If you're not familiar with D/D's don't worry, I've got you covered. The theme was quietly introduced to the TCG in Clash of Rebellions, and the bulk of its current support came from the OCG imports in Dimension of Chaos. In fact, all ten of the import slots in DOCS were dedicated to D/D and Dark Contract cards.
That said, we're still missing roughly half of the cards in the theme. The latest Structure Deck in the OCG is based on D/D's, so I assume we'll be getting those missing cards whenever that Structure makes its way to the TCG. Considering the lack of coverage on the official Konami Strategy Site and sparse discussions online, it's no surprise that D/D's have flown under the radar for so long.A New Regional Threat
D/D Savant Kepler's the starting player in both Smith and Cottrill's builds; the theme's Stratos-like monster with a critically important deck-searching effect. Kepler doesn't actually search monsters directly, but it can get you a Dark Contract that will do the job instead. Dark Contract with the Gate has a once-per-turn effect to search a D/D monster, so resolving Kepler or Gate is an immediate priority for any D/D duelist.
From there the possible plays and combos branch out into the deck's Fusion Summoning effects. You can use D/D Swirl Slime and another D/D monster from your hand to Fusion Summon a D/D/D, namely D/D/D Oracle King d'Arc. Its counterpart, D/D Necro Slime, works almost identically from the graveyard by banishing itself and another D/D. Using the two together lands a pair of 2800 ATK Level 7 monsters on the field, capable of putting out 5600 damage before Xyz Summoning Red-Eyes Flare Metal Dragon to – hopefully – burn away the rest. The damage potential from that two-card combo is promising even if it's a common sight this format.
The Main Deck D/D/D monsters have a misleading rarity scheme. Despite D/D/D Leonidas having a higher rarity than D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok, it's the latter that puts in most of the work. Leonidas is marginalized in the context of the OCG D/D strategy, and only clings to life here because there are so few other options. What it does for this deck is give Ragnarok more targets for its effect and offer a Main Deck D/D/D name to Fusion Summon D/D/D Wave Oblivion King Caesar Ragnarok. It's also Level 7, so it ends up as Xyz Material quite often.
D/D/D Oblivion King Abyss Ragnarok's probably the star of the TCG D/D build, although you could certainly argue that D/D Swirl Slime contributes just as much. Ragnarok has two effects – one Pendulum, one monster – that Special Summon a D/D from your graveyard. When it's Normal or Special Summoned you'll only get to choose from your fallen D/D/Ds, but you'll also have access to your D/D's if you Special Summon a D/D while Ragnarok is in your Pendulum Zone. If you use the Pendulum effect your opponent will take half damage for the rest of the turn, but that line's absent from its monster effect. Lastly, Ragnarok can banish monsters on the field by tributing another D/D.
The deck's best plays start by loading the graveyard with D/D Swirl Slime and a D/D/D monster. From there you can banish Swirl Slime to Summon Ragnarok from the hand, Summon a D/D/D from the graveyard with Ragnarok's effect, and potentially get another D/D with the Pendulum effect of a second Ragnarok. Dark Contract with the Swamp King fields yet another D/D/D Fusion Monster and usually contributes the last bit of game-ending damage. It's a fast, explosive strategy with varying set-up times. OTKs are easy when you're staring down an open field, but setting up a more robust offense can take time. Tackling big monsters like Kozmo Dark Destroyer or Kozmo Forerunner require either D/D/D Wave Oblivion King Caesar Ragnarok or D/D/D Duo-Dawn King Kali Yuga.
Making The Most Of What You've Got
The two Different Dimension Demons lists we'll look at are fairly similar. Both Smith and Cottrill played nearly identical monster line-ups with just a couple of differences.DECKID= 103906Smith ran two copies of Maxx "C" in his Main Deck alongside a single Berfomet' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=D/D Berfomet">D/D Berfomet while Cottrill sided three Maxx "C" and swapped Berfomet for Glow-Up Bulb. Smith's choice to play Berfomet gave him access to two themed Xyz Monsters: D/D/D Wave King Caesar and D/D/D Marksman King Tell. Wave King Caesar's a complicated card that offers insurance against monster removal, but its main use is to search out a Dark Contract when it hits the graveyard.
Similarly, Marksman King Tell is really only played because its effect sends a D/D from the deck to the graveyard. Xyz Summoning Wave King Caesar, overlaying Marksman King Tell over it, and tributing it for a Fusion Summon lands two D/D/D cards in your graveyard for another Fusion next turn. Although Berfomet isn't necessary to Xyz Summon Kali Yuga it does make Summoning it a bit easier.
