A while ago in my Phantom Rage spotlight article, I threatened everyone - in a nice way - that Melffys and I were going to stomp on everyone. Was I kidding? Not really. I wrote about Melffys back in August, and I stand by my opinion that as a budget deck, it really punched way above its weight.

But times have changed. And I'm sorry, Melffy Rabby. I love you, but I'd like to win now. Today we're not just going up a weight class.

Now that Phantom Rage has arrived I think Melffys can do more than just dunk on an unsuspecting opponent. I think this deck can really contend with top strategies in a significant way. Is it the new Tier 0 powerhouse? Uhh, well… Tier 0 in cuteness, maybe?

It's fifty-fifty. The Melffys are definitely Tier 0 in cuteness, sure, and Alpha, the Master of Beasts is the Tier 0 of… surprisingly-impressive-boss-monsters-we-can-shove-in-this-deck? Follow that up with two more new Xyz, and you have yourself a genuinely great strategy.

Do The Melffy Shuffle

In terms of mechanics, "returning itself to the hand" then "Special Summoning itself during your End Phase" would not have been card effects I'd expect a theme to get. Ever.

*throws confetti*

In an age where people would call a deck "bad" if it didn't have 19 first turn negates with a 100% success ratio, you'll need a bit of patience and you'll need to know that not every hand turns into larger than life combos. Your End Phase is your friend with this deck, and your setup might appear more passive than others, but it's still good.

In terms of consistency, you'll want to see and summon your best cards as soon as possible: that's Melffy Catty and Melffy Puppy. All the Melffy monsters (sans Melffy Rabby) bounce to your hand and trigger an effect when your opponent summons or attacks, but those two are the best of the bunch. Adding Beasts to your hand and summoning baby Beasts respectively, are a huge boost to your card economy and your defense.

When you're going first, being able to make the Rank 2 monster Melffy of the Forest is monumentally important; it sets you up to rake in card economy while stunning your opponent into submission, keeping them under control. You'll generally look to Normal Summon Rescue Cat, bring out two Beasts to make Melffy of the Forest, and search Melffy Puppy. Bring it out in your End Phase.

With Melffy Puppy on the field, its effect will trigger when your opponent summons a monster. Use Melffy Puppy effect to summon Kalantosa, Mystical Beast of the Forest. Melffy of the Forest will target a monster, negate its effects, and stop it from attacking, and Kalantosa, Mystical Beast of the Forest will pop a card. Not bad!

*throws second handful of confetti*

I know that's a short-and-sweet simplification of the deck's goal, but the main Melffy plans revolve around small, targeted surprises you spring on your opponent. You aren't going to run them over with a steamroller, but if you can throw a tiny wrench in your opponent's combo machine - or several wrenches at once - you can often shut the entire thing down, without relying on huge obvious power moves.

It's a lot like boxing or other fighting styles; overwhelming your opponent with grandiose attacks might seem like the best solution, but a well-aimed and well-timed counter can be good enough to win the duel.

When I said everything else was an extension of that for your Melffy plays, I really mean your Melffy and Beast plays. Melffy Catty and Melffy Puppy also summon Kalantosa, Mystical Beast of the Forest, Hop Ear Squadron, and Yokotuner to pop cards or make important Synchros at the right time, depending on what your situation calls for.

That's why I'm a huge advocate for Rescue Cat, Obedience Schooled, and Nimble Beaver. If you can quickly field the right Melffys as soon as possible, then those well-timed daggers your tossing will be lethal for your opponent.

Win enough battles and you win the war, ya know?

Be A Good Pet Owner: Keep The Hand Traps

Hand traps aren't for every deck, but they're absolutely necessary for Melffys. The stratey won't crumble without them, but gameplay-wise there's not good reason to skimp on PSY-Framegear Gamma, Effect Veiler, Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring, and Infinite Impermanence.

…Or like, I don't know, D.D. Crow or Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit. The shape of the competitive landscape in the wake of Phantom Rage and Maximum Gold is still to be determined, so if you're feeling a different hand trap for your metagames, go for it. I won't fight you on that - just make sure you're running some hand traps. My build wound up looking like this.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Loukas' New Melffy Deck by Loukas Peterson

'Loukas' New Melffy Deck' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Loukas Peterson

Event:

Rank:

Advanced

Market Price: $376.48

Cards

Nimble Beaver

Market Price: $1.00

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/148321_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Level 3 or lower "Nimble" monster from your Deck or GY.

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Upstart Goblin

Market Price: $1.99

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/22566_200w.jpg

Draw 1 card from your Deck. Your opponent gains 1000 Life Points.

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Melffy Hide-and-Seek

Market Price: $0.21

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218954_200w.jpg

The first time each Beast monster you control would be destroyed by card effect each turn, it is not destroyed. You can target 3 Beast monsters in your GY with different names; shuffle them into the Deck, then draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Melffy Hide-and-Seek" once per turn.

