In the run-up to the Remote Duel YCS, I finally found an opportunity to sit down, open a bunch of product-hover id="243710", and really go through the set. Whenever there's a new release I like to spend some time reading each of the new cards one by one, to see if anything's good, cool, viable, or competitive enough to shake up competition.

When I did that, some of the biggest cards that stood out to me were Right-Hand Shark and Astral Kuriboh. These two new cards are really good because of an older one. A card I used to play in my Zoodiac deck a while back: Number 59: Crooked Cook.

My first reaction when I saw Right-Hand Shark and Astral Kuriboh was that I honestly can't believe these types of effects are real. Some of you may have already seen or heard about it on other social medias, but for those that don't know, I'll give you a quick rundown on what they both do, and how they work in combination with Number 59: Crooked Cook.

Right-Hand Shark part of a duo with Left-Hand Shark. When you Normal Summon it, Right-Hand Shark effect searches you Left-Hand Shark from your deck. You can Special Summon Left-Hand Shark from your hand or graveyard if you control the Right-Hand Shark.

When you make an Xyz Summon using either of the Sharks, and only using Water Monsters, they give the Xyz Monster an effect:

Astral Kuriboh a different story. It starts out as a Level 1 monster, but as long as you can reveal a "Number" Xyz from your Extra Deck, you can Special Summon it and then adjust its level based on the Xyz you show your opponent. Once you summon Astral Kuriboh and it's on the field, you can't summon anything from your Extra Deck except for Number Xyz.

If you use Astral Kuriboh as an Xyz Material for a "Number" Xyz, it gets an additional effect: it can't be destroyed by battle or card effects. It's very similar to the combined impact of Right-Hand Shark and Left-Hand Shark, and the result shouldn't be underestimated.

What Does This All Mean?

Well, if you combine those buffs with [[ Number 59: Crooked Cook]], then your opponent could be in major trouble. That's because Number 59: Crooked Cook is unaffected by other card effects so long as it's the ONLY card you control.

Its other ability is a quick effect that lets you destroy all the other cards you control, boosting Number 59: Crooked Cook by 300 ATK for every monster you destroyed. That effect essentially helps enable the first one, so that you'll control no other cards and turn on Number 59: Crooked Cook protection.

If you Xyz Summon Number 59: Crooked Cook with Right-Hand Shark or Astral Kuriboh, then you've got a monster that's almost invincible.

I say "almost" invincible because there are some ways for your opponent to still find a chance to win. It's important to understand what your options are, so let's talk about how you can beat this combo, if you ever see it coming!

First Off, All You Need Is A Kaiju

Simple as that!

The only thing that can stop a Kaiju are cards that restrict summons. Take the @Ignister deck for example; that deck actually goes so far as to play Rivalry of Warlords now, because once they flip it up, you can't summon any non-Cyberse monster to their side of the field…which means your Kaijus are useless. But with a card like Number 59: Crooked Cook, you don't have the same luxury: Number 59: Crooked Cook has to be the only card on your side of the field to protect itself, so something like Rivalry of Warlords won't help.

Summon The Egg!

Kaijus aren't the only way to beat Number 59: Crooked Cook. If you can give your opponent a card, then Number 59: Crooked Cook effect will turn off and you'll be able to deal with it, or at the very least force your opponent to use its effect! But alas, it would be hopeless if the card you use to occupy your opponent's field is Lost World.

When you Normal Summon or Special Summon a Dinosaur while Lost World is up, it'll trigger and give your opponent a token. Lost World also has another effect to stave off the destruction of any Normal Monster - including tokens - by destroying another Dinosaur in your deck.

So once that token's sitting beside the Number 59: Crooked Cook, it's just a sitting duck. Dinosaurs could already search for Dogoran, the Mad Flame Kaiju with Souleating Oviraptor, but the matchup just gets even easier with Lost World shutting down the Cook's ability.

