The Rikka theme made its TCG debut last Friday in Secret Slayers alongside Adamancipators and Eldlich, and it's the first new Plant theme since Predaplants.
Rikkas revolve around tributing monsters – especially Rikka monsters themselves – and can capitalize on a backlog of excellent Plant support from cards like Lonefire Blossom, Spore, and some under the radar picks like Evil Thorn. You can imagine Rikkas as a variant of Plant Link: a strategy that's now viable thanks to the release of Crystron Halqifibrax. What the Rikka theme brings to the table is a powerful set of tools to manipulate your opponent's monsters, and a fantastic set of recurring Xyz, Link, and tribute fodder.
The Rikka boss monster, Teardrop the Rikka Queen, has a Quick Effect that can tribute monsters on either side of the field as long as it has a Plant as an Xyz Material. The deck can further tribute oppoosing monsters with Rikka Flurries, and Rikka Sheet controls the pace of the duel by preventing monster effect activations. You have plenty of weapons to keep your opponent's field presence in check, but you'll need to build up your own field to take full advantage of those cards.
Luckily Rikkas have just enough summoning power to develop field presence, and old school Plant support like Lonefire Blossom and Evil Thorn are fantastic building blocks to work with.
Properly mixing all the Plant Link cards together – especially those that help you get Plants of any kind on the field – are a top priority, but we won't be leaning too heavily into extenders and Link plays with this build.
The temptation's certainly there: Link spam using an engine of Lonefire Blossom, Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio, and combos involving Cross-Sheep, Crystron Halqifibrax, Instant Fusion, and more could easily lead you away from playing any Rikka cards at all. But we're here to talk about the Rikka theme, not Plant Link, so I've crafted a build that prioritizes the Rank 6 and 8 Xyz Monsters over Link 4s.
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Deck - Kelly's Rikka Deck by Kelly Locke
'Kelly's Rikka Deck' - constructed deck list and prices for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from TCGplayer Infinite!
Created By: Kelly Locke
Market Price: $142.60
Market Price: $0.58
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.
Kanzashi the Rikka Queen
Market Price: $0.31
2 Level 6 monsters
If a monster(s) is Tributed (except during the Damage Step): You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 monster in either GY; Special Summon it, but negate its effects, also it becomes a Plant monster. If a Plant monster(s) you control would be destroyed by a card effect, you can Tribute 1 Plant monster from your hand or field instead. You can only use each effect of "Kanzashi the Rikka Queen" once per turn.
Market Price: $3.79
When you activate this card, you can also Tribute 1 Plant monster; add 1 "Rikka" monster from your Deck to your hand, then, if you Tributed a monster when you activated this card, add 1 Plant monster, with the same original Level as that "Rikka" monster but a different name, from your Deck to your hand. You can only activate 1 "Rikka Glamour" per turn.
Market Price: $4.21
2 monsters with different names
If a monster is Special Summoned to a zone this card points to: You can apply the following effects, in sequence, based on the card types of the monster(s) this card points to.
• Ritual: Draw 2 cards, then discard 2 cards.
• Fusion: Special Summon 1 Level 4 or lower monster from your GY.
• Synchro: All monsters you control gain 700 ATK.
• Xyz: All monsters your opponent controls lose 700 ATK.
You can only use this effect of "Cross-Sheep" once per turn.
Snowdrop the Rikka Fairy
Market Price: $4.65
You can Tribute 1 Plant monster; Special Summon both this card and 1 other Plant monster from your hand, also you cannot Special Summon for the rest of this turn, except Plant monsters. You can target 1 Plant monster you control; all Plant monsters you currently control become that monster's Level until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of "Snowdrop the Rikka Fairy" once per turn.
Teardrop the Rikka Queen
Market Price: $14.58
2 Level 8 monsters
You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 monster on the field; Tribute it. This is a Quick Effect if this card has a Plant monster as material. You can only use this effect of "Teardrop the Rikka Queen" once per turn. Each time a monster(s) is Tributed: This card gains 200 ATK for each, until the end of this turn.