The advantage of prioritizing Xyz Summons is that doing so puts Pendulum Monsters in your graveyard rather than your Extra Deck. That's especially important in the case of D/D Savant Kepler because it can't be Pendulum Summoned. You need those cards to end up in the graveyard to fuel D/D Necro Slime and Dark Contract with the Swamp King. Besides using your D/D's as Xyz Materials, you can also get them into the graveyard by discarding them.
Smith and Cottrill had a few ways of doing that besides the on-theme methods of D/D Swirl Slime and Dark Contract with the Swamp King. One for One, Mask Change II, and Foolish Burial put Ragnarok, Leonidas, and Savant Kepler in the graveyard rather than the Extra Deck. Of course, once they're on the field only an Xyz Summon will stop them being permanently removed from the game.
Cottrill's choice of Glow-Up Bulb had its own advantages. With it he could use any of his Level 7 monsters to Synchro Summon his only Level 8 Synchro: Red Dragon Archfiend' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend">Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend. Scarlight gave him another out to Kozmo Dark Destroyer or extra burn damage to end the game. If he had a Savant Kepler on the field as well as a Level 7, Glow-Up could instead be used to Synchro Summon Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier. Strangely, Cottrill didn't play PSY-Framelord Omega. It's a great card on its own, and even better in a deck that uses its graveyard as a pool of Fusion materials. His Extra Deck Space was already being pushed to its limit, and Omega isn't nearly as important as another Dark Destroyer out.
Smith and Cottrill's spell line-ups included two copies of Transmodify they used for one specific play. They could send a D/D/D Oracle King d'Arc to the graveyard to Special Summon Ragnarok from the deck and immediately activate its effect. Transmodify effectively turns one monster into two, and with another copy of Ragnarok in the graveyard it becomes the fastest way to put Kali Yuga on the field. Unfortunately there's not much else you can do with it. Sending a monster to the graveyard is the cost to activate Transmodify, so you can't use Savant Kepler or Leonidas. It's an OTK-accelerator that helps build field presence, but little more.
Mask Change II helped Smith and Cottrill do something with their Savant Kepler. Normal Summoning a 0 ATK monster left them vulnerable to Kozmo Farmgirl and offered them no defense against the huge damage output of Pendulum Magicians. With Mask Change II they could turn Savant Kepler into a Masked HERO Dark Law, placing 2400 ATK and a powerful disruption effect between them and their opponents. Dark Law is outstanding right now against Pendulum themes, banishing cards destroyed by Wavering Eyes and Luster Pendulum, the Dracoslayer, and then banishing a random card from the opponent's hand when either of those cards resolves.
Wavering Eyes was Main Decked in both builds to destroy opposing Pendulum Scales. It acted as another way for Smith and Cottrill to search their D/D Savant Keplers, Leonidas, or Ragnaroks. Any deck that can play Wavering Eyes without exposing its own Pendulum Spells has a distinct advantage over the competition, and D/D's can use every advantage they can get against Pendulum Magicians.
Lastly, let's look at each player's trap line-ups. Smith played a Main Deck copy of Deck Devastation Virus and sided two more, but later stated that he wouldn't play it in the future. Interestingly, Cottrill also played DDV in the same ratios. Both duelists also sided a single Eradicator Epidemic Virus against trap-heavy strategies. Smith's two Storming Mirror Forces – played as additional protection for Savant Kepler and as yet another out to Dark Destroyer – distinguish his trap line-up from Cottrill's. Errors' rel="https://yugioh.tcgplayer.com/db/WP-CH.asp?CN=Dark Contract with Errors">Dark Contract with Errors shows up in Cottrill's Side Deck as an anti-trap tech, and it's devastating when played alongside Vanity's Emptiness.The Missing Pieces
Sadly, D/Ds probably won't be competitive after Breakers of Shadow is released later this month. I've been having a ton of fun playing the deck myself, but I'll probably end up saving it for casual duels until the new support arrives. For now it's a solid, inexpensive deck that's perfectly suited for budget players looking to compete at the local level with something a little bit different.
Until next time then
Kelly Locke is a West Michigan gamer, writer, and college student with too much free time on his hands. Besides playing Yugioh, Kelly posts Let's Play videos of Minecraft on his Youtube channel and plays a possibly unhealthy amount of Destiny. He is currently studying marketing at Western Michigan University, and hopes to graduate before Dragon Ravine is Unlimited.