World Chalice is the quintessential example of the term "flash in the pan."

As the first theme revolving entirely around Link Monsters, World Chalicesaw quick success. But that early moment stalled, and preliminary triumpswere never repeated due to… uh… Well, just not being that great in the eyesof most duelists. Simply put, better cards and better strategies edged outWorld Chalice as a standalone deck in tournaments, and Firewall Dragon'snew Forbidden status could have been the final nail in the coffin.

…But if there's a will there's a way, and with over 9000 cards toexperiment with in Yu-Gi-Oh! something was bound to stick, right? It turnsout that if you place less emphasis on some of the mainstays of the themeand get a bit creative there's more potential in World Chalice than youmight suspect. And that theory proved fruitful for Octavio Bedolla with hisTop 8 finish in St. Louis, Missouri!

In Bedolla's own words, "We don't need Firewall Dragon to win."

DECKID=109443While there may not be much wiggle room for diversity when you're buildinga World Chalice deck, there's certainly a lot of consistency and sheerpower. Simple cards like Mystical Shine Ball are secretly the MVP, anddrawing those baby balls of light is surprisingly not the end ofthe world if it happens. I mean, I'd prefer not to draw all three of themin my opening hand, sure, but what are the chances of that?

Clearly only a nerd would open with three copies of Mystical ShineBall, Speedroid Taketomborg, and Gem-Knight Lazuli. It's practically yourown fault.

Let's be fair: some cards just aren't as good as others, and even though alot of cards have niche uses just waiting to be discovered it's alwaysimportant to recognize your deck's weaknesses. That lets you compensate andstrengthen your strategy overall, so with that in mind let's take a momentto acknowledge that there are more Mystical Shine Balls in this deck thanWorld Chalice Normal Monsters. That said, it's actually ok here becauseBedolla's strategy was circuitous enough to make the best of the situation.

The key was playing a ton of complimentary monsters to keep everythingworking.

We Are All Chosen by the World Chalice
Gouki decks offer a continuous stream of monsters and revival spells andBurning Abyss always seems to get a search from Scarm, Malebranche of theBurning Abyss. But World Chalice decks have a near infinite stream ofresources that explode from simplistic combos, too; they're just not soloud about it.

"It's not a glass cannon," Bedolla said, comparing World Chalice to Goukiand other big strategies like it. He said the main reason he's stuck withWorld Chalice over time was the deck's refusal to go quietly into thenight, no matter how long your games might take. "You can recycle yourentire Extra Deck with Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord." And boy didhe.

But that's not the only reason Bedolla likes World Chalice; there areplenty of 2 and 3-card combos that produce an insane surge of monsters,giving the deck a high power ceiling. Take Lee the World Chalice Fairy andTransmodify as an example. Just Normal Summon Lee, search your deck forWorld Legacy - "World Chalice" and add it to your hand, then useTransmodify to summon The Agent of Creation - Venus.

Seems underwhelming, right? Well, that Venus turns into three copies ofMystical Shine Ball moments later and you'll trade one of them to LinkSummon Imduk the World Chalice Dragon. From that point you can normalSummon World Legacy - "World Chalice" from your hand.

Link Summon that away to score two more World Chalice monsters from yourdeck, and your possibilities explode depending on the rest of the cards inyour hand. Do you have Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord? Cool, that'sthree more Mystical Shine Balls. Got a World Chalice Guardragon on thetable? That's a revived vanilla waiting to happy.

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Bedolla's played World Chalice since the deck made its debut, so the factthat he's playing what seems like excessive numbers of certain cards isactually completely by design. Explosive plays like Tri-Wight and Exodiusthe Ultimate Forbidden Lord might hurt you with a weak opening hand, butthe fact that they'll catapult you so far ahead in most of your games makea strong argument for maxing them out.

"Imduk the World Chalice Dragon's the best card in the deck," Bedollaquipped, emphasizing the strength of the theme's signature Link 1. And he'snot wrong. The marriage of Transmodify and Lee the World Chalice Fairymaximizes your sheer economic output, and it's not the only 2-card combothat nets huge returns on your investment. As long as Bedolla could getsome semblance of his combos going he was set, quickly overwhelming hisopponents with a series of Link Summons and matching effects.

