Crossed Souls has finally arrived and I'm practically salivating with anticipation to play with a ton of the new cards. There's just so much good stuff jam packed into the latest booster. The new U.A.'s are in-freaking-credible; Lose 1 Turn's bound to cause a lot of rage in the near future; Clear Wing Synchro Dragon's a behemoth; Chaofeng, Phantom of the Yang Zing is a new win-condition for a drastically underplayed theme; Raid Raptors are officially a deck; and all of the new Fluffal cards are fantastic and beyond adorable.

This set breathes life into a lot of themes, strengthens a few that were already solid, and introduces a bunch of amazing cards that can fit into nearly any deck. I seriously can't contain my excitement when I think about all of the strategies I want to play, but nothing gets me more pumped than Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio.

If you thought Ritual Beasts were incredible before – or at least incredibly annoying 0 f let me be the first to warn you: they just got pushed to a whole new level.

Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio is a Level 10 Psychic Fusion with 3200 ATK and 2100 DEF. You can Special Summon it by Contact Fusing any Ritual Beast Tamer, any Spiritual Beast and any Ritual Beast Ulti- monster. If it's properly Special Summoned, during either player's turn you can banish one Ritual Beast card from your hand to negate the activation of a spell, trap or monster effect and destroy it.

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Umm. WHAT!?

There are three things that should immediately jump out to you about this incredible boss monster; it's not once per turn, it's a Herald of Perfection with way better stats, and it's a Psychic.

The first two points are pretty easy to digest and understand why they're relevant, but the final one may not make sense unless you've played this deck before. If you haven't, I highly encourage you to read through my first article on Ritual Beasts and at least skim through my OTS Tournament Report and YCS Chicago article for a wider grasp on this fairly complicated theme.

Now that you've brushed up on your homework and are a master of Ritual Beasts, let's get into the nitty gritty. If you're familiar with my articles, you know that I typically start off by breaking down a theme using the Konami Yu-Gi-Oh Database or by identifying incredible combos if the cards are a bit more widely known. However, since you totally went back and brushed up on all of my previous Ritual Beast articles, I think we'll just use my current deck list to springboard our discussion.

DECKID=102087The first thing you should notice that's different from my YCS Chicago deck list is that I've trimmed down the traps and removed Mystical Space Typhoons from the Main Deck. This could just be temporary, because we'll have to see where the competitive scene shifts as YCS Columbus approaches, but for the most part I'm happy with this decision. Removing the backrow destruction is okay for two reasons; more combo pieces in the Main Deck and Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio easily stops most traps.

Because of your new boss, you can afford to play fewer or no spell and trap destruction, because it's easy to Special Summon Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio with one Ritual Beast Ambush. Furthermore, Nekroz have continued to prove that they're the deck to beat, so I'm confident that in a large-scale event I'll play mostly Nekroz. There are also the two copies of Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit I've opted to try out, which can stop a lot of annoying Continuous Spells and Traps like Reqliate, Lose 1 Turn, Qliphort Scout and U.A. Stadium.

Digging even deeper into this version, Terraforming, Oracle of Zefra and Brain Research Lab should stick out like a sore thumb, but these four cards are really cool! Brain Research Lab, despite not stacking extra Normal Summons with Ritual Beast Tamer Elder, effectively turns all of your Ritual Beast Tamers into pseudo-Elders. Using Brain Research Lab gives you way more three-card combos than ever before. Terraforming, any Ritual Beast Tamer and any Spiritual Beast will net you a first turn Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk that can then start digging for your Ritual Beast traps and bring you one step closer to winning the duel.

If you don't have a Tamer, but drew into both Terraforming and Brain Research Lab, you could search for Oracle of Zefra, which would find you Ritual Beast Tamer Zeframpilica to start your onslaught of searching. Brain Research Lab is incredible and something I've held off from using, because I was waiting for Terraforming to be more versatile; and now it is.

Rampengu Takes Flight
If you didn't love Spiritual Beast Rampengu before, you're going to have no choice but to love him now. Depending on your hand, Rampengu can even outshine the beloved Spiritual Beast Cannahawk thanks to Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio!