Next Up, Underworld Goddess Of The Closed World

This Link-5 monster from Blazing Vortex has been highly underrated ever since its debut. But now, everyone should run it if they want to have a chance against decks abusing Number 59: Crooked Cook. That's because Underworld Goddess of the Closed World has a unique summoning condition: you can use one monster from your opponent's side of the field to Link Summon it.

Now, that does require you to control Link Materials enough for a Link 5 summon; you'll need at least four monsters from your side and the opposing Number 59: Crooked Cook; or a Link-2 you control, along with two other monsters plus the Number 59: Crooked Cook. Still, it's not a bad option, and assembling all your Link Materials may be easier than usual since your opponent can't control Number 59: Crooked Cook and a field full of negations at the same time.

You Can Still Attack!

While Number 59: Crooked Cook is on the field, your opponent will probably keep it in defense mode so that you can't attack over its 2300 ATK and deal damage to them. But just because Number 59: Crooked Cook invincible doesn't mean your opponent is: if the Number 59: Crooked Cook in defense, attackers that deal piercing damage can push straight through it.

Downerd Magician, Triple Burst Dragon, and even Pentestag are all piercing monsters that see reasonable play in competitive decks (Pentestag no stranger to Dinosaur strategies). Heck, even F.A. Dawn Dragster pierces, if anyone plays that, and I'm sure Swordsoul can run White Aura Whale if they wanted to.

Some cards now even allow for direct attacks! Take Lyrilusc for example: they can very easily muster five Level 1 Winged Beasts and make Lyrilusc - Assembled Nightingale with five or more materials to do tons of damage through a Number 59: Crooked Cook. That's not something you want to see if you're playing with the Number 59: Crooked Cook player.

Ask Your Opponent How They're Going To Win!

If you wall up behind monsters with ATK greater than 2300, you'll stop the Number 59: Crooked Cook from attacking you, and you'll stalemate your opponent. You won't be able to hit them, and they won't be able to hit you. From there you just have to ask, how do they win?

Once you find out their real win condition, you just have to figure out if your deck has any sort of counter to it. If you don't, then it's probably an inevitable GAME OVER.

That said, a lot of decks running Number 59: Crooked Cook are going to have other win conditions in mind. Taylor Wallace played an Exodia deck featuring a Number 59: Crooked Cook combo at his local OTS, Epic Cards and Games. Using Number 59: Crooked Cook as an invincible wall, he was able to survive against almost anything, knowing he'dl eventually draw Exodia the Forbidden One to win the game.

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Crooked Cook Exodia by Taylor Wallace

'Crooked Cook Exodia' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!

Created By: Taylor Wallace

Event:

Rank: 0-0

Advanced

Market Price: $727.96

Cards

Mystic Mine

Market Price: $1.84

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If your opponent controls more monsters than you do, your opponent cannot activate monster effects or declare an attack. If you control more monsters than your opponent does, you cannot activate monster effects or declare an attack. Once per turn, during the End Phase, if both players control the same number of monsters: Destroy this card.

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The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche

Market Price: $0.74

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2+ DARK monsters

During your Main Phase: You can send 1 "The Phantom Knights" monster from your Deck to the GY, then Set 1 "Phantom Knights" Spell/Trap directly from your Deck to your Spell & Trap Zone. If a DARK Xyz Monster(s) is Special Summoned to a zone(s) this card points to, while this monster is on the field (except during the Damage Step): You can target 1 card on the field; destroy it. You can only use each effect of "The Phantom Knights of Rusty Bardiche" once per turn. Cannot be used as Link Material.

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Artifact Dagda

Market Price: $4.07

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2 monsters with different names

When the effect of another card on the field is activated (Quick Effect): You can Set 1 "Artifact" monster from your hand or Deck to your Spell & Trap Zone as a Spell, but destroy it during your opponent's next End Phase. During your opponent's turn, if this Link Summoned card is destroyed: You can Special Summon 1 "Artifact" monster from your GY in Defense Position. You can only use each effect of "Artifact Dagda" once per turn.