Obviously starting with Lee the World Chalice Fairy or The Agent ofCreation - Venus is ideal for other combos, but Imduk really tieseverything together. It gifts you another Normal Summon – hopefully forWorld Legacy - "World Chalice" – but even stuff like Emergency Teleport andThe Phantom Knights of Shade Brigandine fit nicely here, ultimately leadingyou to victory through Imduk.

Tying It All Together?
I'm not saying I supporting violence as a means of resolving one'sdifferences, but I will say that Eva's easily the most kickable monster inthe game today. If you take a look at the card art Eva's in the process ofscanning new territory, searching for someone to deliver a swift beatdownto. But I digress: the important thing is that Eva brings this deck fullcircle in some really big ways, and understanding when to use it is key.

As much as Bedolla invigorated the World Chalice strategy with trios of thebest cards, he also kept his tech options right at his fingertips with Eva.When Eva hits the graveyard it searches Herald of Orange Light or othertiny Fairies to give Bedolla the added bonus of extra monsters whenever hewas getting low on cards. Herald of Orange Light needs another Fairy inhand to work and a yarded Lee the World Chalice Fairy eats in-hand monstersfor breakfast, so having Eva as a sponsor works out really well.

Bedolla committed to other choices to maximize his output too - keep inmind, World Chalice doesn't actually win games with piddly Normal Monstersbut rather with the powerful fields you generate at the end of your combos.Thanks to Summon Sorceress, Soul Charge, Rescue Ferret… the list goes onand on… you easily hit your vague quota of "more cards" turn by turn.

After all, Bedolla's powerful boards consisted of powerhouses likeKnightmare Cerberus, Knightmare Phoenix, Tri-Gate Wizard, and ArchlordKristya, often with a Herald of Orange Light in hand to stop whatever cardyour opponent might try and use to kick out of your lock. Note thatArchlord Kristya will not return to the top of your deck in theTCG if you bring her out with Summon Sorceress, and while Kristya isn'tsearchable beyond that, there are still plenty of ways to get at the cardand lock your oppoent out.

Through Monster Reborn, Soul Charge, and World Legacy Succession, it's notout of the question to bring out a revived Archlord Kristya as proverbialicing on the cake. Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord, The Agent ofCreation - Venus, and Lee the World Chalice Fairy have interchangeablepieces to throw out a million building blocks for your Extra Deck, but inthe end Bedolla needed to have trump cards to do what his Normal monsterfactory couldn't do.

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Bedolla explained some of his other Extra Deck cards: "Saryuja Skull Dread,he fixes my hands. He's very important, but you only need one." Bedollatalked about some of the subpar hands he'd have, emphasizing how importantSaryuja was to refresh his cards sometimes. He also commented on theimportance of Called by the Grave and Magical Mid-Breaker Field to stopopposing counters. "It's bad, sometimes. Mystical Shine Ball, I opened twoof them... every game." Cards that keep you safe from disruption are thatmuch more important when you draw poorly and have limited opportunities tomake your best plays.

It wasn't an instant loss for Bedolla if his opponents had a single counterbecause the deck plays so many ways to field a bevy of Normal Monsters, butwhen he couldn't get to Saryuja Skull Dread to fix his hand, Bedolla neededsome rebuttal. Called by the Grave and Magical Mid-Breaker Field wereobviously key alongside Herald of Orange Light in the Main Deck, butBedolla also tailored his Side Deck for very specific strategies.

Against Sky Strikers? He'd bring in Anti-Spell Fragrance. Trap decks? RedReboot. Even Xyz Encore has merit here because as evidenced by Call of theGrave, World Chalice mostly cares about stopping counters rather thansetting up an actual defense with his own hand traps. By pushing throughopposing hand traps Bedolla could finish with Archlord Kristya or apowerful Link suite, and those wind up being a lot more reliable thanone-shot hand traps anyways.

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