitto generating that much damage. I should be technical and clarify thatCyber Dragon Herz facilitates Cyber Dragon Sieger and then gets aCyber Dragon back to fuse into Cyber Twin Dragon, but in the end the deckeffectively pivots around Herz as much as it does the original CyberDragon.

No Bad Cards!
When I discussed Cyber Dragon decks a few months agohere, I spoke at length about how strong Cyber Dragon Sieger is. But just likePanzer Dragon, it acts like one single cog in a much more complicatedmachine than an actual driving force for victory.

After all, Rivas discussed how he'd use it as material for another CyberDragon or Chimeratech Fusion monster and then revive Sieger to open upanother slot for a Fusion Monster. There's beauty in the simplicity ofSieger and how it melds your deck together, but I really want to talk aboutPanzer Dragon, even if only briefly.

The single Instant Fusion Rivas played was, by his own admission, a way tominimize the risk of dead cards as much as humanly possible. Sinceit's a once-per-turn effect, why bother with multiple copies and riskstalling your own game plan? Even things like Pot of Desires could slowRivas down, which is why he only played one copy of that too.

#####CARDID= 23733 #####

The crux of that mentality arrives in his use of Cyberload Fusion. "It'sthe best Fusion [spell] for this deck, and you can search it with CyberDragon Core!" Rivas eagerly shared his excitement about the ease with whichhe could search it, and with a glass cannon like Cyber Dragons that won'tdrag duels out, why weigh the deck down with extra copies?

Cyber Revsystem, Cyberload Fusion, Cyber Repair Plant, and even CyberneticOverflow - these support cards are all monumentally impactful on your game,from providing defense to stealing away victories at the last second with aFusion Summon in the Battle Phase, but Rivas intentionally kept the ratiosdown as to not clog his opening hands with superfluous fluff.

As great as support cards go, those simply facilitate the rest of yourstrategy; they don't win the game for you. Cybernetic Overflow, forexample, exists mostly to give you another turn and another layer ofprotection under Cyber Dragon Infinity, but Rivas doubled down on the truehighlights of the deck.

"Overload Fusion is literally another free monster. If you have space onthe field, it's great," Rivas explained. "It's good for recovery, too."Think back about Sieger and Herz - your main goal is to see some mix ofCyber Dragon monsters so you can function as a cohesive strategy, butyou'll punch your ticket to our estimated figure of ten bajillion damagewhen playing Overload Fusion!

Defenses! More Defenses!
I'd be remiss to say Rivas' deck isn't unconventional, but the choices hemade were very intentional, even when it came to the hand traps. Becausethe deck hinges on going second, there's only so much one can do to quellthe flurries of summons that Link heavy decks focus on creating. And muchlike how Dark World Danger! FTK decks don't load up on hand traps, it's notnecessary for Cyber Dragons to play tons of hand traps either.

"It took me about a week to get used to them, but I love them," Rivas saidof his hand traps. After all, the ones Rivas played were specificallygeared to stop his opponent from stopping him. PSY-Framegear Gamma's solepurpose was to stop whatever hand trap his opponent played back on himwhile Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit filled the gap he felt his deck wasmissing. Again, that's counterintuitive to what a lot of decks try toaccomplish, but when your strategy churns out big monsters and damage aseasily as this one, why should you care about what your opponent has ontheir board?

That's a bit of an oversimplification and a bit of an oversight, sure, butsometimes it just works out. I can't count the number of times I've seensomeone praise or curse a deck solely based off one performance ata YCS or a Regional Qualifier, and you have to remember that each situationis different. A deck may be successful because of genius, opportunity, orsheer luck, but when a plan comes together, you can't berate a strategyjust because you leapt to foregone conclusions.

Rivas' minimal hand-trap lineup is evidence of that - if he went secondevery duel against eight Dark World Danger! FTK decks without a hand trapyou'd call the event a wash, but he made a calculated decision and placedhis bets. PSY-Framelord Gamma broke his opponent's counters when he'd pushfor damage, and that's exactly what he was banking on for this particulartournament.

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 "Marshmallows forEveryone." When he's not submitting ideas for Fabled support and aFabled Link monster, you can find him building a bonfire in hisbackyard to attract the local wildlife for an audience with hisukulele. Hailed as the only person capable of cooking Minute Rice in 56seconds, Loukas is always looking at expanding his backyard to houseevery dog in the world without a home. Well, and those with homesalready.


Do you love winning with unconventional strategies? Do you lovecreating mash-ups? Does your deck need an injection of crazy? Send thefollowing torerouting.tcgplayer@gmail.comto have your deck featured in the "Re-Routing" deck fix column!

-Your Main and Extra Deck list. (No Side Deck needed, but please send awritten deck list, not a screencap; screencapped deck lists will befiled and then burned in the furnace accordingly… and your deck shouldbe TCG legal).

-Your name and city.

-Remember, please use full card names! Abbrevs and mis-sipllngs makeLoukas' life sad. Try your darndest to get the TCG name on there.

-A paragraph or two describing your deck: what it does, why you'replaying it, and its strengths and weaknesses. "Winning" is not astrategy per se, and neither is "beating your opponents before theybeat you."

-Your favorite card from the build and why – make me fall in love withthe deck! The cooler your strategy the more I'll want to fix it, and ifyou throw in funny jokes, that'll surely get my attention too; bewarned, unfunny jokes will push your deck to the back of the stack.Don't be afraid to get creative! New stuff takes priority, because I'mnot bored of it yet! –LJP