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Joyous Melffys

Market Price: $0.26

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226196_200w.jpg

2+ Level 2 Beast monsters

You can detach 1 material from this card; your "Melffy" monsters can attack directly this turn. During your opponent's turn (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Beast Xyz Monster you control; return that monster to the Extra Deck, then you can Special Summon Level 2 or lower Beast monsters from your GY, up to the number of materials that monster had. You can only use this effect of "Joyous Melffys" once per turn.

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Kalantosa, Mystical Beast of the Forest

Market Price: $0.27

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218012_200w.jpg

If this card is Special Summoned by the effect of a Beast-Type monster: You can target 1 card on the field; destroy that target.

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Hop Ear Squadron

Market Price: $0.19

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/220891_200w.jpg

During your opponent's Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can target 1 face-up monster you control; Special Summon this card from your hand, and if you do, immediately after this effect resolves, Synchro Summon 1 Synchro Monster using only this card you control and that target. You can only use this effect of "Hop Ear Squadron" once per turn.

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Yokotuner

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/127285_200w.jpg

When this card is Normal Summoned: You can Special Summon 1 Tuner from your hand or Graveyard, but it has its effects negated.

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PSY-Framegear Gamma

Market Price: $1.79

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215427_200w.jpg

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must be Special Summoned by a card effect. When your opponent activates a monster effect while you control no monsters (Quick Effect): You can Special Summon both this card from your hand and 1 "PSY-Frame Driver" from your hand, Deck, or GY, and if you do, negate that activation, and if you do that, destroy that monster. During the End Phase, banish the face-up monsters Special Summoned by this effect.

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PSY-Frame Driver

Market Price: $0.13

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/215407_200w.jpg

A Psychic soldier that rides into battle against the Security Forces on currents of lightning, using an autonomic amplifier called "PSY-Frame".

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Accesscode Talker

Market Price: $73.06

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/213365_200w.jpg

2+ Effect Monsters

Your opponent cannot activate cards or effects in response to this card's effect activations. If this card is Link Summoned: You can target 1 Link Monster that was used as material for its Link Summon; this card gains ATK equal to that monster's Link Rating x 1000. You can banish 1 Link Monster from your field or GY; destroy 1 card your opponent controls, also for the rest of this turn, you cannot banish monsters with that same Attribute to activate this effect of "Accesscode Talker".

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Knightmare Phoenix

Market Price: $4.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166354_200w.jpg

2 monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 Spell/Trap your opponent controls; destroy it, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Phoenix" once per turn. Co-linked monsters you control cannot be destroyed by battle.

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Melffy Puppy

Market Price: $1.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218895_200w.jpg

If your opponent Normal or Special Summons a monster(s) (except during the Damage Step), or if an opponent's monster targets this card for an attack: You can return this card to the hand, then you can Special Summon 1 Level 2 or lower Beast monster from your Deck, except "Melffy Puppy". During your End Phase: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. You can only use each effect of "Melffy Puppy" once per turn.

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Alpha, the Master of Beasts

Market Price: $38.50

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226175_200w.jpg

Cannot be Normal Summoned/Set. Must first be Special Summoned (from your hand) while the total ATK of all monsters your opponent controls is more than that of all monsters you control. You can target any number of Beast, Beast-Warrior, and/or Winged Beast monsters you control; return them to the hand, then, return face-up monsters your opponent controls to the hand, equal to the number of cards you returned to the hand, also for the rest of this turn, "Alpha, the Master of Beasts" you control cannot attack directly. You can only use this effect of "Alpha, the Master of Beasts" once per turn.

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Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder

Market Price: $46.94

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/226197_200w.jpg

2 Level 12 monsters

Once per turn, if an Xyz Monster battled this turn, you can also Xyz Summon "Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder" by using 1 Xyz Monster you control as material. (Transfer its materials to this card.) (Quick Effect): You can detach 2 materials from this card; send all other cards from the field to the GY. Once per turn, if another card(s) you control is destroyed by battle or an opponent's card effect: You can attach 1 card from your hand, Deck, or Extra Deck to this card as material.

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Knightmare Unicorn

Market Price: $12.49

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/197122_200w.jpg

2+ monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 card on the field; return it to the Deck, then, if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Unicorn" once per turn. While any co-linked "Knightmare" monsters are on the field, for your normal draw in your Draw Phase, draw 1 card for each different card name among those co-linked "Knightmare" monsters, instead of drawing just 1 card.

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Effect Veiler

Market Price: $1.30

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/224982_200w.jpg

During your opponent's Main Phase (Quick Effect): You can send this card from your hand to the GY, then target 1 Effect Monster your opponent controls; negate the effects of that face-up monster your opponent controls, until the end of this turn.

