Thanks to new support, Madolches are back in the competitivespotlight.

It's been seven long years since Madolches arrived inReturn of the Duelistand nearly that long since the deck's beentournament viable. (Note: Loukas took a break to cry for a moment realizinghow old he was.) A few flashes of greatness came in 2012 and 2013, but thedeck largely fell out of favor as the game was subjected to wave after waveof extremely powerful cards, starting with the Dragon Rulers.

But where there's a will, there's a way. Thanks to Madolche Petingcessoeur,the deck can now extend beyond a Normal Summon. I can't tell you howdemoralizing it was as a Madolche player to run into a single Effect Veileror Solemn Strike and come away with only one option - throwing your cardsinto the nearest trash can. In a world filled with combo decks left andright, the almighty Normal Summon is still important.

I've always been drawn to Madolche decks because of the food puns, puppies,and cute cards. Granted, some Madolches aren't cute and adorable, butthankfully the ones that fail to be snuggle-fodder aren't very useful. Idon't have to look at their stupid faces… and yes I mean you, MadolcheBaaple, may you fall into a hole.

On the surface Madolches are pretty simplistic, quite phobic of thegraveyard when destroyed by your opponent. Of course, if you place them inthe graveyard yourself then they'll stay put, but the compounding effectstend to snowball, creating massive card economy off single cards. In theold days it was a slow burn that accrued more and more resources over time,but now you can do it all in a single turn; you can move cards from yourgraveyard to your deck, your deck to your field, your graveyard to yourhand - you name it.

DECKID=109986Looking at this Top 8 build it's kind of crazy that there are just as manyhand traps in the deck as Madolche monsters, but that's 2019 for you.Without any recent reprints Madolche prices have started to get out ofcontrol on the secondary market, but maybe we'll see them reprinted soonenough.

In the mean time, big congrats to David Green for putting this thingtogether and playing it so successfully.

First Ain't The Worst
So many decks are built to go first these days because that's historicallybeen a big advantage – you buld a board that can't be beat and follow upthe next turn with lots of damage. Want another newsflash? Water is wet.Surprising, I know.

Of course, strategies that can build insurmountable Turn 1 fields that alsohave the power to break similar boards are arguably the best way forward.Thunder Dragon decks have excelled in recent weeks for that very reason,but Madolches emulate that pattern on a much smaller scale.

What makes Madolche such a unique deck is its weird relationship with handtraps. Obviously decks work best when they're stocked with hand trapsbecause those generic cards are so good at stopping your opponent'smomentum, whether they're trying to be aggressive or just aiming to mount arebuttal. So an infinite supply of hand traps is daunting for any opponentto play against. The interaction of Madolche Chateau and Madolche TeacherGlassouffle unlock a seemingly endless stream of those cards and I can'treally overstate how useful that can be.

Once per turn, Madolche Teacher Glassouffle can use its first effect toprotect itself and then immediately turn around and shuffle cards from yourgraveyard into your deck. Madolche Chateau lets you return any monster toyour hand, not just Madolche monsters, so an Effect Veiler or Herald ofOrange Light that you already used to stop an opposing play comes rightback to your hand. If that's not insane by today's Yu-Gi-Oh! standards Idon't think you'll be impressed by anything. With a staggeringsevendifferent kinds of hand traps, you'll almost never be forcedto recycle dead hand traps that are weak in your given matchup.

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The optimal cards to start with are obviously Madolche Anjelly, MadolcheMagileine or Madolche Petingcessoeur, but with such an influx of handtraps, even Madolche Hootcake counts as a starter for many of your plays.While Madolches won't make an unbreakable board with six monsters from yourExtra Deck, having that level of access to recyclable hand traps on top ofthe dozen Madolches you want to see in your opening hand mitigates thenegative sides of that just fine.

While you can't exactly consider Call by the Grave, Pot of Desires, and Potof Extravagance hand traps, they help you whittle down your opponent's cardeconomy while likewise paving the way for your monsters to activate theireffects without hindrance. Modern Yu-Gi-Oh! rarely devolves to a situationwhere you're making even trades of resources until one player's out ofcards, but if you can devolve the game to a point where it's just MadolcheTeacher Glassouffle and a rotating cast of hand traps you really won't needmuch else.

