When The Secret Forces hit the TCG, Europe was overrun with Ritual Beasts! Numerous players topped Regional Qualifiers with the new Fusion theme, defeating Nekroz, Qliphort, and Burning Abyss players along the way. It's a surprising turn of events: Ritual Beasts were almost completely overshadowed by Nekroz in the OCG, but they've already had some serious successes in Europe and North America. Lukas Randegger made it into the Top 8 of the Switzerland regional with his build of Ritual Beasts.

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Ritual Beast monster line-ups vary slightly between builds – usually sticking to a common theme of playing at least two of every Spiritual Beast and Tamer. Ritual Beast Tamer Elder and Spiritual Beast Cannahawk create the best first-turn plays, so they're run at three copies each. The rest of the line-up comes down to preference, but in Randegger's case he couldn't grab another Spiritual Beast Rampengu before the tournament. Dimensional Fissure and Macro Cosmos in the Main Deck swing a number of matchups in this deck's favor and it's great at dodging targeting effects thanks to the Contact Fusion mechanic.

Randegger took advantage of the growing popularity of Qliphorts, Satellarknights, and Nekroz by Main Decking a full set of Mind Crush. With so much hand disruption he could knock away freshly-searched cards while also gaining insight into his opponent's options. Randegger played another six cards that negate Summons in his Side Deck: a full set of Black Horn of Heaven and Chaos Trap Hole. The latter is particularly strong against Satellarknights and Burning Abyss: it banishes their key monsters and negates Satellarknight Deneb before it can search out Reinforcements.

Are Ritual Beasts here to stay? The deck certainly has what it takes to compete at the regional level, but we'll have to wait and see if it can score a YCS top.

-Kelly Locke