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Left Arm of the Forbidden One

Market Price: $1.88

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Lyrilusc - Assembled Nightingale

Market Price: $0.16

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2 or more Level 1 monsters

This card gains 200 ATK for each Xyz Material attached to it. This card can attack directly. While this card has Xyz Material, it can attack a number of times each Battle Phase, up to the number of Xyz Materials attached to it. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; until the end of this turn, "Lyrilusc" monsters you control cannot be destroyed by battle or card effects, also you take no battle damage.

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Divine Arsenal AA-ZEUS - Sky Thunder

Market Price: $12.93

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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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Pot of Prosperity

Market Price: $126.00

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Banish 3 or 6 cards of your choice from your Extra Deck, face-down; for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, any damage your opponent takes is halved, also excavate cards from the top of your Deck equal to the number of cards banished, add 1 excavated card to your hand, place the rest on the bottom of your Deck in any order. You can only activate 1 "Pot of Prosperity" per turn. You cannot draw cards by card effects the turn you activate this card.

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Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Market Price: $20.59

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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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Tri-Brigade Ferrijit the Barren Blossom

Market Price: $1.37

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2 Beast, Beast-Warrior, and/or Winged Beast monsters

During your Main Phase: You can Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Beast, Beast-Warrior, or Winged Beast monster from your hand, also you cannot use monsters as Link Material for the rest of this turn, except Beast, Beast-Warrior, or Winged Beast monsters. If this card is sent to the GY: You can draw 1 card, then place 1 card from your hand on the bottom of the Deck. You can only use each effect of "Tri-Brigade Ferrijit the Barren Blossom" once per turn.

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Downerd Magician

Market Price: $0.49

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2 Level 4 Spellcaster-Type monsters

During your Main Phase 2, you can also Xyz Summon this card by using a Rank 3 or lower Xyz Monster you control as the Xyz Material. (Xyz Materials attached to that monster also become Xyz Materials on this card.) This card gains 200 ATK for each Xyz Material attached to it. If this card attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing battle damage to your opponent. If this card attacked or was attacked, after damage calculation: Detach 1 Xyz Material from this card.

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Right Leg of the Forbidden One

Market Price: $1.80

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A forbidden right leg sealed by magic. Whosoever breaks this seal will know infinite power.

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Wind Pegasus @Ignister

Market Price: $0.16

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1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters

During your Main Phase: You can destroy Spells/Traps your opponent controls, up to the number of "@Ignister" monsters you control. If another card(s) you control is destroyed by battle or an opponent's card effect, while this card is on the field or in the GY: You can banish this card, then target 1 card your opponent controls; shuffle it into the Deck. You can only use each effect of "Wind Pegasus @Ignister" once per turn.

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Artifact Scythe

Market Price: $2.49

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You can Set this card from your hand to your Spell & Trap Zone as a Spell Card. During your opponent's turn, when this Set card in the Spell & Trap Zone is destroyed and sent to your Graveyard: Special Summon it. If this card is Special Summoned during your opponent's turn: Your opponent cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn.

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Nibiru, the Primal Being

Market Price: $11.58

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During the Main Phase, if your opponent Normal or Special Summoned 5 or more monsters this turn (Quick Effect): You can Tribute as many face-up monsters on the field as possible, and if you do, Special Summon this card from your hand, then Special Summon 1 "Primal Being Token" (Rock/LIGHT/Level 11/ATK ?/DEF ?) to your opponent's field. (This Token's ATK/DEF become the combined original ATK/DEF of the Tributed monsters.) You can only use this effect of "Nibiru, the Primal Being" once per turn.

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Dark Ruler No More

Market Price: $7.95

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Negate the effects of all face-up monsters your opponent currently controls, until the end of this turn, also, for the rest of this turn after this card resolves, your opponent takes no damage. Neither player can activate monster effects in response to this card's activation.