Remember how I mentioned Gaiapelio's Psychic attribute was important? Well here's why; before Gaiapelio was around, Rampengu could only send your Spiritual Beasts to the graveyard with its effect, but now you can send your Ritual Beast Tamers as well. That means Ritual Beast Ambush will be live on your first turn way more often. Also, because Ritual Beast Zeframpilica has similar effect to Ritual Beast Tamer Lara, Rampengu's combo with Brain Research Lab is super cool too. You can effectively get multiple searches thanks to another three-card combo including Terraforming, Ritual Beast Tamer Lara or Zeframpilica, Brain Research Lab and Rampengu. The versatility and explosiveness Brain Research Lab offers is sometimes too good to be true.

Spiritual Beast Rampengu also has the potential to create a first turn Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio with Soul Charge and that's definitely something worthy of note.

But wait, there's more! Sometimes Ritual Beast Tamer Zeframpilica can be tricky, because it's a Pendulum Monster. If it dies or if you use it as Synchro Material, it'll go into your Extra Deck and not your graveyard, which can be a huge bummer. However, Rampengu can banish any Ritual Beast monster in your Extra Deck, not just Ritual Beast Fusions. So if Zeframpilica falls into your Extra Deck, you can simply banish it with Rampengu to send any other Ritual Beast Tamer from your deck to your graveyard.

Wait. Why would you use Zeframpilica as Synchro Material?

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Metaphys Horus.

Not only is Ghost Ogre & Snow Rabbit useful for destroying pesky cards of all kinds, but it's also a Level 3 Psychic Tuner. Since you're using multiple copies of Emergency Teleport in Ritual Beasts anyway, you've got incredible Synchros at your fingertips now. Metaphys Horus may be one of the best options in this deck, because if you use Zeframpilica to Synchro Summon Horus, you'll activate its game-ending Snatch Steal effect.

Ready For Domination
Ritual Beasts are in prime position to dominate YCS Columbus thanks to Ulti-Gaiapelio and Zeframpilica. Having an absurdly powerful boss monster and a fourth Tamer means more searching, more combos and easy wins.

The new point of mastery for the deck is knowing when to actually Contact Fusion for Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio. Obviously you'll want to be cautious against Satellarknights because of Stellarnova Alpha, but in most other matchups it's a solid option.

The goal when gearing up for Ulti-Gaiapelio is to abuse Ritual Beast Ulti-Cannahawk to search for a ton of Ritual Beast monsters and a Ritual Beast Ambush as a backup plan. You're in perfect position to win the duel if you can search for as many monsters as your opponent has cards, because you'll negate everything they throw at you. Counting cards is not only for fear of Evilswarm Exciton Knight anymore.

Ritual Beast's Bond is also an insane game ender thanks to Ritual Beast Apelio's 500 ATK and DEF boost easily raising Ritual Beast Ulti-Gaiapelio to 4200 ATK. While you can use Bond to Special Summon Ulti-Gaiapelio with any two Ritual Beasts, you won't be able to use its effect, so I only encourage that play when attempting to end the duel.

Ritual Beast Gaiapelio and Ritual Beast Tamer Zeframpilica fix a lot of the Ritual Beast deck's initial challenges. You've got a nice consistency boost, more combo branches and one helluva boss monster. Let me know what you think of Ritual Beasts new support. Impressed? Underwhelmed? Are you digusted by Ritual Beast Zefrawendi as much as I am? Will I be seeing you at the 150th YCS in Columbus Ohio?

Let me know below!

-Pasquale Crociata


Pasquale is from Long Island, New York, but has lived in New York City for eight years where he earned a BFA in Musical Theater from Pace University. Outside of the Yu-Gi-Oh! community he's a working Actor, Model and Singer. Those interested in keeping up with his Acting career can check out his website www.PasqualeCrociata.com and 'Like' his Facebook Page! If you want more of Pasquale's Yu-Gi-Oh! content, check out and Subscribe to his YouTube Channel.