One for One
Market Price: $1.46
Send 1 monster from your hand to the Graveyard; Special Summon 1 Level 1 monster from your hand or Deck.
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Mudragon of the Swamp
Market Price: $0.23
2 monsters with the same Attribute but different Types
Your opponent cannot target this card, or monsters on the field with the same Attribute as this card, with card effects. Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can declare 1 Attribute; this card becomes that Attribute until the end of this turn.
Market Price: $0.74
If a "Rikka" monster you control is Tributed (except during the Damage Step): You can make your opponent Tribute 1 monster they control (their choice). You can only use this effect of "Rikka Flurries" once per turn. Once per turn, during your opponent's End Phase, if you control a face-up non-Plant monster: Destroy this card.
Market Price: $1.12
"Relinquished" + "Thousand-Eyes Idol"
Other monsters on the field cannot change their battle positions or attack. Once per turn: You can target 1 monster your opponent controls; equip that target to this card (max. 1). This card's ATK/DEF become equal to that equipped monster's. If this card would be destroyed by battle, destroy that equipped monster instead.
Market Price: $2.01
Pay 1000 LP, then target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; banish it.
Market Price: $0.41
If this card is in your Graveyard: You can banish 1 other Plant-Type monster from your Graveyard; Special Summon this card from your Graveyard and increase its Level by the Level of that banished monster. Each player can only activate the effect of "Spore" once per Duel.
Tytannial, Princess of Camellias
Market Price: $0.22
During either player's turn, when a card or effect that targets a card(s) on the field is activated: You can Tribute 1 face-up Plant monster; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy it.
Market Price: $0.44
This promotional card is printed in Japanese.
Market Price: $4.79
2 Level 2 Aqua-Type monsters
Once per turn, during the Standby Phase: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; Special Summon 1 "Frog" monster from your Deck. Once per turn, during either player's turn, when your opponent activates a Spell/Trap Card, or monster effect: You can send 1 Aqua-Type monster from your hand or face-up from your field to the Graveyard; negate the activation, and if you do, destroy that card, then you can Set it to your field. If this card is sent to the Graveyard: You can target 1 WATER monster in your Graveyard; add it to your hand.
Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio
Market Price: $0.77
If this card is Normal or Special Summoned: You can send 1 monster from your hand to the GY; Special Summon 1 "Predaplant" monster from your Deck, except "Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio". You can only use this effect of "Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio" once per turn.
Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess
Market Price: $9.76
2+ monsters with different names, except Tokens
You can only control 1 "Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess". The original ATK of this card becomes 800 x the number of Link Materials used for its Link Summon. Once per Chain, when your opponent activates a monster effect (Quick Effect): You can make this card lose exactly 800 ATK, and if you do, negate the activation.
Black Rose Dragon
Market Price: $0.35
1 Tuner + 1 or more non-Tuner monsters
When this card is Synchro Summoned: You can destroy all cards on the field. Once per turn: You can banish 1 Plant-Type monster from your Graveyard, then target 1 Defense Position monster your opponent controls; change that target to face-up Attack Position, and if you do, its ATK becomes 0 until the end of this turn.
Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector
Market Price: $5.84
2 Level 8 monsters // Once per turn: You can declare 1 card name; excavate the top card of your Deck, and if it is the declared card, add it to your hand. Otherwise, send it to the Graveyard. If a card is sent from your Deck to the Graveyard by a card effect (except during the Damage Step): You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card, then target 1 card on the field; place that target on either the top or bottom of the Deck. You can only use this effect of "Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.76
Pay 1000 LP; Special Summon 1 Level 5 or lower Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck, but it cannot attack, also it is destroyed during the End Phase. (This is treated as a Fusion Summon.) You can only activate 1 "Instant Fusion" per turn.
Market Price: $0.87
You can Tribute this card; inflict 300 damage to your opponent, and if you do, you can Special Summon up to 2 "Evil Thorn" from your Deck in Attack Position, but their effects cannot be activated.
Official Tournament Stores must review their Konami OTS agreement before selling this product.