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Gadarla, the Mystery Dust Kaiju

Market Price: $1.04

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You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) to your opponent's side of the field in Attack Position, by Tributing 1 monster they control. If your opponent controls a "Kaiju" monster, you can Special Summon this card (from your hand) in Attack Position. You can only control 1 "Kaiju" monster. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can remove 3 Kaiju Counters from anywhere on the field; the ATK and DEF of all other monsters on the field become halved.

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Right-Hand Shark

Market Price: $0.15

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When this card is Normal Summoned: You can add 1 "Left-Hand Shark" from your Deck to your hand. If this card is in your GY and you control no monsters: You can Special Summon this card, but banish it when it leaves the field. An Xyz Monster that was Summoned using only WATER monsters as material, including this card on the field, gains this effect.

• This card cannot be destroyed by battle.
You can only use each effect of "Right-Hand Shark" once per turn.

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Number 59: Crooked Cook

Market Price: $1.72

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2 Level 4 monsters

While you control no other cards on the field, this card is unaffected by other cards' effects. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; destroy as many other cards you control as possible, then this card gains 300 ATK until the end of this turn for each monster destroyed by this effect and sent to the Graveyard.

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One for One

Market Price: $1.95

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Send 1 monster from your hand to the Graveyard; Special Summon 1 Level 1 monster from your hand or Deck.

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Buzzsaw Shark

Market Price: $0.15

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You can target 1 WATER monster you control; Special Summon from your Deck in Defense Position, 1 Fish monster with the same Level as that monster, but with a different name, and if you do, it cannot activate its effects this turn, also, you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck for the rest of this turn, except Xyz Monsters. You can only use this effect of "Buzzsaw Shark" once per turn. If this card is used for the Xyz Summon of a WATER monster, it can be treated as a Level 3 or 5 monster.

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Cosmic Cyclone

Market Price: $2.13

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Pay 1000 LP, then target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; banish it.

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Tri-Brigade Shuraig the Ominous Omen

Market Price: $1.68

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2+ Beast, Beast-Warrior, and/or Winged Beast monsters

If this card is Special Summoned, or if another Beast, Beast-Warrior, or Winged Beast monster(s) is Special Summoned to your field: You can banish 1 card on the field. If this card is sent to the GY: You can add 1 Beast, Beast-Warrior, or Winged Beast monster from your Deck to your hand, whose Level is less than or equal to the number of your banished Beast, Beast-Warrior, and Winged Beast monsters. You can only use each effect of "Tri-Brigade Shuraig the Ominous Omen" once per turn.

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Foolish Burial

Market Price: $0.73

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Send 1 monster from your Deck to the Graveyard.

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Crossout Designator

Market Price: $38.28

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Declare 1 card name; banish 1 of that declared card from your Main Deck, and if you do, negate its effects, as well as the activated effects and effects on the field of cards with the same original name, until the end of this turn. You can only activate 1 "Crossout Designator" per turn.

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Piri Reis Map

Market Price: $1.03

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At the start of your Main Phase 1: Add 1 monster with 0 ATK from your Deck to your hand, but halve your LP. After adding it to your hand, until the end of the next turn after this card was activated, you cannot activate the added monster's effects, or the effects of cards with its name, until you Normal Summon that monster or a card with its name.

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Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries

Market Price: $0.35

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If your opponent controls more monsters than you do (Quick Effect): You can discard this card; reveal 1 card in your Extra Deck, then look at your opponent's Extra Deck, also banish all cards in their Extra Deck with the same name as that revealed card. You can only use this effect of "Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries" once per turn.

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Infinite Impermanence

Market Price: $10.93

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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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El Shaddoll Winda

Market Price: $2.47

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1 "Shaddoll" monster + 1 DARK monster

Must first be Fusion Summoned. Cannot be destroyed by an opponent's card effects. Each player can only Special Summon monster(s) once per turn while this card is face-up on the field. If this card is sent to the GY: You can target 1 "Shaddoll" Spell/Trap in your GY; add it to your hand.