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Valerifawn, Mystical Beast of the Forest

Market Price: $0.24

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218013_200w.jpg

You can discard 1 card, then target 1 Level 2 or lower Beast monster in your GY, except "Valerifawn, Mystical Beast of the Forest"; Special Summon it in Attack Position or face-down Defense Position. You can only use this effect of "Valerifawn, Mystical Beast of the Forest" once per turn.

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Melffy of the Forest

Market Price: $3.95

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218940_200w.jpg

2 Level 2 monsters

You can detach 1 material from this card; add 1 "Melffy" card from your Deck to your hand. If another face-up "Melffy" monster you control returns to your hand (except during the Damage Step): You can target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; it cannot attack, also its effects are negated while it is face-up on the field. You can only use each effect of "Melffy of the Forest" once per turn.

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Number 64: Ronin Raccoon Sandayu

Market Price: $3.51

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/92711_200w.jpg

2 Level 2 Beast-Type monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Kagemusha Raccoon Token" (Beast-Type/EARTH/Level 1/ATK ?/DEF 0). (When Summoned, its ATK becomes equal to the current ATK of the monster on the field that has the highest ATK. Your choice, if tied.) While you control another Beast-Type monster, this card cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects.

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Melffy Fenny

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218893_200w.jpg

If your opponent Normal or Special Summons a monster(s) (except during the Damage Step), or if an opponent's monster targets this card for an attack: You can return this card to the hand, then you can Special Summon 1 Beast monster from your hand, except "Melffy Fenny". During your End Phase: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. You can only use each effect of "Melffy Fenny" once per turn.

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Naturia Barkion

Market Price: $4.01

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/96943_200w.jpg

1 EARTH Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner EARTH monsters

While this card is face-up on the field, you can remove from play 2 cards in your Graveyard to negate the activation of a Trap Card and destroy it.

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Naturia Beast

Market Price: $1.28

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/186983_200w.jpg

1 EARTH Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner EARTH monsters 

During either player's turn, when a Spell Card is activated: You can send the top 2 cards of your Deck to the GY; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it. This card must be face-up on the field to activate and to resolve this effect.

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Knightmare Cerberus

Market Price: $1.23

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/166353_200w.jpg

2 monsters with different names

If this card is Link Summoned: You can discard 1 card, then target 1 Special Summoned monster in your opponent's Main Monster Zone; destroy it, then if this card was co-linked when this effect was activated, you can draw 1 card. You can only use this effect of "Knightmare Cerberus" once per turn. Your co-linked monsters cannot be destroyed by card effects.

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Danger! Bigfoot!

Market Price: $7.25

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/197274_200w.jpg

You can reveal this card in your hand; your opponent randomly chooses 1 card from your entire hand, then you discard the chosen card. Then, if the discarded card was not "Danger! Bigfoot!", Special Summon 1 "Danger! Bigfoot!" from your hand, and if you do, draw 1 card. If this card is discarded: You can target 1 face-up card your opponent controls; destroy it. You can only use this effect of "Danger! Bigfoot!" once per turn.

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Rescue Cat

Market Price: $3.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/33047_200w.jpg

You can send this face-up card to the Graveyard to Special Summon 2 Level 3 or lower Beast-Type monsters from your Deck. The monsters are destroyed during the End Phase.

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Missus Radiant

Market Price: $1.34

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/139218_200w.jpg

2 EARTH monsters

All EARTH monsters on the field gain 500 ATK and DEF, also all WIND monsters on the field lose 400 ATK and DEF. If this card is destroyed by battle or card effect: You can target 1 EARTH monster in your GY; add it to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Missus Radiant" once per turn.

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Herald of the Arc Light

Market Price: $0.85

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227448_200w.jpg

1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters

Any monster sent from the hand or Main Deck to the GY is banished instead. When a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect, is activated (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card. If this card is sent to the GY: You can add 1 Ritual Monster or 1 Ritual Spell from your Deck to your hand.

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Melffy Catty

Market Price: $1.17

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218894_200w.jpg

If your opponent Normal or Special Summons a monster(s) (except during the Damage Step), or if an opponent's monster targets this card for an attack: You can return this card to the hand, then you can add 1 Beast monster from your Deck to your hand, except "Melffy Catty". During your End Phase: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. You can only use each effect of "Melffy Catty" once per turn.

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Obedience Schooled

Market Price: $0.52

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218016_200w.jpg

If you control no monsters: Special Summon 3 Level 2 or lower Beast-Type Effect Monsters with different names from your Deck. Their effects are negated, and they are destroyed during the End Phase. If you activate this card, you cannot Special Summon for the rest of this turn, except Beast-Type monsters.

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Infinite Impermanence

Market Price: $20.31

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/227476_200w.jpg

Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls; negate its effects (until the end of this turn), then, if this card was Set before activation and is on the field at resolution, for the rest of this turn all other Spell/Trap effects in this column are negated. If you control no cards, you can activate this card from your hand.