Hellebore the Rikka Fairy
Market Price: $0.28
When your opponent activates a monster effect that targets a monster(s) you control, while you control a "Rikka" monster (Quick Effect): You can Tribute this card from your hand or face-up field; negate that effect. If this card is in your GY: You can Tribute 1 Plant monster; Special Summon this card in Defense Position, but banish it when it leaves the field. You can only use each effect of "Hellebore the Rikka Fairy" once per turn.
Called by the Grave
Market Price: $2.28
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.
Predaplant Darlingtonia Cobra
Market Price: $0.53
If this card is Special Summoned by the effect of a "Predaplant" monster: You can add 1 "Polymerization" Spell Card or "Fusion" Spell Card from your Deck to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Predaplant Darlingtonia Cobra" once per Duel.
Market Price: $0.28
When you activate this card, you can also Tribute 1 Plant monster; Special Summon 1 "Rikka" monster from your GY in Defense Position, then, if you Tributed a monster when you activated this card, Special Summon 1 Plant monster from your GY in Defense Position. You can only activate 1 "Rikka Tranquility" per turn.
Market Price: $5.17
2 Level 4 WATER monsters
Once per turn: You can detach 1 material from this card; Special Summon 1 Rank 3 or lower WATER Xyz Monster from your Extra Deck. This card cannot attack for the rest of this turn.
Market Price: $0.44
Target 1 face-up monster your opponent controls, also, you can Tribute 1 Plant monster; players cannot activate that face-up monster's effects on the field this turn, then, if you Tributed a monster when you activated this card, take control of that monster until the End Phase, and if you do, it becomes a Plant monster until the End Phase. You can only activate 1 "Rikka Sheet" per turn.
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Market Price: $4.12
2 Plant monsters
If your LP are higher than your opponent's, this card and any Plant monsters it points to cannot be destroyed by battle. You can Tribute 1 monster this card points to; Special Summon 1 Plant monster from your Deck in Defense Position. You can only use this effect of "Aromaseraphy Jasmine" once per turn. Once per turn, if you gain LP: Add 1 Plant monster from your Deck to your hand.
Market Price: $2.18
1 Level 1 monster
When an opponent's monster declares an attack: You can Tribute this card; change that opponent's monster's ATK to 0, until the end of this turn. If this card is in your GY (Quick Effect): You can Tribute 1 Level 1 monster; Special Summon this card. You can only use this effect of "Linkuriboh" once per turn.
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Primula the Rikka Fairy
Market Price: $1.18
If a monster you control is Tributed (except during the Damage Step): You can Special Summon this card from your hand in Defense Position. You can target up to 2 Plant monsters you control; increase their Level(s) by 2 until the end of this turn. You can only use each effect of "Primula the Rikka Fairy" once per turn.
Market Price: $0.74
Once per turn: You can Tribute 1 face-up Plant-Type monster; Special Summon 1 Plant-Type monster from your Deck.
Mudan the Rikka Fairy
Market Price: $0.89
You can Tribute 1 Plant monster; Special Summon this card from your hand. If this card is Normal Summoned, or Special Summoned by the effect of a Plant monster: You can add 1 "Rikka" Spell/Trap from your Deck to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Mudan the Rikka Fairy" once per turn.
Borreload Savage Dragon
Market Price: $17.70
1 Tuner + 1+ non-Tuner monsters
If this card is Synchro Summoned: You can equip 1 Link Monster from your GY to this card, and if you do, place Borrel Counters on this card equal to that Link Monster's Link Rating. This card gains ATK equal to half the ATK of the monster equipped to it by its effect. When your opponent activates a card or effect (Quick Effect): You can remove 1 Borrel Counter from this card; negate the activation. You can only use this effect of "Borreload Savage Dragon" once per turn.
You'll notice that there are still plenty of extenders in this build alongside a healthy mix of generic tech that helps the deck stay competitive. Lonefire Blossom, Spore, Evil Thorn, the Predaplants and Tytannial, Princess of Camellias are used for some of the same purposes you'd see from a Plant Link strategy. They're designed to get more bodies on the field, especially Plants, and unlock access to Link 4s with minimal effort. We'll largely use them to reach Link 4s like Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess and set up the conditions needed to play Bahamut Shark and Toadally Awesome.