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Exodia the Forbidden One

Market Price: $0.73

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If you have "Right Leg of the Forbidden One", "Left Leg of the Forbidden One", "Right Arm of the Forbidden One" and "Left Arm of the Forbidden One" in addition to this card in your hand, you win the Duel.

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Beautunaful Princess

Market Price: $13.62

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When this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can banish this card; Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower Fish-Type monster from your Deck, except "Beautunaful Princess". You can only use this effect of "Beautunaful Princess" once per turn.

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Astral Kuriboh

Market Price: $4.99

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You can reveal 1 "Number" Xyz Monster in your Extra Deck; Special Summon this card from your hand. If you do, this card's Level becomes the revealed monster's Rank, also while it is face-up in the Monster Zone, you cannot Special Summon monsters from the Extra Deck, except "Number" Xyz Monsters. You can only use this effect of "Astral Kuriboh" once per turn. A "Number" Xyz Monster that was Summoned using this card on the field as material gains this effect.

• Cannot be destroyed by battle or your opponent's card effects.

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Effect Veiler

Market Price: $2.56

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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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Called by the Grave

Market Price: $2.09

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Target 1 monster in your opponent's GY; banish it, and if you do, monsters with the same original name as that banished monster have their effects negated until the end of the next turn.

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Twin Twisters

Market Price: $0.79

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Discard 1 card, then target up to 2 Spells/Traps on the field; destroy them.

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Harpie's Feather Duster

Market Price: $4.51

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Destroy all Spell and Trap Cards your opponent controls.

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Left Leg of the Forbidden One

Market Price: $2.14

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A forbidden left leg sealed by magic. Whosoever breaks this seal will know infinite power.

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Invoked Mechaba

Market Price: $0.55

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"Aleister the Invoker" + 1 LIGHT monster

Once per turn, when a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect, is activated (Quick Effect): You can send the same type of card (Monster, Spell, or Trap) from your hand to the GY; negate the activation, and if you do, banish that card.

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Right Arm of the Forbidden One

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A forbidden right arm sealed by magic. Whosoever breaks this seal will know infinite power.

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The Bahamut Shark Turbo deck has played Buzzsaw Shark in the past, since it can bring out any Level 4 Fish from the deck for free, and Right-Hand Shark just so happens to be a level 4 Fish! That means as long as you can summon and resolve Buzzsaw Shark to get Right-Hand Shark, you can set up the invincible Number 59: Crooked Cook really easily.

This gets even better since Buzzsaw Shark is searchable with Beautunaful Princess, which you can find with One for One or a new card from product-hover id="243710", Piri Reis Map.

I'm surprised Wallace didn't play Left-Hand Shark but I guess it doesn't do much beyond working with Right-Hand Shark, and the bonus effect of Left-Hand Shark isn't necessarily needed.

Not only is Wallace's deck built to consistently set up the Number 59: Crooked Cook, but he ran cards to help beat a range of counters that might break his board. He didn't have protection from Kaiju, but notice how he played Ghost Reaper & Winter Cherries along with certain cards in his Extra Deck, such as Lyrilusc - Assembled Nightingale, so that they can't attack directly. He played Artifact Dagda as well, so he'd have some chance to stop the Artifact Scythe lock.

While Wallace didn't win the entire tournament, he proved that this gimmick is viable and can win matches, so long as the opponent isn't prepared for it. I think it's a very solid build, and it could do even better if the deck could be optimized more, now that the idea's out in the open and more people are interested in it.

Exodia may be the coolest win condition of all time, but on paper it's not usually reasonable. Having five basically bad cards in your deck could hinder your opening hands, so it doesn't sound very appealing. But what other win conditions can you make with this invincible combo?

Taking A Page From Mystic Mine

Summoning Number 59: Crooked Cook with the added effect making it indestructible by battle has got to be Yu-Gi-Oh's newest equivalent to Mystic Mine. Once it hits the field most opponents just can't win, since most won't have an answer for it.