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Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Market Price: $7.45

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/184763_200w.jpg

When a card or effect is activated that includes any of these effects (Quick Effect): You can discard this card; negate that effect.

• Add a card from the Deck to the hand.
• Special Summon from the Deck.
• Send a card from the Deck to the GY.
You can only use this effect of "Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring" once per turn.

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Melffy Pony

Market Price: $0.18

ImageURL: https://tcgplayer-cdn.tcgplayer.com/product/218896_200w.jpg

If your opponent Normal or Special Summons a monster(s) (except during the Damage Step), or if an opponent's monster targets this card for an attack: You can return this card to the hand, then you can add 1 Level 2 or lower Beast monster from your GY to your hand, except "Melffy Pony". During your End Phase: You can Special Summon this card from your hand. You can only use each effect of "Melffy Pony" once per turn.

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No hate on the Melffys, but I'd be delusional if I didn't admit that tiny lil' Beasts weren't exactly strong enough to win tournaments on their own. Some Melffys like Melffy Fenny and Melffy Pony are really good, but you don't want to draw them in multiples. The previous one-two punch with Melffy of the Forest and Melffy Puppy is great, but it's better when you're backing it up with Effect Veiler, not Melffy Rabby.

My point is, with so many small monsters, you have to be really careful about what nuances you add to the strategy. I'm all for hamfisting in as many crazy ideas as possible, but it's a tight fit and if you want to win games, you have to make sure your tech choices are, at their core, reasonable. Yes to Yokotuner to make Naturia Beast, no to The Fabled Cerburrel for The Fabled Unicore. Yes, Loukas Peterson just said "no" to Fabled cards. 2020 might be the end of the world after all.

That same philosophy goes for the "other" Melffy cards, too. Melffy Playhouse? No real room for it, since it's redundant with the aforementioned Melffy combo. Melffy Tag actually really great, but it's more of a win-more card than you can really afford.

Without beating around the bush, I'd rather add cards that work on their own rather than "more" Melffy cards, namely, Danger! Bigfoot! You won't always get to go first, so Danger! Bigfoot! and Alpha, the Master of Beasts are hugely helpful. You need a certain percentage of cards that can stand on their own; Danger! Bigfoot! a good supplemental card to simplify the game and thin your deck, and Alpha, the Master of Beasts a dominating force that's searchable with Melffy Catty.

Once again, I'm apologizing to Melffy Rabby. I love you, but, come, on, it's Alpha, the Master of Beasts.

Be Strong - Be Strong For Mother

It rubs me the wrong way when newer cards in a theme make older cards instantly obsolete, but that's exactly what happened with Joyous Melffys from Phantom Rage, overtaking Melffy Mommy. They aren't total copies of each other, but they both exist to make attacking and surviving a possibility against bigger threats.

Why is that so important? If you paid attention to my Phantom Rage article last week, there's this little card called Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder that's basically an Evenly Matched if an Xyz Monster's battled this turn.

Joyous Melffys is just that. You detach an Xyz Material, attack for 2000, then clear the board when you make Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder. Normally I'd only run a single copy of each card for that ace in the hole type play, but… let's up it to two each.

If you think that's overkill, let it be known I didn't make it to Top Cut of YCS Minneapolis in 2016 because my opponent, in his infinite wisdom, had three copies of Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk in his Extra Deck. I still carry the scars.

With Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder being so pivotal in a duel, I feel like resolving two of them is closer to an instant win button than it is overkill. But what do I know? All I'm good for is losing to triple Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk, so maybe I'm the dumb one.

It still hurts.

So… Hand Traps + Cats + Sky Thunder…?

Well, yeah, that's a fair criticism of the deck, sue me. I'm not going to try and sell Melffys as a combo-heavy deck like Adamancipator, but it's a solid strategy that does a few things, and does them really well. You can dig yourself out of some surprisingly tough situations, while Melffy Hide-and-Seek and the second Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder help you go the distance in longer games.

Sometimes decks don't need to be flashy to be good. You have a starting combo, legitimate ways to break boards, and a bevy of hand traps for your opponent to struggle through. But if you need to Special Summon 318 times per turn to feel like a deck's playable, I'll concede that Melffys aren't your Number 1 pick.

More for me, as I say.

In terms of customization, I'm ironically circling back to Melffy Rabby. I know I've verbally beaten up that cutie this entire article, but don't underestimate the power of a Normal Monster with 0 ATK. Let's just say that you can go a little crazy with Unexpected Dai, Box of Friends, Rescue Rabbit, and the new Metalfoes cards.

Not saying I'm advocating for that, but I am saying you could go out and make Melffy Rabby proud.

Just remember: beat your opponents before they beat you.

-Loukas Peterson