So while going first typicallymeans creating iron clad boards withimpregnable defenses or towering monsters in other strategies, Madolchescan field a bunch of monsters or just sit on 37 copies of Effect Veiler andride things out. And that's better than it might sound.

Second Is The Best
I have to highlight the combo aspects of the deck, and how it makes OTKsand board wipes. Keep in mind that you could easily do everything below onyour first turn, but often just angling for a rich supply of hand traps ismore viable. Consider this combo starting with a single Madolche Magileineagainst a few monsters.

Normal Summon Madolche Magileine, search Madolche Petingcessoeur from yourdeck to your hand and play her with her first effect. Then use her secondeffect to Special Summon Madolche Puddingcess from your deck at reducedLevel. Overlay Madolche Puddingcess and Madolche Petingcessoeur intoMadolche Teacher Glassouffle - the low-key star of these combos - anddetach an Xyz Material from her to place a monster in the graveyard. Fromthere, stack Madolche Puddingcess Chocolat-a-la-Mode onto Madolche TeacherGlassouffle, and prepare for things to get out of control.

Using Madolche Puddingcess Chocolat-a-la-Mode's first effect, shuffle backyour detached Madolche Petingcessoeur and trigger Chocolat-a-la-Mode'ssecond effect, detaching Madolche Teacher Glassouffle to Special SummonMadolche Hootcake from your deck! Now with a monster in your graveyard,banish it with Hootcake to Special Summon Madolche Anjelly from your deck,and tribute thatmonster to search Madolche Messengelato andMadolche Chateau.

When you use Chateau to shuffle back your Anjelly, Madolche PuddingcessChocolat-a-la-Mode's second effect activates again, fielding anotherMadolche Messengelato and this time getting you Madolche Ticket from yourdeck. Free up some space by making Madolche Sistart, then continue bystacking two of your Madolches on the field for Madolche Queen Tiaramisu.When you use its ability to shuffle back cards your opponent controls,Madolche Ticket triggers to throw out another Level 4 Madolche from yourdeck.

While that may look clunky and laborious, keep in mind whichever cards youchoose with Madolche Queen Tiaramisu actually get added back to your hand.Also, keep in mind you can follow-up with another Tiaramisu to shuffle moreof your opponent's cards back. Madolche Puddingcess Chocolat-a-la-Mode canstack on top of your Queens, and with Madolche Chateau,that's exactly 8000 damage.

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Barring everything else that play's absolutely insane from a singleMadolche Magileine, ending with 8000 damage on board and the potential toclear four monsters in the process.

When I first saw the Extra Deck I was shocked. It's rare to see such asmall cast of Extra Deck monsters, especially when three of them are in thedeck purely so you can summon them with Super Polymerization – a cardthat's not even in the Main Deck! But honestly, it makes sense. Thehighlights of the deck are all Madolche flavored, and Madolche FreshSistart locks you into Madolche Special Summons. I could see a case for therogue Borrelsword Dragon or Knightmare Phoenix as the 15th card, buthonestly, why bother?

If you're out of hand traps and don't have any ways to break a board thanksto an annoyance like Solemn Judgement or Solemn Strike, some variability inthe Extra Deck wouldn't help much anyway. All the raw power comes fromMadolche Queen Tiaramisu and Puddingcess Chocolat-a-la-Mode, so what elsecould you want besides a clear board and an influx of monsters?

Third Doesn't Make Sense In This Context
There's not a lot to pick apart here since the deck was buit with suchprecision. Twin Twisters, Evenly Matched… sometimes you just won't win adie roll and you'll be forced into going second, and those cards acts likeanti-negation cards like the ones mentioned above. Rarely will one of thosemake or break your win, but they'll simplify the game considerably.

While there are contingencies for losing the die roll, this particularMadolche build was heavily optimized to go first and establishing the comboof Madolche Chateau and Madolche Teacher Glassouffle. As we continue intothe competitive season I'm looking forward to seeing more Madolche decks dojust as well.

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 foran audience with his ukulele. Hailed as the only person capable ofcooking Minute Rice in 56 seconds, Loukas is always looking atexpanding his backyard to house every dog in the world without a home.Well, and those with homes already.