That said, Final Countdown is also a potential win condition in this kind of deck as long as you can afford to pay 2000 Life Points to play it. You also have to hope that when you do inevitably play the spell card while Number 59: Crooked Cook is on the field, your opponent doesn't take advantage of Number 59: Crooked Cook brief vulnerability; since you control another active card when Final Countdown is on the chain, they can play cards that get rid of the Cook! That certainly wouldn't be ideal.

Deck out is another possible win condition. So long as your opponent doesn't have an answer like a Kaiju or Underworld Goddess of the Closed World, decking them out is a very real possibility. You can play a niche card like Sword of Deep-Seated, so that when you have to discard a card at the end of your turn because you're over the maximum hand size of six cards, you can trigger its effect to put it back on top of your deck, and never run out of cards in your Draw Phase! Be careful, though: any form of negation could end that loop, since Sword of Deep-Seated activates.

That one wrinkle doesn't mean that deck out's out of the question! It might just mean that you need a slightly bigger deck, and hope your opponent doesn't recycle cards back to their Main Deck!

The Final Takeaway

What can you take away from reading all of this? Well, this whole thing exists. It's in tournaments and it's seeing play. And after reading Astral Kuriboh a bit more, keep in mind, there are versions of this combo that are totally generic! That means at least in theory, any deck can play Astral Kuriboh to help make Number Xyz Monsters.

Furthermore, nothing's stopping a deck that already plays Level 4 monsters from running Astral Kuriboh to help make Number 59: Crooked Cook. A deck like Swordsouls or Pendulum Magicians or even Sky Strikers can make this work.

I've playtested against some of my friends and managed to pull it off. I just opened with Astral Kuriboh, made Number 59: Crooked Cook, and they didn't have any answers to it. I won games just by having more cards in my Main Deck than they did, leading to wins by deckout. It didn't matter if I went first, or if I was going second against multiple disruptions. I found that as long as I could stick Astral Kuriboh on the field and get to a Level 4 monster, I could make Number 59: Crooked Cook and potentially win out from there.

While Astral Kuriboh isn't easy to search for, I can only imagine how many free wins I can get if I played this gimmick at a higher level event and opened the combo!

Astral Kuriboh doesn't only help make Number 59: Crooked Cook of course. It can help make any Number monster and can become any level you want! You probably want to pick this card up if you ever want to play a deck that includes a Number monster aside from Number 59: Crooked Cook.

If your deck plays Level 8 monsters, you can use Astral Kuriboh to help make Number 90: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord for a free negate. If you've got access to something like Fusion Destiny afterwards, you can summon Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer, then make Number 103: Ragnazero with Astral Kuriboh and any Level 4 beforehand. That way, while you have Destiny HERO - Destroyer Phoenix Enforcer on the field with Destiny Hero monsters in your graveyard, the ATK of your opponent's monsters will be lowered with DPE's effect. That lets you use Number 103: Ragnazero ability to destroy them and draw cards!

If you're facing Lyriluscs and you don't want to deal with Xyz Monsters like Lyrilusc - Assembled Nightingale, then summoning Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir in defense with an Astral Kuriboh as material can be a great way to slow your opponent down. While they could normally just try and Link Summon a big monster to attack over Number 41: Bagooska the Terribly Tired Tapir, Astral Kuriboh protection will keep it on the field.

Perhaps in the future, when Number 67: Pair-a-Dice Smasher is easier to make, you can play Astral Kuriboh to keep it on the field longer!

Hopefully now that you've read this, you'll have some respect for this combo and will prepare accordingly so you don't auto-lose to it in the future. Number 59: Crooked Cook definitely tough to interact with, especially in combination with Astral Kuriboh or Right-Hand Shark. Personally, I could see Number 59: Crooked Cook even being banned in the future, since it probably wasn't meant to be played this way and wasn't intended to be the centerpiece of an invincible board-clogging combo.

And until that happens? If you wanna steal some wins from unsuspecting opponents, just splash Astral Kuriboh and Number 59: Crooked Cook into your deck to get the upper hand.