The core Rikka line-up needs some adjusting in a post-April format. Prior to the April Forbidden & Limited List you'd see multiples of Instant Fusion in the Plant Link line-up alongside Glow-Up Bulb, but now we're forced to close the gaps with other cards. Fortunately our focus is on Rikkas anyways, so you have some options that should help you make the most of any subpar opening hands.
The ideal opening card for Plant strategies is almost always Lonefire Blossom, and Rikkas are no exception.
You can go in any number of directions resolving Lonefire, but ideally you'll Summon Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio and activate its effect to Summon Predaplant Darlingtonia Cobra from your deck. That play's significantly more dangerous now that Instant Fusion is Limited, but it's simply too strong to pass up. Resolving Cobra adds Instant Fusion to your hand, and from there you can begin Link Summoning monsters like Aromaseraphy Jasmine to continue building field presence. Instant Fusion's an important combo piece here, but we'll circle back around to it shortly.
Lonefire Blossom can also bring Rikka Petal to the field for its search effect. Petal's a direct conflict with the Plant Link component of the deck, so it's a bit of a balancing act figuring out whether you'll Summon Petal or Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio in the early game. Once you resolve Petal you're locked into Plant Special Summons for the rest of the turn, and that immediately precludes any big Link plays with monsters other than Aromaseraphy Jasmine or maybe Predaplant Verte Anaconda.
I haven't found a good way to leverage Anaconda yet, though I do think the potential is there to somehow get Predaplant Dragostapelia on the field alongside Teardrop the Rikka Queen.
So let's assume you've managed to resolve Predaplant Ophrys Scorpio, Summon Cobra, and search Instant Fusion. From there you can Link Summon Aromaseraphy Jasmine, use any extender to put a monster in one of Jasmine's Linked Zones, and then activate Jasmine to Summon Evil Thorn from your deck. Resolve Evil Thorn to Summon two more copies from the deck, and you'll end up with three monsters on the board plus Instant Fusion in hand.
How you proceed depends on whether you have Primula the Rikka Fairy in your hand, or Rikka Glamour to search it. You can Special Summon Primula from your hand if a Plant is tributed, so you can activate it as an extender after Jasmine or Evil Thorn resolves. In that case, you'll Link Summon Cross-Sheep with Evil Thorn and Jasmine, then activate Instant Fusion to Summon Mudragon of the Swamp.
Why Mudragon of the Swamp? Rikkas happen to be Water monsters, and Primula's one of the deck's two Level 4s, so of course we were going to find a way to Summon Bahamut Shark. Bahamut Shark can then Special Summon Toadally Awesome, which has the added benefit of recycling one of your Rikkas when it hits the graveyard. But you can't forget about Cross-Sheep! Resolving Instant Fusion means you'll get to Special Summon a monster like Lonefire Blossom from the graveyard and launch a whole new set of combos. The plays here are pretty much endless, but Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess is typically a shoe-in for Plant Link.
Meanwhile, resolving Rikka Petal brings you to an entirely different set of options that almost always end with Summoning Teardrop the Rikka Queen. Petal's effect can firstly grab Snowdrop the Rikka Fairy, your go-to Rikka for making Rank 8 Xyz. Snowdrop can tribute Petal to Special Summon itself and another Plant from your hand, but you'll once again be locked into Plant Special Summons for the remainder of the turn.
Stacking both Petal and Snowdrop won't hurt, but it's gain another important conflict with a large chunk of your Extra Deck that you'll have to watch out for. Snowdrop's Level-changing effect makes any Plant on the field a potential Rank 8 Xyz material, or it can downgrade itself to a Level 6 if Mudan the Rikka Fairy's on the field.
Snowdrop the Rikka Fairy is a quick enabler for the deck's Xyz Monsters, but it's dependent on having at least one other Plant in your hand. That's not exactly a strict condition, but we can help make it more consistent with the rest of the Rikka theme. Petal's already a must, and the deck's key search spell Rikka Glamour. Glamour's interesting because you can actually search two Rikka monsters in a pinch, but they'll both need to be the same Level. I don't often find myself tributing a monster to activate Glamour often, but Hellebore the Rikka Fairy earns its slot in this build if only for those times where you need to get Snowdrop and another Plant from your deck to your hand.
Mudan the Rikka Fairy is another link in the chain of Special Summons that eventually get you to your end field. You can simply Special Summon it with its effect, activate its search, and grab Glamour to search Snowdrop. Mudan's best paired with Snowdrop's Special Summon effect, and in that scenario you'll search Rikka Flurries for monster removal, Rikka Sheet for interruption, or Rikka Tranquility for recovery. Flurries is deceptively strong, but you'll need to tribute Rikka monsters to force your opponent to tribute their own cards. That said, between Flurries and Teardrop you'll typically be tributing two monsters per turn off of your opponent's field.
End Combo Monsters
Teardrop the Rikka Queen is your go-to monster to stop on at the end of your turn regardless of which path you take in the early game.
The rest of your supporting line-up, including cards like Spore and and Tytannial, the Princess of Camellias, can help set up more interruption alongside Toadally Awesome, Apollousa, and Rikka Sheet. Of course, as soon as you resolve Rikka Petal or Snowdrop the Rikka Fairy you'll no longer have access to your non-Plant negation bodies, but you can certainly resolve them after you've Summoned your non-Plants. Rikka Petal itself isn't particularly impressive if you Summoned a non-Plant, but it's fantastic recurring fodder if you can only manage to field your Rikka Xyz.
Thanks to Spore and Snowdrop you can run a variety of Extra Deck monsters, but resolving Snowdrop will lock you into Plants for the remainder of the turn. There's no point in playing Rank 8s that aren't Plants, but there is one more option besides Teardrop: that's Alsei, the Sylvan High Protector. Alsei's another removal option that doesn't have as much synergy with the deck as Teardrop, but it has a bit more utility because it can spin backrow back to the top of your opponent's deck. The Rikka theme is noticeably missing spell and trap removal, so fitting some into the Extra Deck is a necessity.
Do Rikkas Have What It Takes To Win This Format?
You might have noticed that I ignored a handful of Rikka monsters in my build, and that's largely because I don't think they contribute enough to the strategy to warrant play. If you cut the Plant Link engine from the deck you'll make just enough space to fit in Erica the Rikka Fairy and Cyclamen the Rikka Fairy, but I don't think the trade-off is worth it. Yes, you'll have a bit more synergy between your Rikka cards, but you'll be missing out on the explosive power of the Plant Link combos that let you field Teardrop alongside two fantastic negation bodies.
The deck's surprisingly consistent thanks to a bunch of search effect redundancy. Rikka Petal, Rikka Glamour, and Mudan the Rikka Fairy can get your combos started relatively easily, and Mudan's particularly useful for playing through interruption. If your Predaplant's negated you can simply tribute it for Mudan, search Glamour, and finally search Snowdrop the Rikka Fairy to reach your Rank 8. The problem is that the Rikka win condition isn't particularly strong, and unfortunately Snowdrop leaves a lot to be desired. Rikka Sheet's a functional interruption effect, but it doesn't actually negate or destroy cards, and that's a problem.
That said, this deck can seriously throw off strategies that absolutely do not want their monsters to be tributed. Snowdrop and Rikka Flurries is a hilariously fun combo, and Rikka Tranquility can pick up the pieces if you lose your board to mass removal. Tytannial, Princess of Camellias is surprisingly effective against decks that are loaded with targeting effects, and it can even negate cards that target your opponent's monsters. There are plenty of strategies out there that target their own monsters for a variety of reasons – Rikkas do it with Snowdrop's effect – and Tytannial's negation effect isn't once per turn.
Keeping Tytannial and Teardrop supplied with a stream of Plant monsters is one of the most challenging aspects of this strategy, but if you can solve that supply line issue you'll unlock one of the most disruptive decks this format has to offer.
Until next time then